A VALENTINE’S DAY STORY by Paul Lonardo

They say that it was love that launched a thousand ships and began the Trojan War, and that love was the reason the Taj Mahal was built, so the construction of an early 19th century mansion made of fieldstone located in pastoral Lincoln, Rhode Island may not seem all that impressive. Right?
The love story behind Hearthside House, like other legendary stories of love, feature romanticized elements that no one really questions. Such stories are simply accepted as fact. People seem to enjoy a good love story, especially around Valentine’s Day, a “holiday” whose own history is bound in myth.
While St. Valentine himself has become canonized as the official patron saint of lovers, this third century ladies’ man was actually a Roman priest who performed Christian weddings for soldiers during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, a Roman ruler who persecuted the church and issued an edict prohibiting the marriage of young people. His decree was based on the belief that unmarried soldiers fought better because they did not have families to worry about.
Though forbidden to conduct marriage ceremonies, St. Valentine did so anyway and he was eventually imprisoned for his actions. According to the legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the blind daughter of his jailer. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter and signed it, “Your Valentine.” However, no one can be certain of these accounts or deem them historically accurate, but it no longer seems to matter as chocolates, flowers, and especially Valentine’s cards, continue to be exchanged in many countries around the world on February 14th each year.
The apocryphal story about how Hearthside House came to be has all the elements of any other fable of love and lore. In other words, not everything about this love story can be substantiated.
The popular folktale surrounding Hearthside begins with its construction in the early 1800’s, when Stephen Hopkins Smith, a Rhode Islander in his 20’s, was courting a young woman of means from Providence. Smith did not see their difference in social status as an obstacle. He was a member of a noted local family that made its living in the agricultural industry, and although he was a Quaker, living a simple lifestyle, he often traveled in affluent circles, which was how he met the woman that he set his heart on marrying. The fact is that no one even knows the woman’s name or much about her.
It is believed, however, that she was more than a little cautious about any future with Smith and told him this directly. Accordingly, she revealed that she enjoyed spending time with him, but in a suitor she was looking for someone of substantial wealth who could provide her with the lifestyle she was used to.
The Smith family lived a comfortable life, but they were far from wealthy. Then one day, as if in answer to his prayers, Smith won a private lottery, something that had become quite popular in this era. Smith netted an estimated jackpot of $40,000, the equivalent of about $9 million in today’s money.
Keeping his winnings a secret from his love, Smith schemed to build a breathtaking home to sweep “Miss Prominent” off her feet. What is not in dispute is that construction on Hearthside got underway in 1810 and was completed in 1814. The 2½ story stately mansion was considered to be one of the finest examples of early 19th century federal-style architecture in the state, unique with its curved roofline and totally stone construction, which was rare in dwellings at this time. The design included a gable roof with impressive ogee curves above circular attic windows, four front entrance wooden pillars supporting a top floor balcony, and each of the ten rooms in the mansion boasting its own fireplace,  hence the name by which it would come to be known; Hearthside House. Though some fittingly would refer to it as The House the Love Built.
The magnificent home was located in an area of farm land in Lincoln on pastoral Great Road, the first traversable tract through the wilderness between Providence and Mendon, Massachusetts, and one of the oldest thoroughfares in America.
Smith continued his courtship of the woman through the four years of construction, never letting on the mansion he was building so that it would be a surprise sufficient to capture her heart. When the home was finally complete, he took a horse and buggy out to Providence and asked his sweetheart to come along with him for a ride. He was excited as they approached the bend of Great Road, and upon seeing the mansion come into view, the woman he hoped to marry clapped her hands together and exclaimed, “What a beautiful house! But who would ever want to live way out in the wilderness.”
Smith was heartbroken. It is believed that he drove her back to Providence that day and never called on her again. At least, that is the story that has been told through the years. Intermediate facts have been difficult to come by.
With no bride to occupy the country manor, Stephen Smith invited his brother George to move in with him. Stephen resided on the west side of the house while George and his family lived on the east side. Soon tiring of the commotion of family life, Stephen Smith moved into another house that he owned down the road. Having failed at romance, he put all his effort and energy into his work and career. He built a mill made of stone, similar in appearance and directly across from Hearthside. The manufacturing business he started there, however, was not successful and in 1826 he served as a commissioner of the Blackstone Canal, an important waterway that provided easy transportation of goods between Narragansett Bay in Providence and Massachusetts.
Smith became an ardent botanist, importing exotic trees and shrubs from China, which he planted all around on land called “Quinsnicket,” an Indian name meaning “large stone houses.” Today, the area is part of the 458-acre parcel of land that makes up Lincoln Woods. One plant that he was especially proud of, English ivy, grew up the east end of Hearthside for many decades. Two very rare tulip trees still adorn the front walkway to the mansion.
Smith was also connected to Stephen Hopkins, Governor of Rhode Island and signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1755, Smith’s grandmother, Anne Smith, married Governor Stephen Hopkins, making the Governor his step-grandfather.
Stephen Smith died in 1857, a relatively old man for that time, having never married. He was buried in a cemetery a mile from the home he built for a love that never was, though the story continues to live on in local lore.


We are all familiar with the modern traditions of Halloween, when kids of all ages dress in costumes and go door-to-door around their neighborhoods collecting candy and other treats every October 31. The origins of this saccharine-coated “holiday” can be directly linked to All Saints’ Day, a holy day celebrated on November 1, and followed by All Souls’ Day on November 2. Some may confuse one, or even all three of these, as being the same, but they are all very different.

All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are related, but they are two separate celebrations. On All Saints’ Day, the Christian holy day honoring saintly people from the past, there’s a call to live as saints, to remind us how we’re supposed to live. All Souls’ Day is about all souls and asking God’s mercy for them.

The root word of Halloween, “hallow,” means “holy.” The suffix “een” is an abbreviation of “evening.” Translated as “Eve of All Hallows,” or “All Hallow’s Eve,” it represents the night before All Saints’ Day. Catholics commemorate many saints on their own “Saints Day,” often on the anniversary of their death. But with thousands of canonized saints, only a small percentage are recognized regularly. So, in the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV officially established All Saints’ Day in order to honor all the saints at one time. Originally, observed on May 13, in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III moved it to November 1. Many historians believe the Church moved the observance to correspond with Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half of the year. Traditionally, Samhain is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November. The festival falls approximately halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.

The Catholic Church had a long-standing policy of incorporating non-Christian traditions into its holidays in order to bring people into the Catholic faith. This included moving the dates of Christian holidays to those of established non-Christian occasions. Many historians believe, for example, that the church set Christmas on December 25 so that it would correspond with pagan winter solstice festivals.

Thus, when All Saints’ Day moved to November 1, the church began to incorporate Samhain traditions into the holy day’s activities. This helped bring descendants of the ancient Celts into Christianity, but it posed some problems for the church. Much of the Samhain traditions centered on the supernatural and spirit world, ideas that don’t have much of a place in Christianity. More than a thousand years ago in Ireland and Britain, a common custom of Christians was to come together on the eve of the feast of All Hallows Day to ask for God’s blessing and protection from evil in the world, as this is considered a time when evil could manifest itself. Often, they would dress in costumes of saints or evil spirits and act out the battle between good and evil around bonfires; the source of the modern observance of Halloween.

Despite some unease in the church, these supernatural ideas persisted, making the occasion a remarkable combination of Christian and pagan beliefs. The Catholic Church could not get rid of the supernatural elements of the celebrations, so they began characterizing the spirits as evil forces associated with the devil. This is where we get a lot of the more disturbing Halloween imagery, such as evil witches and demons.

At the end of the 10th century, the church tried to give these traditions a little more direction by establishing All Souls’ Day, an occasion to recognize all Christian dead. The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed cannot enter heaven, and that these souls stuck in purgatory may be helped along to heaven by prayer. On All Souls’ Day, Catholic churches have a Book of the Dead, in which parishioners have an opportunity to write the names of relatives to be remembered. The book is placed near the altar, and this is done all through November, in fact, not just on the second day of the month.

All Souls’ Day lives on today, particularly in Mexico, where All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are collectively observed as “Los Dias de los Muertos” (The Days of the Dead). First and foremost, the Days of the Dead is a time when families fondly remember the deceased. But it is also a time marked by festivities, including spectacular parades of skeletons and ghouls. This masquerade is closely connected to the celebration of Halloween, as are other elements of All Souls’ Day.

In medieval times, one popular All Souls’ Day practice was to make “soul cakes,” simple bread desserts. In a custom called “souling,” children would go door-to-door begging for the cakes, much like modern trick-or-treaters. For every cake a child collected, he or she would have to say a prayer for the dead relatives of the person who gave the cake. These prayers would help the relatives find their way out of purgatory and into heaven. The children even sang a soul cake song along the lines of the modern “Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat, give me something good to eat.” One version of the song went:

A soul cake! A soul cake! Have mercy on all Christian souls, for A soul cake!

There is also some evidence of trick-or-treat type activities in the original Celtic tradition. A lot of the Samhain celebration had to do with honoring Celtic gods, and there’s evidence that the Celts would dress as these deities as part of the festival. They may have actually gone door to door to collect food to offer to the gods. The Celts also clearly believed in fairies and other mischievous creatures, and the notion of Halloween trickery may have come from their reported activities on Samhain.

While all the history behind Halloween is interesting, it is not necessary in enjoying all that the season has to offer, whether it is watching scary movies, decorating the house with symbols of the holiday, carving Jack-O-Lanterns, and dressing up for a costume party or trick-or-treating. One thing is certain, Halloween continues to grow in popularity, and it is not just for kids anymore. It’s become a multi-billion dollar industry in this country alone, and it is celebrated all month long.


Shake On It – Or Not  by Paul Lonardo

The handshake has been around in one form or another for millennia. It is well-documented in historical records, but its evolution in becoming a common method of greeting in the Western world is not as clear as you might have thought.

One of the earliest depictions of a handshake can be found in a ninth century B.C. relief depicting the Assyrian King and a Babylonian ruler locking hands. This gesture was most often representative of displays or pledges of trust, as similarly described in several passages of Homer’s epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. People “shaking hands” remained a recurring motif in the fourth and fifth century B.C. Greek funerary art.

In 300 B.C., Egyptians extended and shook with their right hands, which signified the phrase “to give.” This was a symbolic gesture of handing over power from a god to a human leader. During an annual ceremony, a king would grip the right hand of a statue of Marduk, an ancient Mesopotamian god, to transfer his authority, protection and strength into the next year. When Rome and Greece invaded Egypt, each carried the custom back to their countries. Handshaking as symbol of friendship and loyalty was even expressed in images on Roman coins.

Early 6th century Islamic teachings cite the handshake as a way to determine good or evil. The Koran associated the left hand with evil. While men and women used the left hand for dirtier daily duties, such as washing themselves, the right hand was reserved for more pure gestures, such as cooking, eating and touching the Koran. When men met, they shook right hands as a sign of equality and respect.

In Christianity, the Devil is depicted as left-handed, which is considered evil and bad luck by those with a superstitious bent even today. The Bible makes many favorable references to the right hand, such as the right hand of the Lord. Michelangelo’s immortal rendering of the creation of Adam on the Sistine Chapel shows him receiving life from God’s right hand. Christians followed this tradition by extending their right hands to shake as a gesture of goodness.

In the 14th century, European knights and soldiers extended their hands to indicate that they were unarmed. They would grasp each other’s forearms, literally patting the arm down to the hand before shaking it up and down, a motion intended to dislodge any knives or daggers that might be hidden in the sleeve. Knights raised their helmet’s visors with the right hand, which eventually became the salute.

By and large, these handshakes from antiquity were symbolic, or part of making deals and settling conflicts. The handshake as an everyday greeting is a much more recent phenomenon, with some historians believing it was first popularized by the 17th century Quakers, who viewed a simple handclasp as an alternative to bowing or tipping a hat. Other historians note handshaking in the modern sense not appearing as a routine and accepted greeting until the mid-19th centuryEtiquette manuals from this era can be found which include guidelines for the proper handshaking technique.

Just as today, the Victorian handshake was supposed to be firm but not overly strong. However, not everyone embraced this physical link enthusiastically, as some considered it an improper gesture that should only be used with friends.

As for why shaking hands became the standard form of greeting rather than some other gesture, that is subject to some debate. The most popular most explanation remains self-preservation, as the action incapacitates the right hand, making it useless for weapon-concealment and usage.

While most historians explain that shaking right hands became a friendly greeting symbolizing two people coming together in peace and not holding a weapon, science may provide a very different explanation – smell.

In a famous study conducted at the Weizmann Institute, researchers observed more than 270 people and discovered that after shaking hands with someone, many would sniff their hands afterward. This response appeared to be a completely unconscious act, but it was irrefutable, with the subjects bringing their right hands up to their noses 22% of the time. According to New Scientist, after shaking hands with someone, the subjects sniffed their hand more than twice as much as they did before the handshake. Scientists believe this activity has to do with something called social chemosignalingStudies have revealed that human sweat carries a wealth of information, including indicating the gender and age of a person, as well as emotional states, such as fear or happiness. The scientists believe that there is a lot more chemical communication going on than we are even aware.

In the midst of the handshake debate going on now over the concerns of passing germs, there are related customs around the world that are even more intimate. For instance, in Tibet an acceptable form of greeting is sticking your tongue out at someone. In Yemen, bumping noses would demonstrate that you view a potential business contact as a peer. Placing your nose and upper lip against someone’s cheek or forehead and sniffing, though limited to close relationships, is an Inuit tradition in Greenland. On the South Pacific island of Tuvalu, pressing cheeks together and taking a deep breath is a customary Polynesian welcome for visitors. Throughout Asia and Africa, honoring your elders is a given, but in the Philippines locals will take an older person’s hand and press it gently to their foreheads. In India, locals touch older people’s feet as a show of respect.

Whatever the ultimate fate of the handshake might be, it is worth knowing how it has been part of our society for a long time.


My writing journey started as I pondered if I had a book in me while I took my daily “power walks” around and around my neighborhood. I thought about the diaries and scrapbooks I kept while growing up, that were sitting up in my attic. Surely all that documentation would be useful.

One day while on my walk, I had the idea to take all the romances I had back in the day, and turn it into one long relationship. Once I had that idea, I was good to go!

To write the best story possible, I realized that being completely authentic was of paramount importance. I remember a famous fiction author saying that although her story is fiction, there is nothing in it that didn’t really happen in real life. That is completely true of April’s Heart as well. Which lends itself to some controversial points that I will discuss later in this article. I felt everything I wrote had to be pretty much exactly the way it was. The big things and the small. This made the writing a little easier because I had such a strong picture in my mind, right down to the hand gestures of a character. I wanted my readers to have the same picture in their heads as I did in mine. That was really important to me.

I finished April’s Heart on the Fourth of July, 2019. I started reading tons of articles about editing and publishing. It was all very daunting. I discussed the cost of editing with a trusted friend who told me, right or wrong, I’m still not sure, for my husband and I to edit it ourselves. I took that advice and our approach was for me to read it out loud to him. We had a blast! He found the story very funny and moving. And although he and I did not grow up together, it brought back tons of his own old memories, including heartbreaks from former girlfriends and such. We would end up laughing, then stopping to discuss our teenage years. It was hard to believe after all these years of marriage that I was hearing some pretty crazy stories for the first time!

We read it out loud twice. I found this helpful in that if I myself stumbled over a sentence, it needed to be fixed. We would discuss certain sentences or passages over and over again, way beyond the readings that summer. It’s amazing what changing one little word can do. Every word had to be purposeful. We wanted less rather than more, and constantly kept that in mind.

After our two readings together, I read it six more times. I also gave copies to several friends and relatives, and their feedback was very helpful.

The music of the time period helps tell the story of April’s Heart. I researched how to use song lyrics in books, and learned four basic ideas, all of which were used in my novel. First, titles of songs are not copyrighted, so if just using the title of a song was enough to get my point across, great! Next, you can rephrase a segment of a song lyric, so it’s not a direct quote. Did that. Or you can make up your own song lyric to suite your purpose, no problem there. And finally, you can ask permission to the holders of the copyright to reprint lyrics. So I asked myself what were the most important songs that I felt strongly enough about to go through the difficult process of finding the right copyright holders, contacting them, waiting and waiting, getting the permission, paying the fee and signing an agreement. As you may know, there are two songs in which lyrics are reprinted with permission, as stated on the copyright page of my book.

During my research about using copyrighted material I stumbled across an article in which an author gave credit to the artists of the songs he referenced by embedding a free 30 second Spotify link right there in the text. That changed everything for me! My husband and I decided to go for it! I went through the story again, listing all the songs referenced. He secured the Spotify links and showed me how to embed them into the text. As you may know, April’s Heart has almost 40 (37 to be exact) Spotify music links on all the songs in the ebook edition. I think this makes the story a lot of fun, and brings the reader right back to the time and place of the eighties.

We planned to have a photo shoot in a local high school with some young friends we would pay as models. We wanted April and Mitch up against the lockers looking at each other longingly. I thought I had done everything right. I filled out the paperwork to use the school, set the day and time with my chosen models, discussed clothing, everything. Exactly 24 hours before the photo shoot I get a call from someone in charge of such uses of schools who tells me I need a million dollar insurance policy! I was devastated and forced to cancel the shoot!

My ever supportive husband took the beach dune photo that now graces the cover of April’s Heart. I now know that most authors contract with a professional to design a cover, but again, right or wrong, we were not willing to do that. We are planning to remake the cover this summer, adding some sexy detail like a bikini top on a beach blanket. I am currently waiting for a review of April’s Heart from a group of people who collectively discuss the story and the cover, and agree on a review. I want to see what they have to say about the cover before we proceed.

I published April’s Heart using Kindle Direct Publishing. It was pretty easy to use, but had some challenges as well. However, their system of calling you when you need help was brilliant, and really helped me more than once to navigate some tricky things that I just wouldn’t be able to figure out myself!

April’s Heart paperback debuted on January 17, 2020 and the ebook on January 21, my husband’s birthday. Although April’s Heart has been largely well received, sales are slow. I have a handful of reviews, mostly positive, but it has been difficult to get any traction going. There is just so much content these days, it’s hard to get noticed. But hey, you never know, sometimes lightening does strike!

As I stated earlier in this article, everything that happened in April’s Heart actually happened in real life. That includes the drinking, drug use, and sexual activity of minors. I thought long and hard about this as I wrote my story and the year that has followed. I had to be true to myself and my readers. I can apologize for the actions of these characters, but for me, and so many people I know, this is the way it was. The late seventies and eighties. Sometimes I cringed as I questioned whether I should include a certain detail, but I just had to man up, be brave and just put it in there. “Just put it in there” became a small mantra of mine!

I feared what people would think. I feared offending people. Some of the best advice I got when I shared my fears with an author friend of mine was that not everyone is going to like ANY story. There is no story that is everyone’s cup of tea. You’ve just got to accept and expect that. Boy, that really helped me. I stopped worrying about it.

Turns out, no one even mentioned it! Not until recently that is. As a publicity function I agreed to participate in a certain program, but was notified by the organizers that they were disturbed by the content of April’s Heart, and did not want their program associated with my book. I simply emailed them back with two words, “No worries”. I let it go.

But, like I said, my readers really like April’s Heart and have left some amazing reviews that focus on the emotions of young love.


It may be a matter of research on how has social media, particularly Facebook and WhatsApp affected society.

I can talk about the changes in me and the part of society In which I move.                    1. It has created loneliness for some people and given succor from loneliness to the people,  who were lonely. At least these people can have contacts and communicate with them in cyberspace.

2. It is good and presently necessary to keep in touch with our family, relatives, and friends.

3. People are following 'Sharing is caring' and 'sharing is joy' and sharing compulsively too much. People are sharing even otherwise the unshareable things like pictures of very personal and private moments.

4. Some times I doubt that social media has changed the personality of some persons or caused duel or multiple personality syndromes. Introvert becomes extrovert and vise Versa. Some introverts start talking much and some extroverts prefer silently watching the activities without any reaction. We can see a marked difference in the behavior of some people online and offline.

I have also changed. I was a reserved guy shying away from any publicity or limelight. Now I like to share all my activities, life events, and any big or small achievements online.

Sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed by this newly acquired behavior.

However, I like social media, recognize it's power and usefulness. It can be misused also so need some caution.

Go on sharing good things on social media. Spread love and peace.


1. Mirror Imaged Shree Mad BhagvadGita (Pen) Piyush Goel has a unique art, he can write words in mirror image Piyush Goel can write words in mirror image in two languages Hindi and English.He has completed “World First Mirror Image Book Shreemad BhagvadGita”, all 18 chapters, 700 verses in two languages Hindi and English.Besides all of these he has completed “Shree Durga SaptSatti” in Sanskrit Languages, Shree Sai Satcharitra in two languages Hindi and English,Sundar Kand (two times).

2. Needle Write Book “Madhushala”(Needle)To read a book in front of a mirror ,reading then mirror very hard.People asked Piyush to read your mirror imaged books,mirror is necessary, he replied “Yes”.After a lot of thinking an idea stuck into his mind “Why should i not write a book with Needle.Then he started writing “Madhushala”,a book of Harbans Rai Bachchan,father of Amitabh Bachchan,Legend of IndianCinema,now no need of Mirror.(Mirror image but no need of mirror).

3. Book “Gitanjali” written with Mehndi Cone(Mehdi Cone)Piyush always think “DO SOMETHING NEW”, because of this thinking, he makes a project and work on it. Whenever he has spare time and bring out the work at the end and this is the result of “Gitanjali” a book of Noble Literate Rabindra Nath Tagore, completed with the help of Mehndi Cone.

4. Book “PiyushVani” with the help of Iron Nail (Iron Nail)Imagination and Creativity brings new things to the world, Piyush started writing “PiyushVani” one of his own published book, written on A-4 size Aluminium Sheet with the help of “Iron Nail”.(Mirror image but no need of mirror).

5. Book ‘Panchtantra” with the help of Carbon Paper (Carbon Paper)Recently Piyush Goel completed “Vishnu Sharma”,s “Panchtantra” 5 tantras,41 stories with the help of Carbon Paper, on one page both the words(mirror/non-mirror) appeared in front and in the reverse. (Mirror image but no need of mirror).

Fly Talon fly.
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The Day Job vs. the Passion for Writing:  Finding the Balance

By Larry Yoakum III




            Greetings, I am Larry Yoakum III and I am an author.  Right now I still have to maintain a day job in order to pay the bills.  Just like everyone else in this world, we all have to pay money to keep our homes occupied, our refrigerators full, our electric on, and hopefully have money left over for a weekend trip to Las Vegas, or even Branson, Missouri.

            One thing we have to remember as authors is that we are basically artists.  Instead of paint on canvas we put words on paper.  That in itself is quite a feat of artistic skill.

            For those of us who haven’t hit it big yet, we have to keep doing the day job.  The main benefit of the day job, at least for me, is medical and dental benefits.  Having insurance through your company is also much easier than fiddling around with doing it on your own.  Convenience is the thing that makes it almost worthwhile to get up earlier than you like so you can drive in horrendous traffic to a job that slowly eats away at your fledgling sanity.

            The balance, well, that is something I think is unique to each individual.  I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, so that is what I’ll do.  My way works for me, and it might for you, too.  If not, just keep searching for that balance.  We’re all unique and have to find that sweet spot where we can make the time to create our worlds of words.

            I allocate myself one hour minimum each night after the day job to work on something writing related.  It could be tweaking my outline for my next project.  It could be rereading what I have so far and catching some continuity errors.  Sometimes it might even be me staring at the screen, my eye on that blinking cursor as it mocks me as if to say “Come on, chucklehead.  Do something constructive!” 

            In addition to the one hour minimum, I also set aside one of the weekend days to do some major work.  As soon as I get up, provided I don’t have to do yard work or take the garbage to the road so that it can be picked up, the first thing I do is put on some coffee.  Once that smell hits my senses, it gets me in the mood.  Go into my office, fire up the laptop, take a swig of that liquid ambrosia, and…

            There are mornings where I type and type and type.  Others where I get that mocking imaginary voice from the cursor.  Don’t force it, but be persistent.  Write.  Just write.

            There is one thing in particular that really helps me out.  If I find myself stuck with nothing coming to mind about whatever I’m working on, I’ll start a different project.  At any given time, I have two or three works in progress.  Having issues with that next exciting chapter of your novel?  Try writing a short story that is completely different from your current work.

            The day job is important, too, don’t get me wrong.  I suggest that between the hours of 8 to 5, or whatever your shift is, try not to think about writing.  YEAH RIGHT!  That’s when I seem to get a lot of ideas.  Well, that’s normal author thinking.  What can I say?  We can’t simply turn it off.

            In life, we often do things we don’t want because it’s necessary to make ends meet.  When doing these things, we often want to be doing something else.  Which brings me to another area of difficulty in writing.

            Don’t think of your writing as a job.  I don’t care if you get a million dollar contract and an unreasonable deadline.  Don’t think of it as a job.  If you do, you might start thinking you’d rather be doing something else.  Above all, your writing should be your passion.  Do it because you love it.  A labor of love is something where you’ll strive and thrive, not just do to survive.  Hey, that rhymed.

            Basically, this is what I am getting at with this article.  When at the day job, do the day job.  Make your mental notes, send yourself emails with ideas so you won’t lose them, write ideas in a notebook.  Just don’t let your manager see you.  Kidding, not kidding. 

            Allocate yourself time to write at home, but don’t forget to spend time with your family and friends.  They will be your biggest supporters, even if they never read a word of your work. 

            I almost forgot one of the biggest parts of writing.  Read a lot.  Reading is exercise for the brain.  If you don’t exercise it, your imagination can atrophy.  You need to keep those neurons firing so your creativity will continue to be fed. 

            I hope that this has in some way helped you along the rocky road of finding that balance between the day job and the passion of writing.  So, until you’re that next big superstar going on a national book tour, stay sane at your 9-To-5 and never give up on the written word.  After all, it is the best escape from the daily grind for a lot of people out there.

Author Emma Huffman writes about her spiritual journey in her new book The Reincarnation of Empress  Emma. She depicts her subconscious mind and the ongoing revolution of knowing her ancestors are guiding her through out this matrix of reality in this realm....

I did the thing in a country called Vietnam.

I went on from there to have a fairly wild and messy but distinguished career in the CIA. How come, after all that, and publishing my story in books and more, I am expected on such social communication sites like this, to be some swollen-chested ape and go aggressively at my fellow human beings for any or all transgressions?
You do not become more bellicose if you have real combat experience. You become much much less. You don’t want to do it anymore because you have come to discover up close and very personal that the price is not worth the expenditure. Some of it cannot be avoided and if brought to your door you must take up old arms and stand your ground. But you do not go out and seek to commit violence.
You do not sit home and hope that an enemy is coming so you can use that weaponry.
No, you seek to attempt to get others, mostly inexperienced men, to understand that they do not want to carry the burden of killing in combat, or being half-killed themselves or both.
On social media, I am considered by many to be a liberal, libtard snowflake. It is true I am a progressive. A New Testament progressive who believes the bible needs to be quietly studied, it’s meaning discussed in fervent whispers with other believers, and then it needs to very loudly be acted upon and lived.
Don’t quote scripture to men like me about feeding the poor unless you are doing so.
Don’t quote scripture to me about visiting the prisoners unless you are doing so.
Don’t talk to me about the scripture that deals with being a good samaritan or any of that unless you are performing that function.
I am a man of peace. I will fight no more forever unless such a fight is brought to and then through my locked front door and then on through the locked basement door.
This is the most successful and wealthy country to ever inhabit any geographic portion of the earth through all time. We don’t need their stuff out there. We need to stop our fighting over it and killing people as a country, and then calling such killing collateral damage.
I am not weak unless you need me to be weak.
I am strong if you need me to be strong.
I am not what you think.
I am what I think.
The Black and White House on the edge political thriller.
My journey has been a long one and although I began writing many years ago I finally found a publisher who did not ask for payment,and after a lot of editing decided to publish three of my novels.
https://blazingheartpublishing .com are now my publisher but I also have eight books on smashwords,so as you can see although its been a long hard struggle and thus far I have earned nothing ,at last I was able to see my books published and fulfil my bucket list

Book synopsis:

A new administration is in power in the U.S. promising to enact a 'solution that is final' to the 'immigrant problem'. In spite of the rhetoric, no one seems to care that immigrants are going missing in increasing numbers, as their fellow compatriots continue with their daily lives watching their telenovelas like any normal day. Meanwhile, a mysterious ash falls across the U.S. and Mexico, and no one knows its true source. 

When Marco, a reporter for the Daily News Report, is assigned to investigate rumors of a secret immigrant panel headed by the president's staff, his investigation uncovers truths too dangerous to reveal to the general public, and he is taken off the story. 

Facing the choice of keeping the truth in the dark, or telling the world one way or another, Marco decides to go underground and head all the way to Mexico City to reveal the plot against all people of Mexican descent. Along the way, Marco is triggered by people complacently sitting around in public spaces watching telenovelas in cafes and hair salons, which drives him to shoot the TV sets to send a message, but no one seems to get it. 

Will Mexicans stop living vicarious lives of fantasy through their telenovelas and live life to the fullest? Or will time run out once Marco reaches his destination and reveals the news of an impending Mexican apocalypse?



We can speak in tongues and miss heaven.

We can win souls and miss heaven.

We can see vision and miss heaven.

We can prophesy and still miss heaven.

We can cast out devil and miss heaven.

We can perform miracles and still miss heaven.

We can read the whole Bible and miss heaven.

We can attend all church services, fellowship activities and camp meetings and miss heaven.

We can have anointing and miss heaven.

We can be a church leader and miss heaven.

You can be a deacon or an elder and miss heaven.

You can be a church worker and miss heaven.

We can have all spiritual gifts and miss heaven.

We can be rich, prosperous and wealthy and still miss heaven.

We can give and sow seeds and still miss heaven.

We can wield power and be influential and still miss heaven.

We can have a powerful voice to sing and miss heaven.

We can also have fame and popularity and miss heaven.

BUT we CANNOT LIVE A HOLY LIFE and miss heaven.


Therefore; "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye HOLY; for I am HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

 “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45

 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1


1. "I had no knowledge of the places or events which existed overseas..."

When I was a little girl, I read every scary novel I could get my tiny hands on. 

They were long intriguing tales that I was incapable of putting down. Even though I was only between the age of eight and eleven, books written by Stephen King and Dean Koontz would make it impossible for me to look under my bed or open the closet door at night.  I was never too afraid to finish the story I had been forced to put down the day before.

Those lengthy creations should have been impossible for me to read and comprehend, but I was never the average kid. I would grab novels from my mother’s stack of tales which she had already finished… of course, and with the help of a dictionary, I would search for the meaning as well as the pronunciation of words. I would also use the Encyclopedia Britannica to locate the places those books discussed. This process meant that it took me three times as long to finish a story than it did the average person. Now, that I consider the fact that I was also involved in three years of speech therapy at the time, I can see why I was eager to learn more than anyone would ever imagine.

I had no knowledge of the places or events which existed overseas or throughout antiquity before I read of them in these stories. This gave me an idea of what I was dealing with when I read of creatures and clowns capable of taking the life of someone as young as myself. But no matter how scared I was, I had to know what happened. I was so inquisitive I would risk being terrified because I wanted to know how it would end.

Fast forward a few years and I find myself living the life of a typical teenage girl in Southwest Arkansas. I fell in love with romance novels, of course. 

I had chores and responsibilities around the house. When my mom and dad finally released us from the grueling daily tasks, I would climb on my ten-speed bike and find the nearest open field to lie in as I lost myself the stories such as those of Judy Blume and later Sandra Brown. 

Each time I carried a blanket carefully wrapped around the latest romance novel I'd found at the local library, I was eager to lose myself in whatever teenage angst filled book, medieval tales of worlds in the Emerald Isles of Ireland with their ancient Celtic Tribes, or the Highlands of Scotland with their Kingdom of Moray. 

At that time, I had no knowledge of love or romance whatsoever. I was more interested in the authors’ abilities to paint a romantic picture of a time long ago but not forgotten. I was drawn to that time and had the strongest desire to visit it whenever it was permissible.

2. "Taboo" subjects not to be discussed even though...

The time I spent reading Harlequin and Silhouette romance novels cultivated in me a desire to tell stories I’d witnessed in real life but hadn't yet seen between beautifully designed book covers featuring Fabio. 

The late-night meetings of the Caucasian businessman and the woman of color were "Taboo" subjects not to be discussed even though everyone talked about it. A woman in the neighborhood, who was obviously African American, would disappear and re-appear as if she had taken a ten-month vacation, yet low and behold, a brand-new baby would also be in tow.

Now, far be it from me to question the nationality of anyone, but it seemed rather suspicious that so many obviously biracial children were identified as being part Native American when the only person close enough to that description fit the Caucasian businessman who frequented the neighbor approximately nine to ten months prior to the arrival of a bouncing baby bundle.

These are the romance novels some of us have been dying to see for the better part of twenty years, give or take a few years.

3.  "They were hard pressed to believe a teenager, in the year 1990, understood..."

At the ripe old age of fourteen, I was determined to write my first novel. 

For several months, I completed the same chores and was released to go and be a young adult. I worked side jobs and made sure I had the money I needed to buy writing as well as other art supplies. For hours, I utilized the time in which I was not working for my family or myself to daydream my stories into existence.

After an hour of meditation, I would write down whatever I dreamed about in a color coordinated spiral notebook. I would take a break and look at the clouds for a short time to clear my mind and then I would read my dream out loud. From that open audition to speak my characters and ideas into life, I would then begin to write the novels I had yet to read anywhere else.  

This was my continuous routine for two years. During that time, I wrote three full-length eighty thousand-word novels. I allowed my family members and family friends to read my stories. Often, the people who were avid readers, would tell me I was lying when I said I wrote the stories. They were hard pressed to believe a teenager, in the year 1990, understood the concepts of writing a novel.

What they hadn’t considered was that I spent hours in the public library. Of course, I was smart enough to go there to read reference books on how to write a novel. Most of what made sense to me was to copy the style of my favorite romance author. I also had to change up the characters, their names, and the situations.

Disbelief because they didn't think a kid would have the talent to write something as good as what I put on paper was quite an unfortunate side effect of writing at such an early age when their were very little to no resources for writers of color. Even though I won art contest and poetry contest I’d entered through my school, I rarely received anything beyond an offer to include my poems in different anthologies.

4. "Publishing should create more opportunities for more diverse people..." 

In truth, back then there would probably never have been an outlet for me to bring my stories to life. Diversity in Publishing was nearly non-existent. 

As a young African American female writer, I had none of the experience or the notoriety needed for a publishing agent or publishing company to take note of me.

Even though some people began to express amazement over my talents, the ribbons I'd won for writing, and my ability to focus my energies to create such beautiful works of art, possessed no power to do anything more than lend me a pat on the back and a praise for good work.

It is now a new day. The world is a smaller place. We can communicate with so many different people on different continents than was possible over thirty years ago.

Publishing should create more opportunities for more diverse people to express the stories representing the lives they have lived. 

We didn't all grow up touching and connecting with the world around us in the same way. Hungry readers crave and love stories about beautiful people in faraway lands. They desire to read about Kpop stars such as BTS and Rain, Africa’s biggest stars such as Nigerian musician Burna Boy and South African comedian Trevor Noah. More people want to know about East Indian entertainment royalty such as actress Deepika Padukone and actor Shah Ruhk Khan.

5. "... as their anticipation grows from the sensation of approaching the end of a real book they had the pleasure of stroking from..."

The world is a place full of culturally blinded aromas, colors, and flavors which have transformed the way we create, eat, and live. 

It is truly time to represent the whole world in every area of publishing.

Encouraging real Diversity in Publishing has nothing to do with publishing companies selecting a hand full of artist from different parts of the world in order to shine a little bit of sunlight on their work.

There are 12 months a year. That is also 52 weeks in a year. This means publishing companies could devote each month to one diverse group of people to showcase their brand of storytelling. With a potential to feature 365 to 366 different minority individuals receiving a showcase to push for the encouragement of these newly developing countries to read more books and therefore focus some of their economic growth on the publishing industry, this type of campaign becomes a win win for the publisher brave enough to make it work.

It is time to encourage real Diversity in Publishing by bringing the uniquely untold stories of authors and writers to the forefront because it is time to break down the barriers in the publishing industry before monster publishers find themselves in the same fix as the giant cable companies who are struggling to remain relevant in a time when the internet and hand held devices are taking over the world.

Why not control the e-feel of reading online as well as the deliciously hypnotizing addiction people enjoy when they get to turn one page after another as their anticipation grows from the sensation of approaching the end of a real book they had the pleasure of stroking from page one until they reached the end.

Thanks so much for reading taking time to read this article. I look forward to your comments regarding this article and all topics on Publication Diversity.

Andera Tumblin


Abraham is a believer who God called alone, instructed and he too stood alone to what God has told him. On many occasions, God commanded Abraham to do some peculiar things, and Abraham addicted to it without sharing it with his parents or his wife. For instance, when God told Abraham to leave his land and go to a strange that he does not knowing, Abraham did not delay to leave. So also, when God told him to take Isaac and offered him as a lamb sacrifice on the far mountain. 

In Isaiah 51 verse 2, God speaks of Abraham, Look unto Abraham you father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” 

As an Abraham was called alone, so also you are called by God alone. Salvation is a personal issue not collective issue. When you are called by God unto salvation it is an individual matter. Each person must respond personally to that call. Your wife or your husband or your parent or your wife are not responsible for any actions you take against or in support of God’s calling or instructions. 

Furthermore, as Abraham leave his homeland and his family in answer to that call, so also God is expecting you to leave some things behind to response to His calling. Like Abraham, each Christian is called alone, and we must response alone. You must make the decision alone. Responding to the vision may involve leaving home and family, leaving job and business, leaving association and friends, etc. If you want God vision concern your life to fulfil, there is need for you to leave and forsake some things that is not worthy.


“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Fulfilling God’s vision and inheriting God’s blessing requires total separation from things of the world. Undoubtedly, it will involve stepping out from among unconcerned believers who have not yet caught the vision and not ready to change or doing the will of God.

The Christian that stand alone are the Christians that become a hero of their generations. Noah standalone, and God used him to build an Ark that save the first generation from destruction. Joseph standalone he became a Prime Minister in the strange land of Egypt. Gideon standalone, he became a hero that change the history of his nation from captivity. Daniel standalone and he was a leader under four different kings. Esther standalone she became a queen in a strange land. The three Hebrew boys standalone and turn the heart of a wicked king to surrender to the Almighty God. David standalone and he became a young boy that killed Goliath. Peter, John and others standalone, and they win the evil world for Christ, and Abraham standalone and he became a pillar of faith for the entire world.

Nobody has fulfilled the purpose and plan of God for his or her life without been standalone. Be alone is a key that will make you stand out from the crowd. Remember, you are born alone, called alone and definitely you will die alone and judge alone on the judgment day of God. Hebrews 9:27

Beloved, are you standing alone for Christ or anti-Christ? Are you standalone for holiness or standalone for worldliness? Are you promoting the Kingdom of Christ or you are promoting the kingdom of Satan? Don’t forget, you cannot be neutral is either you standalone for Christ or standalone for Satan. What you are doing now and actions you are making is an evidence of whom you stand for. 

For you to standalone for Christ Jesus, you must mortify any sinful attitudes like fornication, smoking, kidnapping, stealing, uncleanness, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, filthy communication out of your mouth, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and covetousness, which is idolatry. For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. Galatians 5:19-21, Colossians 3:5-9.

‘Yay, we are flying!’ Matica yelled breathlessly, utterly thrilled. ‘We really made it. Yee-hah!’ Were you afraid you would chicken out? a voice asked her in her mind. She had to grin. Yes, I was but not anymore. We did it.
For long minutes, with her cheek pressed to Talon’s right shoulder, her arms around his neck, she just enjoyed the impression and sensation of his feathers on her cheek. Lying on his back, she saw only his outstretched, locked-in, never ending wing of brown feathers with grey patches.




In the 1950s, born to a poor family, Joshua Jenks is a black man who rises to the challenge of becoming a Senator for Memphis. Privileged to be taken under the wings of Sam McLeod, the patriarch of a rich white family for whom his family worked under, he is given an education the envy of many of his friends and peers.His dreams though puts him directly in the line of racism even as he confronts the world of politics and power. Terrorism and its threats play a huge role in his line of work as a Middle East advisor with direct access to the President himself. Joshua Jenks’ story takes its readers on a journey as it weaves in and out of suspense and intrigue.


Genre:, Mainstream MF, Contemporary Urban Romance, Intrigue

Length: 24, 559 words



                          The Black and White House


In the 1950s, born to a poor family, Joshua Jenks is a black man who rises to the challenge of becoming a Senator for Memphis. Privileged to be taken under the wings of Sam McLeod, the patriarch of a rich white family for whom his family worked under, he is given an education the envy of many of his friends and peers.


His dreams though puts him directly in the line of racism even as he confronts the world of politics and power. Terrorism and its threats play a huge role in his line of work as a Middle East advisor with direct access to the President himself. Joshua Jenks’ story takes its readers on a journey as it weaves in and out of suspense and intrigue.


Genre:, Mainstream MF, Contemporary Urban Romance, Intrigue

Length: 24, 559 words

A peek...😉
Hell has no fury

Six days later, all hell broke loose. 
"Mya...put the gun down!"  Aziz held his hands up as he pleaded frantically.  The moon peeped conspicuously through the wide paneled window, lighting the barrel of the .44 magnum Mya had pointing at his chest; the only witness to what apparently would be a perfect homicide
"No, muthafucka!  You gonna die tonight!"  Mya screamed as she held the gun perfectly still, wavering not from the weight, but from the sheer anger she had built up to what seemed like now to her was years of abuse, shame and intolerance.  Aziz gazed deep into her eyes, searching, trying to grasp onto something, anything, trying to convince her not to kill him.  "C'mon, baby...we can talk about it..."  He tiptoed slowly towards her.
"If you take one more step, Aziz, you're a dead man...don't try me..."  The hammer was cocked and locked; her wide stance widened more to prepare for the recoil.  She was ready, and Aziz knew from examining her closely, she was dead serious, so he backed off.  "Yeah," she sneered slightly as he moved, "back da fuck up!"  
Aziz retreated very cautiously towards the black leather recliner he'd just bought.  "Okay, baby.  I'm gonna sit down...okay."  He suddenly remembered he had stashed a .25 automatic pistol underneath the seat.  He didn't question why he left it there, he was just glad he did.  The only thing his mind concentrated on now was whether or not the .25 had any standing power against the .44 she brandished in her hand, and if it had a clip with any bullets; he questioned if he even had a chance.  Maybe he'd rush her, he thought, tackle her, then..."Sit your ass down now!' she barked, interrupting his frantically racing mind.
"Be cool, baby, c'mon now.  Look...I know we had our differences, but," as he sat, he groped the arm of the recliner as he slid into the plush, leather chair, "we can work through this."  Slowly, he tried to feel for the gun.  No use.  He had to figure just how to slip his hand underneath without being caught.  "I mean, baby, we're grown.  I know we need a change..."  Remaining calm, he leisurely crossed his legs; and with his left hand, dug into the side of the seat.  Steel.  "Baby, you need to put the gun down..."  He could feel the butt and gripped it.  He got it, but, "C'mon, baby just sit down..." he still had to slide the chamber and put a round in; he felt for the clip.  If he could just convince her to sit down, he'd have time to.  "Baby, c'mon now, grab a chair and let's kick it, please," he begged.
Mya kept an eye on him, his movements, knowing how slick he was.  She enjoyed it as he seemed to beg for his life.  Finally, she liked his petitioning demeanor.  Now, all she had to do was find out where the rest of the money was at.  Make him pay, much more than he had already.  "Okay, I'll grab a seat.  We can....rap.  Matter of fact, there's something I'd like to know, but," she lowered her gun down a little and then glanced over to the side of her for the foot stool that accompanied the recliner, "if you make one false move, you're dead."  With caution she reached for it, and pulling it closer to her, sat down in front of him, with the gun still aimed at him, a little lower though, pointing this time at his crotch.  "Now muthafucka, where's the money?"
""  Aziz looked perplexed as he stared.  ""  He leaned forward, blinking rapidly as if he were just coming to his senses even after all that was going on.  "What the fuck you know about that?"  "What do I know-hell of a question!"  Mya took pleasure at the twisting, searching twitches on his face trying to figure out how did she know about money that he'd stashed just a couple of-"You dumb-ass!  You think I would put up with all that shit you put me through all these years...for nothing!"
Aziz struggled with his emotions, but still managed to keep his hands on the .25 thinking to himself, after all this time, all the muthafuckas that were killed, all the bullshit he went through...was it this bitch?  No, it couldn't have been that simple.  " was you?"  "You got one more bitch in you," she said as she started to stand, her line of interrogation wasn't working; she had to go another route, be more direct, drastic even.
Coming soon!!!!! Real soon👍🏾
Lets’ leave before 31st October with or without a deal, the saved Billions’ can help pay for any outstanding bills. The UK needs every penny we can save, the Health Service and Education are millions overspent. Put Brexit Britain First, put the peoples’ UK millions first.
Vote for the 73 MEP’s if we have to?
Book Of The Day

Latest Poem

  A gentle breeze blows in the warm summer air, 
     pebbles and sand beneath my feet.
          An ocean mist sprays my face
            as I uncover my nakedness.
         A gentle breeze against my skin.
           If only Love could find me
         the way the sea wants to take me in.
           Salty water rushes to shore, 
         knocking my skinny body down
                to the soft sand below.

    Cool water rushes round my tender skin.
  One naked soul hidden only by the foam 
        of the waves under a dim moonlit night.

   A cool rush frees my soul as I run back to shore,
     refreshed by nature in the warm summer air.
          Standing naked among pebbles and sand.
                 If only Love could find me 
                 standing here at the shore.

            S.M. Jordan 2004


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