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soul?   I am looking to
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Library
creativinfinity
Please feel free to browse.
The Illuminator is a novel which occurs in and around a late 14th Century English
manor house.  From the start of this work you are refreshed by the simplicity and paucity of
lifestyle, whether in the gracious Lady Kathryn’s Blackingham Manor or in a crofter’s
makeshift hut on Blackingham property
.   These are feudal times, and the recent death of
Kathryn's husband has caused title to the Manor, her father’s estate, to be returned to her
Ladyship.  The new burden of running the great house, as well as its tenant farmlands, is
weighing on the fortyish woman.  The Manor's only source of financial income stems from
collected rents and the sale of sheep’s wool; causing Kathryn great concern for the future of
her two adolescent sons.  Between the King’s Poll tax and the Church’s endless tithes, she
is further oppressed, barely able to maintain the life she was once accustomed to.   In order
to receive greater protection, both in body and spirit, and to prove her devotion to her local
church, she agrees to take in a border, Finn, the renowned illuminator and his lovely young
daughter, Rose.   Although not a greedy or pretentious woman, Kathryn is grateful for the
monetary compensation she is to receive for this commitment to the Church.  Retained by
the Abbot to illustrate and embellish religious manuscripts with his artistic magic, Finn now
also benefits from Lady Kathryn's hospitality and friendship.  The story proceeds to
intertwine obvious and yet unexpected relationships as the characters choose their
respective sacrifices to safeguard their lives, their loved ones and their secrets.

Author,
Brenda Rickman Vantrease, has eloquently integrated the characters’ dialogue in the
period vernacular with the story narrative and descriptive comments substantiating the
historical setting.  Ms. Vantrease sketches a vividly tangible picture of the hardships
experienced in everyday life for a simple scullery maid, a dwarf, the clerical occupants of local
abbeys and the main characters whose stories one becomes intrigued with.  She has
researched the period just before the reformation incorporating available documentation
belonging to historic individuals, e.g., John Wycliffe and John Ball, whose influence resulted
in the eventual revolt against and separation from the  overbearing Church.  I found this a
rewarding read and recommend this book.
Books of Note
Concepts in Writing, Design and Communication
Library
Library
Talent Scout
Word UP
Vocabulary Booster
What meaning best describes the
word:    
advertent - adj.

a)  promotional;
b)  advantageous;
c)  attentive;
d)  enchanted.


Answer
Answer:
      c)  Attentive.

The judges on
Dancing With The
Stars
are extremely advertent to
the footwork of the dancers.
Reprinted with permission of
The Journal News
Copyright © 2009-2012 All rights reserved.


9/24/09

PBS has a new
documentary produced
by Ken Burns, which it
is now airing on
The
National Parks in
America.  There was a
request for anecdotal
stories relevant to
anyone's experience at
one of the National
Parks and my essay
submission was
published on the PBS
website.  Click
here to
read it, but
note that
the many "?" were
actually supposed to
be "apostrophes" or
"quotation marks." (a
conversion issue)
News
When to use "Perimeter"
or "Periphery"
Perimeter conveys an understanding
of the actual defined border of a
space; whereas
periphery connotes
the furthermost outer area without
referring to the actual border of
containment (of a shaped space).
As a believer in the concept of “being open to the Universe,” I am gratefully receptive to
options placed in my path for my potential benefit.  And so while perusing a
Barnes & Noble
display of significantly price-reduced books,
Excuses Begone! challenged me to read the
dust jacket.  No one likes to admit they are imperfect, but when we own up to our
deficiencies, and are willing to explore possible methods of correcting our flaws, we are
suddenly presented with myriad choices.  
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, a well-known author and long-
standing guru of programs on self-improvement, refers to his seven steps to an excuse-free
life as the
Excuses Begone! Paradigm.  Although one might assume that Dr. Dyer has
reached a state of problem-free nirvana, it is evident that he has written this book from the
heart, citing many examples from his own journey of betterment of body and soul.  Having
researched and trained in various forms of spiritual enlightenment, he offers his favorite
quotes and concepts from a host of observational prophets and authors ranging from Lao-
Tzu to Thoreau.  Dr. Dyer imparts to his readers, with compelling sincerity, his basic strategy
meant to help redirect our thinking, thereby allowing us more control of our lives as well as
responsibility for our actions.  While outlining the stages of his protocol for us to practice and
embrace, he shares many of his own decisions to simply stop self-destructive behaviors and
the discipline as well as support systems he employed in the process.  Dr. Dyer’s
Excuses
Begone!
 boot camp is offered in a straightforward, simplistic manner and is easily digestible
and informative from start to finish.  This compact manual instructs us how to eliminate
chronic dependency of habitual excuses (those we religiously blame for our lack of success in
life).  Dr. Dyer mentions the most frequently heard excuses, e.g.: our shortcomings for our
limitations; or our submission to the stifling demands and expectations placed on us by our
familys; or our lack of education; or our innate fears and our self-sabotaging habits, to name
a few.  But, by learning to use the Excuses Begone!
Paradigm, we can experience emotional,
physical and financial prosperity, on our own terms.

I drew comfort and a great sense of identification with the book’s goals and principles from
page one.  Perhaps a cosmic coincidence, from 2006 to 2009, I had developed and written a
course on “change,” a primer on behavior modification, based on my own life’s experience.  
Excuses Begone! was published in 2009.  Great minds think alike.  My course condensed the
steps to achieving successful targeted changes in one’s life through a series of exercises
geared to alleviate the fear of change.  I even employed a very similar spiritual support
system, a universal faith platform, which Dr. Dyer frequently refers to as the need to channel
one’s divine source.  As such, he speaks of an absolute acceptance of God, the Tao or a
divine energy which permeates all living creatures in this worldly and possibly “other” worldly
existence.  On a whole, I concurred with Dr. Dyer’s concepts, except for his insistence in the
existence of God, which is a very personal matter and may interfere with the general
application of his paradigm for those who are non-believers.  Accepting a Divine Source is
supportive and empowering when it is understood as an ever-present inner strength.  My
personal beliefs aside, I felt the love being shared in this book and emerged a better person
for every day that I continued my reading of it.  In order to truly absorb and apply its simple
applications and affirmations, it deserves more than one read.  I recommend this book to
every person who says “I can’t because . . .” as daily reinforcement of “I can!”  I would
eagerly give this book as a gift to everyone I know, as a renewal tool for self-acceptance
and self-confidence.
Excuses Begone!
How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits