Kimberlee writes with magic as she composes a visual beauty of the seasons with her words, even the smallest things in nature, come alive with her writing. Just beautiful.


It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. The crisp winter air is full of it.” – John Burroughs

The sound of the city, the siren, makes its presence known no matter how sacred the day – my garlands of glitter and pinecone offerings no match for the reality of modern day city living. It seems that life goes on, no matter what…

A recent note from the stone house that hides its true form (it’s a farm!) in its heart has me dreaming of the wild – I’m left wanting to fall asleep with the window open to the crisp air, the only light leaking in to be from the clear, bright stars above or the silver crescent of the winter moon. To hear the resident Screech owl and the haunting sound of yipping…

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In the Midst of Winter

In the Midst of Winter

Sometimes, there are days,

when everything seems pointless,


even as the sun rises,

and the sky is a crystal blue,

and all seems brand new.

It is then, in that moment,

that something beyond our understanding,

opens our eyes and ears to what is beautiful around us,

no matter how we try to deny it,

it comes to us and enters our souls,

ours hearts, so tenderly,

that we once again,

see the world as brand new.

@K. D. Dowdall 2016

How to Give Your Narration Flavor

How to Give Your Narration Flavor is certainly a way to add life and personality to each of your characters. Great Post!

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

Readers frequently talk about the style or narrative flavor of authors they enjoy. They’ll say, “That sounds like something __ wrote,” or “This reminded me of ___” or “The tone of that was flat.” But sometimes, we authors we sometimes don’t know what gives us our writing voice. What makes writing sound different or interesting and engaging?

Our voice is really the flavor that is distinctly ours. It’s like the spices that make Italian different than French or German cooking. They may have similar topography or features; in certain portions of those countries, there may just be an imaginary line between one part and another, to where the climate, soil types, and weather are identical. Similarly, our writing might be similar to that of another in genre, plot elements, and character types but yet be unique because of the “spices” we employ.

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The Reason Paul Ryan’s Budget Eliminates Funding for The National Endowments for the Arts!




The reason behind Paul Ryan’s Budget, to cut funding for the arts, is “hypothetically justified” according to Ryan,  because it will eliminate the “political interference” that those programs provide—as if the “political interference” is somehow a broader problem [in America]. If you are trying to illustrate circular logic to your students, this is a very good illustration of it.

Ryan’s budget proposals would have a net economic effect comparable to eliminating several major employers—the equivalent of GM, Ford, GE, and Exxon-Mobil all going bankrupt—over the space of a decade.  The budget eliminates funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, completely discounting the very low cost and very high impact of those programs, especially on communities outside of the largest urban areas.

Excerpts from:



Warrior Angel





The followers of the madness of a man have lost their way by hate and fear. They do not know the iniquity they follow.  He plays the game with ill intent to ruinous ways he leads all, when the good and the brave fail to act. So, fear not brave souls. A man wants us to be afraid, so do not be afraid. Stand up and say the truth loud and clear! The darkness always vanishes in the light of day.

Writing Life Back Into The World

chauly-6In the wake of her father’s death, a Malaysian author discovers the writer within and ends up writing herself into her country’s narrative.

My father’s untimely and tragic death when I was four made me a writer. It was that simple, really. There was a need for words, and words were what I turned to.

In the course of growing up in Malaysia’s third-largest city, Ipoh, a town that had a rich, checkered past of being the “town that tin built,” I immersed myself in books—books left by my father and mother. My father was Punjabi-Sikh, English-educated at St. Xavier’s Institution in George Town, Penang, then as a Colombo Scholar at Kirby College in Liverpool, England. My mother, Cantonese-Buddhist, Chinese-educated, then sent to Melbourne University in Australia. They had varied interests—poetry, literature, art, geology (my father was pursuing his master’s in geology at the time of his death), huge tomes on World Wars I and II, dog-eared, faded stacks of National Geographic from the 1960s, multiple volumes on Malaysian flora and fauna—birds, butterflies—invertebrates, vertebrates, carpentry, maps and rocks—books I still have in my library.

I suppose I read to fill that gaping hole inside me, that nameless void that kept me up at night and rendered me angry, confused, bewildered as to who and what I was.

I suppose I read to fill that gaping hole inside me, that nameless void that kept me up at night and rendered me angry, confused, bewildered as to who and what I was. “So what are you? Why do you have such a weird name?” Growing up with mixed identities—half this and half that—in Malaysia was common then, but it was not named. I did not know who I was, and my father’s death had created a chasm that needed to be crossed. I felt that I had been “cast out,” abandoned by the world, and I was utterly alone.

My mother’s insistence on buying me at least two new books a week was one of the few joys I had, apart from being able to sit in the curved rattan chair on the second floor of our semidetached house with a plate of biscuits, a glass of cold water, and a thick book. The afternoon sun would dip and it would be night, but still I sat and devoured everything, reading books cover to cover, then some again. In the Ipoh public library where my mother would leave me on weekends, I huddled in soft, dark spaces and read quietly for hours.

The author and her mother, Jane, on a rickshaw, Kota Bharu, 1970
The author and her mother, Jane, on a rickshaw, Kota Bharu, 1970

I also wrote a little, using essay assignments to play out my imagination; characters were marooned in deserts and stormy seas, in outer space. My teachers were supportive. I attempted poetry, but the images were the same—death, tombstones, epitaphs, an obsession with Edith Sitwell. It was necessary, but the poems were terrible.

My decision to take English literature in the fourth and fifth form was an important prelude for what was to come. My mother found me a tutor, Brother Vincent Corkery, one of the last Lasallian Brothers left in Ipoh’s St. Michael’s Institution. Brother Vincent was from County Cork, in Ireland, spoke with a soft Irish curl, had crinkly blue eyes, and loved literature. How I looked forward to those classes! They were held in the brothers’ quarters of that beautiful school—up the narrow, worn concrete staircases, past the neo-Gothic eaves into the dark and cool rooms, which smelled of holy water and starched cassocks, away from the rowdy shrieks of boys. I would ring the doorbell—three short rings for Brother Vincent—and he would appear, fresh after a nap, and we would sit for two hours, reading and talking about literature. We read Bernard Malamud, Doris Lessing, Hemingway, Frost, Yeats, Keats, George Bernard Shaw, and Shakespeare. He made me memorize passages from Shakespeare—Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster . . . —made me pronounce words with gestures and feeling, and made my hair stand on end when he read out a passage so beautiful, so evocative, so pained. I learned beauty; that words had power and a meaning that lasted, that stayed on my tongue and my skin.

I did well enough in the O-level state exams and, as expected, got A’s in the English language and lit courses. As a result, I was offered a government scholarship to study English and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) in Canada. This marked the beginning of many things, but more importantly, the first step toward my life as a writer.   

Engagement photo of Surinder Singh and Loh Siew Yoke (aka Jane Chauly), 1967. Before marriage, Surinder changed his name to Bernard Surinder Chauly.

For Serious Contemplation

pizarnik-extracting (1)

For Serious Contemplation

Alejandra Pizarnik

Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962–1972

Trans. Yvett Siegert
New Directions, May

blogged from World Literature

Referencing an ancient medical practice, immortalized in a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, Alejandra Pizarnik’s collection of poems explores themes of depression, childhood, death, and the border between language and silence. Her poetry from the last ten years of her life, before her suicide at the age of thirty-six, is the first full collection translated into English and filled with a balance between frenzy and melancholia.

About Poems

Poems are often secret thoughts with embedded meanings that the author wishes to partially explore and reveal.  Sometimes, as in the case of Yvett Siegert, they are quite telling and she wanted us to know the inner world she lived.  She was insightful of her own fears, panic, and depression. Poems were her way of communicating to others with a hope that others would understand that her condition was not of her own making. In doing so, she gave us a view of what lurks  inside the mind of madness.  Psychiatrists have given us a clinical diagnostic representation of madness, but then in retrospect who is mad and who is sane? No one knows what really lurks in the mind of anyone else, which begs the question: Do we really know ourselves well enough to make judgement calls about ourselves or anyone else?