The Queen's Proclamation

November 2005

News, updates, & pronouncements from Pat Ballard, the Queen of Rubenesque Romances

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Something to think about....

Character cannot be developed in peace and quiet.
Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened,
 ambition inspired, and success achieved.


Helen Keller

Sometimes it seems as if life is all uphill. We get through one hurtle and another one comes along. Where is that peaceful oasis, I've wondered so many times? I get glimpses of it, then it disappears under the burden of another life-lesson.

But would we really be happy if every day was the same? If there were no challenges to make us gear up and fight for what we want? How long would it take us to get bored out of our minds if every day was perfect? We'd bask in it for awhile, but then I believe we'd do something to stir up some action!

I love this story that was in the Wednesday, October 19 issue of the Life Support newsletter:

"A story is told of an Eastern village that, through the centuries, was known for its exquisite pottery. Especially striking were its urns; high as tables, wide as chairs, they were admired around the globe for their strong form and delicate beauty.

Legend has it that when each urn was apparently finished, there was one final step. The artist broke it—and then put it back together with gold filigree."


An ordinary urn was then transformed into a priceless work of art. What seemed finished wasn't, until it was broken.

Now while I don't want to be "broken," I do understand that we gain strength from the things we have to overcome. We gain wisdom so that we can share our experiences with others who may be going where we've already been. We can use our experiences to help our children...wait, those are the people who are least likely to listen to us, aren't they?

Peggy Elam, founder of Pearlsong Press, writes,

"Pearls are formed when a piece of grit or sand or other abrasive, annoying, or even dangerous substance enters an oyster and triggers its protective response. The substance is coated with shimmering, opalescent nacre ("mother of pearl"), the coats eventually building up to produce a beautiful gem. The self-healing response of the oyster transforms suffering into a thing of beauty."

So whether we become that beautiful urn that's put back together with gold filigree, or an exquisite pearl, as long as we keep overcoming the hurtles that life sends us, we will come out on top of the hill. We'll enjoy those brief glimpses of the oasis, and know that the glimpses are more precious because they don't stay very long.

And we can all be comforted in more of Helen Keller's wisdom: "The world is full of suffering; it is also full of overcoming it."

 

 A Word From Pat

 

Joe and I kept the grand kids Saturday night. Joe had built them two swings the weekend before, so Shaun and Kayla were eager to wake up and go outside and swing on Sunday morning.

 

The day was right out of a Norman Rockwell painting! It  was as perfect a fall day as it could get. A gentle breeze was blowing just enough to sprinkle the leaves from the trees, occasionally, and the ground was covered in golden leaves.

So our morning consisted of swinging, going down the slide, climbing a ladder that "Pawpaw" propped up against a tree, chasing falling leaves, throwing leaves on each other, and having a McDonald's breakfast on the picnic table, just to name some of the things we did. 

What a perfect way to end one of my favorite months!

But now we have November! Another of my favorite months. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all. I have wonderful memories of family gatherings, good food, laughing children and the promise of winter and Christmas just around the corner. It's a time to be especially mindful of all we have to be thankful for. And it's a final enjoyment of the last of summer's harvest, fun and activities.

So everyone have a wonderful November and a beautiful Thanksgiving.

 

                                               Love,

                                                                    Pat

Visit me at Pat's Place at www.patballard.com │ Write me at patballard@bellsouth.net

Blog me at http://pearlsong.typepad.com/the_queens_proclamation
 

Links About the Queen & Her Books

Pat's Place website | The Queen's Blog | About Pat Ballard | Dangerous Curves Ahead | The Best Man | Abigail's Revenge | Wanted: One Groom | Nobody's Perfect | His Brother's Child | A Worthy Heir | Pearlsong Press blog posts about Pat

Books Existing and Upcoming

Abigail's Revenge, my fifth novel, is published! My publisher, Peggy Elam, pulled a few rabbits out of the hat and the book debuted at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville the weekend of Oct. 7-9. In fact, it was delivered to the booth on Friday after the festival had started. That is where I saw my first copy... hot off the press!

It's a Romantic Suspense, and is different than any other novel I've written. It's also a good bit longer.

Abigail Avery was falsely convicted of the murder of her father and sent to prison when she was only eighteen years old. The supposedly good citizens of Leaky Springs, Mississippi were silent as an innocent young woman was orphaned, accused, swiftly tried and locked away. Her only clue in the travesty of justice is that a bunch of crooked "good ole boys"—headed by the judge who presided at her trial—keep pestering her to sell the family farm.

Now, a decade later, Abigail's out of prison and heading back to Leaky Springs. It won't be a pleasant homecoming. She's out for revenge on the people who stole ten years of her life. Especially the judge.

Karen Sparks, owner of Top100womensites.com (and an avid reader), says of Abigail's Revenge, "Injustice, romance and suspense with page-turning flair! This is Ballard's greatest work. Her fragile, yet beautifully big heroine is pushed to the edge with family tragedy, but she's determined to fight back and avenge the injustice that cost her ten years of her life. Ballard has created a rich romantic-suspense that you cannot put down until it's finished."

