A new year is upon us. Another year to witness and experience all that life has to offer. No resolutions for me this time around. I’m simply making better use of my time, my resources and remembering to ‘be’ in the moments when they’re happening.
2017 is gone, and I’m ready to move on.
Just some of the things I plan on accomplishing (heaven, health and heart willing) are writing and publishing the third book in my Eternal Journey series. Have fun places to go, and things to see that will make for some wonderful memories. Being a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding is incentive for getting healthier.
There is much life to get on with. There’s books, movies, theater and concerts I want to check out. There’s people I want to spend time with. There’s shopping, enjoying food, drinks and even new perfumes to try.
New apps, games and social media to get confused by and frustrated with!
Of course, not to forget new people to meet, new readers, and new heartbreaks too. The bad and ugly are part of the deal; that’s just life.
I’m all in for this new year and new adventure! Feel free to share here what you’re looking forward to in this new year.
With the holiday season among us, I thought I would reflect on another aspect of giving that spoke to me this year.
One day while at lunch, I saw a leaflet for the annual St. Jude’s Walk (Seattle), and was moved to get involved. I raised some money and got a couple of friends to walk with me, and it was a wonderful (if not soggy) experience.
I knew from then that I would rally and support this amazing cause. I stand behind the concept of stomping out childhood cancer. The idea that no family ever gets a bill, so they can focus on what’s important-being there for the child they so desperately want to live.
Then a celebrity favorite of mine hosts an event every year during Comic-con in San Diego. It’s free to the public to check out games, tech, charge phones and grab some food/drink. In addition, there’s the opportunity to have an informal/non-moderated panel discussions with various convention favorites (mostly actors, writers, producers, etc.) for a nominal fee. 100% of this fee goes to the incredible international charity – Operation Smile. Even fees from celebrity photo ops/signings go to this organization.
I decided to look more into Operation Smile. I watched videos, testimonials/stories from not only those who support this charity, but those who have benefitted from others generosity as well. It is mind-blowing that just $240 and about an hour can change the life of a child born with a cleft lip/palette FOREVER. Giving a child the gift of a smile! Many of these children are ostracized from their families. Not to mention the fact that infections and malnutrition are prevalent issues resulting in sad, unnecessary deaths.
Once again, I was brought to tears. I am proud to support these two worthwhile organizations. There are so many out there, so many meaningful and wonderful causes to support. I found two that spoke to me.
I hope to contribute more in the years to come to both St. Jude’sand Operation Smile. I firmly, with all my heart believe that
Every child deserves to live, and every child that lives deserves to smile.
May you create fond memories while living a life well lived. May you always laugh at yourself and love ’til your heart overflows.
If you find ANY organization that speaks to you, whether it’s for kids, animals, veterans, underprivileged neighborhoods or developing countries, whatever it is; let some of that overflow lead you to get involved.
I have many fond memories of Christmas as a child. I was blessed with amazing parents who made sure I had those childhood moments to reflect on now. What I wouldn’t give to have them with me now. Aside from the warm and festive decorations and generous gifts, there was laughter, hugs and smiles. Mostly there was just love.
It breaks my heart to think this is not the memory of the holidays for everyone. We live in a time of discord, poverty, homelessness, and illness all over the world.
At this time of year (and all through it), I want to remember those who are less fortunate, and celebrate those who give and share love selflessly.
If you are lonely, sad, bereaved or unwell, (or know someone who is), know there is help and hope.
Depression Hotline Number: 800-662-4357
If you are blessed; be a little kinder, give a smile, spare a dime, be patient and humble.
Remember peace and love are the best gifts. Share where you can, be safe, reflect, and be grateful.
As the song suggests, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I look forward to the holiday season with all the joy (and let’s face it, extra pounds) it brings.
There’s so much to do and see. Family and friends to spend time with. Maybe you’re hosting a get together, or traveling this holiday. Retailers are doing their best to reel in business with cyber every day deals.
The weather is turning colder, with frost on the windows and in some places, mounds of snow on the ground. My neighborhood turns into a beautiful winter wonderland, and I cross my fingers for at least one snow day from work!
How does this sound? Comfy pj’s, complete with warm socks on a chair with feet up. Fireplace going and a warm cup of something on the side table.
One thing missing: a good book to escape with.
Here comes the awesome promo part!
My friend, the amazing Marie Lavender, has once again outdone herself with her annual
I’m excited and honored to be included in this fun romance-filled giveaway, featuring over 30 authors who are participating.
I’m giving away both eBook and paperback copies of Lavender Fields and Cypress Groves. There is also a pretty sweet gift basket for one lucky winner.
