Jenn McKinlay's News #34
October 29, 2019
The newsletter subscriber WINNER of the advance copy of The Christmas Keeper is…Carole T! Check your email for details. Congrats, Carole!
BOOK NEWS: THE CHRISTMAS KEEPER drops on October 29th! A Christmas loving cowboy mixes it up with a city girl who does not dig anything about the holidays, most especially his outrageous collection of ugly Christmas sweaters. This is my first holiday book and I am thrilled to share my love of the holidays with my readers!
Coming up on January 28th, I'm returning to Notting Hill with the sixth Hat Shop Mystery BURIED TO THE BRIM. Scarlet and Viv return to don their sleuthing caps and solve a murder that's death in show. It's corgis, dog shows, hats, and more! Pre-order today!
And coming later in 2020, will be the next Cupcake Bakery Mystery, PUMPKIN SPICE PERIL, and my very first stand alone, women's fiction, PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA! But more about those in a future email.
EVENTS: I'll be in Dallas for Bouchercon from Oct 30th thru Nov 3rd.
Later in the month, I'll be signing books at the Poisoned Pen on Saturday, Nov 23rd at 2:00 PM! Stop by and visit me with fellow authors Jennifer Ashley, Eliza Casey, and Tori Eldridge.
CONNECT: Follow me on social media:
Facebook - JennMcKinlayAuthor
Instagram - @mckinlayjenn
Twitter - @jennmckinlay
for random Wednesday Giveaways -- FREE BOOKS!
WHAT'S ON MY MIND? Not much. Rather a disappointment there, I know. Mostly, I'm just sitting here, trying to figure out where the heck 2019 went. Did I blink? Did I stutter? One minute, me and the fam were sitting on our roof eating pizza while watching the Tempe fireworks go off at ten o'clock (Arizonans don't like staying up all the way to midnight on New Year's Eve) and the next thing I know Hub is having an episode because we -- and by "we" I mean Hooligan 1 -- lost the cord to our electric fryer and now we have no idea how we're supposed to fry the turkey this Thanksgiving, which seems to be coming up pretty darn quick. Yes, we've looked for a replacement cord. No dice. And once you go full fryer, there's just no going back.
Personally, I am just not ready to submerge Don Tomas – oh, wait, that probably needs some explanation. Many years ago, Hub's sister named the family turkey Don Tomas after a character in her high school Spanish textbook, which Hub thought was hilarious and so every turkey ever since has born the moniker Don Tomas. But as I was saying, I'm not ready for the holiday season, which seems to kick off at Halloween and is relentless with events and activities all the way up through New Year's Day.
And the thing is, once the holiday madness starts, there's no stopping it. It's like a tsunami of have-tos. I'll blink again and find myself on the roof, eating pizza and watching the fireworks, wondering what happened to the last year of my life and who ordered black olives on the pizza and why?
They say as you get older, time seems to move faster. Boy howdy, does it ever. I remember when I was a kid, summer seemed to last forever but then I grew up and got my first job and suddenly, life was moving at warp speed and it hasn't slowed down since. And having kids only made it worse.
I remember when the Hooligans were toddlers, someone described parenting to me as "the days are long, but the years are fast". They were so right. Our days were long. We crammed a lot in with story times, trips to the train park, the zoo, naps (I miss naps), art time, music time, sports galore, and random adventures to wherever our feet took us. Sometimes it felt as if we'd stuffed five day's worth of living into just one day, making it feel very long indeed. But then, a whole year of these days would roll past, slipping by like a minute.
So, it occurred to me that there must be a way to slow it all down. Naturally, I did some research. Because…librarian. And here's what I learned.
Time is perceived as moving more slowly when you're a child because it's made up of so many first time experiences that engage all of the senses. As we age, we pay less attention to things we've done before and they have less impact. It's rather like when you're on vacation and the first few days seem to move slowly because everything is new. But halfway through the trip, when you've acclimated to the breakfast buffet, the local traffic, and the sights and sounds of your new environment, the trip takes on speed and before you know it, you're headed home.
According to neuropsychologists, the more we pay attention to what we're experiencing, the slower time moves, so their advice is to practice mindfulness. Be in the moment and notice everything about it, the sound, the smell, the taste, the feel, and how it looks. Take it all in.
So, that's my goal for this holiday season, which starts in three, two, one... I'm going to try and slow it all down and make the calendar not flip so fast. Not by doing less but by being present and mindful in everything I do even if it's just noticing how far I can flick the black olives off my pizza from the rooftop, while taking in the sights and sounds of the fireworks blazing the night sky over Tempe Town Lake.
Here's wishing you a happy holiday season full of everything that brings you joy whether it's trick-or-treaters and pumpkin spice, deep fried turkeys, holiday lights, quiet nights spent reading, or end of the year champagne-infused parties. Enjoy every second!