Archive | January 2018

Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies ~ IT’S HERE! #humor #nonfiction

Barb Taub

OOPS! — I’m travelling and thought I had this set up to go out tomorrow. Well…hopefully you can all remember for a day!

My new book, Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies, is available today on Amazon. It only took a week to put together—and thirty years to write.


This is the part where I thank my family, pets, friends, and total strangers for just being so hilarious I couldn’t help writing about you. And, while I’m eternally grateful to each of you—you know who you are!—there is another group who are far more responsible for this book. My readers. You are the generous, funny, responsive, humorous souls who’ve read, laughed, commented, occasionally snorted coffee over your monitor, and then read more. I wish I could give each of you a hug, but…well, there are laws about that sort of thing…

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This entry was posted on January 30, 2018. 3 Comments

Hard truths about the industry #amwriting

Sage and solid advice.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

I love reading,  and always review the books I enjoyed. For every book I feel good about recommending, I may have to read six that are just plain awful. I’m not only talking Indies here—large publishing houses publish many novels every year that are a waste of paper and digital space. These travesties should never have made it past the gateway editor, much less the eye of an experienced agent.

This goes beyond my not caring for the style or voice of the piece. I’m talking lack of proofreading, garbled sentences, lack of knowledge of how to use words like ‘its’ and ‘it’s’, and misspelled words. This happens in traditionally published work as well as Indie, which should be embarrassing to the Big 5, but apparently isn’t.

Some books are so badly edited it seems like the author is the only person who has ever seen the manuscript. One glance at the…

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New #Reviews for my Books

These reviews of Tina Frisco’s work are so good, all I can say is that I may have learned something about giving a review. And all I can add is that I completely agree with the reviews. Tina is a wonderful writer!


I’m delighted to share with you the wonderful reviews my books have received over the past few months. Those I’ve already featured can be found here and here. The latest are from Balroop Singh, John Fioravanti, Sally Cronin, and Colleen Chesebro. I’m so grateful for their interest, support, and time given. I’ve added links to their blogs and hope you will visit and follow if they’re new to you

Gabby and the Quads

Gabby and the Quads by Tina FriswcoBuy HERE

Cute and Engaging  5 Stars
By Balroop Singh on December 28, 2017

Gabby and the Quads by Tina Frisco is an engaging little tale of love and care for the new arrivals in a home full of affection for the older child. Gabby receives her four siblings lovingly and is ready to help as she is made to feel all-important by her parents.

This is a perfect book…

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2018. 1 Comment

Pearson Ave

“Where’s your brother?” Ma turned to face me as I came into the kitchen, red-faced from my afternoon’s play with my best friend, Kathleen. My body went into flight or fight. There was no fighting my mother, so I took flight. Raced back up the street to my friend Kathleen’s house on the corner, into her yard, where I’d just finished playing, and where I’d left my baby brother, alone in the baby carriage. He was still there.

Pearson Ave. Grandma’s house. We had lived with her for as long as I can remember before we moved when I was nine years old. We moved because she died and the house was sold. We lived on the second floor with Grandma and her white husky dog named—what else?—Whitey. My mother’s sister, Anna, and her family lived downstairs. There was twice as many of us upstairs than downstairs in my aunt’s family, which consisted of Aunt Anna, my uncle Joe, and my cousins Diana and Joey.

Uncle Joe was in a wheelchair. Had been for as long as I could remember so I guess he was sick even before I was born. Uncle Joe couldn’t walk, or maintain any coordination. On an impossibly skinny neck, his head rolled around almost uncontrollably, as much as his big round brown eyes did when we did something silly, or when he got frustrated because we couldn’t understand his attempts to communicate with us. You see, Uncle Joe couldn’t talk anymore either. Aunt Anna had to carry him to the bathroom, to bed, help him eat. It was, I imagine, a sad and lonely life for my aunt, even with three other people in the apartment and all of us upstairs.

My grandmother was a loving woman, but also a very strict, old Italian woman. One of the more vivid memories of my grandmother involves a surprise slap across my butt, when one day I dared try to enter the living room where she had just washed the floor. She’d put the coffee table across the doorway. But this coffee table wasn’t solid in its middle. It was one of those styles popular in its day . . . two compartments on either side, sliding doors, behind which you quickly threw things when you knew company was coming. I can see that open middle as though it were before me today. Inviting me to cross through. I was about two years old. No way I could resist the invitation. I think that, even back then, I recognized that that piece of something there, with the big hole in the middle, was meant to keep me out. So, as fast as my little body could manage, in I went . . . crawling through on all fours when—whack!—a warning slap I heard more than felt through the pretty ruffled plastic pants that hid my bulky diaper. I remember all this as if it’s just happened. But I don’t remember it hurting. I don’t remember crying, but I probably did. It didn’t teach me any lessons, though. To this day, unless there’s some clear danger behind a door or through an opening, I’m going in.

A lot of memories reside at Pearson Ave. My cousin Diana and I once tried to dig a hole to China. We’d heard that expression, or something like it, around the house. What I more clearly remember is lying on our bellies, digging in the dirt in our side yard. I guess even a slow boat would have been more efficient.

Friends galore on Pearson Ave. It was the only place I’ve ever lived (then and since) where we knew so many of the neighbors, where there were kids my age and a few older ones too. I remember Louie. Louie was a cutie and not much older than we were. My cousin and I both had a mad crush on him. I can still see his eyes, bright blue, framed by dark eyebrows that were very neatly shaped by nature. We loved him. He couldn’t stand us. Diana and I would hang off the fence of our front yard, or straddle the porch railing, trying to get his attention. Vying for his attention, really, even at that age. Moving about unsteadily, pretending we were about to fall off, we’d sing-yell to him, “Louie, Louie! I got a bullet in my heart and I’m gonna die in five seconds if you don’t save me!”

“Die,” he’d say. In retrospect, I get it. We were usually silly and often obnoxious in our admiration of him. It never hurt our feelings, though. What ten-year-old boy likes eight-year-old girls anyway?

Childhood games. Rover Red Rover. Dodge Ball. Softball.

Softball . . . my only serious physical injury occurred on Pearson Ave. It was a great summer’s day and the entire neighborhood was out. Other cousins, older than Diana and I, were up from the Cape. We got together enough kids for a game of softball. I was about equal height to a bat held at the ready by the batter up. I don’t recall if I was really ever in the game, I was just a curious little girl, wanting to get in with the older kids. All I got was in the way. And a broken cheekbone. He never saw me behind him and I never saw the bat coming.

They carried me, crying and bleeding, into the house. This is what I learned . . . to stay out of the way of big kids and bats. And that faces bleed a lot.

This entry was posted on January 19, 2018. 2 Comments

Unjust Desserts

Sitting cross-legged on a concrete bench
Taking in the action just beyond the fence
He watches the bustle, pinstripes abound
And children playing, they fall on the ground
Miniskirts taunt him, smiles on a face
Tease him with heels and a hint of lace
No girl in his corner, no warm memories
Of deep secret kisses or sticky panties
He wants to be cool, he wants to take part
Something is hurting, it feels like his heart
His mind is straining to block out the noise
As voices repeat “you’re not one of the boys”
The white coats stand by, uncaring and chill
Holding his pre-dinner dosing of pills
He sits in the daylight unwarmed by the sun
Sipping a 16-ounce Pepsi with a sweet honey bun.

This entry was posted on January 19, 2018. 1 Comment

The Spider

There you were on my wall the other day,
It wasn’t easy for me, but I let you go on your way.
Soon you were out of sight, but not out of mind,
For I need to know where you are at all times.
I needn’t have worried,
Soon enough you were back.
And busily building a translucent rack.
Can’t spare you again, you should’ve stayed gone.
But no, you had to come back and build a new home.
And now, Lord have mercy, I feel bad, it’s a sin,
But when it comes down to spiders or me … I win.

This entry was posted on January 19, 2018. 2 Comments

Life is Good

Andrew Joyce

I grew up without a mother. My father told me that she had died shortly after I was born. To me, it was no big deal. You can’t miss what you’ve never had. My father, I think, tried to make it up to me in so many ways. In the morning, he always saw me off to school after having fed me a hot breakfast. He was always home from work in time to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour. He taught me to hunt and fish like any father would, and he never missed a parent-teacher conference at school like many fathers do.

However, by the time I was twelve, I was pretty much self-sufficient. It gave the old man a break from his domestic duties. I was now making my own breakfast, although sometimes my father wasn’t too happy with my choice of foods. I…

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