Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year of No Resolutions

I'm not making any formal resolutions this year. I always break them, anyway. :)

In 2011, I will simply ENJOY my life. I plan to celebrate the blessings I have Already Received, which are beyond counting.

I will laugh with family and friends.

I will explore my first and most beloved art form: writing. Quiet the committee of critics in my brain and just do what I love--tell stories.

I will follow that priceless British advice: Keep Calm and Carry On.

There may well be rough waters ahead, but we're up to it. We can do this.

I hope your 2011 will be the best year ever, followed by progressively better ones.

God bless you and yours.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Home Again

I made it! I'm home in Spokane, arriving yesterday evening in a flurry of snow. As we left Seattle, we were warned that we might not be able to land here, and would have to return to Sea-Tac, but thank heavens, it didn't happen.

Today, it's a winter wonderland out there. Truly beautiful. I'm so grateful to be snug and warm, here in my own house, with my dogs and kits for company. The power went off last night around nine, stranding Sadie-beagle and me in the kitchen--she was hoping in vain for a snack and I had just brewed some decaf in my handy-dandy Kuerig machine--but we managed to navigate our way upstairs and zonk out. The electricity came on again--bedside lamp shining in my face--about two o'clock. All this meant I had to skip a night with my sleep machine, but here I am, alive to tell about it.

I'm worried about all my friends in New York. They REALLY got slammed by that last blizzard. And where ARE the snow plows, anyway, Mr. Mayor???

I'm definitely tired today, and a bit under the weather, as I usually am after a trip, but I expect to rally soon.

Stay warm, stay safe, and stay kind.

And that's the news from my kitchen table.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I can hear the rare Santa Monica rain pattering on the roof top as I write this. I'm at Wendy and Jeremy's place, having spent Christmas with them, and I slept in the loft room.

I feel completely restored--no trace of the pleurisy, thank heaven. We opted out on the planned trip to Disneyland and just took everything pretty easy.

Christmas was lovely. I did receive gifts--my daughter knows me and therefore picks amazing gifts. The best of all, though, was a donation to an organization digging wells in places all over the world, where the water isn't good.

I fly out in a few hours. I'm ready to get home, see my critters and the crew, and get back in harness. Those mother-daughter writing sessions I mentioned, as you might have guessed, didn't materialize. Wendy just finished with three projects that were all on very tight deadlines, and she was tired. We did hit a wonderful craft store, went out for delicious Mexican food and to our perennial favorite, the Galley in Santa Monica. We watched movies and caught up on everything, and it was all so great.

I am still dazzled by one of those movies, "True Grit". As a die-hard John Wayne fan, I was skeptical that anyone, even Jeff Bridges, could pull off a remake of a classic like that one. Well, he did. He WAS Rooster Cogburn, come to life, and the other actors blew me away as well. Especially the actress who played Matty Ross. WOW. If you love a good Western, as I do, see this one. It's GREAT.

So that's the news from Wendy and Jeremy's guest room.

Tomorrow, good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll be back at my kitchen table, blogging away.

Hope you'll join me.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, One and All

I'm visiting family in Southern California and having the best Christmas ever!

I was tired when I arrived, and still a little ill with pleurisy, but I am recovering rapidly, with all this love. :)

I hope you're all enjoying the holiday, as I am.

More tomorrow.

May you be blessed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

June Lund Shiplett

My friend June Lund Shiplett passed away very recently, and this blog is a tribute to her.

June was a writer's writer--two of her early books, "Journey to Yesterday" and "Return to Yesterday", were great favorites of mine, time travel stories I remember fondly all these years later. She was hugely popular in her day, and appeared on several national TV shows while on tour--I clearly recall watching her on Gary Collins' "Hour Magazine", with her beloved husband, Charlie. The host asked Charlie, a down-to-earth midwestern type, how success had changed their lives. Dryly, Charlie replied, "Well, we drive a little better car."

Eventually, Charlie became seriously ill, and June took care of him with a dedication and goodness of spirit worthy of the strongest romance heroine. This was a forever kind of relationship.

June taught writing courses for years, and won many, many friends with her elfin smile and twinkling eyes. I will miss her, as will countless others whose lives she touched, but I like to think she's with Charlie again--what a reunion that must be.

I can just see them, beaming at each other and launching into a wild polka.

So Godspeed, my friend, and say hello to Charlie for me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rush, Rush, Hurry, Hurry

Yikes. Five days til Christmas. How did this happen???


I spent the weekend in p.j.'s--the pleurisy kicked in again. Mom and I had to reschedule our holiday lunch--thanks for understanding, Mom.

On Friday night, I watched Debbie Macomber's movies, back to back--"Mrs. Miracle" and "Call Me Mrs. Miracle"--and I enjoyed them so much. Well worth seeing if, like me, you are schedule challenged and missed them. (Mom finally gave me a nudge, and I was able to Tivo.) I loved "November Christmas", as well. Any movie with Sam Elliott in it is okay by me. :)

Wendy and I both have deadlines, so we're going to do our mother/daughter writing act while I'm visiting. We're both determined to make a miracle. :)

In the meantime, rush, rush, hurry, hurry.
Miles to go before I sleep.

And that's the news.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gone? The Whole Week? Already????

Yep. Time flies when you're having fun, as the old saying goes. :) The pleurisy hasn't been all that much fun, I must admit, but the rest of it--writing, doing art, getting ready for Christmas--has been great.

I have these new rubber stamps. Frida Kahlo. (Famous Mexican artist, one eyebrow.) I'm stamping anything that stands still, I love these images so much. Here, kitty, kitty....

Mom and I are going out to lunch on Sunday--it's been too long since we've seen each other.

Be warm, be safe, be kind.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Snow Headed East

I can actually see green lawn out my windows as I write this blog at my kitchen table, per usual. According to the weatherman, it's a temporary respite.

The book is moving along. I swear, I'm loving every minute of writing it. Delicious experience.

I'm feeling better, too. Pleurisy is no fun, of course, but my dear editor, Joan, has something worse--hers came with a fever. :( Feel better soon, Joanie.

One of my art pieces will be up for auction on Brenda Novak's site--she raises tons of money toward finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. Go, Brenda!

Gotta brag on those homemade tamales from DeLeon's, here in Spokaloo. YUM. (D.i.e.t.? What d.i.e.t?)

Still goin' crazy with the Friendly Plastic. New favorite color? Pink sherbet. Hard to find, but so gorgeous. I made a pretty spiffy Christmas tree ornament and I will post a pic when Chris is around--he's the computer geek in our outfit, as well as the back-up dog nanny and housekeeper. :)

That's the news, peeps. Stay safe, stay warm, and stay happy.

Remember, it's a choice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sometimes I Amaze Myself

But not very often. :)

Yesterday was crazy. I had to see the doctor about the chest bug (pleurisy), pick up the handmade tamales I'd ordered from DeLeon's (an absolute necessity!) and have my sleep machine adjusted by a professional. Despite all that, I managed to finish my chapter of "The Creed Legacy". And even mess around with my 9 million colors of Friendly Plastic a little bit.

Like I said, I'm amazing. Or, at least, I was amazing yesterday.

Today, I hope, will be a quieter day. Just writing. Hallelujah!

My Christmas trees--one in my office and one in the living room--are so pretty. I enjoy shiny things, as you know. :)

The next play at Civic Theatre is "Don't Dress for Dinner". I can't wait! There is a magic about sitting an audience and watching live actors at work.

Now that's amazing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sick Day

Today, I'm calling in sick.

Chest cold--or something.

I'll be back soon--later today or tomorrow morning.

Not to worry.

It's just a bug.

Some news that is, from my kitchen table. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

White Christmas

The Civic Theatre performance of the old Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye show was wonderful--especially the tap-dancing. And, of course, you can't go wrong with that music.

I may have to see my doctor today--I have all the symptoms of a chest cold. This I do not need. I have a deadline, and I'm leaving for my California Christmas on the 22nd. Please pray and/or send good thoughts.

Wendy and Jeremy adopted a kitten over the weekend, and there was all kinds of drama. It seems the kitty had ear mites and a whole host of other problems, but Wendy took her straight to the vet's office and it's all systems go. Now, to acclimate New Kitty with Older Kitty.

I'll keep you posted.

That's the news, such as it is. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010


It's Friday. We made it through again, gang. For me it was a wonderful, creative week, though I was certainly saddened by the death of Elizabeth Edwards.

I completed another chapter yesterday--as I've said, this book is emotionally challenging for me, the challenge being exceeded only by the rewards. : ) Zounds, this is a good one, if I do say so myself. And I just did, didn't I?

The house is decorated for Christmas, with a small tree in my office and a 6 footer in the living room. Gone are the pumpkins and pilgrims; now I have the most beautiful Advent candle holder--a Nativity--on the mantlepiece, and a shiny wreath on the kitchen wall. I won't be here at Christmas, barring a mega-weather front, but still. I love Christmas, and I like to stretch it out. The lights alone delight me almost as much as they did when I was little. (I was the original Christmas kid, along with my brother, Jerry, who is closest to me in age--we also have two sisters, both considerably younger--dubbed December 23 Christmas Eve Eve. "Let's get this show on the road!" was our motto.) Presents are being wrapped (okay, I admit I'm not doing the actual wrapping) and sent off by mail. Secrets are being bantered about, too.

This weekend, I'll be at Civic Theatre, one of my favorite places, enjoying their production of "White Christmas". "The Buddy Holly Story" and "The Cemetery Club" were both so good, I can hardly wait. :)

Lastly, since Spokane is Bing Crosby's hometown, the theatre named in his honor has been running marathons of his old movies. I love everyone of them, but I'll have to be content with DVDs and whatever I can Tivo, because there is only so much time, and I've got a book to write, after all.

Which brings me to the title of this blog. :) I bought a personal oxygen machine from Sharper Image, and I love the thing. It gives me more energy and clears my head.

