By the Seat of My Pants

you can’t ’pants’ editing:

Lara Zielinsky

Ms. Zielinsky, an author, editor, and teacher, recently wrote a blog post titled “editing for pantsers.” It’s an excellent article and I recommend it for all of us who write by the seat of our pants. (her blog can be found at larazbooks.com) It got me thinking about the process I use writing novels.

I am a Pantser – in writing and in life. One off the best vacations my wife and ever went on was when we took three weeks to go 1,000 miles; often pitching our tent in spots we hadn’t known existed that morning.

I’m obviously pantsing this blog. See how easily I get distracted.

Getting back to writing – I don’t personally know any other authors and have no ready resources for the process of writing a novel, other than my own experience. I have taken two college Creative Writing courses, neither one of which covered this most basic of topics. The first one I took was in 1965 so I may have forgotten some of the stuff the instructor covered, but still . . .

From the hints I read in other authors’ blogs, they write a first draft pretty much from start to finish, then go back and pull the story together while editing. I don’t do that. For years I wrote short stories, rarely over ten thousand words. Because of life, work, and other distractions it would sometimes be several days between writing sessions. When I finally got around to writing more, I would read what I had written from the start before adding to it. This was to get my mind back into the narrative, and to ensure that I kept the tone of the writing and the voices of the characters consistent. I try to ensure that each of my characters have their own voice, i.e. word choices and sentence structure, and I don’t want to sacrifice their individuality to my procrastination.

Obviously I can’t go back to the beginning when I’m fifty-thousand plus words into a novel. I usually go back two or three chapters, and sometimes will read a chapter or two at either the beginning or middle of the story. One result of this is that I do most of my editing and polishing at the same time I’m doing the actual writing. If there is an incident that seems out of place with no precedence (Ms. Zielinsky might refer to is this as an ‘effect’ without a ‘cause’) I can insert a section to account for it.

One example is in my most recent novel, The Woman in the Window. The two main characters Zelda and Val, meet at a conference in Chicago and end up in bed together. Several chapters later, when Zelda gets back home to Omaha, she is embarrassed about what she’d done because it clashes with the image she has created for herself. When I got to that point, I realized this embarrassment was coming out of the blue. So before going on, I went back and inserted three conversations with side characters, one before and two after the tryst, that clarified her opinion of herself. They also brought her motivation into better focus for the remainder of the novel.

I often tell people that I let my characters tell me the story and I just type it up. That sounds pretentious, but sometimes it feels as if that’s what is happening. When I start on a novel, I like to have the main characters’ personalities and backstories already created. Often, I will write short stories about them, and other times I have them worked out in my mind but not written down. Once that’s done, I create the situations that drive the story, then let the characters react appropriately. Sometimes they surprise me.

When I was writing Kitty-Kat I was several chapters into the story before I realized two things. One: that Nan currently volunteered at a battered women’s shelter; and Two: that she’d grown up in an abusive household. I honestly have no idea why those facts had been hiding from me, but once I saw them I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment. Several years ago I worked for an organization that ran the women’s shelter in our small town, so the symptoms should have been obvious. Nan was a loner who didn’t let people get close to her. Self-isolation is typical for a woman whose experience has been if you let yourself care for someone they can hurt you. For entertainment Nan either sat in her window watching her neighbors partying, or went out alone. (Granted it is not typical that while going out alone she wore a remote-control vibrator in her underwear, but that’s just Nan.)

The back story I’d had in mind for her when I started writing was incomplete. Once I saw the whole story of her life, and let Nan’s early experiences drive the story, it became one of the most important themes of the novel. That and the vibrator thing.

As noted above, I don’t believe that I write the same way other novelists do, but I don’t know that for a fact. If you write novels and are reading this, I would really appreciate hearing about the process you use.

Progress Report: Since publishing my latest novel last week, I’ve gone back to one I started and put down last fall. It’s a friends-to-lovers story about two young women living in – of course – Omaha. I’m only two chapters into it, but hope to move ahead quickly. I expect it to be a novella rather than a full novel. The Woman in the Window was longish for me, and writing it wore me out.

GOOD NEWS

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage — as long as you edit it brilliantly.”

C.J. Cherryh

Good News!! My collection of short stories, Curious, was voted book of the month for January in the Erotica Category by readers of the I Heart Lesfic website. Yeah me! It is made up of twelve stories about women exploring new aspects of their sexuality.

This week I finally finished and published my fourteenth book. It went on sale St. Patrick’s Day – although there is nothing Irish about it.

I say finally because honestly, I thought I’d never get done with the damn thing. I try to write at least a thousand words a day. For this book, I was lucky to write five hundred, and that often was rewriting chapters that had already been written. It wasn’t that I had writer’s block – I knew what I wanted to write – I just couldn’t seem to get around to writing it.

I read in other authors’ blogs that they write an entire first draft before going back for the rewrites and edits. I don’t do that. When I first started writing short stories many years ago, every time I sat down to work on a story I would reread everything that went before. One reason was to keep the narrator’s voice consistent. Since these were short stories, usually under 10K words, that didn’t take a great deal of time. Doing that with a novel slows down writing the first draft a lot. I’ll use that as an excuse for being a chronic procrastinator.

But now it’s done. The book is titled The Woman in the Window. It’s an age gap romance between a corporate executive, Zelda Gilroy, and a graduate student, Val Givens, whom she is supposed to mentor. There’s some sex, not too graphic; some heartbreak, not too permanent; and a happily ever after.

The book is available on Amazon now for $3.99, or can be read on Kindle Unlimited.

A final question for my readers: Does anybody know who the original Zelda Gilroy was, and why using that name for a lesfic character is particularly apropos?

WONDERINGS

Adair Lara in You Know You’re a Writer When . . .

‘You had to scrawl “Writing is fun,” on your computer with a Sharpie.’

I was recently reminded that I haven’t written in this blog since . . . well, for a very long time. Did you miss me?

It’s not like I haven’t been writing. During that period I have written and published a novella (Shipwrecked on Sappho’s Island), edited and published a collection of short stories (Curious), and am working to complete another novel (probable title: The Woman in the Window).

And I’ve read a whole bunch of books.

But for now, I have several questions that have been bouncing around in my head.

Odd Punctuation: I’ve read several sci-fi series by an author named Niall Teasdale. I don’t know if Niall is male or female, there are no clues on this in his/her bio section. (my bio is the same) He (or she) claims to have been born near Hadrian’s Wall, without saying whether it was the English or Scottish side. What has me curious is the fact this writer uses apostrophes (single quotation marks) to indicate quotations. For a quote within quote, he/she uses the normal (double) quotation marks. I have read a lot of authors from the U.K. and don’t remember ever having seen this in any of their works. Is this common and I just haven’t been paying attention? Perhaps it’s a Scottish thing? If anyone knows, please clue me in.

Reviews; readers’ and otherwise. I will have to be honest, I don’t write very many reader reviews. If I like a book or a series a lot I will write one. I also write reviews for books I thought were terrible. An example of this is a book I quit after three pages. Page two had a paragraph made up of a single sentence, a sentence with over one hundred words. The author also insisted on using the word ‘magi’ as a singular noun. I felt it was my duty to let potential buyers know the book was unreadable and the author nearly illiterate.

Another example was a book co-written by a married couple in which the protagonist’s age went from thirty-eight to forty-two, depending on who wrote that particular chapter. I had to conclude that, like many married couples, those women didn’t communicate much. Pointing out the problem was my attempt at marriage counseling.

I also seldom review a work that has a plethora of reviews already posted. The first time this happened was when I read a book by a new-to-me author and liked it a lot. As is normal, the author requested reviews, saying that she was an independent writer and reviews were critical to attracting new readers. I dutifully went to the Amazon page to write one and found that there were already fourteen-hundred reviews. I didn’t think I had much to add.

I wish I had the problem of too many reviews. My first books got several reviews each – mostly positive, thank you very much. My last several books have gotten none. There have been a few ratings, without reviews, which is extremely frustrating. C’mon people. Tell me what you think. Reviews are not only important in getting new readers, they also let the author know what he/she is doing right and what needs to be improved.

As an aside, the worst review I ever got was from a Trump supporter after one of my characters refused to consider buying a house next door to a one with a MAGA sign and a confederate flag in the yard. The reviewer, who identified herself as a gay female, was outraged that I would dare suggest Trump supporters could be racist or homophobic. Who knew?

The other thing I have been wondering about is how books are selected by professional book reviewers. I’ve been reading book reviews for many, many years (okay, since the 1960’s – did I mention I’m old?). I enjoy reading them, and sometimes learn something. It is to be expected that the New York Times Book Reviews, and others of that ilk, select books from ‘important’ authors. But how are the selections made from genres such as sci-fi, romance, and lesfic? It’s understandable that the best writers in these genres will be reviewed, but there are a lot of prolific, and very good, authors whose books never show up. Many, but not all of these, are independent authors. Do publishing houses push certain books? I just don’t know. In full disclosure, I have published thirteen novels and novellas, none of which have, to my knowledge, been professionally reviewed.

