Open new doors in 2022!

Dear Friends:

            What does it mean for a year to be new? Do we reflect on the past and celebrate the future? Do we make New Year's resolutions? I chose to embrace the words of the U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harlo.

            "I like to think of a new year being possible at any moment, as every moment is a kind of doorway." 

            This past year has been a bag of mixed blessings for all of us, and hopefully your families are healthy and safe. One of the 2021 highlights for me was signing on with Level Best Books, an award-winning publisher of crime, mystery and thriller fiction. I’m right at home with them. My editor, Harriette Sackler asked me to write an essay about “Resolutions” for their newsletter, and I would like to share my thoughts with you. 
            As 2021 draws to a close, it’s time for us to reflect on where we’ve been this year, and where we’re going in 2022. It’s time to make the dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions,” where we make promises to ourselves about improving our lives in the coming year.
            I never make resolutions. They’re too much pressure. I have enough going on in my life that I don’t need to add breaking a promise to myself to the agenda.
            However, I make a list of goals for the upcoming year, consisting of about a half-dozen tangible, somewhat achievable, tasks. I pin the list on my office’s bulletin board, so I can check off each entry as it’s accomplished. For example, in 2021, I decided to learn how to make pie dough, French Macarons and croissants. Thanks to virtual baking classes from Ann Arbor, Cleveland and Paris, I checked off my baking goals. My pie dough and croissants were so-so, but the Macarons were the terrific! 
            My list also contained items that weren’t so trivial, and some that were beyond my control. The latter were more like wishes, really. The most important one being to find a new home for my latest manuscript, Hooker Avenue. Well, here I am with Level Best Books, so I guess wishes do come true. That accomplishment deserves a “heart” rather than check mark.
            Some items, like selling a rental property in South Carolina, and reviving a summer film series sponsored by our family foundation, will spill over into 2022, but no pressure. I’ll get them done. By the way, my lists go back to 2009!
            As you can see, my items are not Oprah’s “Ah-Hah!” revelations about being in the moment or being a better person. Or living a healthier lifestyle by eating more plant-based meals. Those are lifetime goals, which require more than one trip around the sun. And they should be “givens,” not “resolutions.”
            As for 2022, my list is already up on the bulletin board. Some items address the April pub date and promotion of Hooker Avenue, sitting down to write my next novel, the TBR for my book reviews, and selling that house in South Carolina. Maybe if we finally get COVID-19 under control, trips to see the Aurora Borealis and to attend Malice Domestic will miraculously appear there!
            Whatever you call them, it’s motivating to strive to achieve something. The goal can be easy or hard, like going back to the gym, or completing your manuscript, or creating a newsletter, or learning to paint, or organizing our family photos, or volunteering at your favorite charity. I discovered that sometimes, it’s the journey that’s the most fun, and as a bonus, I get to check off the entry.
            Setting goals gives me something to look forward to, and with that in mind, I hope your lives are filled with happy “counter-resolutions” in 2022.
              Happy Holidays to all.

            Happy New Year to you all, and let's throw open lots of doors in 2022.

        In the publishing world, once an author submits their final manuscript to their publisher, it is the beginning of the publication production process. Now, the book goes through several layers of review before it is released out into the world:
        Developmental Edits- The editor reviews the story to help reveal plot questions, inconsistencies, pace, and flow, etc.
        Red Line Copy Edits-This focuses on grammar, spelling, punctuation and typos.
        Final Proofing- Final review of the PDF that is going to market, to catch the final errors before publication.
        I’m excited to report, that Hooker Avenue is one step closer to publication. My developmental edits have been completed and returned to Level Best Books. And we are hard at work on the COVER.
        And the big new is ... 

                                              April 19, 2022


The longer, colder nights make us want to get cozy on the couch or in bed, and open a good book or flip on the TV. Here's some suggestions to keep you company while the snow falls and the winds howl.

Clanlands Almanac- Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish*
Tells the Bees that I am Gone - Diana Gabaldon
Death of a Green-eyed Monster- MC Beaton
State of Terror- Hillary Clinton & Louise Penny*
The Stahl House- Case Study House #22- Shari Stahl Gronwald, Bruce Stahl, Kim Cross

*Check out my reviews at
We finally made it through all 171 episodes of Seinfeld, so that left a cataclysmic hole in our viewing routine. Never fear, we've discovered plenty of mesmerizing content to fill the void!

Foundation (Apple TV)
Get Back (Disney +)
Under the Vines (Acorn)
Condor (Epix)
Station Eleven (HBO MAX)
Frankie & Grace (Netflix)
Chronogrammies Nomination- The Chronogram magazine is holding it’s third annual nominations for the “Chronogrammies.” The 2022 Nominations are now open, and your vote in the Author category is greatly appreciated. Please click on the image to vote. 

           This year I had a blast writing and presenting my “Writer’s Law School” and "Visual Artists Law School" virtually across the nation, and I’m looking forward to more virtual, and hopefully, in person, engagements in 2022. 
            As the list develops, I’ll be posting the zoom registration links on my website, but here are the Spring 2022 dates, so far:
            January 24th - Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT. 
            February 25th – Chappaqua Library
            April 28th – Northern Chicago RWA Conference (Live)
            June 18th-  Greater Poughkeepsie Library District (Live)
            Hope to see you there.

          The full schedule is available at,
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