Archive for November, 2010

Welcome to my website!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

 

Dear Friends,

           I am sorry that I waited so long to post another blog.  It has been a very busy time for me, but now I seem to have more breathing room. 

            In the weeks ahead, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy associating with relatives and friends as you participate in fun-filled winter activities that will bring you ever-closer and happier.

            I have written before about the joy of writing, but I just had to come back to it today.  Surely, whether it is a poem, an essay, a short story or a book of whatever genre you like,  you will find that, upon completion of the project, you will receive an incredible feeling of accomplishment.   Writing informs, entertains and keeps the communication going among people. 

          Writing is beneficial to people of all ages, of course, but as a retiree, I find it to be almost a lifeline to communicate with others, whether they be family and friends or people browsing through the Internet and stopping at my website or perhaps looking up a certain subject and seeing one of my books on www.amazon.com or my publishing company’s website, www.redleadbooks.com

         I hope all of you readers can find the time to look through my books on Amazon or Redleadbooks.com.   If you type in my name, either “Cheryl Lodico” or “Cheryl Madeleine Lodico,” you should find a list of my books and where they are available on line.  Many on-line sites will let you download a chapter from most of my books, free of charge.  The books are all available on Kindle as well.  Every couple of weeks or at least once a month, I try to update my blog with something timely, informative, hopefully interesting and beneficial to my readers.   

       In my books  I feature societal issues that prove challenging today.  I have included in my novels such topics as phobias, obsessive-compulsive dysfunction, divorce, bereavement, prejudice, love vs. infatuation, post partum depression, abusive relationships, family relationships, etc.  The issues are subtly integrated to the plot so that the books are not too heavy, but they do have an impact on the reader.

         I hope that , when you get a chance, you will take the time to go to Amazon or Red Lead Books,  sample one of my books for free (download a sample chapter) and, if you like, consider buying one for yourself or giving one of them  to a friend  as a gift.

         My most recently published novel, “Searching for the Sunny Side,”  explores the topic of true love vs. infatuation and learning to grow up and accept life’s challenges, despite the discomfort of doing so. 

          I eagerly anticipate the completion of “A Legacy of Love” and “33’s Theo.”  “A Legacy of Love” is in a sense my autobiography since it chronicles all of my fifteen pets over the years and my life during and in between the acquisition of all those wonderful little souls.  The book shows how each pet impacted upon my life and enriched it, making me a better person.  This book will be available in January, 2011.

           “33’s Theo” starts out with a depressed widow but ends up with something much more.  To all those who have loved and lost, this novel can bring hope and encouragement.    I must say that I have greatly enjoyed writing it, and I truly hope that you will get the same degree of joy from reading it.  It should be available by the spring of 2011.

           It has been a pleasure writing today’s blog, and I promise not to wait as long to write the next one.  I hope you enjoyed this long weekend with your family and friends.

          Best wishes always,

                                                           Cheryl

Today’s Blog

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Dear Friends,

         Welcome to my website!  I want to very sincerely thank you for your webmail.  I have enjoyed reading about your interests and observations.  Of course, I will do my best to address your concerns.

                When I accepted an early retirement package from teaching English at a middle school on Long Island several years ago, one of my main goals was to finally fulfill my long-term dream of writing.  However, I also wanted to fulfill another goal, and that was to understand the Bible as best I could.  I knew that would require dedication, hours of study and great motivation.  I truly felt that I would be in a position to fulfill all of these requirements. In the years since I have retired, I have spent most of my waking hours working towards the fulfillment of these major objectives in my life.

          In regard to my writing, I have written twelve books thus far, ten of which have already been published, and two, which are now in  the process of being published.  Writing these books has been both interesting and entertaining to me, but through my research, I have learned a great deal along the way.  I have found the writing to be a kind of therapy, too.  If I don’t write, I feel almost empty, but when I do write, I can feel so many thoughts and feelings inside of me that need to come out.  I want to to inform my readers on a variety of topics that I am more than ready and willing to research.  In the end I want to help my readers see life from another perspective, where they can observe their lives thus far and find ways to enrich and improve their life’s journey.  Perhaps, the best way to do this is through adding more spirituality to our lives, for as Jesus said in Matthew 5:3:  “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.”

          A short time ago a beloved family member passed away.  With me, whenever I experience a loss in death, I cannot help remembering other loved ones who died and reflecting upon  the meaning of it all.  At this point my Bible training comes in.

          Since 1992 I have been a student of the Bible, and I can truthfully tell you that the more I learn, the more I realize that there is to learn.  That is because learning about the Bible is like learning about God.  It is an infinite process.

           But let us stick to one Bible topic today:  death.  How does the Bible explain death?  Since the  Bible is God’s Word, whatever it says I accept as truth, and I go no further, for I believe that there would be no other place to go.

          Let me just mention that I, like mostly any other writer, includes death in my books of fiction as well as nonfiction.  Anything that my characters say regarding this topic rings true, even though my characters don’t always say that much.  Some say more than others when it is appropriate for them in the course of the book to comment upon this topic.  Winona faces her grandfather’s death in Beyond the Stars.  The death of Winona’s great-aunt in the Pogroms was mentioned in The Wacky World of Winnie and Willie.  I mention the death of my late husband, Nick, in A Legacy of Love, my only nonfiction book with the exception of my biography of Robert Browning.  The death of Shelly’s old college friend provides the starting-off point for the plot of 33’s Theo.  (A Legacy of Love and 33’s Theo are in the process of being published now and will be completed in 2011.)

           First of all, when Jesus said to one of the evildoers being executed alongside him in Luke 23:43, “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise,” he was talking about an earthly paradise, for that is where most human beings will be resurrected to when they die. 

           Why do I say an earthly paradise, rather than heaven?  If you turn to Psalm 37 :29, you will see that it says:  “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”  Also, look at Psalm 37: 11, which says, “But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” 

          Why don’t all of the people go to heaven when they die?  In heaven will be God Himself; His Son, who will rule us for one thousand years; the angels; and one hundred forty-four thousand resurrected and carefully chosen men and women who will rule with Christ.  How can I substantiate that through the Bible?  Please follow.

          Revelation 7:3 says, “Do not harm the earth or the seas or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.     Revelation 7:4 says, “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.

          God’s Kingdom is a divinely ruled government, which is comprised of the heavenly rulers, outlined above, which include Jesus and “the Anointed” or 144,000.  (Of course, also in heaven are Almighty God, who will receive back the Kingdom after one thousand years, which is referred to in the Scriptures as “the Millenium,”as well as the myriads of angels.)  Those who will be ruled by Jesus and the 144,000 ( the Annointed) in an earthly paradise are those resurrected from death as well as those who live through Armageddon and walk into the Paradise.  These earthly citizens are referred to as  “the Great Crowd”  or “the Other Sheep”.

           Revelation 7:9 says:  “After these things I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and there were palm branches in their hands.”

           Jesus said to Lazarus’s sister, Martha, in John 11:25:

               “I am the resurrection and the life.  He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life. ”

            In John 11:26, Jesus continues:

           “And everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all.”  This means that many individuals will actually live through the end of this system of things and walk into the earthly paradise.  Until I read the Bible closely, I never noticed this at all.  Interesting and eye-opening; isn’t it?   

          Finally, I want you to look at John 5:28,29, which  says:  “Do not marvel at this because the hour is coming in which all tlose in the memorial tombs will hear his (Jesus’) voice and come out.”  Yes, this is another promise of the resurrection.”

          Every time I lose someone in death and think of the many great losses in my life and the very mortality of those I love as well as myself, I think of the many Scriptures outlined above, and I know in my heart, beyond even a shadow of a doubt, that there is a wonderful Hope that God has given us, a hope for a beautiful Paradise, in which “He(God) will wipe out every tear from (our) eyes and death will be no more.”(Revelation 21:4)

           I hope that these Scriptures have offered you comfort, hope and encouragement.  May God bless all of you. 

           Until the next blog,

                                      Cheryl

Book #10 Has Just Been Published!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

     It’s always an exciting moment when I get my complimentary copy of my latest book.  I experienced that wonderful moment a week ago when I received the first copy of Searching for the Sunny Side, a novel that took at least a year to be written and subsequentlhy published.

     Looking through the book to make sure that all mistakes and typos were corrected, I felt, not only happy, but satisfied that, after all my efforts to write a book with substance and my publishing company’s hard work in putting it all together, the final result was one of which I could be proud.

     Why does the book mean so much to me?  I believe most writers would agree that one’s heart and soul go into the writing of a book, especially when parts of it are loosely based upon one’s life.  Also, the writing process itself is really draining, so when the book is completed, one’s energy level is sapped of a great deal of strength.  But it’s all worth it if the book is all that you wanted it to be.  Searching for the Sunny Side is!

     The novel is a sequel to my three previous novels, which are, in order:

The Wacky World of Winnie and Willie, Beyond the Stars and Son of a Gun and the Evening Star.

     There is only one novel left in the series, which I have barely started and probably won’t finish for a while.  However, Searching for the Sunny Side answers many questions about the background of the dorm supervisor at the dormitory, where two other principal characters in the series stayed during their first two years at Cortland State College in 1963 and 1964. 

     Sunny James is a totally capable young woman who becomes a big sister, often mother to the girls at her dorm who need her.  When I went to Cortland at about that time slot, I had a fantastic dorm supervisor, too.  To a certain extent, I modeled Sunny after her, but not completely.  I always use my imagination to add even more dimension to the character.  So Sunny is not a carbon copy of anyone! 

     I wanted to explore a theme of second chances, which I pursued, to a certain extent, in the previous book in the series, where Sean has the opportunity, through Uncle Arthur, to assume a completely new persona and start a new life.  However, Sunny’s “second chance” at life is much different from Sean’s.

     Sunny lost her mother a few seconds after she was born from unexpected complications in childbirth.  Her father, who couldn’t accept his wife’s death, turned to drinking to ease the pain.  As a result, if it weren’t for Sunny’s aunt, her deceased mother’s younger sister, and her husband, Sunny’s Uncle Sid, Sunny would not have had a chance to succeed in life.    But a loving aunt and uncle pulled her through the rough patches and watched over her until she was ready to go away to college. 

     What Sunny does with her opportunity to earn a degree and go into teaching is an important part of the plot of my novel, but in a larger sense, Sunny’s growth as a human being is much more significant.  Exploring Sunny’s life decisions, her moments of good judgment and her errors in decision-making: all these show us how bumpy but eventually satisfying one’s life journey can be.  Rebounding from the errors in judgment can bring wisdom and ultimate happiness.  Does Sunny learn from her mistakes or is her second chance given to her in vain? 

                Reading the novel holds the answers to all these qauestions.  As     the author, since my book has been published, I have read it over and over.  I truly believe the reader will undergo an interesting journey and memorable learning experience from start to finish.  I also believe that each reader will second-guess his/her own decisions in life in light of Sunny’s insights.

          Most of all, I hope you enjoy reading  Searching for the Sunny Side as much as I enjoyed writing it and taking it through the publishing process.

     Until my next blog,

                                           Cheryl