Consultant and Author D. K. Christi

Blog D. K. Christi

view:  full / summary

The Magic Box

Posted by dkchristi on February 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

"TheMagic Box"

I am on my way to the Magic Box. My post office box has been the "magic box" for many years. It never fails: I always have a sense of wary anticipation as I approach the box; almost praying that today will be the day. The day that I learn some unknown, distant relative remembered me in their will. The day I hear from friends with whom I have lost contact who were at one time my closest confidants and companions. The day I win the lottery that someone else entered for me. At least my mantra goes something like that. Therefore, the post office box is the purveyor of magic. Always hidden in the back of my brain is the secret hope that someday, my MagicBox will bring love.


I turn the key in the lock and find a box full of envelopes. Today is a bonus day. I pull them out gingerly, one by one, to make sure none slips to the back, tumbling on the inner post office floor, lost to me until some kind soul picks them up. I save a few steps by sorting mail righto n the table with the waste receptacle underneath:  nothing but medical bills, credit card billsand the bank statements.


A slightly oversized envelope catches my attention,and I catch my breath. My pulse quickens, and I am sure my face is flushed. I have not seen this handwriting for many years, yet it is as clearly known to me as if I received letters every day. My hands shake a little as I tear into the envelope. Inside is the most beautiful card a heart could desire."Somehow,Somewhere, Someway" the card shouts on the outside with bursts of color exploding like a rainbow and inside, "Someday" in a true rainbow that fills the page. Why now? Why do I receive this card today, so many years too late? Does he still reach for me in some mystical, untouchable way, pulling me back to a romance that cost me so much and gave me so little? Even so, a smile fills my face, and a new light shines through my eyes. Why am I trembling inside?


I gingerly put the card in my purse, noting that a return address is non-existent. I turn the rear view mirror to look into my eyes, silly eyes, now filling with tears. Tears come quite often these days from inspirational stories, poignant tales in thick novels and lives unfolding across the wide screen. I try to tell a story myself and find my voice quaking in tears. Therefore, tears for my own lost youth and the love of my life are really quite rational.


Two different worlds: yes, our lives that once intertwined with forever written all over them split, like the mahogany tree that split in the hurricane, careening across the driveway, one piece still reaching for the sky, the other half requiring a saw to remove its many broken branches. The roots, fighting to hold onto their other half, lifted a piece of the cement, a point for tripping, a place to walk around, the fix moredifficult than simply being grateful with each viewing that the hurricane did no more damage. Half the tree eventually filled out with leafy, green branches reaching to the sky again, nuts dropping in the autumn, appearing whole from the street. From my living room window, I see the tear on the trunk, the scarred wound, evidence of the missing half.


The trunk half that filled the driveway was subsequently rendered to pieces long ago taken away by trucks and ground into mulch. Sometimes that is how I felt, ground into the earth, all hopes and dreams that reached to the sky dashed. Like the little sprigs that continue tospring from the remaining root, I continued following new dreams. It justseemed that every time I was close to grabbing onto the rainbow, some little voice from inside declared, "it is not enough; I am not enough;" and sure enough, the illusive moment disappeared like the branch of the mahogany tree.


My love, however, he is like the half of the tree that filled out and looks better than ever from the road. He is a man who had the capacity to reach his goals, and he found many of them before we met for the last time. His very walk exudes confidence. He never doubts his worth; he commanded my love and attention; and I gave it without a will of my own. He planned his future meticulously; no detail left to chance, no stone unturned,no looking back as he walked away.


Today I have his card. Is it possible that I have struggled with my broken and crushed dreams, springing back over and over again like the proverbial bamboo, believing he found a life of perfection when, in reality, he may also feel the loss of the other half, carry the scar like my mahogany tree, the west side obviously missing its other half?


How will I tell him about my tree, that I think I know his secret? I do not know how he found my address unless he happened on my web site or Googled my name. These days, a Google brings lots of information about my recent novel and me. Although it is fiction, the heroine carries my emotion, my dashed dreams, my struggle for a "raison d'etre." The heroine finds excitement in traveling to exotic destinations and sailing on the high seas. She fills her life with a zest for living on the edge, ready to jump off at the next opportunity for an adrenaline rush. It is the dowdy schoolmistress that writes novels whose romantic fantasies take her to places she will never know, ecstasies she will never experience, dreams she will never fulfill.


Yet, here is the card. Here is tangible evidence that not all was a fantasy. Here is something I can touch and know that something in my life was substance: we were real.


Today, I received flowers from a friend, shared aglass of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider with another, and planned a day at thebeach. The weather is exceptional; better beach weather is rare. Thetemperature is in the 70's though the Gulf is still in the 60's. A strong seabreeze is blowing, the palm fronds picking up the least little change indirection.


