Spaceship earth

The 2017 Romance Writer’s of America National Conference is here in Disney World at the Swan/Dolphin Hotel. In my careers, I’ve been to lots of conferences: interior design, architecture, tennis. All were terrific, but this one is the most fun, romance writers  have lots to say about men, women and lovers. This first day was filled with activities you would expect at any conference,   workshops, lunches, meeting old friends, and making new ones. By 5:00 pm, I was ready to sit down, have a cold drink and chat, but instead we went to Epcot.

Epcot was a perfect end of the day with exploration at Disney’s World Showcase. Fun at Frozen.



Tree peppers

Learning about hydroponic veggies growing vertically (amazing to see) at Land of the Living, history and future of civilization at Space Ship Earth. Me in my scooter while the rest of our group walked the six miles around, and around and around trying to get to the French Patisserie, only to find them closed right after the fireworks. Sad face . . . imagine the disappointment.

History of Civilization

Kathryn, Pat, Gail, Lisa

Big thanks to Kathryn Ascher who organized the whole thing, right down to Fast Passes. We all giggled as we got right up to the front of the lines for our rides while a mob waited in long lines at Frozen. There were five of us in our small pack, Kathryn, the creator of the epcot day of course, writer Lisa Jass and her mom Pat Jass, and my Tom Claus, who also happens to be a writer, the scientific kind. And the music played on, Frankie singing “New York, New York.” I got off my scooter and we danced our Foxtrot up and down the pathway from the Swan to the Dolphin. Such a great evening, even got to see the fireworks. Four hours at Epcot – a brief encounter. Thank goodness.

Swan Hotel

Epcot lights









The House of Gail

Long ago and far away in Brooklyn, NY, 1954, Doc Ingis, my fiancé’s father, said, “Go buy yourself a beautiful pair of shoes, I’ll treat.” Oh boy, a fairy tale offering. He gave me fifteen dollars. I was rich and a silly young thing then, in love and engaged to be married. I took my fiancé’s hand and asked him to come shopping with me. I told him that there was a shoe store on 86th Street that would have the perfect pair of shoes. In fact, I had seen them in the window of A.S. Beck shoes. The shopping was close to his house in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. What a great opportunity, treated to my first pair of high heels. So exotic, the three inch kind, pink, backless, with two straps holding them onto my feet. I loved those shoes. I put them on and pranced back and forth in the store to show them off for my fiancé. He loved them too.  “There’s something about those shoes,” he said. They were sort of like these in the picture, only with two thin straps.

1950’s vintage heels


I felt like a peacock showing off his feathers. When we got back, Doc Ingis asked, “How much did they cost?” “Fifteen dollars,” I said proudly, thinking I had made a wise decision. WHAT? . . . “You paid fifteen dollars for two straps, why? How could you make sense of that?” Naturally, the tears rolled down my cheeks. Although, I did keep them, I did. But I never forgot his reaction and his words from this usually kind and generous man. I’m sure that experience influenced my shoe shopping habit today. I love my shoes, no matter the cost.

I have two weddings coming up for grandsons’ and their ladies. Excuse to buy new shoes! The first wedding is on top of a mountain, we get there by cable car, and that’s where the ceremony takes place. Then later in the Ingis backyard, all set up for a wedding celebration. Buying these shoes had almost a near-supernatural effect, like updating a fab fashion outfit from last year.

Wedding 1 Non-traditional on the mountain and in the backyard. I’m wearing black silk culottes and a white silk sheer blouse.


Science has an answer to that supernatural effect: Turns out, we’ve always been wired for shoe lust, even when the going gets tough. I had to have these, I immediately got taller and thinner, and can almost look into Tom’s eyes, rather than looking up. Well, almost. However, although I’m practicing, I may still need to hold his arm to walk in these stilts.

Wedding 2 Traditional in a hall and wearing a gown.

Here’s some facts about Apparel and shoes:
First of all, there’s some serious mood-boosting going on when you try on any kind of apparel. “The neurotransmitter dopamine is released, providing a feel-good high, similar to taking a drug,” says Martin Lindstrom, a branding expert for Fortune 100 companies and author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. “The dopamine increases until you swipe your debit card.” Usually, the high then flatlines, and guilt starts creeping in…except, that is, when the item you’re purchasing is a pair of shoes. Shoppers rationalize shoes as a practical buy — something they can wear multiple times a week — so they hold on to that pleasurable feeling longer,” says Lindstrom.

But it’s not just dopamine at work. Shoes’ mood-altering traits also come from another brain reaction, says Lindstrom. Buying new footwear stimulates an area of the brain’s prefrontal cortex termed the collecting spot. “Shoes are a collector’s item, whether women realize they perceive them that way or not,” says Suzanne Ferriss, PhD, editor of Footnotes: On Shoes. Just think of how they’re often stored artfully on shoe trees and shelves. “They’re like sculptures,” says Ferriss. As a result, collecting each type provides a mini-adrenaline rush similar to the satisfaction a stamp collector gets when he acquires a rare find.

All those wonderful feelings are intensified when you choose high heels…but again, it’s biology, not Jimmy Choo, at work. “Like most animals, we’re wired to associate height with power,” says Helen Fisher, PhD, professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. “High heels can literally raise your status because you’re taller when you wear them.”

Heels carry historical significance as well, adding to their appeal. In previous centuries, only the wealthy wore high heels — everyone else had practical footwear to do manual labor. “Shoes were a measure of class,” says Fisher, “and we still have a bit of that mind-set ingrained in us.”

Now go even higher — to stilettos — and another element rears its head: sex. Stilettos are undoubtedly foxy, but why, exactly? “When a woman wears them, she assumes a primal mating pose called lordosis,” says Fisher. “Her butt lifts, and her back arches.”

But there’s more to it than how hot your bum looks. According to Daniel Amen, MD, author of The Brain in Love, our minds are structured in a way that may associate feet with sex. “The area of the brain that communicates with the genitals is right next to the area that deals with the feet,” says Dr. Amen. “These regions share neural crosstalk, which may be
why shoes can be erotic.” And we thought it was just our lust for high style.

Some of this info is from http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/advice/a3331/women-love-shoes/

Did you know about the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto?

The Bata Shoe Museum is a footwear museum in downtown Toronto, Canada, located at Bloor St. and St George St. in the Bloor St. Culture Corridor. The museum collects, researches, preserves, and exhibits footwear from around the world.

Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA



Gail Ingis (using Beautycounter products)

July 26-29, 2017 Workshops, mentors, pitching editors, publishers and more:

Awards and Recognition Section Landing Page Photo Collage


Join 2,000 romance writers and industry professionals from all over the world for RWA2017 in Orlando, Florida, July 26–29, at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. The four-day conference features nationally recognized speakers, special events, and more than 100 workshops.


Local RWA chapers offer a number of conferences, contests, and workshops.  Click below to see the schedule for the coming months.



  • Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
  • Orlando, Florida
  • July 26–29, 2017

The RWA Conference is the place where career-focused romance writers meet, mingle, and get down to the business of being an author. RWA2017 includes over 100 workshops, the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing (open to the public); Keynote and featured speakers, book signings, and the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony.


Maria Connor, my Author Assistant

Here are just a few statistics from past conferences:

  • Over 20 countries represented
  • More than 800 published authors
  • Over 50 agents
  • An average of 150 industry professionals


Literacy signing on Saturday, July 29th from 3-5 pm. I’ll be there, with hundreds of authors and Maria Connor, so please stop by. Say hi, and buy my book to help support the Literacy organization. We all donate our books and our time.

Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA



Tom, Gail and Ed

We’re in the Navy (Army) now, a 1940’s song. That’s the tune our walking partner had to be singing. Ed has been walking everyday since forever, says he. Maybe sixty years, He’s 92 now, if he’s a day. Ed is in good shape, we figure cause he’s had the walking habit. Sort of like the postman, in the rain, the snow, freezing or hot, hot, hot. Ed walks. I have been walking with him for over ten of those years, maybe longer, then finally Tom took over, now he walks with Ed. And I do too when there’s time. I still get in my walking though, earlier and faster. Turns out he never finished high school, but went into the Navy instead. It was good, he was in a construction brigade man. He actually was in charge of accepting anything that was shipped to the boat, like ammunition. Once there was an explosion, he escaped, but many died. Ed served well during World War II, but he never saw any fighting.

WWII Seabees

The first Seabees (from Construction Battalions) were recruited by the United States Navy during World War II. They were skilled construction workers whose task was to assist in building naval bases in the theatres of war. In all, 325,000 men served as Seabees during the war.

The first three Naval Construction Battalions were formed in March 1942 by Admiral Ben Moreell, under the command of the Civil Engineer Corps. Enlistment was voluntary until December 1942, when the Selective Service System became responsible for recruitment. After basic training, including combat training, most members of newly formed battalions were sent to one of two Advanced Base Depots at Davisville, Rhode Island or Port Hueneme, California for advanced training before being shipped to an overseas assignment. Between tours of duty units would return to the Recuperation and Replacement Center at Camp Parks, California. As numbers grew the battalions were formed into regiments, the regiments into brigades, and brigades into a naval construction force for each theater of war. Special Construction Battalions and construction battalion detachments were also formed, containing men with specific construction skills. Eventually 190 battalions were created, in addition to detachments and maintenance units.

During World War II the Seabees constructed over 400 advanced bases, in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. In the Atlantic their work helped to protect the Panama Canal and Atlantic convoys, and to support operations in North Africa, Sicily, and mainland Italy, and the D-Day landings and subsequently in Western Europe, especially the crossing of the Rhine. In the Pacific, where 80% of Seabees were deployed, they built advanced bases to defend the Aleutian Islands and to support American advances in the South Pacific – starting from the Society Islands – and in the Central Pacific, starting from the Gilberts, Marshalls, Carolines, and Marianas. The Pacific war often found the Seabees in close support of invasion forces, taking part in unloading supplies, and quickly constructing or restoring harbours, airstrips and other facilities on newly captured islands. Their role in such operations as the invasion of Okinawa.


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