State v. Claus is live!

Thrilled to announce that State v. Claus is now live as an e-book on Kobo and Amazon! In the coming days, I will update you as the e-book goes live on other platforms, including Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Google Play. The paperback will be released in early November, at which signed bookplates will be […]

One Writer’s Recipe for Writing

Photo credit: Pexels on Pixabay

When I was young, I treated recipes with undue reverence. I assumed that the unknown creators possessed knowledge and wisdom that I did not, to the point where, at age eleven, I consulted the back of the SpaghettiOs can to see how long I should cook them and at what temperature. (The instruction to “cook until heated through”—no time, no temperature—left me flummoxed.)

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Moving Forward . . . Again

Photo credit: Plz do not use photos showing people for commercial uses, on Pixabay (seriously, that’s the credit)

Last night, I dreamed that I was talking to bookstores about carrying my novel, State v. Claus. When I awoke, I knew it was time to get back to work on the marketing.

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Remembering George

For many, 2019 was difficult; for nearly all of us, 2020 has been immensely more so. Some have complained vociferously about having to spend much more time at home in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Their unending litany—“I’m so bored! I’m so frustrated! I hate staying home! I want to go out!”—overlooks one simple point: the incredible luxury of actually having a home to stay in.

Many have been unable to shelter at home for the most basic reason of all—they are homeless. One article suggests that through the end of October, 2020, the COVID-19 mortality rate for sheltered homeless persons in New York City was seventy-five (75%) percent higher than for those who have homes. (The article noted that due to a lack of data, it did not include mortality rates for unsheltered persons—in other words, those who were living on the streets rather than in a shelter.)

December 21 is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. Last year, I attended a service honoring those who had died over the previous year while experiencing homelessness. As the organizer said, for many of them, this service would be “the only remembrance and recognition of their passing.” Afterward, I shared the following essay about the service, and about a homeless man named George who changed my life.

As we face the longest night of the year, let us not forget those who have no home in which to take shelter from the darkness.

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December 21. The shortest day of the year. The longest night. The greatest darkness.

How fitting that this day is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. Across the country, memorial services honor and remember those who have died in the past year while experiencing homelessness. Continue reading

Festive Book Selfie!

Gorgeous book selfie from dear friend and avid reader Kathleen Morrison Grover.

Her caption: “I couldn’t fit all 5 copies in the photo.” (Sorry if I’ve spoiled somebody’s Christmas surprise!)

Thanks, K!

Book selfie on Small Business Saturday!

Look what I received today–a book selfie!

Reader Elizabeth Flynn sent me this pic after she bought State v. Claus at River Bend Bookshop in Glastonbury, CT, which means she’s supporting TWO local businesses–River Bend Bookshop and TuxedoCatPress!

(On second thought, make that THREE local businesses–River Bend Bookshop, Tuxedo Cat Press, and P. Jo Anne Burgh, Author!)

It’s Small Business Saturday, so be like Elizabeth Flynn and support your local small businesses!

P.S. State v. Claus is available from other local bookshops, too, including Sparta Books in Sparta, NJ. If your store doesn’t have it in stock, just tell the person in charge of ordering that it’s available through Ingram. They’ll know what that means.

Thanks, Inventors: A Liturgy for Thanksgiving

Image credit: Gerd Altman on Pixabay

As I write this on the evening before Thanksgiving, 2020, I await the results of my COVID test. A year ago, that sentence would have made no sense; today, a large portion of the population is the same position. But because scientists and technicians and engineers researched and experimented and invented, we not only have the capacity to know what (if anything) we have and what we can do about it, but we can take steps to manage it.

As we reflect on all the inventors have done for us, say it with me:

Thanks, inventors.

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I Wrote a Book

Sixteen years ago, I was going in for minor surgery, and it occurred to me to wonder what would happen if I didn’t come out of it. General anesthesia carries that risk. The funny thing is that I didn’t regret not marrying or not having kids. As I filled out pre-op forms, I realized that if I died, what I’d regret most at that last moment was that I’d never written a book.

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The Email List, Part 2: Ta-da!

Photo credit: Alexa Fotos on Pixabay

In the end, it was so simple.

It turns out that all you need to set up an email list is the help of an incredibly generous stranger, complemented by tech support that actually supports.

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Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

We’re into the countdown. I’ve approved the interior file for the e-book, and I’m awaiting the pdf of the print book. Publication Day (defined as “before the end of the month”) draws nearer.

And I already have a growing list of things I wish I’d done differently which, for purposes of this post, means “sooner.”

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