5 Things You Didn’t Know About Not Knowing

Top view of young businessman making decision

In this, the few hours before the Christmas holiday, every website is giving their list of things you aren’t supposed to know, in lieu of real information:

  • 10 Facts about the Holiday season
  • 8 Things You Never Knew about “Elf on the Shelf.”
  • 11 Ways to Flu-Proof Your Home
  • 10 Of The Most Bizarre Animal Species Discovered in 2015
  • 10 Dishes to Make For Christmas Morning Breakfast

I love it! There are so many articles out there.  I want to learn everything and knowing that Donna Reed’s daughter wasn’t named after Mary from It’s a Wonderful Life (she’s named after her grandmother) will really help me in life if I ever get on Jeopardy.  What more to you need to know about Elf on the Shelf that isn’t already in the title?  Can anybody really Flu-Proof you home if you have kids in child care?  I think not. Even if you are running after them with Clorox wipes for everything they touch.

Some of these facts doesn’t even make sense.  10 Dishes to Make For Christmas Morning Breakfast?  If coffee is not one of them, then fuck you!  Coffee is a dish in my house and it is best served hot.  How many animal species can you remember?  All of the new ones look like the old ones, except there is a new name for them.  10 Facts about the Holiday season?  I’m going to be in my underwear watching It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas Eve while my girlfriend is asleep on the couch.  That is a fact!  All of my Christmas Cards will arrive after Christmas (because I haven’t started them, actually I’m waiting for other people to send theirs so I can copy their return address.) That is a fact!  Oh, Martha has a new cat that’s been added to her card, how nice!  I’m sure Fluffy will be heart broken if I forgot her name.

Ok, enough of the bitching.  Here is my list of things you didn’t know about not knowing:

  1. I was going to write this. This is a given. Someone was about to and I beat them to the punch. He’s a suggestion, write about knowing about not knowing.  I knew that I didn’t know I was not knowing.
  2. This is where the writer tries to surprise you can keep you reading.  75% of people surveyed didn’t know that they didn’t know and thought that they knew. Now you are impressed.  There was a survey.
  3. This one is usually one that you kind of remember.  Some of the people on the Earth are women and some others are men. Way obvious! Even my cat figured that out.
  4. Now it’s blatantly obvious. This is an satirical article. If you didn’t get that, start back at the beginning.
  5. Blah blah blah.  No one reads the last one anyway.

Well, now you know what you didn’t know about not knowing.  If there are any questions, please put them in very small type and email it to yourself.

Happy Holidays!

New Adventures of the Old Interns

business people work group in teamAs I’m looking through the resumes of potential applicants for intern this coming school year, I am reminded of interns past, the specter of them still haunting my writing room, filling my senses with wit, charm, and way too much perfume.  I thought this would be a good time to get you caught up on what they have been doing, and to make those applying feel vastly inferior, and tremendously insecure, although perusing these pathetic pages of prose it doesn’t seem that I need to try that much.  So, to catch you up on last year’s crew of three, Miss X, Mister Y (the man-slut), and Miss Z, all English students at a local college, you might remember that Miss X and Mister Y were having a thing.   Well that didn’t last.  I know, SURPRISE!  But I did get a high five for bringing them together.  They were happy while it lasted, but they remain bitter enemies.   Like cats and dogs, they have their politeness for a few moments and then like a scene out of Wolverine,  out come the claws.   I guess that’s what happens when you date a man-slut.   Here is a update to their status.

Miss X:  Still in college, looking to graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in English, in 2015. She’s on to dating someone new.  She’s changed her hair color to dirty blond, and she still likes to read James Patterson and Jodi Picoult, and writing poetry.  She misses the time she spent here, and is looking forward to hearing about the next group of people coming in.  I remember her as the organizer for the group.  She had a plan for everything, and was very organized.   Took great notes, and made me sound better than I should.

Mister Y:  Still in college, looking to graduate with Bachelors of Arts in Communications.   He has a job working for the Fightin’ Phillies (AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies), in the main office (getting coffee, donuts, etc.), but sometimes appears in costume on the diamond.   His band, Kudos, broke up, but he’s looking to start another, soon, before he loses the calluses on his fingers.  He is into the Robert Ludlum Bourne series, Tom Clancy and Tony Gilroy.  His times here will always be remembered, so he says!  We shared a love for whiskey, and the way he can put it down, I don’t think he’ll have many brain cells left.  I know I don’t have too many left, either.  LOL!  I miss the music jam sessions we had when we couldn’t think of things to write.

Miss Z:  Graduated this year with a B. A. in English and is looking for a job (any takers?)  She keeps up her blog site on cheese making, and is spending her down time writing her first novel, about nineteenth century French monks who developed specific cheeses.   I’ve given her all the encouragement I could, about the novel, and she still asks me all kinds of questions!  She reads historic novels and has some stories (I hope none make it to her cheese blog), about her intern time here and researching Malaise and (what became the) Mariline novel.   She was an excellent researcher, and the fastest Googler in the west.  If you needed an answer for something, she would have it before you could even ask.   I’d like her on speed dial if I ever made it to “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

I wish them well.  I miss them writing the blogs for me, organization, and researching, but with a new group, there is new blood, and that brand new car smell.  So if it seems like I’m not myself, well, you’ll know why.  Here is to the new interns!  See what you have to look forward to?

Goodreads’ Questions

wpid-img_20140724_122751_425.jpgBeing a Goodreads author, they’ve invited me to answer questions of my fans and dissidents. To start the ball rolling they’ve provided me with the following to shake the cobwebs:

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I try to avoid it as much as I can. I keep to my scheduled time of writing and if I’m not working on my book, I blog, I work on short stories, or plot out something I’m already working on. I have lots of ideas. Just because I’m not putting them down on paper doesn’t mean I’m working. Playing out scenarios in my head helps later when I sit down at the keyboard. Steven King says something like just suck it up and do it. You want to be professional? You have to act professional. “Sorry, boss, I don’t feel like doing that today,” will get you where? I go to a number of writing circles, and they offer that you pick a number of words you could write in a day, say 200 words. You ask yourself with the worst day you could image (dog dying, cat eats the fish, kid breaks leg, flat tire, etc.) could you write 200 words? 200?   Sure? Set that as a goal and stick to it. It exercise for the mind, and like other exercises for it to have an effect, you need to keep at it.  Write? RIGHT!

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

I was dating a nanny I met on Match.com in 2009.  One day, we were lying in bed, and the idea came to me; what if she was working as a nanny for my estranged ex-wife, didn’t know it, and the child went missing?  I played out a number of scenarios in my head and in 2010 (she abruptly dumped me in March, and was doing the single thing at the time) I wrote in the NaMo thing and wrote a version of the book.  It’s changed many times since then (5+ drafts), but it still follows the themes about personal security on the internet, giving second chances, and everyone has baggage.

How do you get inspired to write?

I find my relationships are what inspire me to write.   Not that I write directly about them, but they sometimes provide genesis for ideas.  I try to keep a schedule to write at work over my lunch time.  I put on Mozart and let the music take me.  I can usually bang out ~1000 words in an hour, but I plan out and think about what I’m going to write before I do.

What are you currently working on?

The book is called Mariline.  I like to call it a paranormal thriller.  It’s a tri-angle between two brothers and a nanny.   The one brother, Kevin, is an ex-cop, ex-heroin addict.  The other brother, Aiden, is trying to rehabilitate Kevin.  Carol, the nanny, is dating Aiden, not knowing she’s working for Kevin’s estranged ex-wife.   Mariline is the ghost of the drowned daughter of Kevin that appears when Kevin gets out of rehab, and sets things into motion.

 What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Read and write often.  Believe in your work.   Every day is full of learning and living experiences, use them wisely.  If the work is personal to you, it will be to the reader.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

All the frequent flyer miles you rack up in your brain.  I’m out of my body so much, being other people and seeing other places, all in my mind, sometimes it feels like a vacation.   It’s fun to go away, with old friends (my characters) and make their lives miserable.  My problems don’t seem so bad after that.

Malise: another review- 4 Stars



Reviewed by Jean Hall

Jonathan tries to find his way in life through a fog of women, whiskey, and bi-polar medication. His marriage to the cold and manipulative Claire seems doomed to fail. She seems to be an unhealthy mother figure who gives Jonathan security and disapproval at the same time. Malaise by E.J. Eisman is a sad tale peppered with some hope for the future. Jonathan has an emotional affair with his co-worker Simone, but for a long time they don’t sleep together. When Simone pulls away, Jonathan comforts himself with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Claire’s sister Joan understands the best part of Jonathan’s personality and she reaches out to him through email. Eventually his friendship with Joan turns into a sexual affair. Then Wendy enters Jonathan’s world as his divorce from Claire is pending.
Jonathan’s world alternates between emotional detachment and crushing vulnerability. As you get to know this character he is sympathetic but pitiable. He eventually shortens his name to Jack to signal a new time in his life where he can take command. Jonathan’s identity and emotional life is defined by his romantic relationships. The writing point of view switches from Jonathan, then to Joan, and finally to Simone. In several scenes there are some bold italics used for emphasis. There is some confusion in reading this book as the English usage is often incorrect. But the heart of the story is Jonathan’s struggle to make better decisions and to lift the dense cloud of his suffering. Malaise by E.J. Eisman describes a man who is trying to find the kind of love that he can’t give himself.

Malaise: review 4 Stars



Reviewed by Bil Howard

Following the termination of an emotional affair with a co-worker, Simone, Jonathan turns first to a bottle of Jack Daniels and then to the maternal security of his wife’s sister Joan in order to dull the pain of a loveless marriage to Claire and his longing for Simone. Simone is also in a loveless marriage to a man who abuses her and she turns to other means of “medicating” away her pain. Joan is a never-married, businesswoman whose life runs on a strict schedule, which is her way of avoiding being drawn too deep into a relationship. Claire has turned the abuse that she experienced in her first marriage around and directs her hurt toward Jonathan, who is too weak to resist her abuse. As the story continues, the psychological factors revolving around each of the players play their part. Each finds that they run the entire gamut of emotions and escapes, searching for an answer to their inner turmoil. The twists and turns will eventually lead to an answer. Whether desired or not, the consequences of their actions will come back around to each one unless they do something to stop the downward spiral.
In E.J. Eisman’s book Malaise, there is a picture of cause and effect clearly portrayed and brought into the light. As each character in the story searches through their own psychological reaction to the world and the relationships around them, they are continually given new opportunities to change and are continually experimenting with different ways to escape, while still doggedly holding onto the very things which are destroying them. This is an excellent look into the reality of relationships which are abusive on the one hand and submissive on the other. The reader will feel themselves moving through each aspect of the relationships and examining, judging, and perhaps even finding themselves wanting to give each a good talking to or a sound slap in the face. This is an excellent read for someone who enjoys exploring the human psyche.

One year ago

SpoonGirlcalendar The anniversary is here!  One year ago Spoon Girl was first published. And what a year it has been;  I’ve been editing my second book, Malaise, and I’m working on the third, Mainline.  Thanks for all of my fans for making this year memorable!

Now is the time!

UncleSam_preview-300 Now is the time to drag out your tap dancing Uncle Sam holding red, white and blue sparklers and singing Yankee Doodle.  For me, Fourth of July has always meant rain.  And when it didn’t rain there were clouds, with a chance of rain.  And when there weren’t clouds and the chance of rain, there was something else keeping me from enjoying fireworks.  Enjoy your Fourth!  And if you get the chance watch 1776.  Great musical.

One Year Ago, This Month!

knifeincake-spoongirl One year ago, this month, I got the crazy idea to become a published writer.   Spoon Girl came out on July 17, 2012, and the rest they say is history.  After meeting hundreds of new people, interacting with fans through book signings, and participating in several writing groups, I’m glad I’ve made the step.  And so I dedicate this cake to all of you out there that have made this first time author’s book a success!