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Thursday, February 9, 2012

When the Novel is Finished

When the novel is finished, you suddenly have all kinds of time on your hands. A whole new world of opportunities opens up to you. Midday naps are not out of the question. Grocery shopping is no longer optional. You can put out breakfast and lunch offerings in the morning, and even fold some laundry. Exercise becomes mandatory. Keeping "BUTT in CHAIR" is no longer an excuse for secretary spread. A trip out of town means more than a new venue for writing (hotel bed vs. hotel desk). When the kids tell you stuff, you remember. Meetings are attended, you sign up to help with things, you have time to work on lesson plans for your classes.

When the novel is finished, you suddenly have lots of time to start thinking about the next one.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I wish you a merry Christmas...

...and I want to thank everyone who has viewed, bought, reviewed, considered, Googled, or simply uttered the words "Crappy New Year" since I published my novel as an eBook two weeks ago. Today it took right off. Did lots of folks get Kindles and Nooks for Christmas or Hanukkah? So excited that word is getting out and people seem to appreciate my message of hope this holiday season.
I hope that, perhaps by next New Years, we'll be celebrating a very successful eLaunch with all of you. Never thought I'd publish this way, never in a million years. But we just gave my daughter Lindsey a Kindle for Christmas too. She had once proclaimed that she enjoyed the feel, smell, tangible-ness of books too much to switch to reading off an electronic pad, but she's already hooked. Okay, so she was my guinea pig. The next Kindle goes to me!

If you don't plan to buy a Kindle or Nook, you can download the app for free on your PC or Mac, right from the homepage of the book you want to buy. Pretty cool. That's all I've done so far, and it works beautifully.

Thanks again, everyone, and a Not-So-Crappy 2012 to all!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

CRAPPY NOT SO CRAPPY

Well, folks, we're just a few weeks away from the debut of Crappy New Year, and if there's a young teenager in your life, this may be the book she's looking for - a little bit of reality in a world filled with fantasy.

I am on the board at Kids First, where parents go to find help for their children and themselves during the tough transition from marriage to divorce, or from divorce to remarriage, or remarriage with stepkids involved. You get the idea. Visit http://www.kidsfirstcenter.org/ for more about this amazing organization.

My goal is to see adolescents talking more about their family changes and how they've been affected by them. Kids around ages eleven and older have a harder time opening up about this stuff. They think kids in "normal" families will think differently about them. Fact is, many kids at this age ARE going through some kind of family restructuring, and they need not feel so alone!

Crappy New Year is not so crappy. It's funny, moves along at a fast clip, and will keep your daughters entertained. Heck, maybe even your sons!

I will be talking lots more about this, my first novel, in the next few weeks. Website will be up and running in time for Holiday shopping!

Monday, October 31, 2011

WHEN COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE LETTERS ARRIVE

Our 17-year-old son Owen was just accepted at the New England School of Communication. Here, he will continue his dream of becoming a Filmmaker, a dream that started with LEGO animation at least ten years ago. I fondly remember the QUEEN concert he created, with stage, fans, a favorite (although more obcure) Queen song, and Freddy Mercury.

Portland Arts and Technology High School has set the groundwork for success. That, combined with summers at the New England Film Academy, has given Owen the experience and confidence he needs to follow his dream and make his own luck. Things haven't always come easy to him. In fact, quite the opposite.

There's a book out there called LOOK ME IN THE EYE about a grown man with Aspergers Syndrome who engineered the special effects for KISS concerts back in the 70s. Owen's Aspergers is more mild, but the effort he needs to apply to certain social situations (i.e. reading body language, figurative vs. literal, dealing with confrontations, etc.) is just as real. Throw in his parents' divorce at age eight, depression, serious bullying and thoughts of suicide, and the young man we see now has emerged so much stronger, confident, and self-reliant. Our pride is obvious, our faith in him unwavering - just like all our kids.

We love all five kids, very much so, but today is Owen's day to shine.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

WE INTERRUPT THIS MARRIAGE...

...FOR HUNTING SEASON
There's a photograph of my husband Jim, on our honeymoon in Arizona, holding a wooden plaque with these words eloquently inscribed on it. Yes, it was our honeymoon. Did I know what I was getting myself into? Uh huh. I was warned. I did it anyway.

After all, I'm a writer. Very soon, I'll be an author. Can you think of a more solitary occupation? We writers NEED to be left alone for a month (okay, so it's more like three) every fall to finish up those year-long novel projects. And guess what? Having a husband who hunts works for me. CRAPPY NEW YEAR will be published in December. MOURNING DOVE is 4/5 completed. That means I have only that pesky denouement left to write.

BUT... Okay, you knew this was coming: the downside. I feel I've been almost single-handedly been caring for our children WHILE ALSO trying to write. I have been running the errands, making the phone calls, planning the visits, taking the children to their appointments, playing cabbie, AND trying to get CRAPPY launched with some semblance of a plan...and while finally seeing Gracie beyond the confines of her not-so-happy home in MOURNING DOVE>.

Sometimes my brain surgeon forgets there's more to life than brain surgery and hunting...but September, October, and November are not the best months to remind him. A trip to our camp this weekend is not for fun, as I had anticipated, but an opportunity for Jim to pick up the moose he shot from the butcher and get the dock and boat out of the water.  It's easy for him to forget - between trips to the tree stand in the back forty and jaunts to the taxidermist - that his wife has a bandaged foot from last week's surgery and could use a little couch time with her loving husband right about now.  Besides, she won't be much help pulling a dock out of the water in tomorrow's forecasted snow and slush.

As long as I don't get writers block, this hunting season is nothing more than an opportunity. I just need to be reminded of that every now and then.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TOUGH DAY ON THE HOME FRONT

Tough couple of days on the home front. Nineteen year old decided to leave after spending eight days with us trying to figure out what to do with her life. Still wasn't committed to leaving her bad news beau. Sad...can't help her any more than we can help her. Does that make sense?

On the good news front....

Yeah, it's one of those days - trying to find something good to say. Sometimes we just need to borrow a little positive vibe from the day before, you know? In my case, we have to go back three days.

But it's not all bad. 22-yr-old is having a great senior year in college. 12 and 16 seem happy enough. 17 is a high school senior and expecting to hear from NESCOM any day now - good news, we hope. 

HOPE. Yeah, that's what it's all about.

When 4 out of 5 of your kids are happy, healthy, working, going to school, committed to the right things, making good decisions.... Well, isn't that about the national average? I think so. It has nothing to do with the divorce they all went through...  Seems to me the most adjusted families are at about an 80% success rate.