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I went for a walk today. It’s been awhile since I did that. I’m always skeptical about walks when I haven’t been on one for some time.

It was gray out this morning and I knew I needed some exercise. The most jostling the arm can handle right now it is a walk. I drove myself to my favorite neighborhood in town, parked Mini and headed. At first, I couldn’t imagine what more than some physical exercise could come from the endeavor. But soon it all came back to me.

I smelled fresh cut rosemary hedges, blooming roses, and a mustiness that reminded me of the Readers Digest books I discovered in my grandparent’s garage when I was a child…and how I first discovered Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax novels. I said hello to familiar trees, watched birds flit amongst tree branches, and saw the house that my character Elle will buy in the third or fourth book.

However walks feel at the start, they always end up feeling rather magical. Today’s walk reminded me of how much I used to believe in magic, and an unseen world of possibilities, and the signs put out there for us to read. I lost a bit of that with the Oxford disappointments (yes, that’s plural for twice disappointed…twice wrong on the neon signs telling me to apply). But today as I walked through my favorite neighborhood filled with cottage-like houses that looked plucked from the English countryside, I felt a little of that old magic stir. Surrounded by flowers and spring, I thought of how those houses look at Christmastime, decorated in lights and garlands, trees twinkling from front windows. I suddenly wanted nothing more than for my novel to done by this Christmas…the season in which it’s set…and I hoped against hope that one day we might live in one of those little houses…if not here than somewhere. I’m not sure how that will happen…I have it on good authority that except for the well-known handful we mystery writers don’t make very much money. Hence, the need for magic.

Maybe then it’s not coincidence but serendipity that one of my dear friends sent me this link this afternoon…