Thoughts for the 13th

Waiting for Spring - photo by M. Reynolds
Waiting for Spring – photo by M. Reynolds

It’s been too long since I last posted anything here, especially with such good material (Super Bowl, snow fatigue, movies [no, not that one]). Here are some random musings for Friday the 13th:

  • I read the 50 Shades trilogy a couple of years ago. Yeah, I admit it. Poorly written, but I wanted to know what made it such a runaway bestseller. Still not sure. And I have no interest in seeing the movie. Some see this whole thing as harmless fun, some see it as a degradation of women. I just think life is too short to spend time doing something that doesn’t move or inspire you – and this movie would do neither.
  • We’ve got snow – and more on the way this weekend. Those of you who know me are well aware that I love winter. Cold is good! Fleece is fun! I have not complained about this winter, and I won’t, because it won’t change anything!
  • I’m writing a new book, and it’s taking a lot longer than my previous books. Why? Well, I work part-time now. Usually just a day or two per week, but I’m still trying to figure out how to best utilize my time. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t blogged.
  • Speaking of books, I just finished reading one by a well-known author. Traditionally published, meaning she had a team of editors and proofreaders, and still I found typos and obvious misspellings (‘phased’ instead of ‘fazed’). When did mediocre become acceptable?
  • Does Friday the 13th scare you? Do you believe it’s unlucky? My writer pal Kathleen Paterka says it’s lucky, not unlucky (she and I were both born in the 13th, so I have to agree). What other superstitions have a hold on you?
  • I’ve been fascinated by the idea of chicken and waffles. There are basically two versions – the Penn Dutch kind and the ‘soul food’ kind from Baltimore and points south. Not the healthiest choice, but give me a break – we have four feet of snow on the ground, I should be able to eat waffles. If you’re local (Rhode Island) and want to try this dish, head over to Dante’s Kitchen on Main Street in East Greenwich. Love this place!
  • I’m preparing for the annual A to Z Blogging Challenge, which starts in April. My posts will appear right here, every day (Sundays off), and my theme this year is Listen Up! This’ll be my fourth year participating (previous themes included Writers, Poets, Lyricists, Places I’ve Been, and A Whole Lotta Cheese). I hope you’ll follow along in April! And I promise to post a few more blogs before then.

This Past Week – wow!

This past week saw the launch of my debut novel, “Chocolate for Breakfast.”  (As if you didn’t already know!)  I’ve been touched by all the love and support, and genuinely moved by the positive reaction to this novel.  You can download it here.  A few people asked for the paper version – unfortunately, I’d blown my budget on editing, formatting, and the gorgeous book cover, so there’s only the digital download available.  But even without a Kindle or an iPad, you can read the book on your computer using the free Kindle app.  Meanwhile, I am keeping busy by working on my second book, which is totally unrelated to this one.  I’ve indulged in a bit of Swiss chocolate (!).  I’m also reading a manuscript for a writer pal – this is new to me, but I want to do what I can to help other writers, as so many established authors have inspired and assisted me.

Speaking of established writers, I read an interview with author Sue Grafton (“V is for Vengeance”).  You can read the interview here.  I’ll admit, I’ve never read any of her books, although I think this latest “V” book is somewhere in my house.  During the interview, she was asked if she had any advice for young writers (hey, I’m not young, but I am a new writer).  She said, “Don’t self-publish. That’s as good as admitting you’re too lazy to do the hard work.”  Excuse me??  The interviewer, to her credit, mentioned the indie success of John Locke, and Grafton back pedaled slightly, but retained her belief that self-publishing is a short cut and self-published books are often amateurish.  So, anyone interested in a never-read paperback version of “V is for Vengeance?”

Here’s another one.  The Guardian (UK) posted a story this past week claiming that “Fifty Shades of Gray” has surpassed all other book sales.  You can read that article here.  I read all three books in the trilogy, and no, not because I wanted to read “mommy porn.”  As a writer, I wanted to know what put E.L. James on the bestseller list.  And yes, I’ve voiced my own opinion that the writing was not very good.  In fact, Erika Leonard, who is E.L. James, stated in an interview on The Today Show last spring that she is not a great writer.  Does it matter?  She has ruled the bestseller lists for months.  And some writers can’t stand it.  The vitriolic rants against E.L. James are unbelievable, especially coming from writers.  They want her off – OFF! – those bestseller lists, as if she has no right to be there.  They’ve started campaigns to bring her down.  Are they offended by the genre, the writing?  Or perhaps that she has achieved a success they can only dream of?

In the words of another artist who has received her share of peer scorn and ridicule, “Why do you have to be so mean?”