October Newsletter

October was a month of highlights, both personally and professionally.

My husband Don celebrated his 75th birthday and the entire family descended upon 

us in Phoenix—from Oregon, Chicago, Colorado, California and the locals in 

Flagstaff, Ahwatukee, Chandler and Tempe.  In all, 24 with all five children and their 

spouses, 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.  Don, known by most as 

GrandDad, is the last of a  breed-an American cowboy.  Raised on a cattle ranch in 

Colorado, he still rises at dawn ready to take on the day and his “chores”.  His 

kindness to women, children and animals and devotion to his country are his 

admirable traits.  As head of the clan, he is a great role model for all the men in our 

family and we feel so fortunate to have him with us—and healthy! I might add that 

everyone in the family was on their best behavior—let’s face it. Get that many 

personalities together and we are as dysfunctional as the next group—but we love 

each other in spite of it…I think. 

On the book front, I attended a Pitchfest in New York City sponsored by my 

publisher’s parent company, Author Solutions.  Over 100 authors gathered at the 

Marriott Marquis in the heart of Times Square  (totally awesome) and pitched our 

stories to Hollywood reps with hopes of optioning a movie or TV show.  The 

morning workshop prepared us for the pitch. Great pitch training was offered by 

Bob Kosberg who is known as King of the Pitch. Then a practice session where we 

tried to create an interest in our book in a mere 2 minutes!  Yes, two minutes to sell 

our concept.  I pitched to ten reps (they seem soooo young). They seemed receptive, 

but official results and feedback will arrive in two weeks. Stay tuned.

Regardless of the outcome, it was such a valuable and inspiring experience. Met 

authors from age 11 (yes) to age 91 (and I thought I would be the oldest at 74). One 

author was a NYC fireman who survived the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center 

although his firehouse (#10) suffered the highest casualties.  Many other people 

wrote memoirs that were touching—including a lady who was thrown off a Nazi 

train headed to Auschwitz in WWII.  

We traveled with another couple so had a few days to take in the sights. A boat city 

cruise on the Hudson. We saw the spot where Capt. Sulley landed his plane and just 

missed the filming of it with Tom Cruise as Captain. We saw a Broadway play 

(Hamilton), visited Ellis Island and the 9/11 Museum and Freedom Tower. Our 

“whisper” tour was conducted by a 25-year old who was in 6th grade at the time of 

the attack and one of his classmates was on the doomed plane headed to California. 

His friend had won a science competition and was going to compete on the national 

level.  A somber experience needless to say, yet it created a fierce pride in our 

country for  resilience and determination to re-build a tribute to honor the fallen.  

Every American should have the opportunity to visit this site.

My writing goal this month is to continue to build my platform which in today’s 

world is evidently essential (website, blog and press releases). But more 

importantly, I want to begin the sequel to I’ll Always Be With You.  I had not intended

to do one, but if you have read the book (no plot spoilers) you know there are some 

issues to be resolved at the end and many readers have asked for a conclusion. I am 

touched beyond words when they say they love the characters and want to spend 

more time with them.  I realize I love them too. 

I have started a word doc with scene ideas. I have the last scene firmly in my 

mind—all I need now is a beginning and a middle.  I often wake in the middle of the 

night and run to the computer to capture an idea before it disappears. Some writers 

keep a notebook by their bedside. I tried that but found in the morning I couldn’t 

read what I wrote.

Books I have read since the last newsletter:  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You 

She’s Sorry,  After You, by JoJo Moyes (sequel to Me Before You). A great story and a 

good text book example of how to write a sequel, Making Rounds with Oscar, a true 

story by Dr. Dosa, who specializes in dementia patients. The cat at the nursing home 

has the uncanny ability of knowing who is going to pass and spends the day on their 

bed. Fascinating and touching. The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. An 

excellent read.  Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. I think one of his 


I’m traveling to Santa Clara, California at the end of the month to trick-or-treat with 

my six-year old granddaughter and see her school costume parade. There’s nothing 

like little goblins, witches and princesses (last year we counted 47 Frozen costumes) 

to get one in the true spirit of Halloween.

I close with gratitude-for family, friends, health and our beautiful America.


September Newsletter


September is a bitter-sweet month each year as we know our summer days at 

Munds Park are limited and we must say good-bye to dear friends until next spring. 

Munds Park is what we call the world’s best kept secret,  a wonderful little 

community of 3000 people, 17 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona. Although it is only a 

2 hour and 10 minute ride door to door,  at 7000 feet elevation, it is always 30 

degrees cooler than the scorching high temperatures of  Phoenix.   No air-

conditioning required here and we can sleep with the windows open enjoying 

mountain breezes.

The weather is only one attraction. The best thing about Munds Park, also called 

Pinewood, are the wonderful people and variety of activities we get to enjoy with 

them. Golf, (for all levels of play), tennis, pickle ball (our new latest passion) bridge 

(I’m not smart enough for that one), Mahjongg, Hand and Foot, Water Aerobics, 

Bingo, Community Theatre, Cabaret Theatre (both starring all local talent with a 

playbill that reads like Broadway). Oh, and not to forget Childrens’ Drama Camp for 

all ages with charming performances after their weeks of rehearsals. Our grandson 

Kevin, now 13, has been a “star” for five years and it’s a joy to see him and the other 

young actors develop their confidence on-stage.  There are book discussion groups 

and even a writer’s group which helped me immensely as I was trying to complete 

my novel, “I’ll Always Be With You”. Knowing I had to have material for them to 

critique each week kept me on track.

We bought a town home here in 1996 when we were both working so only came up 

for weekends, trying to find the time when 1-17 was safest to travel. Friday nights 

going north and Sunday nights headed south could make the 2 hour drive into 4 

hours as there are few alternative routes. About 5 years ago, we retired and were 

able to spend most of the summer here.  Our townhome has four units connected 

and because we spend most of the time outdoors on our patios, our neighbors have 

become like second families to us through the years, as we enjoy each other’s 

families when they visit.  Watching all the kids play in the grassy cul de sac on a 

summer night is a joy. Not to mention we have a few adult beverages at nightly 

happy hours.   It’s not uncommon to share what we are cooking or to borrow what is 

missing from our own cupboards, as the nearest grocery store is 17 miles.  Unless 

you want to pay convenience store prices, such as  $2.79 for a can of tomato sauce.

Much of the social life revolves around the country clubhouse with live music on 

weekends, Kareoke nights, casino night, 50’s sock hop—any reason to have fun. But 

probably the best event of all is the small town 4th of July parade with homemade 

floats, decorated golf carts and bicycles. You have to set your lawn chair out the 

night before if you want a seat along the half- mile route.  A beautiful display of 

patriotism that makes your heart sing.

And speaking of singing, I remember a song when I was growing up in the 40’s and 

50’s..something like, “I love those kind hearts and gentle people who 

live in my home town.”  Yes, that describes them perfectly.

Pinewood has always had a special place in my heart but especially this year 

because these kind and gentle people have embraced my debut novel beyond my 

wildest expectations, buying multiple copies for family and friends.  

Thank you dear friends.