Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pre-New Year Thrills for Author and Pets

By Cal Orey
Book signings follow home challenge
As we edge near 2015 I'm feeling a mixed bag of emotions, perhaps like you, and other people around the world. Some of the hoops I must jump through are not so big but others are a bit intimidating. It's probably because of fear of the unknown can be a beast until we face it head-on. Overwhelmed? You could say that. I have those butterflies I get before being a guest on Coast to Coast or leaving early in the morning to catch an outbound flight. 
D-Day:  Today is the day. A tiny crevice on the bathroom floor has turned into a spooky sign of a "mystery leak" into the Twilight Zone. Now, if it were just me it would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, I share my rustic home with two Type A and very sensitive dogs and one super laid back Siamese cat who likes his cozy space(s).  So instead of kenneling, moving 'em to the back house, crate on top of crate seems to be the best choice. 

Imagine: Workmen who you do not know coming into your dwelling and their goal is to tear up the room where you shower, dress, and do your private business. Worse, not sure what they'll find. However, I do sense the leak is linked to wall, thanks to the ice dam back in the day when we got sierra snow; and the recent downpour of rain didn't help. After all, this is a cabin built more than a half century ago. I think I'm better preserved. And the crawl space--will it be covered or will all the creepy crawlers come into the house tonight? Enter Stephen King novel...
So my goal is to make this ordeal as painless as possible. That probably won't happen. I've read dozens of articles on "Should we stay?" and "Should we go?"--both have pros and cons. Between you and me, I'd rather have a root canal. But I'm sure we will all survive despite the disruption that may take anywhere from two-five days or more if it turns into a monster movie.  I should remove everything in the bathroom but I just can't bear to begin the process. What if they find underground creatures lurking under the floor or in the wall? My college counselor told me most "what ifs" don't happen. But he isn't here now. So, it's me, the critters against the unknown.
Zen thought new book arrivals was novelty...
it hasn't even begun

Next Book Signing:  Once this home event is done and we all survive the chaos (we will, right?), it's onward to Reno for the Barnes and Noble book signing. I have been at this store countless times.  Signings are like a box of chocolates, as noted in the film Forrest Gump.  It's true, you never know what you're going to get.  It can be filled with interested people or feel like a ghost town and the author sits in a chair all alone wishing and waiting for a fan to pay a visit. Either way I'm up for sharing the Healing Power Series at this bookstore and in Seattle.

Not sure how BC can compare to Quebec
I am looking forward to the
Seattle book
Goodbye California. Early 2015 it's on the road again. Off to the Pacific Northwest. At last I printed out my flight, hotels, and other information. For some reason I cannot print out the perfect airline ticket so I have to get it at the airport. This time around, I vow to pack light, no baggage to check. It's too stressful to drag stuff around, worry about it getting lost, and then unable to decide what to wear or when to wear it. Read: I broke one of my bags because it was overstuffed.

One day at a time. Bathroom demolition. Book signing. Trip out of the country. We can do this.  It's a walk in the park, right? Talk to me at the end of January and I'll give you the scoop. Poor kitty. His litter box will be moved temporarily. He will be crated. Mantra: "This too shall pass." Hey, his name is Zen--he can do this. I wish I was pet-less during these challenges but then when it's all over there would be a huge void in this old house, especially when I begin to write my next book.  Who would I talk to?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Healing Powers Series is Growing

By Cal Orey

I'm pleased to announce that 
Santa paid me a visit this year. 
The popular Healing Powers Series
is continuing good health/cheer.

I've been assigned to write the third edition of The Healing Powers of Vinegar. In fact, the mass market edition sold out and a large print run is back at press to be released next week. 
Early 2015 it's to Seattle to sign and discuss OLIVE OIL and the Healing Powers Series, then on up north to Canada for book research and bringing home stories to share in the upcoming two new books. Not to forget, my new second edition of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, Revised and Updated will be available to all come December 30, 2014. It will be printed in mass market format come 2016.
Plus, a welcoming surprise Healing Powers Series book will follow. I've been waiting a decade to write about this special and close topic to me--and now my dream has at last come true. Thank you Santa!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sierra Storm Hits Author in Surreal Way

By Cal Orey

As an author-intuitive I admit I didn't see this one coming. It's no secret California has been in a mega drought for a long time. So, when the weather guys began forecasting the monster oncoming storm, I chilled. Yesterday I was going to go to the grocery store and stock up on bottled water, nuts, dried fruit, and the usual stuff in case there was a power outage...
A tree also hit our Catholic Church St. Theresa--
my confirmation name

Well, I did predict the lights going out at Lake Tahoe. It happened minutes after my forecast on Facebook. However, I did not see that tree falling on my house. Imagine: You are e-mailing your editor, accepting two--not one--new book deals for the Healing Powers Series. On Cloud Zillion. Then, out of nowhere BAM! An earthquake? A second BAM! The house shook. The dogs barked. I ran out into the living room and was greeted by a tree staring at me through the window. Down tree.

Worse, when I went to open the front door to view the damage it wouldn't budge. I looked up above the tree and wires were here and there. Not a safe sight. I called the Fire Department. Drama followed.  Police, paramedics, and firefighters. I was fine, although my nerves were a bit frazzled. I've done blizzards, sandstorms, floods, and major earthquakes. This year I was rear-ended by an elderly woman driving on a suspended license, and two years ago, lost a dear canine companion to an acute neurological disease. But never have I experienced a tree falling on my house!
Not a good morning

So, one firefighter said that the impact of the tree caused the door to be jammed shut. With a bit of patience and knowledge, he fixed it. I could get in and out to see what I was facing. Throughout the day visits were made by tree guys (they cut the monster tree into stumps and fixed the minor structural damage on the roof), ATand T (they repaired the phone lines), and Liberty Utilities got the power back on before dusk. Another power outage could happen this time around--but I feel a bit more prepared. And I did endure a 3 day experience so it's not something unfamiliar. But with a waterbed, fish aquarium, coffee and tea lover who deals with an electric stove--it's not something I prefer.
The CA drought may be over

Large light covers in the dining room dropped and shattered. But these guys can be replaced. The neighbor's fence will need to be repaired. And tree mess? After the rain and snow, clean up time. It could have been much worse.  Still, I feel unbalanced like I did after the World Series Earthquake. I keep reliving the experience, no appetite, and in a daze about it happening so fast.  The funny thing is, I love trees. But today--not so much. It's a warm storm that's coming in as I hear the wind howling outdoors so there is no desire to make a fire. 

One more thing: A lot of folks said taking a BC Ferry to Victoria would be a piece of cake come this January. 
Now I realize Mother Nature can bring us unpleasant surprises. I will not book that boat ride, but I will not cancel my plans either. However, come January the weather reports will be taken very seriously before I pack my bags, leave my companion animals, and head for the Reno-Tahoe Airport bound Washington/Canada. So many flights were delayed today, flooding in B.C., and ferry boats cancelled bookings. Seattle may be a cake walk in the air--rain or not--but Canada? Time will tell as will weather forecasts.

UPDATE: While the wind howled last night, there was no new snow or rain in the morning. All is calm, the sun is peeking through the blinds. It's a mess outside--like a twister in NorCal--and viewing the surfers on Lake Tahoe's seven foot swells is The Day After Tomorrow sequel material. SoCal is now getting slammed with rain, flooding, mudslides, and fear. Upside:  We got some much needed precip. Downside: We need repeats, lots of 'em, to climb out of our West Coast drought.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Seattle-Vancouver Book Event(s)--Its Coffee and Tea Time

By Cal Orey
All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm standing here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin', it's early morn
The taxi's waiting, he's blowin' his horn

Already I'm so lonesome I could cry -- John Denver

I will read excerpts from
lots of intimate stories

It's December, chilly, rainy, pre-winter at Lake Tahoe.. I like this time of year because it's not too crowded with tourists. Black ice is less than more. True, we did get snow but not at Lake level. The drought continues in the Golden State. But ponding on streets, like where I live, exists from the recent rain. Weather forecasts and more Earth changes fascinate me and my 2015 Forecasts are due next week for Oracle 20/20 Magazine. But my mind is on a lot of other things this month...
I did notice the 717 was smaller than 757

The new OLIVE OIL book-
Healing Powers Series
 at both book events
Here Come the Book Events and Travel. In January it will be full of novelty...I have a book event/signing at Barnes and Noble in Reno on the 3rd. Hopefully, that weekend will not be the time we get our storm of the year and the 50 mile drive will be easy. But then, the following week comes the next book signing in Seattle-Bellevue. And air travel is haunting me. True, the 6000 mile round trip from Reno to Quebec was basically a piece of cake--with little "rough air"--I may not get so lucky this time around. 

After all, the PNW is known for its rain and it could pour. Or not. I discovered I'm taking an Airbus320 which is okay...but I was a bit surprised looking at the itinerary and seeing that it's a 737 Boeing not a 757 Boeing that will take me from Salt Lake City to Seattle. That's it. There is no larger aircraft going to Washington to Reno. At least it's not a tiny regional plane like I endured back in 2006. Trying to put the flight out of mind and focus on Seattle...the Space Needle, hotel, book signing, and Pike's Place to the train that'll take me to Canada. 
Coffee and a vegetarian dish
will get me up high -- hopefully
no earthquakes will hit

Coffee is BIG in both Seattle and BC
Hello Coffee and Tea. Of course, coffee will keep me energized and feeling warm and fuzzy... 
Pre-Quebec brought out the kid in me during fall
I am a devout tea drinker and this part of my journey (research cometh) excites me as does revisiting the Vancouver Aquarium. I may or may not go on to Victoria. There might be enough in the big city to keep me smiling. And that brings me to missing my fur kids, once again.

Canada is a 2nd home to me
But, but, but last time around the dog duo was well taken care of. There got extra walks, brushing, ear cleaning, toys, and pampering. My sibling bonded with kitty. All was safe. All is good. One more month and once again I will head north and go across the Canadian border (via train this time). Bliss awaits.

Soon, it will be time to finalize the hotels I will book for BC--Seattle is done. A lot of modes of traveling--shuttle bus, cabs, airplanes, and a train... Still can't decide on the BC Ferry. True, a January jaunt to Victoria does seem romantic and adventurous but I've got to be 
realistic--a strong storm could be in the works and that just won't work for this California one...I'd be tripping on rogue waves to tsunami(s) due to the overdue Cascadia Subduction Zone making its move when I arrive. I think I'll pass and take my water fix via the rain, fishes, swimming (hotel), coffee and tea.