Saturday, January 30, 2021

Love of the West - With a nudge from the spouse


In this interview with John Layne, we get a peek into how to follow a passion and find joy in seeing your words in print. It is a story I think many can relate to.

John, when did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

At about the age of 20 when I became a police officer. I immediately began saving notes and call sheets thinking that someday I’d like to write a police/crime novel.

From starting out thinking of a police/crime writer is sounds like the West won out. Did you choose the genre you write in or did it choose you?

Really both, but I’d say the genre chose me. I absolutely LOVE the Western genre and it just demanded that I write about it.

So what was the nudge that gave you faith that you could and wanted to be published?

Truth is, my wife. She got tired of me “talking” about writing and finally told me to shut up and do it! I then took a novel-writing class at the local college and was off and running.

Do you think your life experiences influence or hinder your writing?

Absolutely influence my writing. My professional career experiences and growing up in a Western genre family are significant influences. My parents loved western movies especially John Wayne films. We never missed one!

Where did you get the idea for your latest release?

The idea was years in the making really. Gravitating toward old West law enforcement was natural, thus my two main characters are a U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger. As a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, I’ve had the privilege to work with both U. S. Marshals and Texas Rangers in my career. My “contemporary” career and my passion for the old West are a great recipe for my stories/books. It allows me to write both about what I know and the genre I love. A writer can’t ask for more than that! (Of course, a best-selling book or two would be great!). 

I always have to ask, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Panster. I just think of what needs to happen next and the scene or chapter writes itself.

Do you follow a writing routine or write when the muse strikes?

No routine. When the muse strikes, which is almost every day.

Do you prefer writing, short stories, novellas, or full-length novels?

Full-length novels, although I’m writing my first screenplay and I’m enjoying the challenge.

Is there a process where you find your next story or does the idea just hit you?

The next story usually just hits me. If I think about the concept too long I feel it seems contrived, which as you know is a killer for us writers.

Would you like to share anything else you feel people might like to know or would be surprised to learn about you?

I began my professional writing career as a sports editor and freelance writer for sports magazines. I returned to college later in life and was taking a writing/marketing class in undergraduate school. One of the assignments was to write a feature on a subject of my choice. I was coaching baseball at the high school and college levels at the time, so I decided to write a historical piece on the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club. It allowed me to experience both history and my favorite sport. I wrote the piece as a feature article and not only received an “A” for the grade but more importantly, a note attached asking me if I’d like to see the article published. Turns out the professor knew a publisher and that began my professional writing career. I went on to write over 200 sports articles in a two-year period. 

My desire and dream of writing a novel became a reality when my wife got tired of hearing me say I needed to start my book, and she told me to stop talking about it and start doing it. So, I enrolled in a continuing education writing class at my local community college and ended up writing chapter 1 of what became my debut novel Gunslingers, A Story of the Old West which was released in September of 2019. Red River Reunion soon followed in October of 2020 and my third book Return to Canyon Creek is scheduled for release in August of 2021. I’m now a traditionally published author with numerous short stories, audiobooks, and a fourth novel in the works.

Do you write in other genres?

Yes! I just started my new series about a small Texas town police chief. It’s contemporary crime drama/fiction.

 What are your favorite areas of research and why they are important to you?

I’m deeply connected to the Texas and Oklahoma historical society sites. I also look into the Railroad history and non-fiction books about old Western weapons, clothing, etc. 

Thank you for a fun interview. Wishing you all the best on the journey we call writing. 

You can find out more about John at his website:, visit his publisher's website: or visit his Amazon page: John Layne - Amazon

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Pikes Peak - More than just a mountain

 Post by Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines

Pikes Peak
photo property of the author

You've heard "Pikes Peak or Bust", the rallying cry for the Fifty-Niners, but it is so much more than just a spot on the map.

Estimates are it formed/rose about fifty million years ago. The volcanic activity in the area about thirty-five million years ago, which was west of the Peak and formed the Florissant Fossil Beds, may have made people believe the Peak is also volcanic. Sorry to disappoint, but the Peak is granite. On a side note, it is this same volcanic activity that created the gold in the Cripple Creek/Victor area.

