Friday, September 7, 2012

A Tale of Two Friends

The year was 1970. Long straight hair and bell  bottoms were 'in' for both boys and girls. Richard Nixon had just been elected president (pre-Watergate). L'eggs pantyhose were all the rage, as were the Dodge Colt, the Ford  Pinto, and the AMC Hornet.  Two 12 year old girls met at a private school and discovered that they had a lot more than pantyhose in common. They both played the piano, and they liked boys. The other common thread was books. You could almost say they liked books as much as boys.

They spent weekends at each other's houses plotting how to manage the boy question, playing the piano, and reading books. They went to summer camp together and spent hours playing through the piano scores of Oklahoma and Sound Of Music.

As they grew, the boys eventually became boyfriends and then husbands.They stood up at each other's weddings.  The books never changed. Both continued to read voraciously, and they drove out to the east coast to begin college and then finished their college education at separate institutions.  Both continued to play and also to teach piano.

They both raised a family and moved so far apart - on opposite coasts, actually - that seeing each other became a major event. Still, whenever they were together, it was as if they were 12 again playing and plotting and reading.

Both were still reading and both were now writing novels, plays and articles for magazines. Through the death of  both their fathers they consoled each other and through the ups and downs of the shaking economy they laughed, and thought about the good old days when the biggest question on their minds was whether the boys they liked even knew they were alive. They shared stories about their children and one of them became a grandmother.

When no one else around really understood them, they knew that they shared a very special bond that you can only experience when you have grown through adolescence together. No matter what, they had each other's backs.

One of the girls finished and published one of her books. The other one promoted it for her - I am that one!

Secrets of the Enemy by Debbie G. Brownfield!
Available now at

One lucky blog reader will win a free print copy - so check back for your chance to win by commenting on my upcoming review on September 15. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Divided We Fall (Keep Mucking On)

Two major parties vie for a position of power in America this election year. You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger polarization of politics in recent years, although my mother remembers President Truman's surprise win over Dewey in'48. But that seems a world ago, just after the dust of WW II was beginning to settle.

I'd be telling tales if I didn't agree that both sides have produced some compelling speeches, while systematically deconstructing the platforms of each other. If rhetoric alone wins races, it will be razor close.

Perhaps more unsettling is the division in the Democratic Party. The vote to include references to the Deity  in whose name the country was founded, and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, an enormous collective dissent could be heard at last night's meeting when those present were given a chance to vote by voice.  In a country where votes are counted by elaborate machinery and voting is scrupulously regulated, it seemed a shotgun approach to an intricately complicated issue. It's not really complicated for me, but I do understand it may be for my fellow atheist Americans, or our fellow Arab Americans with relatives in Palestine.

The system of government we set up over 236 years ago held the freedom of religion as its centerpiece, the very reason for its existence. Doubtless, the founders never imagined an America where the freedom to oppose religion could hold its own as a political force. Closely aligned with the Judeo-Christian view is an "Israel in the side-pocket" policy stemming from the many admonitions in the scriptures such as the Psalmist words  "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" and the Genesis promise of Jehovah to Abraham, "I will bless those that bless you". Without a belief in the Almighty, none of it makes any sense at all. I get that.

But apparently, the Democrats don't. I'd be curious to hear the same vote put to a Republican gathering. And if that sounds far-off to you, just a few short years ago no one would have believed such a vote would even be thinkable.

We have changed, and we don't know who we are yet. Thanks to the Democratic Party for pointing this out. It explains a whole lot.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sneak Preview

The following is an excerpt from my latest project:
Unearthing Tilly; A Horror Story of Unethical Proportions

Eric ran a shaking hand through his already tousled hair. Think, Eric, think! What would Grayson do?
It might be time to call his parents. It was the last thing he wanted to do, but he was running out of options. Dad could get them tickets to somewhere, and maybe help him think rationally through this nightmare.
Any phone call he made now would probably be tracked. He needed to find a phone.
The alley they’d ducked into was just off the main street of the college, and a Sysco Food truck was busily unloading into the Naan Bakery backdoor. Rialta slumped down on the cement in the shade as Eric mentally counted his options on one hand.  
“Stay here. If anyone comes – anyone – I want you to get up and come into the store. Don’t speak to anyone, got it? Our lives may depend upon it.”
He watched the dazed nod of her head, and keeping his eyes on her as he backed away,  he disappeared into the dark doorway, saluting the deliveryman who was on his way out with the empty dolly.
“You look like you could use a smoke.”  The man said as he glanced at Rialta.
She hesitated. That was exactly what she needed. A fellow kindred spirit!
“I sure could!” she answered against her better judgment.
She gathered what limp strength she had and stood up, walking toward the man as he reached in his pocket for a cigarette. He handed it to her, and then after patting down his side pants pocket unsuccessfully for a lighter, put up a finger and dove into the back of the truck.
The arms which reached around her were swift and strong. The tape suddenly placed over  her mouth was constricting and wet feeling. Her feet gave way as her arms were wrenched back uncomfortably behind her, and something tight bit into both wrists. She was dragged up and over the back of the delivery truck so that the friction of the movement burned the backs of her calves. Before the truck door closed, she saw Eric’s stricken look flash in the light of the doorway and then everything went black.

Monday, September 3, 2012

September Stirrings

Image from
It's officially fall when I buy the first can of pureed pumpkin, and start to look at the harvest section in Big Lots. Mind you, I haven't done anything but prepare my mind. It takes a while for me to get ready for fall because I hate letting go of summer.

As I write this, in the background, "Frosty the Snowman" is playing on DVD. My daughter has no qualms about embracing fall and winter. Well, Christmas, mostly. Her Christmas "birthday" tree is awaiting it's planting in permanent ground.

But as for me, 'the hotter the better', 'the more sun, the more fun'. But, at some point, I give in.

Today, the last holiday that most people spend outdoors exclusively, I will be relishing every minute.

Let the leaves start to think about falling. Everything in good time.