Dave and I put another book to bed this week. Our third in the series of books I do with my Creative Writing class at University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

This time I was so lucky to have James Goodridge be a guest speaker in my class (part of the untold benefits of remote teaching). And then, as if that wasn’t enough, James was nice enough to write the introduction for the book.

And now the students have their work, in their names, on Amazon… forever. What a resume builder!

Thank you thank you thank you to Dave, without whom very little would be possible. He’s pretty epic himself.


Our Talented Authors:


Have you seen my new blogroll? Up there, above Monet.

You’ll meet some really interesting folks there.

AND, if you follow me, I’ll follow you too, and add you, to my blogroll.


It’s your first birthday without you. It’s our first Bill-Birthday without you.

You’re so cute.

You’re so funny.

I remember how you could eat any number of Thanksgiving dinners one right after the other and still keep your 29″ waist jeans.

I remember the cut-offs you always swam in that had too many holes to be respectable.

I remember when you visited me in Los Angles and we sang “narcissistic” songs all night long. “I love me, for sentimental reasons. I hope I do believe me; I’ve given me my my my my my; given me my heart because I mmmmmmm- me, and I alone was meant for me…..”

We laughed so hard we almost peed.

I wish Mom had given in and moved to Los Angeles and you had come too, and we had bought that property in Venice with the three houses on one lot. I feel like we could have lived happily ever after there. But, no one was ever ready to compromise for the other. That’s how we are. We love each other, and we love our freedom. And we can’t seem to give one up for the other.

I miss you.

I hope you’re somewhere and not nowhere even though nowhere is where I am sure we all go someday.

I hope you’re happy.

It won’t be your birthday without you.

It won’t be Thanksgiving without you. And who knew, when you were sick and missed last year, that you wouldn’t be here for cake and pie this year? We didn’t expect 2020, and really who did?

I’m thankful you were my big bother of all the big brothers I could have had. I think you were the best.

Except you left.

Too early.

Too quickly.

I miss you.






This is what happens when your job is to teach grammar, and, all of the sudden, you’re teaching that very same grammar, not to college students, but to your daughter.

Let me just get this out of the way… when it comes to teaching my daughter I am as calm as the grave. Calm, calm, patient and calm.

My daughter… is not.

First of all, I do not know if it is because she is a pre-teenager, but she constantly interrupts me. “Mom, what does it mean when the verb has two subjects?”

“Well, when the verb has two subjects”

“I mean, I think it means there’s not change, or is their a change but not like a change that matters, or possibly the change could be that you don’t need a FANBOYS word with the comma, and can I have a snack? I’m soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hungry!”

“Okay, sure you can have a snack, but let’s talk about….”

“I’m hungry now! I can’t think when I’m huuuuuuunnnnngry!”



Other than grammar it’s all cool. Grrrrrrrrrammar.

#homeschoolfun #thatlasthashtagwassarcasm




That is what I wore when I went to vote, and I felt like I was dressing to do battle. I had my Ruth T-shirt and my Ruth pearls, and I felt RGB’s loss, again, and keenly.

I made myself get up and do a run before I went to vote. I have been trying to bike or run 2-3 miles every day (M-F) because this is probably the best chance I will get in my over 50 life to develop an exercise regime/routine, because I am teaching from home. (I am one of the very lucky people to be working from home during the pandemic.) I am hoping it will get to the point that when I finally am back out in the car for 2-3 hours a day I will be so accustomed to exercise that I will still do it, and do it 5 days a week.

Oh, and by the way, I hate exercise. Yup. I hate it. I don’t wanna. But, WTF, I am going to be one of those dam lucky people who comes out of this damn pandemic hotter than when I went in, even if I’m only hotter in the sense that I am covered in hot smelly sweat.

In any case, I got myself all exercised, and then I got myself all Ruth-red up, and then I went to vote.

There were no parking spots.

