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   Hi again!

So what am I working on now????

Obviously trying to get my writing published is an ongoing project and one that will continue even after I sign that first contract for my first novel. In today's economy even published authors still devote a lot of time and energy to get their work in print. So this will always be on my To do List...

But from the writing side...I am happy to say that there is a lot going on!

As my bio states, I've started my second novel, the sequel to The House of Roses, and am writing it from the perspective of one of Josie's best friends, Carrie. This is an interesting story because Carrie is a very young widow in her mid-forties and how one copes with the loss of a husband when there is so much of life left to be lived is vexing. As we get older we get comfortable, particularly when in a long term relationship. The things we focused on when we first began the dating and courtship rituals in our youth are moved to the back burner. Of course the most obvious of which is our physical appearance. As women, when we were in our twenties, working out, watching our diets and being really into clothes and fashion were a BIG part of our lives. But not so much as we aged. The bigger picture though is how we spent our time as single women which was based entirely on personal choice. Those decisions were completely egocentric. Once we married though, figuring out how to partner and create a life that works for two, not just one becomes an every day challenge. Integrating children into that framework then becomes an even greater catalyst for change. So what happens when the partner is suddenly gone and the children are grown? Do we automatically revert back to the self centered focus of our youth? Do we immediately feel the need to fill that void with someone new? Do we know who we are without the label of wife and mother? All heavy duty questions, but don't let me steer you wrong. Deep down I am an incurable romantic, so never fear, while Carrie will surely deal with all of these issues as she begins her new life, romance will definitely be part of her path and a happy ending is certain to follow!

In addition to my new novel, I have several short stories and articles regarding my husband's - and now my - cross country motorcycle adventures. He is a true modern day hero, riding his iron horse to almost all 50 states at this point. Each year, he and a buddy, set off for a 2 to 4 week trip in an effort to see this beautiful country of ours up close and personal. Along the way he has encountered many things that you would think only happen in books, but are part of the colorful fabric of our culture. Without exception all of his experiences have been positive ones, but many have been humorous to say the least. The flip side of these stories is what do I do while he's gone? I often get asked if I worry about him being away for so long. I am never quite sure whether that question is posed regarding his safety or his fidelity. Either way I am comfortable in answering that I trust his strength, his ability and, most especially, his character. I am always confident that he will return safe, sound and VERY happy to see me. But having him gone for weeks at a time does produce some unexpected issues for hearth and home. These stories look at both sides of these adventures and are a little more thought provoking than my romance novels. And now that I have joined in on my first long motorcycle trips, I have personal insights of my own to share, humorous ones to say the least.

I am also collaborating with my husband on a companion piece to The House of Roses called "JT's Rations: Recipes for Love, Life and Laughter" featuring recipes from the meals that are featured in the novel. This is a really fun project. He cooks and I write! Can't beat that! In my house, it is an established fact that I am not the one to do the cooking. I think I was formally banned from the kitchen when I somehow managed to screw up Jell-O. Hard to do I know, but not, as I have proven, impossible. So with this project, my husband is the expert and I am merely his scribe. Check out some of his fabulous food on this web site and you will see what a lucky girl I am!

My newest project is BLOGGING. Yes - I too am jumping onto that band wagon. Not sure how this will flesh out, but - not only are writers driven to write - but they want to be read as well. Blogging seems to be a great way to satisfy both sides of that coin. While I am perfectly content to amuse myself by typing away solitarily on my lap tap, I do miss the satisfaction of having someone - ANYONE - read the words I've written. My husband, son and cats will only tolerate so much of my output. So now I am reaching out on the World Wide Web to see what happens. Hoping that the words I send out in cyberspace will find eyes to read them and voices to provide feedback. So click on the link on this web site for my Blog and let me know what you think... PLEASE!!!

Thanks for listening!
Kelli Jo