Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
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Day Two

March2

I’ve decided not to think of this hiatus from social media as “going dark.” Rather, I’m going to consider it stepping back into the light.

Here’s the thing. I have a tendency to be a hermit–particularly in the winter. I write, I work on editing gigs, I knit, I binge-watch shows on Netflix, and I spend way too much time on Facebook and Twitter. Oh, it’s not that I don’t go anywhere at all. I have the occasional lunch with my friends, I do go the pool at least twice a week, I go up to see Dee, and Husband and I do things like the rare movie out and going to the grocery. We go to church on Sundays and sometimes get together with Sister PJ and her husband for supper. But mostly, I’m here in the house and I spend time cruising Facebook and Twitter.

I haven’t been on either for a little over 36 hours. Yesterday wasn’t too bad because I spent the afternoon with Dee and our buddy Di, and then Husband and I headed up to church for Ash Wednesday services. But when I got home last night, after I had a few minutes on the phone with Son, I immediately thought about checking social media. But I couldn’t, of course. So instead, I knitted and watched some Acorn TV. Not a great substitute, I’ll grant you–I should’ve been writing. But I didn’t want to write. I was processing the time with Dee and I needed to escape into something that required no thought.

Another thing is that I’m really curious about how I appear on Facebook since I deactivated my account–am I not showing as anyone’s friend anymore? Can you tag me? Can you still see my posts? If someone wants to answer that for me in a comment, I’d sure appreciate it. 😉

So in the interest of being in the light, this weekend, CL and I are heading up north to spend a girly weekend together, which we haven’t done in ages, and I’m so excited about that! Our treat is that we’re having lunch with an amazing Regency romance author, Eloisa James, and then going to an event at the local library. As it happens, I do the copy edits on her novels for her publisher, Avon Books. I can’t wait to meet her–she is a terrific writer and working on her books is pure editorial bliss.

So . . . there’s the first report on my Lenten sacrifice. I think it would be good to end these check-ins with a gratitude list, don’t you?

  1. Husband, Son, DIL, and Grandboy–they always bring light to my life.
  2. Good friends–you know who you are.
  3. Pastor Diane, who’s smile is so lovely. I appreciate how much she sees and how much she cares.
  4. Sunshine today–well, sorta.
  5. Coffee–man, I love coffee.

Going Dark (Cross-posted)

February28

I’m going dark. That sounds way more ominous than it is, kids. Fact is, every year, I make a sacrifice at Lent and this year, I’ve chosen to give up Facebook and Twitter for Lent—which begins tomorrow, March 1. Here’s the thing. I need a break—not just from social media, but from getting all my news from social media, from the post-election/new administration fear, frustration, and rancor, and from my own attachment to all of that.

For forty days, I’m going to get my news from NPR, PBS, and other news outlets. For forty days, I’m going to blog on my own website—maybe not every day, but regularly. For forty days, I’m going to email and text and telephone my friends for updates, and I hope they’ll stay in touch with me off social media. For forty days, I’m going to use my computer, laptop, and phone for work and writing, not for cruising around Facebook and being outraged on Twitter. It’s time for me to stop and Lent feels like the right moment.

My current goal for this time off is to finish book four in the Women of Willow Bay series—Sarah’s story—and get well-started on my new book—Hallie and Tim’s story. They’re not part of the Willow Bay books because honestly, I need a break from Willow Bay too. I have a bunch of other story ideas floating around on scraps of paper, in my head, and in a folder on my computer aptly labeled Story Ideas. I’ll also have plenty of work, so I’ll be editing as well.

I’m going to go to lunch with my sister, keep going to the pool, enjoy time with Husband, and make a trip out West to spend time with our kids. I want to do some geocaching (totally geeky fun!), open up the lake cottage, knit (I have two nephews who are going to become first-time dads this year and I almost have one baby blanket done.), meet with my writing group, spend time with Dee, and gather with friends at every opportunity. I’m looking forward to keeping in touch the old-fashioned way.

