christmas tree with baubles


It’s beginning to look as though gifts should be chosen.

If you’re looking for ghostly fun, try my Wisdom Court books: Edge of the Shadow;  A Signal Shown;  All In Bad Time.  They’re available as ebooks, as well as in trade paperbacks and hardbacks.

My two Finny Aletter mysteries, Scavenger Hunt and Obstacle Course are also available in ebook format.

My books can be purchased at amazon.com

And a very merry holiday season to you all.

It’s dark so early now…


Muddy beach and dead forest

And the night sky leaches color like a wound loses blood. But sharp shades cluster along the horizon before black and purple spread over the world. Night approaches like a wave coming for stragglers limping toward cliff’s edge.

Morning strives to make up for the night before. Peach and gold light the east, and filigree clouds promise glory as the day shakes itself awake.

So short a time breathes between morning and dusk. Life thrums with extra urgency under humdrum rhythms of must and can.

Spices scent air sharp as a blade, sometimes masking the musk of death. A march toward the end of the year gains depth and width, and wind rearranges the bodies across the ground.

Winter is coming, starting cold, endings promised in the air.


Mountain Sunset Scener


Beginning of the year…



Or so it seems to me. Having spent so many years in school, September is my January and I feel a surge of possibility when it rolls around. The temperatures may still be in the eighties, but I envision digging out sweaters and jeans. I can almost smell chalk in the air and hear bells ringing to signal class changes. (Or my ears are finally going the way of all flesh.)img_2345.jpg

A few ideas are rumbling through the empty halls of my brain and I’m looking forward to exploring them. All I have to do first is pull weeds and clear out our old back porch so it can be torn down. A new porch will be built after that. Strictly speaking, that means September will be filled with all sorts of tasks that will stand in the way of writing much. But, that means the beginning of this creative year will actually be in October, a month I dearly love. So, still things to look forward to.

Watch this space.halloween-pumpkins-pd

Hot town, summer in the city…

…finish with a hellish cold and call it all shitty.

Nah, not all. June brought Bob’s and my fiftieth anniversary, which we celebrated by taking the train to Glenwood Springs. When in doubt, find water…really, really hot water. We parboiled our way through four days and chugged home, at certain points traveling 25 MPH because the tracks were so hot in the 90-plus temps. We couldn’t risk bending them by going fast. True story.

July brought some rain, some hail, some corn on the cob, some strawberries. Once again I managed to kill numerous plants through a dearth of assiduity. (Hah! I looked it up after I typed it and was right in both spelling and meaning–that I forgot, was gone, was too much of a jerk to follow the watering schedule.)

August brought the cold from hell, simply because my immune system was bored. I’m going to the State Fair to compete in the mucous-producing

short red hair woman blowing her nose

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

competition. It’s gross, but the sashes are stunning.

I know it’s time to move on because I’m beginning to wish I could wear jeans again. (Aren’t these little life milestones entrancing?) I know I’ll be more creative–as in actually writing, for instance–and life will have more zing, too, when I can crawl back into the jeans.

Maybe next time I’ll torture my remaining readers…are any of you out there?…by writing a take-off on What I Did on My Summer Vacation. Snorking, gagging, and using tissues will be prominently featured.

Doesn’t the woman look cute blowing her nose? You ought to get a load of me.



Summertime, when the reading is…wonderful


Sunrise at Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach

Sunrise at Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach Oregon


I know, I know. I said I was going to get back to the regular blog posts, but then we hit June. We’re talking graduations, birthdays, anniversaries…and did I mention that my sweet husband and I celebrated 50 years and a few lousy months together? That, too.

Anyway, during all this marking of Important Occasions, I’ve come across one of the best writers I’ve ever read. Louise Perry is Canadian and writes the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mysteries. I haven’t been this excited since I read Dorothy Dunnett’s books. Perry is a superb writer and plotter, and I’m in love with her characters. I just finished Book 9 of the series and can’t wait to begin Book 10. (I came up to my computer to pay bills and need to get downstairs to watch a movie with my hubs. Will include specific titles next time.)

