Sunday Book Review – The Writer’s Lexicon by Kathy Steinemann

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

Today’s Sunday Book Review is on Kathy Steinemann’s helpful guide for writers – The Writer’s Lexicon. I highly recommend this book for all writers to keep handy on their desks right along side your dictionaries and thesauruses.




You just read your manuscript and discovered that your characters nod like marionettes in every chapter. When they’re not nodding, they roll their eyes.

Time to slash the Pinocchio strings and turn them into real people. Award-winning author Kathy Steinemann provides the tools. She cuts through the so-called rules and offers simple solutions.

Too many repetitions of “little”? There’s a cure for that. Do you rely on “very” too often? There’s a cure for that too. You’ll find the remedies in this book’s dispensary.

Should you ever use anything other than “said” to attribute dialogue? Are exclamation points taboo? The answers might surprise you.

Learn how to harness body language, purge hackneyed adjectives, and draw on the environment for ambience. No more wooden characters. You’ll transform them into believable personalities that your readers will learn to love. Or hate.

Get in the driver’s seat, relax, and enjoy your journey–with Kathy Steinemann’s book as your GPS.


My  5 Star Review:

Steinemann is a prolific writer and editor, and this book is a gift for all writers to keep handy at their desks to use when writing stories. Her grammar, punctuation, word alternatives, and sentence structure demonstrations shared in this book are a goldmine of tips for writers to aid in enhancing writing.

The author gives us a plethora of examples to simplify her lessons along with a nice selection of word prompts to use with her examples. This book goes beyond the typical thesaurus. Better words, better word choices and better writing is what you can expect after reading and putting Steinemann’s lessons into practice. #Recommended.

Saturday Smiles – Words, Words, Words – soulgifts – Telling Tales – #Blogshare

Reblog Share


I came across this ‘word salad’ post by Raili over at Soulgifts. Some of these word associations are just hilarious!!! I hope you enjoy these neologisms as much as me and Raili’s readers have.


Saturday Smiles – Words, Words, Words




new words or a new use for an old word, or the act of making up new words

in mental health used to describe a symptom of brain dysfunction

as is the delightful term word salad used to describe a string of random words


Now, down to business.

Cobs over at Cobweborium Emporium  brought my attention to this delightful list from the Washington Post’s annual neologism contest:

  1. Coffee (n), the person upon whom one coughs.
  2. Flabbergasted (adj) appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  3. Abdicate (v) to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. Esplanade (v) to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  5. Willy-nilly  (adj), impotent.
  6. Negligent (adj), describes a condition in which you absent mindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  7. Lymph (v), to walk with a lisp.
  8. Gargoyle (n), gross live-flavoured mouthwash.
  9. Flatulence (n), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  10. Balderdash (n),  a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. Rectitude (n),  the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  12. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologists.
  13. Circumvent (n), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
  14. Frisbeetararianism  (n), (back by popular demand):  The belief that when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there. Oh yes there are more!!!! Please continue reading HERE


Source: Saturday Smiles – Words, Words, Words – soulgifts – Telling Tales



****Don’t forget to vote for your favorite bloggers for the Annual Bloggers Bash. I’ve been nominated for ‘Best Pal’ Blogger. Please VOTE HERE for your favorite Bloggers. Only 3 days left!

#WATWB – We Are The World Blogfest – #Kindness #Humanity #TorontoStrong

We are the World Blogfest


Every last Friday of the month our #WATWB community posts something inspirational to deflect from some of the negativity in the world. I had another uplifting post ready to share for this month’s contribution, but in light of the attack on my city in North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a mere 5 minutes from where I live on Monday this week, I’d like to share my thoughts and thanks to the wonderful people in my city.


Canada is one of the few peaceable countries in the world. We are friends and allies with everyone. We here in Toronto, particularly, live in a multi-cultural society where everyone gets along, plays nicely together and respects everyone’s beliefs and traditions. We have never been subject to some of the world’s evil and atrocities, hence, we had no dress rehearsal for what happened in our city, our country. But for the first time in my city, we were attacked.

This post isn’t going to continue on about the sorrow, and shockwaves that still ripple among us Canadians, rather it’s to commend the so much outreaching of every day citizens who are stepping up to the plate to do their part in whatever capacity they can to help others who are grieving, those who need blood and for those who may need a meal, clothing, or just someone to keep another company. There are doctors offices offering free services for things such as accupuncture to help ease stress, and the list goes on with offerings.

My heart soared when I saw the hundreds of posts on Facebook where citizens were offering anything they could afford to give from their time to services, food, blood, workspaces ( many businesses were closed down on the busy main street of Toronto where it happened), and an abundance of love and support. This is community! This is my city.

Our first responders were magnificent. Our police force did a remarkable job and apprehended the killer without a single bullet fired, despite the one on one confrontation between the killer threatening to shoot the policeman who finally handcuffed him. And so many citizens did their part on trying to save lives in real time as they witnessed what was happening.

There is so much goodness still left in this world. Despite the horror of Monday’s events, we came together as a city, as a country, and love and goodness will always prevail.


Canadian Flag


We are not broken. We are #TorontoStrong #CanadaStrong #TorontoTheGood

I’d also like to share this tweet I came across


This month’s #WATWB is hosted by    Shilpa GargDan AntionSimon FalkMichelle Wallace , Mary Giese. 


 Please feel free to join us by posting something inspirational and uplifting by adding your link to your post to the LINKUP HERE.

Memoir Bytes: – The 10 Red Flags I Didn’t Pay Attention To – Domestic Abuse

Vision perception - Memoirs


“Oh c’mon Deb, you never give a guy a chance,” my bestie Bri lectured on. “You have too many stipulations about dating before you let anyone into your life.”


I was managing an office for a PR firm when I met ‘him’. He’d drop by once a week to pick up work as a freelance editor, After five or six visits and a couple of flirty chats with ‘him’ he’d asked me out for dinner and I accepted,

‘He’ was somewhat handsome and at least gave some interesting conversation. He mentioned his failed marriage and almost had me feeling sorry for him. But as I am ever the skeptic, I always believed there are two sides to every story. It only took me a few more months to discover why he was most likely the ‘dumpee’.

We continued to date despite my nagging little doubts about things I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but my inner alarm system signaled something was amiss with this man, yet, my curiosity got the better of me. So I continued to date him. ‘His’ personality went from hot to cold – sometimes acting affectionate and sometimes downright mean – a streak I learned to fear.

Almost a year had passed and as so many of us do in life, I got complacent. I was in my early thirties when I had brainwashed myself into thinking this was the lot I was dealt, so I better make the best of it, instead of asking, Is this all there is? Don’t I deserve some of those tingly butterflies in my stomach when I’m kissed by the man I’m supposed to be loving?

Six more years went by I spent with ‘him’. In the earlier stages I had resolved myself to thinking that if I left, maybe I’d never get married. I settled for a roller coaster relationship. I thought I could ‘fix’ him. I thought nobody’s life is perfect. I learned to dance around his moods and fits of anger with great caution. After all, I’d made my choice. And like many other women in my situation – women who feel compelled to stay in toxic relationships, I thought I was stuck in that relationship for life.

It took a good few years until I realized myself, and with the constant badgering of friends and loved ones that I became a shadow of my former self. I became quiet, complacent, and had lost any self-esteem I’d worked so hard my whole life to build by allowing a man to demean, threaten and possess me. I would spend the last three years of that relationship making plans to get out of it. But finally I was free. It wasn’t as easy as just picking up and leaving as there became financial issues involved and threats I had to weigh out – would he make good on his word that if I tried to leave he’d make sure that nobody else would have me?

After my escape, I never felt fully free to talk about what went on in that relationship. When I did manage to escape, I was stalked for another two years. That feeling of being watched never goes away.