Typically, in this small rural town, my husband and I walk in, vote, and walk out.

There were no parking spots.

I went home, went to a Zoom meeting. Worked at my desk and homeschooled Sophie for awhile, made her lunch, and, at 1pm, went back.

There were no parking spots.

I went to my doctor for my check-up (blood pressure good, pnemonia and flu vaccine, and I am still fat), and went back to the polls.

There were no parking spots.

At 6pm Dave and Sophie and I picked up my mom, and we all went to vote.

After 90 minutes in line, we made it through, and voted.

I was shocked and dismayed to see one particularly do-nothing state Republican representative was running for re-election unopposed. His name is Steve Smyck, and, as a politician, he’s a waste of space. I was disappointed no one had run against him. Had anyone run s/he would have lost in this part of Joe Biden’s state, but still.

I took my mom for her first Delaware vote. I made sure she got there, was safe, and voted. Last spring I made sure she was registered for state and town elections. My mother votes straight Republican all the time, and this time was no different, except, I may have convinced her that Chris Coons was a nice guy and Lauren Witzke was a nut. I may have convinced her. She was quite dismayed to hear Witzke thinks the earth is flat. Well, she would be. She went to Europe with me once. She knows it’s not flat. She saw the curve of the earth with her own eyes. But, currently, she is having just slightly more trouble than Trump accepting the results. She said she is going to rename her cat Joey… Donny. She refuses to give an inch on her conviction that Biden is a slimy election stealer. She refuses to believe Trump ever said anything even remotely rude about anyone who was a woman or non-white. It just hasn’t happened. And my momma is sharp as a tack. She is not in dementia. She’s only in the river, that one called the Nile. Suffice it to say she is not happy with me. She expects gloating. I would never do that, to her. Hell, I took her to vote. That’s not just what Democracy is, that’s what family is; that’s what being a mensch is.

Mouse, bless him, was also supporting Biden and RBG. He has often referred to Trump as a bastard. Well, you know Mouse, he would. He’s got a bit of an obscenity problem. Probably because he spends too much time with Sophie, and me.

Did you vote? Were you part of the wonderful process?


So, you know, I run Devil’s Party Press (and now Gravelight Press, and Hawkshaw Press, and Out of This World Press). And, the toughest thing about it is that I have this mission, to publish older authors, like myself, who don’t get a fair nod from traditional publishing companies, so I am a traditional publishing company and I do give them a fair nod, but…


I have to find people out there to buy the books.

They are great stories. I know it. You know I have read a lot in my life, and been through dozens of classes on literature and three college degrees on writing and literature, and, I’m going to venture to be bold enough to call myself an expert on not just good writing, but engaging and surprising writing. Unless you’re down for all romance, all the time, of which, I confess, beyond Love Story and Oliver’s Story and a brush with Barbara Cartland in my misguided youth, I have almost no experience, I can find you a really good book to read.

So, when I pick stories and books to publish, I’m pretty selective.

These are great writers I am publishing who just happened not to have the time in their youth to hunt down and kill a publishing career. Which, I get. Sometimes I feel like life, for me, in some ways, ending being about what I wanted once I bought my first car. There it was, debt, and from then on out I was striving to stay caught up or ahead of it beyond anything else.

So, these writers I am choosing are really worth a reader’s time.

And our books, thanks 100% to Dave, are gorgeous.

So, how do I find people to buy them?

How do I let people know about these wonderful stories and these wonderful writers, and writers they should choose, over the latest cookie-cutter best seller, because these are people who have done their duty to job, family, country, and now, finally, they get to write.

This is the nut to crack.

And, the loneliest part of the job. It’s all up to me. I have to do it.

Of course, I want to do it.

But I have to do it. These writers are important to me, and I have to find a way to get them out there.

Would you like to buy a book?

Buy it through our website (where more of the money goes to the authors) or buy it on Amazon. All our titles are available there.

And reassure me I can do it.