This is not who I was supposed to be.

If you’d told me, back when I was twenty-something, that in my fifties I’d be a romance novelist who got up at 5 am to write, practiced yoga, didn’t drink whiskey, and was well along the road to veganism, I’d have laughed. And then raised a glass of Jim Beam in a toast over a breakfast of steak and eggs.

I wasn’t amazingly reckless (except… okay, I was) but I didn’t see the point in planning too much of a future that might not happen. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow.

Continue reading “This is not who I was supposed to be.”

This Endless Summer

I don’t remember summer ever being this long, even when I was a kid. Summers in Australia are long but we only ever had a month or so off from school over the Christmas holidays, so ‘summer’ really only lasted six weeks. Here, in the U.S., ‘summer’ as defined by the school break is usually around two and a half months long.

This year we’ve been doing summer since late March, and for the past two weeks, I’ve been craving the crisp air of autumn, the scent of falling leaves and woodsmoke, hoodies, and all things pumpkin. But August still has a week to go—and it’s nearly 90 out there today. I’m wearing shorts and flipflops.

To be fair, I was probably wearing shorts and flipflops on August 24th last year. I do seem to remember complaining about leaves already turning yellow, though. Saying something like, “I’m not ready.”

Continue reading “This Endless Summer”

My Best Friend with Fur

Jackson Kenard Jensen

October 2003-July 2020

Two weeks before we planned to travel to Australia for a month, my husband brought home an ugly little kitten one of his colleagues had found in a box between her building and the next. He was a scrappy little thing with an abnormally large, elongated nose and skinny head. I thought he was ugly. I also thought my husband was crazy for wanting to adopt a kitten right before we went away.

Long story short, a friend kept him for that month, and when we got home, Jack, named after one of our favourite Sims (The Sims) bullied his way into our lives and our hearts. He became my best friend with fur.

Continue reading “My Best Friend with Fur”

The Stories in My Neighborhood

Nearly every neighborhood I’ve lived in has had certain elements in common. There’s the house with too many cars. At least one is missing wheels and it’s up on cinderblocks. Another will be missing an engine. The one next to that will be wearing a minstrel’s motley of mismatched panels. 

There’s the house where the kids run wild. You’re never sure if adults actually live there because you’ve never seen them. Only the kids.  

Halfway down the street is the older couple who become surrogate grandparents to you and your children. The wild kids eat there a lot. 

There’s the nosy neighbor who always happens to be out walking when you’re in the garden, happily weeding away in a blank mental space because chapter eighteen isn’t working and why, oh, why isn’t chapter eighteen working. You don’t really want to talk to Bob, but Bob wants to talk to you because he’s an extrovert living alone in a house that’s much too big for him, so he spends his days roaming the neighborhood looking for people to talk to.  

(You’ll also run into Bob at the supermarket, library, bagel shop, and bank because Bob is always on the prowl.)  Continue reading “The Stories in My Neighborhood”

Kelly’s Keepers

Two years late is better than never, right? I finally have a reader group and I’m inviting you to join the fun!

Kelly’s Keepers

Kelly’s Keepers is a private group on Facebook, meaning while the group is visible to the public, the content is not. We can talk about anything in there. Well, almost anything.

What I’d like to talk about is books. Mine, yours, everyone else’s. But I’d also like to get to know my readers better. I enjoy interacting with readers on my personal timeline (and on Twitter), and the replies I get to my newsletters, but have long wanted a dedicated space where we could just hang out and talk about stuff that’s not necessarily related to my being an author.

So, expect gaming talk. Pictures of hiking trails (once they’re open again), only the new recipe successes (we’ll save the failures for Pinterest), and gardening. Or me complaining about having to mow again.

We’ll also have the book talk I mentioned earlier, and I’ll be posting more regular teasers from my WIPs. There will be giveaways, because we all love giveaways. And, right now, Keepers will get access to my new serial, Let’s Connect, a couple of days before newsletter subscribers.

Interested? I’d love to see you there.