Monday, January 26, 2009

Ditsy Tanya's Almanac #2

Well, ya can't teach American Lit for ten seconds....and I did it for ten years, and not appreciate Ben Franklin. I mean, he's THE Renaissance Man of the colonial age. As my hero says, if there's a colonial-themed question on Jeopardy, it's either Ben Franklin (person) or Virginia. (place)

And since he appeared twice in today's newspaper, I couldn't resist extolling about him now.

On this very date in 1784, he expressed his disappointment over the choice of the EAGLE as the symbol of America. In a letter to his daughter, he stated his own preference: the turkey.

Now don't get me wrong. I love turkeys. I say grace for the one that feeds me on Thanksgiving. But a national symbol?

An eagle soaring through the sky is something I want to see with my own eyes. The weekend before my hero's diagnosis last January (we already knew something bad was going on; we just didn't know what, or how bad), I read a post at my favorite place on the web, Petticoats and Pistols It's a site created for western romance authors and readers by ten top-selling authors in the genre. (I'm humbled to get to guest-blog there occasionally.) And that weekend, a guest-blogger's wrote about her "bucket list." Things to do before you die, based on a just-released movie starring Jack Nicholson.

And I realized so many of my things to do had come true. I'd made a good marriage and raised two great kids. Seen some wonderful places both here and abroad. Published some books. Witnessed the birth of my grandbaby...

But one thing hadn't happened yet at that time: my hero's return to health.

I was in too much pain to comment about that, then, so I added my next-best-thing-to-do to to that blogpost. Watching an eagle fly.

Tim McGraw sings about it in Live Like You Were Dying...John Denver in The Eagle and the Hawk. I've heard their words, seen eagles on movies. That's enough for now.

Because Ben Franklin left some other wisdom that fits these troubled times.

Contentment makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.

I am content. (even though I wish old Ben had used inclusionary language. )

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ditsy Tanya's Almanac #1

Well, I have agonized for a couple weeks now on what the trend for this blog for 2009 should be. And I finally decided. (Now, I'm not talking "agony" in the actual pain sense. Mental maybe, as I struggle with what to write about. Those bloggers who do it every day amaze me.)

I'm going to blog writing/family stuff when the mood hits. In fact, I still owe the blog "The Big Warm." But once a week I will dedicate one blog as "Ditsy Tanya's Almanac." with apologies to Poor Richard's Almanac that featured the aphorisms of none other than Ben Franklin, another of my literary heroes, thanks to about a hundred years teaching American Lit to high school juniors.

Ditsy was my childhood nickname, and I hated it. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. But might as well put it to use now, as there is nothing poor about my life. It's rich in all the good intangible things.

So here goes:

Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be.
--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

This aphorism is dedicated to the special people in my life who are fighting cancer. Most specifically today it's to a Texas cowboy I met on a testicular cancer loop. You guessed it. That ugly thing came back over Christmas and knocked him in the gut. Right now he's finishing his second week of chemo. Now I know, and he knows, that it's gonna work. TC fortunately is one of the curable ones. It's just such a hard road for a guy to go. It's hard on those who love him. And it's harder than ever on him because of how hard it is on those who love him.

He started to lose his hair today, so he let his little daughter have fun giving him a Mohawk.

So here's to you, buddy. Hang in. One day at a time.

(Ps. I took the picture and used it today simply because I like it.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tanya Writes About The Nine-Month Anniversary

Oh, it's well into the new year already and I am way behind on everything already. Blogging, website updating, working on my WIP and doing the homework for my online plotting class. I did get the Christmas decorations down and a doctor's appointment taken care of...when I realized the great news.

My hero just hit the nine month anniversary of his remission!

Yay and praise God. All of you out there praying for him, well, it's working. He golfs several times a week, hangs out with the grandbaby, and totally doesn't understand blogging. Oh, the tragedy that Fantasy Football is over for another year. He loves it so much.

I gotta admit: he's having his routine checkup at this moment. That always makes us both a bit twirly. But I know things are great. And he loves greeting those angelic nurses who helped save him and showing him his strength and health.

When I started this blog just about a year ago, it was to promote Midnight Bride. I'm thrilled at the excellent reviews the book got, and I just entered it in the Award of Excellence Contest at The Colorado Romance Writers. But when that dreadful testicular cancer diagnosis smacked our family in the jugular, the focus of the blog MY hero's journey, not some fictional one.

Oh, what a journey it's been. Whew. I'm reminded every day of the awfulness of it...because I've got a friend going through the very same chemo right now, a pal I met on a TC loop. So bombarding heaven isn't ever gonna stop. There's always somebody, somewhere out there who needs us.

Since New Year's Day, I've been racking my brain for another theme to re-direct this blog. One of my writer friends blogs on a different smokin' hot romance cover model each Wednesday. Another writes about historical events that happened on the date years ago. Still another tosses out the occasional vocab lesson about an interesting word.

So far, I've had no luck coming up with something magnificent and original for myself. I'm open to suggestions. But for now, I just couldn't resist reporting on this part of my personal hero's journey, nine months of health and happiness. We just got back from a wonderful mini-reunion with the old high school herd so maybe I'll just bore you to death with the ins and outs of my now-normal, placid perfect life from time to time including how and where my writing career leads me. As well as our daughter's upcoming-wedding. I mean, how romantic is that.

So stay tuned and see what happens. Oh, and have a happy new year.

Albeit my greeting does come a bit late. I sorely need a personal assistant and will never be able to afford one.

Up next. The Big Warm