Advice for People Stressed Out During the Holidays

  • December 09, 2019
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If you’re not allergic:

1. Pet a cat.*

2. Let cat snuggle in your lap.

3. Take breaks (because cat is lying on book/papers/whatever you need to work on at that moment).

(This is Jake, who thoughtfully helped while I was trying to study at his house.)

Frankie and I want to wish everyone who celebrates a Happy Holiday!

*May substitute dog (or any pet) for cat.

Philadelphia Miniaturia 2019—Part 2

  • November 25, 2019
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Last week I showed miniatures featuring animals, reptiles, modern furniture and amazing houses. This week I’d like to present three more aspects. For those who love the macabre as well as the cute, keep reading.

First, books from Here Today Gone Tomorrow:

They also had an amazing display of furniture and pottery:

Next, painter Sue Veeder displayed her magnificent artwork. I have to admit, I saw the paintings in person and still couldn’t believe they were in 1:12 scale:

All right you fiends of horror, this is what struck both terror and glee in my heart, from Magic-N-Miniature, a wonderfully crafted guillotine (body sold separately):

Incidentally, this is where I bought the chef’s knife in the first picture.

Unfortunately for those of us who prefer the Internet, not all miniaturists have websites to sell their wares. Below is contact information for the miniaturists featured here.

Here Today Gone Tomorrow: Chris and Holly Wood (270) 622-1629/

Sue Veeder: (608)242-1600/









Philadelphia Miniaturia 2019—Part 1

  • November 18, 2019
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I love dollhouse miniatures. There’s something enthralling about creating a tiny world and letting others inside (a lot like being a writer so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised). Though there are different scales to work in, I prefer one-inch scale (1:12), which means that one inch in miniature equals one foot in real life.

One of the best things about this hobby is that it unleashes creativity and allows me to see things differently. I once saw a thin twig on the ground. Cut into pieces, it became logs for a mini fireplace.

Another great thing about this hobby is that there’s a price range for everyone. It’s not necessary to break the bank to put together a wonderful scene.

This year I was able to attend the Philadelphia Miniaturia Show, the largest miniatures show on the East Coast, and I was blown away by the artistry and kindness of the people I met there. Here are some of their works. There will be a part two next week because I couldn’t decide which pictures to post (they’re that wonderful). Keep in mind that this is the barest fraction of what was displayed.

Many people think of dollhouse miniatures as old-fashioned, with recreations of homes from the Victorian era and earlier. While that exists, there’s a lot more diversity now, as shown by Designing Ways:

The next miniaturist is Kristin Castenschiold, from Heart Felt Canines and Companions, who creates all her own products. I was completely captivated by the mountain lion:

And finally, outside structures can be as simple or ornate as the ones from Karen’s Dollhouse Shop:

Tune in next week for more.


Next Week!

  • November 11, 2019
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This weekend I went to the Philadelphia Miniatura Show, the largest miniatures show on the East Coast. I took pictures of some amazing work and will start sharing them next week.

A Real Ghost Story

  • October 28, 2019
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Following up on prior Halloween reviews of books on real ghost stories, I found a new one in the independent bookstore Briars & Brambles in the Catskill Mountains. But I admit I was taken aback at finding one story more real than I had expected.

Hiking in Autumn

  • October 21, 2019
  • Blog

Last weekend a friend and I went for a hike. It was a beautiful autumn day. Enjoy!

But lest we forget, the area is not solely ours:

Walk safely!


The Unplugged Experiment

  • October 13, 2019
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No, I didn’t decide to go offline for a week or more. I chose one day. One. Seemed like an easy thing to do, right? I had been worried about how much time I spent checking social media, playing games, emailing, texting—you get the idea.

So, one day I went completely offline. I even stayed off the phone. Here’s what I learned.

Apple Picking

  • October 06, 2019
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Apple picking is a tradition every fall. This year, I chose Battleview Orchards in New Jersey, and as the sign says, they’ve been farming since 1908. As you look at the pictures, imagine a hot, sunny day with insects buzzing around and ripe, sweet apples filling a paper bag.

Of course, some were a bit too high to reach:

But there were rows and rows to choose from:

And signs and colored ribbons to find the varieties I wanted:

Finally, the field of pumpkins. I have no idea what to do with a pumpkin so any and all advice for next year (when maybe I’ll buy one!) would be very appreciated.


Happy New Year

  • September 29, 2019
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Posting early since I’ll be offline starting tonight. To all who celebrate (and anyone else who wants the good wishes), may you have a Happy and Healthy and Sweet New Year.


Deadlines: Taking Yourself Seriously

  • September 23, 2019
  • Blog


One of the hardest things about being an indie author is the fact that there’s no external force demanding a due date. You can write when you want and publish when you want. Though the freedom is exhilarating, it’s also hard to remember that writing is a real job—not a hobby (as many like to think), or something we do effortlessly as the mood strikes us.

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