January 26, 2008

Valentine's Day Book!

I found the Valentine card last night in my childhood scrapbook. My mother saved everything--even the little cards that came on the gifts for my baby shower.

I know she would cringe at the photo in my last post because she was very sick and her hair wasn't done--I'll have to make it up to her by posting some better ones. The picture I posted was the only one I had that showed the missing jewelry.

Tantara Records (http://www.tantararecords.com/ ) has the rights to Go My Son, the beautiful Navajo song in Custer and His Naked Ladies. I first heard it years ago at a Kiowa powwow. To buy the sheet music, contact them at info@TantaraRecords.com

Quote du jour:

“I’ve lived at the end of what used to be a great country.” Merle Haggard in Esquire Magazine, courtesy of Bill Mahrer.

January 16, 2008

Surprise, a romance!

My mother at a Kiowa powwow, about 1984

Check out the jewelry! I have no idea what happened to my mother's turquoise jewelry collection. She had Comanche and Navajo pieces. I know she looks like a Comanche, but actually, she was Hispanic. We just loved the powwows. I think it was because the only part of our culture that we kept was our rosary and our tortillas, so we latched onto the Indian customs of our friends. You know, of course, that the Oklahoma Territories became the end of the Trail of Tears. The state is steeped in the culture of many Indian Nations, almost too many to count. That was why I added so many Comanche words to my novel. To leave the Comanche words out would be like having a teapot with no tea--just water.

This was the powwow where I first heard the beautiful Navajo song, Go My Son, that I wrote about in Custer and His Naked Ladies. Sheet music for the song can be purchased from Tantara Records (http://www.tantararecords.com/). Their email is info@tantaraRecords.com

Custer and His Naked Ladies-Is doing well. You can read sample chapters of all of my books before you buy on my main website: http://www.janellemerazhooper.com/ or order from my publisher at http://www.iuniverse.com/ I still can't believe I wrote a romance. My publisher calls it literary, but all of my emails call it a romance. Go figure. No one was more surprised than I ("Think Valentine's Day!" she quickly said upon hearing the news...")

Facebook- STILL no friends on Facebook. Maybe I should get out more...

Quote du jour: "To whom much is given, much is expected." Hillary Rodham Clinton (No, I am not a Hillary supporter, but it is almost election time...)

January 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Happy Birthday, Elvis!
The sign above was in our movie theatre's window in Lawton, Oklahoma when I was a kid. A friend worked there as a ticket taker, and she got it for me. I treasured it for years, and it's got a permanent home in my scrapbook.
As a tribute to Elvis, I'm posting a short story from my Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories book. The story has been posted all over the Internet, and was even read once on an Irish radio station (with my permission):
Elvis Has Left the Building–And Is Living In My Computer
by Janelle Meraz Hooper
Elvis is still alive. I know it. I have proof. And I don’t mean the kind of proof where some guy who’s had too much beer stops at a local filling station and sees Elvis filling up his Eldorado with regular gas. What a joke. Everyone knows that Elvis uses super.
And I don’t mean like that guy outside of the basketball arena waving a sign that says, “Elvis parks here.” Everyone knows that Elvis is way too cool for basketball.
No, I’m talking about tangible down to earth evidence that the King of Rock n’ Roll is alive and well—and living in my computer.
Yep. That’s what I said. Right here in my outdated computer that I call Ole Trigger because it doesn’t have enough guts to boot up all of my fancy printers and scanners on the same day, much less at the same time.
Whenever I want to do anything more complicated than word-processing, I have to delete the non-color printer and drivers, load the color printer, print, and let Ole Trigger rest for a day or so. Then I can load the color scanner, do my scanning, delete the color printer and scanner from my hard drive, re-load the black and white printer and its drivers, and let Trigger rest again for a couple of days until it feels up to fetching my E-mails. Sometimes, if my preacher cousin sends me a long message, it just gets all tuckered out and has to be rebooted. I keep a special pair of cowboy boots next to my PC just for this purpose.
As far as I can tell, Elvis moved into my computer a few days before the Fourth of July. That’s when I sent a color poster of The King to my editor, who’s an Elvis fan, wishing her Happy Fourth! It was a photo that showed Elvis in all his glory: gold metallic suit, slick pompadour hair, and white buck shoes.
Of course he had that special look of his on his face, like he’d just jammed a guitar pick up his nose and was wondering if he wanted to get it out or just leave it there because it felt good. It was pure, vintage Elvis, and I blew it up full size before I sent it to her via e-mail. I should have known something had gone wrong when she said she never got it—that was because he never left.
He took up 486 bits or bytes or whatever that stuff is called, but he was kind of cool, so I didn’t delete him right away as I should have. A few days later, I began to find strange messages on my computer when I brought up my screen in the morning. Messages like, “Warning! Your memory system is running dangerously low. Norton antivirus system may not be working correctly.” Oh, happy 99! Oh, Melissa!
I went into Trigger’s guts and started deleting everything that wouldn’t make me stop breathing if I didn’t have it. I even deleted—augh!—Elvis, but the messages kept coming: “Warning, warning! Danger! Danger!”
The next time I used my graphics software, I noticed that Elvis was still on the menu. I deleted him. He came back. I deleted him again. He came back again. By that time, his lips were starting to move, and his suit was beginning to shimmer. I don’t know why he doesn’t leave, except that maybe he’s finally found someplace to hide out where people have to leave him alone—sort of like having that hotel he sings about all to himself.
For myself, I’ve given up and just deleted Norton. I know when I’m beat. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up and hear the lonesome sound of Elvis humming and strumming a guitar in my computer.
Sure beats anything I ever heard from Norton.

