Saturday, September 23, 2023

We'll be right back... by Liz Flaherty

Taking a couple of weeks off! Will be back sometime in October. Last night's signing at Gallery 15 was wonderful. Looking forward to signing on September 30 at the Monticello Library from 2-4 PM. 

I hope you're all having a great beginning of fall! See you in a few weeks!


Saturday, September 16, 2023

Eyes On the Ceiling by Liz Flaherty

I saw them before the nurse started putting drops in my eyes. Two eyes and a nose in what looked like a pen-and-ink drawing on the ceiling above me. "Who put them there?" I asked. She said it was an anesthetist (or anesthesiologist--I don't know which is which) who was no longer at the clinic where I was having the cataract removed from my left eye. "Cool idea," I said, and blinked because there were more drops. 

From the days of fun annual visits with the gynecologist, I remembered mobiles hanging from above the table-with-stirrups. I don't remember if they moved or what they were. The doctor's wife, a nurse who understood about stirrups and discomfort and cold specula, had chosen the mobiles for each exam room. 

Where I get my hair "adjusted" to keep me a natural blonde, a wall ornament with a message printed on it is on the ceiling above the shampoo bowls. 

I was always a reader, while the kids were growing up, I took advantage of every moment of non-activity to read. While the family watched TV, I read. While I fixed dinner, I read. In the car waiting for myriad practices to end, I read. I enjoyed what I read, but even now when my kids' kids are mostly grown, I wonder how much I missed because I didn't look up often enough. 

We live near a corner that has stop signs on the east-west road. Since I am always up before daylight, I occasionally watch the corner when I see vehicles approaching it. I have no statistics, but the number of vehicles who blow the red octagon sign is amazing. I don't mean they roll the sign or that they slow down to ensure no headlights are approaching from either the north or the south--I mean they disregard it entirely. Most of the time there isn't traffic from the other ways, but it only takes once. I wish they'd look up. 

This is one of those posts where I could give soooo many examples: sunrise, sunset, pretty moon, deer in the field, little kids laughing. babies, rainbows. Entreaties to heaven and "hi, Mom" to the same place. But I've probably given enough, and the whole thing only has one message. 

Look up.

Have a good week. Be nice to somebody. 

Rose, Debby, Joe, and I hope you'll join us for a book signing at Gallery 15 on September 22. Event host Sarah Luginbill will have music from Ryan Record and light refreshments. 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Sixteen Years...Really! by Liz Flaherty

Who knew I'd been blogging for 16 years? Certainly not me. Sixteen years ago, I was still working at the post office and had only published a couple of books. Six of the Magnificent Seven had already arrived to teach Duane and me the coolness of grandparenting. I was driving my very first SUV, which was a lemon and with which I hit my first deer in the 30 years of driving to Logansport every day. But it did convince me SUVs were definitely my chosen way to go. 

This came from September of 2007. My love affair with autumn is still going strong and I go into these next months with hope and determination. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week. Be nice to somebody. 

If you've never lived here in North Central Nowhere, where Nothing Ever Happens and there's Nothing To Do, well, hey, I'm sorry. We're slippery-sliding into autumn right now. Even though the temperatures are still climbing into the 80s on a lot of days, they're also diving headlong into the 40s at night. This means that if no one was looking, some of us would run the air conditioning during midday hours and turn on the furnace when we get up in the morning. (I can't do this because the boyfriend always notices things like that.)

But the colors here--I'm writing this in only one of them--defy description. I remember being so surprised that Vermont in October really does look like calendar pictures. So does Indiana. Plus I'm pretty sure our entire state smells like apples and cornfields and burning leaves. (There's a pig farm down the road that distributes an entirely different smell, but that's only certain times of the day, thank goodness--and carnivore that I am, I do really love ham and pork chops. Sigh.)

Well, I see I'm wandering here, when all I really wanted to do was brag about fall in the Midwest, where it truly is glorious. It sounds like Friday night high school football and crunching leave and feels good. Even though the truth is that things really do happen here and there really are things to do, those of us who were born here love the reputation we have. I think we like knowing something the rest of the world doesn't.

Except that I just told, didn't I? Oh, well...have a good day, everybody.

Four authors are selling and signing books at Gallery 15 on September 22. Ryan Record is providing music and we'll be surrounded by wonderful art. I hope you come. There will be cookies! And I heard maybe fudge...

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Texas Girls by Kristina Knight

I'm excited to have my longtime Word Wranglers friend Kristina Knight at the Window today. She's talking about writing and re-introducing her popular Texas Girls series.

If you read many ‘how to’ type of posts you’ll find a lot of different answers to the question ‘what is the most important part of writing’.

This is one of those posts, but it’s also not one of those posts.

For me, the most important part of writing is simply to write.

On any given day, there are about a thousand things that crop up that I’m not ready for. Whether it’s my daughter coming home from school with marker on her shirt from art class, or my husband calling to say he won’t be home for dinner, which also means I’m on homework duty. To having a non-fiction assignment come up. To having first round edits and final read-through documents come in from my editors on the same day.

And all of those things can seem, in the moment, to be more important that getting the two or three thousand words on paper that I’ve set for my goal.

What I’ve found, though, is that putting off the writing has a snowball effect. Because the next day not only do I still need to write those words, I also need to write the current day’s words. And there are more last minute emergencies to deal with: like learning my mother-in-law is coming over for dinner, and that I have to fill out an art fact sheet for my cover designer, and I have blog and promo posts to write for my upcoming book release, and I haven’t updated my social media sites in too many days. And. And. And and and and and.

That’s why, no matter what else I have going on, what other items are on my to-do list, what little emergencies have come up that day, at 1 PM every day, I’m at my computer. Writing the new words. The emergencies wait. The to-do list waits. The new words get written, and then I go back to the errands and emergencies and to-do list items. Because if the new words aren’t on the paper, I can’t edit them. If I can’t edit them, I can’t turn them in to my agent or editor. If I can’t turn them in, I can’t perfect them. If I can’t perfect them (at least as much as I can perfect them), I can’t publish them to share with readers.

What about you? What is the most important part of writing, for you?

Kristina’s Texas Girls are back! What a Texas Girl Wants, What a Texas Girl Needs, and What a Texas Girl Dreams are releasing this month! 

About the Books

What a Texas Girl Wants
The last thing Jackson Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl like Kathleen Witte, so why did he just wake up next to her on a Mexican beach with a ring on his finger? Once they’re back in Texas though, this all-business marriage might just turn into an all-consuming love. Purchase on Amazon

What a Texas Girl Needs: Matias Barnes knows all about society women like Vanessa Witte. It’s part of the reason he left his wealthy family behind and took a job on a ranch. But while Mat knows she’s so not right for him, can he resist her charms long enough to really let her go? Purchase on Amazon

What a Texas Girl Dreams: They are opposites in so many ways, but the more veterinarian Trickett Samuels gets to know footloose and fancy free Monica Witte, the more he wonders if he can convince this Texas girl that having roots will only help her soar higher. Purchase on Amazon

Saturday, September 2, 2023

These Precious Days by Liz Flaherty

Welcome, September! We're heading into one of my favorite times of year right now, when the view out the west window changes every day, the air is fresh and crisp and smelling of harvested grain and apples and everything pumpkin. (If you don't like apples and/or everything pumpkin, that's fine, but we don't discuss that here.)

I took the title of this week's blog from "September Song." While the song itself doesn't fit, these are indeed precious days. All days are, something we discover when we realize how fast they go.

It's also the season of holidays. While big-box store displays would lead us to think Halloween is in June and Christmas is at the end of July, we know better. However, I admit to looking at holiday fabric and thinking of projects I'm not nearly skilled enough to complete. I print out recipes I'll never bake, although I'll look at the pictures a lot and sometimes I'll buy the ingredients. 

It's the best time of the year at the orchards! McClure's and Doud's are both open and perfect places to while away a few hours. 

It's a giving time, isn't it? Churches will be having soup suppers, harvest suppers, and bake-and-craft sales on their premises. There will be vendor sales  at every available venue, complete with food trucks. Anita's Boutique and Gallery 15  and other local stores will have so many pretty things and things that sparkle and things that you don't know how you can possibly go on without. I mean, things you know someone on your gift list wants or needs. 

It's time for Football Friday Nights, too. Be on guard for fundraisers. Be generous when they catch you. 

Have you noticed yet that I really don't have a subject this week? I do have a question for you. Readership on the Window is decreasing. This isn't a terrible thing; after all, it's been around in one incarnation or other since the 1980s, and I've talked a lot during those years. I'm not ready to stop writing the blog/column, but maybe it's time to write it less often. Or to change it. What do you think? Is it time? All ideas--including Just shut up, Liz; you're boring!--accepted. 

Speaking of the Window, the ebooks of Window Over the Sink and Window Over the Desk are 99 cents this week at all electronic retailers. I still have paper copies and so does Anita at the boutique. 

Then, just giving you a heads-up, Rose Cousins, Joe DeRozier, Debby Myers, and I are having a books signing at Gallery 15. Ryan Record will provide music and there will be light refreshments. The Gallery is always a treat to visit, and Sarah and Ron Luginbill are great hosts.

I hope to see you out and about and that you're having wonderful times on these beautiful, precious days we've been seeing lately. Have a good week. Be nice to somebody.