No longer a hobby…

A year ago I went to a fashion show; each designer had at least twelve pieces of clothing. They each got their fifteen minutes on the catwalk and wowed. Models came out in style, designers bowed with their collection and they were ready to take orders. I sat there and imagined the catwalk full of authors with their books on show.

How many of us have one published book to walk down the catwalk proudly with?  How many of us have five to twenty works of writing to exhibit? At that time I had only one, that was properly edited and really public ready. I had a number of finished-to-edit and unfinished manuscripts with too many potential stories. I imagined my models on the catwalk with only one finished dress. The rest of my collection would be missing buttons or bottoms (endings). All the sides wouldn’t be sewn up; some would be hung together with pins.  I winched as I sat there thinking about my wild and crazy fashion show. Unlike a designer my product couldn’t be reviewed in fifteen minutes but all artists have one thing in common. They have to complete their work before they can show it and sell it.

Not one of those designers came to the show with one dress because it didn’t matter how dynamic that one dress was, it meant one sale while a collection meant multiple orders. An art gallery has the same mind-set. One glorious painting at the middle of the gallery you would never see. There is certain power in numbers: numbers to attract different tastes, numbers to widen the profit margin and numbers to establish a brand.

As a writer my brand is my books but I realized I wasn’t writing enough.

I know that writing isn’t a race and a fashion designer and artist isn’t a writer but the principle of sales is universal. If you have one product in a certain market, there is a point of saturation for that one dress/book. Soon your fans will look to see what else you have on the market. If you have a collection it is very likely they will buy another dress/piece if they loved the first but if you have nothing else to offer they move on.

That is the year I made up my mind to treat my writing as a business and stop calling it a hobby.

I stopped looking at one book and started to plan for the collection. I’ve known a number of authors who have published one book and the marketing work they did could have definitely covered five books at the same time. I placed my manuscripts in categories, I gave myself a monthly target of words and I made time to write even if it meant missing sleep and socializing.  When I print I want to have a very diverse book launch, nevertheless I have been publishing e-books as I go along.

One year later I have two distinct genres, the first is paranormal/folklore fantasy fiction which I write under the pen M. Mckie and children books which I write under Aunty Marsha Books. My collection is not yet complete but I like what I see and I build on it every day. My target is three books per year after the first launch (2017) in each category. I will also like to explore the young adult genre, contemporary romance and more magical realism in the future.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Book likes and Goodreads for occasional giveaways and new releases.

My website is http://www.marshagomes.com.

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What Successful Women Leaders do best?

What Women Leaders do best?

When a woman says to me she’s made it and all she really did was blend in with all the men around her, I shudder. #YesAllWomen need leaders who will carry the voice of women to the top and effect policy changes in favor of equality. Don’t just put on those high heels every day and keep our focus on the glass ceiling, because somebody said you need to break it to prove our worth.

These are my top five to what successful female leaders do best.

 1. MOVE ON FROM A BAD BOSS

When you are hired it’s a mutual agreement between you and your employer. You are not agreeing to be someone’s slave; you work so the company can grow. You work hand in hand towards a mutual goal. Many times women with bad bosses say; “well what am I going to do, I need a job.” If you stay and endure because of a salary, you have just nipped your leadership potential in the bud. Women Leaders move on from bad bosses because they know their worth. This is a trait of key movers and shakers, being able to identify when a situation isn’t worth it. We can all tell when the boss we are paired with isn’t an enabler. These women move on strategically and diplomatically but the key is they move on quickly. Moving on from a bad boss is essential whether you are a man or a woman. You can’t grow and hone leadership skills if you are suppressed.

 2. GIVE THEMSELVES CONSENT TO HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK

Women leaders are comfortable having a family and a private cause without worrying about how it will affect work. These women don’t shy away from work-life balance and they don’t ask permission. They broach the topic confidently and are comfortable stating their situation and are usually quick to offer a trade-off that is in the employer’s favor when they need time off. They usually take leading roles in social clubs, charity groups or other associations. They are comfortable spreading themselves but there is no doubt they will still be the best at work in spite of the other areas they commit to.

3. THEY OWN THEIR SUCESSS

Getting to the top is not something that they see as someone else’s responsibility. They do the work and they expect to move to the next step. These women work hard and go beyond what is expected not so much to impress but because it is something innate to their character.

 4. CONFIDENT

Confidence is the key to Leadership. If you are not willing to say you are aiming for your boss’s job, you will never get it. Maybe you should be buying company shares so one day your boss will be working for you. Women Leaders are not afraid to think big and act bigger. They have a firm belief in self; it’s really not anyone’s business to cheer you on every day, all the time. There comes a point when you either have what it takes or you don’t. Women Leaders see no difference between having their cake and eating it.

 5. FEMININE

Yes, I dared say the “F” word which seemed to be ranking foul these days. Many times I see women holding back the core of what makes them unique leaders because they don’t want to seem weak in public.  There are so many situations we don’t let our weapons of tears fall out for, we don’t let on that we feel something is a travesty of mind-blowing dimension because we will be called “too dramatic.” Sometimes, we need to bring this to the boardroom, to those high powered meetings so other people wouldn’t be so quick to brush important issues under the table. Let your emotions show, the world needs emotions now more than ever before.

We need a world where leadership is not gender specific but goal specific and woman are free to be the leaders they want to be. Until then we will keep climbing indefinitely because we haven’t changed the rules of the game into something we are interested in playing.

The world needs Women Leaders whose only concern with the glass ceiling is to recycle it. #YesAllWomen

Marsha Gomes-Mckie

http://www.marshgomes.com

 

 

THE SUM OF ALL OUR PARTS

 
She Sex

 She Sex

I’m petite and always had small breasts. When my daughter was born, I was nervous at the prospect of them growing for breast feeding, but the minute I saw her, I thought nothing of it; they grew and at the end of the breast feeding period they deflated.  I had no remorse. It was a temporary guest who came, stayed his time and left when the journey was over.

I remember sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office long after my body was back to normal. I hadn’t been to this particular doctor in years, but the flu wasn’t going away, and he was an obvious choice due to location and the simplicity of the visit. The waiting room was empty and the receptionist glanced in my direction too often. I wondered if my last minute appointment was keeping her back from finishing on time, so I smiled the next time I caught her glance. This was a mistake as it prompted her to clear her throat and speak.

She indicated that she had seen me around; she remembered I was pregnant and wanted to know if I had a boy or a girl.  After our pleasantries, I began searching for something to read, on the coffee table. It was then she blurted out, “Do you miss your breasts?”

‘What?” I replied. I didn’t understand what she meant. She became sad and grabbed her two breasts with dismay. “I used to have wonderful breasts, they were big and sexy and after I got pregnant with my last child they just shrank, I am so embarrassed by them.”

Being a polite introvert means that I don’t usually initiate conversations but I try to be as receptive as possible to any logical topic. However, I am mortified, sometimes on a weekly basis that complete strangers size me up as a revolving ear for any and all of their peculiar personal thoughts. My choice of silence seems to be mistaken for quietness and sends a beacon that I am a good listener. Astonished but intrigued, by her topic of conversation I sat in the nearest chair to her and waited for her to continue. She spoke now almost in whispers about her glory days, her youth, her body, her shape, her passion for her teenage breasts. These breasts were the epiphany of her womanhood; they were the reason why her husband married her, the reason why she used to look good and the reason why she was a woman.

Her philosophy surprised me, she was in her late forties maybe even early fifties but was naturally attractive, she didn’t need her flawless make-up or perfectly groomed posture to get anyone’s attention and as I eyed her, her breasts still seem larger than mine. But that wasn’t her only problem, she found a lump and although undiagnosed, had a real fear of depriving her husband of the joy of her breasts and the loss of them altogether, in addition to the fact that chemotherapy meant a loss of hair.  What would she become without them? Our talk was too short, I offered no real life annotates to help her and she was gone by the time my visit had completed. We never crossed parts in that way again.

I often tried to put myself in her shoes, but couldn’t. I’ve never seen my breasts in this way. I didn’t miss the breasts because they deprived me of going bra less. Whenever I would try to hang free my chess would hurt, it seem too much of a price to pay. In my mind chemotherapy would only be an option for me after both breasts were removed. The thought of depriving my husband of a sucking toy, wouldn’t even be a consideration.  The truth is; I was positive that even if I lost both breast and had no hair, my husband would still slap my ass on every occasion he got. He would still kiss me deeply and he would still want to have sex with me.  The woman that I am is not measured by the sum of my parts.

