Hold Onto Summer!!

I don’t know about you, but it feels like we never had much of an autumn. All of a sudden, snowflakes were flying! As Thanksgiving approaches, I would love to share the feelings, the love and the memories of summer.

Remember those soft, warm nights with a sky filled with stars? Or the touch of a silky evening wind on your face? How about the dazzling blinking of a firefly or the sparks from a bonfire? How many new friends did you meet? Were you ever lulled to sleep on a boat? Weren’t the sunsets amazing, and those Northern lights? How many times have we looked up to the night sky and marveled at the depth and beauty of the universe?

Well, Friends, my new book which is a bedtime story, Mother Nature’s Kiss, has all that and more! As our summer of 2018 closes, we can still grab those special moments. This book is for anyone who loves to look out onto a body of water and dream. The relaxation of letting your mind drift as you look out – no matter where I am – it is my happy place.

I wrote and illustrated Mother Nature’s Kiss with little ones in mind. It is a bedtime story that gently guides your imagination across a lake and into the possibilities of a twinkling night sky. We meet a firefly, a sleepy family on a boat, campfire kids, new friends, a lonely alien, a fanciful angel and, finally, Mother Nature! We feel the breath of a warm evening wind, silky across our cheek and the wisp of the magic of a good bedtime story.

Hold onto summer, with all the charm and memories of a warm, starlit evening. I invite you to a sneak peek at the images in Mother Nature’s Kiss.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Coming soon to Amazon and a bookstore near you!

Warm wishes for a lovely Thanksgiving. xoxo

Gifts for the Irish

When an author, artist or musician sets out to create, it is usually a personal expression of something they hope to viscerally touch the masses. Because the end product is a personal expression, one can’t expect it to be understood by everyone, but hopefully, the impact intended will move many in one way or another.

I have friends who are artists and they pour themselves through their media, making themselves vulnerable to the expectations and judgments of the masses. Some like, some love, some don’t get it. That’s ok. It’s expected.

Recently, I went to Ireland and at the last minute, I threw some of my books, Gifts of the Crysnix, into my suitcase. I hoped that of all people, the Irish would “get” the story. Centered around a small seaside town, the story could be set anywhere in the world, and that is what I intended. I wanted it to be personal to many but to the Irish, I wanted it to be viscerally owned.

On our travels around the Ring of Kerry, we went by the beautiful town of Kells and its small cove. I turned to my husband and said it could be Galvin Cove! He smiled and nodded. With its cluster of houses overlooking the sea and the amazing Blasket Islands in the distance, this was the kind of place I envisioned as the setting for the book.

Emboldened by this, I took a few books under my arm and went looking for small bookshops to see if they would be interested in selling  Gifts of the Crysnix. To my happy amazement, I was well received.

In Dingle, there is a small bookshop called An Cafe Liteartha, which was my first success. It is an ancient (by our standards) shop where you can buy a book in the front and have a small meal in the cafe at the back and crack your new purchase. The place is tiny, homey and bursting with charm. The manager was so excited about my book, she immediately wrapped it in cellophane and displayed it in the front window! How fun for me to see it there as I walked on.

IMG_2411

 

 

The adorable gift and bookstore, Sweet Pea just drew me in! On a quaint corner in Dingle, it offers beautiful treats for the home and person. Jewellery, candles, books and gifts are displayed in the little shop that just brims with personality. I was so honoured to have my book welcomed there!

 

 

In Dublin, two gorgeous bookshops are now home to my book. True to the historical beauty of the storefronts in the Emerald Isle, Books Upstairs and Jewels and Gems can be found in age-old architecture. Books Upstairs is nestled in the heart of Dublin and has seen hundreds of years of history played out on its front street.

Jewels and Gems is a sparkly store offering jewellery, gifts, books and wait for it – chandeliers! My book’s front cover looked pretty nice in there.

There is a very special place called Moy House. It is a boutique hotel near Lahinch that boasts an amazing history, a view to die for, hospitality, service and food to make you think you have died and gone to heaven! Along with the many, many touches of old world charm, there is a library. I couldn’t help wanting to donate a book to it.

I am so happy that I have shared my story with a bit of Ireland. What a gift! It is a story of endurance, faith, honour, courage and being true to yourself to bring about your best life. Very much like the history of Ireland and all that the Irish people have endured.

IMG_2412

 

It may not appeal to some, but I think it is enjoyed by those who like a bit of charm and magic to help us on our way. I wrote it from the heart. After all, I am Irish. The town of Galvin Cove is named after my family name, Galvin. It is a fictitious place but hopefully will feel like home to all who read the book.

Cheers and Slainte (good health) to all. xoxo

P.S. Christmas is coming! How about purchasing Gifts of the Crysnix for the young dreamer in your life? Check it out HERE and HERE.

Best Wishes

December had its highs and lows this year. We bid a sad farewell to dear friends and a fond hello to new ones. It is a time for reflection amidst the joy of being with loved ones. My emotions were on a rollercoaster and happy tears flowed along with the sad ones.

ae186b19-7bcf-49c0-85c0-d56261091e1d

You can pack a lot into a month and I sure did. Some of the

high points were sharing my book with the girls at Connie

and Lily’s book club (see my last post)

 

 

 

and participating in the RiverCross Craft Fair where there were fairies trapped in jars and purple decorations and gifts everywhere. Gifts of the Crysnix just fit right in! I set up shop in the library along with author, Lisa Young. Visit her website here.

Between the two of us, we had great fun selling our books and visiting with the many people who came by the craft fair. Below is a slideshow of the day. Enjoy.

The month carried on and I found myself back in Arizona where I went to Vicki O’Connor’s Open House. Remember it last year? I showcased my book there but this year I relaxed as a guest and enjoyed the beauty and range of Vicki’s artistic talents and was off-duty. 😉

To find more of Vicki’s work you can see it here.

img_1953

 

The showcased author this year was Sally Schrempf who was promoting her new book Forget the Fad and Eat the Food. Sally’s warm and funny personality shines through as she guides us to eat healthy and have fun doing it. You can buy it here.

 

 

December wouldn’t be December without Laura’s cookie making party!

Thanks to my elves for helping with the decorating! Those shortbread trees travel across continents and borders and have been a tradition in my family for many years. Yummy!!

Special sunsets and visits with family and new friends rounded out the Arizona trip. I won’t embarrass my daughter with pictures of her but we sure lucked out with the sunset that had the bonus of the full (almost super) moon rising.

Up to Canada we went and Christmas set into full swing! The weather even cooperated with a beautiful dump of snow on Christmas Eve. The table was packed as usual and the kids big and small, all had a ball.

It was a month of first steps and first time on skis for my grandsons, and first words for our granddaughter. A year for weddings – my son in July and an engagement for my step-daughter. And a year for tough things that test us; broken bones and broken hearts with the loss of too many friends.

This is the month when we touch base with the many people who mean so much to us. It is a time to reflect on our good fortune and make promises to ourselves to be better people. So love yourself and be good to your loved ones. My very best wishes to you all for a wonderful New Year.

The View

On the back page of my book, my Bio mentions that I found my inspiration in the forest around my family island home. I have found a lot of inspiration in that forest and this summer I had the wonderful opportunity to go back and take a walk along the trails of my childhood.

thumb_DSC00913_1024

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way. Walter Hagen

The occasion was the wedding of my son, whose marriage took place on an island on the lake where he grew up. We all grew up there, all six generations of my family, and it was the perfect excuse to go back.

The old “camp” has been renovated almost beyond recognition and the changes made were beautiful ones. However, the living room and a couple of bedrooms were the same and I inhaled deeply as I walked through the scents of six generations hidden in the fir walls. The verandah was gone. It was cool in every sense of the word. We would sit out there on a hot day shaded from the sun and on a warm evening, we could rock on ancient rocking chairs and look out at the view that seemed to go on forever. It was very cool, indeed.

We do not remember days, we remember moments. Cesare Pavese

The view is mesmerizing. Like a close friend, it was always there. I can’t count the times I would look out and feel a sense of calm overtake me. It wouldn’t matter if I was a small child crying from a bee sting, a hostess of many enjoying a large party, rocking a baby to sleep or quietly playing cards at night with my mother. Whenever I looked out, it was my happy place.

Walking through the camp, things definitely looked different but I would catch myself looking out at the view and the trees and the hill and be struck again and again at how little things had really changed. Fifty-five years separate these two pictures.

Life is very different for me now. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done when I walked down the hill for the last time. Now, years later, I walked up the hill again and marveled at the fortunes of time, how they twist us and turn our lives around. So excruciating at the time, we grit our teeth and endure only to find that life turns out for the better.

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. E. M. Forster

The memory of the view will be with me forever. Although it pains me that I can’t see it readily, I have it in the picture of my mind always. It’s like the view we have of our life. We can pine for what we do not have or hold our head up and look out to the new opportunities that are around the next corner.

This week, I am incorporating a publishing company. Years ago, when I began writing for children, I was inspired by the beauty of the forest on Treaty Island. Why not name the company Treaty Island Publishing Ltd.? It’s appropriate, right?

Below, I have shared a couple of poems about the camp. Hold On To the Past was written while I still lived there every summer with my small family. Now, the words are bittersweet as I watched my daughter mother the sixth generation of our family. It is about holding on to the memories in our hearts.

I think Night Light will be a bedtime story very soon. I wrote it one night as I was looking out from my bed. It was the light of a new cabin across the lake belonging to friends I hadn’t met yet.

Night Light Lake view

Enjoy.

Night Light was recently showcased by Scriggler. You can read it here .

Hold On To the Past

 

A certain realm of comfort comes when living in this place.

Everywhere I turn, I can see my mother’s face.

Her decorating touches, nestled in the corners last

And I feel a reassurance when I

Hold on to the past.

 

My father’s vibrant voice still booms through the rafters.

I still can hear the residue of tinkling sibling laughter.

We were so young, all of us. The future seemed so vast.

Much too soon, all I could do was

Hold on to the past.

 

The memories in the pillows, bathtub, garden, pots and pans,

Mom’s favourite chair, playing gin at night — now I can see her hands

As I hold my cards or hold my child. Traditions have been cast.

I mother generation five as I

Hold on to the past.

 

The view, the hill, the summer breeze, the deer eating the flowers,

The bears, the storms — and more — create the Camp’s compelling powers.

The cool lake consumes me with a daily bracing blast,

When reaching deep into the green, I

Hold on to the past.

 

The feel of cool dew on my feet, or thigh-burn on the hill,

The sound of loons or smell of pine are what makes time stand still.

Gentle waves in rhythm tap a halyard on a mast.

Sensations of the ages help me

Hold on to the past.

 

A silent pang of sadness comes. I take it all in stride

And think of those who lived here once and swallow tears of pride.

We mark our time in summers as our lives slip by so fast

And measure our heights on the wall and

Hold on to the past.

 

Thanks for reading. Remember, life is all about the view. Cheers.