The small dog’s Advent invitation: Send Ani your letters to Santa… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Reblog and share


Sue Vincent’s ‘Ani the dog’ is inviting bloggers over to write a holiday post. Last year Ani wrote to Santa everyday and finally got her wish. But this year she’s asking fellow writing friends if they’d like to write something of their own to help take the load off her. Read Ani’s post below and continue reading to find out how to submit to Sue.

The small dog’s Advent invitation: Send Ani your letters to Santa…

Last year in December, Ani, the infamous Small Dog, wrote to Santa, every day for Advent.

It seemed to work, as she got her wish…

This year, her wish is different… she would like to invite her friends to join in.

Ani says:

“I really need your help. She says that if I can post every day for Advent, this indignity will not happen again…”

Send Ani a letter for Santa and she will share it on the blog throughout the month of December. You can also send her your Christmas poems, memories and stories. Continue reading . . .


Source: The small dog’s Advent invitation: Send Ani your letters to Santa… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Guest Author Feature – Sarah Brentyn – Hinting at Shadows

Featured author of the week


Today’s featured guest is friend, author/blogger, Sarah Brentyn. I was thrilled when Sarah accepted my invitation to visit here because she reminds me of those reclusive movie stars who’d rather stay hidden behind her words, only I’ve noticed she’s stepped out and done a few interviews this year, and I’m glad that I’ve managed to snag her over here too. Sarah is known for her micro-fiction. She can tell a story using minimal words that have a tendency to linger long after you’ve read them.

Sarah Brentyn - author

About Sarah:

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.


Boring Stuff

Have a master’s degree in writing. Taught at university and 6-8 grade levels. Been writing since I was 9 years old.

I am a writer. That’s all there is to be said on the matter.
It’s what I do. It’s who I am.


On the Edge of a Raindrop by Sarah Brentyn

Coming Soon!


Hinting at Shadows - Sarah Brentyn


Get this Book on Amazon!





No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there. 

A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.


Now, let’s get to know a little bit more about Sarah and her writing!


Okay, I’m going to start with your blog – Lemon Shark Reef. I’d love to know what that title represents?

Oh, yeah. First question and I already get to cheat. I’m loving this.

I have a page on my blog explaining the name:

Q: Why did you name your blog “Lemon Shark”?

A: It was 1 AM. I was tired. For weeks, I’d been working on my new WordPress site: getting to know the dashboard, settings, tools, widgets, and whatnot. The time had come for me to get real. I was ready to release this beast into the world and I hadn’t yet decided on a header or a name. The final contenders were all open on my laptop and I flicked back and forth between them until I couldn’t stand looking any more.

I got up, pulled my Webster’s New Explorer College Dictionary off the shelf, closed my eyes, opened the dictionary to a random page, and pointed. My finger landed on “lemon shark”. (It was this close to “lemmings”.)

Q: It’s in the dictionary? You mean it’s a real thing?

A: Why yes, it is indeed a real thing. I love learning new things and here is what I’ve learned:

  1. When I’m tired, I’m inclined to do radical, desperate things like grab a dictionary and open it to a random page to name my blog.
  2. A lemon shark is “a dangerous medium-sized shark of the warm Atlantic that is yellowish brown to gray above with yellow or greenish sides”.


I woke up the next morning feeling like I had consulted my Magic 8 Ball for advice. (Which I’ve totally done before so no big.) Anyway, the words “lemon” and “shark” started sounding pretty cool together. By breakfast, I loved it.

And think of all those metaphors and analogies: navigating through the unknown with dangers lurking, treading water, drowning in responsibilities… Plus this pretty, yellow shark is remarkably smart, social, and fiercely protective of its family.

Also, I’d have to say that in the vast sea of life, I’m definitely swimming with sharks.

As far as my second blog, Lemon Shark Reef, it’s an offshoot of Lemon Shark. We are often (and by “we” I mean “me”) kind of obsessive about what we put on our blog and how it looks. I gave myself a break with Lemon Shark Reef. I created it as a place to play with fiction, have fun, and enjoy swimming around without worrying about my bathing suit top falling off. It’s a no-pressure, fun blog.


You call yourself a lover of chocolate, cheese, wine and words, no wonder we’re friends! ? I love your sense of humor. I know we can all steal time to eat and drink, but tell us how you’ve been stealing your writing time lately, as I know we like to commiserate together about there never seeming to be enough hours in a day.

Professor McGonagall let me borrow the time-turner. Even though I’m a Ravenclaw, McGonagall is the go-to teacher for this kind of stuff. She’s totally cool—not at all the hard-ass she’d like people to believe she is. (She’d not like me spreading that around so…our secret. K?)

Seriously, I get completely overwhelmed and go cry in a corner until I realize that took anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour. Then I think to myself, “That took anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour. What a waste of time. You could have been writing.” Then I write for five minutes. *shrugs* It adds up.


How are you managing your social media and writing time now? Have you found a magical rhythm you might share with us, or are you still feeling like me, as though you’re drowning?

Social media. Well, I’m not on any, for starters. Okay, I have two. I made a rule that if I don’t use it, I lose it. So, basically, I’m on Twitter and G+. That’s pretty much it now. As far as managing it? Picture a lion-tamer at the circus.

I’m always treading water. I don’t drown only because I use a life vest. Which makes it difficult to type but, wow, so worth it. Right? I have extra life vests I throw to passing bloggers. Because. I’m nice that way.


Okay, I’m curious, you say you’re an INFJ. What does that mean?

Ah. Well, that’s a secret. If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you. It’s that kind of secret. Or a wicked public one that’s been around for, like, fifty years. Or more.

I had a comment on my blog years ago asking if I knew what personality type I was. I did not. So, with all that extra time, I took this online test (which turned out to be pretty cool). It’s a real test. Not like “Which Disney Character Are You?” or “What Kind of Condiment Are You?” I’ve never taken those. Pfft. No, I have not.

This one’s scientific and stuff. Research was done and everything. It’s pretty well-known. And accurate. Anyway, this test, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, says I am an INFJ. It is the rarest of the 16 personality types and among the top career choices for an INFJ are: Writer, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Therapist, Educational Consultant, Teacher, Professor. Interesting that I’ve either worked in or studied all of these careers.


Was it your love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer that led to your passion for writing dark fiction?

That question came out of left field. And hit me in the head. *glares* I hadn’t thought about my undying (get it? undying…undead…vampires…so fun) love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer influencing my writing in any way but, if it did (and now I’m wicked curious and won’t be able to stop thinking about it), it would be some sort of humor. It’s a witty, well-written, funny show. (In my twisted mind.)

So what led to my passion for writing dark fiction? Hmm… I sit. I write. Words appear. Sometimes they’re funny (in a dry, needs-a-chaser kind of way) but mostly they’re dark. Even when I try to write something with unicorns and rainbows, it winds up with a ghost and a possessed fruit tree. It’s weird.


Your upcoming book – On the Edge of a Raindrop, when can we expect to see it published? What can we expect to read in that book?

Late November. Yes. That would be this month. In a little over a week, actually.

I’m not much for fanfare. No launch, no tour… Just a girl, standing in front of the online world, asking it to love her. Or her book. Or both of us. Whatever.

On the Edge of a Raindrop is written in the same vein as my previous collection, Hinting at Shadows—short, dark, psychological fiction.


Can you share an excerpt with us?

I write short fiction and this interview (ironically) is getting a bit lengthy. Snooze-fest. So I’ll include a few Microbursts (that’s the name I made up for my stories that are under 50 words—micro, haiku, 6-word stories…). I think these ones give a good idea of the flavor of On the Edge of a Raindrop.


We wake the same as we slept. Strangers. Dreams cling to our eyelashes as we sip coffee & pretend to believe the beautiful lies we tell.


Shame is a child’s bath toy. You push it under the water, hold it with all your strength, but it always slips from your grasp and resurfaces.


I fear

I am slipping loose

from reality

like hair from its braid

my mind comes undone


I know you’re also writing a novel now. This seems like a switch from your usual micro-fiction. Please give us a tiny hint about what that book will be about.

A tiny hint? Since you asked so nicely. It’s not really much of a switch from my other writing. Yes, it’s longer, but it remains Brentynesque. The book will be dark, psychological fiction. The MC is a teenage girl I met a few years ago in a flash fiction piece I wrote. She intrigued me. (Read as “she wouldn’t leave me alone until I told her story”.)


I read, and thoroughly enjoyed your first book, Hinting at Shadows, and I was amazed at how your short fictional stories written in microbursts of only 50-100 words can paint a story leaving us readers to fill in the rest with our own imagination. Can you share your writing process with us about how you create this type of fiction? Do the stories start out bigger and get whittled down to minimal words?

Aw, thank you. I love painting with words. And I love having readers engage, really engage, with a story. Get drawn in, wonder what’s going to happen, what could happen, what has happened… It’s a different kind of reading experience getting a glimpse, a sliver, but enough to set fire to the imagination.

I never whittle my stories down. That’s not true. I rarely whittle. I mean, I have whittled but I naturally tend toward pithy writing. If anything, I have to try to increase the word count. Then I realize I’m adding unnecessary words and I whittle those nasty things out. (Now I’m just trying to see how many times I can fit the word “whittle” in this answer. It’s a cool word. Whittle. Six.)


It was a real treat having you over Sarah. Thank you for enlightening us all with your humor and sharing your writing secrets with us. You’ve explained the essence of microfiction succinctly here and I have to point out that only days after I asked you about “INFJ”, I came across the Meyer-Briggs test myself and found out that I’m and “ENFJ”. It was great having you over. I wish you much success with your new, upcoming book, which I look forward to reading too ❣


Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership.

If you readers would like to take the test to find out your personality type you can go HERE.


Connect with Sarah


Book Link


Contact Information (blog, website, etc.):

Amazon: Author Page


Lemon Shark

Lemon Shark Reef

Twitter, Google+, Website

My WIP, Beta Readers, Writing Friends, and Finally . . . The Cover Reveal




Writing, Friends, Editing, and Cover Reveal


Many authors like to talk about their work in progress, especially when the book comes closer to being published, but I haven’t been too vocal about my latest WIP or shared much about it with anyone except a few close writing friends. So what’s so top secret about it? Why wouldn’t I want to announce to the world the upcoming birth of my new baby? Possibly because it was confusing for me to write? Possibly because by the time it went off to the editor I still couldn’t peg the subtitle, which in turn held me up with my cover artist to even begin the cover process because I need the cover to represent the essence of the book, and I still hadn’t captured the essence of my book.


Writing is definitely a solo activity. Yes, I know, of course it’s solo, unless of course we’re co-authoring with another writer. But nobody else can tell our story, so ultimately, it’s only us who writes it. But it’s after the writing that we must invite others into a look at our story. After we get that first draft written and the re-writing process begins, so does the self-doubt. As a memoir writer it can be a little more intimidating to bring our work into the world because we are opening our soul and our personal lives to the universe. In doing so we have to make sure our work is truthful, it engages readers, and it leaves a message or lessons behind for the reader to take with it. But how do we know our book will do all these things? We don’t. And that’s where getting others involved in our writing is important.


If we write a book and send it off into the world without any input, that increases the odds of our questioning our own work. Sure, it’s important to edit our work, but unless we’re going to pay for a costly developmental edit as well as copy/line edits, how are we to know how our story resonates with others before we publish? Two words: Beta readers. It’s so important to send our manuscripts off to various readers for feedback. This isn’t quite the editing stage, although the story should have gone through a round or two of our own edits before going to a beta reader (something I didn’t do properly with my latest upcoming book). Beta reading isn’t about finding typos and punctuation errors, but more about how the story resonates with the reader, where there are plot holes, continuity issues, repeated phrases, and so on. These are some of the things a beta reader should and will let us know where our story is falling short so we can fix our stories before the final editing stage begins.


When I sent my latest WIP to my beta readers, I felt stuck with some of my stories. I wasn’t sure if I could publicly own some of the things I wrote about, so I skirted around some issues, hoping to get feedback on those passages in particular. And boy, did I ever. By the time I got my MS back from those readers I actually asked myself how on earth I could have sent it out in the state it was in. It seemed I was still in my own mind looking at my work without looking at it objectively, something us writers are quite good at doing. This is kind of like when we try to edit our own work, we overlook things because we know our story, we know what we expect to read so we miss some of the glaring errors along the way. Perhaps my MS was still a bit raw in thought when I sent it out, but I learned a lot from the feedback, and it took me another 3 re-writes to get it into better shape before it would go to the editor. And still, some parts plagued me. I questioned myself on TMI, or not enough? I tortured myself for weeks with a fitting subtitle to indicate to readers what they could expect to find by reading the book without giving too much away, or more importantly, without misleading them with an inaccurate subtitle. Then the month I spent racking my brain out with a journal full of possible subtitles and throwing those ideas up to numerous writing friends in private messages, finally helped me come up with the appropriate title. Of course the delay in my subtitle held me back with my cover artist because I needed the image on the cover to relate to the book too, to give readers a feel for what the book is about.


Often in writing memoir, the title of the book doesn’t give readers a good indication of what the genre is and because of this, many memoirs are subtitled. For example, my first book – Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt. Do you see? If the book was only titled Conflicted Hearts, that alone doesn’t denote what kind of book it is. It could mean a love story ending in a broken heart, or anything really. But the subtitle tells the reader what they’ll be in for.


My newest book is titled Twenty Years: After “I Do”. That’s the title. If it were only titled Twenty Years, that could mean anything right? The colon and additional title adds the thought that this book may be about what happens in the 20 years after we marry. But that doesn’t capture the essence of my stories enough, so I finally came up with the subtitle, Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging. I felt that the subtitle now indicates better to a reader what they can expect to read about in the book. Sounds simple enough, but trust me, this subtitle was the most difficult to come up with out of all my books. And maybe that was because I wasn’t sure what direction that book was taking. I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to write it in a novel-like manner, or in a self-help manner, and eventually the writing took on a life of its own and ended up being written in the true D.G. Kaye style that all my books seem to do, like I’m telling stories about my own life experiences with a friend. It’s me, all me, talking just as I’d do in real life, only the pages are polished without the ‘ums’ and all those other little wordy things we say when we’re speaking live.


The first doubt that always comes to my mind when I begin writing a new story is – so who cares? Who will care? Why will they care? I used to think that only famous people wrote memoirs. Why? Because they’re famous and people always want to know about the life of famous people. So, in the beginning of writing my first book, besides the fears of publishing an intimate story, I wondered why anybody would care about what I had to say.


A writer endures a lot of self-doubt, believe me  – even the famous writers. But when writing is our passion we somehow gain the courage to keep writing. And with the help of writing friends, we can get a different perspective, one that’s often difficult to attain when we’re too involved with our own story.


~ ~ ~


I’d like to thank many of my writing friends for their coming to my call of confusing moments throughout the editing stages of my new and upcoming book. Thank you for the suggestions, for pointing out the wonky things, for brainstorming with me, and most importantly, for the encouragement and the humor you’ve offered to lighten those grueling moments. I’d like to thank a few in particular for their suggestions: Sally Cronin, Tina Frisco, Colleen Chesebro, Marjorie Mallon, and Belinda Miller.


I’m happy to announce my Twenty Years: After “I Do” will be published by the end of November!


And now, without further ado, introducing my cover reveal and blurb!


Twenty Years by D.G. Kaye





May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

Sunday Book Review – Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye – Reviewed by Sally Cronin

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

Today I’m doing something different on my Sunday book review. Instead of me reviewing a book, I’m reblogging Sally Cronin’s most wonderful and in-depth review of my book, Words We Carry.


I was elated to learn that Sally had gotten to my book on her mighty big TBR list, and even more excited when I read her review because she encompassed the complete essence of the book.

Blog sharing


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Words We Carry by D.G.Kaye

This week I have been reading The Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye and would like to share my thoughts with you on the book.


Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye


About Words We Carry

I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.


5 Star Review

on November 9, 2017

This book was gifted to me by the author without any expectation or recompense for reviewing. The views are entirely my own.

Words We Carry is packed with the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, survival tips and strategies from someone who went through difficult and unhappy childhood and teen years.

I think it is fair to say that most of us are less than confident about our body shape, and that is particularly tough when you can no longer use the excuse of puppy fat, and your friends are heading out in slinky black dresses and high-heeled shoes.

Unfortunately, not all mothers are born with the nurturing gene and as soon as you become competition, there is an opportunity to reinforce your lack of self-esteem with carefully chosen and cutting words. I would like to think that the experiences that D.G. Kaye describes were rare, but I am afraid that after counselling women on their health and weight for twenty years, the story is very familiar.

Those harmful words from those who are supposed to love us, are the ones we carry throughout our lifetime, unless we can find a way to dilute their power and replace them with affirmations of a much more positive nature.

D.G. Kaye describes her strategies to claim her own identity, build her self-esteem and evolve from the ugly duckling that she had been made to feel she was, into a swan. This involved a makeover in a number of departments, including wearing high heels at all times and over every terrain, and standing out from the crowd with her now signature titian hair colour. She also developed a healthy, outgoing personality and independence that led her to discover groups of people who accepted and embraced her as a friend.

In the second section of the book Kaye looks at the impact this early negative conditioning had on her relationships, including romances with older men whose different approach to dating and expectations provided a more secure environment. Unfortunately, having entered one serious and long-term relationship, echoes of the verbal abuse that she received as a child and teenager, threatened to undo all the hard work that she had accomplished. Thankfully she went on to find happiness and empowerment with someone who appreciates all that she has become.

Kaye looks at issues such as the difference between Alone vs. Lonely, Negativity and Self-Worth, Forming Healthier Relationships, and importantly Exposing our Personality Through the Internet. Continue Reading . . .

Writer in Residence – Post from Your Archives – The Do-nut in Grannie’s Greenhouse by Paul Andruss | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Reblog Share


I thought I’d share a little informative, yet, humorous article written by Paul Andruss – Writer in Residence, regularly featured on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Invitation. 


Okay, yes it may not be pretty, but I found it an interesting read with plenty of chuckles along the way. Ever wonder where we get some of those slang names for toilets and bathrooms? Well read on and find out!


Writer in Residence – Post from Your Archives – The Do-nut in Grannie’s Greenhouse by Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss will be back in a couple of weeks with one of his exclusive posts but I have taken the liberty of helping myself to one of his earlier posts.  Having had problems with asking for the Loo when we went to live in Texas…. I thought that this post might be educational for us all when referring to the “servicios”  when we lived in Spain.

The Do-nut in Grannie’s Greenhouse by Paul Andruss


Unlike Otto Titzling, or even Herr Bustenhalter, the mythical inventors of the modern bra, Thomas Crapper was a real person; a plumber who opened a London bathroom fittings factory and warehouse in 1861. The quality of his porcelain ware gained him recognition in a rapidly modernising society. But it was the future Edward VI who cemented his reputation by asking him to fit the bathrooms in the newly purchased Sandringham House.

The Victorians were nothing if not social climbers and crashing snobs. What was good enough for the future king was good enough for them. Although having recently learned about the copious amounts of red meat in the upper class Edwardian diet, I think the certified robustness of Mr Crapper’s facilities must have also played a part in the choice.

Thomas Crapper is often credited with inventing the toilet.

Not true.

The lavatory starts with the Romans, who had communal public toilets, but not for the riff raff, built over natural streams that emptied into the sewer. Senators would send their slaves to keep their place and warm up the marble seat. Medieval castles had indoor toilets, chutes that emptied outside. Urine was not wasted. Laundrymen called fullers had large pots outside their premises to relieve yourself and used the ammonia to bleach your clothes.

A water closet was invented in 1596 by John Harington. In 1778 Yorkshireman Joseph Bramah patented the first practical water closet. George Jennings in 1852 took out a patent for a flush-out toilet.

