Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Peace on Earth

It's one planet. We need to cooperate. We should know that by now. So this is what I wish for this holiday season: peace on earth. And yes, some goodwill along with it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

It's Winter Solstice.  Everyone, it seems, is looking forward to longer days and warmer days. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but I would like to see the long nights celebrated, too.  I suppose I am in the minority, but I am grateful for shorter days, for a season that seems to prompt me to look within, to meditate and to dream.  Today marks the shortest day and the longest night, but the season will still have many long, cold nights filled with moon and stars. I know when Spring comes I will be ready for it, but for now: happy Solstice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The unexpected story

I love all book stores, online and bricks and mortar. I buy books online for convenience and because I can't help myself. It's so easy to see book, buy book. I love e-stores.  But I also love bricks and mortar book stores, especially the independents. You never know what could be on the shelves, books you wouldn't normally think to look for online, unexpected and wonderful stories. I just came back from visiting Wakefield Books in the Wakefield mall in South Kingstown, RI.  They have some copies of "Tiger Lily" and "A Changed World" there, which was my excuse. Not that I needed an excuse, of course.

Book stores at any time of year are a treat but in December, wow!  There are books, of course, books everywhere, but also calendars and bookmarks and wonderful things! You can hold books and admire them, in person, before you buy them. You can listen as the books whisper to you.  I couldn't stay as long as I wanted but I intend to go back, to wander and perhaps find an unexpected story that I must have.

So visit a book store, if you can. If you are passing through South Kingstown, stop in at Wakefield Books.  Yes, go ahead, buy a copy of "Tiger Lily" but also see if there's an unexpected story that you just must have.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembering: Veterans Day

I remember when my first grade teacher called it Armistice Day.  She explained why, that the fighting in the First World War had ended at this time.  At 11 AM she asked us to be silent and to remember that soldiers had died. Along with my classmates, I closed my eyes. My child's imagination showed me scenes of war and loss. When we opened our eyes I saw my teacher looking at me with concern  and I realized that I had been crying.

Every year since that time I have taken a few minutes at eleven in the morning on the eleventh day of the eleventh month to remember those who have died in wars and those who served. Reading and research and personal stories have expanded my knowledge but have not altered the intensity I felt on that day in my childhood.  I always hope, as I did then, that some day there will be no war. I hope and I remember.

Friday, October 24, 2014

"Tiger Lily" kindle sale for Halloween!

Get ready for Halloween! Beginning on October 29 there will be a kindle countdown sale of "Tiger Lily". Is it "the lady or the tiger", or in this case, "the lady and the tiger"? Who could resist?  If you don't have this kindle book yet, mark your calendar!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Print Edition of "Tiger Lily"

Yes, a print edition of "Tiger Lily", or as some people call it, a "real book", should be out by the end of the month.  There is an amazing amount of work involved in this: does this look okay, does that work and on and on.  I will be both excited and relieved when it finally happens.  Then, if all goes as planned, "Burning Bright" should be right behind it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

"You Do Not Exist"

Yesterday I called my local pharmacy for a refill.  There was something wrong with their phone system; it asked for my extension and password.  I hung up and tried again.  Same result, so I hit "zero" hoping it would default to a human. Instead, the automated system told me, in a pleasant female voice, "You do not exist.  Goodbye."  Then it hung up on me, precipitating a sudden flashback to a college French lit course.  Life is certainly absurd when automated systems become existentialist.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 again

It's 9/11 again.  Once again I'm remembering. I hadn't lived in the City for a long time when the attacks occurred, but I was and still am a New Yorker.  I guess you can take the girl out of the City but you can't take the City out of the girl.  And that day I think all Americans became New Yorkers. I just re-read my post on this blog from last year and decided to repost it.  No apologies.  I'm remembering.

Nine Eleven

The anniversary of the attack.  It is still vivid in my mind: where I was that day, how I heard the news, the student who ran out of class, screaming that her daughter was on a flight out of Boston.   I remember it all, but that's not what I want to write about today, on this anniversary.  I am remembering something else, something that happened a little later.

Two months after the attack on the Trade Towers, I was in Manhattan.  My mother was still alive back then, living in her beloved city but considering moving to assisted living.  Some of the family gathered to see her.  

Of course there was much discussion of the attack.  My mother said, "They tried to kill us all but look, we're still here."  Some of us thought the attack would draw the country together.  Others thought it was divisive, that we would all be suspicious of those who didn't look like us, dress like us.  Eventually, most of us grabbed cabs and went down to Ground Zero.

Ground Zero.  It was still burning.  The smell was incredible; my eyes burned for hours afterwards.  Much of it was fenced off but you could still climb some of the rubble for an overview of ruins and smoke.   I walked away from my family and began to climb.

There was an African-American woman already up there. She leaned over and extended a hand.  I grasped her hand and she pulled me up.  We looked at each other.  We said nothing, just nodded.  A few minutes later, an Asian-looking man started to climb up.  The other woman and I grabbed his hands, hers dark, mine pale, his golden, and pulled him up.  Again, there were no words.  We all looked at one another and then looked out over the pile.  The man wiped away a tear.  Then we heard something behind us.  A brown-skinned man was trying to climb.  We helped him up and we all stood there, shoulder to shoulder.

I said there were no words but that isn't really true.  No words were spoken but there were words.  After helping up the last man, the woman's jacket fell open, revealing her sweatshirt.  There were words on her sweatshirt.  The words were: "United We Stand".

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day is Monday, summer's last gasp as most people think.  I always tell myself that I won't let that change my outlook, but the fact is that classes start next week.  Am I ready?  I hope so, although there is still plenty for me to do first.  At least my syllabus is posted.

And what about writing?  What about books? I never stop, no matter the season.  I have a big book of poetry and photographs that is more than half finished.  And "Tiger Lily" and "Burning Bright" should be available in print before too long.

Perhaps this weekend is time for a break.  The crickets are already singing autumn songs.  Happy Labor Day.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's Out!

"Burning Bright" is out now in ebook on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  It's a relief.  This one was hard, with several re-writes.  But finally, it's out! I might take a couple of days off.  Or not. The print book will come out later this year.

Here are the links.

 Barnes and Noble:

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I have the cover for "Burning Bright", the sequel to "Tiger Lily".  The book should be out in both kindle and epub versions within a few days.  Sorry, print people, you will have to wait a bit longer, but I do expect print versions of both "Tiger Lily" and "Burning Bright" to be available later this year.

I know I'm supposed to make a big deal of a "cover reveal" but, well, I can't.  I'm posting the cover right here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

It Starts Now!

The kindle countdown sale of "A Changed World" has already begun in the UK and is about to start (11 AM Eastern, 8 AM Pacific) in the US.  It lasts only 72 hours and the price is at its lowest today.  Go check it out! (I love tinyurl)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sale in the US and the UK July 7-10

The kindle version of "A Changed World" will be on sale at Amazon in the US and the UK from July 7 to July 10!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sale Coming!

Sale of "A Changed World" is coming!  Starting on July 7, there will be a Kindle Countdown Sale of "A Changed World" on Amazon.  The sale will run from July 7 to July 10, starting at 99 cents on July 7 and increasing a little each day until it's back to its usual price.  The sale begins at 8:00 AM Pacific time on July 7.  That's  11:00 AM Eastern time.  Anywhere in between, you do the math :)  The sale ends  on July 10.  Heads up!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Soon in Paperback

"Hurricane Warning", one of my little poetry books, will soon be available in a print edition.  It's taking a little longer than expected because of some changes in the interior design, but it should be available in early July.  

I love poetry!  Well, as a genre.  Obviously I can't love all poetry. I know there are a lot of people who are afraid of poetry.  If you are one of them, don't be.  Come on in; the water's fine!  I will, of course, let you know when "Hurricane Warning" is out in paperback. Of course, you can always buy it in ebook.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Sale Right Now!

"A Changed World" is on sale right now for only 99 cents!
Check it out at Amazon!

Sale Soon!

Coming very soon: a sale on "A Changed World" in kindle format only.  The details are set up yet but stay tuned.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Gift

I woke up this morning and staggered out of bed in the half-light. I was barefoot and headed for the bathroom. There was something soft and lumpy under my left foot.  A cat toy, I thought, but it didn't feel right.  So I looked.  By now, of course you may have guessed. It was a small mouse, very dead. My cats do not go out to hunt, but we live in an old farmhouse and sometimes the mice come in; more fool they. The Lady is a mighty hunter.

I squeaked with surprise, probably not unlike the poor mouse, and almost lost my balance.

"Mow!" said the Lady, from her spot on the nearby cat condo.

"Yes," said I,"of course. Thank you so very much!"  I noticed that the ears had been chewed off the mouse, but naturally I didn't mention it; it seemed rude. One should always be courteous when a cat gives a present.

"I will eat it in the bathroom," I said.

I picked up the mouse with a tissue and proceeded to the bathroom, where I buried the mouse at sea.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Saturday at the library

I had a really nice time last Saturday at the Newport Public Library's Festival of Five, with four other New England authors.  I got to meet Tova Mirvis, Julie Wu, Nora Hall and Susan Reynolds.  I was so nervous going in but I didn't need to be.  These women are a lot of fun to talk to, and our facilitator, Mary Barrett, did a wonderful job.  We got to toss around questions from Mary and also from people in the audience.  I even got to mention my friend Marcella Burnard's newest book.

And I discovered something.  Anyone who lives in the vicinity of Newport, Rhode Island, heads up: the library has a book store.  A used book store where they sell extra copies and also donated books.  Lots of books.  For cheap. I have to go back there.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A festival! With books!

This Saturday, May 3, I will be at the Newport Public Library in Newport, Rhode Island.  It's their second annual Festival of Five. All five of us are women authors from New England.  I'm honored to be invited.  I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do or say but hey, it should be fun.  If you are in the neighborhood, stop by at 2 PM.  I understand there will be some books for sale!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Of birds and squirrels

At first it was a war.  At least, that's how I perceived it.  I had a suet feeder hung out for the birds.  The squirrels would climb up there and chase the birds away, eat the suet, and then throw the feeder to the ground.  Then they would drag the feeder off into the bushes and take it apart.  Yes, they really did, and on more than one occasion.

Needless to say, I got tired of retrieving the feeder and reassembling it.  I was not happy that the squirrels were chasing off the woodpeckers but I wanted the squirrels to be fed, too, so I put out food on the ground for the squirrels.  The birds ate that more than the squirrels did. 

I decided all would be well if I could keep the squirrels off the bird feeder.  Then the birds would eat from the feeder and the squirrels would eat on the ground.  I put spinners made of old plastic milk bottles on the pole for the bird feeder.  They did discourage the squirrels but my husband thought they were ugly.  He had a point, so I removed them.  Here's an example, with a red-headed woodpecker and a downy.

I tried putting hot sauce and pepper on the suet.  I read that birds don't mind that but squirrels do.  Sure enough, one of the squirrels ate some peppered suet and sat on the feeder pole with his mouth hanging open.  I felt terrible.  And it didn't work for long.  The squirrels realized the hot stuff was only a coating, which they could scrape off.

All of this made me think (and about time, you might say). What I really disliked about everyone eating from the bird feeder was that the feeder would get dumped on the ground and dragged into the bushes.  Aha!  I got some safety wire and wired the feeder so it would stay closed.  And I reinforced the hanger.

It worked.  At least so far the feeder has not gone walkabout.  Birds and squirrels can eat, no problem.  But there is a new development.  Grackles have discovered the feeder.  And grackles, apparently, can be bullies.  They are iridescently beautiful but they chase away other birds and even squirrels.  

The grackles won't let me take their picture so I borrowed these from the public domain,

I guess it's always something.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Apparently it's not Spring

At least, not yet.  We had more snow and now lots of wind and there's ice everywhere.  It will melt, of course, but as a student said today, "I think the March lion kinda ate the March lamb."  She may kinda have a point. I know eventually the hummingbirds will return, but for now, I'm still enjoying the woodpeckers.  Here is my downy friend again, enjoying some suet.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's here!

I went back into my wood patch and there they were, poking up through the leaf litter and semi-frozen soil: little daffodil shoots.  It's here!  Spring is here!

Friday, March 7, 2014

book festival!

I'm thrilled, delighted, flattered and nervous!  I was invited to the Newport, RI Public Library on May 3 to be one of the authors at their "Festival of Five".   I will be one of five women authors from New England to be on a sort of panel/round table to be interviewed and to answer questions from the audience.  I have no idea right now who the other four will be, but I am excited to find out.  I have never participated in anything like this but it sounds like a lot of fun!  I think there will be some books for sale, which means I have an excuse to feed my book addiction.  Right now this is pretty much all I know.  Oh, right, the festival begins at 2 PM and it's open to the public, so stop by if you're in the neighborhood!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

woo hoo!

The Amazon promotion is over.  The results were great!  There were free downloads in every country with an Amazon store, except Mexico and Spain.  Hundreds of free kindle copies of "The Sword of the Land" were downloaded, and "Sword" hit number ten in the rankings for epic science fiction and fantasy and also for sword and sorcery (free listings). I hope people enjoy the book!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

And what I forgot ...

Of course I forgot to give a link to the book.  Sigh.  Here it is; check it out tomorrow. Tiny url is a great free service, btw:

Free book! Presidents Day give-away!

Presidents Day Freebie! If you haven't read "The Sword of the Land", it's a free Amazon kindle book for two days, starting on Monday, February 17 through Tuesday, February 18.  So get it while it's hot! (Shameless promotion here.) Of course, if you have Amazon Prime, you can still borrow it for free.  And for my cat-loving friends, yes, it has a big cat in it.  Doesn't everything?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And now, back to work.

I was recently asked why I'm not blogging.  I have a blog, right, so why am I not using it?  I could say that I'm suddenly teaching a course that I didn't really expect to have (true) and that, as usual, I have all sorts of "stuff" going on in my life (true).  More important is the fact that I am in re-writes.

I hate re-writes.  Well, okay, maybe I just dislike them.  Nope.  I think I hate them.  They have to be done, though, so I'm doing them, and that takes a lot of work. And fidgeting.  And grumbling.  Much grumbling.  On the plus side, it's means the book is much closer to being released.  The book is "Burning Bright", the sequel to "Tiger Lily", for those of you who have been asking me.

So that's my excuse for not blogging.  Blame it on the re-writes.  And now, back to work.  Stay tuned.