Archive for the ‘ Books ’ Category

WIP Mini Blog Hop

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

I was tagged by P.J. Bayliss in the ‘Next Big Thing’ Authors Tagging Authors… also known as the WIP Blog Hop.

P.J. Bayliss has nearly 1,000 Twitter followers (@YrMonAmi) and has nearly as many blog followers, as well. I have been grateful for P.J.’s generosity and friendliness since we connected on Twitter.

Here are the rules:

  • Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you
  • Post the rules for this hop
  • Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog
  • Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them

My Questions:

  • What is the working title of your book?

1) Belated Mommy 2) Felix and the Dreamworld Bandits

  • What genre does the book fall under?

1) Parenting/humor 2) Children (ages 3-8)

  • Which actors would you choose to play your characters for the movie rendition?

1) I would love to see Amy Poehler as a 30-something mom trying to find her way as a parent 2) Jared Gilmore, who plays Henry on “Once Upon a Time”

  • What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

1) A collection of humorous and insightful personal essays about the challenges and rewards of being an older parent. 2) A collection of short stories about a boy who explores the dreamworld with his best friends, a robot and a dinosaur.

  • Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will likely seek an agent to represent both books; hopefully, I can find someone who will handle both nonfiction and children’s books.

  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

1) My goal is to blog the book and complete it in roughly a year.  2) Felix is my current NaNoWriMo project, and I hope to have a pretty decent draft by the end of the month.

  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

1) Anything by Erma Bombeck, one of my earliest inspirations 2) The Winnie the Pooh stories

  • Who or what inspired you to write this book?

1) As an older mom — I had my son at age 39 — I often feel left out of the parenting advice market, and I wanted to fill that gap for other moms, dads and guardians. 2) I’ve been telling my son rambling bedtime stories to put him to sleep, and I wanted to write a book that would appeal to kids and parents alike.

  • What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest

1) I’m seeking input from other parents in the 35+ age bracket, so please e-mail me if you’d like to contribute ideas! 2) I’m hoping that one of several talented artist friends of mine will add illustrations.

In addition, I’d appreciate it if you’d read and vote for my story at America’s Next Author:

I wish to tag the following authors:

Sally Wiener Grotta – Twitter: @SallyWGrotta

Joseph Ephraim – Twitter: @FreelanceJoe

Nina Amir – Twitter: @NinaAmir

J.L. Manning – Twitter: @JL_Manning

Robbie Cox – Twitter: @CoxRobbie

Life as an Animal Savior

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Here’s another excerpt from my book, The Art of Life. This column originally appeared in The Standard-Journal, June 19, 1998.

For a week, I was the Animal Savior. In my care were the lives of no fewer than eight animals, which I pet-sat for members of my family.

Whenever I entered their residences, they bowed and scraped before me in their feline and canine ways, mewing and rubbing against my leg, staring at me with awe in their eyes.

For they knew and respected my power. I was the one who wielded the Sacred Can Opener. I was the one who opened and closed doors on a whim, allowing them out or in again.

In short, I was the one with hands.

Imagine what life would be like if dogs and cats could manipulate objects with their furry paws. You would come home from a hard day at work and find your animals sprawled on the floor, patting their full bellies, meat and cheese wrappers littering the floor.

The back door would be open, and frightened moles and sparrows would scurry and flutter about the house. (“Ha! Make us leave them in the yard now!”)

Your closets would be open, and the choicest shoes (like those leather moccasins from the 1960s) would now be chew toys.

Perhaps the only thing scarier than pets with opposable thumbs would be pets who could talk. Oh, I know, you’ve thought about it. You’ve wondered what was behind that feline smirk, that doggie grin. But would you really be prepared to talk to your furry friends?

They wouldn’t suddenly take up political discussions, you understand, or enjoy reruns of Seinfeld. They’d talk about the same things they already talk about, in their pet ways.

You’d converse for hours about such topics as: “food” and “pet me.” No doubt they’d scintillate with wit as they discussed the subjects “not this food” and “pet me more.” And on long evenings, who would pass up the chance to deliberate over subjects like “Why’d you stop petting me,” and “Let me out”?

My temporary position as Animal Savior clearly gave me a lot of free time…

When I say free time, I mean, “alone time.” My daily rounds as Animal Savior meant I had little personal time. At one house, in the morning I fed four cats and let the dog into the yard to, um, water the daisies. That afternoon, I went to another house and fed one very angry cat which insisted that it should be going OUT right now! (Kind of like when I used to tell the babysitter that we were allowed to have chocolate and soda before bed and stay up tillmidnight.)

At another place, I fed two indoor cats who are so plump their little bellies fly back and forth when they run toward you to pay their respects. After scratching both their heads for awhile (otherwise, one gets jealous), I returned to the first place, walked the dog, and let cats either in or out of the yard.

I then gave the elderly queen cat, Ginger, one of her two daily pills, and fed her as a reward. In the evening, I gave her another pill and let the dog out into the yard to, um, inspect the trees.

Then, the next day, it started all over again.

The duties of Animal Savior never end.

But I learned something this past week. I learned that with power comes responsibility. I also learned that giving a cat a pill is a task only slightly more complicated than constructing a computer fromLincolnlogs and cellophane.

But I love my subjects, although their loyalties have returned to their former rulers. Somehow, running myself ragged never felt so good.

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