Farewell to my muse and the best kitty ever! He quite unexpectedly crossed over the rainbow bridge yesterday and leaves me missing him so! Like all cats, he had his idiosyncrasies but was a gentleman until the last. Cajun, I pray you are rolling in fields of catnip and cavorting with your mom, Cassie. Or perhaps you will take another form here on earth and bring the same joy you brought to me to another lucky family.
Vacation to Sweden and Norway
I recently returned from a fabulous vacation in Sweden and Norway, home of my mother’s ancestors. Traveling with my two daughters made this the trip of a lifetime. My only regret is the absence of enough time to see and do everything we wanted.
I won’t list our entire itinerary but the highlights of the Stockholm trip were an authentic Swedish dinner in an old world square behind the Nobel Peace Prize Building, the stunning architecture throughout the city, and a tour of the Royal Palace. The ceiling art shown is from the cathedral within the palace.
The seven hour train ride from Stockholm to Oslo was such an enjoyable way to travel, allowing a view of the countryside and a chance to talk with fellow Swede and Norwegian passengers. I even added some new words to my limited foreign language vocabulary.
In Oslo, it was thrilling to be admitted to the Gronland Church where my grandmother’s ancestors were married. The kindly caretaker lit the altar candles for our photos. She spoke only Norwegian but gestures of love are universal. I was deeply touched. We then drove into the country and explored areas where my relatives lived and worked in the 1800’s. Another high point in Oslo was the Norwegian Cultural Museum where lefse was being baked in the traditional manner. It was delicious! And of course, the Edvard Munch Museum was unforgettable.
The Can-Do Karate Kid
A new and talented writer and illustrator, Jenifer Tull-Gauger, has launched her children’s book, The Can-Do Karate Kid. Tull-Gauger not only knows writing and illustrating, but she also runs a karate studio in Mesa, Arizona, so martial arts are a part of her wheelhouse.
The book cleverly tells the story of a little boy, Makoto, who lets laziness and procrastination ruin his chance to perform a belt test at the dojo (dojo is Japanese for a training hall for a Japanese art like karate). At the studio, he is particularly upset when his friend, Michi, takes and passes her belt test.
When the karate instructor tells Makoto’s parents he arrived too late to test, they inform her Makoto also routinely balks at doing his homework and chores.
The instructor takes Makoto aside and explains that if Makoto will follow the Dojo Kun, the most important rules of traditional karate, he can defeat laziness and procrastination.
Thankfully, he does.
I’m looking forward to the next Dojo Kun Character Book in which both Michi and Makoto battle dishonesty.
KJZZ and Arizona State University are hosting the annual KJZZ Arizona Story Fest on Saturday, June 1st, 2019.
This will be a fantastic event featuring talented Arizona writers. Many will take the Stage to tell you about their latest book. Come find a book you can’t live without and have it signed by the author. The event will be at the Mesa Convention Center, Building C, 201 N. Center Street, Mesa, AZ 85201 on June 1st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For a preview of some of the books available, and other fun things you’ll find there, go to http://www.storyfest.kjzz.org
LOCAL MESA ARTISTS PRODUCING CHARCOAL, OIL, PASTELS, AND WATER COLOR PAINTINGS
I don’t normally post this type of thing, but I was so pleased with this oil painting a local artist created from an old black and white photo of my mother and me. I met him at the Red Mountain Multi-Generational Center in Mesa where they have a fantastic group of artists working from live models. They are at all skill levels and encourage one another in their efforts. I knew Mesa boasted many talented writers but had no idea there are also amazing painters in our midst! If you’d like to sit for them, they meet Friday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. They even pay the models a nominal fee.
I had a phenomenal time at the CozyCon Event at the Mesa Library!
Yesterday, the Red Mountain Library hosted our Desert Sleuths CozyCon featuring mysteries of all kinds: cozies, suspense, horror and true crime. There were stellar panels featuring all of these. In addition there was a panel about Desert Sleuth’s annual anthology of short stories. I felt privileged to be a part of all the fun. It’s always great to visit with library patrons and network with other writers. The photo is taken after the anthology panel.
COZYCON AT MESA PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Red Mountain Branch of the Mesa Public Library is once again hosting their CozyCon featuring local Arizona mystery writers. They will have their amazing books available for sale. In addition, four amazing panels will be held. The topics are: CONTEMPORARY COZY, SOWEST KILLER NIGHTS ANTHOLOGY, FANTASTICAL COZY MYSTERIES and NOT SO COZY CRIME. Whatever your taste in mysteries, cozies, horror, suspense, you will find it here. Join us at 735 N. Power Road, Mesa AZ 85205 between 1 and 4:30 p.m.!
Mesa Public Library Local Author Book Fair
The Red Mountain Branch of the Mesa Public Library is hosting its Annual Local Author Book Fair this Saturday, February 23rd from 1 to 5 p.m. There will be many amazing writers featuring their books. And of course, I’ll be in attendance with my Kendra Morgan YA mystery series. The event is free and there is lots of parking. I’m sure you’ll find a book that you can’t live without and it will be even more special because it will be signed by the author! The address is 635 N. Power Road, Mesa AZ. See you there!
Scottsdale Public Library Local Author Book Sale
Hey readers, the perfect opportunity for you to pick up a book you love is happening at the Scottsdale Public Library Local Author Book Sale. Visit the library this Saturday, February 2nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free, including parking. The address is 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. You will be amazed at the major writing talent our area boasts. For a list of participating authors and other information about the day, go to: http://https.scottsdale.libnet.info
Can’t wait to see you there!