Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Something Spooky.... ):0

Well, in just a few hours the kiddies will be marching up to the door yelling Treat or Tree-eeat!!! It's a nice night for it, mild temperatures and no rain. Should be good. My husband and I drove over to the new Super Walmart today and I went through the candy bins, and got a few good deals, though I didn't know it until check out at the cash register. A large bag of mixed candy was $4.98 (way expensive for last minute shoppers!) but at the register it was marked down to $3.50. Much better. I added another smaller bag of Raisinets, and that was that. I did point at a decent looking pumpkin, but my husband made a face, so we didn't buy one. We usually do, and I might have vetoed the nixed pumpkin, but I don't feel like carving one tonight. In fact, I feel like taking a nap, and I still might.

I had my own Devil's Night yesterday evening coming home from my bike ride. The car broke down in the left hand turning lane of a five lane highway. It wasn't too busy though, so I called AAA, and then waited for the tow truck. It took about twenty minutes, and by that time I'd been honked at a few times even though the hazard lights were on and blinking. I guess they are a mystery to some people. So, I got out of the car and waved people around. Still, a few continued to sit there anyway. No clue I guess. Hard to comprehend....

A police car rolled up after a while, and a guy came to my window, and I told him the tow truck would be there momentarily. He didn't ask for my driver's license at first, then came back and requested it. He may have noticed my weird attire, and bike stuff all over the car, plus the mountain bike in the back. And really, it is their job to make sure you're not a criminal. I had to smile though, since my driving record is so squeaky clean it's embarrassing. I haven't had a moving violation in over thirty years. My insurance company would probably like to clone me.

The police guy asked if I needed a ride home, and though I thought about it, I decided to go with the tow truck. The young tow truck guy and I had a real interesting conversation. (I love riding in tow trucks for some reason. Don't ask me why....) I learned he used to play soccer, and is married with two boys, one three and the other seven, and he and his wife want to have more kids, and are hoping for a girl. I told him about my own daughter, and my feathered grandchild, Makamae (Crested Cockatoo) that I had babysat this past weekend while my daughter was in Florida with her fiance.

Well, just got the call to go pick up my car, more on that later....

Thursday evening, Nov. 1:

Okay, my car is fine. The repairman couldn't find anything wrong with it, drove it around, started and stopped it over the course of a day. Nothing. It did not do anything. Since I said it had stalled, and when I restarted it and pressed on the gas nothing happened, he decided to adjust the choke, but that's all.

Now that is odd. I tried several times to get it going while I sat there waiting for the tow truck, pressed on the gas, nothing, turned it off, restarted it, pressed on the gas, still nothing.... I must have done this four times before I finally gave up. Then, when the tow truck guy arrived, it worked (of course) but I decided to have it towed anyway. Later that night, my husband and I went back to the station to get my bike out of the car, and I tried again to move the car, and again, nothing....

So I drove it yesterday, and again today expecting the worst, but it ran perfectly fine. I have to admit it all seems pretty spooky though. Maybe goblins and ghosts were playing tricks on me.

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.

Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Night Ride

Well, the weather is turning colder and it's getting dark earlier and earlier, but as an avid bicyclist, that's not really much of a problem. We just go on NIGHT RIDES! I actually enjoy these rides in some ways more than the the day rides. It's exciting! And around Halloween you can check out all the decorations displayed in the neighborhoods when the pace slows down. It is, of course, necessary to have taillights and superior headlights to do this. I have two headlights I use, a headlamp on my helmet (like a miner) and a set of lights for my bike. The headlamp is sort of necessary because if you have a flat, you must be able to focus light on the tire in order to change it. Fortunately, since I ride with a group, I don't need to do this myself. Guys seem to love to change tires. And that's good! It's messy, greasy, and often frustrating if you haven't done it in a while. And we use moutain bikes to ride at night, so the tires are an especially huge pain to change.

But about the ride. I dressed warm, but ended up unzipping my jacket in a very short time. The pace was a bit brisk, since only five riders showed up, and me the only girl. Usually we get ten to fifteen riders, but this was the first colder ride, and there was a chance of rain. Bad combination. Tends to scare people off. I have an older mountain bike, a good one, a Trek, but very heavy compared to the newer models, and a tank compared to the carbon fiber models available today. And then some riders use cross bikes, much lighter, so for them the ride is a bit easier I suspect. I like my old bike though, very retro, and I get an especially good hill work out.

So we flew through the night, up and down both paved and chuck hole filled dirt roads..... I grew up on a dirt road, before helmets, and shock absorbers, and wide tires, so I tend to be fearless on the downhills. I get into the most arrow position I can and just let it rip. It reminds me of skiing. Of course, it you fall skiing at speed you tend to slide; if you fall biking you tend to break things. So, I hang on tight, and look for eyes in the woods, small animals foolish enough to cross the road, and deer. That could be real bad.

We did only twenty-three miles since our ride leader needed to be home early, but it was long enough. Have to clean my bike though now. Lots of mud.

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.

Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Great Customer Review on Amazon!

I am so happy! I got an unexpected surprise when I went over to my Amazon page today, a new customer review!

