Saturday, September 15, 2018

Write On

A good writing week. I managed to draft a few scenes in the latest manuscript and am at the 58,000 word mark. I'd planned to be at 60,000 words at the end of August but the edits of Turning Secrets threw a wrench into that schedule. Speaking of which, I received some final comments and questions about Turning Secrets on Friday that I need to respond to by Tuesday. Nothing major, but will take a bit of time. The manuscript is like a boomerang!

I'm visiting a book club on Tuesday so that should be fun. The Ottawa Public Library has also lined me up to visit two groups of new immigrant women in October to speak about the Anna Sweet novellas and other high-low books, which are written for adult literacy and English as a second language. When I taught years ago, I worked with some adults on improving their reading skills and lamented that we had to read kids' books. Somebody must have been listening - these novellas are adult themes and subjects but at a grade 3-5 level. Grass Roots Press publishes the Anna Sweet mysteries and their entire focus is adult literacy and ESL. Such good resources if you're teaching in this field. In addition to the series, I worked on a book of main idea paragraphs at the grade five level last year and believe the book will be published this fall.

I haven't had a lot of time to read lately but am currently reading Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery. Louise has a huge Canadian and international following and has won many, many awards for her series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and set in the fictional town of Three Pines in the Eastern Quebec townships. Still Life is the first in this acclaimed series if you are looking for a new mystery author to read and haven't sampled Louise's work before. Louise is a former CBC radio host and a natural speaker in addition to being a fine writer.

So, last week, Ted and I visited friends in Niagara wine country and managed to visit a few wineries, including the Niagara Wine College where we took a morning tour. The weather started out warm but cooled during our visit, a sign of the autumn weather to come. Niagara is an area of the country you need to put on your bucket list if you've never been. The beautiful countryside, fresh fruit and vegetables, and fabulous restaurants make it well worth the visit (in addition to all those wineries).

Niagara Wine College also makes beer!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Gone Fishing

I'm taking a bit of a holiday this week. In St. Catharines visiting friends and doing some wine touring. Ted and I checked out Henry of Pelham yesterday afternoon - glass of Baco Noir, some pate and chutney outside on the patio - then over for wine and cheeses at Marilyn Bodogh's lovely home. Marilyn is a two-time world ladies curling champion and has become a fan of the Stonechild and Rouleau books :-)

We're now getting set to head over to the Niagara Wine College where we have a tour and lunch booked. Life in wine country isn't too hard to take.

I have written a longer post about my other creative pursuits for the 7 Criminal Mind blog, which you can read on Monday.

Other than this brief update, have a great week everyone!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Summer's End

September long weekend used to be the time for getting ready to return to school. We're long past that but this is still the lull before we launch into fall activities. I'm going to miss the long days of summer - feels as if I didn't get half of the things done that I wanted to.

The author-to-author piece ran this Wednesday on CBC Radio's All in a Day and you can give it a listen if you missed the broadcast. Author and Ottawa U. English prof Gerald Lynch and I had a great discussion about writing, which actually took an hour but was edited down to eleven minutes or so. I really enjoyed our time together. Below, Gerald and I had just completed the interview at Thyme and Again on Wellington, and CBC Associate Producer Julie Delaney snapped a few pics.

And for this week - I'm going to be a return guest on 1310 News Radio and The Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe this Wednesday, September 5th from noon to 12:30 EST if you have a chance to tune in. There certainly is lots of news to discuss these days!

I spent the past week completing my for sure final edit of Turning Secrets and could finally step away from the computer ... well, for an evening anyway before I got back working on the latest manuscript. It's been tough starting and stopping as I feel a loss of momentum each time, but I'm going to write through the long weekend and try to get back on track. I see a good deal of editing on my horizon to pull this plot together.

I keep forgetting to mention that the next Stonechild and Rouleau book, Turning Secrets is now available for pre-order on in Canada and in the U.S. I'm told pre-sales can propel a book into stardom, but no pressure :-)

The other big news on our street is that we're finally getting the pavers in. After the second summer with a dug-up road, this is good news indeed. While we're pleased with the sewer and water systems upgrades, living in a dust bowl has been wearing. Even with the dug-up road, traffic is speeding past, creating clouds of choking dust. Makes us realize we need traffic calming when all is said and done because the majority of drivers are not slowing down even with the road under construction. Most annoying not to mention dangerous.

So, good, safe long weekend everyone. Let's enjoy the last days of summer before the autumn beauty rolls in.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Keeping Busy

So an interesting week that was.

Last Saturday, I spent three hours with R.J. Harlick at Chapters Gloucester. The store workers told us it was a slow weekend (such beautiful weather) but we met a lot of readers, handed out bookmarks and sold lots of books anyway. Thank you to friends Darlene Cole, Nancy Reid and Lynne Wells Baxter for stopping by and brightening our afternoon.

Robin Harlick with a new reader

Thursday morning was the CBC Radio taping for All in a Day. I biked over to Thyme and Again where I met author Gerald Lynch for the first time and we were greeted by Associate Producer Julie Delaney with her tape recorder and microphone. In addition to being an author, Gerald is an English prof at Ottawa U. with lots of interesting insights - and a great sense of humour. After picking up some coffees, we climbed the steps to the second floor and settled in for the 'author to author' interview. The hour passed quickly and we had no end of topics to chat about. Julie will edit the talk down to about 15 minutes and it is scheduled for this coming Wednesday in the 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. slot if some breaking news doesn't crop up.

I was getting back into the writing groove when last night the Turning Secrets manuscript reappeared in my email for another review, this time checking for spelling and grammar/punctuation errors. A new copy editor will be looking through the manuscript at the same time as I am - the final time before this goes to the printer. I thought I'd had my last look at it so this was something of a surprise, but a good idea nonetheless. However, my current manuscript is on the back burner again.

I received a couple of invitations this week - one to a book club in September and another to an evening at Books on Beechwood in October, both of which I'm happy to accept. In addition, Beth Bruder, former VP at Dundurn called this week about a book club meeting for lunch in Cobourg who had chosen Cold Mourning as their book for the month. Beth had kindly recommended my series and will be a guest at the lunch.

So, last week in August. It's my Monday to post in 7 Criminal Minds blogspot and I'll need to get that going before I settle in to editing once again. The summer is winding down but it seems my workload isn't!

Have a great week, everyone and don't forget to check out All in a Day on Wednesday:-)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Catching Up

Summer is slipping away. My neighbour Carol, a public school principal, has started going in to work in preparation for school starting in a few weeks. My daughters' curling seasons are days away from starting up again; in fact, may youngest Julia has spent the last week teaching at a curling camp. I know we say it every August, but where did the summer go?

I'm two-timing on this blog, having taken on a second gig. On Monday, August 13, I posted my first blog as a regular contributor on 7 Criminal Minds blogspot, which includes ten crime fiction authors from Canada and the U.S. I'll be posting every second Monday. We have a new question(s) every week, blogging Monday to Friday, and this past week, the topic was 'selecting a book title'. You can check out our different responses and find out how each of us go about it. Bookmark the site to keep up with the weekly topics.

This week, I'll be interviewing Gerald Lynch and he me, at a Westboro location for All in a Day on CBC Radio. We've yet to nail down the location but have a date and time. I read Gerald's book Omphalos in preparation and think we could have a most interesting chat! The episode should air the following Wednesday, but I'll confirm in next week's blog if you want to listen in. They post the interviews on the CBC site the next day, I'm told.

I've started back working on my latest manuscript, trying to get back into the daily groove. I'm going to have to settle in if I'm to make 60,000 words by the end of August. I'm not sure it's possible at this point but hope springs eternal.

And last note, I'll be at Chapters Gloucester signing copies of the Stonechild series this Sunday between noon and 3:00 p.m. if you have a chance to stop by.

Past signing at Chapters Gloucester

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, everyone!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Not Bored Yet

Eight days of editing ... no writing to speak of. That was my week. With the exception of a guest visit to Radio 1310 and the Power Lunch on Tuesday at noon. It was my third time this summer and each time, I've been with another guest new to me. This time, there was even a new host Mark Day who is filling in while Mark Sutcliffe is on holiday. The more radio and television I do, the more relaxed I'm becoming. Maybe after this summer, I should get my own show ... or ... maybe not.

A second media 'happening' went live this week. Matt Demers, a.k.a. Mr. Hollywood, interviewed me a few months ago for his show Hollywood in the Valley. The theme was mystery novels. The show went live this week on 1 Bell Fibe TV - a free station - season 3 episode 4 and it's under Entertainment although I found the show in a search for the name of the show. Rather a light-hearted exchange that was fun to tape.

I was exhausted after all that editing this past week, I have to say.  This should be the last time I see Turning Secrets until next spring. Some interesting developments in the lives of my main characters and some perilous situations ahead. Wa ha ha.

One more interesting thing to report this week. You may remember that a screenwriter in L.A. optioned the books for a television series. He called me yesterday and he's been working on the arc and plans to give his pitch to networks in the upcoming weeks. We spent an hour and a half chatting about the characters and plot line for season one - as you might know, these usually change from books to fit television or movies. I like that he wants my input and wants to stay true to my characters. Going from this point to an actual contract with a studio is still a long way from certain but exciting to contemplate and gratifying to know that he likes the books so much.

So, I need to get my head back around my unfinished manuscript and settle into writing next week. I don't think there's anything else to take up my time ... oh, except reading Gerald Lynch's book Ophalos for a CBC radio spot in which we're to interview each other. I'm a third of the way in. The recording date is later in August.

This is turning into one interesting summer!

Oh yes, if you want to catch up with me, I'll be at Chapters Gloucester signing books on Sunday, August 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Now, time to get this day underway.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Back to Work

Back home from the East Coast trip - left the cool nights and fog behind and returned to the sweat box. However, I'm spending the week at my desk as I go through the copy edits for my next book Turning Secrets with a tight deadline. So I'm spending the long weekend staring at my computer screen ....

I've been invited back to 1310 Radio's Power Lunch this Tuesday from moon to 12:30 if you have a chance to tune in. We talk about the issues of the day and the show is simultaneously broadcast on Rogers Cable 22 and 1310 Facebook Live.

I'll also be at Chapters Gloucester on Sunday, August 19 between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. if you'd like to come by for a chat and/or a signed copy of any of the Stonechild books. This is the only signing I have lined up for the summer although Chapters Carlingwood has asked me to set up another signing at their store in the fall. The managers in both stores have been super supportive so shout out to Amanda Malone, Heather Mallette and Diane Walker.

And my last bit of news for the week: my fellow crime writer and friend Robin Harlick invited me to join 7CriminalMindsblogspot, a long-running blog that has a cast of authors posting on different days. I'll be posting once every two weeks as I answer a question that will also be answered by other crime writers throughout the week. Should be fun to put my mind around different topics of writing interest. I'll share the posts here once I get started but you can also meet some other fine crime writers if you bookmark the link.

I don't have much time to chat this week if I'm to get that editing done on time but I'll close with some photos from my Nova Scotia holiday and the sea-bound coast. I'm already going through seafood withdrawal. The lobster catch is a good one this year although somewhat depleted after Ted and I ate our way through several pounds.

 Cape Forchu lighthouse south of Yarmouth

 Our B & B in Digby - the charming Bayside Inn
 The purple and blue hydrangea are gorgeous and in gardens all over the province.
The Digby lighthouse was rotting on a St. John pier and returned to Digby in exchange for a load of scallops. Our nephew Keith Weagle rebuilt the lighthouse and it stands in the centre of town overlooking the harbour.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Aye Aye Maties

Well Ted and I managed to find one of the only places in Canada with cold/rainy/foggy weather and I have to say that it's a nice break from Ottawa's heat and humidity. We're in Meteghan Nova Scotia in a summer curling bonspiel staying in a cottage near the ocean which we haven't really seen yet because we're fogged in. Our record is one win and one loss - well we tied the second game but lost on a draw to the button. We could have five more games in two days if we keep winning ... so might be more merciful to lose and find our way to the bar. The spiel includes a scallop and a lobster supper, so really, we're all winners :-)

The Dundurn team sent along the copy edited Turning Secrets for my final review. I'll be working on it when I get home and have about six days to go through it. My last kick at the can so I want to focus on every word. From past experience, I know that it's time-consuming, meticulous work.

I also heard from Alan Neal about the guest appearance on CBC Radio's All in a Day. I've been paired up with another local author and we'll be meeting at a coffee shop later in August to interview each other for an upcoming show. This will be one show in a series and should be a lot of fun, both for us and for the listeners. I have a copy of the other author's book, which I've begun reading but need to also focus on soon.

So not much time for writing this week but I'm just 500 words short of my 50,000 word goal for July. Hopefully if this manuscript goes like the others, I'll start to pick up the pace as I get closer to the end. But for now, curling, seafood and fresh salt air.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Big Reveal!!

So this morning, the big reveal! Below is Laura Boyle's front cover design for Turning Secrets, book six in the Stonechild and Rouleau series. A somewhat unsettling and suspenseful vibe? This one will be released by Dundurn in May 2019 so a little wait ...

And not to end here, photographer/videographer/neighbour Graham Law took some publicity pictures of me in his backyard on Monday and here is a sample of his handiwork (Hopefully, this one isn't unsettling too :-):

Other news - I'm going to be on CBC Radio's All in a Day with Alan Neal in early August. The date is being finalized but I can tell you that it should be a fun and somewhat novel (ah hem) interview. Stay tuned!

Writing chugged along this week but I had to fill in a publicity grid for the next book and this took me a couple of afternoons. I've gotten used to working on a few books at the same time: writing one, editing another and publicity for a third, and while confusing, everything seems to get done on time. I've learned not to sweat it. Working in Communications in the government was a great training ground for juggling projects.

Not a great deal more to report this week. The road construction has turned our street into a dust bowl but my garden is taking little notice and thriving. It helps that I'm out there every morning hosing down the flowers. The grass ... not so much. It's become yellow and crunchy - I believe what you call 'gone dormant' although it sure looks dead to me. I'll end this week with a few more photos - the first two of my front yard/street and the third of my hardy side garden. Good week everyone.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Summer in the City

Good morning everyone. Mid-July already! The best time of year for fresh produce - I think I've eaten four pounds of cherries alone.

Bleeding Darkness has been on the shelves for two months now and I've been working with Dundurn on the next book - Turning Secrets, which is due for release in May 2019. This week, designer Laura Boyle sent along a preliminary version of the cover and she nicely captured the major theme. I also spent a morning tightening up the cover text which I'd written a while back. Dundurn needs this now to start publicizing in catalogues. I'll share the cover once I have the final.

Meanwhile, I continue writing the latest manuscript and am in the dreaded middle. This is the point in every manuscript where I question the plot, the writing and my ability to pull this off. I'm comforted that other authors all report this same self-doubt mid-way through their manuscripts. The remedy is to ignore the negative thoughts and to keep writing. This seventh book in the series is the last so I'm tying up ongoing plot lines and this makes the writing even more challenging. I'm aiming to hit 50,000 words by the end of July and have 3000 words to go so I should reach the target without problem.

I was invited back to Radio 1310 News and the Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe on Monday. I enjoy speaking about topics in the news, not normally voicing my opinions except to Ted :-) You can watch the half hour show, which was broadcast simultaneously on 1310 Facebook Live and Rogers Cable 22.

Our street work continues, making concentration a challenge. They dug up our lawn to lay new pipe so I was typing while they excavated and pounded and beeped a few feet away. The noise and shaking starts at 7 a.m. on the dot and stops at 5 or 6 p.m. I've surprisingly managed to ignore most of the noise except when the entire house shakes and the pounding feels like it's going right through one's body. The dust is incredible - our cars are coated in it every day and it sifts into the house. I have a dust allergy so my sneeze count is up. Anyhow, we need the new sewers so this is small pain for big gain and I applaud the guys who spend the long, hot days doing this dusty, dirty, unpleasant, nasty work.

So, time for that last cup of coffee before I get the day underway. I have a little bike ride and writing on my agenda capped off by a BBQ and glass of wine.

Ahh summer ....

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Writing Through the Heat

Another week spent writing. Nothing all that exciting about sitting at my computer typing ... plugging away and moving the story forward. I have, however, passed the half-way mark in the word count.

As you may recall, I was on Radio 1310's Power Lunch a month ago with host Mark Sutcliffe. Well, I've been invited back and you can tune in this Monday between noon and 12:30. The show is also broadcast live on Rogers Cable 22 and on 1310 Facebook Live--just do a search and there it will be on your computer. We get five topics in the news the morning of the show along with opinion choices and then discuss our points of view over the half hour. The other guest will be a surprise until the day of.

I'm also going to get some photos taken on Tuesday with Graham Law, a photog friend who curls at the Granite and lives a few streets over. This came about because Dundurn requested one for next year's book Turning Secrets along with a couple of pages of information. That took some time to get together but I managed to make yesterday's deadline. The photo will be late but this won't be an issue.

Man, this past week was blistering hot. A few days in the forties with the humidex and the air felt so heavy and thick, it hurt to breathe. I made it outside early every morning to water the garden and flower pots before the sun was fully up. By lunchtime, it was too hot to spend any time outdoors.  Too hot to barbecue at suppertime even.  We've had heat waves before but never one like this. Not encouraging Mother Nature to make a habit of it.

So, another week ahead of writing. Thank you to everyone who's been posting comments, pictures of Bleeding Darkness in different locales or photos of themselves reading the book. Every photo makes me smile and helps spread the word. Also to those posting reviews on social media. You know, I grew up in the generation told not to blow your own horn and marketing does not come naturally. However, I've come to realize that if people don't know about the books or receive enough positive feedback on them, they will never pick them up -- and it's a great feeling to know people are enjoying my stories:-)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hot Time in the City

Heat has settled like a Hudson's Bay blanket over the Ottawa Valley and most of Ontario. Tomorrow, Canada Day, is expected to hit 47 degrees C with the humidex factored in. We're about to experience the tropics in the Canadian North. (I will not be attempting to straighten my hair.

This has been another quiet week on the publicity front so I've been able to write every day. My goal was to reach 40,000 words by the end of June and I'm now heading up to 43,000 words - a good thing as July is going to be busy. I started filling in information Dundurn requested for the publication of Turning Secrets (book 6 in the Stonechild series) next year and have to focus on this soon. It's due back July 6 and I have a ways to go. So, another week at the computer ahead.

Speaking of which, the City of Ottawa is 'revitalizing' our street. This involves replacing sewers and water lines. The truck noise, which includes continual beeping, diesel trucks idling, and pounding that shakes the house, begins at 7 a.m. and goes on until 5 p.m. or so every week day. The dust blows and settles around and in our house and yard so that I have to keep the windows closed - and we're told to expect this for the entire summer. I've been typing at my computer and it's vibrating from the pounding going on metres away. Makes concentration difficult, sometimes impossible. I feel for the construction workers who have to live with this day in and day out, slaving away out there in the heat and humidity and dirt. We have it easy by comparison. Still, everyone on the street is eagerly anticipating the autumn silence.

I went downtown to Tim Wynne-Jones book launch on Tuesday evening and picked up a signed copy of The Ruinous Sweep. It was great to see Tim and to hear him read from his latest book - he's also the voice on the audiobook version. The protagonists in this book are two older teens but Tim says the book crosses into adult and is a mystery/thriller. I'm excited to give it a read.

And that's it for my book news.

So plans for Canada Day? I went strawberry picking yesterday morning before the heat settled in and will be baking my annual strawberry shortcake to bring to our friends' house for supper. We've been getting together with them most Canada Days since the kids were little. This year as always, it's worth stopping and appreciating this vibrant, inclusive and free country that we call home. Now more than ever. we cannot take all that we have for granted.

Cheers Canada! You're looking mighty good for your 151 years.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Into the Rhythm

This was a week to decompress. After a month of events and media, I was happy to get back into the rhythm of my normal life.

This is a decompressed me - very easy to achieve :-)

I often get asked when I write and for how long. Many writers work best in the morning but I'm finding that I use the mornings to get my chores and running around done and start writing around eleven. I break for lunch and then write most of the afternoon, sometimes after supper if I'm on a roll. I aim for minimum 500 words a day and sometimes manage closer to 1000.

Often, I've got other work going on in addition to the writing. For example, this week Dundurn sent along a request for a page of information to prepare for the release of my next book entitled Turning Secrets, which is the sixth Stonechild and Rouleau mystery. It has a May 2019 publication date so you can see we prepare well ahead. As part of this info, I have to write a book cover synopsis so this is going to take some thought and time. I worked an hour yesterday morning on the material and expect I'll be working at it off and on all next week. I also did some to-ing and fro-ing this week with Diane Walker and Amanda Malone to set up a signing at their Chapters store in Gloucester. We've chosen Sunday, August 19 so I'll be give you the details later in the summer.

Bleeding Darkness is getting some terrific reviews from readers on Goodreads as well as from Booklist and Publisher's Weekly. I'm mighty pleased that the series is striking a note with readers and thank everyone who took the time to post a review or to send a note to me privately with your thoughts.

Last night, I went to see the iconic Boz Scaggs at Jazz Fest and what a great show. I can't tell you how many times I played Silk Degrees on the turntable over the years and it was very cool to hear Boz sing several of the songs live. Such a smooth, one-of-a-kind voice with songs that truly hold up.

Also did some reading this week. I finished Truth by Peter Temple. He's an award-winning Australian writer and has a unique style that I quite admire. I'd previously read The Broken Shore, which won the 2007 Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award and which I was blown away by. I'm now rereading a Denise Mina book called Still Midnight. A different style but another marvellous crime writer. I highly recommend her work, especially the Paddy Meehan books. Some summer reading to put on your list!

So, we've turned the corner into summer and the first few days have been warm and sunny. Today promises to be rainy but the gardens will welcome a drink. I'm about to put on another pot of coffee as I start a slow easing into the day. I hope you also have a relaxing weekend with a good book on the go and time to savour the longest days of the year. This is a pic of my writing and reading nook - a great spot to while away the hours.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

TV, Radio and Bookshops ...

So that was some week! Two store signings and three television interviews, including an overnight trip to Kingston. The Global interview was in the CKWS Kingston studio yesterday morning and you can view the clip.

A few photos from the signing at Novel Idea - a lovely bookshop that you need to visit when you're next in Kingston.

With Kathy Prairie and her husband Bill - Kathy is a mystery/thriller author and we had a chance to catch up over dinner the night before.

The Hollywood in the Valley taping was downtown last Saturday with host Matt Demers. The episode will be on Bell Fibe tv On Demand but I'm not sure of timing. This was a light-hearted interview and we managed it in one take. I couldn't recall what I said until later talking to Ted when I remembered his name came up a few times .... lucky for me he has a good sense of humour. I'll let you know when the show airs once I get the word.

On set with Matt Demers aka Mr. Hollywood

And Tuesday, I was on the Power Lunch on radio 1310 News with host Mark Sutcliffe. The show was broadcast simultaneously on Cable 22 television. The other guest was Ottawa lawyer John MacDonell, who was Chief of Staff for Peter MacKay when he was Minister at Defense and Foreign Affairs. We were given five topics with multiple choice opinions in the morning about topics in the news that day. It was a fun experience and I enjoyed meeting Mark and John, both interesting, friendly men who made me feel welcome.

Nothing planned this week so I can get back writing. I have about 5000 words to pump out by the end of the month to stay on the schedule I've set for myself. I alternate between working at the computer in my office and taking my laptop outside onto the back deck. More often than not, I get the bulk of my writing done in the afternoon once I get the running around and social media stuff done.

I should also have time this week to get back in my garden. A shot of the poppies in all their glory!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

On the Horizon

A busy week ahead.

This morning I'll be at Coles Carlingwood from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for any Ottawa readers who are looking for a signed copy of Bleeding Darkness.

And the rest of the week:

Saturday June 9 - 2:30 filming an interview with Matt Demers for Bell Fibe tv Show
Hollywood in the Valley                                           
Tuesday June 12 - Guest on Radio 1310 News Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe from noon to 12:30
Friday June 15 - Guest on Kingston tv CKWS The Morning Show
Friday June 15 - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. signing at Novel Idea bookshop, Kingston

The Sunday launch at The Cross on Elgin was terrific - lots of old friends and new friends came by to raise a glass and celebrate. Thank you to Katherine Hobbs for being MC, Green Floyd for entertaining us and Fred Taylor for snapping the photos below.