Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample

Here's a scene from my The Legacy, my new release at Astraea Press!

Seated at his desk in his home office, Frank Becker turned on his computer. While waiting for it to boot up, he poured himself a stiff drink. He stared at the screen, his mind blank. What was the use of sending out his resume to more places? No one was going to hire him.

Nobody wanted him. Even his wife didn't want him. She found excuses to be out of town, even out of the country, whenever she could. No errand was too small or too out of the way for Kirsten Becker. Twenty years ago, her ambition was what had attracted him to her. She could do anything—win a case in court, come home and fix a gourmet meal, and then go out and party. It had been such a boost to his ego when she had agreed to marry him. Her cute little five year old had come with her. And now the daughter was looking more and more like her mother. Like her mother had looked. Except without the cutthroat tendencies. Leigh was a softer, gentler version of her mother.

Too bad he couldn’t have waited to marry the daughter instead.

Thanks for stopping by! Here's a link back to the author page: Click here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Here!

My short story, the Legacy, is now available at Astraea Press! The link went live late last night. I am so excited! It's a great feeling to see something I created, with validation from a publisher. It's such a high.

Another reason I'm eager to have people read it is the fact that it's a fund raiser for a cause close to my heart. Proceeds from the sale of the story will benefit people far away, in the land where I was born. I'm not able to contribute much in the way of funds, but I can write, I love to write, and I did write! So please read! It's online at Astraea Press and it's only $3.00. It will be a pdf. format so you can read it on your computer screen.

Here's an FAQ:

Q: I want to read it. Where/how can I get it?

A: Go to and select "New Releases" from the left hand menu. Then click on my book cover (the book is titled The Legacy), then click "Add to Cart" and go through the screens where you have to pay for it. Then you'll get instructions for downloading it. You have to have Adobe Reader on your computer to open the file.

Q: Does it have a bunch of yukky romantic stuff in it?

A: Two people fall in love. They kiss and hug and talk about falling in love, but they don't do anything else.

Q: Is it long? I get tired and bored reading long books.

A: The file is 37 pages long. There is a title page, a dedication, and an author bio. So the story itself is only 34 pages of reading.

Q: I don't like to read. Can I buy it anyway?

A: Absolutely! Go for it! And thank you!

If you have any other questions, please put them in the comments box and I will get back to you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Website

This week, I set up my website. What fun! I've tried to model it after other authors' websites, but with a bit of me showing. I had to call tech support for both GoDaddy (from whom I bought the domain name) and Vista Print (where I get hosting - I wanted to use their template), but as soon as I got the answers I needed there, I was content to work on my own. I got my five pages set up, and put the content I wanted on them. Since I've only got one short story published, there isn't much content, but hopefully I'll be able to change that soon.

I let my daughters know about my success. My younger one, the one who reads and answers her messages, let me know that she was proud of me. She says I'm not going to be one of those grandmas who's always calling her kids and grandkids for tech support. What a high compliment! I probably will have to call them once in a while, but as long as I'm working with programs that have "help" options and phone numbers to call, I'm good.

In other news, I'm up to walking 2.7 miles! The 5K is next weekend, so I need to be in shape for it. I've been walking fairly regularly, and as long as it's not a scorcher, I should be okay. I'm so thankful I was talked into walking this. I've never felt better and more motivated! Just goes to show that having goals makes it easier to get things done.

So now, I'm going to write. I have to sell something that pays, so I can pay for that website! Check out and see what you think. I can't wait have more stuff to add to it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Going to the Symphony

Tonight I’m going to the Picnic Pops. The Grand Rapids Symphony does a series of outdoor concerts every summer at the Cannonsburg Ski Area. My mom and dad volunteered at every concert for many years. After Dad died, I promised mom I would make sure she could continue. I’ve had a great time working in the kitchen with her, serving a meal to all the other volunteers. Other people are busy directing traffic, driving golf carts so that people with walking difficulties can get to their spots, selling and taking tickets, and doing countless other duties.

