I played my first tennis game of the year. Awesome (except for a few sore muscles the next day). I think someone should video tape me. There are moments of sheer hilarity, moments when everyone would be totally amazed at my good returns, and lots of moments of what one should not do when playing tennis. I could be an entire instruction manual. Thank you Mother Nature for the perfect day to play. There is yard work I should be doing, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much!

I got in a hike with my littlest grandchild. The weather was beautiful, but the trail we chose was not ‘little one’ or stroller friendly. (Strollers don’t get along with rocks.) She tuckered out and had to be carried at the end. Still, hiking is good, fresh air is good, and being with my family is good. Can’t complain.

I’m waiting on pins and needles for the book cover art work to come.

The baby quilt I’ve been working on is now quilted and bound. I’m doing some finishing touches, but otherwise glad to have that job done. There is still some work to do on the album, but it’s all coming along.

We had a family get-together with bangers and mash to end a day that started with a parade, a long walk in the afternoon, and a game of corn hole. Those are my kind of days.

I love the truths, the secrets of life that a person learns along the way. Here is one of life’s riddles, if you will. Name three things that multiply by subtraction. You give them away, that’s subtraction, and you have more. Smiles. Love. Joy. The more you share them, the more you have. So, my advice is don’t be afraid to share. Have a good week everyone!


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Noises. Chain saws, leaf blowers, lawn mowers. This is what I am hearing. The people of Boston and really, the entire east coast do not want to hear about this. They are inundated with snow, ice, too much snow, too much ice, and cold, all the while we are drying up. Weather is the great equalizer. There are no political parties when it comes to disaster, Mother Nature strikes equally.

I have been pushing hard to finish “Rhyaden” and get it in the hands of the copy editor. One more time through, I tell myself, just one more. At some point, soon, I must give it up and pass it on. The art work is progressing. Everything that needs to happen is happening except for me letting go. Maybe tomorrow. I remember listening to Stephen King once about revision, saying he would still be perfecting his first novel if they had let him. I understand.

When I reread my first novel, I think, “Oh good grief, I could do that so much better now.” Well, yes, I could. Since then, I have written more, practiced, taken lessons, practiced, gotten constructive criticism, take more classes, worked hard, and I am now a better writer than I was when it was published. It also makes me not want to quit on this one, because every single time I go through it, it gets a tiny bit better. Balance Barbara – must always look for balance.

So, back to the subject of the weather. Being a tiny bit Native American, I love it when I find a saying from the Native American culture that really speaks to my heart. Here is a favorite one I’ve recently found. ‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our grandchildren.’ Words to think about as we contemplate our responsibility toward our one and only planet.



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Time Change!

There is much to celebrate as I drive back home. I have chosen an artist to do the book cover for “Rhyaden,” my mother is back to normal, “Of War and Men” successfully funded on Kickstarter (now the work really begins for my kids and their small but mighty Colorado game company), and in just over two months I will be greeting my fifth grandchild. Life is good!

I’m well versed in the cycles, and I know that tough times are coming. My sister needs another surgery but she is so anemic they are going to do weekly iron infusions until her lab numbers are better. I’ve never heard of this before, so anyone who has had it done is welcome to chime in with reassurances in its effectiveness.

So what I should say is Life is Life, good and bad, and I choose to celebrate the good stuff, get past the bad, and look for the silver lining with as many smiles as I can muster through it all. I want my grandkids to remember me as the one who got down on the floor to play with them, gave them too many graham crackers, and marveled at their wonderful talents.

I am getting so excited about releasing my novel. This path I am on must be the right one, for it sure feels right. Not that there won’t be glitches and set backs and the tearing of the hair at times. I know. For right now, though, I am cherishing the fact that I have worked hard on this book, it feels good, it’s a book I would have been glad to see my kids bring home from the library, and well, it feels good. Boy am I going to have a lot of folks to thank when the book is out. That in itself is good too, for it means that there are a lot of good folks out there who believe in “Rhyaden.” I like that!

Don’t forget to change your clocks!

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Nellie Bell

I made an unexpected trip over the hill to check on my mother. Everything turned out fine, but when someone is 98, you never know. And so I came. The trip interrupted several days of volunteering at a middle school, something I love to do, but these things can’t be planned or helped. My mother has an awesome young doctor who makes house calls, at least for his patients in their nineties. I don’t know his policy for other ages, but for my mother who no longer leaves the house, this is a wonderful and much appreciated service.

The trip gave me a chance to stock their shelves again with the paper products they use so much of. I’m also getting more of the polishing/final go through of my book, “Rhyaden” than I would have this week, had I stayed at home and been a volunteer. Well, I can’t say that one for sure, because I’ve been asked to run many errands, and they seem to take up more of the day than I think they will. Plus, there are two days of driving five and a half hours each way, so if I really examine it closely, my progress is not going to turn out any different than I had originally planned for.

The weather was nice and the drive was fairly easy, although the traffic is incredible anymore. How do kids learn to drive these days? My dad took me out in the country and we drove around until I got it. There is no country nowadays, just bumper to bumper traffic everywhere. I learned on a stick shift. It’s probably good that kids don’t have to deal with stick shifts now. The old lurch and stall experienced by most beginners in my day wouldn’t go so well with today’s road rage.

We called our old International pickup “Nellie Bell.” Does anyone name their vehicles today?


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Fall-Out Shelter?

I am amazed and proud that people are standing up, talking, and debating the gun issue, no matter how they feel. This is an issue worthy of careful consideration. Hey, if Congress won’t do anything, we the people can. It’s in the Constitution! What I’m not proud of, is the ridiculous postings people pass around on FB, but I guess some people haven’t learned that big lesson yet.

And now Russia has gotten back in the Nuclear build-up game, so wow folks, we’re back in the cold war again. Everyone have their fall-out shelter ready?

Some friends thought I was playing video games on-line when I posted “live on Kickstarter.” I got a good chuckle out of that one. It’s definitely a generational thing. Kickstarter is the venue my kids are using to showcase their new game “Of War and Men,” get backers, and pre-sell games. Their goal is $20,000 in funding, and if they don’t reach that goal, no one’s credit card gets charged. If they get enough backing, and they are already at 70% of their goal, they will forge full speed ahead. To back them (pre-order a game) go to kickstarter.com and search “Of Men and War.”

The weather has turned vile on both coasts, and my heart goes out to the flood victims, especially cruel this bitter cold time of year. Once again, I say hooray for the Red Cross. They are always there when we need them.

Finally, a huge shout out and Thank You to Jamie Leigh Photography, Jamie Smith of Greeley, Colorado for doing a fantastic job with my promotional photo shoot, all part of gearing up for the release of my middle grade novel “Rhyaden” come fall. Write On!


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Half Way There!

A friend’s note reminded me I wanted to get the spruce trees pruned. The temperature was decent, a little windy, but the sun was out, and so I went for it. One chore done. The first of many such jobs to be done before spring.

The WWII game “Of War and Men” successfully launched yesterday on Kickstarter. What an exciting adventure! I am so hopeful for its success and I am so nervous, but so far so good. I can hardly think what to write for a blog, except for maybe a huge shout out and thank you to all who have backed the game. In less than a day, you have gotten them half way to their goal!

Watching someone’s dream unfold before you is many things. It is awesome, stressful, and nerve-wracking, along with exciting. Throw in a little terror and that about wraps up the feelings. I am so proud of the hard work and creativity my kids have put into “Of War and Men.”

Watching them launch their game has taught me a few things. Though books and games are definitely different, and have different markets, the rules of preparation and a good product are the same. Pursuing one’s passion is what life is all about.

I am closing in on the final, polished manuscript of “Rhyaden.” The art work is out there in the universe somewhere, I just have to wait for it. Patience is key. And so it goes…

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Of War & Men

Two days until the Kick Starter for “Of War and Men.” It is a card game, no boards, electricity, or screens needed. The terrain and team you draw are the assets or challenges in the way of your mission. At squad level, you get to know and use the men and women of your WWII fire team. Their character can affect the outcome, just as it did in real life. Your strategy will improve every time you play!

By going on kickstarter.com on February 27th, you can pre-order your game and become immortalized with a character named after you, as well as support a fledgling Colorado based company. This game company has been Price Johnston’s dream for ten years. We can help him make this happen!

I’m in the midst of revamping my web-site, marketing plan, social media, etc. in preparation for the launch of “Rhyaden.” What a lot to learn and do! Sometimes I want to chuck it all and just be a grandma. Much easier. The problem is the years and heart I’ve put into Rhyaden, AND, it’s a great book! So, I can’t let it sit on a shelf. It’s going to go out there in the big world, one way or another.

I think I’m putting together a great team. I’ve told them I’m seeing all these ducks running around, I’d like them all to be in a row, but I’m not even sure how many of the quackers are mine. Anyone else get that feeling?

I spent the day with my two year old granddaughter. She is such a smart little tyke. Between her energy and my having to shovel the driveway again, I’m ready for a good night’s sleep. I’m also ready for the green of spring.

Remember! Join us on Kick Starter Tuesday night. Whether you’re a history buff, a gamer, or just like challenge – you will love this game! Of War And Men – Tuesday the 27th.Of War and Men

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