Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Memorial Day to Remember

Golden Gate National Cemetary, Memorial Day 2015
Every year, we commemorate the sacrifices of our military heroes on two days, separated by six months. Memorial Day is the most American of the two as it was initiated in 1868 as Decoration Day, following the end of the War Between the States (also known as the Second War of Independence), the American Civil War.

Traditionally, graves of Union soldiers were decorated with flowers. The Confederate soldiers were commemorated similarly, but on a separate day. By the 20th Century, the competing days merged into the one we now know, the last Monday of May, the beginning of summer.

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries in Europe) commemorates the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month when the guns went silent at the end of World War I. This holiday evolved from this WWI connection to honor the service of all veterans of the U.S. Armed forces. Memorial Day honors the military personnel who died while serving our country. 

Drought-affected GGNC, Memorial Day 2015
This year, unlike so many in the recent past, the United States is not engaged in any major conflict on foreign soil, a reason to think of this year’s holiday as one to be set apart. 

Along with many of my fellow Americans, I visited the graves of members of my family who served in the U.S. Army during World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War. To my knowledge, no one in my family died in combat, despite a long history of service in the Armed Forces.

Since the 1950s, the Golden Gate National Cemetery has been the resting place of uncles, aunts, my parents and siblings. My father and uncle, both U.S. Army officers, are buried with their wives. My sister-in-law passed away a year before my brother and they were interred together in my parent's grave. 

These vast rows of white tombstones and flags are, at once, a majestic and a sorrowful sight.

This post is in Memory of
  • Moses F Verrill, Infantryman, US Army, 20th Maine, War Between the States
  • Hiram W Verrill, PFC, US Army, WWI
  • Thomas A Verrill, Sr. Captain, US Army, WWII
  • Charles A. Adams, Sargent, US Army, WWII
  • Owen K Nichols, US Navy, Korean War
  • Thomas A Verrill, Jr. 1st Lt, US Army, Vietnam War
And in Honor of
  • Maxine M Dillahunty nee Verrill, 1st Lt, US Army, Korean War,
  • William D. Dillahunty, Airman 2nd Cl, US Air Force, Korean War
And with especial thanks to every one of the veterans and serving personnel who volunteer and are prepared to give their lives to protect and preserve our liberty. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

To Those We Honor by Fran McNabb

My blog date always falls on Memorial Day, and I wanted to do something different for this year. On this special day, we honor those who gave their lives during war, but we also include those men and women who are no longer with us but who served in the Armed Forces, especially during wartime. Below are some of those soldiers we remember today.

Fran's Dad: Lewis V. Langlinais
SSgt Army Air Corps. WWII
Died 2007
Noble P. Smith, Jr.
Army Air Corps, WWII
Pacific, Died 1997 
Milton A. Wallis, Jr.
U.S. Coast Guard, Gunner's Mate
WWII, Died March 1976
Robert S. Diamond, Jr."Jack"
 Chief Master Sgt.
WWII, Korea, Vietnam
USAF, died 1984

John Alden Turner, Lt Col, USAF
Pacific, Korea, died 1981
Wife Mariam
Army Nurse Corps, died 1956
Both are buried in Arlington Cemetery
James Edward Burns
PFC - E2 Marine Corps
Killed Dec 7, 1967
Brother to Raymond McKee

Raymond Scott McKee
CPO - Coast Guard
2 tours Operation Desert Storm
Died 2014

Not pictured:  Herb Chelikowsky, U.S. Army, WWII. Died 2005 
Robert Earl Gieger
Chief Master Sgt, WWII
Korea, Vietnam
Died 2012
Ronnie Rhodes, Sgt
US Army, 173rd Airborne
Killed in Vietnam 1968

Warren E. Jordan, Pvt, WWII
US Army, Guarded German prisoners
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Died 1980

Authur Springer
Army Air Corps, WWII
PFC, Gunner, New Guinea
Died 1986
Brothers Forrest and Shirley McNabb
Forrest: Army Air Corps/USAF
TSgt, WWII, Korea, Died 1970
Shirley: US Army, PFC, WWII
Died, 1983

Alton LeBlanc
WWII Navy,  Pacific
Ship Servicman 3rd Class
Died 2014
Wife Belva
Donald A. Winnney
TSgt USAF, Korea, Died 1985
Wife Oleta

Fran McNabb lives about thirty minutes from the National Cemetery       
on the Gulf Coast where both of her parents are buried. The cemetery,
like others across the nation on Memorial Day, honor the veterans buried there by placing a flag on each grave. It's a small gesture, but a reminder that we should never forget those who served to keep our nation free.
Visit Fran at www.FranMcNabb.com or contact her at


Thursday, May 21, 2015


by Sierra Donovan
I had to email my husband (on his own computer, in the next room) with the bad news: it's over between us.

