I just finished reading “Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” It helps to explain why I find this business of marketing “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” so frustrating. I think I’m a closet introvert. That is, I want to stay closeted and write. Well, along with a few other things. like seeing clients, and stuff.

I did write a review of “Quiet …”, lost no doubt amid the 2,990 already there. And I’d be happy with 50. Oh well…

Marketing is frustrating because it takes me away from what I really want to do. What do I want to do?

I want to work on “My Fathers House.”

And a remake of “When to Forgive” now that all rights have been returned to me. I want to do it as an e-book, with a title something like: “Forgive Now? Forgive later? Forgive Never?”

And finish up work with the web designer and get the show on the road with

But soon, before my birthday passes, I want to finish preparing these postcards

FPSC Affinito PC side1

FPSC Affinito PC side1saying “Please help me celebrate my October birthday by “looking inside” the book, reading the reviews, and sending me an “I did it” message on my special “figs” e-mail address” (Feel free to do that yourself if you are willing.)


And oh yes, I’d like to do an audio version of “Figs.. “ in addition to the paperback and the kindle. But there’s no sense doing that until sales take off.

Today, though,  I’d like to share another review that couldn’t make it onto

Jo (no, I don’t know her personally) had this to say. “figs & pomegranates and special cheeses” is a delightful easy read. While I am not usually drawn to biblical books I found this book to be insightful and historically accurate. The character development is excellent. It’s a timeless love story based on commitment and traditions.”

I like this review because it’s a reminder that one doesn’t have to be biblical to enjoy the story.









If you haven’t discovered it yet, please note that “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” is now available in Kindle edition. And while you’re there, take a look at the new reviews.

About the Medicare advice. This is what I learned based on my recent experience. If you have already had the one physical allowed when you first joined Medicare at 65, don’t ever again use the word “physical” when making an appointment with your doctor because Medicare won’t cover it. You are entitled to the hands off “annual wellness visit” which will give the opportunity for renewal of prescriptions and orders for tests to be done, e.g., mammograms, bone density, etc. Check out your manual for details.

If your secondary insurance, like mine, piggy backs on Medicare, it won’t cover a “physical” either. If you have secondary insurance that will cover it, then you’re all set, I guess.

Check out “Annual Wellness Visit” in your Medicare Manual just to double-check what I’m saying here.

Visits to the doctor for specific illness or symptoms are, as I understand it, covered.


Just for the fun of it, click on this link and scroll down to the second cartoon. Even the Peanuts friends got into the discussion. See? Job’s wife is important in more places than just “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses.”


Twelve reviews have made it past the censor. Things are picking up. Both the softcover and the kindle version are showing some movement.

The most recent review emphasized something new — the last chapter where I give “the story of the story.”

“Figs, Pomegranates, and Special Cheeses, by Mona Gustafson Affinito , is a lovely story told from the point of view of Job’s wife. It is full of sensual details, and written using a great deal of visual imagery. The author is especially attuned to colors, and the reader cannot help but delight in the colorful descriptions of the robes, dresses, rugs, and camel garb of the times. As simple and straightforward it is as a love story, its ending becomes deep and complex, reflecting with insight on Job’s struggles.. While it is clearly a book which will appeal especially to women, the full story has much meaning for anyone who is continuing to examine the roles of strong women in history and in present time, and men’s response to these women. When you finish the story, the author’s Addendum is a MUST READ, as it reflects on the wonderful, self-reflective, and intelligent way which she approached the issues, the historical research, and the theology of this fictional , yet scripturally-based, story.”

And then there’s the nice review that I posted last time — the one that didn’t make it past the spending rules imposed by

Thanks to all of you for paying attention


I felt cheated. I mean, who wouldn’t like to see a review as nice as this one that appeared on my blog.

 “I just finished reading Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses, and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I particularly liked how you skillfully told the riveting story of how Dara evolved and grew over the years. The story is wonderfully grounded by Dara’s love for Job, and her bold words and actions. I enjoyed seeing how you handled the tensions that emerged as Dara sought to understand her role and her husband’s God.”

At my request the author agreed to post it on and did everything right. Found “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” and clicked on “write a review.” Completed the information to establish an account. Then was told one wasn’t allowed to post a review since there had been no purchase made with that account. No, it wasn’t necessary to have purchased that book, but just something.

