Writing, Libraries, and, sigh, the Last Race

I've been derelict in posting, but my excuse is solid - I've been writing. Yep, keeping the fanny in the chair and the fingers flying. Having fun. That's what a wonderful review from Publisher's Weekly will do for the creative juices - it's a real incentive. Reading praise for my next book, YES, THE RIVER KNOWS, sure helped me focus on what I'm writing now. It'll be in stores in hardback from Berkley Prime Crime on Dec. 5.

Last weekend I took time out to speak at the Valley Bookfest in Roanoke. I've always been a firm supporter of libraries, and with a mother who was a librarian, I can do nothing else but say "yes" when a library asks me to do anything. (Well, anything legal, that is.) The Roanoke City libraries are real go-getters. The day was filled with wonderful authors, intriguing panels, and lots of people who drove downtown to participate on a gorgeous fall day. I had the pleasure of hearing Nikki Giovanni (who teaches at Virginia Tech) speak, and sitting next to Nikki Turner was a treat. I've never read urban hip-hop, but I'm going to read The Glamorous Life next.

On a sad, very sad note, this coming Sunday is the final race for the Nextel Cup at Homestead-Miami. I'm going to be bereft without my NASCAR fix every week. The local short tracks closed up shop in October, so I can't even smell the fumes, hear the engines whine, or do any of the fun stuff there. Three whole months without stock car racing, and I'll be a wreck. At least I have the old races on Tivo - I'll have to rewatch them just to keep myself sane.