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Quick Dinner Recipe for a Busy Night
Posted by Lili Porter on December 4, 2017 

We are moving into that time of year where things get super busy. Christmas is coming and that means extra shopping, decorating, parties and more. One of the things that can be hard to balance during this season is cooking.

Here’s a quick dinner recipe you can make for your busiest nights.

Beef and Cheddar Casserole Recipe

What’s faster than a one pot meal? This beef and cheddar casserole recipe is just the comfort food you need.

Ingredients:

3 cups of egg noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 ½ cups of sour cream
1 pound ground beef
1 onion
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 packet of onion soup mix
2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions:

Boil the egg noodles according to the package directions. While they are boiling, sauté the onion and brown the ground beef in olive oil or butter.

In a bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and onion soup mix. Set aside.

Once the noodles are done boiling, drain and place in an oven safe casserole dish. Drain off the fat from the beef and onion mixture and add it to the noodles. Pour the cream of mushroom soup mix over the top and stir until combined.

Cover the top of the casserole with shredded cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted fully.

This recipe is fast and delicious. Serve it with a bagged salad or another vegetable of your choice.

 

How I Like To Spend the Thanksgiving Holiday


Posted by Lili Porter on November 20, 2017 

I’m excited about the Thanksgiving break. I love teaching, but I also love to have time to spend at home getting caught up on things. Since the holiday is coming up soon, here are a few things I like to do-


Bake! Bake! Bake!

 I love to bake during the holidays! In fact, I pretty much go wild with goodies and treats. This is something that my mother and grandmother always did during the holidays. I’ve loved making it my tradition, also.

 We are a family that loves to cook together and eat together. To me, Thanksgiving is a time where we can hang out in the kitchen and laugh and joke with each other.


Decorate For Christmas

 Last year, we put the tree up at Thanksgiving. I’m not sure that we’ll do that again this year. Since we put up a real tree, it lost a lot of needles all month long. I like to walk around barefoot, so it wasn’t that great of an idea. 

It made sense for us to put it up at this time because we were altogether. I think that’s why so many people decide to do that during this holiday.


Stay Home

 I only ever go out for Black Friday shopping if there is something I really, really want. Really, I can’t stand the crowds that come out. Besides, the sales seem to be starting earlier and earlier every year. I’d rather be home baking!

 What do you like doing during the Thanksgiving break? Let me know in the comments.
 

What I Am Giving Thanks For

Posted by Lili Porter on November 13, 2017

           

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I’m gearing up for the time with my family. I’ll be glad to have a break from school and enjoy time at home for the holidays.

Here are a few things I’m thankful for this year-


My Mom’s Strength

At the beginning of the year, we suffered a huge blow as a family when my dad died. He was very much the patriarch of my family. Mom has been a solid rock through this time. I’m so grateful for her beauty and love.


The People My Children Have Grown to Be

Every parent prays for the day they see their kids succeed as adults. I’m so glad that I’m finally here. My kids have grown up to be amazing people and absolute joys to be around. They are such an important part of my life and I’m thankful for our relationship.

I’m Married to a Wonderful Man

No one really knows what life will be like once they get married. We all do the best we can at choosing a life partner and hope for the best. I’m so thankful for the man I married. Even after all of these years, he’s been more than I could have asked for.

I’ve Got Good Friends

Not everyone can say they have good friends. I know that the people in my life shouldn’t be taken for granted. My friends love me and support me in everything I do.

My Wonderful Life

Ultimately, I am thankful for the wonderful life I have been blessed with. Sure, I’ve been through hard times and struggles. Who hasn’t? What really matters is at the end of the day, you focus on the blessings you have.

What about you? What are you thankful for this year?


 

My Favorite Fall Activities

Posted by Lili Porter on November 6, 2017

           

I wouldn’t say that we get much of a fall here in California, but we do have a bit cooler days when it gets to be November. It makes for the perfect time for us to get outside and do things as a family.

My Favorite Fall Activity

There are a few things we just really love to do during this time of the year. The biggest thing is to visit a theme park that is nearby. We’ve got a lot of theme parks to choose from like:

Disneyland Six Flags Knotts Universal Studio

 

The reason we love going to one of these attractions during this time of the year, is that it isn’t as crowded. Since we live in a tourist area, we like doing the “touristy” things during times that most people are not traveling.

If this were the summer, it would be too hot and crowded to really enjoy one of these places. We pick one theme park to go to each year, and take some time at it.

Other Fall Things I Love

It is getting a bit cooler in the evenings now, even though it’s still pretty hot in the day. This makes for the perfect weather to sit outside at night. It’s not as hot as it is on a summer’s eve. I like to enjoy time on my balcony and read books or sip on coffee.

We are about to head into the holiday season, so that means that shopping is on my mind. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I know my family is going to be doing a lot of cooking. We basically spend the entire day before cooking. I’ve got to start working on what I’ll need for the day.

What are you doing this time of the year? Let me know in the comments section.
  

How Halloween Goes When Your Kids Are Grown

Posted by Lili Porter on Monday, October 30, 2017

 All of my kids are grown now and too old to go trick or treating. Oh, how I remember the days of old when they would dress up and come back with pillow cases of candy. Of course, I had to “taste test” the candy just to be sure it was fine...like all good parents do.

What I do Now That My Kids Are Grown

Some of the holidays we celebrate are really geared towards kids. So, when your kids are too old to do things with them, it can be an adjustment. I made that change many years ago, because they are all over the age of 18.

 Every year we do something different. Some years, we buy Halloween candy and set it out for the Trick or Treaters. That’s always a fun thing to do, because I love seeing the little kid’s creativity on their costumes.

Scary Movies Are Still Fun

Even though we don’t have to take kids out in the neighborhoods anymore, my hubby and I can have fun watching scary movies. We haven’t seen the remake of, It, yet. That might be a fun thing to do on Halloween night.

 I miss the days of doing these things with my kids, but I love what life has brought me now. It’s great to be able to spend more time with my husband. Also, I really love the adult relationship I have with my kids.
What about you? Do you have plans for Halloween? If so, leave me a message in the comments and let me know what you are up to. 

 

4 Tips on How to Manage a Busy Season of Life

 Posted by Lili Porter on October 23, 2017

 When school gets back in, I hit the ground running. Managing to wear all of my different hats of teacher, writer, mom, wife, and everything that goes along with it, can be pretty stressful at times. If I don’t keep myself organized, it will definitely get out of control.

 Here’s my top tips for managing busy seasons of life:

1. Create a Task List
If you don’t have a list of to-do’s, you can run around all day and not be sure what you accomplished. Write down everything that you need to get done and mark it off as you go along. This will keep you focused on what has to get done and keep you from becoming distracted.

2. Develop a Tracking System
I like to use my iPhone as my personal assistant. It tracks all of my to-do’s and keeps me organized. You could just as easily use a journal or organizer of some kind if that works for you. Pick something that you will stick with. My iPhone makes it easy for me.

3. Be Realistic With Your Time
There’s no way in the world you are going to get 100 things done every single day. So, you must be realistic with your task list. Make the first 3 things on your list your top priorities that must get done for the day. Then, everything after that is complete bonus.

4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If I don’t get everything done that I hoped to in a day, I don’t beat myself up about it. Usually, I’m very productive and organized. I’m not going to let a few set backs put me down. Instead, I’ll just move those things to the next day.

 What are your top tips for staying organized and managing a busy season of life? Let me know in the comments. 

 

How Do You Spend A Holiday Weekend?

Posted by Lili Porter on Tuesday October 17, 2017      

 One thing I love about teaching is that we get several 3 or 4 day weekends throughout the year. It really gives me a chance to go home and be refreshed, so that I can come back and be a strong teacher.
 

What I Like to Do On Holiday Weekends

For me, the best thing to do on holiday weekends is to focus on my family. I like to take them out to eat, go to ballgames in season, or have a barbecue in the backyard. The great thing about living in Southern Cali is that the weather is always awesome.

 We also like to go out to movies when there is something out. If not, I like binge watching TV shows that I haven’t had a chance to see.

 Of course, I absolutely love to pull out my laptop and write. When I’m just chilling out home, I can create a whole other world and a completely different place. This is my time to leave reality for a bit and be in a fantasy of my own.
 

What We Did For Labor Day Weekend

That weekend, we went out to eat on Saturday and had a chance to play together on Sunday. That was a lot of fun to spend time with those I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and all the things I do, but I couldn’t go without my family.

 What do you do on holiday weekends? Do you get to have the time off? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear.


 

Can We Take Another Natural Disaster?

Posted by Lili Porter on October 9, 2017

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been blown away by the number of natural disasters that are currently plaguing our world. So many parts of the globe are being destroyed by Mother Nature.

We’ve seen 3 major hurricanes mow over parts of the world like Florida, Houston, Puerto Rico, and several small islands. Forest fires were taking down parts of California and Montana. Right now, people in Bali are evacuating their homes, because a volcano is very near eruption.

There have been so many devastating things happening in our world, and it hurts my heart. The month of September has been a very trying month for the people that inhabit the earth with us.

So, what do we do about it? We can’t possibly save everyone or take care of aid for all of the disasters. When there is so much tragedy, it can make it easy to think you can’t do anything.

I’d encourage you to do this

• Send well wishes, thoughts, or prayers to those around the globe.
• Pick one disaster and give from your pocket to an established relief fund, like the Red Cross.
• Find ways in your local area to raise money for the relief of one of the disasters. This is a good idea if you are not able to give yourself.
• Use these tragedies as a reminder to be thankful for what you have.
• Take a break from the news.