One of the best things ever is to live in another world created by a first-class writer. I’m having such a great time hanging out with Chief Gamache. Come join me!

And more soon!




Dino in the rye…


Field of rye

Just finished rereading Catcher in the Rye. I loved that book as I first read it a hundred years ago, when it gave me a lump in the throat I carried around for a long time. I wondered how I’d react to it now that I’m an old crock.  The lump is back and who knows how long it’ll last.

I never forgot the hyper-awareness of Holden Caulfield. I couldn’t imagine his ever being happy. I still can’t fathom his finding a way to break through his own loneliness to bond with someone on an equal footing, even though I still hope he will. As I read this time, I kept thinking about how much grief he’d gone through and how nowadays he’d be on meds for PTSD. And I still love the lines:

“Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.”  Boy, does that resonate for me at this stage in life.
“When you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write “Fuck you” right under your nose.”  Should be the Boomer motto.
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”   I’ll always see Holden catching those kids, and the thought gives me comfort.

Shoebill in the Wild - Uganda, Africa

And why, do you ask, would I put a photo of a Shoebill Stork cheek by jowl with Holden Caulfield? Because some things in this strange and ever-twisting life share a level of perfection. No, not perfection, which is a human concept capable of destroying lives. There’s a shared rightness to both Holden and a Shoebill, and that makes me happy.

Here’s to Spring.

Crawling out of the hole…


I’ve been hiding in my cocoon of late. Lots of reasons, none lethal, but as spring screws around with brightening the landscape, I’m beginning to peer out at the world. I replaced my lost cell phone (see previous post) and, thanks to the help of my technically more advanced daughter, have managed to get most of the attachments I want to take up residence in the thing. Now all I need to do is to think of something to say.

I haven’t hung out at Wisdom Court much lately. There’s a character knocking at the door to my mind, but she hasn’t yelled loudly enough yet for me to pay her much attention. She’s too cheerful, and I don’t feel like dealing with that at the moment. I’ll let her come in soon, if only because I need writing to take me over again, but it’s cold again today and my study is a pit. I have years’ worth of files to subdue and slip into slots. If I could capture the cat hair festooning  the furniture, I could make an afghan to keep me warm.

I need to send out a newsletter, but am missing an inspiring message. “Please buy my books,” doesn’t cut it. If Spring will finally extend herself into a hug across the land, maybe my limping brain cells will line up in formation and respond with grace instead of the post-winter whine I hear in my head every morning. My brain has shrunk into a petty nitpicker and nothing’s better at killing the creative spirit. (Yes, that’s an excuse for not writing.)


And how’s your day going?



Losing my mind? No, just my phone…

A funny thing happened on the way to walking my dog: I lost my phone. I can still almost feel its weight in my jeans pocket, have looked everywhere inside the house and out, and it’s definitely gone. That little contraption of metal and plastic that holds more info about me and my life than should reasonably be carried around has escaped into the world.

Well, shit.

I’m not even one of those souls who constantly carries a phone with me. Can’t count the times I’ve left it on the table and then needed it while I’m out and about. But slowly, over the years, I’ve become dependent on the thing, have gotten sophisticated enough to connect to some apps, have begun to feel the migration of brain cells to pocket or bag.

And now it’s gone.      pexels-photo-209660.jpeg

I called the company, suspended the line, ordered another phone, knowing full well that when it arrives, I’ll be bitching about the set-up hassle. And I’ll go back to carrying the thing around, fitfully, and missing the pictures I took with the old one. Feeling stupid for not protecting my property. Hoping no villains have absconded with bytes and bits of my info for their nefarious ends.

Maybe I’ll use the event as a plot device in the latest book. Maybe I’ll come up with a clever bit of business that’ll make the whole experience worth while.

Not bloody likely.

I’ll go through the drill, replace info and leave some hidden. And this time I’ll buy one of those signal finders that locates the errant phone. And I’ll try not to take the technology for granted.