Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Writing Wednesday- Rubato Chapter 5

Reggie Watts and Stevie Dangerfield are homicide detectives called in to investigate in the suspicious death of a piano teacher. A link to chapter 1 chapter 2 ,  chapter 3, and chapter 4 are available.

Chapter 5- Rubato

“Although Liszt was clearly a musical genius, he insisted on projecting a tonal, romantic “beauty” in his music, confining his music to a narrow range of moral values and ideals.”
Letters of Franz Liszt: Volume 1

Judith closed the lid of the Steinway piano. The light coming through the window was off-center. Her practice was suffering due to the disturbance of harmony in her room. She readjusted the vase of roses. She would wait a few minutes until the light shifted.

  Reggie looked across the desk at Stevie. He noticed the shadows under her eyes. They both needed to sleep and start fresh in the morning. 
  “Can I pick you up tomorrow? We can head back to the island to talk to some of her Judith’s piano students.”
  “Do you believe her husband? Could he know so little about what was happening to his wife?
  “There are all kinds of marriages. Some exist sorely for themselves and others exist for the magnifying of the whole. In time we’ll find out what happened. We always do.”

   Reggie parked his car outside the bungalow the next morning. He did not honk but opened the car door and started walking to the front door. He stopped when he saw Stevie come out of the garage. She wore a dark, fitted pantsuit and bright yellow shirt. A thin red patterned scarf surrounded her neckline. Her long, dark hair, which was often tucked into a hat, flowed like chocolate sauce. Reggie liked the contrast of the yellow shirt against her hair. A backpack was loosely hanging from her shoulders. She got in and smiled. 
    “Need some coffee?”
    “You know I don’t drink caffeine. Do you really forget every time or are you wanting to get my attention?”
   “Nah, I didn’t forget. Reach behind you. There is a chamomile and milk concoction for you and some black juice for me.”
    “Thank-you. Where do we start today?”
    “What other contact information have  you pulled off Judith White’s phone?’
     “I have her recent calls, her business calendars, texts from students and a text from her husband when he arrived in Seattle. There are e-mails from a contact in Prague having to do with music manuscripts.”
   “How did you figure out her password on the phone?”
   “I guessed she might use an Italian musical reference. After a few tries it opened with the password ‘rubato'.”
    “So what does that mean?” 
     “Rubato is a musical term which means temporarily leaving a strict tempo to allow an expressive quickening or slowing, usually without altering the overall pace. Romantic composers like Chopin and Liszt used rubato to heighten the feeling of the notes. I can guess she played their music because they used rubato often in their compositions.”
   “So, tell me again why you know so much about music.”
    “Reggie, I told you I once majored in music performance, remember?” She looked quizzically at Reggie. “I thought that one day I would be a concert pianist like my mother, but I stalled and found the constant comparisons to my peers left me empty. I shifted to criminal law to distance myself from the arts.”
    “So, do you play much these days?”
    “Every time I’m home. I need it like I need air to breathe.” Stevie giggled thinking about the amount of time she really had to practice. “Are you surprised?”
     “I guess I am. You don’t talk much about music.”
    “It is a personal haven. What is your personal haven from  solving crimes? Do you run, swim, work out at a club?”
   It was odd to Reggie that they didn’t talk about personal things. Would she laugh when he confessed that he liked putting together model airplanes? Often when his mind was cluttered with facts about a case he would mentally go inside a recent project and turn the plane around to see how the pieces  would fit. 
   “I put together model airplanes.”
  “Really?” She paused, thinking. “Why are you drawn to that?”
  “I love seeing how it will come together. Not unlike solving a case. But, less drama and deception.”
   The ferry was coming into the dock and Reggie searched his pocket for the police pass to show at the the booth. 
   “Where shall we go first?” Reggie was expecting that they would go back to the victim’s house to do a second search. Stevie recommended a closer stop. “According to Judith’s contacts, Mrs. Taylor and her son live right off the main highway in town. Let’s do another interview before we go back to Judith’s house.”