Don't judge me. You'll understand when you read this powerful, compelling message of seduction from a new, male Facebook friend.

Thanks so very much for accepting my friend request .actually, I was browsing through my profile when I came across your beautiful profile page, Anyway there was no way I could just flip pass your page when I saw how astonishing beautiful you look, I must say Your beauty beats the imagination of almost all men in their fantasy world Lol. .Well I'm here to make friends or something more, and I think you're cool with your profile .. I'm a widowed man with a lonely heart, I will like to get to know you more if you don't mind ..may the good lord bless you and your family hope to hear from you soon

All grammar and punctuation have been preserved to capture the message in its simple beauty. Finally, a man who “gets it.”

My husband, on the other hand, was disturbingly cavalier. His response to me, minutes later:

If he's a banker from Nigeria, GO FOR IT!

Surely now you know why I'd chuck it all for this last chance at true happiness.

In fact, my husband's flippant remark got my wheels turning. What if my new dream date IS a rich banker from Nigeria in disguise? For all his eloquence, his English is a bit flawed. Maybe this is a test. He wants to make sure I love him for who he is, not what he has, before he whips out his big bank book.

Of course, if I want to take him up on his offer, I'd better act quick. There's no telling how many other potential true loves he's already contacted -- or how many of them will leap to respond!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do You Work Better With Chaos or Order?

by Gina Ardito

Years ago, when my son was in elementary school, his class held a Mother's Day tea. During the event, in front of my son, his classmates, and all the other moms, his teacher pointed out my boy's desk, remarking quite loudly how "messy" it was. If she was hoping to embarrass me or my child, she chose the wrong mom and son.

"Remind me," I said. "What's my son's grade average in your class?"

"High nineties," she replied. "He's a straight-A student."

"Has he missed any assignments or homework?" I asked.

"Well, no. But if you look at how disorganized his desk is--"

"Does he share his desk with another student?"


"You haven't seen my desk at home," I told her. "To anyone else, it seems totally disorganized, messy, and impossible to navigate. But to me, it's 'creative chaos.' It's how I work best. And apparently, my son is the same way. So until his grades falter, he starts missing assignments, or he's sharing space with someone else, I'm not going to worry that his method doesn't meet your expectations. The results meet mine."

I think I became a hero to my son in that moment. I didn't exaggerate the condition of my own work desk. At any given moment, my desk overflows with notes, research books, photos, coffee cups, snacks, and various tchotchkes to keep my muse entertained. While I write, there'll be music playing or a television on in the background, or both. I don't plot or outline. I barely know my characters when I start Chapter One for any story. I throw myself into the storm of ideas and noise and clutter. And then I work my way out from the midst of the madness to create my art.

I thrive on chaos. I set unrealistic deadlines. I paint my characters into impossible corners with no method of getting them out. I throw caution to the wind over and over again. And yet, somehow, it all works out for me in the end. Every single time. This is my process. Crazy? Maybe. But who said creativity has to be sensible?

I guess my son takes after me. Judging by the condition of his bedroom vs. his high grade point average, the scholarships he was offered, and the fact that every college he applied to this year accepted him as an incoming freshman in the fall, this system (or lack thereof) works for him, too.

The thing is, when it comes to creativity, there is no right or wrong. There just is. I know several writers and other artists who need total silence, perfect order, and pristine conditions to work. Some use white boards and Post-It notes and map out every facet of the story before they type a word. Others toss themselves into the abyss like me. And still others find a combination of neat/chaos that works best for them.

As long as the end result is something beautiful, what difference does it make how we get there?

And in case it wasn't obvious, the mug in the photo above sits on my desk--a gift from my son. "Creative chaos is better than idle neatness."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Real-Life Romantic Hero, Part II

In my last blog, I looked at the differences between the washboard-abs, always-sexy men in the romances we love to read and the qualities in the men we want to live with in our everyday lives. The criteria I listed were: (1) He helps in the kitchen; (2) tends the baby; (3) advocates for you when you need it; (4) acknowledges your superior skills; and (5) listens. That's a darn good list!

Of course he may also have the washboard abs, the bedroom eyes, etc., etc., but when you're in your fourteenth hour of labor and the hospital personnel are largely ignoring you, the abilities to listen and advocate are likely to seem of greater value.

Since I made that first list, I've thought of five more qualities I appreciate in my own romantic hero that I often share with the heroic men I write.

1.  He is honest. Of course, that includes honesty in his vows to you, his one and only. It goes without saying (but let's say it anyway) that he is 100% faithful. But that's not all. While he'll take every deduction he's entitled to, Mr. Honorable doesn't cheat on his taxes, lie to his boss, or fudge a little in his statements. If you should ask him whether X dress makes you look fat, and it does, he may go for a tactful response such as, "It's not your best look, honey. I really prefer the red one," but he will not lie even to spare your feelings.

2.  He is open. It's part of his honesty. He says what he thinks and expresses what he feels. He doesn't sob at sunsets, but he is in touch with his emotions and, because he loves and trusts you, he is willing to hear your opinions and consider them openly.

3.  He has a sense of humor. He doesn't have to be talk-show-host funny (although that's a plus at times), but he's willing to look at the light side. When you hit that black ice and collide with a snowbank, he's the guy who says, "Wow. Lucky you avoided that elephant. We could have been in big trouble." He says it with a grin, then gets out to dig you out of the snowbank.

4.  He's independent and respects your independence. At the same time, he recognizes that two inter-dependent people can accomplish more--and have more fun at whatever they're doing--than two who are living parallel but separate lives. He likes being with you and wants emotional as well as physical intimacy.

5.  He is willing to fight fair. Let's face it. Couples that stay together and are passionate about one another still disagree, and sometimes they disagree passionately. One of the things my Hero and I did early in our marriage was to establish ground rules for handling those disagreements, the most important being (a) no name-calling and (b) stick to the issue; don't rewash the old dirty laundry. Sticking to those rules means we can eventually work things out even when we disagree strongly. For your Hero, as well as for you, maintaining a healthy relationship is more important than being "right."

There is more to a healthy relationship, and I'm sure you have your own important qualities you'd love to add to your personal list, but any man who comes equipped with these ten qualities is well on his way to being any woman's hero.

Susan Aylworth is the author of 13 published novels and has a part in three boxed sets, all 16 titles available now. Mother to seven, she is "gramma" to 24. She lives in northern California with her husband of 44 years and the two spoiled cats they serve, and she loves hearing from readers @SusanAylworth, at  www.susanaylworth.com, or susan.aylworth.author@gmail.com. You can also follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Oh! The Places I've Been

Posted by Jayne Ormerod

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

So begins the motivational book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go by the esteemed Dr. Seuss.
            The book was first published in 1990, years after my own graduation from high school, but if someone had given it to me I would have scoffed.  Why would anyone want to go explore that big scary world when everything I wanted/needed was right here in my small Ohio town?  I planned to live in the same area–possibly the same house–where I had grown up and raise a whole passel of children who would wear the same unflattering Orange and Black school colors and then they’d grow up and have babies of their own and live right next door to me.  In a word, I was wanderlust-less.  So even if Oh, The Places You’ll Gohad been available, its encouragement to go off and see the world would have been wasted on me. 
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
            Okay, I did wander a teeny bit, about 300 miles south to college in another small Ohio town.   It was there I fell in love with a Navy ROTC man and, in complete contrast to my life’s plan, we sailed off to see the world.  None of that “live in the same house for the rest of my life” for me.  Nope.  Not even close.  Over the course of 28 ½ years we’ve had 18 home addresses and made six coast-to-coast moves (one with only 10 days notice), and we’re not done yet.   And, oh, the places I’ve been. 
            First let me just say I wouldn’t even be a writer if we hadn’t had to schlep our worldly belongings to a new place every few years.  Even though I’d begun my Navy Wife adventure armed with a degree in accounting, every time we moved to a new cityI had to start at the bottom of the food chain again.  Eventually I forsook my career to be a stay at home mom.  With not much else to do on those long lonely evenings while my husband was deployed, I did a lot of reading.  And then writing.  And finally I decided that writing was a more transportable career than accounting, and the switch became official. 
            Here’s a little secret – I’d never really wanted to be an accountant.  Ever since I’d read The Secret of the Old ClockI’d wanted to be a writer, but my parents thought I had a better chance of supporting myself if I had a business degree.  And it did help, if only because it led me to a career as a navy spouse. And oh, how the places I’ve been have influenced my writing. 
It’s opener there
In the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
And frequently do

            My writing has benefited from living so many places because that translates to exposure to new and exciting foods. Trust me when I say, “Military spouses do potluck parties better than anyone.”   Be the occasion a BUNCO game or a Wardroom Hail and Farewell or a half-way through deployment bash, the participants always bring their best “home cooking”.  I prefer to learn about foods this way instead of watching the Food Channel because I not only see, but also smell and taste all the yummy dishes.  So instead of feeding my characters a steady 1960’s diet of meat, potatoes and Jell-O salads, they now feast on everything from Lumpia (Filipino Egg Rolls) to authentic southwestern Salsa to Kahlua Trifle.  So I’m happy, my characters are happy and the reader is happy.  And hungry. 
            My characters, as well as my readers, also benefit from the many styles of homes we have lived in.  I can write with a modicum of authority about everything from inner city apartments to aging suburban cookie-cutter neighborhoods to brand new beach side cottages to rural farmhouses or old (and possibly haunted) sprawling Victorian homes.  Yes, a writer can look at a picture to use as inspiration for a character’s living space, but I’ve actually tripped over a hump in our old plank floor causing me to fall and break my wrist and had to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 in a kitchen the size of a closet and had a flock of seagulls attack the food table at an outdoor barbecue.  I’ve brought these experiences to my writing.     
            But the story element most influenced by our nomadic lifestyle is setting.  Except for one tour in Memphis,Tennessee, we have always lived within a flip-flop’s throw of the ocean.  So the beach lifestyle combined with my small town roots has shown up in every piece I’ve written.  Introducing the feel of sand between the character’s toes or the scratchy feeling when it invades a bathing suit is a great way to infuse the sense of touch.  This, in turn, draws the reader deeper into the story.  The sound of crashing waves is a universal soother.  The sight of a sunrise on the water makes everyone happy, not just John Denver.  (Oops, I think my age is showing there.)   Appealing to the reader’s five senses is the best way to help them experience what the characters are experiencing, and by engaging their seaside senses, they enjoy a vicarious trip to the beach.
            Had I not wandered far from home I imagine my stories would be full of a sameness, rather “beige” instead of colorful. Not bold, not spicy, and not worldly.  And I don’t imagine they would be the least bit entertaining. They’d be as “wanderlust-less” as my teenage self. 
            Dr. Seuss may have been talking about graduates heading off into the world, but his poem has meaning for any aspiring writer, encouraging them to go off and experience life before writing about it.  
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So – get on your way! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother’s Day and Fairy Tales

I was recently a guest at Ravencon, a science fiction/fantasy convention held in Richmond, VA this year.  I participated in a number of panels and got to attend others.  Possibly the most interesting of those I attended was one that talked about recent books that are really updated fairy tales.

Me and my Mother in 2010
at my youngest daughter's wedding
The talk covered a lot of ground, including a number of comparisons between the changing roles of women.  Frozen is emblematic of a new paradigm in fairy tales, where the handsome prince isn’t a hero, and true love doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love.

The talk also noted that loving, caring mothers are something of a rarity in fairly tales, especially of the Grimm variety. Instead we get a slew of evil step-mothers, the anti-mother, if you will. And even that stereotype is being re-examined as well, witness the recent Maleficent.

As I was thinking on this, I remembered that tomorrow is Mother’s Day. My own mother died several years ago, and I still miss her terribly.  I don’t know that she was a perfect mother, but she was a darned good one.  Sometimes I don’t know how she made it through raising six kids with her sanity intact, but she did and was a wonderful grandmother and great-grandmother as well.

She and my Dad married right after the end of World War II and I was born a couple of years later, making me part of the early generation of baby boomers. I’m also the oldest of their six kids, and I certainly wasn’t the easiest.

Although she had tremendous musical talent, my mom chose not to pursue it as a career, though I don’t think family was the real reason for that. She often said that the business was just too cut-throat for her and she didn’t have the ruthlessness to succeed. That, I have no doubt, is true. I do have a treasured recording of her singing a couple of pieces from the light operas and show tunes she loved. She had a remarkable soprano range. Only when I asked did she tell me that she had a three and a half octave range and could hit A over C.  Actually she was a little chagrinned that she never managed to really nail that high C.

