Thursday, August 3, 2017


     Ernestine was determined to paddle her own canoe, and paddle it she did, no matter how turbulent the waters.  There had been that December 24th in Coral Gables when Mother found herself without funds for a Christmas dinner. "It doesn"t matter, Mom," said Janeth, my teenage sister.  "Let's just have whatever's on hand."  Ernestine—or Jeeves, her name for her subconscious mind—came up with an ingenious solution: she bought canned goods at a market where she had credit, then returned them to another store for a "refund."  She would laughingly confess in the distant future, but at the time, Janeth had no idea where the windfall had come from.
From "Training the Subconscious Mind" by Ernestine Cobern Beyer: 
      Writing for children is pleasant work but not particularly remunerative.  Nevertheless, I continue at it because it is, I think, what I am supposed to do, what I am capable of doing.  The good Lord created the lark that soars and sings in the sky‑‑and  also, the cricket that chirps in the grass.  What matters most to me is that I often feel, as I take dictation from Jeeves, that I am in touch with something outside of myself. 

Ernestine with her first book, Happy Animal Families
     `There is one mind common to all men,' said Emerson, who compared our individual minds to the inlets in an ocean of universal Mind.  Edison, too, believed he got his ideas from a source outside himself.  `Ideas are in the air,' he said.  Reading along these lines, I grow more and more interested in what I cannot see, touch, hear, smell and taste.   I am intrigued by what my five senses cannot tell me.  I ponder the mystery of man's mind, yearning to comprehend.  I guess you might say I am busy, trying to unscrew the unscrutable!"         
               A beauty beyond all believing
               Has startled my eyes:
               The sight of a falling star cleaving
               The slumbering skies.         
               A flash!  Then the heavens absorb it.
               I sigh in the night,
               And think of my life's fettered orbit‑‑
               And the wonder of flight.
     The next two decades were busy and productive. Ernestine Beyer wrote several books for children, appeared regularly in all the popular children's magazines, and won several awards from The National League of American Pen Women.
     In her older years, my mother gave lectures in schools and libraries on the subject "Training the Subconscious Mind." In these talks, she introduced her audiences to the magic of Jeeves and other inner voices. For example, she told her listeners: 
     "Not long ago Pamela Travers remarked on television: `I did not write the Mary Poppins story. I
listened and took down what I heard.'
     "This is a common experience to authors, artists, inventors, and others engaged in creative efforts. The subconscious mind never rests, once it receives a project from the conscious mind, but continues to work tirelessly while you sleep. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho‑cybernetics, declares: 'You must learn to trust your creative mechanism and not `jam' it by becoming too concerned or too anxious as to whether it will work or not, or by attempting to force it by too much conscious effort. You must let it work, rather than make it work.'"
Update, 4/26/2015
Today I discovered this review six years ago of my activity book, Read Me a Rhyme, Please, when I searched the title on Amazon. bbm
Enchanting poetry for all ages
on April 21, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As a child of (almost) twelve, I read a most imaginative poem entitled, "The Laughing Willow" in a children's magazine. Written by Ernestine Cobern Beyer (4 August 1893 - 13 Dec 1972), it tells of a misbehaving young willow tree, that will not weep despite the efforts of its melancholy family. That endearing poem is included in this book for children, which also offers instructions for teachers & students on the creative process of writing rhyming poetry. Compiled by Ernestine's daughter, author Barbara Beyer Malley, it contains some (but not all) of the delightful works written by this award winning yet little known American treasure. The poetry of Ernestine Cobern Beyer stands up well to all the better known rhyming poets of this day, as well as the classics of past masters, as her work is of the same caliber of excellence & timelessness. If you possess a strong sense of wonder & whimsy, (or want to:) I highly recommend it!

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