Monday, December 24, 2018

Reflecting On The Past Year

2018 is winding down and in some ways, that’s a really good thing. The news cycle is horrific. Whenever I think things can’t get worse, they do. But then again, there were moments of bravery and humanity that brought me to tears and filled me with hope. 

There were adjustments and moments that gave me pause. There was looking for a new normal. There were illnesses and arguments and there was the “if you give a mouse a cookie” repair of my basement that led to a new driveway that didn’t quite go as we anticipated.

I lost old friends and made new ones and realized whom my true ones are. There’s college stress and “holy cow, you made it!” There was a lot of laughter and snark and circuitous logic and eye rolls.

And there was a new book, and an audio version of another book. There was writer’s burnout and learning how to get through it.

Through it all, there was faith and hope that we’d make it through. And we did—sometimes barely, sometimes miraculously, but always together. So, as we approach 2019, I’m going to remember what worked, what went well and what and whom I loved. I’m going to try to learn from my mistakes, but will probably repeat many of them. I’m going to treasure the “mom, you were right” moments and remember that worrying makes you suffer twice. 

And for my friends and family, I wish you all joy and hope and faith and love and lots and lots of laughter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Welcome Jessica Lauryn

I'm delighted to welcome fellow NJRW writer, Jessica Lauryn, to my blog today. We're doing a swap, so she's featured here and I'm featured on hers.

So tell me, what is your writing style or schedule? Do you have one? 

I’m a plotter, so my preference is to plot out everything I’m going to write before I actually write it. I clam up at the idea of creating a rough draft from scratch, but if I tell myself I’m doing an “outline,” the words just come. I think the story out before I put my hands on the keyboard, but a lot of ideas will come to me as I’m physically plotting. (Ideas = More Ideas!) My aim these days is to get as close to 100% of the story down on the first shot, with the idea that I’ll do several edits later, as many as it takes until there’s nothing more I can do to make the story better in my opinion, just different. I’ll include actual dialogue in my outline and as much description as I have the patience for at the time and can ponder up without becoming too distracted from the actual story. As a general rule, narrative (internal thought inside a character’s mind) comes pretty easy to me, and creating it also helps me to build a story in a linear succession. As far as an actual writing schedule goes, I’ve had to change mine up about a million times, as life surely has a way of taking precedence over writing. Most recently, I’ve taking to writing in small increments spread throughout the workday. I’ve been self-employed for a few years now, and I decided I may as well work that angle to my advantage and do my writing during a time of day that works for me, namely while there’s still daylight!

Where do you actually write?

This is something that has changed many times over the course of my writing career. Truth be told, I’ve typically not had the luxury to write where I want to, or when I want to. So, I’ve had to get creative and learn to tune out distractions. I’ve written at everyplace from Starbucks to my car while parked at lunch hour. One type of writer I have great respect for is the one who is so in love with her story and her characters that she writes her book at work. I’ve been there myself, so on a roll with my story that I couldn’t stop and raced through my assignment just so I could salvage whatever extra time I had left over, for writing. Nowadays I work for myself, and ironically I’m busier than ever! But I am learning all over again how to make my writing a priority and I am fortunate enough to be doing it from behind a desk where no one is going to sneak up behind me and tell me to get “back to work.” 😉

Do you write linearly or not?

Very much so, probably to an obsessive degree. I really find, for me, that I can get into the story what needs to be there when I’m writing it in order – it’s how I keep from having any missing elements later on. I will occasionally find a gap and realize that I need to add in a scene or two after the rest of the book has been plotted, but honestly, that’s rare. I outline a book line by line, scene by scene, chapter by chapter. I do my edits the same way. When an outline, or draft is complete I go back to the beginning and read the story straight through, making extremely detailed notes in a separate document about what I plan to change. This takes hours of course, but it’s best for me to do this in as close to one sitting as possible as I am literally keeping the entire book’s details in my head. I’m really not a story-bible author—I prefer to rely on my own memory. I work much better this way, and I repeat this process as many times as it takes for me to be satisfied with the story.

 What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?

I’ve recently started ballroom dancing with my fiancé. It’s something that I did briefly in college but I never really took the time to hone my skills, so Bill and I are making up for lost time together. Bill made it into the Silver level at our dance academy before we met, so I have a ways to go in catching up to him. It’s a great indoor activity for us, as it’s been such a cold autumn here in New Jersey – in the summertime we’re doing everything from kayaking to hot air ballooning, and we saw some amazing waterfalls this past year. I’m also a big antique collector – old perfume bottles, dolls and cameos are some of my favorite things to look for. I keep up with the soaps, even though good storylines sometimes come and go in waves. These visual stories can help me with my own writing though, especially so because I’m listening to actual voices speak, voices that I can perhaps play around with, in my mind, later on.

Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?

I have several family members who are supportive of my writing, one who serves as a critique partner to me and another who is a spot-on proofreader, better than any professional I’ve ever worked with. I’m also fortunate to be a member of New Jersey Romance Writers, our fabulous local chapter of Romance Writers of America, through which I’ve made invaluable connections, gained a well of knowledge about the publishing industry and made life-long friends.

How long does it normally take you to write a novel?

It usually takes me about a year to complete a novel. My novels are on the lengthy side, averaging around 92 thousand words, and I work full-time as well, so writing must be scheduled around that. I had a few years where the pace in my routine slowed down a bit and I wrote 4 full length novels in about 2 and a half years. That was a lucky break, however, one I’m not necessarily expecting to come my way again any time soon. 

Who or what are your inspirations?

One of my favorite things to do when I’m writing is to reform a former villain, a man or woman who’s lost their way for a time, having committed any wrong from white-collar crime to murder. I’m greatly inspired by characters and people who fit that bill, because, let’s face it, we all make mistakes, and it is incredibly uplifting to see another person bring themselves back from their lowest point—it reminds us that we all possess the same ability. It also demonstrates just how powerful the phenomenon of love is, as love is always at play somehow when a villain turns his life around. Suspense inspires me as well, (nothing too graphic or violent for my taste, I’m not one of those romantic suspense authors!) but I definitely want to see my characters in danger, perhaps several times leading up to the climax, or beyond it. Characters are often highly motivated to act on their desires when they fear their lives are in danger, and passion is what I, and my readers want to see the most! That said, I’m also inspired by the amazing stories some of my closest author friends tell, as well as by real-life scenarios and quite often, whatever crazy ideas find some other way inside the well of my imagination.

If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?

I’ve heard a lot of other writers say that doing edits frustrates them. I’d say the same, but I think (and I can’t speak for those other writers) that perhaps we have different reasons for feeling this way. I’m not intimidated at the thought of doing edits – books are rather like a math problem to me and I know that if I stare at a story long enough, any problem can be worked out. Also, my method of making notes regarding what ought to be changed works very well for me. But nevertheless, the process is a long one. In the time that it takes me to complete one novel I could have come up with the ideas for a hundred others, so I wish the overall process didn’t take as long as it does. There are so many stories I want to write – I hope I’ll have enough time during the course of one lifetime to get them all down!

Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?

Honestly, I wouldn’t need unlimited resources to create my ideal writing environment. But perhaps a little bit of control over the weather wouldn’t hurt! When it’s nice outside, particularly during those rare days of the year where the temperatures are mild and it’s bright and sunny, I love to sit outside, ideally by a pond or lake of some sort and just let my imagination take me where it will.  Being in a beautiful outdoor setting is very inspiring to me and I swear, the ideas come easier because of where I am. Opportunities to write in such an environment are especially beneficial when outlining or creating a new story because new ideas flow much more readily when I can shut out the rest of the world. A computer screen not affected by sun glare wouldn’t hurt the process either!

Tell me about your latest book.

A Sultry Performance is the third story in the Rabourn Theater Series, which is a series about love, passion and decades-old secrets. But A Sultry Performance is also a stand-alone title which can be enjoyed separately from the other stories. Chris Gordon, stage manager at Rabourn Theater, believes his late wife’s hit and run was never an accident. After learning that his wife was having an affair, he suspects the man she was entangled with, Oakley Sutherland, was responsible, and he ignites a plan to ensnare Oakley, working through Oakley’s fiancée, Victoria. Victoria, who is a dancer at Rabourn Theater, as well as the lead exotic dancer at Oakley’s nightclub Sultry & Sensational, won’t be taken advantage of. But when the most handsome man at Rabourn Theater takes an interest in her, she finds herself spiraling down a path she never expected to.  She agrees to give Chris’s daughter dance lessons, at his most insistent request. But as she finds herself falling deeper and deeper for her blackmailer, she wonders whether either of them will be able to keep from falling prey to the danger that lurks in the wings.

Where did you get your inspiration for your book?

It came from so many different places! First off, my initial inspiration for creating the Rabourn Theater Series spurred from my love of Phantom of the Opera. I loved the idea that someone (the Phantom) could become so obsessed with something so beautiful and that obsession, as well as past hurts and uncontrollable circumstances, could make that person very dangerous indeed. Thus, the major villain of the Rabourn Theater Series, Augustus Nathanson, was born. Augustus’s past, and present obsession with Rabourn Theater and the woman he once envisioned as its star affects the plot of each story in the series, and in A Sultry Performance we learn a big secret that Augustus has been keeping, which affects one of the major characters in the story. Chris Gordon, hero in A Sultry Performance is the funny yet mysterious man we meet in the first two stories, who acts as a sleuth on behalf of Evan Masters, stage director and Augustus’s one time right-arm. After writing A Passionate Play and An Amorous Dance, I wanted to know more about Chris and after noting at the end of An Amorous Dance that his wife was having an affair just prior to her murder, I was as eager as he was to reveal the truth about how she died and give Evelyn the justice that she’d never received. Enter heroine Victoria Morrow, the key to Chris’s plan. Having just started taking dance lessons again for the first time in over a decade, I was very inspired to write about this woman, who though at a severe monetary disadvantage in a world of privileged elites, possesses a dancing talent that is otherwise unparalleled in her universe. Victoria is the definition of a strong heroine and I wanted to see her bring a rumored ladies’ man to his knees, which she does and then some!

Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?

I really love all of the characters in this series but my favorite has to be Evan. Though he is a secondary character in A Sultry Performance, he is arguably one of the heroes at Rabourn Theater most in need of an epiphany. Having been lied to by Augustus Nathanson about the way his own budding acting career was destroyed, Evan is highly motivated to seek revenge, though his deep attraction to the late owner’s daughter, Hannah Rabourn has never died. I love creating dialogue and imagining it being spoken in Evan’s sexy British accent, I love his dry, sarcastic sense of humor and I especially love the way that he and Hannah can’t keep their hands off of one another as things heat up between them once again in An Amorous Dance, in an affair so hot and intense that it quickly becomes Rabourn Theater’s greatest scandal!

What are you working on now?

I took a brief hiatus from Rabourn Theater to dabble into my next series, which will similar to my debut series The Pinnacles of Power, in that we’ll once again be returning to a dangerous world full of criminal masterminds. My next series focuses on a group of crime-fighters, who’ve made it their mission to take down a very powerful drug trafficking organization. There’s danger, mayhem and a lot of passion along the way and be assured that love definitely conquers all! Once I complete the last pages of my final outline (I’m very close!), I’ll be diving back into book 4 of the Rabourn Theater Series. In this story, Dani Talbert, the dancer we meet briefly in An Amorous Dance and A Sultry Performance, has finally saved enough money to take her young son away from the place that has caused her so much pain. Having abandoned her dreams of being a lead actress long ago, Dani packs a bag only to be stopped by Ryder Nathanson, Augustus Nathanson’s younger son.  Ryder’s got his sights set on Rabourn Theater AND on Dani—they shared a brief encounter years ago and he’s never gotten her out of his head. His plan to take back his family’s legacy is simple, and it starts by improving his less-than-stellar reputation. If Dani doesn’t want her own secrets exposed, secrets that could put her in prison, she’ll have to agree to become his wife.    


#1 BookStrand bestselling author Jessica Lauryn has been writing since before she could hold a pen. Her days of storytelling through the art of playing with dolls inspired her to write romantic suspense novels The Romance Reviews describe as having "Just the right amount of passion and romance!" Villains often reform in Jessica's stories, and just may become heroes themselves! Jessica is an avid antique collector, as well as a proud member of Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers.


Chris Gordon, stage manager at Rabourn Theater, suspects his late wife’s hit-and-run was never an accident. He believes the man she was having an affair with, Oakley Sutherland, was responsible and he vows to get Evelyn justice, igniting a plot to ensnare Oakley, working through Oakley’s fiancée, Victoria.

A well-known exotic dancer by night, Victoria Morrow has been fighting to make a better life for herself, and she won’t be taken advantage of. But when the most handsome man at Rabourn Theater takes an interest in her, she finds herself spiraling down a path she never expected to. Can Victoria resist Chris’s charms? Or will both of them fall prey to the danger that lurks in the wings?


“I’m fine.” Victoria hid her eyes.
Chris tucked a disheveled wave behind her ear. “You don’t look fine. You’re trembling, and you look as though you’ve been crying.”
Victoria did her best to hold it together, like she always did. But seeing the compassion in Chris’s eyes, compassion that ran deeper than anything she had ever been on the receiving end of, the emotions welled inside of her. As the tears spilled down her face Chris took her into his arms. His strength surrounded her. He brought her inside of it, brushing one strong hand up and down her back.
“Victoria,” he whispered, “why are you marrying that man?”
Victoria tried, but couldn’t think of a single reason why she was. For years, she’d been telling herself that she was humoring Oakley, biding her time with him until she could approach him from a position of power. But the more time passed, the more she questioned whether that day would ever come. The night Oakley had asked her to marry him, there hadn’t been any question in her mind that she was going to say yes. Such had been the way of their disgusting farce of a relationship. She presented a hard-edged front to the world, but when it came to the man who’d been manipulating her for half her life, it was as though she had no power at all, as though she might just as well be nothing more than a mouse.
Avoiding Chris’s eyes, because she couldn’t possibly hide the truth from him if they were looking at each other head-on, Victoria simply said, “I love him.”
Chris’s arms stiffened and Victoria froze in turn, barely breathing as he took her by the shoulders, saying, “Victoria, that man just embarrassed you in front of two hundred people. He berated you, he manhandled you and he exploits you every night of your life. How could you possibly love a man like that?”
Victoria gnawed her lip, completely at a loss for words. She had no defense for the man in question and by aligning herself with him she was sacrificing more of her identity every day. Not that the life she’d led had made her crazy about relationships in general, but she wasn’t even opening herself to the possibility of another man’s companionship, to his soothing words and soft touch. Was it so wrong to want these things, so impossible to have them? Bringing Chris into the middle of her relationship with Oakley was liable to prove dangerous for both of them. But Chris was strong. He had to be, to have survived the loss he had.
Cautioning herself not to allow her thoughts to get away from her, knowing that Oakley would probably kill a man he perceived to be a serious enough threat to him, Victoria lifted her chin. “I know what it looks like, but I couldn’t count the things Oakley has done for me over the years. He’s protected me, and I sleep soundly at night knowing that no one is going to hurt me. He makes me feel safe.”
She realized right away that she shouldn’t have put things in those terms because the twinkle in Chris’s eyes told her exactly what his reply was going to be. She ought to run. He was giving her a chance to do just that, but her legs refused to stand. Instead, they eased sideways, leading the way like the smokestack on a train as her body leaned helplessly into that of the man sitting beside her.
“Tell me, Victoria—” Chris looked into her eyes, “does Oakley Sutherland make you feel like this?”  

A Sultry Performance Buy Links:

 Author Links:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Welcome Peggy Jaeger!

I interviewed fellow Rose, Peggy Jaeger, for my blog today. Hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!

What is your writing style or schedule?
I’d like to think it’s disciplined and concise but that would be a lie! Hee Hee. I try – I do try – to be disciplined and get a set word count each day. Sometimes I make it, others…well. Life, you know? I do write every single day, tho, no matter what. It may not be in my WIP or current edits, but I blog, write pieces for other blogs, etc. So every day writing schedule, just not as prolific as I’d like to be. As far as writing style, I tend to think I write like I speak, only more structured and not so dithery. A reader I didn’t know from Adam once said to me at a book signing, I feel as if you’re speaking to me when I read your books. Love that!!!

I love when readers "get" our writing. Where do you actually write?
I’m blessed, so don’t hate me: I have a 4 story house that I live in the woods with my hubby. The fourth floor is a completed attic where my office sits. My window overlooks the back of our wooded property and I get to watch the seasons change and watch the woodland animals daily. If you’ve ever watched one of my crazy-ass videos on my You-Tube site ( ), you know I video the wild turkeys and deer on my property all the time because I get such a kick watching them.

Sounds beautiful. Do you write linearly or not?
Okay, I’m guessing you mean do I write the story from beginning to end, page one to whatever, and not jump around, so YES, that’s how I do it. The reason I write that way is because I was a nurse in a former life and I approach most of the things I do in my life from a scientific method background, meaning, I identify a problem and then make hypothesis to solve it, conduct experiments to do so and then have an ending. That’s how I write: I come up with an idea, hypothesize about what could happen, plot it all out in detail, and then write it without deviating. And I guess that’s a very long-winded way to say, yes, I do write linearly!

