Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Anniversary

The start of the new year for me is February 2 - my daughter’s birthday (one of three children that I miss terribly), and the anniversary of my father’s passing. We all lose people as we move through life, but I have lost so many. The decision to change gender has made me a pariah in my family and I have lost almost all contact with them. The only exception is my daughter, who attempts to keep some sort of relationship. This February 2 is the first anniversary of my father’s death, I suppose an especially hard one. More so because he was the only one left who truly accepted me and spent time with me virtually every day. He has been sorely missed this past year.

Yet, I am not depressed or sorry about my situation in life. As this anniversary approaches I give thanks for the wonderful life I have, for the fortunate position I am in, and for the gifts I have been granted. No need to list them all here, except one. Traci, my spouse, has helped me recover from my losses and is a daily encouragement to living a happy, fulfilling, and love-filled life. A life where I feel obligated to give back to my community. 

So in my retirement in my new adopted city, Saint Augustine, FL, which I now call home, I am integrating myself into the community, volunteering my services to the local Red Cross, and attempting to be a good citizen in as many ways as I can.

This is MY time to give thanks to God (or whatever higher power that may be out there) for these gifts, small though they may seem to some, they are everything to me. It is with sincere gratitude that I now say - Happy Anniversary. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Baseball Season: A Good Reason to Procrastinate?

Now that I’m retired I should be writing all the time. But I am finding so many reasons not to sit down at the keyboard and type out the next manuscript. Our move to Napa late last year; my father’s passing in February; our upcoming move from Napa to…maybe Florida’s Gulf Coast; playing with our two cats; visiting my sister. But the thing that is taking up most of my time is watching baseball. We will make two or three games a year at AT&T Park or the Coliseum, but we mostly watch on TV. And with summer comes barbequing. Our apartment has a large patio area and it is arranged so that we can see the TV perfectly. We placed a speaker outside and now we can watch baseball from the patio while enjoying cool beverages and firing up the BBQ. And that takes a lot of my time!

The point is that there is no good reason to procrastinate. I love crafting great stories and should be getting back to it. But the A’s play at 4:05pm, the Giants at 7:10pm, and it is a beautiful day. Oh dear, what’s a busy woman to do?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Senior Syphilis? Surprise, Retirees!

Video and article by Motley Fool, "4 Things That Will Surprise You About Retirement," by Dayana Yochim and Robert Brokamp, CFPApril 24, 2013, Copyright 2013, The Motley Fool. All rights reserved.

As a newly retired Baby Boomer I noticed an article with accompanying video at the Motley Fool site that talked about retirement surprises. Since I just turned 60 and retired, I was curious. I read the article and I was surprised! Here are the four items that Robert Brokamp, Certified Financial Planner with Motley Fool and formerly with Prudential Securities (according to his LinkedIn profile) has to say:

1) People get bored
2) There is tension between couples after retirement
3) Highest rate of STD growth is in the senior community
4) Retirees are carrying high debt in credit cards and home mortgages

I've been retired since the end of January 2013 and I have to say I've already experienced boredom at home and tension between my spouse and I. And I am not surprised by the high rate of debt being carried. Fortunately, we have planned for this day and are ready to buy a home for cash in a low cost of living area. We are looking at the Gulf Coast of Florida. We would not be able to live in the San Francisco Bay Area which has been our home for over 30 years without working for the rest of our lives.

The big surprise was the comment about senior syphilis. I had no idea that we Baby Boomers had this problem. Maybe I've been living under a rock. Not wanting to take for granted the expertise of a financial planner on STDs, I checked WebMD for senior syphilis. Here is a quote from the article: Sex and the Elderly: STD Risk Often Ignored:

"According the CDC [sic], close to 2,550 cases of syphilis were reported among adults between the ages of 45 and 65 in 2010 -- up from around 900 cases in 2000."

There is more to the article, but essentially, it appears to support the claim that STDs are a growing problem in the elderly population. They speculate that performance enhancing drugs may be a contributing factor--hmmm, you think?

I don't know if this constitutes an epidemic, but maybe our Hippie Boomer free love ways of the past are catching up with us. Well, I have to say that I'm glad I won't be out there looking for love in all the wrong places.  Maybe I should work harder on the tension thing between my spouse and I and make sure our retirement in our new affordable community is stress free, debt free, and STD free. As for boredom, I'll keep on writing and see how I do.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Back to Writing

It’s been six months since I wrote. Not only on this blog, but writing in general. That’s not good for a writer. I have plenty of excuses: retiring from my job; a move; my father’s passing; looking for yet another place to live. Typical stuff. But it’s time to get back to writing.

I want to start by thanking all the people who have been downloading Night Flight to their eReaders. I’ve reduced the price to $0.99 and that appears to be about right for the market. It is selling well, and the free specials are really moving. Thank you to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for featuring Night Flight as a short-term free special. Over 2000 copies were distributed.

A special thank you to those of you who left reader reviews on the sites where you got your copies. I find them very valuable. I read every one and appreciate those who take the time to leave a comment. I want to emphasize that all reviews are important. Even the readers who left critical reviews are important. It is helpful to me to see what a reader liked or didn’t like about the story, the writing style, or whatever.

Keep the reviews coming, and thank you again. I hope to be doing more blogging now that I am beginning to get settled, although there is another move in our near future. And I’m working on a video to help readers preview Night Flight

I've attached this video to showcase how talented I can be. This was made for a fundraiser we were doing when I worked for SF CARD, the nonprofit I was at in San Francisco. Talented, no? No!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

National Coming Out Day Smashwords Authors Promo

In commemoration of National Coming Out Day 2012, author Matthew W. Grant is sponsoring a site where he and other authors are offering 50% off the normal price of their eBooks. From now until October 19, 2012 you can purchase gay themed eBooks (fiction and nonfiction) and short stories using a discount code on the Smashwords site.

Visit Matthews site to see the books and discount codes. When you choose the books you want to purchase, you will be taken to the Smashwords website to checkout. You will need to use the individual codes that match each book in your cart in order to get the discounts. (Tip: Just leave this window open and reference it when you are ready to check out.)

I'd like to thank Matthew for sponsoring this site and bringing authors together to promote our work. I hope you take the opportunity to check out some of the books on sale.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Smashwords Summer eBook Sale

It's that time of year again. Each summer and winter, Smashwords, a publisher of eBooks, holds a sale. Authors the world over are encouraged to offer our books at a discount. I enjoy these sales and support them by offering my book, Night Flight, for free through this promotion.

You can download a copy of Night Flight at the Smashwords site. It is available in all eReader formats. At checkout enter coupon code SSWIN and you'll have your free copy.

You can get a synopsis of Night Flight on Smashwords, or on my webpage. Thank you for your past support. You'll find a lot of good deals through this summer sale. So get an eBook and get to the beach!

Offer ends July 31, 2012.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thank You, Books Inc. In Opera Plaza, San Francisco

Bookstores are facing hard times. But San Francisco is bookstore friendly, and many of them still buzz with people browsing the aisles. Books Inc. is one of those bookstores, and I want to give a shout out to Books Inc. in Opera Plaza. This bookstore is tucked away in a cozy place on Van Ness Ave. Like many bookstores, it is browser friendly with cozy corners and good lighting. It has an adjacent coffee shop, and the staff knows many of the patrons by name.

Books Inc. is also friendly to local indie-authors. The indie market is tough for bookstores trying to feature quality books. So I want to thank Jeffrey at Books Inc. for including me and putting my book, Night Flight, on his shelves.

If you’re looking for a place to spend a little quality time among friendly confines, check out Books Inc. in Opera Plaza. They’d love to see you and help you find a good read.