Friday, November 30, 2012

Gratitude: Part 7

I am grateful that the holiday promotion for my book went so well! I'm excited that so many people have downloaded "The Threshold Child" and I hope that they all post reviews on Amazon or GoodReads! Getting your name out there is the hardest part of self-publishing, and I feel like we're off to a great start. Thank you again to everyone who supported this endeavor!

I am thankful for my family (my parents and siblings). I have had good times and hard times with every single one of them, and I wouldn't change any of it. They have always stood by me, and I am so grateful for their love and support.

I feel so blessed that I have had the opportunity to do this. It is truly humbling to see how much I have to be grateful for, and it has been wonderful to ponder on all of the many blessings in my life. I hope I never lose that sense of gratitude, and that I always appreciate every single thing in my life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Results of the Holiday Promotion

The holiday promotion for "The Threshold Child" went very well! I was surprised and thrilled to see such results! Here are the numbers for the weekend:

755 copies downloaded from Amazon
34 copies downloaded from Amazon UK (United Kingdom)
37 copies downloaded from Amazon DE (Germany)
1 copy downloaded from Amazon JP (Japan)

Total: 817 copies

Also, "The Threshold Child" make Amazon's list of Top 100 Free Best-sellers over the weekend! The rank numbers changed from time to time, but here are the top ranks it achieved:

#3 in Children's Science Fiction & Fantasy
#47 in Fantasy
#697 in ALL free Kindle books

Very exciting! I really hope that this will help to build up a fan base for the book, and that we can see some long-lasting results from this promotion. Thanks to everyone who showed their support!

For those of you who are interested in buying a copy of "The Threshold Child" the link can be found on the right side of this blog.

Gratitude: Part 6

I am thankful for clean, running water. I was thinking about how difficult it would be to live without, and I am so glad to live in modern America! I know that many people do just fine without it, but I thoroughly enjoy having it around.

I am grateful for modern medicine. My husband has multiple sclerosis, and it is such a comfort to me to know that new advances are being made every day (not just for MS, but for all afflictions). Currently, there is no cure for MS, but there are medicines that will help him to lead a normal life for many years to come. I am grateful that we can look forward to many healthy years together thanks to the hard work of doctors and scientists.

I am blessed to have good health. Sure, I get the occasional cold, but all in all I have very good health. I don't even have allergies! I am so thankful that I have a strong body, so I am able to work and play and enjoy the world around me.

I am thankful for the trials I have had in life. I certainly don't enjoy going through them, but they have made me who I am today. I wouldn't change anything in my life, because all of it has led to where I am right now (and I wouldn't change lives with anyone). Every hardship has the potential to make us stronger, kinder, wiser, and better in every way. I haven't always taken advantage of the lessons of life, but I hope that I do in the future.

I am grateful for my Grandpa. I lived with him for a couple of years, and we have been very close ever since. He is funny and hard-working and practical and selfless. I have never met anyone who has more physical trials in life (he's had everything from polio to having his hand run over by a train), but he never complains. I have been so lucky to get to know him as an adult, and I will always cherish the relationship we have.

I am thankful for my in-laws. Not everyone can say that with honesty, but I can. They welcomed me into their family with open arms, and they continue to be such a loving support to me and my husband. I couldn't have asked for a better family, and it has been such a blessing in my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude: Part 5

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I have always loved this holiday, but recently I have felt the need to make a bigger deal of it since the majority of Americans seem more focused on shopping. I grew up in a single-parent home with quite a few siblings. Looking back on my childhood, I honestly don't know how we got by--but we always did. (And the amazing thing is that I never realized how little we had until I was an adult.) Thanksgiving was a time of plenty, and we were reminded to think about all that we had, instead of what we didn't have.

Today, I would like to recognize my mother for all that she has done for me. She taught me the importance of being thankful, and she was a shining example of making the most of whatever life gives you. She taught me to see all of the blessings in my life, no matter how small or simple. She taught me that it doesn't matter what kind of car you drive or what brand of clothes you wear, as long as you have the love of your family and friends.

So, thank you, Mom! Thank you for teaching me what really matters in life. Thank you for always being there for me. And thank you for making me the person I am today! I love you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude: Part 4

I am grateful for the talents the Lord has given me, and for a mother that encouraged me to develop them. Many of my talents are not what one would traditionally call by that name, but I am grateful for them all the same. I firmly believe that everyone has something unique to offer to the world, and that we collectively make up every good trait that is possible in humanity. I am constantly learning new things about myself, and I hope that I can use my talents and strengths to make the world a better place.

I am thankful for my home. It isn't large or grand, but it keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is filled with memories (even though we've been here less than a year) and love. I don't expect we'll be here more than a few years, but I look forward to that time.

I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to travel. It is something that I grew up wanting to do, and I have loved all of the places I have been. I love seeing different cultures and historical sites. I love trying new food and meeting new people. Before I got married I went on a big trip every year. As soon as I got home, I would start planning the new one. That's one of the things I enjoy the most--the planning and anticipation. Now I have the fun of planning trips with my husband! Travel is always more fun when you have someone to share it with, and I am so glad that I can share it with the man I love!

I am so blessed to have an education. I love to learn new things, and I have been fortunate in that I have many different options in schools and classes. Technically, I am done with my schooling, but I sincerely hope that I never stop learning.

I am grateful for mountains. I grew up in the shadow of mountains, and hiking and camping were a natural part of every summer. I want my children to know that same happiness that I have known, and marvel (as I do) in the beauties of the earth.

I am thankful for the autumn. It is my favorite season! I love the cooling air, the vibrant colors, the approach of the holidays. I love wearing sweaters, and drinking hot chocolate, and wrapping up with a blanket and a good book. September is my favorite month, and I am grateful that I have had many years of enjoying it (along with the rest of the fall).

I am grateful for snow! I live in a place where it snows every year, and I love it! One of the down sides of social networks is that I see so much complaining every winter. Why do people live someplace where it snows every year, and then complain about it? Move to a different state! I, on the other hand, love the snow and I get excited every time I see it. Snowball fights, building snowmen, sledding, making snow angels, building forts...the fun never ends! I can't wait for my little boy to get older so we can bundle up and go outside to play in it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Special

Listen up, my faithful few! The weekend after Thanksgiving (Nov. 23-25) there will be a special holiday sale of "The Threshold Child." Those three days only, the eBook will be available for FREE! Please help me pass the word, and let's see how many copies are downloaded that weekend. (The link is posted below, and it can also be found on the right-hand side of this blog.)

Gratitude: Part 3

I believe that part of being happy is appreciating the simple things in life. So the next six things will all be those little things that make me smile.

I am grateful for the internet. It's not hard for me to live without it (which some people can't believe, but it's true), but it certainly makes things easier. It means I don't have to go to my Mom's house to use hers. :) It is amazing to me that the whole world can be connected through the internet. I'm excited to see what the future brings!

I am thankful for blankets. I tend to prefer to keep the house temperature a bit lower and then bundle up. It comes from the years I spent living with my Grandpa. But it seems much more cozy to wrap up in a blanket anyway! Love 'em!

I love books! Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I haven't had a whole lot of extra time lately (having a baby does that, I suppose), but I recently started a new book and it was so refreshing to feel that excitement and wonder that comes from reading. I can't wait to see what happens next to that brave Pilot Major of the Erasmus! (Five points if you know what book I'm reading!)

I am grateful for fresh produce. My husband and I participate in a co-op that provides us with fresh fruits and veggies every couple of weeks. I've really come to appreciate having that in our home, and it helps us to eat healthier. Yum!

I love my pajamas. I know it sounds silly, but I do. I usually choose being comfortable over being fashionable, and I would wear my pajamas all the time if I could. Alas. 

I am thankful that my husband still holds my hand. Everyone warns you about how stuff like that goes away with the "honeymoon stage," but it never has with us. (Maybe we're still in the honeymoon stage, even after all this time...) It seems natural for him to reach out and take my hand (or vice versa) whenever we're walking together or sitting together...pretty much any time we're close enough to do so. It's a sweet gesture that will never grow old.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gratitude: Part 2

I am thankful to live in a land where I can take part in the election of leaders in government. There seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding election time, but it really is so amazing that the American public has a say in such a process. It is very empowering to know that I can make a difference.

I am grateful that my husband has an honest and steady job. There are many people who are struggling in the current economy, but we have always been able to meet our financial obligations. Our debt is minimal, and we have the means to make plans for the future. It is truly a blessing to have that peace of mind.

I am thankful for my wonderful friends! I have such a loving support system, and I know that I could call any of them if I needed help. I am especially grateful for my best friend, Bruce (it's a nickname I have for her, and it's funny to us). She recently moved away, and while I am excited for her to have amazing adventures, I miss having her close by. But even though we live several states apart, I know that she would still do everything in her power to help me out if I needed it.

I am grateful for modern technology that makes keeping in contact very easy. Even though Bruce lives far away (as well as members of my family and other good friends), it is easy to talk with each other and remain involved in each other's lives. What an incredible time to be alive! :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gratitude: Part 1

It seems that a lot of my friends are doing posts every day of November to write about something for which they are grateful. I think this is a great idea! Someone once told me that you are only as happy as you are grateful, and I agree wholeheartedly! So that is what I will be doing this month as well. I have no illusions that I will remember to post every single day, but I will have 30 things listed by the end of this month. So, on days like today, I will post something for the days I missed as well.

I am so grateful for my wonderful husband! He is kind and thoughtful and loving and supportive. He makes me laugh, holds me when I'm sad, shares my dreams, and is always eager to help out. All marriages take lots of time and effort to work, and he is willing to do whatever it takes. We have definitely had our rough times, but we always work through it and come out loving each other more than ever. I can't wait to see what the future will bring!

I am also incredibly grateful for my little boy! Nothing could have prepared me for the hard work that is known as motherhood. As I have said before, I have never experienced anything so challenging and so rewarding. His sweet smile fills my heart with so much joy, and sometimes I still can't believe that he's mine! There isn't anything that I wouldn't do for his well-being, and I know my husband feels the same.

I am grateful for my faith. I don't know that I've ever mentioned this before on this blog, but I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called the Mormons). I was raised in this religion, but there was a period of time when I wanted nothing to do any religion in general. That was a very dark time in my life, and I finally realized that some changes needed to be made. I did a lot of research to see what different religions believe, and I spent a lot of time praying for guidance. It was during this time that I read "The Book of Mormon" completely on my own. I prayed to know if it is true, and I received a powerful witness that it is. I also gained a testimony that the Lord has restored His gospel in its fullness here on the earth; that He loves me in spite of the mistakes I've made (and continue to make); that through the Atonement of Christ we all can be forgiven for our sins, overcome our weaknesses, and return to our Heavenly Father; and that God loves all his children, no matter their race, color, or creed. This knowledge has brought me great comfort in times of trial, and it has made each joyful moment so much more meaningful. I am who I am today because of my faith, and that fills me with gratitude.