Hallelujah, October’s Here!

Hello, dear peeps! First, a huge thank-you to everyone who’s already ordered my new poetry chapbook, Of Stars & Smoke: poems for the dark wane of the year! I hope you’re enjoying the poems and I wish for you a Halloween full of delightful treats! I need to let you know that early bird specials are now over and normal pricing has taken effect, but the paperback is still a deal at $8.95, and the e-book is just $2.99. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kindness and support in this endeavor! I don’t typically make resolutions, but with the reduction in temperatures (small and gradual, but I’ll take it), I’m starting to get more excited about […]

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Are We There Yet?

Somebody, please tell me summer’s over and it’s fall now. The past few months have been a parched, scorching misery in Central Texas. But the further we get into September, the more hopeful I am that the heat really is easing. And not a moment too soon, because Jack-o’-lanterns slumped and oozing on the front porch in 106 degrees would put the “low” in Halloween. Finally, finally we’re squeaking closer to my favorite time of the year: when the temperature dives as the sky darkens like a bruise, when smoke is in the air and the first thought in my head isn’t “wildfire,” when flocks of Sandhill Cranes circle overhead at twilight and sink gently to the pastures, when coyotes […]

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Catching Up

Boy, am I glad to see you guys after all this time. I know some of you are also on the newsletter mailing list, so you would have heard from me back in the Autumn with news about the completion of The Space Between series (yay!). I did some book giveaways and then announced the publication October 11 of the third and final book, Across the Worlds (which I’m so pleased with!). But this, finally, is personal: a blog post, my first one since December 2020. Yikes. First, how is everybody? Are you navigating your way to the far side of the pandemic (what I want to believe is the far side, anyway)? If so, I hope you managed it […]

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On the Brink of a New Year

Hello, Dear Readers. I’ve missed you. Only two more weeks until we can drag the crumbling skeleton of 2020 out to the curb like a denuded, six-weeks-dead Christmas tree. But first we have to actually get through Christmas. Just . . . a little bit . . . longer . . . Today I want to update you on a few writing-related matters. (And if you’ve read the newsletter that went out to everyone on Wednesday the 16th, there is only a little duplication in this blog post.) First, there’s good progress to report on Book 3 in the Space Between fantasy series. After setting aside the manuscript for several months, I finally took advantage of being mostly homebound and […]

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Though it is claimed that there are now signs of marginal improvement in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, the news is still so grim that I continue to distract myself with things that make me laugh. I’ve found that BuzzFeed is a good source for fun stuff, like photos of horrid Frankenstein food mash-ups (literally) that people have concocted while in self-isolation. This morning BuzzFeed showcased some tweets from people humorously bemoaning the way their relationships have careened downhill as they spend more time trapped at home with their partners. (Read them here.) Some of these were hilarious. But when I stopped laughing and put down my phone, I reflected on how lucky Glen and I are to […]

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Distractions in the Time of Coronavirus

The world’s near-term prognosis is grim. As for the long-term, it doesn’t bear examining yet. Not by me, anyway. The last time I left the house to run errands without anxiety was March 11th. Two days later, Glen and I went into self-isolation. And now, along with lots of other people, I feel as if I’ve landed in a frightful alien landscape that bears no resemblance to my old way of life. To say the least, it’s concerning. So, in an effort to stave off daily panic attacks, I’m trying to distract myself with: 1. Things that comfort me. Like baking bread and desserts, cooking, and spending time outside watching the cows and the birds. And with: 2. Things that […]

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In a Pandemic, Hopes for the Future

Ready or not, once again history has caught us up in its riptide and carried us out to sea. I suppose I prefer witnessing history being made to the alternative of not witnessing it for whatever reason (being dead springs to mind), but I wish it didn’t strike so abruptly. Each day brings more shocking news and fresh worries. It makes me nostalgic for the overhyped, doomsaying days of Y2K. Because, regardless of what some people have been claiming (and as much as I’d like to believe it), I don’t think this coronavirus is being blown out of proportion. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve been worrying enough. And Glen, who exudes common sense and almost never shares my anxieties, […]

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The Colonoscopy Diaries: Part 2

The day before, I had my nails done. No one would be looking at my hands, but so what? I think it’s important to look nice for one’s colonoscopy. The morning of, I put on a gift from The Daughter: my special socks. Then Glen and I made the pre-dawn trip into town. He drove while I prayed silently for a good result. One week later, I got the phone call from the gastroenterologist’s office that my prayers had been answered. What a relief, I don’t have to go back for five years! But I already knew there was something else I wouldn’t be going back for. Not in five years, or fifty-five. In "The Colonoscopy Diaries: Part 1," I […]

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Why I'll Never Win a National Book Award

We all know the caution about never saying “never,” but I’m going to defy that advice and state unequivocally that my novels have zero chance of winning a National Book Award. Ever. And what’s more, I’m fine with that. My certainty stems from the fact that I spent the past few days reading Let the Great World Spin, a 2009 novel by Colum McCann. I picked it up at my nearest public library, and didn’t realize until I got it home that it had won the 2009 National Book Award for Fiction. That gave me pause, as I don’t read much literary fiction these days. I’ve reached the age when I read mostly for pleasure and not so much to […]

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Good Lord, Is It Really February Already?

Well, that was certainly a longer break than I expected. I hope everyone had a pleasant January? Mine passed in sort of an ouchy haze, but I’m glad to say that’s all behind me. And guess what the SI joint pain turned out to be? Shingles. Yep. And it was the least fun seven weeks I’ve had in recent memory. So here’s a public service announcement: If you’ve had chicken pox and you’re 50 years old or over but haven’t been protected yet, ask your doctor about getting the two-part shingles vaccine. Heck, if you’re younger than 50, I’d still ask the doctor. Young people can get shingles, too. The Daughter had it in college, for heaven’s sake. And contrary […]

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Humbugged

This is just a quick post today, Dear Readers. For one thing, many of us are busy shopping, cooking and making travels plans for the holidays. My own plans for the next few weeks include making peace with the idea that we’re starting yet another new decade in this 3rd millennium of the Common Era (which at the moment seems even more common than usual). Also on my to-do list is once again to be able to sit in a chair without lots of pain meds and a heating pad. Like right now, for example. Yes, your semi-faithful correspondent is about to ditch the next couple of posts, but it’s for a good reason: I’ve been sidelined with sacroiliac joint […]

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Thanksgiving with Fat Stanley

It’s the day before the feast and I’m trying to get a little ahead of the game. Nothing complicated or too stressful to cook tomorrow, so there isn’t much to do today, just the horseradish sauce that will accompany the standing rib roast. Dessert (a ridiculously easy and delicious chocolate sheet cake) is already made and, aside from the roast, the rest is just vegetables: sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus with parmesan and mashed potatoes. As I stand at the counter stirring the sour cream, horseradish and other ingredients together, I glance out the living room window across from the kitchen and start laughing. Because I see this: Meet Fat Stanley. That’s what I’ve named the turkey that Glen’s sister Denise […]

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