Checking In to Check Out

 

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Costa Brava, Spain. Wish I were still there!

While I was in Barcelona last summer, I made a concerted effort to stay off-line and away from social media.

 

I feel myself being tugged that direction again, so I’m stopping in today to let you know you may not hear from me for a few weeks. I have friends who have done this sort of thing as well, and I cannot recommend it highly enough: sometimes the best thing you can do for your emotional health and personal well-being is to get away from the internet’s dizzying virtual reality and dive back into the organic, gritty, and all-around-beautiful place we call real life.

Of course, I do have a few commitments that will keep me coming back. My Name Before the Masses Tour with Goddess Fish Promotions is ongoing. This week, I’m over at Sharing Links and Wisdom, where I talk about what makes a good villain. As part of that discussion, you’ll meet the three antagonists of The Silver Web: the wizard Tzeremond, Prince Mechnes of the Syrnte, and Princess Taesara of Roenfyn.

Next week, if you just can’t do without me, stop by Long and Short Reviews on October 18 and check out my lively discussion on how to handle negative criticism. You may be surprised by some of my advice!

Last but not least, I’ll have a guest interview at Christine Young Romance Writer on October 25. Maybe by then, I’ll be back here as well – but no guarantees!

As with all my stops with Goddess Fish Promotions, each post provides you a chance to win a $15 Amazon/B&N gift certificate.

Take care and I look forward to seeing you on the other side of my break!

 

The Never Ending Storm

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Nate makes its debut in Costa Rica.

Blog writing has been a challenge this season. All the things I usually write about seem trivial in the face of recent world events.

Those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria are facing a long and difficult recovery. I’d like to urge everyone to donate to relief efforts, if you haven’t already. Every little bit counts, and there are many excellent organizations to choose from when deciding where to invest your contribution.

Also, if you have recommendations for volunteer opportunities, I invite you to share them here in the comments. For now, I’ve registered with Puerto Rico VOAD in hopes of joining reconstruction efforts sometime in the spring. That may sound a long ways away, but the damage is extensive, and recovery efforts will extend over months and years. In other words, if you can’t volunteer right now, consider planning to volunteer six or twelve months from now. It’s guaranteed your help will still be needed.

On top of all this, tropical storm Nate is gathering steam over the Gulf of Mexico and will hit the southern U.S. coast as a full-fledged hurricane in the coming days. Nate has already ravaged my beloved Costa Rica with devastating floods and landslides, killing at least 15 people. It breaks my heart to see the pictures and stories coming out of this beautiful country, which was my happy home for so many years and is still home to many of my good friends and colleagues.

And then there’s Las Vegas. I have a lot to say about that, but no real desire to tackle it now. Unfortunately, our morbid love affair with guns and violence will not end anytime soon, so I’m confident I’ll have another chance to broach this topic later.

If all of this has you down too, consider going for some lighter reading: I have an author interview over on Jennifer Macaire’s blog. This is the second stop on my Name Before the Masses tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. As always, a visit to the site can earn you a chance to win a $15 Amazon/B&N gift certificate. Nothing like book money to lift one’s mood!

Speaking of lifting one’s mood, today is apparently international hug day. As a result, I’ve received a lot of hugs from all over, and given out a few myself. Hugging might very well be the most important thing we can do for each other this week (and beyond), so here’s one for you to have and share:

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Wishing you clear skies and brighter horizons.