SHIPS out in hardcover


CompanionSHIP, FriendSHIP, PartnerSHIP, RelationSHIP

Have you ever met a person that you just were in sync with?  You knew immediately that they were someone special for you?  Would you know how lucky you were?  Would you know they were the one?

What do you do when you fall in love with a woman, when you thought you were straight?  Dealing with this unusual relationship brings a lot of “firsts” to Joan’s life.

Joan is a world-renowned artist who has always identified as straight, has three children, and is content with her life when she meets Grace, a respected psychiatrist who also happens to be a lesbian.  Joan is conflicted and has to deal with her feelings, the incredible woman she finds herself in love with, and the relationship that occurs over the next twenty-years.

Available here on my website

Well, I FINALLY got around to making the FIRST book that I ever published, the first I ever WROTE, into a hardcover. It’s an amazing feeling holding that in your hand as it legitimizes your writings even further. Not that publishing hundreds of my stories hasn’t made me feel legitimate, but it’s a different feeling holding it in your hands, a REAL book and all that. I hope many of you will agree as I will be making some more of my books into hardcovers.

25 years ago today

There are times in your life where you know exactly where you were when an anniversary rolls around. JFK getting shot (I wasn’t born yet), men walking on the moon (too young for that), Watergate (I do remember the news reports, I was in grade school), Elvis dying (I remember the news ribbon going across the black/white TV we owned), and many, many more.

25 years ago today, I was in Morro Bay, California looking for a house to buy/rent to move my family up there from Huntington Beach where I owned a townhome with my mother. My boys and the dog were with me as we looked in Morro Bay, Los Osos, and Cayucos. I was listening to the radio and realized something was going on, but it had been a long drive (4 hours), and a long day looking and driving around. We ended up in Atascadero at a no-tell motel for the night, and the boys turned on the television to the news that Princess Diana had been in an accident. At that time they were still stating that she was alive. I called my mother.

My Mom was the kind of admirer of such people, I understood that. She liked class and status, she didn’t go for fame, but she grew up during the depression and I have an appreciation for certain things because of her influence. She watched avidly when Diana Spencer became Princess Diana. She stayed up the night she married to watch it all on the television. She loved the pomp and ceremony and raved over the outfits and the jewels. It was the stuff of old movies for her, and I have an appreciation of those from both my parents. But Diana, she was special, for everyone who ever watched her.

I asked my mother if she had been watching the television that day and she said, “No, why?” and I explained that Princess Diana had been in an accident. It was pretty serious. She was still alive. However, I didn’t know at that time that it wasn’t for long.

That moment, that time is forever frozen for me. We moved up to Los Osos/Morro Bay four months later and started a new chapter in our lives. It amazes me to realize that it is ‘only’ 25 years ago, how young my boys were, how our lives were changing. I miss a ‘simpler’ time and sometimes wish I could go back, with the knowledge I have now, and start again. It wouldn’t be the same, I would have to change some things. And then, of course, they wouldn’t have come out the same. I might not be the same.

Today on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, a person who will forever remind me of my mother and her admiration for such an admirable woman, I mourn the passage of years.

Nearly in an accident

Now, I want to give you the background, the set up to that headline. 

I was going out to my SUV to take care of some errands.  A spider had woven a web between my electronic side view mirror and the door.  I unlocked the door, opened it, and got in.  I didn’t see the web until I sat in the driver’s seat, turned on the vehicle, and waited for the air to blast.  It’s hot here.  As I put on my seat belt, I saw the web and thought, man that’s intricate.  I wonder if it will blow off when I drive down the highway?  As I’m thinking of the strength of a spider’s web, how pretty the strands are in the sunlight, I’m already driving down the street.  I felt something on my neck. 

Now, I’d just gotten out of the bath, having washed my long hair, and had clean clothes on to go out.  At first, I thought the sensation on my neck was my hair, which frequently feels like a spider’s web as it touches my skin in places that you wouldn’t expect eighteen-inch-long hair to be.  I went to brush it off, and realized on the way, my hair was up, and back, and wet, in a ponytail.  There wouldn’t be dry hairs like that brushing my neck … besides, it moved.  It was big too, whatever it was.  My brain went, it’s the spider to that massive web that you just saw.  It put two and two together and I felt the size as I went to brush the ’hair’ off only to realize instantly, it was a spider, a huge one.  I rubbed it slightly as I picked it up, then between my fingers, looked at it for a moment, and flung it across the car.  It was black, the size of my pinkie finger nail, and shudders!  I nearly drove off the road, causing a one-woman accident!

Now, you’re probably going at this point, it’s a spider, get over it.  However, there is more … read on.

I am a spider magnet; they always bite me too.  I’m also one of those people who reacts to spider bites.  There was an incident a few years ago where I got 19 spider bites in one night.  I suspect it was the same spider, caught, under the covers.  See the evidence:

Now, you could say it wasn’t a spider EXCEPT I know spider bites after all this time, this is the time of year they do me in, and I know I’m going to scar each and every time I get one.  I got one two days ago on my ear, it made my ear blow up like a cauliflower, and it wasn’t painless.

THIS spider though, I KNOW was probably still alive after I rolled and flung it!  I studied that web, it had a big something dead in the middle, and covered, probably for lunch later.  Since I’d probably just killed the artist, I decided to get the web off my vehicle.  At the next light, the window came down and I delicately unlatched a few key strands, watching the dead bug hit my mirror.  Once on the highway and then the freeway, it disappeared.  There, problem solved except I found a couple of strands of that terrific web on my fingers, that stuff is sticky!  Again, shudders.  Then, when I got out of my vehicle at the errand, I saw a small brown spider, playing around near the web.  Well, maybe this was the actual architect of that web, but it was less than half the size of the other one.

I tried to forget about it, but the sensation of whatever was crawling on my neck wouldn’t leave me. I shuddered many times thinking about it.  Hours later I returned to my vehicle, the web is long gone, but there was a dot on my rear-view side mirror.  Another spider, one at least as big as the one I’d found crawling on my neck was sitting there … watching and waiting for me I know!  I thought getting back on the freeway and then the highway would make it disappear, but the damn thing was smart.  It crawled in that crack between the mirror (which is electronic) and the cover for the mirror and rode out the ride, probably with the wind through its hairs. 

Tomorrow, when I go out again, it will probably be waiting for me … to take revenge for its family.  If you don’t hear from me, please send your condolences.  You know the spider did it …


I have a book coming out (imagine that!) that is making me very nervous. I didn’t even WANT to write it but talking with friends about the times we are living in, I realized how angry we are, how much we want positive change, and how desperate we’ve become.

Then, I got to thinking, what if someone made the effort to make these changes, not in a positive way, but in a way we’ve all been thinking, even briefly. Then, I thought, no, this won’t be well-received, they’ll think I’m a psycho for having written it, it won’t go over well and I’ll get slammed in the reviews.

Then, I had the thought that if some of what you write doesn’t make you nervous, doesn’t upset the readers now and again, then maybe we shouldn’t be putting all the ‘happily ever after’ out there either. After all, life isn’t about a bed of roses or wearing those rose-colored glasses. Real life can suck and fantasy life, which is what this book really is, a fantasy about correcting the injustices, should be delved into now and again, even if it’s dark.

The thing is, I am NOT a political person. I can’t STAND politics. This book isn’t really about politics, and yet, it so IS!

This story is about a killer, someone who has come to the end of her line and is willing to step over it and take action. All the thoughts of a lot of people who just wished they could make this change and would never do it, just a random wish, and she does it. The idea is scary as hell that someone would actually do this horrible thing, and get away with it, and yet…as one of my Alpha readers stated, it’s cathartic.

I’m not sure I even LIKE the story which is odd since I obviously wrote it. But, it’s one of those things where you couldn’t get it out of your head and had to write it to exorcise it from your psyche. Thanks for being my therapy group and reading it when it comes out in the next month. It’s a timely novella for current events, and perhaps it will heal your soul a little in these troubling times too. Look for it!


What I did last week

Okay, I know some of my followers are SICK of seeing foreign translations of my books. But, I’m so proud that they are out there for others to read and enjoy, I have to give each of them a shout-out in each language they are translated into.

Most of you know I couldn’t possibly do all of this myself and I will admit I’m using a platform that allows several translators to work simultaneously on various books at the same time.

But, last week I took the translations of two books and the short stories and novellas contained therein that were already translated and broke them down into the individual short stories and novellas to publish separately. The platform doesn’t allow me to do it there, so I used my own publishing company to do that.

It’s a time-consuming process as I don’t speak each of the languages and do sporadic checks to make sure of some of the titles, the occasional word here and there, etc. Then there is the formatting, and believe me, something gets lost in translation there! Then, there are the covers. It’s a good thing I have over a decade of publishing under my belt and know how to do all that so well. When I am finished there are at LEAST 18 different platforms that my foreign translated books (English too) are out on in the world. How amazing is that?

So please, bear with me as I blog about EACH and EVERY one in the coming days. Ignore your foreign-sounding ones as you get the emails or posts about them if you aren’t interested in them. I’m sorry for filling mailboxes, but I’ve actually picked up quite a few followers who speak Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, etc. I think that is so cool! How amazing that a writer from WisconSIN can reach someone in these far away countries with her stories?

