Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why Write?

If you had said to me a few years ago that in the very near future I would call myself a writer, I would have fallen over laughing. I hated writing. I spent nine years in college writing – term papers, projects, thesis, evaluations… ugh! Never again!
Not only did I despise the thought of having to write, I hated the process. I didn’t have a computer in my home, so any efficient writing had to be done at work or at the library. The thought of sitting at the table, tablet in hand, to write LONG HAND! It was too time consuming and too much work spent in laborious revision.

It's not that I don't have stories to tell. I have always loved making up stories, performing on stage, and singing to an audience. I tell stories to my school children all the time. But once the story is told I rarely remember it later.
Then one day my husband gave me the best gift ever – a laptop. Just a few weeks later during a parent / teacher conference a particular student admitted that she loved fantasy and adventure stories. She wished there were more stories about girls. I couldn’t stop thinking about what she said, and that very night I sat down at my laptop and typed out the beginning of my first novel.

I found myself thinking about my story all the time. It was a puzzle to be solved. I couldn’t wait to get home from work and lose myself in a world of my own creation. How could I have thought writing was torture?

I decided I wanted to make my story the best it could be. I made a trip to a local independent bookstore, The Blue Marble, in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, to find books about the craft. As I was at the checkout the bookseller asked if I was a writer. I told him I was a “wannabe.” He laughed, and then he extended an invitation to come to a local children’s writer’s critique group. I decided to go, and I’ve been a regular attendee ever since.

I have just finished my first novel. I’m sending it out into the world soon. Hopefully it will find a home with a publishing house. But while I wait I have another world to create, another relationship to build, and a story to tell.

Keep writing!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I finished my first novel today (grin). I finally wrote the words, "THE END!"

What a terrific feeling! I just sent the final chapter off to my critique partner. I have a list of revisions I know I need to make. Once my revisions are complete, I have a fresh reader lined up to critique for plot and character consistency. In the meantime, I'll write a synopsis and query letter. I already know who I'd like to send it to first!

I know this is only the beginning of what could be a very long journey, but it's one I feel prepared and committed to make. I've been looking forward to joining those in the trenches (and secretly hoping I won't be there very long). I'm ready to push my firstborn out of the nest and into the publishing world. And while I wait, I've got the bones of a another novel calling to me, and I have ideas for future novels as well.

What a great way to end a year!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bittersweet: Loss and the Holidays

This holiday season is different. There is a pervasive sadness that keeps pushing its unwelcome presence into the festivities. And although I am enjoying my preparations for Christmas and family, there is the knowledge that one of us will not participate. My sister-in-law, Sara, was killed in a horseback riding accident this past July. She was 41 years old.

My sorrow comes and goes with little reminders. Making chocolate chip cookies – Sara and I were lucky to have more than one batch make it to the oven. We ate too much of the dough first! Christmas shopping for my children – my heart breaks for Sara’s boys. There is no family gift exchange this year. Sara was the one who organized the exchange. Instead, this year we will donate to a charity. It is a good way to remember her, and I like to think that she would be pleased.

The reminders come as I watch friends at church. It has been a year of loss there as well. Bertha and MaryLouise are gearing up for the first Christmas without their husbands. Edna lost her sister and nephew within three weeks of each other. Another family is enduring a 2nd holiday season without their teenage daughter. It is evident that pain is still fresh.

But through it all I am also reminded that this is a season of hope. It’s why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. I am a woman of faith. And as such, I know that even though I grieve, those that are gone but lived in faith are not lost to me forever.

To those of you who have suffered loss this year I wish you comfort and joy. And to everyone: May the holiday season hold many blessings for you and your family.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The Christmas rush is over (for me at least), and I now have no excuse for not keeping up with my blog. The Christmas Cantata I directed is over. They did great! The holiday break at school has begun - whew. My Christmas shopping is complete, except for my husband's gift. I know what I'm getting him though, and that's half the battle. So now I get to relax, get caught up on housework, read, finish my WIP, and enjoy my family and friends (not necessarily in that order).

I did finish reading a few books since my last post. I read CORALINE, by Neil Gaiman. I enjoyed it very much, although it was rather creepy. CORALINE is coming out soon as a movie. The film's website is a blast. You can check it out here. Neil has been blogging about CORALINE in his journal.. It's quite interesting and worth the visit.

