Contact info please!
On your dog or cat’s collar
So they can get home
The other day as I walked to work, I saw two dogs running through the neighborhood. It was a lovely warm day and they seemed happy to be alive, darting around cheerfully and with purpose. They weren’t lost, I could tell. They had just gotten out of the yard. Both of them wore orange nylon collars, and neither of those collars contained a tag with a phone number or an address. *sigh*
This is at the top of my list of pet peeves. If they had had contact information, I could have called the number listed and given our location as the dogs took turns licking my hand. If their home address were there on a tag, I could have walked them home, since they were more than willing to be guided, at least a little.
One dog lifted his head, sniffed the air and took off running, straight across the park, heading north. North, to home. The other dog was happy to stand beside me, even as I suggested we follow his friend. He and I made slow progress to the corner and were just heading into the park when here came an SUV with a man at the wheel. The window was down and I could see he looked relieved.
“Are you looking for two dogs?” I asked and he told me one had already come home, through the gate the wind had blown open. My new canine friend jumped eagerly into the car, ready for a snack and a nap after his morning adventure. I took the opportunity to implore his guardian to put tags with contact information on both his dogs. A microchip is essential, of course, but for events like this, an old-fashioned piece of metal dangling from the collar is all we really needed.
If you have a companion animal, put your phone number on his collar. I put both my home and work numbers, because why not? Save them–and yourself–a lot of stress and grief. It’s so simple. A tag would make a terrific birthday gift for your friends with a companion animal, too. Any season, any reason, put contact info on those furry ones you love.
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So excited to learn my essay, “Lesson in Lipstick” will be part of this new anthology, to be published for Mother’s Day, 2017
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I’d vowed to give myself time
Haven’t done it, though
At the beginning of the year, I’d decided my only resolution for 2017 would be to cut myself some slack. The idea was to build in an extra ten or fifteen minutes to get to work or to a meeting or anywhere at all. To lay out my clothes, neatly ironed, the night before, so I wouldn’t have to rush around in the morning like a woman possessed. I thought of it as a gift of time, but actually it was more like a gift of peace or calm, and who among us couldn’t use more of those?
But, a month into the new year, I’m sorry to say I’m not doing very well on this project. Every morning I take too long working on the last clue of the Jumble. Then, because I was too sleepy to make any choices the night before, I end up jumping into whatever clothing is near to hand. I skip over the idea of jewelry entirely and scurry out the door five minutes behind schedule.
Just yesterday, even though I knew when we needed to leave for the Super Bowl party, I didn’t plan ahead. Indeed, I got up to my eyeballs doing the taxes. After I did my last calculation, I tossed aside my pencil, scrambled into good jeans and a nice sweater, grabbed my purse and zoomed off.
I don’t know why I’m struggling with what should be a simple time change. Every spring and fall when we switch to or from Daylight Saving Time, I show up to work when I’m scheduled–and that’s a whole hour’s difference!
So, like most of my resolutions, I’ll have to reboot this one and hope for better things. It’s past time for this change. Of course!
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Lately, I’ve been rereading some of my favorite authors, even though I have stacks and stacks of unread books at home. There is something so comforting about reading a book you already know and love, like watching an old movie for the tenth or eleventh time.
Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters–they are my all-star line up for romantic suspense. These are the women whose work inspired me when I was just thinking about becoming a novelist, who showed me the power and engagement created by the proper word choice, who took me to places far ago or far away or both.
Whether I’m snowed in and curled up on the sofa reading, or sitting in the shade on a summer’s afternoon, when I open the cover of one of their many, many works, I know I am in for another wonderful trip into imagination. What a debt I owe them!
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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!
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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.
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I’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!
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