Have a great day, and if you haven’t already, check out my website for the book of your choice, in the language of your choice! With over 125 books out there, I’m CERTAIN there is SOMETHING for your reading (and listening) pleasure! ENJOY!

Today would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday

My mother was born March 10, 1929. How weird to be able to be back in the 20’s! In that momentous year, the stock market also crashed, starting The Depression which lasted years. My mother grew up during that time. I think her stories of that time and her thriftiness affected me more than I knew.

When I wrote my book: The Journey Home, I felt I had been there, during The Depression. Some of the things happening in Hawaii I based on the stories of my aunt who had been stationed there as a nurse. The main characters though were no one that I knew and completely a fabrication of my mind. Something about that era though speaks to me and I have many books I’d like to write about that time period.

Mom used to talk about growing up in those years. She was a baby born well after her parents had thought they would have any more children. Grandma claimed she wasn’t an oops-baby, but I have my doubts. Her sister was eleven years older and told her later in life that she had never liked her (nice eh?), in fact, she had resented having to take care of her as the big sister, even hated her at times. Her brothers were nine and seven years older. So, by the time my mother got to high school, they went off to World War II. By the time they came home, expecting to see their little sister, she had all grown up. They didn’t like it in the least.

My grandmother was a farm girl, now living in the big city. The Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. Now, when I saw the areas where my mother hung out it was much better than the stories she told. The old houses quite fashionable, upscale, and the wealth of the area obvious. My mother was friends with the mayor’s daughter and my grandmother made all her clothes. She was quite the fashionable young woman, despite the fact that they had no money. Grandpa was a professional painter and supported the family that way.

My mother though, she was something special. I always thought of her as a debutante without the coming out ball. She had taste, sophistication, and class. How she ended up with my naturalist father no one could fathom. She said she found him fascinating. He was very intelligent but no common sense. My mother had common sense in spades and I think she passed that on to me (at least I hope). There really is nothing common about common sense. Her intelligence though was something I always took for granted until I got older.

When I was eighteen and halfway through my private college, Mom decided to move to California after her divorce from my father. She asked if I wanted to go with her and as the last few years had been rocky between us, I felt I didn’t really know her (teen years and family drama), I said yeah, quit college, and packed up. Over the next few years, I really got not only to know her, but she became my best friend. Later, as I started up the first of several businesses, she helped me, she also became my co-parent when my own marriage failed.

I remember being at a trade show with her and she was taking an order. The guy insisted on speaking to the owner and she directed him to me. He looked from her fifty-something-year-old self to my twenty-something-year-old self and thought she was pulling something over on him. At twenty-seven I looked about seventeen. I smiled brightly though and my knowledge of my product and what he needed couldn’t be discounted. He became a customer. I loved that moment, she was so proud of me. She was my best friend and my greatest champion.

During the seventeen years we lived together (we had bought a house together when I was nineteen, she had the down-payment and we both made the payments until later I paid the whole thing) and those later years when I got another house and we lived together part-time, Mom got cancer three times.

The first time was with her thyroid and she ended up on Synthroid. Ironically, my first bout with cancer cost me my thyroid because of the radiation therapy and I am now on Synthroid for the rest of my life.

Her second bout with cancer was colon cancer, the kind that is usually fatal. Fortunately, they found it early and did radical surgery (which I don’t think was as necessary to be that invasive) and she hated the results for the rest of her life. Still, she was still here to tell the tale (something I frequently say).

Unfortunately, Mom’s third bout with cancer was brain cancer. This was why when I flirted with that idea with my own tumor these past months, I was panicking. I even asked the doctor, is it possible that something like that is inherited? It isn’t. Mom decided not to tell anyone that she had cancer and by the time I realized something was wrong, it was far too late.

Fortunately, I had a good relationship with her, she spent plenty of time with my sons, and they have fond memories of her as do I.

About a year or two before she died in 2001 we went to Glamour Shots. Originally it was just going to be me and the boys but at the last minute she impulsively came along and I’m so glad she did. We got these gorgeous pictures together and apart and the only formal ones I have of her later in life. For Xmas that year I sent copies to all my siblings and her brothers. Her sister had died many years before from cancer.

Cancer is a terrible thing, especially when it runs in families. I’m lucky, I’ve survived having it and almost having it again (we’ll be watching that). To this day I miss my mom and here on what would have been her ninety-third birthday wish for her sage advice and gentle humor.

I still feel her now and again and have smelt her perfume when there was no reason to be smelling it in my home. She was never physically here and it’s comforting to ‘feel’ her from time to time, knowing she is checking in on me.

Happy Birthday Mom ~ wherever you may be.


