World Gone By Review

I love the stories Dennis Lehane creates. Lehane’s worlds are filled with violence, betrayal, friendships tested to the brink. World Gone By is no different. Its is spring ’43 in Tampa Florida. Joe Coughlin is suave, handsome, a successful businessman, and a gangster. After the death of his wife Joe stepped down as head of the Bartolo crime family, handing the rains to childhood friend, Dion. Still Joe’s power and influence is felt throughout all of Florida and beyond. It is possible that no one is as respected, or feared, as Joe Coughlin.

When a female con informs Joe his name is on a hit list, Coughlin’s world goes into a tailspin. Joe’s biggest fear is leaving his young son Tomas orphaned and alone. His closest friends tell him not to worry, but that does little to relieve his anxiety. On top of that, there is a rat in the organization to deal with, not to mention a dangerous affair with the Mayor’s wife.

World Gone By makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Drawn into the beauty and violence of the time, Lehane makes you love the characters you should abhor. Coughlin is a killer, but does that mean he is evil? Joe Coughlin is looking for redemption in a world where few get out alive. Does he make it? You’ll have to read World Gone By and decide those answers for yourself.

Time To Get Serious

4544957I am very frustrated with myself. The self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination has reached her breaking point. For months I have put my writing on the back burner, and not for anything particularly important. I’ve just been lazy. Tons of partial writings, unedited writers, new ideas – sitting around taking up space.

Today I am turning over a new leaf. No one is going to do the work for me so I am going to buckle down and do the work myself. Time to shut the lips and move the fingers. I enjoy my many hobbies but when I think about what means the most to me and what I really want to accomplish before I die, its writing. So as of today I am no longer treating writing like a hobby. I am going to treat it as a job. Everyday without fail I will sit my ass in a chair and write. One hour, two or ten – doesn’t matter as long as words get written on a daily basis.

Scrivener Trial

Camp Nano was a bust for me. Vacation and personal issues kept me from being able to work on my writing project. One good thing came out of camp this year. I decided to go ahead and try the Scrivener 30 day trial. For the past couple of years I have been using yWriter. I have no bad things to say about yWriter. It is a bit plain but useful. And of course it’s free.

I have only used Scrivener a couple of times so far, but I am already loving its interface. It is far easier to move scenes around. I looooove the corkboard feature. Still a ways to got before my trial is up. I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying it in the end.


Camp Nano Update

I have been a terrible camper so far. Nine days into camp and my word count is still zero. I blame the fourth of July holiday weekend for some of that. The hubby was off work. We spent time with family. It was just too nice to sit indoors at a computer. I have no excuses for the other days except pure procrastination.

I haven’t given up on meeting my goal though. There are still two full weeks in July. I will get my lazy butt in gear and get the first draft of my new story done.

*crosses heart*


Extant Season 2

I will admit that when I saw previews for Extant when it debuted last summer I went “eh”. Its not that I don’t love sci-fi. I do. There was just nothing about it that made me want to stay indoors on a nice summer night and watch.

Then came along season 2 and the addition of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Good Lord, I love Jeffrey Dean. I’d watch him in anything. So of course after seeing the various clips, previews, and fabulous interviews, I couldn’t wait to watch the first episode.

Let me say this – I was not disappointed. Newbies like me were quickly brought up to speed on what happened in the first season, and about how Molly came to be where she is now – at the lovingly dubbed “Crazy Acres”. Then we see Molly escape and head straight for a crime scene, where she runs into sexy cop, JD Richter.

The second Berry and Morgan shared the screen sparks began to fly. There is some serious chemistry between these two. They didn’t get to be together much in this first episode, but the little taste we got this week already has me craving more.

For those of you who haven’t watched yet, Extant is on Wednesdays at 10pm. Be there or be square!

Camp Time

Today I signed up for CampNanoWriMo. No, this isn’t the first year I’ve tried it. I participated in 2013. Last summer I was too busy and decided to skip it. Lately I came up with a great story idea and figured camp would be a great way to come up with a first draft. That gives me seven days to get an outline worked up. I’ve tried to fly by the seat of my pants before and I always crash midway through. This time I’m going in prepared.

Outline – Check
Bug spray – Check
Chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers – Check, Check, Check!

The Catnip Thief

20150528_150357My three furbabies looooove their catnip. I dip their toys in dried catnip. We have catnip bubbles. And I grow catnip for them to chew on. Last year I planted catnip beside the old spring house. Since that was not an option this year I decided to plant the catnip in a giant pot and keep it on the porch with some other plants. It must have grown two inches a day, at least. Next thing I knew theĀ  pot was full.

The other morning I went out to water my plants. I noticed my towering catnip looked different. On closer inspection I saw that something had taken several bites out of the plant. There were several areas where the leaves were completely chewed off, leaving nothing but the stem. I was shocked (this had never happened before), then amused.

We have several stray cats running around the neighborhood. The other morning one young fella startled me on my way out to the car. It was a very friendly cat. Came right up to me when I spoke to it. Was this my little catnip thief?

Since this happened I’ve been putting a piece of garden netting over the catnip at night to discourage the thief (or thieves). As soon as the plant bushes up real nice again I’ll split it up and plant some catnip out in front of the house. Hopefully the strays will chew on that and leave my potted catnip alone.

A Letter to My Daughter

Time heals all wounds, the saying goes. I wonder if that is true. Not a day goes by I do not think of you. I play in my mind all things that I should have done or could have done to change the outcome. Pointless now, I know. There are no do-overs when it comes to life. Still I think about what I would say to you if I were given a second chance. That too is pointless. My chance to say those things came and when long before you, and I have no one to blame but myself. I am sorry for allowing myself to be angry for so long that I forgot how to forgive. I should have been more supportive and less judgmental. But It was easier to give up than fight. I am sorry I let you down.

There are days when I’m looking at your picture and I so badly want to hear your voice. I play your message on the answering machine to remind me. I am so afraid I will forget. We are doing our best to make sure your little ones never forget you. They love hearing stories about you when you were little and looking at your pictures. Having them around is the only thing that keeps me sane. I see something of you living in each of them.

When things get really bad I remind myself that this is just one life, and I will see you in another. Most days that seems too far away to bear. But I know how troubled you were here in this life. At least the pain is gone and you are at peace. I believe that will all my heart.

I miss you more than words can express.

Love, Mom


*My daughter Susannah died two years ago today of a drug overdose. She was 31 years old and left behind 5 beautiful children. Sadly we weren’t very close in the months leading up to her death and that has made her loss all that more painful. Learn from my mistakes – love unconditionally and never forget to remind your children of how much you love them.