Okay, enough whining. Now on to the important part.

Writing Report:

In my last post I said I was going to write a Christmas novella. I didn’t. I tried, but never finished it. I got about halfway into it and just didn’t care for where it was going. One of my characters was turning into a real bitch, which had to happen to make the story work. And then, of course, at the end she would ‘see the light.’ I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm to write it.

Instead, I wrote an erotic novella, Shipwrecked on Sappho’s Island. It was fun to write and, in my opinion, fun to read. Not that anyone left a review to let me know that. The other time I’ve written about the Sappho’s Island Retreat, a (fictional) resort exclusively for women who love women, was the novella I wrote last year around the same time, Kitty-Kat’s Holiday. Maybe a vacation at Sappho’s is going to be a holiday tradition for me.

I also put together a collection of twelve short stories and published them under the title Curious. These are stories I wrote over several years and posted on eroticstories.com, using various pen names. They have all been revised and updated for inclusion in the collection. There are several stories included of which I am quite proud. One is about a woman seduced by her husband’s intern,  “The Intern.” Another is set in Victorian England entitled “Les Biennes Society of London,” which I think is one of my best. The collection concludes with my favorite title ever, “Fucking Lesbeaux: a Love Story.”

My latest project is a new novel. Tentatively titled The Woman in the Window. It is an age gap romance that begins with two women watching each other undress from facing hotel windows. I’m nearly 40K words into it and plan to get it completed and published by the end of this month.

I promise I’ll not wait so long between blogs.

SPECULATIONS

Writing, film, sculpture, music: it’s all make-believe, really.

Kate Bush

After I retired and before I started writing novels, I read romance novels almost exclusively, both straight and lesbian. What can I say – I love happy endings. Then about two years ago I started writing romance novels. Now I very seldom read, or at least finish reading, romances, unless it’s one I’ve read before and really like. I’ll start them, but by the time I get toward the middle I know how it is going to end (more than just an HEA), and how the author will get to there. Of course, since I don’t actually finish any of them, that is just my supposition. I could be surprised, but I don’t feel like it’s worth my time to find out. Remember, I’m old. Time is a finite resource for me.

Lately I’ve been almost exclusively reading urban fantasies. These books always come in series. I figure if you go to all the time and trouble of creating your own world with its own history and mythology, you don’t use it all up in a single story. Some of these go on forever with book after book after book. I don’t know about you, but I usually stop after no more than four or five books. Often they get repetitive, and just as often I get tired of reading about the same people doing the same things.

I have read most of the books in Niall Teasdale’s ‘Thaumatology’ series, and all of B. R. Kingsolver’s ‘Succubus’ books. Both of these have a lot of sex mixed in with exciting stories. And both are filled with seriously kick-ass women. What more could you ask for from a book.

Another author I’ve been reading, Annette Marie, has two intertwining series. The stories are in the same world with the primary characters in one being secondary characters in the other. The woman just doesn’t want to waste a perfectly good world.

All of this leads up to one of my linguistic pet peeves. Science fiction and fantasy novels have historical been categorized together and the term ‘sci fi’ is frequently shortened to ‘SF.’ I believe it was in the 60’s or 70’s that author Isaac Asimov used those initials and coined the term ‘speculative fiction’ to include both genres. It was his contention that these books were based of speculation about what the world could be or would be. It is now used a quite freely. Eliza Andrews,  an author I admire a lot and who is writing a wonderful lesbian fantasy series, uses this term repeatedly in her blog. I grit my teeth every time I read it.

With all due respect to Dr. Asimov and Ms. Andrews, all fiction is ‘speculative.’ If you look up the word ‘speculative’ in Google you will find it defined as “. . . characterized by speculation, contemplation, conjecture, or abstract reasoning:” If I am writing a fictional story, in any genre set in any time period, I am saying: “If these characters existed in these situations, this is what I speculate (through abstract reasoning) what would happen.” Every author creates her or his own world inhabited by his or her own characters. Some are just more closely aligned to the physical world than others.

Now I’ve got that off my chest. Thanks for listening to my grouch.

