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!
My Cat, Cajun, And The Cone Of Shame
Anyone who knows me or follows my blog posts knows I am a cat lover so when my fourteen-year-old kitty, fell ill last week I was devastated. He had stopping eating and drinking. I was prepared to hear he had a terminal illness since he’s a senior citizen. I was extremely relieved to learn it was a very treatable condition. However, a surgical procedure was required, complete with antibiotic, pain killer and an IV for dehydration.
And worst of all for Cajun, the “cone of shame” was fastened about his little neck. Once home, even though he was sedated, when I released him from his carrier, he totally freaked out. He raced wildly around the house trying to rid himself of this strange thing blocking his peripheral view. He even tried to back out of it. I felt so terrible for him. Fortunately, by the following morning, he’d adjusted to it.
Also, the veterinarian had instructed me to swap out his litter box for one with shredded paper or recycled paper pellets. This was to insure no litter made its way into the wound. Another huge change for my boy.
Fortunately, my daughter is a vet tech and I texted her with a myriad of questions, some probably pretty silly. Like, can I clip the long tab off the collar, or is there a purpose for it? The answer was yes. You can see it in the photo if you take a close look. Also, she told me to be sure his food and water dishes were smaller than the diameter of the collar.
I asked about if cats usually preferred shredded paper or the pellets. She replied there was no way to predict that, or if they will use either one. I cringed at that answer.
Fortunately, the following day, Cajun ate and drank a little bit. He also used the recycled paper pellets. I felt like a proud mom.
And our return to the vet for his recheck, he was freed of the collar that had rendered him a crazy man. Yeah!
Who would believe Fuzzy’s is the name of a Mexican restaurant? I certainly didn’t until I began researching my next book in the Kendra Morgan mystery series.
In this third book, entitled Crushed!, Kendra flies from Nebraska to Arizona to intern with her Aunt Lena, a Phoenix police detective. Lena has a condo in Tempe so some of the story is set there. In checking out places I felt Kendra would frequent, I stumbled on the perfect spot…Fuzzy’s.
Those of you familiar with Tempe know that it’s home to Arizona State University. Consequently, many of the businesses are geared toward college students. Fuzzy’s fits the bill beautifully. Its wild colors, serve yourself system and reasonable prices combine to draw in the younger crowd. It was the perfect setting for Kendra to meet with a new love interest.
Of course, I had to sample their wares. Not bad, not bad at all.