My cat is quite upset. Yesterday, I fulfilled my Facebook obligation to do whatever was asked of me by the esteemed Tuttle’s as long as they picked me up and took me to their house in order to do it. Yeah, I roll that way–if I say I’ll do it on FB, it will be done. A journalist from Buffalo Spree wants to interview them about living off the grid, so they wanted to spiff up their yard. I got to dig. I was gone all day and the cat couldn’t go in and out as she pleased, plus she knows I petted other cats–and two dogs–while I was away.



It’s autumn and the weather has been good and the colors great. I’ve been catching this a lot–the dew point is just right so when the sun hits grass blades and tree leaves, a foggy, magical cloud appears. I find it a bit distressing–the sun accomplishing something tangible so easily and so early in the morning.

Life has been going quite well recently (knock up on wood) in the professional arena. After my interview with Karen Stefano went live, I was added to the Literary Orphan’s Masthead as an interviewer. I’ve been appointed Assistant Editor at r.kv.r.y. Quarterly and on Sunday, my Twitter feed went nuts with news that my story, “Prudence” was a Flash Fiction Sunday Edition pick. I was flattered by DeRicki Johnson ’s kind words.

I spoke at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday and plan to do so again at the next one. I really don’t want to run, but the more ignorance and tone deafness I hear from those so-called ‘leaders,’ the angrier I become and want to step in and give people a choice from the status quo. I hope these feelings pass soon. This energy would be much better spent on my writing.

That, too has been going well. I wrote past the problem I was having in the new book and got 20 pages out to the group. I came across a notebook where I listed stories that I’d roughed out. I opened up one and worked on it last night–it still needs some work, but it’s stronger and funnier than I remembered. So, that is what I’m off to work on though it’s a nice day so I might take a walk out back. Last time, I found this little guy on the creekside trail.



Thanks for stopping by!


(These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

r.kv.r.y. is open for submissions and I have my Saturday shift at the library back. The weather has been perfect for sitting out on the patio so I can listen to the creek while I have coffee with my breakfast and read the paper. The leaves are just beginning to change color. I love the fall.

September Breakfast View

I was lucky enough to interview Karen Stefano about her short story collection, The Secret Games of Words, a book I recommend highly. It will be up at The Tavern Lantern on the 28th.

Otherwise, I’m dealing up with a bunch of ups and downs. My cat had at least ten seizures one night. It was terrifying and there was nothing I could do but try to keep her safe. I really thought I was going to lose her.

So that angst went up against the joy brought to me by my incredible son and fantastic daughter-in-law. They had a healthy baby girl. Her name is a combination of middle names–mine and Connie’s. Isn’t that sweet? So is the baby.


The garden is winding down and I’ve brought most of the houseplants back inside. I received a rejection–an inky, flattering rejection from The Minnesota Review that asked me to send them something else. Sure, it’s great, but frustrating. It’s the second story they’ve liked–but not enough… I love my problems. I really do.

Otherwise, I’m debating on the next book. I started sending “Dreaming Lettie” to the group, but got caught up on an information dump I have yet to work out. The beginning of “Life & Crimes” served as a placeholder for which pages I sent, but now I’m in a real bind.

I started a sequel to “L&C” a few years ago, but it went dark, fast and I didn’t want to write it then. Now, a lot of ideas are popping up to carry it through. The problem is that I don’t want to spend time on it if “L&C” gets no love. I don’t know. I have a few weeks before pages are due again. It’s a nice day. I may spend it out in the screened in tent on the swing far from the maddening strum of the phone that lets me know when email has arrived.




*These are my angst-ridden creekside reflections. Your experiences should vary.

It’s getting to be that time of year again when the furniture gets changed around so we have a wall of firewood inside and can use the wood stove. If an antenna wire is installed, we might have the stereo in the living room this season. This bit of change is stressful since I start thinking I should get rid of things, but I rarely do since I have an attachment issue.

If that were the only issue I had…

My kindle’s battery was empty. That’s never happened before. I just figured out the new way to get stories from Submittable sent to it. All right, I didn’t figure it out, I had to ask for help after reading the FAQs. I’d like to add that the staff at Submittable are incredibly helpful and prompt. Thank you!

The book revision took over my life and I was frustrated since I didn’t feel I was getting anywhere and I wanted it to be done by Labor Day. Husband suggested I go in the library. I didn’t think it would work, but we went on an errand, which led to a trip to the Savage winery. We returned home, I went to work, and boom! That night I was finished…as finished as a 89,675 word novel gets. I’m doing a final read through and cutting a word here and there, but otherwise, I think that’s it.

At the novel critique group on Tuesday, there was a lively discussion on our respective pages and part of the conversation turned to agents. I was so dispirited. Two of the women are on their third agents. I’m weary of starting up the search again for my first.

I think I’ll start the new book instead.


*These are just my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.

This past weekend was marvelous! Rachael flew in, Donkey and Lisa came by and Husband’s twin was here, too. The weather was perfect. There was a half game of gonzo croquet, several hands of cutthroat bridge, rich food and many carbonated beverages. Husband and I have a new favorite beer, Berkshire Brewing Company’s Coffee House Porter. We don’t often agree on beer, but this one rated a 9 from both of us.

8.22.2015(Thanks for the picture, Rachael!)

But of course, a good time often comes at a cost…

Here it is, two weeks later and I’m still revising L&C. I’m starting to hate this book. That isn’t the only thing that remains undone. *Sigh* I love the problems, I have–I really do, but this week seems especially full of them.

Last night was the last District Facilities Review Committee meeting. I’m sad to report that after it goes to the Board of Education, the new gym will most likely be put up for a vote ON DECEMBER 15th! On top of that underhandedness, the interim Superintendent will be gone by January so none of the fallout will hit her on the way out. Yes, I knew all politics is local and it’s all crap, but this is a bump up of at least two hundred dollars a year–with a steady 2% + increase every year for a declining student base–if this passes and with the voting machine Duwe has in place, it feels like a done deal.

I hate her–and her husband rubs me the wrong way, too. Putting it in a bubble and sending it away.

Other than that, I’m so behind on my reading for Literary Orphans it isn’t even funny and in a few days, the submission to portal for r.kv.r.y. opens. I’m not ready. I’ll be visiting Burlington Books in Perry tomorrow before I go to a viewing for my Uncle Erv. I was transcribing an essay I wrote in longhand in my notebook about him when he passed. Strange.

The consultation gig has at least two more rounds of emails to go through and this morning I woke to find edit requests on a story I thought I’d finished, but that’s minor. I’m sure there’s other things I’m forgetting at the moment.

I’m pulling out my “to-do” book, making a list, and getting to work. It will satisfy me to no end to cross off “write and post blog.”

One thing done well. Check.

(These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

Last night, I stretched out on the ground and watched the sky for half an hour or so and saw at least ten falling stars–one with a trail that remained for a second or two, and I was grateful. It was supposed to be the peak of the Swift-Tuttle meteoroids and uncharacteristically, we had a new moon and there were no clouds so I could actually see them. I thought about people who are no longer on the earth and some that still are, the beauty of the stars themselves, and distant planets.

It was nice to think of things that didn’t involve characters.

I’ve been engaged in the rewrite of L&C. Once inside Gail’s “head” I’ve found it hard to get out. I need to get through this revision and on to Lettie’s POV in the new book. I only managed five pages in the new book over the last month, so I sent the first 20 of the revision to the novel critique group this month.

“Prudence,” a story I wrote is long-listed on MASH stories and you can vote on it–and the other 46 stories there.

Literary Orphans got a fantastic shout out as being listed as one of the top 20 places for flash fiction (We’re No. 8! We’re No. 8!) Plus another one in Ploughshares. Scott gave me the go ahead to contact Karen Stefano about doing an interview, so I’m ecstatic about that. Over at r.kv.r.y. I spotted Andrew Stancek’s story long-listed on the Raymond Carver Story Contest and Joan Hanna’s poetry book The Miracle of Mercury is available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. Go Joan! I love and appreciate working with such talented people.

Over the weekend, Husband and I attended a graduation party. He played croquet; I played volleyball. We had a great time at the Tuttle’s. It was great to see Jim and Julie, Mitzi and Paul, and Eric and Denise again. When we first got there, Jim introduced me as an award-winning author. I looked at him and he said, “Try and deny it.” It’s kind of cool that I couldn’t. The Gover Prize win was too fresh.

Husband and I are back on a District School Facilities Review Committee. The first meeting was last night. Oh, how I have not missed a few of those people, but it was great to see Joan and Linda again. There was a cute exchange with the Interim Superintendent where we were impressed with the other–she that I could write and me that she taught math.

This is a close-up of one of the frogs in my frog pond. He’s very loud.



I guess that’s it, like I said, I’ve been in Gail’s head. I’m over the halfway mark, so wish me luck in getting it done this weekend.

Thanks for checking in!

(These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

Since last you read, amazing things have happened in my life:

Awesome Niece Rachael announced she is going to visit us in August.

Nancy Leone stopped by and we had a lovely morning together discussing writing.

I had a strange-but endearing-meeting with a person who will henceforth be referred to as “Trouble” about Matt’s presidential campaign.

The play by Donna Hoke I directed was performed by three amazing women (Shirley Reeves, Marilyn Heary and Jeanne May.)

My interview with Beth Gilstrap about her short story collection, ” I Am Barbarella” was accepted and went live on The Tavern with the support and care to detail that only Scott Waldyn and Mike Joyce can provide.

Kim Chinquee–the Queen of Flash–gave me, Gina, and Mary a tour of her awesome home before our novel critique group meeting.

The zinnias are blooming.   Displaying IMG_20150723_103133.jpg I WON THE GOVER PRIZE!

I know, nothing like burying the lead, is there? Anyways, I’m working on yet another revision of my book on the off chance the prize encourages an agent to contact me. Take care of each other until next time!

(These are my creek side reflections; your experiences may vary.)

I’m still catching up on the laundry from the family reunion in Essex over the fourth. I think it was Angela who summed it up best for all of us who aren’t blood related:


“Champy,” the monster of Lake Champlain, was spotted and photographed.


I tried to visit the library in Essex–which is right beside a creek, like mine is–but it had funky hours.


We also toured Edward Cornell’s Art Farm.

Last night, as I was speeding down old 219 toward home after the “Donut Hole” rehearsal and a B.o.b. campaign meeting, three banging songs came on the radio–all in a row. “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna, “Come With Me Now” by the Kongos, and “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode. Different channels, but still. Anyways, careening around those curves at dusk, volume up, I was in control–but going too fast. It flashed that this is the way my life is going right now and I couldn’t be more delighted.

I’m juggling a lot of things and if I blink, I’ll have added a new chainsaw to the rotation. If you ask if it’s too much, I’ll tell you I’m fine. I am. I know this will peter out or a crash will happen, but until then, I’m “alive” in a way I haven’t been in a while.

I have the 10 minute play by Donna Hoke I’m directing which is going well, but that’s over on Saturday. The campaign didn’t raise enough funds so the Iowa trip has been delayed. I’m preparing the second round of questions for Beth Gilstrap‘s interview for The Tavern about her book, I Am Barbarella. I participated in a writing “joust” and had a ton of fun with that. I’m cranking out new flash pieces since being invited into the “Hot Pants” office in Zoetrope, plus writing a new book in 20 page increments. The garden is weeded and if the rain stops, I’ll get the weedeater going.

Right, so I should be getting on with it. Maintaining swiftness and busyness is a temporary thing, but while it’s going on, I am enamored with that sense of power over my own life. Yes, I know that’s delusional, but it is a nice delusion to have.


(These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)


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