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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Meditation for Writers (And Everyone Else)

Do you meditate? I started meditating daily about six months ago. It’s something I should have done years before. I don’t handle stress well. Through meditation, I feel calmer most days.
Besides helping me cope with the stresses in my life, I hope meditation will bring back my writing mojo. I lost it in December 2017, and while some of my enthusiasm has come back, I’m wrestling with giving up writing altogether.
My path to meditation started because of my quest to find the “meaning of life.” After four family deaths in the past few years, including two very sudden ones, I suffered a crisis of faith. I started reading books by religious philosophers. One book was Deepak Chopra’s Life After Death. Chopra, who integrates beliefs from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, focuses much of the book on reincarnation, something I’ve always kept an open mind about. Things have happened in my life that make me believe reincarnation is real. I’m not sure I want to come back considering the state of the world now. I enjoyed Chopra’s book, and like the others, it provoked more questions than answers.
After finishing his book, I decided to see if he has a Facebook page. He does, and I liked it. On his page is a sign up for a two-week free course on meditation given by him and Oprah. I signed up. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning how to meditate. Here’s his Facebook link:
When the course finished, I got emails from Chopra and Oprah trying to sell me other programs. I ignored them, and they stopped. The course is worth having to put up with some sales pitches.
I found an app called Meditation Sound. I have it on my iPhone and iPad. What I like about the app is there are about ten music choices, with a timer. I meditate for ten minutes daily, mostly in the morning, but sometimes in the afternoon. I sit comfortably in my quiet office with the door closed. Sometimes a very vocal large cat named Brewster voices his displeasure at being locked out. He cries and throws himself against my office door, interrupting my quiet. But I love him so I try to ignore him.
For meditation I sit in my chair with my palms, upright and open, resting on my thighs. As I repeat my mantra, I breathe in and imagine I’m taking in calmness. When I breathe out, I imagine my stress and worry are escaping through my open fingers.
I alternate my mantras among “Om,” which is the sacred sound of Hinduism and means “It is,” “Will be,” or “To Become.” Another favorite is “Om Shanti Om,” which is Hindu for “I radiate peace.” And “Siddho Hum,” which means “I am perfect.” Sometimes, I say, “I am one with the universe.”
There are days when my stress level is high and meditation doesn’t help much. Other days, I get so into it that I drift off into some sort of semi-conscious state while meditating. I love when that happens.
I’m hoping to find my faith and my writing mojo. Meditation will help me accept whatever happens.

Here are some of the benefits of meditation as found in Huffpost:
1.     Reduces stress
2.     Improves concentration
3.     Increases self-awareness
4.     Increases happiness
5.     Increases acceptance
6.     Slows aging
7.     Benefits cardiovascular and immune health
8.     Encourages a healthy lifestyle


For relaxation, may I recommend two fun reads?
A Groom for Christmas

Fun holiday read.

A GROOM FOR CHRISTMAS is a new twist on the classic Hallmark Christmas movie full of family, humor, love, and a little bit of redemption.

Family pressure just might make her do something crazy...

When a young woman hires her hometown’s former bad boy to be her pretend fiancé for the holidays, she finds she can’t wrap up her feelings as easily as a Christmas gift.

New York jewelry designer Graceann Palmer has two days to find a fiancé to bring home to Pennsylvania for the holidays so her matchmaking mama will quit fixing her up with jerks. The Falcon, a motorcycle-riding, leather-clad former high school crush, helped her out once before. Maybe he'll do it again.

Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of Spirit Lake most likely won't appreciate. When Graceann presents him with her crazy scheme, it gives him something he's always wanted—a chance to get to know Graceann. It also gives him the perfect opportunity to add fuel to his project of revenge. 

But as Jake and Graceann grow closer, their engagement-of-convenience begins to feel like the real deal—until Jake’s secrets are revealed. 

Can a relationship that began with lies and secrets bloom like a rare Christmas rose into happily-ever-after?

