What Will It Take?


What will it take to bring a smile to your trembling lips? Place peace inside your tender soul, and quiet your troubled mind? 

Clasp your weathered hands around the two of my own. Hold them close. Sand to silk. One by one count to ten. Barely there, skin to skin. Linger now. Close your eyes of blue to know that I am true. Here for you.

What will it take to bring a smile to your trembling lips? Look at me, see beyond the glass. Believe the dream to grasp the great of vision. Rest your beloved head upon my lap. Take a break until you wake. Push beyond the pain. Feel the burn, soon to gain.

What will it take to bring a smile to your trembling lips? Live your truths, take a step, climb a stair, stand your ground and walk the line. I am yours and you are mine.

We’ll be fine….

*photographs courtesy of Google Chrome

Costumed Charm


The other day we enjoyed Trick-or-Treating with two of our grandchildren in my favorite Missouri city, St. Charles. It is the third oldest city in the state. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Charles,_Missouri Founded in the mid-1700’s by a French-Canadian fur trader, St. Charles looks much like it did hundreds of years ago. The city has been preserved, making visitors feel like they’re stepping back into time. Quaint shops line the original cobblestone streets with a beautiful backdrop of the great Missouri river behind them. Rich in charm, original gingerbread architecture, and filled with history, St. Charles is the last known stop of the Lewis and Clark expedition way back in 1804. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_Expedition

Monday was such a perfect day for Halloween with temperatures rising into the mid-70’s. Surprisingly warm, it might have felt even hot to some of the costumed creatures covered in hair from head to toe. A few were sweating with chocolates melting. Still, others didn’t mind, so thrilled they were to soak up the sun. Charming shops shared treats with characters, big and small until our own little Super Heroes stopped to say, “I don’t want any more candy.” The kids were tired. Little legs had walked a long way. Grandpa carried our grandson on his shoulders while I pushed a stroller. Buckets were heavy, make-up dripped on the monster’s face next to me while a hot pink wig suddenly fell upon a bale of hay.

Afterward, dinner was enjoyed at my son and daughter-in-law’s house while a menagerie of children rang the bell. Ghosts and goblins came to the door, witches of black dusted off brooms and cheerleaders shook pom-poms before cheering for more. Our grand-kids donned satin capes, sure to save a mission or two before calling it a night.

Not long before the children’s bedtime, we gathered ’round the television to watch the movie, Room on the Broom adapted from the children’s book by Julia Donaldson, published in the spring of 2014. No tricks here, just one giant TREAT to end a terrific afternoon and evening of delight.

Below are links to a reading of the book as well as the movie. Please enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWB0goTWZic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuIZThG1APA

 

 

Do you know how to publish an ebook with pictures?


If you want to publish picture books, don’t waste any more time. Head on over to Jean’s blog to learn simple and easy steps to jump-start your publishing career! Thanks, Jean!

Jean's Writing

Using MS-Word?

Success at last! When I loaded it up to KDP, everything worked!i-did-it

If you write children’s books or comic books, I’m sure you’ve heard of Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. This program is terrific. However, the program limits which electronic devices that can open and read the book.

I wanted my picture books to be available on e-readers and tablets. I found out after using KKBC for A Most Reluctant Princess; this wasn’t possible. Using KKBC limits which electronic devices available.  Since publishing my first picture book, I’ve read tips, blogs, instructions, and watched videos searching a way to use MS-Word.

No one had the answers I needed. So, I began experimenting until I figured out a process that worked.

My new book, A Reluctant Little Prince, in e-book form, is written on MS-Word and can be read on a Kindle. Yay!

For the print version…

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Happy Halloween! Flash Fiction: The Ghostly Jacket of Discovery


A delightful Halloween flash-fiction story from Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx’s Blog. Excellent writing that had me on my seat right from the beginning and left my heart warm and inspired at the end. Please tune in!

M J Mallon Author

untitled

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

I’ve written a Halloween themed piece of flash fiction for Esther Newton’s flash fiction competition. Here is the link if you’d like to find out more. Esther Newton Blog: Last Call for Flash Fiction Entries. But today is the last day for entries so get on your witch’s broom and hurry up. The prompt is discovery, so doesn’t have to be Halloween related!

The Ghostly Jacket of Discovery

Last night the sliding wardrobe had been closed but this morning it lay open.  All of Ed’s shirts were freshly laundered and ironed. His ties neatly arranged in perfect rows, his shoes polished and shiny. Iris pulled his biker jacket off the hanger. It was his one aberration, the one piece of clothing that was different. He had loved that jacket, had said that it carried special memories of freedom, laughter, and happiness. He had refused to throw…

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Halloween Innocence


Trick-or-Treat for Halloween

Costumed monsters or movie queens

Door to door to ring a bell

Heart is beating thumping well

Treats of sweet sinking bag

Stuffed inside so full of swag

Chocolate pretzels plus kids to tag

Distant sounds and spiderwebs

Pumpkin smiles and waxy teeth 

Peek inside then run and hide

Witch’s hat atop hair of red

Have no fear she is a dear

Biggest treat I’ve ever had

Jokes and smiles to send me off

Treasures emptied upon my floor

Sit and count them to the door

One or two gobbled whole

Brush my teeth and scrub my face

Pajama time another race

Tuck me in with story time

Lashes long now falling fine

Friendly ghosts are in my mind

Magic wishes and floating dreams

Oh what a Happy Halloween

Some photos courtesy of Google Chrome

Hope and Fear


As we near the end of October, the official month of Breast Cancer Awareness, please pause to remember the many woman and men who are affected by this condition. https://siteman.wustl.edu/treatment/cancer-types/breast-cancer/risk-prevention-and-

Breast cancer in America is the most common type of cancer diagnosis, second only to skin cancer, among women. Over the course of their lifetimes, about 1 in 8 will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Among American men, the odds are about 1 in 1,000 of being diagnosed with breast cancer. https://www.bcrfcure.org/breast-cancer-statistics Yet, thanks in part to the October month of Breast Cancer Awareness, education has increased, and research funds have continued to rise allowing improved quality of lives. Today, breast cancer is often treated as a Chronic Condition. Women and men live longer lives and are often cured!

I cannot begin to put myself in the shoes of someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I don’t know how it feels to stare the unknown devil in the face or to wonder about my tomorrows. But, I do know the fear of the possibility. I know too, how it feels to lose someone to this disease. The sorrow and deep absence of a loved who is no longer with us. The pain and struggle of children whose mother disappears forever.

Many years ago, a friend of mine, a former college roommate was diagnosed at a very young age. Thankfully, she was cured! https://www.bcrfcure.org/ Today, she happily lives and works in the same town she grew up in, the one where she raised her son from toddler to young adulthood. She lives productively, giving back to the community, thankful to be alive each and every day.

In the years between, I’ve brushed the arm or touched the hand of many others who have lived with breast cancer. I saw the fear in the glass of their eyes while feeling hope through the warmth of their skin. With cancer, hope and fear seem to coincide.

Like every woman should, I practice a monthly self-breast exam. Still, I was surprised when my doctor discovered a lump during my last annual physical. It was about the size of a small green pea, she said. The size that rolls around your plate next to roast beef and mashed potatoes during a family dinner. Although I had a normal mammogram a few months earlier, my doctor smiled cautiously while scheduling another.

During the next few weeks, I followed my doctor’s orders by having a second mammogram. The technician performed it before asking the radiologist to do yet another. I was taken into the next room where an ultrasound depicted even better pictures. To my relief, everything was determined to be normal and they sent me on my way.

About a week later, while driving my cell phone rang. The speaker blared from the seat next to me, “Your doctor would like you to see a breast specialist.” Shaken, I pulled into a parking lot where I was able to jot down a name and address. Upon returning to my office, I looked up the doctor’s referral. My computer screen highlighted the words, Cancer Surgeon. Air left the whole of my inside. Quickly, like a bright red balloon floating across a western sky only to land atop a desert green cactus. “P.O.P!”

Sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, I absorbed palatable emotions as each new person stepped through the door or waited for their name to be called aloud. Some women were alone while others held hands of supportive boyfriends or husbands. Arms of chairs were clutched tighter with knuckles turning white. Smiles of strained were seen here or there while ears listened to gentle whispers. Occasionally tired heads lay on soft shoulders for comfort. Arms all around. A sisterhood was felt between women who had never met before. Bonding and empathy. Soon, each one would be pronounced cancer free, or they would begin one of the most difficult journeys of their lives.

Fear and Hope….

*After the “Breast Specialist” examined me and reviewed all of my records, I received fantastic news, “Cancer Free!” Still, I don’t take anything for granted. I will continue to do monthly self-breast exams, see my personal physician regularly, and never miss an annual mammogram screening. They are proven to be one of our best defenses in the world of early breast cancer detection. So if you are a woman, especially over forty, schedule a mammogram today. Please don’t wait until tomorrow.

 

 

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Lavender – An all rounder


I’ve always loved the scent of lavender oil, dabbing it on my wrist or pouring a few drops into my bath water. Surprisingly, I learned the herb has several medicinal properties, including treating a few Chronic Conditions. Please visit Sally’s blog post to learn more!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

medicine womanI doubt that there are many of you reading this post who have not come across Lavender in your lifetime. It is a beautiful plant in the garden and its perfume has been used for centuries as part of many cultures bathing rituals.

Its botanical name is Lavandula Officinalis and you will usually find it called English Lavender or garden Lavender. In fact its name belies the fact that originally it was found in Mediterranean region as well in Africa and some parts of Russia.

lavender

The Romans used daily in their bathwater and also as we do today, in small sachets placed between layers of clothing to keep them fresh smelling and to act as a natural deoderant. A few centuries later, as hygiene took a back seat in the Middle Ages, it would be used in oil form to kill bed bugs and lice.

Certainly few warriors went into…

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Sweet Love


O lady, there be many things

  That seem right fair, below, above; 

But sure not one among them all

  Is half so sweet as love. 

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Sr.

lady-antique-in-love      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*photo of painting courtesy of Google Chrome

 

 

 

 

Word Cloud – Pets


After reading this, I hopped on over via Mavimet’s link to discover a variety of templates, allowing you to design via your imagination. During these stressful times of “War and Peace,” why not have a little fun? Thank you, Mavimet! 🙂

Mavimet's Weblog

I found a free site that makes word clouds out of the words you choose.  You can pick the colours and sizes  of the words and the shape of the cloud.  There are some limitations on the free clouds and you can choose to pay to remove the limitations – I like this free one just fine. You can find it at Tagul to try it yourself.

Of course, my first cloud has to be some of the many pets I have had over my lifetime.

pets-word-cloud

Most of these pets have been mentioned at some point in my years of blogging here, so some of them might find their way into the related links below.

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