Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Season of Joy

I always wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas. But when that Friday hits, all bets are off!

I've already got my decorations out of storage and ready to be put up. I'm also trying to decide which yummy cookie and candy recipes to try this year. And the music! Oh, how I love Christmas carols. I veer from The Nutcracker Suite to Big Band music to Bing Crosby. Modern carols don't do it for me - with the exception of Mary Did You Know, a song I just adore.

I'm not going to get stressed out over this holiday because it accomplishes nothing. Instead, I tend to relax and take it slow, enjoying every minute.

It's the most wonderful time of the's to a happy holiday season!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thoughts on a Lovely Saturday

I love and adore Saturdays. I don't have to go to the day job, I can sleep in, and best of all, I can write.

Today I'm working on my war dogs article while sitting in my office, listening to Big Band music. I'm contemplating going to get a large slice of chocolate cake later, but then I remember I already had my "Dessert Day" this week (huge blueberry muffins that were SO GOOD) and I reluctantly put the temptation aside.

Yet it has already been a glorious Saturday without the chocolate cake. I've made a nice dent in the article. As we all know, sometimes getting started is the hardest part. I tend to freeze up when I write non-fiction, and I think it's because I have so much information to disseminate into a prescribed word count that I panic.

That's why I prefer to write fiction. Those words are mine and mine alone.

But while I prefer to write fiction, I have an overwhelming desire to write my non-fiction World War II articles. I love to dig into the research on the topics of my choosing. And writing an article that will educate hundreds (thousands?) of readers on a little-known part of WW2 history and get paid for it? That is sheer bliss.

Thus, I've come to terms with my desire to write WW2 articles (and to overcome my frozen state each and every time I start to write one) and my need to write fiction. If you told me tomorrow that I couldn't write any more WW2 articles, I'd be naturally upset; but if you told me tomorrow that I couldn't write fiction anymore, I honestly would fall apart. Fiction is what brings me to life, what makes me think and question and explore. Without writing fiction, I wouldn't be me.

I am truly blessed to be able to do both.

I hope you are pursuing your passion and doing what you love. Life is simply too short not to.

Monday, November 10, 2014

When A Book Title Said It All

I'm neck-deep in research for my next World War II article, and that means I've been having a fantastic time digging into newspapers of the 1940s. It truly was a different time in so many ways, but there was one thing that wasn't different: romance.

Take, for instance, this very sweet story from the Chicago Daily Tribune on October 7, 1942, in the Front Views and Profiles" section written by Marcia Winn.

A girl we know received a letter this week from a soldier she knows pretty well. As a postscript he wrote, "Consult the title of Ludwig Bemelman's latest book." On her way home from work, she stopped in a book store. A priest, two business men and an elderly women were waiting at the counter as she leaned toward the clerk and said, "I don't want to buy anything, but can you tell me the name of Ludwig Bemelman's new book?" The clerk, a nice, friendly man, leaned far over the counter and whispered, " 'I Love You, I Love You, I Love You.' " The girl, her face crimson, turned and ran.
P.S. - The boy is coming home on furlough this week-end.

Not the couple from the story, but representative of wartime romance
I'll take that kind of letter any day.

Friday, November 07, 2014


Is it really November? It feels more like it should be, oh, I don't know, August? I feel like I lost two months of my life when I was going through my health issues, but I'm glad to report I'm on the other side of it and feeling better.

Which means I'm writing and planning and researching again.

What I've been doing: researching an article on the K-9 "Dogs for Defense" of World War II, researching/plotting my sixth novel, and watching The Blacklist.

Ok, so the last one doesn't quite fit with the other two, but I'm in love with this show. It's well-written (sure, a bit far-fetched, but it's TV!), James Spader is amazing, and, the best part of all? The creator and writer of this show is a Nebraskan!

And it counts as research, right? Because when you're writing a thriller, dissecting how thrillers work - even if they are t.v. shows - helps you figure out how to make it work on the page.

On the homefront, I've begun my purging project. We plan to buy a house next spring and I intend to go through every single box in my house and get rid of stuff we no longer need/want. My daughter has taken to this project wholeheartedly and has gone through her room, tossing things she's outgrown. I'm realizing, through, that I'm much more sentimental than she is - she can easily get rid of stuffed animals or drawings or stories she's written without a care. I, on the other hand, have a hard time putting those beloved stuffed animals in the garage sale pile or throwing away any of her creative work.

Still, it's a good feeling, to get rid of excess in your life. Now if I could just get rid of the excess weight that crept up on me the past three months, why, life would be better.

No, this post doesn't have much point to it- just a hodgepodge of thoughts going through my head that needed to be "purged" - and also, I needed to update my blog. How do I get so far behind on it?

I confess, I turn to Twitter much more these days - maybe it's because my brain can only handle 140 characters at a time.

If you're still reading at this point, let me know what you've been up to. =D

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