Sunday, September 11, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge #ColorPoetry #TasteTheRainbow @ColleenChesebro #haiku #poem #poetrycommunity

 


Hello, beautiful readers! It's been a while since I've posted. With school starting again and with my son's football schedule, I don't have much time to write or read. My only day of rest is Sundays, and I spend it at the beach soaking up the sunny days and rejuvenating my soul with the sand and salt water.

This week, Colleen's #TankaTuesday poetry challenge was all about the tasting the rainbow through color poetry. While I did see a rainbow at the beach today, the moment captured in the picture below pulled a poem from me, so I thought I'd share it.



cerulean sky

tries to form a funnel cloud

but never connects


If you would like to try to write your own color poem, click here.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge #Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt @ColleenChesebro #Ekphrastic #poetry


Hello, beautiful readers! Life as a teacher has left me with very little time to read and write. With the new school year commencing, I'm trying to adjust my sleeping patterns as well as reorganizing my time around work and my son's busy football practices. So, if you don't see me commenting on blogs as much, please know I'm still helping to promote them on Twitter. I just need to pick and choose where to give my time. 

This week's Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge is an Ekphrastic prompt. Reena has provided us with a beautiful piece of her own artwork to inspire us. 

I've chosen to write a cinquain. Truthfully, I chose this form because the first word that came to me when I saw this art has two syllables in it. Lol! So, I found a form that would allow me to start with that word. I hope you like what I've drawn from her work. (Thank you, Colleen, for the title suggestion!) :-)


Chaos Tamed

chaos
unravels me
life is messy sometimes
we can choose how to handle it
now, calm


Do you want to try your hand at writing poetry? Click here! Join the fun! :-)






Thursday, August 11, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge #SpecificForm @ColleenChesebro #4-11poem @gmplano #change


Hello, beautiful readers! I've missed a few poetry prompts because life has been busy, but I wanted to make sure to get this one posted. Last month, Colleen Chesebro chose my poem to highlight for the Specific Form week, and then she asked me to choose a form for this month's Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge

I wanted to try something different, and I remembered that Colleen had asked us months ago to create new poetry forms, so I perused that site and found this amazing form by Gwen Plano! She calls it The 4-11 because it consists of eleven lines of four syllables each  with the first line repeating at the end. I'm happy I chose this form because the poetry everyone is creating is amazing! You can check it out here.

As I previously mentioned, my life has been very busy. With school about to commence, it just got busier. For those of you who don't know me yet, I am a middle school teacher with a son who plays high school football, so there is never down time. Lol!

In my neck of the palm trees ;-), this week is when teachers start preparing for school to start. At the end of last school year, my classroom started dripping water from the a/c unit in the ceiling. It still hasn't been fixed; in fact, it's gotten much worse. 

So, I am now having to move classrooms while they start working to repair it. My anxiety disorder really hates change, so yesterday was quite overwhelming for me. I'm focusing on one hour at a time and reminding myself that it's just temporary. So, as I sat looking at my new empty classroom and meditated, this is what came to me:

I embrace change
it's not easy
sometimes I cry
frustration hits
overwhelms me
I can't give up
just take a breath
pause and reflect
to grow, to thrive
I must take risks
I embrace change

I head back today with renewed positive energy, ready to make my temporary classroom feel warm and inviting, not just for my students but also for me. Wish me luck! :-)

Do you want to try your hand at a new form of poetry? Click here!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

It's Time for the #RRBC 7th Annual Writers' Conference & Book Expo! #WCBE22 #writingcommunity #writers #authors #readers #writersconference


Hi, beautiful readers! It's that time of year when the Rave Reviews Book Club hosts their annual Writer's Conference & Book Expo! If you have never attended one of these conferences, you are in for a treat. Not only are there author booths to visit and win prizes, there are also raffle tickets that you can purchase to win $100 Amazon gift cards/gift baskets and games to play! 

Take your lunch break and check out what all the hype is about! While you're there, check out my author booth. Leave a comment and you just might win one of my books for free! See you around the incredible conference! :-) 


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge #Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt @ColleenChesebro #poetry #senryu #poem #poetrycommunity

Hello, beautiful readers! This week is Photo Prompt week for Colleen Chesebro's Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. Colleen asked Willow to provide the picture, and she shared this touching photo below. The goal is not to describe the image itself but to write about what it might represent.

I'm not really sure where this picture came from, but the background reminds me of a train station. Immediately, I imagined this man was leaving for war and wanted to soak in all he could from the love of his life before he left.

I decided to write a senryu. This poem form has three or more lines following a short-long-short pattern. In this case, I used the 5-7-5 pattern. It is written about the human condition whereas a haiku focuses on nature and seasons. To learn more about the senryu, click here

So, here it is! I hope you enjoy it. :-)



one last kiss, my love,
survival is uncertain
I'll love you always


Does this picture inspire you to write a poem? Try it here.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge #Lanterne #Lanturne @ColleenChesebro #poem #poetrycommunity #selflove #Tangled


Hello, beautiful readers! This week, Colleen Chesebro invited Lisa, the Versemith, to select the syllabic poem for our Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. Lisa chose the lanturne, or lanterne, form. This form has five lines and is shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of 1-2-3-4-1. 

