Photo
Since we’re getting close to Halloween, I thought I should talk about my novel, Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story because it is a ghost story of a literary sort—I always wanted to write a ghost story. So I did.

The makings for the book boiled around in my brain for a very long time and I finally started writing it down in that sweet spot of creativity around 2001-2002—so, she was a long time in the making, but there are parts of her that were created in my imagination when I was quite a young little sponge running around during endless summer days doing the usual kid stuff and making up stories to tell my friends was part of my something to do, my mind was busy, busier than my body! I’d always begin with my hand to my heart swearing it was true! And from there I did my duty as a storyteller, usually pissing off my friends because I suckered them into believing the long elaborate lie that I just told (it’s just a story you guys, sheesh!) My little ghost story, “Dusty Waters” is partly built upon the stories that I used to tell my friends on those summer nights spent trespassing on the porch of an empty house we fondly called “The Witches House”, smoking cigarettes and giggling ourselves silly…even running off screaming into the night once because the story I was telling just became too intense—something about a baby buried in the basement "…and her ghostly cries could be heard to this day" and perfectly timed (I couldn’t have planned it if I tried), a baby in the house next door started to have a good cry about a crappy diaper—OMG it was hi-lar-ious! We ran and ran and ran—I never forgot it. Once I began to write the book I made a home for the smaller stories in a larger story, the ghosts, the house, the girl born at the tail end of the baby boom generation, growing up with a war on the six o’clock news, the hippies at Woodstock (one of them happened to be her sister, she had a dirty, stinky good time, she returned home with stories and songs to share) and her brother’s guitar that she learned to pick songs from the strings, so a folksinger was born.
The book is a ghost story. I’m compelled to challenge any misunderstanding that anyone may have about my intentions to call it such. Yes, it is more than a ghost story, it’s not all about the ‘boo-factor’ of scary ghosts; it is a ghost story that is about life as much as it is about death and the afterlife. In life there are scarier things than ghosts, and most of the time, it’s the living who are scary—the dead are beyond the living, some are poor souls caught in their final moments, and some have chosen to remain where they are in the existence in between here and moving on to wait, to watch, to witness.
The ghost story is the story that is not going to be told in the official “biography” of Dusty Waters being written by her childhood friend Katharine Tierney. Dusty Water’s has the gift to see them (or is it a curse?) She has a healthy respect for them, she has the right to be annoyed that they pester her with their existence; at times she is in danger of losing her mind because of their constant presence—that for me is a scary idea. Part of her ‘growing up’ is making peace with this ability, trying to understand them—their ‘why’, their ‘how come’. Her eventual intervention to help them move on by resolving the things that have haunted them beyond their physical existence is a gift that only someone with a brave heart can step in with an extended hand. It is a book about belief—whether it is belief in the existence of ghosts or God—in the end, it is imperative to believe in one’s self.
This ghost story is also about the ghosts of the past, history is what haunts us in subtle ways, the war in Vietnam has haunted us, the present day echoes are metaphorical spirits, poltergeists shaking their fingers, clanking chains of memory, only some of us are willing to take notice, see the parallels and try to make a difference—while there are the naysayers who declare there are no such thing as ghosts.
With all said here, I’ll never apologize for misleading anyone into their own expectations. John Steinbeck said it best of all when he was writing East of Eden: “It will not be what anyone expects and so the expecters will not like it. And until it gets to people who don’t expect anything and are just willing to go along with the story, no one is likely to like this book.”
Goodness knows, when I started writing Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story I had no idea where it was going, self-doubts raged and waned throughout the process, every writer goes through this, and I made peace with it. I’ve put her out there to be read—there is a commitment in reading a book, more than looking at a picture that I made. To the ones who have already read it, I say “Thank you!” I really do appreciate it. If you haven’t read it yet, please feel free to take her for a test drive to see if you like what you read through the available samples via Goodreads and Amazon—she’s a different girl.
That’s it for now.
No wait…here’s a bit of novel trivia—Dusty’s birthday is on Halloween.
And…another bit of trivia—the photo for the book cover is from the Fox Sister’s homestead site in Hydesville, NY that I took back in the late 1980’s before it was torn down.
Okay, now I’m done.

Since we’re getting close to Halloween, I thought I should talk about my novel, Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story because it is a ghost story of a literary sort—I always wanted to write a ghost story. So I did.

The makings for the book boiled around in my brain for a very long time and I finally started writing it down in that sweet spot of creativity around 2001-2002—so, she was a long time in the making, but there are parts of her that were created in my imagination when I was quite a young little sponge running around during endless summer days doing the usual kid stuff and making up stories to tell my friends was part of my something to do, my mind was busy, busier than my body! I’d always begin with my hand to my heart swearing it was true! And from there I did my duty as a storyteller, usually pissing off my friends because I suckered them into believing the long elaborate lie that I just told (it’s just a story you guys, sheesh!) My little ghost story, “Dusty Waters” is partly built upon the stories that I used to tell my friends on those summer nights spent trespassing on the porch of an empty house we fondly called “The Witches House”, smoking cigarettes and giggling ourselves silly…even running off screaming into the night once because the story I was telling just became too intense—something about a baby buried in the basement "…and her ghostly cries could be heard to this day" and perfectly timed (I couldn’t have planned it if I tried), a baby in the house next door started to have a good cry about a crappy diaper—OMG it was hi-lar-ious! We ran and ran and ran—I never forgot it. Once I began to write the book I made a home for the smaller stories in a larger story, the ghosts, the house, the girl born at the tail end of the baby boom generation, growing up with a war on the six o’clock news, the hippies at Woodstock (one of them happened to be her sister, she had a dirty, stinky good time, she returned home with stories and songs to share) and her brother’s guitar that she learned to pick songs from the strings, so a folksinger was born.

The book is a ghost story. I’m compelled to challenge any misunderstanding that anyone may have about my intentions to call it such. Yes, it is more than a ghost story, it’s not all about the ‘boo-factor’ of scary ghosts; it is a ghost story that is about life as much as it is about death and the afterlife. In life there are scarier things than ghosts, and most of the time, it’s the living who are scary—the dead are beyond the living, some are poor souls caught in their final moments, and some have chosen to remain where they are in the existence in between here and moving on to wait, to watch, to witness.

The ghost story is the story that is not going to be told in the official “biography” of Dusty Waters being written by her childhood friend Katharine Tierney. Dusty Water’s has the gift to see them (or is it a curse?) She has a healthy respect for them, she has the right to be annoyed that they pester her with their existence; at times she is in danger of losing her mind because of their constant presence—that for me is a scary idea. Part of her ‘growing up’ is making peace with this ability, trying to understand them—their ‘why’, their ‘how come’. Her eventual intervention to help them move on by resolving the things that have haunted them beyond their physical existence is a gift that only someone with a brave heart can step in with an extended hand. It is a book about belief—whether it is belief in the existence of ghosts or God—in the end, it is imperative to believe in one’s self.

This ghost story is also about the ghosts of the past, history is what haunts us in subtle ways, the war in Vietnam has haunted us, the present day echoes are metaphorical spirits, poltergeists shaking their fingers, clanking chains of memory, only some of us are willing to take notice, see the parallels and try to make a difference—while there are the naysayers who declare there are no such thing as ghosts.

With all said here, I’ll never apologize for misleading anyone into their own expectations. John Steinbeck said it best of all when he was writing East of Eden: “It will not be what anyone expects and so the expecters will not like it. And until it gets to people who don’t expect anything and are just willing to go along with the story, no one is likely to like this book.”

Goodness knows, when I started writing Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story I had no idea where it was going, self-doubts raged and waned throughout the process, every writer goes through this, and I made peace with it. I’ve put her out there to be read—there is a commitment in reading a book, more than looking at a picture that I made. To the ones who have already read it, I say “Thank you!” I really do appreciate it. If you haven’t read it yet, please feel free to take her for a test drive to see if you like what you read through the available samples via Goodreads and Amazon—she’s a different girl.

That’s it for now.

No wait…here’s a bit of novel trivia—Dusty’s birthday is on Halloween.

And…another bit of trivia—the photo for the book cover is from the Fox Sister’s homestead site in Hydesville, NY that I took back in the late 1980’s before it was torn down.

Okay, now I’m done.

