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10/01/2011

Focus on the Present

Baseball2
This isn't a blog about baseball, but give me a moment and I promise I'll tie this all into the title. It happened, it really did. The Cardinal's started September almost eight games out of the Wild Card chase and on the last day of the regular season, an hour after the last pitch of their successful game against the Houston Astros, they made it to the playoff's. They didn't do it alone. They had a little help from the Atlanta Brave's as they choked and crashed over the last month of their season, but they made it. Die hard fans watched and moaned to themselves about another year without playoff baseball. Fair weather fans gave up and started counting the days to football season. Now we're all wearing Cardinal red and trying not to think past today's game. Because if we don't win today, we won't move forward.

I know it's a playoff series, we have to win three, but first we must win today and that's a lot like accomplishing anything. You have to complete what's happening right now before you move on.

I have to do laundry today to have clean clothes tomorrow. I have to get groceries today before I can cook dinner all week. I have to write today, to end up with a novel. It's easy to get so focused on the future, that you neglect what's right in front of you. Have you ever seen a shortstop make an amazing play to snag the baseball then fumbled the ball on the throw. He's so focused on throwing the runner out he didn't have a handle on the ball to begin with. I do this all the time. Not failing to throw runners out at first, I've never done that. It could be said that I fail to that all the time. What I mean is I get so focused on what I'm trying to accomplish I screw up what I'm doing right now. Here's an example.

A couple of years ago when I travelled for work, I was leaving a completed job and heading for a new one. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I left to find a new motel and set up for weeks ahead. One of those was a manicure. I know, I work construction, but dammit sometimes I like to have nice nails. So I went to get a manicure. I took my Kindle and read while I was getting my nails done. It was a lovely break in a schedule that had been nuts for weeks. But I had a dozen things to do before dark, find a place to stay, drive to the new worksite to make sure I knew the way and how long it would take to get there. I needed to get groceries, do my laundry, well you get the picture. I had a lot on my mind. I paid for my manicure, jumped in my car and drove south for sixty miles or so. I had another thirty miles to drive to find a place to stay, but I was hungry and wanted lunch and I needed to stop in the mall and find a new raincoat, because it was tropical storm season and I was going to need it. I walked into the restaurant thinking about getting a coat, eating a nice lunch, finding a place to stay...and opened my purse to get out my Kindle. AND IT WASN'T THERE! 

I went back to my car, searched all my bags, but my Kindle was sixty miles north in the nail salon. Because I was so focused on what I needed to get done, I messed up what I was doing right then and had to drive back the way I'd just come to get my Kindle. Almost all my plans for that day shattered and clattered into the trash and the only thing I accomlished was driving a 120 mile round trip through LSU football traffic and ending up still thirty miles from where I needed to be searching for a place to stay in the dark and no I didn't get a chance to get a raincoat either.

Have you ever focused so much on what your final goal is that you missed out or messed up the thing you were doing right then. Share in the comments or I'm gonna think I'm the only one this stuff happens to.

09/27/2011

Ooops!

You know how when you're a woman working in a predominantly male field and you say something edgy and forward to try and fit in and then all the guys look at you as if you've suddenly sprouted an extra head? Oh, I guess I'm the only one stuff like that happens too.

09/25/2011

Overrun by Sports

I'm not a huge sports fan, I'm a kind of sports fan. Well, that's not completely true either. I'm a rabid St. Louis Cardinals fan. It's a genetic illness passed down through the generations of my family. And I'm a Kansas City Chief's fan. But not rabid. I mean, how can you be a rabid fan of a team that sucks nine out of every ten years. But they're my Chiefs and I keep up with them most of the time. Oh and I keep track of NASCAR a little bit cause Carl Edwards doesn't live too far from me and it's kinda cool to watch someone you almost know. What I'm getting at is it's almost playoff season in baseball so I have to keep up with the Cards, and football season is just getting started, so I have to keep up with the Chief's, and the race for the chase has started in NASCAR so I have to keep track of Carl, and honestly, I can't keep up with all these sports and get anything done on the weekends. It get's easier after the World Series, then NASCAR finishes up and by that time the Chief's are usually sucking so bad that football isn't very interesting either, so if I can just get through the next month or so, it'll all be okay. 

Gotta go get my laundry started before the first pitch.

What outside events keep you guys from doing all the things you're supposed to get finished on your weekends?

09/24/2011

It was great!

Last weekend's writing expo in Fulton, MO was terrific.

I wish you all could have been there. I didn't remember to take a camera, but at some point I will have some video so if you're interested, check back for updates.

Thanks to everyone that came out and supported us this year. Hope to see you all back again in 2013.

KD

09/16/2011

Mid-Mo Writing Expo: Immortal Words

It's not too late.

The Mid-Mo Writing Expo: Immortal Words is tomorrow September 17th at The Mueller Student Center at Westminster College in Fulton, MO.

You can still sign up. $15 gets the conference and lunch.

If you're looking for how to put a little romance in your mystery, stop by my breakout session at 1:40 Romancing the Mystery.

Y'all should come. I have cookies. IMG_0554

 

11/24/2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow I'll join with family. We'll eat too much, laugh too much and then eat some more. It's one of my favorite times of the year. A day spent with family and with no stress or worry. A chance to smily and laugh and remember those that aren't there at the table anymore with laughter and stories. And the best part, after Thanksgiving, I can sing Christmas carols to my hearts content.

