Put Your Feet UpAlong with my Jewish friends, I view September as the month to “have a good new year.” This custom was established for me during my teaching career. Even after being retired from teaching since 1997–whoa-that’s eighteen years, I still do an overhaul of clothes, closets, kitchen supplies, make a list of decorating ideas, and clean out my office desk and files.

Along with September being the beginning of a new year comes a continuation of a summer attitude. I tend to carve out more time to sit on the patio and relax, and work. Yes, this can be done in Tucson in the summer and beyond. Sit in a shaded area with laptop, iced tea, and phone. Take a dunk in the spool when a break is needed. Move back to the patio or under the umbrella as needed. Writing a new blog, answering emails, writing outside gets accomplished with a dose of early morning vitamin D.

Summer months and summer weather extend the summer concept here in Tucson to September, and even into October. The weather is sunny, warm; skies are that brilliant Tucson blue. The reading list gets pulled out. Library trips and Kindle downloads increase.

What’s on my book list?


Déjà Death by Kathy Reich. I don’t watch much TV but picked up this 1997 “Bones” character book while we were at Lake George on vacation. An old hardcover book–worn and musty. Perfect for afternoon reading. The author and main character are both forensic anthropologists. I’m always up for books that reveal facets of the author’s life.

Sycamore Row by Grisham. I’m giving Grisham another try after a break of several years.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. I don’t always feel sympathetic towards her main characters, but Picoult’s research seems impeccable for the timely and often tough topics she tackles. Being a relationship junkie, I enjoy the twists and turns that her characters’ relationships take.

Circling the Sun. Paula McLain’s fictionalized story of Beryl Markham. Beryl Markham =aviatrix, independent, adventurous, and very free-spirited woman. I’m in.

Still Life by Louise Penny. Picked up the other night from my husband’s Kindle with an “I have nothing to read” sigh. Good writing, characters with depth (not always sterling). And you don’t have to say good-bye to the characters at the end of the book. Her series holds up.


Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen. Recommended by Marc Haberman, my local improv guru. There’s a connection between the topic and how David Razowsky views improv. And David Razowsky is touted as a master improv teacher. Improv and Buddhism- I like the combination.

The Revision Toolbox by Georgia Heard. Still a treasure to add to your writing toolbox. The Atria Creative Writing Group and I are on chapter 6 – actual revision. A tip that hit home: Have a Yard Sale for Extra Words, those words that pop up all too frequently in your writing. For Sale – cheap or free at my yard sale: great, terrific, wonderful.

Part of my September review includes my writing plans for the next few months, programs, and blog ideas.

Blogs are for writers and lovers of words (friends, relatives, teachers, editors, public speakers, voracious readers). And relationship ideas seem to crystallize no matter where I am–even at Logan Airport in Boston. Hop over to a recent one. https://etheleemiller.com/relationship-breakthrough-at-logan-airport/

My goal is to send a respectful newsletter. You can cruise the pages of Ethel Lee Miller or just check out local events https://etheleemiller.com/events/

I don’t barrage with newsletters–in fact just the opposite. Enjoy!