Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cantaloupes in the Can - a slice of Rochester life

I was pleased to learn that one of my earliest essays, "Cantaloupes in the Can," was accepted by a panel at Writers & Books to be part of Rochester's "Story Walk" series. You can read my essay below. Or, if you'd like to hear me read it to you, just click HERE for the audio version. Enjoy.

Cantaloupes in the Can

     From my front porch swing, I gaze out over the hills of Egypt, New York, hoping to see the world go by. But there’s not much action on this country road. Before long I'm reminiscing about the good old days when I came to live in Rochester just out of college. I had an apartment on Meigs Street then, with a front porch that overlooked a constant parade of Rochester characters. I used to walk to the Genesee food co-op, earthy and warm with its wood floors, its grain-filled bins and secondhand paper bags. Hmm, I muse, I could still shop there. So I get in my car and head for I-490 west.
     As I enter the familiar co-op, housed in the old firehouse building on Monroe Avenue, a mongrel cat rubs against my leg (all kinds are welcome here). I select a decent-looking bag and start filling it with fresh produce and the block of tofu that I've managed to fish out of a deep tub. At the checkout counter, the cashier is wearing a gentle smile on her face and a sleeping child on her back.
     I return to my car with a renewed sense of serenity and glide more slowly than usual onto the expressway. But my mood is soon jolted by the driver beside me who, for no apparent reason, is honking his horn and pointing mysteriously upward. Suddenly there’s a crashing sound and my groceries are scattering across the road. Two cantaloupes roll eastward, toward home. I pull over, shaking with disbelief. A motorcyclist comes by to ask if I’m okay. But I just burst into laughter and tears, right there in the Can of Worms, while my fellow travelers dodge cantaloupes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good news - Paternity is an e-book!

Finally, finally my novel Paternity is available as an e-book! Okay, it's only on the NOOK right now (Barnes & Noble's e-reader). But that's a start, right? Here's the link: Paternity on the NOOK. My publisher says they're working on the Kindle version, which most people seem to prefer.

Personally, I still like my books the old-fashioned way - printed on paper. I like pulling them off the shelf and turning their pages as I read. I like burying a beloved bookmark between the pages before closing the book, and then glancing at the binding to see how far I've gotten. Most of all, after I finish reading a wonderful novel, I like handing it to a kindred spirit, knowing she will love it too.

On the other hand, I'm beginning to see the advantages of e-books. You can enlarge the print easily, which is a plus for those of us with aging eyes. And you can search on words or phrases. I really like this idea. Being in three book clubs (maybe 2 1/2), it's not uncommon for someone to bring up a particular passage of interest or controversy during our discussions. Trying to find that passage again is often, well, trying. E-books are great for that.

Whichever format you prefer, hope you're enjoying your reading life. I know I am!