I’m thankful – Today and everyday

Thanksgiving Day gives us a reason to say thanks. It’s a little sad we may need a reason, though I understand how it happens. We’re busy. Too much to do. Not enough time.

Because I sometimes have a tendency to get wrapped up in doing rather than being, I have made an effort of late to purposely, intentionally, mindfully be thankful.

Here are some of the things I’m thankful for today and always.

Our home and the trees that surround it.

Maple tree & House

 

 

 

 

 

My granddaughters who show me what true joy looks like.

Making Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

The prairie where I revel in the beauty of nature and practice mindful patience.

Prairie Flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband who still surprises me.

David & Carol Anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

Women friends who encourage me to greater heights and prop me up when I’m low.

Friends in hats

 

 

 

 

 

Readers who buy my books and then take time to tell me they enjoyed reading the stories.

Go Away Home Review

 

 

My son who is a fine man and a great dad.

Lance & Girls

 

 

 

 

 

My feet are thankful they get to spend a week on a warm beach when Iowa is bitterly and prematurely cold this winter.

feet

 

 

 

 

 

My sister. My nieces and their families. My neighbors. People like you who read my blog. Good health. The good fortune to have been born in America.

I could go on. And on. And on. I’m one lucky person, and I know it. My cup overflows. So on Thanksgiving Day, I am purposefully, intentionally, mindfully thankful as I join with so many others in saying thanks. Thanks!

Leap of Faith – New from Michele Shriver

Iowa author presents a story of healing and second chances.

I’m pleased to share the platform today with Michele Shriver, an Iowa author I met through social media.  Michele caught the writing bug in sixth grade when she threatened to write a whole book after the class received the assignment to write the first chapter. She didn’t finish that book, but the desire to create stories stuck with her, and she’s written several books since. LEAP OF FAITH is her latest.

In her day job, she’s a juvenile county attorney, a position she says never ceases to provide material for her books.

Here’s the scoop on LEAP OF FAITH.

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith Single mother Tracey Hiatt prides herself on having a close relationship with her daughter- the kind of relationship she’s always wanted, but never had, with her own mother. When her mother suffers a debilitating illness and faces a lengthy recovery, family takes on a whole new meaning for Tracey as she finds herself pulled back to her ex, Steve Eldridge. There’s only one problem: he’s involved with someone else. Steve is drawn back into Tracey’s family drama and after her mother awakens from a coma believing he and Tracey are married, the two are forced to confront some fundamental questions about their relationship. Can they put past hurts behind them and take a leap of faith into a new future together?

Available now:

Embers at Galdrilene – Well written fantasy

When I read fantasy, I trust the author to build a world that is real and believable and help me as a visitor to this new world navigate without difficulty. Author A.D. Trosper doesn’t disappoint in her novel Embers at Galdrilene (Dragon’s Call).

From the first pages, the story drew me in. In this world, people who have magic skills have been raised to believe they’ll go insane if they use those skills. Magic users are required either to voluntarily surrender to the authorities or others will turn them in. Once in custody, magic users are executed. It isn’t a difficult leap to see frightening parallels to situations in our own world in the not-so-distant past and even in parts of the world today.

Embers at Galdrilene follows several magic users who defy the authorities to learn the truth, link with the dragons who have called them, and eventually fight the evil that has spread in the world since magic was suppressed.

I particularly enjoyed the way the author created vivid and unusual scenes, including: living people traversing the world of the dead; dragons and humans bonding and communicating to help each other; men and women becoming bondmates; and evil people using vile shadow magic.

The story is told from multiple points of view, but Trosper handled this transition with skill and I was never confused about whose head I was in. As the story progresses, there is a time when all the main characters are seeing a new place for the first time. These chapters slow the pace and offer duplicative material but not so much that I grew bored. If there is a fault in this novel, it lies in missing words. Nothing that hinders the meaning but sufficient occurrences to draw my attention away from the story.

Though I’m not a regular reader of fantasy, I enjoyed my time in this world. I’m invested in the characters and look forward to Trosper’s next book in this series. If you enjoy reading fantasy, I recommend you give this book a read.

NOTE: Embers at Galdrilene was re-edited and re-released in December 2012. I interviewed Trosper on my blog during the re-launch. Kudos to the author and publisher for making a terrific story an even better experience for readers.

How does spring inspire you?

It’s fall and during fall we think of endings. The end of summer. The end of good weather. The end of vacations. So it’s with delight that I attended the launch of a new book that focuses on spring–a time when things are beginning.

Spring – Women’s Inspiration for the Season of Hope and New Beginnings is the second book in a four-book series edited by Debra Landwehr Engle and Diane Glass.

According to Glass, Spring speaks to the yearning within all of us for bringing new possibilities to life. In this new book, 36 writers share poems, essays and stories with their experiences and insights into dreaming of and preparing for growth, giving birth, and nourishing the tender new shoots of life.

Winter – Women’s Stories, Poems and Inspiration for the Season of Rest and Renewal launched the series earlier this year. Glass and Engle say the final two volumes featuring Summer and Fall will be published yet this year.

The four books share women’s diverse voices around themes central to Tending Your Inner Garden, a program of spiritual and creative growth that has guided hundreds of women internationally in finding meaning and purpose in life.

Here’s one essay from Spring, reprinted with permission from the author.

My Bucket List

By Pattie Flint

The springs in Seattle can be described by two words: unending rain. Only native Seattlites can brave this incessant drizzle without a feeling of a slow and painful drowning, but even grizzled Northwesterners can sometimes feel a little depressed when each new day brings rain without hope of summer. Often it drives us inside to the comfort of our couches and kitchens, and it was on such a dreary March evening that I plopped down in my my favorite armchair to watch “The Bucket List.”

Overall, I didn’t much find the movie that interesting. But afterward, in a spurt of aimless creativity, I decided to start my own bucket list. Never mind that I was only 20 years old, and it would hopefully be decades before I really had to worry about what I had accomplished in my life. It would probably also be decades before I had enough money/time to do any of the things on my bucket list anyway. To combat my boredom, I wrote down everything I could remember wanting to do. I stuffed the sheet of paper in my drawer and forgot about it.

Several weeks later I found myself pulling it out and really looking at all the things I wished I could do. I crossed out a couple of silly things and added several new entries. I posted it on my refrigerator door and marked some of the smaller, easier ones that I could work on right now. With a reminder posted where I could see it nearly every day, I was astounded to realize how much of my time I spent on menial, repetitious tasks when I could have been doing something better with my time.

I eventually gave away my TV because I spent too many rainy nights watching movies, and I cancelled my Facebook account. With a keen eye on my bucket list, I taught myself French and threw a tea party in my living room, complete with a Mad Hatter hat. I jumped into Lake Washington in the snow on New Year’s Day, and I kissed a man–a complete stranger–on the mouth when I saw him picking out a book I loved at a bookstore.

I can’t say why I wrote, “Kiss a complete stranger” on my bucket list, but he and I have been together since that day. He has added items to my list and helped me check others off.

I got over my fear of heights when I rock-climbed a mountain in Colorado at dawn. I forgave my father for abandoning our family. And while there are things on my bucket list I’m not sure I’ll ever accomplish, such as meeting the President, bungee jumping (okay, I lied–I didn’t completely get over my fear of heights) and flying to the moon, the list on my fridge is a constant reminder of how I should be living each day to its fullest and treating every action with ceremony. After all, someday when someone asks me what I wish I could have done with my life, I hope I’ll be able to answer, “I did everything I ever told myself I wanted to do.”

Except, maybe, make Seattle springs any less wet.

***

To get your copies:

Winter and Spring are both available through the Tending Your Inner Garden Bookstore. Winter is also available on Amazon and Spring soon will be.

Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tending-Your-Inner-Garden/117449911667979
Twitter: @YourInnerGarden
Blog: http://tendingyourinnergarden.com/
GoldenTree Communications

Find Pattie on her website: http://pattieflint.weebly.com/ and follow her on Twitter @PattieFlint

Going visiting – Blog style

Would you like some coffee?

Most families in our farming neighborhood saw Sunday as a day for resting and visiting. A day of resting and visiting AFTER you milked the cows at 5 a.m., had breakfast, went to church, and ate Sunday dinner–and BEFORE you milked cows again that night. Between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. there were a few hours for visiting.

The whole business of visiting is different these days. Particularly in the social media world. As I’ve made new friends in the worlds of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, I’ve watched authors go visiting blog style. Just like Sunday afternoon visits on the farm, blog visits are a chance to share the news, deepen existing friendships and make new friends.

There were a few ‘rules’ to Sunday afternoon visits: catch up on neighborhood news, enjoy the lunch that will always be served, and leave when it was time for chores. I don’t know all the rules of blog visits yet, but they seem to be about the same: chat about appropriate topics and don’t stay to long. The lunch part is left to readers bringing their own cup of coffee and a bagel.

I’ve hosted Diane Glass and Debra Engle, the authors of Winter, here and I’ve made a few visits myself. Each discussion has been different, reflecting the personalities of the blog hosts. Here are three blogs I’ve been invited to visit recently to share thoughts about writing my memoir.  I hope you’ll click on the links below, catch up on our discussions and share your thoughts.  There’s nothing bloggers like more than to have readers jump into the conversation.

Rachelle’s Window  Rachelle Ayala wrote MICHAL’S WINDOW, a look at the biblical story of King David from the perspective of David’s first wife Michal. As a lover of historical fiction, I find these kinds of stories fascinating because they take someone many people know well (King David) and show the events from the perspective of a lesser known character. Rachelle is true to the biblical story while weaving a fascinating tale told from a woman’s perspective. 

A.D. Trosper Audra Trosper raises goats and writes fantasy. How interesting a combination is that? I haven’t read her book EMBERS AT GALDRILENE (Dragon’s Call) yet, but how can I resist when I know the author understands the seriousness of milk fever in dairy cows and goats?

All Dressed Up J.P. Lane and I connected because of clothes. She’s an expert on historical clothing and I needed to know what men’s underwear was like in 1910. Just let it be said that men wore far more then than they do today. Joan recently released The Tangled Web, a story of international intrigue, murder and romance played out in New York, London, Prague, and a Caribbean island.

As society changes, so do things like Sunday afternoon visits. Blog visits are one way I’m keeping up with friends. How about you? What do you see as the new way to visit?

photo credit: Jasmic via photo pin cc

The importance of a smile

Mother’s Day is Sunday. How could you miss it with all the advertising these past weeks? 

In honor of my mother and moms everywhere, I’ve joined with a group of indie authors to celebrate all mothers. Our little group will be blogging for the next five days about our moms and assorted mom topics.

In addition, we’re offering an ebook from each of us for 99¢ at the usual online booksellers. Our genres run the gamut from memoir to adventure to thriller. This promotion–and the special price–are good from May 11-May 15. The list of authors, books, and links to points of sale are listed below.

If you’d like a give a gift to your mom or grandmother or aunt or sister or neighbor or dad or someone else this Mother’s Day, you might find one – or all – of these books the perfect gift. How can you miss when you can load up their e-reader for $5?

My mom - Ruby Denter

To get the blog ball rolling, I’d like to introduce you to my mother – Ruby Belle (Jensen) Denter. She lived life fully for 91 years. Raised in town, Mom found herself tied to country life.

She taught in a one-room country school for several years. When she married a farmer, she quit teaching (of course, that’s what you did in 1942) and committed herself to being, in her words, “the best farm wife I could be.” She raised three daughters, milked cows morning and night, made garden and canned or froze most of the food we ate, cooked three meals a day, and sewed most of our clothes.

This picture was taken the day before she died in August 2007, and it shows just what a full life she lived. She was canning tomatoes that morning. She was always fond of flowers and usually had a bouquet of some sort on the kitchen table. Because she had macular degeneration, I’d brought her this big bouquet of black-eyed susans. She liked them in particular because yellow was a color she could still see well.

Mostly, notice her smile. She loved to have company come visit and she always made them welcome with a smile and something to eat. As her eye sight failed, she believed her smile was more important than ever. Though she could see well enough to know that someone was approaching, she couldn’t see well enough to know who it was.  She said, “I smile so they’ll know I’m happy to see them whoever they are.”

That’s having a good attitude, don’t you think?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!