Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Party with CATHY MARLEY!

We are partying with our feet back on the ground, the sweet Mother Earth! Celebrating the life sustaining songs of the human spirit at its finest. Yes! Celebrate, party! Everyone is welcome to join in, everyone.

Fiona is the winner of Nick's book from yesterday. Congratulations! (email me, please) AND! As a BONUS Prize, Nick is giving away a second book to ... wait for it ... Peggy! Congratulations, girl, you worked for that one!

Cathy Marley is a Phoenix writer I met at a reception the night before a writers' conference here in the Valley of the Sun. I can't remember how many years it's been, but lots. One of the first two things I noticed about Cathy is her Doris Day smile and voice. We connected at the informal gathering and talked about the craft and the industry, and the friendship stuck.

Peeking Over The Edge: A View From Life's Middle is journey of self acceptance as roles and expectations change at midlife. Cathy's stories read like an afternoon talk, like reading her diary while curled up on a sunlit chaise with iced tea, like listening to one's own heart.

Cathy writes in the Preface: "I needed to know the world would be a better place for my having lived and that when I am gone I will be remembered as more than just a woman who put in her time." Thus began the meeting of the woman inside and the sagging rear in the mirror.

I cannot say better than another wonderful Phoenix woman, Betts McCalla, said: "I am enjoying your book so much I am trying to figure out how to put it in the freezer like Snickers bars and just take a little nibble at a time."

View Cathy's video:

Party Game: Chose two questions listed below to be eligible to win Cathy's Peeking Over The Edge: Views From Life's Middle. Look here for the answers: http://cathymarley.com/peekingovertheedge.html

1) What is the significance of Friday the 13th in Cathy’s story “The White Suit?”
2) Who wrote & performed the original music for Cathy’s Peeking Over the Edge video?
3) Who shot the cover photo for Peeking Over the Edge?

And last, since Peeking Over the Edge was originally written for them, two of my all-time favorite questions for my fellow baby boomers:

1)What famous actress took off her clothes when she was in the original cast of the musical Hair?
2) What well-known weather man created Ronald McDonald and played him in the first three television ads featuring the character?

This is the place to party without worrying about typos in the comments (who cares?) -- this is after all, only the FIRST DRAFT.

**If you need help navigating blogger, here are some basic instructions: http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/08/just-few-basics.html
The comment section is below this line. Click on the word "comments." That's where you can leave a note. eMail me if you have trouble with this...NadineLaman(at)aol.com


  1. Good morning Nadine. Cathy's book looks fab! I'll cruise over to her website.


  2. SHe has a fabulous smile!

  3. Yes, doesn't she smile like Doris Day...and the hat is the perfect addition to the image.

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  5. It is 2 AM in the western USA. Just thought I'd mention that Cathy will be here when normal people get up.

  6. Morning from a terribly rainy France. But we really need it, particularly the Farmers. and the children won't be sorry, back to school today. Though I suppose that's double depressing. Will if I can sort out the answers to the questions.

  7. Good morning, Glyn! Our monsoon rains are over for the night. It is 102 F here now. Actually might be cooler in the morning than now. Odd, eh?

  8. I'm off to bed for a while. leave messages. Cathy will be here in a couple of hours and I'll be back.

  9. Good morning! Congratulations Fiona and of course, GO ME! We won Nick's book :-)

    Nadine, I blogged you today - hope you don't mind...I also tweeted you.

    I look forward to "meeting" Cathy - so while I'm at work, I'll be reading the link you posted.

    Have a super fabulous party day!


  10. Morning, all, and congrats again to Peggy and Fiona, who won a copy of my novella yesterday.

    I'm trying to catch up on some work today after all the fun and excitement of yesterday, but I'll be checking back in again soon.

  11. Hello Peggy, Hi Nick, hello everyone! Where's Cathy? :-))

    Still asleep? LOL

    I'm at work - but had to cruise by and say hi again.

    Keep on blogging all!


  12. good morning. Wow! I slept like a rock with that rain in the background.

