Thursday, December 26, 2013

Interview on

Best wishes to all for the holidays!

I'm keeping warm in cyberspace this holiday with interviews. One of them is with posted today at

I'm talking about fantasy romance and my writing process. I'd love to hear from friends.

Monday, December 9, 2013

BLOODSTONE - Free on Amazon Kindle for a limited time!

Just in time for the holidays, BLOODSTONE will be available free on Amazon Kindle from Dec. 10-14. Click on the cover link to download a free copy or go to

An extra goodie:  During the Twenty-five Days of Christmas promotion at The Wild Rose Press, THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE ebook is discounted by 25%, meaning it's on sale for $2.24.  Click on the link below:

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Black Friday Early Bird Specials at The Wild Rose Press

Digital books are 50% off at The Wild Rose Press right now. That means The Prince of Val-Feyridge is only $1.50. If you're a cyber shopper looking for deals for the holidays--or yourself--check out these sale prices at

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blog Interview on Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!

This week I'm being interviewed by the hostess of Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!  Stop by for a peek at my writing process and a unique glimpse into one of the pieces that inspired BLOODSTONE:

Remember the Rafflecopter Giveaway runs through November 30th. There's still time to enter.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blog Appearance

This week I'm the guest of historical romance author Mia Marlowe. We're talking about fairy tales and which ones resonate with us, both in our work and in our lives. Of course, I have a soft spot for Beauty and the Beast (or I wouldn't have written Bloodstone), but that's not the only one inspiring me. Stop by and add your thoughts to the conversation at

I'm giving away an e-copy of The Prince of Val-Feyridge (Kindle or Nook) to one lucky commenter.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Romance Giveaway!

This month I'm participating in my first ever Rafflecopter Giveaway (see links at the left. Michelle Abbott, a UK romance author organized this event.

I'm giving away an e-book copy of my new release on Amazon BLOODSTONE and an e-copy of my previous book THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, both fantasy romances.

I hope you'll join us in checking out the sixteen books offered by 10 authors and entering for a chance to win the book(s) of your choice from now until November 30th.

To read more about the books offered, see Michelle Abbott's website at

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fantasy Romance--What is it?

This week I'm guest blogging at fellow WisRWA author Steven Mitchell's blog on the topic of Fantasy Romance.  I'm putting out my definition and hoping to get some feedback on what readers and writers identify as elements of the category.  Stop over and add your thoughts at

BLOODSTONE the Kindle edition releases today at Amazon! Hooray!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What do you do you do when your hero just won’t tell you his name?

You’re the author, right? You control the story. After all, it’s all coming out of your head, isn’t it?

Now I usually haven’t had much trouble naming my main characters as soon as they appear on the page. Some friends have asked me how I can come up with such unusual names as are necessary in fantasy, but the only challenge I’ve usually had is getting the spelling arranged so the reader can pronounce them in some way close to how I hear the names in my head. Secondary characters have had their names changed on occasion, but most of them spring on the page “fully named” as soon as I conceive of them (buddies Grodar and Morys, for instance from THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, and Rees and Pumble from my upcoming release BLOODSTONE).

But main characters—the author should know their names before she begins to write the first draft.

Tell that to my hero of BLOODSTONE.

He insisted on being “the man” for the first third of the book—or the Shadow Man, as he’s known to others—before I decided I had to figure out what he wasn’t telling me. Turns out he had a very good reason for withholding his true identity. He was in serious denial and had almost forgotten who he used to be.


Once another character unlocked his memories in a series of flashbacks, I knew who he was and how he came to be the Shadow Man. And I finally got a name. Not to mention a full sense of how the heroine would both challenge and complete him.

I don’t recommend diving into writing a story without a name for a main character. A well-chosen name tells both the writer and the reader a great deal about that person. The writer has a mental, emotional, and sometimes physical guide to that character and how he/she might react and what might motivate him/her. The reader forms an instant impression to that character. For instance, who didn’t correctly size up J.K. Rowling’s Severus Snape or Draco Malfoy as soon as either of them appeared on the page? Names are powerful or we writers wouldn’t invest so much effort in choosing the right one.

Still, if a character refuses to "play nice," perhaps he or she is telling you something and you need to dig deeper.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BLOODSTONE hits the e-shelves on October 28th!

