Welcome to my new blog

Hello, my dear friends,

I’ve decided to write a Blog! It’s going to be an intimate glimpse into my life as a woman writer. Sometimes it will include short stories or articles that are too long for my newsletter or Facebook posts. It won’t be in any special order, because the mind of a writer is an effervescent chaos of ideas. It won’t always be the same length. Sometimes there will be lots of photos. I hope you enjoy them!

Love, Nancy

My Favorite Holiday Books


December is my favorite month of the year. Christmas with all its excitement arrives, along with friends and family. The house smells wonderfully of pine and cinnamon. Plus, it’s nice and dark and cold out so I get to stay inside and read!

Here are some of my favorite holiday books:

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. Set in a country village in Scotland, this novel is as delicious and comforting as a mug of hot chocolate.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. No tree or Christmas lights for the Cranks. They’re going on a Caribbean cruise. Or are they? This is not a Grisham mystery, but a funny holiday tale. I only recently learned that it was made into a movie called Christmas with the Cranks. I’ll wait until after the December rush to watch it!

A Highland Christmas by M.C. Beaton. Beaton’s mysteries star a lanky, red-haired, laid-back and rather yummy police constable named Hamish Macbeth in the west highlands of Scotland. This series is great fun, and my friends and I are still hoping that Hamish will end up with Priscilla from the castle . . . This very cozy mystery has charming illustrations, too.

Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark. All right, I confess. I’m a mystery addict and Clark is a perennial favorite. This cozy tale set around Rockefeller Center involves a crime, a family, and faith.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It’s always a joy to read about Tiny Tim and stingy Scrooge and I get teary every time I read the last line: God Bless Us, Everyone!

And of course, my favorite Christmas books are A Nantucket Christmas and An Island Christmas, written by someone who truly loves Christmas—me. Both books involve family joys and woes and a miracle here and there.

A Nantucket Christmas is at the home of a newly married couple and includes an adorable, abandoned dog, a very pregnant young woman, and a needy ex-wife.   An Island Christmas has a wedding, an ice floe, and a cantankerous cat. The paperback, A Very Nantucket Christmas, includes both books. Next, I’m thinking about writing a Christmas novel with a horse in it!


P.S. No, I didn’t knock my hot chocolate off the arm of the chair! 🙂




Christmas, Bah-Hum-Bug! NOT!



We can never forget we live on an island. On Nantucket, we’re thirty miles from the continent. We’re surrounded by the cold, dark, uncaring sea. Christmas on the island wraps us in the love of family (even the irritating relatives, and don’t we all have some of those?), love of friends, new love and new life. On Nantucket, Christmas means sharing the feast and the laughter with those who come to this far-away island.


We start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, with the annual tree-lighting ceremony on Main Street. Next come the Festival of Wreaths and the Festival of Trees, and  the wonderful Christmas Stroll.


Santa arrives by Coast Guard boat, and the town crier in top hat leads him to the historic Jared Coffin House to greet the children. Carolers in Victorian dress serenade us as we stroll around town. We can have a book autographed by some of the island’s many writers at a special signing at Mitchell’s Book Corner.


We enjoy Christmas parties, holiday theater, and  inspiring choral performances.


We open presents on Christmas morning.  Some of the presents are books!


We have festive dinners with friends and never curse aloud when we take the S)&#&^# Christmas geese from the oven and spill a drop of goose grease on our leg!  No, we are serene and elegant.


When the parties are over and the wind howls over the island at gale force, we keep our candles and matches nearby. Then I like to curl up with a cat in my lap and a book in my hand. Soon, I’ll post a list of my favorite, read-over-again December stories.









For Mature Audiences Only


As we head into the holiday season, I think that some of the more. . .mature. . .

of my readers might enjoy taking a little quiz I made up a few years ago.

Here it is:


Check Your Temperature and Find Your Personality Type!

Answer YES or NO.

  1. Have you been known to stand with your head in the freezer?
  1. Have you ever rushed from the room with your thighs clutched together?
  1. Have you caught yourself stripping in line at the bank/grocery store/post office? 
  2. All those Post-Its you stuck on your desk yesterday? You have no idea what they mean.
  1. Do you think Ben & Jerry should be shot for making their containers too small?
  1. You’re thinking  you’ll just give up and let your hair be its natural Rosanne RosannaDanna style.
  2. You have so many wrinkles on your face you could play “Lady of Spain” by pulling on your ears.
  1. When the waitress said, “Here’s your iced hazelnut,” you thought she said, “Here’s your iced tea, slut.”
  1. Have you ever suddenly, for no reason, turned into Satana, Queen of the Damned?
  1. Do your jeans shrink two sizes while you’re wearing them?


Hot Flash Personality Types

           If you answered yes to 4 questions, you are The Warped Cookie Sheet.   You’re good-natured, easy-going, and practical. Either you have a mild case or things are just beginning, in which case, remember, there’s still time to pack away the fragile china. Put some emotional credit in your relationship bank now and do some unexpected, undeserved, and really, really nice things for your friends and loved ones. Then tell them to fasten their seat belts.

        If you answered yes to 5 questions, you are The Limp Tea Cozy.  You’re introspective, patient, and a perfectionist, and you’re exhausted from sleepless nights, sucking in your stomach, and ripping off your clothes. Put away the needlepoint, knitting, and anything else involving pointed objects. Take up finger painting. Buy one of those cute battery-operated fans that fit in your purse.  Stock up on floral greeting cards saying “Forgive me.”

         6 yeses?  You’re The Boiled Spaghetti Brain.  You’re an achiever, energetic and creative, but hormones are unplugging your cerebral wiring. If you keep this up, your brain will fly apart and hit the ceiling like noodles. Cut yourself some slack. Learn to take naps. Acquire an artistic appearance and carry a volume by Proust at all times so when you can’t remember your friends’ names, they’ll assume you’re engrossed in philosophical contemplations.


           7 yeses?  You’re The Shorted-Out Toaster. You’re outgoing, vivacious, energetic, a leader, but hot flashes have melted your sensitivity monitors. Time to hand over the controls to someone else and refrain from operating machinery.    Stop judging yourself by weight and wrinkles. Eat all the chocolate you want.   Go to a library or bookstore where no one knows you and get a pile of serial killer novels. Get some graphic-as-you-can-take-them romance novels, too. Let the laundry pile up, the kids cook for themselves, lock yourself in your room, and get away from it all for at least two hours a day. They’ll survive. It will be better for all of you. Trust me.

              8 yeses?  You’re The Psychotic Microwave Oven. You’re sensitive, sexy, and smart.  You’re doing your best to remain sane but your behavior’s erratic.  You’d like to read, but can’t concentrate. You need to vent.  Watch DVDs that make you a)scream in terror and b) weep hysterically. Forget about your weight and eat nuts, popcorn, carrots, and other foods allowing demonic crunching, plus all the chocolate you can eat.


     9 yeses?  You’re The Exploding Radiator. Passionate, vigorous, and productive, you’ve arrived at the Blazing Depths of Hormone Hell. You’re overloaded, overheated, and overdone. Survival Measures Required. Take all the personal and sick days you can get. Check into a local hotel, don’t give anyone the number, and order enormous amounts of food from room service. Take long hot showers and – this is important –drop your wet towels on the floor and let someone else deal with them. Sleep as much as you can and watch lots of Pay Per View Movies.

     10 yeses?  You’re The Whimpering Puddle of Shapeless Lava.  Congratulations. You’re better off than you realize. The worst is almost over. You have no waistline, but you’re wise, humorous, and gentle. Probably your loved ones still love you and you still have a job. Time to send out those apology cards and reenter the world. Give presents for no reason at all. Eat chocolate. Arrange weekly dinners with friends. Best solution: start your own Hot Flash Club.


And here’s a joke for you all!

A very attractive lady goes up to the bar.  She gestures alluringly to the bartender who comes over immediately.  When he arrives, she seductively signals that he should bring his face closer to hers.  When he does, she begins to gently caress his full beard.
“Are you the manager?” she asks, softly stroking his face with both hands.
“Actually, I’m not,” says the man.
“Can you get him for me?  I need to speak to him,” she says, running her hands beyond his beard and into his hair.
“I’m afraid I can’t,” breathes the bartender.  “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Yes, there is.  I need you to give him a message,” she continues, running her forefinger across the bartender’s lips and slyly popping a couple of her fingers into his mouth and allowing him to nip them gently.
“What should I tell him?” the bartender manages to say around her delicate fingers.
“Tell him,” she whispers, “there is no toilet paper, hand soap or paper towels in the ladies room.”



Autumn is a calm season on the island.


The light slants differently on the houses and the harbor.


Now we have time to read books and write books.


Time to take long walks to visit our favorite tree.


Time to remember beloved friends with gratitude.


And to celebrate the births of two October grandchildren.


Time to let nature’s generosity astound us.


Time to linger over dinner with friends.img_3264

Time to dream about the holidays ahead.