Archive for April 28th, 2013

First, a FACTOID.

Sometimes I come across odd little facts that may not be right for me but  might come in handy for a fellow writer, so I’ll present them here.  This one is from the January issue of National Geographic

Evolutionary biologist Jaroslav Flegr (I couldn’t invent a name like that) discovered he was infected with a parasite that can jump from cat to cat by using rats.  When “toxo” infects a rat, it hijacks its brain, making the rat more active, less risk averse, and sexually attracted to the scent of cat urine.

Why did Flegr think he was infected?  Because he’d been exhibiting strange behavior.  “I would cross the street in traffic but not jump out of the way when cars honked… People infected with toxo are 2.6 times more likely to get into a traffic accident.”  See, in humans toxo greatly slows reaction time, makes them less conscientious and more prone to risks.  Oh, and male subjects like the smell of cat urine.  Sadly, there’s no cure, and this parasite may be causing many deaths and also cases of schizophrenia.

Sounds like something out of Stephen King novel, doesn’t it?  Only this is real and especially scary when you consider the statistical likelihood that there are other parasites, viruses, or other tiny bugs that can alter human behavior while remaining virtually undetectable.

And now for the BLURB…

As most of you know — ’cause I’ve been talking about them more than I’ve been working on them — I’ve got two manuscripts I’m going to publish this year:  Charity MacCay and the Almighty Dollar and its sequel, Charity MacCay and Holy Relations.

Well, I’ve finally written the blurb for the first book.  It’s still rough, and I’d really appreciate any feedback you might have for me.  Here it is:

The Civil War has ended, Charity MacCay is eighteen years old, and everyone in her hometown expects her to settle down and become a dutiful wife.  But what Charity wants is the thrills, fortune and romance she reads about in dime novels.  One night they inspire her to perform “a courageous act” that backfires and lands her in a scandal.  To save the family reputation, her mother packs her off to live with relatives in New York City.  Once there, Charity wastes no time falling in love with a dashing, mysterious man, inspires a friend to become a pool shark, and adopts the new American philosophy of getting rich quick while pulling herself up by her high-heeled bootstraps.

This is a rollicking memoir of a woman coming of age just as modern America is being born.  A time when greed spins out of control on unregulated Wall Street.  When Charity can make a small fortune, lose it in a stock scheme engineered by corporate Robber Barons, and plot to get back every penny while trying to stay out of jail.  All she needs is the help of the man she loves and that of the richest man in America, Cornelius Vanderbilt himself. The problem is, she doesn’t really trust either one.

So waddya think?  Pretty good?  Sucks like a sponge?  Start all over or just tweak it?  Whatever your reaction is, I’d love to hear it.

Have a great week.