Tag Archives: family

Leftovers make me happy

November has been manic. Those following along on my Thanksgiving Crossword Bloghop can surely attest as posts have gone into the black hole of cyberspace, and others have come up with missing pieces. No worries…every missing post has been caught up on my personal blog so the puzzlers can finish…but it’s been a busy time making sure everything gets where it needs going. I love doing a big hop and having a great prize…but this might be the last time for the month-long hop with the puzzle, I’m sad to say.

In other news, I got to enjoy a great meal with my immediate family and laugh for a couple of hours on Friday night…a treasure I don’t take lightly or for granted. It is so rare that the 4 of us get to sit down together, someone is always running…so, a meal together is a gift beyond measure. I will have leftovers for a week easily, because I don’t know how to do a family holiday meal small-scale, but I’m pretty sure we won’t hear a complaint. There were enough dishes to give variety for several days, even as leftovers.

As we wrangle our way toward the end of the year, I am blown away by the odd weather pattern that persists too. This year has been so off-kilter that I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. We went from low twenties and snow flurries earlier in the month to 50+ degrees the day after Thanksgiving and the weekend as well. The forecast shows more of the same to come. Weird – just weird. The predictability of the seasons here in the northern Midwest is out the window for 2017. I’m hoping to see some regularity return soon. I like the predictability…but more than that…I want a color filled Autumn again next year. I feel like I got jipped.

November was also, “Mom, I need…” month as my girls made life-change choices. One is moving out, and the other is trying to line up the ducks to return to school, starting college. I honestly never know if the sound of the door is someone coming or going. I can’t decide how I feel about it either.

December is stacking up to be zoo-ish as well. I’ve got a huge stack of ‘to-do’ on the desk, not counting commitments to others. I’ve got 3 editing projects to finish and a blender full of stories that are in pieces. I tried to do Nano, but honestly, the hop had me divided for focus and the story I thought I’d work on, like so many others, is a paper wasteland on my office floor, and every other available surface. I’m also preparing for the next step in my jaw reconstruction. There are 3 or 4 pieces left now, which seems surreal, but they will be wrapping up in rapid fashion as the next surgery happens in December…and great Goddess willing…the whole thing will conclude by the end of January, nearly 2 years after it started.

All in all, things have been crazy, and will continue on that trajectory for the foreseeable future. I’m up to the challenge, just don’t ask me what day it is. It makes the down time sweeter, and personally…leftovers that much tastier as the memory of a family night filled with laughter wafts up with the smells from the plate. Maybe that’s the true magic of leftovers…they are more than reheated sustenance for the system…they are food for the soul.

Holiday blessings to all as we are inundated by the season. Until next time, read something amazing and share with those you love.




Memory loss

I left May 19th for a lonnnng summer break at the lake. I thought I’d putz with some writing things and some reading things and just enjoy the down time. I did not remember that the cottage has no internet, and my cell has no signal unless I go into town…actually two of the things I have always loved about the lake have returned to bite my hiney.

Mind, I am not sad to have not been around the interweb, it has been revitalizing to recall what it is that I need to remember about living. I have had copious hours to listen, and to share with my family and extended family as folks come and go for long weekends away. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to shut down in such a way.

That said, I am sorry for my lack of Wednesday words. I should have pre-scheduled them before I left. It was not on the ‘get out of town’ list. I am borrowing time at the library to the tune of $15/hour to use the web, so I’m not sure I’ll be doing this going forward either. I see that I have missed some great joys and deep sorrows of those I call friends and for that I am sorry too. Please know that karma is alive and well as I fell asleep on the beach and burned my backside. Penance is mine. :\

I’ve not really decided when I’m going home. On quiet mornings with my coffee, or nights buzzing with cicada songs…it’s hard to think that I would willingly leave this place. Time will tell. For now, summer blessings to you and yours as we approach the longest day of the year. I can’t wait.  Aedan.


There are so many connotations for ‘perspective’ in writing.

One definition of the word is: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Point of View here is as a synonym, but in writing it is the application of perspective to the work.

Yeah, okay. So what?

