Fabulous February Free Book Promotion! “Disappearance of E.A.B.”

EAB cover I

Fabulous Fellow Bloggers:

We are offering to the first 20 people who email us – a free copy of “The Disappearance of E.A.B.”

We just have one request in return: kindly give us a review on Amazon at:http://amzn.com/B00IA8SMK4

Follow this fascinating tale of a desperate young woman searching for her true identity. Witness Anna’s struggle as she grapples with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, insanity and loyalty. Will Anna find the peace of mind she seeks or will she discover the root of madness within herself.
An intriguing novel about compelling love, questionable family ties, perseverance and the connections that bind us to others-whether we like it or not.

We think this book has a great story line and could become a wonderful movie someday.
What do you think?

Email us at:solopress2@charter.net and we will happily send out your free copy.

Thank you for joining us – Enjoy the book!
Alexis Campbell Jansky
Richard Jansky
Solo Press II


“Do something, even if it is wrong!”

Notes from Alexis: Delightful thoughts on aging, hope, fear, being verbose, and just plain funny thoughts about people being irritating.


Dearest Lex,

I loved your last letter and I’m so glad you are worried about my problem of aging. It isn’t that I want you to worry, but it’s nice to have a buddy in the war.

Now if you think about it a little, you set out to study a situation I already have a modus operandi for, a M.O. I jump in with all four feet, read everything around, with gusto, and expect to rise up out of it with an answer, or a skill, or some knowledge.

Now when I did that with weaving and spinning you could say, “Oh look, Mom’s out in the swamp having fun,” but with aging you think, “We’re out in the swamp, and it’s no fun at all.” Wrong. We are out in the swamp and it is fun, but it can be a little scary if it’s not your M.O.

I was not only studying aging, but men also, since I was, and am, in the act of writing from a man’s point of view. Now I really never doubted I’d have any trouble with aging. I felt sure I knew how to catch the big one, but I really thought I was in water too deep, over my head, with men. Not so! They too can be caught.

Just this past week I have come up out of the swamp, if not with all the answers, at least with some of the questions, and that’s a big part of it.

So for my lecture on aging, as you suggested ‘fear’ might be the very rock that others would stumble against and fall, but not me. Fear has always been something to tackle for me. Whenever I found myself afraid then I would take that fear out, turn it over and around, study that sucker, look at it from every angle, then just do it. I would never let fear stop me.

No, fear was not the stopper. Lack of hope was. Can you believe it? I, who have never lost hope, have more hope than I can use – the great evangelist losing hope! It’s to laugh at, or cry, or both but it’s true. I found myself temporarily out of hope for some reason. It took me a year but I finally mixed myself up a new batch.

I’m always okay if I can do something. You know the “Do something, even if it’s wrong” syndrome. But first comes the thought. So my thought for some reason was that I was short and fat and ugly – old if you will. Well God, those are things that can be done something with. So I’ve set to with great good humor.

I changed my hair-do. I have lost some weight and firmly intend to lose some more, but evidently changing my attitude was the good part, because a man flirted outrageously with me the other day, and I’m here to tell you it didn’t hurt one bit that he was young and beautiful. Bless his heart.

My sense of humor is coming back too. I think it is funny that I was so concerned about what other people think. I have never cared before, but this time it was the right approach. It got me off my crying jag, got me moving, making a forward motion.

I have involved you in all this because I thought you would find it fun and enjoy the whole thing. If not enjoy, exactly, then certainly remember. I’m sure I’m not totally out of the swamp yet, but I’m no longer floundering around and lost. I’m full of pep and energy, piss and vinegar, and swimming for shore.

I haven’t worked out all the details yet about men, but you will hear all the gory details when I do, as I know you are all agog.

To change the subject – What is Wealth? – having five reams of lovely typing paper! You keep thinking you know what wealth is but I keep telling you that you are mistaken. Listen to Mother. I went to Active Office and told the gal I wanted 16 lb. paper and we looked and looked. We found 69 lb. and 24 lb. but no 16 lb. She asked the other girl and she hollered across the room. “Why does she want 16 lb?” I whispered to my gal, “Because it’s cheap, but one hates to yell that across the room,” and we began to laugh like a couple of loonies. She said, “Oh, come look, we have a whole bunch of 20 lb. on sale.” And there, my dear, was the loveliest paper at only $2.88 per ream which is half the price of this El Cheapo stuff I’m writing on now, and it is all the same length for God’s sake.

