May has been incredibly busy for me, both in my real world and in my writing life.  A couple of weekends ago my mom and sister came over for the Blue Ridge Book and Author Showcase–which was okay, except in the workshops we attended, the authors were more intent on promoting their books than they were on teaching us anything.  But it’s the first year of this event and I’m hoping it will get better in the future.  I’m also hoping I’ll get signed up in time next year to get a table!

The best part of that weekend was on Friday when we went to Hot Springs to do a little research on the book Christy and I are writing about our great aunt’s life.  Hot Springs is an interesting little town and I wish we’d had more time to look around but the weather wasn’t the best–cloudy and rainy and just all-around yucky.  We couldn’t find the visitor’s information center, which used to be housed in an old red caboose near the library so we went in the library to get directions.  The librarian, Deb Linton, told us the caboose had been moved back to the railway station and they were in the process of building a new welcome center, slated to be opened in mid-summer. 

Too bad, but Ms. Linton was kind enough to share some of the local history books and records with us.  She also gave us some information on Dorland-Bell where our aunt went to school way back in the 1890’s.  Aunt Bessie was one of the first graduates and a copy of her diploma, dated 1899, is included in the book The Season of Dorland-Bell, by Jacqueline Burgin Painter, who just happens to be my cousin.  There’s also a picture of the first town officers which includes my great-grandfather, complete with handlebar moustache and shiny silver star, as the town constable.  I’m looking forward to going back and looking for some of the houses Grandpapa built–he was also a builder and a blacksmith–and trying to find the grave of my great grandmother, who I was named for.

Then last weekend, Christy and I met in Johnson City and made the harrowing trek over the rainy mountains once again to attend the May We Write conference put on by the High Country Writers group we both belong to.  That was great and we had a lovely time–well, if you don’t count the drive up to Blowing Rock in the rain.  I swear, I love living in the mountains, but I think I’d love it even more if I lived back in Aunt Bessie and Grandpapa’s time.  You know, back when they traveled by horse and buggy!

So, along with spring cleaning, that’s what I’ve been up to.  As far as my writing world, the anthology, PMS: Poison + Murder = Satisfaction which includes my short story, The Secret Life of Alice Smitty, was released in print and is scheduled to be released in e-book next week.  I have got to get the cover up on my sidebar!  I received the contract for Storm Shadows–woo-hoo!  I’m almost through with Winds of Fate–yippee!–and I’ve started writing the next book in my Eternal Shadows series, tentatively titled Sun Shadows.  It tells the story of Luke, the brother who’s determined not to fall for Jon’s tricks and get snared by the heroine Jon sends up to Eternity Mountain.  I haven’t gotten very far yet, but so far it’s going pretty good.*

*Crossing my fingers that I didn’t just jinx myself!  I haven’t really gotten into the heroine’s part of the story yet, but I’m hoping she won’t give me as much trouble as Betty Sue did in Storm Shadows!

So, that’s whats been happening in my world in the busy, busy month of May.  Oh, and did I mention the Red Sox are in second place in the AL East, just half a game behind the Blue Jays?  Yay!  Of course, the Yankees are only a game and a half out, and we all know the Yankees.   Added to the fact that you can never count them out of the race, this year they have something to prove–mainly that they can spend over a billion dollars on a new stadium then charge outrageous ticket prices and their fans won’t bat an eyelash as they shell over their hard-earned cash.  Hey, how’s that working out for ya’, Mssrs. Steinbrenner?

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