The scoop on editing with Amazon Publishing

The Chrysler Building

“What was it like working with Amazon Publishing?” “Did it bother you to lose control?” “Is it still the same story?” These are some of the questions I’ve received since my novel Go Away Home was acquired by Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of … [Continue reading]

A “Marriage” of Fact and Fiction – Giveaway

Susan Weidener

Many authors write a memoir first and then turn to fiction, as I did. While those first works of fiction often have some basis in real people and events, the outcome is largely fictional as the author molds the story line, characters, and events to … [Continue reading]

A different kind of book review – Deeply Odd


Memoirs and historical fiction are my normal reading choices. But every so often, I enjoy trying something different. Recently I caught a Dean Koontz interview on the CBS Sunday Morning show. Though I’d seen his books on bookstore and library … [Continue reading]

Going deep inside – Perspective 3

Carlsbad Caverns - "Curtains"

Recently, I’ve considered perspective from high up in a hot air balloon and up close at Cadillac Ranch. I also had a chance to go deep with a visit to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. I’ve been in caves before, but always in the company … [Continue reading]

It’s “I Grew Up Country Day” – How will you celebrate?


We expect you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. Hopefully with enough restraint to leave room to celebrate a far newer day. Since Iowa Governor Branstad signed a Proclamation declaring March 18, 2015, “I Grew Up Country Day,” 50+ folks have joined our … [Continue reading]

I Grew Up Country – New initiative encourages storytelling

IGUCD Proclamation Signing 3w

On Monday, March 9, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a Proclamation declaring March 18, 2015, “I Grew Up Country Day” - in Iowa and wherever food is produced. Haven’t heard of “I Grew Up Country”? Let alone a day to celebrate it? Not … [Continue reading]

From high above – Perspective

Geometric lines of a farm field reminded me of Iowa.

Hot air balloons float over my house in Des Moines with some regularity in the summer. I've watched from the ground and wondered what it would be like to go up in one. What would it feel like? What would I hear? What would I see? How would it be … [Continue reading]

Can you believe your eyes?


Seeing something with your own eyes is proof. Right? At one time or another, most of us have said: “Seeing is believing.” or “I’ll believe it when I see it.” We’ve also said the opposite when reality goes against what we know or believe to be true … [Continue reading]

What’s the value of taking a closer look?

Cadillac Ranch from a distance

"You have got to be kidding," I whispered when I drove past the Cadillac Ranch west of Amarillo, Texas. The famous line of ten Cadillacs planted front bumpers in the ground and rear bumpers in the air was barely visible in the distance. I shook my … [Continue reading]

Soaking in natural beauty

Cactus frame red rocks.

Some places encourage - perhaps even demand - that a person stop thinking, stop talking, and simply soak in nature. Sedona, Arizona, is one of them. I had the pleasure of spending two days this past week in the natural beauty of red rock splendor. A … [Continue reading]