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Romantic Thoughts Thursday: Embrace One Another

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

– Luciano de Crescenzo

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Sending Love to Those Involved in the #ThaiCaveRescue

Exercise Compassion Every Day

While I love to concentrate on all things love and romance on this blog, the most important aspect of all is LIFE. Here, I love to Explore Life and Love, One Word at a Time. At the beginning and end of every day, I express my gratitude for life, love, family, and all those good and wonderful things in between.

When we focus only on the things we like and enjoy, or merely on topics and points of view that comfortably fit inside our comfort zones, we grow more hedonistic and become less empathetic. It’s far too easy to miss important things that are happening around the world that have so much meaning to human existence. One perfect example of this is the still developing story of the #ThaiCaveRescue where on June 23rd, 12 boys and their coach who were trapped deep in a craggy cave after monsoon flooding blocked their escape. Rescuers were only first able to discover where they were ten days later. The first miracle is that fact that they are all still alive!  

Thai Cave Rescue

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been closely following the #ThaiCaveRescue on Twitter, but I hadn’t devoted a post to this phenomenal ordeal and test of strength, endurance, and faith. I’ve been actively keeping these boys, their amazing assistant coach, the brave selfless rescuers, and all of their families in my prayers, and I have been thinking of them constantly. I’m a firm believer that the power of prayer and positive thinking, regardless of your belief system (or lack thereof), can make amazing things happen. Call me crunchy, but I’m an unashamed PhD who’s totally into faith, family, love, life, romance, and spreading positive vibes around the world. Oh yeah, and science, lol. :-*

Thailand Cave Search

At the time of this post, all 13 people have been rescued and are safe in a local hospital! Rescue efforts were beyond taxing and grueling, and one Thai Navy SEAL has lost his life in the extremely dangerous rescue attempt. The boys and their coach were 2.5 miles deep inside the cave.

It is my prayer that all of the boys, their coach, and all other rescuers will be safely reunited with their families as soon as possible. I’m so excited to see what wonderful stories will develop for each of these kids.

If you haven’t had a chance to learn more about this, please take the time to do so. This is an example of a modern miracle with the amazing feats of the rescuers. May they all be recognized and showered with accolades for doing what so many heroes and heroines from around the world humbly describe as merely doing their job. Thank you.

I don’t know about you, but following this very human story has certainly made me reflect on what things are TRULY important to me in this life!

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” – Luciano de Crescenzo

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Happy Birthday, America!

Independence Day, USA

Happy Independence Day, or as most of us tend to say these days, Happy 4th of July! I’m probably the most self-censoring writer you’ve come across on a blog, but honestly, I just have zero desire to politicize most of my posts. And because it’s my God-given right to decide not to, I usually don’t. (See what I did there? 😉 )

The 4th of July means a lot of things to us who were born and raised in the good old USA. We’ve grown up celebrating our country, those who serve it, and those who have and continue to defend it since before we could walk. San Diego is very similar to my hometown in the South, and so far, I believe that it’s a lovely place to raise my little one where traditional family values are still considered to be the important glue that holds our communities together. America’s Independence Day is a special day to celebrate not only our military and their (our) families; it’s also important for us to remember our civil servants, too.

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Happy Birthday, America!

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate all of the things that each person associates with being American. We express our gratitude to those who have fought – and continue to fight – for our rights (and often, our wrongs). We express our pride in being unapologetically American. We celebrate the rights that we were born with, inherited privileges that, in all actuality, could still be eroded by the sweep of a pen and a blink of an eye. We are the renegades, the innovators, still rebellious, ever striving to define the indescribable miracleillusion feeling of being free.

But, we’re not the only ones who celebrate this amazing holiday. As you’re likely now aware of my fledgling obsession with fabric, hopefully you can understand what I mean when I say that the very fabric of our society is multifaceted and diverse. No one fits in just one simple pattern. What really impresses me is the fact that there are millions of people in the US who are not (yet) American citizens, but are permanent residents who celebrate this holiday with such reverence and enthusiasm as any proud military family, proud pacifist, proud Republican, proud Democrat, proud Independent does. There are beautiful, wonderful people who have given our country so much, and have earned the privilege of becoming American citizens themselves. They, too, are what makes up our idyllic view of America.

This is one holiday where anyone and everyone is encouraged to celebrate the love of OUR country, embrace OUR shortcomings with humility, and above all, celebrate OUR communities – the backbone of this nation. This year, maybe for just one day, everyone can set aside petty meme-wars, heavy political bias, or snarky hashtags, and just chill with the neighbor down the street. Maybe even give out a free hug or two.

