Monday, May 31, 2010

Back from Space

Courtesy of the IMAX 3D theater at the Los Angeles Science Museum, my daughter Sarah and I spent yesterday afternoon with a few astronauts repairing the Hubble Telescope in Outer Space. It was an astonishing experience, revealing not just the wonders of other galaxies beyond our own but spectacular "star nurseries." The Hubble telescope is able to go beyond the known universe and frankly, it freaked me out a little. At school I failed miserably at science (garnering an "Ungraded" - not even a "Fail") and didn't really know what "stars were for." If only we'd had access to such awe-inspiring technology back in the dark ages. Virgin Galactic will soon be offering flights into space for a mere $200,000 a ticket. I'm going to start saving in my piggy bank.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sex and The City 2

I'm looking forward to seeing this today with my daughter despite the poor reviews. SATC is one of my all-time favorite TV shows and no matter how many reruns I have watched, those four women always leave me feeling empowered and uplifted. Of course I love to drool over clothes I could never afford, shoes I couldn't wear (bunions anyone?) and a body I might have had in my early teens. Mind you, since popcorn and M & M's are necessary to complete "the movie going experience" it's not surprising that a two-piece swimsuit is a distant (last century) memory.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Up Before the Larks

My husband got up at 4 am today to catch a flight—half an hour earlier than my usual "get-up-to-write time." Since I'm inbetween books and have been languishing in bed until 6 am for the past three weeks, this early wake-up call was—to say the least—annoying. I always tiptoe around in socks, talk to Mr. Tig our cat in a whisper and wrap the coffee grinder in a towel, even standing in a cupboard to grind the beans for that first cup. Nope. My husband crashed about like an elephant, rustling a plastic grocery bag (I still don't know why) and having a LOUD conversation with Mr. Tig. The coffee grinder sounded like a pneumatic drill. But how can I possibly complain? For the past four years my husband has been the one who gets me out of bed when that alarm goes off even if he doesn't get up himself. I guess that's what marriage is about - give and take - and that's why I waved him off at the door with a sleepy smile and a big hug. I know when I'm lucky.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Toe

I know this sounds pathetic, but I stubbed my toe yesterday and it really hurts. It's all black too which has somewhat ruined my attempt to get up earlier than usual (that means really early) to go for a morning walk in preparation for my nephew's wedding. I don't need much discouragement and I only started my new exercise plan -- cough, cough -- the day before. The really sad thing is that my friend at work - Laura - broke her arm last week falling from her horse Arnie (who is full of mischief) - but does Laura complain? Okay - she may be 25 years younger than me, but she came straight back to work on Monday with her arm in a cast and it was business as usual. A few months ago another employee at work took a whole week off with a "strained finger" and I admit I was scathing. Maybe this bad toe is karma?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Of course, it's not Mother's Day in England. The British celebration falls in March which is always a tad tricky for me to send a card from here in Los Angeles since Mother's Day cards aren't on the shelves (note to self: buy card for next year). As a child, my sister and I would make breakfast for our mum - it was always tea and toast and was heavily supervised by Dad. We would carry it upstairs on a tray with a daffodil in a vase and a handmade card. Mum would sit up in bed and pretend to be surprised. She also didn't drink tea but we would watch her sip it (suppressing a grimace) saying, "delicious, darlings." The whole day we would wait on her hand and foot. They were special times.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A blissful Saturday

Today, is the first free Saturday I have had in ... years probably. Having finished my fourth book and with none of my own book promotional efforts needed until next week, I feel strangely lost. Lawrence Kasdan said that "being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life," well - today it feels like the beginning of the school holidays.
I am going out to play.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jet Lag

After years of being a flight attendant (in another century - literally) and years of crossing the Atlantic with an 8 hour time difference to fly home to family, I never suffered from jet-lag. In fact, I am known to be scathing of others who toss and turn all night long. So why is it that just a mere trip to the east coast has given me the worst jet lag ever? Any suggestions folks? 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back to the Day Job

Returning to work after a week off to attend the mystery convention Malice Domestic in Arlington, VA, and the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA, was more worrying than usual. Turning in my fourth book-Thieves!- had been a real struggle due to the Toyota recall (one of our main clients) with longer hours and a lot of stress all round. So much so that my boss - after eleven years of service - had suggested in a gentle-but-firm way that I needed to re-examine my "priorities." Or else.
 I needed a plan.
"Good morning, sir," I said brightly when he called in from his car. "I am your new executive assistant." 
"Excuse me?" He sounded confused. "Hannah? Is that you?" 
"I believe you fired your old assistant?" I said. "I heard she was useless and spent most of her time either day dreaming or having so many anxiety attacks that you no longer felt special." 
A pause then, "Yes."
"The employment agency sent me along. I assure you I will always put you first. Your life, is my life. You will have no reason to ever complain again."
When he arrived his coffee was hot. His fridge filled with fruit and snacks. His phone messages written down in perfectly legible handwriting (with the numbers correct). I kept my opinions about everyone to myself nor did I pepper our conversation with jokes and stories. By lunchtime, he asked for his old assistant back ... but I'm still on probation. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

At last I am blogging

Morning all - I am not particularly techno-savvy so it has taken me two hours trying to figure out how to do this and now I am looking at the clock and realizing that in just a few moments, I will have to get ready for work. I have still not unpacked from my great trip to Malice Domestic and hilariously memorable road trip with Kate Carlisle and Diane Orgain from Arlington, VA to Oakmont, PA to attend the Festival of Mystery. But hey-ho. Such is the life of an author with a manic day job. A busy day awaits!