Tag Archives: Colleen Chesebro

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

21 Feb

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge: It’s the third week of the month! Time for a #PhotoPrompt

Photo Credit: Ritu Bathal

The clouds reflected the light of a full moon. For a while longer, I’ll be able to spot them at a distance, but that meant they would be able to see me, too. It’s difficult to know who’s side the moon’s on. As I searched for refuge, I moved quickly dissolving into shadows whenever I heard their creepy grunts and shrieks. The night was hot and humid making me feel sticky and sofocated. I couldn’t help thinking it might be too late for me to make it to safety tonight.

A golden light shone brightly in the distance. My heart rapped against my ribs in anticipation. It could be a safe house. I followed the light, and saw a house lit like a beacon beckoning me to come. A scream cut through the night sky followed by numerous growls. They were close. I gasped and hurried. The house seemed to bend forward like a mother trying to reach for her child to bring him to the security of her arms. If I could make it to the light I’d be safe. I heard a crash to my right, a garbage can rolled in my direction spilling its garbage and stench along the way. More growling sounds came from the gloom to my left. Behind me, I heard the unmistakable sounds of feet pounding the ground. I bolted down the bumpy uneven paving stones. Exhaustion threatened to wear me out as my legs turned to lead. They lurked in the shadows all around me. I don’t think I’m going to make it.

A

light shines

giving me

hope that I may

survive this nightmare

It guides me to safety

A house of refuge from pain

offering protection from death

by zombies in this apocalypse

Photo Credit: Yohann Libot @yohannlibot

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the post. Have a great day!

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 ~ The Circle of Life

31 Jan

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

It’s the fourth week of the month which means Colleen from, Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge will pick a theme for us to write about for this month. On the Monday before the next challenge, she’ll select someone to choose next month’s theme. 

This month’s theme is:

“The Circle of Life”

Today I’m trying a new style of poetry called Gogyōka. It is a new form of a short poem that is based on the ancient Japanese Tanka and Kodai kayo. Gogyōhka has five lines but exceptionally may have four or six. Each line should be the duration of a single breath. 

Photo by Jordan Whitfield @whitfieldjordan

From the earth
we came
and to the earth
we return

Into flowers
we shall bloom
our fragrance
shall float

in the air
and travel the world

Thank you for stopping by! Have a lovely day.

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 ~ Wild Fire

10 Jan

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Since September, 17.9 million acres of Australia have burned in one of the country’s worst fire seasons on record. That’s an area larger than West Virginia, and more than eight times the area that burned in California in 2018, the state’s most destructive year for wildfires. 

The fires have now killed at least 27 people and destroyed almost 2,000 homes. The blazes turned skies orange and made breathing the air in Sydney as bad as smoking 37 cigarettes. Those are just the impacts on people. The destruction of the country’s land and biodiversity is harder to fathom. An estimated 1 billion animals have been lost, and scientists fear long-term damage to many sensitive ecosystems. 

Though rain brought firefighters a slight reprieve Wednesday, the AP reports that hot and windy conditions that will keep the fires burning are expected to return later this week. 

It’s a disaster that’s particularly ominous: In a warming world, extreme fire events like this one will only grow more likely to occur. – Australia Fires: 7 Things Everyone Should Know About The Brushfire Disaster.

Photograph by Cris Saur @crisaur

What is happening in Australia right now is devastating. I feel terrible for the families that have lost loved ones and are suffering through this hellish brushfire disaster. The number of animals that have perished in the fire is perturbing. 1 Billion animals dead! The firefighters that are putting their lives at risk every day battling the flames are amazing. It is easy to feel helpless, especially if you live on the other side of the planet, but there are things we could do to help.

  • If you’re in Australia, Givit has a list of specific items needed by people and organizations affected by the bushfires.
  • People with emergency response training can sign up to volunteer in Queensland.
  • The World Wildlife Fund is collecting donations to restore habitats for koalas impacted by the fires.
  • You can donate to the Australian Red Cross’s fire recovery and relief fund.
  • You can also donate directly to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the Country Fire Service Foundation in South Australia, and the Country Fire Authority in Victoria.
Photograph by Mark Galer @markgaler

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 159, #Poet’sChoice

I chose to share this beautiful and heart-wrenching poem by Philip Salom dedicated to the men and women who fight these fires. Below is part one of the poem. You can read the rest of it here.

Bushfire

As if going into battle, the knapsack 
full on my shoulders, its pipe and nozzle
slung up like a rifle.
We fought along the river, seeing shrubs
explode, riddled with fire,
eerie sounds of trees shrieking
like things alive, feral, flames like faces
spilling down into the ferns.
We staggered, sick with the hammering heat,
dousing endless flames that slammed at us
like nightmares, sullen ghosts
groping at our limbs. We plunged
into that day's red thunder,
subsumed like suiciders who stare into
the rifle, gulp the flame. Individuals
meandering in something huge.
We choked in smoking semi-darkness,
shadows through the lead-coloured
air of limbo.

Now the aching blistering weight
of the knapsack pulling my shoulders.
Exhaustion worries the scorched end
of some unity: thought and action
fused into one. Sagging now,
heavier than the slopping drums
behind the tractors coming in.
We see the new men walking in
and seem to meet our earlier selves
but are more certain and more tired.
I, older than my youth, seeing these men
as if they were children.
Photograph by Liam Pozz @liampozz

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Poetry Friday ~ Give & Shake

13 Dec

Give and Shake 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.

Photo by Jaakko Kemppainen @jaakkok

The

planet

is dying

Man has planted

seeds of pollution

The world breaks and quivers

as the sun’s flames cease to burn

You’ll welcome Hell’s raging fires

when days turn to nights and our bones freeze

And December will be the cruelest month

Photo by Todd Diemer @todd_diemer

Have a great Friday the 13th!

Poetry Friday ~ The Love of Books

6 Dec
Colleen's Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge

The first of the month is ‘Poet’s Choice‘ at Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Prompt Challenge. I chose to share a poem by Julia Donaldson, that’s sure to make you fall in love with books.

I Opened a Book
By Julia Donaldson
I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

I hope you enjoyed the poem. It’s one of my favorite poems about books and reading. I also wanted to share my reviews for a book and two short stories I read recently.

Click on image to buy on Amazon

The Altar Boy is a true to life coming-of-age story. Carl Sanders grew up in the 1960s in a Catholic household. The Catholic Church was revered in those days, and so were its clergymen, but for Carl and his family, a priest brought nothing but pain.

I didn’t like Carl’s mother; she was selfish and hypocritical. His father was not perfect either, but he did try his best to keep the family together and didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Looking at the life of this Catholic family in the 60s through Carl’s eyes as a young boy was both hilarious and heart wrenching. Carl’s mischievous antics made me laugh while his fear, confusion, and unconditional love for his mother chipped away at my heart. Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions.

If you enjoy stories with well-developed characters that make you feel an array of emotions, this book is for you.

Click on image to get your .99¢ eBook on Amazon!

The Author, Rhani D’Chae in Zombie Dawn, brilliantly chronicles the dawn of the zombie apocalypse. The author wasted no time building tension and providing an overall sense of horror from the beginning. I sat at the edge of my seat until the end of the story and then wanted more.

This is the story of a small neighborhood where everyone knows each other. The kind of neighborhood where you can leave your doors and windows open and youngsters can walk the streets at night without fear. That is until an elderly man named Elmer Duncan dies of seemingly natural causes only to open his eerie milky eyes as he was reanimated as a zombie. From this point, the story escalates into a chaotic set of events that’ll have you quaking in your chair. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and read it in one sitting. The story is well written, fascinating, and descriptive. If you’re a fan of zombies or horror, you will enjoy this short story.

This short story is FREE on Amazon Kindle! Click to get your copy.

This short story is a metaphoric expression of the author’s life growing up in an abusive household.

Her mother was a narcissist, and the author did a great job of relating the frustration she underwent dealing with a person who lacked the ability to love and feel empathy for others, including herself. Others were blind to her mother’s abuse because, as a narcissist, she knew how to cover her tracks well. The author’s father and other family members and friends unknowingly defended and enabled her mother, adding to the detriment of the child.

This is an inspiring, powerful, and compelling read that many readers will relate to whether they have suffered abuse at the hands of a narcissist or not. In the end, the daughter escapes her abusive prison.

Connect with these authors on social media!

@psteph55 on Twitter
@ChristinaWinds on Twitter
@rhanidchae on Twitter

Just a quick reminder that all my eBooks are on sale for .99¢ through Sunday! Get your eBooks!

Click on image to go to Amazon and get your .99¢ eBooks!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Thank you for a visit, and have a Happy Friday and weekend!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

22 Nov

It’s Colleen Chesebro’s Middle of the Month Poetry Photo Prompt Challenge!

This month we will use a photo chosen by last month’s “Photo-Prompt” Poet of the Week ~ Linda Lee Lyberg.

My contribution this week is a Butterfly Cinquain. I hope you enjoy it.

She yawns
spreading her wings
blinding the stars with light
chasing away the dark shadows
of night
angel of dawn
heralds another day
clouds set aflame with amber glow
birds rise

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I wanted to thank everyone that follows and visits my blog. I’m grateful for your friendship and support. I get excited whenever I post a poem, story, or article in anticipation of your visits and comments. Thanks for being so great!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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 ~ It’s time to check your “virginity” again.

8 Nov

Hello, everyone! Welcome.

Have you heard about rapper T.I.’s podcast interview in which he revealed that he checks his daughter’s virginity? I saw this on TV, but it’s all over the internet. In case you haven’t heard, this is the gist of it: Grammy-winning rapper T.I. (Clifford Harris) told a podcast that he forces his teenage daughter to undergo an annual virginity test at the Gynecologist. The day after her birthday, he takes her to get her hymen checked to ensure that she’s still a virgin.

To say I was outraged by this is an understatement. Firstly, how backward and ignorant do you have to be? Having sex isn’t the only way a hymen gets torn. It can happen in many different ways. Secondly, what lessons is he teaching his daughter? That she’s only worthwhile if she’s a virgin? Her entire worth as a woman is based on her virginity status? Her word has no meaning because instead of asking her if she’s sexually active and trusting in what she tells you, you need medical proof? Why doesn’t he make her wear a chastity belt?

As if this yearly ritual wasn’t humiliating enough, he revealed everything on a podcast heard by thousands of people. His daughter is eighteen. Even if you don’t know who rapper T.I. is or listen to his music, you need to know that this goes on right here in the USA. And you know what? Even if you’re a fan, you have to admit this is insane.

To top it off, T.I. has a fifteen-year-old son who disclosed that he’s sexually active, and the rapper is fine with it. What? It’s okay for his fifteen-year-old son to have sex, but his eighteen-year-old daughter has to prove her virginity by going to a gynecologist and getting her hymen checked? This is a huge double standard, and I can’t stand it.

I guess T.I. doesn’t care if his son impregnates several girls his daughter’s age or younger, and either he doesn’t know or care about all the sexually transmitted diseases his son could easily catch. Why can’t this man talk to and educate his children, so that they can learn to make the right decisions on their own?

I understand some fathers are overprotective with their daughters, but in my opinion, this is going too far. Deyja Harris is T.I.’s daughter, not his property. And his fifteen-year-old son is in danger of contracting aids, herpes, hepatitis, among other diseases – not to mention getting someone pregnant.

What is your opinion on this subject?

“It’s the first of the month, and you know what that means! Poets choose your own prompt words.” Colleen’s 2019 Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 152

A
woman
who speaks her
mind is not a
bitch. She doesn’t need
men to validate her.
She’s not his sex toy or a
baby machine. She’s who she wants
to be. Society won’t make a
puppet of her, because she’s a woman.

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