Thursday, August 17, 2017
It was not possible to grow up in the sixties without having science thrust upon you at every turn. These were delicious years for science teachers. These were the tornado shelter years, the time of Duck & Cover nuclear drills. The moon landing on every television in every home. Suddenly there were vaccines for everything, the birth control pill was invented. And these were just the things we noticed, remarked upon.Behind the scenes the whole world was being changed.
But in the middle of it all, what I remember, for unusual reasons, was the eclipse.There were projects for building boxes with pinholes. There were discussions of angles, timing. There was chit chat about where we should be, what to do, and how to behave. Just like there is right now.
And then there was my mother’s simple, exhausted, I just-had-a-baby-admonition: For the entire day, just to be safe, don’t look at the sun. No matter what. Not once.
But it was summer, and we ran outside like untended dogs, all the neighborhood kids, which included mostly girls but a few boys, one a year older who lived next door. I was six and he was seven? Eight? We were that young. Somehow he and I were together, alone, on the hill in his backyard, pulling patches of grass up with our hands, throwing them. Braiding them. Trying to whistle with them. Making the long hot July day go by. The sun was directly overhead, which is why we were sitting, there, tempting fate. We talked about not looking. That we could go blind. What it would be like to go blind. The boxes we were supposed to use sat next to us on the lawn. Where was my brother? Where was his sister? Where was my friend who lived across the street? I don’t know.
"I can't look," I said.
He leaned over to kiss me, his lips garden-cool on mine, and for a brief moment, his head, with his blond crew cut and dirt streaks on his forehead, completely covered the threat of the sun. I know because I opened my eyes.
Spoiler alert: I am not blind.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Not all book blogs are equal, that's for sure. We get busy, don't have time or energy to write the beautiful essays that some love, or the funny anecdotes that others prefer, or we fall asleep with books on our chests, and don't get through them, and can't even write a post about books we've loved. But some people never disappoint, their blogs continue to weave interesting things together, and one person who does that, unerringly, is Beth Kephart Books. I was honored to have her reflections on THE FIFTH OF JULY included as part of her all-American road trip. The America I am writing about looks beautiful on the surface, but has so many cracks in its foundation. But all is not lost. It never is. For the rest of this weekend, if you like my Facebook Author Page, there's a free mini-book sampling of THE FIFTH OF JULY. If you hurry. It won't be July forever.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
A tangled web, perhaps, but a simple price. Thank you Barnes & Noble, for adding me to your 500 under $5. Here 'tis.
Or if you're a kindle person, here.
Also, I should mention the BIG GOODREADS GIVEAWAY on my novel THE FIFTH OF JULY. Please add it to your list!
That's more than enough linking for one day, but it's raining here, and rain means reading. I'll take that as a good sign that you will.
Friday, October 21, 2016
I have a microblog at verysincerely.com, in which I write anonymous letters about things that amaze me, scare me, irk me. If you're interested, here was this week's:
Dear Chamber of Commerce President:
You. Yes, you. You with the boundless energy. Enough to run a business and an organization, and still coach your sons’ soccer team. Always smiling, always cajoling, the customers loved you, trusted you. Who wouldn’t?
You hired people on instinct, you said, not on experience, not on age.
What did you see in me at age 15? Energy, intelligence? Or did you see in me the shyness, the uncertainty, that would make me freeze in confusion when you rubbed up against me in the dark back stairway? Turning a tight corner into a do-si-do that always ended in a rough full frontal “hug” up against the damp wall, a move I had no vocabulary word for.
Are you thinking of me now as you watch the news?
I remember your name.
But somehow I doubt you remember anything about me but my body.
After School Employee
Friday, June 17, 2016
Monday, May 30, 2016
For many years, before I was published, I related not so much to other authors, but to musicians. Indie singer/songwriters just left of center. Not commercial enough to be commercial. The most influential for me was Aimee Mann, whose lyrics and voice I've long admired. My new novel, about halfway finished, is set in July in Nantucket, a tragic summer for one family, and the anniversary of another event that changed one of their lives long ago. The song "Fourth of July" by Aimee Mann has been something of a lighthouse for me on this book. Or a dark house, as the case may be. Long live the independent voices.