Saturday, December 20, 2014


It's plenty late on Saturday morning, and I meant to do this. I fully intended to bask in the warmth of my fleece sheets, to be completely aware that I had no need to throw back my layers and risk the bite of the chill and face the dark of the early winter morning.

Instead, I am comfortably ensconced on my ikea perch, overlooking my Christmas wonderland in the living room, after a delightful breakfast of pesto scrambled eggs and black coffee, which leads me to my next point.

Everything has sugar. One of my intentions now is to stop adding sugar. No jelly, no sugar packets, no whipped cream. After all, where did it come from? I don't really know, do I? I prefer to eat more food from plants, and less food from PLANTS, if you know what I mean.

My grandmother, the culinary wonder, and her father, the Greek chef, work through my hands when I'm cooking, and oregano is always present. After all, the old wives tale goes, "Oregano banishes feeling of unhappiness. If you've had dinner here on Greek Night, hopefully you left happy.

Intentional 2015. Naming every meal. Naming every dollar. Make your world.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On and On. Over and Over.

Today I received a book cover. It's a book cover that has my picture on it, and I'm listed as a...

Ready for this?

Happiness Expert. 

I'm pretty sure that's going on some wicked awesome business cards. Pronto. Like, really!

The book won't be out for a month, but I co-authored with some pretty fantastic people, and I know this is the right way to kick off a year! 

#abookamonth2015 #readwrite #happiness #josieblaine #

Monday, November 17, 2014

It is said...

Be happy. All the water in the world can't sink a ship if it can't get inside.

And so, keep the negativity out of your heart. Let not those disturbing images and voices play on in your mind.

Today may have been the most amazing day in the world, but if you let anxiety and sadness come into your door, the perfection will fly out the window.

I say, get new weatherstripping. A storm is brewing. Protect your happy heart.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Shopping?

This year, buy them books!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gearing Up!

The holiday season is upon us! Everyone knows a book is a great Christmas gift! I have crates of books ordered, booksignings scheduled, and a load of reds in the washer! I am READY.

Now, all I have to do is get a haircut, so I don't show up looking like nobody's kid, as my momma used to say. And do something about all the papercuts on these hands (side effect of being a gubmint worker).

I'm big into promoting fellow local artists and authors, so I like to link to them on my Facebook and Twitter. Shopping locally does so much for the community. When you buy a piece of someone's work, you are buying their lunch, their lights, and helping keep them going! I know a lot of these folks. This community is teeming with musicians and artists. Please, while we're worrying about what outside companies want to do to our state, consider seeking out a locally-sourced Christmas!


Thursday, October 2, 2014


Five years ago, I was perched in my favorite chair in my friend Tammy's living room, drinking German coffee and discussing her plans to do NaNoWriMo, while she encouraged me to write a novel.

I wrote that year for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. In those days, it was difficult to sit still and finish a chapter, or complete a few hundred words. I had a lot going on and a lot of friends to keep me busy.

Once I got started, I saw plots everywhere. Nowadays, I can't stop writing. After Something About Sophia came to fruition, it was just natural to continue a story. I feel that way now.

Nowhere, Everywhere is out in the world, but Gertie's questions have to be answered. The answers arrive in June.

#northdakota #historicalfiction #somethingaboutsophia #nowhereeverywhere

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back at it.

Yesterday was the downtown street fair, also referred to by my cousin Melanie as "Cousin Day." In this city, you will run into everyone with whom you are acquainted at the street fair.

I volunteered in the morning, then had a lovely lunch with my cousin Valerie. I witnessed a man drop his gyro on the street.

"Please don't. Please don't. Please don't eat that... oh no. Just what are you willing to ingest from the surface of the pavement? Granted, we're talking gyro, but COME ON.

My other-side-of-the-family-cousin Melanie met up with us and we ambled about the booths.

When Valerie went her own way, Melanie and I scoured each tent for Cinnabon Popcorn. Other friends we'd seen were eating this divine-sounding confection, and we finally found it at a tent marked Pride of Dakota.

Now, all I want is Cinnabon Popcorn. Getcha some at any Pride of Dakota event this holiday season, when you shop locally!

Also, I have to order some books! I've got signings and plans coming up, and things are rockin'!

More later...xoxo

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

And a-one, and a-TWO!

Barnes & Noble bought it! Barnes & Noble ordered Nowhere, Everywhere AND reordered Something About Sophia!

Is this happening?

THEN, the swank museum near my hometown invited me for a booksigning, since now I have two books out.

Would that I could be more poetic about it at this moment in time, but the fact of the matter is, I'm really very happy and excited, and probably a little exhausted, too.

Some solid sleep might be a nice replacement for coffee.

May you be as blessed as I feel today.

#barnesandnoble #somethingaboutsophia #nowhereeverywhere #northdakota #historicalfiction

Saturday, August 23, 2014

And here we are again!

It's like a dream, really. Today I signed and sold my second book. So many dear friends and family came out, and several complete strangers in the mall bought Nowhere, Everywhere. I scarce can wrap my mind around this. They say if you can believe your dreams, they aren't big enough.

Book Three in the series is started, but it won't be released until my next book is finished. I hope that isn't too confusing, but I made a commitment to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Association, and I have to finish what I was doing...


Sunday, July 27, 2014

We sure can't do it alone.

Why would we even try?

I mean, granted, the late nights of writing? Those have to be done alone. Someone brings me treats every once in a while. Someone shows up to take me to dinner or bring me coffee. These are the perks of having people in your life whom you love and who love you in return. They also want to make sure I am still alive.

My main character was broken-hearted, and took off on a train on an adventure, just to see what's out there. Nothing would ever change for her if she'd stayed where she was. She took a chance. She was a smart girl, too, don't get me wrong. She didn't go off lounging in speakeasies all the way up and down the coast or anything.

It is a story about independence and community, about friends who become family, and about growing up.

Tonight, I am brave enough to check the amazon rank. Gratefulness overtakes me and I can barely breathe. I am one blessed lady. Something About Sophia is sitting at #63,000 of more than a million books. I don't have numbers on Nowhere, Everywhere yet.

If this all disappeared tomorrow, it would have been enough.

#nowhereeverywhere #northdakota #historicalfiction

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Nowhere, Everywhere


For four years, I thought this book would be entitled Nowhere "and" Everywhere: A Good Place to be From."

It turns out, that gets to be a little wordy in an elevator speech over sushi. Let's just ditch the colon and add a comma. After all, we all like the comma. We're hoping this book brings me a comma.

Comma, comma, comma, comma, comma, come heal me, yeah...

ANNND... I am furiously tap-tap-tapping away again, because, somehow, I can't stop. I have more thoughts than you'd think. It's not really just that. The true story is that I started a project fourteen and three-quarters years ago, and I should be able to finish it by my fifteenth brainaversary. I've had a lot of encouragement through the years. We've got a lot going on.

#historicalfiction #gertie #northdakota #somethingaboutsophia #sherememberstrilogy

Friday, June 27, 2014

Scrawling... a madwoman.

I am writing as much as possible. For one publication or another. For the Independence Day newspaper, and the local magazine that comes out monthly. I write emails and envelopes at work. I write Facebook statuses and text messages. I've been trying to write grocery lists, to eat more fruits and vegetables, but let's face it, the Bountiful Baskets are available, and that's making our lives easier.

Right now, I'm writing emails to my Operations Manager because my second book isn't quite ready...

Oh, hey, guys? I'm starting a publishing company. Are y'all ready for this? I am registering...

Sunflower Press of North Dakota.

It will be beautiful. And I wanted you to know first. It's taking us a little time, because we're swamped, and we have jobs, but it's coming. The important thing is this: Gertie's story is coming. She is fifty years ahead of Sophia, and she will knock your socks off.

You won't have to wait long.

#nowhereeverywhere #northdakota #historicalfiction

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Counting on it.

Quiet now, I can still hear the clinking of the seaglass,
Guitar strings winking in my face.
Oceans of blue, green and gold have passed,
My window as the road and the radio met my days.
Airwaves, airlines, and all of the rest...
I have been so blessed.
I have been so blessed. #outofmyhead

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Board of Directors

Your Board of Directors. The list of individuals in your life whom you would call together in time of crisis or celebration, to make a decision or plan a party. Who are they? Who shows up on Moving Day and stands in your front yard, willing to send you off to places unknown, and will take you back into their arms and kitchen tables again, whenever you come home?

This week I was blessed to touch base with my Board of Directors, and now, as I breathe in the breezes of spring, and know the trees are budding and the ice will no longer be a fear factor, I am feeling immeasurably blessed. We have made it. We have survived. I feel like I've been sweating it out in a conference room surrounded by ten-foot snowbanks.

Another book is nearing completion, after several years of work and worry, my own cross-country move, and I believe in this character. I almost put her away this week, because I was at a sticking point. No, one of my directors said. She's a role model. She needs to be read. I like her, as a person.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Divinely Inspired

Man, I love going to church.

In addition to the obvious, for the feeding of my soul, I love that bad church coffee. I don't necessarily go to enjoy the flavor of the black liquid. No, it's the coffee hour that caffeinates my being.

Those old folks at church coffee know where it's at, I'm telling you right now. I have been more entertained at church coffee hour than at any movieplex in the nation. The retired officers' wives at the army post taught me everything I ever needed to remember, in case they ever matched me with bachelor brass, and these days, the hometown heroes entertain me with anecdotes that are on the edge of unbelievable.

This precious 83-year-old lady (and she was a lady, let me tell you) looked me square across the table tonight, at the last Wednesday supper before Lent, after making me laugh out loud in the Great Hall, and said, "you may use THAT in one of your stories."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dotted Lines

The wind is howling, the ground is a treacherous ice rink, and the windchill below the donut would freeze eyeballs in only a few breaths, so it's only natural to be dreaming of summer vacation. 

When I was a kid, we would load up the Oldsmobile and cruise out to the mountains or Lake Superior for two weeks every bloomin' summer. That meant two solid weeks of my brother reaching across the backseat and pounding charley horses into my thigh. The reward was typically an ice cream cone. We're not talkin' soft serve in a drive-thru. Our destinations were always these really cool mountain tourist towns, that smelled of leather and horses, and there would be REAL ICE CREAM there. I vowed that when I grew up, I wanted to live in a tourist town like that. Horse neck is one of my favorite smells. Take a whiff. You'll sense what I mean.

Maybe, while I'm huddled up under three blankets and trying to finish the next book, I just really, irrationally, want ice cream. Perhaps I want to move to some Wild West town that smells of leather. I'm not too worried about the ice. After all, it always gets warmer. Eventually.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


"Get to work!" were my friend's words.

And I obliged. I opened the file, scrolled down, got caught up in my own story for a bit, then... THUD.

Concrete wall. Now what? Well, I shimmied into the kitchen to warm up my coffee, swung by the office to restart the Yanni CD, and threw a napkin in the garbage. Put my hair in a ponytail, applied some balm to my lips, since the air has been so dry, and while I was at it, some lotion to my hands and neck.

Writer's block.

I wondered what was happening in another of my tales? I opened up Book #6? Whoop, sure enough. That heroine needed some attitude, and I had HAD IT. After about 500 words or so, I was ready to return to Book #2, which is still pretty sweet, but has some spark.

There are people who read several things at once, and keep them all straight and separate. I write that way. You'll see. Besides, when one main character needs strength, I like to think she can get it from another, as if they are all friends. I can call up my friends and tell them when I need strength, or coffee, or a prayer, and they will most likely show up at my house with any of these things, and some extra thrown in.

I have the best people on earth within my reach and whisper, it's only fitting some of them make it onto the page.