I'm thankful for a wonderful family, great food, children that make me proud every day, and hope that next year can be even better.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

11/17/2010

Missing In Action

So I dropped by my blog looking for an old post and realized I hadn't posted since August. I knew it had been a while, but I didn't realize it had been that long. I took a little tour through all my old posts just to see what was what and realized that about ninety percent of my posts were about writing or reading. And I don't really have much more to say about that. I'd be glad to answer questions if anyone has any, but I just don't have a lot more to say about the act of writing, or the writing business, or the publishing industry. I'm also not organized enough to keep track of guest bloggers on a regular basis, so that method of keeping new blog posts didn't really work so well either. What I've decided is this. I'm going to blog whenever I can think of something entertaining to share. I'm hoping I can do that once a week.

Once a week? Yeah, well since I only had about five loyal readers before I disappeared, I don't think it's going to hurt blog ratings too much, so I'll hit the blog once a week or so and try to let everyone know there's something new here.

Thanks for dropping in.

KD

08/25/2010

Underwhelmed

You've seen those ads on facebook I'm sure. The one that assured you companies can not wait for you to try their product and write reviews. The bonus is whatever product you test and review you get to keep. A long long time ago, before Al Gore invented the Internet, I joined some kind of handyman club. It came with a magazine with lots of good information. Along with the first copy of the magazine was a chance to join their review team. Let me just say here that I love tools. Hand tools, power tools, antique tools. So, I thought hey cool, they send me a new cordless drill or a table saw that would be freakin awesome. I probably didn't think freakin, I don't think that word was invented yet, but you get the picture. So with dreams of free power tools in my future I signed up and waited anxiously for my new tools.

Here's what they sent me for my first review.

Sanding_block 

In case you can't identify it. It's a sanding block. Basically it's a sponge with a piece of sandpaper glued to one side. Now don't get me wrong, sanding blocks are handy tools to have, but they cost about 2 bucks, so it wasn't like I was leaping with joy to receive one in the mail. And seriously, what kind of review can you write about a sanding block.

The new Acme sanding block is one of the finest I've ever used. The sponge is soft and protects the delicate skin of my fingers from damage as the sandpaper smooths the surface of my work with a gentle grinding sound.

I used the block, but I'm not sure I wrote the review. I was very depressed over the whole idea of reviewing a sanding block. Maybe I should have stayed with it. It would have been great writing practice.

Have you looked forward to something only to be underwhelmed when it finally arrived?

 

08/24/2010

It's National Waffle Day!! oh and my birthday

So let's celebrate National Waffle Day by bringing me waffles for my birthday.

Let's see. Waffles for breakfast.

Waffle sandwich for lunch.

Waffles and gravy for dinner.

And a waffle cone for dessert.

Feel free to stop by with your waffles any time during the week. 

In another note, It's also Vesuvius Day. The anniversary of the day Mr. Vesuvius buried Pompeii under tons of lava and ash. I suppose we could incorporate this into waffle day by building a waffle volcano and letting syrup pour down the side to bury the eggs and bacon beneath. 

Um, Happy Vesuvius Waffle Birthday everybody.

08/22/2010

Killer Nashville Notes

Killer Nashville is over for another year. This was my first trip and I really enjoyed it. I met some great people and if I managed to make it home with all my business cards and swag, I hope to connect with them online so we can get better acquainted. Coral, if you're reading this email me. I lost you after the Jeffrey Deaver interview. Anyone that I met up with, that doesn't hear from me should stalk me on facebook or twitter because I suck at keeping track of all the cool cards that I pick up.

I did my first author panel. I didn't embarrass myself. I didn't fall out of my chair or trip on my way to the front of the room. I didn't spill my beverage or knock anyone's books off the table. For me, I call that a rousing success. The guys on the panel, J Michael Orunduff, Alan Ansorge, Bill Moody, A. Scott Pearson and our moderator, Don Bruns, didn't have any idea what kind of danger they were in. I'm glad to be able to report that we all survived. We had a great crowd. I'm sorry it wasn't bigger, but our room was about three miles away from the rest of the conference. There may still be some attendees wandering aimlessly through the halls of the Marriott looking for us. I hope someone finds them before they run out of food or water.

I had a really good time. Hope to meet up with some of my new acquaintances at Bouchercon by the Bay in San Francisco.

Here are some random thoughts on my first trip to Killer Nashville.

Random thought #1--With a look, wink, smile or simple tip of the hat, Southern men have the ability to make a woman feel beautiful. This is a talent that should be cultivated worldwide.

Random thought #2-- Clay Stafford, Beth Terrell-Hicks and all of the volunteers that make Killer Nashville happen are some of the nicest people ever and do a great job with their writing conference.

Random thought #3-- Killer Nashville is suffering from a few growing pains. The volunteers did a great job of making things work anyway. It's a great problem to have.

Random thought #4--Booksellers are some of my very favorite people

Random thought #5--Jeffrey Deaver is a very funny guy. Really enjoyed hearing him speak.

Random thought #6--Don Bruns has a lovely singing voice.

Random thought #7--Sperry's where we had the conference dinner serves fantastic food, but the room was way to small for our group. Just another sign of growing pains.

Random thought #8--I love sitting around visiting with other writers. Published, self published or unpublished, it's all great.

Random thought #9--Graham Brown is very entertaining, will have to try and get him to guest blog.

Random thought #10--I can't believe how tired sitting, talking, listening and buy books can make you. Maybe I'm getting too old for writing conferences.