The Writing Life

This morning brought conversations on Facebook about hybrid vanity press company Austen McCauley. They get a bad press so there is nothing for them to be vain about, but I wanted the respondent to be real. Some authors were arguing pro Amazon and other pro Austen McCauley.

I asked the company's rep, why do you send fat contracts from London to Tarrytown, NY, when you have a New York office? The thread ended but I trust they will be back. Authors feel ensnared I argued. Be upfront. We'll see.

Being Kick Groves

I arrived by train in Pawling this
Monday for an annual pilgrimage.
I often think of coming back in fall and sometimes do. So I got off the train as Jeannie Michael and started to note any changes made in the town over the year.

Then it hits me I have come with a new purpose. My fictional protagonist, Kick Groves, will come here for a personal retreat after her child goes missing. I started seeing it through Kick's eyes.

She is Catholic, has her cheerleader figure at age 36, ponytail and works at home for a language school. She remembers, previous visits of course, and takes refuge in St. John's Church. The door is blessedly unlocked. Two elderly people are praying, one at the front, the other at the back.

Kick prays, heads out into the sunshine where she wants the large statue of Mary to come to life to hold her in her arms.

Speaking in Tongues

  • IMG_1064I have two novels going, Harry Childers, and Bloodied in Sleepy Hollow.  The protagonist’s best friend
  • tells the tale in the first one but the second one has four narrators: a mother, a father, a detective and the little sister.
  • Each narrator has to have their own distinctive voice.  I may have to have Harry Childers tell the end of his story in a journal or letter so that would make six voices.  Challenging.
    Continue reading “Speaking in Tongues”

Rabies & Amphetamines

Many challenges in updating the tale of Childe Burun/Harold/Byron closing in.  What to do with Harold recklessly wiping the slaver off Boatswain the dog when it got rabies? There hasn’t been a case of rabies in the U.K. since 1922.

Harold/Byron goes from being a fat, lame boy to a slender, beautiful young man with a rolling gait, by eating 1/2 pound of meat a day with some wine, mostly water and wearing great coat and 3 layers of waistcoats while playing cricket.  Today he would probably use uppers.

This is not your father’s Childe.

New book: Harry Childers

I am working on a modernized, retelling of Byron’s Childe Harold.  The dedicatory poem becomes song lyrics.  Having fun if nothing else which does not mean that I am not in earnest.

To Bryony


In all the places where I will be straying,

And I am going far,

All the lovely women I will see,

Will  never have your dark charms


No one will believe how beautiful you are

No one will believe how beautiful you are

Sparkling in the pure moonlight


The words of devotion your love inspires

The lyrics I that I sing

enshrine your enchanting memory

in hearts across the wide world


No one will ever believe how beautiful you are

No one will ever believe how beautiful you are

Sparkling in the pure moonlight



If all you will accept is my friendship,

and won’t be my lover,

then let me stand by your side

to guard and guide you through


No one will ever believe how beautiful you are

No one will ever believe how beautiful you are

Sparking in the pure moonlight.






Note to Bryony- Do you remember when we were children, and I asked, ‘Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”

Now I ask heaven to help me tell the world how beautiful you are.  Harryharry childers book cover final








LB and dogNew Book: Novelization of major Byron poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

Childe Harold begins with a poem dedicated to a woman he calls Ianthe who has been identified as Lady Jane Harley.

I am thinking the novel which is set in 2017 should begin with song lyrics.

Need a woman’s name and lyrics which loosely or creatively follow To Inez

And, of course, he will need a dog with a Shakespearean name.