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.

Another year older

I wasn’t supposed to see my 35th birthday.  I’ve been reflecting on that a lot lately.  As many of you know I’m a cancer survivor.  In 2001 at the relatively young age of 34, I was given 4-5 months to live.  That was 6-7 months BEFORE my birthday.  I’ve written about that here in my blog several times (if you want to read it, use the little box on the left and type in cancer).  It’s weird though, I went out that year on my birthday with my sis-in-law and a good friend from college to celebrate and reflect.  I’m not in contact with either of them anymore and have moved on, weird how that goes. 

This year, after twenty years, I celebrate that I’m still here.  None of my books would have been written or published if I hadn’t made it.  Heck, I didn’t write my first one for another year after all that!  I didn’t meet my first g/f until halfway through the two weeks it took me in January 2003 to write SHIPS.  It’s amazing when I reflect back on all the gifts I have gotten since that time.  120 Novels, Novellas, and Shorts written and published, in various versions including e-books, print, and now almost all of them in audio.  I started a publishing company ten years ago and have published over 200 books for my various authors.  I started the awards companies to celebrate lesbian fiction and gay fiction.  I have a reason to be proud of myself.

There have been many challenges in the last 20 years including neck surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, chemo-brain, a broken leg, a permanently sprained back, shoulder surgery, covid-19, fog brain, and a few other things I’m certain I have forgotten.

I am so happy that I met so many wonderful people on social media.  Some, who I have never met in person, have become some of my best friends.  Someday we will meet, even if you are across a vast ocean.

Thank you for following along on this blog, reading my books, and sharing in my adventures.  I am hoping, in the next year, to have a lot more of books and adventures!  Follow along!

My best friend

Twenty years ago today I lost my best friend to brain cancer. She was kind, supportive, loving and a second parent to my sons who I was raising alone. She’d survived marriage to a man who didn’t know how to love another person besides himself and was mentally abusive. She’d survived thyroid and colon cancer. She was one of the classiest women I had ever known and if I become half the woman she was, I’ll be proud of myself. I miss my mother still on this 20th anniversary of her death. I miss the daily phone calls to just catch up on each other’s day. I miss how proud she was of my achievements. The pain never quite goes away when you lose a beloved parent. I will always love my mother and miss her.

Germanic ~ 3rd edition, new cover

Germanic was the third or fourth book I wrote and it’s taken a long time for me to get this third edition out because I procrastinated a long time.  One of the many reasons for the procrastination was due to the fact that a section of it was personal, very personal.  As many of my fans/followers know I had lymphoma.  I used my actual lymphoma treatment in this book and simply didn’t want to deal with reading about it again.  I’m fine now, but at the time, it was very traumatic and re-reading it wasn’t high on my list of things I wanted to do.  Well, it’s been done, and redone, and even the German in it has been tweaked, so enjoy this new edition that we’ve worked hard on.

I also decided to go back to the original cover I had for this book, sort of, with a twist.  I am proud of the fact that I’m of German descent and this cover reflects that as well as the nature of this book where it takes place.


How do you cope with a life you are bored with?  You make a new one, right?  Be careful what you wish for because you might get a whole lot more than you bargained for….

When you’re bored with your current life, take a trip; that always changes things, right?  What Analisa Meunier didn’t realize is that every decision you make in your life can change everything.  A new life, a new country, a new family, a new threat to all of that…will she survive?  Will they?

Baroness Lydia Von Horn has never met an American like Analisa Meunier.  Hiding her own identity leads to problems in their initial relationship, but making a family, a life, and surviving with both intact is the real challenge.

From Oconomowoc, Wisconsin to Hammerbruke, Germany; from Cambria, California, to Munich, Germany, their lives and trials and tribulations take them around the world.

Get your copy here!

Break a leg! Happy Birthday~


Break a leg, this usually means good luck, at least when you say it to an actor/actress before they go on stage.  No one knows where the phrase comes from, and I did look for it before writing this blog.

