Everywhere in central North Carolina has snow today. Not me. My one-quarter Yankee granddaughter and her one-half Yankee mother are making snow angels. Not me. Another daughter texted her Charlotte pics of snow. None here. This Full Yankee is acting like a spoiled child that I truly am. I want snow! It was fake news, that prediction.

However, a few days ago in my swamp, it was 70 and raining, lovely gray “soothingness”.  It was real rain, not digital. In fact, it came with fog. The electricity decided not to work too, so sounds were sharp. The real rain encouraged writing and my procrastinated-proofreading commenced. It comforted and pulled in my developing characters to plot their lives in my mind then they jumped to the paper.

My swamp critters (alligators, turtles, cranes, and ducks) must have hated the seven day below freezing week. Good Grief. My swamp froze! My writing froze. My characters must have been miserable. I haven’t allowed them to progress through their plots. That is totally unfair. There’s too much unfairness in our world. It stops here.

Unfreeze the characters!




Death of a Beloved

As an author not yet recognized by literary agents from NYC and not smart enough to figure out indie publishing, the closure of my beloved small press, Rebel Ink Press, has put me in the moods and insecurities of life’s typical bumps; death of a parent, divorce, job loss, miscarriage, difficult health diagnosis,  April 15th.

Rebel Ink Press has been quite professional through this. My RIPress (no RIP pun really intended) has promised to honor their contract to publish my most recent novel Golden Leaf. They have promised to return all rights to publish my other novels elsewhere. There’s a word for that – privilege to retrieve what you created. Is that one word?

They have given plenty of time for me to gather my eggs, but I’m nervous about the hen house.

I know nothing. The world of agents, traditional contracts, independent publishing, cover art, promoting my creations, and other monsters have taken on a factory warehouse of fear. I’m studying copies of Writers’ Digest. I should rejoin writer organizations. I should be researching my next project. I should have a glass of wine.

Yet, you’ve not heard the end. I will persevere.



“Is that right?”

October, a long time favorite, is rapidly being swallowed by my Editing Cave. I have spent a phenomenal amount of time in there with Golden Leaf, my soon to be published sixth novel.  I have blessed my editor/publisher, Rebel Ink Press, with my favorite character, Mrs. K, because she whispered, “Is that right?”

Meaning? Definition? From whence has that quote cometh?  You cannot google it. Well, you can try.

My father-in-law, a WWII veteran, knew how to listen. He could listen to a room full of arguing souls, using a sly grin to communicate that he was conscious. He would keep his own counsel, wait for a recess in the noise, and then when all heads turned for his input, one and all heard his quiet voice, “Is that right”.  It was a statement, a strong one, that was understood and later appreciated as… “the end”, cease and desist, what does it matter, a dare to continue, and possibly a there’s more to this story.

I enjoy using his wisdom to end my stories. Thank you, Papa.

Enough! (my father’s quote)


Phase Three

Subtitle: The Dreaded Edits…Phase Three in Creation of Golden Leaf

I liked phase one. Research is like digging for gold or more likely potatoes. The thrill of the find is stimulating to my imagination, but dangerous to my focus. While interviewing senior citizens (younger-behaving  than me, chuckle) who have worked in the North Carolina tobacco fields, I was tempted to write a love story, the down on the farm type, but the bugs and humidity brought me back to my senses.

I enjoyed phase two; the yellow pads, the sticky notes, the rough drafts. I outlined first and returned often to change the plan. The scribbled out names and plot changes are truly artistic. The only time I was ill at ease concerned the death of a good guy. It had to be dramatic and upsetting to my normally steady “she-ro”. It was sad to see him go. He started out in Silver Cotton as a meanie, but we are all worthy of redemption.

Egad! Phase Three… my poor neighbors. Soon I’ll be on the back porch reading a scene.  out-loud. I hear my mistakes more efficiently than silent study hall times. I will write  acknowledgements to my researchers, my Beta Readers, and the fun I had in the British Museum. Now, there’s a story!

Sometimes, I get to read out loud on my pier; the one in my swamp. Doesn’t everyone have their own? You know to what I refer; dapping in Gray Lace, or Spanish moss. The alligators, ducks and turtles listen and are amazed or leave. The fire ants stick around, hoping I’ll be dumb enough to walk through their domain. Yes, I did.

Now, that I’ve edited these paragraphs, I realize that maybe, just maybe, phase three will be almost as much fun as the first two. Not including the fire ants.



Not Original

Found this and I have no idea who wrote it, but I like it Enough.

“I officially resign from adulthood.

Decisions will be made using the Eeni-meenie-myni-moe method.

Arguments will be settled by sticking out my tongue.

I’ll be at recess if you need me.”

Once upon a time, I promised myself to post a new blog twice a month, but then I lost July. My memory tells me there were several joyous moments during the past thirty-one days and my word count on my WIP, Golden Leaf, has increased. It’s currently passed 42,000, well on its way to the goal of 60,000 +.  My characters are deeper and better looking, at least to me…yet…

My self-discipline has wilted in this summer global warming and political ridiculousness.




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…