For the New Year, I visualize more time spent in cozy surroundings, and I want to love and nurture my connections.

I also like making a few blog changes, so I altered the colors here.

Yesterday I took down the Christmas decorations.  As I boxed them up, I felt happy to see my usual space beneath, almost as if it had been waiting patiently.  But it looked slightly different, since, as usual, when I take away the ornaments, trees, etc., I see little tweaks I can make to the surroundings.  Nothing major or back breaking.  Just a little change here and there.  Like these:



I have started reading my first book of the New Year:  Potboiler, by Jesse Kellerman.  I had mixed feelings about some of his previous books, but he is definitely a talented author.  And I love the blurb on this one.

Arthur Pfefferkorn is a has-been, or perhaps a never-was: a middle-aged college professor with long-dead literary aspirations. When his oldest friend, bestselling thriller writer William de Vallèe, is lost at sea, Pfefferkorn is torn between envy and grief, for de Vallèe not only outshone Pfefferkorn professionally, but married the woman Pfefferkorn loved.
Pfefferkorn’s decision to reconnect with de Vallèe’s widow sets in motion a surreal chain of events, plunging him into a shadowy realm of double crosses and intrigue, a world where no one can be trusted–and nothing can be taken seriously.


What will your day and year bring?  I hope you will find the happiness, peace, and balance you desire.



This past weekend has been a busy one, with Bloggiesta activities, etc.  Plus, I had reviews to post and thoughts to assemble for the upcoming reading week.

Today’s thoughts are about the effects of computer “glitches” on how I face the day.

This particular glitch has actually only happened to me about three or four times over a period of four years or so.  Not a lot, when I look at it from that perspective.  But each time, I go into panic mode.


The first time, I was totally at a loss, and even called my son, the electrician/computer person to see if he could sort it out.  Well, he tried a few things and fixed it.  I observed some of what he’d done, and the next time it happened, more than a year later, I was able to go through the processes and sort it out on my own.

My other computer-expert son, who lives in Europe, told me that the power strip could be a factor, so I made sure to have an extra one on hand.  Today when my computer wouldn’t turn on (yes, that’s how the glitch expresses itself!), I went through my usual panic mode, and then recalled his advice.  I pulled out the new strip, changed it out, and voila!  Fixed.


Of course, my mind is going to be on red alert for awhile.  Why is that?  My paranoia about the computer and its various possibilities for failure could keep me up at night.

Well, one of my biggest fears, of course, is that someday nothing I do will work and it will mean a new computer!  And my budget is not ready for that!  LOL


Do you ever freak out over these kinds of things?  What do you do when, or if, that happens?  If you’re lucky, you have a resident computer expert…ah, wish I did!



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?


Photograph by Craig Robinson, Berlin Photographer

Photograph by Craig Robinson, Berlin Photographer

Monday is a day of reflection and musing, and some of my thoughts can be found over at one of my other blogs, Explorations, Reflections, & Meditations.

But those thoughts are mostly about books.

Today I’d like to share my impressions about family and those connections that last over a lifetime.  Hopefully.

I worked for many years with families, but those were usually people in crisis.  I didn’t see their “best” moments, until, after a period of months of hard work, they would sometimes surprise me with the depth of the ties that bind them to their family members.

Which is another reason that I strongly believe in the enduring bonds of family.  Even when the family members have problems and even when the connections have seemingly torn asunder.

Of course, there are families in which the bonds never seem to hold. Maybe they weren’t there in the first place.  Or maybe some kind of disconnect happened due to other influences, like drugs or emotional problems.  Nothing can fray the bonds of family more than these kinds of problems.  Sometimes, even the best therapy cannot repair the damage.

But in many cases, I believe that wounds can heal.  And connections can be restored.

Hope is what I like to focus on, and hope carried me through the difficult years.  Those years when Mondays brought that feeling of dread as I thought about what I would face during that day.

Mondays are better for me now, because I can connect to people on the web; I can work on my current WIP; and I can read the books I love and sometimes find from the recommendations of the community of bloggers with whom I connect nowadays.

I can dream about the endless possibilities of connections.