First, Boo got bit in the ear (by a Golden Retriever named Shrek! Not, apparently, a gentle giant), then he got sick (a stomach-colon thing...won't go into detail). Then he hurt his front paw (a stone bruise we think) and couldn't walk for two days...then he got the stomach-colon thing again! That's as of yesterday. Poor Boo's had a hard 201o so far (and so have I since I'm the one who has to cart him to the vet who should be able to put a down payment on that new bass boat now). He's doing better, but I'm tired!
And during that time we've had one of the worse rain storms I remember experiencing in Southern California. Our 500 pound pergola/patio cover blew over (I made the weight up...not sure exactly how heavy it is, but it is steel). It happened on the same day they reported a tornado in Huntington Beach. Unreal! I was lucky it didn't go through our sliding glass door. I was at the bank at the time and came home to a hysterical dog (well, now that I think of it, it's no wonder he's got a nervous stomach). Allen had to take it down and we now have an umbrella that we can roll up when the bad weather hits.
But, in spite of all that, Spider Web (the next Benni book after State Fair) is coming along well. During January I also reread State Fair one last time for errors and also reread Love Mercy and corrected errors that you all have sent as well as some I found on my own. So, hopefully, the paperback will be correct now. Biggest blooper was I had Tommy and Karla Rae, Love Mercy's son and daughter-in-law getting married in two different places! Believe it or not, at least a dozen people read my manuscripts before they are printed (including me, many times, though it's often hard to find errors in your own writing as I'm sure you know). But, in defense of the employees at my publisher, they are so, so overworked. It's amazing books get finished at all!
We've drawn the three winners for the contest and will be announcing them soon. I have to contact them first and get permission to post their names. Boo is on the mend (and on boiled chicken and white rice diet); I'm still writing; Allen's going to the dump this weekend with our broken pergola while I take my dad out for a birthday dinner (he'll be 85). Life goes on.
I am going on book tour this year. The places aren't finalized yet, but once they are I'll be posting them on my website so keep watch. I'd love to have you come to a booksigning. I have some great stories to tell about the writing of State Fair.
Seems like it's crazy weather for everyone in the world so keep dry, stay safe and drive slow. As the roll call sergeant used to say on Hill Street Blues--"Let's be careful out there."
Happy Trails, Earlene