#WATWB – We are the World Blogfest – Keeping the Homeless a Little Warmer

#WATWB Welcome to this month’s edition of We are the World Blogfest where a group of writers post something positive going on around the world to deflect from the negativity. This month I wanted to share this video of this amazing woman who collects empty foil bags from potato chips, etc. to create thermal blankets for the homeless.

Around the world so many people are stepping up and doing amazing projects to help the disadvantaged. I also want to give a shoutout to he many women around the world making masks in their homes and donating to medical facilities and to individuals in need of a mask. The world may look crappy at the moment, but with so many heroes in our world, we will all prevail!




This woman in the UK collects crisp (potato chip) and another foil bags from snacks and creates the heat blankets to keep the homeless warm and protect the blanket underneath from the elements.

I found the video on Facebook


Your hosts for the week at WATWB are: 

Eric Lahti – https://ericlahti.wordpress.com

Susan Scott – http://www.gardenofedenblog.com/

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal – http://inderpreetuppal.com/

Shilpa Garg – https://shilpaagarg.com/

Peter Nena – https://drkillpatient01.wordpress.com/


Feel free to join in the last Friday of every month and share your post here: 



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Nature’s Hideaway – Pond Party! – Observations – Fiction/Nonfiction or Somewhere In Between

I’ve been trying to make it a habit to get outside for an hour or so a few days a week for some reading time. Our complex has beautifully manicured parkland with various walking trails and park benches and gazebos. I found myself this lovely secluded spot, able to catch some rays, yet shaded by trees with a slight breeze on the bench, below in the photo. And one particular afternoon while reading in my spot, I found myself distracted by ongoing chatter as the birds seemed very busy on this particularly sizzling hot day. Ringleader was large and in charge. I put down my book and listened for awhile since it was difficult to concentrate with the swarm of birds flying back and forth and from the boisterous chatting and chirping banter.


Pond party


I envisioned this conversation as it continued on, and named the boss Ringleader who appeared be the party organizer and bouncer.

Sitting on a park bench, taking in the beauty of peace and quiet, basking in the beautiful sunshine while reading a book, it appeared the birds, a mere ten feet away, were having a grand old time and taking in the calmness of the blue skies.

No doubts the birds adored their sanctuary – away from the humans, chirping in the trees and enjoying the man-made birdbath some kind gardner had created for them. Ringleader seemed unaffected by the blazing sun and scorching heat as he tirelessly led several groups of birds to indulge in the birdie pond. He’d fly away for a few minutes and return with a new flock who wasted no time splashing down in their private pool. As though their time had expired, Ringleader began squawking, to announce their time was up. Once again he’d lead the flock away, and within minutes, he’d return with a new group of winged friends, landing directly in the grassy bath patch to enjoy their secret garden.

It appeared that some, kind human must have spent time manicuring the vast parkland that surrounds my home, and purposely left the approximate 50 square foot patch of concaved weedy patch as a cooling spot for the numerous birds who frequent the area.

In a moment’s notice, Ringleader is up and out again, and streaming behind him were the various feathered friends who’ve enjoyed their visit and were venturing back off to their homing hangouts, only to be followed with a new crowd upon Ringleader’s return.

While I sat there with sweat beading up on my forehead, I have to admit, I was getting envious of the party of birds having a splash.


Masked me






Sunday Book Review – This is Lockdown: Covid19 Diaries – #Anthology by MJ Mallon

This week’s Sunday Book Review is for Marjorie Mallon’s new heartening release – This is Lockdown: Covid19 Diaries #anthology. Marje has written this book based on her thoughts, emotions and experiences being documented throughout this pandemic. She also invited several authors to join her anthology by submitting their thoughts and experiences in short story, flashfiction and poetry form. I was honored to be invited and be part of this testament to our times.





An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The full list of authors are: Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and Writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction author,) Fi Phillips ,(Author, Copy Editor,) Jeannie Wycherley, (Dark stories, Suspense, Horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (Urban Fiction, Teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/Author,) Peter Taylor-Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit, Romance, Poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger, Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (Huge supporter of indie community/Blogger/Author) D G Kaye, (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, Horror, Urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (Blogger, Poet and Writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet, Author) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks for The NHS .


My 5 Star Review:

MJ Mallon begins this heartening book with a stunning foreword to mark the times that are sure to become part of a testament of our times in history on the 2020 global pandemic Covid19 that has rocked our collective world.

The book is broken down into three parts – Daily diary entries from the author, writer’s testaments, and thoughts in flashfiction/nonfiction stories, and poetry. Each contributing author evoking their experiences and thoughts.

Mallon has covered and documented life in lockdown, tracking events as they happen and the human condition scrutinized for its affects with shared incidents, displaying fears, finances, health concerns, and what a potentially killer disease portends. Her diaries touch on emotion as MJ expresses her own fears and concerns and observations at the days and weeks progress in lockdown.

Common threads I noticed from all writers: Loss of writing muse and creativity, restructuring of family life and function, adjusting to lockdown, and for many – overwhelming online ‘everything’ now, cutting into a writer’s work time and creativity.

This book is for everyone, for we all share the same common Covid fears and adjustments in this very world we all live in. A recommended read for reflection and to reinforce, we are not alone.



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Q & A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Marjorie Mallon – This is Lockdown #Anthology

Welcome to a special edition of Q & A this week as I feature Marjorie Mallon, my Fey sister and friend with her hot new release – This is Lockdown: Covid19 Diaries. Marje and I also run the ABRSC blogger group on Facbook, and the Spiritual Sisters page, links at the bottom of this post.

This book has been a labor of love for Marje who has written this book with a collaboration of several author’s entries, including mine, and her documented diaries of her experiences living through the Covid19, along with heartfelt testaments from others, poetry and short stories told in Flash/Nonfiction forms in this beautiful anthology that will serve to document the times in our lives. I just finished reading this book and I will have a review up for this Sunday Book Review.


MJ Mallon


MJ Mallon


About Marje:

I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my parents Paula and Ronald, only sister to my elder brother Donald. I spent my early childhood in a mountainous court dwelling in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters often return with a cheery smile.

Sometimes when the mood takes me, I adopt an alter ego, M J – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practice Tai Chi and Yoga. If the mood takes me, I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

My favourite genres to write are: YA fantasy, magical realism, and various forms of poetry. I blog about books, writing, photography and inspiration at: https://mjmallon.com.

I enjoy writing articles celebrating the spiritual realm, my love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious. One of my greatest pleasures is reading. I’ve written over 150 reviews at my lovely blog home:

I’m a member of a professional writing body. SCBWI , the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators.



Universal Link:  mybook.to/Thisislockdown



An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The full list of authors are: Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and Writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction author,) Fi Phillips ,(Author, Copy Editor,) Jeannie Wycherley, (Dark stories, Suspense, Horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (Urban Fiction, Teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/Author,) Peter Taylor-Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit, Romance, Poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger, Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (Huge supporter of indie community/Blogger/Author) D G Kaye, (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, Horror, Urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (Blogger, Poet and Writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet, Author) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks for The NHS .


So let us get into some Q & A with Marje and learn more about her inspiration for this book and more about her writing.


Thank you so much to my lovely friend Debby, a contributing author, for inviting me over to talk about This Is Lockdown.




Do events in your daily life inspire your writing ideas?

Yes, absolutely, Debby. This Is Lockdown was inspired by Coronavirus and the situation we are in. Events in my daily life inspire my writing ideas. Normally, I am a visual writer inspired by the unusual, or the beautiful. In this case, my writing muse came from a deeper, more internal place. I looked within, but also observed what I could on my frequent walks in our Cambridgeshire village in the UK. I’m lucky to have a river nearby and a beautiful country park with lakes, swans, geese and ducks. The pace of life slowed down, and I noticed curious stone frogs and the like, which I probably wouldn’t have noticed before.

D.G. – Our senses are heightened when we stop and take a pause, so no doubts Marje. I’m sure every single person on this planet has been affected in different ways. This is a beautiful book for documenting history. ❤


What’s your opinion on self-publishing?

I’m becoming more and more fond of it! I appreciate the freedom it gives. I can publish what I like, when I like. I can choose my title, cover, (even create it myself if I wish,) and format it in the way that I want. All those decisions are mine. For me, self-publishing is also a great confidence booster. You develop the tools to become a writer/publisher/marketing expert. There are so many new skills: formatting, creating a cover (I created the cover for This Is Lockdown myself,) designing promotional graphics (I use Canva ,) for blog tour headers, review memes. With self publishing, I am the boss! I love that.

D.G. – I agree with all you said. And wow, you did a fab job with the cover!


Books by MJ Mallon


Is there something you wish you were better at with the self-publishing process?

It is a never ending learning process. I’ve always wanted to be a perpetual student! I am getting there. I’ve learnt so much during Lockdown. I’ve been lucky to have the time during my furlough from work to dedicate to writing, and to blogging. Normally, I work long hours in an international school in Cambridge, leaving me little time to do anything. There are many new skills I’d love to add to my tool box –

 I’d love to learn how to design a paperback cover.

 And, I’d love to become more skilled at increasing readership to my blog
newsletters. I just started my newsletters during Lockdown. It has been on my to
do list for forever! I feared this more than anything. So, when I created my first
newsletter, it made me feel like cracking open the champagne. To date, it was the
hardest blog admin I’ve ever done.

 Oh, and I’d love to do more videos. This is the first one I’ve done, (my
daughter created it for me, for our local village, Online Fayre.) It isn’t perfect (we
were on a tight time frame,) but it’s our first attempt and I’m proud of that. She
did a wonderful job.

D.G. – Fabulous Marje! There is just so much that comes with the self-pub business. If we learned all the dynamics, we’d never have time to write!



How has writing changed your life?

Massively, I am not the same person I was. I have changed so much. I’d describe myself as a much more contented person. It is as if I have been waiting for this moment all my life! Sometimes, I wonder why have I wasted so many years being that ‘other’ person. But then I let it go. Life is too short for regrets. It is enough that I have found myself NOW.

D.G. – You’ve got that right girl!


Do you agree with the general consensus that writers are loners?

Ah, yes and no Debby. I enjoy my own company, but I wouldn’t say I’m a loner. I am quite sociable; I love going out with friends and family for meals and entertainment. I miss engaging with a wide circle of friends: old friends that I’ve had since the children were young, old school friends, blogging pals, writer friends, (in person at blogger bash, and SCBWI events,) you name it! And yet I’d say that writers are happy to be alone – that’s the difference. We have our writing, our books, our muse… Isolation for writers and creatives isn’t easy, but we cope better than most.

So, I discovered a way to connect during COVID19. This Is Lockdown was my way of coping. I reached out to the writing and creative community. I’m so glad that I did! This project has been such an enormous boost to my morale at a time when I needed it most. Coronavirus continues to be the most frightening time of my life. I hope it helps others to connect in this way. This Is Lockdown is a true account of diaries, poems, writings, short pieces and thoughts on isolation. It is a touch of positivity amongst all the sadness. Also, it highlights a wonderful initiative by Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val. They share their story of the fundraising masks for the NHS. To date, they have raised £30,000 for the National Health Service.

Here I am wearing one of their colourful masks:

MJ Mallon wears a mask

D.G. – I concur. I too am both and extrovert and introvert. I need my social outings, but also my quiet time to work.


The fabulous authors/bloggers and creatives together, the contributors are:

Richard Dee , (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns ,
(Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,)
Lynn Fraser , (Author,) Jackie Carreira , (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring
philosopher,) Willow Willers , (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello , (Murder
Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie
Wycherley , (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins , (urban fiction,
teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett , (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby , (Crime,
Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal , (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May ,
(Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen , (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,)
Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine
Mezzacappa , (Author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally
Cronin , (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies ( D G
Kaye ), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park , (Fantasy, horror, urban
fantasy,) Marian Wood , (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch , (Writer,
Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet,
Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-ValCommunity Masks 4 NHS.


First Review:

Adele Park

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 July 2020

This is lockdown is a collection of diary entries, poems and photos from a collection of authors under the umbrella of M J Mallon. This is a definitive look at what the real people did during the lockdown, which is still in place in certain parts of the country. The writings and musings offer a real look at how people felt, what they did or couldn’t do and all delivered from different voices. From the day to day struggles, worries, and laughter to poems which will make you laugh, think and cry. This is a wonderful book I thoroughly enjoyed and I will keep going back to read again and again.



Behind The Mask by Sherri Matthews

Based in the UK
© Sherri Matthews


Covid-19 struck and with it lockdown. I didn’t jump into baking bread, online classes and endless quizzes on Zoom. Instead, my brain went into meltdown. Then, Survival Mode.

Stock-piling at the supermarket stripped shelves bare. For the first time in my life – in my generation – I worried about finding basic essentials for my family. Lockdown plunged me into my new role as Hunter/Gatherer. I shifted into action.

My immediate quest turned to hand sanitiser. None. Liquid soap then. None. Right. Bar soap? None. Didn’t people wash before coronavirus? Shelf after empty shelf mocked me with their special-offer price tags to non-existent products and a slow-rising panic clenched my chest. A rapid mental inventory of the soap I had at home told me we could manage. I keep a spare. Dishwashing liquid works, my middle son texted. Of course, yes. We have that. Never mind no fresh meat, bread or eggs. At least we could safely wash Covid from our hands.

My sons. My adult children. Three of them. My youngest lives at home with me and my husband. Lockdown separates us from our two older sons who live far away. We cancelled March, hoped for May. Then July. Maybe. More like August. We don’t know.

Anxious thoughts lace my outings to The Wasteland. But this isn’t an episode of the Walking Dead and there are no zombies here. Reality means I must keep safe. My husband too. He works from home now. I am carer to my youngest who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Now, too, for my eighty-something mother who needs shielding. Who will look after them if I succumb?

Food shopping is my mission. An expedition for which I need gear. Survival gear. A mask, primarily. It is black. The material heats my breath and fogs my sunglasses. Wisps of too-overlong lockdown hair itch my eyes. Don’t touch your face! I mantra as I manoeuvre through the aisles and try to focus on my shopping list, blinking hard to clear the blur and people-dodging when they come too close too many times.

My mask and sunglasses double-up as a dark disguise – they hide the stress and, yes, the anger I know is tight upon my face. It keeps at bay those spewing germs from the woman who sneezes and the man who coughs openly as they walk by. It stops the words I want to say but know I will regret. To them and those who huddle in the aisle chatting, laughing, not a foot apart. I need to get by. Excuse me, please. To them I want to say, don’t you know this is a pandemic?

Three months into lockdown, food supplies are plenty. Sanitising hand gel and soap is back!

Families and friends can gather, no more than six. But tell that to the crammed in beach-goers and not a mask in sight in the hottest May on record leaving tons of weight in litter, gridlocked roads and major incidences in their wake. How can we win like this?

An invisible enemy designed to bring us down circulates with relish. Will we humans prevail in our efforts to destroy it? Many will never know normal again. Loss and grief does that. We are forever changed.

My normal means hugging my boys again, my family gathered together on that wonderful day, safe and well. In this I have hope. Always, we must hope. And until that day, it doesn’t hurt to wear a black mask.

© Sherri Matthews


Shopping Hell (2)- Flash fiction

A woman is standing in front of me in the supermarket queue. She’s young, barely twenty, wearing a bright red jacket, a face mask, her hair is dark, her eyes accusatory. Turning her head, her body twists, she glares at me, her body language screams you are too close, as if I am invading her territory. Her glossy red jacket screams help! I’m staying away from her, following the social distancing rules, but still it is not enough. She fears me, her eyes peer at me above her mask and I know this is true. I hope and pray she will stay well. She is a similar age to my daughters, but fear has made her an anxious stranger.

© M J Mallon


I have also written my thoughts and contributed this Etheree poem:


Cabin Fever


Anxiety exacerbates within.

The pandemic reigns on human life.

We grieve the lost art of living.

While idling in neutral,

We remain suspended,

Awaiting normal,

A new concept.

Lessons taught.





It was a thrill to have you over today Marje. Wishing you lots of success with the book, and may we all stay safe and be able to start a new life soon!


Follow Marje’s BlogTour Schedule!



Follow Marje on Social Media:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Twitter@Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon

Collaborative Group: https://www.facebook.com/pg/5SpiritualSisters/



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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – July 2020 – Calling All Fixers! | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to my Realms of Relationships Column I write monthly for Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

In this issue I’m discussing my thoughts from my own experiences on the topic of ‘Fixers’ – when we feel empowered to fix issues of those we care for, often beyond our scope.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – July 2020 – Calling All Fixers!


Welcome to the July edition of Realms of Relationships Calling All Fixers


Are you that person who has a dire need to fix the people you care about? Are you that person who thinks nobody can fix things like you can? Let me tell you, I was one of those people, and I learned that there are definite limitations when it comes to thinking we can repair others—despite how much our hearts truly wish we could.

Our compassion and love fuel our desire to want to help our loved ones when we sense something is off. But it’s a fact that some issues are better left for the professionals—psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, etc. Yet, sometimes our overwhelming desire wins out, and we just can’t help but feel emboldened enough to think we’re capable of taking on the task, because, after all, we know that person intimately. We love them and take care of them, so obviously we should have no problem setting things right. But no. We cannot. And we shouldn’t feel as though it’s our job to do so either. Seems I was born with the ‘nurturing gene’ so, I’ve spent much of my life learning the hard way.

We cannot fix those who don’t wish to be fixed, nor those who even deny there’s

a problem.


As I’ve mentioned in the beginning of this series, I have no PHD, but the one from life, so everything I write about is from the lessons I took in myself and any research I’ve done to confirm to myself what I learned. I’d read plenty on personality disorders, spirituality, and self- improvement since my teens. My curiosity has always been people and what makes them behave the way they do. There’s always a reason – a spark, an aha moment that can set someone off – a trigger. But diagnosing doesn’t mean we’re equipped or qualified to control or heal someone. So, I don’t write as a medical expert, but just an educated and experienced gal from the school of life.

For some of you here who may have read one of my books, you will know that I grew up observing my narcissistic mother, even though I knew nothing about the word or condition of a narcissist when I was a beginner in my quest to analyze her. I just figured it out as I got older and read books to satisfy my curiosity, then followed through learning more about them and discovered she was that.


~ ~ ~


When someone we love isn’t well, our natural instincts as carers is to try and fix what’s wrong. There’s nothing wrong with trying, but issues dealing with mental imbalances, such as bi-polar, manic depression, and other deep-rooted issues requiring clinical assessment are typically beyond our league. Just because we love and care for that person, doesn’t mean we have the proper experience or training to deal with such issues. Another factor could be that the affected person doesn’t realize how deep their issues go or may not even be aware they even have a problem – which should be a huge flag our loved one needs professional help.

Now, certainly we can do our best to help fix a bad attitude by offering consoling and by making best efforts to uplift our loved ones when a bad moment arises. We may offer discussion, remind them they are in a safe place to vent, reminding them we love them and care and we’re there for them, but for serious mental afflictions, it’s best they get the proper medical attention. Unless we have the medical training for some tough issues, all the talking and uplifting in the world just may not be enough.

As I wrote about here in my last article on  Empaths, for those of us who are uber compassionate people, we can sometimes become a little too eager with our desire to help those in need. Sometimes we may feel our compassionate abilities, our gift to help others, is a magic one-size fits all. But sadly, it isn’t. Because I’m not a certified therapist, I know I don’t have all the tools to fix everyone I wish to, despite my best efforts and intentions.


childhood hurt


I’ve collected many broken people flocking to me since I was a young girl – starting with my father, who, incidentally, did do his best to follow my advice, although, love and broken hearts have a will of their own, and with that, I’ll just say that at least I could still be there for his heavy landings when my mother would once again make him feel small. His hurt held a space inside my heart that ate away at me for my entire childhood and beyond. Those were my early days of becoming the parent to my father. And even at the tender age of seven, my great need to stop the hurt and stand up to my mother for the love of my father were the beginnings of my desire to become the fixer of everyone’s unhappiness.

I inherited my empathy from my father whose giant heart was smitten, and consequently, ensnared by a beautiful girl with opportunistic intentions. It was that one day when my dad dropped me off back at home after our Sunday visit that my desire to be a fixer was born.

My dad pulled up around our circular driveway, put the car in park and hugged my younger siblings goodbye as I stayed an extra few moments in the front seat so we could have our alone time for a little longer. When he hugged me goodbye, he had tears in his eyes and asked me, his seven years-old little girl, if I would please ask Mommy to take him back. Just like that—just like I wasn’t seven. He was broken, and it broke me. Not surprising I grew up with a strong desire to fix people. I was also empathetic toward my mother. Despite my resentments toward her, I continued to do things to please and appease her—even when my own heart wasn’t in it.

I tried so many times through the years to offer her ideas to better her health. I offered to buy her supplements I knew would benefit her, approved by my own naturopath, but she’d mock me with her usual derogatory names, the same old lines—“You think you’re so goddamned smart,” a common and familiar phrase. ‘Hocus pocus bullshit’ was how she referred to anything she wasn’t versed in because if she wasn’t informed, or advised by her trusted drug- pushing doctor, her  Narcissistic self would not tolerate being outshined. I didn’t know it then, but it took a few more decades of mental anguish to learn she suffered a superiority complex of grandeur, she couldn’t tolerate it if someone was smarter, better, prettier, than her.

I found this so weird because my mother never even graduated high school, but nobody would have known the better because she’d deny it to your face even though she knew the truth. Yup, that was my mother, and as my patriarchal ancestors would say, she ate my    kishkes’ out‘. (This is a Yiddish cliché expression. In direct context, ‘kishke’ is comparable to Scottish haggis.)




There was no fixing my mother, but eventually, I learned why. There was no fixing her like there was no fixing a man I wasted seven years of my life with before I met my own husband. Yes, seven crazy years – I stayed wayyy too long at that prom—to the point I was risking my life.

It didn’t take me seven years to figure it out. All the signs were apparent in the first year, but I was sure I could fix him. . . Continue reading at Smorgasbord




Originally posted: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – July 2020 – Calling All Fixers! | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine


Sunday Book Review – My Sweet Friend – A Novella by H.A. Leuschel

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. If you enjoy a bit of a mixed genre – #Chicklit with lessons and a splash of a narcissistic protagonist, you will enjoy this novella length romp with “best friends?” Alexa and Rosie in this fun read – My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel.





‘Thrilling and clever, relatable yet extraordinary’ – Whispering Stories

‘I highly recommend this intriguing page-turner to anyone who’s ever crossed paths with a true narcissist… and is still standing!’ – Felicia Denise, author and blogger

‘Cleverly plotted and perfectly paced, the characters were all flawed in their own dark ways… an addictive read’ – Dash Fan Book Blog

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.


My 5 Star Review

Psychological Manipulator Meets Sweet and Compassionate.

We begin the story with a telephone conversation between Alexa and Rosie. We get that Rosie seems a bit ticked that Alexa needed a week off from her fairly new job at the PR firm where she ‘works’ together with Rosie. Air quotes around the word ‘works’ because that is debatable as this fun chicklit-ish romp with life lessons continues in this story, spiked with a twist of narcissism.

It’s not hard to figure out that Alexa is a narcissist who fits people into her life who can benefit her and those she can control by lying, cajoling, preying on, and projecting. Some may question her narcissism, but as a great detector of this species – she is. She’s got all the symptoms, denials, and bag of tricks.

Alexa is a manipulative girl who slithers into the lives of ‘sweet’, compassionate and good-natured Rosie and fellow  colleague and hot guy, Jack. When Alexa noticed Jack’s affection for Rosie, Alexa swoops right in with her wiley ways to seduce him just to prove to herself she can, without a thought for her friend. Alexa is a needy lover of herself and will go to any lengths to get what she wants. She uses Rosie’s compassion to cry to her, complain and lie about stories to gain sympathy. And poor Rosie is naive to Alexa’s cons – until she no longer is.

This read kept me engaged until the very end as I had my suspicions as I analyzed along with Alexa’s characteristics and shenanigans. I enjoyed reading on to see if my suspicions were accurate while focusing on Alexa’s actions with her distractions and faked distress and her odd ‘woe is me’, strange behaviors for someone so well put together and with such ‘projected’ confidence.

Thankfully, Rosie gets some well-needed advice from her therapist who helps Rosie to sort out her confusion about her friendship with Alexa, and Jack and some office pals begin to put some stories together that don’t add up about Alexa. And once Jack and Rosie corroborated their stories to one another, the gig was up.

This story kept me engaged as the author managed to keep this short novella a page-turner, keeping us wondering if Alexa gets called out all the while we’re shaking our heads at Alexa’s gumption. By the last page we’ll be left to decide if Alexa has learned anything from her experience, or will her personality keep her living life as she always has – dropping drama in her tracks? There are some good life lessons in this book, which suggests to me that anyone can enjoy this book.


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©DGKaye 2020






Q & A with D.G. Kaye Features Camilla Downs – Words of Alchemy

Welcome to my #AuthorChat series. Today I’d like to welcome author Camilla Downs here to share some of herself and her writing. Camilla’s latest publication is Words of Alchemy. Sounds so soothing, so let’s get to know more about Camilla.



Author Camilla Downs



About Camilla:

Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.





In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a heartfelt free-verse poetry memoir.

During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.

Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written wordsto flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.


Praise for Words of Alchemy


“Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.” – Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” – G. Brian Benson – Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’sthoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.” – Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

“Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.” – Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid


Recent Review:

This is an exceptional collection of endlessly expressive free verse poetry, extremely moving and inspirational in a variety of different ways. It speaks of nature, healing, family, heart, unconditional love, joy, harmony in oneself, mindfulness, vulnerability and genuine acceptance of ourselves.

Camilla has approached her life experiences with a gentle courage that unfolds into a celebration of the important things that mean the most to us. Despite all of our negative times and troubles we have to endure, life has so many positive experiences to offer. Camilla navigates her own trials and tribulations when it comes to pain, heartache and sorrow, yet still weaves the words into something incredibly beautiful with every single poem she exuberantly spills on to the page.

Whether her poems are long or short, each one packs so much heartfelt emotion in their exquisitely, passionately sculpted words that you will want to read it a few more times, to absorb its essence and appreciate the purity of words that touch deep within your own soul.

My favourite poem in the collection (it was such a difficult choice, since all of the poems within have something unique to recommend them) was the one written by Camilla with her children Lillian and Thomas (Love is Magical). I had to re-read it a couple of times, as I marveled over what was written and by whom. It was exhilarating how well their different writing styles meshed together and at that point, I could really feel the bond of family between them all.

Buy this book and get taken on an enticing emotional journey that you will never forget. – David E. … Links for the review: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer- reviews/R39NQV89IMDYGY/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0980056845 and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3357563039 book_show_action=true




Now that we’ve learned about Camilla’s background let’s get down to some Q & A!


What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?

Walking. Going for walks in nature, whether on a paved walking path, or a dirt trail in the woods. I adore going for walks, taking photographs of nature along the way. I find nature incredibly grounding, healing, and comforting. I attempt to infuse this, along with my energy into my writings and the nature photos I take.

Reading. I usually have about four books going at once. One book on writing, a fiction, a non- fiction, and a book that educates me on certain topics.

Another hobby is networking with other authors, interviewing them on a website I founded and facilitate – MeetingtheAuthors.com. I love meeting authors around the globe, developing and nourishing new friendships.

I also adore swimming. Although, we haven’t been able to do that yet this year. The new community we moved to in November 2019 has not finished construction of the pool. I’m a Pisces so each time I slip into the water, it feels like coming home. Going for swims, being in the water invigorates and brings such joy. I’m pretty sure I’m one part mermaid, one part fairy, and one party gypsy. I cannot wait for our pool to be finished!

D.G. – I hope that pool gets finished. I’m a Gemini – I need air! 🙂 And nice to meet someone who also reads 4 books at one time, lol.


Do your book ideas, or inspiration, grow from events in your daily life?

Being that my two books are memoirs, they are inspired by life events. My latest book published December 2019, Words of Alchemy, is a free-verse poetry memoir. I did not set out to write poetry, much less publish a book of poetry. Six years ago, poetry simply began to flow. When I decided last year that I was ready to publish a second book, I kept getting pulled back to the poetry. My first thought was that I did not want to publish a book of poetry. Who will buy it? HA! Yet, my heart and thoughts would not toss the idea aside. I finally leaned into it. I’m grateful that I listened as I feel it’s a beautiful book that has the ability to enrich others.

The first poem was sparked six years ago when I visited Fallen Leaf Lake and Mount Tallac. Standing in the sparkling snow, looking across the glass-like lake with Mount Tallac reflecting on its surface, broke open a piece of my closed heart, bringing me to tears. On the drive home, I made several stops to sit quietly at Lake Tahoe’s edge. By the time I made it home, I had written my first poem. Following that, poetry began to flow from the nature walks I take. Next, poems were inspired when revisiting the nature photos I took on these same walks. Lastly, the poetry began to flow from life experiences when writing in my journal or looking through the nature photos.

My first book published in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance, was written with the intention of writing a memoir.

In 2004, I became a parent to a child with special needs when my four year old daughter was diagnosed with 18p-, a chromosome deletion syndrome. (You can learn more about chromosome 18 differences by going here, http://www.Chromosome18.org.) In 2005 I left a ten year marriage, becoming a single parent to a one year old and five year old. I experienced financial ruin with all bills being in my name, having to file bankruptcy in 2009 as I could no longer pay the bills. I openly shared this journey, with the feedback being that what I shared was meaningful and helpful to others. That’s what lit the spark of the book idea.

So I knew I wanted and needed to write this book about acceptance of myself, acceptance of becoming a parent to a special needs child, acceptance of becoming a single parent, and acceptance of financial ruin. I just didn’t know the “how” of it. Two things happened to change that.

In the summer of 2011, I kept getting an inner nudge to clean the garage of items that had been boxed since the divorce. I pushed it aside as I did not have time to fool around with going through boxes. The nudge became so strong, magnetic even, that I could no longer concentrate on anything else. I gave in to it.

In one of the first few boxes I found a forgotten book that had been gifted to me, titled, E is for Entrepreneur. I opened the book to find a handwritten message to me that this book would not have happened if not for me. I completely forgot that in 2007 I ran a blog for women entrepreneurs and had invited this woman to write guest blog posts. She began writing a series of A-Z posts having to do with being an entrepreneur. I suggested that she should make her writings into a book. She did! And, she did it without telling me until the book was complete and I received a copy in the mail.

I read the book that night, waking up the next morning knowing that this is the style in which I should write my book. Hence, the title, D iz for Different. Each chapter is a letter of the alphabet. A is for Acceptance, B is for Better, C is for Courage, and so forth. The book hit #1 in Special Needs Parenting on Amazon and #2 in Self-help on Amazon. It was a pretty amazing ride!

During that same summer, I was sharing my book idea with a dear friend who already had one published book, and was working on another. He casually asked how far along I was and when it would be published. That question turned the spark into a flame. The next morning I began getting up 30 minutes earlier, writing a section each morning. I had the book written in about 3 months and published in less than a year. Thank you to Brian Benson for asking me that question and for being such an amazing supporter!

D.G. – Don’t you just love those subtle nudges from the universe. It does pay to follow the signs! I commend you on being an empowering warrior woman Camilla. I shall look forward to reading your memoir. 🙂


Camilla Downs


How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite of your books and if so, why?

I have written the two books mentioned above. In addition, I’ve co-authored a book with my son titled, Biggest Little Photographer and co-authored a book with my daughter titled, Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories. So, four total.

Biggest Little Photographer is a collection of photographs my son, Thomas, took during a 365 day photo a day photography project. When he was 8 years old, we read an article about a professional photographer taking a LEGO mini figure with a LEGO camera to exotic locations and taking photos of the mini figure taking a photo. My son asked if he could do the same. I told him that he could and that if he stayed with it and finished the project that we would publish the photos in a book. About a month or two into the project, Thomas came to me and shared that this was a hard project and he thought he wanted to stop. I gave him that option, asking him to think about how it would feel if he finished, and how it would feel if he didn’t finish. He decided to move forward with the project, continuing to take a photo every day for 365 days. The book contains about half of the photographs.

Where Would You Fly is a collection of short stories, fairy tales, and poems written by my daughter, Lillian, from the time she was 4 years old through 15 years old. I wrote the introduction and helped with the early writings. As mentioned above, Lillian has a chromosome deletion called 18p-. The main way this manifests is that she has difficulty articulating words. She has them all in her mind, she just struggles to get them out. It’s been an exciting journey for her as she’s been invited to three book signings at Barnes & Noble and both of us will be attending with each of our books when shops fully open again.

I just can’t pick a favorite as these books are all so very different, with each holding a special and dear place in my heart.

D.G. – That is so beautiful your children are also published!


What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author?

Blogging has been key. The first time I came across the term “blog” was just after my divorce in 2006. I got another of those inner nudges that I should teach myself all I could about blogs. I followed that knowing with purchasing my name and my kids’ names as domain names. I just knew that we would be needing them at some point in our lives.

Lillian and I began blogging in 2007 on a site we created together called, PinkElephantBooks.com. Some of her writings from that blog are in Where Would You Fly. I think it was 2008 or 2009, when I began to blog solely on CamillaDowns.com and she began to blog on her website at LillianDarnell.com. Thomas hasn’t used his blog in quite some time, but when he was younger he actively posted on it at ThomasADarnell.com.

Some of the writings in D iz for Different grew from blog posts and many of the poems in Words of Alchemy were first shared on my blog or our family blog at TheTeamTLC.com. Blogging has been key for that reason. It has also served as a sort of root system for sharing in all manner of places online and throughout social media. Think of the blog and blog posts as tree roots, with each time you share a blog post, or someone reads it and shares it as the trunk of the tree, the further sharing and traffic back to the blog being the limbs of the tree. Growing and growing and growing. Turning into a freeway for blog traffic, a freeway to your writings. And, those links never go away (unless the domain goes away).


A blog is something solid that you can refer people to as well, looking more official than sharing a post you’ve written on Facebook, instagram or twitter. Another benefit of having a blog has been anytime I have written a guest post, or had an article published somewhere, or have been interviewed, I include an announcement about it on my blog, with a link back to the original post. The more your name is anchored online, the more you will appear in search results.

D.G. – Great idea to set up the blogs, and wonderful for the children too!


Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit that helps you with your writing?

Yes, I think so. I do my writing on the laptop as my hands begin to ache after about 10 minutes of handwriting. Many of the poems in Words of Alchemy were written with my eyes closed. Once the words began to flow, they were coming so fast, I could see them better and catch as many as possible with my eyes closed. This seems to help get my mind out of the way, so the words can flow freely.


Thank you so very much for having me on your blog, Debby! I appreciate your time and these wonderful questions. All the best to you!


D.G. – It was a pleasure to get to know about you, your journey to writing and your writing Camilla. Thank you for being here today. 🙂


Excerpt from Words of Alchemy:

The Space Within
There is a space within
A space occupied, it was.

Occupied with judgment
Occupied with harshness
Occupied with unkind thoughts
towards others.

There is a space within
where the darkness
of judgment used to live.

Judgment lives
here no more.
It has been.

There is a space within.

A soft space of love
of compassion
of empathy
of understanding.

For a journey

of thousands of miles
has been lived with
the understanding
that each one of us
has traveled a similar journey.

To be sure,
not the same journey.
No, not the same.
That matters not.

Each has traveled a journey
of thousands of miles.

And each viewed not
according to their journey,
yet viewed with eyes
that flow from the heart.

A heart that knows the two
are connected,
viewed with eyes flowing
from the heart that only
knows unconditional love.

Eyes wide open to
the Truth of each one’s journey.

The Truth that judgment of another is
simply a reflection of judgment
held within one towards oneself.

There is a space within,
a space that was once filled with
the darkness of judgment.

A space that is now
free for compassion
and love for one’s self and others.

Space to breathe easier
Space to live easier
Space to live peacefully
Space to allow all to BE
and travel the paths chosen.

There’s a space within.
A Beautiful Space.


May we all release
and expose this space within
for the Beauty it reveals.


Follow Camilla on Social Media:


Website: http://camilladowns.com/

Family Website: http://theteamtlc.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor/

twitter: https://twitter.com/camilladowns

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CamillaDowns/

pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/camilladowns/

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/camilladowns

Meeting the Authors: http://www.meetingtheauthors.com/

Where to Buy:

Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free

shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would  like to pay the international shipping fee):


Amazon – Words of Alchemy: http://www.mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/camilladowns

All of our books: http://camilladowns.com/books/




Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract from your Latest Book- #Memoir – Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Sally Cronin is running a popular series for her authors in her Smorgasbord Bookstore and Cafe. I was thrilled to be invited to share an extract from one of my books. I shared a sampling from my book Twenty Years: After “I Do”.


Twenty Years by D.G. Kaye

Get this book on Amazon!



Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract from your Latest Book- #Memoir – Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye



About the book:

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.



An extract from the memoir.

In this chapter, I’m talking about the familiarity of moments in silence, when we grow to understand a loved one so well, often words aren’t necessary.




In his quietest moments, I can hear him thinking. He’s always thinking.

There’s no silence in Gordon’s head. Even while watching TV, his mind is busy spinning. His thoughts may be focused on anything from the customer who’s coming in tomorrow to an item he’s remembered to remind me to pick up at the grocery store—or, often, he’s thinking about me, some old memory he’ll feel compelled to remind me about.

Often when speaking to him, I’ll notice his concentration focused on something other than me. He’ll claim he’s listening to what I’m saying, but his attention is on something else within. I call it attention-span lapsing, not quite ADD but more like brewing an idea while in the midst of a separate conversation. These little moments used to drive me crazy in the early stages of our relationship because I felt as though he wasn’t paying attention to our conversation, but he was. He always did. I hadn’t yet learned how his mind worked.

I’ve had plenty of years to study my husband and can read his thoughts just by a certain look on his face, a silence between us, or sometimes from the first word of a sentence when he speaks. Even the manner in which he’ll call out my name prompts me to know what he’ll ask me. When he calls me Cubby with a higher pitch and an emphasis on the y sound, I know he’s in a jovial mood and eager to share good news or something funny. When he calls me Cub, I know he’s going to ask me a question or has something pressing on his mind he wants to share. Deb is reserved for his pissed-off moments.

We’ve always been so in tune with each other, spoken words or not. Many times, I’ll walk into his man cave, and he’ll be watching TV, not even noticing I’m there as he focuses with eyes glued on whatever he’s watching. I’ll announce myself after standing to his left with one of my usual smart-ass comments, “Earth calling,” and he’ll turn after I startle him, chuckling because he knows the thought police is on to him.

Based on whatever may be currently going on in our lives, I have a reasonable idea about what he may be dwelling on in his moments of silence. I’ll remind him he’s home now and it’s time to turn off his brain and relax. He’ll smile with that familiar twinkle in his blue eyes and once again ask how I always seem to know what he’s thinking. I don’t know how I know. I just do. After spending so much time together, we grow an inherent understanding of the silent language interpreted by eye contact, a lack of it, body language, silence, temperament, or sometimes even by the bang or the silent closing of a door.

The thought police in me is always on duty, ready to dissect Gordon’s brain. It’s become second nature. In this past year since Gordon’s health suffered, I have noticed how much more he likes to remind me about some of our best times we’ve shared. Sometimes I know he’s trying to get a rise out of me with laughter. Other times I can’t help but feel he’s thinking about his mortality. I don’t dwell on it, nor do I let him know I know what he’s thinking about.

Nobody ever wants to think about the end of existence. But trust me, as we age, we all have many of those days when we feel the hands of time ticking by. Gordon’s brushes with death have somehow opened the curtains of a window he never previously cared to look out of, a window he never talked about—one we’ve never talked about. But I know that window revealed to him how close the end almost came for him in the past year, causing him many pauses for thought. He doesn’t say so, but I know.

Once in a while, when Gordon breaks a silent moment between us and says in mere passing, “We’ve been together twenty years,” I know where his brain goes. I never ask him to elaborate on where those thoughts come from, but I know when he’s in a reflective mood, when he feels the urge to relive tender moments, when he’s fearing his mortality. In those exact moments, I know.


One of the reviews for the book

L. Carmichael 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Study in Married Life  Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2020

Twenty Years: After “I Do” is an autobiographical non-fiction book about the author’s experience with marriage and relationships. I’ve previously read another of her autobiographies about her relationship with her mother, and it was such an emotionally charged and well-written book, I decided to keep reading more from her every few months until I caught up on all her works.

In this one, Debby tells us what happened almost twenty years ago when she debated whether to marry the man who is now her husband. Given he was twenty years older, she had a lot of decisions to consider when it came to how her life would change. At the core of this book, and her approach to life, is her commitment and honesty in all that she achieves. Debby knew… if she married him, she would have to accept all that came with it in the future. From there, she dives into key aspects of married life: emotions, sex life, personal time, separation of couple and individual, fighting, decision-making, and death. Lessons we all need to consider.

Debby’s writing style is simply fantastic. It’s easy to devour in a short sitting, but it always makes you feel like part of her life. She openly shares so much (the good, the bad, and the ugly) while holding back in all the appropriate areas to allow for proper balance, e.g. we learn about the impacts to her sex life when one partner is ill but she doesn’t go into the details. She tells us how she and her husband tackled the issues from a day-to-day perspective and moved on… because they loved one another (to the moon and back).

There is a refreshing honesty and truth in her words, and readers will quickly find themselves a path to compare their own lives to that of the author’s. What have I done well? What could I do better? What needs to change? Excellent questions to consider, but Debby doesn’t directly tell us to do this–her actions show us why this is at the core of a good marriage. I’m thrilled I had the chance to read this one today. Although I’ve only been with my partner for 8 years, it’s easy to track where things are and what we could do differently.

Debby bravely tells us her story, allowing us to interpret for ourselves what everything means, especially in this ever-changing world where people live longer and have access to more things but it’s harder to get them. I highly recommend this book to nearly anyone in a relationship, or those who want to know how to handle one when they are. Debby shares a few secrets, some hints, and a few suggestions to consider. It’s not just for newbies or long-term couples… there’s a bit of everything for how to co-exist and still be who you are. Great work!


Read the reviews and buy the memoir: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK


Originally Posted Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract from your Latest Book- #Memoir – Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine




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