Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Life is Short – Buy the Shoes! by D.G. Kaye


Welcome back to the second of post from the archives of Debby Gies...this post amused me as well as inspired a recent purchase – yes I am a shoes hoarder too….and Debby is absolutely right. Life is too short!

High heel shoes

“Life is short—buy the shoes.” This is a small sentence, although packed with some good advice. I took a little writing journal with me on my recent vacation and this quote was the title of the journal.

The cover had a pretty caricature of a girl, happily skipping among flowers while wearing pink stilettos, which captured my attention. Anybody who knows me, knows how much I love shoes, so buying the journal was a no brainer for me.

I found the cute little journal while looking around in the stationery section of a gift store in Arizona. Every time I picked it up, it reminded me not to hem and haw over little decisions in life which we tend to let grow so grand sometimes in our thoughts. And I bought it.

With so much sickness and evil in the world, we shouldn’t be burdening ourselves with petty worries. We have to remember to have gratitude in the little moments that make us feel happy.

If we come across some item that makes us feel good and brings us a smile then I say indulge. You like it, you buy it! If it doesn’t cut into your life savings or living budget, and it brings you joy, then go for it!

“Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring us pleasure and can fill a dark day with sunnier skies.”

Life’s too short, found in a storefront window in Sedona, Arizona

©D.G. Kaye 2015

D.G. Kaye writes memoirs and non-fiction including The Words We Carry. The book explores the damage that can be done to our self-esteem with unguarded or unkind words when we are young.

About Words We Carry

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

One of the recent reviews for the book

As a writer, I have immense respect for fellow writers who share their personal journeys and challenges with the sole intent to help ease the burdens of others. In Words We Carry: Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem, Author D.G. Kaye not only shares her very personal journey to self-worth, she does so with an enlightened, grateful heart. Personally, I loved Kaye’s candid, engaging, and often times humourous writing style. This is an incredibly personal read and one that offers guided hope and encourages self-reflection.

Our lives are shaped by our experiences; every encounter, every moment holds the capacity to build us or break us. Our resiliency to endure and overcome, in large part, correlates with how we see ourselves, how we value our self-worth. Kaye doesn’t profess to be an expert on this topic; the value of this book lies in the authentic approach in which she shares her personal journey. Our self-esteem and personal acceptance are intrinsic to a life of fulfillment, a life of joy. Our ability to celebrate our unique qualities and embrace our imperfections is not a simple endeavour, but it is possible. Amazing things transpire from this inner peace, and this memoir is a testament to that truth. Kaye brilliantly shares her journey to self-love, her tenacious spirit shines bright, her words are an offering of hope for those who may be struggling to chart their own course. Her approach is genuine, her encouragement sincere. She is in your corner! A highly recommended high-star read!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Words-We-Carry-Obsession-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B00OQJGE42

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Words-We-Carry-Obsession-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B00OQJGE42

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

Read more reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7390618.D_G_Kaye

About D.G. Kaye

d-g-kayeDebby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

My thanks to Debby for this inspiring invitation to partake in life’s small pleasures.. and since we are being open about some of these small things that make us happy….. how about putting your secret vice in the comments section…. within reason!!!

 

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Author Inteview – John Fioravanti


Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Please extend a warm welcome to my guest today on the Cafe Book Reading.. author John Fioravanti. I know that having read John’s interview you will have your own questions and please put those in the comments section of the post.

First something about John Fioravanti in his own words.

I taught high school history for thirty-five years in just two schools in the Waterloo, Ontario region. My wife and business partner, Anne, and I have been married for more than 40 years. We have three adult children and three grandchildren. In 2002, I wrote an educational book for high school students about writing skills in the discipline of History. “Getting it Right In History Class” is available in Canadian and International editions at Wintertickle Press.

In 2006, Iceberg Publishing commissioned me to write an inspirational book about my years in the classroom. “A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” was published in 2007. The book won a Bronze Medal at the IPPY International Awards in Los Angeles in May, 2008. I retired from teaching the next month.

My wife and I decided to strike off on our own and founded our own publishing company in December, 2013. We called it Fiora Books. Our good friends at Iceberg Publishing turned my award winning book back over to us to publish under the Fiora Books imprint. The 2014 edition of “A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” was released in May, 2014 on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

This was followed by Passion & Struggle Book One of The Genesis Saga in 2014, Treachery & Triumph Book Two of the series in 2015

One of the latest reviews for Book One of The Genesis Saga.

Mr. Fioravanti wrote a thought provoking science fiction story set in the year 2796. There is a lot of detail in the beginning of the story, that slowed me down at first. Although, once I got into the story, I was hooked. I found some chilling parallels with the story line and what is happening in our own world. Genesis is a tropical planet that humans inhabited after they had to leave Earth when a virus got out of control. Earth was left to evolve in new ways. A common enemy united both planets for a past war. This led to Genesis trying a new form of government modeling after Earth.

Implementing government reform does not go well, because Genesis is a society evenly split between religion and science/warrior classes. But, “Passion & Struggle” is about more than politics, war and religion. There is romance, adventure, hidden agendas, friendships, enemies and intrigue. The relationship between Earth and Genesis is fascinating within itself, but it’s the people that kept my attention. When I got to the last page, I wanted the story to continue and luckily it does! I will be reading the rest of the series!

Reflections: Inspirational Quotes and Interpretations in 2016.

REFLECTIONS was a perfect book to read over the holidays. Each chapter focuses on an inspirational quote from such notable people as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Anne Frank; and, because of this approach, the book can be read non-linearly. The reader can move from one reflection to another, as interest dictates.

There are 50 quotations included in the book, each of which author Fioravanti provides his interpretations, a practice he adopted for his weekly blog. His thoughts, measured and insightful, spur the reader to consider his or her own. This book earns my endorsement and support with Five well-deserved Stars.

Find out more about John’s books and his latest reviews: https://www.amazon.com/John-Fioravanti/e/B00JSAHGAU

Now time to discover more about John and his life and work. He is looking forward to answering your questions and please pop them into the comments at the end of the post.

Welcome John and could you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

My first chosen genre is Inspirational Non-Fiction. I entered the teaching profession in 1973 to help young people navigate the treacherous waters of the teen years, and my desire to help others has never gone away. I also write Science Fiction having been inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek TV series when I was in high school. I never lost my fascination for space exploration. My sci-fi books are best described as human drama in a futuristic society, as opposed to classic space battles with otherworldly technology.

Tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger?

My blogs have fallen into three categories – the first two reflect the genres in which I write. In the MY INSPIRATION blog series, I select an inspirational quote by an author or well-known person and then write an interpretive reflection about the quote.  https://wordpress585519.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/my-inspiration/

The second set of blogs are vignettes called GENESIS CHRONICLES. These are a set of 25 prequels to my current sci-fi series called The Genesis Saga. https://wordpress585519.wordpress.com/category/the-genesis-chronicles/

My latest set of blogs reflects my interest in teaching History in the classroom for 35 years. JOHN’S ARCHIVES put forward five events that happened on the current date in history, as well as three famous people born on that date: https://wordpress585519.wordpress.com/category/johns-archives/

What do you believe is the most important event to have affected our lives in the last 100 years?

I believe the most important event that has affected our lives in the last 100 years is the advent of the World Wide Web in 1989-90. Although there were other networks established two to three decades earlier, the Internet has profoundly impacted just about every aspect of our lives. I won’t list all of those ways here, but there are a few that are most important to me.

First, the Internet allows families to connect regularly, keep those bonds of affection, and support alive and well. As well, The WWW has revolutionised the global economy allowing many people to support themselves through online businesses. Now we can shop from our computers and other devices! Finally, the Internet, through social media, has impacted world events like no other medium in history. Would the throngs of women who marched in most major cities around the world recently have happened without the linkage provided by social media? I think not.

As a history teacher for thirty-five years what do you feel has been the most significant change to the education system in that time?

The most significant change in education during my career (1973-2008) was the advent of the Internet coupled with the use of computers in the classroom. The Internet has revolutionised research for every level of education. In my day, we researched at the school library and the local public library. The use of computers at home and the classroom has given students an invaluable learning tool to use in every area of study across the curriculum. As a teacher, my effectiveness in lesson presentation, skill development for students and in assessment and evaluation – and reporting, was enhanced many times over by the computer and access to the Internet. The exciting thing is that these twin tools are still evolving!

You have written both non-fiction and fiction. Which do you prefer and why?

Of the two genres, fiction and non-fiction, I prefer to write my science fiction novels. Just as reading a great novel is first-rate escapism, so too is writing such a book. As the author, I love to escape my reality in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 2017 to write stories about people living on a fictitious planet in a distant galaxy, six hundred years into the future.

I devoured novels by the dozen as a kid growing up and always regarded the authors as special beings. How did they come up with these plots and characters? How did they weave subplots together? When I discovered later in life that I can do this too, I was thrilled! I also love the act of creation – bringing something into existence that was not there before. Writing fiction is exciting stuff!

Having been a history teacher, which era do you feel has been the most significant in terms of the nations we are today?

As a history teacher, I’d say that the most significant era that impacted the nations that we are today is the period of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. This period saw the decline and breakup of the global European empires, the rise of independence movements among colonies, and most importantly for all of us, the ascendancy of the United States to the #1 world power status by 1900 and super power status by 1945. The Americans have had more influence on the world regarding economics, culture, politics and the military than any nation in history. We were spared World War III because the USA assumed the mantle of “World Cop” and enforced Pax Americana with a military unparalleled in size and power.

Connect to John on his website and social media.

Fiora Books websitehttp://fiorabooks.com/
Twitter Accounts:  https://twitter.com/JohnJFioravanti  and  https://twitter.com/FioraBooks
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/john.f.fioravanti  and  https://www.facebook.com/FioraBooks/
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-fioravanti-3a817718/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnFioravantiAuthor
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5246942.John_Fioravanti

My thanks to John for his thought provoking answers to the questions and it is now your turn to take over the interview with your own questions. John will be popping into the interview over the next two days or so to respond.

 

Guest Post – Wendy Janes – Musings on proofreading fiction and non-fiction


As writers it is always helpful when those who edit, proofread and format our words, provide us with tutorials.  This post by Wendy Janes was published two year’s ago but I think is worth revisiting. Particularly as I need to update Wendy’ books.

I will now hand you over to Wendy…. enjoy.

710u6nvmhnl-_ux250_Musings on proofreading fiction and non-fiction.

Back in the twentieth century when I started out as a freelance proofreader I worked solely on non-fiction, mainly academic texts for a variety of publishing houses. Each had an in-house style guide that editors and proofreaders were expected to work from, which was very useful for a newbie who felt she needed a safety net.

In addition to correcting grammar and punctuation, I became involved in decisions about the hierarchy of headings, styles for different types of lists, plus the setting of figures, tables and boxes. I was also required to check in-text quotations and references against bibliographies and reference lists, as well as ensuring that bibliographies and reference lists were set correctly and contained full publishing details. It was meticulous and rewarding work.

Friends used to remark that I must be very clever, since I spent my days reading so many interesting books about obscure aspects of subjects such as education, history, politics, art and film. Alas, this wasn’t the case. Although I had been totally immersed in a book while proofreading, once I’d finished, it was astonishing how little I could remember. Maybe there’s only so much my brain can retain. However, one fact I do recall is that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were delivered by the same midwife.

Anyway, let’s get back to the proofreading…

After a few years, a publisher offered me a novel to proofread. Elated by a sense of freedom – no lists, no figs/tabs/boxes, no quotes and, joy of joy, no extensive bibliographies and references to double-check – I reckoned this was going to be a doddle.

To my surprise, it wasn’t.

Very quickly I discovered that I had to constrain my initial impulse to impose every single rule I’d been required to use when proofreading non-fiction. Let’s take the following sentence, as an example:

The therapist should ensure they keep their notes up to date.

In the textbooks I’d been proofreading I was expected to change this to:

The therapist should ensure he or she keeps his or her notes up to date.

OR

Therapists should ensure they keep their notes up to date.

