If you guessed it's the fact that I'm here blogging, you're right, and I'm sorry I'm such a pitiful blogger. I had good intentions when I began this blog what feels like eons ago, but, well, stuff happens.
No excuses except that I'm lousy at prioritizing and my focus has been split on some pretty exciting things...and some not so exciting. In fact, the not so exciting has been downright depressing.
THE NOT SO EXCITING
I won't bore you with details, except, okay...I will. I really should title this blog "What Happens When You Jump Off a Train in Budapest!"
Seriously. I did this....and fractured my leg. And I've been dealing with the fallout for almost a whole freaking depressing year.
THE EXCITING STUFF
It began a year ago as a part of one of the exciting things that's kept me busy. We decided to take our lengthy dream trip of a lifetime and travel by EurRail across Europe, wandering from country to country. Pretty exciting, and when you're a writer, you can do that and still work. Right?
THE TRAIN TO BUDAPEST
Excited travelers, we were, and after England, we were on our way from Prague to Budapest, a city I was dying to experience. We had a train delay of 3 hours, bringing us into Budapest late at night. Okay, we go with the flow, made friends with other travelers and really, who doesn't love waiting on a train platform in Prague.. However, when nearing our destination, the train stopped 20 minutes outside Budapest and we were told to change trains. No problem, except we weren't supposed to change trains and there was no train station and no platform for us to exit the train. And the other train was across 3 sets of train tracks. Did I mention it was midnight by now and vampire dark and in the middle of nowhere...
THE NOT SO EXCITING
It's a long way down from a train to the tracks when you don't have a platform to land on. But, stalwart travelers that we are, we jumped off the train with our luggage, dragged our bags across the 3 sets of tracks...and eventually made our way to Budapest, arriving at 1 am. My left leg screaming at me all the way.
But I had to see Budapest. And what do you do in Europe? You walk everywhere. For a week in Budapest, my leg protested vociferously and eventually, after X-Rays, we had to cut a few cities and countries from our trip, go back to London and fly home. I came home sitting in the walker/wheelchair I purchased in Vienna.
THE NOT SO EXCITING, but a little good stuff
On the bright side, we had travel insurance. Yay! I recommend it highly. You never know. But dealing with a Tibial Plateau Stress Fracture is not fun. I was not allowed to put weight on the leg for at least 8 weeks. For someone who likes to hike and play tennis, that's depressing. It's worse when it doesn't heal and you spend the next 8 months either in pain, confined to a chair, and/or at the doctor's office.
I have a newfound understanding of the need for more and upgraded handicapped facilities. Bathrooms definitely should change all those heavy doors that open outward. Even the most talented person would have difficulties opening a heavy door and then hold it open while you try to maneuver a wheelchair inside. And why is the handicapped stall always on the end farthest away? Sheesh!
THE EXCITING STUFF:
Our dream trip was part of my idea to start a TRAVEL BLOG I know!!! I hate blogging. Or I thought I did, but apparently not when it's about travel...my most favorite thing to do when I'm not writing books. I've written a lot of articles for the travel blog at GoRoamin.com if you want to check it out. I've written little since I fractured my leg, but now that it's healed, I will be updating soon. If you like travel tips, there are some goodies here, and I actually have an interview with a commercial pilot asking him all the questions every flyer wants to know.
MORE EXCITING STUFF
I'e been writing and revising books! And I have a new book about to be released! RODEO NIGHTS, a contemporary western romance will be released October 15th and is currently on preorder at a special discounted price. You can pick it up for 99 Cents right now, but the book returns to it's $3.99 price on about October 20th. I love the cover made for me by Dar at WickedSmartDesigns. What do you think?
RODEO NIGHTS joins COWBOYS DON'T DANCE as part of my new Cowboy Strong series featuring contemporary western romances set in the beautiful Southwest. I plan to add another book to the series in late November, and hopefully another in December.
An now that I've discovered I really do like blogging, you can expect to see me here more often. Seriously. Unless I break a leg. Or...
Because that's where Charlie Street, the heroine in my new urban suspense series lives. Charlie is a bit like the city...edgy, sexy and fun!
Charlie is a Detroiter, born and raised in a city that's hit rock bottom and is valiantly struggling to regain it's once proud stature...like the Phoenix bird rising from the ashes. The city's 200 year old motto, "Speramus Meloria - We Hope for Better; it Shall Rise Again," is oddly ironic...or prophetic, depending on your point of view.
After spending a lot of time here, I realized Detroit is the perfect setting for my Street Law series. The city is gritty and vibrant and alive with possibility. In some areas factories and homes have been burned out and stripped of anything of value...a target of thieves, and I've been warned about going into these areas for research. But I've not been swayed. I believe in the hands on approach and so far, it's all good.
Other areas hold a unique stock of amazing architectural monuments in various stages of decay or refurbishing. Metro Detroit and many pockets "in the D" are experiencing a resurgence; new loft apartments, restaurants, bistros, brew pubs and artists' enclaves have sprung up throughout the area.
Detroiters are equally unique, from street people to millennials, hipsters to rappers, vegans, city farmers, businessmen , artists and musicians...and the old guard still living in mansions in Grosse Pointe and on Lake St. Clair. I think this eclectic mix makes a unique and fascinating setting for the Street Law series and will give Charlie lots of opportunities to help people in trouble...or make some of her own.
Here are a few photos from my research, so, when you read STREET (the prequel) and DETROIT RULES, and the upcoming next book in the series, DETROIT HUSTLE, you'll have a pretty good visual of the city our crusading attorney/PI Charlie Street inhabits...and even her favorite haunts, like Slow's Bar-BQ.
Let me know what you think when you read the books. Do you get a sense of place. Can you feel the city's heartbeat?
That has to be it. Otherwise, why would I create this blog page?
I’d rather be writing novels. I’d rather be researching my books. And taking photographs. I’d rather be reading a good book…eating chocolate and drinking wine. I’d rather stick needles in my eyes.
Hey, don't look at me like that. Writing a blog means I should regularly produce a bunch of great content, say something pithy, and/or write funny stuff and make people laugh. I know lots of writers who can and do all of the above.
Me... I just want to chat about books and writing and publishing and a lot of other stuff that crosses my mind.
And, seriously, what is there to add to the kabillion voices fighting to be heard on the kabillion forms of social media? It’s fierce out there.
So what evil incubus forced me to create this blog page?
Well, it turns out no evil incubus is involved. Just my readers who say they like to keep up with what I'm writing. And I LOVE my readers, some of whom have been flipping pages in my books since my first published novel sixteen years ago.
Readers…I owe you. For you I'm going to do…uhm…cough...something resembling a blog. How about we just think of this as a place where I keep you updated about my books and occasionally talk about whatever else comes to mind.
Coming to mind right now is a suggestion from one of my wonderful readers that I share a bit of my research as I’m writing my books. I like that idea. Most of my die-hard readers know I love to travel and that I spend a lot of time in the worlds my characters inhabit. I like to mingle with locals and with people in the same professions. And I take lots of photographs. Sharing some of the photos of the places my characters live, work and play might be a little like seeing a movie preview...a visual of upcoming stories. I could even share an excerpt here and there to see what you think.
You know...this could actually be fun. Because it’s not a blog.
Watch for my next Not-a-Blog post coming soon.
And check out the research photos below. All are places where Charlie Street, et al, hang out in both STREET (prequel) and in DETROIT RULES, the first book in my new Street Law series.