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Lookin’ good.

Everyone needs to receive compliments, sincere compliments.  In fact, Nick will often help us remember to compliment him.  He will say, “I good, I got a hair cut.  You see it.”  or “you like my shirt, I handsome.”  And then he smiles that big Nick smile when we agree with him.  Sincere compliments can assist us in validating our own opinions.

I believe that it is important to notice others and give compliments.  I am not talking about comments that will increase personal vanity, but rather true statements that can create a momentary bond between the two people, regardless of whether they know one another or not.

Arden took Nick to a formal after school dance last week.  You can tell by looking at the picture that Nick knew he looked great.  He loves wearing his tux.

Acknowledging someone else seems to becoming a lost art.  Everywhere I look, the communication of the day is quick one liners that are based on sarcasm and criticism.  Sometimes when a compliment is given, it is somehow suspect, as if the recipient is thinking, “what do you want from me?”

Learning to receive a compliment can also be a challenge.  We have a cultural norm to be self-deprecating and yet book stores are filled with books to help us accomplish amazing things by increasing our self confidence.  These two ideas seem diametrically opposed to me.

Try this exercise.  When  someone is walking towards you, turn your thoughts outward.  Really look at them and find something that is positive about the person.  Then tell them.

If you know them, it might be something that they have done.  If you don’t know them, it might be something about their appearance, their clothing or even their mood that you can acknowledge.

I notice two things happen when I do this.  It elevates the other person and it shifts my thoughts from negative judgments toward positive thinking.  Let me know what happens to you.

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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.