In ancient Israel, only high priests were allowed through the veil into the "Holy of Holies" of the temple. Thousands of years later, this legacy continues with a baby girl. As the Great Depression looms, Naomi is born with the legendary "birth veil" over her face. In those superstitious times, many believed this meant the child possessed supernatural abilities. After leaving their Jewish faith in the old country, Naomi's family dabbled in such mystical beliefs. But what would "the veil" really mean to Naomi and what does it mean to us today? And who is the mysterious visitor only little Naomi can see? Part the curtains of time with Naomi, then her daughter and granddaughter, as each discovers the hidden secrets of the veil.
Labor pains sliced into Estelle's abdomen as she awakened that March dawn in 1925. The buxom blonde's husband, Jacob, rushed into the cold mist to awaken her brother who lived nearby. The two men quickly returned. Franz, the only person the couple knew who owned a car, had agreed to drive Estelle to the hospital. Even in her pain, Estelle noticed the stench of the previous night's bootleg whiskey on her brother's breath. It added nausea to her discomfort. The pains stabbed deeper and harder as the young woman clutched Franz's arm and waddled into the morning chill. Glancing over her shoulder, Estelle managed a feeble wave to Jacob, who watched from the window. He remained behind to care for the couple's two sleeping toddlers. A nervous Franz helped his swollen sister into the passenger seat of the Model T Ford. As it chugged along, each bump seemed to jostle the baby farther down the birth canal—making the woman feel as if she were being ripped apart. Soon, the twenty-something blonde was at the hospital with her cries echoing down the corridor. At last, the gray haired, mustached doctor wrested the baby from her body. Estelle felt her flesh tearing as the newborn emerged. "It's a girl!" the doctor announced, lifting a membrane from the baby's face. The attending nurse stopped short, her eyes wide. "Why are you just tossing that aside? Don't you know what it means? It's the rare birth veil—the sign of a prophet!" "Nonsense," the doctor chuckled, holding up the wailing infant for Estelle to see. "It's just part of the amniotic sac." Despite her pain and blood loss, Estelle gazed at her daughter in awe. As a child, she overheard old women discussing "the veil." One cackled that her father, a Navy captain during the War Between the States, had carried a veil aboard his ship. "They're supposed to bring good luck," the stoop-shouldered woman said, clutching her cane. "Those born with the veil are gifted with second sight into the spiritual world." At the time, Estelle believed that. Now it was like a prophecy fulfilled in her own daughter. Indeed, this baby would see wonders and understand great mysteries.
Flora Reigada is a wife, mother and grandmother, who loves cats, clouds, church and pizza—not necessarily in that order. Her writing career includes twenty years as a correspondent for the Florida Today newspaper and other publications. She continues to write for Senior Life newspaper. She has authored numerous books and published articles. Here is a guest blog she recently wrote for http://whispersinpurple.com Editing errors, rewrites, and other writing stuff . . . She was mad as a march hair. Light streamed in through tall widows. Those are examples of errors I have observed in published and soon-to-be-published material. The first, paraphrased from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," should of course be, "She was mad as a March hare." The second, "tall widows" rather than windows, is an example from my own work. Thankfully, the mistake was caught in time by my hubby/editor "Ol' Eagle Eye." I shudder to think how many have escaped our notice. Those we've found have often given us a good laugh. I'm hoping that the errors I highlight in this blog will do the same for others. But maybe they will encourage fellow writers to do something my mistakes teach me: reread and rewrite, until I get it right. The following error almost made me a laughing stock. Jesus, Mary and …Stanley??? One click of a computer's mouse can "spell" disaster and humiliation. It almost did for me after I gave my inspirational thriller, The Face Behind the Veil, a final going-over before e-mailing it to my publisher. At the last minute, I decided to change a character's name from Joseph to Stanley. In a split second, this "global change" was made throughout the three-books-in-one, 600 page manuscript, which traces the legend of the birth veil through three generations. That was the only alteration I made after the book was edited. Confident it was error-free, I clicked "send" and off it went. It wasn't long before I received the galley for my approval, so the printing process could begin. Weary of the seven-year project, I almost didn't review the galley. But something in me couldn't let it go. That must have been Providential. Imagine my surprise when I discovered how the name change I made, affected a scene where the Christmas story is told. In horror, I read the following. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Stanley, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Stanley her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Stanley, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost … Then Stanley being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife" (Matthew 1:18-20, 24). After getting over my initial shock, I made the necessary changes. Now I can laugh about this incident, but it taught me something important. Although I love the convenience and speed of modern technology, editorial changes are best made the old fashioned way, one at a time and with a pair of discerning human eyes.