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Monday, February 17, 2014

Crying, Tears And Their Use In Fiction

A post on a writer-related Facebook page about "She started to cry" versus the more efficient "She cried" made me curious about my "cry" scenes. And made me realize that it isn't the crying that is so important to the reader, it is the reaction to the crying.

From The Notebook

She slipped, fell backwards, and I was there to grab her shoulders and steady her. She twisted her head to look at me. Tears were in her eyes. I think a man who fails to kiss a woman when a woman wants to be kissed–needs to be kissed–is condemned to hell. A man who cannot recognize when a woman wants to be kissed lives in hell.

“I never knew it was possible to be that afraid. I know now how being that afraid could make a person snap. It really is possible to have something happen to you that is more than you can endure. I was close. I mean, I was right at the edge.”

She knew enough just to put a hand on my shoulder. She knew enough to just let me cry.

She was a damn good nurse.


"Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone,
"Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you..."

I had to pull the car over the side of the rode while I bawled like a baby. My date kept asking me what was wrong, but I just turned up the volume on the radio and increased the flow of my tears. When the song ended and my tears finally stopped, I turned off the radio and explained to my date why I was crying. Explained about Suzanne and Gladys and my sister and my mother and Dad and Gwen and Mrs. Bryson and Phil and Alex Krout.

When I finished she looked at me and said, “Why don’t you take me home now and come up for a drink?”

Male tears are an aphrodisiac to some women. At least they were to the woman who became my wife.

We named our daughter Suzanne

I hadn't thought of Mrs. Schmidt as a person before. She was just an old lady who dumped into the trash things that were highly interesting to me and often still useful.
I remember looking at Kathy and seeing her cry. What I was feeling was a strange anger. Upstairs we could hear the women laughing as they passed around plastic containers designed to hold all sorts of leftovers, while down in the basement we had uncovered a horrible truth about a woman who lived just doors away. I experienced the helplessness that the absurdity of life too often presents us.

"It isn't right," Kathy was saying. "It isn't right to lose all your sons in a war."

All I could do was dumbly nod my head.


The night before she was to leave she went to the bathroom before coming to bed with me. When she came back she had cut her hair.

"Leaving this look behind, too," she told me. "Oh, fuck, don't cry."

I couldn't help it. I was losing my life and I didn't know what else to do.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Doing One Of Those Book Signing Things

My books have now been placed in several independent bookstores in the KC area and March 7 I'll be doing a book signing at one of them, Prospero's Parkside in Blue Springs, MO. It's just east of Kansas City. The store owner, Eve Brackenbury, a poetess, pulled images from my Facebook page and did a really cool image to advertise the signing and used that image as the store's current facebook cover.

Here's the image. I'm looking forward to this evening. She also serves wine! So if you know anyone in the area, please alert them. I may bring a few liquid reinforcements myself because, to tell the truth, I'm scare as hell about the whole thing.

And I've been invited to Lawrence, KS to be interviewed on an internet radio program. Details to follow...

Nice recent reviews:

For Crazy About You

I found this story so captivating that I couldn't stop reading once I started, I happen to work at the state hospital depicted in this story and it is incredible fact or fiction, the detail that was written I could see everything he wrote so I was able to follow it with such ease and enjoyed it very much. A very believable story that seemed so familiar. I have recommended this to everyone that I know. I only found one issue with the story and that was, that it wasn't longer......Thanks Randy for such an absolutely amazing read!!!

For Heart Chants

Very intriguing story with a fascinating story line, and interesting subject matter as well, with the Navajo culture and mysticism factoring in to the plot. Heart wrenching history of the Navajo people revealed in the story. Suspenseful, fast paced, unique. Loved it, highly recommended.

For Rabbletown: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America

Once I got past the first few pages, I couldn't put this book down. It's actually a short novel but the story held my interest. The story is of an America where the government and society have been restructured along dogmatic lines that suggest christian dominionism, a nightmare christian theocracy at its height during the late 21st century. By the end of the book, I was disappointed that there was not a second book that picks up where the first leaves off. Can we hope for a Book II, Mr. Attwood?

For Tortured Truths

Tortured Truths by Randy Attwood is a suspense thriller starring Phillip McGuire a journalist who has recently escaped the claws of his middle eastern torturers. In bad shape both physically and mentally he pursues a simpler life and leaves his journalism background behind although not completely. He returns to his hometown in an effort to heal and live a simpler life, getting back in touch with old friends and opening a bar. He soon finds a mystery that needs resolving as people begin turning up dead.

The plot thickens and excitement ascends to a shreaking climax with every word in this thriller. Gruesome and colorful text flows into a string of scenes that coalesce inside the reader's mind with each turn of the page.Character's are vividly displayed through dialogue and narrative giving the reader a sense of being in the thick of the action.

A well written and most definitely stinging suspense thriller that is a must read!