If you've enjoyed any of my writing, I hope you'll hop over to my new website  here. You'll find some of these posts, plus some new stories, essays, and some reviews I've done of books you might want to check out. 

My Happy Place

  My first sensation is the smell. Every time. The scent of salt tickles my nose before I’m even close enough to hear the rhythmic pulse of waves meeting the shoreline. Then the noise grows louder as I move closer, walking down the boardwalk that crosses over the rise of the dunes. Suddenly, a gust of breeze whips my hair across my face or knocks the hat off my head. And I don’t care. This is my happy place. My eyes sweep the beach, taking in the expanse of white sand, foaming surf, dark emerald water, and brilliant blue sky. Home. Absorbing the entire scene before me, I then allow my eyes to focus on the individual details that make up that whole. A boat far out near the horizon, wispy clouds hanging low over the water, white caps breaking against the sand, sea birds circling and diving into the churning waves. My bare feet sink into warm white sand as I begin my trek toward the water. I want to rush, but I also want to linger and savor every step. As I get closer to the water’s e
  The Great Unboxing (The Long and Winding Road From a Story to a Book.)     Yesterday, I received a box containing my children’s book, Toolshed Surprise. Although I had self-published a poetry collection a few years ago, this box of books felt remarkably different. I can tell you I was over the moon excited! This book is the product of a two-year long wait, because of illustrator changes, pandemic shutdowns, paper shortages, and other random things that most of us wouldn’t think could affect publishing time frames. For those who may not know the history, I wrote a children’s story in 2019 for a contest that called for stories about Bigfoot. It was a fun story. It received an Honorable Mention, and I filed it away. Then, in 2020, a different contest called for a children’s story on any subject. On a whim, I polished the Bigfoot story and submitted it. That second contest was sponsored by Young Dragon’s Press. My story won, and the judge, Clarissa Willis, who was then the acquis
  Thanks to our dear friend Ellen Withers, Gary and I belong to Facebook group Writers Unite! The group is publishing an anthology of stories with the theme Love. We were fortunate enough to have a couple of stories included. It is available on Amazon, and through these affiliate links. To purchase volume 1: To purchase volume 2: As an affiliate, I may be eligible to earn a small fee on qualified purchases at the above links.

Paws In Prison

                       Arkansas Paws in Prison –  Second Chances Are Saving Lives for Inmates and Animals Craig watched the yellow dog cower in the back of the cage day after day, as prospective adopters walked by, noticing the small dogs, the fluffy dogs, the dogs jumping on the gates begging for attention. Sandy, as his name tag said, wasn’t likely to beg for attention or food or anything else. He seemed fearful of all the noise and commotion of the shelter, and crouched in the corner with his face hidden.  Craig had seen him transform into a completely different dog when he’d taken him out of the cage for exercise. Sandy was smart and eager to please on these outings. Craig wished he could take him home, but he’d learned early on that he couldn’t bring home for every animal that tugged at his heartstrings. But with Sandy’s shyness, he’d likely never get adopted.  An idea struck, and Craig approached the shelter manager. “I have a dog I’d like to recommend for the Paws in Prison prog

Finding the Blessings Under a Blanket of Snow

 I’ve never been a fan of winter. Give me the summer sun and a pool, lake, or ocean to float in, or heck, even a lawn sprinkler, and I’ll be totally content. A winter wonderland is something I prefer to see in photos. So I’m sure you can imagine how I grumbled at the forecasts of this historic snow event. They’re calling it Snowmageddon? Really? This morning at daylight 10” of snow covered our world and it was -2 degrees in our little map dot. For our area, that’s a ten-year, or even a twenty-year record. Plus, the forecast calls for a second wave starting tonight. So I decided to pull my blanket tighter and look on the bright side. First, Gary and I are both in good health and do not need to go out to seek medical care or treatment. At our ages, or at any age actually, this is a blessing. We were able to go pick up supplies ahead of the first wave, so we have plenty. We are aware that not everyone had the physical ability or the financial ability to stock up, and we are grateful

NaNoWriMo Update - I'm a Loser

  How Not to Win NaNoWriMo It’s the first of November and I’m off like a flash. Well, maybe not a flash. More like a puff. a small puff, barely more than a sigh. But the point is, I’m off. I’m writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month. The fabulous idea that has been buzzing around my head starts to take shape on the screen. After a few days of diligently sitting down every day, I have written myself out of ideas. I back up and jot some notes. I think seriously about where I want this story to go, then write some more. I write a couple of scenes that are really short stories that might be able to stand alone. I edit what I’ve written, which is a no-no in NaNo. I catch myself writing backstory. Is that important or am I just trying to fill up pages? Then, I have a discussion with some fellow writers about some advice we’ve heard over and over and over. Start with action. Hook your reader from the very first paragraph, first sentence if possible. I haven’t done that.