If you've been following me, you know that I'm on a journey to be the best version of myself. I focus on improving my physical, mental, and emotional self on a daily basis. So, naturally, I wrote a poem that encompassed self-love.

(me meditating on top of Cathedral Rock in Sedona, AZ)

I
exist
beautiful
happy, calm, strong
me

be
sit still
now listen
follow your breath
sigh

see
clearly
all are one
accept what is
truth

live
zestful
with purpose
in the moment
thrive


When I read about this form, it also made me think of the lantern scene in the Disney movie, Tangled. (I'm a HUGE Disney fan!) I won't copy the scene's video because I don't want to infringe upon any copyright laws, but it's a moment when the two main characters step away from their egos and truly see the other person. So, I came up with this poem as well.

love
accept
see their light
unlimited
real

Although it seems like an easy form, it takes some thought to keep the lines focused on one theme. Do you want to try to create one? Check it out here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge #TasteTheRainbow #color #weather @ColleenChesebro #poem #tanka #ReverseCinquain #clouds #adventure #poetrycommunity


Hello, beautiful people! I'm back to writing poetry, and it feels so good! For this week's Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge, Colleen Chesebro encouraged us to write a poem not only about a color but also the weather. Since I've been away for a few weeks, I decided to write two poems based on pictures I took during my vacation. I hope you like them.

(photo from the airplane's window)

Rise Above

 

from beneath the clouds

the world appears dull and gray

but above the clouds

the sun shines brightly on us

see past facades; embrace light



Adventure

 

sunrise

bakes the earth with his summer heat

suck it up, buttercup

journeys await

onward!


The first poem is a Tanka. It was taken on our flight to Arizona. I thought about how beautiful the view was above the clouds and how those on the ground were probably looking up and wishing the clouds would just move away. Perspective is everything, isn't it?

The second picture is a Reverse Cinquain. This photo was taken was taken right before my son and I rode a semi-electric four-wheeled bike that had been fitted to the railway. Even though it was early in the morning, the temperature was already in the 90s. Luckily, once we started pedaling, the wind cooled us off. It was another moment where we just embraced life at its fullest and enjoyed the adventure.


To join in on the fun and write your own poem, click here!


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

My Newest Short Story: Escaping the Woods #shortstory #adventure #childrensbook #moving #Mississippi #lostinthewoods #youngadult #newtown #newfriends #militarybrats #readingcommunity #RRBC #RWISA

Hello, beautiful readers! Today, I'd like to share with you my newest release, Escaping the Woods - A Short Story.


I wrote this story as part of the RRBC 90-Day Alpha/Omega Short Story Writing Contest. The first short story I wrote for this contest was a twisted fairy tale called Breathless. The second story was a prequel of sorts to my Diasodz series called The One Chosen.

This year, I veered away from my favorite genre of fantasy and went a bit old school. For those of you who don't know, I grew up as an Army brat. I was born in Germany while my dad was stationed there and grew up in Germany, Georgia, Missouri, Korea, Mississippi, Virginia, and Panama before finally settling down in Miami, Florida. I moved a LOT. And those are just the places I lived! I have visited and vacationed in many more states and countries. 

Moving became more difficult as I grew older because I made great friends and didn't want to leave them. Back in those days, there was no internet, and long distance calls cost more than they were worth so we wrote letters to one another, but it wasn't the same. It isn't easy moving to a new place. Military brats know and understand that, so we would embrace the newest kids on the block because we knew what being that kid felt like. 

My hardest move was our last move. My dad retired when I was fourteen years old, so we moved to Miami where all my parents' relatives lived. It was pure civilian life, and all the kids my age had grown up together, had formed their bonds/cliques already, and weren't very welcoming to new kids.

When thinking of a story to write, I remembered my three years in Mississippi. I have fond memories of those times. I was in elementary school and was very active in various sports and activities. I also had an active imagination.

We had a creek behind our house with a pipe that connected us to the other side, which had a field of crops. My friend's grandmother lived behind those crops, so we would sneak over to her house for cookies and lemonade.

In front of our house across the street were the woods, where my sister, friends, and I would play cops and robbers or hide-and-seek. We were always outdoors, at least until the street lights came on. Then, we'd high-tail it home.

Escaping the Woods is loosely based on a memory where two of my friends, my sister, and I got lost in the woods and couldn't find our way out. This was just shortly before the Adam Walsh case made national news. I remember counting my blessings about how our story ended after hearing what sadly happened to him.

So, here is my newest release, Escaping the Woods: A Short Story! Hope you enjoy it!


When ten-year old Isabella's family moves to Mississippi in 1982, she is not thrilled about leaving her home in Miami. Her parents introduce her to their new friend's daughter, Janine, and insist Isabella play with her. Reluctantly, she follows Janine to a nearby park. When Janine suggests they explore the woods, Isabella gives in despite her fears. One wrong turn leaves them deep in the forest with no way of knowing how to get out. As the sun begins to set, Isabella and Janine search for help, but will their search lead to their rescue, or will they find themselves in even more danger?