Speaking of paper you can’t imagine how shocked I was at your paper. I couldn’t figure out what I was seeing until I realized it was a letter. I wasn’t offended you understand, but the world finally stopped tilting when you explained. I have to tell you that you are a mite askew. You wrap your gifts in newsprint but you write on exquisite paper. I finally got the rules figured out, and then you rocked the boat with scratch paper. Please try to remember that you are dealing with someone with a very shallow nature. Down deep I’m very shallow as someone once said, and I need rules and regulations to keep me straight.

Since I am now paper rich, I am in the process of typing “Always Going” in its best clothes for some dear agent or editor, who is going to ride up on a white horse and sweep it off to a publisher.

I got up this morning with a positive picture of another chapter of “EAB,” I suddenly can ‘feel’ the middle (Part II). Before, I just wrote it and felt nothing. I am sure that is why I have felt uneasy about it.

Have also written three more good things for “Bits and Pieces” – this makes fifteen, but wordage is so small that it will take a bundle to make a book.

I told you I was writing authors, and I wrote to Aram Saroyan about his book “William Saroyan” (get it if you can). It is about his father and I grew up reading William Saroyan’s books. He, Aram, wrote me back a nice card. Besides being a beautiful looking man he named his daughters ‘Strawberry’ and ‘Cream.’ How can you not love someone like that?

D. J. had a watercolor show at the Art Gallery, I went to the reception Sunday and she really irritated me. I have put up with a lot of guff from her, as well as defended her, as she is so damned grating! She asked me what I was doing, and I told her writing, and she said “I knew you were verbose.” This means ‘wordy – too many words,’ and I took umbrage. In all the years I have known D.J. I have never been able to get a word in edgewise. She talks all the time, and it irked the hell out of me for her to say such a thing. Not that it isn’t true of course, I certainly am verbose, but it is maddening to have someone who never stops talking say it. There are two others – A. B. and D. C. – who have said the same thing more or less and both of them never shut up, never let anybody else speak. So why am I all a wroth? Good question, and if I can figure it out I shall impale them with my pen.

Well, dear here I have to stop, eat breakfast and do some “EAB” work. Found another author, James Stephens, and I love all his works, but if you read him start with ‘Deirdre.’

Will write more later.


I’m not too fat, I’m just too short!

Notes from Alexis: Ladies, I do believe she has found the most efficient way to get to the proper weight/height ratio.


Dearest Lex,

You will be happy to know that I have found a source for my pens – Active Office here in town, so that is one burden lifted from you and a vast relief to me. I love those pens so, and I hate to think I couldn’t get one when I want it.

I have now learned the manual alphabet for signing and though I am slow and awkward, I can do it. I am now hot on the trail of a deaf person to teach me signing.

Progress on writing: Have finished first draft of my memoirs called “Always Going” aka Travels. I am in fact writing it up in its ‘nice’ state ready for sale. However, I want to sell the novel first, “EAB” had been giving me fits and some of it was your fault. You didn’t like Anna wandering around sightseeing and I was having trouble knowing what to do with her for six weeks and then I woke up the other morning and it there it was. Have now written two new chapters for middle and I feel better about it.

I seem to be having trouble losing weight. Since I’m not willing to diet or exercise I have now decided that I’m not too fat, I’m just too short! So I’m going to get Dad to build me a stretching machine, a rack, let’s say. A mere increase of three inches in height would make all the difference in my weight/height ratio. (A perfect solution and one that needs promoting)

Well anyway, back to writing, enough of such foolishness. I have about 28,000 words in the form of short essays that will someday go in the book ‘Bits and Pieces’ and just this morning I thought of another one. This one is titled ‘Time’ and not bad. So now I have nearly 2½ books written. I have been writing, re-writing and typing every day and have been enjoying it very much. The rewriting is the crucial part and I like it too. It takes the pain out of the back of my neck, relieves the tension at the back of my mind.

I always feel a little uneasy about my writing until it has been rewritten, and even sometimes when a piece is finished I still feel uneasy. You know the feeling. You’ve looked at many of your pots with the same look. But what is one to do? Finished is finished. You might say, “Yes, but you could still change words and I can’t change firing.” Not true. Someone else might be able to change, but I cannot. Finished is finished.

Onward – Dad bought a truck load of logs and had them piled on Lot 1. God, there is a mountain of wood – $525 for the load. We borrowed the money from Visa. There should be 14 or 15 cords which brings the price down to about $35 a cord which is a manageable amount, a tolerable level. Besides which he won’t have to spend all his time driving, falling and loading the pickup. He might even get some help from the old lady, who knows! He can just go out and whack up enough for the year. He figures we have four years’ worth at least.

