Welcome to another day in the blogging world of NaBloPoMo.

Today’s episode will touch on all the Hump Day events around the blogosphere, as well as on my own family stuff.

Over at Embrace the Whirlwind, you’ll find the new book I’m waiting for…full of family moments.

Then, at Creative Moments, I updated my progress on the ROW 80 Challenge.

Today is my day to pick up youngest grandson Noah at school, and the manicurist is also coming by to do my nails later this afternoon.  All morning, I’ve been cleaning!  In-between those tasks, I’ve been blogging, writing, etc.

Moments with Noah

The book I finished yesterday is reviewed at Chasing Stardust.


Lots of family and friend moments in this one, too.

I started my next read, which I was really excited about…but, for whatever reason, just couldn’t connect with the characters last night.  Maybe today…

If things don’t improve, I’ll have to find another one on my stacks.  My vow:  to read at least one book a week from my Old TBRs (as distinguished from my newer ones).

Now I’m off to do some more writing before settling in to read.



Craig Robinson - Berlin Photographer

Today descended like a dark, cold blanket—no fog, just a lot of darkness, even at this hour.


I could use a lamp like the one in my header, lighting my pathways today.  Speaking of the lamp in my header, my eldest son, Craig, Berlin Photographer, captured this a few years ago.  As I gaze at it, I am carried along fantasy pathways.  Many who have noticed it have mentioned that Narnia springs to mind.

I love images like this one.

Or how about some of these images, captured by the same photographer (my amazing son!) in an old abandoned sanitarium outside of Berlin.

Beelitz Sanitarium

Or how about these decaying images:


Capturing the ordinary moments in our lives in a unique way is the gift of the creative photographer.

I try to capture those moments in the life around me through words.  As a blogger/writer, my journey takes me next to my WIP, in which my characters are leading me along, hoping that I will see the world through their eyes.

Meanwhile, I have posted my Teaser Tuesday for today at my Potpourri blog.

I entered a new header at that site that also conveys ordinary moments in a unique way, from the vision of Mary Engelbreit.

I like the sentiment expressed in this one:  Everything You Want in the World is Just Right Outside Your Comfort Zone.

What is your vision for today?  What thoughts are carrying you forward into your day?



Today has been very busy! The usual Monday Memes took up a large part of the morning, followed by my writing challenge, in which I added a couple of pages and about 1,000 additional words.

With my WIP totalling 66,423 words and 161 pages so far, I feel as though I’m winding down and moving toward some conclusions.

With any story, however, there are always those surprises.  Like the punches the characters throw at me, leading me down surprising pathways.

Family moments highlight the pages as our MC Martha Scott Cummings, single mother, struggles to make sense of her new life and provide security for her ten-year-old daughter.  Adjustment issues arise on a regular basis.  Meanwhile, Martha is also exploring her “interior world,” to figure out how she can learn from her mistakes and move on in a positive direction.

These struggles remind me of some of my own.  Especially those that arose in younger and adolescent kids.  Sometimes I wonder how I managed to get through it all.

Because I’ve been there, I hope I bring a sensitivity to the issues before my characters.

Life can unfold in a more predictable fashion in a story we’re telling, but I hope that I manage to fashion my tales in ways that resemble real-life moments.

For you writers out there, what events in your own lives inform your characters and plots?  What surprising twists and turns do your characters take?



Welcome to A Bit of Me (Me), hosted by There’s A Book.  Every week we gather to share bits and pieces of ourselves—including the part of us that we don’t necessarily showcase in our blogs.

Our host poses a question each week, and today’s is:

This Weeks Question: What’s your most looked forward to event coming up this year? (Online or real life, bookwise or not, anything.)

In my fantasies, I, too, would be at Book Expo America.  But since it’s in New York (again!), that’s not likely to happen.  Not that I wouldn’t love to visit New York, but I live in California.  It probably won’t happen.
I did go to BEA in 2008, when it was in LA.  Fabulous event!
Probably I will participate in Armchair BEA.
As for other events, I’m hoping for some kind of family vacation, perhaps to the beach.  I do enjoy the beach!
Here are some family members enjoying the beach this past year.

Noah in the Sand

Fiona at the Beach - Ninja?

Ah, yes, you might recognize the photo above in today’s header.  This one was actually captured in the past few weeks.  Yes, in LA there is beach weather in the winter.  Sort of…
What about the rest of you?  What are your fantasies/plans/dreams for events this year?   Hope you’ll stop by and share.


Happy New Year!  Hope everyone stayed safe and somewhat sane. Here we are with our first A Bit of Me (Me) of the New Year, hosted, as always, by There’s A Book.

Today’s Question:

This Weeks Question: Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Share at least one (more if you want!).

Here are a few things I wrote in a post I did yesterday:

1)  Keep up with my challenges, both reading and writing;

2)  Exercise at least three times a week (yeah, this one’s a stretch based on my 2010 performance!);

3)  Enjoy the moments instead of burying myself under lists;

4)  Make healthy choices (food and lifestyle).


In addition, I have signed up with NaBloPoMo to write a blog post here everyday for the month of January, specifically about family and/or friends.

So for today’s bit:  I want to share how very special this past year of blogging has been for me.  I have developed online connections that have sustained me during dark days, and helped me move forward when I’m in a slump.  The challenges, the memes, the commenting—these all have added that extra special connection we all need in our lives.

In the New Year, I resolve to continue to develop these connections.  I hope you all will join me in this vow.


What about the rest of you?  What plans, vows, hopes and dreams are you reflecting on today?  Please feel free to stop in and chat about it.


Good morning!  Hope everyone is wide awake and coffee-ed up for the morning blog hopping.

Today, on A Bit of Me (Me), our host at There’s A Book has posed a question for us.

