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


Many of the blogs I love feature a round-up of interesting, beautiful or useful things each blogger discovered. I’ve often wanted to start one of my own lists, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, but was concerned no one would find value in it.

However, I’ve found a number of wonderful things through these lists that have inspired me  and even changed my life. I’m not expecting to do the same for you–I can only hope–but if something has brightened my day or made my life a little better, perhaps others will feel the same. It can’t hurt. My goal is to make this a weekly feature on Monday, the day of the week when most of us desperately need a lift.

What’s Making Me Happy This Week:

Lilacs. Does any flower smell better? It’s a shame they don’t last longer, but while they’re here I’m enjoying every minute. We have both lavender and white varieties in our yard, and a vase of them makes the whole house smell wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Writing Groups. Or any group of like-minded people who can celebrate your accomplishments, sympathize with your challenges, and truly understand where you’re coming from. I have two writers’ meetings this week–one with The Sparkling Werewolves, my official writing group, and one with the always fascinating Catherine Hunter. Both meetings will involve great food, even better conversation and lots of inspiration…what could be better than that? (I know I’ve said the opposite in past blogs, but I clearly wasn’t in the right group.)

Ruche. The last thing I need is more clothes, but this site can usually convince me I need just one more thing. One caveat: if you find something you like, get it now because they sell out fast.

The best site I’ve ever found for clothing, housewares, jewelry and shoes that are simply beautiful with a vintage feel. I love their new Seashells collection.

My Life in France by Julia Child. If you liked Julie & Julia (the book or movie version), do yourself a favor and read the real story by the woman who lived it. Julia Child lived life to the fullest. With her diplomat husband Paul, she lived in France, Germany and Norway–always learning the language and the local cuisine in every country she called home. She struggled for years to get Mastering the Art of French Cooking published, simply because she believed in it. Inspired, I ordered a used copy of her opus and am eagerly anticipating trying one of her recipes at last. I want to see what all the fuss is about, but I’ll be staying away from the aspic. My Life in France is truly inspiring, whether you love traveling, cooking, eating, or simply have a huge impossible goal.

Facebook Auctions. Not every city has them, but they are becoming more and more popular. Instead of risking your life on Kijiji or dickering over every penny at a garage sale, try selling the stuff you don’t want or need anymore on a Facebook auction page. Most of the members are people who have been approved by other members, so it’s a bit safer than Kijiji or Craig’s List. I’ve sold over a hundred items in preparation for the big move to an island, and I’ve never felt threatened. I’ve also made a hundred times more than if I’d gone the garage sale route. Getting money for stuff you don’t need? Sold!

What makes you happy right now?

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


  1. Lisa S.

    What makes me happy?
    Coffee and wine. I don’t have many bad habits, but these ones I enjoy immensely.
    My dog – he’s such a calming presence. How can you go wrong with a big, old, lovable Lab?
    My kids (whom I probably should have put before the dog, but they’re at school and daycare right now so out of sight, out of mind). They drive me nuts, but can be very cute when they want to be.
    My hubs (whom I probably should have put before the dog and kids) – he’s such a great husband, father and makes me feel special every day.
    My friends! Who make me laugh, and are always there for me. Loyal, true, and incredibly funny and charming. My soul pals.
    Music – my breath of life.
    Peace and quiet – when I get the house all…to…myself.
    The backyard swing’s nice, too.

  2. Story Teller

    Thanks for sharing your list, Lisa! It’s those elements, both great and small, which add up to a happy life. 🙂

    Ah, it’s so nice to have a comment. I thank you for that.

  3. Lisa

    I have a daily journal where I keep track of stuff going on and I just recently started adding one sentence a day of things I am grateful for or things that make me happy…here are a few from the last week:
    * When my husband brings me coffee in bed
    * When I get to ride my bike to work
    * That I can still run a sub 60 min 10km
    * Being able to geek out with my oldest son @ Star Trek
    * When my husband sends me texts that make me laugh out loud
    * Music
    * Having an awesome employer

    p.s. I love the smell of lilacs too Holli and I often stop during my run and bury my face into them and inhale….because I know they will be gone before long 🙂

  4. Story Teller

    Wow, that’s a fantastic list, Lisa. You’re a lucky woman!

    I used to do the gratitude journal as well. I think it really helps us remember to live in the moment. I’ve often used it when some part of my life (usually–okay, ALWAYS a job) has been negative. It kept me thankful for the things that were going right.

    Do you have any advice for someone training for their first 10K? Chris signed us up for one in September, and I’m a terrible runner.

  5. Michelle D. Argyle

    This is cool! I’ve been dying to read My Life in France, and you’ve convinced me to pick it up even sooner. 🙂

    Glad you’re sharing happy things!

  6. Story Teller

    I know…when I saw your last blog, I had to laugh because of the timing. We’ve got two emotions covered now! Who’s going to take sad? 😉

    On a serious note, I hope you’re feeling better. I’ve certainly had my own angry moments lately.

    My Life in France is a great book! Thoroughly enjoyable…you won’t regret it. Please let me know what you think.

    And thanks for commenting. Still lonely out here in the blogosphere.


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