Tag Archives: Schrodinger’s Telephone

The 50 Review Project

Convention of Marion's Blog Readers

As those of you (both of you) who follow this blog know, I write books, and despite some good customer, zine, and blog reviews, nobody buys my books.

There are now officially a GAZILLION “books” out there. The odds of randomly coming across one of mine are 100,000,000,000,000 to 1 – and that’s science! Also I write stuff that is “genre-fluid” and would be more appealing to readers who mostly shop in bookstores (which don’t stock my books) and/or readers that read reviews in print magazines  or other places that won’t review them. Plus, some readers would still rather be caught dead with soiled and torn underpants than with a “micro-published” or self-published book. Or possibly my books suck only appeal to a very particular audience.

But there’s hope! Somewhere on the web I saw an article that my “luck” would change and Amazon would magically make my books more visible so more people would see and buy them if Continue reading The 50 Review Project

My Work and Welcome To It

Happy New Year.

In addition to bringing you essential information about topics like getting cheap seats at the Met Opera, and writing high quality television recaps over on Happy Nice Time People where I will be handling Downton Abbey beginning Sunday night (We yanks still haven’t seen season 5) and Better Call Saul come February, I also write the fiction.

Sometimes I even read the fiction aloud in front of people, like in this photo to your left taken at a real event in New York City!

I don’t usually come out and say “BUY MY BOOKS” because you wouldn’t listen anyway, but I am going to tell you about them now because I am desperate what the hell. You may have been coming here for years reading about my geriatric dog who had cushing’s disease, or some of my so-called “humor,” so I’m figuring you owe me would be really interested in my stuff which can generally be had in electronic form real cheap. (I can also be had in electronic form real cheap but that is another matter and you will need to email me for details.)

Here is a brief listing of the fiction o’ mine. You may be hung over and lazy today, so why don’t you go over to the Amazon and check out the reviews and upload the FREE samples:

Blood Diva –  This is the first time I have publicly come out on this blog as the author of this work. As many of you know, it feels better after you come out unless you live in one of the 29 states where you can be fired from your job for doing so. Blood Diva is a racy vampire novel for people who don’t necessarily like vampire novels. There is no “sparkling” here.  Opera lovers and classic cinema fans seem to like it as the protagonist is Marie Duplessis – the woman on whom Camille and La Traviata are based. There are cameos by Maria Callas and Louise Brooks. People who are NOT opera lovers love it too. Some people have compared it to Anne Rice and have called it a “game-changer.” The ebook is only $3.99 and the paperback is discounted on Amazon. You can read more about it and see some great offers on the book’s website.

Loisaida – Is a novel of gentrification and its discontents, set in Manhattan’s pre-gentrified East Village and inspired by true events, including the so-called “police riots” and a crime so ghastly it became the stuff of legend.  If you live in the East Village now and want to know what it was like then, this is the book for you. If you lived through New York City’s bad old days and still miss the edge, you’ll enjoy the read. The words “gritty” and “stunning” come up a lot in reviews. There is no way I can write about it without sounding insufferable, so maybe you should just read what other people had to say either on Amazon or here.

Schrodinger’s Telephone is a novella about grief and loss. Lizzie has the perfect life until one day she doesn’t. It’s nominally “speculative fiction” but mostly it’s a story you can read in one sitting on just about any electronic device, and it might make you cry. This is probably the least “controversial” of anything I’ve written. There’s no explicit sex or violence. Here is something someone said about it on Amazon:

“A beautifully-written novella, Ms Stein has captured the overwhelming loss of a loved one, along with the alternating feelings of despair, wistfulness, grief, faith, powerlessness, and hope of those left behind. The details, pacing, and construction are perfectly executed. A lovely, poignant story.”

The Death Trip is another quick read novella for those who hate to commit. It’s light reading about Big Pharma conspiracies and euthanasia. Paranoid? You’ll love it!

So, I know you got hit up a lot for charitable contributions over the last month, and I can’t offer you a tax deduction, but if you’ve ever been ENTERTAINED by any of my posts, please check out the fiction and if you don’t want to spend your hard earned monies, maybe you could tweet about one of these fine works or something. Much obliged.

Schrodinger’s Telephone is the Indie Book of the Day

I gotta start checking my e-mail more. Just found out that Schrodinger’s Telephone has won this little badgy thing. I have no idea what this means, but desperate attention-whore that I am, I’ll take it, but frankly what really makes me feel that I am not screaming into an empty cave is when readers “get it”. This week I got a new 5-star review for my novel, Loisaida, which has been out for three years. In September it got its first review in over a year, so thank you readers.  Readers don’t “owe” writers anything, and I’m not sure how much difference reviews make in sales, but a positive review is a great way to tell a writer, “I get it. Keep going.” In today’s crazy world where anyone can publish anything but only some can afford to promote, writers need readers to be the buzz, so I’d ask anyone coming across this who has enjoyed the work of a writer to tweet a link to a book, post something on facebook. RAVE to your friends. I’ve heard lots of discussion about the “lack of filter” for indie books. Many readers dismiss customer reviews on Amazon, but you know what people don’t dismiss? Their friends. So be the buzz and be the reliable filter. Make today, “Use-social-media-to-tell-your-friends-about-a-great-read-day.” Actually, everyday can be Use-social-media-to-tell-your-friends-about-a-great-read-day. And to those of you who already do that, thank you. Thank you for participating in the publishing revolution by bringing great books that might get lost in the slush to the attention of your friends.

Happy Saturday!

Schrodinger’s Book Review

The Schrodinger’s Telephone book review is definitely alive, and not dead. You can read it on Big Al’s Books and Pals. For those of you who don’t remember, Big Al’s is a book review site that  went viral a couple of years ago when someone went ballistic over a negative review, and this led to lolz for all.

But Big Al has always been very, very good to me. So go read the review,  and then go buy Schrodinger’s Telephone for less than a buck, or that other one for a little more. It would be great if you could like Schrodinger’s Telephone on Amazon, which will take all of a second, and if so inclined reviews — good, bad, indifferent are always appreciated. Did you know an Amazon customer review could be as short as 20 words?

Don’t read e-books?  Schrodinger’s is a novella, you can devour quickly. It won’t strain your eyes to read it on whatever device you have.

Schrodinger’s Telephone — Preview

My new novella, Schrodinger’s Telephone is now available on Amazon.  I’m offering to give away 20 copies. What I’m looking for in return are honest reviews on Amazon (copies to Goodreads if you’re a member would be nice as well, as would reviews on blogs and other places).  Here’s where it gets interesting. These 20 freebies will only be available through Amazon’s Kindle store, so if you are interested, and you have an Amazon or Amazon UK account, please do the following: (1) Place Schrodinger’s Telephone on your Amazon wishlist. If you don’t have a wishlist, go to “edit my profile” to create one (2) Send me an email letting me know you have it on your wishlist.

Amazon will email you a gift certificate for the novella and instructions.

If you don’t want the freebie and you don’t want to buy it because you are THAT BROKE, you could always just “like it” on Amazon.  But if you like it, why don’t you buy it?

You also have my permission to like the facebook page.

What’s it all about? Kind of tough to explain without at least one major spoiler. It was my attempt at uplifting if you consider losing everything and spending years of your life labelled as crazy, uplifting, and then there’s that part where … Oy vey.

(Update: Went live Friday evening, but discovered a Kindle formatting issue. Finally, thanks to THIS WOMAN’S HELP problem is SOLVED. The mo better edition is now LIVE!)

Here are the first 900 or so words.

Schrodinger’s Telephone

Si tú no vives,
si tú, querida, amor mío, si tú
te has muerto,
todas las hojas caerán en mi pecho,
lloverá sobre mi alma noche y día,
la nieve quemará mi corazón,
andaré con frío y fuego
y muerte y nieve,
mis pies querrán marchar hacia donde tú duermes

– Pablo Neruda, La Muerta

1990-1991 – Lizzie

While others thought living in the past was harming Lizzie, she knew it was the only thing keeping her sane, and would often revisit that early fall day when the course of her life changed.