This Weeks Question: It’s the holidays! Do you have a favorite holiday tradition or is there one you want to start?
Of course, that took my thoughts on a flight across the years as I tried to zero in on traditions.  And special events I might like to make into a tradition.
When I was about eight or nine, our family lived in a small town a couple hours from the city where I now live. But there was excitement in the air that night as several of us piled into cars to make the trek to a wondrous event that I will never forget.
CHRISTMAS TREE LANE! That was my first visit to this memorable event, which is yearly here.  Several miles along some of the most fabulous homes are decorated and lit up, while cars meander slowly,  studying what the residents have wrought.  There is even a night for “walking” the lane.  On a center divider, there are fabulous Christmas-tree-like fir trees that mark this street year round, lending itself to the majesty of the event.
I haven’t been in years, which I need to rectify.  I’d like to try the walking tour, which would be fabulous on a cool, crisp night.
As for other events, every year we gather together on Christmas Eve, a tradition started in my childhood.  Food, spirits, and gifts provide the backdrop for family togetherness.
What about you?  What do you love this time of year?







Good morning, and welcome to our Friday memes, those delightful opportunities to spotlight our books and share them with other bloggers.

Book Beginnings is hosted by A Few More Pages, and all we do is share the opening sentences and tell our thoughts about them.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and here’s how it works:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

My featured book today is Mary Ann in Autumn, by Armistead Maupin.

Here’s a snippet from Amazon:

Mary Ann in Autumn ( Tales of the City ) – Large Print Contributor(s): Maupin, Armistead (Author) Twenty years after leaving her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue a television career in New York City, calamities drive fifty-seven-year-old Mary Ann Singleton to return to the city and her oldest friend as she tries to put her life back together.

Beginning:  There should be a rabbit hole was what she was thinking.  There should be something about this hillside, some lingering sense memory—the view of Alcatraz, say, or the foghorns or the mossy smell of the planks beneath her feet—that would lead her back to her lost wonderland.

Now I’m definitely intrigued.  I want to know more.  And yes, I did post more than one sentence, but I couldn’t help myself!

56:  She nodded slowly, wordlessly, at the mention of the dreaded tourist trap.  “Well,” she said finally.  “That side of town can be lovely.”

This book is an ARC, and therefore the final publication may reflect textual differences.

What did you find this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and share.



Welcome to A-Z Wednesday, hosted by Vicki, at Reading at the Beach.  Every week, we join together to celebrate books “alphabetically.”

Here’s how it works….

1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back to Reading At The Beach and leave your link in the comments.
5~ If you’ve already reviewed the book, add the link.

This week’s letter:  Author – First or Last Name – “R”


Today’s author is Anne Roiphe, who has written many books that I have enjoyed.  Epilogue is a memoir written in the author’s later years.

On Amazon, I found this tidbit:

Grief is in two parts, writes Roiphe (Fruitful; 1185 Park Avenue). The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life. In her new memoir of late-life widowhood, she encounters the latter….

Here’s my review.

What books did you find today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share some comments and links.



In a Village Between Berlin and Prague


Hump Day is a hurdle (or a challenge) every week, so I like to do something to commemorate it.

Today, my creative impressions spotlight a photo captured by my son, Craig Robinson — Berlin Photographer.

He captured this photo when he stayed in this hotel that he’d been noticing.  Then he wrote this on Facebook:

Over the last year, each time I passed this village on the train from Berlin to Prague (and back) I said to myself: ‘One day I will stay in that old hotel with the giant rock hanging over it.’ And for 3 nights last week, we did. 🙂

Don’t you love living out your wishes and dreams, even just the small ones?

This month, I’m realizing a dream of mine. I’ve been hearing about NaNoWriMo for months, and hadn’t decided whether or not to join in this challenge.  But then I did, and so far, I’m really excited.  50,000 words in 30 days!  My word count today, on Day 3, is 5655—ahead of schedule.

Is anybody out there participating?  LOL

Judging from the activity and the length of time to load the pages, I’m sure a lot of people around the world have joined this challenge.







Welcome to A-Z Wednesday, hosted by Reading at the Beach.  Check out the rules, so you can play, too.

To join, here’s all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books
Find an author whose first or last name starts with the letter of the week

1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back to Reading At The Beach and leave your link in the comments.
5~ If you’ve already reviewed the book, add the link.

This week’s letter:  Author – First or Last Name – “M”


Today I’ve grabbed a book from my TBR stacks—one I really want to read soon.  I love this author’s work, especially for long, rainy days or evenings, when I can curl up with a book and cups of tea.

Whitethorn Woods, by Maeve Binchy, is a book about village life and change.


Here’s a snippet from Amazon:

Nestled outside the once sleepy Irish village of Rossmore in a copse known as Whitethorn Woods is the shrine of St. Ann’s Well, which attracts so many of the faithful and hopeful that the little town overflows with visitors. This prompts a controversial proposal to construct a bypass highway that would divert traffic, ironically, right through the Woods, thus destroying the source of the town’s popularity. Worried that the shrine’s days are numbered, villagers flock to the Well, where they plead for everything from the restoration of a faltering love affair to the recognition of an ancestor’s legacy. Foregoing her trademark plot-driven narrative for a tale in which the outcome is predictable (will the shrine be saved? duh!), Binchy instead focuses her prodigious talent on a robust assemblage of characters embroiled in romantic and domestic crises. Inventively and intricately weaving a series of linked vignettes, Binchy astounds with the versatility of the supplicants’ voices, from the diabolical machinations of a mother whose daughter has committed murder to the sad serenity of another whose child was kidnapped decades earlier. Binchy is at her best in this tender yet potent tale of a traditional land and people threatened and challenged by the forces of change. Carol Haggas


What marvelous books did you discover today?  Please stop by and share some comments and links.