Down and Up Again

The down, really down, is that August 8, 2016, Isabella was diagnosed with liver cancer that had metastasized to her lungs. We were treating her for sarcopic mange and suddenly she got very ill. She could hardly breathe. We rushed to the vet early that morning after a horrible night of her suffering, and we had to make the decision to euthanize her.

My reaction was almost constant microbursts of crying. Then I knew my only solution was to get another dog. Now.

My husband’s reaction was to completely, thoroughly withdraw. He called the dog’s name in his dreams.

He would not hear of another dog, not for one or two weeks, he said. So I waited a week before I showed him the online picture of a four-year-old terrier mix that had Izzy’s eyes, her color except for black markings, her size.

Our non-communication continued for another week, and that was as unbearable as my little dog’s death because I needed to talk about the new dog. I needed that dog, and she needed me, but we hardly spoke.

I began praying the rosary for his healing and my getting the dog. And you know, it began to work.

I had found another little dog, a puppy, that I was really torn over. So adorable! But after talking to the foster mother, I knew we couldn’t take her unhousebroken. It would never work living in the basement in a tiny apartment with winter ahead.

I was ecstatic; the decision had been made and I didn’t have to keep torturing myself over it. Then after I asked her opinion my mom wrote back that the puppy would eventually be adopted, but Mercy needs me. She also said she didn’t like the name Mercy. Ah, back to that. I ran through the alphabet yet again and suddenly there was the name, right in front of me: SEFINA. The name after the name Yeshua gave his dog in my book. Sefina, or Zeffy for short. I felt overwhelmingly relieved and happy. I didn’t ask my husband, who is totally uninvolved. Instead I went to my bank and took out a bunch of money to pay for my dental appointment tomorrow, the dog’s adoption fee, and extra money to buy some of the things she requires. One thing was a name tag with my name and phone. So I went to the vet and had it made right then and there, on a bright green bone-shaped tag: SEFINA.

And on the back, SYLVAIN  207 and our number. That’s a commitment.

I bought a black collar, not the best quality, and a black leash, food and water bowls, treats, chew bone, rope chew, Iams and Cesar food… it’s packed in the car, but I have the name tag in my wallet.

Sefina lives! She lives!

Now let’s hope we pass the home visit and she’s really going to be mine. I am going to send a money order, I think, instead of PayPal…I don’t know. We’ll see. I can hardly wait until Sunday’s visit and approval to proceed. Then it’s a 3.5 hour drive down to pick her up and the same back, possibly alone. Hopefully alone.

Sefina, here I come.



The sole book I sold went to a young Catholic (he told me) man who was fascinated by the concept of the story and got into the book after starting it over lunch. He came back to ask me something about the used of languages in the book. Didn’t they speak Aramaic? Yes, but they also spoke Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

It was a long three hours with one other nibble from a woman who, to my irritation, creased the first few pages of the book but didn’t buy it “yet.”

I went home at two, threw the stuff in my closet and went to bed, asleep in about ten minutes. It was a day of nothing.

Today is Easter and so far isn’t going any differently than yesterday.

Breaking Even

It took just over a month for me to have enough income from my book sales to break even with my investments. The pivotal check arrived today. Now only one payment is missing from the books I mailed out.

It was a frenzy getting those books sold, and my husband was more than helpful. It was good to settle in with my own book at times and try to enjoy it objectively.

A friend called last night. He had just finished reading it and wanted me to know how much he enjoyed it. What a boost! That’s a good friend, one who calls or writes a review or somehow lets you and others know it was a good read.

I hope the word gets out that way. I do believe in The Journey and want it to do well, like my child.

Book Launch Day

The official book launch for The Journey starts at 7 p.m. I plan to go over around 5:30 to set things up and settle myself down. I don’t have a clue how many will attend. I do hope I’ll be able to sell a few copies of the book. I only have a single hardcover left–my own. I’ll display it with an expectation of delivery in less than a week.

The errors I find in the book have squelched my joy at its publication, but all I hear is how insignificant that is. I don’t have bad grammar, poor spelling or bad writing. It’s a good story, and that should sell it. I’ll pretend it’s the 1700s when spelling was an individual preference, or rather typesetting.

I hope I don’t forget anything; I have a pile on the bed ready to take out to the car.

As I said to Rachel yesterday, I wanted someone to do this for me. But I have to do everything myself. I enlisted Nora and Roland to help me, and I can’t believe they agreed, and thank God they did.

I supposed if I’d asked someone to give me a celebration, they would have. But I didn’t, and it would depend on who I asked.

Sunny And Cold

A below-zero morning in northern Maine. My husband has acquired my cold and sounds like a stranger with his new baritone. I am hoping the e-books arrive by UPS today; then I will have received the whole order.

The local newspaper re-contacted me to get a few more details, so I sent a section of the speech I plan to give at the book launch. She can pick whatever details she likes.

It was quite cold in the apartment this morning, but it’s warming up nicely so I won’t put off a shower like I planned to do (that’s how cold it was). It’s wonderful to be flooded with sunshine even though its thermostat is on the low side.

I forget to mention I went to the orthopedic surgeon yesterday for a diagnosis on my sore, weak left arm. It’s some mile-long name that means the nerve that rests on the radial bone has slipped or is slipping, causing pain and weakness. It’s a self-induced condition from repetitive motion. I can barely lift a coffee cup. So I’ll consciously try to rest it for three weeks and see if that helps before we get in there with scalpels.

I would like a day off from perseverating on the book, but I don’t believe that’s possible when you’re a marketing writer. Not if you want to sell.

Information On “The Journey”

Read the preview. Read the review. Contact the author with your questions. Then when you have decided to purchase a copy of the book, contact Barbara Duquette Sylvain at one of the following locations:

14 Dube Street, Fort Kent, Maine 04743

(207) 460-0965

Shipping is approximately $3.50 USPS media rate mailing for the 6X9 paperback.

Payment by check or money order is gratefully accepted.

Thank you so much for your business, and enjoy The Journey!