Category Archives: Uncategorized


Ok, this was an unintentional post. I meant to put it on my “about me” page, but it’s hard to see what you are doing from your phone!

But since it landed here, I will keep it up, and let you know that I do plan to post some stuff on TikTok once I get my nerve up. Stuff about my book, of course. Right now, I am planning a cover reveal, but first I have to compete the photo shoot for my author picture. That will be next month. My photographer and I have some great ideas!

So hop on over to TikTok and follow me now so you can be ready! My user name is dbmquick. Please don’t laugh too hard at my upcoming videos (unless they are intended to be funny)!

Thank you, and please keep reading. (Aren’t QR codes FUN???)

Attention, Please!

Photo by Pressmaster on

Squirrel! Just kidding. But no, seriously, a pretty butterfly!

That was my whole childhood experience, and to be honest, also my whole adult experience. It doesn’t have to be an animal, or something pretty flitting by. It can be a speck of dust floating in the air, or a scratch on a desktop. Don’t get me started about the music in my head. It draws my attention away from my task at hand.

I’m not alone in my dearth of attention. Many children and adults deal with similar challenges. For me, it started when I was in elementary school, or that was probably just when it became obvious. It was the late 1970s, and I was in fifth grade. I had broken my arm ice skating over winter break, and was pretty preoccupied by my limitations. Mr. K. was talking about geometrical shapes, specifically the octagon. I was re-wrapping my ace bandage around my splint. Mr. K. made a comment about there being an octagonal shaped church on the corner of Salsbury Street and Kadidawapa Way. He looked right at me and said, “right, Debby?” I looked up, baffled, and responded, “What? Oh, yeah.” The whole class laughed at me. There was no Kadidawapa Way in my city, and Mr. K. knew I wasn’t paying attention. Everyone laughed at me. That kind of hurt.

In sixth grade, I stopped doing Math homework, and only did other homework at the last minute. I still got A’s and B’s. In eighth grade, I finally got called on my behavior, and got an F in effort in Math class. I was mad, and I mouthed off to my teacher. But it was kind of a wakeup call. As we get older, our teachers start to pay more attention to our behavior. But I didn’t.

I squeaked through high school doing the bare minimum and relying on my procrastination and natural ability to retain information. I somehow made it through college. And grad school. It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that a medical profession finally suggested that I might have ADHD.

What would have happened if I had been born in the 2000’s? I probably would have been evaluated at school, maybe by a developmental pediatrician, and diagnosed young. I probably would have been started on Ritalin, or some other stimulant medication. My teachers would have been made aware. They might have dealt with me differently. But as it was, I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s. The only kids that got attention for not paying attention were the ones that were disruptive. They were usually boys, and they were usually ridiculed by teachers and other students. We were told to pay no attention to them. They were just trying to get attention. Girls would just grow out of their daydreams and pull it all together someday.

One thing that I could concentrate on back then was writing. I loved to write. The ideas popped into my head unprovoked. Characters would develop in my subconscious and start dialogs in my brain. Some of them I wrote down. The stars of my stories were me as a Boston sportscaster, always married to a famous Boston professional athlete. Hey, I had a type! I found one of these “novels” not long ago. It wasn’t bad, for a twelve-year-old.

So, it makes sense that when I finally got serious about writing as an adult, I created a character who is a lot like me in some ways. A character that struggles with schoolwork and gets very scattered. She has no verbal filter, and sometimes her friends find her to be all over the place. Her story mimics my story in some ways, but she is not me. Her experiences are different. Isn’t that what we do when we write? We take our characters and put them in different situations and see what they would do. Sometimes, it’s different than what we would do ourselves, but it’s always a good story. Sally has some good times, and she has some struggles. But they are not my struggles. But we all have struggles, unique to ourselves.

My book, May I Have Your Attention Please obviously deals with attention, but we all know, there are many definitions of attention. And they all apply. Make up your own mind about what it means. Now you know what it means to me. I hope my story ends up meaning something to you, too.

Am I Done Yet?

Photo by Eden Constantino on

My title reminds me of me and my brothers in the back, and way-back seats of my parents’ green Plymouth station wagon driving from Central Mass to Niagra Falls in the early 80s. “Are we there yet?” we chorused from the rear. My parents vowed, not for the first or last times in our young lives, to never take us on a car-trip vacation again!

No, but what I’m really thinking about today is writing books. How do you know when you are done writing your book? Are you ever done? When do you put down the pen, or close the laptop, and say definitively, “this is as good as it will ever get”?

I have written four books so far in my series, “McKinney High Class of 1986.” I have read each one at least ten times. Each time I read, I tweak the dialog, or turn some narrative into dialog, or take out extraneous filler words. I don’t think I have gotten through even one manuscript so far where I couldn’t find something to change.

Finally, I sent Book 1, May I Have Your Attention Please, to the editor. But like I mentioned before, I had to send it two more times after that, because it just wasn’t perfect yet! But I’ve finally let go. Book one is in someone else’s hands right now, and I just hope she doesn’t find too many mistakes or inconsistencies! In the meantime, I have forbidden myself to even look at that text. Doesn’t stop me from collaborating with my marketing manager and cover designer, but, you know, my big part is done.

