Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts


Scholastic Summer Challenge - Keep Everyone Reading!

Scholastic Summer Challenge

From our good friends at Scholastic...Thank you Nadia!!


The Scholastic Summer Challenge Invites Kids to Keep Reading this Summer by Logging Reading Minutes to Win Virtual Rewards 

New York, NY–May 1, 2012– While athletes prepare for the 2012 Summer Olympics, kids will compete in their own challenge – the Scholastic Summer Challenge - a free, interactive reading program dedicated to helping kids keep their reading skills sharp throughout the summer by reading every day. Kids everywhere will Read for the World Record by logging the minutes they spend reading this summer and attempting to beat the current world record of 64,213,141 minutes set during summer 2011. The 20 schools whose students log the most minutes will be recognized in the 2013 Scholastic Book of World Records. The Scholastic Summer Challenge kicks-off today at and runs through August 31, 2012.

“Just like the world’s greatest athletes, children need to keep their skills sharp and reading is like any other skill - it needs to be practiced,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. “Without this practice, children find themselves falling down the “Summer Slide,” and that is not the fun slide at the park, but rather the loss of critical learning and reading skills caused by not reading books over the summer.” Francie continued, “The proven way to get kids reading is to put them in charge of their own reading – let them choose the books they want to read, when they want to read, and how they want to read – whether in print or digitally. It is the win-win summer reading solution.”

SUMMER READING FOR KIDS: The Summer Challenge motivates kids with weekly challenges, fun sweepstakes, virtual rewards, book chats and friendly competition. Starting today, kids can log their reading minutes, track their reading stats, and their school’s rank, collect virtual rewards in their ‘prize center’ and enter sweepstakes for the chance to win free books. For the third year in a row, WORDGIRL™ , from the Emmy Award winning television series airing on PBS KIDS GO!, is serving as the national “Ambassador of Summer Reading” to help encourage kids to practice reading in order to have a better vocabulary.

To reach even more young readers this summer, the Scholastic Summer Challenge is teaming up with the American Camp Association’s® Explore 30 initiative that encourages campers to read 30 minutes every day. Campers nationwide will be logging their reading minutes to help break the world record.

SUMMER READING FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS: The Summer Challenge website is also the go-to summer resource for parents and teachers. Through the site, teachers can sign up their class, track their students’ reading progress and access free helpful tools including printable reading logs and reading certificates. Plus, parents can sign up to receive email alerts on their child’s reading achievements, access summer book lists compiled by Scholastic experts, and discover ways to use the Summer Challenge at home with the Family Participation Guide created in collaboration with nonprofit partner Reach Out and Read, an organization that prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

For the second year, Scholastic is teaming up with iVillage and PBS KIDS to promote the importance of summer reading to families nationwide through Summer Reading Parties hosted by 80 bloggers across the country. Bloggers will receive Summer Reading Kits including books, activities, bookmarks and more to celebrate summer reading in their communities, on and through their blogs.

SUMMER READING AMBASSADORS Joining Scholastic to support summer reading will be dozens of the nation’s Governors’ spouses who will be hosting summer reading events at schools in their home states. The names of all of the 2012 Summer Reading Ambassadors will be announced soon.

For more information about the Scholastic Summer Challenge, please visit: 

About Scholastic Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company’s Internet Site,

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Beloved Marleigh


This morning at 9:10, Seth and I handed our beloved Marleigh over to the One who created her. We said our final good-byes to her and her to us, and released her into the hands of pure Love. We had 12 of the most amazing, fun-filled, joyful years with her. Marleigh, though just a canine companion to anyone that didn't know her well, was one of the most trustworthy, faithful, forgiving, intelligent, protective best friends anyone could ever hope or pray for. Her unconditional love and understanding never ceased, even until the very end. She gave us everything she had and we tried to give everything back to her, though I believe she was the more giving one and we got the better end of the bargain.

She never asked for anything more than to let her be who God created her to be:
- Like all pets, she only wanted to be loved and cared for and on the occasional times when we let her water bowl run dry, she always forgave us instantly.

- She only asked to have her own place in our family and was happy to be a part of our "pack" and do whatever we were doing - she just wanted to be where we were.

- Unlike most kids, Marleigh loved putting her toys away and into her toy box at night. If she thought I'd fall for it, I'm sure she would've taken them out several times a day just to put them back again (I'm sure the treats helped with this one).

- To help me out with my exercise program, she readily volunteered to take me on walks every day and even helped me cross the street by taking her leash in her mouth and walking me across, then she'd drop it the moment we were on the other side. I loved the look on drivers' faces as they watched this.

- She was a beloved big sister to Abby, though it didn't start out that way. When we adopted Abby, Marleigh thought we were crazy and had somehow betrayed her. To show her great disapproval, she would retreat to the garage, but I'd go get her and make her spend "quality" time with all of us. Oh, she couldn't stand that new "small, brown thing with tall, skinny legs and a head too big for her body" that we'd brought home. If she could speak human she would've said "Take it back, we don't need it! Take it back!" But, after a few weeks Marleigh and Abby became close friends and sisters, and we enjoyed seeing them tumble and wrestle together 2-3 times a day. It got to the point that wherever Marleigh went, Abby went. Marleigh taught Abby almost everything she knew - how to get out the dog doors, how to retrieve a ball, and eventually Abby even got what "patch" meant, though it took all three of us to teach her. She even kept Abby in check on walks by letting us leash them together. Abby will also miss her very much.

- Marleigh longed to have as many jobs as we could think of for her. One of her favorite jobs was fetching the paper for us every morning. Rain, snow or shine, she trotted to the end of the drive-way, picked up the paper and placed it on the coffee table or ottoman (whichever we told her) - and for the small price of a treat, she would've been happy to get every neighbors paper for them, but somehow they didn't appreciate her slobber like we did. Every Halloween Marleigh helped answer the door and neighbors would recognize her (not us) and say "Oh, that's the dog that gets the paper for you every morning...where do I get one like that?" You don't, she was one-of-a-kind.

- She was patiently persistent. When she wanted to play and I was busy at my computer, she'd bring one toy and try to get me to play. I'd tell her "later Marleigh", but she'd just go get another toy thinking the first one must not have been good enough or the right one. Before I knew it I had every toy from the toy box at my feet. I could hear her thinking "surely one of these is the right one." Of course I'd cave and we'd go play ball for awhile - often at her favorite park - oh, how she loved the park. She was so focused on the ball and retrieving it for me - her job - that there could be 50 dogs in the park and she wouldn't even say "hi" to them. "Later, I'll talk to you later. I'm working now and I want to get it right." Her focus remained on me (or, frankly, whoever would throw the ball) and her job - fetching and retrieving the ball.

- The one thing we were never able to do for her was play ball enough. We always got tired first. One of her favorite moments in life was when mom and dad would come to visit. When Marleigh saw dad it was all over. The excitement was overwhelming and as far as Marleigh was concerned, the rest of the family became chopped liver - I think dad was just fresh meat. Dad wasn't tired of this ball game yet like we were and he was fresh meat. She loved it when he'd play ball and she egged him on the entire time he was at our house. Her unrelenting persistence usually paid off for her. Thank you dad for those special moments and memories.

- Marleigh never forgot anyone. Even in her last days, if I mentioned Cassie, Barney, Bridget, Paddy or Maggie, her ears perked up. While she was healthy, if I mentioned the "Denver group" at all, she'd rush to the front door and sit and wait for them to come. I learned quickly that I couldn't say these names unless Cassie was going to arrive in the next few minutes. Marleigh would sit for hours waiting to see them appear. I'd have to take her on a walk, play ball or something to get her mind off it. She didn't do it as much with the names of "mom" or "dad" because Seth and I were "mom" and "dad" to her. But, if Seth accidentally said "Mickey" or "Charlie," that was different, there she'd go to sit at the front door - the welcoming committee. She even got used to Grace's name and every time we talked about Grace (which is often), her ears perked up, her tail would wag and she'd go to the front door waiting to see if her play mate was coming over. When Grace or Cassie would come for an overnight visit, when they left, Marleigh and Abby would always go to the guest room for several mornings afterwards to see where they were. Even after Cassie's last visit, as hard as it was to walk, Marleigh would go into that room and look for her.

Finally, I cannot forget Marleigh's smile. She's the only dog I've ever had that smiled. She'd smile at anyone who approached her...she was convinced they were there just to see her. In her last days, she was unable to smile, but I could see a slight smile in her eyes - she was happy to see us when we walked in the door. I'll always miss her smile.

