December 26, 2018
Bringing in the New YearI don't know about you, but after eating Christmas dinner, cake and pie, I might not have to eat for at least a week. There was plenty to go around as I celebrated with my family, but we all know what is headed for us around the corner - New Year's Eve. I'm not sorry to see 2018 end, but I am ready for 2019.
Also, last year I went on three camping trips, each with my daughters and got to spend valuable time with them. I traveled plenty by ship on a cruise, by car to camping and by plane to Oregon and to see the Saints defeat the Vikings. The beach held its romance for me as my husband and I went there too. So, why am I excited about 2019? Because I foresee lots of great things in my future. No, I'm not a psychic, but I feel it in my bones. With that said, it never hurts to have luck on my side.
Luck can be tricky. It can go either way. For me, I prefer the gook luck kind so I did a little research and discovered things that can bring you luck heading into the new year.
FOODSNow I'm back to eating. I discovered that there are plenty of traditions around the world that if you eat certain foods, they will bring you luck.
- Black-eyed peas, cabbage, and cornbread. It's not just a southern thing, it's everywhere. The tradition has it that for every pea you each you get a penny, every time you eat a bite of cabbage it will bring you a dollar and the cornbread is for gold.
- You have to have some sort of pork with the above. Why? Pork represents progress.
- Now if you want twelve months of good fortune, in Spain and in Mexico they eat twelve grapes exactly at midnight on New Year's Eve.
- In Greece, they hurl pomegranates to the floor to disperse the seeds which represent fruitfulness I am told.
- A ring bunt cake is to be eaten after your meal as it serves as unity and prosperity.
- Fish.... Fish... Especially whole fish. No reason, in particular, it's what Asian and European countries do.
- Noodles, especially long rice noodles which represents wealth. The goal is to eat the noodles without breaking it.
So, now I think I've helped you plan your New Year's meal, let's talk about some superstitions that will also bring good fortune or good luck.
- I think we have all heard of kissing the one you love at midnight. Failure to do so may cause a string of bad luck.
- Be happy in everything, but above all do not cry on New Year's day. Word has it, if you do, your sadness will continue throughout the year.
- Make sure you have cash in your purse, pocket or wallet to grant prosperity for the next year.
- Get ahead of your monthly bills and pay them before they are due to start the New Year without debt.
- Remember who the first person is who enters your home after Midnight as they will impact your life for the rest of the year.
- Do something productive to start the year off correctly, but don't go to your place of employment.
- Avoid laundry. In some cultures, if you do, you might wash away someone you love out of your life.
- You might think red is the color of Christmas, but it also should be worn on New Year's Day for good luck.
What is a new year without a resolution? If you truly want something positive to happen in your life in 2019, take control and make a resolution. I think mine will be around taking better care of myself by exercising and eating healthier.
MEET CAREY V. AZZARA
Everyone loves a good story or two to read to children and have I discovered a gem just in time for the new year. Carey V. Azzara, and his new book "Ready or Not, Here We Come!" is a children's book about a baby girl and her dogs who are her playmates. It is very entertaining and brings a sense of warmth as you read it. I highly recommend it.
Over the holidays, Azzara answered several questions for me. It is a very interesting interview and I hope you enjoy getting to know the man behind the book “Ready or Not, Here We Come! Published by Glass Spider Publishing in 2018.
Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school, etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
New Jersey was my home until the age of 29 when I moved to Massachusetts to pursue a graduate degree. Never left and have lived in Newton, MA for over 22 years. I have had several careers including business owner, healthcare researcher, high-tech market researcher, and marketing VP. Now with time to do things I enjoy most, I spend time with my family and my dog Mato. That is, when I am not writing my next novel or children’s book.
So many ideas and so little time! My next project, which is well on the way is an eight-part series titled “Heidi’s Hounds.” I think kids will truly love these books and parents will too. Each has a life lesson woven into the stories about Heidi.
How old were you when you started writing?
I started in sixth grade. But much of my adult writing was of a technical nature. That changed in 2014 when I published my first fiction book a collection of short stories titled “Uncommon Heroes and Cars.” I have published four more books since –with more on the way!
What inspired you to write this book?
My darling new grandchild was the motivation in her honor. Then, I got the bug and started writing more kid’s stories. It’s fun and from the reaction of children so far, and very rewarding.
What and who has been the biggest influence on you personally and as a writer?
Mark Twain. But I draw inspiration from many sources: My life experiences, the people I have known, the dogs I have had as companions, and the world around me. It can be as simple as a casual talk with a parent at the supermarket or in the midst of an author event. You never know when the muse will lay a helping hand on your shoulder.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
Finding a good illustrator was one hurdle, but this book was the easiest one I have published to date. It’s short and fun. As I say on the back cover, my hope is that it brings joy to your little ones.
Tell your readers about your book.
Gee, it’s so simple it would be a shame to tell you too much and ruin the surprise. This is a baby girl still crawling who has four dogs, her friends. They are bored and decide to play Hide and Seek, the rest is an adventure.
What will your readers learn from this book?
The love between our animal friends and ourselves is to be cherished.
Who is your target audience and why?
Well since children are not able to buy the book for themselves parents [and grandparents] with young children are the obvious target. Interestingly, several adults have told me they enjoyed the story too. One woman came to a reading I did recently. She had no kids in tow but sat very attentively while I read the story and showed everyone the pictures. She seemed as engaged as the kids!
If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read why should they buy it?
Buy it because you want to give a child the gift of wonder. No, I am not a child-story-telling Hemmingway, but the story has a good plot and a happy ending what more does a kid’s book have to be?
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
My children, who are all smarter and more successful than I am, are the success that gives me the most joy. They and perhaps my writing will be my legacy–that makes me a happy man.
Do you have any other books?
Oh yes. I am the author of “Kaitlin’s Mooring” a story that spans five generations of the Deveau family. I have also authored of “The Lottery Curse” and two collections of stories:” Uncommon Heroes and Cars,” plus the first and second editions of “Halley’s Gift and Eight Other Extraordinary Tales.”
I have authored short stories published in Storyacious and the anthology “Swallowed by the Beast.” And of course, the kid’s book titled “Ready or Not, Here We Come!”
The first book in the series titled Heidi’s Hounds, an eight-part series, will be offered in late spring 2019. And I am working on two other projects TBA later in 2019.
Everyone has life lessons to learn, tell your readers one or two of yours and how they make you the person you are today.
My lesson is not novel [no pun intended] but it is a lesson that I think is worth noting and it goes something like this. There is no shame in failure or being knocked down, only in staying down. When you get knocked down by life, sit for a few minutes, then find your courage and get up, dust yourself off, and move forward. We all get knocked around a bit, but those who give up miss out on the opportunity to succeed. Those who try again will find success.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I make no claim of being special. I tell my stories in as honest a way as I can and hope to write better each time I try. My stories often have a lesson or two for those who care to hear them – I don’t like preachiness, so I try to make the story the lesson. Sometimes I think I have succeeded, but only time will tell.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
It wasn’t too hard. A new baby girl in the family and a love of dogs – put those together, add a whiff of help from my muse – And ta dah!
Tell your readers anything else you want to share.
While I am proud of this children’s book, I think a greater achievement this year was the publication of my novel “Kaitlin’s Mooring.” Read about it on Amazon.
Carey V. Azzara Author's Page:
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