Weekend Reads: “Radical Self Love”

Hi, everyone. I went into the Wayback Machine a bit to find this review. I feel like we’re all suffering a crisis of meaning and self-esteem these days. I know I am; heck, I had a complete meltdown a week and a half ago that sent me scurrying for a counseling appointment. So, I was trying to think of books that helped me when I was in similar situations … and that I hadn’t shared already. Here’s one for you to consider.

Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your DreamRadical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream by Gala Darling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are some books out there that I genuinely believe should be read by everyone.

This book is one of them.

Gala Darling doesn’t just talk about self-esteem … she talks about the importance of self-love. This is the ultimate in self-care, and she doesn’t just talk platitudes. Darling provides practical “homework assignments” to get readers thinking about how they talk to themselves, treat themselves, etc. Short version: most of us aren’t very good at it. Darling starts with her own experiences and how she went from living with an eating disorder to becoming a guru of radical self-love, and brings us along on the journey.

The primary message is one that should be self-evident, but really isn’t: we must love ourselves first, in the same way (if not better) than we love our friends, in order to truly love anyone else. The message is brought through clearly in an entertaining, charming, and yes … loving fashion. Delightful.

View all my reviews

David Bowie Death 5 Year Anniversary Essay – David Bowie’s Legacy in 2021

But if his greatest contribution of all was to give a voice to the outcasts and misfits, to speak for those on society’s fringes and provide them a valued space in rock & roll, then the question is where do those freaky kids now turn?

David Bowie Death 5 Year Anniversary Essay – David Bowie’s Legacy in 2021

Please click through to read this thoughtful article from Esquire.

Sample Saturday: “A Light Across the Lake”

A Light Across the Lake V2Hi, everyone. Today’s sample comes from A Light Across the Lake, one of the tales in my Pocketful of Stories series. Enjoy!


Sunday was Lucien’s one day off for the week. No one cared how late he slept, or where he went. Sometimes, he would go to mass with his family; they all favored the priest at Saint Sulpice. Sometimes, he read a book. Sometimes he walked around the beautiful city that he called home. In these ways, he was like most of the other apprentices.

What set him apart from his fellows, more than anything else, was his nearly insatiable curiosity.

Off came the white gloves; it was time for the dirty work. The metal ash bucket felt heavier than usual, simply because Lucien was in a hurry to be done with his sweeping and cleaning. The refuse was hauled out to the heap, where the ash would be wetted down to make lye for soap and the trash carried away by the rag and junk man.

Lucien was proud of his work, even in the steward’s serving role. He was able to give money to his family, and the hard work made his body strong. The women of the costume shop had remarked on his handsome face, dark curls, and deep blue eyes more than once and always loudly enough for him to hear. He was tall and well-built.

Despite the attentions of the seamstresses, Lucien kept largely to himself. He preferred the opera’s library, with its collection of set models right alongside the books, to carousing with his fellow apprentices. Lucien had dreams of becoming known for his designs, and thus spent what little spare time he had in study.

Lucien was one of the few apprentices who did not spend his money in the cribs of Place Pigalle. Not that he was priggish; he knew his funds were needed at home and could not see the point of wasting money on whores and absinthe. That was not to say that he had no dreams of romance. Lucien had fancied himself in love a few times. There had been the chorine who enjoyed his company until she found a wealthy “sponsor” amongst the opera’s male patrons. And there had been a scullery maid who eventually went back to her home in the country, saying the city was “too fast” for her.

And how his fellow apprentices teased him over his fondness for the dark-haired equestrienne who rode the big black mare! He loved watching her practice; the horse seemed to float across the ground with no visible command from the woman on her back.


Want your own copy of A Light Across the Lake? Back cover copy and purchase links:

Return to Paris’ glamorous Opera Garnier, and the world of the award-winning Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series! A Light Across the Lake is the tale of apprentice set builder Lucien Dubois, who is determined to see what lies in the fifth cellar. Will his exploration raise the ire of the infamous Opera Ghost?

This edition of Pocketful of Stories contains a sample chapter from In The Eye of The Beholder, the Phantom tale that started it all.

Click through on the link to your favorite retailer to get your copy today:

Amazon (geo-targeted link will take you to the site for your country); Apple Books; Barnes & Noble; BOL (Netherlands and Belgium); Booktopia (Australia); Chapters Indigo (Canada); FNAC (France); Gandhi (Mexico); Kobobooks (available for 2400 SuperPoints if you are a member); La Feltrinelli (Italy); Livraria Cultura (Brazil); Mondadori (Italy); Overdrive (via your local library); Porrua (Mexico); Rakuten Japan; Scribd; Smashwords.

Weekend Reads: “Travels with Figment”

Travels with Figment: On the Road in Search of Disney DreamsTravels with Figment: On the Road in Search of Disney Dreams by Martin Sklar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had the very good fortune to hear Marty Sklar speak once, about the 1964 New York World’s Fair and Disney’s involvement therein. I found him charming and delightful.

The first draft of this book was completed before Marty’s death, and his family decided to polish it up, add several lovely tributes from colleagues, and publish the work. I’m so glad they did. We get a new insights into Marty’s belief in the power of imagination, and why it’s important to support it in those around us.

Some of the stories were not new to me, but many of them were. I found myself hearing Marty’s voice in my head as I read; his personality came through beautifully in the text.

Those interested in new ways to think about business, imagination, and innovation are sure to enjoy the book on those levels alone. Disneyphiles will love this look at a true Legend who is greatly missed. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews