Grandma C's BlogGMAS Blog

Whom Will You Honor on Mother’s Day?

The idealized view of mothers that Hallmark cards so eloquently express in pictures and words is one I have never experienced. I never called my mother by anything other than her given name. Growing up and even as an adult, I never called her “Mother” or “Mom.” Lest you think I’m criticizing my mother, I hasten to add that I’m grateful that she gave me life. And I’m also thankful for the qualities she passed on to me, among them, my willingness to work hard, my sewing skills, my appreciation of music, and my determination and resilience. For sure, my

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London Book Show 2024: Embracing Technology in Publishing

My excitement rose in tandem with the altitude of the easyJet airplane that would fly 100 or so passengers, including my son and me, from Montpellier, France, to Gatwick Airport outside London. Our destination was the London Book Show, a three-day event in March that is one of the largest book shows in the world. Like other attendees, I was dazzled by the grandeur of the venue—the cavernous Kensington Olympia Hall—boasting over a thousand exhibitors and drawing an estimated 15,000 guests from around the globe. This year's event was a testament to the evolving landscape of the publishing industry, where

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Rediscovering the Sabbath

Do you observe the Sabbath? One day out of seven, do you step away from daily tasks and activities to reflect? To make sense of life? To find meaning and purpose? To go to a house of worship? When I was a single parent and breadwinner for my family and working at a job requiring an hour-plus commute daily, I couldn’t rest on Sunday. At best, I could carve out a few hours in the afternoon to play with my sons—maybe roller-skate in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco or hike in the hills above Berkeley. But even if I

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Should You Write a Memoir?

When I wrote Blackbird, the first of four memoir-based novels, I had no idea that the process would impact me in the way it has. I didn’t write a memoir to create a legacy for my three children, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. I have neither encouraged nor discouraged them from reading Blackbird or my subsequent novels, My Mother’s Daughter, The Perfect Mother, and The First and Last Lesson. (The fourth book will be available this summer.) Instead of a legacy, I hoped that sharing events in my life in fictional memoir form would be freeing for me and simultaneously

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The GOSPEL of Productivity

In Christianity, the word gospel refers specifically to the “good news” about the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the son of God, who was sent to earth to save humankind. But the word gospel preceded this definition. According to Britannica, the word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term god-spell, meaning “good story,” a rendering of the Latin evangelium and the Greek euangelion, meaning “good news” or “good telling.” Over time, an additional meaning of gospel as “a set of principles or beliefs” has evolved. This is the definition that I’m referring to when sharing my GOSPEL of productivity.

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“Love the One You’re With”

Stephen Stills released the song “Love the One You’re With” in 1970. He was reportedly at a party when he heard singer Billy Preston say, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with,” and it caught his attention. After getting Preston’s permission to use the phrase, he brilliantly wrote a song around it. I don’t know when I first heard the expression, and I don’t remember hearing Stills’s song. Consequently, I was dumbfounded when the expression kept repeating itself in my head during the holidays. And even now I hear it. Obviously, the advice

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Help! I Need Somebody!

Specifically, I need somebody—hopefully you—to take a few minutes to write a review on Amazon for my three novels. It can be a few words or a few sentences. Your comments will be incredibly useful to potential readers who are trying to figure out whether the books are right for them. If you need help crafting your sentences, let me know. Stringing words together is my current preoccupation. The mechanics of writing a review are simple. Click on one of the following links: Blackbird My Mother’s Daughter The Perfect Mother Scroll down and look for “Customer reviews” on the left

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Physicists Still Don’t Know What Vincent van Gogh Knew

When experts list the ten most famous painters in the world, van Gogh is usually included, even though he didn’t sell many paintings during his lifetime. He indeed resides in the #1 spot on my list. I recently wrote about visiting the Orsay Museum in Paris and being captivated by van Gogh’s The Starry Night. Not that I didn’t enjoy some of the other famous works on display painted by Manet, Monet, Gaugin, and Renoir, to name a few of the artists. The sculptures were incredible too. And thanks to an articulate guide, I learned more art history in a

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Bits and Pieces

During the holiday season, I found several interesting stories and videos that I’d like to share with you. No Dry January in France For the fourth year in a row, France’s government under Emmanuel Macron’s leadership has refused to participate in or promote Dry January, a month when citizens agree to consume no alcohol. No Dry January in France (Photo courtesy of Canva) A British charity, Alcohol Change UK, came up with the idea in 2013 as a health promotion to get people to cut back on their alcohol consumption—at least for one month. Abstinence, even for a month, however,

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Sharing My World in France

A girlfriend with whom I share a forty-year-plus friendship visited me in France in October. I was excited to see her after a long hiatus. My friend flew from San Francisco to Paris and then took the high-speed train to Montpellier. When my grandson and I picked her up at the train station, she had been up about 24 hours. Consequently, she was a tired puppy! I gave her a light supper and she went straight to bed. The only event planned the next day was a long talk session! We had so much to catch up on. Her husband

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