Little Treasures

See what the waves created? Icy waves

This week has been an incredibly busy one. And often very frustrating. But then when I least expected something special to happen, it did–actually several times.

These little sparks of joy allowed my gratitude to overwhelm my frustration.

First of all, I received an email from a dear friend that her newest grandchild, a baby girl, was born and after a bit of a scary entrance into this world is now thriving. Nothing perks most people up more than the healthy delivery of a healthy baby, especially when that event is anticipated with love and joy. So welcome to this world, little Ella Clementine. Isn’t that a delightful name?

Then twice this week, what started out a grey dreary days morphed into magnificent sunny hours of daylight. The lake which has been shrouded in fog and mist provided yet another landscape that filled all my windows. The winter shoreline is very much different than the other seasons. This winter with its unusually mild temperatures overall has kept it from creating the huge and dramatic ice caves and icebergs of other years. However, when the sun shines the intensity of the white against the blue of the lake thrills me every time I glance at it.

Just a glimpse of what was to come

Also a productive of this mild winter has meant that the migrating birds heading south have lingered. I guess they thought they were already in their southern homes for the winter. Not so, but we’ve had enormous flocks of geese and ducks still hear and at night? Well, all they do is gossip. You get a few thousand of them on the lake where any sound carries carrying on about the latest in fowl hijinks or where the best field is to grab a bite to eat and I can guarantee it could keep me up. Because it’s so incredibly amazing

This morning we had a bit of snow and all those gossiping birds were riding the gentle waves and snow covered their backs. And then when the sun began to peak from the clouds, they lifted and started flying away. Thousands of them.

I thought it beautiful and not what we usually see around here. In the past we’d have to travel to Horicon Marsh to see and hear such sights and sounds.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my most recent book was released. And my last little treasures for this past week concerns that book. Before a book release, publishers send out ARCs (advance reading copies) to garner book reviews. Hopefully, those reviews are good and will prompt sales.

Friday evening I got my first one. It was a five star one which is the best a writer can hope for. Here’s a link to it. Of course, I’m overjoyed.  🙂  Thank you, Romance Writers Reviews.

And today I got an email notice that a blogger Lorna, who sometimes comments on my posts, mentioned me and my latest book on her blog. Here’s a link. And let me tell you, this woman is a delightfully funny, intelligent  writer, and her blog posts have a point and several laughs.

Finally, my last mention goes to a PR project I worked on to promote my books. Since doing projects like this is NOT my forte, I really didn’t know how it would turn it. The process also contained several very frustrating hours when I couldn’t get things the way I wanted them or wasn’t sure at all how the end product in my hands would look.

All my book covers--in a collage.

Well, the PR project’s finished product arrived in the mail this week. It’s my last little treasure to share. Because the final project has gotten many “oohs” and “ahhs” and “Wow, how greats!”

And I guess that’s my point for this week for us to ponder. Life can be very frustrating at times. Our work may seem to never get completed or be full of frustrations. Life may actually suck.

However, if we keep our eyes, hearts, and minds open, we will unexpectedly encounter, accept, and appreciate those little treasures that will keep us going no matter the quagmire of whatever we’re involved in.

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18 Comments on “Little Treasures”

  1. Edie Ramer Says:

    Your PR collage is gorgeous! You are good at this!

    Congratulations on the great review and the mention. I’m delighted that things are going well for you.

    This morning 5 deer ran through our back yard. 3 were bucks. Gorgeous creatures! I don’t like to see them on roads, but running through my yard… Yes, I like that.

  2. Casey, great post & your collage is gorgeous! All your covers are so beautiful. And though I don’t say it often enough, you are always one of my little treasures. 🙂 Can’t wait to see you! Off to read your first review…

  3. Edie,

    When the deer went through your yard, did your dog go nuts? Our Oreo doesn’t mind the birds, but any four legged creatures are NOT allowed.

    Yes, those little treasures…

    Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Donna,

    I can’t wait to see you either! Thanks about the collage–it did turn out well. I’ll bring some up to the meeting Wednesday. Let’s hope the weather cooperates. 🙂

  5. Deb Maher Says:

    Wonderful review, MJ! Congratulations. And I love the collage! How perfect. What size is it?

    It is the little treasures that keep us going forward. Wishing you many more in the coming year.

  6. Deb,

    It’s 4×6 inch. I’m sending you a few. I made labels for the backside which have book info on them.

    How was the writers’ meeting yesterday?

  7. Casey, what a great week of treasures indeed. Each one a gem, the last is a spectacular PR collage. It sets the perfect mood for you and your work.

    I get jealous of the wonders nature brings to your world. Winter is the best time to walk along the water. Why are the skies bluer, the sun brighter and the blanket of white so magical?

  8. Anne Parent Says:

    Ah, once again you’ve managed to peek into my life and remind me to focus on the positive. Thank you! It was a long week, but I had a beautiful card that kept me going all week long. Thank you for all of your kindnesses, Mary Jo! I’m looking forward to reading Islands No More now that I have time to breathe.

  9. Casey Says:


    I was sure I responded to you from my laptop but I don’t see it it.

    I can’t answer your question but I think it’s because we suffer through so many grey days that the bright sunny ones are so much more intense. Plus white always makes the colors stand out more. I was thinking that today while I watched my son and he had a ski show on.

    Thanks for stopping by this week. 🙂

  10. Casey Says:


    Ahh, focusing on the positive–not always easy that’s why it’s imperative to see the little treasures. Otherwise our lives get too mired in the dark.

    I hope you enjoy Islands as much as that reviewer did. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Teri Constant Says:

    Thank you, Mary Jo, for the welcome to our little Ella Clementine, the new tug on my heart. Today I was able to give her the hundred kisses I was saving the past few days.

    You have also mentioned some of my favorite treasures in the wild birds that visit my feeders…a dozen pair of cardinals, dark eyed junkos, chickadees and woodpeckers. Yesterday we had new feeders…a 6 point buck, a doe and two yearling. Fabulous.

    I just received “An Island No More” and expect to do some serious reading this coming week. Congratulations on your five stars. You are another of my treasures.

  12. Casey Says:


    I love to hear how readers reader when they get my book. (blushing here). I hope you love it and tell others about it.

    Ever since you told me the baby’s name, that old song, Oh, My Darling Clementine, has been rolling around in my head–only I add, Oh, my darling Ella Clementine.

    Thanks for stopping by and buying my book. 🙂

  13. Glad to know lots of pleasant surprises came your way. Here’s hoping lots more will come!

  14. Thanks, Lorna. I hope more little surprises continue and for you also!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  15. I’m so behind so I get the busy part of this post w/o a problem! 🙂 And the rest of it, too. Great pictures…the review doesn’t surprise me after just finishing and enjoying Fireweed…Love your PR postcard–looks great! You deserve all the little treasures and I’m glad you recognize them each day. Thanks for the reminder!

  16. carol gianforte Says:

    very excited about your new book; soon to have it. But this blog reminds us of the fortitude needed behind the scenes. thank you for inspiring us.

  17. Stacey,

    Loved your program today at the writers’ meeting. I’m so impressed with all you and Donna have done.

    Go, go, go, girl. 🙂

  18. Carol,

    I love An Island No More. When I first started it, I realized I wasn’t good enough as a writer yet to do what I wanted, and set it aside for a few years, and studied the craft more. When I went back to it, I deleted most of what I had done but kept the same plot line. It was worth the wait because the book just flowed from me.

    Thanks for your support. 🙂

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