Christmas, DarkShadow - Bk 2 COE, Writing

5 Reasons for the Season!

Mr. Scruffy giving me inspiration while I design the map of Eldershire.
Mr. Scruffy helping Pam get the map of Eldershire designed.

1. Being able to live the dream…

This holiday season I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how lucky I am, how many blessings I’ve received, and how I am able to live my life long dream of writing stories that touch others.

In doing this deep thinking, I decided that sharing my five reasons I love this season, I’d share a little of myself with you, my readers. You make it possible for me to live my dream. For that, I start in counting my many blessings!

Thank you for supporting me and in helping me live my dream!

2. Family & Friends…

If you flip through the archives of this website, you’ll find several pictures of friends. This picture meant a lot to me when I was doing a book signing at Farmer’s Daughter in Wytheville (apologizes for the fuzzy image).

Reading Fans at a book signing event.
Friends and Family sharing in the joy at a book signing at Farmer’s Daughter (L to R: Linda, Tracey, Barbara, Julie, & me).

The pic below is of a Reading Fan, Glo, who has since become a very dear friend and she enjoys helping me by being a member of my VIP SQUAD too! A Win-Win for us BOTH!

Glo and Edith visiting Pam
Glo and Edith visiting with Pam at one of her book signings.

3. Good Food & Great Times…

If you enjoy food, then you might also like what I do — browsing magazines and cookbooks and looking at pictures of good food! It is great fun to make plans and to get ideas to fix good food for great times of fellowship. I must admit, I love food. Always have. “Comfort food” is important in my life.

Orange Cranberry Biscotti is a food favorite.
It’s time for some hot green tea with homemade Orange Cranberry Biscotti

As for Great Times, all you have to do is connect with me. I enjoy reaching out to my family, friends, and my reading fans through notes, letters, and at this time of the year, holiday cards. I’ve spent the last three weeks working on mailing Christmas Cards to those whose addresses I’ve collected over the years. I’m proud to say I’m getting ready to complete those and get the last of them in the mail on Friday (December 21). Yay! I’m so happy I managed to get them done before Christmas! That does not always happen (Giggle, Snicker).

4. The Love of listening to Music & Old Time Radio Classics, Reading, & watching TV Series I’ve missed…

This reason for the season is a little long, but I do love all those things and more. You that follow me know I am eclectic with my hobbies — I love working on so many things, so much so that Albert finds himself wondering what I’ll do next (large laugh). I’ll let you in on a secret. Now that he has retired, he never seems to know what I’m doing (belly laugh).

I’ve shared in the past the music I love to listen to while writing, cooking, or just working around Hobbit’s Bend. On my welcome page (about midway down) is a link to the songs I listened to while I wrote The Marine Letsco Trilogy. If you haven’t check the songs out, please do. And let me know what you like to listen to!

I’m working on Book 2 – DarkShadow of the The Chronicles of Eldershire, and I’m collecting songs that I enjoy hearing while I’m in my writing zone.

5. The Chance to SHARE my JOY with YOU!

Cover of Book 1 - The Fire Within
Available in print, eBook, or audio formats on Amazon — FREE eBook for a limited time!

For three days, J. K. Brooks Publishing and Pam are excited to offer a FREE eBook download of The Fire Within from Amazon between Sunday, December 23, 2018 through Tuesday, December 25, 2018.

NOTE: The eBook is ALWAYS free when you use Kindle Unlimited. BUT, for three days, you can download the eBook version without cost. When you click on the download on Sunday through Tuesday, you will go to an order form, but the price will be $0.00 and no deliver charge!

This is a great GIFT to give to a family member, friend, or other reading pal that may not have heard of my writing. Feel free to share with your family and friends!

Well, that’s it! My five reasons (oh, you do know I have more) for the season. It is hoped you enjoyed reading. Thanks for reading! If you like this blog post and want to support it, forward it to a friend, join Pam’s Newsletter, or become a VIP SQUAD member, or best of all, buy a book!

If you’re seeing this blog post for the first time, join the other followers by signing up using the link provided below my mug shot! And, leave a comment, connect with me!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
See you in 2019!
Pam and Mr Scruffy Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows

Books, Rainbows, Writing

Rainbows in My Clouds Giving Love

Rainbows and the Rainbow Bridge

A couple of years back, I re-learned the power of believing in the Rainbow Bridge. Our granddog, Miloh, left us for the Rainbow Bridge. I had forgotten about that comforting poem that many share when someone announces the passing of a loved fur baby. We were no different. Miloh was, and still is in many ways, a part of our essence. My husband and I have had several dogs during the forty years we’ve been partners, but Miloh touched us both in an extraordinary way. It is not possible to share what that means to our hearts. I do not have a command of the English language to do justice. Yet, he is a rainbow in my heart.

Miloh Boat - Rainbows
Miloh on a boat ride April 2015.

Maya Angelou

The other day, while scrolling through the news feed on Facebook, I found this video of Maya Angelou speaking on why you should “Be a Rainbow in Someone Else’s Cloud” on the Oprah Winfrey Master’s Class, and then posted it to my timeline, where I found myself going back to it every day this week for inspiration and confirmation that I, too, could survive through the events of the time. Ms. Angelou speaks volumes in this video. If you’ve not seen it, take the time to listen to her words. They are powerful (as all things she speaks about tend to be). If you have seen it, watch again. It will give you a sense of hope, gratitude, and longing for her that is so helpful when you face sorrow or despair. She had a knack for conveying in elegant words what many were feeling. I miss her. I wish she was amongst us now.

If video does not show go here.

Many Rainbows

My years on this planet have allowed me many opportunities to meet the very type of rainbows that Ms. Angelou mentions. She is one of those for me, though I never had the honor to meet her in person. I met her through her writings and watching and re-watching the interviews of her that I could find. Through her words and her teaching, I came to know her.

There are others that have touched my life to varying degrees. Some I’ve never met. Others I met from a distance. Still others walk closely in my memories and life. They have become rainbows to my soul in different forms — fictional characters, celebs, professional leaders, passing acquaintances, friends, family, and lovers.

One of the first to grab hold of my need to learn “why am I here?” was the story of Christ Jesus. I was in awe of what he stood for, what it meant he did for me, and what I could do to pay him back for his sacrifice. I was a young child of 8 years. I looked at the world through scared glass and I magnified his impact on my life. I didn’t think I had much of a future then.

The Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge from Crystalinks.com

Fictional Characters

Over the years, from about third or fourth grade forward, I took to reading to escape and to learn. Some of my most favorite I’ve spoken about in past posts (Go read Inspiration and Books I’ve Read).

Many fictional characters have touched me in profound ways: Aslan, Lucy, Susan, Peter, Edmund, Mr. Tumnus, Bilbo Baggins, Alice, Dorothy, Guy Montag, Winston Smith, Julia, Big Brother, Atticus Finch, Harry Burns and Sally Albright (and the list goes on). If you’ve read the works of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, Ray Bradberry, George Orwell, Harper Lee, Nora Ephron, and so on, you get the evolution of my thinking through these characters.

Each encounter touched my life in different ways, but came at a time when I needed assurances or needed to see the world through a different lens. It is unconscionable to learn there are people in an affluent country, such as the United States that do not read. Not because they don’t know how. It is difficult enough for me to acknowledge there are folks who have not learned to read, often through no fault of their own. As an educator, it breaks my heart there are citizens of the United States who suffer from the lack of acquiring this fundamental skill.

But, to have the skill and the means, and then elect not to read–that is pure unethical in my mind. Reading, no matter if it is nonfiction or fiction, is a gift given to us through some divine power none of us truly understands. But, we have the ability. And to not use it, or take advantage of the gift given us, is something I have a great struggle understanding.

Covers Chronicles - Rainbows
Chronicles of Narnia series. Book covers from 1970s.

The power of a fictional character to deliver profound thoughts, controversial topics, and flights of fantasy is only a small reason for how the short list of characters above have come to serve as rainbows in my life. I hope, if you have not read some of the books that feature these characters, you’ll consider picking up one of them. Set time aside to meet them, listen to them, and then try to understand their essence. You may find their stories will touch you in ways you least expect.

Luminaries

There have been as many luminaries that have touched my life and over time became rainbows, too. Too many to list all here, some long gone, some still with us. I list those that are in mind as I type.

Maya Angelou is one of them, as are Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Barrack Obama. Other writers, such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Joseph F. Fletcher, Jane Austen, Aristotle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Socrates, Plato, Albert Einstein, Agatha Christie, and so forth.

In the world of those I enjoy hearing, watching, or immersing in their works of art, there is The Beatles, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Cold Play, Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Yanni, Monet, Michelangelo, Picasso, Leonardo de Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Audrey Hepburn, Morgan Freeman, Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Bob Bailey, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Dick Van Dyke, Dennis Quad, Lassie, Mr. Ed, Sean Connery, Kevin Whately, Alan Rickman, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Betty White, and more. I could link to each, but you can Google them if you want to learn more about them, their works of art, and something about their lives.

One recently left us. Mary Tyler Moore. Watching her dance across the streets of Minneapolis as Mary Richards, she made it possible for this young girl, living in the Virginia Baptist Children’s Home at the time to think “I can make it.” Mary’s life showed us in spite of her personal trials, successes, and losses that she “…made it after all.”

Aunt Minnie

Most recently, yesterday in fact, our family lost its matriarch – Aunt Minnie. It is hard to imagine life without her laugh, her sense of humor, and her belief in humankind. She had a faith that surmounted many obstacles she faced in her 98 years. She battled obstacles from poverty to loss of sight, but she never lost her outlook on life, which was showed through her keen sense of humor. She was a force to reconcile with if you didn’t have all of your opinions grounded in your beliefs. That was her hallmark. She would expect you to believe. I cherished her guidance and her mentoring, though often it was from a far and intermittent. She will be missed by many who knew and loved her. She was a double-rainbow in my life.

Rainbows in My Clouds

I’ve come full circle, though as we know, rainbows are not always seen from start to finish. We often get glimpses or see small sections of their power. Miloh was an animal that served more than as a pet, he was an inspiration to learn how to love unconditionally. Aunt Minnie was a human that gave her love willingly as she lived a life of faith and walked as best she could in that faith. Both are enduring rainbows for me. As I go through the remaining years of my life, I know that I will call on them when I need their guidance and strength as their teachings are imprinted on my soul. In the midst of my life story, I’ve encountered many rainbows in my clouds and I hope to continue to gather the rainbows I need as I continue on this journey. Now, I aspire to be as Maya Angelou counsels, “…a rainbow in someone’s life.”

May you, too, be a rainbow!

And, before I close, I send wishes of a Happy Chinese New Year. 2017 is the year of the Rooster — a year of awakening, fidelity, and punctuality. May your year be all of these and more.

In the words of Mr. Scruffy, “Owlways be hoo You Are!”
Pam

Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows

 

The following is a selection of books referenced in the post:

The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis   http://www.narnia.com/us/ & https://www.cslewis.com/us

The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien   https://www.amazon.com/Hobbit-J-R-Tolkien/dp/054792822X

Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll   http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk

Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/55

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradberry  https://www.amazon.com/Fahrenheit-451-Ray-Bradbury/dp/1451673310

1984 – George Orwell     https://www.amazon.com/1984-Signet-Classics-George-Orwell/dp/0451524934

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee   https://www.amazon.com/Kill-Mockingbird-Harper-Lee/dp/0446310786

Anything written by Nora – Nora Ephron   http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a52568/nora-ephron-mary-tyler-moore/

“I thank God for giving me the skill and tenacity to seek knowledge, truth, and hope, and blessing me with what I need when I need it–especially the rainbows.” ~~~Pam B. Newberry

 

Blessings, Love, Thankfulness

Ten Reasons to Celebrate Veterans’ Day

Celebrate Veterans’ Day

There are many reasons to celebrate holidays during this time of year. Today, I’m sharing my ten reasons to celebrate Veterans’ Day on Friday, November 11, 2016.

Image of morning sky--The following image came from FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Guilberto-107 with modifications by Pam

You should celebrate Veterans’ Day because:

  1. Our Veterans’ do what is HARD – they put THEIR lives on the line to protect OUR freedoms.
  2. Our Veterans’ do not always come HOME after giving of their TIME and their LIVES.
  3. Our Veterans’ Families GIVE more than we can ever IMAGINE of their LOVED ONES for US.
  4. Our Veterans’ sacrifices GIVE us one VERY precious gift – the RIGHT TO VOTE–We should ALWAYS remember and EXERCISE that right at EVERY election, not just the ones we agree with or don’t agree with.
  5. Our Veterans’ go away from THEIR homes to foreign lands to PROTECT our RIGHTS, which means WE can then AGREE to DISAGREE without FEAR of being arrested practicing FREEDOM of SPEECH, FREEDOM of PRESS, FREEDOM of ASSEMBLY, & FREEDOM of PETITION.
Image of Poppies in England-British War Memorial--The following image came from FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles
Image of Poppies in England-British War Memorial–The following image came from FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles
  1. Our Veterans’ go in harm’s way to ASSURE us the RIGHT to WORSHIP or NOT to WORSHIP — FREEDOM of RELIGION.
  2. Our Veterans’ VOLUNTEER to SERVE our country to ensure all SEXES – Male AND Female have the RIGHT to acquire an EDUCATION of his or her CHOICE.
  3. Our Veterans’ work to keep SAFE the borders of our Country that enables us FREE movement interstate and intrastate without FEAR of REPRISAL, SEARCH, or SEIZURE.
  4. Our Veterans’ practice and DEFEND the LAWS of the Land that enables us to have the FREEDOM to travel around the World and be able to come back home.
  5. Our Veterans’ give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives (physically, mentally, and emotionally) so that we have the RIGHT to Work HARD, LEARN, and DREAM as we PURSUE our ENABLE RIGHTS for the advancement of equality for all people regardless of race, sex, age, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic.

There are many, many more reasons, but these are some to get you thinking.

THANK a VETERAN Today…

Here’s THANKS to my Father and my Mother – Both served in World War II. My mother as a WAC and my father as an infantry man. He also served in Korea.

May Blessings be given to our country, the United States of America.

Write On!
Pam's Signature

 

Challenges, Death, Family, Friends, Writing

Will it Make a Difference?

The senselessness – will it make a difference?

Ugh! I haven’t posted on my blog in a while. I try so hard to get a consistent transition going. What happens? Life!

Currently, I’m working on the development of two different writing projects as well as devoting my time to finalizing the release of book three. That’s my writing work.

Then, I have those fall/winter chores that make me whole — putting the garden to bed for the winter — flower and vegetable. My flower garden isn’t as detailed or complete with a variety of flowers like a friend of mine I refer to as my “Sis.” She has such a lovely garden, even in the heat of summer, it is gorgeous. She also works on it. My flower garden happens. I’ve learned to cultivate weeds. Some of my most prized weeds are in full bloom even now. Some of my weeds are even pretty. One day I’ll show a picture.

The vegetable garden is another one of those projects that grew and grew and grew. Now, with my old back not liking me bending and pulling weeds, I find the vegetable garden has the occasional food to eat, but the weeds have taken over in places there, too. The veggie garden going to bed for winter is probably a good thing. It will give me time to figure out what I want to do with it.

Sadly, my personal life has been traumatized these last few months by the death of very close friends and family. It is that time of year when things die. It seems death has been around my family too regularly since July.

July 6, 2015 – the passing of our grand-dog, Miloh, whom I miss talking with each day.

Miloh - The Granddog
Miloh – The Grand-dog

October 29, 2015 – the passing of a wonderful cousin and friend, Raymond.

Raymond Madden
Cousin Raymond Madden

November 12, 2015 – the passing of a friend, George, who was one of a kind.

George Fisher
George at a family reunion at the beach that he loved – August 2015

The passing of these souls have each touched my heart in special ways. Each brought to my life a certain kind of joy that is not easily put into words. I have struggled since July to express my feelings. There seems to be no words.

Then, yesterday, the senseless loss of life in Paris, France. I’m not sure I know how to express myself as I try not to be angry. Then, I wonder if I should let my anger go. I keep thinking of the phrase repeated by Rudolf Abel (played by Mark Rylance) in the new movie “Bridge of Spies.”

Abel says to Donovan (played by Tom Hanks) on several occasions during the movie, “Will it make a difference?”

Words to live by.

I wonder. Will it?

And, then…the circle of life seemed to rare its head up and remind me. Yes, it might!

About the same time on Thursday morning when we were  loosing our friend George, we had a miracle happen within our family. For the first time in 30 years, the Newberry family had a new baby born to our clan, Miss Elizabeth. It was a miracle in that she was not supposed to arrive until Friday. We were being given a light to shine on a gloomy period for us. She is a blessing. I look forward to meeting her and holding her in my arms.

So, I’ve managed to quail my anger. My heart is broken over the loss of our family and friends, and it is in deep sorrow over the loss in France of those souls I never knew. But, I’m resolute. I’ve made the decision to do what I need to do to bring joy to those around me. One way to do that is to be happy myself.

The funny thing about me, I’m happy when I’m writing. So, I stopped procrastinating, and I got down to it. Hence, this post today.

I dedicate this post to Miloh, Raymond, and George, and to those souls lost in the senselessness of last evening. I will work to do what I dream.

French-American Flags
French-American Flags — 11-13-15 — In solidarity!

I will make a difference!

Write On!
Pam

The “Will it Make a Difference?” post first appeared on Pam’s Blog November 14, 2015.