I also read FOUND, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the author of the Shadow Children series. The School library Journal blog sums it up best... "Thirteen years ago an airline attendant saw something impossible. When the plane appeared on the tarmac it somehow appeared without anyone realizing it had landed. Stranger still, it contained no pilot, no crew, no adults at all. Just thirty-six babies strapped in their seats. Fast forward to present day when new friends Jonah and Chip check the former’s mailbox. There, resting inside is an unsigned note that simply reads, “You are one of the missing.” A cruel prank? It certainly seems that way until Chip gets the same letter. Then they both get a follow-up that reads “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.” They? They who? There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to the notes until Chip discovers that he and Jonah have something in common. They were both adopted. And with the help of Jonah’s sister Katherine there’s more to discover. Why does an FBI agent have information about the boys’ birth parents? Why did Katherine see a man appear and disappear in an office one day? Who’s been sneaking around Jonah’s room, looking through his things? And what’s the real story behind that plane? The answers lead the kids to discover their connection to seemingly impossible events." My thoughts? It's a really great read!

And last but not least, Brenda informed me she has tagged me for the Honest Scrap Award (Thanks, Brenda!).
"Scrap means left over, fragments, discarded material. Many times truth and honesty are discarded material, considered fragments and left over. People like us need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will. There are 2 guidelines for receiving this award. One, you are to list 10 honest things about yourself. Make them interesting, even if you have to dig deep. Two, present the award to 7 other bloggers."

So here goes:

1. I started writing my novel on a dare from a group of 10, 11 and 12-year-old students. Their point? They said they have to show me their writing so I should have to show them mine. I discovered I really like to write for an audience.

2. I have less than 5 pages to go and the first draft of my first novel will be complete. I'm not sure I want to finish it. What happens if it sells? Can I keep up with the responsibilities? And if it doesn't sell? The disappointment could be huge.

3. I'm pretty blunt sometimes. I don't mean to be. I just am.

4. I have a healthy dose of the bossy gene. It runs heavily on the Taylor side of my family!

5. I work with gifted kids and love it!

6. When I went to college after high school I couldn't decide between graphic design, music or dance. I chose music performance and was doing quite well, but when my son was born I decided I needed to be home - not traveling. It was a good choice.

7. I still think about taking art classes. Maybe Santa will sign me up for one?

8. I usually keep a private stash of chocolate, and I don't share.

9. I hate having my picture taken - even for the school yearbook.

10. I would live in sweats and tennis shoes if the world would let me. Appearance is overrated. Let comfort reign!

CJ, Angie, Chocolateer, Kim, Linda

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Destructive Writing Distractions

I have always had to-lists. It's a scatterbrain coping mechanism. It helps keep me focused. Everything must be checked off the list before I can go to sleep at night. Sometimes I can fudge and start tomorrow's list with things left over from the day before (I'm not OCD -really!). But most often, I just finish the list.

My writing is like this too. I don't have written lists, but I do have little rituals. As soon as I sit in my chair I check email. Next, I skim the Verla Kay boards for anything new since the last time I looked. It doesn't take long. Usually, no more than an hour or so has passed since the last time I looked. I check my blog to see who has stopped by. And finally, I open the Visual Thesaurus I have booked marked on the computer to use as a writing reference (great site BTW). At this point I am ready to write.

Lately I've added another little ritual to my writing routine. This one, however, has turned out to be a problem. I hate to admit it, but I've started playing games on the computer. The shame! I think I will simply play 10 minutes, just for fun. When I'm done, I'll get right back to writing. Except 10 minutes turns into 30, then 60. Before I know it, my writing time is wasted and I've accomplished nothing. My daily to-do list isn't completed, and I have to push writing to the next day.

Today, I'm deleting the game I downloaded. It's become a destructive distraction - an excuse for not finishing a WIP. Time to get back to business!

What are your distractions?

Friday, November 28, 2008

One Month of Blogging!

So, I've now been blogging for one month, and I've learned a few things:

1. Never make public goals that are impossible to keep (NanoWriMo).
2. Blogging is addicting.
3. Edit before you post.
4. Visit other blogs.
5. Bloggers are fun people!!

