Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

9/19/22, A week of goodbyes

Posted on September 19, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope that the week has gone smoothly for you. In the UK, US, Europe, and countries around the world, the news is full of the ceremonies and tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth the II. Her seventy year reign has left her subjects deeply saddened to lose her, and she has touched hearts around the world with her deep devotion to her duty and her subjects. She began as one of the youngest queens at twenty five, and ended as one of the oldest still working queens at ninety six. And whatever one’s politics, her humanity touched millions as much as her majesty. And all of the ceremonies paying tribute to her are deeply touching, as Queen, mother, grandmother, great grandmother. Beyond the pomp and ceremony and traditions is the love of her country and the admiration of the entire world, and the loved ones she left behind who are moving through the proceedings with dignity and grace.

The world will be watching her funeral today, and it must be exhausting and emotionally draining for her family to share their grief so publicly, while honoring her.

I have an odd tie to the date, which is emotional for me as well. On Tuesday, the day after the Queen’s funeral is the anniversary of the death of my son Nick. It’s a hard day for my family every year. He died at nineteen, by suicide, after a lifetime of bi polar disease. He was a brave, wonderful, brilliant, talented, funny adorable boy, and although we miss him every day, these anniversary days are always particularly hard. You never get used to them. There is no easy way to spend these days. I usually try to spend part of the day with some of my children, but on some years that’s complicated, and I will be alone on his anniversary date this year, the day after the Queen’s funeral. And tuesday will be a quiet day for me, with thoughts of Nick, and memories of a very challenging day. We have honored his memory with a foundation dedicated to funding organizations that provide hands on treatment to people who suffer from mental illness. And all we can do is remember those we have lost on these anniversaries, cherish their memories, remember the wonderful times we shared and go forward into the future, doing good for others in their name.

Whether as public as the Queen’s funeral, or as private as my son Nick’s anniversary, they are days filled with the love that we shared with them in their lifetimes, may they be long remembered for the joy they gave us and the love and blessings we shared.

I hope it will be a peaceful week for you, with much love, Danielle

9/6/22, Sailing into Fall

Posted on September 6, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend, to celebrate the end of summer, and now we all get back to ‘real life’ in the fall. The summer vacation is over, kids are back in school, and the pace will pick up quickly as we slide into September. I love the fall, the energy, and the excitement of getting back to work!!!

In the fashion world, everyone involved in fashion is preparing the shows for Fashion Week, which I always say is really fashion month, since it begins in New York, then moves on to London, Milan, and Paris at the end of the month, with a week in each city dedicated to the designers of each country, with fabulous shows on the runway. Preparations are happening now with fittings on the models, and the final touches on the collections. Two of my daughters, Vanessa and Victoria are hard at work on their shows, working incredibly long hours, to show fashion editors and buyers the collections for next season. It’s an exciting time in fashion, and happens twice a year, in fall and Spring. And the Haute Couture shows are in June and July. It’s always exciting to see the new collections, and what each designer is showing for next season. It’s a dazzling way to start the fall, with runway shows by all the big designers, and new ones, and parties to celebrate the event!!

And I’m working on a new book, which will keep me busy, and get the fall off to a good start.

My new book “The Challenge” has been out for two weeks, and was #2 on the New York Times bestseller list this past Sunday. I love that book, and hope you’ll love it too, about the rescue of 7 young teens lost on the most dangerous mountain in the US, and the daring rescue to find them and bring them home, and the impact on their families and the town of Fishtail, Montana, as even the National Guard is brought in to try to save the missing kids. I hope you’ll find time to read it. And my next book will be out in October, “The High Notes”, about a young girl with an incredible voice, who began her singing career at twelve, in bars, in the dusty small towns in Texas, and her arduous climb to success. It’s a behind the scenes look at the hardships of the music business, and what it takes to reach fame and stardom. And I hope you love that book too.

Have a great week as we sail into the fall. I hope it’s a great week for you and gets the season off to a great start!!!

lots of love, Danielle

8/22/22, Back to School!!!

Posted on August 22, 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope these last days of summer are still giving you some fun times, as we all begin to rev our engines up for the Fall. This time of year still smells to me of new pencils, new Superman or Wonder Woman lunch boxes, new notebooks, and all the excitement of new classrooms, new teachers and old friends. September always feels like the time for new projects, and moving ahead with fresh energy.

The children I know went back to school last week, and the rest of us are getting the sand out of our shoes and putting on real clothes again. I just finished editing two books and am working on a new outline. My daughters who work in fashion are revving up their engines to start work on fashion week this week. And it’s exciting to start new projects with fresh ideas.

I enjoyed a week’s vacation in July with three of my daughters, and managed to see all of my children for a brief visit in August, but it was so wonderful to see them and be together. And now we’re all off and running to work. September is an exciting month. And I have a new book out, “The Challenge” about the daring rescue of 7 kids in their early teens lost on a dangerous mountain in Montana. It was inspired by the incredible rescue of the 13 boys in Thailand trapped in a cave, four years ago. The entire world held their breath as the rescue unfolded, completely successfully, which inspired my book. There is a new movie out about the Thai rescue, and a documentary, and I haven’t had time to watch either one, but I will. When it was happening, I was mesmerized by the complicated rescue operation and jubilant at its success. And I hope you love my book about the mountain rescue.

Since organizing a big family takes a lot of planning and military precision, I’m already thinking about the holidays, and I start my Christmas shopping in August. My family makes fun of me for it, but I love getting an early start!!!

I hope you have some fun plans for the Fall, and some exciting new projects in view. Have a great week!!!

much love,
Danielle

7/18/22, Gone Fishing

Posted on July 18, 2022

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I hope that you are having a break from work and your regular routine, as the month of July rolls out. People are on the move this summer, hungry to return to normalcy, travel, and summer vacations, after two years of staying home during the pandemic. Our family tradition has been a week’s vacation together every summer, which was cancelled for the last two summers, and we finally got back on track with a family holiday, for the first time in 3 years. Only three of my children were able to get the free time, and although we’re a small group, it is wonderful to be together, to swim and relax, and have dinners out in the same beach town where we go every year for our annual family week together. We go to the same hotel every year, and it was a joy to see the same people working there and everything unchanged, as the two disrupted years fade away. And next year, we hope that all of my kids can make it. I am so grateful for this precious week together.

 

My new book “Suspects” is on the bestseller lists and doing well. I was working hard right up until the vacation, and I will start a book the day after I get back. But I am thoroughly enjoying the time off for the first real vacation I’ve had in three years. And we all need time off from our daily routines to see things with a fresh eye. I hope you are getting time off this summer too!!! And I hope you have time to read ‘Suspects’ before the summer is over. It’s a thriller with Russian spies in it, as innocent people cross their path and get caught in a web of intrigue, and a dedicated CIA agent, who is discreetly following the spies tries to keep the innocents out of harm’s way before they realize the danger they are in. I hope you have fun reading it, and that this turns out to be a great summer for you.

 

Have a great week, with some beach time or time on vacation somewhere in a place you love!!!

 

with much love, Danielle

 

6/28/22, Catching up!!

Posted on June 28, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you are all doing well, and I owe you an apology, for not writing the blog for several weeks. I’ve been on the road again, threw a wedding for my daughter, whose wedding was cancelled three times during the pandemic, which was heart breaking at the time, and we finally managed to do it now, and it was a beautiful wedding, in a see thru tent with the ceiling covered with tiny lights that looked like stars, and beautiful flowers everywhere. They were married under an arch of exquisite white flowers, and she was a gorgeous bride. And it was wonderful to see all my children in one place, which is difficult to achieve these days.

 

And I did some house work and got our house in order for the wedding. And then spent a week in New York, for meetings and took some time off. And after that I had two books to edit, and I’ve just come up for air now—-so I haven’t been idle while not writing the blog. And this weekend I played hookie when I finished editing, and had The BEST time watching the new Downton Abbey movie, “The New Era”, all the familiar faces were there (except Lady Mary’s husband, Henry Talbot, played by Matthew Goode). It was like meeting up with old friends. I loved this movie even better than the first one after the series ended. Downton was the first series I fell in love with, and I was crushed when it ended after six years. It is so beautifully written, researched and acted, and perfectly balanced among the actors and many subplots. It’s a wonderful show, and I highly recommend the movie. I liked it so much, I watched it again the next day. SOOOO Much Fun.

 

And now it’s back to work for a while. Have a wonderful week!!! I hope you have some vacation time planned. I just finished a new book, and might even take some time off myself before starting the next one. And my new book comes out today “Suspects”, it’s a spy book and a thriller, full of intrigue, and I hope you love it!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

5/12/22, “Gone Fishing”

Posted on May 12, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a nice Mother’s Day, either as the recipient of your children’s attention, or as the giver of joy to your real mother, or a mother figure in your life. It’s a very special day, when one gets to show admiration and gratitude to the important women in your life—-it’s one of the few days of the year when mothers get to hear words of praise and thanks, instead of the usual laundry list of what one failed to do, or somehow managed to do wrong. I LOVE mother’s day, and my children have never disappointed me. They go all out, for which I am deeply grateful. I celebrated Mother’s Day in two cities this year, as I have for a long time,—twice as much fun!!!

 

I recently took 3 weeks “off” to visit all my children, now living in 4 cities in the US, while I’m in Paris much of the time. Until the pandemic I visited them every 3 or 4 weeks, since the pandemic and the ongoing risk of Covid, I visit them less often, but for longer and only see them every few months. They are all allegedly grown up (are any of us ever REALLY grown up?? Not always, no matter how old we are, we have our childish moments, and I do too.) But in any case, they all have lives and jobs, and some of them are recently married. And no one wants their mother hanging around at those ages, so the challenge for the mother of adult children is to keep it light, not stay too long, keep the critical comments to a minimum if at all, and don’t be a pain in the neck. I did not enjoy time with my parents at their ages. My kids are amazingly tolerant of me, and I try hard not to be a nuisance, but probably am anyway. And the criticism, if any, is mutual at those ages, they also tell me if they think the new curtains I picked are butt ugly, or if my daughters hate what I’m wearing. As I’ve often heard, motherhood is not for sissies, at any age. But for the most part it is an immense amount of joy. I am crazy about my kids.

 

To be a little more precise, when I say I took time off to visit them, in my case, it still means that I am working when I’m not with them during my visits, with conference calls with agents, and lawyers, dozens of emails I answer daily late at night, and I always have a manuscript near at hand to work on when I’m not with my kids, after I leave them after dinner,  or when they’re busy in the day time. I edit then, which is easy work to pick up and put down for an hour or two. Not like the actual writing of a book which is intense work I cant interrupt.  In fact, I take very little vacation. Usually less than 2 weeks a year, or about that. 1 week in July to be with my 5 youngest children on holiday somewhere with a beach, 5 days at Christmas at home, and about 3 days for my birthday, when all my kids come home. And my kids are VERY generous to spend a week of their vacations with me in July, a long weekend for my birthday, and Christmas week with me. And it’s very very very rare for me to take a weekend off, most of the time, I write on weekends too. I like staying busy, and filling my time, and I write a lot.

 

A comment on my Instagram caught my attention this week, which startled me. It said “It must be nice to be able to fly around all the time”. Hmm….fly around all the time? Do I? I did before Covid, but much less so now, given the risks of travel, airports, etc. And then I realized that the comment isn’t wrong. It’s not easy once children have grown up and gone, and being alone without a partner—-a double whammy. Both of my homes are full of empty bedrooms where my children used to live, and I’m happy to say I still have one daughter at home, although she leads a full busy life of her own. But I realized that the comment is true. There are more downsides than upsides to being alone, but the fact is that the only schedule I have to check is my own (and my kids if I want to visit them). If I am longing to see my children, I can get on a plane and go to see them. If one of them has a problem, I can be there as fast as air travel will allow. If I wanted to take a vacation alone, I could—though that has no appeal to me at all. I work hard, which allows me the luxury to travel, even if I have books to write and deadlines, and I work hard, and only take two weeks off a year. In France, people get five weeks of vacation a year by law, and if they have school aged children, they take school vacations too, which gives them months of vacation every year, not weeks. the French have more paid vacation than any country in the world, although I don’t. But the fact is that I don’t have to consult anyone’s schedule but my own and my kids, and my writing deadlines, and I can fly to see them when I want to. And because I work incredibly hard, I can afford to get on a plane and go when I want to. So the comment wasn’t wrong, and it is nice to fly around when you want to. There is no boss or partner to stop me or tell me I cant go. My natural innate work ethic and discipline make me feel guilty whenever I take time off—but the truth is that I’ve earned it, I deserve it. I publish 7 books a year, and I have always been a full time presence in my children’s lives. But I always feel somewhat guilty when I take “time off”, and think I should be working when I’m having fun. But yes, it is nice to be able to pick up and go whenever I want. It’s one of the advantages of being my own boss, although I am a hard taskmaster with myself, and don’t give myself a lot of free time. There is always something I think I should be doing. I’m not good at just sitting around, or even relaxing. And I love my work and my kids, so time with either one always seems well spent.

 

So “Gone Fishing” doesn’t really apply to me. And for now, I’ll stick to my two weeks of vacation per year. And the rest of the time, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, writing and visiting my kids, wherever they are, and flying around to see them. I don’t like travelling or vacationing alone. I’m not adventurous about exotic travel, and it’s not fun taking vacations alone. But yes, it IS nice being able to fly around whenever you want. and maybe one day, I’ll take more than just two weeks off per year. But not just yet!!!

 

Have a great week, doing fun things, and whatever you love to do. For now, I’ll try to take a few more days off during the year, just for fun….I’m working on it….

 

 

love, Danielle

 

4/26/22, Be Alert: Young People at Risk

Posted on April 26, 2022

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope the weeks are rolling smoothly for you as we approach spring. I hope this is a good time for you, in every way that’s important to you.  I read a quote recently of Robin Williams, which really touched my heart. To paraphrase it, “Everyone you have contact with is dealing with something you know nothing about.” It reminded me of how true that is. We are taught early on not to share our griefs, to “keep a stiff upper lip”, and many people feel private about their problems, relationship and family issues, and the standard response to “How are you?” is ‘Fine’. We usually don’t respond to mere acquaintances or even good friends with the truth when things aren’t going well, as in “My life really sucks”. We are often private and discreet while carrying a heavy load. It helps to share and to talk to someone, and out of pride and discretion, good manners or shyness, we don’t always reach out when we need help. It really does help to talk to someone who cares about you and wants to help.

 

My son Nick had bi polar disease for his entire life. I first noticed the signs before he was two years old. No psychiatrist or doctor would listen to me until much later, when he was sixteen. it was a long lonely road trying to get help for him between two and sixteen, when he was finally medicated. The medication helped a lot, so much so that he thought he was cured, which led him to try stopping the medication at 18. The end result was that he committed suicide at 19. He was severely impacted by the disease, and even once medicated, it had gone untreated for too long, and we tried everything but we could not save him. I was open about his illness, and not ashamed, but mental illness comes with a lot of stigma, and particularly at the time, many people hid the fact that they or a loved one suffered from mental illness and spoke about it in whispers, or not at all. Today, people are more open about it, which is a vast improvement.

 

Suicide has long been the second highest cause of death in the US in young people under the age of 25, after car accidents, which is #1. And today it’s on the rise at a rapid rate. I personally feel that young people and adolescents of high school, and particularly college age, have paid the highest price of pandemic survivors, more so than any other age group. They have missed out on two years of their college experiences that they worked so hard for, instead of enjoying campus life, and building the social foundation for their adult lives, they are locked up at home studying alone, and going to school on computer, meeting no one, making no friends, and have lived with lockdowns, curfews, restaurants and bars and meeting places closed for a year, no access to sports experiences, making new friends, and learning in a group setting. The future looks dim to them, they are uncertain about jobs, finances and their future. MUCH too often I am hearing now about suicides among late teens and young people in their early twenties. I don’t know the current statistics, but successful suicides tended to be more heavily male in the past, and more and more I am hearing about young women taking their own lives as well.

 

In the past two weeks, two star athletes and star students took their own lives at Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin, both young women with outstanding achievements, and no warning signs to their family and friends. And this weekend I learned of a fifteen year old high school student, who took her own life, also with no warning. None of these three had a history of depression or mental illness, and those who loved them are shocked by the path they took, clearly in desperation.

 

Young children also commit suicide more often than we think. Out of compassion for their families, many states forbid listing the cause of death as suicide before the age of 13, which skews the statistics. The tragic fact is that children as young as 6 commit suicide. When I spoke to the Senate sub Committee about suicide, at their request, after my son’s death, a famous very learned psychiatrist said that she is well aware of children’s suicides from the age of 6 on, and some have left suicide notes written in crayon. (When I read my son’s journals after his death, I discovered that he had written about suicide almost daily, from the time he was 11. We kept him alive 8 years longer than he intended).

 

Suicide is on the rise, children, adolescents and young adults are at grave risk. We need to be more alert and aware than ever. Covid has hit their world even harder than it has ours, as adults, or at least as hard. They feel that they are missing their youth, the future looks uncertain to them, and the challenges and hardships of today are liable to impact all of us into the future. Young people are sad and uncertain, and feel cheated of their youth, and for some, it’s a challenge they don’t know how to face, and need help and support doing so.

 

Sunday May 1st is my late son Nick’s birthday. In his honor, and in his name, I reach out to you. If you, reading this, feel at risk, or if you love someone who is, there is help out there. Call a friend, tell a parent, call one of the hotlines and talk to someone. The future is never as dark or as bleak as we think it is when we are at a low point. And as parents, we need to keep an eye on our young adults, those with the most serious leanings in that direction often give no warning before they act. Watch, listen, talk, reach out, follow your instincts. My son gave many warnings, he suffered from bi polar disease all his life, he made three unsuccessful suicide attempts before the final one. All the warning signs were there, and we did our very best to change his course. But so many young people give no overt warnings, but the behaviour and the intentions and the despair are there. Be aware and alert, and if you are the one feeling drawn to harming yourself or taking your life, there are people around you who want to help you. Let them in, reach out. There is help, there is a future, maybe even a very good one. And there is hope.

 

These young people need our help and our protection. The future is waiting for them, after these hard times in Covid.  Not a single young life should be lost in this battle, no matter how dark these times seem to them.

 

Let’s all be as aware as we can be, and as brave as we can be to help them get through these times. These young people are our future, let’s help them get there safely and be the safety net under them for as long as they need one, until better, easier times come again. The future belongs to them. Let’s help to get them there safely, and help turn the tides of these treacherous waters they are navigating now. Their support system can start with us, if we reach out to them.

 

Have a safe, happy week,  with much love,  Danielle.

 

2/28/22, Peace Please!!!

Posted on February 28, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a good week, and that all is well with you.

 

I’ve been very lucky to have two of my daughters visit me for a few days, which is always a special gift, and a time I cherish. I have a little sign on my desk which says “Cherish Every Moment”, which is good advice.

 

I don’t know what to say, given the state of the world at this hour. On the frivolous side, today is the beginning of fashion week in Paris, with the ready to wear shows by mostly French designers. Last week it was Fashion week in Milan. And before that, in New York. Two of my daughters worked on fashion shows for the brands they work for. I used to report to you on the fashion shows I went to, mostly Chanel, and sometimes Hermes, but because of the pandemic, I haven’t been to a fashion show in two years, and don’t feel quite ready to start attending them again yet. I want to wait until Covid is a little further behind us, before I go to live shows, attended by spectators and big crowds.

 

But much as I love fashion, I cant wrap my mind around it just now. After two years of agony over Covid, fear and contagion, masks and vaccines, working remotely, and loved ones lost, and the whole world at a dead stop and on its ear for two years, and just as we are beginning to breathe a little easier and see a light at the end of the Covid tunnel, with a ray of hope…..suddenly our world is rocked again by the war that has erupted between Russia and Ukraine, as we sit glued to our TV’s and hang on every word of the leaders involved, and those who analyze the situation, with the word ‘nuclear’ peppered here and there, and we are terrified all over again. How is it possible that we have to face TWO such life threatening events back to back, over which we, as private citizens, have no control, and our lives are suddenly in other people’s hands?

 

The images of those fleeing Ukraine (nearly 400,000 people) fearing for their lives, while others are willing to fight to the death against an invading army, in a war that is threatening everything they hold dear, country, family, children, freedom. Sanctions are imposed against the invaders, who in turn retaliate with nuclear threats. How is it possible that while we were just beginning to recover from Covid and a brutally hard pandemic for two years, now terror has landed on our doorstep again wearing a different mask: this time war—-in an era when nuclear attack is a potential reality if the leaders involved lose their heads and don’t back down. I have never been to Russia or Ukraine, but what unimaginable terror to leave your home with only a few possessions, taking your children and pets, grabbing the essentials for survival as you leave—-fearing your home will be bombed, or after it was. it is everyone’s worst nightmare, as the world waits with bated breath to see what comes next.

 

It’s hard, actually impossible to focus on anything else. We are battle weary from the pandemic, and now some of us must face real battles with bombs and threats and tanks in the street. And what will that mean for the rest of us, if a peaceful resolution isn’t reached?. Our lives are once again on the line, in hands other than our own. It was destiny as to who got sick and who died of Covid—-and now our fate is in human hands.

 

We need peace, on every front, a time to heal, all around the globe, a time to live and breathe again, a time to put fear behind us, not clutch it with both hands, and hope that we and our loved ones survive.

 

Please, please, please give us peace. We need it so desperately. May you be strong and safe, and may all the leaders of every country be wise, and do everything necessary to grant us peace.

 

May God bless you and keep you safe, and all of us, with my most fervent prayers and all my love and hope,

 

Danielle

 

 

2/22/22, Shoes!!!

Posted on February 22, 2022

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day last week. I had an unexpectedly lovely one with a friend who came to lunch. And I got to use the heart plates that one of my daughters gave me for Christmas, and new napkins I had just bought with embroidered hearts on them—-and the glasses with hearts on them that two of my daughters gave me last year. It was an unexpectedly day. And three of my daughters sent me roses and anemones.

 

I have been working non stop for the last two months and have hardly taken any days off. I finished one book in the morning, and started the next one that night. I don’t usually work quite that intensely and normally take a few days or a week off between books, but the weather has been lousy, cold and rainy, and the Covid numbers high, so I decided to stay home and really dig into my work after the holidays. I can go from one book to the next like that (although it is exhausting, because the writing is physically demanding because I work such long hours day after day so as not to interrupt a book) because I spend months working on the outline, and by the time I’m ready to start a book I have all the details lined up, the plot worked out, have written pages and pages about each character, and I outline each chapter in detail. So when I start the book, everything is lined up, although I adjust some details as I go along, and add a few things. So I have been working hard.

 

And one of my favorite things to do when I’m not working, for fun, to unwind and relax, or if I’m down, is to go shopping. I love fashion and pretty clothes, and fun things to wear (when my youngest son was little, he loved little cars (now he likes real cars!!) and I bought a jacket to wear when I went out with him, that had little match book cars sewn all over it. I still have the jacket, it’s amazing). Shopping is not a deep intellectual pursuit, but I really have fun shopping. I try not to buy impulse buys and buy things I will really wear—particularly when Covid is over. I have lived in jeans (particularly my favorite ones with the hole in one knee) and the cashmere nightgowns I wear when I write (with the holes in the elbows) since Covid started. And more so with each lockdown. I feel like I haven’t gotten dressed up in two years. When the first lockdown happened, I tried to look ‘cute’ every day to keep my spirits up. And I didn’t see anyone for 3 months. By the 4th lockdown. I was no longer looking cute, and dressing for myself and my dogs had lost its charm. (My dogs really don’t care what I wear). I haven’t been to a restaurant in two and a half months, in the recent Omicron surge where the numbers were terrifyingly high and the contagion extreme, so I haven’t had a chance to get dressed up since Christmas—but today I went shopping, and my favorite thing to shop for are shoes. My father said that my first word was ‘shoe’. I don’t know if that’s true, but I certainly enjoy them. There are rumors that I have thousands of pairs of shoes. I don’t, but I do have a lot of them, and have so much fun shopping for them.

 

Last week, I bought a super fun pair of summer sandals, and the heel is a bottle of red nail polish. Soooo fun!!! Sometimes I like silly shoes, and sometimes I just like really pretty shoes. I like loafers and ballerinas for comfort. I’m not a huge sneaker fan, although I have a few. I bought some cute red clogs last year and am afraid to wear them, because I’m afraid to step on my dogs’ tiny feet in them. I like heels when I get dressed up, but not crazy high. And I like simple pumps. And I will confess, today I went wild. I bought a pair of loafers, a pair of black patent leather short boots, I bought a pair of dressy black suede flats, and the same ones in white for the summer, and a pair of simple black patent leather high heels. (for some reason, I love black patent leather, maybe because it reminds me of when I was a kid and I loved wearing my black patent leather mary janes, and getting a new pair was always exciting!!) Last week, I had a bad day, and bought the nail polish sandals to cheer myself up, and today I was just celebrating the end of a book, and rewarding myself for working hard. It’s a harmless past time and I work hard…and if it makes me happy, why not??  And shoes are a pretty harmless vice to have!!

 

So that’s my guilty secret—-and I don’t even feel guilty about it. I came home with my loot, and was happy as can be. Sometimes it’s good to indulge yourself, and spoil yourself when you can.

 

I have a sign in my office in California that says “Do what makes you happy”—-I’m a dutiful person and always do my “homework” before I let myself do something fun. I did my homework, and now I had some fun!!

 

Do what makes YOU happy, whatever that is. getting your hair or your nails done, going on a hike, or to the beach. Seeing a friend, reading a book, or spoiling yourself, a hot fudge sundae, shopping. Whatever it is, we all need to spoil ourselves once in a while, when we can. Today was a big treat!!!  Have a great week!!

 

love, Danielle

 

 

2/14/22, Raise the Hearts!!!

Posted on February 14, 2022

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week last week. I was working full tilt on three books in different stages, which was intense. Sometimes I work that way when the ideas are flowing. A few weeks ago, I finished the second draft of one book in the morning, and moved on to another book in first draft that night. I’ve always found that when I’m working, more ideas come, sometimes in a flood, and when I’m not working (and being lazy), nothing comes. I prefer the flood of ideas to the drought. And inspiration is harder to come by these days while staying home a lot, not going out much, and having little or no social life because of Covid. The Covid worries provide a backdrop of anxiety, and staying home keeps one from seeing the little and big things that spark a book when you have a full life out in the world. So in these sparser times, I grab the inspiration when it grabs me and go with it, gratefully!!

 

So I’ve had a very busy month writing, with a third book percolating on the back burner as I work on the outline. And today is one of those days that can be wonderful or disappointing, Valentine’s Day. I’ve had some great ones and some real lemons in my lifetime. I’ve had two marriage proposals on Valentine’s Day, and both came as a (wonderful)surprise!! One led to eighteen mostly happy years and 8 children, and the other resulted in 8 years together, stormy but exciting, to a fascinating person, and no children. Both husbands were much older than I (decades) and were very interesting men, and both are gone now, I stayed close to both of them until the end of their lives. And I do miss them and having them to talk to. My husband John, the father of 8 of my 9 children was incredibly elegant, gracious, handsome, and the other, Tom, was brilliant and a genius, with an extraordinary mind. Both marriages ended in divorce before they died, we had a good run, and stayed close. Both were father figures for me since they were so much older. And both Valentine’s Day proposals were very romantic. (My first marriage was in my teens–my teens were a busy time. I went to college at 15, married in my teens, became a mother for the first time in my teens, and wrote my first book in my teens, at 19—-I started life early!!!)

 

And in contrast to my two Valentine’s Day proposals, I’ve had some really dreary, disappointing Valentine’s Days—haven’t we all!!!—-when nothing at all seemed to be happening. Some years, romance in one’s life is just not happening. And it can be REALLY discouraging if you haven’t met “The One” yet, or you’re between relationships, or if a relationship didn’t work out. I’ve found that (some) men aren’t very good about dates, not as good as women are about them, and some holidays mean a lot to us as women, and just don’t mean as much to them. So a man who really loves you may not come through on Valentine’s day with chocolates, flowers, or a great piece of jewelry, or a proposal, or even remember what day it is!!! (My husband Tom hated most holidays, and particularly didn’t like Christmas (and I LOVE Christmas) and won the prize one year when he asked me on December 23rd—“When is Christmas this year??”—Soon!!!) So your true love may not make the brilliant showing you hope for on Valentine’s Day, although I hope he (or she) does!!! Some men aren’t dazzlers on birthdays either….there is something about dates that eludes them. And if you have the perfect love who showers you with kisses and gifts on Valentine’s Day—–Lucky You!!! Hang on to him (or her).

 

I came across something in the writings of Joel Osteen this week. It is religious, so won’t appeal to those who aren’t, and I love his writings. They always give me hope and strength:  “God has prepared a set time for His promises to come to pass in your life. While you wait, you can trust that behind the scenes, He is working all things in your favor”. I really like that.

 

And there is a lovely saying in French, “Haut les coeurs!!” when you need encouragement, the rough translation is “Raise the Hearts!!!”

 

So, whether religious or not, I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day, and a great week. And May Love be showered on you abundantly by those you love today and every day. You deserve it!!!

 

with so much love, Danielle