I was unfortunate to actually break my leg, on all days…my son’s eighteenth birthday!  Strangely, I was on a ski hill at the time.  It was sunny, warm, and beautiful.  You could see for miles.  And, I was walking!  I slipped on the hill, went down, heard a sickening crunch, and slid down on my back into this little gully.  It took them a very long time to find me.  I saw skiers going by on the hill, fast, and they didn’t hear my shouts.  By the time someone came along, I was all cried out.  Not just the pain, but feeling sorry for myself.  I had a lot to think about as I lay there.  I did try to get back up the hill.  My cell phone was in the little hut on the ski-hill, as was my walkie-talkie, and a phone to reach help.  You see, I was working there part-time and I thought it would be fun.  It was.  The bonus was that you could ski for free.  That weekend I was to receive my first lesson…that never happened.

One of the things in my job was to watch for skiers, accidents, all sorts of things that can go wrong when you have those lifts.  People do really stupid things on snow and ice, much less skis.  One of them wiped out my snow fences and I was going down to fix them when I slipped and fell.  I accidentally pressed the emergency button instead of merely the stop button when he did that.  So, I had extra time to fix them, after I apologized to everyone on the line because an emergency stop required extra steps.  Well, they aren’t to restart the lift until everyone responds…I couldn’t respond, I was already down in the gully with my broken leg.  I knew it was broken too, I’d heard, and felt, the crunch.  It was really gross.  There was no doubt in my mind that I had broken it, even though I’d never broken anything before (that I knew) in my life.  It leads to a lot of introspection as you lay there, wondering if, or when, someone is going to find you.

They weren’t to start the ski-lift until everyone checked in, each booth, but after buzzing my booth several times, I could hear it, they must have given up on me and started it back up.  That was good for me as people getting off the lift at my station might actually see me.  Those going on up the hill above me wouldn’t be able to see me, that was the black diamond area.  Those who don’t know what that is, it’s the more difficult part of the hill and only for experienced skiers.  Below me was the bunny slope, perfect for beginners and children.  Lucky for me a woman got off and asked if she could help.  I immediately said yes and told her what had happened.  Just then I could hear someone above us and I called to them.  They looked over the edge and I told them to tell someone at the top of the lift when they got up there that the operator had fallen and broken her leg, to send someone.  The woman who had first stopped stayed with me.  I’d started to shake, not only from the cold, but from shock as it began to set in.  I’d been there a while.

I saw the supervisor show up on a snowmobile, he asked me if I was okay.  I replied through gritted teeth.  I did try to keep my sense of humor and not be sarcastic.  I was in a lot of pain.  Ski-patrol arrived next and assessed me, put me in a basket to get me down the hill since I obviously couldn’t ride on the back of a snowmobile, and strapped me in.  I felt every single bump on the way down that mountain.  Then, when I arrived at the ski-patrol lodge, they nearly dropped me as they lifted me to put me on a gurney.  I don’t look my weight (thank god) and I’m solidly built.  They were surprised and I nearly panicked as they jostled me.  The pain was something else.  One idiot tried to do something with my leg, at the ankle where I had broken it.  I threatened to slug him as he was causing me unnecessary pain.  He looked alarmed at my very credible threat and they exchanged glances.  They left my ankle alone after that.  To this day I’m certain they were digging in their finger/thumb to see if I was faking it.  Then, they left me lay for a long time on the gurney as we waited for an ambulance.  I got to choose which hospital to go to.  Since I lived not far from a brand-new facility, I chose that one.

As I lay there something about the date was niggling at my consciousness.  I stared at the clock, watching the time tick by.  By then I was becoming confused, a bit weird in the head from the pain, and tired…but certainly not enough to sleep.  It was then that I realized that eighteen years previously, at about that time, I had gone into labor with my son Christopher (Chip).  It was weird to realize that as I recalled the details.  I couldn’t share it with anyone but I tried, they looked at me as though I’d flipped out.  Ah well.

The ride to the hospital was painful too.  It seemed to take forever as they drove along the highways.

