THE WRITER’S GRAPEVINE
MARCH MADNESS EDITION
BY: PATTY L. FLETCHER
COPYRIGHT MARCH 2020
A PUBLICATION OF TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD MARKETING
If you’ve trouble clicking any of the links in this newsletter, simply copy and paste them directly into your internet browser. If for some reason they don’t work correctly for you once you’ve done this, please email: email@example.com to let me know.
The front cover shows a surround of a grapevine with black/purple grapes. In the middle is a bottle of wine with a wine glass along with a paperback and a kindle The title is at the top centre with the edition name towards the bottom of the image.
TABLE OF CONTENTS AND NAVIGATION…
Each column is marked with a heading, to navigate using your screen reader simply hit the letter H to skip forward from column to column or shift H to skip back to a previous one.
Each item within a column has been numbered.
We hope this makes your reading of The Writer’s Grapevine more pleasurable.
Your feedback is important, so please do write to let us know what you think about this or anything else in the magazine.
Heading 1 Greeting
Heading 2 Sponsors
Heading 3 What’s Up?
- ABBIE JOHNSON TAYLOR ANNOUNCES…
- UPDATE FROM PHYLLIS STATON CAMPBELL…
- A GIFT FROM AUTHOR JO E. PINTO
- A NOTE TO AUDIOBOOK LISTENERS FROM AUTHOR MEREDITH BURTON
- LOCKDOWN: Acting and Reacting by Patty Fletcher
Heading 4 In the News
- FROM JOHNATHAN MOSEN MEET ME ACCESSIBLY NOW FREE FOR DOWNLOAD!
- A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM AUTHOR J. E. PINTO!
- The ELECTRIC ECLECTIC NOVELLA FICTION PRIZE 2020… is now open
- OUT SOON – STITCHES A FULL-COLOUR BOOK
- AUTHOR JENNA R. FELLERS ANNOUNCES HER LATEST RELEASE…
- NEW RELEASE FROM AUTHOR ANN CHIAPPETTA…
Heading 5 Author’s Corner
- Screen Reader Supported by Ann Chiappetta
- This is I, Today: The questions of life By Lynda McKinney Lambert
- Excerpt from The Cult- book 3 By Pranav Lal
- Echoes of the Bunkermen By Stephen Tanham
- Heartwings Love Notes 923: A New Reality
- PRACTICING MY FAITH DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES
Heading 6 Reading with the Authors
- REVIEW BY AUTHOR OF, ONE WITH WILLOWS BY JOAN MYLES
- THE BIRTH OF A BOOK BY PHYLLIS STATON CAMPBELL
Heading 7 A Place of Poetry
- NEW YEAR NEW YOU BY BUTTERFLY THOMAS
- DEPARTURE BY ABBIE JOHNSON TAYLOR
- CREATION BY JOAN MYLES
Heading 8 Favorite Links of the Month
Heading 9 Closing
Hello everyone and welcome to another Incredible edition of the Writer’s Grapevine.
How do I know it’s Incredible? Because it’s filled with “Incredible” contributors. But the proof is as they say… “In the pudding.” Or in this case on the page. So, grab your favorite drink, snuggle down into your most comfortable reading nest and ready yourself for some great discoveries.
This month we have new releases, great articles and reports of things to come. So, without further ado, here’s the Writer’s Grapevine just for you.
Of course, as always you’re invited to share. Just make certain to send out the entire newsletter, or if you choose to share specific items make certain to copy each one in its completion thus giving the author or business full credit.
My special thanks to Claire Plaisted of PLAISTED PUBLISHING HOUSE LTD FOR FORMATTING and Mara Reitsma of COVERED BY THE ROSE FOR THE MAGAZINE COVER Contractor for Plaisted Publishing House
Assisting Author Program http://www.plaistedpublishinghouse.com For her assistance with this magazine.
Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist) is now seeking sponsors to assist with keeping our prices reasonable so those who are unable to afford the high cost of advertising will have a place to turn for part of their marketing needs.
Here at Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing where we marry social media marketing with more traditional approaches, we strive to assist clients with the promotion of their books, blogs, and small businesses.
We provide services such as:
- Featured blog posts
- Social Media coverage including:
Our prices range from $80.00 for three-months to $170.00 for a full year package.
We provide services such as Facebook Page admin Assistance for those who aren’t able or who don’t have the time to maintain their author, blog, or business Facebook pages.
We also provide, Network and Outreach which can range from something as simple as assisting you with a query letter to a task as complicated as researching and creating a marketing mailing list so you can send out information which will target those you serve as well as many other promotional assistive services.
What will you as a sponsor of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing receive?
If you become a sponsor of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, you will receive…
An ad up to 500 words in length on the homepage of my blog which will remain until you either request it removed, or ask it to be updated in some way
A spot in my monthly newsletter, the Writer’s Grapevine, and:
A spot in the sponsor pages of the annual Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing catalog Books and Those Who Make Them Happen.
Your ads will also be used in Facebook events held on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tellittotheworld/ and in blog post articles and essays found on: http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com
The price for becoming a sponsor is $30.00 or is free with the purchase of a one-year advertising package.
We accept payment via Paypal.com
For more information including ad guidelines please write us at:Patty.firstname.lastname@example.org
*NOTE* We’ve a lot of sponsors, and the actual sponsor page which is found on my blog is quite long so to put up their ads in full would take an enormous portion of this newsletter. Rather than put up pages of ads, I’m going to list their names, and how to find them. You can of course visit: http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com/ . click the sponsor page and see all their ads in full including photos. Keep in mind the sponsor page is a work in progress and is always updating so be sure to check back often.
That having been said, you may occasionally note that there are some new additions here that haven’t yet made it onto the blog. So, in the meantime, here are all this month’s sponsors.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS ANIMAL HOSPITAL:
AUTHOR JO E. PINTO
NEW RELEASE 2019
DADDY WON’T LET MOM DRIVE THE CAR: TRUE TALES OF PARENTING IN THE DARK (COPYRIGHT 2019)
To see and buy her books please visit: http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto
AUTHOR MEREDITH LEIGH BURTON
RELEASED AUGUST 8, 2019
To see and buy her books visit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GC3HNYB/
Learn all about the totally unique, 8.5” x 11” EZ2See® Weekly Planner/Calendar, Specialty Visually Challenged Friendly Sticky Notepads and Markers at: http://www.EZ2SeeProducts.com
PLAISTED PUBLISHING HOUSE LTD
Assisting Author Program http://www.plaistedpublishinghouse.com
AUTHOR ARTIST LYNDA MCKINNEY LAMBERT ANNOUNCES!
