I’m Grateful for You

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for each and every one of you who stops by to visit this blog. I wish you a wonderful day filled with so many blessings and the gift of friendship and love!

Today we’ll all be trekking to the in-laws for Thanksgiving lunch. Then it’s back to writing that holiday novella that was due last year, but only as long as I don’t get distracted by the next shiny thing… oh, look! A new story idea! A new pen name! A new way to kill time instead of write!

How’s your day going?

#teasertuesday: “That’s My Personal Number”

“Have dinner with me, Alannah,” he says before looking around us. “Somewhere more private than this.”

“That would be a mistake, Parker, and you know it. We didn’t really end on good terms.” And that would be putting it mildly. How long did it take me to pick up the pieces after he said what we had was over?

“Have dinner with me anyway.” He pulls out a card and a pen from his breast pocket, writes something down on the back of it, and slides it across the table toward me. “That’s my personal cell phone number.”

“Parker–”

His beeper buzzes then and he takes the last bite of his bacon. “I’ve got a meeting in five minutes. I hate to leave you but–”

“I know the drill, so no need to apologize,” I say as he gets up from the table. “I’ll be fine.”

He glances at his card, still on the table. “Think about dinner and call me. In fact, just call me. We need to talk.”

I almost tell him we really have nothing left to talk about but by the time I find the words, Parker has left the table. He’s also managed to undo me… again.

Some Me Time and The Good Liar

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Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Today I finally got some “me” time. This after my “me” time yesterday was ruined by H saying he had to be at his mother’s house at 1 to help them clean-whatever-room-that-needed-to-be-cleaned-flip-their-mattress-I-have-no-clue and would I keep an eye on the kid instead for the whole afternoon?

Reluctantly I did, taking him with me an hour before H was supposed to leave to my NaNoWriMo Write-in at the library only to end it an hour later because the kid got all sugared up from all the cookies and I had to take him on a hike afterward. I barely even wrote a single paragraph because half the time I kept getting up every time he got up to go to the bathroom (four times) or into the library to find a book (he found two).

Who can blame the kid? There’s really nothing fun about being in a room full of strangers just sitting there typing out their stories, right? I mean, he did try.

When LilDude said he wanted to stop by his grandparents’ house afterward, I found out that H didn’t even show up at all. H then figured that take-out of my favorite Thai Chicken pizza would do to calm me down. H swears he called his parents and they didn’t answer and so… he found himself with an afternoon off.

Good for him.

So last night I bought myself a ticket to see The Good Liar starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. I didn’t care if I was buying a single ticket for this morning’s first showing. I didn’t go through my friends list to see if anyone would come with me. I didn’t even consider it.

I just needed ME time. Uninterrupted at that.

It almost didn’t happen.

After H woke up late and wanted to go out and get his coffee before I left and have Siri direct me to the wrong location for ten straight minutes as the showing time came and went, I almost missed seeing it.

But I finally did see THE GOOD LIAR, thanks to the last ten minutes of trailers that were playing. Come to think of it, it was also my first movie this year.

Yes, you read that right. My first movie. This. Year.

And you know what? It was glorious.

If you ever get the chance to see a movie this week, make it THE GOOD LIAR. The storytelling is impeccable and Mirren and McKellen were just amazing. And boy, do I miss seeing movies like this. I miss it I miss it I miss it.

I also miss enjoying my own time again, reclaiming it instead of constantly giving it away without realizing I’m running on empty or worse, borrowing time from tomorrow.

But when you really think about it. All I had to do yesterday and today was say no. I really need to have to tattoo the word NO on my arm so I’ll see it every single day.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a great weekend.

And go see THE GOOD LIAR.

 

Celebrating my New Release with a Giveaway and Some Balance!

Graphic featuring ebook, paperback, and Amazon gift card

I wish I planned things better but it’s better late than never, right? So one day after the release of my latest book OTHER SIDE OF LOVE, I’m celebrating with a giveaway!

To enter, just click on the image above or this link. And good luck!

I had a really good reason for being late, actually. I spent yesterday morning walking with a dear friend, feeding ducks, and catching up on things. Jackie used to be my walking buddy until I simply dropped off the face of the earth this year… basically burnout and other stuff.

But I’m back on the schedule and tomorrow I get to attend my first Tai-chi class! It’s the balance I desperately need after the imbalance of the last year and I may even have found my sweet spot as far as writing goes. Instead of sitting at my desk for hours at a time only to end up spending most of that time surfing the Internet, I get up at around six in the morning and write for about an hour. No checking email or opening the browser. Just me and my Ulysses app putting down the words.

Then at seven or so, I get up from my desk and start making breakfast for the LilDude. After I drop him off at school, I then go for my walk and then run errands. Then when I return home from the walk or errands, I sit down and write for another hour. Maybe I’ll spend that hour doing marketing/promotion stuff. Maybe some personal stuff like renewing my passport or whatever, but I’ve been more mindful about my time since I felt like myself again in the last two weeks. I’ve even reached out to people to let them know I’m back.

It’s the balance I need and so far, it’s going good. I’m going to be printing out the schedule soon and laminating it, just like I laminate my kid’s schedule! Who knew I need those things more than he does?!

Who knows?! I might even finally delegate!

 

Other Side of Love is LIVE!

I’m combining #teasertuesday with a #newrelease post today because… well, why not?! I’ll also keep it short and sweet!

If you like your contemporary romance with family life and emotional angst, then Sarah and Benny’s got your number. Here’s the blurb with the links to major retailers.

Half-Navajo Benny Turner has lived his life straddling two worlds, never quite feeling he belongs to either one without constantly having to prove himself.

But just when he decides to settle down on the reservation for good, he runs into Sarah Drexel, the only woman he’s always wanted but convinced himself he could never have… until now.

Duty or love? Which one will he choose?

AMAZON ➭ https://geni.us/RPsOtk

IBOOKS ➭ https://geni.us/NzGS32

NOOK ➭ https://geni.us/4oG6

KOBO ➭ https://geni.us/dpwOAN

Hold Up! Look Who’s Got a New Book Coming Out in Four Days!

Photo collage for Other Side of Love Novel

Yup, that’s me!

Other Side of Love is finally uploaded and waiting for release day on November 12! It’s also available on most platforms (iBooks, Amazon, Nook, and Kobo) and all you have to do is select the retailer when you click this link to preorder.

As some of you reading this blog know, I’ve been dealing with some pretty dark stuff that affected my creativity and my peace of mind. For the past seven months, I didn’t realize how deep I was processing a friend’s decision to do something that went against everything I believed in until I realized I had to stop listening (and not saying anything) to doing something about it. And that’s exactly what I did. It resulted in the end of our friendship and me walking away completely. Nineteen years of friendship gone.

I should be sad and in a way, I was. But after that moment passed, I looked at the lessons learned for that experience taught me many things.

It taught me to reclaim my time and my life and my peace of mind. My conscience, most of all. It taught me to accept that I did everything I could at the expense of my emotional and physical health but also to accept the outcome, good or bad.

It was a huge lesson and one I’m not going to forget. It means me guarding my personal space, physical, emotional, spiritual from this moment forward. It means standing up for what I believe in and no longer questioning my gut feeling day in and day out. It means trusting myself and ridding myself of toxic energy and people, even if they happen to be a “best” friend. It means knowing it’s okay to say no and walk away.

It means finally taking care of myself and the ones I love.

So… TLDR; I’m back and I’ve got a new book coming out in four days! And boy, am I excited!

How about you? How’s your day going?

 

Lessons My Father Taught Me (or What Almost Was a Restaurant Review)

Tonight, I took LilDude to a new Filipino restaurant that just opened. He’s actually not into Filipino food but in the spirit of “adventure” and trying something new aka just get tf out of the house for a change, he agreed to go with me. I always tell him we need to support local business and this place has been on my to-do list since they did their “soft open” two or so weeks ago.

Well, turns out I overhyped the place in my head.

I’ve never been so disappointed in a $42 (including 20% tip – I don’t remember what the details were because they didn’t give me a receipt) dinner of glass noodles with mushroom and chicken nuggets coated with potato flour and cornstarch that was so dry you could still see the cornstarch… or was it the potato flour? I could have forgiven the food being so blah if the service wasn’t terrible.

Those square plates and the silverware? You have to get them yourself from a table in the front. I wasn’t expecting much but I also wasn’t expecting a serve-yourself experience when it came to the silverware and napkins.

When the owners pay more, if not all their attention to their friends instead of strangers who walk off the street willing to try them out, that’s terrible service. The owner never even said hello to us. He spent the last five minutes we spent there talking to his friends. All he had to do was turn to us and ask us how we were doing. But no, the whole time only one person asked us in two seconds if everything was okay before turning all her attention to the table where all their friends were having dinner.

My son wasn’t thrilled about the small piece of chicken I put on his plate. He played with his food the whole time while I did my best to be objective. But then, I did twist his arm to come with me so I can’t blame him for not being too thrilled.

I did realize that I’d suddenly become a food critic because I had no choice. Was I enjoying the food? No. Was I liking the ambiance and the DIY setup? Not really. Did the employees look like they didn’t want to be there? From the lack of the barest hint of a smile from the guy behind the Square register, yes. Was the lack of attention from the staff becoming glaringly obvious with each passing minute? Hell, yeah.

When we walked out of the place, no one said thank you or even acknowledged us at all. Since you pay first before getting your food, I guess it’s understandable but once we got in the car, I suddenly remembered my father who died five years ago. I had a What-Would-My-Father-Do (WWMFD) moment and without hesitation, I demonstrated to my son that this is what his late grandfather would have done had he owned or ran that restaurant.

My father would have walked around the place and checked on each table. He would have introduced himself and asked the guests if everything was okay, or if they were enjoying the food. Most of all, he would have THANKED THEM for coming in and giving his little place a try. He would have done all this with his usual wide grin that could light up any room. He would have made every single person there feel SEEN and HEARD.

While I know not everyone is like my dad, a little effort would have made a difference today. I just know I’ve never felt so disappointed not because the food was mediocre but because we were mostly ignored.

But at the same time, I’m also grateful.

It made me remember my father and the things he taught me. Finish everything on your plate. Be grateful for what you have. Don’t be afraid to pursue what you want. Love what you do and treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated. Most of all, listen.

This is the last sunset I enjoyed with my father in 2008. We were waiting for the last boat that would take us from the island where he lived to the main city of Davao (where President Duterte used to be Mayor before he was elected President). I remember how intense the colors were, something the camera could never capture. It makes sunsets bittersweet for me, but it also brings back the lessons he taught me.