Friday, March 15, 2013



1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee 
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey
Heavy cream, slightly whipped 
Directions fill mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. 
Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full.
Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved.Blend in 
Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by
pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.

My family isn't really Irish, perse, (although we do have Irish in the background) nor we even Catholic. We’re Celtic.

But everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s day, right?
Celtic is the term for the Scot, Irish, and Welsh. They’re the Celts. They were the fierce warriors, the bards, the artisans, and the song masters. They worked hard and played hard and still do, for the most part. Music? Oh my word, the Celts can make some fine music.

In my family, we have a tradition of coming together for St. Paddy’s. My brother Rob is the host and has been for many years. He loves to throw a good party. He spends months planning the decorations—and trust me, there’s enough green to make the trees weep in envy. His house and property sits nestled in the hills surround by trees, just on the border of town. The heart of the town is only minutes away. Rob has a pool house and bar area for the party. It’s where we gather many times during the year for cookouts, swimming parties, New Years, or just visiting. You can sit on the wide porch or pop inside to the fully stocked bar and play a game or two of darts or, if you prefer, go up the steps leading to the decks surrounding the pool. He has a speaker system hidden in the vines and trellises near the roof outside and lots of pillows, small bistro tables and comfy chairs to sit.

Some prep work
St. Paddy’s is a family party filled with food, laughter, plenty to drink (but no green beer-shudder), dancing and singing. We rock the joint. The party usually begins in the afternoon and finishes up in the wee hours with all the little ones sleeping, jumbled up like puppies, in mounds of blankets in the corner.

My Mom
I laughingly say I come from a litter of nine. I get the raised brow from my mom when I say it. None of her children have produced such an abundance of children, but between us there is always a huge crowd of kids running around. In the afternoon there are games for all. 

There are horseshoes, darts, and soccer, impromptu caber tosses, a bit of shot put between the boys. You can see arm wrestling between young and old. Or just sitting around and telling tales. Our parties span the ages from upper seventies to infants. Neighbors know there is a party at Rob’s on St. Paddy’s—you can’t miss the music and laughter. Many stop in, some stay to eat, play and dance or join in the singing, others just visit a bit enjoying the food and merriment and go home. 

While my brother and his partner lay out a feast, we all bring food. Just family alone can number over fifty people. The tables groan. It’s a huge banquet spread out before us all. Food is brought out all through the day. Dancing is always present and that includes a flock of little ones either in a group or with the grownups. Late afternoon and early evening brings the bonfire and singing and calls out to different ones to share a tune. Tis a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of.

We may not be in the old country, either Scotland or Ireland, but it’s our country, and we make our own traditions and they’re very dear to us all.

List of those participating in the blog hop

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Looking Ahead.

Sorry I'm late. My scheduled guest was unable to make it today due to sickness. We've rescheduled for another day.

Up coming events:
Tomorrow, Thursday, March 14th, I'm being interviewed by romance author Tawny Weber. She's blogs at The Romance Bandits. That's a switch for me. Nice surprise to be asked. If you get the chance, stop by and say hi.

For those of you who love Elisabeth Naughton's books, she'll be visiting on the 20th, with the latest in her Eternal Guardians Series. I'm thrilled to see her contemporary, Wait For Me (I featured it on a hot reads), has made both the NYT and USA bestsellers list. Loved the story.

Do you like romance and time travel stories? I'll be having Gina Lamm visiting the 27th pitting a woman of today, a geek and gamer who loves wi-fi with a peer of the realm. Cover makes me smile.

April brings spring showers and A-Z Challenge. I'll be contributing some articles, quasi McKye style. I'm also Diane Wolf's minion which is a first for me. I can't always participate in the A-Z fully but I like being a part of it. Those that know me won't be at all surprised to be reading about dogs with my contributions. For example, did you know that dogs experience a runner's high? Did you know that there are marathons for dogs and their owners? How does one train a dog and owner to participate? 

Dog's are a man's best friend, but choosing the right dog isn't always easy and there are a lot breeds of dogs out there, and while they are gorgeous they don't always match up with a family's environment. How do you choose?  

Now that we've done the spring ahead with time I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. No, I still don't like the jarring to the inner time clock, but I'm functioning without murdering anyone. 

  • How's it going for you?
    • Any news you'd like to share?

Monday, March 11, 2013


Writing a story is capturing the vision and sounds in our minds and putting them into words.


My husband has been editing the first of several books of a detective series he's written. Hub's has had two skilled writer/editors look at the first manuscript. One loved the smart-ass character and his corny jokes as well as the premise of story, except for a few things which take up a couple of pages. The other wasn't as enamored of the politically incorrect, smart ass character, but also gave several pages of story fix-its. 

Dan has been groaning. A lot

Writing is a love/hate relationship. As Ringo Starr once sang, "You know it don't come easy..."

The writer that tells you that the words always flow and the stories are easy is either lying or living in an alternate universe. We all hit spots that required discipline and yes, work. Even when we get the essence of the scene down, the editing of the word choices, the phrasing and descriptions, and the action and emotion, is work. Hard work. You strive for painting each scene as clearly as you can and giving it the most impact so it flows seamlessly into the next. That may take several revisions.
Revisions and editing are not easy. Or at least they aren't in my world.
Some writers tend to write the initial draft of their work in bare bones scenes. I’d compare it to an animator who does the preliminary pencil sketches. They capture the essence of the scene with dialog and action and leave the fill in work for the first pass. Others write fairly detailed scenes of the vision see in their mind and then go back and cut out the superfluous details to bring into focus the core of the story.

My husband has also been researching query letters. This morning he asked me, "Do you know how many conflicting ideas there are out there on writing a good query letter?"

Yes, dear, I know. I know.
  • Do you have a style of writing your first draft or does it vary with the story?