My Blog: Artful Fiction

Reviewed by Paula Butterfield

Last year I discovered the talented Paula Butterfield’s exquisite La Luministe, about painter Berthe Morisot. Now I’m thrilled to say Paula has reviewed my novel. And what a lovely review it is. Stop over at Paula’s blog and take a look? Tell her I sent you. 🙂

Although Barry and I are both working from home, outside of work hours our schedules are nonexistent. I have finally mastered napping. (I’m not proud of that.) I have had some strong writing sessions lately, but am mulling the last ten pages of my current WIP once again…

So Barry has taken to making biscuits, and now I wish he’d unlearn how, because yum! If you subscribe to my newsletter, you will soon get a photo of him dotted with flour. (Sign up on most any page of my website.)

I am proud to say I am still ahead on my Goodreads goal for the year. But my eyes are rebelling reading on devices of any kind, which is sad because I have a friend’s book I really want to read and it’s on my computer. (I will read it!) I’m so happy to be flipping literal pages again, though. There’s nothing like it.

How’s it going, quarantiners? Let me know how you’re doing. While I miss seeing your faces (those in the area), at least I can “hear” you here. 😊

Be well!


Making an International Connection

Before all of this craziness with COVID-19, Jagrit Singh interviewed me for his awesome podcast, The International Connection. We had such a nice talk; turns out he’s a poet, and a quite good one! Please take a listen below:

TIC039: Creative Writing Essentials ft. Drema Drudge

So many thanks to Jag and best wishes for his podcast. 

I started this post yesterday, but I had a day. You know what’s the most frustrating thing about suffering from anxiety? It’s when you KNOW there’s no reason to feel that way, but you do anyway. I was kinda at the barely functional stage, I’d say the worst I’ve ever felt, though I did manage to make it through a couple of work Zoom calls and work-related tasks regardless. Afterwards, I curled up in a living room chair and finished reading a book. (I’m totally ahead of my Goodreads goal, so there’s that.) A shout out to my dear heart for covering dinner for us. 

As often happens the day after a particularly bad episode, I’m slow moving today, though I feel positively upbeat and productive by comparison. I’m even grooving to the Prince album Hubby is playing in the background. Instead of rushing through the day’s list (you know I’m a list maker, right?), I’m taking it one task at a time to make up for my sluggishness. 

One particularly exciting yet potentially anxiety-producing task today involved making a phone call, so I made a list of questions first and took it line by line, from goal post to goal post. Now all I need to do now is drop off a check and I’m done. Yippee! 

I hope this isn’t TMI, all of this anxiety talk, but I happen to know that so many of my writing friends (and so many others) suffer from this, and that these uncertain times can trigger it. (Mine’s self-diagnosed, but very real.) 

stay at home on a smartphome screen display
Photo by ready made on

DH and I had planned to record lots of bonus episodes for our Writing All the Things podcast, but we’ve both suffered from sore throats and voice overuse between us off and on. We hope to get back to that soon so we can at least contribute that.

Whether you’re a regular sufferer of anxiety or not, we’re all out of our comfort zones to some degree these days. Let’s be patient with ourselves.

Warm Wishes,




Growing Up “Laura”

Over on Grace Augustine’s blog today I talk about what it was like growing up in West Virginia with parents who were Little House fans. It was fun to take a slow stroll back through the years to hillsides of trilliums and blackberries. Thanks, Grace!

So, it’s a holiday weekend that many celebrate, but most of the ways we celebrate are out this year. How are we all doing? I’m making sausage pancakes today in part to honor the occasion, in part because IHOP keeps sending me tantalizing emails, and in part because my dad used to make them. (Read my guest blog post above.)

In addition, Hubby and I are watching totally random YouTube videos today. I’m such a true crime mystery person, and last night I stumbled upon an unsolved case that I told Barry all about this morning while he made us coffee. We decided to watch the video together because it’s set, sadly, at our favorite Indiana landmark. That led from one video into another…

Victorine Interview with Stephanie Storey!

Y’all, I have been negligent, and I can only blame Raphael, Stephanie Storey’s latest creation which just came out Tuesday for my oversight. I’m more than halfway through, and do yourselves a favor — go get it NOW! (While I understand that getting a physical copy may take some time due to the world’s current shipping issues, no one is saying you can’t, say, buy a physical copy and while you wait for it, download the Kindle version too. Not that I’ve done that, cough, cough.)

This, however, isn’t a review of that fine, fine book by the author of the celebrated Oil and Marble, which is being made into a movie, by the way! If you haven’t read her first novel, buy that as well. If you love art, especially Italian art (wait, is that redundant?), and if you practically swoon at the name Michelangelo as I do, read it. Read it again, especially that bit about the unpolished top of the head of The David. #Lush!