At the hospital they gave me something for the pain, only after they gave me narcotics did they test me for drugs, um, duh!  That is not how you do it when it’s a work-related injury!  That is also how I found out I have a reaction to narcotics.  Apparently, I can projectile vomit when I take them.  Not everyone has this delightful ability and I don’t recommend it in the least.

The guy who took my x-rays looked younger than Doogie Howser (remember that show)?  I kid you not, I asked him how old he was, I don’t remember now, but I do remember him laughing because apparently, he got that a lot.  He confirmed the break.  I do remember swearing when he did so.  Apparently, I had a spiral fracture.  That means where it broke it went up my leg and came back down.  Ouch!  They prescribed Oxy something for me…another narcotic that would make me ill (but, I didn’t know that then).

That was when they ‘allowed’ me to call my girlfriend.  Now my girlfriend at the time was down at the ranch riding horses with her girls.  The reception down there was notoriously horrible for cell phones, dropped calls, and basically crappy.  Fortunately for me, I had her number memorized, because, who remembers phone numbers when you have an auto dialer in your phone?  Her youngest daughter answered the phone.  This is sort of the conversation:

J: “Hello?”

Me: “J, this is not a joke, get your mom.  I’ve broken my leg and I’m in the emergency room.”  Now, we’d had this standing joke about me working at the ski-hill and breaking my leg so that’s why I prefaced it with, this is not a joke!

J goes running down the hill at the ranch screaming, “MOM!” and I hear the phone click, disconnected.

Shaking my head, I knew what had happened and considered calling my sister-in-law but she’s not good in certain situations and I really didn’t even want her to know.  Fortunately for me, my girlfriend at the time, we’ll call her K, knew I wouldn’t joke about something like the emergency room.  She also tried to call back and got the hospital, they wouldn’t put her call through since she wasn’t family.  She decided to take her girls home and come to the hospital.

By the time she showed up, I was so loopy it was hilarious.  I tend to get funnier at those points.  She was not amused.  Helping me get up into her Expedition was a lark as I always had to climb up into the big SUV.  It wasn’t easy that time, especially with a wrapped leg.  They couldn’t put a cast on it since it was swelling.  The drugs they gave me were making me nauseous.  She drove me, not home like I expected, but to her house.  I had to crawl inside, using the crutches up her stairs didn’t work.  Damn, that hurt.  I managed to get up again and to her easy chair, my leg up in the air.  I almost immediately asked for a vomit bag, I must have vomited a gallon.  K is a sympathetic vomiter and grossing out, she left the room.

I called my son, someone had gone up and gotten my things from the ski-shack and gave me them which was a good thing since I needed my cell-phone.  I asked him to go pick up my jacket and return the one I’d worn on the hill.  They supplied those things.  His girlfriend at the time was not happy. She thought I deliberately ruined their dinner together on his birthday.  Happy birthday Chip, it’s a broken leg for your mom.  I mean really, who would do that?  The good thing for him was that he got to drive my SUV for those weeks I wasn’t using it.

I was hopping into my girlfriend’s kitchen one day on my crutches, slipped on water, and bumped my leg.  They had to do surgery on that.  One plate, seven screws, and they told me in eight weeks I’d get the cast off.  They lied.  It took eighteen.  Even then it took me about eight months before I could walk fairly normal.  I still can’t run without looking like I’m spastic or something, but, that could just be my age, or me.  Two years later, I couldn’t move my toes so they removed the hardware from my leg.  It’s a lot better without it.  They said the titanium wouldn’t set off the alarms at the airport, but I never got to test that theory out…and I wanted to.

I got all sorts of casts, red ones, orange ones, but my favorite, which I still have glows in the dark.  Pictured above.  How cool is that?  I thought maybe to make it into a lamp like the one they had in that movie.

CaptureMy current girlfriend finds the idea repulsive, so maybe, not.  She thinks I should throw it out.

So, break a leg means a whole lot of different to me…definitely NOT good luck!

So, on this, my oldest son’s thirtieth birthday (damn, how’d he get to be that old!?!?), I’m remembering one of his more memorable birthdays…Happy birthday Chip, love Mom.i-found-an-old-baby-photo-30th-birthday-meme

Btw, I’m 30 too (with a few years of experience, after all, wasn’t I about 7 when you were born)?  This should be interesting, being the same age as my firstborn!

