The Gift

“It’s time!” Sheila announced to the room as she pointed at the clock. “Let the party start!” She pulled a Christmas popper apart, releasing a handful of confetti into the air. Everyone laughed and then chairs shuffled and drawers slammed as my coworkers closed up for the Christmas break.

I closed my tabs on the computer, shut it down, slipped my pens into a cup, and stacked papers into a pile before sliding them into a tall file sitting on my desk. Opening my top drawer to pull out my mirror to check my make-up, I noticed a gift sitting in the back of the drawer. Hmm, I thought. That’s strange. “When did that get there?” I whispered under my breath. I looked around, but no one was nearby. I spotted a tiny tag on it with my name written I curling festive letters.

I looked around once again, but the office had been deserted from everyone headed to the cafeteria. I pulled the gift out and set it upon my desk. The burgundy box was held together by a bright silver ribbon. Jewelry entered my mind, and I wondered who would have given me jewelry at work. And did they know I was dating someone? Nobody here knows that though, I mused.

Curiosity got the better of me so I pulled the ribbon. The bow slid easily apart and shimmered as it landed on the desk. I stared at it for a moment, appreciating the moment. I lifted the lid and exchanged one sparkle for another as gold shined out at me from a bed of white. A tiny key glittered at me.

I picked it up and stared at it, turning it first one way, and then the other, watching the light reflect. What is it for? A charm for a necklace or a bracelet? It couldn’t actually unlock anything, could it? Maybe a locket…or a diary…or even one of those tiny old suitcase locks.

I put it back in the box, then picked up the lid and noticed a note inside. It too was written in curling festive lettering:

“I’ve been watching you closely

and know your heart is good.

Come visit my amazing world,

by unlocking a door of wood.”

I looked around again, instinct I guess. I knew there was nobody left in the office. This is crazy, I thought, as I stared at the walls hoping a door would emerge from the drywall. But, no doors emerged, not big or small, so I put the lid back on the box and slipped it, along with the ribbon and note, into my purse. I’ll deal with it later.

The Boy (a Petrarchan Sonnet)

***This is a sonnet in the form of ABBA ABBA CDECDE***

When King Herod called the money changer

To count all the people across the land

From Galilee Sea to Bethlehem sand

Baby boys were born in extreme danger.

Wisemen came from distant countries stranger

While sleeping lowly shepherds took a stand

When an angel came and held up his hand

To share the news of hope born in a manger.

Followed across the fields a glowing star

to a stable with animals so stark

the humble bundle lay awake that night

as shepherds and wisemen traveled so far.

To this world of despair and broken dark,

He’s brought peace, hope, and joy, ’cause He is light.


Life Goes Awry with a Puppy

Hi Friends!

I cannot believe it has been over a month since I posted a note here. I posted on November 1st, left for a writing retreat on November 2 and picked up my new puppy, Sumi, on my way back into town. Life went crazy after that. Make sure if you get a puppy, you have lots of energy!

I am really excited with all that’s going on in my creative life though. I presented my art at a couple of holiday shows and had an author event last month. Currently, I have paintings in two galleries: the Dayton Society of Artists on High Street in Dayton and at the Coterel Gallery on 2nd Street in Xenia. I have also just finished another large commission and begun a new series of watercolors!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!


My Newsletter

Hi friends!

This is your official invitation to sign up for my email newsletter, as I would love to have you. Today marks the 3rd one and I really enjoy putting them together, and have received good reviews on the first two. I have been writing for and editing one for the Dayton Christian Scribes for over a year now and decided it was time to write one for my friends, to keep them updated on what’s going on with me. In this day of constantly changing algorithms on social media, this is the way to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Feel free to fill out the form on the front page of this website to register, or you can contact me on any social media where we connect already and I can add you to the email list. Following this blog does not sign you up for the newsletter, though I am grateful you do.

I haven’t created a name for the newsletter yet and would love to have your input, so please email me or contact me with your suggestions. I love hearing and seeing others’ creativity!

Also, NaNoWriMo begins today, so wish me luck with my editing this month!

As always, I’m wishing you many blessings.

NaNoWriMo 2019

Hi friends!

I am excited to do National Novel Writing Month again this year. Last year I signed up, but didn’t participate as I had entered a mentoring program and was working on art over writing. This year I’ll be reworking the next four novels in “The Tales of Christian Tompta.”

I need a title for the new series, and that will take some thought because when I began publishing the series a few years ago, my idea was that the titles would all line up alphabetically and that the book covers would create a rainbow. I have a little OCD and sometimes get annoyed at the book store when the books are out of order on the shelf. It’s definitely easier these days when I can just pull out my phone and Google the author or the order of books, but still.

The first four books fall into that range. I also can no longer use “Gnomeling” in the title as our beloved Christian has become a “Gnomeleur.” He has finally won his mystical shoes and conical!

I have to say, the new series is super fun. There are many new characters and Christian makes another friend, though we will always miss Topher. Now that Christian has some freedom from the family home on the book shelf, he gets introduced to new and exciting things. I really wish I could talk about them! I don’t want to give away any spoilers though. What I can say about the next four books is that each is an individual story, with differing plots and an overarching theme throughout the series. It will be best to read them in order again, of course, but not as necessary as the first series.

Talking about the new series is definitely getting me fired up for NaNoWriMo! It also makes me think I need to finish a spinoff story for one of the characters I began in NaNoWriMo 2017. That guy is so fun! November is going to be super busy with the events I have planned,  trying to get through almost 2000 words per day, and Thanksgiving, but I know I can do it.

Please let me know if you are planning to do NaNoWriMo and want to be friends on the new website. Unfortunately, we have lost all our buddies from the old site.  I would also love to hear what you are writing about. For me, NaNo is buckle down time-hard work time. And after 30 days, I feel extremely accomplished when I’m finished. This year will be especially good as I’ll be that much closer to publishing the new series!

Blue Sky, White Cloud

Hi Friends!

Looking for objects in the clouds was a fun game as a child when I traveled in the car or laid in the grass on a hot summer day, dreaming of the future. Driving across country this past summer reminded me of those sweet memories so I’m happy to announce the release of my new book, “Blue Sky, White Cloud.” It’s a 32 page book chock full of cloud photos and what might be seen in them.

The book is now available on Amazon. I hope you receive as much fun and enjoyment reading it with your kids and/or grandkids as I had creating it as an adult and remembering my childhood imagination. It also has the benefit of showing children different people’s perspectives.

To get your copy click here:

A Moment in Time

Hi friends,

I’ve been in an artist mentoring program for a year now and have gone through a few important changes. I am much more confident about who I am as a writer, poet, and painter. When I entered the program, I had no confidence in my art, even though I’ve been doing it on and off for as long as I can remember. I am happy to report that though I am still working on improving my skills, I am much more confident about sharing it in the world (and you can see some of it on social media or in my monthly newsletter).

I’m also much more confident about who I am, as a child of God, and that is where my identity lies. Because of God’s grace, I love to paint flowers and other things that pop color. Since flowers bloom for a short time, I feel like they are little blessings showered upon us to show how much God loves us. He is the maker of the rainbow and all the magnificent colors we see.

I recently learned from Betty Edwards book, “Color,” that the human eye can see so many more colors than anything our technology or materials for creating and printing can make. What a wonder – our eyes! Each time I take a moment to study a color that I might paint, I am grateful.

This puts me in the state of mind that we should all take moments to appreciate the little things. I know it sounds cliché, but clichés are clichés for a reason. There’s usually truth to them (and how many times can you use the word cliché in a sentence?).

Why do we learn to appreciate things as we get older? As my aging eyes grow worse, so I appreciate those moments that I can read without them getting blurry. As fall approaches and leaves fall from the trees, I appreciate when those same leaves were young and pliant in the spring, rather than old, brown, dried out. When the flower withers, I long for the moment it burst from its bud, fresh and vibrant. As my back aches, I long for the days of my youth, when I rolled my eyes complaints of pain, got on my bike and rode for miles.

Now I’m rambling. But I hope that you will take a moment to appreciate a color-a flower, a child’s hair or eyes, a young tree, or the stripes on that skunk you just passed on the road. These are moments. Wisps of time that won’t return. Days move on and time passes, like the leaf that buds, blooms, gathers light, and then withers and dies.