Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If Amazon says so, I won't argue!

When I hear the word "classic" being used to describe literature, my mind immediately thinks in terms of longevity and staying power; simply passing the unmerciful test of time. My brain conjurs up authors like Hemingway, Shakespeare, Steinbeck, and all of the other greats we had to read (or should have read) in school; books like Lord of the Flies, The Grapes of Wrath, and A Christmas Carol, which are enjoyed again and again with each new generation. So you can imagine how shocked I was when my Paper Bag Christmas popped up in the top 25 downloads (e-books) in the "Classic Literature" category on Amazon.com, with higher customer ratings than The Bard!
Whatever. I'm flattered, but I'm also guessing that someone accidentally fat-fingered my book's category in a lonely database somewhere. Still, it's fun to see it listed among the greats, no matter how it got there!!
[For posterity-sake, the following were a few of the other authors/books in the top 25: The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Jane Austen's complete works, Lord of The Flies (William Golding), The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway), A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens), War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy), Little Women (Louisa May Alcott).]

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh, The Vanity

Fine, call me conceited. It's probably true, because today I "Googled" myself, just to see where my name would pop up. Interestingly, I found it in some unlikely places, so I thought I'd share. If anyone can confirm the languages of the websites shown above (click to enlarge), I'd love to know! I'm guessing one is Italian and another is Japanese, but I don't have a good guess on the third.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BOOK GIVEAWAY!! The Paper Bag Christmas Contest

Hi Folks! I've heard from a lot of people that they want to be able to give copies of The Paper Bag Christmas to family and friends for Christmas. So in the spirit of giving, I'm happy to announce that I am personally giving away 5 signed copies each to 2 lucky winners, so you can have enough books to give as special gifts on Christmas morning. For details click here. Good Luck!!

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

La vida en Mexico

Okay, so this is going to be a bit of a "running" post: I plan to keep adding to it while I'm down here in Mexico, just to document things that I don't want to forget. I know if I don't write it down I'll have forgotten it by the time I'm back on American soil. So here goes....

11/3/08 - 7:03 AM: Ran into Amy Roloff, from the TLC show "Little People Big World" in the line to get hot chocolate at the airport. I think she got a coffee, black. Seemed nice. Wore a fancy leather jacket.

11/3/08 - 8:45 AM: In Flight now en route to Phoenix. They want to charge me $1.00 for an in-flight water? R U Kidding Me??

11/3/08 - 11:31 AM: Sat down in the only seat I could find near an outlet for my laptop. I start talking to the guy next to me and he is the PRODUCER for the TLC show "Little People Big World"! It was a weird deja-vu moment. He thought it was funny that'd seen Amy Roloff in PDX. It just goes to show that Walt Disney was right: it's a small world after all (no pun intended for the little people).

11/3/08 - 3:15 PM: Flying on a turbo prop plane, about 20 seats total. A bit bumpy. The prop is whirring right outside my window. If it happens to break off mid-flight and come crashing into the plane, I'm in big trouble.

11/3/08 - 4:45 PM: Landed. Tried to get through customs. Uh oh...I brought 2 laptops (1 personal, 1 for work) and the limit is one! The Federalis took me into a back room and confiscated my work laptop. No, I'm not kidding. I got pictures of them taking it, just in case I don't get it back. I couldn't make this up even if I wanted to. So now I'm down here on business without my business computer. Ugh...

11/4/08 - 7:17 AM: It's election day. I just finished a 3 mile run. Now I'm watching TV. The choices are either CNN's election coverage or The Three Amigos in Spanish. Yes, I chose Los Tres Amigos. ;-)

11/4/08 - 7:45 PM: The restaurant we went to for dinner waited until we'd spent nearly $2000 Pesos to inform us that their credit card machine was "suddenly broken, senor." All of our wallets were empty, so the gentleman I was with offered to trade his brand new cowboy boots for the meal. No deal.

11/4/08 - 8:40 PM: Watched John McCain admit defeat. Watched the other guy accept the nomination. Watched news anchors gloat. Turned off my TV.

11/4/08 - 9:07 PM: Was able to chat online with my wife, and suddenly my day seemed a little brighter. My brief, typed interludes with her are the highlight of this trip. I hate being away from her and the kids! LOVE YOU, BEC!!

11/5/08 - 6:16 AM: Ate cow tongue for breakfast.

11/5/08 - 5:58 PM: I'm sitting at the Hotel's restaurant, connected to their free WiFi. This is my first meal alone and I'm bored to death. I'm so bored, in fact, that I started listening to the restaurant's background music. They've got an XM radio station playing cheesy American music from the 80's. Last song played? Footloose. Before that? Wind Beneath My Wings. Before that? You Don't Buy Me Flowers (Anymore). Now Playing: Time In A Bottle. The wait-staff is singing along and loving it. Wow. Am I in a time warp? Who invented XM Radio anyway? Did they have to export the technology to Mexico?

11/5/08 - 6:42 PM: "Flan". Need I say more? The texture and caramel silkiness is so exhilarating that I can almost block out the sound of Rod Stewart singing in the background.

11/5/08 - 7:01 PM: I'm on my 3rd Diet Coke ("on the rocks") and the 1st verse of I will Be Right Here Waiting For You.

11/6/08 - 6:39 AM:
Another brush with reality TV "fame" this morning. The captain and 2 crew of the boat called Time Bandit on the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" are staying at the same hotel as me. There aren't many of us here this week, so I'd seen them around before, but this morning someone told me who they are. They are like heroes in this little fishing town!

11/6/08 - 6:57 AM: Boarded a beautiful boat and went out for a "cruise" in the Sea of Cortez. My wife didn't want me to go fishing, so if she asks, that's not what I was doing. I was just enjoying the wildlife and the beauty of the endless saltwater. I saw dolphins, a marlin playing in the surf, a hammerhead shark, and lots of pelicans. Sure, we were dragging fishing lures behind the boat the whole time, but since we didn't catch anything, I don't think that qualifies as "fishing". We baited lines, we trolled, we studied the poles for any sign of a bite, but we did not reel anything in. We did lots of things related to fishing...but we did NOT fish. :-)

11/6/08 - 1:15 PM: I'm back at the cafe enjoying lunch. Well, mostly enjoying. It would be better if they'd turn that dang XM Radio off. "You have no right, to ask me how I feel...you have no right, to speak to me so..." SING ALONG! "...But for now we'll go on living, separate lives..."

11/6/08 - 5:49 PM:
Landed on American soil in Phoenix. God Bless America...there is no cheesy music in the background. Next stop: HOME!!

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