After a quick beauty routine so I don’t scare my husband, the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is enter my new writing sanctuary. It’s a peaceful dormer in the upstairs kitchen of our home in California. I have a spectacular view of the Santa Margarita Mountains. Ten miles away, blocked by the mountains, is the Pacific Ocean. At sunrise the fog rolls in; the marine layer, and blankets the canyon below us. It’s eerily reminiscent of floating above the clouds. I can hear my neighbor’s rooster, the chickens squawking, turkeys gobbling, goats and sheep baaing.
View from my neighbor’s farm. Photo taken by Jennifer McMullen.
In this tranquil setting I sit on a favorite loveseat we’ve dragged around with us for the last thirty-five years, from New Jersey, to Michigan, and on to California. The items which formerly rested on my writing desk in Michigan now line up along a bookcase in front of me. Everything on its surface has meaning for me; treasures from parents, sister, children and close friends. Gifts from Jim when we were dating include six paperweights. It’s as though he knew someday I would be dealing in lots of paper.
Yesterday, after flipping open my laptop, I was unable to get into my Gmail account. I was prompted to log in, but when I put my password in it didn’t work. I use 1 Password, and even the password saved in that program didn’t access my account. For almost an hour I waded through the must frustrating directions and each attempt at accessing my account failed. It asked me to find a verification code in my back up email account at Yahoo. So I went there, and guess what? Same problem; I was locked out of my account. Eventually, Google remembered I have my phone number in my security settings and sent me a code there which enabled me to move forward. Three hours later and all our passwords for banking, credit cards, blah blah blah were changed.
Then I went to my email again and discovered an email from Mail Chimp, the email marketing service I use and trust, informing me my entire email list had been successfully exported. The only problem here is that I didn’t request it. Someone posing as me slipped past their security gates to steal my email list. I quickly notified Mail Chimp and their solution was to deactivate my account while they investigate. So I am unable to notify my list until they decide to reactivate it.
I am so sorry this has happened. I promised you your email address would be safe with me at Mail Chimp and evidently, it was not. Hopefully, you won’t be deluged with garbage email. I’m so careful about only sending you relevant news. I hope you’ll stay connected with me. I have a few newsworthy items which I’ll tell you about here rather than wait for Mail Chimp to sort out their security issues.
Book News– South Shore Romance: Pam of Babylon #12 release date is right around the corner! On February 25th, you’ll read how almost everyone in Pam’s circle is able to resolve their adult situational crisis. As I wrote the book, I was determined to close this chapter of Pam’s life and of my own. Although so many of you love the stories, there are readers who don’t like them and are making their voices heard on Amazon and Goodreads. I only hope those of you who love Pam will also step forward and review the books for me.
Anyway, I was going to have #12 be the last Pam book. Who wants to read a #13? But as usually happens to me when I become engrossed in the tales of Babylon, more ideas come. So I started to take notes for #13. But there will be twist here. I’m going to bypass Amazon with this one and sell it exclusively here on my website.
Also, Burn District 2 is almost finished! Maybe another month or two if we don’t have any crisis. We’ve moved already, so I won’t have that work facing me, eating up writing time.
I’m thinking of a new series, too. Class of ’68. It won’t be autobiographical, but I do have a lot of stuff in my head. For those of you who read Atlas of Women, my compilation of short stories, the novella Mademoiselle is right out of my high school memory vault but with fictional characters. Atlas of Women is always free on Amazon so pick it up. It’s a good read.
That’s my news. I’m so sorry about the email situation. Thank you for your support. Have a great weekend.