What if looking at the face of the man you loved meant death?
Years ago, warrior Durren Drakkonwehr was cursed by a mage. Now feared and reviled as the Shadow Man, he keeps to himself, only going to town to trade rare bloodstones—petrified dragon’s blood—for supplies. Though he hides his face, he can’t hide his heart from the woman who haunts his dreams…
Needing bloodstones for a jewelry commission, Mirianna and her father journey across the dreaded Wehrland where the beast-men roam. When their party is attacked, only the Shadow Man can save them. Strangely drawn to him, Mirianna offers herself in return for her father’s rescue.
Living in the ruined fortress with the Shadow Man, Mirianna slowly realizes that a flesh-and-blood man, not a fiend hides there in hoods and darkness. But are love and courage enough to lift the curse and restore the man?
BLOODSTONE, my Beauty-and-the-Beast-type fantasy romance debuts as an Amazon Kindle Select title on October 28th. I hope you'll join me for an awesome release!
Read on for an excerpt:

What about us? What do we do?”

            Only the hood rotated, cocking with exaggerated deliberation. “Why, you die, old man.”

            Her father blanched. His grip on Mirianna’s arms faltered.

            She saw the Shadow Man turn, saw the muscles of his thighs bunch as he prepared to leap down the hillside, saw, in the corner of her eye, shapes gathering along the tree line below, horrible shapes she’d seen only hours before rushing at her from a darkened clearing. With a shudder, she broke from her father’s grasp.

            “Please!” She reached out to the black sleeve. “Help us!”

            He recoiled at her touch like one snake-bitten. The sudden, sharp focus of his regard staggered her, but she backed no more than a step. No matter how he terrified her, he’d helped her once. She’d been led to him again, and not, her instincts told her, without reason.

            “Please,” she repeated. “Help us. I—we’ll do anything.”


            His voice was a whisper that caressed flesh. Mirianna’s stomach quivered. Her breasts tingled. Her mouth grew even drier. Without thinking, she slid her tongue along her lips. Vaguely, she wondered what she’d done. And why time seemed suspended, as if everyone but she and the Shadow Man had been cast in stone and all sound arrested. All sound except the taut, guttural repeat of his question.

Monday, September 2, 2013

And now for something completely different...

I enjoy baking, and I enjoy fairy tales, and I especially enjoy romance. What about combining all three--just for fun?

Recipe for a Fairy Tale
Take one orphan teenager
Add a wicked stepmother
Toss in two cruel step-sisters
Combine with beatings and press under a heavy work load
Let stand several years

Prepare one handsome prince in need of a wife
Arrange a fancy dress ball
Combine with a dash of pomp, a teaspoon of circumstance, and one full tablespoon of glitz

Measure one cup of fairy godmother and sift with a liberal helping of magic
Add to previously battered orphan

Stir in prepared prince and fancy dress ball
Caution:  Some lumps will remain

At midnight separate two glass slippers
Add one to princely mix
Reserve one for topping

Bake several days in despair and confusion

Topping:  Combine three-fourths cup of proclamation and reserved glass slipper
Sprinkle liberally over all
Dust with happiness

Serves two

That's my recipe. How about yours? What's your favorite fairy tale recipe?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thank you and a Giveaway!

I want to thank everyone who voted for the cover art for BLOODSTONE in the Affaire de Coeur Magazine Cover Art Contest.  There were 22 entries and BLOODSTONE took a respectable 10th among some fierce competition.  This was my first entry in a cover art contest, so I had no real idea what to expect.  I just know I really like my book's cover.  The book is in production galleys now, so I hope to have a release date soon (fingers crossed!).

In anticipation of BLOODSTONE's upcoming release, I decided to try a Goodreads Giveaway to see how that works.  It took me more than 30 minutes to figure out what to upload, but...success!  Click on the widget to the right if you'd like to enter to win a free copy of the paperback version of THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

It’s here! The cover art for BLOODSTONE, my upcoming release from The Wild Rose Press.

Waiting for a cover is like waiting for the birth of a baby. Will it be a boy or girl? Will it take after the pretty side of the family or the one with ‘character’? The author fills out a form describing the hero and heroine, the setting, mood, and any objects important to the plot. Then the artist does what he or she does best, marketing weighs in and—voila!—a cover is born. And the author has to live with it.
I was fortunate enough to have Rae Monet, the same cover artist for THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, do this cover. I threw a challenge at her with this beauty-and-the-beast story, but she came through admirably. It’s a beautiful baby, don’t you think?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Royal Baby and Goodreads

I admit it—I’m a William and Kate fan, and I was keeping track of the royal baby watch. I thought Diana brought some much needed good looks into the Windsor bloodline, and I’m rooting for William and Kate to have the kind of marriage Cinderella dreamers hope for them.

