Celebrations, Decorating, Family & Friends, Hospitality, Life Lessons, Valentine's Day, Writing



Today’s the 28th of February. Are you ready to flip the page on your calendar?

Although the shortest month of the year, February was always big at our house because of my birthday on the 14th, as was May for Will’s. It still is. As usual, I started celebrating early over lunches, dinners, and coffee dates. I loved being with everyone who wanted to help me celebrate.

Valentine’s Day fell on the second Tuesday, the day my writing group was to meet at my house, so heart-pansI decided to make a cake for the meeting.

What fun to use my mother’s heart-shaped pans and copy a Valentine cake from the February issue of Tea Time, a beautiful little publication devoted to the art of creating memorable tea parties. You can see theirs at Tea Time.

In fact if you want a clue as to what my decorations looked like, you’ll have go there because I FORGOT to take a picture of it. (But the group can vouch for my slightly lop-sided strawberry hearts.)


Although my hearts weren’t perfect like Tea Time’s, we had a great party–even if I do say so myself.

My guests surprised me with cards and little gifts.

Several folks read some serious pieces they had written about the love of God that seemed appropriate for the month dedicated to love. After all, writing about Him is the central purpose for our getting together.

But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8

Afterwards we laughed and talked over cake, candy, and coffee. It was a joyful celebration. I wish you could have been here. 

Looking back at the month, I asked myself if I made good use of the time.

Concerning revisions to Thomas’s story, I confess, I didn’t do much on that front. But I spent lots of time with family and friends or thinking about th consider that a high priority.

And I did ponder Thomas’s fate as I crafted Valentine boxes to give as little gifts and bookmark favors for the writing group that were inspired by the February issue of Better Home and Gardens.

You tuck a little piece of candy inside.



There’s no doubt about my enjoying all that crafting.crafting

I  also read a blog, Novel Rocket, every day and considered the advice of successful writers. As I cut and pasted pretty papers, I pondered what I might need to cut or add to Tom’s life to fill out the plot. How I could enhance his character so you’d know him better. How to add atmosphere for a greater sense of place.


Today, the craft supplies are back on the shelf, and I’m returning to Thomas–or Tom. (His mother still calls him Tommy.) The’s jury still out on what I’ll call him in the final version, but at the moment, it’s Tom. Maybe you have an opinion on that.

All in all, I’m happy with the way my February began, progressed, and ended. But I’m also eager for the  next thing, which is March. I know it will be filled with lots of love, too.

And once again, I find myself praying to the One who loves me best.

Lead me, Lord. Help me complete what we’ve begun. Guide me in all I do in the coming days.

That’s my prayer for you, too.

May God lead you in the way you should go today and everyday.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

Ps. 36:23

Arkansas Writers, Writing


Welcome to the second in a series of guest blogs introducing some of my Arkansas writer friends and their publications.

Today I want you to meet Dorothy (Dot) Hatfield, from Beebe. I met Dot at the Central Arkansas Writers’ critique group. Although Dot works full time, she also writes, participates in church and appears on stage at the theater on the square in Searcy. Last year, this busy bee received a Life-Time Achievement Award for all of her accomplishments. I’ve learned a lot from Dot and appreciate her friendship.



I am a mother, grandma, and “Great-Grandma Dot.” After years as a stay at home mom, I spent my professional career working for non-profit agencies in Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee. Though I am long past the age of retirement, I still enjoy working at an education cooperative.

I have always journaled. In my early 60s, I took a course which piqued my interest in writing short fiction. When one of the stories still seemed incomplete after I had written the allotted word count, I decided, with the help of my critique group, that it needed to be a book.

Thus was born The Last to Know, a recounting of a woman’s first year of widowhood and her spiritual coming of age. 

A couple of years later, I took an old story I’d heard from my Mother-in-Law and began to think “what if . . .?” This musing became To Find a Home, the tale of a young girl looking for her birth parents.

For years, I had dabbled with the account of my grandfather’s life. The sheriff in a small town in Oklahoma, he was shot in a bank robbery. The story was engaging – but there were so many details I didn’t know. I couldn’t imagine how to write it as creative non-fiction. Finally, dubbing it a novel based on a true story, I completed An Ordinary Day in 2014.

While I wouldn’t label my novels Christian fiction, each of them has a faith-based lesson for the protagonist that results in spiritual growth.

The Last to Know is set in current times; To find a Home is set in the Seventies, deliberately to avoid DNA; and An Ordinary Day happened in 1928.

In between novels I also have had a play (RIP, Emma Lou Briggs) published and performed locally, a collection of short stories (Every Day a New Day) published, and, most recently, a collection of essays from my blog (Did Anyone Read My Story?) released.

All my books are on Amazon.com.  You can visit my Author’s page there at http://www.amazon.com/Dot-Hatfield/e/B004HL64I0.  

Most are on Kindle. And of course I have a stash in the back seat of my car.

Dot is great storyteller. I hope you’ll check on some of her books and visit her blog: First Person Limited.

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016.All rights reserved

Blogging, Writing

Why the Blog?

Recently a friend asked me, “Why the blog?”

My answer involves a question.

Is there anything that makes your heart sing – an interest or activity that excites you, makes you happy to wake up each day?

The process of writing does that for me. Finding just the right words to express a thought or capture a moment gives me great pleasure.

That satisfaction is what gave even this timid woman the courage to launch out into cyberspace. (Admittedly, I was pushed forward by the recognition that anyone who wants to be published has to establish an online presence.)

This “curly girl” plaque by Leigh Standley captured my feelings after I made some important life changes last year. So I bought it for myself as a reminder to listen for my heart.

I blog because it makes my heart sing! 

What brings music to your world?


My heart is like a singing bird. Christine Rossetti