A lovely review

from Publisher’s Weekly How to Bake a Perfect Life Barbara O’Neal, Bantam, $15 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-553-38677-6 The Rita Award–winning author (as Barbara Samuel) of The Lost Recipe for Happiness returns with the absorbing story of Ramona Gallagher, a 40-year-old woman whose joy in running a bakery in Colorado Springs helps her transcend a […]

A dahlia for Friday

In HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT LIFE, there is a young girl who falls madly in love with dahlias.   Somehow, I am in love with dahlias, too, and this one is growing in my front yard. It makes me want to go exploring. Photo of the day   Strawberries and diamonds X 2   […]

Elsewhere, a blog on walking

No one here will be surprised at this post that I wrote for  Writer Unboxed.   I knew some of you would enjoy reading it, but keep forgetting to post a link here. The Writer’s Toolbox: Walking One of the number one requirements of a commercial fiction career is that you must reliably produce good […]

The damp, dewy beginning

I’m at the beginning of a new book.   This is probably my favorite part of writing—every possibility exists.  There is a freshness to the material, a scent of dew and dawn filling my work hours.  There is always the chance that this time I will have matured enough, learned enough, that I will be able […]

The Reward in Going Away

When I was a child, I loved going to  summer camp.  Girl Scout camp in canvas tents with wooden floors, or much more often church camp (probably because it was very inexpensive and my parents had four kids) in cabins housing 20 girls.   It was the highlight of the summer—getting ready, gathering shampoo and following […]

England: the seaside, part one

Having technical difficulties with photos.  Will add later. Time: 8:20 pm, English time.  Weather: bright and warm.  Not a drop of rain in sight. Books read: 2 (1 memoir, picked up on impulse at the Borders in the Orlando airport, 1 British Women’s Fiction picked up at a thrift shop in Cranbrook, Kent when my […]

Finished!

As I type this, a summery breeze is blowing through my office window.  I can smell lilacs.   The new book, HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT LIFE is finished at last…written, rewritten, given to agent and editor for thorough reads, then revised some more, and returned.  It is on its way.  I’ve seen a mock […]

Magic globe

I visited a pair of book clubs in Woodland Park on Tuesday night, and they gave me a gorgeous lavender plant.  I had it in the sink to water and noticed the reflection.  It looks as if there is another world inside that reflection, doesn’t it? I have now packed the book off to my […]