Check out the details and enter this wonderful giveaway. Remember, books also make excellent gifts!
We’ve all had those times when you just have to stop and appreciate that one of a kind moment you’re in.
These weekend, I had just that moment.
Like many others, I joined the masses Friday night to see ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the biopic of the legendary (and one of my all time favorites), rock group Queen. What made it truly special was seeing it with my son and one of my besties. Needless to say, I was a hot mess during some of it, but overall simply basked in absolute joy of hearing the music from my youth.
The first time I was really aware of Queen was with the soundtrack they did for the movie, ‘Flash Gordon’ played by a very handsome Sam J. Jones.
I didn’t realize how much their music burrowed in, or that it really had until I found them once again providing the theme/episode music for another show I completely fan-girl/drooled over, ‘Highlander’, yes, the Christopher Lambert movies and the Adrian Paul T.V. series.
So, Friday night was the Queen movie. I was to then spend my Saturday and Sunday in Tacoma at Jet City Comic-con. I was honored to be in the company of the crazy talented artisans of Artist Alley with fellow Solstice authors Kate Marie Collins and Kathleen Anderson. Also got to share space with cool Indie author, DL Gardner.
One of the perks of working a comic-con is to be able to take a break and walk the floor. As I wind my way back through the aisles and rows of merchants, I stop to do a double take.
There, not thirty feet from where my feet had planted, was Flash Gordon himself, Sam J. Jones!
I walk up and am greeted by a convention staffer while Sam was chatting with some fans, so waited my turn. I shook his hand, stating I was a fan from Flash Gordon, and it was a pleasure to meet him. He saw my badge and asked what I did. I told him I’d written a couple of books, and he should stop by if he got the chance.
I got back to my table thinking, what the hell just came out of my mouth? “Stop by if you get a chance.” (insert embarrassed face-plant here)
The following day, Sunday is another day of people-watching, chatting up my books and enjoying the cos-players. I again walked around on a break, spending easily more than I garnered in sales, but hey, it’s comic-con.
Near the end of the day, a little before it was time to wrap up, I look up to see guess who walking up to my table? Yep, Sam. He gave an impressed gestured as he touched the covers.
Kate got to meet him, and I smiled as she called him Mr. Jones. I was able to tell him how Flash Gordon introduced me to Queen, then I go see the movie about Queen, followed by meeting Flash Gordon the next day. We chatted briefly before another fan engaged him.
To answer the logical question that would follow this story; no I did not get a picture taken with Sam. I got to meet him twice, shake his hand twice and tell him I appreciated him.
So, as far as I’m concerned, that experience in and of itself was some kind of magic. (Queen pun intended!)
Labor day weekend is upon us. With that comes last minute getaways, back to school shopping, and for me another summer to reflect and look back upon.
My highlights included being part of a friends beautiful wedding, and the activities leading up to it. My birthday outing with girlfriends with a special surprise. Going to my first Ed Sheeran concert, as well as a record store show to see SYML (and getting to meet him). Spending time with my girlfriends whether it was a day of Glassybaby’s, a Kristin Ford jewelry party, or even a night at the movies.
I even enjoyed some down time with Netflix and getting lost with some good books this summer. I found time for pampering myself when not working. My favorite ME treat is getting my nails done. Right now as I type, I smile down at my pretty blue sparkly nails!
Another thing I love is the many, many walks through various gardens in Bellevue, UW or Seattle.
What I plan on doing more off is getting back to work on book #3, Rose Gardens. It is time to buckle down and get it done. More to come when there’s more to share.
All in all, I spent the summer with people I love, enjoyed the sunshine, discovered peach sangria, appreciated the arts, and basked in the beauty of nature.
My father’s name was George. In his youth, he was strapping, dashing and charismatic.
He got the girl of his dreams, a hot dish named Ella.
They had three kids, of which I am the third, alas the baby. Was I spoiled being the youngest? Maybe. Was I a daddy’s girl?
He was the good cop to mom’s bad cop, coming in and holding me until the body-wracking sobs slowly calmed. He taught me how to ride a bike, and let me play outside when I should have been practicing piano. He made the food I had to clear off my plate disappear like magic.
He could construct practically anything from any material, and though it took me a while to finally catch on; he was the expert gift-wrapping elf for Santa (putting all department store wrapping to shame; to shame.)
To me, there wasn’t a fact he didn’t know, or a joke he wouldn’t tell. Even up to his last day on earth, he was generous, kind, and always had polished shoes! Anyone who knew him, would hear his common catchphrase,
“Thank you kindly”
My dad was my hero, my everything. He took such good care of me.
In honor of my dad, George, I treated and cared for myself today.
A stroll through the beautiful Arboretum, then Japanese Garden, followed by staking out a corner slice of shade to relax and read.
The gentle breeze on my face was heavenly. Clear blue sky, sunshine, vibrant colors all around me, folks making their own memories, while the birds sang their joy.
Hmmm, maybe heaven was involved in the orchestration of this magnificent day after all.
For that daddy, and all the beautiful memories I will cherish forever,
Today, the 1st of February has been a day full of ‘feels’.
It began with waking up with the crud. Talking poster child for a Nyquil ad; The sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, didn’t rest well the night before crud.
The ‘Feels’ was ICK.
After calling into work, and snoozing off and on, I decided to escape in a good movie. I know unless you know them, or have seen them, discussing them in this format doesn’t really do them justice. Suffice it to say, I’m sharing here anyway!
‘Remember Sunday’ starring Alexis Bledel and Zachary Levi, (whom I adore). Synopsis:
Gus is a guy who due to a brain injury has lost his short-term memory; Literally forgetting the entire day before when he goes to sleep. He has a system that brings him up to speed every morning, with a routine and support system in place.
Molly is a spunky waitress who, though broke, goes to school at night, hoping to one day have her own flower business. The two meet, and I won’t spoil anything here, but they have an incredible story of taking chances, risks, and finding for them the power of love and acceptance.
‘The Enchanted Cottage’ starring Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire. Synopsis: An once impressive manor, now reduced to one wing that has been turned into a cottage. It was popular with honeymooning couples.
Oliver is a pilot who comes to the cottage to recuperate after an injury in battle leaves his face and hand disfigured. He wants to get away from his old life that included an overbearing mother, strict step-father, and former fiancee’, with whom before the injury had planned to honeymoon at this very cottage.
Laura is a woman who returned home looking for a job, acutely aware how unattractive her appearance is by others. She finds housekeeping work with the widow who runs the cottage.
Together the two of them find that love can be healing in its own way. By looking at the inside, their newfound beauty unfolds. Because of their love, (and the enchantment of the cottage), they each see the other without any scars or flaws.
‘If Only’ starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Paul Nicholls. Synopsis:
Samantha is an American studying music in London. She has a live-in boyfriend she adores, Ian, who is completely focused on his career.
Ian loves Samantha, but unknown to her, has his reasons for being driven by work.
A single day in their lives, gives a glimpse of how one-sided their romance truly is. Tragedy strikes, and one is left with the pain of loss and things unsaid.
Fate (and Tom Wilkinson as an eerily wise taxi driver) spins the lovers a second chance, sorta! It is a story of making the most of each day and appreciating those you love.
So, a marathon of tear-jerker romances.
The ‘Feels’ were all ugly crying that led to an even more stuffed up nose.
Lastly, I got on Facebook to read a status post from a bestie that again brought on the waterworks. This time, it was about the nasty ‘C’ word (cancer) and how it reminds us that no one is exempt once it sets in. Like many others out there, I’ve lost loved ones to cancer, but the today, the tears were more from remembering the love felt and not the loss. I copied and pasted the post to my status as requested.
Ok, I know you’re asking, what does one have to do with the other? Nothing directly, nor indirectly if truth be known.
It is just that one is how I started my day, while the other is how I ended it.
Today was to be an early rise. Armed with Starbucks and umbrella, I joined my friends and hundreds of others in the wet, cold, dark hours of the morning to queue up for the Seattle Glassybaby Seconds (Imperfects) event.
I was prepared for it to be crowded, which was an understatement to say the least. It was well organized, if not a bit overwhelming for this introvert. Still, I was able to find two beautiful pieces to call my own. My very first Glassbabys! Loved the ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ t-shirt, so had to get one too.
(I couldn’t tell you how they’re defects!)
Jump hours later in the afternoon, where I met up with my handsome son to browse, shop, and take in a movie. We chatted about the movie while walking amongst the busy downtown crowds. As we’re about to walk by a nicely dressed dad who was taking a picture of his pretty lady and little girl. I thought, ‘Aw, a sweet family moment.’
As we walked past them, my son nudges me. I look up at him as he whispers, ‘Macklemore‘. Of course I whip my head around to verify. Sure enough, it was him!
We kept walking, as is only respectful. If others noticed him, they were thankfully observing and respecting his privacy as well.
I do though wish there had been a chill way to have re-played that moment (recognizing him sooner), and just do a casual, walk-by ‘Love Ya’ as I passed!
It was cool to see a celebrity performer you truly enjoy and are excited to see in person. What a fun way to end a wonderfully perfect Saturday; friends, fine glass, family and a famous rapper!