In Which One Wonders What It Actually Takes to Get Published

So, I read a book this weekend. The book shall remain nameless because I don’t want to really slam the author. After all, she has done something I have not – gotten a book finished and out there for consumption.

Just in case Melanie Greene is reading this – no, it’s not yours. I loved yours. Everyone needs to read Melanie Greene.

This book, however, was supposed to be a mystery/love story. Except neither mystery nor love actually happened. The main character (I assume) was supposed to be a feisty entrepreneur. Nope. She was a weak whiner who couldn’t see the forest for the trees. The mystery’s basis in family – well, if she couldn’t recognize a family run like it was a capo in the syndicate, I could. Even the names gave it away.

The mystery man – well, let’s just say that was the worst kept mystery in the world.

The new man – he loved her from afar and got friendzoned for his troubles.

Mexico – she went to Mexico and didn’t ask for bottled water. (And how Mexico too 22 hours from California by air is beyond me).

Every zig crossed a zag and every zag led neatly to a tie in one of the character’s lives. I mean really – the psychic was way interconnected with everything form Dissociative Identity Disorder (one character) to knowing the supposedly dead fiance was alive and living in Mexico (with pictures of his art to prove it). Don’t you think she could have gotten a picture of the artist?

And what in the holy hell was this whole brother-sister creates the evil “cousin/brother”? Too much Jamie and Cersei Lanniseter or something? O.M.G.

So nothing happens until Part III and by then, one does not even care.

So, as I’m reading this, I am thinking – damn, my idea is at least this good. Hopefully better. My writing is sure the hell better because I will never write “the tears leaked from her eyes.” Eyes are not plumbing fixtures. Tears might slide between wet eyelashes or pool and spill but they (in my book) don’t leak from cerulean blue eyes.

And, I would definitely ask for bottled water in Mexico.

Oh, and she didn’t even check to see if she had an international calling plan – she must have paid a fortune for all the texts and calls she made from Mexico.

The art of being able to believe comes into play here. I need to sit down and really write the damn book. I mean, if this book could get it done, so, surely, could mine.




In Which A Reader Selects Books

And so, dear non-readers who are neither reading this nor caring, I have come to a great decision – I must carry on with my quest. I must read and I must write, audience or not. (I know, mostly not). I am not really happy if I am not doing those two things, although knitting comes quite close in the running, so – there you have it. First, above all things, I must read.

Like all things with me, oh absentee-audience, I must have a plan and a theme to really get myself going for a while. So, I present to you (or me, since I am the only one reading this), #ThePlan v.2017. Thuswith (because I have never used that word and apparently it does not exist in the Word dictionary), I announce that 2017 will be the year of Enlightenment, Entertainment, and Education. For each of the first two categories, I have a selection of books that (I think) will fit the bill:


  1. Johnny Got His Gun – Dalton Trumbo
  2. A Room With A View – E.M. Forster
  3. And Then There Were None –  Agatha Christie (And here I am taking feedback as to whether or not this book is in the correct category. Entertainment? I shall ponder. . .)
  4. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  5. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  6. Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
  7. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Alexander Solzynitzen (or however you spell it. I will look it up)
  8. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway (I *know* how to spell that one)
  9. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  10. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkein (this is about the millionth time I’ve tried to read this. Wish me luck)
  11. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  12. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood


  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  2. Cotillion  – Georgette Heyer
  3. Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie
  4. Wildfire at Midnight – Mary Stewart
  5. Middlemarch – George Eliot (Once again – category placement is questionable. I recall Silas Marner from the 10th grade. . .deep thoughts on this)
  6. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  7. The Martian – Andy Weir
  8. Harvest Home – Thomas Tryon (Is horror entertaining or horrifying? What is it with me and horror? Shades of Apocalypse Now and Brando are swirling about in my head.)
  9. The Custom of the Country – Edith Wharton
  10. Ready Player One –  Ernest Cline
  11. North and South – Elizabeth Gaskelll
  12. Coraline – Neil Gaiman


To be perfectly truthful, I haven’t picked out anything for this category. I know it will *not* be The Seven Habits for Highly Effective People. That saw was sharpened long ago and really never did me much good. I’m more along the lines of the Dalai Lama, The Last Lecture, live your dreams sort  of crap. At my age, education is an odd thing. Am I preparing to live or preparing to die? I don’t know yet. But I might as well be prepared for both, so there you have it.

So, here is I sit, talking to myself. I toss my words to the winds and let them blow where they will. Or not. It is neither here nor there to me at this point.

And, absentee-audience, I add one true disclaimer.

*Disclaimer: While I intend to read 36 books according to #thePlan v. 2017, all bets are off if George R. R. Martin publishes The Winds of Winter. I reserve the right to call a hiatus and read all six books two times, should that publication occur. 

So, my table is set and I am ready to embark on a year of reading and writing. May my reading be pleasant (and George R.R. Martin adds one – or six – more books to read) and my writing be improved. You may not read it, but I write it.

It is enough.