Tag Archives: For Whom the Bell Trolls

An April Fool… in Love?

Troll e book launch today — only at Amazon! Here’s a sneak peek at just one of my many illustrations for For Whom the Bell Trolls, the world’s first and only charity anTROLLogy for grown-ups, edited by John L. Monk and me: A Fool for Love. For me, this book has been a year-and-a-half long labor of love, after all. Of course, when you are a troll in love, “clubbing” takes on a whole new meaning…

Romance riotI hope you will buy the book today, if you can; since all profits will be donated by the publisher to Equality Now, the higher we can get the book in the Amazon rankings the more visibility — and therefore the greater income for the charity! Here’s my pitch for this unique book of funny, thrilling, mysterious, moving and sometimes naughty stories. (We mean it; this book is for adults who never quite grew up, not for kids who hope to do so!) In addition to stories donated by 22 authors from all over the world, you will find my first published illustrations… and even feisty troll haiku and an Easter egg hunt! So please share. And have a wonderful April Fool’s Day.

troll ad for back of books larger text See it on Amazon.com or Amazon UK !

For Whom The Bell Trolls

Victoria is too kind, and too modest… I love her story, and it has some of my favorite lines in the book in it. (Innit.)

These Trolls are Killing Me but at Least They are Publishing Stuff!

troll Createspace cover newbellyup

The new full cover!

I know, I know: I haven’t written an original post since August. Just reblogging my brains out… and working on the antrollogy, which I’m illustrating myself because I suffer from delusions that it will all work out someday. So I redrew the cover, because it needed to match the interior illustrations. As usual, it’s not finished, but whaddya think?

Then you might as well see one of the interior shots:

troll mystery1

Of course, I realized that the illustrations were all the WRONG SIZE for the paperback, so I’m redrawing them, cuz THAT doesn’t take much time.

Meanwhile, lots of the “trolls” have published new books since we started this project together, and over the next few weeks I will try to devote some blog time to each of them.

So now you know why I reblog. In case you missed it, here’s my last original post, from August. At least I’m reblogging myself today. (Probably not something to brag about. I’ll go blind!) This post was instigated by Christina L. Rozelle, who has an intriguing new book coming out soon — The Treemakers. I will keep you informed! Meanwhile, if you’d like to read her chapter 1, you can check it out here:


I’ve been asked by Christina L. Rozelle, author of The Truth About Mud (the second-longest story in my troll anthology), to post “Why I Write.” If you have blog-hopped here from there, thank you for coming. If you have hopped here from elsewhere, please hop on over to the link above. (Not now! Sheesh!)

Of course, there are lots of answers to Christina’s question — a different one for every day. A month ago I might have answered glibly, “Because it’s fun to wantonly use adverbs,” and run away — figuratively, of course, since my ass was firmly planted in this chair and it was hot, so my elbows were hopelessly stuck to the desk. (They still are.)


Here’s me, showing my panties to a cabbage

I started writing (actually printing) as a four-year-old, when I made up stories about the family that lived in my closet — the closet I shared with my little sister. In that family, everyone had their own room, even the Mommy and Daddy (why should they have to share, after all?) and a sock doll named Eegie and Tuffy the cat. (Who, it must be noted, had the biggest room.)

Today, I could say I write to bask in the glow of reviews (which, frankly, are few and far between, possibly due to my habit of aggressive non-promotion). Yesterday’s new Hyperlink from Hell reviews, my first on Amazon UK, included such head-swellers as:

“The cleverest piece of fiction I’ve ever read.”


“Somewhere in the multiverse there is a version of me who hasn’t read this book. I feel sorry for her.”

A couple of days ago, if asked why I write, I might have said “Because writing and reading are comforting” and referenced my novel-in-progress, Riding the Bull, the sequel to the above-lauded (and larded) book. In RTB, a character relates this quote, from A. A. Milne’s Piglet, in The House at Pooh Corner:

“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, while we were underneath it?”

“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

 (See? Comforting!)

Here’s that same character explaining why she became a psychiatrist:

It’s partly thanks to Pooh and Piglet—and lonely, depressed “Eeyore” the donkey—that I became a psychiatrist. I made a list of promises to my mother before she died; the first was to “Take care of Daddy.” The last was, “And if nobody fixes Eeyore, Mommy, I’ll sort him out.”

I was six. I still have that list, and everything’s checked off but Eeyore.

So I write because it’s comforting, and to make things right.

