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Poetry Friday ~ Live Your Best Life!

26 Jun


“…Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time…”

It’s the fourth week of the month! Time for a theme prompt at Colleen’s 2020 Weekely Poetry ChallengePat R. from last month’s challenge picked the theme. The theme this week is the quote above taken from A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth.

Photograph by Damir Spanic

LIVE

Great men remind us

do what gives your life purpose

find your life’s passion

Our time on Earth is a gift

Live your life to the fullest

I believe I’ve found the work that gives my life purpose and passion. Writing has become part of what makes me who I am, and I eat, sleep and breathe stories. Seriously, I don’t know what my life would be like or how I would go on without writing.

That being said, I do enjoy other activities like reading, being out in nature, kayaking, drawing, photography, fashion, baking . . . I love spending time with my family and playing with my dog, Scribbles. I have an adventurous spirit and relish traveling to different parts of the world and learning about other cultures, meeting new people and trying things I’ve never tried before.

Photograph by Eirik Skarstein

Wishing everyone a fabulous day! Live your best life!

Poetry Friday ~ 2020

12 Jun

Hi, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

Photograph by Tom Barrett @wistomsin

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. Here are your two words, provided by Linda Lee Lyberg:

Nimble & Enigma

We are only allowed to use the synonyms of these words in our poems.

The Year 2020

Hey twenty-twenty

you’re tough but we are tougher

Hey twenty-twenty

you gave us a pandemic

racism, fires, and now locusts

But mankind still thrives

and there’s still time to mould you

into a good one

We’re a quick-witted species

mysterious in our ways

poetry friday-vashti quiroz vega-the writer next door-vashti q-corona virus-pandemic-2020

UPDATE: I’m still working on my edits for The Rise of Gadreel. I’m about halfway through, and it’s going great. I’m also working on the book cover and on the first draft of my next book (a thriller ya’ll!).

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Poetry Friday ~ The Merchant of Venice

29 May

Hi, everyone! It’s the fourth week of the month, which means, we get a Theme Prompt! Merril D. Smith, the winner from last month’s challenge selected a quote from Shakespeare’s A Merchant of Venice as this month’s theme. Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

This week’s theme is:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

After each good deed

no parade or accolades

Take a step higher

on heaven’s ladder until

you have reached St. Peter’s gate

I read The Merchant of Venice in high school, and I remember having mixed feelings about it. The Jewish loan shark (okay, moneylender) Shylock horrifed me with his request for a pound of flesh as payment for a loan.

Here’s a rough and short summary of the story: A man named Antonio owned a fleet of merchant ships. One day, a gold-digging friend of his, Bassanio asked him for a loan so that he could pursue a rich woman named Portia. But Antonio’s ships had not come in with his merchandise yet, so he had no money to lend him. Instead, Antonio tells his friend to ask Shylock for the loan promising that he’d pay it back once his ships return. When Bassanio asked Shylock for the loan, instead of charging extremely high rates of interest, as he usually did, the moneylender asked that a pound of Antonio’s flesh be the payment if the loan was not paid within three months.

Three months went by, and Antonio’s ships had not returned. He was told that they were lost at sea. It was time to repay the loan, but Antonio was broke. Shylock had him arrested and demanded his pound of flesh. Bassanio, now married to the heiress Portia, offered her money to pay the loan. However, Shylock held a grudge against Antonio because he considered him competition in the loan business and an anti-Semite (which he was). Shylock insisted he must be allowed to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio as per their contract.

Long story short (too late), Portia, (Bassanio’s rich wife) dressed as a lawyer (?) managed to safe Antonio’s life. She won the case against Shylock by stating that there was no mention of blood in the contract. Therefore, if he could extract a pound of flesh from Antonio without spilling any of his blood he could go ahead and do so, but if he spilled one drop of his blood he would go to jail. Of course, Shylock knew it would be impossible to cut out a pound of flesh from a man without an enormous amount of blood shed.

In the end, Shylock lost his daughter and part of his wealth to another of Antonio’s friends, and was forced to become a Christian (antisemitism). Antonio’s ships came in afterall, and he and his friends lived happily ever after with their spouses. At times, I viewed Shylock as a villain and other times as a victim. Nevertheless, The Merchant of Venice is a story worth reading.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a fabulous day!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

22 May
Photograph by Balaji Malliswamy

Hi, everyone!

Every 3rd week of the month it’s Photo Prompt time at Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. I won the last photo prompt challenge so I had the privilege of choosing this week’s photo. I chose this intriguing and somewhat scary nature photo by Balaji Malliswamy.

Colleen’s words:

Remember, a photo can be a metaphor for your poetry. Think about the mood, the theme, and the color. Think outside of the box. We know there’s a crocodile, but what else is going on here? What do you smell? What do you hear? There’s more here than meets your eye. Surprise me!

There are many movies and books that depict crocodiles as monsters, but they’re simply animals trying to survive in the wild. Here are a few fun crocodile facts:

  • Crocodiles are reptiles.
  • The physical characteristics of crocodiles make them good predators.
  • Crocodiles are fast over short distances.
  • Crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal in the world.
  • The muscles that open crocodiles jaws however are not so powerful, reasonably strong people could hold a crocodiles jaw closed with their bare hands.
  • Like other reptiles, crocodiles are cold-blooded.
  • Crocodiles can survive for a long time without food.
  • Most crocodiles live in fresh water rivers and lakes but some live in salt water.
  • Crocodiles eat a variety of fish, birds and other animals.
  • Crocodiles release heat through their mouths rather than through sweat glands.
  • The saltwater crocodile is the largest species of crocodile.
  • Some crocodile species can weigh over 1200 kg (2600 lb).

My poem today is about the most dangerous predator on the planet, man.

“I am an evil man. I do not love anyone. I wish harm to everyone and good to myself. I am an egoist. I am not God. I am a beast, a predator.”  

From The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

*

The Stalker

The silent stalker

camps outside your home and waits

Followed you all day

He claims to add balance to

your soul ’cause he’s seen your horns

Photo by Viktor Mogilat

I hope you liked the post! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy the rest of the day!

Poetry Friday ~ Transition & Harmony

15 May

Hi, everyone!

Kerfe from K. Lines That Aim To Be (Blog) chose this week’s words for Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. We can’t use the exact words. Instead, we must find synonyms to use in their place.

Transition & Harmony

Poetry Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-poem-the writer next door-Vashti Q-Tanka
Photo by Tim Marshall

Together

The world is changing

Look at the shape we are in!

Must we all adapt?

Every fight is a chance

Real gain does not come easy

Photo by Hidde Rensink

My editor informed me this morning that I’ll be getting my manuscript back this afternoon. Yay! I’m happy, excited and a little nervous. Even though she’s kept in touch sending updates every Friday, and had always said she hadn’t encountered anything mayor to correct I still can’t help feeling the jitters – that’s just me. Well, this means I will be quite busy this weekend. I can’t wait for you guys to see and hopefully read this book. It’s been the most fun to write so far, and I’m beyond excited about it.

I hope everyone is safe and healthy. Enjoy this day and the weekend, and don’t forget to count your blessings!

photo by Shane Rounce

Poetry Friday ~ The Day After

1 May

Hi, everyone! Happy 1st Day of May!

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 175, Theme Prompt. This month’s theme is: “The Day After” chosen by Elizabeth from Tea & Paper (Blog)

Photograph by Jr Korpa

The Day After

As we hike through the wounded city

We search for something live and bright

Any remnant that we once

existed in the flesh

my ghost finds nothing

except the clear

evidence

that we’re

gone.

Photgraph by Clement Falize

Brilliant scientists

experiment in lab coats

doomed us all to hell

“This is the way the world ends,

not with a bang, but a gasp.”

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but for a while now I’ve been reading about how scientists are working with microorganisms to engineer them to perform certain tasks. There’s good that could come from this, for instance, if a bacteria was to be engineered to locate and kill only cancer cells in a person’s body, leaving the healthy cells alone. If this works, other microorganisms could be used in the same way to rid the body of many diseases. Things can go horribly wrong, though. So many discoveries and inventions were made for the good of the people only to end up in the wrong hands and used for atrocities –– just ask Einstein. I know this all reads like the premise to a Sci-fi novel, but once scientists discovered how to read and map a strand of DNA they’ve been busy experimenting with things we can’t even imagine. Who knows what they’re cooking up in those labs? Like maybe a solution to the overpopulation problem no one wants to talk about. Like maybe engineer a virus that can target the old and diseased, and kill them by the thousands? That can certainly solve the overpopulation problem in the world while maintaining the young and strong safe. After all, they are the future.

