Featured https://www.amazon.com/Pied-Piper-St-May/dp/1463774508

The Pied Piper of St. May

Some time back, I took down my novella “The Pied Piper of St. May” and revamped it with internal illustrations and a terrific new cover by Sophia Moss. I hope to have the new Kindle version back up soon. In the meantime, here’s the link to the hardback (paperback actually :)): https://www.amazon.com/Pied-Piper-St-May/dp/1463774508

Sophia Moss’s terrific new cover for my novella.


I am not terribly sentimental, but I have saved two beautiful Christmas cards from my friend “rjj“. They feature winter scenes painted by Kawase Hasui.

Last winter, I was feeling cold, sad, and ill, and decided to do a version of one of the scenes, but in the spring. I never did finish the painting, but was pleased that I had not lost all my skill. My incomplete painting is below. It inspired me to start painting again

What inspirations have come to you from unexpected places?




We celebrate Christmas at our house. On Christmas Eve, we make Stone Soup and read a version of that folktale. Afterwards, we go to our church – a small United Church of Christ – for a traditional candlelight service.

This year, I played the flute during the service. I started playing flute when I was very young and started playing the French horn a few years later. I stopped playing horn when I smashed my teeth out in a car accident (wear your seat belt!). I still think of myself as a French horn player even though that hasn’t been true for decades. However, thanks to our church’s music director, for the first time in ages I get to feel like a musician again. It’s good.

Anyway, we drive around after the service and look at Christmas lights. When we get home, our sons get to open two gifts. One gift is always a new pair of pajamas, a tradition we stole from one of Darth’s cousins. The other gift is selected by the son, but Darth & I get veto power to avoid late-night Lego sessions.

On Christmas day, we see what Santa brought. We open gifts and hunker down with each other. We play new video games, watch new movies, read new books, and build new Lego kits. We eat candy for breakfast and smoked salmon, crackers, and veggies for lunch. We have a standard family dinner that night and light a small candle-powered carousel handed down through my husband’s family.

I love this tradition.

What holidays do you celebrate in winter? What traditions do you have that you love?


Note: My husband’s name is not really Darth, and my sons are not really named 1,2, and 3.