Tag Archives: Writers

#WinterWonderland #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge

So this week’s topic is FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN THE WINTER. Timely, no?

I could be really perky and positive here and tell you I love to ski, ice skate, snow board. Or that I go for long, long walks during the most brutal of winter days, fully invigorated and stimulated by the frigid air whipping around my face. That curling is my sport of preference, or animal tracking in the woods is a fun family activity.

I could tell you all those things…but it would all be lies.

I’m not going to mince words here: I absolutely hate winter.

I hate the cold.

I hate that I have to wear 947 layers just to go from the car to the inside of the grocery store.

I hate snow, ice, wind. In no order, and all together!

I hate wearing hats and gloves. Boots and snow tires. Using shovels and snowblowers.

Get the picture?

Yeah. I hate winter.

And because I do I spend as much time as possible indoors, hibernating, reading, and drinking hot drinks.

So, my favorite thing to do in the winter? Well, a picture is worth ten million words, so….

And since reading by the fire truly is one of my favorite pastimes during the long, long, ridiculously long winter months, here’s one of my new favorites that just also happens to be one of mine:

Find it here :  amazon //wild rose press // b&n // kobo // apple // google play // books-a-million

Now, since this is a blog challenge, I wonder if I’m the only one who despises winter. Click here to find out: L&SRWednesdayBlogChallenge

In the winter you can find me inside, here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

 

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Long and SHort Reviews, New Hampshire, Romance, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#1stLineFriday

I’m trying something a little new each week on Fridays, #1stLineFriday. Each week I’ll post the first line from one of my books. Today’s line is from my first book in my new bridal series A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN, DEARLY BELOVED.

“9-1-1! Colleen, I’ve got a 9-1-1 in the Bawl Room!”

For those of you who grew up Catholic, especially from the 50’s to the 80’s, you’re gonna know exactly where this 911 is originating from in a church!

Get your copy here:

amazon //wild rose press // b&n // kobo // apple // google play // books-a-million

and find ME, here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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Rags to Riches; #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge

 

Today’s topic – WHAT I WOULD DO WITH A MILLION DOLLARS – is a timely one for me( And probably the rest of America, especially those effected by the Government shutdown).

I’d like to be humble and say I’d donate all of the million dollar windfall to varying charities; adopt a few families in need; give to my church so they can build a new, badly needed, kitchen. I’d like to be truthful and say I’d invest some of it so it could grow and I could help even more people.

That’s what I’d LIKE to say, but…

Let’s go on the premise that my church is set, the government is back to work, and charities are bursting from  holiday donations. Then, there really is only one thing I’d like to do with the money, and it’s a very frivolous thing, but don’t judge me. Please.

Let me explain…

My darling daughter recently got engaged. She’s an only child, the love of my husband’s and my own heart, and she’s truly one of the best people we’ve ever known. I’d like to take some credit for that, but I can’t because she is her own person and has been since she came from my womb! Any way. She recently got engaged to a man who loves her as much as we do and of course, as loving parents, we want to give her the wedding of her dreams. Well, the wedding of her dreams is estimated to be $ 375,000.00 all in, as she says. The venue is the major cost.

It’s Ellis Island.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, or have forgotten your American history, once upon a time every immigrant who came to these shores had to stop at Ellis Island in NYC to be officially documented. People from every nation passed through it’s doors, were examined by doctors, and then documented as visitors to this country. Many people were denied entry due to diseases they contracted and then carried from spending long ocean voyages  in cramped cargo ships, packed in like rats– all for the chance to be a free American. People were quarantined; families were torn apart; original names were changed to sound “more American” by the ones doing the documenting and registration.

Ellis Island is located in  New York Harbor.

It’s the location of the NYC/Hudson River 4th of July fireworks spectacular every year.

It’s also been declared a national Monument. So, in order to have a wedding (or really any event) there, permits must be obtained from the States of NY, New Jersey, and probably the National Government, too. Assuming those are granted, since the venue is a museum and on an island, not your typical hotel wedding site, everything has to be brought in for the reception.

