HoLeY mOLeY… thanks to a concerted effort by family and friends, 29 humans have read and liked my first two episodes! Amazing, and I thank you!
THIS is, currently, only available to read on Amazon. You have to sign in to like it, and, Amazon is currently only allowing USA-based folks to read and like. As is usual with Amazon, they want to see if people are interested before they wade all the way in.
I have a new episode/chapter coming out on Friday, 12/9, and I wonder if I can get to an even 30 readers by then!
I am really curious if people will be interested in the book through the whole process, chapter by chapter.
At the end, we’ll publish it as a paperback.
In the meantime, if you want to take a look, please do. Writers like me live and die based on someone exactly like you being kind enough to take a look. Yes, you have to be signed in and in the USA to leave a LIKE, but the first 3 chapters/episodes are FREE to read!
Last week I sent an email to everyone I could think of, and that helped.
And, I have to say, it was super-awkward asking. It is tough to ask people for help and favors. I am very good at doing favors, but very awful at asking.
“Day After Day,” by Badfinger. I could listen to this song, and most songs by Badfinger, over and over and over again.
This one is particularly notable for it’s lovely piano, and the whine of the guitar.
My brother, Bill (nicknamed Ear to his friends, but always Billy to me) would have just celebrated his birthday, and he loved Badfinger and introduced them to me. Bill died in 2020 during COVID not from COVID, but from being really sick and also being afraid to go to the hospital because he might catch COVID and die. And so he stayed home and got sicker and sicker, and died. One of the tragedies of my life.
Badfinger, also, cannot be discussed without talking about their tragedy too. Shepherded to fame by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (and Paul wrote many of their songs) they were destined for greatness until their manager ripped them off, and two of them killed themselves in panic and desperation. It was a terrible loss to their friends, family, and to music lovers everywhere, as they were a very good band, and probably would have gotten even better.
So, the thing about Badfinger is, due to both their “sound” and their story, they are a melancholy band. And I tend not to be a fan of sad or melancholy things the older I get. I am really searching for the happy in life, whatever that means. For example, today I tossed some leftover dal on some leftover orzo and had that for breakfast. My mouth was not expecting the dal to slip and slide over orzo, so it was like a whole new thing, and it was amazing. That lifted my mood, ever so slightly, from the sad I still have very much so over our beloved Addie leaving us. Wow, did I cry a lot yesterday over that little Guinea pig. And so, today, I am ready for melancholy and sad, but a lighter form of sad, which I think is exactly Badfinger.
Another great song of theirs that almost seems to merge into “Day After Day” in my mind is “Baby Blue,” and I think that may have been my brother’s favorite of theirs. If you haven’t heard that one, you should give it a try too, and see if you could hear it merging with “Day After Day.”
Most people only know their song, “No Matter What,” which is their very upbeat song. It’s a lot of fun, but still has the same sound, so if you like one Badfinger, you’re probably going to like them all.
So, oh my gosh, is like 2/3 of this bad red-haired guys? How did I just realize this? Red-hair guys are my absolute favorite, if I could order a guy from a menu. Hello, Weasley brothers… I’m coming for you! The drummer looks like my first big love who, also, is sadly no longer with us, and who died in his own tragic way. Not that he and I were in contact by then as I’d been, long before, well and truly dumped, but still, I would prefer he were not dead. Life, as many of us age, can be like that, our universe gets smaller through a slow and persistent peeling away of the people in it. And that is a melancholy thought.
On a lighter note… the lyrics of “Day After Day” say, “… bring it home, Baby make it soon…,” but when I was 7 or 8 years old I would have argued for hours that what they said was, “…bringing home, Baby, making soup… I give my love to you.” And I imagined a good-looking 1970s style guy and his hippie girlfriend carrying baskets full of vegetables through a waving wheat field, and then in a kitchen stirring a big pot on the stove, two hands on the same ladle… .
Hey, soup equals love. Ha, ha, ha. No.
I remember when my mother was dating (an ill-advised escapade any way you slice it) she would always go on like two dates with a guy, and then have the guy over and make soup. And my sister and I were like, “Don’t make him soup! You want to be his girlfriend not his mom!”
In any case, I KNOW this… Now that I have told you, you will never be able to unhear it:
“…bringing home, Baby, making soup… I give my love to you.”
I love Badfinger; I hope you do too. I hope we all manage to navigate the loss in our lives, and balance the sadness with the sweetness.
It may sound strange, this coming from the publisher at Devil’s Party Press, but I have finally got a book out that is mine, just mine, and no one else’s! Like, not part of an anthology, not me doing the preface; no, the whole darn book is mine!
I actually have three novels, and this is one of them. They are all very different, but I would say that something about the voice in each is similar… to me. Be forewarned, this one is chock-full of obscenities, violence, and murder. Oh yes! 🙂 All that good Soprano’s stuff. But this one also has girl power!
I will be putting up a new chapter every two weeks until the book is done.
OMG, I just wrote the intro/preface/what-have-you for Solstice, and I am pumped!
First of all, it’s a great book. It has some seasoned writers in it who, if you read Devil’s Party Press’ publications at all, books, Instant Noodles, you’ve read them before. And it has two authors who are publishing their very first piece. It’s so exciting, beyond exciting actually, for me to give a writer his or her first publication. I wish I could do it every day.
Secondly, not to brag, but I think I wrote a good preface. Sometimes writing an intro is difficult, because it has to be all-encompassing, right? It has to find a way to include all the contents of the book, but, if you venture down the wormhole of mentioning individual authors, then it just becomes a droning list, as you try to get everyone mentioned, and say something that will inspire someone to read each piece. Honestly, with an anthology, the theme is the thing, and you’re either into it or you’re not. This theme is the winter solstice, and the authors did a freaking amazing job with it (but I didn’t say freaking amazing in the preface, because… but I can say it here!). So, if you like the theme, you’re gonna love this book. Melancholy, hope, loss, renewal, cold, food, family, nature, it’s all in there. And, as you can see from the teaser above, it is visually beautiful too.
I have a bit of melancholy about this preface too, because it may be the last one that I write. We’re going to try to get guest editors for all of our future anthologies so that we can broaden, a bit, what is chosen to be published, and give the authors who we hope to mentor the chance to work with different editors. And we want to give other authors the chance to curate a book too.
Would you like to be a guest editor for one of our anthologies?
We do 3 types, a horror anthology, Solstice, and a hard boiled detective anthology. Our biggest need now is for a hardboiled editor. It pays in…. authorship of the book. We give you the writing royalty for the book. You can add it to your list of books on Amazon, and hopefully we sell a lot of them, and you make the money.
To be an editor you have to have (typically) several books of your own, because we need to know both that you know how to write, and that you have experience being successful in the genre. So, horror and detective are genres, right? Solstice is not a genre, but the genre for that is literary writing, so it’s a good one for poets, essayists, and literary authors. And we also have a sci fi imprint, and I know Dave would love to do a sci fi anthology, so if you’re a sci fi person who could helm a book, pitch us.
Oh, my gosh, I’m so excited for this book.
And for this new year too, I must admit.
I have some wonderful authors I am working with, some for editing, some for coaching, and I really hope we’re able to fill at least one of our virtual workshops. It is invigorating to work with other authors, for me, and for them. I love helping people grow. It helps me grow. And, in the list of careers I have had in my life, it is most defiantly the one I am best at. I am a natural teacher, and I have a gift for helping writing. I don’t have a swelled head, honestly; I am crap at a lot of things. I remember when I was doing staff training for a facility for people with disabilities, and I always wanted to inspire the staff to feel that the people we worked for were humans, with desires and needs and passions just like any of us, and that we needed to be tuned into really feeling like family with them, feeling that, and just doing our work with love. But, for most folks, it was, and remained, just a job. It was so disheartening that I knew not how to be inspiring. And so, folks’ meds got missed, or diapers weren’t changed because a shift was ending in 20 minutes. So, at times in my careers, I’ve been crap at my job no matter the amount of effort. But this, helping writers write, this is the thing I can give. (And if you want to work with me, I’d love to work with you. It doesn’t have to break the bank to have a writing coach, or an editor. And I’m happy to give you an hour long free Zoom and/or a free edit to see if you think you might find it helpful.)
But this book, this book is the thing I am pumped about today. And you, you’re probably gonna buy something for somebody as gift over the next month or so. Why not make it this book? Especially if you know someone who has secretly always wanted to be an author. Tell them it can be done; tell them two folks are doing it for the first time, in this book, and buy them a copy!.
I am so sorry that there are people who hate others because they are different from them. Green is different from blue. Spicy is different from sweet. THIS is how the world has beauty and flavor. When I was a kid, I loved loved loved Rita Mae Brown. Didn’t change me from a straight person to not, but what if I had grown up and fell in love with another woman? I’d still be me. If you can’t love others at least leave them alone.
Please don’t hate someone who has done nothing to you.
Ahhh, yes, the new Devil’s Party header, here now too.
What’s going on with me these days?
Well, if you follow this rambling blog you know we moved house for the daughter to go to art school, and we’ve resettled, and that I have stopped doing the adjunct thing as part of that, simply because it involves too much driving for Los Angeles, too much driving in general, and too much driving to be able to get the kiddo back and forth to art school, because adjuncts never get to choose their schedules.
This is the “famous” commute I photographed back in the days of free-standing GPS. You can see I start in Maryland on this day, and, in the course of a day, would often have a class at all 5 schools:
Sometimes I would have to get out and wander through a gas station convenience store just to keep from falling asleep.
Often times I was the only car left in the parking lot at the end of the night, because I stayed to help students.
Often I smuggled my daughter in to class when she had off, and college didn’t:
She’s excited here because she doesn’t have to sit in a corner and color and be quiet anymore. Mom is done for the day!
I was always well-reviewed by my schools:
I did a lot for my students, like starting this little free library in my classrooms whenever I could, and soliciting books from friends and neighbors. This one was having its first day of life, so there’s not much there:
Putting in extra effort on my own time and my own dime:
And nominating my students for awards:
And my students really appreciated me, which was great, and I appreciated them too:
(Surprise came in the mail after the semester was over!)
But the schools never did. They really didn’t appreciate me. They gave and took away classes as they saw fit or it suited their budgets. They had me prep and interview for jobs they had already filled. It’s a demoralizing and losing proposition whenever you’re not directly in class with the students, which is a wonderful experience.
And while we do this, adjuncts everywhere, we get less healthy, less wealthy; our cars slowly deteriorate and die, and so, sadly, do we.
At the same time, busy busy, I started a writing workshop, and a publishing company.
AND, all along, I had been editing professionally, starting with doing Fred’s book in 2011.
So, now, we’re taking it pro, Dave and I. We offer services on Reedsy, if you like your services to cost more, or on our site. Great things about us:
Between us we have 40 years in publishing, editing, marketing, and writing.
Between us we’ve edited over 400 short stories and memoirs.
Between us we’ve edited more than 30 full-length books, most of which have gone on to publish and garner awards.
And it’s all there on the same site as our publishing company.
All folks who think they might need editing can get a free sample edit within a few days.
AND we have our unique piece-by-piece editing style, which no none else currently offers, where we work with our authors to truly support them from start to finish. We don’t just edit the whole thing, send it back, and cash the check.
So, you know me, if you follow this blog. I’m kind; I’m giving; I work hard, and I care deeply about every writer I’ve ever worked with. I got the “helper gene,” and, I’d venture to say, I’m actually a bit gifted at adopting another writer’s voice, so I am quite good at spotting inconsistencies or missteps in writing: quickly, confidentially, and expertly.
In addition to all the services DPP now offers, you may just want to subscribe to our newsletter while you’re there, so you can keep up with what we’re doing, see opportunities, and learn about book marketing too.