My book blog-hop

Hello everyone!

Tagged by the talented author, Patty Apostolides,

I am honored to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Blog Hopping offers an opportunity to discover new authors and learn about their published books or works in progress. I have to answer a few predetermined questions about the book I am working on and, at the end of my post, list the link of the wonderful young writer, Anastacia Maness who responded to my tag.

So, without further delay, here we go!     

What is the working title of your book? Sailing Toward Ithaca: A Year in the Journey, Nurturing Body and Soul  (Scroll to the end of my post to read about, and understand, the symbolism of “Ithaca.”)

Where did the idea come from for the book? An emergency hip revision left me on a wheel chair for over two months. The need to heal my body and get my life onto the right track again, propelled me to write. Journaling helped me deal with my feelings. Words flowing on the page encouraged me to eat healthy and exercise, to keep my head up and have faith and trust.

What genre does your book fall under? Nonfiction! My journey, as I grow and evolve throughout this one specific year…writing about life and my perception of it!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Come on have some fun! Pick someone!! It is about many moment-stories captured to inspire the path paved with true values, integrity and authenticity, faith and trust, all of which bring wisdom and inner growth by the time one reaches the destination point.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Nurture body and soul by connecting to what is important for a fulfilled spiritual life, shifting, at the same time, the World into a place of love and compassion.  

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Initially, self published.  

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? One year, as I followed its days and seasons.     

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I was journaling to heal my life. I am sharing my story my preoccupations, joys and pains, failures and triumphs, inviting the reader to come along in this journey to learn from my mistakes and from my knowledge.

What really pulled me through the hardships of the time was Reading. Wonderful and wise authors like Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Gary Zucav, Caroline Myss, Julia Cameron, Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn and many others opened my eyes to many new concepts and pointed me to a spiritual path, which resonated with my religious faith.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? My journal pages were asking me to give them voice. I shared poems and stories with my friends. They applauded and encouraged me. Coming again across Cavafy’s Ithaca (read more at the end of post) I was reminded that the journey itself is just as important as the destination. Many synchronicities “nudged” me to trust that it was God or the Universe guiding my steps on a path I never thought I would follow. If my story could touch even a handful of hearts, I should not be afraid to share it.

Then I “met” Jeff Goins. He was also catalytic as he forced me to believe that “I am a writer,” and it is my duty to share my story with the world. The Tribe he created gives writers such as me a voice and guidance through the process of writing and publishing. It is not only a forum to “hone” my voice but a lifetime-community of friends who guide and help me grow as a writer and human being.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s about Life. Life is life no matter who is living it. It’s a journey. Everyone and everything that crosses our way are necessary for the development of our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual states of being. Our purpose is to recognize our spiritual nature and evolve. All human beings have this need, even when we don’t recognize it.

By reading my journey, readers will see life and the world through my eyes. They will realize that by directing their journey outward, they empower ego – pride, fear, and doubt – and become one with such a world. Directing their journey inward, they will recognize their sacred aspect and trust its wisdom, connect to love, life, and the Divine. Appointing this soul as navigator, they can successfully sail through rough oceans and calm waters, ultimately becoming the spiritual beings meant to be.

 Thank you for reading about my pending book!

And now, here is the link to the wonderful young writer, Anastacia Maness. She will post next Wednesday. Check out her post and find out what she is up to!

Anastacia Maness:

These are the links of authors posting today.

Lynne Constantine

Dimitris Sarantis

Audrey Bennett

Tracy Kauffman

Marva Gregorio De Souza

More links of earlier posts:

Kelly Andria

Patty Apostolides

C. DionysiosDionou

Bryan Mooney

Stephanie Nikolopoulos

Thank you for visiting me! I do hope you enjoyed yourself! (Scroll a little further  to read about, and understand, the symbolism of “Ithaca.”)


Posted by: Katina Vaselopulos

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca

pray that the road is long,

full of adventure, full of knowledge.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:

You will never find such as these on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine

emotion touches your spirit and your body.

The Lestrigonians and the Cyclops,

the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,

if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not set them up before you.


Pray that the road is long.

That the summer mornings are many, when,

with such pleasure, with such joy 

you will enter ports seen for the first time;

stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase fine merchandise,

mother-of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

and sensual perfumes of all kinds,

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

visit many Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from scholars.


Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better to let it last for many years;

and to anchor in the island when you are old,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.


Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.

Without her you would have never set out on the road

She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.

Wise as you have become, with so much experience,

you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

                                        Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

                                        Translation by George Barbanis

Cavafy’s “Ithaca” has been one of my favorite poems since I first read it as a teenager. The older I get, the more I appreciate the depth and wisdom contained in a few verses

A few summers ago in Greece, when I stumbled again on “Ithaca,” I believed it was a sign.  It seemed the perfect “coincidence” to rethink this book, the perfect beginning, since both regard journeys.

“Ithaca” draws from a Greek poet, Constantine Cavafy, who grew up in Hellenistic Alexandria. He was  influenced both by Greek themes of mythology as well as by the exotics of Egyptian bazaars.

An insightful allegory, with “Ithaca” Cavafy expresses truths and morals with great wisdom. Ithaca, the destination Ionian island of Odysseus’ journey, invites us to explore, learn, and celebrate our own journeys. It reminds us that we are never alone. We will meet many people on our way with whom we will share the joys and the pains of life.

“Your thoughts are your prayers,” Cavafy seems to be saying.  He reminds us to take fear out of life, and positively face head on whatever comes our way. Live each moment by being present, without letting thoughts take over. Only then will we have “lofty” encounters, only then will we enjoy our experiences, whether good or bad. And when we reach Ithaca, will we be wisely satisfied with life.

The beautiful verses, phrases, and ideas of the original poem are executed wonderfully in this translatio. Being Greek, however, I hear the poem in its original language. Its words and rhythm play on my heartstrings the most wonderful and sublime music.  

About the Author

Katina Vaselopulos

Originally from Greece, Katina Vaselopulos and her husband, have made their home in Chicago for the past 47 years. Their four children and nine grandchildren offer countless adventures. Katina also enjoys cooking and baking, teaching and learning, reading and writing. Her soon-to-be-published book, Sailing Toward Ithaca, takes the reader on a journey through one year of her life. She invites the readers along, to sail through life’s journey open to all possibilities and to nurture relationships with self, others, and God by striving for self-knowledge and inner growth. Other projects include What Is Cooking in Niles, a cookbook of Greek cuisine, and a thesis, “Dostoyevsky’s Major Novels: Polemics against Liberal Thought,” for which she received high honors at Northeastern University of Illinois.


  1. Thanks, Katina! I enjoyed your post and hearing the poem on the video. I can’t wait to read your book. :-)

  2. Thanks Anastacia for joining me! I am glad I picked your interest in my pending book!
    I look forward to knowing you better as well. I read you post about how you and your husband got together. A cute and funny story. May love and respect, God too, keep you together for ever.

    I am married 47 years! I am grateful that we concentrated on the srong and positive elements of our relationship, not on what was lacking. It is funny how I too have a chapter in my book about my marriage.

    God bless you and your beautiful family!

  3. Patty Apostolides

    Hi Katina,
    I love your blog with its inspirational words, poetry, pictures, and much more! What a wonderful way to share your thoughts, philosophies, and ideas with your readers!

    • Patty mou,

      You aret my very first friend I met at Twitter!
      It has been a blessing knowing you and benefiting from your wisdom and expertise!

      Thanks for visiting and reading, for always challenging and ispiring me!

      Blessings to you and your family, always!

  4. Excellent Katina.

    Please kep doing it. Can I write on your blog?

    John Kyriazoglou

    • John,

      Thanks for visiting and encouraging me!
      Of course you can write! I am here to help and learn.

      You have great wisdom to share! I will be honored!

  5. Vasiiliki

    Thank you for starting my day on this great adventure sometimes we have to remind our self there are bumps in the road to Ithaca but we have to enjoy the journey and the bumps as they come….I am so excited to read this book in Greece this summer.
    How exciting…..

  6. Vasiliki mou,

    Thank you for visiting!
    I am so glad my book review reminded you Life is indeed a adventure that presents us with challenges in order to strengthen us and mold us into spiritual beings.

    Cavafy’s Ithaca one of my favorite poems, inspires me to set Ithaca as my destination but not to forger that while getting there I must enjoy, and learn from, the joys and pains of the journey it self.

    Hopefully my book will be out by April. Aready looking forward to sharing it with you. Meanwhile, return for visits here and, please, share your own thoughts and ideas.

    May the sacredness of this season stir you heart to share love and blessings with family, friends, and strangers!

    All my best to you and your family!

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