Life has changed in the past year, and yet much has remained the same. I retired from a 34 year career in government, hoping to devote more time to writing novels and blogging, but–

First, I had to deal with a pandemic. It didn’t seem to affect me much, as I had work to do on my house, along with getting acquainted with a new granddaughter. Then a cautious visit with family revealed how vulnerable travel was, though I successfully paddleboarded across a small arm of the Chesapeake Bay, with a nervous, wet, shivering Cockapoo sitting in front of me. He can swim; I cannot. I learned that he loves to travel and thinks hotels cater to him.

Back home, I had trouble regaining momentum on household projects. But then, I had an offer to do writing part-time for my previous employer. I renewed work on a consulting project. Met a new boyfriend. Committed to a major house renovation. I found my rhythm, but with a constantly varied schedule.

What this means, dear readers, is that you can expect new books to come out in time. I will blog more regularly. Pictures will be posted. Many new developments may arise, as one granddaughter begins college and another learns to walk. But I will embrace all the changes coming in my life, and share the insights they bring.

What is old is new?

I wrote a poem in high school, sometime between 1968 and 1971. It expressed what I felt going on around me. We had already seen the Watts
and Kent State riots, the Manson family had murdered Sharon Tate, protests against the Vietnam war were ongoing, and Watergate was just beginning. The Hong Kong flu was raging. Today’s headlines feel like déjà vu. It feels like we’ve been here before. Maybe we have, maybe the earlier experiences were just warnings that worse was to come.

I still believe in America, in our vision of equality and justice. But our reality is far from it today. Unless we recommit ourselves to that vision, to living together with respect, fairness and kindness, I fear the vision will go down in flames.

An echo from my past, reverberating again:

They Say My Country Is Dying

They say she’s been in this world too long.

They say her day has come and gone.

She was the daughter of a lofty idea.

She was born of men’s sweat and tears and blood.

But they say my country is dying.

They say it’s wrong for men to believe.

They say loyalty and God are dead.

She was sustained by faith and love.

She breathed and cried and was alive.

But they say my country is dying.

They say freedom must triumph over all.

They say the system is wrong, and they thirst for blood.

She says freedom must triumph over all.

She lets them thirst and talk and shout.

And they say my country is dead.

                   –Katherine Pritchett

Please, think before you speak or react or share a post. We, the people, the everyday people, can stop this madness by seeing each other as people, not “the other.” We all bleed red.

Life Imitating Art?

Does life ever imitate art? When I was diligently writing on The Judas Seat (, it seemed that North Korea would be in the headlines, and we were approaching a dangerous flash point. Then I would get sidetracked to something else, and Korea would calm down. Now, however, as I work on the edits to turn the book over to my traditional publisher, it’s happening again.

In The Judas Seat, the North Korean leader dies, to be replaced by a new leader, a former South Korean cabinet minister who defected to North Korea. An anxious world convenes peace talks to divert from the nuclear brink, but the only negotiator that the new leader will accept is a man who doesn’t want the job: hero of More Than a Point of Honor Richard Matthews.

What will the death or serious illness of Kim Jong Un do to the stability of east Asia? Or the world? Who would succeed him? Would it lead to new peace initiatives? Or war?

Audio is Available!


More Than a Point of Honor, narrated by the incomparable Kayla Ricker, is finally available in audio. Check it out at As I listened prior to approving it, I found myself so caught up in the suspense that I forgot to look for missed words. I hope you will also be captured. .

Audible, where the audio book is found, offers a free trial for the first 30 days of your membership. Why not give it a try today? And while you are logging in, the mystery What the River Knows is there, too. Inspired by a 40-year-old Kansas cold case.

What’s next? You just might see The Judas Seat with a new cover, fresh edits and an audio version next…

Get it here

While More Than a Point of Honor won’t be available for purchase until January 14, you can pre-order it here. The audio book will probably take a couple of more months to be finished.

