Mindful Mondays – Week 27 – Lest We Forget

This is the Remembrance Day long weekend in Canada. Though, November 11th is a few days past us now, I hope the sentiment you find below will stay with you for many days yet to come. I am sharing with you my November newsletter. The words, “lest we forget” are etched in my memory. I remember being a young girl, walking in my girl guide uniform at the local parade. One year in particular, I was honored to carry the Canadian flag in the parade, a task I took seriously.

The flag grew increasingly heavy as we walked past the library and the fire station. I shifted its position and held on tight, gripping the pole with my winter mittens, determined not to be defeated by the flag’s weight. Wreaths were lain, bagpipes played, and poppies adorned many a lapel.

Lest We Forget

It is a memory that stays with me and though many of our heroes have left us now, the importance of “lest we forget” feels even greater and the flag even heavier. We owe our safety, our happiness, our lives to those who fought for our freedoms. No matter how heavy the flag may feel, know that it will always be lighter for us because of them.

From the desk of Tanya E Williams…

Just over a year ago, I began my research for the historical fiction Smith Family Series…

I began with the story of John Smith, a simple man whose beliefs, character, and patriotism guided me down a path into the deep well of research that is World War II. John’s story continues to be a work in progress and my plan is to release A Man Called Smith as the third installment in the series.

During this time of discovery, I found myself immersed in the events that began, continued, and finally ended the war. I was drawn to the human element of the research and was rewarded with many harrowing tales of lives lost and battles won.  

I read countless letters, listened to World News radio reports, and watched documentaries so graphic, much of the viewing was behind the shield of my own two hands.  One documentary in particular stuck with me. It was an interview with men who had served in WWII and had survived.

Survival though is not all it is cracked up to be. Human survival can be so innately strong that all sense of joy or happiness no longer exists within the individual. They are left but shells of a former self. As I watched the men as old as 87 years dissolve into incoherent tears, still unable to come to terms with what they saw and experienced 70 years before, I knew that survival did not necessarily mean escape from the terror of war.

Sadly, a war touches many lives. It does not discriminate between men, women, or children. Whether a soldier’s life is lost or a family is left without a brother, sister, parent, or child, a war knows no bounds. My goal with Becoming Mrs. Smith was to show WWII from the perspective of those left at home. Their sacrifice and worry on the home front was not without turmoil.

I recently returned from a trip to Quebec where I had the great privilege of touring an active military base. I learned of a book of names located there. The names were of every fallen soldier throughout history from their company, handwritten in memory. I was deeply touched to learn that every day a soldier visits the book and reads aloud from the two facing pages, vocalizing each name with respect and gratitude. Each day the page is turned to the next one and another soldier reads those names and so on. This daily ritual is performed so that no soldier is forgotten. No sacrifice is taken for granted.

Let we forget are three little words whose impact is much larger. This November 11th, I hope you will join me in honoring, thanking, and remembering all those who sacrifice for the safety and well being of others.

Tanya E Williams

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Mindful Mondays – Week 26 – Stories Everywhere!

Stories exist all around us. Whether it is in a snipet of conversation we hear while waiting in line at our local coffee shop. Or perhaps, the scene we watch as traffic flows beyond our office windows. Stories are the thread of lives lived. They tell of the past, present, and sometimes even the future.

My enjoyment of country music comes from the stories that lie beneath the rhythm. That little piece of truth that I, as a listener, can appreciate and liken myself to. I am in awe of the stories told through songs. An entire image, beginning, middle, and end in under three minutes. That my friends, is talent.

It has been said that a writer is working as they gaze out a window. This I know to be true as I find myself lost in a story within moments of finding a little idle time on my hands. Truth be told, I seek out that idle time. The time to dream. To create. To make a story come to life in my own mind’s eye. That is how every story I write comes to fruition. First, I see it before me. Then I plan, brainstorm, elaborate, and write.

The stories of the past are the ones that ignite my curiosity along with my creativity the most. This past weekend, I was fortunate to travel to Montreal and Quebec City in the great province of Quebec, Canada. I found myself immersed in our country’s history, rich in detail and full of living stories. Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 25 – Loving Life

Loving life has much to do with good fortune and surrounding yourself with a solid support system. It also is determined by what steps you take each day to make your experience rich and filled with the things you love. This blog post is reaching you a little later than usual today. I was delayed at the hospital waiting for an x-ray for my son. His nose is definitely swollen and bruised and potentially broken.

It occurred to me as we waited, that he was calm, accepting, and prepared to do whatever he needed to. Moving through this process was not without discomfort or patience. There was no whining or even the slightest complaint from him as we spent the day in crowded waiting rooms. The injury is due to a friendly game of prom dress rugby. Yes, you saw that correctly. A game of sevens rugby where all the boys were dressed in prom dresses. The result was a crowd pleasing hour of fun and laughter.

Life is too short to wait...

Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 24 – Feeding your soul.

A soul, like a body, needs to be nourished. As humans we seek the solace of a cozy place to lay our heads, seeking rejuvenation. In contrast, we also seek a sense of community, of understanding, of acceptance. This is the soul’s need to be a part of something greater than ourselves. These needs are diverse and ever shifting. Our job is to recognize those needs and tend to them.

As a writer, my soul is nourished in many ways. There are days, even among a deluge of rain, that I must venture outside regardless of the discomfort this may cause my body. Solitude too, is one of my soul’s many requirements. I must sit and think. I must get lost in a dream or a story in order to rejuvenate my spirit. My daily meditation practice nurtures me on yet another level .

This past weekend, I fed my soul at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference. Though this morning, exhaustion fills every pore of my being, the weekend was quite simply amazing. I listened and learned from writing professionals that I have a deep amount of respect for and thus fueled my soul with knowledge. On more than one occasion, I was touched as keynote speakers reached into their hearts and shared their life experiences with us, creating lasting emotional ties.

Feed your soul. Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 23 – The lens through which I look.

The lens through which I view the world around me changes daily. Sometimes, even as quickly as from one moment to another. How we view the world is directly related to our mind’s idea of how things happen. The reaction we receive from others can color our view. Feelings such as hunger, thirst, and emotional imbalance definitely impact how we see things. Our experiences are unique to us and that is how our lens is shaped.

A positive experience, encourages feeling of natural gratitude and euphoria. Whereas, a negative experience can pull us down both mentally and physically. This power is strong enough to cause us illness or make us feel invincible. No matter the circumstance though, the choice is always up to us to determine how we will choose to view it.

Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E Williams

Have you ever noticed that when things are rolling along smoothly in your life, everything is easier? Relationships, work, traffic. Literally, everything is easier. This is the ride most of us are striving to be on. The path of least resistance. Continue reading

Not your typical Tuesday…

I don’t normally create a blog post on Tuesdays, but today is not a typical Tuesday. Today is the official release date for my debut historical fiction novella, Becoming Mrs. Smith. If you are interested in reading Becoming Mrs. Smith, you can find it for FREE at Amazon Worldwide until October 12th, 2017.

Becoming Mrs. Smith

This book release is near and dear to me for a couple of reasons. First, of course, because Becoming Mrs. Smith is my debut into the world of fiction writing. There is always something about a first love.

Secondly, Becoming Mrs. Smith came to fruition because two female characters in the novel I was working on decided they wanted to tell their own story. They convinced me by keeping me up at all hours of the early morning, pleading their case. One of the characters was Violet (Becoming Mrs. Smith – October 10, 2017). The other was Bernice (Stealing Mr. Smith – eta 2018). Whether it was their persistence or my lack of sleep, I eventually agreed to write a story from each of their perspectives before releasing the main novel.

Thirdly, the research that I undertook to create a true sense of time was a winding road through the past. I am extremely fortunate to have family who experienced first hand the world in 1935 and beyond. My journey was even more blessed because they opened their hearts to me in order to share their knowledge. I am most grateful to them for their insightful comments, photographs, and understanding of what a writer was seeking.

History fascinates me and I am honored to be able to share some of the knowledge I learned along the way through historical fiction. I hope you enjoy the story and if you do, please post a review on Amazon and / or Goodreads.

Happy Reading!

Mindful Mondays – Week 22 – Giving Thanks…

Giving thanks seems only fitting with our Canadian thanksgiving taking place today. It is a wonderful time in the autumn season to pause and take stock of the importance of gratitude. A grateful heart has many layers and this year I want to share with you what my heart is giving thanks for.

  • Pumpkin pie. I know it sounds ridiculously simple, but as I sit here writing this blog post, my “to do” list includes baking two pies for our family gathering and thus I have the anticipation of the first bite of pumpkin pie to be grateful for.
  • Family. A natural fit with almost any holiday. Though we are not in a position of being able to spend the holiday with all of our family, they are never far from our minds. Each year brings new gatherings, with a variety of individuals and each year my gratitude for those I am fortunate to call my family, grows.
  • Puppies. Yep, that’s right, I have an abundance of gratitude when it comes to puppies. And just to be clear here, I don’t care how old a dog is, they will always be a puppy to me. My thankful heart desperately misses my puppy of twelve years, but I give thanks for having had the great fortune of having her love us so completely for those twelve years.

    Puppy Cuteness Who could resist a face like this?

  • Chai Tea Lattes. OK, perhaps I shouldn’t have skipped lunch today, but seriously, I have been enjoying my homemade cup of joy for a few weeks now. In the spirit of thanksgiving, I am even going to share the recipe with you. Check it out at Against All Grain. I warn you though, once you start perusing Danielle Walker’s recipes, you’ll want that cup of chai in hand, cause you’ll be there awhile enjoying her amazing creations.
  • Inspiring events. Last week I had the pleasure of joining a friend for an evening with Roy Henry Vickers. Now, even though I am a PJ by 8:00 pm kind of girl, I braved the chill in the air and ventured beyond Grey’s Anatomy. I was drawn in by this inspiring individual whose love for mankind is larger than any I’ve witnessed in a very long time. If you ever get the chance, make yourself available to listen for a few minutes. What you’ll feel is hope for our future through stories from the past.
  • My book launch team. I have been blessed with an amazing group of individuals to act as my book launch support system for Becoming Mrs. Smith (launching October 10, 2017…aka tomorrow! But if you simply just can’t wait to read my debut historical fiction book, head on over to Amazon and download your FREE Kindle version today). Each launch team individual brings a fresh perspective to the book and it has been an absolute joy to have them behind me as I navigate the waters of a book launch. I am ready to share Becoming Mrs. Smith with the world, because of them. Heartfelt thanks to each and every one.

    Becoming Mrs. Smith Available October 10, 2017

  • The writing life. I am so very fortunate to have the love and support of my family and friends as I live my dream of being a writer. Writing provides me with a life full of joy, inspiration, and balance. The writing life gave me the courage to step into myself, fully and comfortably. Writing fuels my spirit and warms my heart. I simply couldn’t ask for much more.

So, I give thanks for all of this and more. And also to you for taking the time to read my blog posts. May your hearts be filled with love, joy, and gratitude no matter when you celebrate pumpkin pie day!