Journeys of the Heart

An author's journey

Saying Goodbye

I’m not good at good-byes.  When I’m with friends I always linger at the door chatting for a few more minutes, hating to say the words that signal the end of good times shared with each other.  So you can imagine how difficult it is for me to bid farewell to Pumpkin, my beloved furry companion of twenty-four and a half years.  That’s a 114 in human years, an amazing run any way you look at it. 

My husband and I have known for a few months that she was slowly going into a decline.  But no matter how carefully you try to prepare yourself for the inevitable; it’s still heart wrenching to watch them take that final breath.  For me it’s even more poignant as Pumpkin was my writing buddy and furry muse.  The consummate lap cat, she followed me everywhere.  Since sitting on my lap while I typed didn’t work (believe me she tried), Pumpkin finally resigned her self to curling up on the chair next to me.  That is when she wasn’t sitting on the desk in front of the computer or trying to help me type. 

Saying good-bye is hard and I’ll miss her company.  My office seems empty today as I write this.  But I have hope.  We have two other cats, Scamp and Sami.  Often they’d sit in the doorway and look longingly at the chair where Pumpkins sat ensconced in her special place of honor—next to mommy.  I suspect it won’t be long before one of them decides this being a muse thing is a good deal.  Pumpkin sure thought so.

Pumpkin and Scamp (new contender for the role as furry muse)


January 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

And They Lived…

On the 17th of January my husband, Neil and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  We celebrated the event by a mini-vacation that started in Lexington, VA where we joined friends from the 5th VA and took part in the annual Lee/Jackson Days.  PBS was there this year filming a special about Lee and Jackson.  Don’t know if we’ll show up in any of the footage, but it will be fun to watch the program and look for ourselves when it airs.  Afterward we spent several days in Washington, DC.  Monday morning we wandered through the African exhibit.  In the afternoon we saw the National Geographic exhibit of the Terracotta Warriors from China.  Amazing!  If you have a chance, go see them.  We spent most of Tuesday at the National Archives doing research on Neil’s 2 great-great grandfathers who served during the Civil War.  Afterward we completed our trip through time and around the world with a stop at the Sackler museum of Asian art. 

A few years ago I read about a study that showed that married couples spent less than 10 minutes a day in meaningful conversation.  Obviously the researchers didn’t know us.  Some nights we have a hard time shutting up and going to bed when we should.  Some younger couples have asked us to share some of our secrets of our connubial bliss.  There’s nothing really secret about it—common values, shared interests, respect and a great sense of humor are important ingredients.  Most of all I believe you need to really like the person you’ve married.  After all these years, there is no one I want more to spend time with than Neil.  He’s my dearest friend and biggest cheerleader. 

Is it any wonder I write romance?

January 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Kick up the Heat in the New Year

Baby, it’s cold out there!  Looking for a way to warm up these bitter winter days?  Then check out Kathy Kulig’s latest release, Damned and Desired.  It’s literally hot off the press today (well ready to download to your favorite e-reading device) from Ellora’s Cave.  Steamy and action packed, you’ll enjoy getting lost for a few hours in Kathy’s second paranormal book populated with a host of sexy demons and their human partners.  Take a peak at the blurb and then go check it out for yourself.




She’s a demon, he’s a shapeshifting leopard. From their first meeting in the Arizona desert, passion ignites and trouble begins. As a demon, Sakari Lock must harvest lifeforce energy through sexual seductions to sustain her exiled world. But when Sakari meets Brad, she breaks the number one rule of Anartia—don’t get personal with your quarry.

 Physician’s assistant Brad Montag is drawn to Sakari’s lustful advances with a blazing desire he can’t explain, unaware of how dangerous she is. No matter how enticing, she’s a complication he doesn’t need until he can conquer his past and regain control of his shapeshifting abilities. Sex this wicked and good can only lead to disaster.

 When immortals from an alternate dimension try to free their exiled world, Brad is caught in the middle of a battle that could destroy not only him, but the land he loves.


January 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Beginnings are important.  They crackle with hope, anticipation and the promise of starting anew.  This is I suppose part of the allure of starting the New Year off with a list of resolutions.   A lot has already been said about goal setting in other blogs, so I’ll pass on the topic, other than to say that keeping them realistic and writing them down really does help.  Rewarding ones self occasionally when a particular goal has been achieved is important too. 

Beginnings are equally important in the opening of a book.  The goal of every writer is to capture their audience in those first few pages. Finding the right way to do that, now there’s the rub.   Typically it takes the average reader, (include agent and editor here) about 15 seconds to decide to either keep reading or to pass and move on to another book.  If you doubt this, check out the process the next time you purchase a book.  Most people, unless they have a specific book in mind, will browse an area, selecting those books whose titles or covers attract their attention, check the blurb on the back, open and peruse a page or two—about 15 seconds worth of investigation.  After that the book either goes back on the shelf and they move on or it ends up tucked under the purchaser’s arm as they browse further.  Readers know what they like and it doesn’t take them long to say yea or nay. 

There are reasons why all this beginning stuff is on my mind at the moment.  For one thing, I’m waiting to hear whether or not I managed to hook my editor with my latest book, Palace of Dreams.  For another, and more importantly to me at this moment, I’m about to begin another project, an erotic short story slated for Ellora’s Cave, called Winter’s End.  I’m also researching for my next novel, an erotic steam punk with the working title of Clockwork Heart.  And I’m working on several workshops using power point, a new technological adventure for me.  It’s clear I have a lot of beginnings to think about this year.  The task is a bit daunting, but I’m excited to dive in and begin.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  I’m happy to be your cheerleader as well.  As the song says, “we can all use a little help from our friends.” Never truer, I think, than right at this moment, as we take the first steps to making our resolutions a reality.  Here’s to beginnings and to remaking ourselves and our world!

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments