Time to Saddle Up

Yes, it is time to saddle up, but first let’s take that old saw about “six degrees of separation” out for a drive.

I write books.  I do not have secretarial help.  I answer emails on a daily basis, but when I’m deep in the writing process, anything that requires a snail mail response gets put on a back burner.  I save the messages in my new mail file and get to them when I get to them.  Occasionally I will hit a wrong button on my keyboard and an email will vanish.  I’ve learned to track them down in Trash, but if you accidentally hit that same button when you’re in the Trash file, you’re … well … out of luck.  (I was going to use a more colorful expression.  My mother, Evie, would be proud that I chose not to do so.)

I received an email from a fan named JoAnn Jones, somewhere in South Carolina, asking for something for herself and for her two sisters who are also fans of my books.  I read the email, realized I’d have to do a snail-mail response on that one and saved it as new—for a while.  For several weeks, I believe.  Book writing was at a critical stage at the time.  Then when it was time to do snail mail—including bookmarks which went out yesterday—I started dealing with waiting emails.  Unfortunately JoAnn’s had disappeared without a trace.

I checked my database, but she’s not listed there.  She must be someone who has visited my website because she had my email address.  She may be a Facebook or Blog follower, but I don’t have access to those addresses.

So here’s where the six-degrees thing comes into play.  If one of my readers just happens to know a fan of mine from South Carolina named JoAnn Jones, someone who has two sisters who are also fans, please let her know she needs to resend that missing message.  And she should do it soon—before I go to work on another book.

In the meantime, I head out for Fort Myers, Florida, on Friday morning to participate in the Southwest Florida Readers Conference.  The following week I’ll be in Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books followed by a couple of events in Phoenix.  It’s not like book tours from the old days, but it counts.

After two years of not traveling at all, I’m trying to get my head back into the travel groove.  I’ve got Shuttle Express lined up to get me back and forth from the airport.  I’m gathering the items that will need to be packed tomorrow.   One trip will be carry-on only; one won’t.  That means I have to have two separate packing mindsets.  And I’m already dreading the ungodly hour I’ll need to be up and out on Friday morning.

Still it will be good to see live people in an audience as opposed to speaking into a computer screen sitting on my dining room table.  I’m ready to hear people laugh aloud again, and I’ll bet you are, too.



33 thoughts on “Time to Saddle Up

  1. I think the fact that you remember the email is pretty incredible. I would have completely forgotten it. By the way my sister-in-law was at one of your live events last week. She really enjoyed it.

  2. I hope you never forget that people you don’t know and most likely will never meet, appreciate you not only for the books you write for our entertainment but more so because of the “human-ness” you have given to your role as “author”. We are made to feel that we are indeed a part of your world as well as you being such a welcomed part of ours! Travel safely and enjoy!

  3. You are in my mind. Issues are so parallel. Must be a part of getting older. Good luck on you abbreviated ‘book’ tour. Thanks again for being there for all of us. just finished two audio books + Clawback. Enjoy and Absorb as you seem to always do. from retired Shuttle Express driver Chuck in Tacoma…

  4. May your return to face to face and real laughter be everything you hope! I didn’t have to do without that in my work, as my music students kept coming through the door during the pandemic, except for those first few months in the spring of 20, when I had to teach by (choke) zoom (but thank goodness for that option anyway!). I hope JoAnn turns up again. Computers seem to do some nasty tricks on us sometimes. I often find that addresses I KNOW I have in my contacts list have been deleted, or emails I am in the middle of writing suddenly disappear into cyberspace, never to be found. Best of luck in Florida and Arizona!

  5. Nothing to Lose is another fantastic page turner. I love Beau. I like the way you have aged him over the years. He was 42 in 1985 and he is now 72. I worry about his health and aging. We need anther J.P. Beaumont book soon. He isn’t getting any younger. When you are writing do you have a picture in your mind he looks like. I picture Beau as looking like William Holden. Who do you think he looks like?

  6. Unfortunately i will be unable to meet you in Tucson
    I was unable to find a driver
    and with my handicaps a stay over is no longer in my world view
    Wish I could be there
    Much success!

  7. Hooray!!!
    I’m happy to hear that you’re back to the book fairs!
    Have a fun time.

  8. My mother also had many colorful sayings, even one about luck, she shortened it to just “SOL”. We all knew what she meant.
    Safe travels, and have an amazing time.

  9. I got into an airplane — 5 of them, actually — for the first time in 3 years just last week. Could write my own blog entry about the adventure! I have to thank my sister for making it work, and for being the driver while we were on the east coast. We got to see a lot of my family on my Dad’s side, and on the last evening spontaneously celebrated my Mom’s heritage when our hotel turned out to be across the street from an appropriate ethnic restaurant. Four days of sharing and memories.

    My body doesn’t adjust to time zone changes easily but caffeine helps. Getting up at 4:45 a.m. in Hartford CT when my body thinks it should be sound asleep in Oregon wasn’t easy, but naps on the planes got me through.

    The airports and planes feel safer than the social gatherings right now, since there are still mask requirements for travel. I walked a fine line wearing a mask when most others weren’t.

    Safe travels and have fun! Maybe while you are doing your email catch-up you can get that First Cases story shared? It’s got Sue Danielson in it so it is appropriate for release with Nothing To Lose. Our local library is processing its 5 copies, and I am 6th on the waiting list for it, so I’ll be reading it when the first of the lucky 5 is done.

    • Yours is one of the emails sitting there as new, waiting for me to finish the book.

      • You are still writing?!?! Is someone in the book refusing to behave?

        It has to be hard to have a book in progress at the same time that you are on tour for a different, finished book, with a separate set of characters. You are Superwoman! I’m ten years younger and I am noticing more difficulty managing multiple streams of thought and work.

  10. You are always so generous, thoughtful, and kind to your fans! I hope the connection you are seeking works out. Enjoy your new book tours, too.

  11. It was great to see and visit with you at Third Place Books and there was a lot of laughter heard during your visit. Thanks for having that event.

  12. WOW! Evie certainly taught you well. I’m from a generation that sent thank you notes – sometimes with the threat of returning the gift to the sender if we didn’t send a short note.
    You appreciate your fans and you let them know you appreciate them. That’s a rare commodity today and I’ve gotta love you for it.

  13. JA, I think I might have mentioned to you before that I’ve started re-reading your books again since I hadn’t read any since the 80s. I’m on book 3 now. They are so much fun and fast page turners. I’ve been buying them online primarily through used book stores. But I wondered if there is a way to go through you as I would want the money to go to you? I looked on your website and it doesn’t look like some of the older books are available.
    I echo what Anna Jane Brian said. You are truly a gem of a person. Wishing you safe and fun travels.

    • However you obtain my books is fine. I don’t sell books on my website, but they are all still in print and available at regular bookstores.

      • Wish I could be in Tuscon to see you again. It’s snowing right now and it feels like we’re in a snow globe. Guess I’ll always like the snow. We were supposed to get about 6 to 8 inches but it’s thinning out and will turn to rain this afternoon sometime. Just in time to melt the snow and give us black ice to deal with.

  14. I have been a fan of yours for many years, from the first Beaumont, to the Brady series and Reynolds. I have re-read them many times. I laughed out loud and I cried like I lost my best friend (Leland). I look forward to many more books by you, and thank you for so many hours of excellent reading!

  15. Just finished nothing to loose. Another amazing book. Thank you so very much. I just couldn’t put it down! Hopefully Ali Reynolds will be up to something soon, it is her turn. Love all your characters. Please keep them coming.

  16. Just finished Nothing to Loose. AMAZING as always. Could not put it down. Hopefully Ali Reynolds is next. Love all your characters.

  17. DARN! I’m in Ft. Myers on vacation and missed your book conference. Cryin’. Hubby says we should go to the airport to see if we can get you dinner. lol. So glad you’re on the move again.

      • Double darn! That’ll teach me to look at your website once in a while. Sigh. I’m on Sanibel and you’re at the festival. Given the loads of traffic here, I’d get there after lunch. Are you up for dinner?

  18. May God richly bless you, dear Friend. You are such a blessing to so, so many people and you’ve been especially blessed with your writing abilities. I had a rough time last night trying to get to sleep. I started going back through my memories trying to decide just where I should begin my story and will decide just where to begin. I will be starting the next chapter of my life on Saturday, 3/5 and THAT will be when I start my book. You’ve been such an inspiration to me for so many years now, so, I’d better get started with “MY LIFE’S STORY”.

  19. Bon Voyage! Just wanted to wish you good, good luck w/your travels in these still crazy times. You’re being sent Many good wishes & would love to cheer you in FL or AZ–Enjoy!

  20. Judy, this is wonderful- Using “Snail mail” is not only taking time and trouble to communicate with someone in a kind and generous way, it is accepting that speed is not always the most important factor in our daily lives-
    Coincidentally, today I received a handwritten Thank You note from someone with whom I do have an “email relationship-” She could have just sent me a Thank You email, which would have been fine with me- However, I was touched by her old-fashioned, gracious approach- In terms of age, she is in between the “Boomers” and the “Greatest Generation-” She came here from Shanghai at age 11 with her mother, grandfather and younger sister to escape the Maoists, after having lived through the horrors of the Japanese Occupation-
    Like you, Judy, she is very busy- Both of you have put humanity over convenience this week- God Bless- I hope you are able to find Joanne, and I wish you a wonderful trip with a live audience!

  21. If you hear from jo Anne jones please ask if she ever lived in alameda California. A jo jones used to be my grandmothers neighbor. Thank you

  22. I’ll be in Arizona on the 17th. Planning on a revisit to Bisbee. I want to try the Jeep ride you suggested. Couldn’t fit it in when I was there before Covid. I enjoy every minute I’m reading one of your books. I look forward to your weekly emails. God Bless you!

  23. We are anxiously awaiting our new Beau book. Currently number 4 on our library waiting list.
    Wishing you safe travels and hoping you have a wonderful tour.

  24. I truly admire you for still doing in person book tours. I’m your age and it all sounds exhausting to me and I’m certainly not writing a book in addition to all you do. Thank goodness you’re still writing. I’d truly be lost without your books to look forward to. Keeps me going. Thanks so very, very much.

  25. No one is more anxious to see you in person again than I am. I’m sure your Tucson fans will be out in droves at the Tucson Festival of Books.
    Janice Molina

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