My Other Love

I’ve been writing flat-out for the last few years, but as I come to the end of my third book, Birdie, I’m gleefully rubbing my hands together in anticipation of indulging in my other love. I’ll be surrounding myself in paint chips, fabric swatches, and…those 2x4s aren’t doing anyone any good just sitting in the garage. So, to my dear husband I will say, put down your book, take off your reading glasses, and pick up your trusty hammer.

In my first blog, I wrote about a little about myself and shared a recipe. Decorating and food each play separate roles, or characters, in my books. Writing, cooking, and making things look pretty are passions of mine. As a shop owner and interior decorator, I have torn down walls—not the Berlin type—and put them back up again in different places. I’ve painted—walls not works of art—and upholstered furniture. I often jokingly say I’ll die falling off an eight-foot ladder while spreading joint compound on a ceiling. Hopefully, not until my late eighties. Chuckle, chuckle!!

Birdie is the first book in my new series about a lady aptly named, Birdie. She’s a married woman in her early fifties who owns a shop, The Nest. She has a knack for getting herself into precarious situations and ruffling dangerous people’s feathers. But along the way, while cooking for her family and friends, she does manage to solve a murder or two. A cozy mystery with a bit of a kick–Birdie will make her debut in the fall. I’ll keep you all posted.

These pictures are before and after photos of room Bob, my husband, and I remodeled. The seller actually pointed to the walls and woodwork, then said, “Pristine, never been painted in thirty years.” Yep, we did all the work ourselves. Bob built out the fireplace and we applied stucco to it. We laid the wood flooring.

Before and After

Time Well Spent


As I look back over my life I wonder what time was well spent, and what time did I waste as I stressed over inconsequential things—far too many, I must admit. To a certain degree I still do stress over things that are left undone, but I tend to leave those things undone now. It doesn’t stop me from stressing over them, though. The trim could use a coat of paint, the dust bunnies are lurking under furniture, those bags of mulch aren’t going to spread themselves…and the weeds—let’s not even go there.


The time I missed out with my kids was wasted time. Cleaning when I should have been reading to them, playing with them, building a snowman, climbing a tree, and let the housework be damned. I finally, learned that hard lesson and by the time my grands arrived, I grabbed hold of every minute I could be with them. Those days spent with my darlings, was time well spent.


If only we could turn back the clock and capture all the wasted moments and turn them into time well spent. My musings here are nothing new, nothing you’ve never heard before, or read before—certainly nothing profound. Just me taking a moment to reflect.
Until next time. Kathleen

 

Excerpt of “Birdie” Coming Soon!

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“Birdie”

From the moment I popped out of my mother’s cozy womb, the doctor took one look at me and declared I looked like a scrawny bird. “Listen to her, she even tweets like a bird,” he said after I drew my first breath. “Her red hair sticks up like a bird’s comb.” My father laughed. Of course, I don’t remember this scene, but the story has been told many times and lives on in the annals of family lore.

Birdie stuck from the day I was born or hatched as it may be, and the lovely name my mother gave me, Elizabeth Cecelia, flew out the window. Of course, scrawny at birth does not always transfer into adulthood. Five feet ten, busty, and perpetually trying to lose fifteen pounds. Okay, okay twenty, but keep in mind I am big boned.

I grabbed a jacket and gloves as I headed out the door to meet my friend, Chris, for a walk in the park, across the street from my home. The sun cast a glorious pink glow across the early morning sky. We had dustings of snow off and on the last several days. Winter’s last huffs and puffs before the splendor of spring rolls in. Crocuses poked their delicate, but valiant, heads through the snow that lingered by my back door and slender shoots of daffodils sprouted along the side of the house. The first of April might be a lamb after March, but I believe it’s a lamb with real attitude.

I jerked back when I heard a scream pierce the morning air followed by a thud. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what my eyes were seeing. A body flew through the air and landed in a tree. A black truck with tinted windows skidded and spun around. The tires hurled chunks of grass and mud in its wake as it tried to gain traction on the slippery grass in the park. The truck found purchase and shot across the sidewalk and curb, then careened down the street and out of sight. I heard more screams. Then realized they were my own.

Yep, Writers are Sexy!

c82cc682aced0193eca90985081f2737[2]Whether you’re reading a historical novel, a romance, a thriller, a bang, bang shoot ‘em up, or a cozy mystery, (Hint, hint. Check out my Book Page.) then you are escaping into another dimension of time and space. Books give you the chance to live in another world and root for the protagonists, cry with them, or laugh at their antics. How many times have you thought, no, no don’t go down that dark alley, don’t open that door? And then thought, see I told you not to do that! Now, how are you going to get out of this mess? Peering into a world that is not your own, allows you to learn—always learning all kinds of things about the world around us, ahead of us, and the history that is behind us. Reading takes you to places you will never visit or maybe encourages you to travel to some far-flung locale. Writers spend hours researching the world their characters live in, then they agonize over just the right word to set a mood or put the reader in the moment. Writers like to play at make-believe, dress-up, and create havoc for the women and men who live on the pages of their books. I say “their” books, but that isn’t always true. Writers set up scenarios and create characters who pretty much take over. I know that sounds a little crazy…but it is true. Every now and then one of them gets a little out of hand and you’ve got to put them in their place, if that fails…well…you kill them off.

So, what is the moral of this brief? It’s simple. Read, read, read, learn, learn, learn, and maybe, just maybe, be inspired to write. There’s a story swirling around in your head that someone wants to read! Get lost in your imagination. Write it!

What could be sexier than that?