Winter Break

Winter Break

It seems like it was just Christmas and New Year’s Day, yet somehow, my high school junior has had another break from school. His school takes advantage of their overloaded calendar to add some extra days off here and there. But when faced with this extra time, what do you do?

Previously, it has been a week to hang out at home and sort of ‘do nothing,’ but with college on his horizon soon, we decided to do a college visit. We visited one of the biggest and oldest universities in the state, and learned just about everything you need to know about your potential life on campus. He wasn’t completely sold, but I could see the door in his mind opening to it. He’s had his heart set on a certain school for a while, but now he’s clearly evaluating other options.

Winter break also meant a break from the busy-ness of a school week. It gave me the chance to catch up on some writing business and explore other avenues I haven’t previously put much thought in to. It was a great time to reset and refocus, even though it seems so close to the beginning of the year.

But yesterday, it was back to life as normal. My son was back at school, and I have another week of planned writing ahead of me. In fact, I’ve been so engrossed in my planning today that I nearly forgot about this blog post!

Find Me on Substack

Find Me on Substack

At the end of last year I took part in a “fresh start” seminar for my writing. We talked about making goals, planning, and setting yourself up for writing success in the new year. I’ve been working through some of the principles and have gotten way ahead of where I estimated I would be at this time.

– I’ve been keeping up on this blog weekly.

– I’ve been writing, editing, and posting episodes to my Kindle Vella stories on a regular basis (another coming for The Next Keeper later this week!)

– Keeping a monthly calendar of everything, from the way I spend budget my writing time to making sure chores get done and appointments are kept.

– Making changes to get my writing “out there” even more

– A lot more

Today’s post is about ‘making changes to get my writing ‘out there’ even more.’ I’ve created a Substack, where you can get the scoop on my upcoming novel. Meet and learn about the characters, the world, and all the fun behind-the-scenes you wish you knew about your other favorite books and authors.

The Glass Creek Chronicles can be found at

The Next Keeper

The Next Keeper

Now that my first short story of 2024 is complete, it’s time for another. My goal this year is to bring you one complete short story every month, via Kindle Vella. The first story of 2024, The Normal Day, followed the continuing and strange activity surrounding the Spirit Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. In this month’s story, The Next Keeper, we follow the family responsible for managing the portal found in the Spirit Hotel.

You’ll meet the family of Keepers, including young David who will receive the Power and learn the Way of the Keepers and how to manage the power and the portals found around the Phoenix area. There will be new episodes dropping every week, so you can follow the story throughout the month.

Make sure to follow my Facebook page for updates about when the next episode will drop. Currently, the first two episodes are available on Kindle Vella to read for free right now!

International Dinner

International Dinner

My mother calls it “an adventure in eating.” Last Tuesday was my son’s Boy Scout troop’s International Dinner. The Scouts each prepared a dish from a country around the world, including Italy, Japan, Greece, and others. He and his small group have been studying food, culture, history, and more of Greece. He’ll be preparing a dish called pastitsio, a Greek lasagna.

Sadly, my son was sick the day of the event. We didn’t make the meal and we didn’t attend the event to try the other dishes presented. The next day, I decided to try to make the dish on my own. It’s complicated! From making fresh meat sauce with a number of ingredients and making bechamel sauce (which I’d never made before) to the sheer time it took to put it together, I was tired by mealtime. But I had decided I wasn’t going to waste all the fresh herbs and veggies I’d bought specifically to make this dish.

That’s when it happened. I absently took the dish – which I’d made in one of my favorite 9″ x 13″ glass baking pans – and set it on a burner that had been warming up for a side dish. First I heard what sounded like boiling water and sizzling food. Then a high-pitched squeal like a tea kettle coming to a boil. Then a loud pop as the glass exploded all over the kitchen!

I ricocheted in every direction imaginable. I was walking back into the kitchen so I was nowhere near it when it exploded, but I jumped back with how far the larger shards of glass flew. There was glass on the floor, there was glass on the counters, there was glass in the crock pot and on the dishes next to the stove. It was a mess. My husband even got a nasty cut on the top of one of his fingers trying to pick up some of it. About two hours and a run to the store for liquid bandage and regular bandages, there was no adventure in eating.

Tell me about a time when you first tried a new dish. What was it? Did you make it yourself – if you did, did it turn out better than this? Is it a part of your regular diet now?