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We underestimate others.

We have all heard the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  The warning is to not make quick judgements about people.  If we don’t dig beneath the surface, we can underestimate them, which also means we can undervalue them.

At first glance, in a public setting, Nick is an adult male, typically in a wheelchair, slumped over to one side, looking at a white string or airplane that he is holding.  Even if others take the time to try and talk to him, he doesn’t always respond immediately.  Often, because of his communication disorder and delay in processing things, he will actually respond many minutes later after the person has left.

And then there are other times, when he will interject comments into a conversation.  These comments tend to be short.  Using just a few words, his insight is profound, succinct  and appropriate to the topics being discussed.  In those moments, we all learn from his wisdom.  It’s as if the fog in his brain lifts and he clearly sees things in ways that we all don’t.  He makes his fervent pronouncement then nods while looking at his dad or me.  Sometimes he will even tell us, “I right?” and then the fog descends and he is again gazing at his toy.  I watch and wait for these heartfelt proclamations.

I believe that each of us has something to contribute.  It’s important that we honor, respect and value each other.  Look beyond the first impression, your first interactions and seek to discover the treasures of wisdom and insight that others hold.  Even the smallest child can teach us great truths.  Taking the time to stop and listen will enrich your life.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.