I have had a strange series of thoughts and I will entertain you with them. First I had the idea of taping “Always Going” as an audio book for some strange reason. Can’t imagine where this idea came from. Ah well, then I remembered the tapes I made for the library and went down and checked them out to listen to them again. That must have been about seven or eight years ago that I made them. There is good news and bad news. They are both good and bad at the same time. I mispronounce words and talk too fast and make noises and other crimes, but the material is so good that I found myself making allowances for the human condition of the reader (me) just for the enjoyment of the story.

I’m considering making copies of the tapes for myself. I don’t think I’m up to rereading them from scratch as new tapes. Don’t have the time, or inclination, or desire, or whatever I suppose. Still I sort of want a copy. Is this vanity? A strange thing don’t you think?

Will close for now and eat breakfast and write up “Time” for Bits and Pieces as I want to get it down before I forget it.



Love Letters to Authors

Notes from Alexis: The early day blogger. She is coming out of the groupie closet.


Dearest Lex,

Yesterday I got a Letter from Mom and in it was three pictures – two of me and one of M. when he was two or three. The two pictures of me were the ones we had gone to Yachats to get and we had failed at miserably. No letter, just the pictures, it gave me quite a start, but I feel so lucky to have them. They are the only two pictures of me throughout my childhood.

I got all fired up about our local library in Keno, even to the point of considering babysitting one day a week because I thought it was closing. I talked to B. E., the Klamath Librarian, and found it was still open, so then I talked to J. B. across the street. He publishes the Keno Star. I wanted him to run a story about it. He said it sounded like a good idea but he didn’t have time to write it, and hinted heavily that I should write something up. I wasn’t very enthused; I have never been interested in writing for newspapers.

Still I was interested in the library so I went over Thursday and met M. B. and fell in love with our little library. It isn’t nearly as grand as yours but it reminded me of all the little libraries of my life.

So I came home and wrote up an article. Dad thought it was a good idea and wanted to read it. His comment was, ‘Cute.’ So that killed it dead. I wasn’t aiming for cute.

I have been writing like a mad woman and now have a name for my life, ‘Travels in Time and Space’, known familiarly as Travels (actually became “Always Going”). I have 16 chapters written, about 40,000 words I guess, but it should end up about 20 chapters. It seems to be unrolling out in front of me like a carpet. The last three chapters have been so hard to write but I finally got them done and I’m not totally displeased.

J. B. from across the street called about something and asked about my writing. I was all enthused as usual, and then he started telling me I should send my stories out and get them published. He told me there were magazines I could read that would tell me where to send manuscripts for short stories, and I lied and said I hadn’t sent any out. I have, in fact, gotten all five of them back. I thought it was interesting that I lied to him.

For one thing I don’t really want J. involved in my writing. The nerve! Telling me as if I were a child about what I should do. It irritated me! You know the feeling. How many times have you been told what you should do about your pottery? Screech! Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me terribly that I got all five of them back. (Funny that it bothered me more to have him tell me what to do.) I think they are good and so do you, so evidently publishing them now is not the way to go.

A book of short stories is probably the way to go, and when the time is right, the stories will find their place. I cannot get myself involved in selling at this point. While I have the writing going I just have to keep at it. There will undoubtedly be plenty of time when I’m not writing to concentrate on selling. Everybody thinks selling is nothing but we know different, don’t we? I know how to write but I don’t know how to sell, and furthermore I’m not even going to learn. I never wanted to be a salesman.

I found the poem I was looking for in the funniest way. I was at the library looking for some more of Robert Graves’ poems when off to the side was a book, ‘Aspects of love’, a collection of love poems. I took it down and put it back. Love poems, indeed! I was looking for war poems. But it called to me so, I took it home and there it was. It’s by John Keats and is ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’. I have had more fun out of my search for that poem than most people have – period.

I can’t believe the kinds of luck I have with books. Just re-read Peter S. Beagle, “I See By My Outfit”. This is such a good book and if you can’t get it, I have a paperback. You also know how I feel about aging. I found a book by Phyllis Diller, ‘The Joys of Aging and How to Avoid Them’. A super funny book, and I have this one too if you want it. If you want a good laugh read it.

I have decided to write love letters to authors when I like their books. That is a complete about face for me. I have always held fan letters in contempt, until one day it dawned on me that I am going to be published, and what if I got letters and what if I don’t? I could see then that I would love to get letters. The disc jockeys used to say, “Hello is anybody out there?” and it is the same with writers. You want to know that you reached somebody.

I figure that if they get a million letters, mine will just stay on the bottom and who cares? But if they get none, or only a few, mine might matter, right? So I’ve started writing letters. I mean, if I’m going to make a career out of being a groupie, then I should be up front about it, not a closet groupie for God’s sake!

Will close and run to town but wanted to get you a letter.
Hold the good thought and you know what I mean.

Love, Mom

Two Women Linked Across Time

Notes from Alexis: Daily life, wills, and property lines all become part of the life we create and then watch play out.


Dearest Lex,

How are you? Now about writing (don’t you love it!). I just can’t believe it but I have written four very nice articles this past week. They are short, 500-1000 words, and I have three of them out looking for work. I am really pleased with them. They just seemed to flow out of the pen. Also I am about half through with next to last rewrite of EAB and feel good about that too.

I was so pleased that you wrote S. and J. about your marriage plans. They made a point of telling me. When you do things like that it makes me so proud of you. An interesting side note. I was going through some of my papers the other day and came on some thoughts I had written down lo these many years, and was struck by how they reminded me of you. There was something about the phrasing, the tone that I catch in your letters sometime. I think it is more than just association, for certainly the words were different. I think it is the age. We, all of us, tend to feel much the same at the same stages in our lives. Despair, happiness, boredom, etc. and then use the same terminology. One poet’s love sonnets sound about the same as another’s. The geniuses, of course, say it better.

It gave me a great pleasure to feel the two women linked- – me at your age and you now, a kind of kinship reference point that is not exactly blood, but time. We are just the same only different.

I have made the first effort to sell all my weaving and spinning equipment and have in fact sold the picker. I will go in later today and write another letter about selling the rest. It’s funny how I have hesitated and then it was just time and right to let it all go.

Tomorrow or the next day we will go out to Ann Burns’ and get three lambs she is giving us. She owed us one lamb and said we could have a nice big lamb or three scrawny little ones so, of course, Dad wants the babies.

I have begun to give a lot of thought to wills. This comes I think with age but also because I have spent so much time with EAB and have realized the problems ‘things’ can be to heirs. You would think M.s legacy would have made it clear, but she was they, and EAB is me.

As far as money and possessions are concerned, I have all the faith in the world that it will all work out. J. at this point in his life is greedy for things. I have a hard time understanding this kind of greed for I really have never, ever been in such a state. I would get up and walk away from any of it at any time, and have done so several times, so has M. and so have you. We are level headed and know we need necessities and are forced to drag them with us, but we could have walked off with our hands in our pockets and nothing more. I am the worst of the lot with M. a close second, but you would too. Not J. at this time, his needs are shrouded in a mist.

What I need to do very badly for my own peace of mind is to get the writing and the Frameworks all situated. What I want is for them to be cared for after my death. They have no value to anyone in this family except you so I need to burden you with them. Once they have a money value then people will step forward and volunteer, and so they have to be protected when they aren’t wanted and when they are. Isn’t it pitiful? I am not sure how to go about this. It seems strange to most people to make provisions for things that have no money value but I know you feel the way I do. Please give some thought to the problem.

Well, the most peculiar thing has happened, and there are a great many implications beyond what I will set down here, and perhaps someday I’ll be able to tell those too. The facts are these: The other day I saw C. C. (Keno Realty) downtown Keno, and spoke to her and she said she had something to tell me. It seems all our fences are wrong and that we had about half an acre over on another lot that was unfenced. I couldn’t believe it and argued forcibly. Dad doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes. So we drove out and she showed me by the map, and it was true. We have paced and studied, and there it is. The mistake Dad made was to trust the original fences. Since we owned all three lots, it didn’t matter and we didn’t have the place surveyed when we moved in.

The big problem is the greenhouse, and we sweated blood until we found that it sits on this lot, Lot 2, but only just barely and just legally. What it means essentially is that the dear trees you planted run off the middle of Lot 3. All the rose hedges and lilac hedges do too. Dad plans to move all the fences as soon as he had time and energy, but plans to move the fence on the outside of Lot 1 immediately because someone has bought the lot next to J.s and has already planted trees.

Well, will close for now and will write later or talk to you whichever comes first.


Not a good “Nagee”

Notes from Alexis: Some funny lines in this one about writing and not writing. Good for a laugh.

Dearest Lex,

I am sitting here listening to Zamfir. I have spent the last month researching all the books about cryptology and just today decided I now know more about it than I want to know. I haven’t lost interest in Decipher, but the art or the field, or whatever, is not my bailiwick and I have decided to jump ship on research. I will however, not abandon Decipher. In fact I really feel that I am getting a grasp of the thing; working on the man’s mind. I have gone down some mighty strange byways and I think they must have been trod by him too, but abandoned for the same reasons I did. Just today I noticed a strange thing about it but it is so complicated that I have to show you as it doesn’t make good reading.

