Tag Archives: Donna Small

All those *&% emails!

Like most of you, I get too many emails.

Well, truth be told, it’s not that I get too many, it’s that I get I too many that are useless to me. It’s almost as though there is someone out there in cyberspace targeting me with the most ludicrous and ill-fitting information.

I have received emails asking if I want to “work from home” or if I have an erectile dysfunction problem. There are countless emails from every store and website imaginable telling me of their most recent sale and, of course, the emails telling me about the latest sugar-free, gluten-free or fat free recipe.

Oprah keeps emailing me about her latest book suggestion, despite the fact that I have told her countless times we have different tastes. (She still insists I read her picks – she is Oprah, after all.)

I keep getting the Dr. Oz message regarding the latest weight loss pill. And, like most of you, each time I see that man’s name attached to any product, I can’t help but click on the link to find out more. My hope springs eternal that he has actually discovered and is now promoting the pill that will make me a size 6. Although I consider myself a reasonably intelligent and sane person, I can’t help but hold out hope that the key to being thin and healthy isn’t reducing your caloric intake and increasing the amount of exercise. Surely there is a pill, drink, or vitamin out there that will do the trick and we just haven’t discovered it yet.

I bought a house last year so now I am on every realtor’s contact list. I get updates on what has sold in my neighborhood and in those nearby. Now, this just doesn’t make any sense to me. I just bought my house. I’m not about to purchase another one anytime soon. Surely a realtor would know this.

To add insult to injury, I got an email about buying a house that was written in Spanish. I do not now, nor have I ever, spoken Spanish. Not a lick of it.

Way to know your audience Casa-whatever-your-name-is.

In addition to those, I now received DIY emails from every TV show on HGTV, as well as emails from local salvage stores, Lowe’s, Home Depot and even those lumber warehouses.

I’m overrun. Really, I can’t keep up.

Well, I can. It’s just that I can no longer access it from my office so I’m forced to check emails when I get home each night. And let’s face it….who has time for THAT?

So here’s what I have decided to do. I’m going to unsubscribe from all the emails that I never look at. The ones that while I’d love to peruse thoroughly, their graphics just aren’t enough to grab me given that I am a victim of late-onset ADHD thanks to this immediate gratification society I find myself in.

I’m going to unsubscribe from all the stores I will never shop at and all the name brand clothing emails that are out of my reach.

My dear Kate Spade, I’m sorry. But even your clearance items are out of my reach so despite my high school-like crush on your pocketbooks and shoes, it looks like we will never be together.
So here I sit. About to click on the unsubscribe link of all those emails. There’s close to one hundred just from today. But I have to do it. Just the thought of seeing my inbox after a week of not checking email is enough to make me click on the link to unsubscribe from Neiman Marcus.

I click.

Another browser opens and I am brought to a page that asks me to tell them why I no longer want emails from them.

Did I get too many emails from them?
Do I get too many emails in general?
Were the emails not to my liking?
What can they do differently to get me to subscribe to their emails again?

Good lord! Do they really expect me to answer this? Of course they do. It’s right there in black ad white on my screen.

And then I see it.

The comment section.

Really? They’re asking for a reason why I no longer want to receive their emails? I actually have to provide them with an explanation? It’s an email people! Not a relationship.

I suddenly feel as though I’m trying to break up with someone. It’s the electronic version of “it’s not you, it’s me” and I find myself wondering about the person who has the job of tallying the breakup emails.

Surely, by the end of each day, said individual is exhausted simply from the amount of rejections he’s received. Though they’re not for him, per se, I would think that simply reading them and tallying them would be enough to throw anyone over the edge.

I feel bad for this faceless individual but I have to do it. I must break up with Neiman.

I click on the top bubble and watch as it fills in. I’ve selected “I receive too many emails in general.”

There.

It’s not you. It’s me!

Donna Small is the author of two novels – Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. Her next novel, Through Rose Colored Glasses will be released this summer. Her books can be purchased here: http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!donna-small/c1ewn

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A New Addition!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an animal person.  Pretty much anything with fur appeals to me.  My apologies to the fish, reptile, and bird lovers, but I want something that will curl up beside me on the couch while I’m watching a little HGTV.

There is something about the wag of a dog’s tail or the way a cat rubs up against your legs that just seems to melt my stress away. Most nights, in fact, I can be found on my couch, working on one of my novels or some other project. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, my beagle, Charlie, is never far from me.

