I've been sidelined the past two weeks with a huge RA flare, and while I still have numerous aches I am beginning to come out of that foggy funk that accompanies a flare and leaves me unable to focus on anything and too fatigued to do much but sit in a chair and stare into space (while visions of stories dance in my head) feeling frustrated and disappointed that these flares come more often and I'm NSAID intolerant, which means there is very little I can take to knock down the inflammation. I'm also allergic to prednisone. And I absolutely refuse to use opioids because I do not like how messed up they make me feel- I have this thing about mental clarity.
Anyway-while I've been doing a little bit to get this group up and running, I really need to give a huge nod to our webmaster, Kelly, who has been pouring her heart and soul (and IT/HTML skills) into putting up the member bios and then creating the new Gallery page, which is still a work in progress as she doesn't have clear images of all members book covers yet, but what she does have she's done a great job with! The books are shown alphabetically by title and some may have older version covers. If your book has a new cover or your book is on the gallery page with a place holder label because she doesn't have an image, you can send her a good scan or picture of the new cover or your book's cover to firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll swap it out/put it up. She was scanning covers from my collection of local author books so I might have older covers in my collection. Anyway- if a public viewer says, "Oh, I heard Delilah of Sunhats and Swans is a good book they would find the image in the books with titles that start with D. Or, hey, Kelly has a new book called Teleport out- I saw it on facebook" you'd find that under T. Some of us are known by our book titles (like I'm known as Miss Peculiar although only 4 of my 25 books have Miss Peculiar in the title. Wouldn't it be cooler if I was known as Talon...another series with 4 books in it so far about a frosty Medical Examiner/Coroner who is also a smokin' hot grim reaper and his volatile relationship with his portal who is much more than he's realized she is). Anyway- Kudos to Kelly for creating the Gallery page. And yes, she has added a link to Blue Umbrella Books where many of us have books on the local author shelf and where many of us also hold author events thanks to Jessica Martin's wholehearted support of the literary arts- and we'll also be holding meetings in her open floor space soon!
Meanwhile...today I have made attempt #6 at starting the novel about the clockmaker inspired by seeing the mechanical clock tower near the twin bridges open at high noon one Saturday this past May. I am starting with the ending this time and working from there.
I did feel well enough to go downtown for a little over an hour yesterday for Busker's Day and the Summer Reading Kickoff sponsored by the library. I sat under the Artworks Westfield tent chatting with Artworks and WhipCity Wordsmith member Wayne Weatherwax about various subjects such as transportation museums we've visited, how to fly a helicopter and the upcoming airshow. Then I risked life and limb to cross the street to the green (there really is green grass on the green which surprised me- from the street you just see concrete) On the green I visited with authors Melissa Volker (another WhipCity Wordsmith member) and author Tom Deady who were sharing a table. I have Melissa's books in my local author library, but wanted to meet Tom and check out his books. His book Haven just won a Bram Stoker Award. I have read some Stephen King in the past from Salem's Lot through Tommyknockers, although I skipped It because of Pennywise (clown phobia). I thought John would enjoy Haven, and possibly Kelly, too, and I figured I'd read it also. So I took home both of his books he had for sale, and gave him a copy of Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales, Volume I as a hello, nice to meet you gift.(I gave Melissa Kelly's marked up proof copy of Teleport so she could check that out, plus my one and only young adult novel Medea and my one and only young reader book Halloween Story, both self published under the pen name Victoria Bell, because she writes young adult and I value her opinion since it's really not a genre I normally write. These are stories I wrote for Kelly in elementary and middle school that she's read over and over again through the years. I then headed back across the street with photographer Danny Nason and hiked up the street to where Runtz Mini Hot Dogs was set up in the empty lot. Marion and Chip where there playing their guitars. I grabbed a soda then headed back to Main Street to visit Jessica at Blue Umbrella Books. Holy moly! She really was wearing a dress as Wayne had said earlier! She looked summery! I hung out for a few more minutes under the Artworks tent with Tom Sawyer (musician) and Andrew Surprise, then had a brief talk with Cheryl Crowe as we headed to our cars. By the time I got home it felt good to put my feet up. Revere, of course, took the opportunity to settle on my chest for a catnap- and I took a brief nap, too, until Kelly got home from her day at the East Windsor and Branford Trolley Museums.
After dinner, after doing as much editing as I could take of my own novel, The Victoria Wayfarer Investigation, I cracked open Tom Deady's Eternal Darkness and began reading at about 10:40PM (never a good time to begin reading a creepy book, but what the hey, it was summoning me and when a book calls to me, I usually obey its command!). Well...at twelve-oh-two AM I had to force myself to put a sticky note bookmark between the pages and close the covers and go to bed so I could get up before 8AM to have breakfast with Kelly before she went off to the trolley museum to be a motorman today. If I lived in a world where I made the rules and I had no other responsibilities I would have been up reading all night! What I've read so far I've liked. I'll read more tonight because I really don't mind reading creepy stuff late at night-it doesn't give me nightmares.) The only thing that has bothered me about the book so far are the flies...I've never seen anything like it before! Bugs creep me out! (But it is a cool idea, and I am always one to appreciate a creative and cool idea!)
I also exchanged text messages with my friend Patrice who now lives in FL last night while assembling Mike Brenner's five connected trolley stories into one binder (in the correct order) in preparation for doing some editing for him (Kelly will also help him out with this first time writing project). She and I talked about writing. I've always thought that she has a compelling story to share in her. She just needs to buckle down and start writing it. One of these times I will convince her that this is the path she needs to take.
Now, I'm going to go back to writing for another hour before Kelly gets home from the museum and dinner needs to be put on the table. Then there'll probably be some more writing happening after dinner, between ironing scrubs for the week, and some reading before bed.