- Lovely hotel room here in Muskegon–gorgeous view and so very comfy.
- Having that “I’m home ” feeling here in west central Michigan.
- Showing Liz all the places I love so much.
- White River Light station.
- Chocolate (random, I know, but I’m enjoying some fudge we got in Pentwater today and it’s really good).
- I wrote last night–made some decisions about where to go from here–feels great!
- Shilled our books to some ladies at a fruit stand today–could mean some sales.
- Gorgeous watching the kite boarders today.
- I remembered more than I thought I would…things haven’t changed all that much.
This list is easy–it’s been a lovely day and I am feeling particularly blessed.
- The car did great as we traveled today and I figured out why Gigi–the GPS–wanted to take us down all the country roads. It was actually a treat.
- Liz and I are very companionable and travel well together.
- Gorgeous hotel in Muskegon–amazing staff and a beautiful big room.
- Son is doing well and seems happy. That’s always a blessing.
- Lake Michigan is so comforting–it is home.
This will be a quick post, but today has been so lovely, I truly need to acknowledge all the things that I’m grateful for, so here goes.
- My dear Husband, who got my car all ready to travel, made sure I understood how to get out the tire changing gear and how to jump the battery and most especially how to get a hold of OnStar if I need help on the road. Then he filled my tank and washed the car. What a great guy!
- Tonight, we got to Skype with our little guy, who is full of energy and so excited to be talking to Nanny and Poppy. He showed us all his Cars cars, each with a “Hey guys, look at this!” He got a giant kick out of he and Poppy both looking through their “noculars” at each other on Skype. He loves his binoculars and uses them to look at everything he wants to see up close. He also loved hearing about the big fish that I saw jump in the lake yesterday. Gosh, I can’t wait for Christmas!!!
- Talking to Son on Skype was also a treat and it seems as though their house reno is coming along at last! So happy for them!
- My dear friend, Moe, brought me an early birthday gift–a gorgeous leather bag/satchel for my computer or whatever I might want to carry. It is beautiful!
- I’m finally packed for my trip to MI–decided to try to dress for the weather, so I packed layers.
- An extra one–I made my goal for the MidList promotion! I sold some books!
Liz and I will be blogging over at Word Wranglers every day–we actually already started: http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/2015/09/postcards-from.html, so head on over and join us on the trip. Come back here for some gratitude each day though, okay? Oh, and don’t forget to go by The Romance Review to nominate THE SUMMER OF SECOND CHANCES for the TRR Readers’ Choice award. I need at least 50 nominations to go on to the next round in the contest! Thank you always!
Today begins nominations for The Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Awards and my book, The Summer of Second Chances, has qualified to be nominated in the Romantic Suspense category. I’m so excited to be chosen by TRR, but now the rest is up to my readers. I hope all of you will go to http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=17238 to nominate The Summer of Second Chances. If I get at least 50 reader nominations, I move on to the final round and could be chosen as TRR’s Readers’ Choice romantic suspense book for Winter 2015. Nominations need to be made between September 11 and September 30, so please buzz on over, register, and nominate The Summer of Second Chances as your choice for the TRR award, won’t you? I sure would appreciate it!
I’ve been a crummy blogger, but next week, I’m going to get a lot of practice in as Liz Flaherty and I take to the road and blog our writing trip to Michigan. I’ll continue to post my gratitude list here and maybe some other thoughts, but starting September 14, head on over to Word Wranglers for all the details about our trip. I’m sure we’ll include lots of pictures and it should be fun!
Gratitude list for today:
- It’s coming on autumn, days are getting shorter and cooler.
- Spent an easy morning with Husband doing errands.
- Saw three huge monarch butterflies in the Costco parking lot–gorgeous!
- Got to be #1 on an Amazon Bestseller list for almost a whole day–nice!
- We have a new Word Wrangler coming on board and she’s one of my favorite clients and a super writer!
They’re here! My Women of Willow Bay series is now available in . . . dut da da da . . . print! YAY!! This is a photo of the proofs I received earlier this week (we had some issues we had to work out and we did), and very shortly I should receive a box full of the real thing (things?). Anyway, they’re available at Amazon, so if your fondest Labor Day wish is to have Once More From the Top or Sex and the Widow Miles or The Summer of Second Chances, or (gasp!) all three in print, hurry over there and order them. And thanks always, from the bottom of my heart, for your support!
Today I’m thankful for:
- A long chat with Son last night—he’s okay—he’s good, in spite of being overwhelmed with school and finishing up his PhD. He has no idea how much time I spend in prayer over him . . . or maybe he does.
- My books are in print!!
- The big editing gig is through the hard part, all that’s left is author review–I love this client!!
- Swimming in the lake.
- Lunch with Liz today!
My gratitude list:
- Dee did well with her chemo today and is settling into her new house. Left her feeling all was well.
- The laundry is done. Fresh, clean sheets!
- I did some troubleshooting on Husband’s laptop when I got home from being with Dee–took no time at all, just a quick call to Norton, who by the way, has fabulous customer service!
- Lunch with my pal, Mae. We hadn’t seen each other in two months, so it was treat to catch up as I was on my way to Dee.
- French Silk Pie.
That’s it–life is busy, but good and I’m about two-thirds of the way though this editing gig, so lunch with pal and fellow author, Liz Flaherty, will be entirely doable on Friday. Can’t wait!
…still grateful! I’m into 12-to-14-hour days now as I work hard to get this project done and back to the author for review and then back to the publisher. I love this client–they’ve been good to work with for at least ten years and the Project Editors are always so terrific. I never turn down work from them if I can help it and I’m ever so happy to be working for them now. This book is very well written, so even though it’s very technical, I’m handling it.
But (you knew there was a “but” coming, right?) their work is often technical and arduous. I think I’m feeling it particularly this time because I’ve been doing so much fiction editing lately. This is definitely not fiction and my eyes are crossed by the end of the day.
Husband is graciously handling everything else around the house/cottage and granting me time to simply get this puppy done. He’s such a peach to do the household tasks while I work—I am blessed. Right now, I’m keeping my eye on the prize (yeah, that’s the prize down there in my gratitude list!) and pushing through. Send me good working energy, okay?
Today, I’m grateful for:
- My clients, who keep me in enough work that I’m afloat and can do things like go to the lake and take little writing trips.
- Dee got to go see David’s grave yesterday–the experience was a blessing. I’m so grateful for that!
- Fresh tomatoes from my neighbor’s garden–so thankful she shares. They are yummy!
- The computer glitch yesterday set me back, but all is well now and things are working again.
…and for that I am grateful. It feels like often, I moan about having to do editing gigs, but really, it’s okay. It’s good to work and I love my job. I know how fortunate I am to have this kind of job–one where I can stay home and do the work in my jammies with my window open to the lovely breeze outside. I’m also getting more and more fiction work, which is so terrific! I love editing fiction! Seriously, after 25 years of working on computer titles, fiction is a very welcome change.
I sometimes wonder how much longer I’ll be able to be a copyeditor. I hope for a long while yet. I’m the only one of our lake friends who’s still working–everyone else is retired. Well, except for our resident artist who is still painting, but I’m guessing she’ll be doing that until she takes her last breath. She’s about painting the way I am about writing.
Oh, speaking of writing–big news! All the Women of Willow Bay books will soon be available in print!! YAY!! So, if you’ve been dying for a print copy of Once More From the Top or Sex and the Widow Miles or The Summer of Second Chances, they’re coming! Just got my new full covers finished up yesterday and they look pretty amazing, I think. The background on the back cover is a great shot of Lake Michigan that I took on one of my trips ups there. All three books have the same back cover–just different blurbs and tag lines. I think it works. Here’s one–what do you think? Pretty, huh?
I missed a couple days of gratitude, so here we go–five things I’m grateful for today:
- The sunshine and cool breezes and the cool temps at night that make sleeping a sensual pleasure.
- I’m wearing a sweater that used to be Kate’s today–it’s almost like a hug from her.
- Spent time with PJ yesterday and discovered I’m not the only one who’s somewhat at a loss in life right now–we talked about how the sadness sometimes jumps up and grabs us, shed a few tears together, had a nice lunch, and made plans for Labor Day. So glad we still have each other.
