Blog

For the Love of Reading

Ashlin found a comfy spot to read.

In the preface of my book, I explain how the title Musing Off the Mat came to me while practicing yoga.

On Saturday, June 24th, Kristin Olson graciously hosted a book signing for me at her studio, Home Yoga, where I am a regular.

While chatting with friends who attended the event, I noticed Kristin’s 8-year-old daughter Ashlin reading my book. The image of her nestled there on the couch in the lobby of the studio warmed me.

Many kind people have complimented me on the book, however watching this precious young girl read my personal essays was the most gratifying part of the day and better than any book sale.

Thank you, Ashlin. Read for life and love.

Dreaming A Dream

The night before I announced my book, Musing Off the MatI had a vivid dream. I was climbing a concrete obelisk similar to the Washington Monument, only it was on a slant instead of vertical. I had no climbing gear. I was wearing only a t-shirt and pants. No shoes, hat, gloves, or goggles.

I was pulling myself up like I used to do on the ropes in junior high school gym class. Near the top, the concrete mountain was wrapped in a thin, cotton quilt. As I continued climbing, the quilt would slip me farther down the obelisk. I could see the top but couldn’t get there. Finally, I summoned strength from somewhere, raised my left arm, placed my palm on top of the surface, and pulled my body onto the landing.

I stood up and found myself inside a small, undecorated, empty, square lobby with dusty windows. There was no scenic view.

Then Kelly Ripa walked into the lobby. She congratulated me for making it to the top and asked if I wanted a photo taken. I told her I regretted wearing a t-shirt with St. Thomas written across it. (The cover photo of the book was taken in St. Thomas.) Kelly said it didn’t matter. She placed a beaded wreath on my head and snapped a photo.

Next, Kelly’s husband, Mark Consuelos, appeared. He told me it was easy to take the elevator down to the street level. He asked if I needed a ride home. I said no, that I’d walk to my car that was several blocks away in the Villanova parking lot.

That was the end of my dream.

Obviously, climbing a mountain alone without gear is symbolic of self-publishing. The journey is strenuous but perhaps may be more satisfying than actually completing the goal. Villanova, my alma mater, is where my dream of becoming a writer started. As for Kelly and Mark? Who knows how they entered my psyche?

My First Book!

Welcome! Readers like you inspired me to launch my blog, Musing Off the Mat, in 2013. For four years, I wrote about the simplicity of everyday things involving family, food, yoga, and more. The result is my first book. Thank you!

On this blog, I’ll write about my new role as a published author. I’ll share my experience with self-publishing (not so easy!) and what I encounter promoting and selling a book. And I’ll continue writing about those daily happenings that make me shake my head in wonder.

Writing is a solitary endeavor. Yet, I did not achieve the goal of self-publishing a book on my own. Along the way, several people helped me and I want to thank them.

First, my writing partner, Kathleen Molloy Nollet (Education Spring). Kathy was with me before I launched the blog, met me at the local library countless times, and answered my calls. She prodded and always encouraged me. We had a lot of laughs along the way.

I’m indebted to Kelly Pelissier at Sage Hill Design for her design expertise of the book’s interior and cover. I know my limits and it was clear that I could not complete the layout without the technical skill required for a quality product. Working with Kelly was fun. She taught me a lot and I’m excited to be working with her on my forthcoming memoir.

Kieran Chapman introduced me to Kelly and built this web site. He is knowledgeable, talented, and efficient. Both Kelly and Kieran are very responsive and easy to work with.

Ellen Alden is a new author who provided encouragement and advice about self-publishing.

If you’re new to my blog, thank you for stopping by. If you were a follower of my first blog, thanks for sticking with me.