My swamp is my refuge. Peaceful and safe at the moment. We turned off the news and listened to the wildlife; the purple martins are here, the crows are always angry, and strange, but true, there are seagulls enjoying my fresh water retreat. The ducks, turtles, and alligators are busy with their sex life. No further explanations forthcoming.

A refuge is great most of the time, but now we’ve been “encouraged” not to leave because we’re old.

Great! I didn’t want to leave anyway!!

Thankfully, we are still connected to the world through the internet and we’re shopping like crazy people. Although we didn’t have far to go to pass an insanity test. We’ve ordered mouth wash, potting soil, and more spam.

We’re good. Not the kind that appears in your email account. We have plenty of that.

We’ve cancelled everything that might be more people than us, although we will be kind, generous and polite to others with “elbow pumps”, smiles at two meters, and wishes for good health. This is odd. There’s no ending goal to reach for or mark the days on a calendar. And! I miss my family!

On the bright side…I have more time to write. A few days ago I reached a refreshing milestone. I wrote “The End” on my yellow pad and, yes, there was a rough draft of 60,00 words too. Draft #2 is typed into my beloved laptop. My WIP will soon be in a “Hunkered Down Mode” as well. I plan to work on a revision of a previous novel for a few weeks before tackling Draft#3 of ….no title yet. I’m not ready to expose her.

What am I afraid of? A Virus!


Brouhaha II

The Importance of Romantisicm

In reference to Brouhaha I, (see last week’s post), PBS’s Sanditon should have served a purpose. Jane Austen’s romantic writing allowed her readers to escape. They could escape drudgery, poor marriages, and mistakes made. Jane’s conclusions and climaxes offered a belief in the positive. (No pun intended, really.) Yes, historically some marriages were a business decision, hence, the term sweetheart deal. (I made that up. I do not know the origin of the phrase.) Therefore, Jane and her fan club has the right to be upset with Masterpiece Theater’s choice of writer.

The Importance of Writing

It’s theraputic. Today, I made a scene, as I enjoy telling my hubs. By the way, it’s raining again here in our swamp. Yours? Back to scene creation: I found it soothing, even though it was a fight scene. I am getting close to the end of this novel, ( first draft), the climax, (again no pun here). My “she-ro” handled herself beautifully as well as heroically. By the way, did you catch the news clip where Jill Biden defended her husband from a stage invader? Quite Impressive.

The Impoortance of Blog Writing

If I need a political release I could write my thoughts, (see above), subtlety and carefully. There’s no use in upsetting folks unnecessarily, at least not close to an election. Maybe I’ll warm up in late October.

The Importance of Creating Yet Another Scene

(see above)  I need to write a scene that explains the previous one. That’s sad. Perhaps I really need to rewrite the previous one so I can inform my readers of new adventures.

I love the importance of a good brouhaha.







A Brouhaha

If money was not a problem, silly if, I would be a sustaining member of PBS and Masterpiece Theater. I especially enjoy their period dramas. Although, recently there has been brouhaha. Yes, it took me twenty-seven minutes in an old college (1966) dictionary to find that spelling. Therefore, it is correct.

Return to subject: you might have heard or even felt the anger and disgust generated from many viewers. Evidently, Jane Austen started a novel entitled Sanditon. Masterpiece Trust hired someone to finish it. The writer appeared in an interview dressed quite informally, short sleeved shirt, shabby, no tie or jacket-good grief. PBS allowed the world to see who had the audacity to write an ending which was so unlike Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility that many viewers (source: social media) jumped off their couches and screamed, “No, Jane wouldn’t write the ending that way!”

I did as well.

To those who have no idea whatsoever of what I write, but might have an ounce of romanticism in their blood, here’s the deal…a real hotty dumps a cutie for a wealthy witch. Please note the letter w.

To those who have no idea whatsoever of what I write, but might possess an ounce of romanticism, here’s the deal…a hotty dumps a cutie for a wealthy witch.

