Faking It

I had an embarrassing dream last night. Apparently I’d told a group of people that I could play the trumpet, thinking that I’d never have to prove it, or that if someone did ask for proof I could somehow fake my way through it.

In the dream I bought a used trumpet and an instruction book, but never bothered to actually learn to play. Of course, in the dream an emergency situation called for a trumpet player and the group turned to me.

You know how in dreams the magical can happen? You need to be able to fly, so you fly. Or you’ve met Huey Lewis and he falls in love with you? Yeah, this dream wasn’t like that. I carried my trumpet on stage, put it to my lips, and went Pvvvttvvvpp!

The audience smiled politely, probably thinking I was just warming up, and then it happened again: Pvvvttvvpp! Pvvvttvvpp……!

There were loud boos, and somehow worse—looks of disappointment. Someone from backstage came forward and pried the trumpet from my hands. I recall wishing I could sink between the boards, but I just stood there taking my punishment until in the real world my cat patted my cheek and woke me up.

Analysis? I think maybe the trumpet represents my current frustration with editing and revising my romance. Someone’s going to come along and yank it out of my hands before it goes Pvvvttvvpp. I’d call it Imposter Syndrome, but that connotes some level of success that I have yet to achieve.

Or maybe I just ate too much too close to bedtime.

Peace, people

Saturday Morning Thoughts

At 7:00 a.m. it’s still dark here at Doright Manor. There’s no reason for me to be awake. It’s not as if we have cows to milk or chickens to feed, and the cat’s sleeping off her breakfast and snoring beside me. Studly Doright left an hour ago so he could have breakfast at his favorite dive before his early tee time. I could do anything or nothing today, and I’m trying to decide which way to go.

Should I work on editing my romance novel, The Cowboy and the Executive? Maybe instead I should write a bit in the sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. What if I ignored the computer today and checked out an estate sale on the posher side of Tallahassee? I could do laundry…No. Or housework…Hell No! Maybe I could stay in bed all day…Nope. The only times I’ve ever done that is when I’ve been sick, and thankfully I’m healthy. Decisions, decisions.

Oh, who am I kidding? We all know the estate sale is going to win. I’ll be careful—masked up and socially distanced—and home in time for a little romance with Studly. For research purposes, don’t you know. After all, I need to do something productive today.

Peace, people.

Doctor, It Hurts When I Do This

Here I am sitting in my car in front of my chiropractor’s office on a Wednesday morning.

I’d smile wider, but I’m in a wee bit of pain. Here’s hoping Dr. Cal can make it better. Even if he doesn’t it’ll be nice to have a grownup other than Studly Doright to talk to for a change.

Peace, people!

An Angel Gets Its Wings

Every time someone purchases my book….

…I do a happy dance.

And every time someone writes a positive review…

I sing a happy song.


It’s been a very good day. Thank you!


Peace, people!

Things That Go “Hiss” in the Night

A hiss awakened me from a deep sleep a couple of nights ago, and my first thought was, SNAKE! Apparently our cat, Gracie, had the same thought. Together, we crept through the bedroom and adjacent bathroom, tentatively looking under furniture and around corners. After finding nothing even vaguely snake-like, we returned to bed.

Later that morning as I applied my makeup I heard the hiss again. Gracie, who never leaves my side, went into full attack mode. She was going to locate this hissing thing and kill it with her bare claws. But after a lengthy search, we again came up empty handed. This was one stealthy hisser.

Then about midday, while engaged in the fine art of sorting laundry I heard the hiss and this time, it emanated from near by—from the small area where our toilet is located. The water closet, if you will. And, it was accompanied by the smell of lavender.

It was then that I recalled having recently purchased an automatic room deodorizer. That, friends, was the cause of our mysterious hissing sounds. I’m so relieved, but Gracie isn’t convinced that we’re out of the woods just yet.

Always on the job.

I’m glad she’s hyper-vigilant. There might come a day when an actual snake finds its way into Doright Manor, and Gracie will be ready.

Peace, people!

Feel Good Story

One of my favorite programs on NPR is “How I Built This,” hosted by Guy Raz. Each week Guy interviews entrepreneurs and digs into their sources of inspiration, their trials and tribulations, their ups and downs, giving a unique behind the scenes look at what it takes to create a successful business from scratch.

Yesterday I listened to an interview with the guys who started the Life is Good line of products, beginning with t-shirts and expanding to other products over the past 25 years. This was Guy’s second interview with brothers Bert and John Jacobs, and it made me cry happy tears.

The focus of this particular interview was resilience. How had the brothers’ enterprise not only survived but thrived during trying times? After 9-11, their business surged. Similarly during the housing crisis in 2008 and now in the middle of a pandemic, business for Life is Good is, well, good.

The brothers ascribe their business success to what they call “rational optimism,” and to their team of artists and idea generators who have internalized the concept, and in doing so have passed it on to consumers.

Here’s the link to the broadcast: https://youtu.be/GfWMuv3jf1E I highly recommend it if you’re in need of a boost. I know it was exactly what I needed yesterday.

Oh, there’s a book, How I Built This, by Guy Raz. I just put it on my wishlist.

Peace, people.

What’s in a Name?

Finding the right name for a character can be almost as daunting as finding the right name for a new baby. Maybe more difficult. With both my children I had names picked out almost from the moment I learned I was expecting, and never had a change of heart the entire nine months of pregnancy. But I only had to come up with one first name and a middle name. The surname was a piece of cake. When writing a novel, one must come up with first and last names for multiple characters. That can be a challenge.

For Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort there were at least a dozen folks who needed names. My main character’s name, Paula Jean Arnett, came to me before I even began writing the book, but the others weren’t so easy, and most I changed multiple times before typing The End.

I’d given one male character what I thought was an innocuous name and then about halfway through writing the book I realized there was someone from my high school days with that name and I really didn’t like him at all. Thanks to “Find and Replace” my character soon had a much less offensive moniker.

The only problem with Find and Replace is that one must be certain that the name being replaced isn’t part of a larger word. I changed a character’s name from Carrie to Stacy in the romance I’m working on and then realized that any place I’d had something carried it was now being stacyd, as in Barton stacyd a six pack of beer to the car.

And why, one might ask, did I need to change a perfectly good name like Carrie? Because in Mayhem I’d named a major character Cassie and when working on the romance I kept calling Carrie “Cassie.“ Thanks to one of my beta readers (Ann) for catching that.

If you write fiction how do you come up with characters’ names? I tried using name generators, but the results never sounded right. There are so many possibilities out there, so why is it so difficult?

Peace, people.

Let Me Think

Not to brag or anything (please note that this phrase is always followed by a definite brag), but I used to be really good at trivia. Some might even say I was formidable. Thanks to my obsession with reading, I often could correctly answer questions that stunned my competitors. I got a little cocky about my skills.

But it seems that all good things must come to an end—I’ve been humbled by a game on Facebook called Quiz Planet. Oh, I still get plenty of questions correct, but I’ve lost my mojo. I don’t crush. I don’t dominate. And that’s driving me nuts. Is it my age? Is my writing distracting me? Have I finally lost all of my marbles?

I’m pretty new to the game, though, and I sense that many of the questions are repeated fairly often. So, maybe there’s a chance for me to become great again. I’m not betting money on myself. Not yet, anyway.

Peace, people!

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