#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 306 #photoprompt #tanka #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity

This week’s Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge # 306 is Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge # 306—a photo prompt.

red rose
“This is a filtered version of a rose I photographed at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland.” Photographer, Terri Webster Schrandt, from secondwindleisure.com

The blood-red petals

beguiled the barren landscape

beacon of beauty

pollinates life sorrows

Bringing forth love’s healing blooms

Stop by and say hi! #shortstory “When Walls Talk” @vocal_creators #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #challenge #horror #paranormal

Hi,
Today I submitted a short story of 1300 words over on Vocal. The Challenge was to start the story with “If walls could talk…” and then write it from their point of view. It is a mixture of the paranormal and a touch of horror.  Stop by and offer a like, share, or comment if you can.

LINK

 

February Book Reviews! @HowellWave @JacqBiggar @officerwoof #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #readinglist #whattoread

They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher

By Pete Springer

“They Call Me Mom” is an insightful look into being an elementary teacher. It starts with not only how Mr. Springer became a teacher after a few years of working minimum wage jobs to the wisdom gained through over thirty years of teaching. This is a great book if you want to understand what it takes to be a skilled teacher and the work behind it. As a student, I had a few outstanding teachers motivate me. As a parent some teachers encouraged not only their class but the parents too. It’s not only from hard work but a level of caring that shines through as it does in this memoir. I enjoyed reading not only his philosophies but how they were applied. The student stories were touching and sometimes amusing. Reading this was good timing for me as my son just signed up to get his high school teaching credentials—so I will pass this along to him. I can easily recommend this to all new teachers, parents, and those who want to be inspired by someone who loved their job and gave it their all.

Virtually Gone

By Jacquie Biggar

“Virtually Gone” is book six of the High-Tech Crime Solvers. I haven’t read the first five in the series, but I had no problem jumping into this fast-paced story. Julie is a widow and investigative reporter trying to find a serial killer. Matt is a detective whose sister was killed ten years before, but the person was never caught. Although Julie is dating his partner, they clash as they both try to find a cruel murderer. DNA connects the past murders with the present, adding more urgency to catch this killer. This thrilling, quick read follows the clues to a chilling conclusion. I felt for Matt as he tried to seek justice for his sister. An added bonus, it tied in with Ms. Biggar’s Mended Soul Series. A story that I can easily recommend, especially for those who love a great whodunit.

The Last Drive

By John W. Howell

I loved “Eternal Drive” and was eager to see where the second book would go. I wasn’t disappointed and glad to see James, Sam, and the 1956 Buick Oldsmobile reunite. They were tasked to locate a missing guide, Eddie Rickenbacker, and a new soul, Ryan Sanders, who had died a hero in Afghanistan. One of my favorite parts of the story is the history weaved in and how it is navigated by this group, with Lucifer always a step behind or ahead of them. They visit the Titanic, World War l trenches, the Roman Coliseum, a gold mining camp, and the Auschwitz concentration camp. It is obvious how much research went into the story, which brought their journey to life. Some past events are hard to relive as the group was challenged not to change history. Sam was cruelly treated in their travels by not only Lucifer but men in the past. Luckily there is not only some humor mixed in but hope and faith to counter the hopelessness of a situation. Even with the heaviness of some subjects covered, this story left me hopeful. “The Last Drive” was a wonderful blend of history and paranormal that I can easily recommend.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry #Challenge No. 305 #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #poem #cinquain #butterflycinquain

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge #305. This week we were asked to pick three or more words from a list and create a poem. This random poetry word idea is from Jane Dougherty.

I decided to do a butterfly cinquain 2/4/6/8/2/8/6/4/2 using the list’s three words in bold letters.

HEALING STONE

rainy
dreary sunset
quartz on the window ledge
seizes my imagination
with love
reflective of a world’s desires
a gift from the fairies
brightens the day
magic

My Rock Collection. #Rocks, #crystals and a #haiku #writingcommunity #writing

I’m all caught up on my book reviews and thought I’d talk about something I’ve loved since I was old enough to grasp… rocks and crystals. Although this passion for collecting them hasn’t made it into my stories, I’m sure it will someday 🙂

I’m not sure when I picked up the first rock, but it was love at first sight. I kept them in my room tucked away in an old overnight case, and when I moved out, they came with me.

Since then, anytime I was out in nature, I would pick up a rock to remember my moment there. If lucky, I’d find a heart-shaped rock and add it to that collection.

One afternoon, I went through my original rocks, and thanks to the Rock Identifier on my cell phone, I learned what I had collected over the years. There were many types of jasper, rhyolite, quartz, limestone, agates, granite, chalcedony, petrified wood, and lepidolite. I was attracted to this as a child just by its beauty, but as an adult, I realized there might be some healing or protection properties that come along with them I might have needed and still do.

I display my heart collection at the front entry of the house, some rocks and crystals are by my plants and the rest is displayed in my bedroom. Some of these, I have found, others were bought or gifts, but in one why they have found their way to me. When I hold them, I feel a positive energy and love to wear jewelry that is rock/crystal adorned.

This last Christmas, I received a wonderful gift from my youngest daughter- and son-in-law, a rock tumbler. My husband added all the chemicals and did the rinsing for the required four steps. This meant going out into the snow to use an outside faucet. You don’t want any of that grit in your household pipes!

After listening to the loud tumbling in the garage for almost five weeks, the first batch that came with the machine was done! There are tiger eyes, amethyst, crystals, and many others that I will have to check and see what they are. I cleaned them up, and here they are:

The machine will get a small rest and then will start the process all over again. I can’t wait to see how some of my rocks will come out.

There are many possibilities for what to do with all these rocks I want to polish, but making jewelry and other creative projects come to mind—or simply enjoying them.

Rocks are a part of nature which has found its way into my house and became part of my life. Poetry is the easiest place to explore my love of nature which rocks and crystals are a powerful part.

blessed abundance
wrapped in minerals… crystals
nature’s healing gift

 

#NewRelease! “Menagerie” by@JoanHallWrites #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #shortstories

I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Story Empire author and friend here today, Joan Hall, to talk about her latest release, “Menagerie.” Here is my review: LINK

Lone Wolf

Thank you for sharing your space with me today, Denise. It’s a pleasure to be here to tell you and your readers about my newest release, Menagerie. It’s a mixed-genre compilation of thirteen short stories. I feature a different story in each tour stop and tell what inspired me to write it. You’re an animal and nature lover like me, so today’s story is Lone Wolf.

Many of your readers will remember the late Suzanne Burke. She used to feature a weekly flash fiction photo prompt and invite readers to compose a short piece of fiction. I participated several times. One week, she shared a photo of a wolf.

Immediately, my mind went to a replica of a painting that hung on a bedroom wall in my Aunt Jessie’s house. Lone Wolf was by Polish artist Alfred Kowalski. In the painting, a wolf stood on a snow-covered hill overlooking a small village.

My creative juices began to flow. What if a lonely cowboy befriends a solitary wolf? Can a wild animal and a human develop a connection? The original flash fiction piece was around 750 words. I took the original story, expanded it to just over 3,000 words, and added a few characters.

Music also inspires my writing. John Denver fans might recognize elements of his song from the Farewell Andromeda album, “I think I’d Rather Be a Cowboy” in this story. John was also a lover of nature and an advocate of nature conservation. It’s my hope that Lone Wolf shows people and wildlife can co-exist.

Excerpt:

Jake tossed another log onto the campfire then lay back on his bedroll with his hands clasped behind his head to gaze at the countless stars. Arcturus sparkled like a diamond within the constellation Boötes, its brightness surpassed only by Venus in the western sky. The Big Dipper hovered near the horizon.

How could anyone look upon this beauty and not feel peace and contentment? The thought of living in a large city with the constant noise of traffic, honking horns, and sirens left an unpleasant taste in his mouth. Places where man-made light and pollution all but obliterated a view of the stars and where smog filled the daytime skies. Jake wanted no part of that kind of life.

Soon, the warmth of the fire lulled him to sleep. Jake wasn’t sure how long he dozed when a wolf’s howl awakened him. He listened earnestly. Most wolves in this area didn’t venture too close to civilization, but he was a good five miles from the ranch’s headquarters. The canines traveled in packs, but this one was alone. Likely a young male on the move to find new territory.

The cry faded into the distance. Assured he had nothing to fear, Jake crawled into his sleeping bag. Before long, he was sound asleep.

Blurb:

King’s. The Tower of London. Glass. What do these have in common?

Each is a famous menagerie.

While this Menagerie doesn’t focus on exotic animals, it does contain a collection of stories that explore various trials people face and how their reactions shape their worlds.

Survivors of a haunted bridge. Women who wait while their husbands fight a war. Former partners reuniting to solve a cold-case murder.

These are just three of the thirteen stories in this compendium, encompassing past and present, natural and supernatural, legend and reality. The genres and timelines are varied, but there’s a little something for everyone who enjoys reading about simpler times and small-town life.

Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/jh-menagerie

About the Author

Social Media Links

Website | Blog | BookBub | Goodreads

#TankaTuesday #Ekphrastic #Poetry #Challenge, No. 304 #haibun #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Ekphrastic Poetry Challenge #304. We are to create a poem using the picture below.

I came up with a haibun. It is a prose paragraph joined with a haiku or, in my case, a senryu.

Boughton, George Henry; The Lady of the Snows; Walker Art Gallery; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-lady-of-the-snows-97671

ETERNITY’S STEP

I sat on the bench in the new year’s chill, watching the ocean waves crash against the barren shoreline. This is where I used to meet Charity… before. The day it happened, I was late because of my engagement party. Although I liked the woman I was to marry, it was not with the same passion and depth I had for my sweet Charity. It had to be this way since our families wouldn’t let us be together. I accepted that we would have to steal our precious moments. Charity accepted nothing and refused to marry out of duty like I was about to do. My love was much braver than me that day. We had talked about doing this, but I was afraid. So, she left without me, stepping into the raging waters and letting this reality slip away. Every day, I went to our place, where she stood silently by the shoreline—waiting.

ghostly love beckons…
I enter her stormy sea
eternity ours

January Book Reviews Part 2! @Ivyloganauthor @NoFacilities @pokercubster #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #bookreviews #whattoread

 

Fifteen First Times: Beginnings: A Collection of Indelible Firsts

By D.G. Kaye

“Fifteen First Times” is a group of personal stories told in a humorous yet perceptive manner. It felt like I was sitting with Ms. Kaye having a cup of tea while she shared some of her life stories. I found it easy to relate to a first kiss, first heartbreak, or first-time driving. It got me reflecting on many of my firsts and how I navigated life after. The author’s strength, fashion sense, and humor shined through the words, painting a picture of her moments. This is a book of youthful reflections and what we can learn from all our firsts. There was also a loving dedication to her departed husband that touched my soul. This is a beautiful collection of coming-of-age stories I can easily recommend.

When Evil Chooses You: Book Three in the Dreamer’s Alliance Series

By Dan Antion

“The Evil Chooses You” is a fun sequel where Zach quickly discovers the FBI isn’t through with him and his exceptional skills. Zach wants to enjoy his retirement, but someone from his not-too-recent past has other ideas. His ability to go into his dreams and travel is too hard for some to resist using. Agent Dyer has a personal vendetta against a Senator, a Mob boss, and a local cop. He will stop at nothing to take them down, using Zach and murder to get what he wants. I enjoy the relationship between Zach, his daughter, his brother, and his best friend, Billy. They are good support for him when he needs it. He must learn whom to trust outside this circle and, in an interesting twist, find a new ally. I kept thinking about the show and movies Mission Impossible as their plan unfolded. An entertaining and unique series that offered an ending I found satisfying.

 

Origins: The Legend of Ava

By Ivy Logan

Having read and enjoyed the first two books of the Breach Chronicles, I was excited to see there was a prequel to the first story. Ava is a Heichi Sorceress who can see the future and sometimes end up there. She helplessly watches a girl racing deep into the forest. Her attempts to help or change things have repercussions she has to deal with. Ava is a character full of compassion that isn’t always appreciated. I loved she followed her heart even in the worst of situations. This quick read can be a stand-alone, but it is a great addition to a series I can easily recommend.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!

Embrace your inner child, and read a good book! D. L. Finn