I don’t think she ever regretted not pursuing a musical career, or any career other than mother, for that matter. Although she worked as a secretary for a while, it was just a job, something to keep her busy. Once I came along, she settled down happily as a mother and homemaker.

I don’t think she ever entirely understood why I wasn’t satisfied to do the same, but they paid for my college education, nonetheless. I married early, had children early, and as soon as the youngest one went back to school, I went back to grad school to get a computer degree.  (Didn’t get it by the way.  One of my instructor’s offered me a job with his company, and the offer was too good to resist.  I guess you could say I’m a grad school dropout.)  Times have changed the world has changed, and the view of women’s role has changed.

Nonetheless, I hope my own children regard me as highly as I do my own mother.  She was a gem.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Getting To Know Us -- Jean C. Gordon

Yes, we all have bios on this website, but there is so much MORE to know about our Classic and Cozy bloggers.  So the 2nd Friday of each month is dedicated to getting to know us better. This month I'd like to introduce you to me, Jean C. Gordon. I’m interviewing myself.

Okay, inquiring minds want to know…why a writer? Certainly not for the fame and fortune…or maybe it is?
I think my writing is a natural extension of my love of reading. All though school, I loved writing, even though my best subjects were math and science. I went on to study journalism in college and later combined my math skills with my writing to become a financial writer.

When did you first put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to create your classic and cozy characters?
I started seriously pursuing fiction writing — romance novels — in 1995, after writing romance reviews for the now long-defunct Paperback Trader. I sold my first romance novel, Bachelor Father, to Avalon Books in 1999. Four more followed before Avalon Books was sold to Amazon Montlake. Since 2010, I’ve written for Harlequin Love Inspired.

Do you have a set writing schedule?
Last month, after working for many years as a financial writer and Editorial Manager for a financial publisher in Albany, NY, I became a full-time author and freelance financial writer. I’ve been trying to maintain an at-home work schedule similar to my old day-job schedule, starting about an hour later than I used to and stopping about an hour earlier, for roughly a seven-hour day. But I’ve taken advantage of the flexibility to make exceptions for some volunteer work on Tuesday morning and mid-day walks with our lab-mix Xena. And no more writing evenings or weekends.

Is there a certain routine, food/drink, or location that summons forth the muses for you?
No, I guess my muse is every present. Or maybe that’s never present, so it doesn’t matter where I am.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
As I said above, I love to read. I like taking walks with Xena and my husband and enjoy our grandchildren who live with us. We share a 175-year old farmhouse on 12 acres with my daughter and son-in-law. I have a small flock of chickens and volunteer one morning and one evening at my church’s Book Nook, a used book fellowship mission. My husband and I like to travel the U.S., and I have a collection of shot glasses from every state we’ve visited. Once I meet my current looming deadlines, my son-in-law and I are going to tackle some home repairs and renovations.

I imagine you’ve been reading all of your life (all great writers have.)  What was your favorite book as a child?
The one that sticks out most is The Secret Garden.

Do you re-read books?  If so, which one have you re-read the most?
I don’t re-read books. I have a few on my keeper shelf in the living room, but haven’t re-read them.

But there’s more to life than reading, writing (and arithmetic)…what is your most memorable adventure in your life?
The cross-country, from Western New York to Los Angeles, CA, that my husband and I took as 19- and 20-year-old newlyweds to finish college in Los Angeles. We drove an old F-100 Ford van with my piano and his motorcycle and all our other worldly belongings. Along the way, we camped without a tent, only our double sleeping bag, in Ohio, stopped in Iowa to see my husband’s cousin who couldn’t make our wedding. She was going to college at Iowa. My husband had the distinction (at that time) of being the only man to stay overnight at her sorority house. We go to stay in the rec room. Then, it was on to my aunt and uncle’s in Manhattan, KS. A perfectionist professor at Kansas State, he “helped” my husband repack the van for optimal weight distribution. We crossed the Texas panhandle at night. It was so flat and desolate, it was spooky. We’d seen the headlights of a car driving toward us, but the car wouldn’t reach us for ten minutes. We also went through the Mohave Desert at night to avoid the heat (no AC in our van). It was still 110 in Needles when we left. And, then we came back two year later in a Ford Courier pickup, but that’s another adventure.

