Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Working

I titled my blog with those simple words because that's what I've been doing! The sequel to The Saddlemaker's Wife is my next book and I'm this close to finishing. It was originally due January 1st (what was I thinking when I signed that contract?) and it was obvious a few months ago I wouldn't make that deadline. I asked my publisher for a month's extension, so now it's due February 1st. So, between getting ready for Christmas and just the general hassle of day-t0-day life, I've been working on this book. I will make my deadline, but barely. The end is in sight, kind of like the Rocky Mountains when you are driving across the eastern Colorado prairie!

There's no title yet so I call it "The Sequel." I was using The Cattle Singer, but my publisher didn't like the title so, after a few other suggestions that we couldn't agree on, we mutually decided to wait until the manuscript was finished before settling on a title. It's weird to be working on an untitled book. That never happens with Benni Harper books, of course. That's one of the beauties of naming your books after quilts--easy titles! No idea when "The Sequel" is coming out, but likely in 2012. As soon as I find out, I'll announce it on the website, on Facebook and send another blog entry. I am having fun with Facebook. I'm on it for five or ten minutes a day, so it's not as time-consuming as I'd anticipated. If you haven't made the "jump" yet, don't be afraid. You can control the time (and amount of information) you put on it. And I've met some great people on my author page. I ask a lot of silly questions (like who is your celebrity crush--mine is Harry Connick Jr.). It's fun to see how people answer.

Not much else is going on here. Life is pretty day-to-day. Daddy is doing great physically though mentally he loses a little more every day. The unpredictability of dementia is often heartbreaking, but also interesting (the writer in me, I guess). He hasn't known my and my older sister's names for a while (though we see him every week), but he does know Mary Edith as "his daughter" and I'm "her sister." (As in, "Is your sister going to visit me this week?") You can see him struggle to figure things out and I think that is exhausting. Christmas is hard for him. All the strange, new things (like decorations) and people. He likes things to stay exactly the same. That's what makes him feel safe. We're doing our best to achieve that for him.

Allen and Boo are doing great. We're having a quiet Christmas since my sister's kids (and their little ones) are all elsewhere. Only adults this year for Christmas dinner. Just isn't the same without hyper-excited kids running around, but better for Daddy. Mary Edith is making my mom's potato salad (to go with honeybaked ham) and I'm making a carrot cake--her and Allen's favorite. I bought her and her husband a cross made of driftwood for their new pool area (under construction), but don't tell her!

Today is Hanukkah, so I wish all my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah. And may God bless you with a peaceful Christmas and a healthy, safe New Year. I pray that 2012 is a year filled with wisdom, friendship and hope for you all.

With my love and gratitude, Earlene

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stumbling Toward Fall

I cannot believe it was July 22 the last time I wrote! I'm beginning to sound like my grandmother when I can't help but repeatedly say, "Where did all that time go?"

It felt like I was glued to the television weather channels this summer watching all the crazy storms and earthquakes everywhere in the world. We just went through a weird cycle ourselves here in SoCal (though nothing dangerous like much of the rest of the country). It was very, very hot--in the 100's even at the coast, which is odd for us. This last Saturday I woke to thunder and lightning and a downpour! Then it was as muggy as the Florida Keys. The thunder threw Boo for a loop. We have gotten it occasionally in the seven years we've owned him, but it's never bothered him since it was usually so far away. Our rare thunder sounds very much like the fireworks at Disneyland (ten miles from us) so he was used to the sound. But this thunder shook our windows and he'd run up to the door barking thinking someone was trying to get in.

My heart goes out to the parts of our country who really suffered with weather catastrophes this summer. Here's hoping and praying that autumn will be filled with good, cool, DRY weather (except in Texas where they desperately need rain) and no more earthquakes or hurricanes.

I've been stumbling toward finishing this latest book--The Cattle Singer. I'm still not entirely sure that will be the title. I might even change it to The Cattle Singers as there are actually two people in the book who fit the description of those people who can sing to herds of cattle and keep them calm. I've been reading and watching all the crazy stuff going on in publishing, including the closing of Borders. I was published in 1992 so I've been in this business during a very unique time. We're watching a paradigm shift and it's both interesting and somewhat dismaying. Will "real" books survive? Will mid-list writers like me have a career in this business? Will they really stop teaching cursive writing in school?

