Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My Cousin David

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

My cousin David was born eight years before me. His family lived in Oregon, mine lived in California, but we got to Oregon often enough that I knew I liked him. He was happy and always smiling. When I published my first novel, he wrote me a lovely letter of congratulations and excitement. He wrote me other letters over the years, and they were always funny and heartfelt, and sometimes he just wrote to tell me how much he admired my writing. One time, when Northern California was in the national news for rain and flooding, he sent me a letter with an expandable sponge in it, in case we needed it to mop up. I laughed hard when I read his letter and saw the sponge. I shared it with family, and they laughed, too. Because it was funny.

When I lived in San Francisco, he contacted me because his daughter was going to be in the city and he wanted to make sure she would be all right. I was happy to help. Not just happy, but grateful to have the opportunity. She wanted to see the Haight so while she was visiting, we went to the Haight and walked around. San Francisco is a great walking around city, and the Haight is fun.

Today, I read that the customers in the store where he worked part-time for 25 years remembered him as a happy, generous, helpful man. One person recalled that David had once given him his own paper because the store was sold out. That sounds like David. There was a video with the article, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch it.

I always thought one of these days I’d get to Salt Lake City and visit him, and now I can’t.

He was killed in a robbery, and I will miss him forever.


Update: Last week and today (Apr-20-2015) there were arrests in his murder.



Monday, May 5th, 2014

Through the magic of “And the Winner Is” the winner of my blog’s birthday bash is . . .


If you haven’t yet seen my email, contact me with your full name and mailing address.


I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses. It was a lot of fun.



Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

[table id=4 /]


Memorial Fund

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

On Friday, author Jackie Barbosa’s 17 year old son was killed in a traffic accident.

Take a moment to hug your loved ones, remember those you’ve lost, and grieve for Jackie and her family for this terrible loss.

There is a scholarship fund being set up in his memory.


Gagdet Girl Writer: Pebble Watch

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

I’ve decided to do the occasional technology review blog as a sort of regular feature here. By regular I mean, more often than never. I actually have two topics I want to blog about, but I’ll do them separately. Moar fun for you!

Pebble Watch

Here’s a link to their website in case you want to get oriented.

I tried to get a picture of me wearing the watch but all of them came out awful. This one gives you an idea of what it looks like.

A rectangular watch with a red frame


It costs $150.00 which is not that unreasonable for a watch, but also more than a feature-laden digital watch. They come in other colors, and I was tempted by orange, but I got red. Because. It is a large watch, but not clunky. I think it’s a nice compromise between being big enough to do stuff and small enough not to look dorky. However, the watch makes a statement, on account of size alone. Personally, I like the way it looks. It comes with multiple time display styles, by the way. The one you see in the picture just happens to be my favorite at the moment.

What does it do?

It has an eInk display and it syncs with your smart phone via bluetooth. Why is this neat? Read on. I should mention, though, what it does not do. You cannot take phone calls on it. You cannot tweet from it. Both of those things would really have to be voice or one touch screen activated if you didn’t want to run the risk of killing yourself through inattention to the world around you. The screen is not active.

Here’s a few things it does: It can receive and display notices that go to your phone. Incoming calls, missed calls, texts, tweets, apps. Yes, you can tell it which apps to sync with in case you don’t want to see tweets on your watch or what have you.

Like a lot of smart apps these days, there are useful things about this that do not occur to you when you don’t have it. For example, unlike other watches, this is software driven. Just because the Pebble doesn’t do something now doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.

Things my other watch does

For years, I’ve been buying digital watches because they have features I find more helpful than fashion. Here’s a list of some of the features I don’t want to give up:

  1. Multiple alarms that I can set for weekdays, daily, weekends, or off.
  2. Timer
  3. Stopwatch
  4. Portability

Multiple alarms? I love that about my Casio. I love that I can set the alarm for work and not have to remember to turn it off for weekends. I love that I can have a separate daily alarm to remind me to put the chickens up and another for when it’s time to stop at the day job when I’m working from home. I love that I can turn off an alarm when I know I want it in future, but not today, or for a stretch of days.

The timer, for example, keeps me from burning stuff in the kitchen. I’ll get the coffee going and then wander off and get lost in chapter 1…. Yeah. Saves me ALL the time.

Stopwatch. I do exercise.

Portability. It’s on my wrist! When the timer goes off, I’m right there to hear it!

How does the Pebble stack up with these needs?
[table id=2 /]

As you can see, it’s a mixed bag. I could muddle along doing other things for alarms, but that would be not so great. The lack of a timer is enough that I can’t see myself entirely switching. I’m hoping there’s functionality I can add to get a timer feature.


This watch syncs with my phone. That means the time is correct and that I can’t accidentally reset it (which happens with the Casio from time to time). It syncs with runkeeper, a handy app for tracking exercise that moves across space. (Runkeeper would not be so useful for a treadmill, I don’t think, or a stationary bike — but hey, it’s RUNkeeper.) This is awesome because you can just glance at your watch and see a bunch of stuff related to your workout, including a heart monitor, if you have one. That’s a win for me.

So far I LIKE the text on the watch feature. A lot. In fact, I was driving when I got a text and all I had to do was glance at the watch which was right there on my wrist. Nice.

I like that I don’t have to dig out my phone to see why it’s pinging.

A Few Other Things

You have to charge the watch occasionally. Oh well. It’s software and that means things can stop working. I find Bluetooth (this is a general statement) pretty frustrating because it sometimes it decide, well eff you, I’m not connecting to anything any more.

I never have to wonder if I need to reboot my Casio.


Color display. Sorry but as a consumer, color is cooler. I totally get why it’s not, and the eInk display means I can see what it says inside or outside. Yeah, whatever. I want that for eInk Kindles, too.

Sum Up

I like the watch. It’s better looking than my Casio, but doesn’t have all the features I would like. I am, however, going to search for a timer feature and see if anyone is working on better, more flexible alarms. The neat thing is, that unlike the Casio, which has the features it came with and that’s it, the Pebble can be updated.

Overall, a win.


RWA – Wednesday Update

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

I’m in Atlanta for the RWA National conference. Today is sort of a pre-conference day with not much going on until the Literacy signing tonight. If you’re in the Atlanta area, please stop by! 5:30pm to 7:30pm. I’m signing Not Proper Enough but I have a few copies of My Darkest Passion.

More tomorrow as the conference gets underway.


Over There

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Over at the Risky Regencies, I’m giving away 3 copies of My Dangerous Pleasure at The Risky Regencies.

You should go there. Check it out.


Success and the Busy Life

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The other day someone I know was talking about this great idea he was prototyping– very slowly because he does not have much time. It actually is an awesome idea. He mentioned he wanted to make some money from this. He has a young child and another on the way so time is at a premium for him. He wants to be with his kids. Of course! But a few minutes later, he went to lunch with co-workers. I did not. On my lunch hour, I wrote 500 words on the novel in progress.


Poll: Because, that’s Why.

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

You walk into your kitchen one day and it is sparkling clean. This means:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Legacy vs Reality

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I’m a bit puzzled by some of the rhetoric I hear coming out of the publishing business these days

As most of you probably know, the US Department of Justice has filed a suit against several NY publishers for anti-trust violations. The essential allegation is that these publishers colluded with each other and Apple to artificially increase the price of eBooks.

The response from NY has been more or less some flavor of “Amazon is Evil!” so it’s OK!!!!

Except it’s not OK. Under US law a business cannot call up its competitors and mutually agree that everyone will charge the same, higher, price for their products. It doesn’t matter if Amazon is Satan himself. Period.

Mike Shatzkin blogged this:

Indeed, only by eliminating price as a basis of competition can we ultimately have balanced competition in the real world of publishing as digital change has remade it.

As a consumer, I can only say,  are you fecking kidding me?

I more or less commented to that effect on his post. His reply:

Carolyn, have you bought a Macintosh computer at a discount lately?

You should take your indignation at people using their Intellectual Property protection to raise prices on consumers to the pharmaceutical industry. It would do society a lot more good.

1. I think it’s fair for consumers to be indignant when businesses conspire to charge higher prices than the free market would bear.

2. What the hell does a Mac computer have to do with books and colluding over price setting? It’s Apple’s decision not to license its OS. Apple owns the OSX operating system and they have made a business decision not to do OEM.  Apple hasn’t called up Microsoft or Ubuntu or what have you and asked them to all charge $XXX for all the OS’s. And guess what:


Apple MacBook Pro – Core i7 2.2 GHz – 4 GB Ram

$1,339 online, $1,799 nearby

Lookie there. a $400 price difference for the SAME apple product.

2. As a former employee of a bio-tech company, I think I have a pretty good handle on the pharmaceutical industry. Here’s a few facts for you. Pharma gets a PATENT on their drugs and patents are NOT the same thing as copyright. The laws are different. Patent law grants a limited monopoly for that patented drug in order to encourage the R&D. And then the patent expires and generics come into the market.

3. There is no evidence whatever that Pharma companies have colluded with their competitors to keep prices artificially high. Because they have a patent that grants them a monopoly in a given drug and they get to charge as much as they want for the life of the patent. Because there is no competition for that drug.

There may indeed be issues with Big Pharma, but that has ZERO relevance here.

As an author and a reader I stand by my belief that “Legacy” publishers are not doing ANY of the things that would allow them to compete effectively.