It gives me prickles down my spine to realize that folks like David Kahn are out there THINKING about Decipher. We’re walking with some heavy brains here – I mean aces, top men in the field. This is a fun thing for us to do and audacious.

A couple of notes about Dad; I was telling him how I love ballet and someday I would like to see one in Boston or New York and he said, “You aim too high.” I was dumbfounded and indignant.Then, later, I told him he should nag me to write and he said, “The trouble is you don’t make a good ‘nagee’ especially when I am the ‘nagor’.” I had to laugh and agree. I definitely don’t make a good ‘nagee’. Never have, never will.

We had breakfast on the porch and the day was so lovely I cleaned some windows, but now it is clouding up and the wind has come up. I suppose that was spring.

I have fallen in love with Richard Selzer (surgeon-writer) and he may very well be the impetus I need to get writing. I’m ashamed of myself for committing the worst sins of all-‘sloth and apathy.’ Here the man is a surgeon and teacher and writes four books in the past ten years.

I was so embarrassed I went right in and started rewriting EAB. I have the first four chapters in their next-to-last state. (Everything is in a next-to-last state until actually published- – just a little joke.) I am happy with them or if not happy, then satisfied, and if not satisfied, then through. One thing I learned from weaving was to know when a thing is through.

I threw WEBS down in disgust the other day just seconds before I drove the pen through my brain, or went out and O.D. on chocolate. And there waiting for me was EAB. Why do I have to work on several things at once?

I guess the C’s are going to have a brothers-sisters only reunion. Dad has lured me into thinking about going by bribing me with a trip to Portland. I have moved the location of one part of WEBS to Portland instead of Chicago. I am going to write about places I have actually been to, and concentrate on people I don’t know anything about – criminals and surgeons. Don’t you love it? Anyway I need to walk around that section – old-town – where we got a snack at the health food store. He says he’s wild to take a day or two off and take me there if I will go to the reunion. Sounds like a’wot of jolly good fun!

Well, I guess I’ve run out of steam, didn’t have much to begin with.

Love, Mom

Rocking along day after day

Notes from Alexis: Interesting ways of finding a books story line. Plus being 55 does tend to make one stop and look at life.


Dear Lex,

I haven’t been able to write this last week as I have had a problem with ‘Tangled Webs.’ I have walked all around it, and finally saw that the problem is that I know the whole story. When I saw it from what the reader knows, then I was able to resolve it. This is such a complicated plot I have to be careful not to reveal too much too soon.

I have fallen in love with Simon and Garfunkel, got their ‘Concert in Central Park’ album. Also got a couple of Gheorghe Zamfir’s records and they are so lovely that I’ll tape them for you.

Loved to hear about your cats and mice stories. I hope bus driving smooths out and becomes as natural as rain, of which we do seem to be getting our share. The earth loves it so who am I to complain? Gwen that’s who! And Gwen bitches mightily about every inconvenience! Not to mention it has been snowing off and on for the past four or five days.

The canoe is coming along nicely. We went to a fiberglass seminar and now we feel quite a bit different – not so scared. I can’t get over the lines of it, they are so lovely. I think that boat has been a Godsend for Dad. Work has just been so hard for him lately. He goes out and works on the boat and forgets all about the job.

I can almost picture your house going up. You know you guys are going to have to plan on a greenhouse so you can control the rain. Just think, we are eating lettuce and radishes out of the greenhouse. We need it to protect against the cold and you need it to protect against water, although we have had so much rain lately that we are protecting against water, too.

I really hate it when I just rock along day after day without feeling creative and with no enthusiasm. I am so used to being hyper, that being calm is more like being becalmed, lost in the doldrums. To me the daily routine is a stagnant pool, and just think, that is the condition of most of the world and they are happy as larks.

I am grateful that I don’t have to go to work, for I barely have enough energy to get up in the morning. I feel I need to lay down and rest, and yet I am not sick. Actually I feel as if I am recuperating from a long illness, and I’m getting damned tired of it. And yet I’m not depressed or even blue. There really is no way around it, I am cruising at 55. Tell that to the Indy drivers, 55 is really just standing still.

Well, it seems I have done nothing but whine and cry around. Dad says I need some spring, but I think I’ve had about all the spring I can take. What I need is some summer.


P.S. Boy are writers weird folk. I looked at the way I was feeling and realized I had a part of the story that I needed, just that kind of feeling, and went in and wrote about it. Is nothing sacred, not even pseudo—depression?