What a beautiful day it is today! The sun is shining brightly, and the wind has died down enough to keep the temperatures above teeth-chattering cold. (Yes, it is a meteorological term for a certain type of temperature, kind of like “colder than a witch’s — oops! Sorry, I digress.)
I have so much to do at home but the thought of being outside, stretching my legs as I walk with my yellow mascot, had me donning my coat and scarf and hitting the road. No worries, I didn’t fall this time. LOL!
The sky is that color blue so common on a winter day – a paler blue than the deep blue of a summer day. The sun glints off of the river’s surface and I have to squint my eyes as my gaze passes over its brilliance. Ice floats lazily down the river today. Yesterday, you could hear the low groaning sound of ice flows colliding with each other as they progressed down the river.
More people are out walking today. I even saw a few bicycling around the town. I wave at a couple out for a morning stroll, and they stop to give my sidekick a pat on the head and they receive in return his eternal gratitude. The signature dark brown UPS truck is making its way down the road, and I wonder if a package will be waiting for me when I get home.
As we saunter towards the big gray house on the corner with those bright red rocking chairs, I’m a bit disappointed to see there isn’t a big cardboard box waiting. Heading inside, my furry security system begins to bark. Could it be? I hurry to the door and sure enough, I find a package! Oh yes, it is a glorious day to be alive. Am I the only one who loves holiday packages? That would be a big “NO”!
It’s that time of year again when the holiday prep, decorating, shopping and events can take a toll on my psyche. I used to take part in the madness and over the years I’ve toned down the “I’ve got to get this done!” expectations to a more modest “How can I enjoy Christmas more?” vibe.
Gone are the fourteen — yes, I did correctly say 14! Christmas trees, and in their place is a more modest number. Now, I decorate five small tabletop trees, which I cluster in the dining room on a sideboard, as well as the main tree, but even that tree has shrunk from an eight-foot height to a more modest six-foot tree.
I make only one or two Christmas cookie selections and send them off to the hubby’s workplace and home with my sons to save me from having a sugar coma throughout the holidays. I do love sweet things!
If I have the time and feel creative, I will scrapbook and stamp my own cards, but if I’m time-crunched, I see nothing wrong with buying a nice holiday card and sending them off to close family and friends. I will use an app like JIbJab to create a funny Christmas greeting for all of my friends and family on social media.
Time has taught me that I’d rather spend my holiday enjoying hot cocoa and a Christmas movie with my loved ones than running from one chore to another during this season. So enjoy yourself, and if you love to shop and can afford to, do it! If you love to bake a dozen different kinds of cookies and holiday treats, knock yourself out!
But whatever you do, make sure you make time for the ones you love, because that is what Christmas is truly about — faith, family, and friends.
The holiday season is beginning, and a new threat to the citizens of Bayfield is discovered as young women go missing. Clare assists in the search for the most recent woman and finds she has become a target.
The winters are harsh near Lake Superior… And somewhere in Bayfield, there is a person with a soul colder and more brutal than any winter day in Northern Wisconsin. A fact Clare will discover for herself.
Today I’m not so sure. My grandpuppy (a full-grown 100 lb. Lab) arrived yesterday for a long visit, and by long, I mean a two-month visit. My house was almost a dog hair-free zone prior to the visit. Once in a great while, I will find a little memento of his last visit. Please don’t judge my housekeeping skills, LOL! Remember, I’m a writer.
To give you a little background info, this beautiful pooch had lived with us for the first two years of his life. During those two years, my life revolved around my Labbie and my writing. My husband needed to understand, I had my priorities. The poor guy…
But the last two years have been pretty much pet-free except for periodic visits by my son and his dog. I’d gotten used to being on my own each day. My focus was on my agenda, so my To-Do List for today included advertising for my books and the continued promotion of my latest published book, Never Show Your Hand. Also, NaNoWriMo is happening and I need to write!
What my schedule has been thus far?????
