Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category


My brother died. No, not COVID. See, life happens during this mess. Ok, my 78 year-young brother was riding a bike. He and I tried our best not to grow up. He did his immaturity with humility and kindness and intelligence. I am still working on those which is why I am now empty. He was my “Egad!” and my “Enough!”

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Holiday Gift

Some gifts stay in my memory. Some are gone and since they are I cannot report. Some stay and I wish they’d go, but that’s a tale for a different day.

Today’s tale is about a gift that excites and baffles. Excites because I am a writer. The hubs unexpectedly gave me a journal; a leather bound, unlined, pewter hinged journal with magical etchings and a mysterious stone planted front and center.

Other oddities of note: it’s origin … it’s from Amazon! Yes! I knew it was coming since we share an account. However, there are no hints of mass production. No markings. No “made in China” or anywhere else for that matter.

I love it!

This is not my daily report or diary. This one will not track my quarantine days. BTW: 320.

This one is truly magical. If I see a ghost, I might sketch her. If a verse should hit my soul, I might copy it. If an Otter should waddle out of my swamp, I might interview him.


I knew you’d like it!

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An Alert on Day 287


While enjoying some Face Time with my perfect grands and their nearly perfect mother, an obnoxious blaring alarm burst forth.

I thought my phone was preparing to explode.

Across my daughters lovely face popped a short white box announcing the precautionary steps to prevent COVID. It did not mention my 287 days of quarantine. It demanded that the reader Mask!, Distance!, and Wash!

In the background, under the box, I could see and hear my older Grand scream, “Grammy, are you OK?”

I’m fine. They’re fine. The alarm has died and the box has flitted away. So, is this another sign of the times? Are there really so many of us who do Not Mask, Distance, and Wash that our public health departments must blare out alarms that knock your socks off?

There must be! Look at our airports this holiday week. The self-centered flying home to make Grandma so sick she has to die alone.

I am angry. Can you tell?


Mask! Distance! Wash!

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Day 275 of NHG

Not Hugging Grands

If it wasn’t for Face Time, I would be loonier than “normal”. When my family gathers inside my phone I feel a slight bit calmer in my bones. Then the younger grand says, “Papa, Grammy, come see me.”

I crack…after I hang up.

“Hang Up”. There’s a phrase that’s met its demise, or soon will, when the WWII baby boomers pass on. My daughters probably remember using our yellow kitchen wall phone with the extra long cord. They’d drag that cord, close the laundry room door for parental privacy, and communicate and compare their lives with similar beings. They would “hang up” that phone eventually. Their generation grew into cell phones gracefully and appreciatively.

I did not. Yet, I survived and our land-line is now an antique.

Speaking of Antiques…if you read my last post…

Mathilde Eiker wrote, Growing Into Authorship”. I will have to “Google Her” ( as opposed to Hang Up) because the antique magazine claims she wrote a detective novel or two. I wonder if they are still in print. A mystery, if you don’t hang up.

Her main theme challenges the widely acknowledged fact that writers are readers. She lists several titles that should be read if someone is to be known as a reader: Euripides to a textbook on crop rotation. She claims writers should grow into their authorship by reading far more widely than most. I do agree with her premise, “the more a writer knows, the less likely he/she (the slash added 77 years later) is to make mistakes.”

I have recently been stung by this wicked truth. In my own novel set in the 1920’s, my character used a quill instead of a fountain pen.

Mathilde scares me from her grave (an assumption), “I am an editor. After I find one discrepancy in a writer’s manuscript , I never feel quite confident about his work again. Writers can get details right.”

Ouch! There are mistakes in all my novels. The most infamous is the serving of she-crap soup.


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Day 263 of NHGrands

I allow others to blog about viruses, elections, supreme courts and tree murders, at least today. My title covers my immediate pain. I have not hugged my grand daughters for 262 days.

A temporary pain reliver is to return to my review of articles written 77 years ago. On page three Olive Higgins Prouty argues that characters need delineation. She was a published author of two novels which were produced as films, so maybe she know of what she preaches. Now, Voyager and Stella Dallas

An author’s character has various characteristics (there’s a pun hidden in there) and Prouty writes that there should not be any psychoanalysis here. She appears to claim that the reader should understand how and why the character acts by actions of the hero. Well said. I do wish I could write so clearly that little needs to be described.

That’s where I went wrong. I have read far too many romance novels where the “she-ro” is tall, strong, and delightful. Her words are used to show the reader her psychological misgivings. Her actions afford escape for the reader.

I should try to be a creator, a novelist, not a copyist.


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Egad! I did it! Not a life-changer for most, but I managed to figure out how to post a picture into my post.

