So you can read my books

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

WEEP NOT FOR THE UNDEAD _Women's History MonthTribute (done my way)

I am Margaret Fuller.

You may recognize my name from the adventures of Samuel McCord and that scamp, Victor Standish.

History has me drowned upon this date in 1850 aged forty. 

In 1853, when Captain Samuel McCord met me aboard the cursed DEMETER, I was still all too alive.

Shortly thereafter, I became a unique form of undead. But then, I have always been unique -- alive or undead.

My beliefs (feminist and Transcendentalist), accomplishments and fervent personality put me in the spotlight throughout my life,

but my "last" years, spent in Rome supporting the short-lived Roman Republic, reached an operatic level of passion and poignancy.

As foreign correspondent of Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, 

I argued the cause of the Italian revolutionists in the dispatches sent home.

In Rome, I assisted on the Republican ramparts and in their field hospitals.

I also married an Italian nobleman who was prominent in the Republican cause, and had a son by him. 

With the ramparts fallen and my husband in jeopardy, I reluctantly decided to return to America, 

despite premonitions of disaster and warnings from Emerson and other Concord friends 

that my socialist leanings and doubtful marriage would provoke public disfavor.

As if I have ever cared what the rabble thought. 

When my boat ran aground just off the New York coast,

I chose to stay with my husband, who could not swim. 

Both of us were washed to sea and never found, (so history reports).

But Henry (David Thoreau) found me washed upon the shore not far from my young boy’s body.

The memorial to me put up by my family reads,

“Born a child of New England, / By adoption a citizen of Rome, / By genius belonging to the World.” 

My genius has never been in question.

Edgar Allan Poe thought me such. He believed that the fallacy in my lobby for women's rights was that

"She judges woman by the heart and intellect of Miss Fuller, but there are not more than one or two dozen Miss Fullers on the whole face of the earth."

Poe’s evaluation is echoed in comments by Emerson and Hawthorne — 

though they let slip that their attraction might be more than intellectual

(as it was)

when they both referred to me in print as “Margaret Fuller, the Sexy Muse.”

I now know all the people worth knowing in America,

and I find no intellect comparable to my own except for dear Ada (Byron, Lady Loveless - 

author of the first computer language a 100 years before the invention of the computer itself.)

McCord has his moments, but he is restrained by his Victorian ideals and code that he will not cast aside. I love him for his nobility. 

It will be the death of him.

What will be the death of you? 

I wager your friends know even if you do not. I leave you with a bit of my own verse :

“Let me gather from the Earth,
one full grown fragrant flower,
Let it bloom within my bosom
through its one fragile hour….”


Of my past, I neither rejoice nor grieve, for bad or good, I acted out my character.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

My Supervisor Asked Me To Write His Obituary


It caught me completely off guard. 

He is soon to undergo major surgery, 
but I had no idea he had such misgivings about it.

 I agreed of course.  But now what?

Have you heard of Dorothy McElhaney?

Her mother was 104 years ahead
of her times by negotiating for a
new farmhouse in exchange
for having Dorothy,
her 2nd child.

Dorothy, herself, was unique
in that she wrote her own obituary
which starts:

“It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. 

Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience.”

And ends

So…I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No buildings named after me; no monuments erected in my honor.


But, I DID have the chance to know and love each and every friend as well as all my family members. How much more blessed can a person be?

Deserves a round of applause, right?

To read the whole of it:

If you were called upon to write 

your own obituary,

what would you write?

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


 When I had my massive heart attack last Halloween, that question occurred to me. 

Yeah, right. I certainly got a trick for Halloween.!

"If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. 

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. 

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; 

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring."

-Kahlil Gibran

One of the last photographs of Kahlil Gibran

"You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;

And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, 

and sound is a diversion and a pastime.

And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.

For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly." 

- Kahlil Gibran

"The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape."

Where will you spend the

last night of your life?

In the 2nd tale in the above book,

I detail the last night of Kahlil Gibran, the gangster, Legs Diamond, Whilhelm Murnau, director of Nosferatu,

and Ida B. Wells, the valiant anti-lynching journalist of the late 1890's ...

all at a fateful 1931 New Year's Eve Party.

The Kindle version is only 99 cents. How can you can go wrong?

Monday, March 15, 2021



“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:


1. What am I trying to say?

2. What words will express it?

3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?

