It’s a Party!

Setting up for a virtual book release party and having so much fun.

How much food should I make? What’s the happy lighting medium between sultry cocktail party and glaring spotlights on the books? Should I gab or go for “mysterious?” Is there enough virtual parking? Is there a God? Will she be coming? Should I spike the punch for sales and then drive everyone home myself? But, you know, in the backseat behind a divider and wearing masks. But seriously, what color should I paint my nails?

TOF Book Release Party Shot

Touch of Fire: The Scoop

TouchOfFire-3D-Collection

TOUCH OF FIRE by Pam Goode
Literary Fiction

Release Date: Friday, July 24

And as of July 25, I’ll be lying on a beach somewhere, being greedily ravaged by a pounding surf and loving it.

The Official Blurb:

“In their faces I tried to see who would be the first to break our little world of pick-up sticks and easy living. I caught sight of a spark in some now and then, but I guess deep down I pretty much knew it would be me throwing the dice wild.”

Not everyone grows up with role models for love. Raised in an affluent southern community where rules are clear and secrets held close, Jenny is surrounded by expectations she rarely believes in. When her journey betrays society’s demands, her tentative belief in love makes navigating emotions much more complicated. Ostracized by family and friends and struggling through a difficult marriage with a precocious child, Jenny moves through questions and awakenings with a soulful interior dialogue, hoping to forge a truer path.

My Preferred Blurb:

Sam has a touch of fire. When we got to be almost friends he would put his hand on my shoulder when it was time to leave the parties we both went to and he said goodbye. He would come up behind me and there would be the hand and I would know it was Sam without even turning because his touch was fire. One night I went to a party and I wore a sundress with no back. When it was time I thought he won’t touch me now, not tonight. But then we were leaving and there was the hand again, on my bare shoulder this time, and it was fire. Night after night always the same and when the hand came without stopping I was hard pressed to look at him full when I said goodnight because I knew the eyes would be there and I couldn’t tell yet what they were saying. So I made goodbyes at the floor, not wanting to leave until I knew but needing the cool night air and the dark ride home to keep his touch from showing plain.

The Scoop:

I’m one of those people who doesn’t really know how to engage in polite conversation. Therefore you can count on two things.

  1. I will tell you the truth

  2. It will tumble straight out from my brain, devoid of the usual filters, timeline, and social niceties (though I did cut WAY back on the profanity).

My favorite part of this book is the humanity. There’s no hero or heroine. It’s real and it’s gritty and it follows the journey of good people learning about love and, as they say, “it don’t come easy.” You’ll have a love/hate relationship with the main character, and that’s intentional. Because you know what? We’ve all struggled. We’ve all done things that were ill-advised or worse. We’ve all, at some point, been really ill-equipped to love, muddled through with varying degrees of success, and hoped to come out on the sunny(ish) side.

It’s not James Patterson. There isn’t a neatly penned plot laid bare in short sentences with an obvious (usually) bad guy and an obvious (usually) good guy. It’s real. It’s messy. It’s love and guts.

And because of #2 listed above, some of the internal workings are told in stream of consciousness bursts because … that’s how we think, right?

And Then …

I’d love to know what you think. There’s lots of space below.

Pam

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1735174807
E-Book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CCKQVSH

There is a Hell, and it’s Pink. ish.

Okay so I’ve never really been into makeup, and for decades I’ve resented the entire 3 minutes I waste on it every morning. Well sometimes I skip. But I wear it because one of my first boyfriends, who had been dating someone else for a while when I first asked him out, but she went to another school so I didn’t really know that, said to me one night a little quizzically, “(we’ll call her Betsy) Betsy always wears a little makeup and eyeshadow when we go out. It makes me feel like she cares enough to make some effort.”

I looked at him quizzically — it was the 70’s and no one wore makeup because we were FREE SPIRITS — but he was a good guy and it was a small concession, and I’ve been doing it ever since. But not in an “ooh let’s check out the latest at Sephora!” kinda way. But there it was.

So I get that the world is focused now on the newest whatever, and I know this because every time I try to buy toothpaste at Target they’ve restocked the shelves with 15 new and improved styles of Crest and omg it takes me 15 minutes to find the most old school brand closest to the now-discontinued tube I bought last month and throw it in my cart. Sigh.

So about a month ago, I ran out of the lipstick I’ve worn for the past six years or so. I like the color, the tube, and the pure joy of being able to replenish the supply by just recognizing and grabbing 3 tubes at a time. And of course it’s been discontinued and even the tube style it came in no longer exists, which means I have to make a new selection on multiple levels, and I’m dreading it so much that I don’t walk through those doors until weeks have passed. It takes me 45 minutes of searching every nook and cranny of Ulta to accept the fact that I’ll have to pick something new, and another 30 minutes to find something similar enough to live with and calm my daily grousing, but it’s a matte, and … sigh.

