7 Tips About Clutter

I've written and published SlingWords since 2005. I've consistently posted new content, rarely missing 2 days in a row—until the last few months.

Several reasons explain the lapse in posting new content, but the one most to blame is moving.

Moving Sucks

One of my goals this year was to sell our 2-story house and buy a 1-story. I'm really tired of my office being upstairs.

Then COVID happened which derailed a big landscaping project we'd already started because our landscaper had COVID in the family. Fortunately, he and his family came through okay, but we had to wait months before he could finish the project.

Same story with some minor "sprucing up" we wanted done. We're still waiting for those to be completed, but 6 weeks ago we decided to de-personalize and de-clutter the house in the hope of moving forward toward our goal.

We rented a storage space to hold all the things we needed to remove from the house. The decisions we made are the inspiration for today's post.

We Did It Wrong

Most of the clutter that clogged up our closets and cupboards were possessions that had belonged to our parents and grandparents.

We did it all wrong. Instead of taking the time to think about what we were doing, we just started packing boxes and carting them to the storage unit.

Do It Right

1. Think before you pack. Sit down with your spouse and calmly discuss all the things you've accumulated through the years from purchases and inheritances. Chances are the things that mean the most to you are on display and are used frequently. It's all the other stuff that has to be intelligently dealt with.

2. Make an inventory list of all the items that you plan to pack away and store.

3. For each item, ask yourself if you've used it within the last 12 months. If not, don't spend the energy needed to pack it and move it to storage, not to mention the money to pay for a storage space.

4. Make an inventory list of all these items. If  that's too work intensive, take cell phone photos.

5. Think about each item and think about who in your family or circle of friends would appreciate receiving the item as a gift. Contact them and ask if they'd like it.

6. If you can identify no particular person, then have a family meeting or Zoom meeting with everyone and ask who would like Aunt Harriet's gravy boat or whatever.

If no one wants it, then it goes to a charity thrift store or to eBay. Immediately remove it from your home.

If more than 1 person wants the item, then immediately throw the names into a hat and draw the winner. Immediately send the item to the recipient.

7. If you find yourself weakening and thinking about all the Christmas dinners when Aunt Harriet served gravy in that piece of china—which you've never used and never will use—take a picture of it and pair it with a picture of Aunt Harriet. Frame that collage. You'll enjoy the memory of her and the holiday far more than a serving dish tucked away in a china hutch.

Takeaway Truth

Be firm with yourself. Clutter does more than take up space in your home. It's a burden on your emotions. Free yourself and the storage capacity of your cupboards and closets.

Dear Santa by Some of My Best Friends


Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish
A Holiday Romance Anthology
Presented by Authors’ Billboard

The Authors’ Billboard’s 2020 fabulous Christmas Box Collection, DEAR SANTA, is filled with 18 brand new stories about characters who have special wishes to ask the big guy during this season.

Most of us have had experiences when something we’ve desperately wanted is so close that Santa seems the perfect person to ask for the miracle.

When one believes, it’s amazing the conflicts that are overcome and the surprises that can follow.
You’ll be amazed by each of these fantastic holiday books full of Christmas cheer and thrilling romance we’ve written for your entertainment.

Mimi Barbour – Alone at Christmas: Being alone is Tara’s worst nightmare, especially during the holidays. Her wish comes true when she finds Mr. Right injured and stranded, but will they survive the dangerous storm?

Rebecca York – Christmas Miracle 1935: Can he trust her enough to help free her father from jail?

Patricia Rosemoor – Marrying Molly: Dear Santa, Please let me meet a McKenna man who will help me end Sheelin O’Keefe’s horrible curse on both our families. Molly Kavanaugh

Susanne Matthews – What Dottie Wants: All Ronnie wants is to give Dottie a great Christmas, but not being able to find the doll she wants may make that impossible.

Traci Hall – Christmas Kiss: Can a teenage crush become forever love?

Angela Stevens – Dear Sinterklaas: Dan had his heart stolen by a girl on summer vacation, now it’s Christmas time, and with a little bit of magic from Sinterklaas, he hopes to make his Christmas wish come true.

Melinda Colt – Saving Maddie: The only reason demons exist is because angels do, too.

Stacy Eaton – Finding Love with Dear Santa: All Faith wants is to get her life back on track.

Stephanie Queen – He Has Santa: A second chance hockey romance.

Josie Riviera – A Chocolate Box Christmas Wish: He’s been all over the world. She’s a home-town girl. Can a holiday wish bridge the gap?

Mona Risk – Dalia’s Christmas Wish: Will the doctor make the right decision between an angry fiancĂ©e and a medical emergency?

Rachelle Ayala – Toy Soldier Christmas: Can a toy soldier make her wish come true?

Dani Haviland – A Plate of Christmas Cookies: Is it too much to ask for a second miracle?

Taylor Lee – Please Christmas: Be Done: When his 7 year old son ran away looking for Santa… and all his teenage daughter wants for Christmas is for it to be done….the district attorney concedes not only did he lose his wife to cancer, but he was in danger of losing his children.

Susan Jean Ricci – Cruising for Mr. Right: Can a widow discover second chance romance aboard a Christmas cruise and make the right choice between two adoring men?

Alyssa Bailey – Christmas Wishes and You: Beth’s Christmas Wish of a Second Chance at Love could happen if only she would be willing to risk her heart… again.

Nancy Radke – Zsuzsa’s Christmas Wish: She asks Santa for a strong man to help corral a mule that won’t stay home, and is given a rancher who plans to corral her.

Carmen DeSousa – Chicago Hope: Aspiring journalist Maura Hall dreams of changing the world, but she’ll settle for Chicago.

**Only .99 cents!!**
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Book2Read

Get a FREE compilation of the “FIRST CHAPTERS” from the Dear Santa anthology!

Book Bites 13 – Dear Santa
Amazon * B&N * Kobo

Also, swing by the Authors’ Billboard for a monthly giveaway with 
a $40 Amazon gift card and more!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Christmassy Bath & Body Gift Set

Writing About Love for Love

I write about Love, and I write for Love—the Love of Writing, that is.

All of my books are some form of Romance. I write (1) funny, sexy romance with a chick lit attitude, (2) edgy Romantic Suspense, and (3) Contemporary Romance with characters falling in love when they least expect it.

I write because I love putting words together to create a story that resonates with the reader. Writing is my vocation and my passion.

Who Writes for Love of Writing?

Several years ago, I heard a University of Houston Literature professor, who was also a published poet, say that only poets wrote for the love of writing. His reasoning was that poets never make any money from writing so they do it strictly because they love stringing words together.


I disagreed with him then, and I disagree now. I know many, many writers who have written hundreds of thousands of words and have never been published yet they still keep writing. I also know too many authors who write wonderful stories that sell only a few ebook copies. Hardly enough to pay an electric bill.

Why do these authors keep writing? Because they're storytellers. Because they want to share the vision in their heads with readers. Because, dare I say, they do it because they love the writing—selecting and putting words together to show someone else the vision of their story.

Ebooks were a game changer for Authors, and Readers reap the rewards of great books that cost less than a Venti Cappuccino at Starbucks.

For Your Consideration

With the cold front that just arrived, I'm thinking of the winter weather in Brianna's Season for Miracles. My brother has already had a couple of snows at his home.

Last Christmas was the last straw for Brianna Walker. Too much whisky, too much misery, and too much loneliness. That was the unholy trinity that resulted in a very public embarrassment.

Vowing never to return to her hometown, she left for Vegas, a city where she could be anonymous instead of grist for her hometown’s gossip mill.

Brianna really hated her life. Instead of partying all night and sleeping all day, she faced the fact that if she wanted her life to be different, she had to change.

Determined to ditch her so-called friends and the seductive persona she hid behind, she vowed to do whatever was necessary so she could look at herself in the mirror without being disgusted. She knew that changing her actions wouldn’t do a darn thing to “fix” her, but she had to start somewhere.

When her father demands she come home for the holidays, she’s devastated and afraid she’ll revert to old habits to deal with social situations that have always terrified her.

Then she meets Daniel Kelly, his warmth and kindness—qualities she’d never found in any of the men she’d dated—attract her. 

To her surprise, she finds his intelligence, courtesy, and niceness enormously appealing—and sexy.

Best of all, he’s a stranger in town and doesn’t know her reputation, but she’s learned it’s safer to avoid men like him for fear she might want forever out of the relationship.

A man like Daniel would never want forever with her once he knew her true self. Knowing that doesn’t stop her from falling for him.

Daniel already knows the secret Brianna is hiding. He knows he shouldn’t complicate the situation he’s in, but the attraction between them is hot and sizzling.

What will happen when Brianna realizes Daniel has a secret too?

Takeaway Truth

Brianna's Season for Miracles is a Kindle Unlimited Free Read if you're a subscriber, or buy and keep forever.

Sign up for my Newsletter and be the first to know about new releases and giveaways. When you confirm your subscription, you'll receive a free ebook.

Review: Mystery Road

Looking for something to binge watch? Try Mystery Road on Amazon Prime.

This series is produced by Acorn and it stars two-time Oscar nominee, Judy Davis, and Aaron Pedersen, an Australian television and film actor of Arrernte and Arabana Australian Aboriginal descent. 

Judy Davis as one of the stars is what made me add this series to my Watchlist, and it was a great introduction to the fabulous Aaron Pederson who is letter perfect as the detective who never takes the easy way out and follows the investigation wherever it leads. 

This is a 2018 Acorn TV Original drama set in the Australian outback and is about 2 boys who go missing from a cattle station.

Detective Jay Swan (Pedersen) teams up with local cop Emma James (Davis) to investigate. The mystery is tangled up with other crimes that haunt the remote town.

This compelling drama keeps you guessing all the way through to the end. The acting is superb, and the story is gripping. Absolutely add this to your Watchlist. 

Want More Mystery Road

After Darling Hubby and I had watched the 2018 series, we wanted more. 

I looked around the internet and found that Mystery Road starring Aaron Pedersen was also a 2013 movie, available for rent on Amazon or on Netflix if you're a subscriber.

The mystery in the 2013 movie is about a murdered girl found under a bridge on a remote road. Detective Jay Swan gets the case. 

He finds that no-one is that interested in solving the murder of an indigenous teenager and he is forced to work alone.

After we watch the movie, I imagine we'll add Season 2 of Mystery Road to our Watchlist. 

An online blurb says, "A mangrove swamp. An endless sky. A headless body. Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pederson) returns and takes on a grisly case in order to be closer to his family.

"This season of Mystery Road is set in a small coastal community where the desert meets the ocean and secrets past and present run deep and dark!"

Season 2 is supposed to be available on Acorn TV (download the app for your Kindle Firestick on Amazon), Hoopla, buy it as download on Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Amazon Video, and FandangoNOW. Most of these are subscription services but you usually get the first week free in order to try them out.

Takeaway Truth

This Australian series is gritty and realistic with performances that are never over the top—no chewing up the scenery. Instead, they are subtle and low-key and more effective for the restraint shown. Totally awesome series.  

All Author Cover Art Contest Has The Key To Kristina

I really liked the cover for my latest release The Key To Kristina so I entered it in theOctober Cover of the Month contest sponsored by AllAuthor.com!

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but I need you to do just that.

If you like the cover of my book, The Key To Kristina, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I need as much support as I can get because I really think this cover nails the premise of this mystery-romance that one reviewer called: "Brilliant!!Fantastic book. Very hard to put down."

Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover.

Click to Vote!

Because I'm posting this link on Blogger, a Google product, you get a re-direct notice from Google that says:

"The previous page is sending you to https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/9781/. If you do not want to visit that page, you can return to the previous page." If you get that notice, just click the first link on it, i.e., https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/9781/

Takeaway Truth

Thank you for your support. Please vote and tell a friend too.

Review: Enola Holmes on Netflix

Want to watch something that's a lot of fun? Try Netflix's Enola Holmes.

Millie Bobby Brown, one of the ensemble cast members of Stranger Things, and Netflix have struck gold with this movie.

The movie is based on The Case of the Missing Marquess, the first book in the Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer.

The movie makes the most of the author's intriguing premise of Enola being the teenage sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. 

Sherlock is already a famous detective, and Mycroft is a member of the House of Lords and determined to keep "change" away from England.

Amazon has all of the Enola Holmes books available if you want to grab the first one or take a leap and get the first 6 books in 1 package

Since the first book in the young adult detective series opens on Enola's 14th birthday, the series is good for tween and teen readers.

Enola Holmes, The Movie

Unlike the book, the movie opens on Enola's 16th birthday.

When her mother disappears, Enola is to be handed off to her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock who have had no interest in her once they left home. 

Enola is to be Mycroft's ward, but her "blithe" spirit and intelligence akin to Sherlock's makes that arrangement anathma to her.

Instead, she runs away, taking the train to London, but her plans go awry when she meets the runaway Marquess. Together they get into more danger than one would imagine, and Enola learns that all of the truths her mother told her about life must be tempered with some new-found wisdom.

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, from a screenplay by Jack Thorne, the cast is headed by Millie Bobby Brown who also is credited as Producer on the film.

The wonderful Henry Cavill portrays Sherlock with Sam Claflin as the stuffy Mycroft. 

Adeel Akhtar is the Marquess, Fiona Shaw is the horrible director of the finishing school where Enola is more or less imprisoned.

The marvelous Helena Bonham Carter plays Enola's mother who has many secrets and enemies.

Warner Brothers had planned this movie for a theatrical release, but COVID derailed that plan. They ended up selling distribution rights to Netflix.

My Thoughts

Delightful family-friendly mystery movie that is suitable for all ages. Great story, presented well by the director and the cast. Millie Bobby Brown is superb as Enola. After a bit, you stop thinking of her as Elle, or 11.

I think this movie will be so successful that a franchise will have been born. I look forward to a second installment of an Enola Holmes movie.

Takeaway Truth

If you haven't watched Enola Holmes yet, add it to your Watchlist. If you're not a Netflix subscriber, ask a friend who is to invite you over to watch it. You'll enjoy it.