11/26/20

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I cook, because that’s what you do on Thanksgiving Day, I long for my family and think about all the things I’m grateful for. It was suggested that we keep a personal gratitude journal leading up to Thanksgiving Day. I have done so, and want to share it with everyone now. I hope you can all find gratitude on this wonderful day!

 

 

Personal Gratitude Journal

Day 1 – personal gratitude journal…

I’m so very grateful for my family. They’ve been a special blessing in my life, and I love them dearly. #GiveThanks

Day 2 – personal gratitude journal…

I’m grateful for cherished friends who have touched my life and made it better…  #GiveThanks

Day 3 – personal gratitude journal…

I’m grateful for all the hardships, challenges, and failures that I’ve had in my life. Not just grateful that they are in my past, (at least the ones that have already happened), but grateful for the things I’ve learned from them. #GiveThanks

Day 4 – personal gratitude journal…

I’m grateful for memories of good times, happy times, and laughing so hard my face hurt and my tummy muscles got sore! And hoping for many more… #GiveThanks

Day 5 – personal gratitude journal…

I’m grateful for my country. For all its faults, flaws, and foibles it’s still the best place on earth to live. I love the diversity, and the freedom, but I think most of all I love the kindness and care that we have for each other… yeah, I still look for the good, and I find it.  #GiveThanks

Day 6 – personal gratitude journal…

I’m grateful for all the blessings I enjoy. Whether technology, medical, or just modern conveniences that are available today, I’m grateful…  #GiveThanks

Day 7 – personal gratitude journal…

I’m grateful for the One who’s blessed me with everything, and His son…    #GiveThanks

10/11/20

Dear Amelia

A new character is surfacing in the New Parish series. Her name is Amelia James. She has a unique job, she’s an advice columnist. Here’s some of her work:
 
 
 
Excerpts from Amelia’s Answers:

 

Dear Amelia,

 

I’m completely spent! I have no energy anymore. I’m the mother of six children, ages 2-12. I work at my job all day, then come home to work all evening, cooking, cleaning, checking homework, and doing endless amounts of laundry. The kids help where they can, my husband works and has a good job, but is away a lot of the time. I feel I’m simply overwhelmed with it all.
My mother told me I should have a sister wife by now. But, my husband is reluctant, he’s worried about jealousies and other problems.
I’m not sure what the answer is, but I need one soon. I think I’m pregnant again…
Thanks in advance for your help.

 

Spent single wife in New Parish
 
Dear Spent,

 

So sorry to hear that things are difficult for you at this time.
It’s good that you’re enlisting the children to help with the chores, just make sure you don’t overwhelm them with what’s overwhelming you.
A sister wife would be helpful in your situation, but she’s not a servant, or even a solution to a problem.
Have you tried organizing things, tasks, and the endless laundry? I find that organizing things always helps with everything. Start with lists, lists of the things you have to do each day, lists of things the kids can help with, and lists of what can be done before you go to work and things that have to be done after. Also, you might enlist help from family if they have time to come over and help on certain projects. Give it some thought, I’m sure you’ll find someone to help out.
The old saying, “You’re stronger than you think,” is true. You can do this, you simply have to take it in increments. “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch,” is another saying that’s true. Make this big thing, that’s overwhelming you, smaller by chopping it into manageable lists that can be done with ease.
Hope this helps, and congratulations on your maybe pregnancy.

 

Amelia

 

*********

 

Dear Amelia,

 

I hate to even bring this up… but, it’s killing me. I’ve been trying to deal with it for a while now and haven’t figured out how to, yet.
I’m the second wife. My husband’s first wife was so wonderful and welcoming to me and we became the best of friends right away. We really didn’t have any problems at all. She was, and is wonderful!  
So, when my husband married again, for the third time, I thought things would be wonderful too.
His new wife is really nice, and I like her a lot, really.
The problem that’s killing me is, that I’m so jealous I can’t stand myself. I know that’s what this feeling is, I’ve tried to deny it, but there’s no way to do that anymore. My husband’s new wife is so sweet, kind, and just lovely. I hate myself for feeling this way! I’m always looking for faults, or flaws in her. This isn’t me, or the me I want to become.
Can you please help me? I don’t want to be that person…

 

Not that person, really…
 
Dear Not,

 

It really sounds like you have diagnosed the problem very well. Jealousy is a very difficult problem to deal with. The complicated part is that you have to learn to love and care about the person you’re not wanting to like. You have to let go of the resentment, fault finding, and bitterness. Sounds simple right? NOT!
To not be that person, maybe you could try taking little steps. Take the new wife out to lunch, make her a special lunch at home, or make her some cupcakes. You might try to find some things in common with her, like hobbies, or books, or history. Maybe get, or make her a gift, a sort of welcome to the family gift. A small act of service can sometimes go a long way in overcoming negative feelings.
Also take the time you need to adjust to the new situation. Different people accept, or adjust to things in different ways, and in different times. Try slowing things down, don’t rush into this new relationship thinking it should be something like what you have with your other sister wife. Take the time you need. Do something nice for yourself too. Don’t justify your bad thoughts about the new wife, but don’t beat yourself up over it either. It’s simply something new you have to deal with.
Overcoming ourselves is one of the most difficult things we have to do in this life. Too many people think things should be a certain way and never realize they could be another. Consider the platypus. Is it a duck or a beaver? Neither, and both, maybe… You’re not your sister wife, or the new wife, you’re you. Your relationship with the new wife will become what it will become. Remember to walk through your life with kindness, for others, and yourself.

 

Amelia

 

09/5/20

Opposite Direction

Have you ever had things planned out? You know, exactly what you’re going to do. Then something happens and you change your plans and go the opposite direction from what you were going to do… Opposite directions can be course corrections or life changing events that happen to direct the opposite directions to take place, whether these opposite directions are caused by positive things or negative things.

Opposite directions happen throughout our lives, sometimes they are small changes, other times they can be monumental. I ponder these events, the ones that send us in the opposite direction. In my writing, I often mix this sometimes annoying, sometimes revelatory phenomenon into the story.

So, when I write I’m always looking for a way for my story to parallel real life. This opposite direction thingy is one way to do that. I suppose some might call that a plot twist, but for me, it’s simply a way to make fiction more like reality.

As a writer, I strive to breathe life into not only my story, but into each character. Opposite directions are very good ways to do that. The thing is, when these opposite directions happen in the story, I have to make sure my characters react to them as they individually would react. All people have their own way of dealing with life, they react differently. So as a writer I have to make sure I know my characters well enough to know how they will deal with whatever happens to them in my story. Yes, I suppose, some would call that character development… I’m pretty sure I see things differently than other people do, and describe things differently than other people do, so I call it getting to know my characters and opposite directions. That’s just the way I am…

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Worthington/e/B00E6622QO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1569181539&sr=1-3

08/29/20

Small Town Girl

I am a small town girl… I think being from a sleepy, small town, in northwest Georgia has always influenced me in many ways. It’s been a long time since I’ve visited my home town, but not too much has changed. I still check out things online, just to see what’s happening. They’ve kept it historically sweet… the foot bridge, and the many walking trails, are all still there. The City Clock, and Myrtle Hill, and Main Street are all still there too. I even watched part of the Christmas parade last year. So even though I’m far away, I’m still not too far…

In my writing I much prefer writing about the small-town scenario than a bigger city. The nuances of a small town gather my thoughts and seem more vivid to me. I think small towns bring people closer, not to say bigger cities can’t do that, but, in a small town the streets are a bit less busy, and maybe the people have more time to be a bit more friendly. That’s what I’ve experienced anyways.

In my New Parish series, I mostly write about the small-town atmosphere, there are of course trips to larger places. But, I like keeping things more intimate, less busy, giving the reader some time to slip into the story and get comfortable.

New Parish is all about the small-town experience. It’s old fashioned community ethics, where people help each other, or maybe even have a barn raising. Unlike my small home town in northern Georgia, New Parish is situated out west, in northern Arizona, with the cowboy culture deeply infused into it. The back drop of southern Utah, and Northern Arizona provides an incredible element to my writing. There are several small towns spotted throughout this area. They all have unique and breath taking views that inspire the imagination, or at least they inspire mine. Each small town has its own rich history of pioneers and cowboys settling and trying to tame this part of the wild west.

There’s so much research that can be done, some in real time. You can visit an old fort and have a Native American give you a tour, or go visit the amazing parks… Sometimes I wonder how the first settlers ever survived this land, because it’s still not tame at all. Some places I’ve visited have made me wonder why they would have stayed here in this place back then. So, of course, I have to find the answers to the questions that form in my mind. There have been many questions, and I’ve actually found many answers.

The small towns here are very different than the one I grew up in. Not just because of the location, but the histories are as unique as the places. Where I came from history was based more on the rivers, farming, and education. Not to say those things aren’t out here, well, rivers don’t really exist out here. They do have some small streams they call rivers, but really… In this area, the history has been based on religion, finding water, and doing things in different and innovative ways. They have their own language, their way of doing things, and pride in this land that, outsiders (me), will never really be a part of. I can only watch from a distance and chronicle bits and pieces of it in my writing.

So, in creating the small town of New Parish, I took some of the wonderous small towns I’ve visited, and researched, then used my imagination, and squashed them all together to make this wonderful comfy place where people can find their happily ever afters. Every now and then, I may squash a little bit of my own home town in there as well, it’s never far from my heart and thoughts.

From this small town girl, I hope everyone can find their own happily ever afters. Whether it’s a small town or not. But no matter where you go remember the good from where you came, that’s the part that sinks deep into our souls and helps us become more than we were.

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Worthington/e/B00E6622QO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1569181539&sr=1-3

   

03/7/20

Hannah’s Courage

In life we all have to face things we don’t necessarily want to face. Some of those things are more difficult than others, some can even destroy us, if we let them. In Return to New Parish, I chose to present a difficult thing that many women have had to face. Hannah faces all the emotions, fears, and heartbreak of this very difficult thing… Throughout her journey in Return to New Parish, she gains the courage to deal with this, and finds a way to move forward in her life. She has some great support in her sister, family, and Alex… but in the end, it’s all up to her to deal with what happened.

 

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 12 – Alex

 

“Have you talked to Uncle Alex?” Sarah asked.

            “We talk all the time,” Hannah avoided what she knew Sarah meant.

            “About Nathaniel?” Sarah probed.

            “No,” Hannah returned firmly.

            “You need to tell your husband about the man who nearly raped you,” Sarah insisted.

            “Who’s Nathaniel?” Alex asked from behind them. “What happened?”

            Hannah sighed and gave Sarah a disapproving frown, “I’d rather not talk about it.”

            “It’s too late for that,” Alex said gently. “I heard what Sarah said.”

            “Okay, but later,” Hannah pleaded, holding Annie close, almost like a little shield.

            “Yeah, but we will talk,” Alex nodded and returned to the paddock and the girls.

            “Grrrr,” Hannah growled softly at Sarah, so as not the scare Annie.

            “Growl all you want,” Sarah shrugged. “He’s got a right to know, especially since you’ve decided to not have a physical relationship. He is your husband after all.”

            Hannah sighed and tried not to think about the conversation she knew was inevitable. Holding Annie and watching the girls ride helped distract her mind, but not completely. She didn’t want to tell Alex but she knew Sarah was right, she knew she had to tell him, she sighed again.

            That night as Hannah finished tidying up her sitting room, she heard a knock on her door. She thought, “I have plans for spending the evening on the balcony, and then moving to the big tub before bed.”

            When she opened the door, she found Alex standing there.

            “It’s not my night to fix your dinner,” she said quickly and somewhat panicky, hoping she didn’t lose track of which night she was supposed to fix his dinner.

            “Nope,” Alex chuckled rubbing his tummy. “I’ve already had my dinner. Can we talk?”

            “Sure,” Hannah said, stepping aside so he could come in.

            Alex motioned for her to sit on the sofa and he joined her, “So, who’s Nathaniel? And, what happened?”     

            Hannah sighed heavily, feeling like all her emotions had just deflated and were filling back up with fear, dread, and anxiety. She looked out at the balcony she’d planned on spending the evening on, then back to Alex. “We’d been dating for a couple of months,” Hannah began. She watched his expressions as she spoke, “I’d just finished all my course work and passed my last exam. So, we went out for dinner to celebrate. We’d ordered our drinks, non alcoholic champagne, and we were ready to order our food. I was checking out the menu when the waitress told me that she saw Nathaniel put something in my drink. He denied it, but I could see a small pill dissolving quickly at the bottom of my glass,” Hannah paused to take a deep breath and try to settle herself.  “He laughed, like it was some kind of joke,” she took another deep breath to try and control her emotions. “It scared me so bad, I of course left the restaurant and went back to my apartment.

            Alex remained quiet listening to every word, as she answered his questions.

            “I’ve been scared ever since,” Hannah sighed. “I’ve never been intimate with a guy, I wanted that to be with my husband, the man I would spend forever with. He was going to take that from me, something that was mine to give to who I choose, not his to take,” Hannah knew there was anger in her voice now, but she couldn’t help it.

            Alex sighed softly and put his arms around her, he pulled her close and whispered, “You’re safe here sweetheart. If I ever meet Nathaniel, it’ll hurt.”

            Hannah sighed, she did feel safe in his arms, she put her arms around him not wanting him to let go. He caressed her face and gently brushed her hair aside, then gently kissed her forehead. He held her for a long time.

            A few tears escaped, but, Hannah thought, “It’s not fear, not anger, not even sadness.” She decided to analyze later, for now, she thought, “I’m going to just be glad I am where I am.”

            Things between her and Alex became easier, more comfortable, and exactly what Hannah needed them to be.

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Worthington/e/B00E6622QO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1569181539&sr=1-3

    

02/29/20

Choices, Choices, and Choices…

We all have them, choices to make… Where we’re going to live, what career we’re going to pursue, who we’re going to marry… There’s always a myriad of choices that face us throughout our lives, and even on a daily basis. What movie are we going to watch tonight? What’s for dinner? In Return to New Parish, Hannah has many choices to make, some big, life changing ones, and some, all be it simple, still stressful ones.

Hope you’re enjoying her journey…

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 12 – Alex

“Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you that I have dinner with each of my wives on rotating evenings,” Alex grinned mischievously. “Tomorrow’s your turn.”

            “What?” Hannah felt like the proverbial deer in the headlights. “I’m not a very good cook,” she admitted honestly. 

            “I can eat just about anything,” Alex shrugged. “It’s just to talk and visit, really. To cover some ground.”

            “Okay,” Hannah sighed. “I make no promises on how dinner will turn out.”

            Alex smiled warmly, “Can’t be any worse than some of the stuff I had to eat when I was on trail rides.” He gave her a quick hug, and said, “I have to get out to the stables.”

………..

Hannah sighed, hoping for good news and opened the email from Brenda.

     “Hi Han,

                        Congratulations. Yes, I’ve heard, at

times, very loudly about your marriage. I’m

glad you’re finally getting into cooking and

have friends that have inspired and encouraged

you. I’m attaching several recipes that should get

you by.

I’ll send some more soonish.

                        Love you too,

                        Bren”

………..

Just as she placed the last pan in the drainer, there was a knock on the door. She ran over to the French doors and closed them, and took a long, slow deep breath before she opened her apartment door.

            Alex was standing there with a curious, questioning look, holding a bouquet of flowers.

            Hannah smiled, not really wanting to explain anything, “Avoidance is best,” she thought.

            Alex cleared his throat and said, “These are for you.”

            “Thanks, come on in,” Hannah smiled, breathing in the wonderful aroma of the flowers. She filled a vase with water, placing the flowers in it, then set it in the center of the dining table, which was just past where the food and plates were.

            Alex pulled a chair out for Hannah and scooted it in for her when she sat. He sat at the head of the table and said a short prayer.

            Hannah thought, “A prayer is definitely needed for this meal.”

            “How was your day?” Alex asked, obviously trying not to laugh.

            “Fine,” Hannah replied, determined not to talk about the disaster she’d made of cooking.

            Alex smiled and dished up.

            Hannah did the same, hoping it wouldn’t be as bad as she feared it would be.

            “We have a new foal in stable three,” Alex informed her, taking a bite of Sheppard’s pie.

            “Oh, wow,” Hannah said excitedly. “Can I go visit tomorrow?” She felt guilty hearing the crunching sounds as Alex chewed. She knew shepherd’s pie wasn’t supposed to be crunchy.

            “Sure,” Alex nodded. “She’s not going anywhere. I have high hopes for that little girl.” Then he encouraged, “So, tell me what you did in school.”

            “Programming, networking, if it had anything to do with computer tech, I was in on it,” Hannah replied, taking her first bite of shepherd’s pie. “It’s not too bad,” she thought, breathing a sigh of relief. “I’m going to send Bren a, thank you, email tomorrow.”

            “So when’s your last day on the job?” Alex asked with one eye squinted a bit.

            Hannah smiled, she couldn’t help it, just about everything about him seemed charming to her now. “Next Tuesday,” she replied.

            “Good,” Alex nodded. “I’ll start showing you how things work here next week.”

            “Okay,” she said. Then a thought came to her, “How long have you been doing the girls trick riding team?”

            “Oh, since Lexie got interested when she was about six,” Alex smiled. “She used to like to go watch me ride in the rodeo and she saw groups of girls doing trick riding and wanted to learn.”

            “Wow, that’s really cool,” Hannah said with admiration.

            “Once she got started, some of her cousins wanted in, and before long I had a whole team,” Alex chuckled. “Those girls were very determined.”

            “The ones now are too!” Hannah smiled. “I love watching them.”

            “Maybe you’ll like going to the rodeo then?” Alex winked. “There’s usually another team that does the same circuit we do. Sometimes they get a little competitive, but it keeps my girls on their toes.”

            “Like a rival football team?” Hannah proffered.

            “Yep,” Alex replied.

            After they finished the salad and Sheppard’s pie Hannah retrieved the almost apple pie from the warmer. It was a little burnt around the edges, but the middle was all the way delicious. That made Hannah feel a little better.

            Alex helped Hannah with the dishes and told her about the rodeo schedule for the summer. The customary good night hug was given and, as Hannah closed the door, she breathed a sigh of relief.

            “It wasn’t a complete disaster,” she thought.

 

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Worthington/e/B00E6622QO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1569181539&sr=1-3