Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
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Days 20 & 21: Gratitude and Disappointment

September21
PJ and me

Right off, it’s a great day today, September 21, because it’s my sister, PJ’s birthday. So anything else that happened today gets overshadowed by that wonderful fact. Happy birthday, Sister! I love you to the moon and back!

I’m doing two days because, frankly, I fell asleep last night before I could blog. I’m not blaming the tequila or the bottle of wine I shared with Husband and pal, Moe, but there are those who might. To them I say, “Piffle.” We had a great evening, sharing a meal, some lovely beverages, and a cutthroat game of Phase 10. Moe won.

Today, we went to see two houses that looked very interesting and nice in the pictures on our portal. In real life, not so much. I just disappointed as anything when we see a house that seems very possible and then when we go see it in person, we discover that the pictures lie. Both these houses had issues that didn’t show up in the photographs. I think that’s sucky. Honestly, when our realtor took the pictures of our house, they were all real. They showed exactly what the people who came to see the house actually saw. I’d have so much more respect if realtors just told me the truth. “The house has a weird smell” or “this place desperately needs to have all the wood on the outside replaced” or “these folks haven’t opened the vents to their crawl space since Jesus was in the third grade.” I probably wouldn’t buy the place, but at least I’d know I wouldn’t need to bother to go see it. However, I know our house is out there–one day soon, it will present itself to us.

Tomorrow, Liz and I are doing a presentation at the Logansport Library–if you’re in the area and looking for a couple of hours of entertainment, stop by at 2 pm and join us, won’t you?

Gratitude for two days:
Tequila and Wine
Coffee
Chocolate (I’m sensing a theme here, how about you?)
Son and DIL
Grandboy
Sunshine
A fun evening with Moe
Husband
Leaves falling and blowing around the car as we drove today–so pretty

Remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well!

~Nan~

Day 19: Gratitude and a Great Retreat

September19

Well, we’re back from retreat–Liz is at home and I’m back at the lake. Our trip was fantastic, mostly because we travel so well together, never seem to run out of things to talk about, and yet, enjoy companionable silences. Our condo was lovely and Grand Haven was, well, grand. 😉 We both got done what we wanted to get done and that felt wonderful!

Holland, MI

Today, our drive home went along the Lake Michigan coast until we got to St. Joseph. We caught glimpses of the lake as we drove along the Blue Star highway, stopping in Saugatuck for breakfast and Holland to watch a schooner make it’s way out into the lake. Every time we stopped to see the water, I thought of my mom, got a little lump in my throat, and wished like crazy that Lizzie could’ve met her and that we could’ve stayed another few days.

But life called us home and it was very good to see Husband and friend Moe and the lake. Time to settle back into what is currently my normal. I’ll be back to work on my editing gigs tomorrow–taking care of business stuff and working, probably on Son’s screened porch because it’s a lovely spot and I get a lot done there. However, I will have my sweet memories of this writing trip to warm me and Liz and I will be back on Gchat in the morning as usual.

We do have a couple of fun events coming along as September comes to a close. On Sunday, September 22, Liz and I will be speaking at the Logansport library, so if you’re int he area around 2 pm, stop by. We’d love to see. Then, next Sunday, September 29, we’ll be at the Wine and Wheels car show at Whyte Horse Winery here in Monticello. It’ll be a fun day of wine and hot rods and book signing. Stop by! In between those Sunday events, I’ve got a birthday to celebrate with my sis! We both turn a year older this week.

We’ll be there, will you?

Gratitude for today:
Another amazing writing trip with my bestie
Lake Michigan, always and eternally
Hugs from Husband–I missed his arms around me
Safe driving as we traveled
A new laptop–mine aged into recalcitrance and I wasn’t in a place to try to deal with it, so I got a new one. Same brand, newer model. So far, I’m liking it.

~Nan~

Day 18: Gratitude on Our Last Day of Retreat

September18
Our lunch view today

What a grand time this has been, although if you asked me to list all that we did, pretty much the list would be we wrote, we revised, we processed and brainstormed writing and revisions, and we ate. It wasn’t a touristy trip at all–we mostly stayed in our condo and did what we came up to do and for that, I’m very glad because yesterday around 6 pm, Liz shut her computer and said, “It’s finished” about her Christmas Town story. Today, sometime around 4 pm, I finally sent the revisions on Aidan and Holly’s book back to my editor. We did it! I’m so delighted to be celebrating our success that I’m going to pour another glass of wine and turn this over to Lizzie for a bit.

LIZ: It’s our last night on the road. We had a great dinner and came back to the condo to work on our presentation at the Logansport Library on Sunday afternoon. We’re talking about writing in retirement, and these past four days have been one of the best things about it. Not only do we get good friendship time, we get great writing time, too. And a considerable amount of great food!

Nan: So, the food thing; Yeah. So many great restaurants on this trip and even a couple of fun nights just snacking around here in our temporary home. We’ve had fish tacos, a new take on BLTs, amazing salads, corn chowder, tomato basil soup, and did I mention some good wine? There was also ice cream and fudge because after all this is Michigan. But it was all served against the backdrop of the lake, which somehow makes everything taste better.

Grand Haven lighthouse

Liz: I’ve loved this trip, as I always do, but I also miss the music guy. I’ll be glad to see him. He doesn’t listen as well as Nan, but I’ll be glad to talk to him face-to-face anyway. I also love that it’s been productive, that we’ve both finished projects we needed to put behind us so we can go on to other things.

Nan: I know what you mean, Liz. I’ve missed the beardy man and it’s so good to get book 3 put to bed, so I can start on book 4 and focus on my editing gigs. I’m also ready to get really serious about the house hunting…

Liz: Looking forward to our next trip, Nan. Do you think P.E.I is ready for us?

Nan: Well, I think P.E.I better start girding its collective loins because this winter, we’re going to plan our next exciting writing adventure! Thanks everyone who came along on this one! Sure enjoyed having you with us!

We’re headed home tomorrow–all of you, remember to be hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan~ & ~Liz~

Day 17: Gratitude Michigan Style

September17
Sunset at Lake Michigan

It’s been a long day of revisions. I’m finally through that process although not without a lot of gnashing of teeth and tears. I wish I could tell you I’m being dramatic, but Liz will testify–it was arduous. However, she was throwing around terms like drama queen and big baby. Tomorrow, will be a final run-through edit and then it goes back to my editor. Liz finished the rough draft of her Christmas Town story with very little teeth-gnashing and no tears at all. We also have to spend some time talking about our library presentation that’s coming on Sunday. We do think we should try to prepare something that’s at least mildly entertaining.

We treated ourselves to shampoos and blowouts to celebrate and wonder of wonders, have gone an entire day without wine. Just never got to it, I guess. We’ll probably fix that tomorrow. We ate supper at a cute place called the Paisley Pig Gastropub. Decent food and very nice server. Before supper, we made a quick trip to the public beach simply because I can’t imagine being in Grand Haven and not at least dipping my toes in Lake Michigan. It was amazing!

Gratitude for today:
Being able to put my toes in Lake Michigan
Spending time with Liz–we are so companionable!
Finishing revisions on Aidan and Holly’s book
Being pretty satisfied with the revisions on Aidan and Holly’s book
We still have one more full day here

~Nan~ & ~Liz~

Day 16: Gratitude with Liz

September16

A Sum of Its Parts

Hello! It’s Liz, hijacking Nan’s blog for today. It’s a glorious day in Michigan. The condo we’re in is walking distance from…everything. We’ve had great food, great ice cream, and a glass or two of wine, so it was good we walked.

The walk by the musical fountain in Grand Haven

Although I don’t have the heart link with Michigan that Nan has, I do love it here. The World Wranglers have been trash talking the past few days about the Dog Days Kristi’s suffering in Ohio (I’m not sure she likes us anymore 😊), but we’re in mellow weather here and it is good not only for the disposition but for the soul as well.

Our work here this week is important to the romance writer’s life. Nan’s putting some flowers in a few bare spots in her almost-ready-for-her-editor manuscript and I’m in the last chapter of this year’s Christmas Town story, which will be out in February. I think I spend as much time on the last chapter as I did the three before it put together, but I need for the close to be satisfying. A story is so very much more than the sum of its parts.

After those things are done, it will be fun time. She’ll work on the fourth Flaherty Brother story and I’ll…well, find a new place. A new beginning. As I’ve said before, just often enough to be annoying, the only page better than the last one is the first one.

As lovely as advances and royalties are, there are other payments for writing books that have incomparable value. Just a few of them are:

  • The blank page. As terrifying as it is, we get to fill it up. And if what we fill it up with is dreck, we get to hit “delete,” and do it all over again.
  • Writing “The End.” I don’t really write it anymore, but the end is there anyway, and it is a reward that rates right up there with bourbon butter pecan ice cream.
  • Having people be interested in what you do.
  • Taking trips with your BFF.
  • Brainstorming with said BFF, who NEVER tells you you’re an idiot who should give it up.
  • Reading things aloud to the person you share your life with and having him say it’s excellent. Absolutely. Whether he heard you or not.
  • Watching a couple walk down the sidewalk together and by the time they get to the corner, you’ve given them a story. And names. And a puppy.
  • More parts. Putting them all together until they are a jagged but complete sum.
  • The blank page. Yeah, I know I said it once, but it bears repeating.

Thanks for stopping by. Stop in and see Nan tomorrow—she’ll be glad to see you!

Day 15: Gratitude and We’re on Retreat!

September15
Our condo is great!

It’s been a great day! Liz and I set off this morning in the rain, which, while dampening our hair did not dampen our spirits! Although the rain made Liz’s hair get big and mine to droop, like the ears of a basset hound. However, that’s why God made hair clips, right?

We meandered up to Grand Haven. Took our time traveling through the the corn fields of Indiana and enjoyed a tour of the campus at Notre Dame in South Bend, which has changed a lot since the last time we were through. We took the back roads into Benton Harbor and realized that, even though lunch sounded good, it sounded good to everyone else in the town as well. Restaurants on the lake were crazy busy, so we opted to go farther north and ended up having lunch in St. Joseph at a fabulous little pub, where we ate outside and could see the lake.

Ahhh… when I see Lake Michigan, I feel like I’m home. It brings back so many fond memories of coming here with my mom. Funny, Liz said, “This really makes you think of your mom, doesn’t it?” Until she mentioned it, I didn’t realize how much Michigan is my mom for me.

We got back on the road, stopped in South Haven to hit a favorite winery of ours, and got to the condo where we’re staying around 5 or so. It’s delightful! Charming and roomy and in the perfect spot in Grand Haven because we can walk to wherever we want to go. We settled in and spent a little time on our computers, trying to write. We were both too wound up from traveling to do much, so we gave it up, hit the grocery store for supplies and then wandered down the street for supper.

Salads for supper.

Supper was delicious salads, then a walk around town as the sun finally set. Home again, we immediately changed into our jammies and took glasses of wine out to the deck. Lovely way to close out our first day here.

Gratitude for today:
A fun and great traveling companion in Liz
That first glimpse of Lake Michigan always warms my heart
The feeling of coming home
Perfect Michigan weather
Being on Retreat

More tomorrow! Rest well, mes amies, sweet dreams and be good to yourselves.
~Nan~ & ~Liz~

Day 14: Gratitude and We’re Off…

September15

It’s actually early morning of Day 15, but I’m calling this one Day 14 because I fell into bed yesterday after a long, long day of work and then a chili supper over at Son and DIL’s cottage. I got quite a bit done, so that was a good thing.

Son piled DIL and I into his bass boat and we took a quick spin around the lake before supper, which was quite lovely! Totally different boating experience than riding in Husband’s pontoon, but just as enjoyable. We’d all discussed swimming, but decided the lake was probably way too cold for Grandboy and actually for us, too, so the boat ride was some good time on the water instead of in it. The lake was the tiniest bit choppy from the breeze, but you could see the shad firing, looking like raindrops on the surface of the water.

Liz and I are headed out for our writing retreat in Michigan this morning–so very excited and glad to be making this trip. I think we both are ready for some time away from our lives and some intense writing time. I will be working on revisions to book 3 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series and then on book 4. I also want to try to pull together some ideas I have for a romantic suspense or cozy and try to nail down a proposal for Tule. I’m not ready to start writing yet, but a story is brewing and I just have to see which side of the mystery fence I land on with it.

Gratitude for today:
Got plenty of work done yesterday
Beautiful breezy weather that made working by the open window a pleasure
Lovely boat ride
A new adventure with Liz starts today
Our cottage, which is rather a haven right now
Husband, Son, DIL, Grandboy — my family

I will be blogging our trip, along with my daily gratitude, so stop by and join us along the way, won’t you? In the meantime, mes amies, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan~

Days 12 & 13: Gratitude and Yes, I’m behind

September13

Do you remember me saying that I was determined to be grateful each day, even if the most I could say was that I was grateful the day was over? That’s where I was yesterday and instead of posting it, I let it slide. I’m glad I did because today is better and later last night, it was lovely because I got to put Grandboy to bed, read Dogman with him, and sing and cuddle until Mommy came home to tag-team with me.

Grandboy

There is such joy in being with that kid–and don’t get me wrong, he can be a royal PIA and sometimes stubborn and sometimes a real pill. But mostly, he’s sweet and funny and charming as heck. He has an innocence about him that I sorta hope he never loses, although I know that he will because life happens and you grow up and reality is there. But for now, his sweet wonder at the world warms my heart.

Ten things I’m grateful for:
Grandboy’s cuddles and hugs
The full moon tonight
How the temperature went from 92 in the city to a balmy mid-70s by the time we got to the lake today
Getting my nails done
Just one more day until Michigan with Lizzie
Seeing the Christmas covers that Lee Hyat is doing for Tule–so far, they are gorgeous!
A great freelancer luncheon–so good to see my colleagues and friends after being a hermit since April
My Black Dog Coffee thermal mug–it keeps coffee hot for hours
Stopping at R&M, the little grocery store at the lake–folks there are so friendly and they have the best apple butter!
Got to see sis and BIL today–fun! We dropped off Cub Scout popcorn and picked up fresh tomatoes and wine–not sure who came out ahead on that deal, but I think it was us.

I’m planning on blogging our writing retreat here, so be sure to come along to Grand Haven, Michigan, with us! We’d love for you to join us!

~Nan~

Days 10 & 11: Gratitude and Remembrance

September11

Gratitude for September 10 and 11:
Family
Friends
All the people in the country who serve the public
An enjoyable beer-30 with our lake pals last night
The Lake
I am able to work
Writing
Writing Retreat is just four days away
Going to see Grandboy tonight
Faith that our house is coming…

Day 8: Gratitude and Brothers

September8
Brother, Nephew and Great-nephew

Okay, one brother–mine. He’s turning 64 today and I’ve already texted him a greeting, to which he responded, “Next birthday is 64A. Love you.” I love him, too, of course, and I am intrigued at the idea of switching to letters for birthdays. All in all, it sounds like a good system to me. Thoughts?

It’s a rainy day here at the lake–chilly and a little gloomy, but I’m working anyway, so who cares? I’m beginning to think that we may be done with swimming for this season and that makes me sad. I love to lake swim and right now, I don’t belong to a gym because we are between houses and I wasn’t sure where we would be living. I’m hoping whenever it is we get settled, I’ll find a nice gym with a pool so I can get back into a routine of swimming several times a week. I need water.

Gratitude for today:
Watching the live feed of our church’s Sunday service on FB–it was good to see the choir back after summer hiatus and all the good folks in our congregation. I like the live feed.
Poached eggs on toast for breakfast and apple butter–yum!
Apple season is almost upon us.
I made Husband potato salad yesterday and he really enjoyed it…and still is.
Just 6 days until writing retreat in Michigan!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, mes amies, stay well, and keep in touch!


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