Wednesday, March 8, 2023



(Whispered conversation between two young ladies recently overheard in a library bathroom…)
          “Do you know anything about, you know…what they’re talking about in there?”
          “No. I’m pretty inexperienced when it comes to that kind of stuff.”
          “Me too.”
          “Is there some sort of book or something that would explain everything?”
          “You mean like an illustrated how-to manual?”
          “Not that I know of. But I’ve heard some of the older girls talking.”
          “I think they’re talking like they know, but they really don’t know.”
          “So how do you learn?”
          “I guess you just learn by doing it…”

No, these young ladies were not talking about the facts of life. They were aspiring authors attending their first mystery writers’ meeting. Words like genre and sub-genre and novella had been bandied about like bits of gossip dropped at a high-society cocktail party, all followed by a knowing look and responded to with an I’ll-pretend-I-know-what-you’re-talking-about-even-though-I’m-clueless nod. It might surprise you to learn that these two seemingly unrelated topics do have a lot in common.

Friday, February 17, 2023


 <Originally Published October, 2011>



Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!


So begins the motivational book Oh, The Places You’ll Go by the esteemed Dr. Seuss. The book was first published in 1990, years after my own graduation from high school, but if someone had given it to me, I would have scoffed. Why would anyone want to go explore that big scary world when everything I wanted/needed was right here in my small Ohio town? I planned to live in the same area–possibly the same house–where I had grown up and raise a whole passel of children who would wear the same unflattering Orange and Black school colors and then they’d grow up and have babies of their own and live right next door to me. In a word, I was wanderlust-less. So even if Oh, The Places You’ll Go had been available, its encouragement to go off and see the world would have been wasted on me. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

"PASSING DIRECTIONS...Which are in No Way Connected to Driving a Motor Vehicle


<<In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it appropriate to pluck from the annals of my military spouse newsletters a column I’d written about the finer points of table etiquette. It just goes to prove that I learn something new every day!>>

'Tis the season…for holiday gatherings which involve too much food and not enough etiquette, much like the one I recently experienced during a large gathering of our navy family. There were twenty people seated around one long table, which had been festooned with Lenox China, Waterford crystal and more forks, knives and spoons than I knew what to do with. But despite the formal setting, there were no butlers dancing attendance, so the meal was served “Family Style.” This requires the passing of the food around the table for each diner to pile mountains of gastronomic pleasures onto their own plate.

Thursday, November 10, 2022


Palm trees in Maine? Yeah. Seeing is believing, right?

Not always. This is a little story about how you can’t always believe what you see…on TV.

No surprise that as a mystery writer I’m also a fan of mystery shows, a top fav being Murder, She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury (may she rest in peace) as mystery writer and killer catcher Jessica “J.B.” Fletcher. That show is set in the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine.

Thursday, October 27, 2022


’Twas the night before Halloween and a thick fog rolled in.  So thick, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, let alone the lamppost whose black paint had faded to a mottled grey, thanks to the constant sandblasting by the wind off the Chesapeake Bay.  So that’s how I ended up in the ER, with a goose egg on my forehead, on account of I’d been running, and smacked right into the damned thing.  “Why were you running in the fog?” one might ask. A valid question.

I’d had a phone call about seven p.m.  “A wine emergency,” my friend Riley Wilson proclaimed. Riley was eight-and-one-half months pregnant.  (Don’t ask me to convert that to weeks…I birthed my babies when everything was calculated in trimesters, not days) and for obvious reasons she’d sworn off all things alcoholic.  So at the end of her terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day, she called me to drink the wine for her.  That’s my motto, “I drink for those who can’t.”  I’m a good friend that way.

Friday, October 14, 2022


 <<One thing I enjoyed most about thirty years as a Navy spouse was participating in century’s old military customs and traditions. The Missing Man table is one of the most solemn and poignant I've ever witnessed. It drips with symbolism and is vivid in its presentation. In honor of the U. S. Navy’s 247th Birthday, celebrated October 13th, I thought it was worth a reprint of a post that I first shared in 2011.>>

It’s that time of year…Navy Birthday Ball!  And thanks to the 7th wonder of the modern fashion world—Spanks—I will be looking svelte in my ball gown this weekend. The United States Navy will be celebrating its 236th birthday, but it’s not all one big drinking/dining/dancing party.  The Navy Ball, as well as many other official military dining events throughout the year, serve as a reminder to the POWs and MIAs who yet to return home.  This is done through the Missing Man POW/MIA table set at the front of the room.  

Thursday, September 29, 2022



It’s that time of year when those of us with an affection towards the fermented grape start stocking up. No, I don’t mean in anticipation of the holidays—although there are a plethora of wine occasions in the time between Halloween and Valentine’s Day which will require a sufficient supply! I’m talking about Hurricane Season. While it officially begins June 1, things don’t usually get “fun” until late September, at least where I live on the Chesapeake Bay. While I don’t understand the science of a monster storm—it has a lot to do with the ocean and gulf waters warmed in the summer sun, and other some other stuff—I do know they are better endured when fully stocked. Hence, I ensure a sufficient wine supply in my Hurricane Beach Bag to get me through the dark and stormy days.