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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lots of Florida appearances coming up

I've been in blog-silence for months, finishing Rituals and doing family stuff, but I have a bunch of talks scheduled and I'm emerging from silence to let you all know about them.  If you're within striking distance of the Florida peninsula, there's a good chance that I'll be speaking soon at a library or bookstore near you.  I love it when my readers come out.  I write for you, and I like to see your faces.

Here is the information on my upcoming talks.  The Viva 500 appearances are part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon's arrival in Florida, and the writing workshops focus on how to write fiction with the use of my book Your Novel, Day by Day.  I'll be autographing books after all the talks, and there will be books for sale if you don't already have copies to be signed.  There are links to the venues at the bottom of this page, with addresses and other useful information.

If you have any questions, drop me an email at, and I hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 22, 10 am--Millhopper Branch Library, Gainesville, Florida.
VIVA 500 talk on the Florida Faye Longchamp mysteries

Saturday, June 22, 1 pm--High Springs Branch Library, High Springs, Florida.
VIVA 500 talk on the Florida Faye Longchamp mysteries

Tuesday, June 25, 10:30 am--Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg, Florida
Authors @ The Library Writing Workshop

Tuesday, June 25, 2 pm--Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg, Florida.
Groundbreaking Reads program, featuring the latest Faye Longchamp mystery, Plunder

Wednesday, June 26, 1 pm--WT Bland Public Library, Mount Dora, Florida
Authors @ The Library, featuring Florida-based mystery Strangers

Wednesday, June 26, 5:30 pm--Newberry Branch Library, Newberry, Florida
VIVA 500 talk on the Florida Faye Longchamp mysteries

Wednesday, June 26, 7 pm--Archer Branch Library, Archer, Florida
VIVA 500 talk on the Florida Faye Longchamp mysteries

Saturday, July 13, 10:00 am--Breaking Into Print: How To Self-Publish Your Print Book--Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach, Florida
Writing Workshop

Alachua County appearances:

Lake County appearances:

Florida Authors Academy site:

Monday, September 10, 2012

In praise of imagination and curiosity

Some time has gone by since the passing of Neil Armstrong and the media furor that reminded us of his remarkable life is dying down.  Let's face it.  As a species, we have a short attention span.  The fact that most of the world still knew Neil Armstrong's name, when he had spent 43 years avoiding the limelight that he had duly earned, is a fair measure of what he did and what his accomplishment symbolized.  When a thinking person considers the life of Neil Armstrong, he or she can only have one response:  "My God.  We sent people to the moon and bought them safely home."

We forget so easily.  If you want a good face-full of NASA's accomplishments in the 1960s, take a trip to the Kennedy Space Center.  Stick your head inside a claustrophobic command module and look at the controls.  They look about as high-tech as the dashboard of a 1960s Ford.  Then ponder the fact that this vehicle and the rockets that threw it to the moon were designed with slide rules.  Those spacesuits?  Were they molded from futuristic materials like the outfits worn by faux-heroes in today's comic book movies?  No.  They were made by human hands using sewing machines.  Ladies and gentlemen, if Neil Armstrong and the team supporting him could do what they did in 1969, then we as a species can do anything. We simply have to want it badly enough.  And, like Neil Armstrong, we have to possess the courage to risk everything in the pursuit of something worthwhile.

There are those who question our investment in space exploration, pointing out that the money could be used to take care of people who are in need.  I do not question the value of helping people in need, and I vote accordingly.  There are other expenditures I'd like to see cut in favor of funding science, but my intent here is not to talk politics.  And, though I believe that NASA has paid back our investment in terms of technologies and materials that make all our lives better in ways so pervasive that we have ceased to notice them, I am not going to do a cost-benefit analysis in terms of dollars and cents.  I would much rather balance the ledger that measures inspiration against the status quo.

If our president were to announce, "We choose to be free of nonsustainable fuels in this decade not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone," I believe we could do it, and I believe our country is not the only one that would take up the challenge.  (Picture me tipping my hat to President Kennedy as I type this.)  If he or she were to say, "We choose to free humanity of hunger, because it is within our reach," I believe we could do that, too.

Cynics believe that we are fueled as individuals by the desire for money and things, but they underestimate the power of the human imagination.  Money buys us the toys we use to distract ourselves when our lives are empty of dreams.  Right now, I think our society needs a dream.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that a human-made thing named Curiosity is running around Mars right now.

Mary Anna

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Existentialism? Yahtzee? Olga the Cavewoman? Really?

I've got a new post up at the Lady Killers and I managed to work in wooly mammoths, Yahtzee, Spiderman, virtual reality, and Jean-Paul Sartre.  Sometimes I wonder where this stuff comes from...

Check it out:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grab ARTIFACTS while it's free

Artifacts is downloadable for free on Kindle and Apple.  Go grab it quick, because I don't know how long it will last.  As of right this minute, it's #143 on Kindle's bestseller list for free books.  Much thanks to my gracious publisher for making this happen.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm today's blogger at The Lady Killers...

Come on over and see us Lady Killers.  We're ladies and we don't kill people who don't need killing.

Click if you dare...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The romance of writing novels

Here's a publication day blog post I wrote for The Book Case. Enjoy!

The romance of writing novels