Friday, April 25, 2014

Spirited Woman Award and updates

Now that the Scent of God is on Kindle, a great sense of relief pervades my writing life. The first two days it was downloaded 2, 997 times. Granted they were downloaded free, but hey, I'm not worrying. The main purpose was to share the story with as many people as I can reach. Now this nice little kudo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We are an Easter People

Have you ever received an Easter card proclaiming “We are an Easter People?”

In an article in the April 11-24, 2014 edition of The National Catholic Reporter, Peg Ekerdt wrote of having received such a card from “a mother of 13, grandmother of more, who was living with an advanced stage of breast cancer . . . Barb wanted all whom she loved to know that the power of faith transforms even death.” These words say more the traditional Happy Easter messages that do little save to remind us to dye the eggs, buy the chocolate bunnies, and perhaps . . . maybe . . . attend church to celebrate faith.

Who are these Easter people? Easter people probably don’t think of themselves as such. They might or might not be Christians. For that matter, they might not even believe in God. But Easter people surround us. They reveal themselves by the way they care for and love one another, the way they live with honor and honesty and work to make their bit of the earth a better place to live. They are the ones who share what they have with those needier than themselves, who celebrate the good that surrounds them, they are the ones who greet adversity with courage and yet continue to hope. Keep your eyes open for these “Easter People,” you might discover that you are one of them.

Peace and every good blessing,

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Small things and gratitude

January 13.2014
On this beautiful day—a day of golden sun and gentle breezes with the sky cloudless and the ocean tranquil—I think of you, my friends. So often, I’ve wanted to start this letter and just as often I’ve put it off. But today’s exultation makes it necessary to write to share this joy with you. Oh sure, you might be thinking. You’re down there in Florida and we’re locked here in icy, sub-zero temperatures; of course you’re happy. This morning, I came across the following words written by Chiara Lubich (1920-2008) which might explain why I write to tell you about something as simple as a beautiful day and why it reminds me to reach out to connect with you.

“Your neighbor is another you . . . When neighbors cry, you must cry with them, and when they laugh, laugh with them . . . Love whoever appears to you in the present moment of your life. You will discover within yourself an energy and strength you didn’t know you had.”

These words struck me because you’ve appeared to me in this present moment, and with this letter, I’ve breached distance and joined you. Perhaps in reading my greeting, your heart will lift like mine does when I hear from you. When we experience something wonderful, our immediate impulse is to share it. You wake your husband in the middle of the night to witness the northern lights. You call your friend in Colorado to tell them about Ann Patchett’s newest book. You invite a neighbor to the symphony because they are fans of the classic guitar and Pepe Romero is performing in concert. We share these moments hoping that person will experience something wonderful as well.

Besides this beautiful day, I want to tell you that my precious husband has been granted a new lease on life because of advances in cardiac care, which tops my list of things to be grateful for.  I celebrate the small condo in Florida where we can escape the bitter cold and I retain the use of my hands. I’m thrilled that my agent’s talented assistant, Daniel, helped me obtain a reversion of electronic publishing rights to The Scent of God. These rights will enable me to make The Scent of God available in e-book version. Meanwhile, primarily because of your belief and support, I continue to work on the sequel to The Scent of God. Scent took ten years to write and, at the snail-like but steady pace I’m working, the sequel might take just as long. I hope you will hang in there with me and spread the word when The Scent of God makes it onto Kindle and all the other e-book platforms out there. I will certainly let you know when both milestones (the e-book and the publication of the sequel )are accomplished.

Thank you for the joy I get when I think of you. Thank you for your letters, your e-mails, and all the ways you share  your lives with me. Thank you for the encouragement and strength with which you surround me. May your lives be similarly blessed.

© Beryl Singleton Bissell 2014

About Me

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Beryl is the author of The Scent of God: A Memoir published by Counterpoint NY in 2006 and A View of the Lake published by Lake Superior Port Cities Inc. in 2001. She’s been living on Lake Superior for seventeen wonderful years, and spent 10 years writing two popular columns for the Cook County News Herald: Newcomer Notes and Putting Down Roots. Beryl is past president of the Schroeder Area Historical Society and a long-time chair of its Oral History and Marketing committees. She is a past board member of the Violence Prevention Center in Grand Marais and committee member for the Grand Marais Art Colony’s first ever annual North Shore Reader and Writers Festival. She’s been published in the Sun Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, Lake Superior Magazine, and The Trenton Times and in the anthologies, Surviving Ophelia published by Perseus Publications in 2001 and The New Writer's Handbook, Vol. 2, published by Scarletta Press in 2008 and was named Best of Minnesota Writers by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She is currently working on her third memoir: the sequel to The Scent of God.