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Archive for 'favorite quotes'

Martin Luther King Day
Monday, January 15th, 2024

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

~ Again, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Favorite Christmas/Winter Holiday Movie Quote! (Contest)
Wednesday, December 13th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Gayle!

“Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.”
~ Home Alone 2

Okay, so my choice for favorite quote isn’t inspirational/aspirational—but that’s my sense of humor. Your assignment today, should you choose to accept it (I’m going all original series Mission Impossible here) is to find your favorite quote and post it in the comments. It’s easy, swear. Just Google favorite Christmas or Holiday quotes! Share it below for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

A. Catherine Noon: Six Geese Laid
Friday, December 8th, 2023

Dear Reader, I am so excited! I finally managed to get the manuscript up for Six Geese Laid! Thank you so much to Delilah for welcoming me back to share it with you.

This was a fun one for Rachel Wilder and I to do. It was originally written for the WROTE podcast and performed by Vance Bastien. He did such an amazing job with it! Hearing our words spoken out loud was a new experience for us.

The story came about because our friend, J. Scott Coatsworth, asked me if I’d like to contribute something for the podcast, and I thought, hey, that sounds fun! So we wrote it really fast during Thanksgiving week while we were at a family reunion.

The thing about writing fast is that it allows you to avoid the inner critic. There is power in drafting, which one learns when doing things like National Novel Writing Month ( If I stop to wonder, “Is this spelled right?” “Is this the right way to say this?” “Would this really happen?” I lose the magic of the story. If I listen to the narrative I see in my head, and stay curious, then I can navigate from one piece to the next. “And then what happens?” “What would he say?” “How does that look?” I’ve heard it described as driving at night: you can’t see the whole journey, but you can see what’s in your headlights, and you can get from one end of a state to the other that way.

The other thing I enjoyed about writing this is that it’s a humorous story. It’s based in our Chicagoland Shifters world, and while there are times where things are funny, that series is urban fantasy – so, dark, angsty, and sexy. This story is a different vibe, and that was fun to experiment with going in. Short stories are always a challenge for novelists, because they need to be a full story: that means, a beginning, a middle, and an end or resolution. I find that difficult to do in a short format.

You’ll have to judge for yourself whether we hit the mark or not. But whether you decide to read it or not, I want you to know, Dear Reader, from the bottom of my heart: thank you for reading. Us authors work hard to tell stories that entertain and we are ever so fortunate to have readers like you that like to read.

Buy links (if you see your favorite retailer isn’t listed here, please drop me a note in the comments).

Barnes and Noble:


“My own experience has taught me this: if you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured it may never arrive.”
~ Maurice Chevalier | | |

1st Annual Silly Sayings Day (Contest)
Monday, November 13th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…flchen!

Grumpy cat and I share a lot in common today. When I looked into the mirror first thing this morning to brush my teeth, that was my expression!

However, I’m generally a very positive person. Annoyingly so. I wake up the kids for school by singing children’s songs off-key, ignoring their groans and becoming more maniacally loud the longer they linger. Today, I think I’m grumpy because I’m in almost mid-way through the NaNoWriMo challenge and I want to take a break. I CAN’T because I refuse to be behind on my wordcount, but I also haven’t built enough of a cushion beforehand to skip a day. Wah-Wah. Get over it!

I thought maybe you could help me get in a better mood. I love jokes, but many jokes are just too long. I love witty, funny, or ironic sayings, so I thought that might be the ticket. We’re going to make our own Silly Sayings Day! The first ever, I think. Maybe it’ll become a thing! Woot!

So, let’s turn those frowns upside down! For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, share a silly saying.

Here are a couple to start us off…

Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? — He’s a mile away, and you’ve got his shoes!
~ Billy Connolly


If a clown farts, is it funny?
~Anonymous (and likely ashamed)

A. Catherine Noon: Best Laid Plans
Thursday, November 9th, 2023

On October 25th of this year, I went in for total knee replacement surgery. It’s been a long time coming. In fact, the surgeon told me I probably should have had it done ten years ago. While I don’t think he’s wrong, precisely, I didn’t want to rush into anything. I was doing “all the things:” physical therapy, working out three times a week with a trainer, twice a week yoga, mindfulness meditation, pain management training, and I have lost about forty pounds in the last year. In September, my husband and I went on a work trip to San Francisco, and it became glaringly obvious that the status quo could not continue. So, I called the surgeon, and we scheduled it as soon as possible.

You’d think that would be it, right? I mean, major surgery is, well, major surgery. I met with my Human Resources team and my department head to schedule my time out of the office. Would I need medical leave? No, I would just take two weeks off, so it was done on “PTO,” or “paid time off.” I’d scheduled the week of American Thanksgiving as vacation for my family, and I “gave” that back – since I’d be out from October 25th ’til November 8th. And then I settled down to prepare.

What I didn’t realize, is that I was, in fact, embarking on a roller coaster.

Our annual Founders Retreat for Writer Zen Garden is the last full weekend in September. This year, we met in picturesque Park City, Utah, at a ski resort. It was, in a word, amazing. The condo we rented was enormous, with a full kitchen and huge living/dining room with a large table to seat all of us. We cooked, we wrote, and something magical happened: Dear Reader, I got my writing mojo back. I wrote more in the month of September than I’ve written in the last eight years combined. It’s felt like one long, dark slog through the Mines of Moria: first the 2016 election debacle, then the publishing world imploded (which, to be fair, had already started by then), the pandemic, the riots, the wildfires, (one of which, the Bolt Creek Fire, was within fifteen miles of our home), and the rise of fascism around the world. All of it meant that my well was bone dry. Sure, I’d try to write, and I kept up my avid journaling practice. But Story?


It’s immensely painful beyond words for a writer to go dry. I’ve met people who will airily assure me they don’t “believe” in writer’s block. My friend, I wish you the peace of your naivete. It happens, and it happens to the best of us. And it’s like bleeding to death with nothing coming out.

So to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement. It’s as though a part of me that had been amputated, suddenly grew back. Things started to heat up: I met some new friends through the NaNoWriMo Seattle Discord server and started writing “word sprints” with them (a word sprint is where you show up and do timed writing for, say, fifteen minutes).

When I settled in to prepare for my knee surgery, Dear Reader, I thought everything was going to be easy-peasy: I was writing again, I could take two weeks off to recover, what could go wrong?

I did not schedule any time to prepare. I worked until October 24th, and surgery was October 25th. That was my first mistake.

Then, the week before surgery on October 16th, my beloved eleven-year-old cat Nadya had a stroke at 07:30 while I was on a video call with my therapist. She told me, “don’t catastrophize,” which is good advice but I knew what I knew. My husband was out with the dogs and our housemate, his brother and a retired emergency veterinary technician, was asleep. I waited for my husband to get back and my appointment to be done (which was the longest fifteen minutes of my life, let me tell you). My husband woke up his brother, and he examined Nadya, and gave us his advice.

Get her to the vet immediately and tell them it’s a thrombus. It’s not a saddle thrombus, which affects both hind legs; he said in his opinion it was a thrombus (i.e. a blood clot) that lodged in her right front leg, cutting off sensation and nerve impulses to her right leg. We got in the car and raced to the vet. I told my husband to call them first, to make sure they were open and that we were coming, and they told us the bad news: take her to the emergency hospital in Lynnwood, an hour’s drive, because they have the scanning equipment we’d need.

We got there and got her seen by the emergency techs right away. We came back home, and I naively thought I’d be able to pick her up again.

The cardiologist said that she was in early-stage heart failure. My brother-in-law and his partner, also an emergency vet tech, said they’ve seen exactly one cat survive this scenario and that cat died within three months, because once they throw one clot, it’s inevitable they’ll throw another. The treatment is unpleasant and consists of either subcutaneous medication (i.e. stabbing my cat with a needle) or oral meds (shoving a pill or, more likely, multiple pills down her throat on a daily basis), or both.

We made the decision to let her go and drove over that night after work.

Afterward, we came home and I went back to preparing for surgery, and trying to relax because relaxation is critical to good outcomes.

At 0430 the morning of surgery, my old man cat Boria fell down behind the dryer and got hung up in the wires for the dryer and the septic tank alarm. We’re not sure if he fell asleep on the dryer and fell off, or if he just got confused and climbed back there, or what. We got him out and my brother-in-law and his partner tended to him for the next two days. Meanwhile, I went in for surgery on Wednesday as planned.

Boria died in my husband’s arms on Friday, October 27th.

