Tag Archives: The Writer Next Door

Poetry Friday ~ Trees

31 Jul
Photo by Faye Cornish

Hi, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog.

It’s the fourth week of July! Are you ready for a theme prompt? Sue Vincent selected the theme this week with a quote prompt:

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.” Herman Hesse

Methuselah – The oldest tree in the world

What a beautiful quote chosen by Sue Vincent to challenge us this week. I love nature and that of course, includes trees. Methuselah is one of the world’s oldest living organism. This tree has been alive for approx. 4,789 years and still counting! Consider all the changes the world has gone through in that amount of time and yet, this tree is still standing. Methuselah lives on a isolated mountain top in California (USA). I’d love to be in her presence someday.

METHUSELAH

On a desolate mountain top you breathe

Teaching us lessons of survival

Gnarled and twisted you stand your ground

The Earth’s oldest living thing

For four millennia

You’ve observed the world

Your endurance

Your spirit

Inspires

Awe

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

I hope everyone enjoyed the post. Have a lovely Friday and weekend! ❤

Rave Reviews Book Club

17 Jul

Hello, everyone!

To say it’s been a crazy week would be an understatement. So much has been happening around me, including renovations to the inside and outside of my house. It’s enough to make your head spin, believe me. 😮

Some of you know that I’m a member of an online book club called Rave Reviews Book Club. This is a wonderful organization for writers and readers established by author Nonnie Jules. This month has been hectic and a little rough but the one great thing that came out of it was that my novelette Memoir of a Mad Woman was selected “Book of the Month” by the RRBC. Not only is it an honor for your book to be chosen from thousands of fabulous books, it’s also a great opportunity for your book to be seen by a wider audience. You see, when your book is selected by the RRBC as a BOM all the members of the club are encouraged to buy, read, review, and share your book all over social media. That’s an amazing boost!

I am always thankful for the Rave Reviews Book Club. I’ve met and befriended so many kind, talented, and supportive people in the three years I’ve been a member. We’ve become one big happy online family.

This week I was supposed to take part in a book club discussion specifically for those whose books were selected BOM, but I wasn’t able to attend the zoom meeting because something happened to my WiFi Tuesday morning and it wasn’t working. I called Comcast several times. They gave my husband and me different instructions of what to do, but nothing worked. They finally sent a tech out to our house, and he discovered that the cable had been severed, no doubt by the men working in our side yard, where the cable was buried.

I was beyond upset to have missed the Book of the Month discussion because it would have been a great opportunity to discuss my book, give new insights, and answer questions about it. My iPhone has it’s own internet service from the provider, but I didn’t have the zoom app on it. I tried to get into the app store to download the zoom app to my iPhone, but I was given instructions to turn on the WiFi which of course I couldn’t. I also sent an emailed to RRBC to let someone know the situation and asked if there was a phone number I could call to join in the discussion. I received an email from someone letting me know that she was out to lunch when my email came in and it was too late by the time she read it. I’m truly sorry I couldn’t make it to the discussion. The circumstances were beyond my control. 😦

I was planning to make this a short post but I guess it’s too late for that. :/ The bottom line is that I’m happy to be a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and highly recommend it. This is a wonderful organization for aspiring writers, experienced authors, and avid readers. There are so many great opportunities to grow your author platform and to gain sales and reviews for your books. There are also fascinating books to read and the members are amazing. If you’d like more information on how to join the club visit the RRBC website.

I hope everyone has had a better week than I did. I’m looking forward to a restful break this weekend. Happy Friday and weekend!

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I’m exhausted, so I’m going to escape into my fantasy world this weekend. See you soon!

Poetry Friday ~ Fantasy

10 Jul

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all coping well with this pandemic and everything else that’s going on. I invite you to come into my world and relax, forget about your problems, even if it’s only for a few minutes. ❤

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 185, Poet’s Choice!

I’m participating in the Fantasy Challenge July on Instagram. Today is day 10 and we’re supposed to answer what it is about writing fantasy that we love.

One of the things I love about writing fantasy is the creative freedom we’re given as authors. We can let our imaginations go wild! I especially love the world building. To create a whole new world where readers can get lost in, excites me beyond belief. We can also create languages, religions, and even other beings. How fantastic is that?

That being said, I do an enormous amount of research when writing a fantasy, because although it’s all make believe I still like to ground the story in reality. I want my readers to believe, at least while they’re reading. This reminds me of a quote by Tom Clancy.

“The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.”

Photo by Trevor Cole – Armoy, United Kingdom

Today I’m sharing a fantasy poem. I hope you enjoy it.

Castle Of Poets by Mike Qyinn

The castle is a place where poets dwell,
Where each can cast their wondrous spell.
From the turrets high to the dungeons deep
From each portcullis to the central keep.

Its powerful walls keep foes at bay.
They keep us safe from day to day.
The knights are brave and fight with zeal.
In armored suits and swords of steel…

The poets live as all men should.
Side by side in brotherhood.
The magic of rhyme is all they seek
From modern tongue to ancient Greek.

The castle echoes with the sound of joy,
And haunting words from man and boy.
The maidens fair who live within
Pen words of love and carnal sin.

For each one here there is a place
To release the soul from its inner space.
With words of mirth and sorrow both.
And witches spells of evil oath.

The castle grows from day to day
And people come from far away.
But once inside these walls of grey,
They know that they are here to stay.

Their words are all that leave this place,
Their souls the castle shall embrace.
So in our quest for perfect poem
We call this place our sonnets home.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/where-poets-life

Photo by Cederic X – Eltz Castle, Wierschem, Germany

Do you enjoy reading fantasy? What excites you about writing fantasy?

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

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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 ~ 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

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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 ~ Gratitude

8 May

Hi, everyone! It’s the first of the month, and that means poets choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

The year 2020 has seen its share of major historic events and bizarre incidents in just a little over five months–– including the acquittal of President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial, the bushfires in Australia, the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and the entire world grinding to a halt as businesses shut down and people are quarantined.

As I ponder on these events and others like the death of (a legend) Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union, the Dow plunging 2,997 points due to coronavirus fears, the 2020 Summer Olympics postponed, and the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their duties as senior royals in Buckingham Palace, I want to pinch myself to be sure I’m not in some dark and eerie nightmare. Despite the peculiar times we’re living in, I’m sure everyone can find at least one thing to be thankful for, right?

I’m thankful that my family and I are doing well, and that we have plenty to eat and drink, and our toilet paper inventory is full. I’m grateful that this nightmare has not prevented me from doing a lot of reading and writing. My cooking and baking skills have gotten better. Despite the fact that I miss my family I have enjoyed our zoom get togethers. I’m also grateful to be in such great company during isolation – there are no better quarantine buddies than my husband JC and Pomeranian Scribbles. I have a roof over my head and a great view of a golf course. How could I not feel gratitude in my heart.

Although there are a plethora of strange happenings there are also appreciable moments. To be honest, there have been times when I’ve been down, fearful, anxious – none of us has ever lived through times like these. It’s easy to feel vulnerable and like you have no control over the outcome of your life. But when have we ever had total control over the outcome of our lives? We can’t focus only on the negative – it won’t solve a thing. Let’s think about all we should be grateful for.

“The most powerful weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. Train your mind to see the good in this day.”

Gratitude should be

as natural as breathing

Inhale and Exhale

Photo by Candice Picard @candice_picard

Stay healthy, helpful, and calm, my friends!

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 ~ A Photo Prompt

24 Apr

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 174 Photo Prompt

Jude, from Tales Told Different, selected the photo for this month’s challenge.

Hello! I hope everyone is safe, healthy and having a fabulous day so far.

THE GOOD WITCH

Once upon a time they used to burn us

Because in our gaze there is a snare

And we dance beneath the glitter

of a starry night, singing

We float with subtle grace

over Mother Earth

drawing circles

in the air

to end

plagues

I hope you enjoyed my Etheree. When I saw the prompt picture I immediately thought of a witch. The kind that knows what to do with herbs outside the kitchen. ;D

A quick update: The 3rd installment of my Fantasy Angels Series is still with my editor (she works on several manuscripts at a time). I can’t wait to get it back. In the meantime, I’ve had an idea for a crime thriller gnawing at my brain for quite some time, so I’ve started on that. I’ve written a loose outline, some character arcs and began my first draft a couple of days ago. I’m excited about it so I’m writing as much as possible while the juices are flowing.

Keep an eye out for a contest involving this book (Coming Soon).