This and that July 22, 2021

I have no new suggestions today. Some days are just like that and I’ve decided I’m OK with it.

I think my goal for the moment needs to be – reduce the line up of books waiting to be read.

It’s gradually gotten out of hand and I’m finding it overwhelming, if I’m being honest. I can hear someone saying – it took you long enough. What can I say. I’m a sucker for books 🙂 Anyway, I purposely haven’t done a deep dive today looking for bargains.

Moving on,

The last number of weeks I’ve spent a significant amount of time watching podcasts and while I’ve enjoyed them I’m realizing there is a down side to this kind of indulgence. Many (not all) of the sites I’ve subscribed to are built around the state of world news. Between opinions and an over abundance of information there comes a point where enough is too much. I feel weighed down, and distracted. There are other things requiring my attention and I haven’t been able to do them justice.

This blog has been affected the most by this stealing of reading/writing time. My mind feels foggy and empty. It takes a good amount of thinking time to have something to say. It takes input too. The trouble with the podcasts is the political subject matter. I don’t write about politics and the abundance of input produces no fruit in my world.

Reading, on the other hand, always spurs some kind of usable thinking.

I’m going on a podcast diet, cutting way back on time spent and it’s helping. With more time devoted to reading, the fog seems to be lifting enough to make comments.

During last nights post, I found I’d inadvertently started a new read with the novella belonging between books 1 and 2 in the Culper Ring series. I was too far into it to avoid the spoiler so I went ahead and finished it. Going back to the beginning, I’m now half way through book one and while the novella has given away one aspect of the ending it hasn’t spoiled the whole book for me. It is still a good read with lots of unexpected action.

Another decision in the back-to-reading restrictive diet was concerning my TBR list of neglected Non-fiction downloads.

Earmarking an hour devoted to Non-fiction reading seemed like a reasonable way to make some headway. The Power of Writing It Down is my pick for current read and I’m almost to the end of the first chapter.

This read definitely takes more work, that’s for sure. The author packs every single page full with thoughts, concepts, and information. A number of things stood out for me, right from page one.

I need time to chew on them before I can make comment.

There was one thought towering above the rest, though.

Research shows that thought patterns and tasks performed thousand of times create a rut or neural pathway and without conscious thought the mind automatically goes there. It’s discouraging to think that without thought these ruts lead us to unhealthy places. On the plus side: research also shows that with conscious choosing of different, healthier paths, performed enough times, over time they can overwrite and replace the old unhealthy paths.

This idea resonates with me more than usual. I think it’s because, even before reading this book, I’ve found myself practicing new patterns of thought and actions this summer. I’ve noticed myself making different decisions and choices and I’m pretty happy thinking about what it means going forward. I’ve been praying for healing and it appears to be on the way.

Read and current reads

Happy Reading y’all

Confessions of an abuse survivor

I decided to name this post, and any future posts like it, in a way that would provide a heads up for anyone wishing to avoid such emotional discussions. I’m not planning on raw, uncomfortable, tell-alls, I know difficult discussions can be had in a civilized manner.

Anyway, today’s post doesn’t include any of that.

This could be a this-and-that kind of day except my thoughts have been heavier than that this week. Confession seems to be a more appropriate label.

I debated including the term abuse survivor but decided it gives context to where my head is at with the topics. There is nothing frivolous in my contemplations.

Enough of that.

So here’s the thing I’m trying to figure out. Why?

That’s what I need to know. Why?

I haven’t come up with an answer, so far, and I doubt this writing exercise will be all that revealing but I have to try.

I’m reluctant to tell you what I’m referring to because when I think of putting it into words, in my mind it sounds silly. I’m afraid you will dismiss it as such if I tell you what I’m thinking.

So, partial confession. As I’m contemplating the why of my reluctance to take on a certain task I’m wondering if maybe a trigger is behind it. What thought or emotion is holding me back?

So, here’s the thing. In the last year or so, because of interviews and the like, I’ve been exposed to non fiction books, mostly related to my life experience with abuse. They struck me as useful in my healing journey and I put out a significant amount of money to obtain them.

I was excited to have them, paid full price for most of them, and yet I can’t seem to make myself take the time to read them.

Were they just another bright idea that didn’t survive the light of day?

Would my reluctance to tackle the challenge stem from deep insecurities? The fear of failure?

Could the reticence be linked to anticipated emotional responses to painful subjects?

Are there unidentified triggers going on?

I’ve faced head on the physical abuse attributable to my dad. At the same time, I will admit I don’t want to think about or deal with the emotional abuse stemming from my mother or my marriage.

Is that what this is about?

I’ve heard it said we must ask ourselves this question – Do you want to be healed, really want to be healed?

When we honestly ask ourselves this question we might be surprised to find that the answer is no. The price we would have to pay to find healing could seem too high.

If I’m really honest, I think when it comes to my mother and my marriage, my heart says the price is too high.

I do really want to be healed. I’m not acting like it.

I will keep on thinking and praying about this.

In the meantime…

Some of the books in the lineup.

The one I’m considering at the moment is The Power of Writing It Down

If you made it this far, thanks for listening.

A plug for Jerry Jenkins

Just so you know who he is…


He’s giving away FREE writing advice so I doubt he will mind me sharing parts of today’s email with you.

The reason I’m inspired to share this? It’s a message I often wish I could deliver to promising authors. Their writing would be so much better if they learned this secret.

Well, I guess it’s not much of a secret, but there are still those who have yet to discover the difference this practice can make.

His email is long so I will pick and chose, to give you the idea.


His email is

Jerry says…

If I could give you ONLY one writing tip…

So here it is: Avoid on-the-nose writing.

This is one of the most common mistakes I see in otherwise good writing.

(I left out his next comment – a really long and detailed example of on-the-nose writing)

Here’s how that scene should be rendered:

Paige’s phone chirped. It was her fiancé, Jim, and he told her something about one of their best friends that made her forget where she was.

“Cancer?” she whispered, barely able to speak. “I didn’t even know Alyson was sick. Did you?”

Trust me, not one reader is going to wonder how she knew the caller was Jim.

We don’t need to be told that the chirp told her she had a call (duh), that her phone is in her purse, that her purse is over her shoulder, that she has to open it to get her phone, push a button to take the call, put the phone to her ear to hear and to speak, identify herself to the caller, be informed who it is…

…you get the point.

If you’ve fallen into on-the-nose writing (and we all have), don’t beat yourself up. It shows you have the ability to mirror real life.

That’s nice. Now quit it.

Leave that to the amateurs.

Separate yourself from the competition by noticing the important stuff.

Dig deep.

Go past the surface.

Mine your emotions, your mind and heart and soul, and remember how it felt when you got news like that about a friend or loved one.

Don’t distract with minutia. Give the readers the adventure they signed up for when they chose to read your story.


Jerry has a free workshop coming up if you are interested in hearing more from him…

P.S. Watch your inbox Thursday around noon Central for my next email. We’ll talk about what to do if you post your writing online and no one responds.

P.P.S. If you liked today’s little writing tip, you’ll love this: Join me Monday at noon or 7 p.m. Central, when I’m hosting a special FREE workshop How I Write Bestselling Novels. You can reserve your seat by clicking here—only 3000 spots available per session!


Sign up for his email, he’s always giving away free advice.

And… he knows how to WRITE.

Most of all, remember today’s writing tip.

This and that July 18, 2021

I’ve discovered it’s best to date these things. They all merge together otherwise. Indistinguishable.

It’s warm out there! That the biggest thing on my mind at this moment. Usually it starts to cool off a little by 7 PM but not tonight. I went out to do some watering and quickly changed my mind. Later.

The highlight of the week was last night’s family Zoom call. Most of us live thousands of miles apart. We enjoy one another but we are not good at staying in touch. In all honesty, I’d have to admit that would be a gross understatement. Since we’ve committed to a Zoom call once a month, we are doing much better at connecting and we are having a lot of fun. The next call is going to fall on my birthday, how nice is that!

So, the other thing on my mind this week was tied up with a comment I made the other day about a writing project I had in mind. I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time but even more so lately. It seemed like it was time to do something about it so this weekend I did put some hours into it and wrote something. In the end, I didn’t use any of it.

I’m surprised about the level of unexpected relief I felt.

Part of the impetus for this writing project was to have a place where I could fill the need to rant and rave once in a while. I couldn’t do it here, didn’t want to do it here, I felt like it would spoil everything.