Dear Reader, may you never go through back-to-back events like this.

I had planned to give you the news that Six Geese Laid, our holiday story set in the universe of the Chicagoland Shifters, is available at your favorite eBook seller. I even have it halfway uploaded onto Amazon but didn’t quite get it finished in time to get my guest post over to Delilah. I will, and my goal is to get it done by this weekend for you so you have something new to read before the holidays (our longtime fans will know this is the audio story that the talented Vance Bastien read for us on the WROTE podcast, and this is the long-awaited eBook version). And I also can tell you that Rachel Wilder and I are hard at work on our newest book series, the first of which is called, for right now at least, As the Crow Flies and is about crow and raven shifters and the trouble they get into.

I’m still doing all that, but I’m moving a bit slower than I planned. But the good news out of all of this is that I AM moving, at long last. Nadya and Boria are with me in spirit, keeping me company as I get back onto the page. And like Peggy Carter in the Marvel series, we’ve decided that I will be the bionic battle granny to my newest grandchild, who we will get to meet in June of 2024.

Talk about ups and downs, Dear Reader. My heart is sad, and glad, and grateful.

Best wishes,



“My own experience has taught me this: if you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured it may never arrive.”
~ Maurice Chevalier | | |

What do I and dry breeches have in common?
Monday, September 4th, 2023

“You can’t catch trout with dry breeches.” ~ Anonymous

I’ve marked this week on my calendar as “Hell Week.” That’s because I have so many mountains to climb by Friday. I didn’t get good rest last night because I drank coffee after noon and was up until 4 AM; however, I can’t let that stop me. I’ll take a nap sometime today—with a timer (because I can’t rest too long or I’ll feel sluggish)—but that will have to do. I’m home after my long weekend with my sister and fellow writers. Now, I have to do the work!

So, back to that obscure quote… Today, it means I have to wade into the river, regardless of the discomfort.

I need to play some inspirational music to get my butt into gear. Any suggestions?

Im-Possible! (Contest)
Sunday, June 11th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Beverly!

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi

I’m working on updating my plans today. Trying to re-jigger them to fit in everything I have to accomplish. It always looks so…possible, until real life intrudes.

After finishing my #the100dayproject (yay, me!), I feel like I can do anything once I focus. My priorities this week? I need to write some chapters! I have an editing project to wrap up. I want to complete organizing my jewelry-making station in my art room. I haven’t made jewelry in a while, in an organized fashion, because it’s such a jumbled mess, but I’m making progress. I don’t want to get mired in indecisions about where everything should go/how can I make some space/what I should de-stash, etc. Plus, I want to leave time for family fun, too.

The jewelry station feels like the most daunting thing, and it shouldn’t be, because it’s not a money-maker gig. However, I feel less stressed overall as I make improvements in that room. So, health-wise it should be a priority, right? Okay, so maybe I’m trying to justify focusing on it to the detriment of the “real work.”

I’ve accomplished a lot already. The areas underneath my worktables where I have boxes/bins stored, have all been cleaned and only “necessary” stuff was kept. I completed organizing my ink/glasswork station. What’s left? The jewelry station. The art table which has to be cleared/cleaned/and space made for painting. The rolling bins need to be cleaned out and organized, but I am trying to finish one big task per week so that by mid-summer I’ll three stations free and be able to find what I need when I start a project.

In case you don’t remember or haven’t been following this blog for a while, this is what my art room looked like shortly after my mother passed and ALL HER ART SUPPLIES were dumped in here for me to sort through. I barely had room to navigate the aisles on either side of the art table to the left here—standing sideways! It’s nothing like that now, but it helps me to remember where I started. Now, I know my goal is possible. When I finish, I’ll share pictures. It’s not anything fancy. The room itself is painted concrete block walls with 1980s industrial tiles on the floor. The furniture is a mishmash of things. But I will share. A workspace doesn’t have to be stylish to fulfill its function!

And none of that has to do with books. However, I should let you know that while I clean and de-stash, I work through story issues in my head. I have a notepad always ready for ideas. I can’t complete any editing, but I can be working on my own stories, so it’s not wasted time.

I’m rambling. And no doubt you’re bored. So, I’ll close with a contest!

Tell me about any huge organizational challenge you faced and how you overcame it for a chance to win a $5 Amazon GC!