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My teeth are chattering and my toes are frozen, so that must mean winter weather has arrived in central Florida. It made it all the way down to the frigid temperature of 39 the other night.
Wait… why are you laughing?
Yeah, I know, some of you are sitting at much lower temperatures with an even lower wind chill. Been there, don’t want to do that again, thank you very much. Still, it always makes me chuckle and shake my head at myself when I start shivering and then check the thermometer, only to realize that it’s barely cold enough for a sweatshirt in other parts of the country. But it feels cold! Or it feels cold to those of us who spent over six months without the temperature falling below fifty degrees?
The funny thing about weather in Florida is that when it’s hot outside, they crank the air conditioning up so high that it feels like an Arctic front is moving in, and when it’s cold outside, they turn the heat on so high that it feels like the beach in the middle of summer. I wish they’d make up their minds.
Anyway, the chill in the air reminds me that we’re fast approaching the holidays, and that means the end of the year isn’t far off. I’m not big on making resolutions or anything like that, but this time of year does lend itself to reflecting on the past year and remembering all the good things in life.
This year, I’m thankful to make it to the end of the year in one piece. I did receive many e-mails in September, and due to the circumstances, wasn’t able to reply to most of them. So for all of you who asked - and those of you who wondered - yes, I was affected by Hurricane Irma. I think the eastern eye wall hit here… or close to here…? It’s kind of hard to tell because the power went out right about the time the eye was just to the south, so I’m still not quite sure what part of the storm hit here. Whatever it was, it was definitely at hurricane strength, but didn’t cause much trouble aside from a little damage to the fence and a few plant issues. (Thanks a lot for taking the flowers, Irma.) Oh, and the four days without power. Yeah, that wasn’t so much fun. Side note: imagine what happens to everything in your refrigerator and freezer when you have no power for four days… in ninety-degree weather… Yeah. It’s also amazing how much of a ripple effect happens - trucks can’t make it to the stores, so there’s no food on the shelves at the grocery store, etc., etc. - and it took a while for things to get back to “normal”. Still waiting for all of the billboards and awnings and signs and so forth to be fixed, and there are plenty of tarps on roofs all around the area, and the poor trees all look kind of gray, since the leaves were stripped off the east side of them. All in all, though, it could have been much, much worse here, and I’m thankful it wasn’t and hope that everyone else who was more affected by storms this year gets back to normal quickly.
I am also incredibly thankful, as always, to have you, my amazing readers. Without you, I would be nothing more than a voice speaking into an empty void. That you choose to read my books and spend some of your valuable time reading my words is something for which I will always be grateful, and I thank each and every one of you for finding my books and embracing my characters and their stories. I’m also thankful that you are such a—ahem—patient and understanding group. It does not escape my notice that my updates on here and in my newsletters are… inconsistent, shall we say. Still, I continually get many very nice messages asking polite questions about the next book, even if some of them are tinged with a hint of “pleeeeease tell me a new book is coming out soon”. Thank you to all of you for being so tolerant of my long silences on here and with my e-mail - I appreciate that more than you will ever know. I wish I could promise that it will change, but the truth is that I write novels, not website posts or e-mails, and I really don’t want to make a promise I’m relatively certain I wouldn’t keep, so… *apologetic shrug* Please know that my lack of communication on my website and via e-mail in no way means that I do not appreciate you or value you - nothing could be further from the truth. I’m working hard to write new books for you to read, and I want them to be the very best I can make them, which means they take most of my time and focus.
I will post a writing update after the start of the new year - no, really, I promise I will. For now, however, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing for the holidays this year, I hope you are all safe and healthy and that you have a wonderful time celebrating with your family and friends. May your season be filled with love, joy, peace, and happiness, and may you have the very best in the coming year.