You Are What You Read






This year it’s been long cold days without snow. Christmas has come and gone, and what remains is a New Year, New Plans & Goal’s, and oh yeah, a Gorgeous, teetering pile of shiny new books.

The gift of a book is a wonderful thing. An Amazon gift-card a delight. A used bookstore around the corner, a constant temptation…And so I present my newly acquired and beautiful pile.


*Are You There Blog, It’s Me Writer, by Kristen Lamb

*We Are Not Alone, The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, by Kristen Lamb

-As a regular reader of Kristen’s Blog, I expected her books would be the perfect companions to her online WANA course that I am currently taking (and LOVING), and I haven’t been disappointed. Kristen’s blog posts rate consistently high amongst my favorites, and her books are equally terrific. Humorous and incredibly wise. I’m nearly finished reading, Are you There Blog, and no question, I’m rating this a 5* book.

*Failing Forward, by John C. Maxwell

-This one was mentioned in Kristen’s book and easily piqued my interest. Click–into my Amazon cart it went.

*Uncertainty, Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, by Jonathan Fields

-Gushingly recommended by a writer friend.

The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Edition, Second Catholic Edition, Ingnatius.

-Although I already own several different translations of The Holy Bible, I didn’t have this one, which is used by nearly everyone in my weekly Bible study. The Cadillac of Bibles, according to friends who own it.

Mother Teresa, No Greater Love , The Most Accessible and Inspirational Collection of Her teachings Ever Published

-An incredible human being. I’ve read excerpts of Mother Teresa’s writings here and there, and have always found myself to be deeply affected.  I found this book at the used book store and nearly gave myself wrist-lash, snatching this volume off the shelf.

Pope John Paul II, An Intimate Life, The Pope I Knew So Well, by Caroline Pigozzi

-Beautiful man and his writings are some of the most gorgeous I’ve ever read. Another “grab it off the shelf ” book.

Hudson Valley Ruins, Forgotten Landmarks of An American Landscape, by Rinaldi & Yasinaac

-Urban Exploration”, one of my guilty pleasures. I adore vintage architecture and abandoned buildings, and this book features properties in and around my hometown. (The background and header of this blog are in fact images I photographed while poking about one of the places featured in this very book. (Nuff said. As further information could lead to  incarceration.)

Fear, A Ghost Hunter’s Story, by Kriss Stephens

-True ghost stories–spooky!

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

-This novel was highly recommended by a reviewer who happened to write a gorgeous 5* review of my own novel, so I figured she has very good taste 🙂

In Zanesville, by Jo Ann Beard

-I caught a mention of this novel in a blog I was reading and something about it piqued my interest enough to pop over to read an excerpt on Amazon. After which I promptly “clicked” this volume into my cart.

Scout, Atticus & Boo, A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Mary McDonagh Murphy

-This was a gift from one of my children, who grew up knowing being lectured that To Kill a Mockingbird is her mother’s all time FAVORITE book. 


No question, the books I consume speak volumes (pun mostly intended) about the person I am. So what about you? If I crept into your house and looked at the tome nested next to the spare roll on the toilet tank, pursued the stack piled on the floor next to your bed, or clicked on your eReader, what I learn about you?


Linky Love Friday

I visited some great places this week of whirlwind blog hopping, and gathered some of my favorite links to pass on.


*The Value of Publicity : Terrific, straight-up, and spot-on post by  successful author and wildly popular (for good reason) J.A. Konrath,  whose blog A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing is always a worthwhile stop.

*When do You Need to Secure Permissions : Absolutely “good to know” information from Jane Friedman that should prove handy to all of us hoping to avoid future litigation.

*Author Amanda Hocking on Self-Publishing: Deliciously interesting article at the Huffington Post about Amanda Hocking and how she REALLY feels about her remarkable fame.

*I’ve been  editing, rewriting, and remuddling my Frankenstein of a WIP for so long, that I’ve had serious concerns of late that by the time it’s ready for the final spit and polish I won’t remember how the pages are REALLY supposed to look. So when this post What Writers Need To Know About Formatting (FAQS), popped up on the Writer’s Digest site this week , it definitely felt like a touch of Divine Intervention.

*10 Bestselling Books with More Than 80 One-Star Reviews: This is my feel good post of the week from GalleyCat. Fun reading and something we all might want to keep in mind on the chance any of our own reviews get a touch of Ugly Dust from the Meanie Fairy!

*And simply because it made its shiny debut this week, I present my new Author Page, Barbara Forte Abate on Facebook.  A milestone that has me borrowing Sally Fields infamous acceptance speech at the Oscar’s several years ago, “You like me! You really really like me!” and reversing the words to, “I hope they LIKE me!  I hope they really really LIKE me.” 🙂

It’s fun to share, so please do!  What are your own great “link” discoveries this week?

When do you need Permissions,


I tried hard to resist. Maybe it was loyalty, or nostalgia. Possibly childish stubbornness, or fondness for the weight of a book in my hand. Maybe it was a combination of all these things. Whatever the reasoning, when I received my Kindle as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago, I didn’t take it out of the box for over a year. (True as it is pitiful, and wholly unexplainable. I have no defense , Your Honor.)

Well, I’ve definitely gotten over myself, and I have real honest and faithful love of the ability to download a book on a whim, oftentimes for free, special promo prices, in the dark, on a beach, riding a bike (not recommended, but doable), waiting in line at the P.O…  It’s a book lovers dream; an unending highway of books at once accessible with the minor exertion of a fingertip pressed to a magic key.

And yet, always in my heart lives an affection for what can only be found in a pulp and paper creation. Sure, I’m loving all the bells and whistles offered up by the New Kid on the Block, but even then, I could never forsake what will always be a lifetime commitment between me and the Book.  All ready lost touch with the magic of paper pages?  Click here and rember just how special it is:  Book

Reality TV, Is it Really?

Seriously, but this IS NOT a rant about what and why we watch what we do on TV.  Certainly there are plenty of offerings that inspire brain growth — Science, History, Travel, LIFETIME MOVIES!– and that’s all good for filling up the Einstein quadrant in our brains, but honestly, (and rest assured, no one can see your hand go up in agreement) doesn’t it also feel sinfully delicious when we’re craving just a little taste of junk-food, to succumb to an episode of Jersey Shore, Gypsy Weddings, any assortment of Housewives, or the especially disturbing Tots in Tiaras (please oh please, but tell me that people don’t ACTUALLY behave like this!)?   If only because it can be so exhausting being a real person living a real life. And isn’t it strangely true that the more heinous the train wreck, the more likely we are to keep our eyeballs chained to the screen?

That’s Entertainment

Hey, it’s exhausting being a real person living a real life. Really, I get it.  It can be a truly welcome diversion after a day of being out in the world Fighting the Good Fight, to drop into the nearest comfy chair and tune into the angst of a bachelorette working her way through a dozen dishy men in order to find Mr. Old Spice on a White Horse, or another Bride driven to crazed meltdown at the bakery because the Fondant on her wedding cake is a hair-shade to dark to properly compliment the cascading butter-creme sweetheart roses.

It’s sort’ve like eating a Twinkie, so dreadful, and yet we nevertheless feel compelled to eat one now and again, (though preferably when no one is looking). And isn’t it strangely true (strange as in, the part of human nature we all recognize but are loathe to admit) that the more heinous the train wreck, the more likely we are to keep our eyeballs chained to the screen?

And Then There’s Real Life 

But, herein lies the problem, it’s when viewers get confused and start to believe that what they’re seeing out there in Crazy Land, is actually the reality of our day-to-day interactions. Case in point, recently I read a blog post by Patricia Caviglia titled Be A Good Guest, which perfectly nails what I’m getting at, which is that REAL people don’t sure as hell shouldn’t behave like the reality stars on the telly. In REAL LIFE good manners are still required, disagreements are preferably settled away from public places (although welcome and expected on TV, where table-flipping and unnatural hair extension removal are encouraged and rewarded with frequent replays), good parenting does not involve berating small children into fulfilling all of miserable parent’s lost dreams, sessions with ones therapist are still a private endeavor and not necessary dinner party conversation, and certainly our Multi Million Dollar weddings hold on even after our People Magazine covers have gone out to the recycling bin.

So, what’s the scoop? Are you finding more and more Reality Personalities creeping  into your own real space?

Moving In Day


And so here I am, standing in this empty, echoing , room of my new place, wondering  just were to start as I mentally rearrange the furniture, unpack the knick knacks, and re-position the welcome mat.

Okay, so yeah, it’s a little intimidating, this whole relocation thing, but still, definitely exciting. And it’s not that I didn’t have a grand time batting around words at my previous address [my blog “Cover to Cover, tucked in on my website,]  but, it was starting to feel a little too crowded over there.  What’s more, I’m really liking the view from here, and it’s nice that I’ve already met some of the neighbors.

Well then, I’m off to tidy-up and start putting some stuff in order, but first a word of appreciation to Rebekah. Not only for recommending this fine spot of Real Estate, but also for so generously offering to drive me on over if I found I needed a ride 🙂