Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Eternal Message of Hope


Happy New Year, everyone! Hope 2020 is treating you well.

Recently, I was one of several SFR authors who contributed to a blog about our takes on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Below is my contribution:

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT!
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn away from the dark side!

As one of my besties & I took our seats in the theater to see The Rise of Skywalker, a sense of finality came over me. This was it, the last movie of a surprise franchise that began over forty years ago. I was a skinny, bespectacled seventh grader when A New Hope released. I was also living in Japan, and at that time new cinema releases were out for a year in the U.S. before they were sent overseas. (They did send Mark Hamill to visit his old high school, which was on the same Army base as the middle school I attended, but that’s another story.)

All we could do was wait. As fate would have it, my dad was transferred stateside and we left the week before Star Wars arrived at the base theater. The first thing my mom did after we arrived in California was to take my sister and I to see the movie—a whole week before my friends got to see it! It was awesome, and it seemed like the story (like the lines) would never end.

But, it has.

Did The Rise of Skywalker live up to my expectations? Overall, yes. Do I have questions? Most definitely. Would I change anything? Yes! The most glaring issue to me—which started in The Force Awakens—is the relationship between Poe and Finn. OMG, people! These two should’ve gotten together!

Now, I’m not a Rose-hater…I actually love her character. And since the powers that be did not see fit to romantically link Poe and Finn, then why not let Finn and Rose hook up? All in all, it would’ve been great if they hadn’t even tried to force that relationship to begin with, but to turn around and cover it up in the latest movie like it’d never happened? Messy loose end.

My biggest heartache was that Rey and Ben will never get together. He dies, she lives, minus the greatest love of her life. This is, of course, my internal romance writer soul crying out at the injustice of them not getting their happily ever after. How-e-ver, there is always a price that must be paid, and Ben’s death—his separation from the woman he loves—is his price. And most of me is good with that.

If I could, what one thing would I change in this movie? Simple. When Luke and Leia appeared to Rey (beautiful and touching, imo), Ben should’ve been with them. He found the good within himself at the eleventh hour, much like Anakin did. And, he quite literally gave his life for her. (Tell me you didn’t cry about that! I did. Like hormonal teenager.)

Bottom line: Despite the still unanswered questions, J. J. Abrams did a phenomenal job wrapping up the Skywalker saga. I wish it could go on forever, but after forty plus years, I’m happy.

I wonder if Abrams would consider going back and remaking parts 1-3…?

~*~*~*~*~

Laurie A. Green did a brilliant follow-up piece on this blog yesterday, and really nailed it. (Read here

And gang, you REALLY need to see this see this Rey + Ben video!


~*~*~*~*~

This is happening right now in my world!

My next book in the Prophecy series will release March 10th! Skylar’s Gift is a novella set shortly after Collision, Book Three in the series.



Reserve your copy now for a special preorder price! (Price goes up after release.)

~*~*~*~*~

USA Today Bestselling Author, Lea Kirk, loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her sci-fi romances. 

When she’s not busy writing about the blue and green aliens of her Prophecy series, she’s hanging out with her hubby, five kids (the nerd herd), and a spoiled Dobie mix pup. 

She's currently working of the fourth book in her Prophecy series, and three new books for a new series to be released this fall. 

For more on Lea's writing journey, check out her:



Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What I’d Want on a Deserted Island @meganslayer #reading #islandlife @wendizwaduk

I've been thinking long and hard about this month's post. It's hard sometimes to know what to write about. Sometimes the words come fast and furious. Sometimes they don't come at all. So I pulled out a prompt I saw on another blog ~ what would I bring with me if I were stranded on a deserted island.

So what would I bring? Do I have to be practical or fantastical? Practicality seems so boring. I'm going with fantastic.

 At first thought, being on a deserted island sounds great. No laundry. No one chewing me out for not turning fast enough or doing the proper promotion they feel should be done for an event. Silence, save for the waves and birds or whatever.

On second thought, it might be lonely, but it's a deserted island. So I should bring stuff or something.
What would I bring? If we're going completely fantastical, then I'd want, a pack of pens, notebooks, a phone for music and to capture photos, and Chris Evans. I said I'm going fantastical, didn't I?

Now if we're thinking useful, then DH (because I can't reach everything), a boat, notebooks and pens. Between the two of us, we could figure out how to get food and make shelter. I mean, it's my plan. I want company. If I have to be on an island, it'd be with him.

Or Chris Evans.

What about you? What would you want on said deserted island? I'm sure you've got some better ideas that I did. Maybe you'd allow me to bring Matt Ryan or James McAvoy. Maybe them both and Chris Evans.

If so, it'll be one hot island with a gigantic DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door. *grin*

Speaking of people thrown together, check out my latest Wendi Zwaduk release, Running with the Wicked.


Running with the Wicked by @WendiZwaduk 
#paranormal #romance #pnr #hot #fae 
Will she accept him as her mate or decide there can be no future with him? If they’re both willing to run with the wicked, they just might find their hearts’ true desire. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

How Charming: A History of Charm Bracelets by L. A. Kelley


Early Charms
What is a charm?  Little carvings of wood, bone, seashells or other natural items originated as talismans to disarm evil spirits or keep the favor of the gods. The first known charms, dating back 75,000 to 100,000 years, were sea shells strung as beads discovered in a cave in South Africa. Most prehistoric charms were worn as necklaces or carried in pouches attached to clothing. The Babylonians, who live around 700 BC, are believed to be the first people to wear charms on charm bracelets.

The Egyptians were big on charms to symbolize good luck, love and spiritual forces. The pharaohs believed that they would come with them into the afterlife to ward off evil spirits and enhance fertility. (Author’s Note: Worrying about your sexual prowess in the afterlife is way beyond creepy and so like a man.) They were also an indication of status and wealth. The scarab amulet had a distinctive importance as it was the charm that signified renewal and regeneration, as anyone who’s seen a Mummy movie can tell you.

Charms also became a way to secretly convey a common bond such as religion or culture. Christians wore fish charms hidden underneath their garments while Jews wore passages from Talmudic law in a gold charm. During the Dark Ages, individuals wore charms to identify their family origin or to denote their alliance to a specific ruler, political party, or religion.

Flash forward to the Middle Ages where knights wore charms on their belts to identify their status and ancestry. All throughout the sixteenth century talismans would frequently be carried into battle to ward off evil and bring good luck

Queen Victoria as Jewelry Designer
It was Queen Victoria who shoved charms into the world of fashion and is credited with popularizing the charm bracelet as we now know it. When Prince Albert died, she created mourning charm bracelets. Victoria's preference was for gemstone charms and lockets containing the hair (yuck) or tiny photographs of loved ones (better.) She even had charms created to give to her family and friends, most of whom were European nobility. The popularity of charm bracelets spread throughout the royal houses and filtered down to the commoners and then across the Atlantic. Tiffany made its first version of a charm bracelet with a tiny heart in 1889. It was a big hit. Different iterations of flowers, birds, and animals quickly followed.

20th Century and Beyond Charms
By the1930s more commercial figures such as Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop became popular.  Strangely enough, World War II increased charm bracelets’ popularity. Soldiers returning stateside wanted trinkets and souvenirs as gifts for the girls back home. Local artisans were smart enough to jump into a new market and began to craft metal into scaled down replicas of local items such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or a tiny plane for a pilot’s sweetheart or anchor for a sailor’s.

In the 1950s charms took another turn, reflecting girls’ rites of passage. A girl in a ballet recital might get tiny ballet shoes. A cowgirl might have a horse or a Stetson hat. Although modern charms have lost the magical connotations, they’re still popular. Recently, companies such as Pandora have boosted interest. Founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1982 by Per Enevoldsen and his wife Winnie, they launched their first Pandora bracelet in 1999, which eventually became wildly popular across Europe before marketing their charms and bracelets in North America in 2002. Pandora charms are round and beadlike, but like others in the past offer the ability to customize to one's taste. Charms from such companies and independent jewelers offer a wide range that reflects modern girls’ more varied interests. While ballet shoes are still around, you’ll also find tiny space shuttles, robots, and laptops.

L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy with humor, romance and a touch of sass. She lives a charmed life.



Saturday, January 25, 2020

LIFE AFTER 9-TO-5 by Nancy Gideon

The last time I didn’t have full-time employment outside the house was over thirty years ago. Back then, after quitting office work to start a family, I filled those hours when I wasn’t at the keyboard (or in the beginning, at the notebook and manual typewriter!) raising two sons, getting involved in their school activities and being an assistant Scout leader at every level from grade school to high school. I sold my first book when my oldest was two and continued under contract for several NY houses consistently after that. My writing was my job and I took it seriously, sometimes bringing in the bigger paycheck in our household. I went to conferences, spoke at conventions, did major promoting, belonged to professional associations because I was a writing professional and I worked hard at it.


Then when my sons were in high school, the bottom fell out of the romance market and my steady mid-list income went with it. It was time to go back to “real” work. I found my new niche as a legal assistant (who was also a writer). I had great employers who were supportive of the writing career that bolstered my income after I got divorced. Everything was good. Then 2019 reared its ugly head, becoming a year of chaos, upheaval and personal challenge.

After my fab boss retired and closed his small office in 2018, I got a job at a big firm with great benefits and wonderful people. I thought I had my forever 65-and-beyond plan in place. But due to unpleasant circumstances set in motion long before I started there, I decided to jump to another less stressful job at a smaller family firm – a job that looked like a perfect fit on the surface, but reality didn’t match the description I’d been given. I was over my head from day one. I left there feeling ancient, exhausted and without hope of ever being productive again. I couldn’t face the want ads. I didn’t believe I had anything left to offer. I couldn’t look at my computer screen. I wanted to give up on everything. I saw early retirement as my only solution and grabbed at that well-deserved gold ring and the dream of having all the time in the world to write. Right? Well, not exactly . . .

All the time in the world tends to steal away that sense of immediacy. My writing draaaaaagged on. I filled my time doing blogs and scrolling social media. I binge-watched Netflix and Amazon Prime (hey, 8 seasons of Dexter in one week alone!), sleeping in, playing Mahjong instead of editing the final book in my shapeshifter series. Never knowing what day of the week it was, I started adding back pounds I’d struggled to lose. Staying in my sweat suit and slippers all day became my new normal during the waning months of 2019.


No. Just NO! A trip to New Orleans in late November was a catalyst (along with two very insightful tarot readings!). Time away with great friends and great food (and my computer) in my favorite city brought new life back into this old gal. My problems weren’t anxiety over things I can’t control but rather the loss of the routine that kept me from feeling productive. Add to that, I was ending a 15-book series. After twelve years, it felt like all my best friends were moving away! Though I have plenty of other writing options, I had no plan on what to do next. Not a good place for someone with ADD/OCD. Sooo, I got out a diary planner that emphasizes overall monthly focus and goals with work and personal to do lists and daily calendars along with a month wrap up. I LOVE lists! After some breathing mediation every morning, I flip it open and jot down expectations for the day and list accomplishments. Now, I’m working to get ALL the month’s PR stuff done the first weekend of the month, so I don’t get bogged down in it at the end of each week. I’ll be pre-planning FB posts with a goal not to browse unless I’m posting and to browse only until that first cup of coffee kicks in. I’m meeting with writer friends! I’m going to the gym. I’m meal planning every Saturday for the following week, so I have no frustrating last-minute blanks that call for fast food fill-ins. I’m kinda loving that retirement time now.

And I’m finishing those dang edits so RISE BY MOONLIGHT can be off to Beta readers mid-February and the final to my line editor in March. Then I’ll finally have a release date before those three weeks in Ireland over my birthday in May where I’ll get into that next writing project whatever it might be.


Happy 2020. It’s better when you have a plan! What are yours?

♚♚♚♚♚
Nancy Gideon on the Web


Monday, January 20, 2020

MLK DAY - A Day of Service



Today, Jan. 20, 2020, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day - a federal holiday that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The holiday was signed into federal law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. MLK Day was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

But did you know...this is meant to be a day of service? 

The holiday is meant to be “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.


