If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

January Interview Schedule:

Debra H. Goldstein 1/2, One Taste Too Many,

JC Kenney 1/9, A Literal Mess,

Barbara Ross 1/16, Steamed Open,

Joana Garcia 1/23, Voice Over Actor,

Sherry Harris 1/30, The Gun Also Rises.

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 1/5 Jane Isenberg, 1/12 Bob Germaux

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 1/19 Margaret S. Hamilton, 1/26 Kait Carson

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: http://a.co/d/jdSBKdM

Grace Topping signed a three-book contract with Henery Press for her Laura Bishop Home Staging series. Congratulations, Grace!

KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.

Warren Bull also has a story in Shhh...Murder! Look for "Elsinore Noir," Warren's short story, in this anthology.

Annette Dashofy's Cry Wolf, was be released on September 18th.

Shari Randall's third Lobster Shack Mystery, Drawn and Buttered, will be published February 26, 2019 and is available for preorder now.


Thursday, March 8, 2018


Last year I wrote about Friar Johnpaul Cafier who came to our church to discuss the death of Christ and what he went through. In spite of the seriousness of this, Friar Johnpaul managed to lighten it with humor, too. The church was packed all three nights and everyone loved him.

Well, our priest Father Balish, managed to get him back this year which made everyone so happy. This year before the first talk which was on Sunday night, we had a dinner in the social hall followed by the movie The Wizard of Oz. due to Friar Johnpaul’s family’s enamor by the book and movie. His Polish grandmother used to read the book to him and then they all saw the movie. His father, who was in the military in England, bought several large photos of the characters from the movie for five dollars each, and started their collection that numbers more than 25,000 items in a museum in Kansas. His family members serve as the curators of the museum. He brought with him large displays of the characters from the movie Wizard of Oz and  set up in the church lobby. On the last day he showed one of the many red slippers that Dorothy wore throughout the movie. Many were needed because the plywood yellow brick road wore them out.

The yellow brick road represents our spiritual journey through life. “The movie shows us the five stages of life on that journey looking for God,” he said.

The first stage is our discontent in our lives such as mid-life crisis of wanting more. “We ask ourselves, is that all there is in our lives. There is a desire for more. Just as Dorothy and the others went in search of new lands, so do we in our lives,” Friar Johnpaul said. He also threw in a funny line about men buying jazzy sports cars and driving around with a young chick next to them.

My great grand daughter Ellie

The second stage is the call to follow God, such as when Moses had a call to lead people out of Egypt and the twelve disciples had a calling to follow Jesus. He said, “The Lord helps us to move on in our spiritual journey.”

The third stage is moving out on the call – whether heading for college, to a new job or on a trip. “When you first go out on a journey, it is exciting until we realize we can’t do it alone and need others or a higher power. These are the times when lions, tigers and bears may block our way. Just as in the spiritual journey we need a guide and along the way,”  Friar Johnpaul Cafier said.  He also said in the movie that Glinda the Good Witch gave Dorothy guidance, as did her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, and he added “We need guides like this who help nourish our lives and help us on our spiritual journey.”

This is my great grandson, Brodie

The fourth stage is a new awareness that we will and must learn something on our journey. “We have to learn a new lesson. How will trials and tribulations in life help us? They are all lessons. Life will give you pain and suffering and unless we learn something from it – and not just want to forget it – it will just be pain and suffering. We have to stop and we have to reflect. Change will happen, it will change us.” This made me think of the death of my son, my parents, a granddaughter, and my husband leaving me after thirty-one years of marriage. Did it change me?
Though I grieved my son’s death, it was a year later that I started college and became a teacher. I enjoyed college and loved teaching my third grade class. In college I started writing – first an essay about saying good-bye to my son which was published in the ICON the college semi-annual booklet that came out. I started writing poetry and had poems published in there, too. So yes I was changed.

Ellie with Doro

The fifth stage of the journey is to return home changed. Just as parents prepare their children to one day leave home on their own life journey, we learn what is truly important in life and have a new awareness.
I know that I can’t do anything about the people I’ve lost throughout my life; grandparents, parents, my son, my six-year old granddaughter, my husband, my brother and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and my best friend, but I’m embracing the good that’s in my life – the farm I bought, my living children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and my critters, ponies, cats, chickens, birds and especially my collie Maggie.

Father Balish, our priest wrote “Friar Johnpaul is a dynamic, faith-filled and energetic speaker who provides enlightening insights about our faith and relationship to God, sprinkled with humor, stories and real-life experiences. Cafier and his family are also the largest curators of “Wizard of Oz” memorabilia in the United States with more than 25,000 items.

He asked the congregations trivia questions, including how Margaret Hamilton as the witch was accidentally hospitalized after being burned. How actor Buddy Ebsen was going to play the tin man, but had an allergic reaction, and a rumor that a munchkin hung himself in one scene that was actually a crane tethered to a perch that got spooked and fell off the perch.

John Paul is a Franciscan priest of the Sacred Heart Province of Chicago/St. Louis. He is the oldest in a family of Polish/Italians. He is a former police officer in New York City, who has worked as a counselor and chaplain at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago. He has worked with counseling gang members and their families. He is a pastoral associate and preacher at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, formerly the assistant vocation director for his Franciscan order and now serves as chaplain for the Illinois State Police.”
Me with my great grandchildren & characters

This blog comes from the three nights I attended his Lenten mission talks and some of it printed in our local newspaper and from the two CD album I bought and listened to for the last few days called The Spiritual Journey; Reflections on The Wizard of Oz.

Reading the back of the album I found out he has an incredible amount of degrees in various subjects like Counseling Psychology, Psychology Philosophy, and the list goes on from various colleges. He is the oldest of an Italian/Polish family. He has also visited an incredible amount of countries overseas and all fifty states. He leads overseas pilgrimages, too. Last year it was a pilgrimage to Ireland, there’s a Holy Land one this June, in 2019 there will be a Greek Cruise, Turkey, Rome the Footsteps of St. Paul, and the one I want to go to is in August 2020 the Alpine Pilgrimage called the Sound of Music Tour in Austria, Switzerland Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria with the Passion Play in the city of Oberamergau Germany where The Passion Play is performed every 10 years in that city.

Would you like to go to a talk or a journey with Friar Johnpaul Cafiero?


Warren Bull said...

He sounds like a man I'd love to hear and travel with.

Shari Randall said...

What a wonderful man, and what a fresh perspective on Lent!
Your great grandchildren are adorable, Gloria!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

How wonderful for you to hear from this man. I'm enamored about the WOZ museum in Kansas. thanks for sharing today.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren. you would. I could listen to him for hours and hours.

Shari, they are cute aren't they. He is a wonderful man. Last year I had time to talk
to him, but this year he was surrounded by people after he was done and when we went
to the social hall for snacks and something to drink like coffee or lemonade or water.

Vicki I want to go to Kansas someday to see it, too. You would so enjoy him. I took
my granddaughter who rarely goes to any church and she enjoyed him so much., Those
are her children I have pictures of.

KM Rockwood said...

What an interesting person he must be! Such a creative juxtaposition of religious, spiritual & pop culture ingredients. I hope you get to go on the trip!

Gloria Alden said...

Kathleen, I hope to be able to go, too. He didn't sing this year, but last year he sang several hymns alone and it was very touching. Last year he talked about how horribly Jesus was tortured and not just the crown of thorns and the nailing to the cross. I enjoyed watching the movie on the night before, too, because it had been years since I had seen it. He said that Dorothy was supposed to be a 12 year old girl, but they had to pick the actress who was fifteen or sixteen, and she had to wear a tight binder around her chest - in other words to flatten her breasts.

My son came home yesterday afternoon with chest pain. He didn't tell anyone and drove to the hospital where they found one of his blood vessels to his heart called the widow vessel was totally clogged so today he had heart surgery to clean out the vessel and a stent was put in.
His daughter is with him and is bringing him home tonight - probably because he doesn't want to
stay. He didn't call to tell me because he didn't want to upset me, but he called a little while ago after he learned I found out to tell me he'd be coming home soon.