Songs Behind the Story

I’m working on another werewolf book, with my good friends from Toke Lobo & the Pack.

When I was on a writing retreat a couple of months ago, I had an urge to read a book where the plot hung on the blues–the musical genre. I realized I hadn’t created a sound track for the story-in-progress and that jazz/blues were going to be predominant in the mix. For those readers who are not familiar with my werewolf world: Toke Lobo & The Pack is a country music band, this idea for jazz and blues was a little bizarre.

I think the need for bluesy jazz came because of the moon. The moon is almost a character in this story. It’s also the topic of a lot of music.

Here’s the mix. Several songs have been used in earlier volumes of what I call The Werewolf Chronicles.

  • Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  • Talking to the Moon (Don Henley)
  • The Moon Looks Down and Laughs (Billie Holiday)
  • Dancing in the Moonlight (King Crimson)
  • Dancing Down the Moon (Debbie Harry/Blondie)
  • Reaching for the Moon (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • Moondance (Van Morrison)
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Joe Cocker)
  • I Wished on the Moon (Billie Holiday)
  • Shame on the Moon (Bob Seger)
  • Talking to the Moon (Sara Niemietz)
  • Moonshadow (Cat Stevens)
  • Brother Wolf, Sister Moon (The Cult)
  • No Moon at All (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • I Wish I Was the Moon (Neko Case)
  • Moonglow (Diana Krall)
  • Reflecting Light (Sam Phillips)
  • Daylight Again/Cost of Freedom (Crosby, Stills & Nash)



Letting Go

We’ve all made fools of ourselves at one time or another. We’ve embarrassed and humiliated ourselves and done things we wish we could either undo or do over. Memories of those moments keep us awake at night, haunting us like the Ghost of Christmas Past haunted Ebenezer Scrooge.

Or we’ve been angry and upset about something that happened to us. We’ve been slighted. Insulted. Ignored. These incidents fester.  Unchecked, they can poison a person’s outlook on everything.

There’s a meme floating around on social media: “Don’t look back; that’s not the way you’re going.”

Great advice. But letting go is easier said that done.

What works for me is writing out my wrath. Putting my pain on paper with a pen. Keeping a journal or a diary or whatever you want to call it lets me vent without annoying other people. I’ve heard other people write things down then burn them. That would work. The point is to get it out. Let it out. Once it’s out, you can let it go.


Happy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2018

Yes! It’s National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day again. I’m still addicted, but I have changed my recipe a little since last year.

Instead of using regular butter, I now use Chef Shamy Garlic Butter with Parmesan and Basil. Yes, I order this from Amazon because no store in my area carries it. One of my cousins (God bless my cousins!) posted about this product on Facebook last year. Thank you, Kevin!

Grilled cheese sandwiches with roasted red pepper and tomato soup have became a staple on the dinner table at my house.

How do you like your grilled cheese?


Dealing With Rejection

There is only one thing in your life over which you have control: your attitude. That includes your reactions to events, including rejection.

As an author, I’ve had to learn to deal with rejection. With poor contest scores. With bad reviews. One of my mentors told me, “You have 24 hours to mope. Then get back to work.” A New York Times best-selling author told me, “Every rejection means you’re one step closer to acceptance.” Having your baby dissed is never easy. Rejection, though, is an opportunity to take what you’ve learned from the experience and apply it to the future.

“That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” “Rejection builds character.” Clichés? You bet. But clichés are repeated statements of truth. Yes, I am stronger than I was. I am a better person because of the adversities in my life. No, this doesn’t make rejection any easier to handle; but knowing this does make it less stressful to forge ahead.

We can’t change the past. The future is ours to write.



I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day. She was lamenting the younger generation’s dependence on GPS and/or their phones to get them places. “Remember road maps?” she asked.

Of course I remember road maps. I have a file folder full of them. I used to keep a couple in the glove compartment of my car. I have an ancient road atlas somewhere in which I would highlight the routes I’d traveled. One of the reasons I once belonged to AAA is because of the Trip Tiks (personalized maps) they offered.

Maps are a handy tool for an author. When I was writing Moonlight Serenade, the state of Montana sent me a free road map.

One thing about roadmaps: they can be a challenge to refold. My dad wouldn’t let me get my driver’s license until I could prove to him I could refold a roadmap.

Happy #ReadARoadMap Day!