Thoughts On the New Year (Or Why I Don’t Make Resolutions)

In the days leading up to and immediately preceding the New Year, everyone talks about making resolutions, choosing words of the year, or setting goals. For the past three days, I feel I’ve been bombard with questions like “What are your resolutions?” “What’s your word of the year?” “What are your goals for 2020?”

ENOUGH!

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Merry Christmas Eve

Can you believe another year is almost over? And what a year it has been.

Last Christmas saw the beginning of the longest federal government furlough. I sat at home all through January wondering when the stalemate would end and I could go back to work. And stressed wondering whether we’d be paid for the time.

February saw me packing and planning my third cross-country move. I narrowly missed a winter storm system as I drove and arrived in Washington to a couple feet of snow.

March blurred into April and then May as I traveled for conferences and tried to learn my new job.

Summer arrived in the Pacific Northwest and I explored the beauty of nature and all the hiking.

Before I knew it, fall arrived and the days stayed sunny and warm. But slowly the nights got longer and the days shorter. I failed at NaNoWriMo and a short story writing competition, but had a blast with new friends.

And now the Christmas holiday season is here again. A full turn around the sun. And I’m looking forward to a birthday vacation with some dear friends in January and some amazing new adventures in twenty-twenty.

But on this Christmas Eve, I stop to be in the moment. I pause to be grateful for all that I have, thankful for the love of family and friends, and blessed by it all.

Merry Christmas to you. May your days be merry and bright. And may your holidays be filled with love and laughter.

peace & joy,

A Post In Which I Answer 17 Questions About Books

1. What was the last book you read?

The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi 7081.jpg

A friend of mine recommended Scalzi’s Redshirts, and since reading Redshirts, I’ve been hooked on all things Scalzi. I love Scalzi’s writing, his creativity, and his sense of humor. And this book did not disappoint.

First, I love the obvious reference to Philip K. Dick. Second, Scalzi is brilliant at character development and world building. Third, the irrelevant humor and clever characterization of government, religion, business, and politics. Finally, although the story starts off with a juvenile (albeit intriguing) line, the action takes off from the beginning and doesn’t stop.

I recommend this book to those of you who like The Fifth Element, Terry Pratchett, and irrelevant humor, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

2. Top 7 book characters.

This is a tough one. But off the top of my head: Kate Daniels, Gin Blanco, Sherlock Holmes, Ford Prefect, Belgarath, Eve Dallas, and Hermione Granger

3. What is your favorite genre?

Urban Fantasy

4. Favorite author(s)?

John Scalzi, David & Leigh Eddings, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Ilona Andrews, J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts), Patricia Briggs, Jane Austen, Charlaine Harris, Douglas Adams, Sarah Addison Allen, Robin Hobb, Fredrick Backman, Rachel Joyce, Mary Shelley, Darynda Jones . . .  so many wonderful authors.

5. Do you judge books by their covers?

I try not to, but some covers just do not do the book justice. But I try to focus on the synopsis. If it’s a book I’m buying to keep, I will consider the cover if the book has multiple editions.

6. What is your favorite quote from a book?

dont-panic

Don’t Panic.

I like it because it’s short, simple, and works in most situations.

 

7. Do you have any signed books?

Yes! I have quite a few. I love my signed books.

8. Have you met any authors?

Yes.

9. Hardbacks or paperbacks?

Usually paperbacks because they’re easier to tote around. But I like hardbacks for the books I want to keep.

10. Buy books new, used, or go to the library?

All of the above. Mostly used and library. I buy new when I really, really want the book, it’s newly published (and therefore hard to find used), and I’m going to keep it.

11. E-readers or physical copies of books?

Physical

12. Prefer books set in the past, present, or the future?

I really don’t have a preference. But my fave genre, urban fantasy, is typically set in a parallel world of the present.

13. Do you mark/highlight/dog ear your books or keep them in perfect condition?

NO DOG EARRING! NEVER NEVER NEVER! It’s a horrible abomination to dog ear books.

I typically highlight/mark reference books. Otherwise, I try to keep them in good condition. I won’t say perfect, because a good book will look used.

14. Do you reread books?

YES! And again and again. I have reread most of my favorites multiple times.

15. Favorite villain in a book?

Professor Moriarty

16. Do you like to write reviews when you finish a book?

It depends on the book. But this year, I’m trying to make an effort to do it for every book I read.

17. Do you experience “book hangovers”?

Yes.

In the comments below, feel free to leave me a book recommendation. 

And if you’d like to answer these questions and be featured in a Questions post, contact me here.

The Reasons Why (or Dating in My 40s)

After a relatively long hiatus, I’ve started dating again. And I’ve been having so.much.fun.

The last time I actively dated was in my early/mid-30s. I went out with some great guys (one in particular who was fantastic), but we were in different places in life with different priorities. And life happened. I got busy focusing on my new career, I moved a couple times (which wasn’t conducive to building a relationship), and several years passed. Continue reading

Post-November Updates

Wow. Has this year flown by or what?! Here we are already a week into December and since I was writing furiously last month, I’ve been lax on posting. So let’s catch up on what’s been happening. Continue reading