Writing Report: I published my latest book last month, my eleventh if you’re keeping count. It is titled Nothing in Common But Love. The book has been a spectacular – dud. It has been read some, not a lot, but as of today there has not been a single reader review. This is a death sentence for a book on Kindle. Readers want to know what other readers thought about a book before they invest the time or money in it. My speculation is that readers thought the book neither good enough nor bad enough to bother leaving a comment. I personally thought the book was reasonably good. There were two interesting leads and several engaging secondary characters, two of whom have appeared in other books. There is some romance, some sex, some humor and just a little angst. What’s not to like?

I am working on my twelfth book now, although it is going slowly. I’ve written about 17K words and I expect (speculate?) that it will be about 50K when complete. I am seriously considering putting it aside a while and writing a Christmas novella using the characters from my book Afternoon Delight. That story took place between Labor Day and Christmas of last year and was about a widowed bi-sexual woman, her new lover, her two daughters (one who disapproved of her mother getting involved with a woman), and a jealous sister. Their second Christmas would make for an interesting story. If I write it, expect some family dislocations and reunions.

Are We Ready to Read Again?

Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind.

Robert Chambers

 

If we ever needed our minds numbed, this is the time. After nearly a month of not being able to finish anything, I started reading again and have been devouring books. Mainly things I have read before. I consider Amanda Quick books to be comfort food for the mind. The majority of her stories feature strong-minded and passive-aggressive heroines butting heads with alpha-males. No thinking required in reading these, and they all have happy endings. We need some happy endings right now. Natasha West is another author I’ve been reading to get to the hea’s. No alpha males in her books.

I’ve also been reading more urban fantasies such as those by Amanda M. Lee or K. F. Breene. No matter how bad your real life seems now, it could be worse. You could be socially isolated in a room with a vampire.

A few weeks ago I found that my books weren’t selling or being read on KU. From other authors’ blogs I learned that they were experiencing the same downturn in sales. Admittedly these authors were exclusively writing lesfic. It’s possible mainstream authors had a different experience, although I doubt that’s the case. However – in the past two weeks readership has gone back up {insert happy emoticon here}. I assume one of two things is happening. It could be that people have discovered they can get out of their isolation through reading. Or equally likely, people are getting tired of binge-watching TV shows. How many episodes of Heartland can you watch before your mind gets as numb as your butt?

I suspect that this isolation will be a big boon for eBooks. It is difficult to get to bookstores, if they are even open. It is much easier to download books. Cheaper too, especially if you subscribe to services such as Kindle Unlimited or Scribd. Here’s a tip: if you have Scribd you get unlimited audiobooks as part of your ten dollars a month subscription. Compared to Audiobooks.com, where you get two books a month for fifteen bucks. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Author’s Note I: I have a new book coming out today on Kindle. The title is Quarantine: love in the time of covid. It’s about two women quarantined alone in apartments that face each other. They have a love affair – you figure it out. Or better yet, buy it and read it.

Author’s Note II: The last book I published, Afternoon Delight, has been a complete bust. Even with the uptick in readership, almost no one is reading one. I believe it’s because I created the worst cover ever seen on a romance novel. What the hell was I thinking? It’s just plain depressing. I’m going to try to replace the cover with something more attractive and see if that helps.

Author’s Note III: There is a Spring Mega Lesfic Sale coming up. It’s scheduled to run from May 18 through May 22. More info will be available on iheartlesfic.com. I have submitted two books to be included in the sale for 99c each.

 

 

 

Making Friends

Outside a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.

~ Groucho Marx ~

The quote above has very little to do with this blog, I just like it. With all that’s going on around us right now, it’s good to have something to smile about.

I am slaving away on my next book right now. It’s about two women, one divorced and one who is in the process of divorcing, who had both cheated on their husbands. They get stranded in a blizzard and – you’ll have to wait until you read it to learn the rest. I’ve got a long way to go to get it ready for publication, but I plan on it being a novella, shorter than what I have been putting out. My reasoning is that I want to get it available to people are looking for new things to read while hunkering down at home. Think of it as me doing my part to make social distancing a little more tolerable.

I think the reason I am getting into this story so well is because even though they were cheating spouses, I like the protagonists so much. They are both strong, career-driven women who are learning about their own passions. Most of the lead characters in my books have been women I would have enjoyed having for friends, with the possible exception of Alex in Fit for Love. I never really warmed up to her, although Amy liked her a lot. I have created a lot of unlikable secondary characters; Treece’s mother in Finding Treece or Larry’s son in The Taste of Cyn being the two worst of the lot; but they provided necessary drama to the stories.

