The January Thaw


When she awakened that morning, she heard water. She laid there in her warm bed, wondering where that sound could be coming from. It had been so cold, frigid really. The sound of water was coming from outside the door.

The old woman got up, slipped her feet into her shoes, and walked to the window of the living room in her small home, putting on her robe as she went. She opened the blinds and saw the sun shining for the first time in weeks. Then she saw the source of the water. The creek in front of her house had thawed and was running rapidly.

“Ah,” she said to her dog, her loyal companion, “It’s the January thaw. Short-lived, but welcome.”

She dressed rapidly, thinking she might go outside. She studied herself in the mirror as she went through her morning routine. At one time in her life, she had been considered beautiful. Her long hair, now gray, had been her crowning glory. Now, she grabbed it and twisted it up into a messy bun. Her face was still smooth, but now it had the lines and wrinkles of wisdom and life. Her life had never been easy, but there had been lots of enjoyable times. As she peered into the mirror, she could see it showed on her face and out of her eyes. She applied her creams and potions.

She was ready for the day. When she stepped outside, she stopped. There was melting ice and snow and running water in the creek. She could hear her doctor’s words ringing in her ears. Don’t take a chance on falling! She turned and went back into her house.

As she sat down at her computer to write, she thought, “Why do I still feel so young when I’m getting so old?” She was bound by the limitations of her body, but there were no limitations of her mind or imagination. It made aging quite difficult.

She began to write.


This is a response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Thaw from Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.



#One-Liner Wednesday


From my upcoming novel:

“I have to talk to Daddy about changing the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement with Miles so I can get out of this terrible marriage,” thought Wendy, as she drove to meet Barb, her long-time lover.







JustJotJanuary Blog Challenge

Linda G. Hill of Life in Progress is offering the JustJotJanuary Blog Challenge this month. I was just the Guest Host for two days and it was great fun. To all the bloggers out there, check it out! You can join at any time and you can find the rules at the above link.

You’ll meet a lot of new, very nice bloggers and stretch your writing skills!


Life With a Warning Label



Have you ever noticed that everything you do and every aspect of your life seems to have some sort of warning attached to it? There seems to be something hazardous about everything we do and someone seems inclined to warn us about it.

Warning! Wear Your Seat Belt Under Penalty of Fines

That’s one of the first ones I can remember that actually made me mad. Of course, I wear my seat belt but never without feeling a little bit rebellious.

There are more good warnings, I think, than bad ones. For example, we all value weather warnings. There is some sort of extreme weather just about anywhere you live. So we need tornado, hurricane, earthquake, cyclone, severe storm, flood, and more weather warnings.

Medication is another good warning. We don’t want to take medicine that might interact with other medicine.

There are workplace warnings. Warnings if you take too much sick leave or are late getting to work. There are performance warnings and other conduct warnings.

There are warning lights and symbols all over the dashboard of your car. I don’t even pretend to know what most of them mean.

There are so many other warnings systems that I can’t begin to name them all.

Which warnings or groups of warnings either aggravate you or are warnings that you think are good things?  Mention them in the comments! #blogging #JusJotJan3/17


Betsy’s Seizure


A few days ago, some of you know that my little dog, Betsy, had a Grand Mal seizure. She is four years old. She had never had a seizure before. She had never been ill before. It was totally out of the blue. It lasted 6.5 minutes, which according to my vet, is not a good thing.

I rushed Betsy to the nearest vet. On the advice of the vet, she had complete blood work. Betsy, you see, is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They have some genetic issues. The vet was worried about her heart. She passed all her blood tests with flying colors. Nothing was wrong.

Right. Nothing was wrong. I saw Betsy have this seizure. SOMETHING was wrong.

To find out what is wrong, or to possibly find out, Betsy will have to see a specialist, but it makes the most sense to try to track down any possible environment causes first. I live in the forest. My previous dog, Eliza, developed pancreatitis from eating parts of a dead bird that was in my large fenced in back yard. She, subsequently, had chronic pancreatitis the rest of her life. The first thing I thought of was that something was in the back yard that Betsy could have eaten. It made me feel like I was reliving a nightmare.

