A Literary Lemonade Stand–Or, An Old Promo with a New Twist

When I was eleven years old, I had a great (or so I thought) idea for a promotion.  School had just let out, and I wanted to earn some spending money for summer vacation.  So–I pitched my idea to my next-door neighbor Rick.



“Hey,” he said, no doubt visualizing the games and comic books and other assorted sundries his share of the profits might buy, “that sounds great.  Count me in!”



There were no two ways about it–Rick, with his sandy hair and dimples, had a face few could resist.  His cheeks were perpetually red from the pinches he’d get from adults.  With his help, I was sure we’d be a hit.

Our plan?  On the upcoming Saturday, we’d set up a stand at the base of his front lawn, strategically shaded by the towering maple tree that grew there like a leafy sentinel.  We’d been in the midst of a heat wave.  Surely passersby and motorists would stop for a cup of the lemonade we’d offer–both classic and pink!  We’d also have apple juice, a sheet cake Rick’s mother agreed to make, sliced into two-dozen pieces, and a cooler-full of Popsicles.  It was a can’t-miss proposition.  Rick and I were convinced no two kids had ever been more prepared to run a lemonade stand.  We even made signs, complete with the address and date of the event, which we placed at various strategic locations throughout the neighborhood.



We’d charge a quarter a cup for the lemonade and juice, a quarter per Popsicle, and one dollar for each slice of cake.  Who would pass that deal up on a sparkling summer day, with the birds singing and the breeze blowing softly through the trees?



The day before our big sale, Rick popped in for a visit and did a “cha-ching” dance–his own, on-the-spot invention.  This was greeted with catcalls from my two older brothers, but we were undeterred.

My mother sent us an ominous warning, however.

“It’s supposed to rain tomorrow,” she said.

Uh-oh.  We hadn’t even bothered to check the forecast.  So much for our sparkling day . . .

Twenty-four hours later, Rick and I were seated behind our lemonade stand–which was not so much the stand we had envisioned but rather the picnic table, complete with umbrella, that my brothers and I had managed to carry out to Rick’s front lawn and which now shielded our merchandise from the torrential downpour that would not let up for the entire day.



When all was said and done, we made twelve dollars and change that soggy Saturday–not the fortune we had hoped for.

“Well, at least there’s leftover cake,” my sister said happily as we cleared the table.




The Eye-Dancers promotion I am offering here will, with hope, prove to be more effective than the lemonade-stand-that-wasn’t all those years ago.  It’s a similar idea to previous promotions on this website, but this time, there is a new twist.



The promo will run from today’s date, April 23, through Tuesday, June 30.  During this two-month-plus period, anyone who buys a copy of The Eye-Dancers, or who refers the book to someone else (the twist, the strawberry flavoring added to the lemonade!  more on this in a moment), will have an opportunity to win a gift card.



If you do purchase a copy of The Eye-Dancers during this promo period (either as a paperback or an e-book), please notify me–either with a comment on this website or via email at michaelf424@gmail.com.

But–what if you’ve already bought a copy of the book and would still like to participate in the promo?  Not an issue!  Anyone who refers The Eye-Dancers to a friend, relative, friend of a friend, etc., will also be eligible to win the gift card provided that the friend they refer The Eye-Dancers to buys a copy of the book and then emails me and includes the name of the person who referred them.  (I know–that sentence is a mouthful!)  In this scenario, both people will be entered into the gift-card contest–the one who referred The Eye-Dancers to someone else, as well as the person who buys the book on the advice of said referral.  A two-for-one to enter the gift-card drawing!



I will keep track of each person who buys a copy of the book (as well as those who refer the book to others who then, in turn, buy a copy) during the promotional time period that runs from April 23 through June 30.  Then, on July 1, I will randomly select one winner, and will immediately notify them of the good news in an email.  The winner will be awarded a gift card–to anywhere!  Amazon?  Your favorite restaurant?  Your favorite department store?  The choice will be yours!



The amount of the gift card will be based on the number of overall purchases of The Eye-Dancers during the promo.  For each purchase, $3.00 will be earmarked toward the gift card.  So, for example, if there are thirty purchases during the promotion, the gift card would be for $90 (30 purchases x $3.00 per purchase).  The gift card amount, in other words, will be determined by you!  The more purchases, the higher the amount on the gift card.

Please just remember that if you do purchase The Eye-Dancers during the designated period to make sure and contact me so I can enter your name into the gift-card contest.  (And if you were referred to the book, and this promo, by someone else and then buy a copy of The Eye-Dancers, please let me know who referred you as well.)



You can buy The Eye-Dancers as an e-book at the following online retail locations . . .

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-ebook/dp/B00A8TUS8M

B & N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eye-dancers-michael-s-fedison/1113839272?ean=2940015770261

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/255348

and Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/The-Eye-Dancers/nKFZETbWWkyzV2QkaJWOjg?MixID=nKFZETbWWkyzV2QkaJWOjg&PageNumber=1


Or, if you prefer a hardcopy format, the paperback version of The Eye-Dancers is available for purchase  . . .

at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-Michael-S-Fedison/dp/0692262784/ref=tmm_pap_title_0/190-9007348-1553839

and at CreateSpace, https://www.createspace.com/4920627

I hope you’ll stop by and take a sip from this literary lemonade stand!



Thanks so much for reading!


Exploring Different Points of View (Or, Riding Along with an April Witch)

When I was growing up, in the now-vintage years of the 1980s, I used to like to pretend.  I pretended I was an explorer, navigating the river basins and leafy pathways of tropical rain forests.  I pretended I was an astronaut, drifting through the black depths of space, my rocket ship on auto-cruise as I sat back, sipped hot chocolate from a Styrofoam cup, and read back issues of The Fantastic Four (remember, I was ten years old when I was visualizing all this!)  I pretended I was surveying the uncharted regions of the ocean floor in a deep-sea submarine, discovering new species of aquatic flora and fauna.



But most of all, I play-acted.  I would invent games, scenarios, sporting events where players–actual and imaginary–squared off in a battle for the ages.  Sometimes I’d be by myself in the basement or backyard, offering a complete play-by-play of the action.  I’d “play” nine innings of baseball, running through the lineups, making managerial decisions and switching pitchers when the situation dictated, impersonating every batter on both teams.  Sometimes I’d recruit my friends–the same ones who served as the inspiration for the protagonists in The Eye-Dancers–and together we’d shoot baskets or throw around the football, each of us in our world of make-believe and magic.



As I grew older, went to high school and then college, little changed in this regard.  I’d still pretend as often as I could.  I would tell people that I never grew bored.  How could I when I was always a mere thought away from a home run in Yankee Stadium or a forehand winner up the line at Wimbledon, or a lively give-and-take in an embassy in Paris or Tokyo or Prague?  Sure, much of the time, my focus was on the here and now–homework, family matters, friends, career paths.  But when I had a moment, when I could break away from the grind, those were the times I let my mind roam and wander where it willed . . .




In a short story from 1952 titled “The April Witch,” Ray Bradbury writes about a seventeen-year-old girl named Cecy who possesses the extraordinary ability of entering into other beings and experiencing the world through their eyes, their senses.



The opening paragraph of “The April Witch” makes this crystal clear:

“Into the air, over the valleys, under the stars, above a river, a pond, a road, flew Cecy.  Invisible as new spring winds, fresh as the breath of clover rising from twilight fields, she flew.  She soared in doves as soft as white ermine, stopped in trees and lived in blossoms, showering away in petals when the breeze blew.  She perched in a lime-green frog, cool as mint by a shining pool.  She trotted in a brambly dog and barked to hear echoes from the sides of distant barns.  She lived in new April grasses, in sweet clear liquids rising from the musky earth.”



But more than anything, Cecy wants to experience love, feel love, something her parents have warned her about.  “Remember,” they say.  “You’re remarkable.  Our whole family is odd and remarkable.  We can’t mix or marry with ordinary folk.  We’d lose our magical powers if we did.”



So, unable to pursue a real relationship in her own form, Cecy inhabits the person of a young woman named Ann Leary, who she then coaxes, through her supernatural abilities, to attend a dance.  In this way, vicariously, Cecy experiences her first kiss, her first date, her first, soft taste of romance.


Cecy’s story hits home for me on a number of levels.  First, of course, she is able to do, quite literally, what I could only pretend to do as a boy growing up with an overactive imagination.  In her case, she wouldn’t need to wonder what it would be like to serve an ace at Wimbledon.  She could inhabit the body of the player who produces the shot, feeling it for herself.  My initial reaction to this might be envy–what a gift that would be.  If we possessed such a power, we could experience anything we wanted, any notion that took root, any desire that compelled us to dream and imagine and aspire to something that, otherwise, would be perpetually and irrevocably out of reach.



But then I consider it again.

We do have such an ability.  We can experience whatever we want.  We can drive a race car at 200 miles per hour.  We can climb Everest.  We can journey through the eyes of a mysterious “ghost girl” and come out on the other side, in a parallel universe.




We can dance across the canvas of the sky, using the stars themselves as our springboards.



Anytime we write a story, anytime we read a story, we are seeing the world through the eyes of someone else, living as vicariously through them as Cecy herself does as she enters the bodies of frogs and crickets, flower blossoms, or young women out for a night on the town.  The possibilities are endless, limited only by the scope of our imagination and the roads we choose either to walk along or bypass.



With The Eye-Dancers, for example, I was able to inhabit the consciousness, the points of view, of four distinct and different characters.  In short stories I have written, I’ve seen the world through the eyes of a small-town shop owner dealing with a declining profit margin and an odd customer who won’t leave him alone; a man haunted by a recurring dream of falling to his death from a high-rise; a clown in a traveling circus who discovers something horrific in one of the towns his troupe stops in; a husband coming to terms with the accident that has crippled his wife; a thirteen-year-old experiencing the moment when he knows, unequivocally, that he is no longer a child; a patron at a Chinese restaurant who reads a haunting, ominous message in his fortune cookie and then must struggle to overcome a long-held fear.



Sometimes, as a writer of stories, as a creator of characters, I feel like a patient with multiple personality disorder engaged in a form of therapy, as effective as it is magical.  It’s no different, really, from my flights of fancy in years gone by–it is no more, and no less, than the written manifestation of them.

We all write, read, watch, partake.  We all dream, imagine, and long for something better, something more.  We are all, each in our own way, riding high, aloft on the currents of the wind alongside Ray Bradbury’s April Witch.



Thanks so much for reading!


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