I don’t do this lightly—I’ve given it a great deal of thought and honestly, it’s going to be really hard. I’m ashamed to tell you what a difficult time I had when I removed FB and Twitter from my phone a couple of months ago. But that move was preparation for this one. This is a different kind of Lent sacrifice than my usual giving up chocolate or wine—this is taking an entire part of my reality and setting it aside for forty days and frankly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stand it. But, the upside is I know lots of people who live perfectly happy lives without Facebook and Twitter, so we’ll see . . .

I’ll still be at Word Wranglers every Tuesday, possibly curled up in a fetal position, suffering from FB and Twitter withdrawal. I’ll also be here sharing the experience with regular posts, and I’ll still be checking out my favorite podcasts and websites, including Chipperish.com. Can’t wait for LaniDiane Rich’s first “Jed Bartlet Is My President” podcast, which drops March 8. YAY! Feel free to email me if you want to talk—all the ways to get in touch are here on my website, so come on in and get comfortable. Let’s have a cup of coffee–maybe even a glass of wine–and talk. So glad you stopped by!

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Chipperish Is Coming!

February25

So excited that my friend and editor, Lani Diane Rich has started a new podcast network called Chipperish Media! She is an amazing podcaster and delightful to listen to, so I know her podcasts will be terrific and I can’t wait for the first one, which drops March 8! It’s “Jed Bartlet Is My President,” and she and Daphne Olive will be talking about the pilot episode of The West Wing! Check it out and be sure to tune in on March 8–if you like what you hear, support Chipperish Media on Patreon–you’ll be so glad you did! Here’s a quick teaser for Jed Bartlet Is My President. I’m headed to Netflix–time to start rewatching Season One of The West Wing.

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On 2016 . . .

December30

It’s almost the end of 2016–something I’m kinda grateful for because it’s been a crappy, crappy year. From politics to my own health, 2016 has been hard.

The politics thing is going to have to work itself out–I can’t control it nor would I choose to, but I will say that I’m happy I live in the United States, it’s a great country. However, I’m not one bit happy about our new president, but you know what? I’m not the first person to be unhappy about who got elected president of this great country and I won’t be the last. The difference is that this election has affected me more than any other has since I’ve been voting age–for the first time, I’m sad and scared for our country. Maybe time will help–I hope so. I also hope that after the inauguration, we will see this president become a strong, fair, thinking leader. I pray for his wisdom every single day and for the safety of all us. For my part, I will write my congressmen and senators, I will continue to read and learn and stay informed, I’ll pray for our nation and our leaders, and I will work to keep love and peace in my little corner of the world.

As for my health . . . well, things are better. The meds changes are helping my heart considerably. I see the cardiologist in mid-January and hopefully, I’ll get the okay to be normal again. The arthritis flare-ups are under control and I’m feeling well and strong enough to return to the gym and begin working out again, which is terrific. I’ll start slow, so I don’t irritate anything, but moving regularly will be a very good thing. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantities I wanted over the holidays–that will stop, too, which should help. 😉 All in all, the outlook is sunny on the health front.

Writing is a little rough right now–Sarah’s story is sorta stuck and I’m not sure why. I haven’t written in about 10 days, mostly because Nan, the writer and editor, became Nanny, grandmother deluxe. I have no problem with that. I adore Grandboy and spending time with him and Son and DIL has been wonderful. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But, I do need to restart my writing program of getting up early to write for an hour or so. That certainly worked for a couple of months. I confess also that I’m confused about where I want to go with the writing career. I think I want to find a publisher instead of self-pubbing any more of my books, but I don’t know for sure. I have so many things to consider, not the least of which is money. I’m doing okay selling books on my own–not fabulous, but I’m getting royalties every month and I know a lot of traditionally published romance authors who can’t say the same thing. But, I can’t get over feeling like I’m not a real author–I know, I know . . . I am a real author, but I guess there’s a part of me that needs the industry to acknowledge that.

Work was good in 2016–I stayed mostly with fiction editing and I have to say, I adore working with fiction authors and with the companies who publish them. It’s fun and man, there’s nothing more professionally satisfying that having a world-class, famous romance author tell their publisher, “I adored this copyeditor, and I’d love to submit a request for that person to work on all of my books in the future.” Wowza! They never know my name and that’s okay because they know I’m a good copy editor and that’s all the validation I need. Also, I’ve got a small stable of indies that I edit for and they are all good writers whom I enjoy working with and am very proud of. I’m not sure if I’ll be adding any new indies to my client list in 2017–that remains to be seen. I try to stay fluid about that because work ebbs and flows and I must bob along in the surf as best I can, but for now, I’m all good and looking forward to a great new year of editing.

I guess that’s it. Except for gratitude–always, always I remain grateful for the many blessings in my life–here are just a few:

  1. Husband, Son, DIL, and Grandboy and Sister, who light up my life with joy.
  2. My dear friends (you know who you are), who will always laugh and cry with me–I love you all.
  3. A warm home and plenty to eat in a world where so many don’t have even those necessities.
  4. Important work to do.
  5. A church home that fills my spirit.
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A Heartening Tale

December13

Man, I’d so love to write an update blog that has nothing whatsoever to do with my health–sadly, it’s not this one. But happily, there is good news to report. I haven’t shared this particular issue on social media, mostly because I’m kinda sick of my own issues, but also because I’m trying to keep social media a happy place where I talk about writing and books.

About three weeks ago, maybe a month, I started having dizziness and chest discomfort–ack! I’ve been really tired for about a year and have chalked that up to grief and other body issues that we won’t go into and of course to my fat butt, which I blame everything on. The old, “if I just lose weight, this *** (you fill in any old symptom) will go away. Well, I lost 30 pounds, but the tiredness got worse and I developed diverticulitis (now well under control, thanks to smarter eating), then the arthritis started acting up, the doc sent me for some carotid studies after my last physical (they were fine), and then I broke my foot . . . yeah, 2016 has been a bad year–I’ve been a mess.

So when the dizziness and chest stuff started, I just figured, the heart attack I’d been expecting since my mom died twenty-eight years ago had finally shown up. A trip to the ER two weeks ago showed that although I’ve got a funky arrhythmia going on, I was not having heart attack. But I was already medicated for the arrhythmia, so what was up? The day after the ER, I went to see my cardiologist and she ordered a Holter monitor and a chemical stress test–no treadmill because of my left blocked bundle branch. Apparently, that issue makes it hard to get an accurate stress test reading. Okay, so I did the tests last week–but I’m still dizzy!!  (Not that I expected the tests to fix the symptoms.)

Yesterday, we had a consultation about the test results and turns out, the stress test showed I had a small anterior apical perfusion defect and hypokinesis of the anterior apical wall. I won’t make you Google that–basically it was saying I had decreased contraction in one small part of my heart. That result combined with the dizziness, chest discomfort, and fatigue made the cardiologist decide that a cardiac cath was in order–immediately. So we left the doctor’s office and drove across the street the hospital and within about four hours, I was in the cath lab having dye shot into into my arteries through a tube in my wrist.

I don’t have to tell you that Husband and I were freaking out–I’m sure both of us looked like a couple of deer caught in headlights. But, the story ends well–my heart is just fine, no blocked arteries and it’s pumping like a champ–well enough, in fact, that the cardiologist who did the procedure said that he believes the stress test showed a false positive. YAY!! The good folks at Franciscan Health Heart Center were amazing–kind and gracious and comforting every step of the way and we are so grateful to them for making a scary time easier.

Gratitude for today:

  • I have a strong and healthy heart.
  • Husband is the best support any woman could have–man, I love that guy!
  • Sister and BIL were on the spot yesterday to be with us through this and Pastor Diane came by for word of encouragement and prayer–I am so blessed.
  • All the friends who prayed for me–I’m so grateful and I love all of you–thank you.
  • All the folks at St. Francis were amazing and took terrific care of us.

But, yeah, I’m still dizzy (no blonde jokes, please. 😉 Now that we’ve eliminated what’s NOT causing it, time to explore what could be. We’re starting with meds–just a simple process of elimination and see what happens. Hold a good thought, okay?

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Three More Days of Thankful

November20

img_5964It’s Sunday and we’re closing up the lake cottage for the winter season, which means draining all the pipes and pumping in antifreeze, packing up all the food, storing all the deck furniture, making the place as unwelcome to mice and other rodents as we can, and covering the furniture with dust sheets. It’s bittersweet. I love being at the lake, it is unquestionably our escape from real life and we work hard to keep it that way.

In the past, when November came around, we were pretty much ready to stop making the drive and spend winter in the city. This year . . . well, not so much and I’m not really sure why. Perhaps it’s because we stayed longer each time we came up this summer–often at least a week–which allowed us to “settle in” more. Maybe it’s just that we’re ready for a simpler life in a small town. But we have so much in the citywe’d miss–family, friends, our church home, access to lots of culture, and our docs, who’ve become more important as we’re aging. Ugh. The lake is lovely, but the little resort town depends on the summer folk and tourists, so winters here would be long and . . . uneventful, and neither of us are snowbird material.

fireplaceFortunately, there’s no hurry for us to make any life-changing choices and we’ve decreed this winter to be drama-free. No big decisions or changes. Just long cozy days together by the fire, reading (both of us) and writing (me) and binge-watching British television (both of us again because we are British TV addicts). We’ll see what next summer brings . . .

Here’s my gratitude list for three days:

  1. The lake.
  2. Our dear, dear lake friends–how we will miss them over the winter!
  3. Brisk weather–I really do like winter!
  4. Supper with the gang last night at a pub in the next town over–fun!
  5. Knitting–I’m getting better at it and as I get more proficient, it’s becoming more fun. I promise pics of the baby blanket I’m making when it’s done.
  6. The fascinating book I’m reading right now about the Dakota apartment building in New York and all its past and present occupants.

What’s in store for you this winter?

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Still Here, Still Grateful

November17

Nancy's MI trip 077 whiteriver07These are pictures of the lighthouse at Point Betsie in Frankfort, MI–the town Willow Bay is based on. Remember this lighthouse–it will show up in Sarah’s story and in Libby’s, too–the Women of Willow Bay books currently in progress.

I’m behind, as usual, but with good reasons . . . well, okay, decent excuses. I confess gratitude comes hard after this election because I’m sad and scared. But, sad and scared is no way to live. Neither is angry, so I’m working very hard to remember that I live in a great country. America is already great and we’ve survived this long because of our diversity and creativity and our mutual respect for one another. We can do this. We can. Son and I were talking about how folks have compared this situation with Germany in the late thirties and although, I get why the comparison is being made, I’m not convinced it’s a valid one. First of all, nothing gets hidden in this country thanks to social media, 24-hour news cycles, and cell phones with cameras. Second, our president-elect is not a stupid man–he knows he can’t turn this country on its ear without getting a lot of push-back from the citizens. I pray he finds wise counsel.

Also, Son and I were talking the other day–okay, moaning, but nonetheless, I said that I hope 9/11 showed us that we don’t have to be run over by hatred and craziness. Seriously? Do you think anyone could hijack a plane and fly it into a building in the United States today? I don’t think so. We have locks on cockpit doors now, as well as other safeguards, but also, I don’t think a single passenger would ever let that happen again, even at the risk of their own lives. I wouldn’t. Would you? That’s why I don’t think comparing us to 1930s Germany is fair. The world is different now–in some more dangerous, but in others, better, smarter, more caring.

So, here are seven days worth of gratitude . . .

  1. I’m healthy and strong.
  2. In the same vein (no pun intended), the CT scan showed that my carotid arteries are only 0 to 10% blocked, which is fabulous for a woman my age. Fabulous for anyone really.
  3. My darling daughter-in-law is having a birthday on Saturday–we’re blessed to have her in our lives and we’re thankful for how much she loves Son and what a great mom she is to Grandboy. We love you, baby!
  4. Gertie, the immobilizer boot on my foot, and I are tolerating each other pretty well.
  5. I’m learning to sit still.
  6. The blanket I’m knitting is coming along wonderfully–a picture next time I post, I promise.
  7. Fall has been lovely–warm days and crisp, cool nights.
  8. Husband–just because I’m so lucky to be loved by the most amazing man on the planet.
  9. IRWA Retreat was a fun time of fellowship with other writers.
  10. IRWA Retreat was also a great time with one of my dearest besties–hugs to you, Lizzie! You are the most delightful of traveling companions–I look forward to many more trips together.
  11. I got to know a new writer friend at Retreat–always a pleasure.
  12. The new book is continuing at a merry clip–this weekend, I’ll do a little bit of timeline work and plotting, although I know where I’m going. The trick is not to rush it, but also not get bogged down–it’s a tightrope sometimes!
  13. Son, DIL, and Grandboy are doing well–busy, busy lives, but they’re all good and when they’re good, I’m good.
  14. Dee is out of the hospital and yesterday we celebrated her 61st birthday–something neither of us thought would happen. Right now, I’m holding onto this fact–she’s still here. What a miracle!

Just a bonus: I’m so very thankful for all the dear friends who care about me and my well-being. I saw it clearly yesterday when I had to make several phone calls to let folks know the results of the CT scan. I am a blessed woman.

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Three More Days of Grateful

November10

018feff2d45d6aa7bdfc7a91e8188cce881c23ff0eThis is my picture of peace–it’s Lake Michigan. Isn’t it lovely? It’s been a disturbing week–the national elections didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, but as I’ve read all the comments and postings on Facebook and Twitter and listened to news stories and pundits and commentators, I’ve come down here: It’s going to be okay. Our democratic process worked. The way our founders set up the electoral process functioned as it was meant to function. It didn’t work the way I wanted it to, but it worked and now we have a new president-elect. Like everyone else who voted for the other candidate, I’m disappointed and yes, frightened by this man who will be leading us for the next four years. But I’m also hopeful that Americans will come together, that we’ll support the government and those working in it. Watch this video of President Obama talking about the recent election. He’s right.

I also appreciate what Tim Urban said in his blog, particularly this: “Which is why, if you’re a Hillary supporter, in addition to this being a time for disappointment and frustration, it should also be a time for reflection. Half your country voted for Trump. Over 50 million people—people with kids and parents and jobs and dogs and calendars on their wall with piano lessons and doctors appointments and birthday parties written in the squares. Full, three-dimensional people who voted for what they hope will be a better future for themselves and their family.”

We are a nation of smart people, this isn’t 1939, we aren’t headed into fascism. There are no secrets here–we live in a world where everything is reported within seconds of it happening. We’re also a diverse nation of good, caring people–let’s all remember that and be kind to one another and let our better angels prevail.

My three-day gratitude list:

  1. This gorgeous fall weather. Even though I’m limited to how much walking around I can do, I’m still enjoying the blue skies, beautiful colors, crisp air, and sunshine.
  2. I’m still getting up every morning and writing–I’ve only missed a couple days since October 4.
  3. Husband’s work ethic, which is amazing. He’s so hardworking, taking care of both of our homes, our vehicles, and me. I do love that man.
  4. My BFF, Lizzy, who is the best person I’ve ever co-chaired an event with–together, we will make this year’s IRWA Retreat a fun weekend.
  5.  Butternut squash soup.
  6. Geocaching–man, that’s fun! So much so that I find myself turning on my Geocaching app wherever I am, just to see if there’s a cache nearby. I think I’m hooked. 😉

 

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Two Days of Grateful

November8

Lake flowers 2012Yesterday, we packed up and headed back to the city–just one more trip to the lake for 2016 and that will be our one to winterize the cottage and say goodbye until spring. So, I didn’t write yesterday and I didn’t write today either because we had Internet issues that needed to be resolved and then I went to vote and now . . . well, I’m done with the first part of the editing gig I’ve been working on and my foot hurts and I have a meeting at church tonight and I’m just longing for a cup of tea and a nap. So, I’m thinking . . . a cup of tea and a nap.

However, before I curl up (and I use the term loosely because curling up anywhere with five pounds of immobilizer boot on your foot is nigh on to impossible), here’s my gratitude list for  yesterday and today:

  1. Voting–my voice, my vote and I’m proud to have been a part of the process this year.
  2. Husband–always Husband, who fixed the Internet issue this morning with a minimum of grousing, and still poured me a glass of Riesling to go with our guacamole lunch. What a guy!
  3. Amazing half moon last night when we went to the airport at midnight to pick up PJ and BIL. Man, it was gorgeous–yellow and all streaky with clouds.
  4. All the lovely fall leaves–all colors and so beautiful! Of course, I’m not the one raking/blowing/mulching them, so it’s easy for me to appreciate all the autumnal beauty.  😉
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Writing MoJo

November6

bootIn all the crap going on in my life right now, writing is the one thing keeping me sane–well, writing and Husband, who has been amazing and supportive. He deals with my fears and my little stupid meltdowns and is taking on more of the household responsibilities since standing on the damn boot I have to wear on my broken foot makes my hip hurt. At the moment, my body and I are working at cross-purposes in my life, but as far as I understand it, everything happening with my health is pretty much fixable, so I suppose I should chill and ride it all out. Honestly, I’m kinda ashamed that I’m such a whiny brat about it all when I think of my darling Dee and what she deals with everyday. Remembering her struggle is pretty much all it takes for me to get over myself.

The writing continues, much to my amazement. I’m still getting up every morning and putting in the hour, at least, sometimes longer, depending on when I get started and when Husband wakes up. I’m even doing it here at the lake, which means I’m writing in the bedroom while he sleeps just a few feet away, instead of in my office down the hall at home.

The story is coming along, I guess. Hard to tell because I’m not editing as I write, I’m just writing. Sort of my own version of NaNoWriMo? This is entirely different from my usual M.O. of editing what I wrote the day before when I sit down to work. My poor critique partner is getting pretty raw material right now, but she’s hanging in there. (Merci Cheryl Brooks!) I’m about a third of the way through the story and I actually needed to create a timeline and character list, just to make sure I’m staying on track. There are a couple of things going on with Sarah and I’m working on figuring out what to do next . . . she and Tony need to get started. Hmmmm…

fall at the lakeI meant to start a November Gratitude list here on November 1, but it’s me, so I’m starting on November 6 instead. So today’s list has twelve things I’m grateful for since my idea was to list two things each day. Ready? Here we go:

  1. Beautiful November fall–it’s been crisp and temperate and colorful.
  2. Husband, without whom I’d be simply tossed around in the sea of mischief that seems to be my life right now. He anchors me.
  3. My BFFS–life would be impossible without them.
  4. Sister–I miss her. She’s in CA, drinking wine and visiting her kids and just generally having a better time than I am right now.
  5. Writing
  6. Work–I love my work.
  7. Geocaching fun with Rich and Moe–sure has been great!
  8. Knowing what’s wrong with my foot and getting it fixed. The boot is pain, but not as much as the actual pain, so it’s a win.
  9. Docs who can fix things that are wrong–they make up for insurance companies who rape you.
  10. The election is almost here–thank heaven. No matter the outcome, at least it will be over.
  11. The lake, which always settles me.
  12. Coffee–man, I love coffee.
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