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Monday, June 05, 2006

Rhode Island is Rainy

First, book news: For some reason, the 2nd edition of Net Crimes has problems. If you don't know about these, read my previous post about my trip to D.C. I began calling local bookstores to schedule a book signing. Well, Barnes & Noble and Borders are interested, but are having trouble getting the book. According to their distributors, the book came out in November 2005. Huh? I had to explain the book just came out and they could contact my publisher to verify. So, for the first few book signings, I have to bring copies of the book myself. To me that's unprofessional and makes it look like I self-published the book, which I did not. I am not a happy camper about this. My publisher is trying to fix it.

Now for my trip news: I told my mom she could come with me on my trip down to Smithfield, RI to speak at the Rhode Island Library Association annual conference. After I made the offer, I was wondering if I'd regret it. I love my mom, but she's my mom and she likes to speak her mind. She'll be 80 later this month and she says she's old enough that she doesn't care what other people think. Oh boy.

It rained the entire time.

So, I drove to Warner, NH to pick her up. That's a 2-hour drive from my house. We stopped for lunch in Salem, NH, which was nice. Then we headed to Smithfield. I had printed out directions from Yahoo and asked her to read them to me. She said we had to stay on Route 495 for 5 miles. That seemed weird. I had her hold up the directions and it read 51.3 miles.

So I told her she was a bad navigator. Bad mom. We get off at the exit we were supposed to take so that we would circumvent having to go by Worcester. She reads me the directions. We end up lost. She was reading .3 miles as three miles. Oy!

We finally found a nursery and it turned out we were only a mile away from 295, one exit away from our hotel. So it wasn't all bad. Total driving time: Over four hours.

The conference was held at Bryant University - a beautiful campus! I registered, then we headed to the hotel, which was less than a mile away. We drove by Parente's Restaurant, where we'd be eating later. Motorcycles out front, beer neon signs in the window. It was going to be an interesting night, LOL.

Checked into the Comfort Suites - good-sized room, unpacked, checked email, then changed and headed back to Bryant for a wine & cheese reception and bellydancing librarians. Yes, you read right.

Got there and the bellydancing lessons had already started. It was a hoot to see all these ladies up there learning to bellydance. At least this group of librarians appeared to be a lot more fun than the NELA conference I spoke at last year. Met Laura, who booked me and she asked if I'd brought books with me. I had one box of 20 that happened to come the day before. She was relieved. It turned out the local Barnes & Noble was in chaos - the woman who had been coordinating getting all the speakers books together for the conference up and quit without letting anyone else at the store know books needed to be ordered. So I was the only speaker with books available.

We went to Parente's and had a lovely dinner with some of the librarians. It was a lot of fun, good food - a very homey family restaurant. When I got home, tried Chris. The line was busy. We have call waiting, so I thought one of the phones was off the hook. I sent him an email.

The next morning I hit the treadmill in the exercise room, got some of the free continental breakfast (which was good), had coffee, then mom and I got showered and dressed and headed back to the university. Chris had finally called on his cell phone - lightning struck a house near us and knocked everything out, electricty, phone, cable.

I was going to surprise my mom for lunch. Jason Hawes, leader of a ghosthunting group called TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) was going to try to make it to my talk and lunch. He had gotten in touch with me the year before when some whacko was sending email threats to rape and kill his wife. If you go to the link, it doesn't mention Jason by name. I helped track the messages to the three public libraries they were coming from. The guy went to jail. So Jason said to let him know when I was in the area. Jason's group is highlighted in the Sci Fi channel's show Ghosthunters. He's the bald one.

Set up my laptop and got ready for my talk. The room was almost full and I got some great questions as usual and loads of compliments.

Here's a photo:



I use Jason's case as an example of the need for sign in/sign out procedures for libraries. He and one of the other ghosthunters, Donna, showed up halfway through my talk. My mom was thrilled. So was everyone else when I introduced him at the end. He was nice enough to talk to people while I signed books and answered questions.



I found my mom, Jason and Donna outside wandering around. My mom had brought her Polaroid camera. She insisted on photos. Jason and Donna were very nice and very patient. Here they are:



My hair looked awful because of the dampness from the rain and humidity. Blech.





Isn't my mom cute?



We had a great lunch at Parente's and talked about everything from ghosts to cyber crimes to giant squid, sharks and alligators. I asked Jason why they kept Brian on the show (if you haven't seen it yet, Brian is an idiot, IMHO). He said he likes to try to help people and had helped Brian too many times. Jason is a really nice guy. I just hope this doesn't all go to his head and I told him so! I'll have to kick his butt (ha ha).

One thing he mentioned was that he'd been signed by Simon & Schuster to write a book about ghosthunting. I'm happy for him, but at the same time resentful. I work my butt off to write good books. I've been writing for years, hoping for that one big break. I am a good writer (and no, I'm not saying that because I think I am - I really am a good writer). I have been trying so hard to get the attention of big publishers with my agent and no one will talk to me or my agent. Then someone comes along who is not a writer, but who happened to have the luck of getting a TV show and you know what? Yes, it pisses me off. I wouldn't be a normal human being if I wasn't resentful.

Oh well. Life goes on. But there is good news. I got an email from the folks at Video Professor. They want to do a cross promotio with Net Crimes & Misdemeanors. My publisher is talking with them today. Cross yor fingers for me! Maybe this will be the break I need.

P.S. Finally got the electricity and phone back. And cable/internet. Thank goodness.

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