Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I couldn’t make up my mind

What to call this blog, vacillating between “Calvin, if you are reading this” and “I hope next month is kinder to you.” Then I realized there’s not a chance in hell Calvin reads my blog, and for a few (very few, mind you, but a few) of my readers, November was just fine.

Plus, neither of these topics is really what the blog is about, at least it doesn’t seem so at this point. Although I freely admit I never know at this point where a blog will end up. Or how it will get to wherever it is going.

I am up at the cabin for a few days for the first time in too long. And it’s raining, a deep, heavy rain, also for the first time in too long. I’m not even unhappy about being kept mostly inside, as this rain is a godsend to firefighters across the southeast. We were not burning here, but across the mountain huge swaths of Amherst county blackened. Fires elsewhere in Virginia and North Carolina raged across tinder dry forests. And my beloved Smokey Mountains burned out of control Monday, devastating the towns that hold many of my fondest childhood memories. These towns grew exponentially in intervening years, and what was there on Sunday, I know, bore not the slightest resemblance to the small towns of my youth.

Now it bears no resemblance to anyone’s.

This rain may runnel the road, may force us to spend even more money and time smoothing and shaping, clearing ditches, making pretty for any potential buyer. Our mountain home is still on the market with no serious inquiries, something that both saddens me and makes me happy. We will have it at least though the spring, so I don’t have to say a final goodbye just yet. And yet, this drawn-out farewell takes its toll in more than money and time. It’s a slow wearing down in my soul. The decision has been made to leave it behind, now I am anxious to move on. That’s the way I have always been. I loathe leaving where I am until I go, then I have little desire to look back.
For years in my travels I tried never to take the same route twice. And when I landed someplace I was there, roots down, firmly entrenched. Until it was time to leave. The older you get, the more constrictions you place, or have placed on your life. And the harder it becomes to just pack up, pick up, and go.

The rain is slacking now. I might be able to get out for a walk in a while. Just down to check the drive, staying on the road. It’s hunting season, and even with my red cap I am not fool enough to wander the woods.

I stuck the computer in the doorway to try and take a couple of pictures without drenching it. The woods might not wear the bright colors of earlier in the fall, but to me, they have their own stark pre-winter beauty. And the scent of wet leaves. I wish this camera could capture smells. If it could, I think my joy at this moment might make more sense to you.

There hasn’t been a lot of joy for many of us this month. The bitterness and innate fear and racism brought out by the election, the ongoing confrontations at Standing Rock, these are two of the situations causing deep emotional wounds in my household, my town, my country.

And yet there are moments of beauty.

Hey, Calvin, what’s up? It’s getting late in season. Where are you with what may possibly be the last deer I ever butcher from this property? I need the taste of this mountain to carry me through this next month, this next year.

And, to everyone: may your December and the year to come be the best possible time it can be. Never stop trying to make it better. Never stop trying to be better.  It’s time to go. Let’s move on.

Monday, October 24, 2016

I wanted to write...

a blog about the asparagus. Here's what came out- my first poem in ten years.



Nothing but slick leaf litter on the gravel road
we drove the pickup cautiously down, 5 gallon
buckets of corms nestled among shovels and garden forks.
Tools loosened this black dirt packed tight inside 1x12 boards
that used to be a garden bed, wood rotten
enough to crumble in our hands. The soil held

fast to itself, a tight rectangle formed from years of threadlike
roots weaving themselves crosshatched through compost.
We scent this like animals, our work‘s done on hands
and knees or stretched flat, bellies against the cool damp.
These corms are tangled, intertwined, we work in past our wrists,
fingers pricked and torn by long forgotten ratwire stretched tight

under all the  beds years ago in hope of thwarting 
ground squirrels and voles tunneling under fencing to decimate
tender young beans and lettuce. I learned at first harvest the discordance
between ratwire and root vegetables, but never disturbed these asparagus,
the wire underneath them forgotten till they outgrew their restraints.
until this morning, when we become the tunnelers, burrowing

under sharp wire and around the twisted roots of trees
long gone, these roots that keep on even though
there’s no tree waiting for the nourishment they send back.
They don’t stop, nor do we, disentangling corms that
weave together so tightly they appear at first as one lone
giant entity, torn from the ghost of a bad horror movie,
alien in our hands.


