Monthly Archives: December 2020

Christmas Visitors?

Hello Friends!

It’s the last Monday of 2020. It’s also the week known in Germany (my long-ago home) as ‘the quiet days.’ Businesses remained closed, peace and quiet was the order of the day as people enjoyed a time of reflective stillness until the joyous celebrations of New Year.

That’s not possible here in the good old US of A.

I think that’s a shame.

And I miss the peace and silence of those still, cold and dark winter days between Christmas and New Year.

I miss them a lot.

As I type, for instance, I’m serenaded by a leaf blower, an electric hedge trimmer, and some other noisy apparatus as a landscaping crew attend their Monday duties. From somewhere else, the high-pitched whine of a drill delights the senses. (being sarcastic)

Such disturbances weren’t just non-existent during this week of stillness in Bavaria, they weren’t allowed.

The Old World (still) has a lot going for it.

But I digress. So I’ll move on to this post’s title…

Despite the usual landscaper noise and what-not, it usually is pretty quiet here. Especially at night. The TV isn’t turned up. No loud music. Traffic is non-existent. My dishwasher, almost soundless. The wooden stairs do creak in some spots, but that’s a comfy kind of sound.

There are cat noises.

Reporting-a-hungry meows. Soft feline snores when my darling sleeps. The sound of him at his scratching post, raking his litter box, and occasional 3 a.m. zoomies. Cat lovers will get that. If you’re not a cat person, think a herd of elephants racing ’round your house. It’s amazing how one small cat can make such racket, but they do.

What cats do not do in the deep silence of the night is walk about making sounds like human footsteps. They also don’t rap on walls, the noise exactly like when someone knocks on a door.

Yet those are the sounds that have accompanied my nights this holiday season…

Late at night, when curled on the sofa downstairs, a single set of human footsteps crosses the floor above me. I have heard this several or more times now. And I cannot find an explanation…

No one is upstairs when the footsteps are heard.

I can distinguish between the sound a cat moving around and human footsteps. When my cat crosses the floor above me, I do not hear him. He’s too light. I do hear his zoomies. I am not talking about them. Besides, each time I’ve heard the footsteps, he’s been curled beside me on the downstairs sofa.

That means ‘someone’ is walking around in my bedroom/bathroom when I am downstairs in the living room/lounge late at night.

As I know the upstairs to be empty when this happens, I have to wonder if the footsteps are made by a visiting ghost?

Footsteps in the dead of night (no pun intended) are a frequent sign of a ghostly visitor. So are raps or knocking noises, and that happened last night…

It was nearing midnight, I was reading and had the TV on very low, when I heard three distinct and sharp raps. Knock, knock, knock. The sound seeming to come from an inner wall or somewhere upstairs. No one was at the front door, that’s for sure.

And the three raps were deliberate. Not the occasional creak of the wooden stairs. Besides, no one was on the stairs.

Leastways no one I could see.

Holidays are known for increased supernatural activity. If a ghost walks, Christmas is a likely time. Poor Scrooge had three spirits swing by, didn’t he?

Now, I’m not saying the late night footsteps and last night’s three wall-raps were made by a ghost. I’m just saying the sounds were real.

I heard them.

And I can’t find an explanation. As a caveat, I do believe in ghosts, so my mind jumping to the possibility isn’t a stretch.

Whatever the reason, as the sounds are new, I’m betting they’ll end after New Year. Perhaps someone is looking in on me? A holiday nod from someone I once knew and loved? Or an ancestor I never met, but who is aware of me and wants to pay me a Christmas hello? A bit of protection and reassurance in this horror year? Letting me know everything will be OK?

Or maybe the ‘someone’ is returning here? Recalling finer days when he/she might have lived here?

Either way, I’m not afraid.

Just curious.

And I wish him/her well if indeed the footsteps and raps are ghostly. Actually, I rather like the visits.

I’ll let you know if anything else happens. For now…

How about you? Believe in ghosts? Ever live in a haunted house? (I have, several times.. but those tales can wait for other days)

Happy Quiet Days-Between-the-Years, dear friends. (earthly and otherwise)

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Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a peace-filled and blessed holiday wherever you are in the world. This is a festive season like no other, so stay healthy and safe.

This is a clootie/wishing tree on the beach here. It’s always there, decorated for the season. If you could use some magic tonight, say a wish and here’s hoping it comes true.

Merry Christmas!

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Writer in the Ink

It’s Christmas as I type these words and I just opened a gift package from a long-time reader. She sent me a beautiful cat seal and sealing wax, her present tucked into a cute Christmas tree pouch…

I love the sealing wax colors, and the seal itself is the prettiest bloom. A rose that will look so nice when used. It reminds me a bit of the Tudor roses, which, in turn, bring back fond memories of long-ago visits to Hampton Court Palace in England.

Likewise, the rose brings back mind-and-heart images of my own much-loved garden in Germany. I had the most beautiful roses and so enjoyed looking after them. Now, when I see the seal-rose, I will recall my own roses ‘back in the day’ and feel a heart squeeze.

