There are times in life that are dark. You don’t know which way to go, or whether you should go at all—maybe it’s menopause lurking around the corner? Or maybe it’s all the change we’ve been experiencing over the last three years. In any case, I published the third edition of Study Abroad 101, and I just finished my fiction debut, Love Evil: To whom my heart falls prey. “It was God’s garden,” said Sarah. “Why was there knowledge of evil in God’s garden? Why was there knowledge of evil in God? Everything in the garden and in God should have been good, unless—” I had finished this book a few years ago, but wasn’t happy with the end. Finally, after some solitude and time to work, the end rocks! My protagonist goes on with her life as a winner and a writer.

I’m on the mailing list of a heart intelligence coach, and I receive weekly emails about how following my heart will take me in a positive life direction. I have to talk to him because most of the time I follow my head, but the few times in life when I’ve followed my heart, things didn’t turn out very well. Needless to say, I’m “thinking” now as I start writing my first memoir. There are women who love too much—and I’m not one of them—but my heart has led m astray. Does that mean my heart is my enemy? Absolutely not! It means that I need to understand it better and take care of it. The heart is meant to love and has neurons, but it isn’t street smart. There are people who will take advantage of this if you let them.

In Love Evil, I built young Sarah’s emotions and experiences from my own past experience as a young woman. One of her biggest struggles is why she can’t stop loving a man who hurts her. She thinks there’s a godly reason for her love feelings, and her mind and heart go to war. She’s a writer like me, and she comes from a Christian background, also like me. Throughout the story, she’s exposed to Islam, Baha’i, Animism, voodoo, black magic, alchemy, shamanism, and polygamy—all things that I experienced through my own travels abroad. The one thing I didn’t include is Zen Buddhism from my karate training, but I couldn’t make it work. In any case, Sarah discovers through her pain, and her desire for something more, how she can bring love to life.

Gabriel reading a bookLeo, my oldest son, was recently writing an autobiography entitled, “My life in a 100 words.” He described how we just returned from Italy, how his father is looking for a job and his mother BECAME a writer. That rubbed me the right way for some reason. I do many things, but for him to pick “writer” out of the hat is pretty cool. Gabriel, my youngest son, is reading Dinosaur Cove by Rex Stone. There was something about slippery ginkgo pulp, and the two characters (who remind me of Leo and Gabe) ended up on the beach where they found some triceratorps. “Raaar!!!” A T-Rex appears! Isn’t it funny how vegetarian dinosaurs are always the good ones and the meat-eating dinosaurs are always bad? Have you ever heard about a nice T-Rex? For some reason, I keep remembering Gabriel’s famous quote from Italy, “Life is tough when you’re tasty.”