The hobby monster

As I was tidying up today I was struck again by how much gear I’ve collected. I have a lot of interests. Too many, really. I enjoy writing, but I also love drawing, painting and sculpture, as well as sewing, crochet, quilting , costumes and masks. I refuse to give any of it up, because I return to each of them as inspiration hits me. Pinterest is my friend. Could I get rid of some of them? Of course. I haven’t done a piece of intricate embroidery in a long time, but I did a cross stitch piece last year that was fun to do. If I’d gotten rid of all the embroidery gear I would have had to buy more to do that piece. What some might see as clutter I see as friendly inspiration. I no longer do dollhouse miniatures, but I enjoy the pieces I made. Right now I have my eye on a giant wall-mounted paper mache dragon head I want to make. I think I’ll start with the eyes.

Beach Reads – Paper or Digital?

It’s time for summer reading!

Last month was the start of the “beach reads” promos for the summer, when reviewers and advertisers try to catch our eyes and dollars with the latest books by favorite and featured authors.

When I had zero dollars to spend, my beach reads were bags full of used books. I’d go to the used bookstore and buy at least fifteen romances, horror novels, and anything else that caught my eye. I always had one with me t the beach or the apartment pool, and on really hot days, on the sofa, surrounded by cool, air-conditioned air. Once read, they were discarded like candy wrappers, often in places where others would find them and enjoy them.

My reading is now mostly digital books, and I’ve always enjoyed audio books, which I started to listen to during unbearably long work commutes. Now I work from home, but I love a good audio book while I work on projects or mow the lawn. The drawback with digital books is that I forget that I’ve purchased them, and my Kindle is clogged with forgotten purchases. Sometimes I go to buy a book and discover that I already own it. To combat this, and help fellow authors, I’m going to commit to writing a review after I finish reading a book that I have enjoyed, and then I’ll archive the book (I just learned how to do this). Reviews are essential to author ratings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, so I hope all of you will write a few kind words if you enjoy a book.

I’ve on on a fun cozy mysteries binge this summer, but I have a couple of non-fiction books and YA novels to read, too. I’ll post them here when I finish one. I’d love to hear if you have special summer reads you’re enjoying, or if summer is just a calendar spot in your river of never-ending reading.

This week I reread a favorite in paperback, Missy Tippen’s A House Full of Hope, which I rediscovered while organizing books on a bookshelf. It’s such a heartfelt and wonderful story of family regained and love discovered. It’s available from most online booksellers.

A House Full of Hope

The Year of Doing Stuff

I’m finally, tentatively, leaving my cave and venturing out to see what’s new. Thank you, Pfizer! Back home, I’ve been busy, joining the thousands of folks who tackled their dusty To-Do lists and kicked procrastination to the curb.

My lists included finishing garden areas that I’d been planning since the house was built in 2000. Now I can smile nostalgically when I run across a design in one of my old sketchbooks, instead of cringing with guilt.

I’ve been building pavers that look like stone, made from molds that I purchased from a fellow in Ukraine, who sent them, carefully wrapped, all the way to suburban Atlanta. I’ve made 25 of them so far. I’ve become an expert at mixing concrete in small batches.

Global commerce amazes me, and kept me amused during the pandemical months. Boxes were dropped onto my porch weekly, others were tucked behind my bushes, and some were jammed into the mailbox. Every container was filled with fun: game controllers, little garden gargoyles, flattened animal bookmarks, silver charms for bracelets, rare flavors of sugar-free syrups for my coffee, and of course, books. So. Many. Books. I may have become addicted to Amazon. Here’s the funny little octopus bookmark that came all the way from China to save my place when I’m done reading:

A fresh start — and more books!

This new website was one of my To-Do items. Writing a small town book series was another one. I’m happy to say that both of those have been checked off the list. The first book of the Peach Creek series will be out in September, God willing, and the next follows in November, with more next year. I’ll post details about them here as we get closer to the publication dates. To receive updates in your email box, you can subscribe to my newsletter. I’m so excited to be releasing books again!