My wonderful friend Therese, who has a long and wonderful relationship with Paris and France, is hosting my book Roll With The Punches today! Thanks, Therese!
See the post at https://theresegilardi.wordpress.com/
Thanks for following!
Alice shoved the scripts at Maya like she was sending a salad with a caterpillar back to the chef. She owed Maya something in return for the lunch, but reading one of these scripts? Aloud? On stage? No. Her whole body constricted at the thought.
Maya shuffled through them. “No, not ‘Venus Interrupted.’ It’s about the killing of innocent women all over the world. You know, like those awful honor killings and dowry deaths in Asia, the maquiladora killings in northern Mexico, and female infanticide in places like China.”
A chill went up Alice’s spine, and she heard Kali giggle from her shelf.
“Too depressing for you,” Maya said. “Ah, here. Try ‘Venus Nipples.’ Start here.” She shoved the whole script pile back at Alice, pointing to the top one with her long, slim index finger, so tan and refined next to the graffitied cast below it. “Aloud.”
Alice obeyed out of old habit. “I am Venus’s rosy, erect n-n-nipple, open and tamarind sweet, full and ripe and waiting, pulsing to nourish the world. My dark au-au-aureole, its rich coffee halo roots taste of warm bergamot, yearns and blooms, aches a saxophone echo of my plummy, t-tart Venus l-l-labia, q-q-quivers the sweet, tender—”
“Going to lunch with us, Maya?” came a tenor voice from the doorway.
“Ahh!” Alice lurched upright, clutching the scripts to her chest.
A shaggy male head in a worn-out baseball cap appeared at the office doorway. “Oh. You have company.” She saw worn brown corduroy pants on a medium, stocky build. His Birkenstocks stepped inside the doorway.
Alice saw a chance to bolt.
Maya said, “Hi, Joe. Lunchtime already? Alice, this is Joe Dancy from art history. He and I eat with a group of colleagues on Fridays.”
Alice stood and took a step, but her long, flowered skirt caught on her chair leg. Rip. Pulled off balance, she grabbed Maya’s desk, and the bundle of scripts fell through her grasp like pornographic confetti.
Private female words danced around the office floor like a bunch of naughty four-year-olds. Alice dove at the scripts, ripping her skirt farther.
But Joe, Boy Scout-quick, was already kneeling and chuckling at the top script. “Nipples? Lick me, suck, me, and drag me howling to your famished depths? Whoa, momma!”
Maya grabbed the script. “Joe, Alice here teaches ESL part time.”
In her mad scramble after pages, Alice mumbled hello.
Maya said, “Alice, what was your last name again? I’m sorry. My memory plays more tricks than Kali and Shiva together.”
“Hey, don’t call in your demons, Maya,” Joe grumbled. “I’ve got enough trouble this week, thank you.”
Alice finally looked up to see a wild sandy beard and sandy eyebrows to rival Groucho’s. Joe’s gray eyes lit up as he glanced at another script. “A climactic, pulsing, reverberating sunrise of glossy, moist, pink vibrations?”
Alice wrenched the whole paper mess from his hand. “Hi. I’m Alice.”
“Alice …?” he said expectantly.
“Chalmers.” Three … two … one. Alice evened the stack of papers and checked that her cell phone was on in case one of her kids barfed at school or her house caught fire. The best thing about her ESL students and city folks in general was that they didn’t blink at her famous name brand.
Joe nabbed three more scripts from the floor. “Oh, Nora Rohmer mentioned you.” Nora Rohmer was ESL department head. “She and I just served on the technology committee together. She likes your enthusiasm for the new classroom computers. They were her idea, you know.”
What a relief not to have to discuss her name further. “Always glad to be in good with the full-timers.” Alice performed her I-love-this-job-so-much-couldn’t-I-just-have-an-office-and-tenure-with-a-side-of-benefits? smile.
A wiry young woman with low-slung cargo pants, tiny tank top, four-inch platform clogs and Coke-bottle glasses slouched in. She reeked of cigarette smoke and fresh nail polish. “Lunch time, Maya. Get a move on! I f-messed up my toenail. Gotta get to a nail place. Now.”
“Go ahead, Lila,” Maya said. “I’ll lock up if we’re long.” She frowned. “Wait. Alice Chalmers. Isn’t that a famous actress?”
Joe fingered his beard. “No, I’m thinking a porn star.”
“Joe,” Maya laughed. “No sexual harassment. Please!”
Lila clomped back to her desk, shaking her head.
Then the corner of Joe’s mouth went up. “Oh. Allis Chalmers.” His eyes twinkled like a sandy Surfer Santa on a Laguna Beach Christmas card. “Listen, I’ve got car trouble. Do you rent out for towing? Or even better, for spring planting? My garden really needs work.”
“It’s not easy being green,” Alice sang. “Eight cylinders. Always towing a wide load, sowing seeds of knowledge, spreading around loads of sh—manure.”
Maya said. “Seeds? Manure? Are you a gardener, Alice? But a green toe? Isn’t it a green thumb?”
Joe cocked an eyebrow. “Alice will tell us over lunch. Won’t you?”
Buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Monologue-Land-Amy-Gettinger-ebook/dp/B00VVK8NFM
Look what my good friend and great admirer Paul De Lancey (Captain of Paul’s Fighting Flying Squirrel Squadron) did! He highlighted my book on his blog! Check it out for a fun excerpt from Roll With The Punches!!
On March 24, I published my first novel, Roll With The Punches. It took 10 years to write and rewrite and rewrite and slice back and reconfigure and rewrite. Finally, this month, I got the courage to release it to the wild, sort of like those red-tailed hawks and Cooper’s hawks and kestrels and barn owls and great horned owls we released back into the wild after months of rehab with the OC Bird of Prey Center this week. Then I got crazy and released my second book, Alice in Monologue Land. It had taken 12 years to accomplish to my satisfaction. Twelve years of writing–learning to write, getting the words just so, so they tell the story I want and flow and are funny. Problem with my books is they have never flown before like those raptors, and I now feel like a true Helicopter Mom, trying to get them to fly and then teach them how to stay aloft.
I got a wonderful book review right out of the gate from my long-time best friend, Lenore, who had read the book a while back and enjoyed it. Then many dry days went by until my sister read the book and wrote quite a glowing review, which I really had not expected. (Thank you, Mary!) Yay! 2 great reviews! I was happy. But according to the Powers Of Book Promotion, 2 is not enough. I must find more, many more. All wonderful, all valid reviews. So I’ve begged and pleaded for days for more reviews. I’ve walked the streets of Orange County, hawking books and begging tourists and passing fat men for reviews. (LOL, no. I’ve learned to tweet and pimp out the book something outrageous on Facebook–which is just as bad. And I must say tweeting is for the birds and liking for like’s sake is just weird.)
So yesterday, I checked my FB as usual, which is now taking all day long, with all the writers’ sites I’ve joined. I had requested a review from a top-500 Amazon reviewer, Dianne at Tome Tender Blog. And there it was!! My review!! My big, fat, awesome book review!!! I was thrilled! I am thrilled! Here is a link to my big, fat awesome book review
for my big, fat awesome book!!
If you’re out of ideas for fresh pranks, read this book for some inspiration. It’s chock full of prankish activity. http://www.amazon.com/Fools-Rush-April-Day-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00UW5D9O2
As it happens, this April Fools Day anthology which I have a piece in is also out this week. YAY!!!!
If you are so inclined, any and all reviews of either of these new books would be smashing!
In 2005, my dad died of Alzheimer’s. It had been a long 4 years with him, or the guy masquerading as him, using his body, moving from place to place. No place seemed just right for him.
Later that year, still processing this huge issue, I sat down and started writing this book. In the book, I wanted romance and adventure and a mystery and a light feel. I got that, but Dad showed up in the book too, but not really Dad. A much larger, more expansive, more fun version of Dad, one I think he would approve of. Orange County showed up in the book too, in very large, distinctive, rather earth-moving ways.
I hope you like the book. Its title is Roll With The Punches, and I’ve been working on it for 10 years.
This is so exciting!!!!!
I am a picky reader. I’m always looking for books that satisfy my particular wants in a read, and sometimes, it’s just more fun to try to produce one than to wade through a lot of generic prose that doesn’t work for me.
I am not drawn to books that are all one tone, especially sad or guilty or wrong or dark or depressed. Or all one pace. (Well, except for Alexander McCall-Smith’s #1 Ladies Detective Agency books, which are quite hilarious at their languid pace.) But usually, I want a variety of feelings and paces in a book.
I want adventure—not just people sitting around talking. Physical adventure. Trips to strange locations. Indiana Jones and that giant rolling rock. Miss Polly on the railroad track.
I want buckets of humor and a pervasive light-hearted tone, with darker things rolling through the story just enough to make the reading ride a satisfying one.
I usually want a female protagonist, a smart, can-do, somewhat earthy, imperfect female—with a brain. Maybe a tall one or a heavy one or a black one or a Chinese. Maybe an older one or a younger one or one with an interesting occupation. Variety is the spice of reading, but I will no longer abide 300 pages in the head of any character who is “too dumb to live.”
I want some mystery. In fact, I’m a bit tired of murder, but give me some kind of mystery to keep me turning pages.
I want some romance. Not highly telegraphed romance, but surprise romance, the kind where I didn’t totally see it coming from page one.
I also want interesting information dispersed throughout the book. (For example, all that info about bees in Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees. Or Dick Francis books that each center on a different profession.)
I want characters with mixed emotions and complicated lives and odd quirks, who may or may not be predictable. Don’t give me stereotypical characters unless you write them fabulous dialogue and place them in an unusual setting. (Janet Evanovich continues to keep me laughing after twenty-one books with the same crew—it’s gotta be the dialogue.)
Did I say dialogue? Oh, yes. I want awesome, hilarious, uproarious dialogue. Sharp and real. I loooooove great dialogue.
And I want a real, palpable setting, one that’s so real it becomes a character in its own right. It can have a fictitious name, but I want to smell it and feel it and taste it and hear it, as well as see it. And I want a real time frame with real technology and brand names from this time frame to enrich the story.
So I write. I write about situations I have known as met by characters who I only partly know. I throw in characters I’ve never met and see what happens. I have a vague idea what I’m going to write about, and then I keep it light, adding highs and lows and lots of adventure. Once I start the book, the characters often chime in and tell me what comes next. I let them. Sometimes, they lead me into rich territory. Sometimes, their insights need editing. But that’s my adventure of sitting at the keyboard. That’s the magic of writing for me.