Friday, December 16, 2011

What is He Thinking?

How many women have gone out with a man, gotten closer to him, thought he was everything she'd ever hoped for only to be highly disappointed when he changes?

Believe it or not, a man has a process to dating. They are as slow as molasses when it comes to commitment.

When a man goes out with you for the first time he may asks for a second date. This means he likes you enough to want to get to know you better. He IS NOT thinking of commitment at this point. He is still in the "I wanna have fun" stage. However, as women, we may be thinking of seeing this man exclusively. This is where women bomb and can easily get hurt.

The answer is, "Go slow if you want him." Whether you know he's the one or not, don't allow him into your every thought. Don't add any pressure. Men already feel pressured when they meet someone they "like." And whatever you do, don't assume he's ready after a week or two to give up his Saturday night's with his buddies. Although you may hope he'll take you out for dinner, if he doesn't, don't let him see this bothers you. Go out and have fun with the girls. You'll become more attractive to him, much like the cat and the mouse game.

Any relationship that has chemistry will naturally escalate to the next level, without pressure. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jake Castle's Recipe

Jake Castle: Hero in Castle’s Fortress   
Occupation: Owner of a Castle SecurityCastle's Fortress

Fave food: Salmon en Croute

Preparation and cooking time:35 minutes
Cooking a whole salmon in puff pastry is a classic party dish. This is a scaled down version for individual servings. For a dinner party they can be assembled ahead and baked at the last minute. The salmon stays moist and perfectly flaky. I've given the dimensions used in the photos. If your salmon is a different shape, you need enough pastry to cover it. Trim any excess.

Yes, It's a bit indulgent - but we all need that occasionally


  • 2 pieces of salmon, skinned - about 3" wide by 4" long by 1" thick (5cm X 10cm x 2.5 cm), 350gr, 12.5oz
  • 1 large or 2 small sheets of puff pastry, 246gr, 8.7oz
  • 2 tsp dried or fresh dill weed
  • 4 tsp whole grain mustard, 20gr, .7oz
  • Tarragon Cream Sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock less 2 tbs, 75gr, 2.65oz
  • 1/3 cup white wine, 75gr, 2.65oz
  • 1 shallot, 45gr, 1.6oz
  • 1 tbs butter, 14.2gr, .5oz
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon substitute 1 tbs fresh
  • 1 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs stock, 8gr, .3oz
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, crème fraiche or sour cream, 100gr, 3.5oz Greek Yogurt


  • Lightly roll puff pastry dough if needed. It needs to be just large enough to cover the salmon with an overlap of 1/2 - 1 inch (1.25 - 2.5cm).
  • Lightly cover an area roughly the size of the salmon with dill.
  • Skin salmon if needed, and cut/trim.
  • Place salmon on top of dill.
  • Spread 2 tsp mustard on the salmon.
  • Depending on the shape of your fish you can bring opposite corners together (if it's square-ish) or fold over (if it's long-ish).
  • Press the meeting edges of the puff pastry together to seal. It's okay if there are gaps in the 'package' as long as the pastry is sealed together enough to hold it's shape as it bakes.
  • Repeat with the other piece of salmon.
  • Bake at 400F (200C) for 15 - 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
  • Remove and serve with Tarragon Cream Sauce on the side.
  • Tarragon Cream Sauce
  • Finely chop shallots.
  • In small saucepan over medium heat sauté shallots in butter until tender.
  • Add tarragon, wine and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes.
  • Mix cornstarch in 2 tbs stock and stir into simmering stock. Cook until thickened - should be quite thick.
  • Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
  • Cover and keep warm until serving.

Note: Puff pastry can be found in either the refrigerator or freezer section. You will want 2 sheets about 9 inches square. If they are not big enough you can roll them out a bit (using a rolling pin).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Crazy Life...Kids, work, pets, vomit...oh my

How do I juggle a career as writer, a dirty day job, kids, pets, household....?!?

The answer is, "I don't."  This is a day in the crazy life of a writing mom...

Friday, December 9, 2011

6:30  My cell alarms. It's time to get up. Ughh...I snuggle deeper into the warmth of my blankets. Can I just sleep longer? No... I crawl out of bed and sleepily find my way down the hall, into the bathroom and lazily get into the shower. I slowly start to arouse.

6:50 First wake-up call for the kids.

6:55 Second wake-up call for the kids.

7:00 Third wake up call for the kids. This time my tone alerts them that there won't be a fourth call...

7:15 I stand in the kitchen and debate breakfast. I could make french toast, but I don't. I choose the simpler way...Poptarts. Okay, I add a fruit cup for nutritional reasons.

7:20 Coffee...I need coffee. When I say need, trust me, I do mean NEED. 

7:21 I hear arguing from the bathroom. I put on my selective hearing ability (Come on, we all have it). My capability is lacking this morning because I still hear the bickering between the girls. What are they arguing about? Who knows...probably who will get to brush their teeth first. I know it's coming...and then it does..."Mooooooom." It cuts through me like a razer blade as I take my first sip of strong instant coffee. I go in and break up an argument which I have no clue what it's about.

7:30 Every morning I have to hurry the girls along or they will miss the bus. I find I could just record my directions, "Get your socks, brush your hair, your hair will never dry if you have the dryer on your face and
not your hair, you're not wearing that !"

8:00 We pile into the vehicle and we wait for the bus. One daughter asks, "Call the doc. I want  braces." I tell her, "It's not so simple. Your mouth must be ready for braces." She rolls her eyes. "My mouth is ready." I sigh. "I'll call the doc then." There is a moment of hesitation, "You say that everyday."  In my defense, I don't say it everyday, but I find I fall into the robotic answers way too often because we seem to have the same discussions. I add calling the dentist to my already way-too-long mental list.

8:01 My wee one looks at me and says, "Why do you have to work?"  Me, "Because I have to earn a paycheck." Wee one, "Maybe I won't have to work when I'm older." Me, "Good luck with that. In the meantime, get an education." Wee one, "Huh?"  Me, "Exactly."

8:05 The bus rolls up. As my wee one climbs the too tall stairs that she can barely manage, she falls flat on her face. I wait, holding my breath. She gets up, I see her nod and the driver sends me an assured smile. I start breathing again.

8:15 I arrive at the dirty day job. No, it's not really "dirty." This is what writers call those places we go for 8 hours that keep us from what we love--writing.  Luckily, my day job isn't so bad.

12:00 I take one bit of my lunch and my cell rings. It's the school. My wee one is sick. I drive to the school and pick her up. Sure enough, she is sick. I take her with me to my office, fix her a bed on the floor and tell her she must drink and rest. It wasn't happening. 

2:30 Wee one decides she wants to sit at my desk and fall asleep. Ten minutes later her eyes come open and there is a look of fear on her face. She vomits. And guess where? Sure enough...all over my desk. Thankfully, I saved my cell and she missed the computer. However, she did get my fave gloves :( I threw them away. Unfortunately, she didn't miss herself either. She was covered.

3:30 Vomit is gone. Child is sleeping. I am working.

4:10 Home now. But a mother's work is never done. I have cleaning to do. Good times, good times on a Friday night !!!

5:00 I'm single. I hear more BS stories than I can stand. I won't go into detail. Really...I won't...

6:00 Dinner time. I tried out my culinary skills. Haha...I ordered pizza to be delivered. Pretty gourmet, eh?

7:00 Laptop is on. I'm prepared to work on my newest erotica. One hand hovered over keyboard when I heard, "Mom...I don't feel good." Bathroom issues for the wee one take priority over a love scene between my patient hero and heroine.

8:00 I sit down with my girls and we watch a Christmas movie. I tell myself to get back to the scene...I've made my hero wait long enough. But I was exhausted. Really exhausted. And my girls look so sweet. Neither is complaining or arguing. Precious moments, I say. Gotta take them while we have them.

9:30 I actually get to have adult conversation. I'm excited. A friend calls and we discuss political topics. Certainly not a fave Friday night chit-chat, but I won't complain.

12:30 I hear the wee one's soft footsteps as she comes up to my bed... "Mommy, I think I'm going to...." Me, "Run, child, run !!!!" We make a mad dash to the bathroom. We didn't make it in time. She missed the toilet by two feet. Pizza wasn't such a good idea after all.

1:00 The house is quiet. My eyelids are heavy. Sleep is on its way. Then I remember...I didn't call the dentist.

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Monday, September 26, 2011


The secret to romance is not how you look, how long you've been together or your achievements. Romance is being confident in who you are as a woman and as a lover. Every woman has an allure to make her man salivate. And it's not always those over the top attempts that win the attention.

