Buzz is a lovely word

October 28, 2011

And buzz is exactly what “The Glendale Witch” has created.  I’m in writer’s heaven!  Buzz implies continued interest.

Digital copies of The Glendale Witch have flown off the shelves (so to speak) at an amazing rate.  Sales of print copies are slower, but that’s to be expected in this day and age, and I’m totally okay with that.  This week I sold my first book to a Canadian reader, which technically makes me an internationally renown author, lol.  I’m amazed and humbled by the response to my novel!  I’ve heard from readers that range from age nine to well past middle-age and the response has all been positive.

This Sunday, 10/30, an article about The Glendale Witch will be featured in our local paper, followed by two radio interviews on 10/30 and 11/23.  If you aren’t already my friend on FB, be sure to look me up at for further updates.

Did I mention that I’m excited?  I see Sam Elliot in the role of Truker, btw.  I hope he’ll be available when casting calls go out.  ‘-)

Sales already?!?

October 7, 2011

Considering that we’re still 6 days away from the launch of The Glendale Witch, I’m not sure how it’s possible but the Kindle version is flying off the shelves.  Good thing there’s an unlimited supply!

Seriously, I have no clue who sneaked over to Amazon to avail themselves of the unlaunched ebook, but I’m extremely flattered and humbled.  Whoever you are, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!  Remember to post a review – what you liked, what you didn’t like, whether or not you’d like to see the sequel.

Thank you!

Shame on me!

October 2, 2011

I can’t believe it’s been a month and a half since I’ve blogged.  What a waste of empty blogosphere space.  Not that I have anything incredible or profound to contribute, it’s just the principle of the thing.  It’s just like all of those blank canvases of mine that stare at me from beside my boxes of paint every time I walk into the back room.  They scream at me:  Create!  Create!  Will ya just create, fercryinoutloud!

Actually, I’ve been creating.  The past month or so has been devoted to getting my book, The Glendale Witch, ready for launch.  We’re closing in now.  Eleven days to go.  The print and the ebook manuscripts looks perfect.  My SO and an extraordinary writer in his own right, Mickey Mills, designed a fabulous cover and is handling all my technical issues such as the official website, getting the ebook up on Amazon and Smashwords, and also doing the lion’s share of the marketing.

The launch is Oct. 13th.  Seems like an auspicious date to launch a book about a witch, does it not?

“Witch” me luck!

Tornado Siren, 2011

April 22, 2011

Mickey is in Nashville right now, so I didn’t have to worry about him when the tornado siren went off, but I encountered a totally new and different issue this year:  Recalcitrant pups.

Last year when the sirens began to blare, all I had to do was clip Slevin’s leash on him and lead him down into the basement.  I was completely unprepared for what I faced with both he and Shooter tonight.  Slevin was not going to cross the kitchen linoleum, period.  He dug in and refused to move.  So with the siren wailing in my ears and my heart in my throat, I had to carry my 100-pound darling across the kitchen.  I set him down on the first basement stair and told him to go.  Did he?  Of course not.  Suddenly, Slevin was acting like a dog.  Seriously.  Just like an ordinary, run-of-the-mill dog, not the highly cooperative, intuitive, obedient, intelligent example of canine perfection that I’ve come to expect of him.

Keeping one hand out to block Slevin from coming back up the stairs, I started calling Shooter.  Shooter, who normally comes the minute you breathe, was having no part of the basement either.  I had to grab him by the collar and drag him to the top of the stairs where I was able to lift him up and carry him down into the basement.

About the time we all three got downstairs, the sirens stopped.   And the sun came out.  And somewhere, no doubt, the gods are laughing.  I’m sure my dogs and I put on quite a show, tyvm.

So, what have I learned from all of this?  I’ve learned that both dogs need to be trained to react to a command I’ll only give in emergency situations.  A command that means, “last one into the basement gets sucked into the Whirling Vortex of Death”.  I’m thinking “Toto” would be an excellent command word.

As for Mickey, well, I found out last year that the tornado siren and EBS alerts on the radio are more like “guidelines” to him.  He’s on his own.  After all, I can’t carry him into the basement.  Hmmmm…or maybe, given a megadose of adrenaline,  I can.  Time will tell.

Today I received the proofs of my author bio and my four short stories that will be appearing in the anthology, The Best of Every Day Fiction 3.  I’ve known for several months that at least one of my stories would find a home in the anthology, but to have four accepted and to see the proofs makes it all so real that it takes my breath away.

My work will appear on paper – with real ink and everything! – along side several of my favorite flash fiction authors:  Sarah Hillary, JC Towler, Laura McHale Holland and, of course, my wonderful love Mickey Mills.  It’s humbling and exciting and unbelievable and oddly befitting all at the same time.  I’m really not sure how to process it all.  But something tells me that I’d better find a way to process it, that the door has opened for me and that I’ll be seeing quite a lot of my work in print (with real ink) in the years to come.  I’m giddy at the prospect of literary success, but I’m confident, also.

I’m on my way.

Go for Launch

April 10, 2011

The launch date for my young adult novel, The Glendale Witch, is slightly more than 3 months away and I’m getting very excited. Today Mickey sent me the first mock-up of the book cover. It’s not finished, but I think it’s the most incredible book cover ever!

The book has been submitted for professional reviews and custom book trailers, and in the meanwhile Mickey is doing outstanding prep work.

Did I mention that I think this is the most incredible book cover ever?

Writing in the margins

March 31, 2011

Have you ever felt like you’ve scribbled so randomly in the Book of Life that there’s no place left to write except in the margins?

I have scribbled so much over the years. When I step back and look, I’m chagrined. The red ink (what I owe) seems to overpower the black (what I’ve given). So many complaints, so much repining, so much dissatisfaction – a long, seemingly endless parade of red entries. So much refusal to understand that what we write in red repays us in black if we apply it correctly. Rather like a double-entry ledger system, as a matter of fact.

The week I spent dying of a “cardiac event” (yes, I still refuse to call it anything else) in 2006 should have been a lesson to me. I was so ill. I knew I was dying and I would have died if my kids hadn’t called 911 and if the EMTs hadn’t seen what the staff in the local ER had been so blind to for six days. But even my anger at the ER staff fades when I consider the epiphany I faced during that endless week. Obviously, there was a wonderful lesson to be learned from that experience. Those six painful, horrible days eventually made me wish I’d die and get it over with (I’m such a procrastinator when it comes to dying.), but they also reminded me of one of life’s great rules about red vs. black ink.

During that time, every moment that I could muster the strength, I pulled out the journals I’d filled with my innermost thoughts over the preceding twenty years – and I tore out page after page. I realized then that I didn’t want my kids to stumble on the journals after I was dead and read about my unhappiness and fear and heartbreak. I didn’t want them to think for one minute that I had spent my adult life in misery. That was very far from the truth, even though I’d written page after page after page of pain. (Metaphorical red ink.) I only wanted them to know that I was happy to be given this life and the many loves and experiences that enriched it.

But apparently I didn’t learn my lesson well enough. Even though the journal pages of the past five years are mostly black, there’s still that damned red ink. The dissatisfaction. The refusal to understand that all darkness leads to light.

And now I look at my own personal Book of Life and I’m ashamed. I’d erase the red and replace it with black, but unfortunately that’s not possible. So now I’m left with the margins to scribble in. What will I write there? What will I write to let everyone, including myself, know that my life has been wonderful, amazing, exciting and marvelous?

Maybe I’ll take a page from Dodie Smith and write in the margins: I love you, I love you, I love you.

Tell me again, Mickey, all about how Shooter is not your dog. Better yet, tell him. He’s the one who’s been parked on the coffee table, staring out the window since you left. I can’t distract him, Slevin can’t distract him. He watched you drive away and he’s maintained his post like a good soldier ever since. I really didn’t need this current example of his fidelity to know that he adores you. Cartoon hearts float out of his eyes when he scrambles between us in bed and lays his pointy head on your chest. And for pity’s sake, he TALKS to you. But staring out the window for almost an hour in anticipation of your return just about caps anything I’ve ever seen. It’s reminiscent of Greyfriar’s Bobby, except he’s not a Skye Terrier and you’re not dead.

I know you wanted a Basset Hound. And, yes, I know you’d rather lay claim to a really good dog like Slevin. But it is what it is, Sweetheart. That little, undisciplined, yarking, pooping, nipping, furniture-eating, shoe-destroying Beagle/Heeler hound from hell has laid claim to you and he’s not to be dissuaded.

So please, tell me again how he’s not your dog, but I don’t think I’ll believe it any more than Shooter does.

Memories of My Mom

February 21, 2011

She would have been 88 years old today. In retrospect, it’s amazing that she made it to just shy of 82 years old, considering that she’d smoked for 69 of those years, but still I feel cheated. I want, I need more years with my mom. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel lonely for her.

You would have had to know my mom to understand what made her so special. She wasn’t a typical stay-at-home mom of the the 1960s in a house dress and curlers. She worked. She always worked. She was a waitress and bartender at night while my dad worked construction during the day. And she was the “hot mom” on the block. In her tight capris and her middie shirt, she’d stop all the Saturday afternoon traffic on our block when she was out on the front lawn pulling weeds. You could never tell from week to week what color her hair was going to be – black, blonde, red, and on one memorial occasion, lime green. But you could always count on the fact that her nails would be long and painted red, her make-up impeccable and her figure fit to die for.

When I was about ten years old, Mama suddenly decided that she wanted more out of life. She’d been forced to drop out of school at age 13 to help support her family during the Depression, so she lied to the local community college and said she couldn’t provide a copy of her high school diploma because the school had burned down and taken all the records with it. So the college admitted her with the rough equivalent of a 7th grade education and she sailed through real estate classes. Then she sailed through real estate broker classes. She was half way to real estate lawyer when she retired with my dad to raise Arabian horses and grandchildren.

Her smile was sunshine. No matter how much or how little money we had, or how much aggravation life threw at her, my mom never stopped believing in the innate wonder and glory of life. She certainly never stopped believing in her daughters or the great heights we’d attain in education, society and culture. Although my sister and I married young and didn’t precisely go on to prestigious careers, my mom always supported us and believed we were the most wonderful and accomplished daughters in the world. No matter how crappy my writing was, she’d encourage me and tell me that she couldn’t wait to hold my first best seller in her hands.

I don’t like to think about the years that she spent dying, but they are such solid proof of just how amazing her heart was that I have to think about them. I remember the nights she spent gasping for breath, when she’d apologize to me for pushing the alarm button by her bed as if her dying was some sort of inconvenience to me. I’d crank up her oxygen and help her trembling hands bring the nebulizer to her face. Then I’d sing to her. And more often than not, by the end of the breathing treatment she’d be singing along with me and correcting me on lyrics I’d gotten wrong.

If I live to be one hundred and twenty years old, I can only dream of being the woman my mother was: Beautiful, inside and out. Glamorous in a working-class sort of way. Always hopeful, always happy, always madly in love with her children, her grandchildren, and life itself.

Mama, I adore you. You were and you are the perfect woman. God grant that I’m one tenth of what you were.


November 30, 2010

The Texas wind blew through your hair
And the panhandle laid out before us
And I wondered, why stop?
Why not keep going?
Eat up the highway until it’s gone
And plunge into the Atlantic
Naked and unencumbered.

But the wind blew us back
And the panhandle claimed us
Like the highway that had claimed
So much of our lives
And we died, there.
Naked and unencumbered.