Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Lisa Plumley | I’m Not Martha
Author Guest / November 1, 2010

When I was a younger and much harder on myself, I wanted my Christmases to be perfect. I wanted professionally wrapped gifts (I made my own intricately looped handmade bows!). I wanted caterer-caliber iced sugar cookies (I applied silver dragées with tweezers!). I wanted a picture-perfect family to go with everything else (I frog-marched everyone to a photographer to take a stiff-looking holiday-card photo, sporting “dress up” clothes we only wore twice a year, at most!). You know what I mean: I wanted a Martha Stewart holiday…but I had a typical working mother’s time, energy level, and expertise to accomplish it with. And the bad news is: I’m not Martha. But the good news is: I’m not Martha. I learned pretty quickly that gingerbread men always taste delicious, even if their little legs are snapped off during marathon decorating sessions with six year olds. I learned that Christmas trees actually look better if you pile on lots of (mismatched, shiny, and potentially tacky) decorations…including the ones your children make and hang by themselves on all the lower branches, giving your tree the kind of “pear shaped” effect I usually only associate with “skinny” jeans. I learned that, in proper gift-opening…

Lisa Plumley | Christmas Confessions
Uncategorized / December 4, 2008

To me, the holidays have always meant family and friends, togetherness and good cheer, peppermint mochas and gingerbread cookies. But increasingly, the Christmas season can also mean traffic and crowded stores, stress and anxiety, heartburn and credit-card bills. Now more than ever, we’re feeling the pinch. Our wallets are lighter. Our worries are many. But our hearts are still full. And that gives me hope. At the risk of sounding like a character from a Hallmark Channel TV movie, I believe it’s possible to have a fantastic time at Christmas…even without miles of blinking LED lights, candy canes, and a huge pile of gifts under the tree. Because those things are all extras. They’re just accessories. They’re optional. You don’t really need decorations or gifts or goodies at all. A freaky idea? Not really. Because what matters right now is being with the people you care about–and all the extraneous Christmas stuff can actually be a distraction from that. Think about it. Have you ever plowed through the mall, searching for exactly the right gift for someone special, only to come home exhausted…and snap at that special someone? (Oops.) Have you ever gotten so obsessed with pulling off a Martha…

Lisa Plumley | Isn’t it funny?
Romance / June 13, 2008

I have a confession to make: Most of my friends don’t read romances. For one reason or another, they simply…don’t read romances. Period. Either they’re worried about being judged by the racy covers, or they think all that romance stuff is “a fairy tale,” or they prefer to read exclusively about serial killers, or they’ve tried one (just one!) romance–possibly a decade ago, or more–and have decided the whole genre just isn’t for them. That’s okay with me. I mean, there are occasionally awkward moments between us, I’ll admit that. Because I’m passionate about reading and writing romances! I think they’re awesome. I like to celebrate the power of love, the thrill of attraction, and all the wonderful differences between men and women. At the same time, I’m a live-and-let-live kind of person. I don’t think it’s up to me to try to “convert” anyone to my favorite genre. I wouldn’t like it if someone tried to force me to take up lawn bowling or sushi eating or PlayStation playing (it would be futile; I’m a Nintendo Wii gal). Our dissimilarities make us uniquely interesting, and the world would be a boring place if everyone liked the same things. That…