In explanation of my birthday wishes

Hi there,

Long time no talk, and here we are coming up on my big 40th birthday milestone. I thought about having a big birthday bash, where I’d invite everyone I know and love and get to see each of you for a few seconds before seeing someone else I just had to say hi to. But that wouldn’t give me the in-depth conversation I really want. I need to see you for more than a few minutes. You see, the thing I value most these days is time – your time, my time, using time in the best way possible.

So, I’ve set aside some times for coffees/lunches, and if you want to help me celebrate my birthday, you can specify the name of the place/location you want to meet. Here’s how it works. You go to my Doodle, you decide on the date/time that works for you, and you enter the name of the restaurant or coffee shop and the crossroads for that date/time. Then you meet me there! Easy! But, there’s one more thing…

I want it to be a surprise, so make sure you enter the name of the place, NOT your name. Also, I’ll post all my updates about the coffee/lunch on Facebook and Twitter. As long as you follow me on one of those, you’ll know that I saw your entry and am planning to go there that day. I can also add updates if I’m running late, which if you know me, NEVER happens.

Also, I’m as picky as I ever was. So here’s a list of places I’ll meet you – I like to stay as close to downtown as possible (with a few exceptions) :).

Coffee shops:

  • La Grande Orange
  • Lola
  • Lux
  • Public Market (also doubles as lunch)
  • Tea & Toast at Desoto Market
  • Royal Coffee Bar at Biltmore Fashion in the Union


  • Azteca Bakery on 7th Ave.
  • America’s Taco Shop on 7th St. or 16th St., you decide
  • Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe
  • Daily Dose on Highland
  • Fez
  • Flower Child on Central
  • Forno on 3rd Ave. and Roosevelt
  • NYPD on 7th Ave. and McDowell
  • Public Market
  • Snooze at Town and Country
  • Switch

That’s enough to get us started. I’ll add more times/options if needed.

Lastly, presents/gifts/things. Please don’t get me any! I have gotten rid of dozens of boxes of dust collectors, clothes, shoes, toys, collectibles, gadgets, gizmos, doohickeys over the last two years. All I want for my birthday is to spend time with my friends and family. I don’t want gifts! Please, no gifts. If this goes against your upbringing, peonies are my favorite flowers, I do like potted plants/flowers, I still like Starbucks for tea, and I still read. But remember, I don’t want gifts. Unless you decide to buy me a cute new Kate Spade. I’d accept that :)

If you’ve read to this point, you’ve done your due diligence, and here’s your reward:

Questions? Ask in the comments. I’ll make edits to this post if needed.

I’m very excited and looking forward to seeing anyone who wants to take the time out to see me–even if I haven’t seen you in 10 years, especially if I haven’t seen you in 10 years! This will be the best birthday of my life. Thank you for being a participant!


A good excuse for not writing

So, it’s been a while, and it may seem like I might have given up, but here’s the scoop. I was making steady progress with my rough draft when, well, things happened. But before I get to that…

My current status:

Currently editing page: 71

Current novel length: 200 pages and 61,577 words

At this rate, I’ll never finish, especially since I haven’t edited/written in almost two months and since I’m adding more pages than I’m really editing (already 25 pages more than I started with?). Crazy. It’ll still be a first draft when I’m done.

So what happened to all that drive?

Evening sickness, which is apparently more common than morning sickness. That’s right, we’re expecting baby #2. She/he comes in late November!

The good news is the evening sickness has finally subsided for the most part, but it was rough going for a couple of months. The worst was getting sick in a Starbucks bathroom one afternoon. One moment I felt fine, the next I wasn’t.

In other news, I’ve gotten a bit of reading in. Although I haven’t found any chick lit I liked nearly as much as Bridget Jones’ Diary, I’ve found a few decent reads that made me chuckle. I guess the best and brightest of chick lit didn’t start and end with Helen Fielding; it just seems that way sometimes. I’m at 24 books for the year and there were quite a few really good ones from the 2012 VNSA book spree (and only two Georgette Heyer in the mix!). I’d be happy if I got through another 12 books this year. I guess that’s my new and more realistic goal.

Blogger’s block – Nothing to report

I know it’s been quiet here, and I wish I had something of value to offer today.

I don’t.

I have seven posts in various drafts and am unable to finish any of them. I’ve edited the same 10 pages of my novel for the fourth time.

I’m tempted to post a photo of something that doesn’t mean anything, but after reading through 100 or so of my RSS feeds and seeing 50 or so variations on writing tools and implements (quill, notebook, computer, pen, pencil – and not even a blackwing 602 or moleskine in the bunch. How disappointing.), I feel reinforced in my convictions of not adding inane photos to posts.

Instead, I wasted your time with a meaningless blog entry. My apologies!

Useful iPad/iPhone Book Tracking App – ReadMore

I didn’t know I was in the market for a book tracking app until a friend told me about ReadMore ($1.99 through iTunes).

I used to use Excel to track the books I read. I’d track books by title, author, who referred it, and my comments. I liked keeping track of my reads, but it was inconvenient. I’ve tracked reads every which way, old fashioned (pen and paper), a Facebook app, web-based apps (but I don’t remember which ones and haven’t gotten around to trying GoodReads – mostly because I apparently created an account and resetting my password never seems to work, so I can’t log in), etc. Excel wasn’t perfect, but it worked for me.

I bought ReadMore in December and have used it faithfully. What I like most about it is I just scan the ISBN with my phone, and the app pulls the book info from that – no data entry. I can also search for a book manually (yes, data entry, but until my iPhone learns to read my mind, I’m stuck), like when I hear about a book I want to get, I just search for it and add it to my stack until I get the book and read it.

The other thing I like about ReadMore is logging my reading sessions. ReadMore lets me track the time I spend reading, and it calculates how many pages I’ve read, how many pages are left, and how many days (at the current rate of reading) until I finish the book and log it as complete. If you like statistics, you’ll love this.

ReadMore also allows exporting, so I will eventually try to export my reading history to Excel. I’m eager to try this, but I’m waiting to get a few more books under my belt.

In summary, ReadMore keeps me honest with my book reading.

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I’m always looking for more apps that might be useful, and recommendations go far with me. So, let me know if you’re using a great app and why you recommend it.