But as for the baby’s name—I’ve recently seen THE KING’S SPEECH (great movie, by the way), and I understand the significance of George in the name of the king as well as the patron saint of England, but still…I guess it’s a more popular name in Britain than here.
Maybe they’ll call him Alex in daily life; it’s got to be better than Georgie. What do you think?

On another note, Goodreads recently emailed to tell me I’ve made their top one percent of reviewers. My first reaction was—Really? I’ve written reviews of over 180 books, which doesn’t seem to me to be a huge number, but okay.
I joined Goodreads because even though I’m a writer, I’m a reader first and I love books. Their recommendations have occasionally appealed to me and I’ve discovered some new authors that way. Plus, my Goodreads friends tip me off to new authors or established authors I think I should try. (That’s what got me into Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books. A number of my friends were reading them.)
How about you? If you use Goodreads, what do you use it for? What treasures have you discovered as a result? Any tips or recommendations?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Layering a Scene

When I write, I have a basic idea of a scene, and then I make multiple passes over it to add details and significance. The whole process may take days—or weeks—until I’m satisfied. I call this process “layering” and it’s something I’d like to share today.

Plot, or what happens, is the basis for a scene. If nothing happens relative to the overall plot, the scene should be cut. But just recording what happens isn’t enough to make a scene memorable or create enough of a hook to keep the reader involved. To do that a writer needs to put flesh on the bare bones of the plot. That requires using these tools in the writer’s toolbox: the five senses, the character’s emotions, elements of conflict, and symbolism (if possible).

Consider the following bit of plot:

She paused at the foot of the stairs. The doors above were open. Swallowing, she went in.

Let’s flesh this out first by adding the five senses with time and place:
  • Who? Name the character.
  • Where exactly is she?
  • When? What’s the time of day? Day of the week? Year? Season?
  • What does she see? Texture, color, temperature? Objects?
  • What does she smell? Hear? Dialogue?
  • Are there others—people, animals—in this scene?
 Now add the character’s emotions:
  • How does she feel about being in this place?
 Bring in elements of the conflict, either main or contributing:
  • Why is she here?
  • What’s at stake? (story question)
 Enhance symbolism, if possible:
  • Stairs can represent choices and decisions. A character can go up to something new, or down into something bad, or refuse to participate and remain aloof.
·         Are these stairs central to some particular conflict or memory?

Layering means to go through your scene as often as necessary to add pieces of “flesh” to it. From the bare bones you can construct something meaningful and evocative that also advances your plot, reveals character, creates conflict, and—even—suggests symbolism.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Jennifer Bryant halted at the foot of the courthouse stairs.
Twenty-four granite steps, two flights of twelve with a six-foot wide landing in between, stretched toward the colonnaded portico above. As a child she’d raced up these steps and dashed from end to end amid three-story high pillars only to stand panting in the middle at the precise spot where the boulevard ran straight to the steps.
“All roads lead to Rome,” her grade school teacher had told her. McKintock County wasn’t Rome, but to her fourth-grade self, that spot up there had been the center of the universe.
All around her, a steady stream of people flowed upward, not a single one pausing at that special spot. Men clad in suits, ties flapping, women dressed in conservative brown, black and tan, all carrying briefcases in one hand and cups of varying descriptions in the other. The strong smell of fresh coffee wafted in their wakes.
She breathed the aroma, and wished for the third time in as many minutes she’d stopped at Coffee Joe’s for a brew of her own. Having something to cling to just might galvanize her into taking that first step.
When had the simple act of climbing these steps, passing under those Doric columns and entering her workplace of the last six years become so daunting?

From three starter sentences, we’ve expanded to a name, particular place, sights, smell, a memory, emotion, and a story question.

Now I invite you to share. What’s your process for fleshing out a scene? How do you make your plot come alive?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why Writers Need to Go to Conferences

I’ve recently returned from my RWA chapter’s annual conference, and while I wondered several times in the previous six months whether I should spend the money and go, I’m glad I decided to attend.

First, no one understands writers like other writers. Writing is a lonely vocation by its very nature. It involves delving into one’s imagination for long periods of introspection which, to most of the members of the human race, looks like daydreaming. If you can’t show them ‘pages,’ they don’t think you’ve had a productive day even if you’ve finally gotten a handle on your main character’s deepest secret. Other writers get that. And they’re willing to talk to you about it. For a whole weekend.

And no one understands a romance writer like another romance writer. Let’s face it: not all writers think alike or value the same elements in their writing. For instance, poets are a whole other breed from fiction writers. And non-fiction writers, while their narratives share some of the same elements as those of fiction writers, their criteria for publication are entirely different. Finally, there’s a reason for genres in fiction—not all genres value the same elements in the same way. So romance writers regularly need to communicate with other romance writers, if only to maintain hope that what they’re doing is valued by others.

Put faces to names. Today’s writer spends a lot of time online, and it’s nice at a conference to finally put a face to the name of the person who’s given you a spot-on critique or a particularly useful piece of advice.

Share a ride, share expenses, share meals. Everybody needs friends, but most of our long-term friends or work friends aren’t writers, so when we get stuck at the one-third point of our current story, they aren’t the people we need to call for help. Going to a conference and sharing the experience with writer friends from your area or from your online community can help form or cement those relationships so you know who to call upon when the writing gets rough.

Gain new knowledge and perspectives on craft, meet editors and agents. Those are the points of attending a conference, and we know we’re going to get that new information, do that networking, but I put this last because while it’s the stated reason we give our families, it’s not necessarily the most important or longest lasting reward.
Next time a conference opportunity comes up and you’re considering the cost vs. the benefit of going, consider the intangibles. There’s nothing like recharging your emotional batteries among like-minded people.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Auto-correct is NOT your friend

I’ve been reading a wide variety of published works and unpublished drafts. As we writers have adapted to technology that lets us type and edit electronically, programs have evolved to help us. Being a writer of fantasy romance with a tendency to make up names for people and places, it’s a given that I tend to overload the spell-check function on my computer. Nonetheless, I do find the program useful to help me spell a word I’m not sure about before digging out the trusty paper dictionary.

What I find both troubling and occasionally useful is the auto-correct function. As I’m typing, I appreciate it automatically capitalizing the first word in my sentences, for instance. However, I have to wonder who programmed some of the choices that pop up over and over in material I’ve read.

For instance, in what universe or language (other than teen-speak) does defiantly occur more frequently than definitely? I am constantly seeing this mistaken choice in material that isn’t even fiction, where defiantly might justifiably occur with some frequency. Apparently, auto-correct incorrectly interpreted what the writer wanted to spell—or jumped in too soon—and the author didn’t bother to proofread or notice the mistaken usage.

Next, what causes costumer to come up more frequently than customer? I hardly believe costume dressers are more common than customers in any retail establishment, yet auto-correct evidently believes this to be true.

Another commonly mistake I’ve unfortunately found in suspense novels is the use of grizzly for grisly. Unless a bear caused the murder, the scene of the crime is a grisly one.

What we as authors need to do is to be aware that auto-correct is sometimes not doing us any favors. Proofread, please.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Second Book Milestone

Lots of us worry we’re just a one-book wonder, especially if it took years to crack the publishing bubble with our first book. In most cases, that’s the book we sent to contests and polished until it shone with vigorous vocabulary and sharp characterization and cogent plotting. Then, once it was accepted for publication and we held our “baby” in our hands (insert a chorus of hallelujahs here), we finally set it down and the glow faded and we wondered, “What the heck do I do now?”

Well, if we were the busy, practicing writer we should always be, we had a second story. But you know, that one may not be as polished, having not suffered (or enjoyed) such a long gestation period. But we’ve got to put it out there because now we’re “published” and we have to follow up with another.

You know, this doesn’t get any easier. But if one book gave us legitimacy in the eyes of our non-writing extended family, two books says we’re serious about this “hobby.”

I’m pleased to say I’ve hit the second book milestone with a contract for my beauty-and-the-beast fantasy romance “BLOODSTONE.” So I’m celebrating tonight, and like Scarlet O’Hara, I’ll worry about the third book milestone “tomorrow.”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Confessions of a Fantasy Romance Author

That’s the headline for my guest appearance and giveaway at my fellow WisRWA member Mary Hughes’ blog this week. Drop in starting on Tuesday, Feb. 26, for some revelations about where THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE came from (besides my fertile imagination), read an excerpt, and leave a comment by March 1st for a chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some Friendly Advice for Those Who Are Entering Writing Contests

I’ve judged WisRWA’s Fab Five and RWA’s Golden Heart multiple times, and I’ve learned a lot from doing so—sometimes what I SHOULD be doing, but more often what NOT to do in my writing.

The first and obvious piece of advice should be this: Read and follow the rules.

Now I know entrants are at various stages in their writing careers and have varied knowledge of the conventions of writing, but here are some items to pay attention to fixing BEFORE you submit because if you attend to these issues first, you give your judges a better chance to focus on your story rather than on trying to figure out what is on the page. And what you really want them to judge is the story and characters.


Observe in published novels how dialogue is broken into paragraphs. Put the character’s spoken words in the same paragraph as his/her actions. Readers will be better able to follow who said what if you do this. And following who said what helps the reader see the story without getting lost.

He/She/They used too frequently without identifying who he/she/they might be.

If two male characters are talking, be sure to tag each one clearly with a name or descriptive title because if “he” appears multiple times in a row, you (the author) may be clear as to which “he” is which because you are visualizing the scene in your head, but the reader has most likely lost track. (The same goes for female characters and any time you have more than two characters in a scene.)

The unreferenced “it”

This useful little word can also be a source of major confusion if “it” is not placed close enough to the thing “it” is replacing or standing in for. We, the writer, know exactly what we mean. But readers can’t see inside our heads, so it’s our job to replace all the vague words in our text with clear ones.

When we enter contests, it’s partly because we want to be read, to connect with an audience. We want the judge to assess our story, our characters, our scene setting, our hook, and give us feedback on the story as a whole. The last thing we want to do is interfere with the judge’s ability to see those aspects of our work. My best advice is to pay attention to these few items when you polish that entry.
What about you? What advice would you add?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Price Reduction…and Contests

Good news!  My publisher has lowered the e-book price for books more than a year old. That means that across the board from Amazon to Barnes and Noble to The Wild Rose Press, THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE is now $2.99 in any electronic version. I’m hoping the new lower price will tempt readers to give it a try. Please pass the news on to your friends.

Now to contests. The Fab Five is open for entrants until the end of February. Sponsored by WisRWA, Wisconsin’s chapter of RWA, the contest focuses on the first 2,500 words of a manuscript, those crucial opening pages that will either hook an editor or agent or turn them off. If you want to polish your opening pages before sending them off to the “big time,” this contest offers trained judges, a low entry fee, and editor/agent final judges. To check out the rules, categories, and final judges, visit and click on the Contest tab.

THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE hit the finals in Fab Five, one of the first contests I entered. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was lucky to place, but I learned a lot from the feedback. And what I learned made the story better—especially since I tried several different openings over the various drafts and other contests I entered.
Even if you don’t win or place, taking that step to put your work out there for readers you don’t know and will never see is necessary to getting up the nerve to submit to editors and agents. You can’t sell if you don’t submit.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Interview Jitters

As an author, sooner or later you have to give an interview. Now I’ve done e-mail interviews for blogs, and I’ve done an interview with the newspaper at a book signing event, and I’ve been part of author panels at events, but I’d never done a televised interview. To say I was nervous was an understatement.

Like most authors I know, I’m a shy, reserved person, preferring to hang around the fringes of a group and watch rather than be the center of attention. Unless, that is, I know everyone around me and/or the topic of discussion is something I know pretty well. Still, I’m not built for public appearances. That’s why I write. Alone. Listening to the voice in my head, not the one coming out of my mouth, which always sounds strange to me when it’s recorded.

When the library’s new volunteer coordinator decided to pursue local authors to give talks, she found me. I agreed to do a presentation at the library, but I was reluctant to do an interview for the local cable access channel. I’d heard one of the “professional” announcers do interviews and knew he wouldn’t be sympathetic to a romance author. So I said no and explained my reasons. She told me she would be doing the interview and she’d provide me the questions ahead of time.

Okay, I said, wondering if I had just doomed myself.

Well, I had a week—in between a gazillion other things—to prepare for 20 minutes of airtime. Being a person who knows she has to be prepared in order to sound articulate, I drafted a 7-page, double-spaced set of answers, including a reading from the book.

Fortunately, they were going to prerecord the show, so any glitches could be edited out. Of course, a few days before the taping my DH gave me his cold. So I went, sniffling and with a scratchy throat, through about an inch of steadily falling snow, to the studio, armed with lozenges and my bottle of water.

The staff and the library coordinator immediately put me at ease. The interview went off without a hitch, and I used most of my material, including some statistics on the romance fiction market from ROMANCE WRITERS REPORT. (I wanted to stress the wide reach of romance.) In the course of doing this interview I learned a few things:

#1 Actors aren’t kidding when they say those studio lights are hot!

#2 My writing “fit my mouth” because the excerpt was remarkably easy to read.

#3 As long as I don’t have to do it live, I think I can do this.
What about you? How have you handled the interview jitters?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Reader’s Perspective on Self-Published & Professionally Published E-Books

I’ve been reading a lot of e-books lately, both self-published and professionally published, and a number of these were novellas. While the stories were all engrossing and well-constructed, there were some issues in editing.

Now, I’m a stickler for correct usage and spelling, so when I spot a misused word, it bothers me because catching those mistakes is the editor’s job, whether that editor is hired by the author or by the publisher.

Not all authors are good at spelling even though they are darn good at story-telling. Still, there are usage guides available in print and online to help authors catch those common errors and learn to avoid them. Even then, some mistakes will inevitably slip by. That’s where the editor/proofreader should provide the safety net. I expect to find occasional errors in self-published work, especially that for which the author didn’t hire an editor or proofreader, but one would think the professional publishers would hire editors who keep the guides handy on their desks/computer work stations. Not all of them apparently do because in addition to common misspellings like to for too and alter for altar, I’ve seen sentences with words missing and characters’ names that changed spelling from page to page.

I’ve also seen formatting issues, for instance blank lines between paragraphs. Now this does make for faster page turns, but fewer words on the screen makes me feel somewhat cheated, as if the novella somehow has fewer words overall than promised. That’s probably not true, but marketing is as much about perception as reality.

Another odd situation in one professionally published novella was the fact the title story actually comprised only 80% of the book (according to my Kindle’s book progress indicator). The remaining 20% was promo pages for at least five additional works offered by the publisher. Now, I fully expect publishers to put sample pages at the back of books, and I sometimes am intrigued enough to look for the upcoming book, but 20% of the book devoted to promo seemed a bit over the top. Plus, I thought I still had more story left, according to the meter.

None of these little peculiarities caused me to stop reading (other than to comment to my DH about a word misuse) or to enjoy the actual story any less. All of these authors told page-turning stories, but these little “blips” do pull the reader out of the story even if for a fraction of a second.
If you’ve had experiences with this sort of thing, please share. What’s come to your attention lately?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Refrigerator Adjustments—Don’t Bump Your Head and Hang onto the Rag!

We’ve had our new refrigerator for a month, and I’ve discovered on the drawback side that it has one fewer shelf and only two produce drawers instead of the three the old one had. I’m still trying to figure out the best spacing for the shelves. On the plus side, it has much more door shelf space and the shelves in the body are deeper. I can put much more in the door, but I have a hard time finding space for bags of salad and stalks of celery. But these are the adjustments one expects with a new model. However, there are some unexpected adjustments (lessons) too.

Lesson #1: Don’t bump your head.

The outer door handles stick out farther, and we’ve both bumped our heads and/or shoulders on the freezer door while trying to put in or take out things from the fridge section.

Lesson #2: Hold onto the rag when dusting!

My DH insists on dusting/vacuuming the space between the fridge and the cabinet. This new fridge fits tighter to the cabinet and there’s no more than an inch of space there, but he insisted on cleaning there as usual. I told him, “Use a rag draped over a yardstick, and hang onto the rag.”

My DH heard the first part but not the second, so when I came home, he had the rag stuck way back in the narrow space and was prepared to pull out the fridge to remove it. Now the last thing I wanted to do at 7 p.m. was pull out a fridge that fit perfectly where it was, so I applied my creative problem-solving skills, opened a wire coat hanger, shaped it into a stick with a hook on the end, and pulled out the rag.

While my solution may have looked brilliant, I assured him it was born of experience, having “lost a rag” myself more than once. Which leads me to the final lesson…

Lesson #3: If someone wants to clean, let him.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful new year!