Kicking off the New Year

The new year has always filled me with hope, from the time I was young. I’m not sure why. Turning a calendar page seems like a simple act. We do it twelve times a year. But starting out with a whole new calendar feels special.

I know not everyone shares this feeling with me and it will certainly be lost to those of us in the future who have no use for such things as calendars or even wrist watches, for that matter—things that keep track of time. Personally, I’d be lost without a watch on my wrist. I’ve always worn one. And as well, I’m sure I will always have a calendar in my house.

I picked up a monthly planner for 2023 the other day while in town and I’ve been jotting down little things, like the weather and temperature. It’s been fun and will hopefully, give me something to look back on and compare when another year rolls around.

So far, the weather here in Nova Scotia has been exceptional with temperatures mostly above freezing. We’ve leaves on the ground instead of snow. That changed today, however, as we’re experiencing some ice pellets and a bit of snow. While the ground is now white, there really isn’t much at all. I am not complaining. The weather will be what it is regardless. And with so many places in Canada and the US being bogged down with snow at the moment, I consider us lucky.

I’ve been spending some time writing, as was the plan, and trying to settle into one story to work on. I think I mentioned earlier that I have several on the go at the moment. When the story finally speaks to me, I will know which one to dedicate my time to.

Edits for my next book will get underway sometime this year. I have no idea when. It’ll be interesting to see how this one is received as it is very different from all my others. The young protagonist, a boy, is fourteen and this book has a contemporary setting.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been taking those baby steps I mentioned in a previous post, taking some time for myself each day in a number of little ways that might seem insignificant to others but kind of important to me. Part of this is being consistent, not skipping a day because I run out of time, but making these little things a priority. Carving out, even small amounts of time for ourselves each day can be very challenging but not impossible.

So, this is me kicking off the New Year in fine fashion. I’m filled with optimism and hope and back to singing every day. 🙂 While a song makes no promises, (as I once wrote in a short story) it can sure help keep your spirits up.

I hope your New Year is starting off on a good foot as well. Here’s hoping 2023 turns into a much nicer year than we’ve experienced for awhile.

Farewell and Happy New Year

I am going away…

where you won’t see me.

No big deal, really. I’m not leaving town.

I’m just taking a break from Facebook and Twitter for awhile. I’m not sure for how long. I guess I’ll figure that out along the way.

And that is good news! I’ve several writing projects I want to concentrate on and I need don’t need the added distract– as entertaining as what social media can sometimes be. Along with writing, there are also a few other places where I’d like to focus my attention as well. I will still sign into messenger from time to time, checking email, answering my phone and actually speaking to people I know when I meet up with them!

I’m actually a bit excited about taking this little break and hoping to see what all I’ll accomplish during that time.

So I’m wishing you all a safe and prosperous new year and I’ll catch up with you a bit later in the year. I intend to keep updating my blog from time to time and you can even subscribe and receive an email notification whenever I write a new post if you’d like, or just pop onto my blog from time to time—or not.

In the words of C.S. Lewis—You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

Happy New Year!

Hello Brand New Year

“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.”

This quote by Buddha seems quite fitting for the times we’re living in.

Happy New Year! That’s all.

I’ll be back later this week with a new post.

May you stay safe and healthy in 2022!

Looking Forward to the end of 2021

So many times we hear people make the statement that they can hardly wait to see the end of a certain year, usually meaning that the year was pretty horrific for them. It has always seemed interesting to me when people seem to blame a particular year for bringing hardships to them, as if the changing of a calendar page will bring improvements. I’m not saying this in a critical way. Not at all. Just an observation. I’ve probably thought or said the same thing at one time or another.

A year is a measurement of time–365 days–both good things and bad things will happen. It’s inevitable. But here’s a thought, perhaps it is the turning of the calendar that brings people hope, hope that things will improve.

Hope is an important thing in our lives. It’s what keeps us going when times are tough.

I do like the start of a New Year, because for some unexplainable reason, the starting of another year does fill me with hope, and hope is a pretty powerful thing. It’s what keeps us going when times get hard. There have been many times during my life when I felt hope slipping from me, but I’ve always been able to reach in deep and find it–eventually. It’s not always an easy thing. Sometimes, often times, it takes many attempts. Pulling hope out from a dark place doesn’t always come with a sudden surge or flash when you find it, sometimes it’s but a small thread we feel at the tips of our fingers, until eventually we discover a way to pull it out of the rubble of our own despair.

I don’t make resolutions. I do sometimes state intentions for the upcoming year. For me, that seems less restrictive and I’m not one for setting myself up for failure.

There are some things I hope to accomplish next year if things go as planned. Some of it has to do with inner work which, for me, is very important at this time in my life.

At Christmas we wish people peace and joy, but these things are important all year long. May you all find inner peace and joy as we go forward and may you always find hope when times feel dark.

This is my 700th blog post. I’ve been blogging for over twelve years now. I want to thank my loyal readers out there for taking their much valued time to read the things that are on my mind. I hope you know how very much that means to me.

Here’s a lovely quote by Meister Eckhart that has always been special for me

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

Thank you!

Looking Forward to 2020

I have to admit, I’m feeling rather anxious for 2020 to arrive. I’ve said several times on this blog, over the years, that I always look forward to the new year coming and this year is no different. Not that a new year offers any special solutions to the challenges we might have encounter during the year, but it still fills me with a sense of newness for life as I anticipate what the year ahead will look like.

2019 had its challenges, but I came through the other side with my sense of humour and a love for life, and that’s the important part. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of great moments these past 365 days. I finished two books and signed book contracts for them both which, believe me, is something that every author loves to do. I worked on the edits for my first novel for adults, got to see the cover and read the blurbs written for “Good Mothers Don’t “ by authors whose work I admire. (I hope that’s a good sign that other will like the book as well.)

2020 will see me working on more edits, first for the Cammie prequel and then for another middle grade novel as the advance reading copies (ARCs) need to be ready for the fall as well even though it will not be out until the fall of 2021. (Seems confusing, doesn’t it?) That novel will be a bit different as it’s written in third person, something I don’t often do, only because I tend to enjoy first person novels for reading as well as writing. That particular book, however, seemed to call for a different approach. I also have several books I want to get back to writing in 2020. Plus there will be the usual book launches and signings that always go along with the publication of a new book. It’s sure to be a busy year. But I’m looking forward to it.

Last year, I made a promise that I’d complete the Cammie prequel and gave myself a deadline. I did the same with the next novel. Seems like something I’ll carry with me into 2020 as it worked out well this time. For now, that’s my writing goal for 2020, to finish another manuscript I’ve been working on.

I hope 2020 is good to all of you. I hope you make good memories and share some special moments with those you love.

Happy New Year and I’ll be back blogging in 2020. What are your plans for the year ahead?

Things for 2019

I’ve made a list for 2019—me, the person who is not by nature a list- maker.

Will wonders never cease?

What’s on the list, you might ask?

Well, things.

What kind of things?

Things I want to accomplish during the year, things I’d like to see happen. Things like hopes and wishes and dreams. You know –all that important stuff deemed not so important by some, but extremely important to this writer. I’m a dreamer, a hoper, a wisher–what can I say?

Not all of these things are of a writing nature, mind you. Even though I often feel that my life is lopsided and I’m too immersed in this world of words and sentences and pages for my own good. But then I remind myself that I do things other than write.

Family–always number one, even before writing. Family are the people who support you though the good and bad. They accept you, not only at your best, but our worst. They are the people you laugh with and cry with and share with. They are your safety net when life gets tough.

I knit. Sometimes, but not often. There just doesn’t seem to be the time.

I garden—in the summer months—but not as regularly as I should. Much of that falls onto Hubby’s capable shoulders.

I grandparent—not as often as I’d like, distance being the primary reason. Is that a hobby? I don’t think so. That’s just life. Little people rock!

I’m not going to claim to be a cook. I gave that up when the kids all moved out. Cooking now feels like an inconvenience at the best of times. I now have a daughter-in-law who can cook circles around me, and I just love that!

Okay, I do housework…sometimes. While matters of sweeping and laundry and dishes don’t invite me to use my imagination to the fullest they are sometimes a necessary part of living. Dust bunnies do not rock!

I have a job—for about eight months of the year I get up early in the morning and spend maybe ten or eleven hours away from any kind of technology. If I must write, I “head write” then wait for a break, or lunch time, to jot down all those clever thoughts. Did I say clever?

