Yeah, it’s been a while since I was last here with anything personal. Thanksgiving and Christmas have kept me fairly busy, but mostly I was away on family emergencies.
My older sister, Shelley, nearly died from the H1N1. She spent some time in ICU on a ventilator struggling for her life. That was 2 weeks ago. She’s home, but still dealing with health issues, which I pray end very soon so that she is well for Christmas. She’s got a new grandson, and I want her to be healthy so she can experience this first Christmas with him.
Having her survive is a miracle, and I am eternally thankful for answered prayers and a healing touch from God.
Yesterday, my younger sister and her girls–and their friends–came for a visit. We spent the day doing the Christmas baking. Several hundred cookies later, we collapsed exhausted all around the living room to watch a holiday movie. I love having family at my home. It’s just such a blessing to be surrounded by people you love, knowing they love you back!
I’ve been scouring the ‘net for items I’ve missed regarding my work…reviews and such…which I’ll be posting throughout the week.
Another year has come and practically gone. 2010 will be here before we know it. I’m hopeful for fresh beginnings on some works I have in progress. I’m trying to get book one in a new series revised and completed and submitted to a publisher. I have a couple short fiction pieces I want to submit to Eternal Press, too. I keep saying I’m waiting for things to slow down, but I can’t wait on that…need to embrace the new year with gusto!
I have a very dear friend. Her name’s Vicki, and today’s her birthday. We met almost a decade ago when she sent me an email with a writing question. At first, I just thought I’d give her some writing advice and that would be that. However, she struck up a conversation and before either of us knew it, we were writing regularly. It didn’t take long to cross the miles between us and get to know each other. I learned about her husband and she learned about mine. I went through the very sudden, unexpected loss of my dad, and she told me about hers walking out on her and her mom and sister when she was little. We both wanted a family, neither of us has been blessed in that way. We both wanted to be writers. We went through the writing firsts together. She to write her first, and I to publish my first. We have so many things in common that it just seemed the perfect fit for friendship. It’s a give and take. It’s uncanny how we always know when something is bothering the other. Then we do what we can to help the other one through whatever troubles us.
Vicki’s a lovely person both inside and out. She has the shade of brown hair that reminds me of burnt umber on a painter’s palette. She has a smile that makes her eyes crinkle at the edges because it truly reaches her eyes and lights up her face. She’s got these long legs that go on and on. And she has these long lines and smooth curves. She’s a head-turner! And yet as pretty as she is on the outside, she’s even more beautiful on the inside. It’s difficult not to like Vicki…or to be drawn to her because she’s the type of person who’s gentle and sweet and encouraging and warm and funny and a little zany. She’s also the type of person who’s loyal and steadfast and always has my back when I need someone to be there!
Everyone needs someone like Vicki, and everyone needs to be like Vicki to at least one person. I try to be as good to Vicki as she is to me. I think I come up short.
Happy Birthday, Vicki!
I hope it’s one you’ll never forget. One that’s so very special it puts a smile on your face just recalling it!
my sister, Janis.
Isn’t she a cutie? Now, this photo’s just a couple years old…well, okay, so maybe a couple decades old, but she’s not changed all that much. I mean, she’s taller now.
This post is in response to a comment she made right here on my blog. Plus, Janis is about to have a birthday, which is September 30th. My sister has one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever come across, but more importantly, she has a truly beautiful spirit. Whenever I’m feeling down or just out of sorts, she seems to know and she either calls or e-mails me and everything just seems to fall right back into place.
Recently, she returned to college to get a degree in criminal justice. During the course of her studies, she had to write an essay about a living person. She chose me. Her words touched my heart in a deep, meaningful way. While I’ve not got a professor to assign this essay to me, I felt compelled to write something about her.
In my family, my dad was a humongous supporter of my dreams. I say was because he passed away unexpectedly in November 2001 at the way-too-young age of 63. When I got my first publishing contract after his death, I thought, “I wish Dad was here to share this.” I was certain no one would share it with me on that type of level like my dad would share it with me. I was wrong. Very wrong. Of course, Steve, my husband, shares in my joys on his own very special level, which is different. However, Janis stood out from the pack.
She reads my work and offers me all her feedback. On the college campus, she’s like a walking, talking billboard for my books. She tells everyone about her sister the writer. Just like Dad would have done!
When friends of mine planned my first ever book signing combined with a reception, Janis and her eldest daughter, Rebekah, traveled 130 miles to attend. They arrived early, helped me prepare, and then spent the whole day at the reception cheering me on, standing behind me or beside me, laughing, chatting, hugging, and smiling. She spoke of my father that day and how he would have rejoiced in my accomplishment. Her words meant more to me than she’ll ever know. Her support, her encouragement, her belief in me, and her constant flow of love toward me remind me so very much of my dad. In his absence, I surely have been blessed with her–my sister, Janis! I love you!
Her Last was reviewed by SeriouslyReviewed! and it scored excellently! 9 of 10 for presentation and 8 of 10 for story. Check out the review and leave a comment!
In other news, I’m a new aunt today! Brendan Charles was born at 11:12 PM 7/8/09. He was 7 lbs 12.8 ounces, and 21 1/2 inches long. All reports are that he’s absolutely gorgeous! Since I live 130 miles away, I have not had the joy and pleasure of seeing his beautiful little face yet! Mommy and baby are great and sure to come home soon!
In still other news, a fellow author disclosed her newly diagnosed cancer. She has such a strong, positive attitude. I admire that. My thoughts and prayers are with her as she mounts a battle against the cancer in her body.
Lives are short. Our time here is never guaranteed. I hope you all live it accordingly!