Archives for category: New York

Three years ago, when I was crossing the large parking lot of my market with a full cart of groceries, I noticed a diminutive, white-haired woman struggling with her cart.
I pushed my cart next to my car, then rushed across the lot to her. I asked her if she needed some help, she said yes, and I took the cart from her, pushing it to her car, which she pointed out to me. She opened the trunk, I lifted her groceries in, she thanked me, then I pushed her cart to a cart stall.
As I walked back to my car, several people smiled at me and said, “Good for you.”
It wasn’t a big deal. She clearly needed help, I provided help. Of all my family members (and there are not many of them), I most loved my maternal Grandma Mary. I appreciate and respect Little Old Ladies.
Five years ago, I went to New York City to attend the Author-Editors Reception of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (which has since been discontinued by SFWA). I booked the Super Shuttle to and from JFK Airport to my mid-Manhattan hotel.
The Super Shuttle promised no more than ten passengers, but our driver packed in at least twenty. The Shuttle stopped at every airline terminal—there are dozens. Plus JFK was a mess, with construction and detours everywhere. A passenger said, “Hey man, we’ve been here over an hour and we’re still not fucking out of the airport!”
The return trip was no better with passengers threatening to sue if they didn’t catch their flight in time. When I came home, I told husband Tom, “I’ll never take Super Shuttle again. All the private cabs have a standard fee from the airport. It’s worth every penny.”
I’m not surprised that Super Shuttle has shuttered recently.
On the incoming trip, I got on the Shuttle with a man who had been on the same jet from San Francisco. We sat side by side with our carryon bags behind the driver, exchanged business cards, and struck up a conversation which lasted all of the miserable six hours the Shuttle took to get from JFK to my hotel. He turned out to be a computer security specialist en route to a lecture he was going to give to a board of a big bank. He was very curious about my writing career. He regaled me with stories about the computer hacks he helped resolve, I regaled him with stories about where I get my fiction ideas, research, and publishing.
The driver, while he wasn’t furiously beeping his horn, hopping sidewalks (literally) to get around trucks and traffic jams, and making U-turns, was fascinated, listening to us. And told us so when we got out at last at our respective hotels.
I was quite stiff, after sitting for six hours on a Shuttle seat. I had a large traveling handbag and my carryon bag on straps over my shoulders. The computer specialist (he was a large man) disembarked first, and then I stood with my bags at the precipice disembarking from the Shuttle. The drop from the Shuttle doorstep to the street was at least two feet, maybe three. I’m not tiny at five foot six, neither am I huge. And the drop loomed before me. The computer specialist stood chatting with the driver. I suppose if I’d asked him, he would have helped me down from the Shuttle. But I didn’t. And he didn’t.
As I sort of fell down to the street, I felt keenly disappointed that, after six hours of conversation, he didn’t think to help me off the damn Shuttle.
Husband Tom is always gracious. He always holds open doors for people, men or women, and has been rewarded with his share of women snapping, “I can open the door myself.” To which he says nothing or “You’re welcome.” He helps neighbors who are moving in, carried a large television set into our elderly neighbor’s living room. He always walks on the street side when he and I are strolling on the sidewalk, opens doors for me (which I appreciate), and helped me in and out of my car a year ago when I was unable after the Attack. Tom is courteous to me, to everyone. He is a gentleman.
Many more years ago, I went to New York City, this time to meet my book editor at Bantam-Doubleday-Dell. Tom (another Tom) took me to lunch at a restaurant, all scarlet Art Deco décor, the entrance of which was accessible only by a heavy revolving glass door. We had a discussion about how a gentleman should handle a revolving door. If memory serves, Tom Dupree, the editor, was of the opinion that a gentleman should enter the revolving door first to set the door in motion, and the lady should follow. That way she didn’t have to push the heavy glass, but only enter the door and walk through. I thought that was an excellent suggestion.
We’re living in rude, mean times, during which total strangers assault one with profanity. Everyday courtesy is not just a gesture of gentility, a sign of respect of men toward women, of the younger toward the older, but of everyday kindness. If and when I’m eighty years old and need help pushing my shopping cart across the parking lot, I hope someone will be there. In meantime, as long as I’m able, I’m here to help. I don’t think twice.
Join me on my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206 and help me after the Attack. I’ve posted delightful new stories and previously published stories, writing tips, book excerpts, movie reviews, original healthy recipes and health tips, and more!
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In September, 2014, I sold a story, “Teardrop,” to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, one of the oldest and most respected venues for speculative fiction. F&SF, as it’s called, is presently edited and published by Gordon Van Gelder.

