Hey-hey from New Hampshire's historic seacoast region, where I actually do have a small red barn. Digging around in its loft here, you'll find a slew of original photos and writings reflecting a rich life here as well as my journey from my native Ohio all the way to the interior Pacific Northwest and points throughout the East Coast. More and more, the postings also spring from my newest novels. In between, I pitch in with the garden and enjoy the nearby mountains and ocean, as well as dancing traditional Greek and New England folk style and singing in an outstanding chorus in nearby Boston. I love hearing your insights and reactions in the comments. Don't be shy! And do stop by often.
At a recent online writers’ conference, I was convinced to bite the bullet and release my novels at goliath Amazon in addition to the alternative ebook retailers where they’re already available. As I began pondering the new hurdles and strategies, I looked at Hometown News as a first offering.
A few years ago I had replaced the original cover, which sought to convey a sense of an idyllic small town where children could grow up safely, at least at the onset, with another of more urgency, reflecting the broader sense of the ultimately dystopian novel.
The new photographic image, though, was problematic.
The flames coming out of the residential window had the emotional message I wanted to convey, but they kept eating up the title and author credit, no matter which color I tried.
So I came up with this, trying to employ a trendy design element:
Returning to it now, though, I still felt an unease. The solution, in the end, was to make the artwork a bit smaller to give it more impact. Got that? It doesn’t make sense, but here’s how I’ve gone:
By the way, it’s now also available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon, as well as at Smashwords and affiliated ebook retailers.
The kernel of this passage is insightful, but it got reworked and retold in a much more humorous vein in my novel What’s Left.
Well, he had every reason to feel out of place, I suppose. He might as well have been a Tibetan or a man from Mars dropped down in the middle of America. But reincarnation would assume that Iowa was the right place for him to be growing up, that he’d found the right set of parents and right surroundings, and that would mean I’ve been overlooking a lot.
Well, the alienated individual is one complex issue to take up. Just look at Kafka. Cassia’s having her own struggles, so let’s concentrate on those, especially as she’s becoming aware of surroundings that work in her favor, unlike those of her father’s youth.
Perhaps nobody’s in a perfectly right or wrong place. We usually make do, as best we can, although I’ve lived some places where that could be challenging.
What’s been “right” for you where you are? Or, if you’d rather, what’s felt “wrong”?
While Dover’s downtown has traditionally run along the north-south spine of Central Avenue and its historic mill complex, new construction is giving more emphasis to the Chestnut-Locust street route a block to the west. Here’s how the view is changing.
When St. Charles Roman Catholic Church on Central Avenue was razed and replaced by the new Bradley Commons, I wondered what would happen to the part of its trashy parking lot fronting Park Street. It was a vacuous hole, especially for pedestrians. No longer. Here’s what the Community Action Partners have put up in its place, with a large open garage at its back.
In my novel Nearly Canaan, Joshua and Jaya settle into a place unlike anything they would have imagined. It’s desert, for one thing, where nearly everything has to be irrigated, for another. Quite simply, it’s a lot like Yakima, in the middle of Washington state and an agricultural mecca.
Besides the well-known crops of apples, hops, and grapes, let’s consider: