The New Year – Keeping it moving

This year, I’m not going to set any resolutions like I have in the past because most of them would remain the same. Not for lack of progress, but simply because I want to continue to build upon what I have accomplished thus far. I want to be healthier, to travel more than I already have, and write more. Those items haven’t changed from last year. What has changed is my perspective on those items.

Healthier is no longer this unobtainable goal that I quit trying for halfway through the year. It’s a constant effort for the rest of my life to work on my crazy eating habits and chocolate addiction. Every little step I take towards becoming healthier is a feat.

I’ve traveled to one new place this year, a mountain resort nearby for my daughter’s birthday. It wasn’t my favorite trip by far, but gladly, we were able to take a mini vacation to the beach with family over the summer to make up for it. I want to continue to travel and see new places, even if they are close to home.

Lastly, I want to write! But when don’t I? I have the sequel to Guardians going through the editing process for publishing sometime in Spring 2019, and the third installment set for completion sometime in late Summer 2019. I have other ideas to explore, blogs and articles to write. I just love doing it, so continue on I will.

So, these really aren’t resolutions anymore. They’ve kind of become my new way of being. I will carry on and build upon my accomplishments because it’s what I want out of life, not just one year in the midst of a century.

My Taxi Ride to Buckhead – Atlanta, GA

I had never been so infuriated in my life! I had just stepped off a plane and made my way through the Atlanta Airport to the taxi lane. I was directed to the curb to stand under number two when a driver pulled forward. I only had my carry-on and a jacket on my arm, unsure of what the weather would be in Atlanta after leaving a dark, cold, and drizzling D.C. My weather app showed sunny and sixty, but if it were windy, I thought I might need the extra cover. Not so. It was a beautiful day.

Anyway, the driver doesn’t get out, doesn’t even roll down his window, so I step to the back driver side door and pull the handle. The driver doesn’t move to unlock the doors, so I tap on the window of the passenger door, trying to get his attention. The doors are still locked as the driver looks back at me then hesitates before pushing the unlock button.

I pull the door open, push my bag onto the seat next to me as the driver asks where I was going with a very Cajun accent. I missed what he said the first time, so I say, “I’m sorry, what?”

He raises his voice and asks again, and I can just make out his words. I tell him I’m going to the Grand Hyatt and give him the address. He asks if that is in Downtown, and I say I’m not sure and give him the address again. He flicks his wrist at me and says OK before taking off down a highway.

If I had thought traffic in DC was bad, I knew nothing about the traffic in Atlanta! Wow, how congested the interstates become at all hours of the day.

The driver sped over thoroughfares with the windows down, blowing cool air over my face and my hair in every direction but straight. We head straight towards the skyscraper buildings including one covered at its peak in gold. D.C. has huge buildings, but seeing these out of the context of an area I have lived in all my life has me in awe.

The driver speeds through yellow lights, almost running down a pedestrian as he yells out the window some obscenities I don’t understand with his accent. He finally slows down and makes a sharp left turn, sending my luggage flying across the backseat and smacking against the opposite door. He stops abruptly at the Hyatt Regency and says in his heavy accent, “Payment, please.”

I lean forward and take a look at the hotel in front of us and shake my head. My gut is telling me to get out of the car and ask the hotel to arrange for my transportation to my real lodging, but I don’t want my work to have to pay for two modes of transportation for what should be one trip. I’m stubborn, I know.

“I’m staying at the Grand Hyatt, not the Hyatt Regency.”

He said, “The other Hyatt is in Buckhead. You said Downtown!”

His anger fuels mine, and I snap back. “I have no idea where I’m at, and I gave you the address.”

“You wasted my time!” He yells.

I’m travel weary, hungry, and tired. I just want to get to my hotel room and relax, so now I’m shaking with my anger, on the verge of tears and raise my voice back. “Do you want me to get out?”

He quickly reverts back to his soft spoken accent. “No, I’ll take you there.”

Before I have a chance to stay anything else, he slams on the gas and peels out of the hotel parking lot back, heading back to the interstate. I fall back into my seat and stare out the window, my anger still hot in my veins.

As the heat wanes, I seriously begin to contemplate my safety in a vehicle with a strange man who obviously was angry with me, so I pull up my Maps app and make sure we are heading in the right direction this time. Sounds silly now looking back, but I’ve watched too much Law and Order not to be concerned about an angry taxi driver.

I take pictures of windows which show which cab I’m in, what number to call for questions or comments about your trip, and the rates for every trip type for the metropolitan area. I have every intention of calling about his behavior, but I never do.

We finally pull up to the Grand Hyatt after fighting more traffic, and the driver holds out his hand. I roll my eyes and place my card in it. I grab my stuff and step out of the car, desperate to be done with the horrible transportation.

He rolls down his window, hands me my card, and asks me to finger sign his tablet. I follow his instructions, moving through prompts for a tip and contemplate not giving one, but guilt pangs me. I hand back the tablet, and just as he is putting the car back in gear, I ask for a receipt.

He huffs as he hands the tablet back to me and says, “Put your email in.” I do and send myself the receipt. As I hand back the tablet and turn to walk away, he yells out the window, “No tip?”

I turn back to his window disgusted now that I did put one on my tab. “There is a tip.”

“OK,” is all he says before he speeds away, coming close to running my toes over.

I shake my head and grab my rolling luggage as the past thirty minutes douse me with a mixture of anxiety, anger, and disgust. The look on my face must have shown it all as I stood in the middle of the guest transportation drive. The concierge steps up to me with a big smile and asks if he can take my bag. I fight back tears as my emotions begin to dissipate and try to smile back with a nod.

The concierge guides me to the check-in desk and asks how my travel was, and I can’t help my honesty.

“Horrible.”

He looks back at me with an apologetic smile, somehow putting me at ease almost immediately. “Well, hopefully your stay here will be a better experience. If you need anything, please let me know.”

I nod again as I step up to the counter. “Thank you. I may take you up on that for my trip back to the airport.”

One of the worst experiences I have ever had in a taxi was in Atlanta, but I refused to allow it taint my trip while I was there. I enjoyed CAPstone 2018 and every other part of my Atlanta journey. Those are the memories I keep, and now that I have vented this disaster taxi ride, I can forget it ever happened. However, I will stick to Uber or Lyft for transportation from now on.

Last Day: Alyeska – Free Ebook on Amazon

alyeskacoverFinal call to all looking for their next book boyfriend or armchair adventure! Download your free copy of Alyeska on Amazon today! Hurry quick, this deal is just about gone. Grab your ebook and snuggle up!

Alyeska is a second chance romance for Ben and Kayleigh. Born and raised in the deep South of Texas, Kayleigh knew nothing about real snow and a winter breeze that can cut through you, but her journey to the tundra of Alaska was about more than a ski trip on the fresh powder. After a painful past, this weekend adventure was supposed to put her back into the world of dating. She’s determined to do it! Only she never imaged having to face her dark memories so soon. It shouldn’t have happened this way. It shouldn’t feel like a repeat! Then a voice, the most miraculously commanding voice she has ever heard echoed through her mind and rescued her from another horrid memory. He saved her, but Kayleigh will soon find out, he needs saving, too.

Would you like to read the first two chapters of Alyeska? Click me!

This is not a New Year’s Resolution!

I repeat, this is not a New Year’s resolution! I am posting this the day after New Year’s for that very specific reason. 

While for some people, resolutions work well, for more than most, the connotation surrounding these yearly proclamations is destined to fail. There is just something about the tradition that sets people to either give up or lose focus halfway through the year and result in failure. I’m not saying everyone, so if you made a or multiple resolutions this year, best of luck to you, and I wholeheartedly hope you succeed. I, on the other hand, will not be partaking in this tradition because we have all seen how mine have gone over the years.

I’m sure I have made in painstakingly clear by now that I am not calling these resolutions, I have made a few promises to myself that just so happened to fall at the beginning of this year. 

I will publish my next novel. I want to have a new novel out before summer which shouldn’t be too difficult as I am almost done with it.

I will go back on my diet, the one I was on before I got pregnant, and I will get back to a healthy weight that I am happy with. I’m really not focusing on any certain number, but more how happy I feel in my own skin again. As long as the number keeps going down throughout this journey, my focus will be being more happy and healthy.

I will travel this year with two specific locations I’m already thinking of. Both are places I have never been, but one will take a little more doing than another.

And, finally, I will no longer allow anyone to influence my mood or feelings. There are certain people that truly matter in my life and others who either shouldn’t matter or are choosing not to matter. I will not allow anyone who doesn’t want to be part of my life, nor anyone who shouldn’t have any impact on my life stress or agitate me answer much as I can help anymore.

I’m making myself laugh now as I reread this because it sounds dangerously close to a New Year’s resolution, but I think the difference is that these are realities I know are possible. It all comes down to how willing I am to make them happen.

Chasing the sun

I’ve chased the sun from one end of the world to the next.

I’ve skipped time over the varying parts of the world.

Does it make me well versed?

Does it mean I am younger?

