Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sherrilyn Kenyon GuestBlog: Grow Your Gardens While Ye May


I once believed I was the one person in the universe whom Sherrilyn Kenyon didn't like. I mean, she's renoun for being, like, the nicest woman in romance by reader fans and collegues alike. Turns out our wires were crossed; she really wasn't avoiding me. Phew.

Sherri, as her millions of friends call her, has two novels out currently, the paperback issue of "Dark Side of the Moon," (St. Martin's) out today, and Kinley MacGregor's "Knight of Darkness," (Avon) which I'll feature next week on RBtheBook. Won 't you please join me in wishing Sherri a warm Bella buongiorno on this very special day...

Happy Holidays to everyone.

I’m not sure I’ve still recovered from Thanksgiving! Is it just me or are there entirely too many holidays this time of year? You barely recover from one that you’re gearing up for the next. Not to mention that for me this time of year is extremely bittersweet. It’s the time where I really have to stop and think about all the family I’ve lost. I can’t pretend that they’re busy and we’ll catch up later. The fact that I can’t talk to them anymore comes slamming home with an awful finality.

But with it comes an overwhelming gratitude for the people I still have in my life who mean so much to me. For that reason, I always make sure that I call those I care about this time of year. That I take an entire day and send out cards even though I have work to do. I don’t want to lose anyone else and I don’t want a year to go by without at least checking in with those I love. I know it’s hard. This is a hectic world we all live in, but at the same time, family– whether it’s the one we were born into or the one we’ve made out of our friends– is important.

I’m not trying to be preachy to anyone. That’s so not me. I firmly believe that we are all masters of our destiny and that your business is your business and no one else’s. Ever. I’ve been known to get caught up in the rush and lose entire weeks at a time. Michelle can tell you this firsthand ;) But at the same time, I always try to take a few minutes each day and sit down with my kids without something in the background distracting us. A few minutes each day to just talk to them about whatever they deem important.


And I try to remind myself that while I personally couldn’t care less about the differences between a common and rare Yu-Gi-Oh! Card, to my seven year-old, that is a matter of life and death. And I remember being a little girl and the fact that when my Growing Hair Crissy doll’s hair stopped at being a Page Boy it too was a matter of a national emergency. Life is all about perspective and balance.

My mother used to say that life was like a garden, you get out of it what you put in. If you neglect it, don’t be surprised to find weeds and snakes eating all your vegetables. It takes a lot of time to till the soil, plant the right seeds and make sure they have all they need to take root and grow. Even then the work isn’t done. You have to prune and water every day. Sometimes you have to recover from storms and the damage they cause, but those storms can sometimes make the garden even better by eliminating the weaknesses and highlighting the strengths. Sometimes the locusts swarm and you have to fight them off– might even have to use some napalm on them. But in the end, that garden will be there for you, if you take care of it. My mom was a wise woman and I miss her terribly.

It’s hard to look at my boys and not have her see their lives and watch them grow. But they are a very special part of my garden and in that garden lives many of the very things my mother planted there with me. My love of Halloween and playing dress up even though I’m grown. My bizarre need to have sliced onion on the table at Thanksgiving even though no one but my mother ever ate it. My need to start dragging out Christmas decorations the minute the Thanksgiving meal is over and start making the house smell like baking cookies. And the fact that no Christmas is complete until the poinsettias are liberally scattered through the house. My garden may no longer be filled with her laughter, but it does have her touch. A touch I hope to one day share with my grandkids in honor of her.

And while life is speeding by, I often brake and wonder what things I’m planting in my children’s gardens while I’m not paying attention. Will they be happy veggies or thorns that will snag them years later? I try for their sakes, to keep all the thorns to a minimum. But as my mom would say, it’s not always about being a perfect parent, it’s about being an attentive parent. Kids let you know what they need. I’ve learned this is true. My sprouts are very vocal whenever they have needs and wants. Likes and dislikes. They hold nothing back.

My Christmas tree isn’t decorated the way I’d like it. I stare at those glass ornaments in the stores and magazines with envy. How pretty they always look... how very breakable. Instead, my tree is plastered with Power Rangers and Star Wars. Handmade snowmen and reindeer. Little cardboard cutouts with my sons’ faces peeking through and their handwriting and drawings all over them. And you know, what, I wouldn’t trade those pipe cleaner candy canes and things I can’t even identify for every glass and porcelain ornament made. My tree may match nothing in the house, but it is a beautiful tree that stands proud in my garden.

So my question to all of you during this busy season is what have you planted in your garden for the future? What happy memories make you smile during this season?

And again I say Happy Holidays every one. I hope your garden feeds you and yours extremely well this coming year and just in case you need them, here are some pruning shears and a BIG box of fertilizer ;)

Hugs!


Visit www.SherrilynKenyon.com

***

Encore! Romance: B(u)y the Book feature review of "Seize the Night," and Sherrilyn's AuthorView.

28 comments:

MaryKate said...

Hi Sherri! Welcome to RBtB! We've been so excited to have you visit! Let me start by passing on my condolences on the loss of your mom. I know (because I read your books and frequent your website) that you miss her terribly and the hurt must be worse during the holidays. I'm lucky enough not to have lost anyone, although both my folks have had nasty health scares in the last few years. That was enough for me, I prefer to pretend they'll be around always. A couple of days ago I had a rotten day (my puppy dog dug a two inch hole in my brand new living room chair and when I opened my Christmas ornaments to decorate the tree, I found water had somehow gotten into the box and the wooden ones all had mold.) What did I do? Called my mom. First, she said she was pretty sure she'd have no problem patching the chair to make it look ok, and then she gave me a recipe for a mile bleach mixture that would help me clean the ornaments. I started in tears, and by the end of the conversation, I felt so much better! Moms are a wonderful thing!

Anyway, on to the gushing. I am a serious fan! I adore your books! I read most of them, although, as the Bellas know, I'm partial to vampires, so I love the Dark-Hunters more than your other series. I'm headed to Barnes and Noble this afternoon at lunch to pick up DSotM. I think you're incredibly gifted, and I particularly adore that most of your heroines aren't perfect (especially size-wise). Bride and Vane are my favorite couple so far, but, I admit like every other fan, I'm aching for Ash's story. So, do you want to dish on some hints about Ash? Anything at all? Michelle should have warned you that we're shameless here about begging. I'll try to keep it to a minimum, but I can't make any promises.

Thanks again for coming. You're a wonderful author and I'm so excited to have you visit!

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Sherrilyn!! I'm so glad you are stopping by today with such a timely blog. My oldest daughter and I last night sat down in the quiet of her room to have a heart to heart. She is 10 going on 20 and I feel honored that she deems me worthy enough to ask advice from. I don't have most of the answers but we sit and talk it out the best we can.

I have a mish mash christmas tree. We have ornaments from when dh and I were little and homemade ones that the kids have done. When it's all up, it won't win any style points but each ornament has a story to tell. IMHO, they're the best kind.

FJudy said...

*jumping up and down, waving madly* Sherri - Great to catch ya here. I love, love, love your stories, even your personal ones. I somehow started a tradition with my family several years ago. It's expected of me every year now. Everyone is fine with me not putting up a tree *humbug* and even not holding the holidays at my place. But, there better be a roast goose on the table, whatever table the family dinner will be on. As my nieces and nephews get bigger and bigger, it seems there intake does, too. So the goose is now joined by the prime rib. Feed 'em and they are happy. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS!!!!!

Stacy~ said...

Hi Sherri, another huge, gushing fan here! The Dark Hunters turned me on to the appeal of vamps, and I will be indebted to you forever! Zarek is my favorite; it was the first time I read about a truly, truly tortured hero, in every sense of the word, one that you almost, almost, end up hating, but know that deep down he had the heart. So while I love the other guys, Kyrian, Vane, Wulf, Valerius...Zarek is the one I adore the most, bad boy that he is.

My grandparents had one of those glass ornament trees later in life (they had their share of the mismatched ornaments and homemade decorations) and it was not fun because we kept getting yelled at if we got too close to the tree LOL. Give me a tree filled with love and memories anyday.

krissyinva said...

