With Apologies for My Absence

Hello, friends. I hope as I type this, that greeting doesn’t bring crickets. I’ve been gone for a while—over a month to be exact. I’ve popped up online here and there, but my blog has been quiet, and I haven’t been doing my usual rounds.

For that I apologize.

black and white close up of a cat's face, melancholy look

Dealing with the world as it navigates COVID-19 has been rough. I won’t lie. I’m an empath at heart, and have had to shut down and distance myself. Since mid-March, I’ve been working remotely from home (on my day job), and—strange as it may seem—it’s harder than working from my office. There are no interruptions, and I find I don’t take breaks even for lunch, preferring to work straight through. It’s easier to become immersed in a project. I’ve been highly productive, and have developed a new routine. For some reason, working social media into that pattern has been hard. Almost impossible.

But it’s time to adjust to the new normal, and I’m making an effort. Starting now, I hope to return to blogging and visiting, although my regular features may change or take a while to fall into a routine schedule. Before I went offline, I had a number of Wednesday Weirdness posts written ahead. Right now, I’m thinking that feature may change or not as appear as regularly. Just bear with me. As it stands, I’m happy to be back.

So, what have I been up to?

Pretty Siamese cat

Hmm…reading, of course! Since my last Book Review Tuesday post mid March, I’ve read nineteen books and/or novellas—far too many reviews to post. I may try to scatter a few of  them out in the coming weeks as I add new reviews.

I’ve also been invited to submit a short story for an anthology of murder mysteries. I’m knee deep in a story, reworking something I’ve had in the trunk for a while. Did you ever have a tale you loved, but knew it needed work? The story I’m using was written in the 1990s. That’s how long it’s haunted me. I always loved the overall arc, and it’s been fun to work with it again. Stay tuned for more news as the anthology progresses.

In Pennsylvania, we are still on hold. Twenty-four of our counties have reopened to a “yellow stage” but my county is still shut down. That means I’m still under a shelter-in-place order, working remotely from home. Restaurants are only open for delivery or curbside pick-up and non life-sustaining businesses are closed. My biggest outing is going to the grocery store—in which I haven’t seen a roll of toilet tissue since March 17th.

But, hey—I’m back. Or sort of. I’ll be making my rounds this week and in the future. Bear with me as I get my blog back on track. I’ve missed everyone.

In the meantime, tell me what you’ve been up to. I’ve heard news from a few of you—new releases in the works and new publishing contracts—but I’m behind. Drop a line in the comments and let me know what you’ve been doing. If you’ve got a new release or publishing contract, tell me about it. If your WIP is growing, I want to know. If you’ve read a good book and want to recommend it, tell me! Even if it’s just to say “hello,” I’m happy to return the greeting. Let’s chat! 🙂

94 thoughts on “With Apologies for My Absence

  1. We’re on week eight of the stay at home order in California. It’s the first time since I’ve been retired that I have to concentrate on what day of the week it is—they all run together.

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    • Hi, Pete! It’s great to have you visit my blog. 🙂

      I completely agree about the days running together. I often have to stop and think which day of the week it is. I think we are on week 7 with no sign of reopening yet.
      Hopefully, all of us will be back to semi normal soon. Take care and hang in there!

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  2. Welcome back, Mae. I plan to get back to blogging soon. Didn’t intend to stay off over a month, but it happened.

    And I totally agree about working from home. I was so glad to get back to the office. I feel more rested since going back.

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    • I’m hoping I’m able to get back to my office in the next week or so. I think having that routine again will help. Thanks for the welcome back and I look forward to return to blogging as well!

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  3. Nice to see you again. I haven’t been regularly blogging since the COVID-19 outbreak. I work for an essential business, I go to work every day. But like most people, this wacky way of life, I refuse to say “new normal” since I don’t consider this normal, has me in a funk. I miss the social interaction of going out. My county is still on hold as well and that means staying at home.

    I haven’t been productive in my writing either. A few notes on a short story and a couple of food blogs.

    Since things went to shelter in place, I have cleaned more, cooked even more than I used to, and did some outside landscaping (putting out my flag and sweeping grass).

    I am ready to move forward, both in writing and opening up our county and the country. It’s hard to see so many people who lost jobs and the long lines at the food banks.

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    • This wacky, crazy way of life is definitely NOT normal. I dread the thought that there will be carry-over that will continue, changing life for the future.

      The loss of businesses is dreadful. I have a family member who has a small business and it’s scary whether or not she’ll be able to reopen. I’ve spent most of my non-work time reading, but I have been working on my short story. My husband has done a ton of outside projects, but even the weather has been uncooperative most days. And like you, I miss social interaction, and seeing my family members.

      Thanks for the welcome back, Michele. I didn’t realize your county was still on hold too. It’s dreadful.

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      • Even though my county is on hold, I consider myself blessed that I am still working.

        I agree with you, whenever we come out this on the other side, things are going to be very different. I fear we will not see many of our favorite businesses because of this.

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      • I know. And that is going to be so sad.
        Like you, I feel blessed to be working, too. Even though I’m doing it remotely, my days are full.

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  4. Welcome back! My schedule hasn’t changed that much except for dealing with a full house – both girls home with their two cats (added to my 3) and hubby working from home – so all family all the time. It can be exhausting. I’m also volunteering more because I’m helping get lunches out to kids who would normally get them free at school – keeps me distracted. Read lots, written only posts (my poor book will never reach an end), and my blog has been running full steam ahead 😊 Glad you are well!

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    • Hi, Tessa! Thanks for the welcome back.
      Wow, you do have a full house, LOL. I hope all the cats are getting along 🙂

      It’s wonderful what you’re doing with volunteering. I know the lunch situation for school kids is a huge concern. That’s a great way to stay distracted. And reading, of course. Glad you have kept steady with blogging. I’m looking forward to getting back into my own routine!

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    • I look forward to when your blog is back up online too. You have been missed. Thanks so much for welcoming me back, and for cheering me on with the murder mystery. I never lost my love for this particular story, it just needs a lot of clean up.

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  5. So glad to see you back, Mae! I’ve been doing just about anything except writing. I’ve read what I’d written for NaNo in November and made notes of some scenes that need to happen, but that’s about it for the WIP. Congrats on the anthology and take care!

    P.S. I bet Raven has loved having you home.

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    • Raven is going to be so lost when DH and I go back to work. She stays glued to me each day, sleeping on a chair beside me as I work. I think she was confused at first, now she loves having us home.

      And reviewing what you wrote for NaNo still counts toward writerish things, Teri, LOL.

      Thanks for the welcome back!

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  6. Welcome back, My PenderPal! So nice to see this arrive in my Inbox today! I’m glad you are aiming to get back into the thick of things again. I’ve definitely missed you!

    For myself, I’ve been home since February 18, and by my count, that’s 11 weeks. 😯 As is my habit, I sometimes don’t leave the house for a couple of weeks when I’m really working hard, and then suddenly, it became shelter in place time, and I no longer had a choice. (Had I know I’d be ordered to stay home, I might have gone out a few times in February, but alas. I can’t see the future, unless it’s one I’m making up for a story. 😀 )

    Like many, my first thought was that I’d just spend my days writing like a thing possessed, in my usual manner, and wouldn’t even notice the time passing by. Good plan, if only it had worked that way. Instead, I’ve been so stressed out over this whole situation, writing has suffered greatly. I’ve produced fewer words in the past 11 weeks than I did in 11 days prior to home confinement. Doh.

    The good news is, I’ve been rethinking my priorities and how I want to use my time. I will always keep my blog going, and will still follow those I really enjoy (like yours, of course), but I’m cutting way back on social media, in general, so I can focus on my writing and marketing. I’m looking forward to that, and to getting back to doing my twice-monthly local wildlife presentations, when it’s safe to do so. I’ve missed those greatly!

    So happy you’re back!!

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    • Hi, dearest PenderPal! Thanks for the lovely welcome back!

      OMgoodness….11 weeks? That is indeed a long time. It’s so strange how this effects each of us differently. You would think isolation would be great for writing, but it seems the majority of us are not being over productive in that regard. I’m sorry you’ve struggled with writing, but I know you will keep at it.

      I think you are making a smart move with social media. It’s a wonderful outlet, but there should be easier ways of managing it and trimming back to make it fit into the rest of our lives. It is a HUGE distraction from writing.

      And I know how much you must miss your wildlife presentations. You’ll be like a kid at Christmas when you can do those again. {{HUGS}} ❤

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      • Yep, just like a kid at Christmas–I just hope it doesn’t take that long before we can start doing them again! 😯 😀 I agree on the HUGE distraction part, right down to the capital letters. I love how technology lets us keep in touch with each other, but let to run amok, it can sure become overwhelming. Email and blogging are better for me, especially now that I’ve managed to reduce the volume of email I was getting. It was staggering before, believe me. WAY out of line. I’m much happier paring back. 😀 And I’m working on my book again! Slowly, but surely. Hope to pick up speed as my focus improves. Again, it’s great to have you back! 🙂 (Always time for my favorite online buddies!) 🙂 Hugs back atcha! ❤

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      • I pared back on my inbox ages ago and went to reader. The amount of email that I was getting daily was out of control. I think you were likely receiving much more than me, but even what I had coming in was unmanageable, so I can just imagine how overwhelmed you were. Glad to hear you’re working on your book again!

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  7. Welcome back! Love the kitty photos. I’ve been writing, but my brain runs out before my time does, so it’s not like I’m writing a lot more while being stuck at home. Fortunately, I’ve found lots of good ebooks to read.:-)

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    • Thanks for the welcome back, Priscilla! 🙂
      Reading has been a blessing for me. It’s something I’ve always loved regardless, but lately, it really helps to escape in a book when the world is so up-side down. And hey, any writing is progress, so good for you!

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    • Hi, Jacqui! I fully intend to make a go of it, and dive back in. It’s been odd to realize how heavily things weigh on the mind, even when not dwelling on matters. It’s lovely to see all my friends online again and have such warm welcome messages. 🙂

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  8. So glad to see you back! I’ve missed you. My day time hasn’t changed that much. I write on and off most of the day, but since we can’t go anywhere or see anyone in the evening, I ended up writing more than usual until I was just plain sick of it. I’ve decided to stop every night at five, just like writing’s sort of a job, and do something else–anything else–so that my COVID life isn’t just writing. HH is trying to learn to bake, and that’s been a mixed success:) Watching old Great British Baking shows made him a little too ambitious at the beginning. And I’ve cooked so many new recipes, my file’s spilling over. Thankfully, it’s starting to get nicer outside so we can go for walks. Hope you find a happy rhythm again soon. Glad you’re back!

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    • Thanks for the welcome back, Judi! I have missed you too. Wow, you must have been writing up a storm! I think setting a cut-off time as you would with a regular job makes sense. As much as I love writing, I would need time away from it if I did it daily for most of the day, LOL.
      That’s funny about your husband. It sounds like you are both doing well and finding diversions amid the COVID-19 lockdown. I’ve been going for walks too, whenever the weather permits it. Today it’s 49, damp, chill and rainy. Where is beautiful, balmy May?

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  9. Welcome back, Mae. Not too much going on here. Still working the query route on Eternal Road. So much hard work for so little feedback. Sadly, each query has to be custom and at my age, I’m wondering why I don’t just leave it alone. I guess it’s like a mountain. Cause it’s there. Good to see your words on your post again. 😀

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  10. Lovely to see you back, Mae. I have also been working from home, home schooling and running my home. I haven’t been anywhere, not even to a grocery store, for 9 weeks now. Michael is high risk so we are getting most stuff delivered. I have finished my new book and am now editing it. It will go to my editor at the end of the month and I have been in touch with the cover designer. I feel I have developed a lot with my writing in this book and that pleases me. I am glad to know you are still writing, some people haven’t been able too. I have a book of each of the Story Empire gang on my TBR.

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    • Wow, Robbie. I am so sorry to hear that Michael is high risk. Although you haven’t been out in 9 weeks, I fully understand why you wouldn’t want to attempt the grocery store. It’s great you can have items delivered. I actually tried to do that several times and my store had no slots available. I think many, many people are being smart by playing it safe and going for that option.

      Congratulations on finishing your next book! That is indeed exciting news. When you’re ready for your release, give me a shout. I would be more than happy to feature it on my blog. And I know the research aspects that went into it will be riveting.

      Thanks for the welcome back, and stay safe!

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  11. Woo hoo! Welcome back! I thought I would write more blogs posts during this quarantine also, but getting the book edited and taking Gaelic put an end to that pretty much. I have been baking a lot – I do love to bake – and our pool is open so I can swim every day (we have a solar heater) for exercise. Looking forward to more of your blogs and can’t wait to read the short story!

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    • Your pool is open? I am so jealous, Noelle. Mine is sitting with the cover on it, currently during a yucky chill rainy day. It’s 49 degrees here, which is insane for May.

      I think it is so cool you are taking Gaelic. I’m still working on my Spanish, and have added an online Spanish class through my local library in addition to the apps I use.

      I am so excited about your book. Don’t forget to give me a shout so I can help you with the promo. Happy baking and thanks for the welcome back!

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  12. It feels like week 94 here in Idaho. We’re considered an essential agency, so the office is manned every day, but we have to take turns. No more than four in the building at a time. I’m doing good with two projects, but accepted an invitation to the same anthology you did. That slowed me down a bit. I need to earmark some time for my short story, but I have part of it hacked out. It seems as though there is a little more time, but I’m operating as a lower percent. It hasn’t cost me any word count, but I didn’t exactly increase it either. So glad to see you popping up. I’ve missed having you around.

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    • Aww, thanks for the welcome back, Craig. I’ve missed your blog posts!

      I think when my county finally gets to the “yellow” stage there may be limitations on how many people can be in our office at a time. Right now we don’t even have a reopen date 😦

      That’s great you have part of your short story already done. I think you are highly prolific when it comes to writing. Maybe you haven’t increased your word count, but you were already dusting most of us 🙂

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  13. Hi, Mae. It’s good to see you back. I’ve missed your posts. This whole COVID-19 situation is causing all of us to find a new sort of normal, with hopes that it’s temporary. None of it is good. As they re-open Texas, the numbers are climbing, so I don’t know what that will look like going forward. There’s no easy solution. As you already know, I’ve been offered a publishing contract for my White Rune Series from The Wild Rose Press. I’m still in a state of disbelief. It will become more real once I have the contract in hand and have signed on the dotted line. That turn of events will totally change the focus of my days. I will be finishing book two while waiting on copy edits from book one. It’s all very exciting. I’ve watched my sister manage this for years and now it’s me. Wow! I’m still blown away and will be for some time to come. Anyway, I’m glad you’re back and I look forward to your posts!

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    • Thanks for the welcome back, Jan! 🙂 I worry that when PA does reopen, we may experience what you’re experiencing in Texas, with numbers climbing. I would rather be safe, but it is getting really old being stuck inside.

      I am so happy for you about your publishing contract, and you couldn’t be with a better publishing house. The Wild Rose Press is a class act. I have no doubt you’ll handle juggling copy edits and writing just fine. I can’t wait to see your actual published book. And oooh–cover art! That was always the most exciting part of the process for me. CONGRATULATIONS!

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  14. It’s so good to hear from you. I have missed my Mae fixes. I understand, though, as it has been very hard. Even sleeping is difficult. I am working on a cozy mystery, a new genre for me, though I love reading the cozies. I find it so gratifying to write in first person! It’s an amazing experience. Stay well and keep the faith.

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    • Hi, Flossie! Thanks so much for such a lovely welcome back! 🙂
      I have that same problem with sleeping. I normally toss and turn a lot, then am restless during the night, and that was never a problem before.
      A cozy mystery? That’s fabulous! I’ve been reading more cozies lately, and can’t wait to see what you come up with. Happy writing, my friend!

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    • Hi, Balroop. Thanks for the warm welcome back. I haven’t done much writing other than concentrating on my short story, but getting back to blogging is a step in the right direction, I think. It won’t be much longer, and I’ll be tackling my WIP again. At least I hope.
      Oooh, I’m so thrilled to hear you enjoyed Cusp of Night. Thank you! That is motivation to continue writing, indeed! 🙂

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  15. I’ve been working on a musical and plan to start a new book in the Fall. I am starting a book coaching business and attempting, in all this, to take it a step at a time. I might have to go back to subbing school in the Fall (if they open in CA) but I will focus on the clients I have on days off. I’m realizing that life isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly okay when my perspective shifts. I love my family. I love my little home. I love to write. So I keep on keeping on. Hang in there! (I, too, find it hard to do the social media thing… and write… and work. How to do it all? A bit at a time. That’s how.)

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    • HI, Andrea! It’s so nice to have you drop by to share.
      Wow, are you busy! I can’t imagine juggling all the things you are tackling and plan to tackle. Clearly, you must love them all.
      Wishing you much success. And love of family and home (and writing) is what keeps me going too! 🙂

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  16. It’s good to see you back, Mae! (Btw, this is Lauralynn, just using my other pen name, LOL.) I’ve actually been stuck at home since November due to a severe ankle injury and two subsequent surgeries. So when all the sheltering in place started happening, it wasn’t new to me personally. But I have to not watch the news because it’s so sad to see everything going on.

    In Tennessee, we are opening things up slowly except for a couple of counties that were hit pretty hard. I hope everyone is careful.

    I have a new novella out. It was in a two novella anthology, and I just got the rights back from the publisher. It’s called Tristan’s Redemption. I just found out that there’s another book out there with the same name. You wouldn’t think that would be a common title. That was kind of a bummer, but there are lots of books that share titles. I chose not to change it.

    I hope to see you around more!

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    • Hi, Lauralynn! I thought “Catherine Lynn” might be you. 🙂
      I am so sorry to hear about your ankle injury. I hope you are now recovered. It must feel a very long time indeed since you’ve been able to be out and about.
      Reopening slowly makes the most sense to me. That is what Pennsylvania is doing to, based on county and going in phases (red, yellow, green). My county is still in the red phase, but I hope it won’t be much longer until we can to yellow.

      Congratulations on Tristan’s Redemption! I just bought my copy from Amazon.
      And you’re right–a lot of books share titles. I have a few myself that are not unique. I look forwarding to reading your story. It’s great to hear from you. Stay safe and well, and thanks for the welcome back!

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  17. Sad to hear you’ve been struggling a bit Mae. Your county sounds like our state (Victoria) at the moment; only trips out allowed are grocery shopping, medical, work if you can’t work from home, and exercise. There’s some talk of lifting restrictions here by the end of the week, but to be honest, I’m not fussed if things never reopen 🙂

    I’ve sent the WIP to be formatted (I just couldn’t cope with doing that myself) so I’m hoping for a June publication, and I’ve begun writing Book 2 again. But like you, I don’t feel much like doing anything on social media. Updating my blog seems like just too much effort at the moment, and I’m not even sure why. Guess I’ll just have to dig deep and do it.

    Thanks for all the cute kitty pictures – brightened my morning!

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    • Hi, Jess. I was feeling the same thing, that updating my blog and making rounds just took too much effort. I’m not sure why the changes with COVID-19 effected me that way but they did. Honestly, I still feel that way, but I’m forcing myself to plow ahead. I fear I might just hide otherwise. Victoria sounds like it much the same as Pennsylvania. I hope both our states get back to normal soon.

      That is wonderful news about Guns of Perdition! One month away and you will have a release. Woohoo! Please let me know if I can help with promo. I will be delighted to host you!

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      • I think Victoria and Pennsylvania are quite similar in a number of respects from what I’ve seen and read of Pennsylvania. A place I’d love to visit one day 😊

        Thanks for the kind words and offer about GOP, Mae. I may well take you up on the offer 😁

        Take care ❤️

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  18. Welcome back, Mae:) I read a lot too, it helped. We are going into the start of stage two, which includes book stores and clothing, I think. Although I got to hug my youngest grandkids for the first time this week when they came by to play on our swingset. Werid having anyone in the house after 2 months. It wasn’t a planned interaction but we have to slowly get back around family. Staying away from crowds though. My husband found TP by going to store at 6am. Excited about your upcoming releases, yay!

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    • I’m sure that was precious to be able to hug your grandkids, Denise. I can’t wait to see family again. I think that is the worse part about sheltering in place. Talking on the phone just isn’t the same.

      I’m glad you’re in the start of phase two. I hope it won’t be long until my county Pennsylvania reaches that point. And hey–congrats on scoring the TP. It’s amazing how in demand such a simple commodity has become, LOL.

      Thanks for the warm welcome back and stay safe!

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  19. Glad you’re back, Mae! We’re the same status as yuo, but I live in a rural area so it’s easy for us to get outside. My kiddos are both homeschooling now, of course, and that’s been fun. 😦 Thinking back, perhaps we should all have invested stocks in Lysol Wipes and T.P. 🙂

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    • LOL! We’d be billionaires by now 🙂
      My area is semi-rural with a church directly behind me at the end of a private lane. Whenever the weather has been nice enough, I walk the church lane and around their parking lot. It’s very peaceful and it gets me outside.

      Thanks for the welcome back and for checking in. I’m glad to hear you and your family are all doing well!

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  20. A mystery anthology? That sounds interesting! Glad you’re back, we’ve missed you.
    As for me, it’s life as usual. We’re on lockdown but have fattened the curve, so they’re going to start a slow reopening- I hope and pray it’s the right decision.
    We’ve been busy in the garden, and I have a book coming up against a deadline (again!) but can’t seem to concentrate to get it done.
    My mom’s health is rapidly declining which isn’t good with our current situation. I don’t want her to go into the hospital unless absolutely necessary. It’s hard to watch a loved one suffer and not have the means to take it away.

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    • Oh, Jacquie, I am so sorry about your mom. I fully understand why you don’t want her anywhere near a hospital right now. I hope and pray she will recover and that isn’t necessary. I remember being a caretaker for my mom and how hard it was emotionally. Take care of yourself too. Between this awful pandemic and your mom’s health, it’s no wonder you’re having difficulty concentrating on writing.

      Stay safe, and thanks for welcoming me back.

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  21. Welcome back, Mae. I’ve been pretty quiet as well. With my 4 kids and 4 grandchildren in the NYC area, life has had its ups and downs. Participating in the anthology? Terrific! You are an amazing mystery writer. All the best…

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    • Gwen, it’s so nice to have you stop by! I so need to catch up with everyone, and plan to do that moving ahead. I’m glad to hear from you and glad that you and your family are doing well, even with the ups and downs. Thanks so much for welcoming back. I will definitely be more visible and visiting again!

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    • Hi, Teagan! Thanks for popping in to say hello. Today is a day off for me, so I get to enjoy the downtime. Teleworking has been a new experience for me. It’s so weird to realize that in many ways it’s harder and busier than working from my office, LOL. Hopefully, my county will be open soon and I can return to a “semi” normal phase. Hope you are well and staying safe. Have a great weekend!

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  22. So wonderful to see you again, Mae. 🙂 It’s been tough for sure. I think we are all adjusting the best we can, and we can’t be too hard on ourselves. I’m an empath, too, and the emotional toll is daunting, but I know I can’t stay in that space for long. Reach out anytime. xo
    Wow… nineteen books read is freakin awesome!
    The strangest thing happened… I haven’t been able to finish a book, despite the fact that it’s a fantastic read. It’s so strange and unexpected. But I found great solace in learning/playing guitar and writing songs. It’s my calm in the chaos. It, too, was unexpected.
    Stay well and strong. I’m so delighted to see you online again, just to know you’re okay. Huge (((hugs))) across the miles. 🙂

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    • Hi, my friend! I didn’t realize you had empath tendencies as well. I get to the point where I just have to distance myself from what’s happening around me, because wallowing in it is too destructive. Thank you for your kindness and please feel free to reach out to me, too.

      Maybe not being able to finish a book, is similar to me not being able to blog. Isn’t it strange to see how our environment intrudes in aspects of life we would’t have expected otherwise. I hope this dreadful pandemic is over soon.

      In the meantime….wow! You are playing guitar and writing songs!?!?! That is amazing. You are definitely multi-talented, Natalie. I have always loved the guitar. Way back when, I even tried to learn to play, but just never had the knack.

      Thanks for popping in to welcome me back. I hope you and your family are safe and well. {{Hugs}}

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  23. I totally feel you, Mae. Even though my life is pretty normal, it’s impossible not to feel the suffering and strain on millions of people. My heart breaks, and the news is overwhelmingly depressing despite the amazing kindnesses happening everywhere. I’m disoriented and unfocused. I’ve kept up blogging because if I stop, I’m not sure I’ll start again. There, I’ve poured it out! So, good for you for taking care of yourself and recognizing that parts of your life need to adjust. You set a good example for the rest of us. Be well. ❤

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    • I think all of us have approach this insane pandemic as best as we can, and that’s different for every one of us. Good for you on keeping up with your blogging. Now that I’m “back” I realize how much I’ve missed the blogosphere, especially all of my friends. It’s been difficult, but I am making strides on adjusting, and really jazzed about getting back into the swing of things. There is still a lot of adjustment to do, but I am making strides. I hope you are too. Thanks for visiting to welcome me back. I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well!

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  24. I am so glad you are back. I hope you are well and healthy. Always stay strong and positive, that;s the best medicine to stay focused and moving forward. You were missed and looking so much for reading over your amazing and well detailed post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, how lovely for you to stop by and welcome me back. Thank you so much, Mino. I hope you and your family are well. As you said, it’s the best medicine to stay focused and moving forward. I hope to do just that. Take care, and stay safe and healthy!

      Like

  25. Hi Mae! Good to see you back! I’m not writing much these days as I spend most of my time on art projects. I usually post images of my paintings and a few words (or more). Here on the island, we were about ready to start using banana leaves when we decided to venture off-island and through Cape Coral for TP. We lucked out and managed to find a couple of packs in a couple of stores, along with some paper towels, but our local grocery store hasn’t had any in a couple of months. Stay healthy and safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Susan! It’s great to hear from you. I hope your art projects are going well. That has to be a relaxing outlet, especially needed in times like these.

      I’m glad you didn’t have to resort to banana leaves! We finally scored a pack of TP at a drug store….still nothing in my local grocery store. It’s just crazy insane.

      Thanks for popping in to say hello. Stay safe and well!

      Like

    • Aww, you’re so sweet to drop by and say hello. Weird thing about reading, I’ve been stuck on the same book for the last week and am only halfway through. And it’s exceptional! I just can’t seem to get back in the swing of things.
      Glad you enjoyed the cat pics. I hope you are safe and well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just finished Being a Good Creature, which I read about on someone’s blog around here. It was delightful and informative. (And short. I read it in 1.5 days. Could’ve been less if I didn’t have kids.) Anyway, I do adore cats, so can’t dislike cat pics (exc. the hairless kind. Those are just gross looking!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! I’m kind of freaky about the hairless cats too.
        And cool about finished Being a Good Creature in so short a time. I hope to get back to my read tonight!

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  26. Of course it’s great to have you back! Whatever the world does to us, there’s a hard kernel that doesn’t change, and I do wish you luck with your short story. Please let me know when it pops its head over the fence. I’ve been ‘working from home’ for some years now, so it affects me less, but other influences do creep in to remind us that time is finite, so there have been distractions. Here we are lucky thus far, it seems. No-one we know has had to undergo this illness…fingers crossed for the passing of summer, though. Who knows what waits beyond?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the welcome back, Fred! It’s a challenge getting into the swing of things again, but there’s also a welcome familiarity I have missed. And I’ve especially missed all my blogging and writing, friends.

      Thanks for the well wishes with the short story, too. When it goes to publication, I’ll definitely be sharing news on my blog.

      Working from home has been an adjustment, but I’ve been adapting slowly. I’ve had two family members who had to be be tested for COVID-19, but thankfully both were okay. It is scary to think about what autumn and winter will bring. I’m glad you and yours are safe. Stay well, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Susan. I didn’t realize you were in PA either. I’m in the central part of the state. Our reopen date is now June 4th.
      Thanks for dropping in to say hello. You’re absolutely right that it’s still out there and we need to be careful. Stay safe and well!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not far from Harrisburg. I’m in Hershey.
        I can understand your concern about your daughter. I didn’t realize Bucknell had reopened. August is still a good ways off, so fingers crossed!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Yay! She’s back! And cat pictures, too! I hear you about working from home, but at least I don’t have to listen to cubicle neighbors on conference calls. Nah, just the various news shows once hubs gets up and going. Ugh. Noise-cancelling headphones, gotta love ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got pretty good at tuning the TV out when DH had it on while I was working from home. Of course, I was in a different room, too, LOL.

      I’ve been back at my office now for two weeks. We are in the “yellow” phase, so there are a lot of precautions, but it is good to get out and back to semi-normal! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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