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Archive for March, 2011

Life Acks

It’s spring here in the Lower Mainland. True, we technically have a few days to go according to the calendar, but the blossoms are blooming, the allergies are making us drippy and sneezy, and the weather changes every few minutes between dark, grey deluge and clear blue skies dotted with puffy little white clouds. Spring indeed. In keeping with my last post and the season, there’s love in the air.

In the aftermath of the devastation in Japan, I’ve found myself holding the people I love closer than ever lately.

My friend Deb captured the feeling exactly on her blog recently: And when people have nothing left, they don’t wander around searching for their wallets or employee badges – they look for children, parents, brothers and sisters; friends. They look for the people they love, and who love them, because at the end of the day, that is all anyone wants–to love and be loved.

I’m pretty good at remembering to let the people in my life know they’re important to me, but like most of us, I get caught up in the general busyness of life and don’t always think of it. I’m paying closer attention to making the effort these days.

As I mentioned in another recent post, some of my writing friends have had good news lately in their writing careers. Among my Compuserve Books & Writers Forum friends and acquaintances, the good news keeps on coming. It’s inspiring, and one night I got thinking about all the people who contribute to our successes, the ones we’d thank, given the opportunity, on an acks page in our books. Whether you’re a writer or not, it’s an interesting exercise. Who belongs on your acks page? Have you told them what they mean to you? If you haven’t, what’s holding you back? Go. Tell them.

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Choosing Happy

My name is Kathy, and I read romance. I read other stuff, too, but for the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on the love story part of my insatiable reading habit.

I’ve never picked up a traditional Harlequin category romance, I must admit, though I’m sure there are lots of great ones out there. Very short novels, as so many of those are, have never attracted me. But longer romances like Nora Roberts’s trilogies, contemporary romances by the likes of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Susan Wiggs, regencies by Mary Balogh and others, and women’s fiction that isn’t technically romance but often still has a strong romance element, like those by Kate Harrison and Cathy Kelly and many others, these are all books I enjoy. It’s what I write – more the romantic women’s fiction end than straight romance – and it makes me happy to read it.

For me, there is something to be said for sinking into a joyful story, for coming out the other end of conflict and possible loss and ending with something good. I like romantic gestures and love and seeing people connect, whether in the real world or in fiction.

I happened across this lovely bit below in the Mary Balogh book I just finished the other day, from the main character’s thoughts in Seducing an Angel, and it sums up why I like to read happy books, watch movies that leave me feeling good, write what I write and surround myself with people I love who bring joy to my life. I’m think I’m going to adopt this as my philosophy of life. Something to pin on the bulletin board beside the computer, don’t you think?

“The world was a wonderful place, and if it was true that there was no such thing as happily ever after, then at least sometimes there was happiness pure and unalloyed, and one ought to grasp it with both hands and carry it forward to make the hard times more bearable.”

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Huge congratulations to Martin Chung, the excellent photographer who happens to be my husband, on his accolade of excellence from the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) 16×20 print contest. Check out Martin’s blog for the details here.

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I’ve mentioned my friend Ev Bishop’s blog here before. But once again today (well, yesterday, actually, but I’m behind on my reading – big surprise), she’s written a post that touched me with its details. She has a lovely eye for moments. If you haven’t read her blog, I highly recommend it.

Up to my eyeballs in SiWC stuff at the moment, so my own writing insight is nonexistent for the moment, so I won’t even attempt any.

I do, however, have a question for you. Where do you stand on the idea, most recently touted by books like The Secret, that what you genuinely ask the universe for will come to you? I haven’t given it much thought, to tell you the truth. I’m a karma girl: I do think that what you put out comes back to you, one way or another, but I’d never considered it on a specific, as opposed to simply positive/negative level before.

Ran into a guy yesterday at Starbucks who believes in it wholeheartedly. Just so happens he’d been thinking seriously in the last few days about the non-fiction book he wants to write and the fact that he knows nothing at all about the process or even where to start looking, and then he struck up a conversation with me, a total stranger who happens to have spent the last decade learning about the publishing industry, over coffee. Coincidence?

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