Fractured Facade

"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $4.99 and available exclusively on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited members read for free! Click here for direct link.


THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, Free everywhere...except on Amazon (boo! hiss!) where it's $.99 to buy! Click here for direct link! Let them know it's free at these stores and they may price match it! Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books...more to come.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Trains, Heron & Ducks

Thought I would share some photos from my maiden vintage bike voyage. This is the bridge I have to cross to get to the Greenway...

For those of you who don't know, Roanoke was built on rails. Yup, it's a real rail town, tracks and trains are everywhere. Having lived a good many years in the shadow of the elevated trains of Brooklyn rumbling, rumbling, rumbling 24/7, I find the sound of a lone whistle blowing far away in the distance somehow comforting to me. Notice I said far away! Strange enough, this rail town does not have any passenger rail service here. Go figure...

Rather than transverse the route I usually do when I walk, I opted to catch up with the Roanoke River across the road. I was thrilled to see an old friend, who I haven't seen in months, the blue heron, was hanging out there. Since the Roanoke River is more narrow here than across the road where I usually spy him, I was able to get even better shots of him.

I've seen many little ducks along my walks, but never these large ones before. They are ducks, right?

I'm assuming this was almost a duck too...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

She's a Beauty

For the last 15 years I carried around a bicycle lock in my shop work bag. Why? Because I knew one day I would need that chain. Well, the day finally arrived yesterday when I bought a brand new bike.

The previous day I had my husband dig through the shed and take out my old bike. It hasn't gotten much, any, use since moving down here because of all the hills, mountains as well as the lack of sidewalks. But I suddenly decided I needed to get back on a bike after a conversation with my Brooklyn cousin whereby I lamented how fit and trim I was living in New York City, and attributed it to all the walking and bike riding I used to do. I conveniently "forgot" that was way BC, (before children) but it still made me ponder if perhaps riding a bike again would be a good way to lose some weight and limber up my aching bones.

My husband dusted off Betsey and filled the brittle tires with air. The hard narrow seat hurt, and the squeaky brakes annoyed me, but the bike still worked, so off I went. Since Salem has some Greenways not far from the shop, I figured it would be an ideal location to give it a spin. So I rode along the path I usually walk. The worst part was getting to the path as I had to walk the bike up a rather steep hill and across a bridge dodging traffic on Colorado. I was out of breath by the time I even got to the Greenway.

As I began to pedal, coasting every couple of seconds to bend down and pull apart the front brake clamp, I realized I had missed bike riding. It felt nice to have the wind whipping through my hair and was much more pleasurable than pedaling in my basement while watching television. When I got to a high point on the trail I pedalled really fast and then sped down loving it until I began to go too fast and was in danger of losing control. I squeezed on the brakes hard. They squeaked, yet failed. My hand ached as I pumped and pumped, and the sole of my sneaker practically had smoke coming off of it as I dragged it along the roadway. I finally stopped. It was scary, yet exhilarating!

It was at that point when I realized if I want to continue this madness it would probably be best if I got a new bike. I made it back to the shop and went on-line to see what was out there. I was feeling rather sore on my butt and my hands throbbed in pain. Thank you RA. I was thrilled to find that there were bikes that didn't just use hand brakes, as that would have been a deal-breaker for me. I found a couple of coaster bikes that used foot brakes, so immediately asked my husband to put down the wrench and fire up the jalopy, I mean pick up truck.

There were two bikes that fit my requirements -- a comfy seat and foot brakes. The first one was white, and when I took it for a spin around the aisles it felt too flimsy. I wasn't crazy about the white seat either which would get dirty in the shop, and wasn't as cushy as I hoped. Then I saw another one, way, way up on the rack. It looked way cooler. It had fenders, a back thingamajig to put things on, a leather pouch, drink holder and even a bottle opener on the side of the front wheel. Who could ask for anything more? Although I think bottle caps are no longer even being made, but hey let's keep it vintage, shall we?

My husband struggled to get the bike down, but he did, and in one piece. I took it for a spin and it felt way more comfortable than the other one. The seat even had springs to cushion my bouncing butt and I was happy to discover that now you don't even need a wrench to adjust the height! I liked the colors and even the faux wood trim. It reminded me of Pee Wee Herman's bike. Sold! Here she is -- she's a beauty, isn't she?

Naturally the first order of business was getting a speedometer. The second order was getting it to work! I bought a wireless one which shows mileage, speed, outdoor temperature, time, how long before your heart gives out, etc. My husband, being a man, didn't read the directions so it didn't work. I read the directions and told him he put the magnet thingie on the left side of the wheel instead of the right as the directions had instructed. He laughed at me, but switched it, and voila! it worked!

So, early this morning I went to work, I mean I went to the shop, to get on my bike. Last night I had put a bottle of water in the freezer so brought that and my camera along with me. The water fit perfectly in the cup holder and the camera in the pouch. Off I went. It was still a struggle getting up the hill. I then rode from one trail, across the road to another trail, around a sports complex, and along the river for one hour. The speedometer said I rode for 8 miles. It felt more like 18 miles. I burned 276 calories and took some great photos which I will post after I take some other shots I want.

I started a chart of what I weigh before this bike experiment to see if I am making any progress. I've also put my pain level on it as well to see if it alleviates it, or, makes it worse. Hopefully all will go well and I will be svelte and wearing Lycra in no time, but until then, this is how I think of myself as I'm riding it...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"No Skills For You!"

For the past couple of years my daughter has travelled to Hampton Roads with BCAT to take place in the Skills USA Competition. The first time she entered was as a individual when she was a sophomore. She walked away as the state champion for prepared speech.

Last year she was part of a television production team, and although they didn't come in first, they did place. The competition was good for her. She was able to experience being away from home for a couple of days, learning to manage her money and time, meeting and interacting with new people from across the country, as well as sharpen her skills in a timed event.

She was looking forward to her final year competition, until she found out, she wouldn't be going. BCAT is the school she goes to every other day for the classes in the field she wants to work in, Mass Communications. HVHS is her "home" school. Once again her "home" school couldn't give a crap about the students at BCAT as they scheduled the senior prom, senior day, senior cap & gown, senior yada yada yada on the days students who wanted to participate in Skills USA would have to be out of town. You can be damn sure if the students were going to some sort of sporting tournament that would bring "glory" to the school, instead of some "intellectual" tournament that the school could care less about, they would have coordinated the dates.

Although my daughter is "dating" someone, she could care less about the senior prom, and as far as I know, has no intention of going. "Why should I spend all that money watching people I really don't hang out with Jersey Turnpike? Ewwww!" My wallet wasn't the only thing that sighed in relief. However, her teammate feels different, "But it's our senior prom!" Totally understandable, so my daughter sought out a different partner.

As she was searching for someone, anyone, she received the schedule of other senior events. Now, even the most jaded teen wants to get their cap and gown and participate in at least some senior happenings that take place during a school day. looks like the girl won't be heading to Hampton Roads. In my best Soup Nazi voice -- "No Skills For You!" Oh well, if she plays her cards right, she'll be able to travel many places after she graduates and gets a job in the field she wants, and this is just a precursor to "real life" where there's certainly no shortages of disappointments.

Friday, March 23, 2012

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

They shoot horses when they become lame, don't they? Yes, yes they do, but I just can't pull the trigger on my dog.

My world was rocked this morning when I brought my corgi, Max, to the vet to find out what was wrong with his front left leg. I thought he sprained it or something, and was not prepared to hear the vet's diagnosis...most likely due to a ruptured disc, he was paralyzed on the left side of his body. As he was almost 11 years old and overweight, surgery would not be recommended, and the only option was to put him down. The poor baby was shaking like a toddler at the pediatrician's office waiting to be pricked with a needle. I'm sure my hysterical tears didn't alleviate his anxiety.

There was no way I could do that right then, right there. My children had no clue what was going on, and I couldn't bear to tell them when they returned from school, Max was "sent to a farm." The vet understood and said he wasn't in pain so we could wait until the end of the day. She also said he probably wouldn't walk again, and if we thought we could take care of him in his present state that would entail flipping him from side to side so he wouldn't get sores, carrying him around and outside to do his business, but in all likelihood, he would do that just lying down.

I couldn't believe it. Yesterday he was fine. As he was everyday, he was my shadow. He was walking fine, and even came down the basement stairs to lay next to me as I rode my bike. So naturally I Googled his condition and found out that corgis do indeed suffer from it. Usually it strikes both of their back legs, and some dogs have been successfully fitted in a wheelie device. Since Max's front and rear leg was affected, this wouldn't be an option.

The kids came home from school and I broke the news to them. Stunned, they couldn't accept Max's fate. All the loving caresses and tears certainly alerted Max that something was not right. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes, most likely due to allergies, but today it didn't feel like that. I felt like he was mind-probing me telling me he didn't want to leave yet. Lying on his side he looked so pathetic, but when the telephone rang he sprung up and ran to it. He got a couple of feet before he stumbled. We all looked at each other perplexed. He wasn't supposed to be able to walk.

The floors in my house are either tiled or hardwood, so even when all four legs were functioning Max would sometimes slip and slide. My son carried him to the backyard. Max walked around the yard, yes walked, and then did his business. He struggled walking for a bit. He kept looking at me as if to say, "Look Mom, I can walk, even if I look drunk." As the hours passed and we got closer to the death clock, Max began to adapt to his condition. He would walk a couple of steps and when his paw buckled under, he'd stop, not fall, and flip up his leg so that the paw would land flat on the ground. "Look what I can do Mom!"

I must have asked the kids a million times, "What should we do?" None of us wanted to pull the trigger. When my husband pulled up I thought to myself, "Ah, the voice of reason" so I was taken aback when he took one look at Max and said, "It's not his time yet. Call the vet, tell her what he's doing and make sure he's not in pain." When he saw my surprised look he said, "You thought I was here to bring him. Look at him. He's not in pain. He's eating. He's going to the bathroom. So, he's got numb legs. Marie's leg is numb. My hand is numb. Are you going to pull the plug on us? He's like a senior citizen that had a mini stroke. Would you just send me to the farm, if I did?"

So I called the vet and waited for a callback. All afternoon, our stomachs turned as we watched for progress. We gave him his favorite, pizza. We let him on the couch. We got excited as we watched him go to the bathroom on his own. We gave him twigs from the trees which he chewed on without the usual left paw help. We watched him plead with us, "Not yet." The vet called at 6:00 and when she heard he was walking and going to the bathroom on his own, she understood our desire not to rush him to the grave. She assured us he wasn't in pain, but said the end was near and inevitable. We agreed that if his quality of life suffered too much and he got to the point where he couldn't walk at all, or began doing his business while laying down we would put him down. But today is not that day. Hopefully tomorrow won't be either, but it may very well be. I just don't know. Right now he's sleeping under my feet with his baby Booda snuggled under his chin. Damn, this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Roanoke Spring Morning

Crazy rain in Roanoke yesterday. This morning the fog has lifted leaving the sweet scent of pine trees and spring flowers...

Tulips are still sleeping...

The dogwood flowers are still minature...

And the cherry tree blossoms are about to burst...

Another beautiful spring morning in Roanoke...

Monday, March 19, 2012


When a "surprise" pops up, it can put a smile on your face, or a furrow on your brow. Last week, both happened to me.

One of the surprises was a double-edged one -- a letter congratulating my daughter on her acceptance into Roanoke College, as well as the amount of her scholarship award, which is $20,000/yr. A good surprise, no? Well, no since a bill in the amount of $26,500/yr accompanied it. This amount does not include text books either. The college is quite nice, but totally impractical, especially since they do not offer a degree in the field she is interested in -- broadcasting & web design. She is a huge history buff so she thought if they offered her enough of a scholarship she would look to earn a major in history. They didn't. And frankly, paying $106,000 (sans textbooks!) for a degree that costs $186,000 (sans textbooks!) in history is insane...unless she wanted to teach history. She doesn't. Just for yuk-yuks I did the math -- I'd have to sell 321,212 copies of The Valentines Day Curse to pay for our portion (sans textbooks!)

The next bad surprise is one that I really can't talk about right now other than to say I'm really not "surprised" by it, saddened, yes, surprised, no. I'll have to leave it at that, for now.

And now for the good surprises: As I was checking my stats on Amazon for The Valentine's Day Curse I noticed something called Shelfari was on the book page. So I clicked on it and saw the book was being read by 9 people and had even received a review -- "This was just a great story, interesting idea." I'll have to find out more about Shelfari and if this is something I should join.

Another surprise was a Google alert on my name which let me know The Valentine's Day Curse was reviewed on Goodreads. Goodreads? I thought you had to submit a book there to be reviewed, but apparently not. I joined Goodreads a couple of months ago, and promptly forgot about it. I never joined as an author and frankly was afraid to even go back there after I read so many negative things from other authors on Facebook about it. Then there were other authors who said it was a great site that offered probably the most unbiased of all reviews.

So, with some trepidation, I checked it out and found I had two reviews: One four star - "Very short story about an unexpected phone call. Quick 15 minute read, but well worth it." One five star - "This short story was funny and appealed to that vengeful part of me ;)" One three star with nothing else. Hmmmm. Wasn't thrilled with that, especially since no "reason" was given, but it's still cool that someone "rated" it after reading it, so it's all good...Goodreads, that is.

I figured since my one book was up there I'd better join as an author and hope my novel, Fractured Facade gets discovered and reviewed as well. I'm still exploring the site and have added books to my shelf that I've read, am reading and want to read. I've gotten requests from people on Facebook to do "something" in Goodreads but since I do not use Facebook apps I have no idea what they are and hope they don't think I'm ignoring them. So let me make the announcement here...if you want to be "friends" or whatever it's called on Goodreads please send me the request directly there and not on Facebook. I'm sure it's going to take me some time to figure all this out, and I might be pleasantly surprised when I do.

I had one more great surprise that came in the form of an e-mail from Yuma, AZ regarding Fractured Facade. That deserves a post all by itself, so when I get some time I will compose one.

It's a rainy Monday morning here. My bones are stiff, my joints are swollen, but the birds are singing and the trees are blooming and I'm still breathing, so I'm going to be thankful...Enjoy your week!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Smell the Flowers

Just a couple of spring in Roanoke pics...breathe in deeply and smell the flowers...

The pear tree is looking wonderful...

And although one of the peach trees looks like it didn't make it, my fingers are crossed this one might actually produce fruit this year...

Now, this is the craziest fig tree...

Yup, those are teeny tiny figs!

Monday, March 12, 2012

My 2nd KDP Select Experience

On Saturday evening, right before I climbed into bed, I witnessed a beautiful picture on the internet...

Yes, that's my short story, The Valentine's Day Curse, in the # 1 position on Amazon's Free Best Selling Short Stories chart, directly across from a book I've read and enjoyed very much, "A Visit from the Goon Squad," which, by the way, is not a short story. 'The Valentine's Day Curse" also was # 9 in Contemporary Fiction and #125 in the Kindle Store. Of course, it wasn't really a best "seller" as it was free, but let's not quibble about money.

The important thing is that my short story, between both promotions, is now on over 2,600 Kindles, iPads, Smartphones, computers, etc. in the U.S., England, Germany and yes, even France! How cool is that? I have to admit it was hard to pull myself away from the screen Saturday knowing the promotion was still going on for two more hours. And I was glad my daughter came home in time to capture that screen shot because when I awoke Sunday morning the bubble was burst. Back to the netherlands.

Well, that's not exactly accurate. Before the promotion I was in the 400,000 rankings. I found I actually had some paid sales afterwards, and one return. I hope the reader returned it because they thought it was still free, and not because they read it & didn't want to pay the 99 cents, or worse, hated it. So early Sunday morning the book's ranking was in the 70,000's. Okay, so it's pretty down there, but not as bad as 400,000! The hope now is that people will actually read it, and some must have because I did garner additional "likes." Hopefully they will review it and then seek out something else I wrote, which would be the novel that practically killed me, Fractured Facade, and then buy that.

Besides lucking out by being one of the books included in Ereader News Today's picks, I also received help from folks on Twitter and Facebook via retweets and reposts on their Facebook walls. A big thank you goes to everyone, especially the total strangers who opened their walls and hearts to my wee little story.

As Sunday went on I enjoyed the beautiful day, glad to be away from the computer screen, promoting is hard work! And after my walk along the Roanoke River I checked my stats again and was surprised, and thrilled, to find that The Valentine's Day Curse was actually selling! At 5:00 pm the book had moved to the left side of the screen into the # 7 position on Amazon's Paid Best Seller's Kindle list, and #12 on the Fiction Book list!

Yes, paid sales!

Now, what about the week long Read an eBook Smashwords promotion for Fractured Facade? One word...Blech! That my friends, I would consider a bust, except I did get one sample download which resulted in one paid sale. So, I am happy that my novel is in one new reader's hands. However, with the results of both promotions I am now convinced that I need to pull my novel from everywhere else and enroll it exclusively at Amazon. I know I said I wanted it available to the most people, and based on actual experiences, I think that would probably be if I put it into Amazon's KDP Select program. Gotta go where the action is.

One quick check this Monday morning before I post this shows The Valentine's Day Curse is still selling, but has moved down to the #12 paid position. I'll take it!

The most important lesson learned is that I need to get back to writing. You want to sell books? Write them...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Free, Free, Free eBook!

To cap-off the Read an eBook Week promotion -- For 24 hours, one day only, that's today, Saturday, March 10th, The Valentine's Day Curse -- A short story is FREE, FREE, FREE on Amazon!

Remember, you do not need to own a Kindle to read this eBook!

And, today is also the last day that Fractured Facade is going for half-off at Smashwords. Read the sample, and if you like to buy it enter REW50 at check out.

Spread the word and happy reading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why I Love eBooks

My promotion for Read an eBook Week is still going here for details on how to get 50% off of Fractured Facade on Smashwords. And I've also decided that for the last day, Saturday March 10th, I'm going to be giving away The Valentine's Day Curse -- A short story for free on Amazon.

I thought that today would be a good day to blog about why I love eBooks. Sure, it's given me the opportunity to self-publish and get my stories out there, but that's the author side...I want to speak about the reader side.

First off let me say I love my Kindle. And this is not my eReader is better than your eReader statement. It's about my experience. Your wants and likes may differ. I love the un-lit back screen which looks like I'm reading a "real" book. I love how I can increase the print size. I love that it's big enough to read comfortably, yet small enough to fit in my pocketbook. I love that I can hold it easier than I can a hard cover book. What I don't love about it is when I get the notification my battery is about to die. I wish the battery bar showed me that I'm getting to a point where I need to recharge instead of getting that dreaded notice just as I'm getting into a scene. Of course, I could just plug it into a wall, or my computer and keep right on reading, but sometimes that's not possible.

By far the best thing about my Kindle is that it has introduced me to the world of fiction. What??? That's right, I have never been a fan of fiction. In fact, when someone in the past has asked me which authors I like I would have a hard time coming up with names, other than Edgar Allen Poe, O. Henry or some beat writers. That's because most fiction I've read I could barely get through, and there was rarely an author I would seek out to read the next book. I found too many stories "unbelievable" or "too pat." It was like the authors were following a computer program whereby they inserted the character names, settings and plot lines, and the computer would spit out a book. Life is not filled with happy endings. So my preference in the past have been biographies and memoirs, even by "unknowns." Although I could find a couple in the bargain bins in used bookstores and library sales, the problem I found is that most memoirs by unknowns have not been published in the traditional sense. With the advent of self-publishing that has changed.

Right now I have over one hundred books downloaded to my Kindle. I'm sure others probably have thousands, but I'm of the mind set, just because it's free I'm not going to download a book. However, I have been quicker to download a free novel and "give it a shot" than I was to buy one in a bookstore. I'm glad I have because I have discovered some really good indie authors. Right now I am reading "Elephant Girl: A Human Story" by Jane Devin and it's really screwing up my life because I'm having a hard time putting it down. Before that I read JD Marder's "Joe Cafe" and Fred Limberg's "Ferris' Bluff." And although, those two are not the genre I usually read, I enjoyed them both.

What I don't like is when you download a free book then find out it really isn't a full book at all, just a couple of "sample" chapters. That happened to me with Luc Carl's "Tales from the Drunk Diet." I was disappointed to find out that all it contained was two or three chapters from the middle of the book with the statement buy my full book if you like this. Umm, no, I won't. Maybe I would have if there was full disclosure at the time of the "freebie" but there wasn't, and I feel "tricked."

In order to make my life easier I have created collections on my Kindle. At first I just had one called "Books I Read." Then I realized some of the books I read don't belong in that category so I added another one, "Books I Read that Sucked" which includes books I could not get through. I also have one entitled "Classics" and "Cookbooks." With each download I find I have to scroll through pages to find the next book I want to read and frankly some I had downloaded weeks prior so I have forgotten what the book is about. So, next up I'll have to create more collections by genres. Just don't know when I'll get to that, or get to making Twitter lists!

All this reading is cutting into my writing time, but I'm not going to feel guilty...yet!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Read an eBook Week

I've decided to take part in Smashword's Read an eBook week promotion by offering Fractured Facade discounted at 50% off the $4.99 regular price, so if you download it from Smashwords, the book will cost you $2.50. The promotion kicks off today and will be running through March 12th. When you get to the check-out put this coupon code in REW50.

Here's the book's description:

The peaceful life in Southwest Virginia Marie had taken for granted is shattered the moment she receives a phone call from her brother, “I just got a call from a detective. Daddy’s dead.”

After rushing to her family home in Brooklyn, New York, Marie seeks answers to her father’s mysterious death. Instead, disturbing occurrences and acts of betrayal magnify her questions.

Marie is not surprised her unheeded suspicions regarding her father’s ex-girlfriend were valid, but she is astonished how oblivious so many people had been, and continue to be, to the wily ways of the con artist.

Inheriting her father’s scheming ex-girlfriend becomes a journey Marie never imagined she’d be forced to travel.

Written as memoir, “Fractured Facade” is a cautionary tale for anyone who is concerned about a parent after that parent loses their spouse. The survivor is often thrust into the “single world,” an unfamiliar world, quite different from the dating scene of their youth, and one where some people create facades to mask their true intentions. Sadly, loneliness can sometimes cause an otherwise intelligent person to behave foolishly.

“Fractured Facade” is the tale of a father’s death, a daughter’s life, and a sociopath’s vendetta.

Meanwhile, if there are any Nook readers who prefer to download their books from Barnes & Noble, their site is still showing the discounted price of $3.99 instead of the usual $4.99. I don't know how long that price will remain as it should have already changed. Until it does, Amazon is also selling it at $3.99 because they price-match! Anyway, I hope Nook owners realize that you can download your book directly from Smashwords as well as B&N (cheaper at Smashwords!). And Kindle owners can also download directly from Smashwords, so if you had any desire or intention to read Fractured Facade, take advantage this week!

Another eBook you can read is the short story, The Valentine's Day Curse. It's 99 cents and still exclusive to Amazon. I hope folks realize you do not need to own a Kindle to read eBooks bought from Amazon. Click here for the link to all the free apps you can download to read Kindle eBooks on your iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac computers as well as other devices.

Depending upon the outcome of this Smashwords promotion I may keep it exclusive to Amazon. I haven't had much action at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble or Apple since the beginning of the year, so am beginning to question if perhaps the KDP Select program would be worth checking out for Fractured Facade. In fact, I've already pulled Fractured Facade from Kobo since they take so long to remove it when requested, and/or change the price. Not only haven't I seen one sale from there, but they have the book in the wrong category and still haven't changed the description.

If you're like most people you probably have hundreds if not thousands of eBooks that you downloaded free languishing on your eReader. Please don't forget about them and do the author a favor when you finish...write a review. Happy reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Teen Idols

Reading all the posts yesterday about the passing of Davy Jones from the Monkees brought back all sorts of fond memories. I've often said that the two earliest influences on my life were Bugs Bunny and The Monkees, so it's no wonder I'm all screwed up. Anyway, if you're a woman around my age, say 30, I mean in her early fifties, when you were a pre-teen, or teen, chances are your bedroom wall was covered with posters and pics of musical idols cut from Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and Sixteen magazines.

davy jones monkees Pictures, Images and Photos

Davy, with his red pouted lips, dark brown eyes, and bare chest with puka shells, shared my wall with Donny Osmond, Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy. I loved the Monkees. Although the cutest, with his tambourine playing smooth dance moves, he wasn't my favorite. That was reserved for Mickey Dolenz, the wild one. I liked his singing better than Davy too. Besides, Mickey was the "bad boy" of the band and frankly, ruined me for the rest of my life, as I often pooh-poohed the nice guys and sought the rebels instead. Eventually I would deem the Beatles too "mainstream" and pledge my allegiance to the scruffy Rolling Stones instead, but, before that happened, I lived in my happy bubble gum world of pop.

This was the era when AM radio ruled and candy stores in Brooklyn sold 45's. Even though I didn't have one of those plastic record players my friend did, so every week I scoured in between the couch cushions to find coins. I'd dump those lint covered pennies on the counter and sift through the records to find the gem. I remember one afternoon finding "Those Were the Days" in the bargain bin. I was ecstatic, and disregarded the owners admonishment that that wasn't the record I really wanted. What did he know? I rushed home and ran to my friend's house, gingerly removed the record from the white paper and placed it on her phonograph. Instead of the sweet sound of Mary Hopkin's voice, out came Cream's guitars. I had bought the wrong record. Instead of crying, I turned the 45 over and discovered "The White Room" which I loved, so it was all good. And more than once I found a new artist that way.

The teens today have missed out on the feel of clacking the records, searching for a gem, and instead, with a click of a button download whatever it is they're looking for onto their computer, iPhone, MP3 player, whatever. So cold. And what posters could line their walls? Who are the teen idols of today? A freaking vampire, or a Snooki? How sad for them.

My kids have never even heard of Davy Jones and there won't be any flags flown at half mast for him. You know, I don't remember ever seeing a drunken, high Davy Jones. He was a teen idol during a time when teen idols cared about their reputation and were cognizant that millions of fans emulated them. I'm glad I grew up in the era I did, and thank you Davy for giving me and millions of others such joy.