I have read, or at least started reading, books in which one, or both, of the mains were unlikable. That fact has nothing to do with the quality of the books, but they weren’t for me. Hawke’s Prey by Natasha West comes to mind. Julia Hawke, a college instructor, is a sexual predator. Each year she selects the student she wants to victimize. She spends months grooming her, then swoops in and takes what she wants. Stereotypical actions of an abuser. A lot of readers loved the book. I couldn’t finish it. I understand Julia mellowed, or at least became a more sympathetic character, as the story progressed. In fact the book was the first in a trilogy that was very popular and achieved a lot of critical acclaim. But it wasn’t for me. I have read and enjoyed quite a few of Ms. West’s later books, but they all had mains that were women I’d like to meet. I highly recommend The Plus One, and its sequel The Plus Two. I was disappointed she never got around to The Plus Three. Charlie and Amie are both sweethearts.

How about you? Do you enjoy reading stories about people you hate? Or are you like me and want to make friends with the heroines in the stories?

 

Author’s Note: My book The Taste of Cyn got to #6 on Amazon’s bestselling lesbian fiction chart today (brag, brag). That’s probably because it’s free on Kindle. There’s nothing like giving your stuff away to make yourself popular. You have until the fifth to get your free copy. Enjoy.

 

Accomplishments – Not

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
Robert A. Heinlein

Social distancing is easy for a writer, or a reader. These are solitary professions. The same as most everyone else, I’ve been staying home, avoiding crowds, washing my hands, and trying not to hoard toilet paper; all easy tasks. I’m retired so I have no job to go to, or lose. I live in the woods outside a relatively isolated community. And Walmart is rationing toilet paper. How hard could it be?

So why can’t I finish anything? At present time I am reading three different books. One is the lesfic novel by Clare Lydon I mentioned in the last post: Before You Say I Do. The second is a paranormal mystery, Freaky Fangs, by Amanda M. Lee. The third is Eliza Andrews’ Soldier of Dorsa, a lesbian sci-fi-slash-fantasy epic. They are all good stories and well-written. I’m also listening to an audiobook version of an Amada Quick novel (my equivalent of a comfort read). And at least once a day I download another book, read two or three pages, and abandon it. I just can’t seem to finish any of them.

The same with my writing. I did complete Afternoon Delight and got it out on Kindle Unlimited a couple of weeks ago, but that was mostly written before the pandemic. Since then I have started two novels, both standing at about 10K words. And both just sit there on my laptop not getting finished.

I read in other authors’ blogs how productive they are being, using this recess from their normal lives to work on, and complete, projects. I just flit from project to project, completing nothing.

How about you? Are you one of those productive types, getting things done that you had been putting off? Or are you like me, starting too many things and finishing none? Let me know. Maybe you will be in inspiration for all of us do-nothings.

Now I think I’ll take a break and go wash my hands.

 

Author’s Note: I will have an embarrassing anecdote posted on the I Heart Lesfic blog this week as part of T.B. Markinson’s Project Laughter. Coinciding with that, my book The Taste of Cyn will be free for five days on Amazon Kindle starting on April Fool’s Day. It’s a slow burn romance about two young women in, you guessed it, Omaha, Nebraska. Enjoy.

Hunker Down, Wash Your Hands, Read an Ebook

 

I have a writing addiction.

Prince

Hope you are washing your hands, hunkering down, washing your hands, social distancing, and washing your hands. And reading ebooks. Need a suggestion about what to read? I’ve got a new one out this week, Afternoon Delight. (if you’re wondering, afternoon delight is exactly what it sounds like) This is the eighth book I’ve published in exactly twelve months. Writing is indeed an addiction for some of us.

I had not intended to finish this book until next month. But social distancing means staying home. To me, staying home means writing. Ergo it’s out an month earlier than I expected. It’s time to start another now. Actually, I already started one, but I put it aside while I finished AD. Now I can get back to it.

My latest book is something of a departure for me. Nearly all of my other books have featured characters in their twenties, with the exception of Finding Treece in which the leads were in the early thirties. This one has two lead characters in their forties: Jo is forty-four and Maddy forty-eight. I’d like to say they were closer to my own age, but Jo is still thirty years younger than me (insert a sad emoji here).

Now that AD is published, I am going to try to do more reading. At the present time I’m reading Clary Lydon’s Before You Say I Do. Every time I pick up one of Ms. Lydon’s books I am humbled by what a skillful writer she is. Even though her characters are sometimes in outlandish situations (the lead in BYSID is a professional bridesmaid – whoever heard of such a thing), she writes so well you don’t question it. She is a consummate wordsmith, her characters are so real you think you should send them Christmas cards, and her dialog is always spot on. I want to write as well as Ms. Lydon does when I grow up.

 

Reading tip: If you’re still social distancing on April Fool’s Day, my book “The Taste of Cyn” will be free on Kindle for a limited time.

Did I mention – wash your hands.

Let’s All Celebrate ‘Read an eBook Week’

“I’ve got to stop being such a snob about leather-bound books, he reminded himself. E-books do have their moments.”

― Dan Brown, Inferno

 

This is Read an eBook Week. How are you observing it? If you need a suggestion, you could read one of mine.

In my bedroom I have a large collection of books, mostly paperback but also some hardbacks. I very seldom read them. For the past several years I have done nearly all of my reading digitally. I have sat and read a book on my tablet while the same book in hard copy was sitting on the shelf next to me. I prefer the digital format, and there are several reasons for that.

They are easy to carry and read. You can read with one hand. You don’t need to hold the book open with both hands.

If you fall asleep and the book drops into your lap, you don’t lose your place. The book remembers where you left off, no bookmarks needed.

You can read in the dark (although it is difficult to read in bright sunshine).

You can change the font when your eyes get tired.

You can take as many as you want anywhere you want. If I have my phone or my tablet, I can read. If I take a trip I can carry a hundred volumes with me, no book bag required. My pocket is my book bag.

I can read them anywhere. Ever try to stand in a long line at an airport and read a hardback book? I have, and it’s not easy – like it is with an eBook.

 

A lot of my friends claim that if they can’t hold a book in their hand they don’t feel like they are really reading. Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t to me. It should be the words that matter, not the medium that delivers them. They also claim an eBook doesn’t smell like a book. Huh? What does smell have to do with it?

If you are one of those people who like to balance a heavy book on your lap, using both hands to keep it on the right page so you can sniff the ink – spend this week trying out eBooks. Read a few (including a few of mine) and see if your opinion changes.

 

Progress Report: My latest book, “The Taste of Cyn,” has been out for three weeks now and it hit the stands with a resounding thud. Very few sold, and very few read on Kindle Unlimited. There have been no reader reviews, which seriously affects readership.If you do read some eBooks this week, please leave reviews. They are enormously important to the authors.

I am working on two books right now and hope to complete one of them, tentatively titled “Afternoon Delight,” by the end of the month. The second one doesn’t have a working title yet. Both will feature lead characters in their forties, which is a departure for me. I expect them to come in at around 40K words, which will make the novellas rather than full novels.

 

Not a Hermit

“A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery.”— Nelson Algren

I want to get something straight – I am not a hermit. I could be, but have never had the chance. What’s had made me think of this is the fact I recently decided to post on Facebook. I’ve had a Facebook account for maybe ten years, and had not posted, or even opened it, for at least five years. To many people that alone makes me a hermit.

When I first set up a Facebook page it had not yet become the all-invasive media ap it is now. Mostly young people, teens and tweens, were using it. I decided to try it and see if I could locate some old friends from way back when. I didn’t. Instead I ended up being connected with not-so-old friends that I didn’t miss at all. Plus a few relatives I no longer had anything in common with.

And I started getting details of their daily lives. Who they went to lunch with; where they went shopping; what their plans were for tomorrow. All stuff I would not have been interested in if they lived next door, not hundreds of miles away. I quickly lost interest.

About that time my wife started browsing the ap, and she’s hooked. It’s the first thing she checks in the morning. And the last thing she looks at before she goes to bed. Of course she likes cute kitten videos a lot more than I do. It works out well because she keeps me updated on what all my relatives are doing so I don’t have to.

I decided to post again because I am now an author. While hundreds of people all over the world have been reading my book, to my knowledge not a single person I know, love, or am related to has ever read a book by me. I thought that if I put a posting on FB someone would see it and be curious enough to read something. If that happened, they never told me. Either no one read the post, or no one followed up and read a book. It’s possible that someone did, and was too polite to announce that they didn’t like the book; a slim chance of that because many of my friends and relatives fail the politeness test.

In any event, I am not a hermit. I’ll keep trying, at least when I have a new book coming out.

 

Progress Report:  I will be publishing a new book this week. It’s not the one I started, over and over. It’s entirely new. A full length novel titled The Taste of Cyn. Cyn is short for Cynthia, who kisses Lou, short for Louise, at a New Year’s Eve party. They are lovers by Valentine’s Day. A lot of stuff happens in between. If you read it you’ll find out what.