New York, Manhattan, Warwick, Bellvale and Greenwood Lake

I wasn’t in the city too much, but I did catch this shot of the George Washington Bridge on the way out.


I stayed with friends at Greenwood Lake outside the city. You don’t have to drive that far to be in a country setting. This shot is from Demarest Hill Winery in Warwick New York.

Demarest-wineryThe wine wasn’t to my liking, but they do appear to have good grappa and brandy, which I didn’t try. The scenery was stunning.

However, in the department of recommendations, I suggest The Creamery. Here you will get great views and fantastic ice cream!

The Creamery Ice Cream Cone Nia in front of The Creamery View from The Creamery

To burn off some of the ice cream, we went water skiing, or at least, my friends did. I used the opportunity to play with the Panasonic DMC-ZS40’s auto-focusing motor drive. It’s pretty easy to rack up about 300 photos in an hour that way! I liked that I could zoom in on the skier and then shoot continuously. For action shots you really have to shoot that way to get just the right shot. Here is my favorite of a friend of my friends.


Ochs Orchard in Warwick is a beautiful place to pick up some produce.

Ochs-farm FarmOverall, I had a great time with my friends. The meeting I had with Brenda Novak, her agent and one of her editors, Margaret Marbury, was very helpful to me. We had a good time and the conversation helped me sort some things out for myself about genre, direction, blogs, and commercial fiction.


Power lunches

I had lunch in Menlo Park with a friend the other day at a wonderful restaurant called Cafe Borrone. We sat outside and split a goat cheese platter and salads. Behind us I spotted this fabulous door, and that’s when I remembered my camera bag … which I had left at home. ūüė¶ Okay, for me, this is what phone cameras are for … desperation. Some people take incredible photos with their phones, but I just have some random app on my Android phone, and it’s really not very good. But thank goodness for smart phones anyway, or I wouldn’t have been able to take this shot.


I¬†didn’t notice the BBC on the door until this morning when I started fiddling with the photo for today’s post. BBC stands for British Banker’s Club, which was a rowdy bar until it was closed by the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) in 2012. Well … technically the ABC can just pull the liquor license, but I liked how that last sentence sounded, and anyway, when a bar loses its liquor license, the result is it’s closed. No great loss, IMO, after reading about some yucky history there. But now this historic building will get new life as a lovely restaurant. That’s great, but … really … I just liked the door!

Okay, the one above is still a little crooked. My eye doctor says one eye is higher than the other, and that’s why I stand with my head tilted. I was like … really?! He said look at some photos, and sure enough, yes, I tilt my head. But if I straightened this photo¬†any more, the BBC was lost.

Here are some other crops, with no adjustments other than crop.

In this one, I like the way the letters glow.

The top

The window

So … was this a power lunch? Yes, of course. Whenever two friends make time to have lunch together, there’s a lot of power.

I also just won the bid on Brenda Novak’s auction for Diabetes research for another power lunch–this one¬†in New York City in July!

Here’s the description:

This is a triple threat package–lunch, advice and brainstorming with NYTimes Bestselling Author Brenda Novak, one of her editors, Margaret Marbury, VP of Harlequin Enterprises, and her agent, Dan Raines of Creative Trust in New York City during THRILLERFEST, (at a mutually agreeable time and place).

Do not miss this opportunity to pitch ideas, ask about publishing trends and generally take advantage of literally decades of publishing experience!

I’m not going to Thriller Fest as I don’t write thrillers at the moment. I’m just going out for the meeting using my frequent flyers and staying with one of my very close friends. I have no idea what will come of this meeting, I just had a very strong impulse to bid on that item on the first day of the auction. I almost lost the bid during the last hour last night. It was incredibly exciting to watch the count-down on the timer. I really couldn’t bid any higher, so I watched the minutes count down with my heart in my throat.

Needless to say, I didn’t get a huge amount of work done during that last hour! Once I won the bid, I made my plane reservations and this morning I confirmed staying with my friend, who is going to take the days off and pick me up at the airport at 5:30am.

There’s that power of friendship again…. Maybe that’s what it’s all about?