    Yes, twitter me all you like. I'll never know since I don't twitter. Blogging is another thing, I'll come over and read in a few minutes. Thanks, you are very sweet. I'll add my congratulations to Nick's.

  13. A four week long blog party with a different author each day is quite a project and I might not have done it if I had thought of it in those terms, but when I thought of the writers and 'our' story, it became quite easy.

    I am so pleased with this, with you, your participation of welcoming my friends so warmly into your reading lives and hearts.

    What a wonderful world, indeed. It is people like you who make it so special.

    Now for a cup of coffee... party on!

  14. Coffee not ready yet. I need help. Peggie, email, since you can't post, your blog address.

  15. Yawwwwwn. Well, I finally managed to stumble my way out of bed. I'm all showered and ready for fun! Only thing missing is my coffee, but I hear Norm in the kitchen getting the coffee pot started. I just couldn't resist checking in with everyone first. Hope no one minds my shower head.

    Nadine, I've said it before, but it bears repeating here ... you really are a sweetheart. What nice things you say about me! I'll get a check in the mail to you today ... LOL.

    My guess is that our resident night owl, Nadine is still abed on this marvelous Phoenix morning. She mentioned last night's stupendous storm - lightning, wind, thunder and even RAIN - but what she may not know yet (are you still asleep Nadine?) is that the skies this morning still host clouds left over from the storm. Beautiful! And rare for us. Glyn, you say it's a rainy day in France. That's so out of the ordinary for us that most people go a little crazy when it rains. I guess that's not all bad.

    Uh oh. I smell coffee. I'm going to go grab my first cup. Back soon. Have a super morning everyone!

  16. Oh yes, before coffee, I do want to congratulate Peggy & Fiona on winning Nick's book. Happy reading!

  17. You guys might be stuck with me for a while. We had quite a storm last night and it might have distupted Cathy's ability to get online. As strange as that sounds, things aren't buried very deep here - no frost line to get beneith. So anyway...transitions.

  18. Susan Gabriel and I were talking yesterday about transitions in life - isn't that where we get our material for writing, life?

    Glyn posted on his blog about transitions on Monday.

    Seems a big topic with people my age.

  19. Hey, chicas!

    Cathy, nice to meet you! I'll be taking a look at yout page in a minute, just to scroll through all the comments. I had to take a nap with Little Hobbit after I got back from college, all-night studing paid off-I got a B and did the best score!!!!

    Congrats to girls on winning Nick's book! Don't you get lost in the outer space!

  20. Oops! Guess I should refresh the page before I start typing. Shower and dressed? Not exactly how I arrive at the party every morning...good thing this isn't on web cameras!

    Yes, rain is like the first winter storm, I warn my kids, people don't remember how to drive on damp surfaces. I remember years ago, when I lived here before for university that the monsoons were more robust. My senior year was when we had the great flood and there were only two roads across the river from north to south, and that one rail line they added commuter cars to, where you here then?

  21. Ivy, congratulations on your exam! I had every confidence in you. Isn't it nice to sleep with a child and listen to their breathing before dosing off too?

  22. I think of transition experiences, the major ones, as very personal - at least the inner musings of them. Yet, Cathy, you decided to publish your thoughts on midlife transitions. That was a gutsy thing to do. I keep a diary then burn it when it is full. No way are those getting published!

  23. A diary is for your grandchildren.
    It also has ideas for stories.
    Don't burn them. If only my grand parents had kept full proper diaries.
    Well done Ivana in your exams!

  24. Nadine, without the shower I am brain dead for the first half of the day. I'm kinda like Frankenstein's monster. It takes that jolt to bring me alive. Believe me, most days, I look pretty scruffy sitting here in front of the computer. Guess that's the advantage of working from home. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

    I hate to boogie, but I've got to run out for a little while for a meeting I really need to attend. It's actually part of a major transition I am going through right now, but mor on that later. Leaving right now probably makes me a lousy hostess to you all, but I have a feeling the party will be in full swing anyway when I return.

    Anyone who has read the stuff I write will see that I am intrigued by the whole idea of transitions. I would really love to get input from all of you on how your own transitions have affected the direction your life has taken. Don't you think it's change that can add so much juice to the way we live? I actually find change difficult but I also know that without it, we die. Hmmm ... juicy change or dry death ... I know which I would choose.

  25. Glyn, I am a bit too unconstrained in my diary, my grandchildren can have my books. No way are those diaries seeing the light of day. No way.

  26. See you later, Cathy. No worries, these meetings get scheduled without the world aware of such a thing as a blog party.

    Transitions, actually, for a person who likes to have a comfy home spot, I am more likely to take a job that sends me to a place I've never been before, usually alone. It works out just fine. I am who I am, where ever I go. Just need a map to find my way home for a while.

  27. I am unconstrained also. I have to hide my diaries when certain members of the family visit. But as Bob Dylan said 'they can talk about me plenty when I'm gone...' Song Brownsville Girl, co written with Sam Shepherd.

  28. Hide? Goodness, mine are locked up, but I'm not saying where... I have one that is personal and one from my writer brain about being a writer, which I probably won't burn.

  29. Here is Ivy, in the beginning of a major transition, post secondary education. What a wonderful time this is for you.

  30. I have a priest friend, very retired now, who had one of those 5 yr diaries. The space is very small for each year on the same page. He used to write the weather, number of people in Mass that day, and benchmark things like the number of students enrolled for the year at the school, the fire at the rectory. But he never remarked on these events. It was pure history. Of course, I have an opinion on everything, so that wouldn't do at all for me.

  31. Posted Diana Ross' Remember Me. It is in how we live that we 'write' how we will be remembered, I think.

  32. I was at Cathy's page, reading the excerpt when-can you imagine-the power went out!For few seconds, though, but enough to kick me out. So, in the meanwhile, I grabbed a cup of coffee, sat back in the chair and started reading again.

    And by the end of that one page, I had gossebumps all over.

    Cathy, you're a wonderful writer! I had tears in my eyes when you said how difficult it was at first to show people your writing, but then you couldn't stop!
    And the anchors that pull us down, the suit allegory-wow. It left me speechless. I really think transitions are needed in our lives to make us feel alive, and if you follow your heart, changes and transitions will never be for the worst!
    As Nadine said, I'm going through numerous transitions now, but not once did I regret any decission. I feel more alive than I have in years, largely thanks to the writing!

    So, I'm off answer-hunting :)

  33. I think the transitions are all the sweeter and more memorable when they are shared. Thank you for sharing the milestone of your exam.

  34. Found the correct blog for Peggy: http://serendipitysmiles.com/2009/09/01/blog-party-at-nadines/

  35. To frame transitions into a narrower perspective - writing. We talk about such things as character developing, pacing, all the tools of the craft. We talk about rewrites, editing, querying literary agents, and book launch parities. What I rarely hear us talk about is the point when we, as a writer, transition into writing boldly. When we find our voice, not the first voice, but the one that has been waiting to be exposed to the world.

  36. Glad to see you using a video to promote, Cathy. (-: And your quiz is a fun idea, Sweet Nadine.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Tweeting at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo

  37. email from hubby's friend's partner: I’m enjoying your blog and the authors you have on your site. I will order some more books………..

  38. I'm going to fix lunch. Lucky you, I'll be back.

  39. Hi everyone. I'm back from yet another thought-provoking meeting and amazed at the activity that took place while I was gone. See? You all carried on just fine without me. Of course, I had no doubt that you would.

    You've all posted so many profound thoughts that I don't even know where to start. I guess I just need to pick something and begin ...

    First of all, Ivana, thank you for your beautiful response to The White Suit. You are inspiring me to write more. I have to say the experience I wrote about in that story was one of the most liberating of my life since it helped me finally realize that life is nothing if we just idle along waiting for something important to happen. Sometimes, it takes a swift kick in the butt to get our attention. At least it did for me.

    I do know that discovering and pursuing a passion - whether it's writing, dancing, or even accounting or engineering (my writer's heart cringes at either one even though much of my life was spent in engineering and I even married one!) - makes all the difference in how happy we are.

    Carolyn, I'm glad you had a chance to view my video. Frankly, that was a stretch. From writing my first poem since grade school to picking just the right photos from a vast store of shots I have made over the years and then setting them to my grandson's music, every step was something new and I would not have even tried it if Nadine hadn't encouraged me to no end.

    OK, this is getting to be a very long post. I think I'll break it up a bit and talk about finding our voice in a minute.

    Thank you all for welcoming me into your delightful community. I am having a ball now that I can finally spend a little time with you.

  40. Morning Cathy. A storm? Rain? In Phoenix? Wow! :-)

    We had two month's rain in one and a half hours in August... that's a British summer for you.

    Transition - I guess its about change too. The only constant is change.

    Ivana great about the exam, well done you!

    Nadine, good morning. I wonder if the rain keps you awake? You are a night owl anyway.

    Well, I don't see many entries to Cathy's competition yet! Come on folks - go visit Cathy's lovely blog and do a little ferreting.

    Is that ferretest? Should I say do a little meerkating? or rodenting? Oh oh, dangerous ground, I'd better be careful here. What with differences in language I've probably said something highly offensive (to someone, somewhere).

    I'm tired - and fed up. My computer died - I'm borrowing one (I have about ten minutes time leased to me by my family!).

    Did you notice that I ramble? Or, as it's the season, maybe I bramble... which reminds me I should put up the Rose and Briar on my myspace site again sometime.

    Goodnight all. England signing off (well, 'er wot lives in the East Angular bit of it any way).


  41. Nadine, your comment about the difference between our first voice and finding our authentic voice really struck home and started me thinking about the many voices I have used and still use.

    In my engineering days, I wrote test reports pretty well, but always struggled with them. My creative side wanted to make the writing interesting, but there is just so much you can do when you are reporting test results.

    Then I moved on to writing for my MBA classes. Thank God that was a lot more creative since each class was different. I suspect my brain was on the verge of drying up before I opened that door. The problem is that writing for class is different from writing from your heart.

    The same could be said about my next venture into writing as a service to small businesses. Every job is interesting and different, but my words have to be tailored to each client, not necessarily what I need to say. Ghostwriting and freelancing are much the same. Both are on assignment and need discipline to put myself into my client's mind.

    I suppose I really had no choice; eventually I had to find a way to write my own words. My poor beaten-back muse was simply clamoring for release. That is the true voice that came out in my book. Every other type of writing I had done before required control. When I started writing my own words, the control was unnecessary. What I experienced was true freedom.

    It's amazing to me how easy it is to write once you discover and release your heart's voice. Those words just flow like they have always been there waiting for the opening. All the other types of writing, for me anyway, are mental and tiring in that they demand effort. When you find your authentic voice, the words are effortless and exhilirating.

    Oh boy, there I go again. Some subjects just get me going. Guess you hit on one this time, Nadine. Thanks for reminding me of what really matters when we write the way we were meant to write.

  42. Goodnight Carrie, sweet dreams. Best on the comp issue.

  43. Yes, Carrie, we really did have rain! Of course, your two month's worth in an hour and a half is probably roughly equivalent to two year's worth for us. Thanks for checking in! Sleep tight. Hope you are able to resuscitate your computer soon!

  44. Yes, Cathy, I knew that would get you going. But there is something to be said for living one's authentic life (a bit of Thomas Merton there?)

  45. Carrie visited me a year ago in Jan 08. It didn't rain here or in California, but we did make snow angels on the way to the Grand Canyon.

    I know you've been on holiday, Cathy, you can catch up with Carrie's writing at http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/08/party-with-carolyn-carrie-sheppard.html

  46. Cathy, do you have another ms in progress?

  47. What? No answers so far?
    Here are my shots:
    1.Cathy lost her job
    2.The Edge of Reason, written and produced by Jason Marley & James McFarland-soooo beautiful!! Do you girls have talented kids or what!
    3.cover photo taken by Cathy Marley. Where was the photo shot? It looks like what Romantics would call sublime-beautiful and terrifying at the same time!

    Girls, I have to go, my computer is going crazy! 72 IE windows opened...I have a ghost in my computer!

    Love ya all! Group hug!

  48. Actually, Nadine, I have two in progress. In recent months, I have allowed events to distract me from writing on either one and I have really missed the creative outlet they present. I owe you and everyone who has come to the party today a huge thank you because for the first time in ages, I feel the creative juices beginning to flow.

    The first of the two projects is similar to Peeking Over the Edge in that it is a collection of essays reflecting on life. Its focus, however, is on all the ways we take risks and the rewards that can come from embracing risk with every breath we take. Its working title is Writing Naked at 4 a.m.

    The second is a little darker - OK, a lot darker - than anything I have written before. With a working title of A Motherless Child, it is a memoir of the years following my mother's death when I was 12. Needless to say, that one is much more difficult to write than my essays, but like everything else I write, it will still give my readers insight into what makes me tick. I'd like to beleive it will also help others who have lost a parent at a young age find some peace in the face of a loss that can affect every choice we make as an adult.

  49. Goodness but I have GOOSE BUMPS.

    Cathy, I've been reading your website! Of course Friday the 13th would be a fabulous day in your life - you were released from corporate bondage. A place of servitude I'm still trying to escape, have made several attempts, but gosh darn it, I HATE being the breadwinner with a job I can't stand.

    So I straddle the fence. I work by day at a meaningless job that pays me more than enough money and in the nooks and crannies, I write. I blog. I create.

    Circled in my pocket calendar is November 26, 2009 - not only is it my birthday and Thanksgiving, but it's the day I've targeted to land my book deal.

    I want to lay myself off, quite corporate forever. And just earn an honest living writing.

    (two other answers: Video created and presented by Cathy Marley
    Music, The Edge of Reason, Written and Produced by Jason Marley & James McFarland) You know, I do believe I will post your YouTube video on my blog tomorrow...It's wonderful!

    I'm pretty sure Willard Scott did not take off his clothes in Hair, but was Ronald McDonald...

    And since Diane Keaton did not take off her clothes either, I'm really not sure who did since everyone was pretty much naked in Hair...

    (In the movie version, I really did like Treat Williams...does that count?)

    And the baby boomer answers:

  50. Finally someone has put the answer to the video question out there so I can brag on my incredible grandson at last! Thank you, Ivana, for braving your ghost to post your answers.

    Yes, Jason is my very talented grandson and he really did all the work on the piece. Like so many of us, he has huge dreams and is still finding his way to realizing them. The Edge of Reason is his very first copyright. FYI, Jason has overcome a pretty big obstacle to that copyright. At 20 he was almost killed when he was hit by a truck as he changed the tire on his own vehicle. The good news is that he only lost a lost a leg, not his life! I have every confidence that one of these days he will be a known musical talent. Beleive it or not, his preferred musical genre is heavy metal. And yet he can write a haunting, new-agey piece like he did for me. That is a talent I respect!

  51. Peggy, you go girl! My heart goes out to anyone brave enough to keep working in any job that smothers the spirit. Persevere and you will triumph in the end. I will visualize this Thanksgiving as a day that will mark the beginning of freedom for you.

    As far as Willard & Diane are concerned, maybe they took their clothes off together. No, I don't think that's right. Willard Scott naked? Oooh, too much visual imagery there! But since everyone in Hair eventually went naked, I'm pretty sure Diane did too.

    And thank you for posting my video. I really am pretty proud of that accomplishment. I do hope your readers enjoy it.

  52. Oops, my apologies everyone. I just realized how many typos I missed in my posts today. Guess that happens when I don't edit what I write! Sorry.

