Blog

April

Saturday 2nd April 2022

I've not written a blog for 2 months. To be honest, I haven't written much in the past 3 months. Life, or to be more accurate our move, had caught up with me. I have moved a lot in my life—back and forth from one US coast to another 3 times, up and down the US east coast 1 time, across the Atlantic 4 times. In Portland Maine alone—5 moves. In Minneapolis—4. Sometimes the moves were because I was changing a job or looking for a job; sometimes because I wanted to live in a better place. One time, when…

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January 2022

Monday 3rd January 2022

As I write this, snow is continuing to fall at quite a rate at my home on the Eastern Shore. Having spent most of my life living in states (5) bordering Canada, snow is nothing new to me. In fact, I really love it, especially when I don't have to go anywhere in a hurry. I can write a lot about snow—how light it feels when it settles on your face, how hard it can feel when hit by a well-packed snowball, how quiet it is when it muffles the…

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November

Thursday 4th November 2021

It's been a little over a week since our container was delivered to our door and our furniture and roughly 200 boxes were unloaded. We're all unpacked now and gradually getting our house in order. Writing has temporarily taken a back seat but I will be back at it very soon. But this doesn't mean the writing…

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October 2021

Sunday 3rd October 2021

We're waiting for our ship to come in...literally! We packed up our house and moved to the USA from the UK in late June. Having done this ocean-crossing move 4 times now we expected to see our household goods no later than the end of July. We hadn't counted on a container, ship, and berthing shortage. Fortunately, we were able to buy a bed, couch, and a TV, and a very kind neighbor has lent us an outdoor table and chairs, so we have managed. The house is a breeze to clean and I have lots of excuses for my lack of enthusiasm when it comes to cooking although I do miss baking. Fingers are crossed our stuff will…

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September 2021

Wednesday 1st September 2021

Ahh September. A month for beginnings. We're beginning to settle into life in Maryland, still living with a couch, a TV, a bed, and an outdoor table and chairs on loan from a dear neighbor. The container with our goods has finally left our UK removal company's warehouse and is sitting on a dock—in a UK bay—waiting to be loaded onto a container ship due into a nearby port in…

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August

Sunday 1st August 2021

Well, we made it. After all the pre-move pitfalls (read June's BLOG if you're interested in the details) we made the trip from the UK to the USA. Halfway through our BA flight, the air hostess handed us a slip of paper from the New York Center for Disease Control telling us regardless of having…

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July - on the road again!

Friday 2nd July 2021

Note to self: don't make an international move during a pandemic. Unfortunately I didn't get the memo until after my husband and I had packed up and sold our UK house, bought a house in Maryland (over the internet) and just a week ago were halfway over the Atlantic with our dog. This was the first chance we'd had to take a breath and it almost came as a huge surprise, as if I was awakening from a dream. We had actually done this—made the move! Neither of us had ever spent any time in Maryland, except on the highway, and yet we'd bought a house…

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June

Thursday 3rd June 2021

I missed April and May—wanted to finish Taking the Sun and then we got busy! As I write this I am sitting between two tables laden with stuff to be packed into boxes and eventually loaded into a container for yet another trip of our belongings across the Atlantic—4th time! After over a year of discussing the pros and cons of doing this, we are planning to move to the USA. We both have dual citizenship (UK and USA) and some would say we are fortunate to have the choice as to which country to live in. But sometimes…

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March 2021

Monday 1st March 2021

It might have escaped your notice, but I didn't do a February Blog. I was 'on a roll' finishing up my latest book, Taking the Sun, and doing a blog seemed like an interruption. This lockdown in the UK (#3) has felt like the longest and the toughest. Maybe because we're in winter, with long, cold nights and dreary skies. Winter was also a time for planning our travel, something we're not confident…

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January 2021

Friday 1st January 2021

A new year. I'm hopeful we can keep all the good things about 2020 and never revisit the bad. My list of the good—clear, blue, pollution-free skies; hearing bird song and not traffic noise, helping to support folks in our village; learning to plan meals ahead and become a better cook; making time to sit outside and enjoy the sun, read, and listen to music; reacquainting myself with poetry and appreciating the work of poets new to me; learning about and practicing mindfulness and pilates. Lastly, but of most importance, being grateful for what I have—a loving,…

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December

Wednesday 2nd December 2020

I flipped the calendar over to December and other than eating a chocolate from my Advent Calendar the day was lost on me. I was busy and forgot all the jobs I should have done on the first of a month--writing my blog, giving my…