Finding Holiday Joy in Hell

The year was 2001.  It was my year from hell.  In January I watched as my mother died, right after New Year’s.  I lived in California at the time.  When I flew back from her funeral, we got the days wrong because I was a little out of it, in a fog actually-mentally, and missed our flight by an entire day.  They weren’t sure they could find us seats and I asked which one of my sons they wanted to keep.  We finally got home!

When I got back, both my oldest son Chip and I had terrible coughs.  They’d been horrible at the funeral service, all through our short stay in Wisconsin, and flying, we just thought we had bad colds.  I didn’t have insurance, so we couldn’t just go to the doctor’s office.  Finally, it was so bad, I insisted we go to the walk-in clinic…I’d pay out of pocket if I had to.  Chip had bronchitis and I had pneumonia.  No surprise there.  In fact, I’d walked in telling them I had pneumonia.  But, they wouldn’t just give us the meds unless I promised to come back.  After sitting there for four hours, I’d have agreed to anything.  It did make me think though, if it had been worse, it could have destroyed a lot more than my pocketbook.  So, I got insurance.  The only thing they wouldn’t cover was pneumonia, because, apparently, that can come back.

I decided to sell my house in Huntington Beach that I had bought with my mother at nineteen.  It had been a wise investment and while Mom was alive, she wouldn’t let me fix it up at all.  It really needed an overhaul.  Two little boys, various pets, and adults…it was well lived in.  I found a wonderful realtor who helped me hire a handyman.  He did a beautiful job.  I wanted to move back in it was so nice.

I also had a divorce to finish.  I’d started it six years before, but for many reasons, hadn’t concluded it.  Mostly it was because he asked for alimony, half my house, and half my businesses.  I was pissed.  By the time I got done with him, he got nothing.

Meanwhile, I was having trouble breathing.  It wasn’t from the pneumonia, that was well past, but now that I had insurance, I called the insurance salesman and asked if I could go for a wellness check.  After all, I hadn’t been in eleven years since my son Andrew was born.  I needed to go.  Going to the doctor’s appointment, I had my truck tuned up from a long and intense trip we had taken for business, the truck ran out of gas on my way!  They couldn’t get me in for several weeks.  I told them, I didn’t have several weeks, I was sick, and now.  They asked me to see a nurse practitioner.  I didn’t mind, she’d taken care of my mother too.

The diagnosis was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, type B, and it was pretty advanced.  If I did nothing, it was going to choke me to death in four or five months.  The boys were ten and twelve, I couldn’t do that.  I tell you, if I was alone, the depression I was dealing with would have killed me too.  However, normal chemotherapy takes twelve or more months.  The doctor said not only did I not have the time for that to work, but he had an experimental treatment out of Stanford that he’d like to enter me in a clinical trial for.  I figured I had nothing to lose but my life.  I asked that he just make sure I didn’t get a placebo.  He assured me it was the trial and I would get the meds.  I made out my will with my lawyer, finished my divorce, and sold my house…in that order.

The clinical trial started right away, thank goodness, right?  Within two weeks I was bald.  Those who know me, know my hair is to my waist most of the time, so you can imagine how this affected me as it came out in gobs and I finally shaved off the rest.  Bald is beautiful right?  No.  Not on all heads, as I do not have a beautiful head, it looked horrible and was very cold.  They offered me wigs, but it made me shudder at the thought.  Instead, I covered up with scarves and a hat.

Meanwhile, I had to take care of the boys.  The lawyer explained that if I died, that while my estate which at the time was worth more than a million dollars between the life insurance, the house selling, and my businesses, would go to my boys…the boys, who I wanted to go to my brothers, would be ‘given’ temporarily to their nearest relative…their father.  If their father knew that the boys were worth over a million dollars, they would never have been seen again, he is that type of man.  So, I decided I wanted to go back to Wisconsin where I grew up, so they would be safe from their other nearest living relatives and my brothers would protect them.