Get YOUR COPY OF THIS LIMITED EDITION chapbook.
https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/first-snow-by-lynda-mckinney-lambert/ #poetry, #book #booklovers #readers #flp #poetry lovers #chapbook
AUTHOR DONNA W. HILL BOOK: THE HEART OF APPLEBUTTER HILL
LEONORE AND DAVID DVORKIN OF DLD BOOKS Editing and Publishing Services:
CASEY MATHEWS OF WEBFRIENDLYHELP
Taming your Technology
Author, editor, citizen journalist, blogger, and human and animal rights advocate, website: www.ernestdempsey.com
AUTHORS TASHA AND STEPHEN HALPERT
Shop for Stephen and Tasha’s books, ABACADABRA MOONSHINE & OTHER STORIES by Stephen Halpert, Up to My Neck in Lemons and other books by Tasha Halpert online at: https://smile.amazon.com/
AUTHOR ANNE COPELAND
Folklore, History, Planting Care, and Good Eating
by Anne Copeland (C 2019)
AUTHOR AND PROFESSED TECHNO GEEK PRANAV.LAL
JOHN CRAWFORD’S SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Not only do we have a lot of talented sponsors, but we’ve got lots of busy writers this month as well.
First up in our what’s up column we have author Abbie Johnson Taylor with some exciting news.
- ABBIE JOHNSON TAYLOR ANNOUNCES…
For more information about my books visit: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com
For those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, I’m pleased to announce that my latest book, The Red Dress, is now in production and will eventually be released in a specialized recorded format that can be downloaded from their website. I don’t know how much longer the process will take, but the good news is we’re getting closer.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
For information concerning the National Library Services For the Blind and Print Disabled see: http://www.bard.loc.gov
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be checking the new releases pretty regularly from now on. Speaking of new releases, here’s multi-genre Phyllis Campbell with an update about what’s coming up in her writing world.
- UPDATE FROM PHYLLIS STATON CAMPBELL…
For more information about my books visit: http://www.phyllisstatoncampbellauthor.com
FINGERS ARE TIRED!
No, I’m not practicing for a concert at Carnegie Hall, but going through the braille proofs to my two latest books to be released: Goin’ Home, sequel to Where Sheep May Safely Graze, and A Place to Belong, for young adult and older readers. Watch for them coming soon.
Gees, I’m tired just thinking about all that. Yet, there’s more.
- A GIFT FROM AUTHOR JO E. PINTO
For more information about the books shown below please visit: https://www.brightsideauthor.com.
Dear Grapevine Readers:
Do you live in the United States or the United Kingdom? Do you have an active Audible account? Then I have good news for you!
If you contact me to let me know you’re interested, I’ll send you a free promotion code that will get you an audio copy of my award-winning novel “The Bright Side of Darkness” or my newly released book, “Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car: True Tales of Parenting in the Dark.”
The novel is a story about mentoring, about choosing to be a positive change in the world. It is a tale of triumph, a tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit; an apt subject during these difficult times. The nonfiction book is a series of short vignettes about my adventures as a blind mom. It is designed to show that the dents and delights of parenting are universal, with or without a disability.
These promotion codes are available only to Audible users in the United States and the United Kingdom, and only by contacting me at email@example.com. Enjoy!
- A NOTE TO AUDIOBOOK LISTENERS FROM AUTHOR MEREDITH BURTON
For more information about my books visit: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4798776
Hello, everyone, Meredith here. I hope that all of you are well. During this time of uncertainty, I take comfort in the things that do not change: God’s everlasting love, the fact that spring is here and new life is bursting forth.
I always find that a good book enables me to take a rest from worries. One of my favorite pastimes is to sit outside and listen to an audiobook. As author Katherine Applegate says in her novel The One and Only Ivan, “I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings.” To that end, my anthology, Blind Beauty and other Tales of Redemption contains those very types of tales. The characters experience times of darkness but also times of beauty.
I was humbled to find a phenomenal reader, Becky Doughty, to narrate my anthology. She is a versatile narrator who brought the stories beautifully to life. I would like to invite anyone who is interested to receive a free audio sample of the book.
If you’d like to partake of this offer please email me at: Meredith Burton <firstname.lastname@example.org
- LOCKDOWN: ACTING AND REACTING BY: PATTY L. FLETCHER
I thought I’d best pop in and see how everyone is fairing during lockdown. I understand that some cities, states, and even countries are going on total lockdown. To those experiencing such a thing, what does that mean? What does that look like for you? How is everyone coping during the changes taking place? Despite the constant upheaval to our daily lives, what positives are you able to take from this?
For me, the rough spots are a lot less than for others. Although I am suffering problems such as…
Not having someone to help with reading snail mail handling time sensitive paperwork, and not being able to go to the library or women’s center for socialization and internet use, overall for me not a whole lot has changed.
Oh sure, it’s inconvenient as heck that when I go out to the store some things are gone from the shelves, I have to wait longer than usual to get assistance in the store, and when I ride the bus home seating has changed due to the distancing between persons to keep the busses compliant with regulations, but those things are annoyances, and they aren’t going to matter in 10 years, especially if they keep me alive. So, though I may grumble about them, I’m not going to get all bent out of shape.
Now, should I go to the store and find the shelves are completely void of coffee, we might experience a total nuclear meltdown, but seriously, everyone has a breaking point don’t they?
And that leads my muse off in a new direction…
“Hey! Muse! Get back here!”
Well… There she goes… Look! Out!
I’ve seen a lot of frustration and upset boiling over on social media. Though for the most part I’ve been able to keep myself in check concerning these things, and think before replying there have been a couple times when that has bordered on a pop-off valve breaking loose and spilling out all over everyone, and I must admit back at the first of the month I did have a mini-meltdown but it wasn’t virus related.
I am however, trying to understand that there are some who have a lot less tolerance for major change in their lifestyle, and that some might not have the ability to look at a situation with the type of positivity as I do and so my goal over the last few days has been to try and share things which will take people away from the situation a little, change their train of thought to something else if only for a little while in the hopes that by doing so it will help them get a better perspective on things.
Someone on Facebook suggested that it is those who have deeply rooted inner resources who can withstand hardship better than others, and I believe this is so.
So, I suggest…
Draw on your strengths. Identify those and bring them to the forefront.
Find things to enjoy. I mean really take a moment and think about where you are, what abilities you have and how you can use that to make not only your day better but someone else’s too.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel so much better when I know I’ve done something good for someone else, even if I only made them laugh for a moment. After all, what’s better than a smile? Take this time to reflect on what is truly important and before going totally off the rails about something ask yourselves, “Will this matter in 10 years?”
Then, before giving a kneejerk answer, give that some real thought.
I’m having to put this into practice. I had to rewrite an email to someone I was working with yesterday 6 times before I was able to bring the tone of my words out of an aggressive place. I had to delete and redo a comment to someone’s reaction to something I posted, and I had to take a big, deep, breath before speaking to someone on the phone who was on my very last nerve with their ridiculous questions.
My point, I’m trying to practice what I preach and realize that I may not be able to control what is happening around me, but I can if I make an effort control how I act and react to it.
I’m not perfect, and sooner or later I may have another meltdown. We all do, but I hope if I do that it’s worthy of the fallout that will come from it.
And with that, my Muse is off again… Dang… she’s manic today…
Who decides what is worthy of a meltdown?
Since all of us have different breaking points that will be different for each person.
So, not only do we have to ask if it will matter in 10 years, we should also ask ourselves if what we’re about to say is worth possibly damaging a friendship, hurting the feelings of a dear family member, or causing a 3-day argument.
Let’s have a conversation. If you’re comfortable doing so, send your thoughts on the subject to me at: email@example.com. I’ll post them in next month’s magazine, and you may request to remain anonymous if you wish.
Just try and remember, this too shall pass.
I know that’s the oldest cliché on planet, but it is true.
May harmony find you, and blessid be.
IN THE NEWS…
- MEET ME ACCESSIBLY NOW FREE FOR DOWNLOAD!
[Mosen Consulting Announcement] My audiobook about Zoom Cloud Meetings is now free
Kia ora everyone, from a beautiful Wellington New Zealand.
As many of you know, I’m now CEO of a national organisation here in New Zealand. I’m no longer developing Mosen Consulting projects, but I keep titles available as long as they remain relevant. Occasionally, I check in to see what we have sold through our automated system.
Having just done this, I have noticed a sharp increase in the number of people buying my audiobook on Zoom Cloud Meetings, “Meet Me Accessibly”, which is a three-hour description of how to use Zoom on a range of platforms with a screen reader. There has been a very sharp spike in sales in just the last few days.
Clearly, this is because more people are already working from home or are preparing to do so.
I do not feel comfortable profiting from a need people have during a crisis that is unprecedented in living memory. If people need access to the material at a time like this, I can afford to give it away especially since Mosen Consulting is no longer my primary means of making a living.
I have therefore refunded in full everyone who has purchased “Meet Me Accessibly” during March, and made it free on the website. You are welcome to download it free and distribute it anywhere you want. The only thing I ask is that you please not change any of the files and that it be distributed in full.
Download it free from http://mosen.org/zoom
I hope this helps in some small way during a very tough time for many.
There is no sugar coating the fact that we are living through a very difficult period in history. But if we follow quality advice including regular handwashing and levels of isolation appropriate for the degree of outbreak in our country, we’ll get through it.
Let’s all do our best to stay safe, be mindful of the safety of others, and be kind.
- A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM AUTHOR J. E. PINTO!
My name is Jo Elizabeth Pinto, and I’m writing on behalf of a friend.
Angela Latessa, of Euclid, Ohio, is raising money for a very specific type of ‘Service Dog.’ She is supposed to make another payment of $3875 to Sit Service Dogs Inc. of Illinois, Inc., for the dog who is being trained to assist her with guidework, seizure alert, balance help, and object retrieval tasks. The school has been very gracious due to circumstances the likes of which none of us have ever seen before.
But we figure since we can’t hold a real Italian dinner fundraiser at a live location like a church, the way Angela had been talking about doing, we’ll hold a virtual dinner online instead. On Monday, March 30, we’ll get together for the best plate of imaginary Italian food you ever had. Lasagna, garlic bread, tiramisu, how about it? The illustrious chef Amy Baxter will assemble the food in pictures and words; a treat for all the senses. Her husband Mark, a real rock-and-roll street musician, will tune up his guitar and play a few songs for us. Kaiti Shelton, a music therapist and songwriter, has written a ditty called “Coronavirus Blues” she’ll roll out for the occasion, along with some other numbers. I’ll upload a YouTube video of an excerpt from my novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness,” and offer active Audible members from the United States or the United Kingdom who donate at least $5 to the fundraiser a free promotion code for a download of the book. Other entertainment is yet to be determined, but it’s guaranteed to be fun and family-friendly.
For a suggested donation of at least $5, you’ll get an evening of virtual food and live entertainment, and you’ll be moving Angela toward her goal of obtaining a service dog who will help her regain independent travel. Are you in? Please like and share this post.
Link to event:
- The ELECTRIC ECLECTIC NOVELLA FICTION PRIZE 2020… is now open.
My name is Paul White, and I’ve got the perfect Writer’s Contest for you.
Are you an aspiring writer or an indie author looking for a publishing contract? If so, the Electric Eclectic Novella Fiction Prize 2020 is ‘right up your street’.
Simply write, a 20K to 30K word story, in any genre and about anything you want, and enter the Novella Fiction Prize.
Entry is just £10.00 GBP, (via official entry form) and the winning authors will have their manuscripts published as Novellas.
The top prize is a full paperback publishing package, with second and third places having their work published as eBooks.
There are also associated prizes, such as cover designs, marketing packages and author assist support.
The Electric Eclectic Novella Fiction Prize 2020 is an international literary competition for emerging writers and indie authors.
Submissions are encouraged from all literary fictional genres with no restrictions on theme or subject.
The emphasis of the judging will be on ambitious, imaginative and innovative approaches which explore and expand creative writing.
Details of ‘How to Enter’ are on the Electric Eclectic website http://bit.ly/NovFicPrize
- OUT SOON – STITCHES A FULL-COLOUR BOOK
BY MARA REITSMA FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Do you know the secret of being a good friend? Follow Stitches rhyming story and find out with Stitches. This story is for young children and contains gorgeous illustrations.
Stitches, the narwhal, spends his days exploring the ocean and playing tricks on his friends. There is so much to see and do, and Stitches doesn’t want to miss a second of it. But, when all that exploring lands Stitches in trouble and no one is there to help him out, Stitches learns a lesson in friendship from some unsuspecting visitors. Read along and find out for yourself what being a true friend is all about.
The colourful images were drawn and coloured by Mara Reitsma.
- AUTHOR JENNA R. FELLERS ANNOUNCES HER LATEST RELEASE!
FIVE KEYS TO SURVIVING LIFE’S STORMS
by Jena Fellers, C 2020
In e-book only from Amazon and Smashwords / $0.99
Cover, longer synopsis, author bio, and buying links:
Have circumstances in your life overwhelmed you to the point you feel you’ve been knocked off a horse mid–stride and can’t breathe? Life’s storms can hit hard and fast. They can blow out quickly, hammer long and hard, or strike in multiples, leaving you in a state of despair. Regardless of the type, size, or duration of the storm, hope remains. There are steps you can take to keep calmer, prevent damage, and keep your sanity during the storm. I call these steps “keys.” First identify the type of storm, then implement the keys.
Jena Fellers is the author of the 2019 book From Mishaps to Mission. Details are on her website, linked to above. E-book: $0.99 / Paperback: $6.50. Jena plans more such short, inspirational works for the near future.
IMAGE – Dark storm clouds with the title at the top and Author name at the bottom.
- NEW RELEASE FROM AUTHOR ANN CHIAPPETTA…
A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future
by Ann Chiappetta, C 2020
In e-book ($3.50) and print ($9.50, 182 pages) from Amazon and other online sellers.
Cover image, author bio, buying links, free text preview, and information on Ann’s three previous books: https://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
About A String of Stories
A demon deer and a ghost cat. Sibling rivalry and sexual awakening. Self-image and self-confidence. The chance for an offworlder to breathe free at last on a new planet. Those are just some of the diverse themes of these remarkable stories. Some endings are happy, some are sad, and some are intriguingly open-ended. But once you step inside the author’s world, you cannot emerge unmoved.
