Dead Weight

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Why do we write certain stories? There are probably as many answers as there are writers. Growing up, I wanted to write a novel – I finally realized it was a question of when. I had to start or it was never going to happen. At the time, I was enamored of scuba diving and wanted to explore that on the page. Daydreams, what ifs, fragments of overheard conversations, curiosity and a few unknowns go into the mix when I’m writing (more of a pantster than a plotter).

I remember the chlorine-scented moment at our first pool-side scuba class when I realized I was really going to have to do it myself. That moment of whoa! helped me write the novel. No one was going to put my tank on for me, no one else could breathe for me or take that giant step off the deck or monitor my gauges. I was responsible for my survival. Yes, you dive with at least one other person and yes, you learn what you are doing before you enter the ocean, but in large part, as under the sea, so in front of the screen. Taking a leap into the ocean helped me to start and keep putting words on the page until I had a book. And with both, once I was into it, the fun took over.

Diving the giant kelp forest off Catalina Island feels like flying. It’s so beautiful. Seals came up and blew bubbles inds scuba diving001 imitation of those from our tanks. Shafts of sunlight danced through giant stalks of swaying green as bright orange Garibaldi darted in and out. It’s a magical experience and I wanted to give that to readers, plus a “what if” experience of things going to extremes.

What dead weight have I shed? The dead weight of awful generational patterns and anger at my damaged and capriciously cruel mother; certainly of relationships that did not work out. I shed the dead weight of behaving as if my time here is unlimited.

For the month of June, I’m offering my first novel, DEAD WEIGHT, for 99 cents via Smashwords. Please buy it! Thank you.

Now, what about you? Please share your own “dead weight” experience in the comments (play nice).

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Portrait of a Bookstore

One of my favorite places – and most meaningful – is closing. Portrait of a Bookstore is the first place I gave a reading for my first novel, DEAD WEIGHT. They said at the time that it was one of their most successful events 😉

I love Portrait of a Bookstore – loved it before I ever thought it possible to read there – and Imagewill miss it. Our community will miss it. I am so incredibly grateful to Lucia Silva who gave me that opportunity to “go public.” The staff is the best. And so goodbye to another independent bookstore…

From their blog:

After 26 glorious years, 14 of them spent happily inside Aroma Café, Portrait of a Bookstore is gracefully retiring. How could we say goodbye after 26 years of such success? In the words of Orson Welles, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” This is our happy ending. Our official closing date is May 17, 2012.

On May 17, 1986, Julie and Frank von Zerneck, along with their children Danielle and Frank, Jr.,  gave birth to this bookstore, which grew to be a haven, a home-away-from-home, for so many members of this community. One of the smallest bookstores in the world, “small but mighty,” as we’ve always been called, our selection of books was impeccably curated, worthy of the praise of any astute bibliophile.

Their last day is May 17, 2012 and everything in the store is 50% off.