Here's to the Latest News!


For the past couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking at a number of locations around town, including:

St. Luke’s Catholic Church (Glymmers Group),
Marquette Manor (Book Talk),
Zionsville Presbyterian Church (Second-Half Adventurers),
Second Presbyterian Church (Rehm Guild),
St. Luke Methodist Church (The Elderberries),
Hoosier Village,
The Forum (Coffee Talk),
Castleton United Methodist Church (The Variety Bunch),
The Barrington of Carmel,
and most recently, The Indianapolis Propylaeum (Prop Day Luncheon).

These presentations have been well-received. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to share my message with such wonderful people all across our city.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Spoke at The Barrington of Carmel today. A lovely day. The rain of early this morning disappeared before I arrived. It was replaced with brilliant sunshine and a light breeze. I found a convenient parking space and had plenty of help from Maryellen Keen, Lifestyles Director, in transporting my books and getting everything set up. Thank you, Maryellen, for all of your kindness!

Good friends and Barrington residents Cynthia and Bill Roberts were there. Bill looked hale and hearty. He and Cynthia appear to be content in their beautiful new home. I had an opportunity to meet some of the other Barrington residents — wonderful people all. A big shout-out to Kathy, Al, Sally, and Debbie for making the effort to attend my program and cheer me on. What a treat to see your smiling faces in the audience!

The Barrington is a fabulous facility — like a five-star hotel. Several spacious dining rooms, complete workout center, well-stocked library (which I’m proud to announce now boasts a copy of each of my books!), cozy sitting areas with glowing fireplaces, inviting walking paths, and a gorgeous lake equipped with electronic swans, no less! Anything and everything one might wish for.

After delivering my remarks, I even sold some books!

All in all, a very happy afternoon.

Here’s to Life at THE BARRINGTON!



Joys of the Journey: An Offering of Essays and Brightening the Corners: Rays of Hope for Our World are now on the shelves and available for purchase at Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, located at 5619 N. Illinois Street, Indianapolis, IN!

Delighted and honored to be associated with such an outstanding independent bookseller.

If you happen to be in the area, please plan to stop by. You’ll discover a charming, old-fashioned bookstore brimming with a wide variety of fascinating and unusual books (from the classics to contemporary) for babies, toddlers, older kids, teens, and even adults. Also attractively on display are puzzles, games, stickers, bookmarks, stuffed animals, puppets, and trains.

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Great news! My books are now showcased in a new video created by The National League of American Pen Women, of which I am a proud Member-at-Large. Check out the link below. It’s now posted on both Youtube and Googleplus! I and my books appear at the 2:55 minute mark. Thank you, NLAPW!

One caveat: Unfortunately, my last name is mis-spelled in this piece. There are two “L’s” in Woolling. Nevertheless, I am delighted to be included in this august group of creative women and their amazing works.


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Reviews of my two books were presented in the NLAPW’s The Pen Woman Magazine, (Fall/Winter, 2012 issue):

This book would make an excellent Christmas present or a gift for any occasion . . . This inspirational book provides a collage of heart-warming essays and sentimental stories that take the reader on a journey through diverse topics of Interesting Tales, Noteworthy People, Natural Splendors, and Memorable Experiences. Woolling encourages the reader to savor each step along this journey.
The Pen Woman Magazine – Fall/Winter 2012 (full review)

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Here’s to branching out! The Here’s to Life! Books are now available for purchase in several additional locations.

Of course, you can still buy books right here online via the beautiful Here’s to Life! website.

Also, on the ever-popular Amazon website.

Now, too, in the Butler University Bookstore, Indianapolis, Indiana.

And through Eli’s Books (named in honor of Colonel Eli Lilly), the DePauw University bookstore, located in Greencastle, Indiana.

In addition, for your shopping convenience, copies have been placed on shelves in the newly-renovated Basile History Market Bookstore, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis. .

You can also purchase copies via the online store of the Indiana Historical Society’s Basile History Market.

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I am honored to announce that I have recently been inducted into the National League of American Pen Women, as a Member-at-Large in Letters.

American Pen Women, begun in 1897 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is “the oldest multi-discipline organization for arts for American women.” Members from across the country include artists, writers, poets, composers, and arrangers. This organization recognizes and fosters “the production of creative work of professional standard in Art, Letters, and Music.”

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Thank you to all who trudged through icy snow and slippery streets on Saturday, December 4, to visit me at my book sale table at the Indiana History Center’s Eighth Annual Holiday Author Fair (see page 10 in flyer). I’m delighted to report that, because of brisk sales at this event, the Here’s to Life! series of books will be sold through the beautiful Basile History Market bookstore, housed in the Indiana Historical Society. Look for both of my books on the shelves of the bookstore come January, 2011.

Here’s to Some Exciting News!

Brightening the Corners: Rays of Hope for Our World has been chosen to be featured at the eighth annual Holiday Author Fair at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center on Saturday, December 4, 2010!

Copies of Joys of the Journey: An Offering of Essays will also be offered for sale.

Looking forward to seeing all of you, my dear devoted readers, at this fun and festive event!

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Catherine Carvey, President of Quilters Guild of Indianapolis, for her kind reference to my essay, “At Home with Your Heart — Wrapped Up in Quilting,” from Brightening the Corners: Rays of Hope for Our World.

Catherine’s thoughtful comments appear in the President’s Corner column of Bits and Pieces, the monthly newsletter of Quilters Guild (February 2010, p. 2):

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Here’s to Connie Shakalis for her recent profile of the Here’s to Life! blogsite and books!

Connie’s eloquent dissertation, printed below, was presented as part of her InDesign course assignment at Farmingdale State College — SUNY.

Thank you, Connie, for your lovely endorsement of Here’s to Life!

Hers Is a Here’s to Happiness Site

Here’s to Life! ® is the web log (blog) I chose for discussion. Its author is Mary C. Woolling, a writer, registered nurse, and public relations professional; its purpose is to highlight and expose life’s everyday positives. I have been visiting and posting comments to the site for about a year. Woolling posts her essays, ranging from in-depth analyses of nature, religion, and numismatics, to frolicsome stories about the clerk at the local post office or Woolling’s childhood capers. The following, written by Woolling, appears on the blog:

My philosophy centers upon universal truths. I’ve discovered that we all share the same basic experiences, concerns, challenges, wishes, and dreams. I believe we all are ultimately searching for the meaning of this life and of what is to come. Along our journeys, we all could use encouragement and a friendly voice. I’m hoping that my books will provide readers with just such a bright and heartening oasis.

My experience has been, please pardon the expression, positive. One day I picked up Woolling’s recently published book of essays, Joys of the Journey, which complements the blog, and re-read her tale of an elderly lady who makes fast friends with a pair of cardinals. The redbirds’ daily wait for their gratuitous meals, and their peeping through the window at their generous benefactor delighted me. Then, lo! The very next day, I had my own pair of cardinals feathering and papering a nest in my Leyland cypress tree. Had Woolling’s anecdote inspired them?

The unique aspects of Here’s to Life! ® are that it espouses Christianity yet does not preach; it celebrates happiness yet does not scold us for our darker thoughts. Its essays flow with compassion and understanding: Woolling has witnessed and experienced suffering, and her resulting, as well as natural, empathy for humans and animals guides her writing.

Another of the blog’s interesting angles is Woolling’s encouragement of her readers to be writers too. In a posting from August 2009, she asks: “Whose presence sustains you? Write it down.” What a wonderful question. I immediately began thinking of everyone I had ever known who had lifted me up in some way. I thought, in fact, of Miss Groff, my grade school music teacher, who allowed me to perform in, and humiliate my very proper mother, during Annual Piano Day: I had fibbed to Miss Groff, telling her I could play piano (not!), and she had seen through my veneer but let me perform my cacophonous “Gates of Chinese” all the same.