IMAGE – A deer with antler in a field. Book title at the top and Author name at the bottom.
- Screen Reader Supported
By Ann Chiappetta
For more details including Ann’s books in all available formats visit: https://tinyurl.com/toumxhs
I am an independent author. I’ve written and self-published four books and am proud of being able to find the people to help me accomplish my writing goals and aspirations. While I did all the writing, the editing and book preparation was completed by others. It takes a group of folks to publish an indie book. For example, I contracted with a book preparation and editing service, DLD Books, a book promotion person, Patty Fletcher, a photographer, and webmaster, just to name a few.
Thanks to Amazon, Kindle and other eBook sellers my books are ready to purchase and download instantly.
As an author who is also blind, I have to say the ease of ordering an eBook from Amazon has improved dramatically since my first book came out in 2016. In fact, most, if not all, of the eBook readers now include a voice-over option to listen to a book instead of reading it. This means Amazon now states, below the book title, reading options, like “This book is screen reader supported”.
It is important as an author to know just how your book is accessed by the public and including people with disabilities should be part of your considerations.
Kindle books are screen reader-supported, which means if the device is equipped with screen reading or voice over Technology, a person who is blind will be able to read or listen to a book. Other options are available for translating and individuals with motor skill limitations.
It is a good idea to order a book from the various bookseller platforms where you sell your own book, this way if a reader is a first-time eBook buyer, you can assure the reader of how easy it is and gain a sale and reader. It’s good customer service, an element of which is part of being an indie author.
Here’s to writing and reading. See you on the pages.
ABOUT ANN CHIAPPETTA…
Ann is a versatile poet and author whose writing demonstrates her ability to express the emotion and vitality of life in both her poetry and prose.
- This is I, Today:
The Questions of Life.
By Lynda McKinney Lambert
Visit me at: http://www.lyndalambert.com
IMAGE – Shows a small black and white dog with a harness
Q_ Where do I live?
The Village of Wurtemburg was settled over two-hundred years ago in western Pennsylvania by German immigrants. The village borders two winding creeks, the Slippery Rock Creek and the Connoquenessing Creek. The 2-mile long village is nestled in a deep valley off the beaten path. A rural 2-lane highway, Route 488, runs west/east through the length of the town. There are 3 bridges to cross on a trip through the village. Local residents know the three bridges as the “first bridge,” the “second bridge,” and the “third bridge.” We know which one is which, but outsiders have no clue.
I was born into this community on August 27, 1943. I grew up surrounded by my ancestors. This village is the little spot on Earth where I choose to remain. This is home to me.
Q_ What projects am I working on right now?
As I begin to compile and create the writings for my next full-length book, Gifts, my focus is on just one day and the gifts that are revealed to me each day. Each involves reciprocity such as things that we give to others or remembrances which we received.
I am a visual artist and author. This next book will be a new collection of thoughtful, personal essays, memoirs, poems, ancestry notations, and journal jottings. I imagine that I’ll be working on this project for the next year. As I begin the work, I ask questions that I want to explore at the beginning of the project.
Q_ I stop occasionally and ask, ‘Who am I?’
I use the word “hats” to describe an actual object, as well as a metaphor that portrays myself. I wear many hats. A hat is a personal item. The cap has many functions and changes as we live out our days, one at a time. I am particularly fond of wearing hats, fortunately.
I wrote a poem, “This is I, Today,” some years ago in which I describe a day in my life. At the time I wrote the poem, I was in Austria, where I taught a course called “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg,” for a month each summer. I continue to think about looking at only one day and writing about the activities and thoughts I experience in that single day.
Q_ What is on my creative plate for today?
Today, I am working on publicity releases for my full-length collection of poetry, Star Signs: New and Selected Poems. The book was published on July 15, 2019.
Star Signs: New and Selected Poems showcases my professional career as a poet from the mid-80s and the latest poem I wrote a few weeks before the book was published. I give readers 54 poems in this collection. The book has 145 pages.
Q_ How is writing and art reflected in my typical day?
I retired from my international teaching career in 2008. Since then, my days are more flexible. I enjoy the unpredictable days. I love retirement because I can embrace randomness and chance in my daily life. I no longer work on 5-year goal plans or sett unrealistic New Year resolutions. I keep my life open to the changing moments of each day. I can pivot and change my direction at any time I feel the need. I decide each day what I will work on that day, and it can change quickly and without warning. Each day is a new adventure.
Q_ What does my writing life look like most days?
I am often writing during the night because I’ve never been one who sleeps much. I sleep in short periods of a couple of hours at a time. Typically, I am up working in my office between 3, and 5 am.
My days begin early because I have 2 dogs to take out – they like to be out by 6 am. It is not unusual for them to go out for a short relief break during the night. While this may seem inconvenient, it is actually enjoyable to step out into the darkness and look up at the sky. There is a stillness and silence that is pervasive. I stand and give thanks for this gift of being able to witness the night as I do.
An early morning walk around the yard with my dogs is actually energizing. In essence, I get a boost for the new day as I begin walking about observing the shadows on the grass beneath the dark trees and the moonlight at various stages in the Heavenlies.
The walk before dawn gets me moving, so that’s a good thing.
Later in the morning, I’ll slip into the soft, warm water of our century-old bathtub in the upstairs bathroom. It is a porcelain-clad tub that sits above four graceful legs. The tub is made of cast iron, and I always make a wish that I might still have the pleasure of enjoying this morning ritual. As I slide my body into the bubbly warm water, I usually say aloud,
“Thank you, God, for this great joy in my life. How I love this bathtub, the warm water, and the presence of You in my life. I give this day and all it brings to you. Let me be mindful of this blessing throughout this day.”
Each day may bring me new ideas to write about.
I might have some places to go, such as the senior center where I exercise and stay for lunch.
Other days I’ll do chores in the house or outside in the flower gardens. During the summer, I focus on tending my flower gardens and the variety of lilies that I love to grow. Lilies are my favorite flowers. Hosta plants would be my next favorite, and I have them everywhere. They make a beautiful garden well into the late fall.
Most days find me at work in my downstairs office that is one step down from our kitchen.
Other days, I could be upstairs, where I can work on a fiber art project. Occasionally, I have to get artworks ready to ship off to an exhibition, or manuscripts off to publishers.
Nearly every day, I turn on the Bose sound system in the morning, and it plays in the background of the day. I pause to listen to a song, or even dance about the kitchen with the music. The radio is set on the local classic country station. I’ve been a fan of country music since I discovered it as a young girl.
It’s essential to take breaks, and I do this periodically as the dogs need to go outside. This allows me to be refreshed, get my mind off of my work, and I can relax. And get my circulation moving.
I do very little work after 5 pm. Evenings are my down-time when I might watch some TV, or listen to a book. I can sit and think – thinking takes a lot of time. You have to intend to consider and then set the time aside so you can do it.
Q_ What is my artist’s life like?
I make art only during the daytime. I have profound sight loss. I use an Acrobat CCTV. The electronic device enlarges my working area – it is a closed-circuit TV. My eyes are only able to work at this intensity in the mornings or afternoons. After that, they are too tired to work any longer. So, you won’t find me making art at night.
On the days I am making art, I like to focus only on that. I am always unaware of time passing while I am working.
Either way, my writing or art day begins after I’ve taken care of the two dogs and six cats. All of the animals are from shelters or from the feral cats we have encountered over the years. Bob will get up around 10 am, and he can take care of his own breakfast or whatever else he wants to do.
In the summertime, I tend my flower gardens.
My husband takes care of the yard work. He is retired from a life of doing bodywork and welding, and the yard work keeps him fit and gives him a lot of exercise.
Like everyone else, we have appointments and essential trips to different places for groceries or exercise or social communications. Typically, we go to the gym three mornings a week for weight resistance training or cardio workouts. I’ve begun to think of myself as a Social Volunteer at the senior center. I spend time visiting with other seniors because most of them live alone. They might remain in their homes, alone and isolated.
Q_ What are my THEMES?
As you can imagine, Nature and Landscape are predominant themes in my writing and my mixed-media fiber art.
I observe the day, the season, and watch for changes. I listen to the sounds of life, changing weather, and all the little details and nuances that we experience at any given day or night. I am so conscious of changing seasons, the quick turning from one to the other almost like magic.
In my writing, I describe the natural elements in my world.
In my art, I use elements such as water-worn river stones, gemstones, or crystals from different locations in the world.
I love the touch of elegant fabrics and found objects.
I use the actual objects in my art.
In my writing, I also use them as metaphors or subject matter.
Q_ What Other themes are in my work?
*The passing of time
*Memory as in collective memory or place
*History – searching out the historical context of ideas
*Passage or Journey; a sacred Pilgrimage from one place to another
*No separation between sacred and secular
Q_ Describe my JOB:
My job is to be at work when the Muse arrives. My responsibility is to arrive at work on time each day. When I was working as a professor of fine arts and humanities, I had to juggle personal creative work between responsibilities at the college. I wore many hats in a day and carried two loaded briefcases when I left for the day of work at the college. It feels good to wear one hat all day long if I want to. I no longer own a briefcase and no longer wear a watch.
Q_ When did I write my first published book?
I wrote my first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, from my journal jottings, drawings, and research that I did each summer. I taught a month-long course, “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg.” As my students worked on projects, I worked alongside the students in the classroom or the field. We met each morning at 8 am to begin our day. By 9 am, we were often on a bus on our way to a location for that morning’s creative work. Our class ended at noon (Monday through Thursday), so this gave me afternoons and weekends that were free for me to pursue personal work.
I traveled to a different country each weekend, where I wrote in my journals and did photography and drawings.
As a professor, I had to squeeze personal work in-between my heavy workload during the semesters. Not only was I working on my art and writing projects. I also exhibited my art in galleries and museums all over the world. It took a great deal of discipline to be able to do this intensive work. I was always focused and willing to put in the hours that it takes to be successful. Retirement just opened up the door wider for me to create even more work because it eliminated the rigid teaching schedule I lived with for many years.
Q_ How do I fit in a ‘real-life’?
I married my husband, Bob, when I was seventeen years old. He was twenty. We will celebrate our 59th wedding anniversary this year on April 14. We will take a trip to the beach and be with some of our family for this celebration.
We have five children. We adopted 2 of those children. I put my own aspirations for my academic calling on-hold until they were finished with high school. I am very thankful that I was there for all of them during their years at home. I am a strong advocate for a mother to be at home during the most critical young years of their lives. It is worth a sacrifice a woman can make to be taking care of her children, which is the most crucial occupation any woman will ever have.
My heart’s desire was that I wanted to go to college, and I wanted to be a teacher.
That part of my life would not begin until I was forty-two years old, and the children were grown and beginning their own path in life.
My academic career began at age forty-two, and I had a single focus. I intended to “go all the way” with education. I expected to earn not only a BFA in Painting, but I would pursue a terminal degree in fine art, which is an MFA. I intended to be a college professor. I actually earned the MA in English along the way, too. I had a passion for writing and making art – so this seemed like a good idea for me. From the beginning, I worked across disciplines.
And, this eventually led me to my teaching position at Geneva College, a Reformed Presbyterian college in western Pennsylvania. Because of my dual degrees in fine art and English, I was hired to use my expertise in the Core Humanities program at the college. This work is both challenging and educational as a life-long learner. I love doing research in my fields of interest.
Q_ What would I advise students to do?
First, my advice is to put your priorities in order.
Never under any circumstances, live beyond your means. Learn how to live on a budget so that you never have to be in debt. Pay no attention to the crazy advertisements for things you do not need to have in your life. They are only things, and they are not what is essential to you usually. Put your focus on being a good manager of your home, your family, and your finances.
Second, don’t give yourself permission to do less than what you have a passion for doing.
We each have a calling in life, and no one else can tell you what that is. Follow your dream of what you want to do for a lifetime. That is your mission.
Your dream comes from your passion and your abilities – you want to do work that makes you happy to get up each morning. Don’t let anyone decide what is best for you. You always know what you are meant to do when you think about it. You will know exactly what you need to do to be successful in your life.
You want to do what you dreamed of doing.
Never make a plan for your life out of fear. Go for your highest purpose, and you will get there.”
I also believe in excellence. This does not mean I think that perfectionism is to be admired. It is not an admirable trait, but perfectionism is a liability.
By the word, “Excellence,” I mean to be your best. Perform at the highest level you can and do the best job you can possibly do. That is not perfectionism. It is holding on to your highest potential and working hard to make your dream, Plan A, your reality.
Q+ Some thoughts on beginning
A career as a non-traditional student.”
In 1976, I took my first class in painting. Soon, the picture was at the core of my all I desired to do. It was magic.
With our 5 children and a husband to take care of. I realized from the beginning that I had to be time conscious to live a creative life that was separate from family obligations. We have to have our win identity, something that is ours alone to pursue. But I believe that it’s important to never sacrifice the family to do it. I strongly believe in raising our children as the first priority in life.
We live surrounded by chaos. It is our reasonable condition. But it is how we deal with that chaos that matters more. I think it is better if we can think of mastering the chaos.
A plaque in my office reads:
“Nur kleine Geister brauchen Ordnung,
ein Genie beherrscht
“Only little spirits need order,
a genius mastered
- Excerpt from The Cult- book 3 By Pranav Lal
George and Jane go up against a Cult
For full details and to buy the books visit:
The village was a collection of huts. The main street was a dusty track, and the huts looked as if they would be blown away any minute. But there was nothing to blow the huts away. There was not a breath of air. No dogs stirred; for that matter, there weren’t any.
Jane looked around and thought about getting the air going. George anticipated this and raised his hand to stop her. “No point, right now. Let’s first see what there is to see.”