Cover reveal

At long last, here is the promised cover reveal for the re-release of More Than a Point of Honor. This time, it will not only be available as a print book, but also an e-book in various formats, and a audio book narrated by the fabulous narrator of What the River Knows, Kayla Ricker. I’ve cut some scenes, tightened the writing and made it, I hope, a better book.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the buy links. They will also have a clearer view of the cover. Evidently, I still have much to learn about videography…

More Than a Point of Honor cover

The Lesson of the Evergreen Grove, re-posted

Two of the trees are gone now, replaced by deciduous trees. Trees are gone in my life, too, but like this grove, the roots that connect us still intertwine, holding the circle together. Much has changed in my life and the world, but this grove, like my circle, remains steadfast even through change. Merry Christmas, everyone. Tell those around you that you love them, and even more, SHOW them. Love will win.

(Author’s note: This post first appeared several years ago, before the lights were changed to white, before the hospital was updated, back when there was a Christmas truce in wars. But despite change, I think it bears repeating.)

They stand near a busy intersection in Pratt, America. Just north of the empty, snow-dusted swimming pool, they serve as a stepping stone in a path of parks stretching from the highway that borders the south edge of town to the capstone park adjoined by Highway 54 as it cuts Pratt in half. They must be visible from some of the hospital windows, just above them on the hill, these seven stately evergreens, each wrapped in a different color of festive lights.

As I drove past them last night, intent on just where on the racks and shelves of the busy stores I would find each item on my list, I was stopped short in my mental rush by the simple beauty of the arrangement. Each tree is unique in its own right. Though all are old and tall, some tower above the others. Some are full and round, others tall and spindly. Some cluster together, but two stand aloof at opposite ends of the grove. Some have branches that drape down, others’ branches sweep upwards as if in praise. Each is a testament to the glorious diversity of evergreen trees.

Then the lights — white, yellow, red, orange, pink, green, blue. Some are spaced precisely around the trees, others splashed on with a hurried hand. The orange lights blaze out for all to see. The blue ones are so subtle, they can’t be seen until night is well advanced. Together they present the same colors that make up the spectrum and the rainbow.

Shopping finished and more at peace, I drove back past the lights — and there it was. Glorious diversity. God made each of us as unique as this grove of evergreens, the tree that symbolizes the never-failing quality of His love for us. Some of us are round and full, others tall and spindly. Like the trees, some of us gather together, while others stand aloof. Some of our shoulders droop, while others of us lift our hands in praise. We are covered in many colors of skin, just as the trees wear different colors of lights. Yet each of us is a testament to the glorious diversity of the world we live in.

As this Christmas season rushes by us so fast that the bright colors begin to blur, I hope we can take the time to appreciate the world God made for us — the glorious diversity and the marvelous complexity of it. Each year near midnight on December 24, the entire world does seem to pause, to hold its breath for just a moment. Warring guns fall silent, and people around the world stop. Some give thanks that a baby was born nearly 2,000 years ago, just so He could die for us. Some people may even look heavenward, wondering when that bright star may come again.

Until it does, maybe from time to time we can remember the lesson of this grove of evergreens. Although each of them is different, they draw their nourishment from the same source underground, where their roots intertwine to help each of them stand. They all draw warmth and life-giving light from the same sun. They’re not so very different from us, this grove of trees. And as they stand together to celebrate this season, their lights send a message to all of us.

New book out

At long last, the book I have been working on with Matt Deighton is finished and available! Volunteer: The Path to Healing reveals what motivates eight very special people to give of their time and hearts to help others and what they receive in return.

It tugs at the heartstrings. Hopefully, it will motivate you to help others. For now, it is available to purchase at or you can contact me. We hope to have it on Amazon in the near future.

Some quotes from the back cover:

“How resilient we are when we stand as one.” Josh Garcia, once manager of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.

“It’s not a small world, it’s a big family.” Craig Stramel, volunteer, Peace Corps volunteer.

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The Muse

We recently had an assignment to write about our muse. I didn’t think I had one. But listening to and being moved by the music of the Community College’s Christmas program, I realized that music plays a big part in my understanding of the world. When I hear music, I don’t just hear a beat; I hear the tribal (modern or ancient) rhythms that influenced that particular song. I don’t just hear the lyrics, I envision the story behind it, whether it’s the “I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights” of a country song or the personal connection of “Hallelujah.” As a mother, I can relate to “Mary, Did You Know?”

But it goes deeper than that. When I hear the school’s rendition of “The Lord is With You,” I know why they are doing that song, because of the theatre director’s connection to Dollywood. I remember vividly the number of times I watched Scott Self perform as the Angel Gabriel, and my son-in-law Chaz as Joseph, with the live 7-piece band, and the rest of the play that went before this piece. I remember (and have on video) my daughter performing as Mary, herself pregnant as she sang Mary’s fears of rejection by her parents and her fiancé for the holy child she carried. After all these years (20?) of listening to my daughter sing, I still forget to breathe when she does.

I remembered attending a Mexican dance with friends, not understanding most of the words to the music, but enthralled by the First Nations rhythms of a dance that mimicked an eagle’s flight and another that brought visions of a bullfighter’s dance. And thinking about my connection to that dance reminds me of the friend that brought me and a tense drive home in white-out conditions. Yin and yang.

There is also music and rhythm, primal and eternal, in nature. The graceful soar of a hawk, until he spots lunch hundreds of feet below, and dives in perfect precision to catch it. Life and death, both necessary for all. The trill of sandhill cranes in migration, too high to see, marks the change of the seasons. Often, the coo of doves wakes me on weekend mornings, while the pip-pip of the cardinal makes me search for the flash of red. The interaction of the animals in my yard, from the worms to the occasional possum, tells me the health of the heart of my individual ecosystem.

There is art in the structure of trees. Cottonwoods that have been beaten by wind for decades mimic the uplifted arms of the “Keeper of the Plains” statue. I think I know where Blackbear Bosin found his model. Golden fall cottonwoods twinkle like grounded sunlight, while wind sighs through pines. In April rains, lavender redbud blossoms contrast starkly the charcoal of their trunks.

Our history runs deep through our veins. I remember standing in Bandolier National Monument and feeling the spirits of the old ones watching, wondering if we were deserving guardians of their past. I heard the spirits whisper at an abandoned fort on the New Mexico plains. I’ve stood in the Lincoln Memorial, read the immortal words of the Gettysburg address aloud, then stepped partway down the stairs and gazed at the other memorials before me: Vietnam Wall on the left, surreal Korean War memorial on the right, reflective pool before me. Beyond the pool, the World War II memorial, the Washington Monument, and the halls of Congress. Then I looked down, and below my feet was inscribed, “Here on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”

Having lived through the Cold War, Vietnam, Woodstock, Kennedy’s assassination, Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, and my son’s mission in Vietnam to bring back our MIA’s, I have a deep appreciation of how events shape people and people shape events. The “there but for the grace of God go I” attitude guides my writing, as I can empathize with most people in most circumstances. It drives my “what if.”

I believe many writers strive through their writing to change the world, to bring about peace. Often, we write things and then check the facts only to find that what we wrote was true, coming from an unknown well inside us. I think this well is a connection to the collective unconscious, that place where all of us yearn for peace and harmony. That is the source of our muse.

We all live as neighbors on this big blue ball, and our fate depends on each other. To quote John Donne, “Every man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”

–Katherine Pritchett

More Than a Point of Honor is Moving

To The Wild Rose Press!! That’s right, the publisher of What the River Knows has elected to take on further editing, cover and marketing of More Than a Point of Honor. So for a while, if you look for it on Amazon, you won’t find it. Hopefully, the process will move quickly, and you can get the “new and improved” version soon. In publishing terms, though, that probably means a year or so. They did such a fantastic job with River, though, that the wait will be worth it! I’ll be working with my wonderful previous editor, and with luck, might get my same cover artist. At any rate, The Wild Rose Press is fantastic to work with, personal and business-like at the same time.