Poetry Friday

5 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.👋😀

This week we choose our own syllabic form and a chakra color to feature in our poem.

Yesterday was my birthday. As some of you know, the last 3 years were extremely challenging for me, and I’m lucky to be alive and well. So this birthday was a special one. I didn’t do anything special, there was no fancy dinner, lavish gifts or extravagant party, but I felt reborn. I also felt grateful and blessed, not only to be alive, but to be able to do the things I love like writing, reading, blogging, among other things. This is nothing short of a miracle, and I thank God every day for my life.

For this week’s Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge I chose the Chakra color green to include in my poetry. I chose green because it’s the color of Harmony and Health.💚

I chose to write a Cinquain:

I live 
I’m in the green
free to love, laugh, and sing
Nature’s color renewed my mind
I’m me

🌸Thanks for coming by! I hope you enjoyed the post.🌸

My Friday Post

8 Jul

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since I posted anything here. I apologize for that. I’d been dealing with certain issues—problems that interfered with my ability to write or blog. Things are improving, and I have begun writing again. I’m currently working on my next book, a crime thriller. If you’re an author and have written a crime thriller I would appreciate any advise or tips you care to leave in the comments below.

I had hoped that the first post on my blog would be a cheery one, but I was compelled to speak out on the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. Let me start by saying, I’m a Christian. I’ve never had an abortion; on the contrary, my husband and I tried for years to conceive a child and never did. I have worked in the OB/GYN field of medicine for years and witnessed how some women used abortions as if it were a type of “Planned Parenthood.” They’d come in every few months with, “Oops, my bad. I got pregnant again.” Giggles. Well, it wasn’t funny to me. Having an abortion is not a form of contraceptive. On the other hand, I also witnessed twelve and thirteen year olds forced by their religious parents to carry a baby to full term despite the danger on the pregnant child, “Because it’s God’s will.” Some of those girls were raped by family members. We had a thirteen-year-old who had placenta accreta, almost hemorrhaged to death after giving birth, and had to have her uterus removed.

I also watched as some women gave birth to baby after baby without being financially or mentally fit to do so. I actually heard one woman say, “As long as the government keeps payin’ for them, I-ma keep popin’ them out.” Her four kids were wearing rags that hardly fit, ran around the waiting room like little wild animals, touching everything, one of them was sneezing and coughing on everyone (including other pregnant women), and they were all screaming at the top of their lungs. Meanwhile, she sat reading a magazine while everyone else looked after her kids. She didn’t seem to have a maternal bone in her body, but yet she kept having kids for the rest of us to support. I know it isn’t PC to say these things, but it’s the truth.

I remember another case in which a woman insisted on carrying her pregnancy to term, although, her doctor advised against it. She had a condition and a pregnancy would complicate the disorder or cause her and/or her baby to die. She wanted a child so badly she decided to chance it. She gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl and immediately began to wither away. Despite her doctors doing everything they could, even ordering medication for her from Europe and paying for it out of their own pockets, she died before her baby turned six months old.

I’ve witnessed these things and will carry them with me for the rest of my life. And because of everything I’ve experienced, I am extremely confused and don’t know how to feel about abortions. But there’s one thing I know for sure; the overturning of Roe vs. Wade is a step backward for all women. A basic right was taken away from us.

Although I never had an abortion and at this point in my life never will; I still feel that no one has the right to take that choice away from other women. After all, if God gave human beings free will so that we may choose our own way, who are these people to take that right away? God must hate many of the choices we make, but he still allows us to make them.

I welcome all opinions. Please feel free to comment on whatever you’d like in the comment section below. Thank you for visiting my blog and have a fabulous day.

Poetry Friday ~ Healing

3 Sep

Hello, everyone! Welcome.

I’ve been struggling with medical issues for a while now. It’s been hard. I’m seeing several doctors, and I’m hopeful that my medical problems will be resolved in the near future. Meanwhile, I’m taking a hiatus from blogging and social media in order to focus on my health. You’ll probably see me pop in and out of social media, I don’t think I can stay away 100%, but it won’t be like before. I haven’t had the energy or focus to do the things I enjoy doing.

I need some time to heal and when I do I’ll be back in full force. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I will soar, laugh, and smile . . .

I will go back to a time

Before you came

Knocking at my door.

—Ashley Hyde

Poetry Friday ~ Theme Prompt

30 Jul

Welcome to my blog, everyone!

It’s the fourth week of the month! Are you ready for a theme prompt? Donna Matthews from D J Ranch.org picked the theme:

EXPEDITION

***

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

~Emily Dickinson

This week I chose to write a Shadorma (syllabic poem with a 3-5-3-3-7-5 sequence) about the transcendent powers of reading, inspired by one of Emily Dickinson’s poems.

I opened

a book and entered.

The words spread

out their wings,

and took me on a journey

far from where I’ve been.

********************

NOTE:

My short story Memoir of a Mad Woman is on sale for 99¢ through the weekend. You can get your copy here.

BLURB:

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… 
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

Thank you for your visit! I hope you enjoyed the post.

Poetry Friday ~ Mermaid

23 Jul

Hello, my friends! Welcome.

Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge

Colleen says: This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Annette Rochelle Aben from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge. Remember, it’s not so much about describing what’s in the photo. Look beyond the obvious to find new meaning.

Photo by Annette Rochelle Aben

MERMAID

Don’t mistake songs in the wind for wind songs

Don’t confuse figures out at sea, that

sit on distant rocks for sea lions

She dwells where worlds hide in the

deep, and emerges to

the wild call of the

running tide to

warn us, “let

the seas

be”

photo by Sandra Bittmann

If it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
Unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.

Have a great weekend and never give up on shooting for the stars!

Poetry Friday ~ Poet’s Choice

9 Jul

Hello, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to your day!

Poet’s Choice! It’s the first of the month and that means we choose our own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to us!

If you’d like to participate check out Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge here.

Even the lone writer who has wandered this far into summer with her books, notepads, laptop case knocking her knees—even she wishes to enjoy the warmth of the sun caress her skin, feel the fresh seasonal showers wash away concerns, hear the songs in the breeze on sultry summer evenings.

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.”
—Sylvia Plath

Thank you for stopping by!

Book Reviews

25 Jun

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

Today I’d like to share reviews of an eclectic group of books I’ve read lately. I’ve enjoyed reading since I was a child, and I have my favorite “go to” genres, but through the years, I’ve diversified my reading. I figured life as a whole has romance, horror, suspense, thrilling events . . . and reading different genres gives me insight into all aspects of life. With this knowledge, I can ground my fiction in reality and also add an extra layer to my stories.

PhotJo

My first review is of a children’s book titled Oskar’s Quest by Annika Perry. You can get a copy of it here.

BLURB:

Oskar is afraid of adventures. Yet one day he finds himself on a mysterious island which needs his help. Join Oskar on this unexpected and magnificent quest, where he finds not only courage but so much more. Perfect for ages 3 to 6.

MY REVIEW:

What a lovely picture book! This marvelous children’s book is filled with beautiful and colorful illustrations and is a riveting story. 

Oskar is an adorable little bird that was frequently afraid. The other birds often teased him calling him “Scaredy-bird.” One day, he got lost on his way home and landed on a beautiful flower on an enchanted island. The flower cried in sorrow because the island’s most exquisite songbird, Maya, had been kidnapped by an enormous, ominous cloud. Although Oskar felt fear, he decided he would rescue Maya, anyway. 

In the end, Oskar conquered his fears, rescued Maya, and befriended the scary cloud. I loved this sweet, compelling story, and the amazing illustrations added to my joy. 

I recommend this book to parents who want their kids to learn to triumph over their fears, feel for others, and make new friends.

I wrote the next review for Book 4 of author Yvette M. Calleiro‘s Chronicles of the Diasodz series. There are five books in the series and including this one I’ve read four of the five. I’ve enjoyed each book more than the last. You can check out all five books here.

BLURB:

Rafe has successfully rescued Sofia from his enemies and has brought her home. He is excited about Sofia meeting their father and joining the Raizyns in their fight against the Diasodz. Unfortunately, bringing Sofia home does not have the effect he had hoped for. In the process of trying to bring his family together, he may have discovered a reason to tear them apart.

When Sofia awakens, she discovers that her life has been uprooted once again, and this time she is in more danger than she has ever been. Sofia’s only focus is on finding a way to escape and get back to Ar’ch, but leaving Rafe becomes more difficult when she realizes that not everything is as it seems.

Damiana is furious when she learns that her daughter has been brought home. Her plans to use Sofia as a secret weapon within the Diasodz compound is destroyed with Rafe’s meddling. Despite the setback, Damiana knows that she still has the upper hand, but her control is tested when even more secrets are exposed.

Each of them believes that she/he knows who the true savior of their people is, but when the truth is revealed, how will they handle it? And whose side will the savior support? The stakes have never been higher for the Raizyns, and Damiana plans to make sure that the savior is on their side no matter what it takes.

MY REVIEW:

The One Revealedis the fourth installment of author Yvette M. Calleiro’s Chronicles of the Diasodz. I’ve read the last three books in the series and enjoyed them very much, but this book is my favorite so far. 

In this story, Rafe rescues his half-sister, Sophia, from the Diasodz. He thought he was doing something great only to find out that Sophia resented him for taking her away from the people she loved. Frustrated and confused, Rafe continued to try to convince his sister that she was where she ought to be—with her true family. Meanwhile, while Ar’ch and Angel search desperately for Sophia, Drake was changed by the love he has for his children and became more and more in opposition with the queen of the demons while Mel was trying all measures to save her mother from the diabolical Damiana. 

I enjoyed the narratives from both the Diasodz’s and Raizyns’s viewpoints. The character development was superb and revealed much about the main characters. There are many secrets, twists, and truths exposed. The book was filled with so much action and intrigue it was hard to put down. 

I would have gladly given this book a five-star rating, but there were too many typos to ignore, which surprised me because the other books in the series did not. That being said, it was still an engaging read, and my favorite book in the series so far. I can’t wait to read book five, The One Awakened.

The last book review I wrote was for a book by award-winning horror writer Ken Stark. This is the first book in his Zombie Apocalypse Series. I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy. You can check out his books here.

BLURB:

Blindness is just the beginning.
Once the virus strips away everything remotely human, all that’s left is a mindless, savage predator.

Finalist, Fiction Horror – 2018 International Book Awards
Bronze Medal, Fiction Horror – 2017 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards
Official Selection: Horror – 2018 New Apple Summer E-Book Awards

From multi-award-winning, horror writer, Ken Stark, comes a pulse-pounding, post-apocalyptic zombie novel that will keep you pumped up until the very last page. For fans of World War Z, The Last of Us, and The Walking Dead. 

MY REVIEW:

I’m a huge fan of the horror genre. I especially enjoy character driven zombie stories like this one. 

The story begins with the main character, Hank Mason (aka Mace), on his flight home from what should have been a couple’s retreat, but instead, he was on his own. He had one too many scotches to get over being dumped and passed out. He woke up with a terrible headache and a sense that things were not right. The big guy in the seat next to him was sobbing, and many of the passengers were yelling and fighting. Eventually, he found out that sometime during the flight while he was asleep, everyone on the plane had lost their sight, including the flight attendants and pilots. 

When one of the flight attendants realized that he was the only person on the plane that wasn’t blind, she took him to the cockpit, and with direction from the blind pilots, he lands the plane safely. 

Mason was suffering from a terrible hangover and decides to sit at a bar at the airport terminal. From where he sat, he could see the passengers from his flight exhibiting some strange behavior. He watched the big guy who sat next to him on the flight bite someone trying to help him. Disgusted by what he had witnessed but not really thinking much about it, he goes home. 

When Mason arrives home, he continued drinking, deciding to vegetate at home for a few days. When he finally leaves his apartment—a week later—he finds the world in chaos. The city was overrun by crazed, flesh-eating creatures that were once regular people. These creatures were blind but had a heightened sense of hearing. 

When Mason tries to escape the city, he runs across a ten-year-old girl named Mackenzie. She was blind, and he watched her groping the walls of a building while moving as silently as a guppy with a group of crazies following a few feet behind. He knew it would not be long before she made a little more noise, and the monsters would hear her and attack. Mason couldn’t leave her behind and rescued her, taking her under his wing from that moment on, even knowing that she was blind and might soon turn into one of them. The little girl, whom he called Mack, was searching for her aunt. Mason didn’t think it was likely that her aunt had survived out in the open by herself but decided to delay his escape out of the city to look for the girl’s aunt at the hospital where she worked. Mack and Mace developed a strong bond very quickly. They helped each other as they navigated through the city. 

Ken Stark is an undeniably skillful writer, and I enjoyed the story. That being said, this was 200+ high-velocity pages of nonstop chase, fighting, near deaths, attacks . . . . It was at times exhausting for me. I could have used a little breather between some of the action, and more downtime where we could have seen Mace and Mackenzie’s relationship develop into what it became. Also, the last quarter of the book felt rushed. The ending left me wanting more, too. Despite these things, I did enjoy the book and look forward to reading more books by this author.

I recommend this book to fans of horror and zombies who enjoy a scary story that whizzes along. 

Thanks for the visit!

Poetry Friday ~ Poet’s Choice

4 Jun

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

Happy JUNE! It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Word Crafters can choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to us! Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge!

Today, I will be sharing my review of Colleen Chesebro’s book, ‘Fairies, Myths, & Magic: A Summer Celebration,’ and I will also be sharing a couple of her poems from the book.

The Magical Tree by Colleen Chesebro
In Spring—
the Lady wears a crown of
yellow blossoms
whose sweet scents tease and tantalize
on warmer days soon to be.

By Summer—
her Majesty dons her most
beautiful apparel
with leaves a bright verdant green
shiny with midsummer dreams.

In Autumn—
the Lady shows us her splendor
whose bright orange leaves herald
the darkness of another winter slumber.

In Winter—
her Majesty lays naked
barren leaves shed like tears
awaiting the hope of a new year.
Blooms heavy with dew—
stretch toward the rosy dawn,
spiritual bliss.
Fairy nymphs hover and flit,
spreading their magic for you.

My Review:

This book is a collection of entertaining poems and short stories along with interesting facts about fairies and magic. The author also shares her own beliefs and experiences, which makes this book delightfully unique.

Author and poet Colleen Chesebro includes a varied selection of poetry styles inspired by magic, fays, and the summer solstice. Some of the stories and poems will make you laugh while others will inspire you, enchant, and even haunt you.

Although I enjoyed all the stories and poems in this book, “The Leaving” and “Halloween Havoc” were two of my favorite stories, and “The Magical Tree,” was one of my much-loved poems.

I recommend this book to lovers of fairies, magic, nature, poetry, and engaging stories.

***

Colleen Chesebro has a new book out called Word Craft: Prose & Poetry: The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry Check it out! Colleen is an expert when it comes to writing syllabic poetry, so if you’d like to learn more click on the link and get your copy. I got mine!

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a fabulous day!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt #Etheree

21 May

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

It’s the third week of the month! Time for an Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt from Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge

This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). When you write poetry based on a painting or photograph, we work with symbolism and metaphors. This week, don’t just describe what you see in the image. Check out How to Write Ekphrastic Poetry and apply some of the techniques used in the article to your own poem.

Trent McDonald from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m sharing an Etheree poem today.

Gentle drops, like a myriad of thoughts

gather in streams, tumbling recklessly

down a vagrant course to begin

its journey toward its end,

crashing on moss-strewn rocks

Its song vibrating

deep in the earth

no one can

stop the

flow

Thank you for stopping by!

Poetry Friday ~ Gadreel

7 May

Hello everyone! Today, I have an interesting guest on my blog. Her name is Gadreel and she is the main character in my latest novel The Rise of Gadreel. She has written a poem for us but before we get to that I have a few questions I’d like to ask her.

Character Interview

Vashti:

Hello Gadreel! Welcome. I’m so happy you could join us today.

Gadreel:

Greetings. I am delighted to be here.

Vashti:

Let’s get right to it, okay? Tell us about your home, Floraison.

Gadreel: (She frowns. She gives me a wounded look and then lowers her eyes to the floor)

Floraison is no longer my home, for I was cast out along with Lilith, Lucifer and the rest of the rebel angels.

Vashti:

Oh––yes, I’m sorry. (I squirm on my seat) If it’s too difficult for you to talk about it, it’s––

Gadreel:

Apologies. It is for this reason I was invited, so I shall answer your question. Although, there are no words to fully describe Floraison, none that humans can understand. I shall do my best. Firstly, there are three realms of Heaven: Heaven Most High where God resides, Metá Heaven, and Floraison, the lowest realm of Heaven where God chose to place his angels. Different dimensions separate these realms and only God travels between them as He pleases.

There was no need for a sun, moon or stars to give Floraison light. God’s splendor lit the lowest realm, and the skies were beautiful beyond compare. There was no true darkness where the angels lived. In Floraison’s unit of time there was brillante, when the light was at its most intense and nightglow when at its dimmest.

There were many trees and meadows adorned with colorful flowers that emitted fragrances evoking happiness and vigor. Magnificent creatures abounded, large and small––perfect in every way and pleasing to the senses. Some of these creatures were prototypes for beings God created on different planets, and others were unique to Floraison.

The River of Life, a pure river with crystalline healing waters, flowed between realms and proceeded from God’s throne room.

(She stopped and gazed at me with doleful eyes that made my heart ache a little)

Vashti:

It’s okay, Gadreel. I think we get the picture––Floraison is a celestial paradise. You mentioned that there was no true darkness in heaven, so what was it like the first time you experienced night on Earth?

Gadreel: (She shivers and wraps her arms around herself)

When I fell from heaven I landed in a hot area of grasses and small dispersed trees. The sunlight was harsh and glaring and singed my angelic skin. There was no shade or area to escape from it. The heat enveloped me and the air was so dense I had to drag it into my lungs. I hated this new environment, but nothing prepared me for night.

It was like I disappeared. I could not see my hands in front of my face. It was like not existing, but yet living. I felt like God no longer saw me and that made my heart very heavy. I never felt farther from my home.

The grasslands came to life at night with unfamiliar noises. I heard a sharp, thrilling call overhead, the leaping and bounding of fleet-footed creatures avoiding predators on the ground, and all manner of growls, clicks, and hoots. An eerie, cold sensation crept into my bones. I curled into a tight ball and trembled in the darkness.

Vashti:

That sounds awful. I won’t be alone in the dark any time soon. (Awkward pause) Gadreel, did you ever see God?

Gadreel:

In Floraison there are golden double doors that opened to a portal that lead to Metá Heaven where God’s presence could be reached in His Throne Room. Only by His expressed permission could one cross this portal. I was never given permission to enter. Michael, who had entered the hall, said it was aglow with the most exquisite light ever seen. But in order to truly see God angels must elevate to Heaven Most High and that’s a difficult process.

Vashti:

You’re obviously remorseful for joining Lilith and rebelling against God and the holy angels, so why did you do it?

Gadreel: (She swallowed hard and looked down)

I never felt rebellious in my heart. I loved God and my heavenly home. Lilith was my best friend and she is a powerful influencer. She made me feel that I needed to be loyal to her––and I was also a bit afraid of her, of what she would do if I did not follow her. She also told me it was the only way for me to be with Samael and I believed this. I loved Samael and he joined Lilith and Lucifer in their rebellion. I wanted to go wherever he went, even if it meant that I would end up in hell.

Vashti:

So much has happened since the war in heaven and your fall from grace. How have you changed?

Gadreel:

I am much stronger and confident in my abilities now. I know I have done many wrongs for which I must make amends. I will seek God’s forgiveness, although I know I can never return to my home in heaven. I shall no longer ally myself with Lilith, Lucifer or Samael. I have new allies now even in the Animal Kingdom, for I have the ability to understand and communicate with them. However, I shall always miss Floraison.

Floraison by Jeff Brown

Homesickness pulls at my heart

Tossed down from Heaven

I lie broken on the earth

I know in my mind

It is not over for you see

Although the fall split my spine

I shall survive this

Long enough to make amends

I don’t belong here

but I am homesick

for a home I shall not see

Home needs a whole heart

My heart’s a thousand pieces

so homesick am I

Earth shall never be my home

I am wishing for heaven

Gadreel-fallen_angel-The Fall of Lilith-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy angels series

“There was no sun in Floraison to torture us. We had brillantes, a time of divine light, which was like the warmth of God’s smile. Here on earth, we have to endure days of glaring, fiery light, which stings our bodies and perturbs our minds. In Floraison, we had nightglows when light dimmed to a soft glow, which reminded us that God was still near. Here, we have night––the absence of light when we are left on our own. I miss our home.”

~Gadreel

Lilith, the main character from my novel, The Fall of Lilith was also interviewed by Lisa Burton (Robot Girl) of Lisa Burton Radio | Entertaining Stories. You can read that interview, here.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!