This will not change. People will tell stories. And people will want to hear stories. How that happens is anyone's guess, but stories will continue as long as people are on this earth.

I asked recently on my Facebook page what books people loved that they liked to reread. I gave a few of mine (Cakewalk by Lee Smith; The Novel by James Michener; In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason; During the Reign of the Queen of Persia by Joan Chase...I could go on for pages). What people posted gladdened my heart because people had so many and varied books they loved enough to reread. For a writer, that is the ultimate compliment...not that someone would read your book (though we do love that), but that someone finds it worthy enough to reread. When you do that you are giving the writer your most precious commodity--Time. So, thank you to all who've reread my books. And thanks to the writers who've written the books I love to reread.

Onward to Fall--hot cocoa, chili with cheddar cheese, chicken pot pie, peach cobbler and good books to read on a crisp, cool day. Yeehaw Autumn!

Happy Trails, Earlene

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Summertime and the weather is Crazy!

Hey everyone!

Wow is all I can say about the heat all of you in 35 states are experiencing this summer. My coolest sympathy! If I could, I'd have you all come out and stay in my guest room. We've been lucky so far here in SoCal (as the weather people on TV call us). No heat wave so far, but I have a feeling we're not out of the woods. Our time is coming (usually in September along with the wild fires).

It's been the end of May since I last wrote. I looked at the calendar today and realized that July was on its way to being over! Honestly, I haven't been just laying around eating grapes and reading (doesn't that sound lovely? though I'd make it chocolate-dipped grapes) After spending most of May and some of June promoting Spider Web, I had to get ready for vacation. Normally, Allen and I take winter vacations. We like not having to make hotel reservations, the cooler weather (different for us and I occasionally get to wear my red and brown wool Pendleton jacket I bought at the Seattle Airport in 1995) and we like saving his vacations for the end of the year to give us something to look forward to. Also, since 1994 I've always been on book tour during late spring and early summer.

But, this year was special. In June, I finally kept my promise to long time fan and friend, Sally Parker, in Burlington, Colorado, and drove out to visit her. She's a rancher who came to one of my Denver signings years ago (her daughter, Robbie, was about 7 or 8 when they made the long drive from Idalia to Denver...Robbie is now a sophomore in college). Sally and I started corresponding and after many invitations, I decided to visit her in Eastern Colorado. Had a wonderful time seeing how ranchers and work in eastern Colorado live. I spoke and signed at the Wray Quilt Festival, did a presentation at the Burlington Library, rode the Burlington Carousel (twice!), worked some cattle, saw all the family's ranches, and spent a lot of time laughing with Sally and Brett and their kids, Robbie and Reed. We drove home through Amarillo and caught a little of that heat that you all are feeling. Then when I got home, had to ready my house for new carpeting and flooring that we ordered before we left. It was put in last week and now my baby sister from Connecticut is coming for ten days! (It's Debra's 30th anniversary and I'm actually taking charge of her 15 year old youngest daughter while Debra and hubby go on 2nd honeymoon).

Once that's done, yes, I'll finally get back to writing on The Cattle Singer! That January deadline looms. Though I love all the visiting and traveling, I'm kind of like my dog, Boo. I miss having a regular schedule and I miss writing. I've left Lucas in a precarious scene and I need to get back and see what will happen! This book is very clear in my head. I have been doing a lot of background reading, which is fun research. I recently read a biography of Tammy Wynette (yes, it's kind of research, you'll see why when you read the book). Her life was interesting and troubling. And, there's a bit of a mystery about how she died which made her life particularly tragic. I've not been reading much fiction this last month, mostly non-fiction. I tend to go in phases. Right now I'm reading a book called "The Ride of our Lives" by Mike Leonard. He took his kids and his elderly parents on a cross country trip in two RV's. It's funny and easy to read. And I happened to buy it in big print...which I love!

So, I'm fine, Allen's fine and Boo is fine (skin problems finally resolved--it was food allergies to corn and wheat). Daddy is holding steady. We'll all go visit him when my sister is here, but he doesn't know any of us so we don't bring him to family dinners any more. We've discovered they agitate him because he thinks he's in a group of strangers. All he can think about is "going home." I've often wondered what is "home" in his head. With dementia, you just never know.

