In The Delta

In The Delta
In The Delta

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Comments From A Reader Always Make My Day

I'm guessing that most writers out there write for two reasons.  

The first is that we cannot not write.  Stories just keep filling up our heads and we have to get them down on paper or go crazy.

But the real reason that I write and that I imagine other writers do, is you, the reader.  It's all done for you - and as an indie author I can tell you it's not the money - it's the thrill of talking to someone who's read one of your books or getting comments from a reader like the e mail I received today from Patty Bowman.  Patty is an excellent writer in her own right (sorry I could not resist).  She authored Valley Village Vampires - a marvelously inventive and original take on the genre of the Undead.

"Just wanted to let you know I finished "The Disappearance of Dulce and Bonita" and loved it!  I'm really liking Charlie Parker as a character and also Maria, an excellent addition and love interest for him.  I thought their shared experience of loss was a touching bond for them to share, and I actually like Charlie better with Maria than I did with Annaliese.  Totally enjoyed the mystery of the missing girls and I was particularly impressed with the resolution of it.  Didn't see that coming and I LOVED the provocative conflict.  Good stuff!  Glad Charlie's hanging out his P.I. sign and hoping there will be future Charlie stories to come.

Also love the picture on the cover, assume it was taken in Echo Park.  Your forward explaining your attachment to Echo Park and history with it floored me.  I got choked up reading it.  

Thanks again for another wonderful book!"

Thank you Patty.

Of course, there are the occasional bad reviews - even famous authors get them.  I cringed when I read a review of one of my early books that said and I quote "I bought this to get a feel of the Delta and it did that but it is so badly written I couldn't finish it. It really is very earnest but lame."

I consoled myself with the fact that the reviewer had titled his review Amature.
Maybe it was a deliberate misspelling to make a point?

I include that review because it is the worst review I ever got and it hurt.  Still it was one of my first books and I may have gotten better over the years - more polished etc.  However, when I go back and read In The Delta which is the first volume in The Delta Mysteries, I still think it's a pretty good story and introduction to characters that a lot of people seem to like.

So I just keep putting out books - for better or worse.  Not everyone will like them.  Some people will love them or at least tell me they do.  

Whichever it is - I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, June 3, 2016


Whenever there is a natural disaster, and the news crews show people evacuating their homes, what are they carrying with them - aside from children and pets, of course?

Pictures - boxes and boxes of pictures.  Nowadays it's all digital, easy to store thousands of memories and carry them around on your laptop.  But the old photos are a different story.

In addition to the thousands of pictures stored on our computer, we have an entire closet devoted to photo albums that predate the age of computers and digital photography.  Someday, I often say, I will scan the photos that mean the most to me and preserve them the new and modern way.

But I will never destroy those old photographs.  It is an amazing thing to hold in my hands an ancient picture of some ancestor of mine whom I never met - some long lost great grandparent.

It is even more overwhelming to take out the pictures that show my mother as a beautiful young woman, long before my time, and my handsome young father, looking a little uncharacteristically ill-tempered at having been awakened for a photo when he was trying to get some sleep before his night shift at the paper mill in the days before he took up his life long profession as a bartender (which is the way I always saw him - dapper and charming in a white shirt and tie, serving drinks and charm in equal measure at Goodfellows or The Red Brick).

Fast forward through my youth - awkward pictures from grade school and Junior High - followed by those beautifully dated high school pictures - that make me ache with nostalgia for those wonderful, lost times.

Then suddenly - here I am as a mom with my breathtakingly beautiful baby girl and the photos that show the years racing by until she is out of high school, off to college, on to her own life.

And now I am looking back over 37 years spent with the love of my life - my husband Ingolf - here are the photos of us as friends, then lovers, on the bluff in Santa Monica, on a beach, on family holidays with my daughter and our parents.

Here we are on a houseboat in The California Delta - sometimes just us - sometimes accompanied by our parents.  And always , somewhere in the pictures are our dogs - those who passed over the Rainbow Bridge long ago.

Looking at pictures takes me back to the days when, every summer, we would pack up our car and drive cross-country, again accompanied by a changing parade of dogs, to Wisconsin where we would settle in at my mom and her husband's wonderful home on the shore of the Peshtigo River - sleeping on the porch, driving in to Marinette to eat those incredible Mickey-Lu burgers - Friday night fish fries at a variety of places like The Pines - long gone - and Shaffer Park Supper Club - another place that no longer exists  - except in our pictures.

My father who raised me and who was everything a father should be, my mother, her husbands, my husband's father - all gone now - except for their faces in those fading photographs.

Here we all are - sitting around a table on a houseboat - laughing together.  It's easy to forget the little spats and disagreements.  Or remembering, we laugh about those things - they fade into insignificance.

Here's to non digital photos and family albums - sit down with the ones you love who are still with you and share some memories.

For anyone who's interested - and I don't know who would be outside of the family - here's a little album from The Delta.
                                    Downtown Stockton Yacht Harbor before all the changes
                                Walking to Al the Wop's the back way from Walnut Grove Marina
                                                       Boon-Dox in Walnut Grove
                                                            Lost Isle with the parents
                                                         More Lost Isle with the parents
                                            Herman and Helen's - another place that is gone