Tag Archive for: Fourth of July

Untitled Post


Celebrate! Have you ever noticed that the Fourth of July celebration
goes far beyond one day?  On the Friday
before this holiday weekend, airports and roads became packed as people ducked
out of their offices early. Those who stayed behind actually got caught up
because things were so quiet.

I had great plans for using the Friday to write my personal Stiletto
and It’s Not Always a Mystery blogs, set up and schedule the great guest July
blogs for both (Judy Penz Sheluk is visiting The Stiletto Gang on July 22 and
the amazing Bill Crider is my July 18 guest on It’s Not Always a Mystery), and
working on a short story that is burning a hole in my brain. 

Addressing anything burning a hole in my brain takes high
priority as there only is so much space left in those hemispheres that resemble
swiss cheese. So, I was ready, set, and started; but then, Joel announced he’d
be home mid-day and was curious if I planned to be in my lab or wanted to do
something.  Guilt!

For the next three months, I am gone a significant part of
each month doing book talks and signings Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie
Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery
. Joel supports my endeavors, but
rather than go on the road with me, he enjoys working, visiting children,
grandchildren, or the grand-dog, going to the gym or hanging in front of our TV
set.  Now, he was specifically asking me
to do something with him beyond our already scheduled holiday plans. 


I’d already promised to dedicate Saturday to a “date” like
activity (translate that to no writing as we’ll be on the road) and we had
plans with other couples for Sunday and Monday. What did he want of me? Didn’t
he understand I need to dedicate myself to my writing when I’m not frustrated
and playing Spider Solitaire?

I started getting worked up and was about to explain to him
why I needed my private time but something stopped me. I thought about how much
my writing takes me away from interacting with others and remembered that if we
are to be good writers, we need to be well-rounded human beings.  That means prioritizing personal lives as
well as word counts.

At least for me, all too often, I become so engaged in
writing or PR that I sacrifice the time I could devote to interacting with
those I love most. I’ve learned I can’t be superhuman so I’ve given up trying
to keep a Martha Stewart house, but I need to remember those I care about need
my attention, too. In the end, it works both ways.  I am nurtured by those I nurture and my
writing is the better for it.

How about you? Do you function in a vacuum or celebrate with
those around you?
FYI: I have a new and improved website at www.DebraHGoldstein.com .  In creating the website, the It’s Not Always a Mystery Blog was moved to a new wordpress platform requiring those who want to receive email notification/copies twice a month to sign up again. Please do. 

How I Celebrated the Fourth, Then and Now

Going way back, what I remember most about celebrating the Fourth of July was playing with sparklers in our front yard.

Another year, I remember organizing all the kids in the neighborhood, helping them decorate their bikes, trikes and wagons with red, white and blue crepe paper and having our own neighborhood parade. (This was during WW II.)

Someone was impressed enough that we got a write up in the newspaper–pretty good since we lived in Los Angeles.

Jumping ahead to when I had my own houseful of children, on the evening of the fourth, we’d all climb on the roof of the patio to watch the fireworks from the harbor. This worked well, except one year when it was too foggy to see much of anything.

Of course there have been many barbecues and big parades to watch on the Fourth of July since then.

For two years in a row, I had a booth at a Fourth Celebration in the park of a nearby town–but it was far too hot, so this year I headed to the Channel Islands Harbor for another Fourth of July Celebration and joined lots of other folks who had booths set up with their wares, crafts, jewelry and food–and as seems to be the case, me with my books.

This year I didn’t have to worry about being too hot because the day started out with a light fog which burned off for a few hours during midday–but it never too warm.

People watching is probably the most fun at something like this. Maybe I should say, people and dog watching, because there were lots of varieties of both.

Of course I enjoyed talking to people about my books–many are surprised that a “real” author would bring her own books and sell them at a place like this event. Some were thrilled to meet me and buy a book.

Most exciting was a 90 year-old-fan who had heard I would be there, who had her son bring her down so she could see me and buy my latest book, Lingering Spirit.

I also met a lady who lives in a city close to me but also has a home at Channel Islands Harbor she escapes to when the valley heat gets too much. She belongs to a book club and asked if I’d come and visit with them sometime–and I’m sure you know the answer to that–I’d love to.

We stayed with our youngest daughter and her husband while we were in the area and had a great time visiting with them too. (And they helped us set up our booth and take it down.)Another plus was having some great conversations with my seventeen year old granddaughter.

And that’s how I spent my Fourth of July this year. (And no, I didn’t see any fireworks though everyone else did–I was too tired and went to bed.)