  Reggie slowed the car looking for the address. The street was tree lined and quiet. A mailbox with black and white notes gave away the correct destination. Mrs. Taylor’s house was small and older but neat and tidy. They parked in a turn-around driveway. As they approached the front door, small metal musical notes danced along the front of the house, just under there large wooden house numbers.
   “Hello?” Mrs.Taylor opened the door with surprise.
    “Mrs.Taylor? Detectives Watts and Dangerfield. Could we come in and ask you some more questions about Judith Whitesides?”
   “Okay, please come in.” She opened the door wider and motioned them to sit in a comfortable living room. A black lacquered Yamaha baby grand filled almost half the space of the room. Stacks of music books and sheet music surrounded the music stand. On the open lid of the piano Stevie saw a jar of pencils, post-it notes, and a small dish of black licorice. Most kids hated black licorice so it must be a little treat for the teacher. Several paintings of sunrises over water, graced the walls just over the piano. The sunrise colors were varied. Some soft pastel and one other, ruby red 
   Stevie sat in a brown over-stuffed chair on the other side of the room and started the conversation. “Mrs. Taylor, I noticed that you had a lesson scheduled with Judith on Wednesdays right after your son.”
   “Please, call me Linda. I’ve been taking lessons for the last year. Judith has much to offer as a teacher of classical music. You see I’m a piano teacher, as well. She really opened my understanding of Bach and Liszt.”
   “So you were competitors?” Reggie asked
   “Not really.” Linda laughed. “Judith attracted older and adult students which is why I started my son with her. Judith had a master’s degree in piano pedagogy and supported my desire to continue my own education.” Sudden tears glistened in Linda’s eyes. “I will miss her tutoring very much. She was inspiring and maddening at the same time. Sometimes she seemed pretentious when she talked about her teaching lineage but I enjoyed her love of music.”
      Linda thought for a minute how to explain the idea of a teacher pedigree. So many nuances in music could not be written in the score. Each music era had a style that was passed from teacher to student in a ‘hands on' fashion. Sound over notation transmitted more than could ever be read on the musical page.
   "Her teacher’s teacher’s teacher’s teacher was taught by Franz Liszt. Who in turn was taught by Carl Czerny, and Czerny was taught by Beethoven. I’m dropping a lot of big names here aren’t I?” Linda stopped to see if her rambling was of any interest. 
    “I’m following.” Stevie encouraged her to go on. 
     “Judith was not a cozy teacher. Not every child or even adult would warm up to her. She was exacting, somewhat tactless, and over the top obsessed with beauty. Everything around her had to be beautiful, her home, her furniture, even her clothes.  For me, she offered information about places in Europe where she studied and taught and where the world of classical began, which I only knew through books.”
     Reggie interrupted somewhat impatiently. “Do you know of anyone who wanted to do her harm?”
    “Why?” Linda looked alarmed and suddenly very frightened. “Wasn’t her death an accident?”
    Stevie patted her hand reassuringly. “We are unsure of the cause of death. These inquiries are standard. Could you tell us again what you observed Wednesday at your lesson time? Especially we need to know anything you noticed when you went into her bedroom. ”
    Linda shifted on her chair and looked out the large window. “As I entered her bedroom I was immediately drawn to her sleeping body. She looked peaceful. The shades were drawn but sunlight was escaping in between the blinds.” She turned to Stevie with frightened eyes. “Who would want to hurt her?”
   “That is what we need to find out. Did you see anything on her nightstand?”
   “What?” She asked wondering… “ Ah….there was a lamp, a music score, and maybe a glass of water. I—I can’t remember for sure.”
    Reggie sensed that they were through getting useful information and wanted to get on with other interviews. “Thank-you for being so helpful. If you have any ideas or thoughts here is our card.” 
   Stevie stood and looked around at the paintings. “You seem to have a strong sensitivity to beauty yourself. I can see why you appreciated Judith’s aesthetics. May I ask you a personal question? Do you think $10,000 a month is average for a piano teacher’s income?”
   Linda’s mouth dropped open. “What? I don’t make that much. Judith was charging us seventy-five dollars an hour and I could barely come up with that fee every month. I suppose if she worked everyday for at least six hours that could be right. But, I got the impression she had, at the most, five students on Wednesdays. Her lessons were mostly forty-five minutes long. My son and I shared an hour lesson.”
   “You have been most helpful.” She glanced at Reggie who was pacing at the front door, ready to leave.

