Maya is our real live Shih Tzu puppy and an important member of our family. Our first book, The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and Maya, although not for children only, was created to help families discuss important spiritual matters with their children or grandchildren. Illustrations of Maya, the puppy muse, placed in complementary settings, accompany bits of wisdom relating to spiritual and moral issues. Notable and famous quotations are the inspiration for Maya’s simple-language lyrical interpretations meant to evoke awe and wonder in all things and capture the imagination of the child and the child within us all.

Maya, the puppy has a rainbow around her head and a particular talent to rhyme, all the time. When I read her a famous quote, a short poem is the result and she likes to pose in a way that represents the teaching. She has helped me to see the magical and the invisible, and now whether you are young or young at heart, she wants to help you too.  Let Maya reveal the magic in the ordinary for you.

“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” — Douglas Pagelsabsolutely terrified4P

Bring into your life
with all your questions,
about what to do,
what new suggestions.

Choose how much money        
or how sweet the honey.       
What new adventure do you have in store for me?
What magic will you open my eyes to see?  

As this book came together, I pondered my own childhood, my own upbringing, my own relationships with my parents, grandparents and other family members, and the ways in which exploring the mystical questions of the spiritual might have impacted my life. Looking around at families today, I see how difficult it can be to be able to have meaningful conversations that must compete for time and attention with the short sound bite-sized action-packed commercial menagerie and other challenging ways of being in our current societal environment.  I wondered how much closer to my parents might I have been, what choices might I have made in careers, hobbies, people and other interests.

The answers to these questions sparked my courage to write and publish this book. Healing comes from within, and can benefit from stimulation of thoughts to feelings to manifestation. The subjects covered in these books are universal in their appeal and curiosity – They ask the questions we all have. We all know the answers, but they remain hidden from us, until further questioning helps them to come out to the light.

This book is not only for children or parents or other family members, but also for adults of all ages. The quotations cited as inspiration, open many different subjects for review and the playful manner of the interpretation and accompanying illustration can help to lift spirits and encourage creative thoughts.

A little story about this first book The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya.

About 5 years ago I started an online business for a retail Bead Store – as a  way to drive more traffic to our site I started a blog and wanted to explore the spiritual side of this business and customers (Beads and stones have great and ancient spiritual connections) – Everyday I would find a famous quote and then write a short poem expressing my interpretation of this spiritual expression – I would then add photographs to go along with the poem and then created a slideshow presentation of this for readers to enjoy.  These became very popular and I was told by many that these helped them with some of the difficult issues that they were dealing with and that it was very timely for them to read the message.

– My wife and I had a Shih Tzu named Sammy who died a year later, he was 15 + years old. After seeing me mope around for a couple of months my wife thought it was time for another puppy and Maya (Shih Tzu puppy) chose us as her family.

– My daughter asked me to perform her up-coming wedding ceremony and I was fortunate to become a Justice of the Peace – Then, one very hot day in July, while walking Maya, and thinking intently about the content of my upcoming wedding speech ….

I am and have been like Tevye (the father in Fiddler on the roof) always talking to God/Spirit – sharing a joke, a prayer, and having a conversation especially while in nature, everyday of my life, and like so many other people, I ask spirit ‘what am I here for? What should I be doing with my life, how can I help?” – I always wanted to hear a great big booming voice come down from above maybe James Earl Jones saying – “Just do this Rich” but I never heard any thing back. This never deterred me from continuing to ask.

That day I heard a whisper – it said keep doing stories (quote/poem-story/illustration/) but to use Maya as my muse and do it for children to be able to learn about spiritual matters earlier in life and closen the relationships between family members. Make it so parents can use it to discuss these matters with their children – help to awaken children sooner – I was taken aback as I also had a chill (on a very hot summers day) which usually indicates some connection with spirit.”.

The result is my first book, The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya, a unique format that wants to help – there are 3 more books and will be many more to come. I have also authored and illustrated several more traditional children’s’ stories using Maya as the main character – all with an eye towards making the spiritual more accessible.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Ningo_ahead_and_jump_4P
“I like it here,
it’s so nice and warm.

I feel I could disappear,
turn it into an art form.

It’s only when,
we feel the pull,

the now and then,
and stop the bull.”

The Sun, the Moon, the Stars and Maya, a collection of little sayings about enormous things – doesn’t try to give the answers, but instead begs the questions through entanglement and involvement. Simple language imagery is used to allow for a deeper unfoldment of the thought, sometimes poking fun, sometimes being serious, and using vivid color to excite visually, with a special little puppy to create an atmosphere ripe for the engagement of children and the awakening of the child within all of us.

All of the elements are orchestrated with the intentions to invoke a ‘feeling’.

Each story can be used as a basis for a bedtime story-discussion of life’s spiritual and moral issues between the parent/grandparent and child – adults find these can be used as daily meditations where these ageless wisdoms are put in a thought provoking and more contemporary setting. Some will make you laugh, some will make you think, all will surprise you with their deeper meanings wrapped up and disguised in a pleasing and easy format.