No invention comes from thin air. The idea of containing the smells under water was already used with chamber pots – I mean who wants to sleep with that in the room. Chamber pots were not usually kept under the bed but in closets, originally a chest with separate lid, concealing the seat.

Thomas Crapper’s plumbing skills did improve the toilet by adding a ballcock to automatically regulate the water level in the cistern.

His sanitary ware was stamped Crapper and Company. This was believed to have given rise to the euphemistic term for a ‘pooh’ or ‘poop’ when American GIs stationed in the UK during the World Wars took to referring to the restroom as the ‘crapper’ after seeing his name stamped on the facilities. It later gave rise to ‘taking a crap’.

Unfortunately it’s not true.

Krappen is an old Germanic word, crappe in old French, meaning to reject or waste. Shit is another old German word meaning dung. Originally it was not rude. A good example of how words only have the value we put on them and change over time. As words acquire rudeness… another good example, rude just means hearty or peasant-like… we look for polite substitutes or euphemisms.

Virtually every word describing our bodily functions is a euphemism.

Pooh A 16th century expression of distaste as in… He pooh-poohed the idea Continue Reading . . .


Source: Writer in Residence – Post from Your Archives – The Do-nut in Grannie’s Greenhouse by Paul Andruss | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest at Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch – My Entry

Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest



Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch ran the first Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest in October. There were 8 challenges to enter throughout the month and the first of the contest winners were just announced. 


The rules for this first challenge in the series:


When I grow up. Cast yourself back to six years of age, knowing what you do of life in the present; what would you want to be when you grow up and how would you go about achieving that goal? Tell us in 100 words, no more no less. It can be real or imaginary, serious or light-hearted. Extra points for comparing it to your childhood choice, if you remember it.


I thought I’d try my hand at this challenge because it’s not really in my wheelhouse, but because of the subject matter of the contest, I thought I’d give it a whirl. You can read my entry below.


Congratulations to Hugh Roberts who took the first award in this 8 part contest.


I Am Six Years Old


Who is this woman I call mother? Who are these men she’s referring to? Where is New York? Where is Las Vegas? Stories about gallivanting with men, men who weren’t my father?

My knees ached, tired from squatting at the foot of the steps, listening to Mother sharing her secrets with her best friend. It’s way beyond my bedtime.

Nobody ever knew about my secret eavesdropping on Mother’s tales. I kept it that way. I never asked but took notes, mental notes, until I’d learn to write later in life – later when I could better understand who she really was.




The Cycle – Flash NonFiction – Life Learn Repeat

Life Learn Repeat


Live Laugh Love





I’m not sure where this came from, just a pattern of thoughts in the wee hours of the night. I think what I was trying to convey is emotions we experience and lessons we learn in life we take with us into the next life. But lessons aren’t always learned. Perhaps we get them right after a try or two?


Ego bruised,

Spirit falls.


Heart breaks,

Soul hurts.


Compassion heals,

Faith renewed.


Lessons learned,

Search forgiveness.


Life teaches,

Creating growth.


Aging and wisdom,

Death and rebirth


Try again.


Love encouraged,

Lifts esteem.


Heart full,

Happy within.


Have compassion,

Spread kindness.


Teach goodness,

Open heart.


Speak positive,

Smiling words.


Aging fulfilled,

Death and rebirth.



Sunday Book Review – The Heart’s Lullaby – Poetry by Natalie Ducey

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Today’s Sunday book review is on Natalie Ducey’s – The Heart’s Lullaby. In this book, Natalie shares beautiful poetry from the heart and the cover of this book is just gorgeous.


The Heart's Lullaby by Natalie Ducey


Get this book on Amazon


The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.


My 5 Star Review:

This book of heartfelt poetry is gorgeous. Once you get started into reading these poems you can get a deep feel for the author’s emotion she engraves into her beautiful words. Her poetry revolves around life and matters of the heart and in the second part Ducey shares some more intimate passages dedicated to more concrete issues such as PTSD, Dementia, and tributes to her own family members.

If you’re looking for a short time out from chaos and need to rejuvenate with some poetic words of inspiration I recommend reading this book.