A Here’s to Life! ® post from January 2010 remarks, “Even in the world today, with its challenges, conflicts, hurts, and heartaches, there are still an infinite number of reasons — right now — to be glad, to be comforted, to be grateful, to be hopeful.”

And there are. Even now, as I write, knowing that in four hours I will be attending the funeral of my 13-year-old friend Matthew, I know too that life is not all sadness. The April rain shrouds this day with doom-like cloud cover and clammy grip, but I know, as does Woolling, that bright, sun-blinded days filled with smiles and kayaking are ahead. Matthew’s nightmares of wolves peering in his window and the tumor-generated pain, unbearable, in his right leg are gone forever now. Matthew will be smiling, pain free, at us tonight.

These are the kinds of things Woolling’s Here’s to Life! ® reminds us. Yes, bad things abound, but so do wonderful, deliriously wonderful, ones. She reminds us to concentrate on them.

Here’s to Life! ® is easy to navigate, with a pleasing, clean pink and white design and a six-part menu bar at the top, which includes buttons for contact information and Woolling’s portfolio. Two hyperlinks take readers to Woolling’s business Web site and email. Readers are encouraged to post comments, which Woolling answers immediately and efficiently. The blog is current, its latest essay having been posted April 8, 2010. The blog’s “About, “ or “Home,” feature takes the reader to Woolling’s business site, Communi-cate, a publicity and public relations company based in Indianapolis.

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To read the IBJ Book Publishing notice on Joys of the Journey: An Offering of Essays, click here.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2009:

The heartiest of thank you’s to Carol Crichlow, Resident Services Director, Marquette Manor Retirement Community, for her warm and gracious hospitality today. I was honored to be the featured speaker this afternoon at Marquette’s ongoing “Book Talk.”

Also delighted now to have my books available for purchase in the gift shop at Marquette.

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The happiest of New Years to all of my devoted readers. I am richly blessed by your unfailing support.



Worthy additions to your personal library, Joys of the Journey and Brightening the Corners are also welcome gift books for friends and family, for any occasion.

Here’s to Life! Books can be purchased right here online at:

Copies are also on sale in select bookstores in central Indiana.
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Thank you! Thank you! To Amy Rensink of Butler University for her article on the Here’s to Life! Books. This feature story appeared on September 9, 2009, in the “Arts and Entertainment” section of The Collegian newspaper.

Thank you, also, to DePauw University for its recent online article concerning the Here’s to Life! Books.

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To read IBJ’s review of Joys of the Journey: An Offering of Essays, click here.

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Most Excellent News!

My Here’s to Life! series is now officially launched, with its first book, Joys of the Journey: An Offering of Essays.


Joys of the Journey is a collection of inspirational essays and sentimental stories showcasing the positives of life. Included are tales of the beauty of nature; an everyday hero; bird watching; and a treasured family quilt handed down through generations.

It is my wish that these reflections will provide cheerful thoughts and hopeful viewpoints for you, Dear Reader. And, through the educational tidbits sprinkled throughout, it is my further wish that these writings will supply a little enlightenment on the various subjects presented.


Brightening the Corners: Rays of Hope for Our World, the second in my Here’s to Life! series, will be released on November 1, 2009, just in time for the holidays.

Brightening the Corners presents vignettes inspired by feelings and happenings close to home, all viewed through a comforting and optimistic lens. Within its pages, you will read of the value of taking life one step at a time; the lasting impact of a little rag doll; the amazing gift of the Pencil Lady; and the surprising secret to the ever-happy hearts of quilters.

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My philosophy centers upon universal truths. I’ve discovered that we all share the same basic experiences, concerns, challenges, wishes, and dreams. I believe we all are ultimately searching for the meaning of this life and of what is to come. Along our journeys, we all could use encouragement and a friendly voice. I’m hoping that my books will provide readers with just such a bright and heartening oasis.

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All Here’s to Life! Books will contain, interspersed with the various essays, multiple blank journal pages. These pages are to serve as a repository for you to chronicle your thoughts and reflections as you read along.

If you’d like to learn more about the Here’s to Life! series, or to purchase your copies of these books, visit

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