Monday, July 30, 2018

Babies make us slow down by Carole P. Roman

Babies make us slow down
by Carole P. Roman
Originally published on |
Picture taken by Brittney Bass
Today I spoke to my radio show producer, I commented that I noticed a new quality in her voice.
It was softer, slower as if she was savoring each minute. She paused for a second and asked what did I mean? I explained that I knew she had just become a grandmother and it showed.
Her voice had a lazy quality that it had never had before. I explained my theory. I felt that having a grandchild had put the brakes on her busy life and she was learning to slow down without even realizing.
She laughed out loud and said it was ironic. She recently admitted work had become not only tedious but overwhelming and hired an assistant to help her multitask. For the first time in her life, she was delegating her assignments out.
“Yes, I know,” I agreed. “You have more important things to do now.”
My entire married life felt as though it existed on a superhighway. It ramped up when we started our family.
I had to work, take care of the house and my kids at breakneck speed. Our business is seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day, so issues came at us fast and furiously. With a high profile clientele, problems must be addressed the minute you become aware of them. As a result, I rush everything else in my life.
Sleep was only for the exhausted. Laundry was a living thing that multiplied like an alien organism. Household appliances broke; faucets leaked, and interminable cable adjustments were massive time suckers. Then you entered the purgatory of waiting for repair people who had a looser interpretation of a four-hour window.
I hated Science Fair with a vengeance, gritted my teeth when I had to help with spelling or math, and I remember watching my kid drain his bottle while I glanced impatiently at the pile of reports waiting on my desk.
Dinner was never peaceful. It was a mad dash to finish so I could get to new assignments that were piling up like a blizzard. The pressure was on because waiting in the wings was that book report that included at hurried trip for the stupid construction paper I bought in bulk and then could never find.
As my business grew, I learned to give projects to my growing staff.
It was with great relief I handed off home and school responsibilities to my kids as they matured and could handle things for themselves.
Most parts of my early married life are not filled with rosy memories. When I look back through the lens of time, it a colorful mash of a kaleidoscope, indistinct and blurred.
Then we had grandchildren and everything suddenly slowed as if caught in a pool of molasses. The rush simply ended.
I can gaze for hours at one of my grandchildren chewing, their chipmunk cheeks filled, their eyes pleading with me to intervene on their behalf to allow them to spit out their half-eaten broccoli.
How about waiting for those chunky arms to pull themselves up and reach for you?
Hours melt when you watch dimpled hands squeeze a banana into submission, or pile all 1,002 blocks onto the carpet before the rest of Mommy’s company arrives.
The timbre of our voices change. I think we laugh more. I might be late for my next meeting because I’ve had the realization that we can all wait until I find the latest picture of my brood. Not that one, the one buried in my photos that I insist you must see. Well, at least I’m not making them wait while I search for Waldo. I do that one only when we are at home.
We don’t mind reading that same story another time. It’s just as funny the fourteenth time as it was the first.
Saying goodbye take longer too. We run back for more hugs and kisses despite the waiting uber or spouse.
Time ceases to be important because when you are a grandparent. You understand you better slow down and enjoy it. It’s when you realize you need to savor those moments because they don’t last forever, and guess what… neither do you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

It’s the little things Originally posted on by Carole P. Roman

It’s the little things

Originally posted on by Carole P. Roman
Photo found on

Just when you think you’re going to be okay, you find an ashtray with a half-smoked cigar buried in his workplace in the basement.

We cleaned out the cellar today. It was one of those things we put off for six months. I rushed with his stuff in the house. I couldn’t look another minute at anything related to his COPD. The medicines, oxygen, and walker were the first to go. I shoved them out the door, along with the clothes he wore after he gave up living- those oversized jogging pants instead of sexy jeans he used to wear.

His shoes were the hardest to pack up. He valued a good leather shoe and had more of them than Carrie Bradshaw. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to designer footwear and started a life-long obsession over forty years ago. 

He was reduced to non-skid sneakers, clunky and ugly, clumsy and unrefined.
He was so elegant when we were young, handsome, and smart. He knew about really cool things and had a thirst to learn his entire life. Together, we made everything in our lives, from our home to how we lived, better. He was a believer in experiencing everything the world had to offer, learning the best of everybody’s culture. He loved trying new foods or going on exploratory rides where we would look at homes and imagine other people’s lives then guess what they did for a living.

He was so much fun, my husband. His eyes would light up with excitement or mischief. Make no mistake, he was a trouble-maker of epic proportions. He’d find a chink in someone’s armor and then go for it, just to watch a person squirm. He loved discovering what was important to them, and then find a challenge to see how they would defend it. While it wasn’t a favorite memory when it comes to my spouse, I discovered a lot about both him and myself with the outcomes of those encounters. I learned what was important enough for me to go balls to the wall, and more than that, he found our boundaries.

He did prepare me for this time. We talked about it literally to death, and while I think I’ve done okay, it boggles me that the stump of a dried out cigar can send me right back to that place. I want to run upstairs and hide under the covers to pretend the last twelve years didn’t happen.

I should hate that damn cigar. It was lung cancer that started the whole thing, after all. But somehow I don’t. When we found it, my heart did a little flip, and my voice quavered. My eyes filled, and while I was able to clear my throat and turn my face away, that cigar reminded me how much I miss him. He enjoyed the rich chocolate taste, sitting outside, inhaling the flavor of his smoke as it wreathed around his face. The cigar represented his freedom or the last vestiges of it as his life and health disintegrated around him.

We did refuse to buy them, at first, but he found ways around us. For a man who didn’t know what Facebook or Gmail was, he learned to order online. 

The fact that he beat cancer twelve years ago, but was sidelined with COPD angered him. I think in the end, he didn’t care anymore and wanted to find pleasure where he could. He was afraid of the end, not dying, the other end. That horrible place where he might linger and could no longer exist without the aid of a machine.

When we’d talk about smoking, he’d shrug and say, it really didn’t matter anymore. The damage was done, and that was the one enjoyment he had left.

I think that cigar became part of his identity. Just a whiff of smoke paralyzes me now. Walking into the lottery store with its giant humidor in the rear leaves me forlorn and empty.

Who would think that a burnt stub of tobacco could reduce a person to pieces? But it does.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ode to a Reader by Carole P. Roman

Ode to a Reader

Carole P. Roman

Found on

Oh, gentle reader, you’ve chosen my book,
you’ve bought it either on Kindle or Nook.
Maybe it was a paperback, I make most on those;
I have an idea, I’d like to propose.
You see, I worked hard to write it, in a room barely lit.
I hardly ate anything, subsisting on my wit.
No really, I’ve pissed off everybody I know.
No one’s talking to me, I feel kind of low.
I did it for us, the sleepless nights and missed work.
Although I will admit, at times, I felt like a jerk.
I had so much to say, things I wanted to share.
I’ve written at some cost, is anybody there?
If you read it, I feel we’re almost related,
the intimacy of sharing the words I created.
Please take a minute and write a review,
Just a few lines, don’t overdo!
These are the things that help authors sell,
keeping us out of the bargain bin hell.
With gratitude, my thanks for all that you do,
I think readers need us as much as we authors need you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Be sure to check out my latest interview with Carol Hageman on "Let's Say Hello To Our Neighbors" with!

Be sure to check out my latest interview with Carol Hageman on "Let's Say Hello To Our Neighbors" with!

Facebook:  Carol Hageman Author

Instagram:  ninastorybooks

Facebook:  Carol Hageman Author

Instagram:  ninastorybooks

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Tears and Toe shoes by Carole P. Roman

Tears and Toe shoes

by Carole P. Roman

I bought a subscription to the ballet this season. I had stopped going when my mother passed away. She was my ballet partner. I used to pick her up from work in Astoria, Queens. She always wore something just a little special, her make-up was grander, and some shiny piece of jewelry usually made an appearance. I knew going to Lincoln Center made her feel refined and sophisticated. We’d dine at the Grand Tier restaurant. She loved the elegance and the superior service we’d receive.
I remember holding her hand at one performance, shortly after we’d received the news she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. We stared up at stage captivated and my eyes filled. It was a perfect moment when the dancer’s expertise took your breath away. I don’t recall who was dancing, but I do remember it was the ballet Don Quixote. It was the part when Kitri holds Basile’s hand and stands en pointe until she is perfectly steady, then with precise balance, releases her hold to an awed audience. I turned to my mom and thought with horror, who will go with me when she was no longer here?Who would share this with me?
That was our last time outing of any kind other than chemotherapy. She spiraled quickly and soon passed. It was followed by my husband’s equally appalling diagnosis of lung cancer and years of grueling treatments and caretaking.
When my husband passed in the early winter, panic overwhelmed me. I was not used to the freedom of having time on my hands. When a pop-up ad on my computer showed dancers, without thinking I bought my first subscription in over twelve years.
The tickets came, La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Harlequinade, Giselle, Don Quixote- a lush offering. Sadness overwhelmed me. Who would go? Who did I want to share the experience with? Would they understand what ballet really means? How one moment, one step can capture an entire audience and hold them in collective awe to be followed by the thunderous shouts and applause of appreciation. It’s an experience, a collection of diverse souls, brought together with the shared love of watching a dancer perform steps with synchronized perfection following in the footsteps of all the dancers that came before them.
I took an assortment of people, friends, and relatives. Most had never been to a ballet. I was nervous- would they be bored or worse, want to leave?
Dinner was as divine as I remembered and my guests enjoyed the white glove service. More importantly than that, they loved the ballet. They didn’t think it was boring or pompous. Some enjoyed the orchestrations, others found the dancer’s bodies enthralling, but for me, I found moments of sublime perfection again.
When Juliet drapes herself across her tomb to touch Romeos’s hand in her final throes of death, and when the Willies force a man to dance to his demise in Giselle, or lastly, that one moment, that breathtaking second when Kitri let’s go of her lover’s hand to stand alone, it all came back to me. Ballet is forever, and my mother may not have been there in person, but I know I felt her hand in mine, squeezing it and sharing the joy.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

I'm A 2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winners!

I'm A 2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winner!

A big Congratulations to my fellow authors and friends, Judy Martialay (Let's Learn series) and Erica Graham (Talking Tales series) on their wins!

Book Series
1st Place: If You Were Me and Lived in... A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the World series by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga

2nd Place: If You Were Me and Lived in... An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time series by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova

Chapter Books
1st Place: Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova

School Issues
Honorable Mention:
Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova

* E‐Book Award Winners *
Children’s Nonfiction
1st Place: If You Were Me and Lived In... Cuba: A Child’s Introduction to Cultures Around the
World by Carole P. Roman

Cultural Diversity
2nd Place: If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova

Growing Pains
1st Place: Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life by Carole P. Roman

Picture Books 5 & Younger
1st Place: Rocket‐Bye by Carole P. Roman, illustrated by Mateya Arkova
Honorable Mention:
A Flag for the Flying Dragon: A Captain No Beard Story by Carole P. Roman