Four Five Star Reviews!

Friends! I have four reviews for Are You Taking Me Home Now? on Amazon – which… if you’re an author you’ll understand how grateful I am for this feedback. I so appreciate that these folks took the time to give me encouragement and support in this venture. It means a lot to me.

Dr. Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars
Written with love

September 18, 2018
Verified Purchase

Betcha can’t put this book down! Even if you do not know Dee Molenaar, or know of his life of adventure, the pure love and joy of a father-daughter relationship done right shines through on every page. This is a wonderful read, full of root beer floats and day trips including Dee’s 100th birthday return to Mt. Rainier. Karen writes so effortlessly and we can only hope she brings us another book on Dee’s 101st. And, in such often indecent times, this book will reaffirm the power of a family that loves one another and is never shy about saying it. Buy several copies; you’ll want to share with friends…and family.

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars
A father-daughter love story

September 30, 2018
Verified Purchase

“Are You Taking Me Home Now?” is a heartfelt tribute from a daughter to her 100-year-old father, whom she clearly adores. In the journal-style entries, we get to know this duo intimately—through their long drives in the country; in waiting rooms and doctors’ offices; and in the adult care home where he lives, now that his beloved wife (and the author’s mother) has passed.

The writing is warm, engaging, and unpretentious. Her optimism contagious.
The book swells with vulnerability and courage, appreciation and generosity. Taking an ambling ride with these two will renew your faith in humanity.

Princess Mei Mei
5.0 out of 5 stars
Lovely, poignant, moving

September 28, 2018
Verified Purchase

As always, Karen Molenaar Terrell delivers a poignant tale that gives wonderful glimpses into her life. This novel features the authors adventures with her now 100 year old father, a famous mountaineer and climbing expert.

Through short stories, we are given a lovely look at a beautiful father-daughter relationship that will leave you happy, teary eyed and wanting for more. The stories let us see the love a daughter has for her elderly father, and the love he returns to her. A beautiful book, and I loved every page.

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars
A memoir of the love between a father and daughter
September 30, 2018
Verified Purchase

This book was so good, I bought copies for family members and friends. It perfectly captures the love between a father and daughter. In short vignettes, the author tells us of her drives with her dad, and recounts some of their conversations. It warms my heart to read of a relationship as good as this.

adventures with dad book cover

Latest book!

 

The Connections that Come from Sharing

It occurs to me that if I hadn’t agreed to sing at that wedding back in December 1982 I never would have met Scotty. If I’d never gathered my courage and published my first book I never would have stumbled into the Amazon forum and met all those amazing hooligans who have since become such an important part of my life. If I’d never put my photos out there I never would have connected with my fellow photography buffs. If I’d never shared my stories about my drives with Dad I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with the dear people who have entered my life in the last year because of those stories. And If I’d never started this blog I wouldn’t have met YOU. Even if nothing more comes from my creative endeavors than these connections with others, my life has been made so much richer because people opened their hearts and let me share with them. And my life is so much richer because YOU all have had the courage to share your gifts with me!

Thank you! ❤

***

More about the Humoristian hooligans –
So back in 2007 I was checking my first book out on Amazon and at the bottom of the book page I saw this list of Amazon discussion forums it was suggested I might be interested in. I thought I’d take a peek and see what was going on there. I stuck my toe in one of the forums – the “Christianity” forum – and my toe almost got bitten off right away – there was indignation and huffing and puffing and sermonizing and talk of hell and… yeah… so I pulled my toe out of there and tried out the “Religion” forum – and that is where I found my home – a wild and wonderful mix of atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, pantheists, and all flavors of Christian – Mormons, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, and at least one Christian Scientist – and what these people all had in common was the ability to laugh at themselves and get along with each other. They weren’t afraid of talking about their beliefs and debating them – they weren’t easily offended if people questioned them, and they could talk about stuff in a way that was straightforward and genuine – and they were willing to listen to what other people had to say, too – It was like a micro United Nations.

I started my own religion on there: Humoristianity. Here are the tenets:

1) You must be able to laugh at yourself.

2) You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others.

3) You must want nothing but good for everyone, everywhere in the universe.

4) You must have a natural aversion to meetings, committees, and scheduled events (as we will be having none of those).

