You cannot capture a dream until you reach for it.

Posts tagged ‘Karen E. Rigley’

Design Duo Top Tips

DD metal-fireplace-

Cara Fazio & Maggie Ross of my Design Duo mystery series offer these interior decorating tips:

Whether you live in a tiny apartment, a sprawling house or a penthouse loft, surround yourself with things you enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flea market bargain, family heirloom or a designer chair, decorate with what inspires you, feels comfortable and makes you smile.

#1   Combine things you love and they will go together.

DD dining room

#2   Avoid going overboard with themes, matchy-matchy or collections.

#3   Dare to blend styles, as well as woods & metals.

#4   Color & texture add depth to a room.

#5   Furniture appears smaller in the showroom.  Always check dimensions before buying.

#6   Bold colors, patterns or prints in fabrics, pillows and accent pieces are more easily switched out than an expensive sofa.

#7   Create vignettes. We call it spot decorating. Imagine each area as an artistic snapshot.

#8    Weave beauty with the W guide.  Vary height and size whether you are hanging a wall grouping, arranging flowers in a vase or decorating a fireplace mantel.

#9    Capture the magic of three.  Cluster a trio of candles. Three of something adds an artistic touch.

#10   Build your decor around an object that enchants you.  It can be a painting, a fabric swatch, a Tuscan wall hanging or a flower pot from the garden.  Maybe your favorite mug or toss pillow? Use the colors and design to guide your choices.

DD Tuscan urn trio

DD corner crop

DD bed

DD ken's shelves

DD fireplace & logs

Make your home the place you belong, a place as unique and special as you.


DD hall sculpture


blue ornament

Someone asked if I was dreading Christmas season this year. I think they were joking. 

Maybe not.  Last year I got the flu, was ill through much of the holiday season and the year before I fell & broke my ankle curtailing many holiday activities.   Both still were very special Christmases full of blessings.

tree with star

Many times over the years the holidays have been bittersweet missing lost love ones and facing life challenges.  Yet the eternal spirit of Christmas always shimmers through– whether it’s a choir singing like an angel chorus, or wonder sparkling in the eyes of a child, or the joy deep within as we listen once again to the story of baby Jesus.

star above

So I intend to celebrate the holiday season this year  and will try to share a few moments with you,  family & friends.

Is It Spring, Yet?

On the doorstep of springtime, I’m staring out the window at piles of snow. Under there somewhere crocus, hyacinths and anemone windflowers struggle to sprout.

Usually by now they are already up and possibly blooming in violet, yellow or white.  Hardy, yet too delicate to battle this much snow, it temps me to shovel out the front garden.  Hmm, maybe not.

Spring promises us rebirth and renewal from tiny seeds to leaf buds on a giant oak, from baby lambs to robin eggs of blue, and from snow and ice to warm fragrant breezes and sunshine.

Here are a couple of my poems to celebrate the coming season:












Exploring tulip pokes shoots out

of melting ice and snow frosted ground,

daring winter dangers to scout

promise of springtime coming ‘round.

Proving to be one brave fellow

crocus blooms purple, white or yellow.


Snowmelt! Birdsongs! A thaw to last.

Earth liberated from arctic blast.

Jonquil unfolds her lemon skirt;

leaves bud on branches too long bare;

March showers splatter garden dirt;

hyacinth blossoms scent the air.

Azure skies romance cloud puffs high

while all nature is heard to sigh,


Snowmelt! Birdsongs! A thaw to last.

Earth liberated from arctic blast.

                                                                                           Karen Elizabeth Rigley

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Autumn Thoughts

Autumn is a bittersweet season. I am enchanted by the scarlet, gold and russet leaves kissed by sunshine and brilliant against blue skies. The fragrance of autumn leaves as they crunch under my feet is heavenly. Watching the children rake those leaves to launch their little bodies and jump into the pile of leaves always triggers my laughter.

And memories of my own childhood joy jumping into the leaves.

Spicy apple cider, pumpkins and corn stalks from today to long ago are woven into those memories. Yet, the crisp chilly nights warn me the winter approaches. I’m not ready for winter–for snow and ice and darkness gobbling daylight.

You know what that means? Shoes. Sox. Even boots. I have to give up running around barefoot. Sigh. I want summer back.


Glowing embers of summer fade

growing dimmer with autumn’s approach.

Daisies, roses and sunflowers

drop petals

onto carpets of grass.

Tiger lilies fold their bright blossoms

defying dull browns to come.

Scarlet, gold and russet kiss September leaves.

Crispness creeps into breezes

ruffling meadow grass,

nature transforms to glowing gold.

Summer unwraps Earth’s blanket of warmth

allowing autumn stealthy access.

                                                              Karen Elizabeth Rigley


Autumn leaves dance from

waving branches to desert

trees naked in wind.

                      Karen Elizabeth Rigley



Friends & Writers quiz

Friends and Writers

by Karen E. Rigley

Where did the myth of lonely writers come from? Real life. Probably mine. The weird hours, concentration and total submersion into our craft, take a heavy toll on our social lives.

Friends are very annoying when they interrupt a creative roll, so we tend to brush them aside. It’s hard for them to understand why we rarely return their calls, why we decide not to attend that new movie we’ve been waiting to open, or why we forget to come over when promised.

“But I’m writing,” we plea.

“You can write later,” they reply.

It’s especially difficult to sustain friendships with nonwriters, let alone nurture those friendships. Here’s a quiz to see what kind of a friend a writer makes. Take it and see how you rate.

1. Your friends ask you to go to a concert with them. Do you:

(a) attend the concert

(b) beg off to meet a deadline

(c) buy ink cartridges instead of a concert ticket

2. You invited a few friends over on the evening of the fifteenth. At eight P.M. you are:

(a) putting the last minute touches on the hors d`oerves

(b) scooping papers and manuscripts off the furniture

(c) still in your robe, fingers flying over the computer keyboard as you swear at the doorbell

3. Your best friend calls to cry on your shoulder. What do you do?

(a) say come on over

(b) make soothing sounds over the phone as you continue typing

(c) interrupt to brag about your latest sale

4. You’re meeting your friends for lunch at a cozy restaurant in the mall at noon. Noon finds you:

(a) greeting your friends and waiting for a table

(b) in the bookstore across the mall setting up a book signing

(c) home eating a tuna sandwich and editing your final draft

5. You’ve just emerged from a long writing binge and suddenly feel very lonely. Now you:

(a) go to a movie with a friend

(b) call a few friends and find they’ve moved away

(c) write an article on lonely writers


5 points for every (a) answer

2 points for every (b) answer

0 points for every (c) answer

22-25 points — TRUE FRIEND (obviously not a writer)

15-21 points — OKAY PAL (you must not have deadlines)


0-8 points — LONELY WRITER