Saturday, September 2, 2017

Writer's Block

Writer's block can be a real hurdle (or at least a speed bump) for authors.  Most deal with some form of writer's block on and off throughout the creative process.  As for me, there is always a story or a poem or an observation about human nature brewing in my head wanting to be jotted down. At times the words flow smoothly. Other times, I struggle to put my ideas into sentences. Regardless, I force myself to write when I have the time, knowing I can edit my work later. 

One thing I do 
naturally that helps me avoid writer's block is switch between two or three works in progress. I might type out five chapters in one book and then set it aside while writing a few new chapters in another. If I'm unsure about a developing story, I work on some other book until inspiration sorts out the hazy details in the first. Knowing I can juggle works in progress alleviates the pressure to force out chapters when I'm up against a mental wall.

The bottom line, however, is a writer must sit down and simply write.  Have faith
.  Writer's block or not, great ideas emerge most readily when engaged in the process of actually writing. 

― Richelle E. Goodrich

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What Love Means

I stand in the night and stare up at a lone star, wondering what love means.  You whisper your desire—do I love you?  I dare say yes.  But my eyes drift back to that solitary star; my mind is plagued with intimate uncertainty.   
What art thou, Love?  Tell me.   
I contemplate what I know—the qualities love doth not possess.  Love lifts no cruel or unkind hand, for it seeketh no harm.  It shirks from constraints and demands, for tyranny is not love.  A boisterous voice never crosses love’s lips, for to speak with thunder chases its very presence from the heart.  Love inflicts no pain, no fear, no misery, but conquers all such foes.  It is said love is not selfish, yet it does not guilt those who are.  On a heart unwillingly given it stakes no claim.  Love is nothing from Pandora’s box; it is no evil, sin, or sorrow unleashed on this world.   
My eyes glimmer as the star I gaze upon twinkles with brightness I do not possess.  I recognize my smallness—my ignorance of the One whose hands placed that star in the heavens for me.   
He is love.  By His own mouth He proclaimed it.   
Again the whispered question hits my ear—do I love you?  I dare say yes.  But my eyes squint tight, wishing on a lonely star, wondering what love means. 
                                                                                           ― Richelle E. GoodrichSmile Anyway

Thursday, August 10, 2017

10 Things You Want to Know About the Book

The fourth book in the Harrowbethian Saga has been released!  Eena, The Two Sisters is now available for purchase at most online book-retailers. For a limited time, take advantage of a 50% discount on the book at by using code VR64N and feed your curiosity with the following ten things you want to know about the book:

1.  The book stars 17-year-old Queen Eena of Harrowbeth.

2.  Two unscrupulous immortal sisters seek to gain their freedom at any cost.

3.  Killer dragons are involved.

4.  This book brings readers to the two-thirds mark in the Harrowbethian Saga.

5.  The story was inspired by the author's fantastical youthful daydreams.

6.  A love triangle builds and intensifies.  Or is it a love quadri-angle?

7.  Global maps of Eena's planet, Moccobatra, are included in this book.

8.  A crazy and unexpected proposal is made.  Make that two.

9.  A traditional Harrowbethian birthday game is explained.

10.  Learn to speak a few lines in the Bethan language.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Early Reviews of Eena, The Two Sisters

In one week, I will be releasing the 4th book in the Harrowbethian SagaEena, The Two Sisters.  I know it has been a long wait for some.  Let me tell you, it will be worth it! I thought you might enjoy a few reviews from my beta readers.  Yes, I have some amazing beta readers who help me mold my works in progress.  Maybe their comments will get you pumped to read this next book in the saga for yourself.

"This is the 4th of the Harrowbethian Saga. It is a a science fiction, love novel about a young queen who is confronted by enemies who appear unbeatable and who pose a deadly threat to her and her people. She, her fiance and her protector battle against enormous odds and what appear to be a hopeless struggle. This is probably one of my favorites of the four. It is packed with adventure, romance, mystery and delivers quite an emotional punch towards the end. It about breaks your heart, lots of sniffles, however, this book is not the end of the saga."~ Arlene

"Eena continues her struggle against two immortal sisters bent on freeing themselves of their prison on Eena's planet. In order to further his own agenda of getting Eena to forfeit her responsibilities as queen and join him, Edgar constantly splits up Eena and Derian and throws her across the globe with Ian. It certainly makes for an interesting love triangle (quadri-angle?). All hope of not freeing the witches and/or escaping alive seems lost."  ~  LeiAnn 

"A lot of interesting things happen in this book, and I am honestly torn on what I think of them. This book is the hardest to review, because if I say anything, it might spoil it for others reading the book. I can say I really like this cover. It has beautiful colors and a nice perspective. There are some definite surprises in this book. I am certainly curious where it might lead next. My mind is full of question marks."  ~ Jackie

Monday, July 24, 2017

Richelle E. Goodrich Author Interview by Arvenig

Recently, I was granted the opportunity to be interviewed about my experiences becoming an author. I talked a little about the books I have published since that pivotal turning point in my life. The interview is posted on for you to read.  Make sure to take advantage of the book giveaways at the end of the interview. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cover ART for Book IV in the Harrowbethian Saga

To be released August 10th, 2017!

Book IV in the Harrowbethian Saga
Eena, The Two Sisters


Who wouldn't want to ride on the back of a dragon?

Preorder Eena, The Two Sisters 

Prepare for unpredictable trials and adventure with the young Queen Eena. 
Read the first three chapters on Richelle E. Goodrich's author blog.

Queen Eena sees her world crumbling, chiefly the lives of those she loves most. Affected by a compassionate heart, she tries to console one man who mourns for a lost love while endeavoring to assure another she does indeed plan to marry him.....someday. But emotions are sensitive and doubts strong, especially when provoked by the lying tongue of an immortal scoundrel. 

All the while, the young queen continues to search for a way to defeat two devious, indestructible sisters who seem capable of manipulating outcomes regardless of Eena's attempts to thwart them. The closer she gets to fulfilling the final demands of these witches, the more it appears only one way exists to save herself and her world—by agreeing to join the enemy. But would that make her a hero or the ultimate traitor?

Look for the beginning books in the Harrowbethian Saga.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I Learned from my Father

Lately my house has been a frenzy of graduation prepping, picture taking, formal ceremonies, and congratulatory parties. I am blaming all of this wonderful craziness for allowing Father's Day to sneak up on me. So here I stand on the threshold of Father's Day, realizing I have yet to write down any personal thoughts.  No better time than the present.

It seems to me that much of what we gain from a father—what we learn from him—comes through observing the way he lives his life.  What I wrote two years ago I still believe to be true.

"The greatest lessons I learned from my father didn't come from lectures or discipline or even time spent together. What has stuck with me is his example. From watching, I chose whether to be or not to be like him." 
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway)

Example is a mighty teacher, but that was not all my father offered me.  He was good for words of advice that fell from his mouth more than once.  One of his top maxims helped solidify my self-confidence at a young age:  "Do your best and nothing less."  He told me this when I first started school, and I took those words to heart, believing on some internal level that it was my duty.  As a result, I put forth my best effort in school and in developing budding talents. That full effort to "do my best" made my accomplishments more impressive than they might have been otherwise.  In the process, I earned compliments and recognition that bolstered my developing confidence.  Thanks to my father, I have seldom considered any goal above my ability to achieve.  

Another repeated word of advice I heard often was "Don't waste your time worrying about what other people think of you.  So long as you can look yourself in the eye every morning with a clear conscience, that's all that matters."  I will admit, criticism and praise both affect me. Words have that power over most human beings.  But this advice from my father did help develop a most unique and useful ability. I take criticism and hold it apart from me like a book which I read and evaluate and then toss aside if my own opinion differs.  Likewise, I have learned to treat praise in a similar manner, appreciating kind words but then setting them aside rather than internalizing what might puff up my ego.  My father taught me to form my own opinions and to be true to them.  People will enter and exit my life, but I am eternally stuck with me.  So, as Shakespeare declared, "To thine own self be true."  I do not mean in an egotistical or selfish manner, rather showing sincerity and goodness to oneself.  The same as you show to others.

