Sharon E. Cathcart's Blog

July 17, 2015

I have been thinking a lot about Disneyland's 60th Anniversary today. I am not there ... but my heart is.

The first time I visited Disneyland was in 1987; I was 23 years old. I was in Anaheim to see David Bowie's Glass Spider tour and was, in fact, the only person at the Angel Stadium TraveLodge who wasn't part of the concert crew. Anyway, the hotel had a van that would take you to Disneyland and pick you back up on a certain schedule, so I took the one day I had to make my childhood dream come true.

When I was a little girl, I would dream about visiting Disneyland. My mom had one of the full-color souvenir books the park used to publish and I would look at it for hours, imagining myself riding one of the pack mules or riding the carousel. I waited (probably impatiently) for Sunday nights, when we had Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" and "Wonderful World of Disney." I was allowed to stay up until 8:30 on those nights (my usual bedtime was 8).

When the re-runs of "Mickey Mouse Club" came on, I watched every day after school. I was teased mercilessly in junior high about my Mickey Mouse folders and notebooks ... and I couldn't understand why someone would try to hurt someone over what they loved.

So, that one day in 1987 was a *huge* thing for me. I had no way of knowing whether I would ever get there again. It was the year that Captain EO and Star Tours opened, and the lines were insane for those two attractions. So, I decided to visit as many of the things I could that I remembered from that old guide book -- most of which aren't there anymore, like the Rocket to the Moon. It was a wonderful day.

I'm happy to say that I've been back many times since, and that Disneyland remains one of my favorite places on the planet. I always feel safe and happy there.

Today I'm wearing my Mary Blair caterpillar necklace, my One Hundred and One Dalmatians watch, and makeup from my Belle and Alice in Wonderland palettes (I have a Snow White one, too). I am grateful to the man whom I think of as "my Uncle Walt" for sharing his dream with all of us.
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Published on July 17, 2015 08:48 • 43 views

July 5, 2015

All of my eBooks are 50 percent off on Smashwords through July 31. Visit https://www.smashwords.com/profile/vi... and enter SSW50 at checkout to get the discount!
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Published on July 05, 2015 09:15 • 33 views
You may recall that I had issues with Scribd way back in the beginning of my career as an independent author. If you don't, here's the blog post where I sum it all up: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

I only returned to Scribd as a single plank in my distribution platform, to be honest. Were it not for Smashwords' distribution arrangement with them, I doubt I would have done so. You may also rest assured that my opt-in was somewhat reluctant, but still cautiously optimistic.

Well, they've now cut Clytie's Caller, In The Eye of The Storm: A Novel of the Phantom of the Opera, and Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes: The Omnibus Edition from their listings (while leaving In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera, Through the Opera Glass, and the entire rest of my catalog). Why? Because they're cutting out romance titles (why they left half of my series is beyond me ... especially when the two they cut are primarily classified as historical fiction).

More particulars at the Smashwords blog.
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Published on July 05, 2015 07:32 • 62 views

July 1, 2015

Full disclosure up-front: Susan Helene Gottfried was my editor for The Rock Star in the Mirror. I have read and enjoyed her entire ShapeShifter series. In other words, we both "do" rock fiction.

Susan, along with Jett Ostra, runs a fabulous review blog called The Rock of Pages. Jett does what she calls "coveting" posts, where she talks about a new piece of rock fiction that she's seen, and may be interested in reviewing.

Why do I tell you all of that?

Because a book series about which Jett wrote one of those coveting posts had very vague cover description -- not much plot information, no character names, etc. She literally could not decide whether she wanted to read it.

And the author and friends decided it was time to dogpile.

Susan wrote a lovely rebuttal, which you can read here.

Your book description and its jacket art are the only opportunity you have to pull someone in to see if they want to look inside your book. It's important that the "romance copy" be enticing and the cover professionally done. They are what Walt Disney called "the weenie" -- the thing you offer to get people to take a closer look at your product.

