You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2013.

I first made my list in early 2009. I’m happy to say that as of today, I was able to add several things to the list. (The idea is that you repost the list, putting the things you’ve done in bold.)

1. Started my own blog

2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than I can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sung a solo.

11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched lightning at sea.
14. Taught myself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown my own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitchhiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught myself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had my portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Towel in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.


80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had my picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

100. Rode an elephant.

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My first published book – Night and Day – is set in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota and Copenhagen, Denmark with a brief interlude on Prince Edward Island, Canada. My tagline, “It’s midnight in Minnesota and Daybreak in Denmark”, speaks to the fact that Jensen and Anders connect via the internet, each from their own corner of the world.

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My latest release, Wild Rose of Scotland, is set at St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe.

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The second book in my Wildflowers of Scotland series, Blue Belle, takes place in Tobermory, a picturesque old village whose rainbow-colored storefronts are reflected in the waters off the Isle of Mull.

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For a writer / innkeeper / restaurateur / pastor’s wife whose life is too busy and complicated to plan a vacation anytime in the foreseeable future, “traveling” to these exotic locales in my mind is like taking a mini-vacation. Hopefully, my readers will also enjoy visiting the quaint spots that provide a backdrop to the adventures of Jensen and Anders, Ian and Rose, and any other of my characters who are lucky enough to find their homes in such beautiful places.

But we all can’t live in Colorado. Nor can we go on vacation all the time. My Maple Valley trilogy – Stormy Weather, Waterlily, and Merry-Go-Round – are all set in a fictional town patterned after Osage, Iowa, just 11 miles from where I live. The stage for these books is set with cornfields, cabbage patches, and contented cows grazing in pastures. The secondary characters are small town… well… characters. And it’s not one bit boring. To the contrary, writing about my hometown and the area surrounding it has been very enlightening.

Sunset - Good Friday

Looking at my very ordinary world through the eyes of my characters has shed a whole new light on what was once deemed plain. These people see things in my world that I never would have noticed. With their help, I’ve discovered a whole new meaning to the phrase, Beauty in Your Own Backyard. It’s amazing, the things I see when looking through the rose-colored glasses of the three Jones sisters.

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So, wherever it is you find yourself, take a look around. Whether you’re reading – or writing – a book set in Windermere, England, Apple Valley, Minnesota, Moonstone Beach, or Weedpatch, California, there are beautiful sights to behold no matter where you go in the world – a simple wildflower, a spectacular sunset, the moon glinting off a lake (or maybe even a mud puddle).

And next time you’re lucky enough to be able to take a vacation to some lovely new location, by all means, take your camera, your moleskin journal, your steno pad, or your Alphasmart. Take photos, record each memory, soak in every ounce of scenic beauty that you can.

All I’m suggesting is that when you come home, keep your camera out. Try looking at your own, everyday world through the eyes of someone who’s seeing those same, familiar haunts for the very first time. Take notice of the extraordinary, and you’ll discover all kinds of unique beauty – right in your own backyard. Learning to see the Cinderella side of your soot and ashes world, to appreciate the sights you take for granted, will make you a better writer, a better mother, a better lover, a better everything under the sun.

Sporing - bluebells

Sherrie Hansen

http://www.SecondWindPublishing.com

Long ago, as 2008 was turning to 2009, I wrote a piece on the color rose for a group at Gather.com called Rainbow Connections.

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The group was born out of my love for rainbows and each week, I explored the nuances and associations  of a different color. I didn’t know Wild Rose of Scotland back then, but recently, as I reread what I’d written about the Rose, I felt like I was getting to know Rose – the color, the character, and the flower – in a whole new light.

Wild Rose promo

If you’re as intrigued by Rose as I am, you can see more of her in Wild Rose, the first of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels.

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Rose… a name, a flower, a color, or none of the above.

Wild Rose - tag line

Rose means different things to different people.

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Grandma’s fluffy slippers… Pretty, little cookies…

Food - cookies

Cheeks pink fresh from the cold…

Victoria Gloria

Parades and petals… A bride’s bouquet… A hat, a favorite bathrobe… A silky comforter… Rose fills us with an effervescent glow…

Rose - houses

Rose gives us a sense of well-being…

Rose - needlepoint

Maybe we are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses…

Cal - Rachel SS

Maybe we just like the color rose.

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Whatever the reason, whatever the season…

Rose - ornanment

Rose makes us feel better…

Zion - Hollyhocks

It cheers us up, gives us a sense of direction…

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It fills us with radiance…

Rose - stained glass

Rose comforts us.

Rose - rose

Rose makes us whole again… ..

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Whether “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”…

Rose - nativity

Or, a Rose by any other name…

Rose - vase

What does Rose mean to you?

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Here’s to a Wild Rose… available now through Second Wind Publishing.

Rose - curtains

For 100 years, today was my Grandma Hansen’s birthday. She was born in 1900, and died in 2000, so there was never any doubt how old she was. Oh, the changes she saw in the 100 years she lived. As a child, I loved to listen to Grandma Hansen’s stories, both true and make-believe. She was a grand teller of fairy tales – The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, Jack and the Beanstalk – and she loved to dramatically embellish stories of her younger years – from Indians, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and one room school houses to the tale of how she and Grandpa Hansen eloped to the Little Brown Church in the Vale. (They didn’t tell a soul they were married for months.) We were all mesmerized when Grandma started to spin a tale of days gone by.

So on this day of memories and love of country, my Grandma Hansen stands out in my mind as one of the individuals who truly made America great. She made my life pretty wonderful, too.  And she most certainly taught me how to tell a good story.

A Tribute to Grandma Hansen

May 26th, 1990

By Sherrie and Becky, her granddaughters, on her 90th Birthday

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Stepping back to yesterday –

Daisies strewn along the way.

Treasures in the chicken coop,

Racing ‘round the driveway loop.

Mousey ~ mousey’s in the house,

Hankies stuck in Grandma’s blouse.

Hanging clothes out on the line,

Bleeding hearts and dandelions.

Finding eggs beneath a hen,

Memories from way back then.

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Grandma sitting on her stool

Telling tales of teaching school,

Peeling apples, scrubbing faces,

Pansies put in little vases.

Making dolls from hollyhocks,

Darning all our worn out socks.

Pin curls glistening in her hair,

Corsets, baggy underwear.

Raking leaves and burning piles –

Memories of Grandma’s smiles

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Cousins staying overnight

In Grandpa’s bed, all tucked in tight.

Oatmeal, sweet dough, chicken pie,

Hiding while the dishes dried.

Silly plays between the trees,

Picking berries, bumblebees.

Stories told again and again

“Who will help me?” said the Little Red Hen

“The sky is falling” – the games we played,

Memories of Grandma’s ways.

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Pictures on the piano top

~A growing family ~ a “bumper crop”.

Her calloused hands and Godly heart

Inspired us each, right from the start.

Time goes on, and now it seems

So long ago ~ those faded dreams

But each fond memory has a place

In every heart ~ in every face

Our love for her ties us together –

Memories live on forever.

Wild Rose has arrived!

Now available at Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, or my publisher’s website. Enjoy!

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Exciting news! Wild Rose, the first of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels, is now available in paperback at http://amzn.com/1938101421 and as an ebook at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/315638. You can also buy my books directly from http://www.SecondWindPublishing.com. I will have copies for sale at the Blue Belle Inn in about 10 days.

The prequel, my novella, Thistle Down, the intro to my Wildflowers of Scotland novels, and the first scene of my upcoming release, Wild Rose, are still FREE at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/310079, and 99 cents for your Nook at B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thistle-down-sherrie-hansen/1115202229?ean=2 or for your Kindle at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Thistle%20Down%20by%20Sherrie%20Hansen%20Kindle
Download away! Thank you.

Back Cover Blurb for Wild Rose:  When Ian MacCraig tries to capture the thief who is stealing artifacts from his kirk in Loch Awe, Scotland, the last thing he expects to find on his video is a woman engaging in a passionate romp under the flying buttresses. Rose Wilson is mortified to learn that Digby, the online friend she met for what she thought was a harmless rendezvous, is a common criminal.

Now that Ian, the board of Wilson Enterprises, the constable, and half the town have had a glimpse of Rose in all her naked glory, it seems even her family looks at her differently. What remains to be seen is how far Ian will go to defend Rose’s honor and if the church ladies will forgive Rose now that they know who she really is… and if Rose can believe she’s worthy of someone as good and kind as Ian MacCraig.

Wild Rose and Pastor Ian MacCraig… a match made in heaven or one hell of a predicament?

Back Cover Blurb for Thistle Down:  Can tenderhearted Pastor Ian MacCraig keep a pair of prickly sisters from marrying the wrong men? Emily Downey has found the perfect groom. If only she loved the man… Chelsea Downey is wild about her boyfriend. Trouble is, he’s two-timing her and everyone sees it but her.

Their thorny situation gets even stickier when the church ladies come up with a plan.

Can Pastor Ian MacCraig weed out the thistles and get to the heart of the matter in time to save the day?

If you’re like me and can hardly wait for Wild Rose to come out, and if you like jigsaw puzzles, give this one a try. It’s a fun diversion!

Hint:  Us the wheel on the mouse to flip the pieces as needed.

Wild Rose Jigsaw Puzzle

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Daybreak – New Release! (Sequel to Night & Day)

Night and Day

Golden Rod

Sweet William

Shy Violet

Blue Belle

Wild Rose

Thistle Down

Love Notes

Stormy Weather

Water Lily

Merry Go Round

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