My Blog
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Libby's Blog

I seldom enter writing contests, but I decided to do so last week. It is for women and requires an essay about how you have defined your life on your own terms. I chose the theme of what growing older means to me. As you might guess, I don’t buy into the theory that I should sit quietly, twiddling my thumbs and waiting to die. For some strange reason, that just doesn’t appeal to me. I entitled my essay, “Aging is a Journey, Not a Destination” (per Ralph Waldo Emerson).

I used my writing experiences of the past twelve years as an example of how I defined my life on my own terms after I retired, beginning with my first published article in Mature Living in 2002.

It was an interesting writing experience and one that I believe everyone should consider doing. You don’t have to be “writer” to review the last ten years or so of your life. Starting at a certain date, look at your accomplishments. We humans tend to focus more on goals we have yet to reach, rather than those we already have met. Reviewing our accomplishments is empowering.

You don’t have to enter a contest to do this. You just have to get down on paper events that have brought you to the present time. It can be surprising and sometimes, revealing.

Regardless, it is an exercise in introspection that can help you create an even more positive future.

Oh, yes, and I’ll let you know when I win the contest.


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to


Posted by libbygrandy at 12:41 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:44 PM EDT
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Libby's Blog

Worry. I once wrote an article about it. (Check out “Worried, Not Me!” under Inspirational Articles on my website

I’m thinking about this, because I believe I took worrying to a whole new level this past week. I honestly thought I had overcome my worrying problem by not projecting too far into the future, by living in the moment as much as possible and by choosing trust over fear and doubt.

Of course, it helped that our life has settled down a bit, that most of the problems of the past few months are finally behind us. For example, our car that was demolished in January was reincarnated in March (read my past blogs about it if you haven’t and are curious). I also have my good health back.

Consequently, I woke up one morning and felt worry free. As the day wore on, however, I began to feel a bit anxious. For months, I’ve had a daily list of must-do projects. But I couldn’t think of anything I absolutely had to do that day or the coming week.

Was I thrilled to have a few days of peace and quiet. Well…no…not really.

Rather, I began to worry about not worrying. Was I forgetting something important? Was I being delusional and unaware of the potential problems that could develop in the future? Etc. etc.

At some point, I “heard” myself and started to laugh. And I began to enjoy the day.

I hope you all aren’t worrying this week either.

If you’re not, please don’t worry about it.


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to




Posted by libbygrandy at 12:37 PM EDT
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Libby's Blog

I’m feeling much better this week. Others were right, it did take a while to get over whatever so many of us had. In last week’s blog, I talked about some of the benefits of being sick, however, there is one not so great circumstance (besides feeling terrible). You tend to watch more TV. And last week’s news was continuously bad. From the missing airplane to the terrible mudslide in Washington State, there was hour after hour of tragic news. I know some people thrive on watching bad news. I’m not one of them.

There was a time (at least in my lifetime), when we only knew the problems of family and friends. Today, through social media, we know about the world’s problems in real time. And we can relate to many of those situations, especially grieving families. Perhaps that is why there is more of a feeling of “oneness” in the world, so that is probably a good thing. If someone in a different culture far away in a different country is grieving the loss of a loved one, we can relate. Our hearts would also be broken.

We should empathize and pray for others, however, we eventually have to find that “peace that passes all understanding,” within ourselves, if we are to enjoy whatever is good in our own lives.

I pray every day that each of us finds that blessed peace, because, from there, we can create a more positive future.

I admit that it is easier to do that when we’re not sick. So I’m grateful to be feeling so much better.

Hope you all are well, too.


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to





Posted by libbygrandy at 2:13 PM EDT
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Libby's Blog

I’m sick. People I talk to say this particular brand of cold takes three weeks to get over. Since it’s only been a few days, that isn’t a very comforting thought. You may be feeling sorry for me. Don’t, this is a good thing. No, I don’t have a fever. I’m not hallucinating. This is just how I look at things when I get sick, which is hardly ever.

Although I do have a lot of empathy for people, I don’t think a chronically healthy person can really know what chronically ill people go through until they experience physical suffering themselves. Consequently, I’m having a lot of empathy these days for any of you out there who don’t feel well.

I also will truly appreciate being well when this is over. I won’t take my good health for granted, at least for quite a while.

There are other benefits to being sick. You can’t do what you normally do. The house doesn’t get cleaned, the dishes don’t get washed, etc. Well, actually they do, just not by you. Which is an interesting phenomenon in itself. You also can’t do all the things you think you should do to be productive, and surprise, surprise, the world keeps on turning.

And people are so sweet to you. For example, early one morning, our Jesse, who turns six years old next month, heard me coughing. He came into our bedroom, brought my robe to me and said, “I have to go to the bathroom, but I’ll get you settled first.” I immediately felt better. Love is potent medicine.

So now my goal is to get well (long before three weeks) and get back into life.

And for a long time, I will feel grateful for my good health. When I start to take it for granted, I’ll probably get another cold to remind me.

And that will be a good thing.


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to





Posted by libbygrandy at 3:55 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2014 3:59 PM EDT
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Libby's Blog

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” Wayne Dyer states in his latest book, I Can See Clearly Now. This maxim is backed up by quantum physics. Now I’m not going to pursue that subject. First, because this is a blog, not a book, and secondly, because I’m smart enough not to even try. So everyone can relax. This is not a blog about quantum physics (per se).

When I talk to people these days, I hear the same theme, over and over: “Things are getting better, but I’m worn out.” And I understand. They have dealt with serious problems over the past few years, some more traumatic than others, but all challenging. I’m not going to give examples, because it would take up this entire blog and only focus on the negative side of life. Why not focus on that? Because that is what I want to talk about this week—changing the way we look at things and why that is important.

I do want to add a caveat. I realize some of you may be grieving the death of a loved one, loss of a job, etc. That is necessary and important for your emotional health. At some point, however, you will want to enjoy life again. That is when Wayne Dyer’s maxim comes into play.

What happens too often is that we find it difficult to move on and trust in a safe world again or a positive future. That is when we need to change the way we are looking at things. If those thoughts are always negative, we may miss opportunities to make our lives better.

One example, albeit rather superficial, is how I’m attempting to change the way I feel when I go out in our new car these days. For weeks, I was nervous every time we came to a stop sign or stoplight. After all, someone ran straight through such a light and “creamed” our car in January. I want to change the way I’m looking at the possibility of that happening again. I tell myself that there was some reason for the accident and choose to trust that it won’t happen again. That it was not happenstance. I admit that takes a leap of faith, but I choose to believe it.

I could give more serious examples, but that would involve other people’s personal business, something I will never do.

So what was the main point of this blog? Oh, yes.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.



Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to





Posted by libbygrandy at 3:16 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2014 3:22 PM EDT
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Libby's Blog

As I wrote in my blog last week, our spirits have lifted in our personal lives these days. Consequently, we are more focused on important things like—finding a new dog.

We lost our dogs (natural deaths) last year about this time. They both died peacefully in our arms, so, although we grieved their loss, we were grateful for that. Since our lives were unusually hectic at the time, we didn’t attempt to replace our beloved pets. I believe there is a “timing” in life, so, when the thought popped into my head last week about acquiring a new dog, I knew the time had come.

Our first choice will be a rescue dog, so our visits will be to rescue kennels. Both our dogs actually walked into our yard fifteen years ago. I talk about them in articles on my website under Animal Stories Chicken Soup for the Soul published one of the stories in 2012. Our dog, Barney, became a minor celebrity. People still ask me about him.

We’ve had cats and dogs all our lives. Like raising children, it takes energy and commitment to have pets. They are totally dependent on you, and you don’t want to let them down. We had to decide if we had the necessary energy at our age. But then we realized that, more than anything else, it takes love.

That we’ve got.


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to





Posted by libbygrandy at 1:51 PM EDT
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Libby's Blog

For those who aren’t my friends on Facebook, I posted the following over the past weekend. “Cozy, rainy day. Doing my favorite things: enjoying family, eating good food, and editing my next book, Lydia, for publication later this year (second book in trilogy following Promises to Keep  Feeling grateful.”

I’m still in a grateful mode as I write this blog.

The past few years have been difficult for our family and many of our friends. I’m proud of us, because we kept putting one foot in front of the other and never gave up or collapsed into self-pity, resentment, etc. Consequently, we made it through to a better place, and there has been a “lightening” recently which has revived our hopes.

Two things helped me the most. Dealing with everything one day at a time and focusing on gratitude for what was still good in our lives. For example, when someone demolished our car in January, we focused on being grateful that none of us were hurt or worse. (Of course, it helped that our car was reincarnated the other week—scroll down and read my last blog.)

I go into more detail about all this in my article, “Dealing With Fear,” under Inspirational Articles on my website

Do you all feel a “lightening” in your lives, too? Regardless, I hope you will join me in focusing on gratitude, if for no other reason than it engenders hope for the future.

I can hear some of you muttering, “Easy for Libby to say. She doesn’t have to shovel snow in California.”

And that is true. Now I could respond by regaling you with numerous snow stories from the days I lived in Virginia. But, instead, I’ll give you freezing guys something to be grateful for. Three words.

Spring is coming.


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to



Posted by libbygrandy at 12:28 PM EST
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Libby's Blog

I’m sure some of you think that I only blog about writing. After all, that is what most of my blogs have been about the past few months. However, I basically blog about whatever I’m thinking that week, and today I’m thinking about the accident my husband was involved in on January 7th.

A young woman, who didn’t have a driver’s license or own the car she was driving, ran through a red light and into our car. My husband was turning left, so, fortunately, she hit the passenger’s side. It was a crumbled mess. Fred was lucky to survive the accident. If I had been with him, well…. Anyway, it took about a month to work with the insurance company and bank and get everything settled so that we could find another car.

I have to say that Allstate was great. The people working with us were caring, as well as professional, something that we really appreciated.

I wrote about this last month and talked about others who had been so wonderful during this stressful time, like the couple that stopped and got Fred out of the smoking car, then came to our house and took me to Enterprise to rent a car and go to the hospital. This list goes on and on of good people who went out of their way to be helpful to us.

Something else interesting happened in regard to our car drama. When we were able to go car hunting again, I was ready to accept that I would probably not find a car that I liked as much as I loved the 2012 Mazda 2 that had been demolished.

We decided to begin our search at the Enterprise Car Sales dealership. Now I want you to picture the scene I’m about to describe. Fred and I got out of the rental car we were driving and walked to their lot full of cars. Off to the right, by itself, set a car that looked rather familiar to me. It was white, a small hatchback. As we walked closer, I began to get a feeling of déjà vu. I could see that it was a Mazda, closer still, I saw that it was a Mazda 2. And then I saw the sign—2012.

I was looking at a duplicate of the car that we had lost, the car that I had loved: a white 2012 Mazda 2! It was in perfect condition with around the same number of miles as our old one.

We bought it.

Isn’t life interesting?


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to


Posted by libbygrandy at 11:27 AM EST
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Libby's Blog

I thought I’d said everything I wanted to say about a “tipping point” in my last blog, but I knew people might want to know more about the subject without reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book (see last week's blog). I admit it’s not a light read. However, for those of you who are detail-oriented, it’s got some interesting stats to back up the premise.

So I decided that I would share with you some of the “small things” I will be doing as I market Promises to Keep. Besides spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Goodreads (my favorite social media venues), I took advantage of the giveaway opportunity on Amazon (Kindle Select) and offered my first book, Desert Soliloquy, free for three days last week. So that will be the subject of this blog. Why should writers ever give away their books? 

Giving away a first book for a brief period of time has to do with “branding.” An author is establishing a fan base and branding his or her name.  In 2012, I gave away around 1500 copies of Desert Soliloquy through Kindle, Goodreads, etc. Afterwards, one reviewer commented that she wished I had more books out there, because she loved the book and my writing style, etc. What an astute, intelligent reader. However, I didn’t have another book out yet. Now I do. So if there are other astute readers out there who want to read more books by Libby Grandy, they are in luck.

When ebook readers enjoy a book, they often want to read more by that author. They click on the shopping cart (on a Kindle) and type in the author’s name. Voila, there’s another book, and they hit the buy button. Since ebooks sell anywhere from a few dollars to ten dollars (mine are $5.75), they still have money to pay the rent and put food on the table.

I’ll let you know if sales spike for Promises to Keep, in the next few months, because I gave away copies of Desert Soliloquy. The truth is, even if they do, it could be because of other “small things” I do. Or some other factors that create a tipping point.

Don’t you just love a mystery?


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to





Posted by libbygrandy at 1:28 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 19 February 2014 1:55 PM EST
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Libby's Blog

I ended last week’s blog with the words, “It’s a mystery.” As a writer, I love mysteries. Not necessarily murder mysteries, but the more subtle ones. I also like the biblical phrase, “God moves in mysterious ways.” Maybe because it takes the onus off me to figure things out.

Of course, in a book of fiction, an author has to solve the mystery, at least by the end of the novel. When I wrote Desert Soliloquy, I got several chapters into the story and then had to stop. I had a man trapped in the dark inside a mountain. And I simply couldn’t think of a way to get him out, at least one that a reader would think was plausible. So I put it aside and began working on my ghost story, Promises to Keep. During that time, someone in my critique group would often ask, “Is that man still in the mountain?” I would sigh and respond, “I’m afraid so.” Eventually, an idea came to me and I went back to the book. (If you’d like to find out my solution, check out Desert Soliloquy on Amazon. The ebook is free on February 14, 15 and 16.

But I digress. (I’ve always wanted to say those words.)

I really want to discuss the mystery of how best-selling authors become best-selling authors. There is one possible answer, although it’s a bit complicated. I am reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Gladwell’s definition of a “tipping point” is when something suddenly spreads like wildfire. The book also discusses “six degrees of separation” and how this phenomenon can lead to a tipping point. I’m not going to try to explain what it took Mr. Gladwell 322 pages to discuss. I just want to recommend the book to my fellow writers, who are selling a certain number of books each month but have not gotten to the “wildfire” stage yet.

Sometimes doing what we consider “small things” leads to the right people at the right time in the right way and suddenly a writer’s novel goes viral. This theory doesn’t just pertain to writers marketing books, however. It can apply to all those who don’t give up on reaching their goals and fulfilling their dreams.

I find the idea of a tipping point interesting and hopeful.

Is there a way to reach a tipping point sooner rather than later? Who knows?

It’s a mystery.


Link to Promises to Keep on Amazon:

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to





Posted by libbygrandy at 3:15 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 February 2014 3:18 PM EST

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