Sunday, December 21, 2014

Annual Holiday Newsletter

Robert and Kaedence - my youngest grandchildren.
Grammy-nanny duties have been my full time job this year.
They are cousins, 7 1/2 mos apart in age.
It's that time of year where my mailbox is filled with cards and a few holiday newsletters of friends and family.

I used to include newsletters in our holiday cards. They were really important to me before social media.

Annual newsletters were how I remained connected with friends and family. I was the one out of town, my family was out of the loop. We were long distance, living out of state. My cousins and friends didn't do annual family newsletters because they saw each other and talked on the phone often during the year. The only way to combat my disconnect by distance was an annual family newsletter.

Since the early 1990's I was tucking a one page newsletter into the holiday cards I sent out once a year. These included grainy (dot matrix) pictures of our four girls on that paper. In the following weeks, both Ed and I would get phone calls from friends and family who we hadn't chatted with since the previous year. We could catch-up on life events, reconnect, and get all warm and fuzzy with virtual hugs that spanned hundreds of miles.

I spent a week or more getting those newsletters just right, with poignant statements and clean designs, to say a lot in the fewest words. Eventually the annual updates became more pictures than words, then there was that year I couldn't do either pictures or words. Parental funerals are tough times. And my children were designing their own lives. I was ready to move into the stage of impersonal holiday cards. Something decorative for the moment.

That's when I learned how important it was that I had made our annual newsletters personal. I had to redefine what mattered to others in relation to how much I was willing and able to do. This was a primary lesson from my childhood. Now social media has made my annual newsletters a lot easier to share!

So here is my news for 2014:

My first contemporary romance novel Checkmate First Mate has been published! And my first How-To book Author Marketing 101 is also available!

Here's a glimpse at my family today - only one son-in-law is missing, but you can read about him here - and also get advice from me on creating a business plan as a novelist. :D

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

News for 2013

We have a new granddaughter. And she's Awesome!

Kaedance Grace was born on July 29, 2013

My first Contemporary Romance novel Checkmate First Mate will be released in digital format in September 2013.

The Author Marketing 101 Guide and Journal that I've co-written with C. Morgan Kennedy will be available by October 2013.

Ed and I just returned from a vacation in Newport, Oregon, with our two grandsons, aged ten and four. Fun but exhausting!

For more excuses as to why I haven't given any attention to this website or completing this memoir - there's plenty to read over at Terri Patrick's Blog. There was also an Oops or two regarding my new business cards and I had to add my email address to all 1,000 cards - as I shared with my fellow Soul Mate Authors.

The journey to write this memoir - which I expect to complete and publish someday - has been a catalyst for all kinds of amazing opportunities. It's as if my parents want me to be very aware that I am more than just their daughter, and that's why their story will have value.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Our youngest daughter got married on 12-1-12. Ed and I danced a lot that night, and not just with our 4-year-old grandson. It was a wonderful celebration and this picture represents more than a fun party.

When this grandson was born, Ed was still in chronic pain from a lower back injury sustained in a car accident years earlier. Standing and walking were limited activities and there wasn't much hope of improvement. He was adamant in his acceptance to grin-and-bear it. But that's changed and Ed and I even took ballroom dancing classes in preparation for this fun event. So when I look at this picture I also see that miracles do happen, we just might not notice during the business of living life.

This picture represents huge changes in the dynamics of our family in only four years, since the birth of our second grandson, including two weddings and a funeral. It was because of, and during, these big changes that the return of Ed's ability to dance again occurred. There was no transformative surgery or magical wand. There were changes to daily routines, diets and activities, because our daughters were buying homes, getting married, needing grandparents to babysit, and small shifts in the requirements of our careers. I also made one of Ed's life long dreams come true. It wasn't a big deal for me, but he wouldn't have it, if I didn't make it happen. Being married means being invested in the happiness and dreams of your partner. And Ed will always be my best dancing partner.

I saw this picture for the first time, today. It sparked a kaleidoscope of images and memories. I've always believed in keeping the faith in the power of a happy agenda. That's probably why good things happen in my life. They may take some time, but four years is pretty quick for a miracle this big.