I’d like to look at a perspective from a different example point of view. This weekend, as we near the end of getting Kingdoms Fall done and nearer to ready to print, the work load was HEAVY. My dad face-planting into the wood stack on Friday evening did not diminish what needed to be done, only reorganized the time in which we had to accomplish it. “I” may not like to, but I can force myself to stay in the seat to reach what needs doing. My co-author (ahem – you know who I mean), looked at the task and said it was impossible.

{Those who don’t know me very well should be advised that it is never wise to tell me something is impossible before it has been attempted. I’m not wired that way. I’m my father’s ‘son.’ Quitting and tears are for pussies.}

I took it as a challenge instead of a pronouncement and away we went. For hours upon hours we worked at it. I’m pleased as crazy to say, we missed. But we missed by a margin in lieu of sleep. The goal was 10 chapters. We wrapped Sunday with 9 1/2 to the count, and well over 20,000 words. I’d say, if we’d had Friday as originally planned, we would have surpassed the goal. It wasn’t impossible, only daunting.

In perspective, for those who aren’t writers…20,000 words is roughly one quarter (in many cases more) of most traditional novels. The metric for novel is 40K, but many naysay it to actually be more like 60K words, and the collective average is 70K.  Any way you slice it, for us, this weekend’s production landed between 75 & 80 pages. And for comparison, (I checked…because I’m snarky like that) Book II finished at 72,618 words. This weekend was literally nearly a third of that finished product weighing in at 28.2%.  I got your impossible dude. You need to have my faith.

Today my perspective is, I’m tired, but accomplished. I know why and it was worth it. What did you do this weekend that was?


Weather inspiration

I am a firm believer that the main focus of the holidays should be spending time with family. My hubby and I spend a lot of time together as we always do the shopping together. We spend a little less time with the kids because they can’t go with us. To make up for that loss of time we each do things with the kids on our own.

This weekend I wanted to finish up the shopping so Friday the hubs and I finished up with the kids. Saturday I took my daughter with me to run errands and finish up. She went with me to get my nails done and of course got hers painted and festive, to pick up the popcorn that we sold as a fundraiser for her dance team, switch her phone over and then to the mall. As you can imagine the mall was crazy this close to Christmas. We still had fun and made the best of the craziness.

As fun as all of this was it still didn’t quite feel like the holidays are right around the corner. The warmer weather that we have been having makes it hard to get in the spirit. Running errands in just a sweatshirt in December just doesn’t feel right.

With the craziness of our weather has come a lot of fog. When we started this morning it was really foggy. My daughter mentioned that it was a little creepy to walk to school in the mornings in the fog. We then drove past a cemetery shrouded in fog. She looks over at me with a smirk. “Mom, here is the scary movie moment. Is someone going to jump out at us?”

As a writer it was a very proud mom moment. I loved that her mind is creative enough to instantly come up with something to go along with the fog. It also gave me an idea for one of my upcoming books. As I will take inspiration from anywhere it is always very special to get it from my kids.

My daughter has always had a very active imagination so maybe she will follow in my steps and write. I know that whatever she does with her life, as she is only 12 and has plenty of time to figure it out, it will be creative. As she is figuring it out she can continue to inspire me to follow my dreams and create the worlds that my characters live in. Between her and my son I have plenty of ideas that they inspire to keep me going for quite a while.

Until next week, keep your eyes open and find your inspiration wherever it comes from.


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Counting down and paying it forward

Tis the day after Thanksgiving and all through the house, no one is stirring, not even to reheat leftovers… The holiday itself is ended, but the replete calm of time together is in full swing. Chess, books, old movies, and time to just talk is my favorite part of this holiday…week. (until the next week in a month or so) We take five full days to just enjoy the company of each other. I love this time of year.

Of course, no family gathering would be complete without something getting broken. This year the pull switch for the kitchen light and the toilet handle in the main bath needed to be replaced, hence a trip out into the madness was necessary. Thankfully, the Ace is not the prime destination for most Black Friday shoppers and was survivable.

The challenge now is to hold tight to every moment and not let the craziness of the season overcome us. Sadly, this time of year, which should be about being together has become a time of about spending and having, and push & shove has become more pronounced than the love that the season boasts.

I want to have faith, but find that more and more the sweet portrayal of what the holiday is supposed to be about exists more on commercials than in life. There are still too many without a warm place to sleep or food for their belly. There are too many who jump to fight instead of lend a hand to someone in need. I would love for this to change.  For us, it already has.

Our season is not about things anymore. It is about a warm meal and family together, no matter how long, no matter how far. Time is the season now. We spend every spare minute we can appreciating that we have those moments and planning to spend more. Every year at this time we take those things we no longer need and take them to the shelter for someone else to give them a use, and stay to serve a meal. It is time we get to be together, and we get to pay forward the blessings we have been given.

I hope that as we count down to the end of the year holidays, Yule and Christmas…that you find a way to give beyond what your money can spend, to those beyond your circle. You’ll be glad you did.


In this life

Today has been long. I’ve been to University, three grocers, the hardware, the bank and a few other stops. I’ve toted bag after bag into a house smelling like bliss, but have managed to neglect to eat more than some pretzels and mustard, and still…it has been a good day. Long, but good.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here. I have so many things in each day that make me crazed, but in each one are also things that I am thankful for. It’s sounds cliché, but as the house prepares bit after bit for the “day” of Thanks, I want to stop and remember that I am indelibly blessed, every day, multiple times over.

I have a roof over head, food for the table, family to cherish, and as was true yesterday, I am above ground to experience life once more. I will take tomorrow as the ‘official’ day of thanks, but want to do more than that. I’ve seen the ‘x’ number of days of gratitude posts and encourage everyone who reads this to stop each day and recall that there is always something to be grateful for, even if in that moment it is only a breath.

Gratitude is about so much more than a day, or a number of days to recount what we have. It is an attitude, and I think, a way of living where we know that each moment is a gift to be treasured. Frustration too is a gift we are given to take stock of what we value and what could be better.

I think Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday as it is supposed to be a reminder of this. I need the reminder, far more oft than once a year, but as there is only one ‘official’ Thanksgiving, I’ll embrace that for what it is.

New Year’s resolutions are wrote to many, forgotten by others, and cliché to the masses. I think more so than a new calendar year, I’d like to start on Thanksgiving remembering that each day is one that I have been given and to seek that which can be better because I embrace the gift. So tomorrow I begin my resolution of remembering. Remember each moment and taking whatever I am presented with as the gift and opportunity that they are.

I wish everyone a blessed day of Thanks tomorrow, but more than that. I wish everyone many days of thanks and blessings from here forward. We could all do with a little more gratitude and recognizing that which brings us together to the table than those things that divide us from one another.

May your belly be full, your home be warm, and your cup run over with friendship.


The world around us

As  a writer I get inspiration from everything around me. I was told recently that I have too many voices in my head. I have to disagree. I am never lonely because I can escape into my head and enter another world. I feel sorry for the ones that have not figured out how to do that yet.

I have story lines for two more books and another series running around in my head all wanting their story told. I have stepped away from writing for a short period of time so that I can make my first series as good as it can be. The voices are very impatient in waiting for me to get to them. While I may not be writing right now, I am still getting ideas and fine tuning the story lines that are marinating.

The simplest of actions that someone else does and they don’t look around to see the impact that action has caused is something that immediately draws my attention. While they are too busy to notice the world around them I am quietly standing on the sidelines taking it all in. Not only the actual ripples that occur but also the possible ones continuously run through my head.

I find it useful to watch people when they don’t know they are being watched. I can then see how other people react to different situations without influencing their reaction. Most of the time it is strangers that I see in passing but there are times that someone in my inner circle will do something and my mind jumps up and has another scene roughed out.

As a writer I try to get the big picture in there. If all I did was write a book in the way that I would react to every situation my books would get pretty boring really fast. As I said I am an observer and nobody wants to read about an observer. Readers want the action and the drama that comes with it. While I am not prone to participate in drama it helps that I have a teenage son and a preteen daughter. I am learning all anyone could ever want to know about drama and then some!

While anyone is going about their day and just living their life they don’t expect to help to inspire a book. There are so many people that I have never met but have just seen in passing that have inspired many of the chapters that I write. I would love to thank them for their help but that would defeat the purpose and since I don’t actually know who they are quite impossible.

As you go about your day just keep in mind that you may not know it but the chances are good that the actions and movements you make during the day could very well be inspiring someone. It may not be an author, but it could be something as simple as inspiring someone to be kinder in their interactions with others, or to give the forgiveness they have been withholding.

Every action creates a ripple. What we do with those ripples is up to each of us.


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