Nature Speak Tuesday, Aug 9 2022 

The trees,

and shrubs

and grass

and wildflowers

The animals

and birds

and bugs

and fish

The rivers

and oceans

and mountains

and beaches

The wind

and rain

and sleet

and snow

The moon

and sun

and stars

and sky

Speak

in whispers

and shouts

and songs

and tears.

(Photo: Michigamme River, Channing, MI, 7/3/21

Photo and Poem by Mary K. Doyle)

*

**Do you know that I’ve written 11 books? You can find all of them on my website.

The Book of Which I’m Most Proud Tuesday, Jun 14 2022 

A question I’ve been asked over the years is which of the books that I’ve written is my favorite. This is a question that is as impossible to answer as which child is my favorite. Each book is special to me. I’m proud of all of all of them for different reasons.

Each was written with an intent to fill a need. Each book was sent out into the world with a mission to offer information and consolation to a particular audience. Most have won awards and sold consistently well over the years. And now I’m very excited about a new book coming out this year, which I will tell you about at the end of this post.

Mentoring Heroes was my first book. Published in 2000, this book centered on my recognition through newspaper articles I’d written that successful people attributed their progress to the mentors who helped them along the way. I also recognized that women’s lives are complicated and multi-layered with family, household, and work responsibilities, and therefore, more challenging in finding ways in which to be mentored. Mentoring Heroes was widely used in university Women Studies programs and by clubs and groups. Today, I know that the book is dated in the way that it was printed–with copper plates and blue-line editing as opposed to today’s digital print method–and due to men participating more in household responsibilities and technology offering more ways in which to be mentored. Yet, the overall benefits and need for mentoring remains relevant.

The Rosary Prayer by Prayer, Grieving with Mary, and Fatima at 100. Fatima Today were inspired by a devotion to the Virgin Mary. These were the types of books I wanted to write since childhood. Praying with Mary should always lead to a greater devotion to her son, Jesus. Mary is our heavenly mother, and like a good mother, she loves us dearly, promotes peace among all creation, and encourages us to care for one another as Jesus does. Praying with her offers a sense of calm in a world where this type of alliance is greatly needed.

With the The Rosary Prayer by Prayer readers can pray along simply by following pages showing the placement on the rosary, the prayer to be prayed, illustrations by Joseph Cannella, and a reflection. Grieving with Mary is a best-seller that aligns praying with Mary in a wide variety of ways during times of loss. And Fatima at 100. Fatima Today is a little booklet that reviews Mary’s messages in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and how those messages remain vital in attaining peace.

Seven Principles of Sainthood Following Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God are books about a woman who immigrated to the United States to teach children and young woman. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, also known as Saint Theodora, and a small group of sisters opened schools throughout rural Indiana and Illinois in the mid to late 1800s, a time when Catholic schools were greatly needed and in which this band of women faced great obstacles. The sisters also opened a school for the higher education of women when women had little-to-no choice for such an opportunity. Seven Principles was written for adults and Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God was written for children. I was inspired to write these books after attending Saint Mary of the Woods College, the school Saint Mother Theodore founded, as well as her canonization in Rome, Italy.

Young in the Spirit was published in 2013 when I was closing in on one of those big decade birthdays (I was 60 in 2014-Yikes!). Big birthdays spark contemplation on where we came from, how we arrived at a particular point in time, and where we anticipate the future to bring us. One of the areas of contemplation for me was in regard to my faith—how it changed through the years and what I could offer the Church now. Those thoughts are at the heart of Young in the Spirit.

Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by The Message was part of a series initiated by my publisher, Greg Pierce. The series offers a unique way to promote prayer by pairing Scripture verses with passages from classic writings. I chose Hans Christian Andersen in remembrance of my mother and her childhood book, a 1936 edition of Anderson’s Fairy Tales, the same book from which my mother read to me.

Navigating Alzheimer’s, The Alzheimer’s Spouse, and Inspired Caregiving was born from a need recognized by Pam Sebern, the director of a memory care home where my husband resided in his last years. Pam asked for books to help families understand dementia and better care for their loved ones while caring for themselves along the way. She felt that the books available at that time were too medical and needed a perspective from one who lived the experience. As my husband suffered from symptoms from Alzheimer’s disease for more than 15 years, and I was an author with substantial writing experience, Pam believed I could fulfill that need.

Navigating Alzheimer’s covers the basics of Alzheimer’s and ways in which we can work with our loved one. It offers family members and caregivers a clear overall of the changes they’re likely to notice. The Alzheimer’s Spouse also covers the basics of the disease but from the perspective of the spouse. Alzheimer’s touches every aspect of both spouses in devastating ways. Inspired Caregiving provides readers with a daily/weekly boost of inspiration. Each weekly reflection follows a rotation that includes a photo, prayer, thought, activity, stretch, affirmation, quote, and bit of humor to offer guidance, encouragement, improved self-talk, and maybe a smile. All three of these books are recommended by memory care facilities across the country.  

My next book, which currently is in publication, is less serious. I believe readers and I are in need of opportunities that promote peace, beauty, love, and inspiration. For this reason, my newest book, tentatively called The Gifts of Public Gardens, showcases vivid photos of nature that I have taken at public gardens paired with short, thoughtful poems. My intent is for readers to escape into the positive, wonderous gifts around us. I will keep you posted on when this book will be available.

If you’ve read any of my books, please post a review on Amazon. Readers rely on these comments to find books best suited to their needs.

The Little Black Dog Wednesday, Apr 6 2022 

When my Grandpa McCarthy passed away, we found a little folded piece of paper in his wallet with a poem printed on it. My grandmother knew I loved poetry, so she gave me the paper.

The poem is meaningful to me on so many levels. It is beautifully written, and its message is thought-provoking. I can’t help but to ponder the scene when reading it. Mostly, the poem reminds me of my grandparents and their love for their German Shepherds.

Here is that special little poem.

The Little Black Dog

I wonder if Christ had a little black dog,

All curly and wooly like mine

With two silky ears and a nose round and wet,

And two eyes, brown and tender, that shine.

I’m sure if He had, that little black dog

Knew right from the start He was God,

That he needed no proof that Christ was divine

But just worshipped the ground that He trod.

I’m afraid that He hadn’t because I have read

How He prayed in the garden alone;

For all of His friends and disciples had fled –

Even Peter, the one called a stone.

And oh, I am sure that little black dog,

With a heart so tender and warm,

Would never have left Him to suffer alone,

But creeping right under His arm,

Would have licked those dear fingers, in agony clasped;

And counting all favors but loss,

When they took Him away would have trotted behind

And followed Him quite to the Cross.

– –Elizabeth Gardner Reynolds–

*I’m currently working on a couple of books on poetry. One should be out within about a year.

Reality Wednesday, Feb 16 2022 

Is my reflection

any less real than my

physical being?

(Mute Swan, Schaumburg, IL., 5/15/21)

* Would you like to connect with me on my Facebook page, website, or Linked In?

Hello Spring Tuesday, Apr 27 2021 

Spring

the awakening                        

of tulips in bloom.

the morning hymn

of doves in chorus,

the light, fragrant whiff      

of bright hyacinths,

the gentle caress

of fresh, warm breezes

the vibrant colors

of young life anew.

*

God is Love

Have you seen my website?

Paper Doll Monday, Apr 14 2014 

Paper Doll

See her pretty smiling face,

And see her lovely hair?

She doesn’t have a worry.

She doesn’t have a care.

*

She’s here for you to play with,

So, go and have your fun.

She’ll keep that smile on her face

Until the day is done.

*

Dress her in her many clothes.

She’s innocent in pink,

Yet, the same doll wearing black

Is sexy don’t you think?

*

She’s treated differently

With every change of clothes,

But inside she doesn’t change,

As everybody knows.

*

You change her clothes, not her soul,

No matter how you try.

You’ll never know how she feels

‘Cause paper dolls don’t cry.

*

Cruel words and thoughtless actions

Will hurt her deep inside,

But behind that smiling face

Her pain will always hide.

*

So smile pretty paper doll

Your perfect painted smile.

No one cares to know your pain

Along life’s lonely mile.

* * *

Who doesn’t feel that way at some time?

I wrote that old-style rhyming poem in 1989. It was a tough time for me. I felt fragile and thought that no one really knew or cared about what I was experiencing. I went through the motions of the day; showing up at work, church, and social activities but hurting deeply and feeling used, abused, and quite unnoticed. Sometimes I feel that way still.

You’ve probably felt that way also. And if you and I have, it is likely that others around us  feel the same way at least at one point or another. That rude sales clerk, driver who cut us off on the way to work, and even that same annoying neighbor or family member. We really don’t know how they feel, so let’s give them a break, at least once. The world is pretty stressed right now. If we all added one kind word or smile we can soften it at least a bit.

And when we think of those who hurt us, rather than allow their words or actions to raise our blood pressure or rob us of our joy, we can say, “Peace be with you.” Ironically, extending peace to them instantly promotes peace within ourselves.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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