Monday, May 16, 2016


Over the next several weeks, I'm going to be posting some fun facts about my newest book.

To see last week's post, go HERE.

Available on AMAZON for pre-order.

CHASING FIREFLIES takes place in China.

It is based off of some of my daughter's experiences while she spent a semester there teaching English.

Here's an interesting little tidbit about her time in China-- one that I incorporated into my novel.

In one of my daughter's letters, she told me about an old, decrepit bike she purchased for only 20 American dollars. It may have been an old and rusty bike, but she loved it. 

She promptly named her bike Dulcinea, even though it was really an Aldonza.
Her reference made me laugh.
Before she left for China, we watched Man of La Mancha together. We both loved it.

Here's the story behind the name, Dulcinea.

(Quotes taken from Wikipedia)

Don Quixote sees a simple peasant woman and imagines her to be the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. He falls in love with her, finding her precious.

Monument to Don Quixote and Dulcinea, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.

Don Quixote describes her appearance in the following terms:

"... her name is Dulcinea, her country El Toboso, a village of La Mancha, her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare."

However, her real name is Aldonza and in reality she is described like this:

"… I can tell you that she pitches a bar as well as the strongest lad in the whole village… She's a brawny girl, well built and tall and sturdy, and she will know how to keep her chin out of the mud with any knight errant who ever has her for his mistress. O the wench, what muscles she's got, and what a pair of lungs!"

But, Don Quixote sees her the way he wants to see her.
She is Dulcinea to him.

In the Spanish of the time, Dulcinea means something akin to an overly elegant "sweetness". In this way, Dulcinea is an entirely fictional person for whom Quixote relentlessly fights. To this day, a reference to someone as one's "Dulcinea" implies hopeless devotion and love for her, and particularly unrequited love.

Isn't that a beautiful concept?

The bike "Dulcinea" makes an appearance in CHASING FIREFLIES.

Here's the song "Dulcinea" from the Man of La Mancha movie.


Above all, CHASING FIREFLIES is a love story.

My sisters think I’m crazy.

But, I’ve never forgotten the mysterious woman from my childhood who told me Paul is the name of my one true love.
She told me to search far and wide for him.
I haven’t stopped looking ever since.

When I stumble across an article about a successful American entrepreneur named Paul who lives and works in China, I’m intrigued. When the opportunity to teach English in China presents itself on the same day, I know it’s not a coincidence.

It’s destiny.

My sisters say I’m chasing a dream.

Just like the fireflies we tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp.   Will my quest for the elusive Paul always be just short of fulfillment?

My sisters tell me it’s a fool’s errand.

Until I remind them of the day we saw the Red Bird.
The memory silences them.
The Red Bird Incident remains inarguable—and proves my search for Paul is not a silly fantasy.

I will find Paul . . . I will.


To see the next post about CHASING FIREFLIES, go HERE.


  1. Love that. IT would be nice if we all could see everyone's Dulcinean qualities instead of their Aldonza like faults. These posts are fun.

    1. Yes, I love the concept behind the name Dulcinea. Thanks for following along with these posts!

  2. I have never watched that movie! It is cute that she named it that though.

    1. I think it was made in the seventies--and it's obvious as you watch the play. But I love it. The music is beautiful and inspiring.

  3. Great post, Taylor. I love your Monday Musings and can hardly wait to read Chasing Fireflies. Seems your whole family has a lot of talent!
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. It will be coming your way very soon, as promised! Thanks for being an ARC reader. As far as talent, we don't have much, but we do appreciate talent in others!! I raised my children on musicals and they all have an appreciation for them.

  4. Love that excerpt from Don Quixote (really have to read it some day) and the concept behind "Dulcinea", I can totally relate to both.
    Don't know that movie, only saw a animated version a long time ago (that's one thing more to add to my to-do list, watch the movie).
    Also love the story of the bike, shows that she's a writer's daughter. :D

    * rides off into the sunset to fight some more windmills *

    1. The movie is amazing. It's a musical and I love the message in it.
      My daughter is a better writer than me! I hope she will publish one day. Right now she's busy raising her family, but she has many ideas for stories.
      Thanks for stopping by, Old Folkie! Great to hear from you again!