A Very Special Book Review: Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven in Words by Sally Cronin

Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words is not your usual book of poetry – not at all. Sally Cronin’s stunningly beautiful book is a work of art to be read again and again. It is the kind of poetry and enchanting stories that lift you up, touch your heart, and make you see the world in an entirely new way.

This beautifully crafted book, with verse for every season of the year and a treasure strove of all things human too, is one of a kind. There are enchanting fantasies where fairies and other folk are at play and Sally’s portrayal of the beauty of the natural world will take your breath away. Her love of animals is represented here as well as she celebrates her love of pets, and all pet lovers will treasure this heartfelt telling that will capture your heart.  Sally speaks to the past eloquently of soldiers old and young that are remembered here and speaks of those that are forgotten.

The beauty of her philosophy of life she represents in random thoughts that I see as a gift to all that will enrich everyone’s sense of being and opens the door to growth within our hearts and souls. Her superb writing talent is portrayed in micro fiction and short stories that are a wonder to read.

Last but not least at all, is Sally’s ode to The Duchess 1917-2012.  I read this first and I felt Sally’s great love for the Duchess that brought tears to my eyes.

 

****I look forward to when the print version of Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven in Words is released. I can’t think of a more beautiful gift of love to give to all those that I love – my family and friends.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates- #Reviews – #YAParanormal Karen Demers Dowdall, #Relationships Alex Craigie, #CrimeReference Sue Coletta

This weeks must read from Sally’s weekly book reviews from Amazon! I am thrilled and these three reviews are great 5 star reviews.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first review is for Karen Demers Dowdall for Garrett’s Bones. A YA Paranormal Mystery

About the book

Anna and Garrett are ordinary teens growing up in a small farming community in Connecticut in 1960. They have been best friends since first grade and now their relationship is changing to something more. While walking through their beautiful forest preserve, Anna and Garrett happen upon the ravaged body of a young girl and find themselves as suspects in this horrific murder.

Garrett believes that the evil man that murdered the young girl, will kill again. When Garrett and Anna find ancient bones buried in the forest, Garrett knows it means something. It is their mission, they believe, to save their community and the Indian spirit who now roams the forest.

Things get…

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Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Etheree – Two Hearts by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin writes a beautiful heart-felt poem about true love that lasts over time.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is Valentine’s Day and whilst it may be quite commercialised now,  it is still a day to celebrate love. (I do think it should be celebrated every day even after 40 years of marriage). This week on  Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 164 the prompts were very appropriate,’Love and Harmony’….. I have selected the synonyms ‘Passion and Rapport’

Etheree – Two Hearts

When
you meet
that someone
who sparks a flame
in your heart and mind
passion is ignited.
Even when the years have passed
the rapport that has developed,
energised with a sense of humour,
binds your two hearts together forever.

©Sally Cronin 2020

If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link again: Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 164

You can find recent reviews for my latest release and other books: Sally’s books and…

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left dry (and unworldly)

This stunningly beautiful poem portrays the one source that humans and all living things can not survive without – water, and in such a way, that it brings the truth to the surface of all our fears.

Frank Prem Poetry

how will we drink
the dust

can you tell me

we are burning
from above
draining
from below

there’ll be nothing left
soon
but the holes
where we mined
and the cracks
in the earth
that were once held together
by water

and still it’s not
enough

we have to take
another barrel out

send it
all the way
to china

like taking
your own heart
and selling it
to the highest bidder

leaving you
behind
like a husk
after harvest

rattling empty
with every passing breeze
that passes
by
where we are left
to stand

a ragged bunch
of scarecrow skeletons
still craving

not knowing
yet
that we have already
died

and the dead
can no more serve
any
worldly purpose

~

From the News. The miserable bloody news.

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Why You Should Never Stop Reading Fairytales!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never Stop Reading Fairy tales! by Karen DeMers Dowdall 

I thought it would be nice to re-post one of my favorite posts about fairy tales. Considering that I am really into fantasy, paranormal, fairytales, and witches, this new blog title suits me to a T…Once Upon a time…. It is far better than just my name (it is way too long). This new blog title really makes me happy. I love fantasy stories that begin with Once Upon a time…Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle in time, however, does not begin Once upon a time…it begins with, “It was a dark and stormy night”…that works too.

I have collected volumes of fairy tale books, everything from all of Hans Christian Anderson to all of the Grimm’s Fairy tales, Scotland Folk Tales, Irish Myths and Folklore, among many other volumes of Fairy tales. Perhaps, one could say, I live in a fairytale world of my own making. So true. I can’t think of a better place to live…especially in the world as we live in today.

Also, my collection of books includes my favorite books of tales about Princesses, Dragons, Monsters, and of course…Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit and all his friends, too. Less I forget to mention, my love of everything in King Author’s Court and the Knights, especially, the Wizard Merlin, and also,the Hobbit’s Gandalf the Grey. So many magical creatures that do often represent the best and the worst of humanity.

