Category Archives: Reflection

Merry Christmas

It has been a challenging time for me since the beginning of November. I have an allergic reaction toward something, possibly medications. After having gone to the Urgent Care twice, Emergency Room twice, hospitalized for five days and seeing eight doctors, no doctor could pinpoint what happened to the constant inflammation of my skin. All they could say was to ask me to discontinue this and that medication. I will discontinue ALL my medications in less than a month. What a motivation for me to get rid of all the medications I have been taking. They gave me some treatments such steroids and antibiotics. I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital and was hoping not to miss all the celebrations in Christmas.

 

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Messiah Performance

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Messiah Performance

With great effort and determination, I gathered my energy and ensured a pleasant appearance; I managed to sing in one of the two performances of Messiah. I couldn’t sing in the first one because I was still miserable. Laying in my bed, I could hear the choir singing. My disappointment was no greater than my motivation. I quietly plead for good health the next day so that I could sing. Oh, what a miracle! I woke up feeling the coolness of my body. It was a great joy for me to spend hours to prepare myself. The photos showed my red face (with no make-up) from the inflammation. My friends in the audience were happy to see me.

 

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Retirees singing to the retirees

I also got to sing in one of the two chorale concerts. I missed the first one when the group sang in a retirement home. The second one was as fun when we sang to the fellow retirees.

 

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Precious group of ladies at the Christmas dinner

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Joy to the World celebration

There were two Christmas parties I was delighted to go and had fun seeing my friends of thirty years. One was the ladies Christmas dinner, and the other was the adult fellowship Christmas party.

I haven’t seen the end of the tunnel yet. I’ll still must take a blogging break until my health is fully recovered. Until then, I wish you all

A Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

To a Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan – re-post

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On May 27, 1932, Linda Pastan was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx. She graduated from Radcliffe College and received an MA from Brandeis University.

Among her publications are – Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (W. W. Norton, 1998), which was nominated for the National Book Award; The Imperfect Paradise (W. W. Norton, 1988), a nominee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Linda Pastan lives in Potomac, Maryland.

I feature two of her poems. The first one makes me laugh and think. When I first read the title, I thought she was writing about her daughter going to college, or at a wedding. When I read on to the last line, I could feel her heart. Yes, our children leave us in different stages and different circumstances.

I found myself letting Mercy go little by little as she was growing up. Letting her go in a way of respect her to become independent but still stay close by to be her support. When Mercy was in fifth grade, she configured my first cell phone. When she was a young adult, she became my friend as remains to be my daughter. At the present, I rely on her expertise and am not afraid to ask.

~

To A Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

The second poem evokes my reflection on the question: when am I most myself? I think it is ever since I had cancer. I reflect on life vs. death, health vs. sickness, essential vs. contemporary, personal right vs. relationship. I accept who I am and no interest in pretending. I’m satisfied with what I have and no ambition to acquire “one more.”

~

Something About the Trees by Linda Pastan

I remember what my father told me:
There is an age when you are most yourself.
He was just past fifty then,
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?

There is an age when you are most yourself.
I know more than I did once.
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?
Only a single leaf had turned so far.

I know more than I did once.
I used to think he’d always be the surgeon.
Only a single leaf had turned so far,
Even his body kept its secrets.

I used to think he’d always be the surgeon,
My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife.
Even his body kept its secrets.
I thought they both would live forever.

My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife,
I can still see her face at thirty.
I thought they both would live forever.
I thought I’d always be their child.

I can still see her face at thirty.
When will I be most myself?
I thought I’d always be their child.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.

When will I be most myself?
I remember what my father told me.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.
He was just past fifty then.

~

This is an expansion of Pantoum Poem Form from 4 stanzas to 7 stanzas.

Stanza 1: 1, 2, 3, 4
Stanza 2: 2, 5, 4, 6
Stanza 3: 5, 7, 6, 8
Stanza 4: 7, 9, 8, 10
Stanza 5: 9, 11, 10, 12
Stanza 6: 11, 13, 12, 14
Stanza 7: 13, 1, 14, 3

 

 

Come and be interviewed for my new 2019 Author Interview Series

Author Don Massenzio

2019It’s a new year and time for a new series of author interviews.

One of the features of my blog that I have enjoyed the most is my author interview series.

Over the past few years, I have posted over 200 interviews. We have learned about many authors, both traditionally and independently published. We have learned what makes them tick and what techniques have worked for them in creating and promoting their work.

whats your storyFor 2019, I’m looking to post weekly author interviews based on responses to 10 questions. To change it up a bit this year, I’m giving authors 20 questions from which they can choose 10. This will make each interview somewhat unique. These 20 questions are brand new to my blog interviews. This means, if I’ve already interviewed you, you are welcome to participate as we will learn even more about you.

If you participate in my interview…

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Songs of Heartstrings: A Book Review

I want to thank Irene Waters for her review of my book. Please head over to read this post and all of her memoir and other wonderful posts.

Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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Songs of Heartstrings by fellow blogger Miriam Hurdle is a collection of poems and short stories about nature, relationships, cancer treatment, parenthood and everything that tugs on her heartstrings. Throughout there is reflection and a sense of someone who has a deep faith which has helped her through the trials of life. Particularly moving was a short piece of prose about her cancer treatment.  The book is illustrated with the author’s lovely photographs and art works and these add an extra dimension, nicely complementing the accompanying piece.

The book is divided into themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of reflection, Songs of Challenge and ending with Songs of Inspiration. Each section begins with a quote followed by Miriam’s work. It is predominantly a work of poetry with some prose short stories included. Miriam demonstrated her skill with poetry…

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Time Travel – A Recurring Theme in Science Fiction

Author Don Massenzio

As a reader, my fascination with time travel began as a child. When I first read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I was enthralled by the idea of travelling either backward or forward in time.

Traveling backward could allow one to catch glimpses of historical events or important figures. You could go back and wander among dinosaurs. Similarly, traveling forward gives a view of the development of man, technology and the future of our planet.

As I sat down to write my book, Extra Innings, I was fascinated by the different views of time travel that have been used in fiction. This post will discuss those various theories and I’ll give you a view of my thought process in landing on one.

Here are some of the theories that have been presented in fiction:

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  1. Precognition – This is the idea of seeing the future during dreams or through…

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