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surprise on amazon

Earlier today I pulled up Amazon Books to see if there was anything new concerning my own book which, frankly, hasn't been doing much for the last year.  Marketing. When it was published a year and a half ago I was recovering from my last heart attack and haven't worked since. But when I brought up my book I was stunned to find right below it another book with the same title as mine by an author with the same last name. This author is English, living in England. Her name is Janet. My last name while much more common now than it was when I was young is still not very common. Can anyone imagine going on a site such as Amazon and finding a book just below yours with the  same title by an author with the same last name?

Naturally, I had to read the parts of it that were posted on the site and I have to say it was good. Not the type of reading I ordinarily pursue, although I have in the past. The themes and the settings are Biblical. But the author's intentions, which I share, are to reconcile religious teaching with the conflicts we encounter in our lives and ourselves on a daily basis. Maybe I should say that the author is concerned with the difficulty of applying Sunday sermons and homilies to our own and the lives around us. And of course we all have to watch daily the horrors of war and terrorism. But maybe I shouldn't be speaking for Janet Killeen at all. I would like to induce her to sign on to RedRoom. It shouldn't be too difficult to find her through her publisher.

Her book has just been published and I was the first to write a review for her. I did make it as favorable as I could without going overboard. She's a skilled writer and I think she has taken on one of the toughest jobs in the literary or any other occupation today: advancing the cause of morality in a largely amoral world. I do intend to delve more deeply into her work very soon and I hope my little review has some effect on her book's success. But the main reason I'm writing this is that I'm still not over finding her book so close to mine with the same title and same last name. I wish someone could have been there to share the moment but that never happens, especially at my age. I called my sister who is 4 years older than I and told her about it. She was every bit as incredulous as I was. Am!  

I should add one last but necessary thought before I go. I'm not John Grisham or Philip Roth so I have no coattails for anyone to hitch a ride on. This does seem to be a simple rare coincidence.   

They do happen.

------------ Charlie


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Surprise on Amazon

Hi Charlie,

What a well written article. You really do have a way with words. You took something that someone else might find commonplace and made it interesting, something that instills curiosity in another's brains. Keep writing, don't give up hope. I keep saying that the best years of my life lie in front of me and I believe it despite having just turned 70. Life is grand. I love Robert Louis Stevenson's quote, "The World is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as Kings" from his A Child's Garden of Verses.

I was in the LA area first part of June for some family gatherings (my family all live out there) and found myself babysitting my two great-granddaughters for the day to keep them out of their grandmother's hair while she prepared for a large family gathering. The three of us swam together in their grandmother's pool, I even dove into the water several times something I haven't done in years. Then we went to their large Jungle Gym and slid down the large pipe like slide, then down the small slide, then swang on swings and finally decided to start our own club. We called it the Rug Rats club, my oldest granddaughter was President, the youngest was Vice President, I was Secretary and my Golden Retriever, Guinevere who climbed up the steps to the first level was made mascot. Then we played hide and seek (except Guinevere kept snitching everyone off), we played 20 Questions, Grandmother's Suitcase and made executive decisions about what to do the next day. It was great fun and we topped it off by all 3 taking a shower together while we giggled and washed each others hair. It's fun to be a kid again, doing what I did again........take care of yourself. Your pal, Margie

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Margie,  I do appreciate your kind words about my blog on Janet Killeen's book. However, from where I sit it doesn't seem commonplace at all mostly because of my last name which is still not very common. When I was a child there were only two in the Philadelphia phone book. As I travelled around in the Air Force, when I'd get to a city of  any size -- Oklahoma, Denver, Cheyenne, Buffalo, etc., I'd check the phone book to see if I  could find any but I didn't find many. But there is one in London, isn't there? Janet. And, it's true, there are plenty of us now. (I didn't do it.) Enough, however, about that. I enjoyed hearing about your fun with the kids and Guinevere. Old Guinevere, she kills me. (J. D. Salinger, Catcher In The Rye)

But I am glad you liked the little essay even if its only purpose was just to express my astonishment.

