Maybe a Writing Retreat Isn’t For Me



I stayed at a friend’s house this weekend, watching her dog and cats. It was a lovely, secluded area (by NYC standards) and I thought it would be a nice, quiet place to do some writing.

Except I kept hearing strange creaking sounds, different from my house. And the occasional car would break the dead silence and startle me as the headlights flashed in the night. And my friend’s laptop keys felt different to my fingers. (I know, that sounds weird.)

U2 or Write?

I went to a U2 concert at Madison Square Garden Sunday night and I admit it–there was no thought of writing at all. Oh well.

See everyone next week!

E-book vs. Paperback: I want to read it NOW but—




What do you do when you want to own a book in paperback but want to read it right away in e-book?

I just finished reading The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg and want to read books two and three immediately. I got the first book from the library and there was something so familiar and comforting about turning the pages of the paperback. It makes no sense really, but I want all three books in physical form to sit on my already crowded bookshelves.

But I want—no, need—to read the rest right this very minute. A quick search at Amazon shows me that the e-book price is reasonable. Except I’ve got my heart set on the paperbacks and the thrifty part of me is having trouble with the idea of buying both versions.

Heading to the library branch that has one book would cost the same in bus fare as buying the e-book. The third book is on hold. And it would take days to get them via mail. (For the record, the next person who tells me to my face that patience is a virtue will get a smack up the back of their head.)

This is a different kind of agony than the time I borrowed The Riddlemaster of Hed by Patricia M. McKillip from the library many moons ago and discovered it left on a gut-wrenching cliffhanger. I had to wait an entire night before driving to the nearest bookstore to get book two.

Now I have choices. It’s driving me crazy. And I can see this is a dilemma that will happen again.

What would you do?



* Image courtesy of adamr at


Autographs and Author Safety




I was at an online forum one night in which an enthusiastic fan boasted that he got [insert popular athlete]’s autograph by taking a photo of his credit card receipt after the athlete made a purchase at the store where he worked.

Then he posted it so we could see (minus the credit card information).

I looked at the neat and precise script and saw red. I immediately commented, telling the fan to take down the photo, explaining that the signature one uses for their private business is NOT the same as the one used for autographs.

Other people in the forum chimed in and the photograph was removed. I’m sure posting it was done in innocence. The impression I got was of a younger, excited fan and I hope he wasn’t too crushed at his reception as well as thanking his lucky stars no one ever found out and fired him.

And now, on the verge of releasing my novel into the wild, I’ve been thinking about this and my signature. This seems as good a place as any to ask:

Do you change your signature when book signing?

How do you decide what makes your author scrawl yours while keeping safe from identity theft?

There’s still a sense of “am I really going to be asked for my autograph?” cringing but still, it’s better to be prepared than not.



Image courtesy of digitalart at


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