Fake Liars

Just heard Father Brown, of PBS fame, say, “All actors and writers are liars.” As my Algebra teacher would say when we had proven a logarithm, “True, true, very true.”

So which is it?

Fake News, Acceptable Madness, or Covffef? Just how crazy may an historical mystery liar, I mean writer, become before her genre transforms into fantasy?  Is this even a healthy question for Raleigh and/Washington? (Sorry, it’s difficult to behave.)

My current favorite character, Kirsten Delamere, recently forced her jewel-topped hat pin into the ear of one of her antagonists in Golden Leaf, my third historical mystery in my Gray Lace series. (I saw that scene on Midsommer Murders. Is that stealing?)

Don’t bother rushing to Amazon to discover if I am telling the truth, if Miss Delamere actually did that deadly deed. I haven’t told my editor yet. You know, those wonderful folks at Rebel Ink Press. Therefore, it would be difficult to ascertain the truth of an event in a fictional setting or as in today’s headlines: “Find the lie in the fake news.”

Although, in Silver Cotton, Kirsten Delamere wished she had a hat pin to stick in Harold Mensing’s ear. At least I think she wished it. It’s difficult to ascertain the truth from a fictional character, even if you are the liar who created her. I could ask Harold.



If I am going to be in a crowd, it had better be two to eight people. I am not sociable and yet this month I have agreed to attend, organize, and entertain troops of more than my maximum.  I  come by this craziness naturally, but more about that later. First, this is Mark Twain’s fault. He said, “Do something every day that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

Ouch, this hurts. A book club in town has invited me to speak and they know not what they do! For weeks I practice with fancy note cards, change those cards with my every hissy-fit, and prepare bribes. Packing up copies of Gray Lace and Silver Cotton, I also make room for my other novels, artifacts of historical note, and bribes (door prizes).

I sure hope they will not regret this.

Two days later, my pain tolerance will embrace the craziness by planning and producing a wedding shower for my niece; not just any niece, THE niece. Wait, I hope no one in England reads this. Can a aunt have two THE nieces? Craziness with 35 to 50 people? Oh, I do have three GREAT THE Nieces, as well. Another post.

Craziness comes upon me naturally; inherited they say. Some cousin locked in an attic and making my ice cream melt when I was far younger than today. And I’m drafting Chapter Eleven today of Golden Leaf (book three of my Gray Lace historical mystery series).

You see, this is not a political post…



Yes, nearly every blog posted today concerns Earth Day, which, of course, urges me not to write about it.

Yet, I must. Sorry.

For those who do not know, I live in a swamp; one of my loves. This love surrounds a lake, which produces a huge crowd of Mayflies. (They arrived early.)  Key word here is Huge… and multitudes and gads and gazillions.

Today, Earth Day, the Ephemeroteras arrived for a family reunion; all 42 families! They are irritating, annoying, and bothersome. Yet, they do have two fine qualities. First they hurt no one; unless you’re running and one gets up your nose or you’re driving and did not clean the windshield or you did clean it with the wipers and made a Huge mess.

Secondly, they briefly enjoy their adulthood romp of annoyance just for ten to eighteen days, approximately. I like that word – approximately. It gets me out of reading all of Wikipedia.

Earth Day 2017 is officially forty-seven years old today. In 1970 I was a first year teacher of fourth graders on a military base and I fell in love with their enthusiasm for science,  math, and saving the earth. Their enthusiasm spilled into everything we did and onward into my career of thirty-nine years.

I love Earth Day!

Today, I’m writing in my swamp, book #6, Golden Leaf, the watching the Ephemerotera- Mayfly reunion, here at my fictional Lake Wheatley. Some stick to my window…on the outside. Thank you!


Walking Partner

This morning I went for a walk in my swamp. I usually do. Most often I take Tomasmo Albinoni or some other Baroque guy. I have a softness for broken guys. Occasionally, I am joined by my husband. That’s cool; although he’s not a fan of talking to my ear buds. Today Kirsten came.

Kirsten Delamere, if you read my historical mysteries, is my fictional detective; imaginary friend. She pointed out two handsome cranes; one white and the other a Carolina Heather Blue, hunting for Sunday Brunch and trying to avoid Douglas.

Douglas? An alligator… not a huggable buddy. Huge.

Kirsten wanted to discuss her past novels, Gray Lace and Silver Cotton. She’s a tough critic. In our next mystery she wants more attention paid to women’s issues and civil rights. Walking close to the edge of a canal, I told her she is a bit ahead of her time. She told me Douglas looked hungry.

I have been scheduled to speak to a book club luncheon coming up in May and she wants center stage. How do I tell the audience I have an imaginary friend waiting for a place setting? In Golden Leaf she will travel to England for various reasons and she asked me today for more progress on the theft of a priceless artifact. Good Gravy, now I have to  rewrite several scenes.

Should I quit walking? No, she would bug me to keep writing even if I’m emptying the dishwasher; especially then. Actually, I’m quite fond of her. She has yet to broadcast my secrets.


Confession: we do not have cable. Are you offended?

In order to control my NCAA brackets (Go Tarheels), we restrict our time to two hours on each digital device for the season. Please do not ask me to explain that one. Madness.

In order to control my blood pressure, I gave up Facebook and Twitter for Lent. Yes, I have fallen off the wagon, but I do feel calmer since the cut back. Madness.

In order to control my Golden Leaf characters I must keep track of my folder of notes, hundreds of post-its, and my sanity. There are three main folk and several appendages; each with varying mood swings. Sounds like basketball and politics.








In 1923 Edith Perry submitted a short story for Writers Digest; the same magazine I read today. In approximately 1500 words she described the heart ache of a young teacher in 1900 who felt the sting of her local school board. They debated a law which dictated the martial status of teachers and she was in love. Her love was a struggling farmer; caring for his widowed mother and younger siblings. Her own parents needed her as their health care provider and to lose her meager teacher salary would strain any newly formed family. A firefly happened to enter the room through an open window as Miss Perry’s story begins the hearing.

The editor hand wrote (in pencil) suggesting that the young teacher speak for herself during the debate. More importantly, he advised that Miss Perry tread carefully about the subject since the state still required teachers to be unmarried.

The Omen of the Firefly hid between the yellowed pages of an early 20th century lesson plan book; which is fascinating in and of itself. I questioned the reasoning of the antique law, the legislative and financial struggles of the times, and  if the story was autobiographical.

She died in the early 60’s and I will rewrite the adventures of that firefly; for her. The early 20th century is a favorite to research; hence my Gray Lace and Silver Cotton. I have wondered why my creative and sensitive Great Aunt E never married.


Ice cream first, of course. It was my husband’s birthday, but I had to have some. Yes, I’m that self-centered. Another “of course”…it was delicious.

The aforementioned ice cream was served in a restaurant hanging over the Atlantic surf. The beach was empty and the waves had a top edge that the cold wind sharpened and sent sprays of salt water to the south. I should have been home writing, but…there Was ice cream.

The ferry boat: North Carolina has a fantastic ferry boat system to connect her islands and Outer Banks. Because of today’s political and financial atmosphere, I pray the system can continue. For just a few dollars, you and your car can travel over those smaller waves in the sound,  watch the birds dive, squabble, and survive, and finish the ice cream now melting in your “to go” box. Always order extra, you never know when you might need a fix while being entertained by a pelican.

Book store: back on dry land in the fine town of Fayetteville, there is a small but delightful book store, The Center City Gallery and Books on Hay Street. No, they don’t sell ice cream, but there is some available nearby. The helpful and friendly  owners live upstairs over the shop, just like days of old. You know, back when ice cream was made in the home by cranking a handle a whole bunch of times before the cream and ice actually made a sinful and joyous union.

Oh! Wait! The most delightful part…Center City Gallery and Books sell my novels: all five of them.