Saturday, September 10, 2011

Best Laid Schemes...

by Anna Campbell

Welcome to the launch of...

What's that you say?

NO LAUNCH????

Guys, so very, very sorry but we were meant to have one of the infamous lair launches today (in fact people have started calling the Banditas the ladies who launch).

We had the cabana boys on standby. Extra margaritas. Deck chairs lined up with Sven on duty for massages. We'll just have to have a party anyway!

Sadly, publication of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE which I was so looking forward to introducing today has been delayed until late next year. You'll all have to wait to meet Calista and Miles and Isabella and Josiah. Goodness me, they'll have to wait for their happy endings too which is MUCH harder on them, I'm sure!

I was all geared up to tell the world about "The Chinese Bed", my story in the anthology, including a contest on my website (thank you to the people who have entered - you're already automatically entered in the replacement contest where I'm giving five people their choice from my backlist).

Do you know where the quote "the best-laid schemes" comes from? It's a poem by Robbie Burns called To a Mouse, on Turning Her up in her Nest with a Plough:

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An 'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Hmm, not sure if the cabana boys count as mice or men - Paolo looks scared most of the time. And after a few margaritas, I'll feel neither grief nor pain!

Hic!

Actually I think the mouse in the poem has come along to offer her condolences. Either that or Ermingarde hasn't been undertaking her rat-catching duties the way she's supposed to. Sheesh, you can't get good help these days!

I had originally planned on doing a giveaway of the anthology here today (another best-laid scheme that went agley). But hey, why should you suffer? Two commenters today will win their choice from my backlist (which explains the covers illustrating the blog). If you're not sure which book you'd like, please check out my books page on my website: http://annacampbell.info/books.html

Just tell me about a best-laid scheme of yours that went astray and you'll go in the draw.


Speaking of best-laid schemes, I'm away at the Brisbane Writers Festival this weekend so I may only be around sporadically (no, not because I'm drowning my sorrows in a barrel of margaritas or a barrel of cabana boys - you guys have SUCH naughty imaginations!). But I WILL get back, promise!

Now, where did that mouse get to?

85 comments:

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha!

Kim in Hawaii said...

I am taking the Golden Rooster with me to the special Hawaii Five O premiere on Waikiki Beach. Perhaps he'll bring me luck and we'll meet Alex O'Laughlin on the Red Carpet. But we may have some competition - the local newspaper featured four fans who met on the internet and decided to meet in Hawaii for this event. I don't buy their sweet smiles - I think they will do karate chops to get their hands on Alex!

Regarding the best laid plans, my husband's barbershop chorus is performing in the Pan Pacific Harmony Convention in Brisbane - home of the lovely Anna Campbell. My children and I planned to join him ... and I would have heard Anna's laugh again.

But it is the last week of September; he is a contracts officer; and he has to spend all of the FY2010 dollars! So we plan to visit Oz next spring before we move from Hawaii. So, dear Anna, give us a laugh to last 'til then!

Helen said...

Kim I do hope you have a great time and that he behaves himself and you get to meet Alex O'Lauglin

Anna

I am looking forward to reading the new story oh well I will have to wait till later on to read it.

My best laid plans of having a day to myself and catch up on some reading often go astray when one of my kids and some of the grandkids drop in (not that I really mind LOL) but my TBR pile is starting to really topple and I need to read the fantastic books I have on there.

BTW don't enter me in the draw I have all you books and they are awesome reads.
I do hope you and Christina are haveing a great time

Have Fun
Helen

Sheree said...

Ooh, the rooster is with Kim in Hawaii! Congrats, Kim!

I remember having to learn that bit of Burns' poem in preparation for reading Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" in school. Too bad no one could do the accent back then or we students probably would like it more.

barb said...

Hope you get to meet Alex O'Laughlin KIm.... maybe if you took some tim tams he may want to see youor even vegemite.....

Can't recall any really important plans being interupted except when I plan to read and others interupt or days planned to go sewing and the rellies decise to come and stay ...mind you I like them coming but they could pick another day LOL

Anna, Have a good day with Christina and I hope it isn't as cold up there as it is down here

flchen1 said...

Noooooo... I'm so sorry about the delay, Anna! At least the GR is partying with Kim in Waikiki! Lucky bird!

As for best laid plans? This isn't a great example, but before I had kids, I wanted them super close together (i.e., 2 years or less)... Well, in this case, I'm SO thankful I didn't get what I'd wanted. I know I would have been overwhelmed and it wouldn't have been the right fit for our family. Whew on sometimes plans going awry! ;)

Anyway, can't wait for your anthology's release ASAP, Anna!

marybelle said...

I have to say that I am SUPER organised so that when my plans go astray they do it in spectacular fashion. "Murphy's Law" has much to answer for.

Antonia said...

Well I've recently had some plans that went astray because people call me too early in the morning. They call me when I'm asleep and I answer the phone to cancel whatever plan we have. Or at least I think I cancel them because when I do wake up, I forget having ever talked on the phone in the morning lol.

Actually, someting like that happened tooday and I can't, for the life of me, remember: a. what I said, b. picking up the phone in the first place.

Laurie G said...

About 15 years ago, in late October, we packed up our children and our van to move to Florida. We timed it to start with the start of the second semester of school. My youngest was in kindergarten. We were all very excited and headed out about 6:30 in the morning for our 1500 mile trek. We got approximately 50 miles away when WACK!! a huge buck had run across our path and ended up on our hood. We were quite shaken up both literally and emotionally. We stood on the side of the road for what seemed like forever until a nice young man stopped and took us to a truck stop about 30 miles away. I spent the day watching movies at the truck stop Rudy and Batman were two that I vividly remember. My husband had to hitch a ride on the tow truck and then get a rental car to come and pick us up. Luckily, we were physically unhurt.

Deb said...

Kim, you get to visit OZ...jealous, I am! Enjoy yourselves.

Sometimes best-laid plans are just little events, too. With my husband injuring his back last March, there were several weekend jaunts or family get-togethers that were messed up because he couldn't attend. Shary and I went to several places without Jerry.

One event that was okay to miss was a "quick" drive (12 hours) to Dallas last April for our nephew's wedding. Jerry and I stayed home, but Shary drove down with her brother and his fiancee-at-the-time and had a ball spending time with Mema (Texan name for Grandma).

Another event....Jerry and I planned our wedding for October 3rd because of autumn colors and Indian summers and all that. HA! It rained buckets the day of our wedding. :)

I've got all your books, Anna, so you don't need to enter me in the draw.

Nancy said...

Kim, congrats on the bird! If you're taking him to the Five-O event, which sounds fabulous, you'll have to watch him around Grace Park. I'm sure she can clean his clock, having done fight scenes as a Stargate Command trainee, a Cylon, and a cop, but he won't think so. He never does. *sigh*

Sorry the trip to Oz didn't materialize. At least you'll get to go later.

Nancy said...

Anna, I'm blanking on plans that went awry. I know there must've been many, but nothing is springing to mind. I hope you and Christina have a great time!

Nancy said...

Helen, I hear you in the TBR pile! Mine is less troublesome now that much of it us on the iPad. I'm trying to whittle down the print volumes, and this gives me a breathing space.

Nancy said...

Sheree, I love every accent from the UK! I did not, however, love Of Mice and Men. I gather you didn't either. It was just sooo depressing!

Nancy said...

Hi, Barb--Thanks for stopping by!

Nancy said...

Hi, Fedora--I have a friend who has stairstep kids, and her life was very hectic when the were small. Glad your interval worked out for the best!

Nancy said...

Marybelle, thanks for popping in today!

Nancy said...

Antonia, I'm not a morning person either. I've been known to forget conversations that take place before I'm fully conscious.

Nancy said...

Laurie, how scary! I'm so glad you weren't hurt.

Nancy said...

Deb, I'm sorry about your husband's back injury. I hope he's okay now.

Too bad about rain on your wedding day! I'm glad it didn't ruin the occasion.

gamistress66 said...

drowning in a barrel of cabana boys? hmmmm, sounds interesting. Anna, are you sure that's not what you're up to as there does seem to be a few of them missing ... or it just such an interesting sugestion that being undertaken by others on your behalf ;)

jo robertson said...

Anna, I envy your being in Brisbane, hope your having a grand time at the Writers Festival!

I do love Robbie Burns. When we were in Scotland a few years ago, I made visiting the Burns Cottage one of my top priorities!

runner10 said...

Anna, Hope you are having a great trip.
I have plans for family dinners and vacations. Somebody always seems to have other arrangements made. Some day it will all come together.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

This is pretty minor ... but it always seems to rain or really storm when I have a day off planned filled will errands .. in & out of the vehicles several times.... PS now I'll be humming the theme music from Hawaii 5-0 for the rest of the day...

catslady said...

Vacations always seem to have something go wrong. When my two girls were younger we planned a trip with my youngest's Girl Scout Troop. I was a co-leader and my husband and older daughter were also attending (Sea World and then we were going on to Cedar Point). Just as we got to the park and were getting organized my oldest daughter fainted. I just had time to catch her. We spent the morning in their first aid station. The nurse whispered in my ear that she had peed her pants but that was normal but in actuality she was near a large water fountain lol. She had a fever so Sea World was out but we did go on to Cedar Point since we had reservations. That's when we found out she had the chicken pox. There was no doctor of course available so we did the best we could but we overdosed her not knowing until later that topical antihistimes which we covered her in could be too strong. So when she was up to it we headed for home. It always amazed us that her sister never did get the chicken pox even though they shared the same bed.

Barbara E. said...

I had plans to take a trip to California this summer to visit my sister, but every time I tried to plan a date, she had just taken a vacation, or had a trip to the mountains planned, then she was moving, etc. I still haven't got to book my trip and it's already September. Oh well, I guess it will be a fall vacation instead of summer, LOL.

Cybercliper said...

Hehehe...I'd have better luck telling you when one DID go right.

I travel a lot so the corporate travel agency, me and the airports have a love/hate thing going. Luggage arriving in same state with me – occasionally. The rental car class I reserved available – never. Hotel reservations – not at this hotel – go to the one across town. Reservations are for the entire week - no, just tonight.

Now, I don’t even think about it, I travel with a couple of outfits and toiletries in hand and that plan worked out perfectly except for that time I left my bag at Security. :-)

Sonali said...

oh i remember the scheme of mine that went astray. It was a near disaster. About a year ago 2 days before my best friends surprise 21st birthday, the venue that i had booked became unavailable. Some water pipe or something has burst and the venue couldn't be ready in time for the party. Panic attack! That was some massive 2 days of running around, finding a new venue, collecting the down-payment and calling everyone on the guest-list to inform them about the change of venue. As it so happens i found a lovely alternative venue and my bestie loved her surprise. So i guess it was ok in the end. But that was one was my best laid plans that could have ended up in disaster.

Virginia said...

I tried to not make any real plans because if I do they all fall through for some reason. I just take one day at a time and see what happens.

jo robertson said...

Lucky you, Kim! I'd love to see the premiere of H50, yahooo!

So sorry you couldn't go with hubby to Brisbane.

jo robertson said...

Yes, Helen, isn't it a shame they've delayed Anna's story? Bummer!

I certainly know how having the grandkiddies over can ruin your plans. Megan brought her two over today and I didn't get any writing done. I don't really care though because they're such darlings even at 9 and 7!

jo robertson said...

That's interesting, Sheree, about teaching the Burns poem before starting to read Steinbeck's book. I didn't do that when I was teaching Of Mice and Men, didn't think of it, darn it!

jo robertson said...

Barb, hope the rellies don't show up unannounced. I hate that. I like my house to look decent when people come visit.

jo robertson said...

LOL at your planning of children, Fedora. I think I had about 7 of those unexpected plans, tee hee. Seems like no matter what I did, I'd get pregnant. Must've been something in the water LOL.

jo robertson said...

Too funny, Michelle. Do you go a little crazy when your nicely organized plans go awry?

jo robertson said...

LOL, Antonia. Instead of sleep-walking, you're sleep-talking on the phone. Ugh, I hate being wakened out of a deep sleep. If the phone rings after 9:00 or before 7:00, I'm sure it's an emergency and I go into a panic!

jo robertson said...

Oh, man, Laurie. Hitting a deer is the worst thing. They're much larger than you think and make such an impact. I've only hit one once, but that was one time too many. It wasn't a buck, but a doe and it was awful to see the damage our car had done to her. So sad. And of course our car was pretty damaged to and the kids were really upset.

jo robertson said...

Ouch on Jerry's back injury, Deb. I get really upset when I'm looking forward to an event and illness or injury interferes.

jo robertson said...

Ha, Gamistress! I'm sure Anna took a few of the cabana boys with her to Brisbane, along with Sven to give her a foot massage.

jo robertson said...

Runner, we always have trouble getting together for holiday dinners. Our family is so huge now, with just the children, spouses and grandchildren (28 in all) that someone's nearly always missing!

jo robertson said...

Yummy yum, GirlyGirl, running chores in the rain. How fun! Can you hear my sarcasm? Nothing worse than struggling with a load of groceries while trying to get them in your car trunk in the pouring rain!

jo robertson said...

Oh my, Catslady, I've never known anyone to faint from the chicken pox and, yes, it's a miracle her sister didn't get them. And to think, now they vaccinate for those childhood diseases!

jo robertson said...

That must be disappointing to you, Barbara E. I just made reservations to visit my daugher in Jersey City and I'm hoping nothing happens this weekend (with the 9-11 buzz) to prevent my going!

jo robertson said...

Cyberclipper said, "the corporate travel agency, me and the airports have a love/hate thing going"

I distinctly remember when flying was relaxation and fun in itself. I loved it. Now it's just a crowded mess, with all kinds of things going wrong.

jo robertson said...

Sonali said, "As it so happens i found a lovely alternative venue and my bestie loved her surprise"

All's well that ends well, huh? But it must have been hard on your nerves with all the re-planning.

jo robertson said...

Yeah, Virginia. Sometimes the best planning is no planning at all!

Pissenlit said...

Awww, poor Paolo! Sounds like he needs a hug. :)

I've had two family trips in the past, one to visit family and a family friend and one for a family member's wedding, where I did lots of research online beforehand for tourist-y things to do and printed out lots of info on fun things I'd found only to have had it all go to waste during the trip due to other people's lack of interest and/or a lack of time and transportation. A bit disappointing.

Louisa Cornell said...

That darned Rooster gets to visit Hawaii AND see Alex and I'm stuck here in LA (Lower Alabama!) Drat him!

And DOUBLE DRAT on the delay of your ghost story, La Campbell! Don't they know people are DYING to read it.

As for me, my mislaid plans tend to center around cake disasters at work. One that comes to mind is the five tier wedding cake that cracked down the middle of every single layer thirty minutes before the mother of the bride was to pick it up. Do you know icing makes excellent spackle?

Cathy P said...

The last time a plan went astray was last Sunday. I went down to our local 7-11 and was really enjoying being out. I picked up my paper and paid for it, leaving my keys and paper at the counter. I got clear out to the car before I realized it.

Nancy said...

Hi, Pissenlit--

What a pain, doing all that research for nothing! That would be worse, for me, than a rain-out.

Nancy said...

Louisa, ouch on the cake! Icing as spackle? On the cake, right?

Nancy said...

Cathy, isn't forgetting things like that embarrassing? I do that, too. At least your keys weren't locked in the car.

LilMissMolly said...

I always thought that quote was from Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" - I'll have to look that up. I use it all the time when lecturing to my teenagers. :0)

Anna Campbell said...

Well, I finally made it! Sorry for being AWOL. It just ended up being impossible to get onto the internet while I was away. Thank you so much for swinging by, everyone!

Anna Campbell said...

Kim, he seems to have a penchant for tropical paradises at the moment. Sonali had him in Fiji a couple of days this week!

Kim, when I was in Brisbane, I kept thinking, I should have been seeing you. Saw posters up for the convention and it made me sad. Hope to catch up next year!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, Christina and I had a wonderful time and met some wonderful aspiring romance writers in our workshops. I hear you on unexpected visitors - they always seem to turn up at my place when the house is a pigsty! The solution would be to be a bit tidier but you know, who does that?

Anna Campbell said...

Sheree, I remember trying to read it in high school too and finding it completely unintelligible. If our Highland heroes spoke like that, our heroines would have no idea what they were saying!

Anna Campbell said...

Barb, it was absolutely F-F-F-F=FREEZING in Brisbane. It's usually lovely weather but the wind was strong enough to blow you to China and the temps were really low. Everyone was whingeing!

