Wednesday, December 7, 2022

How are you holding up?


12 7 2022


The holidays are a joyful time for many and extremely difficult for others.



For those who have a hard time, people can give you a lot of recommendations, can’t they? Get into the spirit! Decorating will make you feel better! And lots of others. I happen to get benefit from being with other people. I love holiday crowds. But I’m not everyone!



I found this article in Psychology Today about why meditation doesn’t work for everyone. It impressed me. It lists 5 conditions that make meditation difficult, even harmful. Take a look if you’ve found no benefits from medication.



One this those of us with depression are good at is hiding it behind a smile. You never can tell what a person is thinking or feeling, just by looking.



The end is the part I like: finding your own form of meditation. Like the guy who lost himself in his carving, I can lose myself in my fiction. I never realized it before, but writing is my meditation. I mean, I’ve always known that I’m in better mental health when I’m writing, but I’ve never put it that way. I know some people exercise to stay sane. Do you have anything similar?



I expect to have a very good Christmas. There will be 5 grandchildren present. That’s a formula for happiness!


***I’ll note that this is being posted on Pearl Harbor Day. I don’t want to ignore it.

The illustrations are all from



Monday, October 24, 2022

Just a note FYI

 10 24 2022 


Amazon—for writers, we can’t really live without it today. But it’s darn hard to live WITH it.


The newest glitch/innovation/mess is that you will NOT see all of my books when you google my name there, NOR when you go to my author page.


My google, that pulled up 8 total books.


My author page, that is missing the first book in two of the series.


According to messages to various authors, this is a mess-up and will be corrected OR it’s a new policy to do…something they think they should do.


At any rate, IF you want to see my books and my short stories, you can see them on my own page.


Thursday, September 1, 2022

A Trip with James Jackson to Greenland!

 I've known Jim for many years through our writing, the Guppies, and even meeting in person. He's a good friend and a wonderful writer! Here's his bio:

James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree series. Full of mystery and suspense, these domestic thrillers explore financial crimes, family relationships, and what happens when they mix. August 2022 saw publication of the 7th novel in the series, Granite Oath. (Click here for information and purchase links.)

Jim splits his time between the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the city life in Madison, WI. You can find more information about Jim and his books at or contact him via email.

And now, what you're waiting for, a trip to Greenland, starting with a view of their tourboat cruising past a glacier!

A few facts to put Greenland into perspective with wherever you live. Its total area is about 150% of Alaska’s (220% of Texas), but an ice sheet covers 80% of it, forcing the population to its seaside edges. The ice sheet at its thickest is over 12,000 feet. The massive weight has compressed the land underneath to below sea level. Most people live in the south and west. The total population is 56,500, of whom 14,800 live in the capital, Nuuk. Eric the Red named the island Greenland to lure settlers from Iceland!

Fjords carve Greenland’s coastline. Glaciers head many of the fjords, but they are retreating. Many glaciers now “hang,” meaning they no longer reach the ocean. We had many memorable experiences, and at the top of the list was meeting a pod of feeding Humpback Whales.


We rode small boats to explore the Illulissat Icefjord, where the Greenland icecap calves enormous icebergs into Disko Bay. I spotted the first Humpback in a cove created by icebergs. The boat idled in, and we discovered eight together. Humpbacks are 45-50 feet long (which is huge, but only half the size of the blue whales we saw earlier off the coast of Iceland). They can live up to 50 years.

In the pictures below you can see three feeding together, a dripping tail just before the whale dove and the underside of another’s fluke. I sent that picture to, and they identified that individual as HW-MN0102358, which was first recorded on July 31, 2018 in the same general area (and spotted again by someone else a few days after my encounter). Humpbacks have two nostrils. The spout you see is water vaporized when they exhale.

We enjoyed their company for twenty minutes. When one swam underneath our boat, turned around, and swam underneath again before surfacing, we wondered who was entertaining whom. Our time was up, but as we were leaving, two other boats arrived to witness the magic.

Kaye and others have asked if they can expect to find my fictional sleuth, Seamus McCree, on a cruise. Never say never, but it’s unlikely. Seamus doesn’t have to travel to find trouble, and he’s turning into a homebody. Given his preference (and I usually listen to him), he’ll remain at his place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (where the most recent Seamus McCree novel, Granite Oath, takes place.)