Of course, the man the Peak is named for attempted to climb it in 1806. He didn't succeed, famously asserting that it would never be summited. This did not take into account the Indians who had been living in the area and called the Peak the 'Shining Mountain'. Did any of them ever summit? We may never know, but I wouldn't discount it. The first documented summit was by twenty-two-year-old botanists Edwin James in 1820. It took James and two others two days to accomplish the feat. He was part of the Stephen Long expedition that was exploring the area that was part of the Louisana Purchase.

Big Horn Sheep on the Peak above timberline
Photo property of the author

Julia Archibald Holmes and her husband James summited the Peak in 1858. Julia is credited with being the first woman to climb the Peak.

So why would they use the slogan "Pikes Peak or Bust" for the rush for gold? The gold was located near and west of present-day Denver, which is seventy miles north. Geography, pure and simple. When coming West from the East, especially via Kansas, the first thing you will see is Pikes Peak. It is the easternmost fourteener and sits by itself. The nearest peak of its elevation of 14, 115' or higher is seventy miles away. (Like all fourteeners it can create its own weather system. I do pity the weather forecasters for this area.) 

As most know it inspired Katharine Lee Bates to compose the poem, "America". Of note, the poem itself is an homage to her trip from Massacheuttes to Colorado. After summiting the Peak in 1893 she composed the first line 'Oh beautiful for halcyon skies, for amber waves of grain'. The poem itself was published July 4, 1895, in 'The Congressionalist'.

Looking toward Colorado Springs from the Peak
Photo property of the author

The first run of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb was in August of 1916. This makes this race the second oldest after the Daytona. Today anyone who wishes can drive to the top of the Peak. They can also hike via Barr Trail or in 2021 can again take the Cog Railway. As a side note, the first cog ride started in 1891.

There is much more I could write about this Peak that sits in my 'backyard', but I would still be writing and you would probably get tired of reading. I personally have been to the top eight times. I've driven four and taken the cog four. I've also soloed "America the Beautiful" twice at 14, 115'. You might say 'The Peak' and I have history.

 Doris Gardner-McCraw -

Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Telling Stories Where Love & History Meet

Wednesday, January 20, 2021


Many years ago when my mother-in-law came to visit us in Oklahoma all the way from her native West Virginia, the thing she loved best about my home state was CHICKEN FRIED STEAK! Mom had never had it before, and it never dawned on me that someone might not have ever eaten that wonderful delicacy. When we took her out to eat, she asked "What's the best thing on the menu?" I told her "Chicken Fried Steak." We both ordered it. I don't think she ordered anything else the entire time she stayed with us--around 10 days, after I had my first baby--whenever we went out to eat after she tasted Chicken Fried Steak.  I wonder if cowboys ever ate this? I know they ate a lot of beans and so on, but gosh, I really think this had to come from the trail drives or ranches "back in the day"--it is WONDERFUL. It's one of the foods that's common, and that we are known for in this part of the USA.  In fact, it's part of the officel STATE MEAL OF OKLAHOMA, as of 1988! (WHO KNEW?) My mom never made it often, but maybe it was because she knew if she did, it would be all I'd ever want to eat. I found this great recipe online for Chicken Fried Steak BITES that looks wonderful--whether you're entertaining or just want something different and good for yourself and family members. 
Chicken Fried Steak Bites Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Cooking Level: Intermediate The secret to true “chicken fried steak” is frying beef in cooking oil that was previously used to fry chicken. If you use fresh oil, it is considered “country fried” with less authentic flavor. The same batter recipe and method we’ve given below can be used to fry up some chicken breasts for lunch before cooking for the party for improved pre-party satisfaction. 
Fried Steak: Ingredients 

• 2 lb cube steak, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces 
• 4 cups canola oil Batter
• 1/2 cup milk 
• 1 egg 
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
• 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper 


1. Prepare a paper towel-lined plate for finished steak pieces and set aside. 
2. Heat oil in a deep cast iron skillet over high heat until the temperature reaches 350F, then reduce to medium. Note: if not using a thermometer, test the temperature of the oil by sticking the end of a bamboo skewer into it. When the indicated temperature range is reached, the end of the bamboo will sizzle, then reduce heat to medium.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg and milk for batter until well mixed. 
4. In a shallow dish such as a pie plate, combine the dry batter ingredients well.
5. Dredge each piece of steak in flour mixture, dip into the egg mixture, the roll in flour mixture again to coat well.
6. Shake off excess flour, then place into the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. 
7. Remove cooked pieces to plate and allow to rest for 2 minutes before serving. 

Gravy: Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
• 3-1/2 cups whole milk


1. Melt bacon grease in an 8-inch iron skillet over medium heat.
2. Brown the flour in the bacon grease along with the salt, and pepper, whisking constantly until golden in color, about 5-7 minutes. 
3. Gradually add 3 cups of milk a little at a time, stirring constantly to prevent curdling. Add more milk as necessary to keep from becoming too thick. 
4. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve. 

Tip: Gravy can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight or frozen. Allow to defrost overnight in fridge before use, and heat slowly in the microwave stirring at 30-second intervals or over low heat on the stovetop. Add more milk as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Source: 

I will definitely be making this, and it looked so great I just had to share. I’m thinking my cowboy ancestors must have had this delectable dish many times!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Are your walls closing in? Music in the time of Covid by Kaye Spencer #westernfictioneers #classiccountry #humor

On January 7, 1961, country music singer Faron Young recorded the Willie Nelson-written song Hello Walls. The song reached No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country & Western chart in 1961 and stayed there for 23 weeks. This song also boosted Willie Nelson's up and coming music career.

In January 1966, country music group The Statler Brothers had a Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles hit (No. 2) and a Hot 100 Chart (No. 4) hit with Flowers on the Wall, which was written by Lew DeWitt (tenor in the group). Flowers on the Wall is ranked in the 100 greatest country songs of all time by CMT, and it won 1966 Grammy for Best Contemporary (R&R) Performance - Group (Vocal or Instrumental)

It occurred to me that, although both songs are about the loneliness and heartbreak that accompanies a relationship breakup, with a little stretch of lyrics interpretation, along with application to our ongoing lockdowns / shelter in place / safer at home experiences, these two classic country songs sum up a person's mental and emotional status on any given day.

Trivia: (

Willie Nelson performed an updated version for the COVID-19 era as part of his "Come And Toke It" live stream on April 20, 2020 (4-20), which was broadcast on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Accompanied by his two sons, Lukas and Micah, Nelson changed the final verse to incorporate people worldwide self-isolating against the coronavirus pandemic.

We got to all stick together or else we'll lose our minds

I've got a feeling we're going to be here a long, long time

For your stay-at-home listening and viewing entertainment...

Four Walls


Flowers on the Wall

(YouTube links to the videos for phone-readers.)

Four Walls:

Flowers on the Wall:

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer

Stay in contact with Kaye—

Amazon | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Monday, January 11, 2021

Dodge City by Tom Clavin

This review originally appeared at Macmillan's Criminal Element.

The Wyatt Earp myth is spent, taking its place alongside Bingham’s Washington crossing the Delaware and Paul Revere shouting “The British are coming!” Sure, there’s an element of truth to the timeworn renditions, but we’ve finally passed over a transom where the reality is now far more entertaining and gripping than the malarkey, in short, we’ve grown up. In the author’s note, Tom Clavin writes, “… most research sources revealed that legend and fact often overlapped and that the facts about the lives of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson before, during, and after Dodge City were usually at least as satisfying as the fictions.”

Earp’s myth, via Hollywood mainly, has seen a lot of mileage out of the honorable-above-reproach-lawman song, who even at his worse (see, for example, Wyatt’s vendetta ride) appears merited in all that he did—that the ends justified the means. Even as I write this, you can bet your Buntline Special that a screenwriter is putting the finishing touches on yet another stagnant showdown at the O.K. Let’s hope the producers rip up that script and read Tom Clavin’s clear-headed novel. And the beauty is that in a gifted historian writer’s hands (ala David McCullough and Joseph Ellis), the fact sheet can still have a cinematic thrust. Observe this meeting between Old West titans: 

When Bat stepped off the train, he had an ivory-handled six-gun on each hip and a double-barreled shotgun in his hands. Wyatt waited for him, along with Bassett, Frank McLain, Neil Brown, and several other men wearing pistols. Bat was curious as to the whereabouts of Doc Holliday, who he knew had joined Wyatt in Kansas City, but with the men already here—and this was just the reception committee; likely there were more in town—there was plenty of firepower.

Wyatt and Bat greeted each other. Though different men physically—Wyatt tall and slender, Bat of average height and stocky—their grins were the same, indicating pleasure to see each other, even though the reunion was to settle a matter that might risk their lives. Then they set off, natural leaders, the rest of the men flanking them, starting down the dusty streets of Dodge City, ready for one last showdown to preserve the peace.

Damn, but didn’t that put me right there in the lawless, tumbleweed-strewn town. Another perk to perusing these pages was gaining a fuller picture of Bat Masterson, as Mr. Clavin writes “[he] was no one’s Walter Brennan, Andy Devine, or Slim Pickens.” He was opinionated, willing to back up beliefs with force if pushed, and widely known as a man who could put away drink after drink, remaining happy-go-lucky.

Bat and Wyatt shared a bond in that they both came from clans of tight-knit brothers, and both lawmen lost a sibling in the line of duty. Bat witnessed his brother Ed, who was trying to disarm a drunken cowboy, get shot down. The assassination happened at such close range that Ed’s vest lit on fire as he stumbled across the street before collapsing.

Ed lived in a room above the saloon, and Bat and a couple of men brought him there, blood leaving a trail up the boot-worn steps. Soon after a doctor arrived, he informed Bat that there was nothing to be done for Ed. In an anguished whisper, Bat said, “This will just about kill Mother,” recalling all the times he had been told to watch out for his mild-mannered brother. “She’ll never forgive me for letting him get killed in this town.” Bat was already certain he would never forgive himself.
Bat sat beside his brother, holding Ed’s hand. During the next thirty minutes, what was left of the young marshal’s life ebbed away. Then, without regaining consciousness and thus unaware of his brother’s tears, Ed Masterson died.

Author Loren D. Estleman says, “Tom Clavin’s Dodge City is a lesson in historical reporting, exhaustively researched and enthusiastically written with all the page-turning drive of a modern thriller. He’s swept aside a century of cheesy myth to excavate the far more fascinating reality that lay beneath.”

Agreed. This reader enjoyed walking the streets of Dodge once again, and yet it felt like the first time.

David Cranmer is the editor of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and whose own body of work has appeared in such diverse publications as The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, LitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Under the pen name Edward A. Grainger he created the Cash Laramie western series. He's a dedicated Whovian who enjoys jazz and backgammon. He can be found in scenic upstate New York where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

500 Hundred Manuscripts - Interview with Charlie Steel

This time around Western Fictioneers is interviewing Charlie Steel. What an interesting perspective Charlie has given on writing, research, and how he became a writer. Read on. I'm sure you'll find something you can relate to as you take your writer's journey.

Charlie, when did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

At age 8, when I started reading, I thought, "I can write too." I had broken into my father's library and quickly devoured Zane Grey, Max Brand, William MacLeod Raine, Jack London, Gene Stratton Porter, and James Oliver Curwood. Thank goodness for Webster's Dictionary ( I still mispronounce the words I learned on my own at that early age). Secondary to that, and ever since I can remember, I have always had stories in my head.

Did you choose the genre of Westerns or did it choose you?

I knew so much about the WEST, and it felt comfortable to write in that genre. (I hate the word genre, as a good story is a good story no matter time or place.)

What was the nudge that gave you faith that you could and wanted to be published?

In the early '60s, my first vignette was published in a college paper at age 17. It was well-received. Then I did two plays that earned both Pitt & Balcony Theatre and Michigan State University tens of thousands of dollars.

I didn't write a good query letter, didn't edit very well, and after a hundred or so rejections, I gave up submitting for some 40 years. But I kept on stockpiling hundreds of short stories, some plays, and enough material for over 80 books. In 2002, I met an editor who read some of my work and began to help me. I was published in 2003 and haven't stopped. I don't self publish, and I like smaller publishers; they are much kinder to a writer.

All of my 500 plus manuscripts from over 50 years of writing have to be edited and some rewritten. That takes 3 months to 2 years. Editing is horrible and my worst enemy. I will never submit a story to a publisher until it is as good as I and other professional editors can make it.

Do you think your life experiences influence or hinder your writing?

Yes, my experiences have definitely influenced my writing in many, many ways. To begin with, I was precocious as a kid, living in a very small town. I burned down a barn (accidentally) at age four and was the first four-year-old to be arrested for arson. The police eventually took me out of lockup and turned me over to Dad. My father levitated me and performed extreme discipline, yelling, "Four years old and already arrested and in jail." (Lucky I lived through that.) At age 19, I joined the Army, was lifted out by the government because of my test scores and personality traits. Then I trained and served behind the Iron Curtain monitoring Russian activity. After discharge, I went back to Berlin as a civilian with higher pay and performed the same functions for several more years. I then worked my way through eight universities, earning five degrees, including a Ph.D. Later I was hired as a Child Protection Worker in a high-risk city. In that capacity, facing drug-dealers and guns while trying to remove children, with or without police assistance, was in many ways more dangerous than being behind the Iron Curtain. It forced me to see the "belly of the beast" and nearly destroyed my health. I don't understand my proclivity for dangerous jobs, but I did them to the best of my ability.

Writers write based on what they know and have experienced. Going back to my childhood, I worked beginning at age six doing chores around the house. My parents were stern taskmasters, and I was responsible for helping keep the much-needed garden weeded and watered. Later, I worked for others. I was hired as a grocery store worker at age 10 to help purchase my own clothes. Among many other jobs were oil field worker, construction, foundry work, and salvage diver. (Nothing really out of the ordinary as all of us born in the '40s worked from childhood on. We had to; most of us were poor.)

I understand you have an upcoming release. Where did the idea spring from?

STRONG WOMEN OF THE WEST Anthology is my latest and will be released by Condor Publishing, Inc., in January 2021. I wrote this book as a tribute to my mother and all strong women wherever they may live. My mother was tough and did everything she could to keep me on the "straight and narrow," and sometimes not so gently. She would have won World War II if they had put her in charge. She declared war on dirt and on bad behavior in our houseshe won. I admire strong, intelligent women. To me, intelligence is a beautiful thing and lasts a lot longer than good looks, which, of course, is superficial and overrated. The idea of writing about strong women came naturally, and some of the stories in this work were written decades ago. Women make up half the population or more and should have been running this world ages ago. (Look what a mess men have made of it.)

I have to ask are you a plotter or a pantser?

All my life stories came into my headbeginning, middle, and end. The majority I never wrote down, and they are lost forever. But some 500 or more, long or short, were written as they came to me, nearly fully composed. (Of course, they all needed rewrites and further research.) My best books or short-stories are those I wrote non-stop within a few days as fast as I could type. But as stated before, the editing takes forever…

Do you follow a routine or write when the muse strikes?

I used to write every day. I am old, and now I take my time. Besides, I have those many manuscripts that are finished and need editing.

I also have many other stories that are not complete. It is a terrible thing not to finish a manuscript. I am currently attempting to work on some of them. In my conversations with other writers, I am not alone in this.

Which is your favorite to write, short stories, novellas, or full-length novels?

SHORT STORIES capture a world and define it, mesmerize, and end with a concise conclusion. The short story is my favorite because it makes the reader think, wonder, and fill in the unwritten details.

Is there a process where you find your next story, or does the idea just hit you?

It smacks me in the face…and pleads to be written down.

We all have something that makes us unique. Is there anything else you feel people would like to know or would be surprised to learn about you?

Reading saved my life when I was a child. I started school too early (four-years-old) and was in a fist-fight nearly every day throughout grade school. Books were my world, along with avid fishing and hunting. What fish and game I brought home, the family ate. There is no better meat than venison.

Do you write in other genres?

(Science Fiction, don't tell anyone. A book of short stories will come out someday.)

What are your favorite areas of research, and why are they important to you?

Any credible book, article, or interview helps a writer. Most research material available to a writer is endless. Details sometimes on a rarified subject are hard to find.

The Indian experience (my Indian friends do not like the term Native American) and their decimation, for example, has never really been told as to how gruesome it was. The deliberate elimination of Indians, tribe by tribe, from the East Coast to the West Coast is our shame and our holocaust. Historians didn't tell the truth (and often still don't) and did not document exact details, and they participated and exulted in the Indian's demise. We are fortunate that any tribe exists today. In this very present time, treaties and promises have not been kept. Indians still live isolated and in abject poverty; treaties are still broken, and land is still stolen. Wish I could write about it in more detail, but it is such a horrible history, beyond human understanding.

Research is essential; we try to get it right. All writers make mistakes, but hopefully, we do the best we can.

Thank you Charlie for the interview. Wishing you the best on the upcoming release.  For those who would like to know more about Charlie and his books, check out the following links.

Amazon Author Page - Charlie Steel

Charlie Steel - Website

Thursday, January 7, 2021

New Year's in the Old West

 People have been celebrating the beginning of the New Year for at least four thousand years (probably since we discovered what a “year” actually was). Most civilizations have similar customs: eating special foods, celebrating with a party, making resolutions, and setting off fireworks.


Your Old West characters wouldn’t have celebrated much differently than you do yourself. They’d have started celebrating on December 31 and probably kept going for some time after midnight. They may or may not have had fireworks – depending on where they lived and whether or not they had the cash for such frivolities. They’d probably have sung “Auld Lang Syne” though and may have followed the traditions of their ancestors.


If your parents were Spanish or Mexican, they’d have eaten one grape for every peal of the church bell at midnight. This was said to bring 12 sweet months ahead. If you came from Austria or Hungary, pork would be on the menu because pigs represented progress and prosperity. Beans, which resemble coins, were also representative of prosperity. Italians ate lentils and Americans living in the South enjoyed black-eyed peas. In the Netherlands and Greece, ring-shaped cakes and pastries symbolized that the year had come full circle, and in Sweden and Norway rice cakes were baked with an almond inside one cake. Whoever found the almond was said to be certain of good fortune all year.


If your family was English, you might leave your “dirty” money outside on the night of December 31 and take in the “clean” cash after midnight. In Scotland, they believed the first guest of the New Year was very important. They called this practice “first-footing” and felt that the perfect first visitor was a tall, dark male bearing a lump of coal, some shortbread, salt, a black bun, and a “wee dram” of whiskey. Swiss ancestors might teach that dropping a dollop of rich whipped cream on the doorstep will usher in riches for the New Year.


The practice of making a New Year’s resolution is believed to have started in ancient Babylon, where citizens paid off debts and returned borrowed tools as well. They believed that their resolutions impressed the gods and caused them to look favorably upon that person. After a wild New Year’s Eve party, most people would resolve to drink less and go to bed at a decent hour!


January 1 wasn’t even thought of as New Year’s Day until Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar in 46 BC. Before then, every culture celebrated on different days depending on which calendar they used. The Chinese set the date at the second new moon after the winter solstice. Egyptians, on the other hand, celebrated at the annual flooding of the Nile river, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius. Julius Caesar decreed that the first day of the year would be January 1, honoring Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings. In medieval Europe, Christians changed the date to celebrate New Year’s on various other holy days, from December 25 to March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation). In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day.  


Your character could celebrate New Year’s any way you choose, picking from one or several cultural traditions. The important thing is to celebrate the beginning of a new cycle in their life. May your modern New Year be a healthy and prosperous one, with good fortune for you and your family.


J.E.S. Hays

Friday, January 1, 2021


I found this list on Pinterest. Though I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore, I thought this list was pretty inspiring and had some good things that we all might be able to use. I'm going to pick at least ONE to make life better in 2021. Not sure what, though. It has to be something that I can actually do (not like going to the gym three times a week or anything like that). I see one that calls to me--CLEAN OUT ATTIC. Now, it might take me all year to do it, but by golly, that's gonna be my "tough one" for this coming year. And maybe I'll pick something else, too, like LEARN SOMETHING NEW. It's been so long since I played the piano or the guitar, that might count as learning something new...all over again. LOL! What about you? See anything on this list that might be an inspiration?