It’s #RIAuthor Month – Meet Rick Marchetti


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Memphis Blues pitcher Del Fontenot is nearing the end of a brilliant career and this, his 20th Major League season, is shaping up to be a fitting finale for the tall righty; he’s in the Top 5 among National League pitchers in several categories, including wins, strikeouts, and earned run average.  He’s also enjoying the largesse of Memphis’ opponents; each team is giving him a hero’s sendoff during the Blues’ final visit of the season.  Everything is proceeding according to plan.  And while Fontenot enjoys a much-deserved sendoff, veteran detective Dan McNulty is trying to discover who murdered a young woman named Precious Blake in Ohio.  Because she was a drug user and part-time prostitute, her grieving mother feels as if the Harding, Ohio police have taken a hands-off approach to the case.  But, once McNulty begins to look into the murder, he discovers that the reason for the department’s alleged lack of interest may point to something different altogether.  Is it possible the killer is someone famous and the police are acting under orders to keep everything under wraps?

McNulty, who has proven popular with readers since he first appeared in the novel The River, sets his sights on discovering the truth behind Precious Blake’s murder.  Along the way, he’ll discover that the reason the case hasn’t been solved just might be due to a cover-up rather than a lack of interest regarding the victim.  Once McNulty realizes the case may be linked to a number of unsolved murders all across the country, all bets are off.  Who murdered Precious Blake?

Rick Marchetti

Rick Marchetti is a lifelong Rhode Islander who began writing in high school.  After a few unfinished short stories, he turned to songwriting and to date has penned over 500 songs.  His CD, Matters of the Heart, contains 16 of his tunes.  Several years ago, he came across an unfinished story in a trunk in his attic.  Reading it, he decided to try and complete it.  That story, Dark Glasses, became the cornerstone of his first book release, the short story collection Dark Glasses and Other Tales. His next project was a novel, The River. One of the minor characters, Detective Dan McNulty, caught the attention of readers, many of whom urged Rick to feature him in another story. In Rick’s next novel, Iris, McNulty was one of 4 major characters and, once again, readers clamored for more.  This led to the first “Dan McNulty Mystery,” titled Murder in the Valley.

To date, Rick has released 9 books: 4 novels, 3 short story collections, and 2 “just-for-fun” titles attributed to alter-ego Uncle Ricky and his pet peeves.  Currently, besides Superstar, which is slated to be released in conjunction with Opening Day of the 2018 baseball season, Rick is also working on several new short stories for an as-yet-untitled collection.  Visit him at his website  and find him on Facebook  and on Twitter.

“Finish each day and be done with it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
GIVEAWAY! Rick is offering one lucky winner the choice of any one of his novels or short story collections in print. Just leave a comment on this blog post. The winner will be chosen at random one week after publication and Rick will coordinate delivery with you. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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It’s #RIAuthor Month! Meet Karen Petit


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Self-competition and Other Methods of Finding Time to Write

Dr. Karen Petit is the author of four novels: Banking on Dreams, Mayflower Dreams, Roger Williams in an Elevator, and Unhidden Pilgrims. However, just like everyone else in our world, Petit sometimes has to be creative about finding time to write. She has been using scheduling, word-count analysis, deadlines, multi-tasking, and self-competition to help herself to write in a timely fashion.

To write Banking on Dreams, Petit used two techniques to find enough time: scheduling and word-count analysis. Her scheduling was done by planning on–and sticking to–specific time frames for her writing. She also began to write down the dates, times, and word counts of her manuscript. Whenever she did some writing after not writing for a few days, her writing speed was between 100 and 250 words per hour. If Petit wrote on the next day, her writing was just slightly faster. Her writing was always much faster on the third day. Even if day one and day two had only included an hour or two of writing, her third day would always be at least 250 words per hour and usually between 300 and 400 words per hour.

For Mayflower Dreams, Petit checked with the company that had published her first novel to see if there was an interest in publishing her second novel. On the day before Thanksgiving, an email from the company’s president responded with “Absolutely! Where is it?” Since Petit’s manuscript was only half finished, she decided to multi-task: she scheduled her writing on each day to begin while she was eating supper and to continue for as long as possible. On Thanksgiving, she actually started her scheduled multi-tasking by beginning to write the chapter titled “A Time of Thanksgiving.” She then spent every day for the next two months with her scheduled multi-tasking. Petit also began to use self-competition. While writing, she would write down a word count for every hour on each day. She was very happy whenever she won her self-competition with a higher word count than her previous ones. She also was very thankful for already having a publisher and a deadline for submitting her completed manuscript.

For Roger Williams in an Elevator, Petit again had a contract with the same publisher, so her writing included the use of a deadline, multi-tasking, self-competition,and varied scheduling techniques. Whenever she could spend at least three hours writing and was able to average over 400 words per hour, she felt very happy and successful. Not only did she love competing with herself, but she also liked the freedom to compete with herself. She tried such innovative techniques as checking her writing speed while listening to music, while not listening to music, while eating supper, while eating chocolate, and while not eating any food.

Petit’s writing speed for Unhidden Pilgrims actually went up to over 550 words per hour on several of her writing days. Having a publisher’s deadline also helped her to stick to her schedule of activities, including not just writing but also taking photos and editing. Self-competition and multi-tasking were again important parts of Petit’s process for writing this novel. Unhidden Pilgrims was then unhidden and submitted to her publisher in January 2017, just seven months after she had begun writing it.

Dr. Petit’s four novels all include historic elements, dream/reality connections, Christian content, and methods of dealing with such problems as anxiety, nightmares, separation, and violence. More information about this author, her novels, and her blogs is available at www.drkarenpetit.com.

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GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a print copy of Roger Williams in an Elevator to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after blog post publication. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors ExpoThe Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo

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The Year of Living Minimally – Week Three


I should have titled this series “The Year to Living Minimally.” (Can you tell I’m doing revisions on my seventh novel?!)

Last week I cleaned out some drawers. This week I cleaned out some more. Don’t worry, though, I have plenty more!


Utensil drawer and gadget drawer. What I tossed out from the top left photo is not really visible, but there were packets of salt, pepper, soy sauce, ketchup, etc. all in the back. Old. Ugh.

I used to love collecting kitchen gadgets. Some things I never even used – vegetable curlers and brown sugar softeners. A cheap little microplane and a spreader with a chipped handle. I’m keeping the Pampered Chef turkey lifters, even if I only cook one turkey a year. 😉


I hate these drawers! Truly the junk drawers, filled with screws and tape and batteries and tools. They’re really my husband’s domain, but I fixed them up, and put a pile of operating manuals (for small appliances we no longer possess) into the recycle bin.

This next one was more emotional…



I donated my piano last year, and was happy to see it find a new home. It wasn’t the piano I’d grown up with, so I didn’t have an attachment to the instrument. And I hadn’t played in a very long time. But I still have an antique sheet music cabinet (my mom was so happy when she found it for me!), and it was filled with music. Look at the close-up at the bottom left of this collage – my sister and I took weekly piano lessons from Mrs. Bowser, and in April 1969 (I was 10), she rewarded us with the musical score to Oliver!


My sheet music collection includes pop favorites from my high school years, hardcover, spiral-bound books (Great Songs of the Sixties, Big Bands, Timeless Classics), as well as all the classical music I practiced so hard to get right. “Rhapsody in Blue” – I never mastered it. Now I’ll listen to it on CD or through my iPod or Pandora, and I’ll enjoy it.

My friend Lila is accepting the sheet music. She’s the Music Director at Providence College, so I’m glad it’s going somewhere good. There is one book of music I can’t part with, though.


I mean, I tattooed my name on his chest! 🎶💙🎶

Sunday Bonus!


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As you know, there are no A to Z posts on Sunday. But I’m on a roll – and I do hope you’ve been enjoying the posts so far. Tomorrow, Monday, we’ll be back with ‘H,’ and yes, it’s a good one (although the ‘F’ post, with Jerry Orbach and Elaine Stritch, has to be my favorite). However, like a mother with her children, they’re all my favorites!

Today is a special day – not only is it Palm Sunday for Christians, it’s my husband’s birthday. And it’s one of those milestone birthdays. If you know me, you can probably figure it out. If you don’t know me well enough, the internet can probably tell you. So as a gift to my Jim today, and as a special gift to all of you, I offer a special presentation by BBC Proms – weren’t they so good last week with “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” from Hello, Dolly!? Here they are, celebrating Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday in 2010 with “Sunday” from Sunday in the Park with George. Such a beautiful song. Enjoy!

 

Blogging from A to Z – Theme Reveal


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As you may know, the Blogging from A to Z Challenge begins on April 1, and runs each day (except Sundays) through the month. This will be my 5th year participating! If you’re wondering about my previous themes, I wrote about Poets, Novelists, Essayists, and Lyricists in 2012; Oh! The Places I’ve Been in 2013, Smile and Say…(yes, cheese!) in 2014, and last year I posted an A to Z of musical instruments.

2012: https://marthareynoldswrites.com/2012/04/01/

2013: https://marthareynoldswrites.com/2013/04/01/oh-the-places-ive-been-a-is-for-austin/

2014: https://marthareynoldswrites.com/2014/04/01/smile-and-say-a-is-for-asiago/

2015: https://marthareynoldswrites.com/2015/04/01/listen-up-a-is-for-accordion/

Paris

This year’s theme is entitled PARIS BETWEEN THE WARS, and was inspired by a book I found at the Innisfree Bookshop in Meredith, New Hampshire. I love Paris, and I love this time period, from 1919 at the end of World War I, to 1939, just before the start of World War II. According to the book, during this time, ‘Paris underwent a creative fever that brought artists and intellectuals from around the world to the City of Light. The bohemian charms of Montparnasse attracted artists such as Picasso, Chagall, and Giacometti, while a vibrant café culture provided a forum for disputes between Dadaists and Surrealists and gave rise to a group of expa­triate writers. The creative energy was all-encompassing, establishing Paris as the epicenter of new trends in the arts, a position it would occupy until World War II.’

I will showcase some of the people who contributed to the richness of culture in Paris at this time, and I hope you’ll follow along!

So Long, American Idol


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It began as a summer replacement show on Fox in 2002 and became one of the most successful American TV shows. Although I stopped watching it a couple of years ago (when it seemed that the show was more about the judges than the contestants), I’m offering my Top Ten favorite Idol performances here:

10) “I Think I Love You” by Constantine Maroulis. He channeled David Cassidy and rocked it out.

9) “Whole Lotta Love” by Adam Lambert. Yes, he should have won Season 8! Lambert brought something edgy and exciting to an otherwise middle-of-the-road series.

8) “Baba O’Riley” by David Cook. Cook, like Chris Daughtry, took mainstream songs and turned them into unique, memorable performances.

7) “Weekend in New England” by Jennifer Hudson. She didn’t win Idol, but went on to garner an Academy Award (Dreamgirls), a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a SAG award, and a Grammy!

6) “A Change is Gonna Come” by Adam Lambert. Blue-eyed soul, certainly.

5) “I Walk the Line” by Chris Daughtry. Doing a cover of Live’s version of the Johnny Cash classic. Another non-winner of AI who has found success.

4) “A House is not a Home” by Tamyra Gray. It was Bachrach week on Idol (Season 1), and this performance was stellar (even if the video is not).

3) “It’s a Man’s World” by Joshua Ledet. This preacher’s son was so good, he made it into my Top Three twice.

2) “Walk On By” by Kelly Clarkson. She was Idol’s first winner, and this performance sealed it for me.

And my all-time favorite performance by an American Idol contestant

1) “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Joshua Ledet. Goosebumps!

 

If you watched, who was your favorite?

 

 

Theme Reveal – Blogging from A to Z


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http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Today is the day for bloggers (1,152 participants as of this writing!) to reveal their chosen theme for the 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge. A theme isn’t required, and many bloggers choose not to have a theme, which is perfectly acceptable.

I’ve always picked a theme – it helps me maintain focus for the month of blog posts. And I have deliberately kept my posts short, as the idea of this event is to visit as many new blogs as possible.

This year I’ve titled my theme Listen Up! If you know me, you know I love travel, food, music, and literature. In 2012, I blogged about writers, essayists, lyricists, and poets. In 2013, it was Oh! The Places I’ve Been! And last year’s theme was Smile and Say…. (an alphabetical blog about cheese). This year we’ll visit musical instruments from A to Z, with a post each day except Sundays in April.

So I hope you’ll tune in! If you don’t already follow my blog, you can sign up right on the main page.

APRIL-CALENDAR [2015]