Tag Archive for: yoga

Visions of the Future

He says he fell in the deep end,
thank goodness, or he’d’ve
hit his head on the steps.

Y’all my 65-year-old fully dressed husband fell into our pool whilst washing down the deck. It reminded me of something I’ve seen recently that said “You can tell if you’re old by how people react when you fall. If they laugh first, you’re young. If they immediately run to you to ensure you’re okay, you’re old.”

Well, I did the second scenario with him. All he needed help with was the removal of his hearing aids. Which made me laugh and then our 17-year-old son and I fell into a huge fit of the giggles. My sweet husband may never live this down. It’s been three days and his shoes are still soaked because he won’t listen to me tell him to take out the soles and set the shoes and the inserts in the hot almost-summer sun we’ve been enjoying here on the outskirts of Charleston.

In April he turned 65, which makes this the once a decade nine months of teasing I get to subject him to because our ages are flipped. He’s 65 and I’m 56. I think it’s hilarious. He shakes his head at me a la Desi at Lucy.

Which got me to thinking about the romance that we write, the beginning, falling in love, and getting to know one another. The first time they fart is kinda cute, the “don’t go down the hall or near the guest bathroom anytime soon” is equally adorable but never written about.

When I was a child, our family would go on two-week trips with another couple and their niece and nephews. I usually shared the room with the couple and the niece. Once I caught the wife trimming her husband’s bushy eyebrows. I said, “Wait, is that a thing? Am I going to be doing that when I’m older?” She replied, “Only if you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship this long.”

Mary Grace Coker Couch and 
Dud Spiegel (DS) Couch, Jr.

When I could drive myself to Easley, SC from either college in Columbia or home in Charleston, I’d visit with my grandparents once a month of my own volition. My grandfather would wait until I visited so I could cut his nails. He said when I trimmed them; they didn’t need filing. Whatever magic I did, left them perfect. He might have said this so I’d visit more often, but it worked.

My grandfather got very sick toward the end. My grandmother and I would sit at the kitchen counter playing solitaire and not speaking before nine in the morning (her rule). Papa would venture down the hall to the restroom from his bed. Nanny would eagle-eye and sonic-ear his every move. It made me sad but joyful that their intense love affair had lasted over sixty years. She was attuned to his every move.

As I’m writing my stories of the blossoming of love, I’m instilling in that depth of feeling the longevity and faithfulness of many years to come. The stinky bathrooms, the wiry eyebrows, the missteps into pools while fully dressed and while the spouse is on a conference call, the never getting the order right at the drive-thru, the refilling of the coffee cups without asking, the Batman signal of the empty tea pitcher on the counter, the kiss every time one of them departs or arrives, all melt into one beautiful love story that’s lurking in the unwritten epilogue.

When you read a story, do you ever picture the hero and heroine as a long-time couple with all their quirks and habits?

For example, imagine Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in their fifties. They’re 21 and 28 when she accepts his proposal. How will they change but still be in love thirty years later?

What would they be doing to get on one another’s nerves? What would they do to show their deep love? Would they finally be straight with one another and not hide behind their words? Will she still think he’s hot when his dad bod goes swimming in the pond?  Will she caution him not to be reckless on his horse? What’s his reaction when she’s gone on one of her extensive walks and hasn’t returned by tea-time?

Are they enjoying being home together all time, since Mr. Darcy lives off interest income? How do they spend this time? Do they have couple friends? Dinner parties? Travel? Is she exasperated with him now that she’s hit menopause? Is he worried about losing his hair?

My take? I think Fitzwilliam will take joy in his wife being her own person and speaking her mind, I can see him watching her with pride at dinner parties or when she’s taking the lead in community events. And Elizabeth/Lizzy will pamper on him and sit in his lap by the fireplace for years to come, much to their children’s and servants’ chagrin.

I might be embedding my relationship with my husband in their storyline though, what are your thoughts?


Robin Hillyer-Miles writes romance of the contemporary, magic-realism, and cozy mystery varieties. “West End Club” appears in the anthology “Love in the Lowcountry: A Winter Holiday Edition.” She’s writing “Cathy’s Corner” a 45,000-word contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Marion’s Corner, SC.

Robin lives near Charleston, SC where she works part-time for the YWCA Greater Charleston (she took this photo <<< on 12/11/2020 her first day on the job) and gives tours of downtown Charleston (when there’s not a shutdown because of a pandemic). Her yoga instructing has fallen by the wayside but she strives to continue her home practice (it’s fallen by the wayside too, honestly).

She and her husband of 24-years love working from home together. Their teenage son enjoys finishing his junior year of high school online. The dogs don’t know what’s going on but they are digging all the attention. Her husband insists she needs a pool wherever they live, and she’s been enjoying the heck out of it during this stay at home order.

You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobinHillyerMilesAuthorTourGuideYoga

The anthology is offered on Amazon in paperback or e-book here:

Fun Facts About Sparkle Abbey

by Sparkle Abbey
We’ve had a crazy week. We know, it’s only Thursday, but it feels like we’ve crammed in seven days since Monday. It’s times like this when we like to laugh and remind ourselves we have pretty amazing lives. So we thought this was the perfect time to share some fun facts about Sparkle Abbey.

  • We are friends as well as neighbors. We live just one street away from each other. We can see each other’s houses from our windows.
  • We’re plotting to buy the house between to use as a writer’s retreat house. We’ll put in a pool.
  • We were part of the same critique group for years before we started writing together. Our critique group sometimes travels with us and we love to plot stories with them on road trips.
  • We love to travel together and usually navigate pretty well. Although we did once accidentally go to Michigan. (Shh…don’t tell our husbands. We’ve never told them.)
  • Our favorite drink is a margarita on the rocks or an iced tea. When we stop in our neighborhood pub, Francies’, after work the waitresses just ask if it’s an iced tea night or a margarita night.
  • We’re also regulars at our local Starbucks, where they call us Non-Fat, No-Water Chai and Skinny Hazelnut. If one of us is there without the other, the barista often asks where the other half of the team is.
  • We both love beaches and find the ocean soothing.
  • Our husbands enjoy each other’s company and enjoy scotch tastings and comparing preferences.
  • We’re both grandmothers and are crazy about our grandchildren.

  • We both enjoy old movies, especially the vintage romantic comedies.
  • We have taken yoga classes together, although one of us (guess who) has been known to fall asleep during the relaxation portion.
  • We love Broadway shows and packed as many as possible into our last New York City trip. We also had a Rod Stewart sighting. Ask us about it.
  • At least once a week, we text each other and ask if it’s possible to join the Witness Protection Program.
  • We are featured in a Writer’s Digest book “Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict” in the chapter on “Tension and Pressure.”
  • We picked the pen name ”Sparkle Abbey” because those are the names of our two rescue pets, Sparkle (ML’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog.) The other choice using our other pets’ names was – Chewbacca Matisse

  • We go to the same hairdresser who has the best stories. She used to cut Elvis’ cousin’s hair. Yeah, that Elvis.

Okay, now it’s your turn. Share some of your fun facts!

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets–Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). If you want to make sure you’re up on all the Sparkle Abbey news, stop by their website and sign up for updates at sparkleabbey.com.

Will the Real Kate Davidson Please Stand Up?

by Sparkle Abbey with Tracy Weber

Today we’d like to share a guest post from our friend and fellow dog-lover, Tracy Weber.

Take it away, Tracy!

I’m delighted to be here today with The Stiletto Gang, this fabulous group of authors. Most of you probably don’t know me. I am, after all, fairly new to the writing business. My first mystery, Murder Strikes a Pose was published this past January.

Long before my book arrived at your local bookstore, my mother
received a personal laser-printed copy of the manuscript. Of course she told me
she liked it.  What self-respecting
mother wouldn’t? One of her comments caught me off guard, however.

