The Thursday Dream Came True

Smudged gold through a grubby windshield.                                                                             
A Sunday city sunset so bright, it’s blinding.

 

 

When you drive into the sunset on a Sunday evening, the glare of gold is blinding and your heart leaps at the glory glowing all around you …

The golden glory of that late-winter city sunset.

When you walk into a room doused with late-afternoon sun and run for your phone to get a picture.  To freeze the moment, that sense of wonder that washes over you …

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Seconds of sudden sunshine spilling into a dim room 
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Me with sun and shadow on the doors of the hall closet. Those golden, glorious, unexpected moments …

 

When a bar of sunshine spills all over the closet doors and your shadow slides into the panoply of light and shadow …

Moments of unexpected, unsolicited joy that whisper voiceless words of  wonder and promises of marvels to come.

 

This is my dream box –

The dream box sits in a corner of my bedroom, by the door. The first sight that meets my eye when I wake up in the morning.

 

 

 

It overflows with two decades of journals, the pen-and-ink record of significant moments — worst, best, lovely, ugly.  And all the dreams of course …

I was born to write. Write, I did.  All my life.  

 

So  Thursdays With Harold , a journey that commenced some years ago on the writers’ website, fanstory.com  , is finally a reality.

A ping on my phone one evening some years ago, alerts me to a message from Judy Starritt.  She’s found this blog and read the first teaser chapter of Thursdays With Harold.  She asks for more.

Judy has ALS , is paralyzed and has lost her power of speech.  She still has marginal use of her hands, however, and can read and type on her Ipad.  She’s a hawk for typos.  The teacher in her connects with the teacher in me.  We become fast friends and communicate daily via Facebook messenger. Her joy and determined vitality are infectious. She’s intrigued by Harold, the main character in the book, who is also an ALS patient.

I email her six chapters at a time.  

 Judy sent me this picture of her manuscript of Thursdays With Harold, which her husband printed for her to read.  It lies against the backdrop of the sheets of the bed she lay in. There’s a rainbow on it. We shared a mutual love of rainbows.
 Judy Starritt, wife, mother, grandmother, retired math teacher, an irrepressible, inspirational, vital, clever woman, who blazed a trail even through her ALS journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judy comments  –

I finished your book about 3 hours ago.  Would you like to know my thoughts about it?

This book is TOO good to be tucked away.  THIS IS A BOOK THAT SHOULD BE READ.  A book club and discussion sort of book.  A PERFECT book club book that would lead into wonderful discussions.  A book that stays with you.

Is this book at a publishers? 

It is time for it to come out of the closet … or drawer… or hard drive.  How can I help with miracles? This SO needs to be published. 

There is such an awareness about ALS now. I could be in charge of East Coast publicity. I have learned that anything is possible.

Judy in the final days with her newest grandchild.     

Judy passes on some weeks later.  I’ve never met her in person, this woman who’s become such a dear and intimate friend.  I fly out to eastern Canada to attend her funeral in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The hospital bed in which Judy spent her last years, set up by her bedroom window. On the bed lies her Ipad.  It was surreal to visit Judy’s home the day after her funeral in January 2018, to meet her family and experience the overwhelming sense of a woman I’d known so well, but never met face-to-face

The dream she’s rekindled refuses to die.  Anything is possible, she said …

But I need a cover design.

I reach out to Avril Borthiry, a talented Canadian writer of medieval romances.  We got acquainted on Fanstory.com when she was creating her fascinating novel, Triskelion

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Avril Borthiry, talented writer and amateur cover designer par excellence, author of several novels,  My favourite is the haunting Triskelion.

“Who does your covers?” I asked.                            

“I do my own,” Av said. “I could design yours!”

It’s lovely when artists are generous with one another. 

Triskelion: a legend continues by [Borthiry, Avril]
Triskelion, by Avril Borthiry. A haunting tale of medieval Cumbria.
Avril produced a cover that read my heart.  She pushed me to persevere.  She sent me tips and links, made suggestions and critiqued. 

“I loved Harold.  It’s a story that must be told,” she said.

And so, the dream came true.

Thursdays With Harold is  available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon –

(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084YXJRDS…)

Also as e-book on Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, Apple, Baker & Taylor, Bibliotheca, OverDrive and 24 Symbols.

(https://books2read.com/u/mKDxvd)

This is the story of Thursdays With Harold —

Thursdays With Harold: cover design by Avril Borthiry

Harold Stedman, a quirky sixty-something suburban lawyer with a crooked smile and zany sense of humour, is retained by Fiona to represent her in a bizarre case of copyright theft and wrongful dismissal.

Shortly into the legal proceedings Harold is diagnosed with ALS. Within months he’s lost his power of speech, but he’s determined to see the case through.

Fiona makes weekly visits to Harold’s office as attorney and client make a united effort to laugh their way through the harrowing circumstances

Lorraine, Harold’s wife – a strong, stylish professional – and Fiona become friends as time ticks by and the case drags on. Then Lorraine Stedman turns nasty. Very nasty.

There’s a trial looming and finances are depleted. An ugly cloud hangs over Fiona. Will there be a way out?

Charged with pathos and fun, unexpected twists and convolutions, this is the compelling story of an unlikely friendship, misplaced trust and the mad scramble to wind up an ill-fated lawsuit.

Come on in and visit with Fiona on Thursdays with Harold …

 

Thank you, Judy Starritt, for believing in this novel.  I’ve dedicated it to your memory.  You came out of nowhere, reached out through cyberspace and helped me believe the dream was worth pursuing.

Thank you, Avril Borthiry for sharing your time, talent and expertise, and for convincing me to see this project through.  Without the crucial, final detail of an eye-catching cover Harold would never have hit the public forum.

Remember how your mum would tell you not to judge a book by its cover?  Not true in this demanding digital age!  The cover counts big time.  It’s the reader’s first exposure to the author’s work — to tempt or to turn away.

So this dream’s done and dusted off.   And now, there’s a brand new one simmering on my mind!  

I believe the best is yet to come.

Until next time,

Excitedly yours,

Judy sent me this picture. “… and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true …”

Acid Words Or Rainwater?

“I suck at this,” she wailed. ” I’ll never get it.  I’m going to fail.  Why even bother to try?”                

Some people take to certain things like ducks to water.  Others not so much.                      

All five fingers are not the same, Mum used to say…                                                                      

I watched as she struggled to accomplish her task, heaping negativity on her hapless head.  Her words settled like corrosive dead-weights in my spirit.

“Don’t say such things,” I uttered.  “Words are powerful.  They stick and become self-fulfilling.”

If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it, Mum would say …

“That’s what you always say.” She sounded irritated.   “So what? It’s just  words.”

No.  Not just words …

Proverbs 18:21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue …

I began to see a vivid picture in my mind.  Two seedlings in glass containers, one full of acid and the other rainwater.

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How it unfolded in my mind

“If you were a plant,” I said, “And words were the medium you were growing in, if kind, positive words were rain water and negative, condemning words were acid – which one would you thrive in?”

She grew silent.

“If you wake up every morning and hear someone tell you how ugly, rotten and dumb you are, that you’ll never go far or succeed, can you imagine the toxicity you’ll imbibe?  At some point you’ll come to believe                                                                                                  what you hear. Your spirit                                                                                                                 receives what your ear hears until it                                                                                             becomes a part of who you are.                                                                                                                                                

No comment.

I plodded on. “On the other hand, if someone tells you daily that you are beautiful, smart, talented and capable of achieving anything you set your mind to … imagine the pure rainwater seeping in nourish your spirit.”

Point made.  Her exasperation remained, but the dark words ceased.  

For the moment.Oh, to always be able to see the gorgeous pink sunset behind and that dark, dark cloud

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Sunset behind a rain cloud (Niagara Falls, summer 2017)

Some weeks back,  I stepped into the mall and understood — all over again — the power of words.  I’d recently begun to experience occasional darts of doubt . Amazingly, that mellow evening, it seemed like my steps led me from store to store and brought pause at unexpected spots where wonderful words leapt out to cheer me on –

 

 

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I couldn’t have contrived the inspiration, if I’d tried.  My spirits rose and began to soar.

But that wasn’t all …

On my way home, there was an impelling to stop at a supermarket I don’t often visit.  I paid for two bags of soil I didn’t urgently require and headed out.  A man hurried up from behind and bent over my cart.

“Those look heavy,” he said pleasantly.

I smiled, “They are.”

“I need some for my garden,”  the stranger added, “but that’s why I didn’t get any today!”

He straightened up and I became instantly aware of the words on the back of his T-shirt –

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I had to get a picture so I would remember that moment always

I gotta believe …

Caught my breath on a gasp.

Gotta get a picture!

Hurried into the parking lot and chased the gentleman down.

Me (to man)I know this sounds silly, but do you believe in signs?

Man (looking startled)I do.

Me: Would you mind if I took a picture of the words on the back of your T-shirt?  I needed to see them. They were my sign today.

Man turned around and obligingly posed.

Click!

Man:  So what are your plans for the summer?

Me:  I don’t know.  I have so many dreams and they were beginning to die.  That’s why I needed those words.  Thank you!

Man: I really need to get some of that soil, you know.

Me:  So go get some.  Maybe I am your sign for today!

My heart sang all the twilit way back home.

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Love how rosy watercolour-ish twilight cloaks the street – well after 9.00 at night (Canada Day, July 2017)

The final clincher came a week later, at the dentist’s office.  

I became acutely aware – the moment I stepped in – of the single word tattooed on the neck of the girl manning the phones.  She had her back to me –

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Her co-worker held her hair out of the way while she posed for the picture

Believe!

Point taken — signed, sealed and delivered!

I’d have to be really dense not to get it by now …

So it’s done.  The audio version of Next Week, On Thursday is up on You Tube.

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Click here to check out Selina’s You Tube Channel

all thirty eight chapters of it.

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Sneak peak.  Click here to listen to Next Week, On Thursday: Chapter One – The Scent Of Jasmine. Feedback is hugely appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To stop dreaming is to die a little every day.

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… so I won’t.

Until next time,

sincerely

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Always reaching …
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I got many more than I asked for! (On the arm of young  bakery assistant)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Everywhere!  Blame it on the summer

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