Nope, not me BABE #MFRWAuthor

I remember this song as being, well, kind of a downer. Sort of a melodic way to dump someone. Great song, but…

Then recently I LISTENED. And heard something far different from what I remembered. Hmmmmm.

Let’s take it from the other direction. Both times, a declaration that no, I am not going to be your identity. You will not be able to use me to prop you up. Nope, not happening.

How many times have we been asked to be the everything for someone? Their identity, their wall, no matter what. No matter how they act.

Check out the amazing lyrics by Bob Dylan:

It Ain’t Me Babe
Go ‘way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who’s never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe
Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I’m not the one you want, babe
I will only let you down
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who will promise never to part
Someone to close his eyes for you
Someone to close his heart
Someone who will die for you an’ more
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe
Go melt back in the night
Everything inside is made of stone
There’s nothing in here moving
An’ anyway I’m not alone
You say you’re looking for someone
Who’ll pick you up each time you fall
To gather flowers constantly
An’ to come each time you call
A lover for your life an’ nothing more
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe
Who’ll pick you up each time you fall
To gather flowers constantly
An’ to come each time you call
A lover for your life an’ nothing more
No. No. No.
Far better:
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Yes. Yes. Yes.

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Whose Job is it, Anyway? #MFRWAuthor

When I was young, really young, many many years ago…no we didn’t go to town in a covered wagon but our telephone number included a word, in this case Cherry 95700…I had two brothers, and a mother who believed in gender specific chores. Therefore I folded clothes and helped with dinner while my brothers got to mow the lawn.You read that right, I had ‘girl’ jobs while my brothers had ‘boy’ jobs. Given my propensity to high drama, you can imagine my expression when I placed their folded laundry on their beds while listening to the sound of lawn mowers and smelling the sweet green of new cut grass.

Fast forward several decades, and a phone call from my youngest brother, in his mid teens. He was the only one home, and he was hungry. Knowing the usual contents of that refrigerator, I suggested cooking up a hamburger. Great idea but…he didn’t know how. I don’t think I’d read Heinlein yet, or I would have quoted Lazarus Long:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Instead, I talked him through cooking his own meal, and continued to wonder about gender specific jobs. Particularly since, by then I had worked in various kennels and stables, and learned whoever was handy did the job. If they didn’t know how to they better learn. Fast.

And fast forward to today, when I live much of my dream though without the person with whom I shared that dream. A person who though mowing lawns was just the greatest game ever. When he found out we could acquire a riding lawn mower along with our five acres, he was in bliss, and would take any opportunity to start it up.Not so much my passion, and the lawn tractor sits, unloved, under a protection of tarps.

But the rain produces green stuff, and after a while the weed whacker just was not getting 024the job done. So, a birthday present to myself:

All bright and shiny and clean. Not for long.

It took some time to read the set up instructions (I know, a markedly female tendency, not one I often utilize)

Soon I was chugging puffing and hauling and pushing that 008new toy around. Note: if possible do not start a lawn project after noon, especially in the high and dry. Eventually my pretty new toy will look even more used. I can’t wait!

However, this is only for the area around the house, where walkways are obscured by growth of unknown origin. The big field has planted itself in something lovely, and I won’t interfere there. All too soon, it will be chilly and deep with snow.005

I’ll leave you with a word of advice. If you want to do the best by your children, teach them to do everything. They’ll thank you in the end. Hugs


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Favorites Are A Bad Thing…Or Are They?#MFRWAuthor

We are told not to have favorites. Not favorite children, nor favorite pets. Treat everyone as equally as possibly. In particular we writers do not have favorite characters, lest we allow our favoritism to impede our writing. Characters must deal with conflict. They must suffer, to show us their mettle.

So. No favorites.

Except…I finished the final final final edits for A Question of Faith, a Stormhaven Love front cover finalStory. I hadn’t seen that story for a while. I’d been working on the next one in the series, and other stories after that. So when I met Roz again, she whammied me, saying things like this. Roz talking with Tyler Randolph:

***His gaze was uncomfortably intense as he set down the coffee cup. “You’ve never lost it all for a man?”
She tugged on her wrist. “Couldn’t see the reason to lose it all for a man. Could see wanting to share your life with someone, could see building something better than either side of the equation from combining two lives. Could never see forcing the issue. If it was meant to be, then it happened.”
He slowly relaxed his hold, but didn’t let go. “If it didn’t happen easily, it wasn’t meant?”
“Not really. If it’s worth happening, it’s definitely worth working toward and putting a lot of effort into. But if two pieces of a puzzle aren’t meant to fit together, getting out a hammer to force the issue isn’t the answer.”
“What about trimming the edges so the pieces fit?”
“Forcing the fit? Nope, could never see that either. Woman meets a man, he’s perfect except maybe he doesn’t go to the opera or would rather watch football than go for a walk with her. He’s not perfect, he’s not Mr. Right, he’s Mr. Right Now, Mr. Almost Good Enough, Mr. I Can Fix This if I Try. If he’s the right man, he’ll want to make her happy and if going to the opera makes her happy, presto bingo, they go to the opera. Not every weekend, sometimes she goes by herself. Sometimes she watches football with him and sometimes she goes for a walk on her own. Because they are, or should be, two complete people who are better for being together, not two disparate beings who can’t function without being joined at the hip.”
He frowned while his thumb rubbed along her skin and she told herself it had no effect on her.
“So not having found this ideal male who chooses to go to the opera with you, you’ve remained single?”
“Got it in one. Single, and not ragging on my husband or boyfriend or, heaven help me, ‘life partner,’ with my girlfriends every time his back is turned. You were married, you must have figured out some of this on your own.”***

And later, when they’ve resolved some of those ‘fit’ issues, and Roz is sharing her deeper thoughts:

***“When I watched a cowboy walk up a hill and wondered what his butt would feel like under my hands.” She closed the distance between them. Their mouths touched lightly, and she pulled back to look into his eyes, letting him know this was what she wanted. “When I watched him ride his stallion and suddenly understood what all my romance writing buddies were talking about. Wondering if your hips would move the same way in bed as they did on the horse. Watching the way your muscles flexed when you lifted a calf up out of trouble. Wondering if you would ever touch me the way you touched that scared filly.” She nestled her neck against his hand, looking directly into his face. “Ty, I realize, whatever your reasons, you don’t want to seduce me. So I am trying as best I can to seduce you.”***

Oh yeah, if I ever grow up, I want to be like Roz.

A Question of Faith comes out October 1, from  Black Opal Books


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Words of Wisdom from Seth #MFRWAuthor

I was trying to do the ‘share’ thing but it didn’t want to work for me. Since I’m cleaning (seriously, don’t pass out) as well as writing (I’ve got to get Lana and Adam back together) I’m going to give you the link Seth’s Great Advice, and also copy it below below. While you check out the link, you might want to subscribe. Seth makes so much sense! These are wonderful reminders of how not to make everyone around you roll their eyes.

Endless September (10 quick rules)

Every year, IT professionals at colleges have to deal with an influx of newbies, all of whom ask precisely the same questions as the newbies did last year. It’s Sisyphean.

Of course, every day on the internet is like September, because there are always newbies, or people who didn’t get the memo. The internet is a connection machine, a community. It has swimmers and lifeguards, givers and takers, the honest and the grifters…

Here are ten things to remember, feel free to share with those that are less experienced. Happy September:

  1. Don’t hit ‘reply all’ to an email unless you have a really good reason. And don’t write, “take me off this list” to a listserv, because everyone on the list will probably get your note. That’s been true for thirty years and it’s still true.
  2. You may think you can recall a sent email, but you probably can’t. Best to breathe three times before you hit send.
  3. Don’t type in all caps.
  4. Don’t buy anything on the phone (or by email) from a stranger, especially anything having to do with your small business, your computer, your Google listing or a charity. Just hang up.
  5. Everything you click on or surf on or do online is being recorded somewhere. Act accordingly.
  6. Backup your data, get tenant’s insurance and turn on ‘Find my iPhone’ on your Mac.
  7. When in doubt, restart your computer. If that doesn’t work, visit duckduckgo and type in your question. You’ll be amazed at how many people have had the problem you’re having.
  8. To become an expert in something, you’re going to need to read more than the first link that comes up in a search. And before you forward something you’re not an expert in, check Snopes.
  9. Offer help on something you’re good at to the community at least three times before you ask that community for help. Someone is always coming up behind you.
  10. Don’t believe everything you read online. In fact, don’t believe most of it.

Bonus #11: Be kind. Thanks.

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When You Find Out What the Words Really Mean #MFRWAuthor

I came across this on Facebook:

Wow, how gorgeous. I’ve heard the song before, and wondered from time to time what it really meant. Folk songs all too often have a much deeper meaning than we realize. An Internet search brought me to Wikipedia, a good starting place, with a wealth of possibilities:

***There are many theories about the meaning of the song, most of which are connected to the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. One interpretation based on the lyrics is that the song is sung by the lover of a captured Jacobite rebel set to be executed in London following a show trial. The heads of the executed rebels were then set upon pikes and exhibited in all of the towns between London and Edinburgh in a procession along the “high road” (the most important road), while the relatives of the rebels walked back along the “low road” (the ordinary road travelled by peasants and commoners).[3]

Another interpretation of the “Low Road” is that it refers to the traditional underground route taken by the “fairies” or “little people” who were reputed to transport the soul of a dead Scot who died in a foreign land—in this case, England—back to his homeland to rest in peace.[3][4]

Another similar interpretation also attributes it to a Jacobite Highlander captured after the 1745 rising. The Hanoverian British victors were known to play cruel games on the captured Jacobites, and would supposedly find a pair of either brothers or friends and tell them one could live and the other would be executed, and it was up to the pair to decide. Thus the interpretation here is that the song is sung by the brother or friend who chose or was chosen to die. He is therefore telling his friend that they will both go back to Scotland, but he will go on the “low road”, his body being paraded along the main road controlled by the Duke of Cumberland’s forces, whereas his friend will have to head for the hilltops, taking longer to get back. Another supporting feature of this is that he states he will never meet his love again in the temporal world, on Loch Lomond. Some believe that this version is written entirely to a lover who lived near the loch.[3][5]

A related interpretation holds that a professional soldier and a volunteer were captured by the English in one of the small wars between the countries in the couple of hundred years prior to 1746. Volunteers could accept parole, a release contingent on the volunteer’s refusal to rejoin the fighting, but regulars could not and so could face execution. The volunteer would take the high road that linked London and Edinburgh while the soul of the executed regular would return along the “low road” and would get back to Scotland first.[3]***

Looks like, as we find all too often, this is a story of people in conflict, one side resisting the efforts of the other side’s control. All too often old men sending young men off to die for their own causes. Or a dominating force believing Might Makes Right.

Not that all wars are unjustified. There have been a few, very few, with some valid reason. Not many. Perhaps worse than the direct loss of life is the loss of self for those who survive, on both sides of the conflict, for those fighting, those fought against, and those known too often as unintended consequences. Not just today or yesterday but throughout history.

Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it.

Time to pull some weeds. In the garden, I mean. Have a peaceful Sunday and enjoy the music in spite of the meaning.





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Beauty Wherever We Look #MFRWAuthor

AKA why I run late more often than I like. Running late is rude and counterproductive since it makes everyone involved uncomfortable and can upset the tenor of the day. This problem dogged me throughout my working career. Although I manage to make my flights and most other deadlines, it’s often only due to dogged determination. When I am on time (or early!) I realize how much less stressful my day continues.007

My life is not as deadline oriented as I once was. Which is fortunate when I see this  outside my back door. The morning light casting shadows across the yard brings beauty and peace to my soul.

Not a day later, the morning brought another dash of beauty, a reward for the hope we all have when planting something unique. especially in a difficult 005gardening area.

It’s called a Hardy Hibiscus, and has a more formal name to define the shape of those lovely flowers. Hardy is the perfect name for this beauty since it has survived intermittent care, high winds, deep snow, freezing temperatures and other difficult to deal with issues to produce the first flower. With many more to come. 011.JPG

Check this out:

Yes, lots more blooms to come. I think I’ll use this as a metaphor for my writing, and my life. LOTS more beauty to share. LOTS more books to come. 007


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And The Sign Says #MFRWAuthor


Ah, a radical song from my not so radical past


Mostly, I wanted to share THE BEST sign I’ve seen in a long time: 011

Seen at a local hardware store. Gotta love it!


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Gratitude…Why the Heck Not? #MFRWAuthor

I came across an essay on how being grateful…being happy for something every day…can have a profound influence on our lives. And I thought…huh. Okay. And, why not try? I know I have felt better on the days I wake up counting blessings instead of failures. And I remember a song…what a shock!


Okay, it looks kinda creepy! But the lyrics? Epic. Or maybe I’m just exposing my musical roots? Anyway, I went searching for the science of gratitude, or more to the point the science of happy. And found this: Science Behind Gratitude Because, yes, we DO have the right to be happy and we DO need to feel grateful for something every day.

Is life perfect? Heck, no. Could it be worse? Well, yeah. But my ground is damp every morning right now, my friends think about me, my family is healthy and happy.

Life is good. Just ask my mugwump 032


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Really? You Just Had To? #MFRWAuthor

A brilliant person…or maybe I should say ANOTHER brilliant person…faces end of days because she could not differentiate from NEED and WANT.

Reminding me of this song, which took a while to find but it was worth the search:

If you let You Tube cycle you’ll hear another version, more live action. And it won’t hurt to have that message in your face one more time.

I digress. But, REALLY folks? You think you just NEED that drink, that hit, that temporary nulling of reality? To hell with the people you hurt in the mean time? Your family, your friends. Your opportunity to continue research, or theories, or beliefs. Just so you can gain a temporary wall between you and reality.

Sorry. I was going to talk about monsoons and share great pictures and be upbeat.

But I just can not deal with the waste.

It’s a sad, sad time today. Okay, I’ll share a New Mexico sky


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Cover Reveal…A Question of Faith #MFRWAuthor

As promised: front cover final

Isn’t it sooo pretty? We decided to follow the set up of A Question of Honor,  showing a profile of the couple, a horse, a New Mexico sky for the background. Rosalind is a softer heroine than Sydney was, and this sky is just a bit softer as well.

The blurb:

*** Rosalind Summerton led a charmed existence, right up to the day she accepted an invitation to visit a family in the Middle East, and learn more about the culture up close and personal. It became far too up close and she barely escaped with her life. She no longer has faith in herself as a survivor, and she needs to stay somewhere that she can see miles in every direction. Cold would be nice.

Tyler Randolph has lost faith in himself and his judgement of people, especially women, after his wife left along with his truck, trailer, and horse. He’s wondering why he’s bothering. Until he meets his new tenant: Tall, sexy, intriguing…and scared.

Can these two cautious people have enough faith to try one more time? ***

I had a great time with these two complex people, and made Ty work extra hard for his HEA

Release day October 1.


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