It’s Been A Long Time…

Mary RM editedIt’s been a very long time since my last post. I have no reason other than the usual one for many: a very full life outside of my writing life – along with some unexpected bumps in the road and a close family member’s ongoing recovery from a very difficult circumstance.

However, I am back, and I will strive to be more present here.

I have a backlog of recipes/cooking to offer up.

The Crimson Lady

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

I also have several interesting and quirky experiences to share, and some book talk too. I’m mulling ideas (and have begun a prequel novella to my medieval romance The Crimson Lady; The original novel follows Fiona Byrne in the years after she’d fled London and the notorious existence she’d had there. She’d been sold as a young woman into a life of sin, purchased by a powerful nobleman who is as depraved as he is handsome, and turned into England’s most desired courtesan: Giselle de Coeur, “The Crimson Lady”. The prequel is called “Becoming the Crimson Lady” and details just how she was transformed from a street urchin to the sought-after courtesan…and what led to her ultimate escape).

I have a few other ideas rolling around that are not tied to works I’ve already written, but we’ll see what transpires.

MooseTracks_CoverIn the meantime, my latest, “Fried Green Tomatoes of the Adirondacks style”, very loosely and semi-autobiographical novel Moose Tracks on the Road To Heaven is still available for only $3.99 in digital and $13.99 in trade-sized print.

I’m not reading too much lately, outside of material for work (endless papers, exams etc), but a title I’m reading a bit at a time, because it fascinates me, is Change the Story of Your Health: Using Shamanic and Jungian Techniques for Healing by Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD. Has anyone else read this book or something similar?

Lastly, the school year is finally wrapping up for 2017. This will mean more free time to write (and visit here!) but less than when I was building this site, due to some of those life circumstances I mentioned in the first paragraph. It will still be a change of schedule, and I am looking forward to embracing all that the summer has to offer, in my personal life, in the great beauty of nature, and in a bit of travel, writing, relaxation, and family time.

How about you? What are your plans for the next few months? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Thanks for visiting!

In Bloom

imageOver the weekend, my backdoor garden has come into bloom.

Except for a bit of weeding (which I, sadly, rarely get to), this garden is self-sustaining, filled with perennials, many of them gifted to me by my dear father before he died. The tea roses are from cuttings he brought from the Homestead (originally brought there from his mother’s tea roses in Massachusetts). My Grandma Reed died the summer before I was born, but I feel like I “know” her a little through the stories my father told me about her quiet, intelligent nature, her inventive and hearty cooking, and her beautiful flower gardens.

The iris are quintessentially my father: he loved this kind of large, colorful – and some scented – iris. These are all gifts from him, with his favorite being what he called the “blue and whites” that are in the foreground. I feature one, even, in my family-life-love-loss-hope-filled novel Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven.

We spoke many times about the mysteries of life, the Universe, energies, and what the afterlife might hold. I detail some of those conversations and thoughts in the novel as well – but I like to think that the tangible  beauty of this garden speaks to that in a different way. It blooms every year, all on its own, bringing joy, a feast for the senses, and happy memories that keep uplifting emotions and treasured people in the forefront of my thoughts.

And it reminds me yet again that love might change form, but it never truly dies.

Happy Spring!

Although it’s quite chilly here in Upstate, New York, it’s been sunny and a lovely, brisk first day of Spring.

 

imageI put out my “spring-themed” flag in the front (I have 8 or so flags, to match the seasons, though I always seem to be adding more…I just put away the green spangled Saint Patrick’s Day flag).

 

 

imageAnd the first harbingers of Spring, since I can remember, have begun to poke their little blue heads from the soil next to the house. Apparently they’re called Scilla siberica (Siberian squill or wood squill). We always called them the “little blue flowers” when I was growing up. They spread a lovely-hued carpet of blooms next to the old homestead, and the autumn before my father died, he (presciently) dug me a rectangular bit of that turf from home and brought it the 1.5 hours or so to my house, so I could have a patch of them growing every Spring. Just another reason I love him and another reason to always think of him whenever I look at the beauty of those flowers.

 

Happy Spring to one and all!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I always enjoy my Irish heritage…but what I enjoy almost as much is the way anyone can be “Irish for a day” on Saint Patrick’s Day!

When considering the mix of all the cultures that make up many second or third generation Americans – and especially when focusing on those that compose my biological inheritance – I’ve always viewed the Irish part of me as one of the more happy-go-lucky, warm and welcoming parts. ❤

This video is a happy memory for me from childhood…not just of Bing but also of my sweet, 3/4 Irish mother singing this song in her lilting and pretty voice in the kitchen (often while making her famous Irish soda bread, the recipe of which she’d learned from her own Ireland-born Grandma Katherine O’Halleran who hailed from County Tipperary).

Perhaps it’s also my penchant for lush imagery in poetry or lyrics, particularly nature-based imagery, that makes me love this and so many Celtic songs.

And now, I’ll leave you with a little Irish Blessing. 🙂

“May your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.”

2015 Book of The Year Finalist!

FINAL COVER MOOSE TRACKS

Feeling the #indielove! Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven has been chosen as a Foreword Reviews’ prestigious #INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards finalist in #General Fiction! In a competition with over 1500 other entrants, it’s pretty great to have made it this far. Stay tuned for the winner announcements at the end of June, at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, in Orlando, FL.

Click HERE to go to the list of General Fiction Finalists, and HERE if you want to go directly to the finalist page for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven.

Woohoo! 🙂

It’s Been A While…

It’s hard to believe that here it is the end of February, and this is my first post of 2016.

There are several reasons for this, which I won’t get into in any detail, but I will share that my life has become more complex and complicated in many ways, due to some family-related issues and a delightful and loveable new little human who has been living with us and made me a (quite youthful!) grandmother.

imageNeedless to say, the slogan on the Yogi tea I’ve been drinking this past hour is one I’m working actively toward achieving each day: “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self”.

Speaking of tea, what do you think of my mug? It’s new (well, as of January) and was a little gift to myself, purchased at a country store but from a source called Healing Touch Pottery. Each mug or pottery item is unique, handmade from quartz clay and containing a gemstone or mineral in the handle, imbued with energy associated with that. Mine is my birthstone, amethyst (yes, I recently had a milestone birthday) 🙂

I love it!  Has anyone else here tried their pottery?  I’d like to collect a few more pieces. It’s pretty and comforting all at once.

Anyway – I’m glad to be back and will try to post again more frequently. I’m writing sporadically, working at the moment on a prequel novella for The Crimson Lady – but thanks to the aforementioned changes in life, I’ve yet to find my rhythm to set up any regular schedule. It will come in time – when it’s supposed to – I’m confident.

Until my next post, wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Author Talk FREE Event!


For those of you who might be near Central Upstate New York this weekend, November 28th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving…

image

My talk and signing will be at Jervis Public Library (613 N Washington St, Rome, NY 13440 Call: (315) 336-4570 for more information) in my old hometown – which was the inspiration for the fictional setting of Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven. I’ll be talking about converting real life into fiction, publishing, writing in general…and pretty much anything else anyone wants to know or have a conversation about.

I’d love to meet you there and chat! 🙂