Archive for November 2014

WELCOME WINTER   7 comments

I’ve just uploaded a new header, removing the Alaska iceberg that’s been there for a while. This will also be the header on my web site once we get it up and running. I hope you’ll enjoy the header more than I am enjoying the Minnesota cold.

Appreciation goes to Janson graphics for this cheery view of the season.

Posted November 18, 2014 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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Dear Jollie,

If I didn’t love you so (and if you weren’t so far away) I’d be throttling you for your well-intentioned comment. “With all those rave reviews, I don’t understand why you’re having a tough time selling.  I do wonder about one thing, tho’.   Could it be the title?   When one reads about the character and content of the story, it becomes completely understandable, but to someone who doesn’t it may not…especially at a glance.”

After All I’ve been through with the title! Remember? It was originally published as “Mrs. Job.” It wasn’t long, though, before it came through loud and clear that people were pronouncing “Job” as if it referred to paid employment. And besides, I left the Ph.D. after my name, so people got scared off thinking it was some heavy academic tome.

I realized the latter point when I gave a copy to Lisa’s neighbor in Williamsburg. She had to read it, of course, because it was a gift she had to acknowledge. And then she was surprised, discovering that it was a good read. “I was afraid to read it,” she said, “because I thought I wouldn’t understand it.” Oh my!

In spite of all that, though, a traditional publisher wanted to publish it. So back at the beginning of 2013 when Doug and I were heading off for a month’s Asia/Pacific cruise they had me terminate my contract with iUniverse, planning to come up with a new name and cover while I was away. In the meantime they provided an editor to work with me, and a copy editor, so Mrs. Job was thoroughly vetted. It took a long time for the copy editor to make his way through it. I had just made my final response to his latest effort when I received a notice in mid-summer, 2013, that they had lost their funding and would not be publishing “Mrs. Job” or whoever she was to become.

So, Job’s wife was essentially homeless (i.e., unpublished, except for leftover copies) from January, 2013 ‘til November 2014. (Almost two years.) That’s a pretty long time for a lady to be without a home.

At any rate, after much discussion with lots of people, I decided to publish it as “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” taken, as you know, from a quote on p. 50. By the time she hit the presses she had been so thoroughly edited that I rejected the first draft when I found a typo on page 115 and re-did it. Even now, there is a “.com” missing on the ESBN page. Just to prove no one or book is perfect.

To tell the truth, Jollie, with the really great reviews “Mts. Job” had received before and “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” has received now, I did hope the book might hit the tipping point into great sales. As you point out, it hasn’t happened.

So I won’t throttle you. It’s not your fault.

I did decide to take the advice of a blogger friend and stop sending the message out to the universe that I “need” it to succeed. Sometimes I feel like really retiring and just hanging out with some good books, but instead now I’m focusing on “My Father’s House” and letting Job’s wife find her own way in life.

Well, not quite. Today I listed her on Goodreads. (I just checked. I guess this link won’t take you there until the Goodreads folks have judged it worthy on Monday.) It would be nice if people were to go there and write reviews.

But … nope. Stop that,Mona. I’ll focus on things like getting to choir on time tomorrow morning, and sitting for a while by the fire with one of the many books I have in the works.

Message to the universe: I don’t really “need” for “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses “ to reach the tipping point, so feel free to come by and tip it.

That’s it, Jollie. I love you and miss you, and cherish all the years of friendship.



I know, I skipped a couple of these updates. Lots of things fattened my schedule of things to do — like a couple of blogs on “A Healthy Woman is a Crazy Person.” And, of course, doing my best to get the word out about “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses.”

I’m happy to say the book has now accumulated 19 reviews. People seem to like the option of the Kindle version — certainly a lot less expensive than the paperback, which also is set at a pretty comfortable price.

I’ve also had some direct sales of signed copies. That could happen for you too if you send me a request, with your snail mail address, at The price is $12.95 + $3.00 postage (+ $0.81 tax if you are in Minnesota).

I’d love to cooperate with someone local who might like to have a home reading for the book. (and maybe my other books on forgiveness.)

As for the web site, it is still slow in the making. The talented man who is putting it together had to take time out for health reasons, and I’ve been slow in providing him the materials he needs. I hope soon he and I will be rolling along to the final accomplishment. Once that’s up and running, you’ll be able to order any of my books via that route.

I have sent out close to 100 postcards asking people to check out the book on amazon, and the reviews, and send me an e-mail at telling me they’ve done it. I gather from some of the personal reactions that my terrible handwriting is standing in the way — like people can’t read what I’ve asked them to do.

Anyway, I still have hundreds of postcards left if you have any great suggestions for me.

Oh, by the way, one of the time-consumers is “My Father’s House,” the fictionalized version of the biography of my father. Right now a couple of volunteers are giving me some great feedback on a sample of the first 27 pages. I’ve asked for people who are not of Swedish heritage and who do not know me to read it just from the point of view of seeing if it is an interesting read. So far, very helpful and positive reactions.

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