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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Make the World More Beautiful



One of the best homilies I ever heard at Mass was given by Father Griswold at St. Mary's church in Colts Neck, N.J. on the Sunday after the horrible shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. Instead of standing at the pulpit, Father Griswold asked all the children to come up to the front and sit around him. 

Then he read a children's picture book, Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney. 

The children listened attentively to the beautiful story and a sense of calm fell over everyone. As an early childhood educator, I have always appreciated picture books for their simple, but focused messages. In the wake of the Columbine tragedy, the story of Miss Rumphius transcended the horror and offered a positive path. 

Since Columbine, our country has gone through too many mass shootings. Still, like Miss Rumphius in the story, all of us can do something to make the world more beautiful. We just have to give it some thought. 


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Skating and Me

That's me on the frozen lake behind the house where I grew up. I loved to ice skate. I used to go backward and twirl around until I was dizzy. However, I never jumped. I never took lessons. I just watched other people and then I would imitate their moves. Maybe if an Olympic ice skating star lived in the neighborhood, I could have been a better skater. Nevertheless, I couldn't wait for the lake to freeze over so I could tie on my skates and glide smoothly around the ice as I hummed "The Skater's Waltz."

My mother made platters of homemade doughnuts for the entire neighborhood as well as homemade hot chocolate. My father put a floodlight on the back of the house and directed the beam of light on the ice so we could skate in the long, dark winter evenings. Everyone skated. Everyone was outdoors in the cold weather. The internet had not been invented yet--nor had cable TV come about. We had time to play outdoors--after we finished our homework and our chores.

I grew up, got married and moved twelve miles away from home. I still loved skating. Whenever the lake froze over, I packed up the kids and went to my parents' house to skate. I am guessing I'm in my late thirties in the photo above. (No date on the back of the picture, but I remember the coat.) My daughters went skating, too. Hubby went with us but he never liked it. He was afraid he would fall.

I fell millions of times. I probably fell at least once every time I was out on the ice. It never bothered me--until several years ago when the doctor told me I have osteopenia, the precursor of osteoporsis. Then I also wound up with wonky knees. No fun!

So now I don't skate because I'm afraid I'll fall and break a bone, which is really sad. But I do have memories and I can still hum "The Skater's Waltz," so if I close my eyes I can pretend I'm twirling around on the ice.

It's also the reason I decided to write Clear as Ice. The heroine in the book was once an Olympic skater. The setting is that little lake back home where sometimes the ice freezes so clear you can see the turtles resting in suspended animation beneath the ice. It's rather magical--or at least, I think so.


Pre-Order it now at Amazon!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Pre-order CLEAR AS ICE!


CLEAR AS ICE, which will be released on November 20, 2019, can now be pre-ordered! Warm your holiday season with this wintry tale. Go to https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Ice-Christmas-Holiday-Extravaganza-ebook/dp/B07YSXW85Q/

Read about it below!

When Ethan's prayers for his mother's life go unanswered, he abandons his faith, tossing it out with his mother's Christmas ornaments. The loss of his hope leaves him empty and he begins to shy away from relationships, but when his dog Rufus, a rescue from a shelter, develops a fondness for a woman skating on the frozen lake behind his house, he's annoyed. Not only does he resent her using his pond, he doesn't understand her fear of dogs. 
Haylie, once an Olympic figure skater, is afraid of more than just Ethan's dog. She lives in constant fear due to threats from a stalker, but one day Ethan's dog chases the danger away, so Haylie decides to try to lose her fear of dogs...But then the stalker's plans expand to include revenge toward Ethan as well. If they are to remain safe and live to see a happily-ever-after, Haylie and Ethan must put aside differences and learn to trust each other. This Christmas season promises to be the most challenging and the most meaningful of their lives.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Playing with GIFs


My iPad decided it needed an update. It does that sort of thing on a regular basis. One of the lovely benefits that came along with the update was a simple shortcut to make a gif. This is fun and useful. I can now easily put together elaborate gifs to help in advertising my books. After all, it seems moving images are best at capturing people’s attention. But for now I decided to upload some of my short illustrated Scripture quotes. I take many photos, but every once in a while I get lucky and wind up with a photo featuring a good amount of fantastic sky or a wide expanse of wonderful water. To me, pictures like that beg for a quote. 

I have a collection of these illustrated Bible quotes at my Pinterest page. You can see all of them at https://pin.it/6cwhwyoik2xt6k — along with some I saved from other folks’ collections. Check them out! 

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Potholes


One of my favorite poems by Robert Frost is "The Road Not Taken." (You can read it HERE.) This past weekend, I had the opportunity to test my driving skill on a road full of potholes. It was a road I would never have imagined to be so hazardous. Some of the potholes were more like craters. The photo above doesn't even hint at what that road was like. It looks all nice and peaceful and smooth. Ha!

It might have become my own road not taken. However, at the end of that road was the Bridge to Nowhere, which sounded rather intriguing. (Could there be a plot in there somewhere?) So I dared to ease the car through the obstacle course to reach the goal, coached by the calm voice of Daughter #2 who also wanted to reach the Bridge to Nowhere. She suggested walking at one point, but I didn't know how far that walk would be and whether my old knees were up to the journey. On the other hand, the car might easily have sunk into one of the craters, but it didn't.

We were fortunate, reached our goal, and took lots of photos. Even the photo above might make a nice painting.😀

It was quite an adventure. But maybe next time, we'll take the bicycles.