purple flowering shrub



I’m so glad you found me! This is the space where I reflect on random things, tell real-life stories, share story ideas, story snippets, and make odd connections. It’s one of many external repositories for my brain dumps and more crafted bits of sharing.

I have a variety of interests and love learning new things, so there’s breadth to things I read and write about, as well as study. Perpetual student. My formal studies focused on Restoration/18th century British literature but I came upon an idea for a medieval Scottish Historical and played with it for a few years. That’s a story for another time. I liked those characters but they were difficult in their own ways. I needed seemingly straight forward characters to finish my first novel. I say seemingly because everything is not as it appears to be. Isn’t life like that, too? I plotted and partially wrote another Scottish historical and loved those characters, but was sidetracked by life. Years later, I decided to become more and less serious about writing. Oxymoron, yes. I’ll also write about that, later. In part, it’s the principle of holding on too tightly and not relaxing. There were a lot of rules rolling around in my head, some of them conflicting and contradicting each other. That combination didn’t allow for progress. I had to let go of expectations and overly strict rule following, and enjoy the ride.

I took craft classes but had to change that up, as well. Last summer, I was asked to work on a new project instead of trying to fix those Scottish historicals I previously mentioned. It made total sense. However, I had no idea what I wanted to do, moderately stressing myself out. Who am I kidding? I was really stressed out. However, there was one exercise I did for this class that didn’t work out as well for the purpose of the exercise but was a kernel of excitement for me. (If you must know, it was about foreshadowing. I was foreshadowing something bigger and less obvious, but could’ve done better for the purposes of the exercise.) It was totally different than what I had played with previously. With the instructor’s approval and enthusiasm, I ran with it. That kernel eventually turned into a post Civil War period historical with western and romantic elements. It was fun. It was different from what I worked with and what I imagined doing.

So, that’s where this story begins–in the Arizona Territory. I have four novels planned for this series, starting with The Reluctant Bandit. That will be coming this summer, 2020. This is one of the projects where I have a fairly linear idea of where I’m going. I put the inner critics in a timeout (they didn’t stay there, trust me; it was like having them in the backseat of my car as I’m driving–they tried to climb over the seat while I had one hand on the wheel, beating them back with the other, twisted awkwardly while trying to drive safely), yes that was long–I’ll start a new sentence. I allowed myself to enjoy these characters and let them tell me the stories they wanted to tell. Some of the characters surprised me, especially the villains. I tend to be circular with some linear aspects, because, well, I have to. Be linear, that is. It makes logical sense but my mind gets swirly and excited about things, and I have to eventually rein it in. I’m powered by squirrels, distractions, digressions, and random thoughts.

Welcome to my world. I’m glad to have you.

My New Flags

We have a giant flagpole in our front yard. We added it when we were forced to remodel our driveway a bunch of years back. That’s a good story and I suggest you read it: We didn’t move zip codes but our driveway did. (Side note: our driveway used to come down from where the wooden gate is on the block wall…) Chief’s bought a series of American flags from different vendors.…

The year our driveway moved zip codes

It’s true. It’s bizarre. And it happened the first year we moved into the house we currently live in–we had to actually move our driveway which forced a zip code change. Side note: this also necessitated a post office change, meaning I had all new carriers. Fortunately, I’ve loved all of my postal workers. They’re awesome. We live on two-thirds of an acre which was part of a former orange grove. It’s…

Things I Wouldn’t Hate To Do

I had this idea to make a map of places to visit in the United States that are the “capitol” of something or have a unique attraction, but I couldn’t think of what to call it. I talked this list up for over a week and still couldn’t come up with a name. When I was explaining this list to my younger son while washing dishes last night I said, it’s essentially…

Faro: the Wild West’s king of card games

Faro was the most popular gambling games of the Wild West. According to gamblingsites.com Faro was more popular than all the other games combined in 1882; and Gather Together Games mentions an 1882 police gazette report stating that Faro was the most bet upon game in the United States with the most money bet and lost than all the other games combined. Pretty impressive. Why was it so popular? It was an…

Just Call Me Frank

As many of you know, I dropped my oldest off at college a couple of weeks ago. I have to give a shoutout to UW Madison for their absolutely awesome system for getting the students moved in and the parents shipped on out. Smooth. Very, very smooth and painless. Who needs heartburn on top of heartache when you’re sending your younglings off to spread their wings? No one, that’s who and UW…

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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