First I have to say I LOVE your books. I read Knight of Darkness this weekend and loved it. I think the Christmas trees in the magazines are beautiful... but they also look sad, cold and impersonal. I think a Christmas tree should represent your family. My tree isn't up yet but it will have all my kids decorations they've made and some of mine I made over 20 years ago. they kids love finding the perfect spot for their creative works.

Vivi Anna said...

Welcome Sherri to RBTB! Have to say that Everyday Life in the Middle Ages is one of my favoritist research books and I use it all the time.

I agree with you that life is what you make it, or how you sow it...I was busting my butt last night working on a chapter and my daugther came in and asked if I wanted to watch her favorite TV show with her, I said no I had to work, but when she turned and I saw those gorgeous blue eyes start to glisten with tears....I realized that a half hour away from my chapter wasn't going to affect it, but a half hour away from my girl just might affect the rest of the night...

So I watched TV with her curled up on her bed under the covers, cuddling and snuggling. That was a great half hour spent!!

Happy Holidays to you Sherri and your family!

Ann Christopher said...

Wow, Sherri! What a powerful post! My son and daughter have already started asking about when we'll decorate this year's batch of gingerbread houses. I hadn't gotten around to it yet, but now I think I'd better head off to Sam's and get the kits...

Have a wonderful holiday--

Ann

ElsieHogarth said...

Hi Sherri! Happy Holidays! Welcome. As you know, I devour your books and am so enamoured Acheron.

Like you, I love going to the stores and seeing those picture perfect Martha Stewart type trees but really love going to my parents house to see their tree.

My parents started the tradition of buying my sister-Laurie and I an ornament, every year, since we were born until about 8 years ago when Laurie got married. We bring my niece-Julianna(your future daughter-in-law to one of your boys) along to "Ladies Tree Trimming" because we love hanging our favorite ornaments(Snoopy, Wooden Soldiers, Angels etc) and the memories that go along with each and everyone of them.

Every year, my Mom wants to give us all our ornaments but we say no because, right now, they would never look right on our trees. They just belong on my parents tree in their living room. It just wouldn't be a Holiday if we went to their house and didn't see "our" ornaments on their tree.

P.S. Hi to Janet.

Kris said...

Hello, Sherri!!!! (waving wildly) I love your books, thank you so much for writing them and sharing them with us.

I think that Christmas trees should be personal and reflect the family and memories. All of my ornaments have stories and I love sharing them with my children each year.

Michele said...

OMG!! It's Sherrlyn!!!
First, a peaceful and blessed Holiday Season to you and your loved ones!

Beautiful post!

My only tradition is from my Great Grandma - to burn a red candle until Christmas Morn - to light the way, like the star that led the Magi. It's the only nonbroken tradition that we have.
Some say it's a French thing, some say it's Canadian. I say, it's Family.

LOVE your Dark Hunter series, your Lord's of Avalon under MacGregor - when will the first comic be coming out??? Any teasers avaliable? Art work?

You have a way with the perfect tortured hero's. Many on the RBL boards still cheer for the Z-man. Awesome creation, Sherrilyn.
You're in my top five of romantic paranormal geniuses.
HUGS!!!!

dd03 said...

Hello, Sherrilyn!

I'm a new reader of the Dark Hunter Series. I've read Julian's, Wulf's, and Talon's books....I found them in a used book store. I saw that they were vamp romances and thought...Woohoo, another series to get into! I'm not disappointed! I'm looking forward to Zarek's story, as well as Acheron's and oh, I forgot his name...Nick, I think...the young guy that drove Zarek and Talon around...gah...such a bad memory! I just joined your boards via a BAM invite from the BDB boards...great fun! Anyway, while doing research for a BAM challenge, I found out about Nick's book...sheesh, I hope that's his name. *rolls eyes at self*

Anyway, just wanted to let you know I enjoy your Dark Hunters.

As for the holidays, I started baking with a friend a few years ago and brought the results home for Christmas...my family now expects to have baked goodies galore for christmas. Funny thing is...I make Mexican Wedding cookies on my own for them every and give some to my baking buddy...and that's the one cookie that my family asks for the most!

ev said...

Welcome Sherri!! I too really enjoy your books.

As for those decorator trees- they are so cold. There is no warmth in them the way a hodge podge tree has. I have store bought- many parts of collections as opposed to just balls, handmade by my daughter, the really nice glass balls from my grand and great-grand parents, lots of flamingos (family joke and traditon) and just things collected over the years. I can look at that tree anytime and recall warm, wonderful memories. Can anyone do that with a Martha tree??

One of the traditons here is the betting pool as to when I will take the tree down. They don't let me in or know who has what, so it's a crap shoot. I have been known to turn it into a Valentine's/St Patrick's/Easter tree. I also decorate the outside year round depending on the season/holiday. DH never complains about the light bill either. Which is a great present, don't you think?? I am way behind in my decorating this year since we were away. The tree should have been up on T-day Night. ::sigh:; It's so warm I just can't think of it being almost December.

Anyone else have a weird or wacky traditon???

Mariposa said...

Hi Sherry!!! LOVE Your books... all the series... you're such a blessed talented author. THANKS for taking me to another world and for every little bit you gave us through your books. Beautiful blog... close to my heart.
Happy Holidays and a wonderful New year with lots of inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sherrilyn,

Thank you so much for the inspirational words during this time of year.

Christmas is a special time in my home, where the kids help decorate the tree. I help with the top half and it has all the ornaments that have been given to us and the ones that the kids made. These are so special and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I hope that your holidays are special and well wishes to you and your family.

By the way, Love all your books. I have been an avid reader since Fantasy Lover.

CrystalG said...

Hi Sherrilynn. Very inspirational post. You are my favorite author. I love both your historicals and your paranormals.

Every year my husband and I buy a few new ornaments for our tree. Opening the boxes and looking at ornaments collected in past years brings back a lot of good memories.

Kat said...

Hi Sherri,

I've been reading your books for years (started right when Night Pleasures was published and for KM right when A Pirate of Her Own came out) and I love them all. It's so hard to find an author where you've loved each and every book she's written, but yours continue to amaze me. I didn't move for hours reading DSOTM (did not feel good when I finally stood up). :) I can't wait for Ash's book - 1 more year, right?
Just wanted to pop in and say "Hi" and thanks for writing so many wonderful books. :)

Kat

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Bellas, delurkers, lurkers and everybody! I'm a fan of Sherrilyn's too, and I must say Valerius is my fave. He's Italian, after all. But I, too, love Acheron. And I'm looking forward to Nick's story, too. He got into a little bad blood w/ Ash before he, Nick, "blew the Big Easy," so I'm eager to see what's up for him.

I know Christmas is supposed to be about being w/ family, but I love how we all attach sentiment to certain cookies or ornaments, etc.

We have Christmas Chickens. For some reason, my grandmother always had WWI soldiers and little painted tin or metal chickens under her tree. Now, I know her oldest brother died in WWI shortly after her family emigrated to America.

But the poultry? Anyway, my mom is hoarding 4 of them and will release them to each of my 3 brothers and me only when she departs this life. (She doesn 't know I know it, but she's already given one to one of my brothers. I always knew she liked him best...)

mee said...

What a lovely blog.
Only just heard it was here so popping by to say I love the hunter books. Looking forward to reading about Ash :)

Liadan said...

Hi Sherrilyn! I'm a member of your bbs and I join in on the chats from time to time. I've met really wonderful people there and love them all. (specially Tad)

As for Christmas traditions our family really doesn't have a specific one, but a whole bunch of them. It started when my hubby and I got married, we go Christmas Eve and I get to pick the tree, not him. Now that we've had our daughter we all go and when we get home we make hot cocoa and light a fire and just sit and talk. It's a peaceful time and we enjoy ourselves.

Thank you for sharing your Dark Hunter and Dream Hunter worlds with us. You are fantastic.

Courtney said...

Sherri,
I'm a paranormal romance junkie and your DH series is right up there near the top for me. I recently read both Lords of Avalon books and I'm just rabid for more (especially Blaise). I can't wait for more of your books; you one of my favorite writers and I'll always read your books!!

Tina said...

I've been a huge fan of yours from day one, Sherri! Both your historicals and paranormals have a special place on my keeper shelf. I recently finished Varian and YUMMY!! What a man! Loved him, the whole book was awesome from cover to cover. And I loved the humor...pit of despair, anyone? LOL! And it would be remiss of me if I did not reiterate, as I do just about everywhere I post, that I LOVE ACHERON! The wait for his book is bittersweet. I can't wait for his much deserved HEA yet I know we'll likely see less of him in future DH books...or will we? *hinthint*

Much continued success! *muah*

Love,
Tina

Cathy said...

My christmas tree is my memory tree. Even though my babies are "men" now, I still drag out every homemade ornament or decoration they ever made, and display it proudly every year. I might hear am embarassed grumble or two, but that special smile they get when they walk in the house, is magic to me, and is just too precious for words.

Monica Burns said...

Sherrilyn,

I know EXACTLY how you feel about growing your kids without a parent being there to see the joy of that ripening. I'm in the exact same boat, wishing every holiday that my school-age girls could have known my Dad and that my youngest could really remember my Mom.

Big hugs

Monica

jubilee said...

Hi Sherri!!

Glad to see you're spending time with family for the holidays.

I have no idea what I planted in my garden for the future ^^;;;; I just hope I'll be happy with whatever happens.

Walking around, seeing the holiday decorations, festivities & people in warm, crazy holiday moods make me smile every season. =D

If you don't mind me asking, how come you guys had sliced onion (was it raw?) on the table for Thanksgiving? Was it for decorative purposes (like as a garnish) & your mom ate some one time by accident? Or is it to ward off relatives when they start badgering you? ^^;;;;

Happy Holidays!

Keep baking cookies! They smell really really really good in the house =D Your own kind of potpourri.

Nipps said...

Hey Babe,

Miss ya heaps already, I'm already planning the next trip back.
You know I used to hate xmas, it was the one time of the year that made me cry more than any other because it always started the big fight between my family of who I'd get to spend it with. If I stayed wih Grandad I knew mum would be upset; if I picked mum, dad would get annoyed. I could never find a solution that made everyone happy.
So now that I'm all grown up, married and out on my own I have my own tradition. No matter where we are in the world, or who's with us my husband and I will always spend xmas eve together. We have an xmas mince pie, a drink and just watch the lights on the xmas tree. Its the only time I don't need to juggle a huge family that don't get alone and never want to spend the day together.
(((((hugs)))))) Have a good holiday season sugar and give the boys a big hug from me :)

Ladyscot said...

Hi Sherri,
So sorry I missed you, but always glad to see you reconized for your wonderful work.
Glad to hear you are spending some time with your boys for the holidays. That is the way it should be. You don't want a "Martha Stewart" tree...just like you, your tree should be unique and one of a kind.
Thank you for all of your books most especially the DarkHunters. I love them all. I know everyone wants Ash's books. I am looking forward to those too, but please...please some more about Dev. (I love that bear! LOL) Having met you, and experiencing your warmth and kindness will always be a treasured memory for me. Thank you so much!
I will be spending the holidays with the man of my dreams (finally!)
So, thank you again, enjoy your holidays and God bless you and yours.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ladyscot?!!! My GOD! It is so great that you stopped by! I haven't seen your name in ages and have thought of you often because you were literally, like, one of the first people to comment way back when Romance: B(u)y the Book started and only had a monitored chat board.

You always talked Dark-Hunter, and we argued over who was the best DH (Valerius, I'm thinkin until Acheron). You made my day. :)

Ravyn said...

Hey Sherrilyn,

Trees aren't real big around here since Erika thinks that it's a symbol of gross capitalism with no meaning. But Susan's been trying to reeducate the wayward Squire. We'll see how that goes. In the meantime, peace and happiness to all.