Give Me the Simple Life: Saying Goodbye to my Buggy Horse

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Last weekend, I had to say goodbye to an old friend. My beloved 14-year-old mini-van. 140,000 miles, scratches and dents on every side because my four children all learned to drive on this car.

My children ridiculed my mini-van—and I can appreciate that because I remember the horror of driving around in my mother’s ancient Ford country squire. For years, they’ve been after me to update, but it actually really suited me just fine to drive an old, well-cared for, dependable car.

But at long last, the time had come to part ways. I haven’t needed such a big car, and my husband and I wanted to get a hybrid. We bought a new tire for the mini-van, had the oil changed, and got all the paperwork ready to sell.

On Saturday morning, Steve took it down to the local high school. On weekends, the road in   Keep Reading…

Author Spotlight: Betsy St. Amant

All's Fair

Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from the last Author Spotlight giveaway is CHARIS! Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

Welcome Betsy St. Amant, author of All’s Fair in Love & Cupcakes, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of her book!

Share a little bit about yourself:

I’m 30 thirty years old, a single mom to a six-year-old girl, and work full time. I’m definitely of the “squeeze in as much writing as I can when I can” variety. ☺

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I   Keep Reading…

Friday Fun: Reflections on Rejection

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Looking back on where you’ve come is important for seeing where you’re heading. For a writer, that means experiencing a fair share of rejection. Although no one ever wants to receive the dreaded letter, it can teach valuable lessons. I remember receiving a very rude rejection letter and the power I allowed it to have on me. I never wanted to feel that way again, so I came up with a list of what that rejection letter cannot take from me. I posted the list on my bulletin board to serve as a reminder when future rejection threatens my attitude (because rejection letters are part of the package of being a writer!):

1) My accomplishment. I wrote, revised and completed a book (or an article) that expressed my heart. Many writers (even those with far more talent than I) have that same intention but not the ability to follow-through   Keep Reading…

Dreams Coming True: Keeping the History of the Game Alive

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Dreams Coming True is a new Thursday feature on my blog, a way to highlight those whose goal is to create community. The dream might be a blog, a published book, a small business, volunteering, or even fundraising for a charity. Something that makes the world a better place . . . for others.

Welcome Matt Petty, President of Bay Area Vintage Base Ball, to Dreams Coming True! Tell us a little about BAVBB:

Bay Area Vintage Base Ball is a non-profit educational organization that promotes the history of the great game of baseball in the Bay Area. We play by the rules of 1886. It’s a gritty, scrappier version of the modern game, and we’re always looking for historical references to more accurately portray the vintage game. We have six team around the Bay Area and almost 100 dedicated players. We black-out the logos   Keep Reading…

A Day in My Life: Life in Los Angeles

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As my youngest son, Tad, settles into his new life in Los Angeles, we’re getting to know this gigantic city. Little by little. Sort of. Here are some pix from a weekend we had with Tad, his visiting fiancée Sarah, our daughter Meredith, and her fiancé, James.

I just love this daughter-in-law-to-be! What a gift she is . . . to Tad and to our family.

Last week, Sarah flew to Costa Rica. She’s teaching there for the autumn months and becoming fluent in Spanish. We miss her! Tad misses her even more. Meredith and James met in China, about a year ago, as teachers at an international school. Amazingly, James is from Los Angeles! He is wonderful! Another gift to our family. Look for future posts to hear more about Meredith and James. Tad and Sarah, in   Keep Reading…

Give Me the Simple Life: Black Gold

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I love to compost. It appeals to my practical nature: We compost about 50% of our kitchen waste. But it also appeals to my spiritual interests: Amazing to think that rubbish + the right conditions + time = dark, rich soil amendment. Something beneficial transformed out of garbage! The ultimate recycling.

Anyone can compost. My friend Carol used to dig a hole in a dormant part of her garden and toss in the egg shells, banana peels and coffee grounds. That’s called passive composting. My friend Diane takes composting to another level. She has two bins, and stirs the compost to make sure air is circulating. As she lifts the lid of her compost, steam rises up. Perfect!

I’m in between Carol and Diane. I have one big bin in the hottest corner of the garden, and toss things in throughout the summer and fall. I have a big plastic   Keep Reading…

Author Spotlight: Deborah Raney

Home to Chicory Lane

Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from the last Author Spotlight giveaway is BOBBE HADLEY! Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

Welcome Deborah Raney, author of Home to Chicory Lane, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of Home to Chicory Lane!

What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times: Nothing can happen until you put your butt in the chair and keep it there until the book is finished!

What was your biggest break?

My first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was   Keep Reading…

Friday Fun: Dog Walks

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I get the biggest kick out of watching people with their dogs, out on a morning constitutional. Without fail, the dogs are charging ahead, tails keeping time like the needle on a metronome. They’re just so darn happy! Rain or shine, hot or cold, those pups are ready to hit the pavement.

Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan says that it’s part of their migratory instincts.

Makes sense to me. Time to go walk my dogs!

So have you ever wondered why dogs like to walk? Share your guesses in the comment section below for a chance to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family!

What do you think goes on in the mind of a dog? @suzannewfisher 

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Start the Lancaster County series today! Pick up a copy of The   Keep Reading…

Dreams Coming True: Connecting with the Land in an Urban Setting

Santa Monica Community Garden

Dreams Coming True is a new Thursday feature on my blog, a way to highlight those whose goal is to create community. The dream might be a blog, a published book, a small business, volunteering, or even fundraising for a charity. Something that makes the world a better place . . . for others.

Welcome Cris Gutierrez from Santa Monica Community Gardens! Tell us a little about yourselves:

We are Santa Monica Community Gardens, a group of multigenerational residents, socio-economically, racially and ethnically diverse. Teachers, chiropractors, producers, heath care professionals, casting agents, lifeguards, activists, lawyers, actors, writers, business owners, poets, artists, accountants, dancers, etc., we represent all kinds of professions. We are an eclectic mix—knowledgeable, eccentric, whimsical, serious, sophisticated—as are our aesthetics. As a community of gardeners, whether novices or master gardeners, we value the creative exercise of growing our own food, flowers, and   Keep Reading…

A Day in My Life: First Day of the Rest of His Life

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My youngest son, Tad, graduated from college in May and started his career at a bank a few weeks later. He trained back east for six weeks, then moved to Los Angeles. Steve and I drove down to help him set up his apartment. Below is a scene outside of the motel where we stayed . . . beautiful Los Angeles! (Not!) Let’s just say that it is a city that takes getting used to.

Day One of the first day of the rest of his life.

Tad didn’t have his car yet (our daughter was driving it to him from Northern California), so we had to drop him at his workplace in our mini-van. Kind of a throwback to the hundreds (thousands) of school drop-offs that had happened in my beloved mini-van.

Another throwback . . . Tad wanted us   Keep Reading…