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California was on track to be the 5th driest year on record until an atmospheric river swooped down from the Pacific Northwest to park over my part of the state for three glorious days. Strong winds combed the oaks of weak branches and twigs galore, but we’re more than grateful for over 6” of steady, beautiful rain.

Image courtesy of Brett Baumann

The grandgirls and I were able to check out our creek, which was finally running. Scrambling on wet rocks is not recommended but very hard to resist.

I promised you some updates on my writing. I’d forgotten how much time it takes to set up the initial “world,” “timeline,” and “character bible” for a new project. It’s vital to have a clear view established—sort of like the border pieces of a jigsaw puzzle—before you begin to build the stories that will make up the overall picture.

This is a process I generally love. It’s purely creative and filled with surprises. For instance, I was in my storage room where I’d moved boxes of stuff from my old office that didn’t fit in my new office--you know how that goes, right? No real use for it but you can’t throw it away?—when I stumbled across a folder I didn’t recognize. Inside I found some old treasures from high school. Sketches my artist boyfriend made and a poem I wrote for him. A love poem. Neatly printed on paper that says: daydreams of Debbie.

I have no memory of that paper. I don’t recall writing the poem, but it’s definitely my handwriting, dated: May 1, 1970. When I showed it to Paul, he looked at me with pure bafflement and asked, “Was that written about me?”

Uh…yes. Apparently, I never showed it to him back then. Not surprising since we’d only been dating eight months. (Have you done the math? That’s nearly 51 years ago.)

Brace yourself. It’s cheesy. (But don’t be surprised if you see it in my next book.)

In a strange twist of timing, the very next day I listened to Amanda Gorman, the 22-year old poet who read her work at the Presidential Inauguration. Now, that was poetry!

Well done, Miss Gorman.

Last week's Q&A was: Do you work puzzles (jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, etc.)? Yes or No?

Wow, wow, wow! I know a lot of puzzle lovers. And I enjoyed every answer—even the few who aren’t into puzzles. I was inspired to check out an online puzzle app (which I have no intention of using except when RVing😉).

And I loved all the photos you shared of jigsaw puzzles. My granddaughters picked this one as their favorite!!!

And my dear friend William Harris, who is a moderator of the Main Street Marietta Facebook page, created this awesome Word Search puzzle of some of my Tule Publishing heroines: The Zabrinski Women. Thank you, William!

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Marilyn Jolly
Sue Kirby

(Marilyn and Sue congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&A: Do you read/write poetry? Yes or No?

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways:
email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Stay well, my friends, and happy reading,


Next week: Valentine’s Day is coming!



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen