Free Ebooks (mine) on Amazon

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 3.33.25 PMI’ve finished the DDsE series! (Ella has completed her diary! For now…) To celebrate, for the next couple days, the digital version of the series will be free on Amazon. (The 3rd and final book goes freebie on Saturday.)

I started DDsE as a break from writing my FRAMES series. I’ve never needed such a break before but FRAMES takes a surprising lot of energy. I speculate it’s the combination of world-building plus characters who are not human.

Anyway, the break turned long when DDsE became a series, too. I didn’t dare to pause DDsE and go back to FRAMES, though, lest Nica take over Ella’s diary. Once Nica gets into my head, she doesn’t settle for being the narrator in FRAMES. She takes over. Other books. Conversations. Everything. For a while she wrote my work emails. (How did that go, you ask? Let’s just say it’s a good thing I was about to retire.)

NoLAnew4NoisetradeTo further celebrate my return to writing FRAMES, Nica of Los Angeles (FRAMES #1) is also free on Amazon as an ebook for the next couple days.

1000 Reading Hoarders?

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Discovered this cool milestone today at Smashwords, an ebook distributor in the midst of their gi-normous summer giveaway. My ebooks have 1,000 “purchases” via Smashwords.

Now, most of these purchases have been free in giveaways. And people tend to hoard ebooks, unopened, after such sales. But at least a few have read my books. They post reviews; during future sales, they acquire later volumes in series; they bookmark me as an author they want to find again.

Nowadays I don’t care much about getting customers for my books but I most definitely want readers. Through the month of July, you can download any/all of my books from my page at Smashwords, in any/all ebook formats.

10 lords a-leaping, 1,000 readers hoarding…

The Lyrics That Mattered Most

I keep meeting folks who are writing their memoirs. Guess it’s something about getting Up There, years-wise. Writing a memoir never interested me — until I thought to write my life story using only the song lyrics that most profoundly affected me. The result is Self, Sampled

This was lots of fun to do, and taught me stuff about myself in the process. I recommend the exercise! I’ll understand if you don’t make it far through this memoir, though. The impact of a lyric is such a personal matter.

A few take-aways:
+ damn am I white;
lyrics really really matter to me…
+ … and yet, some of my favorite musicians never wrote or sang lyrics that snagged me like these;
+ I bet I would have turned out different if I hadn’t listened to so much Leonard Cohen during my formative years.

Maybe I’ll make a Spotify playlist of my memoir.

Dear Miss Diciuccio

Dear Miss Diciuccio,

I hope you don’t mind that I’m still using your maiden name. I don’t know who I’m talking to, otherwise.

You were my high school English teacher and I’ve long long long meant to tell you that you changed my life, forever and for the better.

One of our ongoing assignments was to keep a journal. We turned them in, you read them, and for me it was all awkward. The writing, the sharing. However, it soon became clear that you meant it when you said we could write anything. That freedom was a novelty. I could write Whatever, without judgment or consequences.

I was surprised when I saw your margin note in my journal. This is goodI’d been writing Whatever – venting about something. I re-read the paragraph. I didn’t think it was good, but that note taught me so much: Writing could get me praise. Writing could connect me with someone else.

People had always told me I was a writer, but this was the moment when I felt it. It’s taken me decades to feel it again. In between, I’ve done a lot of writing, published my writing, and taken long writing hiatuses. I’ve grappled with big issues, including my needs for praise and connection. Through it all, I kept seeing your margin note.

Thank you.

I’ve also wanted to thank your friend and compadre, Estelle Tucker, who left us way too soon. She transmitted so much confidence and respect. In her class we debated current events and discussed Dylan records. She was always cool and she helped me see that art must change to stay alive. She had us read Hamlet then attend a big city performance of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. (Which was new, back then. She would have taken us to Improvised Shakespeare Company if they’d been around.) My hands-down favorite high school moment was the day I was in a deep funk and she ignored the rules to let me skip her English class and hang out in the library. Maybe it’s time to re-read her favorite novel, Madame Bovary. I was too young to appreciate it, back in the day.

Ours was a nondescript suburban school named for an administrative functionary yet Marion A. Peterson High School had many exceptional teachers. A couple more shout-outs to:

Mr. Kim. You divided our journalism class into four groups and had us report on the Vietnam War based strictly on the writing in a single news magazine. Our four reports sounded like four different wars. This was a profound lesson in slant and bias that forever changed how I hear the news, any news.

Mr. Parsons. I was a hippie and you were, well, I thought you were a fascist but maybe you were mildly right wing. When you teased me about politics you showed me that people of opposing views could get along. And that chemistry quiz that I failed. I never forgot your lesson about staying open to what we don’t know. The quiz required us to balance a chemical equation. But – it didn’t balance. I somehow forced it to fit what I had learned. Fail. Only one guy in the class got the right answer, which involved saying “the result includes a new and unknown particle with the following properties…”

Thank you all for shaping my thinking and choices. I’ve tried teaching and I found it difficult, tedious, exhausting. I don’t know how you did it, frankly, but I’m grateful you did.

 

 

A Free Read Every Day (on the DDsE blog)

BlogLogoRedo2018I’m so glad I decided to do it! Brought back the DDsE daily serial blog.

Over on the DDsE blog, we’re in book 8 of Ella’s diary. As far as I can tell, her current adventures will take us through book 9.

I’m having a great time posting Ella’s diary to the near-instant gratification of readers who come to the blog daily.

The farther I get into the DDsE series, the less I can figure out whether I am writing it or transcribing it. For the first time, I’m writing improvisationally. What happens happens. I discover what comes next as I fill the latest blank screen on my iPad.

If you become a follower of  the DDsE daily serial blog, you will get each day’s diary entry emailed to you. Of course you can also click over to it whenever you please. I’ve heard from a number of folks that they’d rather wait and read a bunch of daily entries in one swoop. You can read the compiled, completed books (7 so far) on the blog.

For those who don’t want to read via browser, each book of Ella’s diary is an individual e-book novella on Smashwords. (6 individual novellas on Smashwords so far – 3 to go.) I’ve also compiled Ella’s books, 3 to a volume, and published those volumes on Amazon as e-books and paper books (2 compiled volumes so far – 1 to go).

Short Edition: Free Flash Fiction (and Contests)

My story You’re the One I’ll Miss is posted as part of a contest on Short Edition. Click over there to read it. I guess I’d appreciate your vote although I’m not sure what I’m competing for…

Create a Short Edition log-in to read free flash fiction from authors around the world.

Short Edition is an exceedingly cool idea. It provides very short fiction on line and at dispensaries in public places. It’s growing. This time last year most of its content was French-only.