Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we’re never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing This Life…

How Do You Text?

August14

This article from the Wall Street Journal made me smile because Samantha Hayes, the heroine in my new book coming October 29 from Tule Publishing has a “thing” about texting and how people do it. In A SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS, the fact that Conor Flaherty, the hero, just uses texting for the utility of easy communication–no emojis, correct spelling and punctuation–is simply one more reason for her to fall in love with him!

My writing BFF, Liz Flaherty and I tease each other a lot about our excessive use of exclamation marks when we “chat” on Google each morning–we both do it. But I think we’re only trying to get a point across and show one another how we feel about any given topic. Oh, BTW, Liz’s new book, NICE TO COME HOME TO is available on Amazon and other book retailers.

Enjoy this article from the Wall Street Journal and then leave me a comment about how you feel about punctuation in texting and emails. Me? I’m kind with Sam on the topic, but I’m guilty of overuse of emojis and exclamation marks when I text . . . however, I do try very hard to spell everything correctly and OMG! I don’t use abbreviations like OMG and LOL and CUL8TR, especially not that last one! Ugh! LOL!

Let’s discuss. In the meantime, mes amies, remember, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

Nan

Monday, Monday

August6

Remember when Mondays meant starting a new work or school week? When the weekend was over and reality hit? I have a confession–since Husband’s been retired, I never know what day it is. Seriously, I don’t. Most of the time I couldn’t tell you whether it was Sunday or Thursday.

It’s worse at the lake because every day at the lake feels like Saturday. Weird phenomenon, but it’s true. The only way I can keep track of anything happening during the summer is to consult my trusty Google calendar. It may get easier beginning this week because Grandboy starts school on August 8, which I happen to know is Wednesday, but I only know this because DIL and I had a conversation about how odd it was to start school on a Wednesday.

Grandboy in school means that the kids will only be at the lake on weekends from now until time to close up the cottages, unless he has an off Friday or Monday. Then I’ll be confused again.

So here’s the thing. Husband loves the freedom of not caring what day of the week it is. Heck, he loves not even knowing what time it is! He took his watch off the day he retired and he hasn’t worn it since. I work at home–on a deadline, but it’s a nebulous this book is due back to the publisher on a date two or three weeks out kind of deadline. So, although I have to know my deadline date, I don’t need to know specifically what day today is.

I need to get more attuned to what day of the week it is however, because I’m going to start promotion for my new Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing soon. I’ll be blog touring and posting hither and yon about Conor and Sam’s book, A Small Town Christmas, which releases October 29. That happens to be a Monday–I looked it up.

So talk to me, do you always know what day it is? Do you care what day it is? Retirement means not having to care, but there’s also a certain amount of security in knowing that today is Monday.

Until next time, mes amies, remember, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

Nan

posted under An Editor's Life, Lake life, Musings, This Life... | Comments Off on Monday, Monday

Where’s the Big Stuff?

July14

Okay, so a week or so ago, I posted that big news is coming and it is. Truly! I turned in revisions to the first Tule Publishing book on Monday and heard back from my editor immediately. She’s got a couple of other books in front of mine in the pipeline–she’s a busy lady–but she’ll be getting to mine very soon. Got to admit to being rather nervous because I tried very hard to address her concerns with the first draft. I think I got it. I just hope she agrees.

The angst that goes along with turning your work over to an editor is real, especially when you suspect you didn’t quite hit it exactly right. Funny, but before she ever responded to the first draft, I sensed that what she would say was that Sam, my heroine, wasn’t fully developed. I focused so much of attention on Conor because the book is his, so Samantha didn’t quite come to life. Not that she wasn’t perfectly fine,  but she needed more depth. I hope the revisions I did made her a better character. After all, hunky Conor falls in love with her practically at first sight–the entire story hinges on that, so the reader has to buy it from the start.

In other news, I’m beginning the new Four Irish Brothers title–this one is Sean’s and it’s off to a rousing start. I debated where to start telling his story and I picked a pivotal moment with lots of action. We’ll see if I can pull this one off. Sean’s a charismatic attorney whose life has always been charmed and suddenly, he’s turned upside down. He has some issues to deal with that he’s not prepared for at all, in fact none of the Flaherty boys were ready for this one . His brothers will help him along the way, but Sean has to fight some demons he never expected to turn up in his life. Hold a good thought, okay?

Summer is going along–we spent almost a month at the lake and are now back home in the city for a few days. We have some things that need taking care of here. Although I love the lake, it’s nice to be home, too. How blessed we are to have two lovely homes, both of which are close to our kids now. Seeing Son and DIL and Grandboy whenever we like is a treat, as was going to Palo Alto last month to see Son become a doctor. Here’s a great shot of Grandboy meeting Son’s advisor.

I’m dealing with a lot of arthritis pain right now–knees and hip joint are not happy, so I’m going try a totally new approach. CBD oil. Not sure if it will make any difference, but it’s easier than surgery, which I fear I may be facing sooner rather than later. I confess I wasn’t prepared to be so cripped up as I aged. Stupid because genetics are not in my favor as far as arthritis goes and I should have suspected that it would get worse, not better. I think that thing that ticks me off so much is that I’ve done all the stuff I’m supposed to do–exercise, eat right, keep the joints lubricated–yet here I am, sore and achy and pissed off.  So, hold another good thought, okay? I don’t ever want to be the old lady in the electric cart at Walmart–it is my worst nightmare.

In the meantime, hold tight for news on the book front. Stay healthy, be grateful in all things, and keep in touch, okay?

Gratitude for this week:

  1. Family–Husband, Son, Dil, Grandboy, Sis…you all keep me going.
  2. One book down, three more to go. I can so do this!
  3. The lake–swimming has been wonderful this summer.
  4. My friends who also keep me going.
  5. My BFF dedicated her new book NICE TO COME TO to me! Wasn’t that a sweet thing? I love it! You can preorder it here.
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Getting Older or Better?

June3

Seems like this year, June is going to start out with an emotions overload. Yesterday was sister Kate’s birthday. She’d have been 67 and we lost her way too soon. I was so counting on becoming feisty senior citizens with my sisters, like my Nana and her sister Alice. They were so funny and got on one another’s nerves and loved each other with all their hearts. I thank God I still have PJ to make those kinds of memories with–we’ve promised each other we’ll live to an old age and drive each other crazy.  I’m counting on you, PJ!

Today is the celebration of life service for my friend and neighbor, Bon–she passed in April (another victim of evil cancer), but her family decided to have the service today on what would have been her and David’s 56th wedding anniversary. I confess to wishing they’d simply had it back in April because Tuesday is the first anniversary of Dee’s death and I’m already feeling bereft at the thought.

But you know, I think there’s a chance that this may be the new normal for me because I’m getting to the age where friends die. People are living longer because medical science is keeping diseases like cancer at bay longer and we are better at taking care of ourselves. The fact is, though, that I’m almost 65 years old and that’s senior in anyone’s book. Right now, I feel old because my body hurts from switching up my exercise and my arthritis is screaming at me, but I don’t want to be old. Well, not old and sick anyway.

So to answer the question in the title of this post–I think I want to get older and better. I want to be that fascinating old lady that people want to get to know better because man, she’s a little crazy and a lot of fun. I want to write romantic books and swim in the lake and go boating and play with the Grandboy and enjoy Husband and Son and DIL and my friends. I want to find a place to volunteer this winter and be of help to someone other than myself. I want to learn more about everything and taste some different wine and learn to cook some new and exotic dishes. I’m not done yet, not nearly done. Yeah, I’m getting older, but I’m also getting better . . . and that’s okay. That’s okay.

 

 

Silver Disobedience

May10

Dian Griesel has started a fabulous new website geared for folks over 50 called Silver Disobedience. She interviewed me for a feature spot and it’s up on the website this week. Check it out–so much fun!

 

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Once a Month Works…Right?

April30

Yeah, it’s been a month since my last post here. Frankly, it’s been a crazy month where life happened while I was making other plans. Mostly, I’ve been writing. I’m on a deadline and so that’s been where every writing moment has been spent. When I wasn’t writing my own book, I was editing someone else’s. Been a busy month for Editor Nan–good news because, you know, they’re paying me and there is that damn $1K/month health insurance bill that has to be paid. But between work and writing, I’ve pretty much been a hermit. I did get to meet up with my bestie/writing buddy and we had a writing day at the library in the town in between the lake and her house. It was grand to spend time with her!

In other news, we got the lake cottage open for the season and it’s been grand to work and write there. Our kids have been up and that’s been double fun because Son is just nuts about the lake, DIL is fast becoming quite the little lake girl, and Grandboy loves all things lake. He’s kind of getting into fishing–lots of curiosity about it, so Poppy and Daddy took him down to try out the new bait net this past weekend, and he was delighted to be able to hold a crappie in his hands. In fact, the kids are turning into such lake people that they decided to buy a summer place, too. We are beyond thrilled that they’ll be just down the road from us. Isn’t that fun?

 

When we “decorated” the lake cottage (and I use the term decorated very loosely), I used some old photographs that my MIL gave us. I framed them in black and white frames and hung them collage-style in the living room. Old pictures of Husband at the lake with his grandparents back in the ’50s and ’60s and several of Son when he was kid at the lake in the ’80s and ’90s. Husband figured out that Grandboy is the sixth generation of Reinhardt to be at our lake. Isn’t that cool? To commemorate that, I’m going to use the three photos below to make a 3-picture framed set for both us and the kids–aren’t these darling? My little fishermen!

All in all, life is hard, life is good, life is sad, life is joyful, life is busy, life is lovely… how about you? What’s news?

 

Staying in the Moment

March30

On Wednesday, I posted this to the Word Wranglers blog–take a minute and read it. I’ll wait here.

Are you a Phubber?

Oh, good, you’re back! Then today I read this article on a phenomenon called “phubbing,” which is the habit of snubbing someone in favor of a mobile phone. We’ve all done it. Some of us do it. I tend to do it most at breakfast because I’m tracking my food on my WW app or checking points for food or… okay checking to see what’s coming in the mail and yes, okay, checking Twitter and Instagram. I don’t have Facebook on my phone because I was spending too much time there. Starting to think maybe Twitter needs to go, too…hmmmm.

Then last night, I caught myself looking at my phone while I was sitting across from my sister at a Maundy Thursday gathering at church. She said something to me and I looked up from my phone and had to ask her to repeat it. She didn’t say anything about the phone, but the look on her face clearly said, “I’m here, whoever’s texting you is not.” She may not even have been thinking that, but man, oh man, that’s what I saw. So I turned turned off my phone, dropped it into my purse, and focused. I focused on my sister and the meal we were eating, I focused on the service, which was beautiful, and I focused on helping bring warm water for the feet/hand washing. I shared communion with my tablemates and passed the peace with my fellow worshippers. I sang. I prayed. I helped clean up. I didn’t touch my phone again until I got into my car in the parking lot, where I turned it on long enough to text Husband that I was on my way home. The beauty of that service and the joy of the fellowship stayed with me all the way home and then I was able to share it with Husband.

Yeah, there’s a lesson there. Be in the moment. Enjoy the here and now because this particular moment isn’t ever going to happen again. Nothing on Twitter or texts or Instagram is as important as what’s happening right in front of me. Or as important as anyone I love.

Gratitude for today:

  • Last night’s service
  • Spring is here, but I could do without so much rain
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Husband is done with the taxes

 

 

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Gratitude When It’s Hard to Be Grateful

March12

I gave up being dissatisfied for Lent and man, oh, man, is life ever testing me on that one. It’s been a tough week–Son is trying very hard to finish up his PhD thesis in preparation for defense next month, their house is in serious disarray as the contractor gets the kitchen remodel finished up, and we had a terrible tragedy in our family. My niece’s daughter died of an overdose last week. At 24 years old, her life was sad and spiraling downward due to addiction and bad choices, but no one deserves to die so young. We are all heartbroken for her mother–I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child.

Amidst all this, I’m thinking that all I want is to move–and yes, slapping myself each time I get the urge to check Zillow for houses closer to Son. How selfish is it really? He’s moved to the same town we live in after 15 years of being 2000 miles away, so a 30-minute drive is nothing. But I’ve been wanting to move to a different area and to a one-story house for quite some time, so this is not new, but it’s also not the time, and the longing for it sure doesn’t make my Lent promise any easier.

However, in January, I committed to a year of peace, a year with no big decisions, no major changes, no life overhauls. We need a year where nothing happens. We need twelve months of simply living and enjoying the here and now. Then, maybe we can figure out what we want to do next. So, the Lenten sacrifice of dissatisfaction is key here. I think when I find myself being dissatisfied with anything at all in my life, I’ll simply stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and do a couple of rounds of gratitude.

To that end:

  1. Son is nearly done with his thesis!
  2. I’m one-third of the way to finishing my first novel for Tule Publishing.
  3. In another month, we can open the lake house–yay!
  4. Grandboy is always such a little charmer–that face…he’s so precious.
  5. My niece has lots of support from friends-she will survive this.
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We’re Not Hopeless Old Farts…Truly

March6

So right off, I love my phone carrier–we have great service, great coverage, and our bill doesn’t make us hyperventilate each month. I wanted to get that straight right off because now, I’m going to complain a little. Not a rant…I promise.

I’ve been after Husband to upgrade his flip phone–he’s had it a long time and he was borrowing mine to text Son or check the weather or the incoming mail or to get directions or to Google something while we were out and about. It was getting kind of silly for him not to have his own smartphone. Then this past weekend, Son gave him a nifty little device that lets you see into tight spaces, but it needs a smartphone. In a nice way, I said, “Well, you can’t download that app to my phone, but I’d love to get you your own phone for your birthday. What do you say?” At last, he said, “Okay, let’s get me a smartphone, but I want one exactly like yours since I already know how to use it.”

Great idea. So, we went online to our carrier and in a few quick clicks, we’d upgraded his old flip phone to a way-cool Android that was as close to the one I have as we could get. Turns out, it didn’t change our bill at all except to add the price of the phone to next month’s bill along with a $30 setup fee. (This is significant, I promise.) No problem. Husband was actually getting kind of excited about it. We arranged to pick it up at the store, so we waited the couple of hours indicated to get a text telling us it was ready. Well, we never got one. So after about three hours, we just toddled into the store, told them why we were there, and the young man who greeted us, checked his little tablet and found us immediately. “Sure, let me go get that phone for you.”

Now, our expectation was that things would happen much as they always had when we upgraded a phone–the customer service rep at the store would activate the new phone and then move Husband’s contacts and photos over from the old phone to the new one. Um, not so much. He dropped the unopened box into a bag and handed it to us. “There you go.” He couldn’t even be bothered to fluff up the tissue paper that came with the fancy bag–it was tossed into the bottom under the unopened phone. Nice.

So we asked, ” Aren’t you going to set it up? Move his contacts over?”

With a pityingly look that clearly indicated he thought we were hopeless old farts, he replied, “Nope, we don’t do that here anymore. Just turn it on and that will activate it.”

“But…but…what about his contacts?”

Another glance over our bent and arthritic bodies at the other workers that no doubt included an eyeroll, he said, “Well, you can try getting them off the old phone”–said in a tone that clearly indicated the old phone was probably something Alexander Graham Bell once played with–“but I’d guess you’ll have to re-enter them all. Sorry.”

And with that, he returned to his friends, who were yukking it up over one of them singing like a street corner do-whop group. Oh, I think there was a “Have a nice day,” as we hobbled out the door.

Well, holy shit. Thanks guys for the great customer service and we’re guessing the #30 setup fee we paid you was for the effort of dropping the unopened box into a bag. Yeesh. Oh, and as we got into the car, the text arrived telling us our phone was ready for pickup, then another saying someone had picked it up. Yeah, thanks for that.

However, there is a happy ending here because we may be doddering old seniors, but we figured it out. We couldn’t get the contacts to transfer via USB or through the the Cloud, but we experimented and discovered I could Bluetooth the contacts that he wanted from my phone since we share a lot of the same people in our lives, and then all he had to do was add the ten or so he had that I didn’t. So there, you smug little putzes. Just because you were raised on technology doesn’t mean you have ownership of all of it and you don’t need to treat those of us who are older than forty like we’re clueless. We’re not. Just FYI, Bill Gates, the guy who invented Windows, is 62. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is 57 years old. And check out these stats from Medium.com. Boomers are online, we’re everywhere, and we’re the ones who have money to spend. Don’t treat us like we’re idiots. Try to remember that we’re the people who taught you how to use a spoon and a potty…just sayin’.

Gratitude for today:

Husband has a new phone! YAY!

Nice breakfast with my friend/mentor Sandra today.

Novel is moving along.

Found a really nice bummin’ around Riesling at Kroger.

SIster Pam is coming home!

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Late for Lent

March1

Well, Ash Wednesday was a couple of weeks ago–on Valentine’s Day this year, which was kinda interesting. Anyway, usually, I post during Lent about what I’ve given up and how that’s affecting my life. I’m late to posting about it this year because I committed February to featuring authors of Seasoned Romance on the blog, and it didn’t seem fair to shove in with my own stuff. But the blog is mine again.

I did give up something for Lent this year, but it wasn’t wine or social media or chocolate. This year, I gave up being dissatisfied. That may not sound all that courageous, but trust me, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately feeling sorry for myself. I recognize it and I hate it, but I do it. So on February 14, I committed to being happy right where I am. I have everything I need–not everything I want, but that’s a dark and frustrating path to head down, so I’m just not going to do it anymore. Well, at least not until after Easter. Then all bets may be off, although I hope not.

I’ve let the things that aren’t going right in my life overwhelm my appreciation for all the things that are going right. In the interest of maintaining my Lenten promise, I’m not going to list the things I’ve been struggling with for the past couple of years. Instead, each time I post during Lent, I’m going to name five things that I’m very satisfied with–things in my life and circumstances that make me unreasonably happy or even just mildly happy. Sometimes, yeah, I may be typing the list while I’m gritting my teeth, but, by golly, I intend to be joyful this Lenten season.

So, things that fill me with joy today:

  • Husband. After almost 45 years of marriage, he is still the heart of my heart.
  • Son and Grandboy and DIL–the loves of my life and what joy that they are now living so close!
  • Sister PJ and Brother Bud. We have history and it’s so important to have at least one person in your life who’s known you your whole life. Those people becom fewer and fewer as we grow older. I still have two.
  • My dear girlfriends–you know who you are. I couldn’t begin to find joy without you all.
  • Writing, which fills up a place in me that cannot be filled in any other way.
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