- Getting picture texts from Grandboy’s trip to Disneyland (see above!). How fun!!
I’m working. I’ve been working all day and I will be working into the night, but it’s been a beautiful day! Blue sky, cool, and breezy—it feels like Michigan. Actually Husband said that to me earlier today. This editing gig is not fascinating—a computer title—but it’s work and they’re paying me and this is for one of my very favorite clients. My window looks out on the yard outside the cottage and the trees and my neighbors potted flowers. It’s quite lovely. The picture is a little funky because I took it through the screen.
We finished up the cottage guest room this morning–well, Husband did. He painted one wall as an accent, and put the white wicker bedframe against the sage green walls and hung some photos up and added our green print quilt. All in all, quite homey for when PJ and her husband come up for Labor Day Weekend. Can’t wait!
Five things I’m grateful for today:
- This beautiful weather.
- A beer-30 break from work with some very nice Riesling, but only a little.
- The guest room is done.
- Pal, Lucy is home safe and sound.
- I’m on my last editing gig before my vacation. YAY!
Sunday at the lake–it’s kind of a cloudy cool morning and Husband and I are on our laptops, just doing our respective stuff, sipping coffee, and chatting. It’s comfortable, easy–a nice life. And it’s made me start thinking about how blessed I am to have this life. A couple of years ago, I blogged gratitude every evening and I’m thinking I should probably reinstate that practice because when life gets harried, I lose sight of what a great life I have and how so many others don’t have such a great life.
Last night, I talked to my dear friend, Lucy, who’s on her way home from spending a few days with another long-time friend a few states away. The woman she went to visit just lost her husband amid a ration of tragedy too intimate and involved to go into here. Suffice to say, her life is awful right now and Lucy was moved to drive over 700 miles to comfort her friend. What an amazing gesture. Lucy is a good friend.
What makes a good friend? So many people tell me what a good friend I am because I help out my friend Dee, who is my little miracle. She’s in her third year of chemo for a cancer we were told would be the end of her two and half years ago. She’s fighting and so far, the tumor is stable and she’s alive. She’s survived the death of her husband, greeted a new grandgirlie, and will be meeting another new babe in November–something she never thought she’d be around to do. So f*#k you, cancer!
But here’s the thing about being a “good friend.” I don’t feel like I’m a particularly better friend than any of Dee’s other close circle. I’m sure my pal, Lucy, doesn’t think she is either. We’re just desperate to fix things for friends we love, you know? How I wish I could heal Dee with a touch–just as Lucy wanted so very much to heal her friend’s pain. But we can’t–we can’t magically fix anything, so we do what we can to ease their burdens.
Helping out, being there, isn’t just for Dee, it’s for me too. Maybe I’m thinking too hard, but it seems there’s a selfish element involved. Being with her through chemo, helping her out when she needs a hand eases some of my frustration over not being able to heal her. Is that dumb? I don’t know, but that’s the way it is.
And always, there is the fact that Dee and I are dear friends–the cancer hasn’t changed that. She’s still damn good company and often in our time together, the cancer doesn’t even come up. We share our lives just as we have for the last 33 years. We talk about kids, marriages, grandkids, wishes, hopes, desires, we whine, we laugh, we knit, we play cards, we do all the stuff we’ve always done together . . . that hasn’t changed at all just because one of us has a terminal illness.
Dee has told me that I provide the “normal” in her life. If I can’t be the person who heals her, then providing the normal is as good a place to be as any other. I’m certain that’s what Lucy did for her friend this week–brought some normal into a horrendous situation. Normal allows you to breathe, focus, prepare for whatever’s coming next.
Does that make Lucy or me unusually good friends? Who knows? But I’m sure that if we were the ones who were suffering illness or tragedy, Dee and Lucy’s buddy would be right there for us, too.
Five things I’m grateful for:
- My blessed life — general I know, but I’ll be more specific in the rest of the list.
- I sold books!
- Lucy called me from the road when she needed someone to help her sort through what she was heading into–I hope it helped her to talk to me. I was so glad to be there for her.
- Swimming in the lake–it’s been yummy!
- Fresh peaches!