Find Your Silver Lining

After a week of being quarantine for the coronavirus, I find myself getting a little stir crazy and wondering why. You would think the answer would be obvious, but it's confusing for me because basically I'm a homebody at heart. I know the 'stir crazy' part is purely psychological because normally it wouldn't faze me at all to sit home for over a week. This tells me that if I decide to stay home it's no problem, but if someone else tells me I have to, it's torture. In any case, it looks like I may be confined to my home or close to it for a while because we all need to take the virus very seriously. That being said, I've decided not to let this virus or my anxiety control my life. In a world where some have gone crazy with all the 'what ifs', I resolve to keep things on a positive level. My plan is: Stay home, keep my hands washed, find something that will keep me busy and contented.

Like many other people I know, I have lived through some good times and some very challenging, but through it all, I've learned that doing positive things for yourself and others can divert you from the negative. It's also essential to free your mind of troubling issues if only for a few minutes everyday. Don't dwell on all the bad information—try and watch the news in the morning and view only a brief update in the evening to stay informed. Or vice versa.

It may be difficult to figure out what you can do for someone else now that we're social distancing. Many people are doing things like helping their elderly neighbors get their groceries and that is great but I believe there are things we can do for everyone to get through this situation — Let others know what you're doing to preserve your sanity and what improvisations are working for you during this crisis.

Here's my list:

    1. Call someone instead of texting. Many people would appreciate hearing a human voice at this time.
    2. Clean out closets. Who knows what buried treasures you'll find?
    3. Take long walks and think about what you want to change when things get back to your normal.
    4. Dust off old exercise equipment and utilize them—wouldn't it be nice to emerge from the crisis looking better than ever.
    5. Dust off your bible—use this time to get closer to God.
    6. Teach your children a new card game: maybe cribbage.
    7.  Roll up the living room rug and dance to your favorite music. You'll feel better and it's a fun way to stay in shape.
    8. Go on social media and share your experiences—what improvisations are you using when everyday things aren't available.
    9. If you're a person who likes to go out to the bars or restaurants and are missing it terribly—try watching old reruns of Cheers on Netflix. There are lots of funny things in those old shows and best of all, you get the feeling you're in a place where everyone knows your name.
    10. Have a glass of wine once in a while but don't let alcohol be your only outlet.

Here's a list of things that can be a silver lining in the long run:

    1. Perhaps families will become closer and value each other more.
    2.  Maybe being stranded at home will teach you how to cook with the supplies you have and you'll become a better, resourceful cook.
    3.  Maybe your whole family will learn to be more conservative and you will save money after the crisis on the products that you use.

Share what you're doing to improvise and what you're doing to keep your sanity during this crisis. Post them in a comment on this website or on my FaceBook page: Remember we're all in it together. Cheers to you!

Please sign up on the Contact page of this website for updates on my books. I will only email you when something is about to happen and I will never share your email with anyone else.

The Carefree Highway

Tired of winter, my husband and I decided to venture into the unknown and take a road trip. Our destination was to head out west to visit some old friends in Montana and then end up at our pals in Arizona. Knowing we had no time set to be anywhere, our plan was to stop whenever and where ever our hearts desired along the way. So, we loaded everything but the kitchen sink in our vehicle and hit the open road. We traveled on the backroads instead of the interstate in order to view things at a slower pace. It gave us a chance to mingle with the locals and take a peek at how it was like to live there.

One of our first stops was at the Occidental Hotel and bar in Buffalo, Wyoming. The hotel was original and had bullet holes in the walls and a reputation of being haunted. We learned that many famous people had once stayed there—Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Ernest Hemingway, Butch Cassidy and others. We noticed a photo of Robert Taylor (the actor who plays Longmire) above the bar and commented on the picture. The bartender told us that Mr. Taylor lived a few miles down the road and came in once in a while for a drink. An older cowboy at the bar said he knew him well and confirmed that he was a nice guy. He gave us the actor's real name and told us to keep that information under our hat. Who knows if he was just pulling our leg?

We continued on our journey in Wyoming and were refreshed soaking in the mineral hot springs of Thermopolis — I don't know what's in the water there but I couldn't believe how great I felt after I stepped out. In Montana, a local took us up a snowy mountain in her Cam-Am where we viewed a herd of elk sunning themselves on the mountain side. Although some of the mountain passes were a bit treacherous, the views were spectacular in Idaho, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. It was fun to see all the ranches and houses perched in the hills. We drove through the breathtaking painted desert in Arizona while listening to the Eagles greatest hits and decided the experience was the closest thing to heaven on earth. Near Phoenix, the desert was unexpectedly green with cactus flowers ready to burst into blossom any day. And of course we went on the Carefree Highway where I thought about writing this blog.

On the way home we talked about all the things we saw and the people we met and decided that no matter where you go most people are basically the same. But the surprising thing is — there are more nice folks out there than you would think. And that isn't something you hear about on the evening news. Most are willing to share with you something interesting about their area and tell you information that you won't find in a travel brochure. The whole experience showed us that you don't need to spend a lot to have fun when you're traveling. All you need to do is to hop on any 'Carefree Highway' and appreciate the people and scenery around you!

Please sign up on the Contact page of this website for updates on my books. I will only email you when something is about to happen and I will never share your email with anyone else.

New Decade, New Dreams

I have a friend who says it's important to have dreams and your everyday goals should be geared toward achieving them. He believes you need a reason to get out of bed and it shouldn't be just to go to work, unless it's your dream job. I think my friend may be on to something, because I know from my own experience that when I'm making head way with my goals, everything else in my life seems better. I have more patience and the day-to-day unpleasantries don't appear to bother me nearly as much. I find that I treat myself and others better and I don't let things get me down so easily. The problem is that in our busy lives, our personal goals and dreams get put away in a closet in the back room. We think about them once in a while and tell ourselves, "Someday when I have time, I'm going to do that." And then we shove them back in the closet and shut the door. It's not easy to find the time and energy to work on our dreams and goals with all the obligations and responsibilities that block our path but I think we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to try and make our dreams a priority. Who knows? Maybe working on our dreams can help prevent depression from creeping into our lives. In any case, what's wrong with making life a little sweeter? Hopefully, in this new decade you will open that closet door and start to reap the rewards of living a happier life while you turn your goals and dreams into reality. If you would like to receive occasional updates on my books, please sign up on the Contact page of this website.

The Gift of a Thankful Heart

Cheers! I hope you had a great Christmas. And here's to the coming New Year— let it be the best ever. I feel very blessed this year for achieving my long time goal of publishing a book. If I was granted one wish, it would be that whoever read my book Ryley—truly enjoyed it. Thank you for all for your support and for understanding my love of writing. You have helped me along on my writing journey and I am forever grateful. I can't give enough praise to my review team and everyone who purchased my book—thank you from the bottom of my heart. Whether you bought my book or borrowed it from a friend, I hope you were intrigued and entertained with the love story of Ryley and Matt. I'm so excited to get keep moving on my trilogy—The Heartbeat Series. I plan to release the first book—Heartbeat of Desire in May/June of 2020. It's a spicy contemporary romance about the widow next door who unknowingly becomes the love target of two wealthy brothers: Fiery widow Cheryl, struggles to keep the family farm while two neighboring brothers fight to possess her. When she finds herself in the arms of brother number three, Jake, Cheryl can’t stop thinking about him, even though he’s engaged to another. I've started to gather an email list on my contact page of this website to inform and update everyone with my release dates. If you were so kind to sign up, you have my word that I will never share your email with anyone without your consent. And I don't plan to email you to death—I hate that! Happy New Year! Donna    

Thanksgiving —The No Hype Holiday

Smoke is still lingering in the air from the Fourth of July fireworks when school supplies and Halloween decorations are brought out from retail storage rooms. Then like magic on the day after Halloween, Christmas trees sprout up like mini forests in stores and malls start to play a list of holiday tunes that studies have shown to inspire sales. We haven't finished eating the leftover trick-or-treat candy when we find ourselves at the brink of the holiday season. At that point, all the hoopla and drama have begun and we realize there's no way out; we're in it for the long haul. There are high expectations to live up to and so much to do that sometimes the whole thing seems overwhelming. But just when it looks like commercialization is completely out of control, along comes Thanksgiving — the no hype holiday. Like any other holiday, you have the option to make Thanksgiving as complicated or simple as you want it to be. Basically, the only requirements are a good appetite and a dish to share. Choosing to wear comfortable clothes (preferably stretchy) is advisable but totally up to you.The only gift exchanged is sharing a meal with the people that you love. What could make for a better day? I guess some would say football. Even if you're not a sports fan, you need to realize that football isn't so bad. If everyone else is occupied, you are free to do whatever it is that you enjoy. Maybe it's getting ready for ... okay, I can mention it — Black Friday. Thanksgiving has always been the perfect time to reflect on all the people and things that make our lives great. Remember to let go of any drama and find the patience to see the blessings in spending time with your family and friends.                               I'm excited this year that I finally published my book Ryley—A Christmas Romance. It would be a fun stocking stuffer! If you have read it, I would be forever thankful if you placed a review. Here's where to get the book and/or place a review:

Housework Can Kill You- Or Just Stunt Your Personal Growth.

As I glance at my laundry room floor, I realize I've left a lot of things slide as I prepare to launch my book "Ryley" early next month. Housework has fell to the bottom of the list knowing my goal of becoming a published author is within reach. I know I should've washed my windows and done some fall cleaning this year, but reaching a personal goal somehow took precedent over everything else. I tell myself the huge pile of clothes will get washed sooner or later and if I can see through the windows enough to recognize objects outside, it will be okay. It occurred to me that housekeeping and publishing have something in common. Some people can focus on cleaning and whip through their house in no time at all. Much like authors who can amazingly get out several books each year. Although, I'm in awe of them, I realize I'm a new indie author and I move at a slower rate. I've discovered that's fine too. I believe as long as you're happy and comfortable with your humble abode and in my case also writing, it's all that matters. The key is to try and have patience while you keep moving forward. And no matter how daunting things appear, if you cut them into smaller sized pieces, it's easier to conquer them. The most important thing I've learned is to focus on your personal goals and don't compare yourself to anyone else because we all move at our own rate.                                                                                           Please continue to follow me on my writing journey as I reach a publishing milestone and launch my book "Ryley" in November. I will follow up on Facebook when and where the book will be available!  

Autumn’s Tranquil Beauty

Ready or not fall is here. I realized it was true a few weeks ago when I went fishing with my husband in Canada. Surrounded by brilliant colors, I looked around at the shoreline and felt the weight of my troubles somehow lift off my shoulders. While we quietly sat with the sun on our backs and fished, a peaceful sense of well being flooded in as the waves gently rocked the boat. I left my thoughts drift to where ever they wanted to go, making a point not to think about my current troubles or things I had to get done. I thought some about God and human nature and how everything usually turns out if you have a little faith in both. The afternoon was relaxed and calm and I left the lake feeing renewed. The fishing wasn't spectacular that day but I feel I caught something much better. Mother nature casts her spell in Autumn and everything she touches magically transforms; nature by appearance and man by state of mind—Donna Lovitz                                   I know the next few weeks are going to be a full and I need to remember that fishing day as I plan to release my first book 'Ryley' on November 5th. It's a book in a series called 'Betting on Paris' with four other authors. It's not a part of my trilogy which I plan to release in May/June of next year about sugar beet farmers. My plan is to post  a link on my website and on Facebook in the next few weeks where you can sign up to get updates about my book releases. Here's a little more about Ryley and the series:


 Sometimes the best bet is the one you lose…

Five best friends. Five promises.

     Each year in mid-August, the former college roommates meet up on a girls-only trip somewhere in the world. This year, it’s Paris, the city of museums, art and romance. One night during their vacation, the girls engage in a serious talk about the sorry state of their love lives and collectively decide they are swearing off men. Instead, each woman is intent on pursuing her life’s goal. Falling in love is the last thing on her mind!

This is Ryley’s story…

     Fresh from her girls getaway to Paris, advertising executive Ryley Sanders is ready for success. Her eye is on the director’s position at her company, and nothing is going to stand in her way. She's the golden girl of the agency and usually heads up projects solo, so when her boss hires hunky executive Matt Kantor to co-head with her on a major campaign, it puts a crucial glitch in her plans. She isn't thrilled about sharing the limelight with the new guy, especially when she wants to shine alone in the eyes of upper management. Charismatic Matt has his own ideas that have swayed their boss into siding with him on vital campaign decisions. Will Ryley learn to work with Matt—and can they keep it strictly professional?

Under Pressure

It seems most of us are under some sort of pressure in our lives. Maybe it's our jobs or it could be issues going on with our families. We all have some obligations that we would love to get away from, and some we would never consider eliminating from our lives. A close friend recently asked me why I'm trying to learn how to format my own books. I didn't tell her I am also studying the ins and outs of uploading my books to retail platforms and trying to learn more about marketing. And in between, I try to find some time to write. (I'm not what you would call computer savvy, but I'm learning) I thought about what my friend asked and came up with three reasons why I keep pushing forward: In order to publish my books, I need to learn and understand the process. I've heard from other writers that the more you do yourself, the better off you'll be in the long run. The second reason is that I've put a lot of work into my books and it doesn't make any sense to quit now. The third, and most important reason, is that I simply love to write. I've heard some writers talk about their book and it sounded like they were talking about their baby. It got me to thinking about that concept and I came up with a few similarities. As new parents, we learn how to take care of our child and gain the knowledge to do so, mostly on our own. We know from the moment our children are born, how much work they are, but quitting or giving up on them isn't an option. We do it because we love our children and want them to be the best they can be. I don't like being under pressure, but I know anything worthwhile usually involves a certain amount of stress. The next time you feel a little pressured by the things going on in your life, try and focus on the big picture. Remind yourself what your goals are and aim in that direction. Who knows? Maybe a little pressure is the push you need to get over the finish line.

Short But Sweet

I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather. This month my blog is going to be like a Minnesota summer—short but sweet. I am very busy putting the final touches on my book "Ryley." It's a Christmas book that will be out in October/November of this year. No, this isn't a typo. I'm finally going to get a book out there and I'm thrilled about it. Yes!! I believe it's a fun, fast read and I loved writing it. Here is a little more about Ryley: Executive, Ryley Sanders, is headed to the top of the advertising world. Her eye is on the executive director’s position at work and nothing is going to stand in the way of her goal. She's the golden girl of the agency and usually heads up projects solo, so when her boss hires hunky executive, Matt Kantor, to co-head with her on a major campaign, it puts a hindrance in her plans. She isn't thrilled about sharing the limelight with the new guy, especially when she wants to shine alone in the eyes of upper management. To top things off Matt has his own ideas that her boss agrees with. Will Ryley learn to work with Matt, and can they keep it strictly professional? I'm still hard at work on my trilogy and plan to publish it when I feel it's ready. Until then, I'm learning and growing with each step of this journey into the writing world. I feel if I'm pushing forward, I'm headed in the right direction. I plan to post updates on Ryley in my future blogs. This is all for now, I'm off to the woods to pick blueberries. I use a small bench to sit on while I pick because the plants are short, but the berries are deliciously sweet. I'm enjoying everything possible the summer has to offer and I hope you are too!  

The Glass: Half Full / Half Empty or Flavorless?

Someone told me summer is half over by the fourth of July. I frantically looked into how long summer is and found it runs from June 21st to September 23rd. That would make the middle of summer around August 7th. My discovery made me realize there's plenty of time to enjoy what summer has to offer. The whole half over theory got me thinking about the attitude of people when they reach age fifty. Many believe life is more than half over and technically they're right, but I think it's the flavoring we add to the remaining contents in the glass that makes the difference. If we are negative and are afraid to do anything fun, our life can get sour. If we don't forgive and hold grudges our lives will become bitter very quickly. Doing the same old thing all the time can make things bland and we all know variety is the spice of life. If we are melodramatic and tend to over react to everything that happens around us, we become salty to the rest of the world. I do believe being sweet is generally a good thing, but sometimes it isn't because there will always be people who will try to take advantage of our good nature. So what's the best all around flavor in the glass of life? Perhaps finding a delightful mixture of ingredients like: Positivity, forgiveness, diversification, calmness and kindness. Once you've added them all to your glass, don't forget to do the most important part—carefully blend them together with the spoon of love. Your glass will always be full no matter how long you live. Cheers!