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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Anxiously awaiting November...

but not for the reasons you might think. Sure, all of the political crap will be over and we won't have to hear about how terrible Palin is or how inadequate Obama is. We'll have discovered our fate shortly after the first of the month, so we can enjoy the rest of it. What I'm referring to is the release of the new Madagascar movie! I just can't wait to see it. The truly funny thing is that my daughter, who will turn five in November, tells me that she doesn't want to see the movie. Hilarious. She would rather listen to my Lisa Scottoline audiobooks in the car while we're driving to daycare. Could it be that something is wrong with this picture?

It's been a stressful year for everyone. November will be great for lots of reasons. Aside from the election, it will bring the start of the holiday season. It's my favorite time of year. I get to have a birthday party on the 9th for my daughter and then plan for vacation around Thanksgiving, and then start shopping for Christmas. Obama and Palin will be the furthest things from my mind at that point.

We get so caught up in the politics, the economy and all of the crap, that sometimes it seems like there will never be any more fun. November is a time when I can get centered again and remember how much I enjoy seeing my daughter's face light up when she opens her birthday gifts and hearing her rattle off an endless list of things she wants for Christmas. I get to spend more time with family and see people I might not have seen in a while. They tend to come out of the woodwork during the holidays. And then there are the parties. It's just such a happy, festive time.

What are you looking forward to? When it's all said and done, what part of the year makes you the happiest?

Until next time...

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Withholding your book=Withholding your love...

Or something along those lines. I was just reading about Author Stephenie Meyer and her decision to put her final installment in the Twilight series on hold as a means of protesting the distribution of illegal copies of this manuscript. You can find it here. It hit me funny. I thought, "What kind of message are you sending to your readers by doing this?" She argues that the distribution of the book was a "a huge violation of her rights as an author as well as her rights as a human being." Come on! I don't know her personally, but I do believe Ms. Meyer exhibits a tendency toward the dramatic.

This is probably going to make some writers angry, but I believe that it only hurts the reader when authors do things like this. No matter what the reason for withholding the book, the reader is the one who suffers. A writer should be able to find a more creative way to deal with such blatant violations of their rights without punishing their audiences. Yes, it's a big bummer that the story was leaked and that an unedited, sloppy version of it was allowed to be distributed to people. But, does she really think that her readers wouldn't understand this if she had simply made a statement that the book that has been put out there is not the correct version of the story? She's not giving her audience any credit for being able to understand that this is not the book she intends to publish.

How do you feel about this issue? If your manuscript were to somehow leak to the public before it was in top form, would you throw a tantrum and take all of your toys home with you, never to be shared again? I'd like to know where you stand.

Until next time...

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No phone calls, please...

Ordinarily, I will not entertain phone calls from organizations looking to solicit. Whether they want me to buy something, donate something or just complete a survey; I generally tell them within the first five seconds that I don't want them to call me again. This happens just before I hang up on them. I don't like to be pestered with that stuff, especially night after night. I shit you not, in one night, I received three calls from various deputy's associations asking me to support their causes, one recorded message from John McCain(I have no idea how he got my number), and another call from some magazine wanting me to renew my subscription. Jesus, people, enough is enough.

On the rare occasion that I allow telemarketers to speak to me, I have been known to tell them that I don't have enough money to buy a gallon of gas, much less contribute to funding a cause I don't believe in. That's always a fun conversation. Tonight, however, I was feeling rather charitable. No pun intended. I received a call from an organization which I fully support, asking me to sign a petition regarding the availability of medication to end pregnancies. I've been struggling alot with this issue. As you may or may not know, I have had some difficulty maintaining pregnancies over the years. In fact, I'm coming up on what was to be the due date of our second daughter in just a few weeks and I've been having some trouble with it. It didn't seem like the best time for them to have approached me with this topic, but I stopped myself from snapping at the poor girl on the other end of the line because I realized that my personal feelings about this issue were also affected by another challenge I faced many years ago. When the girl asked me if I would allow them to e-mail me a petition to sign, I was surprised to hear myself saying, "Yes."

Torn between my feelings about not being able to have another child and having also been the victim of a sexual assault during my early twenties, I found that I had no choice but to say, "Send me the e-mail." I realized as I thought about her question that as difficult as it has been for me to have a child, I'm not sure I could have lived with becoming pregnant as the result of a rape. I was lucky. Although it has been over fifteen years, if I let myself think too much about what happened I still feel as victimized as if it were happening today. To put it mildly, it's a terrible thing to have gone through and I sympathize with any woman who has had to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy that was the result of such an attack.

I do not, however, look at terminating pregnancy as an issue to be taken lightly. I have strong opinions, due to my own struggles, about whether or not this is a good idea. It only makes sense that every woman would have her own opinions and concerns about the matter. Depending upon your experience with sex, pregnancy, relationships, children, etc., you're going to see this issue differently than the woman sitting next to you. The point is, you can't make this topic fit neatly into anyone's idea of what is right and wrong. That's why I let the girl speak and that's why I ultimately agreed that I would sign this petition. Any woman who has to make this choice, has enough to worry about. They certainly don't need me working against them on the basis of some standard of morality that I set for myself. That standard simply doesn't apply to anyone but me. It is my idea of what's right, of what I could live with.

This post is alot touchier than those I usually put up. After weeks of blogging about the election and our choices in candidates, I was a little worried that readers might think I was getting too mouthy or too politically involved. Well, sorry if that's your take. I simply believe that it is very important for women to talk about these issues and to take an active role in making the big decisions in their lives. While I enjoy blogging about my writing, I can't do that honestly without writing about these kinds of topics. They are the types of things that influence and motivate me to write. Without them, it wouldn't matter.

I still don't want to be called by solicitors during dinnertime and I definitely don't want to be pestered to death by recorded phone calls from political candidates. I do however, want to make decisions based on what is best for most people and what makes the most sense outside of what are basically my own personal preferences. I don't want to be part of a problem that stems mainly from people who are more concerned with protecting their egos than acting in the best interest of people in need. So, now you know. If I'm on your list of people to call, keep this in mind.

Until next time...

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

Reviews for Rebecca Benston

“You'll find yourself looking forward to more stories from the files of Rona Shively.”

Michelle Shealy, Reviewer for


“Rebecca Benston has written a detective with plenty of suspense…I hope there will be a sequel…”

Annick, Reviewer for Euro-Reviews


“The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book.”

Lucille P. Robinson, An Alternative Read


“Rebecca Benston’s twists, turns, and descriptions are utterly engaging.”

Tracy, Fallen Angel Reviews


“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

Janet Davies, Once Upon a Romance Reviews


“Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.”

Connie Harris,


“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

Anne K. Edwards,