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 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!

Foreword Reviews “Reviewer’s Choice” Award!

FINAL COVER MOOSE TRACKSJust in time for Christmas…

I’m delighted to share that Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven has received a “Reviewer’s Choice” Award from Foreword Reviews, the preeminent Indie Book Review Quarterly.

Considering that the quarterly publishes more than 600 book reviews annually, this nod for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven – one of only 15 chosen for the year – is a real honor, and I am thrilled.

Just click on FOREWORD REVIEWS right here and it will take you to the blog posting and the list of books named. Mine is the sixth one down, with the original review by Maya Fleischmann, along with some lovely commentary just before it, explaining why she chose my book as her favorite of 2015. 🙂

 

 

Halloween Memories

Halloween in the 1984

This was done my first year at college, when I came home on break…

Reminiscing Halloweens past, and the decorating we used to do at the Homestead with all homemade materials.  All the pictures in this post are from the 80’s (as the clothing and hairstyles will attest, LOL)!

Ma with pumpkinCutting jack-o-lanterns with Pa and Ma. Ma is having a bit of fun with her pumpkin. 🙂

Pa and Mary with pumpkin

Admiring the finished products with Pa

pumpkin and mary

And finally, sitting atop the little shelter Pa built for us to stand in while we waited for the school bus at the end of our long driveway…sharing the space with a giant pumpkin Pa grew, and a little orange cat he and Ma took in.

Happy Halloween!