Sunday, April 22, 2018

Nellie Compton, a Princess Diana Lookalike



It was a shining Saturday morning in 1953, and my parents, my little brother, and I arrived at my mother’s parent’s farm in Peebles, Ohio from our home in Columbus, Ohio, as we did nearly every Saturday morning. I jumped out of our car and went in search of my beloved seventeen-year-old Uncle Dean, my mother’s youngest sibling. I thought it odd that he hadn’t run out to greet us as soon as we pulled up to the yard of the farmhouse, but was at that moment still unaware of any cause for alarm. I combed the rooms of the farmhouse, the grounds, the barn, and other farm buildings, but strangely, he was nowhere to be found. My heart flattened like a leaking balloon. “He went to see a friend, but he’ll be back in a little while,” my grandmother told me. Well, I’ll just wait for him then, I said to myself as I plopped down on the steps to the front porch, my heart prepared to leap into somersaults of gladness as soon as I saw the plume of dust kicked up by his car on the long gravel road leading to the farm. “He went to get Nellie,” I heard my grandmother say to my mother through the open window just over my left shoulder. Who’s Nellie, and why is he bringing her here? I wondered. “He sure likes that girl. He told me they want to get married,” my grandmother added. Until that moment, I didn’t know what a broken heart was, much less how a broken heart feels, how it makes a shining day turn dark, and all the cluster of days ahead unbearable. I didn’t know that those Mondays through Fridays when we were apart that he wasn’t as true to me as I was to him. I didn’t know he had another life in which I wasn’t its center. I didn’t like this whole idea one little bit, because he belonged to me, exclusively; everyone knew he was mine, and had been since the day I was born. I was prepared to do battle with this Nellie-person, to prove to her so definitively that he belonged to me that she would run away and never come back. I deserted my sentry post on the front steps and dragged my heavy heart into the house and threw myself on the couch, face down. I waited—and waited, my spirit a fusion of tears and fight. 

“Tick-tock; tick-tock,” the clock on the mantle sounded, each sequence conducting a sad song in my mind. But presently, I raised my reluctant face to seventeen year old Nellie Compton as she walked through the door, and something primal shifted inside me. Like lead turning into gold, my tears, my anger transformed to another element I didn’t know existed, a part of me full of enigma, and yes, new promise. Barefoot, scraped knees, torn shorts, and tangled mop of flaxen hair, I was just a little kid, a tomboy, a precocious package of burning energy without an inkling that life would be any different than it had been until then. I didn’t know I was in search of a model for my own budding femininity. She walked through that door, and in an instant, I was aware of soft smooth skin, lustrous hair, fetching clothes, and lipstick. She was a farm-girl, but nevertheless, pulled together in a way no girl from her remote existence in Adams County, Ohio, USA ought to be. Long legs up to her armpits, a halo of ash-blond hair, her blouse tied stylishly in a knot beneath her breasts, she gave new meaning to a pair of rolled-up-at-the cuffs blue jeans. All at once I loved her, and not because of her special place in my Uncle Dean’s heart, but because of the special place she had nestled into in mine.


At odds with her beautiful physicality, she was wholly unaware of the stunning figure she cut. Her innocence was easy to recognize in her spectacular but bashful blue eyes, in a soul sweet but cowering, uncomfortable, wary of people. She seemed ever on the hunt for a way out of a terrifying place, to be in conflict with a demon inside herself. With the passing years, like a shade pulling down on a window, we watched sadly as the gemstone sparkle of her eyes faded more and more behind her lowered eyelids and her glorious head tipped away from us on its axis. I think that because she sensed I was so star-struck by her, and similar to her in some ways, she allowed me to get close to her as few others ever did. The first time I saw Princess Diana of Great Britain, she reminded me of a young Nellie Compton—the same fashion sense, the glossy blond tresses, the uncertain blue eyes, the lowered frightened chin.

During a marriage of nearly four decades, Nellie and Dean raised their daughter Deana, worked hard on their own farm, and Nellie fought the demon inside herself valiantly. But it won eventually. Like her mother, her mother’s mother, several of her mother’s siblings, and one of her own siblings, as well as a number of other members of her mother’s family reaching back to earlier generations, Nellie became a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease. We couldn’t help but wonder if some mean tentacle of it had been doing its dirty work on her since her teen years, therefore accounting for the quirk in her personality. We lost Nellie to the illness 46 years after that day she became a standard for me of lovely femininity. I will remember her that way, always. –Linda Lee Greene, Columbus, OH 4/22/2018

Award-winning artist and author, blogger, editor, and interior designer Linda Lee Greene is on social media at the following:

            Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/lindaleegreene

Email: lindaleegreene.author.artist@gmail.com



Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor


            Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims




Author Mina R. Raulston, provides in this her debut book her personal testimony of her experiences with domestic violence in a fourteen-year long abusive marriage, and her journey to healing, a deliverance she credits to God’s intervention upon her life. Included in the book is factual information about the realities of domestic violence, the help victims need to extricate and rehabilitate themselves, and ways to find that help. An appendix of available professional resources is incorporated in the book.
Mina tells me that countless authors will tell you they have been writing since they were children, ever since they could hold a pencil. They will tell you they have been telling stories, or putting out newspapers their whole lives, always seeking an audience to entertain. Not so for Mina Raulston. Mina says she has always been good with reading and could write a good term paper or book report in school, but she never considered herself creative. She didn’t begin writing until after she experienced a traumatic divorce caused by domestic violence. Here is Mina’s story in her own words:

Mina R. Raulston – Author

 “In 1989 I went against everything I believed in and divorced my husband of 14 years when his abuse escalated to throwing steak knives at me. I was about to start the old routine of keeping the children quiet and walking on eggshells around my then-husband and the father of my children until the stress and violence passed, again. While staying up late that night to try to unwind from the violent exchange, I was reading a magazine article about domestic violence. I thought to myself, “Do you have a video camera in my living room? Because that is what I am living.” Instead of repeating the cycle as I had many times, the next morning I took my children to caregivers and then went to Legal Aid where I filed for divorce.

After spending four years as a post-traumatic mess, I attended a ladies retreat with my church. During that retreat I received spiritual healing and deliverance from God. You see, I am a Pentecostal and we strongly believe that God still heals and delivers people physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our group of ladies gathered in a meeting room to hear a message from our speaker. After she finished we all prayed, using a small wrapped package we were provided with as a symbol of all the pain and hurt that we were then to give to God. In that prayer we also asked God to heal and deliver us from those things we gave to him. That small meeting room became our altar of prayer. I received my healing and deliverance that night. After the prayer I felt as if an anvil had been lifted from my heart and shoulders. 

I used to spend my long daily commute talking to God. Over the next few months I spent time asking God to show me the healing He did in me so I could help someone else. God gave me visions of the healing and deliverance he did in me. Now, whenever I read in the Bible where God gave someone a vision it wasn’t just a gift, it was an assignment. I share the basic details of those visions in my first book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence. I will go into more detail in my upcoming book, Roadmap to Healing.

The experience of being healed and delivered, then seeing spiritual visions, was an overwhelming and personal encounter with God. I began journaling to work out my thoughts and feelings. I also began studying the women of the Bible to learn what God expected of me as a Christian woman. You see, I wasn’t raised by Christian parents, and now as a divorced woman, I didn’t fit anyone’s concept of what a Christian woman should be. Divorce was still uncommon in the church at that time. 

As I was studying, the Holy Spirit prompted me to outline and organize what I was learning. “Why do that?” I prayed. “No one is going to read my journal. “Just do what I ask,” the Holy Spirit patiently prompted me. I obeyed and a Bible study formed which became a class I taught at my church. Later I wrote the church newsletter, worked as a volunteer reporter with a local Christian newspaper, and published a couple of articles in my denomination’s magazine, The Evangel.

In my daughter’s senior year in high school I found myself suddenly unemployed. I decided to try to pick up some freelance writing assignments while I was seeking a full time job. I sent out my resumé and published clips to several local newspapers. I received a call from one of them and was shocked when the editor asked me, “So, Ms. Raulston, you’re seeking a job as a full-time reporter?” It took me about a heartbeat to overcome the shock before I answered, “Yes sir, I am.” We met in his office the next day and I began my job as an Education Reporter. That was August 2001. I had been on the job for less than a month when 9/11 happened. I wrote many articles about people who experienced that tragedy firsthand, in addition to my education articles and general news articles. It was a great learning experience. Over the next few years I published articles in several newspapers, magazines, and web sites.

I also wrote many articles on the subject of domestic violence, completed volunteer training as well as college classes related to family violence. After my daughter went to college I decided to write a “pamphlet” about domestic violence. I planned to present it at my denomination’s women’s ministries to help people in the church understand the facts surrounding family abuse. Over a period of nearly five years, combining my volunteer training, my college classes, and my personal research, I realized I had much more than a pamphlet. I had a book. When I moved to a larger city for a job, I joined a Christian writer’s group and a Toastmaster’s club to hone my writing and speaking skills.