A month ago I got a pretty dire bit of information handed to me. I was told I have a mass in my brain. Pretty ominous sounding, especially to an author who uses said brain a LOT! I have made a lot of decisions since then.

One of the things I decided to do was to poke the 5000 ‘friends’ I have on Facebook. Every. Single. One.

Well, some of these people, about a couple of dozen of them, I’ve been poking for years. In fact a couple of them have over 1000 pokes with me as we have a ‘poke war’ going on. Some nights we just poke back and forth, it’s amusing, annoying, and harmless.

Well, my decision to poke EVERYone has led to some absolutely FASCINATING conversations. I did not realize at the time that some consider poking to be flirtatious. Sorry to anyone who thought I was starting something there.

To me, poking is like coming up to a friend an nudging them with your shoulder (getting in their space) and saying, “Whatssup?” It’s to start a conversation.

I really have enjoyed the conversations that have resulted. Some to diffuse the flirtation part, some to discuss my prognosis, others to just shoot the shit as it were. So many of the people on Facebook who are on my friend’s list, I have NEVER spoken to and that is actually sad. Why are you there then? Are you a fan just following an author? Are you friends because there were 300 other people we had in common? Are you stalking me? I don’t know the reason and I frankly, don’t really care. I do however, intend to poke them all (it’s taking some time).

One thing I did find out is that a lot of people thought poking had gone away. It hasn’t. It’s still there but you have to look for it now. Once you return a poke, suggested people to poke will come up. And, now that I have so many pokes to return, I have found a flaw in Facebook’s poking program. It frequently doesn’t register the pokes and it looks like you are just left out there hanging. I assure you, I’ve been faithfully returning pokes, hoping for conversations, and laughing at how dedicated some of your pokers are.

If I haven’t poked you yet, don’t worry, I’m dedicated to getting through the entire list. If you are annoyed by it, ignore it. If you enter enthusiastically into a poking war, I’m so there for you, if a bit slow, lol.

I’m still here. I’m still a bit weird. I’m still gonna poke you whether you like it or not…


When I was a child, my mother got me the first one or two books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was immediately enraptured and read through them time and again. Every year for Xmas she bought 2-3 of the books. I’d have them read within days which made her shake her head but laugh as I enjoyed them so much. One of the things I loved was that it started in Wisconsin where I was growing up. Funny, I’ve ended up in the “Big Woods” but miles away, half the state away from the town of Pepin where she was growing and later writing about her “Big Woods” so long ago.

I enjoyed them so much and read them so much that the covers became frayed and the bindings as well. I still have my original and complete set. I also pretty much memorized a lot of the content. It also inspired me, in fact, it was one my earliest memories of a book, a series of books, that I wanted to write ‘just like’ her.

I think I’d read the first four or five when the TV show came out in the 1970’s. We watched this wholesome show as a family. I got annoyed that they didn’t follow the books exactly. I never knew that the books were fiction based on her life and not exactly what happened in her life. It wasn’t until I started collecting books about her, things she wrote later, even her daughters books that I realized that was fiction.

One of the things I remembered on the TV series was when the great actress Patricia O’Neil appeared on the show.

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE — “Remember Me: Part 1” Episode 7 — Aired 11/05/1975 — Pictured: (l-r) Patricia Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls, Neal as Julia Sanderson (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Gosh I hated that episode, and, being a young kid, disliked the actress immensely. One thing I ALWAYS remembered was a poem that she had read, they read it at the character’s funeral. That poem has always stuck with me and I intended it to be read or at least posted somewhere at my funeral. As I will NEVER have a funeral (it’s arranged to NOT have one) and I won’t be dying anytime soon (believe me, I don’t intend to anyway) I wanted to share this poem with you.

What I didn’t know then and only recently found out is that Laura Ingalls Wilder actually penned this poem herself. So when they included it in the series, it was her actual writings. Finding that out was so cool as it had stayed with me all these years. I thought it was a great poem to share as well as the story.

Eventually, I did write a story that was inspired by hers, it isn’t exact at all which is all to the better as I don’t plagiarize other authors stories that way. That wouldn’t be right. But, if you want some of the same flavor of the time, please check out my book: The Claim This too is about an independent pioneer woman.

I was looking for pictures for this blog and came across the very set that I still own, that is still readable, if a bit worn on the outside and it still brings back all the feels of those cold winter nights where I would voraciously read the volumes, over and over again.

Sorry, not sorry

I just set up 26 new blogs that will be coming out. If you do NOT speak Spanish, you may just wish to scan through them as they come in and ignore. There is one in Italian (yay). I’ll also be randomly updating on my health (got permission to have the scans and going down to Madison next week to see the best surgeon (or so they tell me) in the country). Stay tuned!