Five Ways The Simple Soul of Susan isn’t like a Hallmark Movie
December 14, 2020 by noelbranham in People 19 Comments

It’s that time of year! Get your popcorn out and get ready for some cringe-worthy good times involving finding out the real identity of father’s, moving back home to marry someone you went to high school with, and losing your big city job… You know Hallmark Christmas movies! Ok, much hate aside… Everyone enjoys a good Christmas movie. It just feels so predictable and over-done and that can be so comforting this time of year… we are creatures of habit after-all… and I don’t mean nuns. BUT since it is that time of year, let’s set the record straight. Do you know how The Simple Soul of Susan is different from a Hallmark movie? No? Here are five ways: Susan’s dad is not actually Santa. There is no marriage involving a guy named Jeffery/Jeremy/Jack from High School. She isn’t trying to save her family business from an evil corporation that her love-interest owns. There is not the customary ‘accidental tripping’ onto a love-interest’s body. No kissing under a Christmas tree. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But I promise you will love what IS in there. Thanks, as always! XOXOXO

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Fictional Romance: A Real Relationship Killer?
July 14, 2020 by noelbranham in People 7 Comments

You’ve heard it before… All romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations of relationships. Yep. They totally do. But I think most of the time, with life in general, we have unrealistic expectations not only of others but of ourselves. We live in a world where there is always something else to try, buy or satisfy our ever-evolving aspirations of happiness and fulfillment. So here are three things to remember while reading romance novels that will lead to having deep, meaningful, romantic, relationships in real life: Happiness isn’t fulfilled expectations. When you expect your significant other (SO) to see you and romantically sweep you off your feet while pulling flowers from behind your back and force-feeding you chocolates… you may have some unrealistic expectations. Would it be nice? Sure! But there is always something more they could do to make you happy, feeling loved, satisfied, etc. It’s a bottomless pit of desire and implied anticipated actions. We have to realize that no matter how many things we want out of a relationship, we can never receive them all… because realistically, we could never live up to the things expected of us either. Romance is a two-way street. Happiness is the unexpected, […]

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Watercolor Update
May 14, 2020 by noelbranham in Books, Nature, Texas 14 Comments

Just including a little scene from The Simple Soul of Susan in watercolor form! I think Susan and Calder look a little younger than I intended… but you get the idea. Any guesses as to which scene this is from?

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