Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Hello Dear Readers,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a happy list, mainly because this has been an unhappy time. Since I returned from the retreat, I have not written a word on my book. It’s been a slow time for freelance, too, which means I haven’t had to do anything. This is not a good thing, especially for a person who has so many ambitious goals.

But I’ve decided to dig myself out of this rut (again) and stop feeling sorry for myself. I hope that by facing the things that are making me unhappy head-on, this sense of gloom and doom will lift. And even though it’s been a sad few weeks, there’s still been things to add to the happy list.

1) Location Free Lifestyle: I blame this site for my lack of sleep last night! Richard is a Brit who has spent the last decade traveling and living wherever the heck he wants–while he manages to earn more than enough online to support his lifestyle. Rather than keep his good fortune to himself, he shares tons of tips and information about how you can do it, too. One of the biggest questions I’m asked when people hear my plans to relocate to another country is what are you going to do for work? I was elated to see that there’s a million options, and one of them I plan to put into practice on this blog. Very exciting! I’m sure I’ll be talking to this guy a lot in the next two years.

2) Farmer’s Markets: I love farmer’s markets. There’s always so many amazing things to discover, the people are friendly, the food is (mostly) healthy, and you’re supporting local farmers. What’s not to love? The St. Norbert Farmer’s Market, which is open until late October, is my absolute favorite. It’s fun to see the offerings change through the spring to late fall. Last weekend I went with a new friend, which is great, because everyone loves something different at the market–going with a variety of people exposes you to new things. Who knew that a slushie made from homemade apple juice would taste so good? I scored a huge pink beet that I’m still not entirely sure what to do with, and a gorgeous Amazonite necklace from my friend, talented jewelry designer Cindy Boissonneault of Dziar.

3) Speaking of fresh produce, growing my own has to make the happy list. The season is just about over here, but it’s such a thrill to see your own garden thrive. My African basil and pineapple sage ended up being the size of small trees, and this was the first year I grew fingerling carrots and cranberry beans in pots. Both did very well, and we’re still enjoying raspberries and strawberries–pretty amazing for mid-September! This was my first year planting sweet pea flowers along my fence, and that was definitely a successful experiment as well. I can hardly wait until the shipment of fall bulbs comes. There’s just something about digging in the dirt that makes me happy. I guess it’s the grown-up equivalent of making mud pies.

4) Sherlock: Have you seen this series from the BBC? It’s incredible. I’m not much for television, but I’ll make an exception for this. I can hardly wait until the third season starts! And the funny thing is, I thought I’d hate it–it’s a modern-day version of Sherlock, complete with cell phones and wifi and texting. But they do it so well it completely hooks you. The acting is top-notch, the story-telling is incredible, the pacing is perfect. And there’s something strangely sexy about Benedict Cumberbatch.

5) Friends, both old and new. I can’t get through any dark time without my friends. And I count The Boy in this, since he’s my best friend. One of the happiest moments in a long time was reconnecting with a friend I haven’t spoken to in twenty years. She moved away for school and we just lost touch. Thanks to Facebook, I was able to find her and reconnect. My only regret? That we let so many years go by before we found each other again.

What’s on your happy list? How do you break out of a bad mood? And what would you do with a very large pink beet?

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Rhonda Parrish

    I really should make a happy list…

    More to the point, I’m glad you did, and that you’re finding your way out of an unhappy time and into a promising one 🙂

  2. Story Teller

    A comment! Thanks so much, Rhonda. I haven’t talked to you forever. How are you doing with your writing? With life?

    Feel free to share your happy list here. I’m always looking for more joy-inducing things.

    Take care. 🙂

  3. Cindy

    Thank you for the lovely comment on your necklace purchase! I am so glad you love it.

  4. Holli Moncrieff

    You’re very welcome, Cindy! Your table is bad for my wallet but good for the heart. 🙂

  5. Michelle D. Argyle

    Love Sherlock! Glad you’re doing happy lists again. 🙂

  6. Holli Moncrieff

    Another Sherlock fan! Why did no one tell me about this before?

    Thanks for your comment, Michelle. I’m glad, too. Even though I’m not getting many comments, it seems a lot of people are reading them, so that’s encouraging.


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