Wittier Word Weavers

Writers' Club of Whittier


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Summer in Mayberry

Frank anchored himself on the garden’s gray bench as the Wilson’s Memorial Day BBQ got underway. Grandpa Will enthusiastically manned the grill and the smoker as usual. Chicken sizzled on the spit, ribs cooked in the smoker, and their delightful smoky aromas permeated the air. Frank’s mom carried trays of fresh vegetables. Mel placed red poppies and pink zinnia on a dozen picnic tables, each covered with red gingham. Folks laughed and talked. The sunlit backyard embraced the growing number of friends and family.

Frank breathed deeply, smiled, and reflected. His summer didn’t wait for the solstice in mid-June. Frank’s summer started when the jacaranda bloomed. He noticed the purple flowering trees most when riding down La Cuarta where bright blossoms blessed both sides of a two mile stretch of road. In the middle of that stretch, if he looked south towards the Pacific at the right spots, he wouldn’t see the ocean; instead he’d see more jacaranda flowers filling the sky, as trees on either side reached heavenward and met in the middle. Light purplish-blue blossoms everywhere signaled the first days of summer and the last days of school.

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Read more about Mayberry in my novels—Well Oiled and Cyberbully Blues.


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A Web Presence

Should you ask a barber if you need a haircut?

Should writers have a web presence? Search online. You’ll get hundreds of thousands of links offering lists of reasons why every writer should have a blog, a website, or a website with a blog. Rationality doesn’t explain my web presence. As a recruited WCW contributor, this blog was foist thrust upon me. I already had a website.

Here’s why I had a website. My first novel, Well Oiled, involves characters interacting with mayberryoil.com. An hour after the book hit Amazon, it occurred to me that my readers should be able to interact with the website as did the characters in the book. This brainstorm hit thirty minutes before I needed to leave for a dinner engagement. In that time, I was able to confirm that the name of the website used in the book wasn’t taken. I bought it.

After dinner, I built the site using Drupal. I also created an account with a username and password matching a character in the book. In the next week, I added treats to the site — pictures of elements in the book and related materials. To access the treats requires answering questions based on the story.

It takes time and energy to maintain a web presence. There’s probably a benefit. I still don’t know if every writer needs a website. My reason for having one is simple — it seemed a good idea at the time.