Happy New Year – and Here’s to 2016!

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Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a enjoyable and safe end to your 2015; and would like to wish you the best in health, love, and creativity for 2016.

Also, I know I keep thanking you, the readers, for helping to make this blog what it has become… But, honestly, YOU deserve so much of the credit. Thank you for commenting on each post, sharing your thoughts and ideas, and sharing the links on your own blogs and on social media. Most importantly, thank you for your enthusiasm, encouragement, and thoughtful feedback. You put a smile on my face every day I’m here. 🙂

I used last year’s Happy New Year post to sort of “wrap up” the 2014 highlights for the blog and for me personally, and to look ahead to 2015. Since I was happy with the final product, I’ll do the same again for this year’s:
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Guest Post: Sara Letourneau, on Soccer Coach Dads and Passion Pursuits

Today I’m at Eli Pacheco’s blog Coach Daddy for a different kind of guest post. It’s less about writing (although the subject does sneak in) and more about one of the most important people in my life. It’s about a father, his love of soccer, and his (non-soccer player) daughter. It’s about the similarities in how people pursue their unique passions, and the little things we have in common with our loved ones that we might now realize right away. And, it’s the first guest post I’ve ever written that made me cry.

You can read the entire article now over at Coach Daddy. And while you’re at it, check out some of Eli’s posts about his own experiences (both enlightening and humorous) with fatherhood. 🙂

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Stormtrooper-2 Courtesy of Tamara Bowman

You guys have shared stories of your fathers with me, and it often leaves me with a hope – a hope that someday, someone will think of me this way as a dad, too.

guest postSara Letourneau managed to meld tales of her father the soccer coach with her own realizations as a writer. In molecular science, experts refer to this type of phenomenon as … well, they don’t have a term for it as yet. I love her insight, though.

Sara’s closing in on completion of a YA novel, The Keeper’s Curse (not a tale of Elise’s travails in goal, although that could happen someday.)

Sara writes a remarkable feature called 5 on the Fifth that you just have to check out.

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5 on the 5th: Five Things I’ve Learned in the Past Year

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On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives us an opportunity to talk about other subjects that aren’t normally discussed here at the blog. 

This might sound like a more appropriate post for New Year’s. But when I launched 5 on the 5th earlier this year, I realized what I was setting myself up for in September. And… well, I’m not the kind of person who runs around announcing her birthday to the world. (FYI: I HATE being sung to by a wait staff at a restaurant. It makes me want to curl up and hide.)

Last year’s birthday, however, was a milestone as well as a day of reflection. I thought back on the things I was grateful for, the lessons I’d learned, the goals I’m working towards – and it evoked a sense of wonder, excitement, and bravery for the future. I’d like to do that again this year through this month’s 5 on the 5th. Here are five things I’ve learned in the past year. Continue reading

Happy 2015 – and Thank You!

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Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you ended your 2014 with a safe and fun celebration; and I wish you good health, joy, fulfillment, and great success in 2015, whatever your goals may be. 🙂

I also want to extend huge hugs of gratitude to everyone who visited the blog this year and continues to come back on a regular basis. 2014 turned out to be the most successful year statistically at this blog, with more visits, likes, and comments than in years past. *breaks out confetti and pompoms*

One thing has undoubtedly contributed to that increase: outreach. Joining Twitter and making a greater effort to visit blogs by writers, book reviewers, and other bloggers last year helped make a difference. But there’s only so much I can do myself by commenting and putting myself out. So, for all your feedback on book reviews, novel updates, and other musings… for your retweets and Facebook shares… for your support, curiosity, and enthusiasm… I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I’d like to look back on what 2014 meant to me, and what my hopes and plans are for the year ahead. Continue reading

Musings on Turning 30 (a.k.a. You’re Only As Old As You Feel)

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Earlier this month I celebrated my thirtieth birthday. Yes, the big 3-0. It’s a milestone that my high school pals, and then my college friends, and I dreaded when we were in our teens and early twenties. Back then, we thought 30-somethings were, well, old. *lol* Later, a former co-worker told me during her twenty-fifth birthday party, “You know, 25 isn’t bad, but 30? God, I hope I NEVER turn 30. That means our lives will be almost half over.” Most recently, when my milestone day arrived, friends and relatives posted all kinds of messages about the next decade. A couple people even said, “It’s all downhill from here!” I laughed at their comments, but all of the sarcasm and humorous forebodings left me wondering: What’s wrong with turning 30? Continue reading