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I’m amazed 2022 is almost behind us. For a good portion of the year I’ve been focused on planning my April 2023, “Invitation to the Rest of Your Life” trip to Tuscany.” The nine women who are coming with me have already started getting to know one another, and I’ve been sending emails designed to get us in the mood for a week of fabulous food, one-of-a-kind experiences, and workshopping the next chapter of our lives.

The other thing I’ve been focusing on this year is my memoir.

I signed a contract with Beth Davey, one of the top literary agents in the country. Needless to say, I’m excited. I’ll keep you posted. One of the recent books Beth has represented is Paul Newman’s posthumous memoir, The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man which was published this fall. After his death, Newman’s daughters found a box full of reel-to-reel tapes in their mother’s, Joanne Woodward’s, attic that Newman and his close friend, screenwriter Stewart Stern, recorded beginning in 1986. The published memoir is the result of thousands of pages that were transcribed from the tapes, including interviews with Paul’s friends, family, and fellow film and theater actors. If you’re a Paul Newman admirer, you’ll like this book because it’s a deep look into the man, not the movie star.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time then you know that dogs and music are two of my biggest loves. While Annie would be jealous if I adopted another dog, I’ve already purchased some concert tickets for the coming year. I’m not sure I’ll break my 2019 record of attending 13 concerts, but we’ll see.

Many of you have been going through major changes in your life, and I know, from experience, how difficult that can be, especially during the holidays. Be kind to yourselves and have faith that time, and God, will lessen your pain and help you find a new path. 

And speaking of new paths, Chateau de Guadanes has piqued my interest for several years. Have any of you been there? Here’s their Christmas video. They may have borrowed the beginning from Dior’s imaginative little fantasy film that unveiled their 2020-2021 couture collection. You may remember it from a post I did during Covid.

Please know how much I’ve appreciated and valued you over the years as readers and friends, and how grateful I am to have met so many of you in person. Please take care of yourselves, stay warm and safe this holiday season, and share your heart and your goodwill with those who may need a hand. Thank you for being here. Until next year… 

Sending you all my love.

Love, Brenda


  • Yvonne December 24, 2022 at 7:23 am

    Happy Holidays, dear Brenda. Your blog is an inspiration and you’re such a warm and caring person. I admire you greatly. I want to thank you and your commenters who took the time to write beautiful comforting messages when the love of my Ife passed away this month. It meant the world to me. Simple words of encouragement and acknowledgement have such an impact. Today being Christmas Eve is particularly difficult for me. All I want is his presence. I know you understand, Brenda, Thanks a million for everything you do and for your wonderful blog.
    I am reading bits and pieces of the book The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. I have a hard time concentrating at the moment. Can’t wait to read your memoir.All the best to you xox

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 12:21 pm

      Yvonne, You may already know this, but my husband died the day after Christmas Day. He was the love of my life. He’d gone for a walk and didn’t come home. Cardiac arrest. I didn’t see it coming. I was devastated. For over a year I was a grief-stricken to the max and wasn’t sure I would survive. Today is the 12th anniversary of his death. This afternoon at 5:30 pm. When I asked a friend how long the nightmare would last, she said “about a year and then you learn to walk beside it.” While my timeline was longer than a year, I eventually walked beside his death. I also lost my first husband to cancer and that was easier because I had time to process what was going to happen, and I had the knowledge that the nightmare would be over for both of us. You’re facing the hardest part and doing it during the holidays and the New Year celebrations and the promise of a great year. I know this is gut wrenching for you, but it will get better. Give in to your grief because repressing it only makes it worse. I’m here for you in any way so please don’t hesitate to email me if you’d like to talk. Sending you love and strength, Brenda [email protected]

  • Donna O'Klock December 24, 2022 at 8:11 am

    A very big Hurrah! on having an agent, that is so exciting! I am looking forward to reading your memoir. And to visiting with you in the coming year!
    Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season, Brenda, and a happy, healthy, adventurous and prosperous New Year.
    PS – If you haven’t watched it yet, I believe you and Annie would love Enola Holmes on Netflix.

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you, Donna! You know the publishing process. It’s difficult at best. Sending you and Turk love and best wishes. xoxox, Brenda

  • Barbara December 24, 2022 at 10:10 am

    You have an agent! I’m so excited for you Brenda! I look forward to reading your blogs and now we’ll be able to read your memoir. I think I’ve followed your blog since you started it. You’re the only one I still take because you always give us something to think about. Happy Holidays! Xo, Barb

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 12:28 pm

      What a lovely comment, Barbara! Yes, you’re one of my faithful readers and have been for a long time and it means everything to me! I hope you’ve been staying warm and well during the brutal holiday storms. Looking forward to hearing from you in the New Year. xoxox, Brenda

  • Pat December 24, 2022 at 10:11 am

    An agent! What great news Brenda. Congratulations! You always give us such inspiration and I know your memoir will do the same. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you, dear Pat! I appreciate that you read my blogs and leave me comments. I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday! Take care out there in this terrible weather. Until next year, xoxox, Brenda

  • Tony December 24, 2022 at 10:21 am

    What great news Brenda! Here’s to a great year for you and Annie!

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks Tony! I appreciate the good wishes! Brenda

  • Diane December 24, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Oh I feel like I’ve been given a gift too! This means we’ll get to read your memoir! Love, love, love this Brenda! Happy Holidays!

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:36 pm

      I love you!! Love this note! Thank you, Diane. xoxox, Brenda

  • Mike December 24, 2022 at 10:44 am

    When can we read it?

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:38 pm

      I have no idea, Mike. My agent first has to sell it to a publisher, hopefully, then who knows how long their processes take. Thank you, Brenda

  • jeannette December 24, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Merry Christmas to you and Annie! So happy you found a literary agent for your memoir! Looking forward to reading this one. I just finished Paul Newman’s and enjoyed it very much.

    All good wishes for the New Year Brenda

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Jeannette! I have Paul Newman’s book but haven’t finished it. Wishing you a wonderful year! xoxox, Brenda

  • Josephine Floyd December 24, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and yours “Annie” , enjoy the holiday season.
    Your trip to Tuscany sounds so wonderful, anticipation and build up is so much of the total experience. How wonderful it will be.
    So from sunshine and summer at St Heliers Auckland New Zealand , feel the love .

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you, Jo! Annie and I have been staying bundled up and close to one another because it’s been so cold. It’s your summer you lucky woman! Enjoy! Love, Brenda

  • Irene December 24, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you for the warm wishes
    Happy Xmas and Healthy Happy and Peaceful New Year

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:43 pm

      Dearest Irene, That’s the wish for the world: a happy, healthy, peaceful new year. Here’s hoping. xoxo, Brenda

  • bonnie sachs December 24, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    i always look forward to your stories and news! have a very merry holiday and a wonder filled new year. it sure looks like you are headed in that direction.
    with my best, bonnie

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:45 pm

      You’re a sweetheart Bonnie! Thanks so much! Happy New Year to you, Brenda

  • La Contessa December 24, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Book is happening!!
    Yes I did follow that CHATEAU but lost interest after the book came out!!!
    Gorgeous book!I recognized the photo you used!Dont ask me WHY as I have no answers why I stopped following!
    Merry Christmas to you and Annie!!!

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:47 pm

      Elizabeth, I get it. The book made you feel like you knew it. I’m sure it was beautiful. All of their photographs are gorgeous. Here’s wishing you and your family a Happy HEALTHY New Year. HEALTHY!!! Got that? xoxox, Brenda

  • Katherine December 26, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Brenda,
    Planning the trip to Tuscany is a huge undertaking. I admire what you are doing.
    An experience of a life time.
    I did look at Chateau de Guadane’s. So beautiful. No, I’ve never been.
    Congratulations signing a contract with Beth Davey. What a great feeling of accomplishment.
    Wow 13 concerts in 2019, wonder how you are going to top that. You “Go Girl”!
    Your fur baby Annie is a beauty. I can see how you adore her. Animals touch our hearts in such a lasting way.
    Brenda, thank you for enriching my life. I always enjoy what you have to share.
    Happy healthy everything.

    • 1010ParkPlace December 27, 2022 at 2:50 pm

      Katherine, I’ll have to write a blog just about “paying” for the Tuscany trip in advance! What a story! I’m grateful you enjoy my blog and I give you things to think about and that interest you. Enrich your life! My! That’s such a compliment. Thank you. I’ll tell Annie you think she’s beautiful. Happy New Year to you as well. xoxox, Brenda

  • Doreen McGettigan December 28, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Congratulations on signing!! Your story is fascinating and I look forward to it being out in the world! Oh how I wish I could join you all in Tuscany, but I will be recovering from another surgery. Merry 4th Day of Christmas and Best Wishes for the best New Year ever!!

    • 1010ParkPlace December 29, 2022 at 11:12 am

      Thank you! Sending you lots of love and you’re in my prayers, Doreen. You are one of the strongest women I know, and I admire you for it. I know you’re looking forward to this being behind you. Love, Brenda

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