About Me

My photo
My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Monday, October 26, 2015

MAGIC, MUSIC, STORIES

Barcelona is a magical city in many respects. The artist/architect Gaudi created magnificent structures that leave us in awe and wonder. Walking through the Park Guell was a wonderland of art and God's art in the beauty of nature.




The architecture that is so prominent in many areas of Barcelona is due to the creativity of Guido. He did not let rules and restraints hold him back in his passion for art. Nor should I let my life be stopped by cancer, but live every minute with complete alive-ness!







The Flamenco dance is one of music and stories told through their words, graceful movements of hands, feet, facial expressions, and clapping of hands. I did not understand the words sung, but knew and felt the passion they were expressing. Just as the Flamenco dancer at times appeared to be showing anger or sadness, or joyfulness and celebration, or again of power and strength. They were expressing life!






At Montserrat Monastery in the mountains is a beautiful, mystical, and magical place of wonder and awe. It dates back thousands of years and is nestled in the tops of the Montserrat Mountains. There are monks and nuns and a boys choir. There are many chapels and a cathedral.
As I walked through the foggy monastery I felt the challenge of everyday life as I climbed the hills and many steps just as I do when going through chemotherapy and facing the return of cancer. Then as I listened to the beautiful voices of the boys' choir I was swept into the emotion and knowledge that all is in God's hands. I was and am at peace.


Tonight we had dinner and a night-time tour of Barcelona with Theresa Zanatta, who I met through the Internet. She is also an ovarian cancer survivor. We shared our stories and what each of us are doing to raise awareness and funding. I am so honored and blessed to have met her. I have a new life-long friend. Theresa is working very hard here to help women understand about this disease and she and I agreed to help one another.

From my experiences here in Barcelona I have learned that my journey with ovarian cancer is one of music at times slow and moving; other times of doing a jig when the cancer is gone for however long. It is living my life completely and being in tune with my body physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I admire Theresa's tenacity, attitude about our shared disease, and her philosophy of life which is so well reflected by everything I have seen and experienced in Barcelona. We are sisters of more than just the color of teal, but we are surviving thrivers.








Thursday, October 22, 2015

NORMANDY, SAINT-MICHEL, & ASPET


In reading about my great grandfather, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, I learned he was an avid swimmer. During one of his many trips to France, he and two friends walked from Paris to Rouen and on to St. Valery-en-Caux just north of the Normandy Beaches. Despite the high waves and cold temperatures he and his friends dove in and swam much to the concern of the residents. Gus (as I affectionately call him) kept swimming enjoying the challenge of the rough waters. 

I marvel at the vitality, strength, and endurance of my great-grandfather and his companions by walking from Paris to Rouen, up to St. Valery-en-Caux and then back to Paris. A total of about 245 miles! Do I have that kind of energy and commitment?

That same general area at the end of World War II saw the lives of thousands of men from the Allied forces be lost or were seriously injured. The shoreline and waters of the English Channel all run along the coast. Some areas were low and flooded, while other areas had high cliffs, and lastly some areas like Omaha Beach had a more gradual incline up hills where bunkers were hidden.
Utah Beach

Omaha Beach

Pont du Hoc Beach

As I looked and learned more about these historical beaches of Normandy, I thought of all the stories they could tell...stories about happier times before WWII when families had picnics, children built sand castles, or fishermen cast out their lines. Visiting the American Cemetery was very moving and quite unforgettable. I had to ask myself "Why cannot humankind learn that wars and killing do not bring peace and happiness, which is all that we each want?" I said some prayers and shed tears for all those who sacrificed their lives through death or injury so I can be FREE to be here and live my life without fear.


That is me all wrapped up in layers of clothing trying to stay warm!

 It was a very cold and windy day at the Normandy Beaches rather matching the history of lives lost.







Two days later we were at Mont Saint-Michel, a wondrously beautiful and magical abbey that dates back to the 8th Century. According to legend, the Archangel Saint Michael instructed the bishop to build a church on the island. The French and the English fought over rights to it for many years with France finally winning it once and for all. It was converted into a prison from an abbey, and then later into a historical landmark which it still is today.


Did I say I climbed 17 stories, walked 3.8 miles, which meant 7,913 steps? It was an incredible experience and for being 74 years old, I am very proud of myself that I made it to the top and was able to worship in the church.


The town of Aspet in the foothills of the Pyrenees is where my great-great grandfather, Bernard was born. My great-grandfather visited Aspet with his good friend Alfred Garnier in the 1890's. Aspet is a charming small town and the townspeople are warm and friendly. Gus and Garnier also stopped in Salies-du-Salat which is where Gus's father had spent much time when first learning the art of making shoes. For the first time Augustus saw the name "Saint-Gaudens" above the door, which was very exciting for him.


Since I was the first of the Augustus-Davida Clark lineage to visit Aspet, I was given a warm welcome and the townspeople were eager to learn everything I could share about my great-grandparents and grandfather. I showed them photos and passed down the few stories of information I had. It was a joyful visit and one I shall treasure forever.
In Aspet I saw Augustus Saint-Gaudens street on which his father's house still stands today.

There is an association keeping the name of Augustus Saint-Gaudens recognized and honored. It is a small organization of about 30 people. For 25.00 Euros or about $29.00 per year one can become a member and help support their efforts. Here is their website for more information www.augustussaintgaudens.com.

My trip to France comes to end tomorrow, but it has been a very joyful, exciting, and emotional time. I have met very kind people, saw some fascinating places, and enjoyed the very delicious French food. 
I am most grateful to God, family, friends, and my husband who have made this celebration of remission possible. Now on to Spain for Part II of our celebratory journey!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

IN PARIS CELEBRATING REMISSION

Friends & Followers: I am writing this blog from Paris, France and I hope that my photos show up. If not, I apologize that Google and I are having some difficulty. Just know that I have a wonderful 6 days here and look forward to the rest of my trip, which I will share with you in the days to come.

In the 1867 my great-grandfather, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, at the age of nineteen went to Paris for the first time to study sculpture. He was one of few American artists to be admitted to the prestigious and highly regarded Ecole des Beaux-Arts.  

I visited the school recently and admired the grandness and beauty of such an old building that dates back to 1648. Other famous artists such as Edgar Degas, Renoir, and Mary Cassatt to name just a few also studied there.
I could not help but think of my great grandfather who at such a young age studied hard and was so well rewarded. He was fortunate that he was quite fluent in French because his French father taught him from the day he was born.




He was at the Exposition when the Eiffel Tower was first displayed in 1889, celebrating one hundred years since the French Revolution. It had a 20 year permit to remain and then in 1909 be torn down. However it proved to be valuable for scientific purposes and so was granted to remain.

Gus, as my great-grandfather was affectionately called, was more impressed with the statue of Joan of Arc by Paul Dubois which he declared to be one of the finest statues in the world.



In April of 1900 at the Paris Exposition, Saint-Gaudens was very proud and pleased to have his statue of General Sherman and a plaster cast of The Shaw Memorial on display. There he won Grand Prize and was named a member of the Society des Beau-Arts. Today the Sherman monument stands near the entrance to Central Park and the Shaw Memorial is in the Boston Common.




I have read about my great-grandfather describing the beautiful Luxembourg and Tulieres Gardens, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Champs Elysees where he often stopped at a local cafe. He had studios near the Luxembourg gardens during his many trips to Paris and other parts of France.



The Opera House was opened in 1875 which was a place Saint-Gaudens went to frequently. He loved opera and classical music with Beethoven and Mozart two of his favorite composers. He had a wonderful tenor voice and often hummed or sang the Andante of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

What an exciting, thrilling, and spiritual experience it has been for me to visit the places where my great-grandfather had once been. When my grandfather was a young boy about 12 years old he lived in Paris for about a year and went to school at a lycĂ©e. He also spoke fluent French learning from his father.

As I have spent these beautiful fall days here in Paris I have shed tears of pride and love for a man I never met. However, I know him at a spiritual level because of the great and endearing love I had for and received from my grandfather, his son.

I hope you have enjoyed your time with me in Paris. This beautiful and bustling city is the first stop in my celebration of one year of remission from cancer.

PLEASE HELP SUPPORT CANCER RESEARCH...ALL PROCEEDS FROM MY BOOK GO TO OVARIAN/GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.




      

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

UP, UP & AWAY






I still marvel every time I see an airplane in the sky. How do they do it? I have read the physics about it, but I still ask myself, "How do they do it?"





I would love to be like Peter Pan, the Flying Nun, or Tinker Bell and be able to just fly to wherever and whenever. In the not too distant future, there will be some way that individuals will zoom from place to place.




My great grandmother used to say, "If God meant for us to fly, he would have given us wings!" That was in response to my dad who as a young boy marveled at the early airplanes flying low above his head.

I will always remember in college watching on a small television set in the dormitory the launching of Gargarin in 1961 to orbit the earth, Alan Shepherd that same year the first to fly in space, and  John Glenn the first American to orbit the earth in 1962. 


I can still see my family and I watching the landing on the moon in 1969. 
I had tears in my eyes!

My grandmother was horrified when Neal Armstrong stepped onto the moon. She said, "Once men start walking on the moon, they will throw it out of orbit." 
My aerospace engineering brother-in-law replied, "Edith, our being on the moon is like a flea on an elephant."





The point of all this is that Jim and I are boarding a plane tomorrow to fly somewhere special for our "trip of a lifetime!" The ingenuity of the human mind and its creative spirit has allowed us humans to see, hear, and do things never thought possible only a short 200 hundred years ago. At that time the world relied on such things as sailing vessels, candles, quills for writing, horses, and carrier pigeons and messengers.

How blessed we each are to have the Internet, iPhones, computers, automobiles, trains, televisions, and of course, airplanes. Certainly each of these have created some problems, but also some wonderful benefits.

In hours we will reach our destination and then enjoy 4 weeks of wonder and awe at so much to see and do, having inspirational, moving, and exciting days. I plan to spread the word about ovarian cancer at every opportunity. Trying to lower the number of women worldwide (250,000) who will diagnosed with this terrible disease.

My blogs will keep you up to date where I am and what I am doing. 







Bon Voyage!
Karen


www.outshineovariancancer.com
www.amazon.com