This year has been a marathon of 365 days that tests our humanity. We’re sooooooo ready to kick 2020 to the curb! Our world has a way to go before we defeat covid-19, but we’re gonna make it.
In my last post of 2020, you'll find ideas to keep your spirits raised with an attitude of gratitude AND:
Some days, I want to scream.
Then I take a deep breath and remember how lucky I am. During a global disaster when many have lost everything, I have food on the table and a warm place to sleep.
I am learning to be grateful to wake each morning without a cough or pain and my sense of smell intact!
This year heightens my appreciation for each moment and every simple gift. I admire the way my writerly pal friend Julie Schooler always puts such a positive sparkle on her approach to life. She makes me smile as she shares three things she’s grateful for in what she terms "our banana-pants crazy 2020."
Read Julie's uplifting post HERE
In addition to Julie’s top three on her gratitude list, my guilty pleasure and happy place has been bingeing on Hallmark’s Christmas movies.
Conventional and formulaic, Hub and I giggle over dialogue cliches and laughingly predict the disastrous turning point that happens 30 minutes before the Big Kiss Final Scene. We know there will be a happy ending. where kindness always wins along with cocoa drinking, tree trimming, and cookie baking.
btw: also happy to see more diverse actors and story arcs in this year’s offerings!
50+ Fab Free Children’s Books
Many budgets are tight this holiday season, so I’m sharing a way to light up your Littles with literacy. I teamed with more than 50 children’s book authors for an awesome December Children’s Book Giveaway.
Check out the our collection and download your FREE faves by clicking over to Book Funnel for your HERE
Offer ends 5 January
(btw….you'll spy a familiar feline face in this #DecemberChildrensBookGiveaway collection ... free chapter download of Just Between Sam and Me -:D.
Free Streaming Event:
Messiah from Duke Chapel
This year, our holiday traditions are morphing into virtual streams we can safely enjoy.
Now in its eighty-eighth year, the annual presentation of G.F. Handel’s Messiah at Duke Chapel is one of the oldest and most beloved musical traditions at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. This year, that tradition continued with a livestreamed Messiah concert on Sunday, December 6.
You can listen to this blissful recording of that concert until 6 January by clicking over to Duke Chapel HERE
Catch you in 2021
I'm taking a break from authoring and social media until 4 January. I want to enjoy our downsized holiday celebration for two instead of despairing we won’t be with family for the first time EVER.
Maybe we'll bake cookies
(like they do on the Hallmark channel - Tee Hee)
Or set up Gear-Head Hub’s funky transportation ornament tree,
We'll sprinkle more jolly holiday villages
throughout our home
to warm the season.
What's up for you these last weeks of December?
Whatever it is, my wish for you is to ...
SHOW LOVE, GRATITUDE
Sitting here, happy, tired and stuffed-brain, but taking a moment to share insights into my crazy-busy-hectic-happy book launch week with co-author Rosie Russell.
It's been an endurance test of stress management with an attitude of gratitude.
Stress Management Roller-Coaster
Co-writer Rosie Russell and I are over the moon that our new book for tweens, Just Between Sam and Me, debuted on 2 December at #113 in Amazon’s ranking of children’s books about bullying.
But what a journey to get there!
Our tale has been 22 months in the making - delayed by my Covid-stalled muse during lockdown. Plus Rosie and I always fought tech gremlins; however, nearing our 2 December finish line, those tech gremlins attacked with a vengeance. Of course!
– Our paperback was stalled in review process, so it was not available on the first day of launch.
– Rosie’s Facebook account may have been hacked, and she couldn’t access important launch day posts.
– The day before launch, I started working at 4.30 a.m. because my mind wouldn’t stop spinning about everything that needed to get done.
– 10 minutes before a podcast interview with Jedli on Reading with Your Kids, a ginormous pressure washer truck pulled up to my neighbor’s house and started pounding out its super-water-shooting motor. I tore out of my office and raced to the closet in the back of our home. Hunkered down by Hub’s shirts in that tight space, the WIFI dropped. Sigh. I scurried back to pressure washer mania. ARGH!
I stress over these things,
But I know.
Yep. Minor first-world problems.
I remind myself to be grateful for the ability to hassle with them.
Keenly aware that millions are
with serious issues of
and social inequities.
Haunted by the image of a young girl,
crying and clinging to her blankie-wrapped baby doll
being forcibly evicted from their home.
as I learn of Covid deaths
among family and friends just these past weeks alone.
by staggering numbers
of Covid deaths rising.
by political divisions battering our nation.
Remembering these things
snaps my launch anxiety
Attitude of Gratitude
Dad once made a habit of writing down all his blessings, and I Iearned that trick from him.
I will never take for granted having a roof over my head, warm place to sleep, food on the table, or ability to pay my bills on time. Nor my fab family and friends, whom I long to see in person but doing so only over ZOOM these days.
My work on Sam has been rich with a co-writer, launch team, writing pals, and blogging buddies who support my authoring journey. I'd be lost without them. They raise our purr-fect tale of courage and hope for tweens and help it score fab book buzz that makes authors do the happy dance.
Speaking of book buzz ....
Will you kindly bear with me for a moment of shameless self-promotion as I share review snippets that have my buttons bursting?
Smiling wide here -:D!
One last bit self-promotion, please?
(Promise that's it for the year <wink>.)
Sam, Rosie and I would be honored
if you'll click below
to learn more about
Just Between Sam and Me
where to find a copy
at your fave bookseller.
btw,,,,We're running a launch sale through 10 December:
ebook slashed to $.99 US
paperback discounted at $7.99 US
December Bookish Giveaways for Young Readers
I’m teaming up with an amazing slate
of 58 authors
to bring you
free books and chapter samples
for holiday giving.
Winding Down 2020
During the Reading with Your Kids podcast taping today, host Jedli asked what'd I'd be writing next. I’ve had a feel-good women’s fiction rattling around in my head for over a decade. It’s time to get it out of my brain and onto paper.
But not until Just Between Sam and Me winds down.
Then I’m taking off the end of December to watch the sun set over the river, write my Christmas cards, and gratefully enjoy a Covid-Safe Holiday for Two with Hub, And we'll say 'good riddance!" to 2020!
I’ll crank it up again in 2021 with the next step on my writing road, whatever that is.
I hope you'll stay well
and enjoy special times
to make your heart happy
with your loved ones.
2021’s gonna be a better year for all of us!!
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