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Books are like children: I hate to pick favorites…but

How is it possible this is week 17 in this blog challenge??? I used to laugh when people said “time flies,” but you know what? No lie!! It does.

Anyhoo.

Today’s challenge is to write about your favorite romance genre to read or write.  Mine is the same for both. I am a dyed in the wool contemporary romance lover, writer, devour-er. There are sosososos many fabulous Contemporary authors out there to choose from to read ( me among them. HeeHee!) that I’ve never gotten tired or bored once with finding new talent and storylines to inhale. And by inhale I mean, READ.

I’m a live in the present kinda girl – in life and books, apparently. Planning for stuff gives me agita. I’ve never been one to live in the past. I have a hard time suspending my disbelief of vampires, warewolves and ghosts. I’m not into whips, chains and ball gags ( I actually gagged thinking of that last one), and time travel gives me a headache. Although I have a friend who writes time travel really well and makes it easy for me to understand.

So that leaves me with the here and now. Reading about people living in the world today, with all the struggles, problems, and conflicts that abound from doing so is pleasurable to me. I like knowing that a gal who could be me is finding her way in life and love. Not to knock any other genre because they are all fab, but contemporary is it for me.

Let’s see what the other authors in this blog hop are saying: links

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Hopeful, part II. Hope springs eternal.

SO, back in November 2017, I wrote this blog about this picture and said when I had news I’d post the picture again as a shot-out:

Hopeful

Saturday night the premise of that blog came true. I signed a contract for the publication of my 4 book Match Made in Heaven series, with book one titled DEARLY BELOVED.

Yay!

After a bit of a dry spell, I now have 5 books on my docket ( the 5th being BAKED WITH LOVE, A SAN VALENTINO CHRISTMAS STORY) which will be published between 2018 and 2019. As you can assume, I’ll be posting oodles about all these books over the coming 18 months.

Once again I have proven ( to myself, at least) the power of putting thoughts and hopes and dreams into intention. I bought that ornament as a talisman, to remind me to keep my dream of publication alive. It’s been sitting on my desk since 11.29.17 and I look at it every time I am typing.

And, once again, I am reminded of my favorite self motivation book, The Little Engine that could: I thought I could, so I did!

It’s a good day.

IF you want to get in touch with me or just see what else has been happening in my life, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Dear Diary….

Not too hard to figure out today’s topic, is it? Many of you know – because I’ve mentioned it ad nauseum – that I’m a lifelong diarist. It’s what first spurned me on to be a fiction writer. My childhood was so rife with strife that I used my diary to invent stories about girls who had adventures, loving families, who were smart and pretty and liked. Stories and characters that were so different from me. Mixed into the pages of those stories were actual diary entries about my life at the time.

I’m 57 years old and I still write in my diary most days.

I was about 6 when I got my first diary as a birthday gift.

I can’t remember who gifted it to me but it was one of those old girly-girl kinds with the lock and key. Of course, the lock broke within a week and I lost the key ( hey – I was  6!) so everything I wrote was open to viewing if my mother ever found it. She probably did because she was a world-class snoop. Anyway. The diary had about 120 pages and at 6 I filled those up within a few months. At 6 my penmanship was huge and one, brief entry could take up most of a page.

Fast forward to the teen years.

I’d evolved from the cutsie diary to a more angst-filled one. I’d doodle for hours about things that happened to me and in the world, about how I felt at the time (fat and lonely, mostly), and I still wrote stories about other girls who were not fat, lonely and unhappy; who had friends and boyfriends and were popular in school. The entires were pages upon pages, and since my penmanship was now indicative of a teenager, I was able to write more on the page. Emotions ran rampant throughout these diaries. Negative self-worth, anxiety about weight, feeling as if I didn’t belong anywhere because I was so different. I also started chronically the major events of the day that were unfolding during this time as a footprint of history. Events like Kent State, the Pentagon Papers, President Nixon and impeachment, the bicentennial, the first test tube baby. Emotions ran high across the pages. I was a girl who felt adrift in a world that was changing so rapidly I couldn’t keep up. I didn’t even know how to.

I left home for college and the diaries from those years are full of ramblings about crazy diets, all night study sessions, my flirtations with alcohol and unhealthy life choices, and my desire to make a difference in the world as a nurse. I devoted ten pages to when President Reagan was shot, detailing where I was ( in clinical) and what I was doing when the news broke (washing a comatose patient). My writing voice was getting stronger with every entry, more individualized, more…me,  and I could see a real progression in the fictional stories I added. I could also see the change in me as a person. From introverted and shy, the kind who never spoke her truth or gave a voice to her feelings, to strong and capable. An activist for change. A young woman who wanted better in all aspects of her life. ( I am woman, hear me Roar!)

