READING & WRITING…NO ARITHMETIC!

I have always loved to read books, sometimes more than once. I love to write which covers a wide range from articles to novels to blogs. However, there is no love for arithmetic, and I only do it when absolutely necessary.

Today, I am sharing about two books I have recently read, which deserve the 5 star reviews I wrote. 
The first one is Eternal Road by John Howell.
"This book combines death, history, geography, and romance all into one amazing story. James and Samantha travel through time witnessing historical events and meeting historical people. There are lessons and choices for each of them as they travel together. Romance is renewed after many years of being apart due to Samantha's untimely murder.
A favorite part is when Samantha's murderer pays for his crime which she witnesses. Her murder scene is described in a way that affected me deeply, so allowing Samantha to see his "just rewards" was good for me, the reader.
I highly recommend this book, which will give the reader a lot to think about." https://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Road-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B08GL135KQ
Comes This Time to Float: 19 Short Stories, by Stephen Geez is a masterpiece of human behavior. There are stories about everyday life, challenges, disappointments, families, social issues. 
My review: In each of the nineteen short stories is a description of everyday life. Mr. Geez's creative writing style brings extra joy in reading this collection. As I read each story, I thought "this is my favorite", but all 19 stories were my favorites. This is a must-read book. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0846WY2HZ/

Each of these books are available on Amazon. I invite you to buy, read, and review them. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog.

DECISIONS

 

SOME DECISIONS COME QUICKLY AND EASILY. OTHER DECISIONS REQUIRE MORE THOUGHT, PRAYER, AND ADVICE.

“ENDINGS MUST COME BEFORE NEW BEGINNINGS”

HEALTH:

The important lesson from the Coronavirus pandemic is: those who are healthy (no matter the age) are more likely to recover from the virus. Taking care of our bodies throughout our lives helps to prevent diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and lung issues.

Obesity is related to all the health concerns mentioned above. Lack of exercise is related to most of them. Smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco and excessive alcoholic intake harms every organ of the body. Emotionally and mentally we are healthier when we exercise, eat right, be positive, and meditate or pray on a regular basis.

DECISION: Make a commitment to become a healthier individual.

SOCIAL:

Our world is now in a time of new beginnings. The Coronavirus has impacted each person’s life, the world economy has changed, and there is a new sense of fear of the unknown, some anger, and also a new one-ness. More kindness and love is shared, and a philosophy of we will get through this together prevails. I am optimistic that our future will be better.

There is more awareness of needs in our world and how we can respond to them. Food banks, blood donations, fixing meals for others, providing transportation, giving unused telephones, computers or tablets to those without, and check on your neighbors.

DECISION: Choose at least one way you can help another person and act upon it with love in your heart.

BOOKS:

Author, Michael J. Giusti wrote a book titled, What to do When the Wheels Come Off. His cleverly written short proverbs bring humor and insight into the live of a disabled person and there are lessons for all of us in this short and easy-to-read book.

DECISION: Learn from others how to overcome challenges.

When we make a decision we make the choice to take a chance and thereby create a change. When we learn and become better people from our decisions, then life is richer. Our health issues, the present pandemic, and how we respond to life’s challenges are all based on the decisions we make.

GRATITUDE

Gratitude means being thankful. I have been thinking about those people or events for which I am grateful. I challenge myself to express my gratitude on a daily basis. Melody Beattie says gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

I am actually grateful in many respects that I was diagnosed with cancer. I am sure this statement shocks or surprises the reader of this blog. Here are the reasons I am grateful: it pushed me to publish my writings and journals that I had kept secret; it introduced me to some of the most amazing survivors and care partners; I am actively involved in spreading the word about ovarian cancer, and I have written articles and done presentations. My life is richer and more meaningful as a cancer survivor.

Many of our social issues stem from a lack of gratefulness. Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to find happiness and peace, but that only create more problems. Some people of meager means might turn to stealing rather than be grateful for what they have. Anger and envy often are feelings preventing people from seeing all they could be grateful for.

Gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty. (Doris Day)

I am recommending two books about gratitude. Grateful Life: The Secret to Happiness and the Science of Contentment is written by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons. Each inspirational story shows how practicing gratitude can have a positive change in a person’s life. The authors have included exercises, quotes, and guidance.

Rave Reviews Book Club author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl, in her book Keep Yourself Full writes about how one’s life can change for the better when it is filled with love. Then that love is shared with others and each person experiences a sense of gratitude.

Keeping a daily journal of those events or people for which you are grateful is one way to cultivate gratitude into your life. When we write down the names or events, it stimulates us to practice gratitude and therefore make positive changes in who we are and those people around us.

From The Network of Grateful Living the newsletter states grateful living reminds us that when we take nothing for granted, we can wake up to the wealth and wisdom of life as it is.

THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by two bloggers, D.L. Finn and Ron Yates. I am honored and thrilled. The award is given out by members of the blogging community in recognition of their inspiring, creative, and motivational blogs.

My thanks to both Ms. Finn and Ron Yates whose blogs are uniquely different and yet both well worth the time to read. Author D. L. Finn is one of my favorite blogs (https://dlfinnauthor.com/blogs/). Her philosophy is Embrace your inner child by reading a good book. Ms. Finn has written biographies, children, poetry, paranormal, and short stories.

Mr. Yates blog can be found at https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/latest-news/. His blogs often challenge the reader about certain social or historical issues as well as supporting authors and their books. He is an award-winning author of action books, historical fiction, and former foreign correspondent.

Part of the nomination process requires that I answer 11 questions. Here are the eleven questions, D.L. Finn has asked me to answer. You may well learn something new about me.

1. How long have you been blogging? I have been blogging for about eight years. I recently moved my blog from Blogspot to WordPress.

2. Do blogs encourage you to purchase books? Yes, I have purchased, read and reviewed many books based on what I learned about them from various blogs that I follow.

3. How many blogs do you usually read in a week? I read 2-3 blogs each day, but do not always leave a comment. Unfortunately, I do not read the many I subscribe to.

4. Do you enjoy seeing poetry on blogs? Yes, I love poetry. D.L. Finn and Natalie Ducey are two of my favorite blogs with poetry.

5. If you could write your blog from anywhere where would it be? I love where I am right now for all my writing: in my office looking out at the lake.

6. If you could be any animal for a day what would you be? I love cats and would love to be a tiger for a day. They are beautiful, strong, and I feel a spiritual connection to them.

7. Do you collect anything? No, I do not collect anything.

8. If you could beam anywhere, like in Star Trek, where’s the first place you’d go? I would beam myself to a wildlife preserve somewhere in Africa.

9. What draws you to a blog? Anything about books and/or authors, anything spiritual, and about social issues (not political).

10. What do you write about in your blogs and why? I write about social issues, cancer and/or medical issues, and authors. I care deeply about such issues as abuse, chemical dependency, and discrimination and try to do what I can to bring awareness. As an ovarian cancer survivor, I want every female to know about this lesser known cancer. It is not a cancer for just us older women…it can affect any female of any age. I have always loved to read and I love to support those authors and their books who have informed or inspired me.

11. If you could transport to anytime in history when would you choose to visit? I am fascinated by the Civil War era, but I would like to be an abolitionist helping to save the slaves.

Ron Yates had the following questions for me to answer:

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer or blogger? I started writing when I was a preteen to help me deal with an abusive family. I did not share my writing with anyone until I was 70. I was then told I had the gift of writing.
  • What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author or blogger? Believe in yourself. Others might not like your writings, but don’t let them influence you.
  • What do you think makes a good story?A great story must have interesting and believable characters and it must be well edited. I prefer stories that have a moral, historical, or spiritual message.
  • If your book became a movie, who would be your first choice to play the lead roles? I will respond to this question for my book, Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. I do not know current actresses of today that well so I am going to say the role of Davida would have to be someone similar to Grace Kelly.
  • Do any of your characters have qualities/characteristics that are similar to yourself? I believe Davida’s qualities of strength, deep love, and motherly devotion are similar to me.
  • Is anything in your books based on real-life experiences or are they all solely the product of your imagination? In my book, Outshine, it is all real-life experiences. In the other three books, it is a combination of both.
  • If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? I would love to meet my great-grandmother, Davida. Her life is a mystery. We only know she was born in Sweden, her first name was Albertina, and some snippets of her adult life when she met Mr. Saint-Gaudens.
  • What books have most influenced your life? Sermon on the Mount by Emmett Fox, This is Africa (read it as a preteen), After You, Marco Polo, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Life After Life by Mooney, Being Mortal by Gawande, 7 Lessons from Heaven by Mary Neal, MD, and the Bible to name just a few.
  • If it were mandatory for everyone to read three books, what books would you suggest? This is a very difficult question to answer. Since I believe that all of us must find a relationship with God or a Higher Power to live a moral and peaceful life I would recommend Sermon on the Mount by Emmett Fox, Life After Life by Mooney, and 7 Lessons from Heaven.
  • If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why? I am assuming that the author could be living or dead. This is also a difficult question because there are so many. One of my favorite books is Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. I have read it twice. I also read War and Peace. His life in Russia was not an easy one and he often doubted his ability as a writer. I would ask about how he faced his self-doubt, dealt with the early death of his parents, the turmoil occurring in Russia, and his faith journey.
  • What do you think makes a book “a great book?” Strong and interesting characters, a message of love and faith. All of my favorite books have these qualities.

For accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few rules.

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.
  4. Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

My Nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Here are my 11 nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award. They are listed in no particular order. It’s difficult to choose only 11 blogs to nominate because there are so many excellent sites out there. However, I did my best to nominate ones that I find interesting and well-written, so please be sure to check them out too.

*Smorgasbord Blog Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com *Sacha Black https://sachablack.co.uk *Esther Chilton blog https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com, *Melissa G. Henderson blog https://melissaghenderson.com/blog/, *Janice Spina https://jemsbooks.blog, *Gayle Irwin www.gaylemirwin.com. *From the Pen of Mae Clair https://maeclair.net, *Bette A. Stevens https://4writersandreaders.com, *Charles W. Jones https://charleswjonesauthor.com/blog/, *Pamela Schoesser Canepa https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com, *Vashti Quiroz-Vega https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

My 11 questions for my nominees are listed below. If there are any questions you do not wish to answer, please feel free to give them a pass. Many of these questions are directed at authors, but if you are not an author and are primarily a blogger please feel free to adapt any question to fit your expertise.

  1. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
  2. Describe your favorite writing place or environment.
  3. How do you overcome writer’s block?
  4. If you had the opportunity to go to the moon, would you and why or why not?
  5. If you could be any person for a day, who would it be and why?
  6. If you were lost in a forest, who would you want to be with you and why?
  7. What are your two favorite books and why?
  8. What is the hardest part of being a published author, and what is the best part?
  9. When writing your story, do you seek advice from others? If so, who and why that person(s)?
  10. What methods do you use to market your book?
  11. For fun: name a cartoon character that is most like you and why?

I wish for you to have fun and success with your blogging in this new year of 2020.