"Two wrongs may not make a right but a thousand wrongs make a writer.”

Friday, December 1, 2023

A Path To Publication and Preorder


As those of you who are familiar with my blog know, I have long been on the winding path to publication, ever since the Indie publisher, Unsolicited Press first notified me back in September of 2021 that out of thousands of submissions, my manuscript was selected as one of 40 projects to fill out their 2023/2024 list.

From that initial euphoria to signing a contract, to multiple angst-filled edits and settling on a cover, to the gally proof I now have in my trembling hands, it has been an arduous process. But, all of a sudden things are happening. Fast!  So I come back to you with an update and the big news that Let Evening Come  is now available for pre-order! 


Let Evening Come is the love story between an Indigenous person displaced from his family's ancestral home on the Tar Sands of Canada and a motherless farm girl from Michigan who struggles to overcome loss while navigating the pitfalls of young adulthood. Together they combat prejudice on both sides of the border and the cultural differences that separate them 


Preordering helps the author like this: When you preorder a book, it seeds excitement. It tells bookstores people want this book, which makes them typically stock more copies of the book, which of course means more people see it and buy it. Not only do publishers look at preorder numbers to determine their print run, but early sales are key. Experts say the first two weeks of a book's shelf life are the most important.

So, if there is a book coming out from one of your writerly friends 😊 via traditional publishing, or one that sounds interesting and you plan to purchase it anyway, the best way to support them is to preorder.

I never used to know any of this. I never knew anything.

I appreciate all of you who make up this vibrant blogging community and, truthfully, I would have faltered on the path if not for the ongoing encouragement and generous sharing of time, support, and ideas.

Thank you,



(Because in these times I think that needs to be said.)

P.S. I have a newsletter sign up form on my website and there will be a drawing from the first 50 subscribers for free signed copies!! 💖💖 

P.S.S. The Friday prompt from Poets and Writers is to be inspired by Don McLean singing Starry, Starry Night, his lovely song about artist Vincent Van Gogh. There might be a heavy cloud cover overhead but it's a starry, starry night for me and I hope for you, as well.

Monday, November 27, 2023

FOX & I - An Uncommon Friendship

I loved this book. The author, a former park ranger, earned a doctorate in biology and zoology then built a small cabin on an isolated piece of land in Montana and plotted her next move. 

As she accepts research projects and teaches field classes and leads groups of undergraduates through the Wilderness areas surrounding Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, we tag alone to learn things about the natural world that couldn't be taught inside a classroom.

But the main focus of this astounding book is her unlikely and inexplicable friendship with a red fox who visits her isolated mountain valley cottage at 4:15 every day. With traits that only humans should have, you will never view these small creatures the same again.

Fox & I is on my list of best reads of 2023.  My other top five to date (of course you're interested!😀) are: 

1. The Slow Horses Series (Mick Herron)

2. The Only Good Indian (Stephen Graham Jones)

3. Lessons In Chemistry (Bonnie Garmus)

4. Bear Town (Fredrik Backman)

5. An Invitation To The Party  (MJ Werthman White)

Tis the season for reading and writing and gift giving. I'd like to hear what some of your favorite books of the year are.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

A Letter To My Mother

Dear Mom, 

I have finally learned to appreciate your favorite vegetable—sweet potatoes. I’m making a shepherd’s pie with a sweet potato topping for dinner tonight. Remember how you always asked us to check to make sure you had sweet potatoes in the cupboard where you kept your onions and potatoes while making out your grocery list? I regret rolling my eyes, wondering what the big deal was. On the list they went, price circled, so we wouldn’t mess up. Those were the only times I ever bought sweet potatoes. 

It must have been the sweet potato casseroles of old with marshmallows on top—though that was never your way—that charred fluffy topping cemented my revulsion to the lowly sweet potato. I’m not sure at what point I got over that, but I wanted you to know, the Irish in me has finally taken hold. 

I’m using lamb in the shepherd’s pie tonight instead of hamburger, and I know you loved lamb. (Those patties stuffed with feta, served with mint jelly on the side?) Finally, of course there’s dessert. Baked apples with whip cream. 

It’s cold and wet tonight, but there's an empty chair with a cushion on it by the heat register. I just wanted you to know how much I love sweet potatoes. I guess what I really want to say is I wish I had another chance to tell you I love you. 




The challenge today from Punam at d’Verse - For The Love of letters is to write one. "Before the onset of the digital age," she says, "letter writing was the only way to communicate long distance. (Long distance phone calls were expensive). Thus, learning how to properly write a letter was part of any young woman or man's education."

In the present age it is so easy to keep up with people. Yet, we lose something important. The personal touch! Letter writing delivers something more to the recipient than just the words on the page. The act itself shows how much we care about a person. It's the intimacy, the information we impart by way of our handwriting, our choice of pen and paper, that connects us with the recipient in a way that cold computer screens can't."

But when was the last time you wrote one or received one?  So, in the spirit of participating in this challenge (appropriate as we enter the holiday season), to rekindle and revive the dying art of letter writing in my own small way, I wrote this letter to my mother,



Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Back when pheasants were plentiful
Opening Day m
eant friedcakes hot out of the deep fryer—
etty Crocker called them cake doughnuts
But mother called them friedcakes so friedcakes they were—
subtly spiced and dipped in glaze or sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar
and stacked in dripping pans to cool.

Opening day was hunters in camouflage jackets

and canvas vests lined with little pockets

to store bullets in. Traipsing in and out

the back door to sign in on dad’s clipboard

hung on a nail beside the dryer.


They would carry their birds back up the lane by the feet

stopping first to report in and get a friedcake.

A snapshot of one of the regulars

     Eddie in his bulging vest with his bird

     And a grinning preschooler full of indulgence in a fuzzy sweater.

What beautiful birds those ringnecks were.



Gunshots echoed across the fields

The kicking up of leaves in galoshes and wool socks.

The warm kitchen smelling of hot oil and cinnamon

Friedcakes dripping frosting cooling in the pan.

A jostling around the counter to duck and grab

Mother in her apron and dad in his coveralls

Talking up the hunt and the camaraderie of neighbors.




A Kindred Need

Chaff in the wind, grasshoppers on the fly,

the gathering up and the laying down.

Combines creep across the field

where sparrows hover and hide

in the dry rustle of the corn

storing up energy in their hollow bones

for fall portends winter,

when they’ll swoop over the land in concert of wing

for they need their kind come winter.

I heard a pheasant this past summer.
Never saw but heard the truncated chortle,

the two-note song. 

Was that a tail waving in the Queen Anne’s Lace?

I thought I heard a pheasant this past summer.

Can't resist linking this to Poets and Storytellers with their prompt in  favor of adjectives, reaffirming my belief that there are exceptions to every writing rule. And in answer to the prompt at What's Going On?  what do you love?, this post might only scratch the surface but Opening Day, then and now, are right near the top. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Sorrowful Mysteries

This is an old poem I wrote while my parents were alive, but given the world's current sorrowful state and d'Verse's tribute to Louise Gluck (recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize for literature) who was known for her insight into loneliness, family relationships, divorce, and death, I thought it an appropriate time to share.

My father and I say the rosary on the drive home

from the hospital.

I forget a line in the Our Father

and mumble my trespasses.

He finishes for me.

How could I forget

that which was memorized at the knee

of Sister Severe?

Swimming upstream in his wake,

I navigate the mysteries,

the joyful and the sorrowful mingling like water and salt—

Let it be known that no one who sought

thy intercession was left unaided.

He stumbles on the words,

they fall into his handkerchief.

I finish for him.

The miles pass unnoticed

and the mysteries come to an end

but the road continues and the day approaches

when there won’t be anyone left

to remember what is forgotten.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Vinegar and Newspaper

With the autumnal flocking of birds and rustling leaves whisking by my window, I try to wash one or two when the sun shows its fickle face. At least the ones I missed in spring with my scattershot approach. The window of opportunity is scant and fleeting (no pun intended). With a spray bottle of vinegar and water and several sections of newspaper—grandma’s mode of attack—I start. Drying with newspaper is how she did it, and the task always brings back memories of her. We’d be on the roof—one of my sisters or me—to wash the outside of the dormers, while grandma on the inside meticulously pointed out the spots we missed.

With grandma gone, I admit to the occasional bottle of store-bought window cleaner and a rag, but I always feel vaguely guilty about it, as if she were watching. For streak-free, squeaky-clean windows, vinegar and newspaper are not only cheaper than the dirt caught in the sills but will give you perfection beyond compare. 

Some things can only be done on a sunny day, but with a dearth of those, my flowerbeds are overgrown, the pear didn’t get trimmed, nor the strawberries weeded, and garlic is yet to be planted. What can be done on these dreary, rainy days?  Baking chocolate crinkles, walnut leek tarts, and canning pickled beets. Reading under a blanket and writing with laptop balanced on said lap as Hitchcockian flocks of birds fill the trees and flood the sky outside these freshly washed windows, for winter’s coming.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Uncommon Fruit


I need to see the sun’s first light

and flaming slide at the end of day.

I can’t escape my farmgirl sentience—

what it was to fall asleep

to the thrum of the hay dryer

with a pillow cooled at windows of sweet scent,

to hear the whistle of the freight train

on its rumble through the night

to pick up grain and carry it off.


With hay cut and drying in the sun,

I see those strong boys paid to help.

Heavy bales to lift, throw, and stack;

chaff in our hair, sweat down our backs.

We gathered at the hydrant,

close but not touching. Closer than touching.


Knee-deep in Queen Anne’s Lace

on a wend among the boulders,

glacial erratic that lined the fence—

worn pocket tops caught the rain

and made a seat for dreams of Oread

hawks and love and common things


and lent a view of the jagged line

of rogue apple trees

that grew along the creek

in unmannered ways,

withstood the winds of winter

and bore uncommon fruit

without the nod of a care from us.


Sharing an old poem about home at dVerse  (the poet's pub) and Poets and Storytellers, What conjures up home?  Nothing was ever sweeter than the smell of fresh cut hay and first love. 

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Better Than Jumping Off A Bridge

A Mother’s Question To Her Daughter:

Did you come in while I was sleeping?
 thought my glass was empty
nd you filled it.

So what have you been doing . . .

since you weren’t here.


What I’ve been doing—

    writing a novel you don’t understand

    and wouldn’t like,

    day drinking and dreaming—

you don’t want to know.

So, for you I’ve been

playing an out-of-tune piano,

and patting truffles into shape,

tending the chickens and chasing mice

out of the nesting boxes.

        Or was it a rat jumped past me en route to the door?

This cloak of guilt you’ve fitted

for me to wear like an apron

has bottomless pockets I'm working to fill.

So, don’t ask me what I’ve been doing

because you don’t want to know.

The poets at What's Going On Blog is calling on all poets who blog this week to explore the word Mother.  In all it's incantations, when a word is more than a word. 


Monday, September 25, 2023

Teeth Of The Beast - Monday's Musings


It’s official

Black Friday is now on the calendar

like an American holiday. 

Even Band-Aids are made in China.

My mother’s stainless-steel bowl

is stamped Made in USA. 

Hummingbird feeders hang untended and bereft

as summer sets sail in her wraparound skirt

throwing wet kisses from a vaporous cloud.

Can't say I'm sorry to say goodbye

because I have beets simmering in the pot

and an olive oil cake to whip up in that bowl, 

from a recipe I got at Dario Cecchini's kitchen 

the famous butcher of Panzano.

In between time I've hit send on my first  newsletter

composed by my lonely self with no help from the AI beast

that's been unleashed in our midst without so much

as a by-your-leave.

Send me a message here 

and I will share Dario's olive oil cake with you.

Over and out. Now to curl up with a good book

while the oven works.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

What Summer Makes Us Do


The tavern’s dark interior is refuge from the heat

that blankets the city in a migraine aura.

The top-shelf bottles are lined up like dancers

in lusty green skirts and amber hues.


The bartender blows foam from a pour

and our eyes meet in the mirror behind the bar.

Chunks of frost slide off my mug

like a glacier sliding into the sea.

I catch some with my tongue

as he wipes the bar with his towel.


An aquarium sits in the center of the backbar

and piranha sweep the perimeter with empty eyes.

Condensation drips off the bottom of the tank

and I wonder what he feeds them.


Music spills out of the back corner

where a barefoot stranger with a guitar

sits in a pool of light in front of a fan.


