Thank you Park Forest Book Club members for a truly great day and your support. The book clubs of Park Forest, Englewood, FL and other interested residents gathered March 2 to hear Florida author DL Havlin. Mr Havlin spoke about his book, The Cross on Cotton Creek. His presentation focused on Civil War history, writing techniques and the message within this book.
With very few exceptions, Christmas has been a season when people in this country put aside our differences both petty … and not so petty.
We’ve welcomed each other in thought, in presence, – we’ve done so without reservations – no identity relationship has mattered, no visible difference, no qualification as to where we live, no reservation based on ideology.
It’s been a time when we all can look at our fellow humans with understanding, kindness, charity and dare I say it … love?
Isn’t it sad?
There is pressure to put an end to this season of good will.
It comes from all around us and inundates us like a tsunami destroying that feeling of happiness and peace that accompanies the magic I associate with a simple phrase … “Merry Christmas.”
What I see on TV, what I read, what I hear, and worse, how I see us treat each other during this season … what I see as a period of truce … convinces me that there are those who wish to steal from us, the most valuable thing we have.
Our collective humanity.
Listening to TV commentators and politicians this morning occasioned a thought.
I refuse to allow others to rob my sense of humanity. I will NOT reject people who differ from me in any way based on narrowness of vision and selfish views of life.
Humanity’s laws do not require that we think the same.
Because someone doesn’t agree with my political outlook, social values or other personal beliefs, doesn’t give me the right to value them any less as a human.
Certainly the reverse is true.
My personal set of values does not devalue me.
With this thought in mind, I’ve decided I won’t allow the rhetoric of division and derision to destroy my enjoyment of fellow human beings this Christmas. I hope I have the wisdom to maintain this state of mind far past this season of goodwill.
I will not assign a negative value to a person with whom I disagree most vehemently. I will proudly retain my thoughts, understanding that people will differ. Disagreement with another simply means I have to be tolerant of them. I’ll strive to remember those who see only one point of view … those who resort to labels and vitriol in response to opposing ideas … lack the intelligence to reason and refute. I’ll react to them with the pity and understanding those with such narrow intellect require.
I will put the atmosphere of recrimination aside, hope they will, and if not, ignore the “slings and arrows.”
Can I persuade some of you who read this to adopt this thought? Let’s make this a “Merry Christmas!”
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I hope all you folks that live in the Greater Miami area will have some time to visit me at the Coral Springs, Barnes & Noble this Saturday. My presentation starts at 3 PM. I’ll be featuring two of my books that take place in Florida. One has a very strong historical component that tells how Florida helped win the Pacific battles during World War II. The other is the past’s portrait of some of today’s most difficult problems – bullying, race, and parenting. The titles are Blue Water, Red Blood and Bully Route Home respectively, both won Florida Writers Association, Royal Palm Literary Awards. (for historical and literary genre)
As usual, Barnes & Noble has a quality program planned. Authors Ronald Feinman, Chef Wolfgang Hanau, and Carlos Enrique Diaz will be joining me.
Rediscover reading. Your television is filled with non-stop partisan garbage and mindless dribble. Go back to something where you have the power to select and have the possibility of a learning experience … something that you’ve chosen to entertain you with hard facts or fanciful fiction. You deserve the opportunity.
The Coral Springs Barnes & Noble is located at 2790 University Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065. Their phone number is 954-344-6291. Come visit with my fellow authors and me this Saturday.
You can go to Sutter’s Fort on the American River in California to pan for gold or to the Orinoco River in South America to look for rough gems, but I can tell you where to find a gleaming polished diamond. He’s pictured above. Tim Donald is a “100 carat” gem. He’s a Ranger at the Kingsley Plantation, part of the National Park Service system. If you get to northeastern Florida, this is a “not-to-be-missed” destination. You’ll learn something about the fabric of our country!
I met this fine man when doing research for a four book series that follows migrations into Florida from the Battle of King’s Mountain during the Revolutionary War through the 1950’s. He was extraordinarily helpful in providing me with a wagon load of information to use in my novels. Tim explained everything from the task system used to produce products on the plantations to the methods used to build the houses where slaves were quartered.
The history of this place predates Spanish colonization. The Timucuan Indians inhabited the area a thousand years before Christ was born. It was the site of a Spanish Mission by 1587. The Plantation’s and the area’s history, is a violent one. Many countries hoisted flags over the land. Intrigues, notorious owners, slavery, and other clouds have darkened the buildings, sand, oaks, pines and palmettos that are the park. Tim shared it all with me.
This was a great experience and a good portion of this greatness was because of the man who “walked me through” this piece of our history. Tim’s a Marine. (I won’t say Ex) The man is thoughtful, intelligent, and very perceptive. He was so open and earnest in discussing things, difficult things, that are part of our history that we ALL wish had never happened. But they did. No one can deny that. The two of us saw the “sameness” in each other, not the differences. I love the bond I felt. In Tim’s situation, it takes a superior person to do so. ………..
What this country needs are more Tim Donalds.
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January is here, the holidays are gone, the tourists have arrived, and it’s time to get a chance to meet a lot of my readers. I try to schedule a lot of my appearances during the period of January through April because our area is a favorite destination for “snowbirds.” That gives me a chance to meet readers here in Florida. Otherwise, I might never have an opportunity to chat with these folks because of geography.
I’ll be speaking at the Fort Myers Beach Public Library on January 7th at 10:30. The library is located at 2755 Estero Blvd. a little over a mile after you cross the bridge. The subject for the talk will be my book, Blue Water, Red Blood, with special emphasis on Florida’s part in World War II history. Blue Water, Red Blood is the story of the development of the LVT, that’s the amphibious vehicle the Marines used to help win the Pacific portion on the war. This book won a FWA Royal Palm Literary Award for historical fiction
From noon to two on January the ninth, I’ll be doing a presentation and book signing at Barnes and Nobles at 4010 Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. I’ll be discussing my multiple award winning literary novel, Bully Route Home, and its underlying themes of bullying and race relations. I call the book the past’s portrait of today’s problems. Many bookstores are listing the book in young adult sections as suggested reading as well as placing it on their literary shelves.
There’s a special show at Annette’s Book Nook (and the whole shopping center) at 7205 Estero Blvd. on Ft Myers Beach on Tuesday January 12. I plan to be there from 9:30 until mid afternoon (2:30 ish) It’s a meet and greet.
I’ll be doing a chit chat with readers on Friday, January 15th at Matlacha Menagerie, 4604 Pine Island Road in Matlacha. The Menagerie is one of the first stores to carry my books fifteen plus years ago. They’re old friends and so are many folks who come back to visit with me. If you’ve never been to Matlacha, visit it! It’s old Florida with a concentration of topflight artists and artisans hanging out there.
My next public appearance will be as a guest speaker on the Enchantment of the Seas the weekend of January 22nd. The Royal Caribbean Cruise leaves for a weekend in the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. I’ll be discussing my books and be conducting a seminar on developing supporting characters with a scientific assist. While I’m the guest of some writers groups, the sessions will both be open to cruise participants.
Check my web site for additions to my schedule and events further in the future.
Odds and ends. For those interested in sharing “Claus and the Consultant” with a friend, it will be up for another week – then down until next year. Bully Route Home is getting great applause from those reading it. The number of people and stores who are recommending it to younger readers has been a pleasant surprise for me. If you’ve read the book, add your review to Amazon.
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Come and chat with me. I’ll be in Punta Gorda, Florida, at the Copperfish Bookstore, Tuesday, November 24th at 6:00PM. I’ll be discussing my newest book Bully Route Home a literary novel that relives the subjects of bullying and race relations in the 1940’s South. The book won the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award for best literary manuscript. It’s the past’s portrait of today’s problems. I’d love to see you!
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