What’s Up?

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted. I sincerely apologize. Both John and I assumed —incorrectly —that we would have plenty of time due to the pandemic. How wrong we were.

Early on, my mom, John and I decided we wanted to grow produce to share with the neighbors. Well, I am sorry to say that none of us have a green thumb. All of our plants produced one edible tomato that actually looked like a tomato and three skinny zucchini. Our herbs did really well. I believe we dried three batches of rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, and mint. So becoming Farmer Joy, John, and Mom was an epic fail. We did manage to gather bushels of produce so our pantry is full of home-canned products. Yummy!

Then I was encouraged by my granddaughter to try my hand at art. I bought some watercolors, brushes, and paper and got busy. Oh my! I am NOT a painter. I am also not a quitter. I ended up filling two folios with “art”.

After this, as a family both in North and South America, we went on virtual museum tours. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful this has been. I caught the bug. Almost every day I tour somewhere via YouTube. Right now I’m loving the beauty and simplicity of Azerbaijan. Who knows, maybe some day after COVID is over, we can travel again.

Lately, I’ve been writing. This new story, of which I am almost at 35,000 words, is no simple Christie Capps story. It will be a full-blown J Dawn King tale. I send Nicole Clarkston each chapter. Here is her comment for chapter 12 from earlier today: “Wow!!! Woman, this story has me by the throat. I need more!!!” I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful this is to hear. Talk about motivational.

Unfortunately, I can’t share the idea because it’s truly unique to JAFF and I’ve had my ideas stolen. Piracy is rife in publishing and JAFF has not been immune. I will say that John, who is also reading this as a work-in-progress keeps pushing me to get more pages done. I am now spending almost every available minute at my computer.

One thing that has been a true blessing is that I’ve stepped away from spending so much time on social media. I am still there but not so much. I tell you, the things that some people post. Whew! Who needs all of that bad news? Not me. At least, I don’t need a steady diet of it. Because of this, I’m reading and re-reading some high quality books. One such, that melted my heart and brought me to tears is Nicole’s latest book, writing as Alix James. Oh my goodness! It is my 2021 favorite so far. She should have it published soon.

A special hello to Sheila M. and a thank you for the reminder to provide an update. John sends his love and greetings from our home to yours.

Please take care and stay safe.

All my best to all of you,



  • J. W. Garrett

    We shall all thank Sheila. It is so good to hear from you. That story about your garden was hilarious. I wonder if Mr. Collins was a success at his garden? Poor Charlotte would reap that harvest and Lady Catherine would be sure to tell him the best way to grow vegetables. LOL! We all go through phases [art, needlework, knitting or crochet. I’ve done them all. I think they call that ‘Jack-of-all-trades and master of none.’ I look forward to reading this WIP you are working on. The fact your husband wants you to work faster so he can read the next chapter was hilarious. Bless him. Y’all stay safe and healthy. I hope the bad weather in your area didn’t cause you too much trouble. Some are facing power outages and mudslides. Stay safe and healthy.

    • J "Joy" Dawn King

      It’s so good to hear from you, Jeanne. I had not thought about Mr. Collins and his garden. What a hoot! I bought a crochet hook and some yarn in August. Within two days it was out of the house never to return, I hope. I am not cut out for anything to do with sewing or yarn. I don’t have the temperament. Best wishes to you, dear woman.

  • sheilalmajczan

    I am SO HAPPY to hear from you, Joy, and say “Hello” to John for me. I just received an ARC of Nicole’s book and when I finish reading the book I am on I am going to read hers. I am excited to hear that you are working on a longer book. I just found the two short ones from last year when someone on GRs had them on their list of books. I am going to pay more attention to your author page on Amazon and Goodreads’ lists of your stories instead of waiting for updates. I used to garden a lot but in our condo there is no place to garden. I canned and froze a lot of my produce. Loved the fresh peas in spring and blueberries and raspberries in summer. We were reared with about 1/2 acre of garden next to our house. My father did it all organically but we kids did most of the work as he has a full time job.

    Stay safe, dear friend. Oh, how long were you taking care of refugees from the fires? You were an angel to do that. GOD bless you.

  • caroleincanada

    So glad to hear you and your family are safe and well and trying your ‘hand’ at several new endeavors! I buy one tomato plant each year and last year only got one tomato off it!!! I also buy one green pepper plant and that was more successful. I’m hoping for better luck this year with my tomatoes. I do crochet but only blankets/throws/scarves. Sewing…nope not going to happen! Looking forward to your new story and will read Jennifer’s latest soon…it’s on my Kindle. I just finished reading Nicole’s story…what a beauty it is! Yup, tissues are necessary.

    Stay safe. Stay sane. And keep on writing!!

    • J "Joy" Dawn King

      Carole, I do believe we are kindred spirits, as Anne of Green Gables told Marilla. I promise to keep writing if you promise to take care. Thanks so much for commenting. It is good to connect with friends.

  • Buturot

    Thank you so much for the update. Glad that you all are doing well.

    Lucky for us now that farming and painting had failed, that means more time for writing. Yehey for us who will benefit from your stories 😉

    May He keep us ALL safe!

  • Shelley Hoisington

    Yes, we shall thank Shiela . It’s wonderful to hear from you. It’s even better to know that you are writing a full length novel! Thanks to John who is pushing you along. I grew up with a large garden and remember helping to can and freeze the vegetables and storing the green tomatoes in the winter. Everyone had to help in the garden every day..watering, picking weeds, planting, harvesting. This summer my daughters and I planted some string beans, tomatoes, squash and wild flowers. Well I think we feed the raccoons, deer, mice, squirrels and foxes. Just when we thought two more days and we will have a ripe tomatoes….gone! To you and your family stay safe and well.

    • J "Joy" Dawn King

      What a wonderful heritage to have, Shelley. That you are passing it on to your girls is priceless, even if the animals benefited from your bounty. We have friends here with massive gardens so the produce came to us in boxes. I was fortunate to have canning supplies because they quickly ran out. We have more zucchini relish than we will ever eat in a lifetime and peaches and pears to last all winter. It’s great to have a full pantry. Please stay safe!

  • Ceri

    So good to see an update from you Joy! I have never had luck with growing tomatoes either 🙁

    Very intrigued about the new book and I’m glad to hear you’ve been writing. My reading took a nosedive when the pandemic hit and still hasn’t recovered. We are only a fortnight into the new year and I’m already behind on my reading challenge! Stay safe x

    • J "Joy" Dawn King

      Thank you, Ceri. I am grateful to learn that I am not alone in not being able to grow produce.

      I completely understand about being behind. When the pandemic first happened I had visions of staying home to write and read and write and read. Oh well. Maybe someday. Please keep safe. Are you homeschooling your two kiddos? That has to be exceedingly time consuming.

      • Ceri

        Luckily the school provides the lessons online! I feel for people with younger children though, because they need a lot more input than older kids.

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