Manish and Gopinath moved to one hut, while George and Jane moved to another. They pushed the door open and recoiled in shock. A sickly sweet smell wafted from the hut. At their exclamations of horror, Manish and Gopinath came over and entered the hut. It was bare, consisting of nothing more than a stove and a small chimney. Utensils were scattered everywhere.
A poster-sized image of the goddess Kali caught their attention. Around it, just by the stove, were several reddish−brown stains.
“Is that blood?” asked George.
“Yes,” said Manish. “I’ve seen too many of these to be mistaken.”
“Do you think we should get the boys from forensics here?” asked Gopinath.
“I don’t think that’s going to help. This scene would have been contaminated already.”
“Maybe, but I don’t think the people here have come back.”
“Let’s see what else there is to see, and then we’ll decide,” said Manish, his mouth set in a hard line.
They moved to the village square, where the sight that met them was even more ominous. Two bodies lay in the dust. Both were young men; both had been hit multiple times. Pieces of cracked bone jutted from their corpses. Their heads were squashed, and blood and brain had leaked all over their faces.
George spun around and vomited. Jane dry heaved but was unable to get any further. A single impulse drove everyone back to the Scorpio.
“We ought to get some pictures,” said Manish.
“I’ll take them,” Gopinath said. He sprang out of the vehicle before George or Jane could object.
“Will he be safe?” Jane asked.
“Gopinath is the fastest runner in the Bureau, and, yes, he knows what he’s doing.”
Manish’s assertion was borne out. Gopinath returned in under five minutes. Manish started the car, and they swung around and drove out of the village.
“These new lenses for mobile phones are a really good idea,” Gopinath said conversationally. “It used to take us at least 20 minutes to photograph each scene, but the wide-angle lenses are really helpful. We can capture so much more in a single photograph.”
No one said anything. No one knew what to say after what they had witnessed.
They had not driven very far when Jane pointed out of the windscreen. “Is that another body?”
Manish braked the vehicle to a halt and all of them sprang out. Gopinath was the first to reach it. The child was huddled in a fetal position. Gopinath carefully turned it over. It blinked in the harsh sunlight and emitted a feeble cry.
“What do you want to do?” asked Gopinath.
“Is there any sign of injury?” asked Manish.
Jane studied it carefully, but there was no sign of injury. The child was thin, but that was to be expected, given the malnourishment prevalent in that part of Uttar Pradesh.
“Do you suppose he got lost?” asked George.
“Hard to say. His parents would have come looking,” said Manish.
“Maybe his parents are dead,” said George, thinking of the ominous reddish-brown stains in the hut.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Gopinath said, “but the blood there was too little, and the stains were spread over a very small area. No, his parents were not killed in the hut. I saw the other huts as well, and I didn’t see the same stains in most of them. In one of them, I did, but they were quite old and there was no smell.”
Jane reached out and took the child.
George looked at her gratefully. “I don’t think we can leave it here. It will die for sure.”
“What do we do with it?” asked Manish.
“It comes with us to the safe house, where we will then decide if we have to give it for adoption or take it back to our village,” said Jane.
“How do we look after it?” Manish asked. “There’s nothing we can do, and I don’t know how to handle children.”
“That’s my problem,” said Jane. “I know a little about healing. Maybe this child could be a witness for you,” she added as an afterthought.
Gopinath shook his head. “Children this young usually don’t have much of a language.”
“Honestly, the best thing for me to do,” said Manish, “would be to…” He drew his pistol and aimed.
George reacted instinctively, using his mind to grab the gun and wrench it from Manish’s hand. “I’ve seen a boy collapsed on the trail before, and I’m with Jane. If she wants to look after the child, then I say we do it. You can come with us or go your own way. It really doesn’t matter. We’ll go with you up till the closest city. From there, we’ll call my mother and make our way back to the farm.”
About the Author in his own words…
I write non-fiction and short stories which are hard to classify but tend towards fantasy and science fiction. I do not give my characters any breathers and enjoy keeping the action sharp and continuous. I use a visual prosthesis thanks to which I am a photographer. I enjoy technology particularly cybersecurity which is what pays the bills. I love interacting so feel free to comment or say hello.
- Echoes of the Bunkermen By Stephen Tanham
For information about the author visit his WordPress website:
I was born in the 1950s. It was an age riven by anxiety about nuclear war. Ten years after the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed by the first use of atomic-powered weapons, the west was still consumed with the horror of seeing Oppenheimer’s equations translated into an explosion that ripped apart buildings, adults and children on a scale envisaged only in science fiction.
The threat of this has not gone away, though it can be argued that the deadliness of what the American ‘war games’ strategists termed ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ – MAD, has maintained the peace.
Some of the fiction of the time reflected the idea that the only survivors of an active MAD scenario would be those ‘high’ officials important enough to warrant a place in a nuclear bunker. These were (and are) actual buildings set deep underground and stocked with everything such a group would need to survive the nuclear winter, as it was called, and re-emerge, years later, pure of creed, to begin civilisation, again.
Quite what mother nature would think of such beings was never discussed. But in my own heart, I developed a loathing for such a concept and the ludicrous politics that created it. My pet name for these high-caste survivors was ‘the bunkermen’. I thought it appropriate, since it seemed always to be men, rather than women, whose aggression led to war, and whose willingness to lie about the facts, inequality and the complexity of human decision-making mirrored their lack of empathy.
As a long-departed aunt once said to me “The men were good at banging the drum, but not so good at mopping up the blood, afterwards.”
Fast forward half a century and, within the invisible bubble of the nuclear MAD, wars continue on a near-global scale. Nuclear-level money is spent on a second level of warfare that targets humans deemed worthy of assassination by descending missile, guided from satellite or drone control systems. Countries which possess the MAD systems may not use their own flags to fight wars, but ally themselves – often covertly – with proxy armies through which they operate on the ground. The past forty years of Afghanistan’s history are a perfect example of how this operates.
The last decade has been a difficult period to live through. Much of what we took for granted as ‘established and stable’ has been or is being swept away by authoritarian politics. To me, it feels as though the spirit of aggression moves through increasingly confrontation politics, designed to follow an age old model of mobilising hatred to create majorities in a politics that would seem dangerously out of touch, were there any alternatives that didn’t sweep away democracy in any form. That may follow, of course…
The results are focussed in two ways. Domestically, the sense of caring is diminished, and public institutions that support it are deliberately weakened. But a far more corrosive effect is being played out on the world stage, in which areas like parts of the Middle East become the point of focus for the most heartless policies – reducing the value of human life to nothing.
It may be that human life has no value to those who control this new order. Our worth may now be measured only in the sense that we are ‘economic units’ in a monetary world where increasing power is vested in fewer and fewer people. There is a certain logic in that being the end point of a system where the measure of value has become so singular. In those ‘fewer and fewer’ controllers I see again the bunkermen, safe in their gated estates, mixing only with their fellow bunker dwellers and exploiting their vast wealth in the cementing of the newly established status quo – in which everyone but them is poorer.
Against this tide of warped materialism stands the silent outrage of those who remember how much work it took to initialise the post-WW2 landscape of social institutions such as the provision of universal healthcare and the establishment of a minimum level of welfare that would provide the basics of living to those who were suffering through no fault of their own.
It’s a truism that change is inevitable – but it can help to re-orientate our thinking. We can choose to believe that the state of the Earth is a soul-less cycle of cause and effect or we can see that nature has true cycles of evolution beyond the Darwinian model of biological mating and survival. Bigger factors can and do change the course of the planet’s history.
The current, bleak outlook for the spread of the Covid-19 virus is an example of how something unforeseen a few months ago is changing the entire ‘health’ of the commercial world. I am not proposing that any kind of divine intervention is behind the virus’ mutation into the human ecosystem, simply that the palette of such deadly triggers of chaos is much larger than mankind has ever considered – and therefore that our perceived ecological and societal stability may be an illusion we can no longer afford.
Against this background, the breakdown of the old order of ‘caring and inclusive’ societies may need to be re-evaluated. The nature of survival against, say, a deadly virus, requires us to work together, regardless of wealth or rank in society. The rich or powerful man is as much at risk as anyone else. True, they could retreat into a bunker of their own making, as continues to be the doomsday scenario in a post-nuclear holocaust, but who would want to emerge into the poisoned dust of such a world?
We have become disconnected from outrage. In Syria, children are freezing to death in their thousands on a nightly basis as they flee the barrel bombings of their own president; and this is just one example of many. Think Yemen or Myanmar and we will find the same deadly cocktail of a poor part of the world within which authoritarian powers play out ‘strategies’ of control that have failed us for the past century.
The bunker is our enemy more than those who inhabit it. It is state of mind like any other. The future of life on Earth is surely that we recognise our connections to every other member of the human race – and all life on Earth, and act in way that begins to include rather than exclude. In that, we will change the nature of mankind and face the real challenges at the microbial, viral and economic levels in a very different way.
If we cannot offer support, then, at least we can turn to face suffering and offer awareness.
That is so much more than nothing… and, for a while we may have the freedom to open our personal bunkers and step out into the complex sunshine of a world not yet destroyed.
© Copyright Stephen Tanham 2020
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
Stephen Tanham is a mystical writer, poet and prolific photographer. He is a founding Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit, international distance-learning organisation that provides a mentored path to deepening our internal and external consciousness.
Steve lives in the English Lake District with his wife, Bernie, a cat and a dog. His books are written as stories rather than more formally. These are available on Amazon.
Steve can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heartwings Love Notes 923: A New Reality
Thanks one and all for any comments or questions, and enjoy my web site with more love notes and other offerings at
Heartwings says, “Coping with a new reality is not easy.”
I keep thinking, or maybe even hoping that one morning I will wake up and what is happening now will prove to be a bad dream, and everything will be normal again. Something tells me that that hope is in vain, and that what is happening at this present time is all too real. I know Stephen and I are safe for now, as many are, and we have sufficient supplies to see us for some time to come. We are also fortunate in having friends who are younger and willing to help us out with grocery trips and supplies when we need them. We feel blessed in this and very grateful.
None of us have lived through anything like this before. We’re in uncharted territory. Nor can we be sure what will come next. In the days of the bubonic plague little was known about good hygiene. We know enough to wash our hands and stay at a distance from one another. In those same days. chamber pots were dumped from windows into the street, often splashing passersby. As to hand washing? in the time of the plague there was no such thing as plumbing in Europe, though Rome had had it in the past.
There is not as much traffic passing our windows to the street as we are used to seeing. The mail still comes, for which I am grateful. This is a good time to attend to all the tasks that have been neglected in favor of errands and appointments. The self-quarantine Stephen and I are practicing provides a fine opportunity to go through piles, clean, and hopefully even eliminate what needs clearing out. Although I am someone who normally enjoys doing this, I find it difficult to begin these neglected tasks because I’m still getting used to the way things are today. Perhaps part of me is still living in the old reality. It’s not easy to let it go. I guess I keep hoping I won’t have to.
Will we go back entirely to the way things were? I have a feeling we won’t. I believe the majority if not all the people living today are headed for a much needed change in consciousness. What was once a priority may become less so, and new priorities will arise. Much that we have taken for granted is, in this new reality gone for us now. It is my belief that eventually much will return, and also much will change. A long time ago a wise woman told me never to take anything for granted. That has proved to be good advice for me to follow. I have been grateful for much in the old reality, and I plan to be grateful in the new one as it evolves.
May you discover blessings in the new reality to make up for any you have lost in the change from the old one.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert.
PS If you have any reflections to share on how you feel and how you are coping, I would love to read them. Your emails are a joy to my heart and I am so grateful for them. Reach me at: Tasha Halpert <email@example.com>
- PRACTICING MY FAITH DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES
BY: PATTY L. FLETCHER
MARCH 19, 2020
The Magickal Calendar day shown is for Thor’s Day, but the concept is for all time.
The following offering comes from my journal.
Hello, and Happy Day to All!
This morning, as I sit listening to the world’s awakening all around me I find that I must push hard against the resistance which tries to intrude on what I know is true.
Though the sounds of gentle rainfall and birdsong send out their vibrations of love, peace and joy throughout the air I find I struggle.
Reading the words below I must work to push away thoughts of what I don’t have and instead bring forth thoughts of what is available to me in the here and now.
Though I know that I am firmly ensconced in the palm of the creator and that I only have to believe to bring about all I need there are times when the fear creeps in.
I sit, allowing the sound of the rainfall to wash over me, allowing its power to wash away my doubt.
I listen as the birdsong proclaims another day’s dawning, hearing their notes of joy and allowing it to renew my spirit and fill my soul.
I remember that…
“There is no part of my life which does not belong to the Goddess.
There is no part of my body which does not belong to the Goddess.
I am she, and she is me.
We are one, yet we are we.
So Mote It Be.
Then, grasping tightly to the creator’s hand I pray…
“Thank you for the sun.
Thank you now this day’s begun, all our needs, wants, and desires they’re met.
Thank you for what we have and have not yet.
Thank you when this day is through, we will still be we, and you will still be you.
Light our path.
Guide our way.
Give us that which to do and say.
So Mote It Be.
And with that, I am able to shove away the doubt and fear, once again the voice of the creator I hear, and I know without doubt that all I fear cannot harm me.
I know that…
My bills are paid of them I need not be afraid.
My grass is mown, a way to accomplish this will be shown.
My living situation is just as it should be, for the creator knows where I should be.
My finances, they’re secure. Of this I am sure.
All is well in my life. I send away negativity and strife.
I sing, let the sunshine in. Even though outside it is raining yet again.
I rejoice in the day ahead, and I am glad by my creator I am led.
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Thor’s Day
When: Thursday, 19 March 2020
GrannyMoon Says Today Is: Thor’s Day
Energy: Male, Ruler: Jupiter – Rules growth, expansion, generosity
Use for magick involving growth, expansion, prosperity, money, business,
attracting more of what you have.
