Monday, October 26, 2015

200 on...Incorporating memory into the "Mucking Fess" of fiction

Signed and dedicated copies of THE BEGINNING THINGS available for preorder $11:95 plus shipping.

“It’s hard,” she said, “when things change. It’s hard to know what to do when things aren’t what you think they are.” He joined in, teaming trousers with matching shirts and ties, the entire outfit bulging on one hanger. “It’s a mucking fess."
Tot to her grandfather in The Beginning Things

I grew up when society was pushing fathers towards a larger role in childrearing and my dad seemed to struggle with that. We kids knew he loved us, but that knowledge came from what he did (worked hard, fixed shit) rather than from what he said. When he did speak, it seemed he was comfiest when he was being funny with his puns and spoonerisms.  

He’d read me signs: “Dorry, No Sogs,” “Ho Nawkers!.” At dinner, he’d demand “A Tug of Me!” and “Spore Muds, Mother!” When I got older, he became more risqué: “Billy Sugger!” he’d cry. “For Sod’s Gake!”

My dad would never have said that something was a “Mucking Fess” but I like to think he probably thought it.  

Dank you, Thad. I yuv lou loads.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

200 on...The Things We Make

Signed and dedicated copies of THE BEGINNING THINGS available for preorder $11:95plus shipping.

I've always made things. As a kid, I sewed doll dresses from scraps lifted from mum's mending box. I knitted cardigans for babies: miniatures in pink and blue. I made Madeleines--sweet sponge "turrets" brushed with jam and rolled in desiccated coconut—and served them to my parents while they watched the wrestling on the telly.

As a teenager, I made plans: how I'd marry someone with TIME; how I'd live in a house with a lawn all the way around; how my husband would love me more than anyone he would ever meet. Ever.

As a woman, I made mistakes which brought me howling into truths about myself and into change..and into prose and poetry. I howled into stories, into poems, into novels.

Last year, I visited my sister in Greece and she taught me to crochet. We sat watching the ocean and I crocheted pot covers threaded with evil eyes. When I came home, I began to crochet little “give away” bookmarks for The Beginning Things.

Monday, September 07, 2015

200 on...magiking an artist

I have some amazing friends. I blogged a week or so ago that I adored the cover art for my book The Beginning Things and was sad that the artist was “unknown.” The image of a girl on a chair came from a stock photograph company, and no artist was tied to the painting.

This week, I opened a Facebook message from Debbie Spanich, a good friend and colleague. She cryptically announced herself as my “fairy godmother” and sprinkled me with a link. The link was to, a site that sells royalty free stock photography. And down there on the twelfth line of a page showcasing a Russian artist’s work was my girl on a chair. 

I’ve Facebook-friended the artist. Let’s hope I get a reply. If I don’t, I’ll try something else.
But the main thing is that we get to credit the artist on The Beginning Thing’s back cover.

Here's another from the same artist.

And next week, Debbie gets to share how she tracked down the girl on a chair (I’m guessing some image-recognition software as opposed to divination or the smoking of magical herbs). Either way, Debbie IS my Fairy Godmother. She’s turned an image into a story. 

Abracadabra—that’s magic.