Family and Joy

Monday, May 2nd, 2016 | Gratitude, Joy | No Comments

My parents came to visit last weekend, and as always, I had a ball visiting with them. We strolled through the Biltmore House and ate our weight in pizza and pasta, and just enjoyed each other’s company.



At the same time, I had lots of excuses to visit and frolic with my friends at Novels and Novelties, where we celebrated Independent Bookstore Day and revealed the store’s new logo which you can view Here

While I missed family and friends I did  not get to see this weekend, like Marianne Nubel and my brother Barry, I had a wonderful time with the family I did see. Friends and loved ones are one of the greatest joys I know.

Now I need to get back to my imaginary family, the characters that live in the stories I’m writing…

Success and Joy

Friday, April 29th, 2016 | Broadswords and Ballrooms 1.5, Joy | No Comments

I have to admit that I am very out of touch with the business end of writing. I do not spend a lot of time worrying about how my books are doing because I work so many hours at my day job. The time I have away from the bank is sacred, and money in relation to my books is the last thing I want to think about. I’ll get the early sales numbers from HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOT soon. While this will tell me how it sold in the first month it was out, those numbers will not be a complete picture of my new book’s success.

To me, the book, both books, are a success already. Because they brought me so much joy, first in the writing of them, and then in the sharing of them with all of you. I hope Broadswords and Ballrooms appeals to lots of readers and does well…all authors pray for that. But even if they don’t, I love them still. That love and the joy it brings me are pay the same way a royalty check is.

I suppose the ideal situation is when joy and money come together, hand in hand, like beautiful tow-headed twins.

But whether those twins show up on my doorstep like the blessing they are, I have to admit, my writing already brings me joy in abundance.

Fridays and Joy

Friday, April 22nd, 2016 | Joy, Reflections | 2 Comments


I love Fridays. Most people who work a regular 9 to 5 job do. Even on the weeks, like this one, when I will have to work half a day on Saturday as well, I still love Fridays.

 Pink Tree

There is something about knowing that the work week is winding down that gives me a sense of peace, of taking a deeper breath, of a relaxation of habitual tension between my shoulder blades. Even now, writing this, I feel that unraveling of tension though I am composing this post on a Wednesday for publication later this week. Fridays are the longest day at my job, 9 hours instead of the usual 8, but they are still a kind of Shangri-La, a pocket of extra joy knowing that weekend is only hours away. And I am not the only one who feels this. All of my co-workers love the last day of the week, too, and so do most of my clients.

 I wish I might bottle that sense of peace and relaxation everyday. It makes me wonder if a regular meditation practice might afford me some of the same peace, some of the same relaxation as a Friday does. I need to try it.

 If daily meditation offers the same kind of tension dissipation, I will let you know.

 Meanwhile, as the week winds down I am enjoying the weekend as it looms like a joyous mountain of quiet fun. I hope your weekend is wonderful, this week and always.

Writing And Walking And Joy

Sunday, April 17th, 2016 | Joy, Labyrinth Walks | No Comments

My day job at a regional bank has been so busy lately that  I have not been taking time for walks. Now this is nuts, because I live in one of the most beautiful places and it is spring, when the mountains and hills are finally turning green again, and all the trees are beginning to lose their blooms. But one of my New Year’s Resolutions, along with looking for Joy, is to not judge myself. So no judgement. I haven’t walked much, but maybe I will tomorrow. Or later today.

So it goes with things we know are good for us. Sometimes Joy requires discipline,too.

When I lived in New York,  occasionally walked a labyrinth at Battery Park at the very southern tip of the city. It was as soothing as all labyrinths are, and the noise of tourists and traffic fell away in that place, as if it was untouched by time or reality. I suppose every labyrinth is touched with a different kind of reality, a sense of peace.

I have not gone labyrinth walking since I came to Asheville almost three years ago. Definitely another walk to add to my Joy list.


One of my favorite labyrinths is in Monk’s Corner, SC.  Here’s a photo of this labyrinth in late fall. Drawn by high grasses and wild flowers, it is one of the largest labyrinth walks I’ve ever taken. I kept being distracted by the butterflies and dragonflies that abounded there. But I finished the walk, and it did indeed bring me joy.

Mpekin Labyrinth 3

Here’s to Joy in your life, whatever brings it. Sometimes we have to go out and seek it. It’s worth the extra effort. Joy has a lot of gifts for us in its pockets.

Happy Monday: Pigs in a Hat

Monday, April 28th, 2014 | Joy | 2 Comments

1798751_653584671343784_2112387957_nThere is no good reason on God’s good green Earth to put pigs in a hat, but I thought this picture was a hoot. So as we start a new week, here’s a small laugh for you, or at least a smile. 🙂 Happy Monday All!

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