2013 Snow Globes Award Contest Finalist
Winner! 2014 New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award
2014 Readers' Choice Nominee, Best Couple, Love Romances Cafe
2014 RomCon Awards Finalist

Universal Link:

Wedded in Vegas (Gambling on Love Book 1)

A reluctant bride
A hot Hollywood actor
What happens in Vegas...

Bartending in Las Vegas is the means to an end for Analisa Barbero. As soon as she finishes school she can get her dream job as a teacher. With her hard-working single mom temporarily disabled, money is tight and the hours are long. Who has time for dating? But when a sexy nerd asks her out, Analisa does what everyone else in Las Vegas does: she takes a chance and says yes.

Some people come to Sin City to gamble. Some come to start over. And some come to hide out. Cole Lassiter is Hollywood’s hottest property. Fed up with phoniness and paparazzi parasites, he just wants to be an ordinary nobody for a while. But when his deception causes a pretty bartender to lose her job, he makes her the kind of offer that can only happen in the city of make-believe: Marry him for one year in exchange for a house, money, and all-expenses-paid tuition for school. If she agrees, maybe the tabloids will finally give him a break.

Neither Analisa nor Cole thought love was in the cards for them. But what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Is Analisa willing to gamble her future on a man who already deceived her once? Everyone in Las Vegas knows one thing: You have to roll the dice if you want to hit the jackpot. And love is worth the risk.

Universal Link:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Memorial Day is coming up Soon

And what better way to honor our military men and women than to read stories abut their lives and their bravery and heroism. I'm really into Special Forces. These are military units specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped forces, manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques, and modes of employment. Among them are Dealt Force, SEALs, and Force ReconMarines. I ahvdew rite a bout al tree,  but today I'm focusing on Delta Force, maybe because I just watched for the ten thousandth time the movie with Chuck Norris.

Delta Force is is an elite special mission unit of the United States Army, under operational control of the Joint Special Operations Command. The unit is tasked with specialized missions primarily involving hostage rescue and counter-terrorism, as well as direct actionand special reconnaissance against high-value targets.

In Strike Force I deal with both the comb at and personal lives of four men n a Delta Force Team commanded by Lt. Slade Donovan.

Book #1: Unconditional Surrender, is his story.
Slade Donovan and Kari Malone shared one anonymous night of hot sex. Five years later unexpected circumstances throw them together again and what’s between them burns hotter than ever. But as a member of Delta Force, Slade is wary of relationships, drawn to Kari on the one hand and hesitant on the other.
Kari has her own demons, the stalker she moved to escape who seems to track her everywhere. As the unknown stalker ramps up his game, it will take the Delta Force team to rescue her, and the danger to show them both that what they have is electric, erotic and real.

Excerpt 1

The sound woke her, nothing more than a little squeak and so faint she was surprised she’d even heard it.
Maybe I’m imagining things. Dreaming. I’m so screwed up by this whole thing that anything is possible.
She pinched her eyes shut, tugged the covers up under her chin and tried to think of pleasant things. 
There! She heard it again! A sound like the swishing of air or rustling of fabric. Someone was in her room.
Her cell phone. She needed her cell phone. She reached out a hand and located it in the charger on her nightstand. Could she get to it? Very slowly, barely disturbing the covers, she eased her hand out and grabbed the phone. She had just lifted it from the cradle when fingers closed around her wrist and squeezed.
“We don’t need anyone else here, my lovely.” 
The words were said in a whisper so low she barely heard it, but she definitely felt the pain in her wrist. He released her suddenly but before she could gather her wits, he slapped some kind of tape over her mouth and sat down next to her. His hands stroked lightly over her body and nausea bubbled up inside her. She did her best to roll away from him, trying to avoid the groping hands and the disembodied voice.
“There’s no place for you to go.” The whisper chilled her blood. “You’re all mine.”
Without warning another man materialized beside her bed, his fist connecting with the intruder, again and again. She couldn’t see who it was or what he was doing in her bedroom. She heard a loud grunt of pain, then a thud as a body fell to the floor. Who were they? How did they get there? Did—
She sat bolt upright in bed, shaking, her body covered in sweat even as chills raced over her skin. Turning on the bedside light, she looked around wildly, heart thumping, relieved to see the room empty and nothing disturbed. A nightmare, but it seemed so real. It had to be the cumulative effect of all the other incidents. 
It was him. If only she knew who he was. She didn’t know what he wanted with her or why he wouldn’t leave her alone. Or even what he wanted with her. Would she ever be able to get away from him? 

Book #2 is sniper Beau Williams story.
 A sniper and a reporter—can they face danger together?
Women are the best stress reliever for Delta Force sniper Beau Williams and variety is definitely the spice of his life—until he meets sexy, feisty sports reporter Megan Welles. The sparks between them are caused as much by the heated sexual attraction as by the force of their personalities. But the more time they spend together, the brighter the flame burns. Megan is working on the story of a lifetime—the unexplained deaths of several aging athletes who had stellar years. They only realize how dangerous her hunt is when she receives threatening texts and an attempt is made to take her out of the game. When everything explodes in a hostage situation, Beau and his Delta Force team leader
save her, but Beau can’t deal with the way she put herself in jeopardy and she can’t handle what she sees as his controlling attitude. Can the Christmas season heal the breach between them?
The honking of a horn interrupted his mental wanderings and he looked up to see the woman herself pulling into the parking area. When she climbed out of the car he took a moment to appreciate the sight of her. Her skin glowed with a light tan and her honey-blonde hair was pulled back in its usual ponytail, emphasizing the smoky grey of her eyes. The pink T-shirt and skinny jeans she wore hugged the curves his hands had memorized every night they’d been together. His cock stood up at attention and saluted at the sight of her, and he had to sue all his brain power to control it.  
 “Welcome home, soldier. Glad you’re here.” Her lips curved in a smile.
He could tell she wasn’t sure just how enthusiastic to be, despite the intense week they’d spent together and the many texts and emails they’d exchanged since then. 
Beau opened his arms.
“Come here and let me wrap my arms around you.”
She walked into his embrace and he hugged her close to his body, loving the soft feel of her breasts against his chest. The enticing scent she wore teased at his nostrils. This was the first time in, well, maybe ever, that he felt excited about a woman in more than a physical way. Almost all the time his habit when he was on leave was to hit the bars running, searching for new faces and hot bodies. Anything where he could shut off his brain and have mindless sex and a few laughs.
This was different and all of a sudden it scared the shit out of him. What if he fucked it up? Made a huge mistake? But then her arms were around his neck and she was kissing him with such enthusiasm he forgot to be worried. Her mouth was so sweet and her lips so soft and velvety. He thrust his tongue into her heat, coaxing hers to slide with him, to dance with him. He closed his eyes and just lost himself in her, the erotic flavor of her erasing the aura of death and destruction he’d lived with for the past several weeks. 

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Kat Martin dishes abut her exciting new book

The Texas Mystique

Since my new book, BEYOND CONTROL--Josh Cain and Victoria Bradford’s story--is set in Texas, I thought it might be fun to talk about one of my favorite places.
There is something special about Texas.  My husband and I lived in Houston for a couple of months one summer and it was a wonderful experience, though at times it was sort of good news and bad.  The people in Texas are extremely friendly, and they always seem to be in a good mood.  
We gorged ourselves on gourmet meals in some of the country’s finest restaurants, but also ate a ton of delicious Tex Mex, Asian, Indian flatbread, and just about everything else. We visited art galleries, the beach, and some of the beautiful ranches in the area.  
That was the good news.  The bad news was Houston in August is HOT. It’s also muggy and sticky and you just can’t wait for October to arrive.  
Two years ago, we traveled to Lubbock for a Western Writers of America conference.  I was reluctant to go in the summer, but it turned out to be a really great trip--hot but dry.  We visited some great museums and met some fun people, including old-time movie star, Barry Corbin, who’s been in everything from Urban Cowboy to The Best Little Whore House in Texas--along with forty-three other movies.    