Thursday, August 25, 2022

New, Good Deals, and Funny Stories

 8 25 2022 



I know that my last post had links to a number of reviews and giveaways of my latest book, but I was surprised by one more this week!  I think you need to apply for the e-book contest by Saturday. Or maybe Friday. I didn’t know Lorie Ham had asked Edith Maxwell to review this at Kings River Life Magazine and also didn’t know they were doing this giveaway! What a nice surprise!






I have more news, too! Now that it’s official, I feel I can tell you that I was asked to write a story for Black Cat Weekly by Michael Bracken. He had an idea and asked Josh Pachter to write it, but Josh suggested that I do it. Wasn’t that nice? Those are two very good guys. It was almost worth getting Covid, going to Malice Domestic and being asked this. (My family, to whom I gave it, would probably not agree.)



I signed and returned the contract this week, and it will be in edition #58, which should be the weekend of October 8th, if I counted correctly.


If you don’t subscribe to this excellent publication, you probably should. You can sign up or buy copies here:




Untreed Reads has arranged for special priced bundles for the Neanderthal books, People of the Wind, AND for my Imogene Duckworthy novels at get all three novels in all e-formats.




Last week I took a quick trip to see that same family and did NOT bring them any diseases. My grandsons both take violin lessons, from two different teachers, and they were happening two of the days I was there. I tagged along to meet the teachers and see the lessons. (I’m a violinist and used to give lessons long ago.) At the first lesson for the older boy (and my daughter) (who is a clarinet and recorder player who recently decided to learn violin and cello), the teacher asked if I’d like to do a duet with her at the end of the lesson. I got to play my daughter’s violin, which is a joy to play.



The teacher thumbed through some of her duet books and I landed on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which she said she did not know! It was fun, and when I got home, I asked my daughter to give me the teacher’s email so I could send her the YouTube of Cohen singing it. I like the one live in London. My daughter sent me the email on my business account for Kaye George, and I emailed her from there, not thinking about the link to my webpage. Well, turns out she loves mysteries and by the next week, had ordered some of mine!



Okay, that was really fun, but here’s an even funnier related story. My younger grandson is very impressed that Grandma is an author. We went out to lunch one day and he asked his parents if people would be asking Grandma for her autograph. I refrained from loud laughter, but said it was unlikely.



Then his lesson was later that day. He had to brag to his teacher that I was a writer and it turns out she reads mostly cozy mysteries! So I gave her a card and, just before we left, she asked me to autograph it—using that word. My grandson got his wish!



New book, new story coming up, and two new fans—it’s all good!


I hope your month is going well, too.

Thursday, August 4, 2022






It’s out, the third book in this series! And doing well! I’d love for everyone to buy a copy, of course, but I have a stack of them on my dining room table and can give one away to one of you! Just leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner on Friday night.


 What’s it about?  Enga Dancing Flower and her tribe of Neanderthals have reached a place they can stay in safety. Or have they?


It’s clear the groups of other settlers in the area do not want more neighbors, and this is made even more evident when a male of Enga’s tribe is murdered, and a baby is kidnapped.



The future of the tribe is immediately put into question. Can Enga and her people find the killer and rescue the baby? Or will the security and bright future the tribe has dreamed of fall to pieces?


Where is it?

It’s available everywhere books are sold. It can ordered from your local bookstore. But here’s an extra dead:

If you buy the paperback from Untreed Reads, you can get my short story "The Bavarian Krisp Caper" free! There’s a special discount if you pick up all three paperbacks at one time.



All of my appearances for this launch have had to be virtual. But there are several reviews and interviews. I’ll list them again here.



by Amber Foxx, who writes the Mae Martin Psychic Mysteries, no murder, just mysteries, and lives where this book takes places, in what is now New Mexico. Here’s the link to her review:




At Ladies of Mystery. I try to answer the question about my main character: Where Did Enga Dancing Flower Come From?




This one is for Lyrical Pens, where cj petterson has been kindly posted about my upcoming release about my motivation for writing this series. Please check out her books, too!





George Cramer hosted me at where I answered his fun interview questions. He’s an author, a PI, and Native American of Karuk descent. His debut novel, THE MONA LISA SISTERS, came out in 2020.



