Our little blue planet has nearly finished another trip around the sun, spinning on its wobbly axis as it goes, generating the forces of Fate by which we measure our lives; both our achievements and heartbreaks.

Throughout history, competing empires have used different calendars. Today, in short succession the world celebrates both the beginning of a New Year by the Gregorian calendar, that is now 2022 years old, while the observers of the Chinese calendar will shortly proclaim “HAPPY 4719!” while watching fireworks and cooking egg rolls at midnight. 

The arbitrary year change in the Gregorian calendar between December and January doesn’t seem to bring about any real change in our natural surroundings; trees don’t blossom, leaves don’t fall and how long have we all been waiting for a snowy “white Christmas”? To compensate for our solar calendar’s lack of real change when it starts over, we make secret promises to ourselves with the hope to create the change we wish a new year would bring us. The reality is simply that on January 1st my bank account didn’t blow-up, only my waistline and throughout the coming year only my hair will grow thinner.  

For all my readers who are dissatisfied with the current system of time keeping, I propose that you join me in observing the lesser known Calendar of Fate, which starts on February 14th and runs through February 13th. The Year of Fate is measured in the beats of the heart and love gained and lost.

Every fourth year, according to the Calendar of Fate if you’re ready, your heart will take a Leap of Fate and you’ll fall helplessly head over heels in love again with either a stranger, a requited love, or better yet – your spouse of twenty-six years. 

Approximately seventy-five million heart beats ago, I found myself in Portugal trying unsuccessfully to slow down time as the Year of Fate was coming quickly to a close. I went to Lisbon to write a story about a foolish postman trying to keep his job but instead I fell in love with the city and the bittersweet melodies of Lisbon’s traditional music that haunts those searching for something unattainable. This music, called ‘Fado’ (Fate), became as integral to my new story as it is to the culture of Lisbon. In the end, a story about a simple, unlucky postman, much to my surprise, became a fate-filled love story.  

One Portuguese voice and four guitarists in particular inspired me as I wrote Fate and Longing in Lisbon pushing the tempo and the crescendos of the story to sweet heights; passionate musical performances described in emotive verbs and adjectives. As I finished the book nearly eight million heart beats later it was obvious to whom the dedication of this opus must be made: Maria do Carmo Carvalho Rebelo de Andrade or…Carminho.

I listened to Carminho’s recordings so much over those creative weeks and months, that Spotify, in the Gregorian calendar year of 2020, proclaimed me one of three (0.001%) of Carminho’s biggest fans. (In 2021 that honor dropped slightly to the top 0.005% of her listeners.)

YOU WERE IN THE TOP 0.001% of their listeners this year (2020)

As Fate would have it, the rest of 2020 was not a good year for performances of indoor singing. In November 2020 the concert for which I had purchased front-row center seats to hear Carminho sing was cancelled just days before by a hard lock down in Germany.

Fate can be cruel but usually redeems herself if one is patient. Thirty-five million heart beats later we were finally able to hear Carminho and her four talented guitarists perform in November 2021, in front-row center seats, this time in Luxembourg, just days before a fresh mutation of the dreaded Covid virus closed theaters again across Europe. 

As we countdown the last thirty days to the end of the current Year of Fate and start a new one on St. Valentine’s Day ( February 14th), it is not too late to close this year with a touch of romance to ensure the new year will be filled with what we all crave the very most: LOVE! 

Let your Valentine know you are thinking of him or her as we get ready to celebrate the New Year of Fate by sending them a love story that will cast a spell of sentimentality and romanticism to stir their passions for adventure, travel, music and romance– especially if read aloud, together on a cold, snowy winter night in front of the fire with an open box of chocolates nearby. There is also a public Spotify soundtrack to the story called “Fate & Longing in Lisbon” to enhance the atmosphere (featuring the captivating voice of the talented Carminho!).

Click below to download a gift card to send together with an e-copy of Fate and Longing in Lisbon to your lover’s Kindle App on a smartphone or tablet or Kindle e-reader for only $1.99.

Start your New Year of Fate with a resolution to spread love and joy to your family and friends and make the world a better place with a smile, knowing that Fate will smile backeventually! 

 !!  Feliz Ano Novo do Fado !!

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