I would like to offer a very warm welcome to Heather Hand who has become one of my friends and has helped me so much.
When the lovely Daisy Bank’s offered me a spot on her Christmas Advent Blog – she was offering to her friend’s first – I was thrilled and said “Yes!” although that was mostly because she called me friend. When I started to think about actually sitting down and typing out my thoughts I wondered what to say and then the inevitable question of ‘’Who wants to listen to me anyways?”
I have never blogged or really communicated my thoughts in any form; be it a diary as a young girl or a journal as a teen/young adult. As well, until these past few months, I had never followed a blog either, let alone a few every day. Now that I am, I find that I quite enjoy reading their posts and “meeting” the guest bloggers and their books. And then I realized what changed – I did. My lifestyle did.
For those of you who don’t know me (short version), I fell a few years ago which caused back pain and nerve issues in my leg(s). I have had two back surgeries and successful recoveries for almost a year after each but am now officially “broken” as the scar tissue on the nerves has caused the pain and disability to recur and progress. I am no longer working (just over a year) or driving (just about two months) or going further than the top edge of my driveway on my own (once the snow and ice arrived). Obviously these changes have made me much more dependent on the internet and the connections I make there as “surfing the web” is now the way I “go out and about” to connect with people.
But honestly, I’m not the only one anymore. I have come to realize that we live in a world where we no longer always know our neighbours as friends, where we may not know them so we don’t automatically say “Hi, how are you?” to the people walking by or wave at the people driving past. The biggest change is that our circle of friends is no longer limited to the immediate geography of our lives. Instead of walking down the block and talking to each neighbour as we go, most of us go online and chat/message our friends – whether they live down the block, on the other side of the globe or somewhere in between.
I discovered Goodreads just over a year ago. I stumbled into one group and then found even more people I instantly bonded with. Blessedly, I have made amazing friends through GR/Twitter/FB over this past year, some of whom are even authors! These generous, talented, genuinely hilarious and delightfully crazy people have enabled me to offer insights and more as I have started to read and review books. Now I have an online community of friends that supports and encourages each other in whatever life tosses our way.
There have been a lot of things change for me in this past year. At Christmas last year I was looking forward to going back to work and getting back into at least a partial workday, hopefully working my way to close to 80%. I was celebrating the almost one year anniversary of my successful surgery and raising a glass in salute to the marvelous Doctor who put me back together. I don’t even know what the day will be like for me as Christmas approaches this year. I do know that whatever happens I will get through it and be better for it. I do know that on the other side of whatever life throws at me is the end of a lesson I needed to learn. Most important of all I do know that the friends and family I have will be here for me in whatever way they can and it will be enough.
As I mentioned I love to read and make new friends and I would like to introduce two of them to you. I am going to give away a book and it will be up to the winner if it is a seasonal read or an urban fantasy/paranormal romance. The seasonal read is a new release just this week, “Captive at Christmas” by a newly published author and lovely friend Danielle Taylor. The PNR/UF is the first book, Colour Wielders, in the series of the same name by Dawna Raver and she, this amazing person and friend, is offering the second book, Severed Colours, to the winner.