For the past few years, I’ve been setting my stories in and around Dallas, one of my favorite U.S. cities. In BEYOND CONTROL, Victoria Bradford and her four-year old daughter are on the run from Tory’s abusive ex-fiancé.  Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere, exactly what Josh Cain wanted when he came back from Afghanistan.  Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.
When Tory shows up with her adorable little girl, Josh realizes he is in for trouble of the most personal kind.  But Josh has seen trouble before, and he doesn't scare easy.  Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch.  Not when Tory’s best friend is abducted--not when it looks like things are going to get worse. 
I’ve had great fun writing books set in Texas, including BEYOND REASON and BEYOND DANGER, the first in my Texas Trilogy.  Fortunately, I get to write four more novels set in Dallas around the Maximum Security Agency.  Chase Garrett (You meet him in BEYOND DANGER) runs the company and is the hero of my first book.  It’s out in January of next year.
Texas is a magical place that captured a piece of my soul long ago.  I hope some day you get to visit.  If not, perhaps you might enjoy Josh and Tory in BEYOND CONTROL.  Till next time, all best and happy reading.


Iron River Ranch
Iron Springs, Texas

Victoria Bradford drove the old blue Chevy Malibu along the two lane road.  Up ahead, a sign hung above a narrow dirt track running off to the west, IRON RIVER RANCH.
“Are we there yet, Mama?” Ivy, her four year old daughter, had asked at a dozen times since they’d left the Walmart parking lot in Iron Springs. The ten mile drive didn’t take long, but to a four year old who’d been in the car for days, they couldn’t reach their destination soon enough.  
“We’re very close, sweetheart. This is the turn, right here.” Tory checked the gas gauge as the wheels left the pavement and started rumbling over the bumpy dirt road.  Less than an eighth of a tank.  She hoped the ranch wasn’t much farther.
More than that, she prayed the job hadn’t already been filled.  
She sighed as the aging Malibu rolled along.  She was basically in bumfrick Egypt, ten miles north of Nowhere Springs, almost out of gas, with twenty three dollars and thirty three cents in her wallet.  
Last night, without enough money for a motel room and afraid to use her credit cards for fear Damon would somehow track her, they’d slept in the car in the Walmart parking lot.  As soon as the McDonald’s opened, she had pulled into the drive-thru and bought Sausage McMuffins, then driven out to the ranch to somehow convince the owner to hire a woman with a daughter and no actual ranching experience.
She thought of the ad in the paper she had spotted last night on the counter in the Iron Springs Café. If she somehow managed to get the job, it would be perfect.  Besides a steady paycheck and the ranch being way off the grid, the position included the use of a double-wide trailer.  
After being on the road for the past three weeks, living out of motel rooms and suitcases, the trailer sounded like a palace.
“Look, Mama, there it is!” Ivy pointed toward the cluster of buildings up ahead, a couple of barns, several fenced training arenas, and a two-story home with dormer windows and a covered porch running the length out in front. A double-wide sat fifty yards away. 
Vast stretches of open green pastureland surrounded the complex where horses and cattle grazed, and there were ponds and woodlands in the distance, and dense copses of trees. 
The Chevy bumped over the last patch of road, pulled up in front of the house, and Tory quickly turned off the engine.  No use wasting what little gas she had left.  
“Mama, there’s a man over there by the barn.”
Her gaze swung in that direction.  There was, indeed, a man.  The noisy buzz of a saw covered the sound of their arrival, giving her time to assess him. 
Shirtless, he was working with his back to them, broad, tanned, and muscled above a narrow waist that disappeared into a pair of faded jeans.  The jeans hugged a round behind and long, powerful legs.  
  He was tall, she saw when he straightened away from his work and walked into the barn, with medium brown hair cut short.  She got her first look at his face when he walked back out, handsome, with a solid jaw and masculine features, at least three days’ growth of whiskers.  
The front of him was just as impressive as the back, a broad chest with solid pecs, muscular biceps, and six pack abs.
Unease filtered through her. This was a strong, powerful male. She knew first hand what a man like that could do to a woman.  
Tory forced down the notion. Not all men were like Damon. Before she’d met him, she had been married to a good and decent man, the father of her child.  Jamie Bradford, her high school sweetheart, was one of the gentlest people she’d ever known.  Her father was a good man, before he’d fallen in love with his secretary and divorced her mother, leaving the two of them alone.
Tory took a courage-building breath.  “Stay here, sweetheart.”  Cracking open the car door, she slid out from behind the wheel.  “Don’t worry, sweetie.  Everything’s going to be okay.”
She hoped.
Ivy sank down in her booster seat, trying to make herself invisible.  Tory had survived the fights, arguments, and finally the brutal beating Damon had given her that had put her in the hospital.  Though he had never hurt Ivy, the little girl had seen the results of his mistreatment, leaving her with an unnatural fear of men.    
Tory glanced at the big, thick-chested male striding toward her, shrugging into a blue denim shirt. Ivy would be terrified of him.  If there was any other way, she would climb back in the car and just drive away.  
There wasn’t.  Tory started walking, meeting the man half way. She glanced around but didn’t see a soul besides the big man in front of her.  Her uneasiness returned but she forced it away.  
“May I help you?” he asked, and she thought that at least he was polite.  
“My name is Tory Ford. I’m looking for Joshua Cain.  Is that you?”  He had blue eyes and a cleft in his chin.  From a purely physical standpoint, the man was flat out hot.    
“I’m Josh Cain.  What can I do for you?”
“I saw your ad in the Iron Springs Gazette.  You’re looking for a stable hand.  I’m here to apply for the job.”
He just shook his head. “I’m afraid it’s a man’s job, Ms. Ford. Mucking out stalls and cleaning tack, feeding the livestock.  It isn’t something you’d want to do.”
“Work isn’t supposed to be fun, Mr. Cain.  That’s why they call it work.  I can muck out stalls, clean tack, and feed stock as well as anyone else.”
“Sorry.  I’m looking for a man.  I appreciate you’re coming out, but--“
“There are laws, Mr. Cain. Equal rights for women.  Have you never heard of that?  Lawsuits against discrimination?”
His jaw hardened.  His eyebrows came down in a frown.  “Are you kidding me?  You’re going to sue me because I won’t hire you to shovel horseshit out of the barn?”
She could feel the heat creeping into her cheeks.  With her fair skin, and fiery red hair, there was no way to hide her embarrassment.  
She looked him straight in the face.  “I need this job, Mr. Cain.  I need the house that comes with it.”  She forced herself to smile.  “Why don’t we compromise?  You give me three days to prove I’m up to the job.  If I’m not, I won’t give you anymore trouble.  Three days.  If you don’t think I can handle the work, I’ll leave.  I won’t argue, I’ll just go.”
A muscle jerked in his cheek. He didn’t like being pressured. He looked at her hard, then those condemning blue eyes traveled over her shoulder to something behind her.  
“Who is that?”
She didn’t have to turn to know Ivy had climbed out of the car.  Like Tory, she was small for her age, but her hair was blond instead of red, and her eyes were blue instead of green.
“That’s my daughter. She’s only four.”  Desperate now, she could feel her heart throbbing softly inside her ribs.  “We need a place, Mr. Cain.  I’ll work hard.  I’ll do whatever you need done.  Just give me a chance.”
He swore the f-word under his breath, not loud enough for Ivy to hear.  Damon wouldn’t have cared.  She clung to the hope that represented.
“What do you plan to do with your daughter while you’re working?  You can’t leave her in the house alone.”
Tory glanced wildly around. She had known this would be a problem. Before, she’d had money enough to hire a sitter or there was day care for employees’ kids.
 She looked at the fenced yard off to the side in front of the trailer. The grass was sparse and in need of a trim.  Maybe he’d had a dog or something, but it was clean and empty now.  The weather was still good and there was a little gazebo with a table and benches in the middle.  She’d be able to keep an eye on Ivy while she was working.  
“She could play in the yard. She likes to color and she already reads kids’ books.  She wouldn’t be any trouble.  If this works out, I’ll have money to pay for a sitter.”
Cain looked at Ivy, paced away then back.  “Dammit.”
“It’s just three days.  If I do a good job, you won’t have to search for someone else.”
He ran a hand over his short brown hair, paced away, then walked back.  “Did you sleep in your car last night?”
She refused to answer. She didn’t want charity from Cain for anyone else. 
“Fine,” he said.  “You’ve got three days.  But I’m not cutting you any slack.  You do a man’s job for a man’s pay.  If you can’t hack it, you’re out of here.”
And from the look on his face, he was clearly hoping she would fail.  Hell, maybe she would.
She managed to fake a smile. “Okay, it’s a deal.”  She stuck out her hand to seal the bargain, for a moment didn’t think he was going to shake.  Then he sighed and took hold of her hand, not too hard, just firm enough to let her know he was in charge.
“You start tomorrow morning. Six A.M. sharp.  There’s enough food in the trailer to last a few days. I’ll bring you a quart of milk. After that, board’s on you.  If you’re still here, you’ll need to make a trip into town for groceries.”
Relief filtered through her, so strong it made her head swim.  She had a place to stay where no one would look for her.  She had a job, which meant food and whatever necessities they needed. If he kept her on, she’d find a sitter to watch Ivy.  She’d have time to figure things out, make a new plan.  
She took a step back, set an arm around her little girl’s shoulders and drew her forward.  “This is my daughter, Ivy.  Ivy, this is Mr. Cain.”
“Hello, Ivy,” he said. He had an unusual voice, deep and resonate, but at the same time soft and oddly compelling.  
Ivy shrunk back.  
“Say hello, honey,” Tory said.
“I don’t want to stay.  I want to go.”  Clinging to Tory’s waist, she burrowed into her.
“She’s shy,” Tory said.  
“The trailer’s unlocked,” Cain said.  “It’s clean and ready to go.”
“Thank you.”  
He turned and started striding back to the barn.  She probably should be at least a little afraid of him.  Oddly, she wasn’t.
Then again, she hadn’t been afraid of Damon, either.

Where to buy it:

Be sure to drop in on Kat

To CELEBRATE the release of BEYOND CONTROL, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of AGAINST THE WINDAGAINST THE FIRE and AGAINST THE LAWContest runs from May 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.
For MAY, Kat Martin is giving away to THREE winners a copy of both INTO THE FURY and MIDNIGHT SUN.
For JUNE, Kat Martin is giving away to THREE winners a copy of both INTO THE FIRESTORM and SEASON OF STRANGERS.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Great Day for Romance

Yesterday was a great day for romance authors everywhere. At one of the biggest conferences in the world, authors got up super early, stayed up super late, or gave up a night's sleep entirely to watch the royal wedding. I wasn't there this year, and I had to get up early on Saturday, but I stayed up as late as I dared to see the guests begin to arrive, DVR'd the rest, and rushed home from my errands to watch a solid six hours while  begging my mom who kept calling, wanting to discuss it, not to tell me about things I hadn't seen yet.

So often we all get caught up in politics, family worries, terrible tragedies of the world around us, and it was amazing to spend time watching the beautiful dresses, astounding hats, and the look of love on the face of a handsome prince when his bride arrived at his side. I get teary thinking about it even now.

Even in a world of troubles, there are some aspects of human experience we all long for. Love is a big one. From the giggly nerves of junior high to the first dates of high school, college relationships, work romances, living together, marriage, family. A big part of life.of course romantic love is only one kind, but it's the kind we tell our tales about. Sometimes, in the very best of worlds, a handsome prince meets a strong woman who shares his passion for helping others, helping the world to be a better place, saving the environment from destruction...and she's just the right woman for him.

I think, that's a big reason we love reading romance, and writing it. At least it is for me. But sometimes, it's real life...and that makes for an amazing and special day. I'd like to wish the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a long and happy life together. They make me feel happy, but more than that, optimistic. They are in a position to effect a lot of positive change, and I think they will. Plus...they love each other so much, that alone makes the world a little more wonderful. Harry's mom would be so proud! (cue more tears).

Moving. Is it a Dirty Word or a New Adventure?

By: Sharon Hamilton

We are the sum of the parts of many broken and misplaced things. How we put ourselves together is the art form we call life. Isn't that what we call romance too?
I took a deep breath when my husband said, “I'm retiring, and we're going to sell our home.” I'm not a good one for change, as most of you lovely readers know. I hang on to the bitter end sometimes. Most of the time, it has served me well.
But the reality of our aging bodies, and the toll working on the huge house and many acres of garden and land has come to greet me at last. My fantasy world will not give up on this dream of living here, so I'll be able to take some of it with me forever. Not to worry. But the real world has tapped me on the shoulder and told me, “It's time.”
The room is huge without my old furniture, but that's the idea! Globe needs to be hung over dining table. Carpets are being cleaned. Windows to wash.
We can embrace change in any number of ways. I like to say Change (or circumstance) doesn't make a person, it reveals a person. I'm wanting to kick that particular “ism” all around the bedroom, get it to get dirty with the dust bunnies hiding under my bed. But all that does is mask the knowledge that I have to make lists, and I have to pack from now to oblivion, it seems.
But I've done it! It doesn't matter how many times I think about my husband's decision, it won't help me get into action. I can ruminate about it all after we're done. Right now, we're in purge, staging and beautifying mode. I'm learning to revel in that, and what a surprise, it's not so bad! I have new lawn, new planting boxes. Part of the strategy is protecting and packing away a lot of me in this house, and revealing a lot more about the house, the structure, the land and the gardens. So, in a way, all my lovelies are safely stored, all my personal things I prize are gone and hidden away. All they are going to see are a few selective things that might elicit a smile or warm feeling about the home and the lovely grounds on which it sits.
Lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers like their new home.
Part of my consternation was, “Where are we going to go?” I'm looking at lots of places. Franklin, Tennessee, is top of my list, mainly because I could create a nice lifestyle there with a quarter of the funds. But my heart has grown to feel at home there now that I've visited it, and visited Tennessee several times. I have lots of writer friends and other dear friends in the area, and nearby.
But staying in California is also an option, or moving East nearer to our other son. There's the beach in Florida calling me, perhaps North Carolina or Virginia. My husband likes Oregon so he can be close to his brother. I'd like to do all of it, but it all depends on what we get for the property.
Adding more flowers to accentuate the rock walls and the built-in bench
Just like so many things in our lives, it is up to someone else. As much as we plan and strategize, the truth is that a new buyer we accept will determine where and how we live in the future. I've always been lucky with decisions we've made. I can write anywhere. But finding a place I will love living in is most important. Being close to my children and grandchildren is also important. I've cast those nets out into the universe, and something will happen that will allow me to do most of what I want.
Indian flower boats bookshelves waiting for a new home – a random whimsey
So, it's interesting how I'm coping with the change. I'm getting up, checking my lists, putting on my work clothes, planting flowers in the garden like I'll be here for years to enjoy them come up year after year. Planting vegetables perhaps that will be edible after we move. It doesn't matter, does it? None of us know how long we'll be anywhere in life. As my son said recently in the most beautiful letter I've received from any of my children, “Mom, in your case, if life gave you lemons, you'd make lemon meringue pie!” That's what I'm going to think about.
I haven't been writing for a month. And, for the first time, I'm not sure what I feel like writing next. But I know a good book is in me, waiting to be born. Another love story, that will help heal the little wounds that sometimes come up.
Until then, I'm enjoying the treasures of looking at things I possess I haven't looked at in a long time. I found some baby teeth. Someone's awful wisdom teeth! Found a piece of pottery my daughter made in kindergarten. Found a Parchessi board I had written on when I was about five. We all do that, don't we? Save things for our future selves to enjoy, right? And that has made the packing and path toward this major relocation all the more sparkly. Not the shininess of my tears!
Now's your turn. Where is your favorite place to live if you could live anywhere, and why? I'd love to hear it!

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