TusCon, here I come!

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: AZ, Tucson, TusCon, Uncategorized | Comments: 0

No, I haven’t misspelled the name of my home town.  I’m referring to the best little local SFF convention–TusCon–which takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2014.  That’s right, Halloween!  I don’t normally dress in costume for TusCon, but I may make an exception this year.  Look for Daft Kate in her medieval garb…or Elivira, Mistress of the Dark…or…

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Thank you, April!

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Uncategorized | Comments: 0

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my wonderful daughter and editor, April L’Orange, for cleaning up my website.  Honey, I’ve gone through the tutorial now, and I think I can update some content on my own.

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Broken faith, broken heart, and Allegiant Air

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Uncategorized | Comments: 0

My dad passed away last week.  It was not unexpected; he was 97 and had been in hospice for a couple of months.  I was prepared for his passing, and when it finally came, I made reservations to fly back to North Dakota where, not only would the Clan gather, but dozens of neighbors and friends would join us to celebrate a life richly lived by one of the kindest, most humble souls any of us has ever known.  On Friday morning my husband and I drove 120 miles to a regional airport to catch a flight on a low-cost carrier, one of the few airlines that serves cities in North Dakota.

Now, I have flown this carrier before and not been pleased.  Like most low-cost airlines, they treat you like cattle and tack on extra fees until the cost savings is minimal.  But it was a direct flight from Phoenix to Fargo, three hours, no chance of lost luggage.  We arrived at the airport an hour and a quarter before the scheduled departure, and my husband went to check our flight on the status board.

It said Canceled.

He checked his email–no message of cancellation.  He checked the Allegiant website–it still said On Time.  But as we waited in line to check in, the message came back, relayed from passenger to passenger:  yes, the flight was canceled.  Why?  No one knew.  The ground crew were contractors, and they had no information except that the flight would go out the following morning at 9:00 am.  My dad’s funeral was at 10:30.

We frantically drove to the major airport, Sky Harbor, and found a Frontier flight through Denver to Fargo.  As we booked it, an email finally arrived from Allegiant saying their flight was canceled.  Then the Frontier flight was delayed and  we learned there was no chance of making our connection.  If we went to Denver, they couldn’t get us to Fargo until Sunday or Monday.  We canceled off that flight (fully refunded), but it was too late to get our bag off.

No bag, no flight, no way to make the funeral.  When I recovered from my emotional meltdown, we drove home–120 miles–packed another bag, slept in our own bed, and drove back the following morning to take the rescheduled Allegiant flight.  I reached my brother’s house at 3:00 pm,  four hours after 150 people, including friends I had not seen in years, gathered to offer their condolences and support.  By the time I got there, all but family had gone home.

Later we learned Allegiant had no pilot for the Friday flight.  They have trouble keeping pilots; I guess they don’t treat them any better than they do their customers.

So here’s the lesson from my experience:  Never trust an airline.  Though I hated their poor service and money-gouging practices, I still trusted Allegiant to get me where I needed to be.  They failed me.  I will never trust an airline again.  I most certainly will never fly Allegiant, and  I’m not alone.  If you own Allegiant stock, you might want to think about that.

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“Mother Grimm” available in paperback

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Uncategorized | Comments: 0

Don’t be fooled if you go to amazon.com and see “Temporarily out of stock” for the paperback version of “Mother Grimm.” That just means it’s a “print-on-demand” edition, and they won’t print stock until they have an order. You will get your book promptly, rest assured.

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Egad!

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Uncategorized | Comments: 0

Two and a half months?  I haven’t posted in two and a half months?  Egad!  I’ve been a busy girl.  We signed up last minute for a cruise up the wine coast:  San Diego to Vancouver.  Then realized we had let our passports expire.  So we did a lot of rushing around and paid extra money to get them renewed in time to go.  Yes, children, you need a passport to go into Canada.  But it was well worth the effort and expense.  We had fabulous weather every day, not a drop of rain!  Okay, so we did have gale-force winds on one of our sea days and they wouldn’t let anyone on deck, but I’m proud to say I weathered it all without any motion sickness, and all I took was a couple of ginger root capsules.  As long as I could sit at a window and look out, I was just fine.

Now summer is hard upon us with temps over 100 degrees.  It’s Tucson, baby.  I’m ready to go cruising again.

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No, I haven’t died …

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Uncategorized | Comments: 0

I wish I had an excuse like Enrique does for not posting.  When he gets popped into one of Mike Harley’s training regimens, you know you aren’t going to get posts for a while.

Me, I’m plugging along.  Finished editing “The Aztec Eagle” for re-release this year; still no date for “The Crystal Desert.”  In a couple of weeks I’ll be headed to San Diego for a few days and plan to work on the next one, working title “Dawn of the Eagle.”

