Dani Stone

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New Life Promises & Next Left NYE Bash

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iStock_000010713239XSmall3. . . 2. . . 1. . . HAPPY NEW YEAR!

In a few short hours I’ll be ringing in 2013 by smooching my husband and clinking glasses filled with the finest apple cider and butterscotch schnapps champagne. Then we’ll stand on the back deck so we can hear the celebration ring out through the city in the form of illegal fireworks, hoots/hollers and the occasional banging of pots and pans. ‘Cause that’s how we do on the prairie. I’ll quietly thank the baby Jesus for the health of my family and friends and then look ahead to the new year. And by “look ahead,” I mean I’ll make a mental list of all the things I want to accomplish in the next 365 days. When the clock strikes midnight, I like to think of my life as a giant Etch-A-Sketch and for each gong that sounds, the sand shifts and erases the previous year until it’s a blank screen again. It’s a fitting analogy because this year, I really need to shake  some things up around here.

What’s the best way to make sure I stick to a resolution  new life promise? Make it public so the world can remind and ridicule if I don’t live up to my end of the bargain. So, here goes, five new life promises I’m making to myself in 2013 AND details on a NYE bash we’re having over at Buzz Books to celebrate my novelette, Next Left.

2013 New Life Promises

5.  Shed The Baby Weight – Yes, my children are eleven and eight, but you know after you have a baby those last 20 pounds can hang around for 10 years. Especially when you give in to late night snack cravings and your job keeps you in a sedentary position. I realize it’s cliche to make losing weight a new year’s goal but there it is.

4.  Get OUT! – This year, for various and assorted reasons, I felt myself retreating like a turtle. I missed family gatherings, friend lunches, wine nights, book clubs, cookie exchanges and other organized merriment. My little nucleus here at Stone Casa keeps  me pretty busy and my adoring husband is my best friend but in 2013 my goal is to spend more time with my extended circle.

3.  Hire An Assistant – As if. I’m very scatterbrained, forgetful and unorganized. In a perfect world I’d have an assistant who would message me on a daily basis to remind me about school functions, birthdays, upcoming events and due dates on bills. My assistant would love me because I wouldn’t be demanding, I wouldn’t yell and I’d buy Starbucks once a week. However, they would have to put up with my Rascal Flatts Pandora station WITH the added Bon Jovi element. However, due to #2 below, having an assistant is just a beautiful daydream so in 2013 I need to find a way to organize my life. Suggestions are welcome.

2.  Work It – And by “it” I mean something other than short term freelance projects. The past few years have been a whirlwind of fun new writing opportunities and my little portfolio is padded thicker than my 9th grade bra but alas, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m too old for such a bohemian lifestyle. My mortgage company has also come to this conclusion. For 12 years I’ve had a flexible schedule and it’s worked out well for my family. My bank account, not so much. In 2013 I either need to find long term flexible assignments OR I need to put this family in a tailspin and return to Cubicle City where the lighting is poor and Friday potlucks are a’plenty.

1.  Pay It Forward – As most of you know, I’m blessed to have a child who battled a rare brain disorder and came out on the other side without a scratch, even with a late diagnosis and short term partial paralysis. Since the day she was cured my husband and I have vowed to pay it forward, and in many ways I think we have, but we can always do more.

Bonus New Life Promise – Write a summer novelette – Do I have any ideas? Yep. A few. I just need to get my thoughts organized. “Assistant, where is my brain storming notebook?” Oh, that’s right. I don’t have an assistant. Damn.

YOU’RE INVITED – Buzz Books Next Left New Year’s Eve Bash!

A few weeks ago my winter tale, NEXT LEFT, was released. If you’re a Nora Ephron, Gary Marshall, Jennifer Crusie, Jen Lancaster fan, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Next Left is a romantic comedy with a winter theme, specifically New Year’s Eve. It’s the story of a broken-hearted New Yorker who returns home to Kansas for the wedding of her childhood friend. At its core, it’s a tale about wanting more from your life and finally making the decision to stop whining and just do it. An important lesson I need to take from my lead character.

Because I love a good cooking analogy, let’s think of the “core” of the story as the dry ingredients of a cookie batter. Then I mixed in little extra goodies like white chocolate chips and nuts in the form of catty bridesmaids, a cranky coffee barista, a “handsy” seamstress and wonky GPS unit that keeps putting our damsel in distress. When dropped by rounded teaspoonfuls and baked for 12 minutes at 350 degrees, I hope I’ve created a tasty treat for you to devour!

At Buzz Books we had a blessed year in 2012 and we’ve already lined up some great reads for 2013. Today we’re celebrating Next Left and the rest of our fun titles by having a New Year’s Eve Bash! We’ll be giving away ebooks all day long and then at midnight, we’ll be drawing for the grand prize, a 2013 BUNDLE! A bundle of books, people. What a great way to start your 2013 TBR (to be read) pile.

For more information, visit the Buzz Books Contest page OR become a FAN of the Buzz Facebook page

However you decide to spend this New Year’s Eve, please make sure you’re safe and you have a designated driver. Cheers!

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