Nan Reinhardt, Author

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

I Can Do This

March6
living room

I’m writing this on Fat Tuesday–we’ve been running moving-type errands today, getting ready for the movers to come tomorrow to pick up what Fred, our mover, (he rocks!) calls “the declutter load.” We’ve emptied closets, packed box after box, bin after bin, taken down photographs, and packed away tchotchkes and beloved knickknacks in an attempt to depersonalize our home in preparation for staging it and putting it up for sale.

It’s been…freeing in many ways but also bittersweet, and I’ve discovered that there is no way to neutralize this house. It’s been too lived in, too loved in. Our rooms are cozy and warm and inviting, so I’m counting on that vibe to sell this place. The yard is huge and the trees provide shade for us and sanctuary for the critters who’ve made their homes in our woods–deer, groundhogs, raccoons, foxes, and birds.

We heard our owl the other night, and we wondered together whether we’d hear owls in our new home, wherever that may be. We’re hoping for some good-sized trees in a much smaller yard along with a smaller house all on one level. I’ll miss my little garret at the back of the upstairs, but a new sunny office will be lovely, too.
Husband will miss mowing on his lawn tractor, but a smaller yard means less upkeep, less work. and maybe a chance for a couple of tomato and pepper plants. We couldn’t keep a garden here because the critters think we planted it for their feasting pleasure. Over the years, we tried everything to discourage them, including an electric fence, but when a squirrel bit the wire and electrocuted himself a few years back, we gave it up and decided to buy our fresh veggies at the farmer’s market or get them from dear brother-in-law, who has a bodacious garden in his backyard.

New Shutters!

So, we’re getting there and some of the huge tasks that seemed insurmountable just two months ago are done–new shutters are hung, the old boat is on its way to boat heaven, the brush out front is cut, and the purging is nearly complete. We don’t know yet where we’ll end up, but there’s more pleasure now in the idea of moving and that’s a good thing.

As always, mes amies, remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan~

Writer or Author

February3

When people ask me what I do, my answer sometimes depends on how and why they ask the question. If it’s a random, we-just-met-at-an-event kind of query, I choose my answer based on how involved I want to get in the conversation. I know how bitchy that sounds, but sometimes, you just don’t want to have a long conversation with someone you know for certain is going to immediately chortle when you tell them you’re a romance writer. So those folks get “I’m a freelance copy editor.” Then the conversation can steer toward “Oh, I bet that’s interesting,” rather than a smirking “Really? Like 50 Shades? Heh, heh.” Yeesh…

Sometimes they ask, “What do you do for a living?” That’s easy, I’m a freelance copy editor for a living. I don’t earn enough from book sales to consider it a living, although I’m closer now than I was a few years ago. I can’t give up the editing gigs just yet, and even if I could, I’m not sure I’d would. I love editing almost as much as I love writing.

Then there’s the dilemma of telling someone I’m a writer versus telling them I’m an author. I’ve always differentiated writer from author–my delineation being whether or not I was published. A writer writes. An author writes and sells books, but she also markets and promotes and suffers mightily over rankings on Amazon and making lists such as the USA Today or NY Times bestseller list. So, based on that criteria, either one works for me at this point. However, before I started this article, I looked up both words and guess what! Webster doesn’t differentiate between a writer and an author.

A writer is “one who writes.” An author is “one who originates or creates; a writer of a literary work, such as a book.” So am I the only writer who didn’t consider herself an author until her first book was published? And what was it about being indie published that made me doubt my own authority as an author? (See what I did there? A little word play, tee hee.) Why did I not truly feel like an author until I had a 4-book deal with a traditional publisher? If all I ever wrote were articles on this blog, would I be any less an author than the writers who write and sell millions of books? That’s my question for the universe today–how do you define yourself–writer or author? Does it even matter?

As always, mes amies, remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan~

Playing with Promo

November16

I’m learning to make promo pieces and man, am I having fun! I’m doing it with Canva, an online program that lets me create graphics for free. I’ve been experimenting since right before A SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS released and used some of my handiwork to promote the book. Here’s my favorite one. The top is a graphic that the amazing Lee Hyat did for me, but I added the bottom part. When I get a little better at this, I’ll go find some  more great winery photos, either in my own collection or I’ll buy some and see what I can do.

Here’s one I created to show what great reviews the book is getting. I realize I’m using the same concept for all of them right now, but I’m constrained by not having the full program and maybe a little intimidated about trying anything fancier. I like the simple lines in these. However, This program is so much fun, I’m seriously considering signing up for the full version. I think I could get really creative just in time for Sean’s book… Oh, have I mentioned that Sean’s story is coming up next. It is… more on that next time.

Anyway, that’s been my late-night fun after long, long days of editing.

As always, mes amies, remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan

 

 

posted under Four Irish Brothers Winery, Musings, Tule Publishing | Comments Off on Playing with Promo

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

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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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

 

 

posted under Gratitude, Musings, This Life... | Comments Off on Staying in the Moment

Hanging with the Grandboy

March25

I’ve been so very blessed these past few days because I’ve gotten to spend extra time with my darling Grandboy, who is the heart of my heart and the joy of my life. His parents are away on a much-needed vacation, so Nanny volunteered to stay with the kiddo. It’s been a blast. He’s so unbearably funny and clever, so sweet-natured and easygoing, and so very curious about everything.

He’s especially interested in anything under the sea–his class is currently making an under-the-sea mural and Grandboy can’t stop talking about it. When we read, he always chooses books about octopi and lionfish and whales and dolphins. He and his Poppy have watched every episode of Octonauts together–a British animated TV show on Netflix about a group of animals who live in a pod city under the sea and have all kinds of adventures. Each episode features a different kind of fish or sea creature and they learn fun facts about them. It’s very cool.

He’s also into owls and the ducks that live on the pond near his house. Really, anything to do with nature–Grandboy is all in. He’s all about cars too and Star Wars and Spiderman because what five-year-old isn’t? He loves Legos and the guitar Daddy brought him from London and his dog, Lily, who is the most tolerant animal on the planet. He plays games, draws, tells stories, and sings.

I’d forgotten how delightful little boys can be and yes, how exhausting. His other grandparents took him for a couple of days, so I could have a break and I did appreciate it. He’s due home any minute and I’ll be more than ready to see him. Here he is talking to the ducks.

All in all, this post is mostly to say I do love being a grandparent. It’s a special kind of love, isn’t it? Tell me about your grands…I’d love to hear your stories!

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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!

posted under Musings, This Life... | Comments Off on We’re Not Hopeless Old Farts…Truly

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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