Thursday, February 25, 2010

True Courage!

Like most people around the world, I have been captivated by the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Between hockey, skiing, curling, speed skating, figure skating, it's hard to keep up with all the events!

And each event brings with it stories about the athletes involved. How hard they've worked to get here, the sacrifices they and their families have made along the way. The triumphs and the tragedies all tug at our hearts.

But no story has touched more people than that of French Canadian figure skater, Joannie Rochette. This woman personifies the word "Courage".

First imagine the excitement of awaiting your family to join you for the biggest event of your life. Your parents arrive in Vancouver and tragedy strikes. Your mother, your biggest fan and supporter, dies of a heart attack. The shock of such an event would devastate anyone, never mind an athlete expected to give her all to her craft.

Despite the shock, the grief and indescribable pain, Joannie performed her short program as scheduled. What kind of courage did it take for her to step out onto that ice Tuesday evening? What kind of mental fortitude did that require? One can only speculate.

As a spectator watching her give her all to that program, and performing well enough to achieve third place, only to fall to pieces with the roaring of the crowd afterwards, I was moved beyond words. What a wonderful example to all the young people everywhere of strength, determination, integrity and courage.

We will be wishing Joannie every blessing and good wish tonight as she performs her free skate. May her guardian angel be with her as she again conquers her pain to perform for herself, her family and her country.

Bonne chance, Joannie! Canada loves you!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

As a romance writer, I feel compelled to add a blog today celebrating romance and love!

In this light, what better way to celebrate love than with a kiss. Kisses epitomize romance to me, in print and on screen. So I've decided to add a small excerpt from one of my manuscripts showing a kiss between my hero and heroine, Allie & Jason. Long-time friends, this is their first kiss.

Hope you enjoy!

"Allie clung to him, allowing his hands to soothe the tension from her back muscles. Jason was the one person who understood what that night had done to her, the havoc it had wreaked on her relationship with her family, and on the rest of her life. Through it all, Jason had never condemned her for her foolhardy actions that night, never once told her how stupid she’d been. He’d remained her staunchest defender.

She felt him pull her closer as if their bones could meld together, offering her solace and strength. All of a sudden, she became acutely conscious of that strength, the band of steel his muscled arms formed around her. His lips in her hair, whispering words of comfort.

In that moment of awareness, something changed between them. She felt Jason’s lips moving to her cheek, then slowly downward, inch by silky inch, until they neared her mouth.

Her heart seemed to stand still in her chest, her breathing stalled in her lungs. He hesitated for a fraction of a second before he touched his lips gently to hers, as if experimenting to see how she’d react. Her body began to hum, like a thread of electricity moved through her. She strained up to push her mouth more firmly to his.

Somewhere through the haze of grief, passion sparked. Reaching up, she entwined her arms around his neck, plunging her fingers into the thick mass of his hair. She kissed him back with a fervor long held in check. Her heart raced, her knees sagged like they were made of rubber. His tongue tangled with hers, his hands moved up her back and into her own hair. She thought she heard him groan, and then, just as quickly as it had started, he pulled his mouth away.

She stared at him, dazed. His whiskey colored eyes looked almost black, the irises fully dilated.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“I’m glad you did,” she whispered."

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! However you choose to celebrate, may your day be filled with romance and kisses!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Two Goals Accomplished!

Everyone is talking about goals these days. Writers especially seem to love to set goals for themselves. Word count goals, submission goals. Myself, I think this adds too much pressure (These days I'm all about de-pressurizing - there's a new word!)

I've heard so many varieties. Write 100 words a day. Write for 20 minutes a day. Write a chapter a week. Write a book in a year (that one is usually not bad). But honestly, I just don't have the time or inclination to keep such stringent records. And if I don't do what I was supposed to that day or week, then I beat myself up about it. Another reason why I don't do New Year Resolutions. I always want to lose 10-20 pounds. Does it happen? No. One day I'll be ready for that. In the meantime, I don't want to constantly feel bad about it. So I exercise when I can, and try to watch what I eat.

However, this past week or so, I did accomplish two important things.

1. I submitted a short story to a local newspaper contest. This was a challenge because I haven't written a short story since elementary school. I went on-line to research what a short story entailed, and then WROTE IT! I don't even know where the idea came from. It just appeared, fully formed, in my head. And it is now in the mail! Aside from the monetary winnings, first prize includes tuition to a college writing program. Wish me luck!

AND ...

2. I took out my resume, blew off the dust, and revised it for the first time in about 11 years. And I sent it out to the place I most would like to work - the Library! (I think I should have been a librarian! LOL) Not that there is even a hint at a job opening, but hey, wishful thinking (or should I say positive thinking) never hurts.

So even though I don't consciously set goals, I do congratulate myself when I achieve one or two!

How do you celebrate achieving your goals??