Thanksgiving – A Time for Giving

What are you thankful for?

I count my blessings every day. There have been too many to count or list. Whether large or small, they’re all important.

Thanksgiving is a special day to listen to my heart and be thankful for what God has given me. I’m thankful for everything, but most of all, for His love.

My family means the world to me. We’re a large family and sometimes there may be squabbles, misunderstandings and rifts. But in the long-run, those issues are worked out.

We’re family after all.

What family doesn’t have their problems? I don’t know of any that hasn’t had difficulties at one time or another. My family is no different.

When there are struggles to deal with and I have no answer, that’s when I have to let go of what I can’t control, because we can’t control other people. We can only be true to ourselves, forgive and forget.

Then we can move forward.

It’s a special time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us, and be thankful we were blessed to have them for the time we did. Those memories will last a lifetime.

Here are a few things I’m also thankful for.

Tough upbringing, because it made me strong
Hugs when my heart was weary
Angels to watch over me
Nonstop faith
Kindhearted, because kindness builds up others
Freedom of worship
Unbelievable blessings
Loving family

I wish you and your family the best. That you have wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Enjoy time with your loved ones on this  special day. 

NaNo November, and Writing

tough writingWriting is hard. At least it’s hard for me. I love the flow of it, once I get there. I love going where the characters lead – especially when I don’t know that the path I’ve set them on is the right one.

Invariably (so far) I have to rewrite my first few chapters. Rarely am I right about what makes an amorphous story idea great at the beginning of the first draft.

deadlinesDeadlines help. They help me get out of my head and just write. That’s when the magic happens. Words get written. Stories evolve.

I am a better writer when I write every day – even if what I’ve written is only one page. I don’t know why that’s true – maybe because the story stays alive inside me when i write each day.

However you write, whatever your process, it’s the writing and the resulting story that matter.

NaNo write MoI’m thankful for NaNo. Not because I follow the rules, I don’t, but because it forces me to just sit and write.

Happy writing. Happy Thanksgiving

May your November be filled with joy, productivity, and writing (or reading or both).


So Long November—Hello December

Thanksgiving came and moved away like a whirlwind. In fact the past three months, I think I moved through a fog to get where I am today.

Poof! And I’m here. Lol.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and special, as well it should be.

Thanksgiving is all about being with those you love. If you can’t physically be with loved ones, lock them away in your heart and hold their memories close. Whether they are close or far away.

It isn’t quite December yet, but close enough. Christmas is going to be here before we can snap our fingers! Many parts of the country have already seen snow or will before Christmas. There are those who either like or dislike snow.

I’m one of snow-lovers. I do agree though, that any area can be blasted with too much snow, then the thing of beauty can become dangerous.

I hope everyone has the best Christmas ever this year. If we’re lucky here in mid-Georgia, we’ll have a white Christmas. I hope so anyway.

And so–gather ‘round a roaring fire and toast your loved ones with a nice cup of Hot Chocolate.

I am thankful for . . .

Here in the United States it is that time of year to remember to be thankful for all we have. I would like to think I remember all year long, but alas, sometimes it takes the holidays to remind me of all I have, all I’ve had, and all I will have in the future. God willing!!

I am thankful for my soulmate, my friend, the love of my life–my husband. He has put up with a lot over the years, but from time to time, he goes beyond the call of duty and surprises me yet again.

I can’t drive at night, I have no night vision at all. The lines on the road are blurry and the cars are big, dark blobs around me. I had a chance to meet some fellow writers and do a write-in at the local Barnes & Noble. It isn’t far, but it is across town and it was dark at 6 o’clock when the event started. So, the husband drove me over and spent 2 1/2 hours in the car in the parking lot waiting for me.

Folks, this is why I write romance novels. I don’t know what good thing I did in a former life to deserve him, but I’m so glad I have him.

What are you thankful for this year? In your life?

Jill James, hopeless romantic

Happy Holidays y Que le Vaya Bien!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, filled with the people you care about most in the world. If you couldn’t be with them, I hope they were in your heart.

My youngest son, my partner, and I are far from our New Zealand home… in Fort Worth, Texas. We had quite a different Thanksgiving holiday. Matthew had never had one, being from the UK and then NZ, and my son Elliot has only had what I could cobble together in New Zealand for the traditional dinner. For me, this was my first one in a restaurant! 

Luckily we booked a few days in advance and actually found a restaurant with room for us which did a non-yuppie thanksgiving feast. I ate too much… once again. I could seriously have done without the pumpkin cheesecake.  I ate it like it was pie…but it was far from that… being mostly cream. A few miles’ walk back to our hotel helped considerably.


The dinner was spectacular and afterwards, the entertainment was hysterical…some people at the next table had their turkey hats on…complete with gobbling and wriggling legs.

Last week, we enjoyed some great Southern hospitality in San Antonio, where we exhibited our Equi-Still Portable Equine Stocks at the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) Convention last weekend.  6000 equine vets all in one place! This was just one lecture!

