Category Archives: Out & About

Literary Love Savannah

A small group of authors and readers got together in Savannah for the Literary Love conference. Everyone was required to wear masks, the number of people in any given room was controlled, temperatures were taken, use of hand sanitizers caused our hands to chap they were used so much, and we observed social distancing as much as we could. 

Since we were responsible, no one got sick. It’s possible to have a great time and still keep each other safe. WEAR YOUR MASKS! I spent the conference taking pictures of masks people wore. Here are my favorite.

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Masks can support charities. This one raised money for Muscular Sclerosis. I immediately recognized Michelle behind the mask.

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You’ve got to respect people who are handy with a needle and thread. Here we have a mask with a matching headband. Not only that, she was able to maintain her 1950s hairstyle. The author writes Dieselpunk and was able to maintain her brand, even during a pandemic.

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Some masks were just fun! This one had a bunch of sayings on it. I particularly liked, ‘maybe swearing will help.’ You’ve also got to love the rainbow glasses she wore.

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This mask was stunning. The reader grew up in Hawaii and brought back the islands with her. The variety and creativity of masks was incredible.

Wear a mask that reflects your personality. Do it to save a life, maybe someone you love. The spread of Covid19 has decreased where mask wearing has been mandated. i find wearing a mask is second nature.

Communing with My Muse

I’m spending 5 days in Hilton Head sequestered in an ocean front room to write (a new series) and continue to prepare for the Worlds Apart Box Set. Since they were the first novels I wrote, I’m cleaning them up a bit (commas and a number of other rookie mistakes). It’s been incredible revisiting these books. Those girls hold a special place in my heart. August 2020 marks the 6th anniversary of the publication of ‘The Chameleon Soul Mate’. It’s still my plan to publish the box set on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited next month. Check out my August newsletter for links.

The Westin is on a private beach and has multiple pools, but I wasn’t comfortable with the social distancing. Most of the work I will be doing will be done from my balcony. I’ve got 2 12-packs of Diet Pepsi, protein drinks, peanut butter, and Wheat Thins and am ready to Rock ’n Roll.

To the north of the hotel are multi-million dollar homes with no beach access. A perfect place to take a long beach walk to stimulate my muse.

Out & About with Tennis and Orchids

Although the stay at home order was lifted on May 1st, my routine hasn’t changed that much with the exception of playing tennis 6-days a week. I play with the same group of ladies and when the club’s restaurant reopened on May 5th, we enjoy lunches twice a week. We try to keep six feet apart on the tennis court, but can sit at a table for 4 (and now 6). Since we don’t leave the community, we feel very safe lunching together. This picture was taken at one of our friend’s 78th birthday celebration. She may be 78, but she moves like a teenager on the tennis court. Yes, I’m off to the side… The birthday girl is the 2nd from the left.

Fortunately, my community has only had 2 cases of the CoronaVirus since testing began. There has been a lot of news about Florida in the news recently, but we are doing well in Bonita Springs. We haven’t been hitting the bars being careless or not social distancing at the beaches. When I do my weekly grocery shopping I wear a mask. I’ve collected a whole assortment of masks by now…many having been given to me as gifts.

Since I’m playing tennis, I’m not taking the afternoon walks that became part of my routine. Most people took their walks in the morning, but I waited for the paths to thin out. I’d taken walks in the community before, but never had noticed all the beautiful orchids that people placed in boxes or hung on trees. I thought I’d share them one more time since they are so beautiful. I have a black thumb, but I do appreciate the results of people who possess green thumbs.

I’m Back on the Courts!

As many of you know, I’m an avid tennis player. I’ve always loved sports, just was never very good at them. Then I discovered tennis! Although I have very little upper body muscle mass, I can pound on a tennis ball… particularly my cross court forehand. Weekly tennis lessons and lots of practice have made me a tennis maven.

On April 1st, our community club ceased all racquet sports, as Florida shutdown. For 30 days, I got my exercise taking walks and exploring different parts of my community. I didn’t know there was a bird estuary behind the sub-division a ten minute walk from me. During the 30-days, Facebook friends were treated to my bird videos and pictures of the incredible flowers in Bonita Bay.

Life began again on May 1st when racquet sports could again be played. However, we only play on every other court, allowing the shelters to only hold 4 players at a time, spread out. We kept our 6 feet distance…whether getting water, during our crossovers, or washing our shoes after playing.

We were so happy to see each other again. Here I am with Patty, keeping our 6 feet separation and not touching.

I hope you are all well as we crawl our way to a new normal.

OUT & ABOUT and the COVID-19 Virus

When I worked for Farmers Insurance, I put together corporate Year 2000 business continuity plans, as well as strategies to deal with a world-wide pandemic when Bird Flu was in the news.

Never in a million years did I think the corporation I retired from after 33 years of service would have to enact the plan. As news trickled out of China about a new corona virus, it became clear we didn’t only have a world economy, but exposure to a virus that could become a pandemic. Throughout history, such pandemics occurred and ended. We will get through this one, like all the others. But be smart. Please follow the guidelines provided by the CDC related to social distancing, washing your hands regularly, etc.

Because of the COVID-19 Virus, The Weekend with the Authors originally scheduled for April 16th through 19th has been cancelled. Sandy Sullivan is working on plans for a conference in 2021 in Nashville again.

Space Coast Book Lovers scheduled for June 25th through June 27th is still going through activities planning for the event. They’ve communicated the 2021 dates so people can reserve those dates in case we are still under social distancing protocols. Again, we hope the world is back to normal by the end of June. Space Coast Book Lovers 2021 will be June 24th through 27th, 2021.

As with Space Coast Book Lovers, plans continue to be developed for Literary Love, Savannah: Thursday July 30th through Sunday August 2nd. This year will be my last appearance at that particular conference since I’m cutting down conference attendance in 2021.

COASTAL MAGIC 2020

I attended Coastal Magic 2020 because two of my favorite authors were featured: Shannon K. Butcher and Jeaniene Frost.

Here I am messing around with Shannon Butcher. I met Shannon at my first romance novel convention, Romcon2010. When I won a door prize, I chose the prize with the first book in her Sentinel War series ‘Burning Alive’. I’ve been a MEGA FAN ever since. Shannon is now writing under the name Anna Argent. If you love Paranormal Romance, you have to check out the Sentinel War series under the name Shannon Butcher and The Lost Shards series under the name Anna Argent. Yes, it’s a terrible picture of me, but the other photos were terrible where Shannon was concerned.

At Romcon2010, I also met Maggie Mae Gallagher. I signed up to have lunch at her table and it felt great catching up with each other. The last time I saw Maggie Mae was at the Barbara Vey event in April of last year. 

Last, but not least, I was able to catch up with my good friend S.E. Smith who also attended the conference. We were able to catch lunch together with 2 other authors. Susan is sitting beside me. If all goes well, we’ll be hanging out at this year’s Space Coast Book Lover’s Convention.

Out & About – Southwest Florida Romance Writers

My local RWA Chapter, Southwest Florida Romance Writers (SWFRW), recently had our every-other-year conference.

As in the past, I was in charge of the raffle. Our authors put together amazing baskets we raffle off and 50% of the proceeds go to our local libraries or literacy programs.

We also announced the winners of our High 5 Contest. We had one of our finalists attend the conference and she was thrilled to hear she won her category. Authors from around the country came to attend our little conference. I coordinated the Paranormal-Fantasy-Scifi category. My finalists didn’t attend since they hailed from New Zealand.

Here, I was helping to put together the goodie bags with the rest of the conference committee. I had a match after our get together, so I wore my tennis outfit. Isn’t it cute? We feasted on donut holes and sipped hot tea while we worked.