The Vortex

Here’s the cover for my next book, THE VORTEX, to be published soon by Winged Publications.

It’s a time travel romance. It shows how disrupting traveling in time can be even if the time jump isn’t huge. Just 10 years. But that’s enough. More than enough.

If you want to find out what I’m talking about, you’ll have to wait for publication. But that won’t be too long. A week or so if Winged Publications follows their usual schedule, which is pretty much breakneck speed.

Welcome Autumn

Autumn is here. Not everywhere yet, the landscape isn’t entirely red and gold and yellow and purple and all the other more subtle colors that come with this season. But they are coming.

I love autumn. I feel sorry for people who live where there is no change of seasons. No autumn.

Come for a visit, autumn-deprived people, and I’ll put the coffee on.

The Time Vortex — Maybe

I’m close to the end of my new manuscript, a novella to become part of a boxed set of clean, time travel romances. It’s about a woman who goes swimming in a pond with signs that clearly say ‘no swimming’ because she doesn’t believe the undertow exists that the sign warns against.

Of course she doesn’t it’s a tiny pond in the Midwest, not a beach on the ocean. But the sign was right and she’s pulled into the depths of the pond — and into a time warp.

Guess that says whether we should obey signs or not!

Anyway, the boxed set will be published probably in February of 2021 so you’ll have to wait until then to read the complete story.

And it might be named The Time Vortex. Or it might not. That’s the working title but I’m still thinking there might be a better title. Any ideas?

I’ve Been Asked: What’s a Pantser

What’s a pantser?

A pantser is one of the two types of writers. The other type is the ‘plotter.’

Let’s start with plotters. They plan the story in detail before putting a single word on the page. How much detail depends on the author. Some create elaborate graphs, page-long descriptions of every character and every situation and every setting. Others write outlines that aren’t so detailed but that do show where the story is going and how it will get there.

Pantsers, on the other hand, get the flash of an idea, run to their computer before they lose it, plop the seat of their pants to the seat of the chair and start writing and don’t stop until their imagination runs dry, their kids need food, or they are about to die of thirst themselves.

Both have their good points and their bad points.

I started out as a pantser but switched to plotting when I realized that, like most pantsers, I ended up rewriting an entire manuscript many, many times before it became a cohesive story. That’s the problem with pantser writing. If you don’t have the entire story in your mind before you start writing — and keep it there during the process — you can end up going down a lot of wrong paths.

So I became a plotter but I don’t like spending more time plotting than writing, so my ‘plot’ is what’s usually called a synopsis. I write a brief — 2 or 3 sentences at the most for each — description of my characters, story, and the problem the story faces. Then I write another 1 or 2 sentences describing each chapter. More and it’s too detailed to be useful to me because sometimes changes must happen, but, with a synopsis, I at least know how I planned the story and can adapt the changes to fit the story or change the story to fit the changes without too much effort because nothing was so detailed to begin with that it can’t be changed.

So there you have it. Pantseers versus plotters. Choose whichever works for you and feel free to change your way of writing at any time.

The Healer is the Last of The Wilderness Women Series

The Healer is the last of the Wilderness Women series and is my favorite of the moment. Of course, every book I write is my favorite until the next one is finished.

Still, there’s something special about this book, or so I’ve been told by several readers. (Okay, after I realized how many typos it contained because I edited it during the peak of the Covid 19 scare and my mind was elsewhere. But I re-edited it and the typos are gone. I hope.)

It’s been suggested that the ‘something’ is that I’m writing about things I know intimately, namely the North Woods and precocious kids. The North Woods because I’ve lived here a good number of years. Precocious kids because my family specializes in them.

Started with my mom who was tied to a tree like a puppy when she was a toddler because my grandmother didn’t know how else to contain her while hanging laundry. It should be noted that my mother ended up in Who’s Who in Education.

My oldest son didn’t need as much sleep as I did even when he was an infant. My doctor said he’d outgrow it by the time he was twelve. The doctor lied! He’s still going strong and is a gust of energy in every situation!

One granddaughter, one grandson, three great-granddaughters and who knows how many others have inherited that trait. Energy plus, IQs off the chart, creativity, and caring personalities. Every one of them.

So, like the main character in The Healer, I learned to let them go wherever they chose because it wasn’t possible to stop them and to just hang on and enjoy the ride.

If you’re interested, here’s the link: http://www.Amazon.com/dp/B08B1QTYJK

Making the Bed

Who knew that a simple task such as making a bed could be so complicated. Of course it isn’t for many people. Those who don’t have cats. If you do have a cat, you know what I mean when I say that they complicate a lot of things. Like working on a computer. And making up a bed.

Cats think computers are their personal play space. Once I had to take my computer to be fixed because somehow Smoke made everything on the screen upside down. When I explained that my cat had played on the keyboard, I was told that it’s a known fact that all cats in this area are focused on creating havoc on all computers in this area.

I believe it.

Not beds, though. As far as beds are concerned, cats don’t destroy anything. Instead, they are as helpful as can be. They do everything in their power to help make it up. Like scooting beneath the sheets as I spread it over the bed. And burrowing into the blankets when they are laid over the sheets when said sheets are finally, eventually where they belong.

And then, when everything is approximately where it belongs, cats take possession of the entire bed.

If I’m lucky, there’s space for me to sleep.

If I’m lucky —

A Day At The Beach 2020

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Lovely beach. Lovely day. I enjoyed it totally.

Of course, this is 2020, the year of the Covid 19 pandemic. Because of that minor fact, my day at the beach was somewhat different than previous summer beach days.

This beach was my son’s backyard. He lives on a lake, thank goodness, because that meant I could visit and experience the full benefits of a beach vacation without worrying about masks, infection, social distancing or any of the other things that are part of our daily lives this year.

It was wonderful!

Coffee Makers

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Who knew coffee makers could be dangerous? I didn’t.

The other morning, our smoke alarm went off. You know how it goes, there’s no smoke so we shut it off. It went off again. We shut it off again. It went on still again. And so on and on and on until we were irritated and figured the smoke alarm was malfunctioning.

We checked the house just in case, of course, and there was no smoke anywhere. We checked the electrical outlets and they were all fine. So it had to be the smoke alarm malfunctioning and to prove it, we removed it from the ceiling and took it outside where we thought it would continue screaming at us in the clean, fresh, clear air.

It didn’t continue. It stopped. So we took it back inside and it started screaming again, which meant that there truly must be smoke somewhere that we couldn’t smell but the smoke alarm could.

So we checked the entire house again. Nothing. Finally my daughter said that we might as well enjoy a cup of coffee during our search and went to pour herself a cup from the pot she’d already started. And discovered that the coffee maker was so hot that it was about to burst into flames.

We now have a new coffee maker, a house that didn’t burn down, and a very healthy respect for smoke alarms.