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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

Where Is January Going?

Does your year start off leisurely or are you frenetic? I can hardly believe that we are already mid month. Writing has taken up quite a bit of my time, but I have also had great events, meals out, and the usual things we have to do like groceries, laundry, and check ups.

I've also had some physical therapy. Writing is taxing and neck and shoulder problems are not uncommon. As a person who has always had tight muscles, hours at the keyboard just exacerbates everything. So far, I haven't been told I can't work—lucky for my readers, I hope.

Last night I went to the United Center and watched a lackluster first period, where the Blackhawks were down 6-1. Maybe lackluster isn't really a strong enough descriptor. They were abysmal. While they played better for the rest of the game, a hole like that is hard to fill. Even with a goal in the second and four in the third, they still lost 8-5. I don't blame either of the net minders. If your team isn't playing in front of you, being the lone savior is difficult.

After three straight wins, a game like that was hard to take. Fingers crossed that the next game, on Tuesday, will have them showing up to play from the beginning. I'll be watching—from the comfort of my living room.

The fun thing is that my Jane Austen short story is almost ready to send off for the charity anthology coming out in August. And since the collection is already up for preorder, you can reserve it now, and not think about it again until it hits your Kindle on the day. I am told there will also be a paperback available.

Here's a tiny sliver from the opening of my contribution, Colonel Fitzwilliam Meets His Match.


Frustration made Ophelia Hampton crash her fingers on the keys of Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s pianoforte. The howling early blizzard matched her tempestuous emotions and the title of the new Beethoven piano piece, “Les Adieux,” reflected her mood. Demands in the household at Rosings Park taxed her resolve to be the perfect lady companion.

The sonata was a gift from Sir Thomas Wheelwright, a near neighbor who, since he moved into Lanmere House, had become an intimate of the Rosings household. Stout and middle-aged, Wheelwright made his fortune in the East Indies, importing saltpeter for the army.

“As I am sure you are aware, Miss Hampton, I was in London for the last sen’night and I heard this delightful piece at a soiree at Lady Gainsley’s house. I was certain it would be of particular interest.”

Ophelia took the pages with trembling hands. Such a prodigiously expensive gift was unwelcome. What might Wheelwright demand in return?

Lady Catherine leaned over and plucked the sheets from her “Beethoven! I have been informed that his music is unsuitable for a young girl.” She tried to return it to the giver.

“Not so young,” Ophelia demurred softly.

Lady Catherine gave her a warning glare but handed the sheets back to her when Wheelwright waved them away.

Ophelia fancied anger in his piggy eyes that belied his jocular expression. “Come now, Lady Catherine. I assure you this piece will cause no harm. Perhaps Miss Hampton will play it for us at the next possible occasion.”

What ever you have planned for the rest of the month, I hope most of it is fun.

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