Archive | January, 2013

“Downton Abbey in Chicago.”

Olivia Newport Downton Abbey Cookbook

Perhaps kindred souls flock together, but practically everyone I know is watching “Downton Abbey,” a period masterpiece from BBC broadcast in the US on PBS’s famous Masterpiece Theater. I do have a few friends who haven’t been bitten by the bug. Yet. And a bunch more who have been cramming Season 1 and Season 2 […]

5 Truths About Weightbearing

Olivia Newport walking boots

“How’s your foot?” These days I get that question before I get a hello. From the neighbors. At church. From friends. At the gym (yes, I’m attempting exercise). Six weeks ago I broke an ankle. These things take time, and there’s not much to rush the process of healing. The answer to the question is […]

Installment 7: The Corner Trumpet

Thirteen August 1942 The next few days were pretty quiet. Folks still came by to see Charlie, but it seemed like all the fussing was over with and I was free to go back to enjoying my summer. Charlie would sit out on the porch or out in the yard and talk to people if […]

Are You a Snoopy Neighbor?


Do you ever wonder what’s going on around your neighborhood that you might not know about? Most of us are not out-and-out snoops. But we are curious. I once crept out at 11:00 at night because someone unfamiliar was in my neighbors’ front yard and I knew they were in South Dakota for five days. […]

What a Dad


This is still a hard day for me. A hard few days, even after all this time. Eight years ago I stood outside my insurance agent’s office. I was there for a routine purpose, but for a reason I don’t remember now, I was without a car and knew I had a few minutes before […]

Installment 6: The Corner Trumpet

Eleven August 1942   “I don’t believe ’em!” Randy sputtered to the surface. “Dey falls for it ever’ time.” “I think Margaret really believes in that ol’ River Monster stuff,” I said. “I ain’t seen her really swimmin’ in the river comin’ on two years.” “Mebbe she jes’ too growed up,” Randy suggested. “Mebbe. Or […]

Me, Amish?

Accidentally Amish cover-1

My novel Accidentally Amish was partially inspired by a link in my own family history to some of the earliest Amish settlers. I only discovered this a few years ago. In my story, Annie Friesen discovers her own link to history that intersects with someone she never expected to meet. And it’s a story I […]

Taco Time Comes Home

taco wylio

On more than one occasion while discussing the antics, life experiences, of my siblings and their offspring, my mother has observed, “Nobody’s ordinary in our family, that’s for sure.” That includes her. You should hear some of the things she says. Believe me, I’m the calm and uninteresting one. My siblings, their children, and now […]

Installment 5: The Corner Trumpet

SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/haymiller/Documents/BOOKS%20OLIVIA%20NEWPORT/BLOG-SITE/The%20Corner%20Trumpet/Installment%205%20(9:10)%20Jan%202.doc Nine The jangling phone jolted him to consciousness. Nate. “Hello.” “Bill, I’m at the hospital.” Mindy’s strained voice pulled him upright. He turned on the light. “How bad is it?” “Not as bad as last time, I think. He asked me to bring him.” Last time Nate had refused to go until Bill threatened […]

Better with Friends

<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050>

Friends enrich our lives, plain and simple. Whatever journey we’re on, it’s better with friends. Friends who mourn when we mourn, rejoice when we rejoice. Friends who want to hear the whole story. Friends who come alongside and make things easier. The journey into publishing is no different—it’s better with friends. I’ve made bunches of […]