Category Archives: funny books

Readers’ Favorite 5-star Review for Alice in Monologue Land

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Readers’ Favorite 5-star Review for Alice in Monologue Land

Below, find the amazing and wonderful review for Alice in Monologue Land http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Monologue-Land-Amy-Gettinger-ebook/dp/B00VVK8NFM that Readers’ Favorite said via email last summer that they had found no one to do. Guess this lovely lady did do a review in September, after all, and the email about it to me got lost in political spam. Well, I didn’t go hunting for Alice’s page on Readers’ Favorite until today, when I thought I’d bite the bullet and pay for a review. But to my surprise, here it is! A freebie! 5 Whole Stars!

FROM READERS’ FAVORITE

“Fun, fun, fun! That’s definitely how I would describe Alice in Monologue Land by author Amy Gettinger. following the story of Alice Chalmers, adjunct English professor, single mom, and basically all around stressed out woman. And when she’s ‘encouraged’ or, more aptly, ‘required’ to read a part in her campus’ upcoming “Venus Monologues,” things in her carefully orchestrated life start to fall apart. A coveted job opens up, but Alice is certain that the conservative selection committee would not appreciate her participation in the Venus Monologues. Her Dean pretty much forces her to continue with her participation though, and, resigned, she does so. It’s at practice for the monologues, that she meets the “Venus Warriors,” an interesting group of fearless college women who aren’t afraid to discuss or do just about anything. Throw in some special attention from not one, but three men interested in her and the fact that some of her female students have gone missing, and you’ve got yourself one heck of wild ride of a book.

I so enjoyed Alice in Monologue Land. This was an exceptional read and I read it from cover to cover in just a few days. Author Amy Gettinger has done a fantastic job in creating characters that are funny, intriguing and exciting, sometimes all at once. The story is truly laugh out loud funny at times, and in one scene I actually laughed until I had tears in my eyes. Alice in Monologue Land is a book that would be enjoyed by any reader who enjoys a book with a fun female lead, a book with a little mystery, a little suspense and a little romance all wrapped in one, or just a plain good book. I certainly hope that Amy Gettinger is working on her next novel in this same vein, because I, for one, will be eagerly waiting to read it!”

~ Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite

I am overjoyed! Thanks, Tracy, for reading and reviewing!!! Alice was meant for just your type of audience!

 

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All Promotional Stuff + A New Review for Roll with the Punches

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MIAMI,  FL - MARCH 22: Derek E. Miller (L) and Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells perform at the Ultra Music Festival on March 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Me in my wildest dreams

So this week, I posted a bunch of Chick Lit Chat HQ #chicklitmay #chicklitreads #chicklitmonth related blog posts, two with contests and prizes–got a lot of blog exposure, and some exposure for Roll with the Punches, my literary (cough) okay, humorous fiction baby.

And I wrote a new short story to include in another free (promotional) anthology for summer, featuring red bikinis. Good story–coming together well. I had nasty arm and back pain from too much computer use. Still do.

I tweeted and followed and tweeted and followed–not obsessively, but more than usual. I’ve got close to 300 (Woohoo!!) followers now, though my heart is not in tweeting at all. Sorry, Twitterverse.

I put Roll with the Punches on sale for 99 cents–> http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Punches-Roller-Alzheimers-Plagiarism-ebook/dp/B00V5B3W12

And I FB posted and tweeted and blogged about that, forgetting to include the buy link to Amazon. (Thanks, Paul De Lancey for catching that.) Then I included the buy link and it either wouldn’t stay a full link or it blew away the sale art. I can’t figure out how to post using my own (well, not my own–I begged it at the last minute from Karan Eleni at Bliss Book Promotions–bless her wonderful, giant heart) graphic for the book being on sale WITH the Amazon link, which wants to post my book’s cover art. The two pix battled it out, and Amazon won.

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I am also being featured at Dianne Bylo’s awesome Tome Tender Book Blog–go here–> http://tometender.blogspot.com/2015/05/spotlight-on-amy-gettinger-her-fun.html?zx=cb46d30f863b4393. She is sooooo generous with her time and her great reviews. Love her! She makes my spotlight look really fun, and she’s just a peach.

Fools Rush In, the April Fools Day free (promotional) anthology that I have a piece in has reached over 30,000 people–many, many downloads. Should translate to sales, right?

I got a wonderful Amazon review from the awesome Karin Gillespie, whose Bottom Dollar books I adore. http://www.amazon.com/Karin-Gillespie/e/B001HCVXHY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1431904518&sr=1-1

I did a quick promo with B Knights on Fiverr. Supposed to bring many sales!!! Yeah! But I must have done something wrong. Seriously.

I have great support! I do! My husband, my friends! Dianne Bylo! The incomparable Karan Eleni! Karin Gillespie! The large and very supportive Chick Lit Chat community!!!

And I sold 2 books. And 2 got borrowed. All that to sell 2 books. And loan out 2.

Yeah, I was in tears yesterday.

Then, I dug into the email I missed when I was mid-cold virus two weeks ago and found this Reader’s Favorite 5-star review–which apparently can’t be posted on Amazon, but which is pretty cool.

Book Review
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

“Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism is a chick lit novel written by Amy Gettinger. Rhonda’s relatively carefree existence gets entirely turned upside down in almost no time at all. The librarian and aspiring novelist finds out that the novel she’s been writing for over a year, and spent a full month finishing, has been plagiarized by the mysterious, best-selling author, Reynold Jackson. To make it even more painful a loss, the book’s a runaway bestseller and the fact that she had shopped the book to a number of agents means her reputation is totally shot. Things are even worse at home. Monica, the older sister who took care of things relative to their parents, has emigrated to Australia, her mother’s in the hospital and her father is acting very oddly.

Amy Gettinger’s romantic comedy, Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism, works on so many different levels that it’s awfully hard to categorize it under any single genre. The mystery of the purloined manuscript and the sleuthing efforts of Rhonda, her friend, Harley and the Amazon Rollergirls is first-rate, with plenty of red herrings and an unpredictable ending. Rhonda’s adventures in the roller derby world are marvelous as is her love of being active, strong and athletic — she makes a fabulous role model for young women. The issue of aging parents and the duties that seem to fall willy-nilly on the geographically closest child is a serious one that’s handled with love, humor, and respect. Finally, there’s the romance, something Rhonda’s not too good at, and how she resolves the sudden interest of not one, but two men. Yes, there are sex scenes in Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism, and they’re delightfully free of the usual cliches and filled with invention, frolic and warmth, and they were sheer pleasure to read. This is a big, warm-hearted, hilarious book that wraps the reader up within its covers and holds them there until the last page — and that’s a very good thing. Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism is most highly recommended.”

Go here for more info–> https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/roll-with-the-punches

So that made my freaking week. I really like Jack Magnus now. He gets me. He really gets me. I feel like Sally Field at the Oscars in 1985. If he ever needs a place to stay in SoCal, no problem. This is it.

And now you know how old I am.

Wow! I’m in the spotlight at Tome Tender Book Blog!

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WHOOOOOOOOOOOP!

I am privileged this week to be featured on Dianne Bylo’s fabulous Tome Tender Book Blog. Dianne is a top-500 reviewer on Amazon and a VORACIOUS reader!!! She’s graciously offered to review and feature both of my books (plus the 2 anthologies) this week!!! What a fun ride! Thanks so much, Dianne!!!

http://tometender.blogspot.com/2015/05/spotlight-on-amy-gettinger-her-fun.html

And here’s her review of Alice in Monologue Land.

Alice cover 1

“Practice your snort laugh, you are going to need it and its okay if someone hears you, it means another author has done their job! Amy Gettinger has a story to tell and it’s one for regular women, and about regular women, because seriously, sometimes guys just don’t get many of a female’s issues or stumbling blocks in life. Meet Alice, single mom, struggling to make ends meet, be in three places at one time and now, a speaker for a unique women’s literary event. And she is trying to find a way out of it, desperately, because, really who wants to read a poem or anything about female body parts. Alice isn’t a groundbreaker, she’s good with not being up close and personal with her, um, you know…and the oppression women have felt over being comfortable with their bodies? Can’t call her a groundbreaker there, either.

Pretty sure you have figured out this is not drama, although Amy Gettinger does make some dramatic scenes come to life with a bit of mystery and edgy darkness. Ms. Gettinger is here to entertain and she succeeds admirably, from page one as she takes us through the chaotic life that belongs to her main character, Alice. From dark parking lots to students who are more than they seem, to pythons giving “hugs,” one must admire the character Alice or pray for her survival.
A fun-loving read, perfect to bring sunshine to even the cloudiest day, Ms. Gettinger lets us know it is okay to laugh at ourselves, just in case we can identify with Alice and that reading less than lofty tomes brings a certain sparkle and shine to the literary world. I might suggest you hang on tight, this tale has more spins than a tilt-a-whirl.”

http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Monologue-Land-Amy-Gettinger-ebook/dp/B00VVK8NFM

I am happy dancing all day today!!! Hope you’ll go over and check out her blog post–you can win gift cards!!!

What’s on Page 45?

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What'sonPage45

Wow! Two fun writing blogs about my book 2 days in a row! In honor of Chick Lit Month–May, on the Chick Lit Chat group on facebook. So what IS on page 45? Take a guess.

In Roll With the Punches, page 45 is where Rhonda realizes just how much hot water she’s in with her book having been stolen and her dad a sudden wild card—quite unpredictable and irrepressible (in layman’s terms: looney tunes) in his actions. Her mother is about to have surgery on a broken ankle, and Rhonda’s siblings are out of town. She’s really stressed out, waiting at the hospital. So take a guess what she does—what any red-blooded American librarian/novelist would do under such sudden, elemental, parental and societal pressure.

 

  1. She snorts a bunch of coke? Uh, nope. She’s too cheap to buy it. And being allergic, she’d probably sneeze it all into the next county. L. A. has plenty of drug problems without her adding to the mix.
  2. She gets drunk? Nah. Getting drunk is for wusses. Or for later in the day.
  3. She goes to the mall and buys out Nordstrom’s? Hah! With her credit score? Get serious. Besides, she still has t-shirts and shorts with a few good wearings left in them.
  4. She chows down on burgers and fries at McDonald’s? You have very bad taste in burgers. We may not let you guess any more.
  5. She does word scramble puzzles at the speed of light with the aid of her super color/letter sensitivity? BINGO! We have a winner! Of course, after that, she leaves her parents snoring in the hospital to hop in the car and head for the beach. A girl needs fresh air and gorgeous views to figure this hard stuff out.

 

Please join Rhonda in more of her rollicking, humorous chick lit mystery/adventure, full of fun and light romance: Roll with the Punches. Here is her blurb:

Falling is extra hard on tall people, like Rhonda Hamilton: the bone breakage, the bruises, the ignominy of it all. And Rhonda’s falling, hard. The latest novel from a reclusive national bestselling author is a twin to the manuscript she’s just finished and started marketing to agents. Some wild roller derby girls add a bludgeon of crazy to Rhonda’s hunt for the book thief, but can they find out the truth before her reputation tanks?

Plus, Dad is acting odd: storing milk in the garage and throwing away Rhonda’s clothes. Two drool-worthy guys offer to help, guys Rhonda would gladly fall for, if her life weren’t careening between crazy Dad, crazy-ass derby bouts and burlesque fundraisers, and crazy-inducing mudslides. Only one thing is sure: if she wants to nail the wily plagiarist and keep Dad safe, Rhonda had better stay up on her skates to avoid a very big fall.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Punches-Roller-Alzheimers-Plagiarism-ebook/dp/B00V5B3W12

 

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Pippa Franks – http://pippafranks.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Laura Kenyon – http://wp.me/p28QA1-1JR

Jayne Denker: http://wp.me/p2yU7r-gy

Gina Henning – http://www.ginahenning.com/blog/2015/5/4/whats-on-page-45

Laura Chapman – http://www.change-the-word.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45.html

Celia Kennedy – http://womanreinventsself.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Jennifer Farwell – http://jenniferfarwell.com/2015/05/12/whats-on-page-45/

Glynis Astie – http://blog.glynisastie.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Tracy Krimmer – http://www.tracykrimmer.com/2015/05/11/page45

