Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Wishes



I have decided not to become all emotional and weepy while writing this post, like I did when I wrote the Bibliophilic Blather anniversary piece a few months ago. Thank goodness Blogger is not Skype.

This is wholeheartedly against type. You see, I am the one who cries at the end of every Christmas movie, be it Ebenezer Scrooge sending a goose to the Cratchit family, Clarence getting his wings, or the entire Peanuts gang yelling “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!”

This predisposition to “leaking,” as Jim Carrey’s Grinch calls it, is a time-honored trait handed down to me from my mother, who, at around the same age as me, was known to cry at the proverbial drop of a hat. Even at Hallmark commercials.

By the way, have you seen the one with the soldier opening the Peanuts book and hearing his child read for the first time? That one took me awhile to get over.

So, I will simply wish you a very happy holiday season and focus on what I hope for you in the new year.

In 2012, I hope all of you experience the joy of creativity, whether it is a book, blog, painting, song, dance, gardening, fantastic meal, or home-remodeling project.

For the writers, I wish you sales, of course, but even more than that, I hope someone will truly recognize your talent and let you know about it. Good reviews and feedback are the best gifts authors can receive.

For readers, I hope you find a book this year that will blow your mind and expand it in ways you never thought possible.

Thank you, dear ones, for spending time with me. Thank you readers, followers, faithful commenters, lurkers and Flash Fiction Friday contributors. I treasure you all.

Drat. ((grabs a tissue))

See you in the New Year. I am going to take some time off to hang out with my family, so my next post will be on January 4, 2012.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

There's Music in the Air



Christmas has always been a time of music for me, having sung in choirs for most of first half of my life.

Concerts. Caroling. A Madrigal.

There was always singing in my house growing up, whether we were putting up the tree or baking cookies.

I still burst out in song periodically throughout the day. Depending on the music, it either calms me or psyches me up for what lies ahead.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Mine is "What Child is This?" It is based on the old English hymn of "Greensleeves," which I find soothing and lovely. Speaking of English Christmas classics, I also am partial to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," which seems to be used in every version of A Christmas Carol I have ever watched. I also really love "The Holly and the Ivy."

"Silver Bells" reminds me of what December was like working in downtown Chicago early on in my magazine career. And "Angels We Have Heard on  High" is just really fun to sing.

As you can see, I have a very hard time narrowing it down to just one song.

How about you?

While share your choices, please enjoy this lovely musical interlude from one of the best voices of our time, Josh Groban.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: A Public Service Announcement



Note: I ran this last December, but seeing as it is still a widespread problem, it must be repeated.





I love the holidays, but one thing guaranteed to bring out my inner Grinch is the most common grammatical error of the season -- reindeers. That’s right, reindeers.

Ladies and gentlemen, reindeers do not exist. There are only reindeer. Reindeer is a singular and plural word referring to the large Arctic deer who pull Santa’s sleigh.

I have heard this error in songs and carols, as well as misspoken on city streets, and it jolts me every time like a sprig of holly through my heart.

So, please remember reindeer in your holiday writing and conversations. It will make the season a more pleasurable one, especially for all of the grammar grinches like me. Thank you.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: Holiday Warmth

Today, Sharon Cupp Pennington brings us a glimpse of a lovely moment between a husband and wife during the holidays. Enjoy.



Dancing with My Best Friend
By Sharon Cupp Pennington


My husband and I were alone in the den of our Texas home. I don't recall the program, but Christmas music emanated from the television: a familiar standard, slow and foolishly nostalgic. It seemed only a few years ago our house bustled with energetic teenagers — the three of them grown now and nurturing families of their own.

Years of healing had passed since my hit and run accident, but I still waddled like a duck. Or as my physical therapist used to laugh and say, a Weeble-Wobble.

I'd spent the afternoon puttering around the house, dusting shelves of family photographs and books, my collection of decorative boxes and knick-knacks. The grandkids' homemade stockings were hung above the fireplace, and "Mr. and Mrs. Snowman" positioned on the mantle. Like so many tasks I took for granted before my accident, little chores like these had become immensely satisfying.

I was grateful to be alive.

I'm not sure when Wayne entered the room, or how long he watched me. He was supposed to be getting ready for work. I do recall the warmth of his hands when they reached for mine, his blunt-tipped fingers long and rough, palms callused. A working man's hands.

"What are you doing?" I leaned back and looked into his beautiful eyes, a faded celestial blue I'd always found enchanting and he had passed on to our grandson, Jacob.

He pulled me close, slipped his arms around my waist so his hands rested on my hips and whispered into my hair, "I'm dancing with my best friend."




For a woman fond of words, he left me speechless. We had met at a dance at the Brazoria County Fairgrounds in October, 1966 and married five months later. I smiled into his shirt as tears filled my eyes, and I tried to swallow the goose egg forming in my throat.

Silly, I know.

Married four decades now, it wasn't as though we hadn't danced many times like this, holding tight to one another, swaying to an easygoing rhythm. Nor was this the first time he called me his best friend. Usually he did it as a reference point in conversations: "My best friend once told me." or "I asked my best friend about that just the other day and she said."

I always knew he meant me. He made sure I knew, with a look or a wink, or that disarming smile.

But spontaneity had never been Wayne's strong suit. And this dance, this sweet and tender moment was his way of reassuring me that in spite of the broken bones, misshapen knees and scarred forehead, the permanent limp, I was okay. We were okay.

And for that fleeting moment, nothing else mattered. Just the two of us — and our dance.

For a man who never embraced romance (except in his favorite movies), the man who usually bah-humbugged his way through Christmas, who often forgot birthdays and anniversaries and valentines, this brief twirl on an imaginary dance floor was the single most romantic gift he could give me. Better than the perfect poinsettia or a balloon-filled luxury liner or a gazillion delectable slices of carrot cake.

The music ended, and we stood there, souls and hearts linked, as they had been almost from the moment we met at that hokey county fair so many years ago. His big working man's hands moved from my hips to the middle of my back. "I've never been so scared as I was that night," he said. "I thought I'd lost you."

I answered simply, "I know, sweetie, I know."

But I didn't know. I couldn't begin to fathom the pain he'd suffered or the horror he must have felt the night of the accident. Realizing, as we walked through the parking lot, a speeding car was going to hit me and he was powerless to prevent it. He'd told me how he hated that he wasn't standing next to me that night, protecting me, instead of walking a few yards ahead as he habitually did.

I thanked God he wasn't standing close to me. I never want to imagine that kind of hopelessness, the infinite helplessness, or ever experience it. I'd heard enough from our children. At the hospital, they had seen their dad, this rock of a man, cry for the first time in their lives. And his tears shook them.

What I do know, what I've never been more sure of, is that there's more romance in my handsome Santa than he would ever admit — and I'm the luckiest woman in the world.

Let other women have their bouquets and trinkets, their holiday cruises and schmaltzy cards.

I'll have my dance.



Sharon Cupp Pennington’s short stories have appeared in numerous online and print venues, with anthology contributions to The Rocking Chair Reader in the "Coming Home" edition (2004) and "Family Gatherings" (2005), A Cup of Comfort for Weddings: Something Old, Something New (2007), and Good Old Days magazine (March, 2007). Draumr Publishing released her debut romantic suspense novel, Hoodoo Money, in May 2008 and the sequel, Mangroves and Monsters, in November 2009. She resides in Texas with her husband, where she is currently working on her next project. To learn more about Sharon, visit her website.


Photo courtesy of mrs.maxmakes.com.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy (Almost) Birthday, Jane Austen


December 16 is the most hallowed of all dates in literary history, for it was on that day in 1775 that the most wonderful Jane Austen was born. Since the 16th falls on a Flash Fiction Fridays this year, I've decided to pay homage a few days early.

I know a lot of you are like me and enjoy our dear Miss Austen's work in many forms, especially those starring Colin Firth (sigh).




Let's celebrate by sharing our favorite Jane Austen novel or adaptation. Which one do you like best?

I'll go first. Although I love them all, I cannot help but count Pride and Prejudice as my favorite novel. For adaptation, I have to go with the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and, of course, Colin Firth. However, Bridget Jones's Diary comes in a close second.

