December 2022 Story Sparks

I couldn’t reach the peak even though I had a ladder. I decided instead to wrap lights around the palm trees and let the year-round lights on the trunks shine bright as well. But still, something for the peak would have been nice. And then the moon came out and I had what I desired.

It is our wish this year that you have what you desire in this Christmas season and in the year ahead. It’s been a tough year for us in ways — Jerry’s health, falls, hospitalizations; my change in writing status, adjusting to moving — being at the top of the prayer list. And yet there have been great joys as well. Jerry receiving high school diploma (see video here); solid reconnections with nephews and nieces; grand connections with friends. I have been reminded many times in 2022 of the proverb that I used in the front matter of my first book Homestead: “Desire realized is sweet to the soul.” Our prayer is that it will be so for you this season and in 2023.

Several of us have looked for ways to make the holidays less hectic. A friend sends a newsletter and this “what to give as gifts” piece struck me. It was written by Oren Arnold, a novelist, humorist and journalist. That he considered himself a western writer makes him all the more special.

“Christmas Gift Suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”

His words and history remind me a bit of Will Rogers — speaking of which — My winning gold medallion finally found me here on the desert. I’m grateful for Natalie Curtis’s story reaching so many people and that Western Writers, Women Writing the West, and The Will Rogers Foundation all found merit in The Healing of Natalie Curtis. Thank you to all who made room in your hearts for my stories.

Other good writing news is that Beneath the Bending Skies hit the Pacific Northwest’s Independent Booksellers best-sellers list. I’m so grateful to my readers who share their favorite books with others, write an Amazon or Book Bub review or simply tell their friends about a book they love. Thank you! You have for many years helped me experience my desires.

St. Francis of Assisi wrote “Where there is darkness, let there be light.”

This season I am looking for that light and willing myself to be open to let it in whether it comes in the smile of a house less person or the giggle of a grandchild on a FaceTime call. I want to see it whether the sky is dark and where I know only that stars are there behind the clouds, shining reflected light from their suns.

And most of all, my prayer is that I might be the light reflected from Jesus who might bring warmth, illumination, peace and direction that are all part of the nature of His light. I’m treating myself with candles this Christmas and lighting them often. Know I am thinking of all of you as I light them, in gratitude.

May you find the light of desire and allow it to be achieved. Blessings for you and yours this holiday season.


Graphic courtesy of my niece, Dani Melin. Visit her at

P.S. I often get requests from those wishing a book list of my titles. Incidentally, Wikipedia has some errors. Visit my Bibliography webpage for the real scoop.