Read an Ebook Week!


Today kicks off Smashwords ninth annual Read an Ebook Week, running through Saturday, March 10. Celebrate the ebook revolution! Scoot on over and grab a copy of  Grave Shadows, at 50% off.

Happy reading!


Smashwords Sale


The Alabama spring is heating up into summer, and the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale has landed! Stock up on beach reading and give yourself the chills with a copy of my horror anthology, Grave Shadows, on sale at 50% off, enter coupon code SSW50.

Four tales of fears, desires, regrets–the grave shadows of the human psyche. A young man’s regret leads to disaster; a teen wishes he could change the past; a wife babies her husband in the worst way; and a fearful husband’s desperation takes a grave twist.

Here’s the link:

The Smashwords annual sale is site-wide with hundreds of great reads at 25%, 50%, and 75% off and some are free as well, from July 1-July 31 only.



in the valley of words


Writing-wise 2015 turned out better than I thought. There were plenty of misses where the goal exceeded my reach, but there was strong progress too. So here’s my 2015 Accomplishments and my 2016 Writing Agenda.

2015 Accomplishments

  • Two short stories accepted for publication
  • Completed Dust, short story
  • Completed  Werewolf, Zombies, Sunrise, short story
  • Revised A Useful Blind, mystery short story
  • 10 short fiction submissions (far more than I’ve ever done in a year)
  • Wrote 20,000 words in 1st quarter (50,000 for the year)
  • Revised The Obelisk, short story
  • 52 penpanther posts
  • Began writing The Bone Box

Altogether I wrote more than in previous years and submitted more, and there was less wailing and flailing about–a good year.

2016 Writing Agenda

1st Quarter – January – March

  • Write Discovery Draft of Writing Emotion, creative writing e-book. Deadline: Jan. 31
  • Revise Runaway Heart. Deadline: Jan. 31
  • Finish writing Runaway Heart: Deadline: March 31
  • A Fall of Diamonds – write 2000 words a month minimum. (Draft at 9,817 words)

2nd Quarter – April – June

  • Order cover – Runaway Heart
  • Runaway Heart – Publication date: May 31
  • A Fall of Diamonds – 2000 words a month minimum

3rd Quarter – July – September

  • Finish Discovery Draft of The Bone Box . Deadline: July 31
  • Outline The Serene Widow
  • Writing start date – The Serene Widow: August 1, 2016. Deadline: September 30
  • A Fall of Diamonds – 2000 words a month minimum

4th Quarter – October – December

  • Plan NANO book – October 1 – 31
  • Write Discovery Draft of NANO book – November 1 – 31
  • A Fall of Diamonds – 2000 words a month minimum to finish December 31


I’ve allowed for thinking, research, shiny objects, and  downtime. I’m going to work hard to hit my quarterly goals.




Benedictine Cemetery, Salzburg, Austria

Saturday friends and I did a “Write-In on the Rails” day trip to Oceanside on the MetroLink train #660. We brought our laptops and as the 660 zipped past California’s wild ravines and hillside homes overlooking the cold, gray Pacific, we each worked on our individual projects. I completed a new scene in The Foreigner and worked on the outline for The Bone Box, a horror novella I hope to start writing soon.

The plan was to catch a morning train, meet in one of the cars to work, have lunch in Oceanside and catch an early afternoon train back to our respective homes. And it almost worked out that way but for a tragedy on the tracks.

In Oceanside. we made our way to Master’s for lunch in a gaggle of umbrellas, shielding ourselves from the drippy sky. After lunch, it was back to the train for the homeward run. Shortly after we boarded and pulled out of Oceanside, a man committed suicide, stopping his car on the track in front of the oncoming, southbound train, right in front of dozens of people. Suicide is a heartbreaking act in so many ways. I’ll spare you all the details, but let me say, we spent hours and hours, the rest of the day mostly at a standstill on the track, unable to go anywhere because of the ongoing investigation of the suicide and the resulting train congestion.

During the run down, I took a moment to check my e-mail, found a message from Black Fox Literary Magazine accepting my short short story, Crossing, for publication in the Summer issue, online July 27! I’m thrilled. Crossing was so very short, I didn’t know what to do with it and left it in my files until I decided recently to give it a chance and send it out. To my surprise, it found a home.

I’ve been crazy busy and have not had time to write my next post about my Danube cruise, Vienna. It doesn’t help that I’ve misplaced my travel journal with my notes! (sigh) As soon as the dust settles, and I hope I find my travel journal, I’ll get back to it. Besides Vienna, there’s Bratislava, Slovakia’s capitol, and Budapest (the crown jewel of my trip) left to write about.

The photo is the cemetery of the Benedictine monastery in Vienna.