Category Archives: News

Farewell to Hostas

For the past week, it has been unusually warm—in the 70s. It hardly feels like autumn in Maine at all.

But the the hostas know that summer is over.

I’ve begun emptying and cleaning pots. This weekend, I’ll start bringing in the garden ornaments.

Somehow, it is always more fun to bring them out in the spring than it is to put them away in the fall.

On other matters…I have done major editing on my book Library Lost, and I will soon be receiving the first proof copy. Always exciting, but the work is not done. I’ll be going over the proof copy line by line. Onward, ho!

A couple of days ago, a terrible hurricane slammed the coast of Florida. What devastation! I wonder what will become of coastal communities, especially in the South, as the oceans continue to heat up and the storms get worse and worse.

In North Carolina, where our daughter and son-in-law live, the hurricane notched itself down to a tropical storm. Nevertheless, the winds were strong, trees were toppled, and there were widespread power outages. In fact, my daughter and son-in-law don’t have electricty. At least they have water. But as a veteran of power outages, I can attest to the fact that they are no fun at all. For us, what a happy day it is when the refrigerator whirs back to life as the power comes back on.

But how horrible to lose everything in a storm. Somehow, when compared with such destruction, a power outage doesn’t seem that bad.



Sharing Our Horizon by Xenia Tran

One of the great pleasures of blogging is the wonderful, creative people I have met, not only in this country but also around the world. I always start my day reading posts from my blogging friends, and no matter what is happening in this country, I come away feeling better.  And that is  no small thing.

Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to announce that one of my blogging friends, Xenia Tran of Whippet Wisdom, has published a book of poems and images featuring her adorable whippets in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, where they live. Here is the book:

Xenia writes: “We will donate 60% of our net profits to animal rehoming shelters. The more books we sell, the more charities we will be able to help. The remaining 40% will be invested in future fundraising projects….Our book is now available in paperback and can be ordered from your local bookstore, online bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Fishpond and any other store connected to the Ingram Spark Global network….For further details on where to order, please visit ‘Our Book page.”

The Scottish Highlands, dogs, lovely poetry, a wonderful cause. I just ordered my own copy and can’t wait to get it.

Good luck, Xenia. I hope you sell a lot of books.

The Book’s the Thing: Taking a Short Break from Blogging

Right now, most of my time, focus, and energy are directed toward getting my YA fantasy Library Lost ready for publication. The final editing is long, slow, and somewhat tedious, but it is part of the process if you want a good book.

So, I will be taking a short break from blogging in order to get the editing done. The break will probably last a week or so, maybe a little more. We’ll see.

In the meantime, suppers are very simple—scrambled eggs, fish and chips, noodle soup with egg, peas, and sesame oil. (Actually, the last one is delicious and will be carried over when the editing is done.) Also, housecleaning is minimal, a lick and a wipe, as the old saying goes. When the editing is finished, there will be time enough for cooking and cleaning.

Many readers have commented on the color of Library Lost and how great it will look with Maya and the Book of Everything. Here is a graphic from Bookfly, the terrific company that designed the cover, which shows how the two books will look side by side.

What color do you think the third book should be?

Introducing…The Cover for Library Lost!

Here it is! The cover for my YA fantasy novel Library Lost, the second book in my Great Library series and the sequel of Maya and the Book of Everything. How exciting it all is! (For new readers of this blog, click here for a description of Maya and the Book of Everything.)

So, drum roll, please! Introducing the cover for Library Lost!

As I am sure you can gather from the cover (and the title), Library Lost is a darker story than Maya and the Book of Everything. Maya, the plucky heroine, is in great danger as she faces Chaos and other dark forces.

A big thank you to the many readers who bought Maya and the Book of Everything and had such wonderful things to say about the novel. I so appreciate the support.

The publication date for Library Lost is slated for this October/November 2018. Just around the corner.

I’ll be keeping you posted.

Hurricane and Instant Pot Update

The bad news is that Hurricane Florence has strengthened into a category 4 hurricane and might even reach category 5 before it hits landfall.  And the damage won’t be done as Florence loses steam. Weakened, Florence is still dangerous. The forecast predicts that Florence will stall over land in North Carolina and could bring up to two feet of rain to an already saturated state. This, in turn, will bring floods, toppled trees, and massive power outages.

But for our little family, the good news is that kids, dogs, and kit have left Dodge, as it were, well ahead of Hurricane Florence. They will be with us sometime late tomorrow night, and how good it will be to see them.

Now for the Instant Pot. It worked exactly the way it should. Within an hour, we had a very tasty vegetable soup for our dinner, and most of that time involved cutting up the vegetables. We couldn’t believe that the five minute cooking time of the recipe was correct—that was after everything had come up to temperature—and so we cooked the soup for fourteen minutes. While the vegetables were good, they were too soft, and we were thinking that perhaps five minutes wasn’t so far off after all.


Fourteen minutes later:

This particular soup recipe called for a sprinkle of nutritional yeast in the bowls once the soup was done.  We substituted soy sauce, and the soup was tasty. But I am now intrigued about nutritional yeast, which I have never used. (I know, I know. I am behind on this one.) I plan on picking some up soon to use on vegetable soups and perhaps other dishes.

So all in all, a good day, but my thoughts are with those who must evacuate and don’t have family up north to stay with.

And I certainly hope that the aid to the Carolinas is better than what Puerto Rico got last year after Hurricane Maria. Three thousand dead. Some people without power and adequate housing for nearly a year.

A national disgrace.

And So It Begins: Editing, Hurricane Florence, and a Full House

As fall makes a tentative appearance with weather so cool that it actually feels brisk—going from 95° to 60° in less than a week—the tempo at our house has gone from busy to out straight.

Dee has finished editing my YA fantasy novel, Library Lost. For new blog readers, this is the second book in my Great Library Series, the sequel to Maya and the Book of Everything. Now comes the hard work of copy editing. Only basic housework will be done. Meals will be very, very simple. The book must be edited! I am so glad I now follow my blogging friend Jason’s lead and no longer cut back perennials in the fall. Instead, I wait until spring. (Jason’s wonderful blog is Garden in a City.)

To add to the merry chaos, our daughter Shannon, her husband Mike, their dogs Holly and Somara, and their cat Penny will be coming for a visit the end of this week. That’s right, even the cat. Hurricane Florence, a most unwelcome guest, will be pounding North Carolina, where Mike and Shannon live, just after they leave for Maine. Mike and Shannon are afraid that flooding will make it impossible for their pet sitter to tend Penny.

So when Shannon asked about bringing Penny, I immediately said, “Yes.”

The complicating factor, of course, is that we have two cats who just barely tolerate the two dogs, whom they know. As for a cat they’ve never met…well, I’m sure you can picture the results. A lot of hissing and fighting.

But never fear! We have come up with a solution. We had folding doors in our basement, and Clif has brought them upstairs to put at the end of the hall so that Penny will have her own little suite of a bedroom, a reading room, and a half bath. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? I hope she likes our selection of books.

I probably won’t be blogging much in the next few weeks, and if I do, most likely it will be a picture along with a few lines.

So onward, ho, to editing and dogs and cats and sacks and wives.