Thankful!

This happens to be my favorite holiday of the year. I love to cook, I love to eat, I love a guaranteed four day week-end and I love a day that forces me to stop and reflect on the amazing number of blessings in my life.

A year ago I wasn’t sure exactly what a blog was. Today I not only have two of them that I enjoy immensely, but thanks to blogging I have been exposed to more interesting ideas and people than any resident of quiet little Conroe Texas could expect. I give thanks for this lifeline to a great big fascinating world

I’ll share the day with my boyfriend.  We’ve been married for 31 years now and he remains the best friend ever.  Our son will share the day with us for the first time in 11 years. Hooray! Our UT daughter, clad in burnt orange, now makes the best green bean casserole in the world.  We will miss our middle child, but she celebrates the day with my sister in Illinois and a family skype date will  have us all laughing and toasting, and will remind me that I’m thankful for the technology in my life as well as for the people to which it links me.

Two years ago I decided that it was time to start writing those novels that I dreamed of for decades. I’ve written two of them now.  Tomorrow and Saturday will be my last  free promotion days for y1 on amazon.com. Please grab a copy if you like.  Next week-end I get to finally publish y1 on smashwords, a website that not only sells the book directly but distributes it to Apple, Barnes and Noble and others.  I’m quite excited.  And very thankful for the chance to pursue a dream, for the good health to make it happen, and for the sheer joy of getting to do something that I love.

Do I feel thankful today?  You bet I do …..

Map Of World Happiness

From Technovelgy’s website

According to a fascinating website called technovelgy a group at the university of Leicester has attempted to map the average subjective feeling of well-being found in various countries. In other words, where are people the happiest?  And why?

The novel y1 takes a look at what makes humans feel joyful and writing the book  forced me to consider the nature of happiness. It didn’t surprise me that the number one correlation found was with good health.   After that, having the necessities for survival,   personal freedom and access to education all factored in. It ties into my own epiphany on the subject that humans can endure much as long as they think that they have the power to eventually improve their own situation.

And the happiest folks live where?  Denmark and Switzerland, according to this study. But please note that folks in Oman, Venezuela, Malaysia, and the U.S. are all pretty content on the average as well.

y1 review

Please check out the blog Serial Distractions, a place for “Fiction, Reviews, Geekery” and an all around fun blog for science fiction readers.  Librarian and author Shedrick Pittman-Hassett  reviewed x0 a few months ago here and he has has been kind enough to now review y1 as well.  He seems to have liked it 🙂

Make a joyful sound!

After writing about peace songs on my other blog, it occurred to me to wonder what were the best songs ever written about joy. I am rather joyful tonight. And music, being such a shared activity, is  a wonderful way to communicate happiness. Luckily, a website called Songfacts provides a handy list of songs about  happiness. Check it out  here.

Turns out that after I went over their list and narrowed it down to my own top five, I had to add in one of my own.  So, this is the list of my top six personal favorite happy songs:

Dancing in the Street – Martha & the Vandellas
Dog Days Are Over – Florence + the Machine
Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
Joy To The World – Three Dog Night
Ode To Joy – Ludwig Van Beethoven
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

This list is a little more eclectic than my favorite peace songs, although I hope to seek out a few more and produce a personal top ten that is a little more contemporary. I’m also very happy to “take nominations from the floor” for the best song of joy ever. Got a favorite to nominate?

Bruce Willis with boobs

Click here. Then scroll down and check out the post right below my interview for a  fascinating discussion of what women want in science fiction and life in general, complete with a well done Bruce Willis with boobs photo to make the point that, well, gender identity and preferences are complicated. Male science fiction writer Rob Lopez gives thought provoking arguments about women and if you don’t agree with him, he welcomes intelligent comment back. (Yes, I’m working on my response.)

Oh, and when you finish with Bruce, please do scroll back up and check out the  short write-up and interview with me that Rob was kind enough to post.