The Flintelf Himself, Book One

Here’s a snippet from Exili Saves the Flintelf. It’s book one in the first mystery series I’ve ever attempted! I didn’t get enthused with you before because, until I finished the second book, I couldn’t claim to have succeeded in a series. I’m editing the two books now, and trying to find plot in my head for the third. Woo hoo, such fun! My main character Exili, is the elucidator, or detective, who’s a hobbit-type creature with sensitive feet. His client is Goodall, a stubborn flintelf unaware of who could be trying to murder him.


‘Exili scolded himself as they continued walking towards the hut. He wondered why of all things; he’d thought this elucidating business such a good idea. Especially, he’d been so smug about running a ‘preventative’ agency. As if that were so simple to do! Much easier, wasn’t it, to examine the clues after the victims were safely dead like the other elucidationists he’d met. There was no feeling of impending doom that way. He realized he’d been over-nervous ever since he’d laid eyes on Goodall. Like walking on fire embers. He glared at his old schoolmate’s back, who’d still not consented to becoming his client.  “Ungrateful wretch,” he muttered.

“What was that?” Goodall said in surprise, turning.

Blast! Exili had forgotten the creature’s excellent, pure-elflike hearing. “Nothing,” he grumbled.

“What did I do?”

A list of offences popped effortlessly into his mind.

“Never mind,” said Goodall, holding up a hand.’



Psalm 31:14~

But as for me, I trust [confidently] in You and Your greatness, O Lord;
I said, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hands;
Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who pursue and persecute me.

I love the way this is put. I’m not sure if it’s just a trick of translation into today’s modern English, but saying my ‘times’ are in His hands is beautiful.

When I first read that verse I confess, I wimp out. I’m scared of suffering. I look back on those times I had things even a little bit hard, and I shake my head. I don’t want to be one of those braggarts, the ‘bring it on, I’m ready’ kind. I’m NOT ready, Lord.

He knows all about it. He’s been there when I whine, and get overcome by fear. And He was there when my great fears were realized. I could spell out exactly the lowest moments of my life.

In ways I feel weaker to deal with hardships, not stronger. Yes, I went through a few storms and lived to tell the tale, but when the rain falls too hard now or a distant flash of lightning looms, I run behind the nearest set of bigger legs like a terrified two-year-old.

YET, I was thinking this morning of my ‘times’. All of my times. This moment, right now when I sit here, safe. My husband and children, amazing. My grandchildren, beautiful. There’s a roof over my head and breakfast in my tummy. My mind is working and clear enough to write.

All those times when I laughed with friends, and lifted my face to my Heavenly Love and wept with the majesty of worship, and feeling His love for me in reply. All those times when my imagination went wild and became another world that only I could see. Not to mention holding babies in my arms or getting kissed by a handsome fellow. Wow. I’ve had some powerful, exceptionally goood, times!

I can trust in His greatness, without any problem. I know He’s great. I know He carried me, too. I put my ‘times’ in His hands, because I’ve been doing that all of my adult life. I can’t tell you He answered every prayer in the ways or time periods I desired. But absolutely I should be confident by now. What a dear, constant, ever-guiding, forgiving, comforting and loving friend He is. I’m grateful.




Goodbye, Dear Spatula…


My spatula broke. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t seem like such bad news. It was really old. I bought it in some distant long-ago garage sale or kitchen aisle. I was young then, just starting out in marriage, parenting and life. A handy metal spatula, scraping up enumerable eggs off of sticky skillets, or flattened chip cookie failures. Many, many family dinners, wolfed down by hungry children. One day I realized that ten years had gone by and my spatula was still working. I had a metal spoon, same thing, and an old metal colander. ‘They don’t make things like they used to!’ And then it was twenty years old and then more than twenty-five. This spatula has been with me through everything.

And now, tonight, it finally broke. On the same day that my youngest went off for her last weekend before she moves out. I’m sitting here crying about a spatula. Those years past are precious.

The Lord is telling me there are two ways of looking at this. One is that the spatula is old and broken, beyond its usefulness. The other way is this: This spatula broke, not as a way of saying that everything good is over, but because its job was completed. I’ve served my family through a bunch of scrapes, and bent and got cracked. But I held on till they were strong enough to become adults. I should feel this as a huge accomplishment. It’s been such a privilege! I’m not crying now, but feeling peace.

Another New Release Romance!


The cover will look like this above, and below, the back will be similar to this.


It took me a long time to write Santiago’s In Trouble, from when I had the original inspiration. I thought it would be written like a dime novel. ‘Sensational!’ ‘High Drama on the High Seas!’ or perhaps just a plain ‘AIEEEEEEE!’

Those were elements I thought were going inside this story.

When I finally committed the words to the manuscript page, the resulting story was a surprise to me. My main character was half Puerto Rican, and he’s being afflicted for that. I don’t know where that came from. I don’t usually presume to write about another culture’s difficulty with prejudice. I haven’t had to face those trials. But the story was rolling out and the original inspiration gave way so I went with it.

The result is like my other romances. It has some quirkiness, and some humor. I’m pleased with it, and enjoy re-reading it. But I still, once I typed ‘The End’, had no idea why Puerto Rico was on my mind, or why my subconscious associated it with trouble, striking. As I said earlier in this blog, I should’ve prayed. That horrible storm came just a few weeks later and decimated parts of the wonderful island.

Naturally, at that time, I didn’t want to self-publish this book out. So chirpy, and romancy, and happy-ending like, it didn’t fit what was going on.

But now I’ve come more to terms with it. Puerto Rico’s In Trouble, but in the end, her people are strong, resourceful, and worth getting to know. One day, I hope to go there and see the cities for myself. See how my prayers were answered. The President has recently signed a 19 million dollar relief bill, so that’s good.