I traveled, against my doctor’s wishes, so I could find a house.  One that the realtor showed me, I kid you not, had a creek running through the basement.  The thought of molds, moisture, and other things being let in through this did not appeal.  I didn’t find a place.  Fortunately, my sister-in-law found me a place to rent up by her and we did eventually move there…but only after I had completed chemotherapy.

You see, the treatment, called the Stanford Five Protocol, then in its experimental stage, was essentially twelve months of chemo in twelve weeks.  Let me tell you, I’ve never been so sick in my entire life.  You are supposed to lose weight then, I bloated.  It was horrible.  When it was over, I vastly relieved.  Originally, I was only to have nine weeks, but the doctor changed his mind and wanted the full twelve weeks, that was when I got depressed from the treatment.  He wanted to continue with radiation right away, but I was so weak, I wanted time to heal…and move.

My divorce had come through in June.  I had to get a doctor’s note that I couldn’t go to the court hearing because I was so ill from the chemo.  The judge granted everything I wanted.  I don’t know if he felt sorry for the dying woman, but I was grateful.  A week after getting my court papers, my house papers came through and they tried to give half of the money to my ex-husband.  I was furious.  Thank goodness I had the papers from the judge, granting him nothing!  He deserved nothing for not paying a dime of child support.  He never has.


When chemo was done at the end of summer, August, I moved everything lock-stock-and barrel to Wisconsin and the converted barn that my sister-in-law had found for us.  I could work downstairs and live up in the loft in an apartment with the boys.  It was a good thing too, as I was too weak to work somedays, and it took me weeks, months really, to get the household in order much less the work space.  I had to work, it was paying the bills and rapidly using up the monies from the house that sold.  The sad thing about the move, the movers broke a lot of things, didn’t pay for them ever (not even insurance), and held my things hostage until they nearly doubled their price on the move itself.  I’d heard of such things on 60 Minutes, I was the victim of the scam.

The boys entered new schools, and I had to find new doctors.  Apparently, the oncologist I chose was very well-known.  His staff were the worst and they treated me very badly.  Radiation isn’t supposed to have the side effects I experienced, but I lost weight, got dizzy spells, and felt nauseous.

2001 Paul, Mary - Copy

Still, I managed to get to some milestones.  My thirty fifth birthday was that November…after I finished radiation.  I celebrated with my sister-in-law and a friend from college.  I was grateful to even be there as the five months were up.  My hair had started to grow back after chemo in August and by November was an okay length that I no longer needed the scarves or hat.  I was, however, bloated.  This is a picture of my third brother and I when it had started to grow.

Thanksgiving was celebrated with my brother and sister-in-law who lived nearby.  It was weird after all those years of being in California and having pizza on that holiday as a joke, to celebrate a traditional holiday feast.  I managed to put my foot in my mouth as they made mashed potatoes from scratch and my mother never had.  She used dried potatoes and we made instant.  I made a comment that I had never seen my mother make mashed potatoes from actual potatoes and my brother was furious for some reason.

That Christmas, was celebrated in style.  The boys got so many gifts, because I was so grateful to even be there.  I celebrated with one of my brothers and his family down in Milwaukee and managed to bring my sister back into the fold of the family and start a relationship that my niece enjoys to this day with that part of the family.  Being estranged they didn’t have it before, and I was grateful that I was the impetus for that.  It was a wonderful Christmas, despite the year I had just experienced.  Seeing family and being with them all.

That New Year’s we celebrated together.  It was nice, and the boys and I had a tradition, we’d play Monopoly into the new year.  I remember things differently than they do, of course, but I was just so happy to be alive, to be there and to put 2001 behind us.  Christmas and New Years aren’t happy holidays for me because my mother died around then, but that year, I had so much to celebrate…I had my boys, a new home, and I was alive.  I may have residual pain, complications, and such for the rest of my life from our little experiment, but I am here, and I can still remember that year from hell and remember the Christmas and New Years JOY!

I tell you this, not to depress you, but to tell you that no matter how bad it is, or was, you can get through it.

Merry Christmas!

