#Update & #TakingABreak

I have to write this now, before I chicken out! Here’s the deal. My visit with my doctor yesterday brought home some things I wasn’t aware of and a few more I’d been trying to ignore. I definitely have some concussion issues (read, brain injury/damages) that have not healed. YET. While I’m drastically improved over the first 48 hours, when I couldn’t read, because the words didn’t make sense, I’m still struggling with some cognitive issues and balance problems. A few other things, too, but those are the biggest ones.

I’ve learned that even six weeks (which I’d been shocked to read on several medical sites) isn’t always enough time for a brain to heal from the kind of blow mine suffered when I fell. It could be months or longer before everything that’s still not working well heals–if it ever does. On the plus side, because I’ve made pretty good progress so far, my doctor is optimistic that my brain will come back “online” fully over time. On the negative side, I’m trying to do too many things at once, and hindering my own recovery. 😦 

Noise and light are big issues. (I’d already stopped wearing my hearing aids while home alone because noise was bothering me so much.) Anything that over-stimulates the brain is a bad idea. She would like me to limit my time on the computer considerably. Okay, she’d like me to STOP using the computer at all, but I don’t think that’s doable. So we’ve compromised, more or less. I’m going to limit myself to an hour a day. Since I’m finishing up WRR4 for publication, that needs to be where I focus that time, for now.

With that in mind, I’m going to take a break (my first in 15 years or so) from blogging. I truly hate to do this, and know how much I will miss all of you (and your non-failing support), but I think in order to give myself the best possible odds to heal properly, I have to do it. I also know that you guys will understand.

I DO plan to check in as often as possible to let you know I’m still alive and kicking. But I won’t be able to follow and comment on all your wonderful blogs for a bit. 

How long this will last depends on how well I’m doing. I could be back in a week or two, or it might be a month or two. But I’m going to do my best NOT to push myself, as I don’t want to be my own worst enemy during this process.  

I WILL be checking my email daily, and will respond (via dictation, which helps reduce the light stimulation). So if you have any questions or need to reach me, you can reach me at marciameara16@gmail.com 

I will NOT be unplugging anything! I’ll just be busy wrapping up my book, with plenty of breaks as needed so as not to tire myself. And as soon as I’m comfortable with how I’m doing, I’ll be right back here, up to my old tricks.

Thanks for understanding, and just know that your thoughts and prayers have sustained me throughout this mess (and many others). In the famous words of you-know-who:

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Twigs in my Hair by Cynthia Reyes

This afternoon, I’d like to welcome Cynthia Reyes to The Write Stuff,  with a lovely review/article about her gardening book, Twigs in my Hair. As a gardener, myself, I’m definitely going to be checking this one out. Hope you’ll enjoy this wonderful and thoughtful review, and will remember to share this on all your favorite social media sites. Thanks! 


A common Post-Enlightenment concept is that occupations have an art and science to them.  As a therapist, sometimes I approach an intervention from the science side, using the concept of evidence-based practice to guide the rehabilitation process.  Biological, neurological, or psychological theories set the pace of therapy.  At other times, I rely on the art of practice, usually when it comes to engaging and motivating a client to utilize the science.  I view gardening much the same way.  Ask me about soil health and I’ll give your two hour lecture on the benefits of fungus.  Then again, don’t ask me.  Let just take a stroll in the garden, enjoy the view, and I’ll show you some really cool mushrooms along the way.  That is the art of gardening.

I do find that gardeners do tend to fall into either the artists or the scientists when it comes to their occupation of growing.  In our region, if you ask someone if they keep a garden, that means that they grow a vegetable garden, in other words, they are scientist about growing food.  On the other hand, the artists have flowers.  Inevitably, the gardeners run the law mower that keeps the flowers in their bed, and the artists complain about the mowing that destroys those Spring Beauties and Forget-Me-Nots that runs free through the pastures of law.  Though animal husbandry is not in the discussion, the legend of Cane and Able plays out when artists set designs on the garden, and gardeners try to establish boundaries which nature ignores

A couple of weeks ago, a writer/blogger friend, Cynthia Reyes, sent an e-mail requesting to verify my address.  A new book was on its way (full disclosure, she figured that she would just send me a complementary copy to read as she knew that I would write a review, hence I am typing now).  A few days later, Twigs in My Hair, A Gardening Memoir arrived in our mail box.  I had just finished reading a volume on the biology of soil health (aka science), thus an artist tome about gardening was welcome.

You may recall, Cynthia is a writer of memoirs, A Good Home and An Honest House.  Twigs in my Hair is the gardening companion to these other recollections and reflections on life.  While the prior memoirs focused more on personal history in the context of the dwellings that Cynthia has occupied, Twigs in my Hair expands on the gardens (vegetable and flower) which provide the environments surrounding those structures and events.

Cynthia embodies that art of gardening.  Her husband, Hamlin, is the scientist of tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  I wonder if they combine their skills in the kitchen, or play out a Montague-and-Capulet rivalry with knifes, cutting boards, scissors and vases.  I think I shall wait out on the veranda for tea to be served.

Cynthia’s writing style is a delight to read.  Each chapter covers an aspect of gardening, flowers, design, vegetable, cooking, critters, fences and arbors.  More importantly, in Cynthia’s view, each chapter covers an aspect of living, magic, discovery, patience, and relationships.  Gardening is not merely about plants, it is about living.

“At church, at school, and especially at our dinner table, my sisters and I obeyed the rules and followed the belief of the adults around us.  But when we were together, alone, we lived by the rules of our own world, complete with magical flowers.”  Ah, the secret gardens of children and companions.

“Gardening, however, is much more than growing pretty flowers and nutritious vegetables.  Gardening forces us to consider how we live with nature.

“If you garden, and especially if you garden in the countryside, you will sooner or later find yourself clashing with the wild creatures that share our planet”  Ah, the bucolic garden besieged by bunnies!

“But let us not dwell on failures.  A new spring is a time of hope.  hope that the long winter is past, and that the summer will be heaven.  Hope that the garden season will be joyous, with just enough sunshine and just enough rain, and not too many aphids, cabbageworms, earwigs, or mosquitoes.” Ah, the seasons governing our time and moods and aspirations.

The Fall Harvest is currently is full swing with too many tasks that beg for time: picking, canning, cleaning garden beds, putting hay and manure form the goat barn down.  But, Winter will be here soon enough.  Be sure the order your copy of Twigs in my Hair now.  You will have time to read it on a cold, Winter’s day, or dark Winter’s night.  Let your mind winder to next Spring’s garden design or seed catalogues for discovering some new vegetables.

I do know of a garden that Cynthia and Hamlin have not visited.  Maybe next Spring we can stroll.  I may have to take two laps.  With Cynthia, I shall share the magic of flowers and winding pathways of life.  Hamlin and I shall take about the value of fungus on vegetable health and nutrition.  I suggest they stay out of the kitchen and enjoy the view from the deck until tea is served.


AUTHOR CYNTHIA REYES returns with Twigs in My Hair, a book about her lifelong passion for gardens and nature and the surprising relationships and events involved. Gorgeous photographs by Hamlin Grange complement a humorous and profound story. Readers will meet a variety of interesting creatures, both human and animal, some of whom compete for gardening produce or gardening glory. A beautiful gift for gardeners and non-gardeners. 

You may conclude, after reading Twigs in My Hair, that the gardener’s love for growing things swings from reverence to mania. But there is also a deeply emotional side to this story about what happens when a passionate gardener can no longer do what she loves.

Buy Twigs in my Hair HERE

Author Cynthia Reyes

CYNTHIA REYES, author of A Good Home, An Honest House and co-author with lauren Reyes-Grange of the children’s books Myrtle the Purple Turtle, Myrtle’s Game and Myrtle Makes a New Friend, returns to the gardens she loves with Twigs in My Hair – A Gardening Memoir.

A former television journalist, producer-director and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Cynthia has also written feature stories for national and international publications. 

Twigs in My Hair is a collaboration between Cynthia and her husband HAMLIN GRANGE, whose photographic images provide a visual record of the gardens he and Cynthia have loved. 

Hamlin is a former journalist with Contrast Newspaper and the Toronto Star, spent most of his career in television as a reporter and TV presenter for Global News, TVO, and CBC Television, and now owns DiversiPro Inc., his consulting firm. For Hamlin, photography is a valued creative outlet. 

Cynthia and Hamlin live in a small town in Ontario, Canada. They have two beloved daughters and sons-in-law.


Cynthia Reyes’ books have all been highly acclaimed and two have won awards.Twigs in My Hair was a Number 1 New Release in its category on both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca and on Kindle. All Cynthia’s books have been Amazon bestsellers.

Her second memoir, An Honest House, won the Diamond Award for Book of the Year and her children’s book, Myrtle the Purple Turtle, won a Purple Dragonfly Award.

In her earlier career in the media, Cynthia received The Children’s Broadcast Institute Award, The Trailblazer Award, The (CBC) President’s Award, and The Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television. 

Cynthia was also honoured with The African Canadian Achievement Award for career achievements and community work, and has recently been inducted into the Order of Jamaica, Commander Level, for her work to improve the quality of international journalism.

Find Cynthia on Social Media here:

Amazon Author’s Page
Twitter: @CynthiaSReyes






A Quick Update & Sharing a Guest Post

Just wanted to touch base with you guys and let you know that I’ve been feeling better for the last 3 days than I’ve felt since I fell. I’m hopeful this is a trend that will continue, and I’m going to do my best to get this week’s normal features back up and running. Bear with me if I fall short of that, but I’m optimistic!  And thank you ALL so much for your kind words and support. I appreciate it more than you know!

Also today, I want to share another guest post I did over two years ago on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo  blog. Yes, I know that’s two in a row, but this post is one that means a lot to me, and I like to think it will inspire a few of you who are sitting on the fence about pursuing your dreams of writing–or of anything else you’ve put off for too long. I hope you’ll take a minute and check out the following link. And as always, feel free to share with the Immediate World. 😀 

Guest author: Marcia Meara – Attitude really IS everything!

Trick or Treat! The Tale of #Boojum and Hootin’ Annie

Happy Halloween, Everyone! 

Since I’m still not quite ready for Prime Time, as they say, I’m going to share a link with you that was posted on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo blog a bit over a year ago, when she was doing a feature on Living Lore. It’s an excerpt from Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4: The Light, which I’m wrapping up today, if all goes well. (A big “if” lately.) The tale of Boojum and Hootin’ Annie is part of Appalachian folk lore, and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing Rabbit’s version, as told to his dad while carving pumpkins. Here’s the link to the post as it appeared on Sue’s terrific blog. Check it out and share, if you like. And Happy Halloween! 

Living Lore: Marcia Meara’s ‘Rabbit’ tells the tale of Boojum and Hootin’ Annie

Still Running Behind but Sharing A Great Link, and Wishing You All A Happy Halloween!

I know I keep saying I’m getting better, and I honestly think I am, but I’m nowhere near back to where I want to be. I’m trying to stick to doctor’s orders and not push myself, even though it’s hard for me to slow down. I’m sorry to say, though, I’m still not ready to get back to our normal routine here on The Write Stuff, for which I apologize heartily! No #ShareAReview for today, though I’ve got one scheduled for next Tuesday, so stay tuned for that. And I HOPE to have a #FirstLineFriday this week, if all goes well. It will be extra fun, because our friend Harmony Kent is offering one of her books as an additional prize choice. Fingers crossed I can get it put together in time, so I don’t have to bump that one another week, too. 

This morning did get off to a great start when my good friend from Wales, Trish the Trout, alerted me to a super post about everyone’s favorite reviewer, Rosie Amber. Most of you are probably familiar with Rosie and her fantastic blog, where she hosts book reviews from a whole team of folks. I’ve followed Rosie Amber for a long time, though I’m way behind these days on visits to all of my favorite blogs. Today’s post on Jennifer Alderson’s  blog is filled with lots of great info about Rosie, her Book Review Team, and more. And as a lovely surprise, guess who I found mentioned in her answer to “Who Would You Like to Sit Next to on a Long Flight? Well, I’ll let you scroll down and see for yourself. 😀 All I can say is, “Rosie, Dear Heart–I’m packed and ready to go when you are!” 

Here’s that link again: RIGHT HERE! 😀

Such a treat, and such a boost to my day! These last three weeks, I’ve needed all the boosts I can get, and it’s amazing how many of them I find from my online friends! You guys ALL rock!!!

Here’s wishing each of you a wonderful, productive day, and remember: DO NOT FALL DOWN! Been there, done that, and don’t recommend it for anyone! 😀

My 2020 Event Dates/Locations

Had a request for my event schedule for next year, so here are the dates, at least. Only three  subjects/talks are for sure, the Book Release Open House on 1/11, the spring tea, and the autumn tea. The other events will be announced as I decide what I’ll be talking about. And the teas are also the only events I do that aren’t free and require a reservation. (To be sure we have enough food for everyone.)

I’ve listed each month. All the Enterprise Museum events are in black, and the DeBary Hall events are in red. Subjects are not set yet, hence the TBA designation. But I can tell you that all of my nature talks are from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, and both teas start at 11:00am, because they include lunch. 

Phone numbers for each venue are at the top of the schedule, so if you miss later posts updating subjects, etc, feel free to call either location directly for the latest news on what I’ll be talking about there.

As soon as I have more info, I’ll update you guys. Thanks for asking, Patt. I’m really looking forward to the new “season,” and have some fun ideas I’m working on.

Marcia Meara 2020 Event Schedule

Enterprise Museum: 386-259-5900
DeBary Hall: 386-668-3840

January 11- Enterprise Museum: Book Release Open House 1:00-4:00 FREE/Refreshments
January 25 – Enterprise Museum – TBA 

February 8 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
February 22 – DeBary Hall – Springtime Tea 11:00am Price TBA/Reservations Required 

March 7 – Enterprise Museum TBA
March 28 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

April 11 – DeBary Hall 1:00: TBA
April 18- Enterprise Museum TBA 

May 2 – Enterprise Museum TBA
May 9 – DeBary Hall TBA
May 23 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

June 6 – Enterprise Museum TBA
June 13 – DeBary Hall TBA
June 27 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

July 11 – DeBary Hall TBA
July 25 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

August 8 – DeBary Hall TBA
August 15 – Enterprise Museum TBA
August 29 – Enterprise Museum TBA 

September 12 – Enterprise Museum TBA
September 26 –  Enterprise Museum Autumn Tea 11:00, Price TBA/Reservations Req’d

Good Morning & An Update

(For Mae)

Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! (Okay, Friday is actually named for the Norse goddess Frigg, but Freya and Frigg are considered by most to be the same goddess. That being the case, I’m going with Freya, because, you know. It sounds nicer. 😉

At any rate, I hope your day is a good, productive one with plenty of smiles. 

As you may have noticed, I don’t have things back on my preferred schedule quite yet, and I apologize for that. The truth is, I’m still not feeling 100% after my fall of two weeks ago. I’m vastly improved, for sure, but I’m still suffering some recurrent dizziness and fatigue. This isn’t uncommon when you’ve received a concussion and can continue for several weeks before finally disappearing. And while the ER doctor said he didn’t THINK I had a concussion, he also told me to watch for the signs of one. (Along with the signs of brain bleeds and swelling, and various other things. I spent a lot of time watching, believe me.) Bottom line is, concussions are often missed, and based on the types of symptoms I have going on right now, it appears I’m still recovering from one. Frankly, I’m just grateful I’m not still recovering from a fractured skull. 

And all of this is by way of telling you that, as you’ve no doubt noticed, #FirstLineFriday has been put off for another week, due to a couple of bad days Tuesday and Wednesday that pushed me even farther behind on my overall work schedule. But NOT to fear! I am much better than I was, and I know I’ll be catching up soon. I’m just trying to do what my  doctor suggests and not push too hard, though it’s against my nature to be idle very long. So, I work a bit, and then I rest a bit, and by and by, I expect the time spent working to increase until life is once again as normal as it gets around here.

Thanks so much for your patience and your well wishes, and all the kind things everyone has sent me. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you can imagine! Will be resuming my usual blog features, etc, one at a time until all is running smoothly again, which I hope won’t be too much longer.

And now we’ve come full circle: Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! 😀 ❤

#NewRelease – Katherine, Tudor Duchess by Tony Riches

Today, I’m delighted to share Katherine, Tudor Duchess, the latest release from Tony Riches, author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy.  If you have read any of Tony’s work to date, you won’t be surprised to learn that this book is a #1 Hot New Release on Amazon. Anyone who loves historical fiction will certainly want to check it out! And just look at this gorgeous cover! Please remember to pass on Tony’s news far and wide, too. Thanks!


Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward.

When her father dies, Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.

Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. After the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the death of Jane Seymour, Katherine and Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England.
When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform. Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends, but when Edward dies his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen. Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.

Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Katherine, Tudor Duchess  is Available in eBook and paperback here:
 Amazon UK and Amazon US
Also on Goodreads
(Audiobook edition coming in 2020)

Author Tony Riches 

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess and Brandon – Tudor Knight. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

Week in Review

I missed sharing Joan’s latest Weekly update post Friday, because I’m just so far behind. But, better late than never. (I made that up, you know. 😀 ) Check out these great links, and then pass ’em on, please. Thanks, and thanks to Joan as always for compiling such great writing links! 🙂 ❤

Joan Hall

I have thousands of digital photos in my archives, most of which were taken outdoors. (Quite a few of my iPhone photos are of my cats, but that’s a different story.) Since I’ve tried to keep in the theme of mysterious and spooky this month, I wanted photos to match. However, I learned something. Most of my pics were taken on days when there was bright sunshine. Kind of hard to see anything scary in that.

A couple of weeks ago, hubs and I had gone out to dinner. On the way home, we saw a gorgeous sunset. I was driving, and I couldn’t resist pulling onto a side road to take a photo. This is the result:

Okay, the colors on the horizon are beautiful. Nothing spooky. But then I noticed the sign, “No outlet.” A dead-end road. On the left, you can see the lights of a house…

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