Archive | September 2014

It’s Autumn

While the title might indicate a remarkable grasp of the obvious with respect to the seasons, it’s a nod to a Barbra Streisand song that’s been stuck in my head today. It’s off her “People” album (coincidentally, 50 years old this year). I hadn’t heard the song or the album in…46 (?) years. It’s not one of her big hits, but somehow, it stuck in the brain of a three year old. (My mother used to play Sinatra’s “September Of My Years” non-stop until I was as depressed as Frank. She admitted to feeling self-pity over turning 30. Yeah, 30. When I got her the CD, I did so with the proviso that she was never to play it in my presence. This condition pissed her off, but then, her self-pity wasn’t a barrel of monkeys for a 5 year old).


Link here:
“Autumn” sung by Barbra Streisand

She’s singing of a lost love, not something on my mind.

No, the lines that are sticking with me are “although the breeze is still, I feel a chill, it’s autumn.”

In my own bout of self-pity, the lines resonate, and well, if Barbra doesn’t resonate, I can always go Jay Z and “99 Problems” because a bro ain’t one of ’em.

The calendar reminds me that I am at the end of a particular piece if good fortune: when I needed a place it live in a hurry, the current roof over my head was offered to me, free of charge, within 24 hours, and I’ve even gotten a 2 week extension on my presence here. However, time’s up. And I need another such miracle.

I found a job in January when my unemployment benefits ran out. It paid poorly and the hours were irregular, but I couldn’t find anything in my usual, much higher-paying field. And 10 months later, I still haven’t. My boss made a dumbass comment the other day when I said something about how closely everything has to be budgeted, including and especially how much gas I use to get to work. I looked him in the eye and told him, “$9.50 an hour doesn’t go very far, even at 40 hours.” He didn’t have a comeback.

Progress I had made at improving my credit has been undone by this situation. Word to the wise: it takes ages, a dispensation from the Vatican, and the intervention of Seal Team 6 to raise your credit score, but that sucker WILL fall by 60 points overnight if you miss credit card payments. It’s a rigged game. Know this as you play.

I am a strong person; given the trajectory of my life, it’s been a necessity. There are times, though, when even the strongest collapse from the weights on their shoulders.

Although one of my friends, who is a world-class psychic, has assured me that things will come through in “the eleventh hour,” in my mind, it’s 11:45 and the clock is running.

“I am where I need to be” has applied, in a literal sense, to my job of test driving cars and making sure I’m in the right lanes to stay on my route or avoid a blocked lane. It has applied, also in a literal sense, to my housing, as I am in a place that matches the homes I’ve daydreamed of buying/renting (so I know it exists) and at an affordable rate. It’s been quiet, beautiful with flowers and fruit and hummingbirds to delight. I’ve felt safe, secure, and until this week, at peace.

“It’s autumn” also refers to the time of my life. I’m over 50. While I have skills, education, and experience (not to mention a pretty solid reputation) to land a good job in due diligence and mortgage banking,…no one’s biting on the resumes I’ve sent this summer. I try to tune out the Facebook news feed items that talk about “50 is the new 65 when it comes to hiring.” I have friends older than me who are getting hired, but they have skills and connections I lack. I’m feeling a chill. Social Security is years away, and I (like millions of other Americans) don’t have retirement savings. They’ve been lived on.

I want to believe that miracles can happen at any time. Right now would be a good time.

Odds N Ends

The Blogger in chief here has spent the better part of the weekend in bed dealing with a cold and fever (either waiting for the Aleve to kick or having hallucinatory dreams only slightly less weird than the ones you get from opiates. It’s why I avoid painkillers). This being the case, this will be a brief, visual post.


You have a week. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I may run a campaign to go with it.


If you’re in the Austin area or want an excuse to go, wait until Feb 7 and I’ll meet you there.


Just plain ol’ good advice.

The WordPress App for IPad…

Reminder: e-books, sale, all platforms, Sept 30.


Need a link?
Buy Now!

We also now have a banner for the Burbank event on October 18. If you are within striking distance, please do come by:


(This has gotten so much easier since I installed the WordPress app. Somewhere, the ghost of Steve Jobs is snickering at me)

And since I’m testing out the “can I actually get this stupid furshlugger ipad to do what I want?”…
promo video

And since I can easily link to YouTube here, I’m going to close with one of. Y favorite things from this year. I don’t really stay up on pop music, but K Allen and company did a heroic spoof of “Talk Dirty to Me” which I’ve watched many times and it still makes me chuckle:

Talk Nerdy To Me

On Figuring Out What I Need to Succeed

First of all, the books are still for sale across all e-book platforms for 99 cents each until September 30. and there’s a handy-dandy list of links under the “Buy Now” tab up topside (nautical term from when my dad had a houseboat).

I have been remiss in my duties as a blogger and author of a blog by missing he last two positing dates (self- imposed. I intend to keep to Monday and Thursday). Laziness interfered, to be honest. I didn’t have much to say beyond, “Hey, buy my books!” and to my mind, that message gets old pretty fast. I deeply dislike high pressure salesmen (women) who, even if you politely decline help, insist on following you around in the store. Hey, buy my books

Just 99 Cents during September

Just 99 Cents during September

The opening of Dunkin Donuts in Santa Monica is proof that not only is there a God, He/She hears and answers prayers. That first sip of iced coffee (cream and one Sweet N Low) was as deeply satisfying and wonderful as I remembered. (With respect to the Red Sox, I didn’t make any requests this year and it shows. My guys won the World Series last year. I’m not greedy. But, Father/Mother, can you do something with the Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins?) As I was kicking back with my iced coffee, Old Fashioned Doughnut, the Sunday New York Times crossword, and the aforementioned Pats pounding on the Vikings, I was content. I was checking Facebook and one of my friends had a thread going about children’s TV from way back when. The thread had led off with this picture:

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo

And asked if the reader could identify him (Captain Kangaroo, of course). I was reminded of the weekend TV show out of Boston called “Boomtown.” It was Western-themed starring Rex Trailer.

. image

The discussion made me remember my great ambition as a little kid. It wasn’t to be a lawyer, customer service representative, or mortgage underwriter (all of which I’ve been been doing for the past thirty years). I wanted to be an entertainer when I grew up (in my 5 year old mind’s eye, I saw myself tap dancing on stage. I love dance, took tap for 2 years. I sucked) When I was 8, I wrote a “finish the story” for Jack & Jill magazine that earned an honorable mention. Of course, I thought was the bee’s knees as a child author (and I remember a couple of stories I turned in in grade school that have, mercifully, been lost in time. They were pretentious. Yes, a fourth grader can be pretentious). I’ve started and stopped a bunch of stories and ideas. To me, it’s a lot of fun to think up the idea and I’ll scribble notes, snatches of dialogue, flashes of inspiration and then….eh. I have notes for stories ranging for a political satire to vampire satire to dystopian short stories and all the way to erotica (Yup. I can write smut. Embarrasses the hell out of certain family members, but I can make you jump your significant other). Why haven’t you seen these things? Life interferes; I work at jobs that leave me exhausted at the end of the day (focus, focus, focus) and in the case of customer service, emotionally drained. If I sit down to write, I hear a chorus of voices in my head (some people around now, some dead) telling me, “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be looking for a job and you’re going to need a place to live. You don’t have time for anything else. Your job is to find a job and a home. When you have a new job and you’re not on the street, THEN you can write.” (yeah, my default setting is beating myself up) even if this is what I want to do for a living? “Well, how many books have you sold? Enough to live on? No? Get back on Craigslist (which doesn’t really have what I’m qualified to do).” I have an author page on Facebook that doesn’t see a lot of traffic. It’s mostly “buy my books” and promotional pictures for you to buy my books and links back to this website. On my personal page, I’ve been posting general good wishes of the the things I’d like to see come into my life. They don’t always get a bunch of “likes,” but I get feedback that people appreciate them. However… I run a third page called “Medieval Merriment.” (The name alone has me spelling medieval correctly on a consistent basis. An achievement). I post silly, medieval-themed stuff like this:

image That one, I started up about 3 weeks ago, mid-August, and it has taken off. Over 300 followers already and according to the statistics, the pictures are getting shared and circulated at a staggering (to me) rate. One I posted yesterday has already been viewed over 1,500 times. So what’s the difference? Medieval Merriment is just entertainment. “Here’s a funny thing. Look and laugh.” It is, in a way, the thing I wanted to do as a kid: entertain people. I’ve never really been comfortable in a sales role unless I can engage someone one on one and make sure that what I’m selling is truly what he/she wants. I tried posting a couple of cartoons about writing, but that didn’t result in increased traffic. I want that traffic. I’ve tried engaging people by asking questions: crickets. I helped an author friend with a book launch and reviewing her book. Her books are going gangbusters (partly because she’s in the local romance author clique. Listen up and remember this: you only graduate from high school. The social dynamic remains throughout life). She has not reciprocated with boosting. So, it’s up to me. I’ve begun tweeting some of my favorite inspirational quotes, such as the following: image (Thank God for memes, because that 140 character limit is a bear at times) I’m also trying to “cross pollinate” on the Medieval Merriment page to see if I can interest some of those folks in my writing. As yes, I have an idea for a medieval story. Very vague (like mysteries? Read the Brother Cadfael books), but the seed is there. If you’re reading this page and you’re on Facebook, let me give you the link to go like my author page: Y’all have a good day. I’m going to follow Thoreau’s advice and advance co differently in the direction of my dreams.   Oh yeah: please share the hell out of this page.