I trusted my fellow blogger. Still, it didn’t seem right to me, so I called amazon. It’s true. If you haven’t purchased anything with your account you can’t use it to write a review. “It’s for your protection,” I was told.” Suppose someone wanted to ruin you, he could just establish 100 accounts and use them to write bad things about you.”

Huh? OK, does that mean this person who hated me so much could buy a $0.99 kindle book with each of those accounts. Less than $100. Not a bad investment if you’re really out to get me.

I suspect there might be a better way to protect me.

As it stands, I guess that means every time someone buys a book from me, I should ask whether or not he or she has ever bought anything from amazon. If the answer is “no,” then I should include a check for $0.99 with the book in case they want to write a review. That would give them the wherewithal to purchase something allowing for the review. OK. I confess I’m being snarky.

The words used when I first heard this are not acceptable to the nice people here in the Midwest. “Oh, my, now I have to work on forgiving them, I thought.” On second thought, though, it wasn’t a personal attack on me, though it felt that way. It’s a policy that ends up hurting me.

And amazon really does provide a number of helpful services.

So, forgiveness process ended at the first step. It wasn’t really an offense against me.

But disappointment remains. Reviews of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses,” (or any books, for that matter) are really important to the author.




Imagine a world where we really care! That was the theme of my last blog as I longed for intense concern and effort to keep our world healthy. The kind of enthusiastic dedication we had during WWII when we fought against potential disaster of a different kind.

Well, here’s one opportunity we can each afford, a step in the deliciously right direction.

Even if you are a denier, I’ll bet you can join in the desire to feed everyone with healthy options



I dreamt we really cared about our earthly home. I thought I was struggling to sleep, but my watch said it was time to get up. So, was I dreaming or longing?

I do know I was remembering the days of WWII when we were all dedicated to fighting for a just cause. It was scary, but it was magnificent – flattening our cans for re-use, counting food ration coupons to be used in the most efficient way, planning limited driving trips to make maximum use of gas coupons, drawing our black shades at night so as not to help the enemy find us, watching Times News before the movies (two for the price of one), singing patriotic songs, and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” as the end approached, knowing we were fighting for the freedom of those who were suffering invasion by cruel forces. (It was only in later years I became aware of our own cruelty in turning away refuges and depriving our Japanese citizens of freedom and property.)

We were dedicated in spite of the fact that we were pretty sure no bombs would drop on us. We had the ability to see that the problem was bigger than our own private domain.

Well, I wasn’t driving and purchasing groceries – too young for that. But I remember. My best friends father was the Air Raid Warden for our neighborhood. Mostly it was his job to walk the area and be sure no light shone through the windows. He often allowed my best friend Hallie to carry out that duty, so the two of us walked the neighborhood in the dark together. (No one worried about our being kidnapped or raped.)

We were in the 4-H club, one duty being to spot for enemy airplanes. It’s a good thing none attacked, because I couldn’t tell the difference between a flying mosquito and an airplane, say nothing of distinguishing between friend and enemy. Fortunately Hallie’s vision was more acute.

We worried about my brother and my brother-in-law as they were off to war. My big sister volunteered in the nursery school that made it possible for mom’s to build war equipment. (disbanded at the end of the war so mom could be sent back home “where she belonged.” More on that in a subsequent post.)

Magnificent? Yes. We were dedicated to a life affirming cause. This morning in my half dreaming state I imagined how wonderful it would be if we all fought as hard now for the earth – the home we all share. I thought of how we would be free of reliance on foreign – or even domestic – oil if we had pursued programs begun in the Carter administration. How glorious it would be if we recognized the dangers and mobilized to fight them.

And then I remembered my own frequent childhood bronchial colds, gasping for breath – wheezing, they called it. I wasn’t allowed to ride in the rumble seat in the teacher’s car who drove us to kindergarten because I might catch a cold. And then I thought again of how magnificent it would be if we cared enough about our atmosphere to spare so many children the asthma lifestyle marked by fear of death and reliance on inhalers, carried like we used to carry pens and pencils in our pockets.

Yes, I dreamt I dwelt in a world that cared.


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