Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Christmas Wish from Cheryl Malandrinos

As I sat down to type this, I tried to find some topic that would relate to Joylene’s readers. While I browsed her blog, I found a combination of writing, nature and family—all things I enjoy and appreciate.

Like many writers, I’ve written in some form since I was a kid. I am an avid reader, and I truly believe being a reader is crucial to every writer’s success. It keeps you in touch with the pulse of the market, it helps you define what you like, and it inspires ideas. According to Stephen King, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” That sounds like great advice.

On this blog, I saw the lovely photos Joylene posted of her winter wonderland on Cluculz Lake. During any other year they would have inspired some happy story that takes place during Christmas. This year, however, they remind me what a fickle mistress Mother Nature is. Our area has been hit by three major storms over the past five months; the last, a freak early snowstorm at the end of October that dumped more than 10 inches of snow on us and left us without power for a week. Yet, certainly, there must be some inspiration in that as well. I felt like we lived out on the Dakota prairie in the 1800’s. If I had a real fireplace and a barn full of hay, I might have considered twisting hay into sticks to keep warm like Laura Ingalls and her family did in The Long Winter.

I’m not sure what story will come from this year’s weather conundrums, but I know they will weave their way into my writing somewhere.

Finally, we come to family. My children are my greatest source of inspiration. Two of my as yet unpublished picture books are based upon one of my daughters—a human Curious George with an unlimited fountain of imagination. I went gaga over the pictures of Joylene’s new grandson, Blake. As she said, a new baby makes you sit there and “marvel at how precious life is.” Life is precious, and babies are a sign that miracles happen every day.

During this season of joy and peace, I hope you find what you need to make your writing dreams come true; I wish Mother Nature is kind to you; and I pray you and your family experience the miracles of Christmas every day of the year.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.

Visit Cheryl at her newly redesigned website http://ccmalandrinos.com or visit the Little Shepherd book blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com.


  1. Hi,Cheryl. Those winter months can be debilitating for certain. I lived in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and one year we got two feet of snow the last week of September. Nobody was ready for that or what came after. More huge shows, one after the other, until we had four feet of snow atop our roof. My neighbors helped me get up there and clear away the snow from the vents so we didn't die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    But it was beautiful, too, in a picture postcard kind of way. LOL

  2. It's a standing joke that nobody understands cold like Canadians. But honestly, we are used to it because winter in Canada is inevitable. But that doesn't make watching what happened across the globe any easier last winter. I hope this winter is just that, winter, and not a horror story.

    Thank you for being my guest today, Cheryl. I'm so happy to have you here.

    Thanks for stopping by, Pat. Hope you have a great day.

  3. Great interview Cheryl. I know about bad weather. I live in southeastern Connecticut and the weather here this year has been awful. We went through that awful storm last fall that cut power and then we had Hurricane Irene, which flooded and caused power outages, and finally that freak snowstorm in October that caused more power outages. We were lucky and only had power problems with Irene, but knocking wood.

    I know another author with Guardian Angel Press, Donna McDine. Do you know her?

  4. Hello all,

    Sorry I am late to the party. I've been down with a horrible cold that turned into a sinus and ear infection. Two weeks later, I'm still suffering with it and I can't seem to shake it no matter what I do. On the plus side, I can't hear my kids argue as much as I usually do. :)

    Wow, Pat. Two feet of snow in September. That is awful. I can barely imagine that one. I'm sure it looked pretty, but made for some messy situations.

    Thanks for hosting me, Joylene. I visited Montreal one year around February and I swear I could never get warm. It's a beautiful place, but way too cold for me. I'm thinking North Carolina would be a nice place for me to settle. A bit of snow, but definitely not what we get in the Northeast.

    Hi Barbara. Great to see you here. Connecticut really got hammered with that storm. Unbelievable how long so much of the state was without power. And yet now, the temperatures have been mild.

    Yes, Donna and I know one another. I keep hoping one of these days she and I will hook up. I know around where she lives. We go over the Tappan Zee Bridge on our way down south each summer.

    Thanks again for dropping by. I'm off to promote this now.


  5. Cheryl, warning, it's not safe to discuss weather with a Canadian. They can help themselves; no matter where they live or what they do, they've seen coldest weather imaginable. For instance, when I go to Montreal I wear a cloth coat. Here at home in central BC, I wear a down coat with sorrell boots. I'm kiddin. And I do know that the weather changes are frightening. I've never experienced flash flooding or tornadoes. We've had winds up to 100 kms. Not anything like they experience in the mid-west, but still scares the beejeebees out of me.

  6. Hi Barb. You snuck in after I clicked send. I'm so glad you stopped by. I think it's scary to experience such severe winters. I'm not going to complain about the cold for the rest of the day. Cheers.

  7. Hello Cheryl,

    Wonderful post. :) And, you quoted King!

    On Weather - I've been lucky, I'd say, not to have experienced too major of any type of storm, knock on wood. Tornadoes are the closest I've been too, but I always seem to be away from the actual event, whether it's near my home or where I should have been.

    Best wishes to all.

  8. I'm so glad you stopped by, Cher. And I'm glad you're not home when the storms come. BTW your blog updates aren't coming to my inbox. You're still having problems, eh?

  9. Wonderful article!! Continued good luck with your book tour, Cheryl!!

  10. Hey Joylene, I think the weather is on everyone's mind up and down the east coast lately. Oh my, you have wonder sometimes if it's a sign.

    Hi Cher. Thanks for stopping by. King is one of my favorite authors. I just received his latest book from the SK Library Club my hubby belongs to. I can't wait to read it, but wait I must as the books to review pile is huge right now.

    Hey Vanessa. Glad you snuck in here. I appreciate your support.

  11. Oh, what a sweet book. And what terrible weather. I'm fortunate that we get snow in spurts. I do miss my Florida Winters. Have a wonder Christmas and end of the year. :)

  12. Joylene - Thank you. Sent you an email on the blogger issue.

    Cheryl, I know all about the pile of unread books. But... If you haven't read Under the Dome yet, pull it out. Wonderful characters and story!

  13. I'm spending this Christmas in the desert. Such a change from previous years!

    I'll second Cherly's wish -- may you find what you need to make your writing dreams come true.

  14. Nice blog.




  15. @V-Thanks for visiting my blog and wishing Cheryl the best. Very appreciated.

    @Thanks, Laila. Ah--Florida.

    @Cher, thanks! I'm going to check out UTD too.

    @Pat, one of these years I'd like to visit Mexico for Christmas. I think that would be an interesting experience.

    @Elizabeth, hi. Thanks for following. Stay tuned; I'm having another contest before Christmas.

  16. What a great blog probably because my favorite topics are writing, nature and family too. Babies do make us so appreciative of life, especially the baby born on Christmas Day.
    Happy Holidays to you too Cheryl, Joylene and commenters.

  17. Oh my, look at everyone who has checked in. Thanks so much for your support today.

    A wonderful Christmas to you too, Laila.

    Cher, I haven't read Under the Dome yet either. Will definitely do it soon.

    Pat, hope you enjoy your Christmas in the desert. I honestly can't imagine not being somewhere cold, but it might be nice for a change.

    Thanks for joining us today, Elizabeth.

    Wishing you all a wonderful holiday.


  18. Thanks, Janet. Merry Christmas!

  19. You mention, as do many folks who write, that reading is as fundamental to writing as knowing how to type. What never ceases to amaze me is how what we read can subtly influence what or how we write.

    Every so often, as I read and learn more about the Revolutionary War period, I find myself unconsciously slipping into 18th century writing styles. It isn't until I step back and reread it that I realize what has happened.

    Great article, Cheryl, and thank you for hosting her Joylene :^)

  20. Sorry if I'm come across this post a little bit late Joylene but I just wanted to thank Cheryl for her lovely message and send her my best wishes for Christmas.

  21. Wonderful post. You are an amazing lady, Cheryl. Even when you're down and out with illness, you manage to keep on going in support of other writers. I hope the weather this year is favorable for you. And I'm sure some great stories will come from your experiences with Mother Nature.

    God bless.

  22. How wonderful to see more friends here.

    Jeff, you're so right. Much of what I read influences what I write. I'm working on historicals right now, and that's one of my favorite genres to read.

    Paul, thanks for stopping by. It's always great to see people comment on something I've written.

    Beverly, thanks for your kind words. It has been a tough couple of weeks, but life goes on. Hopefully this horrible thing that has taken over my body decides to leave soon. I hope you're enjoying your tour for Tumbleweed Christmas. It's a great book.

    Thanks for visiting, everyone!

  23. @Avomnia, nice sentiments. Thank you for stopping by.

    @Paul, you are never late to the party, only fashionably late. Thanks for stopping by.

    @I second that, Beverley. Thanks for the visit.

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

  24. Cheryl, I think it's wonderful that your children inspire you to write. Adds a whole new dimension to mothering. As for the weather, we're on the Canadian border here in New Hampshire. The weather is always unpredicatble. Kids were trick-or-treating in the snow this year, and since then we've had unseasonably warm weather. Makes me shudder to think what might be around the corner. Best wishes to you!

  25. Thank you for visiting, Pat. Happy blogging. And sorry about the weather. Chances are you get our leftovers. If it's any consolation, we get Alaska's.

  26. Hi Pat,

    Great to see you here. What I also think is really great about my kids is they want to work on books with me. My oldest daughter and I have written one together already. We'll see what happens with that.

    The weather sure has been crazy. Same thing here. It snowed and then it's been in the 50's and 60's ever since. Supposed to see some white stuff tonight. Shudder!

    Thanks for dropping by.


  27. Nice to meet you, Cheryl! And I adore the cover of your book! So colorful and bright!

    Merry Christmas and a peaceful holiday to you as well!

  28. Merry Christmas, Carol. Hope it's full of mystery and intrigue.

  29. Just getting caught up here. So nice to meet Cheryl and see her book. I'll have to go check it out as it looks perfect for the grandchildren I'll be visiting this Christmas! Thanks, Cheryl and Joylene.

  30. Glad you were able to stop by, Carol. Cheryl works very hard for writers, and so it's nice to reciprocate.

  31. This is the great thing about blogs, so many people can stop by and visit, even if the post is up for a day or two.

    J.Q., I just realized I never responded to you. Gasp, hit me with a wet noodle. Thanks for your lovely words.

    C. Zampa, glad to meet you. I'm glad you like the cover. Eugene did a fabulous job on the artwork.

    Carol, thanks for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to check out Little Shepherd. If you do, I hope the grandkids enjoy it.

    Joylene, you've got a great blog with a loyal readership. Thaks for hosting me. I feel so honored to be here.

    Wishing you all the best,


  32. Cheryl, it was a blessing having you here. Would you come back when your next book comes out? I'd love to have you.

  33. I would love to. It will be in the fall of next year.

  34. Wonderful, Cheryl. I'm looking forward to it. Merry Christmas.


Thank you for visiting my blog. Please come in and sit for while. We will talk about writing. We will share our dreams. Then I will serve tea and cookies. Home made and Gluten Free.