How about you? What is your favorite Austen novel or adaptation?



Love Unlisted Giveaway Winner


Congratulations to Janel G. for winning the Stephanie Haddad Day book giveaway and many thanks to Stephanie for writing a great guest blog.


Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Blog Tour Time


My WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour begins today. I am promoting the first novel in the Bibliophiles series, A Whisper to a Scream. From now until mid-January, I will be guest blogging on several awesome sites, discussing all kinds of Bibliophile things, such as "Writing backstories," "What I have learned about e-publishing," and "Channeling your inner man: how to create realistic male characters."

In typical Bibliophile fashion, there will be much talk of books. I wrote one post on why we should revisit the classics, and another on what we can learn from them. I even did a podcast interview that will air later on in December. 

It is all very exciting. 

Here is the schedule of appearances, if you would like to join me on any of the stops on the official A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) blog tour. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: 'Tis the Season, Part Two

Last week, we began the holiday season with a Poe Christmas tale of shopping woe. Now, a detective tries to solve the murder.





A Spillane Interpretation of a Dickens Christmas
By R. Doug Wicker

It was the best of times, Christmas. It was the worst of crimes, murder. She was a store clerk at the Old Curiosity Shoppe. Her name was Lenore, and she lay dead upon the floor, strangled with a ribbon of rain checks by an irate Christmas shopper. The suspect’s name was Ollie, and I knew then that this murder had a twist.

It was time for the “bad cop” routine so I slipped into the role, not that it required much acting on my part. “Okay, Ollie, what’s your last name?”

“Co . . . Co . . . Copperfield.”

“This your first offense, Copperfield? Murder goes down easier if it’s a first offense.  You’ll probably looking at two to ten.”

“Years?”

“Weeks. Probation. This is California, you know. Now spill it.”

“I’ve never been in trouble before today. Well . . . except for those two incidents, one in London and the other in Paris.”

“Just what I don’t need right now, a tale of two cities. Let’s keep it simple, Copperfield.  Why’d you do it  Passion? Robbery? Lust?”

I secretly hoped it was lust. I’m kind of partial to lust. Passion comes in a close second.

“No,” Copperfield whined. “It wasn’t any of that.”

Rats, I thought. Another long story with, like, no gratuitous . . . well, you get the picture.  “Start from the beginning,” I prodded.

Copperfield yelled in anguish. I turned off the prod. “Come on, spill it.”

“It was my son, Quasimodo.”

“Wrong author. Save Dumas for next year’s 1,500-word Christmas writing contest.”

“Actually, that was Victor Hugo,” Copperfield corrected.

I shook my head impatiently. “Never mind. Go on. We only have 1,242 words remaining to wrap this whole thing up.”

“And last year, you would’ve only had 742.”

I’d had enough of this. I started to prod Copperfield for more information.

“Wait,” he yelled in anguish. “I’ll talk.”

I put the prod back under my coat. I yelled in anguish, then reached inside and turned it off. It was a shocking miscalculation on my part and now I was really burned. “No more stalling, Copperfield.”

“Quasimodo wanted this year’s hot toy . . . .”

“You mean the Super Fly-A-Saur?”

“You know it?”

“Know it.  Been trying to lay my hands on one of those damned, cursed, hellish things for three weeks. I got a nephew in Newark who wants one.”

Copperfield’s face twisted in horror. “Newark . . .  how awful. Tough break.”

“Precisely. Poor kid would’ve been better off as an orphan in London. He should get whatever he wants.”

“Well,” Copperfield continued, “I didn’t even start looking for one until yesterday afternoon.”

I was incredulous. “Let me get this straight . . . You didn’t start looking for the most popular toy of the year until Christmas Eve?”  I gave him a suspicion-filled glance. “You settin’ up for an insanity plea?”

“No . . . It’s true. I swear.”

“Quasimodo . . . he got any brothers or sisters?”

Copperfield nodded. “He has a tiny brother named—“

“Let me guess. Tim, right?”

“No. Pickwick. Pickwick Chuzzlewit Copperfield. We call him ‘Boz’ for short.”

“Of course you do.” I was duly impressed. A four-fer. Very good. Tim would’ve been too easy.

It was then that my partner, Nick Nickleby, entered the crime scene. Nick was the consummate “good cop.” He never prodded the suspect. He immediately grabbed Copperfield by the lapels and propelled him into the nearest wall. “Sing weasel, or you’ll be looking at hard times.”

I grabbed Nick’s arm. “He’s singing already. Relax, would you?”

Copperfield massaged his head. “The chimes. I’m hearing chimes.”

Nick laughed. “You idiot. You hit the wall of the cuckoo clock section. Of course you hear chimes.”

“Oh, yeah.” Copperfield straightened. “Silly me.” He brushed the cuckoo bird from his mouth, removed the chain from around his neck, the weight from his left nostril, and spit out a feather. “I was in the middle of my confession.”

“Ah HA,” Nick crowed. “Then you confess.”

“He just said that. We’re way past that, Nick. We’ve already established intent and opportunity. We’re working on motive. Now, go sit down before I prod you to do so.”

Nick’s eyes grew like saucers. He quickly stepped back. “Don’t mind me. Just pretend I’m not even here. I’ll just listen while you question our mutual friend.”

I nodded approval. An obscure reference, but well placed by a relative novice. I turned back to Copperfield. “You were saying?”

“Well, this store clerk, Lenore Dorrit, led me to believe she had some Fly-A-Saurs in stock. I mean, just look at the window. They’ve got ads for it hanging all over the place.  I’d been to twenty-seven stores before this and I was desperate, even though their advertised price is 1,200% above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.”

“So, you entered the store with great expectations.”

“Precisely . . . only to have those expectations dashed upon the rocks like some sixteenth-century galleon caught in a South Pacific cyclone.”

“You’re losing focus again. We did Robert Louis Stevens last year.”

“Defoe. That was a Daniel Defoe reference.”

I started to prod, but Copperfield hastily continued. “Anyway, she led me on. She enticed me upstairs in the worst way.”

“In the worst way?”

“Yeah. I mistakenly got on the down escalator. Took me half an hour to make the trip.”

“Wow. You were desperate. Then what happened?”

Copperfield pointed to the raven-haired beauty. “See those coupons?”

I nodded. “Rain checks.”

“That’s what she had.” He broke down sobbing. “I went through hell, and all she had to offer was a rain check. Can you imagine little Boz playing with a rain check on Christmas morning?”

Suddenly there was a commotion at the doorway. A little, gray-haired old man burst through the tape and brushed past Nick. Actually, the little squirt picked Nick up by the lapels and smashed him into the nearest wall.

“Get out of my way,” the old man yelled.

Nick rubbed his eyes. “I’m seeing stars.”

I shook my head in disgust. “Of course you are, you idiot. You’re in the autographed celebrity pictures section.”

“I thought I was having a religious experience.”

“Get out from under that Madonna poster.” I turned to the intruder. “And you are . . . ?”

“Barnaby Rudge. I got over here from Bleak House as soon as I heard.”

I nodded my approval. I was wondering how in the world I was going to get those obscure works into this. “What’s your connection to all this?”

He pointed to the body. “My automated sales clerk. She’s been destroyed. Who did this?”

My jaw clenched. I shook. My knees went weak. I reached inside my coat and switched off the prod again. Damned faulty switch. Someone was going to pay for this. “You mean to tell me that thing’s a robot?”

“Yep. Made for me by Dombey and Son.”

This guy was good. Really good. I’d have been lost without him. I walked over to the body. “Yeah . . .  now it all makes sense.”

Nick rushed over. “What? What makes sense?”

I pointed to that irritating service smile locked on her lips, the one that just drives you nuts. “She’s still smiling. She looks like a damned Barbie doll. I should have known.  And look at what she was ‘strangled’ with. That roll of rain checks should’ve broken before she even started to turn pink.” I turned back to Mr. Rudge. “I’ve never seen one of these.”

“They’re brand new, different models for different occasions. The ‘off/on’ switch is in the throat. This one is the Carol model, specifically made for the holiday season.”

“Ah . . . .” I nodded knowingly. “A Christmas Carol. Tell me, why did you name her Lenore?”

“Why, that’s easy. It’s the raven hair.”

I slapped my forehead. “It’s so . . . so . . . obvious.”

I turned to Copperfield. “You’re free to go, sir. I won’t be prodding you for anymore answers tonight.”

“Thank God.” He hurried off, lest I change my mind.

Nick clasped my shoulder. “Come on, partner. Let me buy you a drink. Martini, right?”

“Yep.”

“Olive or twist?”

My eyes narrowed. “Been there. Done that. Let’s go.”



Doug Wicker is a graduate of Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan. He attended college for two years at Clemson University before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. His stint in the Air Force began a thirty-four-year career as an air traffic controller, serving with both the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration. He is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He enjoys thrilling his audience with tales of murder and suspense, as in the recent Kindle release of his mystery novel, Decisions.

Today, R. Doug Wicker lives in El Paso with his lovely wife, Ursula, whom he married in 1978. He enjoys writing, reading, travel, art, photography, gourmet cooking, fine wines, and bridge (the game, not the structure). He looks forward to further entertaining his fans for years to come with earlier works from his archive of currently unpublished works, as well as his upcoming murder mystery, The Globe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It’s Stephanie Haddad Day on Bibliophilic Blather!

You probably remember that Stephanie, a Flash Fiction Fridays contributor, has recently released her second novel, Love Unlisted. Here is your chance to win a copy. Just comment at the end of this post, and you will automatically be entered in the contest. It’s that easy. The winner will be announced on 12/14.

And now, I proudly present...Stephanie Haddad.



As the work-from-home mother of a toddler, poor organization can make my life implode. Staying “on top of my game” means good note-taking, a strong work ethic, and lots of discipline. I explored some of the finer points of organization through my heroine, Grace Shields, in my romance novel, Love Unlisted. In it, readers get to see inside the mind of a woman truly compelled by organization, as she makes lists for everything—including the pros and cons of her intended hero.

Grace is a bit compulsive. And while I admit that part of her neuroses is based on my own truth, I’m not that bad with my Type A tendencies. But staying organized is an important piece of my everyday life, especially with the holidays on the horizon. Between family parties, friendly get-togethers, and all that shopping, I can’t afford to lose time anywhere. There are just too many deadlines and not enough toddler naps in my life.




If you need to keep your life in order as much as I do, here are some of the tips to help you survive until the new year.

Make lists. Grace makes lots of lists, for seemingly inane things, but she does have the right idea.  When I make a list, it helps me to keep my thoughts focused. Without all that junk rattling around in my brain, I can take one task at a time.  Prioritize your to-do list for the day then move through it, line by line.

Set goals. In Love Unlisted, Grace turns a bad breakup around for herself with a list called “New Vows of Singlehood.” On it, she sets goals for her personal life, health, career, and love life… some of which are impossible to keep. For yourself, make realistic goals that you can stick to: “I will write 1000 words every day!” or “I will run three miles on the treadmill, three times a week!” Set a goal for whatever you want to reach for and decide the best way to complete it.

Be flexible. The holidays can throw your daily schedules and to-do lists for a loop. Instead of getting frazzled, learn to adapt and be flexible. Sometimes my daughter only naps for 45 minutes, instead of her usual 2 ½ hours. When this happens, I get flustered at first, but then I make a plan to find extra time later. I ask my husband for help or call a friend to come and play with her for an hour somewhere during the week. Staying organized has to include preparing (or dealing with) disorganization in your life, so don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it!

As you struggle to balance everything during the holidays, remember also to take some time for yourself. If you have to, write in on your calendar or to-do list, do it. No matter how much you’re juggling, taking time for you is the best way to refresh, recharge, and prepare to tackle that giant pile of work.

Love Unlisted is available on amazon.com and Smashwords.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Nice Review

Many people think A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) is a thriller or horror piece. It is understandable, given the title. However, it really comes from the Icicle Works song of the same name, especially the chorus lyrics.


"We are, we are,
we are but your children,
Finding our way around indecision,
We are, we are
we are ever helpless,
Take us forever,
A whisper to a scream."


The title refers to something that starts as a spark, a mere trace of an idea, but eventually grows into something that makes you want to, well, scream. 

