Supermoon love


Lately, I’ve been working on two long projects: Belinda Blue Brown’s story, which I’ve been posting here, and a sequel to my memoir, Reversible Skirt.

Shifting gears

Belinda’s story is at a point where I need to draft away and not worry about whether it’s good enough for public consumption. The second memoir also isn’t at a stage where I’d be comfortable posting excerpts from it here.

Based on how the two projects are going, it looks like the memoir will shape up faster than Belinda’s story.

Then it’ll be time to figure out the best way to share it with, well, you, dear readers.

A new project

Thus, I need to regroup and consider what kinds of posts would be enjoyable for you to read and fun for me to produce. My most successful blog project to date was weekly flash fiction, which I continued for more than a year. I culled from those to create my flash fiction collection, The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song.

IMG_0986I want to do something different today, so I’m going to snap pictures with my iPhone and write tidbits to go with them. These could be fact or fiction or maybe even poetry.

So, here goes.

Supermoon Love

By Laura McHale Holland

IMG_0849Twilight. June 23. Jim and I leash up our pups, Romeo and Leo, climb into our Ford Escape and drive through the Sonoma countryside to view the supermoon, which occurs annually when the moon is closest to the earth in its elliptical orbit.

We veer southwest after a while and get out to romp above Dillon Beach in Marin. It’s cold, dark and windy, though. Even the dogs cower in the face of the biting gusts from the sea. So that part of our excursion is short, but invigorating.

IMG_0994If it weren’t for Jim, I wouldn’t be admiring the supermoon. I probably wouldn’t know when to set the clocks forward in the spring and backward in the autumn, either.

Nor would I wash the car, watch Game of Thrones and The Newsroom on HBO, clip the juniper in our front yard.

But most of all, without him, I wouldn’t wend my way home after hours of editing at my day-job, and know that I am loved.

The next supermoon will be Aug. 10, 2014.


A stunning review of Reversible Skirt

I stumbled upon this review of my memoir, Reversible Skirt, on Goodreads. It’s by a member named Ana:

“Reversible Skirt is probably the most honest and gripping memoir I’ve read. McHale Holland is on my top 10 of writers writing today. She’s managed to tell a tragic story fraught with emotion without the poor poor pitiful me some writers might have fallen prey to.”



I’m on a blog tour

I’m not ready to post this week’s story yet, but in the meantime, I thought I’d post the links to the blog tour I’m doing right now. It began Mon., Dec. 5 and will end Fri. Dec. 16.

Here’s where I’ve been so far:

As The Pages Turn:

Divine Caroline:

Inky Blots:

Live to Read:

Here’s where I expect to be the rest of this week and next week:

Thursday, December 8th
Guest Post at Book Spark:

Friday, December 9th
Book Trailer at If Books Could Talk:

Monday, December 12th
Interview at The Examiner:

Tuesday, December 13th
Interview at Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, December 14th
Radio Interview at Pump Up Your Book

Thursday, December 15th
Review and Giveaway at Radiant Light

Friday, December 16th
Interview at Paperback Writer

There’s going to be some kind of interaction at the Pump Up Your Book Facebook page for all the authors who decided to do this holiday season tour special on the 16th. I’ll provide more details on that next week.


My first guest blog

I did a guest blog about self publishing for Roses & Thorns, and it just went live.


Reversible Skirt won a silver medal

Good news!

My memoir, Reversible Skirt, won a silver medal in the 2011 Readers Choice Book Awards in the nonfiction-autobiography category (It was named a finalist in July and final judging was just completed.)


Reversible Skirt is now available as an ebook

Just a quick note tonight to let you know my memoir, Reversible Skirt, is now available in ebook on Amazon and Smashwords. It’s half off ($2.50) on Smashwords for the month of July, too. My toolbar isn’t displaying the linking tool, so I’ll just paste the link to Smashwords in here. Maybe it’ll go live automatically (optimism at work here). If not, I hope you don’t mind just pasting it into your browser’s address bar:


An excellent review

Here’s what Karynda Lewis of Apex Reviews just wrote about Reversible Skirt:

Official Apex Reviews Rating: Five Stars

When her mother commits suicide, little Laura’s father remarries – rather hastily – and promptly informs his three daughters that his new wife is their mother. As the young girls struggle to adjust to their new family life, their father’s untimely death soon thrusts their collective world into even greater chaos – culminating in their stepmother’s brutal, escalating abuse. With no one but each other left in the world, it remains to be seen if the sisters’ tortured bond can endure through the worst of adversity…

Reversible Skirt is a thoroughly heartrending read. In her moving new memoir, author Laura McHale Holland takes the reader through the deepest recesses of grief, sorrow, and abuse – all from the fragile perspective of an innocent, unsuspecting child. What ultimately proves most impressive about Holland’s spiritual sojourn is that – despite the unchecked chaos of her upbringing – she perseveres through it all with an unbreakable, sweet spirit. Such unflappable strength is highly commendable – not to mention rare – and your appreciation of Holland’s genuine loving warmth is sure to grow by leaps and bounds with the turning of each fresh page. A highly recommended tale of learning to overcome the worst that life has to offer.


