It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting accustomed to a new computer (after seven years) and helping friends of mine either publish or get the word out about their books. First, I have to agree with all my blogging buddies who find WordPress’ new block editor a pain in the butt. I’ve lost hours of time trying the figure it out. Ugh.

On to more pleasant topics, back in September (golly it seems so long ago doesn’t it?) my friend Mary published her fourth book! Wow. Considering that Mary holds down a job, is married and has children still around the house and is still able to not only write novels but also help other authors promote their work is truly mind-blowing for me.

Mary’s novels generally involve young women who’ve had to overcome either eating disorders, obsessions with a life that could’ve been, or the old and familiar bugaboo to us all … choosing and then sticking with the wrong partner. Her newest I Doesn’t Have to Be That Way addresses the reasons behind toxic relationships both in the workplace and in our personal life.  It is an honest portrayal that I’m sure was difficult to write but bravo to Mary for sticking it out.

Here was my five star review:

It Doesn’t have to be that Way is about Molly and Fred, two people with little in common except that both are stuck in a rut. Molly fell into her office job directly out of college and, although the work environment has gotten toxic, needs a kick in the pants to move on. The same could be said for her personal life. In flashbacks, we find out that her pattern has always been to rush into, and then find excuses to remain in, unhealthy relationships with men. Fred, who’s in his seventies, still mourns the fate of his brother who may or may not have killed someone in a PTSD-fueled rage. His failed marriage has left him only comfortable with virtual relationships (via his shortwave radio) or with women young enough to have been the daughter he never had (Molly.) As both begin to change direction they realize their futures might be tragically intertwined. 

Mary’s very happy pooch agrees with me!

I interviewed Mary after the publication of her first novel when we were both still with Booktrope. It’s hard to believe that was back in 2014.  Over the years I’ve come to adore this lady. She is classy, generous and just a really great chum.

Tomorrow: a new book from Duke Miller who, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know quite well.

11 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

  1. Thank you so much, Jan, for taking the time to dedicate a blog post to my writing and new book. YOU are a wonderful friend and a truly great writer. I’m extremely grateful. As for the new WordPress editor, I also find it terribly frustrating. The hardest part of blogging used to be the writing, but now it’s the formatting. Ugh. Finally, IDHTBTW is my third book, not fourth! I wish I’d written four! Maybe someday.

      • As far as I know, you can use whichever editor you want to for any given article. Here’s what I do: For the classic editor, go to My Site; click on WP Admin, which will bring up the Dashboard. On the Dashboard, click on Posts. That will bring up a screen that has “Add New” near its top. There’s a dropdown menu for Add New, and Classic Editor will be a choice there. Click on Classic Editor, and you’ll be able to write using the CE. If you later save your story as a draft and then want to go back to it, go to Dashboard and find your draft post. Hover over the draft post title’s name and a bunch of words will appear, including “classic editor”. Click on CE and the story will be displayed in the CE format.

    • The Classic Editor does still exist…for now. I think as of 2022, it’s toast…possibly earlier. As it stands now, it has lost much functionality. In late 2018, I noticed that the “proofread” button disappeared. Slowly, other things began to disappear. I work in the text tab instead of the visual tab as I am a web programmer. It used to be that the text tab “implied” some HTML tags. Even if you dabbled with the code, paragraph tags and line break tags were implied. Not anymore. If I don’t hack out or , the words are all catawampus. It’s only going to get worse. I’m hanging on to the Classic Editor with teeth and nails.

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