Me, too. Except when I don't. :) What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?
I love to paint and cook and most days you can find me baking something around noon-ish or when I’ve hit a decent stopping point in my writing for the morning. Even though it is just my hubby and I at home these days, I still cook a hot meal 6-7 nights a week because it’s the one time in the day we can actually sit down and reconnect.

I know! Family dinners are great. Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?
I’d love to say I’ve got a team behind me pushing me and encouraging me, but again, I’d be fibbing! I don’t have critique partners – personal choice –but I do belong to my local New Hampshire chapter of RWA and I adore those writers sosososos much. They have literally made me a better writer and a calmer person.

Awesome. How long does it normally take you to write a novel?
Plotting: 1-2 weeks. First draft 8 -10 weeks. First edits on that draft 1 month. I can write fast because I plot everything out before hand, so I always know where the story is going.

Who or what are your inspirations?
Writing inspirations: Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Lauren Layne, Jill Shalvis, Catherine ByBee
Personal Inspirations: Jack Canfield, Eleanor Roosevelt, Laura Bush

If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?
Oh, baby, is there! Marketing. First, last and always. I simply abhor having to do all the promo you need to do to sell a book these days. I really wish I could have been born and published in the days when publishing houses did everything for their authors except write the book! I would give anything to have a publicist, personal assistant, and marketing guru in my house everyday, doing what I do every day and much better than I do! This would free me up to just write, which is all I really want to do. There’s a reason I never went into sales and marketing as a career.

I think there are a lot of us who agree with you. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
You know what? I can’t think of a better gig that I have right now. I love my house, my attic and my office. I love that I live in the woods. I love that I get to write all day without interruptions, full time. It truly can’t get any better than that for me.

Tell me about your latest book.
A few years ago the Wild Rose Press had an author series titled THE CANDY HEARTS ROMANCES. All books were novellas and all centered around Valentine’s day. MY addition was 3 Wishes, a book that introduced the San Valentino family, a group of loud, loving, and cooking Italian/Americans. MY newest book CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS continues the story of the San Valentinos, this time it’s Sonny’s family, though. With my last San Van book A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, I had several readers tell me they wanted an Uncle Sonny story, so I wrote it. This is the story of Sonny’s youngest child and only daughter, Regina.

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she's got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she's better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can't find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company's reputation—in Regina's capable hands. What he doesn't plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who's awoken her heart?

Sounds great! Where did you get your inspiration for your book?
I love to bake, so having a baker as a major character was a no brainer for me. My thought when I write a RomCom is that there is always something that can happen in your life, even when tragedy hits, that can be fixed with love and laughter. Regina has had a horrible personal tragedy and has been able to get past it with the love of her family. But she’s turned herself off from ever finding love again. I knew I needed to make her journey true to form, namely, sad, but that her crazy family needed to be the ones to lift her up, so, as obnoxious as they all are, they are supportive, interfering, loving and just plain crazy at times!
My goal as a writer is always to make you cry on one page then bring you out of with laughter on the next. That’s what I set out to do with CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS.

Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?
Regina’s mother and Sonny’s wife Ursula. She’s the kind of Italian mama where no girl will ever be good enough for her bambinos, and no man will ever be good enough for her bambina. She’s a typical old world mama who loves to cook for her family, dole out advice whether it’s needed or not, and suffers from pun-it is. This means, she continually worries about things like “Why do they call it a driveway when you park your car on it?” and “Why can’t they put the fabric softener in the detergent to save time?”

Ha! What are you working on now? 
I just had a new romance series start titled A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and book 1 DEARLY BELOVED came out in November, so I’m working on book 2 right now and plotting book 3


With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she's got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she's better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can't find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company's reputation—in Regina's capable hands. What he doesn't plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who's awoken her heart?


It had been a long, long time since a guy’s hands had been on me in anything resembling a carnal way. My ex had decamped to parts unknown five years ago after signing the divorce papers and I’d been so busy rebuilding my life that adding any kind of relationship to it wasn’t even a notion. Besides, with my hovering parents, one of whom worked for me while the other popped in daily to check up on their only daughter, I had enough on my plate fending off the men they wanted to introduce me to. Guys who, for the most part, had shady lifestyles, carried concealed, and owed my father innumerable favors. And by favors I mean the kind that usually get signed for in blood and paid back the same way.
            Welcome to mia familia.

Buy Links:

Author bio:

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s. 

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. 

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader's Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.


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Monday, December 10, 2018

I Found It!

Yesterday was a great day. Not because we celebrated the last night of Chanukah with family, which we did, and it was also great, but because I found two things that have been missing forever.

The first was a sock.

Yeah, I know, if I’m getting jazzed over a missing sock, then my life is pretty sad. While I personally don’t agree with that statement, I can understand why you might think that. But missing socks drive me crazy, especially when they’re mine. My husband jokes that I shouldn’t mind, since I wear mismatched socks like the kids do, except I only wear them when walking the dog. And for any of you who have seen me when I walk the dog—or have accompanied me on those dog walks—mismatched socks are the least of my worries (hey, it’s early morning, I’m not a morning person and at least I’m upright).

But for the rest of the time? I like my socks to match. And to be the same size and fabric. So when we do the laundry and I end up with an odd number of socks, and still an even number of feet, I get frustrated. Adding to that is the borrowing of said socks by Banana Girl, who needed them for marching band. Yeah, “borrowing.” That’s funny. Because anything “lent” to one of my girls is likely never to be seen again. But when she needed black socks for marching band, and I had a drawer full of them, it was easier than going out to the store to buy them. So I gave her a few pairs, with the understanding that I’d get them back. That was freshman year. She’s a senior. I finally got a pile of socks back and wouldn’t you know it, some of the missing pairs were there!

The second was my iPad cloth. 

My iPad is the original version, when Apple first came out with them. The only thing I do with it is read on my kindle app. It came with a black cloth that was the size of the screen and that cloth was great. It made cleaning the screen really easy and was the perfect size. And then I lent it to the Princess. I know. I should know better. But she needed it to borrow and I said, “Sure, just give it back to me.” Ha. It was lost somewhere in her room, which meant I was never going to see it again. 

I searched the laundry. I searched piles of clothes we were giving away. I searched under her bed (and survived). She went off to college, after cleaning her room, and it was still missing. My author friend was nice enough to give me a new one, one that was imprinted with her book and was a lovely piece of author swag. I’ve been using it since then and it works great. I have no complaints.

But then we put together a massive donation of clothes from Banana Girl. I was getting them ready—and getting annoyed by all the unworn clothes that were no longer the right size—when I spotted the iPad cloth! Don’t ask me how it got in her pile of clothes (although this does provide evidence that she steals from her sister), but it was there. And now it’s mine again.

Moral of the story: never lend anything to your kids that you ever want to see again.

And sometimes it’s nice to be thrilled by the little things.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Rolling With The Punches

I woke up this morning to my power being out. It was unexpected—there was no storm or wind, no construction, no reason for the power to be out. It simply was. 

We’ve prepared for this by purchasing a generator. Although my house is usually in the neighborhood “sweet spot” where everyone but us loses power, after a couple of times where that sweet spot failed us, we decided the time had come to purchase a generator. We bought it at the beginning of hurricane season and have been testing it every month to make sure it’s working. In fact, our last test was on Saturday.

So I’m using the generator and I can do what needs to get done, and I have access to coffee. I can’t do laundry and I can’t leave the house with the generator on, so I have to adapt a little. Despite the best-laid plans, stuff happens.

It’s the same thing with launching a book. I’ve written and edited and sent it out into the world. I arranged for people to review it. I’ve nagged the world to buy it. And as prepared as I am, I can’t control ultimately what happens. Sure, I’ve gotten some great reviews, but inevitably, someone’s going to dislike it. There’s no pleasing everyone. 

I happened to wake up to a great review, so that put a smile on my face. But I went to bed after reading about how someone else didn’t finish my book because they didn’t like it enough. Again, despite the best-laid plans, stuff happens.

At some point today, my power will be back on. My neighbor’s yard will be patched—apparently, in order to fix MY power, they have to dig up THEIR yard—and life will go back to normal. My book sales will hopefully reflect the effort I’ve put into launching this book. And I’ll get back to writing the next one. 

I’m rolling with the punches.

And maybe I should offer my neighbor some homemade cookies and a copy of my new book. J