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  1. What a great idea – Reading to us! And you seemed happy and relaxed doing so, very natural; gave me another way to approach stories: listening to the narrator. In the past with most novels I think if I heard a narrator at all it was myself and not a true story teller; i.e.,one who loves (or at least is amused by, and in certain cases angered or even saddened by) the characters and is interested i n their goings on, thereby conveying a kind of pleasure in the telling that almost hypnotizes the listening reader. Oh, and the birds added to the experience. And the whole setting–porch, trees, street noises. A very successful intro to your authorship!

    Now, about the random selections approach: it didn’t work. I was more interested in your reading than in the sentences. It most likely would work if I were doing it myself–it’s an interesting way of quickly testing the quality of writing. But you did such a fine job of making us feel that we were there with you that the writing style got lost in your voice, in your whole face that changed and changed again as you read. Your children are blessed to have a mother who can teach reading, and writing, simply by reading to them.

    Another idea that I learned long ago from an essay by a magazine editor is this: read only the first sentence, and decide from that whether you will go on. I tried it out with your stories. From that test, I might not like “Getting Good at Bach” or “Eva the Avenger.” Nor might I go ahead and read “Divine Commerce”–unless I went on to the second sentence, which really caught my interest. All the rest of the first sentences make me want to get into their stories. And I must say, most of the titles do too. And the occasional varied formats, as in “The Courtship of Some Courtship People.” The wacky . . .I mean, creative cover, the playful note and tiny bright lady bug on the binding, and the unexpected print style throughout the book (which is easy on the eyes but also a signal that this author is totally different from the rest): all are enough to arouse curiosity and probably the patience which is part of reading anything detailed and good.

    Why dont you try making similar short videos with your poems. (Easy for me to say, right? Why don’t I do it, I keep asking myself )


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