Friends are Family with Festivity

WP_20131224_002Here we are at the end of December already. Looking back I realize it’s been almost a month since my last blog. I had every intention of writing a long melodramatic saga about my trip to North Carolina… and my six days without luggage. Alas, most of the drama has leaked out of me. (Fortunately for you.)

The Cliffs Note version was simply that, the freakish winter storm that hit Dallas-Fort Worth on December 5th created a domino effect of transportation nightmares for thousands of people. In spite of missing my connecting flight because of  “deicing,” I was still able to board the last flight out of Dallas to Atlanta. More drama, but I finally got a flight to North Carolina, which got me in at 11:30 p.m.

The most wonderful friends (and brilliant writers) in the world Ann McMan and Salem West warmly greeted me, even at that hour. Then there was the tragic news that my suitcase had not arrived with me. Being too tired and weak to do more than whine, I submitted to gentle reassurances and… the comfort of the 15-year-old single malt waiting for me at their home. sigh –a balm to my ravaged soul. And, the first look at the print version of my book!

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The following week was filled with extraordinary meals (both women are gifted gourmet cooks), laughter, hugs, puppy kisses, and cat-whispering. I enjoyed a tour and lecture at Total Wine from Salem who is also a consummate oenophile.WP_20131210_007 (1)

In addition, when we briefly ventured out, we enjoyed a home-style breakfast at IHOP, a fine Italian meal with Ann’s family,

then…we luxuriated in a holiday feast at Ryan’s WP_20131211_022Restaurant. It was an experience I will never forget.

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On Friday morning, while Ann worked, Salem took me to the local Walmart to get a few items to tide me over. The frustration might have been intolerable were I not with friends. They were kind and gracious about my limited wardrobe. In fact, truth be told, even with limited choices I think Salem preferred the Eeyore pajamas. WP_20131211_011      (They are quite fetching and comfortable.)  Wearing my jammies for half the day is something I never do at home because I have to take the dogs out. So that was a nice bonus.

WP_20131208_010   When the three of us were not actually working on manuscript deadlines, we kicked back, sipped good wine, laughed too much, listened to Christmas music, and watched Ann create culinary magic as Salem shifted between her tasks with the surgical precision of a sous chef and her Cesar Milan pet wrangling.

WP_20131207_004WP_20131206_008WP_20131208_014WP_20131206_017          WP_20131208_018      WP_20131211_029

… tree decorating!

My luggage arrived late Tuesday afternoon much to my relief. And it afforded me the opportunity to put on my one nice outfit to go out for dinner on Wednesday night.WP_20131211_025    and Paula!               WP_20131211_024

Thursday morning at o-dark:30,  my beloved Friends packed me a lunch and ferried me off to the airport. Best early Christmas ever! Love you guys!        WP_20131209_010

Now from the sublime to the mundane. We both finished our projects. Ann and Salem released  “Hoosier Daddy” shortly after “Balefire” two weeks earlier. During my visit, I finished the final revisions for “Flights of Fancy” a holiday Novella; Ann finished and submitted her holiday release of  “Three.”  1538884_470903026354718_1126446255_n

[Note: Dear publisher—we were not goofing off the whole time]Flights of Fancy_2 (1)

I arrived home safe and sound. My sweet dogs were well cared for and thrilled to see me. Once I had unpacked—my mostly clean clothes,  I got down to the business of Christmas and end of the year tasks.  One that I had been considering for sometime was whether or not to trade in my car. After a lot of number crunching and phone calling, I went looking for a new Forester. The selection was very small because the dealer couldn’t keep them on the lot. Then the bad news. In addition to being completely redesigned inside and out, the new model was approximately 6 inches longer, which I feared— Justifiably—would not fit in my garage.

WP_20131220_005I called the salesman after I went back online and happily discovered that the new Subaru Crosstrek was actually 2 inches shorter than my original car, .and he told me they had several choices available. More research, more number crunching, and I bought me a new car! I have to say I’m really enjoying every excuse I have to get out and drive it. It’s sits a little higher, it’s quieter, zippier, and has an electronic System that’s mind-boggling. CD, Radio, Bluetooth, phone, and backup camera.

I am ready for a road trip. But first, I need to get this formatted and posted for the patient people who may want to read it.

Thanks to one and all who have read and supported my work. Balefire Balefire_lightis enjoying a very successful run and “Flights of Fancy” will be released soon.

My wish for 2014 is an abundance of love for everyone and peace on our planet.


8 thoughts on “Friends are Family with Festivity

  1. Sounds like a wonderful holiday, Jeanne! Despite the weather and the airlines. Glad you had such a wonderful time. Just got my copy of Balefire and look forward to settling in with it on one of these frigid winter nights we are having here in Minnesota. All the best for 2014!

  2. Although weather played havoc with your luggage, it sounds like you had a wonderful time with friends. A nice blend of work, food, drink and laugher…..it would be hard to imagine a better way to end the year. I hope 2014 brings you health, happiness, ideas for future books and a steady stream of writing.

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