Happiness is Something New Around the Corner

I’m finishing up Nita and working on a proposal for the next book, which I’m thinking will be Haunting Alice. It’s so much fun looking at something new, figuring out plot points, slapping together a synopsis that will inevitably change radically, making research lists, and then there’s the collage . . . . I do love Nita but it’s been four freaking years and that’s too long on a book, at least for me. Plus I’m done with demons for awhile. Very shortly it’s going to be ghosts and magic and butterflies and reality as perception not fact. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Happiness is new opportunities that nestle in beside the old. What made you happy this week?

74 thoughts on “Happiness is Something New Around the Corner

  1. Haunting Alice! Yay!!!!

    Happiness has been having the house to myself for three whole days while my boys had buckets of fun elsewhere. I caught up with a friend for lunch. I got heaps of sewing done, finished up a few projects, sorted my fabric stash and got writing inspiration. I even managed to find a whole movie I wanted to watch, after trying a couple of things that I stalled on (I tried one rom-com on netflix and kept going to the halfway point purely on the basis of the Kiwi accents, but couldn’t make it any further than that because I was choking on the poorly delivered cliche checklist). And I watched Zootopia again because I could. It has been a good weekend here.

      1. It was “Falling Inn Love” and it was a do-it-by-numbers romance that didn’t try too hard to disguise the cliches. The hero was cute and it was set in NZ, and it was very soothing to hear the accents, but even that could only get me halfway through the movie before I gave up.

        1. It took me 2 days to get through it. With all the upheaval in our life right now, I needed something predictable. The more predictable the better.

  2. Happiness – going to the launch party for Bloodlust and Bonnets, (https://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/Bloodlust-and-Bonnets/Emily-McGovern/9781471178955). I was Emily’s English Lit teacher for her last two years at school, I’ve been a huge fan of her Life as a Background Slytherin strip and she’s been working all hours she can on Bloodlust and Bonnets, which is a Regency vampire mashup with shoutouts to Byron, Coleridge, Walter Scott and she plays with some of the tropes of historical romance – we went out for a couple of drinks/lunches. The launch party took place in a great comic book store tucked away in Soho, Gosh! comics, and the place was heaving. I caught up with numerous former students and was amazed by the variety and extent of Emily’s fan base.

  3. I’ve got all my Italian books (textbook, translation dictionary, Italian children’s dictionary, 501 verbs) piled up beside me and I’m working on my homework (due today!) while everyone sleeps in. While it is a little bit challenging (my Spanish brain keeps battling for dominance), it feels like it is in a good way and it’s also in preparation for a trip to Italy this spring which we are finally finally (!) knuckling down and doing the nitty gritty planning for. So that’s fun.

    My mother-in-law was in town and we’ve had a good visit. She also watched the boys so my husband and I could go out to dinner.

    I also went for a long run this week and didn’t die, so that was also nice 😉

  4. My son is settling in at grad school. He is a super anxious kid and seems to be relaxing. He also found an adult gymnastics club where they teach the men’s equipment and for him that is heaven.
    We went to our foster daughter’s new apartment for a housewarming last night. She had some real friends there and a former roommate which is great since when she came to us she didn’t have any ability to get along with roommates. And her new boyfriend (her second ever and she’s 29) is great. So nice to see her developing these skills.
    Our garden is so full of flowers it needs almost no weeding and I’m cutting zinnias for indoor flowers. Of course I just ordered 200 bulbs for fall planting which may be a mistake…
    I am starting to find a little better work life balance but basically life is going to be insanely busy until next June. Still it’s all good work so I feel really lucky.

      1. I put several bulbs in each hole to make it go faster. I reckon I could put 83 in one big pot in about 5 mins by making a bulb lasagne of crocus, iris, tulips, lilies and alliums.

  5. Happy to be on vacation.

    Happy to have TWO new things to read by favorite authors (I can’t believe my will power).

    Have a little concern because we still haven’t reached the right dose of insulin for the diabetic cat, so he is boarding with the vet… and has to be in a cage except for cuddle times, which I hope he doesn’t hate. And at home cat is home by himself except for twice a day visitor, and I hope Sergei being missing doesn’t freak him out. And everything. DH and I keep reassuring each other, but it is hard to know with my gut what I know with my head, that this is actually a good thing for the long run. Thankful for this community, where I feel I can voice this while I am trying to stay positive for everyone else.

    I have home made chocolate chip cookies, fresh coffee, early morning sun through the trees and the sound of waves rolling up on the beach of Lake Michigan. I send you all the peace and joy of this combination.

    1. I’m sorry. It does get better. I think it took the better part of six months to get the dose right for my cat, gradually increasing it, although I was fortunate enough to be able to do it at home. But once the dose was achieved, it was really easy.

    2. Our best cat ever, Mr. Bingley, became diabetic and it took a lot of fiddling to find the right insulin product & dose. Our vet experimented a little and tried a human insulin that worked out best for him. It’s been quite a few years, so I can’t recall what it was, but there’s hope and options. Good luck to you both!

        1. He was a cat who only had to have a quick thought about doing something or going somewhere, and ZZZZOOOM! he was balancing on the top of a door or exploring the open trunk of a car, or whatever had so recently occurred to him. And as sweet-tempered as the day is long.

  6. Hoping Fall is around the corner! But it is getting a little less hot each day. Sitting on the patio this morning reading my iPad and watching hummingbirds fight over the feeders. For such tiny things they are definitely fierce. My cancer numbers are still going down – I am now in what the doctor says is “normal” and am on maintenance chemo – every three weeks and only one kind. I planted zinnias in our vegetable garden in spare spots and now have quite a bright spot of flowers. For the first time in three years I am actually making plans for next year and more zinnias are definitely in the plans!

    1. Thought about you earlier this week and wondered how you were doing. May the numbers continue their downward spiral.

    2. This is wonderful news. The best kind of happiness making news.

      The zinnias sound beautiful and festive.

    3. I chucked some zinnias in this year too and cannot understand why I was so sniffy about them before. They’ve looked great all summer.

  7. There are puppies in the neighborhood. I might get one.

    I don’t understand *why* people won’t spay their pets. It’s costing them more in this second litter, that they have to feed and care for until they give away for free! Argh.

    1. Try to get them to spay/neuter pups b4 rehoming so that they dont grow up and add to the problem. I do cat rescue and this issue makes me crazy. But happy cuz 2 sick kitties are better now and can go up for adoption.

    2. I don’t know about the costs for pups, but the costs to get a kitten to about four months old, between spaying and all the necessary shots, not even counting the food/litter, which has to be special stuff for kittens, is crazy expensive. The hundred bucks or so that shelters charge for adoption is a small fraction of the actual cost. I paid for all but the spaying (there’s a TNR program in town, funded by a trust) for the momcat and five kittens, and I just found out that the shelter-required vet screwed up their shots (should be a series of three within a certain timeframe, and she only did two), so now I have to redo the distemper ones from the beginning. Sigh. The various vet expenses, not including spaying, were over a hundred bucks apiece, and that doesn’t include the food and litter they went through! Easily another fifty to hundred bucks apiece. And of course, the spaying is probably another hundred bucks apiece (five times that if done privately, not through a special deal with the shelter).

      So, even if it weren’t the morally right thing to do, spaying/neutering pets is the financially right thing to do!

  8. I know there’ve been some good bits this week, but I’m wiped out today so it’s hard to remember. Top is definitely having my niece and her partner to stay for a couple of nights. They loved the house, were good company, and Becky’s still an irrational fan of my cooking.

    A friend rang up to celebrate as soon as the Supreme Court verdict against the prorogation of parliament come through, and then I got to make another friend’s day by texting her with it.

  9. What made me happy this week was that yesterday we celebrated a year past the midway point of our fiftieth year together. We celebrated with soup and sandwiches for dinner. After a day of errands neither of us wanted to go out. But there was cake after. Next was when my husband was working of the porch and found an earring I had lost many years ago. I just knew it was under the porch, maybe he’ll find the other two. This one was a little worse for wear I think because of sprinkled ice melt over the years. I just switched the placement from front to back, cleaned with soap and a brush and used a polishing cloth on it. And remembered to use those stoppers with fish hook wires.

    I just read an article in the Boston Globe Travel section about Gretna Green. I’ve read my share of historical romances and had no idea where it was and how it came about to be a wedding destination. Plus I thought it was just a little north of London, well that part is true but it is just over the border of Scotland. And the reason it was the wedding capital of the UK is because it is the first town over the border and escaped the law at the time of being over 21 to marry. Again, plus marriages could be performed by a blacksmith (as long as there were witnesses), that being the first business in the town. A totally interesting article or maybe I’m giving myself a break and a breather from the latest ongoing news front.

