Category Archives: Writing

Looking for Writers to Participate in a Blog Chain

In two weeks, I’m going to take part in a blog chain about the writer’s process. At the time I post my entry, I also have to list three other writers who’ve agreed to participate. So I’m asking you, my readers, if you’d like to take part. The blog entry consists of answering four questions about your writing process.

Any takers? It could be a chance to get some new traffic to your blog. First three volunteers are in.


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A Cool Milestone


Ok, I know it’s a blurry photo, but I was trying to be low-key about taking it instead of acting like a hyperactive puppy spotting a squirrel. This is what it looks like when your book is featured at your local library in preparation for an upcoming author event. Just one of those things I was never sure I’d achieve.


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On the Other Side of Publication

It’s been two weeks since The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte came out, and I’ve been learning what it’s like to be a published novelist rather than an unpublished one.

Some of the things I’ve been doing the last fourteen days include sending out review copies, scheduling signings, autographing books, and getting the beginnings of reader reaction. Two friends have already finished reading the novel, and their responses were very enthusiastic. The hardest thing about remaining unpublished all these years has been not having much of an audience beyond my beta readers. I always imagined what it would be like to have readers say they loved my novel, and now that’s starting to happen. Admittedly, so far I’ve only heard from friends, and they are predisposed to like it, but even so, the comments I’ve received so far have helped make all the years of effort seem worthwhile. Now I’m looking forward to getting more objective responses.

One thing has surprised me is how much I enjoy signing books. I’ve never really fantasized about giving out autographs, but I take a lot of pleasure in making a book personal for my readers. “My readers.” A phrase I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to say. One advantage of achieving this childhood dream a little later in life is that I appreciate it so much.

Sorry if this post borders on the gooey. I’ll be back to my usual self tomorrow.


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Upcoming December Events

I have two book signings scheduled between now and Christmas.

On Saturday, December 14, I will be at the Good Garden Café in Kenosha, WI (5925 6th Ave) from 9:00 am to noon. I will be selling and signing books.

On Saturday, December 21, I will be at It’s All Good Coffee & Espresso in Zion, IL (2780 Sheridan Rd) from 8:00 to 11:00 am. I will be selling and signing books, and we will be holding a raffle for a free copy of The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte.

Also, I wanted to let people know my autograph policy. I am happy to give autographs. There are three ways of doing this:

1. Ask me in person if you’re someone I see on a regular basis.
2. E-mail me using the contact form on the About page and ask for my address. Then send me the book to autograph. Please note that I cannot pay for return postage, so you will have to provide a return envelope with sufficient postage in the package.
3. E-mail me your address and I will send you an autographed bookplate that you can paste inside your copy. No charge for postage.

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Bonaparte Milestones on This Date

In 1803, Napoleon crowned himself emperor in Notre Dame Cathedral.

In 1804, Napoleon won a major battle at Austerlitz, defeating the combined Austrian and Russian armies, who outnumbered him.

In 2013, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte officially went on sale. It’s available at and on Amazon.

Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon editJacques-Louis David [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Filed under This Date in History, Writing

Climbing to the Top

I had an interesting insight Thursday morning. I must admit that, grateful as I am to have a novel coming out next Monday, I still tend to berate myself for not achieving this goal earlier. Sometimes, I think if I had just lived my life differently, I would have published a book sooner.

However, as I meditated on Thanksgiving, I was gazing out a different window than I usually do, looking at a bush with a strong central trunk and many, many branches—all of them bare because of the season. Suddenly understanding hit. Yes, perhaps I could have gone straight up that center trunk from the base to the tip, but I didn’t. What I did instead was to scoot out on one branch to gather flowers. In a different season, I scooted out on a second branch to collect fruit. Another time I crawled out on a third branch to take in a new view. Yet, each time I returned to the center trunk and climbed a little higher.

And so it went throughout the years and across the cycle of the seasons. I could have tried to go straight up that trunk to the pinnacle of the tree, but I chose a more meandering path, and because of it, my arms and my heart carry many more treasures. I think that both my life and my writing benefit because of that.



Filed under Writing