Color of The Day: Purple, Indigo, Blue
Today’s Magickal Influences ~ Luck, Religion, Healing, Trade And Employment, Treasure, Honors, Riches, Legal Matters
Wear sapphire, cat’s eye, or carnelian. Use sapphire in rituals.
Perfumes: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes
Incense: Nutmeg, Henbane
Today’s Goddesses: Juno, Hera, Kwan Yin, Mary, Cybele, Tara, Mawu, Mlaba Mwana Waresa, Ishtar, Nuit
Colors for Tomorrow: Light Blue, Pale Green
Lucky Sign: Thursday Is The Lucky Day For Sagittarius And Pisces
The daily calendar comes from GrannyMoon at:
The day this was written, around 10:30 A.M. the landscape guys who mowed for me for the past two summers to whom I owed a payment from last season for which I had no money with which to pay, showed up, mowed my yard, and I never knew why they did or if someone else had paid the bill.
When I tried to find out, I got no answer.
So I send a huge thank you to New Hope Aquascapes Landscaping.
If you’re in the local area and you’d like more details about this company’s services see: http://www.newhopeaquascapes.com
READING WITH THE AUTHORS…
- Review by author of, ONE WITH WILLOWS JOAN MYLES
by Martha Hall Kelly
A fascinating read!
Caroline’s charity work for French orphans becomes ever more urgent as Hitler’s army marches into Paris. And as European cities fall like dominos to Nazi control, she deepens her involvement, her life eventually colliding with the lives of two other women–a Polish resistance fighter, and a German doctor.
Narrated by way of three distinct voices, Kelly masterfully recounts world events from 1939 to 1959 as well as their inevitable human toll. The author sweeps readers into the action, into the hearts and minds of characters real and imagined, proving herself careful in research and storytelling.
And while my preferred mode of reading is Braille, I found this professionally produced version of Lilac Girls particularly difficult to set aside. The three main characters, Caroline, Kasha and Herta, are presented by three different, distinctly American, Polish and German readers. The result is more like the unfolding of a movie than a book.
**While not extreme in language, descriptions of sex and violence make Lilac Girls more suited for mature readers.
- THE BIRTH OF A BOOK
BY: PHYLLIS STATON CAMPBELL
COPYRIGHT MARCH, 2020
Despite what many writers claim, few books, like the Roman god, come full grown from their creator’s head. Usually, like an embryo they start with a tiny seed, in the imagination of the author. They may grow slowly, or they may speed along like the proverbial rabbit, but they grow. Like the new baby, the way must be prepared for the coming, publicity, in the case of the book.
Now, as with the baby comes the labor, and make no mistake there’s labor. The publisher has been chosen. The manuscript is edited, and returned to its creator is an edited manuscript. The author must carefully go over it, not only looking for mistakes, but things they might want to change. If many things have been corrected, it is returned once again, and back the author goes, to work, and the process is done all over again. Finally, the final proof for cover and interior are sent for approval before the manuscript goes to the printer.
A lot of work? Absolutely! For me multiply by seven. I have decided to re-publish all seven of my titles in hardcover, paperback and digital formats. Three of them, have been completed: Where Sheep May Safely Graze; Goin’ Home; and A Place to Belong. Now, along comes a virus, throwing everything from publicity to purchases into something of a muddle.
Many visually impaired readers have been looking forward to being able to reading Goin’ Home, the sequel to Where Sheep May safely Graze in specialized format from their talking book program. Due to the virus many of these libraries are closed temporarily, and there has been no word about that book being produced. We are working on a plan for those who are interested in purchasing the book in text, Word or braille translation.
Watch for more news on this coming soon.
In the meantime, here’s a review of Goin’ Home.
From Amazon and Goodreads
Goin’ Home is the heartwarming sequel to Campbell’s Where Sheep May Safely Graze, and follows Jim and Amy Miller as they settle in to pastoral life in Pleasantville, Virginia, a fictional town near Charlottesville. Campbell is a crackerjack purveyor of human nature, seeing into the hearts of her readers and spreading tension and resolve like a dynamo throughout this wonderfully satisfying story. As with all of her works, she is constantly persuading us to see human nature through her unique standard, coaxing the best of ourselves to the surface, and opening up the challenges and playful moments of putting the best foot forward. Every Campbell story has a few L O L moments, and this book lives up to the best. They come out of nowhere, when least expected, and stick with you for a long time. I’ve noticed that she has the ability to get my dander up with situations that showcase a less enlightened characters’ ignorance. Sometimes there is a resolution and understanding, and sometimes I just feel like they deserve a punch in the nose! With grace and decorum, Campbell’s resolution of each scene leads to a greater sense of forgiveness. As with all the great books I’ve read, I panicked when I saw there was so little story left and so much more possibility to enjoy. The characters become friends, then the friendship closes with the last line, leaving only memory. I really hope there’s another continuation, to reunite with good friends. Should Ms. Campbell read my review, thanks for the memories
A PLACE OF POETRY…
- NEW YEAR NEW YOU BY BUTTERFLY THOMAS
COPYRIGHT JANUARY, 2020
AUTHOR OF: HEAD HELD HIGH
New Year new you
I’m here stay true
It’s hard, I know
But you can do it
Your efforts will show
That you’re committed
A long time in the making
This journey has been
Look at the steps you’re taking
This time you’ll win
You will succeed
All you need
Is support from me
And you have it
Matter of fact
I’ll show you whether
We can grow together
You’re here too
- DEPARTURE BY ABBIE JOHNSON TAYLOR
We kiss in the rain
while the bus thrums nearby,
waiting to take you away.
“What’s this hood?” you ask, as our lips meet.
I try to remove it.
“Keep it on,” you say, as I yield.
I hold you, will the bus to leave without you.
All too soon, you’re gone.
Author’s Note: The above poem appears in two of my books: How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Click the link below to hear me read it.
- CREATION BY JOAN MYLES
BY: JOAN MYLES
TAKEN FROM “ONE WITH WILLOWS”
Beware of mangos and all such
beautiful sweet things your hands
may mold themselves around
as if abandoning their humanness.
Thought is the shape that shapes
each object to itself, informs
the formless what to be. Syllables
and seem to disappear.
Pragmatic as poetry.
Translating everything to metaphor.
Mangos and such
into the face of a child, held
in your hands
FAVORITE LINKS OF THE MONTH…
This ends the Spring Equinox Edition of The Writer’s Grapevine. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.
I value your feedback so please be sure to let me know what you think about the magazine.
ABOUT PATTY L. FLETCHER
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. And as a Social Media Promotional Assistant.
She is the owner and creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), and is the published author of two books, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life and Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye: Volume One.
She can also be found in two anthologies which are, December Awethology Light
And A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales.
She is the Creator of a monthly online literary magazine called The Writer’s Grapevine, and she is now working on her third book which is to be a memoir trilogy called, ‘Pathway To Freedom: Broken and Healed’.
For more details visit: