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Category Archives: joy
July 14, 2013 by Mara Purl
“A Year for Mom” are posts written the year of my mother’s illness and her passing. Some of the most heartfelt and extraordinary communications I've sent or received took place during this challenging year. This post shares the experience of celebrating her 90th birthday. Read more
February 13, 2012 by Mara Purl
Every journey has its especially sparkling moments, and for my Winter Western States Book Tour, this was it. Elegance and style, generosity and community, connections with old friends and new—a unifying experience for all. The setting—a historic home in the mountain canyons of Santa Barbara; the time—Valentine’s weekend; the opportunity—helping others.
I had the privilege of working with a superb charity in co-creating a fund-raiser/ friend-raiser author tea. This is truly my favorite kind of event because of its synergy—which makes it a win-win-win: for the charity, for the guests, and for the author. In this case, there’s a fourth winner: the community of Santa Barbara, which benefits so directly from the services this charity provides.… Read more
January 2, 2012 by Mara Purl
What kicks off the new year celebrated so avidly around the globe is a gift given by the universe itself—a new orbit. In fact, my character Cornelius Smith and my friend Laurance Doyle —both of whom are astronomers—give this as their annual greeting. “Happy New Orbit!” Makes me smile every time.
Fresh starts . . . a clean slate . . . infinite possibilities. . . . The precious sense that all things are new again is valued throughout the world. Some of us want almost everything to change; some of us probably want a few things to change. And most of us desire a sense of progress so we create a theme or a list to help us establish the landmarks of transformation.… Read more
December 26, 2011 by Mara Purl
December 26th is Boxing Day with a wonderful tradition of its own. Observed in the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it started as a day following Christmas when aristocrats, tasked with the welfare of those who worked on their estates, delivered boxes of food and gifts. In South Africa, the occasion evolved into the renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994, and in Ireland it’s called St. Stephen’s Day. The European tradition of giving gifts and money to those in need dates back to the Middle Ages.… Read more
December 19, 2011 by Mara Purl
I’ve known for a long time that there’s a connection between women and jewelry. In fact, that’s probably a connection I made at about age three. Was that when I first admired Mommy’s shiny baubles? Hmm. I think by then, I was actually asking for baubles of my own.
One of the earliest pieces to grace my collection was my very first charm bracelet. How I loved its shiny silver trinkets with their magical moving parts! Each time my parents took me someplace special, a new charm was added, until from every single link dangled a treasured memento: the Rockettes kicked up their legs all in a row; five candles poked through a birthday cake with pink enamel icing; a split oval twisted to become a heart.… Read more
November 28, 2011 by Mara Purl
I think as a child I probably loved Thanksgiving because of the future—it meant Christmas was coming soon! It was also a holiday I anticipated with great joy because it meant we’d go visit Grandma Dorothy. She married my step-grandfather late in life—but just in time for my sister and me to adore her. The house she shared with “Daddy Bob” was a classic New England cottage in Waterbury, Connecticut. Cape-Cod-Blue with white trim, it stood erect despite the steep street that seemed to slice under it.… Read more
November 21, 2011 by Mara Purl
Well, if Pie-In-The-Sky describes what can’t come true, perhaps “Mile High Tea” should be the new descriptor for what can. Why? Because anything Judith Briles touches actually does turn to gold. Judith was my hostess this past weekend for a gorgeous, elaborate and delightful tea at the lovely home where she and her husband, poet and editor John Maling, love to entertain.
So what do I mean by “gold”?… Read more
November 7, 2011 by Mara Purl
Sometimes an evening with female colleagues is a rite of passage, a kind of test a woman can only pass by showing her authenticity. And sometimes a girlfriend-evening fulfills a basic need for time with those who share the same wiring.
Actually women have all kinds of ways of connecting. Sometimes the moments are brief—a quick lunch hour to catch up with a friend or get to know someone better. Other times it might be a special treat like afternoon tea—a chance to dress up and go someplace elegant, where the surroundings are inspiring enough to give us a fresh perspective.… Read more
October 10, 2011 by Mara Purl
In our somewhat over-populated world (depending upon where we live), with centuries of human history behind us, it may seem that when it comes to the notion of discovering a new world, the ship sailed long ago. So if we want to experience something entirely new, get away to an undiscovered country and chart unknown waters, is our only option to pretend?
Since I write fiction, some might think I’d say yes. Yet there is both exterior and interior exploration, and my novel series explores both. On the external side—which we might also call a journey of the head—there’s plenty to engage the senses and challenge the mind.… Read more
August 31, 2011 by Mara Purl
A sip of rich, dark java from a Mellor press while sitting at a tiny table in a café overlooking the Seine. That sounds like a perfect ritual in the life of an artist. I certainly found it to be so when I spent a month in Paris performing at the renowned Theatre Chatelet a few years ago. Cities like Paris, Kyoto and Santa Fe, filled to overflowing with artistic expression, inspire with virtually every sight, sound, taste and aroma to indulge our creative impulses. California’s Central Coast happens to inspire me and I spend lots of time there writing What the Heart Knows and all my Milford-Haven Novels.… Read more