The Ingredients for a Family Visit

15 03 2014

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“We are responsible not for the outcomes, but only for the ingredients.”

from Plan B:  Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

After hosting several family members for the past week in our small apartment, the above quote seemed particularly apt.  We added the best ingredients we could to each day;  a welcoming atmosphere, good food, fun activities, and lots of laughter, then hoped it all mixed together into a happy week.  And it did.  Of course there were a few mishaps, as is bound to happen when a group of people live in close proximity for a week.  Lost phones, misplaced, clothing, and plans that did not work out, but the recipe came together, and the overall experience felt like a holiday feast, all of us replete with fun and time together.

We have the usual accoutrements for hosting overnight guests in a small apartment;  an air mattress, and, well, that’s about it really.  If we push the sofas back a bit, the mattress can be squeezed into the living room space, and we can all take turns in one bathroom.  There are a few floor spaces where suitcases can be opened for clothing deployment, and a couple of extra mirrors that can be used for make-up applications and hair styling when the bathroom is in use.  Our washer and dryer sees frequent operation keeping up with the towels used at the beach and pool, and the porch railing serves as a clothes line for drying bathing suits and life jackets, while kayak paddles drip-dry in the corner next to sandy flip-flops.

Conversation, laughter, comfort, relaxation, nature, good food, and times together;  the ingredients for a family feast!

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A Weakness for Chocolate

3 10 2012

I’m excited to announce the publication of my first novel, a romance/coming of age story about a young woman.  It’s available on Amazon and Kindle.  The title is the same as the title of this post.

Here is a teaser:

“The moment his chocolate-brown eyes met hers, Sage Claremont felt her insides melt along with her reservations. Cade Lofton knew when he saw the voluptuous strawberry blonde that he had to explore every inch of her delicious body. Of course, he never dreamed she was so innocent, but that made him want her even more. Sage couldn’t resist the dark-eyed cowboy with a secret background, and when his hands and mouth explored her curves, resistance wasn’t even an option. What neither of them expected was that they’d fall in love. What neither of them counted on was that life throws curve balls. Could a city girl with big dreams for her future find happiness with a cowboy whose secret past threatens their chance for a life together?”

As  you can tell from the teaser, it is the story of a young woman growing into herself, falling in love, and exploring her sexuality.  It is also the story of a young woman who follows her dreams and believes in herself, who builds her life around her work and family.  In writing this story, I hoped to make it more than just a romance novel, but after all, love is the basis of much that we strive for in our lives.  So if it is only a story of love, then maybe that is not so bad.  Reading is an escape, and my hope for those who read my novel is that they may escape for a few hours from their worries and experience the world that I created.  Enjoy!

This book has been a work in progress for about 15 years.  It feels really good to have finally completed it.  It was written in fits and starts, sometimes setting idle for a couple of years, then I would go back to it and feel compelled to continue.  The characters become real to me when I am writing, and I feel the need to finish telling their story.  My heroine, Sage Claremont, seems like an old friend; someone I knew in a past life, or even a part of myself.  Something I once read about how to get started writing a novel, said to write what you know.  That is what I did.  The setting and plot are based on parts of my life or, and the characters are built from parts of different people I knew.  While it is all completely fiction, I’m sure those of you who know me will recognize parts of myself in the story.  I love the process of writing, and revisions are my favorite part.  My next book is already in the process.  I can move on with it, and imagine another place based on what I know now.

 





Home

16 04 2012

We spent time today searching for a home; another home with more space for our growing family.  We’ve seen many different possibilities, and compared them with our current home which has many features we love.  When I think of home, it is more images and feelings that I experience, than a certain type of house.  Tropical foliage, a wide porch, a cool, open interior, fans and comfy furniture, a spacious, well-designed kitchen and soothing bedroom spaces with spa-like bathrooms are what I dream of.  A private backyard with a pool and hammock, a porch swing and perhaps a small waterfall which can be seen through double French doors from the living room.  I imagine a quiet street, walking or bicycling to shops and restaurants, and entertaining family and friends.  Some of these things we already have, but not enough bedrooms here.  I also imagine wonderful meals with friends and drinks around the pool, all of which are possible now but we rarely actually accomplish them!  I don’t really imagine who would cook the wonderful meals.  Obviously someone who has more time than me.  Still, dreams are what keep the world interesting!