I'm looking forward to the next month of blogging!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


LibraryThing is a cool tool that helps you create a library-quality catalog of your books. It’s easy to join. Simply go to the site, enter a user name and password, and you’re done. You can set up your books on a “bookshelf” or in a list. The first 200 books entered are free, or you can enter as many as you like for $10 (year) or $25 (life).

The site allows you to search, sort, and edit book information. I typed in my titles, and the Library of Congress or Amazon filled in the rest of the information. You can also rate your books and write reviews. Because you catalog online, LibraryThing can connect you with people who read the same things. You can keep your library private, or you can share your profile. Your profile connects you to people who share your books.

The website also allows you to create and join groups – much like Yahoo groups. You can start clubs or private groups for friends. You can also participate in the group forum called “Talk.” The forum system allows you to see the conversations happening in all groups or just your groups.

Another feature is called LibraryThing Local. LibraryThing Local keeps track of bookstore events, library and book festivals, author readings, signings, and discussions in your area. 

Take a few minutes and check it out. Take the tour. It's worth the visit. Have fun! 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Magic Thief: Book Review

Lately, my pleasure reading time has been somewhat sparse. So when I picked up The Magic Thief, by Sarah Prineas, the plan was to have it read by Thanksgiving. I read the first chapter and was hooked. My to-do list was no longer important. Chores, schoolwork, family (sorry guys); everything took a back seat to a fabulous tale!

The story takes place in Wellmet, a city-state that runs on a dwindling supply of magic. Conn, a lock-pick and thief who lives in the dangerous streets of Twilight, should have died when he picked a locus magicalicus stone from the pocket of the wizard, Nevery Flinglas. Surprised that Conn lived; Nevery takes him on at first as a servant, and then as a wizard’s apprentice - if Conn can find a locus magicalicus of his own. But between wizarding lessons held at the Academicos and helping Nevery solve the mystery of Wellmet’s disappearing magic, there isn’t much time to find his stone. Conn must convince Nevery that a fellow wizard is consorting with the city’s cruel Underlord before the magic completely fades away, and the city dies.

Sarah Prineas’ characters jumped off the page and into my heart. Conn is a quiet observer. He’s intelligent and honorable. His voice rings true, and I was sympathetic to him from the beginning. My favorite secondary character is Benet – a hired thug and bodyguard who likes to knit and cooks a good biscuit.

The Magic Thief is the first in a planned trilogy. I am already impatiently awaiting the second book!

Publisher: HarperCollins 6/2008

Nano update: 7704 words

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Who Are Those Kids, Anyway?

I've decided to take up Rena's wedding photo challenge. After rummaging through the cobwebs in the crawl space I located the album (and decided I should probably store it someplace other than the crawl space). 

Robb and I met at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. We were both kids in college, music majors, working our way through school by performing in the park's shows. I was a singer/dancer, and he played his trombone in the band. Our first date was a ride on the Blue Streak after a show and a quick trip into town for a late night Taco Bell snack. Cedar Point was a great place for two (poor!) college kids to get to know each other. Employees stayed in dorms or apartments (my dorm was a whoppin' $14 a week). We would meet at the beach by the Hotel Breakers around 11 a.m. each day to work on the all-important summer tan. Employees had free run of the park, so we would often take advantage of the roller coasters and other rides. In the fall we would go back to school - he attended the University of Michigan. I was in Ohio at Wright State. We wouldn't meet up again until summer. After our 3rd summer we both accepted a year-long contract from the park to perform in a touring group. Robb proposed the following May, and we married in October.  We just celebrated our 23rd anniversary!  

Nano update: 6890 Words (sigh)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Awesome Blog Award...

GOES TO...   The Bookshelf Muse!

I am proud to say I am an "Esteemed Stalker" of The Bookshelf Muse: a collection of musings about reading, writing and other randomness. 

Troubles writing a description? Not a problem. A simple trip to Angela and Becca's Setting Description Thesaurus will put your thinker back in gear. Does your character have issues with expression? Visit the Emotion Thesaurus - "an 'idea bank' for the times when you get stuck." 

I have recommended this site not only to my writer friends, but also to my coworkers who teach writing. Keep it coming, ladies! Terrific site!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guide to Literary Agents

A Cincinnati chapter of SCBWI invited Chuck Sambuchino, Editor of 2009 Guide to Literary Agents, to speak tonight at their monthly meeting. Here are a few highlights from his presentation:

What can an agent do for you?
  • a reputable agent is familiar with the needs of the current market and will evaluate your manuscript accordingly
  • they should determine the quality of your piece and whether it is saleable
  • when your manuscript sells, your agent should negotiate a favorable contract and clear up any questions you have about payments
  • agents have limitations - representation does not guarantee sales - it only recognizes potential in your writing
  • some agents may offer criticism or advice on how to improve your work
Chuck shared terrific information about writing queries and novel synopsis. You can find his notes in his blog through the link below: 
Have these 5 things ready
  1. Logline: 1 sentence summary 
  2. Pitch: 3-6 sentence summary (also known as book jacket pitch)
  3. Short synopsis: Front to back telling of the story. Introduces characters, conflict, and includes ending. Told in present tense. 1 page single spaced, or 2 pages double-spaced.
  4. Long synopsis: General rule of thumb - one page summary per 30 pages text
  5. Full (spotless) manuscript

You can sign up for the free Guide to Literary Agents newsletter, which provides information on literary agents, script agents, writer' conferences, playwriting and writing opportunities in general at 

Chuck's blog contains great information about where and how to find the right agents to represent your work.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Just For Fun...

It's a Star Wars Kind of Weekend here in my house.  Enjoy! 

Nano Word Count: 5762

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Little Help From Star Wars

I have a new writing mantra:

"DO. Or do not. 
          There is 
                    NO TRY."

Thank you, Yoda...

Nano word count: 5219

Friday, November 7, 2008

RULES: Book Review

RULES, by Cynthia Lord, is a book about the impact of living with a child with disabilities. It's told from the perspective of 12-year-old Catherine, a budding artist who just wants a "normal" life. Her brother, David, has autism, and family life centers around his needs. David's behaviors embarrass Catherine and make it difficult for her to fit in. She teaches him "rules" in hopes that one day life can be normal. Rules such as,"Keep your pants on in public," and "It's fine to hug Mom, but not the clerk at the video store." When Kristi moves in next door, Catherine hopes they will be come friends, but she worries that David's behaviors will drive Kristi away. One day while accompanying David on his occupational therapy visit, Catherine meets Jason. Jason is wheelchair bound and unable to speak. Through Catherine's art and Jason's communication board, they develop a friendship. Catherine's conflicting feelings of what is right and wanting to fit in result in shocking behavior on her part. She is left to consider, "What is normal?" 

It isn't often I choose to read books that tackle the topic of disabilities. My reading tends to be somewhat escapist. Borders Bookstore was handing out complimentary teacher's editions of a book with a rubber duck on the cover. I took it, along with posters, pencils, and bookmarks because it was free. I was not prepared for how deeply this book would dig into my heart. As a mother of a (grown) child with a disability, it was not always an easy read for me emotionally. Cynthia Lord realistically describes the emotional stress and relational eggshells family members of those with disabilities sometimes walk upon. 

I highly recommend this book. It's good, authentic storytelling with believable characters.  

Kudos to Cynthia Lord!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Woefully Behind!

Whatever made me think I could keep up the NaNoWriMo pace with three nights of parent/teacher conferences, 25 WEPs (written education plans) and goals due, and preparations for directing an early Christmas Cantata??? 

Watching the gray hairs grow...

NaNo Count: 4264 Words

Monday, November 3, 2008

Five Stages of (an Inner Editor's) Grief

1. Denial and Isolation
You didn't mean to cut me off and continue writing. Did you? It's not possible. I can't believe you don't need me. I'll just wait here until you're ready. Did you say something? No? Oh, that's okay. I'll wait.

2. Anger
Unbelievable! That wanna-be author covered the monitor. With a towel. COVERED IT! How can she let all of those glaring mistakes go by without fixing them???? Just wait. She'll come back crawling on her knees for my help. I'm going to make her grovel. You wait and see. She can't live without me. 

3. Bargaining
Um, hi. It's me. I thought maybe we could negotiate a little give and take in this relationship. You know, work things out? Do you think that if I back off for a while you'd let me fix that little mistake on page 2, and maybe page 4 as well? Page 5 isn't too bad, and ... What? Oh. I see. Yeah, I... I understand. 

4. Depression
How am I? I'm fine, I guess. No. I don't have anything to say. No, I know you don't need my help. Go on. (sniff) I'll be fine. (sniff)

5. Acceptance
Hey, how's the manuscript going? Finished? That's great. Me? I'd love to. Just give me a call sometime when you need me. Tomorrow? Excellent!

BTW: My personal IE is in stage one...
End of Day Nano Count: 2774

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Random Thoughts of "Almost"


1)We celebrated my Dad's "almost" 74th birthday. It's really Wednesday, but we had our get-together today. Lots of good food. Always good company!

2) I wish I could say I've "almost" met my Nano goal for today, but I'm at a sorry 482 words at the moment. It's 10:30 p.m.  I'm going to give it another go when I finish my post. 

3)My blog has been up and running for a week, and I've "almost" had 100 visitors! It was 97 a few minutes ago.  Thanks to everyone who stops by - Ya'll come back now!

Must sign off now, I've almost 1200 words to go...

Update: End of day NaNo count: 2610

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Big-Mouthed Inner Editor

I began my Nano experience this morning. Wow! I never realized what a big mouth my inner editor is. I set only one rule: I may not edit as I go. One rule. Within 2 minutes of writing I was already snarling at my computer, "You're not allowed to edit!" Big habits die hard. 

I finally decided I'm not allowed to look at the screen as I type. It helped. I should probably turn off spell check and grammar check as well. I'm almost to my 1667 words for today. Now that everyone in the house has had their breakfast (I always cook Saturday mornings) I should be able to get the last 552 words for today finished. 

The cool thing is that once I was able to silence my editor (at least in spurts), I discovered I like what I've written. So far. I'm beginning to think I might be able to do this!

Day 1: 1682 words

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Less than 36 Hours ...

With less than 36 hours to go until the NaNoWriMo kickoff I'm beginning to realize I'm a wee bit unprepared. "No Plot, No Problem!" ... no books available either. They've completely sold out. So I decided to do some surfing for nano sites. Here are a few that I found:

10 Tips For Getting 50,000 by Nicole Humphrey
NaNoWriMo Tips and Tools by Nienke Hinton (links and resources)
Advice From a Noveling Veteran by Nathan Alderman, (tips to reach 50,000 words)
Surviving 30 Days of Noveling by Dan Moren, (How to make it through National Novel Writing Month)
Useful References for Writers NaperWriMo Wiki (TONS of reference links!)
Idea Generator for Nano - by C.R. Evers 

Good luck to all you NaNo's out there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature

Are you ready for something new to read but don't know what to pick? Maybe you're interested in a fiction novel aimed at ages 10-12, set in China, that features a male protagonist.  Or maybe you prefer a YA fantasy and want a female protagonist. The Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature (DAWCL) can help you find that perfect book.

Lisa Bartle, a reference librarian at California State University in San Bernardino, came up with the idea for DAWCL while attending UCLA. Her website states, "The purpose of this database is to create a tailored reading list of quality children's literature or to find out if a book has won one of the indexed awards." 

DAWCL has over 7,000 records from 79 awards across six English-speaking countries (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland). 

To find a book click "Search DAWCL" at the top of the page. A menu to help narrow your search will appear with the choices: Age of Reader, Setting, Historical Period, Ethnicity/Nationality of Protagonist or Tale, Language, Keyword or phrase, Awards, Format, Genre, Multicultural, Gender of Protagonist, Publication Year, and Author/Illustrator/Translator. 

Once you've made your choices, click on "Search," and wait for your list to appear!  

Happy Reading!

Bartle, Lisa R. The Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature.   <>. 
          20 Apr. 2002. (08 May 2008).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stuck in a Writer's Rut

I've been stuck. It's no secret. My friends know it. My writer's group knows it. My family knows it. They ALL wish I would get unstuck. Especially my family. 

"Maybe you really don't want to finish the novel," said one of my very dear writing friends. 
"Maybe you're afraid to face the editing," says another. 
"Just do it!" says my husband. "Please."

Well. I have news. I crawled out of the hole last night and began the trek again. What did I do? I'm working backwards. Yup. Backwards. I've always been a linear writer. I write the beginning and the end, then I go back to the beginning and work straight through. I don't know why this is working for me, but I'm grateful. It's a relief to get the words on the page. I have less than 15 pages to finish this first draft. Hopefully I'll be finished by midnight Friday... just in time for NaNoWriMo!

What do you do to get unstuck? Just curious...

Addendum: Arrrrrrgggggg!!! I just opened my manuscript document and my work from last night isn't there!!!!! I saved. I KNOW I did!!     really, i did...   really      (whimper...sniff)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Food Court Musical

This has nothing to do with anything other than it made me laugh!

"For our latest mission, 16 agents staged a spontaneous musical in the food court of a Los Angeles shopping mall. We used wireless microphones to amplify the vocal performances and mix them together with the music through the mall’s PA system. We filmed the mission with hidden cameras, mostly behind two-way mirrors. Apart from our performers, no one in the food court was aware of what was happening. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report below."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Hunger Games: Book Review

Suzanne Collins, author of The Underland Chronicles, has a new book on the market. The Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year old girl who lives in the 12th district of Panem, the remains of what used to be known as North America. Life is difficult in District 12. Katniss spends her days hunting illegally in the forest to bring food and supplies home to her mother and younger sister, Prim. Long ago the districts rose up against the Capitol and were defeated. As a reminder to the districts that the Capitol is in control, they must now participate in a nationally televised competition called “The Hunger Games.” The tributes (contestants) are chosen by lottery – one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district. The games are a fight to the death. The last contestant breathing wins. When 12-year old Prim’s name is called as a tribute, Katniss immediately volunteers to take her sister’s place.

Mix The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, Survivor, and the Roman gladiatorial games in a bowl and season liberally with political and romantic tension. The result is a riveting read that is difficult to put down. The Hunger Games is at times harsh and violent, occasionally funny, and always intriguing. It is the first book of what promises to be a fantastic trilogy.

It's NaNoWriMo Time

It's official. I signed up for my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That would be 1667 words per day. whew. It's quantity of words that count, not quality. That's good, because I can't imagine my manuscript turning out to be much more than a ramble. But that's not the point. I mentioned yesterday that I am having trouble finishing the last few pages of a work in progress. I write a few lines then edit. I write a few more lines then edit again. I'm hoping that the NaNoWriMo experience will help (force) me to learn to spill the ideas onto the page without worrying about the immediate results. The slash and burn edits can wait until December. What's the worse thing that can happen? I'll have participated in an exercise that helped me grow as a writer. Who knows? Maybe I will come up with a workable manuscript. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What is it about the last few pages of a novel that is so hard to write?

I have less than 20 pages to go on the first draft of my WIP, and they are excruciatingly hard to get on paper. I’ve already written the ending. I know exactly what needs to happen – the dots will connect just fine. But I find myself distracted - jotting notes for another character that is whispering a different kind of story to me. And I’ve written a synopsis for a possible second adventure for my current protagonist. I suppose it’s a good thing to have ideas springing anew, but I wish they would stay out of the way long enough to finish my current story!

Welcome to Lemons for Lemonade

When I was a kid we had big family reunions the first weekend of every July. They were held on a small farm nestled in the hills of Goddard, Kentucky. Each year when we arrived a grinning cousin or two met us at the gate. They would toss me a lemon and run. I knew what to do. I would squeeze and squeeze until my lemon was soft and didn’t have much of a shape anymore. That’s when you took your lemon to Aunt Billie and Aunt Tena. They were on the back porch with a big washtub, surrounded by 5 lb bags of sugar, making lemonade. The smell was sharp and sweet. It was hard to wait for a cool glass of fresh lemonade on those hot, sticky, July days. But when that icy cup was finally in your hand it was grand!

I’m a writer. I’ve been squeezing lemons for a while, and now it’s time to put together the lemonade. I look forward to sharing with you my reflections on books, writing, and the stuff of life. Stop by and visit again. Share your two cents. I'd love the company!