There’s No Place Like… Rome? Nome? Nope… like Home


I guess you could call me a homebody. Sure, I love to travel… But I love to come home even more.  🙂

Recently (Saturday night) I flew home from San Antonio, Texas, where I attended the fabulous Romance Writers of America conference. I’ve never visited San Antonio before and I loved what I saw of it. I was busy–way too busy– to visit much of the city, but I was fortunate to tour the Alamo and the Manger Hotel, which is supposed to be haunted. If only I could’ve taken the ghost tour! Unfortunately, those tours happened only in the evening, after the sun set and the temperature began to drop. There was so much going on at night that I couldn’t get away.

All in all, it was a wonderful conference. I caught up old friends and made new ones. Talked writing and publishing and exchange information. Networked. Participated in the annual RWA literacy autograph signing, where every penny earned is donated to various literacy organizations. Sat in some great workshops–and taught one, too.

I also managed to snag a few quiet moments. Our hotel sat right on the San Antonio River Walk, which has a lovely path along the river to walk along and relax. I did manage to sneak in a walk here, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

A peek at the San Antonio River walk

A peek at the San Antonio River walk

But coming home? Such a terrific feeling. Here are two views of Seattle taken from  the window of a plane. I didn’t take either one, but these photographers did a super job.

Aerial view of Seattle in early evening

Aerial view of Seattle in early evening

Another aerial view of Seattle

Another aerial view of Seattle

Now I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. On that note…

Until Wednesday, and wishing you a productive and enjoyable few days,


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Motivational Monday: Heat Wave and Deadlines


It’s hot! Here in Seattle, not many of us have air-conditioning. We usually don’t need it. But when we do… This is our 3rd or 4th day of temperature in the 90s, and the heat wave will continue through Thursday. People flock to coffee shops, malls and movie theaters to stay cool. We eat massive amounts of ice cream and popsicles, and drink gallons of ice water and cold drinks.

Thankfully, the nights are cooler. Put a fan in front of the open window, and a comfortable rest is guaranteed.

I am grateful to have slept well, especially over the past few days. On Friday, my editor asked that I cut 1,500 words from the book I turned in several weeks ago. The book ran long, and I’m lucky she didn’t want me to cut more! Still, paring down was a challenge. Not wanting to take away from the story in any way, I combed through the manuscript , carefully cutting phrases and words, and sometimes full sentences.

The end result? Not bad. I sent the shorter manuscript off today. Now I can focus on other things–just in time for the heat wave to break.

Stay cool and hydrated, and wishing you quick work of whatever challenges come your way,


Hump Day Wednesday: Motto for Life


Front steps of Travelers Thali House

Recently, I ate at dinner at Travelers Thali House, an Seattle Indian food restaurant where the chef makes everything homemade, right there on the premises! Fresh and absolutely fabulous. Even if I hadn’t planned to stop in and eat here, the homey look of the place (a big old house, converted into a restaurant) and the message on the steps would’ve drawn me in. Cook with love, eat with passion–who could resist that? 🙂

This great motto applies not only to food, but to life! Cook up whatever you do in your life with love, and be passionate about it.

If that isn’t a recipe for success…

And look at the spices for sale! They fill  an entire wall of the restaurant.


Wall of spices for sale

So many spices to try. This, too, could be a metaphor for flavoring that passion with new fragrances and tastes.

I am fortunate that I found my life’s work as a writer, and that with a little help from the endless choice of spices, my passion for creating stories and sharing them with my lovely readers continues to grow.

Until Friday, feeling blessed and wishing you a life of passion and joy,


Motivational Monday: Brain Food- It’s Not Just the Edible Stuff

farmers market

Fresh fruits and veggies, free range chicken and duck eggs, low-mercury fish, nuts and seeds, raw honey, local cheeses and breads, hand-made ice cream and homemade pasta–does it get any better? And bonus, many of these are brain food! Here in Seattle, neighborhood farmers markets abound from May- October. Almost every day of the week, fresh food enthusiasts will find a farmers market someplace in the Seattle area.

Our biggest market, Pike Place Farmers Market, stays open year-round, along with two other neighborhood markets that I know of (Ballard and University).


A chance to taste and purchase these delicious and nutritional foods, often picked the very day of the market, aren’t the only reason I enjoy visiting the farmers market. I also go for the smells and the colors– but most of all, for the people. Overhearing snippets of conversation, watching a small child with her mom, laughing at the antics of an enthusiastic dog–all become fodder for the creativity mill in my head. More than a few times, the things I see and hear play into a story I’m working on or thinking about.

If you’re looking for ideas, give your brain a food boost and visit your local farmers market.  I guarantee you won’t come away empty.

Until Wednesday, and wishing you good food in whatever form,


Motivational Monday: Take A Walk

burke gilman june

Photo: A section of Burke Gilman Trail, Seattle (developed from an old rail trail)

I love summer, and here in the Pacific Northwest, there is so much to see and do and enjoy. One of my favorite activities is walking in the great outdoors. My preferred walk-time is late afternoon or early evening, when I’m tired and muzzy-headed from a long sit in front of the computer.

As soon as I start moving, my mind and body wake up. It’s great to listen to the sounds of summer: kids laughing and playing, birds calling, dogs woofing. And the smells–the sweet scent of clover and other flowers or freshly cut grass. The slanting sun feels good on my arms and shoulders, and the breeze is light and warm. What a lovely way to end a day of writing. As I write this, I can hardly wait to get out there and go!

Until Wednesday, and wishing you a gentle unwinding at the end of a long day,