The Guilty Party

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The New Cover is On Its Way!

Legend Press, the paperback publisher for Boomerang, has just notified me that my first batch of books with the new Laura Lakey designed cover is about to be shipped. That means if you have been itching for your very own autographed copy but weren't too sure about the old boring cover snuggling up on your bookshelf your last excuse has just vanished. Wander on over to Boomerang's Home on the Web and click on the Buy Now button for a secure PayPal transaction and I will speed your copy on its way just as soon as the shipment arrives from the printer.

Thanks!

Alan

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Little Getaway

When one works retail a weekend getaway often as not happens sometime other than the weekend proper. This past Thursday and Friday we spent up in Prescott, which is about four thousand feet and fifteen to twenty five degrees cooler than the Phoenix area this time of year. The weather plus the easy strolling downtown area, which actually has more of a Midwestern than Southwestern feel to it, along with some very nice out and about in nature possibilities within minutes of the place makes Prescott a terrific place to spend some quality time. Little Froggie, pictured above, is posing a the top of the steps of the County Courthouse, Prescott being the county seat of Yavapai County. 

Here is a rather wider view of the courthouse, this time minus Little Froggie. The courthouse sits in the center of town and has a nice little park surrounding it, complete with century old bandstand. It is a great place to enjoy the shade, have a sit, take a walk or...

...blow nice big bubbles, as this little girl was doing. You just don't see that sort of thing in downtown Mesa, especially during the summer. Any bubble blowing here is likely done in the backyard by the pool. Still fun, but not nearly as, well, civic minded. After all vicarious bubble blowing has its own benefits and charms.

There is a timeline etched into the walkway leading to the statue of a Rough Rider on this side of the courthouse that tells the history of this part of Arizona. Apparently the work was commissioned in 1984 and updates have not been made, although they left a fair amount of space. 

We spent some time checking out the shops that line the square. This is a look out of the window of one of those shops. Me and crows, we like shiny things. Lunch was at a place called Bill's Pizza. Shame on me I didn't get a photo of the place. Not a whole lot to look at, but excellent pizza, we all agreed.


Also excellent was the patio at The Prescott Pines Inn, which is where we stayed. Lots of shade, lots of pretty landscaping details and, thankfully, a bit of time was built into our agenda for simply sitting and reading.

I'm not a huge garden gnome fan, but I like this fellow.

Papa's Italian Restaurant, just down White Spar Road from the inn, was recommended to us. The place is just open from 4-8 PM most days and closed, if I recall correctly, on Sundays and Mondays, and we were told to make reservations, which turned out to be excellent advice. The place was packed when we got there, the food was quite good, although they do ladle on the sauces a bit much, my wife's portobello mushroom ravioli was swimming when it would have done quite nicely just wading or paddling its feet. But other than that an excellent choice.

Time to head to work, it being Saturday and all. Will finish this entry ASAP.

How about just a few more photos?



The rather modest entry to the Foxglove suite. Not the sunniest room in the establishment but not bad. We were informed that the futon intended for the third and fourth guest will be replaced by a pull out sofa with actual mattress. Good idea.


All in all a relaxing couple of days.





Friday, June 3, 2011

Reading Lists and Garden Update


One of the best things about having children is they can be a source of wonderful ideas. You know, the kind we all had when we were young and then promptly discarded when the business of being a grownup took over our lives. A few weeks ago our daughter told us she was compiling a Summer Reading List. It was an idea she had gotten from some of her friends (how fortunate we are that her friends are marvelous young persons all) and she was soliciting ideas from them, her older brother, who is a voracious reader as well as being a teacher, and even from her dear ol' Dad. It didn't take long for her to come up with a list of over twenty books. And she had a plan for financing this venture. She would trade in her manga books, of which she has (or rather, had) literally hundreds. A portion of her substantial collection had already been sold at bargain rates to some of her classmates to supplement her allowance. She still had enough to fill five good sized shopping bags.

For those of you not familiar with the literary form that is called manga, well, my take on it is that they are comic books disguised as conventional paperbacks and they are read back to front. I have always had some reservations about these books but now is not the time for me to go into all of that.

Yesterday we visited Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, bags of books in tow and reading list in hand. As the resident Book Appraiser went through the offering we browsed. Not everything on her list was found and a few had to be passed by in order to stay within budget, but she certainly got off to a good start with a nice assortment of literature. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Gregory Macguire's Confessions of a Wicked Stepsister, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, John Green's Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, Josh Grogan's Marley and Me, Darren Shan's Cirque Du Freak, A Living Nightmare, and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief are just some of the books she selected. Some, like the Bradbury and Gaimen and, of course the Shelley, I have read, many of them I plan on borrowing sometime in the future.

And, of course, I couldn't spend that much time in Changing Hands without making a selection or two of my own. I had heard about A.J. Jacobs' book The Know-It-All, One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World on NPR some time ago and the blurb on the front cover by Jon Stewart cinched it for me, and Rousseau's Dog, by David Edmonds and John Eidinow just caught my eye in the Philosophy section. At eight bucks for a pristine hardback I couldn't resist. So now I have three books waiting for me as soon as I finish David McCollough's latest, The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris, those two as well as Dick Van Dyke, My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business, which I received as a birthday gift (yes, Andy, I opened it early!) and which I am really looking forward to being an enormous fan of Mr. Van Dyke, bad Cockney accent in Mary Poppins notwithstanding.

But I don't have a Reading List. Not yet. Going to do something about that. And I'm certainly up for any recommendations.

Go Ye Forth and List Likewise

A Bit About Me

My photo
I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.com. As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.