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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Going gray...hurray!

Is it possible to feel younger once you see the telltale signs of getting older? For example, while drying my hair today, I noticed that I am starting to see a few gray hairs. It got me thinking. My mother doesn't even have gray hair or at least I can't see any. Granted, my hair is dark and they show up a lot better than they do in my mother's blonde hair. My mother acts a hell of a lot younger than I do, so maybe that's why. Who knows? The point of all of this babbling is this: The gray hairs didn't make me feel old.

A couple of years ago as I was approaching 35, I felt like a very old, very out of touch, very not with it aging hag. Sounds harsh, I know, but this is how I felt. It was completely unreasonable and probably not warranted, however, I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was not aging well. I had lots of things on my mind and had convinced myself that I had to have reached a certain place in my life when I turned 35. I should have finished college, settled down some, had a great job, etc. Although I had actually done all of these things, I just wasn't satisfied. In the course of getting all of these things done, I had almost completely forgotten how to have fun.

Sure, I still went out to sing karaoke on the rare occasions when my husband and I could get a sitter for our daughter. We also managed to do a few fun things as a family, but there was all of this stress. This bunch of crap that made the fun almost too much of a chore to bother with. So, as you might have guessed, we made some changes or at least I did. I started trying to find ways to get in touch with the old me. Well, not the "old" me, but the previous me. The one I used to actually like. I started trying to make time for my own hobbies and things that used to make me happy. Before long, these little steps added up to one big shift in my attitude. By the time I turned 36 this year, I felt much better about life. Granted, I still have some days, as every woman does, when I feel like an old hag. The difference now is that I'm actually looking forward to turning forty. The gray hairs made me smile a little because I know now that they aren't going to mean I can't be myself. They just mean I'll look more distinguished while I'm being me. ;)

Until next time...

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The only time I get sentimental...

There's something about the holidays that brings out my sentimental side. Most people wouldn't believe that I listen to Christmas music in my car, that I always try to put up my Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving, that I like to watch the same sappy Christmast movies over and over throughout November and December or that I look forward to seeing all of the lights and decorations go up each year. I just don't seem to be that way in real life. The truth is, Christmas has been the most consistent thing in my life over all these years and for this, I have set aside a special place in my heart for all things Christmas.

The earliest memories of Christmas I have are of my father being on the road working and my mother and I spending most of the season alone. There were always lots of presents back then because I was an only child for six years. One year, I remember getting a guitar which I promptly broke. How did I know that tightening up the strings would cause such a catastrophe? I was only about five years old and I really had no idea how to approach the instrument. Needless to say, I never learned how to play.

Just a few years later, when there were a couple of sisters added to the mix, Christmas was always time to visit relatives and eat pies and candies that were brought in by relatives we only saw a few times a year. It was the time when everyone enjoyed being together and things didn't seem quite so complicated.

There were some Christmases when things weren't so great, but I always remember feeling good about this time of year because people made an effort to be together. Whether that came from guilt or holiday spirit didn't matter, the point was that we were together. Now, years later, as everyone has either divorced, moved away or both, it's harder to get together. Members of the family have gotten older, some have strayed from reality, some have just disappeared altogether, some are sick, some have passed away. Though this time of year could be a time of sadness, I can still find contentment in hearing the same old songs each year, watching the same old movies, and looking at the same old lights.

I'm not sure this makes sense to anyone but me, however, I think my point is this: Though families may change or go through difficult times, the fact remains that every year we have the opportunity to make things right again. Actually, every day we have this opportunity but most people don't think of it until the holidays roll around. That's okay. Every little bit helps. Even if there are those whom we can't change, we can still enjoy what the season is about and appreciate that it means something to most everyone.

So, as I sit here in the dark (except for the lights on my Christmas tree), writing this, I hope you can think back on your Christmas experiences and find reasons why this is a great time for just enjoying life and being hopeful. Good things can still happen and most likely will. And if you can't believe that, just turn on your radio and find that station that plays all Christmas music all the time. If that doesn't make you smile, then you're not trying hard enough.

Until next time...

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

Reviews for Rebecca Benston

“You'll find yourself looking forward to more stories from the files of Rona Shively.”

Michelle Shealy, Reviewer for


“Rebecca Benston has written a detective with plenty of suspense…I hope there will be a sequel…”

Annick, Reviewer for Euro-Reviews


“The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book.”

Lucille P. Robinson, An Alternative Read


“Rebecca Benston’s twists, turns, and descriptions are utterly engaging.”

Tracy, Fallen Angel Reviews


“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

Janet Davies, Once Upon a Romance Reviews


“Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.”

Connie Harris,


“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

Anne K. Edwards,