Who Are We?

The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookie Bake 2012! ~ Stacey

Each year I get together with my two lovely sisters from the Green Bay area, my two wonderful cousins from the Milwaukee area, and we spend the weekend baking all kinds of cookies. Sugar cookies, peanut butter balls, chocolate dipped pretzels, Rolo cookies, chocolate Jimmy Sticks, frosted butter cookies, peppermint bark, chocolate dipped peanut butter and Ritz cracker cookies, and mint chocolate cookies that are better than the Girl Scout Thin Mints.

Here are a couple before and after pictures:

Before the 'sugar' storm...

After the confectioner's dust has settled...

The annual Doughmen...

...become Snowmen

The penguin has a candy cane for you!

Our creative decorating minds at work about 1:30am...

and finally, the cookies my kids wait for each year!

We finished our clean-up this year at about 2:45am. A LONG day, but so worth it, the least of which is the cookies, with the best part being the time spent with my family. We joke, we pick on each other, we seriously show the love. *grin*

This year the buzz words were 'gorgeous' and 'stinking', and many times we combined the two for the lovely descriptive phrase, "Stinkin' gorgeous!" I, for one, was very happy that everyone seemed to have forgotten (or maybe just forgiven?) that two years ago I fed my left-over cookies to the horses. I caught a lot of sh!t for that last year because apparently everyone else ate ALL theirs.

I wouldn't trade these weekends for anything and look forward to many more in the years to come.

Do you have any holiday traditions to share with us NovelFriends?

Wishing you all a very
Merry Christmas!

Stacey Joy Netzel

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Living my own Happily Ever After - Jamie

I have been in love with romance since I was a little girl. I did all the cliche things - Barbie & Ken weddings and silly school girl crushes that had me trailing boys around the playground. I could say I eventually grew out of that silliness, but it's not completely true. I did stop the Barbie weddings, but not slipping into those little crushes when I met a great guy was a lot harder for me. I still loved the idea of love and wanted that for myself. It was a frustrating process and after another heartbreak I decided enough was enough and gave up on the whole idea.

It really was like a romance novel in a way. I had taken a few years off after high school and had just started attending technical school. One of my friends from school insisted she knew this great guy I had to meet, Len. No way. First of all, I was not getting sucked into another crush again. But come on, Len? Really? He was studying accounting and with a name like that I could just see some geek with glasses and a pocket protector. Forget it.

My friend didn't give up though. She invited me to a birthday party for Len at his house. It was a Friday night and I had nothing else to do, so I went. It wasn't love at first sight, but it was close. My first sighting of Len was him standing at the kitchen sink in a t-shirt and short running shorts that gave me a fantastic view of his legs. Whew! We had a great time talking and made plans to meet at the game room at school to play darts. He walked me to my car and gave me a kiss on this cheek, and bam - that was it for me. Somehow, I just knew this was different from anything I'd experienced before.

We went on our first date the following week. Two months later we were engaged. Two years later we were married.

We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last week. No big, super romantic event, but that doesn't matter. We had a great dinner our with our two boys. Perfect night. Our life has little resemblance to the chick flick movies I love so much, or the romance novels I devour each day. I didn't even have the incredible romantic proposal I'd always dreamed of. I realized none of that matters. What matters is that Lenny really is my best friend. We've had our rough times, but never so bad we couldn't muck our way through it together. We've been through a lot and it has only made our relationship stronger. No one can make me laugh or feel better the way he can. I may not be the Disney princess I always dreamed I'd be. I'm something better - I'm Lenny's princess and he's my prince charming, and not the Disney version, but my own and that, for me, is a million times better.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Happy - Delia

A few years ago, I came to a realization, I had the power over who I let into my life and who wasn't allowed.  If someone or something made me miserable, I had the ability to delete it/them out of my life.  How empowering is that??

The times I've read Dear Abby recently, I'm always amazed at the people who are writing about struggles they have with others in their lives, parents who abused them (and still do), siblings who've cheated them and friends who've lied to them.  Why haven't these people done the obvious (which is NOT write to Dear Abby)?  I had a friend, a good friend,one I considered one of my best.  Lately, things he's said have literally sucked the happy right out of me.  These weren't things he said to me personally, just things said in general - things that made me wonder how he'd became my friend in the first place.  My life is too short and too full of good things for me to waste time and life space for darkness, hatred and downright miserableness.  So is yours.  It's easy to Unlike someone from Facebook, everyone's done it, why not Unlike Happysucks right out of your life as well?  Heck, I Unliked Facebook in general - I discovered the better I got to know a lot of people, the less I liked them.  I figured I needed to get off Facebook before I started hating everybody.  Yeah, if you haven't already guessed, I'm NOT a people person.  :-) 

Now is the time to start cleaning out your life like you would your hall closet.  Get rid of the stuff, issues and people who drag you down and fill those empty life shelves with things that bring you up.  On Saturday, I'll be celebrating the 22nd year of being married to my best friend.  We're very different kind of people and people wonder how we ended up together and how we've stayed married for so long.  It's simple - besides the obvious fact that I love him to pieces and he's got a great butt - he makes me laugh. How lucky can I be to be able to live forever with someone who makes me happy?  Your life can't be happy if you're not happy with yourself - but it sure helps when you surround yourself with others who bring you peace and happiness.  Go out and do it!!