Sunday, March 28, 2010


Ankle is healing, and hopefully everything will mend properly. It's hell getting old! BUT I'm a hard-headed mule, so I'll need to do what needs to be done to get back on both feet again. And speaking of old (as in old news), I'll let you know that ISLAND PASSAGE will finally be going to the publisher in another two weeks. I'm excited about getting it out of my hair, and then I'll be free to start on the next project. The most valuable lesson this hard-headed mule has learned from writing a second book is that life is a neverending learning process. AND nothing is ever gained from expending valuable energy on whining, rationalizing, or self-criticism. Growth, at times, can be downright perilous; refuse to wither in a drought of self-doubt.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Life has a way of showing us the path, even though we don't want to listen. Yesterday morning, I was taking a hike through the woods above a 90 foot waterfall. I was irritated with the amount of things I needed to accomplish that day and plenty aggravated that I had no choice but to plow through full speed without giving time to my writing. Of course, the mule at the head of plow was me. Mule-headed me, thinking the world just couldn't operate in a timely manner without my help. My hike yesterday morning brought on a very important lesson. Well...I reached a wooden bridge, slick with frost, and my right foot slipped, then caught, my ankle rolling to the left. I went down like a ton of bricks. When I held my foot up, it drooped to the right. Geez, that didn't look too good. Thank goodness I always walked with my friend Audrey and our dogs. Okay, I'm on a path above the falls and no way to get down. I asked Audrey to go on ahead and get my husband. In the meantime, I managed to get my legs under me, and then hobbled to the stairway and made my way down and through the rock path to the sandy part of Ash Cave. My husband and Audrey met me on the path coming out of the cave area. A bad sprain and now on crutches with probably a couple of months of recuperation on the right foot. Okay, God answers our prayers sometimes in the most ironic ways. In exchange for a bum foot, I now get my slow-down time and guess what? The world does go on without me. It's that darn ego working again, thinking only we can do the work that needs to be done. Sometimes, to get the best out of life, you must first give in to life. Life is paradox, for sure.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I've been in a real funk lately. Editing is one of the most mentally fatiguing tasks a person can undertake, especially if it's your own manuscript. On bended knee, I thank my critique partners for all their hard work and efforts in helping ISLAND PASSAGE come to a professional level. Impossible to have done it by myself. The mind sure plays tricks when it comes to editing, and my eyes have a habit of not picking up missed words, such as THE OR and IS, all the little buggers that can trip up a sentence. I find using a ruler helps in editing as my eyes are always anxious to quickly take in a line of manuscript, then jump down to the next. Not a good thing. My question is this: how can you love something so much when it causes such emotional distress? Writing is hard work, no doubt about it. The tough part is, we create something that only can be appreciated after the fact, meaning no physical structure to measure our progress. No one except a writer can appreciate the innumerable amount of hours spent in bringing a story to completeness. Although at this point, I'm beginning to see the light. Soon, I'll have to let this baby go and send it off to the printer. And then what? Well, my next project, of course!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I'm back after a few days of staring into space and wondering how to fit reality into the world of fiction. It's difficult for writers to disappear into their own heads and into the heads of fictional characters, become immersed in the lives of people who exist totally on paper. And then...come back out into reality and see that you still have a life to deal with on the outside. It's like spending the afternoon in a bar and coming out into the bright sunlight, eyes squinting to get used to the light on the outside world. Not that I spend afternoons in dark bars, but if the analogy fits, go with it. At any rate, I'm feeling renewed and ready to go into the final edits of ISLAND PASSAGE, and then off to the printer. Then, I'll go into the editing process again with DEVIL'S CHANGE, planning for that book to be out in 2011. Writing is difficult, no explanation needed as to the amount of work and mental fatigue it takes to produce a story that others will hopefully want to read. For writers, it is unusually difficult to put your head and heart into a project that no one sees until the finished product. This entails months and years of cyber copulation with your computer. Disgusting image, I suppose, but nonetheless the truth. Developing a story is no less than developing a relationship with characters, setting, plot and all the ingredients that must be taken into consideration. Sometimes this involves throwing some characters out into the snow and bringing other characters inside to perform the task needed to get to that ultimate climax in your story. The emotions needed to come to the end of your story is much the same as that give-and-take needed in any relationship. It takes patience and lots of nurturing to get to those last two words: THE END ...or happily ever after.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I have a lamp on my desk with a ribbed green shade, an old lamp that has been refashioned for electricity. Whenever I sit at the computer and try to say something unique and insightful, I look at the lamp and imagine it before electricity, functional with oil. Perhaps a woman, after finishing her chores for the day, sat down under the soft glow of this lamp and read a book or mended socks or rocked her children. Lives of men and women who went about doing ordinary tasks just to survive. Many of us are too young to remember a time when a man made $10.00 and spent no more than $10.00. No credit cards. No credit scores. A time when people made do with what they had, because there was no more. My father died in 1998. In his dresser drawer we found a small slip of paper from 1946 when he took an overnight trip with my mother. Every item he bought was duly noted on the paper: gas, lodging, dining. Would you believe the total expense for their trip was $15.00! My father and mother were "depression kids," growing up with an appreciation for simplicity and squeezing that nickel in their pocket until the buffalo pooped. When I write, I feel the love and security of a past that I'm sure I've added a few frills to over the years, making memories as mellow and soft as the light coming from the lamp on my desk.

Monday, March 1, 2010


My blog this morning will be short. I work two days a month at a law firm, helping with their billing and have to be dressed and out the door in fifteen minutes. But I do have a thought for the day about friendship.

Monday morning (yawn, stretch, drinking a sip of coffee) On my Sedona post I was thrilled to see one of my daughter's friends, Emily! I've known her since she was thirteen and remember Steph's (my daughter) slumber parties here at the house with all the other giggly girls. Again, friendships that may falter at times, are there, nonetheless. You see, friendships are like fingerprints: there for life and each unique in character. Emily is teacher and writer. And, on a more personal note: "Emily, I am so proud of the woman you have become." I'm also friends with her mom and dad, who I haven't seen in many years. Directed to Emily: Tell your mom and dad hi, and that I miss them.

Also, my friend, Barb Whittington, had an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sunday. If you get a chance, check out her blog. She is amazing.