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Join me and other NJ authors (and publishers!) at the first Belmar BookCon, Pyanoe Plaza (the brick pathway at Main Street and 9th Ave), Belmar, NJ. Sunday, Oct. 12, 10am-4pm. I’ll be selling, signing, and shmoozing. And if you sometimes need to write something by hand, I have pens (imprinted with my website/blog address, of course).



I’m very excited to have been asked to be on a panel at Bouchercon in Long Beach, CA, on Sat., Nov. 15, 4:30-5:30. I feel as though I’ve been asked to present an Academy Award.

The panel is called “You Say Traditional, I Say Cozy: Exploring the Boundaries of the Classic Mystery Novel,” and is moderated by Sarah Chen. I share the table with John Billheimer, Paul Bishop, Linda Joffe Hull, and Eric James Miller. It’s one of the first times I’ve been on a panel about cozies that has more men than women panelists.


Want to know how I fit in at the Public Safety Writers Association conference(s)? Find out in their Sept. newsletter; scroll down to the article A ‘60s ACTIVIST IN PSWA’S COURT



Glad you asked. Last Monday, I posted the following on FB. Things since then haven’t changed much.
Let’s see. I just spent the last 8 hours in Starbucks going through all the financial records & trying to find an updated membership list for the Burlington County Natural Sciences Club; then formatted & scheduled for a Wednesday midnight posting a guest blogger’s submission for my blog site; then updated the email list & posted info. about 2 upcoming programs sponsored by the Friends of the Evesham Township Library; then started to read (& coincidentally proofread) a soon-to-be-published mystery so I can write a back cover blurb and a review. In between, I checked & answered email, scrolled through FB, & checked my Amazon rankings (ugh). New book? What new book? (It’s a good thing I retired.)



#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Foreign Language Study & Reference > Language Instruction > Yiddish 
#59 in Books > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > Slang & Idioms


Yiddish cover


What is more important: real success or the illusion of success? Read my thoughts about how to promote yourself so you seem like a big fish in a big pond when you’re a tiny bit of alga in a puddle. http://otpblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/appearance-is-all.html


My favorite women’s clothing store, Coldwater Creek, will be closing all of its brick-and-mortar and online sites in just over a week. I have been buying my clothes from them since they were a catalog only retailer. I estimate that at least 90% of my wardrobe is from them. If I count only those clothes I wear every day, especially before I retired, it’s probably closer to 95%.

I love their clothes. They fit well, they hold up well, they wash well, they are fashionable without being trendy or flashy. And that may be why, despite the fact that “everyone” I know of a certain age shops there, they have gone out of business.

The clothes are durable, so there’s no need to replace them every year or so when they wear out. (The exception are 100% cotton jerseys, which tend to become misshapen after several washings. Or maybe it’s the dryings. Or maybe it’s because I never bother to follow cleaning instructions.) I have one plain black “travel knit” shift that can be dressed up or down depending on what I wear over it. I’m not sure how old it is. It is so versatile that shortly after I bought it I got a second one, worried that I would somehow damage the first and not be able to replace it. The backup dress is still folded in tissue paper on a shelf in my closet.

Plus, because they’re not trendy, the clothes don’t look dated. They stay in my closet (and on my body) for years before I give them to charity, and then usually only because I’ve worn them so often I’ve gotten bored with them. I have a few things that may be 10-15 years old.

The very reasons I like Coldwater Creek – durability and timelessness – are probably why they haven’t shown a profit since 2007. I’ll have a discount coupon begging to be redeemed, will go to the store, and not find anything I want to buy because I already have the same thing at home.

And what does that have to do with writing? (Thought I’d forgotten the topic, didn’t you?) A book series has to stay fresh and innovative to remain popular. I have stopped reading some authors on my “must read” list because they are writing the same book every time, just changing the names and settings. Or there’s no character development: the main characters don’t age, the events of previous books don’t affect their behaviors or attitudes. Why spend money on a book I’ve, in essence, already read? Yes, they may be comfortable, they may still hold interest, but eventually, they become stale. And if they’re classics, I’ll just re-read them, not buy new ones by the same author. Unless it’s something fresh.


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