Poetry Friday ~ The Night Sky

27 Mar

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Photo by Mark Basarab

It’s the fourth week of the month – time for a Theme Prompt! Last month, Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge selected Sally Cronin to pick this month’s theme:

The Night Sky

I am the night sky

you are the feverish stars

that fill up my soul

You are the night sky

I am the stars you embrace

only to help me

shimmer all the more brighter

you hold me close until dawn

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a safe and happy Friday!

Why don’t you join me on:

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/vashtiwrites/

Twitter http://twitter.com/VashtiQV

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/vashti-quiroz-vega

Poetry Friday ~ Comfort & Worn

13 Mar

Welcome, everyone! Happy Friday the 13th!

I have several topics I want to address today, and it’s going to seem random. I apologize in advance.

Firstly, let’s talk about the coronavirus and COVID- 19. Unless you’ve been vacationing on the moon you’ve heard these terms before. The coronavirus has been around for a long time. It’s the same virus associated with SARS in 2003. COVID- 19 is the disease caused by the newly identified type of coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019.

COVID- 19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Now, these symptoms are similar to the flu, and we are in flu season so if you have these symptoms call your doctor and let her know, but don’t go crazy thinking you have COVID- 19. Don’t automatically go to the ER without speaking to your doctor first because if you don’t have it the ER (emergency room) is probably a great place to catch it, and if you do have it you’ll most likely pass it on to people that are probably in a more vulnerable state than you are. Please call your doctor and act calmly.

There is no coronavirus vaccine yet. Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you’re sick.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these suggestions:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds (about a round of Old McDonald had a Farm). Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.

I’m not a doctor, but I’ve worked in the medical field closely with doctors for many years. There are a lot of nervous people out there acting in panic, and that only makes things worse for them, others and people in the medical field who are only trying to help. You can calm your nerves by simply keeping yourself informed and by applying the 3 Ps: Positivity, Preparedness, and don’t Panic.

Let’s stay positive, but prepared, and please don’t panic it only makes things worse for you and others.

I also wanted to mention that someone sent me a DM (direct message) on Twitter asking why I only feature certain people on my blog. First of all, I’m an equal opportunity blogger and always have been. I’m constantly volunteering to host people on my blog. If we know each other, and you want to be featured on my blog let me know. Contrary to what some people may believe I don’t own a crystal ball. If you’ve never asked me to feature you on my blog don’t bitch complain about not being featured on my blog.

Lastly, don’t allow anyone to influence your thinking or how you feel about another person. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Before you reject, turn your back on or completely disregard someone because another person told you to do so, think for yourself. Judge someone according to the way they’ve treated you and by their deeds. Make up your own mind who that person is. Don’t allow anyone to do that for you.

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge (Synonyms Only)

Here are the two words selected by Ruth Scribbles, winner from last month’s Syllables Only challenge:

COMFORT & WORN

Photograph by Aimee Vogelsang @vogelina

With painted on smile

she raises silent uproars

Once she brought you cheer

and kept you safe through the night

you happily held her tight

***

Now she’s forgotten

in a dusty li’l corner

wearing tattered clothes

recalling when a simple

hug could heal that broken soul

Photograph by Dominic Romero @domr_

Have a fun, safe and creepy Friday the 13th!

Photograph by Franck V. @franckinjapan

Poetry Friday & Book Reviews

6 Feb

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 163, Poet’s Choice!

Photograph by Lacie Slezak @nbb_photos

I’d like to share the latest books I’ve read and my reviews for them. Firstly, I will share my poem called Book Reviews.

I adored this book

You hated every word

This book gave me chills

but for you, it was as if

you had taken sleeping pills

***

On any one book

we may not agree, and what’s

good for you may not

be good for me. If we all

agreed how boring we’d be

Book Reviews:

Caste Metal by Fiza Pathan

Caste Metal-Fiza Pathan-short-story-book review-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q

My Review:

Caste Metal is a fascinating and powerful short story about the life of an Indian boy and his family during the year 1877.

Cacchar was a gifted boy who had taught himself how to read, but because he was born an “untouchable” outside of the Hindu caste system, he was considered “the scum of the Earth” and was meant only for a life of slavery. He was not allowed to read or even touch books or scrolls. However, Cacchar was addicted to the sacred Hindu texts and was unaware of the severe consequences if he were caught reading.

He collected books and scrolls discarded by priests. He read them every day, sitting under a holy peepul tree, which he had cultivated using his own water supply, since the tree was dying in the heat, leaving him with only animal urine and blood to quench his thirst. He loved the words of the Hindu scriptures and enjoyed reciting the holy prayers.

I was outraged by the treatment of the “untouchables” and by the brutality, depravity, and hypocrisy of the so-called “holy” priests. Who determined how the Hindu people were divided into the different castes? If you’re poor, you’re automatically an untouchable, despite your intelligence and other gifts? And it seemed hypocritical how the girls in the lowest caste had to be married off at age ten in order to prevent priests and others in higher castes from raping them. These children are seen as disgusting subhumans––untouchables––whose footprints pollute the land, but it’s okay to have intercourse with them?

Fear not; in the end, the wrongdoers get their comeuppances.

This short story is fierce and not for the faint of heart, but I believe it needed to be so. Things happened that I wish had not; however, I was satisfied with the ending. The author’s writing style is beautiful and engaging, and I loved the way she pointed out the hypocrisy of the priests and rituals in subtly sarcastic ways. Like what she wrote at the end, “It had been a long ‘holy-day’ and he needed some refreshment.” I highly recommend this short story.

Just Her Poetry by D.L. Finn

My Review:

Author D.L. Finn’s diverse poetry collection Just Her Poetry is full of reflection, creativeness, and soul searching. The book is divided into nature poetry, the seasons, poetry written by her while riding on the back of a Harley, and emotional contemplations.

I enjoyed every poem in this book; although, the poems about nature and the seasons were my favorite. The heartfelt poems in this section reflect her love of nature. It seemed the author drew inspiration from nature to impart hope. As an animal lover, I enjoyed the poems “The Dog Stare” and “The Huntress.”

The poems in the other sections were meaningful and thought provoking. One poem in particular, “Your Words,” struck a chord with me in a positive way.

D.L. Finn’s free-style poetry is genuine, vibrant, and full of imagery. Her words came to life in living color in my head, invoking a plethora of emotions. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys beautiful poetry.

2121: Twilight’s Last Gleaming by Karl Morgan

My Review:

This is a fast-paced sci-fi dystopian novel about the USA in 2121, and a group of people fighting to stay alive, trying to take back a corrupted and decaying America from crooked politicians. The issues they faced were overwhelming: starvation, global warming, terrorists, and a bankrupt Medicare system.

A fourteen-year-old Jack Kennedy and his girlfriend are forced to leave their childhood behind in order to fight for their lives and the future of America. Senior citizens are thrown out of protected areas to die. There are cities governed by cannibals while gangs and terrorists overrun others. The weather is greatly affected by climate changes, causing deadly storms and famine.

Although there was plenty of action from beginning to end, some of the fight scenes dragged a bit. I was a little confused by some of the military jargon, and there were minor editing issues. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

What I appreciated most was the characters, especially Jack Kennedy. I also enjoyed the underline messages of love, hope, and friendship throughout. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fun, fast-paced read with messages of love and hope and wonderful characters.

If you’d like to purchase any of the books on Amazon, just click on the cover image, and if you’d like to connect with any of the authors on Twitter, click on the author’s name by the book’s title. I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Happy Friday!

Poetry Friday ~ Calm & Present

17 Jan

Hi, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog.

Colleen’s Poetry Prompt Challenge. It’s the second week of the month! That means Synonyms ONLY!

Here are your two words:

“CALM & PRESENT”

Photo by Aziz Acharki @acharki95
He always soothes me
generously giving me
the best gift of all
being present in the now
securing my existence
Photo by Becca Tapert @beccatapert

Have a Happy Friday and weekend!