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November

Sunday 1st November 2020

I didn't do a blog for October. I was feeling quite agitated by the end of September and couldn't seem to focus my attention. September is usually a 'traveling month' and this year it was not going to happen. After much deliberation, my husband and I decided to head to Scotland—a much-needed trip. The empty distances and surreal beauty afforded…

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September

Tuesday 1st September 2020

There was no August blog--I was deep in the process of editing Stealing Thunder, now available through Amazon. And now it's September. Ahh September. I've written about this before—how the first of September is my NEW YEAR. In the past, it might have been about starting a new year at school. But as I got older it became a time of even bigger change—moving, changing jobs, starting projects. It's also about autumn—my absolute favorite season. The colors—all my favorites—yellows, golds, oranges. The crispness to the air. The whole idea…

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July

Friday 3rd July 2020

Stealing Thunder, my latest book, is finally finished and I'm halfway through the editing process. One would think with all this social distancing I should have written half a dozen books since we entered lockdown in the UK. In fact, you could make the point that self-isolation would be a writer's dream and for many writers perhaps it is, but not for me. I have not been traveling since we went into the Covid 19 lockdown and it feels like my wings have been clipped. Most of the plots for my books have emerged while I was physically on…

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June

Wednesday 3rd June 2020

May was not a month I necessarily want to remember. There was a couple of highlights—my husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage and our dog Abbey turned 6. But by the end of the month we had been under 10 weeks of lockdown, my godson had…

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May

Friday 1st May 2020

I started a journal when 'lockdown' began. I hope when I re-read it (if I do!) in ten or fifteen years this whole period feels like a hazy story—with highs and lows. I hope I remember the good things about this 'lockdown' period and take to heart the things I've learned. I have had moments of real joy—where a simple thing like bird song or talking with a grandchild is more than enough to lift your spirits.…

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April

Thursday 2nd April 2020

In the far reaches of my mind—the part that files everything away for my writing—are constantly emerging plots, characters, locations. But no part of my imagination could have dreamt of a plot where a microscopic particle kills millions of people and brings most of the world to…

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March 2020

Sunday 1st March 2020

I didn't write a blog for February. After receiving a lot of advice about this, I spent time advertising my books on Facebook for December—stepping WAY out of my comfort zone. When the 'campaign' was over I really felt I needed to pull back a bit. Please don't get me wrong—I do want my books to be…

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January 2020

Friday 3rd January 2020

Today is the first day I have had since the first of September when I didn't have much of the day planned—when there wasn't a list of 'jobs' that needed to be done straight away. This is not a complaint—I like having some structure to my life even if it is dictated by jobs I don't like (cleaning, for instance). And this doesn't mean there aren't jobs that need doing. 'Christmas' needs to be carefully packed away (including our tree!!) for…

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December 2019

Monday 2nd December 2019

As we near the winter solstice, the sun barely makes it over the top of our back hedge (okay, it's a pretty tall hedge) before plunging out of site like a nightshade drawn down. And then it is pitch black out. More so in our village because—by virtue of public decree?—there are no street lights of any description. To venture out at night without a flashlight would be just about asking for a fall. Which is why I can't wait for the colored lights to go on our fence (see…

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November

Saturday 2nd November 2019

I'm a day late, but I THINK I have a pretty good excuse. Yesterday, November 1, I finished the first edit of my new Breaking Camp Mystery,…

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October

Tuesday 1st October 2019

My husband and I have recently returned from a wonderful trip to the USA. We visited places I had been…

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September

Sunday 1st September 2019

It's the first of September and as usual I find myself 'seasonally stimulated'. When I was young, September was all about the excitement of going to school, meeting new friends (especially the boys), learning new things, moving one step closer to being a grownup—and independence! I was preparing for an exciting year--for changes! I would have thought as I aged, that anticipation would die down. But it hasn't. September is still a time of preparation…

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August

Thursday 1st August 2019

Who is this person? This is a question I kept asking myself as I worked my way through the thousand photos—printed and slides—that I was determined to digitize. Once I was finished with this project, there'd be no more lugging around the cumbersome weight of forty-plus photograph albums or boxes of slides (not to mention the gear to view the slides). This past weekend was spent scanning in the last few albums—photos of myself and my siblings through high school. It became…

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July 2019

Sunday 7th July 2019

I am super late with my July Blog because my husband Roy, our border terrier Abbey, and I have been to Wales for the past week. This was a completely spontaneous event in direct response to my husband…

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June 2019

Monday 3rd June 2019

My decision a couple of years ago to start a monthly blog attached to my website was for two reasons—to try and nurture/retain an interest in my books from new and existing readers, especially in the time between book releases, and as a way of instilling some discipline…

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May 2019

Thursday 2nd May 2019

Last month I wrote about the satisfaction I got from typing the words THE END as I finished my latest book, Those Who Wait. After the past three intensive weeks spent editing- and re-editing, (no mean feat during 'birthday month' when our family celebrates 7 immediate family birthdays!) I feel my book is now DONE.…

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April 2019

Monday 1st April 2019

One of the greatest satisfactions in my writing life is when I type the words THE END. I did this two days ago when I finished the novel I began writing last May. I am hoping THOSE WHO WAIT will be available on Amazon by this May. I had been using a working title up until the day I finished my novel, and then not only the title, but the cover design for my book came together in rapid succession. I do actually love the entire creative writing process. I write because it is what…

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March 2019

Saturday 2nd March 2019

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.—Charles Dickens. Growing up in and living in a number of states bordering Canada, March was often a month of winter's last gasp—heavy snow full of moisture as we neared spring—a real pain to shovel! By the end of the month I would be fed up with the white stuff, but knew spring was just down the road (often literally!) Crocus and daffodils, tired of waiting…

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February 2019

Sunday 3rd February 2019

My husband and I recently attended a showing of The Wife at our village movie night. If you aren't familiar with it, it's the story of an American who has just won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature. As he travels to Stockholm with his wife and son to accept his award, his relationship with his wife and her relationship to his writing is…

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January 2019

Saturday 5th January 2019

The tree is down. Ornaments and decorations are all gently packed away for next Christmas. Our house looks refreshingly stark, like it's just been decorated by someone from Scandinavia. Outside, the trees are bare, the bones of their branches fully exposed; limp plants straggle across our lifeless garden. Even the fleeting sun,…

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December 2018

Monday 3rd December 2018

Every year at this time I write a reasonably short letter to go with our Christmas cards. With family on both sides of the Atlantic this has always felt like a good way to keep in touch and I enjoy receiving and reading letters in the cards of our friends and distant family. Writing these letters makes us think back over the past year—(years which are passing too quickly). Throughout the week that it takes me to write this letter, we…

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November 2018

Tuesday 6th November 2018

When I first started to do BLOGS for my website, I set myself the goal of trying to always turn out a new one the first of every month. Plans this month have gone haywire. I started November's BLOG on October 31st and I'm still struggling. It isn't that I don't have any thoughts—it's just that I'm finding it difficult to organize them. First, we are approaching the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, and although I had a pretty good schooling on The Great War (always wondered about that title!) I have felt the need to learn more.…

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October Blog

Monday 1st October 2018

My husband and I did a fair amount of traveling in September. The travel proved to be very nostalgic for me, returning first to Seattle (last time was in 1995!) and then Minneapolis (last time was in 1998!), visiting friends and family. I lived and worked in both locations and had good memories of those experiences. But in both Seattle and Minneapolis, I felt a real sadness. I've lost dear friends in those cities-…

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September Blog

Saturday 1st September 2018

It's here again! September! It's always been a month of changes for me, with many new beginnings in my history. I've always been very peripatetic, finding it difficult to settle in a home or even in a state. And lately, as my husband and I evaluate what we'd like our retirement life to be like, we're also considering which country to live in- IF we do move, it will be my 4th across the Atlantic. We have now officially been fully settled in our house for 15 months. I'm glad all the hard work is done- the painting, packing and unpacking, sorting, cleaning, sewing, gardening...now we can…

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August 2018

Wednesday 1st August 2018

ON THE MOVE My novels always involve some form of movement. My "Breaking Camp Mystery Series" takes a retired couple travelling all across America. My novels As Clear as Glass and Running from the Moon move readers through centuries. For a Rainy Day moves across countries and Winter Pursuit takes readers across decades and continents. The journey is what shapes my characters, changing them as my…

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July 2018

Sunday 1st July 2018

Time is Passing. Are You? These words were printed above a doorway at Glenwood High School, in Canton, Ohio. I passed under those words every day during high school—they weren't meant to move us along. We weren't supposed to loiter in the halls—we were meant to keep moving. In the past few years, those words have come back to haunt me over and over again; now they mean something radically different from their original admonition. This past May I lost my brother David. His loss has been a huge wake-up call for me; a reality check that yes, I am really on 'borrowed time'. In other…

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June 2018

Monday 4th June 2018

I'm late again, but this time I have an excuse I'd just as soon not have. A little over two weeks ago I woke up to the news that my brother Dave, two years younger than me and my nearest sibling, had died suddenly in his home. It was a chronic heart condition that took him, despite his belief—and recent assurances to his family—that all was reasonably well with his health. My husband Roy and I journeyed from London to Boston that same day—two years to the day we had…

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May 2018

Tuesday 1st May 2018

When I first left home, September 1971, at the age of 19, I could fit all my possessions into my VW Bug. All my clothes, my records, record player—everything! After a year at Bowling Green State University, I needed to try my wings, and leaving the nest for the first time meant moving from Ohio to Florida. This was the beginning of A LOT of moves- back and forth across America, and more recently, three times across the…

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April 2018

Sunday 1st April 2018

I have just finished Between a Rock, my latest book in my BREAKING CAMP MYSTERY SERIES. I had hoped to have it through its final edit and on sale by spring, but spring is late coming to England this year, and I'm afraid I'm a bit late as well! One of the more onerous tasks of self-publishing is self-editing. I have always hated going back over anything I've done before—but I actually don't mind editing my books because I usually wait a day or two and then it feels as if I'm reading a new book- even though I know what will happen,…

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March 2018

Thursday 1st March 2018

As I write this on the last day of February (yes, I'll be on time with my BLOG this month!) it is snowing- the British have named these past 3 days of cold temperatures and snowfalls the 'Beast from the East' and where I live we've had an accumulation of about 5". I grew up in snow—in the aptly named town of Geneva, in New York State, where snowfalls were often marked in feet. And for most of my life I've lived in states that had snowy winters—New York, Ohio, Minnesota, Washington, and Maine. So there's…

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February 2018

Monday 5th February 2018

On February 1st, I was sitting alone in our family room, looking up through the skylights at the brilliant blue sky (unusual for England, especially in winter) and said aloud, "Dad, if you're ready to go, this would be a good day for traveling." Not ten minutes later my husband, who was out walking our dog, called to say his father had 'just passed'. My father-in-law had been a…

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January 2018

Thursday 4th January 2018

FOLLOWING THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year! "The old year now hath passed away"...words from an old Lutheran hymn and…

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December

Monday 4th December 2017

My father always said I was "a day late and a dollar short", and so, keeping in character, I am 'late' with my blog! I love the sense of peace I feel during Advent when the days are short and the sun teases as it barely clears the treetops. I love Christmas!- the music, the Christmas plays, shows, movies, the hand-crafted decorations, and the hand-made food. I love the story of the birth of Jesus, and the sheer incredibleness of God appearing to man in the form of a baby. I…

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November

Wednesday 1st November 2017

I've been reading Lucy Worsley's biography about Jane Austen (Lucy is a UK historian & TV presenter). At the same time I'm reading Northanger Abbey and I'm watching Sense and Sensibility. I've never read Jane Austen before and I must admit there are sentences I'm re-reading several times in order to 'get it'. But I'm going to persevere because I want to get to know this author; my…

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October

Sunday 8th October 2017

TRAVELLING HOME I'm late with my October blog because my husband and I have just returned from a two week trip to America- it had been 18 months since I was last there- the longest I've ever been away from the USA. We flew into Denver, and thanks to a pre-season winter storm raging in Yellowstone and Teton National Parks, we headed south instead of north. After threading our way through the Rockies, where the Aspens were in full color, we spent a few days in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then our journey took us to Moab, Utah and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. I was a bit apprehensive about Moab. I had…

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SEPTEMBER

Sunday 3rd September 2017

September—the month of autumn and all my favorite colors—is frequently the time when I check my compass bearing and make sure I'm headed in a direction I want to go. Often correcting my course means making a move—which I've done several times from coast to coast and in between! Which brings me to Mary Tyler Moore. (For readers not familiar with Mary Tyler Moore, she was the star of a popular sitcom in the U.S.) I obtained my undergraduate degree in the 1970's during a pretty severe recession. There were few jobs in Portland, Maine and I didn't know what I wanted to do anyhow, so I packed up…

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AUGUST

Tuesday 1st August 2017

It's the middle of summer and I'm working on another book in my Breaking Camp Series. This time the Trasks are visiting the Black Hills of South Dakota. I've been through this area three times. The first time was when my family visited on a camping trip- we set up our Coleman Apache pop-up camper right on the shores of stunning Sylvan Lake. This was an exciting trip—we'd only been in the campground for maybe half an hour when…

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