"I brought a copy of my book with me," I told Mom, "But Mike bought it."
"What book?" she asked, puzzled.
"I told you last time I was here. I wrote a book."
"No you didn't."
"Yes I did." Mom's eighty four years old. She frowned, a kind of puzzled look on her face... like maybe I did tell her but she forgot. She's still young for her age, goes bowling every week.
"What kind of book?"
"Science fiction. You wouldn't like it, there's some harsh language."
"Oh, that's normal these days," she said.
"I should read some James Patterson," I said. "Almost every time I see a woman with a book, it's one of his. I need to find out what it is about his writing that women like so much. That guy must be a gillionaire."
"There's a James Patterson book by the door you might like," she said."It's his only science fiction book. I didn't care too much for that one."
"What does he usually write?" I'm thinking it's probably romance novels, fifty shades of green paper and the like.
Mom loves murder mysteries, always has. I never cared much for them, I guess it's a woman thing and why Patterson is so popular among women. Although I did enjoy Asimov's "Baily" trilogy, but I don't think I ever read anything by Asimov I didn't like.
I've been reading the book she gave me, When the Wind Blows.
Maybe it's hubris, but I think I write better than he does, especially since he has editors and proofreaders and typesetters. The story's pretty good so far, though. He's readable.
I did find a problem with my own writing Saturday. Betty came by with a friend who cleaned houses, and mine's filthy, so she brought her over to meet me. I'm going to pay her fifteen dollars for an hour's work Saturday mornings.
"I love your book," Betty said. "I'm on chapter three, I think. Except... some of those big words... are they real words I can look up in a dictionary?" She took a hit off the doobie and passed it to her friend, whose name I've forgotten.
"Most of them," I said. "Some are made up, like 'Stratodoober'."
I thought of the character in Mars, Ho!, the book I'be been working on but neglecting. "I ain't never went to college," the character says.
Betty's friend grinned and looked at me. "Yeah," I said. "It's something you get high with.
"Damn," Betty said. "I'm zombified. We have to go and I just want to sit here!"
They left and I got back to work on The Paxil Diaries. To use an old blacksmithing cliche, I have too many irons in the fire. I'm getting "Paxil" in printable form because people keep requesting it, getting Nobots into paperback form, working on the Mars book, and I've started one about my old Quake site. The computer's aging battery died, so I plugged it in and picked up the Patterson book.
He doesn't write bad, I'm sure I'll finish it. Nowhere near as bad as Stephen King says he is. King says Patterson "is a terrible writer, but very successful."
Marketing beats quality every time. That's a skill I wish I had.
Half a dozen people at Felbers have said they want to read Nobots, so I left a copy there yesterday. I guess I need to order some more...