Thursday, June 6, 2019

TYL Summer Series Kick Off


This summer I am excited to participate in a pre-book release P-A-R-T-Y with some great bloggers! We'll explore the tidbits of history explored in my August release, The Yellow Lantern, and have GIVEAWAYS for those who participate! Be sure to join my FB event so you'll be up-to-date on when posts go live so you can comment and enter the giveaways. Here is the JUNE GIVEAWAY ( includes Cotton-scented fizzers, a mini-journal, drawer sachet and Starbucks gift card...to enter...READ ON):

I'd like to kick off the summer series with a brief overview of how all these tidbits of history became a suspenseful tale set in 1824!
The themes for the summer series

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep
into 19th century Massachusetts. Graverobbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancementMen and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.

Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle

I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a millnot only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.
My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

For the rest of the month, we'll focus on Mill Life! Each month will have a special theme associated with Josie Clay's story! Stay tuned!

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Good Enough for Me.

“Good enough is better than perfect.” 
—my architecture prof of yesteryear

 When it comes to housework, part of me has always wanted to be that type-A, get it done, everything in its place, perfection is close by type of soul. But, I often butt up against a mix of waning desire and “good enough” mantra. My good enough—a pile of laundry building in a contained spot, a sink of dishes, a makeup-less outing—taunts me because I fail that newest article, that guru’s how-to’s, that person declaring I should be the Proverbs 31 housekeeper. I have even heard the disheartening theory that your outside mess reflects what’s going on on the inside.

 I will call out that lie.

Sounds like disguised materialism to me (hehe).

That’s all out wrong thinking. For me, it only leaves me defeated because I am never going to measure up...I'll clean and organize, but I stink at maintaining. And then listening to all the "advice" out there, only makes me flounder in failure...it steals my chances for joy in what matters. For me, making home, good appearances, fitness goals—🥺—is weighted only in the good enoughs to get to the better stuff.

 I finally figured out why my good enough leaves me with gentle chaos poo-poo’d by HGTV and homemaking professionals...

 I’d rather write.

         I’d rather go to lunch with a friend.

                        I’d rather cozy up on the couch with my husband and laugh at a good show.

(um...my love language is a mixture of creativity and quality time...50/50 of both, I'd say).

 The contained mess sits because of my “good enough” to get to the “very best” of what I love. If it’s good enough for me, then I don’t need perfection. I think everyone’s good enough is different. Finally, I am realizing this. Another’s good enough is not the same as mine. I need to celebrate others’ good enoughs more, and not try and imitate them so much. I’ve caught myself thinking I am not doing life right when I compare myself.

But, I look around—and life is pretty good. Even in my messy house, my unorganized purse, my crumb-ridden car. Life is still good.

Good enough for me. 💕


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Forgotten Stories or Stories-In-Waiting?


Writer, ever step back into an old story and regret the dust on its pages? I have this story that shaped me for two tough, excruciating years, but grew steadily from two decades of dreaming.
Every once in a while, I will pull it up on my computer and read a bit.
It’s almost torture to do that, really. 
Because the background noise builds, a buzz of “too late now” hisses in my head.
Yet, crumbs of hope have kept me from truly believing that. God’s timing keeps me from believing that.
I read, and it’s like visiting with an old friend, and it’s like recalling how much I miss that friend.
It’s like that one imaginary friend who slips from your memory, but every once in a while an old burst of creativity reminds you of their existence in your heart.
I delve into the story but can’t read for too long because it plucks at a heartsore, a deep regret that my imagination wasn’t strong enough to grow real pages, strong wings.
I pray that old stories have purpose too. I have seen two old stories to publication. Maybe my imaginary friend has a chance yet?
Writer, do you have that one story that flirts with your hopes, challenged your chance to move into a new one?
One day...who knows when.
Blowing dust off the pages to tuck it in the drawer again. On to grown up things, and new imaginary adventures while I hope in the old ones.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A Love Poem

I haven't written a poem in a very long time. Probably when I was a sophomore or junior in college--shortly after this poem I found today. I’ll give you a glimpse at the first part... realizing that 19 year old gal was waaaaay head over heels, and the last couple verses are a little too star-crossed!





I wrote this about 4 months after I met my husband, 3 months after our first date, 2 months after we became "exclusive", a couple weeks after he said, "I love you." That was nearly 23 years ago. We celebrated our 19th anniversary this past January, and I can honestly say, I am more in love with him now than I ever was.

And no, I am not goo-goo-ga-ga like this poem might suggest...but I am grounded in a deeper love, a more secure love, a less needy love. We really have grown up from silly kids to pretty decent adults, I must say. There were times when he held tight to a marriage I was unsure of, and there were times when I fought for the marriage that he wasn't so certain about. We've been through the valley together, and apart.

I wonder if I knew what we would go through when I wrote this poem, would I still have delve so deeply in love with him? I wonder if I had read this poem in the darkest moments of our marriage, would I have grown to love him deeper, more quickly ?

Maybe.

Because, if there is one thing I can point to that keeps this marriage growing, is love. LOVE. A pivotal choice, several pivotal choices, actually

Sometimes we don’t see things the same, sometimes we drive eachother crazy...but, we are still those college sweethearts deep down inside, and that root will not let go.