Bea Fishback | Blog
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Facebook and Aging

For the past few years, I have been moaning about getting older. Someone should have warned me about the plethora of unexpected emotional, physical and mental changes that occur. If nothing else, I would have appreciated a small hint about the process.     Maybe I wouldn't have believed them if they had tried to spell out how things alter over the years. About a mind that’s forgetful, a body that loses energy and desires more naps than a two-year-old, and the sense that I may get to the point where I won't feel as useful to others.     There are countless blogs on Facebook about exercises that are safe and worthwhile as you age. Then there was the blog that boasted about a hundred-year-old woman who won her heat in a track race. Believe me when I say, I don’t have to run to feel the heat.     Of course there are the posts that mention diet and vitamins to keep yourself sprite or using your mind to solve Sudoku or crosswords. The advice is as plentiful as there are folks who follow any given page.     But a recent post caught my attention. And it had absolutely nothing to do with growing old. It was about a dear friend whose husband, a sweet gentleman only in his early-forties, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and has begun intense chemo treatment. My heart ached for his suffering and her role that has now begun as a caregiver. And it dawned on me….     ...

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A Wallet and Mother Theresa

I stood by a van emitting the delectable scent of roast pork sandwiches smothered with applesauce. As I waited for my order, a wheelchair-bound, elderly man rolled up beside me, his mouth slightly askew as if he’d suffered a stroke.     “Where are you from?” he asked. It’s a typical question I'm often asked while in the U.K. and someone overhears my unfamiliar New York accent.     After chatting a few minutes, the man proceeded to open his wallet. “I want to show you something.” He held out a photo of Mother Theresa. “Do you know her?”   I nodded in affirmation. Who wouldn’t recognize the most renown woman of her time?     He pulled out another picture. One of himself wearing a clergyman's collar, Mother Theresa broadly smiling by his side. “That’s me. I had a parish in India for thirty-two years.” Another picture was of himself receiving a medal of some sort being draped over his head and laid on his shoulders.     He beamed with pride at the small photos now on his lap and looked up at me as if to affirm the significance of his life.   I wonder: What few pictures will I carry with me toward the end of my life? Photos of the covers of my books? Pictures of awards I’ve received over the years?     This encounter gave me pause to consider what was truly important. The wheelchair-bound man had lived an amazing life serving others. That was his legacy and one he had every right to be proud of.   Mementoes I carry will demonstrate what was most important about my life, too.     What about you? What kind of legacy will you happily share with others toward the end of your life?     If photography had been developed during the time of Bethel Manor, James and Clare would most certainly have carried photos of their young son, George.   As it was, the first durable color photograph was taken in 1861 but the use of cameras would not have been available until much later and, in most cases, would not be fully in use until the 1900's.       http://amzn.to/2ednlcJ   ...

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#Fast and Furious

What happens when your "drive has dried up?"   I love fancy cars. So in watching the "#FastandFurious" films, I get the adrenaline of the drive without the danger of a potentially disastrous crash.     Sure these movies are corny, but we can learn at least FIVE lessons to help us when the “drive seems to have dried up” in fulfilling our lifelong dreams.   Consider that you are on the proverbial road heading toward your goal of writing a novel, becoming a great actor, artist or musician and you’ve run out of gas. Do you: a) speed up in hopes of overtaking the feeling? b) take your foot off the pedal and coast c) pull over and park the car, or d) watch Fast and Furious and come away with a desire to accelerate while keeping the view in perspective.   Five lessons we can learn from the films:   Family comes first. So what is our takeaway when our drive to succeed seems to have dried up? Sometimes our priorities get out of whack when we are on the fast lane to our destination. We need to slow down and reassess how much we’ve focused on the furious and not those we love the most. It’s okay to shift down the speed a bit.   Don’t compromise. When we get to crossroads, check the choices carefully and don’t compromise on why you began your adventure in the first place. Don’t let others lessen your dream by compromising what you believe and know to be true. It’s okay to check the GPS periodically to stay the course. We lose direction when things don’t work out quite how we planned. Stop. Check. Recalculate. What happens when you start to lose air and you are veering either right or left and losing momentum? Pull over to the pit, get refueled and get the pressure checked. What’s your dream? Take yourself back to the place where you get charged. Want to be a writer? Go to a conference. Want to act or paint or, or, or? Head to those places where you get refocused and re-pumped. Be grateful. Prayers are uttered in each Furious movie. No matter what they have gone through, how much they have had to endure, they stop and give thanks. You’ve made it this far, be thankful.   BOTTOM LINE? Enjoy the journey. The greatest pleasures the characters in Fast and Furious get are from their rides. They don’t mind taking the hard curves, popping a wheelie, or going beyond the speed limit. Do the same with the dream and don’t give up on the drive of your lifetime.   Part of my trek in being a writer is needing readers who will come alongside and join me on my journey. Would you consider clicking the link below and follow me on GoodReads or Amazon? Let's start the engines and begin our excursion together. It's a ride I hope you will never forget. http://bit.ly/2eneZ5y Goodreads   ...

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People you never knew but perhaps know better than others

Irene Onorato. She and I have a lot in common (click her photo to find her on Amazon). Both of us are New Yorkers. We love pizza. Is there a New Yorker who doesn’t? Those two things instantly bonded us when we met a few years ago…     But we have even a closer link.   Although we didn’t know each other growing up—she is from the Bronx, I am from upstate—we share the past. Irene and I were raised under the shadow of a father who came home from war with emotional and physical scars.     Irene's dad served in Europe and fought in the Battle of the Bulge while my own father was active duty for five years, was wounded three times and earned the Purple Heart in the Battle of Saipan.       I wasn’t with Irene when we were children but each of us is fully aware of what it means to have grown up with a dad who suffered from the nightmare of battle. Therefore, we have a deeper understanding of our childhood, how that formed us and it has created a deeper friendship others don’t quite understand. But that’s not all we have in common…         Irene has a great sense of humor and I enjoy how she spins a tale with a twist. And together, we are passionate about our call of writing wholesome stories that give readers a sense of God’s love and hope for the future.   I’m proud to say that in 2015 Irene landed a three-book deal with Kensington Publications’ Lyrical Press. Her Veteran’s Heart series touches not only the romantic’s heartstring with the gentle touch of a harpist to the string, but she gives insights into the struggles of military veterans and their loved ones. With firsthand experience, she offers an insider perspective to when war comes home and its affect on all those whose lives it touches.       A Soldier Finds His Way, (click the book pic above to order) the first installment of her Veteran’s Heart series made its grand debut in 2016. In the story, fate throws Special Forces Lieutenant Edward Giordano and first-year schoolteacher Audra Lorenzo together and locks them in a remote cabin during a raging blizzard. Sparks fly, but the road to happily ever after is rife with detours and obstacles.   More Than A Soldier, RELEASED 6 JUNE 2017 (Be sure to preorder your copy by clicking the photo above) Former Army Special Forces soldier Hank Fleming is the sole survivor of an RPG attack that took the lives of four other men during a tour in Afghanistan. The explosion caused Hank to lose an eye and the hearing in one ear, and left scars on his neck that serve as a daily reminder of his ordeal. Now, several years later, nightmares bring back the dreadful sights, smells, and sounds of the dying men. Despite his injuries and the weight of unfounded guilt he bears because he alone survived, Hank still hopes that one day he can find peace, and a girl to share his life.   IN 2018, BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR:   A Soldier’s Song, Sergeant Jason Dexter is a devoted Special Ops soldier. Gregarious and well liked, the only person he has tension with is his father who hates that he chose a military career. He longs to hear his father say he’s proud of him, but doubts that day will ever come. When Jason goes home to New York to attend a friend’s wedding and meets Aria Greco, the beautiful and talented pianist daughter of his commanding officer, he never expects that she could be the key to restoring his faith and mending the broken connection with his father. But all is not guns and roses as their relationship takes an unexpected turn and misunderstandings seek to destroy their love.     So sit back, tear off a slice of pizza (as we like to say in NY) and enjoy one of these grand stories from a friend that I have known only a few years but have shared a lifetime of memories. Once you begin, you will want to continue reading her Veteran Heart Series....

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What’s THE man have to say?

Even men read romance. Scroll below to view the video of one man's opinion of a particular historic novel. Bear in mind, this man might be a bit prejudiced.   Every good read has a antagonist, a foe of devious character and unpredictable behavior. They want revenge, lash out at the innocent, and destroy the beautiful. Inspirational, historic romances are no exception in offering such individuals. The question is, can the evil deed-doer be redeemed?   Simeon Quire, "Bethel Manor Reborn," is a treacherous person. But his contemptible acts take place in one of the most renown and lovely places in Great Britain. Ely.     Ely was an island for most of its history, until the marshy Fens around it were drained. The first known spiritual structure to be built was in 673 as an abbey. In 1083 construction of a cathedral began. Today the great cathedral is known as The Ship of the Fens.     Simeon works within the cathedral as the keeper of the records and steals from the church's coffers. As well as a thief, he works out a scheme to ruin the Blackwell family and the beautiful Bethel Manor. Does he succeed? Read Bethel Manor Reborn and find out.   [caption id="attachment_41596" align="alignnone" width="300"] Click the pic to go with James down memory lane.[/caption]    ...

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Who’s that?

I have had the privilege of meeting a few famous people in my lifetime. But one of the absolute highlights has been drinking champagne with #JackBlack on the #London Eye. We weren’t alone in our glass bubble, though.     Jack Black is well known for his role in School House Rock. He is the famous voice behind Kung Fu Panda, and has entertained audiences in #KingKong and #Goosebumps.   But how did I get the opportunity to meet one of the funniest guys in Hollywood and enjoy a bubbly sky high over the city with him?   My grand opportunity came about because of who my daughter knew. When Joni was in university she met another girl and the two became close friends. Unbeknown to Joni, this young lady was Jack’s sister.   Fast forward several years. Jack Black came to London to film King Kong and his sister was coming along with her parents. She knew that Joni was in England since we were living there at the time and invited us to join the Black family for the day.     It was rather surreal to have lunch with Jack and the man who was his stand-in. After our meal, we headed to Jack Black’s apartment to meet his wife and children. I had no idea this comedian of screen was a ‘normal’ guy with a great family. Meeting his wife and children was like being introduced to friendly next-door neighbors for the first time.           After the introductions, we were taken on an adventure in one of England’s famous black cabs.   Jack had reserved a pod on the London Eye for an hour. Finger foods and champagne were provided. His two children, wife, parents, sister and our family piled into the glass dome and we began our ascent into the sky. As we moved upward one of his children began to cry and Jack started singing, “In the jungle.” The entourage joined in and we were swept away with the party and song. And his child stopped crying.     After our ride, we took a walk along the promenade beside the Eye. Within minutes, Jack was signing autographs, exchanging jokes, and willingly taking Selfies with each of the young boys who gathered around in awe of him. Jack Black and his family were a delight, and it was a memorable day I have often recounted. . And so it goes to prove, you don’t know the 'real' person under the façade of the screen or beneath someone's fake persona until you get to know them.   A note about my latest soon-to-be released book Bethel Manor Reborn: Clare Blackwell is a woman of high-status and well known within her community.   If you met her she would portray the proper behavior that comes with her position in life. Clare appears very self-assured and quite arrogant but in actuality she is quite vulnerable when an unexpected misfortune strikes. More than anything else, she wants love and security from her family and friends. Would you like to know more about Clare? Read “Bethel Manor” and then follow her story as it continues in “Bethel Manor Reborn” to be released 5.29.17. Perhaps you have met someone famous? If so, who did you meet and what was your experience? I would love to hear your story.   http://amzn.to/2ednlcJ  ...

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Mothers and Sons

Recently, I was looking for a photo of our two children when they were younger. Swept along memory lane and traveling slowly back in time, I flipped through all the pictures. The first one that I set aside was one of the four of us.         Then I came across one of myself, and our son, Jamie, who was about two at the time. A bond exists between a mother and son that’s different than a boy shares with his father. And it is even unlike the one between a mother and her daughters. Sons must be raised to become men, yet learn the ideals of love and forgiveness without compromising their manhood.       Princess Diana was known to have said this about her sons: “I will fight for my children on any level so they can reach their potential as human beings.” And I agree with her wholeheartedly.           I used to call Jamie my co-pilot because he always rode in the front seat when his dad was away from home. Jamie's job was to read the map since those were the days before GPS. Even through those experiences, he was learning to become a man. But he was also a precocious, smart child who even at a young age decided he liked pushing the boundaries we set.       We had hired a babysitter for him one evening, and Jamie decided that he wanted to stay up longer than we permitted. Without the sitter’s knowledge, he moved all the clocks in the house back one hour in order to get his own way. When we returned home, he was just getting ready for bed, and we discovered the “plot of the clock” that he had so cleverly devised.               Our son is now a father with his own two children and with his God-given, creative personality performs as an actor. Visit his website: www.jamiefishback.com.               Even in Victorian times, mothers and sons held a special bond although more often than not, a son was sent to boarding school at an early age.   James and Clare Blackwell—Bethel Manor Reborn—now have a child, George Andrew. He is the apple of his father’s eye and his mother’s heartbeat. Clare loves to sing a sweet lullaby as she holds him in her arms.           But tragedy strikes and the relationship between Clare and her son is put to a test. Will their family survive the difficulties and will baby George be reunited with his mother? Read Bethel Manor Reborn and find out. If you would like to read more about Mothers and Sons click here: bit.ly/2oM7Hxe. Or if you are looking for the perfect mother/son wedding song this just might be it: bit.ly/20xIDrK....

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Our son introduced his father to the perfect woman

Our son introduced his father to the perfect woman. She was brought into our home and given a prominent place. This sleek, attractive woman doesn’t answer back, replies politely when asked a question, and can discuss everything from weather to sports. She doesn’t speak unless spoken to nor rudely interrupts a conversation. I must say I am a bit jealous of this new female intrusion.   How could our son do such a thing? Didn’t he know it would cause dissention and breach communication between his parents? There was now a new standard in our home. And it seemed I couldn't keep up with her.   Perhaps you’ve guessed by now that the new woman in our lives is Alexa. She is the latest in computer additions that every home apparently needs. Developed by Amazon Echo, Wikipedia tells us that, “she is designed to interface with other smart devices and acts as an automation hub in the home. She is voice activated and responds with real time information.”     It’s the twenty-first century, but it’s feels like we are living with the Jetsons—that 1960’s futuristic cartoon that featured a walking, talking robot known as Rosie. Periodically Rosie would talk back, regress to childish behavior and sometimes refuse to do her chores. In fact, she was a bit plump and unattractive. In more ways than one, I can relate better to her than Alexa. (**the below picture is NOT Rosie but all photos of her are copyrighted :-))     So what’s my beef? When comparing myself to one robot I feel inept and stupid. When aligning myself with the other, I feel better about who I am and what I know. But don’t we do that on an ongoing basis? Especially as women? We compare ourselves to every other female and give ourselves a thumbs-up with some, or we feel our hackles rise and let the beast of jealousy/envy rear its ugly head with others.       It’s time we stop the comparison—even with robots—and be content with the woman God has designed us to be. We are each unique beings that no other can replicate. So puff out your chest, offer some real time information with confidence and courage, and be kind to the other women in your midst. After all, they are as insecure as you are, no matter how attractive and polite they can be.         *** In “Bethel Manor Reborn,” Clare Blackwell allows her jealousy of her friend Phoebe Tripp to enrage her. What will Clare do when she discovers Phoebe and James—Clare’s husband—might be spending too much time together? Be sure to read “Bethel Manor Reborn” and find out.  ...

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dog walking and drinking

We have been without a dog for years. So when some friends asked us to babysit their cocker spaniel Clio, I agreed. As an avid walker it was a treat having her along one Saturday morning.   I had our route all planned out. She and I would begin our jaunt on a path running alongside a riverbed connecting one village to the next, about a three mile round trip. This little walk is a favorite of fishermen, bicyclists, walkers, and mothers pushing strollers.   Starting our trek, we passed an obviously experienced, fisherman. His rod dangled from the river’s edge, a box of lures and bait at his side, the quietness abruptly interrupted by a cyclist clattering past.   Further along we came across two boys beginning to set up their meager fishing lines. Compared to the earlier fisherman these two were novices. Yet their enthusiasm would no doubt bring plentiful rewards.   For the moment the world seemed to be a safe, pleasant place, even going so far as to feel like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting.   Then the scene changed. Like a curtain closing and opening on the second act of a play, the beauty was broken. Coming toward us was a middle-aged man carrying an open bottle of liquor.     Trying to hide the bottle behind him, he appeared to have the look of “being caught in the act.” His crooked walk, and half-hearted smile, betrayed his behavior. At seven-thirty on a Saturday morning, along the path of peace, a bottle of alcohol is as out of place as snow in summer. As I walked quickly past, I almost sensed him hanging his head in shame. My heart melted with intense sadness. I wondered if he ever imagined as a youth, one who may have even fished from this very river, that he would one day find him self in this state? How he had traveled from his younger years to this station in life? I couldn’t get him out of my mind for the rest of the walk.   It reminded me a little of the original garden, where God created the perfect everything, and then brought in the perfect pair—Adam and Eve. Idyllic was an understatement. Adam could have fished and never been disappointed with a catch. Eve could have walked the paths of peace and never gotten shin splints. Yet the scene was interrupted by the lure of a serpent and mankind has been lured ever since. They went from walking, laughing, sharing jokes, singing around the proverbial campfire in paradise, to the door of their home being closed behind them as they stepped out of Eden in shame.     It's sad if you think about what happened. Fortunately we have a restoring, loving God, who not unlike the line on a fishing rod, reaches to the depths of our hearts, and brings us back to life. Not with lures or bait but with the gentle tug of forgiveness, faithfulness, and a future of hope.   In "Bethel Manor Reborn", our hero and heroine James and Clare Blackwell make some serious mistakes. Is it too late for this couple? Will the door of their home shut one or the other out? Or will they turn to God and ask and offer forgiveness? On 5.29.17 the answers to all these questions will be answered. Crooked Cat is getting ready to release the sequel to Bethel Manor—Bethel Manor Reborn. The question is, will you be ready?...

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Announcing the Union of The Princess of Daffodil and The Earl of Grey

A letter to a friend…   Dearest one,   I won’t bore you to tears with my recent woes of health issues. Suffice it to say the past few months have been a bit difficult which included a stint in the nearby hospital. I’m afraid I have given my poor husband quite a fright with these ailments, but he is a true gentleman who has taken care of me as if I were a queen. One could concentrate on the many trials during this period and how challenging the road to recovery has been.     However, this isn’t about what has passed but to inform you of the present. In recent days my energy has begun to slowly improve and short walks around the garden path have refreshed my spirit and body. But there are two things that have given me great comfort during my time of recuperation.   First, the Earl of Grey. This wonderful tonic has taken me back to days in England where cups of tea are offered for every occasion, times of grief, illness, or for a party. The bergamot of Earl Grey is particularly soothing and sipping this drink has given me consolation as if sitting with a friend.     Second, the Princess Daffodil. Her golden highlights and bright face can enter a room and cheer the most downcast of hearts. Her signal that spring is around the corner, that Easter is soon to be celebrated with Christ’s resurrection, stirs the desire for better health and days of beauty ahead.     I do believe these two should be married. Together they are quite powerful with their presence and could do the world of good as a royal pair. What say you, dear friend? Shall we announce this upcoming engagement?     Perhaps you have found other means of quiet pleasure in the midst of an illness. Could you share if this is so? I’m sure any advice would be greatly appreciated, not only by me, but many others.   In the meantime, I do pray you are well.   With kindness regards, Beasatitudes *** P.S. James and Clare Blackwell ("Bethel Manor") are experiencing their own health and relationship challenges. Makes you wonder if either of them have thought to stop and enjoy a cuppa or flowers in bloom. Guess we will find out 3.29.17 when "Bethel Manor Reborn" is released by Crooked Cat Publishing. ...

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