July 4, 2022: The Basics for a Birding Trip

The 4th of July was a steamy day here in Tennessee but it gave me a moment to reflect on what I really need to have with me in order to have a successful birding adventure. Click on my blog post title to compare to your list or get some new ideas!

July 30, 2022: Musings by a Newbie Author

I’ve written a book. A cozy mystery. I started it during COVID, decided “What the heck?” and pushed on to get a professional developmental editor, copy editor, cover designer, the works. It’s been loads of fun and lots of work. So now comes the part I am even less experienced with: self-publishing. A whole new world, indeed, and I am grateful that this burgeoning community is out there, because I probably would lack both the tenacity and the time to pursue a traditional publishing route.

As I have spent all the free time I’ve had over the past two weeks uploading to the various platforms for distribution (“going wide” as they say–not just depending on Amazon), I have some impressions to share. If you are a newbie too, click on the posting title and perhaps there will be a useful tidbit you can use!

August 21, 2022: Ode to the Independent Bookstore

Dixie and went birding in Rankin Bottoms today. Highlights included: 5 Prothonotary warblers, a juvenile black winged night heron, and 2 green herons fighting for territory. After our birding, we drove to White Pine, TN to visit the White Pine bookstore. Long live indie bookstores! Clink the title of this post to check out the store!

September 24, 2022: Homecoming

Today I was reminded of that you really can come home again. I went home to Sandusky, Ohio to visit my sweet parents, and while I was there, I decided to get up early and go birding one morning. Click the link above to hear more about my surprising adventure…

December 14, 2022: Love This Part!

I recently received the proofs for my second book in the Riley Creek Cozy Mystery Series! Binoculars, Blue Jays, and Bloodshed officially releases December 25, 2022. This video is the third attempt because my excitement had me fumbling the pocketknife, flubbing my words, and sweating in that Santa hat! I hope you feel my real happiness and pride, and doubly hope that you find this volume worthy of Martha, Penny, PJ, Ethel Jean and the rest of the R-C gang!

December 22, 2022: My first true publicity!

A lovely pal from the cozy community, Stephanie Caruso, accepted my request to be part of her blog “The Cozy 52.” Click here to check it out!

Winter 2022-2023: The Anxiety-Then Joy-of a Book Club Invitation!

In December, I was invited for the first time to join a book club (in this case, my neighborhood book club) to discuss my first Riley Creek Cozy Mystery book, Hiking Sticks, Hawks, and Homicide. Now, full confession, I felt a bit awkward at first because I had to this point never taken part in this book club. With work, single parenting, and trying to grab a slice of time for me and for me and Dixie, there just had never been time. But I said yes and was so tickled as the organizers began making plans. Click the title of the post to hear how it went!

June 2023: Birding in the Outer Banks

My son Simon, partner Dixie and I recently returned from the Outer Banks in North Carolina. This is a special place for us, as evidenced by the fact that this was our third summer there in a row. We did our usual fishing, eating and exploring, but Dixie and I took a special excursion to Cape Hatteras and the National Seashore to scout out shore birds.

We got up VERY early (before the sun was up) to make the hour-long drive south to Hatteras. The sun rose quickly and we got to the Hatteras Lighthouse at about 8 a.m. We went along further out past Cape Point Campground to Ramp 44, then walked waaaayyy out to the shore, being careful to stay between the areas that had been roped off to protect nesting terns, plovers, and skimmers. Once we reached the actual point, we stood on the beach looking out at the open ocean and in at ponds just full of shorebirds that had dropped in.

Because this point is so far out (it’s one of the furthest east points on the eastern seaboard) lots of interesting birds drop in, including the occasional rarity. We enjoyed seeing birds that were rare to us: black skimmers, American oystercatchers, royal terns, and tons of willets. A very special morning!

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