I drive toward the beach and have this overwhelming feeling that someone is accompanying me. In recent years, it seems these feelings are not unique. My friend's next-door neighbor was a kind and interesting friend to her and to me. The three of us had a season of night clubsand little suppers out, enjoying a boisterous camaraderie that brought joy into our lives and radiated to anyone sharing our space. We danced the night away in the elite clubs and little corner bars. He died. He died and left us to our own resources for escorts and nights out, laughter and friendship. It never seemed possible that he would leave us. It was inconceivable.


I check my friend's house now when she is out of town. I check it out thoroughly before she leaves so if anything is amiss, I will notice it right away. Of course, nothing ever changes; and the house is returned to her intact. One time, I returned it to her with a chair turned out from the table. I called her that day. I walked through the garage door and into the kitchen and noticed the turned chair immediately. When my friend left,the chairs were all neatly arranged around the table. This chair was now,distinctly, turned slightly out, so the person sitting in the chair would see the kitchen.


I asked my friend if anyone else had a key to her home and might have been at the house and set down for a rest. She was adamant that I had the only key. She also declared that she remembered all the chairs neatly under the table upon her departure. Since I took her to the airport, our memory followed the same path. I told her I was going to leave the chair in that position so she could see for herself. I wandered around the house and found nothing else out of the ordinary. The carpet around the chair showed no evidence of anyone walking there, adding to the mystery. It is one of those carpets that shows an imprint from the tiniest step of a grandchild.


My friend and I caught up on mundane things after I picked her up from the airport: the weather, tennis, family, and friends.However, I finally mentioned the chair that had been weighing heavily on my mind for days. It is not just the matter of the chair; it is the feeling that someone had been in the house. That part I did not mention on the phone. I wanted to be certain that all was well when we reached the door. My friend entered first and immediately looked toward the dining area where the chair was still turned. She let out a small gasp. That was the chair her neighbor used when he came to visit. He would turn the chair toward the kitchen so he could chat while she continued with her activities. Before he died, he watched her house when she was gone.


She quickly returned the chair to its normal position. We joked that he came for one last check before settling into his newspiritual life. It was one last check because I never again saw any evidence of a visitor or felt a strange presence when I continued watching her home in her absence. I wonder, though, if growing older and approaching our own spiritual transition sometimes puts us in touch with the essence of a person in spite of their absence. As the physical reasons for loving someone diminish in value and the spiritual connection becomes the most valued, are we able to feel that person's existence even when they are not in our physical company?


Perhaps this spiritual connection explains how two riends who have not spoken in years pick up the phone on the same day to call each other. This is the explanation for waking in a dream to learn a loved one has experienced harm. Twins, separated at birth find their lives have followed concurrent pathways. Perhaps this generates the premonitions that we write off to instinct or experience. Perhaps psychics have learned to tap into this connection.


Maybe this explains why I received a card today.Perhaps he heard me talking to him as Valentine's Day approached. It happens every year whether I am in a relationship or on my own. I am at the counter selecting a card for my current love interest, and I feel a presence looking over my shoulder telling me none of the cards will do. None of the cards is true. I have never loved anyone but him. I push the voice to the recesses of my mind and struggle forward anyway, usually settling for something with a sinceof humor, feeling a bit like the heroine in the movie, The Ghost and Mrs.Muir, so haunted by an apparition that real life adjusts accordingly.


I tired of new love interests and the pursuit of imitation dreams. I found zest in life unentangled and with a freedom that many years of meeting someone else's needs did not allow. Single is an opportunityto make new choices and forge new paths. I treasure each day for its innate worth and don’t worry about what lies around the next corner. I am, however,still alive. If companionship dropped in, I might just give it a whirl one last time.


The sea oats beckon, between the sea grapes and the shell covered sand. The Gulf is riled up today as the wind is blowing about 15 knots. My long hair is whipped in every direction, and my cap nearly flies away as I exit from my car. I am glad I waited until nearly sunset for my walk. A few clouds give the appearance that the sun is dancing in and out, releasing its last hurrah. I miss the powdered seashells that once spread along the shore, white sand so fine I could gather it to use for sand painting. Now the renourishment after hurricanes still provides a golden, sandy beach, with shells still lacing its edges; but it is not the same. Newcomers who do not know the difference call this a beautiful beach, a shelling paradise.


The full moon will rise over the condominiums soon,and I see the tide rush out to sea, leaving a widening ribbon of flat sand and a lacy edge, piled with shells. I walk on the lacy edge, flatter until the tide is fully extended. I pull up the hood from my shirt and tie it under my chin. The cool wind whipping my ears makes them ache a little while the sun warms my body. Glasses protect my eyes from the blowing sand that grits a little in my teeth. I persevere. I will walk south, into the wind, and sail abroad reach on the return, the wind on my back.


Walking is a challenge for a while until I see thekites filling the sky, framed by the dropping globe of the sun. Their brilliant colors in half circles swooping and rising across the waves call to me. I move quickly down the beach, the kites growing in size as I move nearer. Now I see they are not managed from the shore as I originally thought, but figures in wet suits are racing across the white caps, leaping into the air, twisting and turning and dancing in circles then landing again, kites swooping down into thewater and soaring high into the sky. They leap over the sun as the orb makes its first contact with the Gulf, spreading out like a Chinese lantern, setting the sky on fire. Please, please, take mewith you on your journey of flight over the sun, cries my spirit.


Instead, I see they are bringing in the kites now,not wanting to be skimming the waters in the dark. The Florida setting sun heralds instant darkness: no twilight here. I chat with the wind surfers about their sport and today's wind. Whenever the wind is off the sea and strong like today, they are here. If the wind is from the east, they stay away. Even these daredevil sun-jumpers know that a prevailing wind to the sea could take a kite-boarder on a dangerous journey of no return. I am glad for their wisdom. I see in their eyes the same eyes I fell in love with so many years ago: thespirit of adventure, the excitement of danger, the heightened awareness of lifeand all it offers. No drugs are needed here. This is a sport that creates a rush that takes these adventurers to South America, Hawaii, the Caribbean and even Asia, following not the wave like the surfers of my generation, but the wind. They seek the perfect wind.


They found a sport that marries the wind and thesea. The kites are in, and we sit on the sand comparing skiing and sailing and kite surfing. They each try to tell me exactly how the winds are measured for perfection, the current impending cold front bringing a spin that gives them opportunities for tricks and turns more challenging than in a steady breeze. They all smile and gesture with excitement, enjoying my interest and a moment's rest after their exhilarating time across the waves. They suggest I try it; and I laugh. No, they assure me, I would not start on a day like today. We say our good byes, and I am grateful for the wind on my back as I fly in my own way along the beach, holding out my arms to catch the wind.


Yes, they reminded me so much of my love that Iexpected to see him step out of a wet suit, there on my very own beach. I felt his presence during the brief chat. I carry a little, black purse with my cell phone, a credit card, a couple dollars and the folded rainbow card. I pull out the beautiful card and smile. My haunting love, you gave me so little ofyourself, and it mattered so much then. Even today, you send magic to the P.O.Box. I almost feel your hand in mine as I return, the moon now playing hide andseek with the clouds and replacing the sun to light the beach. A star is now visible, more to follow. You gave me the passion to experience the moon, the sun, the stars and the sea as never before; but you left me.


I am almost to the cross over. I sit in the scallop of the seashells and watch the evening birds jostle for their treats, the tidemoving further out to sea. I hold my magic card in my hand and fill myself withmemory, and then I let the breeze catch it and carry it off into the heavens where it belongs. I let my memories float along, too. Yes, my love, you sent the magic for today; a day of memories and you. What I didn't expect, however,was the result. The real magic is the realization that my life, too, is unfolding just as it should. Perfection will not arrive in the Magic Box. It's already here. I pulled out the little slip of paper in my pocket; there is still just enough light to see the phone number that represents my first kite-surfing lesson,tomorrow's magic.

 

Key LIme Pies Instead of Ghost Orchids

Posted by dkchristi on January 30, 2012 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I think I may forget about selling Ghost Orchid books and sell key lime pies instead.  Some very sophisticated research has led me to this conclusion.  One Saturday, I ventured into the arena of the flea market vendors to pitch some "remainders" from a long ago published book.  I had 75 copies in boxes that were left over from a festival I did not attend in 2006.  As a backlist book, I believed they were worth about $5 a piece at this point, the right price for a flea market.All I needed was a card table with a few marketing posters to draw the crowds.  I did not advertise, actually a little embarassed to be selling books at a flea market.  After all, my books are in brick and morter stores and I should not be on the street.  I have a publisher.  Flea markets are for self-published authors.


The Lions Club Farm Fresh Market was located at a middle school the day I participated, each parking line a designated stall.  I parked my car, opened my trunk, and gathered my table, chair, marketing posters and pile of books to begin selling.  My spot was excellent.  Every entrant who parked at my end of the lot came by my table.  On the other side was a musician with a guitar and a tip jar.  Just beyond him were the fateful pies.


People just did not stop at my display!  If they did, they were more interested in the one copy of Ghost Orchid on display than the books I was there to sell.   Oh, I sold a few of each; but it was no "book signing" fest.  Those were hard won sales with little profit after the negotiating by skilled flea market patrons was done.


However, the lady with the $7 key lime pies was selling a pie every five minutes.  So were her sons.  She had a line.  The musician had a crowd I thought might buy books, but they headed on over to the key lime pies.  I have never seen so many pies sold in one place.  They had a truck bed with coolers that seemed bottomless as the pies continued to emerge.   By the noon closling, they were down to their last pies that didn't even have whipped cream and were sold for that flat, no negotiation, $7 price. 


