Dear Human

I was going to write a Watercolors Friday post today, however, I came across this post from Anacephalaeosis blog, and I loved it so much that I decided to share it today. Think of it as a celebration of your divine essence. HAPPY WATERCOLORS FRIDAY!

Super Moon 2013

photo by M.A.D.

photo by M.A.D.

photo by M.A.D.

photo by M.A.D.

photo by M.A.D.

photo by M.A.D.

photo by M.A.D.

photo by M.A.D.



As promised, here are a few pics of tonight’s SuperMoon – absolutely amazing! I took these a little more than an hour ago. The view from Cliffwood Beach in New Jersey (USA). Enjoy!

Watercolors Friday – Inspirational Blog

Today, I want to share an awesome blog that many of you might know, but the more the merrier, and it is the blog of Jack Canfield, and you can find it here . It is a blog full of inspirational and motivational energy, and tons of good tips to live a more positive and happy life. Through videos, articles and goodies, Jack Canfield manages to awaken readers.

If you are not familiar with this blog, take a look; you won’t be disappointed, and you will gain so much by reading or watching some of his videos. It is truly a treasure, and one to be shared, so if you love it, keep sharing! And since today is Watercolors Friday, let’s celebrate Mr. Canfield, and Happy Solstice and Watercolors Friday to YOU! Don’t forget to watch the Super Moon tomorrow, the brightest and biggest moon of this year.   I will try to get some pics to share with you 🙂


On Writers and Money

Question book

Question book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This may seem an odd topic, but it is one of the most annoying questions I get asked, directly or indirectly by people I know, and by strangers. It is asked as soon as the topic of my writing or books comes up. Besides annoying, I find it intrusive, and a lack of good manners. It comes in many forms, but the root of the question is the same. And the person’s goal is to know if I make money as a writer and how much. Here are some examples of the same question.

  • Are you making a living at it?
  • How much money you make?
  • Is it easy; do you sell a lot of books?
  • How are you doing with it?
  • I see a lot of people publishing books; how easy is that, is there money in it?
  • How long does it take to make it?
  • What else you do to pay the bills?
  • One can’t survive on that, right?
  • I hear the book business is not doing to well; all those book stores closing, right?
  • Oh, do you make good money?

I can go on an on giving you examples of the same question worded directly or indirectly.  When I think about it, the people who ask this question do not understand what writing entails, and most likely, they have a paycheck mentality.  I bet that for most writers who are serious and take their craft to heart, money is the last thing in their minds when they are writing.  Yes, we all want to make a living at doing the thing we love most; this is how it should be. We should all make a living this way, doing the things we love and are passionate about, but most people don’t. Most people don’t understand when someone’s passion goes beyond monetary compensation, or even fame/recognition. I bet that the majority of dedicated writers don’t care about money or fame; it is a byproduct of their love and effort while writing.  However, to be fair to all sides, there are those who write with the hopes of becoming e-book millionaires or gain fame and recognition in the field. Besides, there is nothing wrong about making lots of money and being blessed doing what you love and serving people. To me, writing goes beyond monetary compensation and fame (as a primary goal), and while I hope to one day do exponentially marvelous, that does not mean that I would love the craft more for it, or less if I don’t.

So by now, you are probably thinking what my answer is when I am asked. It usually goes along these lines –

  • I am very happy doing what I do, how about you?
  • I am lucky and blessed to work doing what I love.
  • I don’t price my passions; do you?
  • The day money becomes my story, that day I will stop writing.
  • I let the faeries worry about that part, while my Muse works on the most important one.
  • I am well.

And so along those lines it goes, usually the probing stops there.  So feel free to use those lines if like me, you get annoyed by the question. If you paint, are an artist, or live your passion, most likely, you will be asked the question many times. Some people don’t mind it, some people do, and it has nothing to do with how much money you make. Feel free to comment on the topic, how do you feel about the subject of money and writing?

Moonlit Valley Trivia

Vintage Shirley Temple Doll - photo by M.A.D.

Vintage Shirley Temple Doll – photo by M.A.D.

Ever wondered what makes writers tick? That is a question with as many answers as there are writers. Well, the doll in the picture, a vintage Shirley Temple doll is featured in Moonlit Valley, in chapter The Key. The doll holds a secret, and this is the first piece of trivia – what is the secret?

If you read Moonlit Valley, and would like to get a free paperback copy for you or a friend, you can play along and answer the following trivia questions.  The first person to email me with the correct answers wins the copy.  You can email your answers to .

Here are the questions. Please, if you are playing along, answer them in the email, not here, just to avoid spoilers 🙂 Thanks. Contest ends on July 31st (2013) or when there is a winner (whatever comes first).

  1. What is the secret/clue inside the doll?
  2. What is Rose and Jeremy’s street address?
  3. How many steps to the library?
  4. What is the library’s street address?
  5. What is the name of the funeral parlor?
  6. What is the name of the Lake?
  7. What is the name of Dr. Angelou’s receptionist?
  8. What is the name of the egg market/store near Rose and Jeremy’s home?
  9. What is Olga Gartier’s ladies club/society called?
  10. Name the paintings at the library.

There you have it, the 10 trivia questions to win a copy of Moonlit Valley.  The first reader to email me with the correct answers gets it 🙂 Good luck and have fun playing!

Watercolors Friday – On Writing

On Writing

On Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I want to share with you a few of my favorite writing websites, and to celebrate the book that I think made the most sense on learning about writing. That book is On Writing by Stephen King. To me, it is the best book I have read on the topic. Why is that? I feel that way because,

  • The approach is simple, honest, sincere, and experienced, and as it promises, it goes to the point, bypassing the bullshit – at least that is the vibe I got.
  • It shows you besides telling you.
  • It gives you hope.
  • It scares you.
  • It motivates you.
  • It takes you to a different level of understanding of the craft.
  • It is unlike all the other writing books I have read.
  • It puzzled me, and “un-puzzled” me.
  • It does not preach what it does not know.
  • It shows you the complexity and simplicity of writing via the author’s experience and the examples he gives to illustrate some points.
  • Stephen King wrote it.

I recommend this book to every aspiring writer and every writer, even if you have a few novels published. It takes you to a different writing reality.

Now, let me share a few author/writing websites that I like, and have found very helpful.  Some I may have mentioned on earlier posts.

These are just a few of the sites I enjoy and find very helpful/informative to aspiring writers. Today we celebrate Stephen King, and these awesome sites.

Happy Watercolors Friday everyone!

Ghost Words

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The more I think about our kind, I see the complexity of our being.  This morning for example, I went for my early walk, and saw this complexity unfolding.  I am a hello, good morning person, so when I am walking and happen to see another of my species, I usually say the words.  Many times, I get some kind of response – a smile, a gesture of a head tilted sideways with a subtle up movement, a hello or a good morning.  Other times, I get nothing, a stern look, or a head down, avoiding eye contact.  This has puzzled me for so long – why do people do this?  Even animals, acknowledge other species, and theirs.  This morning, I said Good Morning to a woman who was cutting some flowers, and who politely answered with a short and quick good morning, the kind with the absence of a smile.  Later on, I said good morning to a man who had come out of his home and was ready to collect his garbage cans.  He looked at me, as if I had just insulted him, and said nothing.  As I walked further, I spotted a crossing guard who was walking to reach her morning post.  I smiled, but instead met with the quick head down to avoid eye contact.  Later on, I encountered two neighbors driving to their destination flashing smiles and waving. Thank God I’d just reached home and that was the last image I had on my mind – my happy neighbors – because I was beginning to feel a bit uninspired and yes, puzzled, about why people behave that way so early in the morning. I understand when people have had a rotten day, but so early?

It is true that we are living in a fast technologically “challenged?” society, and that we seem to “need more hours” to keep up the pace. However, we seem to have forgotten good manners while we spend the 24 hours we have. It seems to me that two very important words/phrases are almost nonexistent these days – GOOD MORNING (or Hello) and THANK YOU.

It may be my perception, but I seem to hear them less these days. It was very important to say Thank You or Good Morning, not too long ago, although it may seem another century, or as if these words have been relegated to retail pleasantries status. It puzzles me when a door is held or opened for someone, something is given, or someone takes the time or effort to do something for someone, even for a stranger, and these words are never said. As if the person at the other end was a ghost.

What has happened to us? Why are these words less important today than a few decades ago? I am not sure if the speed we live our lives has to do anything with it, or is it that our values have changed, and good manners are not important any more? Sometimes I get more thank you’s from automated systems/services or machinery than from human beings. It is not that I want to be thanked all the time, but more of a concern about “where is our kind headed.” A world where everything is taken for granted? One without gratitude? One where machines seem to have better manners than humans? Or are we there?

We all have our slip-offs and moments of “zombie awareness,” but when our hurried steps/lives become more significant than the generous acts of others (who happen to have the same 24 hours that we have), maybe it is time to stop the purposeless frenzy and think about how long  has it been since we said the Ghost Words.  By the way, Thank You for reading this.