CI – Claire Davis

 

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CI = Character Interview, not Confidential Informant. 🙂

Welcome to the world of Claire Davis, side-kick of Melanie Hogan in the Melanie Hogan Cozy Mysteries, and co-owner of Melanie’s hair salon, A Cut Above.

Can you provide a physical description of yourself?
Hmmm…that’s kind of awkward. Let’s see…I’m taller than Melanie, but that doesn’t take much. I’m 5’6, to be exact, so I wear flats a lot. I’m African-American with brown eyes and kinky-curly hair. I love bright-colored hair scarves and bright colors in general. I love to work out so there’s that, too. Melanie and I couldn’t possibly be more opposite from one another but it works for us. Our friendship is as solid as they come.

Where do you live?
I’m originally from Southern Florida, but I’ve lived in Birch Haven, Minnesota for several years.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Paris! The city of love. Or Italy. I love the happy, robust Italian families I’ve see in movies. They’re always hugging and kissing and eating meals together.

What is your favorite pastime?
Being with my daughter, Sydney. She’s eight years old and looks so much like her daddy, my late husband. Tyler was in the military and died while on duty.

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
Saturday’s are spent at the salon. Mel and I own A Cut Above so Saturday’s really not a weekend for us. Our weekends are Sunday and Monday. Those days I love to spend with Syd, Mel, Jack—when he’s in Birch Haven—Rubie, and at Rose’s house with Melanie. Rose is Melanie’s grandmother and the sweetest, most kind-hearted, yet spirited, woman I know.

What is your biggest secret?
I don’t think I’ll ever be over my late husband. Tyler was everything to me. I’m super lucky to have my current boyfriend—and the only once since Tyler—Cole Mahoney, but I can’t ever give him my whole heart. Tyler will always have a huge part of that.

What makes you angry?
Life is too short to be angry.

What brings you the most joy?
My friends and family. There is nothing better than spending time with them and watching them when they don’t even know I am.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
When one of my flouncy-bouncy skirts got caught in the wind and flew up. Melanie never lets me forget that.

What is your most admirable character trait?
That’s the one thing Melanie and I have in common. I’m super loyal. Also, I don’t let things bother me. I don’t hold grudges or resentments. Life is too short for that stuff.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Maybe to be a little more discerning about who I trust. I want to believe everyone is good and for the most part, I truly believe they are. But every now and then I’m reminded that not everyone is nice. Especially lately with all the trouble makers Melanie has been attracting lately.

You can catch me in Shear Madness, Shear Deception, Shear Malice, and soon in Shear Murder.

Carpe Diem

 

“A” is for…

Attitude in Adversity

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.   Galatians 5:22-23

When someone cuts me off in traffic I can allow a flash of anger to take root and explode into road rage or give the culprit the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe s/he didn’t see me, especially if I was in that darn blind spot.  Or maybe s/he had an emergency of some sort that it’s of utmost importance that s/he get there quickly.

When I smile at someone and they scowl in return, I can allow it to change my attitude and feel resentment or I can, again, give her/him the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe s/he was so burdened by something heavy that s/he didn’t notice the smile from a stranger.  Maybe her/his world doesn’t revolve around the smile from this woman.  Really? Someone’s world not revolving around me?  🙂 And how many times have I been in that situation where the roles were reversed.

When someone says something unflattering about me in the office, do I get spiteful and begin to form that nasty grudge, or do I brave to look inward. Were my behavior or words harsh and unloving? Did I act in an ungodly manner?  If yes, then I need to take responsibility for my poor judgment and make amends.  If not, then there’s nothing I can do except be sure and act in a loving, godly manner, lifting that person up in prayer.

Attitude in adversity, or when our back is against the wall, reveals our true character.  Impossible to shine in tarnished situations? No. Difficult? Yes! But with practice comes improvement.  Today, I will practice that my character reflect Christ’s light within me.

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Peace to you.

The Power Behind a Thought

English: Engraving of American philosopher and...

Watch your thoughts for they become words,
watch your words for they become actions,
watch your actions, for they become habits,
watch your habits for they become your character,
watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first thought in the morning can be the driving force behind the entire day.

The best part about that?  We have the power within us to make every day a good day.  We have the ability to practice turning a negative thought, no matter how quickly it appears, into a positive one before it has time to germinate and fester.  Before it gathers forceful speed as a snowball rolling downhill, gathering more “stuff” along the way.

And the more we practice at something the better we become.  Until it becomes somewhat second nature.

One of the most powerful antidotes to negative thoughts, intentional or not, is by cultivating an attitude of gratitude.  Rather than seeing the darkness of a situation, see the light that is shining through the cracks.  No matter how tiny those cracks may be, the light can, and will, shine through. Look for it and you will see its beauty.

It’s easy to be positive when things are going in your direction.  It’s when one’s back is against the wall and on our third strike, or the 8th life of a cat, that practicing positive thoughts seems nearly impossible.  But pushing through the tide, weathering the storm, brings security and strength and a life truly lived well.

Luke 1:37

To start off the day on a positive note, before your feet touch the floor beside your bed, think of one thing to be grateful for and give credit where credit is due.  Give thanks to God.

Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day and as soon as a negative one begins to form, turn it into a positive.  Before turning out the lights at night, think of three things to be grateful for that happened during the day.  Mentally reviewing your day to develop your grateful items is better than not doing it at all, but I find if I write them down I can go back and look at them many times over, feeling grateful all over again each time I look at them.  An instant pick-me-up for the heart and soul.

Suggestions:

When someone cuts you off in traffic, halt the impulse to cuss and give them “the look.”  Instead say a prayer that they get to where they are going safely and without hurting anyone.

When you’ve put your name in the hat for a job promotion and you don’t get it, stop yourself from the negative thoughts that can feed off of  self-pity and hurt feelings by congratulating the person who did get the position and offer them your assistance if they need it.

When someone pushes ahead of you in a line that you’ve been waiting in, rather than curse and let the anger take hold, force yourself to smile.  And think, “I’ve waited this long, what’s one more?”

Our actions follow our thoughts.  If our thoughts are positive and loving, our actions will be as well.

And with that, it’s time for me to get some practicing in.  I have a ways to go.

All is Grace.