Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Recently, someone criticized one of my books because one of the main characters had been divorced several times. She said people like this don’t change, and it was wrong to make him a hero. She had a point. The odds of someone with multiple failed marriages succeeding in love are low. But the story isn’t about averages; it’s about specific characters and the possibility of redemption. It’s about hope.

I’m a lucky woman. I married my college sweetheart on the same day we graduated, we have two healthy children who are in the process of launching, and this year we’ll celebrate our thirty-second anniversary. We have very little drama in our lives. I’d highly recommend this path to happiness, but reading about it for two-hundred pages would bore you silly. 

Much more interesting are people who have made mistakes or faced hardship and are struggling to overcome. I love characters that are flawed but likable, that I can root for and commiserate with. I love the satisfaction of a happy ending after the struggle, especially when the character had to work hard to achieve it. I believe in redemption, and I believe in love. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Black-eyed Peas for Luck

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings luck for the whole year. That’s the legend, anyway. Personally, I’ve never been a fan. I grew up with them and spent hours of my childhood hoeing, watering, and shelling them. According to my husband, by mother’s are the best, picked fresh from the garden, shelled with a few snaps thrown in, and home-canned with a little salt pork, but I could never develop a taste for them.

I always managed to consume a few on New Year's but didn't enjoyed them until this year. I found a recipe in the newspaper for Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas and rice), but not the traditional recipe I’ve used before with sausage and lots of cayenne. This one called for dried peas, a ham bone, and collard greens. I happened to have a bone left from the Christmas ham and some frozen spinach to substitute for the collards, so I gave it a try. Who knew black-eyed peas could taste so good?

So, the lesson for me is to keep trying new things. Maybe I’ll eventually develop a taste for some of those other things I never enjoyed, like exercise and public speaking. Maybe all that luck I’ve stored up by eating all those black-eyed peas on New Year’s will help with the process. It can’t hurt. 

Speaking of luck, rafflecopter is giving away an ipad mini. Here's the entry:
a Rafflecopter giveaway