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May 2021


At last—flowers and green leaves, warm walks, long lovely twilights.

One of the great benefits of the covid restrictions has been that we have slowed down enough to get to know our neighbors. I can't remember a time when there was this much greeting and chatting (safely, of course). Everyone is so eager to get outdoors after the long winter and the covid changes. We walk in the small groups of our families on opposite sides of the street and call out to each other, and we definitely get to know the names of all the dogs.

On recent walks we reconnected with a former student of Brian's, a neighbor of ours whom we got to know better. During walks in this time of trial and tribulations she mentioned that she was a history buff and had been rummaging in Washington's (George, that is) documents from the American Revolution at the museum in Morriston NJ. We said, you should write a book.

She said, 'fit's almost finished." At the end of this newsletter you can read about the book Mally Becker has written. It is a real page turner, especially exciting because it all takes place in our familiar locales in Central New Jersey and Lower Manhattan Island.

NEXT SEMINAR: Your Healthy Lung and Understanding Inflammation. Sunday May 16, 1-3:30PM, Virtual, live on line with Zoom. Your Lung is a magnificent rain-forest moist crown at the top of your torso. We'll explore from the tip of your nose down to the bottom of your lungs and all the tissues and functions along the way. Expect stories and exercises and remedies, especially the almost magical Lung sound and movement. Healthy skin and Large Intestine are part of the Lung constellation, too. We'll also demystify Inflammation, and help you make good choices to minimize its effects. Tuition $125. To register, contact PattyQiGongforHealing@gmail.com

We're still conducting repeats of our seminars--So here's the list of what seminars are available. We need a minimum of 8 sign-ups to schedule a seminar. Please let us know if you are interested in attending any of the following, include which seminar you would like to attend, and yourpreference for a Saturday or Sunday. Drop a line to Patty to let her know. PattyQiGongforHealing@gmail.com

1. Root Cause: the way excess emotions can disrupt the balance of your vital organs and negative feelings can wreck your peace of mind. Simple and highly effective Qi Gong remedies for all, Also a technique to deal with your subconscious in a conscious way,

2. (see May 16 scheduled LUNG, Large Intestine, and inflammation seminar above.)

3. Pulses and Tongues—understandings for the lay person, plus the method to identify, and avoid, causes of "autoimmune" conditions so they cannot continue to distress your systems and your tissues.

4. For the Qi Healer, we have an In-Depth Refresher course on the purposes of the exercises and remedies of the Intensive, for near or distant work. The big three: REFRAINS remedies for the senses, orifices, and functions of the head; GET OUT methods to cleanse; and methods to CULTIVATE Qi. This was a first, and was very well received by the Qi Healers who attended.

Patty Pagano's zoom Hourly Classes

Moving your Qi for beginners—Monday 5pm or Thursday Ipm

Wuji Qi Gong—Beyond Beginners Monday 8pm or Thursday IOam

Swimming Dragon Practice—Tuesday IOam

Swimming Dragon for Beginners—Tuesdays 12:30-1:30pm

4-week class, $60. Starts First Tuesday of every month

WujiTaichi--Beyond Beginners—Wednesday 7pm

WujiTaichi--Saturday 9am

Contacts:

Patty Pagano, PattyQiGongforHealing@gmail.com 908-392-1313

Karen Cheney, Licensed Massage Therapist, 732-589-0478

Fran or Brian 908-647-1563 or info@QiGongforHealing.com

What Mally lets us know about her outrageous book...

How The Turncoat's Widow Came to Life

Sometimes we know where life is heading; sometimes we only think we do.

When I volunteered at the Morristown National Historical Park, I was between jobs and the idea of clearing trails—the opposite of my deskbound career—was more than attractive. I'd get in shape while doing good, I thought.

So much for exercise. I was assigned to work with a collection of old letters the Park owns. It was another stint sitting at a desk, but backing out because the volunteer gig wasn't exactly what I had in mind felt wrong.

I couldn't know then that the spidery, centuries-old handwriting I struggled to decipher would lead me on a five-year journey to write a historical mystery, The Turncoat 's Widow, and to discover an American Revolution that was more colorful and complex than I could have imagined.

Scanning documents one morning, I found an indictment of a local farmer for the crime of traveling from New Jersey to New York City "without permission or passport" during the American Revolution.

A crime to spend the day in Manhattan? I couldn't make sense of it, and I took the document to one of the Park's historians for an explanation.

Historians think, he told me, that as few as a third of us here in New Jersey supported independence, a third opposed it, and the final third were too busy trying to survive to have an opinion. So many of us were spying or smuggling goods to the British — who held New York City for most of the war — that the government finally banned travel into the city without permission.

That wasn't the American Revolution I learned about in school. It wasn't even close. Without realizing that I was building a story, I began to play the writer's game of "what if." I started with a character and a question: What if a young widow in Morristown discovered that her patriotic husband had really been a spy for the English?

Eventually I found a fulltime job and finished my volunteer assignment. I scribbled notes outlining my story at nights and on weekends. I wrote in fits and starts, and each "what if" I asked myself moved the plot forward.

Because the story wouldn't let me go. What began as curiosity about criminal charges against an 18th century farmer took wing and became a story about people—characters—who have all experienced loss. Some find the resilience to let go of the past, to build a future with room for purpose, love and even happiness; some don't.

Or, as Alexander Hamilton says (yes, he's one of my characters):

Hamilton's voice softened, carrying the heat of a warmer climate, an older place. "Ships sink in a storm when they are anchored too tightly, Mr. Alloway. We are living through our own storm now. Don't let your past tie you too tightly, lest you forfeit your future." Then he grinned. "We shall work well together."




Slowly, my manuscript became the story of Rebecca Parcell, a young widow who is too busy struggling to maintain her farm in Morristown to care who wins the War for Independence. But rumors are spreading that she's a Loyalist sympathizer who betrayed her husband to the British.

Everyone knows that her husband was a Patriot, a hero who died aboard a British prison ship moored in New York Harbor. But "everyone" is wrong. Parcell was a British spy, and General Washington—who spent that winter in Morristown—can prove it. He swears he'll safeguard Becca's farm if she unravels her husband's secrets. With a mob ready to exile her or worse, it's an offer she can't refuse.

She finds herself paired with escaped British prisoner of war Daniel Alloway, the last person to see Becca's husband alive, on an espionage mission to British-occupied New York City. Moving from glittering balls to an underworld of brothels and prisons, Becca and Daniel uncover a plot that threatens the new country's future,

The Turncoat's Widow was published earlier this year by Level Best Books, an indie press that specializes in crime fiction. It's available wherever books are sold.

Mally Becker and her husband live in Warren Township, where they raised their son. She's a former attorney and former student of Brian Coffey. The Turncoat's Widow is her first novel. She's at work on the next installment in the series, which will be published in 2022.