Monthly Archives: August 2013

Banishing the Ghost of Xmas Letters Past (I ♥ Facebook)

For the longest time I carefully avoided Facebook (and every other version of social media). I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but now that I’ve been on Facebook for a month, I’m definitely having fun.

Do You Hear the People Snore? 

I was of course a little leery about the whole privacy thing, but my main concern had to do with what to post. After all, the point of being on Facebook is to interact with people by sharing about yourself, and while the details of my life are endlessly fascinating to me, I had a hard time imagining that they would be quite so enthralling to others.

What on earth could I post about? Offering regular “and then I scrubbed the bathtub”-type updates didn’t seem like a good idea. (Or maybe I’m thinking of how to be boring on Twitter. Anyway.)

Even if I managed to ramp things up a bit (“Sitting in the kitchen eating madeleines and trying to remember why I never got around to reading Proust”), I would then be in danger of something much, much worse…the dreaded “Christmas Letter” effect.

Christoalphabetaphobia (Fear of Xmas Letters)

The Last of the Spirits (from A Christmas Carol), John Leech, 1843 (cropped)

The Heartbreak of Christoalphabetaphobia (The Last of the Spirits, John Leech, 1843)

For those of you lucky enough never to have seen one of these concoctions, here’s a sampling of what you missed:

 Dear Everybody,

                Once again we’ve had a fabulous year. Fifi graduated summa cum laude from obedience school. Pat got another promotion (which makes three in eighteen months). Since I’ve been spending so much time raising all that money for Save the Ferrets, I’ve cut back to only five days a week at my ice sculpting studio.

And so on and relentlessly on for an entire page (or worse, two pages), single spaced (extra points for using a background in a shade of green or red so dark the words can barely be read).

Needless to say, not the sort of thing I’m anxious to inflict on others, even accidentally.

Everything, All the Time (Except Christmas Letters)

Now that I’m actually on Facebook, I can see why people love it. It’s a huge, friendly free-for-all with everybody chatting and posting and commenting all over the place—lots and lots (and lots and lots) of posts that are thought-provoking, silly, informative, funny, intriguing, and—Danger, Will Robinson—fun to read.

Facebook, it turns out, is like a giant newspaper full of human interest stories [and for those who know exactly what I’m talking about, let us pause a moment to sigh over the decline of the daily paper].

In fact, the main problem I’ve discovered is that there’s just too much going on. I bounce around, reading what other people have to say and chiming in with my own ideas, and suddenly hours have gone by and I haven’t done any actual work (like, say, writing a few more pages of my new novel). Oops.

People on Facebook have been very welcoming—“Come on in, splash around, the water’s fine.” I’m looking forward to finding out what I have to contribute to the conversation.


NEWS: Revenge of the Parson’s Daughter Officially Released!


I’m so happy I could just about bust. Today my novel, Revenge of the Parson’s Daughter Or The Lass that Loved a Pirate, makes its official worldwide debut. I can hardly believe it. This time last year I hadn’t even finished the manuscript, and now the book is out there just waiting for you to fall in love with it and take it home.

On Virtual Bookshelves Everywhere

My book is now available at all finer online literary emporiums (emporia?) [Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.]—and always from Bold Strokes Books (in all e-book formats).

A Sneak Peek Inside

You can check out two different excerpts from Revenge of the Parson’s Daughter:

Young Woman Reading, Jean Raoux

Another Satisfied Customer [YMMV] (Young Woman Reading, Jean Raoux)


News: Stevie Talks Funny (Another Guest Blog)

I’m extremely pleased to be guest blogging today on Women and Words, Jove Belle’s wonderful blog (you should seriously subscribe). My subject is why my pirate, Stevie, talks the way she does throughout my brand new, just-released first novel, Revenge of the Parson’s Daughter, or The Lass that Loved a Pirate.

Here’s the short version:  I love, love, love the sounds and variations of the English language. And throughout the blog, Stevie gets a chance to speak for herself.

Yeah, Stevie Talks Funny (How the Music of the English Language Led Me Astray)

News: Revenge of the Parson’s Daughter Now Available from BSB!

Yes, my book is available for sale. Right now. Imagine a video of me jumping up and down. [www.thisisnotanactualyoutubelink.con]

Exclusively from Bold Strokes Books (until 8/13)

Revenge of the Parson’s Daughter, or The Lass that Loved a Pirate is available now (prior to its official August 13 release date) directly from Bold Strokes Books—for the same low, low price as other vendors, except that you can buy it today.

An E-Book Exclusive!

This is an ebook-only publication, and in case you were wondering, Bold Strokes definitely has all formats available—Nook, Kindle, Sony, Kobo, ipad, whatever. (If you’re not sure what format you need, see the FAQ on BSB’s homepage.)

Buy More and Save

BSB offers a 10% discount on purchases over $25, so why not treat yourself? They publish lots and lots of excellent books by great authors, and I’m not just saying that because I want you to buy my book (or theirs). I’ve been a very happy BSB reader for many years, since long before I ever even finished my novel, let alone had it accepted by BSB for publication.

But Wait, There’s More

Actually, there isn’t. (Sorry. It’s a book, not a pocket fisherman, the amazing Ginsu, or even a bass-o-matic.) But please buy my book anyway. (Did I mention you can get it from Bold Strokes Books this very minute?)

WAC telephone operators, 1945, National Archives

Operators might be standing by (WACs at Potsdam conference, 1945)