The room is a turntable

and the ceiling fan whiffs the nape

of my neck with a reminiscent chill—

    wool scarves and galoshes

    snowmen with black button eyes.


The bartender flips a lock of hair off his brow

eyebrows etched in surprise, as if I’d spoken aloud.

A careless flip-flop dangles off my toe

like the towel he tosses to and fro.


The dancefloor is chalky with sawdust

and the musician strums a lick

that will repeat in my head

like circling piranhas in an endless loop.


The room is an ocean, salt on our lips,

piranha swimming free.

Joining the open link party at dVerse for beer and company along with the poets at What's  Going On?  who are asking "How's the Weather?" They are calling all poets who blog, so how could I stay home?

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

A Lady In Pants

 Stories from the Carsonville Hills

My great grandmother had dementia. She lived in the back of her son’s house but had her own room and a sitting room. Mother remembers riding in the horse-drawn sleigh across the snow-packed roads to her uncle’s house and seeing her grandmother drift mysteriously through the living room. Though she often didn't know where she was or who she was with, in other matters, nothing escaped her. 

Women had just started wearing pants, and great-grandmother frowned on that. She’d look askance at a lady in pants and cast that disapproval mother’s way who, upon this occasion, had dared don a functionable pair of trousers with pockets for the ride through the snow. 

In great-grandmother's day women sat stern with reddened hands, legs together, baked bread in their house dress, milked cows in their barn dress, and herded the children to bed in their nightdress.

Mother was on the cusp of attending Marygrove College in Detroit. A woman on the move who dressed smart but sometimes wore pants.

Sharing this little story (prose poem?) with Desperate Poets (something desperately different) and Poets and Storytellers United.  The prompt is Triumph or Disaster. I look at this as a triumph for my mother given the times. But we woman are still fighting for decent pockets in everything!!

Friday, September 1, 2023

Super Blue Moon

The last rain stopped
and the steel sky lifted
a bit.

Six crows fly in battleship formation
across what might be the sun,
visible orb through cumulus gray
a bit.

Then dusk descended and the crows went
where crows go and bats took flight
from their hidey holes

and the moon- what they call blue-
rose over the hill where cattle sleep
and my father's house once stood.
For a bit.

Blue Moon on the rise
shames the breadth of artless men.
Bathes the earth in blue.

Written for our BLUE MOON, which won't happen again until 2037. Who knows what state the earth will be in by then so shine on tonight and check out the poets of dVerse as they praise the moon which dims the light pollution of humankind. The haiku finale is requisite in the haibun poetry form. Also, from dVerse is their Open Link Night for all to join in.

Friday, August 25, 2023

The Website Launch

I'm very excited to announce the launch of my new website yvonneosborne.com. Visit me and say hello! I'm nervous about it, hesitating between "coming soon" and the public launch. Just as debut novelists wonder, what if nobody buys my book? I wonder, what if nobody visits me? But I thought it important to do this before my debut novel hits the shelves in the spring of next year.

Website building for a non-techy person is a painstaking process, one that had me one step shy of throwing my laptop out the window. I finally wised up and hired a pro to help. Jane Friedman said we shouldn't have to, making the process sound easy. but she obviously didn't have me in mind when churning out her website building classes on Writer's Digest. I'm neither a plumber, electrician, carpenter, nor website builder! I just want to write, and I think many writers feel the same. We want to sit in a private corner with our favorite writing medium, immersed in our stories with characters whom (honestly) we often feel closer to than the people outside the door. When in the zone, we don't want to talk to real people.

So, that said, thank goodness for experts like Gaby at Fiver. Check her out if you are thinking of building a website or just want to renovate an old one and you aren't one of the prior-listed skilled tradespeople! Then check out mine. All human, all the time. Too bad that needs to be said, but with AI on the rampage and plagiarism on everyone's mind, I feel it does. How do we protect our names and our work? But that's a whole different subject.  But I promise, I will never edit text with AI. If I can't compose my own sentence structure and  narrative from my experiences, ideas, and imagination, than I'm not a writer. What am I? A copycat. The kid at the back of the room who is either too lazy, or just can't cut it, and enlists the help of others to write his papers for him.

Have a great weekend and may Aeolus, the god of storms in Greek mythology take his bluster elsewhere. Likewise, Thor, that hammer-wielding god of Norse mythology associated with lightning can take his hammer and split. Though my dad always said chain lightning was important because it channeled nitrogen into the earth, we've had quite enough in southeast Michigan.

I just had to throw in a weather lament. When not writing, I'm a farmer and a gardener, and weather is of paramount importance. Notice how all these gods of mayhem are male and irascible? 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

The Pet Peeve


On my mind of late is the increasing use of the term "guest" instead of "customer."  I was standing in line at a checkout when a clerk waved an arm and called:

 "Next guest!" 

I looked around. Guests? Whose a guest? Who...me?

I wanted to ask the perky person behind the arm why refer to me as such an animal.  I thought I was here to buy something. Am I to be entertained? How nice, where may I sit and should I have taken off my shoes? 

I thought this experience was an abberation. Perky was obviously out on a limb of her own choosing. This misuse of the term couldn't have been suggested or condoned by the powers that be. It couldn't possibly take root in the lexicon of customer/business relationships. And so, I forgot about it. But then, alas, it happened again and again.

Guest, per Webster is a person entertained in one's home or a person to whom hospitality is extended. 

Customer, per old Webster is one who purchases a comodity or a service from a store or a business.

I'm a customer when I go to the department store, the uptown store, or the downtown store. I don't expect an easy chair, or a glass of wine, or a crumpet. I neither expect nor want to take off my shoes. I don't expect anything other than efficient, polite service and a commodity at a fair price. It grinds my goat to be called a guest when I'm a customer. Guest implies friendship and comaraderie. It implies a gift exchange. I think someone far removed from those of us who grease the gears of civilized society decided it would make us feel all warm and snuggly to be thus labeled; complacent as lemmings as we stand in line to pay for our gifts with Guest stamped on our foreheads, bamboozled by yet another example of the flagrant misuse of the English language.

Gift, per Webster is a thing given willingly to someone without payment.

The final straw was the tire guy. We needed a tire rotation, which was free because it's where we bought them. Unfortunately, this turned into four new tires and an estimate for brakes and rotors that if not attended too would land us in the ditch where we would be neither guest nor customer but SOL. In reading over the estimate and invoice, we were referred to over and over as a Guest. This service (please refer to Webster's definition of Customer) was going to cost us (now their GUEST) over $1,200. 

Is that any way to treat a guest when all we wanted was a free rotation?

Challenged by Bjorn Rudberg at d'Verse to use rhetorical device to argue a cause you believe in, I have argued a pet peeve of mine. As Bjorn reminds us: "rhetoric is the art of convincing." Did I convince you?

Thursday, July 27, 2023

She Isn't Sleeping

Far from the withering gaze of the preacher
The women gather at the riverbank.
Musician, hunter, poet, mother,
Like pearls freed from their shells
They gather lilies and herbs for the midwife.
Madeline floats with her socks on
To rise like a myth on loosened wings
In the dress with a musical bar
Imprinted around the hem.
Shells empty of their pearls,
Like the houses of their ancestors,
Float by in the reel of the river.

Far from the withering gaze of the preacher
er companions bare their breasts
 the sun,
nd Madeline takes off her dress.

Writing ekphrastic poetry for d'Verse, I chose this watercolor by Maria Berrio.

Monday, June 12, 2023


The boy killed himself with a crossbow.
The family had removed all the guns from the house
But not that.

Red the lidded eye, the smoke-filled sky
the robin flailing under the bird netting
trapped for the red of a ripened berry.

At a gas station a man digs through the garbage can
with his bare hands. Windfall swirls over the broken asphalt.
His coat flaps in the wind.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Pheasants, Orioles, and Strawberries

Michigan's spring weather has been prickly with more twists and turns than a wooden roller coaster. One day we think summer is back, then the bottom falls out. But the strawberries are laden with blossoms and the Baltimore Orioles are eating all my grape jelly. Can they be enticed to stay? Yesterday was gorgeous with calm winds. So calm my son tackled the extension ladder to fix a hole in the eavestrough where starlings were nesting and wasps were wasping. That problem was solved just before the wind kicked into high gear, shifting out of the North with plummeting temperatures and frost warnings for the entire upper two thirds of the state. So.... off to the strawberry patch I went to save the blossoms.

I have a double layer of shade cloth I've been taking on and off with each frost warning. Bundled up as if it were March, tight hood, snug gloves, and heavy socks, I wrestled the cover back over the row of berries, weighing the sides down with dirt and rocks. I have a plehora of them because a Mad Farmer always has rocky ground. 

On my knees (lo and behold, as grandma would say) I discovered that nestled under the plants were more than blossoms.  Plump berries are already starting to form. Strawberry season used to be mid-June to July 4th. No more. They keep coming earlier and earlier, like the lilacs and the asparagus and the peony. Topsy Turvey weather but don't call it Global Warming or the deniers will drive a stake through your heart.

But on the intermittent nice days of spring, I walk the pasture which is now our pheasant habitat. We left a large area uncut last year, and an impressive patch of Queen Anne's Lace went to seed. Now there's a stretch of stalks waist high to a tall man, two-hundred feet long by fifty feet wide that pheasants love. We hear their excited two-note calls all the time and a few days ago I saw one running through the grass, head bobbing above the seed pods. My pheasant habitat looks brown and weathered but there is a lot of life going on under foot. Anything but dead. So, why do I tell you this? Because there is something to be said for uncut grass, dandelion bracelets and ringnecks on the fly. Pesticides had thinned them rare, so to see them and hear them in the wild brings us joy. 

Now at nightfall the winds calm. The chickens roost and the pheasants hide. Jupiter rides below the quarter moon in the western sky and the earth sleeps.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Boy With A Dandelion

has dark skin and watchful eyes. An immigrant boy. A migrant. We are all of us the one and conflicted over the other. He picks dandelions and twines them into a braid. His father digs carrots and picks lettuce. His arms are brown and muscled and ready for work. The morning is misty and overcast, and the fields are muddy and wet, but the boy is barefoot and learning our ways.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The Devil's Been Busy In Your Backyard

The news traveled fast from farmhouse to farmhouse. Mothers gathered in their children and latched the doors. Farmers loaded their shotguns and walked their fencerows.

The six Smith children were out gathering wildflowers—from the fifteen-year-old girl who laughed at him to the five-year-old with a handful of daisies—when the blue-ribbon marksman cocked his double-barrel and took aim, from youngest to oldest, reloading thrice.

He won the turkey shoot at age twelve, took that blue ribbon in marksmanship at thirteen, and whetted out justice at fourteen. She shouldn’t have laughed it him.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Novel Writing, Websites, and Sugar Dragon Angst

Prompted by Poets and Storytellers United to shape words around the phrase "It's Been A Long Time Coming", I immediately thought of the writing process. I'm in the proofreading stage on the editorial calendar for the novel I've worked on since 2012. In between gaps in that calendar, I'm working on a website (another Long-Time-Coming) and trying to turn a couple of short stories into novels. That endeavor began during NaNoWriMo as I attempted to combine two into one but didn't get very far. I've never been an outliner but now I see why some writers prefer that approach. 

On another "Long Time Coming" subject, I've been trying to rid my figure of all those Christmas cookies, cakes, festive punches and bourbon slushes we indulged in. To be honest, this is a lifelong seesaw occurrence for me. This time I'm forcing my family into the Whole 30 plan with me. Wow. I never realized how much sugar "they" sneak into our foods under different names like sucralose and dextrose, even stevia, all the same to our brain. Not just ketchup (which was suspected) but lunch meats, chicken and beef broth, even some mustards have added sweeteners.  We've gotten so used to them, whole foods without added sweeteners seem bland and boring. On the average, Americans consume over 57 pounds a year. No wonder we are notoriously subject to obesity, diabetes, and many other ailments. 

The sugar dragon is a tenacious creature, but we have him in a pen and are about to lead him down the chute to slaughter. Long time coming!

Yet, I think about food all the time. Especially when in the throes of website building and navigating Word's track changes with an editor.  While my experience seemed endless with the dragon of self-doubt always breathing down my neck, I know novelists who've spent twenty plus years on a project. How does one soldier on while slaying the beast in the closet? As Sylvia Plath said, "The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt."