I’ve struggled with writing this year. Not sure of all the reasons, but I know the main one has been anxiety over the political climate in the U.S. and the bad news all over the world that keeps becoming worse news. It makes my gut churn and my heart ache, and it’s hard to write love stories with happy endings when I’m feeling that way.
I decided something had to change. And since I can’t change all the other stuff, I started focusing on things that make me happy. Things that make me smile and feel good. And it’s working! 🙂 I’m having a lot of fun with the book I’m writing now, thank heavens.
With the goal of feeling happy in mind, I’m sharing some of that happy with you. Here are photos of things that make me smile.
The autumn color here wasn’t as beautiful as usual, for the most part, probably because the weather has been strange (very cool in August, then hot in October!). It didn’t help that we had lots of rain this past week, which knocked leaves off trees that were turning. But here’s one that put on a show, anyway. The colors make me happy.
Last month, my husband and I were at my favorite place – his uncle’s house on the beach in San Diego. I absolutely love it there. There’s nothing like the steady sound of the ocean and soothing feel of the breeze to make anyone feel calm and at peace. There’s also nothing like the amazing sunsets when the horizon is clear of clouds. Nothing makes me happier than waking up with the sounds and scents of the sea.
We’ve been to several family weddings this year, which were wonderful, especially because I got to spend time with all three of my kids together, which doesn’t happen often enough any more. Here are my three offspring spiffed up in their finery 🙂
And speaking of weddings, my daughter is engaged! Apparently the thing to do these days is take engagement photos. Here’s one of them – I think it looks like a romance novel cover! 🙂
Here’s the bluebird that has decided to stare at me through the window in my office. I think he’s been battling the bluebird he sees in the window, which is why he has an angry look in one of these photos 🙂 But lots of time he just relaxes there. And who wouldn’t feel charmed and happy with a bluebird by your side?
And speaking of wildlife staring at me while I’m working, this doe seems to be asking for me to bring her a treat, doesn’t she? 🙂
And then there’s our silly cat. He’s supposed to be my son’s pet – his friend’s cat had a litter last year and he couldn’t resist the kitten cuteness, even though we told him not to bring it home! So of course, Anakin is here now even though my son is back in school in an apartment. But we lost our old cat last month, so I have to admit that having this one around makes me smile. He likes to ‘help’ me write, and also believes he should take up the maximum amount of space possible 🙂
While there are lots of other things that make me happy, I’ll close with a few photos of a drive my hubby and I recently took through country roads. It was a beautiful day, and the huge combines were everywhere harvesting corn. I wasn’t able to catch a photo of corn pouring from the chutes into trucks practically overflowing with it, but it was a sight to see. And then there was the new, green, winter wheat. A lovely sign of next year to come 🙂
One more thing to be happy about? My tenth release! THE SPANISH DUKE’S HOLIDAY PROPOSAL is out this month. It’s part of the Christmas in Manhattan series with books by Janice Lynn, Alison Roberts, Amalie Berlin, Amy Ruttan and Susan Carlisle.
Here’s a photo of my book with me holding my 10th book pin from RWA 🙂
Here’s hoping for you to feel a whole lot of happy too, starting right now! xoxo