Top Twos-Day: Gobble Gobble!

one pumpkin

I couldn’t decide on which two unique sites to share, so, I included both:

Stumblary – a way to discover new reads, one quote at a time. Book teasers found here.

IndieBound – if you aren’t familiar with this awesome place for independent books stores to unite, catch the latest campaign: author’s will be selling and signing this Small Business Saturday. Details… Don’t forget to shop small!

Then there’s Whispersync. Are you familiar with the term? Oh, betchya know Amazon! Discover what’s next for this forward thinking company. No, I can’t trash them, they’re solving problems and making money. The American way, right? Two opinions about Amazon, one positive, one negative…you are entitled to an opinion, too!

Gosh, this could be a Top Threes-Day!  ;)



Top Twos-Day: Hide and Seek – a Writer’s Game

Sydney on her birthday

two hours old!

I keep putting off an update post about the month hiatus I claimed, but catching up on work is taking all my time. Well, it may not be the top two things on anyone else’s desk this week, but certainly on mine.

My granddaughter, Sydney’s, birth, after many sleepless nights! Go ahead, say it, “Ain’t she so cute?” She arrived July 3, weighing in at 9.1 lbs and measuring 22 ½ inches! OMGosh  she gave my daughter a difficult time, then they both experienced complications. Both are doing better.🙂

I’ve promised my daughter and son-in-law that pics would not get passed around. Keep these to yourself, okay?


hours later, looking just as cute!! look at that mug🙂

Smooth sailing, baby and mum go home and I visit daily, trekking the 70 minute one-way trip through traffic and torrential rains. But on July 11th, bright and early a hot water heater pipe burst, flooding my living room. Now I have to say, I’m always looking on the bright side, so I was thankful it didn’t happen a week earlier, when no one was home and the whole house could have floated away!

The damage is minimal compared to those of you who have been flood victims, and my heart hurts for you. I cannot imagine the depth of loss. And the insurance company, Allstate, deserves special shoutouts. They knew how much traveling I was doing. Not only did they contact the mitigation team, get that all ironed out, but the check really was in the mail! My house is just short of back to normal. Cause, really what is normal?

I began this as a hide and seek post, and I certainly mean it. There are numerous tales to draw on, from the nurses sharing crackers with us as we camped out at the hospital, to my midnight experience at a McDonald’s, witnessing a car accident and stopping to help a young mother of two…😉

Have you looked at your day to see what you might find? Normal moments with just a twist are a writer’s playground. I wish you happy seeking, and may your writing find all those wonderful stories. It’s good to be back!



Top Twos-Day: launching pirate-safe ships with a digital compass

student in library

On this first Tuesday in December, digital, libraries, and imprints make the top news. Forgive the late posting, as well as the length of this week’s piece.

Some are crying thief with the news of Penguin and Random House merger, but others are suggesting they are victims, particularly literary agents have the ‘V’ marking, so says Ella Delany, citing, “…One single publishing house usually contains multiple imprints with distinct identities and tastes. Agents typically pitch one book to one imprint at one house, although the exact rules differ from publisher to publisher. The rule at Penguin is that agents cannot pitch to multiple imprints within the group; imprints cannot bid against each other for the same manuscript.”

Have you seen the big six morph into the big two and lesser two? Here’s the breakdown: If HarperCollins snags Simon & Schuster, Random House and Penguin merges, that leaves Hachette and MacMillan, genuinely smaller across the asset board. The Annoyed Librarian tackles this topic…

Speaking of librarians, these self-less folks are up to GOOD, see how the plan for a digital library is being built, block by block, coming to Boston’s historic first publicly funded library, “The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an ambitious, broad-based effort to establish a new library platform for our digitally-mediated age.” Not only are they breaking new ground, they’re defending rights, too,  “…more than 40 of the American Library Association’s 57 state and regional chapters signed a joint statement opposing the pricing and licensing terms that publishers and distributors have established for the sale of ebooks to libraries.” Full story… Plus read about a new prize your local library may be eligible for: LibraryAware Community Award, which will “…illuminate the value that communities throughout the United States and Canada derive from their libraries.” And the last bit of news about super librarians, a group goes graphic! Two Kansas University librarians have teamed with a student to create, Legends of the Library Ninjas: A Quest for Knowledge, a graphic guide book for rising college students.

We all know that technology is changing the publishing world. Several things are pushing the rapid shift, and some are trying to catch the boat before it lifts anchor and heads to deeper seas. Among those are US companies, and there is much speculation. But in Guadalajara, Bill McCoy, executive director of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), and Pablo Defendini of Safari Books Online, recently addressed piracy. The lesser discussed problem as many publishers leave their authors in water over their heads. “McCoy stressed the importance of collaboration between publishers and tech companies in order to bring books to readers via the greatest variety of devices, particularly as tablets become an everyday commodity, something which he predicts will happen quickly.” The full article…

And while we’re on the subject of tech companies, last week Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge and I exchanged comments concerning McGraw-Hill’s sale of their education branch. I saved this mess to mention today, as they “…will focus on content and analytics in the global capital and commodities market.” Yes sir, folks, step right up and see where this is going. I don’t often quote Wikipedia, but hey, here’s the perfect place to take some tangled titles and simplify as only they can. Commodity: “… Many products’ degree of commodification depends on the buyer’s mentality and means. For example, milk, eggs, and notebook paper are considered by many customers as completely undifferentiable and fungible; lowest price is the only deciding factor in the purchasing choice.” The complete explanation from Wiki here, and the article from Publishing Perspectives here.