Although our hearts are broken at the loss of our beloved girl, the joy she gave us over the years far outweighs the pain we feel now. I wanted to write this mostly to help heal my heart and to get those wonderful memories of her written down. These memories are only a few. More will come over the next days and weeks and I'll write them to myself and my Jesus whom I love more than life itself. I don't know what I'd do without Jesus in my life - especially during times of sorrow. I'm so thankful that He knows the grief of losing a beloved pet, because He knows and shares in all of our joys and sorrows. Thank You, God, for the gift you gave us with Marleigh...she is and will always be greatly loved and missed.

I'm one of those crazy people that thinks because of Who God is and because of His great love and mercy, we'll get to see our beloved pets again one day. I imagine Marleigh romping and playing with Cooper, Barney and Bridget. She's out of pain and discomfort, in her right mind and a happy girl. I love you and miss you my dear, sweet Marleigh-girl.

From Seth and I, thank you for all your prayers, support and love during this time. To mom and dad, and Cym and Dale: Thank you again for your enduring patience with us over Thanksgiving...that was Marleigh's most difficult day. We know each of you can understand the sadness we are experiencing right now, but the Lord reminded me of this verse this morning "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning". Ps. 30:5. I'm looking forward to the morning...

We love you all so very much.
Robin Lowell (Cym's Sister-in-Law)


Always Baby

As writers, we seek to convey the reality of emotion. As readers, we relate the emotion in stories to our actual experience. The young daughter of one of my beloved law partners died suddenly a few days ago. Her obituary filled my heart with the love she brought to her family. I have no life experience to comprehend the reality of this loss, which is so very real. Please read her story and then include Always Baby, and her family, in your prayers.

Picture 6

Rebecca Lauren Woodruff

We called you "Always Baby." When you told mommy you were getting big, she said "you'll always be my baby." And you loved your mommy so much that you named yourself Always Baby just to make her happy. You had a hundred loving nicknames like "Little Girl", "Fickle Pickle", "Rebecca Cheeks", "Moon Monkey", but Always Baby said it all.

You were an inseparable part of Mommy; an extension of her soul and an answer to her prayers. You filled her with love and light and laughter. When you departed, an emptiness was left too great to be filled with anything but God's love. I know you will dispatch the angels to watch over her – you always took care of her and always will.

We all fought for your attention and you had us each wrapped around one little itty-bitty finger.

You commanded Daddy's attention on your terms, in your time. When I worked at home, you treed me like a cat, climbing in my lap and insisting we play games or make letters together. You ran outside to meet me when I came home, saying: "hold you, Daddy, hold you." You gave me daily shopping lists, constant reminders and sweet little girl kisses when once in awhile I would get it right - I never had to wait for my performance assessment. I'd give the world to have given in to you a few more times and the universe for one more super tight hug with your pretty little head buried deep in my neck.

You loved your sibbies so much and they loved you in ways that cannot possibly be expressed in words. Your lyrical relationships were each a verse in a round – a different meter and key, yet somehow in perfect harmony. The works of the bards and the poets pale in reflection.

We cannot possibly understand why God took you from us. We only know that the light that you brought into our lives will illuminate heaven now. The healing gifts of generosity, laughter and love that you brought into our lives must have been needed somewhere else. We miss you so, so much Always Baby! You will always be our Always Baby!

Kingwood Funeral Home

Warms, Cym

Blue Collar Crime ~The Band~

Click Here to Listen: House of the Rising Sun, Instrumental
Click Here to Listen: One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer

My friend, Marty Lowey, is a member of the band Blue Collar Crime, a phenomenal blues group. Marty married my Sweetheart and me over a year ago. He also has a new album on the street "To a Life of Crime." You'll love it as I do.

(picture taken w/ my iPhone)

{From Blue Collar Crime}
In the summer of 2001, River Guy decided Dallas guitar legend Mark Pollock needed to be playing in public again. No one disagreed and Blue Collar Crime, a Texas Blues Brotherhood, was born kicking and screaming and wailing the blues. The band plays the blues Texas style and draws from classic Freddie King, Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed as well as more modern influences such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tracy Chapman, George Thorogood and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

50% of Blue Collar Crime's profits go to the Southern Poverty Law Center.





An important element of he Holidays. We are at that lake this year. One of my brothers, and his sweet wife (known as Sisteroid) and her parents, join us with family and friends. Thankfulness is a wonderful element.

Warms, Cym


A blessing and WINNER!

