Holiday Newsletter: Eleanor Parker Sapia



Before I share my Holiday news, I’d like to wish my wonderful family, friends, online friends, readers, and blog subscribers a blessed Holiday season and all the very best for 2016!

Thank you for your support and friendship during my writing journey that ended with the February 2015 publication of my first novel, ‘A Decent Woman’, which continues to be a dream come true. I’m excited to share that my second novel, ‘The Island of Goats’ or ‘The Lament of Sister Maria Inmaculada’ (can’t decide on a title) will be published in 2016! I love this new story and characters as much as I love the story and characters of ‘A Decent Woman’.

Holiday Newsletter

For the first time in four years since I moved into this old, quirky house in West Virginia, I am hosting my family for Christmas dinner. We will come together, minus my son who lives in Holland, which makes me sad. We will sure miss Matthew, and thank God for our plans to meet up in New York City in early 2016!

Since I am the only one who lives out of state, and to make it easier for my loved ones, I drove to Virginia and Maryland for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, however, I put my foot down and insisted my family come to me 🙂 Now, I’m the Christmas spirit! Most years I didn’t bother putting a tree up and decorations were at a minumum in my home, but this year my home looks and smells amazing. And the rush is on to finish wrapping gifts, send out Christmas cards, and get the house ready for my family. Get the house ready. OMG…I forgot how much work and preparation are necessary to host a family dinner!

Looking around the house on Monday, the to-do list from this year (and last year, and let’s face it…the year before that), stared at me in the face:

An empty fridge; the wooden steps I was delighted to discover under the horrid blue shag carpeting I removed immediately upon moving in, need white paint and wax; the twelve door frames (including two closets), 16 windows, and wide, wood floor boards in every room that I meant to paint white last year; the two paneled walls in the dining room still need painting; the laundry piled high on the washer and dryer in the laundry room; and the two guest bedrooms still need painting. Thank God I painted my bedroom, kitchen, laundry room and bathroom last year.

Whew! Well, there’s nothing like inviting the family to Christmas dinner and hosting a New Year’s party for friends and family to get a girl’s butt in gear. Yes, why do all this work and NOT host a NYE’s party? I’m going all out this year!

So on Tuesday, I decided on my holiday menu, went food shopping, bought cream-colored poinsettias, white candles of every size, and more Christmas decorations for my tree and wreaths. On Wednesday, I polished silver, found my baking dishes, and simmered my mother’s wonderful holiday concoction that makes your house smell like you’ve been baking for a week, and bought two gallons of white paint!

Holiday Simmering ‘Potpourri’

To a saucepan add:

2 cups water, 2 tablespoons vanilla, ten cloves, grated orange peel, a handful of fresh cranberries, 2-3 cinammon sticks, nutmeg, all spice, and pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice, which has it all!), and simmer. Make sure to keeping check the water level and add more water as it reduces. Enjoy!

Late last night, I decided to concentrate on the downstairs and finished painting the staircase, a window, and two doorframes. Today and tomorrow will find me painting, and on Saturday, I’ll pack up my piles of writing supplies, books, and notebooks until January 2, and…

I’m adding Christmas lights to my laundry piles 🙂 Why not add a festive touch to a chore I won’t realistically get to!

Happy Holidays from my old, quirky home to yours! I wish you all the very best for 2016: love, peace, good health, and prosperity.

Holiday love,


About Eleanor Parker Sapia


Puerto Rican-born novelist, Eleanor Parker Sapia, was raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Eleanor’s careers as an artist, counselor, alternative health practitioner, Spanish language family support worker, and a refugee case worker, inspire her stories. She is a member of Las Comadres Para Las Americas, PEN America, and the Historical Novel Society, and she is a contributing writer for Organic Coffee, Haphazardly Literary Society. When Eleanor is not writing, she facilitates creativity groups, reads, and tells herself she is making plans to walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela a second time.

A Decent Woman, Eleanor’s debut novel, set in turn of the nineteenth century Puerto Rico was selected as 2015 July Book of the Month for Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club, and is listed in Centro Voices, The Center of Puerto Rican Studies, Essential Boricua Reading for the 2015 Holiday Season. Book clubs across the United States have enjoyed A Decent Woman. Eleanor is featured in the newly published anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses, edited by Mayra Calvani. She is the mother of two wonderful adult children and currently lives in West Virginia, where she is writing her second novel and a short story collection.



Heeding Roadblocks and Detours in Our Creative Lives.


This blog post is an update on what’s happening in my world. I’m happy to say it’s all great news, even if it took a bit more patience, perseverance, and new energy and vision to get here. I learned a few important life lessons in the process of preparing A DECENT WOMAN for the book launch in Fall 2014 which in turn, accelerated personal growth. My good friends and family know I’m all about learning, growth, and sharing what I learn along the way, and these lessons served me well. Perhaps you can relate.

Great patience has never been my best character trait, but solving problems, good listening skills, and perseverance are. If you come to me with a difficult situation, a challenge or problem, I’m your gal. I like solving problems and assisting others to get where they’d like to be. If you aren’t quite sure what you want in life, I’ll sit with you and help you figure that out. If you say you’re ready to get out of a toxic relationship, I am a great sounding board, and if you’re looking to make a change or achieve a goal, I’m a great cheerleader. If you’re running down a hotel hallway, trip and fall onto your backpack, and the front of your knee is impaled by a sharpened pencil, I am a cool customer. I don’t jump around screaming, I take charge. I’ll calm you down, won’t let you look at your knee, and I’ll hold a towel on your leg until the doctor arrives. True story. Yes, that really happened to my son on the first day of our last European tour when he was six. He’s fine, thank God. I fell apart after the doctor left.

But, would I follow my own advice when several personal and book challenges arose? Not so much, at first. I was certainly on top of the sticky situations, but as turned out, I was too close to have good perspective, and the old ways weren’t working. My attitude was what my father, the Sergeant Major, taught me – forge ahead and make the situation work. Not always great advice for every situation, though.

I learned to trust that some roadblocks and detours in life should be heeded, and are in place for good reasons. The old me was forging ahead with my eye clearly focused on the prize, forgetting the journey is as important as the destination. I would have missed the personal growth experiences and lessons by staying the course. Electing to remain steady and going around roadblocks, ignoring the available detour, can prolong an already long journey, and can cause us to miss the boat entirely. Maneuvering life is tricky.

I’m an optimist by nature with a good dose of reality which probably comes from my many years in counseling and social work. I’m not what my daughter calls ‘a Disneyland optimistic’ and she’s right. I remembered that if it stinks, it stinks, and no amount of air freshener is going to help, but I tried to work my way around hurting others. Sometimes it just can’t be helped. Feelings will get hurt along the way if we are listening to our gut. I was reminded that our decisions will impact others and are often for everyone’s highest good like a wake-up call or much-needed personal growth and awareness. But my path is my path.

I remembered that looking at a situation in a new way and seeing the big picture is necessary to get from point A to B with all our marbles intact. Well, it wasn’t easy and certainly put me out of my comfort zone, but boy was the lesson important.

So, I’m working hard, staying up late, drinking way too much coffee, and rising early with A DECENT WOMAN. I’m in the darker corners of my mind and uncovering where more creative gold is hiding. I’m challenging myself to put the best book on those bookshelves this Fall. I’m in excellent hands as I move forward on final edits.

We hope you’ll love A DECENT WOMAN as much as we do when it comes out in Fall 2014 with Booktrope Books.

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