Tuesday, May 29, 2012

News overload and media cuts

This blog entry touches on the theme of "confession" in the novel.  It also provides a good opportunity to comment on the recent Sunday edition newspaper cuts at PostMedia. 

PostMedia cutting jobs, Sunday editions
Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal papers affected

The novel's author has not read a Sunday paper in years.  That's right.  There has hardly been a print edition newspaper in this household for ages.  She obtains most of her news online from credible sources or from that old thing called "radio".  At times when the news is overwhelming, she shuts everything off and cocoons to read or write. 

Summer 1975 (correction) 1974. Gio has arrived after a couple of parishioners depart from visiting Father John O'Reilly at the hospital.  Father John is recovering from a stroke. 

- - -

The elder priest slumped in his chair, in a seemingly act of relief.

"Are you tired, John?" asked Gio quietly, leaning toward his mentor. 

"Oh... sort of," he responded, "Those two sure can talk."

"So can you, Father O'Reilly, " quipped Gio with a wink and smile.

"I suppose so..." He gazed around the room, out the window then smiled wistfully at Gio, "So, how are you holding out?  Have you heard from Toronto yet if you can get some help?"

"I'm doing well, Father.  Well and busy.  No, the Arch Diocese hasn't found anyone yet.  But hopefully, you will be back on your feet soon?"

"I sure hope so.  I just get tired easily and..." lowering his voice and leaning forward, "a little confused at times."

"That's just part of the recovery, as the doctors told us,” assured Gio.

Father O'Reilly smiled weakly and gazed out the window longingly, "I miss my work, Gio.  I miss saying mass, giving communion and being with the congregation."

Gio lowered his gaze to his hands, folded on the table.  "I understand, John."

They were approached by a candy-striper pushing the coffee and snack cart. 

"Hello, Fathers,” she greeted them with a perky tone, "Would you like some coffee, cookies or something to read?"

Gio recognized her as Janice Foley, the young girl with whom he had seen Daniel at the picnic a few years ago.  How she had grown.

"Oh, hello, Janice," said Gio, "Nothing for me thanks.  Father O'Reilly, would you like something from the cart?"

The old priest seemed awakened from a daydream.


Janice leaned over to him with a cheery smile and spoke a little louder, "Would you like something from the cart, Father?"

"Jeez Louise! I'm not deaf, dear girl!"

"Sorry, Father, " her face flushed, this time speaking normally, "Would you like something from the cart?"

"Oh. Any newspapers?  Any recent newspapers?"

Janice bent to retrieve one from the lower shelves, "How about yesterday's Toronto Star?"

"That will have to do, I guess." his hand shook as he reached for it, "Thank you very much, my dear.  How much do I owe you?"

Janice darted her eyes to Gio who was smiling at the exchange between old and young.  She smiled, "There's no charge, Father."  Before she turned to wheel her cart to the next table, she chirped, "Have a nice afternoon, gentlemen."

"Nice girl," said Father O'Reilly as he slipped on his reading glasses and opened the paper.

"That was Janice Foley, John,” said Gio, "She goes to Saint Pete's.  You saw her through first communion to confirmation."

"Oh."  He looked over to the girl across the room, "Sure grown up now, eh?"

“They sure do.”

Gio sat quietly, nodding as the old priest leafed through the newspaper, making one-sentenced comments about the news, voicing his opinion from time to time and muttering away. 

“John,” Gio spoke to get the elder priest’s attention, “Father O’Reilly,” Gio said louder then leaning in with a whisper, “I would like to make a confession.”

- - -
If you found this to be an intriguing blog post, taste a few other excerpts.  Explore a few clippings from the Seguin Sounder a fictitious newspaper that evolved after the novel was published.  We don't have a weekly crossword to offer yet could entice you with a word search puzzle.

Come support efforts to reduce paper waste, to save a tree or two by purchasing an Ebook version of The Year of the Rabbit.  Even better?  Get a free copy by May 31st.

Thanks for dropping by.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

They seemed like a happy family...

Domestic Violence is an undercurrent in The Year of the Rabbit.  

Although Sera Fletcher, her mother or other family members were not victims of abuse, they experienced a ripple effect when the abuse next door presented a crossroad.  Sera's friend Victoria and her mother were spirited away to a safe location by the people who suspected a problem but did little to address the situation prior.  

Of all the people, young Sera is the most affected and sinks into a depression from missing her best friend.  At least near the end of the novel, readers encounter the theme of forgiveness and promise of a reunion. 

Perhaps it is a coincidence but I have noticed the subject of Domestic Violence showing up more often in the news lately.  Have you noticed it too?

99,000 Canadians reported family violence in 2010

What keeps me hopeful is the fact that people are talking about it, raising awareness and even making efforts to educate others through art.  