I’ve chased the sun on the horizon for so long.

I’ve chased the insatiable need for a new day everyday.

I’ve forgotten the millions of stars which light the night.

I’ve forgotten the possibility of uncertainty in darkness.

I’ve chased the sun for so many years, I’ve forgotten the serenity of twilight.

Wedding Time! Pt. 5

Every last minute detail is in place for the ceremony and reception, and we are all trying to calmly get ourselves ready. Nerves are on edge as we make ourselves over and do up our hair, but none of it seems real. Just another day of getting ready for a brunch outing or night out with the girls until the fake eyelashes are glued in place. 

We had locked the bride away from the groom since the night before, and it is clear she isn’t happy. She wanted to be out and organizing, decorating, and cooking, but we stuck to tradition. To try and ease her anxiousness, we wait on her hand and foot, pour her mimosas, and work on her hair and makeup. 

The photographer arrives, and we race to get our dresses on. She takes pictures of the boys first, thankfully, as we pin the final touches to the bride.

My longest known friend who has been there for me through so many stages of my life is dawned in white, a beautifully beaded gown with lace and sparkle. She beams the biggest smile I have ever seen touch her lips, and I know she is ready to become a Mrs.

We pair off with our groomsmen and bounce on our toes at the end of aisle. We all titter with excitement as the music plays and we slowly saunter down the bridge and to the white cloth covered runner. The groomsman I walk with saves me from tripping, but I dont think amyone notices but me. All eyes are dry and full of happiness until the music changes.

My best friend walks down the aisle in the middle of the Rio Grande running over the Rockies toward her always and forever. Her soon-to-be husband stares at her in awe while tears well in his eyes. The moment he reaches up to wipe a tear away, the entire wedding venue breaks into sobs.

The vows are promised, short and sweet, the rings are exchanged and placed on their forever home, and they kissed happily ever after, but first, the reception!

The first dance is to a throwback, Crazy Love, sung by the best man, and it is perfect! The mother and son dance is to You Raise Me Up, and everyone is crying again. A surprise dance is next, and it’s with the bride and her mom to I’ll Be There For You, and I’m hysterical! I have known this girl for so long and her mom is in so many memories, too. Through the young years when we needed rules, to our teenage rules when we broke them, through adulthood when we missed them, her mom had always been there.

I was a sobbing mess!

By the time we got to eat, through the heartfelt speeches, and on to the night full of dancing, every moment was a memory. Every minute I will keep in my heart as another treasure in the long line of moments I already hold dear.

This beautiful bride allowed me to not only be part of her special day, but her exceptional life, and I cannot wait to where the next adventure takes her. From Virginia to Colorado, all the way to the moon, I will always be there for her, and I know she’ll be there for me, too.

2017 Goals

Last year, I had planned on setting goals each month with a long term goal as the grand prize. I think I made it through four months of the process, but like most “resolution-ists”, it kind of fell to the wayside. This year, I have some ideas of what I would like to accomplish in 2017, but some aren’t fully fleshed out just yet. I’m thinking I might create a few monthly goals, but I also have some that I would like to set for the overall year as well.happy-new-year-2017-images

This month:

-Figure out how to lose weight. I’ll expand on this in another post.
-Write 10K words on my new project.
-Continue to Tweet daily and blog at least weekly.
-Have a date night.

Overall year:

-Travel. I have a wedding to attend in Colorado, so this should be easy, but I also want to go to Florida. We’ll see what we can manage.
-Take a vacation. This kind of goes with the above, but I also want to make sure that I take the time to enjoy a break from the norm.
-Graduate. My bachelor’s degree is so close. I will finish it this year!

We’ll see how it all pans out, and I promise I’ll keep you’ll posted. After the excruciating year 2016 turned out to be, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

 

Holidays Are Upon Us

This time of year is always busy for me and my family. With the release of my new novel, Alyeska, and the various other events in our lives, I’m already stressing thinking about it!photo-1421906375741-f6bda4abe433.jpg

It starts with hubby’s birthday mid-November which I always try and make a big deal because you only turn your age once. There’s always a lot of poking and prodding in order to figure out what he would actually like to do for his big day, not to mention what he would like as a gift. He literally changes his mind on both accounts at least a dozen times before we have anything concrete in place a week before.

Next is Thanksgiving, and as we all know, that’s an undertaking in and of itself. A tradition I tried to start when my daughter was born was having the event at our house with all extended family and segment the meal preparations between us. That way everyone could spend the holiday together, and we wouldn’t have to run around visiting a bunch of different places. Due to some work related scheduling issues that is out the window this year.

It’s going to be a year of endurance like when hubby and I first ventured out on our own. We had a total of four Thanksgiving events and five for Christmas. Not necessarily a good thing, but events have become less, so it should only be two, maybe three events for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Then comes my daughter’s birthday. We normally (I say normally even though we’ve only had one birthday for her so far) have her party early in the month due to travel during the holidays. Her first birthday, I went all out and invited way too many people! Not that I didn’t love each and every one of them for being there, but it was just very stressful to plan, organize, and host. I feel like I barely got to spend any time with my daughter on her special day.

This year I plan to keep things a bit lower key. Fewer people, less decorating, just more focus on my daughter! I have all the decorations I plan on doing, so all I need is food and drinks. Well, and to send out the invite.

Finally, Christmas. I have family that live about four hours away, so twice a year we go visit, and Christmas is one of those times. We will make the trip and spend two nights away from home then travel back on Christmas Eve in time for Santa to arrive at our house for Christmas morning. That day will be spent with my in-laws and hubby’s extended family then a day or two after with mine. family-in-snow

I haven’t even begun to shop yet! I am absolutely determined to not think about Christmas until Black Friday at the earliest. I won’t go out shopping during that mess, having worked in retail before, but I might start getting ideas for gifts in all the sale catalogs from my comfy couch.

The holidays are upon us, and with everything this time of year brings, I try to remind myself to enjoy it in the midst of the chaos. It really is a beautiful time year that brings families together, and in a blink of an eye, its over then we’ll be celebrating the New Year. AH! Haven’t even dared to think that far ahead!

Bringing in the New Year!

Happy New Year, fellow seekers! I hope you celebrated well, and still feel a bit of its high today! (That’s how you know you did it right!)

As most people do on New Year’s, I have resolved to set a resolution. I say resolved because I normally choose not to participate in the fad due to their very nature in becoming empty promises, and I try to always keep my word. After all, your word is all most people have! But, I digress. 

I have a couple of items on the resolution list, so let me share:

1. (The usual) Become a more healthier me! 

I have neglected this aspect the entire holiday season, and am sad to say it is catching up with me. I am not setting some drastic weight drop number or going on some diet trend; I’m just encouraging myself to get back into shape! Maybe I’ll start dancing again! 

This kind of goes in hand with the next one since I want to be in a bathing suit for most of it!

2. Travel! 

Hubby and I have been married for about seven months now and have yet to take our honeymoon! We want to go to Cancun, Mexico as our designated trip, but I also have a few other places that I want to go hopefully soon. I told my husband that before we have kids I want to go on a cruise, go to Vegas, and to Cancun! (Fiji is in there also, but that’ll be after many years of saving! Have you seen the flight fare?)

3. Write like crazy and give back to my readers! 

During the holiday season, I become extremely distracted! I feel like I haven’t had a great scene session in a while, so I am going to write until I hit the block, find my muse, and then write even more! I have been on the publishing schedule of one book a year which I find to be a good pace for me, but I would love to finish my current novel early this year and begin my next even sooner. I’m thinking this will help my focus when holidays come around again this year to have something closer to completion. 

And to give back to my readers, I have decided to make The Shoreline FREE! Free, she said? That’s right! Lindsay Chamberlin here with another great offer! 🙂 Again I digress.

My latest novel, The Shoreline, will be free for some time because I want to share this experience with as many people as possible! Please, enjoy!

Bucket List

Ever since I saw the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, I decided that I wanted to create my own bucket list. Now, mine is not something that I have a time constraint on like those guys did, but these are things I want to do before I die.

I’ve actually accomplished a few already!

Swim with Sea Turtles – Done! In Florida.
Swim with Sharks – Done! In Florida.
Eat Risotto – Done! Authentic Italian Restaurant for my birthday!

I still want to:

Visit Papakolea Beach, HI – They have green sand which is my favorite color!
Visit NY, NY – Never been and it’s not a far trip from me!
Visit 5 Different Countries – Kind of like visiting every continent.
Swim with Dolphins – Cool animals!
Eat Beef Wellington – I love Gordon Ramsey, so if I could eat one in his restaurant, that would be awesome!
Top 10 Best Seller List – To have my novels in front of millions of readers.

I know to some people a bucket list sounds kind of morbid. I’ve received strange looks from people I’ve told that I have created one, but I think everyone should have one. Why wouldn’t you want to set goals for yourself to achieve before your time ends in this world?

If you live your day to day without any aspirations for the next day, next year, next decade, then can you say you really lived?

When I’m old and gray, I want to make sure I make every wrinkle, scar, and memory count!