March 2020
         When we wished one another a 'Happy New Year' on the first day of January, who could have known what the world would be like in March? 2020--so far you're not bringing us good fortune and happiness.
         Our governor has issued a mandatory stay-at-home order. I've been doing that anyway. Isolation is easier for a writer or a reader. I find that I'm writing more, not content with finishing a chapter every two days or so, and I'm definitely reading more. I'll mention the books that have provided momentarily escape in this trying, unsettling time at the end of this newsletter.
         By now, Challenge a Scarecrow has been released, and I've received the cover for my June book, The Dog Who Ran with the Sleigh.  Trisha Fitzgerald couldn't find a sleigh appropriate for the one I describe in the book and invited me to see if I could. I found plenty of sleighs with Santa and his reindeer or with modern riders, but nothing was right. 
         In the end I am happy with Trisha's cover. As usual she has captured the heart of the book with well-chosen images.
         I am more than halfway through my work-in-progress, In the Greenwood He Was Slain, and am in that happy place in writing where I can hardly wait to wake up and start working on it. In fact, I've decided to begin planning a summer book in case this self-quarantine lasts beyond springtime.
         Speaking of spring, it's very cold in Michigan today. I haven't ventured out of my house in days but from my back porch I can see that my daffodils are growing. To encourage warm weather, I hung my forsythia wreath on the front door. (It isn't working.) It doesn't seem possible that Easter will soon be here.
         From my Kindle library, I've spent many a happy hour reading. Among the books I've enjoyed are The Bowes Inheritance by Pam Lecky and the first two installments in her Lucy Lawrence mysteries, No Stone Unturned and Footprints in the Sand . I've also read all the available Mercy Allcutt mysteries by Alice Duncan; No Quiet among the Shadows by Nancy Herriman; and more Mrs. Jeffries mysteries by Emily Brightwell.
         All of these books will take you away to a different time and place where the future holds no surprises.
         I've also enjoyed listening to music, in particular, the albums of Midnight Syndicate . This may seem like a strange choice, but they're Gothic in nature and therefore perfect for me.
         I'm looking forward to spring and a world free from the ravages of this terrible virus. I hope everyone, will stay safe at home, if you can, and well. Keep yourself sane with a prayer and a good book.