Correction

The first April / May 2016 “Up and Coming” post contained information from my monthly email update. If you click on the WordPress link, it should bring you to the correct, revised copy. Sorry for any confusion.

Warmest Regards,

Chuck Miceli

Up and Coming – April / May 2016

Hello Everyone,

 

Please note that because of the lateness of this notice, I will be including events from April and May and will provide an update in May with additional details on some of these items.

Injured Angels:

With all of the activity around Amanda’s Room of late, Injured Angels has had to take a back seat. I did, however, do a significant amount of work during my vacation with some surprising results. Here’s a little inside scoop. When it is published, you will probably not find it under Chuck Miceli, but rather under the pen name Charlotte Mitchell. That is because, during my recent rewrite, I came to the conclusion that in order to fully explore my protagonist’s emotions and behaviors, I wanted and maybe needed to be in her mind and skin, so the entire story is being told as a first person account by my main character, Maureen Russo and I am thrilled with the difference it makes. More on this to come.

 

Amanda’s Room:

The movie: The screenplay is written. I was hoping to pitch it to some studios while I vacationed in California but that didn’t happen. As with Injured Angels, that project has had to take a spot on the back burner while I attended to more pressing issues. I am actively seeking a producer interested in discussing the project. Please note: This is not a low budget movie. To be successful, the film would need to rely heavily on computer generated graphics. Interested persons please message me via Linkedin: cmiceli or Facebook: authorchuckmiceli

The book: By mutual agreement, California Times Publishing (CTP) and I have terminated our contract. It took a while to complete the transition, but the CTP editions of Amanda’s Room have been unpublished and the Hitchcock Lake Publication editions are once again on Amazon and BarnesandNobel.com. I hope to meet with Husky Trail Press in the near future to republish Amanda’s Room Reader’s Edition.

Hard-cover Edition: I am in discussions now with printers for a special hard cover collector’s edition of Amanda’s Room. When printed, I suspect unsigned copies of this edition would retail between $25 and $30 plus shipping. If any of you on my mailing list are interested in pre-ordering an autographed collector’s copy, please let me know. I plan to have the cost lower than normal retail and hopefully can make signed copies available to you for around $20.

 

Upcoming Events:

Book Club Kit Raffle: April 27, 5:30 – 8 pm -The Waterbury Exchange Wine and Beer Tasting – La Bella Vista, 380 Farmwood Road, Waterbury, CT.

This is a great event with multiple local vendors providing free tastings of their wines and beers, loads of food tasting stations and a silent auction, all in a wonderful elegant atmosphere. Advanced tickets are $35 per person and can be obtained from Cathy Chaikowski at 203-598-2438. For the second year, the exchange will be auctioning off one of my book club kits for Amanda’s Room. Each kit contains five copies of the book, story and author information sheets and instructions for organizing the book club meeting, all contained in an attractively wrapped basket. Once everyone has read the book, the organizer contacts me and I meet personally with the group members to discuss the “story behind the story.” There are also instructions on obtaining extra copies for additional people who wish to join the group. It makes for a great, fun-filled evening. If that sounds appealing for one of your groups, I can supply complete kits for $40, which is less than the cost of three books alone.

 

Book Sale and Signing: April 30, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – The Connecticut Festival of Indie Games –  Elm City Games / The Grove – 756 Chapel Street, New Haven CT.

This is a fun-filled day for the whole family. For only $10 per individual or $15 for the family, you can spend the entire day playing board games developed by one of more than 30 local indie game developers. You can try playing as many as you like and if you find one you love, you can purchase it directly from the developers. Who knows, you might just discover the next Monopoly or Magic. I’ll be on hand all day selling and signing copies of Amanda’s Room. For more information and to register, go to their website: http://www.ct-fig.com/

 

Book Sale and Signing: May 6, Exact hours TBA – Paradies Lagardere Travel Retail Shops – Bradley International Airport – Windsor Locks, CT.

Traveling for business or pleasure on the Friday before Mother’s Day? If you’re flying in or out of Bradley International Airport, look for me on the concourse and stop by to say hello. The final arrangements are still being worked out but I will be there on May 6 selling and signing my books and I am thrilled that Paradies Lagardere Travel Retail will be carrying Amanda’s Room for sale after the event. I will provide the specific times for the book signing and the exact store location(s) in my May update.

 

Book Sale and Signing:  May 14 and 15, 10 am – 6 pm – Made in Connecticut Expo – Farmington Polo Grounds – 152 Town Farms Road – Farmington, CT.

This is one of my favorite annual events. Over 300 companies and businesses all featuring items made in Connecticut. There is no better event to sample all that Connecticut has to offer. The fair is expected to draw between 35,000 and 40,000 people but the grounds are so expansive that it doesn’t feel crowded. Saunter past the tents, sample food, beverages and goodies (you can smell the chocolate and pastries aisles away), shop for arts, crafts and Connecticut made products and visit our book booth to examine books in a wide variety of genres from nine Connecticut authors.

 

Book Discussion: May 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Southington Mini Diner, 1765 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Southington, CT

This is something brand new I am trying. Two new restaurants are now carrying autographed copies of Amanda’s Room for sale. Since people generally go there, not to purchase books but to enjoy a meal and conversation, I am hosting discussions with those who have read the book and are interested in the “story behind the story.” The Southington Mini Diner is one of our favorite places to eat at any time of the day. If you have already read the book but would like to join in on the discussion, call the Mini Diner and tell them you plan to attend. The number is 860-276-8237. Ask for Theresa or her son if they are around as they have been helping plan this.

 

Book Discussion: May 26, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Davinci Coffee Shop, 1627 Meriden Road – Wolcott CT 

This is the other restaurant that has just started carrying Amanda’s Room. Davinci normally serves breakfast and lunch only and specializes in gourmet Italian coffee, tea and a variety of sandwiches and pastries. It is a very comfortable, intimate atmosphere. Once again, I will be hosting a discussion of the book for any who have read it and would like to participate. If you have already read Amanda’s Room and would like to attend this discussion session, call the proprietor, Lucy Minnocci, up until early afternoon to let her know you’ll be coming. The phone number is 203-528-3711.

I hope this finds you and yours happy and well. Until the next time,

Warmest Regards,

Chuck

Why the Ideal 2016 President / Vice President Team Might Just be Trump/Sanders or Sanders/Trump

The 2016 Presidential race continues to be one of the most intriguing ever and only gets more compelling over time. The two primary reasons for this are readily apparent: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders and the reasons for their enormous appeal are strikingly similar. Both men are outsiders who political pundits wrote off at the beginning of the race as non-starters. Now, both are seriously being talked about as the potential front-runners in their respective parties. Each of them has drawn enormous support: in Trump’s case, through the tens of thousands of people who have rushed to his rallies, through his unprecedented name recognition among voters and through the non-stop media coverage he has attracted since the start. The 74-year-old Sanders, in a head-to-head race with a candidate who could become the historic first women president, has garnered the financial backing of over two million people across America and has attracted the lion’s share of support from a wide spectrum of Democrat voters including the young and even women voters. Each man has also turned his back on those individuals and organizations, including Super PACs, who could provide substantial financial support in exchange for influence in the political process.

At the same time, these two individuals are about as far apart on the political spectrum as candidates could get. Bernie Sanders represents the extreme progressive and liberal wing of the Democratic party, where even many in his own camp cringe when he unflinchingly describes his program of Democratic Socialism. At the extreme other end, although not without his share of skeptics, Trump allegedly represents the Republican’s conservative wing, including the ultra-conservative elements of the Tea Party and evangelical voters. While in the past, these outlier fringes of each party attracted little serious attention and few voters, Trump and Sanders have brought their respective political ideologies to center stage. It is not yet clear if voters buy into the extreme tenets the candidates represent, but it is clear that many voters certainly like them.

What is it about candidates Trump and Sanders that voters find so appealing? For one thing, each of them jettisoned “Political Correctness” early on in their campaigns in exchange for, clear, candid and in Trump’s case, sometimes crass language. While political pundits proclaimed an early political death due to the candidates’ unprecedented straight talk, poll after poll showed that with each new gaffe, their popularity grew. Other candidates who later tried to emulate their lead came across as being politically expedient rather than sincere. Now, with significant momentum behind each of them, it seems plausible, if not likely, that they could face a head-to-head contest come November. While the drama of this clash of titans is enormously appealing, the stakes for the electorate are frighteningly high. While most mainstream “establishment” candidates might be influenced by big money contributions from individuals and organizations, history has demonstrated that much of the influence exerted has been to maintain the status-quo. Change under these conditions tends to be slow, incremental, and for the most part, centrist, but this is not the kind of change either candidate Sanders or Trump promises.

Each of these men is committed to radical change toward opposite political extremes. Trump has no problem calling for a complete, if only temporary, ban on immigration from all Muslim countries and building a barrier between Mexico and the U.S. on the scale of the Great Wall of China. For his part, Sanders talks in terms of a political revolution that includes universal health care, a $15 minimum wage and free college education for all.

If Sanders and Trump face off against each other in November, the outcome of that election, as perhaps in no other time since the civil war, would divide the U.S. into a nation of winners and losers. And the greatest numbers of those losers are likely to be the mainstream political moderates. BUT WHAT IF…

What if the contest between these two political juggernauts ends in a dead heat and each candidate received the exact same number of electoral votes? In that scenario, with neither candidate receiving an absolute majority, the House of Representatives would decide the vote for president, with each state delegation receiving one vote, and the election of vice president would go to the Senate. If one party controls the House and the other controls the Senate, we could end up with a president from one party and a vice president from the other for the next four years.

Could Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders actually work together? Given their placement on the political spectrum that may seem impossible but when you consider their history, it may not be as unlikely as it first appears. In the past, Donald Trump has supported Democratic causes and candidates when it suited his personal and professional interests and Bernie Sanders points out proudly how he has worked with members of the opposite party on issues of common interest, like support for veterans. So what would a Trump/Sanders or a Sanders/Trump White House actually look like? A look into the personalities of each candidate might provide some clues.

Donald Trump is, above all else, a dealmaker. Everything about him from his business dealings, to his television programs, to his books, has been about “The Art of the Deal.” While he has done a masterful job navigating, if not, manipulating the obstacles on his path to the Whitehouse, even he has acknowledged that once there, deals will have to be made to get things done. At the same time, he has made it clear that for him, a successful deal means that he has made the best of the bargain and if his campaign speeches are to be believed, he defines that as the best bargain for the American people.

Bernie Sanders has demonstrated deep conviction, but he has also shown himself to be a man of compassion. Few candidates have been handed the ammunition he has to embarrass, if not demoralize his opponent. From Clinton’s vote to enter the IRAQ war, to her handling of the Benghazi attacks and her maintenance of a private e-mail server housing classified and top secret U.S. documents (and the resulting investigations), Clinton has been ripe for attack. Sanders has mildly attacked the bad judgment issue of the IRAQ war vote but he has steadfastly avoided taking political advantage of the other issues. Throughout the campaign and televised debates, he has shown great restraint and enormous respect for the former Secretary of State. He talks about a revolution through mobilizing millions of the electorate, but even if he does manage to galvanize voters around the first few issues, sustaining that level of involvement over a four-year term will become increasingly difficult and may eventually prove impossible. When that occurs, negotiation and compromise will be essential if he hopes to see significant parts of agenda succeed.

Trump has issued substantial volleys against his Republican rivals and Hillary Clinton but has had much less to say about Sanders. While it has been easy for Sanders to criticize Trump from a distance, he seems reticent to attack people he respects, regardless of their political persuasion. Would he be as critical of Donald Trump after getting to know the man vs. the candidate? To their advantage, neither man is tied to special interests that bankrolled their campaigns. Likewise, neither has demonstrated reluctance toward differing with their own party on issues about which they care deeply. Is it possible that thrust together, their mutual respect could overshadow the ideology of their parties and allow them to seek common ground in order to accomplish worthwhile goals? If that happened, it is highly unlikely that they could agree on any agenda that pushed them toward one extreme or the other. Compromise would have to occur. But in the privacy of the oval office, free from the spotlight of the media and the constant public pressure, what might the outcome of their negotiations look like? Perhaps…

On immigration: Might the president / vice president shelve arguments about deportation vs. immediate path to citizenship and wait until other areas of agreement are acted upon and settled? Might they concentrate on humane means for securing the borders, for thoroughly vetting all people who enter the country regardless of religion or national origin and for handing illegal immigrants who ignore the law?

On Healthcare: Might Trump agree to stall scrapping Obamacare until an alternative solution that both parties can accept is developed? Might Sanders accept an affordable system that includes reasonable premiums and deductibles so that as Governor John Kasich says, “They have some skin in the game” and individuals don’t take advantage of the system.

On College Tuition: Might they find a solution that provides affordable higher education for everyone who wants and is willing to work for it and that is tied into meaningful metrics like academic performance, attendance and participation, so that the new system does not diminish the value of higher education in the process?

On abortion: Instead of digging in on extreme positions of pro-choice vs. pro-life, might they move toward more common ground. Might they appreciate that while no women should have a pregnancy thrust upon her as in rape, or incest, nor seriously threaten her physical or mental health, at the same time, no human should be deprived of the right to life at the very moment of birth? Might they shift the conversation away from arguments about life beginning at conception or not until after birth, and toward a discussion about viability instead? Might they focus on the ability of the fetus to live outside of the mother’s womb and move away from the argument of the right of the woman vs. the fetus and toward a discussion about balancing the rights of the mother and the fetus?

On foreign intervention: Might such a team forge a U.S. foreign policy that maintains our role as champions of human rights in the world yet avoids future engagement in wars in which we need not and should not be involved? Might they find a way to extricate us from the Middle East yet avoid further destabilizing the region? Might they carry a big stick while holding out an olive branch?

On military and domestic spending: Might such a team strike a reasonable balance between spending on defense and on social programs? Might they find ways to salvage critical programs like social security? Would they be free to identify and eliminate waste, fraud and mismanagement?

These and other areas are fertile ground for intelligent, creative minds to plow. The prospect of two people so opposed in political ideology actually accomplishing them together seems remote at best. But there is one area that these two candidates strongly agree on and may be able to do something about, together or individually.

Both of these men have rejected funding by the powerful lobbies, individuals and Super PACs. Both have severally criticized the threat big money plays in the political process and in the accomplishment of  meaningful change. This may be the first time in recent U.S. history when meaningful campaign finance reform is achievable, regardless of who wins. As the new president takes office, the victor in this race may find that his greatest ally in this endeavor to be the looser.

We can always hope.

I wrote this piece to stimulate thinking and dialogue about the upcoming election. If you find it interesting, feel free to share it on your social media and re-post in your blogs. If you do, please reference me as the author. Good Reading.

Chuck Miceli

February, 2016

Up and Coming – February 2016

Welcome to my monthly update and thank you for your interest in my writing activities. Here are the February 2016 highlights:

Welcome New Readers – I’m thrilled to have you join us. I do hope you find these monthly e-mail updates interesting and useful.

A Time for Reflection

As I shared in my last couple e-mails, between some personal health issues, the holidays, publishing issues with Amanda’s Room, and a death in the family, my author activities have slowed considerably in the past couple months. While I appreciated the many notes of support I received, this has also been a very positive time for reflection and assessment. Out of that process, I will not be doing much marketing, publicity or public appearance activities for Amanda’s Room right now, but I have finally resumed the re-writing of my upcoming novel, Injured Angels.

Amanda’s Room

After several months of trying to coordinate my needs as an author with California Times Publishing’s (CTP) business model for providing services, it became apparent that we could not achieve our differing goals at this time and so, by mutual agreement, we have decided to terminate our contract. Over the next several weeks, CTP will unpublish their editions of Amanda’s Room and I will replace them with the previous, Hitchcock Lake editions. This process is necessarily a slow one in order not to lose the ratings and reviews the book has accumulated over time, but hopefully, it will all be sorted out by the beginning of March. I have also been in discussions about a complete revision of the audio book version. More on this to come.

Writing Again!

Injured Angels has undergone many transformations since I began it and has languished for a long time as I tried to figure out what type of story it really should be and how I should tell it. I realize now that I have known the direction I should take for some time, but I was too intimidated to continue. Let me explain.

Injured Angels traces three distinct phases in the life of Maureen Russo. The first phase chronicles her high-school romance, marriage, trials, and ultimately fulfilling life with her husband Frank. Phase 2 occurs when Maureen loses Frank after more than 50 years and in the process, loses her own reason for living. It is only through her odd friendship with the abrasive and socially inept Doris Cantrell, that Maureen is able to piece back together the fragments of her own life. In phase 3, when Sal Verona enters Maureen’s life, she must choose between a deep, fulfilling friendship and a second chance at love.

While I have had the story line in place for some time and have written most of the relevant parts, something essential has been missing. As I said earlier, I have actually known what for some time but have been too intimidated to act on it. That element is the voice.

The author’s “voice” is one of the most difficult parts of a book to accomplish or even to explain. It is apart from the story, plot, settings or characters, yet it can make the difference between a blockbuster or a bust. Essentially, the voice is the manner in which the author tells the story. It is the choice of words and vocabulary and the pace, dialect and rhythm with which they are delivered.

I realized that, in Injured Angels, the voice was flat because I was trying to tell this women’s story from the sidelines, as an observer, when what I really needed to do was to get into her skin and tell her story from the inside out: in other words, to become her.

Fortunately, I just began a wonderful inter-generational writing program at UCONN, which has helped me to clarify what I need to do and motivated me to get back to work. The UCONN Waterbury Creativity Workshop, led by acclaimed writer, Professor Thomas Dulack and his daughter, actress, teacher and filmmaker, Ilvi Dulack, is an intensive workshop concentrated on writing, sharing, giving and receiving feedback and furthering the works of the participants. During our first session, I realized that I have known for some time that to tell Maureen’s story effectively, I had to become Maureen, but I have been procrastinating because of the daunting challenge of being a male author telling a women’s story in the first person.

Following the workshop session, I came home and rewrote the first chapter in Maureen’s own voice and I am excited at the outcome. I have now gone on to insert a new second chapter, one which I have wanted to include, but could not envision how to until now.

I don’t know how the marketplace or my readers will react to this strategy, and I might wind up publishing Injured Angels under a female or asexual pseudonym, if necessary, to avoid the inherent conflict, but those are decisions best left for the future. For now, I will just enjoy the process of writing and discovering who Maureen Russo really is.

Miner’s Lament (poem)

I had planned on finding a publication for publishing Miner’s Lament, but once again, that would take time away from my writing, and right now, that is more important to me than adding to my writing resume, so here, for your enjoyment, is my award-winning poem, Miner’s Lament.

A few hints before you read should add to your understanding and appreciation of the poem.

  1. My father was a coal miner in Pennsylvania.
  2. He was pulled out of school in the 4th grade to work in the mines because the family needed the money.
  3. A “cage” in an elevator car used to hoist men and supplies in and out of the mines.
  4. Coalmines can run deep underground, in many cases 600 feet down or more.
  5. Mules were used to pull mine cars filled with coal and were kept in the mines all their lives. Because of the constant darkness, they eventually became blind.
  6. Miners would often share their lunch with the rats, because if miners saw rats running, it usually meant danger and the miners would quickly follow the rats.
  7. Miners often kept canaries with them because the birds were more sensitive to poison gases. If the bird died, it was time for the miner to leave.
  8. One of the jobs for children in the mines was to open and close huge doors for the mules that were pulling the mine cars. The doors regulated the flow of air in the mines. Without them, the miners could suffocate.
  9. The breakers were huge crushers mounted in tall towers that broke coal into different sizes for the various markets. Coal mixed with stone would empty into chutes on their way into the breaker. Trucks would pull under the towers to transport the coal away. “Breaker Boys” were children that sorted out the stones from the coal. The constant crushing of the breaker would produce clouds of black dust all day. If a boy lost his footing and fell into the breaker, he would be crushed to death.
  10. Early coal cars were not equipped with breaks. A sprag is a wooden wedge that a boy would sandwich between the wheel and wheel housing of the coal car to stop the car.
  11. Black damp and white damp are names for explosive or poisonous gases found underground.
  12. When a loose piece of rock fell from the roof of a mine, it often had the shape of a bell, which could range in size from a basketball to a car.
  13. Timbers in a deep mine were not there to keep the mine from collapsing. The weight would be too much for them. But prior to a cave in, the rock would often shift. When it did, the “singing” of the cracking timbers would warn miners to clear out quickly.
  14. My father died of the “black lung” diseases: an emphysema-like condition from years of breathing in coal dust.

 

Miner’s Lament

 

Pink: the color of sky,

blossom,

organ.

 

Pink, the day education ended

and heaven faded to black

in a cage dropping six hundred feet.

