Holiday Season & News

I’ve joined Mastodon and pared down my time on Twitter. My blog and daily emails from friends comprise the greater part of my internet life. However, Twitter allowed me to keep up with current news, often from the affected people themselves, and with my fellow book lovers. I used it to promote my books as well. Now that I’m on Mastodon I am enjoying the richer engagement I’m having with other writers and reviewers. You can find me at

My Kindle Vella adventure continues. Passages had 6 readers in the beginning but as soon as payment was required that fell to zero. The message I’ve taken from that is to make it more compelling. I’ve discovered on reviewing the rules that episodes on Kindle Vella are not to be published anywhere else on the internet for free. I have to chose between publishing on my blog or on Kindle Vella. I’ve decided to keep working on Kindle Vella to see if it works. At least for the next few months.

In the spirit of the season, here are two poems. The first by Maya Angelou is well-known. The second is by Sally Young, now Sally young-eslinger, an old friend of mine. We knew each other in New Jersey before I went to New York and she to Chicago and later Kentucky.

AMAZING PEACE:  A Christmas Poem
by Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.


by Sally young-eslinger

Let me go!

Please! Let me go

Flying out along the city’s avenues

To observe all the gatherings and meetings,

To examine all the exchanges of everyone…

And I will find

The most certain way to honor you.

Let me go!

That particular regard seems outside

All my experience gathered to date.

There is no simple acknowledgement known

For all I have been given, even without asking.

Oh, surely, there are things I will find

Within the stronger, sweeter dedications

Among the all, one to another?

Humanity’s born caring brings touches of God. Oh,

Shall I discover all the notes of

Sincere appreciation to be enough?

Lately, my words try to reach you — even those

Torn from my heart — but only sound pretending.

I need to flee out

To stretch into the depths of all enfolding love

For that cache containing

The one thing that holds everything top

Place within it and pull from it

All the ways I may thank and honor you.

Perhaps, leaves will become diamonds

More quickly, but my being courses steadily on to

That some new day when I will come with witnesses

And I will honor you.


Have a safe and happy holiday season!


8 thoughts on “Holiday Season & News

    • I’m tempted to leave Twitter. I’m on so infrequently now I might as well, and as you say, I don’t miss it. Also, I’m bothered by the Saudi investment. Musk won’t choose an impartial, professional CEO, and as owner and sole board director he’ll still be in charge.

      One person who left Kindle Vella said she realized the authors need to bring their own readers. She felt she was duplicating her efforts.

      In fact, authors are benefitting Amazon, both by bringing in readers, and by providing content. For fractions of cents on the dollar.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Dear Mary,

    I love “AMAZING PEACE: A Christmas Poem” written by Maya Angelou, as well as “IN THANKFULNESS” by Sally young-eslinger (Sally Young). Thank you for wishing us a safe and happy holiday season.

    May you find 2023 to be very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking and publishing whatever topics that take your intellectual fancy and creative whim!

    I have joined the festive spirit and previously published one year ago a special post entitled “🎊 Season’s Greetings: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 🎄🎅☃️” to celebrate the festive season. The post combines art, graphics, poems, music and animations. May you relish my post to your heart’s content, as I have yours. After all, it is the time of the year to send you some mellifluous text, glorious images and eye-catching animations presented in the following post:

    I hope that you will thoroughly enjoy the animations featured at my said post. In addition, please turn on your finest speakers or headphones, as my aforementioned festive post will be playing music to you automatically for about two minutes.

    Happy New Year to you!

    Yours sincerely,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard Vella can take some time to build up readership and consistency is the key—post at least 3 times a week. Having to choose between both is hard, as I love my WordPress community. I’ve decided to stay here for now, but might play a bit with it later.

    Liked by 1 person

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