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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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A Year Is An Ocean by Veronica Jorge

December 22, 2023 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , ,

As the year draws to an end, preparing to close its final chapter, I think of the beach.

It might seem perfectly normal to those of you living in sunny climates, or to snow bunnies hastening away from the cold. But to those of us in areas that have already seen our first snow, it might sound strange.

To me, beginnings and endings can be like the ocean.

Like a rushing tide, every New Year, we rush toward new goals and hopes.

Sometimes shrinking back in fear, or drifting away into distant doubts and difficult memories.

Sturdy ocean rocks, like strong foundations, enable us to stand secure. And even walk on water, like faithful friends that make us believe we can do the impossible.

Our footprints in the sand are washed away like our past failings and errors. While a merciful new year, grants us another chance at life.

The 1960s song, Try to Remember, written by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, plays in my mind. Emotion tightens my throat. My heart forms a prayer for the coming year.

May no one weep. Not even the willow.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on January 22, 2024! 

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Discovering Authors, Old & New

October 22, 2023 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Pearl S. Buck has always been one of my favorite authors. Most know her 1931 novel, The Good Earth, and film of the same name, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. And in 1938, she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for her depictions of China, where she lived with her missionary parents.

A prolific author, she wrote more than forty novels, over twenty works of non-fiction, an astounding bibliography of short stories, and stories for children. Even a cookbook!

And while she’s famous to us today, her male contemporaries were anything but supportive, often disparaging her writing skills. This prompted her to write other works under the pen-name, John Sedges, which were well received and lauded. Thus, proving her point that the hostility was against her as a woman, and had nothing to do with her literary abilities.

So, this past summer, I treated myself to a visit to the Pearl S. Buck Historic House in Perkasie, PA.

Pearl S. Buck’s desk and typewriter

I wanted to learn more about this author. Instead, I discovered a remarkable woman whom I admired all the more. She was an accomplished pianist. She wrote about and worked tirelessly for women’s rights, civil rights, and for the education and improvement of women’s and children’s lives all over the world. She was also one of the first to write about and champion the cause of the handicapped, chronicling her own personal experience in The Child Who Never Grew, a heart-breaking memoir of her daughter’s rare developmental disorder, originally published in 1950. (Reprint, 2017, ISBN 978-1504047968).

Her foundation continues to advocate for all of these causes today.

And just when I thought the trip couldn’t get any better, I learned that the Pearl S. Buck Historic House also offers writing courses and has its own press center to help authors self-publish.

In keeping with Buck’s work toward empowering women, I purchased the following two books in the gift shop.

A Rose in a Ditch, by Julie Henning, (Pearl S. Buck Writing Center Press, 2019, ISBN 978-1-704786-438), who writes about her life in South Korea and being rescued and then raised in the U.S. by Pearl Buck as her own daughter.

And, Where the Stork Flies, by Linda C. Wisniewski, (Sand Hill Review Press, 2021, ISBN 978-1-949534-16-0). Struggling with relationship issues with her husband and her daughter, a librarian encounters a time portal and a Polish peasant fleeing her own unhappy marriage. Together, with a little magic help, they get their lives back on track.

Veronica at the Buck House

And guess what? Turns out Wisniewski and I have several writer friends in common. How great is that!

I wish you all new and inspiring learnings and discoveries in your reading and writing journeys.

Veronica Jorge  

See you next time on November 22nd!

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APPLE, TABLE, PENNY… MURDER A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

September 22, 2023 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

APPLE, TABLE, PENNY… MURDER:

A SUZY KEMP MYSTERY

by

CAROL L. WRIGHT

Cozy Den Press, 

2023  

ISBN 978-0-9742891-6-8

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Transitions and downsizing are never easy, but after the loss of her husband, Suzy Kemp knows a retirement community is the best decision for her. Thankfully, she has her devoted son to help her through the process. And today she’s all set to move into the independent-living apartment she selected.

Suzy goes through the check-in process and final health assessments, but her mind is on her cute apartment with a patio and a garden, her furniture that should arrive tomorrow, and other details of her new life. Is it any wonder then that she missed a few of the memory test questions? It could happen to anyone.

Suzy finds herself being wheeled into a hospital style memory care unit instead of her own apartment.

She tries to adjust to what she hopes is a temporary situation, but making friends with people who can’t remember who she is, or who they are, is a challenge. Hearing screams in the night doesn’t help either.

Things take a turn for the worse when Suzy notices that Jeanette, one of the residents, is missing. Perhaps she’s gone home? Gotten better and moved into her own apartment? Like the one she should be in instead of here.

But when Suzy inquires about Jeannette, everyone pretends she doesn’t exist.

Suzy questions her memory and her sanity, but when another resident disappears, Suzy is convinced that something strange and criminal is taking place in the retirement community.  But who’s going to believe her, a woman with memory issues?  And who can she trust?

Suzy is determined to discover what’s going on. And it’ll take all of her deductive skills, and memory, to work out the clues that will hopefully prevent others from disappearing, including her.

Apple, Table, Penny…Murder, is witty and intriguing with just the right amount of suspense, mystery, and humor. A delightful and entertaining read.

Veronica Jorge  

See you next time on October 22nd!

Other Books Reviewed by Veronica

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

INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

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INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

REFUGEE

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REFUGEE

THE WITCH WHISPERER

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

THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

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THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

DISTANT RELATIONS

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DISTANT RELATIONS

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

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FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

THE ONLY ROAD

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THE ONLY ROAD

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

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THE LAST GOODNIGHT

MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

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MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

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FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

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FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

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FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

MY FRIEND JACKSON

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MY FRIEND JACKSON

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

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

SECRET RELATIONS

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SECRET RELATIONS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

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

FOREIGN RELATIONS

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

THE ALLIANCE

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THE ALLIANCE

A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

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

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

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

SEVERED RELATIONS

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SEVERED RELATIONS

A BIRD WILL SOAR

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A BIRD WILL SOAR

NEMESIS AND THE SWAN

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NEMESIS AND THE SWAN
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