So, here it is, the end of summer.  I hope I’ve used it wisely, with my weekly treks to the beach for Dedicated Writing Time. I guess the jury’s still out on that until I start sending my newly-finished manuscript out into the world.  Watch this space!

Summer’s end also brings the inevitable dazzling aisle of school supplies in every store, something I quite look forward to seeing.

This year, instead of dashing off willy-nilly to  load up on new notebooks, I took the time to inventory my supply of pristine notebooks from previous years’ sales.  There are quite a few.  Sad to say, since they represent all the stories I’ve not written yet.

But, oh, they are beauties.  Plaids, paisleys, pastels.  A set of four coordinating florals.  A few cheeky ones with vintage romance or detective novel covers.

As I held each one, I thought about what it should contain.  Essays?  Short stories?  A mystery?  A romance?  My mythical Big Book (read : sprawling, multi-generational saga.  Perhaps the four floral notebooks for that project?)

When I did head to the store, I knew what I wanted—and what I actually needed, conveniently enough.

Pens.  In lots of different colors.  Think how handy they’ll be!  Every edit in a different color.  Every mark-up session unique.  Yes, please!

And now they wait for me.  Twelve gel pens in twelve shades wait to meet all that lovely blank paper in the notebooks.

Welcome, friends!  Let’s get started!

During these few fleeting months of fine weather, I always make a point of getting away from my desk and out into the sunshine on lunch.  Well, in today’s case, I made a point of getting out under the overcast sky, which in a way was even nicer.

There’s nothing very scenic near where I work, but there are some railroad tracks to wander along and a stretch of empty field, full of the nodding heads of Queen Anne’s lace and grass tall enough to sway in the breeze.  That’s enough for me.

For the time it takes to make a circle tour, I could be enjoying a day off–meandering anywhere, pondering a story, thinking about a cup of coffee, making a to-do list in my head.  Never mind I’m only do some of those things and must get back to work in a few minutes.

Just this morning I read an article about meditative walking on one’s lunch break and, as is often the case, my first thought was “I could have written this!”  It was fun, though, to read someone else’s take on stepping away from work,  and into the world for twenty minutes.  That’s exactly what I did today–and I spent the other ten minutes of my lunch break writing about it, saving the everyday moment forever, right here.

Hard News 1I’m so happy to report my novel, “Thunder in the Night”, has been chosen for inclusion in the Crimson Romance book bundle called “Hard News”.  Ten romantic suspense titles, all in one.  Can’t beat that!

Spring has sprung

Okay, so this morning, it was over forty degrees when I headed to work, with a wind worthy of early March.  This afternoon, it will sail past the fifty degree mark, and bring some April showers, too. This kind of weather–whether it comes in February or March  or April–is amazing to me, every year.  The amazing part is my reaction to it, because suddenly I feel as if the heavy cloak of Winter is gone, even though I’m still wearing a jacket and have gloves in my pocket.  My eyes search the flower beds for the tips of tulips and daffodils.  I know it’s too early, but then, there they will be, just about the ground, hinting at the promise of spring.  As the snow melts away, taking the cozy cold time with it, another kind of new year begins–or at least that’s how it feels.  All things seem possible in spring, don’t they?  I make plans for the garden, for updating my wardrobe, for cleaning and decluttering–and I make plans for my writing.  I envision patio reading for inspiration, lots of plotting and planning as I walk the trail through the woods, and beach writing for accomplishing it all.  There’s  a lot to look forward to, when spring comes to town.  And today is that day!

Victoria Magazine March April 2016As long as I’ve been writing, I’ve had a few publishing dreams.  Well, let’s call them “goals”.  Places where I longed to see my work appear.  Every now and then, I hit one of these goals and rejoice.  Brides magazine, Woman’s World and, in August of 2015, The Writer.  That was an especially great one for me, because I have been reading The Writer since I was in junior high school and it has inspired me countless times.  I still have copies of many, many articles written by my favorite fiction authors as they shared the tricks of the trade.  My essay, “A Charmed Life” was about the charm bracelet I’ve been creating for my alter ego, Kate Fellowes.

Now, I’m thrilled to report I’ve had another publishing dream come true.  Victoria magazine will publish one of my essays on the back page of the March/April 2016 issue, in their “Chimes” column.  Victoria has been my favorite magazine since the day I saw the premier issue at the hobby store in my hometown back in 1987.  The beautiful cover drew me in at once and I dropped my subscription card into the mailbox on my way home from the store. All these years, I’ve loved the magazine, reading of interesting people and places, admiring the beautiful home furnishings and fashions, enjoying time spent each issue with the Writer-in-Residence.  And savoring the essays in the “Chimes” column on the back page.

Every now and then, I’d send off an essay of my own, but, as is most often the case with writing, my pieces never hit the mark.  Until now.  Which just goes to show you persistence does pay off and one should never give up on a dream she holds dear.

When the issue appears, I’ll be easy to recognize from my ear-to-ear smile, enjoying the thrill of accomplishment and achievement.  Another highlight in my writing career, the publication will certainly encourage me, because there are always more dreams to pursue, more goals to strive for, more stories to tell.


My Christmas Card

The gifts are all purchased

I spent hours wrapping

While the cats lounged on sofas

Long-winter napping


I watched Christmas movies

One after the next

While scanning my list

The boxes—all checks!


Now I sit with my feet up

Chocolate in one hand

And watch Christmas peace settle

All over the land


 There may not be snow

(That’s a plus, in my book)

But the lights and the glitter

Bring a warm Christmas look


 Every tree decked with baubles

Every village aglow

Send my holiday wishes,

Wrapped up in a bow


Happy Holidays, Everyone!



My favorite season

While I like to think every season is my favorite season, since they all have something special to recommend them, my actual favorite is autumn.  What’s not to love about crisp, cool days when every tree is full of jewels and the sunshine glints off each leaf in a dazzling way?  This year, especially, we had day after glorious, gorgeous day here in Wisconsin.  Fine walking weather, which the dog revels in, of course.  Even the odd gloomy, rainy day is lovely in the fall, with “Charlie Brown skies” (think of “It’s the Great Pumpkin” when Snoopy is traveling across fields in the twilight), and a delightful cozy quotient.  Time to settle in with a good book before the hubbub of the holidays begins. Mmmm, autumn!