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A Nation Cries

half-staff

Another senseless massacre

took twenty-six lives last night.

A small town’s peace destroyed  

by the taking of so many lives,

and a nation cries

The news comes into our homes,

and though we’ve heard it before,

we sit in stunned silence and watch,

hearts breaking for all those who mourn,

and a nation cries

Flags fly low and heads are bowed

In memory of all those lost.

We try to forget such madmen’s acts

but can’t forget their terrible cost

So a nation cries…

Note: After hearing of the horrific tragedy in Texas on the news last night, I cried. I knew I was not alone in shedding those tears for all the lives cut short and loved ones left to mourn. This morning as I worked on my editing, my thoughts were repeatedly interrupted by the phrase, ‘and a nation cries.’ I was finally driven to write this as my way of expressing what I was feeling.  May God bless and comfort all those whose lives were torn asunder by one sick soul.

Naughty Little Puppy

I can’t resist sharing Beverly’s blog about her precocious little fur ball, Jellybean.

Bev Stiffler Smith - Children's Author

Who needs a 130 sheet cross-cut shredder when you have a spunky little puppy that can take care of all your shredding needs?  This white and black model shreds paper of all types; copy paper, newspaper, wrapping paper, tissue paper, tissues (both clean and otherwise), magazines, cardboard, and yes, even the paper label around plastic water bottles.  Leave a tissue behind on the couch?  Leave the newspaper on the chair while you refill your tea?  Walk away from your Ladies Home Journal magazine?  Forget to put your water bottle in the recycling bin?  Never fear, Jellybean the shredder is here!  Moving faster than the community shred truck, Jellybean hones in on the treasure of the moment. Using her front paws to keep the object secure, Jellybean, begins pulling and tearing at her prize.  Pull, tear, spit!  Pull, tear, spit! Pull, tear, spit!  She continues until the object has been obliterated…

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LOOK WHAT I FOUND

After spending an amazing, thought provoking, super brain-filling weekend at the 30th Annual Pennwriters Conference in Pittsburgh, I came home to a delightful surprise.

What could be even more exciting than learning from some of the best–people in the field–like Chuck Sambuchino, Annette DashofyNancy Martin, Ramona DeFelice Long, Don Helin, and Deborah Riley-Magnus–(I’m  such a shameless name dropper.)–A box full of books?

YES… that is when it’s a box full of MY books!

DECEPTION BRIDGE

Book 1 of The Bridge Series

Box of books

Holding Book 1 of the series in my hot little hands is also extremely motivating. Now I’m excited to tackle the second draft of Book 2 in the series, and I’m already playing with ideas for the title. Maybe once I’ve narrowed the choices down, you can help me pick it.

Holding DB

In the meantime, the paperback and kindle versions of Deception Bridge are available on Amazon, OR you can contact me for your signed copy.

So, since Book 2 won’t write itself, I’d better get busy!

Gloria Bostic

It’s Almost Here!

To be released later this month–Stay tuned!

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover of Deception Bridge, Book 1 of The Bridge Series.

deceptionbridge-GB - Cover final

My April Fool

In her latest blog, my friend, Beverly Stiffler Smith, shares why she knows her adorable dog, Jellybean, was an extraordinary gift from above. Enjoy!

Bev Stiffler Smith - Children's Author

Jellybean - my april foolJellybean – my little nugget of sweetness – came to her forever home on a Saturday morning in July.  Throughout the process of filling out paperwork, completing the sale, and preparing for my puppy’s homecoming I had never asked about her actual birth date.  When I brought her home, I only knew she was fourteen weeks old, as I had yet to do the math to determine her birthday.  Sorting through her paperwork and preparing for her first vet visit later that day, I discovered her birthdate was April 1st.  To most this date is only significant because it is April Fool’s Day.  This day is significant to me, however, because it is also the date of my husband’s passing in 2003.  Dan was such a funny, spirited guy.  I had hoped to one day find the humor in his passing on this date.  Can you imagine the…

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with-elephant

(Article published in Rubs and Scrapes – Maryland Bowhunters Society publication)

I am not a hunter.

So why in the world would I want to go on a ten-day hunt in South Africa? How could I possibly enjoy such a trip?

Well, let me count the ways.

The first time I went to South Africa with my husband was in the summer of 2012. I was filled with anxiety and had no idea what to expect. It was Africa after all, and all I knew of that continent was what I’d seen in movies. I wasn’t sure this was for me.

Fortunately, my husband, Lee, and I were able to meet with Andries and Steffi van Wyjk of van Wijk Safaris prior to our trip there. All (well almost all) of my worries and concerns were put to rest as they answered my many questions about the accommodations and what to expect when we arrived. I was definitely reassured about our upcoming visit to this mysterious continent half a world away.

south-africa-2012

When we arrived, though exhausted from our travels, I was wide-eyed with wonder on the ride from the airport to the lodge. I was at once taken with this strange and beautiful land which was so different from anywhere else I’d ever been. I remember my excitement at seeing the first baboons running along the side of the road and the herds of impala and other animals whose names I did not yet know. I saw so much that first day but had no clue that it wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg of what was yet to come.

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Then we arrived at the lodge. Wow! In spite of all the reassurance we had received, I must admit to still anticipating something rather primitive. Wrong! The suite in which we’ve stayed on each of our three ten-day trips to van Wijk Safaris is in no way primitive, and the hospitality and kindness of everyone there is beyond compare. I guess my only complaint is the great food. I am bound to gain weight on every visit. Each night the evening meals were fit for a king—and queen—and left me more than satisfied. It is almost impossible not to overeat when the food is that delicious. And I can’t even think about the desserts without drooling a little!

I think for me—other than the food—the highlight of our first trip was the day we enjoyed the Elephant Experience. After about an hour of learning about and interacting with the elephants, we actually got to take an elephant ride—and not just in a little circle—but across the African terrain. This was another WOW! I’m not sure how long we were astride our huge mounts, but I know it will live in my memory forever.

elephant-ride

I saw so many animals in the wild for the first time that year, but that was nothing compared to what I saw on our second trip to South Africa in 2014. On this visit Andries and Steffi took us for a three-day trip to Kruger National Park. For three days, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. My advice to anyone who has the opportunity to visit Kruger is don’t forget your camera! You will probably never have a better opportunity to see so many wild and beautiful animals in their natural habitat.

zebras

I couldn’t begin to name all the animals I saw, but I most love the amazing pictures and the memories of elephants, zebras, giraffes, and yes, even lions running down the road. I can attest to the fact that when you suddenly see ten or eleven female lions run right by the vehicle you’re in, your heart will nearly beat out of your chest.

lion

Photo by Lee Bostic

On our third trip to South Africa, I had the chance to get fairly close to lots hippopotamuses at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. There was a myriad of other animals and birds to see and photograph as well, but I especially enjoyed watching those hungry, hungry hippos.

pool

Of course, on each of our three trips, Lee was there to hunt, so I often spent the day at the lodge while he was out with Andries. On those days, I found there was nothing more relaxing than sitting by the pool under the African afternoon sun with my Kindle. It is wonderful how the chill on a South African winter morning disappears in the warmth of the sun by ten or eleven o’clock—and just as quickly returns when the sunsets.

sa-2012

But by then it was always time to go inside, relax, and prepare for another wonderful evening listening to tales of the hunt and enjoying great food and wine with wonderful friends.

 

Was It Really So Bad?

kaleidfairy-gkb

The consensus on social media seems to be that 2016 was a terrible year–the worst!  People go on and on about how horrible it was, and many friends are quick to agree in the comments.

But was it really? Was it really all bad? I don’t think so.

Actually, I think it was pretty darned great! And no, I am not living some charmed life totally different from everyone else’s. I will not apologize for disagreeing with the majority of people about this either.

Did anything bad happen in my life during 2016? Of course! But was it all bad? Hell no!

Okay, so what was so bad about it? Well, there were the political campaigns and the ever-present, never-ending news coverage. Yeah, you’ll get no argument from me on that topic… that was bad.

There were terrorists wreaking havoc all over the world. There’s certainly no denying the horror of that. And yes, there were fires, floods, tornadoes, and all the tragedy they left behind. Some people lost property. Some lost all they owned. Worst of all, many lost people they loved.

So, wasn’t it a terrible year? I must be crazy to talk about such events then say it was a good year, right? Okay, maybe I am–but isn’t it all about focus. I think it is, or it should be. It is for me.

If I choose to focus only on the devastation covered on the evening news, I would have to agree with all those sad lamentations on social media. But I am choosing to look away from the TV–away from the anger and hatred reported daily.

I choose to look closer to home. I look at my husband, my three sons, and my beautiful grandchildren who are all in good health with nothing more than the occasional stomach bug or ear infection. My great-great-nephew, Alexander, who has SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1), celebrated his second birthday in 2016 beating the odds and soon to start a medication that could help him.

I also look at the fun my husband and I had traveling to three different countries and the wonderful, friendly people we met all along the way. I look at the goodness in all the people I know.

I look back on all the times I had family surrounding me and the big, warm, wonderful hugs that said more about love than words ever could.

I am blessed, not by what has happened around me, but by awareness of all that is good in my life.

So, did you really have a bad year, or did you have some really bad–maybe horrible–days scattered throughout the year? Can you look back and remember some of the better days? The better moments?

More importantly, will you see them in 2017?

I wish you vision to see all that is good in your life, all that is good around you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

snowy-gkb

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