A Cheery Day, After All

I’ve had a bit of a day here, dealing with a situation that’s proved impossible. (Just insurance, people, no one’s jumping off cliffs.)

(Yet.)

Anyway, I’ve put on one of my favorite Christmas music CDs (Neil Diamond’s Acoustic Christmas) and I’ve got my Peppermint Tootsie Roll Pop because chocolate and peppermint and Neil fixes everything. And now that I’m in a better place, I can tell you about my friend, Sonia, and her book.

If you’ve come over from The Muffin, then you already know Sonia. If you’re just popping in, then you’ll want to read “A Christmas (Publishing) Miracle.”

41Uy077Uf1L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Sonia calls me every day to ask if her books have been delivered (they’re coming Friday). Or to let me know that a friend has ordered the book (though I already know because I manage her bookshelf). And sometimes, she tells me what Father Sunny said (again). But really, Sonia just calls because she’s so darn excited. And because, though she wrote this book, I think she’s still in awe of what she’s accomplished. Sonia needs me to say, “Yep, the books are coming.” Or “Wow. You’ve sold two books!” Or even, “Father Sunny said that?!” But really, what I’m saying is, “Good for you, Sonia. You did it.”

I’m so very happy for her, and truly, it was a privilege to help her. When Sonia’s beloved husband died a few years ago, she was beyond devastated. She wasn’t interested in living in a world without Cipriano. But Sonia’s a woman of deep faith and she turned to that deep well of faith, the saints, and to the virtues that had been the constants in her life. And Sonia came back to life, back to her joyful self. This is the story she wrote about in Finding Joy in Giving Back to God. 

If you’re dealing with grief, here’s a little book of hope for you. And you can help the church in the Philippines grow because Sonia’s donating all the proceeds to the Fransalian Missionaries, Inc. in the Philippines (where she grew up). But you don’t have to buy Sonia’s book for a happy ending to this story. Sonia’s joy is back and that’s a wonder to behold. She cheers me up every day.

Even on a day when insurance thinks it will get the better of me. (But it hasn’t.)

(Yet.)

The Good, the Bad, and the Cold

blur-celebration-christmas-760110First off, it’s cold here in the sunny South and that’s the bad news. I mean space-heater-chugging-by-the-desk cold. Libby burrowed-under-FOUR-blankets cold. The trash-can-wait-another-week-because-I-don’t-want-to-take-it-out cold. So secondly, I have good news: something to warm you up.

It’s a nice and toasty post over at The Muffin called “Making the Most of Memories.” I promise it’ll give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. And I know there are some of you out there thinking, “Oh, there goes Cathy again with one of those writing posts.” But it’s mostly about heart-warming memories and how to keep them, and that’s important stuff, y’all.

So I hope you’ll take a look. And I hope it warms up soon because it’s also too-chilly-to-think-or-write cold. (And before all of you in the blizzard zone feel compelled to throw something at me…well. There really is no defense for my whining about 47 degree weather, is there? So go right ahead and smack me with a snow ball.)

Becoming Real

IMG_20181107_103920387_BURST000_COVERSo in between the constant robo-calls and the ceiling cracks and the flooding on the floor AND the non-stop barking because ringing phones and working folks in the house call for non-stop Libs patrol, I have managed to come up with something over at the Muffin.

And considering that as I’m typing this post, Libs is cowered behind me, in my office chair, because the YARD MAN IS HERE WITH TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION (leaf blower at the moment), it’s kinda amazing.

Um…just to be clear, the blog post itself is not that amazing. It’s just me, speaking my truth in “This I Know 2.0.” But after I read it this morning, I realized that I’d left out something very important that I know. Which is not too surprising, all things considered (see above).

And so I’m glad I have this spot here to add another truth, to share this I know as well:

That writers appreciate their readers. Not because they need reviews or want people to buy their books, though of course, either of those are nice. And not even because of lovely comments or the occasional thank-you note or email, though those are certainly swell, too. But mostly, writers appreciate readers because…well, I guess it’s sort of like this quote from The Velveteen Rabbit:

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

Readers give writers validation. Readers make us real. And so thank you to all the readers who make me a real writer. Even when my efforts are less than stellar due to extenuating circumstances (see above).

Ghost in the House

black-and-white-blur-close-up-237205I’m pretty sure my house is haunted. And I’m pretty sure I know exactly who is haunting it.

As ghosts go, Mister Man is not so bad. He doesn’t move stuff around or make lights flicker on or off. He doesn’t show up very often, and when he does, he’s pretty subtle. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’m the only one who hears him.

So last week, I had a flooding-in-the-basement issue. And sure enough, Mister Man started yelling. “Cathy!” he hollered. “It’s time to move! Find a nice, cozy place, okay?”

But when I told the Junior Halls–any Junior Hall, I’m not picky– that I wanted to get a Tiny House and park it in their backyard because their father was haunting me and wanted me to move, they implied that I was crazy. “Besides,” said practical daughter, “a tiny house can still have problems.”

That’s true, I guess, but in a tiny house, I’d know immediately when they happened. Which brings me to my post over at the Muffin, “October Scare (Or Recognizing the Blessing in Disguise).”

Anyway, the basement’s dry now and Mister Man’s gone quiet on getting me to move. So I’ve got a few financial matters I’ve been putting off and it’s time to sit down at the desk and tackle them.  But first, humor me. Am I the only one hearing that yelling?

 

I’m Baaaaaaaaack!

blur-book-candle-417049Yeah, yeah, I know in Poltergeist II it was “They’re baaaaaaack!” But we’ve hijacked that line and made it into “I’m baaaaaaaack!” in that sing-songy voice which always creeps me out and it’s October so boo, y’all!

The wedding weather was great and everyone in both families is still speaking and I didn’t break anything whilst rocking out on the dance floor so I’m calling that a win for all of us. Three cheers for the happy not to mention beautiful couple! (And P.S. Let’s all agree not to use “envision” for a while, okay? If I heard that word once, I heard it a gazillion times in the last 12 months. And I used to like that word. *sigh*)

So. Where were we? I think I’ve addressed that question for all of us in my timely post over at The Muffin in “October Panic.” Feel free to take a moment or two to give it a read. I think you’ll perk up or at least get a handle on your panic. And then maybe you can share what you’d like to complete before 2018 winds down.

I finished a major revision and I’ll take all my notes from beta readers and work on the next–and I hope final revision–of that manuscript. I’d like to send it out to agent by the end of the year. But I’m also percolating some ideas about a new novel I’m starting with a bit of a different voice for me and I’m excited to think that through and see where it goes.

AND, I’m reading and critiquing a friend’s new cozy mystery that I love and can’t wait to see where it’s going. Isn’t it maddening when you only get a few chapters at a time and you have to wait and wonder?

So I hope you won’t have to wait and wonder too long for the next doings here at Cathy C. Hall but there’s so much going on! And whoOOooOOOOooo knows when I’ll be baaaaaaaaack?

(I kinda love October, y’all. Hope yours is boo-rific, too!)