Writing and Learning and Tarot and All

Writing and Learning and Tarot and All

Be Here Now

Photo of V and Mitchell Osborn at Readers Studio 2024 taken by me. (Mitchell is also the bomb. Check his website out!)

Back in the day, Be Here Now, a book by Ram Dass published in the 1970s, ended up being a catch phrase for everyone to stop thinking too far into the future and to focus on here and now. Last weekend when I was at Readers Studio, I had a tarot reading with the AMAZING V, your Tarot BFF.  First we talked (okay, I kind of fell apart, lol) and then she started pulling cards. And what it all came down to was, I was trying to use old software on new hardware…like trying to get a floppy disk read by a USB port. Not happening, right?

Well, the systems I had in place when I was regularly writing novels, you know, fifteen-twenty years ago, probably won’t work for me now because – surprise! – I’m that much older (and don’t like getting up at 3am if I happen to wake up, and going to write for a couple hours). I need a new system in order to get the books written.

I don’t have that new system in place quite yet. I’m still working on it. But I’m writing, bit by bit, word by word. The desire and the need is there. The heart is there. I will find a way, a new system, that works with the me that I am now, post pandemic. And as I go, I will give myself grace. I don’t change overnight. I don’t create the new in the blink of an eye. It takes me time to find my groove, and work out the wrinkles. I’ll get there, and hopefully soon, because I’d really like to have this book finished and turned in before the end of June. We’ll see.

All this to remind you that you aren’t the you of twenty years ago…nore are you who you will be twenty years from now (give or take). So be here now…adjust your systems to work with today’s you, not yesterday’s you.

You’ve got this. And so do I.

Love, always.


LA Times Festival of Books – Conquered!

LA Times Festival of Books – Conquered!

I Did It!

I only went to the wrong parking garage twice. Sigh. BUT. Traffic behaved (though there were a couple of folks out there who learned how to drive by playing Mario Kart 8). I got there, parked, found my way to the Los Angeles Romance Authors booth (924), and settled in to start the volunteer process.

Let me tell you – we had SO many people! We were out of free goody bags way before lunch! I don’t know how Alexis Morgan-Roark and all the other wonderful volunteers did it. A great big beautiful booth, not too far from the LA Times Main Stage – we were perfectly positioned for excellent foot traffic, and we got it.

Yes, there were a LOT of people. But the Festival was spread out across the campus, so it wasn’t like we were all crammed into a performance venue. Below is our booth…The Duke, Just Ken, and Fabio got a LOT of attention. Just Ken is the object of an Opportunity Drawing…a fundraiser for our chapter. We’re hoping someone will take him home today!







There was music, there were outdoor talks that were free, there were panels and indoor talks that you needed to have previously purchased tickets for. There were food trucks galore, and they all had huge lines, but I chatted with Kelle Z. Riley and we got to know each other a bit, which was nice.


I took Sandy R. home (a chapter mate I’ve known since 2002), but unfortunately we received the wrong directions to get to the Shrine Parking Garage – We were sent to Exposition Blvd and should have been sent to Jefferson St, which we were actually closer to! Which means we walked the length of the Festival. Twice. But I got 8,200 steps in, so that counts for something, along with aching feet.

The drive home was jammed with traffic – where was everyone going??? Always a mystery…but I got Sandy home safely, and made it to my house where Tom had my bath ready. A hot bath, a lovely nap, and some wonderful Mario Kart 8 racing (Tom won, thanks to the algorhythims. Bloody blue bomb…). A tasty dinner, and a wonderful night’s sleep, and all is right with my world.

My fears dissipated with the morning clouds yesterday – and I vowed then and there that I’d be signing books next year, at the Festival of Books, with my LARA Chapter mates. Which means I have plenty of work to do now. It took me twenty years, but I did it.

Is there something that scares you, but that you know you want / need to do? Grab your courage with both hands and give it a go. You’ll never know until you step into your power and do the thing.

Sending everyone love and hugs. Always.



Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

After 20 Years of Resistance – I’m Being Brave. Seriously.

Seriously. It’s been at least 20 years since I’ve known about the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, but I’ve never gone. Today – in little over an hour, actually – I am going to show up. This is a BIG deal for me. I LOATHE huge crowds. I am always anxious about driving to places I’ve never been to – and anywhere downtown or near USC is enouch to put me into a near panic attack.

But I’m going. I signed up to be a volunteer at the Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter of Romance Writers of America booth (#924 in the Black Zone) for today, for six hours. I figured out parking and even paid for my spot, got the app, did the stuff. I just need to shower, dress, remember to feed myself, and actually get in the car and go.

That last part will be extremely difficult. I find I don’t like going to new places anymore at all, especially not by myself, but no one in my family wants to go, and no one in my chapter lives close enough to swing by and pick me up (or I pick them up, either way), so…it’s just me and my sense of impending doom, toddling off to USC. The main saving grace in today’s adventure – looking on the bright side here – is that it’s during the day, not at night. Also, I have a full tank of gas, so I won’t have to find a gas station down there.

I’m not going to be that stereotype person who as she gains wisdom, experience, and silver in her hair, also decides to become a hermit and never go anywhere or try anything new.

This is me, trying something new. And I’m just a few shades of terrified. I’ll take photos and write an update when I return this afternoon.

Be cool, people, and be kind. You just never know.




Summer and the Garden

Summer and the Garden


July 4, 2023

So many emotions for this day…I cannot celebrate a country where over half the citizens have had their rights severely restricted by the bunch of so-called Christians sitting on the Supreme Court. So there’s that.

When I got up this morning, it was misty outside and the temperature in the mid-50s F. Feeling the cool sting my cheeks was lovely, as it had been in the upper 80s – low 90s here this past week. I’ve made breakfast, and now Tom is out in the garden with our youngest helping him. Whimsy the dog is barking at anything that walks past the house (or the houses behind us). He still fairly reeks of skunk, though my nose now is trying to tell me he actually rolled in garlic. Um…yeah, no.

Gardening, because murder is wrong. A decorative picture of a woman in the garden tending to plants.

But the garden continues to be my happy place. It’s a lot of work, but exercise with a definitive purpose is always a good thing. We’ve pulled down my sunflower bed, and shall plant that haphazardly with wildflower seed, along with some Strawberry Palestine Clover. Doing our part to help the bees.

Now available!

So on the fiction front, Wolf’s Heart is now available. It’s a novella that is adjacent to the Caine Brothers world that was originally published in an anthology. I’ve finally gotten it back up online. Slowly, I am reclaiming my writing life.

Non-fiction News

My summer schedule is heating up and will be full steam right through December 1st (so far). This month is the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Anaheim. I kind of figured I should go since it’s technically in my back yard, and I’m presenting as well. I grabbed a hotel room for Tom and I for a couple of days.

In August, a gal who produces her own shows and also works for HBO is coming out from New York City to discuss – something film-ish – with me, and that’s really all I can say about that.

September is the launch of my new book, Scott Cunningham – The Path Taken, and there will be activity around that for sure. September also takes me to TempleFest in Massachussets. I will finally get to meet so many people in person, and I’m excited for that!

October sees me flying to London, England with my husband for the U.K. Tarot Conference put on by Kim Arnold. Then on Monday October 9, from 2:30 – 5pm, I’ll be doing a booksigning at the Atlantis Bookshop, in the Gerald Gardner room. GAH! SO exciting!

November, I’ll be at the Trees of Avalon Gathering once more, giving two talks that I’m super stoked about.  Later that month, I MIGHT have a booksigning in the Seattle area; we shall see.

Scattered throughout will be podcasts and so forth. A busy time, and I’m doing my best to be ready for it.

Wine Blog?

I’m considering reviving my wine blog, since that was fun. Not sure I’ll keep it at wines under $10, as those seem to be impossible to find unless on sale, but I’ll figure it out.

Well, that wraps up this update. Hope you are doing well! In the meantime, much love to you.

A rough few months

A rough few months

It’s been rough, since my Daddy died on March 14, 2017. Not quite four months have passed, but my brother and I have done what we were charged to do, as Co-Trustees of his estate. Soon it will all wrap up.

There are a lot of good things happening in my life, and I will post them here, but I felt since I hadn’t actually dealt with my father’s death here, that I’d better do so.

Chet Cunningham, June 2011. 325+ novels out and counting. He’s as real as it gets.

Boy do I miss him.



I do not think it is his time. But he hurts, and seeing your parent in pain is just as impossibly frustrating and heart-wrenching as seeing your child in pain.

I am here, bearing witness. Talking when he wants to talk, watching over him as he sleeps. Soon I will head for home…but for now, I am here.

Sharing space with him. Guarding his sleep. Watching as his hands work, searching for something that he doesn’t find before coming to a rest.

My heart aches even as I am profoundly grateful for being able to be here with him for the past three days.

Precious Time - photo by Christine Ashworth, image arrangement by Mary Bogue

Precious Time – photo by Christine Ashworth, image arrangement by Mary Bogue

I’m fully planning on him being around for at least another decade. I just need him to get with that program, too.