What’s up with matte? I don’t care, but why??? Sigh. I take it home and dutifully apply it this morning and OMG the texture is heaven! It’s like the powder dusting fairy came down from the heavens and touched me ever so lightly on the lips and said, “Hey girl. You’ve been good. I’m gonna give you a break.” My eyes lit up and I almost broke into a smile when … I smelled a smell. I hoped someone had snuck up behind me with a bottle of tween girl perfume, but if only. No. It’s the f-ing d lipstick. My lips are so happy, and my nose wants to cough up a hairball and die. Yeah I don’t do scents either. Especially not scents clearly developed for the 6 year old scent palate.

WHY WHY WHY is there a scent in my lipstick???? There isn’t even an image of My Little Pony on the front, any mention whatsoever of a scent, and no purple baggie of gummy bears attached.

Seriously, this is just another way they kill off the old people.

Oh No!

Book Release Coming Right Up!

It seems easy enough, right? Many claim to have penned this truth: “Writing is easy. Just open a vein and bleed” — and no doubt we’ve all felt it, whether during middle school exams or penning a verse to a would-be lover.

But the truth is, writing is sometimes hard and sometimes easy, but editing and publishing can extinguish god’s own holy spark in the best of us. Not that I’ve ever been particularly holy.

Regardless, I believe I’ve just pulled myself through the last hoop atop the last hill (and yes I CAN hear you laughing in the background) and have pushed the appropriate buttons to make the July 24 release date.

Can you hear my wild self-applause????

Touch of Fire by Pam Goode, available as e-book or paperback July 24, available for e-book pre-order July 10, aka, NOW.

Pre-Order Link here. Let’s roll!

Bowling Lady Watering Can

Birds and Words

Today I got out early enough for a bit of a breeze and so many birds, The birds are a gift to my own ever-tenuous ability to hear, as well as a sort of much needed cosmic validation that stretches between us. I’m still here and you’re still here, and some knowing of that life spark passes between us.

When I walk, the words flow, quite unlike the way they sit, box-like, arms crossed and eyes shut tight to truth, when I’m still. I often invite them quite graciously to join me at the table, but they know my tricks. And more, they know the cage has to rattle for truth to escape.

So I use my legs for the rattling. They say exercise saves lives. I say that much of that rebirth springs from the ground and heads straight to the page.

Birds in Tree Crop

Touch of Fire by Pam Goode — Get it While it’s HOT!

Sam has a touch of fire.

Who needs a HOT summer read?

The Touch of Fire release date is barreling ahead, and will also be available for pre-orders. Let me know if you’d like to be on the list for updates. You’ll need a way tall glass of something nice and cool.

Pawleys Hammock Bright

Telling Stories

Heart in Stone
Hello Hello!
I’m Pam and I’m a mosaic artist. Mostly. Just not right now.
Twenty years. I’ve made mosaics for TWENTY years, and the first thing that happened when I started worrying about our global situation was my loss of any interest in art. I don’t know why, but I suspect my soul was pushing me in a direction it felt I needed.
During the first few days of self-quarantine, I did what everyone did — we cleaned. Now I’m not much of a cleaner, but when high anxiety hits, I become a frenzied organizer. It felt good and positive, and somewhere along that path the universe threw an old manuscript my way and said, “It’s time.” And you know what? It was time.
So I dusted off that hard copy, paid my daughter to type it up, and dove in. I’ve spent almost every quarantine day working at the table on my front porch to birdsong and endlessly fascinating skies. I’ve walked miles through my neighborhood studying the trees and other walkers, the aftermath of storms, and human resilience, and then written about those in snippets for Facebook. And I finished the book. Eep!
Back in the old days, some lucky souls were able to sit down, write a masterpiece, hand it to their agent, and hang out at the farm or the beach or Studio 54 until copies were rolling off the press.
These days anyone can publish and sell on their own. The only requirements are:
1) Some sort of topic and then some words,
2) A psychic ability to format your work by carefully following the exact details for your specific software as it would have appeared multiple upgrades ago (which are no longer available for use) and somehow making that work,
3) The willingness to trash and redo the manuscript page number formatting daily for weeks until you magically hit upon the exact sequence required — and can instantaneously press save before it reverts.
I’m so close. And yes I’m thrilled to be almost done. And yes, the difficulty of properly formatting with outdated instructions has dimmed my ardor a bit, but it has also doubled my excitement over scaling this Everest of a platform.
So I’ve done it. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of me. I’m proud of my supportive family. And I’m mostly proud that I wrestled that bitch software to the ground.
There are stories everywhere — in the trees, the glance of a stranger, in our children, on the open road, or even last night’s pizza. You just have to be open to the whispers.
I’m guessing you have a story somewhere inside. Will there ever be a better time to sit on the porch and start? Even if you don’t finish, I wholeheartedly believe that these are the days for introspection, hard questions, a clearer vision, and coming to terms with your life, your love, your choices, and your future.
And when you finish, I’d love to read it.

On My Walk: Six Sisters

Six SistersWhen I was younger with kids at home, there were days when the heat of South Carolina, which normally just lay on you like a suffocating stillness, took a turn. When I sensed the change I’d grab them both and we’d walk and run and skip to the end of the street across from the bay. Though we couldn’t feel it six houses away, some force in that spot gathered up the breezes from the water and spun them by their tails, and we’d stand with our faces upturned and our arms stretched wide so that as much of our bodies as possible could catch that magic and let it run right through us in an unexpected gift of renewal.

I spotted these six sisters on a walk yesterday. They’re watching and pulling for us, and I’m pulling for them too.

Creating a Life: Inspiration from Orvieto

Pamela GoodeThere are those who ask me why I love to travel. In a few words: the exploration, the reversion to a simple and spare life, the crisp solitude of being alone in a new culture and unfamiliar language. Quite simply, stripped of my accustomed ways of being, I open my eyes and see. I remember who I am (and who I am not) and redefine the ways I want to experience my finite number of years. Travel sets me free to choose anew and gives me focus.

Below are a few things I’ve learned about myself during a cultural immersion week in Orvieto, Italy, and a handful of images to remind me when I’m tempted to give in to big city ways and forget.

I Want to Live a Life

I want to live a life on the edge — a life between consciousness and culture, between solitude and community, with easy access to the gifts of both.

Adventures in Italy

I want to live a life where city walls both shield and embrace, but also beckon me past my accustomed boundaries.

I want to live a life engulfed in scents and tastes and textures, with visual surprise around every corner, be it a new village or a just-unfurling jasmine bud.

I want to live a life where the strong and stalwart and majestic serve as constants for the fragile, a land where the porosity and lightness of stone do nothing to diminish its fortitude.

I want to live a life where both the dead and the living are honored, and joyously — a life where Etruscan tombs from 400 BC sit beneath the waving of wild cherries, and a waiter from lunch three days ago will wave you down in the lane for a smile.

A life where it’s okay to say hello to anyone you pass, to acknowledge life wherever it exists, including your own.

I want to live a life on many levels, from the surety and abundant offerings of ground and field to the communal path, the surprise and joy of rooftop gardens, the soaring art on soaring cathedrals to cotton ball skies and Jupiter shining above the lane after dinner in Charlie’s gardens.

I want to live a life where children in gingham smocks gather magnolia leaf bouquets and squeal with delight, where song is a part of every day’s curriculum, where physical safety is a given.

I want to live a life as many-layered as this cypress, this town, these rooftops.

I want to live a life with as much community as these vibrant streets and as much peace as these convent gardens.

I want to live a life as broad as this vista, completely unbounded by my psyche and conventions, my habits and my fears. I want a life with such clarity and vision that all of my options are recognizable.

I want to live a life where unexpected joy exists stunningly, and sometimes consists only of a gathering of simple greenery. Where the breezes dance, where the air is cool and clear and food holds the tastes of sunshine, rain, and origin.

People ask me why I travel. I travel to pull myself out of daily habits and rituals that keep me from growth. I travel to empty and refill my soul, to recapture moments that makes my heart beat faster.

So Go. See. Assimilate. Love It Up and let it make you better. And do whatever it takes to sear those images and awakenings onto your heart for the days ahead. Take photos. If there’s one thing I’ve learned taking 57 million photos of life, it’s this: turn around. From every position, there are at least two views, and they will constantly surprise you.

P.S. I’m very blessed to be traveling for six weeks in Italy and Ireland. Endless thanks to Adventures in Italy for giving me the fabulous opportunity to teach, to the loving and adventurous  group that accompanied me to Italy, to Olive Stack Gallery in Listowel Ireland for gifting me an entire month to explore and create, to the inimitable and wondrous Olive herself, and to Laura McRae Hitchcock, best residency partner on the planet. You can read more about my Irish adventures for the month of June at https://exciraanddelira.wordpress.com. Love to All!

Little Hurricanes

Prettier in Paris

My daughter arrived on Wednesday, creating a little hurricane in my carefully organized room, and isn’t that what we all need? Someone to stir the pot, to rustle us from the same old, to say “no” to our plans and shoulder us into the new?

She was ten when we first came here together, posing beneath the miniature Statue of Liberty in Luxembourg Gardens and dressed all in purple and pigtails. She won’t let me show the photo and she knows a secret: Honor the past, but don’t let it define you. I need to remember that myself.

Dressing this morning, she pulled a straw-like and scythe-shaped grey hair from her locks and held it toward me. I told her it didn’t belong there and not to worry; it had most likely blown off the weathered head of a boat captain as we walked along the Seine last night. Another gift from getting outside your self. He knows secrets too, but we decide to only imagine them.