Showing posts from 2012

Writing my way to healing

Our home overlooks Lake Superior where we are often treated to sights of large ore boats, fishing vessels, pleasure yachts and an occasional brave sailboat. I suppose it's only natural then that my life, all our lives for that matter, remind me of small boats riding the erratic currents of life. When things go well, we skim safely along the surface without encountering danger, but when things so wrong it feels like we've crashed into rocky cliff or submerge reef.  We make choices trying to maintain control over our small boats. Some of these choices are good, some not so good. Unlike the choices that result in tragedies at sea,  the choices we make seldom doom us to total shipwreck. Nevertheless, the choices we make often have an uncanny ability to surprise and wound us. Our home has a great view of the lake with it ever changing moods: reflective, agitated, violent, soothing.  Our lake view also contains a monster rock that hides around 50 feet offshore. I've nicknamed i…

Best Selling Book - Beryl Singleton Bissell

BEST SELLING BOOK August 17, 2012 Tags: writing lifeauthorbooksmemoirsindependent bookstoresauthor events Never underestimate the power of an enthusiastic bookseller. Yesterday, I learned that The Scent of God had made the best-seller list at Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville, "all because Heidi, one of the women at the store is crazy for your book and makes everyone buy it." The note was signed by Ann Patchett, who opened Parnassus Bookstore with business partner Karen Hayes to fill a gap left when two bookstores closed. What a thrill, especially as some book distributors say they can't get copies to sell even when customers request the book.

Last week, I drove five hours to sign books at Sister Wolf Bookstores in Park Rapids. Sister Wolf is a popular independent known for it's exciting author and artist festival every summer that attracts people from all over. I'd had to cancel my appearance at that event due to a severe injury and was delighted when t…

Finding happiness midst disability - Beryl Singleton Bissell

FINDING HAPPINESS MIDST DISABILITY June 27, 2012 Tags: painacceptancepatiencedisabilityfinding happiness Once I stopped fighting
And gave myself up to
limitation and pain
I realized how supremely happy I was
Just being here

On May 29, I slipped on a stairway and landed hard on my backside. First diagnosis revealed cracked open right and left sacroiliac joints. Three weeks later I wasn’t making the expected improvements despite the medication, ice packs and physical therapy, so the doctor ordered a CT scan. This diagnosis included, besides the sacroiliac joints, two hairline fractures in the sacrum itself.
For almost a month I’ve been hobbling around using a walker, frustrated out of my mind at the limitations this accident place on me. The smallest movements send spasms of pain throughout my legs, lower back and buttocks. I have been unable to go downstairs to my office or walk to my writing shed. I am confined to a home in one of the most beautiful places on earth but unable to get…
It is hard to breathe when asked to probe deeper. What if I don't understand? Unleash some monster? When all I need is the light already shining there, in the darkness.

The View from Palm Beach Part 3: Cafe Cinematheque

While I've shared several of my favorite places to visit in the Palm Beach area, there is a favorite event taking place several times weekly that I absolutely love: Shelly Isaac's Cafe Cinematheque.

I've always enjoyed foreign language films, but Isaac's weekly selections and presentations at two local movie houses:The Movies of Lake Worthand The Movies of Delray, have so enriched my understanding of the depth and vision of this genre that I've become a foreign language film groupie. Even my husband has become a convert to what he used to think of as "women's films."

One of South Florida's best-known foreign-language film experts, Shelly introduces us to the film by sharing it's history, the director's vision in producing it, and whatever else he believes will enrich our viewing experience (brief sketches of the actors, awards, music, and the like.) After viewing the film, he encourages the audience to share their reactions and ask questio…

The View from Palm Beach Part 2

I promised more short favorite sites to visit in Palm Beach, so here they are. Part 2
Morikami Japanese Gardens in Del Ray Beach, provides an aura of beauty and quiet in Florida’s otherwise hectic environment. Perhaps it’s the influence of all the New Yorkers that now make the county home, but I’ve never heard such loud voices and dreadful drivers as I’ve encountered down here. But in Morikami Gardens, even the children move slowly down pathways leading from one century-style gardens to the next. Small lakes, waterfalls, trees groomed into bonsai shapes, colorful turtles and Koi passing under arched bridges soothe even the most garrulous of visitors. We also met several iguanas in the pond next to the tea house. A young fellow and a really spikey granddaddy.
Green Cay in Boynton Beach and Wakodahatchee  in Del Ray Beach are water thrill me each time I visit. Both are part of the Palm Beach water reclamation wetlands that offer that allow the visitor close access to hundreds of nesting …

The view from Palm Beach part 1

Aside from bouts of homesickness for our northern home, my husband Bill and I have found respite for our aging bones, strength for our muscles and perfect tans in Palm Beach County Florida where we've been spending the winter. Among its many lovely parks, beaches, and other attractions, Bill and I discovered two more favorites just last week. We've already returned once even though it takes close to an hour to get there from Lake Worth. 
MacArthur State Park in North Palm Beach protects  a very rare and spectacularly beautiful piece of Florida’s southeast coast. It offers walking and kayak tours through various terrains: The Satinleaf Trail winds through a mixed maritime hammock. The Dune Hammock Trail runs through a forest of gumbo limbo,  cabbage palm, strangler fig and other tropical and subtropical forest species. Just last week, the Park opened a wonderful interpretive center that promises to keep expanding its offerings. You can rent a kayak and paddle the estuary into L…