Earlier in the week, I laughed at a terrible proofreading mistake I’d made when I forgot to remove a sentence I’d reworked.  It resulted in two sentences using variations of the word “Devastated”.

Tonight, I feel the word acutely.  I just accidentally deleted my almost completed Chapter 27 in Winter’s Icy Caress.  I’m using a new program and despite the backups the program makes and its constant self-save feature.  I’ve lost the file forever.

I’m going to bang my head against a typewriter (I don’t want to destroy my laptop) and cry.  I will also curse, but I refuse to write the words I will think and more than likely say.

Wish me luck!

Christmas Is…

December 25.  One of my favorite days of the year.  Yeah, yeah, almost everyone loves Christmas.  I hear you.  What’s not to love?  Sparkling lights, Christmas trees, Christmas stockings, Christmas cookies — the list goes on and on.  And who doesn’t like presents?  No one.

Christmas is about family.  Gathering together to celebrate the holiday and the family.  Mary, Joseph and their tiny baby, Jesus huddled together in a stable.  Now each year we travel near and far to be with the people we love and care about during this special time.

Christmas is about children.  Santa Claus, his elves, and that crazy red-nosed reindeer were the subject of stories, cartoons, and some pretty terrible photos with Santa.  Don’t even say you didn’t have certain Christmas programs you couldn’t miss — Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (to name a few).  Parents wrap gifts on the sly while the kiddos are asleep.  Most parents have experienced the early, early  A.M. construction of a bike or a wagon.  It’s followed by two hours of sleep because the kids are up at 5 A.M.

Christmas is about doing good works for others less fortunate than ourselves.  Donations to Toys for Tots and food pantries are synonymous with the season.  Inviting people to your celebration who would otherwise spend it alone with a microwave dinner.  It should be a time of peace and harmony.

Christmas is about our spirit, our soul, and our faith.  A Midnight Mass with the church packed full of the faithful singing the beautiful hymns and carols with real joy.  It’s standing in the cold night outside of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome waiting to go inside to Midnight Mass with the Pope.  A couple of voices join together singing a carol to pass the time.  Before long, a diverse group of people from my different countries add their voices to the song.  This memory from twenty-five years ago can still make me cry with the beauty of humanity.

I wish you a joyful, peaceful holiday where love is the order of the day.

And, I pray for compassion and kindness in abundance this day and every day.


24 Stories for charity and entertainment. Stories Nine and Ten.

This blog from #OneMillionProject offers two stories from diverse genres. It’s the perfect gift for the holidays for that person on your gift list who loves to read. And, in the spirit of the holidays, you will help the OMP raise money for charity.


Continuing my blog series covering the 24 stories in the original OMP anthology, let’s take a look at the 9th and 10th stories.

One of the aims of the collection was to present ‘something for everyone,’ and so our tales range from differing genres to different story types, including scripts and non fiction.

Rhian Rawling’s TASTE is one of a couple of non fictions in the collection and for my money it’s the most poignant story, dealing as it does with the tragic loss of Andy, Rhian’s first husband.

The above makes it sound like TASTE is going to be dark and depressive, but actually while sad, it also manages to be witty, endearing, funny and profound in turns. TASTE is about dealing with loss and at it’s heart it’s inspirational and an amazing story of a resilient woman.

Rhian was helped a lot by the WAY Foundation (Widows And…

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Doggone’ It

imageBrown, soulful eyes peer up at me while I type away on my latest chapter.  An orange ball is grasped in my best friend’s mouth.  I reach for the drool-covered toy knowing I wouldn’t get any more work done.

I make a lot of jokes about being a “Wild Puppy Wrangler”.  I have even thought about listing it as my occupation on my income tax return.  I’m not too sure the IRS would find it funny.  It has been 6 months since my little buddy lived with us.  I had gotten used to having my own schedule.  I woke up when I wanted, wrote when I was inspired and didn’t worry about getting home to let the dog out.

It’s amazing how quickly I’d forgotten the demands of caring for a rambunctious yellow spinning dervish (aka a Yellow Lab).  My friends didn’t have to listen to me going on and on about “what the dog did today”.  My Facebook page didn’t have 50 different photos of the cutie.  I meant 50 photos per day!

Anyway, I am writing my blog late at night with my canine friend snoring beside me.  My furniture and my clothing are once again sporting dog hair.  When I eat anything, he is right beside me trying to influence me with his patented “I’m so hungry” look.  Every time I open the bathroom door, he is patiently waiting for me.

I love this not-so-little guy.  Yes, my life has become more complicated, my chapters are being written at a slower pace, but his unconditional love is worth whatever inconvenience I might have to work around.

I better go get some shut eye.  He’ll be up early.