Sunday, December 5, 2010

Special Memories at Holiday Time


During this interim period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we often straddle the banks of the river between reflection and frenzy to accomplish all items on the TO DO list. I'm feeling thankful that we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with Mom here in SC and enjoyed some memorable times. She really enjoyed Sunday service at Beach Church and brunch afterwards at Wachesaw Plantation Club. We missed having her with us today when we repeated the same schedule!

One thought about this season of getting together with family members whom you might not see very often would be to take full advantage of the time and institute a new tradition. Allow each family member, from the youngest to the most mature in years, to share a special memory from the past--something that they will always remember as a life-altering moment, or simply something that is very meaningful to them. I'd take it one step further and make sure you have an audio recorder handy. I would say that you should video each individual as they speak, but sometimes video inhibits older folks and they might be intimidated, speaking less freely. It's fine to let them know that you are recording for posterity, but don't stick the recorder under their noses. Even the tiniest recorders on the market today are powerful, so placing it in a less obvious location can be helpful in allowing the memories to flow.

Let it be a tradition that is carried on and on. Have someone transcribe the notes from each gathering, and you'll have a great little book of memories some day!


Speaking of wonderful memories, four of my Cape May girlfriends, Candy, Dee Dee, Cheryl, and Mary Ann, were here in early November for a few days. Prior to their arrival, the weather was sunny and quite warm. The day after they drove into my driveway, it was rainy and dismal guessed it.....the day they were leaving, when the clouds flew away out into the ocean and the sun was brilliantly shining. The same thing happened two years ago when they came to visit. Undaunted by dreary weather, we managed to shop and see some sights, just enjoying the company of one another.

I also planned a little get together--a Mary Kay party--so they could meet some of my other friends here in SC. I invited a special guest, and he was the hit of the Mary Kay party. The only problem was that he arrived the moment all of the women had removed their makeup for a skin care session! Hmmm....I should have considered sequence of timing just a little differently...But a huge thank you to Carol Austin of Mary Kay Cosmetics and her assistant, Jane, who navigated the session beautifully in spite of all of the distractions I provided!
Yes, Elvis was in the neighborhood and stopped by to say hello to the girls! Imagine their surprise when he walked through the front door at the moment not one of them was wearing a speck of makeup. And so many were under the impression that he was no longer living......Amazing!! A special thank you to Elvis for stopping by and creating an unrepeatable memory for all of us....

I promised to let everyone know about the progress of my second novel. The manuscript is finished, and a query letter, synopsis, and the first fifty pages have been sent to the number one agent on my list. I'll keep you posted as this publishing story unfolds. My intention is to make every attempt to attract an agent and publisher this time. If I exhaust all efforts without success, as I do realize that the publishing business has become tougher than ever, you may be certain that I'll publish it, as was done with Eyelash.

I believe that I learned a great deal from the experience of publishing Eyelash--sort of what to do and what not to do. The main obstacle with self-publishing is distribution. Yes, it can be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and it is easier than ever to publish an e-book for Kindle or Nook, but to have that book present in brick and mortar book stores across the country...naturally, that is the dream of most authors. With the growing popularity of Kindle and Nook, however, those dreams could begin to shift...making it easier and easier for authors to publish without a substantial monetary investment.

I have to admit that I LOVE my Nook. I never imagined that I would feel that way, but I remembered the titles of a couple of books that were on my wish list the other night and sat here in the comfort of my office, downloaded them in minutes, and voila! There they were for me to instantly begin to read. There are many positives about this technology. It may be the fact that it's such a time saver, and we all know about the desire for instant gratification.

Back to the dilemma of authors: There is still the issue of book marketing, whether the only source of availability of your book is on-line or you if have a garage that contains boxes of your treasured creation. One must still find logical, effective methods of getting the word out to the world so they are aware that your wonderful book exists. Fortunately, I write because I absolutely love writing, creating characters and situations, and I get to determine exactly what happens to these people. It's fun being in control of the outcome! Hopefully, someone will invent the magic formula for book marketing that will benefit all authors......Until then, I'll let you know what's happening with Never Say Perfect. Stay tuned!


In today's sermon, the minister said something that really resonated with me: "When you choose to forgive someone, you are releasing yourself from responsibility of their choices." We can't make people do what we want them to do, and we can't stop people from doing what they are going to do. But if they happen to hurt us along the way, forgiving them will free us from the bondage of bitterness and anger. Let it you can have a peaceful soul. See you soon....