“I’m not very far into the book yet. I just reached the part
where you found the body.”
“Mom,” I replied, a little concerned. “You do know this is fiction, right?”
Let me assure you, I have never found a body near my yoga
studio—or anywhere else for that matter. And although a part of me exists in
every character, my books aren’t autobiographical. Still, people often tell me
that they see me in my yoga teacher sleuth, Kate Davidson. So, for the record,
here are some ways Kate and I are similar—and different.
        1. We both
own yoga studios in Seattle.
Kate and I both teach yoga in the
Viniyoga tradition, and we both prefer it to other, more strenuous, types of
yoga. Although we both own small neighborhood yoga studios, mine (Whole Life Yoga)
is dedicated to the Viniyoga lineage. Kate’s (Serenity Yoga) offers a mixture
of yoga classes and styles.
        2. Kate
and I both have body image issues.
Kate and I are both short, and we
both have “normal” body types (whatever that means). But when we look in the
mirror, we see the “before” image in a Jenny Craig commercial. We’re working on
3      3. Kate
and I both live with a horse-sized German shepherd.
Kate fosters Bella, the German shepherd
in the series; I own a German shepherd named Tasha. Both of our dogs have Exocrine
Pancreatic Insufficiency, will weigh over 100 pounds when full grown, and have,
shall we say, “quirky” personalities. But in spite of their issues, Kate and I
would be lost without them.
4      4. Neither
Kate nor I are perfect yogis, but we keep trying.
Occasionally a reader tells me that
Kate isn’t believable as a yoga teacher. She’s not thin enough, emotionally well-balanced
enough, or flexible enough. I’m not a typical yoga teacher, either. Kate can’t
do advanced yoga poses; neither can I. Kate wants to live according to yoga
philosophy but often fails. So do I. If Kate’s not a realistic yoga teacher, then
I’m not either. Hopefully my yoga students won’t figure that out any time soon.
Here’s Where We’re

1      1. I’m
not afraid of commitment.
Kate has what she terms “relationship
ADD,” meaning she can’t stick with a relationship for more than a date or two.  I, on the other hand, seek commitment. Just
ask my husband. I pestered and goaded and hounded him for three years before he
finally gave in and asked me to marry him.
2      2. Kate
and I had different childhoods.
Kate was raised as the only child
of a single-parent Seattle cop. I grew up with both of my parents on a dairy farm
in Billings, Montana. Kate’s a city girl through and through. I’m a farm girl
who has taken root in the city.
3      3. My neuroses
are different than Kate’s.
I’m as neurotic is the next yoga
teacher, but I’m neutral to facial hair. Kate has a very real phobia called pogonophobia.
Being near a man with a beard makes her feel anxious, itchy, and subtly
nauseated, which really sucks for her since she has a crush on Michael, the
bearded owner of Pete’s Pets, the pet store near her studio.
4      4. I
adore dogs to a fault.
Kate likes animals, but she never
wanted one of her own. I, on the other hand, yearned and planned and plotted
for over ten years before my husband gave in and agreed to adopt our German shepherd.
And unlike Kate, I knew that cute little fur ball would be the love of my life
the moment I laid eyes on her.
To be honest, personality-wise, I’m think I’m closer to Rene,
Kate’s best friend: a plotter, a jokester, a prankster, a conniver. Unlike
Kate, I don’t throw coffee mugs at the heads of little old ladies, and it’s
pretty rare for me to yell at anyone.

I’m too busy plotting murder.

Tracy Weber is a certified yoga teacher and the founder of
Whole Life Yoga, an award-winning yoga studio in Seattle, where she current­ly
lives with her husband, Marc, and German shepherd, Tasha. She loves sharing her
passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. When she’s not writing, she
spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sip­ping Blackthorn cider at
her favorite ale house. Murder Strikes a Pose is her debut novel.  You can connect with Tracy on her website or on Facebook. 

Thanks for visiting The Stiletto Gang, Tracy. What a great post! The only way Caro and Mel, the cousins in our Pampered Pets Mystery Series, are like us is their love of animals and their choice of coffee drinks. Other than that…uhm…not so much.

Tracy has offered to give away a copy of her book to one lucky reader who leaves a comment. So, please leave a comment below for a chance to win! We’ll do a random drawing from all the contributors and announce the winner right here tomorrow. Good luck!