Many women in abusive relationships stay because they don’t see any alternatives, Some are reliant on their abuser’s financial aid and trade off freedom for captivity because of it. Some women are made to feel so worthless that they feel they are almost deserving of their situation. There are many reasons why women can’t seem to walk away, or run for their lives from toxic relationships. But there is always a way. When I finally got away, the concerns about my financial situation and how I was going to get by with the bills became the size of a raindrop when I compared it to how it felt to be alive and free. Doors do open. People who care will stand by and help us. There are also government programs and shelters to help women in these situations.


Red Flags to Pay Attention to Which are Unacceptable for a Healthy Relationship:

  • Being demeaned
  • Threats or blackmail
  • Uncomplimentary
  • Bossing around – making all the decisions, uncompromising
  • Raising a hand to you (even once is a flag of things to come)
  • No regard for your feelings or thoughts
  • Telling you what you can and cannot do
  • Making you feel insignificant
  • Criticizes everything you do
  • Apologizes, cries, begs you not leave and after, continues to do all of the above


There is absolutely no logical reason for remaining in an abusive relationship no matter what we think we’re sacrificing if we leave. The only sacrifice is ourselves when we stay.- D.G. Kaye


Last month Sally Cronin put up a lovely post in honor of International Women’s Day. I highly recommend this read. And besides the article itself, there is much to take in from the comments as well. Please visit Sally’s post by clicking the link below.


****Don’t forget to vote for your favorite bloggers for the Annual Bloggers Bash. I’ve been nominated for ‘Best Pal’ Blogger. Please VOTE HERE for your favorite Bloggers. This is the last week to vote before voting closes!

Sunday Book Review – Writing Hard Stories by Melanie Brooks

Sunday Book Review

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Today’s book review is on memoir writer, Melanie Brooks’ book – Writing Hard Stories. I always try to read a book on my craft in between reading other genres I enjoy too. I was drawn to this book, not only for its whimsical cover (covers do attract), but for the content of the book, which is a series of interviews the author conducted with other more well known memoir writers. Brooks was searching for the heart of why and how each writer goes about writing their memoirs – what inspires them, how they get over the tough parts to write, overcoming fears of featuring people in their lives and how their work will be accepted.




Some of the country’s most admired authors—including Andre Dubus III, Mark Doty, Marianne Leone, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Richard Blanco, Abigail Thomas, Kate Bornstein, Jerald Walker, and Kyoko Mori—describe their treks through dark memories and breakthrough moments and attest to the healing power of putting words to experience.

What does it take to write an honest memoir? And what happens to us when we embark on that journey? Melanie Brooks sought guidance from the memoirists who most moved her to answer these questions. Called an essential book for creative writers by Poets & WritersWriting Hard Stories is a unique compilation of authentic stories about the death of a partner, parent, or child; about violence and shunning; and about the process of writing. It will serve as a tool for teachers of writing and give readers an intimate look into the lives of the authors they love.


Insights from Writing Hard Stories – Melanie Brooks

“Why we endeavor collectively to write a book or paint a canvas or write a symphony…is to understand who we are as human beings, and it’s that shared knowledge that somehow helps us to survive.”—Richard Blanco

“Here’s what you need to understand: your brothers [or family or friends] are going to have their own stories to tell. You don’t have to tell the family story. You have to tell your story of being in that family.”—Andre Dubus III

“We all need a way to express or make something out of experiences that otherwise have no meaning. If what you want is clarity and meaning, you have to break the secrets over your knee and make something of those ingredients.”—Abigail Thomas

“What we remember and how we remember it really tells us how we became who we became.”—Michael Patrick MacDonald

“The reason I write memoir is to be able to see the experience itself…I hardly know what I think until I write…Writing is a way to organize your life, give it a frame, give it a structure, so that you can really see what it was that happened.”—Sue William Silverman

“After a while in the process, you have some distance and you start thinking of it as a story, not as your story…It was a personal grief, but no longer personal…[It’s] something that has not just happened to me and my family, but something that’s happened in the world.”—Edwidge Danticat

“Tibetan Buddhists believe that eloquence is the telling of a truth in such a way that it eases suffering…The more suffering that is eased by your telling of the truth, the more eloquent you are. That’s all you can really hope for—being eloquent in that fashion. All you have to do is respond to your story honestly, and that’s the ideal.”—Kate Bornstein