I have friends. Having friends means putting effort into that friendship, taking the time to have coffee or just phone to say hello. Sorry, a like or a comment on a Facebook status just doesn’t cut it so far as I’m concerned. I need real contact of some kind. I know it’s time consuming, but isn’t friendship worth it?

Maybe 2019 will be the year I try something new, or even a plethora of new things. Why stop at one?

I’ll be working on the edits for my two books due out in 2020. I’m a so excited about this. I love working on edits. It’s where the magic happens.

If all goes according to plan, my list of things for 2019 will continue to grow. It’s not simply a January list but one that will evolve over the weeks and months ahead.

Happy New Year to all my readers. I hope 2019 has something truly remarkable in store for you.

Are you a list-maker? All the time, some of the time, never or just occasionally?

First Post of 2018

New Year’s Day is one of my favourite days throughout the year. It’s a day of hope. 365 days of wondrous possibilities ahead and that means anything, anything is possible. I was going to write a post about some of the lessons I learned in the past year but that soon had me bored. Life is filled with lessons, always has been. If we’re lucky we recognize some of those lessons for what they are and move along. So I wanted to keep this first post of 2018 short, maybe share with you a bit of wisdom that came to me before Christmas in way of an email called “Note from the Universe.” There were three things that came in the email and I loved each one of them. I hope you do too.

  1. Give thanks that your life is exactly as it is.
  2. Decide that 2018 will be the happiest year of your life yet.
  3. Every day, follow your heart and instincts down new paths. 

I wish you all the very best that life brings your way. I hope you meet all the challenges ahead with a sense of wonder and determination, and maybe you’ll keep these three things in mind as you go forward.

Happy New Year!

Helloooo 2017

I always enter the New Year with a sense of excitement. It’s not so much that I’m anxious to see the end of the previous year, but it’s more the thoughts of what lies ahead in the months to come. I’m like a child in that sense. Who are we, if at times, we cannot see the world through the eyes of a child, but old and stale and far too grumpy for our own good.

I’ve often heard people express their thoughts on how horrible the old year has been and how they’re looking forward seeing it come to an end. While I can understand where they’re coming from, I’ve never had that feeling for some reason. It’s not that every year has been stellar because it hasn’t. Like everyone else I’ve seen my share of sorrow and sadness, but I’ve also seen plenty of joy and laughter. Hopefully, these things eventually balance out. There is so much for us to take delight in in our lives, but I sometimes think we dig too deep into the gory parts of life, ignore all those special moments we’ve experience through-out the year, simply because they aren’t grand enough or don’t sparkle brightly enough to warrant our attention when sometimes those tiny moments are what keeps us going.

With all that is going on in our world at the present moment, I’m sure some people are dreading what the year ahead will mean for us both personally and globally. Believe me, I’ve had those feelings myself. Much of what is to come is out of our hands. There’s nothing we can do to change world events. What we can do is to try and change our reaction to those events as best we can. We won’t always be able to stay positive. Sometimes we might become quite angry and depressed. But hopefully, that positive outlook will win out in the end as we remember to cherish those small magical moments that are peppered through our day.

Already this year seems special. This year Canada celebrates 150 years of confederation. And have I mentioned that 2017 marks East Dalhousie’s 200th Anniversary? Now that’s something that only happens every 200 years! Most of us won’t live to see it again. 😉 I’ve decided this year will be the year for adventure. I’ve a few things coming up that I’ll share as they unfold, but really, the true adventure will be all those things that are not yet in the planning stage. You know, the things that happen right out of the blue when you least expect it. Maybe some small things, maybe some big. Kind of like winning the lottery, only there doesn’t have to be any money involved. While lots of money is nice, welcomed even, it isn’t a requirement for living a happy life.

Last evening I sat down to write my list of intentions for the upcoming year and to look back on last year’s list. It’s just something I’ve been doing for awhile now. Of course not everything I intended to have happen happened, but I was pleased by what I saw. It’s just a different way to reflect upon life. I’ve never been one to make resolutions. There’s just something about it that seems too restricting, or maybe too forced. Whatever the case, I plan to focus on as many delightful moments through-out the year as possible. And I am hopeful they will outshine any of the not so wonderful moments that are bound to come along.

Wishing all my readers a happy 2017. May it be filled with many special moments along the way.

Bye Bye Sagors

“It is better to spend one day contemplating the birth and death of all things than a hundred years never contemplating beginnings and endings.” ~~Budda

I’m always anxious for the new year to start. For me it represents beginnings. Beginnings are usually exciting and fresh, filled with so many promises I can’t close my eyes at night. Beginnings have the ability to tantalize, surprise and delight. With all that, do you wonder why I love beginnings so much? I have to admit, however, 2012 doesn’t see me beginning anything new on the writing front. I’m actually reworking a story I wrote some time ago, one of those stories that keep creeping back, begging me to keep working at it until I have the story told just so. Once that is finally done to the story’s satisfaction, I have a few new ideas I’m anxious to get started on. But all in good time. The wonderful thing about beginnings is that they can come to us at anytime not just when a new year begins.

Of course with every beginning there are also endings. It’s the way life is. Endings are sometimes as welcomed as what beginnings are, but not always. This post is about an ending to something that I only wish would never have had to end—at least not for a good long while.

In early December I received an email from the good folks at Sagors’ Bookstore in Bridgewater informing their customers that they would be closing their doors at the end of the month, and it made me SO sad. I hadn’t been expecting this, at least not just yet. Over the years I’d come to think of Sue and Ron as good friends, and their store a great place to stop by and chat when I had some time to spare. Sue and Ron helped me launch Bitter, Sweet, and I think they were almost as excited as I was that day! I did say almost. At any rate I was delighted to be able to share the day with them.

Sagors’ Bookstore has been on King Street since 1972. That’s a very long time. It’s hard to believe that the new year won’t find me browsing their selves for some of the latest YA Fiction. And in most cases, when I wanted a book ordered in they were able to do so. My mum also ordered many of her books this way. King Street has seen the loss of many small business over the years and it’s a real shame. Times change and people are often forced to shop in the larger stores where they can get the best deals. It’s the reality of the world we live in today. Some of us accept it willingly while others do not.

We are slowly losing our little bookstores and I can’t seem to put a positive spin on this. I wish it didn’t have to be so. I wish that people were able to support our small, independently owned bookstores instead of buying online from the larger distributors.

I can only wish for a future filled with nothing but the very best for Sue and Ron. I hope great things await you both.

Are there any independently owned bookstores in your area? Do you support them or do you purchase your books from a larger retailer that often has better buys, or do you buy your books online?

What’s New!

I’ll admit, my blog presence has been a bit scarce this past while.There have been several reasons. Christmas being one of them, plus the company of my daughter and granddaughter these past two weeks (Yay!) and not to mention the distraction with the guitar contest I blogged about last week.

Just want to thank those of you who took part in the contest and to let you know what the outcome was.  I hadn’t planned to blog about the contest in the beginning because I  knew quite a few of you who read this blog are also facebook friends and had already voted, but in the end I knew it would take every last vote we could get, and well, when it’s family involved I guess you do what you can. Right? Starting out with over 500 votes behind, we were able to get within 20 votes of the leader in the end and had nearly 1600 people supporting our efforts!!! Pretty darned impressive if  you ask me. It only goes to prove that there are a lot of people out there willing to do something nice for someone even if  that someone is  a complete stranger.

Because the numbers were so close and because my nephew’s story was one that resonated with many people, Jimmy Rankin decided to give away two signed guitars… I mean how super is that? The whole reason behind everyone working toward this was to help lift my nephew’s spirits as he recovered from a broken back.

Not being an online person, my nephew still doesn’t know about any of this and won’t until the guitar is finally delivered to him. Bet he’s going to be surprised…

As to how he’s doing, he’s “amazed” everyone at the rehabilitation centre with how quickly he’s come along in his recovery and I’m really not surprised. Strength and determination go along way when we’re recuperating. He’s now out of rehab and staying with his parents, able to walk although the paralysis is still there. We’re all hopeful that he’ll make a full recovery. To be truthful, you can’t tell me that his recovery wasn’t helped along by the prayers of so many. For those of you who included him in your prayers, I thank you and so does Rob.

Next week I’m hoping to be back to regular blogging…  Happy New Year to you all!

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