I always assumed you were a younger woman and tend to see you that way. Grandmother! Great grandmother! When I write things that will be read by people who haven't seen me I always assume for some reason that those people will see me as I am -- an old man. There has to be a name for that kind of thinking but I can't think of what it is. Probably later I'll think of it. But you do seem to be an energetic and enthusiastic person. I admire that and hope it keeps working for you.

Rosy Cole placed a brief comment to one of my blogs where I said that next I'd be writing about my writing history and saying something about my next book and its intentions. Her comment was indeed brief. "We're all ears," she said. That was a month ago and I haven't done it yet. Caught up in other unexpected things. And now certain current events have taken hold of me and I intend to blog about them first. But the book is always working in my mind and I hope Rosy didn't get bored when nothing developed. I'm sure she, like you, has other things to think about. But, it's coming, Rosy, it's coming.

Anyway, Margie, thanks again for the comments. I'm very insecure, I need a lot of encouragement. What we used to call joking for real. Be well. Love the child. Keep slugging. --------------- Your friend, Charlie  


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I thought I left the 'we're

I thought I left the 'we're all ears' comment - totally confused now! m

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you did

Mary, You did. Sorry. -------------- Charlie

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Late again.......

Hi Charlie,

I am just now reading this and I apologize. I am so backed up on emails as I get hundreds every day and if I go on vacation you can imaging how many I have to go through when I return. I am so sorry that you are insecure. I've been there before and it's tough to overcome. Have you ever considered writing the story of your life? Somewhere in there you'd be able to find out why. Then maybe you could begin REPAIRing the damage.

Ha! I am 70 years old but am blest to so far look much younger (or at least that's what people tell me). I work on it, exercise, don't smoke, eat healthy, have a positive outlook, good facial care etc. But I tell you I feel as if the best years of my life are in front of me. Not sure why but that's what I feel. I sometimes think my mom lied about my age.

Please feel free to tell me (in installments) your life story. Sometimes sharing gets the boogie man out in the open. I'll tell you a true and interesting story. Before I got into recovery when I was in my late 30s I was shopping in a dept. store and I saw a woman on the other side of the store. She looked so gorgeous and I wished that I could look like her. I grumbled inside that it wasn't fair that I should be so homely and she should get to look good. I continued my shopping and later on as I was leaving the store I saw the woman again and again it put me in a frowning mood. I reached my hand to scratch my head and she did too. I was a bit stunned, moved closer and raised my arm up. She did too. As I got closer I realized I was looking in a mirror. I could hardly believe it and even walked up to the mirror and touched it to make sure. But instead of giving me confidence I wandered out of the store confused and wondering why I looked different in a mirror. It would be many years before I got into recovery and finally was able to feel good about my looks. Sometimes we judge ourselves more harshly than anyone. You sound like a fine human being to me. Take care of yourself, Margie

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Margie,   Just read your reply to my 29 June post and intend to get back to it as soon as I can do it justice, probably tonight. Although I do have a lot of snail mail as they call it to attend to I don't have an awful lot of email action.

But, in the meantime, I'll leave you with this:  Jonathon Winters (you remember Jonathon Winters, I guess) was interviewed for some magazine years ago and after many interesting questions and answers, the inteviewer wound up the session with the question, "what scares you?" Winters answered, "people with no sense of humor." Theme for today. I have a speaking commitment at 7 this evening and I think that will be the theme for tonight.

------------------ All the best, Charlie 

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follow up


This is a response pertaining to a comment you'll never see. I was up until 2 Tuesday morning composing an email to you. This morning I got a message that the email failed permanently. I'm not sure why but I was never able to find your email address again to be sure I had it right. Not complaining but a lot of work went into that note and I couldn't possibly do it again. But I know it was good. I'll take a bow for a performance never seen or heard. Damn, it was good, though. Maybe after a rest I'll do something not the  same but hopefully as good. Woke up exhausted. By the way, though, if you feel inclined, I just put a comment on a blog by Sherrie ______ I'll get back to you with the last name. She's pretty good if you can access it. I still don't know what other contributors can or can't access.

-------------- Be well ---------- Charlie 

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Margie, Her name is Sherrie Therialt. --------  C