Elizabeth: Signal Boost For a Good Cause

I know we generally talk about writing here on the blog but today I want give a bit of a boost to a charity auction that is underway in support of the autism community (thanks to author Julia Quinn for the head’s up).  There are books involved, so it isn’t completely off topic.

What is it?

The Lift 4 Autism charity auction raises funds for non-profit organizations that serve the autism community.  Authors, publishers, agents and others have donated items (books, gift baskets, promotional services, chats, and more) and there are also items like t-shirts and mugs that can be purchased directly.  The books available to bid on include a Bridgerton Series Hardcover Set signed by Julia Quinn.

Here’s a little blurb straight from the site:

Now more than ever, we as a global community are uniting, even as we navigate through a global pandemic. The organizers of LIFT 4 Autism, authors Ginger Scott and Kennedy Ryan, along with KultureCity, this year’s charitable partner, wanted to respond to the real needs of autism families during what continues to be an incredibly challenging time. KultureCity will direct proceeds from the 2021 auction to autism families struggling during COVID-19.

The online auction features signed paperbacks, hardcovers, full series sets, out-of-print covers, foreign editions, personal one-on-one Skype calls with some of your favorites . . . and MORE, all donated by authors, publishers, bloggers, readers. Just people who wanted to be a part of something to help autism families.

Where can I see the items?

You can browse items up for bid NOW at charityauction.bid/LIFT4Autism2021.  The actual bidding begins on Monday, April 26th and runs through Friday, April 30.

Where do the funds go?

Each year, the LIFT team selects a national non-profit organization serving the autism community as their charitable partner. This year that partner is KultureCity, whose programs serve the autism community with compassion and generosity.  You can learn more about their mission and impact at kulturecity.org.

How else can I support this effort?

If you aren’t into bidding or just don’t see anything that tickles your fancy, you can still be involved by participating in the autism #stackforacause!.  Spell out LIFT with book spines (using the first letter of each title), and for every #LIFTStack, Ginger Scott and Kennedy Ryan will donate $1 each to the LIFT Scholarship Fund. That’s $2 per stack.

Happy Bidding (or stacking)!

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “National Taxes Aren’t Due Today After All Day” (if you’re reading this on April 16th) or, if you prefer something a little tastier, how about “National Eggs Benedict Day”.  I’m a big fan of Eggs Benedict.  It is my traditional Christmas morning breakfast treat, although I make it with Béarnaise sauce instead of hollandaise and, in a name leftover from childhood, call them “saucy eggs.”  Some of the local restaurants offer a wide variety of fancy eggs benedict styles on the menu, but I’m a traditionalist at heart.

Oh great, now I’m craving eggs.

Today is also “World Semicolon Day” which is not, as you might think, a day to celebrate an underappreciated punctuation mark. 

“World Semicolon Day is “a day to celebrate those who chose not to end their lives because their stories are not over yet.” It pays tribute to those who have thought about or attempted suicide, and it informs people about how common suicide is.”

For now, since it’s NOT my Friday off, it’s time focus on some Day Job tasks.  I’m hoping to clear out the work email inbox so I can go into the weekend with a clear conscience.  Fingers crossed on that.  Whether the email box is cleared out or not, I definitely plan to grab my favorite notebook and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try after diner.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Loretta Chase Event

Are you a Loretta Chase fan?  If so, you may want to check out an upcoming Virtual Q&A tomorrow (April 14th) at the Cary Memorial Library.  I’ve attended a few virtual events from this library in the past and they have been great fun.  It is always interesting to “see” authors that we generally only know through their work.

As Loretta said in a post on her website:

“One thing I’ve deeply missed during the year of self-quarantine is the opportunity to get out and talk to readers. That, however, has not stopped me from talking, usually in a small rectangular box on a screen. On the plus side, these virtual events have offered opportunities for us to get together from the comfort of our homes or favorite hangouts.”

Here are the details for the event:

When: Wednesday 14 April at 7PM

How: You can register via this link.