Jillianne Hamilton – http://jillianne-hamilton.com/whats-on-page-45/

Georgina Troy – http://georginatroy.blogspot.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45.html

Jennifer Collin – http://jennifercollin.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Samantha March – http://samanthamarch.com/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45/

Sky Greene – http://livinglifewithjoy.com/2015/05/11/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45/

Kathryn Biel – http://kathrynbiel.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Meredith Schorr – http://wp.me/p2PJqp-xV

Karen M. Cox – http://wp.me/p3IgXQ-nH

Jennie Marts – http://celiakennedy.weebly.com/promotions.html

Serena Clarke – http://wp.me/p2Z7wj-XU

 

GRAND PRIZE

1poundcaramelsforchicklitmay

A one-pound package of caramels from Whitney’s Goodies http://whitneysgoodies.com/  Winner can choose their flavor from those listed below.

The Girl Next Door (Crème Caramels): A scrumptious, full-bodied caramel. Old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth bliss!

The Charmer (Chocolate Crème Caramels): This smooth, chocolate cream caramel will add panache to your day. An exquisite and elegant morsel, simply irresistible.

The Movie Star (Orange Crème Caramels): A timeless treat that will satisfy caramel fans of all ages. “The stuff that dreams are made of!”

The Bombshell (Lemon Crème Caramels): A bodacious bit of heaven with a bold citrus pallet. They will leave you satisfied and refreshed. Caramels are a girl’s best friend!

Always a Lady (Rose Caramels): A delicate bouquet of rose essence infuses this lovely caramel: alluring, tantalizing and reminiscent of another era. They are perfect for weddings and bridal showers. A definite for ladies who lunch or breakfast at Tiffany’s.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below. You can enter at each of the blogs participating in the pageant. That’s 37 chances to win! Entrants must leave their full name, along with an e-mail address. A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Tuesday, May 19th. This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.

In 4 or 5 words, why do you think Roll with the Punches would be a good read? (Be sure to leave your email address to enter.)

 

Miss Chick Lit Pageant & Gift Card Giveaway

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MissChickLit2015

Miss Chick Lit Pageant & Gift Card Giveaway

Hi, I’m Rhonda Hamilton, representing the great County of Orange in California in this pageant! Yeah, California is so big, they only let me represent a county, not the whole state. (If those stubborn bloggers who still think I plagiarized my own book had anything to say about it, I’d only get to represent Acorn Street, Anaheim, where I grew up.) But hey, I’m 35 and writing full-time!—my third novel in my Science Blows Bigtime Series. I love fast food, men with big noses (well, one in particular), and Frisbee-catching dogs. And I love beating Dad at hearts—which is rare. Old codger is a sly dog. My dream is one day to find the perfect roller derby knee pads that will bounce me back to a balanced standing position on impact. A girl can dream, can’t she?

Rhonda’s Swimsuit for the Competition

MIAMI,  FL - MARCH 22: Derek E. Miller (L) and Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells perform at the Ultra Music Festival on March 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Um, about that swimsuit. See, girly swimsuits? Who needs them? They’re totally archaic and require all that painful shaving. Ugh. Besides, when you’re built like a derby girl, let’s just say shorts and tank tops are a kinder option for both wearer and viewer. So after sweaty bouts, we rollergirls all head over to Hippo’s condo and dive into her community pool in our derby practice wear. One time, Cathy dove in with her skates on. LOL. Made swimming really hard. Then we all soak our sore, tattooed butts in the Jacuzzi with a brew in hand–a good brew, like a Fat Tire or a Sam Adams. Gotta admit we have good taste in beer. Of course, when I go swimming with my man at the new house, swimming suits are pretty much optional … but that’s another story.

Rhonda’s Talent Competition

Does interpretive roller skating count as a talent? Or I could show off my mean J-check. I am a gifted blocker, they say. And the derby girls and I do a corral move that will literally knock your socks off. Actually, if pressed to show a solitary talent, I could do 30 pull-ups in a row. Then a few dozen pushups and 200 sit-ups. Yeah, I know. Stellar, huh? Pretty sure I’m gonna win this thing.

Interview Question

Interviewer: So, Rhonda, if you were stopped by a police office for speeding, what excuse would you give for the rush?

Rhonda: You’re kidding, right? Me? Stopped by the cops? Never! I mean N-E-V-E-R! I am a totally law-abiding citizen. Now, Harley gets stopped every time we go out together. She’s collected a list of the traffic cops in the area. She knows them by name and knows just how to charm each one to let her off the hook, mostly. It *may* involve Starbucks and Krispy Kreme gift cards. Or not.

Interviewer: But if you were stopped … Surely, it happened once.

Rhonda: Oh, you mean that incident. Um. Well, my guy had gotten a bit drunk. Okay, snockered. So I was driving, and suddenly, he was all over me. And that nose—well, I guess I’m a sucker for attention to certain parts of my anatomy. In all the passion resulting, my foot got a bit heavy, and … Let’s just say the—er—cop that stopped me got a view of more skin than everybody saw at the Halloween Derby Fundraiser before the brawl. You’ll have to read about it. Um, I’m done now. Bye.

Interviewer: You’re blushing!

Rhonda: I am not.

Interviewer: Are too.

Rhonda: Shut up or I will punch you.

Read more about Rhonda Hamilton in Roll with the Punches at http://amzn.com/B00V5B3W12

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You too can be a derby queen, representing your own street in the pageant with a $100 gift card! The Grand Prize for this international drawing will be:

US/Canada winner – $100 gift card to Sephora

UK winner – £65 gift card to Lush Cosmetics

Australia winner – $125AUD to Mecca

$100

 Participating blogs:

Cait Reynolds – http://wp.me/p4jZS8-b5

Gina Henning – http://www.ginahenning.com/blog/2015/5/3/miss-chick-lit-pageant

Tracie Banister – http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/2015/05/miss-chick-lit-2015-chicklitmay.html

Amy Gettinger – http://wp.me/p4080t-25

Glynis Astie – http://blog.glynisastie.com/2015/05/miss-chick-lit-2015.html

Tracy Krimmer – http://www.tracykrimmer.com/misschicklit/

Maggie Le Page – http://hellopreciousbliss.com/

Kathryn Biel – http://kathrynbiel.blogspot.com/2015/05/miss-chick-lit.html

Laura Chapman – http://www.change-the-word.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-miss-chick-lit-2015.html

Contest Instructions: Answer the question below in my comments section in order to be entered in the giveaway. Be sure to include your email address with your answer so we can get in touch with you if you win! You can enter at each of the 19 blogs listed above, giving you 19 chances to WIN! A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Monday, May 18th.

Interviewer: So, blog visitor, if you were stopped by a police office for speeding, what excuse would you give for the rush? Don’t forget to include your email address in the reply.

Book Excerpt: Roll with the Punches

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Here’s an excerpt of Roll with the Punches:

I was just getting ready to call Marian’s copyright lawyer, Jack Pruitt, at lunchtime when my cell phone rang.

“Rhonda? Is that you?” said an older female voice.

“Yep. This is my cell phone.”

“It’s Arlene, honey. You don’t happen to know where your dad is, do you?”

Alarm bell. “No. He should be in Anaheim, at home.”

Polite Arlene minced words. “Well, Corliss Greene was with him this morning, but your father, well, maybe … kind of yelled at her or something. Your mother told her to make cereal for his breakfast, but Harold insisted on making eggs and bacon. I think it may have ended in kind of a … well, a food fight. Then he wanted to go see your mother right away, but Corliss was still cleaning up the kitchen. He got real impatient, I believe he swore some, and he took off, she thought for a walk. That was about 9:30 or so. She called me at my job an hour later when she realized he’d taken the car. She said she couldn’t work for a man with a mouth like that. She quit.”

Stomach sinking, I said, “So did he go see my mother?”

“He never showed up there. Nobody knows where he went. I got some neighbors to look in the neighborhood, but no luck. Your mother told me not to bother you, but it’s been almost three hours, and I’m really worried.”

Oh boy. Orange County was a giant place, and Dad was loose in it.

“I’m coming. Try the local donut shops, okay?”

Stooped, gray Marla in her stout librarian’s shoes was deeply unhappy at my leaving work early on a Friday, but I finally got a hall pass and flew back to Anaheim in my little Honda, like Boudicca in her chariot, ready to save her royal ancestor. On the way, I stopped at my condo for some fresh ice packs.

The Santa Ana winds had intensified overnight to produce a hot, dry, hazy October day. During my drive, my head filled with a blast of acrid wood smoke blowing in from wild fires in the hills near Silverado and Modjeska Canyons. My eyes watered and my nose ran. It was the type of day we Southern Californians used as an excuse for arson, murder, and bad hair.

When I pulled up at the curb outside the folks’ house, I had already peeled off my green linen jacket. I ran inside. A quick tour of the suffocating house revealed no sign of Music Man, not even the old blue Chevy in its normal mooring place. In the middle of the family room, I slammed my bag on the brown shag carpet, shed all my clothes except my underwear, and screamed loudly. Then I flipped on the cranky old air conditioning, crouched low under the kitchen window and Arlene’s visual radar, and slapped together a peanut butter sandwich at the kitchen countertop, all the while trying to read Dad’s mind.

Where are you, you old coot?

But my sports bra and underpants were soaked with sweat. So I popped them in the microwave and found a chunk of ice to rub on my stomach and chest and stood in front of the family room air vent feeling quite free in an odd sort of way. The hall mirror showed me a slightly rounded Roman statue of Pomona, goddess of fruit, come to life. Me. Au naturel. I posed a second for the glass. Not bad, except for the dorky sandals.

Then, just like my karate-loving brothers at age five, running around with weenies flapping at bath time, my lack of clothes freed the real Pomona inside me. I stretched like a cat, working out muscle stiffness, and danced a swirly, twirly dance around the room. As I did, my goddess energy shifted more toward Athena in battle, throwing air punches at the mirror and striking defensive stances. I snatched a pot lid for my shield and lashed out with a stirring spoon, my spear, then whirled and stuck the butcher knife deep into my imaginary opponent’s invisible heart. A high kick at his compadres with my magic sandal finished the job.

Which was when Dal walked in the garage door and got a comprehensive view of everything I had to offer. Faster than a speeding bullet, I was down the hall, leaving the spoon and butcher knife suspended in mid-air like in Tom and Jerry cartoons. Then silence. For long minutes.

“Could you throw me my bra? It’s in the microwave,” I finally yelled.

Pause. It sailed down the hall.

I waited. “And my underwear?”

It came after another pause, with elastic now as limp as old celery.

“You nuke elastic?” he said.

“Never,” I yelled. “Clothes?”

“Why?” He laughed.

When I came out in Mom’s robe, he was rooting in the fridge. “This house has unexpected and wondrous views.” he murmured to the lettuce.

“Mm-hmm,” I agreed, appreciating my view of a tightly muscled rear end and some long, sleek, brown legs disguised in old cut-offs and Nikes. Not bad. “Forget what you saw or you die.” I bit into my sandwich.

He closed the fridge and turned, imperious with all that startling nose. A smile quirked his lips. “Not sure it’s possible,” he said, then laughed.

*           *           *

After I’d changed, I found him out on the driveway, unloading his over-stuffed silver Toyota. “Have you seen my dad?” I asked, holding a cold Coke to my forehead. It was still mercilessly hot out.

He was arranging an armload of long metal pipes, two-by-fours, saws, and other tools, including some evil-looking axes, on and around the workbench in the garage, ponytail wagging as he bent and lifted.

“No, I just got here. Your car was here and the garage door was open. So I …” He stacked a giant plastic bin full of scrap metal on top of a pile next to the workbench.

I said, “Listen, Music Man took off in the car three hours ago. No one knows where he is.” A little frantic note crept into my voice.

He stopped and looked at me. “Music Man?”

“Dad. Harold Hamilton, Harold Hill. He was in the school play.”

“He’s not at the hospital?”

“Never went there. He’s been gone for hours.”

“And your little naked dance in there was aimed at getting him home fast?” He frowned.

“I was nuking my underwear. I couldn’t call the police naked.” I pulled out my phone and dialed the police as I spoke, and got put on hold.

“Why not? People do it all the time.”

“Not me.”

He gave me a measuring look. “You seem relieved.”

“Huh?”

He shrugged. “He’s wandered off. Pardon my bluntness, but isn’t that a perfect excuse to put him in assisted living and not have to deal with him anymore?”

“What the—! Who asked you? See, I work for a living. I can’t be here every minute. And I didn’t lose him. He took off.” The police operator finally picked up, and I barked out all the pertinent information into my phone, including Dad’s driver’s license and license plate number. I’d memorized them long ago.

Dal’s eyes were unreadable. “Was he alone this morning?”

Hanging up, I turned on him, blood in my eye. “You mean did I leave him alone just to give him the chance to wander off so I’d have an excuse to commit him? Boy, are you a snake.” I stomped into the house to get my purse and an apple.

He was waiting in the yard, an eyebrow raised, when I got back outside.

I burst out, “Look, everyone says he’s fine. The doctor said he should stay home, and he agrees. So we’re trying that. He doesn’t want a keeper, but he takes off when he’s left alone. At least in one of those assisted living places, we could locate him. But why am I talking to you? According to you, whatever I do with him is wrong.” I got in my car and slammed the door. My butt bruises screamed. I’d forgotten to bring an ice pack.

He stood impassive in the yard, arms crossed.

I wrestled with my seat belt, still grumbling. “He was so obnoxious that his companion left today. But I’m the one to blame! The doctor assured me—” The seat belt would not unroll. “—all Dad needed was a normal life.” Tug. “At home to get past the stress—” Tug. “—of Mom’s surgery and my sister’s moving.” I looked up and he was gone. I fought the damn thing for several minutes and got as manic as my sister on prom day.

Then suddenly he appeared at the driver’s side window and shoved three more cold Cokes at me. “Move over. I’ll drive.”

“This is my car, and someone needs to be at the house in case he comes home.”

“The neighbor’s right next door, and you’re too mad to drive.”

“A minute ago you blamed me for leaving him alone,” I complained, scooting over painfully. I hated women who always handed over the steering wheel whenever a Y chromosome entered a car. But I was too hot and frustrated for more protest.

The seat belt worked like silk for him, and he swung the car into the street. “Is there somewhere we should check, some favorite place where he might spend three hours?”

I held a Coke to my rib cage, then took a swig.

He said, “Some restaurant? A library? A bar? The beach?”

“That’s it!” I said. “The beach. He loves the beach. There are only a few thousand miles of that to search.”

 

Adventures on Twitter with Janet E.

Standard

Twitter and I are not intuitively linked in any way, shape or form. I prefer Facebook. Or a phone conversation. Or face-to-face chats. Old school communication. Talk to me. I hate symbols. I write long. I write books with 120,000 words. Short stories with 10,000 words are just barely adequate for me. Flash fiction at 250 words? I suck at it. 140 characters is not enough to characterize a sneeze for me, much less meaningful communication.

But I have been talked into tweeting by the self-publishing wizards I’ve met on Facebook. I made a few crappy attempts at promoting my work to my 15 followers, not quite understanding the uses of # and @, and generally failing at leaving promo posts on Facebook that were supposed to be easily re-tweetable.

So I stepped back, away from Tweet-land. Then on Facebook one day, a friend said there was a thing going on about #WomenWriteFunny. I went on Twitter and tried a while and finally found the thread. I thought, this is a free-for-all. Go for it. So I tweeted, “@janetevanovich is the Queen of #WomenWriteFunny.” I mean she is. She really is. She blows up a car in every book, and her characters eat donuts without apology. What’s not to like? Then I went off and did things I feel much more comfortable with. Like dishes and dog-petting.

So today, I went back on Twitter, just for kicks. Well, not exactly. It was because I got duped by a fake story of Prince William and Kate having their baby and announcing it on Twitter. Riiiiiiiiight. Silly me. Anyway, I followed 100 people and then I checked my notifications. Janet Evanovich, my favorite funny writer, my go-to when stressed, had favorited my silly #WomenWriteFunny tweet!