“You can never entirely redeem the experience. You can’t make it not hurt anymore. But you can make it beautiful enough so that there’s something to balance it in the other scale. And if you understand that word beautiful as not necessarily pretty, then you’re getting close to recognizing the integrative power of restoring the balance, which is restoring the truth.”— Richard Hoffman


My 5 Star Review:

I read this book about Brooks’ journey to seek out and learn about some esteemed memoir writers to learn about their journeys to writing memoir. Brooks was seeking the essence of how they go about writing their stories, what are the hurdles for them – the most difficult parts, how they feel their work will be received, and will their stories connect with readers and possibly help readers with their own similar journeys in their lives. As a memoir writer myself, I was absorbed into all the stories.

There is a commonality with memoir writers – the journaling, the scattered notes and journals splayed around our living spaces, the pain on the pages relived, the coming to terms with how we’ve been abused, injured, slighted, or triumphed in life in some way. Many of us memoir writers start out wanting to fictionalize our stories, sometimes afraid to step up and own them personally, only the brave step up to the plate and write our own truths. Read this book and find out how various writers hone their craft.


I also want to share for my readers, some memorable lines I took from some of these stories:


Andre Dumas:  “Don’t leave out the family from your story. Tell your truth as you remember it.”


Sue William Silverman“It’s like writing that pressure out of the pressure cooker. Each word that comes out is like taking a little piece of pain with it and putting it on the page.”


Richard Hoffman“. . . writing and publishing are two different things. Don’t confuse them. As soon as you start thinking, ‘Well I could never publish that then the censor is right in the room with you with a pencil crossing stuff out . . .”


Suzanne Strempek Shea:  “. . . how much easier it is to look at what you’re hiding from them to keep it in the basement. It’s much scarier, has much more power in the dark than brought up to the light.”


Mark Doty“It’s nice to get a compliment or have your writing praised, but when somebody can say, ‘Your book showed me this,’ or ‘This is what I got from it,’ that’s what I love most.”


Edwidge Danticat:  On not talking about her WIP “I feel very vulberable where it’s happening if they criticize, it might lead you to kill something because you are giving more value to their opinion than perhaps even they are.”


Jerald Walker:  “Will I get tired of writing about my own experiences? And I think the answer is no. As long as there are people in my orbit who I think deserve some attention, I like being the vehicle to deliver it.”


Kate Bornstein:  “Tibetan Buddhists believe that elopquence is the telling of truth in such a way that it eases suffering. And the more suffering that is eased by your telling the truth, the more eloquent you are.”


Melanie Brooks:  “During a presentation I attended at the Miami Beach Fair, Mary Karr said, ‘Writing memoir, if it’s done right, is like knocking yourself out with your own fist.’ In one sentence, she summed up what we all discover when we venture into this territory: writing hard stories is excruciatingly hard work!”


Allan Hunter:  “Pain is like a stone. If you put it in your pocket, it weighs nothing at all. If you put it inside your shoe, it will cripple you. The same little bit of pain. You are moving the grief from where it is doing no good to the place where you can carry it more easily.”


Melanie Brooks“We find language to unravel the complexities of what happened, and we re-stitch those complexities into narratives that can become meaningful to others. And those are the narratives that have the potential to give others the courage to find their own.”




Smorgasbord Short Stories – Tales from the Garden – The Goose and the Lost Boy by Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Story Share

Sally's cafe


Today I want to share another of Sally Cronin‘s beautiful, heartwarming stories, which she is well known for. Sally is generously sharing stories from her book – Tales from the Garden. She is currently working on her follow up book, Tales from the Irish Garden, where of course, Sally has moved her garden friends to her new garden in Ireland from Spain. All her garden friends have names and duties in the garden. Today you can read the story about The Goose and the Lost Boy.


Smorgasbord Short Stories – Tales from the Garden – The Goose and the Lost Boy by Sally Cronin

In the summer I will be releasing Tales from the Irish Garden.. stories of magic and fantasy. It is the sequel to Tales from the Garden published in 2015 and I am going to share the stories from that collection with you in the next few weeks.

