Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fabulous Review

This week had a rocky start for my family, so a five-heart review for Midnight in Legend, TN was a lovely thing to see early Tuesday. Read the review at The Romance Studio site. It is also up for favorite review of the week! If you want to vote for it here, I certainly thank you. I also thank reviewer Brenda Talley for the glowing words of encouragement.

You'll see some familiar names also in the running, but that's okay--friendly competition, you know. 



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Riding on clouds

What a great workshop Saturday! It was a delight to spend a whole day in the company of the writing community. Kudos to Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary Agency, who held us entranced all day.

I won't bore you with my take on things, but definitely suggest that if you are a writer and get a chance to hear Mr. Eagan speak, you try to make it happen. He represents romance authors, but most of his talk would have been useful for writers of any genre.

I appreciate everyone--the members of Kentucky Romance Writers for putting together a great event, Jan Scarbrough for letting me ride from Louisville to Lexington with her (cutting my drive in half), those who stayed with my husband so I could get away, and "The Kids" for having supper ready when I got home. Saturday was kind of like riding on clouds for fourteen straight hours.

And looky what arrived in my mailbox while I was gone. My author copies of Finding Home: A Ladies of Legend Novel. Thanks, Turquoise Morning Press!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beautiful day for dinner by the river

I was in the mood to have dinner here, but it didn't work out. (This picture is a couple of years old.) The weather today is glorious, and I thought riverside dining would be fun.

We did have a little treat, though--takeout ice cream consumed beside a local lake. For those of you following my husband's health news, this week has been immensely better than last week.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you're enjoying it. 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So, today the bane of my existence is paper.

Been looking for birth certificates today, and our marriage certificate. One birth certificate, and the marriage certificate, are (as yet) unfound. Drat. I used to be so organized!

Have also spent some time in an effort to receive less paper--signing up for online bill paying with some of the utilities. With the electric company I could do it over the phone, but with the natural gas company I have to fill out a paper. (In order to not have more paper.)

When we submitted the FAFSA the other night, I said I wanted to print it. The Progeny, who had the laptop in his hand at the time, printed it--to PDF. Now, I think printing to PDF is great, but sometimes I want to stick a piece of paper into a file. He's right, of course--we saved the PDF where it can be found later. (I hope.)

Received a royalties statement by email today, which I printed to PDF and did not generate a hard copy. It was a struggle, but I forced myself. I really like the convenience and the fact that there is less waste with these options, and of course with ebooks (not that I'm trying to get you to go to my Amazon page and shop, or anything).

I do wish I could find my business cards (see lack of organization, above). I wanted to take the cards with me to the workshop Saturday. Drat. Again.

One interesting paper made its appearance during my foray this afternoon. A small note written (I think) by my husband's dad, who died forty-plus years ago. The note has information about the house where we live, the fact that it was built in 1857 and added onto in 1870. Maybe I'll scan it and save in my laptop. Who knows when I'll find the original again!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Discover Legend, all over again

The town of Legend, Tennessee, began in the minds of four authors--Janet Eaves, Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough, and myself. The series, including the Matchmaking Chef books by Maddie James, has  over twenty titles.

Now the first four Ladies of Legend stories have been re-released in a slightly tweaked novel. (Trade-size paperback only.)

Finding Home: A Ladies of Legend Novel does not read like four separate novellas. It is the same stories you read in the first anthology, except the stories are now woven together more closely, into a novel with four heroes and four heroines, four love stories, eight points of view... It is pretty cool. Discover Legend, all over again.



Saturday, March 12, 2011


Because The Progeny was home and could be in charge of his dad, I was able to get out for a walk early this morning. What a wonderful way to start the day and weekend! Just stepping out of the house is a relief some days, and a two mile walk--giving me time to think without distraction--is such a blessing.

I planned the day's tasks: Errands to do, laundry, soup to make for a dinner at church tomorrow. I also had some ideas for fine-tuning one of the books I hope to pitch at next Saturday's workshop.

(Of course, I always carry the cell phone, just in case, but all was well while I was gone, and when I got back.)

Walking is pretty cheap therapy. Yesterday I had a forty-five minute phone call from a friend who thinks I need to try anti-depressants. I think if I can lace up my shoes and get out more often, I can avoid that.



Friday, March 11, 2011

Higher education. MUCH higher.

I wish someone had told me that, before I got a marriage license, and way before I brought a baby home from the hospital, I needed to be a Registered Nurse (or Medical Doctor in general practice), and also a C.P.A. This whole marriage-and-a-family gig is much too easy to get into without the proper credentials.

Years ago I stumbled along through caring for a baby with jaundice, baby with colic, baby with pneumonia... (All the same baby. Wonder why he is an only child?)

Now I am trying to take care of his dad's health problems, and everybody's finances, and not lose myself or my sanity in the process. This week has been rough, and each night I think tomorrow will surely be better. So far I've been wrong.

I think we have at least one new reader here on the blog, and I'd like to mention a website I've found helpful--Seeking Peace: Brain Tumor Hospice Care. Don't spend much time at the page called From the Trenches unless you're ready to shed tears.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

One task checked off

Tax returns in hand as of last night, and today I whipped through the FAFSA in only about three hours! (Estimated time being one hour, I felt pretty good. I do not do numbers.) The Progeny checked my work*, and we officially submitted the document online. Whew.

All in all, today is better than yesterday. No writing done, but I did find a manuscript that I had forgotten about.


*It's hard to be sure of yourself when you find something in the fridge that was not supposed to be in the fridge, and you know for certain you are the one who put it there.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Wednesdays have become our mid-week "day off." Instead of taking my husband to the center and going to work for three more hours, we stay home, I cook a big breakfast, get some things caught up, and take him for an outing...

But not today. Today he is more confused than usual, and not his easygoing self. He has talked a lot, but made no sense. Recollections of things that didn't happen, questions about my part in this or that event.

Him: "Was your girlfriend really surprised when you came out on stage dressed as a clown?"
Me: "?"

I've filled two large garbage bags with his too-small clothes, ready to donate.  He'll never need that many dress clothes again.

It's chilly and grey outside, and it's raining--of course.

I want to pitch a story to Scott Eagan next Saturday at the KYRW workshop, but it isn't finished. The tax returns aren't ready at accountant's office. I can't get the FAFSA (due tomorrow) finished because I need the info from the returns. Doing the FAFSA online at the last minute is chancy. The website gets overloaded. What if I don't get it done in time? No help for our son on college costs this fall.

Somebody shut Spot into the back room overnight; he wet the floor. I cleaned that up on my way to work this morning at dawn.

Yeah. It's definitely grey, and not just outside.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Checking the map

As you can see, the blog is changing. Welcome to Magdalenaville opened in late 2008 with high hopes for my romance-writing career. Good things happened. We had lots of fun here!

My husband's diagnosis in December 2009 with inoperable Glioblastoma, and the year-plus of adding full-time caregiver to my resume`... Well, let's just say the reinvention of Mags has taken an unexpected turn.

I'm still trying to figure out the map.

I have struggled with the blog, but cannot let it die, because I miss you all. SO. We're returning to the original intent, of sharing with my friends/readers the road I'm on--even though this road has wound through some wild terrain! 

Posts will be shorter, and on a variety of topics, from my own personal reinvention-under-fire, to life observations, to a weekly (or so) Riveting Question. (The first one is about pajamas, but don't tell!)

I still write romance. We'll talk about that, too.  :)


Monday, March 7, 2011


Midnight in Legend, TN received two nice reviews recently. That's always exciting! Read what they have to say about Midnight Shelby and Martin McClain over at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews and at Night Owl Reviews. I've been looking at this story again, and in a way I wish I'd made it a full-length novel. Midnight is such an intriguing character. This, in fact, is what I hear about every novella I've written: I wish it had been longer.

Um...about "longer..." We had a major turning point in the silverizing process. I gave in to my lack of patience and got my hair cut, rather short. The new look is a little startling, but not as much as I'd expected/feared. This is the spin we're giving it: European cut with platinum highlights. Try to keep that in mind if you see me, okay?

Speaking of that, I hope to see some writer friends at the big event in Lexington, KY, on March 19. If you're a writer, or aspire to be one, check this out. Taryn Raye posted a great blog about it.

My current read is Focus, by Leo Babauta. Boy, did I need this one! Mr. Babauta has a free version for download, or you can purchase the premium version. What a great, and very generous, idea. Learn more about the book by clicking here. I struggle mightily with focus, and that's on a good day. On a bad day I don't struggle at all, and simply accomplish nothing.
Okay, back to work...or whatever I was doing...