After my last posting, Write Something, I got an email from Ricky Winn. I’ve never met Ricky. But she’s written me a poem…a verse about her own adverse year. It needs to be shared. Ricky lives alone and had to deal with all the falling apartness by herself.
There’s a post-it note on my blog intro page. “Write something” it says. December 11 was my last post, so I guess it’s time. Shall I write a catch up post? How I spent my summer vacation, although it’s winter. It’s been tough, but not terrible. Maybe I haven’t been writing because whining isn’t interesting to hear or read.
Robin Hood and his merry men stole from the rich and gave to the poor. It’s a made-up story.
And now we have Robbing Donald and his band of thieves. Stealing from the poor, and the ordinary regular folks—us—to give to the very rich. This isn’t a story. Continue reading “Stolen Treasures”
There’s a new bookstore in town. And guess what?
They have signed copies of both of my books, Intentional and A Bird in the House! So if you have a deep craving for one of my novels, or you can’t figure out what to get your Aunt Mable this Happy Holiday season—head over to Royal Oak. Dave also has lots of other peoples’ books, including Annis Pratt’s newest novel The Battle for the Black Fen.
Small Business Saturday is tomorrow. So if you like the idea of having a local bookstore, visit Paper Trail Books and buy something. Anything. Let’s keep them in business.
Paper Trail Books
Hours are 11am until 8pm
Seven days a week
414 S. Washington
(next door to Cafe Muse)
Royal Oak, MI 48067
But, Wait! There’s more…
Don’t you I think I should make myself available for late night TV commercials?
As soon as I typed that title, I thought of Richard Nixon’s famous line, “I am not a crook.” But of course, he was a crook. Since I confessed to thinking of “Tricky Dick Nixon” does it bring into question my saying I’m not a failure?
I admit it. I can’t do it. It’s day 22 of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I only have 3,717 words on the next novel. To get to 50,000 words by November 30, I should have 36,666 by now. Typing that number made me laugh out loud.
Anyway, why did they pick November for the NaNoWriMo challenge? Did they forget that we have to go stand in a long line at Costco to buy a pie to take to our brother’s house tomorrow? Did they even think about all the Christmas ads—ad nauseam—guilting me into having to think about shopping? Crap, NaNo People, did you even consider that Black Friday’s in November?
I’m not a failure. Seriously. (Notice: I can’t make up my mind on this.)
I’ve been busy healing, looking at my nose until I’m crossed eyed. It’s getting better, but still ugly. I impose my naked nose on John, strangers in the grocery store, and anyone who comes in the house.
I’ve been reading books: The Underground Railroad by Colsom Whitehead, a painful, wonderful novel about slavery. When Whitehead was a boy he heard stories about the Underground Railroad and thought that it was literal, that there were actual trains in tunnels taking escaping slaves north. What he took as literal became a literary gem. At the same time, I’m reading Anna Quindlen’s, One True Thing, about a woman taking care of her dying mother. Also Annis Pratt’s novel, The Battle for the Black Fen. Book Four in her Infinite Games series.
I’ve also been watching World War II in Color on Netflix. Research for the next novel. WWII was terrifying. Basically greedy, racist, narcissist bullies united to destroy society. Whew, glad we don’t have to worry about that happening again. (I need a frowny face emoji here.)
I’m lazy too. But I can blow that off by just using the “I’m old” excuse. I’m not old. I’m a youth in a loose birthday suit. I need to be ironed.
Other than the Narcissistic Bully-in-Chief, there’s much to be grateful for: Good friends, good books, turkey that I don’t have to cook, and no cancer. Yay!
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.
November is National Novel Writing Month. Figuring I’d be confined to quarters for some of the month, because of the dratted nose cancer being removed on November 1st, I signed up for NaNoWriMo.
I’ve committed myself to writing the first draft of a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Thousands of writers around the world take part in this craziness. You’re allowed to work out the plot and characters before the start of this month. I didn’t do anything.
So now it’s November 3rd. I’m already 5,000 words behind. And I don’t even have a story in mind.
Wednesday, November 1st was the starting date, and I was having a hunk of my nose cut off. I was lucky. After just one layer they had clear margins. Dr. Byrd got all the cancer. He drew on my nose with purple marker, then cut a flap this way, a flap that way, and third flap still another way. Afterward Nurse Monica trained me on the ins, outs, and overs of changing the dressing and bandaging my face.
Thursday, November 2nd, I sat on John’s recliner all day, and stared at the TV. I couldn’t read anything. My left eye was too swollen to see, or maybe it was the clumsy lumpy bandage I put on my nose that was blinding me.
Friday, November 3, wonder of wonders, today I can see my laptop—I didn’t go so crazy with the bandages this morning. I can type. I can think. As ugly as my face looks, it doesn’t hurt.
So I’d best get at it. Quick. Quick. What’s the story? Who’s the main character? When is this story taking place. Who, what, where, when, why, and how?
Help! What’s the story!
It’s on my calendar…. I’m coming!
Thursday, October 26th
Birmingham Unitarian Church
38651 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
The books have all arrived. Whew! Wouldn’t it be scary to have a book party and no books? Am I stressing? Oh, please…it’s just a party. People I like will be there. There will be treats. There will be beverages. I get to talk. I like all that stuff, so I’m not stressing…much.
A Bird in the House
is a real book!
So let’s celebrate with a Party!
Everything has a time frame.
- October 2, Monday: THE novel will be available on Amazon. I know—you can hardly wait.
- Around noon today: I’ll go get meatball subs to take down to the trailer for the Bogner Boys. I know—they can hardly wait.
- October 9th: Deadline for the Kirkus Review of A Bird in the House, a novel, but it came early. AND it’s a good one. I didn’t have to wait.
- November 1st: Mohs surgery on my nose. Remember that scary spot on my nose? It’s basal cell carcinoma. I can wait.
Here’s the thing…I wrote this lovely novel…YES, lovely. It’s just what I hoped it would be. I’m proud of it. It took three years. It says what I wanted to say. I’m not going to be humble about it.
But YIKES!!! Continue reading “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda—Didn’t”
Today I spilled the beans…brewed beans…coffee. I knocked a whole cup over and stained the perfectly nice gray carpet in my study. I have a study to write in—I’m so lucky. Continue reading “Spilling the Beans”
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.
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…”
Several months ago, when I sent my latest novel out to agents, I also started playing around with cover designs. Covering my bases—if I didn’t find an agent, at least my book would have a cover.
There’s no agent representing my new novel, so does that mean it will be trapped in my computer forever? Will all the hours my First Readers spent combing through those boxes of loose manuscript pages, checking commas and content, have been for naught? Hell, no. Continue reading “Springing Forward”
Elephants wallow to keep cool and keep bugs away.
Forgive me a moment, but I’m wallowing too. Not to keep cool. No bugs. I’m just feeling sorry for myself…or maybe I’m just bummed out. Continue reading “Wallowing”
It’s not a whale of a tail (or tale) I’m gonna tell you. I was just hoping for a little (or a lot) of professional help.
No. Not a psychiatrist. Continue reading “Help Wanted”
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”
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”
When I was a child, I said to my mother, “Tell me a story.”
When I became an adult, my mother said to me, “Tell me a story.”
She didn’t mean, tell me The Three Little Pigs story. She meant, catch me up on your life. What’s new? What’s going on? Share with me. Entertain me.
Continue reading “Tell me a story”