A Year of Creativity

Hey, readers. I almost didn’t write this post after looking back at my 2022 goals. I’d planned to write and publish two books last year, a short story collection and the second book of the Legends of Maderia series, but I didn’t publish a single title.

When I read Staci Troilo’s plans for 2023, I felt inspired to post this. I hope to look back in January 2024 and see that I exceed my goals. So, here they are.

Writing and Publishing

Menagerie releases next week and is now available for preorder, so I’m already ahead of 2022 on publishing. Writing these stories took most of the year, which obviously wasn’t a good year writing-wise (or at least productivity-wise). Honestly, the eight months I worked at my previous job were probably the hardest in my twenty-plus years there. Maybe it was because I’d planned to retire. It took a few weeks to “recover.” That’s behind me now, and I love retirement.

I’m ready to delve into the pages of Blood Red Dawn, the second full-length novel of the Legends of Maderia series. The goal is to publish it later this year. I had planned to write four Legends books, but I’ve decided to stop at three. I “might” write another short story to go along with the series, but I haven’t decided. Book Three’s title is Edge of Twilight. My plan is to write the draft this year and publish it in early 2024.

The previously planned fourth Legends book will become a stand-alone novel. I’m excited about it. I’ve not written a stand-alone book, save The Stranger which is novella length. I also have three stories that I planned to include in Menagerie, but when I began writing them, I realized they needed to be longer than 10K words.

One of those stories is part of a secret project that you’ll hear more about later on. As of now, there’s no release date planned. A second story will become another stand-alone novel, and the third a possible novelette or novella.


I plan to continue my Mystery Monday/Legends and Lore posts. I enjoy researching and writing those. The first one of 2023 will be next Monday. I also plan to make this a weekly post rather than twice a month. I already have a list of topics that I hope you’ll find intriguing.


Along the line of blogging, I love to support other authors, and I’m happy to do so here. If you have a new release and would like for me to host you, just contact me. A contact form is at the bottom of this page.


One of my goals for the year is to build my mailing list and publish a monthly newsletter. I’ve had good intentions on this for a while, but always fall short. This is going to be the year I succeed. If you’re interested in signing up, just click this link. Future plans for the letter will include some giveaways and possibly some unpublished short stories that I’ll send only to subscribers.


I’ve been thinking a lot about the word, creativity. As an author, I automatically think of writing when it comes to being creative, but the word encompasses much more. I’m declaring 2023 as the year of creativity and I want to keep my creative juices flowing. See you next week, and I hope 2023 is a productive year for you as well.

Retiring is Hard Work & More Random Thoughts

Four weeks from today, I’ll be retired. For several months, I’ve teased my co-workers that I’m going to sit on my front porch that first morning, take a photo of the sunrise, and text them with the message, “This is what I’m doing today.

With my luck, it will probably be pouring down rain, but that’s okay because we desperately need it. We’re in a severe drought right now, somewhat reminiscent of the summer of 2011.

Not quite as bad, but still cause for concern.

Anyway, back to retirement. I began planning this around mid-December. One of my co-workers, who had planned for years, is retiring the same day. When I returned from a week’s vacation in early January, we had something like thirty-three weeks until the big day, and now it’s down to four.

I’ve come to one conclusion. Retiring, or planning for retirement, is hard work. I’ve already turned over most of my job duties to others, so the work days seem long. One thing I can say about my job is that it never got boring. There was always plenty to do and new challenges every day. (When I interviewed, I said I wanted a challenging job. I got my wish.)

Still, there are days when I come home mentally exhausted. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to finish the last of my collection of short stories. Yes, I’m behind, and yes, I still plan to publish them this year. It’s looking like an October release date. I have a title and a cover, but more on that later.

I continue plugging along on my stories and plodding along on my remaining work days. I’m looking forward to not having to wake up to an alarm clock, although I’ll need to train my four-legged alarm clock not to wake me at 5:00.

I want to get back on a more regular blog schedule (something besides book reviews). I already have some plans in the works, but I’m not rushing anything. At first, I want to enjoy scenes like this:

Both views are from my front porch. Obviously not taken this year because everything was green.

One of the short stories in my collection had the working title The House on Baker Street. The name, but not the story, was inspired by this song written and recorded by the late Gerry Rafferty. I’ll leave you with a video.

2021 Wrap Up

I survived a week of Snowmaggedon…

Published two books…

Completed five years as a contributing author for Story Empire…

Read sixty-five books…

and published one hundred thirty-four blog posts.

November Beaver Moon

Connected with old friends and made new ones along the way.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year.

See you in 2022!

Blogging and Writing

Hey, everyone. Here we are on the last day of June. The year is half gone, and I can’t say I’m sorry. Like many people, I’m ready to put 2020 to rest.

I was on vacation last week, or rather “staycation.” We didn’t even do a day trip, but I enjoyed relaxing at home. It’s MUCH different than working from home. In nine days, I got out of the house a grand total of three times.

Summer in Texas means the crape myrtles are in bloom.

Anyhow, I’m happy to report that I’m making progress with Cold Dark Night, the first book of my Legends of Madeira series. Now that I’ve started writing again, my creative juices are flowing. I even brainstormed lead character names, occupations, and the legend/folklore for books two, three, and four.

I started recording my daily word count again. Doubt I’ll meet or exceed last year’s total, but that’s okay. I’m writing and that’s what’s important.

Along that line, I’ve given thought to blogging. I need to get back to a regular schedule. My plan is to blog two or three times a week. The content is likely to change for the foreseeable future. While I enjoy Mystery Mondays, the research for them is time-consuming, so for the time being I won’t be writing any of those posts.

I want to publish Cold Dark Night this year as well as a short story prequel titled Woman in Black. To accomplish that, I must devote most of my time to writing and editing them.

As far as blogging, I plan to split time between Tuesday Book Shares, WIP Wednesday, and Thursday Thoughts. And as always, I welcome guest posts from fellow authors. If you have a recent release or special promo, click on the “Let’s Connect” link and use the contact form.

Until next time!

Catching Up

Hey everyone. It’s been a few weeks since I last posted here. Truthfully, I didn’t intend for it to be that long. When I last checked in, I had been working from home for about a week. I had always wondered what that would be like. Now, I know.

It’s not all it’s cracked up to be! Yes, I saved on gas. I saved time by not having a half-hour commute each way. I didn’t have to put on make-up or wear office clothes. When I finished for the day, I could transfer from my desk to the sofa for a bit of unwinding or sit outside for a while if the weather permitted.

But work-wise, I was busier than ever. I was assigned two major projects that took me some time to complete. I’m the system manager for a software program we use, so I had to deal with a few things related to that. I had transferred my office phone to my cell and I probably received more phone calls each day than I do in the office.

I had hoped that saving drive time would enable me to write more. Wrong! At the end of each day, I was exhausted. A couple of blog posts for Story Empire was about all I managed. My job requires a lot of analytical thinking, so I found it nearly impossible to turn on my creative thinking at the end of each day.

I’m happy to report that I went back to the office two weeks ago. I have to say I’m more rested each day than when I worked from home. Yes, things are different. I have to mask up when I enter the hospital. Each employee is screened when they enter the building and only certain entrances are open. Things are different. However, I took this photo outside the front entrance on my first day back.

Rather nice, isn’t it?

But enough about work and on to writing. I’m planning to ease back into blogging. I also have a novel to finish as well as a short story. I had hoped to publish the short story (a prequel to the novel) in March and the first book of my Legends of Maderia series later this month. Neither are finished, so it will be late summer or fall at the earliest.

As far as blogging and social media, I’m cutting back some in order to write what I love – fiction. I won’t be doing my Friday links posts as it’s too time-consuming to read and gather those links. I do plan to create either a page with links to my favorite sites or list them in the sidebar.

Mystery Mondays will continue. Again, the research for those takes time, but it’s something I enjoy. I may have one ready next week, if not I’ll begin on May 18. I’ll share a Thursday Thought now and then as well as Tuesday Book Shares. And of course, I’m open to guest bloggers if you have a new book release or want to promote an older book. You can also find me on Story Empire along with six other authors where we share tips and news about writing fiction.

How are you doing during these crazy days? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.