This photo puzzles me, this woman in her skirt and fur coat, sitting on the ground in what appears to be some sort of logging camp, holding her dog.


She does not seem to fit in with her surroundings. The dog looks less than thrilled, like he wants to be anywhere else.

What is this lady doing there, dressed like that? Obviously her visit was important enough to someone that they wanted to commit it to film.

Who or why, I can only wonder…


Saturday Night Bath

Saturday night is Emma’s bath night. She can’t even.


This dog is my constant shadow. If I’m there, she is there. Until she hears the water running in the tub. Then it’s hide-and-go-seek time. It’s all part of the routine.

After her bath, she rolls around on the floor and pouts for a good long while. That’s also part of the routine.


Darby loves Emma’s bath night. He sits on the edge of the tub and watches in fascination as I soap and rinse, soap and rinse. He’s even been known to jump in from time to time. When the pouting begins, he offers a bit of comfort. But only for a moment.


He has other things on his mind. Cat things. He has these birds to worry about.


Passionate Kisses

Here’s a photo that has always intrigued me. Truthfully, it delights me. This photo was taken on my parents’ wedding day. But the couple engaged in this most passionate kiss — they are not my parents. I don’t have any idea who they are, but it appears they are either very much in love, or completely swept away in the moment.


This photo was taken in April of 1960. I see so much when I look at it. I see my aunts; my mother’s older sisters, in the background. I see the mystery couple in a passionate embrace. I see two women exchanging a bit of gossip, and a little girl wearing a smile as wide as the sky.  What a difference a few decades makes. I can’t help noticing that every woman is wearing a hat, and most are wearing gloves. A lot of changes were on the horizon for the newly married couple, and for the world. But on this day, all that mattered was the joy of the celebration. That’s one of the reasons I love writing wedding scenes. The joy. This wonderful old photo gives me a sense of community. A sense of truth. A sense of human nature, and how the more people change, the more they stay exactly the same.


The Porch

One of my greatest pleasures, on a summer evening, is to sit on my front porch. Whether I’m reading a book, sharing a cup of coffee with a friend, or just watching the world go by, it doesn’t matter. Life is better with a porch!

When I started looking for a house to buy, almost four years ago, a front porch was at the top of my “must have’s” list. My 1920’s cottage was the second house I looked at, and you could say it was love at first sight. After seeing it, I didn’t feel the need to look any farther. One of the things that sold me on it was its wide, welcoming porch. That and the big, shady apple tree in the front yard — and I didn’t even know then how hot Southern Ohio summers would be!

So when thinking of home repairs for the protagonist in my current work-in-progress, like me, Frankie Bonetti started with her front porch. Like me, she had rotting posts to deal with.




And like me, she was willing to pay whatever it cost to save it. Because in fiction, as in life, good things happen on the porch!

Frankie ended up replacing the rotting wooden posts with aluminum columns. She added window boxes and big leafy ferns, a couple of comfy chairs and some colorful cushions. In the end, she was quite pleased with how the space came together. And I must admit, I was too!




Echoes is a collection of short stories that celebrates love in all its forms and complexities. With a blend of warmth, humor and brutal honesty M. Jean Pike illustrates the love between a mother and daughter (Echoes) between a teenaged girl and her mentally retarded brother (Muddy Sneakers) and between a husband and a wife (The Box.) From the first stirrings of romance (Funnyman) to its last dying embers (All of August) and every challenge in between (Crossoads) this collection of love stories warms the heart and touches the soul.