Monthly Archives: February 2015

Natural Inspiration

I’ve just returned from a week in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. We packed a house full with three generations of family, loads of skis and snowboards, and more than a few bottles of wine.

Top of Collins toward Sugarloaf, Alta

Top of Collins toward Sugarloaf, Alta

No setting makes me happier—heart and soul—than being amid majestic, snowcapped mountains. To me, the stark beauty of ragged peaks and white powder is unparalleled by any blue ocean, emerald forest, or blazing orange desert.

Top of Supreme lift, Alta

Top of Supreme lift, Alta

The heady combination of crisp air, heart-pounding activity, and my kids’ pride and laughter with each new trick they accomplish gets all my juices flowing. My mind unlocks, problem solving becomes easier, story ideas flow naturally. I envy those who get to enjoy this experience on a more regular basis, and I always leave the Rockies convinced it will be where I retire.

Snowbird from the Alta Bypass Road

Snowbird from the Alta Bypass Road

Writing View

Writing View

Until then, I’ll have to rely on my photos and memories to sustain me through the long months in between these vacations. Of course, I’m currently working on a romance series involving a fictional ski town and three super-hot ski pro heroes, so perhaps I’ll have to take a few “research” trips during the next year. Now there’s an inspired idea!

Alta/Snowbird Crossing Point

Alta/Snowbird Crossing Point

Where is your favorite vacation destination, and does that setting inspire you?

XO-Jamie

Identifying Love

How does one identify love? You can’t “see” it. The words can be spoken, but if they aren’t followed through with actions, those words turn as brittle and hollow as a cheap chocolate Easter bunny. Lust and infatuation often masquerade as love, but when the initial burn fades, then what?15896073_s

I suppose the answer may vary depending on the individual needs of each person. One clue, however, may be found in how a person expresses his or her love for others.

What am I talking about?  I’m guessing many people express their love, consciously or subconsciously, in the exact way they would like to be loved.

For example, some people shower a lover with over-the-top gifts and surprises. They enjoy indulging the object of their affection, and seeing that person’s joyful response. I suspect those same people might measure how much they are loved based on whether or not their lover goes to extremes for them, too.  Other people are physically affectionate, offering little hugs, pecks on the nose, and cute pinches on the bottom whenever their loved one brushes past them. Again, I’d bet those same people crave that level of affection in return.

I try to anticipate what the people I love need or want, and then I look for ways to give it to them without them having to ever ask. I don’t always get it right (oh, if only I could read minds), but the fact that I attempt proves that they matter. I’m taking time away from thinking of myself in order to think of them. Taking time away from what I want to do for myself in order to do for them. To me, this is loving, and yes, when someone anticipates my needs or desires without me ever asking, I feel known and loved.

Do you agree or disagree?

xo-jamie

A Valentine’s Day Swap…

Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m not suggesting anything untoward! This is really more of a poll than a post.

Let me start off by noting that, in my youth, I put energy into creating romance on Valentine’s Day.  Sometimes of the serious type, sometimes the silly. I bought the cards (usually several). I baked heart-shaped cakes and left them in apartments as a surprise. I bought gifts or planned special events. I dressed up in red silk lingerie, lit candles, and filled bubble baths. I did it all, and I enjoyed it. Looked forward to it, even!

And then I got married, had kids, and grew older. Now Valentine’s Day can feel like just another thing on my unending “to do” list, yet acknowledging that makes me truly sad.

But we’re busy people, and some of us just aren’t as creative as we used to be.  To make it easier for everyone to enjoy the holiday, I’m hoping to encourage you to share one of your favorite Valentine’s experiences in the comments.  Then we can all “borrow” from each other to create a “new to me” experience for ourselves and our significant others.

Sound like fun?  I’ve already listed a couple of my past deeds above, so it’s your turn to share one of your favorite Valentine’s memories with me. Don’t be shy!

xo-Jamie