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, October 8, 2013

Choose Joy (Jamie)

"Today I Choose Joy" - This is the motto I try to live by each and every day.

This is much easier to do than many people think. There are so many little things that bring joy into my life every day. I hope each of you has the same opportunities. It's easy to recognize the annoyances and troubles - not so easy to see the simple, good things that make us smile.

Here are some of mine:

The weather - I love the crisp fall days, the colorful leaves especially when the sun is shining on them. I love quiet winter days when the snow is falling. I love beautiful spring days when everything turns green again and the rain washes away the end of winter. I love beautiful summer nights looking at the stars, or listening to the rain or a distant thunderstorm.

I'm from Wisconsin so I love the Packers. It's great to hear about their accomplishments on the field, but I'm most proud of them when I hear about the contributions they make to communities off the field. A truly fantastic group of guys.

I love baseball - an all American sport.

I love movies - not only old favorites like The Breakfast Club and Pretty Woman that I can watch over and over and never get tired of, but finding some new favorites like Gravity with its beautiful cinematography and Silver Linings Playbook with its outstanding acting.

I love books - don't know that I need to add much here, or that I can express how much I love reading. Finding a book I connect with just simply makes my day. I've currently started reading two books at a time - a romance and at the moment, the Harry Potter series. It's very true that there are too many books and not enough time.

I love writing - I am finally writing for real and regularly and it is a book I really like. It's a great feeling - I'm starting to feel like a real writer. I'm doing author-type things and making writing connections and it feels great.

I love connecting - I am making connections not just with writers but with my family that are on a whole new level. Now that my kids are growing up, we are having some really wonderful conversations together. My husband and I actually get a breather once in a while to have some conversations that revolve around topics other than the house or the kids these days, too. It's so nice to reconnect with him again.

I love music - I'm finding time to listen to music I enjoy again, after not really having done that for a long time. It's great to have our kids tell us they think we are such cool parents because we've raised them on awesome music. It's nice to listen to what we like and have them enjoy it, too, instead of rolling their eyes.

I love creating - writing, crafting, even Legos, household projects - some of my very favorite moments are when my imagination is working overtime. Almost the best feeling ever.

With all these amazing things around us every day, how can we NOT choose to have joy in our lives?

What makes you choose joy in your day?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Party is Over by Delia

It's done.  Over.  Never to be seen again.  The summer of 2013 is history, folks.  That was fast.

How can I so confidently make this ominous prediction? Well, let me tell you.

The first hint that all is not well in our world is the color in our previously bright green woods.  As pretty as the orange, red and yellow leaves are, I kind of prefer to see green when I look out the window.

Talk about trees, our second hint that the glory days of summer are behind us is the scraps of toilet paper still hanging from the upper branches of trees, reminders that teenagers can throw a roll of toilet paper much higher than they can reach when it's time to take it back down, I personally believe their throwing arms are much stronger during the week of homecoming than any other week of the year.  As an additional reminder, for an entire week, I couldn't manage to keep a roll of toilet paper in my bathroom.

My back entryway looks like a farmers market.  There are bushel baskets of carrots, potatoes, onions & leeks piled up on the porch, accented by a cabbage as big as my head.  I'm not quite sure yet where I'm going to put them.  Our 160 year old farm house is in a perpetual state of construction and as the changes occur, I have to figure out how to utilize the space currently available to me.  The big project this summer was digging a root cellar in the crawlspace under my living room.  For weeks I had random teen-aged boys hauling dirt out of my basement, one 5 gallon bucket at a time until we finally had a 8x10 foot hole where a ton of dirt used to be.  We still don't have shelves or storage bins in my new cellar yet, though, so I'm hesitant to start putting stuff in there.  You know how that goes, as soon as you start using an unfinished space, it remains unfinished forever.  So, I've got produce in my entryway.

If all those things aren't a slap upside the head that fall has arrived, the furnace kicking in with disturbing regularity is the final nail in summer's coffin.  I hate turning the furnace on in the fall, it's like I'm admitting defeat.  But I'm also not one of those people who take pride in seeing how long they can wait before hitting the thermostat while sitting in their living room watching Dancing With the Stars while bundled up in a parka and mittens.

All we can do is put on a happy face, refer to the plummeting temperatures as crisp, (because that sounds nicer than stinking cold) and gush about how much we love the changing of the seasons to excuse the fact that we're living in a place where the temperatures frequently drop below freezing for weeks at a time instead of in Florida where anyone in their right mind would be during winter.  In the meantime, I'm heading off to buy some cold medicine because as an additional kick in the teeth, I've got my first cold of winter.