Saturday Night Serenade–Happy New Year!

It’s been a weird year.  And I mean, no matter your politics, no matter your generation or your gender, it’s been weird.  In some ways, I’m glad it’s coming to an end.  The only thing is, what could 2018 possibly bring?  It’s scary as hell.

Growing up in the 70s, I heard people talking about the generation gap.  I can remember being out and about, seeing ‘hippy-dippies,’ as my dad would call them.  With their long hair, bell-bottom jeans, and endorsement of ‘free love,’ they just seemed to experience life in a different way from my straight-laced, clean-cut parents.

These days, glaring differences abound between folks of my generation and the new one.  Let’s be honest.  Millennials can be fucking annoying, with their tiny homes and their organic beetroot lattes.  I know.  I raised two of them.  Nevermind that Mr. R and I recently got on the kombucha wagon.  That’s a story for another day.

But what I love about millennials is their gleefully optimistic dedication to the idea that anything is possible.  This year, I want to embrace that belief.  Because they’re right.

I’m not saying that I can suddenly become Joan Jett if I just believe hard enough.  The kids aren’t saying that, either.  What they’re saying is that it’s possible to make the world a better place.  And we start with the person staring back at us from the mirror in the gender-neutral restroom of the organic farm co-op.

Tonight’s song, This is the New Year by A Great Big World, embodies the exuberance I want to carry into 2018.  A better world isn’t going to trickle down from on high.  It starts with me.  And you.

So what will we do?  Let’s start by hugging those we love, and branching out from there.  Mr. R and I lift our glasses in a toast to a better world in 2018.  Happy Saturday night!

“This Is The New Year”

Another year you made a promise
Another chance to turn it all around
And do not save this for tomorrow
Embrace the past and you can live for nowAnd I will give the world to you

Speak louder than the words before you
And give them meaning no one else has found
The role we play is so important
We are the voices of the underground

And I would give the world to you

Say everything you’ve always wanted
Be not afraid of who you really are
Cause in the end we have each other
And that’s at least one thing worth living for

And I would give the world to you

A million suns that shine upon me
A million eyes you are the brightest blue
Lets tear the walls down that divide us
And build a statue strong enough for two

I pass it back to you
And I will wait for you
Cause I would give the world
And I would give the world
And I would give the world to you

This is the new year
A new beginning
You made a promise
You are the brightest
We are the voices

This is the new year
We are the voices
This is the new year

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Saturday Night Serenade–Merry Christmas!

We’re here.  It’s Christmas Eve Eve.  And it’s all done.  Gifts are purchased, wrapped, shipped off to who knows where.  Decorating is finished.

If you ask me, that’s the beauty of Christmas falling on a Monday.  Now all that’s left to do is relax and enjoy.

I promised to be more grown up this week.  I’ve pulled a beautiful video of Bing Crosby singing a beautiful song.  I cannot tell a lie.  For whatever reason, I’d never heard this song until the year, over 25 years ago now, when we moved to Florida between Christmas and New Years.  Publix, known for their tear-jerker holiday ads, was running a commercial featuring The Christmas Waltz, and I fell in love with it.

Tonight’s second song is a powerful, rock-anthem rendition of a traditional favorite by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Their Carol of the Bells is beautiful, but can you imagine living next door to this family?  Holy cow!

There have been countless recordings of this third song.  It’s really a Christmas Eve staple.  The beauty of Josh Groban’s version of O Holy Night gives me chills, it’s so amazing.

And…
Because I can’t resist…
One final, perhaps slightly less than grown up song, I leave you with the Dropkick Murphy’s and The Season’s Upon Us.  What can I say?  They put the fun in ‘dysfunctional’.

May your holiday be happy and bright, and may you enjoy a peaceful Christmas surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!  And Merry Christmas from the Rs!

Saturday Night Serenade–Heartbeat

That was unexpected.  Who realized that we’d feel the hole we do with the loss this week of David Cassidy?  He hasn’t seemed relevant in years.

David Cassidy was my first celebrity crush.  When I was in second grade, I utterly adored him.  I watched every minute of every episode of The Partridge Family.  I had all their albums, and I knew every word to every song.  Against her better judgement, my mother allowed me to subscribe to Tiger Beat Magazine, and I read it faithfully for years.

Following his teen idol days, Cassidy struggled with personal demons of addiction, and of finding his place in the universe.  More recently, he retreated from public life with the announcement that he was suffering from dementia.  Which is heartbreaking, really.

This morning, I saw that his daughter, by his side at the end, was sharing his last words.  “So much wasted time.”

Well, that will make you stop and think.  I wondered what he was thinking about, but I know where it fits into my own life.  Maybe if we hold onto that takeaway, his heartbeat still continues.

I hope you’re seizing every moment this holiday weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Thinking Out Loud

Ready or not, it’s the holiday season.  Seems like as soon as the Trick or Treaters trotted home with their sugar-inducing haul, retailers shifted into holiday mode.  Like aging rocker Billy Mack says, “Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling grows.”

But first, here in the States, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving this Thursday.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love the way the aroma of turkey roasting in the oven permeates the whole house.  I love to watch the Macy’s parade on television, especially the Broadway performances on the street right in front of the store.  I love the roll-out of classic holiday movies, like Love Actually.

More than that, though, I appreciate having a reminder to be thankful for all the ways I’m blessed.  And I am.  I’m a lucky girl.  I’m healthy, I have a great home, this year I walked away from a job I hated to live the dream of being a full-time writer.

On the domestic front, having survived a season in hell, I’m living my happily-ever-after with a man who loves me more than life itself.  When I first heard Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, I thought of us, and how thankful I am that we found each other.  Here’s a little snippet of the lyrics.

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So, honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our lives aren’t perfect.  We worry about finances.  We have two out of three collective adult children who currently aren’t speaking to us (gotta love millennials).  But we have each other, and we’re a great team.  And so I’m thankful.

Just thinking out loud.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be sure and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s your old Uncle Billy.

 

Saturday Night Serenade–It’s My Birthday!

I’ve always loved October.  It’s fall.  In many places, the weather is cooler.  The leaves are starting to change.  And I mean, what kid doesn’t love Halloween?  Plus…my birthday is in October.  Today, to be precise.  And you know what?  I’m feeling good.

In the past year, I’ve walked away from a career that was increasingly becoming unbearable.  With support and encouragement from my love, I’ve plunged into the deep end, embracing writing as my full-time career.  And I’ve published two new books, bringing my bibliography to eight, with the next two on the horizon.  I’m literally living the dream.

This song by Nina Simone pretty much sums it up.  And incidentally, Nina Simone is a nominee for this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees.  If you haven’t voted yet, make sure you do.

I hope you’re feeling good, too.  Be sure to hug the ones you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Birds flyin’ high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
Yeah, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, ooooooooh
And I’m feelin’ goodFish in the sea, you know how I feel
River runnin’ free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
And I’m feelin’ goodDragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun, you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done: that’s what I mean
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me

Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Oh, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me

And I’m feelin’… good

Saturday Night Serenade–It’s a Big Week

Six years ago October 2, in a delightfully weird ceremony conducted by a dear friend who happens to be a dotty little Wiccan, my love and I exchanged vows and became Mr. and Mrs. R.  It was not the first rodeo for either of us, but it’s our last.  I often refer to him as my ‘happily-ever-after’.

I’m so excited, because tonight we have a late reservation at a chichi local restaurant.  We’re going to get all gussied up and go out to celebrate all that we have together.

The traditional gift for the sixth anniversary is iron.  That presented me with a dilemma.  Last year was easy–the fifth anniversary is wood.  Or, as I like to refer to it, the gift that keeps on giving.

I briefly considered a new cast-iron skillet.  After all, he’s the chef in our house.  It didn’t seem like a very good anniversary gift, though.  So again, I searched and searched.  Finally, Google came through for me.  I ordered a mermaid handcrafted of iron to sit on the shelf over his desk.  A Navy man from way back, Mr. R has a thing for mermaids.

I also ordered a bottle of good Kentucky bourbon, because, well, it’s a great gift.  But shhh!  Don’t tell him.  😉

Also happening this week, my eighth book launches on Tuesday, October 3.  This is the first new one since I started writing full-time, and I’m really excited about it.

The third book in the Dream Dominant series, it’s about red-haired submissive Jessi Crenshaw, whose husband Graham dies unexpectedly.

But it seems that he had in inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protege in the Lifestyle, Dominant firefighter Judd Farris, to look out for Jessi until she gets back on her feet.

A platonic Dom/sub relationship–it’s unconventional.  But Judd’s determined to keep his promise to his friend.  Could it be that Graham had more in mind that merely a temporary solution?

FOR SPARROW has been available for the pre-order sale price of 99¢ for the last month, and will continue to be through Oct. 3.  My purpose is to have it hit Amazon like a bomb on release day, and I’ve set a goal of 100 pre-orders.  If you’d consider placing a pre-order, I’d be forever grateful.  Here’s the link: books2read.com/ForSparrow

I’ve been pushing hard these last few weeks, but tonight, it’s all about the really important things.  I hope you’re spending the evening with those you love.  Hug them and let them know how much they mean to you.

Happy Saturday night!