purple flowering shrub

Curiosities

Welcome!

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.

The Mysterious Appearance of Eggs

The Mysterious Appearance of Eggs

We have a lot of trees and birds in our yard. A lot. I don’t know all the names of them. Some of them not very typical yard-type birds, such as lovebirds and a pair of visiting hawks (they live in a giant tree down the street). We even had a crane who ate some of our koi about 10 or so years ago. That one was a surprise and I was…

My Birthday Gift

My Birthday Gift

This year, my friend Melissa gave me an awesome, thoughtful gift. Thoughtful is her normal, but this one was so timely and planned. She had a cowgirl drawn up, holding my novel, The Reluctant Bandit. It’s supposed to be a caricature me, but she didn’t tell me that until later. The artist has never met me–Melissa just described me. She was so pleased with the outcome. One day, my oldest, Big Monkey…

The Weed Called Dandelion

The Weed Called Dandelion

When I was a kid, I loved Dandelions. They were sunny, bright, and fun. I enjoyed looking at the bright yellow heads, seeing them dotted on the neighboring lawns. Then they went to seed, morphing into something else, entirely–fluffy, round, cloud-like. I always connect those two stages of its life to a daisy, and only because of the colors yellow and white. Daisies remind me of my childhood but only because they…

Oatman, Arizona

Oatman, Arizona

One of my many obsessions is with horses and donkeys. Last fall break, I convinced The Chia (my younger son) to go on a road trip with me to Oatman, Arizona. Oatman is known for its wild donkeys, descendants of the donkeys prospectors released when mining dried up (simplified version). According the man running the jail “tour,” Oatman was a ghost town 2 times over. At any rate, these creatures roam around…

Creating Boundaries

Creating Boundaries

I have difficulties creating boundaries. I don’t like to eliminate any possibilities or potentials, but in doing so I tend to cut myself off at the knees, so to speak. Before Covid even hit, I was struggling with creating time and space boundaries so I could get things done. I love that my desk is by the front window in the living room. I can look out on the “front” lawn (our…

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