Friday, November 14, 2014

I've gone underground this year, working like a fiend to get my novel The Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies finished, proofed and off to be formatted. This week that happened and I've been thinking back to how a novel gets started. For this one, I remember it well. The inspiration for TEBC4NL (short hand for a long title) came from an art book my designer daughter brought home from the University of Iowa and left in our library. The book was about a 15th century monastery and showed illustrations recovered by historians of the garden there and other building placements. I loved the ink. It was red, red, red and I always thought I'd write about that old place. In fact, the first draft of the novel started in a monastery. For several reasons, I kept the time period and changed the location, but more later, I'm off to take another look at that book now that the novel has flown off to my favorite book designer.   

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Head down, getting my novel The Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies ready for the advanced review copies. The publisher is River Junction Press LLC. and the book will come out under Fiction Junction, an imprint of RJP. Pub. date: May 1, 2015, if I keep my act together. Jamison Design did the cover, will format the book, do the website, and other marketing tools. Jamison Design is my daughter Jami's design firm in Nevada City, CA. The cover, which will appear here soon. The novel is the reason for my blog absence, plus a handful of other distractions.   

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Came across this amazing sentence in an ad today.
"Every book you've ever read is just a different combination of 26 letter."

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Each year during the holiday season, I write a nature essay and this year it's about birds and migration. essay below The photo is one of my husband Bob's and let me tell you, it's not easy to find a still hummingbird. CS 

New Year & the Hummingbird

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. So wrote Emily Dickinson.
Perhaps no feathered creature represents hope more than the magical hummingbird. Seeing one makes a person believe in nature’s magic and orthinologists still work to understand the mysteries of this tiny bird. They believe that hummers evolved from a tropical species to their present form after the Ice Age, expanding their range in search of new food sources. What is known is that each hummingbird generally migrates alone, flying fast and far toward a warm future. In truth, all migrating birds are puzzles of nature. No one knows for certain how they know where to go or how to get there. Those who study such things speculate that hummingbirds fly south at low altitudes looking for flowers in blossom or still lively insects. This contrasts to other migratory birds that travel high using the position of the sun or those that look down for large landmarks below: lakes, desert edges, mountain highs. Or birds that fly through the lofty darkness with the night sky their map and the stars their compass. But only each bird knows for sure. For us, winters would seem longer without the birds that don’t migrate. Even when temperatures drop like apples from Newton’s tree, many resident birds stay on to brave the Nebraska winters. Sometimes our robins migrate and sometimes don’t, but they always indulge in autumn hackberry feeding orgies alongside the house. This year the berries turned from green to red, but no robins arrived. Bob and I worried about the missing winged clientele, until finally in mid-October, wings and more wings of robins cut through the air to thrash about the hackberry tree. We didn’t know what bird appointments had detained them, only that they’d arrived. That day, they devoured half the berries, then disappeared. Not until mid-November did they dive bomb the tree again and again, snapping up ripe berries in a rush. When I looked out later, the crop was gone as the first snowflakes of winter floated down. If the robins planned to migrate this year, they’d arrived for their departure meal in the nick of time. If they planned to stick around, they’d feasted in preparation for the cold months ahead. I’m certain none of it was accidental, but rather some inner birdly sense of seasons and weather.  Remembering Emily Dickinson, when dreary winter days drift down from heaven, I wait for wings to bring us hope of sunny times ahead. With downy woodpeckers, scarlet cardinals, snow birds, and blue jays feathering the frigid air with color and call, I wish you a similar hope, coupled with the mystique of feathered friends filling your souls

Friday, November 8, 2013

What a treat for an author to get an invitation to sit down with 10 people who love your book,
laugh and ponder its meanings and ask you thoughtful questions. One reader said she gave daily bulletins to her family about what was happening in the plot. What impressed me was that the
group really understood the deeper meanings and philosophy that I was trying to convey in my  quirky, easy to read novel. Well, one guy was a retired psychologist, but others were just as perceptive. On a rainy night this week I went to that special kind of book club meeting. Many,
many months ago, someone from the group heard my Bookworm reading of POWERBALL 33
and recommended it for the club's November reading. Afterward, one member told me she
planned to suggest the novel to her other book club. I know most of us, including me, want immediate response to our work, but this surprise late invitation was an eye opener and a
reminder that once written, our words are available to readers as long as the paper - or download exists..  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

   As I look out my office window this dreary November morning, I'm greeted by turkeys. I count. A flock of 19 wild turkeys. Males with wing spreads strut. Sleek females group together. Slow. Slow they move through the grass. And then they are gone. Were they a mirage with Thanksgiving looming? No, a turkey or 2 often trots through our backyard bordering a pond. But this was drumstick galore. And I'm smiling.