Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Resolutions? Not this time

 I did those for 2020, and look what happened there. I’ll try to do everything differently so as not to jinx the whole world again, in case I did it last time.


I WILL make some goals, but I might (or might not) keep them private, just between me and whoever owns that voice in my head.


In the past, I did post about my exhortations to myself, and those years seemed to turn out better than this last dumpster fire. I keep a daily journal, Monday through Friday, so, okay, not exactly daily. But pretty close, right? I usually review what I got done the day before and set out what I want to accomplish that day, plus appointments and other stuff. Like, water the plants, get allergy shots—those recurring things that I lose track of if they’re not written somewhere. At the end of every day, I give myself a pep talk.


Was it Janet Evanovich who said she has a job and she works for Janet Evanovich? I think so. That’s genius and I like to tell myself I work for Kaye George. (There was that side gig for Janet Cantrell, but she didn’t keep me on after the contract was up. Oh well.) I’m an okay, so-so boss. I do prefer that my employee show up every day. That includes weekends, even though she’s not required to keep that daily journal on Saturdays and Sundays. There have been a few days this month when she didn’t show up to work and I wish there were a way to dock her pay. But I don’t pay her, so that’s out.


Anyway, in an effort

to be a good boss, I do like to encourage her. So I have her put a note of encouragement at the end of each page of the journal. This actually started years ago with the Nike slogan, JUST DO IT**. I think it morphed into YOU CAN DO IT the next year. I have yet to pick one for her for next year, but here are some of my favorites from the year and the past.







**historical footnote: I looked up when this slogan first started and found this startling article.***

***personal footnote: I read the book by his brother, SHOT IN THE HEART by Mikal Gilmore onto tape for a blind friend after it came out, in 1994 or so. If you ever want to know how to create an enraged killer, this book is practically a blueprint.

All images from





Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Covid nights and days

Covid nights and days


How are you holding up? I think I’m barely making it and I think that’s true of a lot of people. I recently complained, online, about my weird sleeping habits lately and the likelihood that they’re related to depression and anxiety. I’m thankful for all the responses, which were so encouraging and sympathetic. I now know that I’m not alone in this. (It’s good to be a complainer sometimes.) My practice, when I’m down, is to make a list of good things. So, here goes~~ 



The election


The vaccine


Two potential publications (those will turn into bad things if I get rejects, but I’m used to those)


My family (I dare anyone in the world to say they have a better one than I do)


My friends (ditto above)


My readers (I don’t even know all of them, but do hear from some of them sometimes—those are golden spots)


My present occupation/career/work, writing mysteries


My colleagues/fellow mystery writers, many of whom are friends, all of whom, as a group, are the best co-workers anyone could hope for


My health, such as it is. Good for my age, is what they say, I think. This includes my mental faculties, such as they are, too. Also good for my age.


My overall situation, being able to afford eat, drink, shelter, some presents for my kids and grands


Feel free to add to this list, or, better yet, make your own!

photo from



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Helping in Georgia

 The romance writers thought of it first, we have to give them that. Romancing the Runoff was the campaign, and a rousing success! So we mystery writers were greatly inspired by them.

And now look at this!

We’ve raised 3/5 of our goal in the first couple of days! As of this writing it’s at $30,983.02. (I’m going to have to hunt down where that two cents is! That bothers me.)


Please poke around and see if there are items you’d like to have, so you can help out the cause.


Oh, what’s the cause, you say? We’re raising money to benefit “Fair Fight in support of the United States Senate runoff elections in Georgia on January 5, 2021. All proceeds will support Fair Fight’s efforts to combat voter suppression.”


I’m thrilled to have been invited to participate and even more thrilled that people are bidding on the two items I’m contributing.


The first is a story, custom written for the highest bidder. I used to do these for other charities a few years ago and they are great fun for me to do. (I used to custom write songs for birthdays and holidays, too, but I haven’t used that software in a while and don’t know if it’s still working.)





My second item is an autographed copy of my first People of the Wind mystery. (Or e-book if you prefer).


Like I said, poke around if you’re so inclined and want to help the cause. I feel good that I’m doing my part.






Wednesday, December 2, 2020


 Somewhere down the line, after a writer gets asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” we get the question, “What makes you do this?”


I sometimes ask myself the same question. “Why, oh why?” I could be dusting, keeping up with the dishes, sweeping the front sidewalk. Oh wait, maybe that’s why—to get out of all that stuff.


Seriously, though, the writers I know are almost all doing it for the same reason. The writers I know are mystery writers, mid-list (which means we’re not famous world-wide and we don’t make enough money to hire a staff); good, competent writers, some with agents, some self-publishing; all with some fans and avid readers waiting for the next book. We’ll never get rich doing this, and most of us will never make enough money to live on without a job or retirement income.   


I recently read a comment that prompted me to think about this. The person, a fairly new mystery writer, said she was going to have to change her goals. She would give up thinking she could make money doing this and would have to come up with other reasons.


She already has them, I’ll contend. She just has to dig down and discover them.


People write because they are compelled to. It’s in our makeup. We can’t not do it. And, most of the time, we love doing it. The main reward is to have written, to have gotten something published, and to know that someone read it.

 When someone can learn something, or expand their thinking through my fiction, that’s a huge bonus. 

Beyond that, there are tremendous rewards. The best is when someone reads our work and likes it. And says to. Either in a review or in a direct communication with the author. For me, this is all worthwhile because of those times when someone says one of my books got them through a tough time. Or got a relative through a tough time. And those times when I get a rave review. And those times when I get an email or direct message asking me when the next book in a series is coming out. Nothing could be better for a writer than all those things. Except being on the NY Times Bestseller List, of course. But we take what we can get, and an occasional bit of coin for our troubles.


 Images from Pixabay