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Meet Erica Neale.

As an adult, Erica graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours, English from McMaster University.

She is married and cherishes time with her family.
Later in life, Erica enjoyed travelling to countries she only read about as a child.

She believes people want to be heard.  People need to be heard.
It is important to acknowledge other cultures whether at home or  abroad. It is one way to enrich our own views of life.

The elderly, particularly, through their life experiences, can offer wisdom and guidance to those who are willing to listen. They would like to be heard.

People need to understand the past in order to live in the present and prepare for the future.

Mature themes give these novels an edge as the characters struggle with fear, pain and doubt
as they become ever more enchanted with what evil has to offer.

Books by Erica Neale

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Latest News

December 22, 2022Well, here we are again. Another year is nearly over heralded by the coming of Christmas in a few days. Let’s take a step back and look at what is supposed to be a joyous time of the year. First, let me look at “shopping” which often turns out to be more of a chore than enjoyment. Watching folks rush around overcrowded shopping malls after driving around a half hour in a parking lot trying to find a spot. Take a good look at the shoppers! How many are smiling and appear happy? What about the little kids who are tugging on arms howling, “I want to go home!” Do you ever wonder what it is all for? Do you think this is the true enjoyment of sharing and giving or just another name on a Must Buy For list? That makes the joy of Christmas questionable and more of an obligation. No, I am not a grinch. Some families travel for miles to reconnect at this time of the year. Others plan a quiet Christmas with close family or friends. Some folks are alone for a variety of reasons. They may be the elderly living in apartment complexes, in retirement or nursing homes. Some are families new to our area who feel sad leaving their homeland and are now living in a strange country with strange customs.  I guess where I am going with all of this is to look round and see how you can put out your hand in friendship. The community in which I live erected a Christmas tree in the lobby of our local community centre and local Tim Horton’s coffee shop. The tree was covered with what appears to be gift tags. Bless whoever thought of this. Members  visited our retirement and nursing homes chatting with residents asking what little gift they would like to receive from Santa.  The requests were transferred onto tags which were then put on the tree. The requests were so humble, I could have cried: a nature puzzle, a box of chocolates, body wash, hand cream, thermal socks, a pair of gloves…… you get the idea. I understand  the tree has been filled several times. Our local supermarket throughout the year puts together bags of canned and boxed goods to be purchased by shoppers for ten dollars. These bags are passed on to our local food bank.  By the way, there are also bags of cat and dog food! This is community spirit at work. So, while we each celebrate Christmas in our own unique way, let us not forget there are people outside of our circle who need acknowledgment, kindness and understanding. We can contribute financially to organizations who fill the needs of our unnamed citizens. Let us do what we can, smile and give with thankfulness and try to understand, what I think is, the true spirit of Christmas.  As Tiny Tim requested in the Christmas Carol, Scrooge, “Bless us, every one!” [...]
September 6, 2022Feeling rather philosophical lately. In a few weeks I will reach four score. I now completely understand when ‘old folks’ say, “how did I get this old this fast?” That cold draft I felt blowing across my shoulders was time! Time used to be an abstract but as the years flew by, the word ‘time’  took on an almost physical presence.  As we age, we slowly begin to notice changes within  ourselves:- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I like to think of it as growing rather than aging. We continue to grow until we don’t!  Writing The Sand Clock was important for me. As I aged and accumulated life experience, I began to notice people frantically busy living their lives, paying scant attention to the outside world. Notice was paid to local and world events, but since there was little the average person could do to effect significant change, we shrugged, voted when we required, and moved on. There are people, of course, who become involved with their community. Bless you and thank you for  stepping forward.   Now, I would I would like to discuss  the word ‘old’. I have never been of the opinion I was old until I was referred to as OLD. I am oldER.  Older folks are sometimes judged by their physical appearance.  Now, ask an older person how they see themselves.  You might be astonished at their reply!  Every person was once young.  I believe ‘old’ can be a state of mind.  We will never be young again BUT our attitude toward life goes a long way to staying youngER. Now, I am not talking about fairies in clouds, you understand!  When we age, life has a way of changing us in ways we once could never imagine! I smile as I write this.  I can visualize some of you reading this piece nodding and thinking, ‘Just wait! You have no idea what lies ahead!’   I notice how some people react when encountering an oldER person. They look away refusing to make eye contact. There is no acknowledgement of our existence.  The elderly are not invisible and,  aging is not a disease! Aging is a natural process, if we are fortunate enough to survive life.  People want to be acknowledged; even the youngest toddler in a stroller or the oldest person in a wheelchair.  A smile, a friendly greeting or a soft look can make the world of difference to someone. That acknowledgement may be the only act of human kindness received that day.  In effect, by looking away we are marginalizing another human being. That is discrimination, pure and simple. In The Sand Clock I point out we are all individuals. We adapt, cope, accept pain and tragedy and try to move on. Three women Barbara, Millie and Augie live in a retirement home sharing experiences, struggles and courage. They listen to each other. In writing this novel, I wanted to point out that we all have struggles in life. A little phrase often comes to mind: head up, shoulders back, kick-ass attitude in place, and let’s get this done! Support, not ignoring someone and not alienating, are the way to relate to our fellow humans.  We must never turn our backs thinking, ‘not my problem’ or ‘I have nothing to offer’ and, worse yet, ‘I don’t have time’ when only a hand put out in kindness will make all the difference to someone who is struggling.  We are all on a life learning path. We have lessons to learn, discoveries to be made, relationships to experience. [...]
May 20, 2022Why not you? Why not me? If you think about it, many of us have experiences in our lives that are fascinating, scary or moments in time that teach us lessons. Often, these events are shared with those closest to us. For some folks, writing about them is a way of remembering. For many of us, unless we write things down, they disappear into the ozone layer never to be recalled again! Writing can be an adventure in exploring ideas. These writings do not have to be profound or deep psychological insights or analyses. Putting thoughts down on paper can be  an exploration of ourselves. We write fiction fantasies, adventures, mysteries, murders, sci-fi, romance, historical adventures or supernatural plots. So many genres! Writing can simply be an expression of  imagination. Now if we are truly serious about taking our personal thoughts and experiences to another level and writing for others to read, we need to do our homework. Here are a few suggestions. Begin by checking out community colleges and libraries for evening courses on writing. Attend seminars or book readings at the local library. Scan the book shelves of your local book stores for a section devoted to local authors. Borrow/buy books on writing. Research. Make notes. Lots of notes. I became more observant of my surroundings paying closer attention to my five senses. For example: the roar of wind through trees as a prelude to a storm, the beauty of morning dew on the flowers and grass or the fragrance of the flowers in the garden on a hot summer day, the smell of the earth after a rain, the touch of a cold metal railing on a winter morning, the deliciousness of an ice cream cone or the wonderful aroma of a hot dog stand on the beach. I became more observant of how people reacted in situations: their facial expressions, demeanor, body posture, temperament or the tone of their voice. Me? Well, one day I sat down at the computer to play with thoughts and The Emissary (named later) was born, sort of. I was fortunate to know a self-published author in my community and he introduced me to the members of his writing group.  Their comments were invaluable. One thing I would like to mention, if you are serious about taking your writing to the next level (publishing) find a management company that has a staff of professional editors. The cost is well worth it. So is the advice you will be given. One comment I will offer is to take a deep breath and  stow the ego!  Writing, for me, became a sort of personal journey and adventure. It began as a thought about whether this was something I could, or wanted to try.  Would anyone want to read what I had laboured so long to say? In all of my novels I began with past experiences, observances of people and nature, thoughts of ‘what if this could/would happen’ and, of course, my imagination and off-side way of looking at life.    [...]