One last thing: Crowdsourcing. It's a new word (told to me by my agent) and it means asking a crowd, usually digital, for help with a problem. I received notice from my publisher that the corrections for Spider Web paperback edition need to be in by September 15th. So, if any of you are so inclined, please send me any mistakes you found so the paperback can be as close to perfect as possible! Thanks so much!

Drink lots of liquids, stay in the shade (reading a good book!) and remember that during heat extreme times like these, ice cream is considered a Necessary Food Group! Autumn is just around the corner.

Happy and (Hopefully) Cooler Trails, Earlene

Friday, May 27, 2011

On the Road Again (and again and again...)

Well, I've not been on the road as much with this book. As I said in earlier posts, my publisher didn't pay for a book tour this year so I've been only doing booksignings in California and Arizona. I will be doing a few signings in Colorado in June. I'm visiting my dear friends, Sally and Brett, at their ranch in Idalia, Colorado. That's why I'll be speaking and signing at the Quilts of the Plains Quilt Show in Wray, Colorado and speaking at the Burlington Colorado library. Check out the dates and times on my website under appearances. Years ago, Sally and her daughter, Robbie, drove hundreds of miles to come to one of my Denver signings. I think Robbie was seven or so. Robbie is now in college! Watching the children of my fans grow up has been such a wonderful, fun thing for me. Drop by if you happen to be near Eastern Colorado in June.

Signings have been a lot of fun, as they always are with you all. On my Facebook page we've been posting the photographs fans are taking. It's under Spider Web Booksignings 2011. I have to admit this about Facebook...it's a lot easier to get things up than on a website. If you join Facebook, you can keep all your information private, but still have access to looking at other people's pages (my fan page is open to anyone...my personal page you just have to "friend" me--but most of what I'm doing is on the fan page). So, don't be afraid to try. I was reluctant, but now am okay with it.

But I'll not desert you here on my website! I know that everyone doesn't have the time or inclination to go on Facebook. Shoot, I still send out snail mail postcards (though only to the places where I'm physically going to sign--too expensive now to send to everyone on my list).

Not much going on here in SoCal. Spring is here (and pollen, pollen everywhere). Everyone in the Fowler household, including Boo, is taking antihistamines. I've been watching with dismay and shock at what tornadoes have been doing to Alabama, Missouri and the rest of the South and Midwest. Here's hoping and praying the worst is over.

I'm working on The Cattle Singer. It's been great reconnecting with these characters, and I'll admit, since it's not a mystery novel, I'm so glad I don't have to kill anyone! Other than that, life goes on. Daddy's relatively stable. I visit him once a week and though he doesn't always know me, he says he's happy. We love the place where he is living.

Hope you all are doing fine. Have a great Memorial Day weekend and take a few moments out of your weekend to remember our veterans--past and present--and if you get a chance, thank them for their service. God bless America!

Happy Trails, Earlene

p.s. Will get the photos for new contest up this weekend, I promise! I have to take them, then send them to Tina. I just need to get organized...:)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Speaking of Spider Web

It was great seeing a lot of you out at Bears Quilt Shop on Sunday for the launch of Spider Web. I'm looking forward over the next month or so of seeing more Benni Harper fans as I sign around California and Arizona. For those of you who can't make it to one of my talks, I thought I'd tell a little about Spider Web here. I wish I could do a ten-week cross-country book tour, but this will have to do (actually a book tour like that would likely make me crazy!)

It's hard for me to talk about Spider Web in great detail because the things I want to discuss would give away too much of the story! So, I'm trying to choose my words and subjects carefully. With this book--the fifteenth in my series--I chose the title before I had a story. (I've done it both ways--have a story, then chose the title and vice-versa). I liked the way Spider Web sounded and I just had a hunch it would be an easy title to fit a story around.

Of course, when I sat down in front of that blank (computer) page, I thought, okay, what in the world is this story going to be about? In a long running series like mine, it starts to become difficult to write a book that doesn't sound exactly like the last one. With plot-oriented series (or series where the mood is lighter, that is, the author really isn't concerned about their characters growing or seeming real) the writer depends on the mechanics of the plot or a clever way of killing someone to carry the story. Since my books have always been character-driven rather than plot-driven, that just doesn't work for me. I also didn't want my characters to have the same old problems throughout the series. Seriously, how many times can Benni and Gabe fight about her getting involved in dangerous situations? Though a reader's willing "suspension of disbelief," is practically a genre requirement, I do want my characters to seem like believable people. So, I've attempted to move them forward and change their problems.

In State Fair I deliberately wrote it so that Benni and Gabe weren't arguing. I did it just to give them some relief! (Some of you didn't like that--you like their arguing!) In Spider Web, they aren't arguing, but there is tension because of outside stress that sets off Gabe's PTSD. When my father had his fall a few years ago and was in the hospital, some medication they gave caused him to have terrifying hallucinations. Some of his experiences with WWII came to the surface (as well as the time his father, an alcoholic, locked him in a dark root cellar). That started me thinking about PTSD, how it never truly goes away no matter how many years pass, no matter how much a person seems to have their life together. And it can be the smallest thing that sets it off. So I started studying PTSD. Then I started thinking about Gabe and what would set off PTSD for him. At the time, a local city here in California had their police being targeted by an unknown assailant (with bombs). I thought about how devastated Gabe would be if his officers were being stalked. That's how plots start for me. Something touches me and I start researching it and before I know it, it works its way into a book.

So, that's just a small part of what I go into when I talk about the writing of Spider Web. I'll try to tell a little bit more about how I write my books as I continue these blogs throughout the year for people who aren't able to come to my signings.

Thanks so much to all of you who are buying and reading Spider Web. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me on my website or find me on Facebook. I'll answer the questions there and also on this blog. Facebook has ended up not being as time-consuming as I worried it would be (though it is tempting to stay on there and chat! It's like the big ole church potlucks I remember as a kid). Just one more way to communicate. Not a bad thing.

I gotta get back to work now. Take care and Happy Trails until we meet again,


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And the Blog Goes On...

I just wanted to send a letter to tell all ya'll who aren't on Facebook to not worry, I'll continue to blog on my website. It's been an interesting few days on FB. It's more immediate than a blog, but I can see where it's easy to get in trouble because you say things so quickly and they don't always come out how you mean. So, just another way to communicate and I'm a firm believer in that. Shoot, I still send real letters using cursive writing! Talk about old school...

I'm busy trying to get a postcard mailing out (That's for people who signed up years ago on my mailing list which is slowly dissipating as I don't ask for snail mail addresses any longer). Many authors don't even do postcard mailings any more. It's expensive, but I like doing it. There's something calming about putting labels on thousands of postcards (and it gives me a good excuse to watch junk TV!)

I finally got my tax receipts divided. Only have to add them up now. Then Allen does out taxes with Turbo Tax. We're usually not this late, but I don't usually travel in March like I did this year. Which, by the way, the quilt cruise was marvelous. Met a bunch of great ladies, as quilters always are, ate too much (buffets! hurray!) and bought the cruise ship's book on how to make towel animals. Maybe I'll even try it sometime (I've tried origami and failed miserably...towel animals seem to be a kind of towel origami). Still, it's fun to look at them. The scorpion looks particularly cool.

Went to Fresno last Friday night and Saturday for a quick trip to the Mennonite Relief Quilt Auction and Sale. Wow! If you ever get a chance to go to one (they are all around the country) don't miss it. Lots of cool quilts to buy and bid on, giant rummage sale, incredible food booths (tried zwieback--a type of Mennonite roll--Yum!) and pie, pie, pie! Though my friend, Jo Ellen Heil, and I didn't stay for the Friday night concert, we heard it was Barry McGuire! Shades of the sixties! Will I use it in a book? Who knows...

Rain coming to South California at the end of this week. I'm not sad as I haven't gotten my fill. I swear I could live in Oregon and be so totally happy! Spring is coming, though it looks to be a stormy one for lots of the country. Though I'm sorry I'm not getting to see my fans across the country since I'm not going on a long book tour, I have to admit, between the planes' skin flying off and the crazy storms...I'm not sorry I don't have to fly!

Happy Trails, Earlene

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Link to Facebook Fan Page

Thanks to Vivs at Bears Quilt Shop in Garden Grove I can give you a link that will take you to my real fan page. Though I appreciate you all "liking" the Wikipedia page, it doesn't place you on a list where when I post on my fan page, it goes to your mailbox. The Wikipedia page (the one without my photo) is a community page that I have no control over or ability to post to.

So, here's the link: http//:www.facebook.com/pages/Earlene-Fowler/199826060040726

Thanks! I'll be announcing the winners of the contest April 15th and putting up another contest on that day. The next contest prizes have to do with Spider Web and are really special!

Happy Facebook Trails, Earlene

p.s. My book launch party will be at Bears on May 1st. Food, fun and prizes! Everyone is welcome!

Facebook - Phase II (And title of new book!)

Okay, this has gotten complicated which is what I was afraid was going to happen! Arggg! Bear with me, folks.

There is a Facebook page that has my name on it--no picture. I think that's one that Facebook put up on their own. It's just my Wikipedia information. I don't have any control over that and, though I think my publisher looks at it, they'd be more interested in my "real" fan page.

I set up a personal account which I need to do the chat, but there is no "like" button on there. I'm getting "friends" which is okay, except my publisher doesn't care about that so much because Facebook has a limit of 5000 "friends" and so it really doesn't show a true count of who might be interested in your "product." (The product would be me and my books :))

Some people have had trouble finding my fan page with the laughing picture, but some people have found it so there must be a way. Maybe scroll down and look at all the Earlene Fowler's (there are six, I think). I know it's on there because some people have found it.

So, the "like" count for my Wikipedia page has gone up so I know some of you found that. Hope you all can find the real fan page now. I won't monitor the fan page every day (have another administrator doing that), but I will be posting on it to keep you updated.

If you "friend" me, I'll accept, but like I said, I won't be currently posting on my personal Facebook page at least until I get further on this new book. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me on this new venture!

By the way, I forgot to tell you all the title of the sequel to The Saddlemaker's Wife.

The Cattle Singer. More on that later. Back to work now!

Happy Trails, Earlene

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finally on Facebook (sort of)

Okay, my agent and publisher "encouraged" me get on Facebook (as in, for cryin' out loud, Earlene, will you stumble into the 21st century, already!) Actually, they were nicer than that and have been very understanding about my reluctance to dive into social media. I'm going to be doing a Facebook chat in May so, apparently, I needed an account to do that. That's where the "sort of" comes in. I'll be honest, I can't really chat with people. Why? Well, as many of you know, I LOVE to talk and there's nothing I love better than talking to you all. But, if I spend time on Facebook chatting with folks, guess what doesn't happen? Writing. So I'm dipping my toe in with great hesitation. I will let you know the time of the chat when it is finalized. And I will occasionally throw in a comment, but I will continue to mostly communicate via this blog. I like the fact that only you all see it, rather than the whole world. But, I guess I need to get over that. It is a new world, for sure.

So, can you all do me a favor? I'd really appreciate those of you on Facebook to go to my fan page (the one with the photo where I'm laughing...this photo was done by an incredible photographer, Sharon Kay, and was the LAST picture of our session...that's why I'm happy!) Anyway, if you do "like" me, can you please hit the like button? My publisher is probably going to be checking this page out and it makes me look good. They'll look at this one rather than my personal one. I think they're more concerned about how many likes a person gets rather than friends. Probably because there's no limit on likes.

What else is happening? Well, I'm trying to divide receipts for taxes (It's almost April? Say what?) and trying to write. I went on the quilt cruise to Mexico a few weeks ago and met a bunch of wonderful quilters. We all had a fun time getting to know each other. The buffets were fabulous, as was the wonderful service on Holland America. Allen and I both keep waiting for someone to bring us clean towels and make our bed. But, alas, back on dry land we have to fend for ourselves (though it occurred to me that Boo gets that kind of excellent service all the time--meals, clean beds, massages...wait a minute, what's this baloney about a dog's life?)

Other than that, everyone is fine though Allen and I are sneezing our heads off. Wonderful to have so much rain, but now we're paying for it with a super-sized allergy season. I did hear on the news that our governor officially declared the drought is over. A glass of cold water for everyone!

Looking forward to seeing some of you in May!

Happy Pollen-filled Trails, Earlene

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Tour Dates and Swinging the Machete

First, I want to thank the nine women who took up the challenge and sent me detailed lists of the errors in State Fair. I wrote you all individually, but wanted to say thanks again. According to my agent, what you all did was called "crowdsourcing." Wow, are we with it or what? I just call it getting by with a little help from my friends! What was amazing is that each woman found many of the same errors, but also unique ones that no one else caught. No one person caught every error (and, likely, there are a few we all missed). Still, the paperback should be the most correct book in the series!

