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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Writer's Life 2/24 - Ghosts

Born in 1937, Mary Downing Hahn has written 32 young adult novels. Her first appeared in 1979. I just finished Wait Till Helen Comes, her fifth book, a ghost story published in 1986. It is an effective thriller told from the point of view of a girl on the cusp of teenage. Her father has left, and her mother has remarried. Her step sister, several years younger, is haunted by the death of her mom in a fire. The family, which includes a younger brother fascinated by bugs, moves to an isolated area outside Baltimore. There is a graveyard nearby and also the ruins of a house destroyed by fire. Mystery ensues. Is the little girl suffering some sort of post traumatic stress or is something supernatural afoot? The 184 pages read more like 150. Since it is for the YA audience, I'm hesitant to criticize the prose and, especially, the dialogue, which at times did not ring true. Hahn has been very successful, so who am I to say the writing could have been better? In 2010 she received the prestigious Edgar award for Closed for the Season. And a film version of Wait Till Helen Comes is in post production, the first adaptation of Hahn's work. It stars one of my favorites, Maria Bello, as the mom. If it receives decent reviews, I will add it to my Netflix list when it becomes available on DVD. 462 users at Amazon have rated the book, forging to an impressive consensus of 4.7 of five. I rate it three.

So far in the 2016 race for the White House, participation in the Republican primaries is setting records, while Democratic turnout has dropped considerably from the previous presidential cycle. At this point, I don't think it's an indicator of what will occur in November. Trump continued his winning streak last night in Nevada and, if the polls are correct, looks like he will dominate Super Tuesday. The key will be when either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio drops out. If both hang on until the end, I don't see how Trump loses. If one leaves the race, it will be a matter of where his supporters go. Although I'm turned off by the Donald's persona, I don't think it's an indication of whether he would be an effective president or not. I don't despise him the way I do the Clintons, and I will vote for him if he's the nominee. One thing is certain, a Trump-Hillary showdown figures to be great theater. The mud will be flying.

I received the 50 copies I ordered of A Hitch in Twilight, which cost me $465. The book has gone from my most profitable to $120 in the red. Killing is now my only profitable book. Rising Star and Exchanges are almost there. I believe Billionths of a Lifetime will eventually be, although it's off to a slow start. Adjustments has an outside shot at it. Close to the Edge never will be. It was my first and I had no idea what I was doing and dug a big hole. Still, the process keeps me going. I have something to look forward to every day -- at least when the weather permits. The rain is supposed to stop some time tomorrow morning. Let it be so.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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