November 09, 2012

We did it! We kept big business from buying the election!

I had hopes but never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd have this much success (a late Demo winner isn't on this chart--I've misplaced the name, sorry!) This is a big win for clean government and democracy!

November 05, 2012

Message to Ohio and Florida voters in line

A message to the Americans standing in line to vote in Ohio and Florida: Don't give up! Don't let the Republicans win! Here on the west coast, our hearts and minds are with you. I know you're in a bad spot, but our president needs you.

Al Sharpton, courtesy of MSNBC, on the GOP's war against women, closing statement: "And that's why the election is not about Obama. It's about your momma!"

It's no accident that the message from Glinda is right below the message from Rachel. WE HAVE THE POWER. USE IT. WHAT ARE YOU SAVING IT FOR? VOTE!
The Republicans are at it again. Know why? Because it always works for them! If we'd stepped on their $#!@?! the first time they did it, maybe we wouldn't be where we are tonight. I am sickened over their dirty tricks and lack of patriotism.
Ms. Silent Nomore, where are you when we need you?

The Idaho Baker and The Real Deal- Barack Obama for President

The last time Obama ran for president I wrote a post that was picked up by a newspaper on the other side of the country. In it I stated that other candidates were Tater Tots and what this country needed was an Idaho baking potato. It was true then and it is even more true now. President Obama has earned another term and we’ll be foolish if we don’t give it to him. Romney is a light-weight. A Tater Tot in the truest sense of the word. From the time President Obama took office he has waded through the mess left by the earlier president. At the top of the list are two wars we couldn’t pay for but that’s not even the true issue: they were wars that should have never been fought. The list of other issues that need addressing is too long to go into: our economic, health care, energy, and infrastructure problems, etc. etc. etc. We need a true statesman like President Obama to keep us going forward. Romney is just another Tater Tot politician who won’t be able to produce the results we need. Vote, ya’ll. God Bless America and God bless our president, Barack Obama. Janelle Meraz Hooper

Ms. Silent Nomore pays us another visit:

Tonight I have watched biographies of President Obama, both on CNN and MSNBC--2 places that I go to for mostly the facts. Both told essentially the same basic story...nothing new--I was there. I lived it. But in the space of first 90 minutes and then 60 minutes, I was reminded just WHO this man is. What he has accomplished for us. How he made the decisions that literally brought our country back from an economic collapse (his economic advisors had told him that the country had just a few days before our economy collapsed.)

  How, in the face of incredible political opposition (the Republican leaders of our country, on Inaugeration Eve, plotted to oppose him at every turn), he managed to do the things he did.

    How he managed to change the image of our country from a horribly negative one to the very positive one we have today. He managed to create hope, both here and in the world.

   And he still managed to be an incredible husband and father.

   We have just seen, in the face of Hurricane Sandy, what he has done to coordinate the supplies of this nation for those victims.

  For 4 years, he has had our fronts and backs. He is the REAL DEAL.

  May God keep him safe and bless this country with 4 more years as President of our country.
Cordially as always,
Ms. Silent Nomore

October 27, 2012

Have you registered to vote?

In many parts of our country people have already voted. I read about a fellow writer who was going to put his I Voted! sticker on his door so that maybe the doorbellers would leave im alone. I put mine on my phone but it didn't work. I hope you'll be sure to get your vote in as early as possible in case of bad weather. Or a flat tire. Or a talkative relative stops by. You never know what can happen at the last minute.
If it seems like I'm nagging it's just because this vote is so important. Not only is it important to re-elect Obama, it's important for another reason: We must not let big business get away with buying this election! If we do, it'll set a dangerous precedent for the future. Ronald Reagan said once that, if we're not cautious, we could lose this country in a decade. We must not be smug and careless about what we have here.
I'm going to add the latest message from Ms. Silent Nomore before I post:
For those of you who haven't decided who you are voting for...a summary.
Some very important things to consider:
1...On the night of the Inaugeration, there was a very important meeting with many primary "players" of the Republican Party. At this meeting, the single most important goal for the next 4 years was decided on---to stop Obama from having a second term. The way to do this would NEVER agree on anything that was proposed by either the Senate or the House that would give Obama any credit for a second term.
This resulted in over 40--60 filibusters in the Senate (this level of obstruction was the most in our history); a similar effort in the House by the Republican minority was stopped with the majority control of the House for the first 2 years. But, for anything to pass and become a law, BOTH parts of Congress had to compromise--that DID NOT HAPPEN. WHEN WE WERE IN THE DEEPEST PART OF OUR RECESSION, THESE TACTICS WERE STILL EMPLOYED!! In my opinion, when a political party decides to put a political agenda ahead of the welfare of this country---this is called...treason. Think about it.
2...The candidate for President of the Republican Party, during the primaries, did all he could think of, to earn the ire (and some stronger words) of all the other candidates because of the tactics he used to win primaries.
3...Now, that same candidate, for these many months has employed ...lying and distortion at almost every stump speech; changing his policies so often that his true policies are yet to be determined; at the debates...becoming so ambiguous with regard to his policies, that NO ONE COULD FIGURE OUT WHERE/WHAT HE STOOD FOR.
4...Yet, he does have a party platform...the Republican Party Platform...the traditional one that has not changed from the Bush years...these ideas were the same ones that caused this mess. And he intends to repeat them. Only they are more radical now.
5...The choice is very clear...Romney or President Obama--the President whose integrity and moral courage has kept us going as a country and changed the world's opinion of us for the better.
Most cordially,
Ms. Silent Nomore
Hear, hear! Thanks, Ms. Nomore! (I've had some questions about this contributor. Some think it is just me. It is not.)


October 26, 2012

Another visit from Ms. Silent Nomore!

We're burning daylight here--have you voted yet? Please do!
October 24, 2012
THAT was Donald Trump's October Surprise? That's all he's got? For one, I don't want to see the Harvard transcripts of President Obama's grades. Good grief, the man was president of the Harvard Law Review. I'm sure he's smart enough! What is really going on here is that Trump is willing to pay over 5 million dollars for media attention. The man is embarrassing!

October 23, 2012
Oh, boy. Donald Trump is promising a big October Surprise about Obama tomorrow. He's a big birther. Wonder where he'll say Obama is from this time? No matter. We all know that Trump is from Genosha (I threw that in for all you Marvel Comic fans.).

Another visit from Ms. Silent Nomore. I'm not sure but she appears to be from Washington State:
For all voters that have initiatives on the ballot to approve a 2/3 vote by state legislatures to raise taxes...THIS IS REAL SCARY! A closer look at these iniatives reveals that the 2/3 majority will be used only to stop loopholes and capital gains taxes from being closed and taxed. IT DOES NOT PREVENT FEES FROM BRING CHARGED! What does this mean?! Only people who benefit from capital gains income and loopholes....the top 1% will benefit from this 2/3 majority to limit taxes. The rest of us can have fees leveled on us. In other words...these last years of recession, when we needed our legislature to spend more money by helping the most needy of us, they could not close loopholes and tap tax loopholes that would have helped. They could only raise fees on the rest of us!!  


 Very cordially,
Ms. Silent NoMore
I'm not versed in this initiative so will have to take her word for it. I think she must have found me on the Internet...good to have her aboard! Janelle


October 25, 2012

$1.99 Kindle short story!

Old Joe’s Pink Cadillac
Janelle Meraz Hooper
   Before Old Joe’s best friend left for Vietnam he dropped his pink 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville off at Joe’s for safekeeping. The old car was in bad shape and when his friend didn’t come back Joe made it his mission to restore her.
   Most nights, after work, Old Joe could be found with his head stuck under the hood of the collectible car, murmuring loving, encouraging sounds to the eye-catching lady who once ruled the highway.  When he finished, she was a beaut. Old Joe didn’t have much, never did. But at least he had Elizabeth…for a while.

a few lines...Everyone liked Joe. Ben, a bachelor who lived across the alley, had a special fondness for his neighbor. Years ago, Joe had chosen to move to the white side of the laurel hedge the city had planted to separate the whites from the blacks. Ben suspected Joe’s move had something to do with wanting to get away from his ex-wife. It was a gutsy decision, and Ben admired him for it.
Through the years, the once all-white, intimidating neighborhood filled in with Asians and Hispanics. At dinnertime, the air was filled with wonderful smells of different cultures mixing together in the hot air, and the smells from Joe’s kitchen fit right into the mix.
Ben’s effort to see that Joe was well and had everything he needed was always appreciated by the old guy.  Especially on hot nights, Ben would walk across the alley to say hello and make sure the old man had ice for his icebox. Temperatures in the Oklahoma town could be as high as a hundred and eight degrees or more in the daytime during the summer, and the town’s senior citizens were sometimes known to suffer from dehydration.
On those nights, Joe would pull two bottles of beer out of his icebox, and he and Ben would go outside and sit on Elizabeth’s hood to cool off. There, in the dark, they’d listen to the crickets chirp, and the cats hiss at each other on the Victorian’s porch. Sometimes, houses away, they’d hear a couple squabbling until they both decided it was too hot to fight.
Too hot to love.
Too hot to sleep.
Eventually, cats and people would quiet down for the night, and Ben and Joe would be left under a star-filled sky with only the crickets and lightning bugs for company. 

Visit my Amazon author page for my books, news and book trailers!,/author/janellehooper





October 24, 2012

Election alert from Ms. Silent Nomore!

I've heard talk that Romney knew he couldn't win the debate--thier strategy was just to stay alive! What I'd like to see is a debate between Romney and Donald Trump. I think they're equally clueless!
Meanwhile, I've had another email from Silent Nomore:

ELECTION ALERT!! While everyone is concentrating on the one-liners and the fact that Romney almost became Obama last night by pretty much agreeing with most of his foreign policy ideas...there is one thing that few people are talking about.

   Romney showed last night, and in fact, all through this election cycle, that he really isn't interested in foreign policy!! Reality check!! The area of foreign policy is the one area that our president has control!!!! We know from recent history when our president really doesn't care, or doesn't really know as much as he should about the world---aka.George Bush---this means that a vacumn exists where  people who have their own agendas can rush in and INFLUENCE HIS DECISIONS. THIS IS HOW WE GOT THE MOST DISASTEROUS FOREIGN POLICY MESS IN A GENERATION---2 WARS AND THE HATRED OF MOST OF THE WORLD.

   And now, of the 24 members of Romney's foreign policy advisor team, 17 ARE REPEATS OF BUSH'S OLD TEAM!

This is a disaster just waiting to happen. IF YOU HAVEN'T VOTED YET...THINK ABOUT THIS.  Unless you liked what we have just suffered through.

 Very Corially,

Ms. Silent Nomore

October 14, 2012

$.99 children's book- There's a Mouse in the House!

Kindle, Nook, & iPad- $2.99 USD
Chapter 1. A pretty good life- an excerpt
This is a story about birds. Three birds to be exact: a little green parrot named Jamaica, a yellow cockatiel named KoKoMo, and a big black crow named Jupiter. Little Jamaica and KoKoMo lived in a nice warm home, with lights, a color TV, and lots of music. Their gourmet birdseed came from a nearby pet shop, and they regularly received treats from the kitchen. Jamaica and KoKoMo loved the treats! They especially liked the bites of Brussels sprouts, baked potato and bread. Sometimes, they even got a bite of pizza! In short, life was good. Even the house cat, Okra, was nice to them. Actually, Okra was nice to them partly because he was terrified of the sound that the bird’s wings made when they flew. Flap! Flap! Flap! He couldn’t figure out why it was necessary for them to do that. They didn’t see him flying all over the place, did they? No. He kept all four of his paws on the ground. Like a cat should. And a bird should. At least inside birds. Okra was surprised to learn that the new bird could talk. Many a good nap had been spoiled by Jamaica calling, “Okra, Okra, I love you, Okra!” The first time he heard Jamaica say that, he almost wet Sally’s carpet. Never before had the cockatiel said anything to Okra, although he had heard her whistle that “shave and a haircut, two bits” tune she’d learned from Sally’s husband…



Pull a toddler onto your lap—or tuck it into bed—and share a tale about a house that has a mouse problem (There’s a Mouse in the House!), a gooseberry-gobbling pheasant (George, the Great Green Gooseberry Gobbler), and a cat named Ribbons who gets into trouble with a Christmas tree (Ribbons at Christmas). I’ve broken up the story about Jamaica and Jupiter (Jamaica and Jupiter) into shorter chapter stories so that the friendship between the “outside” bird and the “inside bird” can develop over time. This story was inspired by a little green parrot we used to have that was fascinated by the crows in the yard. There are two short poems about a hermit crab and a frog at the end. There’s more explanation about my choosing them at the end of the book.

