EXCUSE ME…WHAT?!

I just finished reading an article about self-editing your work.  This self-editing happens even before your editor get her hands on the rough draft.  It made a lot of sense, and lucky for me, I was already doing almost everything it seems I should be doing.

When I started writing As Long As You’re Here, I had no idea it would developed into a trilogy, let alone the middle book of three.  Before I started writing The Cat and The Blue Sky, I had to go back and not only reread As Long As You’re Here, but make a timeline of what took place in the book so that both the first and third book could follow suit.  Additionally, there were comments and phone conversations needing to be replicated.  Thank goodness for Copy and Paste; it made that particular job very easy.

I go back and double check, rereading all or part of one book while working on the other.  If a character has blue eyes in one book, yet has hazel in the other, a savvy reader will catch that. When the handsome villain walked into a room full of people with a full beard only to have a clean- shaven face by the time he reaches our heroine across the room, I should suppose a reader might just put the book down.

It’s nice to learn, when you are a novice, the things you are doing are the right ones. Puts a smile on your lip, or at least mine!

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

www.rajlowenstein.net

It that Light at the End of the Tunnel?!

Many of you already know I am currently working on a Trilogy to hopeful be ready for you to read the first part of 2018. The FBI TrilogyThe Cat and the Blue Sky – Book 1, As Long as You’re Here – Book 2, and A Blush On A RoseBook 3, follows three sisters.  The identical twin sisters, Esperanza O’Conner and Catálan O’Conner and their half-sister, Olli Rose Bergstrom after Catálan witness a Drug Cartel murder.

I have just this week finished the first two books and will be working on Olli Rose’s story.

Naturally, there are edits and a rewrite here and there, but I am extremely excited to have these first two behind me…for the most part!

There will be more to come, as I have many projects waiting patiently in line to be the next to get my attention.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

www.rajlowenstein.net

You Are Where You Eat!

Come join me for haggis, tatties and neeps. Or perhaps, a lobster roll is more to your liking. Maybe it’s TexMex? Yum!!!  There is always jambalaya, etouffee, or boiled crawfish.  Catfish and hushpuppies anyone?  Escargot and a big bowel of ratatouille?  Ravioli and a great bottle of wine, not to mention hot baguette!

Come over to my house on a Friday night and experience Matzo Ball Soup, gefilte fish (homemade, of course) and a crusty fresh baked challah. Or perhaps on the table will be a hearty cholent and kishka.  It’s all good!

Enough already, this is making me hungry.

More than just names of places can provide clues as to locations and cultures. There is more to describing a local than giving the name of the town, or country and or streets.  Food is what makes the world go around.

There might be a restaurant in New York or London where you can have a home-style meal of haggis, tatties and neeps. Yet, if you found yourself in a book, preparing to eat haggis, tatties and neeps you might realize you are in Scotland.

Conversely, a good lobster roll is typically found on the east coast. Just as Conch Fritters might be most commonly eaten in southern Florida.

Not only does food highlight a location, it also is a non-removable component of culture.

If you remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nia Vardalos’ character ‘Toula’ explains to John Corbett’s character ‘Ian’ exactly how important food is to a Greek family.  You see my point!

Of course, when I watched that movie with my friends we laughed and said it could have been called “My Big Fat Jewish Wedding” and the characters and the importance of food would have been the same.  I have heard this same comment from friends who are of other cultures. Yet the focus is about food…and family.

So, if you come to my house, you will be fed!  As my mother always says, “G-D forbid you should leave my house hungry!”

I agree…just don’t tell her I do!

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

www.rajlowenstein.net

 

Lip Reading

As a Deaf woman, who began losing my hearing early in my life, I rely on technology or interpreters when dealing with hearing people.  In a perfect situation for me, everyone uses American Sign Language.

Two questions I am constantly asked are:

  1. Do I read Braille? (Yes, this is a very common question for deaf people!)
  2. Do read lips?

Movies and popular culture has the average person thinking everyone can read lips just like James Bond; from across a crowded room and in forty-seven different languages.

That is simply not true.  There are people, such as my friend TW, who has spent a lifetime learning to speech read (the new term for lip reading) – literally over five decades worth of practice and study.

The attached video (https://www.facebook.com/wearewisdo/videos/924184814390763/) provides real information about speech reading.  Copy and past or go to my Facebook page to watch.

So the next time you meet a D/deaf or Hard of Hearing person, you might what to reconsider before you ask, “Can you read lips?” or “Do you read Braille?”

My response is usually, “NO!” with an evil smile, then I sign “DO YOU KNOW SIGN LANGUAGE?”  They usually turn and run away.

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

www.rajlowenstein.net

Memorial Day Greetings!

My father was in the Navy.  I have uncles and cousins who all served our country in one branch of the Military or another.

To my father, family and all those who have and are now serving in the Military, my thanks to you all!

You Honor your Families, your Country and you humble me for what you do.

May the Creator look down upon you with love and protection.

Raj Lowenstein

The Joy of the F Word!

I think cursing is a bunch of malarkey. Brian Wilson

Ok, just a show of hands if you have or have been told you have a “potty mouth.”  (I know you can’t see me, but both hands are in the air!)

I love the F word.  It is almost cathartic when it rolls off my tongue. The shape and the force which it requires to inform someone they are a “F#$khead!”  Oh the pleasure, when either vocally or with the all magic middle finger, you enlighten the clueless of your opinion, perhaps about them, perhaps just in general.

As I have gotten older and have acquired grandchildren, I have attempted to use cleaner vocabulary.  All the time, no! However, certainly not if little ears are about.

My eldest son, Jeff, once yelled at the top of his little three year old voice for everyone within earshot to “Fuck off!”  Where did this offense happen?  Why on a Saturday morning in the supermarket. I know I am not the only parent who has experienced this sort of rude awaking.

We laugh about it now, as he is a father.

So is it alright to have a character in a book use foul words.  I look to the experts who I read for guidance. #NoraRoberts, #StephenKing, #DeanKoontz, #JacquelineSusann and #CliveCussler all have had people populating their stories who might drop the “F” bomb occasionally or it is just part of who they are.

I like a mouthy character.  I need to discover one for my next book.

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

www.rajlowenstein.net

Happy Mother’s Day!

We all had a mother, someone who carried us for nine months inside her protective womb.  Many of us have a mama, mum, mom as well!

Of course, many of us are mothers/mamas as well.

I have three wonderful children!  I also have three fabulous grandchildren.  I am blessed they are healthy and happy.

So today, I simply want to thank my Mama and the other mothers in my life.

I Love you all, you know who you are!

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

www.rajlowenstein.net