Fluid Beauty

Sun behind tree highlights raindrops

Three weeks ago, my NaNoWriMo goals were set in a post called, From NYC to Temple Bar.  Since then, Syrian refugees, Beirut, Paris, more refugees, and helpless sorrow. Often my goals seem naive and superficial, but never so much as now.

My wish to write isn’t lofty. It’s a need, buried long under layers of responsibility, and like a dormant tulip bulb, finally flowering in a small pocket of soil set free of its layers of leaves.

I’m a genre writer; my words are of love and friendship; of loneliness’s pain and of healing relationships. I am not a journalist or historian, reporting and righting the wrongs of the world. My words do not cut ahead of me as my sword. I’m don’t have courage to fight dragons and demons.

Though I wish I did. I think.

Last week, amid the world’s chaos, I worked from home, my laptop set up at my kitchen table. It had been raining. Soft sounds of raindrops tiptoed on roof and windows, and my keyboard kept time. Sometime between my last cup of coffee and noon, the beat slowed and stopped and the white sun burned through the gray sky.

Outside my window, a barren tree, moments before black and foreboding, grabbed hold of light. Each minuscule drop of water absorbed, refracted and reflected, until pinpricks of pink, purple, green, lit the tree with tiny, distinct, separate and beautiful, points of color.

And all I can do is pray. I think.

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Wkly Brief – It’s May in Bryant Park

bryant parkFor Carly Blake, its spring in NYC and she’s at Bryant Park getting some bad news from her beau. Looks like she’s might be going to Ireland alone. Bummer.

Despite her set-backs, Carly should be flying to Ireland by the end of the week. In the meantime, here’s my National Novel Writing month progress report.

5,000 words toward NaNoWriMo Goal

Currently on target to reach the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th.

Are any of my readers familiar with LaGuardia airport?  If so, would it be possible for somebody flying to Ohio (domestic flight) to have drinks and a burger in LaGuardia’s terminal with somebody flying to the Cayman Islands (international flight)?  If so, where would they meet? If you know the answer, please comment below.  If I use your answer in my book, I’ll mention you in the credits.  wink


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From NYC to Temple Bar

New York City 2015

NYC skyline from Hoboken, NJ (2015)

Last year I successfully participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Then for the next ten months, the novel haunted me. It begged for more scenes, fewer words, more tension, deeper relationships. I loved the characters and couldn’t believe the world wouldn’t want to know about them.

But after a year of studying craft and writing short stories and editing my first full-length novel, I’ve realized, though perhaps my first novel doesn’t completely suck, it’s not very good. It’s time to move on.

And so, though I swore I wouldn’t do it this year, I have signed up for NaNoWriMo 2016 (aaaargh!). Today, similar to what the rest of the world does on the first of January, I am joining writers throughout the world and setting my writing goals. This month:

  1. I will write at least 50,000 words toward a new novel.
  2. I will do this while keeping up with my Graduate level short-story writing class, which doesn’t end until December.
  3. I will not stop exercising.
  4. I will share encouragement and writing articles with my fellow sufferers by tweeting at @brathhoover.
  5. I will work full-time throughout the process because we’re on a critical project deadline.
  6. Should I decide to spend time with family and friends, or just make my house homier, or become too exhausted to continue, then the rest of my goals will be tossed to the wind and I will sigh with pleasure as I watch them drift away on the billowy gray clouds floating above the evergreen pines in my front yard (poetic, huh?)

In case you’re wondering, my new story starts in New York City and is primarily set in Ireland. It’s about a New York City software programmer, Carlin ‘Carly’ Blake, who plans a dream tour of coastal Ireland with her coworker and hopefully soon-to-be fiance, only to have her their project deadline delayed in the weeks before they’re to leave. Her chivalrous future fiance, Graham Olhouser, stays in NYC to wrap up their project. He promises to meet her in time to visit the Cliffs of Moher, where she fully expects a proposal. But for Carly, things never work out as expected.

Temple Bar

Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland (May 2012)

As the month progresses, I’ll share photos from the locations Carly visits.

Thanks for traveling with me!



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Wkly Brief – A Mite Bit of Trouble

rodgersiaSeveral years ago, my husband and I moved to a new home. Over the months as we settled our furniture and explored our surroundings, we uncovered garden after garden, rich with lilies, hydrangea, yucca, and a personal favorite, ligularia dentata dark beauty (above).

But I’m not a gardener.  I was the child that ran screaming from spiders, who whined when weeding, and who sneezed at lilacs and peonies.

Now though, it is only me that stands between this:


and this:

IMG_0078and I have none of the knowledge or skills to protect these lovely gardens.

A visit from Melody of Rivet Landscaping will hopefully save my remaining plants. With the main clue being spider webs, Melody used a magnifying glass to show me the mites ransacking my garden. Apparently they have a liking for the plant shown above, which for the life of me I cannot name. They’re also making short work of some celosia I recently added, taking it down stalk by stalk.

Ladybugs, NH’s official state insect, are one method of fighting the mites. As we walked the yard, we found a ladybug on a weed, far from the troubled garden. She (or he) was relocated to the besieged area.  The other solution is Neem Oil, which you can learn about at many online sites.

I’ll be trying both and will let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, can anybody out there tell me the name of the plant?

By the way, for my regular readers…it’s great to be back!







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Wkly Brief – Twitter Authors 05-2015

DestinyCongratulations to New Hampshire author, Carl Howe Hansen on the release of Destiny, which combines sailing, romance, and sibling rivalry into a global intrigue novel.  This month, in addition to reading Destiny, I have selected The In-Between Hour by Twitter follower Barbara Claypole White.  Ms. White explores themes of Continue reading

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