Not Jane

So, we have options! Aside from not contributing to The Masterpiece Trust, as many have threatened, we could write our own endings. The hotty could come to his senses. The witch could say, “No thanks”, or the cutie could slide over to the handsome town architect and they could start their own business designing the new seaside resort of Sanditon. The exotic Miss Lamb of One Hundred Thousand Pounds could donate her worldly goods to save the hotty’s brother, whom he sacrificed himself for on the flaming pyre of the matrimonial bed.






Like a small child, I’m excited. It might snow in my swamp! We bought a new white automobile to honor the occasion.  Do you understand how fake news is born? Yes, we bought a new white car and yes there are fourteen snow flakes forecasted.

My WIP (work-in-progress) has my “she-ro” in a 1920’s hospital with a broken arm and ankle. How long should she stay? She’s normally healthy, but in her late fifties. Research is such that as I read, I found out that in the early twentieth century patients stayed a great deal longer than we do today.

In fact, (caution: an approaching anecdote!) when I was seven I had an emergency appendectomy and that entire week of hospitalization was an adventure. I should have been sent home earlier because I was rambunctious enough to throw lima beans over a balcony, attacking a few construction workers.

Now-a-days, no wonder folks are sent home earlier from most hospitals. Yes, I am that important, It’s my fault. More Fake News…sometimes it’s obvious: it was those Lima Beans.





Stuff and Nuttiness

Where do I begin? Perhaps something non-political: I am sorry. How’s that?

I apologize for not posting jots and jungles (jingles?) from my mind as often as I had planned. Now, I do plan to punish myself. I had promised to post once a month. Now, I will try once a week. How’s that for stuff and nuttiness?

Don’t answer that.

My novel does progress. Heavens, I started with an entirely different title than I have now. I started in a totally different part of England than I have now. My main character has changed from a young lady to a middle aged hurricane ready to take on not just one battle, but there are three in her world. And…her world “progresses” from the UK to Nashville, Tennessee. This journey has been fun. Indeed.

Writers are often advised to keep their “butt” in the chair; to keep writing, obviously.  (Although I’m not a fan of the word, butt, I prefer bottom.) “I yield my time back to the chair.” Now, that quote should sound familiar to citizens who are trying to stay involved and informed. It is stolen from our House of Representatives’ Impeachment hearings. It has become my incentive to return to my creative station.

More about My Nuttiness: I do try to draft a chapter by hand on a yellow legal pad. Later, I draft again onto my Christmas present, this gem of a laptop. Of course, I save my work, but I also follow the excellent advice from my editor in chief, The Hubs, to send a copy to my email.

Don’t tell him. Sometimes he’s quite brilliant.

Enough!  for seven days?



Peace on Earth

I killed a favorite character today. It is not the right season for killing.

As a writer, I have the option of the who, the method, and of course, the why should  already be in the plot. I hope.

Possible methods:

Poisons…no, that is too slow and messy.

Guns…hell no! Politically, I am a gun-control nut. What kind of message would I be sending?

Bombs…ah yes, my plot needed more drama.

Decision made, the scene and the subsequent funeral were difficult to write. I  have read about authors becoming close to their characters, but this is ridiculous. I truly did not want her to die. In the hopes that someday my novel will be reader-ready, I will not allow you to become alerted to a spoiled plot by announcing her name.

Put your guns away, please. Tis the season for peace. Pray for peace for the Sandy Hook Elementary Families, (December 14, 2012).  I believe those sweet children are now Christmas angels. Also, besides prayers, support their cause and other similar ones by notifying our Congress that they need to improve their ways.

Pray for Peace for all of us, please.






Encouraging Grand Kids

We have recently returned from  grandparent heaven, some would say.  My point is not that the parents were away and we were responsible for the wellbeing of a four and a two year old, but that we danced, giggled, and learned from that experience. Therefore, heaven.

The four year old presented to me a vocabulary that blew my mind. Yes, I am bragging, but still it was amazing. Judge for yourself: “community, potentially, extraordinary, probability, and evaporate”. Oh, there was also a discussion concerning DNA.  The two year old conquered the world of “No”.

The excitement of their words followed me home and I returned to my creation station, and made a scene! Progress! I shut the door, put in my ear buds attached to my ancient I-pod shuffle. While under the encouragement from Albinoni, Bach, and Vivaldi, I blocked out the noise from the living room. The GOP attempted to dominate my CNN.

Therefore, I wrote a scene!

Scene One

Chapter Three

Part 3

of…my current WIP.  No, not quite ready to announce the title to my readers.

Making a scene felt euphoric! It is full of holes from a plot point of view and any grammar expert would become ill. But…I wrote it!


While writing the first draft of my current WIP,  questions popped in my abnormal writer’s brain. Would my hero be in this Ellis Island hall in 1919? Did all travelers work their way through the maze of humanity in that stage of their journeys? My hero is wealthy and elderly and she travels in first-class on an ocean liner from the UK. So, were all the classes required to present passports and be subjected to physicals?

At the top right of my screen there is a tiny line which is a favorite of mine. Some call it a minimizer. I call it, “don’t go away”, or “be there when I finish researching”. Also, another favorite, and I understand many think Wikipedia is a no-no, however, I find it to be helpful, although not the last word on any subject. This time I turned to my two favorites.

My WIP was saved, backed up,  and sent to “don’t go away”. I went to Wiki and asked about Ellis Island. I found deep in the article that the waters around the island in the early 1900’s were quite shallow and most steamers could not dock. The mighty and wealthy of first and second-classes were allowed to disembark in Manhattan and rarely did they need to be questioned by custom officers. The folks in steerage were ferried to Ellis Island.

Now what? I had created a fabulous scene in which my hero saves a young family from a difficult situation while she waits in those infamous long lines. I hated to give up that opportunity to show her compassion, wit, and courage. I was outraged. I wanted to keep it, but the gods of accuracy sat on my keyboard and glared at me.

I fooled them. I moved the situation to the ocean liner and my hero persevered.


Sitting here in my swamp, I often review my recent decisions. Unfortunately, one decision was what to wear to a funeral. It was unfortunate in that my lovely sister-in-law passed away, yes, to heaven. That’s another discussion. This one is far less serious.

What to wear…my standard rule is No Heels and No Hose. I easily fall over because I’m round. Heels sink into the ground, such as in a burial site. I did wear heels to my daughter’s wedding in January because I wanted to dance with my tall husband. I’m short and I normally wear flats. Or my feet go bare.

I also wore hose, among other things. It was cold and they helped to add color. However, normally, no hose. If someone complains, especially a man, I’ve been heard to proclaim, “When you wear hose and heels, I will.”

Once challenged they tend to back off.

Also, recently I’ve been sitting in my swamp waiting for Dorian, the hurricane.  I played the game “Do I have enough”?  (Water? Bread? Wine? Cookies, Spam (yuck) Beanie Weenies?) I enjoyed listening to the forecasters explaining how close Dorian might visit. “He might wiggle a little to the east or he might wiggle to the west.”

Thankfully, Dorian knew to wiggle correctly, without heels or hose, far from my swamp.






The Crises Cycle

The Woman’s Hour, The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss has taught me that political crises move in a repeating cycle. I am using this book as a research tool for my current WIP concerning suffragists on both sides of my nearby pond. Yes, dear following, I still live in a swamp, but the Atlantic is not too terribly far away.

Now, the problem: I have assigned the book to my adorable book club. When we meet we bravely try to not speak of religion or politics. The weather is usually a safe topic, except when discussing FEMA and other types of insurance companies paying for hurricane repairs and of course the approaching storm season.

Author Elaine Weiss won’t be satisfied with the weather. She has proven in her excellent report about the tensions that occurred one hundred years ago as they too had problems that intermingled. Example: guns, abortions, temperance (liquor, tobacco, drugs), voters’ rights, and of course race relations. The fine folks in Tennessee had all those topics and the weather (the humid August of 1920) to jam together in that final hour of the 19th amendment’s creation.

I hope my book club will learn about the struggle that was not taught in any history class I attended. I hope they’ll look around and notice the similarities on our evening news reports. I hope they’ll appreciate the compromises and convictions that were and are strained. I hope that … Enough! 

My book club doesn’t meet until September.

I still have time to learn more and be ready to smile and nod. Yes, I love my book club.