Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween through the years

Donald wore this crazy get-up to a Halloween dinner party my friend John Messer had.  This was in 1985, the year before we got married.  How could I not fall in love with and marry this guy?  so cute.

We've enjoyed a few Halloween dress-ups since, including our friends Jill and Brian's annual PumpkinFest. 

I love being married to Don Barley.

He's always up for having a good time and he always makes me laugh.

Here's to many wonderful years, Donald Scott Honey.  I love you to the moon and back.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

An Experience No Writer Should Have to Endure

One of my favorite blogs is Poe's Deadly Daughters.

Today, my friend Sandy Parshall is writing about an experience she had that completely dumbfounds me, breaks my heart and makes me furious.

You can read about Sandy's experience with a rogue book group here - and believe me, I know this is not the normal behavior for a book group!

AND THEN - - -

Pop over to Femmes Fatales and read Donna Andrews' blog.

Today's required reading, my friends.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Harley Barley - Always Ready for a Close-Up

Harley Doodle Barley is one of the "Smiling Dogs" in this month's Bark Magazine

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Other Dog in My Life

Y'all know Harley, and you know he owns our hearts.

But back before Harley - even before Donald - there was another little dog who walked into my life and stole my heart.
His name was Pax.
Pax stuck by me through a lot.  A divorce, several moves, and a lot of ups and downs and went everywhere I went for 15 years.
He loved the beach too, and spent several Memorial Day weekends exploring Fripp Island, SC all on his own while the rest of us lounged on the beach.  He would always show back up at the house we rented for lunch, for dinner and at dark as happy and as dirty as any little dog I've ever seen.
Here's to the fur babies who have shared our lives and made them better.

1970 - 1985

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall in the High Country

Lots of pretty reds and golds - and not just the leaves!



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2014 High Country Festival of the Book

Planning has begun for The 2014 High Country Festival of the Book in Boone, NC.

Mark your calendars for the last weekend in June.

If you are an author or publisher who wants to participate in the 2014 Book Festival,

Or, if you love authors & books and want to volunteer -

send an email to:

And keep an eye on the HCFB webpage for updates -

Past participating authors include Rita Mae Brown, Sharyn McCrumb, Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell, Jim and Joyce Lavene, James Hall, Phillip DePoy, Gayle Trent, Larissa Reinhart, Ann Hite and many, many more . . .

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Windows into the Past by Sarah Shaber

Sarah Shaber is the author of LOUISE'S WAR, LOUISE'S GAMBLE, LOUISE'S DILEMMA (Nov. 2013), the Professor Simon Shaw murder mysteries, BLOOD TEST (2013) and editor of TAR HEEL DEAD. Website:


Thank you, Kaye, for asking me back to Meandering and Muses.  I’m delighted to be here, especially as the third book in my Louise Pearlie mystery series, Louise’s Dilemma, will be published in November.  It was in this space, in 2011, that I described the thrill of getting my contract for this series, my second.
Louise Pearlie is a “government girl” working for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, DC, during World War II.  In the 1940s, obviously.  But I find that many of my fans ask me if I go to Washington to research my book.  And I answer, not in person! Washington DC during World War II was a very different place than today.  My job as a writer setting an accurate scene during the past is to visualize the location as it was then, without the corrupting influence of the present. 
I do this by using photos from the period.  Most of them I locate in in old magazines, movies and maps, which I find on Ebay.  My most precious possession is a 1942 Esso tourist map of Washington. It shows not only the layout of the city at the time, but many of the government buildings, hotels and department stores.  So Louise can find her way from her boarding house near Dupont Circle to the Mayflower Hotel or Woodies in no time!
I’ve also found that using Google images is a quick and easy way to locate specific photographs.  In Louise’s Dilemma, Louise and Joe go ice skating on the Reflecting Pool during the unusually cold weather of 1943.  With little problem I found this photo of two girls taken a bit earlier than 1943, but still giving me a sense of what the scene would have looked like.


Since Louise works in an office I am always on the lookout for what government offices looked like during the war.  Here’s one that I think gives a good picture of what Louise’s environment might have been--acres of filing cabinets surrounding women typing at desks in one large room, supervised by a man!

And just for the fun of it here’s a photograph of the White House lit up for an evening event.

When I’m writing my books I print out photographs and pin them up around my office so I can feel as though I’m with Louise, working hard to help win World War II!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Missing the Point

A couple days ago I posted a little story at Facebook. 

Here 'tis - - -

"A story.
I picked up my mom today to go shopping.
Except when I got there she said she had made an appointment with her eye doctor cause she thought her tear duct might be blocked and she was in a bit of pain. And she said she must have had too much salt recently 'cause her ankles were swollen and maybe her blood pressure was a little high.
THEN she apologized for being whiney. (this kinda broke my heart a little)
So we went to the eye doctor and he diagnosed her eye problem as pink eye, gave her prescriptions for an eye cream and an antibiotic.
Then she said she still wanted to go shopping and maybe being out on such a pretty day would make her forget her problems which were so small compared to other people's. (this kinda broke my heart a little too).
So, we go into Belk's and we decided to go in different directions and meet back at the bench by the door.
When I turned around a lady tapped me on the should and said, "I just heard you tell you mother you'd meet her by the door and you called her 'Mother.' I used to bring my mother here shopping and we would always meet up at that bench by the door. She died last year and I still miss her and I wanted to just tell you to treasure this time with your mother while you can." I gave her a hug and we both stood in the middle of Belk's crying. And I have been weepy ever since."

It got people thinking and talking about their moms and I enjoyed reading all the comments, and well - it was just nice.

This morning I had a note in my personal message box at Facebook from someone who I think missed my entire point.  Which makes me realize, once again, that sometimes what we write is not always what is read by others.

In her note, a woman I don't know, other than seeing her name at Facebook, said this  to me.  "You and you mother seem to do a lot of shopping.  I wish I could afford to shop as often as you do."

Shopping means different things to different folks, obviously.  But let me point out to you, dear woman who wrote this note, that I could possibly be one of the poorest people you know.  But.  It's really no one else's business how I choose to spend my money.  However, to set the record straight on what shopping means to me - it's wandering around a teeny little mall in Boone, NC with my mother - mostly looking at pretty things and offering up our opinions on whether we like them or not.  We are both expert bargain hunters and find the hunt to be a huge amount of fun.  Sometimes we buy and sometimes we don't.   But it's how we choose to sometimes spend our time together.  Sometimes we choose to spend that time playing Canasta.  Sometimes we choose to spend it over a cup of coffee.

But this particular day we both "did" shop.

Mother came home with two prescriptions for her eye - an antibiotic and a teeny little bottle of eye drops (that cost $95.00).

I came home with toothpaste.

We both came home happy that we had had some time together.  Time to chat and laugh and enjoy a gorgeous fall day in the mountains.

Bless your heart, honey, knock that chip off your shoulder and go shopping!  I'm sorry I won't be around to hear about it though because you're no longer one of the names I'll be seeing at Facebook.

p.s. - For those of you wondering how Mother's eye is doing - well, just a little while ago, the feisty little woman told me "those eye drops I paid a small fortune for aren't doing a damn thing, but the antibiotics are - and it ain't good!"  I sympathized the best I could and reminded her to continue eating her yogurt. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On the Road . . . .

I'm not usually one who enjoys being on the road too much.   I am, at heart, a true homebody.

As is Donald.

Harley, however, LOVES a road trip.

And he loves hotel life.

It used to be, owning a pet was a bit problematic when it came time to travel, but now that hotels have become more "dog friendly," Donald and Harley and I are traveling a little more. 

Donald's not much of one for conferences, but he's agreed to go to one or two with me over the next few months. 

So here's where I'm planning on being in upcoming months and I'm looking forward to seeing some of you. 

In February, I'll be in Birmingham, AL at "Mystery in the Magic City."

In May, I'll be in Bethesda, MD at "Malice Domestic."

In June, I'll be participating in "The High Country Festival of the Book," right here in Boone!

In August, I'll be in Nashville, TN at "Killer Nashville."

And, in September we'll be back on Topsail Island, NC. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

PumpkinFest 2013

Some pictures from
the Proffit Road neighborhood
PumpkinFest, 2013


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another Five Star Review

WHIMSEY now has 21 five-star reviews!  The latest from thriller author Shane Gericke - "Kaye Barley's words leap off the page and wedge right there in your brain next to the comfort food and hot chocolate. I love her characters, and the fantasy sequences were an unexpected joy. Check out WHIMSEY, but only if you like vibrant writing and Southern-style fun."