home     books     excerpts     bio     contact     order     blog



9:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 05, 2007


So November has come and gone and now we prepare for Christmas. Can you believe it…. I’ve not only finished my shopping, but today, I completed my wrapping. Woo—eee!!!


I edited another outstanding book, a touching realistic romance EVAN’S CASTLE, by Tracy Fabre. She’s an outstanding writer and has created characters we care about, laugh with, and shed a tear for. And I worked extremely hard on my own editing as well. Count the days, folks. Less than three months till release date of TALES OUT OF SCHOOL, February 29.


Check out the great review Luke Reynolds wrote for me on my “Books” page. Like me, he’s an educator and an author.


It’s getting cold around these parts (South of Boston), in the twenty-degree range all week. Ugh! It’s making it tough for me to get out to walk, so I’m becoming too sedentary. Tomorrow, I’ll go out to the bogs for sure. The cranberry harvest was outstanding with color, accompanied by the squawk of Canadian geese making their annual migration.


And the Pats are 12-0. Only one thing better….   ~S~



5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Oh my, what a day! The Red Sox World Series Rolling Rally on DuckBoats through the city of Boston was a sight to behold. It was beautiful to see the antiquity of Trinity Church in the foreground and the John Hancock tower in the background. And it was such a glorious day, 60° and full sun, truly “October’s Bright Blue Weather.” (Helen Hunt Jackson) Our heroes waved, smiled, and danced to the crowd’s delight. You’ll love the Boston atmosphere in TALES OUT OF SCHOOL, coming from StoneGarden on February 29, 2008.


And we have the Pats, too. Life is Good.    ~S~



8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 4, 2007


I’m happy to report the Red Sox have started their postseason play properly with a 4-0 win over the Angels. WooEee!!! And the Pats, they are in their own world with wins in all four of their games so far. We’re in sports heaven here in New England. There’s something wrong with the foliage, though. A pest ate a considerable amount of leaves this summer, seriously devastating quite a bit of greenery. And what’s left, is just not as vibrant as we expect. We visited Kevin in Vermont last weekend and hiked Mt. Pisgah. The view overlooking Lake Willoughby was magnificent, the Lucerne of New England. The mountains rise up all around the lake, into peaks near and far in all directions. The weather was warmer than it had been in the middle of the summer.


Enjoy the long weekend. Columbus certainly did.  ~S~



9:00 a.m. Friday, August 31, 2007


So, here it is, the last day of August. It’s been a lovely summer here in New England, not too, too hot, a tolerable number of humid days (I wouldn’t have wanted any more). I’ve been involved with a most interesting project—editing an epic fantasy STARSIGHT, by Minnette Meador. Let me begin by saying I have never been attracted to this genre, as I’ve always been grounded in reality and never had time for frivolity. But STARSIGHT is not frivolous… the characters are richly human, and their struggle between good and evil ranks with the most creative in literature. I got used to idea of superpowers real quick and now have a magic wand on my wish list. Minnette’s use of singing to invoke “the power” touched my soul and added a unique component of beautiful sound to the reading. I never thought I’d feel comfortable living on a mystical planet in an indefinite time period, but her descriptions not only took me there, they kept me there… like Homer’s Sirens. Look for her books coming in 2008 from StoneGarden.net Publishing. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Mimi through her writing and our many emails. It’s been a true labor of love, and far more interesting than picking up a book in the supermarket.


Have a great Labor Day Weekend; it’s designed for relaxation and rest. Try not to overdo it.     ~S~



7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Today my husband and I celebrated our 36th anniversary. We took our bikes down the Cape and rode twenty miles starting in Sandwich, then traveling the length of the Cape Cod Canal, and winding around Mashnee Island. The wind blew us back. Afterwards, we dined on two-pound, hard shell North Atlantic lobsters from our favorite lobster pound. The weather was perfect, so we capped off our meal with ice cream that was 16% butterfat. It was totally decadent.


And the Red Sox still lead the Yankees by 5 games. Go Sox!!!         ~S~



8:00 p.m. Sunday, July 8, 2007


The wedding was wonderful… three days of celebration. I now have a lovely daughter-in-law and see my son happier than he has ever been. Months of planning paid off in a big way; everything was simply perfect. Even my mother, who’s 86 years old, made the effort to travel 250 miles to northern Vermont to congratulate Kevin. My son, Scott, was the best man—his toast ranks with the finest in speech-making history. He spoke about Kevin’s travels with AmeriCorps to New Hampshire, Florida, Montana, then back East to Vermont. He quoted Mark Twain, “In every rightly constructed boy there is the raging desire to hunt for treasure.” Scott said Kevin went in search of treasure and found it in Maygan. So true. Tonight, the Howard family feels richly blessed.      ~S~



8:08 a.m. Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I have shopped…. and dropped…. To say I am whipped is an understatement. I engaged in a six-day, non-stop mission to find an outfit for Kevin’s wedding. I could be finished. I chose a lovely mauve two-piece dress from Jones of New York. The top is lace with a little ruffle cap sleeve and the skirt is a peachskin crepe over taffeta. No hemming required!!! I bought a lovely pair of Aigner shoes that looked great with the dress and a Liz Claiborne purse that also looked great with the dress, but…… the shoes and bag did not look good together. So I shopped some more, went online, and finally ended up at a bridal shop to have shoes and bag dyed to match. They had a lovely pair of shoes, absolutely perfect for me, but they turned out to be flower girl shoes and only went up to Size 4. Anyway, the consultant there helped me, and I ended up keeping the shoes from Macy’s and getting a custom dyed handbag from the bridal shop. The outfit looks wonderful, and also has a matching one-button sweater in case it gets chilly later in the day. I’m all set, except I’d prefer that the purse have a shoulder strap, so I may pay a visit to the fabric/craft store to see if there’s some lacy ribbon I could add. I have a lovely rose quartz necklace I’d be willing to sew on, but it’s not quite long enough.


I actually tried on a tummy cincher, and it made me look excellent. I would have bought it, if it had a zipper, but instead there were about thirty hooks and eyes to fasten. I thought that was very impractical. I also checked into a Wonderbra. Oh my….. I never, ever looked like that. Considering I’m the mother of the groom, I felt that look was a bit inappropriate. But I realized that between the tummy cincher and the Wonderbra, it’s possible to shape your body to look entirely different than it really is.


Not everyone has returned his response card for the wedding and they were due back June 7. What do you think of that?




9:02 a.m.   Thursday, June 7, 2007


How’s this? I told you I’d be better about posting.

Last night I had the most enjoyable evening at a party with many of my colleagues from way back. It was so good to see them and share a few laughs about our many years together in education. Two of my very dearest friends were shocked to hear that I have not yet bought an outfit for Kevin’s wedding. They offered to take me shopping, insisting that I go to Saks, Lord & Taylor, or Bloomingdales. One was a little appalled that I would consider buying something off the rack. Well, you see, it’s like this. The wedding is going to be outdoors, at the residence of the bride’s grandmother, so I really don’t think a “mother of the groom” dress will work in this case. I have to go to Boston today anyway, so I may stop to look around on my way home. You never know I may get lucky.

I’d like to thank all of you who wished me well last night. And I wish the same for you, in all of your wonderful retirement travels and endeavors. I love you all…. We should do that more often.    ~S~



9:11 a.m.   Tuesday, June 5, 2007


A few people have chastised me for not blogging more frequently, so I’ve promised to be better. This time my excuse for not writing is that I’ve been too busy. My younger son, Kevin, is getting married on July 7, so there have been many preparations and activities. His lovely fiancée, Maygan, wanted a little cap sleeve on her gown, and the bridal salon seamstress said she could do it (before she bought the dress). But when it was delivered, all agreed only a strap could be made. Maygan was quite down in the dumps, so…… I offered to try to do something.


I made two practice samples to show her what I thought I could do, a flowing gathered sleeve cascading down the top of her arm. We chose a beautiful satin fabric (she really loved it) and came home to work our little fingers off. But when we put that material next to her dress…… it was a different color white. Oh……. (expletive deleted). Then a brainstorm. She had some extra chiffon from which they made the strap, and we overlapped it on the satin. Was it ever elegant. My mother had called me to watch the classic movie It Happened One Night, in which Claudette Colbert wore “one of the most exquisite wedding gowns in Hollywood filmmaking history.” Said she, “Make the sleeves like that.” So that’s what I tried to do, and they came out beautiful. The result far exceeded my sewing skills; this was surely a case of Divine Intervention. And Maygan and I had an excellent bonding experience. She’s very happy and she deserves it, as she is a lovely sweet young woman. Kevin is lucky to have found her.


Then this past weekend we went up to the gorgeous Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, where the Green Mountains roll one over the other, for Maygan’s shower. I have so enjoyed getting to know her. She is always calm and cooperative—never shows any attitude or temper. I really like her. 07/07/07 is the most popular wedding date in decades. I read that 20,000 couples plan to marry that weekend.