First the blessing:
This weekend was blessing of the animals at my church. The minister is gowned in white and two similarly attired, sweet little dogs are blessed with their people.



And now for the Winner of Wednesday's Book Review Party:
And the winner of the Amazon Gift Card ($15 value) from Wednesday's Review Party is...
(**Drums Rolling in the Background**)

Congratulations to Chocolate & Croissants
Picture 11

Be sure to check out Chocolate & Croissants and leave a comment!

Email me so I can have the Amazon eGC delivered to your inbox.



Grandkids Adventure - Fall Beventure


I am spending time with the grandkids this weekend. Lots of time for Adventure hiking. These two are survivors of today's hunt for snakes, gorillas, dinosaurs and assorted monsters, all indigenous in these parts.

I hope everyone is having an adventurous weekend. I will announce the winner of the Amazon eGC tomorrow.

Warms, CYM




A Year Ago . . . My Sweetheart and I were married on the corner above this lake. Grandkids played, fily and friends stood by on that sunny Texas morning. How lucky I am, and thankful.

Warms, CYM

Summer at the Lake


The Lake Is a Place of Peace: This fine young man swam, boated, and played with friends in the blistering heat of summertime East Texas. We all relaxed and had fun at the lake, including my grandson Hudson.



Welcome to the World: Baby Kaito


One my wonderful colleagues and his wife, Hiroaki and Rei Furuya, are the proud new parents of a fine young man named Kaito.  I am so proud to see the families of our group continually expand, as the group itself does.  Kaito-san is likely to become a professional writer, but he may also need a day job so we have a place for him to become a transfer pricing expert like his father and the rest of us.  

Congratulations Rei and Hiro.  

Warms, Cym

P.S. I always thought a fine name for a baby would be Cymantha (wonder where I got that spelling of Samantha?).  Sadly enough, no one has never named their child along those lines, including Rei and Hiro.  Imagine that.  I think my "future" running dog may have to suffer through that ignominy.

Athens, TX Triathlon

Aside from writing stories, reading books, writing reviews, reading reviews, and playing with grandchildren (not in that order of course), I love to swim, bike, and run. I am 63 and my goal is to be competitive in triathlons when I am 70. Last year, my times for Olympic (or sprint) races were about 40 minutes short of the best. So far this year, I am improving and seem to have gained about 15 minutes.

This past weekend, I participated in the Athens (TX) 25th Annual Triathlon run. My time was 1 hour 38 minutes, age group 60-64, and I finished in 6th place (2 minutes from 3rd).

After recovering from the triathlon, about 30 minutes, my granddaughter came to go on a beventure to hunt down some of the notoriously aggressive North Texas Elephants. Here we are with our beventure sticks to fend off any of the rascals that might dare to attack us. It was a successful hunt. All the creatures were coward into hiding.


This is fun!

Photos taken by Diamondduste


Tahoe Pictures


New Year's at Lake Tahoe: We had a lovely, relaxing time in Lake Tahoe with family, relaxing, sharing, and enjoying the simple beauty of the lake. This picture is from a quiet sound (in the dead of winter) on the way to a lunch at a picturesque eatery where all types of culture collided, making an excellent atmosphere for lunch and fine wine. We wanted to make sure to get back to the ski slopes before the roads froze.

Picnik collage

Max the King of the Mountain: Adventures with grandchildren are joyful experiences. While we love our children, being alone with the little ones has a joy of its own. We love to have adventures. Six-year old Max wanted to scale the mountain at Tahoe and pummel me with snow balls (actually ice balls as there was no fresh snow and the sun was shining). We then went tubing down the steep slopes, which was great. We even tied three tubes together, so that we could go faster, spin with more velocity, and throw ice in our faces. It was then hot tub time with an ample supply of wine (not for Max of course).




Tahoe or BUST!

I am off to spend a few days with my wife and her family (including my blogging helper, Beachbrights). So, I am sure we will come back with all kind of new ideas for blogging in 2010!!

We will do a little of this...

a little of that...

a lot of this...

and more of this...

