Category Archives: Just Stuff

In The Tree’s Shadow – Deadline

I am honored to welcome celebrated author D.L. Finn to my blog today. Please make her welcome as we learn more about her collection of short stories: In The Tree’s Shadow.

Thank you for having me here today, Annette,  to share my collection of short stories, In the Tree’s Shadow.

“Deadline” was a short story that almost didn’t make it into the collection. I struggled with a direction and ending until one night, and I woke up with an idea. It all came together.

It has a Halloween feel with a haunted house and dreams. Sadie and her husband bought the place they had always wanted, and she quit her job to write full-time. Everything was perfect until the nightmares started. Sadie was compelled to find the house she saw in her sleep. She may have located it, but it was more than expected.

The truth needs to be exposed. Can she find out what that is?


A collection of short stories where dreams and nightmares coexist.

Nestled inside these pages, you’ll meet a couple in their golden years who take a trip with an unexpected detour, a boy desperate to give his brother the Christmas gift he asked for, a girl with a small glass dragon who is at the mercy of her cruel uncles, and a young mother who has a recurring dream about murder. You’ll be introduced to worlds where people get second chances and monsters might be allowed their desires, while angels and dragons try to help. Happy endings occur, but perspective can blur the line between good and evil in these twenty-seven tales. Since the stories vary between 99 and 12,000 words, whether you have only five minutes or an entire evening to settle into reading, there is something that will suit your time and taste.



The night’s hand slowly gripped the forest. The house was unnervingly quiet after the winds stopped roaring through the trees. I sat at the computer, willing my fingers to fill a blank screen with clever words. A deadline loomed, but my cat, Max, demanded my attention, his claws firmly kneading my blanket-covered lap. I stroked his silky black fur as I ran through each idea and quickly rejected it.

My self-help blog had gone viral, and I needed a post for tomorrow. Although the blog helped me quit my banking job of twenty years and focus on writing and remodeling our newly purchased old farmhouse, it also provided a good deal of stress. Developing fresh and exciting material took a lot of work. With little time left over, I slowly increased the word count of my first romance novel. Being able to make a living by writing was a dream come true, but tonight I was in no mood to offer advice or even attempt to work on a love story—all because of a recurring dream. At first, the dream was tame and flowed into my writing. It inspired my historical fiction romance until it took a dark turn.

“It’s a nightmare now, Max.” The cat closed his eyes and settled into slumber.





  1. We used to have chickens and a good supply of eggs. But the forest had other ideas. A bear tore off the door to the coup; raccoons found a way to reach through the chicken wire, and foxes dug under the building and through the wire. If we let them out during the day, the hawks would think it was dinner time. Everything likes chicken, apparently.
  2. When house shopping, I pay attention to what I feel. I will not live in a house that feels wrong like our first one did.


  1. D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include children’s books, adult fiction, a unique autobiography, and poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.


D.L. Finn Links:






D.L. Finn blog

Amazon Page

If this didn’t beat all

Ah yes, the past few days have been quite remarkable. My area of Michigan was hit with the worst ice storm in 50 years. Wouldn’t you know it, but I lived in this house when the last one hit, and our neighbor was using his snowmobile to dash out to a convenience store for bread & milk runs. We had oodles of snow that time, but not so this time. It was not so nice, ICE!

They estimate there were 600,000 of us without power from Wednesday until Sunday (some I hear still don’t have it back). No snow to deal with but cccold temperatures. We were without heat and bundling up in EVERYTHING until Friday when a neighbor rang the bell and said she could hook us up to her power generator. From that moment on, we at least had heat and a few items plugged into electricity. We had to be really choosy about the electricity usage, thank goodness for battery-operated radios! Yes, I have one that does everything but the dishes. It has a flashlight, flashing red light, a siren, a cellphone charger, FM, AM, and a weather band, AND a crank feature in case the batteries drain. Nifty gadget.

To say I was inundated with emails upon my return to the world of electricity is an understatement. Over 1,100 were waiting for my scrutiny. Alas, I scrolled to the bottom of the pile and made an attempt to respond to each and every one of them. They wore me out. So, I answered today’s and had to delete the rest.

I know I missed some really cool stuff. Even if I do not respond to your posts with anything other than a LIKE and a SHARE on some social media, I Do read them. What’s that trending phrase… the struggle is real!

Thank you for your understanding. I am grateful that something told me to schedule certain posts way in advance. Gee, intuition might count for something after all.

Here’s to a happier weather life for all of us.

Carry on!



RIP Poppa


Two weeks after Thanksgiving, my Poppa began the fight of his life. That fight ended today. What started with heart issues causing him to pass out, resulting in mad ambulance rides to the hospital, ended with hearing the words “metastatic cancer” and “all we can do is make him comfortable”.

Kenneth Ryeson Parent’s earthly departure marks the end of an era. All of his 12 siblings passed before him. It’s surreal to think that finally all of the siblings will be together as several of his brothers and sisters passed before he was even born.

We learned the sound of his voice because he read to us from cradle to college. We learned to appreciate music because he shared his love of classic jazz and classical music with us from birth and beyond. We learned the value of hard work watching him work as many as 3 jobs at a time to ensure he could take care of his family. We learned that we needed to be responsible for our own happiness by his example of pursuing his own. We learned the true meaning of love from a man who had to figure it out on his own.

This is an album from his massive jazz record collection. Whenever Stan Kenton and his orchestra came to the Detroit area, he had a front-row seat, and one of us kids next to him.  He also saw Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, and Count Basie as often as possible. When I was a little girl, he walked up to Count Basie after a performance at the Michigan State Fair and proudly said, “Count, this is my daughter Annette. Annette, this is the Count!”

He made sure we had library cards, encyclopedias, and storybooks. Sunday nights he sat with us watching Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Summer meant day trips to the lake or the zoo. Any time of year was the right time to go to the park to feed the ducks or go skating.

 I feel as though I am rambling but I want everyone to know this special man the way my siblings and I do, for now, this is the only way that can be possible.

How did you know how to

Be a dad to us kids

When your dad never did

Perhaps it was

That you were just doing

What you wished had been done

Between father and son

As best you could

In our hearts, memories

Of times filled with laughter

And here, ever after

The love you shared

©2023 Annette Rochelle Aben


Annette Rochelle Aben







Positive Attitude Month

How happy life will be

When we choose to see

Life through positive eyes

Give yourself a minute

To find the beauty in it

Peace will be your prize

(c) Annette Rochelle Aben 2022

Happy New Year to Me

Every October, I begin my new year! There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, I was born in October and therefore that is when my first year began all those years ago. Secondly, once I learned about Numerology, I deduced that the numerological new year began in October. Of course, the first reason is irrefutable, but the second is arguable by some who also study the science of Numerology. I won’t argue, I will simply celebrate!

 So, here it is, October 1, 2022.


 Welcome to a month of Fresh Starts and New Beginnings to transform our lives in magical ways.