 

Pink, invisible in the darkness

save the lamps lighting the way

of blind mules, fat rats and sacrificial birds.

 

Dark pink after a year,

waiting in the blackness for each mule,

opening , closing, salvaging precious air.

 

Light grey after three years,

straddling chutes in the breaker’s deafening roar,

sifting stones in the black clouds.

 

Grey after seven years,

racing alongside two-tons of runaway coal car

with only sprags to stop them.

 

Dark gray after twenty years,

surviving black damp, white damp,

falling bells and singing timbers.

 

Black after thirty years,

wheezing up blood

 

and never smoked a damn day in my life.

 

 

Chuck Miceli   5/1/2015

 

 

Thanks and Good Reading

Chuck Miceli

Up and Coming – January 2016

This update will be brief. It comes late into the month for me but 2016 has had an unusual and somewhat challenging beginning. After my father-in-law suffered a heart attack and fall several weeks ago, he passed away on New Years Eve. In the interim, an upper respiratory illness I’ve been fighting for some time worsened, leaving me fatigued. We held a memorial service for Tony on Tuesday and on Thursday morning, I received a call that my 94-year-old mother-in-law fell and was taken to New Britain General, where I spent most of the day with her. Thankfully, nothing was broken and she is back now in her independent living facility again, although struggling physically and emotionally with her loss. In the process of assisting her, however, my infection worsened and by Friday I was spiking a 103.5 fever with cough, chills and uncontrollable shivering. I am now on antibiotics, steroids and various other medications and am on the mend but very fatigued.

None of the above is to lament over how 2016 has started. All of what has happened is simply part of living and my life is still infinitely more blessed than I can merit. It is simply an explanation that life has priorities and right now the care of my health and my loved ones must come before other things like writing and marketing my books. If you recently finished reading my current book, “Amanda’s Room,” I hope that you found it enjoyable and worth your time.
I believe challenges like those I have experienced lately are helpful in clarifying what is truly important in life and I welcome the reflection that such periods bring. Nevertheless, I hope that your year has begun in a less demanding manner.
I’ll provide a regular update in February, hopefully with news that will be useful and interesting. Till then.
Warmest Regards,
Chuck

 

Up and Coming – December 2015

Hello and Happy Holidays

This month’s update will be short, as perhaps it should be for this time of year, at least for me.

Right now I am in a kind of publishing limbo of my own making. With several versions and editions of my novel available at the same time, at some point, the people at Amazon just couldn’t keep them all straight. Information from the various publications spilled from one into the other. If you tried to order the paperback on Amazon, you viewed the cover from the Reader’s edition, the interior of the unpublished old version, received the Reader’s edition in the mail and for the longest time, the new California Times  edition was no where to be found. In addition, the cover image for the new hard cover version is cropped on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Amazon says it is not currently available. I have taken the steps I could to remedy the situation and now just have to wait for things to sort themselves out, which hopefully will be done within the next weeks.

 

I think this is God’s and the universe’s way of telling me to slow down a bit this holiday season and spend time doing the really important things, like spending more time with others, especially friends and family, so that is what I am doing.

I hope that you also find some space in your own life to make time for the things that are truly important and sincerely wish that this season is one of love and joy for you and all those you hold dear. May this New Year coming be full of hope and peace for all of us.

God Bless and Keep You

Warmest Regards,

Chuck

Up and Coming – October 2015

Welcome to my monthly update and thank you for your interest in my writing activities.

Here are the September highlights:

Welcome New Readers from the Big-E – I’m thrilled to have you join us. I hope you find these monthly e-mail updates interesting and useful.

Amanda’s Room

California Times Publishing (CTP) Edition – My Edits are Done! – After reviewing and incorporating over 100 pages of computer-generated edits, I have now finally finished making the changes based on their editor’s comments, which were detailed and insightful. I expect the resulting improvements will be obvious in the new edition. For those who decide to reread Amanda’s Room, I expect you will feel like you are reading the book for the first time.