5) You must enjoy the humor of… (here we had some internal conflict within the faith – but if you’re a Jerry Lewis kind of guy, you might want to think about starting your own religion – although we wish you nothing but good).

I met some of the most amazing people on there – and I still consider these people my dear friends – they got to know me, and my beliefs and thoughts, in a way that a lot of folks in my off-line life weren’t able to do – I mean, how often do you talk about religious beliefs with your co-workers and neighbors, right? All of them were writers, too, and together we wrote a book, The Humoristian Chronicles.

And some of my Humoristian friends I’ve actually been able to meet in the person! I shall include a collage below… along with the cover from my latest book, and a picture of the evening sky from last week. My offerings for today…

 

Finally – A One Star Review!

Yes, my friends, it’s true! After years of boring old four star and five star reviews I have finally earned my first one star review! It took me 11 years, but I have at last entered the dangerous, high-octane world of REAL authors – a world of controversy, intellectual debate, and take-no-prisoners searing critiques.

Of course, I always thought the one star review would be for one of my Madcap Christian Scientist books – I never would have guessed that Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Dad and Mom would be the recipient. Frankly, I never guessed anyone except my family and friends, and maybe other people with aging parents, would even be interested in READING that book. (And, actually, I’m pretty sure the person who gave me the one-star review DIDN’T read the book – there’s no “verified purchase” with the review and I think this might be someone I kicked out of a Facebook group for telling my friends to eff off – but beggars can’t be choosers and I’ll take the one-star however I can get it.)

The reviewer was really detailed and blistering in her/his offering. I mean. Well… okay… maybe not so much detailed. Or blistering. Alright, alright… it consisted of two words: “Total snoozefest.” As an author this was really helpful to me. I’m wondering now if I should have maybe added more car chases and fiery explosions and scintillating romances and stuff. I’ll have to keep that in mind for my next book.

Anyway. I just had to share. An author doesn’t often get this opportunity to brag. 🙂

book covers 2016

 

How cool is this?!

Well, HERE is a cool thing – and I know my fellow writers will appreciate the full coolness of this: I just brought one of my books, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist, up on Kindle and discovered that people have been highlighting some of the passages in there! I know, right?! How cool is that?! And yes, my readers are obviously people of great good judgment and perspicacity. 🙂

Ahem. Okay, so there aren’t, like, scores and scores of passages highlighted or anything. I mean. Well, there are three. But three is more than two, right? And two is more than one. So. Yeah.

Anyway. Here they are:

From the chapter about our Christmas Dog –

highlighted 1

from Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist

From the “Car Stories” chapter –

highlight 2

From Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist

 

And from the chapter titled “Mental Malpractice” –

highlight 3

From Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist

***

Okay. There you go. Thank you so much for letting me share this milestone with you!

Carry on then… 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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? 🙂

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? 🙂 (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. 🙂

 

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 –
Presley, Crosby, and Mathis taking us down memory lanes –
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 ‘hood
We’re all brethren and sistren – and verily, It’s all good! 🙂

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

The_Madcap_Christian_Cover_for_Kindle (6)

(3rd Book) Introduction to The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New

(Introduction to The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New)

Vonnegut, Stevenson, and Adams Talking in My Head –

In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness. And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely. “Everything must have a purpose?” asked God. “Certainly,” said man. “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God. – Kurt Vonnegut

But our early man has a moment to reflect and he thinks to himself, “Well, this is an interesting world that I find myself in,” and then he asks himself a very treacherous question, a question that is totally meaningless and fallacious, but only comes about because of the nature of the sort of person he is, the sort of person he has evolved into, and the sort of person who has thrived because he thinks this particular way. Man the maker looks at his world and says, “So who made this, then?” Who made this? – you can see why it’s a treacherous question. Early man thinks , “Well, because there’s only one sort of being I know about who makes things, whoever made all this must therefore be a much bigger, much more powerful and necessarily invisible, one of me, and because I tend to be the strong one who does all the stuff, he’s probably male.” And so we have the idea of a God. Then, because when we make things, we do it with the intention of doing something with them, early man asks himself, “If he made it, what did he make it for?” – Douglas Adams

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love… God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. I John 4

This year I’ve had the great good privilege of holding conversations with authors Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series), Kurt Vonnegut (author of Slaughterhouse Five and other equally amazing novels), and D.E. Stevenson (author of the Miss Buncle books). Okay, so I didn’t, like, actually talk to any of them in the person – seeing as how they’re all dead and everything, but I did have the great joy of reading their books for the first time this year, and sort of… well… talking to them in my head.

We all laughed together at the nonsense of life and humankind and ourselves, we chatted about God, and I found kinship with them in our similar views of “Life, the Universe, and Everything” (another of Adams’s books).

Adams and Vonnegut were atheists (I didn’t find any place in her writings where Stevenson actually voices her thoughts regarding a belief in God) and, although I do believe in God, I, too, am an atheist when it comes to an anthropomorphic god who lives in the clouds and zaps his children to hell periodically. I am of the opinion that THAT kind of a god should have long ago gone the way of Zeus and Mars and ridden off into the sunset on his fiery chariot never to be seen again except in the study of ancient cultures and literature.

I wish I would have found Adams, Vonnegut, and Stevenson earlier in my life. I can’t believe it took me so long. I’m sad that I didn’t get to know Adams – who was only five years older than me – when he was walking the earth. I’m sad that his sudden death at the age of 49 didn’t have the significance to me that it would have, had I known him then. I wish I would have understood , then , what his early departure meant to the world . And when I read his last book, The Salmon of Doubt – compiled in the year after his death by his friends and editors – I found myself sobbing when I got to the end of it – knowing there wouldn’t be any more. I felt like I had lost a good friend.

Kurt Vonnegut introduced his readers to the fictitious but way cool religion of Bokononism in his book, Cat’s Cradle, and I will be making periodic references to Bokononism in my book.

And D.E. Stevenson introduced me to the wonderfully enlightened and wise Miss Buncle, who’s brought me laughter and the comforting feeling that I am not alone as I pretend to be a grown-up.

I’m going to bring my new friends into this book with me. They are a part of my life now, and they need to be a part of this book, too.

http://www.amazon.com/Madcap-Christian-Scientist-All-Things/dp/1499746164/ref=asap_B0044P90RQ_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415835816&sr=1-2

Preface to Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer

Preface to Dee Molenaar’s book, Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer

A light breeze came up the canyon and through the pine boughs overhead, and soon isolated white specks began descending. The snowflakes increased and soon we were encompassed in a flurry that blotted out the semi-arid valley far below, and the trail penetrating the pines below the granite walls high above. In our present light apparel and on a short, leg-stretching hike after motoring from Death Valley 80 miles in the east, our “Old Cronies Expedition” took another prolonged look around, and turned back to the trailhead at Whitney Portal.

It was then that my brother K and I and our friends, George Senner and Bob Johnson, found we were not alone among these rugged mountains.

Coming down through the mists was a lone hiker.

The heavily-bearded, long-haired chap was traveling beneath a bulky backpack that suggested he’d been out for some time. However, the big coil of fiberglass rope tucked beneath a hatchet, a large cast-iron skillet, and soft-toed boots indicated this was no modern-day mountaineer with a fetish for the latest in lightweight travel.

He stopped briefly and we questioned him about his travels. He was originally from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and more recently from the Stockton area across the mountains. Tiring of the Bay Area drug scene, he was aiming for a change of pace and was now returning from a trip into the mountains. He talked confidently of his climbing experiences and we enjoyed his free-spirited philosophy before we parted. At a distance through the mist we followed his burdened figure down the trail.

Meeting this hairy 40-ish fellow on the Mount Whitney trail rekindled my thoughts of a half-century earlier – in 1937, a late-summer trip into the Sierras Nevada with my brother K, similarly clad in jeans and carrying unwieldy loads. In that day we also had the trail and the mountain pretty much to ourselves. But in today’s world, had we passed here a couple months later, during the summer’s climbing season, we would have been part of the mountain’s allowable 75 hikers registered daily for the 20-mile roundtrip to the top of Mount Whitney.

How times have changed since those youthful days of the 1930s, during the Great Depression and prior to World War II.

Yet my life since has been a succession of fortuitous circumstances – in many cases being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right person. And though the breaks never made me rich, they provided a bounty of fond memories of fascinating places and events, people and good friends.

– Dee Molenaar

http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Dinosaur-Mountaineer-Dee-Molenaar/dp/1479321907/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415850855&sr=1-1&keywords=dinosaur+mountaineer