Here is a review Whisper received recently on Goodreads. 


A WHISPER TO A SCREAM by Karen Wojcik Berner
Published by CreateSpace
ISBN-10: 145659365X
ISBN-13: 978-1456593650
Genre: Women's Fiction
At the request of the author, Karen Wojcik Berner, and WOW Tours, a digital edition was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.

(I am omitting the synopsis here, since you probably already know the basic premise from reading the blog.)


My Thoughts and Opinion: I apologize in advance because I feel I need to start this review off with a caveat. I received this request during the period of my tornado of personal issues. I vaguely remember reading the synopsis, accepted to be a part of the tour but explained that I was not sure when I would be able to read and review the book. I was also told that this was the 1st book of what was going to be a series. When things settled down a bit, I picked up my Kindle, not remembering the premise of the book (one of the negatives of the Kindle-no back cover to read), but the title grabbed me thinking it was going to be a good suspense.


I was wrong. However, what pulled me in were the characters. Sarah and Annie, the 2 main women that the story revolved around became life like from the start. The author's description of their lives, their emotions, their families was written in such a style that this reader could actually empathize with some of their situations. I also liked and thought was a plus, especially from an avid book reader's opinion, was what and how brought these 2 ladies, from different backgrounds, 2 total strangers together and that it was a Book Club. This is the type of book where you get so engrossed with the characters' lives that you feel you become part of "the friendship." It was not a mystery, but the story held me captive due to circumstances in Annie and Sarah's lives, and I needed to know what the outcome would be. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and look forward to the next in this series.


My Rating: 4 stars

Cheryl Mash's review Nov. 22, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: 'Tis the Season

To start December off right, here is a clever piece by friend of the blog, R. Doug Wicker. Enjoy.







A Poe Christmas
By R. Doug Wicker


Once upon a snowstorm dreary, through which I trudged all weak and weary,

Past many a quaint and curious number of advertisement lore

I saw the ad, above some wrapping; on the door I started tapping

At first it was a gentle tapping, tapping at the storefront door

I must gain entry to this store, as there was nothing then I wanted more

Searching for this and nothing more

The toy was here for which I search, leaving me in quite a lurch
Having waited far too long to shop for “The Super Fly-A-Saur”

Eagerly I watched the clerk, beckoning me not to shirk
I quickly entered, nearly berserk; “I must have it,” I said with a smirk

“Where, oh where, be that damned flying dinosaur?”

Quoth the clerk, “The second floor”

Up the escalator I ran, fighting against its downward span
I cursed its descending stairs as I glanced to the ascending flight before
Casually the clerk began her ascent, chuckling at my predicament

“I fear, sir, you shall be spent, before you reach the next department”
I ran, and ran, for far too long, fighting against this tiresome chore

Vowing “Not up the down escalator evermore”

I stopped, bent over double, breathing hard for all my trouble
Crying out with all my might, “Where is this cursed Fly-A-Saur?”

She smiled that stupid service smile, the one that sends me shaking

“Tis over here,” she said. “Right behind that great big door”
“Tis over there, I swear, or my name is not Lenore

“Tis what you seek and nothing more”

I pushed the double doors apart, what I saw gave me a start
“There’s nothing here, I’ve been tricked, where is this hellish dinosaur?”

She smirked again, mocking me, sending me quaking
I felt rage in the making, “Tis right there,” said this shrewish bore

“You see, we’re all out at this store; here’s your rain check, nothing more”

Thus I strangled the fair Lenore.




Doug Wicker is a graduate of Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan. He attended college for two years at Clemson University before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. His stint in the Air Force began a thirty-four-year career as an air traffic controller, serving with both the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration.  He is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He enjoys thrilling his audience with tales of murder and suspense, as in the recent Kindle release of his mystery novel Decisions.

Today, R. Doug Wicker lives in El Paso with his lovely wife, Ursula, whom he married in 1978. He enjoys writing, reading, travel, art, photography, gourmet cooking, fine wines, and bridge (the game, not the structure). He looks forward to further entertaining his fans for years to come with earlier works from his archive of currently unpublished works, as well as his upcoming murder mystery, The Globe.