Celebration Will Be In OrderIn addition to a new soft-cover and e-mail versions of the book, California Times Publishing is preparing a new book trailer, a new audio-book and a first-time-ever hard-cover edition of Amanda’s Room. To say I am excited about these developments would be a gross understatement. I am thrilled! To celebrate the “second coming” of this novel, I am thinking about a re-launch event somewhere here in Connecticut. I haven’t started the planning so I don’t have any specifics yet, but I will let you know in upcoming updates as things shape up. One thing I do plan on doing is ordering a supply of the first-edition hard-cover books to sign at the event. I will let you know the price of these books when it is determined and will plan on taking pre-orders for those who would like a signed collector’s copy from the launch.

And the Journey Toward Hollywood Continues – In addition to finishing the editing of the new CTP edition, this month I also finished editing Carl’s screenplay for movie. I loved his ideas and incorporated several of them into the new book re-write. Carl estimates it will be about eight weeks for him to finish the changes and to reduce the length of the screenplay to an ideal size. Then we will be ready to pitch it. Carl already has some contacts with studios he works with but we are open to presenting it to other producers as well. If any of you know of a studio or producer who may be interested in reviewing the screenplay, please contact me and we will be delighted to send them a copy.

Reader’s Edition and the Big-E  – I ordered an additional 50 copies of the new Amanda’s Room – Reader’s Edition to bring with me to the Big-E, where I offered both editions for sale. The results were amazing. Reader’s appreciated having a choice of versions that matched their reading preferences. Those who enjoyed the introductory weather-related quotes and discovering the links between them and the story and characters chose the full edition. Those who wanted a straight read that did not take them out of the story chose the Reader’s Edition. As a result, I sold out of more than 100 books by my last day at the Big-E and had to re-order more books for other signing events.

Angels Unaware

Back to the Bristol  Senior Center – Today, October 1, I returned to the Bristol Senior Center, the primary local for the new novel and the place where I wrote most of the draft. After getting feedback from New York agents and editors that the book was not yet ready for publication, I began the process of re-imagining it and I will start re-writing it at the Bristol Senior Center beginning next week.  Although this will significantly delay the release, I beg your patience as I am convinced it will be a far better read for it.

And Stage Lights – Still a Question – As I mentioned last month, parallel to my rewrite of Angels Unaware I enrolled in a playwriting course with the intention of writing a short play featuring one of the scenes from the book. Thus far, the time required for other projects has made this one impossible to pursue. I hope to have some definitive information on this initiative in my next update.

Events

Madison Craft Show – Madison CT – Oct 3 – 10am – 4pm – I had to cancel this event because of my book sellout at the Big-E. Other wonderful Connecticut authors will be there and I encourage you to stop by and peruse their book offerings.

Apple Harvest Festival – Harvest the Arts – Southington CT – Oct 11 – 10am – 2pm – Once again I will be on Center Street in Southington signing my books during this annual celebration of the arts. Joan LaRose will be joining me. Joan is a longtime Southington resident and a gifted poet whose book of poems, Journey, was published last year.

Timeless Creativity – Southington Care Center – 45 Meriden Ave. Southington CT – Oct 11 – 2pm – 4pm – This is the third year for this annual celebration of the art and creativity at the Southington Care Center in conjunction with the Harvest the Arts program. Residents, staff and volunteers of the center will be sharing poetry, memoirs, photography and art. I have been co-coordinating the poetry group at the center during this period and the group members will be reading their poems. I encourage any of you in the local area who can make it to attend this important event. Many of the residents at SCC are well into their 80s and 90s, and others are confined to wheelchairs with debilitating conditions, yet the participating members prove that while the body may falter, the mind can remain vibrant and create works of profound beauty. If you have a church group or youth group that can attend together, it would mean a great deal to these hard working and talented individuals. Refreshments will be served, there is ample parking adjacent to the hospital parking lot, and I will be reading two of my award-winning and unpublished poems.

7th Annual Cromwell Craft Fair – Crown Plaza Hotel – Cromwell CT – October 25 – 10am – 4pm – I will be at this indoor craft fair event selling and signing my books. This will be a great opportunity to get a jump on your holiday shopping.