    1. Yes, they called it being married over the anvil.

      Not at all respectable of course. I remember the opinion of the girl in Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer, that she might as well tie her garter in public

  10. I would love, Love, LOVE to read HAUNTING ALICE. In fact, I reread MAYBE THIS TIME a few weeks ago, and have been wishing ALICE would be your next project.

    (Hmmmmm. How long will this magical power last and what should I wish for next?)

  11. I want to buy and read Nita. I want to buy and read Haunting Alice. I love your books.

    Marion George Harmon has adjusted his estimated release date for Repercussions to October 6. I hope he makes it. I want to buy and read it.

    Brenda’s Crossroads Corner comes out in November. I pre-ordered it and I want to read it.

    Reading all of those would make me… happier. I’m a pretty happy guy most of the time anyway. It’s my default setting.

  12. Haunting Alice!!!! Yesyesyesyesyes please.

    This weekend is Doors Open Milwaukee. Yesterday I visited an 1890s building that now houses Arts at Large, a hub connecting artists, public schools and the community. Today I dropped in at St. Kate Arts Hotel in time to hear their curator give the backstory on a few pieces in their collection.

    Color me inspired!

  13. ALICE! YES! Er, I mean, exciting news. : D

    What made me happy this week was starting to feel like life was getting back to normal. There’s been a whole lot of change lately and while I’m sure that’s good for me I’d like some boring routine for a while, thanks.

  14. I’m working on clearing out old stuff to make room for new projects, which I love starting. So, for the most part, I’m anticipating happiness, rather than experiencing it right now. I’m working on the third book in the garlic farm series (the last contracted book) and looking forward to a new one after this book, set in a tiny municipal airport (think “Murder She Wrote” meets “Wings”). And I’m taking all the left-over blocks and quilt-related bits and pieces and making them into finished objects (lap quilts and kitty quilts), which have been cluttering up my brain and my quilting room, so I can free up the space. I’ll be sharing more of the finished projects on #workingwednesdaypix later this week.

    And what’s making me really happy is that yesterday and today I did probably four or more *maybe closer to six yesterday) hours each of quiltmaking, and I’m not hurting. It’s been a long time since I could do more than an hour or so of that kind of physical activity (jumping up and down from the sewing machine, leaning over the cutting board, ironing stuff with gusto). I’ve been on a new treatment for my bone/muscle disorder for over three years now, and I’m STILL noticing improvements in my daily activity levels. Kinda’ weird for someone in her sixties, sort of aging in reverse.

    1. Actually, I think aging in reverse may be a kind of normal. I feel a lot younger now than I did in my forties.

    2. Yay for Alice! I loved her in MTT and can’t wait to see what happens. (After I read Nita, of course…vbg).
      Happiness for me is two days in a row of nice weather and another one coming tomorrow. I have taken it off so I can get my DL renewed ( actually replaced with the new enhanced DL) but the rest of the day is free and I intend to spend some of it mowing the lawn, hiking in a favorite park, and siting in my hammock swing with a good book.

  15. I’m so pleased you’re looking at Haunting Alice. I stumbled across the first couple of chapters recently when I was looking for something else on your website, and was captivated.

  16. I am happy this week because for the first time in months I have nothing on my social calendar but two concerts and one opera until Christmas. I love my friends and family. But this summer has been one or two things going on EVERY week and I am either going away or planning on someone coming here. My house has never been so clean for so long (I probably need to rethink this). But friday I had a very small dinner party for a friend whose wife died a year ago and that was the last thing I had to schedule. So as soon as I finish typing this I am going upstairs and start masking the molding in the hallway so we can finally mark that project off as finished.

    On a less happy note, I had to put the quilt on the bed because it is getting so cold. We must be the fringes of the cold front that descended on Montana. And it is wet. It feels like we are approaching November, not October.

  17. I was able to clear off my dining room table without seriously affecting the organization of my sewing room, which makes me very happy.

    And my sister is almost here. lots of happiness for the next week.

  18. Happy because it was a beautiful day for the Planned Parenthood rally.
    Also happy because I have a packed schedule for 6 weeks and I’ve survived the first week.
    And now Alice!!!

  19. Happiness is clearing the dead plant graveyard off my patio! Took an hour, but it’s clean, the cobwebs are gone, all fifteen spiders hid on the ceiling. I replanted a couple that needed it, cleared off dead leaves from the good bits, and mounded all the containers in the corner with my bike and dirt. Bad news, I can’t reach my bike. I was tempting with riding it to work, but it needs a cleaning and air in my tires first. But i have no place else to store that many containers and that much dirt…. so, new plants ho!! That should sort the problem out. Ha!

    Other happiness, I discovered Vudu has a disc to digital program. I’m happily doing that now and decluttering my dvds. Going slow for cost. Five bucks adds upquick and the cheaper version is low quality. I am slowly continuing to declutter. We aren’t messy, and not particularly jam packed. But I like re-examining why I have things, why I’m keeping them, and reducing the amount of things I have to care for. I think that’s the biggest reason. if I get rid of it, I’ll never have to clean it, move it, organize it or make the decision to keep itagain. Less cleaning, ooh rah!

    We also cleaned the whole house, which feels good. Tired, but good. 🙂

    1. We’re temporarily uprooting for a house renovation, and closets and cupboards need emptying. I find there’s a terrific amount of Stuff I can do without. Bags and bags donated so far, with more to go. Your comment above about reexamination and reducing is great reinforcement. “Ooh rah!” backatcha. Thanks. Going back in with renewed vigor —

  20. Alice!!!

    I spent the weekend at a sf/fantasy convention (a small one in a town about an hour away) and met the lovely David B. Coe and hung with other authors and geeks. The foster kittens spent the weekend at the shelter I’m fostering for and one kitten went to his forever home and another is going Tuesday. That leaves two and mama (although all three kittens are back here until Tuesday) and lots of mixed feelings.

  21. My cousins and I started the Great Courses series on Deciphering Egyptian Hieroglyphs (beginning Middle Egyptian, actually) and are enjoying it immensely.

  22. I went to a good storytelling workshop and came out of it with a new story, so that’s a yay. And I’m going to tell it to you here because it involves this blog!


    Have you ever seen those posters for lost pets and wondered if they ever work, and if the pets are ever found?

    I hike around through the greenbelt a lot, and one day I saw a ton of flyers posted through the area from this one girl trying to find her lost orange kitten. She sounded really desperate and wanted help in finding the kitten. I felt bad for her, of course, but what could I do if I never actually saw the kitten? The closest I got to that was walking by the chancellor’s residence and seeing a fat orange cat sitting in the driveway one day. I figured that cat was too old, and also there were probably tons of security cameras around if I walked up to check the cat anyway.

    Then one day I was at my volunteer job behind the front counter, and a fellow I knew named Jed walked up and asked if anyone had seen his headphones. This reminded me of several years ago when I was reading the blog of author Jennifer Crusie. Jenny had lost her purse and couldn’t find it for days. Someone else suggested that she pray to St. Anthony to find her lost purse, and then Jenny ended up finding the purse outside on the patio, where she normally didn’t go in winter. That’s when I got the idea to do the same thing: ask St. Anthony to find Jed’s headphones, and ask to find the ball of yarn I wanted for a project and could not find.

    Thirty seconds later, someone else walked up with Jed’s headphones, and when I got home I looked in the right bag and found the missing yarn. This gave me the bright idea to ask St. Anthony to find the lost kitten. But the next time I wandered through the greenbelt again, the posters were all still there. One of them was even updated: “Kitten still lost!” So that didn’t work. And made me suspect that the kitten was possibly dead.

    I told this to a friend of mine a few days later and she said, “Oh, you don’t pray to St. Anthony for that. I got raised Catholic and you pray to St. Francis for animals.” Okay then, I said, and fired off a “Dear St. Francis, please find the lost kitten” prayer.

    The next time I walked through the greenbelt, the posters were all gone. I can only assume at this point that the kitten was found. And I’m going to try that trick any other time I see lost pet posters around town.

    1. Thanks for sharing this story!

      In keeping with the belief attributed to H.G. Wells (there’s no passion greater than the desire to alter someone else’s copy)…you’ve created a great opportunity for wordplay.

      You saw the original poster, which made you think of another poster (Jenny’s). But you really needed a pastor, to clarify which saint to address.

      Once you got it right, the missing kitty notices disappeared: poster, poster, pastor, presto!

  23. I had a weekend off. Two whole days of doing nothing. It was glorious! I spent it in my bed with a stack of books, which is the best. I had a hip replacement last month, which went really well, and Tuesday I’m having my thumb reconstructed, and then I’m off the rest of the week to recover. Three guesses what I’ll be doing?

  24. I still have other news from the weekend: enjoyed going to the Renaissance Faire and bought myself two crowns and some jewelry and a book. But mostly, I SURVIVED.

    I have been trying to plan a group field trip for over a month to see a friend’s play. It has been stressing me out no end. But about an hour and a half before we were to leave (the trip was to be 45 minutes long) and I was going to drive the carpool, it started pouring rain in the town next to mine, and the girl there was afraid to drive in it, so crush guy headed over to get her. And while the rest of us were waiting around at my place, we got notifications for TORNADO WARNING on our phones.

    We don’t GET tornados here. Hell, we usually don’t even get rain until November. It was raining so hard in the other town there was canoeing in the streets and so much hail that it looked like snow, but here it was dry as a bone. But on the other side of town, there was, briefly, at least one or possibly two tornados, which crush guy saw. Luckily for us, those dissipated by seven p.m. and the other girl was picked up by seven thirty, and we warned the friend in the play what was going on and he said they’d start the show late. We elected to go in crush guy’s car instead since it had 4 wheel drive, and it was still totally dry (if slow traffic) halfway there, and then it started pouring rain again.

    I am a walking chaos magnet (especially lately) and I can’t help but wonder if my saying I’d carpool brought on a damn tornado/hail/sudden storm from hell…. so now we’re going to have crush guy do all the driving.

    We got in after the first number. I’m just happy everyone survived and even made it to the show. And that’s over. Though some discussion of ANOTHER show field trip was mentioned and I stupidly said I’d get the tickets….but I’m not moving on that one unless anyone else continues to have interest in it.

    I also got into the next play at the theater, though I’m just an extra in one scene (so far). I’m very happy about that.

  25. I’ve had a severe case of procrastination lately, so I built myself a list of things I don’t want to do but really need to, hoping that’ll kick my procrastination to the curb a bit. And it’s working. I got several things done from my list at the weekend, which didn’t so much make me happy as more relaxed. Relaxed is a nice feeling.

    It was gorgeous weather too, and I spent some of it out walking with my partner. Spring is good.

  26. Wishing for world peace, The beta of Nita, and you joy in Haunting Alice.
    I sent Lord Byron’s Daughter to a few beta readers. And that made me very happy.
    My three year old grandson told his mom he was too handsome and that she couldn’t take any more pictures of him because her phone might break.
    Oddly enough that was the plot of a movie I did last year that hasn’t been released yet. It’s called Looks That Kill.

  27. I have a very lazy Sunday. The kiddos played reasonably quietly on their own while I lazed in bed. I made waffles for lunch and then did lazy stuff until we had to go to my MIL’s birthday party.

    And thank you folks for the reminder to buy and plant bulbs.

  28. Yes!
    Happiness is you picking Haunting Alice for your next book!! I’ve been reading and re-reading the Discovery Draft forever!

  29. I am so excited to hear Alice is next. I just listened to Maybe This Time last week. I love that book and I can’t wait to hear about Alice and her brother. AND whether or not North and Andi had any kids. SO excited. I just started listening to Wild Ride this morning on my way to work.

  30. I’m back! or, alternatively, You’re back!

    Over at my bookmarked Argh site, it’s still September 5, 2019, and it’s not budging. But! discovered a route in by going over to jennifercrusie.com, choosing the Blog link, then choosing Argh Ink. Hello, again!

    Life is upheaving itself right now, so it’s soothing to have this fine bit of enjoyment back in my life. I felt like I was banished. So relieved to have found this place again. I’ve missed you all.

    And now I’ve got to track back and read past entries to find out what all you’ve been up to.

  31. I had several big happies this week. My sister had her shoulder surgery on Thursday and it went very well. She came home Friday night and was recovering so well that she decided to not only go to services on Sunday, but to sing in the choir as well. Of course, the breathing tube left her throat too sore to sing, so it was a wasted effort. But she learned from the experience. She made no effort to leave the house this morning and slept as long as she needed.

    But the biggest surprise was my BIL. Every holiday before this one he was always too tired to help clean up from dinner, even if he wasn’t going to services that evening. Even when my sister asked him specially to help clean up, he wouldn’t. Last night he just picked up a towel and started drying dishes. We talked about trivial issues and finished in record time. I thought I was in a different house. My BIL hasn’t been that relaxed in years and for the first time in years, I haven’t felt taken for granted.

  32. I’ll look forward to reading more about Alice–she was such a fun character!

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