In December, I plan to…

…read at my friend’s wedding. Hooray! 🙂

…have a night out with Seymour. Minus the kids. Double hooray! 😀

…finish this round of revisions on The Lokana Chronicles, take a break from it, and then dive back in with notes from my awesome CP.

…savor my children’s glee on Christmas morning.

…spend lots of time with family.



…take lots of pictures. One can never have too many pictures.

…cook. A lot.

…crank up the Christmas music to eleven.

…try not to lose any more of my marbles. 😀

What about you? What do you plan to do in December?

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.


Collaboration station

So today we were supposed to share a collaborative post for Writing 101. And I did reach out to someone, but then life happened, as it does so often. That post will go up at some point, but for now, here are some of the posts I’ve enjoyed reading lately:

  • To begin with, everyone is important. You may never know how important you are to another person, but rest assured that you are.
  • I love reading Chuck Wendig’s blog, and his recent posts concerning the midpoint of a novel were of great interest to me since I’ve been slogging through a mushy middle for months. The second post, in particular, helped me figure out the answer to a question that’s been bothering me for quite a while now. Also, you can’t go wrong including Darth Vader in a post. 😉
  • How can you not love a post revolving around The Princess Bride? If you, like me, have a deep and abiding love for sportsmanlike giants and swashbuckling Spaniards, then check out this post by rarasaur.

What about you? What have you enjoyed reading lately?

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.

Adventures in garage saling

Score one for the savvy garage saler!

Score one for the savvy garage saler!

It’s amazing what brings people out on the town. There’s an apartment complex next door to our house and one of the tenants came over to see what we had for sale. “Whoa, it’s like a little store!” she exclaimed upon entering, holding a glass of questionable contents. “Oh, I love your lamp! I want this lamp. I’ll be back for it. You guys have exactly what I need, I swear. You really do. You have everything I need. I’ll be back. Oh, I love this lamp! I want your lamp.”

After several painful minutes of rambling, she left, only to return about a half hour later with her dog in tow. She wasn’t quite as high when she came back, thankfully, but still, when she went digging through the box of miscellaneous knives, my mother-in-law and I got a little nervous. Seymour’s mom looked at me and said, “No offense, but if she goes nuts and starts attacking, you’re on your own.”

I couldn’t help laughing at that.

Finally, the neighbor lady  picked up one…

How I got (back) to the Brook

These are very, very, VERY general directions, you understand.  Also, this trip will take years.  Decades, even.  But it’s totally worth it – even the bad parts.  And oddly enough, this is something I’d been thinking a little bit about already, as one of the many people I spoke with last night at my book signing asked if I’d been anywhere else, aside from my hometown and my adopted hometown.

So, kind woman, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoy the book you bought from me and I hope this answers your question. 🙂

1. Start at the Grundy Hospital.  Cry, scream, bawl, but also be cute enough to make those two big people take you home with them.  They look nice.

2. Follow the big people to Reinbeck.  Grow up a little, gain a sister, make some friends.

3. Refuse to leave home when the rest of the family wants you to go with them after the woman dies.  Insist on staying with the man who brought you home from the hospital.  Make more friends, who help you out when things get tough (and they get tough a lot).  Never give up.


4. Go
Continue reading

Deep thoughts

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake. -Unknown source, from a fortune cookie

Is this real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality… -Freddie Mercury, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

The first quote sparked my interest. The second is what popped into my head as I sat thinking about the first. 🙂

Yes, I’m a dork. I know it. It’s okay.

But in all seriousness – how do we know what’s real? Is real life just a dream? Is fiction truth? Is the truth a lie? Are we actually living our true lives in our dreams while we’re sleeping, making what we think is the waking world one great big fantastic communal dream?

I’d say that would make for an interesting story, but wasn’t that the basic plot of The Matrix? Aw, the heck with it – it would still make a pretty good story. Maybe that’s what I’ll work on next…

What about you – what kinds of deep thoughts do you think when nothing else is occupying your gray matter?

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.

Secretary Daydreams

Today’s challenge was to recreate a day – or, more challenging yet, an hour – in the life of, well, anyone, I suppose. I took the opportunity to write another short story. Below you’ll find an hour in the life of Abby Dunleavy, bored secretary. I hope it’s entertaining. 🙂wind

Skiing is great fun, if you know what you’re doing. I, of course, had no idea what I was doing, and was positive that the bunny hill I was careening wildly down was really a black diamond.

“Snowplow! Snowplow!” my best friend Janey yelled.

My head snapped left, then right, then dead ahead. “Where?!”

The bottom of the hill was rapidly approaching, as was the parking lot.

But the phone rang before I could crash into a parked car. I snatched the receiver out of the cradle before the first ring had finished and sighed. “Arnold Rowan and Scates, this is Abby. May I help you?”

I half listened as…

The Runaway Princess

Adrina begged every deity she could think of to keep her safe as the storm raged outside. She prayed that the waves would not find her, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.  The gods stood watch as the waves crashed against her door, one after another, seeking her in every nook and cranny till they found her at last.  When she could fight them no longer, the waves dragged her away, sobbing, and back to the sea she went, back to her father the king, back to her home and the punishment she knew awaited.

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Ten things I learned from The Mighty Ducks

Today’s Writing 101 topic was to critique something that you’re passionate about, and since I’m passionate about my ’90s nostalgia (and since Bubbles wanted to watch it last night), I decided to review one of my favorite childhood movies, The Mighty Ducks.  All three movies in this series are fantastic; I’ve watched the first two (because we didn’t have the third one) so many times that I have them memorized.

And now, without further ado, here are ten things I’ve learned from watching The Mighty Ducks:

1. Sometimes the gentle approach is the best.  Soft hands – concentration, not strength.

2. It’s never too late to try again.  If Coach Bombay can try out for the minors at the end of the movie, then you can do anything you want.

3. A simple fraction can make a world of difference.  A quarter of an inch to the left and little Gordon’s puck would have gone in…but a quarter of an inch the other way and it would have missed completely.  It’s all about perspective.

4. Don’t quack at the principal, unless…

If we were having coffee…

coffee…I’d tell you how much I’m looking forward to having a day off.  Not that it will happen any time in the near future, but hey – a girl can dream.

…I’d tell you that I’ve only got twenty pages left of The Price of Mercy to rewrite.  I can’t believe I’m so close to being done with this draft.  Now if only I weren’t taking half-hour lunch breaks the next two weeks… 🙂

…I’d tell you that it truly boggles my mind to think that Thanksgiving is only a week and a half away.  Wasn’t it just January last week?  Where has 2015 gone?

…I’d tell you that I need a nap.  Badly.  Anyone know where I can get the time for that? 😀

…I’d ask how things are going with you.  After all, it’s probably been way too long since the last time we caught up.

What about you – if we were having coffee, what would you have to talk about?  Tell me below!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

The Party

Today’s challenge was one of observation, of interaction. But I chose to write about a lack of interaction, and I hope you enjoy it.

It was supposed to have been a party. All the usual trappings were present: food, friends, music, gifts. But no one was dancing; no one was eating. The gifts sat unopened on a table, ignored by their recipient and forgotten by the guests.

The music was too loud for the room and it hurt my ears. It didn’t need to be so loud; no one was talking. I found it odd that amid a sea of people I could feel so completely and utterly alone, like a star in the sky, one of many, yet completely solitary.

Every hand, every eye in the room, was glued to a screen, transfixed by the glow, and it would take an act of God to separate them.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you react?

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.