It’s been months since I last posted here. Just goes to show you that getting out of a good habit makes it twice as hard to continue. My brain felt like this, so I decided to take a break from trying to be creative with words.

Sure, I feel bad about not writing much of anything but I have to accept that I’ve substituted writing for baking Christmas goodies and sewing lots of new clothes. And getting back to exercising regularly with my writer-workout buddy. My muffin top was in danger of becoming a sponge cake, so I’m motivated and starting my get-healthy resolutions early.

So what’s new?

In September, Sam Hiyate, President of The Rights Factory, took the manuscript of my novel, Reinvention Hustle, and sent it out to several of his readers. Now, it’s a waiting game.

In early October, a short story I entered into the Aurora Public Library One Book: One Aurora contest with the theme of family secrets was selected for first prize. I was gob-smacked, because I got it edited in a few days instead of continuously going back to tweak, which is why it takes me so long to finish my books. There’s nothing virtuous about perfection.

Lesson learned – just put the damned words down on paper and stop judging myself.

Julia Quinn is an author I love – she writes historical romances with spunky heroines, hunky heroes and believable situations that keep me coming back book after book. Why wouldn’t I follow her advice?

We took our longest direct flight ever, from Toronto to Taipei, Taiwan. About 15 hours in the air. Luckily, we booked premium economy which gave us more leg room and wider seats – since neither of us have small bums, this worked out just fine!

Usually, I watch a couple of movies, eat lots of carbs, drink wine then go to sleep. But the only movie I wanted to see (again) was Wonder Woman. I did a bit of writing – what did we do before iPads and Bluetooth keyboards? After that, I slipped on my new Bose noise cancelling headphones – yes, the great big ones that cover my ears – and zoned out with audiobooks.

Taipei had some amazing sites – we rode to the top of the world’s tallest freestanding building, Taipei 101. Magnificent. And the transit system – remember this is China. All of the signage is in Taiwanese/Chinese and English and the transit folks are helpful with directions.

The cultural history and museums were fantastic. The walking-around scene was somewhat ‘meh’, but the weather was hot, the city was clean and not as crazy-busy as I expected and we had some great meals.

Next up was Bangkok, my favourite city. We arrived the day of the King’s funeral ceremony and the airport and streets were virtually deserted.

But when we returned a week later, everything was back to normal.

Ordinarily I hate crowds, but Asia has a different vibe to it. Intense. Focused. Polite. Maybe it’s because we’re obviously foreigners, but people will stop to give us directions or warn us about shady parts of town, the haggling is always good-natured and of course, the inexpensive food and beer makes the exertion in tropical heat worthwhile.

Santa was good to us. Time has been good to us. We’re surrounded by the love of family and good friends – now that’s what I call blessings and riches. So now it’s back to getting ready for the New Year. Hooray for all of us.

Here’s hoping life is even better than 2017.