Write On! Doing Whatever It Takes to Get an Eye-Catching Cover Even If It Means Getting Your Husband Out of Bed At Oh-Dark-Thirty
The cover for my most recent book, The Clone’s Mother (October 2015), has changed. After attending a seminar on cover design, the expert taught that each genre fiction has its own look, a style that readers look for and must find in that one-point-two seconds they see your cover when browsing books, or it’s sayonara baby, move on to the next selection please. After seeing all of his examples of the suspense/thriller covers coming out of New York, I did my own survey and found he was right. That meant I had to change my cover. To go for a new look.
Our Dance Hall. It was also our library and play room and crawl all over Mom room.
A French engineer and inventor from the late 1800s, Clément Ader, is known mostly for his advancements in aviation. He also tinkered to improve Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone (not sure if I should call it “tinkering” for something that huge in history). On this day in 1881 Ader patented the first stereo system. If you Google “first stereo” you don’t see his name, but you get a lot of people who came after him who built on his ideas. But he was the fellow who got the ball (and other dances) rolling.
Yesterday a new friend asked me how I ever showered with four little ones around. It got me to thinking how rare and cherished a shower was. If I could work one in, it took meticulous planning and serendipitous aligning of the planets.
Last year in the high school parking lot where my sister’s kids went to school, my sister was driving in to pick up my nephew Caleb on his last day of high school. She spotted him just when he was hit by a Jeep right there in the parking lot. Before her very eyes, he was struck, shot up onto the hood, then flew back off again and went under it. She called me from the ER to tell me she didn’t think they were going to make it to my sons’ graduation party. I figured out pretty quickly she must have been in shock, because she was just way too calm to tell me that way that a Jeep had just hit Caleb and run over his legs.
There was a season when my oldest sister Cyndi and I didn’t get along. It lasted, oh, about seventeen years, from when I was around twelve and she was fifteen, until I was twenty-nine. We tried hard sometimes, but it just didn’t work. When we were teenagers, we both had issues and took them out on each other. It was sometimes brutal and violent, and often cruel. Then in our twenties, the tension when we were together too long escalated and ended with a lot of stress and disappointment. She came to visit me in both Virginia and Chicago where I lived in post-college days, and though the visits always started fine, by the time she left, the separation was a needed reprieve.
Then when I was twenty-nine, suddenly some kind of miracle happened.
Neither Jason nor I am a fan of Woody Allen, so to choose one of his movies to see on our initial date was our first mistake. We only went because everyone was saying how good it was. When we got to the theater, the line was long and the theater was packed. The only two seats we could find together were in the front row. We sat with our necks crooked up for all 107 miserable minutes of the film. By the time it finished, I had a raging headache and I never wanted to hear the name Woody Allen again.
After bowling that night in January of 1986 when I [didn’t] meet Jason, all of us bowlers went to a late night café for drinks and cinnamon buns. Jason and I sat together and visited about each of our jobs, getting acquainted. Jason was a commodities broker, which I had never heard of, at a brokerage firm, which I’d barely heard of. Because I was completely unfamiliar with that whole world of finance, he explained what he did by saying, “See that car out there?” pointing to a random parked car through the plate glass window of the café. “I can sell it to you and collect payment, as long as you sell it again to someone else before the date arrives to take possession.” Or something like that. I still don’t really understand how it works.
Fortunately, I’m not suffering from writer’s block right now. I’m in crunch time trying to get Chloe’s Odyssey ready for launch. So I’m going to go work on that while you read about a time when I did have writer’s block, because every writer goes through this.
The Battle of Stalingrad was the pivotal battle in 1942 of World War II when the Soviet forces finally curtailed the seemingly unstoppable advance of the Axis troops. Once Stalingrad held out, the war began to turn for the Allies. After seven months and approximately two million deaths, the Germans were overcome, surrendered in the city, and were marched off to horrible death and work camps in the Russian wintry wastelands. Though Stalingrad was reduced to rubble, unbelievably, the iconic Barmaley Fountain was somehow still standing in the midst of the ruins—joyful children holding hands while singing and dancing in a circle—while the city burned to ash behind them.
Pierce was an easy child to neglect. Only because he was such a content baby, a low key toddler, and a low maintenance kid. He slept most of the time in his first weeks, so I didn’t get much time with him to “bond” where we’d have eye contact and interactions that normally help a mom get to know her baby. And once he was home from the hospital, the squeaky wheels got the attention, and he just never squeaked.
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