From what I understand, the cost of producing the pies is between $1 and $2.  That means a $5 profit on every pie; better than my maximum royalty on an ebook (higher than print books that sell for a bigger retail price than ebooks).


I learned a great lesson that day.  Sell pies.  The aroma, the pleasing appearance and the remarkably good taste (they passed out samples) at a value price create instant impulse purchases.  It's difficult to get the same success with a pile of books from the backlist.  I don't think I could have sold a book every five minutes if they were $1.


Recently, I stopped by the same flea market where I no longer attempt to sell my books.  The musician was there.  The key lime pie lady was still selling a pie every five minutes.  Maybe she has franchises available...maybe in time for Valentine's Day.

 

 

Volunteer - I would pay for this privilege

Posted by dkchristi on November 19, 2011 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Opportunities to volunteer are everywhere.  As the author of Ghost Orchid, a story of love, lies and redemption set in the Florida Eveglades, I have become an honorary expert on Ghost Orchids and their habitat at Blair Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sancturary.

I have recently learned the limits of that expertise as I've taken the volunteer training at the sanctuary.  I have long been obsessed by the ghost orchid; I am now obsessed by all living things in my beloved swamp, even the tiniest.  Once my eyes were opened through education and hands on experience, they continued to open more.  The details of the natural world are more and more evident as I learned information about even the small creatures that we caught in dip nets to study and return. 

Blair Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is 14000 acres of primeval and newer habit at the edge of the Everglades.  We took a swamp buggy ride deep into the acres where "fish farms" were once created to make up to the wood storks for robbing them of their habitat.  The goal was creating a fishing habitat to attract the wood storks.  It attracted them alright; all fish were eaten in two days from 22 fish lakes.  The concept was abandoned; but the carved out lakes remain as a reminder of man's inefficiency in replacing habitat ruined by civilization.

A cypress canopy, a narrow road, and water on both sides teaming with life provide quite a serene ride until a red shouldered hawk cries out and dives for a meal, ibis rise from their roosts  and red-headed woodpeckers peck in harmony on dead tree trunks.  Butterflies disturbed from their lavender bed of astors float into the bed of the buggy, accompanied by dragon flies.  We stop for a red fox squirrel to stop walking toward our truck, a threat to his over curious life.  Five dear were feeding in the meadow.

I could name three of the butterflies:  the viceroy, the queen and the soldier.  Along the road I saw a peacock.  The Brazilian skipper was dancing on the Alligator flags.  Dog fennel lined the sides of the narrow road; tilansia sent out red shoots; a swamp lily was in surprising full bloom; arrowroot filled the ponds with lovely white flowers, and my ability to name flora and fauna was a joy, a thrill, an eye opener that forced me to watch for the tiniest detail to recognize the various species including several ferns, one a rabbits foot fern with dark stems.

Learning the names of what I had previously admired without that full knowledge has sharpened my senses.  Was that an owl calling its mate?  Were those warblers?  Is that spot of briliant blue a bunting?  I will forever be grateful for the volunteer training that has not yet concluded.  At the end, I will be able to name all the flora and fauna in the Blair Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary as well as describe the eco system and stories about many of the plants and animals.  I already have a full presentation about the ghost orchid:  sex, myths and magic, with which I entertain as a speaker at meetings and seminars.  Now, I will have much more fuel for my swamp inspired fire.

 


Ghost Orchid Seminar 11/12/2011 Bonita Springs

Posted by dkchristi on October 22, 2011 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

At the corner of Felts and Old U.S. 41 in Old Bonita Springs is an unassuming little Florida house and a building next door that houses a plethora of plants, shrubs and a special gift to the community, a butterfly garden.  Take a walk into the past where a small business really cares about its community and its customers.

I asked Becky about the butterfly garden.  She said someone told her to cover it wtih screening to keep in the butterflies.  "That would be foolish," she said.  "They are plentiful and deserve to come and go as they please."  The butterflies are plentiful.  They light on your fingertips as you enjoy a rest on one of the many benches designed for passers by to simply enjoy the beauty.  If you want to replicate her garden at your house, the plants are available.

To celebrate the main planting season, free seminars invite the community to hear author, D. K. Christi open the seminar day with a talk about the exotic and rare ghost orchid, subject of her novel by the same name, Ghost Orchid.  Seminars start at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, November 12.  Following D. K. Christi, Allan Liles, former owner of the Keystone Garden Center at the Garden Corner talks practical tips for gardeners.  The seminar participants are surrounded by butterflies, aromatic herbs and healthy plants to purchase and take with them.

It's just an old fashioned get together among people who enjoy gardening.  Book stores are not always the best place to sign books; an old fashioned day in the garden is much better.

 

 


Ghost Orchid Review

Posted by dkchristi on October 8, 2011 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Ghost Orchid by D.K. Christi Posted on October 8, 2011 by Fire Pages | D.K. Christi Website | Ghost Orchid Excerpt || Buy at Amazon | Watch the Ghost Orchid Trailer |

Ghost Orchid is a fantastic novel. If you are looking to be taken on an emotional roller coaster through an excellent and unpredictable plot, then you must read Ghost Orchid. Mel is a woman who takes daily walks at the Audubon Society Sanctuary, lamenting about love lost. Not only did she lose her lover, but she also lost the love of her daughter, who she gave up for adoption. Neev, Mel’s daughter, wants nothing to do with her mother, and despite her formal education, can’t shake the feelings of abandonment and betrayal. But when the Roger Andrew, a noted photographer, discovers that a ghost orchid is blooming at the Audubon Society Sanctuary, he convinces Neev, his intern, to travel down to the Florida Everglades. Little did they know how their lives will change and the magical power of the Ghost Orchid.

D.K. Christi is a true romantic and her writing is absolutely enchanting. She has a way of bringing the scenery out of the pages and into life with her words. The characters are so deep and well-crafted. You truly feel as if you are traveling with Neev and Mel through their lives. There are so many twists and turns in the plot that you will experience a series of powerful emotions, such as love, loss, betrayal, and forgiveness. I absolutely recommend that anyone who enjoys reading a moving and emotional romance purchase Ghost Orchid. It has become one of my favorite stories that I will continue to re-read in the future.

5 Questions with D.K. Christi1.  What inspired you to write Ghost Orchid?Blair Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, at the edge of the Everglades, has a nearly three-mile, curving boardwalk into the depths of the swamp and into another world of beauty and serenity.  On my July 2007 birthday, I saw a rare and endangered ghost orchid, a magical and mystical flower I had never seen before and was mesmerized by its beauty and mystery.  I was not alone; it became the “super ghost” of Corkscrew Swamp, breaking records and drawing people on “ghost orchid quests” from all over the world.  It continues to bloom on my birthday, and I consider it my own gift from the universe.  The first year, I stalked it like an orchid fanatic, and I was nearly obsessed with its beauty, dancing in the breeze as though ready to take flight.  The story was born from my obsession.

2.  What is your favorite scene in the book?

I have no favorites.  I enjoyed Neev and Roger as their relationship heats up in the jungles of Venezuela.   I also liked the scene when Mel answered, “Yes,” to the blinking green question on the computer.  It was a simple scene; but in the one word, yes, a lifetime of secrets still had a chance for resolution.  Of course, there’s Neev’s discovery of the news article in the camera case as certainly a dramatic moment.

3.  What character did you connect with the most during the writing process?

I didn’t know until long after Ghost Orchid was written that Neev is likely the daughter I always wanted; the beauty of writing is the chance to create what life has not provided.  Comments have been made that Neev’s picture on the cover resembles a younger version of me – and that fact is purely coincidental as the cover came from the story that the artist actually read (not often the case!)  

4.  What is one exciting thing that happened to you while you were writing Ghost Orchid?

I spent nearly a week with little sleep, working on the story of Neev with my muse, correcting and polishing and passing passages back and forth.  The lack of sleep and the creative challenges were a high that I’ll long remember.  My muse is an integral part of Ghost Orchid, naming Neev and adding the Celtic Cross to her mystery.

After publication, Darryl Saffer, award-winning environmental filmmaker, produced a book trailer for me after thoroughly enjoying Ghost Orchid, especially the search for roots.  To have such talent create a trailer for the book with his original video clips and music was exciting.

5.  Are you working on a new novel? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

Actually, I’m working on two novels.  The first has been challenging by its large cast of characters.  It is a book of episodes in the Virgin Islands as blue water sailors on various yachts enter the ports and their stories are shared among the members of the blue water community.  The second is a story during the Civil War, a story of a southern hero who escapes from the northern POW camp and attempts to reach the south where he believes his love awaits.

In the meantime, I also write articles for Examiner.com & Suite101.com and blog at Redroom.com, www.dkchristi.com and my author page at Amazon.com  Several anthologies carry my short stories:  The Room Outside The Window, Romance of My Dreams, Killer Recipes, Forever Travels, AMOUR: Stories of Love and Friendship and more.Watch the Ghost Orchid TrailerAdvertisementShare this:EmailFacebookTwitter

 

Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post.


Stalking the Spider

Posted by dkchristi on September 27, 2011 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The electricity went out about 1:00 a.m.  I awoke to deafening silence and stillness. Not a sound could be heard anywhere.  No bahama fans were whirring.  No lights from electronics were glowing.  No night lights were shining.  The glow from the streetlight in the  yard was gone.  No sound; no light; no air conditioning.  Nothing.  The complete darkness and lack of sound is the reason I awoke.


