Secrets of the Flame: Tell the Story You Want to Hear

Ocean view a bit south of the book store.

Ocean view a bit south of the book store.

Scene: Independent bookstore in old craftsman-style house—old craftsman on a bluff, bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean—perfect browsing from room to room.

I pick up a picture book.

Junge Maus, Harry 20, public domain courtesy of Wikimedia

Junge Maus, Harry 20, public domain courtesy of Wikimedia

 

Subject: A family of small rodents care for an orphaned kitten. The story exemplified love for an “other.” Beautiful illustrations.

I remove wallet from purse.

 

 

Problem: How will the mice care for the kitten when he grows up?

"Black Kitten" by Revital Salomon, also Public Domain courtesy of Wikimedia

“Black Kitten” by Revital Salomon, also Public Domain courtesy of Wikimedia

I race to the end of the story certain this is a book to reread and share with other people, small and large.

Resolution: The people in the house adopt the cat who will purge (the book didn’t use that word) all the small rodents, except his adoptive family, from the house.

I return wallet to purse and book to its stack.

Issue: I can’t buy the theme.

Sometimes if you want something done your way, you just have to do it yourself. So I set out to write the story I wanted to hear. It took a loooong time and I learned something valuable:

Tell the story you think you want to hear to find out where it takes you.

intoMore about Secrets of the Flame: The Power to Protect

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Quoting Grover again (see previous post), “Oh, I am so excited!” I just couldn’t wait until Monday to say something.

Secrets, pub coverIt’s now on Amazon. The e-book should also be available maybe even at this moment. Starting Monday, I’ll be putting up more information and answering some questions in my posts. Right now I’m just allowing my muscles to relax and adjust to the fact that it’s done. Then comes the hard part.

I’m also celebrating that just this week I learned how to add a link! (See the purple letters. But you probably already knew that.)

Read more

 

Back on Track

I’d like to quote a literary character and a face often seen on what used to be called “the small screen.”

Sometimes life's demands just seem to be right on your heels.

Sometimes life’s demands just seem to be right on your heels.

                                                                                    “Oh, I am so embarrassed.”
Grover
The Monster at the End of This Book

 

 

 

I last posted in August, and I apologize for the absence. Here are my excu . . . reasons:

Work on our 100 year-old house turned a two to

The house on the day of a surprising summer downpour

The house on the day of a surprising summer downpour

three week job into seven weeks and culminated in taking possession of 20 cubic yards of the finest mulch a wheelbarrow can tote.

I actually wanted to keep the scaffolding. Think of the possibilities--Shakespeare in the Backyard, Christmas lights . . .

I actually wanted to keep the scaffolding. Think of the possibilities–Shakespeare in the Backyard, Christmas lights . . .

New full-time (but temporary) jobs for my husband and me that were more intense than we had anticipated.

Mulch--lovely, fluffy mulch

Mulch–lovely, fluffy mulch

 

 

 

Rain, lovely rain for our drought-dry state, followed by happy plants and the evil oxalis.

Are you a good oxalis or a bad oxalis? This is a benevolent oxalis that co-exists in peace with other plants.

Are you a good oxalis or a bad oxalis? This is a benevolent oxalis that co-exists in peace with other plants.

Evil oxalis brutally overrunning an unpaved walkway and invading a planting bed.

Evil oxalis brutally overrunning an unpaved walkway and invading a planting bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, most significantly, family issues—a death, a 95th birthday celebration, an engagement, a pregnancy, more birthdays, and regular life.

No DogThe good news is that I read the books from the last post. The bad news is that it’s been so Sleepytimelong, I need to reread them before I can write about them. (If you read them before I get back to them, let me know what you think.)

 

But here are a couple recently-read books until I get back to that August list.

Have you read The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak? It was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2014. Sometimes, we struggling-writer types are a teensy crabby when a celerity is able to get something not-so-good published.

Book w: no picsThe previous sentence does not apply to The Book With No Pictures, which stuck me the same way the first reading of Press Here did (the “Wow!-I-wish-I’d-thought-of-that” way.) There wasn’t even an author photo—an indication to me of a real commitment to the concept since I’m sure a photo of Novak would have also made marketing points.

Near the beginning, Novak writes,“Here is how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say.”

Imagine the grownup saying silly, silly things while also reading words about how he doesn’t want to have to say things that don’t even make sense. Know any kids that would get a kick out of that situation?

I asked my neighbors to read it with their young children and report back to me.

Dad got into the spirit and the kids had a great time. When they returned the book, the kids did want to know why there weren’t any pictures. They also proposed a solution and volunteered to add illustrations.part-time Indian

For 7th graders and above, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, written by Sherman Alexie, with art by Ellen Forney, and published by Little, Brown, and Company in 2007, was a National Book Award winner and has been one of the books some people tried to ban. I’m squarely in the National Book Award winner camp. I think it’s so good that I even gave it to my hard-to-please adult son for Christmas. (Not my copy!)

I don’t know how directly autobiographical the novel is, but it is based on Alexie’s experiences growing up on a reservation. In it Junior has medical and bully problems. He wants to be an artist—a rich and well-know cartoonist, but is considered a traitor when he decides he’ll get a better education going to a school off the reservation. It’s a funny and heart-breaking book. I can think of very few people who wouldn’t learn something important.

Feels good to be back on track.

Feels good to be back on track.