The Front Page

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglas

Help Lab Rescue LRCP – Buy a Book!

We are proud to be a vendor at the 2020 Virtual Dog Walk and Fun Fest, being held from now until Sunday, June 7, when the virtual party is held. To buy either The Elephant and the Bird Feeder or Thumper, Life on the Farm, just order through New editions are available! And, we will donate half the profits to Lab Rescue. Help a Lab in memory of the late, great Thumper!

New Editions Now Available!

The second editions of The Elephant and the Bird Feeder and Thumper: Life on the Farm are now available on Amazon, in both print and e-book formats, from Three Villages Media. The first editions were published by 1st Ride Publishing.

The Elephant tells the story of three youngsters in northeast Thailand—an elephant, a parrot, and a boy—who learn to live together and face the future with confidence. Children’s Literature reviewed it and called it “a story of compassion and friendship.” It has been used in school programs in Green Gables Elementary School (Lakewood, Colorado, 2016) and in the Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students After School Program (2016). 

Thumper tells the tale of a revolution and a way of life that is disappearing. Growing up on a small tobacco farm in Maryland in the 1960s, a boy faces challenges from his family and society. In the midst of this turmoil, a dog named Thumper barges into his life: an animal with the face of a hound, the legs of a dachshund, and a tail that can’t stop wagging.

Check them out today! (April, 2020)



“The Luck of the Draw” is Now Available on “Fiction on the Web”

My short story, “The Luck of the Draw,” is now available in the February 24 edition of “Fiction on the Web,” edited by Mr. Charlie Fish. You can find it at The story is about two teenagers who find more trouble than they bargained for as they try to win the top prize at a dog show. Thank you, Mr. Fish! (February, 2020)

Congratulations to David on Another Great Photo

One of David’s photos was recently selected by Flickr for inclusion in its special “in explore” and “Photos for the Creation of Beauty Around the World” groups. The photo, of our niece, Nicole, and our dog, Clara, can be found at; or, you can view it in David’s photo stream at Check it out! (January, 2020)

Thanks to MWA and the Donald Maass Literary Agency

Many thanks to the Maryland Writers’ Association for hosting a workshop presented by Mr. Donald Maass of the Donald Maass Literary Agency on October 12. The seminar, on “The Emotional Craft of Fiction,” was both inspirational and informative. Thank you to both organizations! (October, 2019)

Winner of the Maryland DNR 2019 Photo Contest——David Illig

Congratulations to husband David Illig, who won the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2019 Photo Contest! His photo, a close-up shot of an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly, won First Prize in the summer category as well as the Grand Prize. To see his photo, and those of all the other winners, just go to the Maryland DNR website,, and in the center of the first page click on the photo, “2019 Photo Contest Winners” (the photos rotate). Congratulations, David!

Thank You to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

I’m proud to announce that the Astronomical Society of the Pacific chose one of my articles for inclusion in their anthology, Volume 516: Celebrating the 2017 Great American Eclipse: Lessons Learned from the Path of Totality. My story, part humor, part serious astronomy/photography, centers on the adventures of my husband, David; our friend, Gerry; and me as we journeyed from Maryland to Tennessee to observe and photograph the solar eclipse. Volume 516 includes over fifty first-hand accounts of what it was like to view and photograph the solar eclipse. The articles are written from every point of view, from the novice sky-gazer to the experienced astrophotographer. You can buy your copy, hardback or e-book, or download my article, from the ASP’s website at  Just click on “New Publications,” and then on Volume 516. Help support science education! (June, 2019)

Thank you, MWA!

Many thanks to the Maryland Writers Association for selecting one of my short stories as a winning entry in their 30th anniversary writers contest. The story has been included in an anthology, called 30 Ways to Love Maryland, which is available on Amazon. The annual MWA Conference has just concluded, and, as usual, it was a great experience. Many thanks to Eileen McIntire, our President (pictured below), and her team who worked so hard to make the conference a success. Thanks also to James Rada, Jr., writer and local historian, and Janis Wilson, writer and lecturer on the mystery and thriller genres, for their great presentations. Thank you, MWA! (March, 2019)

Thank You to Children’s Literature, LLC

Thank you, Children’s Literature, LLC! After nine years and over 500 book reviews, I am stepping down as a book critic for the company to focus on my own writing. I’d like to especially thank Marilyn, who gave me this job opportunity, and to Emily, who continued the company’s traditions and great work ethic. I learned so much about children’s books, past and present; it was an education and a pleasure working with everyone. Best of luck to Children’s Literature as it embarks on new adventures in the future! (November, 2018)


Current Book Projects:

Living with Dementia: Mom and Me (or, How Captain Janeway Got Me Through the Delta Quadrant)

A guide for those with a relative or friend with dementia, based on the author’s experiences with her own Mom, who had Lewy Body Dementia. 

Emails from Dogs

First, there was a dog. Then there were many dogs—all shapes, sizes, colors, and breeds. But they all had the same mission: to cheer up their young friend Rory, whose mother had died. There was a problem, however. The dogs lived in Maryland. Rory lived in New Jersey. How were they going to talk to each other? For photographs of the actual dogs who star in this two-book series, see the Emails from Dogs section.

Charmed City: Tales of Baltimore and Beyond

Baltimore—a city or a state of mind? In this collection of short fiction, diverse characters with their roots in Baltimore find themselves in strange and sometimes dangerous situations. From the Middle East to Asia, and from the 1800s to the distant future, the protagonists must use their intelligence, determination, and wit to survive some truly out-of-this world experiences. But why should anyone be surprised? Welcome to Baltimore, Hon!


Americans in post-war Laos must choose sides in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Previous Assignments

Special Issues Reporter (Environmental), 2011—2014, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Publicist, 2011-2014, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County

Newsletter Editor, 2008—2009, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County