Posted by: selenafulton | September 6, 2016

To Everything There is a Season

A little over two years ago, I wrote a blog, but was asked not to post it at that time. My father-in-law had just passed away and my mother in law didn’t want anything online that might let the world know she was alone.

I honored her wishes.

Since she has recently remarried and no longer lives alone, I think it is okay to post this tribute to my father-in-law. Here is that blog…

To Everything there is a Season…

As I begin this blog, I am on a train heading north. It is my first ever train ride, and I wish I could share the experience with someone, but I am alone in a car full of strangers. I can’t help but listen to their conversations, every story is different. A young girl and her mother had gone to Florida to see her grandmother and they were heading home. Another person was visiting family. A man was going to a conference in Washington, DC. For some, their journey was only beginning.

Mine? I am going to see my in-laws, but this is not a joyous trip. My father-in-law is dying as I boarded the train. It is a long ride, and as I ride the train through the long night I have plenty of time to reflect on how short life is. Only two years ago, my mom lost her fight with cancer. Knowing how this journey will end brings back all those memories.

I arrive in Philadelphia, tired from my trip, but anxious. Did I arrive soon enough to say goodbye? I want to see my husband, more than ever. I want to hug him and feel his love. I trudge to the escalator, not wanting to wait for the elevator. He is at the top, waiting for me, smiling. If I weren’t loaded down with my bags, I would’ve leapt into his arms.

My husband is tired, but glad to see me. We talk on the way to his parents’ home. He tells me about his mother and how she’s holding up. She is a strong woman, and not denying her strength and fortitude, she is exhausted and has asked for help. We have come to assist in any way we can. It’s what families do.

Watching someone you love die is a heartbreaking thing. At first, your heart desperately clings to the hope that you can still do something. You work around the clock, tending to their needs. They may have periods of lucidness, and you talk with that person, remembering the good times. Nobody ever brings up the bad things during this time. You smile, remember when we…? Always fond memories. The person smiles. You smile.

Bittersweet. You cling to every moment. Each moment ticks by too quickly.

My in-laws both escaped Hungary in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution. A great many of them came to the United States, the majority though Camp Kilmer in New Jersey. My father-in-law was one of those young men looking for a new life in a new place. His bride of fifty-eight years also escaped Hungary, but the two would not meet until they arrived in the United States.

My father-in-law was a hard working man. Filled with the American dream, he and his wife worked hard to raise their three children, all born in America. He was an artisan, his art was in the way he could take a piece of iron or brass and turn it into something beautiful. His works are everywhere. He made beautiful chandeliers that grace many a home. He made many ornate pieces that grace public buildings all over the northeast. I have a beautiful pair of candlestick holders he made out of what he called “junk”. The man had a gift.

He was a strong, vibrant, and passionate man who loved his family and the life he and his wife created in this country.

And I am proud to know this man was in my family. Rest in peace.

Szeretlek.

Posted by: selenafulton | August 2, 2016

Introducing….

Do you like to get the latest and greatest of everything? Are you first in line for the newest movie or gadget?

Come join me as my friend, Best-selling author Josie Riviera talks about her latest release, Seeking Patience, her inspirational Regency romance about a Romany (Gypsy) man and a countess, is August 2nd.

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Exploring the fascinating culture of the Romany. (Gypsies)

 Gadje Gadjensa, Rom Romensa.”

This is a Romany (Gypsy) saying that means “Gadje with Gadje, Rom with Rom.”

So what is a gadje? A gadje in the Romany language means “not one of us.” Many Rom prefer to not allow outsiders (us) into their lives. It’s no coincidence that in my hours, days, and months of researching the Romany for Seeking Patience, little information was available. Odd, because the Rom have lived in many places throughout the world for centuries. They’re a widely-traveled people. Yet there is little written history regarding their origins, although recent evidence points to an emigration from India 1500 years ago.

