Friday, March 17, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Syllabic #Poetry Challenge #spring #green #poem #poetrycommunity #senryu #shadorma @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! For today's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Contest, Colleen Chesebro is all about the season! She has challenged us to write a poem using the synonyms of spring and green.

I came up with two different poems, slightly related but from different spectrums of the idea. πŸ˜„ Spring is a time for romance, but for many who are insecure, it can also be a time of jealousy. So, I chose to touch upon both. 😊

The first is a senryu, which is a 3-line poem using a 3-5-3 syllabic pattern that focuses on the human emotions. I've bolded and italicized my synonyms.

envy will consume
appreciate all beauty
grow your confidence

The second poem is a shadorma. Shadormas have six lines with a 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllabic pattern with no set rhyme scheme. 

(courtesy of @OmarMedinaFilms on Pixabay)

First love

fresh and raw
a budding romance
his first kiss
now lovestruck
oh, the possibilities!
two heart lit afire

And with that, I wish you all a St. Patrick's Day!

Do you remember your first love? Do you remember it fondly? I'd love to hear about it.

Would you like to join us this week is creating a poem? Join us here.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #BlogPromo by @sgc58 @Yvette Calleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! Sally Cronin is featuring one of my blog posts today on her blog. I'd love it if you would take a moment to visit and leave a comment. While you're there, peruse her blog. It is full of great laughs, health advice, recipes, and so much more!

Comments are closed. Feel free to chat with me over at her blog! 😊

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge #tanka #poetrycommunity #poem #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2023 @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful people! Colleen Chesebro's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge shared the following photo from Terri Webster Schrant's collection. We are asked to use the poem as inspiration. 

As today is International Women's Day, I chose to write a poem honoring women. I wrote a tanka, which is a five-line poem with the 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic format. It is untitled and does not rhyme. I see so many similarities between a woman and a waterfall. My poem just mentions a few. Enjoy!

powerful and fierce
life flourishes from within
strong, serene women
emotions hidden in mist
falls create calm confidence

Would you like to participate in this week's challenge? If so, it's free! Click here to join us.

Do you celebrate International Women's Day? I'd love to hear from you below.

Friday, March 3, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge #tanka #haiga #poetrycommunity #spices #friendship @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful people! For this week's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro invites us to choose a spice from our kitchen cabinet and relate its flavor to an event that recently happened in our daily lives.

I chose to go with curry. I don't cook many things, but I make a chicken curry salad that I love. I use the non-spicy curry because I don't handle spicy food very well. Curry is made up of many different ingredients. The one I use is organic and consists of coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, red pepper, and onion.

For my event, I chose something that is happening tonight. My birthday is next week, so a few of my friends from different aspects of my life are coming together to celebrate with me. We are going country line dancing at a local place where they teach you steps to different songs. I've been before, and it's a lot of fun, so I have no doubt we will have a great time.

So, I chose to blend these two ideas together into a haiga. At least, that's what I attempted. It's my first time creating one. A haiga is a form of three or more lines that follow a short-long-short syllabic pattern. Usually, it's a haiku, but I chose to use a tanka poem, so I probably didn't create a haiga after all. πŸ˜„ The haiga includes an image, but the poem and image should not be dependent on each other for meaning. It has no title and does not rhyme. So, this is what I created:

(picture courtesy of Canva)

Do you have friends from different walks of life? Do you ever mix the groups? I'd love to hear from you below. 😊

Would you like to join the challenge? Click here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

January/February Book Reviews #bookreview #books #readingcommunity @YvetteMCalleiro @Dwallacepeach @pat_garcia @sharrislaughter @AuthorWFischer @KarensStories

Hello, beautiful readers! As we wrap up February and being my birthday month, I am going to try to post monthly about fabulous books I've read. I don't have much time to read in my busy life, but I have been able to finish a few fantastic stories, so I wanted to share them with you. All of these are either 4 or 5 stars. If they sound interesting to you, click on the book cover or the title. 

Genre: Fantasy, Sorcery, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 348

Book Blurb:

A healer with the talent to unravel death. A stillborn child brought to life. A father lusting for vengeance. And a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.

Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.

As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.

To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

My Review:

It took me a long time to finish this book because I barely had time to read, and it frustrated me to no end because it was SO good! I had such a hard time putting it down once I started reading again. From the very beginning, I was hooked. A partially crippled necromancer steals the king's baby to bring it to life and raise it as his own... what could possibly go wrong? Lol!

Every character was rich and unique. Every setting jumped off the pages. The plot started strong and then slowed down to allow me to become invested in the characters, which I LOVED! Then, it heated right back up again. And then, the author added dragons! If I didn't love it enough already, the connection between Aster and the dragons made me a lifelong fan!

I loved that Aster's journey was difficult. I loved that Joreh struggled with his ideas of right versus wrong. I loved that Barus struggled with his choices but listened to his heart. I loved that Teko was more than he seemed upon first impression. And I loved how the author made Tamus both the image of piety and evil.

I cannot say enough great things about this book! I will definitely read more from this author, and I highly recommend you pick up this story immediately. 😊

Genre: Romance, Multicultural Romance, Short Story

Pages: 16

Book Blurb:

This is a contemporary multicultural romance about a woman who encounters a sexually starved necrophiliac as she walks up a mountainside. As she yearns for death, a stranger bursts into the cabin and saves her and becomes the love of her life. 

My Review:

This micro-read was another fabulous story by Pat Garcia! It amazes me how she can put so much into such a short read, but she did. The story starts with Janie reminiscing on being kidnapped. The author gives us just the right amount of details to make us feel her despair. And then, her savior, Paolo, comes and rescues her. The story focuses on her road to healing. 

The author did a wonderful job in describing this healing journey and Janie's hesitancy to take that final step to heal. The author's characters are always so rich, and Janie and Paolo definitely fit that description. I would have loved to have a bit more to the story because I loved the characters so much, but then it wouldn't have been a micro-read.

If you don't have a lot of time to read, but you want to immerse yourself in a great story, I would recommend this one!😊

Genre: Biography, Memoir, Short Read

Pages: 56

Book Blurb:

Mama could tell a joke. Next thing you know, you are rolling on the floor from one of them. She loved to play the lottery and was religious with it. If you fail to buy her tickets when she asks you, she will tell you that was the winning number … “If you had done what I asked you, I could have won.” It was classic!

She was just as passionate about her faith and could quote passages from the bible all day long, which she did. She was a good mother and made huge sacrifices for her children.

She was the woman who wanted to be an actress but never got the chance. She was the woman who worked at a naval air base in Alameda County, California, screwing riveters in wings of airplanes. They were called "Rosie the Riveter" in World War II. She was the constant in our lives.

This is how I remember my mama!

My Review:

What a beautiful tribute this author has created to her mother! Wanting to honor her memory, the author collected various written works from her mother and created a short story about her mother's life, including authentic writing from her mom, some of which was published in various contests. The love and admiration the author feels for her mother shines through this wonderful short read. I definitely recommend it. 😊

Genre: Short Story, Children's Short Story

Pages: 16

Book Blurb:

Time: The early 1960s. Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour is on the road, seeking contestants for the show. A seventh-grader thinks she has what it takes to make the show. She's been singing since she was two years old. She's never had any formal training. She begs her father to take her to the auditions. What will she find when she gets there?

My Review:

I really enjoyed this micro read. It's a story set in the 1960s when a girl musters up the courage to try out for a talent show. She has a great voice but is nervous about not being good enough. Her loving dad encourages her to try anyway. In doing so, she learns a valuable lesson and makes a friend in the process.

