It's coming. Christmas is almost here. I've created my first coloring book and it's up for sale on Amazon. Here https://amzn.to/2YPfDym. It's been a great learning experience to create something new and different.
The novel ideas are still there, but for the holidays and my recovery from an earlier surgery, I'm not pushing myself. I also have a pile of Christmas stories that require reading the next few weeks. I'm looking to Marianne Rice's "Cocoa & Carols" and Peggy Jeager's "Christmas and Cannolis". I also purchased a "Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas edition."
It's been different having my adult children in and out of the house. Our daughter was deployed over Thanksgiving - my son was home from college. Then my son went back to New Hampshire and my daughter came home from New Jersey. We want to do things as a family, but there's always someone missing.
We are lucky this year that we'll all be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! My husband, as a cop, always worked one or more of the holiday days. I know things change, but I'm glad we'll have this year.
I hope you all have an amazing holiday regardless of what you celebrate and find time to read. Don't forget to get the free coloring pages on this website.
We are in the rush to the holidays now that November has begun. Did you hear the word "rush" in there? It's an upper. Gets your blood pumping.
I'm trying really hard to not rush these days after having abdominal surgery. I'm trying to heal by sleeping and not doing too much.
Life is never easy. This month, along with Thanksgiving and Black Friday, my parents as well as my sister and brother-in-law are all moving to South Carolina. I live in Maine. It's not close.
My first comment when I heard they were considering moving was, "What about me?" We've been so close for years, only living 10 minutes apart. Holidays were easy. One Christmas we had a terrible snow storm and my brother-in-law drove over in his truck to pick us up.
Sixteen hours away will take some getting used to. This will be the first Thanksgiving that I haven't been with at least part of my immediate family.
The one benefit of having family in South Carolina is that we will have a warmer place to visit at Christmas in when the weather is crappy in Maine. Has anyone else had this issue? How did you cope with the abandonment?
Meanwhile, I've been working like a fiend on a Scouting coloring book for adults. I've been having so much creative fun. Watch for the release before the end of November, I'm hoping.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate.
Fall is such a great season in Maine. I love the crisp air, back to school rush and the smell of soccer in the air. It's been a while since I've played soccer and since my kids played for the rec league, but fall always gets me in the mood to start fresh.
This week, I've decided to declutter and organize some of my paperwork. I have more than 10 years worth of newspapers sitting in my office. I thought I'd want to keep my newspaper writing clips...I kept the whole paper.
I will say that I've been able to find pictures of friends and stories that will make people giggle, but after taking a picture, I sent the paper off to be recycled.
The stories cumulative are made up of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of words. For a writer, that's like books and books. Each article, a story in itself. I also found some short stories that were published as serials in the paper. I will be releasing those to people who sign up for my newsletter. I'm working on finding a provider to do the sign ups for this and my other website www.lifewiththebadge.com.
I'll let everyone know as soon as the story is ready to be released. It's time to get back to writing and creating. Who's ready for fall?
Summer in Maine is awesome. If you've never been here, you're missing out. We do have our hot, humid days, but those are BEACH DAYS!
I let July slip by without saying hello. Summer is all about hanging out by the water, campfires with friends and sunshine browning up our Maine skin. Here, our son is home from college working at the local swimming hole, and our daughter was home for six days before she returned to Arizona for work. She'll return to us again mid-August. Just in time to enjoy the rest of the summer.
Writing has taken a back seat to learning and getting content up on my new blog www.LifewiththeBadge.com, wisdom from my 25-year career as a police officer's wife. If you've ever wondered where my cop book ideas come from...now you'll know. There is so much fodder for the imagination in the police world.
I'm working on editing a book to submit to publishers titled "Annie Get Your Gun." It's about a competitive shooter and how she comes to find love and herself.
It's time to get back out there in the sunshine. It's 91 degrees, maybe it's a pool day.
We all go though those moments of doubt as to what we should be doing with our lives. Where am I being called? Can I make a living doing that? What is my passion? I spent four hours yesterday with an accountability group called Wayfinders. It's through my church and is the second time I've been a part of a group like this. There are four of us and our mentor. We are digging deep trying to discover where we belong in this crazy world.
All of us are pseudo-emptynesters. Our children are off at college or on their own. We are no longer dealing with the day to day care of these humans and it makes us flounder a bit with our directions.
Of course, for me, creativity and writing is always in the forefront. I love creating characters, entertaining and knowing that my books are out there.
We are working through our past to discover where our future lies. (I'm hoping mine lies on the open road.) Having accountability, someone or many someones checking on my progress, keeps me moving forward toward my big goal. I use small steps to reach the goal line.
The same thing happens with my critique group. They keep me moving forward and making my book the best it can be though weekly Skype calls.
We all need some form of accountability. Who is your accountability partner?
As always, email me at AuthorMichelleLibby@gmail.com with thoughts, comments or ideas.
Sometimes you can't see the trees through the forest. Your goal is a straight line to the finish with no obstacles. I'll start writing a book, but reality sets in and there are dips, turns and trees everywhere. Which way to do think would be most satisfying, once you achieve your goal?
It might seem satisfying to reach the end quickly. Or, it might be nice to know that you've overcome all obstacles on the way to the finish, making looking back over your journey seem like a greater accomplishment.
I saw this when my son became an Eagle Scout and they read the poem of Eagle Mountain. The Scout climbs and climbs to the top of the mountain. He has learned many lessons and earned awards along the way. Now that he has reached the top he looks around to see that there are so many more mountains in the distance that are ready to be climbed by him.
His journey looks more like the reality line in the picture.
As with writing, the journey is never easy and authors are always changing directions to get their books in front of more people or changing their genres to shake things up. I am not changing anything drastic. I am working on developing a plan, setting goals and actually meeting them. It's not an easy thing to do, but I'm anxious to move forward with a few projects.
I look forward to hearing from you at AuthorMichelleLibby@gmail.com. Have a great May and I hope the weather warms up for those of us up North.
Here we are in April...already. It was 72 degrees yesterday, and so many people were out walking with their dogs on a community trail. The warm air makes me excited to get outside and play.
As you can see, if you visit me on Amazon, Breaking the Story has been released. It's a pretty quick read for those times when you're waiting for kids to finish spring practice. Check it out with the link below.
My husband has taken off for a week during his retirement to travel with the Scouts to Gettysburg and Washington DC.
My daughter has returned from Mammoth Lakes, California. (See picture left.) And, now has orders to head to Barrow, Alaska. I love living through her adventures. It gives me ideas for future novels and characters. I've always wanted to visit Alaska. Debbie Macomber's Christmas books were set there and romanticized it so much. Alas, this year probably won't be when we'll travel to Alaska, but I won't rule it out later.
I'm working on a few other projects that I can't wait to share with you.
I look forward to hearing from you. Sign up for the newsletter, which I will be working on in my free time.
I'm on a mission to get my previous books up on Amazon. New, flashy covers, updated stories and sultry romance. Have you had a chance to check out "Two if by Sea"? Love that one. The next story on Amazon is "Breaking the Story", which is available now. I'll have a link below.
This is a busy month at the Libby household. Spring break for the boy, retirement for the hero, and the daughter is off to California for work. However, it's not the California you read about. She'll be trapped in the mountains where the nearest Walmart is 5 hours away and it looks like the surface of the moon. Actually, she'll be right near a dormant volcano. Mom's not freaking out...
I'm planning a retirement party, editing my book "Annie Get Your Gun" and trying to keep all the balls in the air.
I look forward to hearing from you. Sign up for the newsletter, which I will be working on in my free time.
Last Thursday I arrived at the stadium at Windham High School moments before the varsity boys soccer team started their game. I was still walking to the bleachers when everyone stood for the National Anthem. I always like to see what happens when the music begins to play. Would the people walking in front of me stop, would people take off their hats and put their hands over their hearts?
On that day there were many teams practicing on the fields around the stadium. The football teams were loud as they ran their drills. The night was full of fall excitement, the smells from the snack bar made my mouth water and I was excited to watch the game.
What happened next would make my friend Fred Collins very proud.
I stopped in my spot as the patriotic music played. I faced the flag and put my hand over my heart. I glanced around and everyone had stopped. The music echoed across the fields and then I realized that the football players had all stopped. I lifted my sunglasses with my free hand to get a better look.
The entire football practice had stopped what they were doing and turned to face the flag. The birds chirped in time with the music and I got goosebumps.
This is the America I love, the one worth fighting for. This is where we come together as a nation, republican, democrat, black, white, gay, straight, we all stand and salute the flag of our country together.
When an entire town within hearing distance of that song stops to show respect, that is not a night I will soon forget. The team may have lost, but in the end the memory of that game will be more about the minutes before the game, then the actual game.
The playing of the National Anthem isn’t required as far as I know, but it’s an amazing tradition that I’m glad Windham participates in. It says to anyone visiting our town that “We are Windham, but most importantly, we are Americans.”
I spent the day on Tuesday with my husband and 170 others listening to Dr. Kevin Gilmartin discuss emotional survival for law enforcement and first responders, which are your fire fighters, dispatchers, correction officers and the spouses of these people. Dr. Gilmartin was funny, poignant and hit a lot of nails on the head.
He was a police officer and retired from a department out west. He then went on to become an expert on psychological issues relating to police officers. From the 80 percent of police officers who develop Type 2 diabetes, to those who don’t sleep more than four hours a night, officers need an intervention.
It was interesting to see how the officers reacted because if you know anything about police officers, they don’t normally like psychologists or anyone who might psychoanalyze them. But when Gilmartin reeled them in with jokes about new officers versus seasoned officers versus firefighters, laughter eased the tension. The more Gilmartin spoke the more I was able to see some of his teaching in the people around me on a daily basis.
He talked about people who are hypervigilant or people who see themselves as victims in their every day life. Those are the people who find something wrong, it might not be anything important in the grand scheme of things, but it to them, it’s do or die. The color of the table cloth in the lunch room has always been red and someone changes it to be green and they freak out and they continue to freak out over and over again.
These are people who are too close to what they do for their job. They need more perspective and more activities that get them into a different frame of mind. Then the table cloth color won’t matter, because really, it doesn’t.
Not having control makes people feel like they are victims. At work, the boss controls your time, your job description and pretty much everything about your day. To make people feel less like victims, they need to get involved in things were there is more perceived control. Where what they do is completely their decision.
Did you know that high demand plus low control equals stress? Think about what you do. If you have a high demand job with low control, don’t you feel stress, like the rug could be pulled out from under you at any moment?
To have a better life, engage and invest in thing that you can control. Redecorate, join a sports team, learn a trade. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Be happy and healthy. For more on Dr. Gilmartin, visit www.emotionalsurvival.com.
About the author
Michelle Libby writes about love, sex, life and happily ever afters, while keeping up with her adult children and finding new projects to fall in love with. Have you seen the coloring books?