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that this generous author interviewed me for her blog and posted it the day before her own second novel was released!  Such generosity of spirit, such art-in-fiction camaraderie, considering I well know the unending list of pre-launch tasks, and that an author of her stature would feature me on her website, well, caused me to shed more than a few happy tears.

Would you like to read the interview with her thoughtful questions? Please do! As for me, I have some more reading to do…shhh! 🙂


Please Keep Your Hands and Feet Inside the Ride Until it Comes to a Complete Stop!

The last stop on my blog tour is hosted by Emma Lombard. Thanks, Emma, for having me on your site! You’re a peach.

And many thanks to Mary Anne Yarde for organizing my blog tour. If you ever have need of a blog tour, go see her over at the Coffee Pot Book Club. I truly couldn’t have done it without her.

It goes without saying how grateful I am to each and every one of my hosts for my blog tour. During a time when it’s really not easy to get the word out about a new book, you have all given Victorine a chance. I am so thankful!

I’m also thankful for those of you who have followed along. Merci!

On the Drudge homefront, as Easter approaches, it occurred to me only yesterday that I am behind on all things Easter. So Barry has graciously agreed to do the shopping for us. He’s our designated errand person at the moment.

That means from Easter dinner to Easter goodies such as but not limited to candy and fun things for the Easter baskets, he’s our guy.

What, do you mean you don’t buy your spouse anything for Easter? LOL. In any case. I feel awful that I have him buying his own Easter present. However, I asked if I could buy an e-book for my Easter present, so I guess that’s OK.

What’s that? You want to know what e-book I’m buying? It’s Stephanie Storey’s new book, Raphael. It comes out tomorrow, and I cannot wait! If you’ve read her excellent Oil and Marble, you’ll know what a treat I’m in for.

What spring treats are you hoping for?

Victorine Visits Zoe’s Art Today

Many thanks to Zoe’s Art for featuring my novel today! You’re the best.

I’m hoping to finish reading The Ambassadors today. I must admit, it felt a little slow in the middle. I’m nearly to page 300 now, with about 60 to go, and something has just occurred that has perked my ears up.

Victorine as the Street Singer by Manet

Hubby and I set our 20 for 20 goals at the beginning of the year. Well, I set mine and I asked if we could have a together one. Our goal was to get together/go out with/have people over 20 times this year. Well, that now seems laughable. We did manage to get in, I think, five before all of this, so yay for front loading.

Isn’t it ironic that the year you plan to be intentional about socializing is the year, well, the universe laughs and introduces you to social distancing? Not that Barry and I don’t enjoy being with others, but we enjoy one another’s company so much and we have so many creative pursuits that boredom is not a word we’re familiar with.

What plans of yours has COVID-19 stomped on thus far? It’s all fine and well to be thankful for our remaining blessings, but it’s also okay to mourn or just be pissed.

Coffee or Tea? And Thomas Hardy, Please! An Interview… drew

Elizabeth J. St. John asked, and I spilled the tea (or is it coffee?) over on her website. Thank you, Elizabeth, for having me over! I enjoyed the interview, especially the lightning round.

Let’s do a check-in: how’s everyone holding up? For me, last night was tough. All of a sudden I became cold and started shaking uncontrollably. I managed to take myself to bed and hubby piled as many covers as he could find onto me, but it lasted about half an hour: finally I went to sleep and it stopped. I awoke a couple of hours later and was too warm, but otherwise felt okay. This morning no fever, no shakes. Although my muscles hurt so badly last night from the shaking that I was groaning, I’m remarkably not stiff this morning.

Alas, we had an opportunity to test out our “quarantine” plan: we had agreed that if one of us becomes sick, the other will sleep downstairs, we will use separate bathrooms, etc. SOMEONE was worried enough about me that he refused to leave the room, no matter how much I insisted. While I love how much he cares…

What was that illness last night about? I have no idea. I have been vigilant about remaining socially distant, only having gone on one grocery run in a week. I honestly don’t think I’ve been exposed to the bad stuff, but I’m still remaining cautious. My husband had an idea as to what might be wrong with me. Although I have never had sympathy pains, if you will, he wonders if I might have become overwrought with the world’s troubles. If maybe I was feeling so helpless that I became physically overwhelmed. I mean, I don’t remember feeling like it was too much, and yet I can’t explain what happened. He and I ate virtually the same food yesterday, so it wasn’t food poisoning. Maybe he’s right.