Photo
Yup, this is my little book…independently published in 2009, Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story is an interesting girl… Occasionally I will “channel” my character, Dusty Waters, the guitar slinging folksinger born in the  bookend years of the Boomer Generation…so last night, I wrote a poe-em in the vein of her righteous indignation…I call it The F-Bomb and it goes like this:


Bitch—and I call you “Bitch” with affection, ya dig?
Let me tell you this—this bit of wisdom—
when you reach fifty-two years old
you will have seen, heard, and experienced enough
things to make you drop an F-bomb before 9AM,
maybe earlier than that, depending on what it is. I swear,
ever since Watergate, I can spit nails, and I was just
a youngin’ then—so imagine what I must spit now since
9/11, right? Don’t get me started on that noise—I swear
my head can just about pop off my body sometimes—I’m
sorry to say, it hasn’t gotten better. I’m sorry for you cuz
shit is fucked up and stuff, so by the time you’re
fifty-two years old, I can’t imagine—I’ll be long gone by then,
moved on to my next thing—while you are stuck here with the
mess of life, such as it is. Let me warn you, you are more vulnerable
as you get older—it isn’t just age or illness that takes you out,
it’s the young who unwittingly come in and take from you
everything you’ve worked so hard for all your adult life—
twenty-five or thirty years of experience—service—
easily undermined by someone so new they squeak when
you run your finger down ‘em—not that I’m complaining or anything,
Bitch—I’ll tell you now, I’d rather die with my boots on than sitting
behind a desk being a ‘point n’ click’ despot with nothing
better to do than shrug their shoulders, roll their eyes,
crinkle up their nose, make excuses, and become argumentative
when they can’t answer a fucking question. My question. 
Fuck it anyway—it’s not important. I’ve worked hard all my life—
I have kicked ass as a one-woman army—and I have lived a good one
in spite of the downs that can outnumber the ups on any given day.
Life is precarious enough, so, fuck people like that—they are negligible
debris in the grand scheme of things. Seriously. It doesn’t matter.
Don’t dwell on the negative—grab onto the positive and hold on tight.
In my fifty-two years, I’ve known that what matters is
my corner of the world, my family, and my home are my wealth.
Bitch, I do hope you can have a place to call home—
a patch of the world of your own—your own mind.
Know thyself—as they say—ya dig?
From one bitch to another, be good to yourself.
Be strong. Be yourself. Love and love hard—yourself,
your family, your home. Be at peace.
Drop an F-bomb as needed so your head
doesn’t pop off your body—trust me on this—no one will
show up to wash your mouth out with soap.

LJWR-8/1/2014

Yup, this is my little book…independently published in 2009, Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story is an interesting girl… Occasionally I will “channel” my character, Dusty Waters, the guitar slinging folksinger born in the  bookend years of the Boomer Generation…so last night, I wrote a poe-em in the vein of her righteous indignation…I call it The F-Bomb and it goes like this:

Bitch—and I call you “Bitch” with affection, ya dig?

Let me tell you this—this bit of wisdom—

when you reach fifty-two years old

you will have seen, heard, and experienced enough

things to make you drop an F-bomb before 9AM,

maybe earlier than that, depending on what it is. I swear,

ever since Watergate, I can spit nails, and I was just

a youngin’ then—so imagine what I must spit now since

9/11, right? Don’t get me started on that noise—I swear

my head can just about pop off my body sometimes—I’m

sorry to say, it hasn’t gotten better. I’m sorry for you cuz

shit is fucked up and stuff, so by the time you’re

fifty-two years old, I can’t imagine—I’ll be long gone by then,

moved on to my next thing—while you are stuck here with the

mess of life, such as it is. Let me warn you, you are more vulnerable

as you get older—it isn’t just age or illness that takes you out,

it’s the young who unwittingly come in and take from you

everything you’ve worked so hard for all your adult life—

twenty-five or thirty years of experience—service—

easily undermined by someone so new they squeak when

you run your finger down ‘em—not that I’m complaining or anything,

Bitch—I’ll tell you now, I’d rather die with my boots on than sitting

behind a desk being a ‘point n’ click’ despot with nothing

better to do than shrug their shoulders, roll their eyes,

crinkle up their nose, make excuses, and become argumentative

when they can’t answer a fucking question. My question.

Fuck it anyway—it’s not important. I’ve worked hard all my life—

I have kicked ass as a one-woman army—and I have lived a good one

in spite of the downs that can outnumber the ups on any given day.

Life is precarious enough, so, fuck people like that—they are negligible

debris in the grand scheme of things. Seriously. It doesn’t matter.

Don’t dwell on the negative—grab onto the positive and hold on tight.

In my fifty-two years, I’ve known that what matters is

my corner of the world, my family, and my home are my wealth.

Bitch, I do hope you can have a place to call home—

a patch of the world of your own—your own mind.

Know thyself—as they say—ya dig?

From one bitch to another, be good to yourself.

Be strong. Be yourself. Love and love hard—yourself,

your family, your home. Be at peace.

Drop an F-bomb as needed so your head

doesn’t pop off your body—trust me on this—no one will

show up to wash your mouth out with soap.

LJWR-8/1/2014

Photo
Yup, that’s me with my novel Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story…May, 2009


I’ve always wanted to be a writer, since I could scribble, I wanted to write something that mattered—it took a long time to get there, I had a good deal of false starts. It’s been 15 years since I wrote the manuscript Washed Glass and saw it through to the finish. (Oh, I thought I knew what I was doing, but I totally had no idea.) This effort is still unpublished and certainly nowhere near ready to have a cover designed for it. It’s a densely written monster that has everything and the kitchen sink in it, and it’s rife with first-novel-itis, but I know the story is good enough to take the time to make it right—not every first manuscript is good enough. Even tho’ I do cringe a little when I think about going back to it, but now that I know more about what I’m doing, I know what I must do, so I will revisit where I started all those years ago—someday. I will always have a soft spot for it—it was my first, from there, the rest of my work with words followed, and they nod with reverence to what happened before them because without Washed Glass, Dusty Waters and The Fractured Hues of White Light wouldn’t have happened.  
For what it’s worth, here’s my advice for aspiring writers (young and old):
 It’s never too late to start. Just do it. 
 Write. Even if it’s pure nonsense, if it’s there in your head, write it. Unfortunately, we learn from our mistakes, and you’re not going to learn by being afraid of fucking up.  
Read—read a lot—especially read outside your comfort zone, if you have resisted reading the classics, read them—experience them and learn from them. Keep your mind wide open to receive knowledge, grow your mind, grow your vocabulary—read the dictionary (you know, one of those old-fashioned cloth bound books illustrated with line art, get one.) Familiarize yourself with the basic rules of grammar and punctuation too. Keep a Thesaurus handy.  Honestly, you’ll need something to do during those dead zones when you’re not staring out the window thinking.
 Be humble.  Write and write some more.  No, you’re not crazy, you’re writing a book. Keep writing—just let it flow.  Be brave. 
Write.
 Here are the Don’ts:  
Don’t listen to those dissenting voices within you or from the others who are on the outside looking in—for goodness sakes, don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t do that” because it’s hard. Damn right it’s hard and don’t you forget it.  
Don’t rely on spell check and grammar check on your computer to catch your errors because words like dairies and diaries are both spelled correctly and if you’re a little bit dyslexic at all it’s easy enough to screw them up. The brain has this amazing self-correction thing it does when you’re too close to your writing and you know what you want to say, so beware when dealing with words, especially when writing tens of thousands of them.   
Don’t be a hermit.  Don’t forget to live.  Don’t forget to breathe.
 Write.  
So you finished writing your manuscript—your first book. Do a happy dance, scream, laugh, and cry. Tell all your friends and family—celebrate. It’s a wonderful thing, it’s an accomplishment, and an achievement worthy of a pat on the back.   
Don’t be surprised if you feel sad—because you will. You will “miss” being there, being in your head with your characters—it can be a little scary to feel depressed like that, but don’t worry, you’re all right.  
Do you think you’re done with it?   
“Done” means it has a beginning and an end with a bunch of shit happening in the middle. I know it will be hard to do it, but walk away from it—leave it for months—start something new or just write nonsense. Keep reading more books to pass the time. No matter how tempting it is to fool around with it, leave it alone. Forget it long enough to “forget it” in a sense that will allow you to be objective when you read it again.   
It’s nice if you can find a first reader who can honestly tell you what they think of it—it’s nice if the first reader doesn’t sit on it for months and not read it. A book, especially a raw first draft isn’t easy to hand off to someone and expect them to read it—it’s not like showing someone a drawing you made—reading is an investment of time—and first drafts can be SO ROUGH it’s not fun to read them.  When you do go back to it, be honest with yourself—is it how you envisioned it? Aim high, raise the bar for yourself, take pride in your work, OWN IT. Edit the darn thing—make it bleed red ink—be prepared, this process can go on for several drafts. If you can find an editor that you can afford—one you can trust to work within your vision, go for it. But not everyone can afford one, not everyone has access to such creatures, so it’s good for a writer to learn how to self-edit.   
I do my own editing partly because I’m a control freak, and partly because I love doing it—I love the whole process of revising and editing. I will read a chapter backwards, sentence by sentence just to take it out of the flow to make sure it’s what I want it to say. Then I will read the chapter forwards again to see if I catch anything wonky. I go through it until I make no more changes. Then I leave it alone to forget it, then read it again. If I make no changes, that’s a good thing. I’ve been known to take the scissors to a chapter that I had thought was perfect two weeks ago and reorganize the paragraphs, tape it back together, make the revision, and then start over reading it in the new configuration. I read it and revise it until I make it right.   
Reading hard copy is always a good idea.  
It does get better—trust me on this.
 Final thoughts: Keep writing.   Don’t settle.  Make it right. Make it perfect. Practice, Patience, Persistence.
(For the record…I do not edit other writer’s work…you cannot pay me enough.)