Will I take my own advice? Here’s hoping.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Are You Ready?

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(Also, get ready for my newsletter. Actually, get ready for both. If you already have one, then just get ready for the other.)

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Short Story: Ali & Nick

Short Story: Ali & Nick*

Nearly a year ago, I posted the beginning of a quick pants short story, and then I completely forgot about it. I rediscovered it during Toddler nap time yesterday, and so I added a little bit more to it. The original posting of the story is here, but for convenience, I’m re-posting the beginning of this short story here as well.

As usual, I invite you to let me know what you think! Comments appreciated.

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Google

She was the silent type. It would have been an awesome and somewhat mystical trait if she had also been strong, but she wasn’t. Not yet.

For years, Alissa had been perfectly fine flying solo, and after that disastrous train wreck that she’d mistakenly called a relationship with Dax, being alone had been a good thing. She needed to heal; she was determined to remember to love herself before she tried loving anyone else.

Besides, she knew that when the time was right, her feelings and intuition would give her the courage to take action and move forward. Today, Ali knew that the time had come.

Squaring her shoulders and taking a deep breath, she held her head high as she advanced upon her target. This guy didn’t know it, but a serendipitous hurricane was heading his way.

***

He felt her presence before he saw her. Nick had already memorized her features from her profile picture, so he took his time before looking up from the glare of his computer screen. He just barely resisted the urge to adjust the frame of his glasses with his thumb. Reviewing facts always calmed his nerves, so he ran through the shortlist of everything he thought he knew about her.

Her name was Ali, she was a junior, and she had long jet black hair (thanks to two $5 dye kits from the store, she’d confessed), and apparently had shapely legs that went on for miles and miles down to impatiently tapping feet that had an at-home, slightly rushed looking pedicure. Well, the last facts had been observations in real time.

Nick cleared his throat and willed his heart to stop beating in his ears like an obnoxious drum. During one of their late-night chats Ali warned him that she was a mess; yet even after he’d confessed his own shortcomings to her, she’d still been willing to show up at this random hipster cafe to actually meet him in person. She’d given him a chance, and he was already half in love with her for that small miracle alone.

He just hoped like hell he wouldn’t blow it.

Ali

I recognized him before I even saw his face. Hunched over a laptop, his back was toward the front entrance of the cafe. Since he was the one who proposed meeting here in the first place, I was a little confused. It had taken all of my strength to gather enough courage to show up in the first place, and now he’s placing me in the position of risking possible humiliation by approaching a complete stranger like I’m desperate or something. Far from it — I know my worth.

The familiar burn of sudden rage churned in my stomach, threatening to erupt in the form of bile. Wait a second, Ali, I reassured myself. It’s Nick. He’s not one of them. Give him a chance. These days, being my own voice of reason was my only saving grace. 

As I stood near the door of the coffee shop, I took a deep breath and weighed my options. He hadn’t turned around, so I could still back away and escape before he even noticed that I had come. We’d both given each other a way out in case either one of us lost our nerve; maybe this was his method. 

Taking advantage of the slightly crowded, yet still cozy coffee shop, I perched on a wooden bar stool and pretended to study the  gigantic menu ahead of me on the left wall. Nick was seated near the back of the shop, apparently in a designated quiet area. A vacant brown pleather seat next to his caught my attention. A sapphire-blue scarf with appliquéd peacock feathers was carefully draped over one of the arms of the well-worn chair, a clear indication that the seat had been reserved for someone. An involuntary gasp escaped from my throat. That was the present that I had made for him after his grandmother died a few months ago. He swore to me up and down that everywhere he went, that scarf went, too. I was certain that he was exaggerating, attempting to flatter me, until now. Even from my safe distance I could see that the scarf truly had been well-worn. I’ll have to make another one for him, I vowed. 

Taking my time, I studied what I could gather of his physique. He definitely had stringy, chestnut brown hair that he had warned me about; it was a bit longer than I personally preferred, but it was his head, so I guessed that he was pleased with the length going slightly past his neck. I had expected him to be a super tall string bean kind of guy, but from what I could tell from my pseudo-hidden position, he seemed to be of average height, about 5’9 or so. His shoulders were more broad than I had anticipated, and a flutter of surprised attraction swirled in my belly. I knew that he worked out because of his older brother, but I have to admit that I hadn’t expected that it would be so, well, obvious. 