This is my third summer at the Picnic Pops. During the academic year I’ve also handed out programs at their concerts at St. Cecelia, as well as at DeVos Hall. It’s well worth the time. Where else can you hear a nationally recognized orchestra for only $5?

If you’ve never volunteered at a Grand Rapids Symphony concert, you should give it a try! You get to hear a fabulous concert for a very reduced price, and you meet lots of wonderful people. Annamarie Buller does a wonderful job of coordinating Symphony volunteers all year long. Contact her by going to the symphony website ( and filling out the online form, or by emailing her at

Friday, July 8, 2011


The beginning of July is an exciting time for me because it always involves celebrations. It's the birthday of our nation, and it's my birthday. Last week I wrote about it being this blog's birthday as well. While I didn't celebrate Creative Hodgepodge's anniversary, I did observe the other two.

My oldest daughter always throws a huge Fourth of July potluck and fireworks party. It gets larger every year. She and her husband provide hot dogs, hamburgs and drinks, and everyone else brings a dish to pass. And then we have fireworks. What a show! This year the party was held on my birthday. I told my son-in-law it was very nice of him to invite all those people over to celebrate my day!

Two days later, on the actual holiday, I played in a lakeside concert, which was followed by more fireworks. I enjoy playing in a band, but don't do it very often. I'm looking into joining a community band soon. Gotta keep up my skills so my mouth doesn't feel so sore after playing!

As for my birthday, the celebrations were all spread out. The day before, my youngest daughter took me to a show at the Civic Theater. We spent the actual birthday at the picnic at my oldest daughter's. This week my husband took me out for lunch. And my other daughter sent a card saying she was going to take me out for a mom/daughter day. Love it!

Celebrations are fun. They mark milestones, like my fifty-sixth year of life, and the two hundred thirty-fifth birthday of our nation. It's good to recognize these milestones because they are an affirmation of life. The United States is still going strong, and so am I.

Life is good.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Creative Hodgepodge!

Two years ago, on July 3, 2009, I posted my first entry on this blog. I had just turned another year older, and was trying to focus on certain areas of my life. I was enjoying retirement, but felt too many of my days were wasted. I needed accountability, the type groups like Weight Watchers use to get results. By setting goals putting them out in public, hopefully I get more motivated to follow through. So I decided to start with two areas of my life that were most important to me, and get the ball rolling.

So how has this plan worked out? Well, I'd say there's been a moderate amount of success. In the writing side of my life, I've written in this blog every week for one hundred and four weeks! My first novel is almost finished, and a short story is going to be published this month. I'm still super excited about that.

In the arts and crafts side, I've made hundreds of quilt tops for the church Quilt Guild, hundreds (maybe thousands) of fleece hats for Warm Ears ministry (fortunately the materials are provided for both groups), knit and crocheted a couple of afghans, a few baby items, a lot of flower vases and some other miscellaneous projects. There HAS to be less fabric and yarn in this house than there was two years ago! And of course there's scrapbooking. I tend to purchase for myself, my daughters, and occasionally my granddaughters, so I can't say that I've cut down on scrapbooking stuff. In fact, I bought myself a Cricut cutter, so the scrapbooking stuff takes up more room than it did before.

Once in a while a granddaughter or a daughter will come over to help me "organize". We'll work together and get maybe half a room done, and then it's time to eat, or one of us has to leave. Let's just say organization still isn't a strong point around here.

I've had to add another goal to the original two. I've had some health issues, so some of my publicly stated goals have had to do with weight loss, or general health. I've lost - and regained - about twenty pounds. Last week I signed up for a 5K walk, so now I've got to get in training for that. I've been walking, so I need to keep that up.

So, on this second birthday of Creative Hodgepodge, I'm raising a glass (actually, it's a mug of decaf coffee) and toasting myself. Goals are good. Reaching them is even better.