Demons & Peeves


We all have demons and peeves. We battle them continually. Reading and writing are unique ways, or tools we use, to wage our war. Naming our demons reduces their power. Sharing our tactics and encouraging one another are also tools.

One of my demons is depression. (Did you know that depression is becoming a national epidemic?) Recovery programs have been amazing tools for me. Today I signed up to become a facilitator for a Depression Recovery Program for my area.

Our battles are never won, but we can hold our ground when we have the skills we need to fight. Why would we not share our tactics and tools in the battle we wage? There is strength in numbers … but only if there is acceptance and sharing among us.

The names may vary – depression, alcoholism, codependence, drugs, (plug in your demon here) – but the enemies are judgment, ignorance and isolation.

We are not alone. If we pull together, in recognition and grace, we can rise above the darkness that threatens to suck us under … and hold the ground we have won.

Never give up.


Mr Binks


Welcome Mr. Binks to my writing staff. In this picture, he is munching a piece of potato as I puddle along on my keyboard. Ratties make great desk pets. They are quiet and often comical. Snuggling with Mr. Binks is great relief from”frayed brain” (aka: writer’s block). I find the companionship of his warm little body, asleep in my hoodie, encouraging as I peck away at my stories.

Mr Binks is my fifth and most charming rat. I usually have two at a time, but Mr. Binks came as a single unit. It may be why he is so charming …. He is the first rat I’ve ever taken to the vet (and that is saying a lot, because I am a total cheapskate.)

Here’s a fun fact for you: did you know that rats are the most popular pet (sold by pet stores) for twelve year old girls? (and, apparently, some 60-year-old female authors.)

Do you have something concrete, in your writing environment, that makes it more enjoyable? If so, what is it?

Write on,




Fourteen years of “Good Dog!”

Years of good memories were packed into life with this pup; herding cows, running competitive 5Ks, camping with the horses – running alongside while we rode and sleeping under the camper at night. She guarded cattle gates, got me out for my daily morning runs, and survived an “incident” with a farm truck, losing a back leg.

She showed up with her whole heart every time she was called upon. When I got a new running mate, Ol’ Peli struggled with depression but kept me in the #1 Mom Place to the bitter end. Her faithfulness amazed and humbled me. She greeted me with her toothy doggie grin very morning and every night; always ready to help with chores and barking her encouragements. Even when she was getting blind, she followed me everywhere I went, always laying within calling distance.

Have you ever had a pet so faithful? All those memories make that one day so much worse, yet I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

How does this pertain to your life story?  Write on,


Pits and Pistols

Maryanne and I hiked several miles on a new trail last Sunday. New trails, good friend, best dog, blue skies … sweet.

Passing a junk-filled yard, I saw dog feet trotting on the other side of an old pickup. I scooped Daz up. Dogs seem reluctant to mess with people but this dog didn’t even stop when he saw I had Daz in my arms. His eyes were on her and he never slowed his pace. When he lunged for her, I automatically put my arm up between him and her. He grabbed the sleeve of the baggy sweat shirt I was wearing hard enough to make holes in it, and pull my arm away. Though his teeth did not break the skin on my arm, there was blood on my glove as I jerked my hand through his mouth. He was not in – the least – deterred.

He lunged again, this time his eyes on me.

He was caught mid-lunge by a horrified owner. I could have fainted with relief.

What if his owner had been gone? What would I have done if he attacked Maryanne? There were no sticks or rocks handy.

Dogs are the bane of my running and hiking existence. Wild life has never messed with me. Dogs, however, are not afraid of people. It grieves me to carry a gun, yet … what are my options? And so, sadly, I dig out my revolvers, to practice.

Mother’s Day


I never understood my mum’s love until I held my own little bundle of potential in my arms. As I looked down at that precious little soul, I didn’t doubt for a minute that I would love him forever. I marveled at the newfound depth of love I had for this little creature and decided, no matter what he did, he would always be precious.

I marveled, then and now, that maybe … this is how God feels about us ….

Write on,


Write for the Brand


Ride for the brand.”

This saying rings of a strength and loyalty that have fallen by the wayside, along with the popularity of Louis L’Amour and western writers.

What does this have to do with me and my writing? I have recently learned that writers need brands! How cool is that? Being a country girl, who has participated in branding, and designed a few of her own, this is right down my alley! (Especially since it is minus the smell and the bawling.)

How fun. And I love a good play on words. Since I write about strong women with hearts of gold, it is an honor to write for the brand.

Stay tuned for my design ….  ( To all you creative souls out there, I’m open to suggestions!)

Write on!


First Pony Encounter


It was a November full moon. The snow was shin deep. I talked two of my little brothers into going outside to play with me after supper. They happily bundled up, thinking snowball fights, or moon shadow-tag, or some such little kid game. I was thinking … there are ponies in the pasture ….

We played in the snow for a while, but it was too cold to pack and too deep to run in. Finally, we ducked under the single strand, electric wire into the horse pasture.

There was a big horse, a black momma pony, and a white baby pony. The adults evaded me like professionals. The baby was curious, happy to be social but petting her was small consolation for the ride I had hoped to get on that beautiful night. (Though I’d never ridden, I watched plenty of westerns in my nine years. I was pretty confident I knew what I was doing.)

Since I couldn’t ride, I thought one of my brothers might as well.  “Hey, Lee. want to ride her?” He was the older of the two, so he had first dibs.
“No. I just want to pet her. She’s nice.” Typical first grader.
“Come on. It’ll be fun.” One of us was going to enjoy a ride on this sparkly night. I don’t know how long it took me to talk him into it. After I did, I didn’t realize what a chunk he’d be to hoist up onto that hairy little back.

In hindsight, it’s amazing the filly let us wallow around on her like she did. As soon as his legs clamped around her little sides, however, she took off like a shot; bucking and running.

Lance and I watched in amazement. Huh. Who’d’a thunk?

Lee stuck on for a couple of bucks and jumps before neatly sliding off, poofing in the snow. The filly kept on going, bucking and running. When she reached her herd, all three disappeared into the woods in a cloud of white dust.

I picked Lee up out of the snow, brushing him off. I had to get him to quit crying before we got back to the house.