When things get silent around here, it means that big things are cooking. Uncork the champagne! It's time for a few announcements in the Henrysphere!

* A pro-edit version of The Homeschoolers: The Ballad of Squirtina will be available within the next two days. The kinks are out, people. The sky is the limit!

* And now that a very skilled editor has gotten her mitts on my manuscript, it's time for print publication! At last! Within the next two days, you'll be able to purchase print copies on Amazon and eventually from distributors across the globe. Buy a few and stuff some stockings this holiday season!

* A spectacular blog tour is in the works! I'm planning all kinds of goodies, surprises and fun stuff for this tour, along with my wonderful blog tour organizer, Holly. These bloggers and their readers are in for the full Henry Circle experience! And here's the tour banner. Pretty, isn't it?

* To celebrate all these happenings, !!!!!!!!!!Wednesday will be the start of a week long price drop in the Kindle version ofThe Homeschoolers!!!!!!!!!!

* And Ricky and all The Homeschoolers are about to make a much awaited re-appearance in a raucously, funny new story, "A Very Ricky Sunday." It's complete and about to roll out onto your e-readers!

* That's just what I can reveal. You won't believe all the amazing things cooking for your old Henry here. I'll tell you all as soon as I can!  Now, go have a good week!

     While Sunny may sound too sappy, too innocent (even to the point of being one dimensional) to be inspired by a real character, let me tell you, Sunny lives and breathes out there in the world. Unlike the character of Ricky, who is actually based on multiple individuals (yes, with one in particular. See previous post), Sunny's character was someone I knew well in childhood. The wispy blonde hair, the thin frame, the long skirts, the religious-devoutness and sincerity all come from one girl that I actually knew. She always had a kind word or a little gift for me. Maybe I mythologized her innocence over the years, but as I recall, she was Sunny to a "T". I wondered for many years what became of this dreamy, generous little soul. I sort of suspected she might have married a preacher, or become a church missionary. Several years ago (before I was all mom-like and square), I was at a really slummy bar with friends. We were making small talk with a young lady by the pool table;she was about my age, and platinum blonde with obviously augmented breasts, over the top make up, and skin-tight stripper clothes. (No judgement here! She was working the look!) Someone said her name, and after the shock wore off, I threw my arms around her. She wasn't -let me just put this bluntly- a holy-roller anymore, but she was still just as sweet. I like that her life went on an unpredictable course. Surprises make life delicious! I think I might like to see Sunny go down an unexpected road or two in the series someday. We'll see!
      It seems more people than not have had some experience with a school bully. I'm certainly no exception. Initially, it was one particular boy that inspired the Ricky character, though he took on the personalities of several interesting young men I've met over the years as I became involved in character-development. Everyone knows a Ricky. This proto-Ricky, really did torment me in junior high and one year of high school. He sat behind me in most classes, putting tape in my hair, and telling the teacher I wouldn't stop hitting on him. It seems like mostly harmless teasing now, but at the time, he was the bane of my existence. How I hated that boy! He seemed to spend his entire school day thinking up ways to annoy or humiliate me. He eventually joined the masses of drop outs, and I heard he went to prison. I didn't see him for over 10 years. Then, one day, I ran into a friend who was already chatting with a guy I din't recognize. Just a redneck guy. Then, it hit me. "You used to torture me in school!" I shouted. "Oh. I sure did," he said casually, "I recognize your voice now. Sorry about that." That was enough for me. We became what I guess you would call, unlikely friends. He was still the same old scalawag, but I could accept that. During his second stint in the slammer, I met a cute redhead who shared a last name with my "Ricky," but that was about it. This ginger was somewhat of a hipster, very enlightened and keenly intelligent. He actually read books. And lots of them! I quickly learned that they shared last names because they were cousins!  When I married my red-haired fella, I became my bully's family. I became his cousin. My teenage self might have really pooped herself if she had known that!