Wake up at 7 am
Quickly dress, wash my face and brush my teeth
Walk dog on slippery sidewalks and in circles around every interesting scent trail he can find
Breakfast as the dog sits by my side hoping I drop something
A five-minute phone call to my mom as the dog barks and whines nearby
Snack time for “Fido”
A few quick Facebook posts and Instagram posts (Yay!)
Letting the dog out as I try to sweep the kitchen floor and clean up after breakfast
Proceed to untangle the dog’s lead from a tree in the yard
Return inside to finish sweeping the kitchen floor
Have to return outside to untangle the dog’s lead from a different tree in the yard
Needless to say, we are still getting used to being around each other. It will settle down in a few days as he adjusts to his new environment. As I gaze at my furbaby sleeping peacefully in an armchair across from me, my smile is so big it almost makes my face hurt.
I know, I know. It has been a year and a half since Winter’s Icy Caress was published, but the good news is (Drum Roll, followed by Pregnant Pause)… Never Show Your Hand (Clare Thibodeaux Series, Book 3) is available to purchase on Amazon!!!!
I also updated the covers of all three books to celebrate!! Exodus is a variation on the original cover which was done in a watercolor painting effect. For Winter’s Icy Caress, I wanted a dramatic cover which reflected the eerie suspense of the story.
I hope you like the new covers!
Stay tuned for special pricing on all three books in the coming weeks!
Interesting Fun Fact! The Jeep pictured on the new cover of Exodus is actually MY Jeep!
The battle against Cancer is real and sometimes heartbreaking, and my family has and is currently dealing with this terrible disease. Despite being a nurse and caring for patients with cancer over the years, it hasn’t made it easier emotionally.
I support the One Million Project and their efforts to raise money for Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Check out my blog on their website. The One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies are available on Amazon. All proceeds go to CRUK and EMMAUS’ Homeless Programs.
A year ago, I wrote a couple of stories in response to a writing prompt. I don’t usually do that and, honestly, I really dislike writing prompts. They’re too much like that old favourite: write about what you did at the weekend.
I always hated that as a kid. Wherever I was, my weekend was full of aliens, magic, spaceships and adventure, but it was really clear that what my teachers wanted was a description of how green the trees were in the park, or how the sea sounded at the beach. Perversely, I now blog about what the animals did around the farm, which is barely a theme or two from writing about my weekend, without the aliens and magic.
I think, perhaps, that my perception of and reaction to writing prompts is the problem. It’s all about creativity and the prompt is just that, something to set the…
I planned on writing this week’s blog and wanted to highlight a new One Million Project book about a woman who made an impact for women in the UK fighting for the right to vote. It seems only fitting to highlight the historic strides women have just achieved in the US one hundred years after Frances Connelly walked into a polling station in the UK and cast her vote in defiance of the existing laws.
In the United States midterm elections this November, many records have been broken by women candidates. The largest numbers on record for women candidates for governor, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate were set during 2018. Ninety women have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives which includes some historic firsts.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. In Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn became the state’s first female…
Abby’s dark bangs scattered as she glanced over her shoulder, scanning the market for the source of the voice.
“Is this yours?” it persisted. An elderly man emerged from the crowd. In one hand, he cradled a shiny cerulean item.
“Oh, ye—” Abby’s voice broke as she glimpsed the state of her mother’s gift.
“My wife saw it fall from your bag. I didn’t think I could catch you—you’re so fast!” he panted, clutching at his side with his free hand.
Abby had eyes only for the bowl. It had split into three—no, four!—pieces.
Tears collected at the corners of her eyes and she reached up a sleeve to blot them away.
The bowl was blue and mottled like a robin’s egg. When Abby had first glimpsed the vessel, she knew she had to have it. She had saved up the lunch money her father had given her—every day that month—to finally purchase the little vessel for her mother’s birthday. Her mother was still in the hospital and had been for months. Abby hoped the bowl would…