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Showing posts from 2013

The Adventure Continues - Return to Canterbury

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A while back, I introduced a fellow New Englander and author, who grew up not too far from my hometown to my readers, Melissa Ann Goodwin.  Melissa had just released her book, The Christmas Village, which is a wonderful holiday tale (for all ages!) about a troubled boy and his adventures in finding himself. Of course, being a tale that takes place during Christmas, there is magic as well as adventure!


At the time, I read the book and was just captivated.  I had wished the story had continued.  Well, wishes do come true!! Melissa is about to release her sequel.  In Return to Canterbury, Jamie Reynolds once again takes us on an adventure.  This time to solve the mystery of his missing father, who has been gone for a year.

On his adventures, Jamie will meet up with some of the friends he made in The Christmas Village.  Can the find Jamie's father?  Can they save Canterbury?


I, for one, cannot wait to read the sequel!  I highly recommend that if you haven't already read, The Christ…

A Good Head and a Good Heart

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Photo Credit: WikiCommons

There are those who are born into this life with the destiny to lead.  Some lead only within their family circles, others become community leaders of great note, still others lead their countries through difficult times.  However, like a rare gem, there are those who are so multifaceted that they are able to lead the world. Nelson Mandela, lovingly called Madiba, Tata and Khulu by so many, was one such soul.

Nelson Mandela was born to be a hereditary leader within the Xhosa people.  His birth name, Rolihlahla, given to him by his father, means "troublemaker."  On his first day of school, however, his teacher named him, Nelson, which was the custom at that time of colonization.  The honorific Madiba comes from his clan; it is a sign of respect as well as affection.  Tata means "father."  For many around the world, Mandela is a father figure.  Khulu means "grandfather" or "Great One."  This was the name most often heard use…

Returning to the Circle - Calling All Women!

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Over a year ago, I had an epiphany that led me to write an eBook, Returning to the Circle: Inspirational Wisdom from Women for Women.This is a work of love created in collaboration with several of my dear Sisters of the Soul, who contributed words of wisdom of their own.  The idea of the book is to reach out, especially to young women and girls, who may not be able to share in the wisdom that was once available to women as they gathered around the kitchen table or at the sewing bee or as they ground corn, prepared food or tended the fire.

Within the pages of this book, women will find thirty days of affirmations along with the writings of my "sisters" and I.  Our hope is that it will help them to feel stronger, to have more confidence and to know their value.  One of the saddest things I have encountered in my middle years is the number of women who don't see their own self-worth.

If you know of a young woman, girl or even a young-thinking woman, who might benefit from thi…

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

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Photo Credit: Nicole S
Many of us in the US are preparing for tomorrow's feast, for the gathering of friends and family and for the traditional events that surround this day we call, Thanksgiving. However, I have taken time out of my preparations to write about something I read that simply makes me crazy.  According to a Time's article, Macy's and other stores are getting a jump on Black Friday by being open all day Thursday.  

I am all for free enterprise, but please!  Keeping people from their families, from the ability to have one - yes, ONE - day off to give thanks in whatever form that takes for them, is simply wrong.  I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving. There is nothing I need that I can't wait 24 hours for it.

Several years ago, I researched the Thanksgiving holiday for a class I was teaching, I discovered an interesting fact.  Giving thanks for the harvest was NOT a pilgrim tradition.  Giving thanks was an Native American tradition!  In addition, this national holid…

Bethlehem's Baby - Five-Minute Bible Stories by Shiela Deeth

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Today, I have as my guest blogger, Shiela Deeth who describes herself as an, "author(and sometimes illustrator)--Mongrel Christian--Anglo-American--mathematician who can't add up and writer who can't spell."

Her latest book, Bethlehem's Baby is out. In Bethlehem’s Baby, we meet the Emperor Augustus’s advisors, the quiet research student helping wise men study stars, the shepherd whose granddad keeps complaining, an Egyptian fisherboy, a Roman soldier, and more. Bethlehem's Baby is a set of forty 5-minute read-aloud stories based around the events of the Christ Child’s birth in Bethlehem.

Read on as Shiela tells us a bit about how she came to write her Five-Minute Bible Stories for children.



One day my eight-year-old, he with the boxes of dinosaur toys, dinosaur games, dinosaur cards, books and more, suddenly announced, “I don’t believe in dinosaurs anymore.” Not having realized they were a matter of faith, I asked him why. “Because my teacher says they’re …

Brotherly Love Part 2

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 The Look of Brotherly Love
After twelve hours in surgery, Barry got a new liver.  His best friend, Rob, came to visit in less than 24 hours after giving Barry the gift of Life!

Both are doing very well.  The road to recovery will be long, but the prognosis is good.

Thanks to all who have sent words of encouragement and support.  

Thanks to the medical teams who have cared/are caring for Barry and Rob.  Each of you is a precious gift to us all!

Thanks to Rob and his family for giving my brother a new life.  Words will never be enough to show our gratitude.

May the blessings of this gift of Love ripple out touching all for many years to come.

Brotherly Love

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The word "brother" is found in many languages. (Just to name a few - Old English broþor, from Proto-Germanic *brothar (cf. Old Norse broðir, Danish broder, Old Frisian brother, Dutch broeder, German Bruder, Gothic bróþar), from PIE root *bhrater (cf. Sanskrit bhrátár-, Old Persian brata, Greek phratér, Latin frater, Old Irish brathir, Welsh brawd, Lithuanian broterelis, Old Prussian brati, Old Church Slavonic bratru, Czech bratr "brother"

I have been blessed with brothers, in fact, I was the only girl in our family of four children.  My brother, Barry, and I are what some call "Irish Twins," because our birthdays are just over a year apart. We have, as often happens, been close since childhood.

Barry will turn 59 on Monday.  This is big day for him, not because of his birthday, but because he is entering the hospital for the life-giving gift of a new kidney.  The new kidney comes by way of his best buddy, Rob, who it turns out is the perfect live donor fo…

The Impact and Consequences of Teen Drunk Driving: Guest Post

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When Melissa Davey, our guest blogger and writer for St. Jude Retreats, first contacted me, I jumped at the opportunity to discuss the topic of Teen Drunk Driving. A few days later, I read a story about honor student, Erin Cox, who was punished by her school when she went (sober) to pick up a drunk classmate that had called her asking for a ride home. I thought, what kind of mixed messages are we sending our kids? 

I believe that, in addition to talking to our kids frankly about drinking and driving, we also need to make sure that the school officials and the local police are all on the same page. We can't expect our kids to do the "right" thing, when they are afraid that they will get punished for doing it. This just doesn't make sense. 

Melissa shares with us what teens and parents need to know.

The Impact and Consequences of Teen Drunk Driving 
Before a teenager hits the age of 16, we as parents need to begin having conversations regarding the impact and consequence…

Autumnal Splendor, Frost and Poetry

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There has always been something about the autumn season that has lent itself to poetry for me.  I am not sure if it was because it seemed to be the time when poetry was introduced in the school, or because my mother would recite lines of Robert Frost poems as the days grew shorter, trees change color and nights became colder.

We'd take a walk down the beach, the trees all red and gold. I would walk along to top of the seawall, as Mom would quote, "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know/What I was walling in or walling out,/And to whom I was like to give offense." (Mending Wall)

Or, "Heaven gives it glimpses only to those/Not in position to look too close," (Passing Glimpse) would be recited when I called for her to come and see what treasure I had found.

Poetry and autumn, for me, go hand in hand even more these days.  I will be taking the 30 Poems in November challenge to raise much needed funds for the Center for New Americans, a local non-profit organization…

Caught in the Crossfire: Children and War

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Kathleen Fearing is a writer extraordinaire!  Her latest book, Caught in the Crossfire, an anthology of poems about children living with war, is a hauntingly insightful look at the suffering forced on the innocent who have no way of understanding what is happening to their world or why it is that way.

I had the honor to interview Kathleen about her book this week.  

Welcome, Kathleen!  I am so excited to have you as a guest on the blog.  So, let's begin - what inspires you to write poetry? 

First of all, I want to thank you, Linda, for agreeing to be a part of my latest book of poems, Caught in the Crossfire – Poems of Children in War. It was such a creative and rewarding project and I’m thrilled with the results. 

As far as my inspiration, I don’t know if I can put my finger on it, but years ago, I was reading a book that was written in verse for young people. My imagination went through the roof because it was so different and beautiful and thought provoking. I decided then and ther…

The Pros and Cons of Teen Marriage - Guest Post

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Julia Asel Thomas is our guest blogger today.  She is the author of a new book, Loving the Missing Link, a chronicle of a young girl from a small town, which is part of the WOW blog tour.  Like her character, Julia is also a small town girl.  

Small towns are interesting and wonderful places.  Unlike the big cities, in a small town everyone knows everyone.  There are certain expectations and certain "ways" of doing things.

In small towns, many teenagers can't wait to get away.  Often, they resort to running away from what they see as an oppressive life to marry.  Once in the "real" world, though, things change.

Julia writes today about teen marriage - a topic of some concern in both small towns and big cities.  I believe you will find her words filled with wisdom.


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Let me start by saying that I would never advise two teenagers to get married. It is a risky business starting out together with so few resources and so little experience. However, for all of you wh…

Beyond Belief - Review

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I don't often review books, mainly because I think people should read books and decide whether they are relevant to them rather than taking the word of someone else.  However, I am making an exception with Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions,an anthology of stories by women from a wide and diverse range of religious communities. 

I learned of this book through Women on Writing, who are sponsoring the Beyond Belief Blog Tour.


The first thing that hit me was the use of the word extreme.  What, I thought, was an "extreme" religion?  As an interfaith minister, I had some ideas, but like most judgements, they were my own personal feelings.  So, I delved into the introduction to the book written by the editors, Susan Tive and Cami Ostman.  

Susan and Cami tell the readers in their introduction about how "women living life inside extreme religions have much in common despite their differences of practice and belief."   They go on discuss how the…

Creative Arts Programs in Schools: Guest Post

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Today, I am pleased to have as a guest blogger, Elaine Drennon Little, who is taking part in a Women on Writing (WOW) Blog Tour.  Elaine is a writer and educator.  She writes as passionately as she teaches.  Her new book, A Southern Place, tells the story of a young woman and her search for connections and her fight for life.
But, Elaine isn't writing about her book, exactly.  Instead, she is sharing her thoughts on Creative Arts Programs in Schools as an educator, as well as a writer.

Welcome, Elaine!

The Arts Education Network has the following sentence at the top of their website: Learning and participation in music, dance, theater, and the visual arts are vital to the development of our children and our communities. This topic is paramount to me as an educator, but also as a student of the arts. 

I was one of those nerdy kids who was always the last chosen for sports teams; I often feigned illness on “field day.” However, my chorus classes were the one place that I could truly fee…