I’m Still Here.

I know, I know, I’ve been neglecting you! I’m sorry. It’s hard to remember what day it is, one trickling into the next. Wednesday seems the only day I can keep track of because that’s the day I meet with my Mindful Writers group. And the trash goes out on that day, something I surely don’t want to forget.

At the beginning of February I had another short story published in the third installment of the Mindful Writers Retreat Series. This anthology includes twenty-seven stories from a selection of our members.

My story, Love on the Edge, focuses on a young widow named Tilly and her neighbors’ reaction to her budding romance with a man she met in a coffee shop. I had great fun writing it and have a few ideas for future stories involving these characters and their lives in a Baltimore cul-de-sac.

As much as I enjoy visiting coffee shops, especially Red Canoe and Zeke’s, it was a photo of a red Austen Allegro that inspired me to write this story. I spied a photo online and was drawn to it. Who would drive a car like that? With that question barely crossing my mind, the image of a tall, lanky, dark-haired British man came to me and the character of Daniel was born.

The words formed quicker than I could type them out. I could see clearly the post-war houses around the cul-de-sac where the neighbors knew more of what was happening next door than the goings-on in their own kitchen, where voyeurism was a hobby, and advice was freely given out whether wanted or not.

Though I didn’t grow up on a cul-de-sac, I was familiar enough with neighborhood politics. My grandmother, Nana, and her friend Miss Ag were basically the block captains of our neighborhood. In other words, they were up to date with the ins and outs of everyone who lived around us. What they didn’t see with their own eyes they heard about on Saturday mornings at Miss Helen’s beauty parlor. These were the images I conjured up for my story.

This winter has been a hard one with more snow than we’ve seen in a few years. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read while curled up trying to keep warm. There’s only so many Netflix series a girl can watch! Treat yourself to this latest anthology. You can purchase a copy on Amazon (this week it’s free on Kindle!) and, as always, all proceeds go to charity. For this anthology our charity is Allegheny Children’s Initiative – Partners For Quality, Inc.