Summer is a spool of thread

At least, that’s how I see it.

With every day spun by, I see the spool that is my summer mercilessly spinning out the days. The days already grow shorter. I’ve seen the school library, freshly carpeted, waiting to be cleared of the clutter a renovation leaves behind.

I know, too, that my hopes for this season are unmet. Too much chaos, too many wasted moments,moo many tears. Still, what have I gained?

Finally for my forever novel (the one that haunts a writer, taunting it with the flaws, but ceaselessly drawing back into the past), I have a clear knowledge of my antagonist. I’ve rewritten part of The Beast. Perhaps there’s hope.

I also replanted part of my garden, strained my back, took swimming lessons, made jam, and learned a lot about myself in the process. I also watched the first season of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

Yeah. It was a good summer. 


Changing my name at my marriage was easier

Friends, it’s time to put off the old maiden-name pseudonym and adopt the new.  But, dear me, there a trick to this blog name change business that I can’t get.

Don’t worry, it’ll happen.  Once the blog isn’t, and becomes, I’ll have lots more to say.

Here’s to you, Jeff.  Thanks for the memories.

Do you have a business card? BEA, revisited

Possibly the very best moment of the BEA experience:  trolling down a side aisle, I spy a tiny girl at a booth.  I am sure she’s someone’s kid, parked off to the side for the afternoon and watching the milling masses with their overstuffed carry bags slung over aching shoulders. 

“Well, hello there,” I say, sure she’ll be happy to have anyone at all acknowledge her at all.

Then she lays it on me:  “Would you like me to sign a copy of my book?”

“Your what?”  I don’t get it.  This is a child, and a solemn little one at that.

She doesn’t blink. “My book.”

“You wrote a book?”  Okay, I’m obviously trolling through an alternate universe. “How old are you?”

“I wrote it when I was five.” She looks to be about seven now.  “I wrote it because I have a  special hand.”

When I don’t seem to get it, she points to her right hand.  And she’s absolutely right: it is a special hand.  Several fingers are missing, an obvious birth defect.  I smile, knowing  I want to cry for her, but she doesn’t need this.  She needs to know if I would like her to sign a book for me.

“Yes, I would like it very much if you would sign your book.”  And she does.  Very tiny script with her good left hand:   ❤ Grace

As I turn away, she has another question:  “Do you have a business card?”

I do, in three different designs.  My name, email and phonenumber.  With a feather, a flower or a cupcake illustration.  I like the cupcake best.  So does she.

And she smiles.  And I feel better about coming to BEA.  Because I’d met Grace.  And I did have a business card to offer her.  And it has cupcakes all over it.

The Gift of Grace by Grace Mary McClelland and Nancy Moskovitz, Wild Onion Press (2011).  2011 Silver Medalist, Nautilus Awards Continue reading

BEA: More books + information overload = are we there yet?

I spent May 24 with half a dozen librarians, all friends from my former school district, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.  Word was, this was THE book event of the year!  I’d be rubbing shoulders with authors, getting books signed, having the chance to see what was new and exciting in the world of publishing.  This was it, baby!  Anything could happen!

What happened was a lot of walking, 7 tote bags, a water bottle, an insulated lunch box, a notepad cube, a poster (eventually abandoned), three or four mini sticky pads, half a dozen pens, 33 books and nearly as many autographs.  I had excellent, but hurried, conversations with so many authors and publishing reps, I’ve forgotten almost all of it.  My brain was on overdrive for the next 24 hours.

Of those 33 books, seven will eventually be accessed to my school library’s collection.  The rest are “research” for my writing.  Every kind of romance available went into my bag(s).  I rested my dogs for a sweet 30 minutes in the Librarian’s Lounge and enjoyed an excellent cup of coffee at no charge.  When I finally stopped long enough to eat lunch, the $18 tab I was told to expect totaled $6.75, including drink.

Based on this one visit, you’d think the publishing industry isn’t in trouble at all.  But my friends, discussing the day on the ride home, felt that it wasn’t as busy as it had been.  Not as much free stuff, they said.

I don’t care.  I’ve got a year’s worth of reading.  I learned a lot.  And, if I go next year, I’ll make sure I hear some of the talks and presentations.  I might go for more than one day.  And, I’ll bring a bigger suitcase and wear better shoes.

I AM working!

Memorial Day weekend is so many things:  the official start of summer and the (most important) remembrance of our veterans who gave their service and their lives to fight for America’s continued freedom.

It’s also the start of a big push, here, to complete a 90,000 word manuscript before September 1.  This means that I will not do the following:  part-time work at the local library, online coursework towards work credits (and a higher salary), or more than a week’s vacation.  Afternoons at the pool and beach won’t happen.  I’ll be working.

I need to repeat those words:  I am working.  Boy, that’s hard.  I am working.  It’s like telling myself, I won’t eat that.  And then I do.

I am working.  On a novel.  Yes, it has been requested.  The agent is taking a leap of faith that I will finish, and that it will be worth reading.  Please remind me, sometime this summer, that she did actually ask to see it.  Agents don’t waste their time asking for a full manuscript when they don’t want to read it, do they?

No.  I am working.  Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard working.

So you see me at the Bliss Diner around July or August, cuddling up to a bacon cheeseburger with a wild look in my eyes, you’ll know the truth.  I’ve been working.  Be gentle, please.  Let me finish, then swivel the chair and steer me towards the car.  Because I have to get back.

Thanks for the reminders and positive thoughts.  Must get back.  Hands to keyboard.  Tap tap tap tap.