And that's the news, for the day and the week, from my kitchen table.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I Love Brody Creed

I can't help it. I'm in love with a storybook cowboy. Writing this book is an experience--the emotions are intense and that makes me want to shy away sometimes, while pulling me in at the same time. Alas, Brody only has eyes for Carolyn Simmons, the heroine of "The Creed Legacy". She's a complicated lady--a self-proclaimed gypsy, because she's moved around so much. She loves horses and art--now where did THAT come from?? :)

On the art front, I'm doing Soul Collage again. Years ago, while I was still in Arizona, and before I started this blog, I read a book on the subject and I was off and running. The cards (you could use any kind) are 5x8. They're cut from heavy-duty mattboard, so they can handle a lot of paint and glue. We all know how I love to collage. :) The more layers, the better, in my view.

My plan is to make a personal Tarot-type deck over the coming year. And I WILL post at least some of the cards on this blog. I'll leave out certain cards, because this isn't about fortune-telling. I see the Tarot as a great creative tool, full of interesting archetypes. Carl Jung found it fascinating, and so do I.

Today--surprise--I'll write! Later, I'll melt some Friendly Plastic--the shipment arrived--and see what happens--remember, it's all about experimentation with me. When I have something worth showing you, I'll post it.

The weather is in between--perfect. Cold, but the roads are dry and lots of the snow has melted away.

And I will be heading to California soon, to spend Christmas with daughter Wendy and her guy, Jeremy. Also Jeremy's folks, Sheri and Pat, great people. We're going to Disneyland and will almost certainly do some livingroom bowling via the Wii.


And that's the news from my kitchen table.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards

I didn't know this amazing woman personally, but I admired her so much. What courage, what class, what strength. What dignity. Ms. Edwards set a sterling example for all of us.

I believe, like she did, that we are reunited with friends and loved ones on the other side of the River, and I know she's with her young son, Wade, now. I pray that those left behind will be guided, protected, and consoled in this difficult time.

Godspeed, Elizabeth Edwards. You ran a fine race.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

My Art Journal Page

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The Book

Right now, the book is pretty much all I'm thinking about.

I promise a better blog tomorrow.

Stay warm and safe and be kind to each other.

We're all we've got.

Monday, December 06, 2010


That's how the snow looks in this welcome and wonderful sunlight. As though someone sprinkled the whole world with silvery glitter. Gorgeous.

I was a little under the weather over the weekend--fighting off a cold. Hence, I didn't accomplish much--I mostly vegged around in casual clothes and warm slippers. :) Not that I usually dress up--I don't.

Sister Sally sent me an art journal, deliciously blank pages just waiting to be glued and painted and glittered--I have one page well underway and I'm very pleased with it. I took a picture and tried to upload it, so I could post it on this blog, but I ran into a snag. As soon as I figure it out--again--I'll put it up for you to see.

Today? To work. I've had a serious case of the Slows lately, but since I'm so in love with Brody Creed, it shouldn't be difficult to spend the day in Lonesome Bend, Colorado.

And that's the news from my kitchen table.

Friday, December 03, 2010

New Experiment

While I wait for my shipment of Friendly Plastic to arrive (I'll bet you think I'm kidding, with the word 'shipment'--think cargo container), I'm experimenting with a paper quilling kit I bought on the last run to Hobby Lobby. This is actually quite intriguing. There is some gluing, but it isn't all that messy, really. I like it anyway.

I plan to work on the new book this weekend--I'm slam-dunk IN LOVE with Brody Creed. The emphasis is there because I tend to change my mind a lot.

I'm well into the audible version of Keith Richards' book, "Life". He's a crazy guy but, then, we all knew that, didn't we? What I didn't know was how smart he is. He READS. He's articulate. These are very appealing qualities in a man. :) I haven't gotten to the part where he and Mick fall out yet--that has me curious. He's also very strange, but, again, we knew that. On one of the early tours, the Stones turned up for a show in shabby outfits, probably pretty travel-worn. (Okay, sweaty.) They were ordered to change clothes. So they did. :) With each other.

I love it.

Be happy, and don't get too carried away with the Christmas shopping. People want love, not stuff.

See you Monday.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Friendly Plastic

I love this stuff!

It's shiny. It's messy. It comes in a million colors, and there are all kinds of how-to videos online.


Check out for some interesting stuff.

And now, to work.

Not much in the way of news, but there you go.

I promised not to talk about the S-Word!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The S-word

Still coming down, though only in flurries now.

On to Chapter 2 today--YES!!

I just had to get out of the house for a little while yesterday, so Jenni drove me out to Hobby Lobby for a change of scene. :) I still got my work done, I'm happy to say--I do get cabin fever now and then.

I'm having lots of fun with my ATCs, too. Just sent out a card for the Snowman trade on Swapbot. I used "paper paint" to make the body of the snowman--wonderful stuff. When it dries, it has the same consistency as handmade paper. Very cool. I also love Ranger's line of Liquid Pearls--and any product in the Tim Holtz line. He's the master of grunge, a look I really like. Next experimental medium? Friendly Plastic.

Stay tuned.

I promise to use the S-word less.

By June, for instance, you won't be hearing a thing about the stuff.