My son, Charles, is getting married

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Here is a picture of all of us at a pre-pre wedding celebration. The actual wedding is in two weeks.


Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

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I came home on my birthday to this news!

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My poem, Second Story Porch, has been nominated by the Schuylkill Valley Journal for a Pushcart Prize!! Getting older is lots of fun, guys.


What would Aesop say about this?

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I was in the diner with two other women, having a salad and telling them the one about the guy who bought a live chicken for dinenr to take home and pluck, cook, and eat. On the way home, the guy decided to stop into a movie. He stuck the chicken down his pants to hide it. While watching the movie, the chicken sounded like it was croaking. The guy opened his zipper to give it air. Next to him were two women.

"Mabel, look the guy next to me just opened his zipper."

The other waved her away. "All men got the same thing," the other said. "I don't need to look."

"But Mabel, his thing is eating my popcorn."

The two women I told this joke to were hysterical laughing and I ended up joining them in it. In a moment, a slice of cucumber lodged sideways in my throat. I couldn't get it up and I couldn't get it down. There were tears in my eyes from the pain. My friends clappped me on the back. The waiter brought me tea.

"The tea will dissolve it," the waiter said.

Four cups later, still in terrible pain, I felt as if I was going to throw up. I raced into the bathroom, so desperate that I didn't notice it was the Men's room. There was a guy at the urinal. He turned towards me, still spraying.

"Oh!" I said, and the slice of cucumber flew up out of my mouth in an arc.

Moral: Don't chew with your mouth full and never laugh at your own jokes!


Meet Author Deborah Grabien

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Deborah Grabien is a cook, guitar player, cat resuer, traveler, and all-around rocker chick. She's the author of the Haunted Ballad series and five stand-alone novels. Deborah lives in San Francisco and heads back to London and Paris whenever she can, and honestly believes you're never too old to rock and roll.<>

Her mystery, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, is due out in Sept. '09.<>

<>What the critics say about the first book of this series, Rock & Roll Never Forgets:*

While illustrating the behind-the-scenes business of a rock band in this series opener, musician/writer/cook Grabien offers a window into the life and health of a person with multiple sclerosis. Even better, the author shows the humanity, team work, and loyalty that keep a supermusical phenomenon together. For all mystery readers who love rock'n'roll. - Library Journal, (starred review) <>

<>The straight-talking JP makes for an appealing narrator in this credibly plotted mystery, which is seasoned with plenty of interesting details on the machinations of an aging, enormously successful rock band. - Booklist Reviews <>

When I asked Deborah what inspired her to write this book, she said:

Back in the summer of 1969, I met an astonishing man, an English musician. I was fifteen, already getting into the music scene, especially the Bay Area thing. That was courtesy of my sister, 9 years my senior, who was a rock journalist. She took me everywhere with her: backstage, shows, clubs, parties, you name it. This was on the East Coast.That first meeting, the man and I, was one of those "oh damn, well, that's it for me" defining moments. There was no more to it than him introducing himself to me, and I fell in love, and stayed that way. Some part of me still is.He had no clue how young I was. The next time I saw him was 3000 miles away, in the Bay Area, and nearly three years later.On-again, off-again. I loved him, I don't think he ever loved me. That sounds harsh, but it isn't. His health was terrible, he had multiple addictions, and - as it happens - a very unpleasant wife. We were together briefly - he was always a lot more important to me than I ever was to him, a fact that pretty much broke me. But his music got all the best of what he had to give. I'm a musician myself. I do understand that. It's true of writing, as well.He was gone for two years, came back again, and we had a lovely, fragile eight or nine months. That was all. This time, I left. I'd cracked. I saw him only once more, in December of 1976. He died in 1994. Thirty years later, welcome to midlife crisis and wondering why I kept waking my superb husband of 25 years with nightmares about abandonment. I'd buried so much of that time in the seventies - but midlife has a way of opening old wounds, peeling back old scabs.So I sat down and created JP Kinkaid, the narrator of the Kinkaid Chronicles. He speaks with the voice of my beloved lost ghost. The creation of JP was my attempt to get some of that time back, to see him more clearly. The creation of Bree Godwin, his much younger lover and caretaker, was my attempt to see my younger self and see the way he may have seen me (and my word, I'm surprised he didn't beat me like a gong, if I was half as annoying as Bree is). The series - it isn't simply one book - was a shot at one particular happy ending I didn't get.And it was an attempt, above all, for one shot at clarity.I wrote Rock and Roll Never Forgets in 29 days. I took two days off and began While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which will be released September 2009. It picks up about ten days after the first book ends, and that one took me 31 days to write.So I don't know that I was inspired to write them. I wasn't inspired - I was driven. And I didn't so much write them as I bled them. <>

When did you begin writing? I asked Deborah.

I wrote my first novel at fifteen, and it was - no kidding - DREADFUL. Bad, bad book, with large chunks of it written in Italian, no less. Pretentious and silly, all about a bunch of hippies on a commune in Italy, seeking Truth (whatever the hell truth is). 1969 - aged 15, see question 1, above - was not a boring year for me.So yes, a bad book. But it was sixty thousand words, with a beginning, a middle and an end. I had created characters, people that I, at least, cared about. I had set them on a road and guided them to the end of that road. I'd completed a novel. I'd earned the right to type the words THE END.A storyteller - I believe this firmly - is not made. A storyteller is born. You can hone that, and polish it, and make the jewel bright and shiny, but you can't make it happen if it isn't there. Writing is sweat and blood and fire. Above all, it's being true, even when "true" means that you gut yourself. It's the bottom line: if you're born into the service of once upon a time, that's not just what you do - it's what you are.cheers,Deb Grabien

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