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Inserts for a Novel in Progress

081716 Blog

Initial Step

“Writing the Natural Way” by Gabriele Rico may transform my dull novel of 1994 into a richer tableau. The original idea was to bring redemption to our Nation by re-instating Native Americans burial grounds to various tribes who were stripped of land rights by greedy settlers.

My novel “Ann Arbor’s Bus Orphan” states the case in dry terms with a few interesting ghosts thrown in when the reader might have slipped completely into a coma.

Rico’s prompts on page nine resulted in the following:

*

Norman is an old-fashioned name. Mother explained it has something to do with Ulysses. Her drinking usually interrupted the story, but something about cyclops asking his name and Ulysses saying it was No Man made sense to her. Of course I never met my biological father. When the friends of the cyclops hastened to his cave after Ulysses put out his one eye with a stick, they asked who was hurting him. When the cyclops answered, “No Man,” they abandoned him to his fate.

Norman couldn’t remember a time when he didn’t feel deserted. The university was the closest to claiming a family, even though he was never invited to join a holiday celebration. So Doris’ friendship was crucial. Being an orphan, unloved, left him with a hole in his heart, something even Niagara Falls couldn’t fill.

Books were his only tangible friends—except for Doris. But he realized he failed Doris. Otherwise she wouldn’t have needed a man like Robert Westwood. He didn’t know how to show his emotions to her. All Norman was sure of was his lust for her house full of books and the orderliness she lacked. Life was worth a search for meaning in the chaos of things strewn pell-mell around a person. In order to demand reason, life required a place for everything.

His rising panic each morning attested to the power or preeminence she held in his life. Norman was at Doris’ beck and call. Would she ever acknowledge his dedication to her, or at least her library? Maybe he should write out why he needed to move in with her, with all the words at his command surely he could choose the most convincing reasons.

 

Stepping into Reality

080916 Blog

Stepping into Reality

Beware the metaphor.

Paul and I often walk around Gallup Park here in Ann Arbor. On one such ramble we met a young couple pushing a stroller on the wood-chip path. I smiled at the beautiful blonde mother. She didn’t smile back. Her glazed sky-blue eyes didn’t focus. Her husband, a loose-limbed, tall fellow showed all his teeth—almost in excited relief.

We walked on and Paul nudged my arm. “There is no baby in the stroller.”

“Maybe under the blanket?”

“No.”

“Why would a couple push an empty stroller?” I hadn’t tried to look at the baby in the pram.

We conjured all kinds of excuses, “The grandmother must have the baby at a picnic table; but why take the stroller?”

We got giddy, looking in the bushes for ‘Moses’ along the path. Still no plausible answer presented itself. Then more fiction rose to the rescue.

*

Delores understood the green, they were at the park after all. The blur of grief did lift at times, usually in the shower when her damp tears could have been the hot water. Daniel hadn’t cried as far as she knew. She should have worn a hat or at least sunglasses for the bright day. Daniel held onto her shoulder, as if she might disappear, too.

His constant refrain of, “Come back, come back;” did nothing but drive her further away. She liked to slip into the fantasy of still being pregnant. Gigantic in her ten month. He’d been proud telling everyone they were probably having twins.

*

Well after the due date, Delores awoke in their first home, sitting on the family room couch with a bundle of wrapped blankets tucked in her left arm. The television wasn’t on.

“Never mind,” Mother said. “You’re getting better, you know.”

Encouraged by the positive words, Delores began to un-wrap her baby. Why had Mother allowed her to over-heat the child? She noticed her mouth got dryer and dryer after each swaddling cloth dropped away.

“You needed something to hold,” Mother said.

The blankets were empty. “I better lie down,” Delores stretched out her arms to escape the painful couch.

Mother helped lift her, nearly carrying her down the long hall to their sun-brightened bedroom suite. “Daniel will be home soon,” Mother’s words had lost their cheerful tone, “or do you want me to call him?”

“No,” Delores remembered hearing herself say as she drifted into her patch of numb oblivion, “Daniel doesn’t have the baby either.”

*

Delores nearly stumbled on the uneven winding trail as she pushed the light stroller. At first all had been well. She could feel the hot sun burn her face. Her eyes had dried up—no wetness.

Other people dragged her mood down to her empty arms.

She tried not to face their smiles, but stopped avoiding them when an older couple walked up. The woman’s face was lined under her wide hat, her smile genuine. The sixties-symbol her older husband wore promised peace. He had stared inside the stroller—but didn’t break stride with his wife.

Daniel pressed her shoulder.

“I know,” she said. “How long has it been?”

“Four months.” Daniel lifted both his hands to tug at his hair. “We can’t have anymore.”

“You’ve been so alone.” Delores slid her barren arms around his waist. “We have each other.”

Nearly breaking her fragile bones, he embraced her with his powerful, life-sustaining arms. “Always.”

*

To understand the power of the scene, I immersed the parable into my futile writing career. My babies, novels, were freed of their sterile boxes, sent out into the glutted world among the dreams of other writers floating in Amazon space.

When they visit with their five-star reviews enough, I repeat the husbanded muse. “Always” means the joy of writing will not leave me—or anyone aspiring to create perfect relief from reality.

Help

Rohn Federbush

Ann Arbor, Michigan Author

 

July 23, 2016

Small Press Department

Barnes & Noble

122 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10011

In Lincoln’s Shadow

ISBN 978-1-5049-3357-5

 

Dear Evelyn VeLazuez, Coordinator,

                Following your suggestions please consider this my fifteenth request for Barnes & Noble to shelve my book “In Lincoln’s Shadow” in your Ann Arbor, Michigan store. A year ago I paid substantially for three years of returnable books from the publisher, Author House. In 2013 “In Lincoln’s Shadow” finaled in the Inspirational Romantic Mystery/Suspense category held by the Daphne Du Mauier Award sponsored by the RWA Kiss of Death Chapter. Lincoln’ quotations used by the detective when his emotions need calming are from “The Life of Lincoln,” 1858-1865, published by P.F. Collier, New York, NY 1906—as noted in thirty references. The setting’s cover photo of the Ann Arbor City Club is another shelf-appeal factor.

                Your delay in offering my book has undermined my marketing efforts here in Ann Arbor and around the state. One local reader had to argue with a sales clerk who ordered and delivered the book (after some delay)—about not being able to return it. I apologize for the obvious lack of a patient tone in this appeal. My frustration is continuing to grow.

                On August 23, 2015 The New York Times Book Review featured my book “Separation Anxiety” on page two (ISBN 978-5049-2012-4). My July 2016 release “St. Joan’s Architect” by Reader’s Digest LifeRich (ISBN 978-1-4897-0775-8) has already received three five star reviews on Amazon and several more on LinkedIn. Because of previous delays, I’m hoping you will consider shelf space for these two books, too.

Sincerely,

 

Rohn Federbush

734-994-6217, 734-223-6045

2141 Pauline Court

Ann Arbor MI 48103

www.rohnfederbush.com

rohn@comcast.net

 

 

 

St. Joan’s Architect – Reader’s Raving Reviews

St Joan's Architect - Cover

By Jen L. on July 6, 2016

Art, history, island life, and romance. Lovely romantic read on the island of Mont Saint Michel. The protagonist, Catherine, is approached by St Joan of Arc and given a mission. She starts to fall for Romee, an artist, as her conservative mother watches out and advises her. The connection between mother and daughter is showcased as we witness the continuous dialogue between Catherine and her mother. I absolutely loved Rohn’s classic smooth writing style. It was a very pleasant, fun, that had me inspired by the end.

5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure to read

By Michelle Geist on June 28, 2016

Set upon the magical island of Mont Saint Michel, this is a romantic and beautiful tale. Federbush has created a world where history and the modern day meet, and explores an original idea in which this meeting creates an opportunity for Joan of Arc to live on into the present. Through Catherine Marksteiner, a young student, Joan is able to convey messages. The theme of St Joan’s Architect is one of art, the love of art, and the importance of remembering the people who helped shape our heritage and make it possible to achieve what we want in life. An inspiring story and a pleasure to read.

5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic and historical with a twist

By Julie Burroughs on June 22, 2016

‘St Joan’s Architect’ combines fiction, with historical facts about the island of Mont Saint Michel and it’s previous inhabitants. The story follows a young architectural student, Catherine, who is persuaded by St Joan of Arc herself to undertake a project in her memory. A love story between Catherine and resident Romee adds to the passion of the situation. I enjoyed the development of the relationships in this story, and the little elements of humor made for a light hearted read. A well written romantic story with a historical twist that kept me highly entertained.

 

St. Joan Five Star Reviews

St Joan's Architect - Cover

By Jen L. on July 6, 2016

Art, history, island life, and romance. Lovely romantic read on the island of Mont Saint Michel. The protagonist, Catherine, is approached by St Joan of Arc and given a mission. She starts to fall for Romee, an artist, as her conservative mother watches out and advises her. The connection between mother and daughter is showcased as we witness the continuous dialogue between Catherine and her mother. I absolutely loved Rohn’s classic smooth writing style. It was a very pleasant, fun, that had me inspired by the end.

5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure to read

By Michelle Geist on June 28, 2016

Set upon the magical island of Mont Saint Michel, this is a romantic and beautiful tale. Federbush has created a world where history and the modern day meet, and explores an original idea in which this meeting creates an opportunity for Joan of Arc to live on into the present. Through Catherine Marksteiner, a young student, Joan is able to convey messages. The theme of St Joan’s Architect is one of art, the love of art, and the importance of remembering the people who helped shape our heritage and make it possible to achieve what we want in life. An inspiring story and a pleasure to read.

5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic and historical with a twist

By Julie Burroughs on June 22, 2016

‘St Joan’s Architect’ combines fiction, with historical facts about the island of Mont Saint Michel and it’s previous inhabitants. The story follows a young architectural student, Catherine, who is persuaded by St Joan of Arc herself to undertake a project in her memory. A love story between Catherine and resident Romee adds to the passion of the situation. I enjoyed the development of the relationships in this story, and the little elements of humor made for a light hearted read. A well written romantic story with a historical twist that kept me highly entertained.

 

IWSG: Calling All Authors

Interview Questions

1. Over the length of your career how many manuscripts have you published?

2. Do you use a critique group or Beta readers for feedback?

3. How many agents have you become acquainted with and what were their redeeming characteristics?

4. How do you track your readers to inform them of new books being published?

5. How long were you subsisting on royalties without other employment?

6. What advice do you have for tax records?

7. How has RWA National been of assistance to your career?

8. Of all your characters which is your favorite?

9. Which book are you most proud of?

10. Which publisher was the most helpful with marketing and distribution?

11. Which book is in line to be published next?

12. Do you offer reviews for your fellow writers?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Public Consumption

In this day and age of mass distribution of intimate details, what do you consider your most unique characteristic?

Just for today are you able to eke out a quiet half hour all by yourself to relax to get a better perspective of your life?

Is today sufficient to tackle one problem without sustaining the solution for a lifetime?

Do you believe as Lincoln says that most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be?”

Is there something you should study to strengthen your mind, something useful?

Are you able to exercise your soul in three ways: does somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anyone knows about it, it will not count? Do at least two things you don’t want to do—just for exercise. Don’t show anyone your feelings are hurt even though they are hurt?

Is being agreeable to much to ask for today: Dress becomingly, keeping your voice low, being courteous, criticizing not one bit, not finding fault with anything, nor trying to improve or regulate anybody but yourself?

Wonder if I can accomplish even one suggestion today?