December ALREADY?

The view from my desk

Part of me is annoyed but honestly, most of me is happy to see the December rush and the crazy drivers and long lines at stores and excited kids waiting outside my house for the bus. And holiday decorations like the tree in my office! I’d forgotten all about this little tree that Mister Man bought for his office–now my office–but when I came across it in the Great Basement Cleanout of 2022, I was ridiculously happy. It’s the little things that make a merry Christmas.

On the other hand, if you’ve been following me over at the Muffin, you know I’ve run into a bit of a snafu concerning my cozy mystery. Specifically, I’m having book cover problems. First, there was the choosing of the book cover designer. (See “No Regrets” at the Muffin.)

And then there was a bit of a sticky wicket involving writing my back cover blurb, though I didn’t mention it in detail, I needed that back cover copy before moving forward with the designer. (See “Writing That Wails or Whimpers” also at the Muffin.)

Finally, there was a back and forth with the designer and how I hated that confrontation. (See “Hating Confrontation” at where else? The Muffin.)

I’ve got another post coming up next week and there’s an update re: the book cover so skedaddle over there if you want details. Will there be a happy ending?

Well, t’is the season, y’all, right? Meanwhile, I hope all y’all are having a wonderful December. I’m so grateful that you stop by to read this blog, despite the waiting. And I wish you the best in whatever holiday you celebrate and I might as well send along joy and blessings for 2023 because we all know it could be a while before I drop back in!

♥Cathy and Libs

P.S. I have to mention “Scary Scams” and “What’s in a Domain Name?” at the Muffin because really, it’s important stuff. And I’d say that even if I hadn’t written it. See you next year, friends!

Ah, Spring! Ah, Poetry! Ah-choo!

Despite the soaring pollen counts and the jungle that used to be my yard, I love spring.

I love walking outside and seeing a bunch of tiny daffodils peeking through pine straw. I love chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, little kidders in their church finery, with Easter baskets and bonnets. I love the explosion of azaleas blooming at The Masters and the excitement of the highs and lows on that Sunday as golfers make a run for the green jacket. I love digging out my sandals from the back of the closet, and sitting on my deck, reading (and sneezing) in the sunshine. There’s something poetic in the air when spring arrives.

I know booksellers and teachers and poets and the like got together and chose April for National Poetry Month ostensibly because it was available and people could celebrate with a high degree of participation. But that sounds awfully stuffy and dry, doesn’t it? I’d rather think it’s because April is right there in the midst of spring when the earth is coming alive again, just like words come alive in a good poem. Rebirth, renewal, rejoicing!

I hope your April has been glorious and that you enjoyed a poem or two. If you haven’t got round to the poetry, here’s a list of 10 Classic Spring Poems Everyone Should Read and I liked Dr. Oliver Tearle’s choices. I have to admit that it’s The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot that always comes to mind in spring but only because of that well-known first line…”April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land…” Maybe in an English Lit college class long ago, a professor made me read it, possibly explained it, but it’s just that line that’s stuck with me.

I don’t believe April is the cruellest month; maybe one day I’ll write a poem titled “April Sings of Hope” but until then, I’ll keep writing at the Muffin. This month’s offerings, “New Tricks” about learning my lesson when working on novel edits, and “I Get By with a Little Help from the Pros” where the advice therein is great whether you’re a writer or new car owner.

Which reminds me…I need to figure out where the button is that will spray my windshield. It’s a pollen-y mess!

Cathy and Libs ♥ (who is on the prowl for snakes because yeah, April is Snake Month, too)

Plans to Give You Hope and a Future

Did you ever have one of those days, two years after a pandemic, when the sun is shining and everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done because at last–AT LAST!–you can go where you want and do what you want?

Except right there in the middle of your joy, there’s a feeling of not-rightness. And you remember Ukraine and want to cry for the heartbreak in their lives.

It’s a hard time and it takes me back to those days and weeks after Mister Man died and I’d wake up with the sun shining and for a blissful moment or two in my forgetfulness, I’d wonder what the glorious day would have in store for me. But in the next moment, reality would say hello again and grief would almost take my breath away.

Yeah, those were tough times, and I feel like a whole nation on the other side of the world might be experiencing those same feelings of loss and confusion.

And so here at home, we pray, we send help in whatever ways we can, and we grab ahold of the hope that a peaceful resolution can be found soon.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

And I know that even in my dark days, I needed routine. So I’m out and about again, singing with my choir, going to lunch with friends, and writing.

My plans–the ones I’m pinning my hopes to– are to finish up edits on my novel but first, I had to work out a bit of a sticky wicket with whether to have an epilogue or a last chapter. I discussed all that over at The Muffin in The Epilogue Question. (Spoiler Alert: I went with the Epilogue. )

And then, after watching Juniorette Hall perform in The Addams Family, a Musical, an idea just came to me, so I wrote The Just Trap.

All will be well, y’all. I just know it.

♥Cathy and Libs (who didn’t get her teeth cleaned after all, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)