~Peace Out~

~Happy Holidays~



Love and Family

My old friend Richard G Lyon (also a member of my Philosophers Club that I comment on periodically), composed a warmly touching eulogy for the funeral of his father, just three months after the passage of his mother as well. In the season when we all cherish our families and friends, I wanted to share his precious words. As parents we would all like to hear such words of praise, which Rich’s dad was lucky enough to hear during his life in many ways I am sure.

b. August 6, 1916
d. December 12, 2009

December 18, 2009

There is an old saying that you can’t pick your parents. If I’d had the opportunity to do so, though, I doubt I could have done better than the ones given to me. I’m very pleased to say that I had the good sense to tell my parents that, on the occasion of their sixtieth wedding anniversary.

As you know, my Dad was born in England, the country that made famous the stiff upper lip. That saying didn’t apply here. The Dad I knew was shaped by another country and another era – a child of the American Depression who personified the self-reliant independence of that generation. As for independence, he surely did things his way. He’s the only man I ever knew who drank hot tea with sugar with his lunch and dinner, any season, whenever it was available. When he recently eulogized my Mother a short three months ago, we had planned to have him speak from the front pew, going over this just before the services began. When Ann handed him the microphone to do so, he marched up to the pulpit, departing from the script and defying the wishes of his pastor and his children. Mom deserved a speech from on high, and if his pastor and granddaughter could walk up the steps, he could too. That was all there was to it. When I assisted him back to his seat he said under his breath “I’m not an invalid, you know.” For years Evelyn and I urged that he use a cane. Not on your life – “they’re for old people.” Stubborn is too mild a word to describe his will and his way.

He showed his emotions only occasionally, and never in public that I can recall. Rarely did he let on his feelings, and even more rarely did he ask for help. He’d rather not trouble another human being. Oxygen mask over his face, tubes everywhere, flat on his back, it was always “I’m doing fine” or “I’m all right.” Though he didn’t ask for help, he offered it whenever he could. He sought out an opportunity to assist another person any time and in any manner he could, in small ways and in large. The causes he worked for – prison reform, cooperative education, this church – illustrate that better than anything I could say. He wasn’t paid a dime for any of this award-winning work; quite the opposite, he supported what he believed in with substantial donations of money and even greater donations of his time and energy. He did this because he believed in these causes, and because a Christian helps others.

An even-tempered and unemotional countenance didn’t mean that he was a cold or grouchy man; indeed his sense of humor was one of the things I first thought of when I heard he was gone. He loved hearing a joke, loved telling a joke, particular of the pun variety. He smiled often. He laughed often. He enjoyed life.

And just because he never showed his emotions doesn’t mean that he didn’t have them. I shall never forget the patience and kindness he showed when looking after my Mother during her lengthy last illness, with a smile, with patience, with a tenderness I had never before seen.
Three things in this life he loved above all others. I’ve mentioned one, the United Methodist Church and Grace Church especially. Over sixty-eight years he did everything for this church except preach on Sunday. If you’ve read the obituary you know about his work with the World Methodist Conferences and Methodist Action Program. He served this particular church in many capacities and was a good friend to all its ministers, from the Bill Dunkle of my childhood to the current incumbent. He stood by one of them when the minister was challenged by many in the congregation on the proper course the church should take. That man was the father of one of my college classmates, so I heard the story from the minister’s side as well as Dad’s. Reverend Burns’s gratitude was palpable and I was as proud of my father as it was possible to be.

Dad loved his family – children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and any others who made up the Lyon and Crane clans. Tangible contributions were substantial. To me and each of his children, he provided an education, never complaining when I decided to transfer from my first college to another whose tuition was more than double the first. Two children and two grandchildren were helped financially through at least one stage of post-baccalaureate education.

But where he really showed his love for his children was in teaching me, my sister, and my brother things not included in any formal curriculum: ethics, integrity, keeping your word, “behaving,” and doing unto others what you would have them do unto you. He did this with no preaching, few lectures (and those almost always in connection with a transgression of some kind by one of us), and limited discipline. He taught by example. Only recently have I truly recognized how much he shaped my own values about what’s right and what’s not, and that it’s a person’s duty (and should be in a person’s nature) to help others. The values I try to live up to came from him, from his life and good works. I’m not sure how he managed to pass them on but I know he did.

Discipline, when imposed, was well-earned and just in its form and duration, though I for one seldom thought so at the time. This was one of the rare things in which he didn’t listen to Mom; none of us had any appeal to a higher or more compassionate court. He was strict but never mean, and I never saw him hold any person a grudge.

