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Why my Christmas Tree ornaments mean so much….

Memories can be captured several ways. I tend to like the physical way of remembering things – getting a program at a concert (despite the fact they are a gazillion dollars now!); keeping the seat stubs from a Broadway play. One way I love more than any other is the acquiring of Christmas tree ornaments. (BTW – that tree above is not one of mine!!!)

I routinely have 4 Christmas trees on display in my home each year.

Yeah…I know. But when you grow up poor, stuff takes on a new meaning when you have spending money!

Anyway….about those trees. Or more directly, the ornaments.

Since I’ve been married I’ve been acquiring ornaments of memories. I have one tree that is loaded with ornaments purchased from all the places around the world we have visited. I have another tree with all cooking and baking related ornaments because for several years I hosted an annual cookie swap with dozens of friends. As a thank you for them coming to my swap, they not only got cookies, but an ornament cooking/baking related for their own trees. I kept one for me each year.

My husband is not the lover of ornaments that I am…not even close! But there is one ornament that he insists get put up on our tree every year and it is the one he looks for when I’m done decorating. This is it:

Yes, that it a Goodwill box, and yes there is a tree sticking out of it. I want to tell you story behind this favored ornament.

Hubby moved to Wisconsin to start a new job six months before we got married. I stayed behind to plan the wedding and to finish up my Master’s degree. With just one course left, I didn’t want to leave until it was completed. Hubby was due to come back to NYC for our wedding which would take place the day after Christmas ( Boxing Day for you UK-ers). He had a small apartment that I would move into with him until we found our perfect house. As I’ve mentioned, Hubby is not the Christmas decorator in our family so the apartment was bare of all holiday accoutrement.

One day, on his way to work, he spotted a Goodwill box in the parking lot of the building he worked in. Sticking out of it was a fully tinseled Christmas tree, complete with the star at the top. Obviously, someone was going away for the holidays but didn’t want to just toss their tree into the garbage, electing to put it in the Goodwill box in the hopes some needy family would see it and have their own tree.

Hubby is a fast-on-his-feet thinker. He pulled the tree from the box- it still smelled fresh and evergreen-y – and drove it back to the apartment . The stand was attached ( smart donators!) so he filled it with water and went back to work. And that’s the way it stood in the apartment. No other decorations, just the tinsel and the star. He came home to NYC for a few days, we got married, and immediately flew back to Wisconsin because he didn’t have enough earned time for a honeymoon. Needless to say, when I saw the tree I was thrilled. And touched.

And then he told me the story of how he’d acquired the tree.

And I laughed because this is my hubby in a nutshell!

Of course, he had to share what he’d done with his co-workers before he left to get married. When he went back to work on Monday there was a wrapped gift from one of the people in his office. It was the above ornament, handcrafted by the husband of an officemate who is a woodworker. Every year now for the past 30 years that ornament sits in a place of honor on our Christmas tree and Hubby looks for it to make sure it’s there.

I love the thought of ornaments as platforms for memories. If I keep making more memories, though, I’m going to need a bigger house for all the trees!

I’ve got a Christmas book out that I hope makes memories for the people who read it. If you’re interested, here’s the link: A Kiss

And if you need to find me in cyberland, I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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A few words here, a few words there….#NaNoWriMo2017

I just realized NaNoWriMo 2017 is half over as of today. Thirty days has September, April, June, and November…. so yeah! Half way.

I know I’ve been plugging along and I’ve been checking on some of my NaNo writing buddies and they all are as well. I’m usually not so far in a novel as I am right now, something  I wanted to stop and think about for a moment.

I write fast. Like I talk, only without the hand gestures. ( heehee), but this year I’m halfway and already at over 40,000 words. You  need a 50,000 minimum to be an official Nano Winner. The NaNO predictor tool says if I keep my current word count up, I’ll finish by this Saturday, Nov. 18. That would be the fastest I’ve ever gotten words on the page for this event.

So what have I done differently this year to write so much faster?

Is it because I was so well prepped with an outline before I started? Nope. I always outline.

Is it because I’m so pumped about this new series that I can’t wait until I sit down to work each day? Kinda, but not the real reason.

So what is it you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.

 

In the past ( like up until last month, Heehee) I sat at my desk for hours on end writing, thinking, cyber trolling, writing and thinking some more. For hours. Literally. This year I’ve been plagued with some heavy arthritis and other joint issues and injuries which make sitting for long periods painful for me when I finally get up. So I’ve been writing in times sprints of a half hour to 45 minutes every day. I write for, say, a half hour, then get up and do life stuff ( laundry, cook, run errands) then go back to writing again for about 45 minutes, then life stuff ( gym, channel surf, watch Real Housewives episodes – don’t judge me!) and then back to writing again. I’ve been uber productive doing this, evidenced by the word count. I think my brain  wants to write when I sit down because it’s been denied that while I’ve been life-stuffing. The words flow out and onto the laptop at record speeds and amounts.

