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My Newest Book is Out! (A Soft Launch)


    It was bound to happen. A friend coaxed me into trying NaNo-for those who aren’t familiar—it’s the month of November--which is set aside as a time to write an entire novel –in one month. Yes, one month! Many try to do it and can’t finish, and a few have bestselling books because they forged through and made it.  I finished, but the book I wrote became a rough outline for my finished manuscript. There were so many bizarre things, such as errant words inadvertently stuffed into the one-month time limit, that later, during weeks of editing and months of rolling revisions, I began to pull my hair out,deleting paragraphs and changing complicated sentences into something comprehensible. As the...
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  69 Hits

Watching a bee hop around is great therapy


My lifestyle is pretty frenetic running here and there, fielding calls from clients, sorting out problems with Notaires and agents, rushing off on viewings, plus I have a home life too. Dogs, a partner, a house to maintain. I do feel at times that my head is literally spinning. Sometimes shutting out the noise in one's head necessitates switching off 'phones, retreating to the garden where I have planted buddleia, a fragrant flower beloved by bees. This morning I found a good 15 minutes to just stare at the bees as they made their way around the plant hungrily feeding off each flower. What joy! Simple stuff makes me happy. Always remember, happiness is in your head. I met a client last week ...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  86 Hits

A Time To Read Books!


I don’t care what anyone says, my hair is supposed to be a long and tangled mess. This selfie displays my first attempt at trimming my bangs and it's from way back in April. I know it's funny, but you should see me now! In the kitchen, I ran out of a few spices and made some substitutions, heck, it still tasted good, didn’t it? So, hubs got involved, making crusty bread which turned out delicious.  We had help from a friend, who air-dropped packages of yeast over the garden gate. It seems his idea wasn't unique. Everyone bought up all the bread-making ingredients in the county! For awhile, flour became as rare as toilet paper.Anyway, the Fed-Ex guy is fast becoming a friend and, the Instacar...
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  83 Hits

The march of the Far Left


Watching the prince and his handler as they rabbited word salads gleaned from self help books beloved by the likes of Oprah Winfrey (who as it happens grew very rich by regurgitating 'meaningful stuff' and 'changing lives'), I couldn't help feeling a surge of anger and exasperation. The prince and the handler are clearly a massive embarrassment to us Brits in general but the thing that riles me is their genuine lack of self awareness. I recall an American friend telephoning me in tears when the last episode of Oprah aired on TV. She felt bereft and mentor-less. Her days of soaking up wisdom while lying prostrate on a sofa in her pyjamas had come to an end and she felt rudderless. I watched O...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  107 Hits

A Poem-The Tireless American Rose


The Tireless American Rose Eve GaalThe tireless American rose. Graced our fallen, pricked our foes. A graveside decoration, saluted by soldiers, a comfort to widows, the perfume of angels, to any discerning nose. A queen’s bouquet, a honeymoon kiss, where petal strewn walkways, grace romantic getaways. Glistening with a bride’s tears, or a lucky graduate’s surprise, maybe a new mother’s gift, and those wreaths explode with beauty, when loved ones die. The tireless American rose, seen at parades, waiting after war. There backstage, awarding every star. A centerpiece at the gala, a holiday corsage, there to win, every battle, every kind of heart. With, or without thorns, Through raging pain, O...
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  98 Hits

Crying or Laughing?


Those of you who visit my blog regularly, know I like to dabble in drawing. My last post was about painting, and how landscapes can become a type of escape, especially during tough times. Most fiction writers’ study human behavior or psychology, so they can create or “paint with words,” characters with realistic qualities. Right now, all you have to do is turn on the television, where the evening news is filled with colorful protesters who shout about peace, while carrying firearms. Oddly, if I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t believe it and novel readers wouldn’t find it believable either.   Mark Twain said:  “Truth Is Stranger than Fiction, But It Is Because Fiction Is Obliged to Stick to Possibi...
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  127 Hits

Spread Peace Through Art--Wish I Knew How to Paint!


Art Pastures painted in vivid greens, ‘neath skies of blended blues; soothing scenes depict tranquility, of places past-- Where tall grass blows upon a lea, shepherds tend gentle flocks, work horses graze, farmhands nap, chickens waddle to a trough. How fortunate that grandmother knew how to paint. Her heart, in cracking oils on canvas, randomly splashed on my suburban walls, reminds me, and those who visit, of peace and serenity. And you! How lucky are you? Given a chance to leave a legacy, to express yourself with art. A lifetime ahead--anew-- to spread love to future generations. Please pick up the brush, the pencil, even a box of crayons. It’s never too late to begin. (Written by Eve Gaa...
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  154 Hits

Rufus van Dalen


My darling doggie, Rufus, went to Heaven today. I could not have asked for a better friend. For ten years of the fifteen years we were together, Rufus and I only had each other and my priority was always him. I organised my life around my dear, faithful, wonderful hound. I could have given him up and gone off to live in London enjoying theatre, opera, art, all of the things I love. But here was someone who totally relied on me and who was my responsibility. People used to say that I should give him away so that I could have a better chance of meeting the man of my dreams. To me that wasn't as important and seeing my doggie smiling and knowing HE was happy and contented.Rufus and I used to  w...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  117 Hits

Happiness is...


...sharing when you love someone..Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  3 Hits

We're Almost There-30 More ideas


Don’t Give Up!Here’s Some More ideas to help keep you busy while at home.(I tried something like this one.)1.       Play cards. Rummy, poker or 52 pickup? 2.       Paint a rock for gifts or paper weights. 3.       Have a balloon fight on the patio 4.       How about a family barbecue? 5.       Make chocolate or vanilla shakes 6.       Decoupage might be fun-no Mod Podge? Use Elmer’s glue. 7.       Quilting with scraps 8.       Chalk drawings on the sidewalk 9.       Make lemonade or iced tea in different flavors 10.   Read an ebook (I can suggest several good ones!) 11.   Write a book review on Amazon 12.   Cut your bangs? Maybe not. 13.   Color your own hair? 14.   Tell ghost stories 15.   ...
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  174 Hits

In Awe


I was watching “The Universe” on Netflix. The sun, the planets, the galaxies. Mind boggling terms of billions of years, millions of miles per hour. I had to stop as it made no sense. Infinite numbers you can’t put on a blackboard and explain. Awesome dude…. Life just happened to commence with the “Big Bang”? Give me a break. I am also in awe of Good, so powerful and meaningful and helpful. I am in awe and terrified by the rise of evil in the world today. Truth is good. Always. Our Judeo/Christian heritage is mocked. The truth is that truth can no longer be easily discerned. We are pandering to the feelings of minority/identity groups. When everybody has a cause there is chaos. The news has b...
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  140 Hits

AS-201 The First


First place is what we try for in classes and on the athletic field. Always it is a dream to achieve a first place. It requires effort, a lot of effort. Just to be given a first place award without hard work makes it meaningless. There will be so many opportunities in life to make first place. The most important is to be the first there when someone is hurting, in need… Maybe it is just a pat on the back at the exact moment needed. Look at first responders. Look at our military who may be the first to save a person or buddy. Maybe being the first to tell the Truth in a group discussion. The award is given to you privately in the smile in your heart. Be the first to help someone see what is r...
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  144 Hits

2020 Commencement Address

A Special Address from Bishop C.E. Melville: A Personal Testimony of Praise and Thanksgiving I wish I could write a somber post, but I can only state that I was always blessed, and for this I am eternally grateful to God, for His love and tender mercies. Thanksgiving Meaning: the expression of gratitude, especially to God (Dictionary.com). Growing up in the foster care system only offered me one way out, and it was through education. I found myself dreaming what it would be like to be a teacher, a nurse, or someone really big. I wanted make an impact in the life others. Though many thought I was different, I was just a little girl with big dreams. I knew that my beginning wasn't going to be ...
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  139 Hits

Hope In Times of Adversity

A Special Address from Bishop C.E. Melville: A Personal Testimony of Praise and Thanksgiving I wish I could write a somber post, but I can only state that I was always blessed, and for this I am eternally grateful to God, for His love and tender mercies. Thanksgiving Meaning: the expression of gratitude, especially to God (Dictionary.com). Growing up in the foster care system only offered me one way out, and it was through education. I found myself dreaming what it would be like to be a teacher, a nurse, or someone really big. I wanted make an impact in the life others. Though many thought I was different, I was just a little girl with big dreams. I knew that my beginning wasn't going to be ...
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  53 Hits

Becoming Like Christ

Sheltering in The Most High The journey of spiritual formation can be summed up like this, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:3-5 [1] For one to grow spiritually, and become like Christ, it means striving each day to emulate his character. Essentially, Paul describes the spiritual formation process—the process of being transformed from our temporal perspective to an eternal one. [2] This is not an easy walk, considering we live in world which has fallen so...
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  124 Hits

Beauty in small things


Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  184 Hits

50 Not So Boring Ideas for Staying At Home


Does it sound like this in your home? “I’m bored.” “Can we go do something?” “Do we have to stay home?” “Mom, did you know some people go to the beach?” “You just want me to do chores.” “When can I go to school?” “I already washed my hands.” “I don’t want to stay home.” “Can I walk the dog, again?” “Read? Why?” Not everyone likes staying at home but it can be fun. There are so many fun things to do and none of them are on television! Here are a few ideas to help make the stayathome situation better. Most of these require adult supervision: 1.       Read to each other (Prizes for best listener?) 2.       Bake something together 3.       Play board-games or invent one of your own. 4.       Pla...
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  219 Hits

Sweetness in #lockdown


Confined to the house since 17 March, hubby has taken to cake making like a duck to water regaling me daily with unctuous, fattening delights which I cannot resist. I am weak. Someone else in this photo is tempted too.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  176 Hits

The Fight For Unity

What is Unity? The fight for unity is the invisible crucible mankind must bare. For thousands of years and centuries past mankind have failed ultimately at unifying themselves unto one body, faith, and purpose. But, in order to achieve success, and a feeling of accomplishment, one must understand that the world exists with many members of the same body (Ephesians 4:16). To be unified or in unity is to be of one mind, body and spirit. Likemindedness is needed and very crucial to work together in unity. Unity in the body of Christ is the essence and key to a powerful church, the precursor of miracles, deliverance and ultimately redemption. What Does it Mean to Be Spiritually Mature? To be spir...
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  118 Hits

Estrangement: darkness before dawn


For the last five years I have been working in French law and helping French property owners resolve succession or buying/selling isssues. In one particular case, a lady rang up to say that her mother had been sequestered in her house in France by her son who had also stolen all of the mother's money, or put in a more PC way, drained her bank accounts. I remember listening and then calmly putting the 'phone down once the conversation had ended. You see, the same thing happened to me.One can read all the latest psychological ramblings and research on the effects of sibling estrangement. Supposedley it is rare (less than 5%) in the US but here's what I've learned through experience. I am an or...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  136 Hits