I mentioned to Gordon that I was flying in from California for the SFWA Author-Editor Reception. He invited me to a small dinner party he was hosting prior to the Reception at Little Town, a tavern a block and a half away from the Reception. He told me several writers who, like me, had recently sold stories to F&SF would be there. Little Town was also walking distance from the Wyndham Garden Hotel, so I was good to go.

Gordon was there, as well as his wonderful editorial assistant, Matthew Blackburn (a Princeton graduate, no less), Nick Wolven (who will publish a story in the same issue as me, the May/June 2015 F&SF), Marie Vibbert (who just published a story in Lightspeed), Alyssa Wong (who published a story in the May/June 2014 F&SF), and Leo Vladimirsky (who published a story in the March/April 2014 F&SF).

I had a chance to tell everyone about my experiences with Locus Magazine, the long-standing review trade magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field, and its founder and publisher, Charles N. Brown, who died in 2009. Charley was a hugely influential force in the field and I’m privileged to have known him. As I told Gordon, I miss him terribly! He did more to connect people in the field, especially writers, than anyone.

So there you have it, my friends. A good time was had by all. It was terrific for me to get revved up for the Reception with a light meal and conversation.

Next: The SFWA Reception, on October 6, 2014, at The Manhattan Penthouse. Also, I’ll write up what I told the dinner party about Locus and Charley.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia..

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

As soon as I decided to attend the reception, I contacted one of the event planners and asked him if he could recommend a hotel within walking distance of the event. Gordon had chosen, as I expected him to, a restaurant for our private group dinner very close to the event. I didn’t want to leave my punctuality for both these important occasions up to the whims and chances of Manhattan traffic! I love to walk, so ten city blocks poses no problem for me.

Steven recommended two, but the one that stood out for me was the Wyndham Garden Chelsea on West 27th between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The Mondrian-like front of it won me over immediately. A room was neither too expensive ($800 a night and up for some showplace like the Sheraton is standard) nor suspiciously cheap. Since I was only staying two nights, I was sold.

Location is key in other ways if you’re going to New York for pleasure. With its central location, the Wyndham Garden is ideal for easy jaunts uptown or downtown or in the Chelsea neighborhood itself. This particular block of West 27th itself is rather charmless. The idea is to go out! Also there’s a gym around the corner. As I was waiting for the Supershuttle on Tuesday morning, I saw several people go there for their morning workouts.

My modest-sized room was extremely comfortable with an oak cabinet for hanging up clothes, a little work desk with free Wi Fi and computer plugs, a computerized temperature control so the issue of the room being too cold or too hot, which I’ve had at some of the big hotels, wasn’t a problem, a cute little coffeemaker with Wolfgang Puck coffee, which isn’t very strong but I liked it, and a wall-mounted TV of course. The clean, comfortable bathroom had shampoo, conditioner, soap, and body lotion, and a magnifying, lighted mirror. My window looked out at the building next door, its fire escape, brick façade, and what apparently were architectural offices. This isn’t a view hotel but the bed and pillows were some of the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on ever.

A restaurant, Tre Stelle, is located right next door and handles all room service, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner service is available until 11:00 p.m. My salmon dinner was superb, together with the Pinot Grigio.

Checking in and out was a breeze. When my Supershuttle was late, the concierge got on the phone with them and kept me informed. Another concierge helped me log onto my email so I could pick up and print out my required United Boarding Pass and check in online. This is an important amenity to check out at any hotel so you don’t waste time at the airport.

So there you have it, my friends. I gave Wyndham Garden five stars on TripAdvisor.com. A completely enjoyable experience. Considering I was about to go out and take care of serious career business, I didn’t want to have to worry about my hotel!

Next: My dinner with the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction folks and the SFWA Reception.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia..

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Is it my imagination or is NYC darker at night than it used to be? Some years ago, I went to have dinner with an editor at a restaurant around the corner from her Greenwich Village apartment. After, I walked back to her place with her and said good-bye. Her little side street was pitch-dark; I asked if I should step inside and call a cab. She said, “No, just walk two blocks that way to Park Avenue. A cab will drive by.” My adrenaline was rather high as I walked down the dark street but, sure enough, when I stepped onto Park Avenue, the street was lit almost as bright as day. And a cab sped by in less than thirty seconds and drove me to my uptown hotel.

I recently was in NYC for the Author-Editor Reception sponsored by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at the Manhattan Penthouse, 80 Fifth Avenue at 14th. The event was winding down by 10:30 p.m. After speaking with three magazine editors, three literary agents, two book editors, several editorial assistants, and a handful of writers, I decided I’d had enough. I love to walk and wanted to walk from there to my hotel, the Wyndham Garden Hotel on West 27th, a mere ten blocks.

I went to Sixth Avenue and trekked north but even though there was lots of traffic and a few cafes and shops were open, it was so damn dark, I could barely see the street signs even with my glasses on. (I’ve got nearly 20-20 vision unaided and mostly wear glasses to see distances at night.) Kind of scary!

So there you have it, my friends. Has NYC turned down the lights at night to save money or am I misremembering how bright the city used to be at night?

Next: my stay at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, my dinner with the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction folks, and the SFWA Reception.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia..

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Once I made the commitment to go to the SFWA Author-Editor Reception, I checked the California Auto Association website since they’ve got a travel booking service as a part of my membership. That worked reasonably well since the website rounds up all the airlines and their schedules. But I was better off going to the airlines’ own websites and making my own arrangements with them.

I checked Jet Blue, which departs out of the Oakland International Airport, but they only had one of those killer red-eye specials both going and returning. Since I was only going for two nights and a full day, and that full day included both a special dinner and the reception, I was disinclined to totally turn day and night upside down.

Next, I checked United, which is based at the San Francisco International Airport. Yes! They had ideal flights both going and returning. Done deal!

I dislike arriving at my destination after nightfall or in the early dawn. You have to think about these things going from the West coast to the East since New York is three hours ahead of California and the flight is nearly six hours. My flight east took off at 7 A.M. and landed at JFK at 4:00 P.M, which was 1 P.M. on my biological clock. Perfect. Even with the wild, excessively long SuperShuttle ride, I could make it to another special dinner that evening.

By joining United’s Frequent Flier program, you simply make your own arrangements on the airline’s website and choose your seats. At no extra charge, United qualified me for the “Pre” program at SFO and JFK. This enabled me to breeze through security via a special line without removing my jacket or shoes and providing a fingerprint. I simply slid my carry-on and handbag through the scanner, walked through the scanner wickets, and I was done.

Not all airports have the “Pre” program. You’ve got to check. Some require a fee, as well.

Within twenty-four hours before your flight departs, you should check in online, and United will email your required Boarding Pass. Simply print it out, and you’ll waste no precious time at the airport going to the airline’s kiosk to retrieve that necessary document.

Caveat: you need to check that your hotel has a computer and printer you can use to get your Boarding Pass for your return flight. Fortunately, the Wyndham Garden Chelsea did.

Flying across this great country is a spectacular event. Civilization clings to both the coasts, and then the landscape changes dramatically. Over the Great Plains, you see endless flatlands that look like an abstract painting—perfect squares of pale sage-green and buff occasionally overlaid with perfect circles of contrasting colors. I have no idea what those circles are or how people delineate them so perfectly. It’s fascinating to see the winding silver thread of a river or the sparkle of a lake. Invariably, civilization clings to these shorelines, as well. Flying over the forbidding Sierra Madre Mountains and the even more spectacular Rocky Mountains never fails to provoke my wonder at how the early pioneers ever crossed those barriers.

The seats on United are as comfortable as a jet airliner’s seats can be. With your seat, you get a private home theater in the form of a little touch-screen mounted on the back of the seat in front of you. On this splendid device, you can watch movies (there’s a selection of twenty plus earbuds), TV shows, or play games. My favorite feature of the touch-screen is a map of the USA showing where your plane is presently located and how much longer the flight will be. I was especially thrilled to watch us approach JFK and land. Very, very cool!

So there you have it, my friends. Even though SFO is farther away from my home than the Oakland Airport, the extra freeway miles are worth it if the plane departure and arrival times are right. I’ll definitely be “flying the friendly skies” again!

Next: my brief stay at Wyndham Garden, my dinner with the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction folks, and the SFWA Reception.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia..

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!