I recall one day coming home from work—one of my first jobs after high school—and grumbling to my father about how difficult the work was and how my boss wanted a greater amount of production from me than I felt able to give.  I wanted to quit.  And why not?  I was unhappy.  The job was a menial position that could easily be replaced by another.  Why return to more days—weeks—months of having to endure criticism from a grumpy boss?  My father set the bar for me at that moment, one I would sustain for the rest of my life. He said, "You don't quit.  Struggling at work, being unhappy, feeling disliked, enduring rebuke, or any other hardship that might come along is no excuse to quit.  You get in there and you work hard. You make yourself reliable and teachable and available.  And after all of that, if they fire you then fine—they fire you at your best.  But you don't quit."

So I went back to my lousy job and did as my father said.  I worked hard.  I learned to move faster.  I found ways to make better use of my time.  By the end of that year, my grumpy boss promoted me to assistant supervisor overseeing the other workers.  I was given the task of scheduling hours and granted the power to fire and hire employees in certain positions.  My father taught me that rewards do come to those who stay the course and endure well. You don't quit.

There are many other things I learned from my father, other words of advice that helped shape my character.  I won't list them all.  I think I turned out alright by him.  So I would like to say "Thank you, Dad" for the valuable lessons. I love you and wish you a very happy Father's Day.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Unique Rewards of Friendship

     “What is so rewarding about friendship?” my son asked, curling his upper lip into a sour expression.  “Making friends takes too much time and effort, and for what?”
I sat on the edge of his bed, understanding how it might seem simpler to go at life solo.
“Friendship has unique rewards,” I told him.  “They can be unpredictable.  For instance....”  I couldn’t help but pause to smile crookedly at an old memory that was dear to my heart.  Then I shared with my son an unforgettable incident from my younger years.
“True story.  When I was about your age, I decided to try out for a school play.  Tryouts were to begin after the last class of the day, but first I had to run home to grab a couple props for the monologue I planned to perform during tryouts.  Silly me, I had left them at the house that morning.  Luckily, I only lived across a long expanse of grassy field that separated the school from the nearest neighborhood.  Unluckily, it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella. 
“Determined to get what I needed, I raced home, grabbed my props, and tore back across the field while my friend waited under the dry protection of the school’s wooden eaves.  She watched me run in the rain, gesturing for me to go faster while calling out to hurry up or we would be late.  
“The rain was pouring by that time which was added reason for me to move fast.  I didn’t want to look like a wet rat on stage in front of dozens of fellow students.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t grab an umbrella from home—teenage pride or lack of focus, I’m not sure—but the increasing rain combined with the hollering from my friend as well as my anxious nerves about trying out for the play had me running far too fast in shoes that lacked any tread.  
“About a yard from the sidewalk where the grass was worn from foot traffic and consequently muddied from the downpour of rain, I slipped and fell on my hind end.  Me, my props, and my dignity slid through the mud and lay there, coated.  My things were dripping with mud.  I was covered in it.  I felt my heart plunge, and I wanted to cry.  I probably would have if it hadn’t been for the wonderful thing that happened right then.  My crazy friend ran over and plopped herself down in the mud beside me.  She wiggled in it, making herself as much a mess as I was.  Then she took my slimy hand in hers and pulled us both to our feet.  We tried out for the play looking like a couple of swine escaped from a pigsty, laughing the whole time.  I never did cry, thanks to my friend.
      “So yes, my dear son, friendship has its unique rewards—priceless ones.”

This story is from the book, Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Yearby American author and poet, Richelle E. Goodrich

Monday, May 29, 2017

Remembering Our Honored Soldiers

This Memorial Day I  pay tribute not only to our fallen soldiers but to those in the armed forces who suffered the loss of comrades while serving to protect the rights and freedoms we cherish.  I have overwhelming respect and admiration for those who stand strong in our armed forces, those willing to defend the defenseless.  

My grandfather, my father, and my husband served in the army at different times, under different circumstances.  Included here are pictures of their days in service.

Not too long ago, my father gave us the gift of his memories regarding the war in Vietnam in which he fought.  He wrote out the experience in a book and then handed out copies to family members.  Below is the preface to his story, which I think is quite fitting for this holiday:  

I begin this history of my Vietnam experiences by stating a fact.  One that all readers should be made aware of and keep in mind throughout this reading. That fact is no one who has ever been in actual combat can make a non-combatant understand what war is like; neither mentally, spiritually, or physically. You must be a participant to understand what war does to both body and soul. Those who’ve been there understand. Those who haven’t should be thankful and appreciate the sacrifices of those who did participate on their behalf. I hope all will understand that this writing is an effort to tell my own story. My goal is to bring all non- combatants closer to an understanding of what war does to the combat soldier.   I do “not” want to infer to the reader that I’m against war. War is “Hell” and should always be a last resort, but to resist war to the point that it jeopardizes freedom is cowardly and not what the creator of man intended. May God bless all those who have been willing to fight for the freedom of others. 

My father wrote about his first real combat experience, including how frightful it was.  I am sharing his words in hopes that it will cause all who read it to stop and ponder the thousands in our armed forces who have shared similar experiences.   Fallen soldiers and survivors alike deserve our best thoughts and highest regard.  

To insure our security we were sending out platoon size patrols to check out the area around us to insure the enemy was not infiltrating to a position of advantage around the LZ. We were careful to not establish any pattern to our patrols to hopefully make sure we wouldn’t walk into an ambush. Several patrols had been hit by sniper fire and had found evidence of movement in the area. We were told the purpose of our relocation to this fishhook area was based on the reported existence of a large NVA (North Vietnamese Army) battalion in the area. 

It was nearing twilight and the third platoon from our company was out on patrol. They were hit by an ambush taking two KIAs and two wounded. They were pinned down about 300 yards from our perimeter. We got orders to saddle up and move out to assist them and bring them back in. We moved out carefully in a column of threes. My squad was on point walking in the center. We moved to the right flank of the third platoon and set up to provide cover fire across their front in a “V” type arrangement. We opened up with everything we had and third platoon withdrew behind us taking their dead and wounded with them. 

The plan was for us to move across their front and withdraw with covering artillery fire. The NVA are the hard-core regular army of North Vietnam. They opened fire on us and had us in crossfire, staying in close to prevent us from calling in the artillery fire to cover us during our withdrawal. We crawled into a nearby bomb crater for cover. Miraculously none of us had been hit. We returned fire and called in artillery, using the crater for cover. It was now dark, too dark to safely try a withdrawal. We resolved ourselves to spend the night and wait for daylight to initiate a withdrawal. Our FO (Forward Observer) set up pre-planned artillery positions to cover our front in case the NVA got brave and decided to overrun our position. 

This was the first major combat I had been involved with and I was scared to death. You don’t get scared while the gunfire is going on. You don’t have time to think. You just react with your adrenaline flowing at a high rate. It’s after the firefight is over and you start to think about what happened that the fear sets in. As I lay there in the dark thinking about what had happened I started to shake all over. I crawled over to talk to the men in my squad. They were all huddled against the sides of the bomb crater just looking out into the dark. 

The lieutenant crawled over to me and told me what sector he wanted my squad to defend. We agreed we would keep three men in each squad on guard though the night and no one was to fire unless he was sure of a target. We did not want to give away our exact position prematurely and provide the enemy with an easy target. I was not very happy with our position, with about 30 of us crammed together in this bomb crater. It was too easy for the enemy to toss a grenade and get us all. The area was however heavily wooded with trees and bushes, which made throwing a grenade a risk for both them and us.  

I told my men to dig in as best they could and to be prepared by daylight to move out on command. The crater was 65 feet in diameter. I guessed it had been a 1000-pound bomb. The bottom of the crater was white gooey clay, which stuck to everything. I slowly dug me a stand-up foxhole up to my neck using my helmet. I don’t think any of us slept that night. It was the first time in my tour when I wasn’t sure I’d make it. I’m not ashamed to say I did a lot of thinking about home, and a lot of praying to the man upstairs. 

Later that night the lieutenant crawled over and told me the plan for our withdrawal in the morning. The squad to the right of us (first squad) would move out while we covered their front then my squad (2nd squad) and the third squad would withdraw covering the rear. We would all move upon command from the lieutenant. Artillery would lay down some cover fire before we moved out. Two other platoons were going to be in position to give us cover fire on our way in so it was important we stayed tight and retreated directly toward the LZ. 

It was a long night and every little noise sounded like the enemy was crawling in on us. Everyone kept their cool and kept quiet. As soon as it was light the artillery cover fire started up and we all ducked our heads. They were laying them in pretty close and you could feel the ground shake around us. They lifted the artillery fire and the command to move out was given by hand signal. The point man and the back up man made it out of the crater when shots rang out and the point man fell. 

We all opened up with cover fire and the back up man pulled the wounded point man back into the crater. The medic worked on him furiously to stop the bleeding. The lieutenant told us to limit our field of fire to the front because the two backup platoons were moving in to cover for us. I thought a sniper from the trees had wounded the point man as I had only heard two shots. Two cobra gun ships were brought in to provide cover fire for us. Our job now was to get the wounded on a chopper and off to medical care. 

It was only seconds later when a medivac chopper appeared over the crater. I was to the front as the chopper approached so I lay on my back and guided him in. It was like flying down a chimney. I can still see the pilot holding that stick and looking down at me as I would motion him to maneuver right, left, front, or rear to avoid hitting the trees. I remember asking God not to let the enemy shoot the chopper because we would all have been killed. 

About a half dozen of the men lifted the wounded point man up to the chopper and I waved the pilot to pull it up. As soon as he cleared the trees they were gone and we prepared to withdraw back to the perimeter. We didn’t receive any fire during the withdrawal. This further convinced me the enemy had left behind a sniper and had withdrawn their main force during the night. 

This incident gave me the ultimate respect for the medivac pilots. I witnessed many other brave acts by these pilots to pick up our wounded in the field. They are true heroes in my book. We later learned the point man had died on the way to medical treatment from massive blood loss. It was my first time to witness a KIA.

This Memorial Day, take time to remember the great heroes who have fallen as well as those heroes who suffered and survived.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday, Mother's Day

Throughout this week before Mother's Day, I have been sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day has included an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed the notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts. Today I wish all women everywhere a very happy Mother's Day!

We reached Day 1 - Happy Mother's Day!

I would like to quote for you what my son wrote in a penciled-out Mother's Day card he gave to me this morning.  It says "Thank you for always taking care of me, putting up with me, and loving me no matter what." 
Now this homemade card may have been quickly written with little forethought (typical of teenagers) but the message is powerful and effected me deeply. His words hit at the heart of exactly what a mother is meant to be: caring, tolerant, and loving--no matter what. 
I know, sadly, that not everyone who becomes a mother lives up to this divine role.  But my mother did. She cared for me when it was difficult; she put up with me when I behaved selfishly, and she always loved me no matter what. She never shirked this most important earthly role as mother to her children. 

Thank you, Mom, for your tolerance, endurance, sacrifices, and especially your love. I wish you a very happy, most deserved, Mother's Day.   
Yes, I do know how lucky I am.

"Mothers were meant to love us unconditionally, to understand our moments of stupidity, to reprimand us for lame excuses while yet acknowledging our point of view, to weep over our pain and failures as well as cry at our joy and successes, and to cheer us on despite countless start-overs. Heaven knows no one else will." 
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)

"I never knew what Mother knowed,
Like how a thread and needle sewed,
And how a kiss healed boo-boos fast.
Why family knots were made to last.

I never knew how Mother saw
A caring man in angry pa,
A smile beneath the teary gloom,
A game inside a messy room.

I never knowed what Mother knew,
Like how to smile when days were blue,
And how to laugh for laughter’s sake,
While giving up her slice of cake.

I never saw what Mother see’d
Like honor pulling garden weeds,
Or deep confessions in a look,
And hope alive in storybooks.

I never knew how Mother knowed
To hand out carrots when it snowed,
And why hot cocoa liked the rain,
While naptime kept a person sane.

For mother knowed and see’d it all.
A winner in a strike-out ball.
A 'yes, please' in a shoulder shrug.
A 'love you mostest' in a hug.

Perhaps, someday, I’ll come to know
What Mother saw and knowed as so.
Like how 'I’m right' can be all wrong,
And why the night requires a song.

But of the things I learned and knew
I never doubted one thing true.
My mother made it crystal clear,
she knowed and loved me ever dear." 

— Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday, Countdown to Mother's Day

Throughout this week before Mother's Day, I have been sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day has included an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed the notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts. Enjoy this one (and the cute pictures) on the day before Mother's Day.

Day 2
I was looking through a book of old photos today, smiling at pictures from my youth, and I realized that a lot of them show moments I don't recall. It seems that yesterday can be as great a mystery as tomorrow. This rings true to me when I examine photos of my childhood and wonder about the stories behind them. I am deeply thankful my mother took the time to record things I did, places I visited, and activities in which I participated. Especially considering that photography took much more effort then than it does today. It's been fun to look back and relearn a little about myself. Thank you, Mom. 

"My mother does not own my hands, 
though she works hard to train them. 
My mother does not own my eyes, 

though she frequently directs their focus. 
My mother does not own my mind, 

though she yields great influence upon it. 
My heart, however, she owns completely, 

for it was hers the day I was born." 

— Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)


"Things that remind me of Mother are these:
the truth ‘mid deception, a warm summer breeze,
the calm within chaos, a stitch in a rip,
a comforting blanket, the smile on her lip,
an ocean of love in a heart big as whales,
the morals in everyday stories she tells,
a wink amid laughter, the wisdom in books,
the peace in humility, beauty in looks,
the light and the life in a ray of the sun,
the hard work accomplished disguised as pure fun,
concern in a handclasp, encouragement too,
the hope in a clear morning sky azure blue,
the power in prayers uttered soft and sincere,
the faith in a promise, and joy in a tear.
These things all attest to the wonder and grace
of my precious mother, none else could replace."

— Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday, Countdown to Mother's Day

Throughout this week before Mother's Day, I have been sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day has included an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed these notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts. Enjoy this one for today.

Day 3

One thing I associate with my mother is a great love for art. From my youngest memories, I recall her putting a paintbrush to canvas andstroke by strokecreating beautiful images. Painting was her talent and hobby, and she spent much of her free time enjoying the creative process.  

My mother used her artistic gift on many occasions to created props and scenery for scouting, school, and church functions.  Over the years she created multiple backdrops for different scenes in the Christmas nativity story. It is a tradition that our extended family preforms this play every year using her painted backdrops. Sometimes my mother gave her paintings away as gifts. One of her original oils hangs on the wall in my front room. (See the painting above.)  It evokes a calm, inviting effect on those who pause to appreciate the scene.

My own love for art is a result of my mother's creative example. She gave me the confidence to design the covers for each of my authored books. Perhaps a greater blessing is the influence she has had on her grandchildren, most of whom she taught to paint to some degree. I know that a few of them won ribbons at the local county fair with her help. (The dragon painting was done by my son with his grandmother's guidance.) 
I am thankful my talented mom chose to use her talent for the benefit of many, and especially to help her children and grandchildren develop their artistic talents as well. 

"Without you there would be no me. 
I am everything reflected in your eyes. 
I am everything approved by your smile. 
I am everything born of your guidance. 
I am me only because of you." 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday, Countdown to Mother's Day

This whole week before Mother's Day I am sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day from now until Mother's Day will include an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed the notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts.

Day 4
 Today I have been thinking about the numerous times my mother put her energy into helping me with my activities. From volunteering in my Girl Scout troop; to driving me around to attend ballet lessons, swimming lessons, piano lessons, etc; to planning birthday parties that, every now and then, included a rowdy slumber party.  My mom was always generous with her time.  She gave me a large percentage of many precious hoursa commodity that most of us would greedily purchase if it were possible.  Can you believe she even took tap dancing lessons with me for a whole year?   
I remember in junior high biology class writing up lab papers that my teacher insisted be turned in typed or exceptionally well-written.  My mother spent a couple of hours every week typing my biology labs with her portable typewriter so I could turn in high-quality work. (Desktop computers and laptops were unheard of back then.)   
My mother's kind example has been a big influence on my own mothering. I drive my kids to and from numerous activities and sometimes type up hand-written essays (thank goodness for laptops and printers.)  I've planned many birthday parties that included rowdy sleepovers like the ones I once enjoyed.  And believe it or not, I even took two years of karate with my kids to prevent them from losing interest in the martial arts!  It paid off too because we presently have a pair of brown belts and a black belt in the family.  I, myself, actually made it to the level of purple belt!   
I am grateful to my mother for the time she invested in me. I hope she knows I understand the worth of that time.