Where Happiness Lives

Poet (and son) extraordinaire, wrote this one after a visit to Europe. He happened to be in Lucerne when they were celebrating their humongo annual festival there, and witnessed law enforcement at its finest… ūüôā

Where Happiness Lives

Golden lights
And the deepest shadows
Smiling faces illuminated by life
A commodity where I come from
An inherent condition here
Where joy runs rampant
Like that one naked man who
In the presence of a police officer
Streaked across the town in the wake
Of the city-wide party
The officer laughing in mutual enjoyment
Before calling the man by his first name
As a friend and neighbor
To get his shit together.

– Xander Terrell, from the book Artful Living

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A Stone Soup of Talents

This part of being a writer used to be really awkward for me – the self-promotion part – but I’ve reached a place where… it’s okay, you know? I think there’s actually more ego in refusing to share your gifts than there is in sharing them. I’d like to encourage all my friends to stop hoarding their gifts – stop refusing to share your talents – and share, share, share… wouldn’t the world be a beautiful place if we all made a “stone soup” out of whatever talents we have to add to the pot?¬†

And on that note ūüôā , here’s¬†my Amazon author page.

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Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. РMatthew 5

 

Link

Ode to Black Friday

I do not like Black Friday, sir
I do not like the brrr, grrr, whirrr
I do not like to fight over socks,
I do not like to get crammed in a box
store, you will not see me at the Mall
I do not like it, no, not at all.
The crazy, scrambling, hunter’s race
doesn’t fit my ambling, gatherer’s pace
I like to feel, I like to sniff
I like to take my time and if
I take more time than Sally and Sam
it’s the way I shop, and it works for me, ma’am.
So you will not find me camped outside the store
You will not find me standing at dawn at the door
You will not find me wedged in the mall’s lot
or crammed in traffic, with wares newly-bought.
For I do not like Black Friday, friend.
Well, except online shopping maybe – they’ll send.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
from A Poem Lives On My Windowsill
(available from Karen Molenaar Terrell’s Amazon author page)

http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Molenaar-Terrell/e/B0044P90RQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

A_Poem_Lives_On_My_W_Cover_for_Kindle

 

 

Tenth Birthbookday

We all have our stories to tell – everyone has something of value to share with others – I’m convinced of this. I hope that if you haven’t shared YOUR story, yet, you will find the means to do so. Your story is important. YOU are important.

***

Ten years ago today I clicked whatever last button I needed to click to officially publish the first Madcap book. The whole process – from typing the first word on the first page to the moment I clicked that button – had been like magic for me. I’d written other books before – at one point I’d even managed to get myself a¬†successful¬†literary agent to represent¬†one of my books of fiction for young adults (a book I later asked my agent to stop trying to sell for me because I no longer liked it)¬†– but none of those experiences with writing had quite the same feeling as the four months I worked on Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist.

I started writing Blessings¬†in April. My original goal had been to have ¬†the manuscript finished by Mother’s Day – I wanted to bind it up and give it to my mom as a Mother’s Day gift – a thank you for raising me to believe in the power of Good. But at some point early on – and I’m not even sure how this happened now – I began writing the book for a wider audience.

Authoring¬†Blessings¬†was effortless, really – the words flowed in a steady stream out of me and onto the paper. This time I wasn’t writing to try to impress or please whatever random editor might end up with my manuscript in her hands. This time *I* was the editor, and my target audience weren’t the executives¬†at some high-falootin New York City publishing house, but people like me – people who could laugh with me¬†at life’s embarrassing moments, and join me as I climbed mountains, traveled to Europe, met my husband, became a mother, and¬†rescued The Christmas Dog. ¬†There was a certain freedom in publishing my own work that I didn’t have when I sent my work to others to publish for me – I had complete control over my words and my story –¬†Blessings was not subject to the whims and dictates of anyone else. That felt good.

The only real obstacles I can remember in the authoring process were technical ones – the printer not working; my computer’s hard drive blowing out; not being able to connect with the internet when I needed to communicate with the folks at Booksurge (the print-on-demand publisher I used). But it never failed – every time I would start getting discouraged by the technical challenges I would get a call from a friend or family member supporting me and encouraging me – and the obstacle would vanish. Really, there was a whole community of loved ones who were as much a part of publishing this book as I was.

When I stopped worrying about trying to impress people with my writing, I found my voice. When my motivation was to share¬†laughter and inspiration with my fellow adventurers, no obstacle could stop me. My skills and talents as a writer were no longer an end in themselves – a way to earn¬†praise and kudos¬†– but now they¬†were¬†simply¬†useful tools to help me tell my story. ¬†Writing this book felt “right” to me. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such joy and freedom in the writing process as I did when I wrote Blessings.

***

We all have our stories to tell – everyone has something of value to share with others – I’m convinced of this. I hope that if you haven’t shared YOUR story, yet, you will find the means to do so. Your story is important. YOU are important.

