Monday, April 13, 2015

Halcyon Days of Bubble Gum and Baseball Cards

Was the Bazooka gum popular because of the Topps cards or were the cards popular because of the gum?

I long for those idyllic times when bubble gum and baseball cards went together like. . .well. . .like baseball cards and bicycle wheel spokes. It was a time when every boy was skilled at popping gum and cool was judged by how big a bubble you could blow before it broke. It was a time when the images on the cards like Mickey Mantle and Willy Mays were still heroes that boys could look up to and kids didn’t worry that playing with them could ruin them.

Even a kid with a quarter allowance could afford a pack of gum and baseball cards.

If you didn’t like a player, or a team, or you had duplicates, you either traded them or stuck them in your bicycle wheel spokes, another proof of how cool you were. The faster you pedaled the louder the card got until it finally wore out.

Many moms, in the process of cleaning out closets after their grown sons left home, threw the cards out, making the ones that survived that much more valuable.

Some of those lucky few, who rediscovered their cards while unpacking long forgotten boxes, managed to keep the hobby alive.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rules of Writing are Made to be Broken

An experienced writer should have a firm grasp on the rules of writing so they may be broken with aplomb and finesse..Every author of acclaim, that I can think of, is a master at breaking the rules. If  a slave to books on writing style, an author has no style to call his or her own.

Creativity and constriction don't play well together.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Should Today's Authors Use Pen Names?

Using a pen name makes for some interesting conversation starters at local book signings. "Do I know you? You look familiar but I don't recognize the name." Friends and family are confused and concerned about what they should call me in public or online. "Why Mary Russel?" they ask. "It's a combination of my middle name and my husband's first name," I explain. They usually smile and shake their heads.

I never liked my own name and I saw it as an opportunity to change my name to something I liked. I have been online since 2000 and used Mary Russel as an online name. Hence, my online friends only knew me as Mary Russel. When I was published, 10 years later, I felt it would be easier to explain the name change to a few face to face friends and family than to the much larger online communities of those who knew me as Mary Russel.

Using Mary Russel as my pen name seemed like a good idea at the time but if I had it to do over, I would have gone with my own name.

Kristen Lamb's observations regarding pros and cons of the use of pen names make me wish I had had the opportunity to read her blog before I made the decision to use a pen name.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Please join me on Goodreads

I have just become a Goodreads author. If you are on Goodreads, I would be honored to have you as a friend.
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