There’s Goodness Here

It’s heavy duty pollen season. The allergist’s waiting room is jam packed with people: black people, brown people, and white people. We’re probably an assortment of Muslims, Jews, Baptists, Catholics, Atheists, Agnostics and Buddhists, etc…I can’t tell by looking.

There’s a woman wearing a purple and lavender patterned sari. When her name is called she stands, and a woman sitting nearby says, “Beautiful purple color.” Then a pale, frail elderly man says, “Yes, very beautiful.” The woman in the sari smiles.

There’s goodness here.

Continue reading “There’s Goodness Here”

And the Winning Cover Is…

Thank you, Voters!

It was a close vote between #1 cover (blue) and #3 cover (yellow).

Some yellow cover voters said they wouldn’t consider reading the blue cover book…too scary, and made references to Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Some blue cover voters said the yellow cover was too sappy, and looked like a book about fishing. They liked the blue cover because of the Detroit Zoo water tower on the back, and they liked it because it made them think of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Continue reading “And the Winning Cover Is…”

Dead Elephants

When my kids were little, we lived around the corner from the library in South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts. Every day when their father went to work on the afternoon shift at the Air Force base, the kids and I would walk to the library and gather several picture books that we brought home. They cuddled up close on either side of me on the front porch steps while I read to them. One day I read them The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff.

When the mother elephant got shot, both of my little children cried and cried. I thought, oh no, I should never have read that book to them. After dinner they asked me to please read them the Babar book again.

“Any part in particular?”

“The part where the mother dies.” Continue reading “Dead Elephants”

Fresh Eyes

First readers are an important part of my writing process. I’m not talking about preschoolers, or first graders, I’m talking about friends and family who read my novels before anyone else. Before it’s an actual printed book, when it’s still in process or finished (supposedly) with plenty of errors—typos, missed question marks, fuzzy wording, maybe even fuzzy characters or situations. After I’ve read the book at least a billion times it still needs to be read by kind volunteers. Continue reading “Fresh Eyes”