Thursday, July 18, 2019

Free Audiobook Download Codes! :-)

I have a new audiobook of essays and wanted to offer some free download codes in exchange for an honest review.  

Here’s the link on Amazon to check it out, please let me know if you're interested:   


The Book Decoder :-)

I found a fun blog and also made a new friend, all the way in India! Rekha lives in Bangalore where my husband used to live and she has bonded big time with Jamie Quinn. :-D  She and I would both love to hang out with Jamie and the gang because they lead such exciting lives.  

Rekha's blog is The Book Decoder and she has not only reviewed my Jamie Quinn series, but she was kind enough to interview me. 

Check it out here:

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Saving Face :-)

I know I'm not the only one who finds obituaries irresistible. Admit it, you do too. Where else can you find so many stories, so many surprises? You may see a picture of a stoic older gentleman whose favorite hobby was tap-dancing next to a woman who died two days shy of her 103rd birthday. You think what a shame she couldn't hang on. 

As a last hurrah, people fill obituaries with myriad details of their departed loved ones, from their education to their marriages to their political views. You find out their nicknames, their love of travel, how many afghans they crocheted for newborn babies; their pets, their careers, their charity work, their hobbies, and how brave they were battling their last illness. Every child and grandchild and all of their spouses must be listed. Even their parents, who predeceased them by half a century, might be listed. And those obituaries aren't cheap! They charge by the word and you need to make every word count. With the longer obits you wonder if the writer is well-heeled or just trying to dispense with some leftover guilt.

Some people write their own obituaries. After attending the funeral of a friend my father handed me a piece of paper scrawled with the details of his life. He also had a special request. I had written a funny essay about him years before describing his crazy hobbies, how they had taken over our house and our lives when we were kids. He loved it so much he asked me to read it at his funeral. So I did. It was called "Crazy Hobbies". I call 'em like I see 'em.

The obits that puzzle me most are the ones of old people whose photo is from their teenage years. Surely, none of their friends would recognize them from that photo. Does it reflect a pinnacle of achievement in their lives, their fifteen minutes of fame? Were they simply vain? I couldn't figure it out. And then I had an epiphany about my own photo. 

As a self-published author on Amazon I needed a photo and I chose to use the best photo I had at the time, me in a red dress, dolled up for my 30th high school reunion. My hair permed in soft waves, I'm looking at the camera and smiling--instead of squinting and shutting my eyes like I usually do--and I'm wearing makeup. 

I love that photo but each year that passes I think I should find an updated one. I know I look less like that picture with every passing day. A few years ago, I covered a court hearing for my partner and unbeknownst to me the secretary had sent that photo to the client so she could find me in the crowded hallway. When we connected she scrutinized me from head to toe and with a skeptical expression said "I never would have recognized you." Ouch! That stung a bit. Keep in mind I do dress up a little to go to court, as opposed to my usual jeans, political t-shirt, and sneakers. 

I finally decided that when the photo was ten years old I would replace it--even if it shocked and confused my readers. How did she get so old so fast? One minute she looked pretty good and now this? It's like watching a rerun of the movie "Big" and then immediately watching "The Post". What happened to Tom Hanks, you ask in dismay? The same thing that happens to all of us, if we're lucky. We get old, we get wrinkled, we lose our hair (not me!), and we are flabbergasted. Inside we feel so much younger and if we avoid the mirror we can almost believe it. If we see a ten-year-old picture of ourselves we say, hey I looked pretty good back then, I remember that.

Well, that day has arrived. In two months, that photo will officially be ten years old and it's time (way past time) to replace it. Dear readers, I'm trying to ease you into it, but I will keep that photo and one day I think it will be used again--in my obituary. In the meantime I need to start some exotic hobbies so there's something to write about. One thing is for sure, it won't be tap-dancing.