Egad! I did it! Not a life-changer for most, but I managed to figure out how to post a picture into my post! This is supposed to be seen with last week’s post entitled Day 255 or something. I’m too excited to look back. I’ll try another soon.

Excuse me while I Dance in the Kitchen.


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First a title explanation: Not Hugging Grand Daughters

Focus. I must focus. Not on the virus or politics nor religion. Although, I will say once that the husband and I are definite Faucians.

Thoughts from The Writer, a magazine, published in January 1943, vol. 56. Found in my attic, I do believe that advertisers are a type of historian. I enjoy reading antique magazines, such as Life and Look and This England. The ads are an eye on the times of publication; from cigarettes, automobiles, to books.

Those of you who research publishing possibilities might have have come across Dorrance Company. In the above mentioned magazine the first page urges the writer to send their typewritten manuscripts (30,000 word count or above) to their Philadelphia office (before zip codes). The Dorrance was incorporated in 1920.

There, you see, historical writing-business. Or you could send a subscription of The Writer to “The Men in the Armed Forces” for $1.50 a year, for the duration of the war. That was WWII, in case you’re inept.

How about a “Manuscript Criticism Service”? The Dutch Uncle for one dollar per thousand words will satisfy your criticism needs. I wonder if they are still in business and I wonder if their rates have increased. I’ll Google it.


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Thoughts to Dump


Last posting broadcast my positive power points, but I failed to complete my notifications on my writing calendar. (Fear not, this will become more interesting.) Today’s reminders are in this order (order varies daily) blog, business-of-writing (that is an another posting), Gray Lace revisions (see image which will hopefully appear) and my TWO works-in-progress; Cora and the K&M mysteries. Details later. Moving on to the dumping…

This morning I read an NPR article, which was a reprint from March, concerning Recycling of Plastics. The explained theory is that Big oil paid Big money to push a Big campaign to convince a Big crowd of consumers that plastics could be recycled.

I am Big and I fell for it. I preached recycling to unsuspecting third graders since 1970 – the first Earth Day. Now, I am crushed, no can/puns intended.

Next thought that needs dumping: recently I heard a old man nearly cry because his grown-up son could not sign his own name on a bank document, because, says he, his third grade teacher did not teach cursive handwriting. I did and I love doing it. More later.

I recently learned about the Gordian Knot. There seem to be numerous, especially in DC. More later.


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Power and Pit Falls


Writing novels can be a heady, powerful, self-centered fame-driven virus. On the other hand, sometimes the very next day or hour, it can be a virtual roller coaster, a bi-polar pit-falling inverted hurricane.

Somewhere in the middle, there’s work: business accounting, expenditures (mostly), a lot of research (the fun part), numerous drafts (the other fun part), innumerable edits (not so much fun), agent searches, queries, synopsis (what’s the plural? synopsisis? synopsi?), blurbs to write, and pitches to practice (there’s a #pitchmad now, a really great idea), and last but certainly not least, the digestion of advice columns.

Recently, I had the need to explain to two friends (yes, I have two) why I had destroyed (well, not entirely) my completed WIP, Lillian’s Choice. I explained why I had taken my favorite characters and given them their own setting and plot, although not Lillian. She has been rewritten, reincarnated, so to speak.

I am excited about this. I did not explain about my new weapon. I am not excited about not explaining. Weapon: my powerful power point calendar. A writing calendar keeps me focused and positive. Usually.

I was trained during the early stages of technology. No, I have not downloaded or installed a program or software or disc or yes, not even a whatever. I made powerful points or dots made of ink on a hard copy calendar sent free from

Maybe in my next post I’ll explain to you, dear readers (an assumption there) about my powerful power points.



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In Honor of Lillian


This week is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, The Right for Women to Vote! Last night I listened to Michelle Obama’s speech for the Democratic Convention. She was strong, articulate and right.

I digress. Back to Lillian. Recently, I completed a novel, entitled Lillian’s Choice. Her choice to assist the 1920 Suffragists in Nashville, Tennessee, showed strength, leadership, and courage; although she was a British citizen. “…jubilant sounds of church bells came through her window. Lillian knew. The Suffragists had won. The country won a better place in history. “It must have been close,” she whispered. Later she heard just how close was close.

Today (8-17-2020) NPR, one of my trusted news apps, published an article, “The Nudge and The Tie Breaker That Took Women’s Suffrage from Nay to Yay”. Melissa Black reported about my hero, Harry T. Burn, and about my main resource for my novel: Elaine Weiss, author, The Women’s Hour, The Great Fight to Win the Women’s Vote. Harry’s mother, Febb, is a true hero as well. She encouraged her son to vote Yay. His obedience to his mother and timing of a tie breaker, made Harry Burn a hero, and allows me to vote this November. And Vote I Will, Michelle.

Enough !

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