Lonna Sells Her Books

Watch Lonna Lisa Williams sell her books in the California mountains, at Big Bear Lake’s Copper Q Cafe, 2 summers in a row (2014 and 2015).  She should be there again this August, so come meet her and get your signed copy!  In the meantime, please buy her Kindle eBooks for just $2.99.  You can download a free Kindle reader to any smartphone, tablet, or computer.  If you like traditional style, Lonna’s paperbacks are about $10.  Enjoy!

You can buy Lonna’s books here:  http://www.amazon.com/Lonna-Lisa-Williams/e/B006ZISIFU

Walk with Me in Turkey

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My “Walk with Me in Turkey” eBook came out today after 1.5 years of working on it.  I started by doing photo essays for “Digital Journal” of places I visited and photographed in Turkey (thanks so much to Editor David Silverberg).  One of my photo essays, “Faces of Turkey” even won an award.  Thanks to my friend and editor Jeremy Gotwals of Holon Publishing, who helped design the eBook’s cover using one of my photos, my book is now available in Kindle format.  If you don’t have a Kindle reader, you can download a free one for your computer, smart phone, or tablet.  For only $2.99 you can see the beautiful, historic places of Turkey, read about their culture and food, and enjoy my adventure stories!  What a lot of work (sigh).  Hope I find some readers 🙂

Here’s the official book summary:

Walk with me through ancient temples, churches, castles, mosques, and palaces of Turkey where I spent 2.5 years teaching English and exploring that beautiful country.  I learned the language and culture and even married into a Turkish family.  Stand with me at the spot where key battles defended the land from invaders and where Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was buried.  See archeology opportunities with Greek and Roman columns and tunnels directly at your feet.  Tour Istanbul, a city built on 7 hills and divided by a waterway that separates Europe from Asia.  Get caught in the rain by the Black Sea, feast on shish kabob in Kocaeli, dance the horon at a Turkish wedding, explore Kar Tepe’s mountain forest, and swim in the Mediterranean Sea.  With my vivid photos and stories, you’ll feel as though you walked in Turkey with me.

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Since it costs so much to print so many color photos, my book will probably remain in electronic format (with links to other Internet sites for more information).  Let me know if you enjoy it!  Find it here.

Silver

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A Maori boy in New Zealand wears a “Lord of the Rings” Gondor helmet and holds a Frodo “Sting” sword and a silver shield.

Silver is a semi-precious metal and a color.  I prefer wearing silver jewelry to gold because silver is softer, like moonlight on a mountain lake, not glaring like the gold-wrought sun over a desert.  I like wearing royal blue clothes with silver highlights.  Silver is a pure metal, and in Medieval times, it was thought to protect against evil (for example, silver could kill werewolves and vampires).  In Medieval times, only royalty could afford silver spoons and cups, and little flakes would break off and be eaten, so rich people were often healthier than poor people (it also helped that they had dry, warm houses, nice clothes, and a good diet).  We say, “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth” to refer to a rich kid.  Today, tiny pieces of silver suspended in water can actually be drunk as a natural antibiotic.  You can buy “colloidal silver” at a health food shop.  I’ve used it; it really works!  Also, in World War II, the U.S.A. used silver-plated airplanes to protect pilots from radiation.

Anyway, I always use silver in my fantasy novels.  In “Selah of the Summit,” a slave girl fights off her evil master and his witchcraft with a silver pendant and (later) a silver sword.  As a Christian, I believe I shouldn’t fight with a real metal sword.  Jesus said, “Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you” and “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  So, if I wear armor like a helmet, breastplate, and shield–with a sword–it is only a symbol of a kind of spiritual warfare, like good fighting against evil.  Selah fought an evil wizard and his soldiers who enslaved people.  After she found freedom and journeyed to the top of the mountain, she returned to the desert to free others.  Life is always a battle.  What evil forces do you have to stand against–or advance toward–for the sake of helping someone?

Read more about Selah and her silver adventures here.

Read about my true battle with cancer (18 years ago) here.

Sweet Masterpieces

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I taught a group of 9 Turkish children, ages 9-11, for a month this summer.  We learned to speak basic English:  numbers, colors, animals, places, and questions with answers.  For our last day, I printed out a book for them with spaces where they could draw pictures, color, and write things they learned.

“I take photos with my camera.  I write stories.  I mix the words and photos together to make books, and you can do this, too,” I encouraged them.  They looked at me with their sweet, feisty eyes, and I realized,

We are all a masterpiece, like a book of words and pictures.

Benefits of Being Nobody

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The 19th Century American poet Emily Dickinson once wrote:

“I’m nobody—who are you?

Are you nobody too?

Then there’s a pair of us

—don’t tell—

they’d advertise, you know.”

Emily never saw her poems published. Though a newspaper editor once offered to publish her insightful lines, she refused, stating that she enjoyed being nobody.

When I told this story to my Turkish students who were studying English, they exclaimed,

“She had mental problems!”

But maybe Emily had a point. There is great freedom in being unknown. An anonymous person, almost invisible, can walk through a crowd of famous people without being noticed.

There were a lot of professional journalists in Taksim last Sunday. They wore matching colors and had a huge television camera and tripod, a hand-held microphone, real gas masks, and backpacks full of goodies. But Turkish police targeted them, under orders from Prime Minister Erdogan to suppress the news so that Turkey doesn’t look bad to the international community. I saw a four-member team from Germany hanging in the background while I walked, almost unseen, toward the line of police who guarded Taksim Square. They didn’t notice a middle-aged woman, dressed like an English teacher, who carried a small camera.

Of course, the downside of being nobody means that you may operate on a shoestring budget and only with items you can pack into a purse. But you can travel light. That’s extremely handy when running away from police attack vehicles shooting pepper spray at your back.

Maybe someday Erdogan will know my name. That could be a bad thing. I keep waiting for that knock on my humble Turkish apartment door in the middle of the night. Until then, however, I will continue to be the nobody who records what is happening in Turkey.

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Pathways

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My Turkish husband on a motorbike along the road to Alanya Castle

I just finished my new eBook, “Walk with Me in Turkey” and am looking for a publisher.  It has 221 pages of adventure stories and 330 color photos (with hyperlinks).  Walk with me on pathways through historic monuments, by the stormy sea, on castle steps, or along a waterfall.  The journey begins with a single step.

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Spring in Turkey

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A family strolls along a hill by tulips in Seka Park, Izmit, Kocaeli

Spring has finally come to Turkey, and people enjoy walking outside in the sunshine, strolling through parks, planning weddings, and admiring tulips, an important flower for Turkey that can be found in tourism symbols, hand-made lace, and jewelry. Grown natively in Anatolia for centuries, tulips were first introduced to Europe by a German ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century. Tulips were the symbol of the Ottoman Empire, courtly romance, and love. Only the rich and refined could truly grow tulips, display them in their homes, draw paintings of them, and write them into poetry. The golden age of the Ottoman Empire, in the 18th Century, was called the Tulip Era (“Lale Devri” in Turkish).

 After a long, cold winter in northwest Turkey, spring finally arrived this April. Tulips of all colors graced parks and hillsides. People planned weddings, relaxed at open-air cafes, and gave each other bouquets of Turkish “lale.”  A duck bathed in a fountain.  I enjoyed all this with my Turkish husband as sunlight shone on his amazing country.  After two years of living inside the Turkish culture, I am hopeful for new beginnings.  I’m writing a new book about it!

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My Turkish husband Ömer and I in the park

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A duck enjoys the spring sunlight and a bath in a fountain

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Turkish tulips shine in the sunlight

My Friend Tania Elizabeth

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Hi, I’d like to share with you the story of my author friend Tania Elizabeth from Australia.  She is supporting children through Starlight Children’s Foundation.  Here is her bio and a bit about her book.

Tania was born in a little mining town called Dysart in Central Queensland. It was to be however that much of her childhood was then spent living in Cairns by the Great Barrier Reef in Northern Queensland. What a magnificent childhood she had in her possession. Many of her weekends were spent in the countryside and the Rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands where Tania would loose herself in her imagination along with her siblings and cousins in abundance. Tania’s father, Lionel began to enlighten her on how to meditate and understand the sagacity of energy. Continue reading

My Life is a Mirror

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Can you find me in this picture, standing next to my Turkish husband in Istanbul and taking a photo of a mirror gallery we found in Taksim?  Sometimes my life feels like layers of glass backed by silver–a mirror to reflect life here in Turkey.

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I’ve always loved taking photos through glass and into mirrors.  Here is a shot of me taking my own portrait in a gilded mirror at the Greenpark Hotel on Kar Tepe mountain in Kocaeli.

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Sometimes glass is so clear that you can barely see it.  The treasures it protects appear to be close, as if you could reach out and touch them with your hand.  But they are shielded from us, like a dream, a faint desire, an absent child.  I took this photo of my favorite wedding shop in Izmit, Kocaeli where I have lived for two years.

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Glass works two ways (unlike a mirror), and sometimes people look back at us through it, as in this gown shop in Izmit where the customers inside wonder what I am doing outside with my camera.  How is your life like glass or a mirror?  What do you see–or reflect?  Do you capture images in pictures or in words?

“Best Moment Award”

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Journeyaroundtheglobe nominated my Blog for the “Best Moment Award,” and I’d like to thank this adventurous writer and mom who has seen so many places and who cared to follow my own travels.  I’d also like to thank my children Jessica and Jonathan, who are always inspirations for my Special Moments.

I held Jonathan’s hand across a New Zealand suspension bridge above a raging river when he was 8.  The water roared down from glacial mountains, and he looked up at me with eyes the same color as the river.  He squeezed my fingers tight and trusted me.  Now he’s almost 18 and about to graduate from high school.  I haven’t always led him to the safest places, but I think he will never forget our adventures in New Zealand.

I snorkled with Jessica among brightly-colored fish in a Kauai coral reef cove when she was 8.  She jumped out of the aquamarine water and screamed, “There are fish down here!”  I held her trembling shoulders in my arms and promised her safety.  Now she’s 20 and finding her own home in California while I teach English in Turkey.  I miss her and her brother Jonathan and am trying to write my way home to visit them.

The moments we shared will always live in my heart, and I am grateful to my children for walking with me.  I am also grateful to my Blog readers who care to read about my adventures, and to the Creator who imagined such transitory beauty in far-off places–and in a child’s eyes at home.

You can read more about my adventures in my book “Fire and Ice.” Continue reading