A Fifth Ironman Completed!

My daughter completed her fifth Ironman in Madison, Wisconsin last Sunday. Of course, I’m incredibly proud of her!

For those who are wondering what the Ironman race entails, it is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. She always asks family and friends to write down anything that will inspire her to keep going during this grueling event. Following is my contribution for her this time.

“Personally, I think there should be an Ironman Anonymous (IA) for recovering Ironmen. Some possible items in the 12 Step Program would be:

  1. Realize that you are powerless against the Ironman addiction and call on your Higher Power for deliverance from this awful disease. Ask another recovering Ironman to serve as your sponsor. Call on her/him if the urge to re-offend becomes overwhelming.
  2. Begin recovery slowly by committing to only swimming 1 mile, biking 20 miles and running 3 miles at a time. Taper off from there. And remember to attend your weekly IA meeting.
  3. Discover if you have a spouse, children and/or pets. If so, relearn their names and get reaquainted.
  4. Keep 2 pairs of running shoes and donate the other 18 pairs to charity.
  5. Eat a hot fudge sundae once a week.
  6. Savor the moment when you are able to sit down longer than 5 minutes without falling asleep.
  7. Network with other recovering Ironmen on social media. Those still practicing this demented sport should be Un-friended.
  8. Sleep in on the weekends.
  9. Watch an entire season of your favorite TV series in 1 sitting…butt planted…no treadmill!
  10. Re-learn the uses for Clorox, Mr. Clean and Pledge.
  11. Bask in the absence of foot calluses 1 inch thick.
  12. If the temptation to hoard swim suits, running shoes, or other related sporting gear arises, call your sponsor immediately!”


A Close Call

If you’ve followed my posts you know I have two cats, Cassie and Cajun, who play a big part in my life. Well, Cassie had a very close call recently. Late last week she was unable to keep anything on her stomach. I took her to the vet and initially, he was stumped. She was dehydrated so she was given fluid therapy and an anti-nausea drug and sent home until the blood work tests returned. Unfortunately, it was a holiday weekend and she began vomiting again on Sunday night. Tuesday morning she was dehydrated again so they gave her the same treatment as before. Her lab work came back and had a couple of readings out of whack, but the vet was puzzled so he did x-rays. Lo and behold, he discovered her liver is half the size it should be. He diagnosed her with hepatic lymphodosis, which he said was reversible if we could get her to eat. She hadn’t shown any interest in food since falling ill. She was given steroids, barium, Vitamin B and a special food that is supposedly the cat equivalent of a Krispy Kreme. Thankfully, she has begun eating again, and seems to be on the mend! Whew!

Kickin’ and Screamin’

Normally, a trip to the vet wouldn’t be considered criminal, but in my cat, Cajun’s book, it is. As prescribed, a few days before his appointment, I place the carrier in the living area, complete with treats. Supposedly, this will assure him it’s a cool place to hang out. On D-Day, I place my favorite tee there…familiar scent and all. Of course, he’s not in his usual spot on the sofa. Drat! I begin the search…in the closets and under the beds. No sign of him. How does he know? With a sinking feeling, I know the only other hiding place is up inside the sofa. I rock the massive piece of furniture back and forth until I catch a glimpse of yellow rocketing toward the bedroom. With only a few minutes left to get to the clinic on time, my heart is beating like someone running a marathon. I find him under the bed, exactly in the middle.Even lying completely flat and stretching as far as I can, my arms are still too short to grab him. I consider retrieving the reacher from the kitchen and clamping it onto any body part I can connect with. Dragging his little furry butt unceremoniously into my greedy arms makes me nearly delirious with joy. But then I gaze into his saucer-like eyes and feel his fear. Sorry, buddy. I go to the phone to reschedule.

Another Amazing Arizona YA Author

This author, Amy K. Nichols, was at the Teen Lit Fest that I was a part of in July, so I decided to check her out. The title is:  Now That You’re Here, Part I of the Duplexity series. I was able to follow along with the sci fi aspect of the book, even though I don’t normally read time travel books. That’s the mark of a good writer.

Here’s a brief review of the story:  Eevee Solomon is a serious high school student, bent on getting the grades and recommendations to gain entrance to an Ivy League university. Her end goal is to secure a career at NASA. She is successful until Danny Ogden appears. In this world, Danny is a drugged-out kid on the opposite end of the spectrum from Eevee. But somehow, Danny finds himself alternating between this reality and a parallel universe. His only connection to both dimensions is Eevee, who also exists in both universes, so he enlists her help.

Eevee deludes herself by telling herself she is only trying to aid Danny in the name of quantum physics, but she actually finds this boy fascinating, and she ultimately must face “who she is and who she might be in another place and time.”

I strongly recommend this book for young adults, and adults, alike. An excellent read.

For more information, visit the author’s website at:  http://www.AmyKNichols.com

WriteNow!2015 Writers Conference

The Arizona chapter of Desert Sleuths is hosting their annual writers conference on Friday and Saturday, August 14th and 15th. I cannot wait to soak in all the collective wisdom of the scheduled speakers. The board somehow managed to procure Sara Paretsky as the keynote speaker. I’m not sure how they managed it as the conference is VERY reasonably priced! If you are interested, go to http://www.desertsleuths.com for more information..

Nebraska Book Signings

I’m very eager to go back to my home state to meet with readers there! CLIPPED! is set in a fictional town in Nebraska so I can’t wait to do book signings in Grand Island and Kearney.

Here’s my schedule:

Thursday, July 2nd from 3 to 6 p.m. at The Tattered Book, 110 W. 3rd St., Grand Island, NE 68801, 308-395-8491

Friday, July 3rd from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hastings Books, Music & Videos, 2250 N. at 2250 N. Webb Rd., #144, Grand Island, NE 68803, 308-395-3939

Thursday, July 9th from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Solid Rock, 2010 Central Av., Kearney, NE 68847, 308-234-9813. Kearney features a sidewalk sale that day so I plan to be outside the store.

I hope I can see you at one of these signings!

Another Great Day

Yesterday at Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange in Mesa was another fun-filled day. The customers there are wonderful, as well as the staff. I strongly recommend them as a source for not only books, but movies, electronics and games of all kinds. I even met a potential teen beta reader for my next book! Visit their site at http://www.bookmans.com.





Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

I’ll be doing a book signing for Clipped! at a wonderful book store, Bookmans, on Saturday, June 6th from 2 to 4 p.m.
The address is 1056 South Country Club, Mesa, AZ 85210. The store is on the northwest corner of Southern and Country Club. Hope to see you there!

A Call From Iowa

Writing is such a solitary activity that when I get an “atta boy” from someone it confirms I’m doing the right thing. Such an affirmation came in the form of a call from Iowa. Susan Roxburgh took time out of her vacation to call and tell me that Clipped! was “really superb. It flowed well and kept my interest the whole time. I also believe it has a broader audience than just Young Adult.” Maybe because the story is intense and creepy? I don’t know, but THANK YOU, SUSAN, for your review!