Thursday, February 1, 2024


 It’s time to leap into February. This year February is a fickle month. Usually Central Pennsylvania doesn’t have spring thaws until March when the sloppy snow melts down into a heap of gray grit and gravel along the roadsides. But as I write this, we have had rising temperatures. The white blankets of snow covering our yards are vanishing and dormant grass is now poking through.

I’ve dedicated this year to trying to get some type of order in my life and my writing. I’ve promised myself I’m going to clean and rearrange my office. I have high hopes of tackling a stack of old fat folders with everything in them from clippings that intrigued me to the abandoned beginnings of a short story or novel. I am a person who when I find a fascinating article or book, I then make the conscious, often delirious, decision to keep it. My shelves are stacked with these do not throw away items.                                                                                                                  
I know I’m not alone. Many writers have this same hoarding disorder. We believe we will need these scraps of paper, books, or articles in the future. Sometimes we feel emotionally connected to them, but many times we think we might use them for triggering an idea and creating a piece of writing. Saving the papers or books makes us feel safe and comforted—even though they now lay dormant and forgotten for a century. Our shelves are like grandmother’s china cabinet. Much of the unmatched glassware, dishes, and other items were never used, but never disposed of—just in case they might someday come in handy.

Why does this happen?  Why do we hoard?

It’s a phenomenon called the endowment effect. And many people have it for different reasons and with different items than those in grandmother’s bulging china cabinet. It’s a mind boggling idea that once we have an item and own it, it’s more difficult to let it go. We value those things we’ve acquired more highly than if we didn’t own them. Our minds tell us to save them.

My mind is now telling me to let go and put some order and space in my life and my office. (And don’t let me get started on the scary, jammed closets with clothes and whatnot which also need attention.)

Here’s hoping I leap on the bandwagon and get started. But after all, there’s an extra day this month, isn’t there? So I still have time if I don’t get into full swing just yet, right?

NEW - NEW - NEW     
COURTING BETSY - Book 3 of the Ashmore Brothers Series

                          VISIT MY   AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE FOR ALL MY BOOKS 



Tuesday, January 23, 2024


 Happy New Year to all!

According to a calendar of events for yearly celebrations, January 24th is Global Belly Laughing Day. This special holiday was created in 2005 by Elaine Helle, a certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, from Lake Oswego, Oregon. It was first celebrated on January 24, 2006.                                                                     

There are four goals according to the author of this special day:

  • To celebrate and remember past laughter.
  • To do it in public with others and connect via laughing.
  • To remember the importance of laughs and smiles.
  • To gain the health benefits of smiling and laughing. Laughter is the best medicine.

I will also add: When we laugh, we ease stress and anxiety, boost the immune system, improve mood, support heart health, burn calories, and even relieve pain.

When I taught career development to adult students, single parents, and displaced homemakers in a program called New Choices, young people often asked me what was the secret to my long marriage. I used to laugh and tell them: “Never say what you’re thinking when you’re angry.” Then, I’d add that both my husband and I are very polite to each other, appreciate each other—and often laugh a lot, even over the smallest things like a shared joke, cartoon, turn of a phrase, even a stupid thing one of us has done or a crazy antic of a grandchild.

HY  Hintermeister 1897-1972
As a writer, I try to write humorous or witty dialogue for my characters in my novels as well because I admire crafty dialogue that makes the reader smile. I enjoy reading RomCom novels as well.

I often think if we could get people in our nation and in the world to enjoy a good belly laugh together, there might be more hope for better understanding among everyone globally.                          

To celebrate this special day, I leave you with two jokes about writers:

1—What do you get when you cross a writer with a deadline?                                                  A really clean house.

2—Why do writers feel chilly? They’re surrounded by drafts. 

NEW - NEW - NEW     
COURTING BETSY -Book 3 of the Ashmore Brothers Series

                          VISIT MY   AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE FOR ALL MY BOOKS 


Wednesday, December 20, 2023


Winter is the time to snuggle down and watch snowflakes fly. Unfortunately, tasks we’ve set aside indoors—lured outside by the long warm days of summer—now call us asking for completion.

As a writer, I have folders of unfinished stories and works shoved into folders, hidden from my eyes and conscience. Many pieces need a new direction, some may need corrections and rewrites, a few may need a trip to the trash can.                                                       

In my search through these fat folders marked, save, I found a poem I wrote for Christmas over a century ago. What I wanted to do with it, or even why I wrote it, is buried somewhere at the bottom of an informational dump in my brain. It’s a Christmas poem and seems
appropriate for December.

                           The Humble Pines

'Twas daybreak in the forest,
the winds blew crisp and cold. 
And snow lay in a white-washed 'guise
on oak trees, staunch and old.

The sky was slate. The drifts, knee-deep,
as snowflakes fluttered down.
While high above, the hemlock sighed
a faint melodious sound.

Across the vale a shaft of light
broke through the frigid morn,
And scattered rays of hope and love...
Today, the Child was born.

Then firethorn threw shimmering beads 
amid the sun-kissed laurel.
Bright holly bushes shook their limbs
with shades of red and coral.

And in these woods where nature reigned,
where peace and ice abound,
The stately pines all bent their heads
and bowed their branches down.

In these trying times let’s all send out a humble wish:

 “Let there be peace on earth…and let it begin with us.”



For some heartwarming reading during the holiday season, 

please check out my "Musical Christmas Series" 


Friday, December 1, 2023


The holiday season has officially arrived.

It’s the merry month of December in the Northern United States with flying reindeer, chimneys large enough to fit fat men down, and coming soon— adorable fluffy white snow swirling around in the minus degree temperatures.

There is nothing quite as exhilarating as elbowing your way through crowds of people at the mall, all vying for those gigantic flat screen televisions now on sale. Or maybe it’s that newest air fryer, sure to hog all the space on your already crowded kitchen counter. Make sure you buy your grandchild that super-duper rocket launcher that hurls projectiles from one room to the next with little care for any fragile bone china on display.

Leaving all jokes aside, I do enjoy the season with its hustle and bustle. Christmas brings with it some of the best holiday foods and drinks, all the assortments of baked goods and special sweets, and the old comforting sing-along, holiday music for our ears. I have portable, blue tooth speakers in three different rooms so I can have holiday music as I move from room to room.

Already, I’ve put a real wreath on the back door inside a closed entrance, so we can smell the pine when we enter or leave. A small fiber optic tree now sits on our fireplace hearth lighting up the family room in a colorful and twinkling display. As always, my favorite stuffed snowmen are guarding the family room and will do so until February arrives.

This year, with the sons and families, in Alaska and South Carolina, my husband and I will be celebrating Christmas together without company. I’m trying to sell Scott on having a Christmas Eve dinner complete with crab legs, shrimp, coleslaw, and maybe some corn bread. I always bake pies and cookies during the entire month, so dessert is optional.  

How are you progressing with your holiday activities, chores, and plans for this upcoming year? Drop me a note in the comment section below.

But before I go, I want you to know—
                         It's Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air!
                                   Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
                                       Featuring my "Musical Christmas Series" in eBooks: 
              JUNE~The Pianist       ADELENE~The Violinist      LUCY~The Clarinetist