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“I like that dress.”

Today I was reminded of another great truth by Nick. Arden, Nick and I were watching a local figure skating competition this afternoon. The competitors were not elite level skaters. Most of the kids were pre-teens who were at the beginning levels of competitive ice skating. There were lots of mistakes and falls.

I was sitting there watching the programs, noting the errors and commenting on what I thought each skater should do to improve. Since I competed in figure skating, and coached for many years, it is what I have trained myself to do.

One particular girl had not successfully completed any elements in her program. Each time she fell, she got up and resumed her program until the next fall. I felt bad for her, but as I was telling Arden what I thought of her jumps and spins and choreography, Nick turned to me and said, “I like that dress.”

He was right, the dress was beautiful. The young girl looked just like a princess.

In that moment, I realized that I was being critical in my comments, and I could choose to be positive instead. Nick had found something to say that was truthful, in the face of what appeared to be a disaster of a performance. With his simple statement, he reminded me that as a spectator, my job was to encourage the skaters by clapping and cheering them on. It was not my job to critique them.

For the rest of the afternoon, I enthusiastically clapped and cheered for the skaters. It was more fun and I was grateful for the reminder.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.