Reversible Skirt online orders

There’s been a snafu in the Reversible Skirt pipeline. It’s temporary. For the time being, isn’t accepting orders, but is. Amazon will ship books as soon as they are available, which will be any day. Just click here.

You can also still order directly from me. Info on that is in a sidebar directly to the right.

Sorry for the confusion. Truly.


Reversible Skirt now on sale at Amazon

I just found out that Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for Reversible Skirt.

Here’s the link:

Reversible Skirt on Amazon

It’s also still available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble. com.

And here’s the autographed copy option:

You can still pre-order a signed copy of Reversible Skirt from me, too. Send a check for $17 ($14 + $3 shipping) made out to Laura McHale Holland, Wordforest, P.O. Box 7501, Cotati, CA 94928. California residents need to ad $1.33 sales tax.


Reversible Skirt now up at B&N

Reversible Skirt online ordering

Reversible Skirt is now available for pre-order at Barnes&—at a 22 percent discount, to boot!

Just click here to get to the order page at B&N.

The autographed copy option

You can still pre-order a signed copy of Reversible Skirt from me, too. Send a check for $17 ($14 + $3 shipping) made out to Laura McHale Holland, Wordforest, P.O. Box 7501, Cotati, CA 94928. California residents need to ad $1.33 sales tax.


Ordering Reversible Skirt

Yippee! I approved the second proof of Reversible Skirt yesterday and ordered some books to have on hand at the launch (March 5), as well as to send to folks who want signed copies.

If you’re one of those completely appreciated, totally wonderful people who want to pre-order an autographed book directly from me, here’s what to do:

Send a check in the amount of $17 (that’s $14 for the book and $3 to chip in for shipping) made out to me, Laura McHale Holland, at Wordforest, P.O. Box 7501, Cotati, CA 94931. I expect to have the books within a week or so and will send yours out ASAP. Oh, and California residents (I’m cringing as I write this), you’ll have to add .095 sales tax, which will be $1.33. Yep, it’s 9.5 percent!

I just found out it could take several weeks for the book to be available at Amazon and the other popular online venues. But once that’s set up, I probably won’t continue to ship books out myself.


Final book cover

Got a proof of Reversible Skirt today, and all the pages are formatted like left-hand pages. Somehow the right-hand page formatting got lost. So, my dear sister Kathy, who is also my design guru, is going to figure that out, and I’ll be uploading the corrected PDF to Lightning Source for a second try.

The cover looks terrific though. I’m going to insert the final version here. Kathy changed the background from gray to sepia. She also added a hint of blue to our mother’s eyes and a touch of pink to her blouse to suggest old-fashioned colorized photos.

Now it’s off to bed for me.


My website will soon transform

This website will soon undergo a revamp to get it ready for the launch of Reversible Skirt (which is likely to be in February).

I consulted this morning with Linda Lee of AskMePC-WebDesign, and she is marvelous, specifically, she is highly knowledgeable, while thoroughly approachable, and she is bursting with creative ideas. She’s also an educator, so she helps people learn how to take care of things on their own once the site is fully functional.

If you want to go beyond a generic WordPress site (like this one is right now), I think she’s someone to consider working with.

One of the things she asks in her online pre-consultation form is to list some websites you like. She laughed at my selections because they are all vastly different. The only thing they have in common is that they’re original, distinctive.

The new design for this site will probably retain my picture, but not much else in trms of design elements.


Changed my blog header

Last time I tried to upload a picture for this blog’s header, it didn’t work, but I tried again today, and it was easy. By the way, the photo in the header is by Jason Figueroa, He’s amazing and so, so inexpensive. If you live in SF’s North Bay, and you need a photoshoot for a project, he’s the man, really.

Now that the header’s uniquely mine, I want to make the font size in the blog entries a bit smaller and the column for those entries a smidge narrower to make room for a nifty widget in the right-hand column I’ll be getting sometime in the next month. It will have several functions all in one, one of which will be a book trailer for Reversible Skirt. Yup. A book trailer.


Our favorite cover for Reversible Skirt

Reversible Skirt front cover

This is a beautiful version of the cover for Reversible Skirt that my sister Kathy did a while back. She is thinking of adding some subtle color to it. I can hardly wait to see what she does next.

This isn’t proportional to the dimensions of what the actual book will be (this looks like a 6×9 cover, and the book will be 5.25 x 8), so there will be less of the lower part of our mother’s picture, which, I believe, will be a good thing.

I think the picture of our mother ghosted in the background is so fitting, but maybe it should be a bit lighter. In the next version, I expect we’ll dispense with the notice of the RockWay Press award, too.

What do you think? Isn’t Kathy brilliant?