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Monday, November 29, 2010

Pine Trees

"Ooh that smell/ Can't you smell that smell?" - "That Smell" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Pine trees are DEFINITELY not what Lynyrd Skynyrd was talking about in the song, but these lyrics work for this post. When I walked into work today, I knew right away that Riley and Alana had gotten a Christmas tree over the weekend. As I breathed in the strong, sharp scent of their beautiful pine tree, I was instantly taken back to Christmas when I was a child and we used to get a real tree. I remember going to the tree lot and trying to talk my dad into getting the biggest tree they had, even though there was no way it would have fit in our house. A girl can dream though, right?

We now only decorate artificial trees and Yankee Candle's Mistletoe scent does give off the aroma of a live evergreen, but nothing can compare to a real Christmas tree. Aahhh...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

"Over the river and through the woods/ Trot fast my dapple grey/ Spring o'er the ground like a hunting hound/ For this is Thanksgiving Day!"

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful day full of good food, loving family and friends, and great memories.

And for all of you who are going shopping tomorrow at the crack of dawn (or before!), have patience, understanding, and most of all, a lot of FUN!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


"Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?/ It took me years to write, will you take a look?" - "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles

It finally happened...someone bought my book! It has been available for download for a few weeks now, and I was beginning to think that no one would ever even see the page amid the hundreds of thousands of titles on, let alone pay $5.99 to read it, but some wonderful person did! I am so excited, I can't even tell you. I know it's only one Willow Ryan book sold, but it's a start. I wish I knew who bought "Secrets" so I could send them a thank you note. This is so cool!

O Christmas Tree

"O Christmas tree/ O Christmas tree/ You're standing perpendicularly." - version of "O Christmas Tree" sung by Dr. Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke) on "Growing Pains"

Does anyone remember that episode of "Growing Pains" where Jason is decorating the tree and is obsessed with getting it just right? No? I guess it's just me. As I'm typing this, I am sitting in my dining room, admiring one of the trees in my house. This one is Victorian and decorated with beautiful angel and doll ornaments, glittery and porcelain ornaments, and white lights that give off a very welcoming glow as you enter the room. The best thing about this tree though, is how much my dog loves it. We have three full-size Christmas trees downstairs, but this is the only one that Scooby will wag his tail at, lay down, and take a nap with his head under the branches. So funny!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'll Never Outgrow the Thrill...

"It's worth the wait the whole year through/ Just to make happy someone like you/ And I'll never outgrow the thrill of Christmas Day." - "Christmas Day" by the Beach Boys

I love this song, and it's so true! Christmas is by far my favorite time of year, and for so many reasons. I love the message of peace and goodwill that the season stands for, the carols and movies, giving gifts, reading holiday books, decorating, and most of all, celebrating the birth of Jesus, God's gift to us all.

In my latest "Willow" novel, one of the characters tells Willow that she turns into a five-year-old at Christmastime. I wrote that in because that's how I feel every year. There is just something about this season that brings out the child in me, and I think I might have even more fun than the kids I teach during these festive months. Whether I'm making a gift, shopping, playing Christmas music on the piano, or watching Ralphie Parker in his quest to get "an official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle" in "A Christmas Story", I will be enjoying every minute of the holiday season. No matter how old I get (but I'm not really aging anymore, remember?), "I'll never outgrow the thrill of Christmas Day".

Friday, November 5, 2010

High Heels and Sneakers

"She wears high heels/ I wear sneakers/ She's cheer captain/ And I'm on the bleachers." - "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift

Alana, the four-year-old I teach, is both of the girls described in this song. Over the weekend she had been climbing a tree and fell out, hitting her face on a fence on the way down. Ouch! Luckily she was fine, except for a big bruise on her cheek. I wasn't there to see it, but her parents told me about the accident while Alana looked on, wearing a princess dress, plastic high heels, and applying pretend make-up. If it were up to her, she would be outside climbing trees and making mudpies while wearing the frilliest dress possible (it has to twirl!) and fancy high heels. She is a girly-girl-tomboy, and when we heard this song on the radio on the way home from school today, she shouted, "Hey, that singer is singing about me!" Too funny!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Woo Hoo!

"Congratulations, you got a good deal/ Congratulations, how good you must feel." - "Congratulations" by the Traveling Wilburys

Yes, I am congratulating myself today because my first novel is now available for download as an ebook on! I am so excited by this, not because I think it will make me rich and famous (I am a realist after all and know not to get my hopes up about anything), but because I am finally getting somewhere and doing something to accomplish my goal of becoming a published writer. And look, I did it! True, I'm not published in the traditional form, but I am electronically published, which is pretty thrilling for me. I ran into some problems getting my book uploaded, so it's a relief to know that everything worked out okay... so far. I'm excited, but hey, I'm still a glass half empty kind of girl.

Now, I just hope that someone will see my ebook, think it looks interesting, and be willing to pay $5.99 to download it. If you want to check out my novel on, search either Shannon Higgins or Secrets: A Willow Ryan Novel and it should come up. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I've Got the Barnes and Noble Blues

"Well now what's the use in dreamin'/ You got better things to do/ Dreams never did work for me anyway/ Even when they did come true." - "I Feel a Change Comin' On" by Bob Dylan

How's that for a nice pessimistic song? That is the attitude I had for the last few days about my latest venture into... e-publishing. After trying the traditional publishing route for over a year, I have decided that I need to try something different. Barnes and Noble is starting a new program where writers can upload their work and sell it on as a ebook! Sounds great right? After tons of editing, I tried to upload my book last week to no avail. I tried so many times I considered throwing my computer out the window and adding B&N's PubIt! to my long list of things that didn't work out publishing-wise.

But today, I got some helpful advice and had my mom try it from her computer at work, and surprise surprise, it worked! My first "Willow Ryan" book is now processing and HOPEFULLY will be available for download from later this week. It sounds too good to be true, so I hope the pessimist in my head is wrong in thinking that it probably is.