Archive for March 31st, 2014

Good Stuff

on March 31, 2014 in Misc 10 Comments »

mark_twain sitting

This week I’ve got one old piece of good stuff for you and one new piece.  First the old….

This last week I came across a fact about Mark Twain that made me feel good.  Did you know Twain had trouble becoming a full-time, professional writer?  He’d been slogging away as a reporter in San Francisco and Hawaii (okay, Hawaii was a blast for him), but his writing gigs still didn’t pay enough and he was poor and in debt.   That’s when he wondered if he should go on the lecture circuit.  What he had in mind was to give a humorous presentation about his experiences in Hawaii.  His writer friends were dead set against this and insisted it would ruin his literary reputation.  His former newspaper boss asked him, “Which do you need most at present, money or literary reputation?”  Twain answered “Money!”

So Twain went on the stage and became a kind of traveling nineteenth century stand-up comic.  And thus a great American writer was born.  Not with a lucrative publishing deal or a bestseller, but with personal appearances that gave him enough fame and money to launch his book career.  In other words, he established a platform first, a very distinct public persona, and THEN he wrote his books.

Maybe this isn’t good new for me after all.  All these years I’ve been concentrating on just writing.  Ah, dang!



The other good–no, WONDERFUL–piece of news is that Hart Johnson’s newest cozy mystery KEEPING MUM is out.  Having read her first two books in this series, I can tell you that I’m eager to read the latest adventure of Cam Harris and her pals as they rush to solve another brain-teasing murder.  There will be drama.  There will be humor.  There will be lots of colorful characters with suspicious behavior….

See, Roanoke, Virginia, may seem civilized and lovely, but underneath the flowery surface lurks lust and jealousy and anger and greed, and all kinds of other motivations that make bad people off other people.  KEEPING MUM is written under Hart’s pen name Alyse Carlson, and it’s available everywhere.  I bought it at my local bookstore, ’cause I’m an old fashioned woman who loves my indie shops.

And of course stop by to say hi to Hart at her always entertaining blog, Confessions of a Watery Tart.  (Sorry I can’t make the link work.  I’m still trying figure out my latest version of Word Press.)

Have any good news yourself this last week, or coming up?  I’d love to hear about it.