The Newsletter of 
AUGUST   2015


"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson
August 2nd has been coined as Friendship Day. As much as I believe good friends should be honored every day, it's not a bad idea to have a day dedicated exclusively to friends. Coincidentally, I have two dear friends who were actually born on this day, so this works just fine for me.

So, what is a friend? According to Webster's Dictionary, a friend is someone you like and enjoy being with and one who helps and supports someone or something.

This month, it is my honor to share the book reviews below of two of my dear and long-time friends. Congrats and kudos to  you both!



You Can Beat the Odds

(self-help) by Brenda Stockdale was a book I discovered a few years after my first cancer diagnosis. In fact, I met Brenda Stockdale at a writing and wellness conference where we were both teaching. In addition to be being blown away and inspired by her magnetic and brilliant personality, I was completely taken aback by  You Can Beat the Odds.


For patients and providers alike, this book is both inspiring and empowering. While it is geared toward those facing some type of illness, it can also be inspirational for loved ones and caregivers. The poignant foreword by Bernie Siegel, M.D., states that it's important to look at our potential and try to achieve it. He goes on to say: "When one is brought up with love and has self-worth and self-esteem, one does not fear becoming a responsible participant in one's life rather than a submissive, suffering patient."


Stockdale's breadth of knowledge in health and healing is extraordinary. In this book, she covers just about everything: diet, brain health, health myths, stress, healing, music, energy healing, immune function, survival, biology, and the reason why we're all here. She doesn't miss a medical or philosophical subject, and each page encourages reflection.


I'm an individual who believes in gut feelings, and I like the way Stockdale addresses the subject by saying that having a gut feeling isn't simply a metaphor, but rather, the lining of the intestines is a rich receptor site for brain chemicals in the body, which scientists have referred to as the "second brain." She says that this illustrates the strong communication between the body and the mind. 

Throughout the book, Stockdale is continually checking in with readers to see how they feel about a particular discussion or idea. In this way, she remains in close contact with those who are reading the material. The book is also filled with exercises that put readers in touch with the strong mind-body-spirit connection.


Sewing Holes
(novel)  b y Darlyn Finch is a debut  novel  written by a woman who has been a wordsmith for most of her life. As the editor of the newsletter Scribbles, she has been generous in her honoring of other writers. Now it's time that she herself is honored with the same grace and love.

 was lucky to have read this book in the galley stage and blurb it, and I am thrilled to know that it is now available on bookstore shelves. I admire the courage of Finch in writing a book crafted with such precision and love.


I also bless Kuhn's heart for writing

Sewing Holes which offers character studies that remind us that we spend our lives sewing up the holes in our family's history. The important thing is that we try to do this with love as the stitching. The protagonist in this book graciously invites the reader into southern sensibilities, while offering a range of universal wisdoms, such as "I think our lives are what they are because of the choices we make." 

Very compelling. I read it in one sitting. For California folks, be advised that Finch will be doing a reading in Montecito at Tecolote Books on Saturday, August 2nd at 3pm. Refreshments will be served.



If you have just released a new book or have read a book you highly recommend, please share the title and author by emailing me. I love supporting the accomplishments and passions of my readers.  Thank you! 

Write a letter to a dear friend. You can choose to send it or keep it for posterity.

Creatively yours,

P.S. Please send any comments to
(Subject: Newsletter) 

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