When my dear friend K-lee asked me to participate in her 31 Days of Gratitude and Giving, I thought, wow, I’m grateful for so many things in my life I wouldn’t even know where to start. How could I possibly narrow down the list to fit into one post on K-lee’s blog? But I’ll give it a go because K-lee happens to be one of the people I’m very grateful to have in my life and I love her and like making her happy! :)
First, I am so, so grateful for my family. I have an incredible husband who’s stood by me and been my partner and best friend for twenty-seven years, and two equally incredible sons who fill my life with so many blessings. I’m grateful my sons have grown into kind, intelligent, funny, creative, and caring adults who, I believe, will go forth and make changes for the better in the world.
I’m also extremely thankful that, for the most part, my family is now healthy. The past couple of years were tough ones—with family illnesses, the death of a loved one, and some health struggles. My heart goes out to my family, friends, and readers who have to deal with chronic illnesses and/or chronic pain all the time. It’s not an easy way to go through life, and for those of you who can do it and still give and love and smile and carry on, you’re my heroes!
I’m grateful to have good friends. I’m an introvert, which means I’m not comfortable in crowds or big public get-togethers, and I’ve never been one to have a jillion face-to-face friends. But I have made some great friends online, and some of those have become very dear to me.
And, finally, I’m very grateful to my readers who have stuck with me through the ups and downs over the years, and who have been willing to bear with me during the past couple of years when I wasn’t terribly healthy and didn’t get much writing done. Things are definitely looking up on that front (I managed to get 40,000 words written on Dark Magick Rising in November during NaNoWriMo! Yay!!) and I hope that will be continue into the new year, so I’ll have some new releases for you in 2016!
There are so many other things I could mention, but I’ll leave it there for now except to add that I’m a believer that what energy we put out into the world will be returned to us. So I try to live my life thinking positive thoughts and putting out positive energy (which includes kindness, gratitude, and giving) as much as possible. We all have crappy days, or sometimes even crappy weeks or months (or gods forbid, years) and it’s tough to stay positive in dark times. But even when our own internal lights are dimmed, I think it’s important to surround ourselves with people we trust who can help us find that light again. Whether that means family or loved ones you see in person, or online friends who are there for you. That’s what I’ve always done, and it’s made a huge difference. And in return I always try to be there for my friends and family if they need an extra “light.” Sometimes just a few words, a quick hug, a smile, a compliment, or an “I’ve got your back” text can make a huge difference in a person’s life. And it doesn’t even have to be someone you know…offering a smile or a kind word to a stranger is just as powerful for them. So during this season of giving…I challenge everyone to do one small kind deed each day. Watch how it brightens someone’s outlook…and in return, watch how that brightens your own life.
I’d love to hear from you with suggestions for other simple ways we can all reach out and offer kindness to others this season and all year long. If you leave a comment (with a suggestion, or just a general comment), I’ll enter you into a drawing to win a copy of any ebook from my backlist. Or, alternately, if you’d rather have a paperback, I’d be glad to snail mail a copy of one of my available paperbacks to the winner. No restrictions on where you live…I’d be happy to mail it anywhere in the world! You can find a list of all my titles on my website. I’ll choose a winner on December 15th. Leave your email address with your comment here on the blog, if you’re comfortable with that, or if you’d prefer, you can email me with your entry and email address. My email is mlrhodeswriting at aol.com. I’ll post the winner in the comments on the 15th.
Happy holiday, everyone! I wish you all joy and peace and love!
Some people might say I’m an opinionated chick with a decent sense of humor and a vocabulary that’s way too smutty for someone who grew up as a “good” girl. ;) While all of those things are true, I also write books for a living…more specifically gay male romance stories. I’ve been writing fiction for a long time, and I’ve worked in many genres, but since 2006 I’ve been extremely happy in the m/m romance genre. I adore stories about men meeting, falling in love, and finding happily-ever-afters. I enjoy reading them and I enjoy writing them. So I do…write them. Because there’s nothing better than having a job you love. Especially when that job is ABOUT love!