Thursday, November 30, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #dodoitsu #Winter #holidaycheer @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week is part two of Shosetsu, or Light Snow, for the #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge. For this week, Colleen Chesebro has encouraged us to write a series of three dodoitsu. This form has four lines with a7-7-7-5 syllabic pattern. To make the challenge more interesting, she's asked us to use the following kigo phrases in each stanza:

Stanza 1 - "early winter dusk"
Stanza 2 - "chilly north winds blow"
Stanza 3 - "warmth around the hearth"

We are having a cold front in South Florida right now. It's dropped into the 60s, and that is way too cold for me. Luckily, we will be back in the 80s by this weekend. You Northerners can have your cold back, thank you very much. 😝

So, here is my poem. Although each required stanza has exactly five syllables, I've chosen to incorporate them in the seven-syllable lines. 

(courtesy of @Monikas_Wunderwelt on Pixabay)

humans manipulate time
causing early winter dusks
draining energy from days
nature's mom cares not

winter comes for almost all
chilly north winds blow about
humans seek shelter inside
critters hibernate

warmth around the hearth comforts
holiday cheer uplifts hearts
family and friends gather
bountiful blessings

I don't have a hearth because - South Florida, people! - but there are a few nights every year when I wish I had one. Are you a fan of cold weather, or do you fantasize about visiting the tropics during this time? I'd love to hear from you.

Would you like to write a poem with us? Join us here.

November Book Review #bookreview #books #readingcommunity #stroke #recovery @Maureen_2me @YvetteMCalleiro #RRBC

Hello, beautiful readers! I hope you all had a wonderful November. I enjoyed my week off of work for Thanksgiving break. I went on a small cruise with my sister and our sons. I created a checklist of things I wanted to get done, and I managed to check everything off the list, so I'm happy!

I even managed to finish reading a book! I also started writing again, and it feels so good. I'm hoping to make a habit of it, so I can hopefully finally publish Drake's story in 2024. Fingers crossed! Here is my review for my November read.

Before, Afdre, and After (My stroke... oh what fun)

by Maureen Twomey

Genre: Memoir

Pages: 316 pages


When Maureen Twomey was only thirty-three years old, she experienced a massive stroke—one that took away her ability to read, write, walk, and even speak (AAAAAAAHHH!!). Well, she wasn’t about to go down without a fight. In Before, Afdre, and After, Twomey offers a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes comical, and ultimately inspiring account of what it is to lose everything when you’re supposed to be in the prime of your life—and what it takes to get it back, piece by tiny piece.

My Review:

I can't even begin to imagine having a stroke at 33 years old, much less keeping such an incredible outlook on life. Maureen Twomey takes us on a journey through her life before, during, and after her stroke. And through it all, though she lost many skills and had to relearn them, she never lost her positive energy. I truly believe that is one of the things that helped her survive and thrive even when doctors didn't think she would.

It angered me when she described how laidback the paramedics were when they picked her up. Then again, I'm sure we have learned a lot in the past twenty-three years since her stroke. Still, it was frustrating to read how much time was wasted. Through it all, Maureen was surrounded by friends and family, which is a tribute to what a wonderful person she was before the stroke. And through her words, you can sense that she is just as wonderful today.

This is an inspiring read of a young woman's journey to come back from a rare stroke with humor and determination, and I highly recommend it for anyone going through tough times and for anyone who wants to be inspired.

Have you read any great books lately? I'd love to hear from you! :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #tanka #Winter #Thanksgiving #Shosetsu #gratitude @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Syllabic Poetry Challenge focuses on the seasons of Shosetsu, or Light Snow. Being in South Florida, we definitely are not getting light snow, but the weather is beautiful this week.

It is also the season of Thanksgiving in America, a time where family and friends gather to focus on their blessings. This past weekend, my sister and I took our boys on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas that we had won while playing BINGO. It was my nephew's first cruise experience, and he loved it. We visited a cave that leads to six (plus) miles of underwater tunnels, went kayaking through the mangroves, spent some time on their beaches, and visited the Garden of the Groves where we had a fantastic lunch. 

So, this week, I've decided to focus on gratitude. I've written a tanka poem. For those new to poetry, a tanka poem consists of five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. The middle line tends to work as a pivot so that the first three lines create one image and the last three lines create a different image. Tankas are usually untitled.

grateful for blessings
abundance of merriment
friends, family, love
greatest riches in the world
bank of treasures overflows

If you'd like to join our poetry community and write a poem of your own, click here.

What are you most grateful for during this season? I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #tanka #Winter #farmwedding #Ritto @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! This week's #TankaTuesday 24 Seasons Challenge focuses on Ritto, the beginning of winter. In most parts of the northern hemisphere, the weather is becoming cooler, the sweaters are coming out of storage, and people are preparing for the winter holidays. Of course, here in South Florida, we are just excited that the humidity isn't as high.😄

This weekend, I was elated to attend the wedding of a dear friend of mine who waited until she found the right kind of love to tie the knot. She had a beautiful ceremony on a farm in northern Florida with her closest family and friends. So, I decided to dedicate this week's poem to her. Here are some of the pictures from her wedding.

This week's kigo words have to do with the beginning of winter. I chose crisper air to represent the season. I wrote a tanka poem, which consists of five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. The third line is the pivot, creating two separate images - one in the first three lines and one in the last three lines. 

(courtesy of @OlcayErtem on Pixabay)

just a small drive north
a quaint outdoor farm wedding
crisper air prevails
the bride and groom's heartfelt bond
warms the hearts of everyone

Do you want to write your own poem for this season? Join us here

What is the weather looking like where you live? Are you starting to see the beginnings of winter? I'd love to hear from you. :-)

Sunday, November 5, 2023

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge - #Syllabic #poem #poetrycommunity #seasonalKigo #Kigo #seasons #haiku #Autumn #jackolanterns #Soukou @ColleenChesebro @YvetteMCalleiro


Hello, beautiful readers! I don't know about you, but I really do not enjoy the time change. I prefer having more hours of light during the day, especially living in the Sunshine State. We actually voted several years ago to stop this nonsense, but our national government can't seem to approve the people's request.

Anyhow, this week's #TankaTuesday's 24 Seasons Challenge focuses on the First Frost. To learn more about this season, click here

I chose to write a haiku, which is a three-line poem with a 3-5-3 syllabic pattern. I've bolded and italicized the words that I believe fit the season. 

(courtesy of @Skitterphoto on Pixabay)

clear blue skies
crispness in the air
autumn comes

As a bonus, I wanted to write one for Halloween. This time I wrote a haiku with a 5-7-5 pattern. I know it's a few days late, but such is my life right now. 

(courtesy of @svetjekolem on Pixabay)

trick or treat tonight
jack o'lantern's eyes flicker
with desire to fright

What represents Autumn for you? Share your thoughts below. I'd love to hear from you. :-)

Saturday, November 4, 2023

2023 Nonnie Jules' RWISA "Supreme Book of the Year" Award

Hello, beautiful readers! In 2021, my short story, The One Chosen, was the grand prize winner of the Nonnie Jules' RWISA "Supreme Book of the Year" Award. This year, Breathless: A Short Story has taken second place! 

I am so happy to see this story winning this award. If you haven't read it yet, please pick up a copy of it. I think you will be quite surprised by it. 😉

Book Blurb:

What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?

Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

Congratulations to John Podlaski and his short story 2-27-70, the grand prize winner, and PTL Perrin's Reflections of a Misfit, which took third place. Both of these are phenomenal reads as well, so pick up your copies. :-)