I'm back in the saddle again. Let's see how long I can stay aboard. :-)

It's been so busy for me for the last six months that finding time to write so much as a shopping list has been a challenge. The ideas for blog posts and my next novel don't stop, just because I'm too busy to write.

Tonight, I started sketching out my idea for this next novel. While I'm still interested in writing a fictional account of my grandparents' epic lives, I do believe I'll shelve that idea for now. Another idea is pressing on me and that story is shouting to be told. It's a great departure from my previous work and I'm fascinated by where the story can go.

Isn't that just the most delicious part of the writing process? Having a story that wants to be told?


Yesterday afternoon, I saw two young boys walking along and showing each other how well they could spit.

My sons used to do that, too: showing off their ability to spit. I've always wondered why boys take such pride and pleasure in spitting.

Anybody? Explain?

Too Much

Sometimes, there's just too much.

Too much going on in life to be able to do everything on your list.

Too much to do to think very much about what is going on in life. It's a vicious cycle.

I started a new job about 10 days ago. It's a huge change for me. Getting ready for my last day at the old job was two weeks of working in double-time. I don't like to leave a mess behind me if I can avoid it. It was also two weeks of preparing to part with close working friends. I really, really miss those awesome women.

The new job presents a whole new set of challenges. For one thing, I need to learn a new "language". I speak plumbing. I speak insurance. I used to speak restaurant but that's been a while. Now I need to learn to speak propane! New people, new software... new new new!

And then.Then.

After 13 years of struggling over the title of "Dominant Female", the race ended. We had to put down our old O.C.D. Australian Cattle Dog, Ruthie. That was a difficult day, I must say. We discussed her downward spiral often and wondered if the day was coming when we would have to make that tough decision. Last Friday it was no longer a matter for discussion. The time was clearly at hand.

Our young dog, Chloe, keeps checking Ruthie's favorite napping spots. When she's convinced that Ruthie isn't here, she lays down abruptly in what looks a lot like a teenager throwing herself on the bed to cry.

I understand the feeling.

Give me a little time to find my new stride, and I'll be back to posting regularly. Meanwhile, give your dog a hug.

Ruthie. 1999 - 2013


I wanted to do something a little different with the third and final book in the series.

Each of the three books, A Gathering of Light, A Light in the Mountains and the newest, The Light of a Fire Opal is a complete story that is not dependent on the other books in the series. There is a common thread that unites the three stories, but it isn't necessary to read the first one in order to comprehend the others.

Someone commented that, as much as she liked A Gathering of Light, I should have omitted the profanity. OK, I get that. Of course, I think the profanity is entirely appropriate to the situations in which it occurs. I challenge anyone whose hand is being crushed while he's being stepped on by a mule to NOT swear, but that's beside the point. The nature of the attack on the heroine of the story, and the two instances of profanity made the story somewhat less that CLEAN.

In the second book, A Light in the Mountains, there is an instance of premarital sex. Yep. Even in the late 1800s, people did sometimes take the lid off the cookie jar before they were "supposed to". There are also a few scenes of conjugal bliss that are a little descriptive. Nothing in any shade of gray, mind you, but there they are.

For the final book in the series, The Light of a Fire Opal, I wanted to write a story that would be compelling and yet clean. I ran into a little trouble there. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't quite leave out all the profanity. I used the word "tit", which isn't exactly profanity, but there is one part of the story where the only word that works is ..... shit. All together, the story contains one "hell", one "shit", two "damn"s and a "tits".

I guess I'm incorrigible.