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Monday, October 13, 2014

A Gift of Love Receives Four Star Review from Red City Review

Red City Review reviewed A Gift of Love -- And it received 4 STARS.  

A Gift of Love

 by Linda Della Donna

* * * *

In A Gift of Love, Linda Della Donna tells the story of her life and marriage with her soul mate Ed, and what their life was like before and after it all fell apart. Ed was diagnosed with cancer unexpectedly and within a year passed away. Donna narrates her story from all angles. The story starts out with Ed’s death and the pain and grief that she feels for the loss of her loved one. The story continues with outlining the beginning of their love story and how Ed and Linda met in New York in 1986. It was a pure chance and perfect one of a kind moment. From the beginning of this meeting, you could just tell these two were meant to be. Donna then continues to tell “their” story from describing the love they shared, their daily life routines, Ed’s cancer fight, his ultimate death, and her sorrows after losing her one of a kind love. Donna promised her husband that she would write a book in his memory because she wanted the world to know their love story and his fight with cancer.

Donna’s memoir is excellent because there is no attempt to hide the truth of the story; her emotions are conveyed across the book’s pages. The title of each chapter is the name of an emotion and also starts with a quote relating to that emotion, which was a very nice touch. ‘A Gift of Love’ is a heartfelt story about true love and a widow’s underlying love to share her husband’s story. This would be a wonderful gift for a widow who is suffering heartbreak and needs guidance from a person who has been there. This memoir teaches a valuable lesson, when you lose a spouse, life does go on, and love does live forever.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nurturing My Muse -- She's Baaaaaaaaaaaack! Della Donna Returns to the Blank Page

Never be bullied into silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one's definition of your life.
Define yourself.

--Harvey Fierstein

Not long ago I signed off BookOrBust saying BookOrBust is closed. I said goodbye to my readers, YOU!

I wrote that I was getting married. I wrote that I was moving--moving forward, moving on and moving away.

Okay, I didn't get married. Yet.

Okay. I didn't move. Yet.

But now that I have your attention, I want you to know I wrote these words because I needed time--Time for me. And I was ashamed to admit it, on paper.

The truth is writing, editing, living and reliving my story, A Gift of Love, had sucked the life out of me. When I was done, I was lifeless as a wind sock after the storm. I felt depleted--financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I ached to give up writing, snapping photographs, interviewing authors, tweeting daily words of encouragement and sharing photographs. But I knew that any decision that I made regarding my writing, submitting and marketing my work, or snapping photographs at that time, would not be a wise decision. I knew that it was necessary for me to put the brakes on my imagination, harness the parade of wild monkeys marching the horizons of my brain, and take a step back.

And so I did.

Over the summer I learned a lot about my muse--Me, and my ability to put words on paper. Sure I can paint a scene and tell a story, but I needed to get out and live life to its fullest minus a manuscript tucked under my pillow or my arm.

In my travels, I learned that like my car, Big Blue, Big Blue needed maintenance to keep its engine running smoothly; sustenance, fuel to keep it moving, and safe parking space to rest free from danger, my muse needed maintenance--rest, relaxation, change of venue, and time and space to read good books without a fast-writing pen underlining passages, marking snippets, or filling notebooks with writing and ideas.

But, hey. That's just my Muse.

I realize that each one of us is different, possessing unique gifts of our own. I realize we are unique as a thumb print, and just like a thumb print, no two alike. The same goes for discovering what works best for an individual artist's muse. It is no secret, each one of us must find our own way.

Writers, artists, widows, widowers, divorcee's, moms, dads, daughters, sons, uncles, aunts, neighbors, teachers, students, men, women, and children walk a journey. Alone. There is no universal guide, book of instructions, road map or magic lantern to light the way. I'm just filled with gratitude that I put into practice what I preach and gave myself permission to set my muse free. If only for a little while.

What time is it?

It's time for you dear reader. It's time to nurture your muse.

Go ahead. I dare you.

Here are photographs of what I did this summer. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed snapping them.

One bright sunny day in June, I signed autographs.
Wow! I have to pinch myself. I still can't believe it happened to me.
Yes. I am grateful.

Happy Birthday to Me.

I looked at a home in Connecticut. This was the view out the kitchen window.

The movie theater in New Milford, CT.
Yes, I stopped and took in a movie.

I walked the sands of Rye Beach.
It is the place that I wrote about in A Gift of Love.

One day I got in Big Blue and headed north.
This is the Steel Bridge to the Northway.

Sunset on Lake Placid.

A cottage in the Adirondacks.

The family of ducks I made friends with.

I discovered this artist through my camera lens.
She was painting Saranac Lake.
My camera gets around and I was a distance of two city blocks.
I love a telephoto lens. I got up close and personal and nobody knew.

This is Big Blue gazing into the waters of the Ausable River.
Meet Tommy.
I'll tell you more about Tommy tomorrow.