Saturday, August 31, 2019

Hi, Ho, Come to the Fair

I’m excited because next week on Sunday afternoon I’ll be working at the Gold Country Writers’ booth at the Gold Country Fair in Auburn, CA.

The fair goes on for several days and I’ll only be there for a few hours, but it will be fun to hang out with some of my writer friends.

All of our books will be available during the whole fair, from 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, the fifth until 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, the 8th.

There’s something about the tradition of county fairs that reminds me of our country’s history - and even the history of the world. Fairs have been going on for centuries and I’m excited about participating in this one.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Marigold And The Snoring King

This cute book by J.D. Remple reminds me of the classic stories I used to hear when I was a kid.  It has the typical three act structure with the first thing not working, the second thing not working, and the third succeeding.

But in this book the one trying the three things isn’t the main character. It’s the king, who snores so loudly he keeps the entire kingdom awake at night and can’t stop.

The real main character is Marigold, who has a solution for the problem, but isn’t allowed to share it until the climax. And she does solve the problem, but I won’t give away the secret of what she does.

J.D. Remple has done a great job of telling a story kids will love and the illustrations by Kim Sponaugle show the characters and story perfectly.

Marigold And The Snoring King is a book kids will love to have read to them at bedtime again and again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

At It Again

“Oh, Janet, you have SUCH an imagination!” my mother used to say.

Well, my imagination is at it again.

I recently learned that a family from India has bought several service stations in my community, and that gave me an idea.

What if our enemies in the Taliban were to arrange for hundreds of their members and friends to buy every service station in the USA? Then they could cause major problems for us by refusing to sell gas so we’d have no transportation. And maybe they’d even blow up all the stations and start huge fires all over the country. 

Of course that couldn’t really happen because not all service station owners would be willing to sell. And many people could use electric cars, bikes, or other forms of transportation. (And I’m sure the local family from India are not members of the Taliban.)

But it might be an idea for a sci-fi book. (Writers, feel free to use the idea since I don’t write things like that.)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Writing History

When I was a kid (back when kids could play outside without adult supervision) sometimes we’d write notes to each other by scratching the backs of leaves with sticks, or by scratching sticks in the dirt. Those would soon disappear. 

I wonder if early humans gave messages to each other that way. They couldn’t read and write, but could have used symbols.

The first writing we know about was scratched onto rocks or clay tablets. Those lasted.

Then some people wrote on animal skins or papyrus on scrolls. 

When paper was invented books had to be written and sewn together by hand. It took a whole work day for scribes to write one chapter from the Bible and those had to be translated.

When Gutenberg invented the printing press he didn’t sell many copies of the Bible. (I once got to mend one of those when I worked in a library!) Rich people already had handwritten copies of the Bible and the lower classes couldn’t read. Gutenberg made most of his money by printing small things - like fliers. The advertising industry can thank him.

A few hundred years ago lots of people were literate and books were published by the hundreds or even thousands.

Today lots of us read on our phones or other electronic devices.

Maybe someday instead of cellphones we’ll have brain implants. Then some evil world government will take over and control us. (Can you tell I’m a writer?)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

We Too

I rarely review books for adults, but I can’t resist sharing about this powerful book for adults. We Too by Mary DeMuth is about sexual abuse.

The author experienced this herself as a child, and has written this book in hopes that it will help the many other women who have experienced that kind of trauma.

Our culture tends to hide things like that, but by sharing the information in this book DeMuth will probably help hundreds -or possibly thousands - of people deal with their own traumatic experiences. And, by making the rest of us aware of the problem, hopefully the book will help our society as a whole find ways to prevent others from becoming victims in the future.

This book is not for the squeamish, but it can make huge difference in the lives of people who have experienced this kind of abuse and those who want to help them.
I admire the author for having the courage to share everything in this book.

Saturday, August 3, 2019


A week or so ago I mentioned some problems on my blog and on Facebook.

I’m sorry to have been whining. Actually, problems can be a good thing.

As a writer I can tell you if there’s no conflict, there’s no plot.

Imagine how boring the world - and people - would be if nobody ever had any problems.

Like the characters in fiction, the interesting things in our lives are how we dealt with problems and what the results were.

Looking back, my life has included some tragedy, comedy, romance and, at my age, some of it is now historical fiction. And the fact that I’m writing this at my computer and sharing it on the internet would have been considered science fiction when I was young.

And, like characters in books, I’ve been shaped in many ways by the plot events I’ve experienced.

My life has been exciting and I anticipate a happy ending.

How about your lives?