Right, what kind of writer wanna-be would I be if I never shamelessly promoted my own writing? Why, on the front page I’ve listed my other blog, Isn’t the Lettuce Brave? as well as touted my contribution to Touring Old Blighty. I’ve even mentioned NERDA’s World, an ASL v-log that is seriously suffering from neglect at the moment, and that’s not written in English!
So, here you are, my shameless plug about my own writing, so that we can get it out-of-the-way and get on with talking about real authors, already.
When I was working for the Department of Mental Health in South Carolina as a sign language interpreter, I was sent often to a psychiatric hospital to play the hurry up and wait game. The rules of that game include being on the hospital grounds for a set amount of hours a day so that any Deaf/Hard of Hearing patients that might be receiving treatment at the hospital could have language access. The reality of it was a lot of sitting around, reading books, finishing paperwork, and waiting to be called down to the ward.
During one of those long days, an idea began wiggling its way out of my head and into a word processing program. I missed my dogs dreadfully every time I had to be away from them, and I guess that day I was missing my first greyhound, Hunky. I started thinking about how his life was before he came to me, when he was growing up, training, and eventually making a go at racing. In a few days, the first in the Proud Racer Series, One Greyhound’s Journey was finished and I was looking for a publisher.
In a nutshell, the story starts with a puppy being born on a greyhound farm in Florida. He is given his Name and sent to School, so that he can learn to be a Proud Racer like his father was. In truth, Hunky was a mediocre racer, but his father, Fond A Hulk, was a star of the Florida racing circuit. The story follows Hunky to a few tracks, then back to the farm before he is Petted Out, which means he is released to an adoption group for re-homing.
The other star of the novella is Hunky’s sibling, Marky. Called Re-Marky-Able by the Nice Lady who whelped and raised them, Marky was born with a defect that caused all of his feet to be flat. This prevented him from racing, so Hunky had to leave his brother behind every time he left for School or to go to the track to race. In the end, he left Marky behind one last time to be Petted Out, but met a whole new cast of characters at his new home, including a new “brother” called Henry, a sister called Jeany, and cats called Franny and Zooey.
In the greyhound owning community, One Greyhound’s Journey was met with cries for a sequel, so that those who followed Hunky’s story would know what happened with Marky. Who knew that shy, flat-footed boy would become almost more of a star than Hunky? Along came A Tail of Two Brothers, the sequel to One Greyhound’s Journey, in response to Marky’s fans. It seems that Marky has been released for adoption as well, and unbeknownst to Hunky has come to Hunky’s New Home as a foster dog. The brothers are reunited and spend some time catching up, before Marky goes to live with Hunky’s Aunt Lisa, and has a New Home of his own.
The third book in the series is probably my favorite (well, after Hunky’s, because you never forget your first love, do you?) and definitely the one of which I am the most proud. Blind Faith is the story of a greyhound that changed my life when she came to live with me at 10 years young and left far too soon just a week shy of her fourteenth birthday. Shotgun Liz, or Lizzard, finds a lot of the time that she can’t remember her early life on the farm, or at the track, except for in her dreams. She has come to live at Hunky’s house, and meets his housemates Jeany, Bo, and Profile along with the foster dogs that are there with her. Lizzard, who is mostly blind, hits their lives with hurricane force and doesn’t let go, whether she is breaking out of her wire crate, re-arranging the trash on the floor in the den, or generally bossing the young pups around. Through it all, she has faith that this home will be hers soon, and she’ll no longer be a foster. Copies of this book are available only through me at this stage.
Finally, the fourth book is about the newest member of my family, Daisy. Racing at Jacksonville and Sanford Orlando as FTH Oopsie Daisy, she is guided through the process of adjusting to her new life by Profile, now a Bridge Angel who appears only to Daisy. There is a Mommy to look after, a Jeany NOT TO CROSS, and scores of other new experiences waiting for Daisy in Half Crazy. To be honest, I am the least thrilled with the cover of this one and will most likely be re-releasing it with new cover art, if I don’t put all of them in one book first…which I may do. Stay tuned, if you’re one of the handful of people interested in what my dogs have to say.
Now, you’ll notice if you’ve clicked on any of the links above that some of them link through to Amazon and some to Lulu.com. I have published all of these books with either Penman Publishing, Inc. (One Greyhound’s Journey, A Tail of Two Brothers, and Blind Faith) or Lulu.com (Proud Racer, Proud Racer: Half Crazy) but only some actually have ISBNs. (That would be a lesson I’ve learned along the way…always get an ISBN on your book or it won’t sell anywhere save out of your car’s boot.) I hope that you’ll give my little books a chance so that you can get to know the greyhounds that have changed my world for the better.
In loving memory of Hunky (Fond A Hunk), Jeany-Bean (Bud’s Lady Jean), BoBo (Flashy Jo Star), Profile (Mo Tivator), Lizzard (Shotgun Liz), and Marky (Re-Marky-Able) as well as Franny and Zooey, my fearless feline greyhound-testers. Thanks to all of you for making my world a more complex and beautiful place.