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Friday, December 2, 2016

A Catch-up Post

1.       Sorry, due to circumstances beyond my control, I haven’t been reading or writing many blog posts lately. Don't worry, because the force that's controlling me away from blogging is building character and giving me more material to write about later. I’m very sorry and hope to be back to reading my favorites soon. In case, this takes me longer than expected, please have a great December and Merry Christmas.

2.       My short novella, The Fifth Commandment is now available in Portuguese and Spanish. Plus, right now it's on sale! Oh--- and the most exciting news is that my humble, faith-based novella reached bestseller status in Australia! By the way, I need some reviews for this one!
           The Fifth Commandment
3.       Penniless Hearts has a gorgeous new cover! Have you seen it? This is the third one. What do you think?

4.       I need to update my website: (soon).

Sunday, November 13, 2016

17 Ideas for Dealing With Negative News

If times seem tough, it's because we're exposed to much more information than all our combined predecessors saw in their lifetime. Poet Thomas Gray once wrote, 'ignorance is bliss' and while that doesn't sound responsible in today's world, doesn't it sound tempting to act like an ostrich with his head in the sand?

How about these suggestions? Do you think they might work?
17 ideas for blocking out the negative noise 

Could you cancel your cable?
Hide your Smartphone? (Once you've picked the kids up from school)

Stop your wireless?

Toss the newspaper subscription? 

Move off the grid? 

Hike a giant mountain without cell reception? 

Start a photo journal using a real camera?

Fly to a remote part of the world? (Enticing, huh?)

Visit a senior center where Twitter refers to the sound of a pacemaker. 

Leave phone at home while feeding/cleaning up after the homeless?

Volunteer for the Thanksgiving Parade?

Join, or at least visit a monastery? 

Teach someone to sail and avoid busy ports?
Host a craft class--allowing only emergency interruptions?

Teach scuba or take lessons. It's so quiet down there. 

Hammer your own noise for Habitat for Humanity. 

Plant vegetables and watch them grow in a community garden?

The point I'm making is that by helping others we help ourselves and in the process we clear our minds. Of course, you could also go for one of my favorites, which is to just barricade yourself in a room full of wonderful books! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hart to Intangible Heart and My Introduction to a Bestselling Novel

Whether you’re a writer, artist or creator of crafts, the best validation is receiving recognition for your work. I remember walking through aisles and aisles of cakes and pies, all missing a piece at the county fair. Blue ribbons scattered throughout but unfortunately, white Honorable Mention ribbons were pinned on most of them. Drooling before heading back to the wafting funnel-cake smell and buttery barbecued corn waiting outside, I wondered what the judges didn’t like. Were some of the cakes too sweet or too tart? Maybe they went by eye appeal. By now, some of the desserts unappealingly slumped in the summer heat but most of them still looked good. The same thing happened over at the craft building, where lovingly crocheted afghan throws were on display next to pieced quilts, vests and tote bags. Most received Honorable Mentions and only a few were Blue Ribbon winners. I loved the intricate details and bright colors and thought they should all receive first prize. But no one asked me my opinion as I wasn't asked to evaluate anything. 

That’s why I love writing reviews of books that I read. It’s the least I can do to provide feedback and support to someone who worked hard developing a plot, characters and a story-line. It’s my way of saying thank you for entertaining me, keep up the good work. Anyone with an Amazon account can add reviews and they don’t have to be stellar just truthful. I always learn something from all the reviews I’ve received for both my novels-Penniless Hearts or The Fifth Commandment, while appreciating and swallowing the bad with the good. Some people are shy about it or something and I hope to encourage everyone to go to Goodreads or Amazon and perhaps start with something you enjoyed reading in school. It doesn’t have to be long. A couple sentences will do the trick and other readers will benefit from your input. I’ve also realized that I can’t wait for others to reciprocate. Everyone has his or her own timeline for reading. My Kindle is packed with wonderful stories and my bookshelves are overflowing. For some strange reason the cover of Becoming Moon drew me in. Like some of those cakes, maybe I went by eye appeal.

After I wrote a review of his book, the bestselling author contacted me to tell me that I really “got” what he was trying to say. Of course I did. Craig Hart wrote about a writer having struggles and temptations along the course of his life that seemed to pull him down into a watery hole, making him feel like drowning. There were so many intangibles he could have knitted a King-sized duvet! I had mentioned his book on my blog and even posted my review but now the writer of Becoming Moon asked me to expound on my analysis so he could put it into his book as the introduction. I thought he was kidding. After all, this author knows how to write and though I can relate to his story, I can’t come close to his prose. Honored beyond words I can only say that I am sure he wasn’t jesting as I’m holding a signed copy of it in my hands. Definitely a Blue Ribbon winner in my estimation and a book I hope you find time to read and review. Get your copy here:

My signed copy. The following photo is the
end of my written introduction to
Becoming Moon, with my fingers as proof
that little old me actually wrote the introduction
to a bestselling novel!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Remembering Halloween-A Poem

Halloween (‘60’s era)
Eve Gaal

Whence we were little goblins-
groovy lithe witches
and rascally cowboys—
nothing wicked mind you,
perchance slightly mischievous-
waiting to run down the street--
giggling from house to house--
proudly shouting trick or treat.

Plans devised for a soulful celebration
powered behind glued on sequins--
the hubris of green felt--- pink ribbons.
Boasting about goals
to fill giant sacs-
we snickered behind our plastic masks--
zooming with super powers-
our hearts charged with wonder.

Beaming at our bounty of sugary fun--
spread like treasure on the breakfast table:
Golden wrapped toffees—
Mr. Goodbars even Bazooka gum.
Black and orange wrapped peanut taffy-
a caramel apple lovingly made by a granny next door-
perhaps a box of Crackerjacks with a small green whistle
you still keep in a drawer-
to remind you of a distant magic--
when shadows cast swirling leaves--
as frolicking ghosts in rustling trees
announced it’s

Hallow’s eve.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Abundant Anniversary

The smoke alarm had to go off on our Anniversary and that’s one of those things that frighten the
collars off our dogs. And while we usually walk together hand in hand with a Chihuahua on each leash, this Columbus day and tenth day of the tenth month under what felt like tropical breezes and warm cloudy skies, I took the short walk around the block myself with Pinky.  (Someone had to change the batteries immediately.)

Pinky takes the lead
Every day, even on a short walk, there are things to see but this time I was duly rewarded with long tall shadows, flowering shrubs and hummingbirds.

The shadows fall
Crossing the street

Do you see the chirpy hummingbird?

The flag in our park
Please ignore the trash on the ground.
Non-locals like to sneak into our park and act like boars.
There's a trash can across from this bench. 

 Join me on this special day by having a seat in our one-acre community park where gratitude flowed from my heart as well as inspiration for a poem for my beloved I had to jot down when I reached our now peaceful home.

Happy Anniversary
Thank you Steve for coming into my life 24 years ago—
the man who changed my life.
The spring in my step when I walk our dogs—
the flowering scent along my path.
Your eyes the morning light—
your smile the California sun.
Thank you for being an angel
when I need spoiling.
Thank you for being disciplined and wise
when I need to grow up.
A warm and wonderful shoulder to cry on when I’m sad—
a solid rock of reassurance and a gift from God--

the one who broke the mold—my Steve.

Nature inspires me. How about you? 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tale O' Miniature Tail

Welcome to my universe. I’m a rescue.
Mom says she’s a rescue too.
Dad says-- mom rescued him but I think there’s more to that story.
The main thing is this: We all need humans.
Tall or stinky,
Young or frumpy
Peeps are important.
They all matter.

And man can they can make a difference in your life.
Take this ordinary suburban yard for example:
Every petal and piece of mulch is mine, (even though there’s another rescued dog around here.)
I am fearless and safe back here.
The mailman is on the other side of the house and
the vacuum cleaner never comes outside.
Sunshine follows me throughout the day.
This is my element.

I prowl around and sniff the grass.
Sometimes I'm thorny like a rose. 
The scent of invaders
such as rabbits and squirrels delights me
especially because they know better
 than to stay on our side of the fence.
I can bark,
yelp and even cry.
I can sleep on the lounge chair
pretending I’m queen.
I am Fiona and if you need rescuing--
 find a human today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Photo Blog of The Fifth Commandment

Peter's Denial, Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890 Danish),
 National History Museum, Frederiksborg Castle

Thought I'd share a few photos about my newest short work titled The Fifth Commandment.

Wikipedia-(New Panama City)

Much of my story is a recollection of old Panama in Central America, which touched my heart as a family friendly, peaceful but humble town across from new Panama City which is full of skyscrapers, restaurants and fast cars.

This breathtaking altar has quite a story
 of it's own involving a Welsh pirate.

 Huge bridges, highways and giant expanses of water separate the old from the new and it almost seems like there’s a time warp of a hundred years between the two areas. 

My pictures are from the old section as described by my character, Christina. 

I loved the serenity in the French Plaza
If you like faith-based stories then click here now.

Even my own dishes inspired me....
but most of the story came to me in my dreams.

Have you ever denied someone you loved?