Blasts from the Past

For the next week my publisher is having a Valentine’s Day giveaway.  At first I didn’t think I should participate.  My characters are generally in such desperate plights that romance is the last thing on their mind.  However,  they are all young women and thus it is impossible to avoid clumsy flirtations, heart palpitations, despondency and yes, sex.  Particularly for my youngest, Riley O’Tannen of the Graduation Present, a self-proclaimed klutz who misinterprets a young man’s interest until it’s almost too late.

Riley’s exploits are very loosely based on my own goof-ball  adventures europe5dollars1in Europe 40 years ago. In 2014 I came clean in a series of posts listed here:


Three cute French guys and my traveling companion Carolyn from “Oeufs in a Van”

Fortunately I saved many of the letters and pictures from that time.


Carolyn gets carried out to sea by cute German guy in “The Samwitch Stand.”

Yes, as you can probably tell most of our time was spent hanging out with “cute” guys and trying not to get carried out to sea.


Letter from cute Italian guy in “Pierre Andrei Makes His Move”

Sigh. Do you have any embarrassing travel stories?  Fess up!

BTW:  Two other authors I’ve introduced you to on this blog are having give-aways:


Duke Miller’s unforgettable and poetic memoir of twenty-five years as a relief worker

Walking Home Front

Arleen William’s compelling glimpse into the lives of emigres in America


Playing For Free

The song currently haunting me is Joni Mitchell’s Real Good for Free.

A famous singer, on her way to a sold-out venue, notices a clarinetist alone on the corner.  She rolls down the window and listens. Damn, he’s playing real good, she thinks as people ignore him. They haven’t seen him on television. He doesn’t have a “name.” So, to them what he’s giving away has no value.

No one knows why some people reach the top while others never get past the bottom rung. Marketeers and motivational speakers will tell you – for a fee – that they know the answer.  But there is no one answer.  Like the tide, popular trends change with the moon. SurferWriters and artists surf on fickle seas. They may catch a wave and be able to ride it for a long, long time, or stand up briefly only to be tossed back into the sea. Or, as is the case for most of us, spend their lives on longboards watching the sun set on yet another waveless day.

Next week (Nov 8 – 14) my publisher has decided to kick off the holidays by giving away selected books, including mine. The idea is to make their own waves.


Dates are wrong above. Actual dates are November 9-14

Book giveaways I’ve been assured are quite common (even amongst the big name publishers) but I have to admit I’m scared. You know the feeling you have when planning a party and wondering if anyone will come? That’s the way I feel today.

Here are the Amazon links: Flipka, The Graduation Present and Willful Avoidance.  Grab a copy of one or all on me!