A Message From Sherrie

Soulful-sm

Happy New Year!  That's my two dogs above, begging for attention as I write this.  I hope 2010 brings you your heart's desire, and that the next decade brings you miracles and happiness. 

FORTY YEARS OF ROMANCE

I've been a romance reader for over 40 years, and like many of you I started out with the greats:  Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, and many others.  As the face of romance changed over the years, so did my reading. In time, I discovered the Wenches' books and DrunkSailor devoured them like a shipwrecked sailor with a newfound cache of buried rum.  Never in a million years did I expect to be on a first-name basis with the biggies of romance, let alone work for them.  Managing the Word Wenches blog site is just a small part of what I do for the Wenches.  There's a lot of behind-the-scenes work to keep the blog machine running smoothly.  Yet every day I have to pinch myself just to make sure I'm not dreaming.  I love my job.

I've made many wonderful friends through this blog—both Wenches and blog visitors.  I’ve been exposed to new (to me) authors because of the guests we've interviewed.  I consider this one of the best places to go for just about anything, be it writing advice, research tidbits, book recommendations, history . . . you name it. 

THE GRATITUDE PROJECT

In August of 2009 I bought a notebook and promised myself that each day I would write down at leastWriting5 three things I’m grateful for.  The Word Wenches are listed on page 1.  I’d like to expand that to include the commenters who visit this site regularly.  All of you have enriched my life in more ways than you can ever know.  Thank you!

WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

What are you grateful for this holiday season?  Is there a person in your past who had a positive influence on your life?  Have you come through a recent crisis unscathed?  Or is it something on a less profound (but no less important) level, such as the companionship of a pet or a really comfortable pair of shoes?  How about a surprise that made you smile?  That happened to me last June when I was slicing a green pepper.  I looked at that first slice and burst into laughter, for it looked just like da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (see pictures) What about you–what are you grateful for?  Please feel free to share.  (In the meantime, some of you asked for my Hot Fudge Pudding Cake recipe, and I'll put that in comments, to keep this post from getting unwieldy.) 

VitruvianMan   VitruvianMan2

What is a new year anyway?

Newyearclock

The celebration of the New Year is a bit odd, isn't it? It'd make more sense to celebrate the solstice, when something does turn, and at one time, the official year didn't begin in January, but in March. If you want to read about all the variations, check out here.

And why do we pin hopes of change to this one day? Why not on our birthdays? That would make more sense. (I've always thought it would make sense if on our birthday we gave presents to our parents for bringing us into the world. Don't you think?)

The New Year doesn't even happen at the same time, as our global community makes clear. Anne celebrated yesterday. Nicola and I are doing it now, and the American Wenches have 5-8 hours to wait. Really, it's time that drives us crazy, isn't it, if we look at it too closely. No wonder Doctor Who is a Time Lord.

My resolution is to seek joy in my daily lives and to appreciate the simple things, and in that spirit, I offer some pictures of Davy, who went with son #2 to Japan in 2009. 

Meditating

Davymeditating

enjoying the sun and scenery
Davyhappy

contemplating different spiritualities
Davysteps

and making new friends.
Davytoys

To start our 2010 pleasures, here's the list of historical TV that people here have enjoyed. Foyle's War
Cranford
Forsyte Saga
Upstairs Downstairs
Wives and Daughters
Cadfael
Lord Peter Wimsey
Deadwood
Robin of Sherwood
Onedin Line
North and South
Sharpe
Horatio Hornblower
Merlin
Joan of Arc
Here Come The Brides
The Last King
The First Churchills
Pallisers
Barchester Chronicles
Mayor of Casterbridge
Mapp and Lucia
Anne of Green Gables
I Claudius
Roar
House of Mirth
The Aristocrats
Flambards
Six Wives of Henry VIII
Crossbow
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Brideshead Revisited
The Tudors
Young Victoria
Blackadder
The First Churchills
Poldark
John Adams
Sherlock Holmes
Into The West
Jeeves and Wooster

Now for the winners. Alas, many of you didn't specify where you are, and I did say one copy of Chalice of Roses would go to North America and one to the rest of the world. However, as it happens, I think it worked out. If not, I'll have to pick again. A promise is a promise.The first pick was Cynthya, and as she was recommending John Adams, I suspect she's from North America.The second was Carol Thompson, and she spelled "favourites" the British way. E-mail me at jo@jobev.com with your addresses. 
Corsm

Chalice of Roses is out officially in a few days, but it's probably on shelves now in some places. We hope it'll start your year of with great reading pleasure,

All best wishes,

Jo