I also want to take this opportunity to remind my fellow authors that it serves no one to respond to a review. It just makes all of us look unprofessional.

Thus endeth my two cents on the matter.
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Published on July 01, 2015 05:54 • 78 views

June 27, 2015

Les Pensees Dangereuses by Sharon E. Cathcart Today's sample is in honor of yesterday's SCOTUS ruling. Enjoy!

The Best Thing I've Ever Done (Blog, 11/15/08)

Today I was part of the national marriage equality protest. It was beyond a doubt the best and most important thing I have ever done.

There were approximately 2,500 people at the demonstration in San Jose. The organizers read letters from Reps. Honda and Lofgren supporting the cause. Our newly elected Supervisor spoke and gave us his support. Our elected member of the Board of Equalization, the only out lesbian elected official in the county, spoke. Leaders from the interfaith community spoke.

We chanted. We sang "We Shall Overcome." We held hands. We waved at people who honked their automobile horns in support. We jeered the guy who actually pulled over his car to get out and flip us off, yelling about straight rights. I responded to him: "I'm straight too." He and his girlfriend kept up their crap until someone in the crowd threw a Starbucks cup at them and then they got back in their car and left. We had one counter-protestor across the street with a sign that said "Yes on 8, No Gay Marriage." He was peaceful, and when he was ready to leave he asked one of the policemen who were there to please walk him back to his car.

I only left (after two hours) because my hypoglycemia started to get the best of me; I had been too keyed up to eat.

Let me tell you what the most amazing part was. There were four groups of us that marched from different directions and converged at City Hall for the rally. As soon as we got there, I began to just bawl. This is one of the few times in my life that I have genuinely felt the presence of the godhead. I felt a fullness inside me that had no explanation and it took me half an hour to stop crying. The beautiful prayer by the minister from the Metropolitan Community Church, which started "God of the redwoods, god of the ocean, god of the summer breeze and of cool November mornings, thank you for being with us here today" was very moving and spoke to the pagan in me.

I thought, "This is a man who might have been able to bring me back to church a few years back."

I am so glad I was part of this national protest.

What do we want?

Civil rights.

When do we want them?
NOW.


Buy "Les Pensées Dangereuses" on Smashwords
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Published on June 27, 2015 08:15 • 36 views

June 20, 2015

Here is a bit from the draft of "Two Days in June," my WIP, which has a) been resurrected with a different purpose in mind (never throw anything away that you have written, mes amis), which is to b) appear in next year's charity anthology, "30 Days Later." Enjoy!

“A toast to fallen comrades, my friends. General Lamarque has gone to his reward.”

Grantaire drains Bahorel’s glass and smacks his lips in satisfaction as he returns it to his dismayed companion.

“What do you know of the funeral plans,” Combeferre inquires. “Surely there will be a procession, with catafalque and all.”

“Indeed,” Feuilly joins in. “The people of Paris will want to pay their respects.”

“We must find out,” Enjolras speaks with authority. “For we may well use this somber occasion to make a change for the better, all over France.”

Grantaire sees the familiar light in his friend's eye and shakes his head.

“Innkeeper,” he calls out genially. “More of your wine, and good meat pies, for all. Plotting has ever been hungry work.”

With that, he throws some coins on the table. The innkeeper’s daughter snatches them up when she brings the requested items, barely acknowledging Grantaire as she slaps trays on tables.

And so it is that the night wears on, in discussion of weapons, gunpowder and treason. Revolution has ever been thus.
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Published on June 20, 2015 06:08 • 35 views

June 15, 2015

Hi, everyone. I did a brief interview with fellow author Wayne Turmel, where we talked about Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes: The Omnibus Edition. You can check it out right here: Sharon Cathcart, History Building on Literature
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Published on June 15, 2015 06:09 • 76 views

June 1, 2015

I have been out of touch for a little while due to personal emergencies, but I am back now -- and grateful to all of you who read my communications. A lot of things have happened since I last wrote.

The first thing I want to share is that the omnibus edition of my Phantom of the Opera novels and the award-winning related short story collection has been released. You can find "Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes" in paperback at this link: Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes

I'm working on eBook formatting right now, and will share that information as soon as it's available.

Speaking of eBooks, I updated "You Had to Be There: Three Years of Mayhem and Bad Decisions in the Portland Music Scene" for this year and the eBook is out now. Check it out here (paperback updates coming soon): You Had to Be There

Finally, and most important, I was an editor and contributor to "Twelve Hours Later," a special anthology of short stories. Proceeds from eBook and paperback sales are benefiting local libraries. You can buy it here: Twelve Hours Later

So, what's on the horizon?

Mark your calendars for July 25: The Treehouse Writers (my author group) are having a book signing for "Twelve Hours Later" at the Linde Lane Tearoom, 140 N. Jackson Street, in Dixon, Calif. We'll be there from 2-5 PM signing books and meeting new friends.

On October 3, I'll be teaching a workshop, selling books, and meeting new friends during Steam House Con, which will be held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock (full event schedule is October 2-4). Lots of information on their website: Steamhouse Coffee Co.

I'll be updating more on these and other events as the dates grow closer.
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Published on June 01, 2015 11:03 • 42 views

May 9, 2015

You Had to Be There   Three Years of Mayhem and Bad Decisions in the Portland Music Scene by Sharon E. Cathcart

Through all of this, I was going to shows at least once a week at The Metropolis. The only way to learn the “scene” was to go out there and check out the bands. In doing so, I found that I wasn’t as “punk” as my high school classmates thought. In fact, I disliked hardcore punk and most of its sub-genres as much as I did heavy metal.

To me, music must have three elements: rhythm, melody and harmony. I played piano, violin and guitar, and also sang (choir and theatre). I had a grounding in classical music as a result, and a correspondingly particular ear. As I’ve said before, my taste is eclectic; I’ll give just about anything a listen in order to formulate an opinion. Hardcore, thrash, et al., were not my cup of tea.

I loved David Bowie, Roxy Music, Human League; in other words, the “art school” performers. It was one of the things that made me such a fan of Theatre of Sheep. I liked the more cerebral sound.
At the same time, I liked a good dance band like Billy Rancher’s, the mod and rockabilly resurgence coming out of Europe, some pure pop mainstream acts like The Police; it was hard to put my taste into one simple box.

One of the bands I heard at the Met was a trio called The Van Goghs. They had an edgy, mod sound and I liked them a lot. I approached their manager about doing an interview that I would pitch as a freelancer to Two Louies, the local music paper. He and the band were amenable, so I wrote it up and gave it to them for a fact check.

Buy 'You Had to Be There' on Smashwords
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Published on May 09, 2015 06:41 • 34 views

May 8, 2015

Twelve Hours Later  24 Tales of Myth and Mystery by BJ Sikes Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes  The Omnibus Edition by Sharon E. Cathcart

How is it possible that more than a month has passed since my last blog post? Tempis fugit, indeed!

Well, here is what's happening: I am celebrating two book releases this month. Seen Through the Phantom's Eyes: The Omnibus Edition consists of my two novels, In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera and In The Eye of The Storm: A Novel of the Phantom of the Opera, as well as the award-winning short fiction collection, Through the Opera Glass. I have expanded glossaries and added historical photographs to make this a truly special edition.

Twelve Hours Later: 24 Tales of Myth and Mystery is a special anthology, created by my local writing group. Twenty-four stories by fifteen authors, representing a single day. I have two stories in this volume, Nous sommes deux heures and Nous sommes quartorze heures (2 AM and 2 PM, respectively). Look for some new adventure in the Opera Garnier here, along with some outstanding new works by some of the finest authors you'll ever want to read.
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Published on May 08, 2015 13:56 • 80 views