   As they pulled out of the driveway Stevie asked why Reggie was so eager to leave. 
    “I didn’t think she had anything new to offer the investigation. Was I wrong?”
     Stevie answered tactfully, “I was gathering more information from someone who genuinely cared. We haven’t talked to many who knew and cared about her much.” 

    Reggie nodded and then looked over at Stevie. In unison they said, “We need the coroner’s report.”


                                      Chapter 6

Monday, November 27, 2017

Nurturing Monday- The Gift That Lies Beneath The Surface

"If you have a good inner life, you don't get lonely. I've got a good imagination. I don't miss romance." 

Diana Rigg

This Nurturing Monday brings me to a new gratitude for the life within that is available to all who seek it. On the surface, the winds may be howling, creating turbulent movement that leaves us unsteady, but underneath our inner life can glow, beckoning us to return.

My life inside is made up of practices. I repeat them daily. There is prayer and meditation, in fact I came up with six habits that bring me happiness. Three of them fill my inner life. 

Pray, Study, and Create all furnish my cozy, inside nook. So how does my one little word fit in? Choosing one little word each year provides a focus and intention to use that word to move my inner life forward. When it is active and glowing that private life can grow up into my outward, public life. Turning outward toward others and serving is easier. Choosing self care of exercise and nutrition is easier. There are lulls, of, course. Some days I want to play hooky. All in all, my word nurture gently reminds me to return to practices that heal and rejuvenate. 

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click  here.

Friday, November 24, 2017


People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. 
Thich Nhat Hanh

I walked by a tree recently and looked up to see the barren branches. A familiar lonely feeling weaseled into my chest. 
Feeling lonely in the winter comes as if scheduled on my to do list. This is what rises in winter. 

But, these two leaves caught my eye and I saw the message clearly.
Holding on is sometimes a sacred battle. Holding on to hope and joy, and love can seem naive as familiar despair creeps in. Just because it's familiar doesn't mean it is real.


I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for more than three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Writing Wednesday- Rubato Chapter 4

Reggie Watts and Stevie Dangerfield are homicide detectives called in to investigate in the suspicious death of a piano teacher. A link to chapter 1 chapter 2 , and 3 are available here.

Chapter 4. Rubato

“It's a matter of record that Liszt could sight read anything, and it's said that musicians who watched him do so would leave his residence talking not among themselves but actually to themselves.

    Judith sat with legs crossed on the floor. She loved looking through old music manuscripts. The Prague Conservatory had a library where she could explore at her leisure. Her status as a teacher allowed her access to most materials. She opened a crumbled book of sheet music. It looked like an old edition of  the Chopin Preludes. She noticed something sticky on the back. Her eyes widened. She looked again. Could it be?  

   The sun was setting as Stevie parked in front of her house. She lived in the home of her birth. A beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright style bungalow. When her father died ten years earlier she decided to stay to give her mother comfort and stability. She could afford to live on her own in Seattle but nothing equal to the comfort and style of her family home. 
   She unlocked the door and tossed her coat on the table by the door. With shoes off she looked for a bagel and cream cheese. Her head was half in the fridge when she found the Red Pepper Jelly. 
   With a bottled water in one hand and the other full of bagel she lowered herself into the easy chair in the music room. The brown Büssendorfer grand piano sent a soft reflection of the sun back towards the beveled glass window. Later I’ll play Liszt, she thought. With her mother in London, at a conference, she had time to play in a quiet house. She heard the cell phone buzz from her coat in the hall. It was time to head to the big city.

       Reggie was propped up against the dirty wall of the precinct. He brightened when he saw her. 
   “Took you long enough.” He ribbed. “Horak is in there and he looks scared. Do you want to take the lead? “
    “Sure.” She firmly turned the doorknob on the interrogation room and walked in confidently.
    “Mr. Horak?” She held out her hand. “I’m detective Dangerfield and this is my partner Detective Watts. We need to ask you a few questions about your wife, Judith Whitesides.”
   “What about Judith? Has something happened to her?”
   “When did you last see her?”
    “Yesterday around noon. I rented a vehicle at the airport and came to the island to bring her my luggage. She was teaching all afternoon and evening so I told her I would stay in the city until Saturday. What has happened? “ Dominik pressed his hands into his lap and searched the faces of the detectives. 
   “We are so sorry to tell you that your wife is dead.” Stevie made eye contact with Mr. Horak.  “She was found by a piano student. The cause of death is still unknown. We won’t know until we receive a full report.”
   Dominik rose agitatedly and leaned with both hands on the table.
   “If you think I had anything to do with this you are wrong. I just got into town and only spent a few minutes with her. She was fine and her usual preoccupied self.”
   “Sit down, Mr. Horak. We are not accusing you of anything. We need information to figure out what happened. Please, make yourself comfortable.” Reggie waited until Dominik was settled and looked to Stevie to continue.
  “We are sorry for your loss. We realize you need time to process what we just told you about your wife.”
   “What do you know about my wife? What do you know about me? Nothing. How can you say you’re sorry? You don’t know us.”
   “Please, tell us about Judith. Does she have family we should contact? How can we help you with what you are facing?”
   “Judith has a sister in Milwaukee. They don’t talk. Her parents are gone. Look, I met my wife in Prague when she taught at the Prague Conservatory. It was a prestigious position. I was mesmerized with the beauty of her playing and she was dazzled with the money I planned to make. When I asked her to marry me she was content to be my wife, teach piano, get cappuccino’s at the  Friend’s Coffee House but then she started getting angry with a colleague in Budapest. She didn’t tell me what the issue was but she was agitated and talked of taking a position back in the U.S. We fought over coming to the States. I was totally against pulling up roots and leaving my business. One day she showed me the offer from the University of Washington. She could teach for half of what she was making in The Republic of Czech. It was ridiculous. She packed up and we came to find a house. She refused to live in the city and looked on some island for a home. I stayed for three months until I couldn’t take it any longer. I told her I needed to get back to my work. So we worked out an arrangement. We would see each other every three months. I don’t know what is going on in her life. I don’t know how this…..happened.”
   Stevie moved closer and gently put her hand on Dominik’s arm. 
  “Did she seem depressed? “
   “What? No, Judith could never take her own life. There was too much she wanted to do. She had research and students she cared about, No! “
    Reggie sat down on the other side. “Did she have a drug problem? Medications she needed for an injury?”
  Dominik reared up out of his chair and slammed his fist on the table. “No, she didn’t do this to herself. I want to know how my wife died!”
  “The coroner will give us his report soon. Could you go with us to identify her body?’
   “Right now?”
    Stevie continued to press on Dominik’s arm. “It is the next step in the investigation. We can drive you over and bring you back here to your car.”

    The county morgue was a bleak place dressed up like a comfortable hospital. Unfortunately the residents in the morgue did not need any further long term care. Stevie had many occasions to visit and each visit left her chest tight and her breathing shallow. Today the assistant to the Medical Examiner issued them into a stainless steel room. Large drawers, holding the remains of individuals, lined three walls. A body, clothed in white, lay on a table. Looking at Dominik Horak carefully, he gently unveiled Judith’s face. Dominik turned white and looked away. 
   “Yes, this is my wife.” He turned to leave but Stevie gently put her hand on his shoulder. 
  “You can stay awhile if you like.” Stevie said. 
   His face contorted in pain. “I can’t. Take me back to my car please.” 
   They retraced their steps back to the parking garage. Before Reggie turned on the car, he leaned back to look at Dominik.
    “We appreciate your willingness to talk to us. This is very difficult, I know. But I have one more question. Could you tell us where you were from midnight to 6:00 am yesterday?”
    Dominik looked up slowly, a red color streaming into his face. “I was in my rented apartment right here in Seattle.”
    “Can anyone verify that? Did anyone see you Tuesday evening?”
    “I resent this insinuation of my guilt.” He stopped balling up his fists.“I was at a bar down the street from my apartment until 11:00 pm. Many people saw me.” 
   Reggie handed him his phone opened to a digital notepad. “Would you please write down your phone number, your apartment address and the address of the bar you visited last night?”
   Dominik looked at the screen and did nothing. Finally a long sigh exhaled from his lips and he typed several things on Reggie’s phone.
   “Thank-you. Your home on the island is a current crime scene. We will let you know when you can re-enter. Please don’t leave the city unless you give us notice.” 

  After Reggie let Dominik Horak out at his own car in the police precinct parking lot, he stopped to talk to an officer he recognized . 
   “Does your beat cover an apartment at this address?”
    The officer looked at the phone Reggie held out for him.
   “Yes, I know this apartment. It’s a nice place.”
   “Would you keep your eyes open and let me know if you see people coming and going.”
    “Do you suspect drugs are being sold there?”

     “I’m not anticipating that kind of activity, but there is a person of interest living there. Thank-you.” Reggie patted the officer on the back.

                                        Chapter 5

Monday, November 20, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Thankful For My Imagination

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. 
Albert Einstein

This morning I moved my writing corner from the couch to the kitchen table. I moved a lamp and flower pot within view so a could create a certain coziness. You see, the couch was giving me lower back pain. This is day 20 of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and I am still firmly committed to writing everyday. 
When I opened my e-mails today I found a pep talk by a NaNoWriMo author. "In the middle of the month you might hit quicksand," he wrote. "You will be tempted to quit because your plot line is stuck. But if you quit, your story will call to you and it will plead for you to finish. Keep going."

My characters do call to me to finish their story. I am so thankful that I have a tiny bit more imagination to keep them moving forward. Today they will meet a professor of music performance form Budapest who might turn out to be the killer or might give them the information to direct their investigation elsewhere. Who writes a murder mystery? Can't say I have any first hand knowledge but I do love Deborah Crombie and Jacqueline Winspear. Their detectives are my inspiration. If I can find as much excitement in my own novel as I do in theirs, I will be over the moon.
As the end of the year approaches I am thinking of the word 'enough' as my 2018 word but lately I'm inclined to embrace the word 'more'.

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click  here.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Pride invites you to excuse yourself from doing the right thing.

While reading the scriptures this morning I came upon some passages explaining why a truly blessed people fell into contention and strife. Their lack of unity split them into factions and classes.

Pride invites you to set yourself apart. It allows you to excuse your actions. The story that pride promotes is that you are entitled to feel better than your neighbor. Pride creates false intimacy with others as it invites them into your story. I know about pride. It blinds. A clue that pride is rising up comes when I can't truly see others, when my story is running in my head  24/7. 
   I need to excuse myself from writing so passionately. The scriptures pricked my conscience.


 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for more than three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Writing Wednesday- Rubato Chapter 3

"It was a lovely October evening. A breeze gently moved the trees up the hillside. Waves lapped in and out below the house. She wondered how a life full of comfort and beauty had ended so abruptly"

Reggie Watts and Stevie Dangerfield are homicide detectives called in to investigate in the suspicious death of a piano teacher. A link to chapter 1 and chapter 2 is available.

Rubato -Chapter 3

"In life one must decide whether to conjugate the verb to have or the verb to be."
                                                                                        Franz Liszt

My neighbor is either too curious or not curious enough to appreciate real music. On a warm day the windows must open to allow the sound to escape over the water.

  The letters of the word “Rubato”  opened the phone in Stevie’s hand. She scrolled through the recent calls. There were several  calls from her student Tony Chavez and one from her husband Dominik; no saved phone messages. A blue business app on the main screen contained her business information. On her teaching roster the space before Jon Taylor had a large red canceled line through the 10:00 am time slot. As Stevie scrolled through the previous weeks, Tony Chavez was the piano student listed there. Why was his lesson canceled this morning. Jon Taylor, the young boy in the kitchen, was listed at 11:00 and Linda Taylor, which was likely the mother, had the time slot from 11:45-12:30. Was Jon’s mother also taking piano lessons? 
    Commotion from upstairs indicated that the coroner was moving the body out to the ambulance. She waited quietly in the entry hall, showing respect. When the body was securely in the ambulance she noticed Reggie motioning her outside. Reggie was all business in his demeanor and looked like he had just come from the neighbor on the left.
    “The husband was last seen seen by the neighbor yesterday afternoon so he is on the island, or was on the island. Joey, in the squad room called the closest car rental agencies and has located a rental  made given to Dominik Horak. We called in a bolo alert and notified the local county policeman. According to the neighbor, the car he was driving was a dark blue Toyota Camry.”
    “That was fast, Reggie. He probably off the island by now. Did you speak to both neighbors?”
    “No, only the one on the left,” he motioned to the large modern home sitting out on the water. It seems to be floating on stilts.
   “Let’s visit the other neighbor, shall we?”
    Reggie nodded his head and started around the backyard. His tall lanky body was full of energy. Being his partner demanded that she be wiling to be tenacious. Reggie never quit until he was satisfied. 
    Everything was well landscaped and groomed in all three yards along the water front. Stevie made a note to check if they hired a gardener. As they rounded the other side of the house Reggie stepped up onto the neighbor’s lawn. He gave Stevie his hand to help her up. They looked at the front door. Everything seemed shuttered. Where Judith’s home was open and light-filled, the neighbor signaled privacy at all costs. They rang the doorbell.
    “Who is it?”,a gruff, low voice asked.
     “Detectives Watts and Dangerfield. May we have a word with you?”
   The door opened a crack and an older man, unshaven, with distrust written over his face, looked at them.
  “What do you want?”
  “We would like to ask you some questions about your neighbor, Judith. Can we come in?”
   “Is she in trouble? Is…it.. drugs? Are those supposed piano students really her buyers?” 
  “Can we talk inside?”
   The door opened wider and Alexander Patchett let them in. The entry opened to a high ceiling where a fan slowly moved the air. The living room was busy but not dirty. Books were stacked on end tables and next to chairs. Newspapers and magazines in piles on the floor teetered next to the wall. A collection of shoes, boots, and slippers, piled this way and that, just to the right of the door indicated that they should offer to take off their shoes. Stevie slipped off her loafers and looked at Reggie. He was not going to budge. He kept his eyes on Mr. Patchett and proceeded with his questions.  
   “Do you know Judith Whitesides very well?”
   “Well, she moved here a year ago and paid an ungodly price for that house. She is a bit prissy with her six foot grand piano and fancy paintings. Her constant playing drives me bonkers. All day long students come and go. I hate the coming and going of cars. She might actually be a drug dealer!”
   “Are you saying she teaches everyday?” Stevie asked unbelievingly. It would be unusual to have that many private piano students. 
    “Well, she actually only teaches Wednesday through Saturdays. The other days she is at the university.”
   “You seem to know a good deal about her comings and goings.” Stevie said snidely.
  “I’m a good neighbor. We talk about things. She has some kind of master’s degree in music. Why are you asking me so many questions?”
   “I am sorry to say that your neighbor was found dead at home this morning.” Stevie watched Mr. Patchett’s face to see how he would react. True surprise was hard to manufacture.
    “What?” His voice faltered. He took a seat slowly. “You’re kidding me? Is that why the ambulance is there?” 
   “Yes.” Stevie couldn’t believe he hadn’t known what was going on outside. “Have you seen any visitors that seem new in the last few days? Has her husband been at home lately?”
   “That foreigner? He is a piece of work. He comes and stays a few weeks and acts like he is master of the household. I think he is here illegally. “
   Stevie ignored his provocative comments. “Has he been here this week? “
   “I did see him yesterday and I wrote down the license plate number of his fancy car. Just a minute, I will get the slip of paper.” Alexander walked over to a desk and moved some books until he found a pad of paper. “ Here it is.” He handed to note to Reggie. “He was driving a new, dark blue, Toyota Camry. When he arrived he unloaded a bunch of boxes. I didn’t see him later in the afternoon or evening. Did someone murder her? Is her husband a suspect?” Mr. Patchett looked more excited than alarmed that someone had died next door.
  Reggie suppressed his irritation. “The cause of death is still unknown, sir.”
  They asked more questions about the neighborhood finding that all three neighbors used the same gardener. Stevie and Reggie left their cards and started back to Judith’s home.  
      Reggie pulled out his phone and called in the information about the dark blue car. As Reggie was talking Stevie turned away and walked over to the east side to admire the view over the Puget Sound. Just what had gone on here in the last twenty-four hours. It was a lovely November evening. A breeze gently moved the trees up the hillside. Waves lapped in and out below the house. There were walkways in between the grass and one slowly meandered down to the beach. Stevie started down the hill until she realized the steepness of the grade. How had a life full of comfort and beauty ended so abruptly? How could Judith Whitesides earn ten thousand dollars in a month? They would need to trace her income and outflow. Who did she see during the days before her death? What did she teach at the university? How many students did she have there? Questions flooded Stevie’s mind. She mentally sorted them into categories.
    She heard Reggie calling her from the house, interrupting her thoughts. “Dectective Holland has a hit on the license of the car. It belongs to a rental agency. It was rented two days ago by Dominik Horak and they they spotted in Seattle. Domink Horak is on his way in for questioning. They want us back in the squad room tonight.”
   “Really? I thought I’d spend the night here and start some interviews tomorrow morning.”
    “It can wait. Let’s head to the ferry and see what boat we can catch.”
    “Okay. You go head and I’ll stop off in West Seattle for a change of clothes and meet you at the precinct.”

    Reggie gave Stevie a long look. He enjoyed working with her which made him feel a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t a good idea to involve himself with his partner beyond their work. The last months had gone by quickly. Their intellects were well matched which created a harmonious cadence in their work. She had a peace to her that left him feeling grounded. He got into his vehicle and gave her a quick wave. 

                                              Chapter 4

Monday, November 13, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Loving Writing

The treasure I've discovered is a deeper love for writing.

Almost two weeks ago I made a quick decision to join National Novel Writing Month. A novel is a huge jump in my usual writing pursuits. I write for my blog but to try to write 50,000 words in one month is mind blowing. 
Fortunately, I have this One Little Word that is guiding me this year. The word is 'nurture'. Why not nurture this skill and jump in the deep?

When I reached 10,000 words, NaNoWriMo sent me an e-mail. You see, I log my words everyday on their internet site. The statement that somewhere in my words I've discovered treasure rang true. The treasure is the power of nurturing my intentions and following through. Even if my novel stinks, I will be pleased with the process of getting up each morning to write more about my own little world. 
    The main characters in my novel are two detectives who investigate the death of a piano teacher. Oh, you want to know more. Okay, just a peek.............Click here for a preview.

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click  here.

Friday, November 10, 2017


After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. 
Aldous Huxley

In music silence is called a rest. Rests are counted just like notes and there are symbols for rests with the same value as notes. So, silence is equal to sound in importance. 

     I forget that principle in the comings and goings of life. I fill the awkward silence in conversation with mutterings, I turn on music to cover the silence in my house, and disregard the silence I hear in prayer instead of asking, "Why aren't you answering?" I've asked it before and the answer was silence. But it was laced with love and reassurance. 
  "Be still and know that I am God."

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for more than three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.