Susan Meier joins the Pink Heart Society with a reminder to count our blessings...
Wildcard weekend! That means I can blog about anything I want to.
Oh, the power…the freedom!
Truth be told, I feel really silly this morning. Almost giddy. My husband and sons are totally remodeling my kitchen. Yes, there are parts I have to do…like stain the cupboards, since getting them unpainted was how we got them so cheaply. But for the most part I’m a spectator to this spectacle. And sometimes I won’t even spectate. I’ll be at Starbucks, in the peace and quiet of a small city coffee shop, writing…but I digress.
I lost a friend this year to cancer. I’ve seen my kids struggle with keeping their jobs in a bad economy. My book sales have gone down, due in part, I believe to e-sales, which don’t net an author as much money as print sales. Several aunts and uncles died -- several. I gained even more post menopausal weight. My disabled son continues to have small seizures. My sister’s mother-in-law is dying. I’m about two years behind in my to-be-read pile. My retired husband is now frequently under foot.
Still, I’m giddy over a new kitchen.
Why? Because sometimes you have to find something to be giddy about.
The Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” I couldn’t agree more. Norman Cousins did experiments a few decades ago, before anybody started talking about the connection between positive attitudes and health and well being, and he more or less proved that out.
Plus, sulking, worrying, and in general being miserable never helps.
But sometimes a good attitude does. Once when one of my writing friends was chosen over me for a very specific assignment for a publisher, I emailed and congratulated them on their good choice, and was assigned the next opening in the series.
Double plus, I volunteer at the local hospice and I see things that sometimes make me stop and thank God that my life is as simple as it is. My family has never stood at the foot of the bed of a thirty-something niece, weeping as she dies from breast cancer. We’ve never suffered the loss of one of our children. In 28 nieces and nephews, we’ve never gotten the call that one of them was in a fatal accident. We are well and truly blessed.
And I think that’s the real bottom line to joy. The understanding that no matter what your situation, you are blessed.
My husband loves me and I love him.
I have children I love and who love me.
I have a roof over my head…and soon a new kitchen. LOL
My huntress/warrior cat is a hoot and a half.
I have talent.
I have opportunities. Especially with the new rules of the road in publishing!
One of the things I miss most about my friend, Denise, who died this summer, is the reminder that she gave me at least weekly that no matter how poor we were or how much we struggled to stay published in an industry that was changing every day…we were blessed.
Being average, or ordinary, she would tell me, was a blessing because we didn’t have to worry that anybody would marry us/befriend us only for our money. Being average was a blessing because we had only the responsibilities in front of us. We weren’t in charge of the world. (Thank God!) And being average meant we had time to stop and smell the roses, to get to know our kids, to care for our neighbors.
So, today, if you’re average, count your blessings.
And that sort of takes me to the book I have out at the end of the month, KISSES ON HER CHRISTMAS LIST. The heroine, Shannon Raleigh, was dumped by her husband when it was discovered she couldn’t have kids. In her darkest hour, the man she always believed she could count on left her. Now, this was a woman who deserved to be depressed and feel sorry for herself. Instead, she pulled herself together and went on.
So when Rory Wallace and his daughter are stranded in a winter storm and forced to spend a weekend with her, she doesn’t wallow in self-pity that fate has put a child in front of her, almost taunting her with what she can’t have. She decides to use the weekend to see if she has what it takes to adopt, and be a single mom.
Shannon is a wonderful uplifting person, just what divorced and desperate single dad Rory needs. He doesn’t expect that they’ll fall in love. In fact, after his bitter divorce, he doesn’t want to
fall in love. But he can’t deny that he needs help with his daughter Finley.
With the backdrop of a small city department store at Christmas, little-girl high jinx and two people reluctantly drawn into a relationship that could be their salvation or their greatest heartbreak, KISSES ON HER CHRISTMAS LIST quickly turned itself into one of my favorite books to write!
If you’re looking for something warm and fuzzy, reading about Shannon Raleigh and Rory Wallace should really put you in the mood for hot cocoa and Christmas carols!
But it should also remind you to count your blessings!
So what about you? Is there something in your life that has you particularly grateful this year? Was there something that made you giddy with joy…Maybe even something you forgot about?
I’d love to hear!
A one-time legal secretary and director of a charitable foundation, Susan Meier found her bliss when she became a full-time novelist for Harlequin. She’s visited ski lodges and candy factories for “research” and works in her pajamas.
But the real joy of her job is creating stories about women for women. In her 47 published novels, she tackles issues like infertility, losing a child and becoming widowed, and works through them with her characters.
This year she had a series out in April, May and June, The Baby Project, Second Chance Baby and Baby on the Ranch. Her Christmas book, Kisses on Her Christmas List, will be released in November.
Her popular website susanmeier.com has recipes, workshops for writers and short stories featuring the characters in previous books.