About a million years ago, I read a Peanuts cartoon quoting Thomas Wolfe: “You can’t go home again.” Perhaps fifteen years later, I discovered Wolfe in a lit class, and read Look Homeward, Angel. Eventually, I also got through You Can’t Go Home Again, along with a few others. A troubled genius, Wolfe was also a pretty great read – thanks in large part to that greatest of editors, Max Perkins.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’ll be going home soon…well, going back to the city where I grew up, Bristol, CT. It hasn’t been “home” for me for a while. In fact, it’s fair to say that my adopted home of Tampa, Florida – where I’ve lived since 1994 – is more in my comfort zone than CT ever was.

Still, there’s a bittersweet aspect to going back to visit the old homestead. Memories that live more in the bones than the brain come to life. Feelings, not thoughts, bubble to the surface. As normal as it is for others, it’s a weird place for me.

So when I sought to book a library event in advance of my return, I wasn’t sure where to go. The old Bristol Public Library sits at the edge of a small hill in a relatively unpleasant part of town; by contrast, the smaller Manross Library is in Forestville, a sort of Bristol suburb where my father grew up. I’m told it’s in a somewhat nicer neighborhood than the main branch. I’ve been away so long, I wouldn’t know. I like nicer neighborhoods, so I opted for Manross.

There’s a feeling of “Hometown Boy Makes Good” in this whole endeavor of scheduling a book signing for myself. Calls and emails to the local newspaper, social media posts inviting old classmates to drop by. I’m looking forward to it.

The book signing falls on a Saturday, the only day the library and I are both available. Thankfully, it also falls on the penultimate day of a vacation, the first real vacation my wife and I have been able to schedule since forever ago. We plan to get our first look at Niagara Falls before the big library event, so I’m expecting to be pretty relaxed by the time the week is out.

If you happen to be in Connecticut on Saturday, May 6th at 2pm, stop on by. I’ll pack a few copies of Miles of Files, Brothers’ Hand, and Jana, just in case.

Communication? Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

Last week’s blog post was all about business. This week, I’m still going to talk about business a little, but really it’s more about writing. And if there’s one lesson we should take to heart in writing – in fact, in all our communication – it’s Keep It Simple. Today...
authenticity

Putting Yourself Out There

I see a lot of social media posts these days about "authenticity." The idea is that clients and customers, and potential clients and customers, really appreciate your authenticity—mainly because so many fake people have tried to sell them something they didn't want to...

Indie Authors & Literary Fiction

Back in July, I posted an interview with fellow indie author Jay Lemming.  Jay has a terrific ongoing project simply called “Survey: Indie Writers of Literary Fiction.” In his survey, he asks fellow lit fiction authors about one of their novels, and in particular,...
interregnum

What To Expect From An Interregnum

I had a very strange, little-used word pop into my head the other day: interregnum.  Cambridge English defines interregnum as "a period when a country or organization does not have a leader." That certainly seems to apply at this moment. Merriam-Webster's definition:...
characters

It All Starts With Character

“Sahno offers a compelling vision of a community whose need for companionship and support in the face of life's struggles is stirring.” “The characters are deep, well thought out…” “I read this novel in a few short days, drawn in by a believable plot and characters...

About Brothers’ Hand

As Sahno Publishing continues the marketing campaign in upstate New York for Brothers’ Hand, I want to check in both with readers and potential readers. Like the blurb on the back of the book says, this is a story about Jerome Brothers, who comes from a small town in...
president

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It—Then Let It Go

​In 1994, I wrote a novel called Brothers’ Hand, in which the titular character mentions that someday working class people might very well use billionaire “Duncan Scrump’s” name as a curse word one day. Of course, I never imagined such a person could become our...
followers

Frances Caballo on Why You Should Never Buy Twitter Followers or Facebook Likes

I don't often feature guest posts on my blog, but today's post is a special exception. Social media guru Frances Caballo graciously accepted my invitation to guest here.If you don't know Frances, you should: she's the author of numerous books on social media for...
copyright

Does Copyright Still Matter in the Digital Age?

One thing about working as a full-time freelance writer: it’s usually feast or famine. That means exactly what it sounds like. Sometimes you’re so busy that you almost forget to market your business, and other times, you’re looking for more projects. This month is one...
genre writer

The Challenge of Writing in a Different Genre for the First Time

I’ve never been what you’d call a genre writer. In fact, I’ve said this for years: “I’m not a genre writer.” Problem is, we live in an age where everything must be classified. It’s weird. I’m a guy who grew up listening to a lot of rock (the genre formerly known as...