I must admit I worried at first. I've seen some awful reviews given to authors, even some of the bestselling ones, and that has to hurt! I don't care how talented you are; it's got to be very difficult to write one great, compelling book after the other, hoping to please the majority of your readers ... then get an awful review from one of them.

Every writer I've ever met is sensitive, no matter how successful, no matter how talented. Writing novels is their thing, and their ego is very much tied into how people view their work. The entire world could have loved their last book, but they still worry that it won't happen on the next one.

Yet though sensitive, writers are also tough. The majority of writers I've known have been told no, many many times, over and over again, before they finally made it into print. Rejection just goes with the territory. It's a subjective business, and the only thing writers can do is keep trying, keep hoping, and continue to give it their very best shot.

So when I got this nice review today, I must admit I was ecstatic! Here it is word for word.

Murder Mystery Thriller, October 6, 2007

By Sunny One - NC USA

"Nancy Johnson's first book is definitely a winner! Wow, I honestly could not read it fast enough. There were so many twists and turns in this who dunnit that I wasn't successful at guessing who killed her sister. Keep writing, Ms. Johnson, you are a natural. You will love this book!"

Of course, it's my debut novel, not my first book, but how could she know that? I've written two other books, neither published, and two complete rewrites that took longer to write than the novels themselves. But what a really nice, great thing for her to say! She made my day! Completely made my day!

I thank you, Sunny One. I thank you very, very much. :)

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.

Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

A Good Day To Feel Bad

I'm feeling a little down today, and yet the weather is exactly what I would like it to be, warm, almost hot out. And it's supposed to continue, so chances are I'll get out of this funk soon. We're going out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants tonight, so that should take care of it.

I just took a walk around the neighborhood, exchanged courtesies with a squirrel on a telephone phone, he/she letting me know I'd best move on. But instead I ignored him (let's just say it's a him) and stood there, listening to him jabber at me for a while.

Slicky just stuck his head in here. Slicky is my long haired black cat. It must be getting close to dinner time, and he wants his special food. I give him wet food in the evening, along with the dry food available to him all day. The evening meal gives him something to look forward to, since his life isn't all that exciting. (He's an inside cat, mainly because he's let us know he wants nothing to do with the outdoors.) It may be because of the traumatic experience he had as a kitten, or maybe it's just his genetics. He used to have a twitch, kind of a weird twitchy thing on his back, like a nerve acting up, but that has more or less disappeared. It used to act up a lot, and when it did he'd take off like a shot across the room, like he thought someone was messing with him. Funny....

Well, I need to get ready for tonight, make myself look as good as possible considering I badly need a professional haircut. I've been self-trimming, always a bad idea. I never know whether my hair will work for or against me now. I could have done something about it yesterday, today, but I've procrastinated so I'll just have to hope the hair dryer will perform a miracle tonight. Otherwise, just need to avoid the mirrors.

Okay, I'm out of here.

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.

Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Best Laid Plans

Huh, funny how you never know how things will go. I thought I was going to be viewing two new pilots for t.v. tonight with my daughter and her fiance, but that's not what happened.

I got four free tickets for this t.v. preview thing (well actually a friend got them and gave them to me.) She and her husband couldn't make it and wondered if I wanted the tickets. I had actually done one of these preview things years ago, and I remembered it being kind of fun, so I thought, okay sure....

Then I forgot about the tickets until my daughter called today and mentioned it was October first, and wasn't that the night of the preview thing? I'd called her before and asked if she wanted to join me, knowing my husband probably wouldn't be interested. And as it turned out, Cliff Hanger was on t.v. so the preview thing was out of the question.

It was raining and a crummy night out anyway, and the event was at the Radisson Hotel and not too far away, so off the three of us went to see the t.v. preview. We were supposed to view two pilot episodes that could possibly end up on national t.v., and I figured we would be asked to fill out a form and rate each, but that would be okay. The program started at 7:30 p.m., so I figured we would be out of there by 9:00 at the lastest.

So we get there, and ask the guy taking tickets how long this event will last, only to be told 10:00 p.m. I say we might not be able to stay quite that long, and without even blinking, he hands back the tickets and says maybe we should sign up for a night when we can actually stay. He also mentions that not only would we be seeing the two half hour pilots, but also a bunch of commercials, and must answer 60 questions. (This is sounding better and better all the time.) I look over and glimpse their idea of refreshments for this two and a half hour sentence ... water, and maybe some ice to go with it.

We leave, and I'm feeling bad that I've wasted my daughter and her fiance's time, but they are okay about it. They are more worried about disappointing me. So, I suggest we at least get some kind of treat, and offer to buy at the nearby Tim Horton's. I love their coffee and cookies. We have fun drinking coffee (decaf) and eating oatmeal raisin and macadamia nut cookies and then head back. Instead, we end up playing games with Makamae, my daughter's baby cockatoo, who is very happy to be let out his cage and not have to go to bed early.

Not the evening we planned, but fun....

Visit my website to read a FREE EXCERPT of my mystery romantic-suspense novel, Her Last Letter.

Books are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through most bookstores.