Fine Wine and Writing

I’m no expert on wine, but of course you know that fine wine just gets better with age (kind of like me, as I like to remind everyone I know!)

Nobody orders the freshest wine or the latest vintage, because it takes time for great wine to develop; It didn’t start great.

It reminds me a little bit of when I began writing. I had a great time and I treasure those early projects, but I like to think I’ve only gotten better since then.


Words are Weird

Words are weird. Take the word periwinkle. It can mean at least four different things: 1) the color lavender-blue, 2) a flower that is lavender-blue, 3) a spiral-shelled mollusk, AND 4) to pry or drag something out from somewhere. So… you could periwinkle a periwinkle in a field of periwinkle-colored periwinkles.

And you thought writing was easy. I suggest you never write a story about periwinkles.

Now how about checking out my newest book. It’s number 2 in the Johns Falls clean small-town romance series and it’s titled A Very Black Cat because, as many of you know, one of the main characters is a small, black cat that may — or may not — be a familiar, a witch’s cat. Which do you think? (Hint — it’s a nice small-town romance but that’s no guarantee that strange things don’t happen in Johns Falls.)

In fact, wait for my next series of Johns Falls romances. I will call it a different series about the same town simply because these future books will be different. Not quite so lighthearted though still clean and wholesome because that’s what I write the most.

And Thursday, April 12, 2018 I’ll be a guest on Jo Huddleston’s blog so stop by and say ‘hi.’ I plan on dropping by myself every so often to see how things are going and answer any questions — and maybe ask a few myself.


2018 3 1

Spring comes to the USA in increments.

So how do you know when spring has begun? There is a way. It’s the appearance of the first tiny leaves on the trees, or the first crocus plants peeping through the snow. The Spring Leaf Index is an official measure of these early season events that you can find in plants as well as the experts.

Did you know you can track the progression of spring across the country? And that over-the-road truckers say one nice thing about their job is that they can follow spring and the flowering shrubs and trees as it moves from south to north and they travel along with it?

I know this because my husband was an over-the-road trucker at one time in our lives and early one spring he asked me to go with him. For a special reason. I couldn’t imagine what that reason was until we ended up in the South and started north once more.

He’d checked his route and knew that we’d be going through some of the loveliest country imaginable. I watched forsythia and other wildflowers and shrubs blooming from South to North and he told me in advance what I’d be seeing next because he’d seen spring arrive before on previous trips.

I’ll never forget that trip following spring as it made its way north and I’ve watched for it in my own area ever since.

I think that some day I’ll write a story about spring. Maybe make spring a character. It’s so full of life and promise that it would make a great character.


I definitely believe this, especially now. The thing is, I’m a writer.


I absolutely cannot learn the technology behind internet marketing. I recently spent two days — two whole days — figuring out how to get a newsletter out using Mailchimp. Now, according to other writers, Mailchimp is easy to use. Takes a few minutes to get anything out, which is partly why they use it. (The other part is because there’s a free option.)

So how’s that for crazy? Spending two days doing what should only take fifteen minutes? Yet I did it because I was told that all writers need a newsletter.

Like I said, writers must be crazy.


Sorry, folks.  I wrote this post and it disappeared.  Don’t know where it went.  Don’t know how.  Just that it’s lost somewhere in cyberspace.  So, here it goes again.  Hope this time it stays.  Of course, this won’t be a literal repeat of my first post but it’ll be the gist of it.  It’s about criticism.  (Is that why it disappeared?  Hmmmm.)

One of the nice things about being a ghost writer and writing confession stories is that there is no criticism because they are written anonymously.  No author name, no criticism.  Doesn’t work that way when your name is on the manuscript.  All kinds of people let writers know what they did right.  And wrong.

I once took a commercial story I’d written to a literary writers’ group I belonged to.  They critiqued my manuscript and their criticism would have been very appropriate if I’d wanted my story to be published in a literary journal.  But I didn’t.  I never again took a commercial story to them to be critiqued because I knew that if I followed their suggestions, I’d have a very short career as a writer.

I’ve also had my work critiqued by editors.  Occasionally, when I’d send in a manuscript, it would be returned with scribbed notes in the margins letting me know what subtle things they were looking for that I hadn’t provided.  Believe me, I listened and the next time I sent those editors a manuscript, they got what they wanted because I wanted to be a professional writer.

Next time someone critiques your work, ask yourself some questions.  Who are they?  What’s their background? Why did they say what they did?  Consider whether they are giving criticism that’s valid for your particular work.

Because maybe their criticism was valid.  Maybe not.