When you have been hit by a drama, it's impossible to continue looking at life in the same indifferent way. The death of a person close to you, the discovery of a health problem, the loss of a job, and other things can gnaw at your heart, make you suffer and somehow restructure your way of thinking, your perspective on life.

A French author, Alfred de Musset said, that to write beautiful poetry one must have tasted real sadness. To write a book that touches readers, an author must dig deep in his/her own emotions and write from the heart.

Having experience sadness in the last month, I felt disconcerted for a while, unable to resume my old routine, because whether I like it or not my routine has changed. In an effort to regain my self-control, I started looking around me.

And what I saw amazed me.

So many friends smiling, extending a helping hand, offering words of comfort, encouragement and support. So many of you, here on this loop and others, without whom I would have taken much longer to smile again. Thank you.

I also saw people suffering because of difficult economical circumstances and needing financial help.

I saw lonely senior citizens looking at me with sad eyes and telling me ‘your mother was lucky to have you visiting, we don’t have anyone here’.

I saw children begging me to play and laugh with them. Little did they know how their company helped me.

I saw handicaps who need a drive or someone to need them.

Again I look around and saw beautiful sceneries: a palette of amazing colors in the trees. When I lived in the North, I never missed walking through parks and taking pictures of the foliage. In Florida, a stroll on the sand while watching the waves restores my good mood and fills me with inspiration for my stories. Nature offers a whole array of joys to taste.

Socializing is something I avoided as I never had enough time to just sit with friends and chat, share a meal at home or in a restaurant, play a game or watch a movie. To think of it, I stopped watching movies or TV shows eons ago. Now I make it a point to follow the news and enjoy a few shows while knitting. Yes, knitting. To be honest, I hadn’t touched knitting needles since my son was four. Now I am knitting a long scarf for his daughter.

Another precedent for me. I volunteered to help baking at our church. Cooking I handle well but baking! Good Lord, baking is something I avoided like a virus. Baking contributes to adding pounds on my hips. But I decided it was time to show some goodwill by cooperating in the church’s kitchen. I was very proud when my cookies turned out to be nice-looking and delicious.

Now, I look around for little joys. I go after them and I enjoy them.

As always, writing is a joy, a passion and a soothing relaxation. My new story, The Greek Villa or Island of Passion—I am not sure of the title yet—is set in the island of Mikonos.

Unexpected good news can add tremendous joy. The nomination of my novel, Rx FOR TRUST as a finalist at EPICON definitely put a smile on my lips and kicked my muse back into work.

Tell me, please, where do you find your joys? How do you get over sadness, frustration or anxiety?

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat~

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, winner of 2009 BEST contemporary romance at READERS FAVORITE and 2009 BEST ROMANCE NOVEL at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.

Rx FOR TRUST: winner of 2010 BEST contemporary romance at READERS FAVORITE and 2011finalist for contemporary romance at EPICON .


  1. Cyrano // November 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

    Mona, your post was heartfelt and beautiful. I enjoyed every word.
    Ive been very blessed in life so far. No major hardships, no downfalls or real sadness to speak of. And sometimes I feel guilty for being so happy. Why do some people, no matter how good, no matter how virtuous and sweet, have so many trials in life, while others waltz through with no more than a hiccup?
    I try and volunteer when I can, my husband and I give to charities, but I'm sure I can do more.
    fter reading your post, my new year resolution for 2011 will be to give more of myself and my time to others.
    In answer to your question, I suppose that taking a walk through the park on a beautiful day, like today, has the ability to chase away the blues.
    Thanks so much for the post.
    Have a lovely Monday.

  2. Mary Marvella // November 1, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

    Mona, after the loss of both parents and my separation from my husband, my daughter and my friends kept me afloat. Memories of my parents still brings me joy 10 years later.

    Actually, being around people brings me joy. That's why I volunteer at DragonCon as a staff member and the Tour of southern Ghosts. I'm pretty easy.

    If someone smiles at me, I feel joy. The kids I tutor brings me joy. Hearing from my former students, who are now past 40, brings me joy.

    An email from a friend brings me joy.


  3. Mary Marvella // November 1, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

    I forgot to mention. Pam, Tamara, Scarlet, and Connie, my critique partners bring me special joy.

    Hey, I didn't forget Toni and Linda, old friends.

