The best laid plans …

I had it all planned. Finish up the Christmas post, do a farewell to 2012 and take a short break … my customary holiday break.


Graphic credit

No such luck for me.

On Christmas morning I woke to a black screen. No, the computer was not off and waiting to be turned on. My computer was dead … road kill … an electronic cadaver … dead as the proverbial door nail.

That was December 25th … twenty-three long days ago. And in the three years I have been blogging, this is the longest break, the longest imposed silence I have yet experienced.

Not to worry … most of my documents will be retrieved from the old hard drive, or when I can read the instructions of how to decompress the files on my external hard drive.

An update …

  • As if that wasn’t bad enough … my three year association with RWA and their Women’s Fiction Chapter also came to a dead stop during the Holiday break. More news on that later.
  • I have not been able to thank Sheri Degrom and my dear friend from across the pond Vikki Thompson for giving me two special Holiday gifts … two awards that warrant post of their own. Alas, I will not be able to do that until …  well maybe on Valentine’s Day?
  • And what of my first mystery?


Graphic credit
  • During the dark days of my computer black-out, I received the second of three edits from my BETA reader. The original drafts of Framed in Black and White are somewhere in my old hard drive, the last draft was the only copy I had to work with and I am finally doing the last edits this week … a full month off schedule.

Averting Mayan disaster and all manner of other disasters … and since the sun has graced us with an untold number of days and the moon continues to wax and wane … I too shall rise again …

Like the Phoenix I will rise from the ashes of destruction to a New Blogging Year.

They’ll be some changes made to the blog of it all this new year.

Of course, I’ll continue my Wednesday posts, doing more features from City Scapes and more snippets from the gang in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

When everything old is new again …

Only four months ago I moved into my beautiful little cottage. I needed the Certificate of Occupancy to have them construct my car port and screened patio and the best of all … my new storage shed.

This would be almost as big as the storage unit I had been renting. Attempting to be frugal, I moved the entire storage unit into my new dinette. After all … it would only be for four to six weeks.

Sixteen weeks later the entire contents of my storage unit still sits in my dinette.

It has given me time and inspiration and a way to recycle my old life. I am so over dragging my wares to flea markets and craft fairs and decided to open an on-line shop at


Etsy Promo 

Not to fret. All those old things will find new homes. Old hat boxes will be restored and covered, cartons of fine china and glassware will cheer new owners, and fifty-year old vintage table linens will grace new tables.

There are boxes of yarn and fabric remnants, twenty-odd crocheted scarves, evening bags and baby sweaters. Though I was too late for this Holiday … next Christmas my villages, table top trees and collectible decorations will light up new homes.

My Other Life …

And my other passion will be featured here each Friday and link to my new page … Finds of the City.

You’ll find out not only what I have kept locked in my storage unit for almost twenty years, but what skeletons I’ve been hiding in a half-dozen closets.

Each Friday I will post the stories of how I became a compulsive collector, crazed crafter, how on earth I survived three years as a street vendor and prospered at street fairs in and around The City.


Sunset photograph by Jen G

It’s the sunset of a new day and my way of sharing my life-long love affair with taking old things and making them new again … taking random materials and creating something beautiful with them.

Each Friday I’ll share the stories of how it all got started … how this pigeon-toed-left-handed accident waiting to happen learned to do all manner of crafts.

I’ll tell the tales of the strange collection of family members who inspired me in both my crafts and fired my companion passions. I’ll tell you more about my mom’s best friend and my angel, Beatrice Napoli. And naturally, I will tell you more about the big guy … my older brother … and how he set an example for what nervous energy can become.

Ah, I have a great deal more to learn of this writerly life and many more things to play with, to fashion … and in this new year I will bring my two greatest passions together for your weekly enjoyment.

When the hands are moving … the mind is at rest.

Tell me …

what do you do with those nervous hands

when they are not caressing a keyboard?

What other passions fill you with awe and delight?

fOIS In The City


Filed under City Scapes

36 responses to “The best laid plans …

  1. Welcome back, Florence, and I’m so glad you had backups of your work that you can retrieve!


    • Thanks, Laura. I was fortunate enough to learn from someone else’s mistakes. Then a friend urged me to spend the bucks on an external hard drive. It might be a pain to retrieve from them … but the work is not lost. Glad to finally be back 🙂


  2. Well, hello there. 🙂

    My hobbies include reading, watching movies, scrapbooking, and sometimes sewing. I have a craft book on making handbags from vintage materials or recovered fabrics that I look at longingly.


    • Hello to you , Brinda. I think crafts and hobbies keep us sane and level out those crazy hours we spend with so much “mental” tangles. I could make you really long to use that book with my vintage linens … Ha … no promoting here. You’ll have to keep an “eye” out for Fridays :):)


  3. Thank God you didn’t lose anything, Florence! A writer’s nightmare, for sure.
    I couldn’t have survived that long without the internet – I applaud you!

    Onward, Chickie – You’ve had your one disaster for the year – smooth sailing from here on out!


  4. Amen to that, Laura. I used up an entire year’s worth of gremlin nonsense and for the rest of the year, my angels are on double time protecting me. And yes, our ultimate nightmare has been averted thanks to my brilliant friend. Not only because she talked me into buying an external drive, but because she also removed the old hard drive, which can be transferred later 🙂 Aren’t we lucky to have friends ?? Or what I call my mortal angels 🙂


  5. When I’m feeling fidgety I come read your blog. Glad you’re back. I haven’t caught up on my blogs, and I don’t have your excuse, I have a new laptop and mini. The lap top I really, really needed, the mini . . . well, I was tired of reading on my phone. I haven’t gotten back to blogging, but soon I’m going to post some lovely photos of NYC buildings made of natural flora straight from the NYBC Holiday Train Show. While I was there I kept thinking, Florence would love this. You’ve made me aware of things I see all the time. Thanks.


  6. I look forward to seeing those photos, Shelley. I do miss your posts when you take breaks 🙂 Also, when are you heading “south” for the winter?? Did you know I have a life-long love affair with trains? How perfect is that 🙂


  7. Mortal angels, earth angels — I know them well. Serendipity is a wonderful thing. It sounds like you’ve been busy the past 23 days — the Etsy shop alone is a monumental undertaking.


    • Yes, thanks Lindsay. I’ve been burning it at both ends and my middle is starting to sag like an old broad 🙂 Try to visit on Fridays when I talk about the Etsy adventure in Finds of The City and thanks for visiting. Where would be we without our mortal angels ??


  8. I SO look forward to being able to see your collectibles on where I have purchased items in the past. And I’m SO glad you didn’t lose all the work from your computer. I have an external hard drive and am grateful I do. Happy Dance for you in that regard.
    Glad you’re back.


    • Thanks, Patti … I’m so glad to be back and to know I didn’t lose it all. I’ll also do a Happy Dance for your new blog. Look forward to reading more about you 🙂


  9. christicorbett


    I’m so happy to hear that your up and running again, and I’m really looking forward to your future posts where you feature your Etsy page!

    Best wishes for fast restoration of ALL your files.

    Christi Corbett


    • You’re a good friend, Christi. We’ve certainly been through an awful lot together. I think you’ll enjoy the new feature. On and off since I was seven I’ve been making gifts and crafting … and I won’t even discuss yet all the “stuff” I’ve collected. It should be a fun addition 🙂


  10. christicorbett

    And as I hit “Post Comment” I saw my gloriously horrible grammar mistake and couldn’t fix it in time. I haven’t done a “your” when I really meant “you’re” in YEARS.

    I must need more coffee 🙂



  11. annerallen

    I’m so glad you could turn a tragedy into such a positive post. I was a crafter too. Loved when I worked in a shop that sold crafts, but ultimately I felt so liberated when I finally let all my supplies go–realizing that if I was going to make it as a novelist, I had to give up a lot of my other creative outlets and channel everything into my writing. I look forward to reading about your crafty vending adventures!


    • I hear you, Anne. I tried to unload it once. Sent an entire pick-up truck of fabric, beads and other craft supplies to a special school about three years ago and felt like I had given away my children. I think I’m addicted to both the writing and the crafting 🙂 Visit on Fridays and you’ll hear about my stories of “working” the streets !!


  12. vicki batman

    Hi, Florence. I would so not want to wake up and find my computer blank. I’d cry. I really, really would cry. Then I’d make my son fix it.

    Hoping all will be the way you want soon. Hugs.


    • Isn’t that the truth. Christmas morning and all I wanted to do was have a good cry. My computer geek lives a thousand miles away now … but I do have great fiends who came to my rescue.

      All will be right with our worlds soon 🙂


  13. What is that expression? Life is what happens when we’re making other plans? I could apply that wisdom to every minute of my life, but have learned to trust that the universe makes far better plans than I do.


  14. Welcome back, Florence! I too have been on break due to technical problems -I lost 70% of my edits to faulty cloud backup, so nothing is safe. I’m backing up to multiple sources now. Can’t wait to hear more about your crafting adventures and see that Etsy store!


    • Darn it all … nothing in this techno-world we live in is ever truly safe. I have decided to use the external hard drive, a flash drive and also burn an occassional disc :):) Nothing succeeds like excess, right? I think you might appreciate the vintage collectibles in my Etsy shop. And my crafting uses many vintage materials as well. Stay tuned !!


  15. Florence,

    So good to have you back in the blogosphere! I’ve been remiss on my Sunday blogs because I’ve been battling this bug that has decided it likes me so much it doesn’t want to leave.

    Let’s see these days when my fingers are busy at the keyboard I love it if I can play around with my photography. Or read a book. Or bake something. Come summer I’ll add playing around with my flower pots on the patio and balcony. Music anytime but that’s often on when I’m working at the keyboard also.


    • Casey … there are two people I look for each Sunday. You and Anne R. Allen. When I didn’t see you I wondered what had happened. And your photography is divine and always pulls me into the moment 🙂


  16. I was just wondering where you were!! So happy to see your “face” around these parts again:-) Hmm, my other passions mainly revolve around coffee and chocolate so I can keep up with all the young adults in my life!


    • That’s nice, Jamie … now I can also get back to reading and commenting on all my subscription blogs. I miss both during a break … posting and commenting on other blogs 🙂 Yeah, coffee and chocolate and sometimes I love to have them together !!


  17. WOAH! You HAVE been through the mill 😦

    What do they say? What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? 😉

    Glad to have you back honey!

    Onwards and upwards yeah? 😉



  18. I missed your blog, Florence, and am glad you’re back. Yay, you, for fixing what was broken and for launching new ventures like your Etsy store. I’ll be back tomorrow to see what that’s about.


    • Thanks, Pat. It seems we are all going to have a great new adventure this year … but I will always miss Industry News and pray that wisdom pervails and it is carried over to whatever our chapter becomes. Thanks. Hope you like my Friday edition 🙂


  19. Welcome back, Florence. I’m do glad to hear your computer woes are almost over. Switching to a new computer seems to take forever, doesn’t it? Your plans for the blog sound marvellous. Here’s to a wonderful 2013!


  20. So glad to see you here, Sheila. Moving files and starting over is no cat-walk but it has given me a new perspective on the word “change.” LIke it or not change happens and I’m happy I was able to get through this one with little damage 🙂


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