The Sound of Two Hands Limping

imgres Okay, whose brilliant idea was it to set a deadline for my retyping* of ?Was It A Rat I Saw?, my psychological thriller involving real-life split brain research, animal rights, and a love quadrangle?

I had a plan is to publish each of the four sections of ?Rat?, chapter by chapter, to this blog during the four weeks in August.

Half empty: I am behind by an entire section.

Half full: I have finished Part II and am almost at the midpoint.

Two more chapters on line this week! If I had no self-imposed deadline to make me feel behind, I would be better able to enjoy that accomplishment.

I feel a Life Lesson coming on…

*?Was It A Rat I Saw? was previously published in hardcover by Bantam-Doubleday-Dell. Now I’m publishing it electronically, first as a serial and then as an e-book.

Here are some ?Rat? Reviews on Goodreads.

Book Review: “The Healer” by Antti Tuomainen


A man searches for his missing wife as the world falls apart.

This is one time when an Early Reviewer program brought me a book I enjoyed without reservation.

I completely believed this dysfunctional, damaged world (here focussed on Finland), spiraling toward ecological apocalypse, and I got sucked into the story. The characters kept me at arm’s distance but it actually would have been out of sync with the tone if they had been more engaging. Overall there were too many coincidental connections among characters; that is my only complaint.

What most impressed me about this novel was how vivid and atmospheric it was, given the extremely spare writing style. Every word counted, every word needed to be there! I can’t think of many books that I can say that about – and reading Tuomainen has inspired me to go in and whack quite a few words from the novel that I am currently writing.


I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Here is a synopsis of the book, with some embellishments from the publisher.

Week 2, Serial Publication: Was It A Rat I Saw

Cover of "Rat"

Jacket from the original hardcover edition.

Faster! Faster!

Faster! Faster!

When I originally wrote  Was It A Rat I Saw, a psychological thriller involving real-life split brain research, animal rights, and a love quadrangle, it was published in hardcover by Bantam-Doubleday-Dell. Now I’m publishing it electronically, first as a serial and then as an e-book.

My plan is to publish each of the four sections of Rat, chapter by chapter, to this blog during the four weeks in August.

Here in la semana dos, I have (already?) fallen behind.  I was supposed to add six chapters this week. So far I have added four.

My plan was perhaps a tad ambitious.

To publish Rat electronically, I must first type the whole book from one of the print copies.  I could have had it scanned and digitized but I didn’t. I decided to retype. I had a good reason and another reason. I wanted to save a little money and I wanted to read it again. You get to decide which reason is which.

I might catch up to my plan because the sections get shorter as the book goes along. Or I might revise the plan. Tune in next week for the next installment of Just How Fast Can Sue Type?

Meantime, feel free to establish office pools or other wagers about how many chapters I will add in week three.

Here are some Rat Reviews on Goodreads.

I got the flying fingers photo from this webpage.

Book Review: “Loyalty” by Ingrid Thoft


When I started this book I expected to give it 4 stars, maybe 5. The set up was strong and fun. The tangle of plot threads intrigued. The family dynamics entertained. And you really can’t have too many detectives with Attitude, so it was a pleasure to meet another one. Also, early on, there was an absolutely great line about how children are like NASA launches – you can invest lots of money and time in them only to see them go quickly off course. (Sorry I can’t provide the actual quote – i loaned my copy of the book to a friend.) But as the pages turned, my enthusiasm waned. The detective lost some appeal when she became preoccupied with wardrobe changes and when she turned out to be well nigh perfect (wealthy, smart, gorgeous, ballsy and more). The threats against the detective felt increasingly manufactured rather than intrinsic to the plot. The shocking family secret was telescoped waaay in advance. There were many references to real places and neighborhoods in the Boston area, yet overall the book was low on atmosphere. And by the end of the first book in this series, I am already tired of the family. Because I loved the first third of this, I would try another book in this series, to see whether the stuff that bothers me was tied to this particular book, or persists through the series.

I got this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Here is a synopsis of the book. The synopsis is from the publisher so expect extravagance.

Book Review: “Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah


Clearly this is not my kind of book. It was a best seller and I cannot fathom why. I found it trite, tedious, and eventually, terribly manipulative in a movie-disease kind of way. The characters were incredibly cliched, the “history” was a shallow rehash of slogans and consumer product nostalgia. I am mad at myself for wasting the hours to finish it, which I only did because I had agreed to review it. I do not await the forthcoming sequel.

I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. Here is a synopsis of the book. It comes from the publisher so expect extravagant claims.


I started blogging as part of my effort to regain a writing career.  (Warning to other writers: J.D. Salinger aside, not writing for two decades will not bolster your career.)

Like most of my important life decisions – including writing novels and having kids – this one sprang from an offhand suggestion. Fortunately, impulsive decisions can be excellent decisions.

My blog’s initial purpose was to let people know my writing exists. Here’s how it was supposed to work: you read a post, you like it, you say oh look she’s got novels too I think I’ll try one. Wordpress and Smashwords stats suggest that chain of thoughts does sometimes occur!

(In other hands my blog might attempt aggressive marketing but the reality is that that ain’t me. Fortunately, my books do seem to be gradually building momentum despite this.)

When I started my blog:

  • I had considerable wariness, surely shared by most fledgling bloggers. What if I run out of ideas? What if nobody ever visits my blog? What if writing a blog keeps me from writing my novels? Fortunately – like most fears – these caused needless angst.
  • I assumed I would blog about writing but I hardly ever do.  I mention milestones for my novels (for example, today I launched a serialization of my psychological thriller ?Was It A Rat I Saw?) But I strictly write novels, so milestones don’t pop up that often. Sometimes I detail my writing techniques, but this blog will never provide advice on writing or editing.  I’ve only got this advice for other writers:

To improve your writing do more writing.

  • I anticipated a single-topic blog but instead have many.  I’ve got my preoccupations  (animals, my kids, sunrises, the ocean, epitaphs, an addict among my loved ones, patterns that prompt impromptu Rorschach tests) but I do keep adding to them. I aspire to an omni-topic blog. Although that will play havoc with my tag cloud.
  • I didn’t expect to have so many people like my photographs.
  • I didn’t expect to be staggered and awestruck by the vast number of interesting, beautiful, thought-provoking, nurturing, and hilarious blogs I have happened upon! I love being part of this sprawling yet tight-knit community. I still feel peripheral but that’s who I am.
  • I didn’t know that responding to WordPress Photo Challenges, Writing Challenges, and Daily Prompts such as  this one would be so much fun.

My Psychological Thriller Now On-Line

Cover of "Rat"

Jacket from the original hardcover edition. 

Tommy Dabrowski, a brain surgery patient and research subject of neuropsychologist Dr. Clare Austen, witnesses a murder with the right half of his brain, which no longer has access to language. Clare and Tommy race against time to figure out what he knows before the killer gets to them.

Was It A Rat I Saw is a psychological thriller involving real-life split brain research, animal rights, and a love quadrangle. It was originally published in hardcover by Bantam-Doubleday-Dell. I’ve got the rights back now, so am publishing it as an e-book.

To start that process, each Friday in August, 2013, I will post a section Was It A Rat I Saw to this blog page.  Five sections, chapter by chapter, on five Fridays, beginning August 2.

If you read them by the end of September, you will receive an e-book version for free.

I am serializing Rat now because August is web serial writing month (WeSeWriMo). Me, I probably won’t ever write serial fiction – I do too much late-stage editing, – so posting an already-finished book may be as close as I ever get. But I admire the energy and sensibility of serial writers.

Check out the Rat Reviews on Goodreads.