New Book - Myrtle's Game

The Sweetest Note

The ebook of Myrtle’s Game has been a #1 New Release on Amazon.com and a #1 Bestseller in its category on Amazon.ca.

Now the paperback has been released as well. Myrtle’s Game is available on all the Amazons

Myrtle's Game Book Cover
Myrtle’s Game

The first response to the book comes from Madden, 5 years old. When your readers are young, you get the sweetest responses. 

Blog Photo - Myrtle Reader Madden sends a note

“You are so cool and nice,” Madden writes, “I love your book. Thank you.”

Madden’s note was sent to Lauren, my co-author of Myrtle’s Game. We both grinned with delight when we read it. THANK YOU, Madden (and Kenzie too)!

You may recall seeing Madden on my blog before. His mother, Julia, allowed us to publish her review of Myrtle the Purple Turtle, and here are Madden and younger sister Kenzie, reading that book a year ago.

Blog Photo - Myrtle Readers Madden and Kenzie and mother's review

Madden, now 5 years old, loves both soccer and turtles, his mother says, and perhaps that explains the immediate response to the book. He also plans to be either a pro soccer or hockey player, and a songwriter. 

To order Myrtle’s Game: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0639948820/ 

To order Myrtle the Purple Turtle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0620773421

 

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A Good Home, Canadian life, Canadian Women, Inspiration

Lorna

 

We share a history, Lorna and I.

Can you imagine washing and blow-drying a client’s hair when that person is in pain from head to toe?  When you’re trying to cut her hair but she can barely move her neck? When that person can’t sit for longer than a few minutes at a time? 

A hairdresser could go broke with clients like me. So my appointments are always at her quiet times. And I sometimes bring her a small gift to show my appreciation.

This time, it was a copy of my new book.

~~

As Lorna tended to my hair, I asked if she wanted me to read a chapter of the book. 

“This chapter is about you,” I said, smiling at her in the mirror. “That okay?”

“Of course!” she said.

But part-way through, Lorna turned away.  

I felt awful.

“I’m so sorry, Lorna,” I said, closing the book.  “I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

“No, no!” She replied, wiping her eyes. “Keep reading! Please!”

It was an order, not a suggestion.

~~

Lorna knows our back-stories. Some of her clients are stars — in business, the professions, film, TV and music. Most aren’t. Lorna remains humble, respectful to us all.

~~

“Sure you want me to keep reading?” I asked.

“Keep reading!” she said. 

So I read and Lorna quietly cried.

When the chapter ended, Lorna was smiling – a weepy but radiant smile. I smiled back at her face in the mirror, weepy too.

“I never expected anyone to put me in a book,” she said, shaking her head at the wonder of it.

Bless you, dear Lorna.

~~

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Home, Doctors and Patients, Grace, Gratitude

LOVE THOSE WHO INFURIATE YOU…?

Love them? 

That’s so hard to do.
Photo by Hamlin Grange

~~

“You haven’t bought a new dress in years,” my husband noted one day a few years ago. He was to be the keynote speaker at a dinner and wanted me to accompany him.  “How about that dress shop in the village?”

“No!” I said. “The one time I went there, years ago, the owner gave me a very unfriendly look!” 

I was looking for excuses. My body was in terrible pain and I didn’t want to leave the house. But the event was important to my husband and he wanted me to wear something nice.

I didn’t want to go far, so it would have to be the shop with the unfriendly owner. I gritted my teeth and prepared to be infuriated.

I got a humbling lesson that day. 

~~

The owner didn’t smile this time either.  But she waited patiently while I haltingly described what I needed then brought me three dresses. When I struggled to try on the first one, she helped me, gently and patiently. Finally, after getting into and out of three dresses, I was too exhausted to choose. She chose the one she felt complemented me best and was easiest to get into. She even gave me a significant discount on the price. 

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Pink Poppies

I’d been too embarrassed at my own challenges to really look at her face till my last minutes in the store. I made a small joke about my difficulties and she smiled in return. Except that her smile was a grimace. The woman’s face was deformed; smiling emphasized the deformity.

Something passed between us then. Two women, each with her own challenge.

Two women, sharing a moment of grace.

Photo by Hamlin Grange

~~

Yogi Berra had a quirky wisdom. Remember this one?  “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours!”

It reminds me that I, too, depend on the kindness of others, especially since the car accident.

My post today is dedicated to my family doctor, Dr. H. 

It’s taken me years to see myself as she must have: hair barely combed; no makeup at all; dressed horribly to match my mood.

I was too angry.  At myself, for not healing fast enough.  At doctors who never seemed to have the solutions I constantly sought. Yet, through it all, Dr. H. remained patient and kind.

What triggered these reflections?  A post from “Victo Dolore”, a family doctor and blogger who wrote recently about an extremely disagreeable patient. 

“Victo” persevered and finally found it within herself to feel love for that patient. 

~~

We all want to be loved and understood, even when we are at our worst. My humble thanks to Dr. H and other health professionals who are kind to disagreeable patients. These flowers are for you.

Blog Photo - Garden Pink Hollyhocks

 

Photos by Hamlin Grange.

 

 

A Good Home, Book Interviews, Book lovers, Book Reviews, Christmas Decorations, Good wishes, Gratitude, Kindness, Laughter, Life Challenges

Incredible You

Readers of this blog and A Good Home have encouraged my family and me through some crazy times this year. 

Blog photo - Winter arrsangement cu 3

You’ve consoled and encouraged me in the domestic arts, including the two times I tried making outdoor Christmas arrangements!  Several readers offered compliments, tips, commiseration, inspiration.

And Arna sent me this photo. 

Blog Photo - Reader Arna's Planter

“I told you I have a planter like yours!” she said.

Yes, Arna, but yours is far more assured. 

**

From last fall to this spring, I had to abandon virtually all my book-related activities and take to my bed.

Some of you decided to help.  You bought my book, and wrote wonderful reviews.

Phil reviewed A Good Home for an American book website last year, then created computer-assisted images promoting the book. 

Book - Philip Young's photo

Blog Photo - Reader Philip's Owl Photo

John G. took my book with him on his annual canoe trip, then wrote a review too.

Book - with bagel and gloves in Johns canoe

**

In Avery, Texas, 90 year old Lou Mathis and his wife Aggie were themselves struggling this September.  Their farm business was suffering because of its name, “Isis”.  (Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess, but in today’s climate, not a popular name.)

Lou asked on their blog: “WHAT DO YOU THINK? For some reason I refuse to give up the… ISIS FARMS. But would painting the sign OVER IN GREEN……”

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I asked you to reply to Lou and Aggie and many of you did.  Wonderful, caring replies that helped them make their decision. It’s now  called “Aggie’s Farm”.

Photo by Aggie's Farm
Photos by Aggie’s Farm

**

In October, Canada’s national radio network, CBC,  aired my interview with celebrated host Shelagh Rogers.

Blog Photo - Shelagh Rogers and The Next chapter

I’d been nervous about it. But people like John V. wrote to my blog afterwards:

“I heard you speak on the radio about healing and it gave me perspective and hope for my own circumstances. Sincere thanks for sharing.”

Such validation for a book completed in dire times!

**

On crazily painful days, I often forced myself to write poems, making fun of myself and my home life.  Some (like Stiletto Heels) became blog posts, which made you laugh, uplifting me in return.

Image via shopflyjane.com
Image via shopflyjane.com

Andra wrote: “I absolutely howled with laughter reading this. Thanks, Cynthia! Have had similar thoughts watching the young ladies strutting about in high heels and skimpy dresses in inclement weather. And like you, I recall being just as foolish back in the day. Great poem.”

**

Then, without warning this fall, life changed perilously. My husband nearly died.

Titled No Words, my poem expressed the raw agony our family experienced.

In reply, you warmly supported us with prayers, consolation and good wishes.

Incredible kindness, especially because I’ve never met most of you in person.

**

“Thank you” hardly seems enough. But thank you, anyway.

For your kindness.

And for being part of my world.

My best,

Cynthia.