Trying to Keep My Spirits Up

If today was a normal day I’d be flying up to Boston to spend the weekend with the Wickeds on a retreat. We were going to a new place this year on Cape Cod. I haven’t spent much time there and was looking forward to it. But not spending time with the Wickeds – now that is a loss. We talk, cook, eat, catch up on industry news, write, plot, and stay up way too late. And yes, while in the big picture this is a small thing to give up, I think we all have to acknowledge the things we miss too.

But I’ve been trying (not always succeeding) to concentrate on things that make me happy. Here’s a few of my thoughts:

Edith and I both had short stories in an anthology that came out on April 7th – the Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction inspired by the songs of Joni Mitchell. My story was based on Joni’s song Last Chance Lost. Here are a bit of the lyrics:

Last chance lost
In the tyranny of a long good-bye
Last chance lost
We talk of us with deadly earnest eyes

You can read the rest of the lyrics here.

Writing this story gave me a chance to explore something a bit darker than I normally write. I set the story in southeast Wyoming where I once lived. You can buy it here. It comes in several different formats and is filled with stories by award winning authors.

At least it’s spring! This is a picture from several weeks ago. The azaleas are blooming now.

My sweet, sweet Lily.

My daughter learned to make scones because I asked her to!

I’ve enjoyed sending unexpected notes and gifts to people.


And as many of you know, I have a book coming out on July 28 — From Beer to Eternity, the first book in the Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mystery series. I thought waiting for the first book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sales mysteries was hard. But wow – this seems even harder in some ways. What if everyone hates it? What if it’s terrible? Fortunately, the early reviews on Goodreads have been positive. You can find buy links here.

Here’s a review from NetGalley: The first Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery, From Beer to Eternity, was such a page turner I started it at breakfast, read straight through, and finished just after lunch! Chloe Jackson of Chicago is temporarily residing in sunny Emerald Cove, Florida after the death of her best friend, Boone, as he requested she take care of his grandmother if anything ever happened to him. Unfortunately for Chloe, Vivi, Boone’s grandmother, is fiercely independent and doesn’t want her help – that is until a man is found murdered behind the bar and Vivi seems to be the chief suspect. A fantastic cozy with wonderful characters, beautiful scenery, and a great mystery – I loved it! A+++

A good review always makes me happy!

Readers: I know we’ve asked this before, but what is making you happy this week?





35 Thoughts

  1. So sorry that the Wickeds are not able to get together for their Cape Cod retreat, Sherry.
    And congratulations on your short story and the upcoming release of the new Sea Glass Mystery series. I look forward to reading it.

    What is making me happy this week? Longer days and sunny weather are signs that spring is slowly arriving in Ottawa. The early spring flowers are just starting to bloom (dafffodil, crocus) and I saw my first robin! The 75th annual tulip festival (now virtual) is the first big spring festival that is starting this weekend but Mother Nature and the pandemic have other plans that have thwarted us from allowing the blooms to be ready in time.

    I also got a delivery of flour yesterday (still cannot order from normal supermarkets) and have a loaf of sourdough bread ready to go in the oven this morning. Nothing better than enjoying a slice of freshly baked bread with butter for breakfast!

  2. I’ve knocked the unread emails back to 16,422 for the second time from 20k.
    A friend brought me homemade soup on Sunday.
    Meals on Wheels brought me laundry detergent on Monday as I mentioned I was running low.
    I’ve reviewed six books so far this week.

  3. That’s a fabulous review, Sherry! My copy is on order at my local indy bookstore.

    I too will miss our annual retreat, sniff. I made a Delicious Death cake yesterday (see Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen tomorrow!) and I could have brought it to the Cape.

    Mulching my flower and vegetable gardens with compost has made me happy (and achy) this week, because now they look tidy and pretty, and they are being fed.

  4. Can’t wait for the new book, Sherry!

    As for what makes me happy: my silly cat always makes me happy. Apple blossoms on my tree, seeing everything green up with the coming of spring (even though we have frost this morning), anticipating the start of my farm share pickups in just a few more weeks. Light at the end of the tunnel. Hope.

  5. I’m always happy to start off the day knowing I get to spend it with hubby. As I’ve said before, we love photography and it’s one of the many things we love doing together. Now that it’s spring, there are many gorgeous birds that migrate through our area and are here for only a very short time. I makes us both happy to be able to one see them and two to capture them in our photos. Unlike most that are happy to have them sitting on a limb or at the feeder, our goal is to catch to odd, unusual, action or funny shot. Been rather successful this week in that point and that makes me really happy. The numbers are starting to dwindle already, but I’m happy knowing that they will be bringing someone else joy along their migration route.

    Our 15 year old furbaby, always makes us happy. Even when he is cantankerous (and at 15 he has the right to be), brings us joy every day.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. A great joy to wake up with your husband. Lily is getting a bit cantankerous too. She grumbles a bit when she gets up sometimes. She’s always had opinions but now she has OPINIONS.

  6. What’s making me happy this week?

    Well, I finished reading the new C.J. Box book LONG RANGE last night. It was a great book so I guess that would qualify as making me happy.

    I don’t know if “happy” is the right term for me. I don’t feel happy. But I don’t feel sad or depressed either. I’m just me. I go about my day and get things done that needs to be done. I enjoy the moment when I finish reading a book, listening to some great music or seeing an article I wrote go online. I laugh heartily when something strikes me funny.

    But then I’ve got other stuff to do, so I am thankful for the shot of happiness and then get onto other business while I look forward to whatever will bring another bit of happiness into my life.

    I like an undamaged calm these days so I try not to get too up or too down about any one thing in particular.

      1. Sherry, glad you liked what I had to say.

        I forgot to mention that I’m looking forward to From Beer To Eternity.

  7. Just wanted to say — I live on the Cape. Great place for a retreat when you can!

  8. If today were a normal day, I would still be on my high from Malice, and have a pile of new books in my front room, wondering where the heck I was going to put them. Instead, I’m slowly packing up my books (and everything else) to get ready to get the house on the market. My joy yesterday was seeing a bluebird on my deck. I haven’t seen one in ages. They are so pretty! Lately, my joy has been lightening our load and getting rid of all the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. It’s almost like shedding weight…it just feels freeing to get rid of stuff you don’t use. You look at it and are like, “Why did I keep this?” so you toss it. It’s very liberating.

  9. I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this book to come out. It seems as it has been forever since you first wrote about it in this blog.

    I’m happy I have learned how to use Venmo and Zoom this week. This old dog has learned a couple of new tricks.

    Like Kay, I’m happy to wake up with my hubby every day. I’m happy that I have a beautiful, healthy daughter even tho’ we can’t be with her as we were supposed to be this week.

    I’m happy that the sun is shining and I live in a beautiful place with a governor who is smart enough to very slowly open some businesses and not put the whole state in danger.

  10. I hear you about missing out on things being disappointing. What’s making me happy this week? It’s Thursday! Almost to another weekend. We made it through another crazy close at work. I keep hoping things will smooth out, and it keeps not happening.

  11. Just found this to add.

    Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.

    – English poet and author John Ruskin, 1819-1900

  12. Congrats on your review, Sherry! How cheering! My life feels a bit brighter since one of my sons arrived home to stay for a while as of Monday evening. I have been missing being with him so it is a delight! And, three out of four of my kids, as well as my husband will all be with me on Mothers’ Day this year! It is the first time that has happened in quite a while!

  13. Congrats on the new book, Sherry! I look forward to getting it…and I love the name of the saloon. Making me happy? Spring flowers in my garden looking good. Having fun baking ( who cares about calories?) And this – these days we must take our happy where we find it: <Nice surprise today. The current Poisoned Pen Press newsletter is about mysteries with moms, in honor of Mother's Day…and Brooklyn Bones, the first in my Brooklyn series, is right there! Happy to be in the company of (among other great authors)prize-winning Mary Anna Evans and Donis Casey and incomparably funny Kerry Greenwood.

    Interested in the newsletter? Go to their and scroll to the signup at bottom. >

    Triss Stein

  14. I can’t wait for your new series! What’s making me happy this week — sunny days with no rain, and seeing all the beautiful flowers when I walk my dog through the neighborhood.

  15. I understand you missing your retreat. I really miss lunches with my friends. However, our nursery opened last week so I have plants, mostly flowers. My friend just texted pictures of her pink dogwood and grapevine. Food, of course. I cook and bake and have gotten some restaurant takeout to help them out. Stay safe everyone!

  16. A couple of great neighborhood guys and I (I buy, direct, and pay) have been landscaping my yard. They’ve hauled several truckloads of old tree chips from the daylily garden and topped it with bags of topsoil. It makes me happy to see them turn expansive bare areas into beds of future-blooming daylilies, gardenias, hydrangeas, Chinese viburnum, redbud trees. camellias, and liriope. These compliment the hosta, astilbe, daffodils, ferns, hyacinths, and sedum that dear friends planted for me earlier. I’m going for a grass-free yard! At night I binge-watch comedies.

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