Anyway, I created another space, wrote an introductory piece with a small rant at the end, and struggled with getting the site set up the way I wanted it. No matter what I did nothing was going right.

By the time I decided to give it all up and deleted the new blog, my rant had lost it’s steam and I felt a lightness I didn’t have earlier.

Sometimes it’s healthy to visit the dark places but sometimes it’s not. There already is an over abundance of negative self-talk going on in my head I don’t need more. It feels healthier, for the most part, to stick to the lighter side of things in my communications with the world.

Part of my reason for wanting a place to rant was to work my way through some of the life long issues that surface from time to time. Writing and talking can be very therapeutic.

The subject of my short rant was acknowledging, for the first time, that my parents were selfish, immature teenager/young adults making unhealthy decisions and choices without a worry over whose life would be negatively affected. I can’t believe that they would unthinkingly do what they did.

While it was healthy to face this truth, I could see that to camp on the negative side of my life, while creating content for a new blog on a regular basis, would be injurious to my emotional health.

I’m so glad I’ve got that all figured out.

Maybe for future needs, I can work through the issue in my mind and then reduce it to a short paragraph. That should take care of everything

There is one more truth recently discovered but I’ll save that topic for another time. It’s a very encouraging truth. I must share it with my brothers.


Currently I’m reading book one in a three book collection.

A Family to Love by Cindy M Amos and several others

Skinny Ranch Romance – Cindy M. Amos
When a hometown parade explodes with violence targeted at obese onlookers, District Judge Ilie Walton is forced to team with former classmate Traynor Henning for a trial reduction program for the victims. None too pleased over the partnership with Tray, Ilie claims to remain blind to his Zach Efron good looks in the name of justice. As the fence lengthens and the pounds melt off volunteer participants, Tray’s devotion softens her resolve, launching a romantic partnership. When new evidence emerges on a cold case involving a death at their senior class party, Ilie insists that justice prevail, though it threatens to sever their tenuous relationship. Tired of bearing the guilt, Tray faces off with his buddy Rex about what really happened that day in his boat. When the cold case turns red hot, will Ilie stand with the hardworking rancher—or do justice and reconciliation take two separate paths?

The scales of justice possess keen discernment, yet love never needed a final verdict to overcome.


This is the one recently finished

Dearly Loved: Second Chance Christian Romance

The lovesick daydreams of Meredith Ambrose’s teenage years for neighborhood heartthrob David Steller have faded into uncomfortable memories-until he lands in a hospital bed in her unit where she works as an R.N.

David came to the Northwest to look her up-he just didn’t plan on their reunion occurring with him on a gurney. Can he prove he’s really changed after all these years? (Christian romance)

Happy Reading!!

This and that part two July 14, 2021

I was talking about plants in part one but that isn’t what I’ve spent the most time thinking about today. More than plants I’ve been thinking about a new podcaster someone told me about the other day. He has a number of channels started and has been posting short videos on most of them.

This fellow is personable, interesting, animated, and funny. He knows how to supply great content since he is a Hollywood producer in real life. He has a different focus for each channel. There are four or five of them and I’ve subscribed to them all.

So today he was posting short clips from the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is beautiful. The coloring in the clip I’ll share with you is amazing.

This first one is the link for the story he promised in the last clip.

This next is the first beautiful clip I promised above. Not sure how they ended up in the wrong order but that’s the way things go sometimes. Enjoy the beautiful view.

His name is Michael, I’m sure he’s mentioned his last name somewhere but I didn’t catch it. If you enjoy him, he does give the links to all of his channels now and then as well.

Enjoy the Grand Canyon

Bargain books July 10, 2021 Part two

Time travel is the theme of the next attractive collection to cross my path today. I enjoy reading time travel, it has all sorts of interesting possibilities. There can be wide differences in treatments, though, and I find myself approaching new experiences with caution, not feeling confidence about liking the experience. When I like it I like it, though.

I haven’t read very far on this to check it out but what I did read has me hooked. I want to know what comes next.

I love the cover too.

Nevermind Time: A Time Travel romance set

Enjoy these sweet, clean, time travel romances where time has no hold on love.

Herbert Groat has fixed all sorts of watches, but this? A watch that doesn’t just tell time, it goes back in time. In the nick of time. Evelin Barclay is an associate at Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia. She doesn’t know she’s about to be brutally murdered. Can Herbert set aside fear and disbelief to save her? Or will it be her time to die?

When one of Clay’s irate customers runs April’s car off the road on the Fourth of July, she’s mysteriously transported back in time to 1970 and given the chance to right a past wrong. Can she thwart a dangerous plot involving Clay’s grandfather that doomed Hackle County’s future and her relationship with Clay?

A plain wooden box. A travel through time. Will Tarin choose comfort or true love? Can these two from different times find the love they’re searching for?


Was her aunt married? If so, who was that man at the cemetery? After reading the stack of love letters between Claudia and William, Kelly sees that a simple wrong assumption changed everything. If only she could go back and make things right…

When Cecilia finds a key hanging on her Christmas tree, she’s afraid someone has broken in. The truth is much more frightening. When she opens the old oak chest in the attic on New Year’s Eve 1999, she is whisked back to 1900 because of an ancient family curse.

What do you do when your world is turned upside down and everything you knew is gone including years of your life and the only realities are an apple orchard and the man who lives there?


It’s a good thing the book is only 513 pages long, with six stories they haven’t been given too much time.


I see we have one more now too. BookRunes has a FREE suggestion I’m excited about. I have read this author before but it’s been awhile. The first few pages of this new book have me intrigued.

Honey Creek Homecoming (Honey Creek Romance Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Honey Creek is the one place on earth Olivia Swanson never wants to see again. When her step-grandmother sends for her, Olivia returns with a plan. To marry the town’s wealthiest bachelor, Payton Vance. But things go quickly awry for the self-absorbed, arrogant, and angry woman.

Secrets in her past, the devotion of a woman longing to be her grandmother, a destitute family, and Rusty Baker, the guy she humiliated in high school all push Olivia into an emotional battle only a Savior could help her win.

Over a short amount of time, Olivia learns she can’t make it alone no matter how independent, ambitious, and stubborn she is. Something spiritual is at play here. Her return to Honey Creek was no random happening. God has chosen this particular time and place to give Olivia a choice. Either trust Him or lose everything.


I’m going to have to have a reading marathon this weekend, with all these new books I’m excited to get to.


This book situation is actually a very good thing right now as I wrestle with sadness. It would be nice if the people we love could live forever, or at least as long as we do, but they can’t. And they wouldn’t want to, when it comes right down to it.

I’m grateful for a basket full of enticing books, they will keep me from digging an impossible sadness pit I’d have trouble climbing out of.

While I don’t want to dig a bottomless hole, I do admit that the presence of sadness is a good thing. It means I love. And in this case deeply. I’m grateful we still have a little time, it’s not over yet.

To answer your question, it’s a beloved family member who has been in my life for decades. She holds a special place in my heart. She’s managed more than 90 years and we’ve been blessed to have her.


It’s ok to be happy and sad all at the same time.

I’m hanging on to happy to keep me afloat.

Happy Reading!

A little of this and that July 08, 2021

I felt like celebrating! It’s been a long year of work related complex challenges and steep learning curves. That’s what happens when government agencies implement major updates in their departments leaving their users scrambling to deal with it. Today I cleared the last hurdle and I felt like partying. Too bad I was alone and it’s a work day.

I’m still feeling just as pleased and relieved, hours later.

On the other hand though, there was a thread of sadness running through my day. A beloved family member is experiencing declining health and all of us in the family are sad to see it. A very special lady. In her better days she was vibrant and full of energy. Always on the go, a force to be reckoned with. The stories we could tell are endless..

Speaking of stories. I have nothing to offer in the way of new books. No good suggestions from any direction today.

I did finish a book that I liked a lot, though. It’s still a bargain.

Hard Landing (Hope Landing Romantic Suspense Book 1)

Two wary souls get a second chance at love…if a killer doesn’t find them first.
When a stalker turns to murder, pilot Kelli Spencer needs protection. What she doesn’t need is her old love Jack Reese
returning to stir things up, but the former Navy SEAL and his team of protection specialists are the best of the best.

Trust him with her life? If she has to. Trust him with her heart? No way.

The last time Jack left, he made it clear married life held no appeal. Ten years later, he wastes no time letting her know he hasn’t changed. Not that she’d be fool enough to hope.

