Red, Entertaining and Drinking

December is once more with us – the American festivals of Halloween and Thanksgiving now behind us. Hopefully, this year, with the restrictions forced on us by the pandemic, we will be able to see an easing of the rules and we will enjoy a family get-together. In Christian countries, we look forward to a joyful Christmas and then a fresh and happy new year, when, if we are lucky, we will enjoy a year of wonder and excitement, love and merriment and, for some, the ability to start towards a dream of their own.

Needless to say, as the year draws to a close and another begins, we will all have seen our share of sorrow, disappointment and even tragedy. But this month we should look forward, not back. Remember the bad times, by all means, but learn from them and strive for something better in the future.

Next year my blog will consist of a nice recipe, (For the eat part of my blog), a short story to read, and a dream to hold and try to pursue. After all, my blog is called ReadEatDream! I will continue to use the R.E.D. titles.

I hope you have enjoyed the art work I have presented throughout this year, and the short stories they have inspired. This story, for the festive season, is inspired by my friend, Annie Gabriel’s painting. She has also illustrated many of my children’s books.

Double shot 25 x 30 -$65

There was laughter around the table as Judy lifted her glass and said “Some more please!”

Judy wasn’t known for drinking, but it was Christmas, and she had let her defenses down. Besides, after a year of feeling sorry for herself, the new year was coming, and it was a perfect time to make a fresh start.

Judy knew that her smile and her conversation hid a mountain of heartbreak. Her Mother had passed away during May, and she had felt so helpless as she had watched the life drained out of her. Cancer was such a horrible disease. Then her father had succumbed to a broken heart in September – he just couldn’t face a life without his wife.

To make matters worse, Judy had lost her job and her long-term boyfriend all in the same month as well. Dennis had said that he couldn’t cope with her depression, her constant tears and the way she had pushed him away in her grief. The fact that she had had so much time off at work caused the boss to suggest she take a long look at herself, take an extended holiday, and look for another job.

The party noise lifted to the next level and Judy sipped at the red wine, not particularly enjoying the taste. Entertaining and being entertained wasn’t within her comfort zone.

But she tried.

But Judy was amazed. Although she hadn’t forgotten, and never would, the traumas of the past year, she discovered that she could move on. She could be happy. She could enjoy life. That it wasn’t a betrayal of all that had gone before, but a celebration of her parents, a celebration of her life.

She knew that there would still be hard times ahead, but she decided as she smiled and raised her glass to the joy of the Christmas season, that she would learn to live again.

She felt a tap on her shoulder. A male voice interrupted her thoughts.

“You have such a nice smile.”

***

My chapter books for middle school children often have the theme of not giving up in them. For example ‘Petey’ tells of a bird left alone by jealous siblings having pushed him out of the nest. The environment is hostile, yet he has the will to survive.

Even my fantasy series about a wizard, Rosferado, tells of the re-education and hope of a bright future – more so in the 2nd book of the series – ‘Rosferado, wizard – Banished.’

These are available for $18AU plus postage – feel free to give me a message with your details so I know where to send it.

Rain, Elusive and Daytime

Here in the Mid North Coast of Australia, we are in the last month of winter. So far, there has been so little rain that I’m hoping my cows, goats and chickens on my property aren’t going to become extinct!!

The ground is like concrete and the grass is dying – in fact quite a lot of it has completely died. I am feeding my poor animals every day, and the cost of stock food continues to rise, as it becomes more and more scarce.

I really have tried to ‘drought-proof’ my land, but it isn’t easy. Although, I remember when I first moved here, nearly twenty years ago, the ground was empty of vegetation – it was just dust. So I haven’t done too badly, I suppose.

ISBN – 978-0-9876393-9-4 Contact me if you would like a hard copy.

Another thing that has been going well is the breeding, in China, of the fabulous Giant Pandas. They were considered close to endangered and now seem to have been brought back from the brink. I wrote a book – called ‘In Search of the Elusive Panda’ (a chapter book for children) and in my research was pleasantly surprised by the work that is going on in the field. This book is a ‘Kathy Edwards’ adventure, and I have decided to use that type of theme for my other books in the series. The next book in the series (now half written) concerns the sea-dragons off the Tasmanian Giant Kelp fields. And to be quite honesty – I’ve already planned out another 2 books with endangered turtles in one and a more general ‘rain-forest destruction’ in another.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there just isn’t enough daytime hours for me to do everything I would like to do. but I still persevere. There isn’t any point in joining ‘protest’ marches about climate change, the destruction of our environment and the wholesale extinction of so many of the world’s creatures, if I don’t actually do something about those problems. I’m hoping my books will educate the younger generation. The previous generations certainly didn’t have any idea what their practices were doing to our planet. I also have my doubts that today’s politicians care either. Their hip pocket seems to be the only thing that drives them. Let’s hope that will change radically in the future. (Although – having said that – if the dinosaurs hadn’t become extinct – we’d still be knee deep in them! – perhaps we should be thankful for that!!)