Leslie Jones is hilarious

In case you haven’t heard, Leslie Jones is hilarious.  Comedian, actress, SNL cast member – she makes me, my husband, and our friends LOL from our couches on a regular basis.

In case you haven’t heard, Leslie Jones was cyber bullied to the point that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had to step in.

Here’s a thought.  Remember what Ralphie did to his bully in “A Christmas Story?”  Perhaps that could be staged between Leslie Jones and her cowardly bully.  In the snow.

Continue bringing more JOY to the world, Leslie. I think you’re hilarious, and I’m not alone.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was highly recommended to me by several readers. I love history and was surprised to find the story had a very creative way of describing the occupation of Guernsey island in the English Channel during WWII. The characters were drawn together by their love of books, and the resilience of the survivors shines through their personal letters that deliver this story. Here are my favorite quotes!

Arrayed in her finest frock and spotless white gloves, the girl made her way to the school, stepped over the threshold, took one look at the sea of shining cadet faces before her—and fainted dead away! The poor child had never seen so many males in one place in her life. Think of it—a whole generation grown up without dances or teas or flirting.

Apropos of my new dress and no new shoes—doesn’t it seem shocking to have more stringent rationing after the war than during the war? I realize that hundreds of thousands of people all over Europe must be fed, housed, and clothed, but privately I resent it that so many of them are Germans.

Friends tell me that Europe is like a hive broken open, teeming with thousands upon thousands of displaced people, all trying to get home.

My worries travel about my head on their well-worn path, and it is a relief to put them on paper.

I argue myself all the way to one end of the question and back again several times a day.

I have been reading an article by a woman named Giselle Pelletier, a political prisoner held at Ravensbrück for five years. She writes about how difficult it is for you to get on with your life as a camp survivor. No one in France—not friends, not family—wants to know anything about your life in the camps, and they think that the sooner you put it out of your mind—and out of their hearing—the happier you’ll be. According to Miss Pelletier, it is not that you want to belabor anyone with details, but it did happen to you and you cannot pretend it didn’t. “Let’s put everything behind us” seems to be France’s cry. “Everything—the war, the Vichy, the Milice, Drancy, the Jews—it’s all over now. After all, everyone suffered, not just you.” In the face of this institutional amnesia, she writes, the only help is talking with fellow survivors. They know what life in the camps was. You speak, and they can speak back. They talk, they rail, they cry, they tell one story after another—some tragic, some absurd. Sometimes they can even laugh together. The relief is enormous, she says.

I hope, too, that my book will illuminate my belief that love of art—be it poetry, storytelling, painting, sculpture, or music—enables people to transcend any barrier man has yet devised.

As the members of the Literary Society found during their ordeal, companionship can help us surmount nearly any barrier, imposed, self-imposed, or imagined.

Acknowledgements for At the Corner of Main & Crazy, a novel


Main & Crazy book cover

click me for a preview!

I thank God for His promise of a peace beyond understanding.


Thank you Christina Ranallo, for sharing your gift of teaching, for making me realize a story has to be more than “A man falls in a hole.”


If a ballet teacher isn’t strict, they aren’t effective. Ballet is an art of strength, endurance and perfection, and Brad McCaskill teaches it brilliantly.  Thank you for continuing my love & respect of ballet, for making me a stronger dancer and for perhaps unknowingly incorporating life lessons into your instruction.


I have been blessed with so many wonderful girlfriends throughout my life. You didn’t know it, but each of you helped me learn to cope. I watched as you laughed, and started to learn that we would all be OK, together.


To my brother, my original musical influence.  You gave me the love of music and it has been one of the biggest joys in my life.


There is NO DOUBT I would not have gotten past the outline stage without the fabulous folks in my writing group! Thank you Kevin Ramirez, Simone Hanson, Sam Moffitt, Jaager Good and Brent Lambert.  Writers can’t write in a bubble, they need their work to be heard so they have the opportunity for continual improvement.  Equally important is the support this group has provided me when I kept asking myself “Why am I doing this?!”


My Mom & Dad truly emulate unconditional love.  Your steadfast love and support through the years has provided a firm foundation I find comfort in every day of my life.  I am blessed to be your daughter.

My husband Gordon will never read this book (because there’s not enough cars in it). What’s important is his steady support of my goals, for allowing me countless hours to dedicate to this work. Thank you for simply holding me when the only thing that feels natural is to cry. For loving me for who I am.  Thank God for you.