Or, if for any reason the link disobeys you or sulks or otherwise refuses to cooperate, you can click on this link, which will take you the the Cary Memorial Library Calendar, and follow these steps:

If you are interested in the event but can’t attend, don’t worry, it will be livestreamed via Facebook and recorded and uploaded to the library’s YouTube channel.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden urge to go read Lord of  Scoundrels.

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “National Dive Bar Day” or, if you prefer something a little more specific, how about “National Gin and Tonic Day”.  I’m not much of a drinker, but I’ve always like the sound of a G&T.  I remember a series of mysteries I read when I was much, much younger, where the characters always seemed to be sitting on the porch sipping G&T’s, which sounded both relaxing and refreshing. 

Now that I think about it, they probably should have been off solving mysteries, but who knows.

These days I’m more likely to be sipping a cold-brew coffee while working away on the computer, which sounds far less relaxing or refreshing.  Ah well, it’s apparently also “National Almond Cookie Day”, so maybe I’ll put down my coffee, step away from the computer, and whip up a batch.  That sounds like a delicious alternative.

For now, since it’s my Friday off, I’m going to be focusing on a bit of relaxation for at least part of the day.  There are still those pesky backyard sprinklers that need to be repaired, but I think I’ll need to build up to that much activity by reading a book (or two?).  Somewhere between the almond cookies and the backyard sprinklers I plan to grab my favorite notebook and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy Friday.  Congratulations if you made it through April 1st (April Fool’s Day) without being taken in.  I will admit to falling for a post from a local city.  To be fair, the council there has voted in some pretty strange regulations, so their April 1st post wasn’t outside of the realm of possibility.

Today, (if you’re reading this on the 2nd) is Good Friday for those who celebrate.  For those who don’t there are a variety of other things to celebrate, including “National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day” and “World Autism Awareness Day.”

“April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Did you know that CDC statistics revealed that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is 4.3 times more prevalent in boys than it is in girls? This is because girls “often go undiagnosed because they don’t fit autism stereotypes and they mask symptoms better than boys do,” according to the Child Mind Institute. There is no better way to celebrate this day than by becoming aware of the characteristics of people with this condition and how all of us can do better to increase our own understanding and promote kindness..”

Whatever you’re celebrating, “increasing understanding” and “promoting kindness” seem like good all-around choices.

I’m off work today and am quite likely to celebrate “Doing Nothing but Reading Day”, though who knows.  The beautiful weather may motivate me to leave the house and do something a bit more energetic.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Somewhere along the line I plan to grab my favorite notebook and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “Solitude Day” (if you’re reading this on the 26th).   Though frankly, after a year of the pandemic, I’m pretty sure many of us have had our fill of solitude.

It’s also “National Nougat Day”

This holiday offers an opportunity to become a nougat aficionado. Or perhaps try learning the nuances of nougat. No matter how you spend the day, be sure to get a sample or two. Whether it’s a big bite or small, enjoy some nougats. Be sure to share a piece, too! Use #NationalNougatDay to post on social media.

Since I’m not much of a nougat fan, I’ll be celebrating “Organize the Garage Day” on my Friday-day-off instead.  There is a whole stack of things in the garage waiting to go the local charity shop, as well as another stack waiting to go the recycling facility.  My plan is to get rid of everything that doesn’t belong in the garage so that I can make a little exercise area.  I had a spot in the living room, but it’s time for a change.

Of course I may just wind up spending the day reading.  Who can tell?  As long as I take a break from the day job, it will be a day well spent.

Somewhere along the line I plan to grab my favorite notebook and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: A New Leaf

We seem to be in a changing-seasons mood here on the blog. Michaeline welcomed the equinox on Saturday, Jilly got us dreaming about travelling on Sunday, and Jeanne shared her visual spring fever just yesterday.

For me, the appearance of spring means giving the house a deep-clean and the garden some sprucing up while waiting for my lilac bushes to bloom. In this part of the country they only bloom for a few weeks–generally sometime between mid-March and Easter–and the recent rainy/sunny/windy weather seems to have them a little confused. Fortunately, today I saw that there are little leaves budding away and signs that the flowers aren’t too far behind, so my personal start-of-spring is almost here.

I can’t wait.

Though obviously, I’ll have to.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking for a little distraction to keep me entertained. I have a pile of unread books that could fit the bill, but none of them seem to be calling to me right now. I did interrupt my comfort re-reading the other day to finally read Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, and enjoyed it, but I didn’t really feel like picking up anything else.

Fortunately, the internet came to the rescue. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day” (if you’re reading this on the 19th). 

“The miracle of the “Swallows” of Capistrano takes place each year at Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. Swallows migrate 6,000 miles from Goya, Argentina to San Juan Capistrano in large groups.  The town of San Juan Capistrano welcomes visitors from all parts of the world to witness the return of the swallows, a tradition that has been celebrated since the early 1930s.”

This holiday has always tickled me.  I picture the swallows with little calendars, checking off the days until it’s time to leave Argentina and fly north.   There may not be crowds celebrating this year’s arrival in San Juan Capistrano, but I hope the swallows arrive nonetheless.

Closer to home, I had plans to celebrate “National Relaxing with a Book Day,” since I have the day off work.  Instead, I’ll be taking the car into the shop for “Check Engine Light Day.”  Apparently the car isn’t happy that it has spent so much time just sitting in the driveway during the past 369 days of pandemic-stay-at-home.  On the bright side, the light came on when I was just taking a short trip to the grocery store and have a day off to deal with it, rather than when I was on the highway.  Still, not what I was planning to do.

Here’s hoping the problem is quickly resolved and I am able to follow through with the rest of my weekend plans.  After all, I have a pile of unread books awaiting my attention.

While I’m waiting for the car to be repaired I think I’ll grab my favorite notebook and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: All Shall Be Well

Quote from Julian of Norwich

Happy Wednesday to all.

I was just watching the news and, despite the roll-out of multiple vaccines and the decreasing infection/death rates, the pandemic is far from over.  That is certainly a disappointing as we pass the 1-year mark since the “shelter in place” first began.  Also disappointing are the pictures I’m seeing of Florida beaches full of crowds of mask-less people–that does not inspire confidence that “normal” is just around the corner.  Other news stories of the increased violence against Asian-Americans clearly show that our country is infected with more than just Covid.

To combat all of that, the quote above seems like a timely boost of positivity.  I’d very much like to believe in that force of love and that the arc of the universe bends towards justice.

In the meantime, the New York Times reported today that “Print book sales had their best year in a decade” in 2020. That makes sense;  what better time to escape into a book than when you’re sheltering at home during a pandemic or trying to block out political upheaval for just a while.  Physical books, eBooks, and audio-book purchases all saw an upsurge in 2020, which my home library and Kindle can confirm.

For now, I think I’ll turn off the news and go escape into a book where I know good will prevail and happily-ever-after exists.

Hoping all is well with you and yours.

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “National Working Mom’s Day” (if you’re reading this on the 12th). Wait – isn’t that everyday?  It’s also “National Girl Scout Day.”

“As part of Girl Scout Week, National Girl Scout Day on March 12th honors the history and legacy of Girl Scouting in America each year. The motto of the organization, which was originally named the Girl Guides of America, is Be Prepared and their slogan is Do a Good Turn Daily.”

All I remember from my (fairly brief) time in Girl Scouts was making chocolate chip cookies, learning to play Heart & Soul on a battered old piano, and a disastrous camping trip.

Here in California, it has been alternatingly rainy and sunny, with crazy winds thrown in for good measure.  The flowers and shrubs I put in the ground last week are thrilled by the rain, but it did make my evening walks a little chilly.  Having emerged unscathed from last week’s “Still Digging in the Yard but now with Dangerous Tools” day, I’ll be moving on to “Finally Refinishing those Kitchen Cupboards Day.”  I’m guessing that may be more of a month-long celebration, but at least Friday is a day off work for me, so I should be able to make a good start.

Perhaps I should just read a book instead.  

Before I start on the cabinets I think I’ll grab my favorite notebook and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading