You are looking at the new and improved, highly organized Cathy C. Hall.

Um…let me rephrase that. You are looking at the BLOG of the new and improved, highly organized Cathy C. Hall.

Now, I’ll grant you that the blog, more or less, looks the same. I’ll even admit that on the outside, I more or less look the same. But on the inside…ah, I am a changed woman. A changed writer! And all because of this:


And this:



You can be, too. Zip over and read “Accomplish Your 2017 Writing Goals with this Perfect Solution” at the Muffin today.

(And yes, I know saying that I have the perfect solution might sound a wee bit braggy. But I can only work on one character trait at a time. Next year, I’ll tackle humility.)

A Book Rec for the New Year

until-i-breakOne of my favorite things about being a writer is my writer friends. Because I often get the chance to read some very fine writing before it makes its way out there in the world. Such was the case when I read Kara Bietz’ first page in the book which would become UNTIL I BREAK.

Sometimes, the words are so true, the story so strong, you just know. I wasn’t surprised when Kara’s manuscript sold not once but twice! (Is there anything more nerve-wracking than when a publisher goes out of business? Fortunately, Kara had another publisher just waiting to get their hands on her book.)It’s an incredibly powerful debut on bullying (read my Goodreads review here) that should be required reading for high school students everywhere.

I was a little surprised to see my name on her acknowledgement page because honestly, there was nothing I added to these pages. Maybe I’m just a good listener? Anyway, Kara’s moved all the way to Texas now and has other good listeners, I’m sure. And I haven’t had the opportunity to read her current work-in-progress. But I can promise you this: the minute it makes its way out into the world, I will grab it up!

How about you? Have a writer friend that you’d like to recommend? It’s a new year and I’m itching to start that To Be Read pile! (Seriously. You should start with UNTIL I BREAK.)

New Year, Old Values

hand-children-child-child-s-hand-159827So I just read my newspaper from New Year’s–don’t judge, I had a lot of football and family going on–and I opened my Parade magazine to find “Let’s Make 2017 the Year of Being Kind.”

That’s a swell idea but I may have laughed out loud, sitting at my kitchen table, reading. Because suddenly, people being kind to one another has become a trend. And we have all sorts of templates and books and specially made cards to help us remember to be kind.


I can remember sitting in the kitchen of my childhood home, after a particularly hurtful day at school, and hearing my mother say (for probably the millionth time): “Be kind, fair maid, let him who will be clever.”

Now, the quote is actually “Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever” from a poem by Charles Kingsley. But I’m sure Mom thought the word kindness worked better in that quote, or at least, in trying to explain to her children the importance of being kind to people instead of retaliating in some hurtful way.

She preached kindness every day, and my teachers did, too. When I think about it, most of the adults I knew growing up–family and friends–not only preached kindness but lived it. And so we grew up understanding the value of kindness, and we taught that value to our children.

I’m very glad that the old-fashioned trait of kindness was instilled in me and those I love. And for those who may have forgotten, or perhaps didn’t grow up with kindness, I hope that the Parade articles and templates and quotes will inspire all to begin the best new habit ever.

So Happy New Year’s, y’all! And may 2017 flow with kindness (and lovely acceptances)!


Magic Ticket? Yes, Please!

ticket-1539705_1920Here’s my horoscope for today:

You’ll influence others, but more importantly, you’ll comply with self-directions. To follow your own instructions is no small deal; in fact, it’s the magic ticket and the key to getting what you want.

Which wouldn’t be so weird if my post, “The Writer’s End-of-the-Year To Do List” with all kinds of instructions, didn’t just happen to be up on the Muffin.


If the universe went to all that trouble to get my attention, I think it behooves me to tackle that list. And so off I go (and I hope you’ll join me! I mean, it’s not every day that I come up with a magic ticket!)

Happy Christmas from Mr. C, Dolly, and Me

pexels-photo-250175I always think of Perry Como at Christmas.

My dad loved Perry and so I watched Mr. C’s shows–in black and white; yes, I’m that old–and even after I left my parents’ home, I watched the Christmas specials in living color. It just wasn’t Christmas if I missed Perry!

Good, old Perry, gone these fifteen years. I miss him. And this year, I’m missing Dad, and Mom, too. And I miss the Beneficent Mr. Hall, who basically sat on the couch from December 1st on while I ran around like the holiday Little Red Hen, doing everything.

Hard to believe I miss that, but yeah, I even miss Mister Man ditching his holiday duties.

So it’s a little bit of a hard candy Christmas here at the Hall House. But like Dolly sings, I won’t let sorrow get me down. Because you know what I’m not missing? The love of Christ and family and friends far and near. I’ve got lots of love walking with me this Christmas and that’s still about the best gift ever.

And so for those of you having any kind of a hard time this holiday, I’m sending a special song, from Mr. C. himself, singing in one of his very early–yes, it’s in black and white–Christmas specials. You’ll never walk alone, friends.

Happy Christmas!