The Fireside Theatre

This last weekend I was looking for somewhere special to take my girlfriend for our weekend away in Milwaukee.  We were already staying in an absolutely beautiful hotel that we had stayed in a couple of times before (The Pfister) and I wanted something unique to do that we normally do not do, besides sight-seeing.  I looked up theaters (or theatres) and while the Pabst was right there, I wanted something even more unique and found a dinner-theater.  As neither of us had ever been, I called my girlfriend up and formally asked her out on a ‘date’ for this event.

Let me tell you, this experience was certainly unique.  The building itself looks odd from the outside, a hodge-podge of building in various stages, or, so it appeared.a61fd4576260a1a1ffb29133a9862c7b

We drove the 50 or so miles from Milwaukee, visited my niece who lives out in that area, and then went on to the theatre, through back roads, and on into the never-never.  Who would have thought that a theater (my spelling, not theirs), in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, would hold Broadway plays?  I really didn’t expect it.

I grew up in southeastern Wisconsin and never made it to this part of the state.  So, it was with a bit of derision, I thought we had wasted our time coming this far out into the sticks to see this play.  Let me tell you, I was wrong, way wrong.

First, a traditional play is up on a stage and the audience out in the theater.  This one, was on a square and the actors going up and down the aisles to appear on stage, or to come up from the bottom of the stage.20151205-145435-001-largejpg

You wouldn’t think something like this would be packed, but it was and I had a HARD time getting tickets.  I finally tried a last minute technique that worked, got us two tickets, and we went.


Our seats weren’t prime but we were able to see the stage without any problem and it was really worth the admission price (it was expensive, but I didn’t mind).  We could clearly see the stage from our seats behind everyone else, my only complaint, our seats were set in a way that didn’t allow our feet to touch the ground and that hurts after a long while of sitting, especially at my age!  Still, the actors were spell-binding and we were fortunate enough to watch their excellent rendition of Miracle on 34th Street.


I was enthralled, shocked really, that a play of this magnitude would be here, in Wisconsin and in the middle of nowhere.  Madison yes, Milwaukee definitely, Chicago even, but Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin?  Who would have thought.  Apparently the Fireside has been a family-owned enterprise since 1964.  They’ve expanded it four times from what I read on their website.  It really is worth the drive and effort to go see a show there.

We read on their website that some people didn’t like the food, but let me tell you, it was a five-course meal before the play itself and definitely a good meal for anyone.  My girlfriend is a vegetarian and even she had too much to eat because of their fantastic offerings.  I myself had a steak and it was tender, juicy, and delicious.

Before and after the dinner, as we waited for the show to start, they had endless (and I do mean endless) shopping available along the side of their building.  It went on and on and had the cutest things!  Everything from glassware to knick knacks, and other things that would make great gifts.

I can’t rave enough about this experience, the actors were fabulous, very, very talented and I was in awe as I realized the enormity of what they were all accomplishing.  It was fantastic!

If you get to Wisconsin, Milwaukee or Madison, even drive up from Chicago, it’s worth it, trust me!


I also had a weird experience that is worth retelling.  I have a set of mystic blue topazes I have purchased over the years.  I have the ring, the necklace, and a set of earrings.  Ring and necklaceI’ve always had trouble with the earrings as the backs aren’t very good and I have felt (as I did that night) one came off and landed in my bra!  That night, after removing my coat in the coat-check, I didn’t realize one of the earring studs had come out and I lost my earring!  It really made me feel bad!  I discovered it’s loss during dinner and had a couple of the people there looking for it, but to no avail.  We even went through the stores again, hoping to catch a shiny glimpse of it.  When we sat down and got to know our neighbors, the woman was ready to help us go look but I assured her it was insured and I was resigned at it’s loss.  Inside I was trying not to let it cast a pale over our wonderful evening.  At the intermission, when my aching body (from that awkward chair) was stretching…my wonderful girlfriend went and got me some advil and water (hurray for her!)  The lady next to us, was on a mission, unbeknownst to me.  She came back with the missing stud!  She had gone through the coat area, where I was sure it had come loose as I took off my coat, and found it!  What an amazing (and totally unexpected) experience.  I am forever grateful.  Really made the evening special along with the absolutely wonderful play we experienced together.  I can’t say how much I appreciated fate for sending that wonderful couple to sit beside us, me casually mentioning my loss, and her determination in finding it.  If I could, I would say to the powers-that-be, my guardian angels, and whomever may be out there helping guide my fate…a big THANK YOU, you gave me my own miracle that night!

A week or two away

I’m nervous and excited about my first foray into Science Fiction.  I wasn’t sure if I could tackle it.  This particular book was originally started in 2011.  I know, because I put the date at the top of the script!  I just didn’t think I could do a science fiction story justice because, after all, we are influenced by Star Wars and Star Trek.  As mentioned previously, I am a fan.  I didn’t want the innovations, dreams, and ideas to influence my own stories.

Then, I started reading Prudence MacLeod‘s novels.  I am also her publisher over at Shadoe Publishing.  Reading her wonderful Novan Series and talking to her, she pointed out there will always be coincidences, similarities, etc.  Her stories don’t FEEL like those epic shows and movies so maybe I could do this too.

I remember THINKING, what would happen if a present day woman, at the time 2011, was taken by aliens and woke up 500 years later?  I decided later that 2015 worked out better and that ended up in the story.  The story took off from there.

My android/human in the story is plausible since we already put artificial things in human bodies and that’s what I was going for.  Not that Jeri Ryan didn’t do a FANTASTIC job as 7 of 9, or Brent Spinner as Data.   But…my Mercédès, pronounced Mur-said-dees looks nothing like those other two.

Mine is based on Vanessa Williams beauty, with blonde hair, and blue eyes.  I wanted a woman of color for this story.  I think, teaching a woman who had no idea about the human side of her sexuality, an intimate relationship, love with another woman, was a challenge for my other main character Ryley.

The book is in it’s final edits, the beta readers loved it, and I’m hoping you will too!

low-resolution2Recombinant Love on a bookshelfText to speech Recombinant Love     low-resolution1

Watch this space for my announcement about it’s release in December!  Meanwhile, check out my website for other great reads!  www.kannemeinel.com



It’s coming to get me!

I swear, I’m not paranoid…but, that being said, there is proof in the posting! 
I raise a lot of plants, probably because my father was a botanist with a degree in biology and a couple courses shy of being a zoologist.  I can’t tell you how many trees I’ve planted over the years.  Seeing those same trees 30 years later from the time when I used to jump over them as a child to an adult where I’d have to climb them (if I wanted to break something, not only on the tree but my body).  It’s awesome to know there is a living legacy growing out there, somewhere, even if we don’t own the land anymore.  My father grew up during the depression and helped after the great fires of northern Wisconsin to replant those areas.  After seeing what happened after Mount St. Helens blew, I’m sure Mother Nature would have re-seeded the areas nicely, however, the State of Wisconsin planted acres of trees, heck, more than that and now, eighty plus years later, they are tall and strong.  Personally, I don’t like neat little rows but prefer a variance, a natural look.

Well, back to the point of this blog, and there is one, I assure you.

It’s coming to get me, and here is picture proof.20171014_124101_Burst01

I grow a lot of spider plants, have a Christmas Cactus, and a few other odds and ends.  My aunt gave me a couple of cuttings of a purple passion plant last year when I was down in Arkansas and it survived the drive back to WisconSIN.  One of the cuttings died in the pot, but, some plants do not do well here in this house.  There is something about it, and no, I don’t have a black thumb but a green one.  But, one of the cuttings started growing crazily this year and as I type in bed because of my bad back, I gaze out the window and in front of the window are all my plants, all in hanging baskets, on a stand my son and I made.  I had to do it like this because when Kitkat was alive, she enjoyed mowing plants down.  Now that she is gone I could place them around the house, but, my window gets the most sun in my northern facing house and my window faces south.  The plants that do survive in my house include three varieties of spider plants that I really enjoy.  It gets pretty lush.

Maybe it’s because of what I feed them.  They don’t get straight water since the village puts chemicals in it, supposedly for our health (I don’t drink it either, shudders).  Instead, I feed my plants water from my fish tanks, the bottom water that I siphon out to clean my tanks.  This nutrient rich water is full of plant matter and fish droppings.  Sometimes I will filter THIS through a plant set up where it goes through nutrient rich dirt and into a bucket (what can I say, I’m a mad scientist).  My plants seem to love it.  Even the water that goes INto these fish tanks stands in a five gallon bottle for weeks until the chemicals dissaperate, or rather evaporate.

I don’t understand why some plants don’t like the aura of this house.  Personally, I no longer like the aura either but that is neither here nor there.  I moved here with a couple of absolutely HUGE succulents that were the sizes of bushes, jade plants to be exact and they BOTH died in this house.  I also moved here with a couple of display of Mother-in-Law Tongues, aka Snake Plants and sometimes called Sword Plants that had been cuttings from my grandmother and the plants were over 40 years old!  All died in this house and I was heartbroken.  I didn’t (then) feed them the water from my tanks but that was how I learned the water out of the tap was BAD!  As I said, the aura is bad and I need to move on, taking my ‘few’ plants with me.  My sword plants once were in one of those half wine barrels and I got them to bloom!  Apparently they bloom once every seven years but I had so many in that barrel they bloomed EVERY year, man that is the most sickening flower smell you ever want to smell!  Someone once offered me $400 for that half-barrel, but, we had a freeze that night before he could come pick it up!

My dream home would have an arboretum, a sun room, or just fantastic windows to grow plants!  Btw, this is what a Purple Passion plant is SUPPOSED to look like, not the one vine reaching out to GET me!Purple-Passion

Meanwhile, I wait for this purple passion plant, the one vine is over seven feet long!  I can see it ‘hesitating’ in its growth of where it’s going to go.  In the evening it is leaning towards my right as it might head back towards the window it grew up, it’s vine thickening as it grows.  In the morning it leans towards my left and as if it is contemplating whether or not it will head towards me at the headboard of my bed.  It’s a smart thing too, it has now figured out it will get added support/strength by resting on top of the post that holds up all the plants (except for those hanging from the curtain rod).


So, if I don’t appear on social media someday, you know, it GOT me!

Meanwhile, if you want to read about more interesting stories than my domestic ones, please click on the picture below:


It’s off to Chicago I go for GCLS!

Has it really been a YEAR since Washington DC and GCLS?  Where has the time gone?  REALLY?  I traveled a lot since then, bought a few new computers, got a new SUV, wrote a few books (you didn’t miss THAT did you?) and here we are again!  Another event.  This year it’s in Chicago which is cool because it’s only 5 hour (depending on traffic) or so from the Northwoods where I hole up in my cave *depending on if I’m writing.  This hermit is coming out of the cave for this event.  Be sure to stop by the Shadoe Publishing booth as seen here from last year.20160707_124440

You couldn’t possibly miss my red hat could you?IMG_0202

Ask me for a Lesbian Membership card!  I laminated a few too for you die-hards who need a card!  lol!

Certified Lesbian Membership CardCertified Butch Lesbian Membership Card - CopyCertified Boi Lesbian Membership Card - Copy

Oh, and I’m bringing PLENTY of books too, got the first loads in the back of my new SUV:


Yeah, those are HEAVY…I will have to either get a bigger SUV or a trailer soon!

C'mon Folks.

All joking aside, Shadoe Publishing has two booths this year as always and we would LOVE to see you.  I’ll be on a panel with some very nice authors on Thursday, and, of course around for the author signings…or, if you can’t be there for that, buy a book and hunt me down with my red fedora or my light up shoes!


Because, well, as you know, I don’t like to draw attention to myself, bahahahahahah!

C’mon, you know you want to give me a hug, get a picture, and I want to see you all there too!  Don’t be shy!  I don’t bite…hard.  BTW, if you post a picture of me and you on Facebook from the conference, I want you to tag me!  I’ll even consider GIVING you a book for doing that!

See you there!