This new rose promises to bloom beautifully again and again.

Take a look…

Of course, the star is the little silver cat who ‘holds the rose.’ He has diamond eyes and is wearing a bow-tie. Diamonds also grace his bow-tie. I’ll have to think of a name for him.

Something to suit the season, I’m thinking.

By any name, though, he’ll have pride of place on my desk and I’m viewing him as a good luck bringer. (something very welcome these days, especially)

Here he is…

As you can see, he’s very handsome and dapper. His pouch is also lovely and will keep him warm. Something he’ll appreciate if he’s anything like Snuggles, my cold-weather-hating cat who runs around in elf-and-‘Little Pudding’ English pudding jumpers these days.

So my Christmas just turned a shade brighter.

And that brings me to the title of this post. Writer in the Ink.

I’ve always said ‘know the books, know the author.’ If you read someone’s stories, you pretty much know that writer. That’s because any creative person’s ‘essence’ flows into their work. Doesn’t matter if they’re a writer, artist, musician, whatever.

Words are colored by the writer’s soul. Everything flows into the ink. Likes and dislikes, life experiences, every joy and tragedy. The things important to us, and the things we aren’t interested in. For instance, my readers surely know how much I love animals. Likewise, they are probably aware that I don’t give a flying fig about shoes.

They’ll know I’m especially fond of cats.

So, as the long-time reader who sent me this adorable seal-cat knows me so well from my stories, she knew just what I’d cherish.

And that’s pretty much my deep thoughts this Christmas Day.

Question: If you know an author, do you see them in their work? Could you read a passage and guess the author without seeing the author’s name?

I’m betting lots of you could.

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Travel the World (sort of)

Hello, Friends!

Travel isn’t a great option these days. But there is a fun way to explore distant places, and for free. Jetting around the globe for nothing is cool even in the best of times. Just now such an escape is a real treat.

Here’s your ticket…

Radio Garden lets you roam the world. Sort of, anyway. You scroll around the globe and can listen to live radio stations.

Just go to a dot and – ta da! – you can be anywhere…

I have this free app on my desk computer and on my phone. It’s fun to nip in and out of faraway places, catching some unknown-to-me radio host talk about the weather, local happenings, or just hear the kind of music popular on the far side of the world.

Those of you who yearn for Scotland can pop by Inverness, Aberdeen, Skye, Glasgow, or wherever, and hear the soft, oh-so-adored Scottish accents.

As a winter lover, I really enjoy visiting Nova Scotia, Iceland, and Greenland.

I might be snug on the sofa here in Florida, but by scrolling to one little green dot, I’m here…

In my mind, anyway.

It’s a neat getaway right before sleep. Just open the app and ‘drop in’ to some far-flung corner of the planet for a minute to two. Listening in as if dear old Devorgilla wriggled a red plaid shoelace your way, sending you just there where your heart desires.

And now, with reality not so great, a free way to ‘travel’ is fun.

I hope you’ll enjoy zipping about the globe this way. Next time you’re frustrated, weary, or just longing to be somewhere else, you can be.

Sort of, anyway!

Any of you already know about Radio Garden? If not…

Here again is your ticket. To get going, just click here.

Happy travels!

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Holiday Freebie!

Hello, Friends!

Sins of a Highland Devil (Highland Warriors book 1) is FREE thru Dec. 25th!

“A magical tale of redemption, love, and loyalty in glorious mid-fourteenth-century Scotland.” ~ Booklist

If you’re a Scotland-lover and haven’t yet read this one, grab it fast. The price returns to $3.99 after Christmas. You can get your copy by clicking here.

Highland Warriors is a 4-book series and includes a 99c holiday novella, Once Upon a Highland Christmas. I love this series hope you’ll enjoy Sins of a Highland Devil if it’s a new read for you. This year has been rough on so many levels and I wanted to give my readers a ‘holiday escape.’ Hence the freebie. This is a story sure to whisk you away to another time and place, letting you forget the madness of 2020 and lose yourself in a world where passion, adventure, and true love sizzle on the page.

Here’s a mini-blurb…

Romantic Times Top Pick & K.I.S.S Hero Award

Sins of a Highland Warrior

 Highland Warriors Book 1

When the Scottish King commands three feuding clans to resolve their dispute with a trial by combat, proud Highland warrior James Cameron ‘The Devil’ soon learns that he’s fighting for much more than his beloved glen and that his greatest triumph will be winning the love of beautiful Catriona MacDonald, his enemy’s headstrong sister.

~*~

Stand-Alone Read … Full-length Novel … HEA … No Cliffhangers

Please note: I’m not sure if the free book is available worldwide. If it isn’t free in your country, my sincerest apologies.

~*~

Other news…

My holiday newsletter went out last night. It mentions the free book and my reasons for gifting it this year. Likewise I touch on why I started this blog.

If you’d like to read the newsletter, click here.

If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, click here.

Thanks for reading!

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