On the 24th Amber Foxx also interviewed me. She wanted to know all about how and why I write this series.




Then, to cap things off, my main character, Enga Dancing Flower, will tell you about her day at Dru’s Musings on August 5th. Come over that day for a giveaway! It will run from 8/5-8/8,





Thursday, July 14, 2022

Almost here!


7 14 2022 


My latest, DEATH IN THE NEW LAND, is out very soon, the 19th of this month!



I’d like to catch you up on some of the places you can find out more about this book. But first, I’ll tell you myself, since I wrote it. This is the third in the People of the Wind series, which is what Untreed Reads and I call my Neanderthal mystery series. As far as I know, I am the only person writing prehistory mysteries. Lots of others write prehistory fiction, but not mysteries.



Blurb for this book: Enga Dancing Flower and her tribe have reached a place they can stay in safety. Or have they?

It’s clear the groups of other settlers in the area do not want more neighbors, and this is made even more evident when a male of Enga’s tribe is murdered, and a baby is kidnapped.


The future of the tribe is immediately put into question. Can Enga and her people find the killer and rescue the baby? Or will the security and bright future the tribe has dreamed of fall to pieces?




An early reader posted an excellent review on July 7th, which I need to tell you about. Amber Foxx, who writes the Mae Martin Psychic Mysteries, no murder, just mysteries, lives where this book takes places, in what is now New Mexico. It was quite a different place then, but Tucumcari Mountain has not changed. Here’s the link to her review:



On the 16th, I’ll have a guest blog at Ladies of Mystery. I try to answer the question about my main character: Where Did Enga Dancing Flower Come From?



Then, two together.

The 20th, I’m blogging at Lyrical Pens, where cj petterson has been kindly posted about my upcoming release about my motivation for writing this series. Please check out her books, too!



The very next day, George Cramer hosts me at and I answer his fun interview questions. He’s an author, a PI, and Native American of Karuk descent. His debut novel, THE MONA LISA SISTERS, came out in 2020.



On the 24th you’ll be able to read very nice the interview that Amber Foxx did. She wants to know all about how and why I write theses.



Then, to cap things off, my main character, Enga Dancing Flower, tells about her day at Dru’s Musings. Come over that day for a giveaway! It will run from 8/5-8/8,



Here’s a reminder about the interview I had with Emily Dunn in June. We covered a lot of topics!



Where to get my new novel? That’s easy—almost anywhere. Your book store can order it, you can get it online, but you can save money getting it directly from the publisher.


For a little something special, the code KRL when you’re checking out, will give a donation to Kings River Life magazine, the place that carries my reviews and lots of other great stuff. There are some sales on this and my things at this link, also.



Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Something New Is Coming!


And something else new is already here! I’ll give you that one first. Emily Dunn is doing recordings for The Write Focus on podbean. She just started doing interviews and I’m honored to be her first! She and I talked about a lot of things, including my new People of the Wind, Neanderthal book, my Imogene series, my cozy books, and my short stories. This is only half of it, too. The next half will be available next Wednesday, and an audio of the whole interview will go up then, too. Each half is about 30 minutes.


She’s also doing a series on writing, which you can access at the side of this page.


Here’s the other new thing, which you may have already caught wind of, a new People of the Wind mystery, from Untreed Reads, DEATH IN THE NEW LAND! This follows the Neanderthal tribe to the place they ended up, which is modern-day New Mexico, around Tucumcari. I hope my efforts to describe this remarkable landmark paint a picture of it for the reader. I also hope, of course, that my readers can envision Enga Dancing Flower’s tribe and travails they go through when they meet other peoples who are already inhabiting this new, strange-to-them land.


This book will officially be published July 19th, but you can preorder now from Untreed Read. For a little something special, the code KRL when you’re checking out, will give a donation to Kings River Life magazine, the place that carries my reviews and lots of other great stuff. There are some sales on this and my things at this link, also.


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The life of a mystery writer

 6 8 2022

We have it so hard! Here we are trucking along, trying to get a mystery published. Bragging to our friends that we know how to commit the perfect crime. Doing all our research, working hard on it. Then we decide to try it out.



Not our fault if we get caught. We tried.



The above is what I imagine was going through the head of Cynthia McDonnell, aspiring mystery writer, who decided to let her LEO husband, Don McDonnell have it. Googling her name will bring up a lot of info on this case.



Here’s something about her case:

If that one goes away, which it might, here’s another article:



True confession: I watch old Forensic File reruns and sometimes watch them more than once.



There’s another case now. I remembered watching this old one when the current case was settled. This wife is a romance writer, so maybe she had even less chance of success. She did write an essay entitled “How to Murder your Husband” but maybe it wasn’t well done. I didn’t read it. She, Nancy Brophy, was convicted last month.



But this older case is more interesting to me. I want to know if anyone was critiquing her work, and what courses she took to learn how to write a mystery. Because this was far from perfect! She did everything wrong! First, she said it was a break in. But she forget to make it LOOK like a break in. Then she decided to tell them it was a suicide, and concocted a big, wild, fake story to go with that. But she had no idea how to make it look like a suicide. It didn’t.



The part that makes an impression on me is that her bookshelf was used to make her look guilty.

Her bookshelf, from the show:



My bookshelf, photo taken yesterday:



See why this worries me? Mystery writers, I’ll bet all our shelves look like this, yes?


Thursday, May 5, 2022

My adventures last month AND a teaser

5 5 2022 


We were all so excited! Going to a real conference for the first time in a few years (for me). Everyone attending Malice Domestic was required to submit proof of vaccination, so we felt so safe.


Too safe. Most of us ditched our masks for the weekend in the hotel in Bethesda MD, and even hugged each other. It felt so good.

We loved having a crowded hotel room get together Friday night with libations and goodies. Fun and crowded and loud.


Here’s the panel I was on. The subject was blended genres, as all of us write something a little different from each other. It went very well!


Moderator, Elizabeth Crowens, me, Marilyn Levinson, Leslie Karst, Paula Benson, and Kathryn O'Sullivan.


I wish I had a picture of our banquet table. I sat at the one hosted by Leslie Karst and Ellen Byron. Ellen won the Agatha for Best Novel! That was awfully fun.


Then we left. And that wasn’t fun. You may have heard about this. Many, many of us came away with a case of covid. This late variant, at least, is not lethal to the vaxxed. But it wasn’t easy either! I had a terribly sore throat for about three days, and am still having some brain fog, fatigue, and my sense of taste is a bit off. It’s not gone, just off. The worst part of my being ill was that I was staying at my daughter’s house to have a fun week. Instead, I made them sick, too.


So I isolated 5 days in their guest room, flew home on May 1st, and am now masking for five days at home. Honestly, though, I think I’ll mask for the foreseeable future.


Here’s the teaser! I just got the cover of my third People of the Wind novel, DEATH IN THE NEW LAND, which will be out July 19th! There will be preorder information soon, too.



Talk about a roller coaster ride. I’m getting dizzy.


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

We CAN Do Something

3 23 


I’m sure you are all watching, as horrified as I am, as the Russian Bear attempts to annihilate Ukraine, out of frustration from not being able to subdue them. There are a few charities I’ve found that seem legitimate, and some that really don’t.


But I have TWO opportunities to participate in something helpful. The FIRST that I’ll mention is the Untreed Reads donation. Here’s a copy of the March 9th tweet:

 Untreed Reads


·Mar 9

Purchase any paperback or hardcover from our website and we'll donate $2 to the World Central Kitchen, providing meals to #Ukraine️ refugees. Enter code UKRAINE at checkout.



My People of the Wind books are published here, DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE and DEATH ON THE TREK. I put a promo photo together to move the first book, and it’s also to celebrate the NEW CONTRACT for the third in this series, DEATH IN THE NEW LAND. (The contract also includes publication of a new short story collection.) I’m thrilled about both of these. Here’s the photo I posted that got an astonishing amount of attention. Astonishing to me, anyway.



I’m equally excited about the SECOND opportunity to do something for this nation. A lot of authors are participating in and auction, called Authors for Ukraine. The bidding will start on 3/29, but you can get a peek at what’s on the block now at:

If you want a peek at my block (my Vintage Sweets series, authographed)                    :

One of the authors, the awesome Gabriel Valjean put this together for the event. 



***There’s one other thing that one Ukrainian swears is helping. A Facebook friend and fellow writer, Anthony Burton, posted this yesterday:


For all the Reiki practitioners or those who have an interest in Reiki... this comes from William Lee Rand, founder of the International Center for Reiki Training.


Please continue to pray for the situation in Ukraine and send Reiki. The latest information indicates that it is working! Also, please read the message sent from the Ukrainian soldiers below that was translated from Ukrainian to English:


The Warriors in Ukraine are witnessing the following:


“We are feeling all your prayers and support for us. Sometimes something really mysterious happens, as if someone's invisible hand is actually taking the bullets and shells away from us, and then making them fly past us. We emerge victorious from very difficult situations as if someone is accompanying us. It seems like we become invisible to the enemy, while it appears we gain the ability to see in the dark. At the same time, we seem to know what to do and how to do it. This inspires and gives us strength. We believe that the Lord Jesus Himself is with Ukraine. Please do not stop the prayers. Continue to support us and keep on praying. We are in great need of all of you, and your prayers and support.”


Maybe this is the most important thing we can do. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Things Every Writer Should Know about Taxes--you might be doing this wrong!


I put this together for my writer friends from a presentation I did for the Authors Guild of Tennessee last week. I cleaned it up a bit, but it’s basically the speech I made, with the addition of links here for you. The last time I did a blog on taxes was January 2018, so I’m overdue!


[[It’s helpful to follow along with a 1040, a Schedule 1 and a Schedule C.

And this one, for home office deductions. ]]



I hope I can help you start off the new year right. We hope a lot of things are different this year! But taxes—we have to do those every year.


First of all, are you taking business deductions for your writing business?

Show of hands. (Only 3 in the room were filing taxes for their writing business!)


Let’s start by squashing the misconception, which is sometimes even believed by tax professionals, that writers can only report a loss and deduct expenses for 3 years, under the hobby law. Section 183 of the tax code lays out the “Hobby Loss” exemption. This says that you cannot deduct expenses for side activities, hobbies.


However, such people as visual artists, musicians, writers, and dancers are exempt IF they can prove to the IRS that they making serious attempts to earn a profit in the future, if they’re not making one now. Good records are a must. Keep track of all of your time and expenses. For us, it’s an indefinite period, as long as you’re trying and you can prove it. The IRS recognizes that it can take years to turn a profit doing these things.


This is not easy information to find! I have to look for it every year that I do a tax presentation or blog post.


Here’s what you must do, detailed in those links:

You must generally consider these factors in determining whether an activity is a business engaged in making a profit:


Whether you carry on the activity in a businesslike manner and maintain complete and accurate books and records.

Whether you have personal motives in carrying on the activity.

Whether the time and effort you put into the activity indicate you intend to make it profitable.

Whether you depend on income from the activity for your livelihood.

Whether your losses are due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the startup phase of your type of business).

Whether you or your advisors have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business.

Whether you were successful in making a profit in similar activities in the past.

Whether the activity makes a profit in some years and how much profit it makes.

Whether you can expect to make a future profit from the appreciation of the assets used in the activity.

You may find more information on this topic in section 1.183-2(b) of the Federal Tax Regulations.



This year, you can file from January 24-April 18. Although you probably won’t have all of your income forms until later than that. 1099s don’t have to be out until Jan 31.


OK, we’ve established that you CAN take a loss and deduct it from you income for your taxes. Now, what do you use for filing taxes as a writer? It’s a form 1040, schedule C.


You’re trucking along doing your 1040, either by yourself, or with software, and you end up with line 15, your taxable income. Just above there, though, is line 8, which takes the figure from Sched 1, line 10. Sched 1, line 3, is the one we like. That’s the figure from Sched C.


Now that we’ve gotten that tacked down, let’s talk about that Sched C.


The Schedule C form can be found here:


Detailed instructions are at:


How many of you are familiar with this form? How many of you file it each year?


You can do taxes several ways. You can do it all by yourself, following the directions. You can use software such as Turbo Tax or H&R Block. And you can have someone prepare your taxes.

This is when you need to make sure the hobby rule isn’t used against you. Many tax professionals get this wrong.


If you’re not claiming expense for writing and if you want to, I’ll go over some of the line items. I’m using the lines that were from last year. They may change a bit this year.


At the top, the proprietor is you, and your SSN goes beside that.

A Principal business. This will involve entering a code.

I use “writer” ad my profession, “Arts, Entertainment, Recreation” as the business category and

B I use 711510 as the code.


C I use my pen name as my business name. My bank account is in that name as a DBA.

But if you don’t have a pen name, you can leave this blank. If you have a name for your self-publishing business, I would use that.

D is your EIN. If you’ve established a DBA, you’ll have gotten in EIN for the IRS.


F I use “cash” as my accounting method. It’s the easiest to use for a simple business.

G Always say YES you participated materially.

H This is where you tell them it’s a brand new business, or that you paid anyone with a 1099. I think that’s unlikely, unless you do have employees.


PART 1 is your income

#1 Add up everything you made and put that here.

I doubt you took returns, but if you did, that goes in this section.

You will probably have “cost of goods sold”. That’s what it cost you to make your books. That is calculated below, in Part III, and we’ll get to that.



Now we’re ready for the fun stuff, the expenses!

This is where you chop off the money you would owe without doing this.


Advertising is straight forward. Everything you spent on PR. Bookmarks, mailing out books to reviewers, online ads, etc. (Mailing can be here or under postage—doesn’t matter, just be consistent from year to year.)


At the beginning of the C instructions, they tell you what’s new for this year.

The first thing mentioned is almost always the mileage rate, since that changes every year. For 2021, it’s 56 cents a mile, a decrease from last year. To use this deduction, you have to know what your mileage is, of course. I hope you’ve all kept track of the miles you drive to this meeting, miles to buy paper and toner and supplies. Also miles to business meetings, lunches, and dinners—which aren’t very many for last year, I’ll bet.


There is a worksheet for line 9, car and truck expenses. If you didn’t keep track, it would be a good idea to estimate them. You have to know what your total mileage for the year was, to deduct car expenses. You can use the standard, or actual car expenses, but your amount will be a portion, depending on the total miles divided by the miles for business. If you don’t know your mileage on January 1st of 2020 and 2021, you can estimate it. You count mileage, parking fees, and tolls.


OK, that’s line 9, mileage and car stuff.


I put my dues paid to the organizations I belong to on line 10.


My only other expense for 2020 was office expense, line 18

I put paper, toner, pencils, that sort of thing here.


Where you put the expenses isn’t as important as being consistent from year to year. If you count postage as an office expense, always put it there. If you put it under advertising, then keep putting it there.


Line 24, travel and meals

A is travel, b is meals


A The best deductions, for me, are conferences. That money adds up! Hotel, plane, conference registration, sometimes promo material that I bring to give away. I lament that there haven’t been any of these for the last two years. I’m hoping that will change now.


B meals They have always been deducted at 50% of the actual figure. However, there’s a change this time. Restaurant business meals are 100%! I’ve never seen this before. That applies to “food and beverages provided by a restaurant and paid for or incurred after December 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2023. So all of last year.



Then we get to line 30, use of the home

I take the standard for this, doing it the simple way. You enter the square footage of your house and the square footage of the office, and there’s a standard deduction for normal utilities and house expense. There is a limit of 300 sq ft for the home office. Use form 8829 for this. You add up all of your items, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance, rent, repairs and maintenance, utilities, etc. And deduct the percentage belonging to your office space. 


Once you use the simplified method, you are locked into it.


So, at the bottom of Sched C, on line 31, you get your profit or loss.

That goes on Line 3, of 1040 sched 1, contributing to line 10, which goes on line 8 of the 1040.



There are a few things mentioned here for 2022:



When you buy new equipment, electronics of office furniture, you can deduct those all at once or depreciate them with section 179. I never depreciate these things myself, just charge them in the year I purchase them.

Pub 946 has some details on this.

This says that, “For tax years beginning in 2021, the maximum section 179 expense deduction is $1,050,000.” There is also information on depreciating your race horses.



You can subscribe to tax tips:

 But be warned that you’ll get lots of them, every day!


I hope this helps my writer friends who are new to this. Good luck!



Other links that may be useful, or may not be