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shaped like a person, with roomy pockets

shaped like a person, with roomy pockets

I take a lot of dog walks. It’s good for a) my dog, b) my health, c) my creativity and d) my attitude. Barkis and I walk for miles and sometimes hours without running into a soul. My default outfit was something that made me look like a wino, but ever since my Fashion Epiphany last summer, I’ve been trying to upgrade my Look. And during my Big Emergency last fall, they had to cut off my favorite Patagonia hoodie, so a replacement was needed.

Jay gave me this one–the Carrie–by Ibex. He was really proud of himself: “I knew your size exactly! Medium!” This is as close to knowing my size as he ever gets.

Here’s what’s perfect about it–it’s made of this double-faced New Zealand wool stuff that feels incredible even against bare skin. It has an actual shape (not too apparent in the photo but it’s really flattering). It has pockets that zip, a full front zipper (for ventilation) and two giant inner pockets. On a wilderness dog walk, I need pockets for the cell phone, iPod, training treats, leash and water bottle.

I’m pretty much obsessed with this company. The clothing is made in the USA! Yay! And they have the coolest web site and blog.

old-school post

old-school "post"

Back when I was a teacher, I instituted “Helper Fridays: Saving Your Sanity One Tip at a Time” on a small chalkboard by the door in my classroom. Students would come up with an organizational tip and post it. “Posting,” back in the day, meant writing it in chalk on slate. Yes, I’m that old.

Today’s Helper Friday tip: If you follow more than one or two blogs, this is the best way to organize them. Sign up for Google Reader (you’ll need to sign in with your Google account; if you don’t have a Google -gmail- account, you have to register for free but it’s only the one time) and tell it which blogs you like. Once you do that, you’ll find all your blogs listed in one place. Type Google Reader into the address bar, et voila. It lists all your favorite blogs and you can sample the ones you like. You know what? I just did a lousy job explaining this. Do yourself a favor and read Elizabeth’s post about Google Reader. She’ll walk you through it.

One of my favorites? Shrinking Violet Promotions, a blog for introverted authors looking to promote their books. And lookee there. Today’s guest blogger is moi! Blathering on about you-know-what. Happy surfing!

Okay, the thrill of this is probably limited, but I had to share. Today’s USA Today features this ad for Fireside. I’m in favor of anything that assures my parents I have a real job:

telling the world

telling the world

Sometimes, a perfect stranger sends you something like this in the mail…

I have the nicest readers!

I have the nicest readers!

Avalon and Willow Lake are made-up places. But if they were real, they’d look a bit like this:

Romantic Times BOOKreviews. The Magazine for Fiction Lovers


by Susan Wiggs

RT Rating:½
Publisher: MIRA
Published: February 2009
Type: Mainstream Fiction


Worth a look for the often-hilarious dialogue alone, the latest installment of her beloved Lakeshore Chronicles showcases Wiggs’ justly renowned gifts for storytelling and characterization. A keeper.

Summary: After a public fight, P.R. specialist Kimberly van Dorn loses her basketball star lover and her job. Going home to Avalon seems like a plan, but things have changed even there. Kim’s widowed mother, Penelope, has turned the family home into a boardinghouse and is dating one of the residents. Then Bo Crutcher and his son AJ move in. After years of hard work and no joy, Bo’s about to get his big break pitching for the Yankees — but the possibility of his ex’s deportation has left AJ in his custody.

Bo’s never had the chance to be a father to AJ, and wants to do right by him, but he’s expected to report to Fame School before the Yankees deal is finalized. So Bo compromises — by hiring Kim to do her thing instead. It’s a sweet deal for Bo; he’s been attracted to Kim since the first time he saw her. But Kim claims she’s done with athletes for good! (MIRA, Feb., 416 pp., $7.99)

—Catherine Witmer

You’re invited to this fun event, benefitting the West Sound Wildlife Shelter:

Fun! Shopping! Prizes! Calendar firefighters!

Fun! Shopping! Prizes! Calendar firefighters!


Sunday – March 1, 2009

 Be a GoddessBring a group of five friends and be an event goddess – crowned with your very own tiara – and receive a special gift.

Unleash the goddess within!

Get your flip-flops ready…
for the second-annual  Flip Flop Lemon DropJoin us for a girlfriends afternoon of indulgent fun, luscious libations, retail therapy, and a fabulous flip-flop fashion pageant. Click here to learn more….

Sunday, March 1, 2009
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Clearwater Resort

Buy your ticket online!

Tickets are $100
Proceeds will benefit the West Sound Wildlife Shelter.


Contact Us – 206-855-9057


Barkis is handsome and not afraid to show it. Soapbox: Dobermans have wonderful ears, and I wish breeders and owners would never, ever crop them.

a day at the beach

a day at the beach

I had a big editing job on an upcoming reissued historical novel, so we headed for the coast so I could work on it. Oh, and play hooky. Most people think Long Beach is in Southern California, but Washingston state has its very own. It’s deserted in winter. All the better for beach walks…and RUNS.

Please enjoy this publishing fantasy from Macmillan. My 18 copy editors are laughing their blue pencils off.

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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January 2009