Yesterday, I started to read Book 3 again. I had just finished re-reading Book 2, on the tail of re-reading Book 4, and then doing some formatting on them both. So, I sat down to look at Book 3, for the 12th time. And what I saw was discouraging. The first three chapters almost bored me to sleep! I was just giving information, no story. I was trying to keep the reader a recap of what happened in Book 2. I was worried the reader would forget what happened and be lost. But in the meantime, the reader would nod off, drop Book 3 on the floor, and never get to the juicy parts. So, I had to re-write. Not all of it, but I had to chop it up into pieces. This is never easy. The words on those pages are kind of sacred to me. Deleting a line that doesn’t work HURTS a bit. But it hurts less than someone telling you that your first three chapters suck.

So, I made the changes. And I’m sure they won’t be the last changes I make. I have had one person read Book 3 so far, and he liked it (thanks to my brother/alpha reader) so no real feedback yet. I want to get feedback, but I also want it to be GOOD! So how do I know when I’m done? I have no idea. Faith? Maybe. Personal deadline? More likely. But once it’s done, it’s done, and it’s forever. Except for the fact that I can still reprint an edit. So yeah, maybe it will never be done!

If there is anyone out there who would like to be a beta reader for my series, please let me know. It’s a bit of a commitment. There are 4 books, and you miss quite a bit if you don’t read them in order. There’s no pay for being a beta, except for the satisfaction of knowing you helped, and maybe your name in the acknowledgements! Leave a comment or send me an email if you are interested.

What Are They Saying?

Photo by Eva Bronzini on

I am currently somewhere between 38 and 42,000 feet in the air, flying between Boston and the left coast. I am coming home from a family wedding and enjoying all the pretzels and apple juice that come along with in-flight food service on this six-hour journey.

It’s always nice to come home to see family in the land of my childhood. If you have ever lived in, or even been to Boston, you know that there is something special about the people in Massachusetts. I lived there for twenty-four years, so I am a bit familiar.

All of my books either take place entirely or spend a good deal of time in the central area of Massachusetts, about 60 miles west of Boston, in the made-up city of Eastboro. So when you read my books, you may encounter some colorful, albeit unfamiliar vocabulary words. I thought I might just introduce some of them now, since they are so fresh in my mind at the moment (and there’s really nothing else to do right now).

When I was a schoolgirl in the ’70s and ’80s, my classmates and I would line up at the bubbler after recess. No, we were not blowing soap bubbles, or washing dishes. The Bubbler is actually the name of a part of something most of us are very familiar with: the water fountain. This is the first word they warn us about when we move out of state. Don’t ask anyone where to find a bubbler; they’ll just look at you funny. And while I’m talking about things that they don’t have in other states, hows about a grindah for dinnah (look it up)?

A lot of words end in -ER. But people in Massachusetts really don’t understand this concept. So if someone asks you over for suppah, take this into account, and say, yes, you will come over for a nice, hot, New England bowl of clam chowdah. But while you’re at their house, you might want to go downstairs to get something out of the deep freezer. You will probably be directed to the cellah. In some states, this is also known as the basement.

Some words are just entirely used wrong or made up. My favorite word is “wicked.” I think kids all over the country were familiar with the term “wicked awesome” back in the ’80s and ’90s, but in Massachusetts, wicked has been frozen in time. It is an all-time favorite adjective of residents of the Bay State. And the phrase that made us famous in beer commercials? “Wicked pissah!” This might seem like a negative phrase, like something that pisses you off or is really bad. But no, the worse the pissah, the more awesome it is! Don’t ask me, I moved away 27 years ago!

But I did go to high school in Central Mass in the mid ’80s. And I do remember some doozies. The ones I’ve only recently been reminded of were “mint,” or “wicked mint,” when referring to how awesome something is. Then there’s “rush,” as in “what a rush!” This refers to a “head rush,” and not the Canadian rock band I loved so much in the ’80s (and saw in concert three times).

Ok, question for you: you are driving in the wrong direction. You took a wrong turn. Now you’re going to be late. You see there are no cars coming toward you on the other side of the road. So what do you do? The answer is obvious! You bang a Uey! That’s only if you’re not coming up on a rotary. Translation: you can take a U-turn, but if you are coming upon a traffic circle, you can go around it instead (make sure to yield to rotary traffic!).

So in conclusion, I just want to tell you that writing this was a wicked pissah, and such a rush. I hope you all won’t be Mass-holes or chowderheads, and you will continue to follow my blog. I gotta go now. I’m taken the T to get some Dunks with jimmies on top cuz that’s what the townies do. But first, I’m gonna go to the packie, cuz it’s gonna be a another scorchah today!

(translation: I have to go. I am going to take the commuter rail to Dunkin Donuts to get a donut with colorful sprinkles on top, because that is something the locals enjoy. I am going to make an earlier stop at the Liquor store to get a refreshing beverage, as it will be very hot outside today.)


QR Code

Look, I got my very own QR code. Isn’t is cute? It’s strange how things like QR codes make our lives so much easier, but in the 1980s, we didn’t even have computers! In high school, I had to write all my papers by hand or use an electric typewriter. It all seems so primitive now. I guess time marches on. I don’t know how I would get through a day now without checking my social media sites or having my cell phone everywhere I go. Technology is a wonderful thing!