As a survivor of domestic violence, I do as much as my anxieties will allow in raising awareness and educating.  I don't think I could bring myself to watch a ballet, play or movie on the subject though.  When I have tried, the imagery and sounds brought back bad memories. 

I invite you to read a bittersweet tale of Fate, Family and Forgiveness.  You can download a free copy of the Ebook before May 31st.  

Thanks for scrolling this far.  Feel free to submit relevant comments below and give feedback after reading The Year of the Rabbit.  


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hide and Seek with Words

Too old for hide and seek?  

How about something that requires less body movement but well-acquired hand-eye coordination?  You can likely play this word search puzzle on your new tablet computer or use the traditional pen and paper method.

Perhaps you would like to read a hide and seek excerpt from The Year of the Rabbit? 

Thanks for dropping by.  Feel free to comment or ask questions.  Remember to follow Flo on Twitter

Since you're here, why not get a free Ebook copy of the novel?  Valid until May 31st


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Springing into Love

Ah, Spring.  It's when a young man's fancy turns to love - or something... something like that.    

What a lovely time of year for scantily clad youth to run freely, roll in the grass and climb trees.  The warmer, dry weather also provides a good opportunity for young lovers to slip away while playing hide and seek with their chums.

Here's a snippet from The Year of the Rabbit where carpentry apprentice Walter George is deemed "it" for a game of hide and seek:

As Walter snuck down the path and up towards the forest, he saw Gwen racing from the garden towards home base, touching the shed and shouting "Home free!"

Whatever, thought Walter as he prowled and crept up the slope, I've got bigger fish to catch.

Deeper into the pine forest he crept, from tree to tree, bush to bush.

As he peered out and down towards the place the kids called ‘Rabbit Hollow’, he saw Amy and Daniel lying against one of the sloping rocks, nicely revealed by the reflective light of the gibbous moon.  They were kissing wildly and Amy's hands were all over Daniel's body — rubbing stroking and clawing.  Walter could hear their hushed voices just enough to know what would happen next. 

So what happens next?  Read the full excerpt and perhaps another describing the result.

Teen sexuality is a sticky subject.  Young people need to be gently yet intelligently educated about their changing bodies and raging hormones.  Sometimes though it's difficult for parents to deliver the talk.  

Recently, the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology opened an exhibit about sex, providing information from a scientific perspective.  It caused a bit of a furor and got plenty of news coverage but some parents recanted their complaints after visiting it themselves.  

One teen even said, "I think they're showing us healthy sexuality ...they aren't sexualizing it.  I mean they're showing the facts, we all have bodies and we all go through this stuff." 
We all go through this stuff.  So true.  

If you want to read about a few young people who went through this stuff and came out okay after a few conflicts and disappointments, you may enjoy reading The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness.  Be quick and you can download a free copy of the eBook by May 31, 2012.  Start here


Friday, May 11, 2012

Your Mother may approve

Last year around this time, I offered a post on feminine archetypes

In The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about fate, family and forgiveness readers will encounter a few motherly characters:

  • Marie Fletcher was a caring mother figure despite her struggles with mental health issues and a deep, dark secret;
  • Margaret MacDonald experienced deep guilt and regret that she did not prevent the abuse of her daughter;
  • Jenny Young struggled with supporting her pregnant teen and understanding her husband's disappointment;
  • Amy Young became a teenage mother who learned how to be responsible with the help of her own family and friends;
  • Gio's mom was the typical doting mother and eventually an exuberant grandmother.
Mother's Day is coming Sunday, May 13th. I hope you've already thought of a gift for your Mom.  She may enjoy reading The Year of the Rabbit if she doesn't mind a few references to teen sex, infidelity and murder. 

You can feel confident that you have purchased her an environmentally responsible gift by getting the Ebook for only 99 cents.  This offer is good until midnight May 13th.  

If your mother has already left this earthly domain, please accept my condolences.  Perhaps you may relate to young Sera Fletcher as she realizes the impending death of her own mother.   That scene brought tears to my eyes while writing the novel, recalling emotions felt when I lost my own mother many years ago.

Thanks for visiting,


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Beltane, Nature Lovers

Darn it all! Can't find my Maypole

Happy Beltane all you nature lovers!  Enjoy an excerpt from the novel about young love (err.. lust) and a recycled blog post

You will enjoy The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness.

Learn about the novel's author, Florence T. Lyon.  Follow her on Twitter as she explores and flounders with modern technology. 

Follow the wall posts on Facebook and contribute to the discussions.  Like it!  Share it with your friends but NOT your dear, sweet Mother.  This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

Get  20% of the Ebook for free.  No trees were harmed during the creation of this edition.  

Buy the Ebook from Smashwords, an awesome publishing platform for indie authors.  

Thanks for dropping by.