Dear Bertha,

I’ve got a nasty chest cold. I think I should stay home from work and get better, but I feel guilty about it.

What should I do?




Dear Sicko,

To me, this is a huge symptom of what’s wrong with America. If you are sick, stay home. Don’t give your cold to your coworkers. Do you really think anyone is going to thank you for spreading your germs all over the office and then falling asleep on your keyboard? I don’t think so. Take the time to regain your health – your performance will be better for it.

Forget the guilt trip. I have to patience for people who feel guilty about taking care of themselves when needed. That’s just self importance.



If you have a question for Bertha feel free to leave it in the comments. She’ll reply on the following Monday.


Shame on you, those of you who thought I was talking about a person! Really.

Wild Turkeys are not unusual around here, but turkeys roosting in a tree a not an everyday occurance – although I have to admit I’ve seen whole flocks in the lower branches of a tree on occaision.  So what’s so special about this? A lone turkey, so high up in the tree for such a long time I’m wondering if he’s stuck.

Isn’t it amazing what you see while home sick for the day? Now I must go back to sleep. What do you think the odds are that my dogs chased him up the tree to begin with? I’m not going to dwell on that. I have enough guilt.

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Crazy Little Thing Called Dead – Take Two is free today and tomorrow for Amazon Kindle.  (You do know you can get the Kindle Ap for your other reading devices, don’t you? It’s also free.)

Go for it. You know you want a fun read!

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There’s a lot of talk about *agency going on in the writing community at the moment, and by that I don’t mean the FBI,the CIA or the KGB.  I know, only one of them is an agency, I’m trying to make a point here. Not that I think I’m going to add anything meaningful to the “agency” discussion, there are far better minds than mine talking about it already. Really, have you ever heard me talk about craft? I’m hopeless.

I think my characters have more agency than I do, but maybe it’s still not enough. So I’m giving Bree more agency to push the plot. It’s a good thing. The longer I take to write this book the better it gets. So Bree is going to push back. In fact I think I’m letting her do some of my pushing for me.

Meanwhile I’m dreaming of traveling the warmer climes in something like this:


*For more conversation on Agency, check in with Jenny, Chuck and Ada, and follow their links too.


It’s been strangely quiet here – mostly because I cannot manage my time.  What have I been doing?

Listening to an anonymous stranger play and sing in public, which made me think about the nature of courage and also its definition.

I’ve been hand-beading a purse for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I’ll take a picture and put it up here when I’m done.

I’ve been learning to use Dragon so I can write faster. I’ve had mixed success. On one hand I can get more words down per minute, on the other hand I still have to learn to manage my time so I can tell stories to my computer. And my dogs. Pippin, Moose and Zoe are enamored of writing out loud.  They think I’m talking to them. Picture this:  There is three feet of snow on the ground outside and more is falling. There are birds flitting around the bird feeders outside the window. The laptop is open on the coffee table, I’m lying on the couch. Moose is lying on the floor with one of my stocking feet rubbing his belly. Zoe is on the floor next to the head end of the couch, and Pippin is lying on my stomach. I’ve got my eyes closed so I can visualize and tell my story.

It’s a lovely way to write, but it does require a pretty quiet house, which I don’t have very often!

In other news, the boys have a orthodontist appointment this afternoon, which will again eat into writing time.  I drempt about the orthodontist last night. It was very bizarre. They wanted to put me under before they put braces on. The method for putting me under included wrestling with the anesthesiologist. There were two nurses, one who was being violently ill. At one point  I was put in a broom closet briefly.

I’m still not sure why I would need to be unconscious to have brackets put on my teeth!

What’s up in your world?