Thankful for You – Finding My Attitude of Gratitude (and a gift)

This year has been hard for everyone. No doubt. Between the Rona, quarantine, politics (which I will not be engaging in discussion about because that’s not my style and everyone’s entitled to their opinion), all the sad and strange happenings that seem to be occurring in everyone’s lives, this world could feel downright oppressive.

If you’re not ok right now, I get it, and I’d like to hear from you because I’d like to show you some love and support (and add you to my prayers–even if it’s not something you believe it it can’t hurt, right?).

But me? I need a different kind of focus…

My Pretty Purple Bling-y Glasses

The reality is most of those things are outside of our control, right?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you already know “out of my control” is not my bag…so I focused on my controllables.

Like finding pretty purple glasses that make me feel kinda sexy.

Like discovering that the silver in my hair looks hawt enough to embrace growing it out until it’s safe enough to meet with my stylist. (I’m in a state where I could go because we’re not locked down, but she’s the caregiver for her elderly mother and I don’t feel comfortable exposing her to me when I’ve been an “essential worker” and around people this whole time.)

Most of all I’m thankful for YOU–my online family. I’m grateful for the laughter from shared memes, the check-ins, the likes and comments, the messages, the encouragement and feedback.

It meant so much to me that I wanted to do something nice for you, so TODAY and TOMORROW ONLY I’ve made A Way With Words FREE!

I’m spending today at work, but tomorrow both my brother-in-law (the ER doc) and I will be off, so we’ll enjoy our family Thanksgiving then. I can’t wait for all the fabulous food and family time.

What are you thankful for? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? What about your favorite food?

X is for Xenial

Definition of XENIAL

:  of, relating to, or constituting hospitality or relations between host and guest and especially among the ancient Greeks between persons of different cities
That’s the definition according to Webster, anyway. Urban dictionary’s actually not very far off from that…

xenial

Xenial is an adjective meaning giving gifts to strangers. Xenial people are usually very helpful.
This spoke to me. It reminded me that kindness and generosity are what makes the world go ’round. It also brought to mind the joy and hope, not to mention the beauty that can be found in random acts of kindness.
Xenial

These acts are not limited to only the people around us. It’s scope of impact is so much bigger than we realize. It’s something that can be done for anyone. Anytime or anywhere. Someone you know or a complete stranger. You never know if you’ll change their day or their life.

Kindness means that much. Makes that strong of an impact.

You never know when that cup of coffee you bought for that person standing in line behind you might have been the first nice thing they’ve experienced today or maybe in much longer than that.

Xenial to me? Kindness and generosity to someone you may never have met before. When’s the last time you did something kind do a random person? Do you remember the last time someone did something nice for you? How did it impact you? Wouldn’t you love to pay it forward?

#SharetheLove With Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust Love

share the love hop

My pal, Anna Cade, of Herding Cats and Burning Soup came up with the terrific idea of sharing a little love with a well deserving/favorite blog or author. I thought it was a terrific idea, so I signed up.

My biggest problem? I have so many awesome author and blogger friends. That meant I had to really dig down and think.

As I started considering things, I realized something…. It wasn’t a tough choice at all!

Let me tell you a little bit about the awesome lady I’ve chosen to share with you guys today.

I met Stephanie a couple years ago at an Authors After Dark event in Savannah. At that time I was still working on my manuscripts, so I was there strictly as a fan girl and to meet all the awesome authors and bloggers I’d been following/getting to know on Facebook and Twitter.

We were at an author party when we struck up a conversation. We found ourselves at the same table when we headed down for one of the balls held at the event, so we got to know each other better. When we got back to our homes, me to Florida, her to Maine (in the same area my best friend used to live), we found each other on Facebook and Twitter and kept in touch!

I already followed her blog, so I was thrilled when she began to follow mine back. Even more so when I put out my first book and mentioned that if anyone wanted to share their blog with me for a spot or two, that I’d be honored.

She reached out immediately!

She offered me a guest post spot on her blog! Me! This may not sound like a huge deal to you, but it was to me. Why? Because in my preferred genre there had been (at that time, and unfortunately still are) plagiarists claiming to be self published authors who had been outed for stealing the works of some very popular authors. Most of the book blogging community became very gun shy about unknown commodities, and who could blame them?

But she took a chance on me.

In fact, she was headed down to Florida and we met up for coffee to catch up and talk about what sort of post she thought might be appealing to her audience, helpful to readers, and maybe a smidge outside of her comfort zone yet right up my alley.

Well, we found it. With her approval, my alternative lifestyle post/readers glossary was born.

But her generosity didn’t stop there! She also read my books and did a review of Four One Night on her blog. I hadn’t even asked her to do it! I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.

The thing about Stephanie is she truly is a supporter of authors! ALL KINDS of authors! She doesn’t limit herself to one style or genre. She’ll do audiobooks, ebooks, physical books…. She truly does have a passion for books and it shows in her thoughtful, well written posts! She’s honest about what she likes and doesn’t like in books, and it doesn’t matter who the author is. It’s always her personal, unbiased opinion. I respect the heck out of that!

So, because she’s just amazing in general, and gives great feedback about so many subjects in particular, I’m telling you to get to know this wonderful lady!

And if who she is isn’t incentive enough? I’ve got a couple of giveaways for ya! Click on
a Rafflecopter giveaway and earn a chance to win the following.

AmazonOR

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And, if my giveaway has simply whetted your appetite for winning? There are lots of other blogs sharing the love and giving away. Click the blue button below to see who else is participating!

How Do You Find Your Missing Holiday Spirit?

Unfortunately, this holiday season is not always so joyful for everyone. Sometimes, that pressure to seek and find joy can make it so much more difficult. Loss and heartache feel so much more pronounced when the people with whom you shared such wonderful, joyous times are no longer there.

So what can we do? Be more sensitive. Be more kind. More patient. More forgiving. Do something nice for someone else just because. And parents? Why not use this as a prime opportunity to share a giving moment with your kids? Check out what my friend, Shan, did with hers HERE!

Last week I travelled up to New York for some training with the new day job. On my way home on Friday I stopped at the Starbucks in Charlotte airport for some pumpkin spice to keep me awake during my layover. I was looking through my bag, trying to get to my debit card when a pilot joined the line. I let him go ahead of me since I was in no hurry and had no idea if he might be. You can imagine my surprise and pleasure when he placed his order, looked over at me, asked what I was having, and added it to his tab. No one had ever done anything like that for me before. A total stranger made my very long day imminently more bearable.

Sometimes those little gestures that don’t seem like much can make a world of difference. Keep in mind, that little thing might make more of an impact than you have ever imagined.