I hired a friend who is a professional writer/editor to edit my book. I hired another friend who was an artist to create my cover art. I learned how to buy my own ISBN number for my book. An editor friend referred me to his graphic designer to combine my cover art, back copy, author photo and ISBN/Bar Code into my book cover. Then, another friend offered to format the interior of my book at no charge. With so many people willing to help me at either no charge or reduced fees, I knew God was in this project. My last step was to find a book packager, a company that simply prints and binds books. They are not publishers. I had become a publisher.

I’ve become a Jack of All Trades over the years, writing for churches, newspapers, magazines, websites, publishing my book, and even writing speeches. Now I work full-time as a technical writer. My goal is to write and publish more books to glorify God as I use my newfound gifts. We hear so many stereotypes of abused women who repeat the cycle, or who may get free but never find wholeness, or whose children repeat the cycle of violence. But, God is good and he has blessed me and my children with a whole new life I could never have imagined without his help and guidance. To God be the glory!”

You can find out more about Mina on her web site at www.minaraulston.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and her blog at minaraulston@wordpress.com. 



Award-winning artist and author, blogger, editor, and interior designer Linda Lee Greene is on social media at the following:


Email: lindaleegreene.author.artist@gmail.com



Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor




Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Review of James Ernest Shaw's book titled 'An Italian Journey'


Rather than rock stars and movie stars, the objects of my adoration are public broadcasting’s Rick Steves and Joseph Rosendo and others of their ilk, people who chronicle their worldwide travels for listeners and viewers. Such public information shows are godsends to people like me who, due to restrictions on their health, are unable to travel to far-off places. One of the charms of these short travel documentaries is that they make of their hosts ‘temporary locals,’ to borrow a phrase from Steves, by having them hobnob with local people and indulge in cultural activities distinct not only to the major destinations, but also to cozy villages and other hidden-away corners of the world. This philosophy of becoming a ‘temporary local’ is the chief appeal of author James Ernest Shaw’s delightful book entitled An Italian Journey. Adding to its appeal is that it is a book of non-fiction that reads like an intriguing novel.

I didn’t make it to Italy before I developed a chronic illness that up to this point in my life limits me to domestic travels. Immersing myself for a time in Tuscany was one of my fondest dreams…and now I have realized that dream, although vicariously, through James Ernest Shaw and his adventures journaled in his brilliant An Italian Journey. Like a gladiator on two wheels, for seven glorious weeks in Tuscany he bicycled sizzling as well as foggy mountainous hairpins and held his ground against speeding trucks and leisurely foot-peddlers. He climbed trees older than the modern world and picked olives, built stone walls, sat at table and ate pasta and drank wine, talked politics and religion and farming with real people of the area, and through the experience was transformed. And I think he found the key to why Italy and Italians are special among all the people of the world.

Shaw had inspired me to find my own way to Italy, somehow, and more importantly, to begin anew a journey I began and abandoned many decades ago, and that is to become a Roman Catholic. Thank you, James Ernest Shaw. –Author and artist Linda Lee Greene 


 
Award-winning artist and author, blogger, editor, and interior designer Linda Lee Greene is on social media at the following:
          Email: lindaleegreene.author.artist@gmail.com
            Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/LindaLeeGreeneAuthor
          Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LindaLeeGreeneAuthor
          Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor
            Blog:  http://Ingoodcompanyohio.blogspot.com
          Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+
    

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Review of Pamela Allegretto's 'Bridge of Sighs and Dreams'


Downsizing from a large four-bedroom home and moving to a small two-bedroom condominium in recent months has made it impossible for me to read at my usual speedy pace. But when my tortured back and squealing feet refused me during my “downsizing” project, I was able to spend much of my time-outs reading a few books, among them a marvelous World War II epic titled Bridge of Sighs and Dreams by author and artist Pamela Allegretto. The book was a perfect diversion, and has earned an honored place in my library of “World War II Books.”

Like Kristen Hannah’s acclaimed World War II novel The Nightingale, Allegretto’s novel explores the seldom-seen topic of the effects of war on women, the former on two sisters in German-occupied France, the latter on two sisters-in-law in war-torn Italy. If you haven’t read both of these fabulous books, you are missing out on big-time reading pleasures.

An artist whose fine art is collected worldwide, Allegretto’s every stroke of the keyboard that gave life to Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is rendered as masterfully as the brushstrokes that shape her popular canvasses.


