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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Patty Pick for My One Word Resolution for 2017 is........

It's that favorite time of year for most of us! Between Thanksgiving and Christmas and 
on into New Years, we are all in festive moods, ready to spend time with our family
and friends. This time of year also bring memories of Holidays past. We seem to turn back to the childhood traditions that we loved when we were growing up. In my family we bake the same cookies, make the same time-tested and delicious recipes for our big meals, and never forget those traditions like movies on Christmas Day. This time of year can also lead us to turn the attention to our inner selves to think back over our year and assess what we did and where we went and the relationships we have. 

I always like to read a book with a Christmas theme and had picked out a good one from what I hear - "A Lowcountry Christmas" by Mary Alice Monroe. I wanted a pick-me-up and this heartwarming story and the author's lovely writing style seemed to fit the ticket perfectly. Unfortunately this year for too many reasons to mention, I failed to even do that. In fact, I seemed to have failed to read much at all. I could blame this on my writing, but I am not sure that is the complete reason. 

Our lives are constantly being challenged with electronic devices. Yes, we can read our 
book on our Kindles, Nooks and whatnot, but that is not what I am talking about. I seem 
to find myself online in some form or fashion and neglecting the very thing that I champion and work hard to be a part of - being an author. I write books, I am part of a book club, I usually read a couple of books a month. I blog for heavens sake about books! The point being that what is so mesmerizing that I am not reading as much -that darned internet. I am spending so much time trying to learn my craft, learn how to connect with my readers and other writers and yes, just having fun, that I am not writing or reading nearly enough.  

So my one word resolution for 2017 is Simplify.  I want to simplify my life, enjoy the
little things, read more, enjoy time with my family more and stop trying to do it all. 
I want to clean out the debris that is cluttering my desk, my store, my closet, and yes, 
my brain. I want to clean out, so to speak, manage to "spring clean" myself and my 
surroundings. I am hoping that this does not mean I clean up and then cannot find anything at all as has happened in the past. I plan to simplify what I do and stop trying to do everything and accept some help when I need it. I plan to simplify my writing and go back to what I love - long hand. I know that seems odd since you are reading my blog on a computer of some kind, but when I write a book or story, I need time for my brain and 
fingers to sync and often with a computer keyboard that syncing just seems hard to do. So back to my pen and paper style, that allows me to think at the same time. Eventually it will make it to the laptop but not until I have the first draft. 

I don't plan to just simplify my writing, I want to simplify my whole life so I can truly enjoy it. I hope I am successful but if not I will not beat myself up. Life can be hard enough without that. So let me hear what your one word resolution or your multi-word
resolutions are for 2017. And if you have any wonderful tips to share with me on ways to simplify my life, by all means please pass those along. I am going to need them!! 
Can't wait to hear from you all.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Best Books of 2016

Here we go, another list of Best Books of 2016 and I am so far behind in reading them! 
These books are pulled from multiple internet sources and my own personal 
"To Read" lists. I am going to include some of the best books that I have read this 
year too in a separate list. Please read my reviews for more information on these books. The fact is there seem to be more books out there that I want to read and less and less time to do so! 

I know you are all eagerly awaiting my own book, The Distance Between Us, to come out and hopefully 2017 will be the year. Keep your fingers crossed! There is also a fiction book in the works and a non-fiction book that I am writing with Lisa Satterfield Shank. She is a walking, talking miracle! If you liked Brain on Fire:My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan, you are going to want to read this book! Our tentative title is One in A Million
Now on with the lists: 

2016 Books Not to Miss: 
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanthi
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
small great things by Jodi Picoult
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Redemption Road by John Hart 
The Whistler by John Grisham 

Best Book Choices of what I've Read this Year: 
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Gates Manor Band by Jan Hemby
Just Mercy:A Story of Justice & Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki 

I know there are others that need to be on this lists but browsing for your own 
books is always part of the fun! Happy Reading and here's to a wonderful 2017 
of books. Happy Holidays to all!