4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?


And he will probably ask himself two more:

1. Could I put it more shortly?

2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?


But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. 

They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- 

and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.” 

 George Orwell



A short simple sentence can pierce the heart of a reader and stay with her as ...

"Perhaps grief is only love persevering."

“Perhaps one did not want to be loved

so much as to be understood.”

― George Orwell, 1984

From the earliest campfires, storytellers have caught up their listeners with the awe and wonder of a finely told tale:

Include a beginning, middle and end. 

Show, don't tell. 

One word: Conflict.

Make your protagonist proactive, not reactive.

Have a central core to your story. 

Know what your story is about.

It is better to be simple and clear than complicated and ambiguous.

Say as much as possible with as little as possible.

Don't write what anyone could. 

Write as only you can: 

"Her voice was the Taj Mahal by moonlight."

'To say goodbye is to die a little."



"I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven't been told a million times already – that writing is harder.


 And nobler

 and more enriching.

 When you're all alone out there, on the end of the typewriter, 

with each new story a new appraisal by the world of whether you can 

still get it up or not, arrogance and self-esteem and deep breathing are all you have.

The only thing worth writing about is people. People.  Human beings. 

 Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight.

 If you do not do it, the story is a failure.


There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it . . .  slightly,

 so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace,

 the everyday,

 the 'normal',

 the obvious.


People are reflected in the glass.

 The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself.

 And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us.

 Failing that, you have failed totally.


The trick is not becoming a writer. 

 The trick is staying a writer.

 Now begin in the middle,

 and later learn the beginning;

 the end will take care of itself."

Monday, March 8, 2021

CANCEL CULTURE has no sense of humor


Did you ever think Pepe le Pew 

"normalized" rape?

Or that Lola Bunny was too sexualized?

Going with that mind-set, 


couldn't be made today.


In the university, I was taught that

lack of a healthy

sense of humor

characterized dysfunctional

individuals or systems.


CHOOSE TO CHALLENGE_ International Women's Day


The theme for this year's INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY is "choose to challenge."

I avidly read Patricia Briggs' 
Mercy Thompson novels:

And Charlaine Harris' Gunny Rose series of novels:

I am just starting the 3rd Gunny Rose alternate history/science fiction novel 

where Lizbeth Rose finds herself alone in Holy Mother Russia

which was once California/Oregon without her guns yet 

and only her courage and wit to see her through to save her half-sister and the imprisoned man she loves.

I recommend both series. 

I enjoy a great story no matter the gender of its narrator. I only ask it to entertain me.

Heroines have been my protagonists in several novels:


For a series of stories told from the bruised hearts of brave women try A SAMPLER OF SHADOWS:

Courage, Wit, Compassion, Worth know no gender ... 

although males all through the centuries have blindly thought differently.


Until 1978 women could be fired from their work for being pregnant?

The first time courts recognized sexual harassment in the workplace
was in 1977.

Not until 1974 were women able to apply for credit.

It wasn't until the mid-70's that women
could legally refuse to have sex with their husbands.

While there is much more that remains to be done.

It is good to see how far women have come
due to their efforts to advance.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021



You might think the above image suggests that formula includes sexiness, mystery, and ... 


Midnight made me include that last.

But while the BESTSELLERS of the last 100 years may have included those, 

what they ALL possessed was a hotly contested SOCIAL ISSUE of its day ...


Some large, unresolved, deep-seated nation-wide conflict in the minds of those who don't ordinarily read.

Even more important, those bestsellers focused on 

fractured families, outsiders, iconoclasts who go their own way irregardless of the outrage from those around them.

And above it all is  


It is some form of that DREAM which drives the protagonist ever onward or downward to an unknown destination.

We Americans are innately suspicious of institutions, public or private, and 

of strangers professing only good for us.

After all, the hand reaching out to feed us may actually be intent on feeding upon us.

Focusing on the mind is all very well and good, 

but the thing all bestselling authors possessed was the ability 

to connect to the heart and to the innate needs of the readers who read their books and then urged their friends to read them as well.



"He was born with the gift of laughter and the knowledge that the world was mad."


"The rape was the best thing that happened to her."


"Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure."


"It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

An arresting first line is crucial to grabbing readers and urging them to turn the page to find out what happens next.

May your next book be a BESTSELLER.