Thoughts on Writing – New “Self-interview” on

I recently filled out a “self-interview” on the website. Click on this link BookGoodies Interview to check out some of my thoughts on the writing process, writing advice, publishing, and about my novel, Prairie Hill

Here is a sample:

What inspires you to write?

I can’t really imagine not writing. When I was a little kid I adored listening to my father and grandmother tell amusing tales and I loved their reading bedtime stories to me. I began reading as soon as I could and then my teachers complained that I would get lost in books. I found diary/journal writing a wonderful way of capturing the world around me, slowing it down, allowing me to ponder and try to understand. I began to write fiction in my teens, at first autobiographically, but after a time using my imagination more and more. Editing literary magazines taught me so much about writing. My son, who constantly craved “pretend stories” on our walks together, inspired me. Now, my journal is ever more narrative and I dream stories. I feel happiest when writing. There is nothing I like better to do.

Tales from a Misinformed Dictionary – Virustatic

Tales from a Misinformed Dictionary
Virustatic: 1) a he-man so muscle-bound and manly that he becomes entirely incapable of moving. 2) a virulent variety of static disparaged by some and hailed by others for inconveniently disrupting radio and television transmissions.

Gurp was the youngest son of the once world-renowned former wrestler and gubernatorial candidate, Ferd Ferdelance. After a long-suffering youth in which he witnessed his father’s downfall, Ferd was determined not to make the same mistakes and wind up a lonely cleaner out of cages at the Minnetonkan Herpetarium. But what to do instead? “Why am I here?” he pondered. “What am I here for?”

He lifted weights, barbells, bookcases, buckets of sand, bags of bilbos, boxes of Special K, whatever was handy. Soon he sported bulging muscles rippling up and down his arms and legs and ears. His chest expanded exponentially. His shoulders broadened broadly. His nose grew several inches and was capable of lifting a 40 pound dog all on its own. Gurp kept hoisting and heaving until one day he lifted his house off of its foundation, carried it to the city park, where he beat his chest in triumph and then discovered that he had become virustatic. One by one his fingers froze in place. Gurp could no longer lift anything, not even a speck of dust. His tongue was so muscle-bound he could no longer speak. He couldn’t even bat an eyelash at one of the growing crowd of attractive women staring at him. He just stood in the one position, a haven for passing pigeons and scolding squirrels. Passersby couldn’t help thinking of the Tin Woodman in the Wizard of Oz at the time of his discovery in the dismal forest by the Dark Prince of Hollywood. Some joker poured a little oil in Gurp’s oversized ear, hoping to loosen him up, but the stuff just dripped into a slick puddle at his feet.

Meanwhile, in a nearby office building, an aged secretary named Mildred plugged in an antiquated coffee-maker and one of those newfangled toaster ovens at the same time(she liked her morning cottage cheese warmed up), causing an immediate and complete breakdown in communications networks throughout the known world and a few other places, too, such as Akron, Ohio. Ever on the spot, Washington officials proclaimed a national emergency over a bizarre condition their top scientists were calling “Virustatic.” “Stay calm!” they assured the populace in their initial broadcast. “All will be well! Stay tuned! This is not a test!” But of course not a soul heard them. Deejays tapped their microphones in bewilderment and then listened to them, as if hoping something might hatch. Soap opera stars, used to live TV, slipped on their soapy tears and no one cried. Newscasters cast news into the wind, which threw back dead air.

After two days of panic, a wiseacre garage attendant named Slim Jim Flimm, walked into the city park, sidled up to the new statue (Gurp), pulled out two old-fashioned television rabbit ears from his deep pockets, and employing his pocket blowtorch, welded them to Gurp’s muscular head. Instantly, all of the radio and television networks revived, saving the lives of thousands of despondent broadcasters. Authorities had no explanation for the mysterious Virustatic onslaught (in Germany they called it “Virustaaaaticgottfriedsonglutenjammer,” in Italy, “Virustaticcisalami”) or its sudden resolution.

Now most days, rain or shine, Slim Jim Flimm hunkers down by the smiling statue, shares a sandwich with the head-nodding pigeons and a quiet laugh with Gurp, who at long last seems to have found some purpose in life.

Actual meaning: tending to check the growth of viruses.

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