Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Interview and eBook contest!

Interview with Dana Davis and free eBook contest! Happy New Year! Family members not eligible for the contest. Wednesday, December 29 at 12:00am - Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 12:00am.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Twas the Night Before Deadline

Twas the Night Before Deadline
Adaptation by Dana Davis (my apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

Twas the night before deadline, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my mouse.
The sticky notes hung by the computer in rows,
In hopes that my muse soon would make a show.

My characters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of plotlines danced in my head.
And computer all booted, and hand on my mouse,
I’d just settled my brain for a long writer’s joust.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the glass.

The moon on the pool and the landscape lights
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects in sight.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature woman in flowing apparel.

The little odd woman, so lively and loose,
I knew in a moment it must be my muse.
More rapid than eagles her course she came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called out my game!

"Now Dashes! now, Spaces! now, Paragraphs and Verbs!
On, Comas! On, Clauses! on Headers and Blurbs!
To the top of the page! To the margin and title!
Now type away! Type away! Type away, writer!"

As dry leaves that before the wild monsoon fly,
When she meets with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So into the house the course she flew,
With a bag full of ideas, my lovely muse true.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in my brain
The prancing and pawing of each little refrain.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Into the office my muse came with a bound.

She was dressed all in letters, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all garnished with phrases and words.
A bundle of ideas she had flung on her back,
And she looked like a fairy, as she opened her pack.

Her eyes-how they twinkled! her dimples how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the skin of her chin was as white as snow.

The stump of a pen she held tight in her teeth,
And the nouns they encircled her head like a wreath.
She had a round face and a little loose bun,
That bobbed when she laughed, like a hummingbird tongue!

She was chubby and plump with ideas for my shelf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself!
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And filled all my sticky notes, then turned with a jerk.
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
And giving a nod, out the window she rose!

She danced and she laughed, and gave out a whistle,
And away she then flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, ‘ere she flew out of sight,
"Happy writing to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dana's travel pics.

I've had a lot of interest in my world travels so if you'd like to see more photos of places I've been, please visit my facebook album.!/album.php?aid=154743&id=591073862

You don't have to be a member of facebook to see the pics but if you are a member, I'd love for you to friend me. And please let me know that you saw this post on my blog. Thanks and enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dude, I’m Driving Here!

I’m just guessing, but I think maybe Phoenician driving habits are related to the intense heat frying people’s brains during the long summers. Or perhaps it has to do with the mysterious Phoenix lights in the sky altering people’s interpretation of reality. Or maybe it’s the dust. Whatever the reason, driving here is a test in all the skills they tried to drill into you during driver’s ed class. Remember those old simulators that logged your response times? Remember laughing with relief when the kid chased the ball in front of your fake car because you just barely missed taking him out? While kids chasing something into the street is a fabulous reason for keeping your senses open, its other drivers I tend to worry about most. Thankfully, my horn is in good form, as I tend to use it more here than I ever did while living in Los Angeles.

Now I tend to go about five miles over the speed limit at any given time. Yeah, I’m a rebel. But seriously, I like to arrive at my destination with me and my car in one piece. However, since the freeway cameras were removed here, things have gone back to the way they were before, and driving in Phoenix freeway is tantamount to maneuvering the Indy 500 track with bad drivers behind the wheels. And, for some reason, Arizonans don’t realize what turn signals are for. Or else, they just can’t find them.

Like most of my freeway excursions, I felt lucky to make it home from the last one. So, there I am, driving along in my cute gas sipping car, not talking on a cell phone, not putting on makeup, or eating, or gazing at my GPS map, or any number of things I could do instead of actually driving, when one of these Indy dudes decides to change lanes. With no signal. And straight for me. Now, if I remember a bit of physics, no matter how hard one wishes it, two objects can’t occupy the same space at the same time. Sadly, this basic physics lesson tends to get ignored around here. Quite a bit. So with my heart racing, no escape route in sight, and an awful image of my cute baby’s front end being removed, I pressed the horn, while yelling through my closed window, “Hey, dude! Stay in your own lane!” Luckily for me, the other driver must’ve remembered his simulator training, because he swerved back into his own lane, thus avoiding an increase in both our insurance plans.

But before my heart could get back to a normal rhythm, I spot a huge Indy truck coming up fast in my rearview mirror. This dude seemed to think that tailgating me for several miles would make my car disappear. Um, the left lanes are there for a reason. Really. Anyway, after passing several exits, he gave up on me and merged into the right lane to ride another dude’s bumper. For some reason a lot of drivers have the same misinformation as Indy truck guy and think that tailgating will cause the car ahead of them to evaporate, which explains why freeway accidents here tend to involve three or four or even five vehicles. I’m still trying to find out which page of the driving manual has this information so I can bring it to someone’s attention.

On top of the regular, misinformed dudes on the road, during winter months, like now, the snowbirds flock to town. No, I don’t mean white birds. I’m talking retirees from places where it snows and gets really, really cold and icy and stuff like that. They come here for the winter months to swim, or something they can’t do back home. And let’s face it, no Phoenician in her right mind would go in the water when it’s a freezing 68 degrees outside so they pretty much have poolside to themselves. Now, while I’m a fan of older people - I’m even friends with some - I do wish those unfamiliar with Phoenix driving habits would curb the desire to get behind the wheel if they don’t really have to. Having to break and swerve to avoid some old dude doing 45 on the freeway is a heart-pounder, especially when the Indy vehicles dominate the other lanes, and makes a treacherous drive for the rest of us who try to stay somewhere near the speed limit.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, that giving the single finger salute would be a solution to some of these problems, or at least make one feel really, really good. But this is Phoenix. And everyone is packing. And I don’t mean gum. I have enough stress without getting shot and ending up on the six o’clock news. So, dudes, my middle finger is officially on hiatus. At least until I get back home to LA, where I can give it a serious workout without fear of losing it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Repost of final Egypt blog post from myspace - with photos!

Okay, so this is the last installment of my Egypt trip. I decided to save some fun and interesting stuff for this one. Like Greek and Roman graffiti and artwork on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Luckily, the Romans plastered over the hieroglyphics instead of painting or carving directly on them. This actually preserved them so when Egyptologists chipped the plaster off or it crumbled from age, the hieroglyphics were still there.

Here in the states, we’ve seen 19th century graffiti on ancient petroglyphs. In Egypt, you get Greek graffiti on hieroglyphs. But tourists aren’t the only ones to deface ancient property. In Italy, we saw ancient graffiti in Pompeii and other places. The same goes for Egypt. You’ve probably heard of a guy by the name of Rameses/Ramses II. We learned some interesting things about him. Like his name and/or statues and obelisks seem to be everywhere in Egypt. I don’t think we went too many places where we didn’t see something about him. Of course, he was a Pharaoh, but I’m beginning to think he was also a bit full of himself. After all, he scratched out his father’s name to carve his own in its place. And I believe he was the one who surrounded Queen (the only female pharaoh) Hatshepsut’s obelisks in stone so they couldn’t be seen. The men following her reign tried very hard to erase her existence. We were told she stole the throne from her young stepson and it really ticked him off, but I also think the patriarchal society back then had a lot to do with trying to erase her. Luckily for us, Egyptologists rediscovered her and added her back into the history books.

Unfortunately, Rameses’ II tomb in the Valley of the Kings was closed when we were there but we got to see other burial places.

Repost of Egypt trip blog - photos added!

Here is the original post from my old myspace blog about my recent Egypt trip. You may have read these blogs but I'm moving the most recent ones here. I've added photos.

Egypt part 1

Hubby and I just got back from Egypt, a trip we’d been planning for some time and a place both of us had wanted to visit since childhood. But who hasn’t, right? The first thing we noticed in Cairo is the traffic. Lanes are optional, horns mandatory, and accidents minimal to non-existent. We were as likely to see an 18 wheeler as a donkey on the various roads, which consisted of everything from smooth concrete to potholes and speed bumps. While riding with our driver, Mohamed, who enjoyed joking around, I tried my best to decipher the horn signals.

They go something like this:

1. One tap, mainly used for pedestrians – I’m coming, get out of the way.
2. Two taps – look out other cars, buses, donkeys, trucks – I’m coming through.
3. One long blast – hey, buster, look out, you’re drifting into my area.
4. A series of toots – howdy, everyone, how’s it going

After the entertaining ride from the airport to hotel, we were greeted with a nice view of the Nile River from our balcony. Surreal to think we were finally in Egypt, where ancient Pharaohs had once ruled this land. The next morning we drove to Giza to visit to the pyramids and sphinx. Not only is it humbling to stand in the shadows of these massive structures from a 5000 years ago civilization, squatting, hunching and just plain crawling into the hot tombs, is a feat in itself, and one I wouldn’t have missed. Cameras aren’t allowed in the tombs but we got plenty of pics from the outside.

The Egyptian people are friendly and love to chat and after crawling out of one of the ancient pyramid tombs, hubby and I were laughing about something. Don’t remember what. Maybe we were just punchy from the heat. But a man stepped to us and said to my husband, “You have good wife. She worth a million camels.” Now, I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or insulted, so I chose flattered and laughed all the harder. The man grinned and repeated his statement, patting me on the shoulder.

So, not only did I have an awesome time in Giza, but I’m also worth a million camels. Go figure.

Part 2

We took a day trip to Dendara (Dendera), which is just full of history from ancient Egypt to the ancient Romans and Greeks to Ptolemy, who are said to have made alterations to the temple and even built structures here. We arrived before any tour buses and got a chance to walk around this area while it was quiet. This made the site all the more special for us, especially when gazing up at columns and walls filled with ancient hieroglyphics. You can see some of the original paint color here, too. We even had a chance to walk into some of the underground tunnels. Ancient Egyptians decorated everything with hieroglyphics, one reason I love them so much.

Part 3

While seeing the great pyramids in Egypt was a dream come true for hubby and me and one we’d both been dreaming about since we were kids, I have to admit, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor may have been even better. Various tombs are in this area. Two of the most famous being that of King Tut and Ramses II. The colors in some of the tombs are so well-preserved, you’d think they were painted recently, but some are over 3000 years old. Three-thousand! While that’s a blip in geological time, it’s huge for us mere humans.

And a topper to this marvelous cake is King Tut’s mummy. Yep, his actual mummy is in his tomb. We stood right next to it. The sarcophagus is amazing, but to be right there with the king himself in his own burial chamber, well it’s extremely surreal. While photos are allowed driving up to the Valley of the Kings entrance, cameras are no longer allowed inside. So, I've borrowed some photos from friends who were there a few years ago to share with you, along with the ones I took.

Dana's Blah Blah is moving back to blogspot!

I had moved my blog to myspace because I have a lot of followers there but with the recent changes myspace has made, the site is just not feasible any longer, so I'm coming back here. I am in the process of moving a few entries here but this may take a little time because I have photos posted with many of them. I hope myspace readers will come to blogspot and I will post bulletins whenever I have a new entry. Thanks so much to all my followers for your patience and loyalty.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When a publisher asks for shocking changes

When a publisher asks for shocking changes - now at Dana's Blah Blah blog.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bisbee Ghost Hunt - #2

Bisbee Ghost Hunt part 2 is now up at Dana's Blah Blah Blog - with photos!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bisbee Ghost Hunt - #1

Bisbee Ghost Hunt first installment is now up at Dana's Blah Blah Blog - with photos!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ghost Hunt - most times an orb is just dust.

Ghost Hunt - most times an orb is just dust at Dana's Blah Blah Blog

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blogger award nomination!

I just received a Creative Writer blogger award nomination. :) To read all about it and see a list of bloggers that I nominated, please visit

Those of you who are unable to post on my myspace blog, please feel free to post here. Or you can visit my facebook page and post at

I'll still receive them no matter where you post. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spring Fever in the Valley of the Sun

Spring Fever in the Valley of the Sun blog at Dana's Blah Blah.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writers Have to Do More Than Write in the Digital Age

New blog up at Dana's Blah Blah - Writers Have to Do More Than Write in the Digital Age - plus questions and answers about my personal nook ereader.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dana's Blah Blah blog - Author bumps in the digital book age!

Dana's Blah Blah blog - Author bumps in the digital book age!

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