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Fun Film Friday: Serenade to Miette

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I am in the final stretch of editing. It is Fun Film Friday.

Have Serenade to Miette by Toniko Pantoja at Mad Artist Publishing--a little circus, a little magic, a little romance, a little badass in just under 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Me: I'm going back to work.

*tappity tippety tap tap tap*

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When I was little, I would spend hours lining up Legos on their ends and creating elaborate tracks through Tinker Toy constructs and Lincoln Log villages filled with Playschool people and stuffed animals. I called it "Tippyland" and my parents enjoyed the long quiets until I pestered them to come view my creation where I would magnanimously tip the first Lego over and watch the hypnotic domino-effects of a hundred or so Legos falling in rapid patterns.

I love this stuff.

Hence, my latest offering: the Rube Goldberg-like official video of Ok Go's This Too Shall Pass. Too fun not to share! Enjoy!

World AIDS Day

SSBoulet


It's World's AIDS Day.

Having been on the front lines fighting this disease since it was called "the gay flu" back in the 80's, I was present at a political rally at the very first World AIDS Day, listening to the statistics and talking about reform. There have been candlelight vigils and paperclip collections, fun drives and protest marches, Live Aid and the AIDS Memorial quilt, and nothing was quite so devastating as the day a family member turned to me at Thanksgiving and said, "They cured that, didn't they? It hasn't been in the news..."

No, they haven't. And yes, there has been remarkable strides in medicine, prevention and even steps towards finding a cure, but not yet. No, not yet.

Now my daughter raises funds for AMFAR and I just pinned a red ribbon to her shirt before she went to school. Be aware, be in communication & be kind to one another--that is what this day is all about.

Next Tour Stop: Vroman's Bookstore!

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Last leg of the INVISIBLE Indie Bookstore is in sunny California, the West Coast; as far from chilly New England as I could possibly be! Okay, I'll admit I'm feeling a little homesick, but that's one of the few advantages of being invisible...it doesn't really show!

Now we're into the holidays, I'm stuffed with stuffing and enjoying the walk outside, greedy for the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather, bright skies and favorite places like www.vromansbookstore.com. It's just a stroll down the street and the doors are wide open like old friends.

There's nothing like a bookstore!



Vroman's has a legacy of good books and good works dating back to 1894 and several generations of employees who follow his passion for books and philanthropy. For years, this was the largest bookstore south of the Mississippi, and with programs from author signings and charity days to school book fairs, local support networks and its own program "Vroman's Gives Back," it's easy to see why customers are loyal and proud to be part of the reading community of Pasadena, CA. Passionate and giving, Vroman's hosts free-to-the-public literary events and charitable giving. As it says on their website, "To date, Vroman's has donated over $634,2675.55 on behalf of our customers." You can always find out the latest on their awesome blog.

I can't tell you how honored I am to be walking down the aisles of this store. (And surrounded by my best friends: BOOKS!)

Vromans

Pictured: Me standing next to the newest display--just in time for holiday shopping!


And to spread a little more holiday cheer, there's signed swag available to the first 7 people to purchase their copy of INVISIBLE and I hope you browse their stores and websites for the latest great reads to stuff into your stockings or wrap after lighting the candles this year!

You can buy your swag-o-rific copy of INVISIBLE at:

Vroman's Bookstore
695 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA
(626) 449-5320
www.vromansbookstore.com

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Stay Tuned...

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The last posts of the INVISIBLE Indie Book Tour have been postponed due to viral tracheal bronchitis.

Stay tuned for the final destinations!
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Leaving Asheville, we're off to Nashville in the heart of Tennessee to visit Parnassus Books! I've passed through several weather fronts on my INVISIBLE journey and nothing's quite so amazing as being able to drive in the car. I do my best thinking while driving or daydreaming (shouldn't do both!) and have my handy voice recorder & plenty of paper to scribble on as I go. It's amazing what the mind will come up with once it's set free. Appropriate, then, to be off the famed "brainchild" bookstore!



Author Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes were the hearts and minds behind the indie bookstore revival back when Nashville woke one morning to find that all of their beloved bookstores--chains and local shops--had gone. Grit and determination and a refusal to let the boogeymen doomsayers get them down, Parnassus Books is still strong and a favorite for locals and traveling authors alike! A quote from the website's "The Bookstore Strikes Back" reminds me of what Ursula K. LeGuin mentioned during her now-famous National Book Awards speech:

"Amazon doesn’t get to make all the decisions; the people can make them, by choosing how and where they spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read a book. This is how we change the world: We grab hold of it. We change ourselves."

Parnassus isn't just a bookstore, it's a place that loves books. Whether checking out its blog or perusing the shelves, you can chat with knowledgeable bibliophiles who long to put just the right book in your hands including the latest bestsellers to signed stock and first editions! And, being an author myself, I feel right at home in Ann & Karen's bit of heaven.