I know it can be tough to watch so much going on. Find a way to get involved in one of these areas. It is better than not doing anything at all.

Also, take a break from it all. We can become overwhelmed with the tragedy and devastation. Turn off the news for a bit and focus on the positive things happening in your life. That may seem callous, but don’t let yourself hit burn out from the tragedies.

This is one of the reasons that I write. I need a way to let go of the stress around me. What do you do to de-stress? Let me know in the comments section.

What I Like To Do To Boost My Mood

       Posted by Lili Porter on September 21, 2017

I don’t know about you, but I have days where I could really use a mood boost. It’s easy to get caught up in life and let things weigh you down. That’s why you need a game plan of how you are going to help yourself get out of the funk and back on track.

Here’s what I do when I’m need a pick me up-


Listen to Music

Music is definitely a big mood booster for me. I love feeling the rhythm and letting the lyrics soak into my soul. When the world is just not feeling right, I can let a song overtake me and get me back where I need to be.


Dance

I am not ashamed to admit it, but I just can’t sit still when music has hit me the right way. It makes perfect sense to let my body act out what my mind is feeling. I can sway with relaxing music or get down to a heavy beat.


Other Things You Can Do to Boost Your Mood

Maybe music and dancing isn’t the thing you need to feel uplifted. Here’s a few other things you might want to try-

Talk to a friend - Read a book - Go for a walk - Sit in silence - Take a bath - Eat something you love - Light a candle of diffuse essential oils

What is something you like to do to get your spirits up? Let me know in the comments section. I’d love to know! And I bet someone else would like some of your ideas, too.

The Difficulty of Waiting For Tragedy To Strike

Posted by Lili Porter on Monday, September 11, 2017 

If you have been keeping up with the news recently, then you’ll know that a category 4 hurricane is pounding the Texas shores. From what I understand, this is one of the worst hurricanes the state has ever suffered.

 Probably one of the most difficult parts of this situation is sitting back and waiting for the tragedy to strike. You know it’s coming, because the meteorologists give a heads up. It’s life saving that they can do that, but at the same time, it make the waiting process so agonizing. 

 I think the same thing is true in life. There are times when we get a heads up that tragedy is coming. Maybe it is a sick relative that is in their last days. It could be a pending job loss or downsize of a company. Whatever the life difficulty that is on it’s way, it can tear you up emotionally for weeks.

 All you can do is wait for the storm to pass and the waters to recede so that you can go in and start assessing the damage. Again, it’s a waiting game...one where you sit by and feel helpless.

 The hope we have is that the sun will come out and shine again. We have to look forward to those days and be ready for the time of re-building. It’s in those moments that we unite as humanity and put the pieces back together. I think we can all raise our glass to that.

It's The Season of New Beginnings

Posted by Lili Porter on August 14, 2017

I recently told you that I am a teacher in my other life. Right now, teachers, kids, and parents are all gearing up for a season of new beginnings. The start of the year is always so promising. It’s almost like the teacher’s New Year.

I really love meeting all of my students and sharing with them the things we are going to learn in the year. Their eyes are lit up with excitement and hope. It’s honestly one of the greatest joys of being a teacher.

Parents are also going through their season of new beginnings. Some are sending their children to school for the first time ever. Others are entering a new era because their kids are growing older and having more difficult classes. They are just as nervous as the students about how the year will go.

For us teachers, it is a time of change. Each year, we have a different group of bright eyed students that are coming into our class. There’s no telling who will rise to the top over the course of the year. But we can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

With the new school year starting, it causes me to reflect on my teaching career up to this point. A lot of things have changed over the course of time. Some things have been good, others have been less than desirable. Either way, it is my passion and I’m excited that we are gearing up for another awesome year.

What about you? What season of life are you entering into? Let me know in the comments.

Time Goes Faster The Older You Get

Posted by Lili Porter on August 7, 2017

Do you ever remember being told by older people that time was going too fast, yet feeling that it was moving slow as mud? Now that I’m older, I get it. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t. I’ve got a few ideas of why it might be that way for us, but nothing concrete. Here’s a few of my thoughts on this subject.

Maybe time feels like it is going faster because you are not so caught up in the details of life. Rather, as you get older, you look at life as a big picture.

It can be really easy to get bogged down in the day to day stuff we have to do and just dream of the days we can do the stuff we really want to do. I think when we are older, we don’t see the normalcy of life to be boring. We actually like to do the mundane.

Also, I wonder sometimes if we see time differently as we age, because we are closer to the end than we are the beginning. I hope that I am taking less of life for granted. I hope.

I’ve seen a lot of people I love go through suffering. It can make you stop and enjoy what you have. I’ve even had times when things I loved have been ripped from me. Once we get that perspective on life, I think it makes looking back seem so far away.

What about you? Does time seem to pass faster for you now than it once did? Let me know in the comments section, I’d love to hear.

Turn Up the Heat On Love Scenes

Posted by Lili Porter on July 3, 2017

As a writer, I have the privilege of making characters come to life. That can be difficult, because you have to envision them in every scenario. This can be particularly hard when it comes to intimate parts of the story.

I like to turn up the heat on love scenes, but sometimes these parts of the story can be hard. It is important to me that you feel everything that is going on. If you don’t have some kind of connection to the love part of the story, you miss out greatly on the development of the character.

My goals on these pages are to expose the deepest emotions that the character is feeling. Many times, these are the same feelings we want to express, but don’t always feel we can. It is in these parts of my stories that my reader can identify with that is going on.

Since I take so much time working on these parts of the story, my editor says she doesn’t have to do much editing. She thinks I must love to write them. I think they are a necessary part of the story and must be done well with optimal impact on the person that is following along.

I think that what makes a good love scene is that there’s a good balance of what you expect with a surprising element. Maybe the character experiences an emotion they didn’t expect. Possibly, they uncover something about themselves they never knew. When you are in the midst of a passionate setting, you never really know what can happen- but you always hope for the best.

What do you think the best part of a love scene is? We all have a different idea, and I would love to hear yours. Leave me a message in the comments section and let me know.

 

In My Other Life I Am A Teacher

Posted by Lili Porter on June 19, 2017

You probably know me as an author, writer, thinker...but did you know that in my other life, I am a teacher? That is a vastly different side to me than when I’m crafting a new book or developing story characters.

As a teacher, I get the opportunity to invest in a very different type of audience- one that is young and impressionable. It is honestly the most important job on earth. All professions got their start from someone taking the time to teach the person how to do the job. Even more elementary than that, is the teachers that taught the person how to read, write, solve problems, and basic learning concepts.

One thing about being a teacher is that this time of the year is insanely busy! One of the reasons, other than writing a new book, that I haven’t been around much is that I’m wrapping up the school year.

This is the time of the year when I get to see all the work I’ve put into my students materialize. I have the opportunity to recognize their achievements and encourage them on in their learning ventures.

I’m always so impressed how students are able to reach their achievements when they are given the right motivation. It is my job as a teacher to give them the tools they need to go far. Oh man, am I glad that I have the chance to invest in the future generations.

 

Where I Get My Inspiration From

Posted by Lili Porter on June 6, 2017

People ask me all the time how I get my inspiration to write. You might be surprised about the types of things that can get the creative juices flowing. I’ve got a few favorite ways that I go to for my inspiration.

I love reading books and learning other people’s perspectives on storytelling. Movies are really good for this, too. Especially the types of movies that bring on the emotions. In fact, it was The Godfather that inspired my mafia stories in the Music and Mayhem Series.

Music can be a great way to bring inspiration. Not only do song lyrics bring a lot to mind, but the memories they flood back as well. Have you ever been listening to a song and it took you back to another time and place? I’ve had music remind me of people I used to know and stories would pop into my mind.

Real life events can be a great resources for my stories. There was something personal in particular that inspired Just When I Needed You. I was also affected by watching stories about the Pope. It was what inspired me to write the Katrina story of Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned.

Behind every story that I write, there is something that has brought the idea to my mind. I like to let many things influence me so that I can bring about the interesting stories that I share with you.

What about you? What brings you inspiration?

 

It’s Spring Already!

Posted by Lili Porter on March 28, 2017

I know I say this every year, but it's spring already? It's crazy how quickly time flies, especially the older you get. The cooler months just seemed to pass by quickly.  I don't know about you, but I love spring! It is a wonderful season to go through. Everything is in bloom, trees are filling out, birds are singing...life is growing all around me. 

The winters are pretty mild here in California where I live as it is. Regardless, the spring brings about more than just wonderful weather. It also brings longer days and more sunlight. I find it so refreshing to get home after work and it's still light outside. I feel like I can get so much more done.

Another thing I love about the spring is the beautiful flowers that appear. Their fragrance wafts through the air and fills our souls with their pleasantries. The world is waking up and stirring our senses. It's not unusual to hear birds singing year round here, but it truly seems to increase as the weather gets warmer. There is something so soothing about hearing birds chirp and sing their unique songs.

I'm so excited that the spring is here and that I have a chance to enjoy it. Do you like this time of year?

So Much Creativity Around Us

Posted by Lili Porter on March 16, 2017

One thing I love about this world is the amazing, creative people in it. There are so many creative individuals out there. I feel like many of these people are millennials and under the age of 50. A lot of that has to do with the culture that these generations have grown up in.

Think about it for a minute. Our unlimited access to the internet has given way to many amazing skills and abilities. I think that in the age of YouTube, Facebook Live, and other video platforms, people are being exposed to amazing ideas every day.

If you spend any time around the younger crowds, you can almost guarantee that they dabble in something that is highly creative. Not only can people spend their time developing unique ideas, products, art, music, and so much more- they can share it easily with their friends and family. All it takes is one post on Facebook or Instagram for people to see what they have made.

I’m really curious to see the ideas that are acted on this year. In fact, I benefit greatly from those that are spending their days pursuing their interesting ideas.

Obviously I’m a creator. I spend my time crafting stories and developing personalities that draw the attention of others. It is always encouraging to surround yourself with like-minded people.

What about you? Have you created anything? I would love to hear about it in the comments section.

 

Aren’t The Oscars Fabulous?

Posted by Lili Porter on March 1, 2017

I just love the Oscars, don’t you? It is a great time where artists have a chance to be recognized for their amazing performances. Oooo...and the red carpet pictures of course. What’s not to love about the glitz and the glam of the dresses?

 Here’s a quick rundown of the winners:

 Best picture- Moonlight
Best actress- Emma Stone
Best actor- Casey Affleck
Best supporting actress- Viola Davis
Best supporting actor- Mahershala Ali
Best director- Damien Chazelle
Best writing in adapted screenplay- Moonlight
Best writing in original screenplay- Manchester by the Sea
Best original song- City of The Stars
Best original score- La La Land
Best cinematography- La La Land
Best short film- Sing
Best documentary short subject- The White Helmets
Best film editing- Hacksaw Ridge
Best visual effects- The Jungle Book
Best production design- La La Land
Best animated feature- Zootopia
Best short film- Piper
Best foreign language film- The Salesman
Best sound mixing- Hacksaw Ridge
Best sound editing- Arrival
Best documentary- O.J. : Made in America
Best costume design- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Best makeup and hairstyling- Suicide Squad

 What I love about the Oscars is how we take time to celebrate the work and effort that goes into filmmaking. As someone that just watches the final production, it can be easy to forget the countless hours and stress that goes into what we get to see at the end.

 

What’s your favorite part of the Oscars?

Chaos in Washington
Posted by Lili Porter on February 23, 2017

These sure are some nutty times that we are experiencing. Is anyone else with me on this? There seems to be quite a bit of chaos in Washington these days. Whew!

We live in a topsy-turvy world that seems to be rallying together one day and then rioting in the streets the next. I’ve never seen anything like this to tell the truth. In fact, just the other day, I was just watching the craziest news conference with the POTUS and thought what the heck is going on?? It was nuts. The self-aggrandizing, boldfaced lies, attacks...it doesn’t seem to end.

I honestly cannot believe that the media has been called out the way they have by our president. It just seems unreal to me. These are men and women that have been providing us with the news that we need for years. Many of them are putting themselves out there on the line so that we can know what is going on in our world.

I don’t know about you, but I for one struggle with the claims being made against them. As a writer, I do my best to always present honest and accurate representations of facts. It would be such an attack if someone were to call my integrity into question. I’ve personally had a hard time watching this affair.

What about you? How do you feel about the things we are experiencing at this time? I’m hoping things settle down here soon.

The Meaning of Life—Do We Even Know?

Posted by Lili Porter on 2-16-17

My dad passed away a few weeks ago. It’s sobering when you lose a part of yourself. In times like this, it makes you question the meaning of life. Do we even know? I think we feel we have a pretty good grasp on it until tragedy strikes. Posted by Lili Porter on March 1, 2017

On my good days, I believe that we are here to make a difference in the lives of others. On my bad days, I wonder why we even bother. I know I’m not alone in this. When we are strong, we feel we have the answers. When we are weak, we just don’t know anymore.

I’ve reflected so much over the past several weeks in light of my dad’s passing. I’ve questioned the decisions I’ve made, and the ones I will make. It definitely makes you ask if your priorities are in the right place. If you don’t really have the meaning of life figured out for yourself, you are going to be lost when it comes to the things you should put your attention toward.

For me, I will continue looking back over my life, my dad’s life as well as look toward the future to determine the meaning of life. While I don’t have it figured out right this minute, there are small glimpses of it as I work through the sadness of my loss.

In this moment, I want to say thank you for your support of my works. Thank you for being patient with me during this time!

 

America Is Wide Awake

     Posted by Lili Porter on 2-10-17 

I’m sure you have noticed, but the world is wide awake! There are protests all over the world happening.
What we are seeing here in America in the last few weeks have been the marches for women's rights. 

It was estimated that over 500,000 people came together in Washington to protest on January 21. Most of these people were women, and they were wearing pink pussy hats that united them in their stand. What are they marching for? To make sure that our rights as women are not erased by the new president.

 Washington isn’t the only city that had women and men showing up in droves. Chicago had over 150,000 people protesting. Other cities like New York City and Boston had close to those numbers. 

Women everywhere are taking the streets to let it be known that we are not going to have our rights taken from us. With a President in office that has made such lewd comments, I think we can all be concerned about being disrespected. 

I truly believe that when we present a united front, we will be taken seriously. America is a great country and we will continue to be that way. The people will always do what is necessary to make their voices heard and make the changes that are necessary. 

Let’s stand together! 

It’s The New Year! What Will You Focus On?

Posted by Lili Porter on January 9, 2016

I feel like most people take a chance at the New Year to look back over what they have accomplished. Also, they take the time to look ahead at what’s on the horizon.

So many people are ready to kick the previous year out the door. This year was no different. In fact, I think social media made the general consensus that everyone had a crap year. I don’t know about you, but there is always good and bad that happens in every year.

This coming year, you will have the year that you make it. If you choose to see the positive in your life and focus on that, then 2017 will be amazing. On the other hand, if you focus on all of the negative things that are going on, then you will have another bad year.

I encourage you to take the time to make plans for the coming year. Don’t just make a list of resolutions that you can’t keep. Rather, make it your focus to take each thing that is thrown at you with courage and boldness.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to making this my best year yet! Won’t you join me for a fabulous 2017?

I’ve Got a Big Favor to Ask

Posted by Lili Porter on December 23, 2016

It is a huge honor to write novels and books for my audience to read. Honestly, it is one of my greatest joys in life to take the stories that form in my head and share them with you.

I’m so thankful for those that buy my books and read them. My raving fans watch my release dates like a hawk. I can always count on them to be first in line to get my latest novel.

One of the things I love the most about being a writer of today is that I get to hear from my readers. With the way the internet works, you can easily give me feedback or connect with me.

Remember back in the day when you couldn’t interact with the author unless you went to a book signing? Doesn’t the internet rock?!?! I think it does. Now, you have the ability to follow along with my weekly thoughts as well as get in touch with me if you would like.

I have a favor to ask of you- if you have had a chance to read any of my books, would you leave a review for it? This is one of the greatest ways you can bless me as an author. It can be pretty lonely here in the writing world sometimes. When I get a review, it completely makes my week.

Also, I’d love to see you do the same thing for your other favorite authors. I know that they would absolutely be thrilled to hear from you.

In a world where people have so many negative things to say, it is really great to get encouragement here and there. I hope that you will take the time to leave a review for one of my books. I’d be so excited to hear from you!

The Stress of Christmas is Upon Us
Posted by Lili Porter on December 14, 2016

There are many wonderful things about the Christmas season, like family, food, fun, and so much more. On the flip side, Christmas brings a lot of stress!

This is a season of life that becomes insanely busy with good things. Even good things can bring you anxiety. Everything you do getting to the holiday is a huge build up to a great day of family.

I have a lot of stresses that come at me during this time of year. Like many people, I like to bake and cook. It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been doing this, it is still stressful to me. There is a lot of pressure on me to not burn Christmas dinner. I know I’m not the only one.

The other thing that I struggle with is buying presents. I want to make sure I’m getting the perfect gift for the members of my family. There’s this fine balance between choosing something that is practical and meaningful. It can be hard to come up with something special from year to year.

I hope that as we go into the final days before Christmas, you and I both can take some time to slow down and enjoy the season. Before we know it, the holiday will be over and we’ll be ringing in the New Year.

Don’t let the stresses of this season get you down. I’m going to do my best to take my own advice on this one.

Stella Has Released!
Posted by Lili Porter on December 6, 2016

I’m so excited to announce that my latest book, Stella, has been released! It is so satisfying when I finish a book for my audience to devour. It makes me so excited when I can finally unleash the stories that have been pent up inside of my head.

My latest novel is about a Jamaican voodoo priestess. In this humorous tale, we follow Stella from the age of 11 through adulthood. Lest you become weary about the tone of the story, this is not at all a dark story. On the contrary, I think you’ll find yourself laughing at many of the different parts.

You likely are already familiar with her character, because she is also featured in the Music and Mayhem series that I wrote. In that series, you will learn that she is the house manager for the female protagonist.

I know you are going to absolutely love Stella and following along with her life. If you have read my other books that feature her, this book will give you greater details of the backstory of her life. I think you are going to really fall in love with her.

If you do decide to read it, I would love for you to leave me a review! I like to get your feedback so that I can create future novels in a better way. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Come On Cool Days
Posted by Lili Porter on November 21, 2016

Has anyone checked out the date on the calendar? According to my calendar, it is November, but outside says something very different to me. I know the calendar says it's November, but the LA weather screams September.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love warm weather. This is one of the reasons that I love living in LA. We have some of the best weather here, but I’m a sucker for winter clothes and I’m ready to get to them.

There’s a time and place for shorts, tanks, and flip-flops, but November isn’t one of those times. I’m ready for the boots, scarves, and sipping coffee outside while I huddle under a blanket. I want to pull out my leather jacket and sport it to work.

Oh, I can’t wait for it to be cool enough to sit in front of a fire and feel the heat wafting about the room. I can already smell the crackling wood! Without the colder days, it is hard to get in the holiday spirit.

I do enjoy the warm weather, and I’m so thankful for how we can stay comfortable so many months out of the year. However, I’m ready for the cooler weather to come upon us here in LA.

What about you? Do you live in a warmer part of the country? Or is the winter setting in where you are? If it is, I might just need to come visit for a few days so I can pull out my favorite winter clothes!

The Magic of Sunday Afternoons and Football
Posted by Lili Porter on November 14, 2016

Now that the weather is cooling down and football season is upon us, Sunday afternoons have become quite magical. Am I the only one that counts down the moments until I can get in my stretch pants and sweatshirt before I plop down to cheer on my favorite team? It’s an unwritten rule to get in as comfortable pants as possible. Break out the pj’s if you have to.

Sunday afternoon football gives us a chance to hang out as a family and relax together. We’ve made so many awesome memories with one another during these times. The laughing, cheering, yelling, and excitement is what it’s all about when it comes to family.

I can’t wait to get my snack on during the game. Mmmm….I’m talking chicken wings, pigs in a blanket, potato chips, brownies...yum. We know how to throw down around here, that’s for sure. I love meals that don’t take much in the way of planning, especially when I want to relax and have a great time.

I love how football season causes me to slow down and enjoy Sunday afternoons more. It is much easier to get caught up in doing chores and running errands when there isn’t a game on. I’m loving this time of year, especially the older I get. There is something about maturing that helps you appreciate the slow days a lot more.

What about you? Do you love football?

How To Travel This Fall On a Budget

Posted by Lili Porter on November 7, 2016

The fall is here and the holiday travel time is upon us. Many people hit the road this time of year to visit friends, family, and take vacations. So, how do you travel on a budget this fall? Here’s a few tips you can try.

Use Discount Travel Websites

One of the most popular ways to save money on travel is to use a discount travel site like Expedia or Travelocity. Sites like this can help you purchase discounted tickets for airfare, hotels, and rental cars. Often times, you can combine these options for greater savings.

Be aware that the cheapest days are usually Thursday to Thursday. It is better to have flights that are only a week a part for the least amount of money.

Deals on Lodging

Aside from using a discount travel site to get reduced hotel stays, there are other options. Air BnB is another great option for people that are traveling. This is a site that matches homeowners up with vacationers at discounted prices for stays.

Another option is to stay in neighboring towns to the place you are vacationing. This can make the cost of the hotels and rentals less money.

Low Ride Fair

If you do choose to fly into your destination, you can consider using the public transit system in the area, rather than renting a car. Another good solution is to use apps like Uber and Lyft to help you find lower fares on rides.

Stay Closer to Home

Of course, one of the biggest ways to save money on traveling this fall is to stay closer to home. Find a place close to you to visit. This will allow you to drive to the destination. If you are flexible, visit places that are not tourist areas or go to tourist areas on the off season.

These are some of the ways that you can save on traveling this fall. What are your tips?

Text Versus Talk

Posted by Lili Porter on October 10, 2016


Have you noticed that many people would prefer texting over talking? I happen to be one of those people that really would rather text.

Why do you think so many people have abandoned calling? I think there are many reasons that texting seems to be more prevalent.


Convenience

First of all- it’s simply more convenient to text. If you send someone a message, they can respond when they have time. There is no pressure to pick up the phone and answer right now.

It is also good when you are in meetings or other situations where you can’t talk. This is particularly helpful when you need to get a message and it can’t wait.

Takes Less Time

Sending a short message will take less time than calling someone. It is rude to call up, say a few words and then hang up. When it comes to texting, it isn’t rude to fire off two or three words without asking how it’s going first.

For example, when my kids go somewhere, they can let me know that they arrived. I can tell my husband I need milk from the store on his way home. It’s fast and effective.

Introverts Versus Extroverts

The other big reason that some people prefer texting over calling is that they are introverts. I know very few introverts that like to call others on the phone. Sending texts is much easier for them, so that is their preferred method.

It’s not that introverts don’t like people at all; they just want to be in control of when they interact with them. Texting gives them the perfect solution to that.

Extroverts often get annoyed with text conversations, because they would rather just call and get it over with. It can be interesting when you are friends with someone that has an opposite personality.

What about you? Do you prefer texting over talking?


Beautiful Fall Fashions Are Everywhere

Posted by September 26, 2016


I'm so excited that the fall is upon us. It is so nice to have the weather cooling down a bit. Even though it is still warm out, the fall fashions have arrived.

Boots are slowly making their way out of the closet. Swapping out the flip flops for boots with maxi dresses never felt so good.

Oh scarves- I've missed you. I can't wait to wrap you around my neck and snuggle up in your warmth. The smell of burning leaves will go so well with your beauty.

Leggings, leggings, everywhere! There's nothing more comfortable than a pair of leggings, long sweater and furry boots. Those days are coming- I can feel it.

My cardigans have been stashed in a drawer, begging for their chance to see the sun. I've got news for them, the season is here. The nights are cooling down and I can't wait to wrap up in the evenings.

I've got hats that are sitting lonely on the shelf, waiting for me to pick them up. Suede, corduroy, knit...they are all there insisting to be paired with a matching jacket.

Honestly, who doesn't love fall fashions? The colors and styles are flattering on everyone. Mixtures of red, yellow, orange, green, and deep burgundy paint us like a grove of trees that are changing colors.

I love fall! How about you? What's your favorite fall fashion?


Random Thoughts

Posted by Lili Porter on September 12, 2016

Do you ever just have random thoughts that enter your mind? I do all of the time. Sometimes, I have no idea why things pop into my head the way they do.

Like….

Why do we have to scratch an itch when our hands are not available? I never seem to have the immense desire to scratch when my hands are completely free.

Or….

Why did I hate naps so much as a kid? I would love to have someone send me to my room every afternoon for rest time.

What about…

What in the world is up with cats and cucumbers? I had no idea that a cucumber was so scary.

I also ask things like

What would it be like to walk on the moon?

Is there really a way to “fold” a fitted sheet? Isn’t balling it up the only way to store it?

Why do the most ridiculous songs get stuck in my head? Why can’t it be something I actually like singing?

When did the music I listened to in high school get old enough to start playing on the oldies station?

There are so many random things that go through my head in a day. I think that the mind is a beautiful thing. We can have so many thoughts that do not have answers, but keep us completely entertained.

I think allowing the thoughts to just flow is very important to creativity. We need to let ourselves chase the rabbits down their trails so that we can explore our minds.

What about you? Do you have any random things that are on your mind?

What I'm Currently Reading

Posted by on September 1, 2016


I love to read. Right now I’m making my way through Rose Gold by Walter Mosley. This is the 13th book in the Easy Rawlins Series. I love this series so much that I’ve read them all!

My Favorite Character In Rose Gold

My favorite character in this series is Easy Rawlins. He is normally the one that is in charge of finding a missing person. He’s been known to trade favors to receive the information he needs to locate the individual.

*Here’s a fun fact- Denzel Washington played Easy in, Devil in a Blue Dress. Don Cheadle was his best friend and henchman, Raymond “Mouse” Alexander. I loved that movie.

All of the characters in these books are quite colorful. The description that Walter Mosley writes about each person keeps your attention. You feel like you know these people by the end of it.

Each Book Can Be Read On Its Own

While I’ve read every book in the series, each of the books are able to be read without having read the previous books. Of course, once you read one book in the series, you are going to completely fall in love with Easy. Then you’ll want to go back and read all of the other books. I suggest you start with the first one.

What I’m Reading Next

As soon as I finish up this book, I’ll be reading the 14th book in the series, Charcoal Joe. In this book, Easy finds himself between a rock and hard place. I’m really looking forward to what happens to him. I’ve heard great things about it.

What Are You Reading?

What is on your nightstand? I’d love to know what you have been enjoying lately. Feel free to leave me a message in the comments.



Je’taime is On Sale Now!!!

Posted by Lili Porter on August 24, 2016


I’m so excited to let you know that I have finished up my latest book, Je t’aime. As you know, I’ve been working to wrap up several different stories this summer. It’s been a labor of love for me.

If you want to get a sample of the book, be sure to check it out by clicking the books tab. You’ll be able to see all of my current books, plus the release date for future projects.

What is Je t’aime About?
This story is about Tamia Price and her life changing situation that uproots her life. She goes through a bitter break up and is pursued by, Dax Raynard. He continually advances on her and won’t take no for an answer.

She goes through a tragedy that causes her to question whether she should stay with Dax or return to her ex. Even though her ex broke her heart and took a part of her that she’ll never get back, she has to process her feelings and decide if she is still in love with him.

Get a Free Chapter
Be sure to get the free chapter of my book through my website. This will give you a good start on the story and help you see the different characters.

I think you are going to love the romance that develops between these people. The raw emotions that are expressed in the book are ones that we have all experienced at one time or another.

Tell Me What You Think
If you decide to read the book, please do me a favor and leave a review on Amazon. I would love to get your feedback. It helps me to be a better writer for you.

Thank you so much for always supporting my work!

Summer Olympics Are Here!

Posted by Lili Porter on August 11, 2016


Are you like me? I’ve been counting down to the Summer Olympics for a while now. I love to watch those men and women give their all in the competitions.

Personally, my favorite events to watch are swimming and gymnastics. I love when rookies like Lily King and Ryan Murphy set records in the pool. I also love seeing competitors like Michael Phelps kiss his baby in the stands.

How about how the men’s Chinese team is setting records in the synchronized swimming category? What a beautiful sport that is! I can’t imagine how hard it must be for them to stay in sync in the water.

There are so many inspiring moments that happen during the Olympics. It is truly encouraging to see people who have pushed through hard practices and committed themselves to a life of excellence.

Of course, there are some tough parts as well. When you watch Danell Leyva fall off of the high bar, it can be so sad. The defeat they must be feeling in those moments is next to overwhelming.

Track and Field will be starting soon and I can’t wait to see that.

Probably what is most incredible is how those competitors will leave the Olympics this year and many will return to their extensive training. Both winners and losers will commit to working harder than ever to come back to the Olympics in 4 years to do it all again.

I am excited to see the moments of triumph in the coming days. What about you? Are you watching along?

Keep Up With Your Exercise Routine

Posted by Lili Porter on August 4, 2016


I think there is always this big push to get your body in shape for the summer. What about the rest of the time? It can be really hard to keep up with your exercise and diet during the different seasons of life, but it is so important.

As we are heading into the fall, I wanted to share a few tips of how you can keep up with your routines to stay healthy.

Make One Healthy Decision a Day
It can be overwhelming to try and do everything at once. Just focus making one healthy decision each day and then build on it from there.

Don’t spend your time beating yourself up for your mistakes, but take joy in the good decisions you are making. It will help encourage you to do more.

Find Ways to Move More
If you are running out of time to do a dedicated workout, then figure out ways in which you can move more. Park farther from the door, take the stairs, go for a 5 minute walk during breaks, stand while you work, etc.

As much as you can, schedule to do a work out a few times a week. If you are going to be consistent with it, you need to put it on your schedule like you would a meeting. Then, you need to have the discipline to keep the schedule.

Stop Buying Junk Foods
It can be very hard to resist the temptations to eat unhealthy if you have that kind of food in the house. By not purchasing junk food, it makes your decisions easier.

Always take healthy snack options with you. You can easily fight off cravings if you aren’t hungry.

When you make small steps each day, it will add up to miles traveled. Focusing on your health is so important. It is said that we can live to 100 if we care for ourselves and focus on health.


A Summer of Writing Books

Posted by Lili Porter on July 19, 2016

I’ve been busy this summer- busy writing books. I’ve got several books going, 2 of which should be out the end of the summer. It’s safe to say that I can’t keep the stories in my head. They have to come out through the pen and make their way to the page or I might just explode!

What’s in store for you….

Stella is about the daughter of a Jamaican voodoo priestess. She becomes Karisma Montgomery’s maid in Chocolate and Italian Wine, and Cappuccino and Whiskey Splash.

JeT’amie is about a woman who moves to France after her lover leaves her. She meets the love of her life there.

Texas Hold Em is about 2 college sweethearts separated by a lie, only to come back together years later. Neither of them are really free.

On the horizon…

I have 3 other titles in the works that I am hoping to release next year.

  • Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned
  • Dominoes and Tequila (3rd part of the Music and Mayhem Series)
  • Just in the Nick of Time (2nd part of the Sexy SEALS of San Diego Series)

What I have finished…

I actually finished up Je T’aime and it will be released soon. Be on the lookout for that one. I am sure you are going to love that one.

As you can see, I have had a pretty busy summer getting all of these books written. I hope to finish them up and get them out to you soon!


July 4th Rocks!

Posted by Lili Porter on July 5, 2016


We just got done celebrating July 4th. It’s the only day of the year where you can see Uncle Sam walking down the street and not bat an eye. Personally, I love how we as Americans unite on this day, even if we aren’t trying.

What’s not to love about this holiday weekend? Many people get extra time off, parades are lining the streets, fireworks are being set off every night, and grills are out all over the neighborhood.

Like most holidays, when you think about the 4th, there are probably many memories that flood your mind. I’m not sure what your holiday traditions have been in the past, but I know that many of us attend at least one cookout for the weekend. Going without a burnt dog, watermelon, or lemonade on this patriotic weekend would make me feel sad.

It’s not all about the food though. The holiday is about remembering that we are a free country and all that comes with that. I know you probably get frustrated with the things other people have to say. It can be really hard to get along with so many different opinions, but at least we have the luxury of expressing what we feel.

Not only is the day about being thankful for our country, but it is also a day to be thankful for our family. I love what a good cookout can do for the connection time between myself and those I love. There’s nothing like the smoke of a grill to pull us all together after spending our days away from one another.

Let’s not forget about the fireworks. Whether you go to a professional show or shoot off bottle rockets in your backyard, watching a light show is mesmerizing. No matter how many times I’ve seen fireworks, my eyes are glued to them like a kid in a candy shop.

How did you celebrate the 4th?

There’s a lot Going On This Year

Posted by Lili Porter on June 27, 2016


Think about this, in 2016, it’s a leap year, election year, and an Olympics year. What a year to be alive! These events only happen every 4 years, which makes them something special to pay attention to.

Presidential Candidates Hit the Campaign Trails

Of course, I don’t want to spend a ton of time talking about politics, because I’m sure you’ve had an earful on that already. Goodness, we’ve got months to go before that decision is made and the campaigns are just starting to ramp up.

I do want to point out this is going to be an election like no other. It looks like the third party is actually gaining some support. The Hill reported back in May that Gov. Gary Johnson was showing some promise on getting into this election.

Who knows if the Third party will get strong enough to run, but if they do, we’ll see that as yet another rare thing happening this year.

Summer Olympics Are Almost Here

As far as the Summer Olympics go- are you watching them? I know that there are some diehard fans out there that have their eyes glued to what’s going on in Rio. Right now, during the trial period, these athletes are working themselves so hard.

Returning to the Olympics this year includes some names you know from past years: Michael Phelps the incredible American swimmer, Gabby Douglas, the reigning two-time champion American gymnast, and Wu Minxia the most successful female diver of all times.

This year, we will certainly see some past gold medalists reach those goals again, and some underdogs rise to the top. That’s what I love about the Olympics, don’t you?

I’d say this year has been pretty great so far with and I look forward to finishing it out strong.

School’s Out For The Summer!!

Posted by Lili Porter on June 13, 2016

Who else is excited about their kids being home from school for the summer? I know that I have a love/hate relationship with it. I think most of us mommas really enjoy having the slacker summer schedule, but hate fighting the boredom our kids experience.

I do look forward to having lazier nights with the kids and a more laid back routine. Since all of the after school activities have wrapped up, we have a chance to re-connect as a family.

The days are longer, which means we have more daylight to spend outside. Bedtimes get fuzzy, because the kids don’t have to get up early. I love lazy summer mornings where everyone can catch up on their sleep.

With each summer comes new possibilities and memories are just over the horizon. So many of my own childhood memories came from the summertime. I wonder what my kids will look back and remember from these hot days.

I love….

Late night runs to grab ice cream

Slow, long walks

Cookouts

The taste of fresh cut watermelon

Family vacation

Sand between my toes

The smell of summer rain

Swimming and playing in the water

I could go on and on about the things I love. This time of year seems to pass by so quickly now that I am an adult. I have to intentionally tell myself to slow down the days so that I can savour each moment.

What about you? What are your favorite parts of the summer?

The Lost Art of Roller-Skating
Posted by Lili Porter on June 20, 2016

Oh the days of my childhood- they were filled with many memories of roller-skating. Do kids even do that anymore?

When school was out, we were able to stay out later at night. Going to the skating rink was my favorite past time. I would meet up with all of my friends there during the summer.

Have you ever seen that movie, Roll Bounce? Oh boy, does this movie take me back! It’s about six friends that spend the summer at the skating rink that was scheduled to close down.

The movie portrays roller rinks perfectly. It was the perfect place to flirt with cute boys, laugh at our crazy selves, and make the best of memories.

I’ve played the Hokie Pokie more times than I can count and done the limbo like a boss. I loved those summer nights at the rink.

Most rinks are gone now. If kids skate at all, they mostly do it on the streets of their neighborhood. My kids used to do this when they were younger, but I haven’t seen any of the other kids in our area doing it.

As a parent, I want to give my kids all the best things in life. It can be hard to accept that while I believe they have had a great childhood, it isn’t the same one I lived.

Do you experience that as a parent? You remember back on your fondest memories as a child, and realize that your children won’t have those memories? It is sad at times. I try to remember that while they won’t have fond memories of roller skating rinks, they will have other great stories to tell their children.

Here’s a toast to the days of old and to the days to come!


Dogs or Cats?
Posted by Lili Porter on June 6, 2016

Are you a dog person or a cat person? I don’t want to start a fight and pit pet owners against one another or anything by saying this- but I am a dog person through and through.

There isn’t anything wrong with cats, and I am sure they make wonderful pets. Plenty of people I know have cats and love them dearly. I’ll stick with my sweet dogs.

For me, dogs are my pet preference. Ever since I was a child, I have had dogs in my home. I’m sure that is where my love for that precious animal developed.

What I love about dogs is that they are very loyal. No matter when I come home, my dogs greet me at the door. They are always ready for a party.

The other big thing I love about my dogs is their ability to cheer me up. They don’t judge, they just love me for who I am, no matter what.

When I was growing up, my pets stayed outside. Now that I’m married, I let our dogs stay inside more. My husband and I really love to have them close by us during the day.

Over the years, I have had many great dogs. Recently, I lost my dear sweet Rose. We had her from 2011-2016. It was so hard to see her go downhill with her health.

Ginger is another one of my dogs that we lost in 2014. We had her since 1997. It is never easy to lose someone you love.

I’ve said goodbye to my dear friends in the past, and said hello to new friends. Dogs have a way of softening my heart.

What about you? Do you prefer cats or dogs?


Myths and Facts
Posted by Lili Porter on May 30, 2016

I love writing on my blog and sharing with you all. It is a great way for me to share with you all the things that are on my mind. People want to know more about how to start their own blog.

I thought I would share with you some myths v. facts about starting your own blog.

Myth: All you have to do is start a blog and people will read it.

Fact: Once you start your blog, you have to promote it heavily for readers to find you.

You might have the most amazing blog on the planet, but if you don’t share it, the likelihood of people finding it on their own is slim. Tell your friends, neighbors, and whoever else you can that you have a new post up.

Myth: If you share other blogger’s articles, you will lose your following.

Fact: Readers appreciate great content.

It may seem counterintuitive to share the work from other writers. The truth is, your readers want valuable information. If another person has something great to say, send your audience their way. They will come back and continue reading from your website, because they will consider you to be a trusted source.

Myth: I can make my blog post go viral.

Fact: There is no way of knowing what will or won’t go viral.

Look, everyone has the hopes that they will go viral and end up on talk shows within 24 hours of hitting the publish button. The truth is, that doesn’t happen very often. There isn’t a way to make your post go viral.

Myth: There are too many blogs out there, so I shouldn’t bother starting one.

Fact: The world needs your story.

You have a unique story that will resonate with other people. The world needs your transparency and wants to know the things you have to say. What the blog world doesn’t need, are more copycats. Don’t be a copycat, but rather, be who you are.

If starting a blog is something you think you might want to do, I encourage you to go for it!


How To Balance Work, Family and Writing
Posted by Lili Porter on May 23, 2016

Don’t get me wrong- I love writing, but it can get a little stressful to commit to writing a book while working a full time job and raising my family. I don’t know if there is any real secret, per say, to keeping the balance during times like this. Some days I do a pretty good job of it, and others...well, let’s just say that there are others.

On the well-balanced days, I’m ahead of the curve. I have a good handle on what has to be done at my job and with my family. When I sit down to write, the words just flow and the story almost writes itself.

Then there are the other days. These are the days when unexpected things come up and wreck my focus. Instead of writing with ease, I have to wage all out war with my mind as I try to force the characters onto the page.

I wish that all of the days were well balanced, but here’s what I’ve learned, balance doesn’t mean that every single day looks the same. Some days, it means I have to put more attention into writing and set aside large chunks of time to focus. Other days, it means that I don’t write a single word, because I spent the day sharing my life with my family.

There is no way in the world I can get it right every single day. I just have to give myself grace on those days where I let the stress overtake me. I know that the good days are coming and with each sunrise I get a chance to start over.

The other thing that I have learned, is that there is only so much time in the day. During the seasons of time where I’m in active book writing mode, I’m going to have to say no to some commitments. When you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else.

Whether it is a good day or bad, I’m just thankful that I have a family that supports me in my dreams.


10 Chick Flicks That Will Inspire You

Posted by Lili Porter on May 16, 2016

As a writer, I love to craft stories that aim to inspire the reader. It is so important that we use storytelling as a way to spur others on to reach their fullest potential. Here are 10 chick flicks that will inspire you!

1. The Help
This story is set in the 1960’s and depicts an African-American maid’s point of view of the families they work for.

2. The Hunger Games
Katniss is every young girl’s hero. She is a strong leader and keeps her team focused on winning.

3. Steel Magnolias
It is a story of friendship and how the other strong women in our lives spur us on.

4. Waiting to Exhale
This movie is about true friendship, romance, and doing life together.

5. Divergent
Tris just won’t fit the mold that society has placed her in. As the movie unfolds, we see her embrace her true self and encourage others to do the same.

6. Under The Tuscan Sun
A divorcee leaves her life in the states behind and moves to Italy to find everything she ever wanted.

7. How Stella Got Her Groove Back
This successful woman is persuaded to take a much needed vacation by her friend, where she has a romance. It causes her to look at her life and re-evaluate her priorities.

8. Grease
Of course you knew I put this one on the list! Sandy falls in love with Danny and they have to overcome many obstacles to get back together.

9. Miss Congeniality
FBI agent goes undercover as a beauty pageant contestant and keeps the event from being bombed.

10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Sure, this is a film geared towards younger teens, but I think we can all identify with that group of friends that we had growing up. These best friends have to figure out how to stay connected in life as they move in different directions.

These are a few of the chick flicks that you can watch to feel inspired.


Prince Facts You Didnt Know

Posted by Lili Porter on May 9, 2016

I told you how sad I was to hear about the death of Prince. I believe it came as a shock to all of us as we watched another legend pass away. I thought it would be a great way to honor his memory by sharing with you 20 fun facts about him that you might not know.

1. Prince was staying only blocks away from the murder of John Lennon in 1980 when it happened

2. He was given many different nicknames like, The Minneapolis Midget, The Purple Purv, The Kid, and of course The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

3. Originally, he asked Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics for Purple Rain, but she declined.

4. He was only 5 foot 2 inches.

5. Prince played basketball on one of the top teams in Minnesota State

6. When he stayed in the London Chelsea Harbour Hotel, he had a baby grand piano lifted into the room with the use of a crane.

7. Purple Rain was 11 minutes long, but they cut out a verse and chorus.

8. He was a Jehovah's Witness.

9. Prince wrote more songs than the Beatles during his career.

10. He felt computers were not good for you and not worth the time.

11. When he started out, he was a starving artist and struggled to make it.

12. Most of his albums were recorded at Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Minnesota.

13. Prince came from a line of showmen, because his dad was in a band called Prince Rogers Jazz Trio.

14. No one really knows what the song Purple Rain is about, but they think it is about faith in God.

15. Stevie Nicks says that the artist wanted her to sing Purple Rain with him as well as have a romance with him.

16. He performed at George Lucas’ wedding.

17. When he was 13, he formed a band called Grand Central.

18. He called Maroon 5 out for performing a cover of Kiss back in 2012.

19. His second movie, Graffiti Bridge, didn’t fare well and received worst in just about every category.

20. Purple Rain remained #1 on the Billboards for 24 weeks.

These are some of the lesser known facts about him and his life.

What a great artist he was and I’m sorry we lost another one.


Remembering the Legend-Prince

Posted by Lili Porter on May 2, 2016

I would be lying if I didn’t say that the untimely death of Prince didn’t catch me by surprise. What a sad turn of events. He was only 57. My heart aches for the loss of this great legend.

Prince was incredible in concert.

Did you ever get a chance to see him in concert? I did - and he was completely mesmerizing. What an incredible entertainer. Both he and Michael Jackson were my favorite artists, and now they are both playing the biggest stage in the sky.

Oh how the memories flood my mind.

It feels like I’m in another place and time these days. Prince’s songs are all over the radio right now. Suddenly, I feel so nostalgic and I’m back in my younger days. Whatever happened to those days anyways?

It’s pretty crazy if you think about it. You spend all your days when you are growing up not being able to stand it until you are out on your own. Then, you look back and wonder why you ever wanted to leave the simplicity.

The price of growing older.

As I have gotten older, more and more artists and actors that made such an impression on me, have passed away. I guess this is the price of growing older. I can truly relate to my parents now when they reminisce about the great artists of their day.

In the words of Prince.

Purple Rain was one of his greatest hits. That is a classic song if there ever was one. Back in ‘84, he released it, and believe me, the world fell in love. If you haven’t noticed, many people have honored him with wearing purple.

Here are a few words from the song that I want to leave you with. They were just as true then as they are today.

Honey, I know, I know
I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out
For something new, that means you too

Will You Help Me Talk About My New Book?

Posted by Lili Porter on April 25, 2016

I’m so excited that my book is finished and that it released April 22, 2016! This was a labor of love for me to write and I hope that you will check it out.

Will You Help Me Talk About My Book?
Of course I think this book is great, I wrote it! The thing is, I could really use your help spreading the word about it. People love to hear what readers have to say about the books they have read.

If you would be willing to help me out with this, here are a few ideas that I have for you to share my latest work with your friends.

Share a Post on Facebook
How many times have you come across something on a friend’s feed that has caught your attention? Likely every single day, right? If you loved this book as much as I have, you can always tell your friends about it in a Facebook update.

Tweet About It
If you are on Twitter, you can always tweet about it. A lot of people browse Twitter to find things that they want to read next.

Write a Review
You can really help me out by writing a review of the book on Amazon or Goodreads. If you have ever benefitted from an honest review, then why not help other readers out before they buy my book. Honest reviews are so important to those that are looking for new things to read.

Don’t forget, you can always leave reviews on other books you’ve read by me also. We authors really love to get feedback from those that have read our work. It really helps us to write what you love to hear.

Thanks in advance for anything you can do to help me talk about my newest book. I appreciate you guys so much.

Why Does The Spring Time Make Us Want to Spruce Things Up?

Posted by Lili Porter on April 18, 2016

Who else gets the spring cleaning bug? Or is that just me? There is just something that the spring air brings with it that awakens our sense of creativity. Maybe it is the smell of beautiful flowers that wafts into our being and stimulates us to beautify the world around us.

At my home, the small DIY projects and repairs have begun. It is so exciting to clear out the clutter that has piled up over the winter and start making changes, both simple and large to our home.

A lot of people turn their focus to planting gardens and cleaning up their yard- and why not? You should want to maximize the springtime growth of new blooms. I think it is wonderful to sit outside and allow the gentle fragrant breeze to blow over me while I sip on my favorite wine.

One of the not so fun things that people tend to tackle is spring cleaning. It just has to be done! There is something refreshing, though, about removing the clutter from our homes. Even though you are ridding your house of excess, it seems to make it easier to think and be more productive.

Around my house, we put together a list of the things that need to be done and work on these projects all throughout the season. It makes me feel very accomplished to mark both the fun project and obligatory repairs off of my list.

What about you? Are you going to make your list and start marking it off? I hope you will join me in taking on relaxing projects and keeping up with your living space!

Let me know in the comments what your plans are for the season.


The Recipes We Hand Down Throughout The Generations

Posted by Lili Porter on April 4, 2016

Momma’s cooking - it’s filling, brings you comfort, and most of all, it tastes like home. I love my mom’s food. She certainly learned from the best- her mom!

My grandmother was cooking in other people’s homes from the time she was 6 years old. Since she had that experience from such a young age, she learned to cook very well. She could cook just about anything you can imagine.

There were 12+ family members for my grandmother to cook for on a regular basis. She did a really great job of it, until she turned that responsibility over to her daughters. She taught them all how to cook amazing food.

My mother learned to make some of the best food you have ever had in your life. I particularly love her desserts. She makes the best sweet potato pie, banana pudding, peach cobbler, and lemon pie. There’s nothing that makes me as excited as eating something my mom has made.

Isn’t it funny how the food we eat can bring so many memories with it? That is why holidays mean so much to us. We get the chance to have all of those things that are only made a few times a year. The moment we smell those dishes, we immediately feel at home.

These days, all of my sisters and I are pretty good with the recipes that have been handed down to us. Our biggest hope is that one day our children will gush over our recipes, too. I hope that my kids will be flooded with memories when they take a bite out of my sweet potato pies and banana puddings, the same way I have done with my mom.

I Finished The Book!

Posted by Lili Porter on April 4, 2016

I am so excited I think I'm about to blow- I finished the book! You know that thing I have been agonizing over and working through? It is done. I have new characters that you can get ready to fall in love with.

There is something bittersweet about writing the last words of a book. You feel so overwhelmingly excited at the thought of sharing this story with the world. On the flipside, you feel a bit sad that their story has come to an end.

I've shared with you guys that this story has presented a few challenges for me a long the way. Developing new characters takes a lot of work. In order to get them where I wanted them, I had to go through a journey of my own. Writers draw from inspirations from the world around them.

Sometimes, writers have to delve deep into the pit of their mind and soul to resurrect old stories. It causes emotions to flood to their minds and they have to sit in it for a while as they process through their thoughts.

For me, being an author is such a privilege. I have the opportunity to take these fictional characters and turn them into real people that brings emotion from the reader's heart. What better job is there then that?

When a story is written well, it will grab ahold of your soul and wring it for all it's worth. You walk away feeling more in touch with yourself than you did before.

I truly hope that you enjoy this book as much as you have others that I have written. I am so excited to share this little piece of myself with you.

There Isn't Enough Time To Drink Anything
Other Than The Right Wine

Posted by Lili Porter on March 28, 2016

You already know that I am in love with coffee- but what you probably don't know is how much I love a good wine. Don't give me those bitter wines...instead, make mine sweet. Moscato is one of my favorite wines to drink.

I love to sit outside on a sunny day and bask in the glow while I slowly sip my Moscato. I snack on wine and cheese as I look off in the distance. Wine is good for the soul and encourages creativity where it has faded.

One of my other favorite wines to drink is Manischewitz - which tastes a lot like grape juice. It is wonderful to sit down and enjoy a nice sweet drink when I want to relax. I know, I know. :)

There are many other great wines out there.

Chardonnay is a dry wine made from green skinned grapes.
Merlot is another dry wine that is made from dark blue wine grapes.
Chenin blanc is a white wine that is made from the Loire valley of France.
Zinfandel can be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. It is made from black skinned grapes.

Dry wines do not have residual sugar, which means that it is not sweet. However, the winemaker will usually stop the process before all of the sugar is gone to leave it with a touch of sweetness. For me, I'd rather have my wines to be as sweet as possible.

With the different sweet choices out there, I see no reason why I should ever have to waste my time drinking bitter wines. Life is too short to drink what you don't love.

I think it is time I grab my glass and head for the great outdoors. Will you join me?

Hello Spring, Goodbye Winter

Posted by Lili Porter on March 18, 2016

The groundhog was definitely right- we are all getting an early spring. Even some of the colder parts of the country are seeing warm temperatures and it isn’t the end of March yet!

It's nice here in Southern Cal. Not much rain at all. Of course, it gets really hot here in the summertime, but I love it!
I’m happy to be saying goodbye to the winter. Not that I don’t enjoy the winter at all, but who can turn down longer days and sunnier skies?

The warmer months are wonderful, because I can get out and be active with my family. There are plenty of great things to do here in Southern Cal. I’m so happy to call this place my home!

It is a writer’s dream to sit out in nature and soak up the sun while they create. I find that being outside truly regenerates me.
Did you know that looking at wide open spaces will boost your creativity? It stimulates different areas of your brain that helps you to be more creative. It also helps your mind to be more productive and in the end you feel energized.

If you find yourself lacking the ability to be productive or are dealing with a writer’s block, take the time and get outside. It will really help you out.

What I love most about the spring is the breeze that comes through. Since there isn’t much rain happening right now, we are having some of the loveliest days. We can go out and not worry about getting drenched or seeing the sun hide behind clouds.
I must say- I am in love with the spring! What about you? What is your favorite season?

Illness - It's Not Just For Humans

Posted on March 7, 2016 by Lili Porter

I want to start off by saying I am sorry that I haven’t been around much lately! The last few weeks have been crazy for me with writing my book. Not only that, my poor dog Rose, came down with pneumonia and she’s been pretty sick. She’s a four year old chihuahua, so pneumonia is not a good thing to leave untreated, especially for such a small animal.

Did You Know Dogs Can Get Pneumonia?
There was a time we didn’t know that dogs could deal with the same things that we do. With the advancement in research and better medical care for our pets, we know more than ever.

Dogs can get colds and pneumonia as well. Some of the things that they might deal with include coughing, difficulty breathing, high fever, tired, lethargic, and loud breathing to name a few. To say the least, they are pretty miserable as you would expect.

How They Are Treating it
I took Rose to the vet and they prescribed her with antibiotics to help her body fight the infections. She took cough syrup to help her with her cough and she had to take ibuprofen for fever.

Also, they said she would need plenty of rest. It is the same kind of treatment that they would give me if I had to go.

There is Even Insurance You Can Buy For Pets
Since many owners are taking their pets to the vet for illnesses, more people are buying pet insurance. It is a great option for those are looking for ways to cut down on the care for their pets.

A lot of times you can take your sick pets to the Humane Society. They will take care of them for you at a fraction of the cost. One thing to note, lines get long so you should get there as early as possible.

I am glad that we have the ability to take our animals to vets and that the cost is affordable. I love my sweet Rose!

On Pondering Fictional Friends

Posted by Lili Porter on February 29, 2016

I told you last week that I’ve had a bit of writer’s block on the book I’m putting out. This week, I’ve been pondering the less important, but not any less memorable characters that will surround the main people in my book.

In every good story, there are one or more friends that act as the sounding board, or Greek chorus, for the main character. They do not necessarily have the biggest roles in the plot, but they do help the main character figure out who they are.

I like to give these friends enough quirky attributes that they are distinguishable. Also, I try to bring these friends into scenes where my character needs them most. These individuals do not get much air time, but what they do get is very valuable.

Just like real friends, my fictional friends are highly important to the story. Without them, the main character will never figure out things about themselves that they truly need to learn. Where would I be in my life without the real version of these fictional characters?

Did you know that a lot of writers base the people in their stories off of those they encounter in real life? It makes it easier to develop each individual when you can visualize a real person in your mind. Also, you can have a much easier time making up the fantasy aspect of who they are.

When the book is ready for release, I will let you know. I’ve been working hard on putting together a story that will really connect with you. That is always my goal! Here’s to hoping that the Greek chorus is made up of at least one person that shines and begs to be remembered well after you put the book down.

Hello Writer’s Block

Posted by Lili Porter on 2-22-16

Hello writer’s block...ugh...I just hate when I’m trying to pump out a new book for you guys and I struggle with it. If you didn’t know, I’m writing my 4th book, Just When I Needed You, and I’m feeling off balance about it.

One would think that if you have writing for a while, that you wouldn’t have to deal with the old writer’s block. Maybe it will put your mind at ease next time you feel anxious about writing something to know it happens to those of us that do it for a living! Oh the pressure!

I think that what’s going on with this one is that I’ve been so used to writing my Hollywood/Mafia story of Kari and Paolo, that I haven’t been able to make the switch to the new characters. Trying to create new people and falling in love with them the way I did with Kari and Paolo has been crazy for me.

Have you ever just fallen in love with a character? I know that I have. I’m trying to not let those characters come into the new book, (which is going to be ready in April, by the way). This has proven to be very hard for me.

Developing characters takes a lot of time and forethought. Each and every one of us are unique in our own way. For my characters to be believable, they have to have their own quirks that come out in the storyline.

Putting together good characters is essential to having a great book...so suffice it to say...I’m stressing out about it a bit.

I want this book to really grab your attention and keep it. I’m so excited to have a chance to write another story that I can put my heart in and share with you.

Thanks so much for reading my work. It is such an honor to have people that enjoy the creations of my mind.

I’ll let you know when the book comes out!

My Not So Secret Obsession- Grease

Posted by Lili Porter on 2-15-16

What girl doesn’t love watching Grease? It is honestly one of my favorite movies of all time. I used to be actually a little obsessed with it if you want to know the truth.

I watched the movie 5 times when it came out in the theaters. Anytime it comes on television I try to catch it.

What’s my favorite part of the movie? Basically everything-- the songs-- the story-- everything. It’s so much fun!

I still love Grease! I watched Grease Live a few weeks ago. What a great rendition of the original movie.

Fox released Grease Live at the end of January. Their goal in making the show was to re-imagine some of the movie’s most memorable moments. It was a live television adaption of the classic musical and I for one think it was great!

Some of the cast includes Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, and Kiki Palmer to name a few. I love that they are dressed in the time period clothing of the original movie.

I loved when they sang Summer Lovin’. That song has always been so much fun. It is so true to life, which is why it continues to be one of my faves.

Every generation should get a chance to fall in love with Sandy and Danny. Their love story gets better every time I watch it.

Good girl Sandy and bad boy Danny come together and even each other out in a great way. Aren’t we all looking for a soulmate that will change for us, but ultimately accept who we are?

I’m interested to know how you felt about Grease Live. Did you get a chance to watch it? Love or hate?

Super Bowl Parties Rock

Posted by Lili Porter on 2-8-16

I don’t care if you are football fanatic or not, watching the Super Bowl is so much more than just watching a game. It’s one of those times in America where we all pick a side and root for them. You don’t even have to know who’s going to be playing, you just have to show up with a bucket of chicken wings.

We have a Super Bowl party at my house every year. I love hosting them. The food is always great! Why would I want to sit around eating wings and drinking beer all by myself when I can do it next to friends and family?

Know what else I get a kick out of? The commercials! Was anyone else confused or disturbed by the puppy monkey baby commercial? That thing looked completely insane if you ask me, and kind of grossed me out. I noticed everybody else had confused looks on their faces as well.

The beauty of those Super Bowl commercials is that the producers come up with some of the craziest stuff you’ve ever seen to promote their products. I don’t always remember what the commercial was for, but I do remember what they were about.

I thought the halftime show lineup was pretty interesting. I don’t know if I would have thought to put Coldplay with Beyonce and Bruno Mars. Of course Bruno and Beyonce would be awesome together, but I wasn’t sure how Coldplay was going to fit in with the mix.

It was really great to see them show scenes from the past halftime shows. They did that in honor of it being Super Bowl 50. There have been so many great performers that have had a chance to take the stage. I had forgotten about many of the people that they showed.

Hopefully, you had the chance to pig out on wings or whatever you love to eat at Super bowl parties and watch the Broncos beat the Panthers (sorry Panther fans). The game itself wasn’t one of the most exciting of all times, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway!

Who Else Likes to Stay Up and Watch Late Night Television

Posted by Lili Porter on February 1, 2016

I don’t know why I do it, but I stay up to watch late night television even when I have things to do the next day. What can I say? I’m a night owl...all the brilliant minds are right?

I’ll be a bit honest here, I got a little bit worried about late night television when Jay Leno and David Lettermen left. Who else is with me? I was really beginning to wonder if I was going to have to find something else to do with my life after hours.

What about that Arsenio Hall? Anybody remember that guy? Old school, I know. He was on back in the 90’s, and again for a while a few years ago. He was only on for a few years, but he was fun to watch. I went into labor with my second child while watching one of his old nineties episodes.

Now we have our choice of Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Seth Myers to name a few. I, for one, am glad that they got it right when they brought in the next generation of late nighters. You know how networks can screw that sort of thing up.

Jimmy Fallon is definitely killing it for me. His lip sync battles and impressions are awesome. It has me rolling every time. I also love how he is constantly pranking people.

Oh and Stephen Colbert, who knew that guy could be anything other than the character from the Colbert Report? Don’t you love how he is handling his late night spot now? He nailed it on the Starbucks holiday cup.

Here’s to all my people that stay up late and watch late night TV and think it’s worth it even if you are dragging in the morning. You know who you are.

Confession Time- I LOVE Coffee!

Posted by Lili Porter on January 25, 2016

I like mine to be steamy, robust, sweet, and light brown...coffee that is. Oh you thought I was talking about my men, didn’t you? This could apply to both really, but I’m talking about coffee today.

I’ve had this ongoing love affair with coffee for as long as I can remember. No matter the weather, be it hot or cold, coffee is a perfect way to spend a day. When I wake up in the mornings, it calls to me while I’m still in bed. I can’t wait to get up and be united with the liquid soul.

When I’m out and looking for a place to stop in and grab a cup, I always look for a small shop. They know how to make it exactly like I want it. You can’t beat the friendly atmosphere that comes from a quaint shop in So Cal.

Before I sit down to write, I love to brew my own blend and pour it into a large cup. I flavor it with sugar and lots of flavored creamer. It becomes my companion as I type out the stories that flow from my heart.

Sometimes, I will keep my cup full all day long and sip it slowly as if it is the thing that gives me life...and it truly does! I think of coffee as like a friend that just draws the conversation out of me that makes its way to the pages of my latest book.

Do all writers like coffee? I like to think that at least all of the great ones do….like it’s that bonding thing that we do together as we are pouring the feelings from our souls.

What about you? Do you have a love affair with coffee the way I do? Or do you find your inspiration in some other way?

Why Are Stores in Such a Rush to Get to the Next Holiday?

Posted by Lili Porter on January 18, 2016

I’m almost certain that stores ignore Thanksgiving almost altogether, because they are in such a hurry to get the Christmas decorations out on the shelves. Now, I know there are a lot of people out there that love the holiday, but I for one would like a chance to celebrate one holiday before being forced to think about the next one.

As if it isn’t already a race to be the first store to get Christmas things out, Valentine’s Day paraphernalia was going up as the clearance sections were being taken down.

I’m positive at this point that there are also Easter things for sale, and poor St. Patrick’s Day barely has one small section of things to celebrate it.

My question is this, why the rush? I can only suspect that retailers are doing everything they can to make us feel pressured to hurry up and buy more stuff. I kind of wonder how many people would even bother with some of these minor holidays if it wasn’t for the retail stores shoving it in their faces.

I would really like it if I could get the turkey on my table before I felt like I needed to have my tree up. Let’s not even talk about how I would like to get my tree down before I had to think about Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day (does anyone even really celebrate that day), and Easter.

The only thing I can do is keep my head down when I walk past those seasonal aisles. Retailers are going to do everything they can to promote their stuff way ahead of time to get us ready to buy.

What about you? Why do you think retailers push holidays so far in advance?

Happy New Year!

Posted by Lili Porter on January 4, 2016

Well, it’s the New Year, and it’s been great to see family and friends over the holidays. 2016! Have we been in the new millennium for sixteen years already? It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were partying like it was 1999. Where did the time go? The two- year old I held on my hip as we did midnight fireworks, is an adult now, eighteen years old. He’s going to be voting for the very first time this year. How about my then six-year old daughter? She’ll be twenty-three next month. And don’t get me started about the oldest. He was ten in 1999!

So, now that New Year’s Day is gone, I look back at the holidays with a little sadness. That time comes, and is gone so quickly, and we’ll never get it back, except in our memories. Yes, even the mad rushing about that is the holiday season will somehow be forgotten and I’ll look on that time with the rosy-tinted glasses of nostalgia-just to do it again next year.

But the New Year brings with it fresh beginnings and new things, which is why we celebrate it, make all those silly resolutions, that we hope not to break, but will probably break anyway. This is the time when the days after the winter solstice start getting longer and we start welcoming the light, looking forward to the spring ahead, then summer and fall, which will lead us right back to another round of holidays and New Years.


2015 Blog Entries


Books

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Lili Porter

It’s just a few days until the release of my debut novel, Chocolate and Italian Wine, and I am so excited! I hope you enjoy reading it and moving through the world of Karisma and Paolo as they take on life and its endless scenarios. I sure had fun writing the beginning of their story.

I guess I started writing because I love reading so much. I curl up with a different book or two every week. This week I’m tackling The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I like it so far. It’s thought provoking, yet easy to follow, which isn’t a requirement for my reading tastes, but sometimes I just want to be entertained.

Another book being released next week, is the highly anticipated sequel to Harper Lee’s masterpiece, the haunting To Kill a Mockingbird, called Go Set a Watchman. Oh yeah, I’ll be reading that one next week. Written in the 1950’s, a few years before To Kill a Mockingbird, she evidently hadn’t intended on releasing it. It’s said that after reading Go Set a Watchman, her editor pushed her to write the latter, and for years she rested on the laurels of having what we call a “One-Hit Wonder”. Oh, but what a hit, right? She won a Pulitzer Prize for it.

The characters are part of our American fabric, as well known as the author herself. They are Atticus, Scout, Jem, and Dill, Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell and his daughter, Mayella, played in the movie by the late actress Collin Wilcox, who I saw last week in an old Twilight Zone Episode and thought, ‘Look at ole Miss Mayella’.

The book is on every high school’s reading list and the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck, who won the Oscar for best actor, also received an Academy Award for best picture.

But how wonderful must it be to write one novel, one masterpiece, and have other books measured by the standards set by your work? Not sure why the now 89 year old Ms. Lee wanted to release this book after all these years, maybe it’s all the stuff we’re going through as a nation right now, a lot of which mimics the country during the time this novel was originally written. And while the narration is seen through the eyes of Jean Louise Finch; Scout, as we knew her in her childhood, it’s told third person. From the reviews I’ve read, it should be quite an interesting read.

Anyway, I’m gonna close by saying I really hope that you love Chocolate and Italian Wine. It was a year long labor of love. Drop me a line and let me know what you think-I’d love to hear from you!

Lili