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(This newsletter went out to my subscribers earlier this week. Subscribe to get a freebie and to stay current with news about my upcoming book, Not the Camilla We Knew: One Woman’s Path from Small-Town America to the Symbionese Liberation Army.)

Spring is nearly here! I am enjoying the extended daylight in the evenings, but it’s tough to get up when it’s dark! I do like early morning sunshine. 

Welcome to my new subscribers! Many people signed up after the Deep Valley Book Festival virtual edition on March 5, and I thank those who showed up that day and made it a success!

Here’s what you can expect in this month’s newsletter:

  1. A writing tip
  2. What I’m reading/listening to
  3. A recent blog post
  4. Book news

Writing tip

I’m teaching a unit on revision this week in my class and I’m revising my own essay, so I have revision on the mind! This strategy is called “search and destroy,” and you can find out more about it in Tell It Slant by Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola. Find all the “to be” versions of verbs in your piece. These are words such as “are,” “was,” “is,” “were,” etc. Can any of them be swapped out for something more active? If you wanted to go even further, circle ALL verbs in your piece and see if you can replace them with something more exciting.

What I’m reading/listening to

Last month I mentioned that I was ready for a light read, and I found it in “The Guncle.” It’s an easy read about Patrick, a gay uncle (hence, “guncle”) to two kids that he has to take in for a summer. Fun ensues, as do some challenges. Looks like the paperbook is coming out on April 5. 

I’m listening to a serial podcast, “The Teacher’s Pet,” produced by The Australian. In 1982 a young mother, Lyn Dawson, disappeared. Her husband, a former star rugby player, was the prime suspect, especially since two days after Lyn disappeared he moved his teenage lover into his bed. I haven’t read the upcoming episode summaries, but I suspect this podcast has made a different and shed new light upon Chris Dawson. No spoilers!

A recent blog post

Think you’ll get rich self-publishing? It may happen, but you have to be sure to not make mistakes along the way. I posted a link to a 10-minute video in which a guy explains his self-publishing journey. The best thing is that he’s open and honest about how much money he spent and how much he received. 

Book news

I have a cover! I just got the news late last week. As soon as I am ready to reveal it I will give you all a sneak peak! That will come in a separate special edition of the newsletter. I’m so pleased with it and asked for only one minor change. It gave me chills when I saw it, so that’s a good sign!