Do Write On

Write OnIn case the turkey- and pilgrim-themed decorations at Walgreens  haven’t tipped you off, I will tell you: it’s November.  In fact, November is clipping along, and along with it, National Novel Writing Month, which is already a third of the way through.  Which means I have no business working on a blog post, which the other eleven months of the year is something I find excuses pressing reasons to put off, but tonight am using as an inspired tool of procrastination.  (My Official NaNo Word Count Goal of the Day has also already been met, thanks in no small part to the gift my NaNo-ing cousin made me of some Trader Joe’s French Roast coffee, yum yum.)

Week Two of NaNoWriMo is notoriously among the more challenging.  As faith (or, worse, interest) in your story begins to wane, your characters refuse to get off the couch and go do anything, and you begin to realize that “fifty thousand” is a dastardly synonym for “one million trillion.”  Clearly nobody but Superman and maybe Anne Lamott could produce such an absurd ton of words in thirty days, which is suddenly revealed to be the most microscopic measure of time ever.  And since there is no visible means by which to achieve this once-friendly goal that now taunts you from afar, there is little point in typing more than, say, fifteen words a year.

Or so it seemed the other day, as I crept along towards my goal of 5,000 words with honest-to-goodness snails in our fish tank looking out and laughing.   Continue reading

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New Release: Crazy Like Fox

Fox McHardy leads a charmed life. Puget Sound penthouse, gorgeous boyfriend, jet-setting job—everything he’s ever wanted, he’s gotten, including the heck out of the small Iowa town he grew up in.  But once things start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed, and he finds himself riding shotgun in a rented convertible with his new worst enemy faster than you can say “I want my old life back.”

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Read an excerpt and buy the e-book today at JMS Books.  Or get it on Amazon.

Come to the online release party this week at my Author Page on Facebook and enter to win
a $40 Gift Card for Denver’s awesome Book Bar.

Thanks, JMS Books!

Thanks, JMS Books!

Party Like Fox

guycorkWhen my first book came out last year, two release parties were part of the fanfare, and I had a ball at each one.  I read a little bit, sold a few books, ate sushi and drank champagne.  My first book signing marked the first occasion I was actually applauded for writing something, and I gotta say: I didn’t hate it.

My brand new book, Crazy Like Fox, is initially being released (from JMS Books this Sunday, August 25th!) only in electronic formats.  I do love my champagne, though, and I want to have a party for this  book, too, so I’m hosting what we’re going to pretend is The World’s First Electronic Book Release Party!  A major benefit of throwing an internet-only party is you can invite as many people as you want and be left with very little next-morning clean-up.  And, if you want it to, it can last a whole week.  So everyone’s invited, and you should totally come.

“How do I come to a party on the internet?” you may ask.  By liking my Author Page on Facebook, is how.  If you “Like” my page between August 25th and September First (or if you have liked it already, all in on the ground floor), you’re “at” the party, where you will enjoy virtual refreshment, like music that inspired Fox as a character and me as a writer, and pictures of hot red-headed twins, and have the chance to win a fabulous prize!  And what do I know about fabulous? Please; my husband’s a drag queen.  Continue reading

Going Out of Business, Going Crazy Like Fox

HootersAirB757200Most airline stories (except for the ones I tell, obviously) are best taken with a grain of salt.  Any tale  that opens with “I flew with a girl whose roommate from training once flew with a guy…” is as likely to be an airline urban legend as any kind of True.  Did a flight attendant really ever stand in the aisle and loudly spank what a frequent flyer complained was a “bad potato?”  Or tell the guy who threw a fit about not getting his meal choice, “Sir, I said we’re out of chicken, not fuel.”?  Or tell the snooty lady who claimed to be a Princess, “Yeah, well, in my country I’m considered a Queen, so I outrank you.”? Maybe, maybe not, but I’ve been hearing all of these stories since I started flying, so it probably didn’t happen on the flight your girlfriend worked last week.  (Naturally, as previously discussed, different standards apply if the story turns out to be about you.)

I came to the airline industry after much of the more famous post-deregulation upheaval.  Bankruptcy and greed had already leveled Pan Am, a strike had brought down Eastern, and start-up airlines like PeoplExpress and Hooters Air were coming and going faster than airport sign hangers could keep up with.  As much as I love to wax nostalgic about The Good Old Days of Flying (that I never saw), I have few regrets about missing out on these seismic events, some of the more spectacular of which are reputed to even have led to employee suicides.  But I’ve heard some stories.  When some of these airlines went out of business, they did so quite suddenly, stranding crews and passengers wherever they happened to wake up to the news that they would need to find their own way home. I flew with a girl (see what I mean?) who recounts charging tickets on a Chinese airline for her entire crew to her husband’s credit card, and another whose Honolulu-based crew ended up sailing home from the Philippines two-to-a-bunk on a cargo ship.

True or not, these stories were certainly gripping and colorful, and they eventually inspired me to trap a handsome man far from home and see if and how he would extract himself from a similar jam.  In the pages of my next short novel, I obviously mean.

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Fox McHardy leads a charmed life. Puget Sound penthouse, gorgeous boyfriend, jet-setting job—everything he’s ever wanted, he’s gotten, including the heck out of the small Iowa town he grew up in.  Even the trip he takes to Miami to surprise his boyfriend Jeremy is something of a long-shot wish fulfilled.  Until he arrives in South Florida.  Once things start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed, and he finds himself riding shotgun in a rented convertible with his new worst enemy faster than you can say “I want my old life back.”

For all that he’s self-centered and something of a slow learner, Fox is one of my favorite protagonists.  Crazy Like Fox is the story of his long journey Home, which he finds in the one place he was sure he hadn’t left it.  Like my Author Page on Facebook to RSVP for the online release party, which will include fabulous giveaways, and get the eBook on August 25th for only $5.99 from JMS Books!  It’s funny, it’s sexy, and, like all good airline stories… inspired by stuff that really happened, but totally made up.

Fifteen Years and I’m Still Serving Time

The Great and Powerful Pearl Bailey’s hilarious song (please listen and enjoy above) is about marriage, of course, but I’ve always had kind of a bad-boyfriend relationship with my airline.  Yesterday, April 4th, marked my fifteenth anniversary of flying, and, except for the part about us having kids together (god forbid), this song is me and my job in a nutshell.

Nobody panic: this is not yet another post about how good things used to be compared to how crappy they are now.  It is a different job than the one I interviewed for, and certainly than the one I envisioned when I started fifteen years ago.  I never thought we’d still be on reserve; I certainly never thought I’d be flying straight domestic; and I actively vowed for the first several years of my career that, come what may, the one certainty in the Universe was that I would never — ever, do you hear me? — be based in Denver.  Like a budget airline, Life takes us to unexpected places. Continue reading