Tag Archives: Colleen Chesebro

Poetry Friday ~ Plan & Finish

14 Sep

Hello, welcome to my blog!

 

I don’t know if other writers would agree but one of the things I find hardest about publishing a book is coming up with the blurb for the back cover. You would think it would be easy, especially since you wrote the book! But it’s really hard to compress your entire complex story into a paragraph or two.

In the publishing business the book description on the back cover is called Back Cover Copywriting, not to be confused with copywrite©. Copywriting is an art form in and of its own. You have to dig deep into your book’s message, capture the essence of your work, and find the most exciting part of your story to tell to make sure readers will be intrigued and inspired to purchase it. I find this very challenging to do. I mean, just when you thought it couldn’t get any harder for writers, now we have to not only be creative, imaginative and write an amazing story but we also have to be marketers with a degree in sales and advertising. Phew!

Last year I had the help of expert copywriter, Paul Witcover. He read my book, The Fall of Lilith and together we came up with what I thought was an excellent back cover copy. Of course, my book was already published and still has my original copy on the back cover but I’ll change that as soon as I can. In the meantime, I’m using the copy that Paul and I worked on as my book description on Amazon and Goodreads. Here it is:

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

Unfortunately, Paul is unavailable until November, so I’m on my own. But don’t feel sorry for me yet. I plan to tackle this head on.

Rid yourself of fear

Like a nimble little ant

Think you can achieve

Success is so often near

You need only to believe

Plan and Finish 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 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.


This month I wanted to share a bit of my trip to Japan each week. One of my favorite places in Japan was Nara. We went to Nara Park and were surrounded by reindeers. They were clean (no deer ticks!) and so sweet. It was a very happy day.

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Nara Park (Japan)

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I hope you enjoyed the photos of Nara Park in Nara Nara, Japan. Happy Friday!

 

Poetry Friday ~ Exemplary & Sadness

7 Sep

Hi, everyone!

 

I’m back from my two weeks in Japan and I must say I miss it already. The Japanese people are remarkable. From the moment we arrived at Narita International Airport we felt welcomed. The airport, train station, restaurant and hotel employees as well as passers by went out of there way to help us with any issue, sometimes before we even got the chance to ask for help.

 

Although the country is packed with people everything ran smoothly. The trains and buses were always on time, restaurants were never too full, the streets were clean although there were no garbage cans––anywhere. We learned to carry a plastic bag in our backpacks to store garbage while out and about. On escalators everyone stood on the left, so that if anyone wanted to walk up the steps they could come up the right side. People formed lines and walk down on the left side of a stairway and up on the right side, so that no one is ever in the way or in danger of colliding with someone else. People entered the trains in an orderly fashion and if the train was extra full the conductor would come over and assist by pushing the people in tight with his gloved hands, like you would push down the clothes in an overstuffed suitcase before just barely getting that zipper closed.

 

Cab, Uber and bus drivers thanked us for allowing them to drive us around. We never saw a fight or an argument anywhere. Although drinking alcohol is allowed at anytime we never saw a single drunk walking the streets. There was no yelling or cussing. Everyone seemed so kind and courteous to one another, it was surreal at times.

 

I fell in love with Japanese fashion. Well, the women’s fashion style. The men mostly wore black suits and white shirts. In the train station during the morning work rush you’d see a sea of white shirts and black pants. Even the school age boys wore black pants and white shirts. The women were another story. First, we had to ask ourselves if there were any ugly Japanese women? If there were, they must have stayed indoors the entire time we were there. The Japanese women we saw were beautiful and refined. Their style was feminine, colorful and elegant in an understated way. Honestly, I felt a bit self-conscious walking around in my jeans, T-shirt and sneakers. And why didn’t they sweat? Our first couple of days in Japan the temperature was in the upper nineties. My niece, who lives there, told us it was a record high. The moment I walked out of the airport beads of sweat began to form over my upper lip and it wasn’t long before we were all covered in perspiration. Yet, I never saw a Japanese woman dripping in sweat. They walked by in their regal way, looking immaculate in their perfect outfits without a hair out of place and dry as powder.

 

I don’t think the word “elderly” applies to the seventy and eighty-something year olds in Japan. Not when they zipped by you on their bicycles. When we visited the shrines in Kyoto we climbed 500+ steps up a mountain. As I struggled up the last twenty-something steps, a group of men and women clearly in their seventies or eighties zoomed right past me to the top. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Seeing the vitality of their older generation was a testament to their healthy lifestyle.

 

After a week of living among these people, my brother and I came up with a theory. They’re not from here. They’re an elite race of aliens from another planet or dimension chosen to live on Earth to show us mere humans how we should live. They are here to lead by example. How could these perfect beings be human? Human beings are not perfect. We make mistakes, we get angry and yell sometimes, we get tired and we sweat!

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Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

You may not believe

but they do walk among us

these perfect beings

from birth to birth they go with

no proper place for sorrow

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Check out my Instagram for more pictures. (Click on photo)

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Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

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Exemplary and Sadness 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 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.

Poetry Friday ~ Sad & Write

23 Aug

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No, it’s no mistake. ‘Poetry Friday’ is a day early but there’s a good reason. Later today I will be taking a flight to Tokyo, Japan, so tomorrow I will be in the air and unable to post. I will be out of the country for the next two weeks, so my online presence will be limited. When I return, I will go back to my usual schedule on social media.

I’m hoping to get some nice pictures while in Japan and of course I will share them with you. Please send some happy, positive vibes my way because I am terrified of flying and this is a very long flight.

My heart is also torn to bits because I’m leaving my Pomeranian for two weeks. He’ll be in very good hands but we’ve never been apart for more than a few hours. 😦

Thank you for visiting! I will miss you!

 

This is my contribution to Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge (Butterfly Cinquain):

I write

I stop to think

wrestling with my muse

The whole house seems to be thinking

Scribble

The pain is real

Doleful words come to me

As I sit at my Mac keyboard

and bleed

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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

~Ernest Hemingway

Sad and Write 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 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.

Poetry Friday ~ Love & Time (Synonyms)

17 Aug

Hello, everyone! Welcome!

 

I don’t know if you’ve heard the news about the ‘Red Tide’ algae affecting southwest Florida, but what’s going on here is a real tragedy.

Toxic algae, called ‘red tide’ are killing the marine life in the southwest coast of Florida. Sea creatures have been washing up on our shores. The situation is so bad that our governor has declared a state of emergency.

This kind of thing upsets me beyond belief. Scientists are trying to figure out how to get rid of these tiny creatures and there has been some wild speculations as to how they had come to be. Well, I have a theory of my own. I believe The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (BP oil spill) in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010 is one of many things to blame. Nature always tries to protect itself and that includes marine life. All the garbage and oil in the water have killed many aquatic creatures and vegetation. Maybe, some of the gulf’s algae mutated into what are now known as ‘red-tide algae’ to protect itself long ago and maybe they plague us for disrespecting their environment. Yes, I know this reads like something out of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, but it makes perfect sense to me. When a life form is placed in a toxic environment it will either die or change to adapt to its new surroundings. Only this algae has mutated into a monstrous form that kills off every other creature around.

Now, I know that it is a natural phenomenon, but the exact cause or combination of factors that result in a red tide outbreak are not necessarily known. I also know that this phenomenon has occurred since ancient times. Biblical scholars and early marine biologists of the late nineteenth century postulated that the first plague of the Exodus story, the blood color of the Nile, might have been an outbreak of Red Tide. But who’s to say that pollution, oil spills and other unnatural disturbances in the water doesn’t have something to do with a Red Tide outbreak occurring.

Anyway, here’s an article from the Washington Post you can read for yourself:

Florida’s governor this week made official what residents of southwest Florida already knew: The bloom of toxic algae that has darkened gulf waters is an emergency. The red tide has made breathing difficult for locals, scared away tourists, and strewn popular beaches with the stinking carcasses of fish, eels, porpoises, turtles, manatees and one 26-foot whale shark. Continue reading . . . 

Mother Nature’s Lament

In an age of greed

Seas once clean now choke with oil

My darling sea life

Leaving your bodies on shore

As red tides lap my beaches

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Love and Time 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 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.

Thank you for visiting!

Poetry Friday ~ Congregate & Passion

10 Aug

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

 

Today I wrote a two sentence Horror/Romance story and a Haiku. I’m not sure if the combination of these can be called a Haibun. I also wrote a Tanka. I hope you enjoy.

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Sprint Turned a Wrecked Car Into a Mangled Emoji for This ‘Don’t Text and Drive’ Sculpture.

Each night on the stroke of midnight her young, dead husband would text her. His final message, the one found beside the body at the crash site, read, ‘Stop texting me. I’m driving’.

Final rendezvous

Fire ignited your obsession

A text snuffed it out

On a less tragic note . . . 

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Soft rosy petals

Your lips pressing against mine

Under a blanket of stars

In a place where there is love

Rendezvous in the moonlight

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Congregate and Passion 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 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 the visit and have a happy Friday!

Don’t text and drive. 

Poetry Friday ~ Happy & Morose

3 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

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There once was a tall oak tree who lived in a small forest. Night and day it complained about its noisy leaves. It protested when the leaves sang songs with the wind. It grumbled about the music they made when it rained.

One day a blue jay landed on one of its limbs and overheard the oak gripe about its noisy leaves.

“You know,” the blue jay said. “I once knew a cactus who lived alone in the middle of the desert. He was a sad and lonely thing with no one to talk to. The snakes, scorpions and other desert creatures avoided him, for he had sharp spikes all over its skin.”

“What has that to do with me,” the tree grumbled.

“Well, every time I land on one of your branches I hear you complain about your leaves.”

“So what,” the tree said.

“The last thing the cactus told me before it died of a lonely heart was that it wished its prickles were leaves, so that it may hear their melody,” the bird said.

“If I never hear another leaf sing I would be a happy tree!”

“That is a horrible thing to say,” the bird said, fluttering its blue feathers. “Your leaves are beautiful and the rhythm they make with the wind and the rain is enchanting. They also attract all kinds of birds, snakes, and squirrels. Your days and nights are filled with cheerful pieces of music, laughter and conversation.

“I don’t need music, laughter or conversation. I just want silence!” the tree yelled.

The bird flew away.

One hot, dry summer day a fire broke out in the small forest. Some of the animals escaped the wildfires but many were killed. The crown fire burned the trees up their length to the very top, and few survived.

The tall grumbling oak did survive, but it was no more than a scorched and leafless trunk with naked limbs. None of the nearby trees survived and were chopped down. The colorful birds and animals were gone and only soot and smoke remained. The oak’s world was gray and silent.

Months passed in a blur. The oak tree began to miss the happy lilting of its leaves and their verdant color. “If only I could hear them sing once more I’d be a happy tree.”

A year passed in the blink of an eye and the sad and lonely oak tree was ready to give up. He thought about the beautiful lush canopy it once had, full of lively green leaves. He missed their songs and music and the birds and animals they invited.

Every night the oak prayed. “Mother Gaia, please return my leaves, so that I may hear them sing with the wind.” But every morning he awoke to bare branches. The pain of living in silence, in complete solitude was too much to bear.

As the life began to seep out of its heartwood, he noticed a little green sprout coming out of the ground a couple of feet from him.

“Little sprout,” the oak tree said. “Grow tall with a strong heartwood and a huge canopy made verdant by a myriad of leaves. Always be grateful for what you have. And, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.” And with those words the oak tree left the world of the living.

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Do not wish away

the cheerful things in your life

on your grumpy days

 

Happy and Morose 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 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.

Enjoy your day!

 

Poetry Friday

27 Jul

Hello, everyone! Welcome to Poetry Friday!

 

A butterfly approached a horned viper and asked, “Are you a dragon?”

 

The viper narrowed its strange yellow eyes. “Is there something wrong with your sight? Can’t you see I’m a snake?”

 

The butterfly flitted around the snake’s head and said, “You look like a dragon to me.”

 

The viper hissed and slammed its tail on the grass. “I told you, I’m no dragon! Dragons breathe fire!”

 

“Your venom is fire to your prey. They are consumed by it,” said the butterfly.

 

“Dragons fly!” said the viper with an exasperated sigh.

 

“I’ve seen you in trees and on mountain tops where only flying things can go,” said the butterfly without a doubt.

 

The snake tilted its head and narrowed its eyes in confusion. “Dragons are huge creatures.” The viper’s voice was soft and uncertain.

 

“You are much larger than I. To me you are a giant.” The butterfly stood before the snake, its small wings aquiver.

 

“So––I’m a dragon?”

 

“Yes! It’s what I choose to believe,” said the butterfly.

 

The viper lifted its chin with pride. “I am a dragon!”

 

The butterfly cheered and did loops in the air.

 

“Now that you know you’re a dragon you must behave like one,” said the butterfly. “You must cleanse your mind of all things viper.”

 

The snake nodded and grinned. “So, what do dragons eat?”

 

The butterfly landed in a pirouette on the dragon’s nose. “Dragons do not eat butterflies.”

 

Then with a perfect Grand Jeté, the butterfly flew far beyond the dragon’s eyes.

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Butterfly Cinquain

I am

A butterfly

You, a mighty dragon

I only ask for freedom to

Believe

What I tell you

Put behind your serpent

ways and risky ideas, don’t

eat me

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Brain and Cleanse are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

I’m also participating in Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. In Colleen’s challenge we’re required to use synonyms of the prompt words. This week’s prompt words are Beliefs and strange.

Enjoy your day!

Haiku Friday – Woke & Up

20 Jul

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

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Moonflower

Scented Poem

Tonight, I shall profess my love for him. When he rises, dressed in silvery light, he’ll rouse all the stars, so they may witness our love.

I shall sleep the day away, shielding myself from the fiery sun. And when the coolness of the blue hour quickens me, I shall open myself to him.

Nightingales, delightful nocturnal songsters, with their lilting songs filled with musical romance are joined by frogs calling and owls hooting, to create the music of the night.

I bloom in the midnight sky, my seductive white petals reflecting my beauty. My sweet, intoxicating fragrance summons him. He cannot resist.

Gorgeous low-slung moon

Shine your light on me tonight

Nature sings for us

Ride through my imagination

I have opened heaven’s door

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The style of poetry I wrote today is called a Haibun, at least my attempt at one. I’m thinking of changing “Haiku Friday” to “Poetry Friday”, because I enjoy trying different types of poetry. I hope you enjoyed the romance between the moonflower and the moon. ;D

Woke and Up are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Today I’m also participating in Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. In Colleen’s challenge we’re required to use synonyms of the prompt words. This week’s prompt words are Inspiration and Plan.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Haiku Friday+ – Fairy Whisperer

12 May

Hello everyone and welcome to The Writer Next Door!

I’m excited because I have a very special guest today, Colleen Chesebro the Fairy Whisperer herself! It has been a great honor and pleasure knowing this sweet lady for the last couple of years. Colleen is a talented author and poet and a great supporter of her fellow writers, poets and bloggers. She is a veteran of the U. S. Air Force and a retired bookkeeper. She holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration, and another Associate Degree in the Arts, which she uses to blend her love of writing with her passion for all things creative. Her first book, The Swamp Fairy is the first installment of her series The Heart Stone Chronicles.

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You can get a free preview of The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy here.

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Available on Amazon

In Colleen’s words . . . 

My name is Colleen Chesebro. My blog is the place you can come to hear the stories of the fairies as they whisper their tales to me. I’m glad to meet you. I enjoy writing about the seven different nymph clans. I am a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and imaginative nonfiction.

My first YA novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy, reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.

When I am not writing or reading, I enjoy spending time with my husband, dogs, children, grandchildren, and friends. When time allows, I also enjoy gardening, cooking, and crocheting antique doilies into works of art.  I live in the United States with my husband, Ron and my two Pomeranians, Sugar and Spice.

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You can learn more about Colleen Chesebro here.

Take some time to visit Colleen’s blog, Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

Also connect with this wonderful lady here:

Twitter

Google+

Facebook

 

Fairies

On Earth we dwell

Although fleeting in plain sight

A Dream too bright to last

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Fast and Plain are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Fear of Failure

9 Sep

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog. Check out her weekly wrap-up and be inspired by all the quotes.

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“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”

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“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

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Do you believe that in order to succeed, you must be willing to experience failure?