Four Years

For the weekend of Snowball’s fourth anniversary of printing – the ebook is free on Amazon.



Happy Fourth Anniversary

In just a little over a month the fourth anniversary of Snowball’s print release will occur. In my mind there were big plans. Plans for t-shirts and other swag to celebrate. Whether that or anything like it happens is up in the air.

I am in the middle of trying to finish my story for grown ups, a story that has been in the works for since 2011 or so.  I stopped it to write Snowball. Snowball took me two years to put in print. Bad Dreams took me a little over three years.

Once the work-in-progress is between covers, other stories are lurking in my personal slush pile vying for me to finish and publish. (Slush piles are unsolicited stories sent to publishers that typically have astronomical* odds of ever being published -* according to a 1982 New York Times article by Edwin McDowell). There is a toss up between the second illustrated book and a young adult tale that was workshopped in a creative fiction class.

But back to the point. It is the fourth anniversary and the book (Thank You!) is still selling. I am quite stunned actually. It wasn’t an aspect of writing that I ever thought about, this having a book much less two books in print. My focus has been trying to get what I like to call the magical six (the number of books you can see on your computer screen when you search for an author on the internet).

My fingers will be glued to the keyboard in an effort to get the story finished so that it can go to beta readers in July. If, and that is a ginormous if, that happens, we may see what we can do about some anniversary swag.

My thanks again to those still finding Snowball to read. I thank you so much for giving her a chance.

Happy summer reading!


Remodel Shock

I really wish we could have foreseen her reaction. Filming the Daisy Mae and her first glimpse of the kitchen in midst of being remodeled after sleeping through all of our work one day, it would have been a hit video on the web.

You know the saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie?”

Well, we did. All day she slept. Totally oblivious to the noises from the next room. She’d had breakfast, been outside and was not having to fight humans or fellow furry four leggers for room on the couch. She dozed, a lot. I do recall a few water breaks and outside time, but you know I don’t think she really paid us much attention.

We finished up the days work. I mean, we had had furniture moved and had painted the living room the day before, so things were exactly “normal.” Nor had they been for a couple of days. So we really didn’t think anything of preparing Daisy Mae for any sudden change in decor or room arrangement, but we wanted to clean up a bit and straighten, you know prep for the next day by getting the finished projects that day out of the way.

Then my husband and I start getting supper ready. Somewhere around mid meal preparation, the odor of cooking food brings the vegged out English Bull Dog alive! She decides it is time to saunter in the kitchen, be all cute, and see if she can snag so taste testing nibbles out of us.

She gets in the kitchen – just past the doorway. We are talking all four feet on the flour. We hear the toenails on the linoleum. For some reason we all look over at her. She looks up and around the kitchen and no lie – she was STARTLED! Up in the air went the less than petite girl. All four paws and legs fly out from underneath her as she just drops, belly to the floor.

The husband, the daughter and I all look at each other and then her. She’s still laying there. Eyes closed. Then we rush in to check on her. Is she breathing? Did we scare the life out of her literally?

She opens her eyes, it seems like one at a time, checking the to see if she really saw what she saw. Timidly she opens them both and as my husband reaches down to pet her, she pops up, ready for some puppy love. She gave what I imagined was a critical glance about the room. Wondering, I guess where her food and water bowl were. My husband baby talked to her, showing her that her bowls were all still there. We hadn’t really changed where she ate and drank. That was it, she was good.

Being Off The Net

It was very nice, and created chaos as well.

We had an epic internet outage and with inability to get a fulfilled service call, we called it quits and went hunting a new ISP. Found and set up, all good.


The plans we had made for the spring created a bit more chaos as well. Remodeling and painting was the plan. No, that isn’t new eye shadow, that is the living room contrast color.

Some rooms went way ahead of schedule, others have dragged on and took up the days we were ahead of schedule. Just phase two of the making life more joy full. Over Christmas, I went through the house storage areas, pulled everything out and sorted according to need and want. Then put back in that order to the point that space was filled but not cluttered.

At that point I started checking each left over item versus what was already in a place. Did it out value something I thought I wanted to keep? Was it more important? Which was easily replaceable? One by one, every left over checked against what was being kept. Where did it rank in being ready to go to a new home, or did something that I thought was important need to move on.

Downsized? No, it learning to stage my own home that I live in. One thing about those remodel and renovate shows on television. They do all this structure work, but it is still the team that comes in to stage the place that make all that work look really good. So, why can’t I or anyone else do that? Can’t think of a reason, can you?

So, that has distracted me from drawing, writing and work working. Instead I am remodel, redecorating work, and watching a lot of those house shows. I mean A LOT.

Junque Jamboree

Just a quick note, we spend a soggy Saturday morning at the courthouse square in Vienna, IL. We sold a few books, gave away a few Audible book downloads, ate some delicious Southern BBQ, apple salsa and homemade fudge. I watch some really nice horses rocking away in the wind next to our booth.  (We had a good time!)

About noon though my chill went to the bone and I started feeling the grumpies really take hold. I needed a nap and some hot tea (which I could have got a cup on the square, but I was just ready to be home).  So we packed up and walked our stuff out.

There were a lot of very nice folks on the square both selling and buying. We enjoyed our morning. Hope everyone that came had a good time.

They will be having a fall version September 15th – it is a Saturday. Plus there is an antique District Christmas Open House scheduled for November 3rd.

I got a question.


In the coming weeks I have some questions I want to ask you, reader.

First off, do you read both this and the grown up blog? Any opinion or suggestion on merging the two? Not sure how I would do that, but it is something that has been making me rethink how I set this up. Two blogs, two facebook and all things in two – Julie Kolb and J. Kolb.

I thought it would make it easier to tell right away whether or not the story was appropriate for a child or an adult. It sounds like a great idea. The actual working it is proving a little fragmented for me. Though, as a mom, and grandmother, I do have an appreciation for the concept.

So, please, answer, and if you have a comment, put your two cents in.

Read on!



I am not an artist. I attempt to be an artist. Like the old commercial about not being a doctor but portraying one on a tv show, that is how I feel about drawing, sketching.

My frustration at creating a picture book last year burned me out. That is why I switched back to writing stories that I actually intended to write when I started blogging. Only now, I have hit a snag. My current ‘work-in-progress’ (aka ‘WIP’) is requiring some research and auxiliary writing that again, my knowledge level requires more reading and leg work style research.

Leg work research means you go to locations or have interviews with experts who can answer questions. It is time not sitting behind the computer or with pen and paper. It means not progressing on the writing part of the story much at all.

In a way it is kind of a block, not unlike writer’s block. It can be just as frustrating, but also inspiring — which writer’s block never is. I have been keeping my fingers nimble on the keyboard by posting daily on the pen name that the particular WIP will be published under. (This will not be a children’s story.)

I still have another children’s picture book with several pages started. The concept and a very rough outline are completed. Last night, rather than search for a copyright free illustration for the other blog, I sketched a very basic image and took a picture and used it. Doing so, reminded me of this other picture book that I could be dabbling in. Forward progress with one story.

My hope is that following the grownup story being published later this year, this  WIP picture book will be making its appearance in 2019. There are still several children stories waiting in the wings for their turn at being the work in progress. The struggle with the last one, and my own disappointment in it aside, I am not done writing for children, yet.

When they said writing for children is difficult, they weren’t kidding. Illustrating isn’t either. Why again am I trying to do this? Oh, yeah, I promised my grandchildren. Motivation found.

Daisy Mae & Me




Daisy Mae is my eldest son’s dog. She is currently under the guardianship of my daughter, his sister. Daisy Mae and I coexist.

Being told no one time is her limit, two is one too many times. I learned this lesson the hard way. Daisy Mae is a firm teacher.

The first time of the day was lunch, I told her no, she couldn’t lick the frozen dinner container. (The food had too much salt for her, and me too probably.) She was so sad.






My second no of the day was when she wanted to ride to the post office. Since it was the first of several stops, and we wouldn’t be back for hours, it was no. She walked back towards the couch, stopped and looked back over her shoulder at us with an expression that resembled disgust.




One. One is her limit. She ate my library book. There were other things laying next the book on the bed. She touched none of those. She ate the library book. The ‘new to the library’ library book.

daisy-ate-book book