The realization that Nick could actually be an attractive guy suddenly made me nervous. I know that this sounds snobbish, but I was kind of expecting him to not be the hottest guy in the world. Actually, the way he described himself, he almost made Quasimodo sound handsome. I knew that he had self-esteem issues — don’t we all — but to a certain extent, when he had described himself in such a negative fashion, I believed him.

His back suddenly straightened, as though a chill had clutched him by the shoulders and pulled him to attention. It was strange; in that very instant, I knew that he had finally sensed my presence. Still, he didn’t turn around; instead, he adjusted his computer screen, obviously relying on its reflection to reveal my actual location to him. Coward. 

Quickly tiring of the Cat and Mouse game, I stood up, straightened my purple and black skirt and blouse, slung my thick braided hair behind me, and walked straight towards him. 

Nick

Oh crap. I knew that I was in trouble the second I heard the barista address Ali as she floated by the counter, beelining in my direction.

“May I help you?” The perky barista practically look ready to jump over the counter and give out free hugs to all customers. Ali barely glanced at her as she maintained her pace.

“No, I can help myself. If I need anything, I’ll let you know, thank you.”

The succinct, clipped tones emanated from a voice that reminded me of indulging in one of Grandma’s honeyed biscuits on a Sunday morning. Sweet, savory, buttery, and hot all at the same time. Who was this woman? And why the hell was she still showing interest in a throwaway like me?

*******************************TBC******************************

*The Next Installment of Ali & Nick’s story continues here!

I can’t wait to find out what happens next! Be on the lookout for my next installment (sooner rather than later).

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Looking for Guest Bloggers!

I’ve mentioned this time and again, but it’s worth repeating: I’m not a blogger; I’m a writer who blogs. So, it makes sense that I need to spend more time writing than blogging…

Do You Want To Be A Guest Blogger?

While I have the summer break, I’ve been spending more time blogging more frequently than I normally do, but I know that if I’m going to be focusing on completing my next two projects, I’ll be blogging at a less frequent tempo than I’ve been able to do in this month of June. This is why I’m looking for candidates to become a guest blogger on my blog!

 

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This is a great way for me to get to know you on a more personal level, and of course, you’ll have a few more social outlets to share your special message to the world. The criteria are pretty simple to be considered for this obviously unpaid invitation:

  1. Be kind. There’s enough mud-slinging going on in the world. Let’s spread some positivity.
  2. If you write any form of romance and/or women’s literature (Chick Lit), that’s very cool, because that’s right up my alley.
  3. If you have inspirational posts or topics that you’d like to share, that’s cool, too – because that’s also right up my alley.
  4. Send me a PM via Twitter or comment below so that I can check out your blog.

Spread the Word!

If you don’t feel like being a guest blogger right now, feel free to share this post with any of your friends. If you have a pre-existing blog post that you’d like for me to re-blog, I’ll consider that, too.

Let’s help each other out! I look forward to your comments below and PM’s via Twitter.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

In Case You Need A Hug Today…

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Sell Your Book

If you’re looking into getting folks to read your book, the best method may be to get them to purchase your book without them even knowing that they’re buying your book.

Wait a minute. Did you just read that last sentence correctly? Sell your book to unsuspecting people? I’m pretty sure you did, but just in case, take a second and look back at that part where I wrote that you could actually get people to buy your book at full price without knowing that they’re buying your book.

Is this some kind of illegal form of deception? Not at all. Actually, it’s a really simple, cool way to sell your book, and a fun marketing campaign that I noticed at the local university bookstore when I went to visit (they have a great Amazon Locker there, lol).

Here’s How to Sell Your Book

Here’s the concept: Adventurous risk-taking readers can go to a special display of various books wrapped in simple brown packing paper. Each book’s cover is hidden, as well as the blurb. Instead, you see a handwritten indication of the genre, a few themes, and the price.

That’s it.

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Atina Atwood

Customers buy the book, and then I guess they record the unveiling online somewhere, because that’s a thing. And there you go! Now you have another way to sell your book. Will this method make you tons of money? Maybe not. But it could be yet another method to add to your ever growing arsenal of self-promotional marketing tools.

What do you think of this idea? Would you use it? Tell me what you think in the comments!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

101 Followers on Twitter!

Okay, so to the ultra-savvy, metatagging, keyword utilizing, sponsor-lassen bloggers out there, I’m sure that this is a laughable moment for you. But for me, I am so incredibly excited and grateful to have over 100 followers on Twitter!!!

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This is so important to me, because I’m not exactly a “follow me, and I’ll follow you back” kind of person. I love to look at your content, and if it speaks to me, I’ll definitely follow. I’ll also follow you on Twitter when you provide really thought-provoking responses, because clearly you’re awesome (and smart, too). If you want me to give you a visit on Twitter, my handle is @Atina_Atwood. Pop over and say hello!

