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Books, prizes, and holiday recipes at The Charmed Connection

Overwhelmed by holiday crowds and shopping yet? Looking for some holiday fun and maybe a few prizes for yourself?

The Charmed Connection Readers Group—a Facebook group where readers and authors connect—is hosting a holiday bookstore and author takeover.

Holiday Bookstore flyer

Throughout this week, from November 26th (that’s today!) through December 2nd, authors will be popping in with games, giveaways, and yummy holiday recipes. You can browse the holiday bookstores to find new-to-you authors, get delicious recipe ideas in Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen, and chat with authors and other readers.

I’ll be taking over The Charmed Connection on Thursday, November 29th from 4-5pm Pacific Time (that’s 7pm in Virginia, 1am Friday in Barcelona, and 11am Friday in Sydney). Mark your calendar now and join me for the fun!

Thanks to you

Happy Thanksgiving Day in orange and red script with a fall leaf at the bottomThank you for being part of my online community, for reading my books and blog posts and newsletters, for taking my classes, for commenting and writing and spreading the word to your friends.

I’m truly grateful to be able to write and teach, and that’s all due to you.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy day with friends and loved ones. If not, have a nice weekend anyway. 😉

To all the veterans

Gwen holding a baby and kissing her husband who's wearing Air Force camouflage/BDUs

Kissing my husband goodbye, circa 1997

Today I honor the men and women of all races, ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations, political beliefs, religions (or lack thereof), and even different nationalities who’ve served in the US armed forces.

I appreciate your commitment and sacrifice—and that of your families—whether you faced armed conflict or faced a computer.

Special thanks to my husband, father, father-in-law, and uncle.

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Halloween

 

table filled with Halloween cookies, open book, woman's hands holding a mug, with "Happy Halloween!" written across bottom on a white ribbon

Happy Halloween! Are you a dress-up-hand-out-candy person, or a hide-in-/leave-the-house person? Now that my kids are grown, I'm the latter (yes, introvert), but I'd love to hear about your costumes, or your kids' costumes. 

Have a fun, spooky day.

Memorial Day

Redondo Beach veterans memorial with flag at half mast

Veteran's Park – Redondo Beach, CA

Today I honor and remember those military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for my country. Happy Memorial Day!

Anniversaries

partially blurred clocks flying over gray backgroundJanuary marked nine years since I started writing. February was 10 years since I quit working for someone else. March means I’ve been married to my awesome man for 23 years (!!). And in May I’ll have been teaching Scrivener for seven years. (April is, apparently, worthless.)

Every time these anniversaries roll around, I’m shocked at how much time has passed.

And yet, if I look back, tons has happened. Contest wins and finals. A nonfiction book deal. Three training platforms. Four novels indie published. Two kids in college. Five moves. And so many new friends. Whew!

I’ve grown immensely as a writer and businessperson, though there will always be more to learn. In fact, that’s part of what keeps it interesting.

There are things I miss about having a “day” job—the camaraderie, the ability to leave work behind at the end of the day, a steady paycheck—but I love being my own boss.

Unlike many of the jobs I’ve had over the years—being a military spouse either means having a long resumé or no resumé—writing never ceases to be a challenge. You don’t “master” it and then get bored. (Or realize how repetitive it is, have a blast learning how to automate it, and then get bored. Oops.)

In addition to improving the craft of writing and storytelling, there’s always a new storyline to develop, a plot problem to solve, or a character to understand.

And no matter how many manuscripts I write—and there are way more in various stages of never-to-be-completed/published than the four novels I have out—each one presents its own struggle. Usually the good kind. Like solving a puzzle.

(Please remind me of that next time I’m pulling out my hair over my current work in progress.)

And when I want a break from writing, I get to teach people how to use my favorite program. I talk to real live humans, and help them solve a problem. Two activities I adore. 😉 Plus, the need to keep up with Scrivener and all the technologies I use to provide online courses and private training ensure I’ll never be bored.

(Side note: If your kids ever tell they could never be bored if they had a dog, I’m here to tell you they’re lying.)

So, basically, I’m happy.

Last weekend we celebrated our wedding anniversary with 36 hours in Seattle. Below are a few pics.

tulips in buckets in a public market

Fresh flowers at Pike Place Market

utility cover stamped with flowers and "CITY LIGHT CITY BRIGHT" repeated around the edges

Every utility cover I saw in Seattle was different. This one was across from the Seattle Art Museum.

Camellia bush in front of pond with pine trees in background

Washington Park Arboretum Japanese Garden

vine-covered pergola in pond with mostly bare willow and greenery in background

Washington Park Arboretum Japanese Garden

tall bridge over lake in early morning, with dock and boathouse in front and smaller boats in back

George Washington Bridge over Lake Union looking East from the Fremont Bridge

boathouse and canoes on water

Center for Wooden Boats on South Lake Union

What big milestones or anniversaries are happening for you this year?