My children have the same love of animals that I do. The only difference is that their animal of choice is cats. In fact, immediately after my ex-husband and I told our girls we were separating, I wanted to do something to make them feel better. They’d been asking for a cat for years but hadn’t been allowed to get one. Since the rules were now changing, I told them I’d get them each a cat. Within thirty seconds, their tears had vanished and they were thinking of names for their new pets.

To me, having an animal is part of growing up. I’ve had a dog or cat all my life and want the same for my children.

Many, many years ago, friends of mine had a pair of bassett hounds. I loved those dogs. In fact, when I would visit said couple, I would spend most of my time stroking the soft fur of their ears and snuggling their smooshy faces. They were the sweetest dogs I’d ever been around. I loved how their legs were too short, their ears were too long and their bodies didn’t quite match the rest of them. The shape of them was just comical to me and make me love them all that much more.

Thus began my love of bassett hounds.

Flash forward to this week. I was innocently perusing Craig’s list as I do if I’m interested in finding a piece of furniture to refinish. I’m still not sure how I ended up in the “Pets” section, but….

This little guy’s picture popped up.

new puppy

I know! Adorable, right? I clicked on him, backed out. Clicked on it again. Closed my browser. Later, I found myself going back to his picture. I simply couldn’t stay away. When I could stand it no longer, I called the number listed on the ad and left a message. The posting indicated that a sale on the puppy was “pending.” I figured I didn’t stand a chance. After all, who would let this little guy out of their hands? I left a message saying that if the sale fell through, please call me.

And you know what? She did.

The sale fell through and the puppy was now available for purchase. Did I want to come see him?

Did I? Is the pope still catholic? Does he still wear a funny hat?

You betcha!

My girls and I drove to meet this little guy Wednesday night. When we went into the barn to meet him and his seven siblings, I feel certain that the sound of our voices would have shattered any glass if it were within hearing distance. We immediately fell to the ground and scooped up whatever puppy was closest to us. It took several minutes for us to discern which one was the actual puppy from the ad. When we finally did, it was love at first sight.

new puppy with abby

Yup. We pick him up next Friday.

However, we still haven’t picked out a name for him. This is where you come in. Reply in the comment section with your name and email address and a name suggestion for my new addition. Keep in mind, you’ve got to impress a fourteen year old and a twelve year old. If they pick your name as the name of our new bassett, I will send you a copy of one of my books – your choice!

It’s a win/win! You may end up with a free book! And me? Well, I’ve already got a cute, new puppy!

He just needs a name…. Go!

Donna Small is the author of two novels, Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. Both are available here: http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!donna-small/c1ewn

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It says so in the bible!

Last week, as a result of my own hugely opinionated big mouth (I know, shocker!), I found myself in the middle of a somewhat heated discussion on social media. The discussion was with a very dear friend and the subject was none other than the hot topic of today – gay marriage.

I ‘shared’ an article written by a young woman who spoke of ‘biblical marriage’ and why it isn’t what you think it is – at least according to the bible. She referenced numerous verses in the scriptures that spoke of relationships that aren’t what most of us think of when we think of “marriage.”  I felt it was a great article and further felt it was something I’d often thought but couldn’t quite put into words.

Well, one thing led to another and before you know it, I’m in the middle of a gay rights debate. My friend composed a post that, in his words, “shredded the author’s lame attempt at knowing the bible.”

Oooh. I was HOT! I yanked out my bible and began to compose a response that was so long, I couldn’t put it all in one post.  It took three.  I cited verse after verse in an attempt to prove my point.  He did the same.  Actually, I think if you look at my Facebook page, most of the bible passages are contained there.

Go take a look. I’ll wait.

Let me be absolutely clear on one thing: I support gay rights.  All of them.  Even the right to be legally joined.  Not only that, but I also believe in my heart that there is nothing wrong with you or your relationship if you happen to be gay.

Let me also say that you’re not going to change my opinion. Ever.  Just like I’m not going to change yours if you believe that homosexuality is an abomination and a sin.  This particular issue causes more heated arguments than pretty much anything else because both sides believe in their heart they are right. And both sides are tremendously passionate.

Let’s just agree to disagree for now.

I know what you’re thinking. The bible says it’s wrong!  Leviticus 18:22.  Pull out your bible, Donna, and have a look.  It’s right there!

You know what? You’re right.  It is written in there.  In black and white.  Neat little print.  Clear as a bell. (Well, as clear as that teeny-tiny print can be.)

And that’s where my confusion begins.

In this social media firestorm, I was simply looking for the answer to a question that no one can seem to answer for me: Why do we take Leviticus 18:22 literally yet, for the most part, do not do the same with other verses? In my humble opinion, if we are going to take verses from the bible literally, we must do it with all of them. We shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which verse withstands the test of time and which one can be tossed aside or disregarded. But it this case, it seems as though we are. To me, at least.

In my Facebook rant (Yes it was a rant), I cited other verses from Leviticus that reference putting a child to death for cursing their mother or father, not planting two types of seeds in your garden, not wearing clothing made from two types of materials, and putting to death those who work on the Sabbath.

In this rant, after I cited these verses I asked the question: Why do we take Leviticus 18:22 literally but none of the others?  Some of the rules laid out there seem a bit harsh (Stoning?  Really?), and others just seem silly.  I happen to love a poly-cotton blend.

My question went unanswered. Instead, I was told was that these verses are taken from the Old Testament and were meant primarily for Jews.  The New Testament is what applies to the Gentiles.

Umm…okay. So if you’re Jewish, you can’t be gay.  But if you’re a Gentile, you can?  And if you’re Jewish, all the laws in the Old Testament apply to you?  I have a Jewish friend and to the best of my recollection, there haven’t been any stonings at her place.  Also, her kids are still alive and I feel certain they’ve cursed her.  She may have even worked on a Sunday….

But I digress.

That didn’t clear it up for me. Why?  Because we are still taking Leviticus 18:22 literally and not doing the same for others and my question wasn’t answered.  In fact, my comments were tossed back to me with such flippancy, all I could was read it with wide eyes and and an open mouth.

Now, I don’t want to get into a whole “Battle of the Scriptures” here because I know I’m not going to change your mind. I’m not going to post something from the bible and change your entire belief system.  Just as you are not going to change mine.  The verse that speaks directly to homosexuality is there!  I know it is! But I hope I’ve at least made you understand why this is confusing to me.

If you have a differing opinion, can you do the same for me? Can you explain how you came to your way of thinking?

What I am asking is for someone to please explain to me why we adhere to this one verse, yet ignore other verses from the same book? The same page of the bible?  How can this make sense?  Surely, when studying the bible, someone asked their pastor this question.

Truly, I just do not understand and I want to. I want to understand how someone whose opinion is the opposite of mine came to their conclusion and didn’t question why certain verses are subject to interpretation, yet others are not.

I’ve read the bible just like you. I’m still recovering from eight years of Catholic School and three years of Catechism.  That’s a lot of time spent with a bible in front of me while wearing a navy blue skirt and vest, white shirt, and hideous brown loafers.  (Hey!  What’s something you’ll never hear at a Catholic School?  Wait for it…. “So, what are you wearing tomorrow?”  Sad, but true.  Trust me, I’ve lived it.)

Anyway, I’ve read the part where it says homosexuality is an abomination. I’ll give you that.  But it says a lot of other things too.

So why? Why do we fall on our sword for this issue?  Why is this verse absolute and unchanging, yet so many others are subject to interpretation?

I don’t want to argue the homosexuality issue.  I just want someone to give me an explanation as to why this verse does not change with the passage of time, yet others do.  I want to understand how you came to this conclusion. What was your thought process? Did you question other verses and why they aren’t enforced? If you did ask those types of questions, how was it explained to you?

We’re not going to change one another’s opinions or thoughts on this very heated issue, but I really want to understand how the other side thinks.

Anyone?

Donna Small is a sinner who resides in Clemmons, North Carolina, where she is at work on her next novel. She has always found it difficult to keep her mouth shut and her opinions to herself.   She is the author of Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water, both available from Second Wind Publishing.  To purchase her books, click here:  http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!donna-small/c1ewn

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Addiction?

I remember one day, a few years back, when Elin Woods was reported to take a golf club to her husband, Tiger’s, car. At that moment, I remember thinking,”He cheated and she found out.”

Sure enough, as the press reports filtered in, it was revealed that Tiger had not only cheated once, but several times.

Shortly thereafter, Tiger confessed to being a “sex addict.” Again, I saw it coming.

You see, it seems that recently, whenever someone does something wrong, they don’t own up to it. It’s more of the “I couldn’t help myself because I have an addiction.”

You know what?

I’m sick of it.

I’m sick of people not taking responsiblity for their actions and for the people they’ve hurt. Take Tiger Woods. Instead of owning up to his mistakes and admitting that yes, he cheated on his wife numerous times, he chose, what I feel is a complete and total cop-out. He held a press conference in which he claimed to have a “sex addiction.”

I’m going to call BS on that one.

You see, in my mind, an addiction is something that has a hold over you, something you can’t help but take part of. For that to occur, there’s got to be some sort of chemical manipulation. Tiger claimed sex addiction and I couldn’t help wonder why if he was so addicted to sex, why didn’t he have sex with his wife? To me, at least, he seemed to be addicted to having sex with other women. Is that really an addiction? A chemical imbalance? Something you have no control over?

I doubt it.

More likely, Tiger was relishing in the thrill of having sex with someone other than his wife and loved the excitement of trying not to get caught.

Addiction? I think not.

I apply this same principal to those who say they have a food addiction. Typically, these people are overweight and, in my opinion, trying to find an excuse.

Sorry, but there it is.

Food addiction? I completely doubt the validity of this condition.

Here’s the thing: When someone claims to have a food addiction, they tend to be drawn to fatty foods – pizza, ice cream, fried chicken, etc.. I can’t help but wonder why no one is ever addicted to, say, carrot sticks or leafy greens.

The other problem I have with this so-called condition is that you need food to survive. How can you be addicted to something that is essential to life? Is anyone addicted to water? Oxygen?

In my mind, a fodd addiction is not so much a food addiction as it is a lack of self control and once again, the quest to shift the blame onto something or someone else. It’s as if they’re saying “This weight problem isn’t really my fault. I can’t be held accountable. You see, I have this addiction to food….”

Again, I call BS on that one.

It’s time for all of us to own up to our actions, especially when our actions hurt ourselves or others. Tiger, hold a press conference and tell the world you’re just an ass and not someone with an addiction or, as I like to call it, an excuse for bad behavior. If you have a problem with making poor food choices, call it what it is – a lack of self control. No addiction “made” you eat that entire fried chicken or cheesecake. You made the choice and you are in control of your behaviors.

This is what I’ve tried to instill in my children. I’m tired of hearing the excuse “she made me…”

No. She did not.

“She” may have instigated you or pushed your buttons but you are the one who chose to hit, poke or do whatever in response. You are in charge of your own behaviors and it’s time we all accept that. What each of us does is our own choice and not the result of some condition or “addiction.”

Yes, I purposely put the quotes around that word.

If I seem a bit intolerant, I apologize. For the record, I do accept that there are many legitimate addictions. Many have fallen victim to drugs and alcohol. I get it. But in my opinion, we are taking it to the extreme.

No more, people! We all need to take responsibility for our actions. No wimping out and claiming “it’s not my fault” or “I couldn’t help myself.”

Take control of your actions. Apologize when necessary and simply say that you’ll do your best not to do it again. Personally, I’d rather hear a heartfelt apology than an excuse any day of the week.

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Do I really need another hobby?

After photobefore

I’ll admit it.  I have alot of hobbies.  I’m one of those people who has difficulty sitting still for any length of time.  Even if do find myself sitting down, I have a book in my hand so that I am at least doing something. 

Now, it’s not like I have countless hours to fill.  I work full time and when I”m not in the office, I am kept busy raising my two daughters.  I have always been very active, teaching fitness classes for more than twenty years (Yes, I began teaching fitness when I was 5).  

In my early twenties, I began to pursue the craft of quilting.  What began as a pillow here or there has blossomed into all out quilting.  And then there’s the knitting and the crocheting that I was taught by my grandmother when I was a pre-teen.  I have knitted more scarves and crocheted more blankets than I care to remember. 

Let’s not forget this whole writing thing, present for most of my life but squelched during the years when my girls were babies and consumed practically all of my time.  Since those early years, I have written three books and had two of them published.  Along with this hobby, if that’s what you’ll call it, I’m an avid reader.  There are currently more than fifty books loaded onto my Kindle and more than two hundred books on bookcases in my spare bedroom just waiting to be read. 

So why, I must ask, do I feel the need to pursue other hobbies?  I have no idea.  All I can say is that when I am presented with something I know nothing about and the idea appeals to me, I feel the need to find out more about it.  Since I’m a visual person, this usually involves something for me to do with my hands. 

Case in point:  A few months back, a friend posted pictures on Facebook of some furniture she was trying to get rid of.  My closest friend saw the post and encouraged me to take one of the items posted.  Upon further discovery, the piece was being given away….for free!    Well, anyone who knows me knows where this is headed. 

Yup.  I scooped up that piece of furniture without even knowing what I was going to do with it.

I stored it in my garage until I gathered the courage to attempt to do something with it. When I finally googled enough sites and asked enough people what in the world I should do with it, I began to sand. I sanded and sanded and sanded. I spend countless hours sanding the hell out of that piece of furniture. Each night, my arms were quivering with exhaustion but I will admit there was a certain thrill in handling my first power tool!

But I digress…Once the sanding was completed, I painted and stained and poly’d that piece of furniture until it shone. The pics at the top of this post show the before and after and honestly? I’m incredibly proud of what I did with that piece!

And now, I have to confess, I am an addict. I peruse Craig’s list daily, looking for the crap that others are trying to get rid of. I have pulled over to the side of the road to haul a desk into my minivan, intent on refinishing it and giving it new life. That piece is now in my garage, awaiting a paint job.

Suffice it to say, I have a new hobby. Not that I needed another thing to do or had time on my hands. But I am just one of those people who finds that they work best when they are under pressure. Give me a day with nothing planned and I will do nothing. Give me a day where every minute is planned and I will complete all my tasks with time to spare.

So, if you have a piece of furniture somewhere in your house and if you are sick and tired of looking at said piece of furniture, let me know. I’ll take it off your hands and experiment with it! Got some fabric you’re looking to get rid of? Let me know. I’ll make something out of it. Old t-shirts? Send them my way and I’ll cut them up and put them into a quilt. What about yarn? Yup. I’ll take it. I feel the urge to crochet another blanket.

After all, I’m able to squish these hobbies into every spare minute I can find.

Donna Small is the author of two nowels: Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. She lives in Clemmons, North Carolina where she is at work on her next novel and several other piecesof furniture, quilts, scarves, and whatever else she can use to feed her ADHD.

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=62

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Wives are Awesome

Recently, I’ve begun to notice some changes in how men and women view marriage later on in life as opposed to how they viewed it when we were in our twenties. I can recall being fresh out of college, wide eyed and expectantly waiting for the next stage of my life. For me, like most young women, that meant marriage.

I, like many of my friends who were of the female persuasion, spent countless hours pouring over bridal magazines, researching reception sites, wandering through craft stores in an attempt to get some ideas for centerpieces and favors, and even trying on dresses as though we were already engaged. One friend in particular actually purchased a wedding gown before she met the man she was going to marry, so certain was she that the dress she found was “the one.”

Our male counterparts, on the other hand, spent their days avoiding anything at all to do with marriage. In fact, most of them avoided any discussion of marriage as though the mere mention of the word would cause their favorite appendage to fall off. Some of them commonly referred to the institution as antiquated and not for them, even hinting that monogamy went against their most primal urge to repopulate the earth with as many offspring as possible. One more than one occasion, I distinctly heard a young man (who had taken the plunge) refer to his wife as “the old ball and chain.”

What twenty-something man, after hearing that statement, would have any desire to be married?

Then something happens. One by one, these men lose the battle against marriage. One by one, they each walk down the aisle and pledge their love and fidelity to their bride, not knowing what the future will bring, but unwilling to lose the woman walking toward them in the white dress.

Flash forward to twenty years later…

Some of these marriages have remained in tact and some have fallen apart. What I find interesting is that despite the current status of their marriage, when asked if they’d “do it all again,” men and women, generally speaking, have very different responses. More often than not, it is the women who answers with a resounding “NO!” Even “Hell, no!” Whereas the men grin widely, then vehemently and enthusiastically nod their heads in the affirmative.

Ever wonder why that is? Why is it that two people who had pretty much the same experience wind up with such differing opinions as to whether or not they’d do it all again?

Well, you know me. I’ve come up with a theory: WIVES ARE AWESOME!

Mind boggling, huh? But seriously. Wives. Are. Awesome.

Just ask any man who has one or who has had one in the past.

From the moment the vows are said and rings are exchanged, all the little things that they used to worry about, all the details that make a household run, simply…vanish. See, this is what Wife does.

Allow me to explain.

From the moment Husband wakes up in the morning, practically every detail is taken care of for him. He takes a shower. His favorite shampoo is there on the shelf, simply waiting for him to use it. He steps out of the shower and wraps himself in a towel that is clean and fresh. He dresses himself in clothes that have been laundered and pressed for him, then steps into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, which was prepped the night before and set to begin brewing in the morning at just the right time.

Let’s say he goes to the bathroom and then reaches for the toilet paper. It is there on the roll, just waiting for him to use it. Now, of course men can buy the toilet paper but it is the wife who puts in on the roll because – let’s face it – the mechanical aspect of removing the empty roll and replacing with a new one has confused the modern man for YEARS!

But I digress….

Throughout the day, there are countless items that have been prepared by Wife in order to eliminate the need for Husband to have to think about. In some cases, it is so extreme that Husband can simply ask a question about a random item of clothing, pair of shoes, or an odd piece of paper and Wife will respond in kind with the items exact location.

Sure enough, Wife is correct.

I’m not sure why this entire process happens and I won’t even try to explain it. I will, however, tell you that, in my experience, men come to cherish, even rely upon this set up. So much so that after divorcing, it is the Husband who remarries quickly, finding that the marriage he once avoided is something he doesn’t want to live without. It seems Husband has gotten so dependent on the “being taken care of” aspect of marriage that he can’t wait to dive back into the marriage pool.

Women, on the other hand, begin to cherish their independence and fill their minds with the things they didn’t have time to do before because their minds were already full with taking care of their households. Now, often times for the first time ever, Wives find they have time to actually take care of themselves, a foreign concept to most, after having spent years caring for everyone else. Even my own mother has yet to remarry, still relishing her independence and autonomy whereas my father was remarried within a year of divorcing.

Is this a bad thing? Maybe. Maybe not. In my father’s situation, he remarried quickly and is still married to my stepmother, a wonderful woman, to this day. Both of them are quite happy.

What I can tell you is that for every happy ending like my father’s, there are countless other men who have leapt into a second marriage without even considering what went wrong with the first marriage. And this does not bode well for anyone involved.

And take my mother. She is very happy living by herself but for every woman like my mother who is happy being independent, alone but not lonely, there are countless women who find themselves in the same situation but aren’t happy.

So what’s the answer? I’m going to have to stay right in the middle on this one and say that I think it varies for every person. If you were to ask me “Will you ever marry again?” what would I say?

Well, I would ponder the question for a moment, then grin at you and say, “Sure! If I can find myself a wife!”

Donna Small is the author of two novels, Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. Both are available from Second Wind Publishing. She lives in Clemmons, NC with her two daughters where she is at work on her next novel.
http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=62&osCsid=a456c832a9f80ebfd294b9b39cd35a80

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Three Weeks Until Christmas?

Am I the only person who was shocked to realize this week that Christmas is only three weeks away? How does this happen?

What is so interesting is that Christmas falls on the same day every year. It’s not one of those willy-nilly holidays that changes depending on some outside factor. Every year, Christmas is December 25. How is it that on December 1st every year, I lose it just a little bit? With little more than three weeks to go, I begin to jot down all the presents I still need to buy, the supplies I need to wrap said presents, and the food items I will need to purchase for our Christmas dinner.

Then, of course, there are the activities my children and I want to take part in. There is the Festival of Lights to see, the ABC Family 25 days of Christmas, the lighting of the Rockefeller center Christmas tree, and a hole host of parties to make appearances at.

It seems as though each year, I try to cram in more and more activities into this month. It’s gotten so stressful that I’ve resorted to eliminating anything from my plate that I can. Last year, I simply posted a “Merry Christmas” message on Facebook in lieu of sending out Christmas cards. (Yes, I really did that.) Of course, immediately after posting my “Christmas card” to Facebook, I received one of those Christmas letters in the mail. You know…THOSE letters. The ones detailing each member of the family’s accomplishments throughout the year. The letter that I never seem to have time to complete. Not that I could remember the entire year anyways.

Seriously, I just can’t keep up with all of it. So this year, I’m vowing to be stress free. I will not fall victim to the Christmas card and all that’s involved with dressing up my children so they look like little angels. I will not battle the crowds at the mall; this year, I vow to make most of my purchases on-line. I vow to not go into debt to give my children every single item on their list only to have it wind up in the goodwill pile in three months. I vow that this year will be the best year, filled with laughter and the things that really matter.

Quality time together.

Donna Small is the author of two novels; Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. She lives in Clemmons where she is at work on her next novel.

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=62&osCsid=1a86c254d67fadbd2a62111aaf323367

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Technology Addiction Continued….

I have always been a reader. I love books. Their smell, the way they feel, the sound they make when the binding is cracked for the first time. I love the feel of the coolness in my hands and the smooth surface of the cover.

Beside my bed, there is a stack of books that I have purchased at various stores with the intent of reading. Unfortunately, I tend to purchase more books than I am capable of reading. Thus, my to-be-read pile continues to grow despite the fact that I spend a great deal of time sitting on my couch reading. It has grown so much, in fact, that I now have a spare bedroom that I have furnished with bookcases along one wall. It is these bookcases that hold the books I am intent on reading but can’t find room for on the pile beside my bed.

It really is quite comical. I may find myself buried beneath a pile of trade paperbacks one morning and unable to get out of bed. Come to think of it, as long as I can open one of the books, that may not necessarily be a bad thing…

But I digress.

In one of my earlier blogs I confessed to my technology addiction and now I will confess to allowing technology to enter my one true love – books.

I now have an e-reader. But not just any e-reader. I have the Kindle paperwhite. This neat little gadget has a screen that mimics both the look and feel of an actual piece of paper. The technology that comes with this little gizmo enables one to read while they are anywhere…even in direct sunlight! If any of you are like me, much of your time is spent outside. And if you can read while enjoying a sunny afternoon, all the better. Perhaps you’re sitting on your porch or relaxing by the pool. In either of these situations, the sun is your enemy as you simply cannot see the words on your e-reader screen despite how much you squint or turn the device. You wind up with a headache from trying to read through a piercing glare.

I no longer have that problem.

Let me say that this particular path to yet another technological addication was a long one. I didn’t want the e-reader. I had no interest in a device that was so “portable,” which is what my mother told me when she purchased hers. I simply could not understand how this device was any more portable than, say, a paperback.

Still, I gave in and got the e-reader. Once it was in my possession however, I was hesitant to purchase books for it. Would I miss holding a book in my hand? Would I miss turning the pages and feeling their smooth, cool softness between my fingers? Would I be somehow disloyal to the stack of books I already had in my possession?

I began slowly by downloading anything that was free, whether it was a short story, a novella or a full-length novel. In this manner, I was much like the former smoker who never buys a pack, only borrows from friends. If you don’t have to pay for it, you’re not really cheating, right?

Of course, it is a slippery slope and from there, I began to search out older books from some of my favorite authors. I signed up for several email alerts that let me know which books were on sale or were free. Before long, I had pages and pages of books stored on my Kindle that were sitting there, just waiting for me to read them.

I now confess to having an equal amount of books on my shelves and on my Kindle.

And I’ll never be able to read them all.

Donna Small is the author of two novels, Just Between Friends and A Ripple In The Water. She lives in Clemmons, North Carolina where she is at work on her next novel.

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=62&osCsid=ae4531f38449420009d200bed615aecb

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Great New Novels For All Tastes From Second Wind Publishing!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00021]A Ripple in the Water, a romance by Donna Small: Kate Penner, a lovely young widow raising her seven year old daughter, has managed to put her life back together with the help of good friends and a year to recover from her husband’s accidental death. Fate isn’t through dealing surprises to Kate, however. A much younger man, irresistible and charming, has come back into Kate’s life, bringing with him a highly charged secret that will change many lives and relationships permanently. At a point in her life when she thought maintaining was the best she could do, Kate must decide if she can laugh, trust and love once again.

Click here to read the first chapter: A Ripple in the Water by Donna Small

***

shakazhanShakazhan, science fiction by Dellani Oakes: Beginning where Lone Wolf left off, we join Wil VanLipsig and Matilda Dulac as they continue their epic sci-fi adventure. John Riley is gone. He disappeared with the help of an ancient transportation device. They hope he’s dead, but can’t count on it. He’s far too dangerous. With the help of some new friends, they trek across the galaxy, venturing further into deep space. They arrive at a long forgotten planet – Shakazhan, heart of a legendary warrior race, The Timokuan.

Click here to read the first chapter: Shakazhan by Dellani Oakes

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deadlyadagioDeadly Adagio, a mystery by Carole Howard: Emily Radly chafes at being a tag-along spouse while her husband tries out a Foreign Service career in Dakar, Senegal. When Margaret, her closest friend and fellow violinist in an amateur expat-orchestra, is garroted with a violin string, Emily delves into her friend’s private life for clues. She discovers Margaret was involved in a campaign against the traditional practice of female genital mutilation. She risks a visit to the village where Margaret’s anti-cutting activities were centered. When the Peace Corps volunteer in that village is also murdered, Emily is certain her own life is in danger.

Click here to read the first chapter: Deadly Adagio by Carole Howard

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Excerpt From “A Ripple in the Water” by Donna Small

A Ripple in the WaterWhen widow and single mother, Katharine Penner, Spots a tall, gorgeous stranger on the other side of the local swimming pool, she is struck by her immediate and intense reaction to him. In an awkward and very uncomfortable turn of events, Kate learns that the stranger she was drawn to is non other than Riley Morgan, the new swim coach and college-aged son of one of her closest friends. Riley has long harbored feelings for Kate but kept them his most closely guarded secret, all to aware of the fact she was married and off limits. But now, one year after tragedy has left Kate alone, he has come home for the summer determined to win her affections.

As the summer progresses, these two find that their mutual attraction for each other blossoms into something much more serious than either of them ever thought possible. But can Kate’s second chance at love overcome the obstacles created by their thirteen year age difference and her friendship with Wendy, Riley’s incredibly overprotective mother?

EXCERPT:

Once his summer plans were in place, it seemed it couldn’t arrive quickly enough. His excitement was palpable, though he did his best to hide it from his roommates. They had embraced college life with two arms and were mostly occupied with cute co-eds. As a result, they were oblivious to Riley’s distraction. None of them – and his roommates were his closest friends – would understand his feelings for a woman from his hometown or his lack of desire to date any of the coeds that were constantly hanging around in their apartment as though it were a designer shoe store having a clearance sale.

Occasionally, though, one of his roommates would push the dating issue and even more occasionally, Riley would succumb to the pressure and take some girl to a movie or campus party. A part of him hoped that doing so would help him forget his feeling for Kate but it never did. The girls he dated were just that – girls. They were insecure and full of themselves at the same time. How was that even possible? How could these girls look down their noses at someone and then in the next moment, be upset because some guy called you five minutes later than he said he would? Riley shook his head. He was tired of the drama. Tired of double dating with another couple, only to have both girls leave to go to the bathroom at the same time. Tired of the stupid ones who called and hung up, not realizing that in this day and age, everyone had caller id. And he was tired of the giggling. It was maddening, and he was done.

Once he’d made that decision, it only seemed the natural progression to date women who were older. Of course, his roommates were all for this and would high-five him before each date, then poke each other in the stomach while giving each other knowing looks.

Riley, for whatever reason, found older women fascinating, making this method of dating somewhat easier than his earlier attempts. Older women were self-confident and didn’t give a shit if you called or didn’t call. They had lives of their own and while they were pleased if you called, they wouldn’t give you the third degree if you didn’t. They were comfortable with themselves and truly believed that if you didn’t call, it was your loss.

If you didn’t call, they would make other plans.

Older women had their own lives to lead and they certainly weren’t going to sit around waiting for some guy. Riley smiled, thinking of the ladies he’d dated. They were all wonderful, confident, intelligent women but, truth be told, they weren’t Kate. Despite dating these women, some of them he truly cared for, he was unable to rid himself of the ever present feelings he had for Kate.

It was Kate he wanted and there would be no substitute.

***

Donna Small is the author of two novels, Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. She discovered books at a very early age and would frequently ignore her teachers in order to discreetly read book during class. To this day, she is an avid reader and can be found most evenings curled up with a good book. She lives in Clemmons, NC with her two daughters and their beagle, Charlie, where she is at work on her next novel.

Click here to buy: A Ripple in the Water

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