Have Computer, Will Travel

Winter2Somewhere in the world, spring has arrived. It’s not here in my part of the world, even though March 20th – officially the first day of spring – has come and gone. Instead, we still have three feet of snow on the ground, with more in the forecast.

I know spring is out there, looming in the not too distant future, and when it arrives it’ll be time to move my office outdoors.

This is one of the big pleasures of working for myself. My office is wherever I happen to set up shop. Right now, it’s in the northeast wing of the house, where the morning sunshine blinds me from mid-April to mid-September. I have to wear sunglasses while I type or close the drapes to keep the sun out.

Have computer, will travel … all the way from the indoor office to the deck or the family room or the kitchen table. And if I’m feeling particularly adventuresome, I pack up my computer and my husband, and head for the mountains.

Winter1I feel a mountain adventure coming on. So while I contemplate packing my suitcase and computer, I’ll leave you with a little teaser for my upcoming novel THE MARRIAGE PACT:

A hotshot divorce lawyer encounters the wedding planner from hell – the gorgeous, sexy woman he met and bedded a month ago who is pregnant with his child.

If you want to find out more about my upcoming release, join my newsletter!

The Directionally Challenged Weathervane

weathervane1If you remember, last year I blogged about a new garden area we were designing. We spent the summer with a shovel in our hands, turning over the dirt, then built a small garden shed which we planned to let weather naturally so one day it would take on the appearance of those old buildings you see falling down around an old farm yard. This summer, we’ll work up the soil and fill the garden area around the shed with cedars and a variety of flowering bushes and plants.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

This winter, while we watched the snow fly and wondered if it would ever stop, we jumped online and ordered a weathervane from the Urban Nature Store.

Then my better half built a cupola, similar to the one on this site.

Now while we wait for the snow to melt and the weather to warm, the weathervane and cupola sit just outside of the kitchen window on our deck.

Today during lunch, the wind howled and brought in colder weather along with some – soon to arrive – additional snow. Our lunchtime conversation eventually turned to the direction the weathervane was pointing in. The arrow pointed south, so I said that the wind was coming out of the north and blowing south.

Apparently, I’ve spent my entire life reading weathervanes incorrectly.

I always believed that the arrow on the weathervane pointed in the same direction as the wind was blowing. This makes perfect sense to me. After all, if you shoot a bow and arrow, the arrow flies arrow-first, right?

According to my better half and youngest son, the arrow on the weather vane points into the wind. While this makes absolutely no sense to me, I’ve decided that I’m not the one that’s directionally challenged this time (although if you remember this other post, you might choose to differ). Our weathervane is directionally challenged, pointing backwards in the wrong direction.

Am I the only one who believes the arrow on a weathervane points in the direction of the wind?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

 

I Have Website Envy and It’s All Steena Holmes Fault!

Women's Fiction Author Steena HolmesMonday night, I popped over to women’s fiction author Steena Holmes’ recently revamped site and now I have website envy. You’d think I’d be envious of her success with her bestselling book FINDING EMMA, but I know how hard she’s worked, so I’m thrilled for her success.

But her website … well, that’s a totally different animal.

You see, even though I don’t have a natural eye for design, I love designing websites and logos and images of all kinds. So when I see a gorgeous website design, I fall in love and want to redesign my own site. I love the chocolate hearts on Steena’s main logo and the rounded corners on the banners in her sidebar. Plus, she’s incorporated some pretty cool features into her site.

Steena Holmes' Secret SocietyLike her Secret Society for book readers. Okay, I’m in, all signed up, and ready to go.

So now I have the desire to revamp my website and make it all pretty and cozy and cute, and I’m holding Steena responsible. 🙂

And while I dream about the changes I’m going to make, let me leave you with a little blurb about Steena’s popular book FINDING EMMA.

Megan is the harried but happy stay-at-home mother of three little girls living in a small town. Her life implodes when her youngest daughter, Emma, disappears on her third birthday.

Two years later, Megan is preparing to commemorate Emma’s birthday and the anniversary of her kidnapping, compelled to keep her name alive in the minds of her community and her family. Her commitment to Emma, however, borderlines on obsession as she follows the families of little girls who look like the daughter she lost.

Finding Emma by Steena HolmesHer obsession with finding Emma has distanced Megan from both friends and family. Her two older daughters are resentful of her relentless and fruitless search for their sister, and her husband pleads with her to accept that Emma is gone so that the family can move on with their lives.

Meanwhile, in the same small town, Jack is beginning to question his wife’s secrecy about their adored granddaughter, Emmie. As Dottie slips into dementia and becomes increasingly protective over Emmie, he can’t help but wonder if there could be a dark secret that Dottie is keeping from him.

Jack and Megan’s worlds finally intersect at the town carnival, when Megan snaps a photograph of a little girl on her grandfather’s shoulders.

Until next time, happy reading!

Ripples In Time

dreamstimefree_2868839Back in high school, I had a crush on a guy. He was cute and funny and a year older than I was. He also had a girlfriend who went to a different school, which meant that as long as she was in the picture, he was off limits.

But I liked this guy and we became friends. Sure, there was some flirting. Mostly we hung around outside of classes and he let me store my books in his locker because my locker was way down at the other end of the school.

Storing my books in his locker was a great way to ensure I would constantly run into him between classes. It was a brilliant plan, one of the best catch-a-guy plans I ever devised. Unfortunately, he still had a girlfriend.

During those first two months of the school year, our friendship blossomed. In late October, with the Sadie Hawkins dance approaching – you know the one where the girl gets to ask the guy to the dance? – I wanted to ask him to be my date. But at fifteen, my experience with dating was minimal. Mostly the guys I had crushes on just wanted to be friends and the guys who had crushes on me … well, I just wanted to be their friend.

I kept hearing that he was still with this other girl, and even though I was pretty sure it was all over between them – all but the final “we’re done” – I kept finding excuses not to ask him to the dance. If you want to know the truth, I was chicken.  I was scared of rejection and scared of looking like a fool and scared of losing his friendship.

I lost it anyway.

Deep down, I knew my locker guy liked me, a lot, and was waiting for me to ask him to the dance. Perhaps if he’d broken up with his other girlfriend, I might have been braver. Perhaps if my friends weren’t pressuring me to ask their boyfriends’ buddy to the dance instead, I might have gathered up my courage and made my move.

Instead, I asked the other guy, and the budding relationship between me and my locker guy disintegrated until I finally gave up hope and moved back to my own locker. Other than the occasional nod as we passed in the hallway, he spent the rest of high school ignoring me.

Fortunately, I was young and my heart was resilient. But was his?

He came to the dance alone, and I’m sure he expected me to be solo, too. Immediately after the dance, he changed. Even back then, I wondered if it was my fault. He dropped his girlfriend and began to hang around with a crowd of kids heavy into booze and drugs, and from what I could tell, spent most of his days high or drunk. Years later, I ran into him and we had a polite conversation. He’d never married, lived alone, and worked as an electrician in the oilfield industry.

Shortly afterward, I saw his obituary in the paper. He’d died, either from the drugs or alcohol, or a combination of the two. I still think of him sometimes and wonder if his life would’ve been different if I’d been brave enough to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Or if his life was predestined to end up as it did and had I dated him, would I have been caught up in the murky mess of his life?

Do you ever look back and wonder if your actions could’ve made a difference in someone’s life? Or do you think we’re predestined to live our life a certain way?

Originally published on Women Unplugged.

Channeling Jekyll and Hyde

My dad was a social butterfly. He liked to get out, visit with people, and have a good time.

My mom is more the hermit type. Content with her own company, she’d happily stay in her house and yard for weeks on end.

I inherited both those qualities from my parents in equal amounts, so I’m half social butterfly, half hermit. Jekyll and Hyde, with the two entities battling for domination. On the one hand, I could bury my head in my work and never come out. But when I look up and remember there’s another world out there, I want to stay and play for hours and forget about all things work related.The Valentine Grinch by Sheila Seabrook

In December, I hid in my office and ignored everything and everyone while I finished the final rewrites and edits on the expanded edition of The Valentine Grinch. It was the most work I had accomplished in months. The time away from all things social helped me realize how very little I get done when I slip into butterfly mode.

Being in hermit mode during the month of December helped me realize two things:

1. To accomplish anything, I need be in hermit mode every day from 8:00 till 12:00 noon – longer if the work-in-progress is going well.

2. But sometimes the hermit needs to get out and play.

I’ve always been like this. All the years I worked outside of the home, I was either surrounded by people, helping where I was needed, offering to take the load off their shoulders…anything to be in the middle of other people and their madness. Or I’d hide in my office and work, never stopping for a coffee or lunch break to socialize with others.

There was rarely a middle ground because I was born an all or nothing type of girl.

As I start this New Year and search for ways to improve and reach my objectives, I ask myself, where is the balance? I know it’s within reach and so I’m making more of an effort to stay offline until the work is done, and only afterward can I play nicely with others. J

How about you? Have you found balance in your life between your goals and your fun time? How do you manage? Any tips to share or are you still seeking a solutions, too?

Originally published at Women Unplugged.

 

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