Bird of Paradise: Romantic Suspense Novel Set on the . . .

Posted by admin on Thursday Aug 15, 2013 Under Uncategorized

Mexican BeachFinally! After all the proofreading and all the formatting and all the figuring out how to get Palace of the Blue Butterfly on Amazon Books and Goodreads, I‘m starting to revise my second romantic suspense novel Bird of Paradise.

This is sort of what I look like these days -- only no fishbowl, no fish, no green branches, just me staring out into space. Any normal person would wonder what I’m doing. Well just FYI: Yesterday, my imagination took me to a beach on Mexico's Pacific coast. I felt the sand on the soles of my feet, the wind in my hair, heard the waves, the shells being pulled out to sea, and in this trance, characters emerged from nowhere, for example, the French guy -- Francois Richter. Where did he come from? He wasn’t in my first draft. But Bee, my main character, opened the door of the van, and there he was in . . .

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I Keep Thinking About Something Adrienne Rich . . .

Posted by admin on Thursday Aug 8, 2013 Under Uncategorized

. . . wrote about women and lying. Why? Well, because I've been thinking a lot these days about blogging and truth-telling. You know, the opposite of lying. I discovered women's blogs when I moved out of the city. How? Looking for recipes. Back in the Bay Area, I would have simply grabbed a copy of Saveur on the way into the supermarket. Oh look. We'll have Thai inspired shrimp skewers with cilantro jasmine rice. Done.

In the boonies, it's not so easy. See Jane search for recipes and come up with all these women's blogs. Like Etsy, you can get lost reading about these women's live. What struck me then, and what I think has . . .

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Thinking about Derek Wolcott, Adrienne Rich and. . .

Posted by admin on Thursday Aug 1, 2013 Under Uncategorized

Dining Room GardenI read an article recently in which a critic made a disparaging remark about women's blogs, how it was fortunate that so many women out in the sticks had an outlet. An outlet? An outlet? As opposed to, say, writing book reviews in a journal that probably has far less readers than those little, ole, bloggy thingies, right? Okay, Jane, breathe. Breathe deeply.

Anyway, the snide remark got me thinking about a speech the poet Adrienne Rich gave at Smith College thirty four years ago during the height of the feminist movement. I had to dig around to find the quote I wanted. Here it is . . .

"When those who have the power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see you or hear you . . . when someone with authority describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked in the mirror and saw nothing. It takes some strength . . .

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Blackberry Picking: Every Summer I Think of This Poem

Posted by Darren on Wednesday Jul 24, 2013 Under Uncategorized

Fresh Blackberries on the VineWhile I've been getting my new website Mexicotrilogy.com up, I've been picking blackberries daily, fighting the bees to get to them. They are so dark and sweet I often don't use sugar with them. Recently, I've taken to making a super simple blackberry cobbler. So simple. Here it is: Put 4 cups of blackberries in a greased 9 by 9 dish. Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a microwave. Add 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 to 1 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir this together into kind of a dough. Can be crumbly. Pinch off enough dough to make small golfball size balls and flatten into discs with your hands about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Lay discs on top of the blackberries and cook for forty-forty-five minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Your husband will love you forever.

Like all homey simple recipes, you may have to adjust the sugar, depending on the blackberries and your taste. Don't add more . . .

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Mexicotrilogy.com launched: A Celebratory Dinner Al Fresco

Posted by admin on Wednesday Jul 24, 2013 Under Uncategorized

Grilled Scallops, Honeydew and Avocado SalsaOkay, so if we still lived in the Bay Area, we'd probably celebrate the launch of my book and the new website Mexicotrilogy.com at Gary Danko's, or Boulevard or even the old sentimental favorite Chez Panisse. But we don't. Good news is no waiting one month for reservations, no major attitude. (I remember my mother rolling her eyes at Chez Panisse and drawling, "They act like I've never seen a candied violet before in my life.")

However, if I want food that good I have to cook it. More good news. If you keep it very simple, it's possible. (Okay, not the white corn and lobster soup that I had there that I will never forget, but still . . .) As this was a celebration, I didn't want to spend hours slaving. I'd already done that on the book and website. In Food and Wine Magazine, I found a great simple recipe . . .

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J.K. Rowlings undercover bookIn April of this year, Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little Brown, published a mystery novel by an unknown author, Robert Galbraith, titled Cuckoo's Calling. It got some nice reviews, including starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly, as well as praise from well-known authors in the genre. You know how many copies it sold in three months? Five Hundred, as in 500 all over the world.

If Robert Galbraith had really been Robert Galbraith, the one with the complete biography at the back of the book detailing his service in the army, his work in civilian security etc. etc., he would never have earned back his advance. It's fair to say, he might never have been heard of again. But, Robert Galbraith was as complete a fiction as the book itself. The author, finally outed in an anonymous tweet, was none other than J.K. Rowling. Yes, that J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame. I'd also venture to guess that if Robert Galbraith hadn't really been J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, but rather let's say, Joe Blow or even Jane Rosenthal, and said writer created such a . . .

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Janes Book on Amazon . . . Robert Galbraith. That's the story for this week's blog post. Read on, and you'll see why.

I sort of disappeared for a few months. Why? Because I was getting Palace of the Blue Butterfly, my own debut romantic suspense novel, up on Amazon. That, friends, was a lot of work. Like many things, having children for one, I had no idea what I was in for. Also, life sort of intervened there, too, with a few hard knocks and blows. More about that later, and how . . .

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The Mill River Recluse and the Story of Another . . .

Posted by admin on Thursday Nov 15, 2012 Under Uncategorized

Working Girl PosterHere's the second installment in a series about four women who've taken fate in their own hands. I mean, if you don't do it, no one else will. I'm pretty sure of that. In this case, the women wanted a published book. You, on the other hand may want something else, and I think these stories serve as a guide. At least for me, they do.

I've learned a lot of practical stuff from these women's struggles, but, more importantly, I've learned not to be afraid of breaking rules and to develop a very thick skin when it comes to other people's negativity. They're not going to help you anyway, and if and when you do succeed, they'll be the first to jump on the bandwagon. Latest tale to prove that? An agent telling a self-published writer she'd previously rejected something like "Whatever I said before forget about it. That was then, this is . . .

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Where I’ve Been Since I Last Posted

Posted by admin on Thursday Nov 8, 2012 Under Uncategorized

Janes DaughterI'd thought about going to the big Self-Publishing Book Expo that was held in NYC October 27. Good thing I didn't. Sandy, anyone? I went to New Mexico instead to see my daughter. There were some medical issues, shall we say, and her husband was on his pilot's hitch. She needed her Mom. And her Dad. So off we went.

We watched movies, ate green chile at Tomasita's and drove along the old road to Taos. And of course under the circumstances, we stopped at the Santuario de Chimayo for some healing dirt, which has helped everyone's spirits, at least. I actually did manage to follow the Self-Publishing Expo on Twitter, if you can believe that. At least, I followed people's 150 characters worth of comments.

Anyway, one of my self-publishing inspirations was . . .

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Elle Newmark: An Inspiring, Bittersweet Story

Posted by admin on Thursday Oct 11, 2012 Under Uncategorized

Author Elle NewmarkElle Newmark was one of my first inspirations for self-publishing. I remember looking at her website, wondering if I could do something like that. How? I had no idea where to start.

Once I put it out to the universe, as my daughter says, and starting telling people what I wanted, things sort of fell into place. Still, the germ of the idea started with this self-published author and her rather incredible story. Here it is:

Elle Newmark was 10 when she knew she wanted to be a writer, but it was only after marriage, two children, divorce and finally working in advertising so she could pay the rent and buy groceries . . .

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