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My Dad’s Super Power

June 22, 2024 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as ,

My father always said, “Know who you are. In whatever you do, do your best.” By his hard work and example, he instilled in me the importance of integrity and quality. This makes me scrutinize everything I say and write (sometimes to excess). But also causes me to dig a little deeper and write from the heart which makes for a satisfying journey.

When I showed interest in wearing makeup, he made me feel beautiful and confident without it. In his own special way, he taught me that natural and simple is best. So writing, I find, is like learning how to dress and color coordinate. You develop your own style. Mix and match colors to accentuate. Create different looks depending on the season and occasion. Dress to impress or just to chill out. And when you meet a special someone…dress to be “effective.” You want your writing to stand out, but not overwhelm. That would be like wearing too much makeup. Picture the character, Mimi, on the Drew Carey show, or the sea witch, Ursula, in Disney’s, The Little Mermaid.

“Be original. Be creative,” said dad. “And above all, when you speak, don’t ramble.” By which he meant that if someone asks the time, don’t explain how a clock is made. (That’s when I edit, edit, edit).

Many writers speak of having a muse, but I find that although my father is long gone from this world, the words and teachings which he wove into my being continue to guide and inspire me. This leads me to conclude that my dad had a super power: Words.

I hope I have inherited it.

See you next time on July 22nd.  

Veronica Jorge

For all you’ve taught me, dad, this one’s for you.

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A DANCE OF WORDS BY VERONICA JORGE

May 22, 2024 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

A Dance of Words | Veronica Jorge | A Slice of Orange

Hispanola, which means the “Spanish island,” became the first Spanish settlement in America. It is my mother’s native country and today we know the eastern section of the island as the Dominican Republic; a fertile land abundant in mines and minerals and rich in a great variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers, where the sun shines brightly year round.

The merengue, the country’s traditional music, embraces you throughout the island for dancing is an entirely social activity independent of holidays or festivals. Any gathering includes dancing because Dominican’s don’t just listen to music, they live it. Emotionally, the merengue celebrates life wherein you partake of the rhythms of love, family and friendship. The most skilled dancer moves in unity with their partner, as one.

My mother, Write from the Heart | Veronica Jorge | A Slice of OrangeCelina Antonia Luna de Jorge, (isn’t that lovely? Like a song in itself), left her beautiful, beloved island, and part of her heart, when she came to America at the age of seventeen. Like most of our ancestors, her family traveled to America in the hope of a better future. I’m happy to say that she found it. (She had me!).

Mom is most fully herself, most fully alive when she is surrounded by her family and cooking us all of the traditional delicious foods of her country. She fills and satisfies us with her peace and joy. And like the savory aromas that waft through the air, she makes our hearts swirl to the rhythms of her warmth and love.

And that’s what I want my writing to be like; a dance of words wherein writer and reader move in sync and taste the flavors of love, friendship, loss and new found purpose, joy and laughter. Writing that, in spite of sorrowful events or hardships, celebrates life and fills the reader with hope that today is indeed worth living.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!

See you next time on June 22nd.

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The Character Must Die

April 22, 2024 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

I killed one of the characters in my novel.

(It was more like two, but I have no qualms about the second one.)

I came up with a death scene I really liked and just had to use it, so someone had to “go.”

I’m still not sure if it was in the best interest of the story, or if I’m just stuck on having to use a particular description.

As I reflect on the sequence of events and the wording, and debate the character’s fate; to live or not to live? I think about language in general and the nuances contained therein.

The English “goodbye”, like the characters in a book, can be so finite. Here today, gone tomorrow.

In contrast, parting words in other languages encompass a world of possibilities of that which is yet to be experienced. Whether it’s, auf wiedersehen in German, arrivederci in Italian, or hasta luego in Spanish, each expresses the probability, and the hope, that we will meet again. Even the Japanese rarely use sayonara, unless it really is “the end.”

In life, as in writing and in reading, I prefer the meanings that other languages provide for that interim we call separation. And I would like to think that the characters we create in our imaginations, that eventually inhabit the pages of a book, continue on, not only in our own minds, but in the minds, and perhaps the hearts, of our readers.

So, if I must terminate one of my characters, I’ll think of them as an old soldier who has faithfully served, and comfort myself with the words of General Douglas MacArthur.

“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”

And I realize that no matter how wonderful a story may be, as we grow and change, some of the characters we loved best as writers and readers do fade away and/or are replaced by others.

But, they never really die.

We meet them over and over again in the ways they have touched us and changed us, and have made us different and maybe, even better, for having met them.

See you next time on May 22nd.

Veronica Jorge

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Nemesis and the Swan: A Review by Veronica Jorge

March 22, 2024 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Nemesis and the Swan


by


Lindsay K. Brandy

Blackstone Publishing 2020

ISBN 978-1-09-405947-1

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Nineteen-year-old Helene languishes in a squalid French prison tormented by questions she cannot answer. Why was she arrested? Who could have made a wrongful accusation against her? And if so, why?

Together with Helene, we attempt to unravel the mystery of her imprisonment as we follow the journey of her life that led to this moment.

As a child, Helene, an aristocrat in revolutionary Paris, absorbed ideas of liberty and an egalitarian society from her governess. Words and ideas that created in her heart a different life from the one she had been living, and which she thought possible if only given the chance.

Perhaps such idyllic hopes and dreams are what caused her to fall in love with a commoner.

But how to deal with an unstable mother who cares nothing for her? Or a father, who although affectionate, views her as a means of securing his own wealth and maintaining his lifestyle via an arranged marriage for his daughter to a rich but base man?

To complicate matters further, she discovers a murder mystery within her family that may put her own life at risk.

When an acquaintance, who may be able to help set her free, visits her in prison, Helene pours out her fears and reveals all about her life. But in such perilous times, how can one know who to trust? What awaits her next? Freedom or the guillotine?

A riveting tale of the revolutionary days in Paris told from the perspective of a young woman, the author asks us to consider the importance of examining the way we each draw lines between good and bad, right and left, and us and them.

Nemesis and the Swan is a book you will want to read again and again, and again.

Veronica Jorge  

See you next time on April 22nd!

BLACK FOOD: STORIES, ART & RECIPES FROM ACROSS THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

Buy now!
INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

REFUGEE

Buy now!
REFUGEE

THE WITCH WHISPERER

Buy now!
THE WITCH WHISPERER
UPROOTED: THE JAPANESE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE DURING WORLD WAR II

THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

Buy now!
THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

DISTANT RELATIONS

Buy now!
DISTANT RELATIONS

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

Buy now!
FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

THE ONLY ROAD

Buy now!
THE ONLY ROAD

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

Buy now!
THE LAST GOODNIGHT

MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

Buy now!
MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

Buy now!
FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

Buy now!
FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

Buy now!
FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

Buy now!
FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

MY FRIEND JACKSON

Buy now!
MY FRIEND JACKSON

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

Buy now!
THREE TREATS TOO MANY
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

THE ALLIANCE

Buy now!
THE ALLIANCE

A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS
THE RELUCTANT GROOM AND OTHER HISTORICAL STORIES
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

Buy now!
THE SCRIBE OF SIENA
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS
WHEN PLANS GO AWRY

A BIRD WILL SOAR

Buy now!
A BIRD WILL SOAR

NEMESIS AND THE SWAN

Buy now!
NEMESIS AND THE SWAN
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A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers: A Review by Veronica Jorge

February 22, 2024 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

A BIRD WILL SOAR

ALISON GREEN MYERS

Schneider Family Book Award

Dutton Children’s Books,  2021   

ISBN 978-0-593-32567-4

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Once in a while you come across a book, that after reading it, makes you pause and think, even marvel because you’ve encountered life from an entirely new perspective.

Alison Green Myers’, debut novel, A Bird Will Soar, is such a book. And a recipient of the prestigious Schneider Family Book Award given by the American Library Association for excellence in the portrayal of the disability experience in literature for youth.

Axel, an autistic boy, feels most at home in nature. It is his peaceful place to think and make sense of his parents, and the garden of people in his life that grow up around him and become family. Axel also discovers that he can learn about people by bird watching. His favorite is the eagle. When family calls, the eagle focuses on the nest and never abandons it. So, he wonders why his father left. The eagle also knows just how high it can fly. Something Axel wishes his mother would let him discover about himself: to trust him and give him room to navigate using his own intuition and instincts.

When a tornado hits, Axel’s predictable world is turned upside down. His home is damaged and uninhabitable, locking him out of the safe space of his own room. Fallen trees have made his beloved woods unsafe to visit. The eagle’s nest with its young that he has been observing has been blown out of the tree by the fierce winds. And his estranged father has returned home. All of Axel’s knowledge and hopes are put to the test. 

Can he care about his father as much as he does about the eagle? “To feel something so strongly for another living thing.” (page 93). Will his gut instincts lead him to make the right choices and decisions? Will he finally learn just how high he can fly?

A Bird Will Soar is insightful and captivating. Alison Green Myers masterfully takes us into Axel’s mind revealing this unique character’s thoughts, feelings, and coping mechanisms. The book is also a beautiful exploration of the symbiotic and beneficial relationship between humans and nature.

If you read and were intrigued and entertained by the novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, you will be enthralled and elevated by, A Bird Will Soar.

Buy the book and start soaring!

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on March 22nd!

Books Reviewed by Veronica Jorge

BLACK FOOD: STORIES, ART & RECIPES FROM ACROSS THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

Buy now!
INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

REFUGEE

Buy now!
REFUGEE

THE WITCH WHISPERER

Buy now!
THE WITCH WHISPERER
UPROOTED: THE JAPANESE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE DURING WORLD WAR II

THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

Buy now!
THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

DISTANT RELATIONS

Buy now!
DISTANT RELATIONS

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

Buy now!
FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

THE ONLY ROAD

Buy now!
THE ONLY ROAD

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

Buy now!
THE LAST GOODNIGHT

MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

Buy now!
MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

Buy now!
FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

Buy now!
FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

Buy now!
FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

Buy now!
FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

MY FRIEND JACKSON

Buy now!
MY FRIEND JACKSON

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

Buy now!
THREE TREATS TOO MANY
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

THE ALLIANCE

Buy now!
THE ALLIANCE

A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS
THE RELUCTANT GROOM AND OTHER HISTORICAL STORIES
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

Buy now!
THE SCRIBE OF SIENA
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS
WHEN PLANS GO AWRY

A BIRD WILL SOAR

Buy now!
A BIRD WILL SOAR

NEMESIS AND THE SWAN

Buy now!
NEMESIS AND THE SWAN
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