Sunday Sentence.

“And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

Hillary Clinton

I’m not even close to getting over what happened last week and what is continuing to happen in the States right now.  #ImStillWithHer

Week by numbers.

  • 1, President-elect who I do not recognize.  I have no respect for the misogynist and racist man who won the Electoral College (but not the popular vote).

It is a sad day and I think there are worse times ahead.  The optimist in me is proud Hilary won the popular vote, but the realist in me sees a terribly divided country — one that would diminish the rights of women, minorities, immigrants and the disabled.  Even from thousands of miles away, this is a difficult thing to process.

This morning I’ve started contributing funding to organizations that will fight the good fight and am desperate to see where else I can put my time and money.

He is not my president and I don’t give a fuck about ‘working together’ with people who do not uphold and support the rights of too many US citizens.

Now is the winter of our discontent.

Sunday Sentence.

In the shadows of tall buildings
Of fallen angels on the ceilings
Oily feathers in bronze and concrete
Faded colors, pieces left incomplete
The line moves slowly past the electric fence
Across the borders between continents…

In the cathedrals of New York and Rome
There is a feeling that you should just go home
And spend a lifetime finding out just where that is

In the shadows of tall buildings
The architecture is slowly peeling
Marble statues and glass dividers
Someone is watching all of the outsiders
The line moves slowly through the numbered gate
Past the mosaic of the head of state

In the shadows of tall buildings
Of open arches endlessly kneeling
Sonic landscapes echoing vistas
Someone is listening from a safe distance
The line moves slowly into a fading light
A final moment in the dead of night.

In the cathedrals of New York and Rome
There is a feeling that you should just go home
And spend a lifetime finding out just where that is.

Jump Little Children – Cathedrals Lyrics 

I hadn’t thought about this song in a very long time and then driving back from Abu Dhabi last week it just sort of popped in my head.  It feels timely again.  I’ve highlighted the lines of the chorus, because I’ve always loved them.  As an expat, for some reason, they are exceptionally poignant.

Dreams do come true: A research trip five years in the making.

It’s been a long time since I discussed the Fates, an untitled and unpublished manuscript I wrote and completed some years ago.  In the book (and the sequel) much of the action takes place on the remote island of Socotra (I promise it makes sense and was the best fit for the novel).  In reality, Yemen is a difficult place to get to.  In fact, it might be one of the most difficult in the world (especially with a US passport).  While I am positioned well from a geographical perspective (Dubai and Socotra are less than two hours apart by plane), it’s nearly impossible to get to individually.  As compared to my current project, The Queen of England, where almost all of the action takes place in Victorian England, there simply isn’t the same amount of research and information available for Socotra.  I’ve never felt that my book was lacking because I hadn’t physically visited this island, but I’d always hoped I could make it happen.

Fortunately, there is a company here who coordinates trips to this amazing island.  While I’ve always had an eye on visiting, trips were far apart or I had to work, or y’know, Yemen is in the middle of a very difficult period in their current history.  Transiting through the main city of Sana’a (or any city on the mainland) is dangerous and irresponsible (and I’m pretty sure impossible for a single American woman).

Thus, when a trip was announced that managed to overcome all of the challenges (and skip over the mainland altogether), I had literally no excuses and could hardly believe my fortune.  So, I booked.  And I asked other friends if they wanted to join, and two friends said yes.  And I’m still not quite sure if I believe that we’re going.

Even as long-time expatriate, I sometimes can’t believe my life.  Not only am I going to one of the most remote places on the planet, I’m doing it with friends.  And it only just occurred to me that I should e-mail a Yemeni friend and ask for any advice he has.  The countdown is on for November 29th!

Next stop…

Good reviews are nice, no matter where they turn up, right?

So, I signed up for a service (Blasty) that looks out for your books and makes sure no one has them listed for free, illegally, or other ways around legitimate channels.  Blasty e-mails me now and then to tell me all the links where my books can be found.  I tend to do a bulk ‘delete’, but in the past week, I started following some of the links.  Of course, one of the links (where my book is clearly pirated) had (mainly) wonderful things to say about Room 702.  If only these were on my Amazon page!  If only hese people had paid for my novel!  Oh well, they probably wouldn’t have paid anyway, so I’ll take this as a win.

seinfeld shrug

Room 702

This is an interesting book that reveals information about the different people who stay in Room 702 at the Winchester Hotel in Los Angeles Each chapter is labeled with a date and then describes what is happening in the room. One might think there would be very little story arch with these kinds of vignettes strung together, but that isn’t the case. Chalk it up to word of mouth why some of the guests are staying there, coincidence, divine intervention, it’s a small world.

Room 702
Vanessa Hale

I decided to read this book on a whim. It wasn’ t my normal book genre and it wasn’t what I expected. Each chapter added something new to the story and made me want to read.  As the end approached, every story in the book got tied together in a way and made the book enjoyable. If you’re looking for something to read, that’s not a cookie cutter book, I would definitely recommend this book.

Room 702

This is a different sort of book as each chapter is dedicated to particular characters staying within Room 702.  You need to read a while to really get into the flow but once stories begin to link together it’s fun to read and see where it may go.

Room 702

This book was a nice, easy read It kept my attention and I didn’t get bored. However, the hard part was keeping track of all the characters and remembering how they all connect, especially if you have to stop and start again, day after day. This book is worth the read.

Room 702
Necole Moreau

I really enjoyed this book I loved reading the stories of the different people staying in that room and the changes when they would visit again. I also liked that they all tied together at one point out another. I would love to read another year of this hotel room.

Room 702
Anita Kronowitz

Very creative book — lots of stories.

Room 702
Ana Perez-orta

I wanted to branch out on the genres I read I typically read romance, mystery, and fantasy. I could not stop reading this book once I started. Each chapter event was a story but towards the end they all start to come together. Really enjoyed this book.

Room 702
Jennifer Nelson

Very interesting book. It really makes you think about all of the different kinds of people that use a single hotel room in just one year.

Additionally, if you publish anything on the internets (including music, videos, software), and want to have a (free) service look out for you, I highly recommend Blasty.