As a woman I also know that women underestimate the love and devotion a man has to give; we understand our love and our devotion but because we don’t see ourselves as worthy, we don’t accept that they will be just as devoted to us. We hide from them the hard questions and choices of devotion because we are afraid that they would not choose adoration. I should have said to her that I was sure that her husband would not hesitate to choose her life over her breasts, if she spoke to him the way she spoke to me.

My sensuality, my sexiness, my womanliness is in my mind and sex is my release, heaven sent, not just for my husband’s gratification but for me. I deserve an orgasm, and every time I have sex, I push the crap of the day out of my mind and leave room just for the act of pleasure. I always say that if by chance I die today, I would have had the best sex, the last time I had sex. My husband’s penis is my bitch for that period and after the high, I can go back to the mundane. He likes the fact that I am not just having sex because he wants to and I like that he’s always ready.

Your very confidence depends on the ability to love yourself as a whole person. Your sexiness is not something to be ashamed of or something to misuse. Sex is a spiritual dance that helps you grow, like every other encounter in your spiritual being. Every woman must know that her worth is not the sum of her parts.

She is a spirit, a goddess even, her eyes, her lips, her hips, reflect a sensual soul. Embrace it.

This story and many others can be found in She SEX: Prose & Poetry . SEX & the Caribbean Woman 

“She Sex is an important gathering of women’s voices. On one hand the writing is a celebration of sexual fulfillment and curiosity ranging from Atiya’s poem, “Differentology”, about sex with a lover who transitions from a male to a female, and to Zahra I. Airall’s story, “Over the Hill and Through the Wood” about an older woman finding sexual gratification for the first time. But the anthology does not shy away from the ways that sex is used as a weapon against women. Both Delesse Francis and Shakirah Bourne write stories of intimacy and emotion about ways that sexual power can be used as a primary tool to control women and seed self-doubt in girls. I hope young women around the Caribbean get a chance to read this book and have heated discussions about the beauty of sexual pleasure and vulnerability of that very beauty. The collection also does important work by introducing some writers to a wider audience.” Tiphanie Yanique, author of “How to Escape from a Leper Colony

PURCHASE SHE SEX ON AMAZON

 

Marsha Mckie

Website: http://www.marshagomes.com

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My Soul Cries – Cher Corbin

With a lyrical symphony Cher takes you on a splendid journey of words. All you need is a cup of tea and a chair to rest your feet on and you will be sweep away by the realness and elegance of the poetry in this book. I read the book in one take and was overwhelmed by the talent. I look forward to seeing more from this author.

BUY THE BOOK at AMAZON or SMASHWORDS and give her your support and you can follow her at her BLOG or on TWITTER.

My soul criesRZ

Marsha Gomes Mckie

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Day Four #NanoWriMo

Day four of #NanoWriMo and I passed the 10,000 word mark. (Happy dance) My target is twice that of the allotted 50,000 so I might just be a little behind but the day is still young.

I am working on the second book of my paranormal romance and yes this one has vampires.

Synopsis:

Arn and Luna control Moorland, she is the Queen of the Fairies and he is the Lycan Alpha, their love and their powers are legendary. However with four children they lock horns in private almost every day as they have two very different parenting styles; Arn practices tough love while in Luna’s world a royal is pampered. We follow their love, their rule and the coming of age of their eldest children, a twin Leon and Arnya.

Even though Arnya is being trained to be the crown princess of the Fairies her heart wants to be a wolf and with her brother’s help she infiltrates a male Alpha-in-training competition in disguise by pretending to be him. Leon isn’t interested in the duties of any of the kingdoms and disregards the laws of the land and befriends a human who is secretly watching over a hidden vampire den that is preparing to attack. Arn and Luna are faced with the hardest decision they will ever make. How do they choose their children when they are in breach of the very laws they have asked others to uphold.

Arn is willing to put the pack first, saying that the needs of the family and the needs of the pack are the same but Luna isn’t. It starts a series of events that not only test the strength of their love but ensues a battle for the survival of both their people and ushers in a new world order.

You can support authors all over the world (like me) by donating to #NanoWriMo.