And I mean everything.

Flowers, linens, chairs, tables, glassewear, food, people. And how are they brought in, you ask? Via a ferry from Manhattan Harbor. Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent a ferryboat? Yeah, I don’t either but I’m assuming it’s not a couple hundred bucks and a nice thank you to the ferryman!

The wedding planners that my daughter spoke with gave independent values to having her wedding there and they estimated that the cost would be that ridiculous $375,000.00 mark. There’s no way her father and I can afford that. I’m a little romance writer, happy if I actually get any amount of a royalty check every three months. My husband is entering retirement age and we’ve been planning for our own future so we aren’t left destitute and on the streets when the time comes ( exaggerating, folks, but you know what this economy and the stock market are like right now!)

But, if I had a million dollars…..

Hee Hee.

And talking about weddings ( shameless plug segue), my newest book DEARLY BELOVED is about a – wait for it –  wedding planner. Timely, no?

Available here: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo // Apple // Google Play // Books-a-million

See what other authors are saying they would do with a sudden cash influx on Long and Short’s Wednesday Blogging Challenge.

 

And you’re always able to find me if you need me, here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Long and SHort Reviews, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Still going strong on my #GoddessFishBlogTour

Just a few days left in the tour for CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS.

Today’s stop is at BURIED UNDER ROMANCE. Stop by and leave me some love. Remember, there’s a rafflecopter for an AMAZON GC to whet your appetite!

And if you’re looking for me, I’ll be here today:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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The tour continues….

Today, I’ve got a really great interview over on BOOKAHOLIC all about how CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS came to be written. Stop by and discover some stuff about the book – and my weird writing process! There’s a rafflecopter!

Here’s the link to the interview  :Bookaholic: Peggy Jaeger Interview https://www.ourtownbookreviews.com/p/what-made-you-want-towrite-this-book_14.html?spref=tw

And the link to the rafflecopter

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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A look ahead….

Seems appropriate that I title this one a look ahead when the last blog was about looking back.

I’m nothing if not consistent, peeps. Hee hee

I’ve got some career goals for 2019 that I want to accomplish, in addition to some personal ones that need doing, as well.

First, a little backstory. This is me, afterall.

In November 2018 you  may remember I attended a conference where Jack Canfield was the primary speaker. He spoke about many things – all of them wonderful – but one thing he said stuck with me and resounded so completely, I’ve already begun putting its intention into use. Jack said, “You can’t have an uncluttered, focused life and mind, if your workspace and environment is cluttered, filled with detritus, and unfocused.”

Can I just tell you how that was a Come to Jesus moment for me?!

Since the day I arrived home from that conference I have been culling, cleaning, reorganizing, and reprioritizing my life, my environment, and my workspace. I started with the closets. All 15 of them. I’ve moved on to the bedrooms. After that, the kitchen, bathrooms, and then the living spaces will all be refreshed, culled of unnecessary items, and cleaned.

Yes, it’s exhausting work, and yes I find myself stopping at times to remember why I have this object, or obsess about whether or not I still need it – just in case! But then I remember what the point of this exercise in selective personal item culling is all about and I get on with it.

So, everything should be done by 12.31.18

On 1.1.19, in my newly refreshed, reorganized and restructured workplace/office, I will being writing the next 2 books on my TBWritten list and start planning out the next 3.

About those goals for 2019: here they are, in no apparent order.

1.Write a minimum of 1000 words before you start your actual day – what this means is that while I’m still in jammies, I write, Once 1000 words is achieved I get to get dressed, and do the adulting things I need to – like gym, laundry, etc. When they are done, I can write more.

2. Finish 2 complete manuscripts in 2019; have 2 published that are already completed.

3.Meditate for 20 minutes every day. No excuses. No matter what.

4. Gym 4-6 times per week.

5. Eat better, and by better I mean, cut out the crap!!

6. Blog no more than 2-3 times per week. I blogged upwards of 5 times a week in 2018 and it just got to be too much for me.

7. Perform daily aspirations re: career goals and personal issues. – these are private, so don’t ask!

I think that’s a good start, don’t you. We’ll see how far they get, which ones drop off by the wayside, and which ones become habits-for-life.

The happiest of New Years, peeps. ~Peg

If you’re looking for me while I’m culling, here I am:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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A chat with my #WildRosePress sistah, Jennifer Wilck

 

It’s always a good day when I have one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs visiting me. Today, Jennifer Wilck drops by and I finally got her to answer my author interview questions. Hee hee!! She did a great job, too! And Jenn’s got a new WRP book out titled LEARNING TO LOVE that she’s giving us a little taste of after the interview, so stick around!

Jennifer Wilck, The Author 

What drives you to write? The voices in my head. No, I’m not crazy, but characters pop into my brain demanding their story be told. Plus, I like taking control of something and making things work out exactly as I’d like.

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance because I like setting things in the current time and world, and then improving upon reality.

What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I love reading historical romance because I’m fascinated by history and what life was like hundreds of years ago.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? Schedule. Ha! That’s funny. I try to write every day, and in a perfect world, I do. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect, so it doesn’t always happen. But when all the stars align and everyone cooperates, I typically get business-stuff done in the morning (blogs, marketing, etc.) and then write until my daughter comes home from school in the afternoon. At that point, if she doesn’t need me for anything, I’ll do some more writing or editing until it’s time to get ready for dinner. 

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I’m kind of a nomad, actually. With my laptop, I can go anywhere, so while I start at the dining room table while I eat breakfast, I move to the couch or onto the deck in the nice weather, or sometimes my desk. As long as I have a window I can look out of to see the trees and flowers, I’m happy.

Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision? I prefer quiet, so I don’t listen to music or have the TV on in the background. I can filter out background noise if I’m sitting in Starbucks or Panera, though. Actually, sometimes writing there is really good because it forces me to concentrate on what I’m doing and not on what’s going on around me.

How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP is a four-part series about men who are philanthropists and the women who challenge them. It’s a damaged-hero trope and I love working on it. The idea came to me while my oldest daughter and I were away on college visits in Boston. I’m not sure what happened, but we were sitting in our hotel room while she completed some homework, so I took out my laptop and started to write. Five thousand words later and she said she was hungry for dinner.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually my characters come first. They’ll start talking to me in the middle of a scene and I’ll have to flesh it out. Once I see that it can work—it doesn’t always—then I’ll figure out the character’s backstory and motivation and create a story around it.

What 3 words describe you, the writer? OMG, you’re limiting me to three??? Pantser, emotional, quick.

Jennifer, The Gal 

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I always look at the dessert menu first when going out to dinner so I can plan whether or not I want to leave room.

Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Teddy and I was in elementary school.

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. That’s a tough one. I’d have to say one of the vacation days with my husband and two girls. We always have a great time together.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? All three?

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I guess concealer. That way everyone would see how tired I actually am and maybe come up with a solution?

What three words describe you, the person? Friendly, snarky, caring

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Well that would never happen because I can’t sing. J But if I had to pick, maybe “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. Or a girl-power song.

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Dumbledore. This world needs fixing and I’m starting to think he’s our only hope. Plus, you know, magic.

Peggy here – I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound—my daughters’ laughter
  2. Least favorite sound—whining
  3. Best song every written—that’s way too hard! I love Christina Perri’s Thousand Years, though
  4. Worst song ever written—um, some of the rap songs my daughters’ listen to
  5. Favorite actor and actress—George Clooney and Catriona Balfe
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)—Christiane Amanpour. I think she is fascinating and I’d love to experience her life for a day.
  7. What turns you on?—humor and intelligence
  8. What turns you off?—ignorance and bigotry
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)—Is that what you’re wearing?
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?—spending time with my family without conflict, just enjoying each other’s company and doing something together.

And here, as promised, a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from LEARNING TO LOVE

Dina Jacobs is a single librarian who has never fit in due to her off-the-charts intelligence, frizzy hair and rounder-than-socially-acceptable figure. She left her past behind until she receives an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion, and all her insecurities return.

Adam Mandel is a single corporate attorney who just missed his third deadline at his father’s law firm, the law firm where he is up for junior partner. With his reputation on the line, Adam needs all the help he can get to convince his father that he deserves the promotion.

When Dina and Adam run into each other on a deserted road, Dina thinks Mr. Flashypants can’t possibly be interested in someone like her. Adam thinks Dina is just the person to help him improve his reputation. Lies and insecurities force them to take a look at themselves. Can they trust each other to look beyond the surface?

Excerpt

What the hell just happened? She wanted to be friends.
The only kind of “friend” he wanted to be with her had “boy” attached to it. No, that wasn’t true. He enjoyed her friendship because he loved talking to her, hearing her opinions, sharing himself with her.

But he was becoming more attracted to her. So far, they’d only kissed, but that one kiss, that unbelievable kiss, haunted him. His lips still burned where they’d touched hers, his insides still turned to jelly when he thought about it. In fact, he’d been hoping there would have been more kissing in her apartment once he’d apologized for his gaffe.

But she’d focused on their arrangement and her overreaction, and here he was pulling away from the curb into rush hour traffic.

She thought he was dating her only to impress his father. If he were one hundred percent honest with himself, he’d acknowledge the partial truth in that statement. But the more time he spent time with her, when he wasn’t royally screwing things up with her, the more he wanted to move beyond their arrangement.

His head was another matter. It was still focused on not making a fool of himself, on maintaining the right reputation, on spinning the right message.

But listening to his head was probably what had gotten him into this mess in the first place. As unbelievable as it might sound, it was time to follow his heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon // Apple // B&N 

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT JENNIFER

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Connect with Jennifer here:

website // facebook //FacebookReader Group // Newsletter // Twitter // Instagram // Book Bub

 

 

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Open doors…or closed doors?

My, my, my….there are so many ways to interpret what the title of this week’s blog challenge is. I’m going to go with the first thing that came to MY mind when I read it, namely, as a romance writer, do you write sex scenes openly, or do you leave them for behind closed doors?

The first actual romantic story I ever read was Pride and Prejudice. 

The sexiest thing about that book was its lack of sex. No hand holding, no touching except with gloves on and while dancing, no stolen kisses behind chaperone eyes. Lingering looks and side glances were the extent of the sexual tension shown. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it tension. More…expectation.

For hundreds of years after that book was published, the majority of romantic fiction remained the same. The hero and heroine fell in love, had their troubles, then got married. The End. The wedding night was never detailed; their children seemed to be sent from God as immaculate conceptions. You literally didn’t know how they got it on in the bedroom.

Even in the movies things weren’t shown. Remember the great staircase scene in Gone With The Wind?

A drunken Rhett scoops his wife, Scarlett, up in his arms and carries her up that grand staircase, the light fading behind them the higher he goes, his intent obvious. End of scene. Cut to the next morning with Scarlett lounging in bed, a girlish blush on her cheeks, and our imaginations left to run rampant on what occurred after the fade out and the bedroom door was shut in our faces. (Click here to see the actual filmed scene)

Fast forward a half century.

A little independent movie called The Devil in Miss Jones opened and sex – raw, in your face ( and every other body part) sex between two people…and even more than 2 people at once – was now on view for all to see and be…entertained by. It wasn’t shown in back street, urine smelling alleyway hole-in-the-wall porno theaters, but right on Main Street, USA movie houses. The people who stood in line for hours weren’t pedophiles or sex perverts ( although, I’m sure there were a few of those!) but everyday men and women, NORMAL people who were intrigued -and let’s be honest, titillated – about this movie and its usually forbidden subject manner.  It became an overnight cult classic that was accepted and viewed by the mainstream majority.

If you could watch sexual acts among consenting adults openly in the movie theater, sitting next to your neighbor, your boss, your politicians, even your doctor or dentist, why the heck couldn’t you buy a book and read about it openly as well?

