Bounteous Books to Be Had

Books! Books! Bounteous books!
Bounteous books to be had!
Books by Xander, books by friends,
books by me, books by Dad!
Books about climbs
books full of prose
books full of poems –
you want some of those? 🙂

For those of you wondering what to buy your family and friends for Christmas this year, might I offer these suggestions?

My friend, Constance Mears, published a wonderful book this year called The Bumbling Mystic’s Obituary. Here’s my review for it:
I laughed out loud, I cried – *The Bumbling Mystic* touched my heart and filled my soul. Mears has a way with words – she’s poetic and funny – but more important than her skill as a writer is the way she uses the tools of her craft to help the reader look at life with a new perspective and see the possibilities in front of each of us.

She writes “Clearly I was missing the point in my choice of occupation: I liked the military, except for the killing; I liked missionary work, except for proselytizing; I liked homemaking, except for being married. I wanted to be a martyr, without the gruesome end.” And as she finds her purpose in life, she comes to realize that the “Universe was not only aware of my plan, but was enthusiastically playing along.”

Connie Mears’s book is a joy to read. I would recommend it to anyone in need of inspiration. And who isn’t, right?

Xander Terrell’s book of poems, Dream Voyage, can be purchased through Amazon. Songbird writes: “If only fear could fuel a rocket” – wonderful philosophizing and musings from a young poet. Both my kids and I enjoyed this collection.”

Here’s one of the poems from Xander’s book –

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

xanders-book-cover-dream-voyage

Dad (Dee Molenaar) has several books on the market Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer, his award-winning The Challenge of Rainier, and Mountains Don’t Care, But We Do.

BookCoverPreview - Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer

And I added another book to the market with Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad. (Are You Taking Me Home Now? has eight reviews now – all five stars! And may I offer my sincere appreciation to anyone who takes the time to write a review – it means an awfully lot to an author to know her book has ventured forth and made contact with another human being.) Are You Taking Me Home Now? is about my adventures with Dad in the year and a half since Mom died. I wrote another book, Finding the Rainbows, that chronicles my adventures with both Mom and Dad during the year after they’d moved from the family homestead to a retirement home near me.

adventures with dad book cover

Latest book!

I also have two books of poetry on the market: The Brush of Angel Wingsand A Poem Lives on My Windowsill. Here’s one of the poems from The Brush of Angel Wings:

Two Earthworms

I came upon two earthworms on the sidewalk today –
their noses suspended in the air, frozen by the heat
of the sun – dried out and stiff
and I reached down and plucked up the first
and carried him to the dirt.
I dug a little hole for him and covered him
with earth – a grave to bring him back to life.
Gently I used my fingers as tweezers and pulled
the second worm from the sidewalk
and lifted him to the moist soil, laid him down,
and covered him with a wet leaf.
Fare thee well, my new friends –
May you revive and spend the rest of your days
happily leaving a trail of rich earth in your wake

The_Brush_of_Angel_W_Cover_for_Kindle

The four books in the “Madcap Christian Scientist” series can be found on Amazon or purchased through your favorite book store.  The first book in the series is Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist; The second book is The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book; Book number three is The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New; and the final book in the series is The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book.

book covers 2016

Whew! Okay. I think that’s it. For now. 🙂

Happy gift-shopping!

– Karen

 

Ode to Black Friday

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

And now some shameless family plugs – because we wouldn’t be entering the holiday season without some shameless plugs, right?
To order any of Karen’s books, click here.

adventures with dad book cover

Latest book!

To order Dee Molenaar’s books click here.
BookCoverPreview - Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer

To order Xander Terrell’s books, click here.

xanders-book-cover-dream-voyage

 

 

Black Friday and Shameless Plug Day

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)

Today is Karen’s shameless plug day. Yeah. I know. Stop cheering.

So here’s what we’ve got to plug right now (and all of these books can be found on Amazon, as well as ordered through other book stores like Barnes and Noble, etc.) –

Some of you may be familiar with my “Madcap Christian Scientist” series.

The first book in the Madcap series (published in August 2005) was Blessings: Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist. As I explain in the Introduction, I wrote this book “to introduce you to one Christian Scientist so that if you ever hear someone talking fearfully and ignorantly (feargnorantly?)  about Christian Scientists you’ll be in a position to say,  ‘I have a friend who’s a Christian Scientist, and, although it’s true she’s a bit of a nut, she’s also … ‘  and you can go on and talk about how your friend has used her study of Christian Science to try to make the world a happier place.”

I wrote the second book in the series, The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book, as I was nearing the end of an experience with a massive depression. As I write in the Introduction: “My son and I recently talked about my previous book, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist. I told him that book was true for the person I was then, and I’m glad I wrote it, but I couldn’t write the same book now. Andrew told me I should write another book then, for this time in my life. I told him that my recent life experience has been kind of dark. He said I should write about that then, and he started talking about trilogies – how almost every life story has three parts – the first book is usually happy and innocent, the second one is dark and challenging, and the last book is the triumph book. Andrew said it was time for me to write ‘the middle book.’ He assures me the book about the golden years will come, but he says that book can’t come until the middle book gets written. So what you see here is me sucking it up and writing The Middle Book.”

I wrote The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New, the third book in the series, to celebrate the re-birth I found on the other side of the depression.  I wrote: “Two years ago I would never have been able to guess where I’d be today, what I’d be doing, and what new people I would be calling my friends and colleagues. Two years ago my youngest son was close to graduating from high school, my 20-year career as a public school teacher was winding down, and I was looking for a new job and a new purpose to fill my days. Two years ago I was starting over. It was scary. It was exhilarating. It was absolutely awesome!”

There’s a fourth book with “Madcap Christian Scientist” in the title, and that’s The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book, which is about… well… Christmas.

I’ve also published two books of poetry, A Poem Lives on My Windowsill (where you can find the poem featured on the top of this post), and The Brush of Angel Wings – published as I was working my way through the passing of my mother.  There’s also a book I wrote about the lessons I learned from Mom and Dad in the year before Dad’s 98th birthday, Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Dad and Mom.

Dad’s autobiography, Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer, is on the market, too. Dad has had an amazing life – he’s climbed some of the highest mountains in the world, traveled on six of the seven continents, and hobnobbed with some of the planet’s most interesting humans.

BookCoverPreview - Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer

And my son, Xander, also has a book for sale right now, Dream Voyage – which sells for $5.99 as an Amazon print book, and 99 cents on Kindle. I believe I shall close this shameless plug with one of Xander’s poems:

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, Dream Voyage

xanders-book-cover-dream-voyage

Up

Up
by Xander Terrell

If only fear could fuel a rocket,
we could reach the moon in time
to escape these shadows.
We could bring the sun down to earth
to brighten our days in time
to watch them burn.
They would do anything to love themselves,
except love each other.
You would do anything to love them,
except love yourself.
If only hatred could melt metal,
no more bombs, knives, or bullets.
If only ignorance could feed the hungry,
what an abundant world we would live in.
If only greed could make life everlasting,
then there would be no need to be greedy.
Success for us is being better off
than the people who harvest your food,
produce your pleasures, and support the
successful on their broken backs.
What if success was measured only
on the happiness of all mankind,
and not each individual man?
What if people cared more
about making a beautiful world,
than making their little worlds beautiful?
– Xander Terrell, from Dream Voyage
available at Amazon.com

xanders-book-cover-dream-voyage

 

Shameless Merchandising (because, you know, it’s Christmas and stuff)

The Good You Seek

I want to take a break, I said.
Can I step out of life for a moment,
or maybe stay in bed?
Can things go on without me?
Can you just pretend I’m not here?
For life is a messy business
and I’m tired and I’m weary
I’ve made too many mistakes to count today
And I’d like to not make anymore, not any.

And the still small voice reached into my thought
– gentle, peaceable benediction –
“All the good you seek and all that you’ve sought
you can claim right now – and that’s no fiction –
for Love is yours to express, to feel, and to be
– you are wealthy beyond description.
Nothing else matters, there’s no other power
no warring opinions, no need to cower
You are loved and you’re loving
and that’s all there is to it
Love’s loving child, and there’s nothing else
but loving, simply nothing.”
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from
A Poem Lives on My Windowsill <-purchase it here

Teardrop

A tear welled within my eye.
I held my breath and kept very still,
and for that few seconds,
the world was much clearer
through the lens of the tear.
– Xander Terrell, from
Dream Voyage <-purchase it here

Review for Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Mom and Dad
“I read this book cover to cover with a smile on my face the whole time. The author’s engaging conversational style takes the reader along on her journey to resettle her parents from farm to assisted living and the love, gratitude, and simple joys of life she experiences during the transition. I highly recommend this book and it would make a great gift.”

Review for The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book:
“Charming and endearing to read. You sit with a grin on your face while reading.”

Review for Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist:
“Karen has touched my soul with her heartwarming and hilarious rendition of the road less traveled. Everyone I know has had to listen to me go on and on about how great a read this is! Whether you want to laugh, cry, or just smile about life again, read this!!!”

Review for The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book:
“I think Karen has reached into my heart,and planted the seeds of love. This book gives inspiration and hope to all that read with open hearts and love.”

Review for The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New:
“How inspirational, fun, and enlightening! As with the author’s two other Madcap Christian Scientists’ books, I thoroughly enjoyed this one for its honesty, spirit of adventure and enlightenment. It uplifted me without being preachy. The author graciously gives us a peek inside her life and mind and reader beware!!! She dares go there and everywhere! A great, fun read that I will recommend to others as I have with her other two. My only complaint was I truly wished she had written more and that’s just me being greedy!!”

Karen’s author page.
Xander’s author page

book covers 2016

xanders-book-cover-dream-voyage

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Dream Voyage

Sample from Xander Terrell’s  Dream Voyage, now available on Amazon as both a print book and a Kindle book. (If you buy more than $25 worth of books on Amazon today, you get $10 off!)

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

dream-voyage

Art by Xander Terrell

 

 

 

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… 🙂

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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“Adrift, Starlight”

Samples from the recently published, Adrift, Starlight, by the ever-amazing poet, Xander Terrell (who just happens to have the same last name as moi – what are the odds, right? 🙂 ):

Desire for Fire

If there’s a hell,
do you think there’s room
there for volunteers?
I’m not quite sure
I could bear not burning,
if this “God” ’s other
creatures do,
just for being what
he made them, too.

A Humble Heart

You have
a heart
that should
be heard.
I’m confident
to confide
no one else
knows these words.
Maybe if you stop
being quiet,
we can start
understanding
the silence.

Adrift, Starlight can be purchased here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1505829054/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Xander and Karen’s Epic Adventure

For years Mom had been telling us about her rh negative blood and her adopted great-great-great-someone who might have been Tatar, or descended from Genghis Khan, or possibly Basque Reptile Aliens. Finally, in an effort to solve the mystery of the great-great-great I bought Mom one of those DNA kits. After I bought the kit for Mom, I noticed that Dad looked pretty interested in being tested, too. So last week I ordered a kit for him.

The kit wasn’t supposed to arrive until Tuesday. This was a bummer because I have Saturday through Monday off every week, and if the kit didn’t arrive until Tuesday I’d have to wait a whole ‘nother week to bring it down to Dad. I started monitoring the kit’s progress across the country via its UPS tracking number and on Saturday found that it had made it to Seattle in the early morning. The odds of it getting to my local post office in time for me to pick it up while the post office crew was still there seemed pretty low – and if I couldn’t pick it up Saturday I’d have to wait until after work on Tuesday to get it because Monday was a holiday. So I did the Karen-thing. I threw out my happy hopes to the “cosmos” – thought of all the wonderful post office workers who were handling the kit and how efficient they all were, and how if they knew my need they’d want to help me – and drove to the post office on Saturday morning with an expectancy of finding Good waiting for me there. And it was! The kit had arrived!

As I was getting ready to leave for my folks’ my son, Xander, told me he’d like to go with me to visit his grandparents.  And so began our epic adventure.

The drive to my parents’ home went well – the express lanes through Seattle were open and we arrived at Dad and Mom’s in a couple hours. The DNA test involved spitting into a tube. Dad took care of that pretty quickly, and we moved onto other things. Xander, who has recently discovered his gifts as an artist and poet, and also recently discovered from a Wikipedia article that his grampa painted the “highest painting in the world” (my dad, Dee Molenaar, painted a watercolor at 25,000 feet on K2), began asking Dad about his painting technique. So Dad got out his watercolors and painted a picture for Xander on the dining room table. Watching Dad paint was oddly soothing – the sound of the brush on the paper, the stillness and quiet as Dad focused on his work – Xander and I both found ourselves getting relaxed and drowsy as we watched the painting unfold in front of us. There was something very precious in the bonding that was happening between the artist born at the beginning of the 20th century (in 1918) and his grandson-artist, born at the end of the 20th century (in 1994).

When it came time to go, Xander signed one of his books for his grandparents, and Dad signed his painting for Xander, we gave Mom and Dad tight hugs, and then got back in the car to begin our adventure home.

It had begun to rain.

By the time we reached I-5 the rain had become a deluge. It was dark, visibility was low, and people were hydro-planing by us at 80 mph. There were flashing red and blue lights coming from the side of the freeway on the right, and more flashing on the left. Xander said, “This is scary.” Something about the way he said it struck me as funny, and we both started laughing.  Then, still laughing, Xander shared his belief that people living in America today have become everyday daredevils.  Driving I-5 has become an “extreme sport” – we all race down the freeway in our narrow lanes – and if we cross over the lines we could be toast. We depend on everyone else to know what they’re doing, but “there are 16 year-olds driving down this freeway,” Xander pointed out – and everyone acts like this is all normal. Xander’s observations about the absurdity of modern freeway-driving cracked me up. The laughter helped ease the tension I’d been feeling.

I felt we were meant to be exactly where we were at that moment, and I felt we really could depend on everyone else to be exactly where they needed to be, too. The day had begun perfectly with the arrival of the DNA kit; the visit with my parents had been precious and dear; and now I was enjoying shared laughter with my son.  There was no place for anything less than perfect in this perfect and epic adventure.

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Dee Molenaar painting a picture of Mount Rainier.

 

 

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. 🙂