Books for 2010

Last night at 11:28 pm I turned the page on my last book for the year: Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. I added it to "the list" this morning. I've kept a list of books I've read since 1996. Why? I have no idea. It's kind of like collecting Hummels or bad holiday sweaters--once you start, it's hard to know when to give up the ghost.

For lack of other exciting blog material (Blair has been buried in "World of Warcraft" on his laptop for three days and I am OVER trying to have a conversation with someone who only wants to discuss why it was so unfair his character was put in prison for killing the undead), I thought I'd post my reading list for 2010. There were some highs and lows. Worst book had to be... 

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A Gentleman's Quiz

Hey fellas, here's a little hypothetical quiz for you.

Suppose you and the woman you love are relaxing on the couch near dinner time and this woman (who you love) sighs and says that she doesn't feel like cooking. Now suppose, for the sake of argument, that you are in the mood for Mexican food and therefore suggest that the two of you go out to your favorite local Mexican hotspot. Now suppose that, in response, this woman (who you love) says to you:

"I look too terrible to go anywhere."

What should be your response to this?

A) "What are you talking about? You always look beautiful!"

B) "I think you look fine, but if you'd be more comfortable changing clothes, I'll wait." Or, 

C) "We could ask for a dark booth in the back of the restaurant."

I'll just leave everyone out there to ponder which answer MY fella gave. 


How to Lose 10 Pounds Without Dieting

Boxes of old papers to be recycledReady for the secret to weight loss without dieting? Here it is. 

Clean out your desk. 

I spent 2.5  days going through every single file folder in both my desk and my credenza. Old research for articles long since published? Toss. Book marketing and promotion info I tore out of magazines and printed off-line then lovingly stuck in a three-ring binder for future reference and then neglected to ever look at? Gone. Papers on old classes I took, workshops I taught and random bits of intriguing info I stuck away in the hopes I'd return to them later? Gone, gone, gone!

The feeling of releasing all the old stuff is really quite freeing. Over the years, I've kept client files on everyone I've ever worked with, which isn't a bad idea if you think you'll work with them again in the future. But I sat down this holiday season and had a nice heart-to-heart with myself and what I decided is that all of the stuff I threw out represents not the writer I want to be, but the writer I guilt myself into thinking I should be. The one who takes on assignments because she's scared she won't be able to make money doing what she really loves, which is writing books.

So I ditched it all. I decided that every scrap of paper or file folder I Plus, paper only used on 1-side that I can resusehold on to that doesn't relate to authoring books serves the unhappy purpose of reminding me who I am NOT. Instead, I'm choosing to surround myself only with those things that remind me of who I want to be. 

The top drawer of my file folder credenza is now filled with the novels and stories and book ideas I've pushed to the back over the years. The notes for the young adult novel I've had stewing in my mind for six months are out on the writing desk, alongside fresh sheets of notebook paper and an array of pens. Having lost all that was unnecessary, unimportant, or draining to the psyche, I literally feel ten pounds lighter. 

How about you? What are you holding onto due to fear or guilt that maybe, just maybe, you could let go of? 

Here's to a lighter New Year!

Thank You, Santa

Dear Santa,

You were here last night! I know, because the cookies I made for you are all gone, there are reindeer droppings in the hall (okay, that may have been the cats) and also because of all the presents you left behind! Thank you so much, Santa. I can't believe you gave me everything I asked for on my list! 

The number one thing I wanted, as you know, was a life filled with people I love and who care about me in return. You hit that one out of the park, Santa! I was hoping for even just the small version of this gift and you got me the monster size. WOW!!

Then there was the wish for warm furry creatures to share my home, preferably in the form of felines. I love the two you picked out for me, Santa. They're a purr-fect fit!

I also really, really wanted a healthy body so I could spend time running with friends. I don't even mind that the one you got me is an older model!

I also asked for a warm home, work that's meaningful and important to me, food on the table, laughter, joy, and a sense of humor to carry me through life. I don't know how you managed to fit all of those in my stocking this year but boy oh boy--was I excited when I opened everything! 

I almost didn't include that last item on my list, Santa, because it seems selfish to ask for it when I already have so much. But THANK YOU SO MUCH for the gift of Blair. It is absolutely the best gift I've ever received, and I will treasure it always. 

I don't know that I've been such a good girl this year to deserve all these gifts, Santa, but I want you to know I appreciate and love each and every one and will take very good care of them. I will try not to take them for granted. Also, I will share my gifts with people who maybe don't have as many gifts of their own. 

Thank you, Santa, for everything. And if you don't hear from me next year, it's not because I don't love you or I'm not appreiciative.

It just means I've already got everything I could ever want. 

Merry Christmas!!