  53. Cathy, the whole point of this being First Draft blog is it doesn't have to be perfect at this point, simply inspired.

    I'm glad you feel like writing again. I hadn't heard from you in a while and felt I should ask you to the party. Thanks for saying yes.

  54. I just spend an hour with a real person at amazon, working to remove the KB from their site that is not for sale so I can put my books on there. She was soooooooooooo nice. Extra points for that corp today.

  55. Cathy, perhaps this IS the time to get back to your writing projects.

  56. I should say a thank you to my web designer, Joyce at DesignByJoyce.com for sending me a page of contact information for Amazon so I could find someone real on the other end of the phone. She is the bestest!

  57. Oh yes, Nadine, I do believe that is true. Don't know what everyone else believes, but I am convinced that the Universe opens doors for us when it is time to do what we need to do most. I've been writing, just not on either of my projects. Today has been an inspiration, that is for sure. I can already feel the words bubbling up on an essay about this whole experience. Saying yes to you was a risk, but one my instincts said I needed. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to connect with such incredible people. You are all the best!

  58. Solved my problems with the computer, luckily, no Holly Water required, just a good antivirus.

    Cathy, I'm sorry to hear about Jason's accident...but so glad to hear he didn't allow it to get him down! Is there a place online where his music can be heard? I'm pretty much heavy-metallic myself :)

    Peggy, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Wish you all the luck to get the best possible deal you can!

    Nadine, isn't Kathryn going through transitions too? Everyone seems to be leaving, even Monica...

  59. Yes, Kathryn does get bumped around a bit, but it will all come together for her in Storm Surge, BTW your copy was mailed last week.

    Cathy, everyone who said yes to this blog party took a leap of faith. No one had done this before and my vision of it couldn't be explained until experienced. During and after their day, everyone of the writers has been most kind in their compliments or is it complements, can't remember and not going to look - it is the first draft!

  60. Ivana, I have been encouraging Jason to start a website for ages. No luck yet, but I will pass your request along to him. Maybe that will be the impetus he needs.

    Glad to hear your computer was not terminally ill, just came down with a small case of gremlins.

  61. Well, anyway, I appreciate everyone's faith in me, many did not see a preview of what I was going to write and took it on trust that I would follow my heart with my words - as I did with Ivana for my day.

    We are blessed to have the internet so we can meet from around the world. Perhaps, in person one day.

  62. Cathy, send him here. MySpaceMusic, US residents can sell downloads from it.


  63. I was just going to suggest MySpace. It's amazing what social networking can do, it will surely help him get the music out there.

  64. Ivy, I agree, for music MySpaceMusic is far better than a webiste at this point. There ya go, Cathy.

  65. Thank you for SS! I should finish HT tonight, so the review will probably be posted tomorrow. Then I'l start Susan's book, can't wait for it!

  66. I love this place, I love this party. I'm happy to have "met" so many truly wonderful and gracious writers. I'm also happy that I've increased the size of my library ;-)

    Ivana & Cathy- thank you for your encouragement!

    And speaking of transitions...I went through four big ones in less than two years. Starting in June 2002, my oldest daughter graduated high school, my first husband (of 19 years) walked out, I lost my job (and did the happy dance as I was saying goodbye to everyone) and was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Talk about a life dope slap ;-) Got my attention..that's for sure!


  67. Wow! You will love Susan's book. I loved her story and the characters...very realistic.

  68. Oh yes, life can get your attention quite soundly, or is it someone bigger?

  69. Carrie just emailed me her new song! I love the internet!

  70. Peggy, you can say the library thing twice :)

    My big transition is still in full swing, mostly concerning the divorce recently, but if I didn't decide to do it, I'd never learn so much about myself-who I am and who I want to be! I found my way without guidelines and speed restrictions imposed by others. So many things I yearned for were there already. I just needed to open my eyes and see them. And take notice of all the widely open doors waiting to go through and chances to be seized. If others don't have dreams, it doesn't mean by far they have the right to smother yours!
    Hm...transition or--growing up?

  71. Peggy thank you for loving the party. We have had a wonderful time, let's don't drift apart -none of us. We might have to have a writer's chat day every once in a while. Maybe? Or another party...lots of requests for that so far.

  72. Ivy - life post divorce is both transition and growing up :-) And the key is to keep growing...keep learning...keep loving.


  73. Thank you Nadine! How did the rest of your kid's trip go? No more problems?

    Cathy-your picture where you are peeking behind the tree is soooo cute! And the red hat is such a spark of joy. Matches your wonderful smile!

    Peggy- you are a wonderful person! You girls inspire me more than you know!

    I'm going to sleep now, first proper sleep in days!

    Lots of love,

  74. Goodnight, Ivy, sleep well. You have everything you'll need inside of you and in those closest to you (includ me as a friend you can count on).

  75. Peggy and Cathy...guess Europe is going to sleep, nearly MN GMT.

    Anne Alexander, who won my book last Friday, just sent her newsletter. It really fits today, so I'm going to put up the link. (She can kill me later.) http://www.authentic-alternatives.com/OB6.html I looked for the link to sign up for her newsletter and couldn't find it, so here is her main site. http://www.authentic-alternatives.com/index.htm

    Anne's newsletter is inspiring. I'm seriously considering hiring some coaching as my business goes through a tranformation next year. I'd rather avoid the mistakes than to learn from them, know what I mean?

  76. I'm off to the post office (if I hurry) and to meet one of my cousins at the coffee shop. I will be back!

  77. Thank you everyone for the MySpaceMusic suggestions. I will definitely forward them on to Jason. That makes you all a part of his journey.

    Peggy, look at all you have gone through. And you know what? You are still standing! Congratulations, woman, you ARE a survivor! FYI, I am just starting Susan’s book. It came when I had just started a new sci-fi novel with high hopes of being well entertained. I have been slogging for days trying to finish it but have finally concluded it is dreck! For the first time in ages, I have decided to quit reading without finishing. I would much rather read something well written like Susan’s book than waste time on junk writing.

    I’m glad everyone seems to like the red hat photo. The photographer told me to bring hats for their playful effect. We had a ball doing the shoot, including changing clothes in the parking lot! Good thing I had the hat because it was ungodly hot that day and without the hat, my hair would have been realllllllly bad!

    Looks like with the Europeans off to bed things might be calming down a bit for the day. How do you all last so long? You have the endurance of Energizer Bunnies! I’m going to take a break and catch up on a couple of emails and then watch the news to see if anything big has happened today. Sure hope they are making progress on the huge fire in Los Angeles.

    Hugs everyone. Sweet dreams to those of you who are off to bed. I’ll check in again in a bit.

  78. I love all the hat pictures, you look great!

    I am the Energizer Bunny. How scarry is that?

    Ck your email before you go to bed, Cathy...few housekeeping items for today.

    AND anyone that I was supposed to send a book to, well they have all been sent.

  79. Like Ivana my computer went on the blink last night. So from a nice morning in France hello and sorry I missed the action last night.

  80. Hello Glyn, I wondered about you. No comp problems here but a million download updates for IE. Jeepers! I could very easily rant on that, but this is a party, so I won't.

    Three more days to party...

  81. Nighty night, everyone. Sleep as though you have angels cradling your pillow. I have had a ball getting to know you all today. Thank you for an awesome day! I loved every minute of it. "See" you tomorrow.

  82. Sleep well, dream well Cathy


  83. I tried a few famous names:

    Winston Churchill:

    'I'll crunch this now'

    William Clinton

    'An ill clown: I'm it!'

    OK - can you guess who this might be? They aren't famous... yet!

    'Mean nasal.'

    Too hard? Here's his brother

    'Almost an am.'

    Still don't know? How about their dad?!

    'Ahem! Carnally.'

    I'll stop now before I get in BIG trouble. Oh, my husband is

    'Incurably low stamina.'