A Christmas Story


Yesterday, I had to jet to the bakery to grab some bread for Christmas dinner. I had just arrived at the counter where a woman began inquiring about her custom order. The bakers were scurrying around looking for her bread, but to no avail. “We’re so sorry, Ma’am, it looks like your order is not here,” one of the bakers said. 

“What? Are you kidding me?” the lady screamed! “YOU have RUINED Christmas! You have RUINED my whole family’s Christmas! I am feeding 20 people! What will I do?” 

Her tirade went on and on for minutes, as the bakers searched for some sort of resolve, and as the rest of us stood uncomfortably by. The lady was unrelenting. 

Finally, I had to speak up. I had to say something! 

“Ma’am these people are working here on Christmas Day. It’s Christmas Day! And, even if it were not, no one deserves this kind of treatment. No one can ruin your Christmas, but you. I can tell you are a smart and crafty person, and you can make any bread work for your special dinner tonight. Take what the bakers have to offer and be blessed you have food on your table, unlike some who do not.” 

She took the bread they offered, mumbled a lackluster apology to us all and scurried off. I was tough on her, and probably should’ve bitten my tongue, but I remembered this quote while she was going off about not having the right kind of bread at her table:

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. -Mahatma Gandi 

The Percussion of a City from a Hotel Room


Andrew d’Entremont -photo credit


The city pulses and throbs outside my seventh floor window. Sleep escapes me – everything from the occasional wail of a siren, or the honk of a horn, to a faint whistle in the far off distance  – keeps me from drifting off. Even the Metro’s rhythmic trundle of wheels on steel tracks that buckle tired railroad ties, tethered beneath – keeps me awake. The old wood suppoerting the train, creaks and moans, protesting the weight of an era of passengers who have relentlessly traversed The City of Magnificent Intentions, the beautiful Capital of the World. And, when my ears become immune and my eyes finally droop, the air conditioner in my room rattles on and hums her own tune. The percussion of a city from a hotel room, reminds me of the musical, STOMP. It is all at once both mesmerizing and environmentally overloading, and I am completely lost in it like writers are when they try to find words that describe what their senses see, hear or feel. 

When I can’t sleep, I write. And, when I write, sleep most certainly never comes. 

Good morning from Washington D.C.

 #amwriting #insomnia 

Fresh Out of Gildan: Tonia’s Practical Advice on How to Deal with Email Scammers


In addition to being a writer/ author, I own a 21-year-old consumer promotions and marketing agency called Tagsource (AKA TAG!). This is how a children’s book author deals with scammers who want to pay for product with a stolen credit card. (Blank goods orders are always the dead giveway.)

Background:

On Jun 3, 2016, at 7:55 AM, Steve Finley <steve.finley433@gmail.com> wrote:

sales

I would like to know if you do sell or can order blank t shirt,Let me know the pricing on them and how soon you can get them when payment is made.

Brand:Gildan 50/50% Cotton

Size : Medium

Color :Daisy

Quantity : 500 Pieces

Size : Adult Small

Color : Marron

Quantity : 500 Pieces

Size : Adult Small

Color : Electric Green

Quantity : 500 Pieces

Size : Adult Small

Color : White

Quantity : 500 Pieces

Total 2000 Pieces

Let me Know the Total Pricing want you to email me back with the price for me to proceed on with payment Phone via Credit card.

Best Regards

  Steve.

 Tonia’s Reply:

Dear Steve, thank you for reaching out! Each of our t-shirts are spun with diamonds and gold, and cost $10,995 each. Unfortunately, that’s all we have in stock right now. We are fresh out of Gildan. Admittedly, our moisture-wicking, and diamond and gold laden t-shirts are heavy and costly to ship, given they weigh twenty pounds a garment, but they will arrive packed and protected in a heavy cushion of gnome fart and fairy dust. 

Should all this meet your approval, please send us your credit card information and we’ll get things shipped right out to you in La La Land.

We look forward to servicing your account for a long time to come. Truth be told, we’ve been saddled with these shirts for some time now. Sorry again about the Gildan!

Sincerely, 

Tonia Allen Gould

Purple is Really Light Blue


  She has Synesthesia, a word I’ve never heard before tonight. With her thick accent, I couldn’t decipher her pronunciation – nor could I spell it in my head- like I often do with words when I hear them for the first time. I had to look up her condition when I got home.

She stood at the podium and read her poetry, with musicality in her voice, and interspersed her readings with stories about the complexities of perceiving words in colors. “Purple is Really Light Blue,” Marlena said, finding humor in her own neurological phenomenon. And, I wrote that down, “Purple is Really Light Blue,” thinking she titled her own brilliant poem. One she should write instead of me.  

But, I also fancy myself a bit of a poet, and I coined her phrase. I stole it right there on the spot. I couldn’t help myself, especially since Marlena gave me permission when she loosely quoted T.S. Eliot from her brightly lit pulpit in the auditorium, “Bad poets imitate. Good Poets Steal.” Her phrase, so good, it needed to be stolen, even if by the likes of me. 

I don’t have Synesthesia. But, when in debate I am told my ideas are contrary, or my perceptions are even a tiny bit off, I’ll simply smile and say, “That’s okay, purple is really light blue.” 

-Tonia Allen Gould
Inspired by Malena Mörling, renowned poet at the Ojai Valley School Poetry Reading – 4/4/16 

Behind the Finding Corte Magore project



Tonia Allen Gould talks to middle schoolers at a Technology Magnet School about all things authoring and dreaming BIG. Here she walks you through her journey to Finding Corte Magore.

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, in time for the holidays!


Just in time for the Holidays, Autographed hardcover books, are offered at the lowest price of the season, plus FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in the continental U.S.! (Limited time only)

By children’s author, Tonia Allen Gould, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, tells the story of a small land and sea fiddler crab (complete with a fiddle and a bow) that finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. When he arrives at Corte Magore, Sam decides he wants to make this place his permanent home, but he realizes he will have to build himself a shelter from the rising tides that could take him and his fiddle and bow back out to sea. He must work diligently and ignore mocking from hermit crabs and seagulls and beat the clock on his arch nemesis, The Great Tidal Wave if he wants to stay.

Sam’s story is art directed by Mr.Lawrence; an original Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants and mostly illustrated by Marc Ceccarelli, another Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants. Michelle Fandrey at Skies America Publishing also contributed. The colorful book explores several important themes for young readers, including: – The concept of building a home – Hard work and self-reliance – Daring to dream of a better life – Overcoming adversity – Dealing with bullies and naysayers I want this story to help parents start a conversation about hard work, dedication, and independence. Sam does everything himself in this book, and he doesn’t ask for help. I want children to understand that life isn t always peaches and cream, but if you re willing to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore bullies and naysayers, in the end, everything usually works out okay.

Click here to order. Thanks for supporting my book!

Sam is also available on iTunes as a narrated and animated picture book app with an original musical score.

Book Cover for Instagram

People don’t change, they grow.  


©ToniaAllenGould

I sat outside on a bench next to a kind, aging lady, last night, before entering my son’s Christmas pageant. After we chatted a bit, she announced she was celebrating her 60th anniversary next week. I smiled and said, “60 years, huh? Now that’s something! What’s the secret?” She thought a minute and said, “You can’t change each other; no sense in trying. People don’t change, they grow.  

Might as well accept each other for who you both are – the person you were when you got married, and the person you’ve each become.”