Some links.

As I have been working on the editing for Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude, I needed to take out the YouTube links that had been originally included in my Facebook posts that are included in that book, just in case the links are taken down at a later date. So, as I thought about removing them, I thought I would instead include them here in a post, in case any of you wanted to check them out.

The first link was to a really wonderful video that Sam made with friends for a science project in high school.

This is NOT a fungus


Then, I posted a list of Sam’s favorite songs, with links to videos of them:

The Vermont State Song —

SpongeBob – “Best Day Ever” –

Jesus Christ Superstar – “Everything’s Alright”

Bob Dylan – “Like a Rolling Stone” —

Arlo Guthrie – “Motorcycle Song” —

Twiddle – “When it Rains it Poors” —

Twiddle – “Hatibagen McRat” —

Zach Sobiak – “Clouds” —

America – “Horse with No Name” —

Aerosmith – “Amazing” —

Rocky Horror – “Time Warp” —

Macklemore – “Same Love” (he thought it was overplayed, but loved the message) –

Tom Petty – “Into the Great Wide Open” —

Andrea Bocelli – “Por Ti Volare” —

Pavarotti – “Ave Maria” —

Bryan Adams – “I will Always Return” —

Arlo Guthrie – “Amazing Grace” —


Finally, I also originally included the link to Otter Valley Union High School’s Walking Stick Theater’s production of their student-written and choreographed play, Inevitable, which I think is an amazing work of art.


I hope you will take some time to check these links out!


Happy Anniversary!

As I have written about before, my road to becoming a published author was a long and winding one. I had written two complete romance novels prior to 2013, and over the years, I had sent them out to agents trying to find representation. I’d get a little interest, then get rejected a few times, then put it all aside for a while.

Eventually, our son Sam would give me grief about giving up, he’d tell me that I needed to keep trying. He always could visualize that one day it would happen. He’d tell me that one day I’d get an agent or a publishing contract, and we’d all go out to dinner to celebrate and order whatever we wanted.

After Sam’s death, I stopped writing completely for a long time. I was in too dark of a place to try to write a happily-ever-after story. But he believed so strongly, that eventually I felt compelled to try again. This time, December 2016, I got serious. I pulled out my first completed novel, The Phone Call, and ripped it apart, then hired a professional editor to go at it. Then I did the same with That One Small Omission. I decided that if this was something I truly wanted, I needed to take it seriously, and not just keep sort-of doing it.

Around the same time, I started sending The Phone Call out via query letters to agents. Then I read this great article about reputable publishing houses that don’t require an agent, and so I submitted it to two of them.

Months went by. A couple agents requested sample chapters, one requested the full manuscript, but then came the rejections. This round, instead of being discouraged, I was so energized by my work with the editors, that I was going full-speed on More Than I Can Say. Even the day when one of the publishing houses rejected me didn’t diminish my drive.

Then, at exactly 5:45 on June 12th, 2017, I sat down in my chair with my cup of coffee, like I do every morning, and opened my email. There was a new message from Solstice Publishing, and I almost didn’t open it because I really didn’t want to get rejected first thing in the day.

With a sigh, I opened it, telling myself to be brave. Reading it later wasn’t going to be any easier than reading it then. It was going to sit there and mock me until I read it, I knew it. So I opened it and it was a short, sweet, positive note offering me a publishing contract! My poor husband came down the stairs at just that moment, and I was standing there, making noises, unable to form a coherent statement, then I started jumping up and down like an idiot, finally yelling, “A contract! They want to publish it!” Then I burst into tears. After hugging him, crying, dancing around, I ran upstairs and woke our youngest son, still crying, and the poor kid probably was terrified, but then he hugged and hugged me.

Later that day, I went to the cemetery, and read the email aloud to Sam, knowing how much he was a part of the entire process. His belief in me, his belief that it would happen, was a great part of what kept me (and keeps me) going.

Yes, in the year that has passed, I have published The Phone Call, That One Small Omission and More Than I Can Say, all through Solstice Publishing. Now, I have signed a publishing contract on my memoir Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude.

What a year it has been — happy anniversary to me!

A farming kind of day!

Today was another busy one, filled with farming activities. We weeded the gardens, fed the bees, mulched some of the rows in the gardens, replanted some holes in the rows, planted leeks, moved a water tank for the winter squash bed, introduced the chicks to the aviary, planted some herbs, and finally, picked greens and radishes for dinner. Now it is time to sit on the deck and admire how it all looks!


Welcome to Tom Dutta!

As I’ve said before, one of the best parts of becoming a published author is connecting with other authors. I love hearing their stories of what motivated them to start writing, and I love to see their creations.

Tom is one of those people that I’ve been lucky enough to connect with via the publishing world. From Canada, he guides people in finding what I would refer to as their best life possible.

So, here is a glimpse of Tom’s book, The Way of the Quiet Warrior. I hope you will check it out, and visit his website at:

Tom’s Website


You are a leader, a success in your chosen fi eld. You have the position and the money and the things that you always believed would make you happy. And yet…there’s something missing, isn’t there?
The Way of the Quiet Warrior® 90-Days to the Life You Desire is an exciting hybrid of guide and fable. Mingling clear, non-fi ction explanations of Tom Dutta’s revolutionary Way of the Quiet Warrior formula for success with fi ctional tales designed to illustrate those concepts, The Way of the Quiet Warrior® is designed to be highly readable and engaging. With more than three decades of experience in the corporate world, Tom Dutta is perfectly positioned to identify and address the unmet needs and unresolved issues of CEOs, leaders and executives the world over.


Tom is a senior business leader, speaker and International #1 Best Selling author with more than 30 years experience helping build and grow companies in Canada and the USA. Tom brings leadership experience from the Financial Services, IT, TELCO, Not-For Profit, and Health sectors. His career includes senior roles in many of Canada’s prestigious companies including President and CEO, and Chairman of the Board.

As Founder and CEO of KRE-AT® Tom is the world’s only motive-based leadership expert. In concert with his business expertise, Tom’s intense travel and study of the science behind success has enabled him to create a proven coaching and mentorship formula called The Way of the Quiet Warrior®. This dynamic program helps leaders manifest success by discovering purpose, taking action and living life their way. Tom mentors CEOs and Executives and has extensive experience participating in and facilitating masterminding. Tom is Executive Producer and Host of the EPIC Podcast “The Quiet Warrior Show” and appeared on William Shatner’s Moving America Forward TV Show.

Previously, Tom was General Manager with Ocean West Financial, Chief Operating Officer of the Annex Group, one of BC’s fastest growing IT Professional Service firms. He was CEO with CRI Canada, a Division of AEGON – a supplier of software and financial services globally. At TELUS, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, Tom held a dual role of Director, Customer Excellence and Director, Enterprise Marketing. VanTel Credit Union was his first executive role as Vice President, Sales Marketing and Operations and previously he held Management roles with Toronto Dominion Bank.

Tom has served on a number of industry boards and served as Chairman of the Board for MDABC working to pioneer a change in the Mental Health model.

Tom is married to his business partner, Anna, and together they have three children. Tom enjoys travel, experimenting with cooking and giving to help others achieve their life goals.

Connect with Tom Here: (Press Release TV show)

I wonder…

On Memorial Day, I posted a picture of my grandfather, Alfred, as he was about to go off to World War I. As I said then, I really know very little about him, as he died when my dad was a tiny child, so I just have a few scattered bits of information such as his love of languages.

Last week I watched a documentary about World War I, and it made me wonder a lot of things. Where did my grandfather serve? What did he experience? Was he drafted or did he enlist? How did it change him? Did he write letters home to his first wife and children? My brain was in overdrive thinking of all the things I would like to know about him.

When my brain slowed a bit, I decided to try to find some of the answers. I have requested his military records, and have contacted the few relatives I have asking about any letters, etc.

I will let you know what I find!


Welcome to Lori Leachman!

Today I am thrilled to share information about a great memoir by Lori Leachman, The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen.

Leachman-KingHalloween CVR-LG

The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen is a memoir about growing up in the South, football, and the death of the patriarch from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It tells the story of a life in football from a daughter’s perspective. It provides an intimate look at one family’s rise through the ranks of competitive football—from player to high school, then college coaching; followed by coaching in the WFL, CFL, and NFL, and ultimately to Super Bowl champions. It also chronicles the family’s struggle to deal with and understand the decline of the father who was at the center of this lifestyle from CTE.

The first 2/3rds of the book present the Leachman family’s rise through the ranks of football coaching: starting as a high school football coach in Savannah, Georgia, progressing to college coaching at a variety of schools in the South, and then heading north to coach for the defunct World Football League, the Canadian Football League, and ultimately the National Football League. Given, the time period, 1960-1990s, the book also addresses the issue of racial relations in the South during the period of public school integration.

The last 1/3rd of the book chronicles the Leachman family’s struggle to deal with the growing incapacity of the patriarch, and to understand the causes of that decline. Lamar Leachman was ahead of the curve with respect to the onset of his disease. He began showing signs of degeneration in the early 1990s, long before the presence of any medical evidence, and a decade before the NFL would acknowledge the existence of CTE, and its link to football.

Told in a rich Southern voice, this is a story of one family’s love of a game and each other. It is a story of one man’s strength of character and the woman’s love that sustained him. It is a coming of age story of a strong-willed, independent young woman. It is a story that will make you laugh and make you cry.

Read more about the book at


An exciting change!



Today I launched an online book store on this site! While my novels are all available in paperback and e-book on and and in some brick and mortar book stores, I also wanted to make them available in another venue. On this site, they are priced lower (for paperback) than on those other sites, as I am able to offer an author’s discount. When my memoir is published, it will also be available here.

The three novels can be found by clicking on “The Book Store” at the top of my website (under my name). That will take you to a page where you can order my books in paperback copies, and I will ship them directly out to you via priority mail. As of right now, I am only shipping within the United States, but that may change soon.

If you would like me to sign the book, please let me know to whom and anything special you would like me to include in the comments field when you are ordering.

The link to the book store is:

My Book Store

If you order more than one book (or more than one copy of the book), you will only be charged one shipping fee.

The weekend on a farm…

It was another busy weekend at our house, thankfully a long one. Due to lots of visiting family lately, and the need to get the garden in, the housecleaning had been neglected for far too long and many other things around home needed attention.

First thing Saturday, we ran a couple errands, including getting the last two seedlings for the garden (leeks and a dill plant since the chickens ate the last one). Then we came home and cleaned the house top to bottom, even washing our endless hardwood floors as the pollen is streaming in through the windows right now. After that, there was mowing, watering, feeding the animals, and getting the equipment ready for honey extraction on Sunday.

On Sunday, we started the extraction process bright and early. Hours and hours of back-breaking work later, we had almost seven gallons of gorgeous raw honey. Then we had to clean all the equipment, take care of our more than 30 chicks, weed some, clean the big animal barn, and finally get the super boxes and frames/foundations ready to add to the hives on Monday.

On Monday, we added the supers to the hives, fed the bees, weeded, watered, planted the last row of broccoli and cabbage, got out the hummingbird feeders and made food for them, had a conference call with my publisher for Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude, then had a wonderful family meal with the extended family.

Phew! What a wonderful weekend with time with family and time with nature.

Giving Thanks Today and Everyday

On this Memorial Day, I thought a lot about the men and women across the centuries who have protected our freedoms and sacrificed for us. One of those men and women was particularly on my mind today — my grandfather, Alfred Holsman.


This is a picture of him on the day he was leaving for World War I. I never had the opportunity to meet him as he died many years before I was born — actually, he died when my dad (his son) was only about four years old. I know very little about him, other than that he had immigrated to this country from Eastern Europe, was married twice, had three children, was fiercely patriotic, and spoke many languages. The language part always interested me because I love learning world languages, and learn them easily, but neither of my parents have that interest. I always wondered where my ability came from, then I found out that my grandfather was a court translator in Boston. How cool!

My grandfather proudly served in World War I, wanting to serve his adopted country. When World War II came around, he was heartbroken that he was too old and ill to be able to re-enlist.

So on this day of remembrance, I give thanks for those who have served and those who serve now.

Patience is NOT one of my virtues!

It is another busy time of year. The school year is coming to an end, bringing with it the transitions in and out of classes of students. The garden needs planting, the lawn needs mowing almost constantly, the bees need to be cared for, and the alpacas need shearing. Then, in the midst of it, yes, I try to remember to send out tweets and posts about my three published books, and work on editing my memoir.

Now the memoir is in the hands of an editor, again, and I am waiting for my first formal call with my author’s team at the publishing house working with me on this book. I can’t wait to talk to them about the timeline for publishing, and get moving on the details like the cover. While I wait for that call, I’m also putting together my launch team (which still sounds like something for NASA) and contacting people about reviews and quotes. I have to remind myself that while the call on Monday seems so far from now, really, it is almost here. In the meantime, I can work on details that I control, and try to enjoy the process.

As I wait, I can enjoy seeing how Sam’s garlic is flourishing — any day now we should see the first garlic scapes appearing. Not only are they beautiful to look at as they grow, they are delicious!