The Heart of the Matter

by J. E. Pinto



At a recent house party, a close family friend and her two daughters decided to teach me how to play Spades. I have a deck of printed playing cards with braille numbers and suits embossed on a pair of upper and lower diagonal corners, so we could all enjoy the game together.


Everybody definitely played to win, but the four of us laughed till we almost cried throughout the entire game. We learned some valuable life lessons:


Moms have no hearts. Neither do kids. Hearts are overrated anyway.


Spades are not at all useful for digging up diamonds if there are no diamonds to dig up in the first place.


Clubs are sometimes very useful even when a person has no violent intentions whatsoever.


But the funniest moment in the game happened when one of the girls told her sister, “Hey, I can see all your cards. If you’re going to spread them out, point them the other way, toward Miss Jo. She won’t look at them.”


In the next second, her mom said, “Oh my gosh, Jo! I just hid my cards from you as you walked past me, like you could see them!” Then she burst out laughing and added, “Sometimes I forget you’re blind!”


Which is just fine with me. My friend remembers my disability when she needs to. Earlier during the party, she made sure to mention that the strawberry cream cheese had a plastic lid on it and the veggie kind had a foil top. That way I wouldn’t end up with a strawberry onion bagel or a veggie cinnamon raisin one by mistake. But she doesn’t let my blindness consume our interactions, and sometimes–*gasp*–we can even laugh about it.


I don’t know when I’ve laughed lately as much as I did at that house party. It felt great. I think everyone on earth could use an afternoon of relaxation and a few good belly-laughs. I’m glad when I can help make that happen, at least for my little corner of the world.




New Release 2019…


Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car:

True Tales of Parenting in the Dark

by Jo Elizabeth Pinto



“So Sarah?” the teacher asked, in a question I had rehearsed with her, “what’s it like to have a blind mom?”

“Well,” my little girl said, in an unrehearsed answer, “it’s like a regular mom, except Daddy won’t let her drive his car.”

With that nonchalant reply in front of her second grade class, Sarah summed up the  way my blindness has fit into the fabric of our family. It isn’t a problem; it isn’t even a novelty; it’s just part of how we roll. My blindness has changed a few practical logistics. But in the end, kids are kids and moms are moms, and the dents and delights of parenthood are universal. As I told my daughter when she was very small, putting an only slightly different spin on the words my mom had said to me thirty years before, “The eyes in my face are broken, but the ones in the back of my head work just fine.”

“Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car: True Tales of Parenting in the Dark” is a book of short vignettes—most of them lighthearted, a few more serious—about my life as the blind mom of a sighted daughter. Welcome to my journey!


Paperback: $9.99

Kindle: $2.99




J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame

for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.


Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works

as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.


The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational

Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place

for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.”


To buy her books please visit:  http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

For interviews and more visit her Author Website:  www.brightsideauthor.com.



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