Tag Archives: new year

New Beginnings and Happy Endings by Sherrie Hansen

The old joke goes that someone asked Mrs. Lincoln, “Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?” The twentieth century version would be, “Aside from that, Mrs. Kennedy, how did you enjoy your trip to Dallas?”

Today is the 360th day of the year. There are five days left in 2017. For me, much of the year passed in a fog because in 2017 my father was diagnosed with leukemia and eventually died. When something that life changing happens, everything else is inconsequential. But the year did have some bright points, and I’d like to think on a few of those things as well as what I am looking forward to in 2018.

az-purples

In January, Mark and I went to Arizona for a Spiritual Life Retreat. It was a good way to start out the year and helped ground me for what was to come. Seeing the beautiful red rocks and hiking in the desert was an eye-opening  experience for me. Having grown up amid Minnesota Northwood trees, lakes and streams, I’d rarely appreciated the beauty of the desert – until we discovered Sonoran Botanical Gardens. We even saw a rainbow. A promise was a good thing, because even then, we knew something was wrong with Dad.

Food - melting moments

The first week of February, I celebrated 25 years of being open for business at the Blue Belle Inn B&B and Tea House, and my 60th birthday. We served Tomato Basil, Fresh Broccoli, Wonderful Wild Rice, and Potato Ham soups, egg salad and Monte Cristo sandwiches, Copenhagen Cream with Raspberries and my fancy homemade cookies. I hired a DJ and made up an eclectic set-list of favorite songs from 1957 on. It was a wonderful night and would be my Dad’s last time to come to an event at the Blue Belle.

baldners-dad

March brought a flurry of bad diagnosis and a roller coaster ride of hope and frustrations and searches for answers.

Zion - Sunset 2015 2

In April, Dad took his last “big trip” when he came down to Mark’s church in Hudson to listen to the M&MS and Zion’s worship team sing Life is Like a Mountain Railway, his favorite song. We practiced it several times for him because it made him so happy.

Ireland - flowers

In late May, Mark and I said goodbye to Dad at the ICU at Mayo. Dad had pneumonia. I hated leaving him, but we had tickets to Wales, Ireland and England. We compensated for our absence by calling him every night from whatever country we were in. We stayed at B & B’s, enjoyed taking photos of amazing castles, gardens, and beaches, as well as sampling delicious pub grub, smoked haddock, millionaire bars (caramel shortbread), meat pies, Battenberg cakes, and Irish stew. Our adventures on the Wild Atlantic Way along the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland inspired a new book, Seaside Daisy.

Ireland - daisy sea

Dad rallied and was still alive when we came home in mid-June. It seems like the whole summer went by in a blur. Dad had chemo and almost 70 blood transfusions. We almost lost him twice, once when he went into anaphylaxis shock and once when his platelets dropped to 1.7. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren came from all over the country to hug and cheer him on. Through it all, he kept his sense of humor and faith.

Dad - harvest

In the midst of the busyness, my new  release, Golden Rod, came out. I tried to promote it but my mind was on bigger things. In August, it became apparent that more chemo was not an option for Dad. The process of acceptance that we were going to lose him began. Dad said it was sure too bad he had to miss his funeral because he knew the music would be great (lively bluegrass) and he’d get to see everyone he knew. When he first mentioned having a funeral rehearsal, we thought he was kidding.

Dad - pick-up

Sept 7, we kids hosted Everett Hansen Day at the Farm. Nearly 250 friends and family came for a potluck, greeted by a joyous, smiling Dad. During the next two months Dad was able to stay at home, and as was his goal, watch the harvest come in. My brothers and sister and I took turns spending the night in the double recliner next to him and enjoying many late night conversations.

Dad - creek

October was spent doubling back to the Blue Belle to serve over a hundred Seasoned Pork and Parmesan Stuffed Pumpkins to lunch guests by day, planning and writing murder mysteries by night, spending Wed, Thurs and Fri evenings with Dad, and worrying about him the rest of the week when we were down in Hudson.

Dad - casket

Dad died on November 7th. The actual funeral was everything Dad envisioned, with great bluegrass music. I started writing again on the 22nd, but switched to working on Daybreak in Denmark, a sequel to my first book, Night and Day, because the father character reminded me of Dad.

BBInn - heavy snow smaller

Gray December has been spent catching up on everything that didn’t get done this summer, trying to break out of the fog, and getting used to the “new normal” of not daily talking to Dad about what is going on in my life and hearing his jokes and advice. I’ve spent a lot of time crying. Comfort foods help for awhile and then make me feel worse. I am so thankful that I was able to spend so much time with Dad before he died, but the closeness has made it harder to adjust to him being gone.

bbinn-winter-2016

I think 2018 will bring more big changes in my life. I’m not sure what that means, but I sense it very strongly. I wonder where to go from here. Nothing is as much fun as it used to be, because I can’t tell Dad about it and hear his laughter or comments. Sometimes, I think I could just as well die too, but I have to finish Daybreak in Denmark first – as long as I’m half done already. We Hansens like to finish what we start, and like Dad, I find it very satisfying to watch the harvest come in.

Sunset 2014 Corn

I wish all of you happy endings in 2018. To those of you who have suffered losses in 2017, I pray you will find peace and joy in the New Year. Because it’s not the end, but a new beginning.

Daybreak in Denmark

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Out With the Old by L.V. Gaudet

where the bodies are

It’s the old New Year’s adage, “Out with the old, in with the new.”  It’s the old over-done cliché that seems ageless and inescapable; along with the requirement to have a new year’s resolution.

I resolve to not resolve.  There, is my resolution for the new year.  It’s the same one from last year, and, I found, quite successful.

There will be changes.  The first month after the new year will mean leaving early where possible and dropping the kids to run in to their activities at the YMCA alone, while I spend a good half hour waiting for a parking spot to open and racing the other pacing vehicles for it.  After that, the new year’s resolutioners will have mostly abandoned their new exercise resolve.

We, as in me, also decided to go on a non-junk binge.  An anti-binge, if you will.  This isn’t a New Year thing, but more of a reluctantly waiting a few months after the great Halloween Binge of 2016 until everyone has finished scarfing down their Christmas goodies.  A healthy eating reset is long overdue.

The closest to an actual resolution was perhaps the choice of early December.  After utterly failing at all my writing goals, including miserably failing at NaNoWriMo, I made a decision.

Happy birthday to me, I made the decision on my birthday and it weighed heavily on me.

 

Between the need to earn a living, kids’ activities, keeping house and home in one piece, dog time, and family time, writing is unfortunately pushed to the edges of what everyone else needs from me.

And, once you are published (and even before that), you need to promote.  No one will ever read your work if they don’t know it exists.  You must promote yourself and your writing.  Writing is also a community.  So there is time spent promoting and helping your fellow author friends too.  That leaves gaps of minutes to stop and breathe, or write or edit.

It is a decision I struggled with over the past few years, tried to ignore in the hope it would go away, and found myself repeatedly visiting unhappily.

I’ve hit a roadblock where, once again, I feel I have no choice but to let writing hit the sideline for the next few years or so.  Writing, you have been indefinitely benched.

 

How do you let go?  That’s the next big question I faced.

When I can’t write, I feel more stressed.

Am I the only writer who drifts into something resembling depression when denied the ability to write?  Am I the only writer who is miserable when I feel like by taking time to write, I am taking time from commitments more important to everyone else?

 

Writing is the one passion I have ever allowed myself.  When you take away your only passion, that leaves you empty and hollow.

It is more than an outlet for stress relief.  It is a way of expressing myself.  It is a way of being – me.  It is the one and only thing that is me and me alone, not mother to-, wife to-, sister/daughter to-.  It is uniquely me and the one thing I do only for me.  No one else owns that.  Every other part of me belongs to everyone else.

It is a decision that, like so many others’ New Year resolutions, has failed.   I’m weak.

I cannot not write.

 

So, while the new year will bring little real changes for my life, except maybe trying to force my family to eat a little healthier until summer, I will continue stealing those few loose minutes to write … a word, a sentence, whatever time allows.

And, who knows, maybe I’ll manage to edit one of my finished or nearly finished books into something publishable.  I have a virtual stack of them sitting on a hard drive.

 

 

Resolutions, life choices, self-betterment, decisions, whatever tag you want to put on it.  What are your big or little decisions?  Decisions you felt coerced into (like sidelining writing), yearned for, or life simply put in your path?  How did it go and what are you looking forward to in the new year?

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

L.V. Gaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

 

The McAllister Farm:  book 2 in the McAllister series.  The secret behind the bodies is revealed.

 

Links to purchase this and other upcoming L.V. Gaudet’s books

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

 

Follow L. V. Gaudet:

Facebook author page

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Pinterest

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WordPress:  LV Gaudet, author

 

 

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2017 – A Blank Canvas by Sherrie Hansen

One of the highlights of 2016 for me has been that I’ve started to paint. I won’t say I learned to paint, because except for a 3-4 minute online tutorial on how to paint flowers and leaves, I haven’t had a teacher. I have had a lot of inspiration and encouragement, from both people and places. And somewhere, hidden deep inside me, there was evidently a smidgen of artistry waiting to be brought to life.

Droid August 25 2016 003

A favorite quote from my favorite author, Maud Hart Lovelace, who wrote the Betsy Tacy books –  “Isn’t it mysterious to begin a new journal like this? I can run my fingers through the fresh clean pages but I cannot guess what the writing on them will be.” (from Betsy in Spite of Herself). For me, the new year has long been the time to start a new diary, write the first words in a blank journal, or begin a new book. I’ve always had a wild imagination, an abundance of curiosity, and plenty of thoughts and opinions. But painting has taken me to a whole new layer of creativity. Here’s why I like to think of 2017 as a blank canvas.

heaventobetsy-179x269

When we write, we start out with white pages. When I paint, I begin with a stretched linen canvas, painted black. It provides a good base, a medium for blending, and the perfect contrast and background for other colors. Black separates the colors and keeps them from becoming muddled. It gives the painting a sense of unity. Unless you’re a lot younger and much more pristine than I am, it seems fitting to start out with a canvas that’s been woven, wet, starched and stretched, maybe even painfully so.

Droid August 25 2016 056

To me, the black represents the past – triumphs and treasures, mistakes I’ve made and ongoing struggles. Much as I might wish that some of those events never happened, I realize that they’re the foundation of who I am, and that the finished painting will be many times more beautiful because of the richness of my past experiences and the things I’ve learned along the way. The wonderful thing about painting is that I can start out fresh and cover the background with colorful new dreams and experiences.

Droid August 25 2016 005

I can paint whatever I like on my canvases. If I don’t like how they turn out, I can choose new colors, or alter the lines, or even start completely over again. There are no rules, no rights or wrongs, no preconceived notions to worry about. It’s all good.

Painting - Northern Lights

I don’t begin to know what 2017 will hold. I hope to see Golden Rod finished and published. All things considered, I feel a great sense of anticipation about what the year will bring. I wouldn’t be human if it wasn’t mixed with a little trepidation about what lies ahead. There are some significant milestones in store for me – a big birthday, and the 25th anniversary of the opening of my bed and breakfast and tea house.

BBI - Spring 2012

The important thing is that 2017 will be filled with all kind of opportunities – to choose the high road, focus on the good, to choose hope over despair, and people over technology – to be positive, and grateful, and loving and kind. Don’t be afraid to add some color to the mix. Create some new hues, try something you’ve never done before. Travel to new places and sing a new song or two. For the rest – “Brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. “ (Philippians 4:8)

Zion - Sunset 2015 2

Wishing you many blessings and rich, colorful landscapes in 2017. It’s a blank canvas – why don’t you pick up your brush and paint!

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GOALS

4 January 2014 

Goals.  January is the time to start fresh, make new goals and promises to do better, to get more accomplished and to follow through.

Goals are what keep us going, keep us motivated.  We all have goals, dreams and plans.  We dream about them, make lists so we can tick items off and measure pour progress as we make plans to have those dreams become reality.  We think about our goal’s potential, do what we need to and wait for them to manifest.

Creating your goal is the first step in making it happen but that is only the first step of many. When we give our goals a purchase on reality by voicing that goal, or putting it in writing we set something in motion.  Then as we strive for the changes needed to accomplish our goals, unfortunately, we awaken all the little demons that like to trip us up in our struggle to reach our goals and make positive changes in our lives.  All those blocks, fears and even the shame that has stopped our progress in the past can be counted on, one more time rear their ugly heads and do all they can to retard any forward momentum we have gotten going. 

