Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?--till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And "Merry Christmas" wished to all.

--William Wordsworth

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Resolving to a Resolution

Hard to believe this year's almost over, isn't it? Sure, it sounds cliche. Probably is cliche. But it's true nonetheless. When I was sixteen, my grandfather, while driving me to school one morning, said, "Sweetheart, this is the time of your life. When you hit twenty-one, it starts flying." I'll never forget his gnarled, strong hands at ten-and-two (because of course he always wanted to set a good example), and I'll also never forget the crisp smell of his Old Spice shaving cream (because he always rose early, showered and shaved before he even read the paper and had a cup of coffee).

He drove me to school every morning, my maternal grandfather, and that morning was no different--complete with the random words of grandfatherly wisdom.

Only that particular morning, for one reason or another, I didn't want to hear it. Teenage angst? Could've been. Boy problems? Eh...who knows? I rolled my eyes at him. Surreptitiously, of course, because I did--and still do--respect my good ol' Southern-born-and-raised PawPaw. Really, what did he know? We were from totally different generations. Surely he hadn't the slightest clue what he was talking about or what I was going through or why I just couldn't seem to grasp freaking Geometry. (I'm a History/Literature girl, through and through, but I bet you could've guessed that.)

Grandpas always offer the best advice.

Here's the thing: Seventeen years later--before then, really--I realize he was right. Where did the time go? How come the years go by so fast? And since when did my dear old PawPaw become the wisest man on the planet? But he is, I'm convinced. He is, and here I am, watching time fly, children grow up right before my eyes, and celebrating yet another Christmas without publishing a gall-darn thing.

My strong-handed, wise beyond comprehension, never-leaves-home-without-his-sense-of-humor and a pocketful of Starlight peppermints grandfather taught me better. What did he teach, exactly? Oh, lots of things. But the one which sticks out in my mind the most is that with faith--true, unyielding, genuine faith--and a dash of perseverance and know-how, you can do anything, be anything. As long as it's moral, he always added, and I have to readily agree.

All our lives, we've heard of New Year's resolutions, maybe even made some, kept 'em for a month, broke 'em with a thick slice of Bananas Foster Cheesecake. Yum. But as for me, this year, I'm resolving to take PawPaw's wise advice, put some faith and trust in yours truly, and publish. Self, most likely, though traditional would be out of this world outstanding amazing. In March, I'm due to have our firstborn and by then I want to have emailed a proposal to Harlequin (UK or US, makes no difference) on this latest historical romance. Simultaneously, I plan to epub the first two historicals via Amazon Digital.

So, there it is. I've said it. Tell me, sweet and wonderful followers: What is YOUR New Years resolution? And even if you don't have one, is there something you want to achieve more than anything next year, big or small?

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season,

(L to R:) My grandmother (Nanny), Momma, Me, & my dear, wise PawPaw

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