Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bucket List Item Long Overdue-Christmas Novella

People have strange items on their bucket lists. I'm not talking about the "travel the world" or the "skydive." I mean, "write a Christmas novella."
The Perfect Christmas Gift Cover
Yes. That was an item on my bucket list. And I can now check it off.

This item was added to my list a few years ago. If one would go back through the archives of this blog, they would see that for many years, I challenged myself to read a certain number of Christmas books in the month of December. I haven't done it in a number of years, but I still remember how much I enjoyed reading Christmas stories.

This year I decided that instead of reading Christmas books, I would publish one. I enjoyed writing The Perfect Christmas Gift as much as I like reading Christmas fiction. It provided a good challenge to write short. It also, I think, made me a better writer.

It took a number of years for my life to line up with this dream of mine and I think that is an important lesson. No matter how much we want or plan to do the things on our bucket lists, some of them will only fit in certain seasons in our lives. Some require a little patience.

As you look at your bucket list, know that if you haven't kicked the bucket, then you still have time.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Walking Right

I was a military wife for twenty years but I remember when I first came into that community. I felt lost and often confused about the rules. I couldn’t hug my husband in uniform. No PDA. Nobody wanted to know my social security number; they wanted my sponsors. I had to closely obey the speed limit. It was a different world than what I was used to.

Now that I’m no longer a military wife, I realized how ingrained the practices have become for me. I don’t go to the base as much as I used to, but when I do, I can see the difference between the military life and civilian life. Occasionally, I have to remind myself of the rules.

Like walking on the right.

This was something that I didn’t realize I did until I was walking from the parking lot to the hospital for an appointment. At first, I was the only one
the sidewalk. Then when another person joined me coming from the other direction, I immediately moved to the right. The person approaching me did the same.

I never realized I had adjusted until another person I passed didn’t move the right. She continued walking down the middle of the sidewalk. I thought, what’s wrong with you? Move to the right. I don’t know the woman’s situation, but I wondered if she was a new military wife and hadn’t been trained yet.

I guess the longer I’m out of the military life the more I’ll notice how I’ve been trained.

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Life in Stitches: Testing my Willpower

Photo by Anna H-G
This year I’m on a yarn fast. For non-knitters, that means I’m not buying any more yarn unless I need it to complete a project. It’s Feburary and I’ve only bought one skein of socks. But there are some yarns out there that are really testing my willpower.
  •       Jimmy Beans Wool’s Micro-Brewed Series Chronicles of Narnia. This beauty is called Aslan for the majestic lion from the Chronicles of Nardia series. The yarn is drool worthy, especially for people who are seduced by gradients. The Ice Queen is great, too.
  •      Verdant Gryphon Utopia in Bugga. This color way is too of my favorite colors combined. That, combined with the fact that it’s Bugga, makes me want to grab my credit card.
  •       Miss Babs K2. I’m not a big chunky weight girl because knitting with big needles hurt my hands, but this would be worth it. I’ve been longing to knit Soho Purl’s Color Dipped scarf and this would be perfect. 

Hopefully I can stay the course with my yarn fast. Not easily with all this loveliness popping up on my FB timeline.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stay Home!

I am sitting waiting to pick up a persciption. Why? Because I am sick with a viral infection. You know,  that "this is something yucky bit not a cold or flu." That, I sleep all day and have a splitting headache.  And I am contagious. So I will go home from here, go to bed and stay away from other humans.
That's the key. Staying away from other humans. It's the golden rule of sickness. Or at least it should be. If you are sick, stay home.
For people with children, we know this well. If you little darling is sick, you have to keep them home. The daycare or school won't let them come back until they are better. As adults,  we forget that rule and others have to suffer.
This virus won't let up for 10-14 days. I will feel various levels or horrible because someone came out around other humans when they should have stayed home.
This is the end of my public service announcement... unless you're sick. If so, go home!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Night of Romance Book Event, February 12th at Barnes & Noble, Alexandria VA

Join me and four other romance authors as we host a Night of Romance event. This event will be held February 12th at 7pm at 3651 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria VA. The event will feature:

Lisa Dyson
Elizabeth Staab
Linda Budzinski
Megan Hart

We will talk about the life of a romance writer, our processes and we will read kiss scene from our books. You will also have an opportunity speed date our books.

To RSVP, click this link or call 703.299.9124. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tea & Read January Non-Fiction Review: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Title: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Author: Marie Kondo
Rating: Two Cups of Tea (3 Stars)

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

Terri’s Review:
This book has been on the NYT Bestseller list since it’s been published. One of my coworkers at Barnes & Noble read it and loved it. She raved about it so much, I decided to give it a try. This book definitely makes you think about the clutter in your life in a different way. As a person who loved clean, clutter free anything, this book spoke to me in that manner. One of the best things about the KoMari Method is that it really makes you think about why you keep the things you keep. I was a little indifferent about the litmus test she used of what you should keep and what you should toss, but that was kinda minor. I don’t know if I was ready to get into my feelings about my clutter. This book definitely made me what to clean, but felt a little anti-climatic since Kondo has a method in which you are to clean. I would recommend you not read this book until you are ready to start the purging process. I will put many of the things she suggests into practice. I may have to read her new book, too.

Here are my February reads:

Fiction: A Virtuous Ruby by Piper Hugley
Non-fiction: Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness by Heneretta A. Washington

My upcoming reviews will be posted in the sidebar. Comment below if you want to read along!

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Life in Stitches: He Only Wants Socks...And a Hat

For those who read this blog, you know my husband knits. Since 90% of knitting patterns are for girls, most of what he knits comes to me, or to a woman at our church. It’s a lopsided relationship and every time I decide to right it, I realize:
  •      One, that my husband is a very broad man
  •       Two, it would take 3000 yards of any yarn to make a sweater for him
  •       Three, making a vest isn’t much better since not knitting sleeves would only save me about 1000 yards
  •       Four, I don’t like most patterns for men’s sweaters and neither does he

My husband, however, surprised me and asked for socks. SOCKS! Absolutely, I can knit him socks. He actually has small feet for a man and can fit most large sock patterns. And he loves having socks to match his outfit. As soon as I could, I immediately cast on Simple Skyp Socks in Sweet Georgia Superwash Sport. So I am now a happy sock-knitting wife for my happy sock-loving husband.

And then he asked for a hat…