Are you the kind of person who writes resolutions for the New Year? Or do you not even bother because you know that you can't attain them?
I've not been a New Year's Resolution kind of person until this year. And while I have a lot to be thankful for, I am going to write down some things that I have planned for 2012.
I do have writing goals. I am over the top excited about being published with a wonderful company, Rebel Ink Press. So my goals for this year are to have three books published this year and continue to learn my writing craft so that I can get better.
I also have personal goals. Some of them are about things I will do to make myself a better person, such as write in a journal once a week about five things that I am grateful for; exercise two-three times a week at the gym, work on teaching things less at home (no longer will I read emails at night or answer them, grade papers at home or spend my time at home on those things) but will instead focus on my writing.
But my biggest goal is to find happiness in the little things. I have people in my life who are not happy with their lives and when I am with them, I tend to be very negative. It puts me in a horrible place. There are so many different things that I have to be thankful for each day that I want to focus on those things rather than the negatives. Being positive is my new way of life.
I also have a wish for all of you this new year, I wish for you to find happiness in your lives and enjoy the things that make you happy and not focus on the things that are negatives. Smiles are catchy and we should all have many reasons to smile. :)
I couldn't have gotten a better Christmas present. Second Time's the Charm has been accepted for publishing by Rebel Ink Press! I've just signed the contract and the story will be published this year. I also have another submission that I am waiting on. And more stories are in the works. I just couldn't wait to share! When I learn more, I will shout it to the roof tops after a little happy dance at home!! Whee!!!
My grandmother's bird from her tree.
The holidays are a magical time. Yes, there is a lot of stress leading up to the holidays with buying the perfect gift, deciding on the menus, decorating the house, but once Christmas Eve comes, it is a time to relax and enjoy the season.
Some of my fondest memories are of this night. When I was little, we would wait for my dad to come home from Mass before heading over his his parents, my grandparents, for our traditional Christmas Eve party. The first party was stictly for family (when I was older, I understood that there was a more adult party with adult beverages later after we left). The drive to my grandparent's house was filled with anticiapation as we couldn't wait to see what presents were under the tree.
We didn't spend a lot of time with my dad's parents so any time that we were together was magical. We would record our voices on tapes singing Christmas carols, dress up and put on a fashion show, and played with old time games like marbles. Grandpa W also liked to sing or pull quarters out of our ears.
Our Christmas Eve night was always special. Grandma would have a spread of food, including a family recipe for Saurkraut soup, punch, cold cuts, and yummy cookies. At the end of the night, we would drive home listening to Christmas songs on the radio and oohing and aahing over the beautiful holiday lights.
The holidays were so much fun with my grandparents. We didn't get a lot of toys, but the love and caring was evident. So on this Christmas Eve, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, filled with the joy and wonderment of the season, the love of family and friends and the magic of amazing possibilities.
Something exciting is happening! I can't talk about it yet, but once I can, you will be the first to know! :)
A Passage of Time…
Birthdays.. the word conjures up memories of balloons, cake and pin the tail on the donkey (weren’t those games always lame?). As a child, birthdays were
second in importance of holidays. Only Christmas was more important. You would agonize over which friends to invite and what to put on your wish list.
Parents plan for these parties like a general planning for war. Each party needs
to be different and better than last years (or the little girl’s down the street). I remember the year my daughter wanted a pool party. Her birthday is in May- not exactly pool weather in Michigan! So we rented two rooms at a local hotel
and had our party there to my daughter’s delight and her friend’s envy!
As you get older, birthdays change. You dream of breakfast in bed, your favorite dinner (in a restaurant- not cooking it yourself!), and the PERFECT gift. Quickly this fantasy fades. Reality sets in and birthday just becomes another day. You still have laundry to do and bills to pay. It only takes one or two years to understand that birthdays are very different now that you are an adult and certainly as a mom. My first birthday after getting married was a shocker.
Not only my husband forgot but my family did too! Only after listening to my crying for hours, did my husband pull a frozen pie out of the freezer, put candles on it, and sing happy birthday.
Some adults fear and dread their coming birthdays because they mark another year closer to old age and death. They fight getting older. Just go to the make-up isle of any store to see that. The cosmetics industry makes tons of money off that fear. I remember that my mom never would admit her true age. She would tell everyone (each and every year) that this was her 25th birthday. We weren’t quite that gullible. We would tease her about WHICH 25th birthday this one was.
What do we really celebrate with birthdays? The name says it all! We should celebrate the day we came into the world rather than a number! Just ask any mom and they can recall in detail, the day their child was born (much to the horror of women who haven’t given birth). I do recommend not asking a brand new mom- she may have a painful perception! I believe that parents set out with good intentions to celebrate the birth of their child each year. But somewhere down the line, it becomes a competition or a death march.
It isn’t about gifts and cards- and I’m sure that Hallmark would never tell you that! Don’t you agree that a hug or a heartfelt letter is more meaningful than
a cake, candles, or piñata? Birthdays should simply be a celebration of a person’s existence by the people who impact their lives. Instead we should celebrate the wonder of the day and thank the person for sharing their life with us.
After all.. we are the lucky ones and have them in our lives!
I am sure that I don’t need to fill out another home mortgage, or get some money from a lawsuit over some drug that I may or may not have taken in the last twenty years, but still the stuff overflows my spam/junk email folder. Sometimes I get quite the chuckle over it. After all, I have recently been asked to find Singles over 50, Black Singles in my area, and have my penis enlarged (which honestly would be pretty interesting since I don’t have one.). In fact, I was thrilled to learn that the spam world thought I was available and maybe even good looking enough to score a date with someone! But when I checked to see ithey had even sent it to my own email address, I noticed that it was one of those mass emails to everyone that is close in email address to my own. I didn’t even see my address listed there. Guess I am not really that perfect for someone over 50!
Spam mail serves a purpose. It puts the company’s name out there. Even as I am deleting the stuff from my junk folder, I am noticing it in subtle ways. As an author, self-promotion is a big deal. We have to throw ourselves out to the people who would be interested in buying our books, learning about who we are, or connecting with us in some way so that they might shell out the money to buy or talk about our book. We blog, run contests, and try to snag top reviews because every little bit counts. When one person talks to one person, then that person talks to someone, well, you know how that goes, and have probably seen the little picture representation that they show with how disease spreads. :)
We spend a lot of time talking about the things we enjoy, the food that we make and tell horror stories of our writing. We give away prizes, covers, free books, swag so that you will keep us in your minds and hearts. We share the things (pictures and quotes) that make us laugh and anecdotes from our families. In turn we become your friends. We are people just like you trying to make things work in this crazy world.
I’ve been fortunate to get to know some pretty amazing authors. I love their writing and their personalities. In turn through conversations, we have supported each other and made us all a little stronger. That is what self-promotion is really all about. We want to be accepted for the work we put in and are happy if our story touches one person. We aren’t spam, but friendly, warm-hearted, caring people who want nothing more than to share the worlds we create in our minds with you.
Hollywood likes the movies where people are given a second chance. In Peggy
Sue Got Married, Kathleen Turner is able to get a second chance at love with Nicholas Cage when she goes back in time to when they first fell in love. The series, Back to the Future, is all about changing the past and “righting the wrongs” of those days. Given the choice, there are many things that I would change about my own past, such as the choice to not spend every moment with my loved ones before they died. It is funny how there are “do-overs” in so many games or “first drafts” in writing, yet in life there really isn’t such things. You can only live life forward, from the choices that you have made.
Since we know that there isn’t a mulligan coming for my life, I understand that I am a much different person than I was at 15,16,17… I was caught up in myself (as a typical teenager) and was chafing at the boundaries of my parents and small town America. I have some wonderful memories of those times, such as pool parties, dances, school and friends. But I also have regrets. It is those regrets that make me wish for a“second draft”, to see if it would change the outcome. After all, if I only knew then what I know now… or if I was half the person then that I am now… but if wishes were fishes, we would all be fishermen.
So what things would you change if you could? I had the opportunity to face a fear that had been with me for a long time. In facing that fear, I wanted to free myself from that terror. After waking yet again from a nightmare centered on a person from my past, I vowed to not let this past event dictate my life today. In reaching out to this person, I have come to understand that I (me, myself and I) have been the one to hold on to this pain, rather than let it go. It obviously wasn’t painful to this person and their perceptions of things were very different than mine.
But isn’t that always the way it is? Ask two different people to recount an event,
and the event will be unique to each person. Their interpretation will be flavored
with their morals, life experiences, and beliefs. Each person’s version is “real” or “true” for them.
My life is much different today than it was when I was 16, yet this person
still frightened me. I would wake up in terror, 25 years after the events,
yet I couldn't allow myself to continue to be frightened by the past and my
memories. Why did I contact that person? I needed to see that my fears were bigger than they needed to be. I needed to see that they were just a person, not this horrible monster. And maybe I needed to give myself permission to accept my part in the big picture, take responsibility for my choices. I am who I am because of my choices and whether they were good or bad, I will not let them dictate my life.
If Hollywood was going to put this story on the screen, it would come with a happy ending. The conflicted heroine would stop herself from making those same mistakes and thereby prevent the anguish it caused. But life isn’t that simple… or is it? Can we simply edit our “screen play” by forgiving ourselves for not being all knowing? Can we allow ourselves the opportunities to learn from our mistakes and accept that who we are today is because of all the choices, good or bad, we have made in our lives? Simple…hmmm… Hollywood, cue the ending credits!
The sounds of yelling and gun fire erupt in the silence of the
parking garage. Dropping flat on the ground, Betsie begins to say all the prayers she remembers from the past twenty three years of Catholic Mass. As a body drops to the ground, the black sports car with the silver trim drives away. Betsie hides on the ground near the edge of a large blue sedan, praying no one can hear her. The silence after such a deafening noise grates on Betsie’s nerves. Without thought for herself, she rushes over to the body to see if they need help. “Oh, my, gosh, it’s Johnny from the warehouse!"
Seven vertically challenged,
hard working (albeit one has narcolepsy) men
looking for a maid/housekeeper.
She must be willing to put up
with different personalities (one is kind of grumpy),
mine dust, and a lack of modern conveniences.
Ideally, she should whistle while she works
and love nature.
Pay in the form of jewels is negotiable.
Ladies looking for Prince Charming,
with family squabbles, or apple allergies-
NEED NOT APPLY!