By Thonie Hevron

December is about gifts. Christmas, Hanukah, Three Kings—however you celebrate this season, it’s often done with gifts. My original idea was to have authors write about their gifts, whether it’s a talent they were born with, a life change because they received a gift, a skill they were able to learn, gifts are meant to be given. Authors often write about their gifts.

Decades ago my sister-in-law gave me a horse. Talk about a life changing event!When hubby and I decided to move to a larger home, it had to include enough land to support a horse. Years later, when we moved to the Eastern Sierras, my new horse had enough energy that he wore me out. I had to decide whether to sell him or quit smoking. No brainer. I quit smoking (after 26years-man, I loved that horse!).

All of my books have some mention of a horse. I can’t help it. I love horses and passed that trait on to my protagonist. Gardeners talk about azaleas, chefs write mysteries about quiches, and so on. I mention horses.

But now, I have another gift to tell you about: several yearsago, my husband offered to treat my writing career as a job. I’d work on my stories and he’d take over running the house, laundry and cooking. What a deal! I didn’t pass it up. I wrote my three books over those years. Then, in July of 2017, he fell ill. Without getting into details, roles changed. I became the caregiver. He was sick enough that he couldn’t be left alone. The doctors sent him home from the hospital to either get better or…

Fast forward to today. He’s not fully recovered but he is significantly healthier. I know he feels better because he kicked me out of the kitchen. He’s been doing laundry for a month or so and I now can leave him without overly worrying.

So, his recovery is my gift. Maybe re-gift is more accurate as he’s given it before. But the bottom line is that I’ve been given a second chance. I have a fourth novel to finish and now he is helping me do it.

But there’s a catch. During all those months when I couldn’t work on my novel, I spent time on my blog. I posted police stories from several retired and active duty cops every Sunday. On Fridays, I posted guests expounded on pre-set themes. My post was always the first Friday of the month, theirs followed. Anyway, this has become so labor-intensive that I can’t get back to my novel. So, I’ve decided that this incarnation of “Writer’s Notes” must retire in its current format. I’ll still happily accept guest posts but won’t be assigning themes and won’t be tied to two posts a week. The cop stories will continue as it is my mission: to show the public but especially writers that these are living, breathing people behind the badges. With luck, maybe they will even inspire a story in you.

My gift to you is a place where you can read about the heroes who keep us safe. Your gift to me has been your readership. It is with sincere gratitude I thank all my guest authors from the past eighteen months. It’s been great fun meeting you, making new friends, but now it’s time to knuckle down and finish that novel. I’m fortunate to have a publisher who has committed to publish it—and re-issue all my previous novels.

Time for Thonie to get to work.

By Force or Fear, Intent to Hold, and With Malice Aforethought