As the commander of Knight Tactical, Jack jumps at the chance to protect Kelli and take down a killer, but as soon as she’s safe, he plans to shake the dust of the small mountain town off his feet again…until he realizes he never should have left the first time.


I’ve barely started a new book. It starts off with a life threatening situation before it’s hardly even gone two pages. Reminds me of the opening scenes of Criminal Minds TV series. It seemed like a perfect time to work on a blog post.

I guess I need to remind myself they won’t be killing off the main character this close to the beginning.

Deadly Chances: Five romantic suspenses where couples outrace danger and take a chance on love

The one I’m reading:

Car mechanic Valerie watched her father die in a fiery wreck and she can’t admit to herself that she’s in love with a Nascar race car driver Jackson, especially after he’s also injured in a crash. But when a stranger shows up, terrorizing her about a mysterious delivery from her uncle, Jackson is the only one who can navigate the danger with Valerie. It’s a race for survival, and a high speed adventure in love.


I guess I’d better go back and see if she survived to see chapter two. This is still a bargain as well. Good deal.

Happy Reading.

Perfect timing

It’s amazing how it happens. Perfect timing.

Yesterday’s post shared the idea of counselling in a book. Check it out here if you missed it… Love is a Choice

This morning, waiting in my inbox, was the regular email notification for the weekly podcast I follow faithfully. The content is always interesting and helpful, on a variety of topics. Today’s topic was especially meaningful on the heels of yesterday’s book. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, the two books fit so well together.

The subject line of the email was an attention grabber.

A specific type of writing that will combat anxiety, depression, and symptoms from past trauma.

There was no way I could walk away from this podcast and leave it for another day. It had to be today. I watched it twice, it was packed that full. .

Today’s interviewee has written a book called The Power of Writing it Down.

Part of author/writing coach Allison Fallon’s target audience is the same crowd flocking to read Love is a Choice... Count me in.

The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life

Partial Amazon synopsis:

For anyone who’s trying to make sense of their life, who wants to get unstuck from the patterns that hold them back, hear this incredible news: everything you need for the freedom you want is entirely within reach. This practice and pathway is free, it’s readily available every day of your life, it takes just minutes of your time, and anyone can do it. 

Author, writing coach, and speaker Allison Fallon’s life transformed when she discovered the power of a daily writing practice. As it turns out, using your words is one of the most powerful means you have for unlocking your life. The Power of Writing It Down is your guide to this transformative tool available to us all. In as little as five to twenty minutes a day, scientific research shows this daily practice can help you: 

  • Identify your ruts and create new neurological grooves toward better habits
  • Find fresh motivation and take ownership of your life
  • Heal from past pain and trauma
  • Relieve anxiety and depression
  • Contextualize life’s setbacks and minor frustrations
  • Live a more confident, balanced, and healthy life
  • …and so much more


In the podcast interview she explains Expressive Writing well and mentioned that the writing talked about in her book is not regular writing and it’s not journaling. It makes a lot of sense.

The idea is to write down your deepest thought and feelings. I have experienced what she means when she says this type of writing accesses the subconscious part of the brain where the conscious is often not allowed.

This is basically what I do when I write my this and that posts. What comes out is often a surprise. With some of the posts, like I mentioned at the time of writing them, I was in the midst of angst and felt so much better when I was talked out. To really get into it, though, I expect most of it would not be something we’d want to share publicly.

I recommend listening to the interview before reading the book. I’m glad I did because hearing and seeing her will make the words on the page that much more real.

Practicing this form of writing will be helpful to everyone, not just the most broken among us.

Here is the link. Enjoy, and buy the book if it makes sense to you. I think you will be glad you did.

I haven’t been as intentional with this type of writing as is encouraged in her book. From ignorance, really. I want to try it her way, to see what the difference will be in my life.

I’m hoping you will discover this along with me.

Happy listening, reading, and writing.

This and that June 27, 2021

I’m coming up empty on things to say today so I’ll just start talking and see where it goes.

My thoughts are stuck on things I need to be doing. There always seems to be something in the way of accomplishing much. My reasons could be excuses, but maybe not either.

My task for today was to spread weed killer around in my many flower beds. Some of them are technically flower beds and some are not. They are, however, still grassless areas where weeds can grow. This year I decided to buy true weed killer for a change. Keeping the weeds down by uprooting them has not been working out all that well for me, for a multitude of reasons.

I found concentrated weed killer a few weeks ago and needed to buy a sprayer to go with it. I have one, a 1 gallon size with a sprayer hose. Unfortunately I didn’t take care of it very well and it has a broken seal. Not the best scenario for keeping pressure built up,

I wanted something smaller this time so I could easily target stubborn weeds living close to plants. The helpful sales lady directed me to one she said would do the job. In my uneducated way I’m probably just not doing it right because nothing about it is working out well for me. It dribbles rather than produce a healthy spray.

Besides the weeds living near plants, there are larger areas needing to be sprayed. Using the smaller less than effective sprayer sounded like a monumental task, so…

Today I decided to buy a replacement for the old one. It could handle a larger volume and would cover bigger areas with less effort than the new smaller one. The weather was perfect this morning, calm and not too hot.

By the time the store opened and I was home and ready to get started the wind had picked up, more than a little. Spraying toxic chemical in the wind is not such a wise idea. Lunch and a good book sounded like a better idea.

If things calm down later maybe I’ll try again.

In the meantime I could take on an inside task I have been putting off forever.

While I was shopping for a sprayer I picked up bigger flower pots for my houseplants, they are badly in need of repotting. Indecision about what type of pots would fit my decorating ideas was the hold up. Some people can visualize the way things will look and it helps with their decision making. Unfortunately for me, I’m not one of them. As a last resort I settled on plain old, simple green flower pots. Maybe I can find something more decorative later on, to set the pots inside. Hmmm, probably won’t happen, but I can always dream.

It would be nice to have these root bound plants in bigger pots. I know they will thank me. Right after they yell, what took you so long?

The other dragging-my-feet task for today was a blog post. I think I have that almost checked off the list now.

To get it done, I did spend some unsuccessful time browsing for books even though we don’t really need any after yesterdays landslide. I was desperate for inspiration.

When it comes to reading, at least I did finish one of the new-to-me authors from yesterday. It was an ok story but didn’t pull me in the way some will do. Probably because the writing wasn’t as tight as I’d like. Too many barely relevant details, in my opinion. Some of us prefer more details though so I couldn’t say it was a bad read.

Most importantly, the story line was unique.

Silent Night Suspect (Love Inspired Suspense)

Suspected of a crime she knows she didn’t commit…

All she wants for Christmas is to remember.

Blood on her blouse. A gun in her hand. A cartel leader’s dead body in front of her. Widow Asia Stratton can’t remember what happened—just that she’s been framed. The only way to prove her innocence is to work with her ex-sweetheart, Nebraska state trooper Slade Jackson. But can they clear her name before this Christmas turns even deadlier?


I’ll let you know how the repotting goes and whether or not the houseplants plants thank me later.

In the meantime…

Happy Reading!

This and That June 19th

Today was a fun day. We gathered at my daughter’s house for the maiden voyage of the new fire pit.

It was also a time to meet the new sweet and cuddly puppy. She spent a lot of time sleeping on my lap. I suspect she slept so deeply with me because I was the only one sitting still long enough to let it happen. It seems she is like many young babies, human or otherwise, requiring lots of sleep in between her energy spurts. We enjoyed one another,

The fire pit was fun too, all of us look forward to wiener roasts in the summer. We chatted about alternatives to wieners and Farmer Sausage and the like. Who knew that anyone would cook a steak over a camp fire. I think I will stick with wieners and sausages.

I’ve mentioned Jordan B Peterson recently. He is an Academic and a Clinical Psychologist. He is brilliant and intuitive, I enjoy listening to him and his podcast guests.

Anyway, he recommended several books. One he wrote recently...

Beyond Order: Twelve New Rules for Life

He also recommended an author we should read if we want to be the best we can be at writing. He mentioned one book but I came across a complete collection and I took it.

Francis Bacon: The Complete Works (Centaur Classics)

Following that I noticed a collection by a classic author I keep crossing paths with but have never read.

Delphi Complete Works of John Steinbeck

I’ll leave you with their covers.

It looks like I have some heavy reading ahead of me.

Have you read any of these books?

What did you think of them?