Anyone out there planning to attend EPICon next month?  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend. Think good thoughts for me; “The Crystal Desert” is up for an award.

Catherine

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Busy season

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Uncategorized | Comments: 0

It’s that time of year, when my schedule gets so full I have trouble getting my here to post.  It doesn’t help that there isn’t much news.  Unless, of course, you think my birthday is news.  It’s coming up on Tuesday.  I was hoping to go to the Gaslight Theater for whatever silly show they are doing, but it turns out they close one show tomorrow and start the new show on Friday, so there IS no show on my birthday.  Bummer.

Now the holidays are approaching, and we have several band gigs in addition to our usual choral commitments.  We–my husband and I–opted out of singing Messiah this year, it would have been too much.  And of course, this is the year Dr. Chamberlain is conducting the Tucson Symphony, and we love singing for the man who rehearses the chorus, but time and energy have their limits.  And those limits seem to shrink with every birthday.

Yeah, I know, sob, sob.  Good thing Enrique isn’t around to hear me.  He’s getting some special training, courtesy of his favorite drill instructor, Mike Harley.  But I have it on good authority that he is going to finish up the training course to fly a gateship.  This literally opens up worlds …

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Enrique had a better week …

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Enrique | Comments: 0

Enrique here again.  My author had kind-of a rough week at work, and while she hasn’t resorted to the blue beer yet, she didn’t feel like posting anything.  I had a better week, so I thought I’d post instead.

Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know about me:  I like to dance.  Not ballet or anything like that, just, you know–dance.  With girls.  When I was a kid–twelve, thirteen–I used to hang around one of the tourist cantinas and serve drinks for tips.  That’s where I learned, if you can dance with the American ladies–older ladies especially–you can make really good tips.  And it’s fun!  Waving your arms around, stomping your feet–  I used to make up my own dances and give them funny names and teach them to the gringas.  They loved it, and I made a pocketful of cash.  It was better than doing card tricks, because someone was always sure I was cheating at cards.  I got thrown out of a few places because they thought I was scamming the customers.  And technically, I guess I was, because my psionic gift is like 95% accurate, so I always knew what card was in their hand.  Well, almost always.  I literally lost my shift one time–a really stupid bet.  So there I was, this skinny kid walking home with no shirt, and the breeze off the ocean…

Aw, man!  Now I’m getting nostalgic for the ocean.  When you grow up with that smell every day…  You’ll never guess where I am now.  Right now.  I’m in North Dakota.

It’s a long story.  And my author would kill me if I told you.  She hasn’t published that one yet.

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Autumn in Tucson

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: AZ, Enrique, EPIC Award | Comments: 0

Here it is, mid-October, and fall has finally come to Tucson.  From 5:30-8:30 every morning.  After that, summer is back.

But I know the holiday season is just around the corner, because we are working on holiday songs with our band. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (yeah, that’s a stretch) and White Christmas.  (Hey, it could happen.  In fact, it did happen, once.  Nineteen eighty-something.)

Enrique doesn’t like cold weather.  The cold of a jet at 30,000 feet, fine; but the bitter cold of the canyons in the Crystal Desert … and yet that’s where he went once, to rescue a downed pilot.

Still waiting to hear about a contract on that book.  Oh, yeah, and the EPIC Award it has been nominated for.  As my friend Anne used to say, “Patience is a virtue.”  I always thought she was the one who struggled to be patient; turns out it’s me.

Enrique will be back soon.  Unless he keeps making those remarks about my blue beer.

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Enrique speaks again

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Enrique, EPIC Award | Comments: 0

Enrique here. I think I’d better take the driver’s seat tonight.  My author is sitting in her easy chair with her feet up, sipping a blueberry ale .  She works a full-time job, you know, and does the writing thing on the side.  Right now she’s waiting to hear if another publisher will pick up “The Crystal Desert,” since it’s been nominate for an EPIC Award. Let me repeat that:  Nominated for an EPIC Award! (She may be modest, but I’m not.) She also has family she tries to take care of, and friend she thinks she should see, and hobbies.  Did you know this woman took up the bass guitar a year ago, and now she plays with a band?  She told you that?  But did she tell you she wears a pork-pie hat with leopard spots?

Aha!

Hey, this is kind of fun.  She can’t complain about me giving away anything from the book if I’m talking about *her*, can she?  Let’s see … She’s five-foot-two.  Really, she comes up to my chin.  Okay, maybe my mustache.  Pretty bossy for such a short thing.  And she’s into this stretching stuff with the rubber bands.  Resistance training, she calls it.  Does it nearly every day.

Except when she’s sitting in her easy chair drinking blueberry ale.  Have you seen the proof on that stuff?

Uh-oh, I think I hear the refrigerator door.  She had kind-of a hectic weekend, I’d better make sure she’s not going for a second ale.

Hasta!

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