Back home in town, our new home, soon to be the final
resting place for these asparagus, a bed made one last time.
I’d like to claim we dug the old bed out to save the corms, but
honestly I wanted some small piece of mountain here, just
a bit of height in this low lying yard, a lot that’s sited
so far down the city placed town culverts in our lawn. A beautiful

asparagus bed’s situated in the garden, two foot high sides, corms spaced
precisely so and dirt-covered just the way the chart inside their box specified.
But these aren’t city plants we’re bringing down the mountain, though they
may have started out inside restricted quarters they didn’t remain that way,
their escape from captivity began long before we happened by
to aid in their emancipation. They can’t go back into a bed, re-placed

in with tame plants, ordered rows inside a stricture  now they’ve wilded,
we plant them accordingly, dig up stray patches- in the garden,
in the yard, a few plants by the kiwi, some where the tomatoes used to be,
another group around the corner nestled by black raspberry.
I’ll try not to remember where we put them,
like I try to forget home, hope that next spring I’ll have a yard
full of surprise, feast of House Mountain, rising.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

So I missed all the fun

of TrumpSeussing on twitter, 
I could cry, I could wail, 
could protest I'm not bitter –  

Okay, I'm a bit miffed, 
it was right up my alley 
but you see, I've been busy, 
writing Andrew and Talley.  

They're two of my characters 
in my new book – 
I've been writing so hard 
I've not had time to look 

at the book of the face, 
at the Instagram pages, 
and as for the twitter – 
I've not tweeted in ages.  

But the book's going great, 
or so it seems to me, 
written drafts one and two, 
I'm almost done with three.  

So this may be the last 
you'll read here for a while 
but I'm having a blast 
with this new juvenile.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What a difference

a day makes. Especially when that day is accompanied by five strong men wielding weed whackers and chainsaws.
And driving a large empty truck into which they throw all the accumulated trash of three years of caretakers never throwing anything away.

and this was after they cleaned
I admit I accumulated a number of bits and pieces in the 15 years I lived in the cabin. This comes from living so long on the island, and never knowing what you might have a use for. But I like to think I’d learned what I would never have a use for and been able to throw it away.

I know it’s hard to get rid of things. As I watched the men clear out the basement I kept thinking, “I should keep that. We might need that at the little cabin. Maybe we could use that at the house.”

And then I remembered a house I’d helped clear out on the island after a death, and how along with the piles and piles and boxes of things that could be made use of there was twice as much that was just simply trash. I thought of the Allen House basements, and how when I cleaned out the Annex in 1982 I found, along with decades old dried up paint cans and bits of wood zinc screws and washers, parts from WWII when zinc was the only material available for civilian hardware.

And I thought of my mother’s house, when we three girls got together to go through it after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and went to live in an assisted care living center. I wasn’t even there for most of it.  Although I'd not yet been diagnosed with EDS, it was obvious my body had hit its limit.I  was sent back, exhausted, to Virginia after the first two days and my sisters finished the cleanup. 

But I was there long enough. Long enough to unearth tax returns from 30 years before, boxes and boxes of papers that turned out to be versions of the same two short stories she worked on for those same 30 years. Newspapers and magazines and torn out articles. My mother had no problem getting rid of most “things.” She had a garage full of things for my grandmother’s house, but there were no boxes and boxes of her books or china or silver or records or souvenirs. She needed little, and bought less.

What my mother collected was paper. Or rather, words and pictures on paper. I hadn’t really thought about it until just this moment. This piece started out to be about things, the things we thought we needed, couldn’t live without, and it when they disappeared we almost never noticed they were gone.

My mother collected words and pictures. She collected stories. Sometimes they were the stories the words actually wrote, and the pictures actually meant. Often her own stories had little to do with facts, and I’m not sure if she collected these factual stories because of, or in spite of this.

She’d always collected words, although her life after she moved to that little house on the east side of Providence belonged less to books and more to magazines and newspapers, less to short stories and more to the journal she wrote in daily.

I wonder when my mother became aware that she was losing stories. My mother has always been a consummate actress,and this makes me wonder how many years she starred in this play of her own making before the role itself became too much to remember, the directions too confusing. I wonder if it started years before our family noticed anything wrong.

And I wonder if that was when my mother began to collect words and stories in such quantities? She had always mailed us bits and pieces, torn out articles she felt we’d find interesting. Did it come naturally to her to just start keeping all the stories for herself?

Maybe the piles and stacks of papers hidden in my mother’s closets and drawers were her attempt to hold onto a life she only imagined she really had.

Maybe some people  keep all the things  because they feel life itself slipping away from them. Maybe they, too, feel out of control, and holding onto stuff helps.

And there's probably a reason I end up, time and time again, working my way through collections someone else has deemed important enough to hold on to.

There are things we cannot know.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I’ve been avoiding the Internet . . .

for the same reason I’ve avoided spending much time outside. It’s just too hot and nasty right now.

The Internet doesn’t need me. But two weeks of no rain and 90+ degree temperatures means the flower and vegetable gardens need constant watering. Lots of other attention too, as hot, dry conditions weaken the plants, make them less able to fight off the ever-present cabbage worms, Japanese beetles and all the other bugs I know by sight if not name who very much appreciate the gardens they seem to believe I have grown for them.

If we go anywhere to sit by the water we must get there at daybreak, because by 10 o’clock the rocks and banks of the river will be filled with people trying, as we are, to escape the heat. And as soon as we get home all my time and energy seems to be swallowed up with those petty little irritations some people refer to as life but I call things we have to do because we are grownups.

All this is to explain why I haven’t been up to the cabin the last several weeks. Even though I knew it would be cooler up here, knew I would be able to sit outside on the porch in the afternoon because there is always a breeze. Even though I knew I would sleep better in the deep silence punctuated only by night birds and the gentle hum of an overhead fan.

I came up here yesterday determined to rest and read and recharge. I expected nothing more than the possibility of a hummingbird at our new feeder, the chance flash of red from the head of our resident woodpecker, possibly the sound of deer crunching through the leaves behind my back and moving slowly into my sight line.

In town I try hard to slow down, look and listen, be mindful of my surroundings. But my resolve rarely lasts past the end of the morning walk with the dogs. I speed up, let little things irritate me. I grow impatient with myself and with any part of the world around me that is not going at what I consider the proper speed. 

There’s always so much more that could be done: the house could be cleaner, the dogs could be brushed, the garden and the yard need work. I could be organizing my office, going through the closets and culling unneeded items, working on promoting my books or, heaven forfend, even writing.

Not this weekend. This weekend I gave myself to the mountain, to slow down, to listen and see and smell.  And the mountain gave me a welcome back present. It seems there’s been more rain here than in town, and my slow crawl up our mile of driveway – windows down, radio off and eyes open wide – was rewarded with large patches of coral and orange on the road bank.

At sunup this morning, I walked down to that section of the bank. Slowly. Appreciatively. And I picked tiny cinnabar chanterelles, one at a time, savoring every moment until the sun and I reached the end of the bank at almost the same time.

Yes, I still have a list of things to do, emails to write, phone calls to make. All of them are important, grown up type chores. But they are made pleasurable by the fact that I’m sitting on a screen porch in the middle of the woods listening to the hum of insects as I write and call and figure. The “grown-up” house, the garden, the yard are far away and they will be there, calling for attention, when I return home.

But I have crossed many things off a list today.  A list I hadn’t written down, didn’t know how badly I needed to make until I realized I didn’t have any of the things on it:

1. Spend an hour picking tiny mushrooms.
2. Take a cold shower outside .
3. Walk slowly.
4. Breathe.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

I’m hiding up here at the cabin . . .

for this Fourth of July weekend.

It’s not that I don’t like food carts, festivals, and fireworks. It’s that I’ve been cursed for the last 10 years with dogs who are terrified of loud noises.

I don’t mean the dogs themselves are a curse. Just that particular behavior. Dogs are a blessing, especially when many of  life’s  other pleasures are curtailed by pain or fatigue. And the dogs give me an excuse to push myself walking the hilly road and traipsing through the woods. I tell myself dogs need to be walked, even though these dogs roam freely in the woods around the cabin, constrained (or so they think, even though they haven’t won the collars for years) by an invisible fence, and they come back when called. I seem to attract pack animals who would rather walk on a leash with me than run loose by themselves.

So, we walk.  This time of year I look for ripe berries, and because of the recent rains, mushrooms. I was away during the torrential rains a week ago,  so missed what must’ve been a brilliant mushroom opportunity. I can see where they were, and where I hope they will be again if the current rain continues.

I hope the rain continues. I am a spoilsport, wishing for rain on the Fourth of July long weekend. But rain without thunderstorms will curtail the fireworks. And no fireworks means no bug eyed, panting, drooling, pacing semi – hysterical dogs.

Also, rain = mushrooms. I can feel them around me. Those heavy rains pushed them near the surface. Some popped already, and I missed them- I can just see their dry weathered remains scattered among last year’s leaves. But that’s ok.  There will be more, though probably not the crazy plentitude of  last year’s bounty.
one crazy day's ruby chanterelle harvest 

I started out hoping this blog would be about berries. Ripe wineberries and tiny wild blueberries and huckleberries. But it looks like I’m  too early (by a week at least)  for the wineberries, and the wild blue and huckleberries are few and far between this year. 
this was titled house mountain fourth of july, proof that last year at this time things were ripe and abundant

Maybe I’m early for them too. I found a bush or two of ripe berries on my hike in between the rains, but most of last year’s bushes appear oddly bare.
today's haul, shown actual size

Back at the house in town the blueberry bushes, (also nowhere near as prolific as last year) are ripening nicely in their bird and squirrel-proof cage.
The gooseberries are nearing the end of their run. A friend is picking what’s left after this last container I’ve taken for myself.
The blueberries I've tried to grow up here, though, yield a pitiful amount.
today's sum total

The cultivated berries in town are doing exactly what they’re supposed to, when they are supposed to do it. It’s only the wild things I can’t seem to control.

I’ve never been able to really control these blog posts either. I start out convinced I’m writing about something definite and somewhere around halfway through, realize I don’t have a point at all. I usually stop there  and go for a walk or do something else,  just let what I think I’m trying to say sit in the back of my brain. Sometimes I’ll come back and sit and stare at the computer screen. Sometimes I’ll sit down and write exactly what I need to say. I never know which one it will be, and I never know what my point really is until I’ve written it down.

So this blog post is about berries, sort of.  Also mushrooms, and rain. It’s about dogs and fireworks and walking through the woods. It’s about me staying open to what’s going on around you, even if it’s not in the same place or at the expected time. Because I can’t control anything, really. 

Except maybe whether or not my dogs will be terrified on the 4th of July.

And sitting here just now, listening to the rain on the tin roof and looking out at the woods which may or may not surprise me with mushrooms tomorrow or the next day, I realize something. 

Once again, through a winding, detour-filled process, I have somehow figured out what enough is.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Seems like every time…

I try and write lately, my mind is overwhelmed by something unbelievable happening somewhere.

Somebody tell me how I’m supposed to tweet haiku in order to up my social media presence or email bookstores PDFs of my new children’s book when a country like Great Britain can vote to isolate themselves because of fear and misplaced national pride?

How should I try and publicize an illustrated book of silly sea poems to an American audience dealing with our own politics of hate and racism?

How can I work on my new young adult novel after Orlando? Shouldn’t I be writing something more current, more outraged, more in sorrow and solidarity with those gunned down and those who must live with the knowledge that they survived when their friends did not?

I don’t have answers to any of these questions. I wish I could write something that would make people laugh, or at least smile. Somehow that doesn’t seem appropriate to me. Not right now.

But there is one thing I can write that will gladden my heart, and I hope a few others as well. You see, my wife’s son got married this week. The ceremony was small, just parents, but the love and the laughter and the joy filled that courtroom to beyond bursting. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that ceremony lit the entire block up a few incandescent lumens.

The party is in a few hours. Our son is has asked us both to say a few words if we want to.

I want to. I want to tell everyone at that wedding reception how lucky I am to know this man, and to love his mother. I want to let everyone who is reading this know that there are good people in this world, and I am standing with some of them today. I want to celebrate love and joy and especially hope.

I haven’t actually written any words to say to these two fine people who have pledged to love and support each other. I’m sitting down to do that now. And I know that no matter what has happened or will happen or may happen out in the world while I’m writing this, these words are important enough to write. Because these words are love.
Superheroes like these will save the world

Monday, May 30, 2016

I'm 59 years old today,

And I have barely learned how to be 40. 

At 40 I was making my big move off the island to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. 

I had one restaurant behind me and two in front of me. Two chapbooks behind me, and ahead- two more chapbooks of full-length book of poetry and three books of memoir and fiction. 

I have lost a lot; my father, relationships, beloved dogs, health. I've gained a wife, new friends, more dogs.

Some things equal out. Others never can. But with loss, if you're lucky, comes knowledge. And the ability to more fully appreciate what you have, the will to hang on tightly to what is important.

I've been staring at this page from dark through just dawn to now the full light of early-morning, trying to shape my thoughts, trying to fit all my gratitudes into neatly contained sentences.

It's not going to happen. There's been too much good in my life in just the past two weeks to possibly fit on this page. Because if I've learned anything in these 59 years I've learned it's the little things, the day to day of a blooming fruit tree, an old friend reconnected with, the smell of honeysuckle on a walk with an old dog –

those thousands, millions of small moments that make up each day, each year, each life, that must be cherished. 

These moments, this now,  that I can so easily  let slip by in my push toward major achievements, events that may never even happen, or if they do, might not live up to my high expectations.

It's what I don't expect that can most thrill me, that flash of red caught from the corner of my eye, the unexpected scent of low tide carried on the wind, the sound of a long forgotten accent. All this, and then some.

Hey -

Happy birthday, world. Thank you for the flowers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

i'm pretty sure you can never have enough . . .

pictures of happy dog butts.

I bet that was not how you expected that sentence to end. Although if you have known me long this is exactly the kind of comment you'd expect me to make.

These pups may be getting on, but they are still happy to be doing something they love.

You know who else is happy? These kids.

Yellow Brick Road preschool
I read to them last week. I also read to Earthsong Montessori but I didn't get any pictures there. Sorry, Earthsong. Guess you don't get your fifteen minutes of fame. At least not from me. 

In all, I've read my silly sea poems to over 80 kids in the last two weeks.

True, some of this was shameless self promotion. But it may have worked. We sold a ridiculous amount of books before and during the signing on Saturday.
Bruce Macdonald looking dapper and artistic, and me in my hammerhead shark shirt.
me looking dapperly authorish
I don't know where most of you were, but you missed a swell time.

The book, looking appropriately bookish.
Also the fish inside are gazing longingly at the baked goods.
 You cannot see this but I could have shown you if you'd been there. Your loss.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I’m pretty sure . . .

preschool had not yet been invented when I was a child. Or if someone had invented it, they had not strapped it into a car seat and driven it into the hills of east Tennessee. 

Of course I am ancient enough that no car seat would have been needed.  They could have tossed preschool into the back of an open truck and hauled it over the state line.

But I digress. 

The point I was driving at (isn’t it amazing how I continue to extend the metaphor even as I correct myself) was that there was not even the whisper (or perhaps I should say faintest of fumes?)of preschool in my town  in my formative years. I am absolutely sure of this because if there had been anything even remotely resembling it my mother would have enrolled her daughters as the first test cases.

Look how I even managed to include a female parental unit reference in honor of mother’s day.
this is me and my mom. I am not reading her my book. i just thought you'd like the picture.

Why have I used all these words just to introduce the subject of preschool?

Well, because last week I went to preschool.
And I liked it so much I am going again this week. To a completely different school.
And maybe I will go to yet a third school before week’s end.

If you are asking yourself the perfectly reasonable question why, (and ignoring the hecklers in the background whispering that I have finally found my peer group) let me just say that I love reading to children and interacting with them. And sitting on the floor listening to a four year old relate the entire plot of Finding Nemo until my knees lock.

Okay, maybe not the last part.

See, I wrote this book of silly poems called Washed Up in the Waves about the sea and its creatures. And somebody swell  (Bruce Macdonald) illustrated it. And somebody also swell (Mariner Media)  published it. And now I am hawking it shamelessly.  

And, most kids in the age range it’s written for need to have the book read to them.  Preferably again and again, using all the different voices. (You gotta use all the different voices, people.)

Hence the trips to local preschools. (plus, I just like reading to kids. It’s a flaw)

By the way, did I mention I have a book signing Saturday the 14 at the Bookery in  beautiful downtown Lexington, VA?

What a coincidence, huh?

Life is funny that way.

"But, Margo," you cry, "I live too far away to make it to your signing-"

Despair not. I have a simple solution to your problem.

Log onto  
Then wander over to the shop page and buy the book, hit the special instructions tab and tell me how you’d like me to personalize it.