Technically, it was still late summer, school having started only the week before. She spent most of her vacation preparing for the term. Her lesson plans were detailed and specific down to the handouts. Any other year, she might have woken up without the ring of the alarm clock at five forty-five, but in those days, she found herself falling into bed early and waking with reluctance.

She pushed down the snooze button and shut her eyes, trying unsuccessfully to recall a dream. She had to punch in at seven fifty, and while work was only a ten-minute walk away, she needed a lot of time in the mornings. She could hear Jeff already in the kitchen, last night’s dishes clanging as he returned them to the shelves. He didn’t have to be at work till nine, could catch the train and be there in half an hour, but was always the first one up, out the door for a quick jog with Asta. She worried about his being out so early with only a small terrier for protection. They lived in the upper part of the upper west side, just south of 96th street, known then as “the great divide.”

Jeff, though protective of her, never thought much about the crime. He’d gone to Columbia and had lived in a dorm even further uptown. That wasn’t something Lizzie could imagine herself doing. There’d been that young stockbroker raped and left for dead in the park the year before, and every day there were stories of muggings and worse.

Without opening her eyes, she preemptively reached out and shut off the alarm. She thought she smelled coffee. Maybe it was something wafting in through the window. Her husband had given up the evil brew in sympathy. While she told him it wasn’t necessary, she was grateful.

Jeff came in to the room carrying a small tray, which he placed on the night table. He sat down on the bed.

“Morning, princess.”

She opened her eyes and sat up. Then she sprang from the bed and ran into the bathroom. Just a belch. It was the end of the first trimester, and it had been getting better. She brushed her teeth. Years later she would remember everything so clearly, even that she had been startled by what she thought was a cockroach scurrying on the floor, but it turned out to be some loose thread, maybe from a frayed sock.

She came back to the bedroom and sat down next to her husband on the side of the bed. “Uuurhh,” she grunted.


“No, not really. It’s just…” She trailed off and grabbed one of the bland cookies he’d brought in. Then she took a swig of the hot concoction in the mug, “I’m so damn tired of Postum.”

He smiled and shook his head slightly. She would recall thinking just then, not of the future, which she often did during her pregnancy, but about the first time they met. Some party where the music was so loud they couldn’t hear each other, but looking into his sweet eyes, she felt he already knew her in a way no one else ever had or would. She kissed him. He seemed surprised, but pleased, and kissed her back. There was more. This hadn’t been part of the morning routine of late. He was already being careful with her. Gentle. After, they showered together, though he never liked the water as hot as she did.

He offered to make eggs. Even before the pregnancy, he was the one who made breakfast, while dinner was her domain. Between them they referred to this division of labor as “the deal.”

“Or would you rather have French toast?”

“French toast! Yeah. But you know what I really, really want…”

He made a suggestion, which made her giggle.

“Well, besides that… I’d love one tiny cup of….”

They discussed this for a minute, and then decided to “live dangerously.” The espresso machine, a wedding gift from his brother, was on the counter, and there were beans in the freezer. He made himself a double shot, and gave her a half-shot of cappuccino, really a coffee-flavored cup of hot milk.

“I’m being so bad,” she said.

“I’ll pick up some decaf,” he offered, “The doctor said a little caffeine wouldn’t be the worst thing.”

“But Sara says…”

“You don’t have to do everything your big sister tells you to, even if she is a nurse.”

“And a mother…”

He didn’t wind up making the French toast although they did eat the bread he would have used, raisin challah, which lately she was eating a lot of, insisting it was the only thing that would settle her very noisy tummy.

Time was getting away from them. It was seven thirty-six. She had to go.

He promised he would take Asta out for another quick pee before he left. She said she’d be home early and take him around three.

They did kiss before she walked out the door. The only thing that wasn’t clear in her memory was whether or not either or both of them had said, “I love you.” It would nag at her she couldn’t remember that detail.