Seriously, I appreciate each and everyone of you for taking the time to read my blog and follow me on Twitter. As my content continues to grow, I hope that you’ll continue to be patient and grow with me.

Love and light to all of you.

 

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Leidenschaft – Find Your Passion

One German word that I’ve always found to be particularly beautiful is the word Leidenschaft. A functional translation of the word would be “hobby” or “pastime”, but that’s somewhat incomplete. More accurately, the English equivalent is what we mean when we say that someone “has a passion”.

Find Your Passion

Passion is exactly what we live for. It’s what we strive for – that often unattainable goal that promises a satisfying sense of completion. It can be a sexual, romantic, even sentimental, but it’s not limited to just those things. What I love about passion is that with it, there are so many new ways to feel alive, purposeful, useful, driven… Passion is the epitome of a life well lived.

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When I write, I like to listen to my characters and learn what their passions are. Sure, when it’s Contemporary Romance, at least two of the characters find that they feel romantic passion for one another. But I love to spend time with every character beyond some sort of developing romantic relationship.

To me, it’s impossible to find substance in a story without discovering the Leidenschaften of the characters. What drives them in life? Do these elements contribute to the relationship and circumstances that bring these two people together? Lastly, what elements of my own Leidenschaften contribute to the development of my characters?

Character development takes time, and interestingly enough, sometimes we writers can’t always figure out our character’s passions exactly 100%. I like to think that it’s because in a way, I’m just an observer; the stories and scenes that play out in my head are what I eventually record. When I embellish, edit, and rewrite, I’m blending my interpretation of events that I’ve observed involving my characters. I can’t always jump inside the head of all of my characters – at least, not until I can recognize the Leidenschaft that drives him or her.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Make the Most of It

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©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Happy Weekend!

Happy Weekend! Be sure to adjust your clocks accordingly. 😉

Happy Weekend-Weekend-Atina Atwood
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©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more fun!

Southern Girls Don’t Juice (Cleanse)

Southerners Are Serious About Food

Oh my gosh, y’all – my Southern roots are showing. I’ve mentioned time and again that I really do love leading a very grounded, holistic lifestyle. At the same time though, like any full-blooded Southern girl, I will slap your best friend for a delicious plate of hot, fresh homemade biscuits, grits, and sausage. Because Southerners know what’s up.

I don’t know of any Southerner who does not love food. Of course, we’re also sadly notorious for deep-frying anything, eating practically anything that moves, and for some extreme folks, consider obesity to be a conspiracy theory created by the FDA. Thankfully, I’m actually a bit of an anomaly in the sense that I don’t really eat fried food, and I adore fresh fruits, veggies, and clean eating, but that’s another post for another time. And let me say that I write with a bit of hyperbole here; clearly, many Southerners are healthy, fit, and could show the world a thing or two in the realm of fitness and nutrition. Despite this fact, we Southerners love our foods, and we are all experts on the art of eating. A Southerner’s relationship with food is a serious life-long romance. We shall remain forever faithful.

So one night at some ungodly hour after midnight, because I couldn’t sleep, I started cruising down Groupon Drive. For whatever reason, I decided that I needed to do a 3-day juice cleanse from Jùs by Julie.

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Jùs by Julie

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to fill your body with more fruits and veggies than your tummy could hold if you ate them whole. Besides, I’d never tried it before, and that’s exactly why Groupon is a phenomenal marketing tool. It’s kind of like where insomniac e-shoppers go to finally understand why drunken people turn around to their friends and say, “Hold my beer” before they do something stupid. You end up making weird choices that you look back at the next morning and think “What the…?”

Adventures in Juicing

Anyway, a few days later, I came home to see a huge box of juice waiting for me at my front door. I was already skeptical, lying to assuring myself that 18 bottles of fancy juice and natural fiber was going to satisfy my foodie soul over the course of 72 hours. For those of you who are as phenomenal in math as I am, that meant that I would survive on nothing but 6 bottles of juice for 24 hours, 3 days in a row.

I didn’t even last 5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I drank the 6 bottles of juice with exotic ingredients ranging from coconut oil and hemp seeds to lemonade and agave with Cheyenne pepper (delicious); but I also ate nice small meals that I thoroughly enjoyed, guilt-free, by the way. Sorry, but although I have a tendency to under-eat, I also have a happy and healthy relationship with food, and no bottles of juice are going to get between us.

I can say that each juice combination was quite decent, and I was able to drink 11 bottles of juice successfully over the course of two days. There was 1 casualty, because I had left it unrefrigerated too long. The remaining 6 are in my freezer, and I’ll get to them later. (No, really. I will.)

Have I learned my lesson? Will I stay away from the evil temptations of Groupon at the hella-crazy hours after midnight? Probably not. Will I order more juices from Jùs by Julie? Probably will. It wasn’t really a bad experience at all. Just don’t expect me to turn down all of my meals while I’m doing it.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more fun!

Happy First Day of Summer!

Seriously, how could I have missed this?! Here’s to my second favorite season of the year – SUMMER! Spring will always be my favorite, but summer is a close second… even in San Diego.

People keep asking me what my plans are, and I’m thrilled to the moon to say that I have none. This will be the first summer in nearly a decade where I can actually say this!!

So, hello good times, hello hot romantic reads and writes, hello fun, hello summer! 

What things do you love to do during the summer?

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©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow me on Twitter!

It’s Quiltin’ Time! Binding Love in Fabric

So while I’m here enjoying my summer, I have a chance to continue indulging in my newest, latest, greatest hobby – quilting.

On the one hand, someone may think that it’s likely perfectly normal that a “chick lit” and romance author (no, they’re not synonymous) has fallen in love with such a hobby, but that’s not necessarily the case. As a matter of fact, although quilting is enjoying a resurgence of  popularity, it’s still not exactly what every other 30-something year old is itching to get into.

That’s okay; more fabric for me. 🙂

Just to recap, I started machine sewing and quilting just six months ago in January 2018. Since then, I’ve actually successfully completed 14 projects, ranging from a 6-piece set of reversible quilted placemats to a king-sized quilt. It’s so exciting to try new techniques, and with every project, I create an entirely new pattern and/or throw a new, unique twist on the classics (like making a 3-D  Dresden quilt for my mom).

Quilting is as therapeutic as it is addictive. Don’t believe me? Just think about the impact that the AIDS Memorial Quilt Project has made on the world. Before that, people were actually able to tuck the tragedy of the epidemic in the backs of their minds. Yet, when one sees something, and can touch it, it becomes a tangible link to the heart. To me, that’s exactly what a quilt is.

As a writer, quilting is an extension of my innate need to communicate. Quilts tell stories.   Every single block represents something to the quilter, and historians and anthropologists alike drool over such fantastic discoveries with chopped up fabric that has been stitched back together in seemingly arbitrary patterns. There’s always an element of romance attached to them, even in tragedy. Love is what really binds a quilt together, not just thread.

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To be honest, I think that today’s quilters get a bad wrap. Sure, you’ll encounter cliquish snobs, but as in anything else, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to subject yourself to that kind of environment. Thankfully for me, I have two amazing local quilt shops that are friendly, welcoming, and seem to want to add some “fresh blood” to their stock. I’ll be the first admit that I haven’t yet taken the plunge and joined some kind of quilt retreat, but then again, I haven’t yet done that with any writing conventions, either.

Despite this, I’ve been learning so much from the Internet, stories and tips shared on various social media platforms, and of course, from the sweet and sassy ladies at my local quilt shops in San Diego. I’ve created love presents for my family, and I even made two quilts for the daughters of one of the mothers in my online mom’s group who is really going through some very hard and scary times. I don’t know this woman, and she doesn’t know me, but I was so grateful to reach out to her in this way, just to remind her that she is loved and though of, even by strangers.

When she sent me a picture of her darling babies wrapped up in the quilts that I’d made, smiling such beautiful, full and appreciative grins – well, I can’t even begin to tell you how fulfilling that moment was for me. I think that only a quilter can truly understand. Meh, maybe that’s not true. It isn’t some exclusive club that knows the location of the Holy Grail; the feeling is something like this; whenever you create something out of the pit of your gut, from the recesses of your heart, and you give it away with the calm expectation of receiving absolutely nothing in return, and then someone genuinely thanks you for what you have done, showing you that they feel the love you put into the work you’ve done, and they appreciate its value and worth, then you know what I mean.

This is exactly the same thing that any writer goes through when they present a new novel or work to you. It’s a part of them, even when it’s not even remotely about them. It’s a pitiful attempt to share some form of expression with you, and with one little response, a nudge, a nod – it totally becomes both worthwhile and rewarding.

What hobby do you have that brings you immense satisfaction (besides reading, of course)? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave your comments! I’d love to hear from you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow Atina on Twitter

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