Saturday, July 31, 2010

Help to the Gulf Region

Hey folks! I just wanted to alert everyone to the fact that $1 from each sale of Kindle copies of my books will be donated to the Gulf region.

Help me spread the word...every little bit helps. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Treadmill

When my mother mentioned buying a treadmill once, my father looked at her with a slightly surprised frown on his face. “That contraption won’t take you anywhere,” he said, “you walk and walk, and you never move from the point you started.” It was a joke, of course, but when I thought about those words later on in life, I realized they can be applied to more than exercise.

A treadmill is surely a great invention – one can walk in the comfort of one’s own home, sheltered from petty crime, elements, and even loneliness, as a TV is often nearby; one can also exercise without getting dressed, as a treadmill, thankfully, has no mirrors. Those are all great advantages, and it is understandable why many prefer walking on a rolling mat than on a sidewalk, but, like all things, even treadmills have downfalls.

Growing up in the city I walked everywhere, and it wasn’t long before I started noticing life exploding all around me as I did. While walking to school in the mornings, I always passed by a bakery owned by the father of one of my friends. I still remember the fragrant aroma of freshly baked focaccia, as it escaped the poorly sealed door like a genie freed from of a bottle. As I waited from my friend – she used to go help her parents at the bakery before school – I often stood outside the door, watching people walk in and out of the café directly across the street. For a few mornings, I had noticed a boy who always seemed to walk into the cafe staring down at his feet; after a few moments inside, he always came out holding a small white paper bag and never looked up. That morning he dropped his paper bag, and while normally I would have just remained frozen by the door, I had a sudden burst of courage, walked over, picked up the bag and handed it to him. He raised his eyes and smiled at me, and when he did, I noticed the skin on his neck was badly damaged from a bad burn. When he saw me looking at it, he quickly looked down, but I told him my name and asked for his. That morning marked the beginning of a good friendship that lasted many years and was a great source of support while growing up.

I still like to walk. Over the years, walking has allowed me to witness many situations I have learned something from, and has gifted me with opportunities to notice the unpretentious beauty of things and people around me. Many of those things would have gone completely unnoticed had I chosen to walk on a treadmill instead.

We often give up on exploring opportunities because we are afraid to detach from a false sense of security and comfort, at the cost of isolating and limiting ourselves. We contemplate the need of making changes in our world, but more times than not, we are not ready to let go of what’s holding us back. Even when we are unhappy of our current situation, we stick with it because it feels familiar, because we don’t want to stir the pot, because, ultimately, we are afraid of upsetting the order of things and getting lost in the shuffle. We have the power to change, and yet many of us continue walking on the treadmill, basking in the illusion that we ARE doing something while in fact we are not. In the end, we CAN turn off the switch, step off and walk outside into the real world; when we do, we will truly know we are getting somewhere.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Instant Reward vs. Long-Term Benefits

“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” ~ Author Unknown

Yesterday I had the best time talking to my daughter and two of her little friends, as they were telling me what they want to be when they grow up. Although Princess was definitely on top of the chart, the next two hot personas on the “want to be” list were mommy and model. That fun talk made me think about all the projects that we envision and give up because of obstacles and hardship. Are obstacles the main reason for abandoning our goals? Or could it be that instant reward often gets in the way of our allegiance to the original plan?

Humans are naturally creatures of comfort, and will choose the easy path that will cause the least amount of unease. Unless we are able to exercise a good dose of self-discipline, most of us are inclined to take the easy road and succumb to the temptation of instant reward.

Long-term benefits offer a reward which is often in our greater interest but might take months or years to solidify, while temporary satisfaction manifest immediately but is likely not what we need in the long run. When we give in to temptation we feel momentarily exhilarated, but quickly develop feelings of guilt as we feel that we have cheated ourselves. Instant reward can come in the form of indulgence or as a band-aid – regardless of which we act upon, we feel frustrated with ourselves and are more likely to give in on future occasions. There are ways to build a stronger resolve. One of them is to set small goals for ourselves - not too far down the road - and stick with them, independently from the fires that erupt around us. We can increase the amount of time between the original plan and the reward and continue telling ourselves that it is only a temporary state of discomfort.

Everything can be overcome one step at a time, if we accept that life itself is dynamic and therefore on a constant energy shift. If I was to wake up tomorrow morning and someone told me to quit smoking forever, I would find that thought overwhelming; if, instead, was told to quit for a day, or an hour at a time, I could summon the resolve to follow through for such a short time. We can’t keep our mind focused on forever but everyone can sacrifice for one day. Maybe, then, our long-term reward can become a much closer goal – one we can feel comfortable sticking with in preparation of bigger things to come.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to New Orleans -- Let the Magic Begin!

There are moments that remain so clear in one’s mind that it would be suitable to say they were forever captured in a mental photograph. For me, one of these moments took place a little over a year ago, when on a chilly April afternoon – a snapping breeze was blowing in, unforgivably and unseasonably, from the Mississippi river only a couple of blocks down – I stood at the corner of Dumaine and Royal in new Orleans, and vowed to be back the next year or even sooner.

Earlier that day my parents and I had gone on a tour of Honey Swamp and, tired after the trip, my mother and father had decided to stay back at the hotel while I went strolling around in the Quarter. Once I crossed Canal Street, it wasn’t long before I felt as if I had stepped through a magical portal: Happy people, their lightly powdered shirts a delightful reminder they had betrayed their New Year’s resolutions, and had been unable to resist the forbidden aroma of warm beignets and coffee, walked around in no hurry, while the sound of street performers increasingly swallowed the pockets of silence with each step I took toward Jackson Square. New Orleans is one of those cities – in fact, it is THE city -- one can’t fully understand until one has experienced its magic. Unlike most beautiful tourist venues, New Orleans lives and breathes, and hums a melody of its own creation, familiar enough to make everyone feel at home within its weathered alleys, and certainly unique enough to take one’s breath away. Shy of the Eiffel Tower, New Orleans is the younger sister of Paris.

Once I got a little deeper into the heart of the Quarter, I suddenly thought of something: New Orleans isn’t only famous for its beautiful wrought iron balconies, but also for its pulsating spiritual essence…so what if I asked a little help from the very same Saints I had grown to know and appreciate throughout my life? I stopped by a bar and bought a beer, then walked down to a tobacco shop and bought a cigar -- both items are customarily offered to Elegba, the opener of doors, who’s also known as Eleggua or even St. Michael and St. Anthony, but I won’t linger on this too long, since it is really not important in this story – then sat on a doorstep, lifted the bottle of beer a trifle, and lit the cigar. As I blew a puff of smoke toward the sky, I silently offered the cigar and the beer to Elegba, and mentally voiced my petition – within a year, I wanted to be back in the same spot, and be able to once again drink in the joyful energy of the place.

After I left New Orleans, the year blew by swifter than the breeze lifting from the river. Many things happened in the interim, including the release of my two books; and now, as I am taking one day at a time venturing into the bayous of the publishing world, my petition came to pass: On September 8, I will be boarding a plane heading to the city of my heart, as part of The Book of Obeah promotional tour.

So, thank you Elegba, for opening this amazing door…I will see you in New Orleans, the cigar is on me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Power of a Decision

"You are the person who has to decide. Whether you'll do it or toss it aside, you are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you'll lead or will linger behind; whether you'll try for the goal that's afar, or just be contented to stay where you are." ~ Edgar A. Guest

If we were to sit down and think about how many decisions we make on top of a day, we would be astounded. Everything requires a decision - from the type of clothes we wear to greater choices which have the power to affect the course of our lives and that of others. Every accident, every situation, could have been different had we made a different decision.

A few days ago I was talking to a friend previously involved in relationship with a widower who has a teenage son. Since the very early days after they met, she and the boy never got along, as she felt the son was rude to her, and did things out of spite to break up her relationship with the father. After a few months of constant arguing, things got very tense for my friend and her partner. The animosity between her and the teenager continued to grow and evolved into a power struggle. Finally, rather than letting go of the hard feelings, my friend decided she was going to set her foot down and show her acquired son who was in charge. Within a few weeks her relationship with the father was defunct. Two months later, she has yet to let go of the anger sparked during the relationship. In her mind, the son was evil and the father spineless for giving in to his whims; what she always refused to see was that a lot of the friction was spawn by her own insecurities and choices. Certainly she had the right to voice her opinion and make it clear that she wasn’t happy about the father’s decisions, but by doing so she forfeited something else that was important to her – her relationship with the man she loved.

Every decision we make has the potential of being a double-edged sword, and before we indulge a certain choice or behavior we should be fully aware of what the consequences are going to be. If we feel that we are prepared to deal with those consequences because our sense of pride and self-righteousness is stronger than the loss that will ensue, then we are on the right path. If instead the relationship, or the job, is important to us – even if we feel we have the right to complain - we might need to take the time to evaluate the whole situation before we make a decision. Everything in life works on compromise; we forfeit what is less important in favor of what matters most. As we see often in the case of medication – fixing one thing while potentially hurting another – we need to weigh the pros and cons, and then decide what is best. Holding our peace may be hard, but in some instances it can be the only lifesaver if what we are protecting is dear to us. My friend’s decision was a balm for her pride and the executioner’s axe for her relationship at the same time. Did she do the right thing by standing her ground or should she have kept cool to safeguard her relationship?

Ultimately we can’t control the actions or the thoughts of others, but we do have carte blanche on how we will deal with the situations that arise. Depending on our decision, things will either turn in our favor or against us; we have the power of changing circumstances by making decisions that are based on wisdom rather than ego. The choice is up to us.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Car Rolling Down the Hill

It is not uncommon for strange things to happen when my friend Donna and I get together for meditations. Saturday night was no different, but what we learned from an odd occurrence only confirmed something we had already come to terms with.

After an unusually rough week for my friend, we decided to get together for coffee. She arrived at my house around nine at night, after my children had gone to bed, and we sat at my kitchen table discussing all that had happened. To her credit, she had really waded through rough waters – her lawnmower had died unexpectedly, she had hit debris from an accident in the very early hours of the morning which had, unfortunately, damaged one of her tires, and to crown an already challenging week, she was forced to rescue an animal whose owners didn’t care for, whom had to be put to sleep.

Being a passionate animal lover, the last task had emotionally affected her a great deal, and she was close to tears. After discussing all the situations, we both agreed that while life happens, things could have been worse – just three years before, she would not have had the financial resources to replace her dead lawnmower, or the damaged tire; her tire could have blown out while she was driving and, as painful as being responsible for ending the misery of an animal had been, she was happy the dog was finally free of pain, and she had been there to comfort the poor soul during her last moments on earth.

As always, after chatting for a while, we went to my living room, set across from each other in front of my coffee table, lit a candle and put on soft music, to facilitate a meditative state. It was like a weight was suddenly lifted off our shoulders, and after about twenty minutes of restoring meditation we went back to the kitchen to gather her things so she could leave. We hugged and I opened the door. She took one step outside and said: “Where did my Jeep go?”

We walked outside and her car, which had been parked in front of my house, was gone. A bit confused, we walked together across the yard, and saw the car had rolled down the hill, and had stopped only about a foot from a shiny red truck parked on the street in front of one of the neighboring yards. When the car had rolled down, the front tire had bumped against the curb and had come to a stop. Our first thought was that the handbrake had failed, or that, maybe, she had accidentally hit the gear shift on her way out, and it had set on neutral. None of the above – the car was in first gear, and the handbrake, upon further examination by a mechanic in the morning, was absolutely fine.

When we spoke on the phone around lunchtime, we both came to the same conclusion. It was almost as if Spirit had decided to validate our discussion by showing us that things could have gone much worse, but in the end, they didn’t. The car was fine, my neighbor’s truck was untouched, the brake was functioning, and even the tire which had hit the curb was absolutely fine and mark-free. What started as a stressful week ended up being cloaked in a comforting sense of peace, and once again we were happy that Spirit had decided to throw in His two cents to confirm that our thoughts were indeed on the right path.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"A Nay for Effort" by Dan Bain -- A Book Introduction

I would like to introduce you to someone you will surely enjoy knowing: Please meet Dan Bain, a personal friend, witty comedian, and now published author. Dan has published his first book, "A Nay for Effort", a collection of humoristic essays about life and its lessons.

Not only am I impressed with all Dan has been able to accomplish, but I also take my hat off to his decision of donating 10% of sales proceeds to schools and organizations that support education.

CONGRATULATIONS, DAN! It couldn't have happened to a better person!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Legion -- A Movie Review

“When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.” ~ Charles L. Allen

After hearing my son gushing above the movie “Legion” for two days, yesterday afternoon I finally sat and watched it with him and some of his friends. Accustomed to the fact that to teenage standards a ‘great movie’ is usually a film heavily saturated with explosions and stomach-turning gore, I didn’t expect that I would remain glued to the edge of my seat – aside from a few times when I literally jumped – from beginning to end.

The story begins with a disagreement between archangels Gabriel and Michael. Gabriel announces that time has come for humanity to come to an end, since the Creator believes hope is lost for all of mankind. Archangel Michael does not agree, and he takes it upon himself to come down to earth, and make one final try – a baby, about to be born, has the power to save humanity, but since the higher orders are to bring life as we know it to an end, an army of angels is sent down to prevent the birth of the child.

What appears to be a battle between good and evil is, ultimately, a battle between hopeful and hopeless, as archangel Michael risks his life and his place among the blessed ones to fight for the ultimate savior – faith.

The film strongly features our society’s love affair with violence and high-power weapons, but the message it conveys is strong and to the point. When all seems hopeless, true hope is finally born, or, to quote a line from the movie: “When you are lost is when you are truly found.”

This movie is rated R, and while some of the scenes are purely funny, others can be a little disturbing, even if none of the special effects are particularly out of the ordinary. But, when all is said and done, I can assure you that after watching, you will feel a little different about the ice cream truck driving through your neighborhood…

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Expressions, Expressions...

Always having been fond of languages and intrigued by the origins of certain expressions, I would like to share some tidbits a friend sent me yesterday. I hope you will find them as interesting and entertaining as I did. (The source of this information is unknown to me, therefore I cannot vouch for its accuracy.)

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)


As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October). Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.


In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.’

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Very Special Mission

In the aftermath of Teghan Alyssa Skiba’s senseless death, people are shaking their heads.
Whenever a child dies, many wonder why such young lives are prematurely ripped away rather than given the opportunity to live out their full existence on this earth. Whether it is because of an accident, disease, or even murder as in the case of little Teghan, the death of someone young is always a hard one to accept. It is common to hear people discredit a Higher Power and think that if a God truly exists He would not allow people to suffer and children to die.

But what if this the short time they have lived was the entire amount of time a soul was allotted for this earthly trip? What if their mission was only one of support for other souls?

In my personal set of beliefs, I think that we are born with a specific purpose, which will help us learn some of the lessons our soul needs to master before evolving. Each soul may have fewer or more lessons to learn than others, and that – along with the time needed to produce the right situations – determines the length of our stay. Once we pass on, we review what we have learned, and the lessons we haven’t mastered will have to be repeated again. Some souls reach the point of having mastered all the fundamental lessons, and it is up to them if they want to remain within the realms of light or go back to be a support system for the souls that still have to learn more.

Most of the young people who pass away are usually described as extremely loving and peaceful, and their brief stay is an undeniable gift to those who have been fortunate enough to have them in their lives, if only for a short while. There is no telling what kind of lessons they are supporting, but their presence will always leave a strong mark. They are angels who take the time to come down, and mingle with us for a breath of time, to make sure that other souls can learn to fly a little bit higher.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Window

(Painting by Pam Scarboro)

Someone sent me this by e-mail, and I just had to post it. Have a wonderful day, everybody.

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.

The first morning in the new house, while she is eating breakfast with her husband, the young woman watches her neighbor hang the laundry outside to dry.

Pointing her finger at some visible stains on the freshly laundered garments, the woman tells her husband: “Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looks on, but remains silent.

From that day on, every time she sees her neighbor hang her wash to dry, the young woman continues to make the same comments.

A month later, the woman is surprised to see sparkly clean sheets on the line, and says to her husband: “Look! She has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder what changed.”

The husband says: “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows!”

And so it is with life: What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look. Before we give any criticism, it might be a good idea to ask ourselves if we are ready to see the good, rather than look for something in the person we are about to judge.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Devil's Drop

After promising our children that we would spend the day at a water park, my husband and I got up early and got everything together, only to find out upon calling that the water park we had planned to go to was no longer open. Not exactly excited at the thought of driving the hour and a half necessary to reach the one in Greensboro, but even more unwilling to listen to the kids complain the rest of the day, we decided to bite the bullet and face the long drive. Since everything was already prepared, and the kids were very excited from the moment we woke them up with news of the trip, we were on the road within thirty minutes.

When we arrived, we took one quick tour to identify the coolest attractions, and Morgan immediately had her heart set on a new 40-foot slide, completely vertical, called “The Devil’s Drop.” Just looking at it made me dizzy, and I was positive she would turn around the moment she got up to the top. Ha! I was in for a good surprise…Morgan went up, dad following right behind; she reached the top and stood up there like a star ready to receive a standing ovation. She grinned and lay down, and once the bar was lifted, flying down she went. I expected to see her upset by the time reached the bottom, but once again my assumption was wrong. When her little body finally came to a stop, she sat up and looked radiant. Dad, on the other hand, came down like a bullet shot by a beginner, and banged elbows and knees he didn’t even know he had; never mind the fact that his neck and back were also sore by the time he finally stopped at the bottom.

When we left the slide, I asked her what she thought of it and if she was scared. Her answer made me smile: “Well, I was a little bit scared when I first lay down, but when I began to speed, I just closed my eyes and pretended I was flying.” She went on to tell me how wonderful it felt to just be taken away, and how she just surrendered to the water and the speed with no care in the world. Dad, instead, admitted that when he took one look he could just imagine the pile his bones would make at the bottom of the drop, if something went wrong, and went down fearing the worst. Because of it, his body remained stiff, and the hard, unforgiving slide did the rest.

Much of what we experience is strongly related to the way we approach it. When fear gets in the way, we instinctually brace for the worst, and our ‘stiffness’ brings us more damage than we would encounter if we allowed ourselves to ride the wave and let it carry us to destination. Faith is a great remedy against fear – as long as we ‘know’ we are going to be alright, most likely we will be, for most of the damage along the ride is rarely caused by external sources, but rather by our own apprehension and hesitation.

In this case, Morgan knew the ride was safe, even if at first look it was easy to think otherwise; dad, instead, invested too much energy into worrying about the ‘ifs’ and the ‘maybes’ that COULD have occurred, even if the chance they would was extremely low. Worry, someone said, is interest paid on a loan you might never receive, but sometimes it is even worse: Afraid to get hurt, we might forfeit the chance to live life at its fullest.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Dream House: Visions and Nightmares -- Book Review

I ran into Victoria Roder’s novel, The Dream House: Visions and Nightmares, quite accidentally: While following a discussion on the Amazon forum which encouraged authors to pitch their books, I read a short synopsis of this story and immediately felt drawn to it.

The Dream House tells the story of Hope Graham, a woman who, night after night, is haunted by a recurring dream taking place in her childhood home. Concerned about her physical and mental wellness, she decides to visit the now abandoned and dilapidated house to seek answers and healing. She is determined to dig any secrets connected to the dwelling, and along the journey she meets several key characters: Ida, an old lady who’s an old-time resident and self-appointed ‘eyes and ears’ of the neighborhood; Clarissa, a self-absorbed woman who owned the property next door to the home Hope and her sister Samantha lived in before being adopted; and, finally, Brock, a local baker whose charm and good looks don’t go unnoticed from the moment he and Hope strike a casual conversation about the house. On her journey of discovery, Hope finds more than what she bargained for, and must now come face to face with a child’s worst nightmare, if she at all hopes to slay the demons of a painful past, and allow the energy still living in the house to rest in peace.

While The Dream House is an exciting read from the first few pages onward, the reader can’t help but gasp in surprise as the story evolves in a crescendo of emotional turmoil and paranormal suspense. What I found unique about this book, is the subtle connection between the supernatural activity described, and individual traumas buried deep within the folds of the subconscious mind.

The Dream House is definitely an exciting story. By the time I read the last page, I hated only one thing about it…that I was running out of pages to read.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Benefit Car Wash - Saturday July 17, 2010

One of our Golo friends needs a little help. Unfortunately, her health has declined considerably, and she is now unable to work. Her family is doing the best they can, but it is often very hard to manage caring for a loved one who’s sick, and work enough hours to make ends meet. In order to offer the family a bit of relief, we have decided to dedicate this upcoming weekend’s car wash to her.

As always, our car wash will take place in the parking lot of Eastgate Shell, at 4043 Wake Forest Rd in north Raleigh. We will meet between the hours of 9 and 12 on Saturday, July 17. If you would like to help us, please just show up; or, if your car only needs a little TLC, we will be happy to wash it for you for a small donation. I know it’s a bit hot for coffee right now, but if you do enjoy a good cup in the morning, Eastgate Shell will provide free coffee for all who come. In contrast, my daughter will also be on premises, selling cold lemonade (nothing cuter than a little five-year-old selling lemonade at a homemade stand.)

So, please come down and see us this Saturday, and help us spread the word through your local social networks, your friends, co-workers and family members. We hand-wash all the cars and, if I may say so myself, we do a fine job for only a love donation. Why not take advantage of this great opportunity to give your car a bath and to help a friend in need at the same time?

I look forward to seeing many of you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hidden Blessings

Some of you might be aware that my 12-year-old son is now on his fourth day trying to leave Italy and get back home. Because of flight delays and cancellations which have made it impossible for him to make his connection, and given that he is an unaccompanied minor, the airline has refused until today to board him until they were sure he could have proper supervision during layovers. This situation has caused everyone a lot of frustration, but in the end, we will never know if all he went through happened for a reason unknown to us. When I mentioned that to someone, yesterday, they said: ‘Well, the flight he was initially scheduled to be on reached destination without incidents, so I can’t imagine what the reason would be.”

Truth is that things aren’t always what they seem. Yes, the flight arrived – even if late -- but what if we had gone somewhere after his arrival and something happened then? Of course, that’s just a supposition, but I deeply believe that many situations are averted every day without us even knowing. When anything unpleasant occurs, it is always very difficult to see the hidden blessings. The people whose alarms didn’t work - or whose cars broke down - the morning of 9/11, were probably very angry, and didn’t realize their fortune until they heard what happened. We may misplace our car keys and spend thirty minutes looking for them. Meanwhile, thanks to that delay we might have missed getting into a traffic accident. We may be upset because we haven’t been hired for a job position we wanted; yet, if we had, we might have missed a better opportunity that was right around the corner. Going through this ordeal reminded me of a story someone e-mailed me some time ago, so I am including it in this post.

“Two angels were traveling the country, occasionally seeking food and shelter during their journey. They came upon a very poor farm, and asked for shelter. The farmer and his wife shared the little food they had, and offered their bed so the tired strangers could sleep comfortably. Early after the sun had risen, the two Angels were awakened by the farmer and his wife weeping. Their only cow, whose milk was their sole wealth, had died during the night. The younger Angel became angry, and asked the older spirit why he would let this poor man’s cow die. The older Angel replied: “Things aren’t always as they seem. When we were down in the basement, I saw gold hidden behind the wall, so I patched the hole to hide the fortune away from the greedy owner. Last night, while we were sleeping, I saw the Angel of Death coming for the farmer’s wife. I asked him to take the cow instead.” ~Author unknown

As all gifts, blessings come in many packages. Some are very obvious and colorful, while some others are so subtle that we don't even recognize them for what they are.
Each moment in our lives is a perfect moment, whether we do or don’t realize its value. Through our experiences we grow, learn, become better people; for some, the most meaningful gifts have come from the difficult moments they have survived.
As we are reminded by the older Angel, things aren’t always as they seem. Even the worst tragedy or the most annoying occurrence may hold the seed of our greatest blessing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Power of Being

“I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that deep within you don't know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Since the early days in the history of our world, mankind has been on an endless search of the self and God. Going back to ancient times, our need to connect to someone or something higher than ourselves has inspired individuals to create complicated rituals aimed at reaching a higher consciousness.

In many cases, the universal need of establishing a connection has been exploited by institutions to exercise control over the masses and serve the personal agendas of a few. This process has been made possible by a far-spreading propaganda which has painted God as an inaccessible entity one must seek without, even if the Bible itself (Luke 17:21) teaches us that the kingdom of God is within us.

Our first step to finding God within is through acceptance – not necessarily acceptance of situations but of the way we feel about them. We spend a great portion of our lives fighting the wave, and rejecting the simple truth of just being. Once we overcome our obsession of controlling how everything should be, we allow our experiences to manifest directly from the mind of the Creator, pure and unspoiled by human assumptions.

If we can get to the point of looking at another form of life and just feel love toward it before our mind has the chance to add labels and shelve what’s in front of us within the compartments of an illusionary life hierarchy, what we experience in that moment is God’s love – unconditional, all-serving and powerful. Labels are created by the ego because of its desperate need to quantify something which cannot be quantified. An absence of labels robs the moment of illusion and leaves only the pure essence of it.

According to the Flower Sermon, toward the end of his life the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. As they had done in the past, the followers sat in a small circle around him, and waited for the teaching. But this time the Buddha had no words.

He reached into the muck, pulled up a lotus flower and he held it silently before them, its roots dripping mud and water. The disciples were greatly confused. Buddha quietly displayed the lotus to each of them, and in turn the disciples did their best to understand the meaning of the flower, without much success. When at last the Buddha came to his follower Mahakasyapa, the disciple suddenly understood. He smiled and began to laugh. Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakasyapa and began to speak. “What can be said I have said to you,” smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.” Mahakashyapa became Buddha’s successor from that day forward.

There are no labels to describe the energy of God, or Its power, just as there are no labels to properly describe who or what anything is. Simply being sets us free from the chains of illusion and the kingdom of ego.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle...

I have always wondered what walking into a rain forest would feel like, and I have even gone as far as comparing that type of excitement to the adrenaline shot of venturing into a strange city. Yesterday, I entertained yet another thought: how has my daughter’s room come to resemble both of those places? After postponing cleaning out her bedroom and play area for a while – I think that’s part of the survival instinct to avoid something that can mean sure loss into the impenetrable – I woke up yesterday morning determined to organize those rooms. Pretty sure I was going to need a gun or a machete to make my way through, but not wanting to scare the kids on my way up, I instead grabbed a handful (a big one!) of large garbage bags and headed toward her room.

I entered Morgan’s room with a slightly elevated heartbeat, my body already knowing I was going to need extra coffee to undertake this task. The scene unfolding in front of my eyes was the mother of all jungles and could put the Big Apple to shame: toys were staring at me from every inch of the floor, as if daring me to come in; her bed was covered in little scraps of drawing paper she had shredded an hour before for a project, and her desk was covered by so many knick-knacks that I couldn’t tell the color of the plastic underneath. I took a deep breath and walked in, ignoring the evil stare of toys stubbornly guarding the entrance to the area under her bed. That was another reality altogether, which I wasn’t all too eager to enter yet.

I made my way to the bed and sat down, trying to figure out where I was going to start. I got rid of the scraps of paper, and put her unworn clothes back into the closet, barely making a dent. A decision had to be made and I needed to figure out something fast before she got back. I tried to think about what she would not miss, what she no longer used, and I continued coming up with a blank. All those toys, once I picked them up, brought something nice back to mind, and I had a hard time throwing them out; even giving them to charity, I felt like I was discarding memories. This approach wasn’t working, until I thought of a different way to tackle the problem…

What if, rather than selecting things she no longer needed, I focused on deciding which things she actually had a use for? Were there a few toys she absolutely couldn’t do without, that she played with every day? Were there any knick-knacks that were particularly dear to her heart or mine?

Feeling a solution was finally dawning, I looked around the room to collect the irreplaceable – a stuffed tiger she had since babyhood, a few board games she loves to play on rainy days, her art supplies, Hello Kitty and her clothes, and a few other pieces of memorabilia. After setting those objects to the side, I looked again, to make sure I hadn’t missed anything important; then, I opened the bags and, one at a time, I filled them without even looking. Very soon, the impenetrable jungle looked like a manicured garden.

I left the room completely satisfied, and Morgan never even missed the things I took out. In fact, she walked into her room and clapped her little hands, saying that everything looked great. Never once did her thoughts wander to the myriad of happy meal toys in a basket under her bed, or to the dress-up set she HAD to have last year and had quickly outgrown. She didn’t miss those things because she never really cared for them; they were just there, an unseen part of her room décor or lack of.

Cleaning Morgan’s room made me think of how many times we focus our energy on deciding what we need to remove from our lives to make them work, when instead it would be so much easier to think of what we need in them and rid ourselves of the rest that no longer serves us. Humans are hoarders by nature, regardless if the loot is toys, clothes or merely emotions and past experiences. Surely we can approach a cleansing by picking up each individual thing and looking at it again, but most likely, we will only pick it up, find a reason to keep it, and end up just as cluttered as we were in the first place. Sometimes, spring cleaning starts with a simple assessment of what we can’t do without; the rest we can always send to Goodwill.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ghost Walk, by Brian Keene -- A Book Review

Skeptical about rumors of LeHorn’s Hollow being a haunted ground, a local hunter stumbles into a circles of old stones etched with strange, ancient-looking symbols. Excited by his find – and hoping these stones will prove to be a priceless archeological discovery – Rich digs one of them out. Unbeknownst to him, Noden, the living darkness who lay trapped beyond the gate kept sealed by the circles of sacred stones, is now able to reach out through the opening. In order for Noden and his minions to completely come out and destroy life, all the stones must first be removed by unsuspecting humans. Noden patiently waits to make his grand entrance at midnight on Halloween night, when the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest. His plan is incidentally facilitated by Ken Ripple, a grieving widower whose goal is to build a ghost walk in memory of his late wife right in LeHorn’s Hollow. Only one person can stop Noden – Levi Stoltzfus was raised in an Amish family, but he abandoned his faith long ago to embrace a much wider truth. Levi is powerful, and aided by Spirit, yet he cannot act alone. With the help of Maria, a young journalist, and a novelist who’s dealt Noden’s minions before, Levi embarks on a journey against time to fight the forces of darkness.

As the hunter was skeptical about the rumors surrounding LeHorne’s Hollow, I must admit I was a bit skeptical about this story in the beginning. Usually unimpressed with most New Age fiction, I sat with this novel for less than thirty minutes before I became so engrossed in it that I didn’t want to put it down.

I immediately connected with Levi, and really appreciated the standpoint of Maria, the young journalist. I also found it quite endearing that this book linked, somewhat, to another favorite of mine, the Necronomicon; while unrelated to it, this story conveys some of the same information in a not-so-ominous fashion.

The writing style is pleasant and flows unrestricted. While I am not familiar (yet) with Brian Keene’s other works, I was quite impressed with Ghost Walk, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fiction sprinkled with a good dose of magick and small town lore.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Perfect Afternoon

If one could write a recipe for the perfect afternoon, yesterday had all the right ingredients. After the baby-sitter arrived – to Morgan’s delight, since she adores her – I drove to Goldsboro for a book signing hosted by Wall2Wall Photography. While the sky appeared a bit crossed, the tears were stubbornly held back, and I enjoyed a rain-free trip. When I got there, two ladies – Elaine and Sherrill – were already there, and I parked behind one of their cars.

The next couple of hours were terrific. Some of Julie’s friends from her day job stopped by, purchased books and offered interesting conversation. The food was great – Sherrill, those Amaretto cookies were to die for! – the wine delightful and sweet, and all along we enjoyed a background of wonderful New Orleans Blues. To add to the magic, Julie’s family was there, and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to them.

After a while, one lady had to leave and my car was blocking her way, so I got my keys and went outside to move it. I initially thought of backing out all the way, but then I had this crazy thought of pulling over the side a bit and let her squeeze through. Well, squeeze she did, but my pulling to the side took a whole new meaning when I forgot that there was no side – I nicely backed into a drain ditch. Not even aware of it in the beginning, I was puzzled when my car didn’t move and thought I was stuck in the mud, until I got out and saw that the right back tire was airborne over the ditch.

We all stood there hoping to come up with a solution, when Julie’s husband decided to get his tractor and pull my car out. It only took a moment for him to pull the car and have it with all four tires on the ground. The moment we got back on the porch, a powerful storm approached; we barely made it under cover before the sky opened in a downpour.

The little “ditch accident” could have put a damper on the perfect afternoon, but once I totaled the facts, it was easy to see that nothing had happened – I was fine, the car was fine, Julie’s newly-planted Monkey Grass wasn’t even disturbed, and we had escaped the rain just in time. When the storm subsided a bit, it was time for me to head back home. As I drove, I thought back about the car in the ditch, and wondered if there was a silver lining to the little dark cloud. It wasn’t until I got closer to home that the answer to my question popped up.

Allowing minor trouble to come in and spoil our day is an easy thing to do, but it is something we can surely control. We can’t always be in charge of circumstances, but we always own our thoughts and the way we respond to challenges. The car in the ditch could have been something completely annoying, but we were able to turn it around and laugh about it, adding one more piece to an already beautiful puzzle. Life happens, but if we can strive to turn a negative into a positive, it can always be a fun adventure.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Benefit Book Signing: Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wall 2 Wall Photography will be hosting one of my book signings, this Saturday July 10 between 2pm and 4pm, at the studio situated at 106 N. Martin Rd in Goldsboro.

One dollar from the sale of each book – The Book of Obeah and Housekeeping for the Soul -- at the signing will be donated to the Louisiana Gulf Response (, via the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (, a local grassroots "boots on the ground" organization dedicated to preserving the Louisiana and Gulf Coast region.

This is part of the "Hooked on the Book" campaign, an initiative of The Piece Process (

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Morning Bun

With temperatures breaking into the low 100s, yesterday was definitely a scorcher, but since a friend and I had planned to meet for coffee early in the day, it was still quite pleasant for us to sit at one of the outdoor tables at a local Starbucks.

Some of you might not know that I have an addiction to Starbucks’ morning buns, a delight of flaky pastry generously spiced with cinnamon and sprinkled with cane sugar, so when I walked in to get coffee and saw they had six left on the tray, I decided to buy all they had with the intention of eating one while I was there, and bringing the rest home to freeze for extended breakfast pleasure in days to come.

It didn’t take us long to see that while this location was not too congested with humans, it was the happy place of residence of many tiny birds that had even built two nests in the letters of the insignia, in the lower half of the ‘B’ and the upper part of the ‘A’, the two best seats in the house and the ones offering added protection from storms. I am sure the added benefit of many visitors dropping crumbs down below was one of the strong points of their choice of real estate.

Most of the little birds – I don’t know much about birds, so I have no idea what type they were – seemed to have no fear. From the moment I sat down with my unwrapped morning bun, the first courageous soul flew in right beside our table, and looked at me sideways the way only birds know how to do. I pinched a crumb and threw it his way, careful not to jerk my arm too fast and scare him away. He ate it and waited for more, and then, as if he had a tiny invisible trumpet only birdie ears could hear, the rest of the army came upon us, and I could not pinch crumbs fast enough. Our table was surrounded by little balls of feathers inching closer and closer with each falling bite of flaky goodness – thank God for those nice, colorful umbrellas over the tables…

Most of the birds ate and left, some even stopped along the way to pick up a few extra furnishings and building supplies for their homes, but one little bird stood at a distance; he watched other birds fill their minuscule tummies with eager eyes, but never dared to get closer and get a little for himself. I tried throwing him a crumb close to where he was, and again he didn’t trust me enough to partake of the banquet. When other birds left, he still remained in his position, interested but unwilling to jump into the heat of the action. I threw another crumb which landed right beside him and it moved his tiny head to peck at it, but he hesitated for too long and another bird came in and took it away. In the end, he left without even tasting the morning bun – great loss for the little bird, I might say.

Watching the behavior of animals is not too different than watching humans at play. In fact, the behavior of this particular bird was one which is not only very commonly seen, but also it is a behavior that greatly cripples people from moving forward in their lives.

Fear is one of the most crippling factors that can affect our growth, and hesitation is surely its bad cousin. Nothing would have happened to the little bird if he had come close enough to seize his crumb, but fear that something might happen stopped him in its tracks and left him with an empty stomach while all the other birds flew back to their respective homes a feather heavier. Dangers are real, and being a little cautious is surely wise, but allowing fear to get in the way can only lead to lack and stagnation. Even when the morning bun is really close.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reaching for the Moon

“Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” ~ Louisa May Alcott

When I was a young girl, my family and I lived in a high-rise apartment building in the heart of the city. I loved sitting on the balcony at night, when the noise from the street had finally quieted down and the horizon came to life as a parade of lights. I especially loved to sit out there when the moon was full, since I find very few things to be as impressive and mystical as the jolly, tangerine-hued face of the moon peeking through the buildings. One night, it looked so big that I distinctly remember thinking I could touch it if I just reached far enough. Although touching the moon was not an option, I still enjoyed the feeling of peace and the pale light which seemed to enshroud everything in a silvery cloak of dreams and magic.

Not everyone dreams of touching the moon, but most of us set goals for ourselves. Some of the goals are little more than a speck of hope in the far distance, while some others are immediate plans we set out to achieve in our daily lives. Regardless of how practical, unthinkable, big or small our goals are, they can be achieved. If someone has reached them before us, it only means that a door must exist to get there. It may not be the first one we knock on, or even the second or third ones, but a path to our dreams certainly exists, if we are willing to put in the footwork to find it.

I remember having this conversation with my son, one night, while he was telling me about his passion for drumming. He felt that becoming a professional drummer is an impossible dream and he should focus on something more “concrete”. Given that he was raised by me, I was speechless…impossible? Nothing is impossible. The road might be rocky, and the journey a rough one, but if one has a clear destination in mind, going from point A to point B can definitely be in the cards.

Sticking with a personal goal is simpler than most think, as long as we realize that initial failure is nothing more than a stepping stone toward future success. An old proverb even states that we should fall seven times and get up eight. Short-term goals are probably the hardest ones to keep up with, as what motivates us to achieve them rarely originates in the fire of an individual’s inner passion; our resolve can easily deflate and we lose our momentum. By setting small goals and working toward them, we raise our inner bar of self-discipline, and through the joy of humble victories along the way we train for the marathon of touching the moon.

We don’t need to set our goals into the future – today is as good a day as any to get motivated, set goals, and begin to make changes, even if small ones. After all, all great runners started once by learning how to put one foot in front of the other. Time and persistence did the rest.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wearing Someone Else's Clothes

"Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”~ Thomas A. Kempis

While shopping for girls clothes at a local department store, a few days ago, I couldn’t help overhearing a mother and daughter arguing while they scanned items on a rack. Frustrated, the mother turned toward another lady and sighed as she conveyed to her friend her inability to convince her daughter to wear ‘girl clothes.’

I briefly glanced at the mother as I walked away – her face was caked with excessive make-up, her hair was painstakingly kept in place by a generous amount of teasing and hairspray, and her attire spoke of a desperate attempt at stopping time and never getting old. The girl seemed just as frustrated as her mother, though her lack discontent was overshadowed by her mother’s imposing will to turn her young princess into a mirrored image of herself.

I left before the mother and daughter finalized any purchases, but as I walked out of the store I thought of how common it is for parents to live through their children, or to see their children as a continuation of themselves. Certainly, we all want to steer our offspring into a direction we believe will be beneficial to them, but is assumption of what is best for them always stemming from a neutral point of sheer good will, or could it be that at times we allow our own perception of things to get in the way?

What is good for one person is not necessarily good for another, even if they share a few pints of blood; similarly, what didn’t work out for one might, instead, be the saving grace of someone else. Imagine, for example, a mother whose dreams were sacrificed in the name of a relationship gone awry; would she keep her own bitter perception to herself, or would she try to convey her disappointment to her daughters, hoping to spare them the same fate? If she does, in fact, allow her personal, negative experiences to influence her teaching, she can rob her daughters of important experiences essential to their own growth as individuals.

I often see parents pushing children toward certain activities, even when their youngsters have no inclination toward them, only because those activities are something THEY would have liked to participate in. While it is nice to provide opportunities for children to spread their wings, their own preferences should be considered before anything else.

I hated sports and loved books, and I am sure there were plenty of times my father cringed when I turned my nose at watching a game with him, but thankfully, he never pushed the issue. My mother and sister lived – and still do, to an extent – for fashion and shopping; well, I didn’t like those either. When it came to recreational activities, I was the proverbial black sheep, but in the end, I liked what I liked, and being forced into the skin of a different person wasn’t going to magically turn me into someone I wasn’t.

Of course, we all have ideas of what we would like to see our children do, but I will always try to keep my two cents into my pockets. Will my sons and daughter follow the paths I think they will take? Maybe, or maybe not, but in the end my goal is to see them happy in the lives they have chosen.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Looking Up

“He who likes cherries soon learns to climb.” ~ German proverb

My friend Julie and I have one thing in common – we both don’t like heights. In all truth, I don’t really mind heights if I know I am completely safe -- and I thoroughly enjoy a panoramic view from behind a protective window -- but you will not catch me alive on a tall ladder.

The other day, time came for my friend to face that tall demon, when she was commissioned by a local mall to take photographs of a firework display. Excited and terrified at the same time, she worried not just at the prospect of going all the way up, but also at the terrifying thought of climbing all the way down.

Here I was, the pot calling the kettle back, encouraging her to continue her ascent and never look down; even as I wrote that, my mind spun at the mere thought of being in her place. Yet, my friend was counting on me for support, and support I was going to give. “Keep looking up,” I said sounding more assured than I felt, “even when you are climbing down.”

In the end, not only did Julie make it back down safely, but she also had a blast!

As we were writing back and forth the night before, Julie and I speculated on the possibility that our fear of heights reflects our fear of moving forward in our lives. Both of us are standing at a professional crossroads right now, where every turn can either hide a mind-blowing surprise, or a heart-breaking disappointment. As long as we lay low and close to earth, we can only get hurt a little if we stumble, but how bad could we possibly get injured, if we climb too high, too fast, and suddenly fall? Someone once said that if you have nothing you never have to worry about losing anything; similarly, if you never go up, you never have to worry about falling down; because of that, we often postpone our ascent, knowing that while we might not achieve much by remaining stuck in our safe place, we won’t lose much either.

Our problem is that as we approach our ‘ladder’, our thoughts are focused on our descent, rather than centering on what we will see when we make it up to the top. We invest so much energy worrying about what might happen if we fall that we often end up self-sabotaging in the desperate attempt of creating a safety net.

Julie went up and loved the view, felt proud of having finally conquered her fear and had no problems climbing back down; when it was time to descend, she allowed her body to follow the motions, but her eyes remained focused on what was above her, rather than giving in to the temptation of looking down.

Kudos to you, Julie, for setting your eyes on the stars. Why look down at how far we could fall, when we can look up and see how far we can reach?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Perception and YOUR Reality...Discussion and Competition!

I would love to invite you all to participate in a competition sponsored by The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment.

This is going to be fun! Stop by today and join our discussion. I would love to hear your story, and how your own point of perspective affects your perception. The winning entry will receive a copy of my recently released novel, The Book of Obeah.

Have a blessed weekend everybody!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Shoes on the Road

I have always liked to observe everything, but while observing can be a fun and even informative practice when one is just walking around, it is not always a top choice when one is driving.

Yesterday afternoon I ran into – or should I say escape? – an interesting situation, compliments of my tendency to observe everything on my path. I was driving home from the grocery store, and stopped at a red light before turning left into my subdivision. While I waited, something on the road caught my eye – three shoes, all different, were piled up beside the median: a man’s shoe, a woman’s, and one that looked as if it could belong to a little girl. I thought the combination was quite strange…why only one of each? As I pondered the unusual assortment of shoes, I didn’t notice the light had turned green.

The driver in the car behind me blew the horn and I jumped back into real time, but before the signal traveled from my ears to my brain and from my brain to my foot, a few seconds went by….and those few seconds very likely saved my life; in the least, they insured I didn’t get hurt. A car, traveling in the opposite direction, drove straight through the red light, and had I not been mesmerized by the three odd shoes on the side of the road, I would have been directly on its path at the very same time it went through.

I turned into my subdivision, my mind still trying to absorb the intensity of what had just happened. This is not the first time I’ve been spared a close call, and sometimes I have to wonder if distractions are not put on our path to slow us down and avoid the unthinkable. The driver who honked his horn must have been a bit shocked as well, because I noticed he slowed down considerably. Could it be that whenever we misplace our keys or something completely random occurs, it is only the hand of fate pulling us back from rushing into a situation that might not be good for us?

Surely, it could also be a coincidence, but at least in my own perception, I have come to accept coincidences don’t really exist. In fact, whenever I have paid enough mind to so-called ‘coincidences’, a pattern has begun to form, directing my attention to something I needed to become aware of at the time.

I don’t think the three different shoes had any particular significance, other than serving the purpose they were placed there for. Yet, I was happy they were in that specific spot on my path, and became visible to me at exactly the time they did. If they hadn’t been there, or if I had remained unaware, I might not be writing this post.

I got home, unloaded the groceries and went inside; my little daughter, who had stayed home with her big brother, came running into the kitchen and gave me a huge bear hug. When I brought the groceries in, I almost tripped into my son’s shoes, as always left in the doorway – will that boy ever learn to put his shoes away? – but this time I didn’t get angry…for once, shoes in my way had been my ticket to get back home to my children.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Book Review - "North Carolina Trivia," by John V. Wood

Did you know that if an unmarried couple check into a hotel and mark the “married” box on the registration form, then by the power vested by the state of North Carolina, they are officially husband and wife? And did you know that if you sing off-key for longer than 90 seconds in Nags Head, you can be fined? But, surely, you didn’t know that it is illegal, in North Carolina, to use an elephant to harvest a cotton field.

These, and many more interested tidbits, are what kept me glued to North Carolina Trivia, a book recently released by John V. Wood, a Johnston County middle school teacher.

I loved reading funny town names such as Boogertown, Half Hell and Tick Bite and to learn there are seven kinds of dolphins found off the North Carolina coast. Also, with all the talk of tea parties of late, I found it quite interesting that a native Tar Heel woman helped spark the resistance against British rule during the American Revolution with her own tea party.

North Carolina Trivia has something for everybody. Loaded with fun-to-read, informative tidbits about local fauna, history, education, sports, old laws and businesses (did you know the Pepsi-Cola Company was incorporated in North Carolina in 1902?), this book was an absolute delight to dive into.

The format is great and easy to search and read; divided in sections organized by topic, the book is written in a highly entertaining, humoristic tone which won’t fail to amuse the young and old alike. It is an informative guide for school-age children and a good tool for teachers wishing to inspire local love among their pupils.

North Carolina Trivia is definitely a book I would recommend to readers living in North Carolina, and to anyone interested in traveling or moving to our beautiful state.