Let me catch you up on Memorial Day weekend. I had planned to blog then, but our older son, Scott, came to visit and we had a great time walking all around Plymouth, Massachusetts, about ten miles from here: touring the Mayflower, the Grist Mill, Plymouth Rock and then sitting down to a fine seafood dinner overlooking Plymouth Harbor.


Life is good.    ~S~   



11:51 a.m.   Sunday, May 13, 2007


Good Morning, everyone. The sun shines brightly in New England today… totally glorious. And Happy Mother’s Day to all. I celebrated in Northampton, Massachusetts with my son, Scott, who marked his 27th birthday yesterday. We had the best baby back ribs at Holy Smokes, a converted church, followed by a walk up Sugarloaf Mountain (the small hill in Sunderland, Massachusetts, not to be confused with the big ski resort in Maine). My ribs were smoked with applewood and black cherry sauce; my husband, Lee, chose the chipotle sauce and we shared. Ohhhhhhhh.......were they ever good. Scott taped his Mother’s Day radio show, chatting it up a bit with his parents on air. Later, we walked downtown for pastry and coffee at LaFiorentina. I had a rum custard fruit éclair, Lee the chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse. We shared. Ohhhhhh…… were they ever good.     

I am so psyched……. StoneGarden gave me the release date for TALES OUT OF SCHOOL. Mark your calendars…… February 29, 2008. Is that cool or what? Is that supposed to be a good luck day? It’s the fifth Friday in February. The last time that happened was 1980, the year Scott was born, so I think that’s pretty darn cool. In the meantime I have to do a bunch of formatting and editing, which I really love anyway.

I’ll try to be a little better about posting more frequently. I’ve been into the http://www.stonegarden.net forums, so if you’d like to blog with other authors, you can check out that site. The publisher is a great guy, and seems to know quite well how to handle us nutty writers.

Peace and love.   ~S~


8:39 a.m.  February 14, 2007

So, it’s been more than two months since I’ve posted. I was asked, “Is that because you’re too busy, or so not busy there’s nothing to post.” The short answer—both. First it was the holidays, then we went to Florida, and we’ve been wallpapering the upstairs. And then there’s my sick mother who requires considerable attention. I didn’t think you’d want to hear about that stuff. I spent a great deal of time trying to find an agent and then…. StoneGarden Books sent me “the letter,” the one that said, “We think TALES OUT OF SCHOOL would be a wonderful match for our readership.” My heart ka-thumped for two days while I researched them. We went out for Chinese food to think. And of all things, my fortune cookie said, “Take advantage of your next opportunity.” So I did it—I signed with StoneGarden and was welcomed warmly, by the Publisher himself, as well as the entire family of authors. Editing and production will take a year, but I expect to be in the 2008 catalog. I am psyched.... I plan to sell a million books, so tell your friends about this site and StoneGardenBooks.com

Happy Valentine’s Day. Tell all you love how much you care for them.   ~S~


8:08 p.m.  November 21, 2006

I fixed my links—no more bugs in the website! That’s what getting up at 6 a.m. will do for you. Happy Thanksgiving.  ~S~


High Noon, November 20, 2006

My first blog entry—so exciting. In fact, everything about TALES OUT OF SCHOOL has been enormously exciting for more than two years now, which is the answer to the very first question I was asked—How long did it take me to write TALES OUT OF SCHOOL. It’s been an odyssey. The first manuscript was five hundred plus pages written in present tense with a very interior point of view. Then I took a writing class. (One would normally take the class first and then write the book, but I didn’t know how much I didn’t know, and anyway, that’s just not the way it happened.) So after the first writing workshop, I revised into the past tense. Then, I read some books on writing. (One would normally read the texts first, but that’s not the way it happened.) So after reading the books on writing, I revised again.... into third person. Then, I read some books by bestselling authors and got some new ideas—namely more interesting settings...... hence, the Boston revision. And Voila! Two years passed. Then I needed a website. So back to school and a Web Design class. The poor teacher had to listen to my expletives every Wednesday night for six weeks, interspersed with, “I will never be able to do this.” Until I finally got it...... and my site almost works flawlessly. But alas, it has bugs, and try as hard as I might, I cannot get rid of them. But it’s Thanksgiving week, and I have preparations to attend to, so my site will have to wait. My deepest love and thanks to all who encouraged me..... I’m quite certain they know who they are.    ~S~

2008 Blog Archive


home     books     excerpts     bio     contact     order     blog