I also write because I’m kinda smart (the Internet says my IQ is 134, so it must be true!), and because I’m kinda dumb (too befuddled to be a waiter, for example; I really admire people who can do that), and because it’s fascinating — to me, at least — to see those two sides of me duke it out on the page. (This is not a pretty spectator sport; it’s hard to see exactly what’s going on — kind of like two bulldogs fighting in a bag.)*

My brain works, when it works, in mysterious ways. I am a curious sort. Just yesterday I was wondering if anyone else’s panties suddenly, irrevocably roll down when they stretch, yawn, or sneeze — and the median age when people give up the valiant fight and start wiping from the front. So I write to explore the gap between the odd way my mind works and the way individual readers’ minds work. I want to know if anyone “gets” me, I guess. (And if they do, I worry about them. I really do.)

But mostly I write for the money. I sold one book this month, so far. In Germany. I made .30 Euro. (Methinks I’ll buy a pony…!)

Or maybe a donkey.

I guess I must write… because it’s fun. Nothing else comes close. (Except, of course, painting pictures on a closet wall.)

*Please do not worry about the bulldogs. They aren’t real.

Peske’s “Little Girl in Red Dress” courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Other illustrations are Ernest Shepard’s drawings for A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh series.

Gone Hollywood? Or just Nuts?

Not blogging much lately, since I’m in the throes of editing the charity anTROLLogy. But here’s one other thing that’s been going on…

On Valentine’s Day, I submitted my story for Hugh Howey’s KindleBoards anthology to one Casper Bogart — one of the authors who’d signed up to beta read. Naturally, before asking for his feedback, I checked out his writing. Who needs feedback from a crappy writer, right?

Among other things, he has some mysteries out. I liked them. A lot. I mean, what’s not to love about Richard Nixon as a private detective? That’s one Tricky private Dick! So I asked Casper to beta for me, saying I’d be happy to return the favor. After all, my alter-ego editor, Miss Prissy, is feared throughout the land — or at least throughout the Internet.

Throughout one small corner of the Internet.


OK, so she has ME hiding under the bed! (But who cares? I’m reading by Kindle-light down here.)

Casper the friendly author enjoyed my story, suggested a few tiny changes — but said they really were little things. He was happy that I’d loved his short mystery, The Case of the Pink Lady, and was gracious when Miss Prissy sent him her list of Pink Lady typos.

When Casper wrote to me, he mentioned that he was accustomed to writing for TV. So, since I now had his real name (no, I’m not tellin’), I looked him up. Turns out he wrote for several sitcoms that I’d loved. He also was an actor in a series (the name of which I won’t mention). He gave up series writing after 9/11. Now, among other things, he teaches scriptwriting.

Anyway — how cool is that? A Hollywood scriptwriter liked my story!

I got up the nerve to confess that I’d looked him up, and thanked him for years of enjoyment — and, by the way, would he like a paperback copy of my book, since it’s chock-full of TV references? (He’d already mentioned that he loved the cover. He brought it up, not me.)

He asked for a copy. I sent it. Sure hope he likes it.

At one point (in the shower, of all places), I realized that I’d offered to beta-read… for a Hollywood script-writer! And sent him a list of his typos! So embarrassing, right?

Melisas trollI was a pink naked lady.

My husband, hearing running water accompanied by hysterical laughter, might have thought I’d gone nuts….

But that ship sailed long ago.

Trolls for Equality Now!

Greetings, troll watchers!


I have news! Not only do we have a publisher for the charity anthology, we also have picked the charity: Equality Now. 

Please scroll down to watch Joss Whedon’s speech about why he supports this worthy cause — and if you watch from the beginning, you’ll get to see Meryl Streep introduce him! (It’s worth it.)

Thank you in advance to all the wonderful writers who are contributing troll stories for the anthology. And troll poems. And — who knew? — even troll haiku!

Our publisher, The Etling Press, is the brand new publishing division of the award-winning San Francisco design firm, Reflectur. They will handle all the nitpicky financial details, and at materials cost! The Etling Press is so new that they don’t even have a separate website or a logo yet. But Reflectur has many, many years of experience with pro-bono work for charity — and they have their own on-site events venue, The Box SF, in downtown San Francisco.

A Troll Makeover

Been working on the cover for next year’s charity Halloween release. It’s a book of short stories by various authors, all with one shared element: a troll or trolls. Any kind of troll is fair game. An old etching of mine was the catalyst for the anthology. The terrifyingly pink-complexioned troll has benefitted from the makeover, I think.

Here’s the before picture of the troll etching:

pink troll1

And the after, so far. (Still needs a bit of tidying):

pink troll to send to authors

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