From piracy to launches and you’ll sea see where we’re headed: Brazil’s Objetiva has introduced their digital imprint, Foglio, accepting short stories, tales, poems and essays up to a length of 15,000 words. While Amazon will focus its European eyes in Luxembourg, using English-language content, “…The move is ring[ing] warning bells for the traditional publishing firms that are already upset by the rise of e-books and by some authors putting out their own work through internet.” More on this… Also on the Amazon front, the company rumors to construct their third distribution center in California, less than 50 miles from another facility, although they have not officially announced the plan…yet. Right? Then how did I hear about it?

Shifting overseas, in China, the majority of the population reads digital content on their phones, more… and in Japan, GREE, by Zong, is the method to collect payment on that digital content, even if users don’t have a credit card or bank account, details… Yet in Russia, B & N is preparing to peddle Nook e-readers and tablets with help from Microsoft…the scoop.

Besides merger, what’s Simon and Schuster up to? Can you say self-publishing boys and girls? Under the imprint of Archway, S & S claim’s they are: Powered by Experts. Published by You. Not only have they sent an arm of self-pubbing out to test the waters, S&S will work with Author Solutions, offering “…a speakers’ bureau, video and book trailer production and distribution services and a ‘concierge service,’ allowing authors to work with a publishing guide…Some of its services are among the priciest for self-publishing authors, ranging as high as $25,000 f…” According to Shelf Awareness… Oh, did I mention, “…One unusual aspect of the deal: in July, Penguin Group parent company Pearson bought Authors Solutions and combined it with Penguin, which is merging with Random House. According to the New York TimesS & S and Author Solutions were already working on a deal before the Pearson purchase and ‘decided to go ahead anyway.’ Author Solutions divisions include AuthorHouse, AuthorHouse UK, iUniverse, Palibrio, Trafford Publishing and Xlibris.”?

Where’s your score card now? Not only do you need one for the mergers of the big six to a mere four, but for all the self-pubbing arms popping out in every direction!

More Top Twos-Days…

Sunday Funny: Excuses, Excuses!

The annual top work excuses list from is out for 2012. “Twenty-nine percent of employers have checked up on an employee to verify that the illness is legitimate, usually by requiring a doctor’s note or calling the employee later in the day.” Does your absence excuse measure up to the popular explanations?

My favorite: “Employee got sick from reading too much.” ties with “Employee forgot he had been hired for the job.”

See the whole list here…

Read more Sunday Funnies…

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Top Twos-day: k is for kiss and kids

stock photo:

Each Tuesday I’ll bring two items or people into focus. They may be books, authors, lists, whatever turned my head, landing on my radar.

Stay tuned as each TOP TWOS-DAY unfolds…

Kiss the Sky (Telemachus Press: POD)  by debut author and artist D. C. Gallin is the connection between 60s hallucinogenic and 90s environmentalist bundled by music spanning the generations. Gallin’s first-person narrative fiction will leave you wondering as one risky behavior tumbles naturally to the next. Read an excerpt…   Interview at Tribute Books…

How?: The Most Awesome Question and Answer Book About Nature, Animals, People, Places – and You! (Owlkids Books, May 2012)  is the sequel to Catherine Ripley’s 2010 children’s work Why?: The Best Ever Question and Answer Book about Nature, Science and the World around You. Ripley’s fast supply of knowledge earned her a place as editor at ChickaDEE Magazine which led to various other writing gigs and books. Check out Kirkus Reviews thoughts…


More Top Twos-days…

Top Twos-Day: BEA Buzz – Fabulous Fall Releases

Each Tuesday I’ll bring two items or people into focus. They may be books, authors, lists, whatever turned my head, landing on my radar.

Meet Stefan Bachmann, debut author of The Peculiar, due in September (Greenwillow Books, imprint of HarperCollins). Bachmann’s middle grade gothic-steampunk fantasy is tearing up stat lovers at BEA, comparing his work to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. Hear from Bachmann about his work, The Peculiar:


Also, watch for My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop, edited by Ronald Rice with illustrations by Leif Parsons releasing November (Black Dog & Leventhal, Workman) See the complete list of authors here (scroll down). ABA announced, “A portion of My Bookstore authors’ fees is being donated to a fund set up by the publisher to support bookseller scholarships to ABA’s Winter Institute, and a portion of the publisher’s revenue is being given to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the bookseller’s voice in the fight against censorship.” Read an excerpt…

More Top Twos-Days…


Sunday Funny: from this day forward

Tis the season for graduations: kindergarten, high school, and college are but a few of life’s precious memory makers. Most important is what people say at the ceremony!

A few quotes to toss that cap in the air – sampling:

When I was in high school, I got in trouble with my girlfriend’s Dad. He said, ‘I want my daughter back by 8:15.’ I said, ‘The middle of August? Cool!’” – Steven Wright

The BEST Graduation Speech Eveh! ‘nough said…


Snippets from famous commencement speakers – sampling:

“There are so many challenges facing this next generation, and as they said earlier, you are up for these challenges. And I agree, except that I don’t think you are. I don’t know if you’re tough enough to handle this. You are the most cuddled generation in history. I belong to the last generation that did not have to be in a car seat.” – Steven Colbert


More Sunday Funnies…

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