Tuesday, January 31, 2017


This face

And this face

And these interactions

Unfortunately,  I've yet to catch Finn and Amidala beak to snout on camera.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


So many great conversations today with people on Facebook, Twitter, texts, phone and in person reminded me how connected and caring most people are to exchange other. We are not doomed.

The other day, a friend asked me if there were any non-sugar treats I would consider comfort food. Nope. Then I went shopping today while hungry. I was looking for a high protein snack and saw the nut aisle. Pecans. Pecans are a great food. They're high in protein and I associate them with a dear friend who provides me with sanctuary in which to write every year.

One more good thing - I listened. Someone struggling with some big life issues didn't need my advice or opinion. They simply needed to be heard. It made a huge difference to them.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Portable standing desk

Work was crazy busy, the world took a collective step back in shock then hundred of thousands rushed forward to defend the persecuted. My faith in humanities rewarded today. There are who love and trust than those who do not.

In much smaller, less significant news, I transformed this
A raggedy old microwave cart
Into this

Friday, January 27, 2017

Julia's cat

Julia ignored the doorbell. She needed to focus up the paint on the tabletop before the paw prints set.

When the cat had first jumped atop the table she was upcyclinging it with bright red paint, Julia had laughed. Until the bloody cat leapt off the table onto her grandmother's antique buffet then across the ancient damask settee, leaving bright red paw prints in his wake.

The doorbell pealed again.

She swathed the brush across the surface, evening out her strokes for a smooth finish.

The doorbell gave way to a rapid tattoo of fists against the front door.  "Mrs. James!"

 "Oh, for fucks sake." Clasping the cat to her chest, Julia set the paint brush on the lid of the can then strode down the hall.

She wrenched open the front door. "What?"

 The neighbor gasped. "Are you alright? I heard screaming. You're covered in blood."

 Julia looked at herself in the mirror hanging in her front hall. Splatters of red dotted her face and chest. Streaks dripped from her hands. "It's just paint."

 She adjusted the weight of the cat against her midsection. He'd finally stopped cater walling.

The neighbor looked down. "I heard screams."

 "I yelled at the cat when he ran across the table top." Julia moved to close the door.

The neighbor stepped into the doorway before Julia could shut her out. "But the cat -"

 "He won't do it again."

"I can see that. Let me take him from you." The neighbor gently extracted the cat's still warm body from Julia's grasp.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


I lost a photo that means a great deal to me. A friend of mine took it in Scotland many years ago. We later discovered that was less than five miles from where my great-grandmother was born.

Looking at it reminds me of my own trip to the farm down the road as well as trying to recreate the photo when I stood in the same spot. I can smell the dew on the thistle, feel the early morning mist on my skin and remember the sense of being watched from behind the ferns. It also reminds me of the first time I met my friend. It stars a lot of emotions. I moved the photo when I switched the living room arrangement.

I sorted through, cleaned and decluttered the living room in the search. My friend is gone now so the photo is irreplaceable. I'm not sure what the photo was doing down by the spinning wheel but it's now hanging on the living room wall. In the process, I organized my home.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Brainstorming plot points with good friends who are also writer always puts a smile on my face. It's a great deal of fun when we get together. It turns out I had a strong conflict, I simply needed to clarify my thought process. Phew!

I figured out how to make a portable standing desk. I don't mind writing longhand in a notebook but at some point it needs to be input to the computer.

It was a good day from a writing standpoint.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Baby day

My day started with a fantastic dream. All the excitement I felt in the dream translated to an adrenaline rush that actuality woke me. It took a long time to get my heart rate under control. It was a portent of opportunity.

After work, I spent time with my friend who is pregnant with her first child. We bought stuff for the baby room and returned multiples of gifts she received at her baby shower. Man, there's a lot of stuff required for newborns. The cool mist humidifier shaped like an owl is on my friends list. I prefer the Darth Vader one.

I came home to another newborn. A young friend became a first time father this week. He brought his baby girl by so we could meet her. She's Beautiful,  of course. He loves being a dad. I don't think I've ever seen him so happy.

Imagine seeing the world with fresh eyes. Everything is a wonder. And their little worlds are filled with love.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017


I didn't march today
I didn't walk.
I didn't protest.

I did talk to my nieces about why women around the world wore pink hats and took to the streets. We talked about a long history of the perception of women as instruments of men's pleasure. We talked about the right to choose, the right to marry, the right to practice your religion, about the right to vote, to march, to protest. We talked about supporting each other and letting those who feel suppressed, oppressed or disenfranchised know that they are not alone.

We talked about why people in 75 countries felt the need to gather in support.

We talked about history being made today.

We talked about hope and how those seas full of pink hats filled our hearts with the emotion we believed to be lost.

We talked. We planned. We hope.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I spent a lot of today ignoring the news by working on my outline and opening chapter. The heroine's conflict was a bit light. I looked through my notebooks and couldn't find anything. I know I brainstormed her arc.

Because I can't find my notes, I've spent some time thinking about it. In the process, I fleshed out other scenes.

