Posts Tagged ‘Dixiane Hallaj’

Versatile Blogger Award Leads to Startling Revelation About Past Sins



I want to thank  my friend and fellow member of Penwwriters, Clar Bowman -Jahn for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Until I received it I didn’t know anything about this award. Now that I do, I’m honored to have been chosen and will promptly comply with the obligations that go with acceptance.  Those being to nominate five others for the award and to share seven little known facts about me.

The nominees are:

Help Kyria Help Them

Dixianne Hallaj

Annette Dashofy

Lisa Kastner

Heidi Ruby Miller

Seven little known facts about me:

  1.  I wish I could still climb trees.
  2. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always answered, ” brain surgeon.”  I was captivated by Dr. Ben Casey on TV.
  3.  Sometimes when I went to confession I’d make up sins so the priest wouldn’t be disappointed that I didn’t have much to say.
  4.   I wish I had a best friend who knew me when I was  shy and geeky and liked me anyway.   
  5. When it comes to martinis it’s imperative I remember that one is not enough and three is too many. Unfortunately the first one tastes so good I want the second and once I have the second I forget the rest of that saying.
  6.  I was more afraid of my mother than the uncle who molested me so I didn’t dare tell her what he was doing.
  7.  When my husband has to be away overnight I sleep with a light on in the bedroom AND in the bathroom.

Refugee Without Refuge – Book Review


Buy the Book
By Bobbi Carducci

* Good
** Very Good
*** Recommended
**** Reviewer’s Choice

**** for this excellent book by one of the most intelligent women I know.

Product Details

Author Dixiane Hallaj has done it again. In Refugee Without Refuge she continues the story of the Saleh family introduced in her first novel, Born a Refugee. It’s hard to imagine a more compelling story about the effects of politics and war on the lives of ordinary people.

I believe I’m correct in stating that most American’s don’t understand the dynamics of living in a region constantly in strife or how a simple act by a young girl can have such devastating consequences.

Politics are much more in the forefront of this book and that may be a plus for this vastly underappreciated author. If her books get into the hands of the right reviewer, one with an audience large enough and a voice loud enough, perhaps politicians will begin to see that “they” are no different than “us” and that the time has come for the insanity of war to come to an end.

There Be Witches and Dragons Here


There be witches and dragons in the room and talk of the many ways the women in town are murdering men. Do you believe in ghosts? Here we encounter them often. Some nights they sit in the company of children who go on about their business with no outward sign of fear.

We never know when someone new enters the room what country their companions may inhabit or what message they seek to share, and it matters not if we agree for in this place all are welcome.

Please join us at the Round Hill Writers Group on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Meetings are held at the Purcellville Library from 7:00 -9:00 PM. There are no fees to join, no minimum numbers of meetings to attend. Beginners to multi -published writers welcome.

Sessions include discussions about writing and the publishing world, sharing of resources, read and critique sessions, and occasional guest speakers.

For more information contact me via a comment to this blog or via email at

Links to Some of Our Members:
Betsy Allen
Clar Bowman-Jahn

Bobbi Carducci
Dixiane Hallaj
David Sackrider
Suzanne Walls

What Would You Do with a Million Dollars?


Today’s WordPress writing prompt asks, “What Would You Do with a Million Dollars?”

Putting aside concerns for all the needy people out there and my own impending need for care in my old age, my answer is still fulfills a rather selfish interest.

I’d take that million dollars and use it as seed money to establish and promote a company comprised of respected editors to review self published books in order to weed out the bad and recognize the good.

As the publishing world is changing and even traditional editors and publishers are advising writers to prove themselves via self publishing before they are willing to take a chance on them, a respected review process makes sense.

I write a review column for About Families Publications and I read many self published books. I plan to teach a seminar on the pros and cons of the industry and what to do to make a self- published book most appealing to the traditional publishers. For now, the stigma of self-publishing attaches itself to the good and the bad. It’s time to change that.

Dixiane Hallaj, Ph.D., is an excellent writer. Her book, Born a Refugee, was turned away by traditional publishers who wrote very encouraging letters of rejection acknowledging her talent. It’s the subject matter that made them hesitate. She could have persisted in her search for a publisher, waiting a year or longer for a response to her queries, as did happen. But, she is not a young writer and the time to see her work in print is now.

Because she chose to self-publish, her book is lumped in with all the error ridden, poorly crafted dreck that anyone with a computer and the ability to upload a file can produce. It shouldn’t be. My new company would see to it that her works, and that of other talented unknowns, receive a seal of approval indicating that the book is a work of professional quality. Doing so would afford readers an opportunity to hear a new and compelling voice and isn’t that what the publishing world strives to do?

So, where do I go to collect the money and who will join me in my quest to acknowledge quality self-published books?

For more information about Born a Refugee by Dixiane Hallaj go to

A Very Good Day


Yesterday, that is.

Today has yet to unfold and there is no point in whining about all the things on my to-do list. I’ll just say that it won’t come as any big surprise if a number of things on it slop over into tomorrow and beyond. Mondays are like that. It’s the day I do all the mundane tasks involved in maintaining a home and a growing business. It is not a day to be creative.

Sunday is a different matter. Attending five-o-clock mass on Saturday means that even if I wake up early on Sunday morning I can stay in bed and read as long as I want. Then it’s downstairs for a cup of tea and the crossword puzzle in the Washington Post. Solving it is a weekly treat. Word candy is the term that comes to mind. Sweet, satisfying and well worth waiting for. The rest of the day is mine to do with as I please while my dear husband relaxes by watching football. Sometimes I read, sometimes I watch chick flicks. But my favorite thing to do on Sunday afternoons is attend the Community Literary Jams held at the Round Hill Arts Center on the first and third Sundays of each month.

Writers of all ages are invited to read their short stories, poetry or novel beginnings. It’s a literary open mic where writers can receive supportive feedback and introduce their work to future fans. It’s also a place to meet local published authors. On the first Sunday of the month a featured author is invited to read his or her work and speak about writing.

Yesterday the featured author was Noel Grove, author of nine books and numerous magazine articles. He was kind enough to read from two of his works.

Anyone But Dwayne: “On June 4, 1965, a 22-year-old known for his exemplary behavior and gentle disposition walked into a small-town bank in the Midwest and shot four people he didn’t know.”

Why would the nicest guy in town do something like that? Read this true crime story to discover what the author believes is behind this stunning crime and post a note here and to let me know if you believe he got it right.

The Lure of Loudoun, Centuries of Change in Virginia’s Emerald County, by Noel Grove and Charles P. Poland Jr. “Much more than a local history, The Lure of Loudoun, Centuries of Change in Virginia’s Emerald County is a compelling diary in pictures and text of one of the nation’s fastest growing counties.”

This book is an amazing combination of fact and stunning photos. I can’t wait to delve into it and learn more about the inhabitants of the area where I now live, from the German, English and Scots-Irish who tended small farms so long ago to those who make up the huge increase in population in recent years.
If you have a story to share about the history of Loudoun County feel free to post it here. I’d love to read it.
It was a pleasure to meet Noel again and to spend an afternoon with two more of my favorite writers, Betsy Allen author of The End of Gath and Dixiane Hallaj, author of Born a Refugee.

Community Literary Jams are free and open to the public. Please stop in and enjoy the day with us sometime.
Yes, yesterday was a very good day. As for today, it’s time to get back to work.