Saturday, April 9, 2016

Haiku: White Blossoms

white blossoms
Spiritual Spring
effervescent pale florets
bountiful hope blooms

by Jennifer Richardson

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Sound of Gravel (Ruth Wariner)

THE SOUND OF GRAVEL tells the story of my childhood and the dramatic situations and conditions that my siblings and I endured growing up in the polygamous community of Colonia LeBaron. My mother had married my father at the age seventeen. He was forty-two and already had four wives. He was the self-proclaimed prophet of the church I grew up in, The Church of the Firstborn. 

My father's brother Ervil LeBaron, the infamous Mormon Manson, had him assassinated in an attempt to gain control of the church when I was just three months old. Three years after he died, my mom remarried another polygamist who eventually had four wives. She  had six more children with him. We were raised mostly in rural Mexico, and as the eldest non-handicapped daughter, I was my mom's right-hand. The only thing women were expected to do in LeBaron was bear and raise children. 

It wasn't an easy childhood by any stretch of the imagination, but there were many happy moments between my mom, and my siblings, many of whom I'm still very close with today. 

For more information on The Sound of Gravel:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ten Questions: Colleen Saidman Yee

Colleen Saidman Yee is the founder of Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor, New York and New York City. She is also a featured instructor of Gaiam Yoga Online. Mrs. Saidman Yee is internationally renowned for her yoga instruction and a postitive voice in the yoga community. She is the author of the bestseller, Yoga for Life, and a dedicated wife and mother.
Ten Questions:
How would you define the practice of yoga?
The practice of yoga is not really something that you can define.  It is different for everyone that steps on the mat, or sits on a cushion. There is a stereotype that yoga means asana. It is much more than just taking shapes with the body. It is using the body as a means to train the mind. Mr. Iyengar says that the way to find the spark of divinity is through the body. There is an intimacy and an understanding of one’s self and one’s actions that leads to greater understanding, connection, and kindness.
What has inspired you to make yoga a central focus of your life?
Yoga is a central focus of my life because it is. I fell in love. I touched, saw, smelled, tasted, and even heard the internal shift that a consistent practice of asana, pranayama, meditation, and study provides. It is a dear friend that I can’t live without.
How can practicing yoga be an antidote to our frenetic, technology driven society?
When you get on the mat. It is you and yourself. Not you and your phone or you and all the other distractions. The noise is a way of avoiding getting to know the true you. Silence can be uneasy in such a frenetic world. We can be addicted to stimulation and drama. Hitting the pause button is like plugging your phone in when the batteries are low. Instead of tuning out with chaos, tune in with love.
Your spouse, Rodney Yee, is also a prominent yogi. How does the practice enhance your relationship?
Rodney and I speak the same language. Yoga is like a child that we both share a love for. We hold mirrors up for each other on a daily basis. It is not always easy, but we hold each other accountable. We help each other keep it real. The yoga practice that we share cuts through the bullshit.
Do you feel that yoga should be taught in schools?
Absolutely, yoga should be taught in schools. It is a tool that should be in every kid’s toolbox. Bullying comes from low self-esteem, and fear. Yoga can help get to know yourself and befriend a body that is changing, and instill confidence.
What are your favorite poses and why?
My favorite poses are plow and seated forward bends. I like to go quiet. These two poses create relaxation and turning inwards. Just like most of us, I am exhausted a lot of the time. Forward bends are a great antidote for stress.
What would you say to someone who says that they are too busy or too old to try yoga?
Are you too busy to feel good? Really? You don’t have 20 minutes a day to spend with yourself. If you aren’t willing to do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones. They will benefit. Anyone can practice yoga. It doesn’t matter how old or even how healthy you are. There are entire practices that can be done in bed.
What would you consider an exceptional day?
A perfect day is not setting an alarm. Waking up, sitting on a blanket facing Rodney for a 20 minute pranayama practice. Then going to the kitchen and drinking tea (coffee for Rodney) for an hour or more while staring out at our beautiful backyard. Sometimes, we are quiet and sometimes we are jabbering. But, it is such precious time. After that, roll out a couple of mats and with no agenda just start rolling around and digging into our bodies and see what kind of practice evolves. Breakfast, long walk, a little shopping, a movie, peanut butter, country or blues music, cuddling, giggling, and sleeping.
Can you share some information on your studios and what a yoga session looks like?
Yoga Shanti is an experience that starts from the moment you walk in the door. You are met with beauty and serenity. Smell is such an important sense, and you are met with a delicious aroma that immediately makes you breathe. You take off your shoes and take in the beauty of the beautiful colors, textures, and light. You are welcomed as if family. The teachers are all absolutely amazing and not is a cookie cutter way. You will feel safe and will leave feeling alert and relaxed. What’s not to love?
What are your future projects and dreams for the next year?
This year will consist of showing up and teaching the best damn yoga that I can. I will continue to promote my book, Yoga for Life. I believe that this will be a big year for Urban Zen Integrative Therapists. We are making great headway and a lot of doors are starting to open. The work is so effective and helping so many people. This will take a big chunk of time. We are always filming more content for Gaiam, Gaia, and Oneoeight. I am super excited that Yoga Journal is going to be filming and distributing the practices in the 14 chapters of my book. Yoga. Yoga and more yoga.








Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kiss and Tell - Luke Murphy

My “Baby”

This novel took me 15 years to write. Well, not exactly, but...
Even though Dead Man’s Hand was my first published novel, it’s not the first book I wrote. Kiss & Tell is my “baby.”  It’s the first book I ever even attempted to write. I started writing the novel in the winter of 2000, while playing hockey down in Oklahoma.
A lot of circumstances surround this novel, and it’s the reason I started writing in the first place. This novel, and all of my writing, happened by “chance.”  I was playing professional hockey in Oklahoma, and was struck in the eye with a stick in a preseason game. That injury ended my season before it began.
My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, was attending a French college in Montreal, and her English professor assigned the class the task of writing a short story.
My girlfriend knew that I was an avid reader, so she asked me if I would help her develop the story, which I did. I had so much fun with the project, that when we had finished, I took one of the characters we had created and started writing my own story.
I wrote Kiss & Tell in six months, but it was nowhere even close to being publishable. Actually, it stunk. It was a practice story for me, so I left it sitting in my computer, and started writing a second book.
After I published Dead Man’s Hand in 2012, I decided to reopen Kiss & Tell and take another look. My first reaction…it was bad, written by a first-time, newbie, amateur author.  But I loved the plot, cast of characters, and the potential. I didn’t want to give up on this story.
So I took everything I’d learned about the craft of writing and the industry and put it into editing Kiss & Tell. The revisions completely changed the entire book.
After I’d completed it in 2001, Kiss & Tell was written from the point of view of Jessica Philips, the primary murder suspect in the Ken Anderson investigation, and the story was told from Jessica’s first person POV.
The Kiss & Tell that came out in 2015 is told from Detective Charlene Taylor’s point of view, written in third person.  Although the plot never changed, some of the characters and scenes did.
A major scene/twist change that occurred?
In the original Kiss & Tell, the identity of the Celebrity Slayer was never revealed. I was planning on turning this CS plot into a series, extending the investigation through a number of books. But, taking into consideration a suggestion from one of my editors, I decided to change that. However, don’t think I don’t have more plans for the Celebrity Slayer, in upcoming Charlene Taylor books.
But that’s for another time, and another place.

Buy the book here:  

Luke’s Bio
Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012).
Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).
Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife, three daughters and pug. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).
Kiss & Tell is Murphy’s second novel. He is represented by The Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

For more information on Luke’s books, visit:, ‘like’ his Facebook page and follow on Twitter

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dan Llywelyn Hall: Beyond the Red Carpet

Amongst the throng of cameras and jostling reporters will be a SIGHT SELDOM SEEN in the 68 years of the  Cannes Film Festival:  an artist working with a pencil, sketchbook, possibly some watercolours and definitely no camera. 

A visual artist will be 'Artiste en Residence' for the duration of the festival from 13 - 24th May 2015, with accreditation for the Palais des Festivals.

The painter is 34 year old Dan Llywelyn Hall, who’s based in London.  Dan will draw and paint the 'sights and curiosities' in and around the Palais and the town of Cannes.  He will be attempting to catch the spirit and character of the most glamorous festival on earth which attracts upwards of a quarter million visitors each year.

The project entitled 'Beyond the Red Carpet' will be updated daily to website and will be used by magazines and newsagencies to provide a different take on the spectacle of the red carpet and beyond. The collection will then form an exhibition to tour London and Paris this time next year.

Introductory interview with artist

For advance interview requests and proposals for publishing the images during the festival please contact

Friday, January 16, 2015

Boyhood (film)

Time and the ambiguities of life can be exemplary subjects in modern film.  In the fictional movie, Boyhood, director Richard Linklater (Before Sunset) has filmed his actors over a twelve year period beginning in 2002. Boyhood follows the life of a young boy, Mason, beautifully portrayed by Ellar Coltrane from six years old to college age. There is an almost documentary feel to the film and audiences may note the simple realism of other notable works (About Schmidt, Election, Garden State). Mason endures changes in the home life of his single mother, Patricia Arquette, as she strives to achieve an education and maintain various love interests. Ethan Hawke vividly portrays his father who also grows monumentally throughout the movie. There is a huge sense of authenticity to the narrative which helps Linklater connect to his audience. The movie is getting exceptional accolades from critics and the Hollywood awards system and I hope everyone will watch this important piece of work. As a mother of a teenage son, the subject matter regarding a boy’s coming of age and the overall changes in life made for an exceptional viewing. In essence, we are all on a beautiful and sometimes messy journey called life.

On another note, the final song in the film, “Hero,” by the Los Angeles band, Family of the Year is one of the most eloquent and lyrical songs that I have heard in years. The guitar themes in Boyhood and this beautifully lyrical song have inspired me to pick up my rusty guitar. Enjoy both of these gifts in an age of international strife and reality television.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Far as the Eye Can See: Robert Bausch

Esteemed author Robert Bausch has published his eighth novel and it can be ordered via I am honored to work with this exceptionally talented writer and gifted professor at Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Author Summary:

Bobby Hale is a Union veteran several times over. After the war, he sets his sights on California, but only makes it to Montana. As he stumbles around the West, from the Wyoming Territory to the Black Hills of the Dakotas, he finds meaning in the people he meets-settlers and native people-and the violent history he both participates in and witnesses. Far as the Eye Can See is the story of life in a place where every minute is an engagement in a kind of war of survival, and how two people-a white man and a mixed-race woman-in the midst of such majesty and violence can manage to find a pathway to their own humanity.

Since 1975, Robert Bausch has been a college professor, teaching creative writing, American literature, world literature, humanities, philosophy, and expository writing. He has taught at the University of Virginia, American University, George Mason University, and Johns Hopkins University. For the balance of his career he has been teaching at Northern Virginia Community College. He has also been a director on the board of the Pen-Faulkner Foundation. In 2009 he was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize in Literature. ( James Gilford)

On the Way Home, 1982
The Lives of Riley Chance, 1984
Almighty Me!, 1991 
The White Rooster and other stories, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1995
A Hole in the Earth, 2000 
The Gypsy Man, 2002, Harcourt, 
Out of Season, 2005, In the Fall They Come Back, 2011
The Legend of Jesse Smoke, 2012
Far As the Eye Can See, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2014

Author Website: