Tag Archive: Renewal


Snow Globe

In the world outside a double hung window, today is a bright and beautiful day!

What, you think not? Outside, there is a snow globe with the authenticity of a vintage card.

In the distance, a wind-blown plume rises from a snowblower hidden among piles of snow that climb higher and higher.

Momentarily, my heart plummets. Today it would be easy to hide inside my comfort zone, writing, baking, wishing to keep appointments but allowing the ever-growing snowbanks to hold me captive, and wondering how to out maneuver the polar vortex with its ever increasing onslaught of fluffy whites.

Cabin fever is taking shape.

A second Code Red Alert in two days demands that residents stay off the hazardous roads and prepare for sub-freezing temps. I consider my readiness to wield the snow shovel, especially considering a recent bout of tennis elbow. Why am I reluctant to go out into the snow globe? Judging by photos snapped from an open door, there are already sixteen inches on the ground and they are heavy with moisture. But wait. Another eight inches is coming! Shovel I must.

Little do I know that a spiritual revolution is also beginning to take shape. Breaking out of the cabin and roaring down an open drive is more than a dream. Motor freedom is critical to our survival in this modern age. So are sidewalks that are open to navigation.

This time I will defeat Mother Nature. I will keep the sidewalks open. How? By employing the best-kept secret I have to defeat overwhelming situations… a ‘can do’ attitude.

I don four pairs of thermal leggings,  three-inch-thick mittens with metallic ski liners, and check to see if my warming solution – brandy – still lives in an abandoned dishwasher, a cache maintained year to year only as a protective mechanism to guarantee that I carry out the hideously lonely job of snow removal. Retrieving a media device loaded with music from a table beside the door, I look back with reluctance at the warm, comfortable living room as if for the last time.

I am a woman on a mission. I can do this. Never mind that the music stops playing every time the headphones move. Restoring a music connection is a powerful thing that is easily done in a small moment. Disregard that the dishwasher containing the brandy is only abandoned because it needs fixing; the drain overflows on a consistent basis and floods the kitchen floor because the sink drain doesn’t work all the time. Then again, I have to disregard the image of a comfy, energy robbing recliner inviting me to snuggle beside the fireplace.

Comparing the snow emergency to other life crises that need attention elevates the driveway to top priority. I could go on endlessly listing potential barriers. Yet, having bolstered my ‘can do’ attitude with warm clothes and lively music to brighten my soul, I begin to shovel.

My commitment lasts for five minutes, until… voila, a hot new neighbor comes out to help. Two fellas snowplowing the drive next door see my plight and launch enthusiastically into the shovel brigade. Afterward they receive my warmest blessing, but none one of them will accept compensation beyond a simple thank you for their help and companionship.

Shoveling went well. Back inside in less than ten minutes, I forgot all about the promised comfort of sipping brandy. The dishwasher remains shut for another year.

I stare through a window at the now open driveway, closing the blinds halfway to filter out a bright glare. Slowly a realization breaks through.

From time to time, I need to step outside my circle of comfort.  I need to let go of my staunch independence, reach out, and let others help. Helping me meets their needs too.

There are times when all I have to do is approach a challenge with a light-hearted smile, ready to plunge in, do my part, and hope the rest falls into place. Sometimes this works, other times it does not. When’s it’s all over, though, I will want to have done my best to effect a positive outcome.

The point? Gloom and doom cannot get us down if we remember to look for a bright spot on the flip side of every challenge. Pitfalls often conceal payoffs. Everyday miracles abound in the pitfall zone. It is easy to overlook those blessings and other small, yet significant, life offerings that we find after climbing from life’s inevitable potholes. Counting blessings is another way of expressing gratitude, which, in turn, gives rise to strength and resiliency and a savvy knowing that even a kind and gentle spirit can handle bad along with the good.

Surrender to your life dreams that wait in the spectacular world outside the double hung window.

… Carolyn Tody

Quote of the Day ~ “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” … Anne Frank

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New Books ~

Previous Books ~

Small Towns Cover  Small Towns: A Map in Words ~

With full page spread Artwork by C.J. Tody, CTA                       

Published 9/29/2009 in print form by Writing at the Ledges and may be purchased at http://www.writingattheledges.com/. Contains my stories “Treasures Beyond Measure,” and “Eye O’ the Storm,” two romantic poems, and my artwork (right) as a map to the seven categories, or ‘sections of town’. Reviews ~Mittenlit: “…this isn’t your typical anthology…the writing is original, imaginative and revolves around themes ranging from “Corner Cafe” to “Country Roads”.  The 300 p+ book also has very good production values and the cover art is striking. I don’t think there is a typo in the book.” Ray Walsh, Lansing State Journal ~ “Treasures Beyond Measure” by multi-media artist C.J. Tody, is a nifty tale dealing with childhood memories.

Seasons of Life - Cover Front and Back    Seasons of Life ~ Published March 2011 in print by Writing at the Ledges and may be purchased at  http://www.writingattheledges.com/. Reviews: Ray Walsh for the Lansing State Journal: “Carolyn Tody’s “Music of the Wind” focuses on the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964, with very descriptive imagery of damage and destruction.”  In addition, the book includes  “Falling for Fall” and “Fireside Nights.”

Announcing the arrival of  three new books

~ This season, a variety of publishers included new stories in 2 new books with a 3rd coming ~

Product Details“Seasons Readings: A Collection of Holiday Themed Short Stories
Publisher: Lia Fairchild. Collaboratively written by contributing authors listed below.  Appeared in eBook form on Smashwords and Amazon December of 2011:  ~ http://www.amazon.com/Seasons-Readings-Collection-Holiday-ebook/dp/B006IUUIYE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1324440749&sr=1-1.   Price: FREE ~ Holiday Gift

-Home for Christmas by Lia Fairchild (Approx. 7,000 words)
-Christmas Without You by Mel Comley (Approx. 1,300 words)
-Legacy of Sandy Klausse by Valerie Maarten (Approx. 7,000 words)
-Jade Elephant Libby Fischer Hellmann (Approx. 3,500 words)
-Eleanor’s Christmas Surprise by Tania Tirraoro (Approx. 3,200 words)
-Christmas Rainbows by Melissa A. Smith (Approx. 1,300 words)
-A Basketball, A Storm Drain and a Choo-Choo Train by Sue Owen (Approx. 8,500 words)
Silver Bells by Carolyn Tody, CTA (as Cactus Rose) (Approx. 2,600 words)
-Kate and The Irishman by Mary Pat Hyland (Approx. 5,000 words)

Product Details“A Whimsical Holiday for Children: to Benefit Children’s Charities“.    The second book to appear on Amazon in eBook (and print) form in December 2011 was: http://www.amazon.com/Whimsical-Holiday-Children-Childrens-ebook/dp/B006MQ1A0K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1324441545&sr=1-1  Paul & Paula Publishing. Price: $5.99 on Amazon or FREE in Kindle Lending Library for 90 days.

Collaboratively written by the Peacock Writers (a group of five authors for whom I coined a name, from the United States and United Kingdom, who focused their talents on raising funds to benefit children fallen prey to disabling circumstances or natural disasters. Each author contributed in the past by means of a group electronic publishing site. The new venture is designed to allow this dedicated group to donate more freely by releasing at least one annual collection.)  Charities will be chosen for the global impact upon children aged zero to fifteen.  Please support their efforts to improve this initiative.  Happy Reading!

This book contains a variety of original holiday-themed children’s literature, short stories and poetry imbued with whimsicality, a liberal sprinkling of holiday magic, and earnest desire to share the awe and wonder of Christmas with children from late toddler to early adolescence.  All proceeds from this initial publication will be sent to children’s charity.

Stories include:  Gingerbread Castle (Carolyn Tody), A Titus Adventure with Cedric and Santa (Carol Wills), Little Horse Wears Antlers (Carol Wills), The More the Merrier (Paula Shene) and Santa’s Secret (Gwenna D’Young).

Whimsical poetry includes:  Chocolate Town, Snow Fairies, and SnowBuddy (all 3 by Carolyn Tody). Surfin’ Santa and Santa Means (Gwenna D’Young)

  Eagerly anticipated:  “Voices from the Beyond,” a collection of true stories with the story “Winsome Spirit” by C.J.Tody written as CactusRose.   Italian publisher Annarita Guarnieri has joined Ink’nBeans Press since requesting the story and we are awaiting the outcome.

     New in March 2012 ~ A wonderful gift!

The Rain Cloud’s Gift,” The Peacock Writers’ Spring Renewal    Collection  is themed with rainbows, and is now on Amazon Kindle at:  (http://www.amazon.com/Peacock-Writers-Childrens-Charities-ebook/dp/B007QCST12/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1333662100&sr=1-2). Paperback (http://www.amazon.com/The-Rain-Clouds-Gift-Childrens/dp/1475110928/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1333662100&sr=1-2-catcorr)

This book will also be sold by BookRix.com, at:  http://www.bookrix.com/_title-en-gwenna-d-039-young-carol-wills-carolyn-tody-paula-shene-n-barry-carver-laszlo-kugler-chris-clarke-li

Eight authors contributed to this edition. For my gift, I wrote one story and a poem. “White Peacock” begins the tales of Brambleberry Lane along the border of the Patchwork Forest by continuing the Ginger of Witherworm Villa saga. The story introduces Grayson, a white peacock with restorative powers, and Rainbow Painter, a fairie who lives at the bottom of Ginger’s garden. By the time Ginger discovers Grayson hiding across the lane, the thief who stole his colors is long gone. His mate Tealfeather and her chicks no longer recognize him. Another peacock vies for her attention as Grayson and Ginger race against time to restore his pigment.  The journey to reunite the peafowl family results in unexpected twists and turns.  I also chose to write a poem about a Raggedy Rainbow that led a child to discover and reclaim long-lost wishes and hold them close while realizing his or her dreams. The Rain Cloud’s Gift will appear in early June 2012 at the International Book Expo America, held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC, for display with other books for view by industry publishing publicity professionals. An interview with the five original authors in edition one, A Whimsical Holiday for Children, will soon appear in the Literary Lunes online magazine.

Why did I offer the group the use of the name “Peacock Writers?”  In early December 2011 the first edition was going to press just as I was about to have major surgery for diagnostic purposes that included removing an organ. At that time I had already been through major health testing for a lump that appeared earlier in the year. Doctors treated me at two cancer centers in my city ordering tests I had never even heard of.  Two surgeries followed. Something needed to brighten the horizon and strengthen my faltering optimism.

That was when the brainstorm came forth: some of the most brilliant colors anywhere abound in the iridescent peacock feather. The newly formed children’s charity writers needed a name and a unifying theme. Why not the peacock? Throughout ancient and modern history the bird has symbolized renewal, rejuvenation, and purity of heart. The group agreed, and the Peacock Writers published their first edition.

Three days before Christmas, doctors determined that no cancer was ever found. While it was a terrifying and painful year for me, I am grateful for their loyal perseverance. Also for the removal of a ‘ticking time bomb’ in the form of what became diagnosed as benign fibroid tumors.  As for the opportunity to connect the richly colorful image of a peacock to a diverse and growing group of talented writers ~ I must say that each author has a heart as large as the royal fan displayed when the peacock spreads its feathers!

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