There are still much-needed recovery efforts going on. If it so moves you, you can donate. Here’s a link.

Down is Too Low, and Up Can Mellow Out!


According to the description that I got this from, this photo is of ‘one of Max Sparks’ children playing on a homemade teeter-totter’.

Now, I’ve been feeling a little low lately. Maybe for the past year or so. Not depressed, per se, but aware of those things that are drear. Oftentimes the beauty around me burns it up, and I’m the old Vicky again. I figured this malaise was normal, I’m 57 now, and feeling what old feels like for the first time and I need to adapt. I need to start walking and taking vitamins and build up to it, and age gracefully.

But I’ve been feeling my losses too. Realizing the writing dream isn’t going to go where I wanted it to go, and then, once that small grief is moved out of the way, seeing what that writing dream was hiding. Pretending is part of childhood play and now I’m older. Those losses in your life, and I mean the big ones, will hurt until you die. Maybe aging is the time that you finally stop pretending and see yourself and your life like a flower noticing that it’s wilting.

And then, God gives you surprise gifts. My beautiful daughter gave me an amazing necklace the other day. I saw her love for me and all of a sudden I was a child again, crying with the joy of it.

I got sick a few weeks ago, and I was weak for so long that I couldn’t even write anymore. Now I could really see behind the curtain. A dark garden of sadness for my lost child, and all the disappointments of what I couldn’t give my other children. And worry about my loved ones, and a longing to be able to solve all their problems. How odd to be older and realize that I haven’t learned anything about patience at all! I want God to fix everything now! I’ve waited a long while for everything to be perfect! Time is running out!

And just like that, another surprise. I’m not old. I’m a child yelling with all the passion in my being because that pretty trinket was pulled out of my resisting hand by stronger fingers. ‘Shhh, wait a little longer, my love. Everything will be all right.’

God is holding me, because I’ve just caught a glimpse of a world I can’t control. I’m small, and weak, but He is strong. The other night I told Him I was afraid to be this anxious or depressed and just like that He answered my prayer. Peace came and took the anxiety away. After that I started feeling the spark of creativity come back. A small gift from God but it feels so big. I have to cry with the joy of it. I may be a wilting flower but I’m open to see the light and feel the mist of rain to nourish me.

Look at that picture I found above. I think that ‘homemade teeter-totter’ is funny. It’s a big up and down, you can tell. Like if it goes awry or a heavy weight falls on the other side Max Sparks’ child is going to fly from a catapult. And that’s how children face life. Big ups and downs, and all an adventure. I’m learning that older people creak over the small bumps, and cry with joy on the upside.

Thank you, God for holding me, and being in my future until I see You face to face. I’m a child in my Daddy’s arms on this Father’s Day. I love Him.

A Faith Comment


I think faith that lasts through hardships is based on love, and the God you can’t bear to give up. You had faith before, the hard times come and all that lovely situational basis for faith is shredded and your emotions numb, sometimes in anger or bitterness. But you care about God. He is the One that you love. You don’t throw away a great love in your life because you’ve lost another one. You cling, in weak desperation. And in time, you discover, you begin to see again all the things God was doing to carry you through that hard time. You begin to feel and know His love for you again. And faith is not only restored, it is justified.

One Year Ago a Happy Girl in Heaven

Mom and Alisa

One year has passed already! The day my mommy passed away last year I didn’t bend in wailing grief. I’d already felt like I was losing her before I lost her, since it had been hard to get her on the phone, her hearing loss made you have to repeat a lot of what you said, and she was forgetting the little details more often. I’d been grieving in small doses, but thankful for her wonderful smile when I came over.

But as this last year has passed, I’ve missed my mommy at odd moments. Moments of joy in my grandchildren, or excitement when I made an accomplishment. I didn’t have her here to cheer for me, to  see the absolute preciousness of baby beauty, or to worry about what I was worrying about. I’ve had moments of awe too, when I think of how amazing she was. How wise, how lonely in her uniqueness, how willing to laugh at your jokes. She was off taking the dogs and the children to the river to play, not wishing she could lay out a towel on a tropical beach somewhere. She took on giving Christmas presents to four children back in the sixties even though she was a single mom and the money was tight. Not only did she give us enough to delight under the tree, but she also gave us kids heavy allowance at the end of November so we could learn to give (and wrap!) presents of our own.

I don’t like these landmarks, when I take note of the day of loss. For I haven’t lost her forever. One day, when I go to Heaven too, I’ll see her smile again. She and Josiah and I will sit by the tropical glow, in the glory of God’s love, and laugh.

My God, the Original World-builder


For Spring, 2019

When I swim in loops and swirls, the majesty of form;

Underwater colors are pronounced but indistinct.

When I see Spring in buds of flowers, delicate born;

Looking through bright green, undulating leaves, I think:

My God, He set things dancing.

He is the comfort after sorrow,

Aftermath of Winter in Spring.

The promise of all tomorrows,

Peach-tinted Heaven glimmering.

I’m glad He’s with me!

T.E.D.D.I.E. B.E.A.R. in S.P.A.C.E.


I finished it, finally. My Teddie Bear completed his mission on the ship in non-outer space, and came home. Lots of Soft Sci-Fi going on, in this novel’s 109,000 words!

Whew! It starts out a bit tame, but once things get going there’s a lot of action in this one! And chock full of my own, no doubt tangled, concepts of Science!

I’m proud of myself! If anyone wants to read it, let me know!

Spark the Teddy


I’ve got big news! My Teddie Bear in Space book is almost finished! That’s right, Folks! There’s no crowd gathered, ha ha, but I’M very excited!


It was two years ago that I started this Sci-fi book. Now I’ve written the big climatic scene at the end! Goody!