A grab bag of quick updates today while a take a short break from my work-in-progress:
1) Congrats to author Brenda Novak, who raised over $270,000 for diabetes research with her online auction. I was very pleased to contribute five books to the goody-bag and see them bring a good price for the cause! I’m already scheming something bigger and better to donate next year. Thanks to everyone who bid.
2) I’m back from my search dog training to Denver. It was a great weekend. It started out a little crazy when I boarded the airplane with my search partner, a black labrador retriever named “Boogie”. Boogie is a seasoned flier, and generally well behaved, but shortly after I sat down, while the last few passengers were settling in, he started barking quite loudly. I was mortified at his bad behavior so I bent over to sush him (he was lying down with his head under my seat) and saw that he was nose to nose with a cat in a carrier the man behind me had shoved under the same seat! Boogie barked again, the cat screeched, and a rather panicked-looking flight attendant quickly moved me to another seat. Which just happened to be in first class. Oh happy day!
The training field in Denver is wonderful. They have literally acres and acres of rubble piles of all sizes and shapes. Boogie and I had great fun searching for buried “victims” (other handlers hidden in the debris) and I had fun hiding for the other dogs. I know, it’s kind of weird to enjoy being entombed in cramped, lumpy wholes with a few tons of concrete on top of you, but it really is fun!
I had my video cam and had planned to make some vids to put up of Boogie at work–he’s a pretty phenomenal dog–but I didn’t have the camera charged up the first day, and by the second day he had suffered abrasions on the pads of his front feet from running so hard across the rubble. I worked him in booties a little in the morning, but then he started burning up his back feet, too, so I had to quit. He’s doing fine now, by the way. The abrasions were minor and not uncommon in disaster dogs, especially early in the summer when it’s getting hot and their feet haven’t toughened up yet.
Boogie got to have his feet soaked and got a nice cool bath thanks to some wonderful people at Home Depot Garden Department who let us use their hose and their parking lot Sunday afternoon.
Monday morning on the way home we were assigned a seat on the plane in the very back row. I checked with the gate attendant, hoping their might be something a little farther up in the plane, since the vibration way in the back can be pretty tough on a dog who has to lie ont he floor the whole time, and lucky me, got upgraded to first class again! Woo-hoo! Their are advantages to flying in uniform…
Pics: Boogie waiting at the gate in Denver, then his buddy Scrappy, who was on the same flight, comes out of the jet bridge
3) On the writing front, things aren’t going as quickly as they should be. I have been bouncing around between four projects. Two paranormal book proposals for Silhouette, a paranormal novella proposal for Silhouette, and the fourth Gargoyle book for Berkeley. Unfortunately, by going back and forth between the four, I haven’t managed to actually finish any of them. I plan to fix that this week by having all the proposals (two books and novella) ready for my agent by next Monday. Then I can focus on the Berkley book and should be able to complete it in a few weeks.
4) Looking for a fan-tabulous paranormal author? Check out Catherine Spangler and her Sentinel series. The newest edition, TOUCHED BY LIGHT, is in stores today!
That’s all for now,