***

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of its publication, the kindle version of¬†Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist¬†can be purchased¬†for just $2.99 on Amazon for the next week or so.¬†What a deal, right? I mean… $2.99 is less than you’d pay for a¬†12 ounce mocha at Starbucks. Or a pack of 24 pencils at Staples. Or a tortilla lime chocolate bar from Komforte Chocolates.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002OHD2IY/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Tenth Anniversary Special

At this time ten years ago I was busy putting together my first book, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist.¬†That little book has brought a whole lot of good into my life in the last decade. Because of Blessings¬†I’ve been able to connect with new friends all over the world – with Chip and his partner, Eric, in Florida; with readers in a book club in Chicago; with members of the local Unitarian Universalist church; with Norman in Africa and Tui in Australia; and with a whole host of wonderful hooligans on an Amazon discussion forum. Blessings¬†has led me into cool new communities and opened new doors for me, and the encouraging response I’ve gotten for Blessings¬†over the years has touched my heart and inspired me to keep writing..

I re-read my three¬†Madcap Christian Scientist¬†books again this week – Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist, The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book, and All Things New: Further Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist –¬†and… is it alright for me to say that I really liked them? ūüôā

As I read them, it was fun seeing my own development and progress over the last ten years.¬†I wrote Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist¬†in 2005, when I was in my forties. My sons were 13 and 10 when I published it. I hadn’t yet experienced the crises with depression or my career – I was chatty and friendly and “mostly harmless” (as Douglas Adams would say). I published The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book seven years later,¬†in 2012.¬†When I wrote the Middle Book I’d just come through a life-changing depression, and wanted to share my healing – hoping it might give hope to others dealing with the same challenge.¬†The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New¬†was published two years after The Middle Book. When I published All things New my sons were no longer youngsters, but¬†grown men, the depression was behind me, I’d entered a new career, and I’d just discovered the writings of Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, and D.E. Stevenson, and wanted to share them with my readers.

It’s interesting to contemplate what new adventures and friends, authors and healing, I’ll be able to write about in another ten years. I know there will be new adventures and friends. I know I will discover new authors that will open up, for me, new ways of looking at the world. And I know there will be healing, too.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of¬†Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist¬†I’ve reduced the price of the e-book version (found on both Kindle and Nook) to $2.99. Note that $2.99 is¬†only $2.99 away from nothing – and that’s not bad, right? ūüôā (And if you’ve already purchased the print version, you can get the Kindle version for FREEEE!) (Twenty-nine reviews and 4.8 stars now!)

This link will take you there:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002OHD2IY/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Madcap collage for four books

Free Book!!! (Free is good, right?)

Xander Terrell, who descends from a noble and spectacular lineage (ahem, he’s my son) is offering his book, Artful Living, for free on Kindle for the next five days. If you don’t own a Kindle… what’s WRONG with you?… No, just kidding, I’m sure you’re a fine and upstanding ¬†citizen of the world… but if you don’t own a Kindle you can bring Kindle to your¬†computer or¬†mobile by downloading the Kindle Reading App.

Link to his book: Artful Living

Link to Kindle Reading App: Kindle Reading App

And if you want to follow Xander on his blog (and who wouldn’t, right?!) go to xanderterrell.wordpress.com and join his legion of followers.

And now a poem from Artful Living:

Where Happiness Lives

Golden lights
and the deepest shadows.
Smiling faces illuminated by life.
A commodity where I come from.
An inherent condition here.
Where joy runs rampant,
like that one naked man who,
in the presence of a police officer,
streaked across the town in the wake
of the city-wide party,
the officer laughing in mutual enjoyment
before calling the man by his first name,
as a friend and a neighbor,
to get his shit together.

-Xander Terrell

If you enjoy Artful Living, please write a review and let your friends know about the book. The management thanks you. ūüôā

 

T’was Two Weeks Afore Christmas

Opening to The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

T’was Two Weeks Afore Christmas

T’was two weeks afore Christmas and all through Eff Bee
not a creature was stirring – not a she, he, or me
We were prostrate and spent from the holiday bustle
not a twitch could be seen from the teeniest muscle.

We lay all unblinking in our respective beds
while visions of gift-wrapping swirled through our heads
And clad in our jammies and our way cool madcaps
we had the vague hopeful hope our bodies would take naps.

Holiday jangles and jingles pinged through our brains ‚Äď
Presley, Crosby, and Mathis taking us down memory lanes ‚Äď
and would we remember every member to be gifted?
We mentally went through our lists, hoping none were omitted

There were homes to be decorated and cards to be sent
parties, caroling, and cookie-making, and we hadn’t made a dent.
But with a collective sigh we remembered there and then
that it’s really about good will to all creatures, women, and men.

And so our thoughts finally settled and our bodies relaxed
as we thought of those we love and a world festooned in pax.
With our hearts wrapped in kindness and the world as our ‚Äėhood
We‚Äôre all brethren and sistren ‚Äď and verily, It‚Äôs all good! ūüôā

– Karen Molenaar Terrell, excerpt from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

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