About Tales from the Garden

Tales from the Garden reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees. You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories. The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

Fairy Stories for children of all ages from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

The Goose and the Lost Boy by Sally Cronin – Please visit Sally’s blog to read the story.


Books by Sally Cronin

Visit Sally’s books on Amazon!!


Source: Smorgasbord Short Stories – Tales from the Garden – The Goose and the Lost Boy by Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Writer’s Links and Invitation to Guest Post

Tips for Writers

My this week’s picks for sharing. Three talented authors are offering great information. Deborah Jay is sharing an informative post she came across from the Kindlepreneur on how to get free ebooks, and Sally Cronin and Sue Vincent are offering opportunities to share your stories on their blogs.


Sue Vincent invites all creatives to share a post and be a guest featured at her blog. Here are the deets!

You don’t have to be a writer… you can be an editor, artist, musician, traveller or poet… just be you. That is always enough and means there are always stories to share.

Why not share them here and reach new readers?

Click for guest post guidelines

Perhaps you have a strange-but-true story to share, an encounter or moment where reality has shifted and taken on a different hue for you?

Submission guidelines:


Deborah Jay discovered a little gem from The Kindlepreneur – How to legitimately get free ebooks!



Sally Cronin is offering up a new archive series – Share your travel stories at the Smorgasbord

Time for a new series of Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need. Continue reading Here


****Don’t forget to vote for your favorite bloggers for the Annual Bloggers Bash. I’ve been nominated for ‘Best Pal’ Blogger. Please VOTE HERE for your favorite Bloggers.

I’ve Been Nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award! | Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

Real Neat blog award


I’ve been nominated by Stevie Turner for the Real Neat Blog Award. My regular readers here know that I don’t nominate any one blogger in particular, but if any of you would like to add this award to your blog, I offer it to all of you to copy and paste it for yourselves from me to you.


And of course with the award come the rules,


  1. Put the award logo on your blog.

  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

  3. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, and ask them 7 questions.

  5. Let them know you have nominated them.

And if I’m going to accept an award, I have to answer the questions that Stevie posed to her nominees, so here goes:


1.  If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I would love to have a secretary to handle all the admin work and look after my social media so I could write more.

2.  Do you think we have been put upon this earth for a purpose?  If so, what is it?

Yes, I fully believe we were put on earth for a reason. I have always been a watcher, and teller of what I observe. I’m sure many of my extroverted communication skills relate to my being born in the sign of Gemini – the great communicators. I can’t say why each person is put on earth but I do remember a psychic medium telling me years ago that I was born to teach my mother life lessons.

3.  Do you think life was better before the Internet and explosion of social media sites?

I’ll start by saying that life was a lot more private before the internet revolution. In many ways I’ve seen that social skills have become diminished since the advent of social media. Before I became a published author I had de-activated my Facebook account. To help build my social platform I re-opened it. I like the interaction on social media and connecting with other writers and readers, but like anything we do on the web, we always have to think twice about everything we write because it seems the whole world judges our words now.

4.  Which of your possessions can you not do without?

Oh that’s a toughie! I’m a packrat. It’s hard enough for me to donate things to charity annually because it’s hard to part with articles that have brought me joy and comfort, despite not wearing or using them for years, lol. Books! I won’t be without my books, even if many of them have been taking up real estate on my shelves, taking up valuable space, squashing the new ones I’m always adding. And shoes. Yes shoes. I love shoes, always have, always will and hate to part with any of them.

5.  What would be your dream job?

Writing books. Just writing books – no publishing, no admin work.

6.  If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

A beach house or condo in Mexico and a ranch bungalow in Sedona, Arizona.

7.  Do you believe in an afterlife, or do we just die and that’s the end of it?

I do believe there is something after this life. Of course, nobody can say for certain if there is life after but the many encounters I’ve had with spirit and lost loved ones tells me that there is something more after.

Please visit Stevie’s blog HERE and check out the answers to the questions she was given.


Source: I’ve Been Nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award! | Stevie Turner, Indie Author.