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V O I C E S

I’ve just read in Discover Magazine that scientists have enough anatomical info about woolly mammoths, extinct birds and dinosaurs, and even our ancient human ancestor, Lucy, to recreate their voices. That’s amazing, but in some ways, it makes me sad. It will be wonderful and instructive to hear all those ancient sounds, but the vocal… Read more V O I C E S

How To Survive Day One

I did a mountain of research for the 20,000 words I dropped from The Reluctant Canary Sings. I found several autobiographies by women who served, and their accounts were so full of detail that I was able to really provide a picture of that way of life. Culture shock is an understatement for Bobbi’s arrival at Fort… Read more How To Survive Day One

Bobbi’s Dad

Paul Bowen is the last of the major characters in this novel. A good share of Bobbi’s life story has to do with lack of stable community, so a lot of people come and go. That rootlessness characterized the Great Depression of the 1930s.  People moved from place to place, as families and often as… Read more Bobbi’s Dad

Fort Des Moines

When you buy a movie, sometimes you get the extended version with the out takes. What follows is one of the out takes from The Reluctant Canary Sings. At one point, I thought Bobbi Bowen would join the WAACs and I wrote some 20,000 words about her military career. This scene is her journey to boot… Read more Fort Des Moines

How Do My 1930s Characters Dress?

During the 1920s,  men’s fashions tended toward loose-fitting garments–baggy, high-waisted zoot suit with a watch chain dangling to the knee. Long, often double-breasted,  jackets featured massive shoulder pads. A fedora completed the ensemble. Then came the stock market crash and years of hard times. Fashion for both men and women switched to skinnier garments requiring… Read more How Do My 1930s Characters Dress?

Big Band Novel Cover Design

She wanted to be an artist, but everyone told her she had a great voice and she should become a singer. When the economy crashed, though, she had no choice but to take the job that was available—singing in a nightclub with a big band orchestra. Security was never part of the mix. I’m still… Read more Big Band Novel Cover Design

Vintage Cars

I gave very little thought to cars as I wrote The Reluctant Canary Sings, but I realized I had a couple of characters who needed to drive them. I went out to find cars for them. While looking for what are now vintage automobiles, I learned that Cleveland was once the car capital of the… Read more Vintage Cars

Help Wanted: Street Team

I’m doing a final sentence edit for The Reluctant Canary Sings, so I’m looking for a street team to help me promote it.  For those of you who have never been on a street team, I define it as a group of people who help me promote my book. Here’s the elevator pitch:  Bobbi Bowen… Read more Help Wanted: Street Team

Dragon’s Eggs

Often Bobbi seems like the only adult in the house, but her parents have their own challenges. Bobbi knows that her grandmother, diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, lives in a mental institution–her mother took her there to visit once. During a thunderstorm, and after her father has stormed out of the apartment, she learns a few more… Read more Dragon’s Eggs

Bobbi’s Fashion

When Bobbi Bowen, a consummate tomboy, decides to enter a singing contest–with a lot of encouragement from her friends–she has to think about costuming.  In the depths of the 1930s she had no money to buy anything new. But money isn’t her biggest concern. Here she is, talking to her friends as she continues to… Read more Bobbi’s Fashion

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