Who knew productivity could be so high when times are limited? Well, probably a lot of people – like the ones who work full time and have to do NaNo in their sparse free time, but I certainly didn’t. I’ve always written under the edict BUTT IN CHAIR, FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD, WRITE. (BICFOTKW)

Usually, I have a cramp in my butt at the end of the day from sitting so much. Not this month.

I’m amending my NaNo edict to BICFOTKWFTM : BUTT IN CHAIR, FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD, WRITE FOR THIRTY MINUTES.

Heehee.

When I’m not writing or doing life stuff, 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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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NaNoWriMo, Romance, Romance Books

#NaNoWriMo 2017…progress?

Well, we’re almost a week into NaNoWriMo 2017. I’m doing well and so are most of my Nano Buddies. For a writer, I’ve always felt this event is a great way to either kick-start the writing process if you’ve been stalled, or a motivator to get you writing. Just committing to the continuous 30 days of writing makes anyone a winner in my book. I’ve had all four of the books I’ve written during NaNo go on to be published. Not too bad, right? My 2016 winner Can’t Stand The Heat will be released from Kensington/Lyrical Shine on April 4, 2018,

and my 2015 win, Passion’s Palette 

is available now for purchase.

So, if you’re participating in NaNo this month, Yay! Keep on writing and plugging away. Remember – it takes just 7 days for something to become a habit. Buy the end of this week you’ll be in the mindset of writing every single day and that will take you onward into the next months.

I can usually be found writing my NaNo stuff and interacting here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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How just a few words can make all the difference in your psyche!

It’s Friday and around here that usually means an entry in the #MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge. This week’s topic was Meet my Pets. Since I have no pets, I didn’t see the need to write anything. So that left me with a bit of a blog hole.

Until…..

You all know my newest Lyrical Shine release, A SHOT AT LOVE, dropped on 10.3.17. I’ve been involved in a busy blog tour for the past month promoting it. Well, the reviews have started to shower in an I can’t believe how amazing they’ve been. Truly. Hearing readers I DON’T PERSONALLY KNOW praise the book has been so ego inflating at a time when my fragile little psyche has been battered and bruised.

Let me ‘esplain.

I have one more book for Lyrical, CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, due to release on 4.3.18 (available for preorder right now — shameless plug).

After that….I have no more book contracts. I’ve been writing up a storm and trying to get the next book sold, but so far, nada. Since I started this journey in 2015 I have never NOT had a book contract coming down the pike. This is a new experience for me and one, I will admit, that has me terrified. I retired so I could write and PUBLISH full time. I’ve been doing my end of the bargain….now I need a publisher to help me along that track. The added insult is that I still haven’t been able to get an agent. If I had one, I feel, navigating this publishing quagmire would be easier. But… what can you do? This is me, shrugging with acceptance.

Now, during this soul sucking time, my reviews have been coming in. Truly, peeps, these kind words have inspired me, strenghtened my resolve to keep writing, and put a smile in my heart. This one came in yesterday and I’m still tickled pink about it:

“Thank you for writing another great story, Peggy Jaeger!

Who remembers Alias, the TV show starring Jennifer Garner? Well, I was such a HUGE fan of Alias and Sydney Bristow.

Gemma, the heroine, in this story reminded me of her. Gemma was so kick-ass, feisty, and strong. And Ky. Ky. Sigh. So dreamy and hot!

I loved the fast pace of the story. I loved the chemistry between Gemma and Ky. Each scene was so vividly described that reading felt like watching an incredible good action-themed tv show/movie.

I couldn’t put this book down. So, so, so, so good.

If you like your romance books with action/suspense/FBI-related arcs like I do, I would definitely recommend this book.”

Warms the cockles of my fragile little ego’s soul, it does!!!

So, enough bellyaching. Back to my WIP. Maybe I’ll have a Christmas miracle this year and be offered a 5 book deal from the publisher of my dreams…. maybe.

When I’m not being depressed ( not really, heehee!) you can connect with me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women

I hate my voice, but……

Recently, I was interviewed on the national radio program, THE AUTHORS SHOW. The interviewer, Linda Thompson, has a voice made for radio. It’s rich, engaging, accent-less, and just sounds warm and welcoming. My voice? Yeah, not so much. But I’m always up for book promotion, so I did the interview and I hope the crackle and rasp emanating from my voice box doesn’t put too many people off!

The interview is 10 minutes long – not too long, but long enough that I got to answer some really terrific questions. If you have a few minutes to spare, give it a listen and let me know what you think ( about the book, NOT my voice! I already know what people think about that!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOL)


Yeah, NOT!!!!

When I’m not doing radio interviews you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women