Monday, December 27, 2004

The Peaceful Aftermath

Christmas is over now, the presents opened, wrappings discarded, items with "some assembly required" have been laboriously assembled, batteries inserted, food consumed, and eyes are now glazed. Now is the time to sit back and relax and be thankful for how lucky we are, and to remember there are many who are less fortunate.

So, how was your Christmas? Did you spend it with family or with friends? What did you have for dinner? Any special presents given or received? Or, do you celebrate another holiday this time of year, or nothing at all?

I'm trying to get back into the swing of work before the next holiday weekend comes, New Year's. I can't say I put as much effort into that one as I do into Christmas, but I do stay up till midnight, watch the big ball come down in Times Square, and blow my little noisemaker horn, thus terrifying the dog and offending the cat, while saying "rabbit!" shortly before and after midnight, to have good luck the whole year through. Hey, it's a tradition, right? ;-)

What kind of holiday traditions do you and your family or friends observe? I'd love to hear about them!


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Almost Christmas!

Here we are, just two days away from Christmas. And today is the thirty-fourth anniversary of my husband's and my first date. Wow! Of course, we were practically in the cradle when we started dating. ;-)

So, what's all this politically correct Happy Holiday stuff, anyway? If people don't celebrate Christmas, then they don't need to use the word if they don't wish. But to try to change the name of the holiday is silly. Would people of other religions be willing to change the names of their special holidays (which, after all, means holy days) to a generic form? Happy Holiday instead of Happy Hanukkah, or Have A Nice Day instead of Have a Blessed Ramadan?

Of course not, and no one would expect them to. Nor would we change St. Patrick's Day to, say, We Love Green Day, or Presidents' Day to Famous Person Day.

For those who don't celebrate a particular holiday, what's wrong with leaving those alone who do? We're not trying to proselytize--we're just celebrating joyously. As they say in the song, What the World Needs Now is Love. So, let us enjoy our holidays in peace and love, and we'll gladly extend the same courtesy to you.

Okay, that's my soapbox for today. Let me know how you feel about this issue!

In case I don't have time to write again before Christmas--have a Merry Christmas and may your New Year be bright!


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Meteors and Other Celestial Events

On Tuesday night, around midnight, my husband and I drove several miles out into the rural countryside--technically known as "the middle of nowhere"--to view the Geminids Meteor Shower.

Unfortunately, Tuesday night was also the coldest night here in Kansas since last February--a low of twelve degrees! But at least there was little wind, so no wind chill to add insult to injury. We bundled up as well as we could, though I was still stamping my feet to stay warm, feeling like a horse. :-)

But it was worth it. We saw lots of meteors--quick shooting stars, and longer meteors with colors and leaving trails behind them. It's awesome to witness something like that--meteor showers, eclipses, comets, viewing the moon through a telescope--things that make us realize the universe is a big and beautiful place.

How many of you went outside to view the Geminids? Do you watch for other events in the sky? Which ones are your favorites?

Keep looking up!


Saturday, December 04, 2004

Tarot Cards and New Links

The two subjects are related today, because I added two new links to Tarot sites that I love perusing. The first, Aeclectic Tarot, has lots of fun stuff, but I especially enjoy their list of Tarot decks. They have hundreds listed, with a brief description of the deck and pictures of six cards from it. As anyone who's bought Tarot cards knows, they're sold in sealed packages, so you can't see what the cards look like, except the one or two illustrated on the box. And as anyone who's used Tarot cards know, you need a real affinity for a deck in order for it to work for you.

I have about twenty different Tarot decks--I collect them. Where else can you get 78 individual works of art for the price of a deck of cards? But there are a few standard decks I refer to again and again. If you want to check out my favorites, go to the Aeclectic site and view the cards from these decks:

Robin Wood Tarot
Nigel Jackson Tarot
Universal Waite Tarot

and I have lots more on my wish list! :-)

The other Tarot site listed in the links is Joan Bunning's superb online Tarot course, "Learning the Tarot." You can take the course online, or download it and work on it offline. She has a book out by the same name that's an invaluable resource, and I highly recommend it as a Christmas present to all the Tarot enthusiasts on your list. Nothing but years of practice can make you feel like an expert in Tarot, but if there's one course that will get you off to a great start, it's Joan's. Check it out!

I've developed the art of "one-card Tarot readings" in my alter-ego as Madame Liz. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, come to my next Madame Liz chat at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 16 at NovelTalk ( Hope to see you there!


Friday, December 03, 2004

Are You Ready For Christmas?

"Are you ready for Christmas?"

That's the question I dread most at this time of year. Although I'm not a Christmas Eve shopper, I've never been one of those super-efficient people who get all their shopping done the day after Thanksgiving, either. I'm usually resting in a semi-comatose state the day after Thanksgiving, recovering from all the cooking (and eating).

So, my usual answer to that question is, "Hah."

This year is no exception. I do have a few gifts already stashed away, but most of my shopping is left to be done. I don't even know what I'm going to get for most family members and friends, let alone already have it purchased. And this year will require some extra shopping as not only do I have a new grandson, but I've also run out of my lifetime supply of Christmas wrapping paper, bows, tags, and other assorted things.

So, if you hear a hideous groan coming from the direction of western Kansas over the next two weeks, you'll know it's me!

In the meantime, if YOU are looking for that perfect gift for someone on your list, may I suggest a copy of ENCHANTED HOLIDAYS? It has six holiday-themed romance novellas with just a touch of magic, perfect for the festive holiday spirit. You can find it at Hard Shell Word Factory ( in paperback, or Fictionwise ( in e-book format.

Another suggestion: visit my shop at Cafe Press ( or the ENCHANTED HOLIDAYS shop at Cafe Press ( for perfect gift items for everyone on your list: t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby gifts, mousepads, Christmas ornaments, journals, messenger bags, flying disks, clocks, mugs, coasters, teddy bears, baseball caps, totebags, greeting cards...see? I told you they have everything!

Well, time for me to start thinking about my OWN Christmas list. I'd love to hear more about your shopping methods...when do you shop? Do you make gifts or buy them? Do you give actual items or gift certificates or money? What was your most successful gift ever, and what was the best gift you ever received?

Happy shopping!