Monday, November 28, 2011

Want Something Extra? Be Nice to the Clerks

For the Day Job, I work in a retail shop. With the advent of Black Friday, the Christmas Crazies are in full swing.

Now, trust me I understand how stressful this time of year is, how you want everything to be perfect, how your MIL is never satisfied with what you carefully selected for her no matter how many hours you've spent. But taking your frustrations out on the clerk who's trying to help you won't solve your problem.

So I'm asking, Gentle Reader, to please keep the following in mind.

1)  Retail clerks don't set the prices. Grumbling, bitching or screaming at them won't magically give them the authority to give you a lower price. If it truly troubles you, ask for the manager. If you're still not happy, ask for the name and number of the district manager or even the owner.

2)  Retail clerks cannot magically pick out the perfect gift for your significant other.  If you don't know their tastes, that should be a red light that something else is going on in your relationship.

3)  Which brings me to--we're not being nosey when we ask you questions. We don't know your significant other, and we need more information in order to make appropriate suggestions.

4)  If you don't like the selection of the store or there's a particular item you'd like to see stocked, please take the corporate number the clerk gives you and call.  I work at a Hallmark franchise, and trust me, Hallmark Inc. WILL listen to the customers.  Two years ago, corporate replaced the beloved musical snowman they put out every Christmas with Snoopy. Should have been a no-brainer substitution with the popularity of the Peanuts characters, right?

Oh, heck, no!  Long time customers wanted their snowman, and this year, he's back!

5)  When a clerk has been on her feet for six hours straight, a smile and a kind word from a customer will make her day.  And those are the people who will get the extra effort.  As my grandmother said, you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

I hope everyone has a safe and pleasant holiday season!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Memorium

Today's industry news post is pre-empted.

I got home from the day job last night to learn Anne McCaffrey passed away late yesterday.

To me, Anne was the forerunner of mixed genres. She took dragons, the fabled enemy of mankind, and not only turned them into good guys but gave them a genetically engineered background. Her stories mixed romance and adventure decades before it was acceptable for a writer to do such a thing.

I first read Dragonflight nearly thirty-five years ago. To say Ms, McCaffrey influenced my writing would be akin to saying the sun affects a daisy. And I know I'm not the only writer who holds her in such regard.

May you fly with your dragons, Anne.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The True Meaning of Grace

For the last several months, I've been following Alice's Bucket List. This is the blog of a young woman named Alice who lives in Ulverston, England.

Alice has terminal cancer. She may survive past the end of this year. She may not. But in the meantime, she and her family are trying to live life to the fullest.

With Alice's sixteenth birthday coming up, I'm adding my request to hers. Please consider registering as a bone marrow donor. Yes, the procedure has risks to the donor, but your registration may be the one that saves a life.

Thank you.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I know this is a little early, but during GK's break next week I need to crank out some pages. So I wanted to make sure I said this:

I'm thankful to write every single day. I'm thankful that folks like my books, and I really hope I entertain these people who laid down their hard-earned money to read them.

I'm thankful that my family is healthy, we have a roof over our heads, and food on the table.

I'm thankful for my life, which is perfect in its crazy and imperfect way.

May [the deity(ies) of your choice or no one if you swing that way] bless you this Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Not mine, but my buddy Terri Molina is giving away gift baskets to promote her brand new release FORGET ME NOT, including one with CHOCOLATE!  Oh yeah, a Kindle and VISA gift cards, too. All this in time for the holidays. Go to Terri's blog for all the nitty, gritty details.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I'm Currently Reading

With home school, the Day Job gearing up for the holiday retail season, and editing the next two Bloodlines novels for release as well as writing the next Seasons of Magick story, my personal reading time has been limited.  That doesn't mean I haven't been reading at all!

I recently finished the first two books in Stephanie Bond's Southern Romance trilogy, Baby, Drive South and Baby, Come Home.  Baby, Don't Go will be out November 15th (and will probably be my Thanksgiving quiet time before the insanity that is Black Friday). For more info (and a free prequel story!), go to Stephanie's website.

Last Thursday, I finished Bone Magic, the seventh book in Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld series. Not a good place to hop on if you're new to the series. But for long time readers, I've got two words for you--Trillian's back!

The book currently in my bag is L.A. Banks's Surrender the Dark. I've already bought the sequel, Conquer the Dark. I'm very sad that these were the last two books Miz Leslie completed before she passed away this summer. Her stories will be sorely missed by her fans.

The current couch book is Jim Butcher's Side Jobs, a collection of previously published Dresden Files short stories along with a couple of tales never published.

Last night though, I downloaded Crazy Emma by Brandie Buckwine. It was a cute, erotic short, just right after the store re-vamp at the Day Job.

So, let me know what's on your reading plate. Any good recommendations out there?