{Photo: Daughter Carrie and grand-daughter Kiki.}

Fall is upon us, which means, chez nous, that the suitcases have been hauled out and long To Do and Packing lists placed on the kitchen counter. We’ve begun to prepare for the annual migration south—but this year the voyage is complicated (enriched!) by a trip to Europe immediately after Thanksgiving, a raucous and fun-filled meal for twenty-four of our nearest and dearest.

Some time ago I thought it might be nice to go to the Kingston WritersFest immediately before Thanksgiving and departure. A crazy if lovely idea—it is, after all, a great festival—but somehow I managed to catch a nasty cold. (Me: who never gets sick!)

And so I’ve decided to leave Kingston in the morning and nurse my cold at home—alas! I did attend memorable workshops by Charlotte Gill and the amazing Helen Humphreys, among others. I also finally met historical novelist Eva Stachniak (author of The Winter Palace); we’ve corresponded by e-mail and through Facebook for a very long time. Writing is a solitary vocation, and it’s wonderful to meet other writers.

A Book Report

I finished reading Canada by Richard Ford (thumbs up!), and then plunged frenetically into one-two-and-then-three books on book promotion. They are:

Make a Killing on Kindle by Michael Alvear—which I read for obvious reasons. I learned quite a bit from it, and recommend it to anyone who is publishing on Kindle.

What to do Before Your Book Launch, by M.J. Rose and Randy Susan Meyers. Excellent! I’ve been through this book-launching process four times, and I’m amazed how much I’ve forgotten. The time-table alone (what happens when) is worth the price of admission. I recommend this book for all published and to-be-published authors.

And then, if these two weren’t enough, I dove into the book promotion-wizz M.J. Rose (above) referred to as “her bible”: Publicize Your Book! by Jacqueline Deval.

I’m exhausted at the thought of all I should be doing. No wonder I came down with a cold!