My handy hurricane shake and shine flashlight was near the bed.  I turned it on and shined it on the floor where I was about to step.  Dead center in the bright beam was a spider the size of the palm of my hand.  I could see the red in its eyes reflected in the flashlight beam.  It was initially motionless, as frightened by the beam of light as I was by its very presence in the spot where my foot was likely to step if I had not turned on the flashlight.  I kept the light shining on the spider, hoping it would remain frozen in the spot while I figured out what to do.  In Florida, brown recluse spiders are a poison danger.  I couldn't identify it in the beam of light in the absolute darkness; but it looked evil as its shadow made it appear even more sinister than the thoughts that fed my fear of spiders.


I truthfully did not want to kill it.  Those eyes were so real - more like an animal than an insect.  It was also very large compared to other spiders in my experience.  I was frightened;yet, I kept that flashlight beam steady and the spider remained motionless.


At last, a brainstorm.  I had an empty ice cream bucket nearby in which I sometimes stored extra pens, bits of paper, mail to be sorted and hair scrunchies. I gingerly reached for it while the flashlight beam was still on the spider.  I managed to empty the contents on the bed where I was still trembling in fear. 


As I moved with the bucket toward the spider, the flaslight beam moved and the spider took off on a dead run to hide under the pillow that was on the floor. I was swift!  The bucket landed full over  the  spider before it slipped away.  My heart was pounding and I was in a full sweat, probably double from no air conditioning and the terror that I would lose the spider forever and not be able to sleep for fear of its crawling under the covers.


It was not happy.  The bucket was translucent and I could see the full image of the trapped spider running fruitlessly around and up and down the inside of the bucket.  It was a sad sight watching what must have been a sort of insect terror at being caught with nowhere to run in that plastic bucket with the flashlight beam still shining.


Next, I piled books on the bottom of the bucket and pushed it deep into the carpet.  I thought maybe that big spider might squeeze under the bucket's edge - not this time anyway.  Then, I was faced with a next step.  Catching the spider in the overturned bucket was one thing; getting rid of it without killing it was another matter.  At least I was temporarily released to make frustrated calls to Florida Power and Light where they first said the power would be on by 2:45 a.m. and then by 3:45 a.m.  The trapped spider in the darkness was more and more like a horror movie. However,  I gained confidence the books would hold the plastic bucket in place.  The spider seemed to settle at a spot near the top, under the book, which I noted by crawling on the floor with the flashlight and peering up, into the bucket.  At least the eyes were no longer visible, just a shadow in the light of the flashlight, still ominous though definitely trapped.


I decided I'd wait for mornng and then find a system of release.   I drifted off to sleep until promptly at 3:45 the air conditioning, the bahama fans, the electronic lights, the streetlight and the living room light on a timer now out of sync came on in one sleep ending bright flash and hum.  My first awakening move was to look at the spider's enclosure, hoping for its shadow of the "beast" inside.  Sure enough, there it was, motionless on the side of the container.


After adding the monopoly game to the top of the container, I turned off the odd lights and tried a little more sleep until the welcome daylight called from the window.  I checked the spider hutch again; it was still inside.  After dressing, I found some cardboard file folders and slipped them gingerly under the edges of the container. Next, I left my spider to get the plastic cutting board from the kitchen to gingerly slide under the cardboard to give the works more stability.


From this point, my attention to the spider itself gets a little hazy.  I concentrated on carefully keeping the container on its platform as I maneuvered into shoes, out the garage door and across to the field where I intended to let the spider face its future in an environment more conducive to its kind.  I took one last look at the container before setting it in the field for the planned kick and run to release its inhabitant.  The spider was no longer there.  It had disappeared into thin air without being released from its prison.  The container was empty.  Where ws the spider?

 


Ghost Orchid from Michigan to Florida

Posted by dkchristi on June 27, 2011 at 8:31 PM Comments comments (0)

My DirectAir flight from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Punta Gorda, Florida was totally enjoyable because of the delightful couple sitting next to me who were from Battle Creek.  One's seat mates may make or break a flight for many reasons.  This flight can best be summed up by the statement my new friends made, "I'm going to enjoy life.  If you want to have fun, too, let's have fun together.  Otherwise, you're on your own."  Her smile just lit up her face for the entire flight.  Her pursuits included hair design, custom painting, landscaping and other projects requiring an artistic eye.

Her friend was equally appreciative of life as something to savor. She was the creative, artistic type and he was the analyst.  His work included estimating the number of wheat biscuits and other specific cereals potential customers would require in the next thirteen weeks.  He set the production lines accordingly.  I even learned about new cereals that will come on the market soon!  I never realized how interesting cereal production could be when the person explaining the process appreciated his work and looked for the fun and interesting aspects of life.  I learned about the city of Battle Creek and its history as the "cereal city."  I was glad Michigan still had one industry still providing jobs!

I was reminded that we can go through life grumpy and finding the worst about which to complain, or we can look for the sunshine, the rainbows, the full moons and the blooming flowers.  We can choose to find joy, to share our experiences with strangers and make a connection; or we can be alone with our thoughts.  I was fortunate to share my trip with a couple who looks for the best in life and the people that populate their surroundings. 


Naples Press Club Partners with Royal & Hollywood Jewelry for D.K.Christi's Book Signing April 9

Posted by dkchristi on March 13, 2011 at 11:48 PM Comments comments (1)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Naples Press Club presents D. K. Christi signing Ghost Orchid , the recently released Romance of My Dreams and other booksat Royalty and Hollywood Jewelry at 663 5th Avenue South, Naples,Florida from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, April 09. 

The annual Naples Press Club Authors and Books Festival includes author presentations and book signings.   Authors are located in participating businesses on the famous 5th Avenue South, Naples shopping and dining avenue.  Royalty and Hollywood Jewelry is an additional treat! Featuring licensed jewelry replicas (substituting crystals for actual jewels) from collections worn by celebrities such as Jackie Onassis, Princess Diana and more for sale to the discriminating buyer.

Ghost Orchid is available in advance of the signing at local Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the Naples Visitors and Information Center at 900 5th Avenue,South, Naples, Florida and all online print and ebook sellers such as Amazon.com and bn.com .  Books are also for sale at the signing event.  For more information, www.dkchristi.com and emaill dkchristi  at yahoo dot com.

 


Ghost Orchid Blooms Soon - Anticipation is High

Posted by dkchristi on March 6, 2011 at 11:02 PM Comments comments (0)

In time for the ghost orchid of Corkscrew Swamp to bloom again, I discovered this recent review at Amazon.com . It's always a joy for a reader to discover the essence of a story!  Thus, I repeat the review here for your enjoyment.

Also - remember the touch of the Irish contest.  If you know the original spelling for the name Neev in Ghost Orchid and the definition, please email both to dkchristi at yahoo dot com before March 31 with your email address as your entry in a drawing for your choice of a D. K. Christi ebook.  In the meantime, enjoy the review:


By Al Stevens "musician"Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: Ghost Orchid (Paperback)

I started to read this book several times. Other matters would take me away from it, and by the time I'd return, I'd need to start again. Finally, I told myself to sit still and give it a chance. I was rewarded by that decision with the gift of a well-crafted story about a woman I think I must have known if only in my youthful fantasies.

 

While this is not the sort of fiction I usually read, its title, however, pulled me in and drew me to the book. When I realized that a lot of the story is set in the Everglades, I was hooked. (He said with illogically sequenced metaphors.)

 

I want to say that this is a romance book, but I'm not sure. The characters are fascinating, the plot compelling, and the narrative descriptions of nature are exquisite and accurate. The story is not only about romance and beautiful people being involved with one another, however, although that does play a part. It is more about the mystery of the elusive flower for which the book is named, and the subtle suggestion that the orchid itself somehow channels the love known in life by the ghost of a character and draws together, as if by the will of the orchid, the people she loved.

 

Once into it, I didn't want it to end. I predict the same for most of you and suggest you give it a try.


Favorite Holiday Gift - Love and Friendship

Posted by dkchristi on January 3, 2011 at 10:43 PM Comments comments (0)

My Favorite Holiday Gift - Love and Friendship


by DK Christi December 17, 2010, 10:53 am


Lady Ace was a soot black standard poodle who ran around the deck of our 70 foot (when bragging) ketch-rigged sailboat as though it was the Indie 500.  Sometimes she would come to a sliding stop; we always feared she might slide right off the deck into the black, murky waters of an unforgiving sea, lost to us forever.  There are few times that a sailboat of that size can be turned on a dime for a rescue at night on the high seas.  Lady Ace was named for the yacht she believed was her own personal dog house since she arrived as a puppy and grew up as we learned to sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Venezuela over a three year period of time, the five family members (six counting Lady Ace) who set sail "forever."  She was a magnificent guard dog since she allowed us to inhabit her domain, but was positively vicious toward anyone attempting to board or even approach our yacht in  their craft.


The first leg of our journey took us to the charming Northern Bahamas Banks where the islands are unique little diamonds in the rough, glittering in the shallow sea waters that were cold and clear that December when we arrived from Ft. Lauderdale.  Somehow, we had imagined that the entire Commonwealth of the Bahamas was a heat wave in winter; we learned otherwise our first winter at sea.  Our family gift to each other was enough snorkling gear for all of us to enjoy the balmy waters we didn't experience.  My teenage sons wore their new wet suits; so they were able to enjoy their new toys.


