Shameless annual pitch

The willingness to share does not make one charitable; it makes one free.  ~Robert Brault

At a holiday book signing last week, I met another author who enjoys all aspects of publishing a book — except for self-promotion. We chatted about the hard realities of keeping our books on store shelves and Amazon.com; about how exhausting it can be to get out there and hustle.

As much as we like to meet our readers, writers tend to be more comfortable recording our thoughts quietly at home. That said, we can’t sell books if we hide behind a desk or a laptop.

So, here’s my shameless annual holiday plug for Writing Home. For every new copy sold between now and January 1st, I will donate $5 to the Welcome Inn, a day shelter serving the homeless in my community from mid December until mid March. The Inn offers case management services, a cereal breakfast, hot lunch, showers, laundry, online computers, clothing, and a variety of other services. With southeast Michigan’s economy at an all-time low, things are even tougher for people without homes and jobs, not to mention organizations like the Welcome Inn.

I’ve been donating my Writing Home profits every holiday season because “home” has always topped my gratitude list — and I want to give back to my community. I’ve been blessed, all my life, to live in wonderful homes with an incredibly supportive family, surrounded by caring neighbors. Which is, pretty much, what the stories in Writing Home are all about.

If you’re looking for something under $20 for the reader on your gift list, please consider visiting Amazon.com and buying a new copy of my book. (Link provided above.) In Oakland County, stop by the Yellow Door Art Market, where you’ll find my book as well as other gift items made by professional Michigan artists.

From my home to yours, I am wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving — and many blessings to count.

–Holiday photo by Cindy La Ferle-

 

While it lasts …

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” — Emily Bronte

I’m not very good at weather predictions, but it’s safe to say that Michigan residents will experience a drop in temperatures in a few short weeks. We’ll be pulling out our weather-proof boots and shuffling (and sliding) through … snow.

Folks who enjoy winter sports might welcome the change; they’ll wax poetic about the elegance of fresh powder on the ski slopes and snow clinging to bare branches. But I’m a three-season gal who likes it warm and colorful: Give me spring, summer, or fall.

The photos in this post were taken on our property in Royal Oak on November 6th. While many of our trees have lost their leaves, some are still ablaze with color, and I can’t remember a year when autumn managed to hang on this long.

There’s always something bittersweet in the change of any season, but fall is especially poignant. Whether you’ve just sent your youngest child off to kindergarten or to college, you sense the inevitable march of time. You feel the urge to get things done while you can. But it’s also wise to remember, as Anna Quindlen pointed out, that “Life is not so much about beginnings and endings as it is about going on and on and on. It is about muddling through the middle.”

Yesterday, I stood in awe in the middle of our front lawn, trying to photograph the cobalt blue sky and the late afternoon sun filtering through the maple leaves. It looked as though the whole afternoon had been tinted with a paintbrush dipped in gold. I want to remember how it all looked — when I’m staring out my home office window on a January morning, and the same trees are bare and covered with snow.  — CL

 

Cats and more cats!

You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.” — English proverb

According to the Feral Cat Coalition, wild (or “feral”) cats are the offspring of domestic cats. These feral kitties are the result of negligent pet owners who abandon their pets — and fail to spay or neuter them.

Feral cat colonies can be found behind local businesses or in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, and rural areas. Or even in well-manicured subdivisions like my own Vinsetta Park in Royal Oak.

This week’s “No Place Like Home” column describes how we found our new kitten, Izzie — and what our neighborhood is doing to find homes for other orphaned kittens. Also includes are tips and reader comments on what to do if you find a feral cat or kitten you’re unable to keep. Click here to read it and to see more photos of the adorable, incomparable Izzie. –CL

–Photo above: Izzie relaxing at home, a week after she was rescued.–