Wednesday, October 5, 2016

With a Little Help From My Friends by Anna J Stewart

Anyone else feel as if you've been mired in muck for the last few, well, years? I bet my fellow friends in the US know exactly what I'm talking about as the day of reckoning (AKA election day) slowly approaches. I just want to cast my vote and be done with it, no matter what shakes out. 

Once upon a time I was a political junkie. These days, however, I feel like a decontamination shower is in order after watching the news. There's just so much darkness, so much hate. So what have I been doing the last few weeks? I've been focusing on...peace. Serenity. Sanity. As I've been doing so, I've found my happy place: my friends. 

Aside from keeping me grounded, supported, and encouraged, I've been thinking back on some amazing times that bring a smile to my face and lighten my heart. How can I be sad when I remember this trip to Disneyland (one of many I've taken) with my BFF, Mary.



Or our trip to Hawaii:



Or this one, taken with another BFF, Judy, in Disneyland:



Then there's this one with my critique group, the TKBees (see our "tattoos"?) in...um, Disneyland (waving to Melinda Curtis and Cari Lynn Webb!):



No, this isn't an advertisement for one of my favorite places on the planet (FYI, NOT one of Melinda's <G>), but these are moments I can draw on for smiles and laughter. Like this past July when I got to hang out with fellow Heartwarming authors Cari Lynn Webb, Carol Ross, and Amy Vastine. Is there anything we don't laugh about? I don't think so.


Or as we whooped things up at the Harlequin party:



There are places I've gone that make me happy to think about, things I've done, but when all is said and done, it's the people I spend time with that make those memories so special. So powerful. And so I thank all of my friends, those mentioned in this post and all the rest (you know who you are) for giving me refuge in this crazy world and proving that it's who you surround yourself with that truly makes life worth living.

So who's in your tribe? What memories do you think on when you're trying to escape the real world (and not nose deep in a book?).  Please share with us in the comments!

Happy reading.
~Anna J



USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for her independent heroines for Harlequin Heartwarming and Romantic Suspense. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). Visit her online at www.authorannastewart.com.

31 comments:

  1. I just googled "when is the American election" because I'm so ready for it to be over, too! I'm not American, so I don't get a vote, but I'm ready for all my FB friends to start BEING friends again. LOL. I'm a Star Trek fan, too! I think the character driven episodes totally set me up for my romance writing. Lovely to get to know you a little better. :)

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    1. Hi, Patricia! Yes, I'm right there with you. Let this be over NOW!! We must look so ridiculous to the rest of the world. And yay, another ST fan. Welcome to my tribe . Thanks for posting!

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  2. Great pictures!! Lately when I've been trying to escape the real world I've been watching old t.v. shows and movies that take me back to simpler times. I'm always cheered up when I pop in an episode of I Love Lucy, or when I watch Arthur (Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli), or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I also reflect on memories of my grandmother who died 31 years ago. She used to bake cakes for us and take us to the park after shopping. And we always stopped at our favorite pizza shop on the way back home. Her apartment was warm and she had plants and hand-made things all around. I still miss her so much, but I'm thankful for those memories. Thanks for taking me back there this morning Anna. ( :

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    1. Hi Laurie! I LOVE Willy Wonka! one of my faves. :) And I miss my Grandma, too. SOmething special about those wonderful ladies, right? Thank you for stopping by and glad I could make you smile. :)

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  3. Anna! LOVE, LOVE the fun pictures and you are so right. Friends are the essence of LIVING one's life! Without friends, there's little point to it all, is there? Great post! Have a super week.

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    1. Yes, yes, yes, Catherine! One of the reasons RWA is something I look forward to every year. All my friends...including you!! Thanks for posting. :)

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  4. Anna, If everyone in the U.S. isn't in your spot they should be. We should petition to have our elections run in 6 months or less, not two years. When I have time to watch TV I now watch Home and Garden channel or QVC just to see what new stuff is out there. Honestly PBS has even become political. Grr. I used to count on them. AZ has early voting soon, so I can cast my vote and say I've done my part. I love Disneyland, too. And writer friends are the best to help keep us smiling.

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    1. Hi Roz! Totally agree. Man, England gets their elections right (as far as how they run, LOL). Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Anna! You are so right. I am ready for the election to be over, too. I'm smiling right now thinking about San Diego. One of the best things about being a writer is the people I've met. My only wish is that we all lived closer together. But some day we will go to Disneyland together. In the meantime, I guess we'll have to settle for Disney World(; Thank you for starting my morning off so perfectly.

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    1. I hope to make Disneyworld next year...fingers crossed! That would be epic! <3

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  6. Just looking at your pictures put me in a happy mood, Anna. I love those Minnie Mouse ears!

    Well, since you didn't mention it, I have to! Everyone needs to go to the Harlequin website and vote for Luke from THE BAD BOY OF BUTTERFLY HARBOUR for hero of the year! I already have! Go Anna!!

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    1. Ah, geez! I totally forgot about the contest, thanks, Kate!! :) Maybe I should wear the ears next year at the H party?! :)

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  7. From near or far, American politics is front and center. I'm so glad to have had 4 weeks respite from it. Back home in a few days and hope that family and HGTV will keep me sane. Facebook can drag me down, but I'm going to try and ignore it to the best of my ability!!! Love, love, love your piece. Love you too. Big hugs from the other side of the world. See you soon!!!

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  8. Yay for friends and happy places! Only a couple more months of insanity to endure.

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    1. I'm getting close to counting down the hours, Beth! Thanks for stopping by! And yes. Yay for friends!

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  9. I love being part of your tribe! And RWA is my favorite part of every summer. DisneyWORLD is waiting for us Anna. :)

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  10. Great post, Anna! I really enjoyed all of your fun photographs. Like everyone else, I'm so ready for this election to be over. I unplug everything in order to escape the real world. Personally, I prefer my story world more. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jill! It was fun going through those pics again. :) And story worlds rock!

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  11. Nice pics. Your post reminds me to book my next vacation. I am so ready for an escape.

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  12. Like you, Anna, friends are everything to me. Ron was my friend before he became my husband, and that's worked out pretty well. My dearest gal pal in the whole world is my friend Bobbie, whom I met in about 1977. I was working in a bakery and her husband, who had just moved her and their son here to buy a muffler shop, came in for coffee and told me how lonely his wife was. I told him to send her to the bakery. We had a party when she walked in - introduced her to the staff and all the regular patrons. She wasn't lonely after that, and she and I have been fast friends every since. She'S also from the east coast, is 17 days younger than I am, I swear our mothers were separated at birth, and her son is adopted. We have so much in common. She's very conservative and I'm a screaming liberal, but we've kept our relationship intact because that doesn't matter. We've had more fun together over almost forty years and continue to. I can't get very far away, but every two weeks we go for Chinese food, then to McDonald's for sundaes. Cheaper than therapy. AND OF COURSE, THERE ARE ALL OF YOU!

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    1. Best best friends are the absolute best, Muriel. Sounds like you lucked out just like me! thanks for stopping by. <3

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  13. Hi Anna, What a fun post to share those special memories. One of mine is when we met in San Diego at RWA 2016. And giving out your books provided a lot of smiles for me and for the recipients.

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    1. Hey, Sandra! Great to see you here and it was wonderful to meet you!! Hope we can connect again one day soon. :)

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  14. Glad to be part of your tribe, Anna (and part of Heartwarming's)

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  15. I'll echo Melinda here. Love, love, love all the Heartwarmers and of course my blogging buddy. You made me remember such special times with my grandmother who took me to lunch at a city department store with fashion models who stopped by our table looking so stylish, made Christmas cookies with me every year, and let me have sleepovers at her house. Special times. One of my best friends now is someone I met when we were five years old!

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    1. Hi Leigh! Back at ya with the blogging buddy love. <3 Love that your BFF is from when you were five! That's awesome. :)

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  16. I so agree with you about friendships. This Friday my best friend Sandy and I are spending Friday with our best friend Shelley. I can't wait. My next blog is due on Election Day. This before one of the most anticipated (or dreaded) day in current times. Can't figure out what I'll say other than go out and vote!

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