Jacqueline Suzanne thought the same thing and wrote a little fictional tome called Valley of the Dolls.

 And while this wasn’t classified as a romance story but as literary fiction – nowadays it would be referred to as Women’s Fiction – it was a runaway bestseller and the major reason it was is because it talked about people having sex — and showing it!! All kinds of sex in all kinds of places – and I’m not just referring to locales, but to different orifices! (Orifi?)

Writers Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss thought the same thing. Why couldn’t you show the physical side of a relationship? In detail? 

This new openness about sexual acts opened that bedroom door and they invited us in. All in! Before those two burst on the romance writing scene, if you wanted to read about what consenting adults did in the privacy of their bedrooms, you had to go to a certain brand of book shop and wander in the erotica section because that’s where the books with sex were kept. Or behind the counter and you had to – blushingly – ask for them by name and author.

 Rogers and Woodiwiss made it acceptable for the average romance reading MOM to buy a book with detailed sex scenes in them at the town independent bookstore, or the local Walmart, Target, and KMart.

Once that bedroom door was opened, it hardly ever closed again. Sweet romances still sell – a lot – but the majority of romance books written and sold now all have open bedroom ( and every other conceivable place and room) doors.

I’m with the majority on this one. I like reading about open bedroom doors and I write about open bedroom doors. In its baldest sense, I have an open door policy for my writing. Pun intended. I read all genres of romance except pure erotica. I do, though, read and enjoy erotic ROMANCES because –HELLO!!!– romance is the major part of the equation. A really good writer can devise a “love scene” where you never even realize the physicality of what you’re reading as much as you do the emotions involved in the physical aspects of what’s on the page. And let’s face it, if you’re getting a little…turned on…both emotionally and physically by what you’re reading, that author has done her job. I long to be that type of writer!

To quote the late and amazeballs George Michael,

“Sex is natural, sex is good
Not everybody does it
But everybody should
Sex is natural, sex is fun
Sex is best when it’s, one on one”
from I WANT YOUR SEX

Now, there are a bunch more authors in this blog challenge who may have interpreted this blog title just a little bit differently than I have. Let’s hop over and see what they’ve come up with, shall we?

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Choices, choices!

 

Paperback, ebook or audio?

Which do you like best? I’m going to answer that question backward. Why? Just listen…

I’ve never been able to listen to an audio book without my attention wandering.

When we first moved to New England ( and even still to this day) we would travel to NYC to visit relatives frequently via car. My husband is the main driver in the family, so I have always been relegated to the front seat passenger side. You can only talk so much in a car before it gets: distracting, boring, tiring, so that means I usually need something to pass the 4+ hours ( without traffic) it takes to get to our destination. I tried listening to audio books when we first started these treks. Five minutes in my mind would start to wander or drift, or I’d slip into sleep. Just listening to someone’s voice – no matter how riveting the book was reported to be – was mind numbing to me. So, not a fan of audiobooks.

 

I had an original Kindle. You know, like ten years ago when it costs $300+ dollars!!

Again, I purchased it mainly because we travel so much and carting heavy books around, because I like to read hardbacks, was getting to be too much in luggage weight. I took the Patricia Cornwall book Scarpetta to England and the flight attendant said I had to stow it because it was so heavy! SO the Kindle seemed perfect. And I do love my Kindle. I have my account and the app uploaded on all my devices from phone to computer to iPad so I am always able to read wherever I am.

But….

There is just something about a book.

I love the way a library and an old book store smells. No, not musty and damp!!! But like you just sense down to your bones the millions of words and pages living in those places. I like holding a book, especially if I’m sitting down in a cozy, favorite chair, by a  warm fire on a cold day. I fully realize it’s wicked easier holding a Kindle when you are standing in line waiting to get on an airplane, or on the subway, and that’s another reason I love my Kindle: ease of holding. If I read my Kindle before bed, though, my brain tends to not shut down easily. A battery of psychologists did testing that postulated this is because the pixels and the other cyber stuff of devices forces your brain to stay awake by stimulating it. Reading a regular book, on the other hand, is calming to your brain.