Some of my publishers encouraged their authors to make a note at the start of the book if they had chosen to run with masculine or feminine, but the mix of singular and plural was to be avoided at all costs. This is far less of an issue with informal non-fiction and in novels, where common usage and flow is more important. For a while when proofreading fiction I had to physically stop myself from correcting this. Mentally, I still make the correction, whatever I’m reading.

Similarly, I would correct the following contractions in the reference books I was working on:

Good therapists don’t doodle in their notebooks during therapy sessions. It’s not professional.

TO

Good therapists do not doodle in their notebooks during therapy sessions. It is not professional.

That formal style would make for a very stilted novel, and in dialogue (unless the character is particularly prim and proper) it would sound downright wrong.

As I received more fiction titles it became clearer that while errors in fiction can suck all the drama from a novel, errors in non-fiction make the reader doubt the authenticity and accuracy of the information. I also realised the importance of listening to the novelist’s voice and the need to take time to decide when to intervene and when to let something go. In fact my touch is now much lighter with both fiction and non-fiction, and I reckon that makes for better proofreading.

I believe I was lucky to start off proofreading non-fiction for publishers, picking up invaluable tips from the editors I worked with while honing my skills. I think this post is a sort of thank you for that start. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to make the move into proofreading for independent authors. Initially, working with indie authors felt like swinging through the air on a trapeze without a safety net below. No in-house style sheet to rely on, no editors to double-check things with, just a knowledge that I had the confidence and skills to take that leap, catch the bar, execute a perfect somersault and land gracefully on the other side.

Books by Wendy Janes

Wendy JanesOne of the excellent reviews for What Jennifer Knows

‘What Jennifer Knows’ is a subtle and shocking tale of modern family life and relationships.
Sensitively drawn characters charm us but we, like them, are unsure who to trust. The shifting nature of loyalty and love is portrayed through searingly honest glimpses into the characters’ lives, both past and present.

The children in the novel are beautifully drawn and the way Tim’s siblings give him the acceptance and understanding he needs is both heart-breaking and wonderful.
As the complex plot deepens, we become so caught up in the characters’ lives that we have a real sense of urgency to know what will happen. How will Jennifer deal with what she knows? The final twist gives a fitting ending to this extra-ordinary book.
 

Wendy Janes

One of the reviews for What Tim Knows and other stories.

After reading and enjoying “What Jennifer Knows” by Wendy Janes, I was looking forward to seeing what these short stories held. Although all the stories were engaging, my favorites were “The Never-Ending Day” and “What Tim Knows”.

“The Never-Ending Day” tells the story of a new young mother, and I was completely impressed with Janes ability to make the reader feel this poor woman’s anxiety, fear, and isolation as she tried to adjust to her new role as a parent. Becoming a mother is often painted as an awe-inspiring experience, but in truth we know that many women struggle with the new responsibility, and when they do it’s easy for them to feel as if there’s something wrong with them. This piece was intensely honest, and I was relieved when the story ended on a positive note.

“What Tim Knows” tells the story of a young autistic boy going to his first birthday party. Janes did an excellent job of showing what it must be like to go inside the mind of someone on the spectrum and the constant struggle to make sense of the world, especially as a child.

Janes has a wonderful ability to place herself inside the hearts and minds of a variety of character types, making her readers feel empathy for those characters, even in instances when the reader may not particularly like them. I would highly recommend this read. 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Janes/e/B016J66C9G

About Wendy Janes

Wendy Janes lives in London with her husband and youngest son. She is the author of the novel, What Jennifer Knows and the short story collection, What Tim Knows, and other stories. She has also contributed short stories to a number of anthologies, including the fundraising anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage.

Her writing is inspired by family, friends, and everyday events that only need a little twist to become entertaining fiction.

As well as writing contemporary fiction, she loves to read it too, and spreads
the word about good books online and in the real world.

Wendy is also a freelance proofreader, and a caseworker for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service.
There are many testimonials for Wendy’s work and I am just sharing one with you here. I suggest that you pop over and read the others. You will be impressed.