"The time is always right to do what is right."  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

FOR THOSE STILL WORKING
While this is a federal/state holiday, it is not one mandated to be a day off work for all privately owned companies. Only 33% of non-state and federal employers give this time off. So if you have to be at work, we get it. 

However, you can still make it a day of service. Consider taking a moment to reach out to your HR or your department head. Make the request that even if it's not a day off, that it be a day of service starting next year where employees can go out in groups, with company t-shirts even, to do a day of service together. (Trust me, most companies love to be represented by community minded employees this way.)

Also, there is still time after work that you can do something small. Check out the list below.

FOR THOSE WITH THE DAY OFF
For those with the day off, what are you going to do to make this a "day on." Some great ideas are listed below.

*This list is a shortened version of the one found at https://blog.fundly.com/community-service-ideas/ to be things doable in the short term for 1 day of service. Check out the bigger list for more fantastic ideas!

GENERAL

  • Volunteer at a local nonprofit
  • Participate in a national giving or remembrance day
  • Clean up your local park or playground
  • Plant trees, flowers, or other plants
  • Repair broken household items or appliances for neighbors
  • Write and send letters to soldiers and veterans


HELP KIDS / SCHOOLS

  • Volunteer at a youth shelter
  • Donate used books to a children’s library
  • Donate your used electronics to a school
  • Donate baby clothes and supplies
  • Join a group like Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • Donate stuffed animals to kids in hospitals



HELP SENIOR CITIZENS

  • Take flowers to nursing home residents
  • Cook a meal for a senior
  • Decorate doors at a nursing home for the holidays
  • Host agame night at a nursing home
  • Teach an elderly person a card game or trick
  • Teach an elderly neighbor computer skills
  • Adopt a grandparent
  • Write letters for a senior
  • Deliver cookies or snacks to elderly neighbors



HELP ANIMALS / ENVIRONMENT

  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Sponsor an animal in your city’s zoo
  • Build birdhouses for your neighborhood
  • Donate to a local animal shelter
  • Collect pet food and supplies for a shelter
  • Plant trees in a local park
  • Clean up a stretch of highway/local park/common areas in your neighborhood
  • Spruce up a park trail or hiking area
  • Bike to work or school



HELP HOMELESS / HUNGRY

  • Collect household items for a homeless family
  • Give grocery coupons to a local food bank
  • Create care packages with essential items
  • Donate toys and school supplies to a homeless shelter
  • Donate blankets to a homeless shelter
  • Volunteer at and donate to your local food bank
  • Create portable first aid kits for the homeless
  • Donate gently used clothing and shoes
  • Spend time at a soup kitchen



CRIME REDUCTION & SAFETY

  • Become part of your neighborhood watch group
  • Join an organization like DARE
  • Paint over graffiti in your neighborhood
  • Start a violence protection group in your community



SPECIAL NEEDS FOCUS

  • Hold a crayon and marker drive
  • Collect school supplies for special needs classrooms
  • Help make sure your neighborhood is handicap accessible
  • Donate to a care center in your community



NEIGHBORHOOD & COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT

  • Campaign for more bike lanes and sidewalks
  • Pick up trash around the neighborhood
  • Rake leaves for neighbors
  • Join your neighborhood watch group
  • Help people clean their gutters



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Beef Wellington -- And Sinners' Opera



Beef Wellington

The elegant dish figures often in Sinners’ Opera. It’s the kind of recipe for special occasions as it is fairly expensive to make, requiring a whole or half tenderloin and pate. I’d serve Beef Wellington at a formal dinner party, requiring my friends to dress in their finery for feast. If you are interested in offering the dish at Christmas, here is the recipe:

2-1/2 pounds Beef Tenderloin
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup Sliced Fresh Mushrooms
2 ounces liver pate
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 package (17.5 ounces) puff pastry,  thawed
1 egg yoke, beaten
10.5 ounces beef broth
2 tablespoons red wine

Directions
·        Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place beef in a small baking dish, and spread with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned. Remove from pan, and allow to cool completely. Reserve pan juices.
·        Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and mushrooms in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.
·        Mix together pate and 2 tablespoons softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread pate over beef. Top with onion and mushroom mixture.
·        Roll out the puff pastry dough, and place beef in the center. Fold up, and seal all the edges, making sure the seams are not too thick. Place beef in a 9x13 inch baking dish, cut a few slits in the top of the dough, and brush with egg yolk.
·        Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until pastry is a rich, golden brown. Set aside, and keep warm.
·        Place all reserved juices in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in beef stock and red wine; boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Strain, and serve with beef.
And now you have Beef Wellington.

~~~~~~~~~
Blurb:

Morgan D'Arcy is an English lord, a classical pianist, and a vampire. He has everything except what he desires most—Isabeau. As the Angel Gabriel he's steered her life and career choice, preparing her to become Lady D'Arcy.

Many forces oppose Morgan's daring plan—not the least of which is Vampyre law. Isabeau Gervase is a brilliant geneticist. Though she no longer believes in angels, she sees a ticket to a Nobel Prize in Gabriel's secrets—secrets that have led her to a startling conclusion. Gabriel isn't human, and she fully intends to identify the species she named the Angel Genome. Morgan is ready to come back into Isabeau's life, but this time as a man not an angel. Will he outsmart his enemies, protect his beloved and escape death himself? For the first time in eternity, the clock is ticking.


I
Excerpt:

“Isabeau!” Morgan’s voice would forever strike a chord deep inside.

He leaned over the mahogany railing, his eyes alight, his smile breathtaking.

“Morgan,” she breathed, her heart thudding.

Tonight, she’d caught him in his robe.  Riding mid-thigh, the green brocade smoking jacket showed fine, long legs.  Hair mussed, eyes sleep-misted, Morgan looked like a boy who’d just woken up.  The slender, muscled physique was all man. The handsome devil must have had one hell of a late night and slept all day.  The brunette’s face popped into Isabeau’s head.  Jealousy even tasted green.  What if the woman was still here!

Avery caught her hand, claiming her attention.  “Madam, do you like Beef Wellington?”

A languorous stretch elongated Morgan’s perfect body.  “Yes, she does.”

Isabeau frowned, opened her mouth to ask how he knew.  A flash in the corner of her eye, and Morgan stood at her elbow, his smile and his eyes sheer mischief.

“Sorry.  I shouldn’t have spoken for you.”  He took her hands, his touch sizzling over her.  “I can’t believe you’re actually here.  I’m delighted to see you.”

“Even unannounced?”  She squeezed his hands.  “I’m sorry about the other night.”

He shook his head, his gaze hot and intense.  “Think no more of it,” and her embarrassment evaporated.  “Please join me for dinner.  Avery has been eager to flaunt his culinary skills.  If you refuse, he’ll never forgive you, will you, Avery?”

“No, madam, I shan’t ever forgive you.”  The old gent gave her a mock stern look.

“How can I tempt you?”  Morgan bit the lower lip of a smile.

She laughed.  “Oh, I don’t know.  Do you have a piano by chance?”

He snapped his fingers.  “Avery, isn’t there a piano in the music room?”

The old man frowned, shaking his head.  “Sir, I believe there’s a piano in the music room but then we’d require someone to play it.”

“I can play chopsticks.”  Morgan touched her shoulder, zapping her knees weak.

“I can prepare a delectable Beef Wellington.”  Avery nodded emphatically.

Morgan’s Gabriel eyes caressed her.  “Sorry you caught me looking like this.”
You look good enough to eat.  She hadn’t spoken aloud, but Morgan arched a brow.

BUY LINKS:

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!





Monday, January 13, 2020

New Year - New Resolutions by Diane Burton

The new year, new decade, is 2 weeks old. Almost. Each year, I start out with new resolutions. Rather, I recycle last year's resolutions. Eat healthier, exercise more, finish that d*mn book. 

Eat healthier: we're off to a good start there. Hubs is on a low salt diet (because of his heart and kidneys). That's motivated both of us to be more conscious of ingredients. You know, the label on the sides of packages? My eyes zero in on sodium grams. But, more importantly, reading the size of a portion. That's where we often fall down. I read "500 grams sodium" and think that's good. Until I look at the portion. Half a cup? Say what! Our "normal" portion is a cup. Now we're looking at 1,000 grams (half his daily amount). Don't buy that.

I'm also hitting Weight Watchers (now called WW) on a regular basis. I know it works...when I work at it. So, Wednesday mornings you'll find me at a meeting to get inspired to track what I eat and to eat healthier.

Exercise: not doing so good there. Yet. Snow, ice. Yep, that hit us this weekend. Our daughter told us about these things you put on your shoes (Yak Trax) that help prevent slipping outdoors. They came yesterday. I'll have to try them out today. Or maybe tomorrow.

Finish the book: I'm rereading Linda Howard's Kiss Me While I Sleep. How does that connect to the book I'm writing? No, I'm not procrastinating finishing my book. The Spy (4th book in my Outer Rim series) is about a rookie covert agent who has to bring in a veteran before his cover is blown. Howard's book is about a veteran agent who has to eliminate another veteran who's gone rogue. That's given me some ideas. I'm stuck at the 75% mark. I know the ending, but I think I've written myself into a corner. I've pulled back. Reading or rereading to fill the creative well helps. 

I've been sharing 8-10 sentence snippets from The Spy with the Weekend Writing Warriors on my blog each weekend. The comments have inspired me more than I expected. My fellow Warriors anticipate things I never thought of. They've made me step back and rethink the motivations of the main characters. Better than a critique group.

Since I don't have a cover yet, here's the rest of the series.


Tentative blurb for The Spy.

Rookie agent must rescue veteran before his cover is blown.

Genna Nogaro, new to the Coalition of Planets’ Intelligence Commission, is assigned to bring in an undercover operative in Hallart’s organization. More experienced agents died before getting him out. Were they killed by the intergalactic gangster or has the operative gone rogue?

Quintall d’Sernin, con man extraordinaire, infiltrated the mob and moved up to be the gangster’s right-hand man. Hallart has his tentacles throughout the Coalition—business, industry, and government. Quin’s finally worked himself into a valued position. All he needs is the key to mob structure in order for Coalition forces to take down the entire organization.

Genna will pose as a new recruit to distract Hallart long enough for Quin to find the key. If they work together, they can accomplish more. But Quin and Genna’s lives are jeopardized by a mole in the Intelligence Commission. Will their true roles be revealed before they accomplish their goal?

How are you doing on your resolutions for 2020?


   

Saturday, January 4, 2020

My Favorite Thing About the New Year is Last Year



By Maureen Bonatch



I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions. Sure, I’ve made them, but all too often they’re the same resolutions and feel more like a ‘to do’ list, or even a ‘things I feel guilty about not doing last year list’. So much that I could label it as things I should’ve done last year—eat healthier, exercise more, spend more time writing etc. etc. Or I should say, ditto from last year.

I’ve tried making detailed lists of steps to reach these goals at the start of the New Year, but instead of motivating me to do more, it simply gave me more to feel guilty about a few months into the year when I realize how far I’d fallen behind. Besides, I’ve come to accept that the motivation and desire to make a change is more important—and effective— than the month of the year.

Paper Calendar of Dreams


The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a new year isn’t always resolutions—it’s getting out my new calendar. Sure, I have an online google calendar, and it’s awesome—but it isn’t enough. There’s something about a paper calendar.



When I get my new monthly desk calendar out, the crisp blank pages are waiting for me to make them my own, just like the new year. Each new month just waiting to be filled with all the hopes, dreams and goals for the new year.

Life Happens Between the Wrinkled Pages


Life is busy. So much that sometimes the days, months and years seem to blur together. I’ll wonder if something happened this year— or maybe it was the year before. When I pull out the calendar for the year that’s ending, I go through it month by month to write down those special days that reoccur every year such as birthdays and anniversaries. Adding stickers or highlighting so I don’t forget, and to remind me what I have to look forward to when I flip to that new month.

Usually this mundane task inadvertently results in my reflecting on the past year. Recalling the challenges, the joys, and the memories that were made. It allows me to appreciate just how much happened, in addition, or instead of, those recurring resolutions.

Because often the best things in life are all those little things that happen while we’re focusing on what we think are the big things.

How Do You Reflect on the Passing Year?


Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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