In How to Write an Autobiographical Novel the author says a complete draft is like a Christmas tree you get to decorate next time around. Thank you. Hoping to begin next go around in the middle of summer. DNA & The Sands of the Shore

How freeing it is to write a novel most every day where the main character Catherine ‘Kick’ Groves has a Scottish grandmother, Adaira.

My ‘ain folk’ hailed from the Glasgow area though my grandmother marries a highlander from Dundee. He had been in the Black Watch. They went all the way up to Loch Ness where my mother was born near the Black Isle but that was nothing yet. Soon they were off to America.

My mom’s mom believed in burning your bridges and going past her times in East Kilbride was tough until someone from the ‘House of Eliott’ played it all at my feet. No one besides Wilhelmina and George had gotten out of greater Glasgow.

Affairs is an island Scot and that is freeing and good.



The main character Kick has a Scottish mother Adaira who has lived with her American husband in Tarrytown for.almost forty years. Killers, including serial ones, is not a good topic for a family with a missing child to discuss but one night they get on the topic and can’t get off. From the Scottish Peter Manuel to Leopold and Loeb, they make their blood run cold. Kick always keeps Elizabeth Smart close her heart for comfort but when asked how she keeps calm to carry on she responds, ‘Insee myself in a little stone cottage on Iona where the land and sky meet the Irish Sea as the gray smoke from the chimney rises to meet God. I ensconce, ensconce? Is that a word? Well, I ensconced myself like a snail but there is light within.’

Heart beating in rhythm with the character

Although the bloodiest parts of the tale BLOODED IN SLEEPY HOLLOW have yet to be written out, this morning I was compelled to pen one of the final pages.

Kick goes out dramatically on a chilled Spring night to talk to her friend Mo. Kick in a beanie and navy peacoat, puts on no makeup but neatly comes her hair. Mo is a little aback to see Kick when she looks out the kitchen window but Kick has a message.

Almost Home

As Blooded in 💤 Sleepy Hollow, 🎃 1st draft, reaches the two thirds mark, excitement and fear brew together.  This is a bloody book and you have to live in Yeats’s rag-and-none shop of the human ❤️ heart to write it.

A clue may give away a character’s involvement too soon yet it’s only part of it. You can see a reader 🤔 thinking: I knew it was him.  It’s not like that. There’s more to it. Still it’s hard to know what to give and what to hold.

The worst is yet to be.  Truths hidden have to yield. Just finished reading two books which have careless, murky endings. The end of this one will be crystal clear.



Midpoint, more or less, for in progress.

Harry Childers

At the Delphi, Harry warns a young woman not to move until he can consult the Oracle while His friend Cam, jests that Harry won’t like what the Oracle said last time it spoke. (Know Thyself; Everything in moderation.)

Blooded in Sleepy Hollow

Kick is on a prayer retreat up at Green Mountain Lake, Kendall is flirting with Bubbles who says she would invite him to join her church but he would be the only white person there and Detective Vincent is up at Lake George with his wife, daughter, and granddaughter. Kick worries about C, her young adult neighbor, Kendall is suspicious of the drama teacher and Vince suspects the local dentist. Mattie Groves is still missing and seven-year-old Kelley is developing a fear of wolves.

Must the Hero Be Tall, Youngish and White?

Mad magazine made fun years ago of the original Hawaii Five-O by presenting Jack Lord as a handsome, towering white man who was out to save the tiny, misguided islanders who were either criminals or crime victims.

Syberia 3, a weak sequel to the superb Syberia I, and the satisfying Syberia 2, has tall, caucasian, NY lawyer trying to save the very short, crude looking Yukal tribe from mad Russian doctors and environmental threats such as rivers that don’t freeze. It is nice to see a more realistically drawn Kate Walker.

I should know better but when I needed a chapter or round for Kick Groves before I insert the second book club chapter, I started with a scene of wife and husband in bed looking back to when they wanted a son, then moved to morning when their daughter Kelley wakes up screaming from a nightmare to a knock on the door after Kendall has gone to work. An Hispanic babysitter has locked herself out of the house across the street with the baby inside. Kick runs over, calms the woman down, then, being the athlete she is, climbs from tool shed to garage to open bedroom window while the babysitter is having an asthma attack. Kick then speculates about how she climbed in a window, brought a baby downstairs and to the front door to let the sitter back in and no neighbors knew what was up though it was the middle of the day.

It is based on a real event.✅

It presents action just when it is needed.✅

It depends Kick’s character showing how she can think of other’s though her son is missing.✅

It offers speculation about how Mattie might have been taken.✅

Yet, I am very unhappy to have present Kick as a tall, white savior. It could have been worse. Husband Kendall could have rushed in to save them all.