Onto the next

When taking a job, there is always parts of the job that you can’t anticipate. As an independent writer, the work is never done.  There is the writing, the numerous drafts to craft the story, the nail-biting when you wait for your editor’s comments, finding the right cover, working with the formatter, uploading the b book to the right places, then finally the publicity.

That is never-ending. Press releases, book fairs, local fairs, contests, creating programs for local libraries, and so on.

Then there is moving onto the next project. For me the next one is almost done and have started on the second next project. Both of which are departures from my Edie Swift books.


End of Season…maybe

In the forty plus years we’ve been farming, we haven’t seen a year like this before.

In our area, the harvest season started late due to lots of rain– 2-3 weeks late. The sun didn’t shine much and the ground held the moisture making for sections of fields that were left to be harvested at a later date–when the ground froze. Some farmers are still waiting for this to happen; on the way to Beaver Dam this week, I saw corn still standing.

Another common problem was standability, some corn varieties didn’t come up to snuff this year. We anticipate that there will be wind, that there will be rain, one of the traits in a corn variety we look for is that it will still be standing so we can harvest it. This year some of the corn fell all over the place making harvest a bear. The stress level skyrocketed this year. I wonder how many farmers swore during harvest that this would be their last year?

But the corn and soybeans got harvested, and the sun is shining and farming looks inviting–except for the prices. And next year might be better.

Farmers, the eternal optimists.

New Book

I have a new book out. Did I tell you that? It is the third book in the Edie Swift series: A Simple Song.

Police work isn’t always about murder, there are missing children to be found, city curfews to police. And for Detective Edie Swift, trying to escape her new role–hero of Troutbeck.

It is available on amazon in paperback and ebook.

Hope you enjoy the book.



Last night it snowed. I like this, it seems to quiet the world. Preparation for this season has ended…unless you farm.

There is corn and soybeans to be combined. Due to the wet fall, the harvest got started late and we ran into the winter season. And for farmers of a certain age, the specter of the 1985-86 winter is visible.

That winter the snow came and stayed. Lots of corn went unpicked. If we don’t get our crops, everything else comes to a standstill. Because we can’t deliver our grain, we don’t get paid. And it cascades from there.

I remember the anxiety of that year. I remember when spring came that in some fields I picked corn by hand; we needed to combine the fields with larger stands.

We remember the anxiety, the depression, but also joke about the year we harvested our crops twice.

The sun is out now, light is bouncing everywhere, the snow is sparkling, the wind is blowing the snow from the spruces. And it has covered the leaves I haven’t raked.

Happy 4th of July!

This is a fantastic day!

Long, long ago, it began with people seeking a newer world, a new beginning. and that search is what still brings people to our land. A second chance, isn’t that remarkable!

This country is grounded in some remarkable ideas, here are a few that we should never forget:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”  Declaration of Independence

“…and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln 

“We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

This country is still a work in progress. Our ancestors aimed high, so should we.

Happy July 4th. Enjoy.

All the hills are covered with snow

Not many hills in this are, a lot of flat lands around here, farm fields and spruces are beneath the snow. A few weeks ago when we had the same conditions, I curled up with some of the books that I have been accumulating. One of those was The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan. A well researched and finely written book about people’s hubris when it comes to the world around us.

The Great Lakes astounded the Europeans. An expanse of fresh water which seemed to be an inland sea. Then the exploitation started without thought of the consequences: over fishing, introduction of non-native species, pollution, connections to the seas. And it continues today. But Dan Egan is hopeful. Because of people. Because we see the beauty,of the lakes, the need to protect such a large fresh water source, the pleasure of being on lakes.  One person at a time. Good book, take time to read it.


As we put finishing touches on family and friend gatherings, we need to pause and remember the tragedy of five years ago. We should send our prayers, good thoughts, and regrets to the families of Sand Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown, Conneticut.

Twenty children were slaughter with six adults that taught and cared for them. A person who should never possessed a gun shot his mother, then the children, then himself.

The last prayer we say today should be for ourselves, to help understand what we have become through our inaction.

We could have done better, didn’t and still haven’t.



This is my take on the recent reports of sexual misdeeds involving every level of our society.

Sexual misdeeds(all levels of it) are about power, who has it and who doesn’t.

Women did not have power or perceived that they didn’t. Now we do.

One woman and the sixty-six million people who voted for her changed that.

Thank-you Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Do we have the grit to enact the changes that are needed in the United States to address this.

November 2017

Yesterday I would have said that this fall was reminding me of this spring’s weather–rain interrupted by a few days of good weather.The crops got planted in spurts. It looks like the crops will get harvested the same way. With this morning’s snow, I’m thinking that it reminds me more of the winter of 1985-86. That year the snow came , then kept piling up. We finished harvesting in the spring.

So, with snow on the corn, we will wait until it melts off before finishing the harvest. It may be that we will finish in December–haven’t done that in a while.

I’m working on it–honestly!

Enjoyed this weekend, relaxed, caught up with friends, and didn’t think about work. But it kept coming up in conversation.

“What book are you on, the fourth?” Noooo, I’m doing revision work on my third book.

“Have you published your next book yet?” Noooo, I’m working the revisions.

“When do you think you’ll have it done?” I shrug my shoulders.

But I promise to continue the revisions after one more week of doing nothing…really.

I think all the interruptions in the past year have added up to a better book,at least I hope so.