Conversations: 11/24/2017


Reading to (then with) my daughter when she was a child was a joy I’d tucked away in my memories until her son was born just five short years ago. Suddenly, I was reintroduced to great short stories that are beautifully illustrated (Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Construction Site, and Little Blue Truck) and are now duplicated in her house and mine. Some of them I will never part with again because they speak to the child within me and offer me sage wisdom that crosses all age, ethnic, and cultural barriers.

I greatly admire the authors who write and publish these amazing books. They not only offer parents priceless “connection time” with their children, but they often allow us to explore the depths of symbolism and character development (Winnie-the-Pooh) that enhance our adult lives. Today, I give you two examples of two very different stories that will bless your holiday reading.

holidays in heaven marcia spilmanThroughout my life I’ve enjoyed the companionship of many pets from goldfish and cats to English Bulldogs. As a child, I was unable to express just how much I missed those critters, especially around the holidays when we were looking in the stores to find just the right toy (or aquarium cave) to give to them that year. So, when I found this book—HOLIDAYS IN HEAVEN by Marcia Spilman—during a recent random online search, I was thrilled. It is 38 pages of beautiful illustrations that address multiple holidays such as Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Veterans Day, Christmas, etc.

Spilman realized that our children “expect us to have answers and a brighter outlook on their loss.” This is what inspired her to write the book, offering comfort—to children of all ages—during the holidays when we are missing someone special who is no longer on this earth.

My second book selection this week is BOSS RALPHIE. One of the online reviewers saysboss ralphie edward carboni the story reminds him of a mixture of It’s A Wonderful Life and/or A Christmas Carol written through the lens of Goodfellas the mafia/mob novel. This is NOT an illustrated story for young children, but it undeniably tweaks the perspectives of everyone who’s read it.

Author Edward Carboni, has created this short story (51pages) that imagines God as the “Don of the universe” and His Archangel Raphael as “Boss Ralphie.” The Boss and his crew of “wise-guy angels” have been given a special assignment on Christmas Eve. They must save the soul of a lost man and the life of a little girl on the streets of Philadelphia. This very unique story has been heralded as “A heartwarming and funny story certain to become a new holiday classic.”

Each of my blogs this November offers us (yes, me too) the opportunity to explore different genres whether they fit into our general writing styles or not. Each of these authors has worked to develop their writing techniques and release their voices into the world. They’ve chosen to self-publish for multiple reasons (which is a topic for discussion at another time). So today, if you haven’t already picked up one of these books to read, I’m encouraging you to do so. There is much to learn from these authors.

Whether you are in the midst of writing that “great American novel,” or feel flat-lined in the concept development department, these books—and others in their genres—will inspire you in ways that cannot be anticipated. So, READ and relax a little and don’t forget to take notes when ideas begin to “pop.” This holiday season is definitely the Season to Read and Taste, Read and Imagine, Read and Seed, and simply READ FOR FUN! ⚓︎


ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

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