I’m not quite sure where this year has flown to, but I also never mentioned I’ve been working on getting my book I finished writing in 2019, published this year. Seems I’m cutting it to the last days of 2022, but it’s coming.
The eventual coming of a new book … In 2019 I finished writing a little memoir called Fifteen First Times – Beginnings: A Collection of Indelible Firsts. It was late fall and my plan was to let the book marinate through the winter of 2020 while my husband and I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for two months to dodge the worst of winter here. Little did I know, that would be our last vacation together, and I discovered he wasn’t looking well. We got home just in time – the day before Covid lockdowns began here, and coincidentally, my husband’s scheduled hospital checkup was cancelled.
The year 2020 became a difficult one as the days, weeks and months passed and I had yet to know that I was losing the love of my life to cancer and I couldn’t get him into the hospital until is was much too late. I digress. Needless to say, the last thing on my mind was going through edits, which requires concentration, and all the tedious bits that go into publishing. The year 2020 passed, and in spring of 2021 so did my husband. Needless to say, I was non productive in 2021.
I promised myself I’d publish this book in 2022. Edits began, and in between book stuff, was life, and learning to do podcasts, and writing for them, and well, as you know, before we know it, year’s end is approaching. And so now as we near the end of 2022, I will be publishing this book by hook or by crook before the calendar flips to 2023.
This book is a collection of stories about some of Kaye’s first-time experiences with life’s most natural events. Told through the intimate conversational writing we’ve come to know from this author, poignant personal stepping-stones to learning moments are revealed. She encompasses the heart of each matter with sincerity and sprinkled inflections of humor.
From first kiss to first car to walking in the desert with four-inch heels, Kaye’s short coming-of-age stories take us through her awakenings and important moments of growth, often without warning. Some good and some not, life lessons are learned through trial and error, winging it, and navigating by the seat of her pants.
I’m aiming to publish somewhere within the next two weeks. I hope once published that some of you in this wonderful community will help spread the word. 💜
Welcome to November edition of my collaborated Writer’s Tips. Each month I share some of the blog posts I come across with helpful writing or blogging tips. This month, I found quite a few goodies most worthy to share to help bloggers. Hugh Roberts shares three helpful posts again for those of us using the block editor – how to center images and how to look for blocks you’ve previously used, and how to find common Gallery blocks in the WordPress editor. From the Story Empire, Joan Hall gives us tips for writing differing timelines in our books, and Beem Weeks explain the procedure for turning books into audio books. Editor, Anneli Purchase shares misused expressions that writers can get caught in. Natalie Ducey has a new tutorial on how to add a Subscribe Button to your WordPress blogs. Last, but not least, Sue Coletta gives an in-depth explanation for the value of authors using Tik Tok platform.
Hugh Roberts on How to Center Captions and Images in the block editor
Hugh Roberts shares how to access our most used blocks for easy setup
How to find secret Gallery Blocks on WordPress
From the Story Empire, Joan hall has a great article on writing Timelines
From the Story Empire, Beem Weeks on Audio Books
Anneli Purchase, Ten Misused Expressions for writers
Natalie Ducey has a tutorial on How to Add A Subscribe button on WordPress
Sue Coletta as Anne R. Allen’s guest writer on Tik Tok and why it’s beneficial for authors
Did you know that writing can be so very therapeutic? It’s not a myth. Take it from me who began writing at seven years old. Growing up in a dysfunctional family life with a heart filled with compassion and worry, I took to writing poems, notes, and journaling. I didn’t always show them to anyone, but I took my pain out of my head and put it on paper. It was a release.
Growing up with a narcissistic mother who mashed my father over and over until he finally died of a broken heart (underlying health issues exacerbated by his grief), my young empathic heart could feel his pain. He came to me since I was seven and poured his heart out to this broken little girl who was powerless to help him, but I was all he had to pour his heart out too. That was a huge responsibility for a little girl – a daughter to witness her father’s ongoing grief and not be able to do anything about it except summon up the bravery to approach my mother to beg her to take my father back, yet again. I received no compassion from my mother in doing so, only a slap across my face as she reminded me to mind my own business. It was my business! But my voice and hands were tied. This is about the time I learned to write out my feelings. I needed to be heard and release, if only to the universe.
Know that whatever you write is to release and doesn’t always have to be given to the person our words are directed at. It’s to get those jumbled thoughts and worries out of our heads and on to paper. Perhaps there will come a day you may want to give it to the person the words are directed to, maybe you might just burn it and vanish the thoughts away into the universe. Or just maybe, like me, you’ll journal enough through your life and end up writing books about all the things you once could never say out loud. Either way, it’s cathartic. My small beginnings of writing on scraps of paper, eventually, made me a memoir writer. Whodathunk?
Speaking about grief, my latest podcast is live now. In this third episode, I’m talking about how when we lose a spouse, our identities change – along with everything else. I hope you will visit me on Youtube.
I was thrilled to be invited over to Christy Birmingham- Reyes’s blog recently. Christy runs an empowering blog for women – When Women Inspire. When she asked me to be her guest and talk about why I wanted to start a podcast on grief, I jumped at the chance and was honored to be invited.
D.G. Kaye is well-known as a nonfiction writer and memoir author, with several books to her name, including Meno-What? and Words We Carry. Now, she is taking on a new project. D.G. Kaye launches the podcast Grief – The Real Talk. I reached out to this talented woman to talk about the podcast, which has aired two episodes already. Below is our interview. Read on to discover why she created it, what she hopes listeners will gain, and more.
Can you please tell us why you started a podcast on this particular topic?
Thanks for asking Christy. After losing the love of my life, my husband, last year, my grief has been overwhelming – many days, I didn’t even care to go on.
I not only lost my husband, my best friend and soulmate, but it was during COVID lockdowns, which added to my trauma with all the seclusion at a very bad time for a griever to be on her own. With no live grief groups open to join, other than online groups, which were not doing it for me, and after reading a plethora of books on grief and everything related to the afterlife, I couldn’t find a place where I felt I belonged.
I’d also read many clinical books as well as self-help and memoirs from people going through the same journey sharing their grief stories. It was the stories told from the heart which I found some solace in.
I realized that there wasn’t enough ‘real talk’ going on with people who live this journey, and I felt that being around same people left me feeling with a sort of kinship – people who could understand and relate to what we grievers actually go through – a look behind the lens so to speak.
So as a memoir writer myself, I felt there was a vacant space for this topic, and so I wanted to open up a new space where I could speak raw and real and share my observations and incidents that I’ve endured and endure in my own new life of living as one from two, and that perhaps there are others who may feel they can feel this kinship and have a place to share their own thoughts and feelings.
I am so sorry for your loss. What is your hope that listeners will gain from this podcast?
I hope my listeners will feel a sense of comfort as I did from reading and hearing stories from others by my sharing my own observations and experiences in my grief journey and what feels like everything becoming new to us when we lose a loved one that we were closely connected to. Everything changes.
Our identities change, our life plans, our habits, even the people that were once in our lives seem to change. I feel there’s a need for a place for us grievers to commune.
Who is Grief – The Real Talk the right podcast for?
My podcast is for people who travel the journey of grief, seeking some solace to be around like-minded people who know the journey, as well as for anyone who knows a griever and would like some insights as to what we go through on a daily basis when we lose someone close to us. I’m speaking as one of those grievers, not someone with a PHD giving clinical explanations about all the lonely things we can expect to go through, from the voice of one who is going through it and knows the pain.
It’s for anyone who has loved and lost someone and desires a place of listening to someone who knows the struggle. It’s a place where I talk about things that bring us down, things we find hard to accept, and those times when we feel we can’t go on, but also, I talk about why we must go on and share some of the things that I’m doing to try to help move forward – especially when we sometimes have no desire to. . . please hop over to Christy’s blog to say hi and continue reading.
Signs that our Angels are Around and are Connecting with Us
Welcome back to my next series of episodes in my spiritual awareness series. In this article I’m going to talk about angels and how to recognize them.
Can You Feel When Your Angels are Around You? Do you know how to recognize signs when angels are communicating with you?
Angels are pure spiritual beings. They are not ghosts of anybody’s past, but benevolent celestial beings who interact between God and heaven and earth. They are God’s creations as messengers, created from light, and therefore, they have not evolved from a once human form. Angels are not to be confused with other spirits and lost loved ones that may visit us that also leave us signs. But, they are able to show up in both apparition and human form, and are always around us whether we believe or are aware of their presence or not. All celestial beings are made of energy, this is why and how they are able to transmit and flow to wherever they need to be. Just as when humans die, their souls don’t because energy doesn’t die.
Angels will never impose on our free will. If we wish to speak to, or ask something of our angels, all we have to do is speak to them either verbally, aloud, or by sending our thoughts to them. They can hear us and receive, and if we are tuned in with them, they will often show up in some form, sign, or deed when we need them.
How Do We Know Our Angels are Around?
There are many different signs that an angel or even a lost loved one can leave us to let us know they are visiting or leaving us a message. These signs can be anything from feeling an unexpected drop in temperature change around us, giving us a chill or shivers, a warm sensation as though there is a human beside us, a familiar scent that comes about that has no relevance to the natural scent in our particular present surroundings, finding a feather on our path, through dreams, repeated number sequences, flashes of light, something falling off a shelf for no particular reason, and so many more.
Angels can also appear in human form, taken for as a complete stranger whose purpose is to help or teach us a lesson. These forms are referred to as earth angels. Music is a great transmitter of angelic signs. That certain song that will play on the radio in a particular moment you may be thinking about someone or troubled about, is often a message from the angels letting us know that person is thinking of us, or perhaps alerting us to give them a call. Often, when we receive these signs, we are tempted to call them coincidences, when they are in fact, messages from our angels.
Most people have one sense that is more prominent than another when it comes to sensing the presence of angels and spirit. Some people actually see visions of angels. I have never had the honor to see one of these presences, but I do have other senses that pick up on energies. I can recall several times in my life where I’ve been saved from something terrible and noted it as ‘saved by the grace of God’, where in fact, it was my guardian angel who helped me. We all have a guardian angel assigned to us whether we believe in them or not.
My personal gift for sensing spirit is by scent and by touch. I have had two people I loved very much, now in heaven, come to visit me on several occasions, my father, and my Aunty Sherry. When they visit me, I can smell the room being taken over by the scent of my aunt’s perfume or the smell of a smoke-filled room with the scent of my father’s favorite cigarette brand. It’s uncanny and sometimes not easy to explain to others but it’s true.
I also can feel my body go cold and begin to shiver when I sense a presence around me or when I get a foreboding of something unpleasant to come. It’s like a warning sign that comes over me in the pit of my stomach – a feeling of doom, a sixth sense type of feeling. I’ve been physically touched by spirits, and I also receive messages through my intuition and in my dreams that I make note of so I can remember and try to analyze what the message portends.
I’m over with fellow Torontonian, artist, and gown designer, Resa McConaghy at her blog, Graffiti Lux and More. We collaborated and are reminiscing about an #historical and iconic landmark bargain basement colossal store in downtown Toronto, Honest Eds, and its rich history, sadly torn down in 2017.
Only the floors are crooked!
I had moved to Toronto to attend College. I was a student, working my way through and living hand to mouth. Someone told me about this place where I could stretch my money.
In 2017, they tore it down. Please join me and my special guest, D.G. Kaye, a fellow blogger, writer and Torontonian, while we take a look at what was, and the creature it has become! First a bit of history.
D.G. Kaye – Honest Eds was an iconic landmark to the people of Toronto. It was one of our first bargain basement type structures that sold a lot of low-end stuff with everything from food to vacuums. It was pre, our Dollar Store days, even pre, Bi-way (what was known as a bargain franchise that came along after). Honest Eds was erected in 1948 and was torn down for yet, more condo buildings in 2017.
The store took up two blocks, facing one of our famous streets, Bloor St., as well as the side street, Markham St. where Mirvish bought up homes to expand the store. Originally, Honest Eds had the front door of the business on the Markham St. side because the taxes were cheaper than having the entrance on the front of Bloor St. Through the years of buying up surrounding properties, Ed Mirvish eventually extended Honest Eds two blocks long to the corner of Bathurst and Bloor streets, complete with a walkway, known as the Honest Ed Alley.
Resa – I adored walking down Honest Ed Alley, pictured above. I always found street art on my way there. Below, Honest Ed Alley today.
D.G Kaye – Besides the iconic structure, the people who shopped there, and its vast size that grew through the decades, Eds was also known for its great signage, just one of many, ““Welcome, don’t faint at our low prices, there’s no place to lie down”, full of cleverly written puns as advertising lure, and vast lighting that made one feel like they were entering a carnival – or Christmas.
Resa – I’ll never forget the first time I saw Honest Eds. It was like a midway without rides. My heart pounded, as my eyes widened. Debby, do you remember the first time you saw Honest Eds? How did you react?
D.G. Kaye – Do I remember? In some of my books I write about my childhood, having to spend every weekend at my grandparents’ house. When I became observant by the age six, I remember passing that corner when my Jewish-Orthodox grandmother (we were not) would take me and my two younger brothers at the time, for a Saturday afternoon longgg walk from her house, just west of Spadina, near Casa Loma, where we’d walk to Bathurst St. and pass Honest Eds as we walked down to see my grandfather at the family business, further south from Bloor.
D.G. Kaye -My grandmother wouldn’t use anything electrical on the Sabbath, so it was a long walk, lol. But my eyes lit up at the glitz and the feeling of amusement park, many Saturdays, it was always a busy corner. I always wanted to go in, but no shopping or money used by her on Sabbath, lol. Only after I moved away from home at 18, did I venture into Ed’s bargain basement prices, a place of everything and anything. Those were golden days.
Above- the way it was just after closing. Below – The way it is now.
Resa – How did you react when you saw the new Honest Eds corner above?
D.G.Kaye – It’s sad to look there when you knew what was there for your whole life. A lot of what’s become of our city makes me sad. It doesn’t have the same anything anymore. Like many other things in life that seem to be fading from our city, it’s another end of an era, the golden days of past. So I’m happy to be reminiscing about it here today with you.
Resa – Likewise! You mentioned the funny signage on the building. It sure made me laugh. My fave was “Don’t just stand there buy something!”
D.G. Kaye – I loved their marketing. I didn’t think about the marketing aspect of it when I was younger. But looking back at those hand-made signs, I have to admit how clever the advertising was for back then using puns in their marketing. Very clever and entertaining.
Resa – Markham Street was like a throwback from hippy daze. It was lined with cool cafes, handicraft shops and of course, Mirvish Books, one of Canada’s oldest and most popular independent bookstores.
D.G. Kaye – Exactly. It’s those little nook and cranny places that we knew about and visited that were part of the interest that our city had with its diversity. Places where people could meet other people with similar interests. Now it’s condo mania and people attached to their cell phones. The social aspect has diminished in so many ways.
Sometimes it’s best not to look back just because of things like this, the big teardown of an era.
Resa – Gate 3 is Markham Street now. There is a house with art on it, but I couldn’t get in. Looks like there are still a few houses left, and looks like they are being torn down.
Resa – It was a crazy up and down labyrinth inside. I always got lost, and I always had fun. Debby, I feel sad. I have a sense of loss, and not just loss. I have a feeling of impending doom about the future. Am I over reacting? Do I make any sense?
D.G. Kaye – It was like a funhouse lol. I’m 100% with your feeling. It does feel sad because it was a symbol and part of the times, our times. We lived in such a great time, and the city was much different back then. I found the city much more interesting back then. I loved Bloor/Bathurst area through my twenties. They had great authentic international restaurants, especially, a few great Hungarian restaurants I frequented often. It feels like the little great hotspots we both knew in our heydays have been taken over by condo buildings everywhere and big businesses, with now traffic laden streets and crime. … Please continue reading at Resa’s beautiful blog.
I was invited over to Judith Barrow’s blog as a guest in her Places in our Memories series. I’m sharing a simple moment in time.
There are places that remain in our memories, the details may become slightly blurred, nostalgia may colour our thoughts, but they don’t fade. And how those places made us feel at the time is the one thing that remains.
Today I’m welcomingDebby Kaye, one of my online friends whom I seem to have known forever, and who is going to tell us about one of her forever memories.
Thank you so much Judith for inviting me over today to share a fleeting memory so dear to my heart.
A memory is a snapshot in one moment of time that locks in a forever imprint engraved in our minds and hearts.
Forever moments are the forever memories that will continue to live with us long after they occurred. All memories aren’t always good ones, but they are there despite, to remind of places we have been to and mark events experienced in our lives. To live on peacefully, it’s the happy memories we choose to keep at the forefront of our minds.
Having recently lost the love of my life, my beloved husband, I’ve been working diligently to push the tragic moments of the last few months of his life from my forefront of videos playing on in my head, instead, trying hard to focus on the so very many good times in our life together. Besides the many milestones of beautiful events that stick out in my mind, sometimes it’s just the simple moments we remember most clearly that can warm our hearts.
Memories. As I sit here right now and think of him in this moment, I’m listening to the sound of a riding mower in the back park of my condo; it took me back to a simple moment of just one of our happiest times when life was good and simple where I’d drink my second cup of coffee on a Sunday morning after our breakfast together and my hubby would put on his big straw hat and Wellie boots, and hop on his big John Deere riding mower and circle the trees in our vast back yard, complete with one of his favorite Cuban cigars hanging from his mouth as he proudly trimmed his pride and joy, his green grass he laid, mostly by himself at our beautiful newly built home. He’d notice me watching as I sipped my coffee in front of the big kitchen patio window, and he’d give me his special wink full of love and acknowledgment of our perfect life. His smiling eyes could tell me so much.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to transport back to one of those what seemed ordinary Sundays that turned out to be not so ordinary, but a beautiful reminder of love and joy in simplicity. Those were the days most of us think were unremarkable, but just another day. Looking back at that snapshot of bliss taken for granted, I can see how those were far from ordinary days, but a culmination of days that were part of a patched quilt of days which became the pattern of a happy life together.
I am thrilled and excited to share this post by Rebecca Budd of Tea Toast & Trivia. Rebecca interviewed me a little while ago and I was delighted to come across the post she wrote with the podcast audio attached. I hope you will listen.
Season 3 Episode 50: Debby Gies on Being an Eclectic Memoirist and Conversationalist
I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.
I am delighted that blogger and non-fiction writer, Debby Gies and I are connecting Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.
Debby is a Canadian author, writing under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. Her intent is to inspire others by sharing her stories about events she has encountered, and the lessons that have come along with them.
Debby is an empathetic fashionista and shopper extraordinaire who loves to laugh. She is an eclectic memoirist and conversationalist who writes to empower by sharing slices of life. Her blog is a wide-ranging mix of randomness, where you will find anything from writing tips to tales from the past, to travel tips, book reviews, and author interviews.
I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.
Thank you for joining Debby and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.
And a special thank you, Debby, for sharing your insights on living life in the now, with humour and expectation. You have inspired me, and I know that you have inspired readers and listeners to head into the unknown with courage and determination.
I invite you to meet up with Debby on her blog, D.G. Kaye Writer.com , on her Amazon Page and on Goodreads. It is a place that welcomes profound conversations that reminds us to Live, Love, Laugh and Breathe.
Until next time, dear friends, keep safe, keep reading and be well.