At the end of my book STEALING MERCY I pasted on the first chapter of my upcoming novel, A GHOST OF A SECOND CHANCE. And at the end of A GHOST OF A SECOND CHANCE, I added the first chapter of my soon to be released THE RHYME’S LIBRARY. THE RHYME’S LIBRARY which is currently being white washed by my editor AND has a date with the Lee the formatter at Iron Horse Formatting that’s only a week away (silent squeal of excitement), but, returning to the matter at hand, at the end I’ve tacked on the first chapter of my next Rose Arbor book, LOSING PENNY.
My friend and mega-selling indie author Debra Holland has also had success with “chapter swaps.” She does it a little differently—at the end of her book is the first chapter of another romance writer’s western novel (Debra’s niche genre.) And of course, the other author returns the favor. It’s a win-win marketing technique. I suppose I’d be interested in chapter swapping if I didn’t have my own upcoming books to sing about. But today I want to sing about something else entirely.
(For all those interested in marketing and only marketing—now’s the time to check your e-mail or your Facebook because I’m going to blog about what I call Barney Car Days, because I’m bored with the business side of books.)
In Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the main character, Christopher, has what he calls red car days and yellow car days—the mood of the day categorized by the color of car he happened to see. I didn’t want to have a bad car day, but about a year ago I decided to have what I called Barney car days, meaning that every time I saw a purple car I’d have a good day. After a few months, I lost faith in Barney car days because I discovered that Barney car days only seemed to happen on those days that I happened to spend a lot of time on the freeway, and since freeway travel isn’t my favorite—well, how could I base a day’s happiness on seeing a purple car, anyway?
But yesterday restored my faith in the power of the purple car. I did see a purple car. And my car that broke down 24 days after the warranty’s expiration that was supposed to cost hundreds of dollars to fix was free because the mechanic talked to the manufacturer. AND while eating breakfast at Mimi’s café a stranger handed us a coupon for a free breakfast. AND while at the beach, I happened to step on an earring—giving me an excellent first sentence for the new novel I absolutely, positively won’t start until September. (But it will start like this Everything Mia believed to be true changed the moment she stepped on the diamond earring.) AND then there was a magnificent pink and purple sunset.
“You should have bought a lotto ticket,” my friend said.
“You should buy a purple car, so that you’ll have a Barney Car Day everyday,” my daughter said.
I do believe that good things happen to people paying attention and looking for the good, but I also believe that Barney Car days can’t be forced or tricked. I also believe that it’s important to love and cherish the ordinary days as well as the Barney Car Days.
I love the line from Ecclesiaticus 33:7Why is any day better than another when all the daylight in the year is from the sun? By the Lord’s decision they were distinguished and He appointed the different seasons and feasts: some of them He exalted and hallowed, and some of them he made ordinary days.