Do You Love the Golden Girls?

If you’ve ever watched the Golden girls, you won’t forget each one’s attributes.

I have laughed with, cried with and cheered on the three hilarious ladies who make up the Golden Girls.

My mom loved the program. Above all, she loved the characters. More than once she’d giggle for no apparent reason. When I’d ask what was so funny, she’d tell me she had thought of something one of the girls had done or said. Often it was Blanche.

Each one of the girls portray a fantastic character in their own right. I can’t imagine any other actor playing any of the parts either…because they do it so well.

Which leads me to wonder if any of my written characters are as memorable. They are to me, of course. I’ve had readers write to tell me how much they loved a storyline, but most often it was a particular character they wanted to read more about.

Readers know how to make your day, or a week or a month. I cherish each and every reader.

I hope I can always put my heart into a character, give them an interesting life regardless of their issues, and a happily ever after.

Gone With the Wind’s characters remain memorable to me.

Do you have a special book with memorable characters?
Until next time…I wish you Music, Butterflies and most of all…Love.

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Small Goals

To Do ListIt’s a brand new year, a time when people traditionally make resolutions to do things better. But how many people actually keep their resolutions? It’s too easy to slip back into old habits. And maybe January isn’t the best time to try, for instance, cutting back on junk food – especially up here in Canada, where, let’s face it, it takes a lot of chocolate to get through the three months of frigid weather, windshield scraping and snow shoveling ahead!

For me, the key to reaching my goals is small steps. Large goals like “lose ten pounds” or “write a novel in three months” are too much. I break my goals into manageable chucks, write them down and consult my list as I go. I might only be able to write two chapters of my novel per month, but if I keep that modest target in mind, by the end of the year I’ll have a completed manuscript. Since I have so little free time during the week and have to make up for it on weekends, it helps to break those days into hours and plan what I need to get done. I don’t usually achieve everything on my list, and I beat myself up when tasks are left over at the end of the day (or week).

I suppose my New Year’s resolution should be to sit back and look at my list of accomplishments, small as they may be, and give myself a pat on the back for doing the best I can.

May 2019 bring you peace, happiness and wonderful surprises.

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“So, what’s stopping you?” A pivotal question for 2019

nyeAt a New Year’s Eve party a group of us were talking about trips taken in 2018 and those scheduled for 2019.

Recently having returned from Scotland, I mentioned that I’d love to live there half the year.

A friend of our host, who I’ve met on a handful of occasions and enjoy talking with, asked me in our small group setting “So, what’s stopping you?”

Six sets of raised eyebrows and questioning eyes turned my way. The question hit me right in the heart, and made a leap to my gut before burning a path to my brain.

What was stopping me?

business-money-pink-coins

My first thought was money – but that wasn’t the hurdle that planning and careful action couldn’t overcome.

My second thought, coming lightning fast, after dismissing the first, was more complicated.

What I said was, “My husband works here and I like his company. I don’t want to be that far from him that long.”vm

While it’s theoretically true that I can do my part of the family business, and I can do all of my writing anywhere, the place I most want to do both is at my husband’s side. I DO ENJOY HIS COMPANY.

My answer made the group laugh – I think because of my genuine and sincere expression of friendship for a man who has been in my life more than three decades. (Perhaps it was simply the matter-of-fact way I said it.)

It made me more determined than ever to find a way for both of us to live in Scotland 4-6 months of the year.

The question:”So what’s stopping you?” shifted my view of life and living. It’s a good question, if honestly and sincerely answered. So, I made a list. (For my business and my Scottish cottage)

Some of the items on that list include:

  • Specialized business knowledge: How to create a 501 (c)3 corporation; How to apply for a trademark; How to draft NDA’s & non-compete clauses; How to effectively market, etc.
  • How to manage a website and create content
  • How to draft/draw prototypes

All of these things could be learned. So, until I learn them, they go in the “Slowing Me Down” column. Learn, then, I will.

I love this question and the exercise of evaluating what is actually stopping me.

munroI’d like to climb the Munro’s of Scotland – at least a handful of them.

What’s stopping me?

  • Time and access: Now the only question is how to give myself the time and the financial means for access.
  • Physical demands: This I can change through training, conditioning, and consistent determined action. No one climbs a mountain in a day, but daily training helps many climb mountains.

My determination to climb a series of Munro’s just got more traction by analyzing what currently, temporarily, is stopping me, and knowing how to act to get rid of those impediments or find a way around them.

I am incredibly thankful to have been asked “So, what’s stopping you?” It’s given me better insight into myself AND my characters.

Happy 2019!

May what is temporarily stopping you now become an obstacle you overcome this year.

Peace,

Leigh

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My Year of More

Before Christmas there were a bunch of memes on Facebook about your word for the year. A power word that would define your year to come. I chose mine.

More!!

More writing. More reading. More exercise. More healthy eating. More activities that get me outdoors. More taking chances. More looking for opportunities and seizing them.

I’m already taking some marketing classes to up my game. I love my books but it doesn’t do me any good to write them if no one reads them. I need to make them discoverable. I need to do ads, and giveaways, and get them seen by actual eyeballs. 🙂

I’m going to start the Buns, Guns, and Abs Challenge. Every day is a fresh day to start anew. I don’t have to wait for the beginning of the week or the beginning of the month. Every day is a new possibility.

I’m going to try new-to-me authors in genres I don’t normally read. I’m going to get back to doing genealogy. I love writing, but it doesn’t have to be all I do. I can multi-task every aspect of my life.

So, I’m going to work on 3 books this year (at least to start the year) plus one for the Authors of Main Street boxed set and one for myself. Not sure what it will be yet, but it will be just for me. I might not even publish it. But it will be MORE. More deep, more intense, more me. Might be time for that memoir I always threatened to write. LOL

My MORE year will have zombies (book 4), ghosts (books 2 & 3), and self-growth (exercise and good food). I can’t wait.

What will your year be? Leave a comment and your power word for 2019 and I will pick a comment to win a free book from me.  Jill

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New beginnings

It’s the start of a new year, and a new way of living. Between finishing the year at the day job on 21st December and starting again on 7th January, I became a part-timer, working 48 hours a fortnight instead of 72.

With such a big change, I hope to get a lot more writing done, spend more time with my dearly beloved (our 47th wedding anniversary was two days after Christmas, and he is my dearest friend), and pick up some of the hobbies I’ve loved but dropped to make room for writing.

I’ve got a stack of reading to do, too. I love reading about cultures different to my own — distant from me in time, space, or both. New Year is a case in point. We think of it as fixed at 1 January, the date of New Year’s Day in the Gregorian Calendar. Even then, it isn’t quite that straightforward, since the new financial year begins for most companies on 1 April and the new liturgical year (in the Catholic three-year cycle) begins on the first Sunday in Advent — occasionally as early as late November.

I’m a New Zealander of European descent, so I begin my New Year along with all the others in my cultural stream, on 1 January. I can also, if I wish,help some of my fellow citizens celebrate Matariki, the start of the Maori New Year, when the Pleiades first rise in mid-winter (around the middle of June here in New Zealand).

If I was Korean or Chinese, my year might start on Sollal (Korean) or Chun jie (Chinese), the beginning of the new Lunar year, in late January or early February. Mongolians, however, use the Mongolian lunar calendar, and their new year is a month later.

The Assyrian New Year is called Kha b’Nissan, and falls on 1 April. April is also the New Year for Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Cambodia.

Ethiopia and both the Jewish and Islamic tradition celebrate New Year in September.

So if you haven’t made any new year’s resolutions yet, it isn’t too late! Just pick your cultural tradition and Happy New Year!

***

(If you’d like to know why British-derived countries often have a 1 April tax year start date, read about the 1752 Calendar riots on my blog.)

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Skip the Resolutions

We all have bucket lists but often they border on the impossible or way-too -expensive to really be realistic. As my friend and I discussed bucket lists one day, we drifted slightly off the subject to another friend of hers. Apparently this woman has the habit of doing unusual things at least once a month. The concept is to expand personal ability and continue to learn new things. Wow! Doesn’t that sound great?

My friend and I continued to chat about new experiences and decided to somewhat copy this idea. We’re calling it a cup list. It’s much smaller than a bucket list and much easier to obtain. We have vowed to do something each month that we’ve never before done. For January, I registered to take an American Sign Language class. I always wanted to learn beyond the few words that I do know.

My friend and I are talking about maybe doing some sort of food by going to non-American-style restaurant that we’ve never tried. That might be difficult for me, as I’ve eaten plenty of unusual foods in my life. But I’m game. Although there have been times I really didn’t want to know what I was eating. (It tastes like chicken, it tastes like chicken, it tastes like chicken. Yeah, right. NOT!) This time, I can choose. The idea is to learn something ahead of time about what we are eating or the country from which it came. We’re not in school and we don’t need memorize the gross national products. But wouldn’t be interesting to know where this particular fruit…

This year will be the year of personal growth with cups filled with new things to explore and do. I don’t know what will go into February’s cup or any other cup. I think it might be fun to just wait and see what things become available or where my interest might take me. Maybe it will be a class in art history, or an opportunity to do something I would have never dreamed of doing, but now I have eleven cups to fill. I must fill them. I’ve filled my first one with classes in ASL (American Sign Language).

We should never stop learning or pushing ourselves to try new things. Besides it’s easier to place a tick mark next to a cup than it is to try to put one beside a bucket. It’s also a whole lot cheaper then those things on the bucket list. If you’ve never eaten… You just might like it and discover that you will frequently eat it. Remember the cup needs to be new or different. Maybe you’ve had Asian food but you’ve never tried taro. Stick it on your cup list. Have you always wanted to take a class in baking or cake decorating or maybe a class on brewing your own beer or wine making? Maybe a class will come available this spring and you can stick it in a cup.

The fish that I am, would you believe I’ve never snorkeled? I’ve had those cheap kiddie things that if weren’t careful the water poured in through that tube. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find such a thing available near where I live. Maybe I’ll order that exotic coffee I’ve wanted to try. I’ve got eleven cups to fill!

In a convoluted way, I should have an interesting year, and when I’m finished, I can look back and see all my accomplishments. Pick small things like mini treats for the brain to savor. If I make my tongue happy, too, that’s even better. What if I discover that zip-lining is something I never want to do again? That’s okay because I can at least say I did that once. No, I’m not going to jump out of airplane! I don’t mind pushing myself to do things, but there are activities that to me are off limits. Parachuting is one of them.

The other fun thing about cups is that they don’t have to cost a thing. Other things might cost a few dollars, but remember to keep the cups reasonable and not something super expensive that might be better on a bucket list. But if that bucket list item pops up, don’t ignore it!

Doesn’t this sound like more fun than resolutions? I’m looking forward this list and if I sneak in a few extra cups, I will!

So what’s on your cup list?

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‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving…. and Lizzi was on a Plane!

Hello all,

Hope you’re slowly easing back into the work week this week and not forgetting too soon to take some time to relax and remember that life is short… Enjoy it!

I’ve truly enjoyed my time off this year after a frenetic Oct-Dec with two trips to the USA, trade shows, visiting far flung family and unofficial family!

A giggle for you!

Here’s a little snippet of one of the mere trips over.

 

Wow. If that wasn’t a marathon (If peaceful) trip, I don’t know what is. 
Left Auckland, NZ at about 0100 yesterday. Three (late) Hawaiian air flights (pleasant flights, nice neighbours, and more sleep than I’ve had in the past few months… enforced relaxation) then discovered (as Hawaiian Air flight 1 was late, didn’t have time to get SIM card at Honolulu, decided to pick one up At airport on Maui. LOL. Only to be told in three shops there that they’re only avail at Honolulu airport. Lol. So, maybe at SFO? But no And when we all finally found where Hawaiian air baggage claim was (no small feat), I hear my name being called. Lol. Thinking “Oh good! My two oversized bags are ready!” 

Well, no.

One of the monster 70 lb bags… with everything but the Equi-Still Stocks Mini-Bar and the books I carried from NZ.

 

mini bar

(Don’t ask….Amazon’s been having changes and the books wouldn’t be in CA before the book signing at Chapman’s Bookery & More in Ferndale on Saturday…

travelDamn, books weigh a lot) is still on Maui. Hawaii. TSA was inspecting it and it missed its flight. The nice lady at the Hawaiian Air desk never batted an eye when I told her the delivery address was in EUREKA, CA. And yes, she knew where it was. Good thing I’d had a lot of sleep. Still smiling. Lol. Then the nice Bruno from Turo seemed to have double booked his Prius… but hadn’t let me know. By now, it’s nearly midnight in the USA ( about 9 or 10 pm NZ time), so all good. By the time we’d argued with the rental car desk and been charged twice, the first time wrongly, and documented all the dings and scratches in my shiny new vehicle, I drove out of SFO at 0145. Nice car. Toyota Corolla.

Image result for toyota corolla redStill no SIM card but luckily had downloaded maps. LOL. 
Good thing I could find Eureka. Lovely drive, albeit a bit wet, but California needs it. I even got to walk, well, skate, on water once, but thankfully there was no one about on the road. I wouldn’t have been the first to go for a hydroplane, by the shrapnel and bits of car on the centre divider near it. Bummer about the fool who didn’t look before trying to change lanes into me. Helped me discover the brakes and horn work well!

All in all, a very empty road for about five hours. Only achievable on the night before Thanksgiving in the wee and not so wee hours. Finding Mum’s house without a map wasn’t ideal. Lovely people at an early-open petrol station made it easy. After they got to work, that is, LOL.

 
I was then completely wired from my 0300 a.m. coffee, (and this from someone who doesn’t DRINK coffee unless absolutely necessary, and then only in a standard hot chocolate) but having a chuckle, anyway. It’s probably time for some sleep. As soon as the coffee decided to wear off. 
Thought this might make you laugh, too. 

It was all worth it, though. I got to spend Thanksgiving with my mum and my brother for the first time in probably thirty years.

Home Sweet Home!

Here in mums lovely little peaceful home. .

Just released for the holidays:

(and it’s FREE on KDP Select!)

Once Upon a Vet School #10: Greener Pastures Calling

Travel Greener Pastures

A new country, a great job, and a “good Kiwi bloke”.
Life couldn’t be better.
Until it gets worse. 

Newly emigrated to New Zealand, equine veterinarian Lena wants a “good Kiwi bloke”, but they’re elusive as their nocturnal namesake. Her history with men is not, shall we say, salubrious.

Nigel’s avoiding females, unless they’re cows, horses, or his mother. After his first marriage, he won’t be responsible for anyone else’s life ever again.

Sparks fly when they meet, but not that first time, over the dirty instruments in a filthy cowshed. They’re made for each other… until Nigel remembers where he first saw her. And then the questions start.

The Series

This is Book Ten in the ONCE UPON A VET SCHOOL series.

Did you ever want to be a veterinarian?

These contemporary veterinary fictions can easily be read as standalones, but they are part of a series. Share Lena’s escapades as she follows her dream of becoming an equine veterinarian from the Santa Cruz Mountains of her childhood through the jungles of university to equine practice in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and finally onto her career as a rural equine and sometimes zoo-dentistry vet in New Zealand. This is Book Ten in the series, which is being written from the middle out—if George Lucas can do it, why not?

Stories for anyone who’s ever dreamed of becoming a veterinarian or loves horses—stories of veterinary school life and the horses that fill Lena’s dreams and her daytimes, too. They feature a capable heroine, modern veterinary treatments, plenty of laughs, some tears, and a lot of growing up. They’re clean and wholesome, so everyone can read them!

What did you do for the holidays that meant the most?

Let me know!

There’s a digital copy of A Long Trail Rolling going out to a lucky commenter (by random draw!) in the next three days! Get writing!

I hope you all drive safely this holiday season and spend good time with those you love.
Goodnight!

Xx

Lizzi Tremayne

Interview

 

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