The Queen's Proclamation

September 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....

Passions of Life

There is no end. There is no beginning.
There is only the passion of life.
 
Federico Fellini

What is your passion in life? Do you have one? Do you worry that you aren’t more passionate about life than you are? Or as passionate as someone you know?

Our passion for life is most likely what we loved doing as a child. For me, my greatest passion as a child was to read. If there wasn’t a book around—and a lot of times when there was—I’d get pen and paper and write my own stories or poems. And if I weren’t doing that, I’d probably be somewhere daydreaming about some far-off place that I’d read about. Or making up stories on the spot to tell my siblings and cousins. Overshadowing everything I did, as a child, was the storytelling world.

My sister Ellen loved being outside. She was usually doing something very active—playing ball with our brothers, chasing them, walking the woods with our grandmother, or just running around by herself. If she weren’t busy with that, she’d sit in the swing and stare into space—probably conjuring up some game to play with the guys. Ellen is still an “outdoors" person to a certain degree. She can outshoot any of the guys around her. Just give her a rifle and you’d better not tick her off!

My sister Jerri loved domestic “stuff.” She busied herself playing dolls and house. As a very young child, she literally helped keep our mom’s house tidy with her “playing house.” Then there were the times she’d get inspired and write a beautiful poem. To this day, Jerri is a meticulous housekeeper. I’ve always told her she was like our mom, in that she can just walk through the house and it kind of falls into place in her wake. This follows through with her business mind. She is very organized and detailed in her business life.

But as we get older, we forget about the things that brought us such joy as children. We lose our “natural” urges of having fun, and replace them with things that we have “logically” told ourselves we should do. Things we force ourselves to do that have nothing to do with our passion of life.

For instance, when I was younger I thought I’d love to play the piano. I’d even dream at night that I’d sit down at a piano and start playing the most beautiful music this side of Heaven. To me, this was a sign that if I could just get my hands on a piano, I could teach myself to play. I’d made that statement in front of my mother-in-law enough that one day she gave me a piano. And guess what? After a few weeks of pecking out songs, I lost interest. I never really had the desire to take piano lessons, either. It was something that I thought I’d like to do, but I didn’t have the passion for it.

Maybe your passion for life has nothing to do with grandeur. Maybe what brings you the most joy is to sit and listen to the birds singing. Or watch a sunset. Or enjoy a raging thunderstorm.

And maybe because you don’t consider that a “real” passion for life, you’ve discounted it and berated yourself because you’re not more passionate—because you’re not like someone else who has some great drive to do something outstanding.

Well, stop it! We, as human beings, seem to impose impossible burdens on ourselves, trying to be something that we’re not programmed to be.

For example, for years I berated myself because I wasn’t the kind of housekeeper my mom was, and my sister is. I kept a huge pile of guilt at my feet because my house was not walk-in-perfect any time of the day or night. And I always felt “lazy” because I didn’t like to go outside and play, like Ellen did. In fact, I was told that I was lazy.

Then one day I realized that “this” is just me. This is the way I’m programmed. My house isn’t dirty—it just isn’t as organized as some institution. And I’m not lazy because I’m not as physically active as some—I just don’t see the point in wasting all that energy! And, by the way, I can shoot a gun almost as good as Ellen, so she’d best not come after me for using her as an example in this piece!

So go back to your childhood for a moment. What was your passion? Was it sitting on the bank of a stream and dangling your feet in the cool water? Was it fishing for freshwater fish just for the contentment of sitting and watching your cork bob in the water?

Whatever it was, start doing it again, and watch the joy and contentment that filled you as a child creep back into your life.
 

 A Word From Pat

Is everyone nice and tan from all the vacations and fun things August brought you? I hope it was fun and safe for all.

My son, Eric, turned thirty years old on August 21. Wow! Thirty! Since I don't feel any older than that, I sometimes wonder who this stranger is that calls me "Mom." When I do a quick look-back to the time he was born, I get warp speed whiplash because the years seem to have passed so fast.

So to bring it back into perspective, I do a bit by bit breakdown of the passing years just to make it seem longer. The diapers. The school years. The college years. His pre-married and married years. Then I get tired from remembering all we've been through. Not because Eric was a hard child to watch grow up. But just the living it. He was an extremely easy child to raise. Maybe that's why it seems to have passed so quickly.

Under dire bodily threats from Ellen and Jerri, I went to a chiropractor last week. It's the first time I've been to one in over 20 years. I've had a problem with my right leg for several months now, and I've laid it up to one of the Ritis brothers, Arth, but the two evil sisters think it may stem from my back. Well, I was in for a surprise!

This guy uses a new technique that I describe as the "stun gun" technique. He shoots my back with a hand-held "gun" that has the equivalent of 45 pounds of pressure. Although I do think this is better than the hands-on turning, twisting and joint cracking that I was expecting, I can tell you that sometimes when he pops one of those hot spots on my back I want to get my own gun and challenge him to a duel! 

I told him that my ultimate goal was to be able to do exercises like walking, riding my stationary bike, etc., without getting down in my back, which is what I usually do. He said that was his ultimate goal, too, and that I was almost there. In fact, on my latest visit, the third one, he gave me some stretching exercises to do and started me on a very slow, easy walking schedule.

Well, after doing one set of the exercises and walking my first day, my right leg wasn't the only thing that was sore. My entire body was sore, and I wanted a piece of two sisters and a chiropractor! I'm paying money to feel worse? And my leg still hurts. I've got two forks and a big pot of "crow" just waiting for two girls I know, if things don't change soon!

Other than that, I'm just feeling fine!

Next weekend, we'll celebrate our granddaughter, Kayla's, third birthday. Awww. And the weekend after that, I'll be in Quitman, Mississippi— my hometown—at their Fall Festival functions. Y'all come to see me!

Everyone have a wonderful, safe September.


                                                                    Pat

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

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

Books Existing and Upcoming

Several months ago I signed a contract with Pearlsong Press for Abigail's Revenge, my fifth novel. The publisher, Peggy Elam, Ph.D., hopes to have the Abigail's Revenge ready for sale in the Pearlsong Press booth at the Southern Festival of Books October 7-9, 2005.

Abigail's Revenge is a romantic suspense, and is different than any other novel I've written. It's also a good bit longer.

Abigail Avery was framed for the murder of her father and sent to prison when she was only eighteen years old. A bunch of crooked "good ole boys" from her hometown of Leaky Springs, Mississippi want her land and house. Abigail doesn't have any idea why they would want her property. But they were willing to kill for it and send her to prison, hoping to get her out of the way long enough to convince her to sell or to acquire it in some other manner. But now, ten years later, Abigail's out of prison and heading back to Leaky Springs to get revenge on the people, especially the judge, who stole ten years of her life.

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 an magazine.

Meanwhile, my new book Dangerous Curves Ahead—a compilation of 10 short stories—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. 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.

 

Weighty Matters

In the face of the constant "Obesity hysteria" that we're exposed to on a daily basis, it seems we're beginning to make small steps in other directions. Small steps lead to giant leaps, so I celebrate the small steps.

In 2004 Dove® launched their "real" women campaign, which includes women of all sizes, ages, and looks: http://www.dove.com/real_beauty/news.asp?id=566

And now, Nike, Inc. is getting in on the act. Although they used a woman who obviously works out, this model, as the ad states, isn't the rail-thin type we usually see. So I see this as a good thing.

"It's no longer just rail-thin models who are showing up in fashion magazines and on billboards. Large women, or what are being called "real people," are now gracing ads of companies selling everything from tuna to cellulite cream.

"Nike Inc., the world's largest maker of athletic shoes, has jumped onto the bandwagon with a campaign featuring close-ups of "big butts" and "thunder thighs." Look closely at the text, however, and you discover that the body parts featured in the pictures belong to women who spend a lot of time working out."


Rest of article at: http://katu.com/stories/79143.html

 

Calendar Of Events

Hear Pat Monday, September 5th on the Health At Every Size radio show with Dr. Peggy Elam. The show airs on Radio Free Nashville (WRFN Pasquo, TN, lpfm 98.9) Monday morning from 10:00 to 11 a.m. CST. The show is streamed live over the Internet at
http://www.radiofreenashville.org/

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!)

Pat will be in Quitman, Mississippi September 10th, at the Clarke County Fall Festival, with her books.

Pat will also be appearing at the Pearlsong Press booth at the Southern Festival of Books in downtown Nashville October 7-9, 2005.
 

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