If you were on American Idol, what song would you sing to WOW! the judges? 
Nothing I sang would wow the judges.

What are you currently working on? What can we readers look forward to seeing from you?
I’m working on copy edits for the second book, Holiday Homecoming, and writing the third book in my new series for Love Inspired, The Donnelly Brothers — Hometown boys make good . . . and find love. The first book of the series, Winning the Teacher’s Heart is in stores now

Celebrated motocross champion Jared Donnelly returns to his hometown Paradox Lake to rebuild his family’s tarnished reputation, a move that nearly tears high school teacher Becca Norton’s family apart.

Last question…movie rights…who’ll play your current main characters when Hollywood comes knocking on your door? 
Holiday Homecoming:  Chris Helmsworth as Connor Donnelly and Natalie Wood as Natalie Delacroix
Josh’s book: Bradley Cooper as Josh Donnelly and Troian Bellisario as Tessa Hamilton.
For a complete list of my books click on over to my Website, JeanCGordon.com, and while you’re there, sign up for my author newsletter. You can also keep in touch with me on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I'll Never Write Again

by Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson

You know what I’m talking about. I don’t care if it’s your first book or your hundredth book or anywhere inbetween, you’ve had one of those horrible sinking moments when you sit at the computer (or legal pad, or whatever), knowing you have to write something, and the well is dry.

You stare at the screen. The screen, blank except for a maniacally taunting cursor, stares back, daring you to put something on it.

Except there’s nothing. There are words in your brain, but they are disjointed and incoherent and have nothing to do with the project at hand. Either that, or they are crystalline and perfect in your mind, but they will not go through your fingers to the keyboard, coming out mangled and incomprehensible if at all.

Even worse is when the book is finally finished – every word carefully chosen, every thought pristine, the entire manuscript polished to a dazzling gleam. It is the best thing you have ever written… and you just know in your heart you’ll never write anything so lovely again, so why even try?

Or the effort of turning out an acceptable book, one that is the best you can do, is just too much. The thought of starting over with fresh characters, a fresh location, a fresh plot (and I do occasionally wonder if that’s why we are so inflicted with long-running series today!) is not only exhausting but frightening. I got away with it last time, you think, but can I do it again? Sometimes I find myself typing the most horrible rubbish simply because I can’t think of anything else that would be better. Sometimes there’s a surprise, though, and after a little time, that rubbish you typed doesn’t seem so bad after all. It’s better than you remembered, and if it isn’t, perhaps it can be fixed. And if it can’t – well, that’s why delete keys were invented.

Luckily for most of us these moments of angst are fleeting. Sometimes a good night’s sleep, the reading of a good book – or even a bad one – maybe even a cup of coffee or a walk around the block is all it takes to get us started again. The anticipation of this predictable doubt at my abilities is what makes me always have at least four, perhaps five, projects going at once. If one is finished or goes stale, I can go on to the next. There’s something about immersing myself in a semi-familiar but incomplete world, where I can remember the main characters and the basic story but am still in the dark about exactly how, that spurs my creative juices. And on I go…

One last word of advice – if all the above fail, put down words. They don’t have to be sentences or even part of a story. Type your grocery list. Do the minutes from the PTA meeting. Just get those fingers moving over the keyboard and it will prime the pump.

E L Doctorow tells the story of how he had dried up after finishing a book. He was sitting at his typewriter (I think it was a typewriter) and his mind was absolutely blank, even though he had to write another book. He stared at the wall, knowing he had to start typing something, so he decided to write about the wall. He lived in a turn of the 20th century house built around 1909, so he started writing about how the wall was built. And about the way the town was when it was built. And about the fashions and mores of the time. Without even knowing it he had started a new book.

The book was Ragtime, and we all know what happened with that, don’t we?

Above my computer is a little, hand-lettered sign. I don’t know where the quote came from, and so cannot give attribution, but it is too good not to share. “Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank screen until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Unfortunately, all too true. So – quit moaning and start typing. The words will come.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Have you ever wondered if anyone notices?  If what you do or have done in your life affects anyone or anything in a positiver way, and whether or not it matters?

Every now and then, I have.  Not that I ever thought I would impact anyone or anything in a manner that would change the world, but in those quiet times, in the middle of the night, right before sleep, I have to admit, I have wondered.

Last week, I found a few answers.

First, my email account was hacked.  Annoying for sure, but in the midst of that mess, I found some light in the form of the number of people who called to tell me, or called to toss a little humor in the mix with "of all the places in the world, why would you vacation in Manilla?"   Some of the callers were those I haven't spoken to in months, or only dealt with on occasion, but they all took the time to contact me.  So the hacking turned in a lesson, getting me to realize that, in a small way, I mattered enough for some people to call and make sure I was all right. Awesome!

You all know by now that doofus me broke my wrist.  You heard of distracted driving, well I was distracted walking.  I was a block from the office thinking about what I had to do when I got back to work.  Believe me, a trip to the emergency room and a full arm cast was not any where on my list.

But in the midst of the pain and the doctors was another light.  So many people took the time to call, visit, or leave me a note on my desk just asking how I felt
or letting me know they were thinking of me.  A stranger walking by me on the street said "May the Lord help you in your recovery."  I have to say that comment made me teary.  Imagine, someone you never met and don't know blessing you that way.  Double Awesome!

Then, of all things, the Lord did bless me with the relaization that I do touch people's lives just by doing what I do everyday. People notice. People care.  Somehow, through all my missteps, mistakes, and oopses, I get it right sometime. I may never invent a new molecule to make the world a better place, or find a cure for some disease, but in some small way, I have done enough to be a friend to a few people.  Triple Awesome!

So to all of you reading this, I want you to know you matter to me.  I love reading your blog posts, making comments, sharing ideas and stories, and I love hearing about all your successes. 

So c'mon, join cyber hands with me.  Yay us!  We are awesome!

Kathye Quick is a temporarily one-armed, part-time cheerleader (LOL) who is awaiting the release date for the first book in her contemporary series, Bachelors Three, coming out through The Wild Rose Press.  The book, Bachelor.com has been called a techno-Beauty and the Beast tale that will
make you both smile and sigh.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Year of Good Habits *Hiccup*

I’ve been trying to establish one healthy habit per month. So far this year, I’ve consumed gallons of water, (but still not enough), I try to walk every day, (but did I mention that the dog that walks with me is lame?). I DID organize my bedroom to within an inch of its dust-bunny-detracted-self. Yes, I can stand beside my bed and do yoga, if I did yoga. I could touch my toes and “sun salutation” … if I could touch my toes.
So what’s left? Well, there’s this little thing that I do, ideally, on a daily basis. I have this job building worlds, creating characters, egging them on with conflict, then more conflict, then a dash of conflict. Yeah. In an ideal world, I would sit down at my desk EVERY morning, write for several hours, take a break, (drinking my quota of water, squeezing in my walk), then I’d plunk my little tushy right back in the chair.
I proclaim this month, the month of discipline at work. Okay, to be kind to myself, I did finish another novel. (RAWRRRRRR – the crowd cheers – in my head.) It’s called BIRD IN HAND and I’m still working on the cover, but it’s done, written, ready for release… almost.
So my goal this month: to park my butt in the chair, and write, every day… for multiple hours… to wrap up the next book in the series, tentatively titled “FLIPPIN’ THE BIRD”. And as a possible inducement to you, here’s the cover copy of each one. (Imagine a younger Jessica Fletcher… times three.)
Three women share more than a step-daughter. They all married the same man? (At different times, of course.) And now best friends? Well, that’s the biggest scandal to hit the town of Poropotank since that unpleasantness with the Senator’s pregnant, unwed, teenaged daughter thirty years ago.
But something is amiss again in Poropotank, Virginia. There’s been a burglary and a missing manuscript. And then there’s the blossoming romance between two young people who just might be sharing more than a cup of coffee. They may be sharing the same gene pool!
So it’s up to the Three Wickedly Mischieveous Step-Mothers to get to the bottom of it all before this latest scandal over-shadows that business with the Senator’s daughter.
FLIPPIN’ THE BIRD                                                                        

Someone was “flipped off”, then “knocked off” and atleast one digit is making the rounds. When Skye finds a severed finger in a box of bric-a-brac, she goes on a quest to reunite the finger with its owner. With the aid of the other Wickedly Mischieveous Step-Mothers, Skye, Claire, and Bea find themselves digging up dirt – and not just in garden outside Claire’s haunted mission.