Three things

First. This is the last day the Kindle edition of my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, will be on sale for $.99. So please grab your copy before midnight.

Here’s what a few reviewers had to say about it:

…Leaving the Hall Light On left me in tears. It is a heart wrenching book; I could not put it down.  Anyone who wants to learn how to live with children or adults with bipolar disorder, must read this book.

…I could imagine that this book might be helpful for those dealing with bipolar disease or suicide in the family, but for those of us fortunate enough not to have yet experienced those problems, it also provides a very real look into how good but human people deal with the cruelty of fate.

…Suicide does not just end one life, it can destroy others. Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide is the story of a mother coping with the reality of her son’s choice of suicide. Sharing her own story and with words of encouragement for other mothers facing this pain, as well as wisdom on bipolar disorder, Leaving the Hall Light On is a moving read of tragedy, trying to prevent it, and coping with life after.

…The storytelling is compelling and brutally honest. Aside from its considerable literary value, my hope is that many will read this book to better prepare them and those they know should a similar tragedy befall them.

Second. I’ve worked all this week cutting words out of my novel. – and that means sitting in my chair for two-three hours at a time (with no internet interruptions), reducing one word or one phrase at a time. Sometimes it also means turning a sentence into active voice – a good way to cut out unnecessary words.

It’s slow going. I read each sentence over two or more times as I go, and so far, I’ve cut 1,291 out of 86 pages. The good part is I only have 255 pages and 101,761 words to go.

@methodwriting

Third. This is the best part, I’m reading poetry by Charles Bukowski*. You may wonder why I’m doing that while I’m so busy cutting words. Well, I’ve decided to take a writing class with Jack Grapes** – I worked with Jack for over five years back in the early 2000s, and I decided it was time to get his very astute wonderful input on my work again. We decided I would write like another poet, and he picked Bukowski for me, with the following instructions:

“Write like him, his tone, his attitude, his outlook on people and life, 
his style, etc. But write about your own life, not his life. 
But it’s as if you were taken over by his voice, his attitude, 
his voice, his way of thinking and looking at the world.”

And I can’t put Bukowski’s work down.

I’ve already written a draft of my first poem and I’m thinking about the second. I’m very excited to work with Jack again.

Here’s a poem by Charles Bukowski:

A Close Call While Shopping

pushing my cart through the supermarket
today
the thought passed through my mind
that I could start
knocking cans from the shelves and
also rolls of towels, toilet paper,
silver foil,
I could throw oranges, bananas, tomatoes
through the air, I could take cans of
beer from the refrigerated section and
start gulping them, I could pull up
women’s skirts, grab their asses,
I could ram my shopping cart through
the plate-glass window…

then another thought occurred to me:
people generally consider something
before they do it.

I pushed my cart along…

a woman in a checkered skirt was
bending over the pet food section.
I seriously considered grabbing her
ass
but I didn’t, I rolled on
by.

I had the items I needed and I rolled
my cart up to the checkout stand.
a lady in a red smock with a nameplate
on
awaited me.
the nameplate indicated her as
“Robin.”

Robin looked at me: “how you doing?”
she asked.

“fine,” I told her.

and then she began tabulating my
purchases
not in the least knowing that
the fellow standing there before her
had just two minutes ago been
one grab from the
madhouse.

©Linda Lee Bukowski – used with permission

* Henry Charles Bukowski was a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.
Born: August 16, 1920, Andernach, Germany; Died: March 9, 1994, San Pedro, CA

** Jack Grapes is an award-winning poet, playwright, actor, teacher, and the editor and publisher of ONTHEBUS, one of the top literary journals in the country. He has won several publishing grants and Fellowships in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. He’s also received nine Artist-in- Residence Grants from the California Arts Council to teach writing in various schools throughout Los Angeles.

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