• Unlost – Sharing a Short Story from The Postcard

    Today, I’m sharing a short story I wrote that was published in my book of 2018 titled The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry. It’s set in London, a place I’ve only visited once, but loved. In striving to write about female friendships as I did in my new novel, Little Milestones, I guess you could say I practiced with this very short story. I love writing short pieces of fiction, as they test both your ability to tell a condensed story, as well as test your proclivity for further expanding the story. This one stayed put as a short story, but another one I wrote for that collection, Life with Nan, turned into…

  • An Update and the Plot Overview of Little Milestones – Coming Soon

    Right now, my beta readers are looking over the draft of Little Milestones. I am reading the manuscript again, as well, for the hundredth time. As well, I’ve started to create some of my marketing materials for the book. For those of us in the trenches as independent authors, it’s a never-ending cycle of book promotion, writing, and editing. We’re at it all the time as we try to build our brand and find our niche of readers. I’m still at it and I haven’t given up. Today, I’m sharing the draft of the copy that goes on the outside of a book or inside a book jacket—you know, the…

  • Writing About Women + Friendship in Little Milestones

    For the past several years, I’ve watched a PBS show called Call the Midwife. It’s a series based on the memoirs entitled Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End by Jennifer Worth, a district nurse and midwife who was living in the East End of London during the 1950s. The show intermingles birth and birth issues experienced by a group of midwives consisting of nurses/midwives and nuns, with the theme of women friendships at the core of all these characters who live together in Nonnatus House. When I first came across this show, I was mesmerized. In my own life, I’d experienced some ill-fitting friendships and was…

  • Update on My (currently unnamed) WIP

    On Friday night, I reached over 71,000 words on my #WIP (work in progress). I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love the direction change I made with this story back in December. Now, the novel has glue and a backbone and characters I wish were my friends. I still have a way to go, but it makes me so happy to sit down and write when I’m writing about places I love and I can live vicariously through my characters. I took this lovely photo back in September in Oxford when, in the name of research, I spent time in both #oxfordmd and #stmichaelsmd. I can’t…

  • Thoughts on Missing Working in Baseball

    It’s a question I get asked a lot. “Do you miss working in baseball?” Students ask me this often; then they ask what it was like to work in baseball, in sports, for a Major League baseball team. I have often blogged about how working in baseball changed my life in so many ways. I became a serious student when I got my job with the Orioles as a sophomore in college. I learned how to budget my time and work long hours. I loved every minute of it. I even roped my best friend and college roommate into working there during my second year when I supervised a small…

  • Fictography #9 — Susie’s & Katie’s Snowwoman

    /FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!). This week’s selected photograph comes from a friend of mine, Kathy Binder. Kathy and I have known each other for years, and last year I visited Kathy’s book club and got to know her and her friends even better. What I love most about Kathy is that she has terrific taste. She and I are on Pinterest together, and are constantly pinning each other’s pins. Her photograph depicts the snow we’ve had this year, but I took it in a direction of two young friends, one with a disability. I hope you enjoy this one. Good…

  • Wrapped Up in Love

    Wrapped Up in Love—I used this particular phrase recently when I told my friend Sarah, whose father-in-law was visiting her over the holidays for a month (or more), that he must feel “all wrapped up in love” as he spends some quality time with her family. He lives far from them, and moved in for the weeks leading up to and through the Christmas holiday and New Year’s. This particular photograph that’s posted filled with words on a page is one that is going viral—I’ve seen it on all sorts of social media sights, and I’m not sure what the originating source is. I’m seeing lots of my friends post…

  • 2013 Taught Me Much

    Dear Readers, What is the best part of life? The ability to learn, day by day, about people, places and things. Our minds are incredible, and allow us to be lifelong learners. That is what we strive to teach our students at Stevenson University — that the element of curiosity should always stay with you, and that you should remain intrigued and interested in the world around you. We all learn things every day, from the smallest of things to grand-scheme lessons on life. As such, here are five things I took away from 2013. Some are good, some not so good, but in each case, they helped me grow…

  • The True Meaning of Friendship

    Last Friday night, I organized a reunion. It wasn’t a high school or college reunion. It was a reunion of people who worked together in Baltimore for a baseball team called the Orioles. Having spent many seasons as an employee of the club, and having many friends who did the same (some of them still there enjoying last year’s great season as well as this one), we decided it was time for a big get-together. Many folks may say that it sounds crazy that former colleagues want to get together—but the fact of the matter is—that’s where many of us “grew up” in our 20s and 30s when we were…

  • On slumps, in baseball and in writing…

    Last night after my son’s baseball game and in the middle of a post-game, in-depth discussion about baseball bunting, I told my kids to hold it a second. “Let’s call Charles and ask him what he thinks about bunting.” I’m not a fan of bunting, though I do realize it has its benefits. I dialed Charles’s number, and he picked up. This, in itself, is miraculous. Sometimes he is just too busy to chat. Charles currently works for the Boston Red Sox, is a brilliant, creative mind, and happens to be one of my former bosses from my days at the Orioles.  He also is one of those dearest of…

  • Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss

    This week’s weekly photo challenge comes from Sara Rosso at WordPress. The word is Kiss. In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture which means KISS to you! I adore this photo. These are my friends Gui and Jenny; Gui is being silly by planting a KISS on Jenny’s cheek as we ham it up for the camera at the Michael Buble concert in Washington, D.C. My husband took the photo of us. We are all old friends who always have a great time whenever we get together. What I love about this photo is the pure innocence that’s captured as we laughed, talked, and caught…

  • The Reviews Are Rolling In & An Excerpt From The Book. What People Are Saying About “Beneath the Mimosa Tree.”

    Dear Readers, Well, it’s been two weeks today since I let it go out into the world. So now what are people saying about my debut novel entitled “Beneath the Mimosa Tree?” I thought I’d let these lovely comments do all the talking, but before I do, I wanted to share an excerpt from the novel just to stir your interest if it hasn’t already been stirred. Then, enjoy reading what people are saying. We independent authors can use all the support we can get to spread the word about our work. For those of you who have liked the book, thanks for your kind recommendations to others. I can’t…