Sunday, July 26, 2009

AKA Weekly Newsletter

Hey all,

Thanks to all of you (about 900 so far) who have signed up for my blog. That's only a fraction of the mailing list I've acquired over the years of having a website, so I may have to send another newsletter in a month to remind people that I won't be sending any more website newsletters.

I think some people might be intimidated by the word "blog." Maybe they think that I'll be invading their mailbox every day with my rambling thoughts. Trust me, there's no way I can write a blog every day. I attempted it on my last book tour and, between you and me, found it extremely difficult. So, just to clarify--this blog will be more of a once-a-week newsletter (often less because, really, my life isn't that exciting). I'll keep you updated on my latest book and tell you if I'm going to be speaking anywhere in your area. There will be the occasional corgi news (Mr. Boo is relaxing on his big footstool at the front window with his head on the ledge--if you were walking by you'd think he was a huge dog with very long legs).

So, just wanted to say "howdy" to all the new (old) followers and assure you I won't harass your e-mailbox too often. Tomorrow I'm supposed to have a conversation with my editor about "State Fair" so I'll be able to start a little of the rewrite before Allen and I leave for our New England "Quilt for a Cure" cruise. Allen's already getting a little nervous. This is the longest he'll have ever been away from Boo since our puppy (five years old now!) came home with us.

Hope you all have a nice, relaxing Sunday. I'm going to clean out the family desk, then go to the office supply store to buy things to organize everything. Except for Target, I don't think there's any more fun place than an office supply store!

Happy Trails, Earlene

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Back to Normal

That sounds like a title to a book! Maybe it was. Seems like I read a book where the town's name was Normal. At any rate, I had a great time with my youngest sister, Debra (six years younger, though that doesn't matter much when you're both hitting menopause) and her youngest daughter, Sam (known now as Boo's new favorite ball thrower and back scratcher). Olvera Street was a blast for my sister and me, brought back childhood memories (and we had some dynamite taquitos and gucamole). Hollywood was hot and dirty and (as always for first time visitors) a bit disappointing to Sam, I think. Hasn't been much glamour there since the 40's. We walked the sidewalks covered with stars and pushed our way through a still thick group of fans to see Michael Jackson's flower-strewn star (Farrah Fawcett's and Ed McMahon's stars were sadly bare). Took a photo of the Hollywood sign and cruised Venice Beach boardwalk. Less crazy street performers than used to be--sign of the hard economic times?

We were glad to drive back to the OC where it was cooler and less crowded (it always feels incredibly crowded in OC until I go to New York or Los Angeles). Went to the beach a couple of times (four miles from my house). Okay, first time I've done that in years. I just don't go and lay out on the beach with towel, hat, umbrella, drinks and snacks much anymore. I forgot how relaxing it is! We watched the Junior Lifeguards of Newport Beach practice whatever it is they practice. We gawked at the board skimmers and their antics right in front of our chairs. Sam and I rode the Ferris wheel on Balboa, first time she'd been on one. All of this is recorded on her phone, of course. How different is it for kids now! We used to have our little Kodak Instamatics whose film we'd take to the drugstore months later (when we had the money to develop the pictures). Hopefully Sam had a wonderful California experience. I sure had fun having her here. And my sister and I are still recuperating from too many late night talks. We're already scheming about when they can come back.

I'm still waiting to hear from my editor about State Fair. She's overloaded with work so wasn't able to read it as quickly as she wanted. And she's knee deep in conventions. So my rewrite will likely be after I get back from the Quilt for a Cure cruise I'm going on in August. I'll be speaking and signing books. Right now I'm trying to figure out clothes to wear in hot, muggy weather.
It got a little muggy when Debra was here, but, like a true East Coast person, she just laughed at our idea of muggy. Weather wimps, that's us here on the West Coast.

I just read in Harper's Index (Harper's magazine) that "Estimated percentage of all existing blogs that have not been updated in four months:94". Ha, I guess I'm doing better than the average. Frankly, I'm impressed when people can think of something to say every day (or week). I hope I don't get to the point where I'm telling you all what I'm cleaning today... I promised at the beginning of these blogs they wouldn't be long and rambling...I've certainly blown that promise! Mea culpa!

Happy Summertime Trails! Earlene

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cleaning House

Those metaphoric words really can mean so much, can't they? Except it is literally what I've been doing this last week. Nothing like having company to make you look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks and think--I really need to clean this out. My visitors are my baby sister, Debra (who fifteen-some-odd years ago deserted the West Coast and became a Yankee--a Connecticut Yankee!) and her youngest daughter, Sam, who is 13. They are coming for a week's visit and we'll be doing the tourist thing. In Southern California that's the beach, shopping, Hollywood, shopping, In-N-Out Hamburgers, shopping, Balboa bars, shopping, In-N-Out again, shopping... Seriously, we hit In-N-Out on our way from the airport because my sister craves them so much.

No word on State Fair yet. My editor is still reading it, but she knows I'm having visitors for a week and can't start the rewrite until after the fifteenth, so that works great for both of us. I haven't even peeked at the manuscript since I've sent it off because I've found it's better to let it set for awhile and reread it with fresh eyes. I have sent my editor photos of State Fair quilt patterns (there are actually four different ones) and many photos I've taken at various county fairs, including the Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. She'll take them to the cover conference to help spark ideas for the cover. It'll be interesting to see what the cover ends up looking like. I'll post it on the website as soon as they send it to me.

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. Lucky for us Boo isn't fazed by fireworks probably because he hears them every night coming from Disneyland (we're 10 miles away, but on clear nights they sound like they are only a mile away).

Just wanted to say hi and wish you all a wonderful July! Earlene