Yup, that’s me with my novel Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story…May, 2009

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, since I could scribble, I wanted to write something that mattered—it took a long time to get there, I had a good deal of false starts. It’s been 15 years since I wrote the manuscript Washed Glass and saw it through to the finish. (Oh, I thought I knew what I was doing, but I totally had no idea.) This effort is still unpublished and certainly nowhere near ready to have a cover designed for it. It’s a densely written monster that has everything and the kitchen sink in it, and it’s rife with first-novel-itis, but I know the story is good enough to take the time to make it right—not every first manuscript is good enough. Even tho’ I do cringe a little when I think about going back to it, but now that I know more about what I’m doing, I know what I must do, so I will revisit where I started all those years ago—someday. I will always have a soft spot for it—it was my first, from there, the rest of my work with words followed, and they nod with reverence to what happened before them because without Washed Glass, Dusty Waters and The Fractured Hues of White Light wouldn’t have happened.
 

For what it’s worth, here’s my advice for aspiring writers (young and old):


It’s never too late to start. Just do it. 


Write. Even if it’s pure nonsense, if it’s there in your head, write it. Unfortunately, we learn from our mistakes, and you’re not going to learn by being afraid of fucking up.
 

Read—read a lot—especially read outside your comfort zone, if you have resisted reading the classics, read them—experience them and learn from them. Keep your mind wide open to receive knowledge, grow your mind, grow your vocabulary—read the dictionary (you know, one of those old-fashioned cloth bound books illustrated with line art, get one.) Familiarize yourself with the basic rules of grammar and punctuation too. Keep a Thesaurus handy.  Honestly, you’ll need something to do during those dead zones when you’re not staring out the window thinking.


Be humble.
Write and write some more.
No, you’re not crazy, you’re writing a book. Keep writingjust let it flow.
Be brave.

Write.


Here are the Don’ts:
 

Don’t listen to those dissenting voices within you or from the others who are on the outside looking in—for goodness sakes, don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t do that” because it’s hard. Damn right it’s hard and don’t you forget it.
 

Don’t rely on spell check and grammar check on your computer to catch your errors because words like dairies and diaries are both spelled correctly and if you’re a little bit dyslexic at all it’s easy enough to screw them up. The brain has this amazing self-correction thing it does when you’re too close to your writing and you know what you want to say, so beware when dealing with words, especially when writing tens of thousands of them.
 

Don’t be a hermit.
Don’t forget to live.
Don’t forget to breathe.


Write.
 

So you finished writing your manuscript—your first book. Do a happy dance, scream, laugh, and cry. Tell all your friends and family—celebrate. It’s a wonderful thing, it’s an accomplishment, and an achievement worthy of a pat on the back.
 

Don’t be surprised if you feel sad—because you will. You will “miss” being there, being in your head with your characters—it can be a little scary to feel depressed like that, but don’t worry, you’re all right.
 

Do you think you’re done with it?
 

“Done” means it has a beginning and an end with a bunch of shit happening in the middle. I know it will be hard to do it, but walk away from it—leave it for months—start something new or just write nonsense. Keep reading more books to pass the time. No matter how tempting it is to fool around with it, leave it alone. Forget it long enough to “forget it” in a sense that will allow you to be objective when you read it again.
 

It’s nice if you can find a first reader who can honestly tell you what they think of it—it’s nice if the first reader doesn’t sit on it for months and not read it. A book, especially a raw first draft isn’t easy to hand off to someone and expect them to read it—it’s not like showing someone a drawing you made—reading is an investment of time—and first drafts can be SO ROUGH it’s not fun to read them.  When you do go back to it, be honest with yourself—is it how you envisioned it? Aim high, raise the bar for yourself, take pride in your work, OWN IT. Edit the darn thing—make it bleed red ink—be prepared, this process can go on for several drafts. If you can find an editor that you can afford—one you can trust to work within your vision, go for it. But not everyone can afford one, not everyone has access to such creatures, so it’s good for a writer to learn how to self-edit.
 

I do my own editing partly because I’m a control freak, and partly because I love doing it—I love the whole process of revising and editing. I will read a chapter backwards, sentence by sentence just to take it out of the flow to make sure it’s what I want it to say. Then I will read the chapter forwards again to see if I catch anything wonky. I go through it until I make no more changes. Then I leave it alone to forget it, then read it again. If I make no changes, that’s a good thing. I’ve been known to take the scissors to a chapter that I had thought was perfect two weeks ago and reorganize the paragraphs, tape it back together, make the revision, and then start over reading it in the new configuration. I read it and revise it until I make it right.
 

Reading hard copy is always a good idea.
 

It does get better—trust me on this.


Final thoughts:
Keep writing. 
Don’t settle.
Make it right. Make it perfect.
Practice, Patience, Persistence.

(For the record…I do not edit other writer’s work…you cannot pay me enough.)

Photo
Shameless self-promotion alert…Please stand by…
These are my two “girls”…I just want to announce that I’ve signed them up for the Kindle Matchbook program today, so when a reader buys a paperback copy of The Fractured Hues of White Light or Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story through Amazon.com, the Kindle edition comes free…It went live today, so please indulge if you feel inclined…
That’s the end of my shameless self-promotion announcement…thank you.
I’m really squeamish about this stuff, it’s really weird…but it must be done…I love my books, I love what I do, and I feel very fortunate that I have accomplished what I have accomplished thus far…the girls sell from time to time, I make a little pocket money and I have creative freedom to write and design them as I envision them. I’m currently editing my third novel, Drinking from the Fishbowl, its been an epic effort to get it ready…it’s not a task for the faint of heart to publish a book that has been in the works for ten years or more…no idea when I’ll finish, but I’ll keep you posted when the time is right and I’m happy with the result.
(End excited author babble.)

Shameless self-promotion alert…Please stand by…

These are my two “girls”…I just want to announce that I’ve signed them up for the Kindle Matchbook program today, so when a reader buys a paperback copy of The Fractured Hues of White Light or Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story through Amazon.com, the Kindle edition comes free…It went live today, so please indulge if you feel inclined…

That’s the end of my shameless self-promotion announcement…thank you.

I’m really squeamish about this stuff, it’s really weird…but it must be done…I love my books, I love what I do, and I feel very fortunate that I have accomplished what I have accomplished thus far…the girls sell from time to time, I make a little pocket money and I have creative freedom to write and design them as I envision them. I’m currently editing my third novel, Drinking from the Fishbowl, its been an epic effort to get it ready…it’s not a task for the faint of heart to publish a book that has been in the works for ten years or more…no idea when I’ll finish, but I’ll keep you posted when the time is right and I’m happy with the result.

(End excited author babble.)

Photo
Photos I found…my first book signing at Fat Cats in Johnson City, NY, 5/2/2009
Really…those poor old glasses bit the dust, I loved them until they fell apart and were beyond repair…oh, they got me through many hair-pulling edits of that little ghost story I’m holding in my hands…
As I reflect on it four years after its publication, I still love it, and have found the reactions of readers very interesting—no surprises—it’s one of those ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ books. Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story is a literary fiction novel, it is not the usual ghost story with a haunted house—oh, yes, Tanglewood is very haunted, but it’s a ghost story as much about life as it is about death. It’s a coming of age story and a story about coming to terms with the past. Dusty Waters, as a little girl with a gift of seeing ghosts, is haunted by the spirits drifting in the hallways of her ancestral home, and haunted by the past containing a family history, a nation’s history, and a generation’s history, as well as her personal story. Dusty Waters, as a woman, standing well over six feet tall, wild curly hair with big feet and a big nose, is a folksinger in the tradition of folksingers of the Boomer generation with a growling voice like Janis Joplin, but her guitar is tuned with the Punk edge of the Gen-X kids who show up at her concerts looking to hear songs about the truth of “what was” and presently that “it goes like this.” She pulls no punches as she belts out her songs, but in her own personal life, she’s barely scratching the surface of being honest with herself. She’s scared to go home to face the ghosts that haunt her there, and scared to live without them. Coming home at last, she has steeled herself to sit down with her friend, Katharine, to tell her story for the official biography of the folksinger—but there are parts of that story she will never tell a soul—except maybe one, but she lost him along the way and needs to go find him.
Yes, yes, shameless self-promotion…sorry! But I gotta do it from time to time just in case you might want to read it someday. I’m an indie author and my books are indie published, I’m on my own in this little adventure. Dusty Waters is available as a paperback original via Amazon.com and as an e-book for Kindle and NOOK. 

