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Let’s Celebrate!

Back in April 2011, when my book, SHE HAD TO KNOW came out, my publisher asked me if I would write a blog once each month for what is now Indigo Sea Press. I thought it would be fun and agreed. Today I am celebrating my 100th post!!! During the last eight years, I’ve only missed one. For that one, I was blessed to have Pat Bertram fill in for me with an exceptional post. Thanks again, Pat!

For my blog posts, I was given free rein and have been allowed to write about anything I wanted. The only exception would be a topic that might compete with my publisher and/or the other authors writing for ISP, or be subject to controversy. We strive to be G rated.

To refresh my memory, I skimmed through previous past posts to see the variety of subjects I’ve covered and realized I’d touched on lessons I’ve learned about writing techniques and discoveries having to do with the craft of writing; places to which I’ve traveled and objects I’ve collected that reminded me of those travels; what it was like living in certain places like Germany and Montana; discovering my Scottish roots; dealing with the loss of friends through death; and various emotional subjects with my expressions of joy, sorrow, surprise, wonderment, even fear. One example was a post in 2012 written while I was in the hospital recovering from a stroke. The stroke came as such a shock (I mean, I had always been so healthy and I was so happy I survived), I complained about a normal problem like dealing with Microsoft Windows 10 on my new computer as opposed to a previous Windows program. And I had to keep the post short, because I was having difficulty typing with my still limp left hand.

But my very favorite part of all the monthly offerings was, and still is, when readers contribute by adding comments and likes and even emails. I love it when people tell me about how my posts affect their lives or when they share how glad they are to not be the only ones who feel a certain way about something. I love it when readers tell me about their experiences. It’s always so special when an author realizes that people actually enjoy reading their posts and exchanging ideas and opinions. Not all people know we generally don’t get paid to write blogs. I don’t anyway. It’s our opportunity to share our somewhat isolated lives with the outside world, which suddenly becomes smaller and more intimate. I love that!

So, on this day of celebration, I want to thank all my readers out there, especially the ones who have given me feedback. And I thank other author friends whose works I’ve learned about through blogging. Here we go. I’m lighting 100 candles. Help me blow them out. To the next 100! Let’s celebrate!


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under life, memory, musings, Pat Bertram, writing


Happy 4th of July.

Today we celebrate the winning of our independence with a flourish of fireworks, gathering with family and sharing of the bounty of food and drink available to us all.

However, as we celebrate let us pause to remember that our freedom is a hard won gift from all those who have served this nation. Many have given their lives so that we can enjoy privileges such as free speech, the right to vote for all~ not just a privileged few who are land owners or possess wealth, the right to worship as we please with no state religion imposed upon us~ to name a few of the many blessings that come with being an American.

Over the years, I have had the rare privilege of living and working overseas in Europe, the Mideast and Africa. Living and working in these parts of the world is a lot different then being a tourist. You see the everyday grind of life in these nations. As a result of these experiences I have come to appreciate even more the freedoms we possess in America.

The United States is not perfect, far from it. However as we struggle as a nation to one more time redefine who we are in the world, we make great strides and we also stumble on the path. But no matter what, there is no other finer place that I know of then the good old USA.

So – with that said, no matter your party affiliation, no matter your religious views, no matter your race or preference of lovers, we come together in this melting pot of diversity to celebrate the birth of this nation.

Our nation.

Our Home!

Happy Birthday USA! May we celebrate for generations and generations to come! May we celebrate with joy and safety as we remember the struggles that brought us to this place in time and history.

HAPPY 4th of JULY !!!

S. M. Senden author of Clara’s Wish, Lethal Boundaries and A Death of Convenience.

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Happy 4th of July! –By S. M. Senden

It is the 4th of July and most people are gathered with family and friends to celebrate, cook on the barbeque and enjoy watching fireworks.  For many people it is a much welcomed day off from the daily grind of work.  As I thought about what I would write for this blog, many ideas rattled through my head, but one memory came to the surface as one of my best 4th of July celebrations.  It is a memory that is precious.

I remember when I was a child; one 4th of July we were in Grand Marias, Minnesota for our summer vacation.  At that time it was undeveloped and the unspoiled land looked much as it had for centuries.  People had built homes around the lake, but there were no commercial or large developments, the roads were dirt and gravel and the woods were thick with trees, bears, raccoons and other wildlife.

Our neighbors had a cabin on Devil’s TrackLake, and my parents rented a cabin on the lake for us.  The cabin had two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living area that was family room, dining area and kitchen all in one.  They were rustic, but comfortable.  In the evenings the bears and raccoons would come raid the garbage cans, providing much entertainment for us, armed with flashlights.

This was a wonderland to explore for me.  We took long walks, explored the Gunflint Trail, foraged for raspberries, saw dead lakes killed by the over logging that jammed the waterways the waterlogged trees still laying where they fell decades earlier, if we swam in the dead lakes we learned about leeches and how salt was the best and fastest way to get them off our bodies. To say the least, I learned not to be afraid of nature.

My father taught me to fish on that lake from a motor boat, I had to put the worm on the line, or the lure, and if I caught any fish I had to clean them as well.  We had fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner; mostly walleye cooked on a wood burning stove.  A feast we all enjoyed.  The lake held so many fascinations for me.  There were places where wild rice grew, and there were loons who sang their plaintive cry in the misty light.

Grand Marias had a parade on the 4th, and everyone was welcome to join in.  As a little child, this was awesome.  Previous years, in Evanston, Illinois where we would go watch the parade from the IBM building where my dad worked, giving us a great view through the windows of the second floor, we never got to be a part of the parade.  This year, as we stood on the sidelines watching, someone asked if we would like to march in the parade.  I joined in, waving my American Flag, loving every minute of being a part of the parade.

As I recall this time, it makes me think of how luck I am to live in this great nation.  I have been fortunate enough to live, work and visit in many diverse places around the world, Canada, England, most of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  Each of these wonderful places and their people taught me so much.  However each time I travel, I come to appreciate the United States of America more and more.  We enjoy incredible freedom, amazing rights and great privileges.  We celebrate the birth of our nation with fireworks, barbeque and plenty of food, friends and family gathered around.

How do will you remember the birthday of this nation on the 4th?  This year, I may just dress up in red, white and blue bunting, step into the parade and celebrate this great nation, thankful, grateful and rejoicing that this country is my home.

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