It's beautiful blue-skied summer, and I am back to writing again! I'm in one of my favorite spots - a Barnes&Noble complete with Starbucks, inhaling the gloriously sweet-bitter scent of rich espresso and letting my mind swirl with words.

Just yesterday I sliced open the brown cardboard box of books that came from my publisher, lifting out another glossy-covered book with my name in shiny chocolate-brown type. I'm not alone on this book--there are nine of us authors, all merged together to publish a novella collection called "Timeless Love."

Nine historical love stories, nine authors, and some four hundred (beautifully jagged-edged) pages of sweet romance.

It's the second time I've had a novella (short novel) published in a collection, and I love it. This one was a reprint of one originally published in "Yellowstone Memories," and I have a special attachment to that story. Set in Yellowstone during the Depression, I threw hundreds of hours into researching Civilian Conservation Corp and their various work camps all throughout the U.S., and it felt vaguely nostalgic to to finish and publish that sentimental story.

In an novella collection, fellow authors combine strengths and words. I love putting my characters side-by-side with characters of other authors, stringing them seamlessly along on a journey like a string of pearls.

All these years later, from holding my first "Sushi" print novel in my hands in disbelief, under a hazy Brazilian blue sky, to running my thumb over the fashionably crinkled page edges in "Timeless Love," holding one of my books is still amazing. Still awe-inspiring.

And I still don't quite believe it.

That is the writing life--one of waiting and wondering, of praying and late nights, of botched endings and rewrites and the ones that didn't make it, of self-doubt and bad ideas and budding ideas--all swirled together in the black and white music of words scrawled across a page. A page of a sloppy spiral notebook, a smooth page of a laptop, or a delicate page of a paperback.

It's all beautiful.

And I love every minute.

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