Don’t give up.  Don’t let the negativity, the blocks, fears or shame stop you.  We do not need to have those negative impediments derail us in our pursuit of the goals we have set.  In order to achieve our goals, at the very least, we have to make some changes in our lives. By making these changes we are making room for our goals to manifest, to come into being in tangible and measureable ways. One way to think about these changes can be as simple as cleaning out the excess junk in your attic, or close or even your garage so you can make room for the things you want, the goals you have set.

We need to clean out the junk of the past, the rubbish that clutters our path, trips us as we try to pass, or garbage we hold onto to shame ourselves into failing because we may not feel worthy.  These are spiritual blocks and will take some work to clear, but it can be done, and must be worked on so that our goals have somewhere to take hold, put down roots and flourish.

I know I have a great deal of work to do in order to reach my goals.  I know they can be achieved with hard work, a willingness to let go of the past both in the spiritual wounds as well as the physical stuff I have kept that is no longer necessary.  Every day, I will do something, large or small to reach my goal.  At the beginning of the journey, it may seem like it is so much, but as the days pass, little by little I will erode the blocks in my path, for I am determined to reach my goals!  You can do the same and together the journey will not seem so lonely or arduous.  Happy New Year, and may all your goals be achieved.

S. M. Senden: author of Clara’s Wish and Lethal Boundaries.

 

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Coloring My New Year by Pat Bertram

I’ve never really celebrated New Year’s because it doesn’t mean much to me. It’s a relatively arbitrary date. The calendar numbers change, but that’s all. It’s not a universal new beginning. The Chinese New Year this year is on January 31, the Jewish New Year is on September 24, the Persian New Year is March 20, the Korean New Year is January 31, the Tibetan New Year begins on January 31 , and various communities in the Hindu religion have different dates — January 14, March 31, April 14, April 15.

calendar_2014January 1 is not even the beginning of a new season or of a solar cycle such as a solstice or an equinox. Nor is there any personal demarcation — no black line separates the old from the new. The world is no different today from yesterday, nor are we. We carry the old year with us because you have the same problems, sadnesses, hopes, fears.

There is a newness to January 1, though, and that is the newness of a new calendar.

Like school kids with stiff new clothes and a satchel full of crayons, unread books, and blank paper, we are ready to set out on an adventure, trembling with both trepidation and excitement. Our new calendars have 365 blank squares. How will we will those squares? With notations of appointments and special days, of course. Perhaps with reminders of bills to pay and chores to do. But many of those days will be blank. What we will do with those blank days? Will we search for happiness or a new love? Will we recommit to an old love or strive to attain a better level of health? Will we experience new things, meet new people, visit new places, sample new foods?

I do feel that particular newness today, that hope. I’ve had marvelous adventures the past past year — going to Seattle to see Shen Yun, riding in a limousine, hiking with the Sierra Club, making new friends, attending parties and performances. I’ve walked hundreds of miles in the desert, posted 500 bloggeries, learned dozens of delightful new words (my favorite is eupathy), shared many meals, laughed untold times, and exchanged thousands of smiles. It hasn’t all been wonderful, of course, but somehow I found the strength and courage to deal with the trying times. I cried when I needed to, threw my griefs into the blogosphere, talked about (or rather, talked around) a heartbreaking family situation. And I survived. Even thrived.

And now I have 365 blank days on my new calendar. I plan on getting out my box of crayons and coloring those days brightly.

I hope your days will be filled with wonder, new adventures, and much joy.

Happy New Year.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”

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Is it a resolution or a goal?

ImageI love lists.  And I love crossing things off of lists.

This time of year, therefore, makes me almost giddy!  There was a list for my holiday baking, a list for Christmas presents, a list for the grocery store, and my weekly to-do list.  And, of course, a list for both 2013 and 2014.

Yes, I have lists for the year.  Some might call them resolutions.  I prefer the word goals.    Hey, we all know that resolutions get broken.  Goals, however, can be attainable if written correctly.  Resolutions are often lofty ideals (i.e. “I wanna be skinny”).  Goals are smaller and more manageable (i.e. “I want to exercise for 20 minutes, three times a week”).  

Are they really the same thing?  Of course.  I know that.  Yet, calling my yearly list goals seems to work better for me than calling them resolutions.  Besides, I’m a writer.  Words matter.

For instance, if I fall short of a goal, I’m okay with reevaluating and trying again.  If I break a resolution, it’s already broken…what’s the point of fixing it?

So, as 2013 draws to a close, I can reflect on the goals I made this year.  Of my writing-specific ones, I kept some, and missed some.  The ones I missed will be added to my 2014 goals and some new ones will take the place of the goals I’ve accomplished.  And not just my writing goals, but my knitting goals, my self-improvement goals, my personal and professional goals.

What about you?  Do you make resolutions?  Or do have goals for the new year?  And what’s your personal track record for keeping them?

Whatever the answers, I do want to wish you a happy and prosperous 2014.

Blessings!


Nichole

Nichole R. Bennett has been an avid mystery reader from a young age.  Her first novel, Ghost Mountain, is available from Second Wind Publishing. When she’s not writing, Nichole can be found doing a plethora of crafty things, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, or spending too much time online.  And making lists.

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Starting 2013 Correctly

plate 11 mugStarting the New Year correctly takes some doing.

The three-week Christmas break at Windward Community College is over and I’m behind schedule. That’s OK. That’s my normal state. However, I don’t think I have ever been behind schedule in every area of my life, but this year I am behind in everything. I’m even behind in my sleep. But I digress…

In the mud department I decided to get away from coffee mugs, dinner plates and spaghetti bowls like those above and try something a little more challenging.

G sculp guide 4Being one who needs a road map if I’m going where I’ve never been before I started by make a cardboard guide to help me stay on the clay road so to speak. Since the clay that I extruded was ¾” and my mockup guide was inside the piece I had to make it an 1-1/2” smaller. If you look closely you can see the lines I drew as to where I hoped to place the first lay of clay. The height of this fair maid is 39 inches.

The first day of actually working with the clay I didn’t get very far. In fact I had to do it over because I didn’t like the lay of the bottom of the skirt.

The next time, 2 days later, went very well. In fact it went so well that I let the time get away from me.  To tell the truth it didn’t get away from me, I just ignored it. Worked on the sculpture for 7 hours straight. Went home tired as hell but well pleased with what I accomplished.

Hope sculp 6Well, here’s where I am today. I can see that I’m going to have to do something to soften her face and make it more feminine. I am also going to have to smooth down the whole figure.

I think I’m going to use under glazes and with a crackle finish, but I’m not sure yet. I’ll let you know where we’re going.

In the “paper” department, I got an email today that my murder mystery, “The Telephone Killer” would be out by the end of January. I don’t know why I’m so outrageously blessed, but it is great news for starting the New Year.

Hey, everyone, have an outrageously wonderful New Year!!!

Paul’s book The Telephone Killer published by Second Wind Publishing will be out January 31, 2013.

Please feel free to re blog any of my posts.

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A Gentler Year by J J Dare

The main characters in my writings tend to be reprobates, sinners with tarnished wings, saints with broken crosses, unrepentant narcissists, manipulators and malcontents. These are the bad boys and girls of my literary world.

I’ve occasionally self-analyzed myself about this tendency to write from the viewpoint of characters who are deeply flawed. I like to think my flaws are rather superficial and haven’t burrowed too deeply into my psyche, but when I think about how horrible some of my characters are, I have to wonder about myself.

My writing is based on the real world as I see, experience and understand it. When I ask myself the eternal writer’s question of “What if,” I base the answer (which influences how I write) on what bad things might really happen. While I’ll still write about death, disorder, murder and mystery, I’m making 2013 the year I slowly turn over a different colored leaf.

I’ll try to write more often about life and less about death. Although death is a part of life, for too many years it has dominated mine. I’m ready to drive in a direction I rarely take. A new baby in the house is persuading me to write about the power of life.

Mommaw’s one-handed typing with The Boy supervising

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’ll start writing romances. Ughh. No. Or if I do, they’ll be so offbeat you’ll have to really read between the lines to see it as a love story. But, I may try.

I’ll probably finish some of the straight fiction I’ve been working on for, uhm, many years. I might finally get to the bottom of this four-foot tall pile of unfinished literary symphonies.

One more resolution I have for this New Year is to compile several works-in-progress into an anthology. Fun times ahead 🙂

So, in honor of my resolutions to drive down different literary roads and to actually finish old projects, I’ll leave you with a piece I wrote:

Too by JDL

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and triple digit works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

Facebook addiction

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The Newness of a New Day by Pat Bertram

champagneI’ve never put emphasis on a new year because it’s an arbitrary date. The calendar numbers change, but that’s all. It’s not even a universal new beginning. The Chinese New Year this year is on February 10, the Jewish New Year is on September 4, the Persian New Year is March 21, the Korean New Year is February 2, the Tibetan New Year begins on March 5, and various communities in the Hindu religion have different dates —March 22, April 13, April 14, April 15, August 17, October 18.

January 1 is not even the beginning of a new seasonal cycle. And it doesn’t begin at the same time for all people. (So when did my New Year begin? At midnight in the city of my birth, or midnight in the city where I am presently residing?) Nor is there any personal demarcation — no black line separates the old from the new. You carry the old year with you because you have the same problems, sadnesses, hopes, fears. In other words, you are still you.

There is a newness to January 1, though, and that is the newness of a new day. Unlike the year, each day truly is a new beginning. You wake up, and for a second everything is untouched — like new-fallen snow — and you almost believe you can be anyone you want to be, do anything you want to do. Then the truth hits you.

Still, there’s hope, so I make daily resolutions instead of yearly ones. I have a list of a dozen do’s and don’ts that I would follow in a perfect world. I’m lucky to do about half of them each day, but it varies. Two days ago I did only a couple. Yesterday I did all but two. Today, of course, I resolve to follow everything on my list. The list includes such things as weight lifting and stretching, walking, writing, blogging, promoting, eating a big salad, drinking lots of water, staying away from sugar and wheat. As I said, in a perfect world . . .

Despite that, I did toast this New Year, more as a symbol of newness than the reality of it. I’ve learned that I have to make something important every day. And toasting the New Year seemed as good as anything to importantize. (Yeah, I know — there’s no such word as importantize, but just for today — this new day — there is.)

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”

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A New Year by Deborah J Ledford

Happy New Year everyone! I’m looking forward to presenting you more writing and appearance related articles the 5th of every month on the Second Wind Publishing Blog.

It’s been an honor to be one of the Second Wind Publishing authors. Last year my latest thriller in the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series SNARE was named The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist as the Best Mystery that captures the landscape of the southwest. This honor is absolutely the pinnacle of my writing career—hopefully more will follow.

As an added bonus, Malcolm’s Round Table nominated SNARE #3 on his list of Favorite Books of 2011. Thank you Malcolm R. Campbell for the exquisite review and for supporting authors of independent publishers!

My year begins as the newly elected President of Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime (DS SinC). If you’re crime fiction writer, or merely love to read mysteries and thrillers SinC is an organization you must join. I’m a member of the International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, but Sisters in Crime  is the single writer’s organization to fully support my efforts. And with 50 chapters across the nation, there’s sure to be group you could attend.

I’m excited about appearing at the Book ’em North Carolina event February 25th at Lumberton Community College. The coordinator assures a huge crowd of book lovers. I’ll be appearing on the panel “What Makes Us Special: Southern Literature” where I will have the opportunity to speak about the North Carolina locations where STACCATO, SNARE and quite a few of my published short stories are set.

Bestselling, award-winning authors Michael Palmer and Carla Neggers are the spotlight authors being featured at this event. Also scheduled to appear at Book ’em NC is Mike Simpson, the publisher of Second Wind. Can’t wait to see him again.

Thursday, February 23rd I’ll be appearing at Barnhill’s bookstore, 811 Burke St.,Winston-Salem NC 27101 from 5-7:00 PM. Very excited to meet Thais Butner Black and her staff! Fingers crossed for loads of mystery lovers at this signing.

If you’re in Tucson, Arizona March 10-11 put the Tucson Festival of Books on your calendar. This is one of the largest book fairs in the nation and last year more than 100,000 people attended the event. I’ll be at the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths booth, so drop by and say hello.

That’s it for now. Please leave a comment to alert everyone of other events we should mark on our calendars.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website.

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