Old is Gold

2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

It’s time for the 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal.

But first, what is the A-to-Z Challenge? It’s a one month blogging challenge that takes place in April. Twenty-six blogs on twenty-six days. Twenty-six letters of the alphabet, one post beginning with each letter. One central theme. Any category.

(Post every day except Sundays. Except if the 1st is a Sunday, then write on Sunday, April 1st. No Fooling!)

Sign up here.

Last year was my first year, though the challenge has been around since 2010. I stumbled upon it by accident and signed onto a group (the wonderful blogchatter group). I wrote twenty-six blogs on writing and marketing tips, which I later consolidated and published as an ebook available here.

Writing tools, 26 ways to improve your writing. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Writing Tools: 26 Ways on How to Improve Your Writing

This year, I debated on whether to enter. I couldn’t imagine writing another twenty-six tips. Do you know how hard it is to find a writing tip for J? (I cheated and used, Journey, The Hero’s)

Then a case of insomnia revealed my theme.

2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Let me explain, and we’ll get to the theme in a minute (after these commercial messages).

When I can’t fall asleep, I head for the couch. One night the lights from the microwave, stove and cable box seemed to burn brighter than normal, and I started playing the writer’s game of “What If?” What if they weren’t lights but cameras? And someone watched my every move? What if I had a character who thought that and no one believed him? What if I could put a Twilight Zone twist on the end?

Playing a little further, what if the character lived in a retirement community where reality clashes with the unexplained? I live in a retirement community and I’ve witnessed a bunch of strange things. What if I wrote about what I know?

Thus, twenty-six stories were born set in the fictional village of Twilight, Arizona. The blurb for the series is:

Twilight, Arizona, on the road between Phoenix and Las Vegas, where reality clashes with the unexplained.

Almost each one contains a grain of a story that has happened to me or I’ve witnessed. All of the endings are not what you’d expect.

I’m excited about presenting the cast of wacky, elderly characters to you (some show up in more than one story). If you’re looking for a cross between Lake Woebegone Days, The Golden Girls, and The Twilight Zone, I’ll see you in this space on Sunday, April 1, 2018.

Old is Gold

Old is Gold

Old is Gold



p.s. Please share using the social media icons on the left.

If you’d like to sign up for my monthly newsletter, please sign up below and get a FREE ebook short story (this offer will change soon, so get it while you can)

Also, if you’ve stuck around to the bottom of this blog, take advantage of a special 99¢ offering of Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf as it celebrates its one year publishing anniversary.

Available for 99¢ until March 25, 2018 on Amazon, ibooks, Kobo and other distributors.

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf, an adult fairy tale romance. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf





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Produce. Mango jam.

It’s Saturday, which means it’s usually time for cool links, but I’m foregoing them to show you what I’ve been doing this week (hint: not so much writing). It has to do with making mango jam and other good stuff.

Mango jam and other good stuff

I’m inserting myself into today’s post because I made this mango jam, bread and butter pickles and bell pepper relish:

Mango jam

Bread & butter pickles Mango jam Bell pepper relish

Looks delish, right?

I live in Arizona (don’t hate me because the temperature is in the 70’s. Let’s talk this summer when it’s in the 110’s), so fresh produce is a year-round thing here. From October-May, we are able to buy 60 lbs of otherwise rejected product for $10 through a program called P.O.W.W.O.W. (Produce on wheels without waste) Here’s a picture of what I picked up in February:

Produce. Mango jam.


The produce is available every Saturday, but I only go once a month because there’s only two of us to eat it, and it takes an enormous amount of time to take care of it. I mean, look at all those tomatoes! Holy Henry!

This past weekend, I brought home:

10 zucchini

2 acorn squash

10 ears of corn

2 lbs of spinach (that’s a lot of spinach)

17 regular tomatoes

8 mangoes

8-10 cucumbers

12 bell peppers

Needless to say, I spent Saturday looking for recipes then made veggie soup, skillet lasagna, spinach-mushroom quiche, and a mushroom/zucchini/artichoke torte.

Sunday, I made two more quiches, zucchini brownies (I’ll never make brownies without zucchini again. So moist), bread and butter pickles, mango jelly, bell pepper relish, and eight veggie empanadas.

Monday, I tackled the corn and used half of it in a casserole. I had also bought some chicken, so that went into four crockpot freezer bags, and I cut up ten green peppers and froze them in bags.

While I had the oven going, I baked an eggplant that I later turned into baba ganoush. I just finished it up this morning as a snack. So good.

Tuesday, I made more chocolate zucchini brownies (Oh, didn’t I mention the first batch was chocolate?) and naan bread for the baba ganoush. I had a second eggplant I sliced and baked into chips.

Wednesday, I cooked and froze the rest of the corn. It was a light day.

The freezer half of my refrigerator is packed to the gills, but don’t worry, I have a new upright coming on Monday. I don’t think I could cram one more thing inside.

The refrigerator half still holds a quarter bag of spinach, two squash, six bell peppers (I think they’re breeding), and two cucumbers.

We’re going to eat like kings!




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Mark Hamill, Millennials, and Marketing

This week’s cool links include Mark Hamill, Millennials, and Marketing tips.

Luke Skywalker smacks down Grammar Nazi

Mark Hamill, Millennials, and Marketing

Writers correct grammar. It’s what we do. Misused commas, em dashes, apostrophes, and the dreaded you’re vs. your. Nowhere was this more in evidence this week than on Twitter. A grammar Nazi tried to shame Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker himself!) and was slapped down. Twitter applauded. Merriam-Webster wants to hire him. Read the complete story here.

Continue reading Mark Hamill, Millennials, and Marketing —This Week’s Cool Links

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