My book signing schedule is now on my website. Just check on the homepage under "appearances." As you'll see, I'm only going to Arizona, Southern California and the Central Coast. My publisher decided not to send me on book tour this year, so I'm doing this on my own. Times are pretty hard in publishing. If you've been listening to NPR or reading any of the news magazines, online or on paper, you probably have heard the rumblings. Borders going into Chapter 11 is serious stuff and the ebook phenomenon has really shaken up the industry. Where do I stand? Right now, I'm working on the sequel to The Saddlemaker's Wife and that's the last book on this particular contract. I have no idea what will happen after that. Though I try to keep up with what is happening in publishing, mostly I just try to write my pages every day and live my life. I only know for sure that Spider Web comes out in May and the book I'm working on now will possibly come out in 2013. If any of you can come out to a book signing and buy a book, well, I'll be real grateful. Can you believe this is the 15th Benni Harper book?

Daddy is finally settled into his new assisted living home. We moved him right after Thanksgiving and the adjustment wasn't as smooth as we hoped. But the people who own the homes were wonderful and worked with us. Daddy's finally feeling safe and good again. There were also many doctor's appointments which, thankfully, are almost done. I'm a little behind on my writing, but have faith I will catch up. It was surprisingly easy for me to get back into the minds of Lucas and Ruby. Like when I write about San Celina, writing about Cardinal felt like going back home. I have a working title which I'll announce on my next blog...because I haven't even told my editor yet! Allen's doing good and so is Boo. He'll be seven in April (Boo, not Allen). What happen to my little puppy?

I read this paragraph in a book by one of my favorite authors, Philip Yancey. (This particular book is called Reaching for the Invisible God).

"When I begin a book, I take up a machete and start hacking my way through the jungle, not to clear a trail for others, but rather to find a path through for myself. Will anyone follow? Have I lost my way? I never know the answers to those questions as I write; I just keep swinging the machete."

So, that's what I've been doing these last few months...with my father, my life and my writing. Just swinging that machete, trying to find my way. Really, that's all any of us can do, isn't it?

Happy Trails, Earlene

Friday, January 7, 2011

State Fair Corrections Clarification

Okay, I failed as a communicator because many of you have emailed me confused about my last blog about the corrections for State Fair.

I have the page proofs, but am not sending them to anyone (my publisher wouldn't care for that). What I meant is if you saw any errors in your hardcover editor of State Fair and you'd like them corrected for the paperback edition (which comes out in May 2011), I can incorporate them into the page proofs sent to me by my publisher if you send them to me before January 21, 2011. (Preferably way before...I'll probably send them the night of 2oth). Thanks!

I hope that clears up any confusion. Mea culpa! (In my defense, I'm having a new staircase and banister being built this week and I'm trying to work with nail guns and saws going on in the next room. Boo is at doggie daycare...lucky him!)

Happy Trails, Earlene

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

State Fair Corrections--Here's Your Chance!

A really quick note! Seriously. Just received the page proofs for the paperback version of State Fair, the book that caused so much consternation. Here's your chance to get those corrections done! Send them to me and I'll work them in (keep in mind, I can only do actual corrections, no rewriting). I'll be reading it to try and find the mistakes also, but thought I'd give you English majors a chance! I do have a few emails where people gave me the page and line where mistakes were found, so that helps. I have to turn them in by January 21 (my page proofs for Spider Web are due Jan 14).

Thanks for your help! Earlene

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Cover, New Contest!

Happy New Year! Just a quick note (short blog...a nog?) to let you know that the cover for SPIDER WEB (pub date May 3, 2011) is up on my website along with the cover copy from the front of the book. It'll give you a little idea of the plot. Also, there's a new contest, a chance to win a San Celina Police Department cap. I just had a bunch more made. There'll be three people who will win, but I'll give more away in later contests. This contest runs until April 15th (we need something to look forward to on that day). Then I've got some cool stuff relating to SPIDER WEB that I'll have as prizes for another contest. Good luck and hope you all in the Midwest, South and East aren't suffering too much from this rain California is sending across the US. We received 12 inches in 6 days here in Orange County...a record for me and I'm a native Southern Californian! Luckily, storm drainage is great where I live (not too close to either the ocean or the foothills) so no damage except an unhappy dog (Boo hates the rain).

Take care and drive safely! Earlene