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Tag Archives: Celebrating

It snowed in Virginia Saturday night, just a dusting, but enough to make me yearn for Spring. By the afternoon, though, it was like my wish had been granted. The snow melted, the air smelled fresh, the sky turned blue and the sun shone brightly.

So here in celebration of Spring, is a poem by William Blake:
To Spring:

O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro’ the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,
And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o’er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languished head,
Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee.

More celebration is in order for Risky Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee. Countess of Scandal by Laurel McKee is a finalist for RWA’s Best Historical Romance. Hooray!!!

We’re celebrating for all the RITA and Golden Heart finalists!! (But especially for Amanda/Laurel!)
I’m in the throes of copy edits and finishing Leo’s Story, my Diamonds of Welbourne Manor book. I’ll really be celebrating when those are done. Tune in to Diane’s Blog on Thursday to see how I’m progressing.
What are you celebrating today?
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I’m taking Megan’s slot today on account of on Sunday the Riskies are having a Celebration of Cats and a Super Secret Cool visit from Liz Carlyle (squeeee!!!!). Her publisher will be donating to a cat rescue non profit so you’ll want to stop by to leave a comment this coming Sunday.  In the meantime, since I haz kitties and Megan does not, I am sharing stories and pics of the Jewel household cats.

First up: Jake.

Jake was born under the neighbor’s barn at the bottom of our driveway. There were two litters of kittens, but we were able to find homes for them all. I was living in San Francisco and the time and I took the smallest kitten because I wanted, doh, a small cat to keep my other cat, Jasper (AKA Devil Cat) company.

Jake is 15 pounds of adorable lap cat. The vet believes he must be at least part Maine Coon cat.  This past February, he lost his best buddy, my 22 year old Tonkinese, Jasper. After Jasper died– I am still sad about that, but he had a very long life — Jake slept by the food for 5 days, thinking, I believe, that Jasper would eventually show up there.  On the 6th day, Jake moved out of my room and basically lived in the kitchen for 3 months where he demanded (and got) lots of love and attention from everyone.  Just about when I’d given up on him ever setting paw in my room again, he staked out my printer as the place to be.  And my lap.

Here’s Jasper when he was younger, my friend and companion for 22 years:

Jasper (Devil Cat)

Jasper is the only purebred cat I’ve ever had. The Tonkinese is a cross between Siamese and Burmese and as you can see from this picture, he took after the Siamese in him.  He was very inexpensive as Tonks go because his eyes were not quite the neon blue they should have been. The lady advertised them as “Personality Plus” which he was! He earned the nickname Devil Cat. But he was also extremely affectionate. ALWAYS on my lap! He knew when I was due home from work (said those who were already home) and waited by the door for me.

Left to right:
Missy Mara — Jake’s mother, a feral cat who we finally managed to trap and get to the vet to treat a badly wounded eye and get spayed. For a year she lived in the box spring of the mattress in this room but finally decided people were OK. She rarely leaves this room, actually.

Whiskers aka Nightmare: Whiskers is another rescued cat. At about 3 weeks old she got separated from her mother at the ranch where my son was taking Aikido. She had such a loud meow that some of the students heard her and found where she’d been trapped in a woodpile. And yes, I showed up with my son in time for his class and came home with a kitten . . . small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. She had to be bottle fed and manually stimulated so she could eliminate.

Tiger:  My son’s cat. He’d wanted a cat of his own for a very long time, but none of the cats and kittens we saw were right for him. At a soccer tournament, we had time between games and we went to a nearby mall for lunch and some window shopping. We came home with Tiger.  She is an odd little cat who doesn’t know she’s a cat. She plays with my dog.

Do you have cats or did you? In the comments, tell us about your cat(s). Bonus points for linking your story to the Regency.  And come back Sunday for the Cat Extravaganza!

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Today is June 24 and for most people it’s not a big deal day. It is for me since it’s the day my son was born. 14 years ago today. It’s his day. He gets a party with his family, cheesecake (that’s what he wanted!) and gifts. Birthdays are a lot of fun, particularly when you’re young. He’s having a sleepover this weekend with some of his friends and but first they’re going to the fair. Now that he’s older, I just drop him off and pay the money (since it’s his birthday, otherwise the fair would be on his dime).

But I like to reflect on my own celebration of his day. And as I do, I find myself thinking that we don’t take enough time to reflect on all the reasons we have to celebrate. Americans can be plagued by our Puritan roots. More Work! Less Play! Do Better! You got an A-? Why didn’t you get an A? That sort of thing can be an affliction…

It’s important to take some time to think of the positives. This happens to be a particular challenge for me since my family’s Puritan roots are deep and, for whatever reason, I grew up to be the sort of person who doesn’t look to the positive often enough. This, I have sworn, is something I hope to address for the rest of my life.

When I finish writing a book, for example, all I can see is everything there isn’t time to fix. I look at my revision letters and think, oh my gosh, I suck so bad. I should have seen all these problems and fixed them! And then there’s reviews. My June 2009 release from Grand Central Publishing, My Forbidden Desire got 4 1/2 stars and a top pick from Romantic Times. On the other hand, AAR gave the book a D and called my hero foul-mouthed and some other stuff I have elected not to refresh my memory on. (The reviewer was right, too, the hero of that book does drop the F-bomb a lot.) People’s opinions differ. One reviewer’s top pick is another’s D. The diversity is to be celebrated.

And I do embrace that diversity. It’s a good thing in the grander scheme of things. My own life, however, has a somewhat narrower scope and, naturally, I spend far too much time thinking about what I could have done to avoid a D instead of celebrating the success of a Top Pick from RT.

My goal is to celebrate a bit more. I’m not saying ignore the bad — it behooves a writer to pay attention to revisions and the internal editor and learn from those things. (My God, do you see what I’m up against here?) But we needn’t and shouldn’t forget to celebrate the good, too.

Who’s with me on that one? It’s my son’s birthday, and he is the joy of my life. And I do celebrate that. Every day. Even when he’s rolling his eyes, embarrassed that his mom is such a doof. My Forbidden Desire has gotten some wonderful reviews and you know what, it came out pretty darn good!

What will you celebrate today?

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