Award-winning artist and author, blogger, editor, and interior designer Linda Lee Greene is on social media at the following:
Email: lindaleegreene.author.artist@gmail.com
Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor

Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+

Friday, October 13, 2017

Best-selling Author Tim McWhorter Releases New Novel

I met author Tim McWhorter a couple of months ago at a book signing sponsored by the Mid-Ohio Indie Author’s Book Festival. The two of us shared a table at the event, and between interactions with readers who approached us and purchased our books, Tim and I chatted. I was impressed with the overall look of his books—his book covers are eye-catching, done mainly in hues of black and white, appropriate for his usual genre, which is horror. His horror/thriller BONE WHITE is a best-seller.

I am so pleased to present to my readers Tim’s latest novel WINDING DOWN HOURS, his first book of general fiction, and a huge departure from his usual genre. Judging by the reviews it has received, it has hit the mark. It is notable, as well, that the cover of the book is also quite different—it is colorful, and again, eye-catching. Following is a description of the novel, as well as a couple of reviews posted on Amazon. Links to it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo are also included below:
“The Taylors haven’t spent this much time together in years. But with their mother gone and the tendrils of dementia slowly entwining their father, the three siblings have one last chance to relive their idyllic youth while packing up the family home. Life isn’t as simple as when they were children, however, and missteps of the past have driven them irreconcilably apart. Only Mason, the middle Taylor, is determined to mend the fractures before the weekend ends and their time on the Cape is done.

A story of the common hopes, trials and disappointments of family life – and just how difficult acceptance can be.”

Customer reviews:

"What a lovely gentle read. Tim McWhorter really has a handle on family dynamics. I was intrigued by the premise of The Winding Down Hours, and I wasn't disappointed by the story. I think what I appreciated most was the complexity of the characters, even the Father suffering with dementia. I loved the beautiful detail of the setting, and the cover is exquisite. The secrets and memories of the family were uncovered layer by layer, and I found the novel enchanting. I would definitely read more from this author."

"McWhorter exhibits his multifaceted talent with this one. A heartwarming tale of complex family matters that are right for today's times. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this family and working through their complicated relationships. Life can be challenging, especially for families. Mr. McWhorter has great insight into family matters that we may all face, in some form or another, one day. I highly recommend this read!"



***

Best-selling author, award-winning artist, blogger, and interior designer Linda Lee Greene is on social media at the following:
Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor

Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Review of Fran Lewis' A DAUGHTER'S PROMISE

October 4, 2017…Submitted by Linda Lee Greene, Author & Artist

5 Stars...Uplifting in its sincerity; illuminating in its wisdom; heartbreaking in its candor, A DAUGHTER’S PROMISE by prolific writer and book reviewer Fran Lewis is the story of her mother Ruth’s journey through Alzheimer’s Disease. Written from the points of view of both Ruth and Fran, the book gives readers insight into the mind and heart of the sufferer, as well as of the caregiver, dual perspectives not often available in other literary pieces of this kind.

“Something has overtaken my thoughts, mind, and thinking skills. But what? I have no idea. Slowly, methodically, and carefully, like a book with its chapters outlined and set in type to be published and printed, my world seems dimmer and my memory all fogged up as this entity takes hold within the recesses of my mind, ready to print out and publish my future…”


In words gleaned from Ruth’s journals she kept during much of her illness, Fran, her mother’s caregiver and chronicler, offers to the world in this outstanding book an intimate story readers will not soon forget. In addition to Ruth’s journal writings, it brims with Fran’s observations, expressions of her feelings, as well as helpful hints in the care of afflicted people of this disease, including valuable professional resources. In its essence, it is a grateful, loyal, and brave daughter’s tribute to her remarkable mother, and the extraordinary steps she takes to remain faithful to her promise to her mother not to place her in a nursing home or any other outside facility.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My Talking Heart - Chapter Eight: A Past Life Experience at Chicago's O'Hare Airport


O'Hare International Airport
One sultry August afternoon in 2002, my travel companion and I were annoyed passengers stuck at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. We were awaiting our delayed connecting flight back home from a vacation in New Orleans. While there were no pyrotechnics, gunshots, microphones or cameras associated with it, nor a naked man streaking up and down the aisles as I had witnessed at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport years before, this layover was different than any in my experience. In fact, then as now, it is a completely unique event in any setting in my life, and is one of my most indelible memories.
Among the sizeable group of my fellow irritated passengers, I sat with book in hand and tried to pass the time by losing myself in the story, normally a reliable escape for me under almost any circumstance. But there was something strange in the air that distracted me, a weird feeling, a sort of prickly awareness not unlike the sense that sweeps across my consciousness and skin when someone is staring at me. I looked up through my eyelashes and in the section across the aisle from ours, one for a different flight, a man and an adolescent girl sat, and indeed, both of them were looking at me intently. I recognized them instantly. I couldn’t have stated how, or why, or under what circumstances I knew them, nor did I know their names, but know them, I certainly did so. I noticed that not only were those two individuals staring at me, but all of the many people milling around or sitting near them also gazed at me relentlessly, with total recognition of me in their eyes. And as with the man and girl, I knew all of them in return—they were as familiar to me as members of my own family.
If I were Oprah Winfrey or Angelina Jolie, my outsized fame would account for the O’Hare crowd’s recognition of me, but I am “private citizen Linda Lee Greene,” even less known then than I am now, for I was yet to join the throng of Internet users. It was a decade down the road before I began to develop a serious social media presence, on the occasion of publishing my second book. However, even if I had been a celebrity, what is the explanation of my recognition of them?
Perplexed by then, I revisited every possible setting in my mind in which I might have met the O’Hare crowd before then. I thought perhaps they were a delegation of some sort, and since there were a few other children among them, maybe they were a church or sports group I had encountered somewhere in New Orleans, or in my home city of Columbus, Ohio. But their incoming flight was not New Orleans or Columbus, and the outgoing flight was to a city to which I had never visited. To this day, I have been unable to identify any prior situation in which I came in contact with those people.  
One of the other strange things about the incident is that there were no discernible responses on the faces or in the bodies of any of them once eye contact was accomplished among us. Not one of them smiled or nodded or made any physical gesture whatsoever in acknowledgement of me, not even a twitch of an eyelid, or a tiny flick of a finger. They merely held my eyes steadily, and I swear to goodness that I began to think they were communicating a message to me, telepathically, but not of a soothsaying nature. There seemed to be no warning of impending misfortune or fortune. It didn’t cause me to feel uncomfortable or creepy—it simply felt like a gentle affirmation of kinship with me. As a matter of fact, the exchange settled me somehow—my spirit relaxed, my irritation over the delay lost its edge, and I felt friendlier toward my companion, a royal pain in the rump during our trip together.
 Back in my college days, I wrote a paper about reincarnation, and I recall that one of its tenets is that we travel through time with a pack of spiritual soulmates appearing in dissimilar guises at different times. For instance, my mother in my current life might have been my brother or sister or husband in lives past. Both major and minor characters appear in the sequential acts of our spiritual journeys, like the headliners and bit players of a Broadway show. Both types are essential to the full performance and disclosure of the story, a conjoined cast of pliable energy stores materializing when needed and providing continuity through which to work out ones spiritual lessons over time.
In literature as well as in the historical, scientific, and religious records, accounts of past-life experiences abound. Across the board, or nearly so, researchers discount them as so much smoke and mirrors, labeling them as fantasies, delusions, playacting, or a type of confabulation, a fancy word for lying without knowing one is lying. Within their quiver of rationales, even alcoholism can trigger false past-life memories.
Whether or not reincarnation will ever be observational, and as a result accepted as chapters in the script of life, isn’t about to be settled any time soon, if ever, as far as I can see. But there was something about the chemistry of my O’Hare Airport encounter that has kept it vibrant in my memory. It has remained a curiosity to me. It seems to refuse to allow me any sense of closure pertaining to it. I admit that I can’t help but wonder if those people are members of my spiritual family. And when I do fess up to that possibility rattling around inside me, it feels right. It rests flawlessly in my spirit. It doesn’t rest quite as well in my brain, however.   
 In any event, reincarnation as a subject is titillating fodder for writers, me among them, as is the case in CRADLE OF THE SERPENT, my latest novel. The following is a synopsis of the story:

Fearful that her husband Jacob is embroiled in an extramarital affair, archaeologist Lily Light turns to psychotherapy, astounding consultations in which Lily often takes on the persona of a young maiden named White Flower, a member of the clan of long-ago American Indian builders of Ohio’s Great Serpent Mound.
When a gunman’s bullets leave Jacob permanently paralyzed from his shoulders down and a woman identified as Jacob’s mistress dead, Lily’s world is shattered. Through the example of her own life a thousand or more years before, White Flower reveals to Lily the unexpected path to her salvation.   
      Given 5 Stars by Readers’ Favorite, CRADLE OF THE SERPENT brims with “enthralling” journeys into the human psyche, romantic love, archaeology, American Indian history, spinal cord injury, its consequences, and its contemporary treatments, as well as “amazing” sequences of past-life regression, and unimaginable twists and turns in a long-term marriage. It is available in paperback and eBook at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple, Google, BooksaMillion, and other booksellers.- Linda Lee Greene

Best-selling author, award-winning artist, blogger, and interior designer Linda Lee Greene is on social media at the following:
Twitter: @LLGreeneAuthor

Also look for her at LinkedIn and Google+