It’s almost like being in VA in the springtime. Only without the pollen.
Here’s the shameless self-promotion part-

BUY THE BOOK, PEOPLE!  From me,  from your local bookseller,  from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Order in bulk from

Because if you can’t take your child to the beach, the next best thing is to bring the beach to your kid.
this child is actually in florida. but she loves the book. her favorite is the clam poem.

And because I asked nicely. I was brought up right. Even without preschool.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

It’s my first overnight stay . . .

here at the cabin since we opened it up from its winter hibernation. 

I would’ve been up here sooner but as usual, nothing good comes without a price. This season, apparently the price is going to be paid to the plumber. It took us a month to get someone up here to look at the pipes and fix the winter's damage. And now the pump has stopped working. 

Once again I am reminded how integral water is to life. Or at least, how integral running water is to a nice couple of days up here at the cabin.

Aside from the water problem, it is as quiet and peaceful and astoundingly beautiful as it has always been, with 17 bazillion different shades of green playing a constantly changing visual symphony around me.
As the trees slowly leaf Big and Little House Mountains disappear behind them.
Soon the cabin will be encircled in a fortress of green and the mountains won’t reappear until late fall.

Sitting here on the porch, drinking my early morning tea I can hear the wild turkeys calling, and nearby there’s a woodpecker going crazy on a rotten tree. And a hundred other sounds fade in and out as the creatures go about their morning ways. 

There doesn't seem to be anything as insistent as the mockingbird in our yard in town who cycles through her entire repertoire at the top of her little bird lungs every morning, perched in the lilac just outside the living room window. She even drowns out the weed whackers and lawnmowers that seem to go from dawn to dusk every day from the beginning of March to the end of November in town, although she can’t hold her own against the life flight chopper or the ambulance sirens from the nearby hospital. Or the cacophony of police and fire engines screaming through town.

On the other hand, there are no mice in the house in town and when you turn the faucet on the water comes out without having to go down to the cistern and pump it up the hill. 

Or not pump it up the hill, so you have to call the pump guy to come out and replace a worn-out machine that’s just tired of shoving water 300 feet through a 1 inch black plastic pipe for the past six or eight years. However long it’s been since we last replaced the pump. Not that he's going to come out on a Sunday morning anyway, no matter how beautiful it is up here.

It’s always something up here, a constant struggle against a space that was perfectly happy before we took over and attempted to tame it.

The spring ran just fine at the bottom of the hill before we captured it, forced it into confinement in a cistern, rammed it into a pipe and sent it upwards against gravity.

The woodpeckers found plenty of dead trees to knock against before the cabin was built, although I am sure they appreciate the bounty of carpenter bee larvae seemingly stored just for them in our eaves, waiting for them to drill out each spring.

The mice had plenty of surfaces to run across before we provided them with our counters, and even the ants probably managed without us somehow. 

The only thing I’m not sure about are the wild turkeys. I can’t imagine how they could possibly have conducted their courtship every spring without me, sitting bundled up in the cool dawn light, paying rapt attention.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Youse guys . . .

are NOT paying attention.

I has this book, see? 
And it swell, be.
Youse can have it free
as a book-e.

All you gots to do
is write a line or two.
Don't even need to be you,
your kid can write one too.
I tell you, it's da bomb.
Sign up your dad and mom,
even your uncle Dom.

I need stars and reviews,
like them to come from youse,
and in return, you see,
you get some poetry
a tiny piece of me
and absolutely free.

Do it. Do it now.

Tank youse.

And you can click on this,
give amazon a miss,
Barnes and Noble too
all of the giants who
take half of each sale. True
and sometimes even more. 
Or, visit a local store.
But if you go through me,
I'll sign your book for free,
give you a discount too, 
dedicate it to you.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Psst . . . Hey, guys-

Want a free e-copy of my new book? With pictures and everything?

Here's how you can get one and help me out at the same time-

Go there. Sign up. It's free

All you have to do is post a review afterward. They even show you how to do it.

And it's not just my book you can get for free. They have hundreds of books in all genres, all available for download to your computer or e-reader or phone.

Although of course you should read and review my book first.

If you read it to yourself you don't even have to use the silly voices.

And did I mention it's free?

Of course, you also want a real copy to hold in your hands. And you want it autographed and personalized. And you want it at a discount. If all this sounds like exactly what you want-


Hit the button. Buy the book. Tell me what you want me to write.

Oh, that the rest of your life could be this simple.