Dog Blog

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I wrote this a while back, after my last mystery was published, but I thought it was worth sharing.

 Now comes the part of the book writing/publishing process I dread: requesting book reviews. Getting some other authors to pen a blurb for your book after reading it, or at least skimming it, is always desirable. I've had good luck in the past getting reviews or blurbs or whatever you want to call them. There are many very nice authors who are most gracious with their time and kind in their responses to my polite requests, and then there are some like this one, whose response I received:

"If you're looking for a blurb, just come out and say that--to me and most writers 
I know, 'review' is a completely different thing.  And with 
so many blogs out there reviewing books, these days anyone 
who has a blog seems to get on various book review distribution 

(I'm seriously thinking of doing a blog on the etiquette of 
asking for a blurb.  You get points for mentioning who your 
publisher is and when the book is coming out; it's also 
useful to find out from your editor when s/he would like to 
have any blurbs and when the absolute drop-dead date
is, because often that helps the recipient know whether 
it's even possible to fit it into his/her schedule. And 
'I'd need to have your blurb by Monday' gets a lot fewer 
takers than 'Any time within the next six months would be 

Getting back to your question, I do sometimes do blurbs, 
but have promised my agent not to do so without checking 
with her first, and right now I know better than to ask--
I have to finish about a third of a book in the next three 
weeks, followed by only two weeks for revision, after which 
I will collapse and resemble a babbling idiot for an
undetermined length of time. Sorry!  But good luck in 
getting blurbs.

Points taken, though I didn't ask for a blurb by Monday.  Not being a newby myself, I wasn't asking for a lecture on etiquette, just an opinion about my book that my publisher could print on the book jacket. The writer may have been intended to come off as funny, but IMHO this reply to a simple request for a blurb, which I consider an honor, serves as a reminder of how authors should never respond to fans, to other authors, or to anyone for that matter, unless they want to seem like arrogant jerks. Fortunately, I had no trouble getting my book reviewed sans this author's opinion. 

I've developed a pretty thick skin (maybe it should be even thicker) over the past 27 years I've been writing and submitting my work to publishers, but I've come to expect a little courtesy from fellow authors, at least. All I could say after reading this diatribe was, "Sheesh!  If you mean no, just come out and say that!" 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


If you didn't get many gifts for Christmas, remember that your dog gives you these gifts every day of the year.  They're a whole lot better than anything you might find wrapped beneath the tree.

Thursday, January 01, 2015


Jump Your Bones pet treats of Boca Raton, Florida, are on the salmonella-tainted treat hit list.  If you have any of this product, do not feed to your dog and return it to where you bought it; hopefully, they won't put the packages back out on the shelves at reduced price, like PetSmart did their poisoned chicken jerky treats.  I still can't get over that!  It tells you a lot about chain stores like this.  You can be sure some fat cat at the top of the corporate scratching post is reaping the rewards of our pets' pain and suffering, and ours, too,  because we adore our pets.  Profit over pets (or people) should not be tolerated by consumers. The best way to show them we mean business is to stop shopping at any company that practices these greedy tactics.   


We didn't know whether Beau would make it to another Christmas with his problems, but he has, and I'm so grateful to still have him with us. Also, a belated Happy Gotcha Day, December 28, to my sweet Peaches.  Either Mom's getting forgetful or it was just the stress of the holidays.  Guess I'll claim both.  Anyway, I love my little girl and hope both my dear doggies are still with me by this time next year.  Wishing you and all your best fur friends all good things in 2015. 

Monday, December 29, 2014


"Hussy's Bakers" is from a photo I took in the south of England back in the 1990s when we traveled there.  I always loved our travels in England.  It's such a beautiful country, especially the rolling green hills of the countryside.  The only landscape that's greener is in Ireland.  The white-haired lady in the painting looks like my husband's elderly aunt in Preston.  Just a couple of finishing touches left to add, like the shadow the lady is casting on the sidewalk, then I get to start another painting.   


Christmas morning, 2009--"Is that a gift for us from Santa Paws, Dad?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I'm all set to lay down some colors on canvas in my new art studio with my best buddy, Beau.  He wasn't too sure about stepping inside, but a couple of treats changed his mind.  Next thing I knew he was lying on the new bed I bought for him to keep me good company while I paint.  Peaches may eventually set foot inside, but it will take her a long time to adjust to this new fixture in her environment.  She doesn't accept change well.  Finally, I have a space of my own to paint that's protected from the elements and where I can splash some paint around.  The paints are squeezed out on the palette, and I'm ready to try out some Daniel Smith water-soluble oils, which aren't as odiferous as regular oil paints.  Can't wait to get started!      

Monday, October 27, 2014


Me with my painting, "Visitation," at the delightful artist's reception, It's a Wrap!, held at Rancho Cordova City Hall on October 21.  The art will be on display through January 9, 2015. 

My pastel was part of the exhibit of art done by Sacramento Plein Air Painters at Historic Kilgore Cemetery (Est. 1874).  Our models for the artwork were live ones.   
Happy Halloween!  

Saturday, October 25, 2014


My copy of "Fightin' Words: 25 Years of Provocative Poetry and Prose from 'The Blue-Collar' PEN" arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon. I can't wait to delve into the book on this lovely rainy Sacramento morning. I'm honored to be published in this "crucible of California's most passionate writers," among the works of notable authors Norman Mailer, Kitty Kelley, Paul Krassner and over 100 others. Copies can now be ordered from Heyday Books. I hope you'll get yours, too!