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.


The Silver Lining from the COVID-19 Cloud

Hey everyone. Check out this thought-provoking post from Don Massenzio.

Author Don Massenzio

As I write this, I’m sitting in my office beginning the fourth day of the isolation brought about by the COVID-19 (CoronaVirus) pandemic.

I work for a company where travel every week is the norm. Last week, as I sat in a corporate office in Chicago, we listened to our travel scenario gradually degrade from ‘travel as normal’ to ‘no meetings with over 25 people’ to ‘no travel to client offices’ to stay at home and work remotely.

As Monday came along, our highly technological company struggled with overworked meeting servers and the inability to dial in. The whole working world had moved to this model and the infrastructure was not ready.

Now, four days in, my perspective on the ‘inconvenience’ of the restrictions on travel and gathering are helping me form a different perspective on what’s happening in the world.

I know many are suffering from this virus, but…

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Week in Review

Hey, everyone. Happy first Friday of March. When Bob Dylan wrote The Times They Are a Changin, he spoke the truth. Changes are inevitable. Some good, others not so good.

But change is in the air. We are moving from winter into spring (for which I am happy).

When the weather permits, I enjoy sitting on my front porch. It’s quite and peaceful – a great place to relax, read, or just sit and think. But my view recently changed.

Our new neighbors cleared out the underbrush from their property line and trimmed trees. So now, I have an even better view than before. I took this photo of the sunrise early last Saturday. A few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to see the sun peaking over the horizon. This is a good change.

Speaking of change, are you ready for Daylight Saving Time? I don’t mind the extra light in the evenings, but it means once again I’ll be leaving the house when it’s still dark. Not only that it takes my body weeks to adjust to losing an hour.

Why can’t more states be like Arizona and refuse to participate in the change? In reality, we’re not “saving” anything. There’s still the same amount of light and darkness each day.

But enough of my ranting. Are you ready for this week’s links?

On this site:

On Story Empire

On Other Sites:

Week In Review

Sometimes I’m beginning to think doing NaNoWriMo caused some of my brain cells to disappear. For some reason, I can’t seem to get it together. I scrambled at the last minute to get the Friday writing links done for January 10 and 17. Last week, I was determined to get ahead of the game.

I usually begin the Friday post a week earlier and start collecting links. This makes it much more manageable. I insert a place holder for an intro story as well as a photograph. To keep me from accidentally pushing the publish button early, I schedule the post. Works well most of the time. Until last week.

I went to bed on Thursday night, thinking all was well and being quite proud of myself. Friday morning, as I got out of the shower, reality hit me. I forgot to add a story, photo, and the featured image. The post went live just after midnight. I rushed to the computer, but of course, several people had seen the post. I tried to add a photo and a brief explanation. Naturally, Murphy’s law prevailed. My computer was doing some behind the scenes update that made everything crawl speed. I managed to get the featured image uploaded but that was it.

So, I’m writing this first part on Saturday morning. Six days in advance, and I already have my story and image. (Let’s hope I do the links correctly.)

This is a photo from my archives. I’ve made several trips to Tucson, Arizona for training on a software program I use at work. Tucson is in the Sonoran Desert, but Mt. Lemmon is nearby. You can climb to an altitude of around 8,000 feet and feel like you’re in the Colorado Rockies. Last time I went, my coworkers and I took a drive up the mountain to watch the sunset.


Beautiful, isn’t it? Now, that’s enough rambling from me. It’s time for this week’s links:

On this site:

On Story Empire:

On other sites:

Memories #Thursday Thoughts

I’m breaking from the mystery theme of the month today but this was on my mind.

A few days ago, I received a phone call from my brother. The conversation began with something like this:

“I know it was around this time of year…”

He didn’t have to finish the sentence for me to know what he was talking about. “Oh my gosh! It’s been sixty years! Can you believe it? Wasn’t the fiftieth anniversary just yesterday?”

“Seems like it. On the fortieth anniversary, I mentioned it to my students, and they said I must be really old.”

Okay, I’m telling my age here, but it was sixty years ago yesterday, October 9, 1959, when our family left the Dallas area to move to East Texas. I was too young to remember living in the metroplex, nor do I remember the move. But I do have some fond memories of our first home in this area.

My parents purchased property with the intention of building. In the meantime, they rented an old farmhouse. The outside probably never saw a coat of paint. It had only three rooms, but they were large—the living room held both an entire bedroom set, plus a sofa, chairs, television and coffee table.

The old house where we once lived was near this building. I recall playing beneath those cedar trees.

I can’t recall a single Christmas in that house, but I do remember our parakeet, Buddy, and our dog, Prince. I remember the day we moved from there to our new home across the road. I was confused because we slept the first night in the new house and had breakfast in the old one.

The property remains in the family. My husband and I live in the family home, and my brother has a cabin nearby. As you can imagine, we have lots of memories—both good and bad. But they are mostly good. Family visits and reunions, laughter, music.

As a child, I combed through the nearby woods, pretending I was on a make-believe journey. I “acted out” my favorite stories and dreamed of creating my own. I knew I wanted to be a writer at age ten.

Four generations of our family have lived in my house throughout the years. On Saturday night, my brother, his daughter, and great-granddaughter visited. Although she doesn’t live with me, Harper makes the fifth generation. Amazing!

Thanks for putting up with my reminiscing today. I turn to the Beatles again for this week’s video. You can rest assured this tune has been played countless times in this house throughout the years.