A summer job in Seattle gave Debby Detering the soulmate with whom she enjoyed an expanding and diverse family and decades of appreciation for our world, from moonlight to mountains to minnows.

Debby writes from perspectives of a mother and foster mother, an apple orchardist/geographer’s wife, and medical records work in a Community Clinic.

She hopes her writing, and a variety of other reading, will help others find joy in difficult times and resiliency to get past the pain that inevitably come with living.

Libraries and home bookshelves can showcase the roads where others have traveled. The characters you read about, in both history and fiction, become friends and influencers when you invite them into your life.

"Caring is the most important human attribute. If you deeply know that someone cares, you are free to become the best person you were created to be."

Three Tales: God With Us

by Deborah (Debby) Detering

What if God lived in the penthouse of his hotel and took the elevator to communicate with his people in the city?

What if God comes, disguised as a shabby old man, to the streets of New York in the Christmas season?

Where is God when I am tangled in a forest in a time of witches, dragons, and isolated farms?

Buy Three Tales, Paperback or Kindle, at Amazon

In a century-old journal, Debby Detering discovers how her grandfather’s decision to work on the Panama Canal, and then in Hawaii, led to her New England upbringing and transfer to the western States—but what happened to the family’s one-time San Diego ranch?

This book includes:

  • Letters written on steamships, 1907 and 1914.
  • Letters from William Hobby to the Potter family during construction of the Panama Canal.
  • Contextual background and many photographs of events, people, and places mentioned in the letters.

Buy Panama and Beyound, Paperback or Kindle, at Amazon

*Note that the Paperback book has about twice the photos as the Kindle version!

For the first chapter of Aunt Tabby’s House, notices of recent posts, and Debby’s favorite quotations, subscribe to the Wordcraft Newsletter, which will come to your e-mail no more than once a month.

As new posts are published find out where Aunt Tabby travels next, follow the evolution of Derek and Nate as they navigate from foster care to independence, receive notes on Debby’s research, and the miscellany that excites her attention.

Your e-mail will not be shared with any flea-market salesperson, curious relative, or ghost. Debby promises not to post the youngest grandchild’s amazing art or the vagaries of in-laws (truthfully, she doesn’t have weird in-laws, only loved ones whose privacy she respects.)

And if you’re willing to try this, know that you can unsubscribe any time

Recent Posts

The Old Elm, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Debby Detering

The Old Elm Watched a Revolution

“The woodsman’s ax sank into the tree. He loosened it from the trunk of the American Elm, raised his ax once more, and prepared to swing. But this time, his blow would not connect with the tree. He would not even swing the ax…

Read More »
Debby Detering

Life Piles Up

This is the home we planned, built, decorated, finished (almost–I don’t think one every truly finishes) But in every home we have ever owned, we have expected to live the rest of our lives.

Read More »

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COMING SOON: ANOTHER GENRE! First in Debby’s middle grade “Aunt Tabby” series Projected date: September 2021

Coming Soon..


Who is the white-haired surprise visitor who talks about ghosts in her house?

Jeremy wonders: “Aunt Who?”

Katrina remembers: “Great Aunt Tabby who travels around the world and writes books!”

But why does Dad tell her to be careful what stories she tells, and what is he hiding about an adventure in Timbuktu?

Learn more about Aunt Tabby, her nieces and nephews, and where they travel!

In Process..


By the time Derek reaches his third foster home, he knows he’s the family problem, the dumb one, the ugly one, and—most frightening—maybe the crazy one. If your own mother doesn’t care, no one else will. Derek can think of only one way out.

Nate is desperate to escape his foster home placement, get back to Angie, and set up a stable home like his friend’s, but you need an established business for support, and Nate doesn’t even know whether his dad still has a business.