I’ve been busy editing late into the night all week to meet a deadline. I think I’m finally done in time to start the NaNo. Whew! Sorry if I’ve been missing the last couple of days, but this ran into Halloween which I’m enjoying today.
I couldn’t pass up this beautiful picture. I have two poems, a Tanka and Haiku that came to me last night. I couldn’t choose.
Here’s the Tanka which is 5/7/5/7/7:
Aloft over river
The landscape glows with autumn
Peaceful under wings
When a hollow hunger calls
Abundance rewards the hawk.
And now the Haiku 5/7/5:
My wings carry me
High above the autumn glow
I soar with angels.
Happy Halloween! I’m off to enjoy more scary fun. D. L. Finn
In March 1990, we left the Bay Area and moved to an old mining town in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The house search took us a while; we found most lacking.
One Victorian house had an uncomfortable-oppressive feeling. I loved the layout and the idea of living in such a beautiful house, but once inside, I couldn’t wait to get out. My husband felt the same way, so we moved on. Later, the person who bought that house was attacked and stabbed several times by someone who had come in to do some work. Thankfully the person lived and was able to crawl for help, but an understanding passed through me having “felt” the house.
Our current house of 30 years was built by the owner who we bought from and was nestled in the forest. I was moving into Sleeping Beauty’s cottage, where the fairies raised her.
The house had an airy feel, except for what we refer to as the “Hall Ghost.” I felt no fear of it. No one did. It’s had many sightings, and our kid’s friends had said they thought it was me, or saw a woman with red hair. My experience with it is a shadow peeking around the corner, usually when I am writing, or music is playing. Everyone who spends any time in our house ends up seeing it. It’s startling but not fear-inducing. I have decided it is watching over us.
In our garage, several people, including me, have seen a long hair man walking around at night. Also, nothing intimidating about him. He’s just there. My feeling, and a psychic confirmed, this was an indigenous person from before the miners settled here.
During star gazing, we’ve seen more than our share of white orbs in the forest.
None of these things worried me or caused fear, but the single room upstairs was a different story. I used to write in this room that we had used as a guest room years ago. I used a typewriter over a computer, which shows you how long ago that was. I’d scare myself as I wrote some rather gory details which I’ve never shared. I felt like I wasn’t alone, but not with the intensity, or evil I’d felt at the other house. My husband said he was tapped on the back once while playing his guitar, but it only startled not frighten him.
Later, the room was put to use by our teens, first the eldest and then the youngest. There were stories of hearing their name whispered, breathing on the back of their neck while on the computer, vivid dreams, and feeling like they weren’t alone. At times I’d find a teen sleeping downstairs, but they wouldn’t give up the room either. The middle child, who kept her downstairs room, spoke of feeling cold air the minute she started up the stairs.
A few years ago a person, who is now a member of our family, banished this entity. I have no reason to doubt that, but still, something less intimidating still lingers.
No one sleeps in there anymore since our youngest moved out. It’s become the band room where now I hear an angel singing when my husband plays certain songs. Our angel interactions will have to be another blog.
To be on the safe side, we’ve done many sage smudgings, holy water, and blessings in that room and the house. Whatever heaviness had bothered my kids was gone, and what’s there now seems to enjoy music.
The paranormal has always surrounded me in one form or another. I’ve definitely seen and felt things I can’t explain and this experience makes its way into my writing. Happy Halloween!
In November, I’ll be participating in the yearly NaNoWriMo challenge. I’ll still be doing my weekly posts for my book reviews and for a new book coming out in December. More details to follow.
That means I won’t be doing any of the challenges that I’ve been doing during the week. Plus, my time will be limited to visit blogs and social media while I try to balance everything– including the holiday. I will be back to my normal presence by the end of the month.
If you need a promotion or a beta reader for December, or beyond, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond:)
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn
With Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I’d share some of my paranormal experiences.
In 1984, we proudly bought our first house. As we signed some papers in our soon-to-be home, I heard a voice say to me, “You are going to die soon.”
Now maybe I should have run at the point when only I heard that, but I didn’t. I figured it was the stress of becoming heavily in debt, and besides, no one else heard it. The person who sat next to me and helped with this purchase was my beloved great grandmother. Sadly, a few months later, she died shortly after a stroke. I realized the dire warning was meant for her.
Then things started happening. In the downstairs room, which we used as a guest room, there was an old music box that you’d have to wind to hear it play. It would play by itself when my husband or I passed the room. We laughed that off.
Going up the stairs, we always felt like something was chasing us from the downstairs. It was unnerving. In our master bedroom, at our door, when I would wake up, I’d see a man whose face I couldn’t make out wearing a top hat watching me over the door. One time he waved. I didn’t wave back. There was a presence in that house that we couldn’t explain.
On a cold winter day, my husband was at the store, I was a few months pregnant and carrying my oldest daughter. Heading downstairs as I hit the first step, I felt something push hard on my back. I clung to my toddler as we bounced down the stairs on my tailbone until the very end when I needed both hands to upright myself. We were both fine, just very shaken up, and a bit bruised. The baby survived too.
At this point, we started looking to move to accommodate our growing family. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. The house sold fast when we put it on the market, and we were soon in our new place with a five-week-old baby and two-year-old toddler. We gave everything from that downstairs bedroom to charity, including that music box. We took very few things from that house, just to be safe.
Whatever evil that stalked us in that house hadn’t bothered the people who owned it before, nor the people after that from what I know. It was something about it the house didn’t like us there, and we honored that by getting out of there.
The house we lived in next we were only there two years but had no paranormal experiences. Next week I’ll share our family experiences in our current house😊
NOTE: We’re still dealing with high fire danger here in Northern California with no rain in sight. So, if there is a power shutoff I will disappear for a bit. When the red-flag winds die down and we trade generators for the old power grid and I’ll be fully back. Reading great stories takes my mind off the constant fire dangers here and living on high alert this time of year, so thank you all for giving me the escape of a good book.
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn
A Haibun Poem combines a prose poem (the paragraph) and a Haiku/Senryu.
Wood slats replace the glass in my childhood home. Rocks and years have stripped away its beauty. Long ago, this empty house was full of life. People traveled great distances to attend the lavish parties. Our family was admired and respected until I disappeared. They hung my beloved husband for a crime he didn’t commit. Only I knew that, though, and no one heard my ghostly protests. Someday we’ll be reunited, but only after people finally learn the truth.
I’m pleased to share Lynda Filler’s latest memoir here today along with my review! I read and loved “LOVE: The Beat Goes On.” I message I took away from both books was a reminder to live fully in our moments.
There’s no turning back.
I’ve sold everything.
I bought one-way tickets around the world with no return destination.
My friends think I’m crazy.
What if I don’t find what I’m looking for?
I’m not chasing love. Not exactly.
What if he’s not the one?
So grab a cappuccino or herbal tea if you prefer and join me at Café Confidential. I will share my adventures and secrets as I travel to France, India, Israel, Malaysia, and Turkey. Perhaps I can convince you that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
“I finished (reading) this memoir 3 days ago…I can sincerely say it has not left my mind since completing it. I will start by saying that without any doubt this is not just my favorite book of 2020 but is absolutely one of my top 5 of all time.” KirscherSmiles
I read Ms. Filler’s first memoir, “LOVE: The Beat Goes On.” It was a book that has stayed with me, so I was excited to continue her life’s story. “Café Confidential” does a bit of recapping her past, but then it dives into selling her belongings and traveling. I loved seeing the world through the author’s eyes in her writing and photography. It isn’t a straight line of places visited, but her thoughts, history, and philosophies are weaved into the book. There is a pure joy embracing each moment as well as dealing with life’s sorrows. I know I have wondered, at times, what it would be like to sell everything I own and explore. I come away from reading this inspired by Ms. Filler. We should all take that leap of faith and follow our path in life.
“The author’s style is reminiscent of CLIVE CUSSLER, LEE CHILDS or BALDACCI.” N. Huff
Lynda Filler spent 2019 traveling. She left Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and visited the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Malaysia, and India. Her travels have filled her creative mind with plots and intrigue. Book 7 in the Code Raven Series, The Istanbul Conspiracy, is the combination of her vivid imagination and the beauty and mystery of Istanbul, Turkey.
She writes Mystery, Action, Contemporary and Romantic Suspense, Urban Poetry, and Memoir. Lynda’s been accused of writing autobiographical stories, but so far no can get her to admit it! She loves to hear from her fans on Facebook where you can find her book news, crazy fun quotes, and photographs of both Mexico, Istanbul and all of Lynda’s travels.
Her work is both thought-provoking and entertaining. Her memoir is “Powerful and unforgettable, the journey of a remarkable woman.”
2020 will see another Code Raven Book and a Memoir/Inspirational/Motivational book.
Readers Favorite 2018 Bronze Medal in Contemporary Fiction Social Issues Lie to Me, an exposé on sex for money.
Her work was honored in Book of the Month October 2017 RRBC
Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 for Target in the Sun, BTRC
“Fall in love with a beautiful mind and a deep soul. It’s like drowning in something that leaves you breathless, but still full of life.” iambrillyant, Love is the Answer
I wanted to get into the Halloween mood and chose this book to kick it off! Not having read the Braxton Campus Mysteries, it worried me I’d be lost in the story, but Mr. Cudney does an excellent job making sure the reader keeps up with the extensive list of characters and relationships. I enjoyed meeting Kellan, the college professor who seems to run into many murders that need solving. He’s moving into a house that needs some TLC, so contractors are fixing it up, but things happen that seem to point to a ghost. While Kellan works on that mystery, there is the planning of the local festivities for fall and Halloween, which is a favorite time of year for me, so I enjoyed that. There’s a budding romance with the local Sheriff and lots of interaction with family, my favorite being Nana D who adds humor. When there’s a body found, then a murder, there’s a long list of suspects. I changed my mind several times about who the killer was, and my final guess was incorrect. This is an entertaining cozy mystery set in a town I wouldn’t mind living in, minus all the murders. It will be fun to go back and read the other books in this series.
I’m already of fan of C.S. Boyack and Mae Clair and was looking forward to this anthology. Their stories were as good as I expected them to be. There was a continuation of a familiar character “In the Files from Jason Fogg” by Mr. Boyack. I find it intriguing when Jason disappears into fog and how he handles it. In “A Winter Reckoning,” by Ms. Clair, was riveting. I felt like I had just read an incredible novel complete with love, mystery, and family drama. Then, I was introduced to five new writers and their stories. They all had a different feel and flavor, including a haunted attic, a dead body in the middle of a house renovation or garden party, a widow’s butterfly collection, and Abraham Lincoln. There were some gems in those stories, and one of my favorites was “Within the Plum Attic.” A diverse collection of seven stories kept me entertained, and I got to meet some wonderful new authors. Four-Stars!
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn
I’m very excited to have Balroop here today to share her new book of poetry! I have my copy and can’t wait to relax into the beautiful images painted by words.
Thank you for hosting me, Denise.
I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.
‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.
In this book, my poems focus on whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.
Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing. She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.
When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.
Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.
An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?
In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?
Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.
Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved.
Series Name: Perceptions of Glass
Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter
Book #2 Name: Hiding Cracked Glass (cover reveal for this one)
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.
Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.
I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.
All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.
“HAIGA IN ENGLISH: First, the haiku or senryu portion of the poem is the most important part and must standalone without the image. It is created by using the traditional 5/7/5, or the current 3/5/3, or the current 2/3/2 syllable structure (but not all three together). Haiga, often called observational poetry, contains an image with either a haiku or senryu written on it or near it. Haiga usually combines three art forms: imagery: photographs or original art, poetry, and calligraphy.
Second, images cannot complete the haiku or senryu. If the image is necessary, to understand the poem, then both the image and the poem fail.
The image should add something to the reader’s appreciation of the piece.
The image can create an alternative interpretation to the one articulated by the literal reading of the poem. That additional interpretation is what the poet should strive to convey.
The image should form a contrast, or comparison with the imagery expressed in the poem. We should strive to produce an emotion of the moment between the poet and the reader, the image and the poem.”
This image is one of my favorite pictures. I took it by the Yuba River, and it holds a special place in my heart. My words try to capture a bit of what I felt gazing upon the beauty that nature freely offers.