Susan Meier's Blog

May 22, 2018

Today, Small Town Love, my book from Tule releases. I'm proud of this book for many reasons, not the least of which is I wrote it immediately after Michael died. We had a tight deadline, and I was part of a four-book mini-series...to bail on this project would have meant letting a lot of people down...Including Mikie. He was a stickler for keeping commitments.

So how did I write a romance when my heart was breaking? I made it funny. I took myself away from the emotions of the moment and turned in the exact opposite direction. I wanted to cry. I forced myself to laugh.

At a certain point in the writing process, I realized this book had gone from a responsibility to a respite from grief. If you've ever experienced a loss of the magnitude of losing a child, you probably realize that finding a place of mental rest is an absolute necessity.

This silly, wonderful story became that place for me.

When I was proofing it, I realized that that's what our books are supposed to do. I'd never specifically written one to become MY sanctuary before. But I'd always written my stories with an eye toward transporting my readers to another world.

We think what we do doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. I now know it does because I lived it firsthand. For the weeks it took me to write this story, I had a lovely place to go, friends -- albeit that they were fictional -- a twelve-year-old who needed me and a romance.

No one advocates living in fictional worlds all the time. But it was oh so lovely to have this respite when I desperately needed one.

So if you write romances, don't downplay what you do and its value. If you're a reader, enjoy. Your heart, your brain and your nervous system all need the few hours of being swept away.

I'd love it if you would buy and read SMALL TOWN LOVE.
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Published on May 22, 2018 07:44 • 102 views • Tags: romance, small-town, susan-meier

April 30, 2018

My first book for Tule Publishing releases May 22, 2018



I loved this story. Pax is a swoon-worthy hero and Evie Barclay is the kind of heroine we all wish we could be.



Here's a sample...



Tuesday morning, Paxton James walked up the main street of Paradise Key, Florida, drinking in the ambiance. As a small business owner and the mayor of a town undergoing a major revitalization, his days were long. But seeing the storefronts that were being taken back to the style of Paradise Key’s origin, young trees planted in boxes by parking meters, and a totally rebuilt boardwalk renewed his energy. With the renovations of the Paradise Key Resort finally begun, most of his residents would soon be gainfully employed, and business owners would be rolling in money from the small, but elite, group of tourists they hoped to attract.

If he was proud of what had been done in his years as mayor, he figured he deserved to be.

With a quick punch on the door of JavaStop, he entered the coffee shop.

“Hey, Lorelei.”

The attractive owner glanced up. “Hey, Mayor! What can I get you?”

“Coffee and this scone,” he said, pointing at the pastry inside the glass case.

She laughed. “Never met anybody so particular about his pastries.”

Lorelei poured his coffee and retrieved his scone while he picked up a copy of USA Today. She tried to wave off his money, but he insisted on paying, then took his coffee, scone, and newspaper to one of the comfortable seats in the back.

He settled into the sand-colored traditional chair beside the matching sofa, set his coffee and scone on the glass coffee table, and opened the paper, glancing up when the door opened again.

When he saw Evelyn Barclay, he winced. She wasn’t just a tall blonde drink of water; the woman was smart. The great-granddaughter of an industrialist, granddaughter of a U.S. Senator, and daughter of an activist, she’d gone to Oxford and gotten her master’s at Harvard.

While she, Lauren, Jenna, and Sofia mourned the loss of their childhood friend Lily, Pax and Evie had run into each other enough that he knew to stay away from her. She was single minded. Devoted to the city of Philadelphia. And fiercely protective of her friends.

She approached his chair. “What are you doing here?”

He peered at her. Not only had she gone home a few days ago, but also her dad had gotten into big trouble the day before. He’d have thought she’d be out hiring lawyers or something.

“What are you doing here?”

“Looking for you.”

He frowned. Oh, Lord. He could have handled the storm in her soft gray eyes, except he found it sexy. And being attracted to her was wrong for about six hundred reasons.

“Looking for me?”

“For the next few weeks, I’m in charge of the Paradise Key website. Today’s the day you’re supposed to be on the beach at eight.” She frowned at his dress pants. “In shorts. Ready to tell people what a wonderful place Paradise Key is before rattling off this list of events.” She waved a sheet like the one laying on his desk in his office in town hall.

He glanced at the list of events, and the little buzz he’d gotten staring into Evie’s eyes disappeared. He hated that damned video. That was why his subconscious kept forgetting it.

“Why don’t we have somebody else rattle off that list?”

She gaped at him. “You’re the mayor!”

“I know…but what about you? A beautiful woman.” And Lord, she was beautiful. Her blond hair hung past her shoulders in a perfect wave, her pale eyes were set in a face that could charm the angels, and her sweet voice could melt snow. Just looking at her made his head spin. “A beautiful woman with television experience. I’ll bet you could make a much better video than I could.”

“No. For a video like this, people want someone in authority.”

He frowned. “How would you know?” His frown deepened. “Now that I think about it…why are you in charge of the video? Where’s Lauren?”

“Working with other clients.”

He sat back on the comfy sofa and crossed his arms on his chest. “Okay, I get that. But why you?”

“You think I can’t direct a video?”

“I don’t know.” He rose from the sofa and took a step toward her. “This isn’t exactly prime time TV. And you’re behind the camera. Not in front of it. Do you have any experience? I’m not working with somebody who doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

Her sexy eyes flashed fire again. For a few seconds, he regretted pushing her. Not just because it was a cheap excuse to get out of doing the video, but because that flash hit him right in the gut. His wife had been gone five years. Two years after her death, he’d even reentered the dating pool. But he’d never felt for any woman the weird things he felt around Evie Barclay.

What was he doing egging her on?

“Look, just tell Lauren I’m not doing the video anymore.” He returned to his seat and picked up the paper, mindlessly opening it. He couldn’t get the strange tingling sensation out of his chest, and if her eyes were still flashing fire, he didn’t want to see it.

“You’re doing the video.”

He turned a page in the paper. “No. I’m not.”

“Oh, yeah. You are.”

Her voice sounded so positive, so sure, that he let the paper crumble. “You come up to my shoulder, and I don’t think you weigh a hundred and twenty pounds. You don’t scare me.”

“Yeah, well, what if we have Tyson Braddock do it? The guy who wants your job.” She laughed. “This is sort of a backhanded way of giving it to him.”

Her mention of his rival made him laugh. “You know what? We asked him. Even he doesn’t want to do it.”

She groaned. “Come on! It’s one stupid video. Once a week. All you have to do is read a list.”

“And look like a piece of cardboard with permanently bugged eyes. Some of us were not made for the camera.” But she was. Her hair was glorious. Her eyes were tantalizing. Her smile made him want to sigh. She was perfect. “I still think you should do it. Come on. Please? I’d try to bribe you, but I know you don’t need money.”

“No. I don’t.” Her anger faded, and she stepped back. “But even if I did, I’m staying out of the limelight for a few weeks.”

Remorse filled him. Of all the stupid things to say, nagging her to do the video was the stupidest. Yesterday, it had been only a matter of hours before people added her father’s arrest with her sudden reappearance in his secluded small town and realized she was hiding out. Her dad was a criminal. She’d been gossiped about her entire life. She’d lost her mom the way his daughter Samantha had lost hers. She was the poster child for the saying money does not buy happiness.

And suddenly, all his good arguments about not doing the video sounded like mean-spirited tantrums in his head.

With a heavy sigh, he folded the paper. “All right. I’ll do this week’s video, but then I want you guys to come up with another plan.” He paused, cutting her a look. “I mean it.”

She shrugged. “I’m not management. I’m just the hired help. If you want to change the plan, you have to talk to Lauren.”

He wondered if he hadn’t been hornswoggled. Or if his own dumb soft heart had read things into the situation that weren’t there. He’d seen her on the beach reading, seen her in Scallywags enjoying her friends. If she was staying out of the limelight, it wasn’t because she was hurt. It was because she didn’t want to damage the pristine reputation she had in Philly.

Still, he was kind of stuck. He pointed at the door. “Let’s go.”

He didn’t know why she was helping Lauren, but after the way Evie had conned him, he suspected it involved something for Evie. He’d learned that from his television star mom. Ten years in one of TV’s most popular sitcoms had netted her a bundle, but she’d spent it all trying to develop another show for herself. When that didn’t work, she’d borrowed money, trying to create shows for him and his younger sister. She’d dragged them to development meetings, sent them to dance classes and singing lessons—not to mention class after class of acting techniques—made them run lines in front of producers and directors, and in general stolen their childhoods…while wasting a fortune. Not because she wanted them to be happy, but because she wanted the fame back. Jenny James did nothing that didn’t benefit her.

Evie Barclay might not want the limelight, but she wanted something.

He opened the JavaStop door and let Evie out first. “I’ll go home and change, then meet you on the boardwalk.”

Evie nodded and started down the street, but he stopped her. “And, Evie? We run through this once and only once. So get it on the first take.”

He turned and headed in the other direction. It was a small demand, but it somehow made him feel the tiniest bit better. How could her attractiveness have made him forget for even one second that some people only looked out for themselves?

He hurried down the street, across two blocks and down another to his house, a blue-shingled Victorian with a wide porch that fronted the entire structure and wrapped around the left side. White columns ran from roof to floor, matching the spindle railing that gave it a cozy, homey feel. He strode up to the double front doors, black with etched glass cut in sections, held together in black iron frames that gave them an art-deco feel.

Opening the door, he called, “Samantha?”

He’d left the Victorian style behind when he remodeled the inside. Touches like the fireplace, crown molding, and original hardwood floors—which he refinished a stunning gray—remained. But the open-floorplan displayed a bright white kitchen, dining area with white tufted chairs around a reclaimed wood table, and a living room with a flat-screen TV that served as a mirror when it wasn’t displaying shows.

His twelve-year-old daughter came flying down the stairs. Her dark hair wasn’t caught up in the usual ponytail. Instead, it hung past her shoulders, poker straight and shining, as if it had just been washed. Her wide brown eyes, so much like her mother’s, sat in a face made up of high cheekbones and a straight nose, with peaches-and-cream skin.

As she’d grown taller, she’d also begun losing baby fat. Today, she wore scruffy jeans with a dressy blue blouse with bell sleeves. He’d thought a T-shirt would look better with the jeans, or dress pants with the pretty blouse, but when he’d mentioned it, Samantha had laughed.

“What do you want?”

“I’m changing clothes, and then I need you to come with me to make the video for the town website.”

Her eyes widened. “You want me to be in the video?”

He sighed. If only she could…

“No. I want you to come along. I don’t want you to be alone. You can’t spend all day, every day in the house. It’s not right.” It wasn’t really a lie. Since summer vacation started, he’d been worried about her. In the evenings, she’d been quiet and moody, staying in her room when she normally came downstairs to watch TV with him. He couldn’t take her to the office. Too boring. But she could accompany him to the boardwalk and hang out while Evie and her crew set up.

And if Samantha also kept him too busy to interact with Evie, that was just a bonus.

***

It didn’t take a lot to set up for a video to be put on a website. A sixth grader with a phone could have done it. In fact, the technician hired by Lauren’s firm had told Evie it would probably be easier to use a phone.

Pax didn’t show up for twenty minutes. Evie had only needed five to get back to the boardwalk, so she and Dave had been waiting for fifteen boring minutes. She swiped the hair from her face, but the breeze off the gulf blew it back again.

“How can it take twenty minutes for a guy to remove one shirt and one pair of pants and replace them?”

Dave Calhoun laughed. “Maybe he’s having trouble figuring out what to wear?”

Even as he said that, Evie saw the mayor of Paradise Key coming around the side of the resort. He wore board shorts and a big T-shirt, exactly what they wanted for the video.

A few quick strides took him past the scaffolding and construction workers and onto the boardwalk—

With his daughter.

Everything inside Evie stewed. She had the oddest sense he was going to say he couldn’t tape today because he had to babysit.

It was ridiculous. But he was being ridiculous.

In this day and age of casual videos, who argued about rattling off a list on camera?

She and Dave headed over to meet them. “Mr. Mayor.” She smiled at Samantha. “I see you brought your daughter.”

“I thought she might enjoy watching us make the video.”

Okay. Evie could accept that. She could even counteract it. “That’s great. Samantha, do you want to stand behind Dave with me?”

Her already big eyes widened. “You mean like a director?”

“Sure! Why not?”

Dave hit a few buttons on his unnecessarily advanced camera. “Ready?”

Paxton said, “Ready,” and ambled farther down the boardwalk, so the video wouldn’t pick up the renovations on the resort, but would get the ocean and incredibly blue sky as the backdrop. A few beachgoers were already setting up. The wind had enticed out a couple with a kite. The air smelled like heaven as the surf rolled toward the shore.

It was perfect.

Dave raised his hand, counting down from five with his fingers. “Five, four, three, two, one…” He pointed at Paxton.

“Hey! It’s a glorious eighty-one degrees here in Paradise Key, Florida.” Pax held out his hands as if embracing the warmth. Then he started moving toward the camera, just as they’d done in the videos they’d already made.

“This week, there’s a chili cookoff sponsored by the ladies’ auxiliary to benefit the fire company.” He motioned down the boardwalk. “Stroll up and down all day and sample the offerings. At the end of the day, pick your favorite and make somebody’s day.”

Evie sighed. “Cut!”

Pax stopped dead. Dave turned to look at her.

She shook her head. “It’s a little thing, but saying at the end of the day, make somebody’s day… It’s repetitive. Especially after you’d already said stroll up and down all day.”

Pax crossed his arms on his chest. “We said one take.”

She laughed, but when he just stared at her, she said, “I thought you were kidding.”

“I wasn’t.”

“No one does these things in one take.”

Samantha solemnly said, “It’s true, Dad. Some of my friends tweak their YouTube videos for hours.”

“There! See,” Evie said, suddenly glad he’d brought his daughter. “Even people who post pictures of their dogs do more than one take.”

“My friends don’t post dogs.” Samantha glanced at her dad, and then back to Evie. “They post makeup tips.”

“Oh. I did show on that in Philly.”

Samantha’s eyes brightened. “You did?”

“Yes. Those videos are very popular. One of the best ways to keep up with makeup trends.”

“Hello,” Pax called, waving his hands. “Mayor needs to get back to work.”

“Oh, right!” Evie turned to Samantha. “When your dad leaves, you and I can get a coffee, then I’ll tell you the top three videos I found.”

“Great.”

Dave threw her a patient look.

“Oh! Sorry again.” She motioned to Dave. “Start when you’re ready.”

Pax backed up. Dave hit a few buttons on the camera. “Five, four, three, two, one…” He pointed at Paxton.

“Hey! It’s a glorious eighty-one degrees here today in Paradise Key, Florida.” Pax held out his hands as if embracing the warmth, then started moving toward the camera.

“This week, there’s a chili cookoff sponsored by the ladies’ auxiliary to benefit the fire company.” He motioned down the boardwalk. “Stroll along all day and sample the offerings. When you’re done, pick your favorite. See how your taste stacks up against everyone else’s.”

“Cut!”

Everybody glanced at Samantha. “Dad, the wind’s making a mess of your hair.”

“My hair is supposed to look windblown,” Pax said in exasperation. “I’m at the beach. We’re trying to give people the full experience.”

She pulled a comb from her pocket. “You look like Einstein. Last week, my friends did memes.”

“Memes? What the hell’s a meme?”

Dave leaned toward Pax. “It’s where people create cartoons to make fun of something.”

He gaped at his daughter. “People made fun of me?”

“Only your hair.” She handed him the comb.

He took it, ran it through his hair, and handed it back. “Can we do this all ready?”

“Sure,” Evie said, stifling a laugh.

“I see that smirk.”

“I was just thinking that somebody in the public eye as much as you are should be accustomed to criticism.”

“Of my policies? Yes. Of my hair?” He shook his head. “That’s just stupid.”

Dave mumbled. “That’s the digital age.”

Evie took a breath to stop a laugh that spilled out and composed herself the way she did before the cameras were turned on her every day at noon. “Count it down, Dave.”

He did the countdown, and they started from the top. It took three more tries before they finally got it right.
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Published on April 30, 2018 17:09 • 102 views

April 18, 2018

In January, my son Michael died. The day we took him to the hospital, I wrote this Facebook post. It received such a response from my FB friends that I decided to share it with you...


Last night, Mikie had a long seizure that required he go to the hospital. When we got him stabilized, which in this case was also sedated, I was sitting by his bed, watching him sleep and I thought back to the time many years ago when he had an awful seizure that required he be so sedated that he had to be put on life support. (This was a while back, so I may have some medical terms wrong…bear with me. :) I think the story is worth it.)

The next day, when he awoke, he told me that he’d died and talked to God. I said, “Really.” He said, “Yes. I sat on Jesus’s lap and he said, Sorry, Buddy, but somebody’s got to have this disease. Allen (his brother) has important things he has to do. So he can’t have it. Sarah (his sister) is flighty. She can’t handle it. So it’s up to you. Because this is really important.” Mikie asked him why it was important that someone have epilepsy, and Jesus said he wasn’t allowed to tell. But it was important and being sick was going to be hard, but he could handle it.

And…

Mikie sat up and looked me right in the eye and said, “And Jesus said tell your mom she has to help you.”

The interesting thing about that story wasn’t that Mikie might have visited heaven – though that’s pretty interesting – the thing is, after that chat, Mikie was empowered. His suffering had purpose. Every time he couldn’t do something like play high school football or drive, his mind would take him back to the chat with God, wherein he was told his disease, his suffering had meaning and it wasn’t just a matter of him “handling” whatever problem came up. He handled it with pride. Because he had a mission. A purpose.

We all probably have a purpose. But most of us see our mundane existence as reason to doubt it, and we see our troubles as reason to think God doesn’t love us. Mikie sees his troubles as proof God DOES love him. In fact, God loves and trusts him enough that he gave him a mission. A hard one.

As I sat there watching his chest rise and fall with the help of a ventilator, I also remembered the time when he was six or so (before the visit with Jesus) when he had had some sort of problem at school. I can’t remember what the problem was. Six was over thirty years ago. LOL But I do remember stooping down in front of him saying, “Look. You’re not different. You’re not special. You are Mikie and this is Mikie’s life. The only life you get. Enjoy the good. Accept or handle the bad. And be Mikie.”

When driving to the doctor’s office or making one of our many shifts in meds that weren’t always fun, I’d remind him, “This is part of being Mikie.” I’d also remind him of that when he got out of school early for an appointment, so he’d see being Mikie had its upside.

Anyway, I never really thought too much about it. To me, I was teaching Mikie to recognize that his roll of the life dice might not have been perfect, but there was good in there too. And if he looked for the good, he wouldn’t just recognize it, he could exploit it. Enjoy it. LOL

In this day and age of parents telling their kids they are special snowflakes and they can be, have or do anything they want, while our country’s depression rates go up and up and up, I sometimes wonder what would happen if more parents told their kids…You’re not different. You’re not special…You’re Alice or Pete or Julie or Carson. And this is your life. Enjoy the good stuff. Handle or accept the bad. But live your life. YOUR life. As it is. Warts and all.

As I write this, Mikie is still heavily sedated. Right now, we don’t know how this will turn out. If he’ll have brain damage. If they’ll discover he also had a stroke. Or if he’ll wake up and remind me that Jesus told him I had to help him…LOL

But we do know we’ll make the best of it. We might not always be happy, but happiness isn’t supposed to be a permanent state. It’s a high point.

We’ll enjoy the good. Accept or handle the bad. And live our lives.
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Published on April 18, 2018 04:07 • 17 views
In this busy world we live in, it's all too easy to overlook the beauty that surrounds us. Susan Meier talks about the important lessons she learned from her son about taking the time to simply breathe and embrace life.

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Most of you know my son, Michael, had epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of those hidden diseases. People could look at him and think he was perfectly fine. He wasn’t. Because he could have a seizure at any time, he couldn’t drive. He couldn’t hold a job. He couldn’t live on his own. Technically, he got none of the things most of us live for. Yet, he was one of the happiest people I know.



He looked at life very differently than I did, and in the last ten years he taught me – through example – to be just like him. To look at clouds just for the sake of finding something pretty or extraordinary. He taught me to realize how lucky I am because I do have all the things he couldn’t have. He taught me not to put so much importance on “things” or to care about what other people thought of me, but to be myself…and here’s the biggie…to be happy with myself. Just as I am.



And that’s why I want to ask you to look at your life. Not your career. Not your roles as mom, wife, daughter, grandmother, friend, employee…But your life.




Now close your eyes, breathe in and breathe out, slowly, several times, and realize that though it sometimes seems you are the sum and total of your roles and goals, there’s a whole world beyond that. The sky changes every day. Trees that are dark and barren in the winter fill with life when spring returns. Kids laugh. Good books entertain, but great books change you. If you don’t notice the rhythm of all that, the ebb and flow of life and nature, art and people, you’re missing something wonderful.



In fact, if you’re on the treadmill of life, rushing to work, rushing through your tasks, rushing your kids through dinner and homework, rushing to get to bed…so you can wake up and start all over…never thinking about who you are, what life means, what your place is, then you’re missing it all.



A few friends have told me they are practicing being present…and that’s cool. But I think I’d rather practice being a person. A real person.And so should you. Take a breath. Look around. Really see. Really hear. Really taste and smell and touch. Don’t just go through the motions.




And hug your kids. We lost Mikie in January. If I could change one thing about losing him, it would be that I would have known the last time we played Yahtzee really was the last time we played Yahtzee. I wish I’d told him I loved him one more time. I wish I could have heard him say he loved me.



But I have no regrets because – thanks to him – I do breathe in and breathe out. I do look at the sky, searching for rainbows or just pretty clouds. I know what’s real. I know what’s right. I own who I am. What I do. Why I do it. I know I’ve always done the best I can with what I have. He taught me that.



And knowing that is freedom…that’s true balance.



Susan's most recent book is The Spanish Millionaire's Runaway Bride. For more information, you can visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.



Do you take the time to breathe and embrace life? Is there someone in your life who left a lasting impression on how you view things? Is achieving balance in your life something you're still working on? Let us know in the comments
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Published on April 18, 2018 03:52 • 13 views

January 1, 2018

Start the new year positively...

Happy New Year's Eve!

Every time a new baby would be born into our family, my mother would hold him or her and say, “New life. Babies are a reminder that life goes on.”

Now before you think that sentiment is common, ordinary or even mundane, you should know that I watched my mom lose her sister – her best friend – when they were in their forties. Aunt Lib had a bad heart back in the days before there were meds and surgeries and things that could have saved her. My mom’s mom died from a goiter. Something now so easily treated left my seven-year-old mother and her siblings without their mom. Before my mother graduated high school, her father had also died.

My father, her husband, died right before he would have turned seventy. Before my mom died, she had lost all but one of her siblings and all her siblings-in-law.

So, when my mom said, “Babies are a sign that life goes on…” the sentiment carried weight. Sometimes when we suffer an incredible loss (or many as in my mom’s case) the only thing we can do is remember that life goes on.

That might sound so pragmatic that it borders on cruel (in this series of “let’s end the old year/start the new year on a happy note” posts) but think about it. My mom could have gotten lost in darkness, instead she looked for the light, and with eleven kids getting married and having babies, she saw plenty of light. She made it her mission to become the best grandma possible. And she was.

It wasn’t just a matter of making lemonade out of lemons…it was about finding purpose. This goes beyond the Sophie Cat purpose of being who you were meant to be…it’s about letting go of yourself and doing good for others.

I know people tell you that all the time. When you’re down, find someone to help. But do we do it? And if we do it, do we understand that we’re supposed to do it unselfishly? Not to gain something but only to give – without expectation.

And that’s the message of today’s post: give something, but do it right. When you’re down and out, don’t look at what you’ve lost, look at the people around you and use your pain to understand theirs. Or use what you have to fill their needs.

My mom didn’t have a lot. She didn’t need a lot. She could cook and she could hug.

In this day and age, who among us couldn’t use a good cinnamon roll and a hug?

In 2018, instead of being mired in the bad, bogged down in awfulness, let’s look around our own little corner of the world and find our version of cinnamon rolls and hugs.

Because the other thing my mom taught me is that one person CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole of it, but there’s nothing wrong with brightening up our own little corner. :)
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Published on January 01, 2018 06:11 • 58 views

December 31, 2017

The first week in November, we were told our beloved cat, Sophia Maria Lolita Conchita Chiquita Banana has a tumor in her tummy. She’s 18, the equivalent, the vet told us, of 90 in human years and he and the other vet in the practice advised against surgery. They told us as long as she was happy and functioning, she could live a few more months. A few months for us to love her and her to love us.

Now, before you think, “Sheesh, Susan, these are supposed to be uplifting posts. Now, you’re telling us about your cat dying?” stick with me. LOL

We got Sophia after my niece found her abandoned in the woods. She was, maybe, a week old. I had just lost an older cat and though I didn’t want to replace him – I was still grieving - no cat mom in the world could have resisted this scraggly, dirty, flea-ridden baby who needed a mom. And she appreciated that. I think she knew we saved her and to thank us she kept every squirrel, mole, chipmunk and critter out of our backyard and the backyards of the entire neighborhood.

I always called her my little warrior and she would purr. Of course, that didn’t mean I liked the gifts of live chipmunks she chased into the kitchen. But I got the drift. She was doing what she knew how to do. That was her gift to me. Her place in life.

She’s happy now. Because the tumor precludes her system from absorbing all the nutrients from her food, we were told to feed her anytime she wants to eat. So, every two hours she gives us a nudge, we open a can and she gobbles. She purrs like it’s her job. Watches us play Yahtzee. Sits on my lap and stares into my eyes as if God hit perfection when he created me. And though we all know THAT’S not true, it doesn’t hurt to get a little admiration every once in a while. Even if it is from a cat. LOL

Over the years, Sophia has taught me a lot of lessons about life. First, BE who you are. We would have preferred a nice, quiet
housecat. Sophie was a warrior. We came to not just appreciate that, but to brag about it. LOL

Second, LOVE who you are. Every time Sophie brought a chipmunk or dead mole onto the porch, she was proud. (At first, I
screamed, but eventually, when our neighborhood had no rodents we learned to praise her.)

Third, even when times are tough, PURR. If you’re being who you are and loving who you are…you deserve to purr.

And, btw, living the way she did, as a warrior princess when we wanted her to be a house cat, Sophie also has no regrets.

Another little something to ponder before we enter a new year.
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Published on December 31, 2017 11:40 • 99 views

December 30, 2017

The day my mother died, my son (who has epilepsy and who has quite convincingly told us he talks to God) called for me to come outside (to the back deck) to see something. When I got outside, he pointed up and said, "The sky is full of angels for Grandma."

I looked up and the sky was filled with hundreds of small circular clouds. I said, "You mean the circles...the clouds that are circles?" He laughed and said, "Those are their chairs."

It doesn't matter if he was right or wrong, seeing something real or mired in grief. The fact that he looked up and saw something in the handiwork in the sky touched me. Since then, every time I go outside, I look up. The sky is full of color and light. I haven't seen angels sitting on the circular clouds but I have seen artistry.

I like the big fluffy clouds. (Who doesn't?) But I'm also beginning to appreciate the wisps of white that dance through the blue or gray. But the thing that strikes me the most about the sky is that it's always different. It's moody. It's expressive.

Just looking at the sky will improve my mood. At first I thought it was because of the poetry, the symmetry of the dance going on over our heads. Then I realized it might just be because I'm looking up, maybe for the first time that day.

And I wonder if that isn't what the show in the sky is supposed to do -- make us look up every once in awhile instead of down all the time.

#positivity #lookup #endtheyearonapositivenote
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Published on December 30, 2017 13:47 • 15 views

December 29, 2017

For some reason or another, I got it into my head that we should all end the year on a positive note. So I've decided that for the next few days I will post something positive. Maybe something for which I'm grateful.

One of my biggies -- one of the things for which I'm happily, abundantly grateful that might make other people think I'm crazy -- is color.

Think about it. The world could be black and white. It would still be beautiful, still be a work of art, but color adds a fantastic dimension to life that most of us don't even notice.

Look around you right now. I have multiple pairs of colored pajamas on my dresser, waiting to be put away. (LOL) They are gorgeous. Red sweaters. Gold curtains. A pristine yellow hardwood floor. Bright apricot-colored towels in my bathroom.

In the summer, the sky is blue. Grass is green. In the fall, leaves put on a show of color for weeks. People have blue eyes or green or brown. Nowadays hair can be a lush and gorgeous green, blue or red. I've actually been known to walk up to people on the street, in the Wal*Mart or the mall, and tell them they look good in their turquoise, peach or red outfit, because let's face it some colors are just fantastic.

I love multiple colored pens or highlighters. We did a white Christmas tree with only red ornaments this year. Gorgeous. And how much did you notice the wonderful colored wrapping paper on gifts under your tree? (Somebody slaved for hours choosing that wrapping paper and wrapping those gifts. I like to acknowledge that.)

Take today and just notice color. People in Erie, that might be difficult for you since everything's buried under white. LOL

Look around. Color is a great gift.
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Published on December 29, 2017 10:15 • 5 views

November 16, 2017

With Thanksgiving a week away, I just wanted to take a second to join you, as the people of the United States count our blessings.

I don't just count the usual, husband, kids, home blessings. I look around. Really see the beautiful world with which we have been blessed. Listen to the sound of laughter. Breathe the crisp, cool air.

The best things in life really are free.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your turkey be juicy and your family pure joy.

susan meier
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Published on November 16, 2017 05:21 • 7 views

August 1, 2017

The Boss's Fake Fiancee releases today. Of all the books I've written, this one stands out because the hero and heroine have worked together for YEARS, yet he never noticed her and she never got the courage to make him notice her.

But put Lila in a different environment, Mitch's families' vineyard, and make her realize this might be her only chance at getting the man of her dream, and she becomes a dynamo.

Because this is her last chance.

There's something about being pressed up against a wall that either brings out the best or the worst in each of us. I spent a lot of years being afraid of being pushed up against a wall, but now I sort of find it exciting. LOL

Maybe I learned from my characters that those crunch moments and situations that seem so horrible are actually gifts to help us get to our next step in life.

Happy Reading

susan meier
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Published on August 01, 2017 04:34 • 14 views • Tags: crunch-moments, makeover-stories, susan-meier, the-boss-s-fake-fiancee