Excerpts from “Floating Around Hollywood And Other Totally-True Tales Of Triumph” by Kristine M. Smith

THEY CALL ME WALRUS WOMAN

I’m different. (It’s quite likely you have discerned this already.)

Most business people seem to have a sixth sense about what is appropriate in certain situations. I possess the same keen insight, but there’s a part of me that wants to buck traditional etiquette and be outrageous—not hang-from-thechandeliers outrageous, but something real close.

I was working as a writers’ assistant on EDDIE DODD, a television series which unfortunately never received a proper send-off or chance from the network, dooming it to an early and undeserved cancellation. You probably never
heard of it; it was canceled during its second episode, before it had even properly informed its audience where and when it might be found on the dial. But that’s not the funny part, unless you’re a sadist.

We were working during the holiday season. One of a writer’s assistant’s unwritten duties during Christmas and Hanukkah includes wrapping gifts. Well, we were all dutifully wrapping gifts during a very long, hectic day (in between the usual duties required of assistants in a production) and no one was looking overly holiday-spirited.

I noticed the long faces. I also noticed that several of the longest gift wrap tubes were standing in a corner, empty. There was certainly no expectation of levity in that room, so I went over to the corner, picked up the tubes, crammed the ends of two of them into my mouth, slapped my hands together in front of me, and barked—walrus-like—several times.

My comrades fell apart. It was just what they needed. (They wanted to get me my own comedy series then and there.) Then they decided that when the executive producer, Clyde Phillips, returned from the set, it would be just what HE
needed.

I looked at them. “Fine,” I said. “YOU do it.”

“Oh, no,” said Jamie Anderson, Clyde’s strong right arm. “WE could never get away with it. But YOU could.”

I considered that. I considered Clyde, “our” Rxecutive producer. He was a cool guy, with a hit comedy series (PARKER LEWIS CAN’T LOSE) and a great sense of humor—but he was really pretty much all business when he came into the
office. He had a lot to do, and very little time to get it done, so this was a well-ordered, efficient, no-nonsense place. But I was high on the results of my earlier success with his assistants, and quickly agreed, “Okay, I’ll do it!”

I sweated bullets as I awaited his return from the stage. I was not noted for this sort of antic at work…not at all. This was extremely unlike me. (This was INSANE, frankly!)

I chickened out about seven times, but the others kept telling me how funny it would be, so I recommitted to the task
seven times.

At long last, HE walked in the door. He was dressed, unusually, in a very nice business suit, not in his usual jeans and shirt.
I reconsidered…again…

The other assistants looked at me, wondering if this new wrinkle might convince me to drop the great plan. One of them
gave me the whirling-hand motion indicating ” C’mon. It’s now or never!”

I crammed the tubes back into my mouth, walked up behind the immaculately-clad Clyde, and barked loudly
several times, slapping my hands together.

Clyde turned around. He looked at me. He looked skyward. He looked at me again. He shook his head and mused, “It must be the radiation from the computer. Yeah, that’s it.” And with that, he left the room.

The other assistants addressed his cool reaction to my antics with confused, apologetic shrugs and then “casually” made themselves scarce.

I wilted. I was wondering if this had suddenly become my last day of work at Clyde Phillips Productions…

For the rest of the day, I feared seeing him again. Fortunately, the meeting for which he was so well dressed was a long one, and I was saved another face-to-face encounter with him.

At about seven-thirty that night we were released to go home, after a ten hour day. I gathered my belongings and started to bolt happily down the two flights of stairs to the ground floor, certain that I had lucked in and missed seeing my boss again.

I skipped down the first flight of stairs, turned the corner at the landing, and skipped…halfway down the last flight.

There, at the bottom of the stairs, in his suit, HE stood.

He had heard the thunder of my descent, and he looked up, spotted me and demanded, “And just WHERE do you think YOU’RE going?”

I stepped down the balance of the stairs a whole lot less gingerly and responded (in an excruciatingly respectful manner), “I’m going home…sir…if that’s okay with you.”

He said, “That is NOT okay with me.”

I said, “Oh.” (I paused, trying to read his deliberately impervious face.) “How much longer do you WANT me to stay?” I inquired.

“Forever,” he replied, smiling.

(*awwwwwww*)

Then he clapped me on the shoulder and told me to go home.

For Christmas that year, from Clyde, I got a battery-run alarm clock, so I would never be late for work.

From his assistant, Jamie, I received an ornament for my tree, which I proudly and grinningly hang every year.

The ornament is a walrus in a rubber-ducky floating ring.

THE OREO AFFAIR

It’s not my fault, but wherever I go in life, embarrassing things happen to me. I’m a magnet for them.

As mentioned earlier, I worked as an assistant to two writers on Bay Watch. It was a terrific job—my first in this terrific industry—and I felt very lucky to be working long hours for some of the nicest people in entertainment.

Writers’ assistants very often get swamped with revisions, script copying, script distribution and other details, so that occasionally lunch time will either disappear altogether or will be delayed until 3:30 or 4:00.

It was one of those days. Luckily, I worked in an office only a couple of doors down from a small kitchen area, so when it became apparent that my stomach wasn’t going to rest until it had leaned up and taken a bite out of my heart, I stepped next door to find something to pacify it. I found: ONE Oreo cookie. That was it. Other ravenous appetites had preceded me to the pantry.

Well, okay—better than nothing.

The water cooler stood empty, too. But, hey, I grew up on a ranch in the Pacific Northwest and the forty pounds of water sitting in a large plastic jug on the floor held no terror for ME.

I put the ENTIRE Oreo cookie into my mouth (possession being nine tenths of the law) and strong-armed the five gallon jug onto my forearm. I was just upending it onto the water cooler when the door opened next to me. I heard the Executive Producer’s voice: “Well, Kris!” You’re a STRONG lady, aren’t you?!” And he reached over and checked my upper arm for a bulging muscle.

Beside him, grinning, stood actor Monte Markham.

I had never met Monte Markham until just this moment—and this was NOT the time, had I been given the option. There I stood with my mouth clamped tightly over a half-chewed Oreo cookie.

They stood expectantly, awaiting a reply.

I managed to respond (I hoped without mumbling AND without opening my mouth more than a fraction of an inch), “Oh, this is nothing. I grew up on a ranch.”

Monte joked, “Oh, nothing! I suppose you’ve been out there on the range abusing cattle and horses for years!”

It was a VERY funny comeback, and I desperately wanted to respond to it with a big grin and laugh, but I was still working (surreptitiously, I hoped) on that black cookie (without chewing), praying it would melt down soon. It was taking its
own sweet time.

I focused on trying NOT to smile, but to look…pleasant. Possibly shy. Yes. That might work…

Monte thrust his hand out and with a friendly grin introduced himself. “Hi. I’m Monte Markham.”

I took his hand and replied, “I know who you are.” (I could say THAT without opening my mouth too wide. “Hello,” would have required an accompanying smile.)

I desperately WANTED to smile. I smile a LOT; it is my usual attitude and demeanor! And this was one of those situations where a smile seemed not only natural but MANDATORY!

But I knew better. I kept my mouth shut. “Hi..” i finally said, meekly.

The executive producer probably wondered why the normally ebullient Kris Smith had clammed up like a star-struck teenager. He carried the ball: “Kris is the assistant to the executive story editor and one of our other writers. She’s a great help and…incidentally, is a very nice gal.”

I was sure Monte was wondering about THAT by now!

“Thanks,“ I mumbled.

After about a million years, they turned and left. I FLEW to the mirror and smiled into it. Not a trace of Oreo remained. I was relieved and upset all at the same time. “I COULDA SMILED! I COULDA SMILED!” I thought, and moaned
piteously.

I went home, morose, and told my sad tale to a friend, who became absolutely hysterical. I admitted finally that, yeah, it was pretty funny, all right—if you didn’t happen to be the person harboring the Oreo cookie…

That evening, unbeknownst to me, myfriend/my buddy/my pal/ my confidant wrote to Mr. Markham” and EXPLAINED why the normally ebullient, smiling Kris Smith was closed-mouthed and unresponsive the day he met her. No, she wasn’t star struck, nor was she experiencing the monthlies. And my friend, further, requested two autographs—one for herself, and one for me, his bizarre co-worker.

A few weeks after Bay Watch “wrapped” for the season, I received a large envelope in the mail. The cancellation stamp proclaimed MALIBU.

“Malibu?!” I pondered. “I don’t know anybody in Malibu!”

I opened it. Inside was a glossy 8 x 10 of—You guessed it.

The inscription read: “To Kris, the Oreo Cookie Girl. Your teeth never looked lovelier. Monte Markham.”

Once in a while, friends are for strangling!

***

FLOATING AROUND HOLLYWOOD AND OTHER TOTALLY-TRUE TALES OF TRIUMPH

© 2003 by Kristine M. Smith. All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,
or otherwise, without written permission from the
author.
ISBN: 1-4107-4710-7 (e-book)
ISBN: 1-4107-4709-3 (Paperback)

 

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Excerpt from “Serval Son: Spots And Stripes Forever” by Kristine M. Smith

SERVAL SON: SPOTS AND STRIPES FOREVER
PUBLISHED BY FutureWord Publishing
© 2011 by Kristine M. Smith. All rights reserved.
ISBN 980984589005 Serval Son: Spots and Stripes Forever
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

FOREWORD and DISCLAIMER

I first learned about serval cats—the “poor man’s cheetah”—during one of my courses at Ralph Helfer’s Wild Animal Affection Training School in Colton, CA in 1977-78. I was assigned to train a pygmy goat and to tame an adult serval cat named Sneakers.

Training a goat is child’s play. They teach themselves to walk on 2×4’s while you’re still lifting the boards into place! They’re naturally curious, naturally playful, and naturally “ascendant.” Build it and they will climb!

But . . . tame a serval cat? YIKES!!! That was a whole different matter—a greater level of difficulty. Mr. Helfer said I’d pass the course if I could get Sneakers just to sit or lie quietly near me without hissing or slapping. He wasn’t completely sure I could accomplish this feat, so he set the bar low . . . .

Sneakers had apparently been abused (emotionally if not physically) during his time on earth. And servals look pretty ferocious and lethal when they hiss—which they do a lot, sometimes for reasons no one can discern. When they add slapping and backpedaling or crouching and preparing to spring onto your body, they look even scarier. And Sneakers did that . . . a lot!

Of course, I didn’t know any of this at first; I learned as I went along. All I knew about Sneakers was that he was housed in a wooden barrel inside an enclosure that measured about six or eight feet square. I was supposed to go in there and tame him.

Awrighty, then . . . .

Long story short: Over the course of the next eight weeks persnickety Sneakers segued from being one po’ed putty tat to a purring, head-rubbing critter who fell asleep in my arms as I lay beside him under a tree on test day. Helfer came by, saw the two of us cuddled up like Romeo and Juliet, and smiled, “You pass!”

Was I proud? You bet I was. I woulda burst my buttons had I been wearing any to burst. I had tamed an adult serval cat. I mean, taming an adult feral domestic cat is next to impossible, so this was quite the feat, was it not?

Not so fast. I later learned that servals and cheetahs are the Perry Comos of the cat world: you can tame adults caught right out of the wild. Africans did it for millennia, using them as “coursing hounds” to catch faster prey (dik dik and other larger ante-lopes), then taking the kill, rewarding the cat with a few mouthfuls, and using the rest for their own purposes.

Probably not even Ralph Helfer knew this. During the course, I also was taught “never ever” to leave a serval cat alone with other critters, because servals were rated among the “wildest” of wild animals and should never be trusted with other creatures. I obeyed this precept until my own serval, Deaken, taught me how utterly nonsensical a notion it was. I denied him other companionship for more than six years that he should have had . . . but more about that later.

You can’t believe everything you read in books—except mine. I’m a straight arrow.

My 17 years with Deaken were an eye-opener, a heart-warmer, a trauma-inducer, and a cherished relationship I expect never to repeat again. And here comes . . .

The Disclaimer

I don’t believe in exotic or wild animals as pets (especially wild cats, wild dogs, and simians) for a lot of reasons. The primary reason is that probably less than one-tenth of one percent of the people who get them knows what they’re getting into, so both parties suffer grievously. There is usually a traumatic and premature parting of the ways. As Ralph Helfer told us in class, “You are responsible for all you tame.”

It isn’t like you can change your mind and find your critter a new home and a new life with a reputable, responsible caregiver all that easily. Your charges do bond to you, especially since their first few weeks of life are so vital to establishing a relationship that must last into adulthood; one that is safe, sane, and sustainable. And too few people have the proper permits to take over if you falter or fail; those who do are usually filled to the brim with other peoples’ cast-offs as well as their own broods. And who is going to watch over your wild one when you go on vacation, fall ill, or in some other way have to leave them behind for a time for any one of a dozen legitimate reasons?

I knew what I was getting into. I was trained. I read voraciously. I had experience. I had the permits. And I’d had at least 20 domestic kitties before. I was—and remained—committed to nurturing Deaken’s life as he grew, and grew, and grew to knee-high and three feet long from tip of nose to tip of tail. How much different could it be to raise a serval when I had raised so many house cats?

Still, I had no idea. Looking back, it was great discipline. Looking back, it was herculean. Looking back, I smile and feel very blessed, but also extremely lucky that it worked out as well as it did. There were times when it could have gone tragically wrong. I carry the emotional scars of all that. I still have nightmares about trying to move heaven and earth to keep Deaken safe from people and people safe from Deaken. Looking back it is a miracle that more people weren’t hurt . . . that Deaken himself survived largely unscathed.

So no . . . I don’t advocate wild animal ownership. Although I expect you to fall madly in love with my serval son as you get to know him better, I want you to pay exquisite attention to what it took to sustain the relationship, what it took to meet re-quirements, what it took to protect lives and property.

It’s not a game. Pet ownership itself is a tremendous responsibility. Wild animal stewardship is a whole other level. It is not for amateurs. It is not for dreamers. It is not for people who expect to have children or to have them around. It is not for people who want to take vacations.

Wild animal stewardship is only for people who will dedicate themselves entirely to the wellbeing of their wards. It’s a tall order. You’re about to discover how tall.

I hope that in learning about Deaken you’ll also learn about why sharing him vicariously with you concerns me a little. I know you will love him. Please just don’t love him so much that you decide you simply MUST have one of your own. Becoming a wild one’s parent is an overwhelming commitment that no one should take lightly. Not even you.

I know your heart is good and that it’s in the right place. Enjoy the ride but don’t let this story compel you to take on more than you can commit to wholeheartedly… and legally. If you do it wrong, everyone gets hurt.

Imagine loving like this and losing your pet to the authorities because you weren’t properly licensed or because your furry darling grievously injured someone. It happens all the time. Lawsuits accrue. Next door neighbors panic.

How quickly everything can change from idyllic to catastrophic. Few stories end up the way Deaken’s and mine did. Remember this as you go along, and I will feel satisfied that you’re receiving the whole story, not just the heart-warming parts.

You are responsible for all you tame. Don’t do it unless you can honor and truly treasure the obligation from Day One to the day your charge crosses Rainbow Bridge.

Excerpt From “Deforest Kelley: A Harvest Of Memories” by Kristine M Smith

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (True Story written up as a stand-up comedy routine and later published in Deforest Kelley: A Harvest Of Memories)

Three weeks after my birthday, I wound up in Denver — and was invited (via Sue) to dinner with the Kelleys! This was my first actual, sit-down-and chat meeting with them, and I was so nervous that before we headed into their suite I pleaded, “Sit right next to me all night long, and if they ask me a question, YOU answer it!”

When you find yourself in an overwhelming situation like this one, you want to be at your best. You want to make a good impression; above all, you do NOT want to come across looking like Garfield’s little buddy Odie! On the other hand, you don’t want to look as if you’re having an audience with the Pope. Something right smack in the middle seems about right… but I was nowhere near certain I could handle a middle-of-the-road approach. So I was nervous.

No. I was petrified.

I followed Sue and a couple other DKFC members – all of whom were cool, calm and collected by all appearances – into the Kelleys hotel suite, where we were to meet, and I managed, for a moment, to present myself as normal. I hugged Mrs. Kelley and said, “Hello.” Then I went over and shook hands with De. So far, sooooo good. But…witness how quickly I went downhill from there, inside my nerve-wracked body.

We stepped over to the couches and prepared to sit down. De asked us if he could take our coats. Now, if anyone else on the planet had asked me that question, an easy answer would have been yes or no, right? I mean, he wasn’t asking my opinion on whether the U.S. should get out of the United Nations; he was just asking if I cared to give up my coat for a while. I gave it serious thought. I thought, “What does HE want me to say? Should I say yes? Will he be upset if I say no?” Finally it occurred to me that he didn’t give a fig whether I said yes or no, just so long as I said something, so he could sit down! So, I said no. That seemed to satisfy him – but not for long. Next he wanted to know if we would like drinks. I don’t drink, so naturally I said YES. (Well, I had just told him no on something else. I didn’t want him to think I was a bitch.) So, I said yes. Then he wanted to know what I would have! Oh, boy… He had me there! He was pitching these incredibly difficult questions at me and I was unable to field them! “Oh…whatever!” I finally “decided,” hoping that would end the interrogation.

Mrs. Kelley probably recognized the fact that I had slipped into the much-dreaded Idiocy Mode (a common affliction of fans) and tried to help me out. She suggested that I try a “DeForest Kelley.” I looked at her, and I thought, “Gee, that is a very generous offer!” But I realized I wasn’t getting the proper picture. She explained to me that a DeForest Kelley was a drink known to all of fandom except me, obviously. “Oh, fine… I’ll have one of those…”

Well, after a couple of DeForest Kelleys (vodka and water with a twist of lemon), I felt calmer. No one had raised any other controversial questions similar to “Can I take your coat?” in quite a while, so I was just sitting back and listening and watching everybody talk and laugh and have a good time….

Not much later, we went downstairs for dinner. De sat at the head of the table. To his right sat Sue Keenan, and to her right sat Jackie Edwards. To De’s left Carolyn (Mrs. Kelley), then me. There was NOBODY on my left – for a hundred miles. Remember this.

I quickly lost my nervousness sitting next to Carolyn, because she is a doll – so nice, and so much fun. She could calm a jackhammer. I know, because she calmed me, and I’m the greater challenge! We lost ourselves in some conversation about having both been raised in the State of Washington. At one point I was explaining something to her in great detail, and a fold or a crease on my left sleeve popped me with a great deal of force and I stopped in mid-sentence and turned around to my left, fully expecting to find a waiter or someone who had come along to ask me a question. THERE WAS NOBODY THERE!

I panicked. I thought, “OK, Kris… How are you going to handle THIS dilemma?” Well, I had two choices. I could turn back to Carolyn and just continue the conversation as if nothing at all had happened – or I could explain what happened. Well, naturally, I opted for the truth – but I forgot to provide a complete explanation. Instead of what I just told you, I turned back to Mrs. Kelley and said, “Strange! I could have sworn somebody just tapped me on the shoulder!”

Carolyn accepted this bizarre information calmly. She looked at Jackie. Jackie looked at her. They both studied their salads for a while and said nothing.

I’m amazed the Kelleys didn’t signal someone to bring a butterfly net!

It took me over a month to remember all the stupid things I said and did at dinner that evening. I found it comforting, at a later date, to learn that other fans admitted experiencing similar difficulties the first few times they were faced with actually trying to communicate with the objects of their affection.

Note: When I was interviewed by DeForest Kelley’s biographer, Terry Lee Rioux for her book FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST, The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek’s Dr. MCCoy, she asked me how I went from being a star-struck fan, on the outermost reaches of fandom, to becoming his personal assistant and caregiver and being at his bedside when he died. I told her, “I have no idea. That’s something you would have had to ask De.” She said to me, “You know the answer. Just connect the dots.” Thankfully, I’ve been journaling for 45 years, so that’d what I did… The result: This book! (De gave me permission to write a book about our association, but I probably never would have had Terry not asked me the one question about our association that I could not answer!

***

DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES
©2001 BY Kristine M Smith

Available at Amazon (but you can save a bundle by ordering from the publisher at Authorhouse.com–you can get the e-book for $4.95 or the hardbound for what the softcover would cost you at Amazon.)

 

“Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience” by author Yvonne Perry

In her latest book, Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience, author Yvonne Perry shares how she has integrated the accelerated frequencies of several quantum leaps she has taken on her spiritual path. Once she learned to manage the human experience of rapid spiritual transformation, she became active in working to anchor her light body and offering coaching to help others on their journey. You may learn more about Yvonne and her book at http://shiftingintopurerconsciousness.com.

Here is the back cover blurb for this book:

Do you feel like a misfit in your own life and body? Maybe you awoke from a strange dream too vivid not to be real. Have you survived a near-death experience, had an out-of-body occurrence, or dissociative episode? Others may have noticed how you’ve changed and say, “You act like a totally different person.” Inwardly, you may be confused, overly sensitive, or so anxious it feels as though your nervous system has been hooked to an electric power line.

What if a multidimensional form of yourself — from a realm of purer consciousness — would arrive to guide you through the challenging times we are facing? Perhaps your soul has already received a download from an ascended master. Might that explain the sudden changes you’ve experienced?

You may be one of the millions of people who are spiritually growing faster than your body can tolerate. What you are experiencing is a normal response known as ascension symptoms. Regardless of what has happened, you may need help integrating these higher frequencies that are now available to you.

I will be participating in Yvonne’s book launch by hosting her on this blog during her two-week virtual book tour. On the tour, you will find nearly twenty blogs featuring written Q&A interviews, videos, book reviews, radio show interviews, excerpts from the book, and articles like these:

  • How Human Energy Affects the Earth
  • How Yvonne Published Book
  • Signs of Spiritual Awakenings
  • Why Yvonne Wrote the Book
  • How to shed personal and collective structures and belief systems that no longer support the highest good of humanity
  • Why we send love and light to people
  • Embracing divine feminine energy

Yvonne invites you to follow her to discover more about the ascension process or great shift in consciousness that we are experiencing as we enter the Age of Aquarius. Find Yvonne on Twitter: @WeR1NSpirit; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WeAreOneinSpirit; or on her website: http://weare1inspirit.com.

***

Here is the tour schedule for Shifting into Purer Consciousness:

On Saturday, June 16, Carolyn Howard-Johnson (@FrugalBookPromo) will host Yvonne with a book review on The New Book Review as well as offering an article titled “Authors Must Learn to Sell What They Write” on Sharing with Writers: http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com.

On Sunday, June 17, Jacqueline Stone (@JaqStone) will share an article titled, “Sending Light to Others” on her blog, On the Journey.  http://consciousnessjourney.blogspot.com/

On Monday, June 18, Shelly Wilson (@consciousjourny on Twitter) will host the tour stop on her blog, Journey into Consciousness, with an article: “Embracing Divine Feminine Energy.”

On Tuesday, June 19, Pat Bertram will share a Q&A written interview with the author on Dragon My Feet blog: https://dragonmyfeet.wordpress.com

On Wednesday, June 20, Shelly Wilson will host Yvonne as a guest on Journey to Consciousness Radio Show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journeyintoconsciousness .

On Thursday, June 21,         Barbara Techel (@joyfulpaws) shares a video clip and her book review for Shifting into Purer Consciousness on her blog: http://joyfulpaws.com.

On Friday, June 22, Carol Lawrence (@intuneparenting) hosts the tour on Social Media Help 4 U with an article titled “How Human Energy Affects the Earth.”

On Saturday, June 23, Janet Riehl (@riehlife) shares a video on her blog, Riehl Life.

On Sunday, June 24, Carl Bozeman (@CarlBozeman) opens the blog door at Spiritual Intuition where he shares his book review for Shifting into Purer Consciousness.              

On Monday, June 25, Doreen Pendgracs (Twitter: @wizardofwords) will share an article about how Yvonne published her book. See Wizard of Words: http://doreenisthewizardofwords.blogspot.com

On Tuesday, June 26, Karen Gonzalez (@FolkheartPress) will present “Why Yvonne Wrote the Book” on her blog, http://folkheartpressblog.blogspot.com

On Wednesday, June 27, Denise Demaras (@ddemaras) will share her review of Shifting into Purer Consciousness on her blog, Works in Process: http://blog.denisedemaras.com

On Thursday, June 28, Alpha Chick Mal Duane (@alphachickbook) will share an article titled “Signs Indicating a Spiritual Awakening” on http://alphachick.com/blog

On Friday, June 29, Lisa Molinelli (@bluedragonfly8) shares an article: “How to Shed Personal and Collective Structures and Belief Systems That No Longer Support the Highest Good of Humanity” on her blog, Empowering Minds.

On Saturday, June 30, Dr. Caron Goode (@Iamheartwise) shares a media release and an excerpt from the book on Live-Spirit.                             

On Sunday, July 01, Maxine Thompson (@Safari61751) will post her review of the book on her blog, http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com. She will also host Yvonne on Dr. Maxine Show.                                                

On Monday, July 02, Irene Conlan (@ieconlan) will host Yvonne Perry on The Self Improvement Blog by presenting a review of Shifting into Purer Consciousness.

On Tuesday, July 03, Lynn Serafinn (Twitter IDs: @LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors and @GardenOfTheSoul) will interview Yvonne on Garden of the Soul Radio. She will also share her Q&A written interview.  See http://lynnserafinn.com/ for details.

On Wednesday, July 04, Shelagh Jones (@SpiritusShelagh) runs an article in Spiritus Spiritual Marketing Directory about how Yvonne published her book.

On Thursday, July 05, Callie Carling (@moonpoppy) will share an article: “How to shed personal and collective structures and belief systems that no longer support the highest good of humanity.” Her blog is http://createavity.com/musings.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Also on Thursday, July 05, Shifting into Purer Consciousness Ascension Training Telesummit starts. There will be two speakers each Thursday throughout July sharing important info to make the shift easier. See http://bit.ly/InbSDC for more information.

 

Excerpt From “I Will Not Give Up…Not Today…Life Is A Journey” by Linda Nance

Linda Nance Talks about her book, I Will Not Give Up…Not Today…Life Is A Journey:

It has been my dream and my desire to be a published author. I believe someday and someway wishes and dreams can come true and I am working and trying with all my heart and soul to do the things I want and need to do. I love to write. I have poetry, short stories, novels, two more books including one that is nonfiction and illustrated a children’s book that I wrote.

I want to be able to reach out to others. I would like to be able to make a difference. I guess you might say it is my voice. I want to say that we are never too old or too young to make dreams come true if we are willing to work hard and believe. Never give up.

To tell you a little about myself, I am a wife, mother, grandmother ( I really like that one) daughter, sister, aunt, neighbor, friend and whatever I have been needed to be. Now I want to be an author for me. I want to be able to reach out and make a difference. I want each and every person who might get one of my books to have something special that reminds them in their own lives to never give up. Whatever their dreams and wishes are, they can come true.

I think that is part of why I designed my own covers. I do understand that there are professionals that have the training and talent to do wonderful cover designs, but I wanted these books to be something I could share from cover to cover. The first one Life Goes On was done from a photo that I took over 20 years ago. I love the intense sunset over the road where the headlights showed of others passing along on their own journey in life. I want people to be able to hold the book and look at it and it be more than just another novel.

The second novel was a challenge. I did not want to use a photo. I had decided I would find a way to use a painting and not just any painting, but one I had painted myself. I did several but could not help coming back to this same one. The cover for Journey Home allows me to not only share a story I hope you love to read, but one of my paintings at the same time.

My next two books also have covers that are my paintings. I hope for the books to be special from beginning to end. It has been a long journey to reach this point as I hold the books in my hands. People often ask me how long it takes to write a novel. That is a difficult question for me to answer. When I started Journey home I had not finished it when I was in a head-on collision. The recovery took a long time and for a while I could not even use my hands. As I was able, I went back to working on the novel a little at a time.

This is only the beginning.

I still paint and write and want to live my life and not just be alive. I want to have a purpose and make a difference. I will keep trying and never give up.

Linda Nance

I Will Not Give Up…Not Today…Life Is A Journey is the title of one of my books. I love to write fiction but this is real. This book is one of the most difficult things I have ever written. I have tried to find words to share not only things from my life but thoughts, feelings and emotions. There are some things that simply had no words to tell but I have tried to tell those things and more. I want this book to be something that might help to make the title real. I hope it helps others to know to never give up. We can do amazing things if we keep heart and keep trying. Life is a journey. There are times that the path is smooth and well traveled and others it seems steep and difficult…but if we do not give up, there is so much more that awaits us.

When I had to decide on a book cover I chose one of my paintings. I painted this in watercolors. I love to paint paths that lead to ….. I hope they will lead to where we need to go in life. I hope there is love, hope, happiness, and wonderful new things that await us at the end.

This is not the wonderful moments showing only the smiling, happy, and inspirational times…I am trying to make it real and share a piece of my heart, life, thoughts, feelings and so much of who and what I am. I wrote this from raw emotion and a desire to share things that had never had words before. The words did come and at times pour onto the page rather than to be crafted and worked into totally correct presentation. What I have written is not a writing piece but a piece of heart and me.

This may be my story, but I hope in sharing it you will find meaning, hope and knowledge that we will not give up…Not today.

Starting April 4. 2012 I will be offering for 3 days this book in ebook form for free. It is my Easter gift and I hope it may help another to find hope and a new beginning.

Excerpt: from I Will Not Give Up…Not Today…Life Is A Journey

The day I have in mind happened long ago but is still in my mind so vividly that there have been times I could see and hear it all over again. WOW…This is not going to be easy to find words.

I think I will try to tell it as a story would be told. The day was so beautiful. The sun was shining and we had the BBQ grill fired up out back. Family was there visiting and the kids were laughing and talking. It was a beautiful day. What could go wrong? Things were even progressing so well with writing the book that I could hardly wait for the times I had to work on it. The family was supportive and encouraging me. They believed in me more than I did.

We needed some things at the store and my daughter offered to drive me. We approached a major highway with 4 lanes of traffic traveling highway speed. When she stepped on the brake the car did not stop. She turned to avoid going into traffic on the highway but it was too late and put us head on with a full size van that had no way to stop.

My daughter hit the steering wheel so hard that her teeth cut completely through her bottom lip. Her entire rib cage was bruised and she would hurt almost everywhere that she could hurt. It shows how lucky we really are how much we should realize that the good Lord does look after us because if you could see and really know what was involved in this crash and what could have been it sends chills through me as I sit here and type. If you want to talk about pain….she had pain that no pill or shot could cure. The emotional pain breaks my heart. She was driving and it was an accident but she felt responsible. She was trapped in the car with me. There are no words to tell what it had to have been like for her. She is a kind and caring person who was hurt, hurting, scared and in shock.

I did not have on a seat belt. The impact was so intense that the car motor was pushed back and pinned my left foot to the floor of the car. As the car flew out of control it must have spun and twisted every way. The first time my head hit the windshield, it broke into millions of little squares of broken glass. There was actually a concave impression bulged out of my face in part of it. You could see by the glass, that I hit really hard at least 3 or 4 times. Each time I hit my face was raked across the broken glass and gashed and shredded. The car motor pinning my foot held me from going out onto the hood or roadway but had a whiplash action and I was the whip.

I hit the dash so hard that it broke the dashboard of the car…with my ribs and chest….I was broken too. My hands were crushed. My forearms were crushed. My hand had been cut so deeply that it appeared almost bisected on the right side and the left was very deep. The foot that had been pinned to the floor of the car of course was very broken. Blood was everywhere. We were trapped inside and bleeding.

I have to stop now at this point. I have said that I was going to try to tell many things and do it as honestly as possible, but right now it is not that I am having problems remembering….I can feel it. I can see it. This part may sound silly or overly emotional but I sit here with tears in my eyes.

I want to take a moment to describe some other things. When there is an accident such as this one especially on the highway I have heard many times about all of the onlookers. I have even heard of how there will often be so many people there and no one lifting a finger to help or they just drive on by.

That was not the case. From all that I have heard there were many who stopped but people were anxious to help anyway that they could. There are some times there is nothing that you can do but this was amazing. When you say that people would give you the shirt off of their backs that was more than a phrase.

I was trapped in the car and two women who were dressed and on their way to work crawled inside of the car with me. They worked to protect my neck and keep an airway open. They worked to try to keep me alert and help me to live. There was so much blood. Most of my face had been shredded beyond the appearance of any human. From the center of the forehead was a gash that went to the skull. My right cheek was deeply cut through. Nose, eyes, and almost every surface of the face was cut, sliced, gashed and gouged. My hands were deeply cut and gushing.

They desperately tried to slow the bleeding as I faded in and out, trapped in what could have been thought of as a twisted metal coffin. One of the bystanders actually stripped of the very shirt that he was wearing when he dressed to go where ever it was he was traveling and gave it to them to use.

I can not imagine all of the emotions, fears and thoughts my daughter suffered as she was also trapped with me seeing such a sight and knowing it had been her mother only moments before. What was left of me was no longer recognizable…..

The two women, that to this day I do not know or have ever met….stayed with me, worked with me, helped me and did all that they could do to help me live. I wish I could meet them. I wish I did know who they were. They did so much more than they will ever know in their care, actions, and concerns. All of the people who cared and tried to help did help just by their attitudes as well as their actions. They cared and they tried.

One man offered his cell phone to my daughter when they got her out of the car so that she could call anyone she needed to call. 911 had already been called. She was covered in blood that would get on his phone but he did not hesitate. She called my husband…her dad with news he was not prepared for. We were not at the store asking what else he might need for the cook out. We were in a nightmare.

Trapped in a car after a head-on collision is not a memory one wants to relive and in part there is no memory. I faded in and out even with the best efforts of those helping me. I do not know how they got me out and have not asked.

I remember the paramedic asking me if I was on drugs. I thought that was silly…I do not take drugs. You also are not thinking clearly. He seemed emphatic and asked several times if I was sure I was not on any drugs.

I could no longer see but I could hear. It sounded as if he was talking on a telephone and I heard him say “dad.” I was so confused. I thought I was dieing and he is making a phone call…until more words penetrated the haze that threatened to consume me. “I think she’s going to be a bleed out. I’m doing everything that I can but she has a real problem and will need the best that she can get if I can only get her in. Would you take her if I can get her there? I’ll meet you there.”

I was still confused. Why would his father meet him there and why would he want to take me to his father? BLEED OUT! I had worked in an ER years ago and knew what that term meant. It was bad and they were talking about me and then I remembered…

I have had problems with my back and arthritis for most of my life. I live with the pain but take BC’s, which is powdered aspirin. Later in life I developed a heart problem and they wanted to put me on blood thinners. Some in our family have had some severe side affects so I chose to continue with the aspirin since it was a somewhat high dosage everyday for years. I was able to manage to say BC’s.

I remember only brief sensations of the trip to the hospital. I could hear the siren wale and feel the sensation of speed in our travels and then it all faded away. There was nothing.

***

Far away I could hear voices again. There were many voices. Tones and sounds of urgency but I could not focus to listen to what they said. They were still so far away. It was so hard to hold on to even be that close but then I heard another voice. I knew that voice. I had to come back from my far away place to reach that voice.

My husband’s name is Albert. He was talking to me. He did not yell or shout to me. He spoke with more than his voice. He spoke from his heart and I could feel his words and hear him. He told me what I wanted to hear. He knew what my question would be. My daughter was doing fine. She was going to be all right. She may think that she is grown but she will always be my little girl. I wished I could hold her, comfort her and let her know momma says it will be ok.

He continued to speak to me. He was there and would not leave me. He would run back and forth between my daughter and I but would not leave me. I had to hold on. The doctor was working on me and sewing me up and they needed me. He said that he loved me. He told me that the children loved me.

I was hanging on. I was trying. I could see a glimpse through all that was left of my face and the doctor was sewing me back together. Oh what a nightmare. How could it all be true? It was true. I had to hold on. Then they all faded away.

The paramedic that worked to save my life, took me to the hospital where his father waited. His father was and is such a talented and good hearted doctor. My life was in his hands and the good Lord above.

I could hear Albert’s voice. There were undoubtedly others talking but I could only hear Albert as he comforted, reassured me and explained what was going on. Then I heard a loud voice filled with its own authority demanding that Albert leave.

Before anyone could answer the doctor replied curtly “He’s not going anywhere and you need to leave…and leave now.”

The police officer said that he had authority and he decided Albert needed to leave the room.

“I am the authority in this room and the only authority. He will not be going anywhere. He is her only link right now and if he leaves we could loose her. Her death would be on your hands and I would see to it you get the credit. Now, get out!” The doctor was in control.

The voices were gone again. I could hear Albert now and then, but was at peace and far away from all of the trauma.

***

I do not know how long they worked sewing and doing all that they could to save me. I could hear bits and pieces, here and there. I must have been in a room but still could not see. I heard Albert explaining to someone that it would be hour by hour. It could be several days before they knew if I would make it. I drifted away for a while. How long??? I do not know.

I could hear Albert again and he was telling me that he loved me and I could do it. He explained that he understood how hard it was, but they needed me. They needed me. The words echoed in my mind. The kids were grown. He said they needed me and loved me. You can hear songs sing about love can carry you through or make the world go round or a dozen other things…but they loved me? They needed me? I could do it? And then it was all gone again.

Time is a relevant thing. It is relevant to the one experiencing it at the time. That may sound strange, but for me time would stop and start. I was not having dreams or even felt a sound sleep. There was nothing. There was not even the void of nothing. Time stopped and then resumed again. I came and went.

I do not know how much time passed but I was able to be there more. I was able to hear more and then see some. My glasses were broken and I can never see much other than light and dark and blurs of color without them. I complained I needed to see. What had happened to my face?

My hands were damaged and sewn back but I found shredded tissue and glass shards with every touch of my face. Pieces of my face were like ground beef. My family became concerned as I frantically pulled bits of glass and other things from my head and face. The nurses assured them if I did not seem overly upset to let me work things out in my own way and that it would hurt nothing to remove as much as possible. They mentioned it would be years if ever before all of the glass was out. They were right. I still have bits and pieces work their way up.

Albert brought me glasses so I would not feel so helpless and blind. The room was always so dim. I asked for them to open the curtains but he said they were supposed to leave them closed. Little by little I began to notice things. There was no mirror in my bedside table. There was no mirror over the sink, but there were holes where there had been one. There was nothing in the whole room that would reflect an image.

I did not realize that they were protecting me and allowing me time to gain in strength to survive and endure not only the broken bones, cuts, and pain but the loss of something very personal…my face as I had known it.

They were allowing visitors but they were approved and cautioned before they came into the room not to discuss my face or show a reaction to my appearance. I had not seen my face but in my heart feared I no longer would even appear human. I had a small pile of pieces of pink shredded flesh in with the broken glass.

I would like to find words to explain what I felt at that time but there is such an intensity and confusion mixed with fear, and pain, and morphine there are no words. I kept hearing things though. I heard they loved me and needed me and that they believed in me and I could do it. I was going to be fine.

***

Linda welcomes you to stop by her blog and share the many things she had written as this journey has progressed http://bit.ly/H0Q0u6 Easter Is Almost Here A Gift To Share

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Book Review for A View of the Lake by Beryl Singleton Bissell

Review by Aaron Paul Lazar

Title: A View of The Lake
Author: Beryl Singleton Bissell

Publisher: Lake Superior Port Cities
ISBN-10: 0942235746
ISBN-13: 978-0942235746

Price: $16.95

Author’s website: http://www.berylsingletonbissell.com/blog.htm

A View of the Lake
by Beryl Singleton Bissell
Book review by Aaron Paul Lazar
*

A View of the Lake, by Beryl Singleton Bissell, is a vibrant collection of reflective essays centered on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota. Each slice-of-life chapter transports the reader into Ms. Bissell’s life in this majestic country, as well as connecting us to her gentle spirit.

Sometimes thoughtful, often humorous, and ever delightful, the work spans topics dealing with the life of “newcomers” in the town of Schroeder to an intimate and stirring connection with the great outdoors. From encounters with bear, moose, deer, and rare bird species, to a private viewing of the Northern Lights, to poignant experiences with neighbors, this assortment of day-in-the-life type stories will charm the most jaded reader.

Take, for example, this excerpt from “Historical Society”, when the author joined the Schroeder group to help document stories of the residents. Oftentimes the locals lamented not having recorded stories from their parents and grandparents, and expressed a sadness over this loss.

“There were times when, as I sat taping others’ memories, I experienced this loss personally. My mother died before I was wise enough to ask questions. I now hold only fragments of her life, each piece bristling with questions, each piece weighted with the unknown.

We are born. We die. We do what others do. Some of the elders wondered why I wanted to know about their lives when they’d been so uneventful. In the telling, they came to a fresh appreciation of themselves and the community in which they’d lived for such a long time. Like a musical score played over and over again, the sound, timing, and interpretation are never quite the same.”

Who among us hasn’t experienced such thoughts? Universal themes such as this loss of family history, this common plight among man, resonate throughout the book. I often find myself up against the same dilemma. Even now, fourteen years after the death of my father and last remaining grandmother, a question about our heritage pops into my mind, and I reach to pick up the phone to call one of them, before realizing once again, it’s too late. Ms. Bissell’s themes resonate with this reader on a rare and special frequency.

But Beryl Singleton Bissell’s book is not all sadness and longing. No, on the contrary, it is filled with the spirit of adventure, love for fellow man, a passion for and connection with each and every tiny aspect of nature, and most of all, the embracing of life. Ms. Bissell frequently shares philosophical gems, such as this excerpt from the chapter named “Shrike Attack”.

“Winter focuses a harsher light on North Shore living, reminding me that nature, while beautiful, caters to no one and no thing; beauty is not always benevolent.”

Each of the chapters is enjoyable, and although filled with literary gold, the book remains entirely readable, broken into small chapters that can be enjoyed in a sitting or in a full-fledged marathon as I did while flying overseas to Germany last week. I longed to join this author at her side as she bent over emerging flowers in the spring, slogged through snowy trails, or watched the wonders of the sky, as in this segment from “Northern Lights.”

“…I bounded into the bedroom to wake Bill. Together we rushed out into the subzero temperatures dressed only in our pajamas and robes. Together we stood on the deck and entered ground zero of an incredible light show that shuddered around us like fireworks behind gauzy veils. It rippled and spun and folded; it expanded and dissolved; it burst and flared. I felt a searing joy.”

Although her readers may never physically see the Northern Lights, in their minds they’ll never forget this dazzling show.

Ms. Bissell has been through some incredibly tough times in life (see her first book, The Scent of God), but it’s her faith in God, her indomitable spirit, and her ability to enjoy the little things in life that carry her through, in addition to her devotion to her wonderful husband, Bill. But I believe it’s her ability to commit all of this to the written page that may have helped her purge her spirit of those sufferings best of all, and which will continue to inspire us all. The process is sublime, for writer and reader, and I for one thank her for taking the time to share these gem-like stories with the rest of the world.

I’d like to finish with one last quote from A View of the Lake, taken from the chapter entitled “A Night of Shooting Stars.” In this essay, the author has just witnessed the Leonid meteor showers.

“Small, vulnerable, and intensely alive at that moment, I gave thanks for the incredible universe that sustains and enlivens all creatures. I was no longer sipping from the cup of life, I’d become one with it.”

Very highly recommended by Aaron Paul Lazar.  Buy it here.

***

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, FOR KEEPS (MAY 2012), DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (APRIL 2012), and the author’s preferred edition of UPSTAGED (JUNE 2012).

Excerpt From “Confessions Of A Crazy Fox” by Anna Mullins

Anna Mullins, a guest author on this blog today, writes:

Confessions Of A Crazy Fox is my memoir that spans most of the 20th century. It is an unusual Texas based story that has almost all the quirks usually associated with our great state, drama, scandal, greed, oil, religion, and humor. This is an brief excerpt that involves stories my mother used to tell. She took the job with Howard Hughes’ aunt in Houston Texas in 1930 to help save the family cotton farm at the beginning of the Great Depression.

Excerpt:

“Mother went to Houston in 1930 and lived one of her favorite adventures working four years as a nanny for Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Rice Lummis; they had three children. Annette Lummis was Howard Hughes’ Aunt; she was his mother’s younger sister. Mother loved to tell stories about how the “rich” lived and Howard. They had an interesting relationship and mother probably told me more about it than she did anyone. That is because I quizzed her about it.

Mother, barely seventeen, found herself living in a strange and enchanting new world of opulence she never knew existed until she became a part of it. She always spoke in awe and appreciation of those years; they affected mom the rest of her life in a positive way.

Mother told me these “Depression era” stories over many years and I’ll relate what I remember. There are gobs of stories of Howard Hughes in print and a few I’ve read document what mother told me, but some of the things I’ve never heard from any other source. Mother saw Howard Hughes on a number of occasions when he came to Houston and stayed or visited with his Aunt. Mother said he was still close to her at the time because she moved into his family home and helped take care of him after his parents both died by the time he was 17. He was in his latter twenties at the time mamma met him and she said it was apparent he was already a strange dude, but she evidently liked his attention.

Mom said Howard mystified her as he did a lot of people, including his relatives. She said he was good-looking, very tall, and always friendly to her and the housekeeping staff. Howard’s cook traveled with him and he usually ate in the kitchen with the servant’s, right out of the pots the cook prepared his food in. Mom said Howard especially loved crème peas and seemed more at ease with the housekeeping staff than he did with his relatives. She felt that interaction was always too formal and polite. Mother realized later the reason Howard would eat out of the cook pots with the stirring spoon—he probably didn’t trust his aunt’s or anyone else’s dishes and silver was germ free.”

*****

Mother and Mrs. Lummis remained friends for over 40 years. I last saw saw her in Hermann Hospital in Houston in 1972. Dad had to have a hip transplant and Annette Lummis came to visit, she was in her 80′s by then.

Confessions Of A Crazy Fox is available at:  http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Crazy-Maria-Kolojaco-Mullins/dp/0984639284/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317649928&sr=1-1#