Category Archives: Uncategorized

Halloween Story Starters

  Do you love spooky stories?  Ones that make you shiver, jump at an unexpected sound, feel like someone is watching from the shadows? Here are some opening lines to start you writing your own.  But first, a couple of tips:  Fear builds when something unknown happens or might happen.  Don’t simply include gruesome monsters or menacing wraiths – instead, let your character hear/feel things that shouldn’t be possible.  Don’t forget the surroundings, including the unexplainable from above, such as things that move with no wind or that don’t move when they should.  Your character’s observations and reactions will heighten the tension. Okay, ready to write? You can use these openers as written, change the gender or other details, or let them be triggers for your own ideas.  Whether you write a paragraph or a complete short story, have fun giving someone else the shivers! She stared at the candle, … Continue reading

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Today’s the Day!

Come celebrate with me! [wc_row][wc_column size=”one-half” position=”first”] Through the Shimmer of Time is now available on! It’s in Kindle format only right now, but there are free Kindle apps for any iPad, tablet or non-Apple device out there.  And once you buy it, you can even lend it to someone else! (Note:  clicking here takes you to Amazon through my affiliate link, which means that you pay your normal price but I get a few extra pennies.  More about that in a later post.) [/wc_column][wc_column size=”one-half” position=”last”] [/wc_column][/wc_row] The print version is coming soon, hopefully within a week. And for all my friends in Ireland and England *waves*, you can head for  It’s even on the French and German sites, although the book is still in English.  Sorry, you can’t have everything. And now, on with the celebration! (Snoopy’s dance courtesy of

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Surrounded by Story

Notice anything different? I’ve been thinking about the direction I want this blog to take. Everything I’ve written has fallen under the “Reading, Writing & Real Life” categories, but that’s because everything fits there. Reading meant favorite books while Writing has included how-to’s, the writing life, and my own work-in-progress. Real Life, on the other hand, has ranged from learning to quilt to living in Ireland to the simple pleasures in life. Those are all fine, but sometimes I go off on a rant about trivial things that should probably be left for Facebook, or ramble about something that’s probably too personal and shouldn’t be posted at all.  Writer’s remorse?  Oh yes. As I come back to regular blogging now, I’d like a little more focus.  I’ve pondered, tested out ideas, and pondered some more.  What I keep coming back to is story. The stories I read and the stories … Continue reading

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Garden Update: the Survivors and the Wimps

I wrote earlier about losing our weeping cherry tree to the polar vortex/snowpocalypse this year.  It wasn’t blooming at all and had a whopping 12 or 13 tiny leaves.  But Pamela Hodges, who blogs over at i paint i write, just asked how it was doing, so I figured it’s time for an update. Through the whole month of May, the weeping cherry didn’t know if it was coming or going.  It spent all that time with blossoms and leaves both, over about half of the tree.  What you can’t see in the picture are the tiny leaves interspersed with the haze of pink blooms.  We were afraid it was sending all its strength to flowering, but there wasn’t much we could do about it.  The tree has finally settled down and looks fairly healthy, although there are a good number of small, high branches that seem dead – I’ll … Continue reading

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Disappointed in Downton

I’ve been devoted to Downton Abbey since it began, and I never thought I’d say this:  I was disappointed in the Season 4 opener. I remember a non-fan two years ago who said it was just a soap opera set a hundred years ago, and I suppose I agreed to some extent, but it had good story lines, great acting, and stellar writing.  Even the over-the-top murder conviction of Bates eventually turned into a strong story line.  This episode, however, seemed all soap opera. *SPOILER ALERT* Do not continue reading if you haven’t seen the episode yet! Sunday night, it seemed like there was just too much crammed into too short a time.  I thought Mrs. Hughes convincing Mrs. Crawley to take in the old performer was good, and a good way to get her out of her grief.  Fitting for the character, and time to start living. With Mary, … Continue reading

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