In any case, it brings to mind this William Wordsworth poem, definitely the title. Since it’s National Poetry Month, it seems fitting to post a poem, anyway.

The World Is Too Much With Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
Maybe the world was too much with me last night, or maybe my illness was some inexplicable squall, blowing up and leaving just as soon. But it’s true, these days the world is too much with us. And yet, somehow not enough, either. Ironically, nature is the one place we can spend our time besides our home, as long as we remember the six feet rule.
I don’t do well feeling helpless, so here are some things I have done/am doing:
— Sent books to shut-ins
–Put stuffed animals in the windows on our porch for the stuffed animal parade our town has; parents drive their children around and the kids count how many animals they find. I love the idea! Today I’m adding my Easter bunny and my Minion to the mix. (I love Minions.)
–Called my peoples to be sure they’re okay
–Attended online church
–Been in regular contact with my friends and etc. on social media
–Trying to keep at my writing
–Promoted the writing of others
And in honor of Wordsworth, whose poem I think of each spring, here is a picture of some daffodils, evoking another of his poems.

landscape photography of field covered with yellow flowers
Photo by Takao Numata on

A quick update on The Ambassadors: still enjoying it, but my grad school mentors would have had a fit if I hadn’t added more choreography than he has: so many talking head scenes, and yes, he STILL insists on babbling on about one woman and then another to the point that I’m not sure who he’s talking about, and yet somehow he’s keeping my attention. So yes, I’m liking it, but am also mildly irritated.
P.S. Did my capitalizing STILL above remind you of anything else he does??
Be well. Enjoy nature. Truly, we will make it through this. Let me know how you are!

Time for Another Cup of Coffee…

Mary Anne Yarde has welcomed me back to her blog today over on The Coffee Pot Book Club to talk about the life of women artists in the mid-19th century in Paris. As always, I’m pleased to lift a cup of coffee with Mary Anne. May the tour continue!

If you read my post here yesterday, you know I was just beginning to read Henry James’ The Ambassadors. I’m now about halfway through, and up until that point, I’d really been enjoying it. There are some exquisite, sweet passages. I’d share them with you but I’m tired this morning. Maybe tomorrow?

I picked the book up again in the middle of the night after waking from a dream in which I was being delighted by pet squirrels doing fun tricks and where I was contemplating buying one. (I care just a little too much about squirrels, I fear. I partially blame my dear friend who sends me pics of the squirrels outside her workplace on the reg.) And then I was so tired while trying to read that I got angry at James for taking three pages to say what could be said in one, for forcing me to go back two pages to see who the hell he was talking about! I don’t mind some obfuscation in the right measure, but dammit, man, give me something a bit clearer, would you? (To be fair, it was a passage where the main character wasn’t entirely clear on what was going on, either. So the writing reflected that, but was that on purpose?)

squirrel on wood
Photo by Toni Ferreira Ph on

I still highly recommend the novel thus far, and I am sad that I can’t seem to find a movie based on it, because it seems highly cinematic to me. Am I just missing one that’s out there, dear reader?

I’m not sure what today holds, but I’m hoping part of it holds more reading…because I have a feeling things are about to take a turn…

What are YOU doing today during these uncertain times?

Stay well!



Five Fun Facts — Blog Tour Edition

Many thanks to Mary Ann Bernal for hosting me over on her excellent blog.

If you want to know how I feel about roller coasters, go take a look:

In other news, Hubby and I are busily plotting and planning bonus episodes of our podcast, Writing All the Things, to get us all through this time. We put one out yesterday, featuring a short story of Sandra Cisneros, Barbie-Q, and Barry breaking down a song he wrote for Victorine the album. 🙂

I’ve been blessed to be a guest on several podcasts lately, but sometimes I forget to mention our podcast. Here’s the bonus episode: I hope you enjoy it.

The podcast duo. 😊

Today’s Stop: Manet and Fashion

Right this way to today’s stop: The String’s the Thing: Manet and Fashion.

Many thanks to Deborah Swift for hosting me over on her blog this morning. Today’s stop offers Manet and Fashion: the String’s the Thing. If you notice, in many of the paintings Manet does of Victorine, she wears a black choker. I’ll let you go over to Deborah’s site to learn more about my thoughts on this.

Observe the string/choker here Manet paints onto Victorine.

How are we doing? It occurs to me that this pandemic is the perfect time to journal about how life is going, how life has changed, and our thoughts and feelings about it all. Not only will it be a way to express ourselves, but it can also be a record for the future.

Sure, we’re all recording our thoughts and experiences on social media, but what if someday those particular forms of social media no longer exists? Just a thought. Stay well! And feel free to share your observations on current life here.