Thursday, December 29, 2011

3-2-1 2012

Three days until 2012 and I wish everyone a Happy New Year!
My New Year's resolutions are doable. I will eat more apples, eat less sugar, live one day at a time, and write a bit more often in my blog.
May 2012 be a year of laughter, love, and learning!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Snow

I'm sitting in my office watching the steel gray sky spit little bits of snow. I keep repeating "snow, snow, snow!" I want big fat flakes and at least six inches on the ground. Does that sound nuts?

Actually Christmas snow is magical, especially if you don't have to drive around in it. Of course, I grew up in Lake Tahoe, where it wasn't unusual to get five feet in one snow storm. I love it when the dreary bland ground is covered in a blanket of soft puffy white--it's dazzling. And it's the height of contentment to sit by the window, watching the dancing snowflakes, and sipping a warm cup of hot chocolate.

Many of my friends, who live in warmer climes, don't understand the fascination, but I guarantee that they would be mesmerised by the magic of diamond ice crystals glittering the dark night. We all become children with Christmas snow.

Snow, snow, snow!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's December

It's December. Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed and we're on to Christmas. I haven't posted for awhile...sorry. I've been caught up in the chaos of kitchen remodeling, business travel, and researching for my next book. And, I tend to get lost in the process when I'm researching.

Jonathan Hawaii Napela is the subject matter for my next book of historical fiction. He was one of the first converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from the Sandwich Islands in the 1850's. He was a prominent Hawaiian who helped George Q. Cannon translate the Book of Mormon into the Hawaiian language. He also helped establish the gathering place settlement at Laie, where the Mormon temple now sits, along with the Polynesian Cultural Center, and the BYU Hawaii campus.
Brother Napela traveled to Salt Lake City in 1869. He met with President Brigham Young, renewed his friendship with Brother Cannon, and became the first Hawaiian to be endowed in the Endowment House.

There are many other amazing accomplishments concerning Jonathan Napela, but you'll just have to wait for the book.

It's December, and I should be focused on getting my house back in order, trimming the Christmas tree, and hanging stockings, but I find myself thinking of green islands in an azure sea. I suppose that's the wonder and curse of being a writer; one tends to live with their head in the clouds.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"A nation of well-informed men (and women) who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins."

Benjamin Franklin

You may think that the two images and the quote by Benjamin Franklin have no connection, when indeed they do.

My novel, "Letters in the Jade Dragon Box" has just been sent to press. It tells the story of a family and a nation torn apart under the cruel dictatorship of Mao Tse-tung and the CCP. (Chinese Communist Party)

The tyranny which enslaved China from 1949 to 1976 (and beyond) came because the people were weary of chaos and war, and in their weakened state the words of the Communists sounded good to their ears. Because of their ignorance of the Communist's agenda, the people handed over their freedom to a flawed system and, on the most part, self-seeking despots.

The false system was legitimized by the media and the artists who were forced to only show the CCP in a glorified light. An example is the representation of the soldiers in the snow during the Long March. They are smiling and happy to be walking thousands of miles for Chairman Mao--happy to be dying by the thousands as only about 1,000 of the 10,000 men who began the Long March actually made it to journey's end.

In China there are still large pictures of Mao Tse-tung hung in public places. Many still revere him, although between 58 to 70 million Chinese died during his reign from hunger, imprisonment, torture, execution, or suicide.

In ignorance the Chinese people were enslaved. May we as Americans never find ourselves in such a place.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stand up for Israel

This morning me, my husband, and a group of friends watched the Glenn Beck "Restoring Courage" broadcast from Jerusalem. The message was powerful and poignant. It made me ponder about courage and personal responsibility. What am I giving to the world, or to my neighbor for that matter?

I've made a commitment to enhance a quality I already possess--a quality which can always use a little evaluating and polishing. I'm starting small. I have pledged to be more kind.

"The highest form of wisdom is kindness."
The Talmud

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The China Book and Liberty

The China book is finished and off to my editor. It was a difficult book to write, not because of the extensive research, or the shortened duration of time to get it done, but because of the subject matter. I became quite sick at heart because of what the Chinese people had to suffer at the hands of Mao Tse-tung. He was not a nice person. I used many first hand autobiographical book sources in my research, and their stories were wrenching. I also spoke to several people whose families escaped from mainland China when the Communists took over. They went to Hong Kong and Taiwan, and they were very candid in their feelings of Chairman Mao and the devastation he brought to the country they love.

Therefore, it amazes me that anyone would say they admire Mao Tse-tung. All one has to do is a little bit of research to discover he is not a man to use as a role model for anything. Of course, even in America, there are people with strong yearnings for a Socialist/Communist government who admire the brutality of Marx and Engles' philosophy. And it is brutal. You look at any leader and administration who has twisted their government into a Communist regime and it is always done through terror, torture, and brutality.

I am so grateful that I live in the United States of America. I thank divine Providence that this country of America was founded on principles of law and liberty. I honor the Founding Fathers for their deep investigation of all types of government which enabled them to forge such a miraculous document--the Constitution of the United States.

I ask that you think long and hard about where "we the people" want to guide this country in the coming crucial years. We still have the amazing ability to choose. Let's not lose it through apathy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


There are times when my mind functions well. I feel calm and organized. Other times? Not so much. Such has been the case the last couple of months. My mind has lacked focus. I've been working on my next novel on Mao Tse-tung and the Cultural Revolution, and have had to force myself to focus on researching and writing. Historical tidbits are the life blood of a historical novel and normally I have the discipline to endure the hours of reading, outlining, and refining necessary to get the historical events into the story. This time it's been tough. I think part of the problem was the subject matter. Mao was a despicable person and his reign from 1949-1976 was one of suffering and sorrow for the people of China. I became mentally and emotionally exhausted.

I think the other (and more poignant) reason for lack of focus was the personal grief I was experiencing as the first anniversary of our son's death drew near. We had been told by others who had lost children that the first anniversary was difficult. Without question. As we went through March and April and into May I felt my mind wandering and my heart sorrowing. I didn't want to deal with the everyday demands of life (laundry, grocery shopping, cooking) let alone writing a book, or fostering friendships. It was a tough time.

I'm better now. My hubby, daughter, and myself have a deep love for each other. We also have good friends that rallied around us, and a strong faith in God. With all this, we survived the horrendous time.

I also learned to be gentle with myself. There are going to be times when, for one reason or another, I'm not going to be able to be focused, and it's okay. Sometimes forcing focus in one direction keeps us from seeing a new vista.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Reverence For a Power Greater Then Yourself

There is a Jewish proverb which states: "If God lived on earth, people would break his windows."

I agree. Even though there are bastions of faith and goodness, I often hear a lot of vitriol slung at God. "If there is a God, why does he let bad stuff happen?" or, "God is really mean, cause look at all the terrible things that have been done in His name." or, "God must really get a kick out of watching us suffer."

I am here to state that God is good. I am one of those who believe that there are opposing forces in the world--good and evil, and often the atrocities and sadness in the world are caused by that evil force. God is so good that he allows man free agency, even though His heart breaks with some of man's brutal choices.

When I think of God, I see kindness and forbearance. I also see that He has a deep respect for us. He allows us the freedom to figure things out, to stand up against injustice, to be less selfish, to reach out to others in need, to ease suffering, to bring joy to the world. If we see injustice or evil in the world, perhaps God intends for us to do something about it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I love my friends! They come in a variety of looks and personalities, and they are all precious to me. They are family and not; they are neighbors and not; they are mainlanders and not. I have met them over 50 some years of my life and they have enriched every day.

Over the years we've talked on the telephone, written letters (yes, actual hand-written letters), gone to lunch and movies, visited on vacations, worked together, and laughed and cried together.

My friends have been by my side during the best and worst times of my life. I would not have made it through some of life's trials without the hugs and kind words of my buddies.

I tell my friends often what they mean to me, but I want express here on paper a sincere thank you. Aloha nui!