Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I found this quote the other day and it kind of made me stop... and stare... and then laugh. It's just so ironic, considering.

"And love makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one's work."

No, it's not the words themselves, but the speaker... Vincent Van Gogh.

Something tells me he didn't always feel that way. ;)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

I have a confession to make. I hate Valentine's Day.


Yes, I'll admit it, despite the prospect of tarnishing my image as a romance writer. I have disliked this day from my earliest childhood when we were forced to decorate bags for the purpose of collecting those funky little grade-school cards. The results were always heartbreaking.

Let's put it this way: I was not a popular child. I wasn't outgoing and perky. I wasn't athletic or overly pretty. I was rather plain, wore glasses, was somewhat smart and painfully shy. Got the picture?

Years later I heard most schools require children to give everyone in a class a valentine. That's almost worse, in my view. How good can it feel to get a card from someone who either ignores or teases you otherwise? Talk about insincerity!

So the holiday holds bad memories for me. Subsequent V-days weren't much better since I was invariably single and dateless at that time of year. Bummer.

Marriage has softened the melancholy haze of February 14th. But, honestly, except for loving the chocolate and our occasional night out alone, the holiday is still at the bottom of my list. I'd rather my dh be romantic and express his love without being guilted into it. I prefer spontaneous shows of affection -- like the time he came home from a yard sale with a box full of lighthouse figures. Just because he knows I like them. Or the night he came home from work with my favorite candy. He saw it at the store and thought of me. :)

If you want to impress your lover on Valentine's Day, do something special -- you notice I didn't say expensive. Money is not the object. A true show of affection, caring and thoughtfulness is. Who are they? What do they really like?

Thought and care are so much more romantic than throwing down a big wad of cash.

Now that I've admitted my view on this whole love-fest thing, I've created a little Valentine of my own in the form of a free short story. You can download it HERE.

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day. Whether you're single or part of a couple, have a great weekend and enjoy something you love.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Changing the world

I was listening to the radio recently when John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" came on:

"Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing
There's no way we ever could
Now we see everything is going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it"

I somewhat like the song, honestly -- but I find the message a little sad. I wonder if this is how John's generation really feels? Hopeless? Ineffectual? Probably.

I know there are many times I wonder "Why bother?" Nothing I do or think or feel seems to make much of a difference. The world goes on exactly as it wishes and only the rich and powerful seem to direct its course.

But then I'm reminded that few people can actually change the course of an entire planet. Yet, we can make a difference -- maybe a small one, but a difference nonetheless. The concept isn't new.

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, though no one thinks of changing himself." ~~Leo Tolstoy

Every time you make a good decision; every time you do the right thing by helping another, by being less selfish, by caring -- you change yourself. When you change, its the Butterfly Effect in action. Your small deeds ripple outward, influencing others... changing your surroundings... improving your small corner of the world.

Of course you can do the opposite -- be selfish, hard-hearted, hurtful, etc... it still affects the world in small but noticeable ways. But is that the kind of world you want?

Maybe we need to stop bemoaning our fate, our government, our economy, and start finding ways to change ourselves. One person at a time. One family at a time.

First we have to choose -- Do what's right OR do what's easy? Try the former and I promise you'll see some positive changes.