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!

Shades of the USSR Night Train


Waiting for a night train in Upstate NY

I live in a pretty suburban area (well, it’s a small city, surrounded by rural areas). We drive everywhere in cars, and the nearest (tiny) train station is about 20 minutes away.

Hence, it’s been a couple years since I’ve been on a train…and much longer since I took one at night. In fact the last time I rode a train at night was when I was 21 and an American student, living and studying in the former USSR.

Just this past weekend, I found it necessary to take a train at night again (long story involving some other travel and a death in the family, necessitating my attendance at the wake in another city). It was only an hour long train ride, from point A to point B, but waiting in the old station  – pretty much every train station in Upstate New York is “old” – and then standing at trackside, for the train to come in, brought to mind that other time and place from two and a half decades earlier.

I got used to riding the night train during the months I lived in the Soviet Union. It was the most common form of travel in and around the cities (primarily Leningrad and Moscow for me), and my “free” time after classes, which I used to explore palaces, museums, and the countryside around, usually brought me back into the home station during darker hours.

But I always felt and was “safe” because there was virtually no crime on public transportation or on the streets at that time (the citizens were too fearful to step out of line, and there were soldiers with big guns wandering all over the place)…but the atmosphere was oppressive to say the least.

My latest night train experience, I’m happy to say, was a little different (and the seats were more comfortable too). 🙂