It is simply not possible to keep things out of a forested yard. Critters are in that yard every night. Birds are there. Insects are there. It is winter and nothing is growing, but birds drop berries, some of which could be poisonous. Betsy will eat anything! Taking inventory of all this made me feel helpless.

There was another possibility. Something could have bitten Betsy. There are virtually infinite possibilities. Another previous dog was bitten by something. I never knew what but it was a terrible bite. It could have been a snake, probably non-poisonous. It could have been a opossum. I live in the forest! There are other possibilities. He was sick a long time. But, Betsy had no visible bite marks.

But, insects may not leave visible bite marks, at least not on a heavily-coated dog. Then, it struck me. A spider! We have a number of poisonous spiders here like the brown recluse spider.

Sigh…..the bottom line is that we don’t know and may never know. Alternatively, there may be a veterinary neurologist in Betsy’s future. Keep your fingers crossed for her. She’s the sweetest dog and best companion in the world! #JusJoJan #amwriting #amblogging #writing #cavalierkingcharles

#weekendcoffeeshare – 12/31/2016


Good morning and Happy New Year! Please come in and share a hot beverage with me this last day of 2016! I have a full bar for you today. Coffee – expresso, cappuccino, regular blend, decaf. Tea – everything from black tea like English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Russian, Sencha Green, and a white tea. I also have hot chocolate. I can make lattes for you. I even have some liquor that we can spike our drinks with this morning. After all, it’s New Year’s Eve and a celebration. So, anyone who wants it, feel free! I will leave it up to you. There are some treats for you to eat. Hot cinnamon rolls, hot cross buns, and two kinds of scones. Help yourselves!

When you get everything you want, please join me in my writing studio and we’ll talk.

As you get settled, let me tell you how much I have enjoyed our #weekendcoffeeshare time in 2016. I’ve loved talking with you and reading your contributions! One of my goals for 2017 is to make more comments on all of your contributions. I do read them and enjoy them greatly. I think #weekendcoffeeshare is a great idea that helps us all. Thanks, Diana! Thanks to everyone who has read my writings and ramblings in 2016!

I only started blogging in April of this year. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing! I have learned so much and I have learned much of it from all of my fellow bloggers. Thank you! I’ve found that blogging is a great way to hone your writing skills. But, blogging for the sake of blogging is valuable in itself. We put ourselves out there every time we publish a blog post. We learn a lot about what works with our writing and what doesn’t. We learn what topics we like to write about and what we don’t. We have the opportunity to decide if we like to write fiction or non-fiction. Maybe, most importantly, we have a platform for opinion pieces. We get to say what we want to say about anything. Perhaps, sometimes, we even make an impact. I have developed a deep respect for bloggers who work at their craft and I have a great respect for WordPress for giving us a platform.

Writers need tools and I’ve talked to you about some that I use. I promised I would report back to you about an external keyboard I have tried for my iPad. It’s called the Querkywriter. It’s expensive, but I thought it might be worth it. WRONG. I bought it and I hate it! Somehow, it just doesn’t work with my hands. It might work for some of you, but the way I position my hands and with my typing speed, I tend to hit keys unintentionally. I don’t do this with my iPad or laptop, so I have to think it is the configuration of the keys. I am sending the Querkywriter back. I’m back on the hunt for a better external keyboard. Any ideas appreciated!

Do any of you have any particular New Year’s resolutions? With regard to writing, some of mine are to get better at reading and commenting on everyone’s posts in #weekendcoffeeshare and other challenges in which I participate. Another resolution is to reorganize my blog. I have way too many categories. I have to cut them down and reassign articles to the appropriate category. A huge job, but it will make finding articles easier for my readers. I’m participating in JotItJanuary and that means I’m committed to writing a blog post per day. I blog a lot anyway, but that is a big commitment. I participate in so many challenges that I can hardly keep up. I think that they all improve my writing. I do want to find some that require long form writing. If you know of any, please let me know. As you know, I’m writing a novel which is a psychological thriller. It’s going well but novel-writing is a huge job with a big time commitment. I find myself writing half the night most of the time.

Another New Year’s resolution is to read more. We all know writer’s need to read and I find myself writing so much that I’m neglecting reading. I particularly need to read in the genre in which I’m writing – the psychological thriller. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. What are you reading?

Writers also need new experiences since we know at least some of our writing comes from our experiences. I’m going to travel some in 2017 with this in mind. I hope to have new experiences in my travels and take great pictures I can use.

I also hope to work most of 2017, both selling my writing and as a consultant in my field in which I was trained.

On a personal note, I hope to sell my house in 2017 as we want to move to a warmer climate. I’ve always liked the four seasons we have in Kentucky, but the cold is starting to bother me. So, I hope we will sell my house in 2017 and move although we aren’t quite sure where yet. Somewhere in Florida, I think. Last, but certainly not least, I have a very important and special responsibility to take care of here at home. I am a dog lover. My little dog, Betsy, is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The breed tends to have many genetic health issues which so many purebred dogs do now. Betsy is just barely four years old and my constant companion. Two days ago, completely unexpected, Betsy had a Grand Mal seizure. I rushed her to the vet, but he could not find the source of the problem. I’m worried about Betsy and am very watchful. I’ve never blogged about Betsy and I should do that! She’s quite a little girl who will travel with me.

Happy New Year to you all and thanks to Diana! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Challenges


#SoCS – Dec 31/16


First, it’s the last day of 2016 and I want to say to all of you how much I’ve enjoyed writing these stream of consciousness challenge posts and, most of all, reading your posts, in 2016. There are wonderfully talented writers in this group and I look forward to continuing right on into 2017.

Next, I want to thank you for reading my writings and ramblings since I started this challenge. I also want to thank Linda for being such a fine host! This is a great challenge that let’s my writing just flow out of my fingertips and also allows me to get things off my chest. A real service on both counts. Too many writers, myself included, sometimes suffer from writer’s block, and I think stream of consciousness writing helps clear the cobwebs and sweeps writer’s block away. At least, it has worked that way for me. Writer’s block has other causes. I get so caught up in writing that I don’t read enough. Writer’s need to read and when I am really in a heavy writing period, I neglect reading. That is always a mistake. Right now, I need to read more of the genre in which I’m writing a novel which is the psychological thriller. If any of you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I also need to blog more in that genre when I am blogging fictional stories or flash fiction challenges. That’s one of my goals for 2017.

Last, I just want to end this post by telling everyone Happy New Year! I think 2016 was a hard year for many of us individually and for big groups of us collectively. A writer I greatly admire, and who pulls no punches, thinks 2017 may be harder still on a global level. I hope he’s wrong. At least on a personal level, I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful 2017, filled with many writing, and other, successes. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Challenges #SoCS


It’s been a tough year for many of us. We’ve had to be resilient. That is the theme of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge – resilient. To me, nothing is more resilient than the ocean. Resilient is defined as recovering to its original form easily and quickly. What could be more resilient than the ocean? If we have to be, we can be resilient again, like the ocean, in 2017.

This is Ft. Myers Beach, Florida in the United States at the end of the day.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Lying in London


“Patrick!” Rebecca cried. “What a wonderful thing to do! Look at that beautiful tray of food.”

“It’s the least I could do for us tonight. You had a long day of shopping. I had a long day exploring London.”

Rebecca and Patrick were on their way back to the States after a month in Europe. It was the first time they had been there together. They explored France and then took the train to Switzerland where Patrick had business. They had just finished a day in London. They were staying a wonderful old hotel in Trafalgar Square.

Patrick was ready to have a break from Rebecca, but she didn’t know that. She thought he would miss her as she would him. She also didn’t know he was visiting another woman today in London while she was out shopping.

They drank the wine and ate the lovely Stilton cheese from the tray, saving some of each for later. Then they took a late night walk in the Square. London was beautiful by night. It was a night Rebecca would never forget.

She cried when they parted the next day. By the time Patrick boarded his plane, he had already forgotten her.

200 words

#amwriting #amblogging #writing #FFftPP