Stories that Matter

Writing Life

Hope And Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas. They’re one of my favorite flowers. They don’t smell, sadly, but they’re beautiful. They come in many different varieties and colors of pink and blue and white. I’ve longed to grow them for years, but in Bermuda it’s difficult, if not impossible. When we bought our place on the lake in Northern Ontario, I…
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So You Think You're All That?

“The world doesn’t revolve around you, you know.” “Yes, it does.” “No, actually, it doesn’t.” “Yes it…wait, what?” The problem with being a writer is simply this: We may develop the tendency to think we’re all that. Not me, of course. I would never be so brazen as to assume the entire publishing world should come…
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Choose Wisely

I love doors. Old doors, new doors, doesn’t matter really. When I see a door like this, recognize the art and the beauty and the time taken to create such magic, I almost catch my breath. And I wonder. Why would someone spend that much time on a simple door? Why would someone spend that…
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Be Still

“Be still and know, that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 It’s quoted so often that I’m not sure we get it. The whole be still thing. What does that mean to you? Be still. The noun is defined as “deep silence and calm; stillness. “the still of the night” synonyms: quietness, quiet, quietude, silence, stillness,…
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Minions!

Ever since watching Despicable Me, I’ve developed an obsession with Minions. Seriously. I mean, these little dudes crack me up. Crack. Me. Up. If I’m having a crappy day, I’ll load a YouTube video and watch Minions. For like 20 minutes. Maybe more. There’s just something about these little yellow blobs I can’t resist. They’re not…
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New Ventures…

Wow. I don’t know where the time goes. If you’re still hanging out here with me, I thank you! I’m definitely not a reliable blogger, am I? Well, things are getting busy in my neck of the woods. I’d like to share a little bit of that with you today. This summer, I will be…
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Freefall

It’s that jolt, the sensation that you’re falling, and it usually happens during deep slumber. The freefall. It sits there, wedged between the box titled Deja vu and Death on the shelf called Things I Can’t Explain. The more it happens, the more terrifying it becomes. You’d think I’d get used to it, but I…
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The Next Best Step

March 25, 2019 | 2 Comments

The one sure thing about life, the one thing you can pretty much count on, is that it won’t always be easy. You know this. You’ve already been through some tough stuff. And you’ve survived. Maybe even triumphed. But then it all comes back for a second round. Or a third. Maybe you’re getting hit…

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Write, Straight Up

May 7, 2018 | 3 Comments

Not on the rocks. Not with a splash. Maybe a twist, that’d be fun. But don’t water it down. Write what you want to say, write from you heart, and write, for the love of everything, like you mean it. If you don’t mean it, don’t waste your reader’s time, or yours. After 20 something…

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What Am I Afraid Of?

January 29, 2018 | 2 Comments

Words fail me. Lately. When I try to sum up what this thing is that I do and why I do it and why I can’t not do it and why some days the words won’t come . . .  words fail me. And the question rattles hard in my head. Is it . .…

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The Magic Formula

January 22, 2018 | 4 Comments

Sharing some thoughts on writing, and life. So I’m asked this a lot. Mostly in author interviews, occasionally in an email from an aspiring author who just wants a break, wants her words to be seen, heard. “What’s the magic formula?” I’d tell you if I knew. Honest. So this is the part I could…

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#TBT – A Dream Come True!

March 2, 2017 | 18 Comments

As you may know, my upcoming release, The Memory of You, takes place in Sonoma, California. As we count down to March 28th, we thought it might be fun to use “Throwback Thursdays” to share the origin of that story, and how the seed was planted back in 2010. One of my bucket list trips…

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Some Reflections . . .

January 24, 2017 | 2 Comments

I should be working out right now, but it’s way more comfortable on the couch. 🙂 And I have some stuff to say. Thing is, I’m not quite sure how. My mind swirls with thoughts that some days make sense and some days . . . well. So I just keep quiet. You know? I…

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Buh-bye 2016 And What's Up 2017?

December 30, 2016 | 2 Comments

So here’s my last vlog for 2016, not that there’ve been many. But I did get my feet wet and that counts, right? I have a bit of a cold, so I sound stuffy, and I apologize for the unsteadiness of the camera, not real sure what that was all about! Anywhoo, here I am…

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Get Back Up ~ Dedicated To My Friend Sandie

December 2, 2016 | 34 Comments

You should know, I am a die-hard GWTW fan. I’ve lost track now exactly how many times I’ve watched the movie. But I have read the book only once. I’m thinking I need to rectify that. The GWTW experience for me began as a lonely and homesick thirteen-year old wandering the musty maze of books…

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So Much Going On!

August 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Oh my gosh. I was all set to post a really cute video update with all the news, but then I realized I look like a character from The Walking Dead right now, so that’s not going to happen. Your eyes will thank me. 🙂 Here’s a picture of our lake instead. We’ve returned from…

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Fun Friday Five!

June 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Answering five questions from my readers today! Want to get in on the fun? Send me a question and I’ll answer it next time!

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Hope And Hydrangeas

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Hydrangeas. They’re one of my favorite flowers. They don’t smell, sadly, but they’re beautiful. They come in many different varieties and colors of pink and blue and white. I’ve longed to grow them for years, but in Bermuda it’s difficult, if not impossible. When we bought our place on the lake in Northern Ontario, I couldn’t wait to get started in the garden. At the beginning of every holiday, we’d trundle off to the nursery and fill the van with horticultural delights that one of us seemed far more excited by. Of course a stop at Tim Horton’s on the way home is always a great mood shifter.

I’d get stuck in that day or the next, digging fingers deep into damp, dark soil rich with possibility. I’d plant and think and ponder things, maybe hum a little. Gardening is not work when you’re doing it because it’s different. I don’t get to plant like that here at home. So I enjoy that time each year, when I sink into the ground, back aching, but oh so happy because I have accomplished what I set out to.

And then the deer come.

The first year this happened I was so angry I just wanted to cry. My garden, decimated. There went all my hours of hard work. We wouldn’t be around long enough to start over and wait for progress. So I fought back. I discovered deer repellent. A nasty bloody (literally) concoction that smell like S*&# (I was told to edit this but…it does). Worse actually. But it works. My flowers were saved and every year now, thanks to a few days of pungent odor that everyone puts up with because its better than me pitching a fit, I get to see them bloom. (I enjoy my cottage time so much I’m actually going to sulk now because this year we’re hardly going to be at the cottage at all. And I don’t want to think about what might be happening to my plants).

The point is, for a few years there…none of my hard work paid off. I battled deer and who knows what else, and my hydrangeas would either die or just sit there rather pathetically, waiting for a gold embossed invitation to bloom. Then, about two years ago, they got the hint. And they bloomed. Certainly I wouldn’t rank them up there with anything worthy of a Botanical Garden display, but for this island girl, used to sand and sea and salt, the sight of those flowers does something special to my soul.

I didn’t quit.

I wanted to. And it would have been easy. But I knew if I did, I’d never get the end result I wanted. I’d never get to revel in the beauty and satisfaction of the payoff.

Hard work’s like that, huh? You have to slog through to get the end result. Whether it’s gardening, painting, running or writing, whatever your goal is, you don’t get to the end and quit. You keep going. Pass that first goal and make another.

A friend asked me, some time ago now, why I wanted to be published. I had to think about the answer for a while. Truth be told, I’m still thinking about it. Because quitting, on any given day, still lurks in my mind. Quitting would be easy. Giving up on this dream…letting it go and getting on with something that makes more sense…sometimes seems tempting.

But I won’t. I can’t. Because I can see the end. It’s like this every time. When I reach the last half of a book, I stall out. Wonder why I ever started in the first place. Doubts come at night and try to steal the things I’ve worked so hard for. Like those deer at the cottage. I need some good repellent to chase them away.

Being published means putting my words out there. Words I’ve worked hard over. Toiled long hours, tested and tried and torn my hair out over at times, but in the end I know they have to count for something. Even if it’s only knowing that I finished. Knowing I reached the end and finished strong. Even if it’s only for me.

I hope it’s not. I long to share stories with readers who will resonate with what I have to say. Because that is my dream. To sit together on a starry night, watch the flickering flames, sip sweet wine and share stories. And know that the One who gives them to us is well pleased.

Dreams don’t die. If you put them up on a shelf, they don’t go anywhere. They merely sit and wait for the time you’re ready to pick them up again. And then, one day, maybe when you least expect it, they will bloom.