Filed under Behind the Stories: Inspirations and Encounters

Centering and Balancing

Moving and retiring is a positive disruption and it’s one that I chose. Still, I’m prone to wishing I could just get the tedious parts over with. There is no “over with.” It’s all part of my life, unique moments I am consciously living. I’m more effective when I’m present to a process, whether it’s cleaning … Continue reading

Meet Mae Martin — a southerner who loves silliness, hates bullying, and has a very unusual talent for solving mysteries

Originally posted on Terri Herman-Ponce:
We’re on a character interview roll! Over the weekend, I chatted with Mae Martin. She’s a southerner who loves silliness, hates bullying, and has a very unusual talent for solving mysteries. She’s also the product of Amber Foxx’s imagination, author of The Mae Martin Mysteries. Mae is an extraordinary character…

Flowering of the Heart

Never can I write of Damascus without my fingers becoming a trellis for her jasmine. Nor can my mouth speak that name without savoring the juices of her apricot, pomegranate, mulberry and quince. Poem by Nizar Qabbani. Translated by students in the Iraqi Student Project Never Can I Write of Damascus: When Syria Became our … Continue reading

Reflection and Self-Study: Down Time Needed

On a recent trip that took me through three guest rooms in three nights, I forgot my evening meditation and journaling practice. I barely kept a journal, and what little I wrote in it was about other people. The interesting people I met at my reading and book signing. What great hosts and wonderful people … Continue reading

Signing Books at Book and Table, Valdosta GA

Should any readers happen to be in this area, I would love to meet you in person. I’ll be signing books and doing a short reading at Book  and Table, 120 North Patterson St. in Valdosta, GA on Friday the 14th of April at 7:00 and at noon Sat. the 15th. The bookstore/restaurant is run by … Continue reading

Inner Beauty

I’m a people-watcher. My fellow humans are endlessly fascinating and the fragments of their lives that I observe have the seeds of stories in them, maybe even new characters. They also give me an opportunity to practice what Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield describes in his book The Wise Heart as seeing the inner nobility in … Continue reading

Kufwasa

I discovered this beautiful concept while researching Zambian culture for my work in progress. Kufwasa is a word in the Tumbuka language that means a blend of patience, mindfulness, flow, enjoyment, and something unique to the understanding of people who live in a traditional African culture which may be hard to put into English words. … Continue reading

Ahimsa and Santosha

Though a few of my fictional characters do practice yoga, this week it’s Amber the yoga teacher and college professor more than the novelist who’s talking. The Sanskrit word ahimsa is usually translated as “non-harming.” It’s one of the principles of yoga philosophy, one of the yamas, which means abstentions or restraints. Ideally, we’re aware of … Continue reading

Seeing a Ghost

As research for the seventh Mae Martin book, I recently read a book on paranormal investigation techniques by a professional skeptic. It reminded me of this post I wrote three years ago, which some of my current blog readers may not have seen, so I’ve updated and recycled it. Once in a while, writing paranormal … Continue reading

The Fascination of What’s Difficult

I memorized this poem years ago when I was working in theater and also pursuing a degree in a new field. It struck me as the perfect fit when I used it as the introduction to a research paper on stress and  health. To me, it describes the reaction of the human spirit to the demands of work—work we … Continue reading