Note from Cindy: I’ve been buddies with Susan Connell ever since I met her at an RWA conference many moons ago. Her first Loveswept was about to come out and there was no way she was going to miss the national conference – even though she showed up in a wheel chair with a badly broken ankle. That kind of grit drew me toward her immediately and we’ve been buddies ever since. Susan writes hot contemporary romances in the tradition of Susan Mallery and Carly Phillips. Please join me in giving Susan a warm Topdown welcome :o)
Somewhere between posing with her new everything-princess bicycle and tripping through crumpled wrapping paper to the next gift, my grand niece had had it with the big Santa reveal. One more “say cheese” and, with the exasperation only a 3 year old can muster, Amity blurted out, “Daddy! It’s only Christmas!”
Cue the angel choir. We had just been delivered our epiphany. SLOW DOWN. BREATHE. ENJOY. FOR THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF.
And I was suddenly reminded of a summer afternoon about 25 years earlier when Cat, my then 8 year old daughter, needed a break from some highly energetic friends. I called her inside and put her in charge of making meatloaf for our dinner. That rented cottage on the Jersey shore was instantly transformed into a Zen temple. The sheer act of measuring spices, picking out bits of eggshell (“Mom, won’t they just melt or something?”) and squishing the mixture between her fingers for a good ten minutes proved to be the perfect activity for her.
I figured if it could work for Cat it could work for Amity. This time in the form of a deep dish cherry pie. So Christmas morning we dragged a chair to the kitchen counter, aproned up and, with her very own rolling pin she flattened the life out of the pre-made pie crust I gave her.
Then, with infinite care, she spooned the pie filling, one cherry at a time, into my pie shell. She used that same concentration to punch out pastry snowflakes with her great-grandmother’s cookie cutter and place each one on the filling. Every now and then she would direct a beaming smile toward me. (This is what heaven looks like.) Some ideas, I found, are worth repeating.
Kind of like bringing back classic love stories for a whole new generation of readers. While I’ve been writing a new book, I’m also bringing my older titles up to date. I’m re-editing, re-charging, re-covering and in some cases changing a few endings. If you’d like to read more about me and my e-books check out www.SUSANCONNELLBOOKS.COM
How about you? What Zen (I mean, quiet, hands on) activity do you indulge when you need some down time? I’d love to read your comments. One commenter will receive an e-book copy of TROUBLE IN PARADISE AND PAGAN’S PARADISE free.
By the way, Cat’s meatloaf and Amity’s cherry pie were the best I’ve ever had.