Let's talk about that euphoric feeling--love. Couples who have this feeling can show each other in a thousand ways how they feel without saying one word. Is this compatibility? Chemistry? A deep connection? Whatever we call it, it's a wonderful feeling. It's an attraction of the souls.

Contrary to belief, Men do have good memories for the sentimental things. They enjoy the sweet moments as much as we do, but sometimes it's harder for them to communicate how much they need to feel wanted. They may forget an anniversary, a birthday or to take out the trash; however, ask your partner to describe the first kiss, the first time you held hands, the first time you made love and you can guarantee he will remember. Men can be romantic creatures.

One pitfall we have is listening to friends, reading magazines or watching talk shows that motivate us on what a man wants. They mean well, but it can be similar to playing pinball--all these thoughts shooting around with no focus, hoping luck plays on your side. Why not just follow your instinct? Why not just ask him? After all, who knows your man better than you? No one. Exactly.

Being in love is not about being someone else. Love is about being yourself and your partner accepting who you are. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday in India


The narrow streets are quiet. People are hiding from the heat of the afternoon sun. Shop owners are huddled in their shacks watching the "Soaps" on their tiny black and white tv. Businessmen are lining the streets selling their discount coupons for attractions and accomodations. A scooter's low rumble breaks the silence.

Along the path to the beach stood a large Banyan tree. This is a tree that as it starts to germinate it cracks and breaks. Many smaller trunks are dispersed from the main trunk. These trees seem to take on a life, or story, of their own. There are many myths that tag this interesting tree. This one in particular had candles and other items situated in its cracks, like a scared throne or alter.

We chose a rustic hut along the beach to rest. Sitting with our drinks in hand, we watched the sun sink into forgotten land and listened to the waves crashing against the shore. I was at peace. I fell in love with the beauty of this place. But there was something more... 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kinley Baker

Welcome this lovely and talented author-- Kinley Baker. Thanx for stopping by, dear friend.

Wanting What You Can’t Have
In RUINED, Vale and Jessa both suffer from a serious case of wanting what they can’t have. I think all of us are guilty of this at one time or another. Circumstances or conflict prevent us from attaining the one thing we want the most. For Vale and Jessa the forbidden thing they desire is each other, and it’s the tragic history of the Shadow Shifters keeping them apart.

I have no control over what happens in reality. But as an author, I can give Vale and Jessa what they want in the end. As long as there’s a lot of drama, emotion and conflict in between. Sometimes wanting what you can’t have doesn’t really mean you can’t have it.


Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court's
Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient's.

Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he's given the throne and the
decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family's hold on the
land--and his deceiving advisors aren't afraid to use murder as a weapon if
their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.

But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke,
and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts
forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.

Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the
true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.


"You." Fury burned hot under Jessa's skin as she glared at Vale. "Who do you
think you are, demanding I come live in this castle? You can't just order your
guards to enter a woman's home and pack up her things."

"Well, I did." Vale came around the desk and propped one hip against it, more of
a threatening than casual movement. "Someone tried to kill me. It makes sense
that I have my Healer close by."

She released a pent-up breath. "Why couldn't you have explained that instead of
mandating?" Silly. Her imagination had run away with her. The king needed his
Healer. But the realization he didn't want her made her angrier.

"Because I didn't want to give you the option of saying no."

She most definitely would have said no.

"If you would have explained your reasoning, I would have complied. Your safety
and health come first, even if I—"

"Even if you what?"

"Loathe you." She bunched her fingers into two fists, seriously tempted to hit
him. For all the nonexistent pain it would inflict upon him.

"Do you?" His tone deadened with calm. "Because I can't stop thinking about

"That's normal." She brushed off the claim. "I saved your life."

He moved in a blur. A true Shadow Shifter. One second he stood near his desk,
the next he had her in his arms, one locked around her waist and one hand
tangled in her hair. Their lips almost brushed.

"I can't stop thinking about you." His murmur played down her spine, leaving a
tingling trail. His scent invaded her. His voice embraced her like bare skin
against satin sheets.

Her heart beat fast, her pulse jumped.

She disliked him, but didn't want him to let her go.

"Have you been thinking about me?" His soft tone feathered over her flesh.

"Only how much I dislike you." Lust pulsed in her belly.

He pulled her head back gently by her hair, so they looked straight into each
other's eyes. Their bodies pressed tightly together. "Liar."



Kinley Baker read her first romance novel at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. You can find Kinley at


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Emma Lai

Please welcome the talented Emma Lai to the hotseat. Thank you for coming...

The costs of self-publishing...

(Let me state, I have nothing against self-publishing or authors who choose to self-publish.)

Writing is a solitary process. We pour our souls onto paper and then hoard the precious results and agonize over whether to put it out there for the world to see. For those brave enough to choose to publish, a publisher provides a myriad of benefits.

First, many have wonderful editors who will help take your work to the next level. No one is a perfect writer, and nothing irritates me more than to pick up a book and see poor editing. While even publishing houses let things slip through the crack, editing mistakes seem to be multiplied in self-published work. (Word of advice: if you are going to self-publish, at the very least get some good critique, or another option is to hire a freelance editor; keep in mind, if you go with a publisher, one of the reasons you don’t get all the royalties from a sell is to pay that editor at the publishing house who polished your work until it shone.)

Second, many have wonderful cover artists who will help sale the story. (Again, yet another sliver of royalties gone to cover this cost at a publishing house.) If you’ve never made a cover, let me give you a summary of options. You can search through databases (be careful too because you need to make sure you have permission to use the piece for publication) or commission one or hire someone to do it for you. This is yet another cost, whether time, money or both, to add to your self-publishing plans.

Third, unless you have a myriad of friends with blogs and twitter accounts and facebook accounts and the time to go to every chat room to promote your work, nothing can connect you to the industry better than signing a contract with an established publishing house. Suddenly, you have access to other authors who are more than willing to share their knowledge with you; you have access to marketing promotions you wouldn’t have had previously; and you have access to a market, in the form of regular customers of the house, you can’t otherwise get.

Finally, if you’re thinking about publishing your story in paper format, you have to do some serious research into the options available because not all print on demand gives you access to the markets you might want to enter.

I know there are many, many things not covered in this article, but my main point is there are costs to self-publishing so think carefully before treading down that path. The people I think it benefits most are those with an established reader base. Another reason to self-publish might be because you have a work that doesn’t quite fit at a traditional house either because of length or content.

Let the firestorm begin...

 Emma Lai (

His Ship, Her FantasyHis Hope, Her Salvation, and Twice is Not Enough (from The Wild Rose Press)
Slave to Innocence and Tempting Terms (from Sybarite Press)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maggie Bishop

I am so happy to have Maggie Bishop sit in the hot seat today. She is a lovely and talented author. Let's see what Maggie has to say today...

Why do you write mysteries?
I started with romance and turned to murder, partly so I could keep my main characters. Once, when I left for a vacation, I asked a woman for a book to read. She gave me a short, contemporary romance.  That year, I read 400 of them!  My husband had to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. The “ahaa” moment hit and I said “I can do this – I can write the kinds of book I like to read.”  My first step was to join Romance Writers of America, attend their conference and take craft of writing workshops.  After two Appalachian Adventure romances, a body showed up and my characters had to catch the bad guy.
  Is there a certain theme/trademark you use in your books?
 In my second novel, Emeralds in the Snow, I mentioned real people and gained permission to use their names and photographs. Joe White, the man who grooms the ski slopes at Sugar Mountain (setting for Emeralds) in Banner Elk, NC, is also a farrier. He became a suspect in Murder at Blue Falls since it is set on a dude ranch and the horses needed shoeing. 
What gets your inspirational juices flowing?
After every book I finish, I tell my husband “never again, I’m done with writing books.”  Before long, a character will start bugging me – nothing overt, but scenes will flash in my head.  I ignore them and they ferment.  Once they bubble over, I have to write.  For me, writing is difficult and requires complete focus on the action evolving. It is intense and consuming once I give in and begin writing.
 Do you have any book signings or author appearances coming soon?
The Boone, NC, area has lots of tourists who come from off the mountain to escape the heat. High Country Writers (founded in 1995) rents space at craft fairs so I’ll be in Banner Elk on July23 & 24, Valle Crucis on July 30 & 31, and at Fred’s at the top of Beech Mountain on August 6th.  Of course, I’ll be at Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest October 8 & 9.  The famous John C. Campbell Folk School has invited me to give a week of workshops on mystery writing October 30 to November 5th.
What do you do in your downtime to relax? Sudoku! My cousin introduced me to it last summer and I escape to a number puzzle often.  In good weather, we hit the hiking trails nearby along the Blue Ridge Parkway and on Grandfather Mountain.
 If you could meet one person from the past or present who would it be? Katherine Hepburn -- strong minded, entertaining actress, independent, self-supporting, trend-setter.
Any promotional secrets?  Nail down that “elevator speech” and use it often.
Where is your fave place to visit?  Cruise ships, believe it or not. I don’t care where we go; many times, we don’t get off the ship while in port. No cooking, cleaning, emails, plus the food and entertainment are merely steps away. It’s the only time I can get my husband to slow down and relax.
Are you a fairy tale or a realist sorta person? Realistic with wishes that sometimes come true. I knew early on that my destiny depended on my choices and dedicated work.
Any suggestions for unpublished authors?  Don’t talk about the book you are going to write. Keep that spark of inspiration to yourself, nurture it, write it down. Don’t show it to anyone before the third draft otherwise you may talk it away into the either.
If you had another career, what was it?
I was a manufacturing executive with more than eight hundred employees and enjoyed using my natural organizational skills. Believe me, it was a major change to the solitary writing life.  Wish I were as efficient as I once was.
 If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?
Learn to enjoy cooking.  I cook, but it’s all basic, mostly healthy, but not inspiring.  Also garden, but first I’d have to figure out how to keep the deer away from the flowers and veggies.
 If you could have one wish, what would it be? I knew the formula for selling millions of books.
 In one word only, describe yourself.  “Friendly.”  Before I met my husband, it was “independent.”
Are you an animal person? Yes, isn’t everyone?  If so, which animal?  Cats, even published a book dictated by Hunter (Meow Means Me! Now!).
What is your most embarrassing moment? It’s a classic, asking a woman at a party if she was pregnant and she wasn’t.
 Please tell us about your releases and where we can purchase them. Please give us your urls and your publisher’s url.
The Start: In MURDER AT BLUE FALLS, when her horse finds a body, CSI wannabe Jemma starts to investigate, Detective Tucker comes in and it twists and turns from there. book  kindle
And Then: Since pay is low in the mountains, Jemma has more than one job and is also a carpenter.  In  PERFECT FOR FRAMING, trouble’s a-brewing in the Property Owners Association where greed and a lust for power lead to murder in a clash of personal versus public needs. book  Kindle
Now: The photography group meets at Blue Falls Guest Ranch and soon there is ONE SHOT TOO MANY (September 2011 mystery) which features Detective Tucker with yesterday’s regret haunts, leading to today’s deadly fix. book
If you like whodunit mysteries full of clues and suspense in a vacation paradise, you can find these paperbacks and e-books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other book and e-book retailers. 
In the Appalachian Adventure Romance series, Award winning APPALACHIAN PARADISE takes place on a five-day backpacking trip in the spring amongst the bears, boars and girl scouts. With this book, you can take the hike without physically taking the hike.  EMERALDS IN THE SNOW involves downhill skiing at Sugar Mountain, an emerald mine, and a cold case mystery.
The fun book, Meow Means Me! Now! is a rhyming feline allegory with poetry and photos. This gift book is a departure from novels but sprang from a love of cats . Think Dr. Suess meets Marley & Me.
My blog is Dames of Dialogue
Perfect for Framing
by Maggie Bishop


Petula rose from her lover’s bed, paraded naked to the vanity mirror, and finger combed her hair so it fell over one eye.
            “Your bruises are almost gone,” the man said.
            She smiled at him then studied herself in the mirror. “The lipo doctor did a thorough job. He took six pounds and three inches off my mid-section. I wish these numb spots would go away.”
            “Give it time, Pet. Your face is almost healed.” He propped himself up with her pillow and reached for his cigarettes.
            “I hope I’ll look better than this soon,” Pet said, still studying herself in the mirror. “I thought you gave up those things.”
            “After this one. I’m down to a couple a day. Besides, you said the same thing after your face lift – no more plastic surgery.”
            “A lady has a right to change her mind,” she called as she stepped into the shower.
            By the time she was dressed and had put on makeup, he had his jeans back on. “I’m still mad you let someone buy that lot I wanted to build on,” he said as she emerged from the dressing area in her guest house. He pulled on a crumpled polo shirt.
            “Don’t you worry. I’m in the perfect position to make their lives miserable. Didn’t I make it too tough for the last owners to build? I wasn’t President of the POA a couple of years ago when you wanted to put your modular on that lot. Now I have the other homeowners in my grip. If you can’t build there, no one can.”
            He dropped the butt into the beer can and hugged her, resting his chin on her head. He said, “Revenge can be so sweet. Maybe you can bankrupt the POA with a lawsuit.” He let her go and sat down to tie his sneakers. then asked, “What are you doing with that situation with your husband? Any progress?”
            “Don’t you worry about that either. I’ll end up with the house and a big alimony settlement. Then it’ll be just the two of us.”

