The above link provides the opportunity to explore all three books – “Just Thinking”, “Who Said I was up for Adoption” and “The Odessa Chronicles”. Please feel free to comment here if you decide to download any of them.
I can recommend “Just Thinking” for anybody who likes straight forward/direct poetry. Most pieces are based around personal experiences some of which may well resonate against your own life experiences!
I can recommend “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” because not only is it a “doggie” story with a happy ending, but is also a recount of the first eighteen months of shelter dog Ray living with us. Ray was my first dog!
I can recommend “The Odessa Chronicles” because it is quite simply a collection of short, fun and fictional stories, many of which focus on Odessa (a Barn-Owl with an attitude). If she had her way she would have been the focus of every story, but we had other plans!
One aspect of most (perhaps all?) creatures, is that a common threat will tend to bring them together. We are no different in that we too have a tendency to unite against a common enemy however, despite the seriousness of COVID-19, there is still antagonism, discrimination and just plain aggression, both within and across numerous borders, towards people who are perceived as “different”. Politicians who sow the seeds of dissention with divisive politics, must take some of the responsibility but, ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own actions.
I am sure that we are all hoping for the control of COVID-19 and its variants during 2021. Most of us are probably hoping for the vaccine as early as possible. There seems little doubt that it will soon join the many other life threatening conditions that are now under control but then … we are left with the ever present antagonism and discrimination.
Below is “My Dream”, which is a poem taken from my book “Just Thinking” (click book cover over to right – may have to scroll – for more information. The link below goes to my reading of it (audio only).
One thing we can all do during these peculiar times is to settle down with a book. It passes the time nicely, and can be educational and/or entertaining and/or just plain thought provoking. Best of all though, you don’t have to go outside to get a book. Just order from any number of on-line retailers! In our COVID-times … what could be better?
For dog lovers, and anybody who wants to learn a little more about dogs, plus anybody who loves a “rags to riches” kind of story … “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” is a book about the first 18 months of an abandoned and troubled German Shepherd/Rottweiler Cross who moved in with us. He was also my first dog!
For something just plain fun to read … “The Odessa Chronicles”! Imagine an owl (Odessa); a cat, and a jackalope coming together due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, and setting up home together on an old uninhabited farm. Now also imagine a human who had just retired, and whose dream was to live out his days peacefully on a little farm. You can probably guess which farm he purchased! You can probably also guess that his life would never be the same again. “The Odessa Chronicles” is a book of short stories suitable for ages 4 to 104!
Finally “Just Thinking” is a book of poems about various aspects of life. You may find them enlightening, thought provoking, or perhaps some will mirror your own life. One of the poems was used last year as a discussion piece for senior students at a US school!
All three books have links (click book cover pics over in the right side column), and amazon.com has the broadest selection of reviews. Purchasing direct from Friesen Press Bookstore may be financially beneficial!
Finally, note that all three books are available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
So … given that you are being advised to stay home as much as possible, treat yourself to a book and enjoy this change of routine!
Just imagine that, because you feel the experience would be valuable to you, you decide to spend a night on the streets in your town. To so many people, it would be a crazy idea … but what if you really wanted to know what others are experiencing on a daily basis?
The following verses are from “The Project”, which is part of a collection of verses in a book “Just Thinking”. Click on book cover in right column (may have to scroll) for more information.
I sit tonight on the pavement, People watching… just to see Who says “Hello”? Who just walks by? Who actually acknowledges me?
But I don’t seem to exist In so many passing eyes. Am I an embarrassment? Do I make them feel uncomfortable? Perhaps I am simply despised?
They are colder than the air Which surrounds me this night. For a caring and humane society, At least as I understand it, That’s really not right.
We’ve probably all done it at some point in our lives. We have side stepped somebody on the street; may have thought derogatory thoughts about them; wondered why they don’t get a job like the rest of us; wondered whether “that girl” was a sex trade worker; turned away from them rather than risk eye contact. In general, we have all probably disapproved as they do not fit “our standard”.
They’re wrapped up in their lives. Fashionable; conforming; neat. They just don’t see… People like me… People who live on the street.
Sadly, that tends to be the state of our society. We are so controlled by commerce, which suggests that either we “play the game” or be considered something less than normal. We struggle to buy that nice house; we want peer approval so must stay in fashion; If we don’t whiten our teeth, will we ever smile again? So much advertising pushes the message that unless you buy/use their product, then clearly something is wrong with you. This comes often from comments like “This must be in everybody’s bathroom” … “Everybody in our survey gave us a 5 star rating” … “Do you want to be the only one without …….” “Surely you can afford a few pennies a week?” Many companies have a psychologist on their sales team, so they know how to convince you that their product is invaluable, and that your life is incomplete without it.
When was the last time you heard that it would be humane to just acknowledge a street person? When was the last time you affirmed that a street person was, in fact, a person?
I am lucky and I know it. I do have a home. I do have food and friends, And I can leave here whenever I choose. Unlike many… l am not alone.
To live on the streets Is in nobody’s dreams. There are reasons behind such a move. Reasons we may not understand but Is life ever what it seems?
It is such a basic fact that nobody has gone through school with the dream of living on the street! If we can accept that statement, then we must acknowledge that those people must have experienced something which put them on the street.
Say “Hello!” to the next person you see, Sitting in their sidewalk home. Recognize that reasons they must surely have, To live in such a way. Being ignored… and alone.
It would be pure fantasy to believe that we can take all those people and reintegrate them back into our society, but is it such a stretch of our imagination to actually acknowledge that they exist. Perhaps even smile at them? Perhaps just say “Hi”, or even go and get them a coffee?
And when you say farewell. When you leave and go to your home. Remember those people Who… for whatever reasons, Will be spending another night on the streets… cold and alone.
As most of you are no doubt aware, professional advertising is extremely expensive. This is a particular challenge for authors because the royalty on a per book sale is minimal. Using my own “Just Thinking” book as an example. The most popular format to buy “Just Thinking” is eBook, which sells for around $4.75 – $5.00 (USD or currency equivalent). That generates a remuneration to me of around $2.75 – $3.00. Continue reading →
With so much time being spent at home, what a golden opportunity is being provided to catch up on some thought provoking (or just plain fun!) reading and (bonus) … all three books are now on sale (details below)!
The links below go to the FriesenPress Bookstore, but the books are also available world-wide from all the usual on-line book retailers.
“Who Said I was up for Adoption?”
A true story about a man (me!) who had never really liked dogs since being bitten by one when in his teens, and yet he was adopted by almost 80lbs of German Shepherd/Rottweiler with just a bit of an “attitude”. The first eighteen months (the basis for the book) was an emotional roller coaster ride for so many reasons and, unlike so many other dog stories, the hero (our beloved Ray) is still alive and well!
*Note: “Just Thinking” is now available direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore at discounted prices of $6.99 for the paper-back, and $15.99 for the hard-cover formats.
We keep hearing about people who are getting bored with staying at home, but that’s probably because they have yet to purchase one or two or three of these books! You won’t know what you have been missing until you get at least one! The question is “Do you like dog stories books, or pure fiction fun stories, or some thought provoking verse?” Given that they are all currently on sale if purchased direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore … why not get all three?
We have a lady in our town that loves dogs … and photography. She publishes a book every year that is a collection of photographs of dogs she meets as she travels around here. All the proceeds from book sales go to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society (being the organization that rescued our beloved Ray).
The book is a very popular fundraiser, but this year she wanted to go a step further in her interest in dogs. She subsequently started podcasting, which covers her interviews/talks with people from all aspects of life and from anywhere in the world. The common denominator is man’s best friend …. dogs!
A few weeks ago, she asked me if I would be interested in participating, and the answer is below!
The following was posted in February of last year, but it seemed very appropriate to copy it forward! If more people grasped the concepts noted in the poem, the world would surely be a much happier place. Continue reading →
“Just Thinking” is a book of simple poetry (even I could understand it!) that was published a few years ago. The subjects covered include a dog, volunteerism, troubled relationships, people of the street, and just so many other perspectives on life. Continue reading →