Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!
Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.
Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!
Congratulations to Jennifer J. Chow for garnering a 2021 Lefty Nomination for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. We're crossing our fingers for Jennifer!
Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.
KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!
Margaret S. Hamilton's "Dealing at the Dump" appears in Cozy Villages of Death Fall 2020.
Margaret S. Hamilton's "Black Market Baby" and Debra H. Goldstein's "Forensic Magic" appear in Masthead: Best New England Crime Stories Fall 2020.
Jennifer J. Chow's Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines (interview on WWK on 11/11) released on November 10.
Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday, October 31, 2016
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 2016
|Maggie and Henny Penny|
My collie, Maggie, and a little hen given to me last spring, have developed a friendship. Henny Penny had been picked on by the roosters at her former home. She ended up being picked on by at least one of my four old hens, too, so I let her run free where she has established a friendship with my old male guinea and my dog. Henny Penny follows Maggie around and sometimes Maggie follows her. Henny Penny has no fear of Maggie, and in the morning when I toss small pieces of bread on the barn floor before Maggie can get it, Henny Penny runs up and snatches them from under Maggie’s nose. On nice days Maggie prefers to nap in the afternoon outside and often I see Henny Penny resting rather close to her. Henny Penny will also go into the lean to where my ponies go to get out of the hot sun and walks around between their legs. They’re careful not to step on her.
|Molly and Freddy|
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
|Walking the Labyrinth at Chartres Catherdral by Daderot|
I think of that story every time I walk a labyrinth. Luckily, there are many where I live. They can be found in chapels and green spaces, even backyards. Whenever I travel, I look to see if there will be one near my destination.
The labyrinth combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but meaningful path. It is a powerful metaphor for life's journey, but it also provides a particularly satisfying neurological experience. Our brains operate differently in a labyrinth, it seems, and therefore, we become different people, even for just a few minutes.
To understand labyrinths, you must first understand that a labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes must be solved, a left brain activity that involves choices and an active mind and logical, sequential, linear thinking. A maze is multicursal, with many paths. If you don't pay attention, you can get lost in one.
Not so with a labyrinth. It is unicursal – one way in, one way out. There are no decisions, no choices, no thinking required. The only choice is to enter. To walk one is a right brain activity involving intuition, creativity, and imagination, and it requires a receptive mindset. You must trust the path, surrender to it.
A labyrinth is not a puzzle; it is a mystery. Theologian Diogenes Allen illuminates the difference: "When a problem is solved, it is over and done with. We go on to other problems. But a mystery, once recognized, is something we are never finished with. Instead, we return to it again and again and it unfolds new levels to us. Mysteries, to be known, must be entered into. We do not solve mysteries. The deeper we enter into them, the more illumination we get. Still greater depths are revealed to us the further we go."
With a labyrinth, the journey really is the destination. We've all heard that old saying, but sometimes it seems little more than an admonition to enjoy the scenery, like life is a train ride, with all the countryside of Life just flying by unless one pays attention.
The labyrinth offers a different truth. It teaches that life is lived step by step. In the metaphorical labyrinth, like in real labyrinths, there is only one way in and one way out, so you can't get lost. And unlike the labyrinth of Greek myth, you will find no monster in the middle – only yourself.
You'll find yourself at the end too, only not the same you who went in. And likewise, the labyrinth has changed too, by your presence within it, so the only thing to do is go back inside, again and again and again.
If you're interested in exploring a labyrinth yourself, you can find one in your location by using the World Wide Labyrinth Locator. It lists the locations to over 5200 labyrinths; it's also a good place to learn about different types of labyrinths and other fascinating tidbits.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
If you fly over my home state of Kansas, you’ll see a checkerboard landscape of farmland. If you drive through on one of the main interstates, you’ll likely get the impression that so many have of Kansas—that it is flat and monotonous.
It’s true that we don’t have the mountains of Colorado or the oceans of California, but we do have treasures. To find them, you have to get off the highway.
|Butterfly on liatris.|
An additional benefit, for me, is the wealth of material I collect for my writing, from scene setting to character development. In August, our desire to escape for a day took us to Wabaunsee County in the northeastern corner of the state. At the Friendly Cooker, a diner where we had lunch, we eavesdropped on the folks around us (lots of characters in small-town diners!) and got the last two pieces of delicious strawberry rhubarb pie free because it was near closing time and the manager felt generous. We spent the rest of the day hiking a little-known prairie area managed by the Audubon Society, its path lined with boulders deposited by glaciers during the last Ice Age, and exploring roads most people don’t know exist.
The real adventure of the day came when we chose to follow a dirt “road” marked on our trusty Kansas Gazetteer but obviously little used. The farther along we drove, the narrower the road became and the taller the weeds. At one point, the weeds growing in the center of the
|The "road" narrowed and the weeds grew taller on the other side of that hill.|
What are your favorite roads less traveled?