I believe the reason there is little information available is because the Rom simply prefer it that way. They are a proud people who keep to themselves. And they are nomads, forever on the move, traveling by horse and wagon in caravans.

Here’s the buy links for SEEKING PATIENCE:

Amazon

https://amzn.com/B01H42QM5I

Itunes/Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1125089890

Nook

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seeking-patience-josie-riviera/1115240264;jsessionid=0F911C520B3A98646A5007DFD11DE200.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean=2940152793109

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/seeking-patience-1

Blurb for SEEKING PATIENCE:

Do people prove their worth by strength, or by character? Half-Romany, half-English lord, he lives a perilous Gypsy life … until a sweet English rose saves his life, and perhaps his soul. Widowed by a cruel husband, she’s given up all hope of love. Brought together in peril, they dare to reach for a brighter future together. Luca Boldor, Romany leader, lives a nomad’s life in Regency England with his Gypsy caravan. Believing his noble father abandoned him at birth, he refuses to acknowledge his English blood, or live a settled life. But when a vicious attack by a rival leaves him bleeding on an English lady’s doorstep, he has no choice but to accept her help. Her gentle faith stirs his heart in a way he has long denied. Lady Patience Blakwell, widowed countess, lives in near poverty. Her husband’s heir uses threats to keep her from demanding her rightful inheritance. With a few faithful servants, she exists quietly in the country, only her faith keeping her strong … until the day a bold, handsome Gypsy collapses in her hall. He’s unlike any man she’s ever known, and she’ll confront any subterfuge to keep him safe. But when a secret from Lady Patience’s past emerges, Luca must face his own past, or lose her and all hope of love. Will this strong man humble himself to open his heart for his lady? Travel back to Regency England for this sweet, inspirational romance—get your copy of Seeking Patience today!

Author bio and links:

Best-selling author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

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“Like” her Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Josie.Riviera https://www.facebook.com/Josie.Riviera/

Connect with her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010936808977

Sign up for her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook on her website: josieriviera.wordpress.com https://josieriviera.wordpress.com/

Follow her on twitter: @josieriviera https://twitter.com/Josieriviera

Instagram: josie_riviera

https://www.instagram.com/josie_riviera/

pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/josieriviera/

 

Posted by: selenafulton | May 7, 2016

Mother’s Day…2016

So this Sunday is once again Mother’s Day. At my job, many floral arrangements and packages arrived, and many visitors came to see their mom. Everyone around me is asking each other what they plan to do for their mom this weekend. I stay silent. My mom is gone. I just want this weekend to be over. I don’t want to think about Mother’s Day.

A friend of mine sent me an email, saying to write my mom a letter, even though she isn’t around to read it. So here goes…

Dear Mom,

Even after 4 years and 4 months, I still miss you so much it hurts. You were my sounding board and I miss your advice, the sound of your voice. I know life goes on, and I’m a grown woman, but sometimes I feel lost without you.

Mom, I wish I had spent more time with you. Yes, we spoke on the phone every morning on my way to work, but sometimes I didn’t really LISTEN. And why didn’t I write down your recipe for Applesauce Raison cake? I haven’t been able to duplicate it.

Mom, we always talked about going to lunch, just us girls, but we never did. I was always busy – running here and there, always busy, always thinking I had plenty of time. And then one day it was too late. You didn’t feel like going out because you were sick. Lunch is such a small thing, but I didn’t stop and pick you up. I’m so sorry.

Life is too darn short.

Recently, I asked Dad for some of your old pots and pans, beat up from many years of use. I look at those baking pans and remember the corn bread, strawberry shortcake, cinnamon rolls, etc. that you used to bake for us. To some people, they might look beat up and ready for the dumpster to some people, but for me they are full of sights and sounds, tastes and smells.

Memories.

Music also brings back memories. For the longest time, I couldn’t listen to music. It made me cry. Remember how we used to parade through the house doing the baby elephant walk? You turned up the volume and my brother and I followed you through the house, all three of us bent over, swinging our “trunks”. I will never hear that song without remembering our laughter and silliness.

Sometimes when I see a butterfly or a cardinal, I think of you. Whenever I hear a cardinal’s song, I remember how you used to say, “I’m sorry Mr. Cardinal. I can’t go fishing with you today.”

And yes, the ocean is still there.

You always believed in me, even when I didn’t. Whatever I doubted something about myself, you would tell me I could do it, “Because you’re my daughter, that’s why!”

Mom, I wish we could chat for one more time. We’d listen to your favorite music and I’d get those favorite recipes from you. I’d inhale your perfume, because it doesn’t smell the same on me as it did on you. I’d kiss your cheek and give you a giant hug. I’d buy you that taco, or take you to Ireland, or run away with you to Albuquerque.

Or just sit on the back porch with you and eat some ice cream.

So many things in life remind me of you. But then, you gave me life. You taught me how to love music, that family was important. You showed me how to appreciate the stillness and power of nature, and to reach for the stars. Thank you, Mom. Thank you for all you’ve given me. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you and miss you.

Posted by: selenafulton | January 1, 2016

The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers

This was a fabulous read for anyone wanting to understand how to help authors.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri

Well, I figure I have one more day to drunkenly torch my platform. Sad thing is I don’t drink. I am apparently this stupid when sober😛 . Actually I am writing this as a follow up for my rant from the day before yesterday, because knowledge is power.

Writers need this. Your friends and families need this. Readers need this. The more people get how this industry works, the more everyone can start working together for everyone’s benefit.

In my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World, I go into a LOT more detail and I highly recommend you get a copy if you don’t have one. I spend the first chapters of the book explaining how the various forms of publishing work so you can make an educated decision.

All types of publishing have corresponding…

View original post 3,294 more words

Posted by: selenafulton | December 25, 2015

Christmas Day Old and New

Merry Christmas to all of you out there!

I think my favorite Christmas growing up was the year we walked to get our tree. In Connersville, there was a huge hill that twisted and turned and was very steep. At the bottom of that hill was a small tree stand. At the top and about a block or so away was our house. My mom, dad, brother and I walked down the hill in the snow, singing Christmas carols. The snow crunched under our feet as we made our way down the hill. We picked out a tree and the four of us carried it back up the hill.

It was a special memory I will always treasure.

I miss the big family dinners with my grandparents, my aunt and her family. That’s me peeking my head around Grandpa. (I always sat next to him.) Grandma fixed so much food you didn’t have to eat anything you didn’t like, and barely had room for everything you did like!

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One year, we bought a tree that had pine cones still attached. The warmth of the house made the cones pop open. I remember laying under the tree, staring up at the Christmas lights from that unusual angle, listening to Christmas music. I salvaged those cones and still have them.

Mom was always trying to do something to make memories, and this year I wish I could give her a hug.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Treasure your family. Make memories.

Posted by: selenafulton | November 2, 2015

Turn Back Time

I personally hate Daylight Saving Time. There are only a 24 hours in a day, we don’t really ‘gain’ any time when we move the clocks forward, and it makes me grumpy for weeks. So I was very happy when the clocks went back today. I did NOT wake up at 2 a.m. to turn all my clocks back. I trusted my cell phone wake me up at the right time. Except the sun woke me up instead.

We talk about killing time, making time, and turning back time. We try to manage our time, measure time, juggle time, but in the end, it steadily marches forward at the exact same pace.

It’s all a matter of perspective. So as the busy holiday season commences, take the time to hug your family. Be thankful for the time you have. Because you really can’t turn back time.

Posted by: selenafulton | August 28, 2015

Preparedness

Hurricane season is upon us and Florida has its eye on a tropical storm named Erika. I’m not too concerned at the moment. I’ve lived here for forty years and know the routine. The forecast models show the storm could go in multiple directions. Nobody really knows at this point which way the storm will go. But it has our minds thinking about hurricane preparations, what we would do, should the storm hit Florida, and what we might take if we have to evacuate.

Years ago, when Hurricane Floyd threatened Florida, the mayor suggested the residents leave. He said he’d sent his family out of town. The storm was huge and perfectly shaped. My family decided to leave, among the thousands of other families.

The thought of evacuating gave me a perspective on what was truly important. Yes, take papers for insurance, your mortgage, birth certificates and other important papers. Pack clothing, toiletries, medicines. But what about special things? Things that can’t be replaced, period? I looked around my house, knowing I could only take what our two vehicles could hold. What couldn’t be replaced with any amount of money? I packed my photo albums, a suitcase with several days of clothing, my laptop and then put the cat in his box. My daughter and I enjoyed riding down the road listening to the radio and the cat was silent (probably thought we were taking him to the vet – LOL)

The experience put the value I place on ‘stuff’ in perspective.

If you had to twenty-four hours to leave your home and could only fill your vehicle, what items would you bring?

Posted by: selenafulton | July 26, 2015

Weather Patterns

I’ve always been fascinated with the radar on the news. When the internet came along, I could sit and watch the storms drift over the area in blobs of green, yellow and red. Sometimes they lumbered along like a big aimless blob. Others seemed to pop out of nowhere.

I also noticed something different today. We had small spotty showers this afternoon. Out of boredom (and because I was procrastinating on my writing) I zoomed out, further and further, until the entire state of Florida was visible.

And I noticed something interesting.

Those spotty showers were part of a huge circular system. I could see the rotation, the heavier showers being downstate.

Much of life is like that weather pattern. If we focus on the minute, we might see just the rain, or the sun. But if we zoom out, focus on the bigger picture, we can see those little details are part of the much larger picture.

And now that I’ve procrastinated enough…I think I know which direction to take my next scene. Because I’ve take a step back to see the bigger picture.

How do you focus on the bigger picture?

Posted by: selenafulton | June 30, 2015

Television and Books

I don’t watch much television anymore. In fact, in my house we don’t have cable or any paid TV. We have those digital boxes and get what my daughter calls ‘ghetto TV’. My friends at work will talk about a show and then when I tell them I don’t have cable, they look at me as if I’m some sort of alien. I hear people talk about their cable bill as if it were a necessity of life.

For me, it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to love watching television. When I was a kid, I used to be able to tell you what day and time a particular show came on. And as an adult, I enjoyed different shows.

I don’t know when I changed. I found myself getting up during a program or movie to do the dishes, fold laundry, etc. I began missing the punch lines, the story lines. And after a while, I didn’t miss it at all.

Instead, while being the Mom Taxi, I had a book at all times. One in my car, one at work, one at home. I could enjoy the books, snatches at a time, reading when I had the time. I didn’t have to worry about commercials, or taping a show I’d never have time to watch. The book was there. Waiting for me.

Then I began writing. I’d put off writing when I was younger. But after raising my family, after sacrificing everything for everyone else, it was time for me. Books were my love and writing fell into place. My manuscript would wait until I returned, the same way my books had.

So, my television viewing is mainly limited to the news in the morning to see what I should wear or what route to work I take. But books? They remain my love forever.

Which do you prefer? Books or Television?

Posted by: selenafulton | May 20, 2015

Thunderstorms

I love thunderstorms. I love the electric feel in the air just before the storm arrives, when the wind is whipping up and the sky is almost purple. I love the smell of the rain in the air.

Today I was supposed to be here…http://readingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2015/05/promo-crystal-slipper.html?showComment=1432084893445#c7117223979141992091

But I got home just before the thunderstorm hit. It’s still raining, still thundering. Looks like tonight I will sleep good to the pitter pat of rain.

Must go. The storm is coming back. But thank you for visiting.

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