Congratulations, Roseann McGrath Brooks, you are Liz’s winner! She’ll be in touch!
“Some of the joys in being a septuagenarian are unexpected. Google is one—how else did you think I knew how to spell septuagenarian? Dressing however you want is another. It’s especially fun to wear what a blonde twenty-something on Facebook assures you is completely wrong for you.”
– Liz Flaherty, Window Over the Desk
Getting romance novels published is hard for me these days—not so much because I’m the age I am, I guess, or because I look the age I am, but because I sound the age I am. The editors I’ve worked with in past years are kind in their assessments, but they either say no or they edit my work to the point that it really doesn’t look so much like my work anymore.
That’s hard. I won’t deny that. But publishing a book of essays that have previously appeared in newspapers and blog posts and magazines—that’s “dressing how you want.” And the age you are. No one who reads the Window books ever mentions that I sound old.
Let me know. Do I?
Giveaway: Since it’s the holiday season, and I love Christmas, I’m giving away a Christmas ornament and a backlist paperback to a commenter who shares their favorite Christmas movie with us—and WHY it’s their favorite movie. (We don’t want to make it too easy, right?)
About the book…
In 2020, I released the first collection of Window Over the Sink columns. It was for my family, really, and to give my own ego a boost. (Any writer who says she doesn’t need that now and then is lying, by the way.)
It was so much fun.
Which is why I decided to open the Window Over the Desk. My view out this particular window is a favorite—even today, when I’m drying…things…on the clothesline. Also today, the hay bales in the field that have given me pleasure for several weeks have been gathered and stored for the long winter.
I hope the essays in this book give you some pleasant reading time over that winter. I hope they make you remember things, laugh sometimes, and refill your cup and sit down and read “just one more.”
As I mention way more often than is necessary, I’m kind of old. The years have dimmed some reflections through the window, brightened others, and changed a whole bunch of them. What a trip it’s been.
Thanks—again—for joining me on the journey.
It’s dark now, a morning later, sitting here beside the west window. The office Christmas tree is covered in white lights but only a few ornaments because I never finished decorating it. The desktop is the same mess it always is, with memories showing up sometimes in the piles, stirring the laughter or the tears or both.
There…as the sun comes up in the opposite window, a deer makes his light-footed way through the field. It’s not quite light enough to see him, but I’m almost sure…but it’s not. It’s a round bale, as beautiful in its way as the deer would have been.
I shouldn’t give advice—I am as unqualified to do so as anyone could possibly be—but advice comes, I am convinced, not from thinking you know it all but from caring about the person you’re talking to. But even as I spill out here what I think you should do, I know that the best thing anyone can do for someone else, much better than giving advice, is to listen.
And the best thing you can do for yourself is the giving I mentioned earlier. Whether it’s gifts or time or just a listening ear or a terrible joke. Take an angel from a giving tree, hang mittens on another, ring a bell, visit someone who doesn’t normally get visitors. Instead of scrolling with your phone, call someone and talk on it. They’ll be glad to hear your voice. If you’re not a phone talker (there are those of us around), text. Write a letter or send a card. The truth is, if you’re thinking about someone else, you give yourself a rest.
So, if you’re having a rough holiday season, whatever the cause, find your own west window and things that give comfort—even if they’re round bales instead of deer. There is hope and love and sharing to be found and I hope you find all of it. I hope I do, too.
Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and wanting to travel. The author of 20-some books and her husband Duane share an old farmhouse in North Central Indiana that they talk about leaving. However, that would require clearing baseball trophies from the attic and dusting the pictures of the Magnificent Seven, their grandchildren, so they’ll probably stay where they are. Liz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on social media: