Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

That's my DH (Dear Husband)
Doing the traditional ceremonial
for you.

Wishing you all good health, happiness and prosperity in 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011



Thank you all for your friendship and for your support during this year of change, transition, success, loss and general all-around craziness! Thank you for supporting my book through your blogs and with your purchases of it. Thank you for your comments and your humor. Thank you for writing great blogs that I love to visit - I am in awe of your talent and creativity.

I hope that you are surrounded by love and laughter, and that your heart is filled with peace and joy.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Bloggini Break

I'm taking a bloggini break over the holidays, so I just want to wish you all the happiest of holidays, a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year.

Like every year, this one had its ups and downs. Mom passed away after disappearing into Alzheimer's for almost 10 years. I miss her every day. But I feel like Mom and Dad are watching over me together again, and it comforts me. I'm also grateful for all the blessings this year has brought. My book - my dream of a lifetime - is in the world and being well-received. Though it's been hard work, I've enjoyed EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of this launch.

This year I've reconnected with long lost friends and made so many new ones. I'm especially grateful to all of you who hosted me on your blogs during my book blog tour or who wrote wonderful spontaneous reviews, and to all who followed along or showed up here just to say hello. I love it when I go to comments and see your names there. Thank you for the friendship you've extended to me.

I really need to start writing regularly again, so that's what I'm going to do now. I feel the excitement of my new story starting to tingle, and that's the perfect place to be. I'm going to goof off a bit, get some rest, and then begin.

So, though I may not be posting much here for a while, I will probably still be dropping by all your blogs to see what you're up to. I love your words, wit and humor.

Sending lots of holiday hugs you way.

Friday, December 16, 2011

DEJA VU BLOGFEST: Finding Our People

I'm participating in DL Hammons' DEJA VU BLOGFEST today. The idea is to "recycle" a past post. This one was originally a guest post over at Becky Povich's blog, and folks seemed to like it. So, it's Deja Vu All Over Again, Folks!


In recent years, actress Shirley MacLaine has become known as much for her unusual beliefs about aliens and spirituality as for her movie roles. She lives here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and when her book came out a few years ago, I went to the book signing. Yes, she has some offbeat ideas, but I discovered that she makes a lot of sense about certain things. The one thing she wrote about that really resonated with me had to do with this idea of “finding your people.”

The gist of her point was that we are born into a particular family, but that we spend most of our life looking for “our people” outside of that birth family. Some of our family members may be “our people” and some may not. I think there are many people who feel so different from their other family members that they wonder if they were adopted, or if they really were abducted by aliens!

So, off we go into the world, seeking out those to whom we feel connected on a deep soul level. In romantic relationships, we call them our Soul Mates. But this idea of soul mates can go beyond just romantic partners – it can apply to all those in our lives whom we truly call Friend. These are the people who see our flaws and still celebrate us; the ones who show up for us; the ones who sincerely root for us; the ones who “get” us.

A few years ago, I became a yoga teacher. I started teaching at a studio here in Santa Fe, where the teachers have well-established followings. I began by subbing classes. Sometimes no one would show. Sometimes a person would come in, see that there was a sub, turn on her heels and go. Ouch. But then, new people came. And the next time I subbed, they came back. They told people the new teacher was pretty good, and the next time, a few more came. Eventually I had my own classes, and I developed a following. My people had found me and I had found my people – the ones for whom my style of teaching yoga resonated.

I think it’s very much the same for us as writers. Sometimes we want to achieve some concept of “success” so much that we write things that we think will please a certain audience. Are vampires still in? Should I write about vampires? I heard that zombies are the new vampires – shall I write about zombies?

What we need to do is take a deep breath, pause, and ask ourselves: What kind of books do I like? What kind of book have I dreamed of writing? If I love zombies, and have a great idea for a story, I should write it! But only because it’s truly what I love, not just because I think there is an audience for it out there. Because if my heart isn’t in it, then I won’t truly find “my people,” and my people won’t find me .

So, like the yoga teacher, showing up to share what I know and hoping that students will come, find something of value, and return again, as a writer I write what moves me and hope that among the many readers who try me out, one or two will like my work enough to return. Like yoga students, our readers may not show up in droves, they may show up one by one. But over time, those ones and twos become threes and fours, and eventually, we’ve got a following. By being true to ourselves, we’ve found our people.

P.S. When I was little, Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman was my favorite book, so I guess I've always been looking for my people!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Perfect Start to My Day

This morning I opened my email to find this note:

Dear Miss Goodwin,

My name is Peter and I am in the 3rd grade. My mother just bought an autographed copy of "The Christmas Village", because we read it in class. I couldn't stop reading it ! It was just hard to put down. Everyone in my family wants to read it. I think you should write Part Two ! I also think you should win an award for it. Thanks for writing a great book.

From Pete (age 9).

Not much could take the smile off my face this morning. Hope your day starts off well too (and stays that way!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wise Bear William - A Beautiful Book for the Little Ones

I'm so excited to recommend my friend Arthur Wooten's beautiful picture book, Wise Bear William, A New Beginning, as the perfect gift for the little ones in your life. The story is funny and sweet, and has a lovely message about recognizing what makes each of us unique and special. The illustrations by Bud Santora are absolutely gorgeous! 

Here's a bit about the story: Toys that were so loved when new have been long forgotten in the attic. But rumor has it that soon the children will be coming to rescue them. Each toy hopes to be selected by a child, but each is a bit bedraggled and in need of sprucing up. The toys work together to help each other look their best for when the children come. Each toy has a quirky and endearing personality, and you'll come to feel as though they are almost real. Wise Bear William is a heartwarming story about being able to acknowledge our shortcomings with humor, and about realizing that it's what inside that truly matters.

Arthur Wooten is a playwright, screenwriter and humorist. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including Birthday Pie, Fruit Cocktail and On Picking Fruit. Wise Bear William is his first book for children.

Bud Santora is a versatile and immensely talented designer and illustrator who has won an Emmy for costume design.

Click here to buy your copy of Wise Bear William

Arthur Wooten
Author of Wise Bear William, A New Beginning

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dreams of Trains, Toys & Donkeys at the Children's Museum

This Sunday, I'll be reading/signing The Christmas Village at the Santa Fe Children's Musuem, from 2 to 4pm.  And, I've decided to donate $1 per print copy sold during ALL of December to the Museum - that's whether it's sold there, or on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Sales have been good so far, so I'm looking forward to writing them a BIG CHECK!

It's the museum's annual holiday event called, "Dreams of Trains, Toys and Donkeys." I am not the donkey! It's a major fundraiser for the museum, which, like most non-profits, is struggling for its life these days. I'm delighted to be able to be there and be a part of helping this wonderful institution survive and thrive.

Here's the link to their website, with information about the holiday event: Santa Fe Children's Museum

Today, I'm off to teach Restorative Yoga and Gentle Yoga. Look forward to turning some stressed-out folks into blissed-out folks.

Have a great Friday!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Under the Tiki Hut

I'm the Under the Tiki Hut guest poster today! If you haven't visited Carol Kilgore's fun Tiki Hut blog, you must! I mean, who doesn't want to be under a Tiki Hut at this time of year? Especially after Monday's snowy snafus, and yesterday's frigid temps? We're talking 7 degrees here in Santa Fe yesterday - that's unheard of! But you heard it here!

Every Wednesday,Carol invites a writer to be the guest blogger, and you have to write A) From the perspective of a character from your book and B) the character has to be under the Tiki Hut on a beach and C) at this time of year you have to bring the holidays into your story!

So hop on over, because my main character from The Christmas Village, young Jamie Reynolds, is Under the Tiki Hut today!

Jamie was under th Tiki Hut a minute ago ... better pop over
to Carol Kilgore's blog and find out where he went!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Comedy of Errors on a Snowy Day

I grew up in New England, where we are used to snow. We expect it. We know what to do with it. Here in Santa Fe it's different. We get winter here, with snow and cold. But for some reason, Santa Feans like to pretend that Santa Fe doesn't get snow, so they don't plan for it, don't much plow it, and sort of pretend it just hasn't happened! Also they drive as if nothing at all was different - which is to say, they speed in residential sections, pass on the right and talk on cell phones while driving, eating and making illegal u-turns.

Yesterday we awoke to a snowy morning. We live at the top of a hill now, and the lot wasn't plowed and I wasn't game to take our new car down an icy hill right off, so I moseyed at home rather than going straight into the yoga studio. (I work there on Mon/Tues/Wed mornings).  The first teacher cancelled class anyway, so no worries about rushing in.

Eventually the snow looked to be tapering off, so I went in. Going down the hill was treacherous, and I had to move far over so the big car coming UP the hill wouldn't whack me as he fishtailed all over the place. But once down, the roads were ... clear! As in, bare. As in, you'd almost not even know it had snowed.

Smooth trip to the studio, only to find upon arrival that we had no heat! The 9am teacher had to keep them doing sun salutations to stay warm. I also learned that five hearty souls had actually made it in to the 7:30 class - which had been cancelled - despite our instructions to please call in on snowy days to listen for a cancellation message. Of which there had been one, but ...oh well. Funny thing is, the Monday 7:30am class usually has 2 people, but of course on the SNOWY DAY, 5 people decide to come ...what's up with that??

To boot, I also discovered that helpful students had been answering the studio phone when it rang, before I got there. Which is actually NOT helpful, because the students told people the classes were taking place, when in fact, some later classes were cancelled. Had they left things alone, the callers-in would have gotten the message on the machine telling them this ... So, not so helpful!

Anyway, it's all rather funny and typical of our quirky yoga studio. One of the owners and I were talking later about how we could be our own Reality Show about a yoga studio where we plan for most things but whatever we forgot to plan for is what happens, and where everyone who comes is part of the family and tries to be helpful in the worst possible ways. I think it would be "Must See TV." It's just about the best place I've ever worked, because we do our best and then throw up our hands and say, "Well, who woulda thunk THAT would happen," but most of all because we always end up laughing.

Hope you have a smooth day today!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snowy Monday!

We woke up to snow this morning. I'm supposed to work at the yoga studio today, but the early classes are cancelled and I'm more than happy to have another cup of coffee and diddle around here in Bloggiland while we see what develops.

My WOW Book Blog Tour wound up last Friday, and I can't say enough good things about Robyn and Angela, my tour organizers, or about the great bloggers who hosted me. The tour was a great way to promote my book, but the best part was making friends with the hosts and their friends and followers.

Some hosts who had originally asked for just a guest post or an interview ended up spontaneously reviewing The Christmas Village., because they enjoyed it so much! I'm especially grateful for that, because their excitement about the book is so heartfelt and sincere that their enthusiasm becomes contagious. When people review your book because they WANT to tell the world about it - well, there's not much that's better than that!

Later this week, I'll list all my hosts and their blog links. If you didn't have a chance to check them out before, you'll definitely want to pop over and make some new friends. And, if anyone out their would like me to host them here on my blog, please let me know!

Today I've got interviews at two very different blogs with rather similar names:

Megan Warburton's Storybook Love Affair
Deirdre Eden-Coppel's A Storybook World

I just love anyone who's got the word Storybook in their blog title, because you know they love books! Stop by and say hello to these lovely ladies and check out their great blogs.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Tides of March

We woke up to snow-covered ground this morning here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The sun is coming out now, so we're looking forward to walking around the Plaza a little later this morning, and maybe there's one of those Starbucks Peppermint Mochas in my future too ... It's definitely beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas.

Today I want to introduce you to my husband, artist J. Richard Secor, who blogs as RVPainter. His blog is a quirky combination of art talk and painting demonstration, RV tidbits, and faux-curmudgeon bluster (really, the crabby old man routine is just his schtick - he's a very nice man - but don't tell him I told you that!)  He paints in acrylic on paper and canvas. He didn't even start painting until he retired early from banking at age 54 - so Late Bloomers everywhere - take heart!

Richard started out working in watercolor when we lived  in Maine. He painted a lot of lighthouses and seascapes back then, and his palette was quite soft and pastel-ish. When we moved to Santa Fe from Arizona four years ago, he took a long break from painting, and wasn't even sure he would pick it up again. Well, of course, he did. And when he did, he was drawn to the more vibrant colors of acrylic paint.

Lately, he's been drawn again to painting seascapes - maybe because we are looking ahead to our RV adventure next year, when we'll be visiting many of the east coast seaside haunts where we were very happy. The painting I've posted here depicts a moody Maine seascape, and it's called, The Tides of March. You can see more of his work and chuckle along with his crabby artist demo here: RVPainter Blog.

His artwork is always for sale and it's so inexpensive, it's ridiculous!

The Tides of March
J. Richard Secor
12 x 16
Acrylic on Heavy Linen Paper

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Not Christmas without the Christmas Pudding

It's the last stop on my month-long WOW Blog Tour, and it's been a real whirlwind of writing and meeting great people. My guest post is one of my favorites on the whole tour - it's called, It's Not Christmas without the Christmas Pudding and it's over at Megan Warburton's Storybook Love Affair. It's a personal story about my own Christmases past, about family, and of course, about the Christmas Pud.

I hope you'll stop over to read it and give a shout-out while you're there. Megan's blog is really delightful - she has a new follower - ME!

There it is - the Christmas Pud, looking so pretty
but I still say "YUCK" to what's inside!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


It's Thankful Thursday again - boy does time go fast! And throw in the fact that it's December 1st! Can you believe it? Where did 2011 go ....

Today my WOW Guest Post is over at My Reading Room, and my piece is about working with themes in your writing. It's called "Themes that Resonate." On Friday, my post is a fun one called, "It Isn't Christmas without the Christmas Pudding," and it's at Storybook Love Affair, with Megan Warburton - she's all the way over in Australia!

Since it's Thankful Thursday, here is my list of today's ten thankful things:

I'm grateful for:
  • Good health - my own and my husband's
  • The start of the holiday season - I'm ready for it!
  • My husband, Dick, aka RV Painter, who keeps me laughing (check out his faux-grumpy-old-man personna over at
  • All the wonderful bloggers who graciously hosted me on my Blog Tour
  • Elaine, the librarian at the Carlos Gilbert Elementary School in Santa Fe, where this morning I'll be reading part of my book to 3rd and 6th grade classes
  • Our upcoming RV adventure - we've started booking our stays at parks next year!
  • Tony from the Liverpool Blue Coat School, who tracked down a woman who was my mom's friend at the school in 1939
  • Parents who kept me safe, but let me find my own way
  • The mint chocolate flavored, dark chocolate coated cookies I found at World Market
  • Good friends, old and new - so glad to have you all in my life
What are you thankful for today? P.S. Hope it's a good one!