Photos I found…my first book signing at Fat Cats in Johnson City, NY, 5/2/2009

Really…those poor old glasses bit the dust, I loved them until they fell apart and were beyond repair…oh, they got me through many hair-pulling edits of that little ghost story I’m holding in my hands…

As I reflect on it four years after its publication, I still love it, and have found the reactions of readers very interesting—no surprises—it’s one of those ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ books. Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story is a literary fiction novel, it is not the usual ghost story with a haunted house—oh, yes, Tanglewood is very haunted, but it’s a ghost story as much about life as it is about death. It’s a coming of age story and a story about coming to terms with the past. Dusty Waters, as a little girl with a gift of seeing ghosts, is haunted by the spirits drifting in the hallways of her ancestral home, and haunted by the past containing a family history, a nation’s history, and a generation’s history, as well as her personal story. Dusty Waters, as a woman, standing well over six feet tall, wild curly hair with big feet and a big nose, is a folksinger in the tradition of folksingers of the Boomer generation with a growling voice like Janis Joplin, but her guitar is tuned with the Punk edge of the Gen-X kids who show up at her concerts looking to hear songs about the truth of “what was” and presently that “it goes like this.” She pulls no punches as she belts out her songs, but in her own personal life, she’s barely scratching the surface of being honest with herself. She’s scared to go home to face the ghosts that haunt her there, and scared to live without them. Coming home at last, she has steeled herself to sit down with her friend, Katharine, to tell her story for the official biography of the folksinger—but there are parts of that story she will never tell a soul—except maybe one, but she lost him along the way and needs to go find him.

Yes, yes, shameless self-promotion…sorry! But I gotta do it from time to time just in case you might want to read it someday. I’m an indie author and my books are indie published, I’m on my own in this little adventure. Dusty Waters is available as a paperback original via Amazon.com and as an e-book for Kindle and NOOK. 

Text

Reblog if you love to write.

insaneandproudofit:

Whether it be fanfiction, original stories, drabbles, songs, poems, books, or anything that has to do with creative words, then reblog. Let’s gather all the writers of Tumblr together.

I love to read and I love writing. I’m an indie published author of two literary fiction novels, Dusty Waters, a Ghost Story (Field Stone Press, 2009) and The Fractured Hues of White Light (Field Stone Press, 2010). I’m currently editing my third novel, Drinking From the Fishbowl. I occasionally dabble with poetry.

(via likeapaigeinabook)

Photo
There are people in our country who can’t figure out why so many people around the world hate America. At the age of six, I couldn’t comprehend why anyone would hate us, especially with Lady Liberty holding up her torch in the New York Harbor with her promise of freedom for the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses—but now that I’m all grown up—I can understand why. As I line up our presidents from my short history—Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and then Junior Bush—there are people out there baffled by the animosity toward our country because they don’t want to believe the worst in others—especially the ones in charge. If there is a lesson to learn in all of this, it is important to know your history—all of it, not just the whitewashed parts that they tell you in school. Take the time to look up some of those important dates they expect you to memorize for college entrance exams. Read about what was going on at the time, not just the great achievements of great men, read about the injustices and the ignorance, read about the arts—there’s a lot of history in those paintings hanging in the Louvre, the monuments in Rome, even the pyramids in Egypt. Read literature, especially guys like Shakespeare, he can tell you a thing or two if you use your head and think about what he’s saying—read between the lines. It is important to read what’s out there—it is food for the mind. If you happen to read the Bible from cover to cover, don’t accept it as gospel, and please don’t take it literally. Always keep in mind that it has been translated from a few ancient languages before English. Keep in mind who did the translation, and investigate who has been implementing the word of God and what political agenda inspired them. The Bible offers a written backbone for the things that are happening now, don’t view it as a prophesy of things to come—history has a bad habit of repeating itself—politicians and nations with special interests have manipulated an entire region, trying to mold it into something it will never be. Between you, me, and the post at Coogee Beach that some might say looks like the Virgin Mary in the right light, history tends to repeat itself, just like some people like to tell the same fucking story over and over and over again—and I’ve heard this story all before, only this time we are Rome. Be sensible, don’t let yourself be spoon-fed rhetoric, pick up a newspaper, watch the news—the journalists are documenting the present for history later. Please, for your sake, arm yourself with knowledge—there is no bliss in ignorance. Apathy is the overrated protection of that rock you’re hiding under—your apathy is a crime against yourself, and it is a crime against society.
–pages 105-106, from the novel, Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story by Laura J. W. Ryan, Field Stone Press, ©2007.
I write about ghosts in this novel, it isn’t a traditional ghost story in the paranormal sense of genre, so don’t go into it expecting a “boo”…yes, there are ghosts and a haunted house in it…but I also tap into the metaphorical ghosts…the that haunt us from the past…yeah, it’s about that…it’s a book about the living as much as it is about the dead.

There are people in our country who can’t figure out why so many people around the world hate America. At the age of six, I couldn’t comprehend why anyone would hate us, especially with Lady Liberty holding up her torch in the New York Harbor with her promise of freedom for the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses—but now that I’m all grown up—I can understand why. As I line up our presidents from my short history—Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and then Junior Bush—there are people out there baffled by the animosity toward our country because they don’t want to believe the worst in others—especially the ones in charge. If there is a lesson to learn in all of this, it is important to know your history—all of it, not just the whitewashed parts that they tell you in school. Take the time to look up some of those important dates they expect you to memorize for college entrance exams. Read about what was going on at the time, not just the great achievements of great men, read about the injustices and the ignorance, read about the arts—there’s a lot of history in those paintings hanging in the Louvre, the monuments in Rome, even the pyramids in Egypt. Read literature, especially guys like Shakespeare, he can tell you a thing or two if you use your head and think about what he’s saying—read between the lines. It is important to read what’s out there—it is food for the mind. If you happen to read the Bible from cover to cover, don’t accept it as gospel, and please don’t take it literally. Always keep in mind that it has been translated from a few ancient languages before English. Keep in mind who did the translation, and investigate who has been implementing the word of God and what political agenda inspired them. The Bible offers a written backbone for the things that are happening now, don’t view it as a prophesy of things to come—history has a bad habit of repeating itself—politicians and nations with special interests have manipulated an entire region, trying to mold it into something it will never be. Between you, me, and the post at Coogee Beach that some might say looks like the Virgin Mary in the right light, history tends to repeat itself, just like some people like to tell the same fucking story over and over and over again—and I’ve heard this story all before, only this time we are Rome. Be sensible, don’t let yourself be spoon-fed rhetoric, pick up a newspaper, watch the news—the journalists are documenting the present for history later. Please, for your sake, arm yourself with knowledge—there is no bliss in ignorance. Apathy is the overrated protection of that rock you’re hiding under—your apathy is a crime against yourself, and it is a crime against society.


–pages 105-106, from the novel, Dusty Waters, A Ghost Story by Laura J. W. Ryan, Field Stone Press, ©2007.

I write about ghosts in this novel, it isn’t a traditional ghost story in the paranormal sense of genre, so don’t go into it expecting a “boo”…yes, there are ghosts and a haunted house in it…but I also tap into the metaphorical ghosts…the that haunt us from the past…yeah, it’s about that…it’s a book about the living as much as it is about the dead.

Photo
Ghost to Ghost…front matter from Dusty Waters, a ghost story

Ghost to Ghost…front matter from Dusty Waters, a ghost story

Photo
The bird’s nest above the door, c. 1985 (at the Fox Sister’s Homestead, Hydesville, NY)
This is the photo my Fred picked to design the book cover for Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story…

The bird’s nest above the door, c. 1985 (at the Fox Sister’s Homestead, Hydesville, NY)

This is the photo my Fred picked to design the book cover for Dusty Waters: A Ghost Story

Photo
The Burned Door at the Fox Sister’s Homestead, Hydesville, NY, c. 1985

The Burned Door at the Fox Sister’s Homestead, Hydesville, NY, c. 1985