Monday, January 16, 2017

Where Old Appliances Go

I drive an aging Jeep. I love it even though it guzzles gas. It's a useful vehicle for hauling stuff, but it's especially comforting to drive in the snow. After the last snowstorm, I noticed the rear tire was very low. We stopped to put in air. The air didn't help. That was rather disconcerting.

Our local tire repair mechanic fixed the leak but said it was caused by the rusty rims and warned that the repair wouldn't last. He suggested a recycling facility which might have rims for the aging Jeep.

Hubby and I went to the recycling center. On one side of the street was a mountain of rusting metal appliances. On the other side of the street were stacks and stacks of flattened automobiles. In the old days, it would have been called a junkyard. Hubby loved it. I thought the entire complex had an post apocalyptic feel to it, loaded as it was with the refuse of our consumerist society.

We bought two rims for a very fair price. The rims came complete with busted tires. We loaded them into the back of the Jeep. Our tire repair mechanic replaced the rustiest rims of the Jeep with the newer rims. Now I'm ready for the next snowstorm.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Love Is A Decision

I'm a romance writer, so I know everything about love. Right?

Not exactly, but after forty years of marriage I think I've got the gist of it.

Before hubby and I were married, we went to an Engaged Encounter and a Pre-Cana class, either class would have fulfilled the requirement to be married in the Catholic church but we wanted to be super prepared. One phrase, repeated over and over at both classes, was "Love Is a Decision." I did not understand it at the time since I still had my rose-colored glasses firmly in place.

I understand it now.

There are plenty of articles and books with long, detailed explanations and instructions about how to manage your love life. There are many more self-help guides which claim to explain exactly what love is. 

I think 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 does a far better job of offering a thorough account of the intricacies of love.

I used one section of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as the basis of HOPING FOR JOY. It is the part that states love always hopes. My book, according to one reviewer, is a "Lovingly told romantic story of realigning life’s purpose and realizing we can’t and shouldn’t try to be in control of everything."

While you can't be in control of everything, you do have to work at love. My grandfather once told me that in a marriage each partner has to give fifty percent, but in truth sometimes one partner must give one hundred percent--but then the situation may swing around and the other partner has to put out one hundred percent. Sometimes, it's seventy-five percent to twenty-five percent. It all depends on the circumstances because life isn't easy and it's full of surprises--some aren't happy surprises either. 

Often one partner will discover they have a talent for handling certain situations in life that the other partner cannot. It might be something simple, such as guiding children with their homework. When our daughters were young, I helped them with most of their school assignments. However, once they moved on into higher math, I was no help at all and hubby took over that task. 

Rose-colored glasses don't last long. Love can last forever--but it does take work and self-sacrifice. It's worth it. Don't give up on love. Give it everything you've got.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Books I Read in 2016

I post the images of the books I've read on Pinterest. Above are some of those from my reading of 2016, which are mostly romances but there are a few non-romance books as well. If a book is in an ebook format, I sometimes listen to it read on my iPad. That way I can do something else while the book is being read. (Multitasking!)

I rarely watch television since I prefer reading. The stories are much better in books and more varied.

How about you? What do you like to read?

Monday, January 02, 2017

Come On In the Water's Fine


Yesterday, the water temperature hovered around forty-seven degrees in Asbury Park. That didn't stop  the annual Polar Bear Plunge from taking place. Hubby and I enjoy watching the event, which is sponsored by the Sons of Ireland. While some people jump in and out very quickly, there are those who linger in the water. Many people dress in funny costumes, too. It's an interesting way to start the New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stand Out in the Crowd

The water lay calm as the sun dropped lower in the sky. Even in winter, there are footprints on the beach. It draws many who seek a moment of peace, calm, and reflection. For me, it is the perfect spot to consider the end of one year and the beginning of another. The vast empty future waits for memories to be left behind, like those footprints in the sand.

I don't make resolutions anymore, but I do have plans for 2017.  First, I intend to do all I can to stay well. Then, I hope to finish another book and get it published. I also intend to reissue my four Christian contemporary books originally published by Awe-Struck. I will continue to advertise, beg for reviews, and work toward selling more books, which is the most difficult of all my plans for the future. 

I had spent some time yesterday in the company of some fellow parishioners who did not know me. Ours is a large parish and since there are several Masses offered, those who consistently attend one Mass rarely meet those who regularly go to another. As I sat at a table with these almost strangers, I handed out my postcards and told them about my books. 

I explained that my books are not in the local Barnes & Noble, but they are online. 

Those folks proceeded to give me all kinds of advice on how I should ramp up my writing career. The most interesting piece of advice they offered was for me to get on the New York Times bestseller list. Sigh. 

That would indeed be very helpful.

Later in the evening, Daughter #2 and I chatted about the "herd" instinct of most people. Everyone wants to do exactly what everyone else is doing. Everyone wants to read the books on the bestseller list, but few are willing to sample a relatively unknown author. Everyone wants to see the hottest Broadway show, but there are many local shows offered for much smaller fees with unknown actors. 

Many people spend their vacations at the hottest resorts, too. 

It seems few are willing to be daring. Few are willing trust their own tastes when it comes to entertainment. 

For those of you who haven't made any plans for 2017, I say be bold. Read books your friends haven't read. See shows your friends haven't seen. Visit places your friends haven't visited. 

Then tell your friends about your new experience. Stand out in the crowd. Life is an adventure. Make it your own.

Friday, December 23, 2016

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Click on the Amazon links below! 

The books are also available at Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Dollhouse

The year I turned eight, I wanted a dollhouse for Christmas. In those days, dollhouses were made of painted pieces of sheet metal with hard plastic furniture. Still, the houses were grand two story affairs, not at all like the converted bungalow where I lived. 

On Christmas Eve, I went to bed hoping Santa wouldn't forget my dearest wish. Sometime during the night, I awoke to hear my father fussing as my mother assisted him in putting something together. I lay very quiet in my bed and realized my parents were following directions to put a dollhouse together. Until then, I assumed Santa Claus brought everything fully assembled. 

As I continued to listen to Mom and Dad hastily placing everything  under the tree, I came to the conclusion that there was no Santa Claus. I wasn't sad or terribly disappointed. It all seemed very logical, but the special joyous magic of Christmas vanished. In it's place was the knowledge that Mom and Dad--despite all their hardships--fashioned a miracle for their children, created out of love.

I grew up a lot that Christmas and though I didn't believe in Santa Claus anymore--I still believed in miracles--but most of all in the power of love.  

May the miracle of love surround you this Christmas and bring you a bright New Year.