Skiing into 2009

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy day after Christmas to all my friends online!

On my last post, I sent you all some lovely pictures of a thin layer of snow in my backyard. I obviously wasn't listening to the news and didn't know that the mother of all storms was blowing our way. And boy, did the Pacific Northwest get hit. You know it's unusual when little ole Seattle makes the national weather news. We haven't been hit this hard since I was in grade school. It was exactly what every kid dreams of--school closures, sledding hills, and snow angels. I'm sure there was more than one mom in town tearing her hair out, trying to figure out how to finish her holiday shopping/cooking/cleaning with the kids home. :) Worse yet, the mail was totally lost. UPS, Fed ex, and good old Uncle Sam were as shut down by the snow as everyone else. I don't know about my neighbors, but I can tell you that after feeling awfully superior that I'd finished my shopping online, I was totally bummed to discover that several of my packages were stuck only a few miles away and wouldn't be delivered in time.

The good news was that my son's flight was unaffected and he made it home on time, as did my brother and his family, who had taken a week in Hawaii. It seems impossible to believe that only two months ago I was sitting on a beautiful white sand beach.. Here's the beach, in fact. It's on a small island called Mnemba.

Now here I am, bundled up in layers and layers of clothing, watching my own breath. And skiing...
Here's what I have to say about skiing. From a distance, it looks like a fairly low impact sport. I mean, you're riding up to the top of the mountain in a chair, and then you're sailing down in the deep snow, letting gravity do it's thing...and then you try to do it when you're out of shape. And that's me right now. Totally out of shape. I went to Africa for a month and my only exercise came when I lifted my fork, and then I came home and I was behind on the book for 2010, so I sat down and started writing. I told myself I had no choice--it was raining in Seattle, so how could I run? Every day, I thought I'd run the next day, or I'd go to the gym. But then I'd stay and write another page, or shop for christmas presents online or go see a movie (I had to see Twilight, didn't I???). Anyway, the point is that for two months, I didn't work out much, and man am I paying for it now. I'm trying to keep up on the slopes with my twenty year old son, and it's killing me. Killing me. Today, I had to literally drag myself off the slopes and onto the sofa, where I collapsed, gasping.

So, New Year's resolution #1: January 1st I start running again. This goes along with resolution #2, which is that I quit eating everything in sight and saying, "it's Christmas," to myself and others. :)

Resolution #3: I read more books by authors I've never heard of. This year I discovered Michelle Richmond and Chelsea Cain. Who knows who'll I'll discover next year?

Resolution #4: Spend less time doing nothing and more time doing something. Volunteering my time and efforts to my favorite causes--breast cancer research, books to Africa, local families in need.

That's the list for now. I still have a few days to compile the rest of it. How about you? What resolutions are you all making this year?

Well, as out of shape as I am, the snow is calling to me again, and I must answer. What can I say? Skiing has been in my blood for most of my life. There's nothing I like better than riding the chair with my son and watching him fly down the slopes, hearing his laughter whoop out over the snow. So, here I go again, teeth gritted, determined to fight my own body for supremacy. Wish me luck...just as I wish you all luck, good fortune, good friends, and time with your family in this lull week between the end of one year and the coming of the next.

And don't forget the True Colors contest. The entries are literally pouring in. I hope all you fireflies have earmarked your entries...

Aloha for now...


peace, love, joy, and everything good---

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy holidays!
Winter has come to western Washington in a big way. The weather forecasters were right on it, promising us snow for days; it's finally here, and it's absolutely beautiful. Nothing says the holidays quite like snow, does it? I thought I'd pass along a picture of my back yard--including the horses in the field. When I look up from all the cooking, wrapping, online shopping, and writing, this is the view I see.
My son is finally coming home from college tomorrow--amazingly, he is finishing up the first semester of his junior year. I can't wait to pick him up from the airport (yes, I still do that--I can't help it. I love seeing him that first time), and have the first family movie night in a long time. I just hope I get to pick the movie. Anyone have any recommendations?
I love the idea of coming up with a firefly recommends list, btw. I already love the posts that are the start of it. This is definitely something to work on in the new year.
To all fireflies, I wish you all the very best luck with the True Colors advance reading copy contest. Enter away!
I'd love to hear about your family holiday traditions, too. What is the most important "thing" you do every year, the most important food you eat? For me, it's our Christmas Eve book exchange, Christmas morning eggs benedict and homemade cinnamon rolls, skiing on Christmas day, and sneaking around after everyone else has gone to bed. All of that is in addition to family gatherings, of course. There's nothing I love more than sitting around with family (okay, often we're drinking wine or champagne), with lights and decorations all around, catching up on all the news we've missed as our lives go in different directions. This is the one time of year where we all come together. There's nothing better than that.
And as for being grateful in this holiday season, let me say how truly grateful I am for all of you who have chosen to join me on my fiction writing journey, and for all of you who dare to weigh in on the blog. It takes guts to step forward and hit "post," and I love it. For the first time in twenty years of writing, I really feel as if I know the women for whom I'm writing, and it's turned out to be so much fun. Thanks fireflies!
Happy holidays to all,

You heard it here first...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy holidays!!

Well, it's bearing down on us, ladies, isn't it? Thanksgiving is over and the holidays are headed this way. While I sit here in my living room, with my laptop open and my Christmas spice tea at my side, I can actually see the weather turning cold outside. The first snowfall of the year is minutes away--or so the newscasters keep telling us. We here in Western Washington don't get a lot of snow, so it's a big deal, and nothing puts me in the holiday mood like seeing my horses standing at the fence in a white field. It reminds me instantly of those days, long ago now, when my son prayed for snow (and school closures). It always seemed to come when I had a book due, but none of those real world concerns mattered around the Hannah household. When the snow fell, it was a play day. I kind of miss that...

But you don't want to hear about how much I love the snow. You're waiting for the early scoop on the contest, so here it is. I'm telling you guys first. :) As I told you before, Hallmark magazine is doing a big promotion in February, and they have chosen sisterhood essays as their theme. Great minds think alike, I guess. Anyway, so I've had to change my own contest, but actually, I think it's a good thing. Let's face it, these are crazy busy days and taking the time to write a contest entry is just one more thing to do. So the contest starting tomorrow is easy, easy, easy. All you have to do is read a short excerpt of TC and answer a question. Then you'll be entered in the contest, and the prize is an advance copy of the book. As I promised, a couple of the arcs will be earmarked for firefly entrants only, so be sure and identify yourself in the entry. The details will be on the website today or tomorrow. We'll be gathering entries until Jan 4, I think, and choosing the winners by the 8th. So if you enter, TC might be in your house when the holidays are over. And here's something else cool--we're going to have an "early readers" forum link on the site, so if you win and read it, you can post your thoughts on the book for everyone else.

We'll still be doing an essay contest, don't worry. I just don't know what the prize will be. All I really know is that I LOVE reading your essays and I can't give that up. So, what do you all think? those of you who have already written your essays can enter in Hallmark, but what should we do with the essays on this site? I know there's a great idea out there...

I had another idea just a few minutes ago, when I was answering the blog. I think we need a "firefly recommends" list that encompasses tv shows, movies, books, cds, even recipes. What do you think?

Now, I have to run into the city to get my hair done. Yep, it's that time of year... :)

Happy holidays everyone--


News for the new year...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Aloha friends--

I'm going to have to put the whole Africa storyline on the back burner for a few moments because now we're in the month of December (how did that happen so quickly?), and that means I have lots of book news to share. Where to begin???

Well, first and foremost, I'm thrilled to announce that Firefly Lane is finally coming out in trade paperback. I'm really excited about this. I hope that the lower price point will get a lot of new readers to take a chance on the book. I know I can count on my fireflies to spread the word on the web and let book club members know that this is a story they can sink their teeth into. And thanks so, so much for that. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of you who read my books and stay in touch online.

The dates to keep in mind are January 5th for Firefly Lane in trade paperback and February 3rd for True Colors in hardcover. Wow. It's amazing that it's finally happening, that True Colors is actually getting close to release. It's up on Amazon and and everything! I really can't wait to hear what you all think of it, and to that end...

Here's the biggest news of all. I know that a lot of you are waiting patiently for the sisterhood essay contest. Well, the bad news is that you're all going to have to wait just a little big longer, but the good news--the GREAT news--is that Hallmark magazine has just jumped on board and they've decided to host a big national contest and they're giving away a top secret prize. I can't spill all the beans yet, but believe me, you all will be the first to know.

And about the advance reading copies of True Colors--which I know you all are waiting for--I have talked to my webmaster and my publisher and we're going to give away a lot more than five copies. I don't know the exact number, but it certainly gives you all a much better chance at winning. The final contest rules and information will be posted on the main page of the website no later that Wednesday. Keep checking! (I think you might be reading an early excerpt of True Colors and answering an easy question--but don't tell anyone I told you). And don't worry--there are still several earmarked just for fireflies. So remember to identify yourselves in your online entry. We're going to give the winners a chance to post their "early reviews" of True Colors. I look forward to discovering what you all think!

I guess that's the big news for now, but it's really starting to pop, so if I hear anything else, I'll jump right onto the blog to let you all know.

Thanks again so much for all of your fun conversation on this blog. You all make it so fun and easy to keep in touch.

My movie recommendation for the month is: Twilight (of course), which I ended up really liking. I had problems with "Edward" at first, but Robert Pattison won me over in the end; and Australia, which I wanted to LOVE but didn't quite, but I did really really like it. I cried a few times and loved the love story and the story of the little boy. And the cinematography was wonderful. It's a great, old fashioned, sweeping love story with a happy ending. Who doesn't love that?

I am in between books at the moment, so I don't have a recommendation. What about you? Can someone recommend something for me?

And I am still MAD for Prison Break, which is going to be over any moment...

Happy Holidays---