Happy Birthday, Bertie

Bertie in Salthill

Happy birthday to my little brother today. Here he is looking suave on the Salthill shore on Galway Bay. We had fun during his visit. He’s taking good care of my cat Kipper while I’m in Scotland (and Kipper’s taking good care of Connor).

And he keeps me up to date on the local wildlife in New York, too:

And this is the kind of work he does as a silversmith:

teddy mug

How the time has flown by —

At our grandparent’s house (now Steve’s) next door; yes, always with the hats.

Happy Birthday!


It’s my sweetie’s birthday today! I wish I were there to celebrate with him, but we’ll have to defer the party until I get back to Dundee. But we can all sing to him, right? Join me!

But I would be remiss if I did not mention the other important birthday: Tirgearr Publishing!

All of our Kindle titles just 99c!

This sale is being run in conjunction with Read an eBook Week, 3-9 March. Yep, all books on sale all week! What a great opportunity to pick up some great digital books at a fabulous price.

☆ During our sale week, you could win some FREE books. ☆

Comment on one of our media sites and it could be you! We’d love to hear comments on books you’ve read, but we’ll take a simple hello or even a smiley. Heck, just ‘like’ a post on our Facebook page between 3-9 March, and we might pick you to win a book. Just make your presence known and if we pick you, you can choose any book in our catalog.

[Of course I’ll suggest you buy one of mine!]

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Tirgearr Publishing
One Year Anniversary Celebration – Kindle eBook Sale
3-9 March, 2013

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Time Slips

Birthdays are best in PRINT!

A week without a blog post from me? In that time I have:

  • graded all my courses
  • traveled from upstate NY to Dundee
  • had a lovely birthday

I spent yesterday being pampered by my sweetie. He and Allan sang me awake with a present of series seven of Doctor Who which I had missed altogether, so I watched the whole thing yesterday! Now I’m ready for the Xmas special. I had a chocolately pirate cake which was just wonderful. Allan and I built things on Minecraft, including a maze that was so convoluted you couldn’t actually get through it.

My favourite part is riding around in the mine cart on a pig with a saddle. Simple joys!

So with the birthday and all the timey-wimey goodness of Doctor Who, it’s hard not to feel a little wistful at how quickly it all flies by. As I think this I hear in the back of my head the Fall song, “Bill is Dead”. It might sound a bit morbid from the title, but it’s not for me. Whatever might have been intended by the song (and far be it from MES to mislead anyone in an interview, right?) the verses swing from dissolute disappointment to surprised joy. The chorus comes across as tinged with both sarcastic irony and genuine hope:

These are finest times of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
These are the biggest times of my life

I can’t help but makeover the mantra my own way (that’s the thing with creations: once you loose them on the world, they take on lives of their own). We spend so much time regretting the past, or worrying about the possibilities of the future. All we really have is now. Sometimes that now is wonderful, sometimes it is horrible — usually it’s somewhere in between. But it’s all we have and we really need to make the most of it. It doesn’t always mean conquering the world, but it means being honest with yourself and thoughtful about what matters to you. When you discard the unnecessary, it’s amazing what you can do in a short time.

But be honest with yourself: what do you want to accomplish? What are you doing now to make that happen? I asked my freelance writing class how many of them planned to continue writing now that the semester (and my ‘writing is hard work so you have to love it’ theme) was over. Maybe a third raised their hands. I expect it will be even fewer who actually carry through with it. People like the idea of writing; unlike painters, professional athletes and oh, let’s say shark hunters, folks assume they could do your job if they had the time. Because they possess the rudimentary ability to make sentences, they assume that’s the same as writing. Guess what? The average sentence has as much relation to writing as my stick figures do to Turner or Fini.

Here’s the secret to writing: you write. You ‘make time’ for everything else (or don’t — as is the case of many things you find out don’t matter that much: cleaning, watching a lot of television, ‘shopping’ which seems to be defined as wistfully walking around malls gazing at things you don’t really need but the advertising convinces you that you want). Let the things you make time for be precious: the people you love, the beauties of this world, creating something — anything — should be the heart of it.

But if  you do make time for things that matter, you’ll find the days are much better.

Allan's Giant Pig Chair: a glorious monument to whimsy

Allan’s Giant Pig Chair: a glorious monument to whimsy

Oops — and I forgot! I’m also featured in the December BroadPod, reading from Owl Stretching along with Jean Marie Ward, LC Hu, Julia Rios and Justine Graykin.

Forgotten Books

Normally, I’d try to have an offering for Patti Abbott’s blog but as I am writing this from the comfort of Dundee where I am relaxing, I will just reiterate my birthday wish to request your help in keeping my books from being forgotten by liking, rating and reviewing them on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari and so forth. I would be most grateful!

Do it in the name of today’s birthday kids, Jane Austen and Philip K. Dick, both of whom have been an influence on me.

This is the first blog post I’ve written on my phone. Let’s see how it goes! 

My Birthday Month Wish

I mentioned this yesterday, but I’ll provide helpful links today. I’m claiming the whole of December for my birthday. Why not? I already have to share my birthday month with both Markos, Jane Austen, Hannukah and Xmas, so there’s barely any month left for me!

But I’m not demanding to be showered with gifts!

All I want for my birthday is for you to like me — well, not me really: my books.

The most difficult thing for a writer is not to get published (especially now with ebook publishing) but to get noticed once you are published. People are eager to find new writers they might enjoy, but they are reluctant to try things blind. How do they know my books are great if someone else hasn’t read them first and said, yes, these are good? Reviews help with that.

So if you’re feeling kindly toward me, head over to my Amazon Author Page and like, rate, tag or review my books. I’d be especially grateful for any attention to Kit Marlowe over at All Romance eBooks (only The Big Splash is on Amazon, though The Mangrove Legacy is supposed to be there soon…), but any help would be appreciated.

I’ve also got profiles on GoodReads, LibraryThing and Shelfari if you spend some of your time there. Sadly, not all my books are even listed under my name! If you see one missing and feel like adding it, I would be ever so grateful. I’ve got a new profile on CrimeSpace, too; if you’re over there at all, friend me. If you actually do book reviews on your blog or website, let me know: I’ll be happy to give you review copies of books you’re interested in reading. I have confidence that my words are worth reading. I just need to find ways to let more people know that!

Thank you for your help. I appreciate it greatly! With luck I will have news about It’s a Curse later today — whoohoo! Now I shall get back to dancing.

Happy Birthday, Joey!

If I had remembered in time, I would have sent a card 😦 Without my computer to remind me I remember nothing. Shall I just get you this? Hope your day is wonderful.

Happy Birthday, Miss Wendy!

You’ll always be Patsy to my Edina 🙂 Have a great day whatever you do!