"Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms."
~ George Eliot, British Author

July is the official start of the summer. Many people are excited to finally be traveling again. The month is kicked off by July 4th and where I live in Santa Barbara, California, the streets become congested with tourists. I wonder how much the price of gas will affect this year's travelers.

The next holiday of note this month is July 11th - All American Pet Photo Day. Those of us who have pets certainly have our share of photos. My first pet as a child was a cat. Pixie and then I took a break from animals until I became a mother--knowing that dogs are great companions for kids. We got a standard poodle, Tikka, who lived with us until my son went to college 17 years later. Just two years before Tikka died we acquired Spunky, a maltese poodle who is now seventeen and going strong, in spite of being deaf and blind. I'm amazed how easily he gets around! A psychic friend once told me that Spunky lives for me, and I feel that strongly as I look down beneath my desk and there he is. When I go out, I have been told that he howls with sadness. Such a close connection we have with animals.

Below are photos of my 17-year-old maltese poodle, Spunky! I'd love to hear about your pets!
On another note, my poetry chapbook, AN IMAGINARY AFFAIR: POEMS WHISPERED TO NERUDA, will be out in a few weeks. One of the most frequent questions I receive is about why I love Neruda enough to dedicate a book to him, so I've detailed this my article: "Why I Love Pablo Neruda." Please check it out!

Be well. Be safe.

Click here to order

Sample poem:

Ode to Memory

From the moment I rise in the morning
how I remember everything—
where my slippers sleep, 
how to get downstairs,
where to find my dog
and how to brew my coffee. 

I love to remember
my first coffee in a Parisian café
with grandpa at age sixteen—
strong espresso and sugar cube,
and how the server was so kind.

I will always remember 
not what people do for me,
nor what they say,
but how they make me feel.

I will always remember my first love,
how and where it happened,
the sound of his name,
and how he held me,

and how scared
we were when blood gushed from me
onto his parent’s bed,
them at movie theater,
and how embarrassed I was,
yet how close it made us.

I’ll always remember 
the feeling of being loved
in that way—for the very first time.


  • Write about a favorite pet.
  • Write about your favorite summer holiday.
  • Write about what you learned about yourself during the pandemic.
  • Write about where your body harbors stress.
June 28, 2022
"Deep Listening in Personal Relationships"
Happily Ever After is Just the Beginning with Lesli Doares
 To listen: Click here


July 26, 2022
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
“An Imaginary Affair” Book Signing
Santa Barbara, CA


August 17, 2022
Interview for An Imaginary Affair with Dr. Michael Anthony
“Quintessential Listening: Poetry Online Radio”

August 25, 2022
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
“An Imaginary Affair: Poetry Reading”
Ventura, CA


September 6, 2022
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. PST
“Personal Writing for Well-Being: Workshop”
The University Club of Santa Barbara
(Members Only)
Santa Barbara, CA


September 19 – 22, 2022
“What We’re Reading Series”
“Writing for Bliss”
Miraval Resorts and Spas
Austin, Texas
"Embodied." (poem). Movement: Our Bodies in Action (anthology). Sweetycat Press. June 2022.

"Deep Listening in Personal Relationships." (article). The Good Men Project. June 2, 2022.

"Your Eyes Are Waiting." (poem). Quail Bell Magazine. June 3, 2022.

"Tongue Kisses." (poem). Quail Bell Magazine. June 3, 2022.

"Why I Love Pablo Neruda." (article). Medium. June 7, 2022.

"What Does the Body Remember?" (article). The Good Men Project. June 9, 2022.

“Where is Your Home?" (article). The Good Men Project. June 16, 2022.

“How to Slow Down Time.” (article) The Good Men Project. June 23, 2022.

"How Special Moments can be Life-Changing." (article). Sixty and Me. June 24, 2022.

Click the article to read

"How Spending Time With Pets Can Help Us Cope With Stress"
A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes by Rodrigo Garcia (memoir)

In essence, this book is a beautiful eulogy and meditation written by the son of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Columbian novelist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. The author tries to make sense of his father's final days, and walks us through his slow passing with warmth and sensitivity. He writes about his father's attitude towards death and said that his father complained "that one of the things he hated most about death was that it would be the only aspect of his life he would not be able to write about" (p.98).

Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote about everything he lived through and witnessed, fictionalized or ciphered. "If you can live without writing, don't write," he often said.

Rodrigo lost his mother, Mercedes, six years after his father's passing in 2014 and poignantly says this, "The death of a second parent is like looking through a telescope one night and no longer finding a planet that has always been there...I think of my father every morning when I dry my back with a towel the way je taught me after seeing me struggling with it at the age of six" (p.114).

This is a beautiful and quick read, reminiscing on one of the world's finest writers.
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