These stories tell me that most, that perhaps all of humanity is redeemable, because we are not given an instruction manual for raising babies, toddlers, and especially teenagers – God love them, one and all. Oh my goodness, it can be a real juggle out there for those growing up and with our delicate egos at risk…anything can go wrong.

Perhaps, that is why I love Fantasy, Fairy tales, Paranormal, Greek Mythology, and Science fiction too. Quoting the famous words of Albert Einstein, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Well…perhaps it doesn’t work with everyone. I am still learning.

I will add to that quote, if I may, my own philosophy:  “Never stop reading fairytales. No matter how old you are! We are forever learning, and not much teaches us more than a good Fairy tale!”

by Karen DeMers Dowdall June 4th, 2019

 

 

ODE TO A MADMAN

See the source image

ODE TO A MADMAN

 

The cunning words, that rings so true, bring me but dark memories,

From a time and a place, best forgotten, yet always, just beneath,

The surface of a black night, filled with anguish and loss,

Of fear, trepidation, horror, not of this world, not now, I pray,

but then it crawled into being, by what force, I do not know.

They say, nonsense, but it lives, somewhere, now,

To come again, to crush, destroy, all the goodness

The world has ever known. The pinnacle has arrived,

Once again, we face, the face of evil incarnate, we see it daily,

But a few do ever acknowledge what we see, we feign ignorance,

Deny what we see, yet, it creeps to our door,

Seeps under the floor, the poison of its words,

It lies so beautifully. ~ Karen D. Dowdall

 

WORDS

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.

~Yehuda Berg

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/yehuda-berg-quotes

 

ANGER

Hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and block a nation’s progress to freedom and democracy.

~Liu Xiaobo

https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=Liu+Xiaobo+Hatred

 

LOVE

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.

~Ann Landers

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ann_landers_143025

 

PEACE (AND LOVE)

Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.

`Menachem Begin

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/menachem-begin-quotes

 

SADNESS

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

~Carl Jung

https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=Carl+Jung

 

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.

~Walter Anderson

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/walter-anderson-quotes

 

FEAR

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

~Nelson Mandela

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/nelson-mandela-quotes

Happiness

There is only one happiness in this life: to love and to be loved.

George Sand

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/george-sand-happiness

 

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.

Jim Rohn

Https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/jim-rohn-happiness

 

 

A Telling Time

~This is a telling time, a time to consider consequences as there are worse things to come; if those that are keen with pen and paper fail to support right from wrong. ~ Karen Dowdall

 

“In every age it has been the tyrant…wrapped in the cloak of patriotism or religion to deceive and overawe the People”

~Eugene V. Debs

 

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ~Thomas Jefferson

 

The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.  ~Clarence Darrow

 

Ignorance has always been the weapon of tyrants; enlightenment the salvation of the free. ~Bill Richardson

 

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.  ~Albert Camus

 

It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice.  ~Henry A. Wallace

 

Tyrants always have some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them. ~Voltaire

 

Secrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of. ~Bill Moyers

 

“Freedom is sloppy. But since tyranny’s the only guaranteed byproduct of those who insist on a perfect world, freedom will have to do.”
~ Bill Willingham

 

“Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.”
~ Lysander Spooner

 

“The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law.”
~ Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essay

 

“All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.”
~Alexis de Tocqueville

 

 

 

 

The Crucial First Page of Your Novel – by C.S. Lakin…

Chris, thank you! I have learned the hard way, because just when you think you have a great first page and publish the book, then after reflections upon it, you realize it could have been so much better.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Live Write Thrive:

Most authors know that the first pages of a novel are the most crucial and carry the weightiest burden in their entire book. The opening scene must convey so many things that often the author will have to rewrite it numerous times to get it right.

But the first page is especially crucial to get right.

Continue reading HERE

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THE HISTORICAL ROLE OF WRITERS AND AUTHORS IN SOCIETY

I believe our global world is teetering on a precipice or an abyss. However  we wish to view our global situation, because there are too many dictators that have now gained power. The supposed purpose of our American Democratic Republic was, and hopefully will be again someday, for religious freedom and economic prosperity. Democracy, however, is losing.
      Therefore, in my opinion, writers can and should share their views. America’s policies are everyone’s business, because our lives, how we live our lives, are dependent upon on our written and verbal voices. Writers have a voice—an audience, a vibrant and often collective voice. Fiction, especially, is a vehicle to express societal needs and wants for a better life. Consider A Tale of Two Cities, To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Scarlet Letter, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Roots, and so many others. All of these written works represent writers speaking out about the horrors of tyranny placed on people of poverty, of color, of sex, and of faith.
     Furthermore, all of the above classic fictionalized literature, speaks to the appalling human conditions forced onto society by tyranny, greed, hate groups, ignorance, and loathe. The cruelty of mankind is a poison without a cure…unless humankind speaks loudly, writes loudly about injustice, poverty, bullying, hate, fear, racism, greed, and tyranny.
     For instance, religion is a set of beliefs based on faith, a policy of doctrine, and religion has changed lives, for better or worse, consider: The Malleus Maleficarum, The Salem Witch Trials, The Trail of Tears, The Holocaust, Roots, and so many other travesties and horrors, based on some tyranny or tyrannical religion precepts, basically humans being inhuman. I say this, because some forms of religion do not wholly, truly represent the founding of beliefs that a prophet gave to people of a certain time in history.
     All religions are faith and politically based beliefs—by speakers, writers, authors, and preachers. Our lives are based on faith. Faith is what we believe to be a given right: freedom to pray, to think, to express our beliefs, and nothing is more political than the faith of our choice. It is our right to believe in a higher power or not to believe, and we all believe differently.
     Our collective belief in a democratic republic is policy-based, and we came to believe in a democratic republic as written by authors, who expressed their views, their faith in the ability to tell us stories, stories that are based on democracy or tyranny. We, as writers and authors, are at another dangerous point in our humanity.
     We should and can choose to write short stories, novels, and commentaries that support our democratic republic; if not, we will fail miserably to defend our right to write stories. Without this right, we may see our written work burned in the fire of a tyrannical and often insane dictator.
As it is today, so many great written works are on the banned books list and are not allowed in libraries. Who knows? Your religion could be next or any and all religious doctrine based in faith, could be banned and our fiction writing banned as well.
     Whether tyranny is religious or theoretical, what we believe collectively becomes the law of the land. The voices of our written work: our novels, our commentaries, our short stories, our speeches, all are critically important to our way of life, our democracy.
Our lives depend on the written word that will reflect our collective voice for freedom of thought, of choice, of faith in our union as Americans. What we allow to endure, without our voices, will be our fall from grace.

Three Secrets to Great Storytelling!

Whispering

 

 

 

3 SECRETS TO GREAT STORYTELLING as presented on Writer’s Digest. I found this article by Steven James helpful in forming the structure of scenes.  (this is a re-blogging from 2014 but I thought it deserved a revival now, because it is simple, straightforward, and to the point.)

As a novelist and writing instructor, I’ve noticed that three of the most vital aspects of story craft are left out of many writing books and workshops. Even bestselling novelists stumble over them – Steven James But they’re not difficult to grasp. In fact, they’re easy.And if you master these simple principles for shaping great stories, your writing will be transformed forever. Honest. Here’s how to write a story.

Secret #1: 
CAUSE AND EFFECT ARE KING.

Everything in a story must be caused by the action or event that precedes it.  As a fiction writer, you want your reader to always be emotionally present in the story. But when readers are forced to guess why something happened (or didn’t happen), even for just a split second, it causes them to intellectually disengage and distances them from the story. Rather than remaining present alongside the characters, they’ll begin to analyze or question the progression of the plot. And you definitely don’t want that. When a reader tells you that he couldn’t put a book down, often it’s because everything in the story followed logically. Stories that move forward naturally, cause to effect, keep the reader engrossed and flipping pages. If you fail to do this, it can confuse readers, kill the pace and telegraph your weaknesses as a writer.

Secret #2: 
IF IT’S NOT BELIEVABLE, IT DOESN’T BELONG.  

The narrative world is also shattered when an action, even if it’s impossible, becomes unbelievable. In writing circles it’s common to speak about the suspension of disbelief, but that phrase bothers me because it seems to imply that the reader approaches the story wanting to disbelieve and that she needs to somehow set that attitude aside in order to engage with the story. But precisely the opposite is true. Readers approach stories wanting to believe them. Readers have both the intention and desire to enter a story in which everything that happens, within the narrative world that governs that story, is believable. As writers, then, our goal isn’t to convince the reader to suspend her disbelief, but rather to give her what she wants by continually sustaining her belief in the story. The distinction isn’t just a matter of semantics; it’s a matter of understanding the mindset and expectations of your readers. Readers want to immerse themselves in deep belief. We need to respect them enough to keep that belief alive throughout the story.

Secret #3: 

IT’S ALL ABOUT ESCALATION.  

At the heart of story is tension, and at the heart of tension is unmet desire. At its core, a story is about a character who wants something but cannot get it. As soon as he gets it, the story is over. So, when you resolve a problem, it must always be within the context of an even greater plot escalation. As part of the novel-writing intensives that I teach, I review and critique participants’ manuscripts. Often I find that aspiring authors have listened to the advice of so many writing books and included an engaging “hook” at the beginning of their story. This is usually a good idea; however, all too often the writer is then forced to spend the following pages dumping in background to explain the context of the hook.

IN CONCLUSION

By consistently driving your story forward through action that follows naturally, characters who act believably, and tension that mounts exponentially, you’ll keep readers flipping pages and panting for more of your work.