Some updates and a poem! #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #poetry #tanka #updates #bookrelease #rafflecopter #giveaways #blogtours

dirt path in forest
Tribute Trail in Nevada City CA

Hi!

It’s been busy around here releasing my new book! Tomorrow is the last blog stop for this tour. Thank you to everyone who followed along and a huge thanks go out to all the blog post hosts. I kept it small this time, so I didn’t put my usual call out for hosts.

Positive reviews have been coming in, so I can stop holding my breath now. I’m thrilled people are enjoying meeting Charlie, Jane, Ben, and, of course, Drea.

  • I’m trying something I haven’t done in a while thanks to Jan’s post on Story Empire I’m running a giveaway on Rafflecopter for the release. I’m giving away Amazon Gift Cards. It’s been a while, but I think I remembered how to do it 🙂 This runs from June 23rd to July 7th.

LINK:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dacd5ce07/?

  • I am also going to try a paid blog tour on July 29th for a day blitz and see how that goes.  More on that later. This was another idea from one of Jan’s marketing posts on Story Empire. 
  • Yesterday I joined my daughter for our first book signing at a local art show in Sacramento.  I have been avoiding this for as long as I could—my daughter doesn’t take no for an answer 🙂 It was a wonderful time and I was blessed to meet a lot of amazing people. A little girl bought Tree Fairies, and when her mom explained to her I wrote it, her eyes grew so big! Those are moments you can’t get from behind a computer. All the good advice from fellow authors helped! That candy dish full of See’s lollipops was a hit. Thank you!

  • I was going through my books and found a stack of indie paperbacks I’d hadn’t read yet. So, I have been catching up with them. Some of them had been in the stack for a long time.

Now for the poem.

I entered a poerty contest over on Word Craft Poetry Blog. I wrote 12 poems with the “Dreams” theme in mind, and narrowed it down to one for my tanka prose entry. Here was one of the poems I wrote that day but didn’t use in the contest:

golden sun rises

nightmares darkness dissipates

the light shines on dreams

healing beams caress my soul

heavenly message of hope

 

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

 

 

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry #Challenge No. 276, #ShareYourDay #tanka #poems #poetrycommunity

Here is this week’s Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #276. This week we are challenged to share our day.

I’ve been feeling life a little too intensely lately. When I start to feel overwhelmed, the best thing I can do is step outside and walk in the forest. Here, I can do some walking meditation, write poetry surrounded by trees, or simply be. I may not accomplish all I need to, but these moments provide the peace my mind, body, and soul needs.

exhaustion heavy

another yawn claims my breath

I enter the woods

wind’s breeze carries the trees song

nature’s healing bathes my soul

 

#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 275, 5/24/22, #THEMEPROMPT #tanka #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity #poetrychallenge

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #275 Theme Prompt. The theme “useful” was choosen by Kerfe.

I’ve been quiet lately, barely time to visit blogs or get one posted. Releasing a new book is always so time consuming, plus putting out new covers and tidying the books up. Not sure why I did both at once. But I made sure to make that little extra time to write some poetry today.

I put the word useful into Canva’s search and came up with this picture.

wrinkled, gray or bald

slower gait, feeble and frail

family’s burden

society’s arrogance

essential wisdom dismissed

#TankaTuesday #PoetryChallenge No. 271, #ThemePrompt. #writingcommunity #tankaprose #poetrycommunity #tanka #poetry

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 271. This week is a theme prompt.Yvette M. Calleiro provided this month’s theme: Beginnings & Endings.

I’m right in the middle of replacing my very old computer. I reflected on that day many years ago when I opened the box, carefully unpacked it, and set my computer up. Our time together had just started. Now, I’m moving all its information to its replacement and look forward to working without the computer freezing up every few moments or the long periods of waiting. But after all the good years we had together, I needed to say my final goodbye as our partnership ended.

Once shiny and new
towering grace held the world
you were everything
but time downloaded your essence
you’re efficiently replaced

#TankaTuesday #PoetryChallenge #270 #PhotoPrompt #ekphrasticpoem #haibun #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #270. This week’s theme is a photo prompt which is an ekphrastic poem.

You may have guessed I picked the picture this week 🙂 I decided on haibun which is a connected combination of a prose paragraph and a  haiku.

A NEW BEGINNING

The pod took their final dive off the coast of Kauai, as the place of their birth was leveled. No land location survived the barrage of bombs, but sections of the ocean were untouched. Their pod was alive and unharmed, but they heard many dolphin families silenced along with all the humans. Right after the final explosion, a beautiful perfect-pitched dolphin song began. Directions were weaved into this beacon of hope, guiding them to where dolphins could start over. A paradise where fish are plentiful, and nothing would hurt them. They swam over the wrecked ships and under the floating tombs that used to net their kind. It was their time now when the gentle creatures of the ocean rule the earth’s new world.

under the surface

kelp becomes the new forest

life begins again.

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 269 #Colleen’s SpecificForm:TankaProse #poetrycommunity #writingcommunity

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #269. It’s a specific form or Tanka Prose.

THE OCEAN SIGHTING

Last December, as we reached our Hawaiian destination, Kauai, I glanced out the plane window to see the approaching shore. Right below the plane, there was a pod of humpback whales. It was one of those moments in life where all I could do was to be part of it, but I couldn’t record it to share. I spotted another whale that day as soon as we got to our room. There was a gray spume of water shooting up that I first thought—ghost ship. Looking again, I realized it was a whale blowing air through its blowhole. Although I kept looking; I didn’t see another whale until the very last day. I stood on our balcony to take one last look before we left and there it was, that burst of air exiting the whale. Then the whale breached and dove. I didn’t see it again. The whales had greeted me the first day and then said goodbye, until the next time.

above paradise

a pod of whales welcomes me

awakens my heart

soothing my discouraged soul

a magical moment heals

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry #Challenge No. 268 #Tastetherainbow-Color Poetry #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #poetrychallenge

Here is Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 268. We are challenged to taste the rainbow or write about color.

Last week, I went to the bank driving through a small downpour when saw the sun peeking through the clouds. I knew there had to be a rainbow somewhere and there was. It was the most beautiful one I’d ever seen. The main one was double the colors and then another one framed it. I could almost touch them. Of course, in my hurry to get to the bank, I forgot my phone and any chance of getting a picture of it. Yet, at that moment I got a strong message that everything was going to be okay.

 

the day dull and gray
heavily laden with fear
until light breaks through
coloring my opaque soul
in a rainbow of hushed hope

 

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 267, #ShareYourDay #senryu #tanka #harleyride #poems #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #267. This week we are being challenged to share our day with pictures and poetry.

Hubby and I by the South Yuba River, CA

I’m sharing a day from our vacation last week. I love to write poetry in as many places as possible, and one of them is while I’m riding with my hubby on a Harley. I keep a pad and pen in my coat pocket and, so far, have only lost one pen but none of the words written. I have a tanka and senryu to share from our excursion. Healing was a theme in most of the poetry written last week.

waving on harley
The picture was taken driving down our street. I’m always happy when I don’t drop my phone doing this 🙂

road takes us nowhere

except into the moment

nature reaches out

caresses my weary soul

I’m healed on a warm spring day

Highway 49 South Yuba River by Downieville, CA. A favorite ride!

D. L. Finn writes words

captures thoughts on the Harley

healing Denise’s soul

 

And yes, I do separate Denise and D. L. Finn 🙂

 

#TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #260. @ColleenChesebro #abhanga #poetry #poem #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #poetrychallenge

Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge #260. The challenge is to do Abhanga form which is 6a/6b/6b/4c. I did an Abhanga series and used a picture I took in Hawaii. The photo looks out of a dark cave into the light.

I have been getting more than my share of messages lately, including paying attention and trusting myself. As usual, I fought the unwelcomed changes at first, but I came to a point where I see the wisdom in letting go and going with this wiser flow.

sun shining into dark cave

THE AWAKENING

abundant messages
surround my universe
as if brought by a curse
they are ignored

invasion continues
my suppression inept
finally, I accept
darkness ascends

golden beams filter through
cast light in the shadow
love’s compassionate flow
awakes my soul

A MAN ON THE PIER: A Short Story Dream Challenge. #writingcommunity #shortstory #shortstorychallenge #indieauthor

Here’s my first short story of the year. This one came from a vivid dream during our power outage a few weeks ago. Although it wasn’t from a word and then chosen image like my past challenges, the dream gave me lots of pictures to work from about an old man, a cage of dead fish, and a pier. So, in that way, it offered me a new dream challenge.

I’m not sure if this story is done with me yet. We will see.

I’ve been adding my short stories posted here into my upcoming short story collection that I’ve been working on for the last couple of years. Not sure if they will all make the cut or not.

A MAN ON THE PIER

On a wooden pier that ended over the ocean, a man carried a thin, long cage full of dead fish. The familiar tall and lean person was dressed in brown cloth pants and a blue shirt with brass buttons. His stringy gray hair was tied back with a slice of tanned leather, and his brown boots were scuffed and worn. The man known as Captain Randall set his contraption across from where I sat on the newly painted white bench.

Maybe nothing would have happened that day if it hadn’t been for someone out jogging.

The jogger in gray sweats and a shiny blue fitted shirt skidded to a stop in front of Captain Randall. Before I could warn him, he spoke, “Hi, I’m Bob. New to the area. What’s that for?”

Captain Randall smiled, exposing a mouthful of rotten teeth as he skillfully sliced open the rotting fish. “Come see. Follow me.” He gripped the cage and jumped into the icy waters.

I leaped up to stop him, but Bob followed Captain Randall into the water with no hesitation.

“Hey! What are you doing?” Bob called out as he swam faster.

I froze at the edge of safety and watched both men swim away from the pier. My heart raced like I was doing laps at the high school pool. That was where I spent most of my free time on the swim team and had been the team captain in my senior year. Right now I didn’t want to cross the finish line but longed to be in that water, too. It took every ounce of my willpower not to jump in.

Then the long cage opened, and all the dead fish floated to the top of the water with their blood seeping out of them. Captain Randall calmly swam back to the pier.

Bob looked around with his mouth hanging open. I knew what was about to happen. I’d seen it all before in my dream and heard the stories told around campfires. There was nothing I could do.

Captain Randall spun around when he got to the pier at the same moment realization flowed over Bob’s face. Black fins appeared on both sides of Bob.

“Help me!” Bob’s hands waved frantically in the air.

Captain Randall calmly climbed out of the ocean. There was no helping Bob as he disappeared under the blood-red sea in one giant tug.

Captain Randall nodded to me. “Guess they are biting today.”

I gulped down any response. I didn’t want to end up in the ocean too.

With a slight smile, he walked off humming a tune that I swear was from that shark movie. I watched the water become inflamed with death.

My dream came back to me. “Never, never speak to him. He’s cursed, Sasha.” A beautiful woman with long black hair and a fish’s body for legs had warned me. “Stay out of the water, no matter what you see. Then I will come to you when there is a victim.”

Too bad no one told Bob that the ghost of Captain Randall fed the sharks every day at the same time. If you were foolish enough to speak to him, and he answered you—your fate was sealed. The frenzy only continued for a few minutes.

I wasn’t really surprised when the mermaid from my dream swam up to the pier when the waters cleared to their crystal blue beauty.

“That’s the evil we battle, Sasha. It didn’t recognize you. I am pleased. Now go back to your land home until you are needed.”

“You battle evil? Why would it recognize me?” I dropped my pink glitter backpack that landed on the dry wood with a hollow thunk.

“When it is time, I will come for you. Go back.” Then she disappeared.

That was three years ago. I moved to the city, and never returned to that pier or the ocean. Thankfully, there had been no more dreams. The only water I ever got into was full of chlorine. But that all changed last night when that dream returned, calling me to the sea. Foolishly, I went to do my morning laps in the pool at my apartment building. It was early, and the pool was usually empty, so I set my white towel down on a blue lounge. I stood on the edge, ready to dive when I saw the mermaid there. She waved, and I ran.

No one can make me go back to the sea again. I just won’t. Even when I ran past Captain Randall carrying his fish in the middle of my apartment lobby. I convinced myself it had nothing to do with me. I threw clothes into my new green suitcase and left the shabbily furnished studio apartment and server job behind.

A year later, I’m still running, but my dreams beckon me every night to come back. I won’t be fooled or tricked into those waters. Nope, not me. I learned you can only trust yourself growing up in the foster care system, and that included mermaids. With no place to go, I moved to the desert. The dreams might come, but let those water people try to find me there. Just let them.


NOTE: This month got away from me for many reasons. My Monthly Newsletter will go out later tonight or tomorrow.