Happy Spring!

This past winter has been has been a challenging one with record-breaking low temperatures and snowfalls, unrelenting winds and Nor’Easters, floods and cancellations. Today marks a new beginning, a season of rebirth, reinvention, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth.

Here are ten of my favorite “spring” quotes:

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. Virgil A. Kraft

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
Pablo Neruda

Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment. Ellis Peters

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Spring is the time of plans and projects. Leo Tolstoy

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! Mark Twain

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ Robin Williams

The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently. Gary Zukav

Do you have a favorite “spring” quote?


Enjoying the Best of Two Worlds

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Madelaine Grant sharing her artistic and literary passions and new release, A Total Mismatch.

Here’s Madelaine!

I wrote my first story at age ten. The story was originally accepted by my elementary school magazine. Ecstatic with joy, I told everyone I was being published. However, fate intervened and my teacher told me, sorrowfully, that they had decided not to publish my story since an older student had written something similar. I guess they figured I’d have time to write more stories and be published later on. Taking this rejection really hard I decided then and there I wasn’t going to be a writer after all.

When my art teacher complimented me on my pastel drawings in sixth grade and told me I used colors well and could become an artist, I was delighted. That’s the direction I chose and followed for the next several decades. First I concentrated on commercial art, since I did have to make a living. Later on I began teaching art to children at a nearby museum. That led to more teaching jobs and finally to becoming Assistant Director of Art at that same museum.

But the writing bug would not totally disappear. I tried writing and illustrating a children’s story which almost got published. The company went bankrupt however. I finally joined RWA and my local chapter Tampa Area Romance Authors. After writing several romance novels which never made it I began writing short stories for True Confessions and True Story magazines. I had met one of the editors through TARA and, with her help, was finally able to see my work published. Emboldened by that first success I wrote several novellas which were published by Extasy Books. And now my first full- length novel, a romantic comedy titled “A Total Mismatch” by Madelaine Grant (pen name) has been published as an e book by Soul Mate Publishing. It will go into print in March and is available on Amazon and other distributors for pre order. Here’s a quick summary of the book:

Romantic comedy “A Total Mismatch” takes polar opposites Samantha Peabody and Jordan Hart on a wild courtship ride from lavish weddings and fine art to belly dancing and barroom brawls. This rollicking journey includes the best flavors of ice cream in New York City and a touch of tai chi. To read the first chapter of the book you can visit my web site http://www.madelainegrant.com.

I haven’t given up art. I still paint and exhibit my work. The combination of writing and art seems to be the best of both worlds. I love both and hope to write more books and paint more pictures for years to come.


Fate brings polar opposites Samantha (Sam) Peabody and Jordan Hart together. Free spirit Sam is an artist, occasional belly dancer, and sloppy housekeeper while Jordan is a lawyer, fitness and neatness freak, and lover of ice cream.

The one thing they have in common is their dislike of big, fussy weddings.

After a fight with her oldest sister, Andrea, Sam decides not to attend Andrea’s lavish wedding. When Jordan is invited to a wedding, he asks Sam to accompany him, not knowing it’s Sam’s sister’s affair. Complicating Sam’s busy life is an offer from a local craft beer company to belly dance for a TV ad and become the symbol of their new beer company.

Sam’s disastrous first marriage and the difficult dynamics in her family make her insecure about a new relationship. Besides, she hates the idea of marriage. Can Jordan’s persistence win Sam over and dissolve her fears?


Where to find Madelaine…

Website | Blog | Facebook | Amazon

Joanne here!

Madelaine, I’m impressed by your creative talents. Best of luck with A Total Mismatch. It sounds delightful!

Sharing Irish Blessings


May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!


May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
the foresight to know where you’re going
and the insight to know when you’re going too far.


May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.


May your troubles be less,
And your blessing be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.


May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond.




Honoring Stephen Hawking

A visionary and one of the most influential scientists in history, Stephen Hawking died early this morning. He was also an astronomer, cosmologist, mathematician, and author of numerous articles and books, among them A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 10 million copies.

His theories have changed how we understand black holes and relativity. But it was how he communicated science in spite of a debilitating disease that impressed and inspired all of us. Diagnosed with Amyotrphic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) shortly after his 21st birthday in 1963, Stephen Hawking defied all the odds and persevered for fifty-five years, well beyond the original prediction of two years.

PRINCETON, NJ – OCTOBER 10: Cosmologist Stephen Hawking on October 10, 1979 in Princeton, New Jersey. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty Images)

My favorite quotations from Stephen Hawking…

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.

Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.

People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.

We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.

Not only does God play dice, but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.

However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.

Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humor.


10 Amazing Life Lessons from Albert Einstein

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Born on March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is considered one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century. The German mathematician and physicist developed the special and general theories of relativity and went on to win the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921. His work had a major impact on the development of atomic energy.

In 1999, Canadian scientists studied his brain and discovered that his inferior parietal lobe, the area that processes spatial relationships, 3D-visualization and mathematical thought, was 15 percent wider than in people with normal intelligence. It is not surprising that he had a passion for inquiry.

Here are 10 of his life lessons…


Happy International Women’s Day!


In Praise of Indirect Paths

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

It’s easy to get discouraged when Plan A doesn’t work out, especially if considerable time, effort, and money is involved. But that shouldn’t stop any of us from implementing a Plan B, C…Z. Here are some examples of people who took indirect paths to success.