Click here to go to the Pearlsong Press website page for Abigail's Revenge. They're offering an advance sales special of free shipping within the U.S. for copies sold through their online store.

I'm continuing to work on my first nonfiction book, The 10 Commandments of Self-Love, a motivational book on accepting ourselves as we are instead of obsessing over trying to look like some unrealistic actress or image we see in a magazine.

Meanwhile, my short story collection Dangerous Curves Ahead is available through Pearlsong Press (www.pearlsong.com). After its May 2004 publication, Dangerous Curves Ahead received a glowing review from Cindi Appel on the Fearless Books review website. Appel wrote:

Ballard doesn’t pull punches. She shows her heroines exhibiting ample will and tenacity to tell off those who would shame them into becoming something they aren’t just to blend in with society's narrow-minded notions of beauty.

To read the entire review, go to www.pearlsong.com/dangerouscurvesahead.htm. You can also read an excerpt from Dangerous Curves Ahead's title story, Dangerous Curves, by clicking on the title link in this sentence.

Pearlsong Press has also re-released my existing books, Wanted: One Groom, Nobody’s Perfect, His Brother’s Child and A Worthy Heir.

The Pearlsong Press edition of Nobody's Perfect was called "a charming, witty love story with a twist" in the July 2004 Small Press Bookwatch section of Midwest Book Review. Read the whole review at www.pearlsong.com/nobodysperfect.htm, or an excerpt at
www.pearlsong.com/nobodys_excerpt.htm.

I’m extremely happy that my books are now available in both print and eBook format. (The eBook edition of Abigail's Revenge  has not yet been published, however.) Please visit Pearlsong Press and check out all the options that are available.
 

Ask your local  library to stock my books, allowing many others to enjoy them
while spreading the size acceptance message.


Please share this newsletter with those you think might appreciate  it.
 

Weighty Matters

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I have to tell you, I'm so worried about what our government, schools, and the media are doing to our children. I hate the entire "obesity craze" that's going on, for everyone's sakes, but our kids are going to suffer the most.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm totally for "cleaning up" the schools' nutritional program. I think we had gone way downhill by making junk food so accessible to kids. I mean, it's an unusual child who would choose a carrot stick over a piece of candy. So, yes, it's good that we're trying to give the kids some better nutritional choices. It would be even better, though, if the stigma of "good food" versus "bad food" could be left off. Kids need to be taught that eating candy occasionally isn't a bad thing.

What irritates me beyond measure, though, is that all kids need to learn this lesson. But it's the fat kids that are being targeted.

Can't supposedly rational adults understand that to isolate a group of kids and make them the target of ridicule is just unthinkable? Can't they understand that the increased emphasis put on fat kids to "eat right" is sending the message that if a child isn't fat, then it's okay for that child to eat whatever they want to eat?

Children of all sizes should learn what good nutrition is. And school is a perfect place to learn it, since so many parents don't even know.

But what worries me the most is that in the near future we're going to see one of the most horrible, ugly outbreaks of eating disorders in our children that we've ever experienced.

There are already websites where young kids—but directed toward young girls—can go to practice anorexia! They refer to anorexia as "Ana." "Ana" has taken on a life of her own. In some of their minds, this eating disorder is a living person.

For a long time there has been a growing fear of getting fat in our young children. But I believe that fear will excel, under the current circumstances. I believe it will grow in children who don't even have the fat gene. And eating disorders will mushroom in children of all sizes, social backgrounds, and walks of life.

I believe we are headed for an epidemic, but it has nothing to do with obesity, as those who push this idea would have us believe. It has everything to do with starving children who live in a land of enormous plenty.

I'm begging all you parents who have children in school to pay close attention to this. Watch what your children are doing and saying. Listen to what comes from their school. Don't be afraid to write letters to the school leaders, or go in person and confront them.

We have to save our children.

 

Calendar Of Events

Pat will spend the next few months promoting Abigail's Revenge. She's in the process of setting up booksignings with local Borders Bookstores, and others.

You can still hear the taped radio shows from Size Matters with Veronica, WCRS Radio, on Pat's website.

Show #1 discusses Pat's romance novels
http://www.wcrsradio.org/RadioStage/size/SIZE051.mp3

Show #2 discusses women of size and their sexuality
http://www.wcrsradio.org/RadioStage/size/SIZE052.mp3

And check out the photos from the Nov. 6 Mississippi Authors Festival that are online at The Queen's Proclamation blog and The Pearlsong Letter blog. (Click on the Mississippi Authors Festival link under the "Photo Albums" heading in the lefthand column of either blog to view the photos. While you're visiting, post a comment on the blogs!)
 

Book Contest

Register to win a free copy of the Pat Ballard book of your choice at Top 100 Women Sites: http://www.top100womensites.com/contest.htm.
 

Newsletter Archives

Read previous issues of The Queen's Proclamation at http://www.pearlsong.com/newsletterarchives.htm.

 

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The Queen's Proclamation is published by Pearlsong Press.

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©2005 Pearlsong Press