...Rising February 28...

As the Full Snow Moon rises in the February sky, today also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens…so I lead with one of his quotes because it suits this post perfectly….

“An idea like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.”

As some of you know, February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month.  My last post discussed the work of the group Project Pets – Spay , Neuter, Love.  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240 I hope you will join them as they continue their humane work.  It truly is the new face of Rescue.

I have so much to post about, among them, a “report” from a Peaceful Protest against a Puppy Retailer in my town (and coverage of the closing of the deplorable Puppies Galore in Brick, NJ),  http://brick.patch.com/articles/officials-remove-sick-puppies-from-brick-pet-store?ncid=following_comment  and one about the terrific work some young people are doing on behalf of homeless animals and more.  Of the first, it is amazing how so many I talk to are so unaware of the scope of this problem.  It is a bad situation that harms animals and humans, please take my word for it.

There have been many developments on the writing front and it has been difficult to keep up…but I will.

Last Friday evening, I experienced my first author appearance for my short story collection, Something’s Lost and Must be Found.   http://www.amazon.com/Somethings-Lost-Must-Found-ebook/dp/B0051ZMYG2 This “little” book was Midwest Book Reviewed last November, was e-reader news today’s Book of the Day on December 5, 2011 and received a three-part review by Teddy Hilton Blogger, Dr. Patrick Mahaney.  It was offered in a soft cover version in January. It would make a terrific and affordable Valentine’s Day Gift for any dog-lover, if I may suggest….

In June, I made a visit to Booktowne in Manasquan, NJ, to meet author Lisa Pliscou (Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty).  While there, I got to talk to Maribeth Pelley, the shop’s marketing and public relations consultant.  She asked me to contact them when Something’s Lost became a “real” book.  I did, and they made good on their offer.  We set a date and together publicized and prepared for the event.

Booktowne owner, Rita Maggio and the store’s manager, Janice, could not have been more helpful.  The store is a beautiful place in the quaint downtown section of a historic Jersey Shore town.  All three worked so well together to make me, and those who attended, feel very comfortable.  It was a successful event all round.

I read an excerpt from the book’s longest (and my favorite) selection, THE HOUSE OF THE HAPPY DOG, talked about the evolution of the NDW Blog and discussed the writing process that led to the publishing of this book and the others to come. I know there are literally millions of blog sites out there and scads of new reading material presented each day on e-readers and in book shops; to be able to personally connect with an audience was a such a rewarding experience.

On Facebook, friends, whose distance made it impossible to attend, asked me two questions on-line.  First, where do you get your story ideas and how did you start writing about dogs?  To the first, I say that I am always “absorbing” material via radio, television, newspapers and conversations. I write these items down and eventually they fall into a “title” that I am in the process of developing. Sort of like a bird building a nest.

As for the second question, I have always loved animals, especially dogs. Each day, I see their value as helpmates for humans.  They are therapists, service providers, companions, guardians and more.  To me, they represent an enormous untapped potential for good, one that we have only begun to tap.  To see so many of them abused, neglected and discarded, is truly sad and frankly, mind-boggling. I was inspired to begin writing about this subject when I began researching my book about Will Judy, the man who launched National Dog Week, at the start of the Great Depression, to address this topic.  This biography, as yet untitled, will be released sometime in 2013 by McFarland and Company. I thank them for seeing its merit.

But, canines aren’t the only subject of my writing.  My Young Adult Novel (or Young Adult at heart novel as I refer to it) FULL SNOW MOON (Bradley Publishing) will rise on February 28th.  Like the previous book, it will be initially offered  for e-readers. I am hoping for a soft cover version by the summer beach reading season. Although it is classified as a Contemporary Story, it is a paranormal mystery that covers a span of time ranging from 1803 to the present-day Jersey Shore.  Rest assured, the book does not contain any characters that remotely resemble Snookie and the “Situation.”

It is my Valentine to the New Jersey Shore region and the state as a whole. I love the cover the publisher has designed for it, too (see above)!  I hope you will be able to read it and review it on my Amazon Page.  On March 11 my publisher and I will host a live event on Facebook as an official launch. I will let you all know the details.  It should be a lot of fun. I truly hope you will join us!

May the force of the full moon be with you and congratulations to the NY/NJ Giants…It will be pure lunacy on the streets of New York City today…