“Time for our daily stretch.”
My favorite thing to do on Valentine’s Day? Hang out at New Seasons Grocery store. You will have seen previous posts from overhears there, but this one shows why I love hanging out there so much. The loudspeaker went on to invite all customers to put down their baskets and reach, reach, reach up over their head. “The store that cares for your health,” they say at the end and I believe it.
There is a level of customer service that comes from a perspective of care rather than profit or sales. This is something that can’t be faked. It is sort of like Santa in A Miracle on 34th Street
, when he sent customer to a
competitors store for missing items. Ask about a product at New Seasons and they will offer you a taste or test. I never feel like this is only a ploy. When I walk away I am convinced they want me to get the best product I can.
As an author I can understand this. With my new novel being released my entire marketing plan is based around finding the readers I think will really, truly enjoy it. This is not always as easy as it might seem. Readers are told by reviewers and authors and booksellers that every book is the best one. The good news is that I am sure all of these sources believe it; for the most part I don’t think they are trying to trick anyone.
But, the fact is, not all readers will like every book. Some books aren’t written in the right style (just ask my husband about first person, present tense). Other books are about topics or in genres that simply aren’t interesting to the reader.
So, how do I find the readers who really will like my book? I think it is all about authenticity. If I am honest about my reviews, good and bad, if I am really present in the Facebook and Twitter friends I feeds I follow, if I care about the topics in my book and allow others to see my concern, I think my readers will understand that what I write comes from my heart and hopefully is my own Valentine to them.
Enjoy!UNTANGLING THE KNOT - now available:
Kindle Format - Amazon
Other formats (including Nook and Kobo)- Soulmatepublishing
Also read, An Unlikely Valentine - A free short story based on Untangling the Knot, available Feb. 15th 2013 from
FREE READS from the GENRE-ISTAS
“I’ll call the new minister and make sure he can do your wedding.”
Life is full of changes. And, because of this, the most important character trait we are trying to teach our daughter is resiliency. However, what is it about weddings that take this to a whole new level? If Murphy’s Law is that things that can go wrong, will go wrong… then the wedding addendum must be, ‘and it will happen two days before the
Take my wedding. Our florist completely changed her price quote on us two weeks before the wedding. We fired her, but try finding a good florist with that little notice? And the day after I drove up to Seattle to do a test run of my hair style, the salon called me to tell me the hairdresser had quit and moved to a new salon. Resiliency brought me through these hiccups.
But, when we lost our third priest just days before the wedding date, I had to question what God was trying to tell us. With 8 months to go, our first priest was moved to a new parish. I was disappointed but knew we would be
The second priest we had arranged then had a retreat that he (and all the other Jesuits in the area) had to attend during our wedding date. This was much more concerning as it felt like we were out of time and options. Finally, the church found a non-Jesuit priest to marry us. I breathed a sigh of relief, until just three days before the wedding our thirst priest was called to Rome for a special meeting with the Pope. Now really… what are the chances?
Of course the message was all about faith and control (two things with which I struggle). I had to hand it over, knowing that if they got a new priest it would be someone who neither knew us nor probably cared much.
I turned out to be very much wrong. The new priest arranged to meet us for lunch the very next day. He spent some time getting to know us…and then had the humor to help execute a very funny joke on my husband during the ceremony rehearsal (we switched the readings to one my husband knew we didn’t want… If you’d like to find out which reading which readings we switched you can read my new book, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, due out on Feb. 13th:>)
No matter how we might try, weddings, like married life, are messy. Things don’t always go as planned and everything is up for change. But, as I learned during my own mishaps, sometimes it is in these moments that we experience the true meaning of love and God.
“You would hope she would act like a grown-up.”
It was difficult to keep the smile off my face as I watched the two twenty-somethings discuss how to get his items back from a girlfriend he had broken up with over the summer. I had heard about this girlfriend off and on since April, and the relationship reminded me so much of something I would have gone through at that age that it always made me laugh.
As strange as it is to think about… these kids are closer in age to my daughter than they are to me. And yet, they consider themselves ‘grown-up’.I suppose it is what every child waits for, that time when they can make their own decisions, be responsible for themselves. I am not sure, though, that this is enough to qualify as ‘grown-up’. Certainly, many of the decisions I made at that age did not look anything like maturity.
There were, of course, the stupid activities performed on the weekends and usually involving parties with friends. But on a deeper level there were also many moments when I bought into the drama and emotion of a short term
perspective. A boyfriend would dump me and I would cry and mope for a month. Negative feedback on something I had done at work would send me into a tailspin of shame and anxiety that would ruin my otherwise perfect summer.
It is not so much responsibility, then, that marks our passing age; more the degree to which we let our life run us, rather than the other way around. Recognizing that I am responsible for my life means that I can choose not only how to live it, but also how to feel about it.
This weekend I received news that my book, UNTANGLING THE KNOT
, will be released in digital format on February 13th. Certainly this is something to celebrate and enjoy. Instead, though, my life has become one big to-do list. I am overwhelmed by the many activities I want to do to promote the release. Rather than focus on the reason for these
activities, their very existence seems like a chore. When my daughter was complaining about going to school today I referred to these jobs I had to do, saying I wasn’t really looking forward to doing them, but I had to anyway.
“But Mommy, you love to write.”
And I was reminded of the basic fact that these are actually things I enjoy doing… as long as I don’t become overwhelmed by the stress and anxiety of whether they will all work out as planned. Lesson learned!
Apparently being grown-up has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with perspective.
“I’ve got a feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night….”
We lay in bed rocking out to the music that floated through our open window. From outside the celebratory sounds of a wedding party crashed the night.
It was one year ago today that I was honored and lucky enough to attend the most fantastic wedding in my life. No, not my own, but a friend’s wedding in Italy. Every detail, from the ceremony in an ancient church, to the fireworks that lit the sky over the medieval castle where the reception was held, was perfect.
But not all weddings go so smoothly. Some are unlucky, some were badly planned, and some were never meant to be. We’ve probably all attended at least one wedding where something major went wrong. And even my friend’s wedding in Italy had a couple of stumbles; the bus that couldn’t squeeze down the narrow, country road to the castle…. Or the train on the wedding dress that tripped the bride and groom as they did their first dance. But little issues like these are what make what would otherwise be too choreographed become real; human.
I am thrilled that in November Soul Mate Publishing will be releasing the digital version of my story, UNTANGLING THE KNOT (check here for a little more info about it
). I loved writing this story because it takes place around a wedding; one with its own share of problems. And what could be more fun than that… Well, other than possibly attending the rocking wedding party I heard this weekend!!!
My Friends, Steven and Melissa - outside
Fiesole Cathedral; July 30, 2011
“Have you noticed the UPS guy’s been using the porta-potty in front of the neighbors’ house?”
Seriously? Yeah, really…. The guy has been doing that. A house on our street has been doing some remodeling and apparently the construction workers toilet has been seeing some extra use.
To be fair… driving around all day is kind of a crappy (pun absolutely intended) job. I don’t know about you, but I am always sipping something when I drive; coffee, water, soda. At some point it would have to get to you, right? And then what? I imagine that is why I often see fed-ex and UPS drivers stopping into Starbucks.
In a past life I spent a lot of time on the road as a sales rep. (selling checks which is so funny I just had
to say it). Anyway… I know what it is like to require a pit stop and I became very good at sussing out the very best spots to, shall we say, take a break. So… just in time for your summer travel, here’s my list of top five places to go to
the bathroom when you have to go
(please note: porta-potties are nowhere on this list
5. Hotels (in the olden days it was useful that they also had phones).
4. McDonalds (‘nough said… who hasn’t done this?)
3. Community Colleges (just be careful of the parking)
2. Starbucks (duh! Although not an option long ago when I was on the road)
1. Libraries (where next year you should also be able to find a copy of my book, Untangling the Knot
Like how I snuck that in? Yes… it is official! I have finally received my first book contract and will be publishing the digital version of Untangling the Knot
by Christmas and the print version sometime next year.
Am I excited? Definitely! I love the publisher (Soulmate Publishing LLC); am thrilled to be working with a great editor; and can’t wait to hold a hard copy of this wonderful story in my hands before I turn fifty. (Click over to The World of my Books
to see more about Untangling the Knot
As a side benefit… today marks the one year anniversary of my blog
. What better way to celebrate than with an announcement of this wonderful milestone. Today in particular I’d love to hear about your own dreams being
worked on or already fulfilled; so please leave a comment.
And remember… Every journey begins with a single step (even if it is only in the direction of the porta-potty).