Happy reading! I hope you agree with me that "Once you learn to read you will be forever free!" Frederick Douglas


October 04, 2012

The first debate between Obama and Romney

The keyboard is the new doorbell!

I'm aware that I have many Europeon readers. I'm sure that a lot of you are too busy to try to figure out our politics. Here's a short course from someone who is very non-political:
We have two main political parties in the United States: the Democrats and the Republicans.
The Republicans:
 I believe in the two-party system but in the last few years our Republican Party has been hijacked by factions who do not have the best interests of the people or the nation (or even the world) at heart. Conservatives rule too much of the party and force their views on religion, economics, and health care on what's left of the original GOP party. I miss the old Republican party. I used to be a member.

The Democrats:
One of the factions of the Democrats is the Liberals. Republicans say we want a free ride. We want to sit around--they say--on our duffs all day while they pay for it. It's interesting that a lot of people assume I'm a Democrat/Liberal because I'm disabled and thus much want as much free stuff from the government as I can get. Actually, I am not poor. I make a very good income. I'm just willing to share the riches of this great country with those less fortunate. I apologize for this unedited ramble. time is short and I have a publishing queue to meet. Maybe one of my emails from a reader will explain what happened last night (I'll try to do better next time.):

On the subject of the thoughts. What I saw, in salesmanship terms: a classic "closer" and a sincere salesman. Romney, as usual said what he thought the audience wanted him to say--lies and exagerations included--to close the "deal". Obama, realizing that, after a few tries, pointing out to Romney,clearly that he was lying, with Romney denying that he was, decided to just talk to us. To coin a repeated phrase, in talking to Romney, it is like trying to nail jello to a wall.  So which person would I prefer to lead us?!  The fast-talking, deal-closing, tell-me-anything-to close-the deal guy, or the one who is working for me to get what is best for the country. There really is no option--Obama every time.
With kind regards, Ms. Silence Nomore

September 10, 2012

99-cent Children's Kindle book!


There's a Mouse in the House!

This small collection of short stories and poetry is from my personal collection of stories I told to my daughter and grandson. Most of the stories are based upon real-life events in our family.

My approach to telling stories to children is the same as my approach to talking to them: I never used baby talk or purposely avoided complicated words if they enhanced the story. If there was a question about a word we looked it up and talked about it.

All of my writing, whether it’s women’s fiction, short stories, historical, or a story for children, has humor. Also, as in all of my writing, I bring an awareness of the environment into the story content.

Pull a toddler onto your lap—or tuck it into bed—and share a tale about a house that has a mouse problem (There’s a Mouse in the House!), a gooseberry-gobbling pheasant (George, the Great Green Gooseberry Gobbler), and a cat named Ribbons who gets into trouble with a Christmas tree (Ribbons at Christmas). I’ve broken up the story about Jamaica and Jupiter (Jamaica and Jupiter) into shorter chapter stories so that the friendship between the “outside” bird and the “inside bird” can develop over time. This story was inspired by a little green parrot we used to have that was fascinated by the crows in the yard. There are two short poems about a hermit crab and a frog at the end. There’s more explanation about my choosing them at the end of the book.

I hope you agree with me:

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Frederick Douglas

August 01, 2012

Vote for Obama!

The keyboard is the new doorbell!

April 14, 2012

Humorous, light romance for Kindle & Nook

The great guy Lily meets at her company's St. Patrick's Day party isn't rich but he isn't a leprechaun either, so he has that going for him...Kindle, Nook, $2.99

I had a lot of fun with this one. The main female character is the girl next door type and the guy she falls for (a jewelry designer) is a knock-out. I have two Jamaican characters that I think you'll really like and some characters that my senior readers will like. Who says romance is just for the young?

This is a very light romance that's a fun read. Suitable for all ages. Give it a try! You'll like it, I promise!

April 10, 2012

Kennedy Ng'ang'a, prolific artist from Kenya

Kennedy Ng'ang'a

Dear Readers. Normally, I bring you short stories from my writer friends. This time I'm bringing you something different: a video of the works of Kennedy Ng'ang'a from Mombosa, Kenya. Kennedy has been a quadriplegic for many years due to an accident. Meeting this courageous, prolific artist will bring a smile to your face; his vision of his beloved Africa is so beautiful. Enjoy! The link is:

Below the video is a story about his life in Africa. It's very sobering to look at this young man's accomplishments even though he is confined to a wheelchair. This video and article is posted in a magazine called Transforming Today's World Magazine.

March 25, 2012

Thank you, Amazon Prime!

 Amazon's promotion of my book, A Three-Turtle Summer, is over. Thank you Amazon! With it's help, I was able to give away over 1200 books in the US, UK, and DE.
I hope all of you who got a free book enjoy it. I have to tell you that being able to reach out to readers all over the world is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. I was checking the stats everyday to see where my books were going (Amazon only tells me the country, so there are no worries about privacy issues).
  A Three-Turtle Summer is the first book in my Turtle Trilogy. If you like the first, you might try the next two: As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries and Custer and His Naked Ladies.You can read all about them on my homepage:
  As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries, is also part of the WorldReader program in Africa. How I love to think about a child in Africa reading about powwows and Indians in Oklahoma! What fun!
  As I am not as mobile as some, it's my way of traveling to places I will never actually be able to go. I tell my family that I can't go, but my books can!

Thank you, readers...and thank you, Amazon. I had a great time!

March 20, 2012

Amazon Prime promotion, A Three-Turtle Summer

Amazon promotion May 20th-24th, 2012
Valid in the U. S., UK, DE, & FR!

This week, Amazon Prime members can get a free Kindle copy of my first novel, A Three-Turtle Summer for free. Read the five-star reviews on Amazon (  and on my website, 

The first book in my Turtle Trilogy, A Three-Turtle Summer, is the first place winner of the 2002 Bold Media Award for fiction. The next two books in the Turtle Trilogy, As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries (finalist in the 2004 Oklahoma Book Awards and first place fiction winner in the 1999 Surrey Writers' Contest) and Custer and His Naked Ladies are also available for purchase in paperback and Kindle.

A Three-Turtle Summer
 Janelle Meraz Hooper
An entertaining book about women who stick together to help one of their own find her place in the world for herself and her daughter…

Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1949…Grace and her five-year-old daughter, Glory, are living through A Three-Turtle Summer—a summer so hot the turtles are dying. It’s also the summer that Grace’s sisters and mother join forces with Grace to help her dump Dwayne, her abusive husband, who her sister Pauline says is “meaner than a rattlesnake and dumber than adobe.”

Besides her Hispanic family, a rich list of characters also assist in her escape, including: Sako, an American-born Japanese neighbor whose former home was the internment camp at Poston, Arizona; two gay dance instructors; a Negro gospel singer who sells lip-smackin’ Barbecue out of the trunk of her new orange Cadillac convertible; and Rudolf, her older sister’s husband who’s a colonel in the Army.

This women’s fiction story, set in the Southwest, will appeal to women everywhere who are looking for an absorbing story with a happy ending.

It's a good read. I promise!

March 07, 2012

New interview on Walt Shiel's blog

What's new in Puyallup-
Today, I had a new interview posted on Walt Shiel's (Five Rainbows) blog. You can see it here:   
Those of you who have had questions about my Oklahoma background and my teepee connection may find it interesting.

This week I made the posters for a Northwest Authors' Book Event. I think they may be my last marketing project until I get my printer replaced. It seems to balk at printing color. This machine definitely doesn't fit my personality. I'd buy colored paper towels if they were available. Oh, no. I guess I wouldn't--it'd probably kill the fish in the streams.

On my bed table- I've just finished a terrific out-of-print book by E. A. Burbank, the famous American Indian painter. It's title is Burbank Among the Indians. This may be my favorite book in the world. Even before my new Gauguin Polynesia book that I got at the Seattle Art Museum exhibit last week. That's really saying something.

On my living room sofa table- The Melagro Beanfield War by John Nichols. I loved the movie--it has a magical ending--and  I've always wanted to read the book. Loving it so far, but it is different. He definitely has his own style!

I'm always trying to increase my reading time. It isn't easy because my vision isn't as good as it once was. A few weeks ago I added yet another lamp in our living room and it has been the answer to my prayers. My reading has increased along with my comfort level. All for just a $15.00 lamp! As my husband likes to say, I'm a cheap date!

On my television- I'm still watching the old classic movies on the Turner Movie Channel. Love them.

My one-man show, Friending Geronimo, is making the rounds of LA little theatres in Los Angelos, looking for a home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The illustrations are coming in for Mr. Hop's Garden. I plan to publish this book on Kindle. The stories are already written but there's a queue for artwork by my illustrator, Sherri Bails. Right now, she's doing a large watercolor of an African singing group.
 I love the epigram that I found for the front of the book,
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Frederick Douglass
I work on setting up the format whenever I get a spare moment.

Coffee! I need coffee! Hope you're having a wonderful week.
Happy reading!
Oh! I almost forgot- Bernie Madoff you King of Thieves and destroyer of people's lives, what's for lunch over at The Big House? I hear it's pig's feet tacos. Yum-Yum!

March 03, 2012

Death on the Tundra, saying goodbye to Bright Moon, Conley Snapper McAnally, guest blogger

Alaskan cemetary © 1984 Janelle Meraz Hooper

One of my favorite writers, Conley Snapper McAnally, has a blog ( ) that is near and dear to my heart because one of his subjects is Alaska. I've invited him to share one of his posts because it exemplifies a thought I've written often, "Sometimes we forget that everyone else is living their moments while we're living ours..." 
When I was a docent in the Anchorage Museum many years ago, I came to love and respect the native cultures. I hope you enjoy this little window into Alaskan Native culture as much as I did.
Conley writes about all of his world travels. I also love his stories from Italy. Check out his blog!

Death on the Tundra
Saying goodbye to Bright Moon
© Conley Snapper McAnally

Bright Moon and a bunch of her friends were riding their four-wheelers on the beach late one night. They were playing a game the kids called ditch'em. Bright Moon was riding with three other girls when they hit a piece of driftwood and were thrown in different directions. All suffered head trauma. They were evacuated to the regional hospital a couple of hundred miles away by plane.  No small feat in the middle of the night in the Alaskan bush but unfortunately a common one. Bright Moon was the most severely injured so she was sent to Anchorage. The family managed to raise enough money to be at her side the next day and eventually faced the horrendous decision of pulling the plug.

School was sort of a dismal place waiting for news about Bright Moon's condition. The vice-principal spoke over the intercom to try and set the record straight about her condition and asked everyone to observe a moment of silent prayer. An hour later he came back over the intercom and informed us that Bright Moon had died. School was dismissed.

The next day some village elders, a social worker, and the missionary came to Bright Moon's classroom and had everyone who wanted to talk about her and more or less comfort one another. They sang songs, held hands, and prayed. No separation of church and state that day.

A day or so later her body was flown back to the village where it was laid out on the family's living room floor. The wake was like a wake anywhere else. Friends and neighbors brought food, shared hugs and memories, shed tears, and bid Bright Moon farewell.

The next day a large funeral was held in the school gym. All the stores were closed, school was put on hold, and even the post office closed down.

A few days later Bright Moon's mother came to our classroom and presented us with an 8x10 colored photograph of Bright Moon. I found an old rosary and draped it over the picture. The picture and rosary hung there the rest of the school year.

When I returned the next school year the picture was still hanging on the wall. Some of Bright Moon's friends came by and asked if they could take it to their new classroom. It was a procedure that would be followed until her class graduated from high school.

The yearbook that year will have a page dedicated to Bright Moon and her presence and at the graduation ceremony her picture will be placed on the seat where she would have sat. Her name will be read as if receiving a diploma and then a close friend or relative will carry the picture down the aisle toward the future that should have been hers.
Note: Conley was a teacher in Alaska for several years.

February 13, 2012

A Walk in the Park, short story

The last few years I’ve been posting a few covers and book excerpts from friends. For a change, I want to begin adding some short pieces that come my way and posts from friend’s blogs. This is the first short story. It’s by Elaine Seldner, a gifted teacher (now retired), artist, world traveler, and possibly the brightest person I’ve ever known. Not surprising, as I knew her mother, who was also one of my favorite people. Enjoy!

A Walk in the Park
© 2012 Elaine Seldner

I do not know why I was wandering around Rittenhouse Square that morning at seven. Dad’s place was up on the tenth floor overlooking the square. Perhaps he wasn’t awake yet. I know I’d gone down for some coffee only to discover the corner coffee café, redundant as that seems, wasn’t open for any coffee at all. I’d tapped on the door. A tall fellow in a tall white toque pointed to the array of carafes with a shoulder-shrugging, open-handed gesture that meant, “Sorry. Not even perking yet.” Well. It wasn’t the end of the world. The day was bright and the park was certainly open for business. I don’t often linger in the square. I simply cross it on my way to & from my parked car, different paths from differing parking spaces and garages in the area. It’s not like this park is part of my home, to settle into and soak in the sun.

The restaurants in a row on the east side of the square, elegant and empty, were all fetching, but their goodies were locked away. The book store on the north side had its cozy nooks for feeding body & soul. But there was no access at this time of day. On the south stood the church with its lacquered red doors. I’d heard the PLAYER send out his bell notes of hymn. He practiced some afternoons and song would spread freely over the park. I’d only hear it if the windows to Dad’s place were open or if we were being quiet. His place was behind me now, the south side filled with apartment houses gently spilling early risers to work or jog or walk the dog. I had no purpose in the park. Waiting is no purpose. I began a tour through the square admiring the mature old trees, the design of the floral borders, the layout of paths and statuary, the antique kiosk once manned, now empty. All of this had been planned out in the Gay 90’s, I supposed, having the look of some Parisian pleasure garden.

I took the steps up to the terrace that held the ornamental pool, and sat at the edge. A man of middle age, younger than I, sat on the balustrade opposite. I got up and walked the short way across the wide path. He watched me approach. He had a quiet and alert demeanor. “Coffee?” I inquired.

“You got some?” Clearly, no.

“It’s time the shop’s open,” I indicated with a head nod.

“Sure,” he said. And I headed on a diagonal back toward the café. I hadn’t asked him how he took it.

He called after me, “Black is okay.”

I turned as I kept walking. “Black it is.”

The toqued tall fellow at the shop recognized me and explained, redundantly, that the coffee hadn’t even started brewing when I’d been at the window. He’d discounted his most eloquent gesture. “Take your pick,” he said, pointing to the display of identical urns. Each had a silver plaque hung around its neck . All manner of exotic names could be read, betokening nuanced flavor notes explained in parentheses below. I chose “rich and full,” and poured a prodigious amount of milk into mine. I wished then that I’d asked if he’d take it with milk.

I returned through the quiet park and handed over the cup. “Thanks,” he said.

We pried off our lids together. “How are you doing?” I asked.

“Oh, not so bad,” he averred. We slurped down a draft.

“Do you sleep here in the park?”

“Nearby. Sometimes. I move around.”

“How do you find a place?” I asked as my head tilted towards my coffee.

“Oh, you’d be surprised how many city buildings have a vacant spot nobody bothers to tend to.” I imagined gardening sheds, pump rooms, coal bins as I drank.

“You out of work?”

“Oh, yeah. There’s plenty of unemployed. I had a good job. Few years back I lost it. Then I lost my wife. I got kids. “ He’s nursing his cup. Not as eager as I am to finish up.

“Geez. That is tough.” I take a swig.

“Hardly a point in looking for a job these days. But I keep at it. This’ll turn around. There’s ups & there’s downs. God will provide. I just gotta keep going till things turn around.”

