Archive for December, 2014

Ditching the New Year’s Resolutions

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

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In the past few years I have grown weary of New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps that is because they so often focus on what I lack or what I am not.  No matter what I do or don’t do there will always be someone younger, richer and better looking. Dissatisfaction can make one unhappy, but, that said, I am also mindful of complacency. You know, Newtons’ Law about a body at rest…

So if no resolutions, then what?

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I prefer goals. But the goals I used to set tended to more like a ‘to do’ list to be checked off one by one. My list looked like this:

  1. Submit two historical proposals
  2. Write one blog post a week
  3. Speaking at the National conference
  4. Sign at Book Expo America
  5. Learn to use Instragram (still haven’t managed that one yet)More recently,

I have simplified my goals and in so doing opened up a world of possibilities. This broadening of goals allows a certain amount of room for the unexpected while still keeping me focused.

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Here’s my Goals from 2014:

  • Create
  • Connect
  • Explore

My writing fit well under Create but so did the jewelry I made in a beading class I took and the baby quilt. As for the unexpected, I could not have guessed that my Connect goal would lead from a cup of coffee with a colleague at a conference to organizing a three-day writers retreat. But it did. Explore could include my online course work, but also the unexpected opportunity to mine fossilized seashells.So this year I’m keeping it broad and open again.

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Here’s my 2015 Goals

  • Play
  • Simplify
  • Create

I’m thinking the play goal can include experimentation in my writing as well as exercise and travel. Simplify can mean anything from weeding out that upstairs closet to reducing my sugar intake to limiting my commitments. Create will include my writing, of course. But what else, I wonder? I keep these goals in a picture frame on my desk. I check often to see if I’m including them in my world. And I’m much happier since I broadened my goals.

So… Are you ready to ditch the resolutions?



Walking NYC’s Holiday Windows

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

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LITERATURE Window at Bergdorff Goodman

Each year I try to make it in to NYC to stroll past the holiday windows.  This year I’m super happy about the holidays as I have a Christmas release to help make the season even more jolly. WILD WEST CHRISTMAS is a beautiful Western anthology collection that I hope you’ll add to your wish list.

My usual route begins at the toy train sets in Grand Central at the MTA museum tucked behind the grand stairs on the west side of the station.  They include a tiny Santa hailing a cab and a stuffed King Kong on the Empire State Building. Then I visit Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. Continuing north, I stop at the NY Public Library for their tree and free museum exhibits. Then it’s up to Rockefeller Center, Saks and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I always peek at the gems in Henry Winston’s windows and Tiffany’s is right across 5th Ave.

Near the park are my favorite holiday windows, Bergdoff Goodman. After that, I visit the Plaza Hotel (a wonderful place for high tea) and then head east to Barney’s of New York and finally, Bloomingdales.  Then it’s back to Grand Central for their holiday gift fair in Vanderbilt Hall.

If you’d like to see all the photos of my annual trip to see the holiday windows in New York City please visit my facebook page.  For this post I’m only showing my photos of one stop on my walk.

The windows at Bergdoff Goodman are always my favorites because of their visual interest and the complexity of theme. This year their theme was THE ARTS. This one is called Literature and it is packed with wonderful quotes and images of famous authors all in bright shades of pink. I was in heaven!

One of the embroidered pillows had a quote from French poet, Stephane Mallarme reading, “Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.”

 

Here’s ARCHITECTURE

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And THEATER

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And MUSIC

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And ART

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There is so much more on my facebook page.

 

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

 



Werewolves Use Sign Language

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
I love you.  American Sign Language

I love you. American Sign Language

My newest release, THE SHIFTER’S CHOICE, is out this week!  My hero is a shapeshifting Marine who cannot return to his human form.  His supervisors want him to learn sign-language to help him communicate but Johnny sees that as an admission that he will never be human again.

Now what you don’t know, can’t know from the story, is that I once learned sign language in order to communicate with deaf athletes competing in the World Games for the Deaf.  At first I was pretty bad, but the athletes and supervisors were very patient.  Each night I went to bed with a headache from trying so hard to understand what was said.  I was in another world.  The dorms had fire alarms that both sounded and had flashing lights.  I watched the deaf hold conversations through car windows while riding in separate vehicles traveling at 60 miles an hour.  “They’re stopping for food at the next exit.”  I knew I was starting to ‘get it’ when I had my first dream completely in sign language.  My crowning moment was toward the end of our competition when the director brought two hearing people over to me and asked me to translate what he signed–and I did!  Unfortunately I no longer dream in sign and I’ve lost most of what I learned.  But I’ll never forget my month among the deaf community.