Marsha Gomes-McKie

Website: http://www.marshagomes.com

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FIND BOOKS ON AMAZON AND SMASHWORDS

Lightning Fire excerpt

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A lone carriage came to a halt outside the entrance of a grand palace, the driver parked to one side but made no attempt to usher his guest out. The guards were perplexed and approached but the driver shook his head and raised his hand, there was no need. It was empty. The ground began to shake and the gravel under their feet moved away, something strange was coming up the road. Feet were pounding leaving a trail of dust on the horizon.

One guard walked forward. He placed his hand on the spear on his waist and continued slowly he needed to get a better view of the hill. Swiftly a large dark grey wolf appeared. He walked towards him growling menacingly, his green eyes focused on the hand that was gripping the spear. As the wolf moved forward four other wolves appeared behind him, they were of less stature but they were still terrifying. Fear gripped him and he felt his hands shake but he knew he had to come to his senses quickly. He moved his hand from the spear and turned and ran back up the steps and grabbed the horn that lay on the ground and stood erect. The others guards looked at him and went back to their places on the steps. They all stood at attention.

The wolf morphed into human form as he touched the first step, he was taller than everyone around him and was ripping with muscles. He wore a long brown fur coat and pants but no shirt. His shoulders stood straight and seemed to put even more inches on him as he walked up the steps, his face was grave and his jaw tight, his green eyes pierced, only a wayward lock of dark hair that caressed his face give any hope that he had a beating heart. As he passed, the guards saluted one by one; the horn player attempted to blow as he reached him, but he shot him a look and he immediately lowered the horn and looked away. Two of the wolves stayed outside with the carriage while two followed him inside. The guards looked at each other as he passed by and seem to draw lots with their eyes as to who should follow, soon the horn player handed another guard the horn and ran after them.

As the horn blew, the door to the throne room was already being opened by a guard who seemed out of breath and troubled, his words came out in an unintentional shout, “Your Majesty” he blurted out, “your guest have arrived.”

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Happy Daddy’s day

Happy Father’s Day!!

Father’s day is tomorrow and I never know what to buy. Not because I don’t know what my father likes, it’s just that I don’t like what my father likes and I feel uneasy finding a gift out of my comfort zone.

So it usually boils down to generics like alcohol, jerseys or trinkets.

The art of giving a gift – a memorable gift – to someone who likes different things is about giving yourself enough time to shop, so that you will come out of your comfort zone.  The best gift is really something someone would like, not something that you would like to get. So if you haven’t bought anything yet you may be heading down the generic lane, but keep asking yourself. “What would they like before you swipe”.

Have a Happy Father’s day everyone or like my daughter’s says, “Have a happy Daddy’s day!

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www.marshagomes.com

The battle against the little ones

Do I want my daughter to be the type of person who questions limitations, who goes against the crowd, who tries out new things and doesn’t take no for an answer? Do I want her to dance when everyone else is sitting and sing when everyone else is reading? Do I want her to use her imagination and think out of the box?  The answer is yes, but not always now when I am trying to finish a job for a client, or when I’m rushing out the door in the morning, not when the alarm hasn’t yet rung and I am getting my final bliss of sleep. However life seldom works that way.

I looked up at five o’clock this morning and heard a voice, far too loud for the morning quiet announcing that she wanted something to drink. It was not really a request but a bold statement of fact. So I stayed still, and surveyed the little one with what I hoped was becoming my dreaded my mummy eyes. She did not falter, she announced that I had a hole in my jersey which led to an investigation of where the hole went – the hole nonetheless was the result of same said little being a few weeks ago whose memory conveniently comes and goes. She then began an impromptu song about being the last hero which ended in a soprano shriek in decibels that I could not decipher. I remained calm, knowing full well that my will was being tested. I too thought about a drink and was momentarily comforted that there are some things I didn’t have to share just yet.

I received a series of kisses and then I heard a short quiet breath of impatience which ended in a loud resonating, “Mayed(sic) I have something to drink please? I replied, as calm as the morning air, ‘Of course,  and headed towards the kitchen. We chatted about her sleep and her day ahead and I reminded her that she didn’t have to shout for me to hear her. Even though her eyes didn’t seem convinced of the fact she replied. ‘Yes mummy’.

I smiled, knowing full well that we would have this conversation again tomorrow.

We often forget that our little ones see the world through us; they test us to judge how other people will react to them. It’s not always because they are being rude but because we are a safe sounding board. If she tells me a joke and I don’t laugh, she may not be brave enough to tell anyone else that joke. For them we are the box that they are trying to think out of, we are people who are sitting so they have the urge to stand. Our home, our jobs, our perimeters are not their destination, it’s their starting point to move forward; to find their own.

If we are lucky, they’ll leave and realize our grass was green, and they will decide that their version of green will encompass what was important to us as well.

If you want your child to be the type of person that questions limitation, that goes against the crowd, who tries out new things and doesn’t take no for an answer? You need to understand that one day he/she will tell you no, he/she will question your limitations. That day will come, if you grew then strong enough, wise enough and brave enough, all you have to be concerned about is your reaction when it happens.

I have indicated to my daughter that I wouldn’t move unless she asked properly for something. She usually gets juice n the morning, sometimes without asking, but she’s developing a personality, she’s testing me. I am her world right now so I am also her ‘guinea-pig’ (as they say); she finds great joy in trying to wear me out, to see if I would break my resolve. There is mischievousness in her spirit, which is very much like her father, who makes me smile. I see it; I understand it even though she may not. In keeping my resolve I am teaching her a lesson, in letting her develop her spirit without shouting or condemnation I am also teaching her a lesson.

I am not concerned with her antics; she is a child, just as I was.

I am concerned with my response.

I ask her opinion openly about many things and other things are rules, for safety and my sanity. We will not always be together so I want to set the trend but allow her to be herself comfortably so that when she is alone it becomes second nature.

XXX

It’s time to start

snail col

I dreamt about a Duck with red boots, a frog who didn’t like to eat flies, a hungry caterpillar and a moose who liked to drink juice.

I dreamt about a butterfly, who told stories while sitting on a piece of old wood, of pink skies and mango colored rainbows.

A diamond shattered bracelet, a man who knew how to fix it. A moon so bright beside stars with red lights.

A soucouyant and a banyan tree, a mystery and a robbery.

I dreamt of dreaming and woke up laughing, it’s good to know that you are still there, waiting …

It’s been a while and i neglect to invite you to awake with me,

I promise to put pen to paper another day

Look at how the day has passed.

I’ll dream another dream of dreaming, please don’t think of leaving.

I know I neglect to invite you to come with me, but I promise to put pen to paper today.

Why the Pope’s resignation was the best thing for the Catholic Church.

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I am a Christian and I don’t believe in religion.

That very sentence seems to contradict itself, however I believe that there is a God and I accept the bible to be the ultimate guide, however I see today’s religion as complicating that which is simple; a call for persons to fellowship by forming churches has turned into politics.

I love reading and before I was eighteen, I decided to find the most influential book of all time and read it. This book turned out to be the bible. I would be lying if I said I read it diligently, it took me a year and I still fall asleep through the genealogy chapters like Leviticus.  In reading this book for myself – and not waiting for a Priest/Pastor to dictate it to me over my years – I became fully aware that the book could be taken out of context, chapters read in isolation could mean different things according to different agendas.

Since, I didn’t need someone to explain the bible to me, going to church then became more about fellowship. I joined church groups, I volunteered, I tried out different churches and at every corner I meet a horny unfaithful deacon, a leading family who financially supported the church and received more prayers and accolades than others, the overweight, the ever-faithful, the gossipers, the returning backsliders, the silent parishioners, the uninterested, the unruly children of the parish saints, the old, the poor and the very poor.

If someone was over-weight, I didn’t want to laugh at then when they passed, I wanted to start a fitness class. I noticed children who wore the same clothes every week, but their parents wouldn’t accept hand out because they didn’t want to be at the mercy of the gossipers.  I saw flirtations outside of marriage and people with distant eyes, crying eyes and eyes of hatred. I grew tired of looking at people and seeing sorrow.

So I left, I prayed at home, I lived a fair life and was contented and always blessed.

So why am I writing a blog on the Pope, well today I am married to a Catholic. When our daughter was born he indicated that he wanted her to be baptized in the Catholic faith, I had no problem with it. There is a time for everything under the sun and many paths lead to God, my path is best for me but she would have to choose her own path and with my blood in her veins, I know that she would ask questions and choose what makes her happy when she is an adult. My only cautionary note to my husband was seeing that I was not Catholic, I expected him to take responsibility for her Catholic walk and be an example to her.

In all of our years together my husband has never really asked me to do anything directly, not even to cook but he asked me, especially at this time when our daughter is mimicking her mother, to attend church with him. The deal is if he goes, I go.

So we began our dance, I felt very uncomfortable at first, like if someone had asked me to rob a bank, to do drugs, to strip naked and walk down Main Street. I had left bricks and mortar religion, without a second thought and was comfortable with my relationship with God. However, I comforted myself by reminding myself that I believed that this was the man I would spend my life with. I prayed and God said he was the one. While other women were dealing with drunken, violent husbands, my task was only to go to Church.

I returned home with a headache every single Sunday for six months. Excluding my primary education which was in a Catholic school, I hadn’t spent much time in a Catholic Church. It seemed to quiet, monotonous even. I had heard other preachers refer to the Catholic Church as lacking that spiritual fire; they were lead by men not by the spirit. All of the scripture readings were planned and in a book which ran on a three year cycle, it means that if you are 60 and was born a Catholic, you would have gone over that book 20 times. The Catholic people I knew were also strange for Christians my neighbor who was in church every week taking communion, was having an affair with a married man. Whenever there was a project on work that required ‘manipulation of figures’ it always went to the Catholic, she laughed and said ‘don’t worry, confession and some Hail Mary’s and that will be forgiven’.  I always felt that even if I had to go to church, some day, I wouldn’t be to a Catholic church. Was God testing me?

Nevertheless, my husband flourished. He became a more caring husband and is an excellent father. He joined the men’s group and grew happier, he took charge and got ready on time, he sat in the same pew and owned it, he greeted people and walked all over the church, shaking people hands when it was time to offer people a ‘sign of peace.’ I was in shock; this was defiantly not a passing phase, so I began to do what I did when I didn’t know what to do. I began to pray quietly asking God to help me understand my role and accept it. I figured out a long time ago that I shouldn’t give God a target when it came to matters of the heart and mind; I was just setting myself up for more agony if I fixated on a particular outcome. I had to just be open to what the universe had to offer.

I prayed in the shower, on my way to work, in meetings, in the grocery, all the time asking God to wash away my prejudices and conceptions so that I could enjoy my family now.  I hoped to one day move back into prayer and solitude, but my family life was happening in the present and I wasn’t enjoying it. I couldn’t ask God to change my husband; that is not my right, I could only ask God to change me. I had bad church experiences and preconceived notions, it took months for me to relax. Yes, I did relax and I began having a good church experience.  There are flashbacks from the past but I have meet good people, sincere people and I thank God for showing me that I shouldn’t accept a bad experience as final and just move it to one side of my mind and lock it away.

God wants us to choose the best out of our best experiences. He took my mind’s worst case scenario and turned it around. I am still not sold on religion, but I am allowing myself to be genuinely impressed by what is impressive about it.

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Many Catholics and Christians heard and saw that Pope Benedict XVI resigned from a position that usually required death to come to an end. The world predicted doom and gloom; others felt he made a good decision due to his age while others are still waiting to weight in.  I am sure that there may have been other Popes who were as ill and did not resign and I am confident that the church, which is an empire in itself, would not be shaken to doom anytime soon.

This is a unique time in the history of the Church, I am not even sure people realize how unique it is. The Pope said he prayed and he believed that this was the right step for the church. He broke tradition, he shocked multitudes but he is walking by faith. That is by far the most powerful thing a man of God could say, “He prayed, he understood what God wanted him to do and he moved by faith”. For this I applaud him.

Men, even men of the Pope’s stature do not follow the will of God because of fear of what people will say, of breaking traditions. In a powerfully traditional atmosphere like the Vatican, the Pope said “he is moving by faith.” This is by far the most simple, yet most powerful principle of the Christianity; it’s the overarching theme of the bible.

I smile as I write these words.

A spiritual battle was won; no longer can Catholics be accused of not moving by faith. A battle of this magnitude, almost makes me uneasy but Pope Benedict XVI has set profound precedent and I am happy to be living in such times and look forward to seeing how this story unfolds.

www.marshagomes.com