Do you know Joe like I know Joe?

It was a lot of fun to get to hire a book cover designer for The Roaring Redwoods and Kalen deserves an award for patience as I stumbled my way through the process.

The photo we had was good. And Kalen found the backgrounds to use and used graphic design magic to create mood and fix all sorts of things.

Except for Joe. His hat just was not right and he just didn’t look like the good hearted guy who just happened to occasionally kill someone for Johnny Torrio. He didn’t look old enough, savvy enough, moody enough. And the hat really bothered me.

So, Kalen worked some magic and we recast Joe. What are your thoughts? I of course like New Joe. He does seem to be looking at her cleavage intently, but that’s okay. He’s a man afterall.   It happens.

Original  Joe                                       New Joe


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Why Do Life Lessons Have to Be So Heavy?

So, remember my life lesson around the red couch?

I now have one from a piano.

Before I get to the lesson, I have to wonder, why do my life lessons have to come in the forms of big and awkward?

Why can’t I have the life lesson of the potted plant?  Or the small porcelain figurine?


So, my dear friend K offered me the long time loan of her piano. Unbelievably, I decided I had room for it. My cabin is s-m-a-l-l. But I decided I had room. And the wall it fit on did seem made for it. And the piano looked great. Crowded, but great.

I thought Little Sir could take lessons and I thought I would take lessons and I thought my husband should would brush up (he had 11 years of lessons as a kid).

But Little Sir is too young.

I realized I didn’t really want to take lessons. I just wanted to play.

This is a big realization that I need to make more often, and sooner. Like I also know I do not want to sew. I like having things made and am creative, but I do not actually want to do the sewing. Or crochet. Exercise would fit here too but I do try on that one. So, I want to play the piano but I do not want to learn to read music or practice.

So what about my husband? Turns out he didn’t want to brush up on the piano. My images of us surrounding him and singing Christmas carols? All mine. Just in my head. My idea of some great party where we can do Karaoke or Name That Tune with him at the ol’ ivories? All me. Again. My idea of him learning “our song” to surprise and delight me?

Yep, all me. Again.

And it’s not that my plans were bad. I mean, seriously, learning “our song”? That is great! Me finally learning more than scales after my mother sold our piano when I was in fourth grade. That would have been awesome.

Had it been true. Accurate. And not involved me making plans for what I thought someone else should (Would? Could?) do.

Maybe it’s the writer in me. Or the oldest child thing. Or the Mama thing. But I do this where I decide what someone should want or should like.

And as wisdom teaches us: Don’t should on yourself.

So, the piano is moving to a new home. And per my arrangement with K, I am paying to have it moved.

Next time, I want the life lesson of the throw pillow.

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Shade: Respite and Risk

Shade_compressedEpisode Two of The Roaring Redwoods is out! And I wouldn’t be doing my capitalist, entrepreneur, publishing-is-a-business best if I didn’t tell you to buy it on Amazon, Nook, or Kobo.

(You can get a Kindle app for your phone or computer too.)

Okay, pitch over, where was I?

This episode is titled Shade.

I almost titled the whole thing something to do with Shade as the  concept of shade is a big part of the story.

Throwing Shade is slang for being bitchy. As in, blocking the light from shining on someone else.

Shade offers respite from heat, glare. We seek shade. Shade can offer life to what otherwise could not grow. There are entire species of animals and plants that can only thrive in shady areas.

But shade also can conceal, as things retreat into the darkness shade offers.

Shade can also contribute to decay and rot as some Light is essential.

Shade also moves. It is not guaranteed or necessarily what we could term permanent.  It’s shady in one spot and then the sun moves and you’re feeling the sun on your skin.  And there you have “shady characters”.

I think Joe is shady. In all the good and bad ways. Even Helen, who I wrote with as much light as anyone I could imagine, has her moments of shade. Charlotte didn’t cast shade, but she lived (and died) in it. William seems to not only make shade but need its shadows too.

Any thoughts on shade in your life?


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