When I was engaged in the process of getting married (at 27 ) my diary writing entries from that year are full of anticipation, expectation, and a unease. Would I be a good wife? Mother? Would I lose myself in the process of joining with another? There were no stable marriages/relationships in my family history. Everyone divorced, cheated on one another, drank and was generally miserable. Would I be able to break that mold? Would I know how to?

 

Then, when I had my daughter, I stopped writing in my own diary and now devoted journals to her. I documented every aspect, every hour, every milestone of her growing years.

       

She laughs to this day when she sees that I have a scrapbook and coincidal diary for every year of her life from birth until she graduated from college.

 

This is the time in my life I started putting all that lifelong storytelling to use. I began writing for magazines about motherhood and the nursing profession. It wasn’t fiction, it was real life, but the storytelling lessons I’d utilized since that very first diary came to full fruition and served me well.

I still write in my diary most days, only now that term has changed, like the times, and it’s called a journal. It even has a verb attached to it, as in “I’m journaling today.” Gone are the plain lock and key diary varieties, now replaced with inspirational covers and daily motivational saying on the pages.

I could use my computer to journal. There are about a thousand apps for journaling and diary entries, but I don’t. I’m old school when it comes to recording my thoughts, desires, dreams. I like the feel of a pen scratching across the pages of a book of my own. I like seeing how my thoughts, ideas, hell, even my penmanship (!) has changed over the decades.

I’d like to think that someday my grandchildren and their children will read what I’ve documented, get a feel for the person I was from a child to an adult. I like to think that my diary entries, the chronicling of a space in time, was relevant…interesting…worthwhile.

I’d like to believe that everything I’ve archived and recorded could – and will – in some way, give a greater understanding of the life I’ve lead.

 

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If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for #MomentsfromMenopause

My other person, #MenopauseMama, has a new blog post up today. I need a second job to pay for my menopause skin issues. Check it out. Moments From Menopause

When I’m not complaining, you can find me here, not complaining!

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An oldie but a goodie…

Author and Wild Rose Press sistah, Brenda Whiteside had been reposting some of her favorite blogs from the past. I was lucky enough to be included in that list and here’s what she shared today:

I Can’t Dance.

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5 things on my #BucketList

Lovelovelove this challenge this week!!!

We all have (or should have) dreams, wishes, desires that we want to accomplish/do someday. Just like the movie it was named for, these dreams are called our Bucket list.

I will admit, mine was an empty list until 2 years ago. Up until then the only thing I wanted to do was make it through the day, upright, healthy, and fairly unscathed.

Then I got a book contract….and retired from the work force.

And then I allowed myself to dream about what I wanted for my future. I’ve narrowed it down to five because that’s all the blog post allowed for, hence the title!

In no real order, the top 5 things I have on my bucket list are:

Visit Hawaii – and not just visit – take a helicopter flight over the islands, swim under a waterfall, climb the Road to Hana

Visit the Great Barrier Reef before it erodes away.

Skydive with my daughter. She’s already done it so I figure, go with an expert!

Make the USA bestseller list – this one is a little farfetched, especially since I’ll need a runaway bestseller in a category that’s glutted ( contemporary romance) but hey! It’s a wish list, so why not?

Open a charitable foundation – the concept of to whom much is given, much is expected rings sosososos true to me. I have been blessed. Spiritually. Career-wise. Financially. I want, one day, to empower others the way I have been. By paying forward my blessings, I can accomplish this.

I can’t wait to see what some of the bucket list items for my fellow blog challengers are. Click on their links to find out:

 

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Hopeful…

 

 

See this picture? What do you notice first? The keyboard? The notebook? Or is your eye drawn to that Bridal Cake Christmas ornament?
Yeah, mine too.

I found the ornament in Michael’s Craft store the other day and bought it on the spot. Why you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell you.

I think I’ve mentioned in a few previous blogs that I’m the kind of person that puts action and intention behind wishes and dreams.

I made those wooden book holders for my books because I have a dream to someday be published in hardback, not only in digital and paperback. By making those boxes and placing my paperback books inside of them, it gave the illusion of a hardbound copy. So, see? Dream…intention…action….hopefully it’ll come true.

 

 

I’m using the ornament the same way, as:

  1. a reminder
  2. a talisman
  3. visual prompt

The reminder is for me to think good and positive thoughts about the new Bridal Series I just sent to an editor ( who asked for it!)

The talisman is for the ornament to–hopefully– bring me luck with getting these books published.

The visual prompt is so I stay focused because sometimes I start to lag a little when I’m waiting for things to happen.

Cute, isn’t it?
The next time you see that ornament on any of my social media will mean I have good news to share….

 

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#NaNoWriMo2017….finished, but not done

 

So, this is the first time in my NaNoWriMo history that I got to the 50,000 word mark in so short a time span. Yesterday, I hit 51,000 + words. Yay, me!

But I’m not done yet. I’ve got miles to go in word count, plot points, characterization, etc, before this little book in officially deemed DONE!

Why did I get to this point so quickly this year when other years I’ve struggled to get to my minimum daily word count?

I think the real reason, aside from plotting ( which I always do) is that this time I actually saw the entire book play out in my mind like a movie, from beginning to end. A movie I really enjoyed watching and one I wanted others to go see ( metaphorically, of course, because you can’t, like, see into my brain – that’s another genre, not romance. HeeHee)

Anyway.

I’m uber motivated to get more words on the page and will continue to track them on the NaNo website. But as far as the NaNoWriMo powers that be feel, I’m a winner.

Winner, WInner, Chicken Dinner!!

Okay, so did I admit I’m tired, too? And punchy with it?

When I’m not getting my word count in you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Inspiration is close by….

So, after missing last week because I had nothing to contribute to the topic, I thought long and hard about this week’s prompt. Originally, I had an entirely different posting planned. Then the terrorist attack in NYC happened. I tell you this because of the person I’m going to highlight as my inspiration.

My beautiful daughter lives in Manhattan. Now, she lives nowhere near where the attack took place. But she was four blocks from it at a conference during the time it occurred. Sitting in my little cocoon of an office in New Hampshire, writing away, I knew nothing about the event until she texted. Once she did, I was all over the news wires like white on rice.

The text said If you hear about a shooting on the West Side, just know that *** ( her boyfriend’s name) and I are okay. Can you just imagine the ice water that sluiced through my veins when I read that? As I said, I immediately turned the news on and watched the entire event unfold — as most of America did — in real time. What in the world did we ever do before we had cell phone cameras?

My instinctual reaction was to tell my daughter to come home. Move from her apartment, give up her job, come home where it’s safe and sound and I know you are okay.

That, as I said, was my first reaction. I did no such thing, of course, because we’re talking about my daughter here. She’d already lived through the Boston Marathon bombings when she resided in that town. She’d sheltered in place with one of my nieces who was attending MIT at the same time,  and survived the ordeal a stronger, more determined person.

When I’d asked her to move home then so I could be assured she’d be safe, her response had been, “Then that lets the terrorists win because I’d be running away from my lifestyle and the life I’ve made.  Their goal is to instill terror so we bow down to them. I’m not moving. I’m not giving in. Aren’t you the one who taught me the Tao of NGU NGI?” ( Never Give Up Never Give In).

Well, yes. I was. It’s very humbling having your words tossed back at you, especially when they’re used to prove a point.

So.

This time, when terror struck, I knew better than to state my case for her coming home again. My daughter, who was born in a tiny town in Wisconsin, is a true New Yorker. She’s got the grit, the determination, the steadfastness I so admire in anyone. She will go about her living her life — as all New Yorkers do — more determined, more focused, more kick-ass.

Oh, and just to walk the walk and talk the talk? She’s running the NYC marathon this weekend. No crazed lunatic of a terrorist is going to make her change her life.

I guess it’s pretty obvious now that my lovely daughter is the person who inspires me the most. She inspires me to be strong, determined, steadfast, daring. She’s encouraged me to live outside my little box, explore the beautiful world we live in, and to make each day a testament to freedom and love. By living her life as she does, she’s setting an example to people everywhere, especially her mother.

Now, the other authors in this blog hop all have people who inspire them that they want you to know about, too. Click on the links below and visit them. Leave some love and pass it on. And be an inspiration to someone if you can.

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#NaNoWriMo2017

Yes, it’s November. You know what that means.

No, not colder days (Brrr), daylight savings time ( a stupid idea), or Thanksgiving.

It’s time for NaNoWriMo.

For the next 30 days, millions of writers around the globe will attempt to bang out 50,000 words in a new novel. Some will succeed. Some will…not.

I hope to succeed. More to come on that.

I can still be found here daily, despite being locked in a cave, typing:

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