Covering It

Dear Kids and All Readers,

Today, I approved the sketch for the cover of my next book, Walnut Street: Phantom Rider, Book 3 in The Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series.

Next step: The designer will color it in and present it to me for the thumbs up or thumbs down.

Just from the sketch, I can tell it’s a winner. It has the drama and dynamism I was after. More important, I believe you will be intrigued by it enough to want to open and read the book.

So, get a clue, Readers. People do judge a book by its cover. May you like it enough to explore inside when the cover is revealed on September 9. Stay tuned!

 

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A Blessed Addition

Hello, Kids and all Readers,

I have just returned from Virginia where I helped welcome and care for my second grandchild–a baby boy, this time. Whoohoo!

My daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, granddog, and I welcomed Baby Flynn on May 29.

He’s a happy, healthy little guy who already has us wrapped around his tiny fingers and in love with him, especially his big sister. She had requested a brother. Sometimes, wishes do come true.

One photo I’ve enclosed shows my dog Jimmy Lambchop admiring a sidewalk message chalked by my neighbors in San Diego the day after Flynn’s birth. Thank you, neighbors!

So, get a clue, Readers. It doesn’t take an addition to the family to make us pause and give thanks for our blessings, but it surely helps. Joy to all!

 

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Keeper Habit #5

We’ve arrived at the fifth and final installment of my Post-Pandemic Keeper Habits. Last time, I discussed “Remain Good Friends with my House.”

Here is Number Five:

5. Embrace the Writerly Solitude. I have gotten comfortable with the stereotypically solitary writer, holed up at my desk, with my dog and my house cheering me on. Ever hear of FOMO—“Fear of Missing Out”? I had a bad case of that pre pandemic as I stayed home to write while simultaneously wondering what fun I was missing by doing so. Not anymore! The stay-at-home orders were a blessing. I could hunker down guilt free because everyone else was doing likewise! That may sound self-centered, but it came at just the right time to teach me a valuable lesson: Be happy where I am, with who I am, doing what I want to do. Embracing this lesson also gave me more time to write, learn new technology (like Zoom), and save gasoline and the environment. What writer doesn’t need or want all of that?

As the pandemic ends, I know I will continue to fine-tune my new habits. But for the most part, I believe they’re here to stay. The process has been an evolving lesson for me in finding the good in the bad; and, turning sour to sweet. Lemonade, anyone?

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Keeper Habit #4

I present to you the fourth installment of my Post-Pandemic Keeper Habits. Last time, I discussed #3, “Revamp the Exercise Routine.”

Here comes Number Four:

4. Remain Good Friends with my House. I’ve loved living in my nearly one-hundred-year-old house for three decades. But did I really know it down to its nooks, crannies, and floor boards? No.

The stay-at-home orders were such a gift for me! The house wrapped its vintage arms around me and hugged me tightly, gifting me with comfort, security, and calmness. We have become great friends.

I have found that I am cleaning more often, not just because my cleaning person disappeared due to the shutdown, nor merely to ward off the virus. It’s to love my house back, making it shine, and filling it with flowers, smiles, and gratitude. It’s almost as if my house, now a Home, has become a member of the family, along with my dog. Now, we are three.

So, get a clue, Kids and All Readers. Please share the good, new habits you’ve embraced from the pandemic. You can tell me about them HERE. And watch for my fifth and final Keeper Habit on June 3. Thanks!

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Keeper Habit #3

Here is the third installment of my Post-Pandemic Keeper Habits. Last time, I discussed “Practice Ethical Actions and Random Acts of Kindness.”

Here comes Number Three:

3. Revamp the Exercise Routine. I used to go to the Y twice weekly for yoga, strength training, and cardio. Then, it shuttered. Undaunted, though it took me a while to figure out, I joined a group of neighborhood women in the nearby park for outdoor, socially distancing workouts. I also upped my walking route, adding miles and hills for a thorough workout. And to experience the lovely fresh air, trees, birdsong, flowers, and sunshine while doing so!

I doubt that I’ll return to the Y. Exercise takes on new meaning and with a blue sky, not a plaster ceiling, overhead.

So, get a clue, Readers and Kids. How has your life changed for the better due to the pandemic? Please share with me HERE. I’d love to hear from you!

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Keeper Habit #2

Dear Readers,

Here is the second installment of my Post-Pandemic Keeper Habits. Last time, I discussed “Making Do.”

Here is Number Two:

2. Practice Ethical Actions and Random Acts of Kindness. I’m a bleeding heart. For me, it’s incurable, but that’s fine. I had just released my first book right before the Lock Down occurred last year. No book signings, no school visits, no traveling to conferences. Instead of feeling sorry for myself that my debut book was missing vital exposure, I devised a plan. Kids were out of school and needed books! I put a huge poster in my front room window and wrote a message in colored chalk (a product that enjoyed renewed popularity) in my driveway: FREE books for kids and teachers! I gave away hundreds and had the joy of safely meeting and talking with neighborhood children, their families, and teachers as they picked up their bagged books and book swag from my front porch. It was synergistic: I gave to them. In turn, they gave my dog and me valuable human interaction and my book a chance. I still get young visitors knocking on my door, asking when the next book will come out. Ah, music to any writer’s ears. And those sweet, innocent faces make my day.

So, get a clue, Readers. Do you have a list, mental or written, of some habits you developed during the pandemic that you plan to keep? I’d love to hear about them. You can click HERE to share with me.

 

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