Monthly Archives: November 2013

On gratitude

I have a lot to be grateful for this holiday season. My family. My friends. My health.

And now, my status as a real, live, about-to-be-published author.

GratefulFor those of you who missed it, a couple of weeks ago my agent and I announced the big news, that two of my books have been picked up by Mira, the women’s fiction imprint at Harlequin. My debut, The Truest Lie, will be released Fall of 2014.

I’m not going to lie. There was a lot of squealing and dancing in my house when the offer came in. Any writer, published or not, will tell you the road to publication is long and paved with rejection letters. It took years of study and failure and creativity and perseverance. It took truckloads of tears and gallons of heartburn medicine. It took a fair amount of wine and Xanax.

But right after the celebration came the doubts. What if no one likes my book? What if no one reads it? Or what if everyone loves the first but hates the second? What if I only have one good book in me?

As a pre-published author, getting that first contract feels like the finish line, but really, it’s only the beginning. The stakes only get higher, the pressure to succeed larger, and the internal editor louder and more critical.

So this Thanksgiving weekend, I’m reminding myself to stop and stay in the now. Yes, I worked hard to get here, and yes, I have still have much to do, but this almost-an-author moment only comes once. I want to experience every second of it.

Tomorrow I will worry about edits and marketing and writing the next, bigger, better book. Today I will be thankful for today.

Vastly Different, Equally Valuable

valueWhen it was time to sit down and compose today’s post, I asked my girls, who are eight and ten, “What should I write about?”
Littlest didn’t need to think before she blurted, “Toys!” She’s one to say what’s on her mind, little hesitation, and these days she’s all about Monster High dolls and her stuffed animals (Chunky the elephant being her very favorite).
Biggest thought for just a moment before she stated with aplomb, “Write about the value of children, about how children are fantastic, and make your day everyday and stuff.”
These two, they’re something else. They couldn’t be any different from one another outwardly, and personality-wise. One’s an introvert, the other an extrovert. One is easy-going and pleasant, the other takes everything personally, is so dramatic about life. But yet they have a lot in common. They’re both contemplators, aware of the world and of others, and have deep wisdom. They have sweet demeanors. They’re excellent readers and funny little jokesters.
I love them bigger than big. And wow, are they valuable. They’re at the top of the list of things I’m thankful for this holiday, and everyday.
What has the #1 slot for you on Thanksgiving?
[photo from stonecobra.com]

IF YOU’RE READING THIS…

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I’m betting the majority of people following this blog are avid readers. My sister Kathy and I share suggestions about new authors we’ve discovered. She told me about Joy Fielding several months ago. I’d heard the name before and even read one of her books years and years ago. So, I bought one of her books for my Kindle and I was instantly hooked. I read every e-book she had and then started on the ones that weren’t available in e-book form. I adore her writing. It’s very different from the other authors I’d been reading. Her books give me a great sense of the main character and the internal drama that woman is going through. I can’t say enough good things about Joy Fielding.

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What are you reading right now and do you have a favorite current author?

Please share.

Winter Wonderland

Last week, our snow melted. I know, weird, huh?

For anyone familiar with winter on the Canadian prairies, you know that once the snow arrives, the cold white flakes stick around till the following spring…which if we’re lucky occurs in late March. And if we’re not so fortunate, it might stick around till late May or early June.

Anyway, back to last week…

The first snowfall of 2013

For two days, the snow melted and it felt like spring. And let me tell you, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—better than being able to walk outside without a toque, mitts, heavy winter coat, and boots.

I spent those two days with a snow shovel in my hands, chipping the ice off the driveway, and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my head. And then the clouds moved back in and it began to snow again.

Now we have another foot or more of the white stuff.

Sure, it’s pretty, especially with the glow of Christmas lights shining through a dusting of newly fallen snow. Or on a frosty, sunny morning when we wake to trees covered in hoar frost and the entire landscape glitters.

But today, as I’m digging out from the latest snowfall, the temperature is dropping, the wind is blowing, and my back is sore. And it somehow feels more like a life sentence than it does a beautiful wonder of nature.

In my next life, I’m putting in a request for Hawaiian parents. 🙂

Before I go, I’d like to wish everyone an early happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be on a little vacation, someplace where there is no snow or snow shovels or toques or mitts. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Do you get snow in your part of the world? What’s your favorite thing about the winter season? And for those of you who have never experienced the beauty of a winter wonderland, if you were to wake up to a fresh snowfall, what’s the first thing you would do?

Love/Hate Relationships

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I’m a pretty private person. I’m not apt to share the minutia of my life with others. I bore myself half the time and figure I shouldn’t spend time boring others. I’ve even written entire blog posts on my hatred for Facebook.

But… Screen Shot 2012-11-15 at 1.59.16 PM

There are times when I discover things on FB that I never would have known. For instance, there is a page dedicated to the recovery of a young woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car accident. I’m not sure how this page ended up on my feed, but a friend must have liked it and now I read the posts and updates whenever I see them.

I don’t know the girl. I don’t know her family. The posts are remarkable and uplifting and so full of hope. The mom and dad take turns writing posts that convey their courage and faith as the family takes baby step after baby step toward recovery.

There are thousands of pages like theirs on Facebook. Thousands. I’m not sure what it was about this one that caught my eye and made me read. And keep on reading. And praying for them. I believe in the power of prayer.

I found this girl’s story through a social media site I sometimes love and sometimes hate. Love or hate it, social media has power. Sometimes that power is a wonderful thing.

What about you? Have you found something through social media that has impacted your life? If so, would you please share?

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