Rear View Mirror

2015 is about done.  What better time than now, on this last day of a year filled with ups and downs, to take a look back at all that happened.  And what better way than to just grab the photos.

Work in progress at the first of the year was my hard crime novel, A BLACK WATER SEASON.  It went on submission in February.


Abigail, (a.k.a.) Miss Priss was born a month premature on February, 8th.


March roared in and my father passed.  Who knew that Christmas 2014 would be his last?

Davis, Claude pic Younger


In April, I received the wonderful news that my Southern fiction novel THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE sold to Kensington!  This was a bit of a twist with regard to the submission of A BLACK WATER SEASON, which was passed on by the editor at Kensington, however, he asked to see something else.  I’m glad I had that “something else!”

It all became very real when the contract arrived from my agent.


And even more real when I received the first part of an advance!

First Check for DIXIE DUPREE - Copy - Copy

Spring came late, even though we may not remember it now, it took a while to warm up to our usual temperatures.


And during the Spring, I began work on a new book, working title THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.


In the late Spring, came my FIRST EVER edited pages from my editor.  Yes, red pencil marks and all.  It’s considered work, but I loved it.

DD Edits

Shit! Look!

We took our usual trip to the mountains in the RV, and I got some more writing done and filled the days with long walks where I found this little guy who’s become the header pic on the blog here.


Before I knew it, late summer arrived, and Mom turned 79.  Here she is with Miss Priss on our back porch.  When I look at her eyes, I see the sadness in them, even though she’s smiling.


Fall came and my first ever writer’s conference, Bouchercon!  Even though this conference was more in line with the genre of mystery/crime novels, (signed up while I was writing BLACK WATER) I still enjoyed every second, and most of all, meeting some of the folks I interact with on other blogs, like Colin Smith, and the notorious shark herself, Janet Reid!


I swear I looked out the window one day and this happened almost over night.

Fall 2013

Thanksgiving was hosted at our house, and in what has become a tradition for me, I had Christmas decorations up too!


And it was a first for Miss Priss!  (Uh oh)

Abigail 1st Santa Visit

And “Mister” offered up his contributions to the festive events!

And now, we are here.



It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?  Here’s to the New Year, and may it be filled with all you wish for!








Here’s wishing you the bluest skies and the very best of this new year.

I hope Black Water Season finds a good home and will try to read The Education of DD when it comes out.

I hope you can prove to the world that writers are not genre specific.

I much prefer a writer who says “I can do that”

to a writer that says ” I can’t write that, I write…”

Liked by 1 person

    Same to you, Craig!

    That certainly was my attitude writing Black Water – a book I’m very proud of, although as with any work, I can now think of ways to make it better. Maybe I’ll get the chance. For now, my agent said I need to focus on writing in the genre I’m being published in – which is upmarket/Southern/Women’s Fiction. I love writing that, it feels natural to me.

    So, in my case it’s more of I CAN write that (mystery/crime) but right now, I need to write “this.”

    On reading DIXIE DUPREE – of course I’d be honored if you did, but there’s certainly no obligation for you to read something you’d likely never buy otherwise. What you could do is tell Kathy, or have her tell her friends to read it – if it’s something they’d like! 🙂


Here’s to a happy new year with big things to come! Can’t wait to read that book and advertise the socks off of it!


Holy smokes, you had quite the year! Congrats again on your agent signing and novel signing. Is it still super exciting, or have some of the corners worn off yet?

I love Mister in his little Santa hat. And the look on Santa’s face during his encounter with Miss Priss is kind of priceless 😉

Wishing you well in the new year. And I’m looking forward to reading your book!

Liked by 1 person

    Thx Jen!

    Actually, I’ve had the agent for about 4 yrs now (March 12). That envelope from him contained the contract from Kensington. No matter, I’m definitely giddy about it still! Especially when I get an email from THE EDITOR – gives me chills. And nervous nausea sometimes – LOL!

    Yeah, Mister has graced our cards the past three years. He’s a real HAM. And I know – who’s feeling worse??? Santa or Miss Priss? I’d call it a tie.

    Here’s to your 2016 bringing you all you hope and dream for – Elka too!


This has been a year of mixed emotions for you Donna. It was a joy to meet you at Bouchercon. Hopefully we will meet again–after all, we’re in the same State! How hard can it be? 🙂

Thanks for sharing your wonderful highs and sorrowful lows with us in 2015. Here’s to an even better 2016!

Liked by 1 person

    It was that, without a doubt. One minute so happy, the next, so sad.

    But, we get through it somehow (like the OP’s dilemma on JR’s blog today, what seems like shambles now will eventually be chalked up to making someone stronger – we hope)

    I do hope we will meet again – b/c yeah. Same state! 🙂



Hey, that was a great little trip, Donna. Gave me a real sense of the highs. And the lows. Life is quirky, no? Good luck with your book, but mostly, take time to enjoy it all if you can.

Liked by 1 person

    Tell me about it, John. What a true roller coaster of a year. I hope this isn’t a trend. I do prefer up. And up. (not too high, though, or I’ll have an attack of vertigo)

    Thank you so much – I’m wondering what will be required of me other than what QOTKU has already spelled out. I believe I’ll have my work cut out, regardless.

    Happy New Year!


Enjoyed the picture travelogue of the year. So much to look forward to in 2016! Best wishes for the New Year!

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you! I was too tired to remember most of it, so had to use the pics to jog my brain.

    Best wishes to you too! I know you’re gearing up for your release – I hope you have fun with it!


ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) December 31, 2015 at 10:11 AM

So many exciting things for you this past year! And as wonderful as all of your good news is, I know it can’t quite outweigh the sad. He would be (*is* depending on how you look at this sort of thing) so very proud of you, I”m sure.

Liked by 1 person

    That’s very true, and what I thought about as I thought back on it all…it truly held the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

    Mom has said the same thing about Dad… She doesn’t know it yet, but part of my dedication in the book is to him, (of course!)

    Happy New Year!


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