Projects I'm getting off the ground

Wisdom of the Oldies
Subtitle: Everything I Know About Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness I Heard on the Radio. © 1996

Not long ago, I was riding in my car listening to "It's My Party" on a local oldies station. Of course, I've known the words by heart since 1963, but for some reason, I started giving some serious thought to poor Leslie Gore's predicament.

I wondered why in the world she cared one iota about this creep, Johnny. After all, he'd ruined her birthday party by running off with another girl. Plus he'd made a fool out of her in front of all her friends. (Not to mention that we find out in "Judy's Turn To Cry" how incredibly fickle he is.)

Then I started thinking about how Leslie handled her crisis. She told her friends to "play all my records, keep dancing all night... but leave me alone for awhile". Instead of crying her eyes out in some dark corner, she should've listened to the songs on her record player. The common sense of the lyrics might have pulled her out of the tailspin. She could have saved her party. And saved face.

The realization that there are wonderful little nuggets of advice tucked within the lyrics of many oldies gave me the inspiration for Wisdom. I group apropos song lyrics in chapters like "Mama Said","Heartbreak Hotel", "Fun, Fun, Fun","Happy Together"," I Can't Stop Loving You" and "For What It's Worth". A brief introduction starts each chapter and celebrity comments on favorite song lyrics are sprinkled throughout. I've had a great time working on the book and everybody who's read it thinks it's a blast (from the past, of course!)

Please e-mail me about the song lyrics that have meant something special to you over the years. Also let me know if you'd be interested in the book when it's finished.

A Reel Challenge
Last October I received a really creepy message on my answering machine that scared the daylights out of me. Within a matter of days my imagination kicked in and my experience turned into the basis for a murder mystery. I explained the plot to my daughter who advised me to skip the novel and go straight for the screenplay. I'll keep you posted as the bodies pile up.

Rose Gardening With An English Accent
Someone once wrote that roses are a mystery. With that in mind I turn from fiction to fragrance. In concert with the folks at David Austin Roses, I'm working on a book that thoroughly details the way English roses behave all across the country. Here again I can use your help. If you grow English roses please e-mail me with details on which ones perform well and which ones don't. Also let me know if photos of your roses are available. Thanks for your time and thoughts.