What a blessed time of year this is!
Before moving to northern California, my new year's observance was heavy on tradition. In Arkansas my extended family were big on cooking and eating together, so there was a big meal to usher in the new year, featuring one delicious rich treat after another. Afterward, we would just lie around contentedly patting our stomachs, so the early hours of the brand new year were spent in "quiet contemplation" or out-and-out napping.
Northern California has a much different vibe, as you can imagine! Where I live, cyclists and joggers and walkers don't skip a single day of the year. (Seeing some of them running past wearing santa hats was a treat!) Healthful food is available year 'round - and I'm learning some new ways to incorporate it into my life. I received a VitaMix for Christmas and our own Gigi gave me a lesson on how to make some basic dishes. I'll be looking forward to expanding my repertoire. And hiking is a much bigger part of my life than it ever was before. Yesterday - a beautiful, sunny winter afternoon - I walked a redwood forest where only patches of sunlight came through the tall trees until my friend and I crested the top of the peak and had all of the valley below us. On new year's day, I plan to hike up far enough to have a view of San Francisco across the bay. And crab! I've become besotted with the local delicacy, which you can get all winter long from any grocery store at a very inexpensive price.
Needless to say, I'm enjoying all that the bay area has to offer. I've been busy writing, too - the second half of last year saw the launch of my new Boomtown Boys series with BLACK GOLD, but also participation in two wonderful holiday anthologies. Writing stories for A CUPID ISLAND CHRISTMAS and LOVE ON MAIN STREET was such a treat, but the best part was getting to know my fellow authors better. To all of you, my dearest friends - you all are my inspiration!
And to mark the passing of 2013 and the arrival of 2014, I'm delighted to announce the publication of the second book in my Boomtown Boys series: BLACK HEAT, which is currently available on Amazon and will soon be available on iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes&Noble.
Wishing all of you a fantastic and safe new year!
images courtesy of SF Fun and Coffee 'n' Coconuts