Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Thrift Shop

Beware browsing in thrift shops, especially in the middle of the night.

About three this a.m. I made the rounds of a big thrift store and picked out four blouses: one blue, one pink, and two splattered red and black on white but not identical. 

I needed a dressing room to try on the blouses, all over-the-head styles, (the blue one looked too big), and neither of my buddies, Dragun Gal or Bee, showed up to coach me.

This thrift shop was huge, so I had trouble finding a dressing room. I made a wrong turn and entered a big room to see Donald Trump stretched out on a bed. He rolled on his side, looked at me, and made rapid wee come-hither kisses with that tiny little round mouth of his.

Lordy, I nearly broke a leg backing out, but I finally found a dressing room, tried on the blouses and bought all four, even the too-big blue one.

The moral of this story?

You tell me.  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Can It Do That?

Teri Davis wrote a review of my MAIL-ORDER KID, that popular biography of mine. Midwest Book Review then published her review in the May 2016 issue of its online book review magazine.

Teri wrote a generous review. She calls my biography "enthralling" and sums up, "This book is for everyone to read, reflect, learn, and enjoy."

Then, certainly without intending to, Teri gave me an advanced lesson in geography. She's from Oregon WI.

What? WI? Shouldn't that be WA? 

My Google search reminded me that Oregon is a state, not a town.

So how did Oregon get in Wisconsin? Quite a trick, I thought.

Trickier than I imagined. Did Teri mean Oregon the town? Or Oregon the village?

Yes, there are two. And one's inside the other. That is, Oregon the village is mostly inside the town. 

I felt the way I feel watching gymnastics on Facebook: I didn't know a body could twist that way.

There's more. Oregon the town or Oregon the village has been listed as one of the "100 Best Small Places to Live." I didn't wait to find out which. Or maybe both. I'd had enough geography for one day.  


Friday, May 6, 2016


Some days signing my name excites me. Like today. Signing THE ATLANTIC agreement to republish my "Badlands Revisited." 

My article's about Charlie Starkweather, Caril Anne Fugate, and Terrence Malick's romanticized movie, "Badlands," featuring the fugitive couple. 

Can't help but wonder if Malick's still as mad at me as he was when he first read my article?

Healing Scars

Here's a new twist on the orphan train journey. Violet, the main character of Linda Baten Johnson's novel, ORPHAN TRAIN BRIDE HEALING SCARS, lies and steals to get on the train. 

Why is she so eager? 

A survivor of the awful Triangle Shirtwaist fire, she wants to get out of New York City so she won't have to work in another factory. 

And oh, by the way, 18-year-old Violet is looking for a husband.

But here, listen to a sample of the audio: