Saturday, November 27, 2021

Scratching an Itch by Liz Flaherty

Because, while my mind may be teeming with thoughts and ideas and plans and forgetting things, it's not teeming with any publishable words at all. This always puts me into panic mode, because it's been a while and I'm not ready to stop writing the Window yet. What would you do without it to read on Saturday mornings? (Yeah, I'm being facetious--I am so grateful to those of you who do read it every week.)

I found this while wandering around seeking out ideas, because they're really NOT teeming right now. I wrote it for a writing blog, but it was so much how I'm feeling 10 months later that I decided to use it. Because it's there. That itch.

I'm sitting here at my desk on January 30. Watching the clock. Because my phone says that in 15 minutes, snow flurries will start. And over the course of the next day or two, something like 10 inches of snow should arrive. Since we are retired and since we have plenty of milk, bread, coffee, and toilet paper, I'm not worried a lot about it. My husband's not looking forward to dragging out the snow blower, for which I don't blame him. 

And there's always this little itch at the back of my mind that I can't reach to scratch.

What if something happens?

We are what is euphemistically referred to as elderly, so it's always a bit of a concern, I guess, although I doubt we worry as much about it as our kids do. We have lived long and prospered, not to mention we've loved and laughed a lot. And we've been happy. 

But that's not even why I brought that up. I brought it up because What if something happens? is the beginning of every story we tell. The only advice about writing I ever give with any surety is to start the story when something changes. 

When something happens.

This, it is a simple concept. It's also one I have some trouble with. Because I like introspection. I like dialog. I love humor. I tolerate conflict. I can go on for days writing those things, and sometimes that's exactly what I do. Of course, all the time I'm writing this lovely prose, nothing is happening in the story.

The word for it in publishing is "pacing." I know this because it's been mentioned to me so many times. Usually, the word "slow" is in there somewhere, too. 

I know I'm largely preaching to the choir here, but the lesson is a good one. I hope I learn from it by writing this. Now, snow flurries are supposed to have already started. They have not, but one of the cats is meowing worriedly, and bare branches are moving fretfully against a moody sky. 

Something is going to happen.


Frankly, I often don't like the feeling--it's more foreboding than anticipation, but we don't always get to choose which itch is making itself known in the back of our minds. 

What we get to do is the best we can with not only the story we're writing, but the one we're living as well. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that you have a wonderful week coming up. Be nice to somebody.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Day 20, #30daysofgratitude by Liz Flaherty

I don't have much to say today, which could be a harbinger of me never shutting up. Just giving you a heads-up on that. That's how it often goes.

Kudos to the nurses and the pharmacist who've given us our Moderna vaccine injections. From the first shot through my car window to the booster last night, you've all been caring, efficient, and thorough. Two of you were funny, too, which makes any day better for me--that and the fact that I hardly felt the needle. Thank you all for doing what you do.
Kudos to the delivery person who backed her white truck into our mailbox. You stopped, called it in even though your truck wasn't damaged and the mailbox merely looked drunk, and apologized profusely to me even though I only stopped to get the mail, not notice the box's eastward list. Kudos to the boss who came to look at the box and straighten its post, then come to the house and talk to us. If I were a hiring person, I'd be looking to steal both of you. 

Kudos to Sarah and Ron Luginbill for adding music to the arts offered by Gallery 15 & Studios. There was a record crowd the other night and the music was varied and joy-filled. "In times like these" (a direct and stolen quote from someone) we need the arts--and the joy--so very much. 

Kudos to an eighth-grader named Jonah who brought down the house with his violin and put a face on Tourette Syndrome for those of us who knew little or nothing about it. Thanks to his father for explaining things to me and for being so quietly proud of the boy who made the strings dance.

Kudos to Maine for eliminating single-use plastic bags. I love the paper ones and didn't mind a bit paying the nickel some stores charged. While we were there, I also developed an almost-quick-enough ability to say, "I don't need a bag, thanks," which I've continued to use fairly successfully since coming back home. 

Kudos to Sara Musselman for trying so hard to save the trees. Although there were reasons for cutting them down, the pretty little town of Denver isn't as pretty as it was a week ago. 

Kudos to everyone, everywhere, who's administering the certainty that many kids will have good Christmases. To ones who fill backpacks to make sure they have food over weekends. If you've never had need, I'm glad for you, but if you respond to the needs of others, I'm even gladder.

Kudos to all the people who serve, head-down against the daily onslaught of criticism, of being crucified for sins committed by the "rotten apples" in your midst, of being called names. 

I admit to being depressed and upset by recent events. It's hard, as I whine on a consistent basis, always being the much-despised minority in the state and community where I've spent my entire life. It's lonely, and sadness is sometimes hard to get around. 

But all those people above have lent goodness and light to what seem like consistently bad and dark days. Since this is November, on Day 20 of #30DaysofGratitude, I am grateful to all of you.

Have a good week and a food-filled and blessed Thanksgiving. Be nice to somebody.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Come Shop with Us

Welcome to the Window Over the Sink's First Annual Book Sale. Joe, Kathi, Debby, Nan, and I all just know you want to buy books as Christmas gifts, so we thought we'd make it easy for you. 

We also want to thank you for your readership, the laughs you share with us, your reviews, and your kindness. Consider this our leap into the holiday shopping season. Thanks for coming!

Joe DeRozier

Joe DeRozier sits at a big table in his bakery. The sheeter's over there. There are racks with trays of donuts. A police officer stops in. His kids come by. Someone up front wants a particular pastry--does he have it? His mother-in-law visits there. She's beautiful. Joe thinks a lot and writes it down. Those thoughts draw portraits of his mother-in-law, the police officer, and the town he loves. He says he just makes donuts, but he does more. Much more. Welcome to DeRozier's. Enjoy the visit.

Joe's offering both of his books for $30 with $5 shipping.  Book One, Heck, I Don’t Know…I Just Make Donuts, alone would be $20, Book Two, My Dog Pees When Company Arrives…I’m Glad I Don’t, alone is $10.  

You can order off this form. He can mail it or you can pick up at the bakery. He has both books there and you can often con him out of a donut and some really good conversation.

Kathleen Thompson

Tiger Lily’s Cafe, a Cozy Mystery Series

By Kathleen Thompson

Written for adults; safe for teenagers.

A tourist town on the shore of a Great Lake.

Sunset Avenue, filled with vintage shops and ending at the beach.

A town always in the middle of a mystery or a murder. Or two.

A capable Chief of Police who comes to rely on the town’s famous cats.

Have they really figured out a way to communicate with him?

Find out for yourself! Order using an email form at

Mention the holiday sale. Or send an email to

Debra Jo Myers

The Vee Trilogy - A Family Saga

Written by Debra Jo Myers

For readers who love a good story

 Book one -

Vex and Valor


Imagine two families from different sides of the track living in the small railroading community of Brookston, Pennsylvania in 1969.

Tim and Vee Crawford have a picture-perfect life. They are parents to four children and are lifelong residents of a reputable housing development and owners of a successful and popular bakery, Vee's Sweet Treats.

Georgia and Zeke Hayes struggle to make ends meet. They move with four of their seven children from Tennessee after Zeke is hired on the railroad. The family lands in a cul-de-sac for the railroad personnel searching for a better life.

Then a marriage of their two youngest children – Ella Crawford and Ben Hayes despite objection from both families.

They can barely support themselves driving Ben to alcohol. Their children witness fighting between them.

When Ella is found unconscious and the couples' two children are missing, the two families are forced to pull together to find answers. Will the truth ever come out?


Book two -

Verdicts and Vows


It's 1994 with the two families more entangled than ever.

An attack on Vee's Sweet Treats, the Crawford family bakery. Thugs in masks torment those inside - including members of the Crawford and Hayes families.

A steamy unexpected affair sparks friction.

Forced together again at the wedding of a Crawford granddaughter to a Hayes grandson. When the two bloodlines were introduced, in much the same way in Book One, the union ended in tragedy. Will tragedy strike again?

More discovery comes to light about the unsolved mystery of Ella.

The families twist and turn like a Juniper tree. Readers will become more connected to each character as Book Three begins. The climatic Verve and Virtue will be available soon.

Specially priced at $20 for both books and a Christmas ornament, plus $10 if you wish to have them shipped. You can also buy a single book for $10 and $5 shipping. Order and arrange for shipping or pickup from or message her Facebook page Free wrapping with pickup!

Nan Reinhardt

The Four Irish Brothers Winery is a romantic series from USA Today bestselling author Nan Reinhardt and Tule Publishing. The Flaherty brothers, Sean, Brendan, Conor, and Aidan have inherited their family’s historic winery in River’s Edge, a small town on the banks of the Ohio River that Nan modeled after Madison, Indiana, one of her favorite places. In the two touching and romantic holiday stories from the series, single dad and winemaker, Conor is waking from the grief of losing his wife, and rising star Aidan is an actor on a hit TV series, but has grown tired of the LA glitz and yearns to return to the stage. Maybe an old showboat can make that dream a reality. If you love sweet small town Christmas romances, you will fall in love with Books 1 and 3 of the Four Irish Brothers Winery series.

Liz Flaherty

You've been reading the Window ever since it opened over 30 years ago, and I am so grateful! Many of the columns have made their way into the books pictured above. They're available from online booksellers all over the place...or from me. Print copies would make...are you ready for it?...excellent Christmas gifts, especially signed and with a free ornament included in the package! I'm offering both books for $20 plus $5 shipping, or you can pick them up from me. 

 You can order from this form, email me, PM me, or leave a message here. 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

No matter the time... by Liz Flaherty

At 2:00 AM tonight--it's dark, so it's tonight, not tomorrow morning, okay?--the time will change. We will have changed most of the clocks before going to bed, so it won't be a real shock when I get up and it's only 4:30. I wake that early a lot of the time anyway, although usually I've had more sleep by then than I will have had when we gain tonight's hour. Or will we gain it? Will the day now have 25 hours or 23? 

I have complained about time change ever since 2005, when Indiana's governor argued "that 'Indiana Time' was bad for the state's economy because businesses outside of the state couldn't keep track of what time it was in Indiana," and decided we should go back to doing what had made people miserable before. They survived it then, so they could surely survive it until enough politicians said "enough!" or enough people know how to Google and say, "What time is it in...?" 

There is actually no point in my complaining, but that hasn't stopped me yet. I will, however stop for the moment even though I don't have anything else to talk about this morning.

Except yesterday morning when my friend Nan Reinhardt, who lives in Indianapolis, and I were talking about small-town-settings, because we both use them in books. Her small towns are nicer than mine because they're pretty perfect. I'm more pragmatic, so mine are more the way I know them because, you know, I've never lived anywhere other than small towns and cornfields. Mostly cornfields. 

But it was funny that when we were talking about the differences between urban and small-town, I went to get my nails done at the Nail Studio and didn't take any money with me. Or a checkbook. I couldn't pay with a card. 
I am a habitual offender, I must admit. I tried to leave Farmhouse Café without paying. I went to Hagan's in Denver with no checks and no money. When I pumped my own gas at Beecher's, I drove merrily away without paying. When we lived in town and had milk delivered, I paid with a check I hadn't signed. These offenses have taken place over 40-some years, but, yeah...habitual. 

But it never occurred to me that Julie wouldn't go ahead and do my nails, that Elmer Hagan wouldn't tell me to come back and pay the next day, that the guy who worked at Beecher's would have me arrested instead of calling Hagan's and having them suggest I go back and pay for my gas, that Missy at the café would think I'd not paid on purpose, that the milkman wouldn't call me and say he would go ahead and sign the check if that was okay. 

Things like that probably wouldn't happen in Indianapolis, Nan said. 

So I guess I'm pretty happy with the way things are. No matter what time it is. Have a good week. Be nice to somebody.