Workshops Write Now! with Maggie
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Author of Appalachian Adventure series, mystery and romance
One of "100 Incredible ECU Women"
"Go beyond yourself -- write."  Pearle Louise Munn Bishop

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday in India

I was back at the airport again. After an hour ride in the backseat of the cab through a maze of roads and alleys,beeping horns and fast driving,  I was ready to plant my feet back on still land. Accosted by the heat as I stepped out, it took me a minute to catch my breath. People piled into a single line at the doors of the building. When I use the word 'piled' that is only a tip of the chaos. Still new to the culture of this land, I couldn't understand why people pushed, nudged, elbowed, and hit their way through. I'm not kidding. Here in America, there would be fights and charges pressed for this behavior. No one seemed distubed or bothered by the behavior, or lack of manners...except for me. 

Finally inside the busy terminal, things were no different. In the States, we take this time in between arrival and boarding as "relaxation" time. A moment to catch our breath, grab a bite to eat and read that magazine we haven't had an opportunity to skim yet. The atmosphere is calm, except for the corridors buzzing with people walking to and fro. Not in India...the environment is still tense and moody. I will learn later, understandably, why these people are this way, but for now, I had no clue. It put me on edge. Everyone staring at me, whispering...sitting on the edge of their seat...talking in quick, exasperated tones. By the time our flight was called, I was already agitated. Everyone seemed ready to dodge an attack...

Here comes the free for all. I wondered why my friend said to, "Stay close." I mean, after all, we were just going to board our plane...

Everyone swarmed the entrance door. Although there was plenty of space in the lobby for people to spread out, for some reason everyone crowded together. I immediately lost sight of my 'personal space.' The circle grew closer, and tighter. I could smell the woman's perfume in front of me. The man's breath next to me. The fumes flowing in through the door from the engines of the planes. And then when the band was about to snap...the line moved. I was beginning to learn that if I didn't nudge back, I would be pushed to the back of the line without a thought from anyone. 

The event wasn't even close to being over. We packed into a bus. Pushed, prodded, sardine in a tin can...get the idea? Off the bus. Pushed, prodded, sardine in a smaller tin can. Ten minutes standing in the sun...we load the airplane. Pushed, prodded, sardine in a cooler tin can. Thank heaven above...Goa...we were on our way.

Cooling off, I finally felt my blood pressure dropping and I enjoyed the scenery around me. What else would I be doing but staring at the people around me? They were wonderful...absolutely wonderful. I loved the flight attendents dressed in their uniforms. I really didn't want to stare, but I couldn't help myself. They were stunning. Everything about these ladies was identical to each other. From the black eyeliner rimming their dark eyes, skin tone, pale lips, dress, to the style of hair...which I can't be sure, but I can almost guarantee were wigs with attached hat. Am I the only one who thinks this is interesting? 

In all of this chaos, I saw something that touched me. The love these people have for their family, especially the children. Mostly by the amount of tenderness and affection these fathers give to their children. I'm not saying that here in America this doesn't happen, I'm only saying that a father in this culture has a somewhat different role. When a child cries, an Indian father is there first to cuddle. When a child needs to go to the bathroom, he is there immediately taking him/her. And playing...these fathers play with sincere delight on their features. 

I felt a sense of warmth spread through me. I liked sitting here, in this atmosphere. I enjoyed the differences. I liked hearing the chatter--though I had no clue what they were saying. And I had yet to get a friendly smile or gesture from anyone except for the flight attendants who seemed to find me as interesting as I found them. Until...

I happened to be struck with the know the one, where you are being stared at? I looked around and then I saw him. A young boy, I'm guessing about 13 years old, was catching a peek at me. He'd see me look and then he'd back away quickly. And then, he lifted himself up from his seat and boldly made eye contact with me. A large smile spread over his face...a smile of welcome. A nice, warm smile that was innocent and sweet. The first smile I had gotten with true sincereity since I'd arrived. I'd never see him again...but thank you. In the heart of a child to make a stranger feel welcome.

I closed my eyes in peace.