Visit in person or online and nab your copy of INVISIBLE and remember that the first 7 people to order get their signed sets of swag!

You can order your copy at:

Parnassuss Books
Hillsboro Plaza Shopping Center
3900 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215
(615) 953-2243www.parnassusbooks.net

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Fun Film Friday: Robotic Zoo Wonders!

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Combining my love for steampunk and my fascination with minutia, I was smitten by this article at io9 about the most uncanny robotic animals made to date. There were fish and jellies, cheetahs and dogs, snakes and rescue spiders and even tiny hummingbirds and flies. I had a time clicking through each and every one of them and it was hard to choose what film to feature, so I'd encourage you to click on the link and check them *all* out, but this one with the robotic kangaroo is one of my favorites!

I'm continually astounded with the limitless creative genius of the human imagination and how much of that is reflected in our love of nature, animals & the beauty of motion.

Enjoy!

Next Stop: Malaprop's!

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Snow! Gobs and gobs of it--3' of snow in upstate New York! Narrowly dodging road closures and traffic squalls, I'm thinking the one good thing about being invisible is that no one can see my hat hair when I unwrap from my layers on the road. It's been clear sailing as I go further south to North Carolina, home state of Joy Malone, Monica Reid, Gordon Weitzenhoffer and the rest of the cast of the Twixt series in the fictional town of Glendale, NC. But this time I'm going to the real local landmark in Asheville: Malaprop's Bookstore!






Malaprop's is *fantastic*. It is a home-grown bookstore built on passion, commitment to freedom of expression and activism with a personal touch in the community; from packing purchases in the "European tradition of craft paper and red ribbon" (now known as the “Malaprop’s wrap”) to donations promoting the health and wellness of its patrons, including "monetary, book, and coffee donations many area non-profit organizations, NPR and indie radio stations, homeless shelters, and fundraisers," Malaprop's is still doing what it set out to do over 30 years ago:

1. To be the best little bookstore in the land.
2. To enjoy what we do while we’re doing it.
3. To be aware and supportive of financial needs and ensure that bookselling is a fine and noble profession.

So after shaking off the chill of New England and picking up something in the cafe, I am able to browse and delight in this one-of-a-kind monument to Really Good Reads in the setting of my own book, INVISIBLE. It feels weirdly wonderful to actually be in a place that inspired stories, to walk around and feel the breeze and smell the air and take in the sights that Joy might have enjoyed--to be both real and imaginary is a special sort of magic.

Malaprops

Being Invisible does not necessarily mean it isn't there--IT IS!


Stop on by and check out the selections of great books and if you don't know which to choose, one of the passionate booksellers is always around to point you in the right direction. And I'll be here with copies of INVISIBLE and signed swag for the first 7 people to order, whether in-person or online! There's no better place to enjoy winter's arrival than snug inside a bookstore curled up with a good book. Stop by, say "Hi!" and see if you can find me here in one of my favorite places to be.

Check out Malaprop's and order your copy of INVISIBLE at:

Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe
55 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 254-6734

Next Tour Stop: Gibson's Bookstore!

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It's been raining, turning the streets washed rivers of silver, which is pretty to look at but sometimes challenging to drive. Rainwater changes the landscape, painting things fresh and new. Even the grey, foggy mist makes the hillsides look mystical, the trees wondrous and touches the travel roads with magic. It can easily become distracting--*ooo! look! shiny!*--but fortunately, I know the way well as I'm headed off to Concord, New Hampshire to visit Gibson's Bookstore.



Gibson's is airy, spacious and welcoming--online and off--with a collection of the latest to hit the shelves as well as old favorites that you can load up and begin flipping pages after you grab something sweet at the True Brew Cafe. The list of author events is impressive and I'm honored to among them...even in my less-than-visible state. I even snagged a pic!

Gibson's Bookstore pic

It's hard to tell I'm smiling, but trust me--I'm smiling!


If you're lucky, you live close enough to drop on by, but if not, you can always order your copy of INVISIBLE and be one of the first 7 people to order and get free signed swag! Everyone here is knowledgeable and friendly, as eager to match good books to good people as you are to get the latest for your TBR pile. Thinking of the holidays? Buy great reads for your family & friends!

You can order your copy at:

Gibson's Bookstore
45 South Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 224-0562
www.gibsonsbookstore.com


And now to sit and enjoy something warm against the chill. Hot chocolate, anyone?

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Fun Film Friday: Wicked Popular!

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Ever since seeing WICKED for my birthday, this bit has been lodged in my brain including the song "Popular," my favorite earworm from the soundtrack. I've listened to a bunch of different versions and seen a number of interpretations from different actresses and this one with Alli Mauzey happens to be my favorite. She had a little more attitude and sass and a lot of comic energy I just loved! The video's a little blurry and a little wonky on the volume, but it's worth the watch--this scene hit all the right notes in more ways than one!

Have a *fabulous* weekend! Enjoy!