Archive for July, 2010

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Dear Readers,

           Welcome to my website and today’s blog.   Although I had originally intended to write a new blog each day, I have found that it is not always possible.

           Today, I have found time to write about something that all of us, young and old, often think about:  RETIREMENT!  When we’re young and even in the middle somewhere, retirement seems far off, but as soon as we reach our fifties, it becomes more real to us.  Are we going to retire at a specific age, we ask ourselves, or do we really ever want to retire at all?

          For some, retirement is not the best option.  Semi-retirement works for many others.  However, for many of us, retirement is something good and really beneficial to us physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.  But we’re talking about retirement WITH A PURPOSE, not just “lying around and watching television” retirement.

         In my opinion, if we do not have a plan in mind for our golden years, it is best to postpone retirement until such time that we do.  Otherwise, retirement can be the worst thing that we can do.  We’re supposed to enjoy those years productively, not use them as a crossroad into depression and worse.

          Hobbies and other interests are the backbone of retirement.  Now people often say that travel is, and, of course, visiting the places of which we’ve always dreamed, is a wonderful pastime, although an expensive one.  But we can’t travel all the time.  At one point, we have to go home, and we want to go home to something special and inviting, not just walls and floors.  Yes, we want something to which we can look forward.

          Many people, like me, enjoy following  a number of pursuits.  I like to write, but I also like to help people spiritually through talking to them about the Bible.  I  like to write friends and relatives letters pertaining to spiritual matters and even to send literature that will help them have more faith in God and hope for the future.  We all need that in the challenging  times in which we live.

          I love to write creatively as well.  Poetry is a wonderful outlet for me.  I enjoy researching people’s lives and writing biographies.  Probably, most fascinating to me is mapping out the plot of a novel and writing it chapter by chapter.  I find revisions to be difficult at times and proofreading to be downright irritating, but these come with the territory.

          Retirement is a wonderful time to connect with family.  My husband and I have the time now to babysit for our grandchildren in the afternoons during the school year and help them with their homework and/or studying, if necessary.   It’s so much fun to talk to the children and  find out what’s on their minds. To watch them grow up is a real blessing that we cannot take for granted. We also are grateful that we can be of some help to our adult children and makes their lives a little easier.  Life is very stressful for all of us, and we all need a break now and then from our daily routine.  If we can help ourselves and  our children in this way, we are happy.

          Also, since my adorable cat, Snowball, died a few months ago, I find comfort in spending time with my son and daughter-in-laws’s dog, Duke, and my daughter and son-in-law’s dog, Ranger.  Their two cats, Grace and Lillian, are precious, too. 

          But all of us are unique, and what is good for me may not be right for you.  So think carefully before you make your final plans to retire.  Maybe, it isn’t for you now, but it will be later in your life.   Perhaps, you need more money to meet the demands of your future life of travel, or it could be that you will need more time to develop more hobbies and interests so that your future will be more satisfying.  There is no hurry.  Just do what is right for you.

           Until my next blog, stay well.

 

                                                                                            Cheryl

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Dear Readers,

            It seems like the start of another heat wave, but here in my office at home, it is undeniably cool and comfortable.  I am so thankful for that!

            I was thinking today about how important family is to all of us.  We have to be thankful each day for the family that we still have, who are alive and healthy.  Sometimes, it is so easy to take each other for granted, but we can’t allow ourselves to do that, for our loved ones are a true blessing.

          When we lose someone we love, the memories make that person remain alive (in a sense), for within the heart of hearts of the people who loved that individual, the appearance and personality of that person remains.  Remembering is like writing a script in our brains with beautiful illustrations and background. 

            But what happens when all those relatives and friends of the loved one have passed on, too?  Of course, if one truly believes in the Bible, the individual is still alive in God’s memory and will one day be resurrected.  Yet, in the present, in this system of things, writing a book about that person (a bioography) or including that person’s characteristics and personality within a character in a novel will keep the persona of that individual alive, too, in a way.  Until Armageddon and the resurrections the Bible promises us, that is at least a way for loved ones to be remembered.

           For example,  facets of my father’s personality are highlighted in The Wacky World of Winnie and Willie.  From reading the book, one can see that my dad was hard-working, religious, loving and a person who truly appreciated his family.  However, I did not portray him as perfect because all of us are imperfect, including even my father.  He sometimes got angry.  Although he tried to be fair, there were times that  he wasn’t.  And although he always wanted to understand, there were times he just couldn’t.

           It was a challenge to depict my mother.  In many ways she was a strong woman since she had to cope with many physical and emotional problems, which she always managed to do.  She could be very warm and loving, but when her anxieties got the better of her, she was not easy to live with.  Yet, I always knew how much she loved my father, my sister and me.  She also had little pet names for us, which made us feel very special.

           Memories of my Aunt Claire are very precious to me, too.  She was Aunt Carrie in The Wacky World of Winnie and Willie and Beyond the Stars. When one is a loving aunt, who never has to discipline you or even scold you, it is easy to think of that person as perfect, especially when one is just a child.  Therefore, I guess I remember only her strengths  because, as a niece, I was really not in a position to see any of her weaknesses.    So in my memory, there really weren’t any.

           Aunt Claire, like my grandmother Anna, her mom,(Grandma Essie in The Wacky World of Winnie and Willie and Beyond the Stars,) saw the good in people much more than the weaknesses.  When my parents weren’t there(which was rare), they defended us if we got into minor scrapes, as little children invariably do.  They were always loyal, and their unconditional love was intense to all of us children. 

           There was a sweetness and kindness that I remember about both of them, which I often turn to in memory when I am having a hard time remaining positive and gathering the strength to keep going.  I turn to God first, of course, but then I like to turn to memories for comfort.  I think of my parents and these other dear loved ones next.  Isn’t that what most of us do when life seems unduly complicated and harsh?

          I feel content that my loved ones are depicted in my novels.  Then, when all of us who have  loved them have passed on, too, their memories will still b e there in the literature, and that gives me a great deal of comfort.  In a sense, they live on.

           Keep writing and reading, my friends.  And don’t lose the faith!

           We’ll chat tomorrow. 

            Please feel free to tell me what you think.  Turn to the “About the Author” page and send me an e-mail.

 

                                                                                                                            Best wishes always,

                                                                                                                             Cheryl

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

                                                                                                            Tuesday, July 27, 2010

 

Dear Readers,

         Welcome to my website!  It is a pleasure to have you visit.

         Today I want to address a question that a few people have asked me over the years.  “WHY DO YOU WRITE?  AFTER ALL, IT TAKES SUCH A GREAT DEAL OF EFFORT, AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.”

           It’s a aquestion that people in a variety of fields have been asked, but the answer is basically the same: ” NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED”.  Human beings who have a passion for a hobby or a great interest are not going to waste their time worrying about the ultimate outcome of their endeavors.  No, they are going to pursue their dreams.  And that is precisely what I, as well as millions of other people, have done.

        Why do I write?  First and foremost, I like to communicate with others and share parts of my life.  All human beings have a need to communicate, and everybody does that in his or her way.  My way is through writing stories, poetry, biographies and novels.

         Also, I want to help  people through researching topics that are of interest to people and presenting the information, either as nonfiction, or as the core of a work of fiction.  For example, everything that I mention, pertaining to strategies for agoraphobica and those with panic disorders, has been researched carefully and/or  based upon the personal experiences of actual people.

        I also write becasue I love doing it.  Some people feel exhilaration and excitement when they run or power-walk.  The adrenaline pours in, along with the emorphins, and these people feel wonderful.  Of course, I love walking and exercising, too, but these activities don’t give me the feeling of well-being that I gain from writing.  

          I also love to write because I love to put words together.  A poet at a writer’s conference once called himself “a peddler of words.”  I can relate to that really well because I, too, love to work with words, whether I’m writing poetry or prose.

          It’s also important to express my feelings about life in these critical times in which we live.  Anyone who experiences stress can see how fast it is reduced when one writes about it.  Try it!  It works.

         I base many of my books upon  life experiences, but, of course, everything is changed since reality, although dramatic, does not have the discipline needed in writing a novel. 

        There’s also such a great catharsis in writing.  Emotions released can really purge us.  I feel so much stronger and better after I finish a p;oject.

        WHY DO YOU WRITE?  PLEASE SHARE.

        So long until tomorrow.

 

                                                                                                           Best wishes always,

                                                                                                             Cheryl

        

       

Monday, July 26th, 2010

                                                                                                                   July 26, 2010

Dear Readers,

     Welcome to my new website!  It is a pleasure to introduce you to myself and the eight books that are featured on this website.  As soon as my two new books are published, “Searching for the Sunny Side” and ” A Legacy of Love”, they will be added to the website.

     I will be happy to answer any questions  that you have about any of my books.   Some of my experiences find a way into my fiction, and you may want to know if a specific incident is based upon personal experience.  I will be glad to address those questions and any others that you have, pertaining to my writing.

     In the “About the Author” section of my website, I inadvertently forgot to mention that my lovely step-daughter, Diana, is married to Rich Ford, an extraordinary person with amazing networking abilities.  Leaving him out was an oversight in the excitement of getting the text for my website together.  Diana is making a difference in this world with her career as a teacher of  children with autism .  My step-son, William, has a successful career in insurance.  In addition, he works with children as a coach in basketball, t-ball and softball.

        I also left out the fact that I have a wonderful sister, Stephanie, and brother-in-law, Martin, who recently retired from a long and distinguished career in obstetrics and gynechology.  We’re all very proud of him and Stephie, who was an elementary school teacher.  Another person who has been very helpful and encouraging is my cousin, Cathy C. Marshall.  Thank you, Cathy, for all your help.  I really appreciate it.

    To all my nieces and nephews: regards and love.  We have such a big family on the Lodico, Miller, Labriola, Kutner and Cohn sides that it is impossible to mention eveyone, but they’re all great people, each in his or her own way.

     I just want to include that my daughter-in-law, Lina, has an amazing website on celiac, an auto-immune condition that affects millions of people today.   Her website is www.gluten-freeforever.com.  The information that she has researched has already helped numerous people.  If you have any concerns and questions about celiac, please visit her website.

     I want my blog to be upbeat and positive always.  Each day I want to leave you with informative and encouraging material, for it is a blessing to be given the opportunity to reach so many people.

                                                                                                                     Best wishes always,

                                                                                                                 Cheryl Lodico