Sisterly bonding over literature and the Dread Pirate Roberts


Today is my sister’s birthday!


Here we are three years ago, laughing at the fact that we unintentionally wore twin outfits on a day when we were seeing each other for the first time in probably months. (We are not twins. I am on the right, if you need help with that. Some people do.)

We had a good chat on the phone today while she opened up the gifts that I mailed her.

(It’s the birthdays and other special occasions that making living far apart a little harder. We manage, though.)

I got to put my crafty itch to good use by making her a necklace and earring set with turquoise beads from the local stone and bead store. (Turquoise is one of the December birth stones.)

Homemade jewelry usually seems to be a hit with family members. (I haven’t tried it with my dad, though.) Anything homemade is typically well-received. Plus, those kinds of gifts are fun to make.

In honor of my big sis, I started reading a book she’s been recommending to me for a while.

Okay, I actually just wanted some easy reading this morning. I bought the book a couple of weeks ago (ish) because I needed a fifth paperback to get the 5-for-$1 deal at the thrift store, and my sister had been talking it up for long enough that I decided it was worth 20 cents.

That came out sounding wrong, but it’s the truth.

What I’m reading is The Lightning Thief, the first book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.


cover image courtesy of

One of the many things my sister and I have in common (not that we aren’t really quite different in numerous ways) is a love of young adult fiction  – especially fantasy. We just never grew out of it.

And there’s not a gosh darn thing wrong with that. Books for teens and so-called tweens can be every bit as good as books for adults. Some of my favorite authors, who are excellent writers, write mostly or all books for folks younger than themselves.

I had a bit of a rushed morning, so I haven’t made a great deal of progress in the book, but so far I’m enjoying it and eager to read more.

I’m a bit disappointed that there’s apparently only one film, but then again, I may not even want to read the other books when I’m done with this one.

Sometimes I need to remind myself not to put the cart in front of the horse.

I gave my sister a book for her birthday in addition to the jewelry, one that corresponds to another shared love – The Princess Bride!

At our charming local bookstore, I found a copy of As You Wish, which is sort of a behind-the-scenes tale of the production of the film The Princess Bride.


Let’s just get a closer look at Cary Elwes in that costume, shall we?


image source:

All righty. I’m good.


The book looked like a lot of fun for someone who has probably seen the film at least as many times as I have, which is firmly in the double digits. Firmly.

Also, this is the same sister (I only have the one) who once gave me a gorgeous copy of the 25th anniversary edition of the book.


image source:


Given the evidence, this year’s gift of As You Wish seemed appropriate. I hope it’s good.

Even if it’s only mediocre, there are still pictures of a young, swashbuckling Cary Elwes inside it, and honestly, that’s probably enough.

So, Happy Birthday to my sister, and happy reading to all (and to all a good night).



My friend published a book!

Time to support a fellow writer! One of the women in my writing group has self-published a kindle edition of inspirational quotes as a companion book to one she is currently writing about her experience as a “transmitter” of information from beings that are not quite of this earth.

In her words, “Star Many is a wise and emotionally intelligent organization of Energy Beings.”


Levity Laughing Star is trained as a medicine woman and has done past life regression, and now her calling is to translate the wisdom from this plural energy entity that has sought her out in order to help us humans with our lives.

That’s basically what she has told us in the group, and I apologize if I didn’t explain it clearly enough. The author bio on the page for the book goes into more depth. She is a very vibrant and warm person, sincere and caring. She wants to share the things she has learned with the world, and that’s a noble thing.

Anyway, though we have at least one published author among our group, Levity Laughing Star (who I also know as Laurie) is the first of us to self publish, and the first to publish since we began meeting as a group.

I’ve spoken with Laurie/Levity at great length about her life and experiences, and she has fascinating stories that I hope will come out in the book that is her work-in-progress.

Here is her website, if you’re interested:

I would share some snippets from this book, but I did not yet ask her permission to do that, so I will let you discover what Star Many has to say for yourself (there is also a preview/sample available).

If you’re interested in these tidbits of cosmic wisdom, whatever the source, check it out!

I receive no kickbacks (other than a hug, I would guess) for promoting this book. I’m simply trying to offer a leg up to a friend who has little experience with social media or self-promotion.

Here is the link to the book on Amazon:

Star Many Says E-Book

If you do end up reading it, please let me know how you like it, and also please leave a review on Amazon!

Thanks, folks!

Finding my way back to my book

2016 has been a wild year for me so far. I’m going through quite a few changes in my life at this time, and it hasn’t felt right to blog about really any of it. I wanted to share something, though, since it’s been about 4 months since my last post.

I’m finally working on my book again, the one I wrote for November 2012’s NaNoWriMo. I began revising it quite some time ago, and made it to almost the 20k words mark before I realized I wanted to make a huge change. I struggled with it for a while, not sure whether it was the right change to make, afraid of how people might react. I procrastinated for a long time before deciding to simply go for it.

I have altered the main character quite a bit, and thus had to go back and make those changes in what existed of my second draft so far. I just now (a few minutes ago) finally caught up to myself in my second draft, making my character changes and editing a few other things along the way, so that where I left off editing the first time is now exactly where I am with my new changes, too.

That means I can go back to my three-ring binder of my original manuscript and go at it with a red pen again, which was my first step earlier. After I finish a section, I type it up onto the computer, so all the transformation I’ve been doing of my abbreviated second draft has been on the computer. I’m looking forward to curling up with the paper copy again.

Photo on 12-16-14 at 2.09 PM #2

My writing group is still going strong, with a few drop-outs and some new additions, and I like the people we have right now. I like our dynamic, I like our routine. I value the opinion of everyone there, and feel comfortable giving honest feedback.

It’s been really good for me to do this (almost) every week. Their feedback and encouragement has inspired me to get back in the saddle and make this second draft happen. I want to have it finished by the end of 2016, so I can send it out to an agent.

That seems like a fantasy sometimes, but I believe it will happen, and I believe that eventually someone will want to take my book on as their project, too, and help me release it into the world. It’s scary and exciting.

That’s where I’m at right now with my writing. It’s been a little difficult to focus on it, because of all the other things going on, but I’m going to make it a priority now. The universe has been giving me little nudges that this is what I need to be working on, and I agree with the universe (on this as well as most other things).

I’ve been enjoying doing some gardening in our tiny yard and our raised bed that a neighbor has graciously allowed us to place in his yard, and of course I’m always on the lookout for wildlife photo ops, so here’s a little taste of that:






As far as social media goes, I shut down my Facebook page, and I don’t tweet much, but I’m active on Instagram for the time being, and I also have gotten into Pinterest, so if you’re interested in what I’m up to, check out the links on the side of this page to see my profiles (assuming I put them up there correctly).

That’s all for now. Now I need to get out of my stifling office and go sit by the fan downstairs.

I hope everyone who is reading this is having a happy, fun, and safe summer!