• One of My Favorite Scenes

    *** I’ve been decorating a little bit today for the holidays. I’m feeling terrible, still trying to deal with a chronic health issue, but I’m trying to remain positive and optimistic. Evert time I break out my Christmas decorations, I always think about a particular scene in my first novel, Beneath the Mimosa Tree. The scene unfolds at the holidays after ten years, when two former lovers and next door neighbors are reunited. After years of not speaking and feeling anger and guilt over a mistake that was made, the two come face-to-face in the driveway as Annabelle and her family return from getting a Christmas tree. Michael, home from…

  • Reviewing a Movie for Romantics That’s Not a Hallmark Channel Creation

    *** Readers of my blog, by now you are probably quite aware that I’m a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic and that I’m endlessly addicted to Hallmark Channel. I also write romance, so I decided to share a film with you that I just watched and thoroughly enjoyed. The movie is from 2015, and I knew nothing about it prior to two days ago. A one-time CRAZY movie buff, over the last several years I’ve pulled away from films and have been sucked into various shows made for television, and some of my favorites have included the following: Game of Thrones (the best television I’ve ever seen; in fact, one of the…

  • What I’m Writing Now (or my current WIP)

    * Currently, I’m not writing anything, but next week, I will begin to dive deeply into novel number five, picking up with Chapter 3 where I left off before coronavirus intensified the nature of my working life. The novel is still to be named, which I hate, actually. I typically have to have a working title, but now that the premise of the book has morphed into something different, the working title “Four in a Year,” is just, well, not working. Wrapping up the semester leaves me time only to write this short blog post before getting my grades finalized and uploaded. I shouldn’t even be taking time to do…

  • A Little Teaser for My Upcoming Novel: Little Milestones

    *** Well, I’m officially getting excited! As I posted a few weeks ago, I finally decided upon the name of my fourth novel, LITTLE MILESTONES, and I have a first draft of the cover. When it gets to this point, it begins to feel as if things are coming together. I’m sharing the first cover design I’m considering. As I plan for a September release, LITTLE MILESTONES is a book that focuses on friendships among women with a little dash of romance thrown in, because as most of you loyal readers know, I’m a sucker for a good romance. I’ll also be taking you back with me to the Eastern…

  • Twice Bitten by La La Land, Love & Regret

    Forget the singing, the dancing, the sets, the terrific, catchy music, and the fantasy of La La Land. What remains at the core of this award-winning film is character development and a love story that viewers are intentionally swept into from the opening scene of this boy-meets-girl movie romp that harkens back to old-time musical storytelling. If you haven’t seen the film yet, first of all, shame on you, and second of all, stop reading here, because I’m going to dissect the guts of the plot and meaning as opposed to an overall review. I honestly don’t want to spoil it for you, so if you haven’t watched it, close…

  • The Worst Part About Writing

    * * * Yes, I’m still at tonight. Working diligently on my collection right now. However, the worst part about writing is that you get attached and stupidly emotional about the characters you create. Why? Because sometimes they are loosely based on people you know, lessons you’ve learned, the ways you have grown. You are reminded of things and times gone by. And then you read something like this that turns you into a weepy blob: Every individual soul chooses the significant people in that life. Destiny will place you in the particular circumstance; it will dictate that you will encounter a particular person, at a certain time, place.  ~…

  • Hanging Out With Jane Austen

    I just reread part of Persuasion by Jane Austen, and it got me thinking what Jane would think and write about in today’s world. Would she still speak of and poke fun at the social classes? Would she draw characters who epitomized the thinking and scope of today’s morals and ethics in present-day society? She is my writing hero. Pride and Prejudice is absolutely my favorite book ever written. It is rich with great characters, memorable dialogue, romance, and humor. Which makes me wonder about Jane… Would Jane like the story I’m writing? Would she find it entertaining? Would she want to read about the struggles of a woman who…

  • Just For Today, I’m Feeling A Little Like Elizabeth Gilbert

    * * * Here’s the thing: Today, I am feeling a little like Elizabeth Gilbert. I admire Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and the current hit The Signature of All Things) tremendously and had the privilege of hearing her speak as well when she was a keynote for Stevenson’s Speaker Series a few years. She’s a great inspiration, and her piece on TED about creativity is one of my all-time favorites. My classes can attest to this, because I make them watch it every semester. Gilbert regularly posts photos of her book in lovely settings from all over the world. Readers send them to her. It’s a very…

  • Fashion Friday & Food: Carrie Bradshaw ‘Romantic’ Style

    * * * Today’s Fashion Look: The Romantic Style Years ago, when I was moonlighting as a fashion stylist, I would facilitate short seminars. I categorized women into four categories, primarily using the women from “Sex and the City” as examples. It’s an easy way to figure out what type of dress you prefer–and what you wear well. The four types are as follows: The Natural (as depicted by Miranda): Simple lines, natural fabrics, low on accessories, comfortable clothing. The Classic (as depicted by Charlotte): Pretty, classic, sometimes preppy & structured lines. Pearls and diamonds. Think Audrey Hepburn. The Romantic (as depicted by Carrie): Flirty, feminine clothes, that match, but…

  • The Romance of Baseball

    * * * I spent the entire weekend at the baseball fields. No, not Oriole Park at Camden Yards, not Fenway Park, not Nats Park. I spent my time at a little collection of fields called Kiwanis-Wallas Park in Ellicott City. We were there…parents, grandparents, siblings…all watching baseball and softball games as the kids are in the process of wrapping up the season with All-Star games and playoffs. It’s exciting, but it can also take a lot out of you. Both days, we were at the fields for hours. When we got home last night and tucked the kids in—late—my husband and I sat down and watched “Moneyball.” He had…

  • Once Upon A Time I Fell In Love

    It wasn’t that long ago that a huge thunderbolt of love came out of the sky and hit me with full force. It didn’t matter that I was married and had two kids. Sometimes love just comes into your life, and there really isn’t much you can do about it. You just have to go with it and see what happens. I remember distinctly that it was a Sunday. There wasn’t much going on that day, just a regular run-of-the-mill day in Ellicott City. I’d been bogged down with daily chores, work-related functions, and keeping the family on target. I was tired, but something inside me knew I would be…

  • 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…