  4. Mona Risk // November 1, 2010 at 6:50 PM  

    Hi Tamara, don't ever feel guilty for your happiness. I guess real happiness comes from within the heart. Some people, like you, can be positive and enjoy life no matter what. My mother was like that. She always claimed she was so fortunate, even when she couldn't walk.

  5. Mona Risk // November 1, 2010 at 6:56 PM  

    Mary, I am now getting a lot of joy from my friends and I am realizing how so many people are genuinely good and want to help each other. I am glad I can bring you joy. You cetainly did.

  6. Mary Marvella // November 1, 2010 at 7:13 PM  

    Awwww, Mona! HUGE HUG!

  7. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 1, 2010 at 7:54 PM  

    Mona, you know how much we love and respect you here at the pink fuzzies. We are glad you are coming around to begin to enjoy the good things in life again. Sorrow is something that likes to walk beside us, but with a little kick in out step we can sometimes out stripe it for a little while. Enjoy those little things that are such a comfort to you. Allow yourself to experience life to the fullest. When you recapture you joy in living, you will recapture you muse.

    Love the picture of Mykonos, I have one of the exact same harbor. That is the spot where our cruise ship put us ashore. Small world, huh?

    Take care, girlfriend.

  8. Mona Risk // November 1, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

    Hi Scarlet, this is the spot where our ship docked also. Isn't it great to recognize places around the world?

  9. Mary Ricksen // November 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

    I love your spunk Mona!
    Always know that my hand is there for you to hold if you ever need it.
    Just grab it and hold on tight.
    You get by with a little help from your friends!

  10. Pamela Varnado // November 1, 2010 at 9:26 PM  

    Mona, thanks for encouraging those going through troubled times. My husband's ongoing medical issues continue to stress our family, but they also acted as starting points for us. We realized that we needed to start saving more, especially since retirement is right around the corner, and that we need to enjoy the small moments we are given. Most days, we went through the motions of living without taking the time to enjoy them. Trials come our way but we are blessed and live is good.

    Tamara, don't ever feel guilty for being blessed. Share your good news and continue to bring joy into the lives of others.

  11. Mona Risk // November 1, 2010 at 10:06 PM  

    Mary R. be sure I will hold your hand from now on when I need help. I was always thinking that I needed to help others all the time, but it is nice and sweet to let go and count on others.

  12. Mona Risk // November 1, 2010 at 10:08 PM  

    Pam, you are doing the right thing by preparing for any eventuality. I hope your husband feels better soon.

  13. Nightingale // November 2, 2010 at 12:51 PM  

    A very unlifting post, Mona. Gave me some incintive to look on the positive side when I've been battling a few troubles lately, too.

  14. Judy // November 2, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

    Mona, lovely blog. I'm sorry about your sadness and really can appreciate the need to find the good things, the joyful moments after such a hardship. I take great pleasure in in nature. I'm a sucker for a beautiful sunset and I stop to watch my dachshund leap through the grass in hopes of catching a lizard, stoop to inspect beautiful flowers, call to my husband to come see the moon, etc. It's funny, but after so much time with my parents gone, I still say, wouldn't she/he enjoy that? I guess that's what keeps those sad moments from becoming bitter ones. And, like you, writing is a solace...(though the business side of writing is tough!! :)Congratulations on your latest honor. I'm sure there will be more to come.

  15. Joanne // November 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM  

    I find joy in the simplest of places. Currently I am attending a bible study at our local church. The comraderie is priceless. Thanks for sharing such a lovely and heartfelt post.

  16. Mona Risk // November 2, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

    Linda, enjoy your book release. That was a tremendous joy for me. And wait till you hold a printed book in your hands. Believe it or not, I covered the book cover of to lOve A Hero with kisses as if it was my first child. In a way, it was my first-born book.

  17. Mona Risk // November 2, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

    Judy, like you I often call my husband to enjoy a sunset with me or a beautiful scenery.

  18. Mona Risk // November 2, 2010 at 10:02 PM  

    Joanne, I am glad you find your bible study worthy in more than one way.You reach to people and they reach back to you.

  19. Tapping Therapy // November 4, 2010 at 9:44 PM  

    I find peace and joy by appreciating all the gifts that God had bestowed me. Some gifts are temporary and we need to let go soon. All we have to do is cherish the gifts we still have and feel and fully enjoy them.

  20. Mona Risk // November 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

    Tapping Therapy, you summarized it one sentence: cherish the giftes we have and enjoy them.