“Wendy proofread my second novel, she is a pleasure to work with. Her knowledge, skill and sharp eyes picked up numerous, minor errors which both I and my editor had overlooked despite numerous read throughs. Wendy noted misleading sentences, caught graves which should have been acutes and found spaces in places they shouldn’t haven’t been.

My manuscript now sparkles, and I would definitely use Wendy again. Her prices are fair, her work is exemplary, and the proofread was completed ahead of schedule.
Thank you, Wendy, for a scrupulous and professional service. Thoroughly recommended.” Sam Russell, author of the contemporary romances A Bed of Barley Straw and A Bed of Brambles
 

To find out more about Wendy, proofreading, her own published work and how to get in touch here are the links.

Website: http://wendyproof.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendyproof
LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/pub/wendy-janes/56/852/11a/en
Google + : https://plus.google.com/106071781880105004637/about
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/wendyjproof/about

My thanks to Wendy for her very interesting and useful post and you are of course welcome to share in anyway that is physically possible.  You are also most welcome to contribute to this blog.  I consider it a collaborative work in progress and the more variety the better..

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Allow Yourself to be a Better Person by Balroop Singh


New on the shelves

Today a self-help book that aims to help you find the positive traits that have the power to change our perspective on the world and also what others may think of us.  Allow Yourself to be a Better Person by Balroop Singh.

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About the book

Do you think you are a good person? Would you like to meet your better self?

Welcome to the vast vistas that this book unravels before you by highlighting the shaded areas that could never get your attention.

Enhancement of personality is a long process, which starts only when we acknowledge the need for it. Often we detest looking at our imperfections and if somebody is professionally successful, the thought doesn’t even strike.

This book enlightens you about the goodness, which lies dormant within us till we make an effort to explore it. It exhorts you to introspect and accept natural human failings. It guides you towards the metamorphosis that could make you an endearing personality.

Also by Balroop Singh.

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One of the reviews for Emotional Truths of Relationships

Wonderful book based on emotions and relationships, which we all need in our lives. It tells us how we can go through the ups and downs and come out strong.

Balroop has weaved the words so well in her book as she tells us about the delicate bonds of love, whether they are with our children, spouse, any family or friend.

I liked the way she’s dealt with the subject of emotions, especially relationships and how to deal with them. Also, the little examples given within the book based on her own personal experiences add the icing on the cake! Just love the quotes added in between that give more meaning to what’s written.

We must not forget that all relationships are based on emotions, whether positive or negative – so they need to be handled with care. A very well written book, and definitely a must read for all those who believe that emotions and relationships matter. 🙂

Buy all of Balroop Singh’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

About Balroop Singh.

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Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BalroopSinghsrao/posts
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

There are a number of ways that you can promote your books or blogs here on Smorgasbord and you will find all you need in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/

Thank you for dropping by today and it would be great if you could share Balroop’s books around… thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Party – Guest author D. G. Kaye with Childhood Christmas Wishes and My First Biggest Tree


christmas partyToday’s guest is no stranger to many of you as Debby Gies, author D.G. Kaye speeds through the Internet like a express train, promoting all of us with elegance and sincere friendship. She is a terrific supporter of Indie authors and you will find interviews, reviews and posts on life at http://www.dgkayewriter.com

Recently Debby published a poignant and thought provoking memoir titled P.S. I Forgive You, about her turbulent relationship with her mother that echoed down the years even after her death. Of course there have been some great reviews and I will tell you more about the book later.

First however, I will hand you over to Debby…..

D.G. Kaye AuthorChildhood Christmas Wishes and My First Biggest Tree by D.G. Kaye

As each December approached, I’d take in the views of the glorious glow of Christmas lights and decorations sprouted everywhere, from the street light posts to the homes we’d pass while driving by them, sparkling in all their glory. I was a child and wanted so badly to be part of Christmas.

Coming from a family that didn’t practice much of religion, and having Orthodox Jewish grandparents on my paternal side, didn’t afford me the luxury of having a Christmas tree. This didn’t mean that I didn’t love Christmas and all special festivities I’d witnessed on TV and from visiting friend’s homes who celebrated. I envied the kids who spent fun times with their families, doing traditional holiday things such as wrapping presents, singing carols and most especially, decorating the tree. Oh how I longed to have a bright and sparkly Christmas tree in my home.

When I was very young I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be a part of the festive season, and nobody explained religion to me, other than being told by my grandparents that Jews don’t celebrate that holiday. I’d remembered hearing snippets of memories my mother had mentioned in passing about her lack of Christmas festivities in her own childhood because they were poor, and even though her mother loved Christmas, they didn’t celebrate it because my maternal grandfather was Jewish. I felt empty inside. I felt trapped and confused wondering what kind of religion was I part of where we didn’t celebrate the universal Christmas, and the holidays we did celebrate were not near as much fun.

I wanted to be a part of a family celebration, and other than seeing the menorah lit at my grandparents’ house or gathering there for a compulsory Passover dinner, which consisted of what felt like hours of sitting at the Seder table listening to Hebrew prayers, we didn’t celebrate anything. This didn’t quench my fascination and longing to celebrate with loved ones, nor did I feel any bonding; something I craved much of as a child.

I wanted to wrap up shiny presents and give them to people I loved. I wanted to give gifts even more than I wanted to receive them. I wanted to sing to Christmas songs and wake up Christmas day and run to the tree and open presents with my family.

When I turned eleven, my excitement for Christmas had only heightened. I decided that I just had to be a part of the tradition, if only in a small way. So I began my own ritual.
I was the eldest of four—the mother hen of my siblings. We were alone together much of our childhoods and I wanted to get them as excited as I was about the Christmas holiday spirit. I saved my allowance and went to the local drug store before Christmas Eve and bought candy and little prizes with the coins I had saved, so that I could fill stockings for them. I told my siblings to hang a sock over the fireplace before they went to bed on Christmas Eve. And I made up little Christmas stories to convince them that Santa loved all children, and told them if they would be good and not fight, Santa would come to our house too.

I filled those stockings for a few years, until the younger ones realized, as they were getting older, that there wasn’t really a Santa. But for those four to five years, I filled their imaginations and stockings, and they believed in the magic of Christmas. Through those years, I wanted a Christmas tree so badly, and I never gave up asking my mother to allow us to have one, to no avail. I even tried to sell her on the idea of getting a Hannukah bush, but that never happened either.

When I moved away from home, still in my teens, I got my first tree. I couldn’t wait for Christmas to come so I could go and buy the biggest tree I could find that would fit in my living room. It was a Scotch Pine, and I didn’t realize just how humongous it was until it ‘thawed’ and drank lots of water, until its branches unfolded to almost eight feet wide! I also wasn’t aware of the potential aftermath of prickly Scotch Pine tiny needles left fallen deep inside my shag carpet, long after Christmas passed.

Excitement filled me as a friend took me to a tree farm and I picked out my first beautiful tree that he happily loaded on his truck and helped me carry inside my small apartment. The thrill continued when I went out the next day to purchase my first sparkly, Christmas ornaments to decorate my very own tree.

First time experiments aren’t always conducted with great expertise, and when we’re young we don’t always seem to worry about repercussions. By the time the season ended, that tree had grown so ginormous and needles were falling at lightning speed. My thick, blue shag carpet had already had many needles buried deep within it and when it came time to throw out the tree, I shuddered at the thought that most needles would have fallen off before I got it to the front door, so I resorted to Plan B.

The 14 x 14 inch window was only a few feet away from the tree. A few pals came over, helped me move the couch away from the window, and somehow we managed to fit that 8 ft x 8 ft tree out the window then retrieved it quickly before the superintendent would see it, and carried the almost bald branches to the garbage room.

I will never forget how happy I was that Christmas Eve, in my own peaceful home, sipping wine with close friends in front of the tree, my first real Christmas Eve. I also learned for future trees, how to anticipate their girth spread, and to never get a Scotch Pine again. LOL

©D.G. Kaye 2016

P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. KayeAbout P.S. I Forgive You.

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

And one of the latest reviews.

By Di Amazon Customer on November 22, 2016

I have always felt that something good can always come from something bad and this book clearly proves it. D.G. Kaye is the good that has for some blessed reason come from a horrific childhood. Her mother trumps the fictional mom in Yaya Sisterhood played by Ashley Judd and Ellen Burstyn about a very selfish and narcissistic woman! Whose line in one of the scenes was “Do I look fat?” The sad thing was this book is not writing about a fictional character but a mother who raised an amazing daughter in-spite of her lack of knowing how to love anyone but herself.

I have sent this book to two friends that I feel can relate and need to know that they are not alone and can rise above where they came from and not feel guilt for being angry at their moms.

This book is sad but empowering. Showing that you are not your mothers!

Read all the reviews and BUY the book: P.S. I Forgive You

Also by D.G. Kaye

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have-bags-will-travelRead the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

Connect with D.G. Kaye

My website:    http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Author Page:   http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
Goodreads:      http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
About me:        http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter:            http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin:          http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook:         http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google:              http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram:        http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest:          http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

My thanks to Debby for her entertaining story and look forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Bookstore and Cafe – Book of the Week – Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye

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sally's cafe and bookstore

Welcome to the new series where I will be featuring one of the books on the shelves of the cafe and bookstore. There are now over 100 authors and their books, with more added each week as they are promoted in the regular features. To join the other authors you will need to be promoted in those posts first and here is the link for how you can do this.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/book-promotion-smorgasbord-summer-reading/

Book of the Week  kicks off with  Words We Carry by talented non-fiction author and friend to many of us in this blogging community, D.G. Kaye.. also known as the elegant and charistmatic Debby Gies. It so happens that Words We Carry is on offer all of this week.

Special purchase price for Words We Carrywww.smarturl.it/bookwordswecarry

5148dy-kWHL._UY250_First here is D.G Kaye with a few words about the book and I have also selected one or two reviews that the book has gathered from readers.

Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. My essays focus on my own experiences I suffered from my younger years when I was left to feel inadequate and harbored a deep inferiority complex.

Being a memoir, the stories are told through my own struggles, and I share the methods I used to try and conquer my own feelings of low self-esteem.

The stories progress with the impact that the residual damages have on our feelings of insecurity as we carry through into life and relationships.

Women of all ages can relate to this book. Ridicule, nor abuse of any sort should ever be tolerated. My goal when writing was to share and empower not just women, but men too who have endured similar events in their own lives.

Blurb

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

A selection of reviews for the book.

I just now finished “Words We Carry” and wanted to come here and write a review while it was still fresh on my mind. But it is actually the kind of book that you will draw from as needed in different circumstances as the occassion may arise.

It is a journey through this author’s life, describing the effect that words have had on her. And it really makes you think twice. It helps you kind of re-evaluate your own life and agree with a lot of the points she brings up and has you feeling not so alone in your own journey.

D.G. Kaye makes you feel as if you are sitting at her kitchen table, just having a friendly conversation about “life” and experiences we have as women. I wish I’d read “Words We Carry” in my twenties! She makes you think that other people think and feel and have had the same experiences as you. She talks about abuse and red flags, jealousy and lonliness. It is empowering and real and was timely for me, since I just quit a job of ten years and am beginning a new one next week!

A great gift for young girls just moving away or someone like me who has already lived a half a century, and am starting a new job! Thumbs up on this one!I am becoming an avid fan of D.G. Kaye books!Can’t wait for the next one.

I really gained a lot from reading Ms. Kaye’s memoir. I appreciated her struggles with self-esteem and how she came to terms with herself and began living life on her terms. I appreciated her candor about the process and her advice for how other women can do the same. And yes…I’ve been more conscious of wearing my lipstick…thanks D. G. 🙂

 Special purchase price for Words We Carry : www.smarturl.it/bookwordswecarry

Also by D.G. Kaye

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Buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books : http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

About D.G. Kaye.

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D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, and Words We Carry. D.G. is a nonfiction/memoir writer. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcomes some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything, and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favourite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favourite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).

Links to connect with Debby.

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/pokercubster
Blog – http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Facebook –   http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google   –   http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7

Thanks for joining us today for the first Book of the Week from the Cafe and Bookstore. Please help promote Debby’s book on promotion by sharing. Thanks Sally