IT SHOULD BE LIKE A HALF AN HOUR VOLUME 10

Okay, I am pretty sure this is the original Paul vocal, but not so sure it is the original music. HOWEVER, I am using this clip anyway because you get to see my boyfriends… and Paul gives me that conspiratorial wink at the end. Yeah, 1968 Paul wants to get with me. And you know what? He can. Oh yeah. The door is always open for that guy.

Sally Star, Philly peeps, always played this song on her show on her birthday. She had a crush on Paul too!

O-STARR — Sally Starr, the gun-totin’ cowgirl who rode a palomino with a silver saddle and introduced millions of children in the Philadelphia area to Popeye, Clutch Cargo and the Three Stooges.

My brother, Billy (nicknamed Ear to his friends, but always Billy to me) and I loved Sally and the Beatles. Hell, I wanted to be Sally. I mean, look at her! In fact I am sure my brother introduced me to Sally (and I know he’s responsible for The Beatles), and he and I loved The Three Stooges and Bullwinkle! My poor baby sister, Lee, came a lot of years later, and she missed out on all of that. 😦 But I know I definitely wanted a sister, not a little brother, and in that aspect I lucked out. And my brother, as usual, was gracious about me winning (we had a bet; he bet on brother).

I have NEVER liked being sung to. First of all… SHY PeRSON! For fucks’ sake, please don’t sing to me in a public place! OMG, people. Secondly the song Americans sing is almost a dirge; it’s slow and boring and awkwardly high in the middle. My favorite part of it is the “and many more” I always add. Otherwise it kinda blows. Birthday by the Beatles (like most British things over American things) is better. Waaaay better.

But the Beatles song, “Birthday,” makes me glad to be alive. And YES, shy or not, I will freaking karaoke and dance, while sober, if you dance with me! Can’t we go singing and dancing? OMG, why did all the singing and dancing stop in 1986??? I have more in me!

Today is also the day I first held Sophie (though I think it was 12/21 in China), and pretty late at night, after we flew 2-3 hours from Beijing to Nanchang in a plane that sounded like an old broken down escalator or monorail. We were sure we were going to die, but we had no choice but to get on that plane and go, and then drive 2 more hours through the cold dark to Nanchang proper to receive the best addition to our lives that we (Dave, my spouse) and I could ever imagine. Poor Sophie had been waiting in the lobby for 4+ hours, bundled up like it was arctic winter, so she was as red as a beet, and her nanny handed her to us, and then all the SWI staff headed out for the two hour drive home. Just like that, the only people Sophie had ever known left her and disappeared. Well and truly dumped, with us. They left her with the weirdos. And ever since then my birthday has been more lovely and more sweet, and less about me, which is good too.

Aw, my spouse brought me flowers this morning. Amazing!

And I am currently wearing about 8 new pieces of jewelry (why be subtle on your birthday folks?) that my life-long friend and talented artist Krissi made me, including this gorgeous bracelet (green is my favorite color too!):

As for this song… the lightly veiled reason for this shameless post about my own birthday, I could listen to this any time of the year, and all day long. It’s a great song! It’s all about rocking out, and so is this old lady! Listen to it; you’re gonna love it. And hey, you should own The White Album anyway. ON VINYL. That’s right, buy a record player and experience it!! I love vinyl! More snap crackle and pop than Rice Crispies!

So yeah, they say it’s my birthday ((my happy birthday as my sister always says), and it freaking is!!

I’m glad it’s my birthday… happy birthday to me…

MEET MY FAVORITE AUTHOR OF ALL TIME

Anyone who knows me well has heard me rave about Tom Robbins. One story that I especially like about him is that, along the path of his career, he found drumming. Like Ringo, drumming, but more like a drum circle sort of drumming, as I understand it. Why?

If you know Robbins you know he is a slow writer. He’s not cranking out a book a year, and he is, for me, perilously old now… meaning I might not get another book out of him.

Robbins, one of the most unique writers ever, uses drumming to help him find the music and rhythm in his writing, and also to fight procrastination. When the mind wanders, as Robbins’ mind surely must, the drumming helps him refocus on his writing.

What can you do with a writing coach? You can meet, as often, weekly, or as little, every other month, as you like, but when you meet with me you will have to hand over some of your writing: a page, a chapter… you’re going to get there. We can work on your schedule; we can read your work to each other to check on the music and rhythm in your writing; we can try exercises; we can craft your online author presence. I help you give your writing the time, grace, and respect it needs, and I make you accountable so that you finish your damn novel. Robbins has a dozen books. That is not enough for me, and I wish he had more. Those books have gotten me through some dark nights, and some long days. Who is waiting for your book? Who will you rescue from a long dark night with your story?

Coaching is so reasonable and so worth it. For $50/hour, and you can split that into 2 half hour meetings if you like, you get editing, planning, encouragement, a clear head, and the friendship you need to get your book done. When you’re Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, I can help you wake up and get to the keyboard. And it’s my favorite thing to do, after reading Tom Robbins, that is.

BTW, late bloomers, did you know Robbins was just on the cusp of 40 when he published his first book? And it took him 2 years to write it?

And did you know that all coaching inquiries come with a free hour-long Zoom meeting to talk about what you want and if coaching is right for you?

If you really want to be a writer, and you have an idea, or many ideas, but you just don’t know if you can do it… if you just don’t know if you are an author, but you want to be, coaching can get you there.

Good luck with your book~

Much love~ Dianne, possessor of an MA and an MFA, writing teacher and encourager for over 20 years, and Tom Robbins’ #1 fan. My favorite book: Still Life With Woodpecker.

Find out all about coaching, shoot me an email (dianne@devilspartypress.com) or fill out the nice form Dave made.

PUBLICATION OPPORTUNITY

Luanne was my teacher back in the day!


NOTES FROM LUANN:

Anthology looking for submissions. The deadline has been changed to January 15, 2023. Also, just so you know, Ana Castillo had to step away from editing. The other information on the flyer is correct.

29

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.

Are you able to easily ask for help?

Please consider helping me by reading a chapter or two if you’re able, and thank you so much!

Dianne

IT SHOULD BE LIKE A HALF AN HOUR VOLUME 9

“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.”

You’re welcome.

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.

I wish you soup.

MY BOOK IS PUBLISHED ON KINDLE VELLA!

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.

ANYONE (even you) can read the first three chapters for free!

And follow along either here, or on DPP BLOG as I update you on what I find out about Kindle Vella: does it work, what are the hiccups, does it make money, and etc.