Our neighbors from Florida joined us at sea for Christmas and New Years.  They flew in to one of the little island airports and we picked them up by dinghy and brought them to Lady Ace.  This was their first encounter with our guard dog who, surprisingly, warmed up to them immediately.  In fact, it was their just teen-aged son who truly loved animals that led the way.  He had a labrador at home with whom he was inseparable.  It was his gift that I always remember at Christmas.  He was a clever child, always "inventing" something.  This particular Christmas, he invented the blinking dog collar for Lady Ace.


Lady Ace was then visible on deck at night.  The collar was also waterproof; if the unimaginable happened, her light would likely shine up from the dark sea.  As a hostess gift, they also brought Lady Ace tee shirts for all of us.  When we went into the little towns, we looked like the crew from a major yacht.  There were eight of us, four teenage boys and four adults.


We had some wonderful times that holiday season with good friends.  Lady Ace's collar continued to blink around the deck, much to the enjoyment of us all.  That was the last time all eight of us enjoyed sailing together.   Our lives changed in ways that took us further from each other.  We sailed into the sunset until the stock market plummeted and we returned to land, divorce and separate lives moving us in different directions.

The boys kept track of each other, though.  Our friend's son graduated from a technical school with mechanical skills and built his own ultralight airplane.  Our sons finished school choices of their own and pursued their careers.  One received his captain's license and sail auxiliary after so many miles at sea with the family.  Another built helicopters and the the third was a manager for an FBO.  They were all mechanically inclined, and it seemed to tie in a bit with the sailing experience.


I eventually returned to Florida.  I opened a daily newspaper one sunny, Florida day and saw the name of our former sailing friends.  Their son had died in his ultralight plane, flying with his golden labrador retriever as always.  For some unknown reason, it dove into the shallow water and both he and his dog died at impact.  While it may seem sad to bring the story back at Christmastime, it is really a joy instead.  It is a reminder of the fragility of life itself and the value of friendships along the way.  Whenever our boys remember their youth, they remember most the holidays we shared on Lady Ace and the blinking light collar that was my favorite holiday gift, a special gift to protect our guard dog, Lady Ace.  And we smile, even if a tear gathers in the corner of our eye.  There are no greater gifts than love and friendship, at holidays or any other time. 

 



Rss_feed

Thanks for visiting www.dkchristi.com -

Would you like a book trailer? The Ghost Orchid book trailer was produced by a friend of the environment and award-winning filmmaker, Darryl Saffer, [email protected]

Click here for more information

 

Don't miss the easy-listening review of Ghost Orchid by National Public Radio, a wonderful intro to the story itself.

Short stories cover the gamut of human emotion, often laced with life's most compelling emotion: love. You may find yourself in some of these stories and smile.

 

Find more photos like this on The Book Marketing Network

Killer Recipes is a special book of retitled favorites to recognize the "spooky season" and credit writers of mystery, murder and mayhem who collaborated on this book to provide the royalties to The American Cancer Society.

 

Check out the blog and respond to those that touch your interest. Feel free to register at the site for a little promotion of your own.

 

Words are my photographs and my paint, novels and short stories my canvas. Thank you for taking this journey with me. May all your journeys be filled with wonder and joy. D. K. Christi

 

Preview Ghost Orchid


www.bookbuzzr.com

D. K. Christi as Consultant::

D. K . Christi is a professional, platform speaker who informs and entertains small to large groups as a keynote presentation or in workshops that are interactive and exciting adventures for all participants.

Author Related Topics:

From Inspiration to Publication - How to avoid the pits

My art; my business - How to approach writing as a business

Journals - The 365 day writing plan

Topics created to meet custom customer needs

Communications Related Topics:

Embracing Change - Better than the alternative

Negotiating with People You Don't Like

Finding Your Best Self

Creating a Winning Workplace

Crossover Topic: The Future is Here. Where are You?


 

Sex, Myths and Magic

The Rare and Endangered

Ghost Orchid

Presented by:

D. K. Christi, author, journalist and lecturer

 

D. K. Christi shares her obsession with the “Super Ghost” of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and why it’s a “matter of consequence.”

D. K. Christi lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Her stories and novels capture the multi-cultural experiences and the beauty, fear and excitement of foreign lands. Three years of blue water sailing in the Caribbean add tropical spice. A polished and professional platform speaker who includes the audience.

 

Christi spent her U.S. years in Michigan, California and Florida with stops in Idaho and Washington, D.C. Today she contributes feature articles to the Bonita Springs Southwest Spotlight, and is available for freelance writing, editing and grant proposals between novels. Favorite local haunts are Bonita Beach, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Koreshan State Park, and all outdoor places to kayak and ride her bicycle.