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Yesterday I spoke (bragged) about Mona’s new book, “Just Pick the Least Worst.” To some this may be obvious – of COURSE I am going to brag about it, not because she’s my wife (and I really do like sleeping in the same bed instead of the closet), but because she is the writer in the family. Yes, I write, and have written, but she WRITES.
I mean, she’s the real talent. I’m just a hack.
I did a lot of freelancing in the 90s. Was published in a variety of places, including a number of gaming-related magazines. Made a couple of airline mags. Wrote a regular column and features for a long-dead Boise weekly newspaper. Had fun and made some money, but not a lot, so I went back to a real job. At the same time, Mona tried her hand at writing, and sold a few articles, and then a short story that became a serial and then an actual book. A popular book, that sadly is no longer in print (but copies remain in the resale market on Amazon and others).
So when she set out to write another book, I had all the confidence that she’d get that one published, too. “Just Pick the Least Worst” is a humor book, because that’s what she really wanted to write, and she’d a very, very funny person. She’d have to be to be married to me (stop it right there – having a sense of humor is not the same as being funny, although both are needed to be married to me). We’ve read lots of so-called humor novels and frankly, they mostly leave us wanting in that the story might be OK, but it’s not funny. At all. Hence, her desire to write something that makes you giggle at times, guffaw in spots, and occasionally spit something out your nose.
Yeah, THAT funny. And where does she get the material for such funniness?
From life, and that crazy head of hers. Is buying a house that difficult? Perhaps.
Is it as crazy (and hilarious) as she describes it? Whaddaya, nuts? You bet it is.
She wrote her first book, Home on the Trail, as a fictional historical novel. It’s a tale of a couple that flees a life of hardship in Michigan and tackles with Oregon Trail with a group, only to stop short of the goal and settle near Fort Boise. And even though we’re from Michigan and lived in Boise it’s not about US. It’s fiction, even though the couple had two kids, a boy and a girl, and we had two dogs, a boy and a girl, and…OK, there are a few more “coincidences.” But it’s fiction.
So is “Just Pick the Least Worst” – a story about a couple on the move and fiction. Really. No, YOU ARE NOT IN THIS STORY and MARILLA AND FORELOCK ARE NOT US.
It’s the story of a young couple who, after making several moves around the country decide to move from their last rental and buy a home which is a real fixer-upper and the trial and tribulations they suffer at the hands of realtors and bankers and family and movers and even the stupid people at the title company but it’s NOT about US. Sure, we’ve moved 13 times in five cities and owned four homes and two were fixer-uppers and Christmas with our extended families means four huge meals PLUS snacks in less than 24 hours but this is a work of FICTION. Any names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is dumb luck.
Fiction. And it’s funnier than hell, because truth is stranger than fiction.
And no doubt there will be further adventures of Marilla Parabola, because we’re lived a very full and funny life, and we’re not finished just yet.