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, isn't it interesting how sometimes those interruptions to our schedules turn out to be the best thing that could have happened? I remember breaking my arm at one stage and as a result, I stepped out of the day to day madness for two weeks and made some really huge life decisions, which have ended up with me writing full time (very convoluted path but basically true). Always been glad I broke my arm which sounds stupid, I know!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no, Mary! Nothing worse than having all your ducks in a row and then they fly away!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no, Antonia! I think you need to let the answering machine get those calls. Then at least you'd have a recording!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Laurie, that's a major block in the road! Ouch! My parents hit a kangaroo once and it made an awful mess of the car. And like you, they were forced to rely on the kindness of strangers who picked them up and took them to the nearest service station.

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, it's always music to my ears when I hear people already have the books. I'm actually really disappointed about the Mammoth Book not being out this month. I love this story and it was something a little bit different for me. Sigh. Oh, no, to the rain on your wedding day. You know that's good luck, though, right?

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I was really sad when I didn't get a chance to see Kim. Especially as I didn't make it to the US this year. Sigh.

Anna Campbell said...

By the way, Kim, Christina Brooke made this rather silly little video where I'm giggling like a loon. It might remind you of my awful laugh! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2380471114959

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Nancy, thanks so much for swinging by and answering people. I really did try to get back but it was a repeat of best-laid schemes going awry again!

Anna Campbell said...

Cabana boys? What cabana boys, Gamistress? Those bumps in the suitcase are NOT cabana boys. NOOOOOO! Don't look! Sheesh!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I remember many years ago (back in 1986) visiting Burns's cottage very briefly. He lived in such a pretty area, didn't he?

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no, Runner, that's so annoying when your plans are continually stymied like that. You'll get your place in the sun soon, I'm sure!

Anna Campbell said...

GGH, book 'em, Danno!

Do they say that in the new show?

Yeah, that theme music is really catchy, isn't it? The other TV theme music I love is Mission Impossible. That rhythm is just irresistible.

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, oh, no, to the chicken pox! That's an awful thing. I got it when I was 18 and I was SOOOO sick. And I was on holidays too - really wrecked the holiday, believe me! I remember the muscle pains and the headache were just foul - you're starting to feel better by the time the spots come out.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Barbara, sometimes it's really tough to synchronise schedules, isn't it? I saw my oldest friend when I was down in Brisbane - we had about eight months where every time we tried to get together, it didn't happen. Often because of weather - when the elements are going wild, there's not much you can do.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Cybercliper, I SOOOO hear you. I particularly remember the dog's breakfast that the Wardman Park Marriott made of my booking at RWA. Thank goodness I had the wonderful Jeanne Adams to stay with - but I kept thinking what if I'd come all the way from Australia and they had chucked me onto the street as they did. I still think that's the worst hotel I've ever stayed at.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Sonali, talk about saved in the nick of time. What an awful situation to be in - and so much riding on everything going smoothly too. Glad it all worked out in the end!

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, maybe that's the sanest solution - no plans means no schemes going agley as Mr. Burns put it!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, you're right - sometimes the interruption is worth the hassle, isn't it? And the people we love are the most important thing when all's said and done, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I haven't read Of Mice and Men - never really appealed to me. I've seen the old movie - man, is that a depressing experience!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I'm killing myself laughing at all your best-laid schemes going agley because you got pregnant. Yup, that'll do it every time! LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Jo, Sven runs too fast. I couldn't catch him. I think he's lurking in the back reaches of the deadline cave with our girls down there right now.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, hope you had a lovely time with your daughter and all the travel plans went smoothly!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Pissenlit, that IS disappointing. I usually try to have a couple of days extra when I travel so I can see something of the place (because let's face it - there's no guarantee I'll ever get back to a lot of the places I've been recently). Because of deadlines, I haven't been able to do that lately and I would have loved a few extra days in Melbourne after RWOz and in Brisbane which had a couple of lovely art exhibitions I would have really liked to have seen. Sigh.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, my goodness, Louisa! I bet you were all screaming with the stress of that. Thank goodness you had icing to come to the rescue. Yes, it's disappointing about the story! And it's a good 12 months away from publication now which seems like forever.

Anna Campbell said...

Cathy, at least you got your stuff back! Those little disasters really can be annoying, can't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Molly, I think it's a take on a proverb which is about best-laid plans which seems to be more popular down here.

Anna Campbell said...

Phew! Caught up! Off to draw the two winners. I'll put the announcement up before midnight US time tonight. Thanks for your patience, everyone!