Read more about my Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories book and others on my main website:


While you're there, check out the sample chapters on my new novel, Custer and His Naked Ladies...

January 07, 2008

Janny joins Facebook

Janelle , 2005
Facebook- so my writer friends said I should join Facebook, and it's been trouble from the getgo. The first thing you do is add a photo. I assumed it should be one of me, and that was where the trouble began. I have about four photos of me, and all of them look just like me. That's a problem. Each one has their own particular flaw. The one on this post is called Bad Hair Day. I have another one that I call Ten Pounds Too Heavy. The third one is Janelle Celebrates Paul Bunyan Day (I'm wearing a flannel shirt), and the fourth one is Some People Should Never, NEVER wear a hat. That's it. Four photos. I'm the one who takes the photos in this family. Seemingly, for good reason.
The next parts had blanks to fill in on my political and religious views. And there was probably the obligatory question about my favorite pet, but I skipped all of those. I have a short attention span (she said after she'd written and published 4 books).
I was anxious to get onto the next parts--sort of like plowing through a taco salad to get to the good stuff (the cheese). The next sections were about my books so I breezed through those. The last part was the killer. I was supposed to list my favorite pets and my friends. What friends? I'm a writer, am I supposed to have friends? I thought I'd search the site and find some writer friends to list. None of them were there. Not one. So why did I sweat through two hours of figuring out the program when they haven't joined themselves? How gullible am I?
If you're in facebook, please be my friend. And if not, can I borrow your cat? If not, please read my sample chapters of my new novel, Custer and His Naked Ladies on my web:

January 04, 2008

Read something different this year!

My first books:
A Three-Turtle Summer
As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries
Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories (mixed genre)
That front table- Casual readers may not have noticed, but most of the books on the front tables of the glitzy bookstores are only there for 2-4 weeks, and competition for a table spot is fierce. After that, they're stashed away on the book shelves and your chance of finding them is just about nil--unless the book falls off and hits you on the toe.
My A Three-Turtle Summer was like that. It was on a front table of some bookstores for about three weeks, then it was shoved onto a top shelf that only a basketball player could reach without a ladder.
This is where traditional publishers come in. With large advertizing budgets, they try to make sure their books are not ignored by the reader. The funny thing is, often, even they can't save their own books. If a traditional publisher can't get their own books read by the public, what chance does a small niche writer, with no advertising budget have? Not much.
Most of my novels have won literary awards, but they are still unknown by almost everybody. If you go to my website, http://www.janellemerazhooper.com/ , you can read sample chapters of my books before you buy.
New in 2007!
Custer and His Naked Ladies
Don't miss it...it's a hoot!
Read something different this year! I think you'll be glad you did.

January 02, 2008

It's a hoot!

©2007 Janelle Meraz Hooper
My daughter at a soccer game-Love the purple stripes on the field. It must have something to do with the school's colors. I use my camera a lot to record ideas, spaces, and people. I have a huge file of ideas to draw from.
Custer and His Naked Ladies- Please email me if you're having trouble getting my book. Sometimes, the distribution channels get messed up. It should be available from most distributors. My email: JanelleMHooper@comcast.net . If you're having trouble, you might just want to go to the publisher, http://www.iuniverse.com/ . Despite the distribution problems, sales are going well. I guess the word is spreading that it's a hoot!