Television Interviews – I have been fortunate to be interviewed on several local access television programs. After each program, the studio has sent me a DVD of the taping but because of my lack of video production expertise, I had no way of posting the information to the web for public viewing. Many thanks to my daughter-in-law Jennifer, of Miceli Productions LLC (MiceliProductions.com), for doing the video magic needed for me to post those interviews to U-Tube for all to see. You can view any of my posted interviews on U-Tube by following the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJl9eGUwY1DQv4e_LXBlbLA

Book Review – How does this sound for a novel. A person named Amanda, who slept in a pink painted bedroom, dies an untimely death. Her death leads another young woman to an abandoned mansion in a rural community that, from outward appearances, looks haunted. Our heroine is convinced that there is more to the story of the house than what others accept as truth but the more she delves into the house’s history, the more dangerous the situation becomes for her and those around her. Amanda’s Room? No.

I have just finished reading Killarney Traynor’s wonderful first novel, Summer Shadows. As I read it, the coincidental similarities between her book and mine gave me many moments of added delight. Traynor’s novel is a book worth savoring and I have posted an extensive review on Amazon.com and Goodreads. Check out the review and then check out the book. Traynor will be releasing her second book soon and I would expect we will be hearing much more about this talented writer in the future.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UCONN Waterbury Campus

President of OLLI at UCONN for the 2015/2016 Academic YearThe new OLLI fall semester is now underway. Feedback on the fall classes has been excellent and we have had several outstanding speakers during our lunchtime OLLI Café program. On September 30, OLLI program coordinator, Aleta Staton, and I made a presentation to the Connecticut Retired Teachers Association that was enthusiastically received. To obtain more information about this terrific program visit our website at http://olli.uconn.edu/

***SPECIAL NOTE  TO INTERESTED AUTHORS, TEACHERS, PRESENTERS AND OTHERS WHO LOVE TO SHARE***:  Do you have a special knowledge area you can share? Are you a recognized expert in your field? Have you developed a skill set in a unique hobby, field or avocation? OLLI members are alert and energized and they participate in the classes we offer for the pure enjoyment of learning. They are eager to explore all that life has to offer and greatly appreciate those who are willing to share their expertise. If this is you, we at OLLI would like to talk to you. Contact us and tell us what you might be interested in sharing with our members. We will send you information about the program and the particulars of teaching an OLLI course. We will also include a copy of our current course catalogue and guidelines for submitting a course proposal. You can learn more and request an information packet by contacting the campus by phone at 203-236-9924 or via e-mail at osher@uconnn.edu. If you have additional questions, you can e-mail me directly and I will be happy to discuss the opportunities further.

A Special Request – If you’ve finished reading Amanda’s Room and have not done so, I’d love to hear your reaction and would very much appreciate your adding your rating and review to those already posted.

Most reviews are posted on Amazon, and you should be able to get there directly from this link: http://www.amazon.com/Amandas-Room-Chuck-Miceli/dp/1475291973

If you are a Nook reader, you can post your review here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/amandas-room-chuck-miceli/1109800880?ean=2940148886969#reviews-header

And if you are an avid reader, you can share your thoughts, rating and review with other readers on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6492170.Chuck_Miceli

 

Know someone who has not read Amanda’s Room yet? Copies are available at the following:

 

On-line

Amazon.com (Paperback, Kindle and Audio book), http://www.amazon.com/Amandas-Room-Chuck-Miceli/dp/1475291973

BarnesandNoble.com (Paperback and Nook), http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amandas-room-chuck-miceli/1109800880

Smashwords.com (Multiple e-book formats), https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131678

Paretreepublishing.net (Paperback).

 

Libraries –

In Connecticut: Southington, Willington, Bristol, Forestville, Oxford, W. Hartford (Faxon Branch)

In Massachusetts: Dudley, Woods Hole

In Pennsylvania: Laughlin, Pittston

 

If your public library carries Amanda’s Room and is not listed above, please notify me and I will add them to the list.

If your library does not carry Amanda’s Room and would like to, please let me know and I will be happy to send them a free copy for their collection.

 

Local (In Connecticut)

The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Bradley Memorial Hospital Campus, Gift Shop, 81 Meriden Avenue, Southington, CT 06489

Tops Market, 887 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Southington, CT 06479, (860) 628-8794

The Southington Chamber of Commerce, 1 Factory Sq # 201, Southington, CT 06489, (860) 628-8036

Grace’s Restaurant, 1678 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Milldale, CT,

The Bristol Senior Center, 240 Stafford Ave. Bristol, 06010, (860) 584-7895, has copies available to loan to their members.

 

Thanks and Good Reading

Chuck Miceli,