Ahhh, a book….turnable pages filled with inky thoughts and ideas…something solid, that has weight – both in ounces and substance(!)

SO for me, it’s never really a contest – a real book all the time. ( With Kindle a close second!)

Stop by the other authors in the Blog Challenge and see how they like to read….

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On #Libraries, #Librarians, feelings of connection, and #books

Apparently, it’s National Library Week. This is one celebration I can get behind and actually enjoy. Enjoy writing about; enjoy celebrating.

I’ve mentioned many times before in this blog that I — for all intents and purposes — grew up in my local library. I was what was called ( during my youth) a latchkey kid, meaning, after school, I was on my own, home alone, because both the adults in my life had full-time jobs that didn’t let out until 5 or 6 each night. School let out at 3, so that meant five afternoons a week I needed a babysitter until I got old enough to be left on my own for a few hours, which in my case was at the age of 7.

I’m remembering what my daughter was like at 7 and am horrified that my mother believed it was an appropriate age for independent responsibility, but that’s another blog topic entirely.

Anyway….

Every day after school I would be dismissed after the bell and then trek to my local library to stay until it was time to get on home.

I loved the library.

I loved the safety of it.

I  loved all the books.

I loved loved loved the Librarians.

I loved the quiet.

Like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, all I wanted to do was read. I wanted to be transported to other places, live lives that weren’t my own;  be loved and cherished like a princess and rule a kingdom with wisdom and grace. I could be anything I wanted to be and I could explore everything. It was in the library that I discovered my imagination and my joy of storytelling.

Once I was through the library doors each afternoon, after a 15 block walk along city streets from my school, I’d let out a sigh, safe in the knowledge that nothing bad could happen to me here. I was secure now, protected. Bad people didn’t come into the library, only good ones. People who wanted to be educated,  and who wanted to escape from their everyday, boring lives and live richer, happier, more exciting ones. The library wasn’t the place where the bullies who tormented me in school “hung out.” I was free from the cruel insults, tormenting taunts, and physical violence that had become my daily life at school.

The Librarians all knew me by name and were my first, actual, REAL teachers. I learned facts in school. The Librarians taught me about life. They’d recommend books for me to read and once I was through the kids’ section selection, they moved me onto what would now be called YA ( young adult) novels. I may have been 8 or 9 years old, but I was reading about the lives of pre-teens and teenagers, living in their shoes as they drifted through life, and getting a feel for what was to come my way once I was their age.

The Librarians talked to me about books, asked me my opinion on ones I’d read. They actually valued my thoughts. They showed me the strength there is in knowledge and the beauty there is in imagination. They fostered in me that desire to tell a tale, tell it well, and change a reader’s life. They taught me how to be entertained, and in so doing, how to entertain. They taught me how to gather knowledge, the beauty there is in research, and how to prioritize. To this day, my home library follows a basic Dewey Decimal system. To some, that may be a bit extreme. But to me, it is a real tribute to the librarians who helped form my mind and fed my soul.

In the library, we spoke in hushed tones and whispers. We used the original inside voices. In my house, the voices were more often raised than hushed, loud than peaceful, tormented than quiet.

In the library, I found myself…as a girl, a person, a student, and, ultimately, as a writer.

Every day I thank God for the women and men who worked and still work in local libraries. They are unsung heroes to countless children and adults. Where some may think that the previous statement is a tad theatrical, it isn’t to me. The Librarians I knew as a child were my heroes. They kept me safe, loved and cared about me, and opened a world for me I never knew existed.

Heroes, every last one of them.

So, help me celebrate National Library Week. Support your local libraries by donating old, in-good-condition books, attend book sales and fund drives and become a Friend of the Library.  Encourage your children and grandchildren to get Library cards and to use them! Often and with enthusiasm.

Finding your local library is just a Google search away!

 

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Literary characters, New Hampshire, research, Strong Women