The most poignant example of the love Dad bore his children came recently. Dad’s relations with my late younger brother David were sometimes spiky, maybe more so as time passed. I think Dad couldn’t quite accept the fact that David was a hippie, and that he was a hippie because he liked being a hippie. His disapproval or their occasional disagreements though didn’t stop Dad from being David’s Dad. Generous financial aid when it was badly needed, or thinking about how tough David sometimes had it, or otherwise being a caring father. After Dave was gone, Dad simply couldn’t bring himself to talk about him. It was as if he realized that one of his children was gone forever. From this quiet and touching conduct I knew how bad Dad felt that one of his children had died before he had.

Of course the great love of Dad’s life was my Mother. I didn’t trust myself to speak without tears at her funeral, and I can avoid that here by limiting my comments about her to noting that Dad was a lucky man to find her and even luckier to have sixty-seven years of marriage with her. They were in many ways opposites: one a scientist, one an artist; one who believed in tough love and one who had a soft heart; one my confidant and the other almost never; one who loved to entertain and the other who grinned and bore it. He did more than bear it – he enjoyed himself for Mother’s sake because he knew it made her happy. I remember few public displays of affection between them, but I shall never forget the kindness and unabashed loves he showed to Mom during the last months of her life, visiting every night, listening patiently, never raising his voice, his face glowing with the love he wouldn’t discuss and maybe even tried to conceal.

All too many couples take from each other. Mother and Dad did the opposite. They made that rare couple who through honesty, openness, respect, understanding, and compassion made each other a better person.

I see this ceremony and this occasion as a celebration, and I hope that you do as well. Certainly it is the opportunity to remember and honor a man accomplished in the important things: peace and justice, not power and self-aggrandizement. There is another reason for celebration. I shall close by repeating something I remember from the memorial service for Dad’s father. My Grandfather Lyon was Methodist minister, and at the service the presiding minister reminded us that now this man was experiencing something he’d spoken about with joy his entire life, the Kingdom of God. I now say that about my own father and mother, who surely are there together.



Grandkids Adventure - Beventure


Grandkid Adventures (or Beventures as the kids call it): It was a wonderful weekend; sunny, cold, two beventure buddies at the lake hunting for wild things, Christmas tree farm, bowling, and lake food. Whew....


Time with one of my daughters!


Michael W. Smith and the Symphony: This wonderful singer appeared in a beautiful, professionally, and moving Christmas performance with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the world class Morton Meyerson Hall. My daughter and I have enjoyed his music since her days at Kabakuk Camp where he would perform at a less famous stage of his career. He even sang my favorite: "Friends"!

Day job time now.



Thanksgiving Recap!

The day started in Dallas with my family running in the annual Turkey Trot and ended in Albuquerque, NM where we had a joyous time with my brother Seth and Robin, her parents and their in laws.




Joy to All-

I promise to announce the winner of the $50 Amazon eGC tomorrow...PROMISE!!!


Ghostbuster and a Princess

It has been a fun week. Take a look at my latest grandkid pictures: A princess birthday party and a Halloween Ghostbuster. Life is good & thrilling!





I spent the week in Paris

It is October, so I have been in Paris for meetings relating to the business support group for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Taxation Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce. I will meet up with an American and Japanese colleagues for meetings relating to a range of international taxation issues, a somewhat different focus than book reviews, blogs, and thriller writing. But then . . . a boy needs to earn a living.

While in Paris, I look forward to runs along the Seine, dinner at the Ritz with my sweetheart, and plenty of writing time for The Dust Scenario (my newest novel). The weather has just turned cool and I was able to get out and take some pictures of how I spent some of my down time with my Japanese colleague and friend, Tetsuji Ueda, walking, walking, walking. We hiked to Sacre Couer, enjoyed watching the painters do their work in the charming area where the Impressionists must have been doing the same thing many years ago. Each time I see a painter at work, I wonder whether Paul Cezanne and his colleagues did the same things, hoping to have food for their families’ tables.

I have lots of good blog stuff going on this week. I am releasing a short story, one chapter at a time, every monday, several reviews and Wednesday's link-up. This is a busy time of year and I hope you will join me!






My Weekend -- Beyond Thrilled!

Dale & Little Lauren

Trey catching a fish at our lake house

Grandparenting: Life gets no better than this! Dale son is in town and having fun at our lake house with his friends. Dale & I are having fun with grankids while their parents have their own. The thriller plot here is the thrill of life!

Warms, CYM

Enjoy your weekend!