Monthly Archives: January 2014

One More Book!

It is bitterly cold outside this morning, but as I watch the sun come up over the tree line, I am content and grateful. I am thankful for the warmth that my furnace provides and the opportunity to write another day.

When I was younger, I knew that I was meant to be a writer. I didn’t often express it because that wasn’t who I was supposed to be. I was a musician. I was a business owner. I was a church leader. I was a lot of things, but when I picked up a pen or pencil and laying on the desk in front of me was a blank piece of paper, my heart thrilled.

The physical connection between my hand and that pen and paper would sometimes become bigger than the individual elements and I could feel a surge of creativity. In those moments, there was nothing more important than releasing words. I knew that once I began, a seal might be broken and something wonderful would happen for me.

Then … I’d snap back to reality and answer a phone call at work or drive to another meeting and the busyness of life would overwhelm me once again. On Friday nights, I would stay up until three or four in the morning, writing until I dropped onto the sofa beside me. I’d spend every free moment of the weekend pouring out a story until Monday morning hit and my responsibilities once again became real.

Now, my responsibility is to write and I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for this opportunity. Every time I crest a plot point and ride it out until it is completely finished, I am surprised that I get to do this.

Life Between the Lines Book 5 of the Bellingwood series is in the final stages. Within the next two weeks it will be published and I will have far surpassed any dreams I had when I was a young girl holding a pencil over a piece of paper. The title is Life Between the Lines and once again, the cover is another beautiful photograph shot by Max.

In this book, a murder happens in the opening scene and Polly doesn’t have to go far to find the body. She meets a few new friends while she unravels mysteries she didn’t even know existed and Sycamore House prepares for its first anniversary with a Masquerade Ball. Lydia and crew decorate the main foyer of Sycamore House for Halloween and of course, the Percherons get involved in the festivities. It is great fun coming up with ways to involve horses in the events happening around Polly and fortunately, they are more even tempered than my cat and a little costuming can turn them into frightening beasts! It’s never dull in Bellingwood.

It’s Coming Together!

This weekend is going to be great! I can hardly wait for Friday because several things will happen that day at Nammynools Publications.

Room at the InnFirst of all, the Bellingwood short story will be released. I feel like I’m late with this, but what kind of craziness is that? I’m the writer and publisher – I set my own deadlines and I’m not going to fire myself!

The short story will be released on Kindle this Friday, January 17. For those of you who buy the paperbacks, you will have to wait until Book 5 has been finished. It will be part of that publication.

This is a wonderful story and though it takes place after Book 5 (nope, no title yet, sorry – it’s the most difficult part of the process for me), there aren’t any spoilers to mess with your enjoyment of the book when it finally comes out. There are a few new characters and some hints of things to come in the next year for Polly, so it’s a must-read!

All Roads Lead HomeSecondly, beginning Friday, January 17, Book 1 – All Roads Lead Home – will go on sale for 99 cents until February 28.

Tell your friends! This is a wonderful way to get started getting to know (and fall in love with) the wonderful characters in Bellingwood.

I love reading books more than once, but I can never repeat the experience of reading a book for the first time. The same thing has happened for me with writing these books. Every time I write about Polly and her friends, I remember bringing them to life in this first book. It was an extraordinary experience for me.

Treasure UncoveredThirdly, Book 3 – Treasure Uncovered will be FREE this Saturday – Sunday and then again February 7-8 (Friday/Saturday). ┬áThese will be two great opportunities for people to build the series.

This next year in Bellingwood is going to rock. There are a lot of new stories to tell. It’s a little unsettling, though, to realize that the characters are developing much more rapidly than I originally intended. For all that I said things were or were not going to happen, I think that these characters have more control over my writing than I want to admit. Have I lost my mind? Let’s not think about that possibility.

New Year’s Eve in NYC

Proof that I was there.

Proof that I was there.

Long, long ago … when 1990 was the old year and 1991 held all sorts of potential, Carol and I and our friend Tracy trekked to New York City for the weekend. Carol had been there several times and one of her best friends lived in Manhattan. Her friend Carolyn, was back in Iowa for the holidays, so we had an apartment to stay in, making the trip very affordable. I’d never seen the city and couldn’t wait for the experience. I wanted it all … and I got it.

Cockroaches … I’d never seen anything like it, but they scattered when we entered the apartment and turned on the light. People were everywhere … honestly, maybe the cockroaches outnumbered the humans, but I’m not sure. It was intense.

A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men

We got there on Saturday, December 29 and had two and a half days to grab as much of the city as we could. From morning to night, we moved. I got to see the top of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Battery Park. We ran through the Metropolitan Museum of Art (so sad), checked out Macy’s and ate at some fabulous restaurants. We had tickets to see “A Few Good Men” on Broadway, went to Sardis and had homemade wine coolers. The bartender was awesome. We were there while it was practically empty because the theaters had yet to release all of their patrons. He was entranced with three silly girls from Iowa and gave us glass Sardis ash trays … as well as matches.

Sardi's

Sardi’s

Since it was cold, snowy and ugly weather, most street vendors were safely tucked inside their homes. I did miss out on all of that, but I purchased an inexpensive necklace for a friend of mine and stuck it down in my coat pocket. Now, I was enough of a paranoid young woman that I carried very little. My wallet was tucked in my jeans pocket and trust me, if anyone could get it out of that pocket with those tight jeans, I was going to have a heckuva thrill.  My cash was in my bra, which would lead to yet another thrill if someone attempted to find it.

However, when I got home and reached in the coat pocket to pull out the necklace, I realized that I had been pickpocketed at some point during the day and I just laughed. It was a $5 necklace and the opportunity to have that happen in NYC was worth the five dollars. I had a story.

See that white dot above the SONY sign? Yeah ... that.

See that white dot above the SONY sign? Yeah … that.

We braved the crowds on the subway and made it to Times Square for the dropping of the ball on New Year’s Eve. The only problem was that the crowd was so overwhelming, there was no possibility of getting closer than about eight or ten blocks (NYC blocks) from the action. All we saw was a tiny little ball of light off in the distance. We were packed into the area like sardines in a can. Carol, Tracy and I held on to each other with all that we had so we wouldn’t get lost. Carol was carrying a bag of amazing bagels that were smashed to nothing by the time we got back to the apartment. I had more people’s hands on my body that night than even imaginable and I just laughed at the joy of our crazy decisions.

We have no idea who he was, but he was partying with us!

We have no idea who he was, but he was partying with us!

We rode the subway back to our stop. It was quiet, people had stayed downtown to party or were already home and asleep. We crashed until the next morning when we packed and headed for the airport and our trip back to a more sane and quiet world.

It’s hard to believe that was over twenty years ago. I was such a kid then (I’d just turned thirty-one, are you kidding me, Diane?). I’ve never been back.

Macy's Basement Level

Macy’s Basement Level

I don’t know if I need to go back. I loved that trip. I loved the experiences. I loved shopping in Greenwich Village, getting lost in Soho and having a cabbie haul us out as fast as possible. I loved being lost on the old 42nd Street and feeling a little fear at the people who were watching us. I loved knowing that we stuck out as tourists – there was no way we could fit in as natives, we were so innocent. But, everyone we encountered was wonderful and helpful.

I don’t need to go back. It’s now a memory and a few great stories, but I’m glad that there is a New Year’s Eve in my past that is filled with adventure and fun.

Happy New Year!