I have changed literally and figuratively this year. First, of all, I lost my gal pal, the Executive Director of The Pulpwood Queen Book Clubs, Tiajuana Anderson Neel. It was a shock to everyone who knew and loved her, especially me.
I hardly had to time to grieve as I had so many events and places I had to be on my calendar but it all caught up with me this fall. I finally realized she was gone, truly gone. Devastating to me as I talked to Tiajuana nearly every other day or did something with her every week. She was my shotgun on all our trips and very quietly and silently made me look good. Have you ever had a friend like Tiajuana?
She was a true gem, a diamond in my Pulpwood Queen tiara. Life goes on and I was forced to deal with it. So I did, fumbling clumsily along, tripping as I went but placing one foot in front of the other. Her death was a hard cold fact, I accepted that God had a purpose for all of this and have moved on. Our Thursday night kick-off for our 20th Anniversary Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend is a true celebration of Tiajuana Anderson Neel. You won’t want to miss it as there will be no sadness in this evening, just the pure joy of knowing that we had her in our lives. Her family will be there so come and celebrate her life in our “Tribute to Tiajuana”, full program on Press Release on our website, www.thepulpwoodqueens.com
So how I have changed? My priorities, first of all, as follows for the new year.
2020 New Year Resolutions!
1) Put God always first in my life as he will show me my path and journey. Every time I do, everything turns out all right no matter what life throws at me to make me stumble and fall. Every single time put God first, keep the faith, and follow your journey.
2) Your family should always come before anything else. Always. After my grandson was not feeling well on Christmas I realized that just to be together was a blessing, a blessing. We may never know when it will be our last, family is important!
3) Friends are the riches in life. My Pulpwood Queens, Timber Guys, Authors, and friends have stepped forward to help me all the way. There is not a single day, perhaps even an hour where my friends don’t step forward to offer help to me. I am the richest woman in the world and to each and every one of you reading this know, that your love, support, and kindness is so appreciated.
4) Your pets are family. Mine are my constant companions and after a scare when my cat, Rush, was attacked by something and sitting at the vet’s into the night, I realized how much I depend upon their being with me. God provided me this companionship as both cats are rescue. I thank him for this gift of love to me, all the precious furballs I have had in my life.
5) My passions are my art, my home Murphy’s Law, my reading. I received over 600 books this year to read. I read at least part of all, but mostly just read the books. A daunting task but nothing I love more than reading, listening to music, watching films, baking, all these passions help me keep calm in a world of chaos. I share all that I do as an “open book” with all of you on social media because I want to share the beauty of this world. It’s who I am. Now that I shared my innermost feelings I wish to share the changes outside that make me feel powerful and ready to take on the world.
7) I changed my hair color as I get ready for my TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT themed 20th Anniversary Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend, January 16 – 18, 2020 at The Jefferson Tourism and Convention Center in historic Jefferson, Texas, www.visitjeffersontexas.com. It’s Midnight Jade you all and I love it! At 63 I am not ready for the gray hair to be my crowning glory, I want my hair to be a blaze of color to inspire all that it isn’t over until the Pulpwood Queen sings!
I embrace my uniqueness, I have always been this way and now no longer embarrassed by my wanting to have a unique look. Life would be so boring to me if we were all the same so I too embrace all people, cultures, religions, lifestyles as all we should know it that love conquers all.
So “Peace on Earth, Goodwill Towards All” is my motto for this coming year. Embrace our likes and differences. I have learned this year that we will never all agree on things, in fact, I just want everybody to accept that we all think differently. How cool would that be?
I have brought on board my daughter’s cousin, Brooklyn Bradley- Lefleur to The Pulpwood Queen Book Club Reading Nation. She will be coming very visible to you all as we proceed in the coming year. Brooke and Paul Roberson, my webmaster will all be working together, “The Three Amigos” to take The Pulpwood Queens Book Club into the next 20 Years of Reading all together with our Authors. Everything coming will be announced soon including our NEW Pulpwood Queen All-Access Online Membership for those individuals who want to join but do not want to start or have nearby a chapter to join no matter where you are in the world. We have a video that will be posting soon talking about the biggest party we have ever created, our 20th Anniversary Girlfriend Weekend too.
You have to know that this party is a cumulation of my life’s work and to celebrate we will be launching at our Author Dinner Friday night our latest book, “The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate 20 Years” edited by Susan Cushman and published by Brother Mockingbird Publishing.
This is an anthology of stories, essays, and poems all written by nearly 70 of our Pulpwood Queen Authors, members, and even a family member. This book is our 2020 January Book of the Month as it tells of the importance of our reading together and the power of our book club creating connections and community through the discussing in person of our author’s stories. It’s all about the story!
Last, may you take time to reflect on what our time together has meant during our Pulpwood Queen Book Club meetings and convention. I just remember what the late great Pam Pohl Close of my hometown Eureka, Kansas chapter, her grown daughters said to me at her funeral in Houston.Pam Pohl Close, the blonde with blue tiara front and center
They told me that The Pulpwood Queen Book Club Convention was the happiest times spent in her life. You all this is the little 3rd-grade girl that I use to teach swimming lessons to back in high school during my summers lifeguarding at the Eureka Country Club in my hometown. THAT my friends is why I continue to do what I do and that is all I need in this life to bring happiness to others.
So count your blessings in all the above, they are the riches of the world and what creates such beauty in life, our precious memories! Thanks for the memories you all and thank God he brought me all of YOU!
Truly, Tiara Wearing and Book Sharing,
Kathy L. Murphy
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