Happy Halloween!

Every week author Ronovan Hester invites writers to participate in his Haiku challenge. He selects two words that must be used in the poem. This week he chose HUNGER and STRIKE. 

In the United States, children are excitedly preparing for Halloween on October 31st. My neighborhood is no exception. Munchkins of all ages are deciding upon costumes and mapping their evening approach to area households. I’ve prepared for these little visitors by buying bags and bags of chocolates. 

As you might suspect, my Haiku is a response to the season. If you’d like to know more about writing Haiku, just click on the link in the first paragraph. Hester has much information on his website. 

You’re in my soul

There’s a beautiful refrain in one of Rod Stewart’s songs that’s been haunting me. The refrain is this:

You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul
You’ll be my breath should I grow old
You are my lover, you’re my best friend
You’re in my soul.

When I pause and think of those I love, those who are in my soul, I am filled with sweet tenderness. I wonder if they know how much I love them – my husband, my children, my friends, my neighbors, the people at the church, the kind postman, and the nameless many whom I interact with daily. Sweet tenderness is what I feel.

What a contrast this sentiment is to the news, which is filled with anything but love. Politics is such that it is easy to be angry, to be self-righteous, just as it is easy to find comradery through division. Especially now, as we approach the midterm elections, hate abounds.

Perhaps it is my age, maybe it is my spiritual perspective, but I can’t hate. And, I can’t be angry for long. The ultimate reason is a simple one. You are in my heart, you are in my soul. How can I hate you? Republican or Democrat, we are part of each other.

Life as the artist

This week author Ronovan Hester challenges writers to use ART and COMPASS in a Haiku poem. I often envision life as a marvelous canvas, upon which we each craft our way. That thought was the stimulus for my simple poem. 

If you’d like to know more about this art form or would like to read the poems of other writers, just click on Ronovan’s name. You’ll be taken to his site, where there is helpful information on writing Haiku and a list of writers who have responded to this challenge. 

Thank you

This week author John W. Howell and I learned that The Contract between heaven and earth was selected as a Finalist in three categories by the Independent Author Network’s 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards. The three categories were Thriller/Suspense,  Paranormal/Supernatural, and Romance.

This is an honor of no small measure, because John and I attempted to co-author a story having not met each other or having partnered with anyone else on such a project. We literally epitomized the concept of the blind leading the blind. We stumbled, we got up, and somehow, we found our way. One of the reasons we reached our goal was the helpful advice of beta readers. Another great assist was the patience of our spouses.

I’m ever so grateful for those who have read our book and especially grateful to those who have offered their thoughts, either in a review or in an email. You are the reason we writers write. Thank you! 

A quiet moment…

This week author Ronovan Hester challenges writers to use rise and fall in a Haiku poem.  My thoughts quickly took me to the comfort we feel when we rest on our lover’s chest. Words are not needed when the breath declares its intention. 

If you’d like to try your hand at this art form, just click on Ronovan’s name, and you’ll be taken to his site, where there is helpful information on writing Haiku.

Our choice

This week author Ronovan Hester challenges writers to use BREATH and UNITE in a Haiku poem.  Having grown up asthmatic, often struggling to breathe, I have a special respect for breath. It is a gift, one we cannot live without. How we use this gift, however, is our choice. 

I will soon be visiting my grandchildren on the East coast. The youngest ones love bubbles. They delight in what they can create with their breaths, and they squeal with joy. It is contagious. When I’m around them, the political drama fades, and laughter takes center stage. 

If you’d like to try your hand at this art form, just click on Ronovan’s name, and you’ll be taken to his site, where there is helpful information on writing Haiku.

Blog Talk Radio

I am delighted to announce that tomorrow at noon Central Time, author John W. Howell and I will be guests on the Rave Reviews Book Club‘s Rave Waves Blog Talk Radio. The show is titled Behind the Pen and the host is author Beem Weeks. We will be talking about The Contract. Questions or comments posted via Twitter during the show will be answered and discussed. Here is the link in case you would like to tune in.   http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ravereviewsbookclub

Host Beem Weeks

A day of reflection…

Today much of the world pauses to remember a humble man who lived eight centuries ago – St. Francis of Assisi. Irrespective of religious affiliation, he is loved. It’s hard not to love him because he loved one and all – the rich and the poor, the planet and the cosmos, as well the creatures in the sea and on the earth.

In the late 1990s, I traveled with my daughter to Italy on a pilgrimage to Assisi to visit St. Francis’ home. I found what I sought and much more. Together my daughter and I walked where Francis walked, prayed where he prayed. We cried, we laughed, and we found peace.

I’ve returned twice more to Assisi; it’s a grounding local for me. It refreshes Francis’ message and helps settle my confusion. His prayer brings me home to my heart; I suspect it does for you as well. If we ever needed to hold his prayer close, it seems to me that it is now; and for that reason, I share it today. 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
And, where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.   Saint Francis of Assisi

image from: http://interfaithccc.org/event/sharing-stories-with-st-francis-of-assisi/

Peace and love?

This week author Ronovan Hester challenges writers to use LOVE and PEACE in a Haiku poem.  I thought about our political climate and the barricades that reside in people’s hearts. As well, I considered the hope for healing. 

If you’d like to try your hand at this art form, just click on Ronovan’s name, and you’ll be taken to his site, where there is helpful information on writing Haiku.

Maria Shriver: questions…

Every week I look forward to reading Maria Shriver’s The Sunday Paper. She is a woman who has gone through hell and back and emerged beautiful, strong, and loving. Her words carry hard-earned hope and wisdom, because she’s been there, done thatJust in case you have not read Maria’s Paper, I’m sharing excerpts from this week’s blog and invite you to visit her site. Her concluding questions rest in my heart, perhaps they will find a place in yours as well.   
                                                               ~ ~ ~

   “The ego seeks to divide and separate. The spirit seeks to unify and heal.”                                                        — Pema Chodron

Thursday was a day of testimony. It was a day to speak one’s truth. It was a day of raw emotion, raw rage, conflicting stories and different truths. Everyone I know approached watching the testimonies with feelings of their own. I’m sure even those who said they wanted to watch with open hearts and open minds (myself included) had a hard time not bringing their own feelings, experiences and opinions to the table.

I have two sons, four brothers and many male friends. So when the judge wrapped up his testimony and asked the committee to think about the men in their lives — their sons, brothers, husbands and friends — I paused. I want what’s good for my sons to also be good for my daughters. I want my daughters to live in a world where, God forbid they ever face such a situation, they feel safe enough to speak up. I want them to feel heard and believed. That said, I want my sons to be treated fairly, too. I don’t want them to be trampled upon simply because they are men.

I went to bed with a heavy heart. I prayed for Dr. Ford’s sons, Judge Kavanaugh’s daughters and both of their families at large. I prayed that we will rise up as a country from all that is ripping us apart . . .

There is an opening. An opening for meaningful, difficult, heart-opening conversations. The kind of thought-provoking conversations that stun you, surprise you, open your heart, and change you.

There is also an opportunity before each of us (and not just those in Congress) to ask ourselves: how do we begin to heal this divide? How do we repair this terrible divide that is as big and deep and wide as an ocean?