The chiropractor gave me a pamphlet of exercises and therapies my hero would undertake. She also guided me in how to ruin his career as a hockey player.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Some is better than none

I had planned to get a lot more work done on the current wip. I only got so far as tweaking the outline. I need to do a bit more research before I start the opening chapter.  Fortunately I have an appointment with my chiropractor tomorrow. She'll be able to help me injure my team captain in a way that could put an end to his career. Or not. I haven't decided yet.

Torturing characters is immensely cathartic.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


The best thing about being back to work is meeting all the new books that arrived while I was off sick. I'm most happy to lose myself in Resolve. It's a fast paced suspense. Every time, I think I have it figured out, it turns. I don't want to put it down. I'm going to need to read everything by J.J. Hensley. As a former member of the United States Secret Service, he has an interesting perspective on politics.

Check him out. You can thank me later

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Handy woman

Armed with my trusty wrench, more patience than I thought I possessed and this book

I fixed the kitchen sink.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


There's so much joy in these two videos. They made me smile for different reasons.


Barn Dance
Highland Dance

Friday, January 13, 2017

Short list of good things

Hockey.  And my team won! I'm not sure why we're possessive about athletes and sports. Very few of us actually own a team.

More good reading today.

Throwing toys for the puppy who has been patient with me was a good way to burn off some of his energy without stealing what breath I have.

Not a lot of big things these days but like one of our library regulars always says,"I woke up on the right side of the grass." That's always a good thing.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Loaded with cough syrup and inhalers, I am off work until Monday.  As every breath wheezes,  I lost myself and discomfort in a good book. I started in the doctor's waiting room and just closed the back cover. I suspect it will stick with me for a long time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The science of Cosmos has entertained me all day as has an article about octopus brains and sentience.  There is so much more to this world than any of us realize. I find that comforting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Friends arrived home safely from their travels whole others embarked on new adventures.

DNe got his dream job. This is very happy news. I'm thrilled for him. It involves travel, art and many opportunities.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Simple blessings

Today's good things aren't much different than yesterday's. I'd add oil of oregano and universal health care to my blessings.

And ginger ale. This cold would be more miserable without those things.

I've binged on Cosmos which taught me a lot about the universe while I recuperate. It's entertaining, beautiful and informative.

Sunday, January 08, 2017


Today I appreciate food, shelter, and warmth.

Flannel sheets fresh from the dryer, hot tea, warm blanket. An orange to chase away the vile taste of oil of oregano.

Cold paws warming on my lap. Warm breath against my cheek.

Strong walls refusing the icy reach of winter's claws.

Saturday, January 07, 2017


Today's good things involved friends, hot tub in frigid weather, puppies playing in the yard and strange service at a local restaurant.  I made lemonade out of the lemony confusion. 

Good laughs. That's what today ended up being about despite a clunky start

Thursday, January 05, 2017


Two parcels arrived in today's mail. One was socks I ordered from Sock Dreams  primarily because a portion of the sale went to Planned Parenthood - fashion with a purpose.

The other package was from a friend. She's been putting things aside for some time and finally sent them. Three pairs of socks, a stack of family DVDs, notebooks, fudge and cookies. The contents were lovely but what truly made it special was the thought behind each item. People think of you more than you realize.

In writing news, I have rough outlines for the next three stories in the current series. The opening chapter is shaping up. This paragraph makes me happy.

So do socks. It's cold here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017


I spent some time last night thinking about the next story in a possible series. Once I changed the heroine's name, the story started to click.

This morning, I brainstormed online with a writing pal. Ideas poured out of both of us. Not all of them were suitable for the current characters but fit two other heroes. Basically,  we figured out three storylines today.

Even better, I turned down a Toblerone bar. The only thing I like better than that is Dove dark chocolate and almonds or dark chocolate peanut M&Ms. The latter two are not available in Canada. That's a very good thing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Life imitates art

In the search for my character's motivation,  I found my own.

In other news, I didn't default to my usual coping mechanism. All the chocolate I received in the mail yesterday remains untouched. Small victory.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Right on Target

My American friends tease me about my need to stop at Target on every visit. I am not petite. Target carries the perfect jeans for my shape and size. Aside from that, there are huge differences in the quantity of items, particularly in the food aisles, between American and Canadian stores.

A few weeks ago, the pup snagged a hole in my last pair of jeans that I'd stockpiled before Target closed its doors in Canada . I lamented that on Twitter. Target shared a link to international orders.

My new jeans arrived today. Yes, I paid more in duty and shipping than I would have by driving across the border. However, I wouldn't have stopped at just jeans so I figure I saved money doing it this way. I definitely bought considerably less dark chocolate than I usually do.

I'm pleased with myself, and Target's online presence. I'll definitely use it again.

I also made progress on my new story. I can't rest on my laurels while I wait to hear how yesterday's submission was received.

Stealth writer

Sunday, January 01, 2017

One Good Thing returns

It's easy to get caught up in the big picture and fail to see all the little details that give the portrait life.

To that end, every day I'm going to post at least One Good Thing that happened in that 24 hour period.

My morning started with a few giggles as Finn and I chased each other around the house then wrestled on my bed. Afterward, Ky and I snuggled on the floor.

I submitted my novel. I think the rolling stomach was from good nerves.

I made mushroom soup from scratch.

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the outdoor Centennial Classic.

The air outside smelled fresh and clean

I watched Finn chase sunbeam through the house like a cat.