Life’s Unexpected Adventures

Nancy 5

I borrowed the title from a book I’m reading, Life’s Unexpected Adventures Volume One by Joanne Rawson. Those that love romantic comedies need to pick up this book. It’s full of short stories where the heroine gets into comedic situations and finds a way out through true love. Think ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ or Juliet Roberts in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’.

But I’m not here to talk about the book. I wanted to talk about life’s unexpected adventures. Writing a book put me on a new journey. When I joined my small press publisher’s author group, I didn’t think I’d make friends. Sure, they were supportive and helpful. They gave suggestions and some even read my book.

So did I expect to make friends? Not really. I consider them all author friends. I wasn’t surprised to be invited to “like” their author page.

Then some began to friend me. Of course, not all became real friends, but I see what they’re up to in their personal lives. I can connect to them in other ways than writing. I like that.

What I didn’t expect was to find a few good friends. One I’ve met, some I never will.  I once doubted that people could establish a friendship through social media, but it happened to me. Joanne Rawson is one of them. She’s originally from England but moved to Goa with her husband.

So how could Jo and I be friends? We live in two different parts of the world. Her lifestyle is certainly opposite mine. I don’t really know how it happened, but when Jo placed one of those Facebook posts – It’s the end of 2015 and it’s time to clean house on my friends list, are you still one? – I had to immediately answer “yes”.

Sometimes it’s the little things that let you know someone cares. She’s posted great finds at a mall and converted the amounts to pounds for her friends back home. When I said I had to look up the dollar value, the next time she included that, too, just for me. Jo leads an interesting life; one that I’m sure helps with her writing. If you are interested in finding out more about her books, click here.

And if you’re curious as to why she moved, here may be the reasons!

(Pictures courtesy of Joanne Rawson)

If I never wrote a book, I’d never have these wonderful people in my life. Some live in other countries, others are on the opposite end of the U.S. It’s a perk of the job I never thought would happen. Friends. Connections to people I’d never have met otherwise. I thought writers were solitary creatures, keeping to themselves. I found out differently through my journey.

Life’s unexpected adventure. That’s the only way I can describe this journey. And it’s been a good one.

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Give Thanks for the Little Things

November Sunrise (1)

It’s Thanksgiving week already. Time to give thanks. Time to reflect.

So what am I thankful for? The little things.

I get up each day and look at the morning sky. Whatever the scene, I try to appreciate something about it. The title picture is a November morning. The sun’s coming up in my backyard. The pink clouds were amazing and I couldn’t stop peeking out the window until they disappeared.

PJ steals my breakfast (3)

I’m grateful for this wee little bird who fills our home with joy and happiness. Sure she’s stealing my breakfast, but she makes us laugh.

August Shower (63)

I love that I live close to Lake Erie and can easily get there in a short drive. Maybe I don’t visit as often as I should, but am thankful it’s there.

Nighttime Visitor (1)

I’m thankful I can still be surprised by things. This deer looked like a statue standing in my yard. It was kind enough to stay put until I got the camera and captured the moment.

New phone trying to take selfie (3)

I finally joined the smartphone generation and am grateful I can take a selfie – a poor one, but at least I tried.

Of course, I am thankful for friends and family, good health and a roof over my head. But the little things? It takes effort to stop and notice. Try it this week. What little things are you thankful for?

Never Forget Louisa May Alcott

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“I want to do something splendid…
Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead…
I think I shall write books.”
― Louisa May Alcott

Such a nice thought. I think I shall write books and people will remember me.

What a simple time Louisa lived in. I love the quote, but does it work for today’s world? Thousands of people are writing books and publishing them at record speed. The general public doesn’t have to wait for new stories to come on bookshelves once or twice a year.

Computers, the internet, self-publishing have changed all that. Competition is fierce. Who will notice your book? And why should they read it? Is it free? Or 99¢? Hardback or ebook? So many choices. Louisa May Alcott, it would make your head spin.

Luckily, Louisa’s books were published during a time when readers could discover an author at a slower pace and look forward to their next novel.  People read for entertainment, reading being one of the only outlets at the time.

I remember reading Little Women over and over again when I was young. I went on to read other books by Louisa. Little Men and Jo’s Boys come to mind, but I don’t remember reading those stories more than one time.

Louisa May Alcott got her wish. Her time-honored story of four sisters, Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy March, has been made into a movie, a musical, and has a soundtrack. Yes, Louisa, people remember you.

How can writers apply the quote to today’s world? Well, I wouldn’t change a word. Go ahead and do something splendid. Do something heroic. Write it all down. Maybe you won’t be remembered, but perhaps you’ll inspire someone by doing something you believe in. There’s a possibility you’ll make yourself feel wonderful you accomplished a huge undertaking. Writing a book is no small task.

So I challenge you. If you had the urge to write and felt you wouldn’t be heard, so what? Tell yourself, “I think I shall write books.” Just like Ms. Alcott did. Pick up the pen and get started. You may surprise yourself.