This story was a great read, and the author did a wonderful job pulling the reader in immediately. Though there was a distinct message of the haves and have nots, I felt the author's focus on the positive attitude of Jean was heartwarming. I won't give away what happens, but Jean's outlook on this experience, and life in general, is a wonderful lesson for all kids. If you're looking for a quick, endearing read, I would definitely recommend this story.😊

For Eternity: A Micro Read by Karen Black

Genre: Fantasy, Short Read, Paranormal

Pages: 17

Book Blurb:

Monique is a witch, a reclusive one. After losing Lucius, her companion of almost a century, she associates with nobody but a raven named Dante. When she receives an invitation to celebrate her 700th birthday, however, Dante convinces her it's a celebration that she shouldn't miss. For her first outing in fifty years, Monique travels to an enchanted hotel, where a telepathic kitten points her in a new direction.

My Review:

This was a fantastic read even if it is short. The author did a fabulous job weaving so much into so little space. I don't want to give too much away because it's a micro read. The story focuses on Monique, a reclusive witch who is celebrating her 700th birthday even though a part of her doesn't feel like celebrating. The author creates this character so perfectly that it's easy to feel sad for her, even when she ponders killing a goblin or two. πŸ˜‰ I loved how this story ended and wouldn't mind reading an entire novel in the world she created. I definitely recommend this story. 😊

I hope you enjoyed these reviews. I look forward to sharing more with you at the end of this month.

Have you read any of these stories? I'd love to hear from you. 😊

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge #Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt #poetry #poetrycommunity #Shadorma @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! For this week's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro has given us a painting to inspire us. It is the Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent.

Her eyes drew me in first. She appears to be looking right into your soul. But it was the tilt in her lips, and perhaps a look from her left eye, that inspired my poem. 

I chose to write a freestyle poem and added a Shadorma at the end. A Shadorma has six lines with a 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllabic pattern with no set rhyme scheme. It also has a title.


Because I am wealthy, you think me
Traipsing carefree with nary a worry
Adorned with silks and satins
Enjoying teas and cakes and laughter
Among friends

Because I am beautiful, you think me
Skin as fair as snow 
Hair as rich as a starless night
Head held regally so all can enjoy my allure

Because I am a woman, you think me
As fragile as porcelain
Needing to be coddled and cared for
Too naΓ―ve to make choices for myself

Because you think
And do not know
You continue to placate me
Providing me a life of ease and comfort
Of wealth and power
But I am ready to take the reins.



posh lifestyle
high society
he owns her
controls her
arsenic is all it takes
heiress gains freedom

What do you see when you look at this picture? If you want to try your hand at writing a poem about it, click here.

Does she look as sinister to you as she did to me? I'd love to hear from you below.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge #synonyms #change #grow #tanka #poem #poetrycommunity @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge asked us to use the synonyms of the words change and grow to write a poem. I've spent some time recently speaking to my students about how the choices they make set them on a certain path which leads to an outcome. We have discussed that sometimes they make poor choices, but they can correct their mistakes and find their way back to a brighter path. So, that inspired me to create this poem.

I chose to write a tanka poem. This poem has five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. I've chosen to use the words reinvent, metamorphize, and nurture as my synonyms for change and grow.

(courtesy of Canva)

reinvent yourself
shed what no longer serves you
metamorphize now
nurture the good within you
become who you're meant to be

Would you like to try your hand at writing a poem? Click here.

Have you ever thought of reinventing yourself? I'd love to hear from you below.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge #Ekphrastic #poem #Crapsey #cinquain #poetrycommunity #rose #roses @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge has us writing an Ekprhastic poem on a beautiful photo of a rose that Terri Webster Schrandt captured and then filtered. Colleen Chesebro invites us to use the rose as our inspiration.  

I've chosen to write an American cinquain. This poetry form has five, non-rhyming lines with a syllable structure of 2-4-6-8-2. The poem should build drama and turn somewhere within the fifth line. So, this is what I created.


silky, soft flesh
open, vulnerable
yearn to be touched but neglected

Would you like to try to write an Ekprhastic poem? Come join us here! Colleen gives plenty of help and pointers on how to write a poem.

Do you want to read other amazing examples of poems written about this picture? Click here.

What do you think of when you see this picture? I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, February 3, 2023

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge Random Word Generator #Prompt #haibun #haiku #grief

Hello, beautiful people! I'm back today with a new poem for Colleen Chesebro's #TankaTuesday Poetry Challenge. This week, we are picking words from a random word generator Colleen created. The goal is to choose at least three words from the list below and create a poem. 

I sat with this a bit, mostly because I have not had much time to be alone in my thoughts. It's been a week full of very long days. Combine that with a full moon about to burst, and I'm beyond exhausted. The full moon always makes it difficult for me to sleep or feel well rested. 

Anyway, I guess because of my tired state, this is where my mind went. I've never written a haibun, and I'm not quite sure I did it correctly, so if it's wrong, please enlighten me so I can learn. From Colleen's cheat sheet, I read that a haibun combines a prose with a haiku (though I may have created a senryu instead). There are specific subject matters, and it can have different formats. This is what I chose to go with. I hope you like it. 

(image courtesy of @Begaji_Dukare on Pixabay)

Stormy Tears

I trace my fingers over the rough, brick faΓ§ade of our fireplace. The dead logs lie within, cold and silent. Your needless death leaves me bereaved, trapped in my grief, alone in my suffering.

rainy days

tears stream down the glass

crushed heart aches

So, what do you think? I'd love to hear from you.

Are you inspired to grab a few words from the list and create your own poem? If so, join us here.

Would you like to read some of the other fabulous poems written by other authors? Check them out here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Day in My Life - Day 30 @RRBC_Org 2023 #RRBC 30-Day #Blogging Challenge @YvetteMCalleiro #ADayInMyLife #RWISA @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #reflection #teacheroftheyear #writing #writingcommunity #poetrycommunity #bloggingcommunity #Blogger

Hello, beautiful readers! Today is the final day of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge! With as busy as my life is, I met my goal of posting every day on my blog for the entire challenge! Woohoo!

Today was a normal work day, but it ended with the Teacher of the Year dinner. This year, I was nominated by my school to be the teacher of the year. Out of all the teachers in my region, I was chosen as one of five finalist for the Regional Teacher of the Year. I did not make it to the next level, but I am beyond honored to have made it that far. So, tonight, they held a dinner to honor all of us who were chosen to represent our schools, to celebrate the four regional finalists, and then to announce the district's teacher of the year. My principal reserved a table for our school and allowed me to bring three people, so my parents and my sister joined me. I had a wonderful time being there and celebrating excellence in education.

As I close out this challenge, I'm a bit relieved but also reflective. If you have been following my blog throughout this journey, you know I live a very busy life. Except for Sundays, I am nonstop almost every day. There was a part of me that hesitated in even making the commitment because I didn't know how I would fit one more thing to do into every day. Once I did sign on for the challenge, though, it was game on! I love challenges, and I hate breaking my promises. So, I stuck it through, and I'm proud of myself for doing so.

The title of the challenge was "A Day In My Life." Our instructions were to share what our day is like, and I've made sure to do that every day. When we first started, I remember thinking no one would want to read about my days. They are just wake up, work, rinse, and repeat. The first week was easy because I was on vacation and filled my days with great activities like scuba diving. Week two was fairly easy because it was my first work week, so I was able to show everyone how very busy my life actually is. Then, the rinse and repeat started since my work weeks are usually the same. That's where visiting my fellow author blogs helped!

By week three, I wasn't sure I would have much to talk about. Then, a few of the other bloggers shared a trip or two they had taken, so it inspired me to share my trips. I figured there would be some people who would enjoy reading about them and perhaps even use them to plan their own trips. Blogging about my trips brought back great memories and helped me stay in the challenge.

I enjoyed visiting the other bloggers, though it took a lot of my time to do so. I believe in reciprocity. If I'm asking others to invest in me and my blogs, it is only right that I repay the favor by visiting their blogs and promoting them to bring them more followers. I subscribed to those that had a subscribe/follow button so I would get email reminders. For those that didn't, I relied on the RRBC Member Chat page to send me their links. Still, with those authors and other authors I follow, I was visiting 10-15 blogs a day, which takes up a LOT of time. I fit a lot of it in during down time throughout the day. Two minutes here, four minutes there. Then, at night, I'd tweet everything out before I went to bed.

So, did this challenge serve its purpose? When Nonnie Jules put this challenge together, I believe her purpose was multi-fold (this is solely my opinion; she may have had other goals). 1 - Get authors writing again and show us that we do have time to write. 2 - Help us build/rebuild our blog. 3 - Assist us in attracting more blog followers. I'll take each of those separately.

#1 - This challenge definitely got me writing again. I'm back to writing poetry with my poetry community, which I missed greatly. I enjoyed writing the posts and interacting with other authors. Will it turn into writing stories? I hope so. Fitting in a few minutes here and there to create a blog post isn't the same as separating time to write a novel, but it has shown me that I have some time throughout the week where I can separate a half hour or hour to write. So, I'm hoping to find at least three times a week to work on my current WIP.

#2 - In 2021, I wrote 31 posts in the entire year. Last year, I wrote 47 posts for the whole year. In January alone, I've written 33 posts, so I would say this challenge is on its way to rebuilding my blog presence. The problem is I still don't know what my niche is for my blog. Most authors I follow have something specific they focus on, and I just haven't found that segment idea yet. I know I plan to continue posting my poetry, so that should be four posts a month. I'm thinking of sharing my book reviews each month, like some authors do. That will be another post. I just don't know if I have a regular "thing" to write about on a weekly basis, at least not yet. 

I also have learned that Blogger isn't user friendly for some of my visitors. I'm sure there is a solution, but I'm not the greatest at searching the internet for solutions. I prefer speaking to an expert, but there doesn't seem to be anyone I can call. Before I decide to become an avid blogger, I need to learn more about how to enhance my blog so it's more user-friendly. I've considered switching to WordPress, but I have so much already invested in this site, and I'd hate to lose it all.

#3 - I'm not really sure this challenge has helped build my followers. That number has stayed the same, though that may have something to do with my Blogger issues. On most days, I had maybe 3-8 people comment on my blog. The only exceptions were my poetry posts. There, I have over 15 visitors. There were a few visitors who shared my posts on social media, but it was just two or three people, and there weren't many retweets. 

My stats show a little bit of a different picture, though. (Thanks, Nonnie, for letting me know there are stats! I'm still learning this blogging world.) In the past 30 days, I have had:

  • 4,307 views, including views from USA, Germany, Canada, France, Belgium, the UK, and other places. This shows me that hashtags made a difference. Even though the likes and comments don't reflect these numbers, it still shows readers are stopping by.
  • 497 comments. This includes my comments, so it's more like half of this. Again, most of these comments are on my poetry posts, but it does look better than the 3-8 I listed above.
  • My top three posts were: Day 11 (399 views), Day 19 (219 views), and Day 8 (202 views). 
  • The top referrers were (not sure what that is), Rave Reviews Book Club, and my poetry community.

So, while there have been more visits than comments, I don't know that I'm using my time wisely. For now, I think it makes more sense for me to spend that time working on my stories and creating 2-4 posts per month.

All in all, I don't regret participating in this challenge. It has reminded me how much I miss writing and that I need to make the time to write more often. I've enjoyed visiting the blogs of my fellow authors and supporting them through this challenge, and I look forward to continuing to support them in their posts. 

Thank you to those of you who came by to visit me, even if just once. A special heart of gratitude to those of you who visited me on every post and left me comments and words of encouragement. I truly appreciate it. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

Did you enjoy my posts? Do you have any suggestions on what you'd like me to write about? I'd love to hear from you.