I suppose I gave him a look which, loosely translated would have said, “Are you sure about that? “ hopefully nuanced with, “ I half believe you’re serious,” because he then said, “I’m okay. Really,” followed up with, “It was hard at first. It was really hard when my wife threw me out…I miss the kids.”

“Do you get to see them?” I take another gulp.

“Oh, yeah, from time to time. The youngest is seven. My older boy is nine.”

“Good kids?”

“Oh, yeah. They’re good kids.” He takes a good drink.

“Oh, that’s good.”

“Yeah. Real good.”

We drink together.

“You going to be here tomorrow? “

“Probably not. I have plenty of places around the city.”

“And food?” I drain my cup.

“There’s the shelter, kitchens.”

“Clothes? “

“I get by. The churches have ‘em. Different churches.”

My cup is empty. His, too. “You want me to take that?” I indicate the garbage receptacle at the end of the path.

“Naw; I’ll take care of it.”

I wish him a good day and better prospects.

“Don’t you worry,” he tells me. “God will provide.”

Dad would be awake by now. It was time to get back. I looked up at his windows. I imagined him looking down. Just in case, I waved.

Thanks, Elaine!

January 14, 2012

Thank you Amazon Prime...I'm reading the winter away!

Got Amazon Prime? Read some of my books for free! See my website to pick your book!

Boogie, Boots & Cherry Pie
Janelle Meraz Hooper
When the great guy Lily meets at a party takes her home he discovers she lives at the Zoo, an apartment building that caters to exotic pet owners. But one of the creatures is missing, and when Mike drops her off, the first thing he sees is a sign on the front door:
Please don’t let out the snake!
Is this the beginning of a great romance or just the beginning of a great snake hunt? Tension rises when Boogie, the snake, stalks Boots, the Jamaican landlady’s pet iguana.
Boogie, Boots, & Cherry Pie, a light romance, written by award-winning author Janelle Meraz Hooper. Set in the Northwest. $2.99 on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and others.

Note to readers: This is a very light romance. I am not a formula writer. I treat each story with the style it requires. That's why, if you don't like one book, you might try another! On the homepage of my website you can read a little about each book and decide which one you think will be best for you.


What’s new?-
On my bed table- The Melagro Beanfield Wars by John Nichols. I saw the movie years ago and am just getting around to reading the book. If you haven’t seen the movie, get it! It’s one of my favorites.
On my coffee table- Birds in the Thicket by Gerry Bradley. Gerry’s life story of his battle with a bi-polar condition is inspiring. Most of us stumble when we dent our fender. Nothing has stopped Gerry! I’m a softie, so at times it is hard to read, but if you know someone who is bi-polar, it’s an informative read.
On my Kindle-(Are you beginning to see a pattern here?) The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain. This book is new so the price is higher—I think it was $12.99—but I wanted to read it now. It’s about Ernest Hemingway’s wife and her life with the author in Paris after the war. James Joyce, George Sand, Picasso, and more, were all in Paris after the war so it’s a delicious read if you like art and books.
I don't know about you, but I don't mind paying more for a timely book and the convenience of having it delivered to my Kindle in minutes. I'm not sure where the notion started that all books should be .99-cents. You get what you pay for. That said, some of the .99-cents I've purchased have been very good!
What else?- Not much, I guess.
   Oh! I’m closing in on finishing my one-man show on Geronimo and writing a short blog on myths and legends of Puget Sound for a friend, Lisa Vandiver. I’ll let you know when it’s posted.
   I’ve done an interview for a writer that hasn’t sold yet—I’m pretty sure I got it because I was the only author who answered the phone on New Year’s Eve.
HBO’s Classical Baby-I’ve given up locating this three-part series on Infinity. I’m going to order my DVD on Amazon.
   And I’ve coerced a friend and artist, Sherri Bails, into providing the artwork for a small collection of children’s stories that will be on Kindle. I haven’t decided upon a title yet.
   I’d better get back to work so I can pick a free book to read from Amazon Prime's list.  No time to edit! Send all complaints to my email:
Or visit my site: