Reviews and a poem

 

Into Spring: The Next Generation (Four Seasons Book 2)

by Larry Landgraf

This is the second book of the “Four Seasons Book” series that heads back into Peaceful Valley, TX. It has been many years since the grid collapse and we find the first generation of kids grown up and wanting to get married–except there’s no girls there for Robbie and Sean. They set off on a quest to find wives and end up in Corpus Christi where they quickly find a woman Sandra in charge and are separated. It is an interesting concept of what would happen in the aftermath of society’s collapse and the dictators that rise up.  I like Robbie’s ingenuity and determination to survive in the situation he found himself in. While Sean was in different circumstances he seemed more willing to stay. Here there are plenty of women and food, but it is a cruel world they find themselves in. I found myself reading late into the night, completely invested in the characters, especially Robbie. There were some parts that broke my heart and a couple that left me confused. This is an action-packed story of survival with a different feel from “Into Autumn”—yet it was still as good a read as the first book. I’m looking forward to reading the next book “Into Winter” to see what happens next!


Into Winter: The Armed Invasion (The Four Seasons Book 3) 

by Larry Landgraf

This is the third book in the “Four Seasons” series. It continues with the residents of Peaceful Valley– following the grid shut down that caused the collapse of society. After Robbie and Sean find their way back from the cruel dictatorship in Corpus Christi, there is a price to pay for leaving. Sandra is determined to attack Peaceful Valley. It was an interesting process to watch them prepare and defend their way of life, with very real consequences on both sides. What I found most thought-provoking was their realization that what goes on outside of Peaceful Valley affects them. There is some great insight into what makes a good government from the ground up. Although, it’s a brutal process I found it a spell binding read. I loved learning survival skills in the first book, the exploration in the second book, but this one gets you to wonder “what would you do” and then admire when the characters go beyond their own comfort. I’m eagerly looking forward to “Into Summer” and seeing where Mr. Landgraf takes us next.


Mystic Tea 

by Rea Nolan Martin

This was a charming, insightful story told through the eyes of strong and unique women. Being a Catholic, I enjoyed the setting of nuns in a monastery. It was familiar, but it took its own twist into the unknown. Each character had her own strength and weakness. I was drawn to the journey, particularly the relationships of: Prioress Mike searching for her faith, Gemma’s self-abuse, Arielle’s past addictions, and the most intriguing character the Mother, or Augusta. The self-reflection and growth were riveting to read as the story progressed. There was a lot of magic, hope, and redemption that left me feeling the same thing reading it, but there was also truth, consequences, and reality. The characters were strong, and I was fully invested in the intertwining results. In the end, all I wanted was a cup of that magical tea and the hope that came with it. I highly recommend this book!


Been working on editing “Just her Poetry”. Here is the first poem (it is raw and unfinished) under what I’m calling right now, “Emotions”:

IMG_2626

WATCHING

I’m unsure what to feel.

I watch the banter

Flow back and forth

Like the waves on

The ocean’s shore.

When I’ve tried to jump in

The water was cold

And the waves–

Almost knocked me down.

The birds were gone,

The sand littered with dead fish,

Everything departed or dying.

The oily water covered the hidden riptide.

It wasn’t safe, so I perched…

On a hill high above.

The place I used to love.

It’s lonely, but it’s protected

From the pandemonium below.

The struggle spills out,

Almost reaching me…

But for now, I’m safe–watching.


I’m reading “LOVE The Beat Goes On” by Lynda Filler! I have some amazing books on my list this year to read.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Poem and fire…

1. Fall colors in Nevada City, CA

2. Smoky day in Nevada City, CA (the faint outline at top of picture is the mountain where I live– to the right) 

I have lived with the possibility of fires the last 27 years. It’s the price one pays for living in the forest. I accept that. I’ve held my breath through the dry fall months many times–until we get those first rains. My family has packed to evacuate, but never had to leave. We’ve been lucky.  I keep a pair of shoes and my purse next to my bed…just in case. I know where my important papers are, I have a suitcase with a change of clothes in my car, animal carriers ready, and the brush has been cleared away from the house.  We are prepared the best anyone can be–if disaster strikes.

California deals with fires, earthquakes, floods, and droughts–it’s a fact of life here. Yet, I have never woken up to what I did this week. So many fires happening “all at once” during a dry wind and dry time of the year. Of those seventeen fires, two struck our area the first day. Fire fighters risked their lives to save other’s lives and property. Sometimes you have a warning, but most of the time you don’t.

Right now, I am safe. The trees are changing their colors for fall to red, yellow, and orange. It’s a beautiful process that continues uninterrupted—even surrounded by fire. The trees carry-on even with all the changes taking place. There are signs of this change all over the world–and all I can do is hope that it isn’t too late for “us” to change…


WAIT

The air is thick with disaster

Heavy in loss and pain.

The sun unable to break through

As the winds fuel the flames…

Tension fills us all.

No breath too deep

As watchful eyes are kept —

Pinned on the horizon.

We wait for the warning.

Bags packed—ready to flee

The air is thick,

With ash from the fires

As…we wait.


Thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones or their homes in the California fires– and the other recent disasters. Reach out and lend a helping hand where you can.


Next week, I will be on vacation with my grand kids. I’m hoping to explore some fall splendor if we can– and at the same time praying for the rains to start! So, the monthly newsletter will be a few days late, while I am out embracing my inner child–D.L. Finn

 

A little Poetry…

harley ride

My husband and I decided to take a ride on our motorcycle last weekend. We went on a favorite ride from Nevada City to Downieville, CA. This is a two hour plus round trip– depending on how many stops we make. Part of this journey, we are next to the beautiful Yuba River–or one of my favorite places to be. I decided to try an experiment. I brought a small notepad and pen to write some poetry during our ride. It was challenging. I used my husband’s back as a table to write on (at first, he was rather confused…). I hung tightly onto my pen, and put each poem, as I wrote them, safely into my zipped pocket–in case I dropped my notepad. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to read what I wrote later…but I was. Here is one of those poems which I deemed “Musings from a Harley” and will be adding to my poetry book, Just her Poetry:

MOMENTS

Moments of splendor on the back of a motorcycle

Are impolitely interrupted by road work.

We bake in the sun, that our black leather absorbs–

Motorcycle off—we sit and wait.

We are silent in the line of cars

Watching for signs of movement ahead,

When a single butterfly attracts our attention…

The flutter within the delay.

Soaring from one side of the road to the other

In its final autumn quest,

As flowers give forth their final blooms

The butterfly joins many on a late blooming weed.

My husband and I smile at each other.

The enchantment quickly dissipates

When the first car passes us…then another

Soon our direction will be moving.

The motorcycle roars into life

As the butterfly makes one last trip past us

And our time with this elegant being– gone

As the quiet fades into the past

We are on our way again.

But, the memory of the white and orange butterfly

Stays with us on our journey

As moments of splendor–never really end.


NOTE:

I tried to honor the heroes in that horrible shooting in Las Vegas with poetry– and make sense of a senseless act. It is a hard thing to process. I also wrote a couple of poems to mark the passing of Tom Petty. I’ve seen him in concert many times over the years, including just last month.  I’m not ready to share these poems–yet. My plan is to include them in my poetry book. For now, I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by such a tragic day in America’s history. Hug your loved ones just a little tighter next time, and know I’m sending my hugs to you.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn