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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!

Poetry Friday ~ Grace & Style

15 Nov

I’m always striving to be a better writer. My goal is to make sure my writing is the best it can be. I want every book I publish to be better than the one before.

Writing every day is a good way to realize my goals. Reading every day is also extremely important. I used to read only books in my favorite genres, but now I read books of all genres because I realized that they help with the different aspects of my writing. I used to read only books by famous, proven writers, but I’ve learned that there are excellent indie writers out there. I read more indie books than ever now and truly enjoy them.

I’ve also discovered some helpful and informative books that have helped me grow as a writer. I will be sharing some of those with you today.

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

DeSalvo describes the work habits of successful writers (among them, Nobel Prize laureates) so that readers can use the information provided to develop their identity as writers and transform their writing lives. DeSalvo skillfully and gently guides writers to not only start their work but immerse themselves fully in the process and create texts they will treasure.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White is a classic. Reviews all those rules you should only break if you have a really good reason.

Good Prose—like Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style—is a succinct, authoritative, and entertaining arbiter of standards in contemporary writing, offering guidance for the professional writer and the beginner alike. This wise and useful book is the perfect companion for anyone who loves to read good books and longs to write one.

There are of course many more writing books out there but these are informative and beneficial to new writers as well as experienced ones.

I write from the heart
Through the darkness of genres
I purge my sorrows

To all my writing friends participating in NaNoWriMo Happy Writing and may the Muse be with you!

Poetry Friday ~ Spell & Treat

25 Oct
Vashti Q-the writer next door-Vashti Q-poetry friday-tanka-spell-colleen chesebro-poetry challenge

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

Spell and Treat are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

I dance around flames
Outstretched arm cast magic charm
But now you’re the witch
making me forget my name
Your sweet, sweet love is to blame

Poetry Friday-Friyay-Vashti Q-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-tanka-poetry

I hope you enjoyed the Tanka. I used magic charm and sweet as synonyms for spell and treat. Thanks for the visit!

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-tanka-I put a spell on you

Have fun
and be safe!

Poetry Friday ~ Instagram

9 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome to The Writer Next Door (Blog).

I’m Vashti Quiroz-Vega (Vashti Q).

 

Let’s talk about Instagram. I joined Instagram a while ago but I created the account, managed to post some pictures and then never looked at it again for months. There was a lot going on in my life at the time and I couldn’t handle another social media site. I’ve gotten a lot more involved on Instagram in the last few months and I plan to stick with it, because it’s actually a great site. Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert. I’m still learning and making mistakes left and right but I’m beginning to catch on. I just discovered how to do an Instagram story and I’m having some fun with that.

I love photography and art, so at first, I had joined Instagram to look and share beautiful and interesting photos and art. Now, I realize that Instagram is a lot more than just a gallery for pretty pictures.

Did you know that Instagram has been around for about 9 years already? Did you know that influencers are charging up to $100,000 for a sponsored post?

Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are also used on Instagram and posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement. As authors, we know the importance of engagement. And speaking of authors, Instagram is now the new social media place for writers. It’s a place where creativity and bookworms abound. So here are:

10 Instagram Tips for Writers | Jane Friedman

Instagram-writers-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-poetry_Friday-author-book_cake

Book cake from the launch party of ‘A Touch of Gold‘ by Annie Sullivan

Also check out, 25 Instagram Facts That You Want To Know – PastBook

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Instagram-Bookstagram-author-writers-poetry

As authors, it is extremely important for our work to be seen. What’s the point of writing books if no one knows about them or reads them? I believe we can gain visibility, followers, and increase sales by being active on social media and my favorite sites right now are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

If you haven’t joined Instagram yet, give it a try.

Check out my Instagram and follow if you like.


UPDATE:

I’m done with the first draft of The Rise of Gadreel! Yay! I’m busy doing my first round of edits. I’ll probably do one more round of edits after this one, before I send it to my beta readers.

Here’s today poem for Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Prompt Challenge. It’s the first challenge of the month, so it’s ‘Poet’s Choice of Words’.

BOOK

See me, read me, please!

I was written in her blood

for your enjoyment.

Unread I’m not a story.

Reading me will make me live.

The Rise of Gadreel-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-Fantasy_novel-ghosts-witches-medieval times-magick

I’d like your opinion on my WIP’s title, The Rise of Gadreel. What do you think? Is the title interesting, intriguing? You can be completely honest.

 

Poetry Friday ~ HOME

19 Jul

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

Poetry_Friday-vashti quiroz vega-vashti q-colleen chesebro-tanka_Tuesday-poetry

 

FOR THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH POETRY CHALLENGE COLLEEN CHESEBRO WANTS US TO TRY SOMETHING NEW – A PHOTO PROMPT!

**USE THE ABOVE PHOTO AS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR POEM. ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS AND TELL A STORY. BE CREATIVE! WHAT DOES THIS PHOTO SAY TO YOU?

 

“Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.”

~Vernon Baker

 

 

Home Is Where We Love

Beyond the black door

there are rooms and furniture

tastefully arranged

A home built with love and dreams

The sweetest sort of heaven

 

“There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.”

~Robert Southey

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-home-poem-home is where the heart is-the writer next door

Poetry Friday ~ Pretty & Ugly

12 Jul

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. 

 

 

Did you know that the average life of a butterfly is around two weeks? Some species only live a day or two and other species are capable of living around nine months. It makes me sad to think that such a beautiful creature’s life is so short.

On the other hand, Cockroaches are filthy, immortal scavengers that are unaffected by radiation. In a post-apocalyptic world, it will be these dirty little critters that survive. Okay, they’re not really immortal but when you read facts like: a roach can live a week without its head, you begin to wonder. The truth is that as long as there is shelter and food, cockroaches can comfortably live in a home or business for years, creating massive infestations.

Anyway, the average moth can live up to five weeks. Some people see moths as the butterfly’s ugly cousin. I’m not sure that’s true, since I’ve heard of some species of moths that are quite beautiful.

This week’s poem is a double Tanka. I hope you enjoy.

 

Poetry_Friday-envy-butterfly-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Tanka_Tuesday-Colleen Chesebro

 

Pride & Envy

As a butterfly

you wore your wings high with pride

looking down on worms

forgetting what you once were

a crawling caterpillar

No plain butterflies

just lovely flowers in flight

while the moth looks on

Counting the days to their end

Death comes in a week or two

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-poem-tanka-pride-envy

 

Pretty and Ugly are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read. I appreciate it. Have a great day!

Poetry Friday ~ Influence & Perception

21 Jun

Poetry_Friday-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-Tanka Tuesday-Colleen Chesebro-Poetry

Welcome, everyone! Thank you for visiting.

Influence and Perception are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

tanka tuesday-colleen chesebro-poetry challenge-Poetry-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q

When your soul is bared

the judgment of others is

so often unfair.

Don’t let their opinions

control the way you reason.

You’re criticized by

what makes you unique––

opinions, not facts. 

You know you’re doing something

right when people are talking.

beach reads-summertime-Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Tanka_Tuesday-poetry