One tradition I have for myself on Memorial Day is returning to the letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou of the Union Army, dated July 14, 1861. If you’ve seen Ken Burn’s superb documentary sereies, The Civil War, you’ve heard the letter read at the end of the first episode.
Memorial Day is a time to remember those who put duty above life and personal happiness, who sacrificed themselves for the sake of others.
I’ve knitted since I was a child and my mother taught me how to create fabric by making loops with sticks and yarns. As one might expect, those early efforts, executed in whatever scraps Mom was willing to sacrifice, were lumpy, off-kilter, and praised because I’d gotten through them, not because they were more than learning exercises.
Most of my adult life, I have not had the luxury of a dedicated work space at home. I’d carve out a small corner of my bedroom when I had roommates, and shared both desk and computer with the husband for quite a number of years. Even when I got a laptop, followed by an iPad, there still wasn’t anywhere I could call “mine.” I worked at my lunch place, in bookstore cafes when I had a Barnes & Noble and Borders near me. (Remember Borders?) My local Starbucks is a real favorite, even if it’s not available to me at the moment.
True confession time: my favorite dinner recipe is the menu at one of my local restaurants, where our favorite waiters bring us food which we don’t have to prepare or clean up after.
Did you know there are 548 episodes in the CW’s Arrowverse series? I didn’t — until my husband and I decided we’d watch everything in order while we’re under shelter in place orders. With five different series and multiple crossovers between them, I created a spreadsheet, so we’d know which episode to watch next. Yes, we are going a little stir crazy.
The question being asked this week is “Other than the genre you write, what books do you love to read and why?”
My reaction is just about everything. Okay, there are a few genres I don’t favor, but from the first moment I could recognize words on the page, I reached for any printed material I could get my hands on.
The topic for today’s Romance Writers Weekly is “Teaser Tuesday.” In that spirit, I’m offering up a small slice from the project I’m currently drafting, tentatively titled To Lure a Lord. This is Book Two in my Just a Touch of Scandal series, set a few months after the events of The Accidental Viscountess.
Some weeks, that pretty much describes it all.
What are you going to get done this week?
New month, new word. January was about beginnings. For February, I’m determined to capitalize on the momentum I have. This month can be hard; you’re not far enough along to see huge strides forward. You’re also far enough away from the start of the year that the newness has worn off, along with a large chunk of your enthusiasm. Plus, January seemed like it was five years long.
Late in 2019, I chose a word for 2020, something to use as a focus. The word was “Forward.” But I also plan to choose a word for each month to refine the focus, because things can and will change. The word for January was “Beginnings” and it proved apt.
From the Archives
Let’s face it. 2020 has not been the easiest of years. And even if we’re in a place where we’re secure in the roof over our heads and our loved ones are well, it’s hard not to have moments when everything feels as if it’s closing in and we just want to curl into a ball. That’s when I turn to my comfort reading and viewing.
Thanksgiving is on Thursday this week here in the US, traditionally a day to overeat, watch too much football, make bets on what family grievances will be aired, and try not to strangle your relatives and/or in-laws. Things will be quite different for most of us this year, decisions made not to gather in large groups or travel to gather with the family. I know such choices have been hard, and they change the landscape of the day.
2021 is here. Resolutions have been made, even if it’s just a resolution not to make resolutions. We’ve waved goodbye to the hell year that was 2020 and we’re moving forward.
It’s been hard not to feel down these last few months. A lot of us are going through stress and uncertainty for a wide variety of reasons that are both personal and have a connection to the events of the wider world. We feel tired, put upon, and ready to just crawl back under the blanket fort, not emerging until next January.
We also don’t have that luxury because there are things to do and bills to be paid. Yes, the fun part of adulting.