Wednesday, January 22, 2014

All My Books: My Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale and My Second Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale

What a silly name for a book! How on earth did I think of such a title?
Well, like all writers experiences, it came out of a real garage sale I had with my tall blond friend. We went over each item, pricing it and setting it on a table for display. "Where did you get this....?" I'm happy to say she didn't add, "monstrosity."
"Oh, you remember old Whatshisname? The one who rode off into the sunset with another woman as soon as I left town for a visit with friends?"
She nodded. Then I questioned her. Same question. Same answer.
All tolled, we each had several items given to us by former boyfriends. We figured each item was worth at least a quarter.
And there you have it: The name for this book.
I wrote a weekly column for a suburban newspaper for ten years. I asked for and got permission to publish selected columns in a book, and there you have it.
After a while, I was cleaning up some of my electronic files, and discovered there were enough columns to merit a Volume II. Or in this case, My Second know the rest.
So here's a link to both, both are on Amazon and Kindle for your reading pleasure.

My Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale  $6.99

 Author’s Note:  This book is a selection of articles written over a ten year period for Suburban Newspapers, in Fort Worth, TX.  Essentially, the title sprang from a conversation I had with my Tall Blond Friend as we held a joint garage sale.
Looking at some of the items, Tall Blond Friend asked how I got them. My reply was something along the lines of: “You remember old What’s His Name. Before he rode off into the sunset with a younger woman, he gave me this ________(fill in the blank) I think it should bring at least a quarter.”
And so on, with three or four cast-off items from old boyfriends, we marked each piece until it occurred to me that I should call this “My Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale

 Kindle Link:
My Second Annual Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale
And Other Adventures of a Single Woman of a Certain Age $5.99

Author’s Note:  This book is another selection of articles written over a ten year period for Suburban Newspapers, in Fort Worth, TX where I was paid, essentially, to have fun.

Kindle Link:

Free Excerpt from Vol. I: 

When I Grow Up
We met for dinner one evening, six single women "of a certain age" and after we had exhausted the usual topic of conversation (men, or the lack thereof), someone posed this question:  "What comic book character, or celebrity, was your childhood hero or heroine?"
            Six sets of carefully plucked eyebrows knotted in concentration as minds raced back in time some twenty-five or more years (we're talking about "mature" women, here, remember?)
            My friend "Anne" was first.  (Names and clues to the identities of the participants are being withheld for the writer's own protection.)  "I always wanted to be Roy Rogers," she confessed shyly.  "Not Dale Evans.  Roy always had the bigger horse and got to shoot all the bad guys; all Dale ever did was follow along behind him, yelling, 'Wait for me, Roy!' and she didn't even have a gun."  We nodded silently at each other; "Anne" is an outspoken defender of women's rights.
            Blond, statuesque "Brenda" spoke next. "I wanted to be Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.  She had long, flowing hair and a figure that was to die for."  At Forty-Several, "Brenda" has the figure younger women envy and is a blond, whether by choice or chance.  "Then I admired Betty Grable, Patti Page and Jo Stafford.  But my ultimate heroine had to be Rosalind Russell.  Or at least the characters she played in movies.  You know, the cool, career woman with broad shoulders, who has it all together, yet who melts and gives it all up when the right man comes along."  Her voice trailed off, and this businesswoman sighed.  "I guess this says a lot about me," she admitted, as "Anne" shot her a look that read, What Kind of Woman Are You Who Is Passively Waiting for a Man to Save her?   
            "Carole" spoke next. "I wanted to be Jane -- you know, Tarzan's Jane."  Predictably, "Roy" rolled her eyes, while "Sheena" nodded encouragement.  "Well, she did everything that Sheena did.  And at least she had Tarzan around to pull her out of a lot of traps..." 
            Not daring to incur the wrath of our Resident Feminist, nobody spoke for a moment.  Then someone asked, "What was the name of the girl in "Terry and the Pirates?"
            "Is this a Trivial Pursuit question?" I asked. 
            "No, I'm just trying to remember," my friend "Carole" said.  "As I remember, she had a lot of adventures, but most of them at her typewriter.  Like me," she added wistfully.
            "Diane" jumped in next.  "I always liked Katy Keene.  She had such pretty clothes and there were paper doll cutouts, too.  I'm sure that's what led me to be a fashion illustrator." 
            "Faster than a speeding bullet.  More powerful than a locomotive," a voice from the end of the table shrilled.  
            "Superman!" we chorused. 
            "Yeah," my levelheaded friend "Ellen" nodded.  "Even as a girl, I didn't want to be a girl forever.  I read "Supergirl" comics, but I mean, Supergirl never grew up, did she?  Super-boy became Super-man, didn't he?  Well, they didn't let Super-girl do that; she will always be a girl."        
            "Roy Rogers-Anne" nodded in agreement, and added, "Look at your fairy tales -- the girls stayed girls and never grew up.  Snow White didn't age a bit, even after working for those Seven Dwarfs day and night.  Cinderella wasn't even smart enough to give the Prince her phone number."
            All eyes turned to me in expectation. 
            "Wow, look at the time!" I hedged.   
            "No, you can't get away without telling us.  Tell us!"  They chorused.
            "Well, first of all, I have to respond to the Cinderella and Snow White charges.  They weren't the only ones who didn't grow up.  Look at Peter Pan, for heavens sakes.  And as for Prince Charming -- He didn't have enough good sense to ask Cinderella her name, or her phone number, and when she left her glass slipper, he was too lazy to get out and look for her, but sent his palace guards, or something.  He just sat back and waited.  So don't blame the women in fairy tales.  I, for one, think Rapunzel in the Tower was an All Right Kind Of Gal, because she Let Down Her Hair for her Prince.  Smart Cookie, wasn't she?" 
            We dipped into our handbags in search of funds to pay the Bill. 
            "Oh, yeah, back to what we wanted to be when we were kids," I remembered.  "I always wanted to be Wonder Woman.  Boy, did she ever look good.  I loved her snazzy blue tights with stars on them and her boots and her red halter and crown.  I loved her magic bracelets that deflected bullets and her invisible airplane, which she could fly anywhere and look down and see other folks and not be seen.  But most of all, I loved her Magic Lasso, which, when she threw it over a man, would compel him to Tell the Truth. "
            There was a silence while we all considered that possibility, then we burst into laughter.
            As if!

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