Wordsmith - Storyteller


I write heartfelt stories of love, faith, and struggle, that evoke tears and laughter. The characters are kindred spirits that you'll embrace as if you've found a piece of your soul that speaks. Join me on a journey you won't want to end.

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Professor Snape lives on

        Professor Snape gone? Well, actually it’s Alan Rickman. But to millions of people he will always be Professor Snape. This is not a eulogy about the actor, though he was extremely talented and from what those who worked with him say, he also possessed a truly remarkable character. His passing was […]

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Please open your eyes when cutting my hair

One of the down sides to moving, is replacing all the professionals in your previous life. Dentist, doctors, hair stylist. The last isn’t that important to men, but for women, it is. I took my mother’s advice to look for a woman whose hairstyle I liked, and then go up and ask her where she […]

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The other side of the Leap

“The difference between what we fear and what we want, is the width of an eyelash.” -Maggie Smith   We did it. We made the leap. We moved far away from where we had lived. Not only in miles, but in culture, politics, weather, and landscape. It’s a new life. We left the old one […]

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Realizing that I’m Wilbur

                        Saying goodbye is never easy. It’s an emotional, heart-tugging experience that leaves you feeling somewhat lost. Almost as if an empty space opens up inside you, and you can physically feel the absence of the people you’re leaving. We meet, get to know and […]

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Memories in the mess

  It’s an interesting thing to try to sell your home. There’s a process. I did the obvious and cleaned out the closets, removed clutter, tidied up until everything looked spacious and sparkly. Then our realtor came through with a different pair of eyes. Ones that were not blinded by the nostalgia of everything. “What’s […]

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Christmas Carol come to life: Seeing my future self

I was sitting at a Castings Crown concert with my thirteen year son, completely mesmerized by what was in front of me and it had nothing to do with the musicians. Don’t get me wrong, the concert was wonderful. As fans, we have attended one of their concerts before. We were anticipating a great night on our special “date,” leaving dad with his two […]

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Where you go, I go…

              I married a man from the West Coast who loves the ocean. I use the word “love” but even that seems to be an understatement. He has a spiritual connection to the water. It’s as if the life force of the ocean is connected to his own wellbeing. […]

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Betty Boop gets hitched

                      This last weekend, Betty Boop got hitched. Some of you may remember her from “Betty Boop’s “Pizzazz” Fizzles Mine.” http://www.hollyvarni.com/betty-boops-pizzazz-fizzles-mine/ Walking down the aisle, she looked stunning in her layers of lace and sparkle. Her hair that is typically streams of molasses was tied in […]

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Who said it would be easy?

                Hanging above the kitchen sink when I was growing up, right smack in between two windows that looked out to the backyard, was a small plaque with the words, “God forbid, life should be easy!” The quote was from Alan Alda. My parents loved the actor, the […]

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Hang on, it’s going to be a wild & crazy ride

              Anyone that goes through a personal crisis in their life will inevitably come out the other side speaking the same truth….I learned who my real friends are. We’ve all heard it. There are those that come in your hour of need and those that flee. This discovery comes […]

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The “After” of Breast Cancer: Chick with the silicone chest

            This year has been one of growth for me. Not that I was stagnant in a pubescent stage or anything, but there are times in life where difficult circumstances propel you forward a few steps on the evolution of who you are as a person. One of those growth […]

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Breath of snow

              I imagine it’s a snowy day in Moon Lake and the good townsfolk are nestled in their homes trying to stay warm by drinking hot liquids and wearing an extra layer of clothing. The temperature sometimes warms up to above zero, as this winter has broken records as the coldest […]

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Classic Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

              “Bread is the basic sustenance of every culture in the world, and I’m trying to connect with that primal need that we all share. The act of creating and baking bread can be a very meditative act. It centers your spirit in the present moment,” said Arielle, (Silhouettes […]

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Da Vinci’s Golden Cup

              Have you heard the story about the golden cup in Leonardo Da Vinci’s, The Last Supper?  The enormous painting that measures 15 x 29 feet and covers an entire wall, depicts the evening before Christ was betrayed by one of his disciples. If you don’t know that story […]

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A Griswald memory….

              Each of us has certain memories from our childhood that stick more than others. When I think back to the holiday season when I was growing up, the first image that comes to mind are my parents in our front yard putting up lights. It’s an understatement to […]

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread

      Moon Lake “Bread is the basic sustenance of every culture in the world, and I’m trying to connect with that primal need that we all share. The act of creating and baking bread can be a very meditative act. It centers your spirit in the present moment,” said Arielle, (Moon Lake, p. […]

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She responded, “I am blessed…”

            A dear friend in my life who is a regular topic of discussion on my blog is someone I refer to as “Southern Belle”. I’ve written of her charm and syrupy sweetness, her expectation for always being proper (said with a heavy lilt) and down home hospitality that could only be […]

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My life as a Hallmark Movie…

              Boy meets girl. Boy and girl feel a spark but an obstacle stands between them. Boy can’t stop thinking about girl. Boy and girl keep running into one another. Boy and girl spend time solving the problem. Boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after. I am a […]

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I love you Garrison…

              Everyone develops a crush at some point. Mine happens to be more of an obsession. Not to the point where I would stalk this person, but he definitely holds my admiration from a distance. I get excited at the mention of his name. My heart races and I’m filled […]

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Bouquet of sharpened pencils…

              “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils…” Do you remember this line from a famous movie? One of the main characters was talking about autumn and how it made him feel to the other character. He was saying how the fall season made him feel like buying school […]

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Social media: As bad as Crack…(Part 2)

              Not addicted to Pinterest? Good for you. But can you say the same thing about Facebook? Think about it. Be honest. Really honest. Come on. How many times a day do you check Facebook for “new stories” posted? Do you sneak breaks at work to check your page […]

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Pinterest: As bad as Crack…(Part 1)

              I admit it. I have a problem. My name is Holly and I am addicted to Pinterest. Just like substance abuse, it typically takes someone close to you to be brutally honest with your change in behavior. In this case, it was my husband saying, “You’re on Pinterest […]

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All about the Boobies…

“Do your boobs hang low?     Do they wobble to and fro?    Can you tie ‘em in a knot?    Can you tie ‘em in a bow?    Can you throw ‘em over your shoulder like a continental soldier?    Do your boobs hang low?” How important are your breasts to you? Are you attached to the girls? (Pun […]

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The bliss of “nothing” is what you crave…

                      This week there are far more “Sightings” than Satire in Moon Lake. The summer crowd has descended like locusts in biblical proportions. It is that time of year when our charming and quaint town triples in population and finding parking on Main Street actually becomes […]

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Rhubarb makes you Pucker with Pleasure

Lazy dazy summer afternoons have descended upon Moon Lake, which means rhubarb is abundant. People don’t think of it as a fruit and certainly not a vegetable, but a voracious weed that takes over your garden. The mysterious plant that’s strong in flavor and sturdy in structure, survives in both sun and shade, and is waiting to be […]

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Where has all the chivalry gone?

              Where has all the chivalry gone? The other day, I was standing in a long hallway of an office building that was packed with people. There were benches lining the wall, but all were full. Each bench was long enough to accommodate three people. On the bench closest to me, a […]

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Danish Crunch Bread

“Bread is the basic sustenance of every culture in the world, and I’m trying to connect with that primal need that we all share. The act of creating and baking bread can be a very meditative act. It centers your spirit in the present moment,” said Arielle, (Silhouettes of Moon Lake, p. 95).     […]

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What’s your Date Ad?

               Have you noticed how the descriptions that people put on social media outlets such as Twitter and Pinterest, bare a scary resemblance to date ads? We have become a culture where we create little snippets to describe ourselves that will make people like us and want to follow us. Our character […]

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Big, fat, juicy tears…

            My friend, the “Southern Belle,” whom I’ve written about before was crying the other day. One of her dearest friends is dying of cancer and she went to say goodbye. As she was sharing her sorrow with me, tears began to fall over her eyelashes and down her cheeks. […]

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Rhubarb Queen, Colossal Carnivore & Miss Manners

              Excerpts are taken from the Moon Lake Town Times Newspaper.   The morning headlines. Sightings and Satire Congratulations to Ingrid Soren, the new Moon Lake Rhubarb Queen! At the sassy age of 72, she beat out other rhubarb enthusiasts. The contestants were judged on their creativity in the […]

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