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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year's Unresolutions

Sarah McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery, Victory Tales Press, Prairie Rose Publications and Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press, imprints of Prairie Rose Publications. She welcomes you to her website at

                                            New Year Resolutions?—Forget It!

Resolutions are not my thing.  Oh, I’ve given them a try many times in the past but I can say, without reservation, that I have never kept a single New Year resolution. 

Seems like a good way to start the year though with a fresh outlook and new goals.  Trouble is I just reach too high or expect too much.  So, over the years I have developed a different kind of New Year resolution—or unresolution, if you will.  They are my New Year Intentions.

Intensions are different.  They are about the inner self, about attitude and growth from the inside.  Intentions are about how I want to improve my way of connecting with others and how I want to treat people—even people I don’t like or don’t like me.  Yep.  There are actually people who don’t like me.  Can you imagine that?

So, here are a few of my New Year Intentions:

Forgive everyone every day.
Let go of the things that happened in the previous year that made me sad.
Find something positive in everyone I meet or know no matter how they feel about me or treat me.
Show respect for all people, no matter how low their circumstances.
Accept compliments without negating them.
Love more and hate less.
Volunteer for something that is important to me.
I wish for everyone a year filled with hope, joy, prosperity and love.

Last year we had a wonderful Valentine anthology, Hearts And Spurs . My contribution was Hollow Heart which is now for sale as a single.
This story takes place in the aftermath of World War II.

Lost love and the hope for possibilities


Madeline Andrews is a grown up orphan. Sam Wilding made her feel part of his life, his family and swore he’d come home to her when the war ended, but he didn’t return. With the Valentine’s Ball just days away, the Wildings encourage Madeline to move forward with her life and open her heart to the possibilities.  But Madeline is lost in old love letters and can’t seem to let go.


February 13, 1946

    Madeline Andrews opened the cedar box of letters from Sam Wilding once again. Dinah Shore sang Laughing on the Outside on the radio that sat on her dresser. Snow flurries drifted by the window and added to the foot of snow already accumulated on the ground. The letters, although worn from their travel across the many miles from the war in Europe and her frequent readings, brought her a small amount of comfort. The lingering smell of cedar, leather, some foreign place, and Sam’s particular scent wafted in the air as she lifted the last letter gently from its envelope. It was dated June 4, 1945—the day before the invasion of Normandy.

 My Darling Madeline,
I can’t tell you where we’re headed, but I hear it’s something big and probably dangerous. Don’t worry though; you know how tough I am. I’m used to sleeping under the stars on hard ground and chasing after big animals who don’t want to cooperate. I think I can handle a few Germans.

Buy Links:
for Hollow Heart

Buy Links forHearts and Spurs
Valentine Anthology

Give Away Alert!!!
I will be giving a digital copy of Hollow Heart to someone who comments.


  1. I love your intentions. I believe I shall intend to do a few of those myself. Thanks
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Why thank you, Debbie. Good luck with the ones you decide to try out. Thank you for dropping by and commenting.

  3. Hi Sarah - No resolutions for me, other than just keep on keepin on. Another great cover. conniebowen at gmail dot com. <---do we have to encode like this?

    1. See Connie, I think the same way, except for some inner spiritual intentions. I never have kept those resolutions from my past. Thank you for coming.

  4. Sarah--I don't think I ever in my life made New Year's Resolutions. Surely I could have thought of something, but did not. I guess I just avoided the topic, knowing whatever I wrote down I probably wouldn't do.
    I like your NYs Intentions. These are almost like parables from the Bible, they are close to the heart and God. You did hit the high spots. I tend to be critical...okay, I'm often critical of people when what they do or how they are is absolutely none of my business.
    Thanks for these reminders....and much luck with your story single!

    1. It's always good to hear from you, Celia. I think I used to write those resolutions just because I thought that was what was expected of me. I barely made it over the threshold old the New Year before I had broken all of them. Not much point in doing something that has been proven ineffective. I prefer to work from the inside out, and try to be a better person.
      You're such a wonderful person, Celia, I have never seen that "critical" side of you. I'm not so sure it's there.
      Thank you for your well wishes for Hollow Heart. You're always so kind and supportive.

  5. Wishing you much success with Hollow Heart as a single. Love the cover. As for the intentions. What a great idea. In the past I've made resolutions and I'm always ticked at myself when I don't hold true to them. So this idea is much better. Of course, I hope I can be as gracious as you are when it comes to accepting everything that others do. But I love all your intentions and if most of us can keep all of them in mind, what a wondertul 2015 it will be. Happy New Year.

    1. I love the cover, too, Beverly. Livia Washburn Reasoner created it. Love the red lips. It was so 1940's and 30's--and making a comeback today.
      Self-recrimination can destroy the spirit. We get plenty of negative input from other sources. It's good not to do it to ourselves. Why do we do that? I do it, too. I look at the beautiful women in magazines and in the movies and then I compare myself to them and feel so aware of all my shortcomings.
      The good thing about intentions is it's a work in progress. Every day I intend to be a better person, but I am imperfect. I can't honestly say I accept everything others do without fail. Some things are unacceptable like mistreating kids and animals. I'm mostly mindful of minding my own business. Everybody doesn't do things the way I would do them and I accept that.
      Thank you so much for coming and commenting, Beverly. I really appreciate it.

  6. I enjoyed your story and love your intentions. Wishing you all that you intend and more in the coming year, you deserve it. Warmly, Doris

    1. Hey Doris. Thank you for your compliments.
      What are you working on right now? Do you have a story coming up in the next PRP Valentine anthology?
      Thank you so much for coming over here to comment on my blog. I hope your New Year is awesome good!

    2. Sarah, I'm finishing up a novella and have another waiting for re-writes. My schedule didn't allow me to take part in the Valentine anthology, but I'm going to schedule one for the next anthology, I hope, since the beginning of the year is my writing time.

      Thank you for the kind words and wishes. Doris

  7. Hello Sarah. Your story sounds lovely. For some reason when I think of WWII I see hot shot pilots, beautiful nurses and dances at USO. I hope I got that right. Imagine the big bands and the jitterbug. I worked as a PT aide, and one of my patients was a Miss O. (I'll keep her name private but I doubt she is still living as this was quite a few years ago.) anyway she a lovely woman, in her late 60's or maybe early 70's. She once told me she never married because the man she was engaged to was the love of her life. He was killed during the war. As she spoke about him her blue eyes sparkled and a soft smile covered her lips. I asked her if she ever fell in love again after his death and she said no. Once you know real love, how could you ever love someone else that way. Happy New Year and Happy Sales.

    1. Miss O. sounds a great deal like the heroine, Madeline, in Hollow Heart. To lose the one person you connect with, body, mind, and spirit, has to be devastating. I saw my dad go through the loss of my mother. It practically immobilized him. He lost so much weight I thought he might die. He sat in his Morris chair listening to bagpipe music with stoic silence. He was able to pull himself together long enough to go to the TV station and do the weather twice a day, and then back to his chair and the music. Finally, he got involved with the young people at the station who were working on projects about animals and the environment (things Pop felt strongly about) and, over time, he was able to carry on. He did remarry, but he was never as happy and funny as he used to be. I agree with you, once you know true love with someone, you never love like that again.
      I do know another story from a patient I had in CCU who lost 2 wives from sudden events/illness and married a 3rd. His true love was his 2nd wife who raised his young children. Her name was Emily and she had red hair. When he spoke of her, his eyes sparkled and his face lit up. Yep. Once you find "the one", I do believe you can love again, but never the same.
      I loved what you had to say, Barb. I look forward to reading your next story and I hope you have the best year ever. Thank you so much for coming and commenting.

  8. Time to announce the winner of Hollow Heart--actually, I'm choosing 2 winners: Debby and Connie Bowen. Thank you all for coming and commenting. Thank you so very much for coming and commenting.

  9. What a fabulous, meaningful post, Sarah. I am gonna print out your list for sure and read it every day. Love and hugs and prayers for a great 2015, my friend!

  10. Tanya, I'm so glad you liked my blog. I hope this year proves to be one of the best you've ever had. Thank you so much for coming by.

  11. Better late than never, I say! I like the idea of New Year's Intentions! I can never keep resolutions--I think I just hate the idea of having to conform--even if it's something I thought of! LOL Great blog, Sarah, and I'm sure hoping 2015 is a wonderful year for all of us!

  12. So, you're a rebel and a nonconformist, Cheryl. LOL
    I hope you're feeling better. This is supposed to be a terrible year for the flu. Take care of yourself. I, too, hope 2015 proves to be a terrific year.
    Thank you for coming.