What have you done?

Just one question for you this holiday season: what have you done to share joy and happiness?

It doesn’t have to be a monetary gift. It only needs to be time spent with you or a homemade gift made with love.

This is the time for you to spread your own brand of happiness.

Take the time to recognize someone you love. Sonja

Guinness the Therapy Dog Wants to Love You

Look at those eyes! They express the love Guinness the Therapy Dog has for every person he meets. As a therapy dog, Guinness meets a lot of people and he is happy to say hello to everyone.

The people he meets like to dig their fingers into his thick fur, stroke the soft fur on his chest and back, and fall into his expressive brown eyes.

Happiness is the biggest part of his personality and everyone who meets him finds an inner well of happiness.

I hope you get to meet Guinness the Therapy Dog either in person or in the books that will be published soon! Sonja

Motivation for Inspiration

“We make a living by what we get,
But we make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.”
Moliere

I hope you find inspiration in at least one of these quotes. ‘Tis the season of charity and giving.

Be the person who helps people smile. Sonja

Writing for Illustrations

(c) 2019

It’s different when you write the text for a chapter book that doesn’t include pictures and writing for an illustrated book. The illustrations help the reader visualize what you’re writing about.

I didn’t have to describe the clothing in ‘The Voyage’ because the artist did such a phenomenal job with her research to show the clothing and the colors that were true to the period.

For ‘The Fairies of Carlow’ series, I took literary license to use clothing that was suggested by the Victorian period and was able to modify it as necessary for the stories.

The ‘Guinness the Therapy Dogs’ stories will be modern-day and the dress of the people he interacts with will be easily drawn. I probably won’t mention the clothing unless it directly affects the plot of the book.

And dogs don’t wear pants! Hey, that’s a good idea for a story!

The illustrations in ‘The Voyage’ also show the world occupied by John Wing as he traveled through Europe as a preacher. It helps the reader see where he stood in The Hague, Oxfordshire, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (for his family).

Take a look at the beautiful illustrations of ‘The Voyage’. The illustrations for the first two books of the ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ series are being drawn by the artist right now!

I can’t wait to show you. Keep a lookout for the logo that will appear on the front cover of every ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ book. It’s spectacular and I will unveil it here on this website soon!

Keep writing! Keep reading! Sonja

It’s The Time For Giving

Giving doesn’t have to mean spending money. The best gifts come from you or ARE you. The people who are happy to see you, who are happy to accept a gift from you, are the people who merely want to spend time with you.

The time this season to give yourself as a gift to someone special. Visit a friend or relative at their home, wherever they may live. Guinness the Therapy Dog and I like to visit people at the library, the hospital, and a transition home.

Wherever they are, that is home–at least, for them. Help them feel special and visit them where they are. Do they need a candle or a wreath? Bring them one. Every time they look at it, they will think of you and it will be another warm and happy memory.

Celebrate your ability to give. Sonja

The Voyage

(c) 2019

Have you had a chance to check out my new book, ‘The Voyage’? It’s an illustrated east-to-read book about the beginnings of one of America’s founding families.

If you’ve been to Cape Cod, Massachusetts you’ve likely driven or ridden through Sandwich. That’s where the Wing Fort House is located. You should take a tour. The house is chock-full of furniture and other belongings owned by the Wing Family.

The kitchen is something special and when you walk in you can imagine the family gathered around the gigantic fireplace. The smell of bread baking or a stew bubbling in a cast iron pot hanging off a hook over the flames fills your imagination. And that’s just the first room!

My ancestor, Stephen Wing, was the man who built the house. History relates this story: He was fearful of an Indian uprising and built a very solid fort home. The Indians in the area turned out to be very nice and helpful, making the home overbuilt. But I bet those 12-inch thick walls helped keep those frigid winter temperatures out of the home!

Time to take a trip! Sonja

Sunday Funday!!!

It’s time to have fun! Play with your dog (like Guinness the Therapy Dog), dance, or play under the blue sky. I hope those of you who are digging out of the winter weather are able to spend some time playing in the snow.

I hope for good weather and good times for you and yours. Sonja

Day of Remembrance

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Above is the USS Arizona Memorial. The memorial building straddles the rusting hull of the USS Arizona. You can see the ship below the water. It entombs most of the sailors and Marines that were killed during the surprise attack on the harbor by Japanese pilots.

The memorial was commissioned in 1949 and was funded by public and private donations.

Some survivors of the attack have chosen to be interred with their shipmates on the USS Arizona. More than thirty have chosen to have their ashes placed under one of the gun turrets. Those who served on the USS Arizona, but were not assigned to the ship during the attack on December 7, 1941, can have their ashes scattered above the site.

Photo by Ryan Parker on Unsplash

The ship continues to release fuel into the waters of Pearl Harbor. Sometimes called “black tears” or “tears of the Arizona”, this oil is constantly monitored to prevent an ecological disaster if a large amount is suddenly released from the rusting tanks.

The entire band was killed. This was the only time all the members of a band were KIA. The members of the band were on the ship and most were on deck in preparation to raise the flag. When the attack began, they ran to their battle stations beneath one of the gun turrets. The band had been a finalist in the “Battle of the Music” competition between all the ship bands in Pearl Harbor.

Twenty-three sets of brothers assigned to the USS Arizona died. One father and son duo was killed. As a result of these deaths, the U.S. government attempted to discourage having family members serve aboard the same ship, but no official regulations had been made.

Mark the sacrifice of these men and their families. Sonja

 

Get in a Flip Flop State of Mind

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

What do you think of when you wear flip flops? (Sometimes called thongs.)

I think of sand, beach, and relaxation. I hope you are able to find one of those things during this holiday season.

It can be hectic to get everything that you think must be done–done. But don’t forget the foundation of the holiday: peace, love, and joy.

Don’t get too crazy with all of your “I should–” and “I need to–”

Take a moment to enjoy. Sonja