Spring Has Sprung!

An early Iris in my garden.

With the best intentions I began the year, full of energy and ready to write.  But life got in the way.  Or is it really that I let life be my procrastination? I allowed it to keep me from my keyboard.  I call it a self-imposed form of writer’s block.  I had the concept for my next book, but didn’t know where to take it.  I tried outling – in spurts.  I researched areas and concepts of Vietnam (where The Black Toroise takes place).  But ultimately I needed to just sit down and write.  That has always been my go to – rear in the chair and force the story out of me.

This week I have been on Spring Break from my full-time teaching job.  While most of it was spent catching up on doctors appointments and gardening, I did sit down, put hands on the keyboard and clicked out a couple of chapters – Yay!  I must say, it was really helpful to have all the information from the research I had done – so I think I will incorporate that into my next books, as an actual step instead of feeling guilty about procrastinating.

Now to keep the momentum going.  As I am a teacher, I have to work a couple other jobs just to make enough money to enjoy life.  I tutor after school and I just applied to work in a garden nursery on the weekends.  So, while I will be even more busy as the sun shines, I will have to be more diligent about writing in the morning before the rest of life takes over.  My goal is to write two days a week.  Start small and build!

Here’s to another attempt at extracting the story from within.

Have a happy April!

~ Gretchen


Congratulations to Pam Curcio!

Pam won “The Treasure Chest Mysteries,” book two: The Jade Serpent in my Amazon giveaway.

Thank you to all who entered to win.


I hope you are enjoying the holidays, surrounded by friends, family and lots of laughter.

After an enjoyable, five days with family, I am happily back to writing; working on the outline of Book Three: The Black Tortoise.  Having a couple weeks (total) off from teaching has given me the opportunity to go for great hikes and ponder the possibilities for Koen and Titanus as they venture off to the exotic country of Vietnam.

The new year is just around the corner.  I’m thinking that my new year’s resolution will be to write more consistently.  Meaning, multiple times per week.  I know I won’t stick to daily writing as my teaching schedule gets busy, so I won’t even kid myself.  But 2-4 days a week just might be possible.

What about your new year’s resolution?  Have you ever lasted an entire year following your January resolution?  Curious to know.

Have a great one!  Here’s to 2018, a great writing year to be sure!

~ Gretchen


All About Family

Here in the US we just celebrated the lovely holiday of Thanksgiving. It is a great time to be with family and friends, be active (weather permitting), relax, laugh, play games and eat well. This year I had a portion of my family join me in my little home in Sacramento, California. It was fun to decorate, cook and get into the coziness of the coming winter. The weather was perfect for outdoor activities, getting to around 65ºF during the day with sun all around.

Before the Run to Feed the Hungry 5k (we walked it! So fun.)
My little, holiday decorated dinner table.

The next day we headed over to a cute town in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains called Sutter Creek.  Adorable.  Great local stores filled with fun items, wine tastings and happy people.  We sat outside along the creek and had a great lunch in the sun.  A very fun two days.

The remainder of this long weekend I have been teaching myself how to promote my book; “The Jade Serpent.”  Quite a learning curve, but I am starting to get a bit of an idea.  You may see an ad out there on Facebook and Amazon now.

Now to cozy up in front of the fire – the rains have returned and it is a deluge outside – so I think I’ll do a bit of reading.  My sister turned me on to these two books:

Now to decide which to read first.  Have a lovely Sunday!


Fabulous Fall

Hi There.

Does the late Fall bring a calm to your world like it does mine? It happens each November. I’m finally settled into a good rhythm teaching, volleyball has just finished (my girls did amazing this year!) and I once again have time to dive into writing.

It’s been fun to watch “The Jade Serpent” being discovered on Amazon. Now to work on promotions. It’s an amazing learning curve.

Besides outlining my new nonfiction book about Myanmar, I’m designing an online creative writing class. Booth of which I’m really excited about…so much so that I need to schedule my time on each project so that I don’t just sit here wasting time trying to decide which one to work on 😝

So as the rain waters my very happy plants, I’m spending the weekend snuggled with my two cats and clicking away at the keys.

Here’s to a great weekend.

~ Gretchen

Back Up and For Sale

Phew!  My book is once again available on Amazon!  With the addition of a few photos of myself when I re-habituated two baby Howler monkeys back into the northern rain forest of Guatemala, my book has enough pages to have info on the spine!  Oh so important.  Thanks for your patience and enjoy!  And PLEASE write a review on Amazon!  🙂

Changes to “The Jade Serpent”

Hi All,

Due to the hurricanes that have been ravishing the US (and beyond), I didn’t receive my copies of “The Jade Serpent” until a few days ago.  When they finally arrived I found that the spine was blank. Oh No!

After investigation I discovered I needed 3 more pages in my book for it to have the title and my name on the spine. So I have been reformatting with old photos of me in Guatemala and added a map of the world showing where Koen and Titanus have been adventuring.  All this to tell you that, if you have been trying to purchase my book on Amazon – it has said the print version is unavailable. (Still available on Kindle).  If all goes well, it should be available again starting tomorrow – Sunday, 10/1.

Lesson learned…always buy a physical proof before launching.  Oh, and with the added pages, Createspace forced me to up the price to $6.20.

Thanks for your patience as I continue to learn this process.  And please -write a review on Amazon!  It really helps!  Thanks!

The Jade Serpent is Published! Get it NOW

Hi Friends!  I am so excited to let you know that I have just published the second book in The Treasure Chest Mysteries: “The Jade Serpent.”

You can find it on Amazon in print and Kindle formats.

I’d like to ask your help in spreading the word to all your friends who might be interested (or know someone who might be interested) in a fun adventure story for approximately a 3rd grader (7-9 yrs old).

ALSO If you purchase one on Amazon – I’d be oh so grateful if you would write a review as that is how books get noticed and ‘suggested’ on Amazon.

Thank you so much for your support!  I hope you enjoy.    Gretchen

Outsmarting looters, crawling into dark, dripping caves, and escaping spear-throwing villagers is only half the battle when‘afraid-of-heights’ Koen is forced to jump off a giant temple, climb to the top of the tallest tree in the rain forest, and swing for his life – like Tarzan – through the jungle.

Putting his trust in: a medicine man, a monkey and a mouse…
No Problem.

Koen and Titanus are off on another adventure.
But it’s a race against time.

Can they find the stolen treasure before the thieves get their dirty hands on it and it is lost forever?