You can pre-order your copy here on Amazon.
 


Monday, June 27, 2022

My Summer Vacation 2022 #Arizona #HooverDam #BoulderCity #Nevada #ZionNationalPark #Utah #SummerVacation #RedRocksPark #SaguaroNationalPark #GrandCanyon #MeteorCrater #HorseshoeBend #AntelopeCanyon

 Hello, beautiful readers! I've been a bit MIA for a couple of weeks. My son and I took a two-week road trip in Arizona. I had hoped to connect with my online friends at night, but our days were filled with great activities which left me exhausted at night. Lol! Slowly, I'm reconnecting with my online community. For today, I thought I'd share a bit of our adventures in case you ever decide to visit Arizona.

For those of you who do not know, I'm an Army brat. My dad was in the Army for 25 years. My first 14 years of life were spent living all over the world and traveling to explore other places. Traveling is in my blood, and I love exploring new places. So, when I gave birth to my son, I decided I wanted him to see all fifty states in our country before he graduated from college. The USA is SO beautiful. Every state has its own history and plenty of interesting places to visit. Each state is also a bit different in their accents, foods, culture, and levels of diversity. So far, he has seen 48 of the 50 states. Arizona was number 48.


We started our trip in Tuscon, where we visited Saguaro National Park and rode the Mount Lemmon Highway. The weather was in the 100s with dry heat, which is very different from the humidity I'm used to in Miami. The heat didn't bother me, but the elevation had me breathing a little heavier than I'm used to when hiking. I loved the variety of cacti in this park.


 

 

Our next stop was Sedona. We did some star-gazing at night. During the day, we climbed Bells Rock (almost to the top; it got a little too treacherous toward the top so we stopped when we couldn't find good grips to keep climbing up), Church of the Holy Cross, and Cathedral Rock (all the way to the top!). 

In between those hikes, we stopped at the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park. It was incredibly peaceful. The park was sectioned off with multiple areas to meditate. The picture above is a meditative wheel that you walk while saying a prayer or wishing others well. 

At the top of Cathedral Rock, we found this inspiring, painted stone and took a picture of it. Unfortunately, right before we made it to the bottom, I slipped on a loose rock and badly sprained my ankle. At urgent care, I got fitted with an ankle brace, which gave me enough support to allow me to enjoy the rest of our trip (thank goodness!).

 

From there, we went to Boulder City, NV. We completed a 12-mile kayak tour that started at the base of the Hoover Dam and took us to several hot springs. The constant 53 degree water in the river and the hot springs (up to 120 degrees) felt amazing on my ankle. The sites along the way were just breathtaking!



We had a bit of fun riding electric bikes along an old railway. You have to pedal to charge the electric motors on the bike, and my son did almost all of the pedaling because of my ankle, but we both had fun. Then, we took a tour of the power plant inside the Hoover Dam.

 

While staying in Flagstaff, we visited the Meteor Crater, where a 150 foot wide meteor weighing several hundred thousand tons crashed into the desert at about 26,000 mph over 50,000 years ago. Then, we visited the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I had been before, but my son never had. We walked the perimeter and just enjoyed its vast beauty.


 

Next, we headed to Page, where we visited Horseshoe Bend and both the upper and lower Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land, and they still require everyone to wear masks, even when outdoors. Interestingly, the upper Antelope Canyon does not allow you to take the masks off for pictures (you can be fined $1500 if you do), but the lower Antelope Canyon allows you to remove the masks for pictures. Both allow you to remove it to drink water, but that is it! Still, the views were spectacular, and I loved the energy within the canyon.

 

We had hoped to visit a few places that require permits, but I was never able to secure them, so we took a day and drove to Zion National Park in Utah. In the park, there is a place called The Narrows where you can hike across rocks and wade in water to walk between large rocky mountains as it slowly gets more narrow. It's more than a 9-mile hike. We didn't go that far because of my ankle, but we did get to do several miles and enjoy the beauty of the park.

I took SO many incredible pictures, but I just shared a few to give you an idea of how beautiful the states are. Slowly but surely, I'll be revisiting my favorite blogs and author websites. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this post.

Oh, one more thing! I've got a short story being released this Thursday! I'll create a post about it, but until then, click here to check it out! :-)



Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Amazing Review of The One Chosen: A #Diasodz Short Story #fantasy #paranormal #shortstory #novella #novellette #paranormalromance #readingcommunity #bookreview #fivestars

Hello, beautiful readers! Recently, a fellow author and poet, Selma Martin, read The One Chosen: A Diasodz Short Story.  I met Selma through Colleen Chesebro's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenges and fell in love with the beautiful way she strings words together. It was a wonderful surprise to see that she had picked up The One Chosen and then shared her review with her followers, so I'm hoping you'll take a moment to visit her site, read her review, and then check out her incredible poetry and other books. Have a wonderful day, everyone! :-)


https://selmamartin.com/young-adults-and-adult-readers-will-love-this-book/