Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer Update.

I’m back in New York City after two weeks in Central Florida visiting my mother, who has chronic kidney disease stage 3 after complications from diabetes. No doubt also in part from being on the trial end of diabetes medications such as metformin.

I was happy to be there for her, and try to ease her suffering. Together we researched nutritional supports and alternative methods of healing to accompany what her doctor and dietician would decide. However, my brother, a 45 supporter and I did not mesh, but for my mother’s sake, I kept quiet. The last thing she needed was stress. She’s on high blood pressure medication and on Medicare—and I have NEVER seen such incompetence with the doctors in Cape Canaveral who were supposed to call in her blood pressure medication. After a week (I kid you not) She still didn’t have it and I went with her to the Publix pharmacy, days after her doctor appointment. The pharmacist gave my mother 3 days of HB Pressure medication gratis. The pharmacist couldn’t believe the incompetence, either.  My mother called the doctors office every day!

Now there are some who believe Medicare patients are treated differently – poorly, and if this is true, shame on you, physicians who took the Hippocratic oath.  

My trip to Florida was difficult for several reasons. I hadn’t been back for over 12 years, but glad I was able to spend time with my sixteen-year-old niece. We became quite close after this visit. I spent time with my grandmother who will be 88 in two weeks! She was all smiles, and soon shared a brief history of her early years in Greece, when at 13 or 14 she was married! She soon left my grandfather, with my mother only 3 or 4 years old, and proceeded to find work that would allow her to house and feed my mother. House cleaning and singing in a club while my mother danced. She cried, that she could not feed her and had to stop.

My aunt and I are trying to get her to finish telling her story with a talk to text tool. It is a story that must be told.   Here she is! 
Mary Chapelle, born in 1929 in Samos, Greece. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Time For Healing.

Hello, fellow travelers, in this thing called life.  Welcome to my blog. 

It’s been a busy few months for me, though summer, while one of my sons prepares for college and we visit his SUNY choices.

My family took a trip East to Montauk last week, for reunions with old friends and reconnecting with Momma Ocean (Thank you, BrightFlame, for reminding me to drum the ground with each foot step. This had quite the calming effect.) 

While at the ocean, healing from a year of strife, (my other son’s and my own) I found out that my mother’s health is suffering, and she’s in need of an operation. So I’m headed to Cocoa Beach to stay with her while she recovers. I may not be online as much during this time. I will, however, be writing. Stress makes me write. Love makes me write.  I need to write.

I have short stories to find markets for, a completed manuscript to query, a novel draft to finish as I await news on a sub that’s with a publisher – since January! The Universe really wants me to learn patience the HARD WAY. 

I’ll post scenes of the Space Coast, Florida, and perhaps muse a little about the experience. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back. Much too long, and I have a lot of apprehensions. I’m taking Amtrak. Because after my last two (horrifying) flights I’m just not ready to fly, and this is after years of traveling via planes to visit parents growing up, and plenty of other overseas flights.  What happened to me???

I wonder, if I learned to fly a plane would I be cured? Has anyone tried this?

On another note, visit the Kidliterati Blog this week, where you can win a copy of OPEN IF YOU DARE by author Dana Middleton. “A fun and compelling mysterious adventure for middle-grade readers ages 9-12.”


Thursday, July 6, 2017

MG Book Review: The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky

The Countdown ConspiracyThe Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A re-post from my review on The Kidliterati blog.

What a ride! This book is Star Trek for Middle-Grade readers.

Only the best of the best are chosen, and thirteen-year-old, engineer, Miranda Regent, from the USA, is preparing for a flight to Mars. Her adorable mechbot, outfitted with thrusters, is her companion. She’s one of six kids from around the world, training for this mission aboard the Ambassador.

But the bombs! The kids barely escape. A war is about to break out on Earth. Miranda receives threating messages. Someone wants the space agency destroyed. Has Miranda been singled out as the target? And it’s only training day.
What if they never have the chance to blast off, after a life’s worth of training because the space agency is in ruins?

Suspects, mystery, and intrigue; no one can figure out who’s trying to sabotage the space program. Is it the Russians? A great cast of international kid characters, dealing with living and working in close proximity. There are rivals and jealousy, high stakes, and adventure!

The details about flight create an outstanding realness, and it’s science, due to the author being a science educator. She knocked this book out of the park – or I should say, into outer space. Energizing and inspiring and perfect for STEM readers.

Monday, June 5, 2017

MG Book Review: The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan
The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan by Patricia Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars  A reblog from my review on The Kidliterati 

“I killed my mother. Twice, if I am to be completely honest—though she only died the one time.”

Entering Kit’s word we are sent back to 1905 Goldfield, Nevada during the gold rush, and meet Kit Donovan, thirteen-years-old, blaming and publically shaming herself for her mother’s death from pneumonia.

It’s dusty and dirty, and she lives in a tent with her father. Her school is in a tent. Classmates tease her incessantly and throw stones! Her teacher ostracizes and humiliates her. It’s the hard knock life for sure.

Kit’s father works in the local gold mine, and one day she comes home and finds the neighbor, Wild Woman, Clara, pulling wood splinters and bandaging her father’s arm and talking about Mr. Granger, the corrupt owner of the mine Goliath, who wants to blow the wells to kingdom come. Regardless of who is harmed or killed.

Kit convinces her father to speak out about the dangers of the gold mine, and when he doesn’t she takes the truth to the local newspaper. The whole town explodes with the news. Her father’s gunned down on Main Street right in front of her. Granger holds the smoking pistol, shouting, “It was self-defense.” Her father now labeled “agitator” and dead.

She finds solace at the horse stables with a borrowed copy The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The only book she has, other than the Bible, to keep her from “becoming as dull and stupid as this savage place” A promise she made her mother. She meets Arnie in the stables, a Shoshone boy, reading the copy of Huck Finn, and he quickly becomes an ally.

With her keen curiosity and determination, advanced spelling skills, (even if she suppresses her intelligence so she’s not teased at school) she lands a job at the local Times, after a few adjustments to the part about being a girl, she goes undercover in the mines to find out first hand and prove her father’s innocence. She learns that her father knew even more about the dangers of the mines.

This book was such a pleasure to read. The setting and atmosphere were well developed and the characters grip your heart. You’re right with Kit, as she heroically and tragically sets off, each adventure more tragic than the next.

Published on April 25th, 2017 by Albert Whitman

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Day at the Park. Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

It was a delightful surprise yesterday morning when hubby told me about the Brooklyn Botanical Garden plant sale.

I'd taken a personal day, and this was the perfect respite from weeks of cloud cover and drizzle in the city. Also, politics and the state of our democracy were pulling me down. After several nights of not sleeping well, I needed to clear my head and touch base with the earth, with the fragrance of flowers, the sunlight, and breathe in the moment. Enjoy the photos!


Nature heals.  Science cures!  Life is to be lived and loved.

Heavenly Peonies! 

The peonies sent my head spinning. Is it possible to become drunk from sitting among them? 

Orchids from the Tropic Zone. 

Plant Sale!  My greedy heart, I wanted all the flowers, bu my shade patio garden can only handle shade lovers. It was a great place to find a few less common shade plants. SCORE! 

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Best Made Plans Fall Away

I quickened my pace, keeping Coco one-step behind. I was the alpha dog I knew where we were headed. The pier! I announced excited by the warm spring temperature. I took my best friend’s advice and moved my office outside.
I wanted to. I needed to. The dark solace of the jazz club had become a burden with holes being poked into my solitude. It was a public space, after all. What could I expect? Making deals with my partner had turned into an adventure in fortitude. Was I winning? 

I took my bearings with my faithful pup at my side. First, we stepped into the dog run. With no balls to play with and forgetting hers, we left and returned to walking, searching for a spot to park. 

The winds picked up. My hair and earbuds tangled into a braid. I couldn’t see. The sun was warm and delightful. I pressed on. We found a bench and sat down. Whew.
I opened my notebook. The pages flapped in the wind, signaling an emergency. But what? 
For an unknown reason, I opened my wallet only to drop it and have business cards and money fly from my reach. I caught all the little papers about to take off into the river.

I sat at the picnic table and looked around. It was a beautiful day. I wanted to stay. But there was no way I could concentrate and write a short story, much less sketch.

So, Coco and I walked home, through the sun and blustery wind, grateful for our beautiful spring day.

 You should have seen the papers flying everywhere!   

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Materialistic are at the Helm.

I don’t know how much longer I can grapple with an unjust world. A place where affluence reigns, where the uncaring and materialistic are in control of the laws of the land, throwing the souls of the Earth into the pits of despair, in an endless struggle to see the light of hope and creativity.

The materialists and the superficial, the shell has little bearing. But in the world of illusion, the materialists are caught in its web. Gloating in their apparent supremacy. It’s a trap, unbeknownst to the servants of the dollar sign. They smile in all their platitudes, project what they think you may swallow.

Art for the people is art.  Art, only for those who can afford it, is one-dimensional. In this world of many layers and entities, we are being swallowed by the farce.  How long can we the people stand strong against the opposition, when they hold all the money? When they twist the narrative and force-feed it to their blind followers?

Looking around at the world in my late teens, I feared the cold war, feared my dreams would disappear before I had a chance to live. I believed, with all my naiveté (heart) I would see a utopian planet of this paradise we call Earth.

My creativity is directly linked to the waves and magnetic field the surrounds us.
We all are! Some cannot hear or feel it, others ignore it, and many can’t recognize that there’s more than meets the eye.

What’s real is our plant and it’s oceans, it’s beasts and those who can live in harmony with all the beings of Earth. If you can’t maybe you should leave?
How can politicians destroy our planet so eagerly? All for MONEY? Really? Don’t they breathe the AIR? Or eat the food?

I’m terribly despondent today. The pressure and the weight of what we as a country must do to take back the White House from this new administration and the GOP, who only want to strip our oceans and forests—and sell off OUR National Parks! The tacky measures of the 45th president are outlandish and foolish and will kill us all.

My art has become about perseverance and unity. Seeing this plant the way I envision it—-We were so close. (Thank you, Obama.)  Bringing people together, and assisting each other in an alchemy of ideas, that will bring us back in step with the rest of the Free World. 

The United States is at a precarious crossroads, with the Putin/Russia installed President and administration. We have a dictator at the helm, working hard to destroy our democracy. The nepotism is off the charts! 
Making calls to my reps and protesting is bringing little results.

I’m ashamed of who represents our country and disgusted with it all.  My grandfather fought in WW2 and my dad in Vietnam and my mother is an immigrant. (my credentials.)

Will artists rise up and bring art to the masses, create a new world where everyone can live in peace and harmony?  

I will never stop believing that we can.

“If you want peace, fight for justice.” Amy Goodman, Democracy Now.