I got up this morning, all set to fix my coffee and climb back into bed with the laptop. I was wearing my Hello Kitty pajamas, the ones with the fleece pants, and I was so happy I have the sort of job where I could sit in my bed with my coffee and work while still in my pajamas. Heaven, I tell you!

But then I remembered, as I took my Let It Snow coffee mug down from the shelf, that we'd used up all the cream yesterday. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, friends. The choices before me: drink my coffee black; have tea; skip the morning beverage.

Those are not choices when you really want coffee. So I had to pull on clothes and drive a mile to the grocery store. I was the woman with bedhead who grabbed a bag of cat food (they're out after the morning meal), two pints of organic half and half, and a box of Weight Watchers turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches.

I did all that so I could go back to bed with a cup of coffee and a computer. 😉

Tell me what lengths you've gone to for your coffee (or tea). I'd love to know. I might give away a prize to the best story. How about a $10 Starbucks card and a signed paperback?

Leave a comment!

Love Yourself

As we head into the busy and stressful Christmas season, I just wanted to take a few moments to say something I think is important. Love yourself. This time of year, more than any other, causes stress on people. We are inundated with commercials for fabulous Christmas gifts, with pictures of how the perfect holiday is supposed to be, with smiling families who buy Mercedes Benzes or huge diamonds for each other, with a beautiful family gathered around a beautifully decorated table — and it's easy to let these images depress you when you realize your life isn't like that.

But I want you to take a moment right now and remember that YOU are special. You can do things no one else can do. You have gifts and talents and you are important to someone. You matter in this world and you need to look in the mirror and remind yourself of that. Don't let the ideal of the perfect holiday get you down. It's probably not perfect for anyone, quite honestly.

The season passes in a whirlwind of decorating, shopping, parties, cooking, and smiling when you might not feel like it. You may not get the cards out this year. You may not have the designer tree. But so what? Just enjoy your blessings, whatever they may be, and don't stress about the other stuff.

Love yourself. I promise you there is something amazing about you. If you don't know what that is, take a hard look and figure it out. And then remind yourself of it as often as necessary. It's important. Because you're important. 🙂

We're going to get through this holiday season, and then we're going to move on to January and February and anticipate spring's arrival. Forget the perfect holiday, the perfect body, the perfect life. Just enjoy today and love yourself for who you are. That's my plan!

Big Step

This morning, I go to the orthodontist and get braces. I'm excited and terrified too! Because after I get the braces, I have to get 5 teeth pulled. I don't look forward to that at all! But, it must be done, and I'm finally at a point in my life where I can afford it — and I'm going to do it.

My family couldn't afford braces when I was growing up. And then I couldn't afford them when I was a young adult. There are so many other things you need, right? My husband and I didn't have the money and no way could I justify taking out a loan or anything to get it done. So I put it off until finally, this year, I said to myself, “Hey, you can do this now. Go find out what you have to do.”

And I did. It's not as expensive as I thought it might be, though it's not cheap either, but I'm committing to this path. I've perfected the art of the closed-mouth smile for my photos. But I cannot *wait* to have a smile I can show the world. I'm so excited about it! It will take 22 months, but that's okay. By the end of that time, you won't be able to make me do a closed-mouth smile. 😉

I guess I'm sharing this with y'all for two reasons. First, as my readers, you've made this possible for me. You've bought my books and the money I've earned is helping me do this. And second, I want you to know that it's never too late to do things you want to do. Yeah, it's going to be a bummer to be an adult with braces. But it'll be over in two years and I'll have a smile I'm proud of instead of hiding my crowded and crooked teeth behind a closed-mouth smile.

It's a big step, and I know there will be some pain (and maybe some temporary regret) but I am seriously SO excited about this. The result will be worth it in the end. I can't wait! No more hiding my smile or being the only person in the photo with my mouth closed. 🙂 Well, okay, I'll still do that for a while since I'll be wearing braces, heh. I don't suppose wearing braces will be easy to begin with. Maybe I should apologize in advance to the groups I'm giving speeches to in September….

On Being a Dreamer

Does anybody ever know what the future holds? I'm sitting here on my screened in patio, it's sunny and warm, and I can look up at the sky and clouds, and it just fills me with happiness. It's like the future is wide open with possibilities, and all I need is this laptop and my imagination to make it happen.

I don't think it's that easy, truly, but sometimes it feels that way. I've looked up at the sky in a hundred different places, and I've felt exactly the same: the future is filled with possibilities. I never know what will happen, but I feel like it has the potential to be good.

It's the dreamer in me, and I hope I never lose her. She always feels like amazing things are just waiting to happen. The practical side of me worries about everything and knows bad things happen too, but the dreamer doesn't want to think about it. I think we need the dreamer to keep us optimistic. The worrier keeps us grounded.

Today, the possibilities lie within this book I'm working on. I hope it makes readers happy when it's done and out there, but I won't know that for a while yet. Still, I do my best, and I hope you know that whenever you sit down with something I've written.

From my patio to yours, happy day!


Thursday Thoughts

It's been a rough few days here in Chez Harris, as you all know. Tomorrow is a week since we said goodbye to Pitty Pat, and I still pretty much cry every day. Yesterday, I was doing pretty good. No crying — until Mr. Harris came home and checked the mail. Inside were two cards, one from my vet where she and all the office staff wrote a message about sweet Pitty Pat. That one started the waterworks. The next one sealed it. The next card was from the ER vet — and it contains a paw print they took of Pitty Pat on the day she died. OMG, I bawled. Really, this needs to get better, and soon.

I hate grief. I hate this part of the human experience. We have such capacity for love, and then when the individual we love gets taken away, the hole in our lives is almost unbearable. It sucks.

In other news, I've finally managed to get busy on my revisions for Book One in the Hostile Operations Team series again. All my work took a serious left turn last week. Some people write through tragedy and sadness — I wallow first. Just have to.

But I've been working steadily today, and feeling optimistic about the story. I hope you like it too. I really, really want to get this out there ASAP. I'm excited about the possibilities this new publishing world brings, and I want to be in control of this particular project. I have no intention of stopping writing my Harlequins, however. I am proud to be a Presents author. Very proud.

Sometimes, we get flak for writing “those” books with alpha-holes and doormats. Those are the words of the critics, and I don't accept them. My heroes are supremely alpha, and my heroines are strong enough to stand toe to toe with them. It's just the way it works in my world.

And now I have to go write my military alpha and the heroine who is most definitely not a doormat. And then it's another Presents! This next duo I like to call Sheikhs Gone Wild. We'll see how wild they go, and if you agree. 😉

Hugs to you all.



That about sums it up. Miss my girl. There will probably be a few posts where I lament her loss, but my understanding of grief — even pet grief, in case you're wondering — is that this is normal. Feel free to share your own pet losses in the comments.

Here, she's helping me write. Don't know how I'll get the next book done without her!