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Showing posts from December, 2010

Find Your Bookstore Contest!

It's been a couple of years since I updated my database of independent bookstores. When I created the list in 2007, there were 579 appropriate, viable bookstores on it.

Today there are 505. That's pretty awful, but when you consider the impact of the economy in the last three years, it's not nearly as bad as it could have been. Considering that overall, only half of new small businesses survive their first five years, it's pretty damned good. I'm happy to see that a lot of bookstores that had eschewed the internet now have web sites. And web sites of their own, not just listings in Booksense. You would think that, say, an independent bookseller on the Upper East Side of Manhattan would know that it should have a web site, but apparently bookstores are among the last to join us here on our intertubes.

Here's the thing: I'm betting there are a lot of good, viable bookstores that haven't made my list yet. There are 1200+ booksellers in the American Booksel…

Interview with Seventh Star Press

Stephen Zimmer with Seventh Star Press interviews me about the Literary Underworld and my secret plan for world domination. In which I talk about the state of the small press, big box vs. indie bookstores, the challenges with fitting the booth in my Camry and the pain of sending rejection letters. With secret bonus plans for next year's insanity!

EDIT: Meanwhile, Author Adventures says nice things about Stephen saying nice things about me. Oh, and about my wish for a van. I would totally paint our giant half-skull on the side, I'm just saying.

Molasses in Not-January

As my father told me, the hardest part of being a parent is not laughing in front of them when they do something hilariously boneheaded.

ME: [All Three Names]!*
BOY: What!
ME: What in heaven's name did you do to the molasses! It's all over the counter!
BOY: ...
ME: Tell the truth.
BOY: You know how you're always saying, "slow as molasses in January"?
ME: Yes.**
BOY: Well, I saw the jug of molasses, and I wondered how slow molasses is, so I turned it upside down and the cap was loose and -
ME: You were trying to see how slow molasses in January is?
BOY: *nodsnods*
ME: It's not January!
BOY: It's December, it's close enough!
ME: Go clean up the counter!

And then I went in the other room to laugh myself silly.


* Some things are universal. When Mom calls you with first, middle and last names, you're in trouble.
** As my mother told me, and her mother told her: "You're as slow as molasses in January!" Rinse, repeat.

Chronicles of the Muse: The Muse At Subway

Many years ago, I began writing stories of the Muse. She lives in my head, and she's the source of my work. She used to be the only source, but after a while she got some companions. She's not all that happy about it. Because I thought it might entertain you, I am reprinting some Chronicles of the Muse in this journal. And maybe it'll entice her to come back and visit me more often. 

This was written while I was waiting for Nocturnal Urges to be released, and writing a novella that would eventually become Yellow Roses. The idea spawned by this dream eventually became "The Sheriff of Nottingham," which will be in my upcoming collection Moonlight Sonata. I named neither protagonist Matt.


May 3, 2004


MUSE: You IDIOT!
ME: Shh, someone might hear you.
MUSE: Not likely, you moron. I'm in your head.
ME: Yeah, well, it's not my fault.
MUSE: We get a full lunch hour to work on the goddamn book and you don't recharge the laptop?
ME: I did recharge the laptop!…

oh hey, this blog exists!

I feel rather like a deep-sea diver who is surfacing after a very long time underwater.

The fall book tour (a.k.a. Deathmarch) is done. The new book (a.k.a. The Bitch) is done. The election is done. In fact, the only thing that isn't done is the laundry. But that's never done.

Okay, technically I still have one more booksigning this Saturday. But since it doesn't require sleeping in a hotel or packing a suitcase, I say it doesn't count. I am slowly unearthing my kitchen and I might even get crazy and run a vacuum. Pretty soon I'll put that suitcase in the closet, because really, I won't need it for a couple of months.

It's a heady feeling. Even better is this: last night I got home and realized that I did not have to work on the book.

This might seem weird, but for months now I've been on the midnight shift. I work the day at the newspaper, then I get off duty and go be Mom for a while. Once the boy is in bed, then I break out the laptop and work anoth…