The stocks are pretty versatile….here’s our smallest visitor to the booth!   

We headed out east three times to eat at Taqueria Los Dos Laredos Mexican restaurant where few spoke English. The best kind.  Plus, I got to practice my rusty Español. 🙂

We stayed at the historic Menger Hotel, established and in operation since 1859. Carriage horses from the Lollypop Carriage Company waited right outside

and the Alamo is across the street! Right up my alley. 🙂

I’ve had a week off from writing, but after publishing three books so far this year, I guess that’s okay.  Plus, I’ve been accumulating new stories…

I hadn’t known the history of the Alamo before, but “Battle for Texas” in the mall nearby gave much more detail on it than was even present at the Alamo site itself.

I’m already ruminating on how to include it in one of my upcoming stories…maybe in one of the novellas I’d like to write about Krzysztof’s life!  We’ll have to work on that one. 🙂 It’ll have to be heresay, as the Alamo fell in 1836 and the Galician Slaughter, the stimulus for Aleksandra’s father and mother leaving Poland, occurred in 1846. :/  That’ll take some thinking.

Today we visited the historic Fort Worth Stockyard Station. It was pretty cool.

Instead of tearing the old stockyards down, as often happens, they transformed much of the site into a tourist attraction, full of stores, restaurants, and wedding venues, with some of the old stock areas still in evidence. It’s lucky for people like me, who want to see those too!

Billy Bob’s famous honkey tonk/ dance hall is there, but as it was Thanksgiving today… well, everyone was home with their families. Few places were open. But that, too, I liked. We got to see the place without hordes of people!

Have a wonderful holiday, talk with you next month!

Hasta luego y que le vaya bien from the travellers!

Thanks for coming by!




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Thanks again for visiting



Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! It’s hard to believe another year has gone by so quickly.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to the grocery three times this past week. I work from a list, but there was always something I’d forgotten, or decided on another dish or dessert to make and needed extra items.

The past few years have been easier. We spend Thanksgiving with my daughter-in-law’s family. We all pitch in, take a few dishes, add with multiple others, then the table is full. Wonderful day with extended family.

I used to make the entire dinner myself for anywhere from fifteen to twenty-something people. My home filled with family, love and way too much food. I loved every minute of the day! I also miss those times terribly.

Kids grew up and had their own families. They stayed home and prepared their own dinners. New families making their own traditions, yet still shared with family.

I am thankful for my family and friends.

I wish you a Wonderful Thanksgiving with family or friends. May the day be a blessing to you.

What are some of the ways you celebrate Thanksgiving?

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I wish you Butterflies, Music and Love…

Justice, Love, and being Thankful

blind-justiceI’ve been thinking a lot about justice while I’ve been writing: A Time to Kill (working title).  This is a story, a legal thriller, that deals with themes that are hard to tackle in real life. Even for those whose jobs require dealing with application of law to a particular set of circumstances.

Law, even the equal application of it, often has little to do with accomplishing a just result. Odd for a lawyer with twenty plus years of trying cases to admit, but there it is. It is a dichotomy a lawyer—an active one anyway—shouldn’t delve too deeply into.

But a novelist can.

Where law, the equal (or unequal) application of it, and a just result each diverge is visceral stuff. The kind of gut-wrenching stuff every good vigilante story, legal thriller, or under-dog super-hero story is woven from. Might means right is enough to get most people’s blood boiling and it’s all about the details from there. Details a novelist can turn and twist and revel in. Sometimes when there is little we can do as individual citizens, there is much we can accomplish by writing about injustice and making those who meet out injustice feel the blunt edge of our pens (or keyboard). It’s cathartic—hopefully for the reader as well when the bad-guys fall.


In, Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, there are two entries for the word, ‘justice’. The second entry is a noun and refers to the title of judge, generally a title given to federal court and state supreme court judges. The first is a verb. The definition reads, “To do justice, to see justice done; to summon one to do justice.” Law, not moral theory. Consequently, no real definition here. It may be like Justice Potter Steward’s Supreme Court short concurrence in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964) when he said he couldn’t define pornography, but, “I know it when I see it.”

I love that line. I think it can be said of love, self-sacrifice, honor, integrity and justice. I may not be able to define any of those things, but I know them when I see them. When a writer gets it right, the reader also experiences each of those things without the author ever having to define them.

Just one of the reasons I’m enthused about writing and I love to be enmeshed in great story-telling when I read a great novel—I get to add my own version of love, honor, duty, integrity and yes, what is a just and an unjust result to every word I write as well as every word I read.

I’ll have more about plot and less about themes next month. Suffice it to say the plot of A Time to Kill involves finding legal solutions to the very real issue of child victimization. When the law doesn’t have solution, those who can enact justice, will.

During this month of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the ability to write about these themes and conflicts. Especially love. Because without love of something or someone, a story just isn’t worth reading.05a4d20237c5652eb3dc7504a8c280c9

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone. May love, family, great food and at least one good story find you this Holiday. For those of you doing NaNo—you Rock!