Monday, December 28, 2015

A Week to Reflect

No posts this week. I'll be visiting with family members from out of town, reflecting on all the wonderful things that happened this year, and setting my final goals for 2016. I'll be back with a new post on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

                   
                           I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Nothing accomplished. I have so much to do before Christmas that I had no time to get to the laptop for writing or revisions.

Quote of the week: "Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently." ~ William A. Ward

What I'm reading: The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones.  I won an advance reader copy through a Goodreads giveaway. This is a great series, but you need to read the books in order because the storyline carries through each book.

Random things:  I spent part of last weekend frosting 14 dozen cookies. Let me say, I'm glad frosting cookies only happens once every year. It's a tedious process, but I love how they turn out, not to mention how they taste. Now they just need to be packed up and delivered.


Random Photo of the Week:

              Here's a photo of my nephew and his fiancee. They are newly engaged.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Feeding My Habit

Most writers I know are also avid readers. As Stephen King has said, "If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot."  Reading a lot is easy for me. It's my favorite way to spend any free time I have. I'd rather read than do almost anything else.

Before I decided to seriously pursue publication, I read two books a week on average. Most of the time I average just one book a week although at this time of the year, it's considerably less. So far I've only read two books this month. As much as I enjoy the holidays, I give up my reading time with great reluctance so I can shop for gifts, visit with family, go to the occasional holiday party, bake Christmas cookies and other sweets, and my least favorite thing to do - wrap presents. 

One gift I always ask for every year is either a gift card from Barnes & Noble or Amazon so that I can feed my book buying habit. I have quite a few authors that are automatic buys whenever they release a new book. They are Sarah MacLean, Julie Ann Walker, Lucy Arlington, Kristin Higgins, Lisa Kleypas, and Jill Shalvis just to name a few.  Both Sarah MacLean and Kristin Higgins have new releases coming out on December 29th - Just in time for me to use that new gift card. ;o)

Do you have any authors that are on your automatic buy list? Who are they? What do they write?

Friday, December 18, 2015

This I know for sure...

I've mentioned in past posts that I help my mom make Christmas cookies every year. We give a lot of them away, but always have quite a few left to eat ourselves. Well so far we've made 26 dozen cookies and still have 6 more cookie recipes to make.

The news anchor person on the evening news last night said the average person gains between 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. I think any weight I gain will be coming from eating cookies. :o)

Here's a photo of just a few of the cookies we made on Wednesday after I got home from work.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I managed to get 12 pages done last week between shopping, wrapping, and baking.

Quote of the week: "You can learn almost everything from reading." ~ Jose Saramago

What I'm reading:  All I Want by Jill Shalvis. This is the latest in Ms. Shalvis' Animal Magnetism series. 

Random things:  Every year when I'm out Christmas shopping I always end up buying a gift for myself. I don't intend to, but somehow my shopping doesn't seem complete without a little something for myself. This year I bought an adult coloring book. One of my 18 year old nieces asked for one and when I was looking for one for her, I found one I liked for me. :o)
 
Random Photo of the Week:


                               A Poinsettia Christmas tree at our local conservatory.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Apologies

Sorry. No post today. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is getting the best of me. Hope you're doing better with your shopping, wrapping, decorating, and baking than I am. :o)


Friday, December 11, 2015

This I know for sure...

I think I love El Nino. :o)   The average snowfall by mid-December here in upstate New York is 12.7 inches. To date, we've received 1.2 inches. It's been in the mid 50's and partly sunny most of this week and this weekend the meteorologists are forecasting highs of 65 degrees with bright sunny days.

Most people in my area look forward to having a white Christmas, but I'm okay with a green Christmas. It makes traveling to see family and relatives a lot easier.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  As mentioned in last Wednesday's post, there were a lot of appointments so I didn't get much done. As the holidays grow closer and the craziness that goes along with them ramps up, I'm thinking I might take a writing/revision hiatus until the beginning of January. I haven't quite decided yet, but I'm seriously considering it.

Quote of the week: "It isn't sufficient just to want, you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want." ~ Richard D. Rosen

What I'm reading:  I'm just starting Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean. I haven't even read the first page yet. This is the last book in the Rules of Scoundrels series. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed this series.

Random things:  I put up our Christmas tree last weekend. To say the kitten is fascinated by it is a huge understatement. Luckily, he's only knocked it over once so far. I'm hoping it'll be the only time.


Random Photo of the Week:


                                    Somebody checking out the Christmas tree.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Traditions

Every year I make Christmas cookies with my mom and have done so since I was a toddler. Of course as I grew older, my helping duties changed. It's something I look forward to. I can't imagine Christmas without making cookies with her.

Another thing I do every year is watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This is another carried over tradition from when I was a child. I love snuggling in bed with hot chocolate and watching this cartoon.

A semi-new tradition (we've only been doing it for about three years) is scheduling a girls' day out with my mom and one of my sisters. We pick a date in early to mid-December and go shopping to finish or try to finish all of our shopping, then we go to lunch and head back home. Sometimes we gather at my house to wrap presents, sometimes we just gather and do nothing but relax. It's always a lot of fun.

Are there any holiday traditions you look forward to?

Friday, December 4, 2015

This I know for sure...

Lost in grief last Christmas I just wanted to let the holiday go by unnoticed. To say I had no Christmas spirit would be a massive understatement. But I had to set my feelings and sense of loss aside and at least make an effort for the younger family members.

This year I'm actually looking forward to the holidays. We're going to put up our Christmas tree tomorrow and I think I'm more excited about it than the rest of the family. Except for our new kitten. This'll be his first experience with a Christmas tree so I can just imagine how intrigued he's going to be. And how often he'll be batting at the branches and ornaments. It's a good thing we always put unbreakable items on the lower branches (more for the little ones than for the cats).

I'm also looking forward to making cookies with my mom. It's something we've done since I was a small girl and we continue to do every year.

Are there any holiday traditions you're looking forward to this year?