One Year of Lucky 13 Stories

Last September, the 13th fell on a Friday. That evening as the sun set, my brother married his true love, exchanging vows in the shallow waters of a mineral lake left by ancient glaciers. It was a day of the best kind of luck for our family, and inspired this series of Lucky 13 stories.

Fellow authors and artists including Julie Eberhart Painter, Jude Johnson, Carol McPhee, Jill Blair, Linda Rettstatt, Ceci Giltenan, Celia Breslin, and the dear late Jane Toombs graciously shared stories of how luck played a role in their writing and their lives. And coming up next month, Audra Middleton describes the luck of the pitch that landed her first book contract.

The series also inspired my blog’s tag line – every day, good luck comes in the strangest of ways. It’s a line from British singer/songwriter/master slide guitarist Chris Rea’s song “God’s Great Banana Skin.” And I believe it’s true. All we have to do is pay attention, and the good luck shows itself.

Today, for example, at the end of a ragged week filled with technical troubles, bumps in the road, and minor setbacks, everywhere I look I see spots of luck.

The early morning sunshine streaming through a window, making a warm spot on the rug for my toes to bask.

A steaming cup of coffee, strong and dark, ready to wake me up to enjoy a Saturday morning with nothing of any importance scheduled.

My pile of to-be-read books tempting me from the bedside table.

Books to write, stories to tell, walks to take, music to listen to, art to create.

Friends to call and meals to enjoy.

And, of course, you, dear readers.

And all the things that will happen today to start a new chain of good luck, working their mysterious ways, traveling paths I can’t even imagine, paths that won’t make themselves visible until they’re in the past.

Every day, good luck comes in the strangest of ways.

 

 

The Weight of History and Memory

As we pause today, feeling the weight of history and memory, honoring the terrible losses of 2001, I also hold tight to the memory of that all-too brief moment when the whole world felt united in our humanity, rather than enraged by our differences.

This is what all my creative work strives for: stories of aliens, angels, wicked spirits, dogs, cats, and human beings, all finding the ways they can connect, to remind us (me) that we are, deep down, kin.

there is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. there is another theory which states this has already happened. douglas adams

Don’t forget… Meet My Characters Blog Hop continues

As of today you can meet Willow, Carina, Alexander, and Lix. Visit their authors and find out why you want to get to know them better. Because trust me, you do.

Find the links to Audra, Celia, and Sonya’s blogs here: Meet My Characters Blog Hop

We are tiny, thank goodness: On TWV

My contribution to The Writers’ Vineyard this month is inspired by a Pale Blue Dot.

You might remember one of the most famous photos of our planet. It’s often referred to as the Pale Blue Dot. Taken from the Voyager I space probe in 1990, it shows the entire planet Earth as a tiny pale blue speck, less than a pixel.

A friend of mine reminded me of this photo when she shared a video clip with Carl Sagan narrating the story of the Pale Blue Dot and its meaning. All we are, have been, and will ever be, all of human history, our wars and battles, our triumphs and failures, our love affairs, families, communities, arts, books, everything about being human takes place on this tiny speck of the vast universe.

The images and narration combine to create a beautiful story of both our insignificance and our importance.

Read it all here.

Author Interview: Coffee Time Romance & More

Thanks to Rita and the team at Coffee Time Romance & More for this sweet and funny interview with me. And, you’ll find out what I look like – there’s no camera on me, right?

Read it all here.

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Meet My Characters Blog Hop: Samuel Clement Carver

Thanks so much to the delightful Julie Eberhart Painter for tagging me in this Meet My Characters Blog Hop! Find Julie’s character blog (and lots of other great posts) here. You’ll meet the amazing Skillet Hamilton from Julie’s poignant book, Morning After Midnight. At the end of this post, you’ll find info on four other authors I’m pleased to tag next – their character posts will be live one week from today.

I decided to introduce y’all to Samuel Clement Carver, one of the characters whose lives are inextricably linked in You, Jane. Read on:

  • Is your character fictional or a historic person?

Samuel Clement Carver is entirely fictional. Every character in this book is entirely fictional. No, really. Even if they do seem to remind you of people I know, that’s just an illusion. They are all made up. Yup. Fictional.

  • When and where is the story set?

In the here and now, mostly Seattle, but with real-world scenes in Kyoto, Taos, and Spokane, and fable-world scenes in unnamed towns, swamps, back roads, and woods. The world of You, Jane is our world, with a peppering of magic and mystery.

  • What should we know about him/her?

Sam is lanky, handsome, lonely, funny, always late, loves dogs, plays the ukulele his father gave him before he died, and carries his hell inside him. That’s why he wanders around, never settling anywhere – as soon as he slows down, that hell reaches up to grab him. He’s been a friend of Jane’s since they met at a cult-like ashram community in Taos, and he made sure she got real coffee, not the “fake chicory something or other” the “family” provided. He’s one of the few people Jane trusts enough to tell about the fables she writes that come true and create havoc in her life.

  • What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Not long after Sam’s seventh birthday, his father died in a car accident. Sam was raised by his stepfather, a military man of cold fairness, who helped Sam join the Air Force when he turned 18. Sam became one of the youngest pilots around, and then his plane crashed trying to rescue hostages. He survived, his crew (and friends) did not. Sam’s been wandering around, trying to find someone to keep him company on his road out of hell ever since.

  • What is the personal goal of the character?

At the beginning of the story, Sam seeks to avoid feeling the guilt he carries about walking away from the plane crash that killed his mates. He left the military and began a wandering life, carrying only his old knapsack and the ukulele his father gave him. By the end, Sam also seeks a companion in the truest sense of the word: someone to share his life, his wandering, and his bed; someone he can love, support, cherish, and enjoy a good roll in the hay with. He thinks that companion might be Jane.

  • Is this novel published, and where can we read more about it?

You, Jane was published in June. You can find it on Amazon for Kindle, at the publisher’s store for any e-book format, and at other fine e-book retailers.

And…coming up next, on September 9:

Audra Middleton was born and raised in Washington State where she lives with her husband and their three boys. She gave up her teaching career to raise her children, and in between diaper changes and baseball games, she began writing books. Once she started, she couldn’t stop, even after she went back to teaching. And we readers are glad she couldn’t stop writing!

 

Matt says “I like to write and draw and listen to very old records. So far, I’ve written Citizens of Purgatory and Under the Electric Sun. I’m working on a third novel right now, but I haven’t decided on a title yet.” Don’t let his modesty fool you. He’s an amazing artist of colored pencil drawings, and Citizens of Purgatory is a darkly funny comedy of small town life.

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for vampires and the Fae. When not writing, you’ll find her exercising, reading a good book or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies. Trust me, you’ll want to meet any character Celia’s created.
Sonya lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. They also share their home with two dogs, two cats and a lonely catfish. “Space Tripping With the Shredded Orphans” is her debut novel – and the world Sonya creates in that book is definitely one you need to visit. Sonya looks for the humor and humanity in daily life. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the family, you might find her dancing.