Archive for January, 2011

Book # 11 Has Just Been Published!

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

          Welcome to be website!  I hope you enjoy today’s blog.

          When I received a package from UPS last Saturday, I had a strong feeling that it was the author copy of my nonfiction book,  A Legacy of Love.  Saturday was my wedding anniversary, so the arrival of the book on just that particular date was like a special present to me.

         Why is this book so special to me?  Like many of you, I love animals.  Since I was eleven years old, I have had fifteen pets.  Eight were my household pets; one was my mother-in-law’s dog, whom my husband and I helped care for when we all lived together years back; and six were outdoor cats whom my husband and I cared for over a period of years.  Regardless, each pet meant a great deal to me.

          The book is a flashback.  I begin by telling the poignant and yet, at times, funny story of my beautiful cat, Snowball, a white cat with a single black stripe on his tail.  After nine years of interacting with this adorable cat, who seemed extremely healthy and hearty, he was diagnosed with cancer and finally liver disease.  I tried to bring out the joy that I experienced from caring for this mischievous, bright and affectionate cat, but the pathos of seeing him get sick and suffer towards the end is indisputably there as well.

          After telling Snowball’s story, I went back to 1955, at which time my family adopted a cocker spaniel-beagle mix, whom we called Frisky.  From Frisky’s story, I went on to discuss all of my other pets over the years.  In between discussing each pet, I mentioned different aspects of my personal life.  I wanted the reader to see how each pet impacted upon my life.

          I remember one veterinarian saying that having a pet was like a short-term investment in love.  Even though I had one pet, my Russian blue cat, Schuyler, for sixteen years, it was still like the blinking of an eye to me.  It all went by so fact, and I miss him very much.  Snowball’s death at the age of ten was obviously a shock to me as well.

          I guess the book also brings out the brevity of life in general and how important it is to enjoy interacting, not only with our precious pets, but also, of course, with our families and our friends.  In addition, it brings out that, although there are obvious differences between losing a pet and a human being, there are various parallels as well.

          Various anecdotal stories evoke memories in me that are quite sad, but I also find many parts funny as well as ironic.  I believe that anyone who loves animals will enjoy reading the book.  Having a box of tissues nearby might be helpful when reading the book.

          Right now, A Legacy of Love is available on www.redleadpress.com, but in a few weeks, it will also be available on www.amazon.com.  I hope you get a chance to read it and associate some of the nostalgic  moments with those that you have experienced with your own pets. 

          I have just approved the final proofs on my latest book, 33’s Theo.  Hopefully, this novel will be completed in March.  I will tell you more about it when I get my author’s copy at that time.

          Now I am working on a new novel, which will probably take me several months to complete, revise and edit.  It is hard work, but when a book is completed and it basically meets with your own approval, it is all worth it. 

           I’ll be writing Chapter twenty-0ne now.  I do my best writing in the evening when the stresses of the day are over.  Until the next blog,

                                                                                  Cheryl

SOME MORE POEMS ABOUT WINTER

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

          Welcome to my website!  It’s a lovely day today, a little cold perhaps, but sunny and cheerful.  It makes me truly grateful to be alive and able to communicate with new acquaintances and friends.

          I’d like to share with you some winter poems that present a positive picture of this most controversial season.  It is not that I like to be cold or shovel snow.  Not at all!  But I enjoy the change in temperature, in outlook and in attitude.  When the seasons change, doesn’t a part of us change, too?  Maybe, when we are in the same type of climate all year around, we run against the problem of taking too much for granted and even becoming stagnant in our thinking and doing.

          With the advent of winter, we become stronger and fresher, just like the weather.  We  are challenged by the elements, and we meet the challenge.  We are in awe of God and His natural wonders, not only all across our country, but across the earth.  And we tend to wonder more about the universe beyond, of which we still know comparatively little, although the amount of data and statistics available seems large to us as human beings..

          I hope you enjoy the following poems and can curl up near your fireplace as you read about my interpretation of the beauty of winter.  I know, unlike many of you, I am retired now and don’t have to contend with the worst that the winter season can offer, but for thirty years I commuted to the middle school on the south shore, where I taught seventh and eighth grade English.  I was caught in three major blizzards, either going to or from school.  I did get very cold waiting for buses and trains, and sometimes, on bleak days, even now, the wintry stillness gets to me, too. 

           But for the most part, the refreshing quality of the season inspires me!  And remember, if we get another snow storm on Tuesday and/or Wednesday, I will be shoveling, too, and helping my husband dig the car out.

          I hope you enjoy my poem below, and it inspires you as much as the winter inspires me.

                                       WINTER IS UPON US!

Winter is upon us.

     We can hear its mighty roar.

The frost upon our nose and lips

     Makes our souls begin to soar.

Mountains richly topped

     With soft and silky snow.

The cool, refreshing air

     Flows gently to and fro.

Ice upon the branches,

     Frost upon the ground.

Winter’s mighty presence

     Can be felt without a sound.

Walking through the snow

     With mounds of ice beneath our feet,

We meet a friend who’s going sledding,

     The pace so strong and fleet.

The cool air wakes us up

     And makes us feel alive.

It is as though a very special something

     With very soon arrive.

Why do people cringe at Winter

     And complain about the cold?

Don’t they enjoy that blast of arctic air,

     Aggressive and so bold?

For Winter really brings us balance,

     And that’s just what we need.

It’s time out from the summer heat,

     While the ground protects each root and seed.

So rejoice that Winter is upon us,

     And enjoy each brisk, exciting day.

May this new season bring you all much joy

     And be a source of strength in every way.

And in the splendid New Year,

     May your faith grow in leaps and bounds,

For when God’s blessing is upon us,

     His love and strength are all around.

                      (from my book, “Poems of Joy and Praise to God,”)

          I wanted to add one more poem, which is extra-special to me.  It is also from my anthology.

          I don’t know about you, but when it rains at night when I am about to drift off to sleep, I just love the sound of the rain on the roof.  It is comforting, relaxing and makes me feel safe and protected. 

           You might be asking yourselves, “All this from rain?”  Yet, the repetitive effect of rain does have a soothing effect on some of us.  At least, it does on me.  Perhaps, someone should do a study on the subject.  After all, studies have been made on stranger subjects than this. 

          Anyway, here’s the poem.  I hope you enjoy it and think about it when it rains in the evening.  There’s a lot going on in the poem:  the sound of the rain, the seasons of the year, and different types of imagery.

                       Available on www.Amazon.com and www.redleadbooks.com.

Did you ever, ever hear

     The sound of summer rain,

Droplets on the shutters                     

     And along the window panes?

Did you ever, ever listen

     To the staccato-dripping sound

As raindrops pitter-patter

     On the cold, autumnal ground?

And did you ever, ever drift off

     To the plip-plop of a drop

As it slides and glides along the road

     Before it does a grand flip-flop?

No, there’s nothing like a rainstorm

     Or those lovely winter showers,

For each drop’s a steadfast worker

     That preps the ground for springtime flowers.

Have a nice day and a great week!  Until the next blog,

 Cheryl

WISHING YOU HAPPINESS AND GOOD HEALTH IN 2011

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

           I would like to share with you one of my favorite poems from my book, Poems of Joy and Praise To God.

                                          TRANSITIONS

          As the seasons change, the beauty of God’s creations overwhelms us.  At first, there is a slight chill in the air, which catches us by surprise.  Could it be that summer is giving us notice that her time is drawing near?  Is she calling our attention to other signs such as the darkness greeting the early risers instead of the glare of the mid-summer sun?  Perhaps, she is reminding us that time never stands still, and everything changes.

          Leaves are everywhere!  Even their varied sizes and shapes, along with their rich and brilliant colors, cannot erase the fact that they prelude the final curtain on autumn as winter surrounds us.

         Snowflakes are falling.  Each one is unique like every one of us.  God’s touch is upon every aspect of our lives, for we know that, regardless of what happens, He is in control, and signs of His love are everywhere.

           And Jesus’s sacrifice in the First Century C. E. makes it possible for the Father’s Plan of redemption to be brought to fruition in the warmth and love of a physical and spiritual paradise to come.  As the New Year slowly comes into focus, remember that God’s love never fails, and that we are all bound together in His universal love.