Auntie M has been on a roller coaster ride of sorts, all good.

First, there was the Screw Iowa week in Fraser, Colorado.  These four women I meet with yearly are some of the most talented writers I know, and as a group, we’ve developed a cohesive critique method that sustains us all year long.  We actually go through entire novels with line edits before meeting, then go over the manuscript, giving the author plot ideas, suggestions for tightening and improving character and voice.  We also work in a bit o’down time, this year hitting a hot springs one day and ride to the top of a mountain on ski lift on another.  You can meet the gals and read about our book and our workshop method on our new website: (where you will also learn how we came by our name!)

When I flew into RDU a week ago Saturday, I was meet not just by Doc but my the Minnesota Graff’s.  Our eldest son, his wife and their four children like to spend this week with us as the river out front is “as warm as a bathtub,” according to the 5 yr old.  We spent three days at the Outer Banks as the Grands all love the ocean, and the rest of the week here at the river, capping it with a community pig picking on the 4th of July.

Uncle Sean, the firefighter/paramedic in the family, got the two older Grands (The Bigs) on his fire truck for the morning parade through the town of Belhaven.  The only catch here was that an adult had to accompany them, so. . .you guessed it–Auntie M had to ride, too.  The Bigs had a great time throwing out candy to the people along the street.  The Littles watched the parade from the porch at my mom’s house in town, convenient to all as she lives on Main St.  (Yes, Main St. and there is only one stoplight in town).

They have all gone home now, and after 14 loads of wash, mostly towels and sheets from the beach and from here, I’m caught up, the left-behind nuk has been rescued from under the sofa, and one errant piece of bubble gum that missed the wastebasket scraped off the floor.  The seems strange. . .oh, I know what it is: quiet.

Just kidding: we love all four to death, and their mom and dad, too.  The littlest Little is 18 mos and he calls Doc “Gumpa”–would shriek when we came into a room and saw Doc, run over and throw his arms around Doc’s legs and hug him.  How could you not love watching that???  The others are, or course, all very smart, well-behaved, talented, althletic great kids.  We are very fortunate.

Glad to be back online,

Cheers to all~