When I was a student at a small-town college in western Maryland during the early 1970s, one of my recurring obsessions was the idea of a road trip. I longed to escape from the grind of study and the cramped feeling of dorm life. I was a suburban D. C. girl, temporarily living in a rural area. I admit the backdrop provided by the Appalachian foothills could be stunningly beautiful, and the springtime smell of manure from the surrounding farms enticing. Still, the small town setting, with its one movie theatre and one bar, could get claustrophobic.

I hungered for the excitement of a big city—the big city, two hundred or so miles away. Many of my dorm mates shared this dream. A group of my girlfriends planned a trip to Broadway. My boyfriend and his best friend, a musician, planned to go there to check out record companies and clubs. I demanded to go with them, but they said no, it would be dangerous. What if they accidently strayed into a trouble spot and had to run for their lives? That only made me more determined to go.

That idea of a road trip, from western Maryland to New York City, provided the genesis of my novel, The Rock Star’s Homecoming. The premise: two years after a homegrown rock band is expelled from a small, rural college, a groundswell builds on campus to invite the now-famous band to return for a Homecoming celebration. Two roommates─ one of them the bandleader’s sister, the other a shy girl who loves him from afar─are charged with the responsibility of driving a van to New York, retrieving the nearly disintegrating band, and transporting the outfit back to campus for the most amazing Homecoming celebration ever. How do they pull it off? The book trailer below, from Witness Pictures, provides a visual idea.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=w3YRPf87JQ8

Cherishing The Heartbreak

November 12, 2012

Washington Nationals fans will spend the fall and winter months wallowing in mixed feelings. There is no denying that 2012 was a great season, an unprecedented success for a formerly putrid baseball team. The first-ever divisional championship won by a relatively new franchise is nothing to sneeze at. The raucous playoff atmosphere was something to behold. It had never happened before in D. C., at least not within the living memory of anyone born after the Roaring 20s. That sea of red that submerged the stadium was a sea of joy. It put to rest many bitter memories─the two lost franchises, the 34 “silent springs,” the bitter fights to establish the new ballclub and new ballpark.

The best thing you can say about an agonizing, season-ending defeat is that the team got close enough to ecstasy to suffer so exquisitely. They were one strike away from advancing to the next round of the playoffs. In fact, they were one strike away twice. How cruel can the baseball gods be? Mighty cruel, we’ve discovered. But countless fans of other teams all over the country already knew that. We’re now privileged to join the exclusive what-if club.