Sunday Book Review – Variety is the Spice of Life by Sally Cronin – #Shortstories and #Poetry

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Earlier this week I had Sally Cronin over here at my blog, featuring her brand new release – Variety is the Spice of Life. As a big fan of her heartfelt poetry and stories that always strike a chord with a touch of the human condition, I couldn’t wait to dig in. So today I’m sharing my review for this beautiful little book encompassing stories that go deep with poetry on life and nature, accompanied by lovely images, and stories to warm your heart.

Blurb:

Variety is the Spice of Life is a collection of poetry and short stories about relationships with others, including pets and animals inhabiting the world around us. The connection with others brings love and friendship, excitement and sometimes surprises, danger, mystery and sometimes the unexpected.

The poetry explores human nature, the fears, desires, expectations and achievements. Nature offers a wonderful opportunity to observe animals both domesticated and wild. Even in a back garden you can observe a wide variety of creatures and the daily challenges to survive a harsh environment.

The short stories introduces you to a healer whose gift comes with danger, a neighbour determined to protect a friend, a woman on the run, an old couple whose love has endured, an elderly retired teacher who faces a life changing accident, a secret that has been carried for over 70 years and a village who must unite as they face devastating news.

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Before I share my review, I’ve chosen one of Sally’s poems to share here which struck a chord with me. Everyone has their own interpretation of poetry, and this one touched me profoundly:

Before I share my review, I’d like to share one of my favorite poems in this book that grabbed me at page one. Everybody has their own individual interpretation of poetry as they relate to it, ands one touched me profoundly:

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Love

just three words

can make someone’s day

I love you

I need you

I see you

I get you

just one word

can break someone’s heart

goodbye

My 5 Star Review:

Sally Cronin knows how to capture our hearts with her variety, indeed, full of heartfelt short stories of the human condition and moving poetry accompanied by beautiful images. Along with various poems written in both free verse and specific form, Sally includes a selection of poems about ‘Snapshots from my Garden’, where she shares about the various animals and insects who occupy her garden. We will also get a treat learning about her own DNA! Escape into nature with Sally’s poems about birds, butterflies, and other furry neighborhood visitors. A few of my favorites: Above the World, Kinship – ” … there may not always be harmony, but the ties of love cannot be broken … ,” and, Bear Witness, which emphasizes our freedoms.

Pour a cup of coffee and drift into stories of love, reminiscings, and compassion. A few of my favorites: the Green Hill – in loving memory where Bert and Ivy share a snippet of remembered love. Discover – The Secret about Eleanor’s mother Edith, which took her seventy-five years to reveal. Step into Serena’s world as The Healer who heals the sick while keeping a low profile in doing so for safety reasons as she works as a nurse in a free clinic. The Home Help gives a twist on caregiving (no spoilers).There is something for everyone here, and all guaranteed to touch your heart.

Sally Cronin is known for her short stories that pack a punch, grab at our heartstrings, and often end with an unexpected twist at the end. This new collection is a comforting read guaranteed to stir the soul.

Visit Sally’s other books:

Sally's book covers

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Books
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Visit Sally’s Amazon Page

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©DGKaye2022

Q & A with D.G. Kaye is featuring Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord Blog Magazine with her Hot #NewRelease – Variety is the Spice of Life – #shortstories and #poetry

November is promotion month here at my blog; and I’m kicking off this week with my dear friend, author/blogger, podcaster, and short story writer extraordinaire, Sally Cronin. Sally is a staunch supporter and promoter of so many writer’s books and blogs. I am also fortunate to be one of Sally’s ongoing guest writers with various columns I write for her on her blog – currently, my spiritual awareness series. My friend Sally tirelessly promotes others and barely a peep from her on the socials about her own new book – Variety is the Spice of Life – A blend of poetry and prose. So I’m happy to share Sally’s book here today along with a little Q & A.

I know most of you here are familiar with Sally and her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, but she hasn’t been featured here for a while, so today I’m thrilled to have her over and share some more interesting tidbits about Sally and her writing. Enjoy!

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Sally Cronin image

About Sally:

Sally Cronin is the author of sixteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fifteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities on her blog and across her social media. The Smorgasbord Bookshelf

Her podcast shares book reviews, poetry and short stories https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Sally’s blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

Variety is the Spice of Life by Sally Cronin

Get this book on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BMXMVGZ7

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BMXMVGZ7

Blurb:

Variety is the Spice of Life is a collection of poetry and short stories about relationships with others, including pets and animals inhabiting the world around us. The connection with others brings love and friendship, excitement and sometimes surprises, danger, mystery and sometimes the unexpected.

The poetry explores human nature, the fears, desires, expectations and achievements. Nature offers a wonderful opportunity to observe animals both domesticated and wild. Even in a back garden you can observe a wide variety of creatures and the daily challenges to survive a harsh environment.

The short stories introduces you to a healer whose gift comes with danger, a neighbour determined to protect a friend, a woman on the run, an old couple whose love has endured, an elderly retired teacher who faces a life changing accident, a secret that has been carried for over 70 years and a village who must unite as they face devastating news.

Welcome

Welcome back to my blog Sal. Thrilled to have you over today and share your good news!

Thank you so much Debby for inviting me over to chat and to share the news about my latest release.

What inspired you to Write this book?

I love writing and over the course of a year I will jot down poetry, sometimes participate in a blog challenge, or an idea will come to me when I am doing tapestry or listening to music. These days I have to write things as they come to me, otherwise they might get lost if I leave it too long. It is the same with short stories, and I throw them down in a rough draft on the computer whilst the muse is with me and then go back and refurbish them down the line.

This is how I ended up with nearly 40 poems and 8 short stories. For the last ten years the tag line for my blog Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, has been Variety is the Spice of Life, so I decided it was time to make that the headline rather than the afterthought.

D.G. – Sal, you and I, once again, with the same working system. My musings go right into a Word doc or forever lost! ❤

What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author?

I would find it difficult to fully measure the impact being part of the blogging community has made to my life. The first day I began blogging was during the last few months of my mother’s life. I had been living with her full time for two years and had given up my work as a nutritional therapist and my radio and television commitments as she required round the clock care.

I don’t regret that in any way, but it did suddenly shrink my world with a loss of contact with others in the real sense. I had to focus all my physical and emotional efforts on keeping my mother well and in her own home, which was very important to her.  To be honest, that was important to me too, as I really didn’t think she would be happy in a care home. At that point my husband David, who had been looking after his father for the last year joined us and that made a huge difference, but I still felt isolated and cut off from the world.

I was reading a blog online one day and realized that I had a lot of health articles that I had published individually, and in a couple of books, that might be of interest to others. I also had my first collection of short stories that I could share. I came up with a couple of names for my blog over the next year and dabbled with a few posts before finally settling on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine in early 2012.

During the last months of my mother’s life, blogging offered me the opportunity to get back out in to the world in a virtual sense at least, and it gave me a huge boost. I began to make connections, chat to people about their lives and swapping stories, it opened the universe back up to me. It provided an outlet for what I have always loved doing, which is writing and telling stories. It also went a long way to reducing the personal pressure that had been building up steadily over the previous two or three years.

To be honest, I probably work as hard at blogging as I did any of my full-time jobs, and I don’t mind in the slightest. I began promoting books for other authors eight years ago in a more organized way and this introduced me to the amazingly generous writing community we are part of today.

I get far more back than I give in terms of support, and this was particularly so during the pandemic, when we were house bound and without the physical connections we all need so badly.

I have gained so much from blogging and apart from the companionship, friendship and support it has also increased my confidence in my own writing, encouraged me to return to poetry and to push myself out of the comfort zone we create as we get older. It is so important to be mentally engaged and participating in the world, even when it is a virtual environment.

It is something I plan on doing until the last possible moment. I would love to be doing this at 100 but might need a little medicinal tequila to keep it up lol.

D.G. – I am certainly with you on the gratefulness of our writer friends and blogging community. I know well of what you speak in dire times of loneliness when being a caregiver. If it weren’t for you and this wonderful community, I shudder to think where I’d be now. And lol on the tequila my Margarita, cohort pal. 🙂

How has writing changed your life?

I had written poems and short stories from a very early age, but without any intention of sharing them to a wider audience.

My first book was never intended to be published, as it began as a journal to record my weight loss in my early forties, and a way to explore why I had become morbidly obese. When I lost 150lbs in 18 months it had a profound impact on my life and health. I had studied nutrition over a two year period in an effort to understand my body and its needs. Then, having developed my own successful eating programme, I wanted to share that with others.

When the manuscript was finished I approached a well-known agent here in Ireland where we were living at the time in the late 1990s. I was running a health food shop and dietary advisory centre, and felt confident that the book was now comprehensive enough to help others lose their weight. My agent approached 7 established publishers in the UK and all said the book was great, but I was an unknown author, and they didn’t feel I would attract the media attention for this book. Also they were concerned that I would only have the one book and would therefore not be profitable in the long run.

That pushed me into self-publishing this book and the following novel Just an Odd Job Girl with Trafford publishing in Canada. I did the promotion for the first book without the benefit of the Internet in those days and with press releases and leg work managed to get some national and local coverage.

David had not only formatted my books, but was also doing so for other authors and we formed Moyhill Publishing in 2004 which gave both of us an opportunity to take full advantage of the emerging self-publishing market. I had taken my books back from Trafford in 2002 and we reformatted them for print and as soon as eBooks became available in that format too.   David took care of the technical side and I worked with our authors on their book launches and promotions.

Writing that first book did change my life and sent me in a direction I never imagined I would take. It led to a career on radio and online television. This current book is the 16th and I have a sequel to Size Matters coming out in the New Year 2023 with a couple more in process. After that, who knows but I am looking forward to finding out.

I have no idea where I would be if I had not taken the plunge with my writing, but I have no doubt my life would not be so fulfilled as it is today.

D.G. – No doubts your health articles are very informative. And you are so blessed to have David – not only as a loving husband, but a best friend, and great help for your publishing. 🙂

Do you agree with the general consensus that writers are loners?

The act of writing does tend to be solitary that’s true, but to be creative does require interaction with the world and other people.

I notice that many of the writers in our community are relatively late starters as far as writing their blogs and books is concerned. This usually means that they have experience of the world, relationships both personal and work related, and have come to know themselves well.

Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, it requires a depth of understanding about life, to make it resonate with the reader. Even fantasy authors need to have a good understanding of human nature, even if they are creating fabulous alternative universes.

I don’t believe you can be creative within a vacuum. So being a loner does not necessarily serve a writer well. Solitude on the other matter, when in the process of writing a book, is something to be treasured. But then being able to obtain feedback, support and the confidence it needs to publish that book, requires other people, such as those in our writing community, in blog world and on social media.

I suspect more than one of us is now more inclined to isolate from large crowds, public transport, plane travel and other tight spaces where others gather. I am certainly wearing my mask when I am in a crowded area, although I notice more people smiling with their eyes, nodding to each other and being more courteous than before. That has to be a good thing.

And it is hard to be a loner when part of our writing community. It seems you only have to be missing for a day or two for someone to come knocking on your virtual window and asking what’s going on. As it should be, and I am very grateful for it.

D.G. – I absolutely agree Sally. Writing is a solo invent, but engagement, support, and community are such a big part of our writing world.

I have selected one of the poems to share from the collection

Lullaby

to sing
a lullaby
you must first consider
preferences of the baby
waiting

perhaps
a jolly song
aimed to make them chortle
to wave their hands around with glee
happy

maybe
slow and gentle
soothing a fractious mood
or the soreness of teething gums
tearful

deep toned
to reassure
those fearing the shadows
now allayed by a father’s voice
safety

language
a foreign tongue
but words that mothers sing
to babies all around the world
loving.

Find Sally on Social Sites:

Find Sally on her Social Sites:

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

https://twitter.com/@sgc58

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin


Blog : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com


Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sallycronin

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Sally’s books:

Sally's book covers

Books
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book #Review and Book Launch #Promotion – Do What You Love by Marjorie Mallon – #NewRelease on Pre-Order now

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’d like to share my early review for Marjorie Mallon’s new release – Do What You Love. This short book is a beautiful book written as reflective gratitude about Marje’s life, including other fictional lyrical prose, poetry, and flash fiction.

Marjorie Mallon author

About Marjorie:

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives sometimes in the UK, and often times in Portugal.. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile to greet her. Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too.

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Get This Book on Amazon

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Blurb:

Do What You Love is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do.

With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future.

The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.

float along with me
create clouds of sweetest joy
to do what you love
hold fate’s hand as we venture
near and far on life’s journey

Inspirations For Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction


For me midlife and beyond is a time of change. My daughters are grown up, living happy, fulfilling, and independent lives. So, now it is time for hubby and I to go on an adventure, to travel, to do all the things we love, to make new friends, and to embrace the old ones too. Before we are too old to do so! Life is short! Hence the poem Fragility of Your Flame.

hibiscus flower
fragility of your flame
memories not lost
recalled by rain drops falling
caressing tender petals


© M J Mallon

From Marje:

And we have many plans, we intend to… spend time with family (we travel to and fro from UK to Portugal regularly,) and embrace creativity, whether that happens to be writing, poetry, music, art, dance, drama, or photography…

So, I chat with the fates, in Do What You Love, I share my memories, and a variety of experiences with my photos, and poetry from many years ago until the present day. Even though, it is a personal collection, I hope that it will strike a chord with many, be relatable, bring back memories, hopes and dreams. Perhaps you have felt emotional turmoil as a child leaves home and travelled far away? Perhaps you have been to the Edinburgh International Festival and seen some amazing sights. Maybe the trees whisper their magic to you? And maybe, you have a desire to live abroad, to travel? But you fear you might miss your old friends in the UK?

I hope that this little book will inspire others to embrace life, to do what you love, to take fates hand and go on an adventure, to travel and to explore.

When we travel we open up possibilities, we gain a greater understanding of cultures and other peoples’ lives and this is so beneficial for everyone, but especially for writers. With brexit and covid this freedom to explore without restrictions, to live without fear was taken away from us… So, we try to overcome obstacles, we aim to achieve freedom of movement. It won’t be easy but we’ll get there. Hubby and I are Europeans at heart and want dual nationality!

It isn’t easy to embrace change… especially if you are an introvert! Lol. But… whatever makes you happy, whatever you love to do, wherever you love to be, hold those precious experiences close to your heart.

Keep on writing, creating, living, and go on a marvellous adventure! Make your family and your friends proud.

My 5 Star Review:

MJ Mallon has written a heartfelt book with memories, prose, and poetry, incorporated with stories of life, love, family, and nature. In some of her stories, she is in conversation with the fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, the three Moirai representing the cycle of life – birth, life and death, past, present and future. We will read shared conversations about meeting her husband, her homeland of Scotland, stories about children that grow up and leave the nest, and nostalgic stories of growing up with her parents. There are many beautiful images MJ intersperes amid her stories.

Stories from the heart is what I would classify this book – poignant moments that left indelible imprints on the author and will touch the reader, a reminiscing through life and new adventures. This book is a wonderful slice of life celebrated and spoken by the author through beautiful written words.

Favorite Quote: Long lasting marriages must be friends…”

Buy Links Do What You Love:


Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BKLC9DYY/


Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY


Amazon Canada:  https://www.amazon.ca/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography/dp/1999822463

I am thrilled to say that two of my poetry collections, (Mr. Sagittarius and Lockdown Innit,) have been requested by prestigious libraries in the UK: The British Library, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin for Legal Deposit.

The cover of the paperback and kindle have been designed by Colleen Chesebro who has a new service for authors which I can highly recommend. Colleen also designed the interior and cover of The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet.
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services

Add the book to your TBR:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63114445-do-what-you-love

Visit Marjorie’s Amazon Book Page to check out all her books: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1


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©DGKaye2022

Free Verse Poetry – Even Though – #Grief and Loss

Some days the darkness is just too overwhelming, like no time has passed. Like a knife weilding deep into my soul, it doesn’t take much to send me right back there, to the worst day of my life. Grief is a ride I can’t seem to step off of, even the strongest of swimmers may drown. It ebbs and flows daily. Some days the tide is low, but many others, like today, a tsunami takes me over. It is only my writing to or about him that keeps myself from spontaneously combusting from excruciating grief.

Beloved Puppy

Even Though

Even though it’s been seventeen long months

Since you were taken,

Seventeens of thousands of tears I’ve shed

And continue to do so without much provocation.

I merely envision your beautiful face

And the heavens open and disperse through my eyes.

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Even though the burning and dire need to hug you is relentless

With insatiable desire to be held by you,

If I could just pull you into me,

Just one more time,

Maybe it would suffice.

I doubt it though,

Because I know I’d never let you go.

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Even though you’ve been gone for what feels an eternity,

The searing, pulsating pain still jackhammers my heart

With the same depths it did the moment I let go of your hand on your last breath.

It doesn’t ease.

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Even though I want to smile when thinking of you

The embedded visions that remain on autoplay

Keep overpowering our priceless memories.

The vision of leaning over and resting my head on your heart as

I couldn’t believe you existed then you didn’t.

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Even though I function on autopilot to get things done

The moments I take a pause to focus on you,

I fall apart all over again.

Seems I must cheat myself out of thinking about you every moment,

By suppressing with mundane life.

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Even though I’m struggling to choose life,

It somehow doesn’t feel like much of one –

More like just existing.

I don’t speak of this to anyone –

Not that there are too many anyones left,

In my immediate life.

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Even though you said it yourself and warned me,

The rude awakening of finding so few by my side

At the most harrowing time of my life,

It still shocks me, just adding to my numbness.

My circle of friends often kept me

From going to the darkside,

Or off the deep end,

But like sharks, darkness circles within.

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Even though I chose to live,

I’m only half of who I was.

The biggest love of my life is gone,

And with you went my heart taking with it all the love.

The thrills are gone as nothing excites.

Your empty half of the bed remains,

Now as a monument to our love and your existence.

The visions of watching you fade away there – never go away.

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Even though our bed is somehow a lifeline to me,

A sanctuary where we shared almost 26 years together,

Loving, listening, laughing, cuddling,

Waking one another gently from frightening nightmares,

The emptiness envelops my heart and soul, every time I climb in.

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Even though you’re not here now to shake me gently and whisper,

“Cubby, Cubby wake up,” to remove me from my dark dreams,

Often my days are just as dark.

I don’t have you to rescue me anymore.

I never knew where I was in those dreams

Or why I’d scream for help in those episodes.

I guess I never will now,

Unless you can rescue me

From where you are.

When my fears in that darkness

Go from nightmares into real life.

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – A Specialist at the Recycled Heart – #speculative #poetry by Frank Prem

My Sunday Book Review today is for some wonderful speculative poetry by Frank Prem – A Specialist at the Recycled Heart.

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Blurb:

A Specialist at The Recycled Heart is free verse poetry and storytelling focused on the Speculative Fiction (SF) genre. The genre of What If . . . writing that encompasses fantasy and Sci fi and other forms within its warm embrace.

. What is the sound of the wind – of a sigh – on Mars?

. What does an abandoned artificial life form – an AI – contemplate in a lonely existence in far outer space. Why was it made, if only to be abandoned.

. Is it possible to go fishing to catch a passing thought?

.These and other all-too-big ideas are explored in the pages of A Specialist at The Recycled Heart.

Poetry written the way you always wished it would be.

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My 5 Star Review:

“The book is an interesting combination of science fiction and poignant real life issues. At places you are drifting in space, playing with the stars and planets while in other places you are lost in a jungle, trying to find your way home.”

Prem is known for his free verse poetry and switches things up by using sci-fi-like and fantasy style speculative fiction as well as taking real life issues and incorporating them into poetic prose, often leaving the reader to ride along with their own imagination.

The author writes in short words of free verse poetry, but his words open up our imaginations as we form our own interpretations of his stories. An example of his sci-fi prose he speaks of Red Mars and what he imagines it’s like there with succinct descriptions. The First Dog speaks of how the first dog accompanies an astronaught to the moon. My favorite was – a specialist (at the recycled heart), taking possession ‘of dreams, wishes and hopes, old loves and old lives that had been used up, broken’, ‘all of it to end up in emotional dumps’, as the author states he was called back to take these things and put them into the machinery of the re-imaginer he invented to melt down these emotions ‘to a fraction of itself’ then inject it and shape into an ornament as a keepsake – minus the aching and distress so that life can go on leaving tears behind, recycling broken hearts. How wonderful would it be to put our sadness into the re-imaginer?

Prem always delights with unexpected stories. He goes deep in his imagination and creates scenarios with his prose that give us pause, first wondering his intent, then having us interpret for ourselves.

©DGKaye 2022

Sunday Book Review – Upon Departure – Prose and #Poetry by John Roedel

I was introduced to the poetry of John Roedel by my lovely friend, Jane Sturgeon. Roedel writes heartfelt poetry from his soul. As a writer myself who writes raw from my soul, and as a griever, John’s poetry hits the mark with everything he writes. Upon Departure is his newest release I was eagerly awaiting to read. Roedel’s storytelling through prose and poetry is sure to touch anyone who has ever loved and lost.

Blurb:

From bestselling poet, storyteller and speaker John Roedel, comes a collection of poetry that explores the concept that our grief as a natural wonder that terraforms the landscape of our world in increments. It can take a lifetime to find peace when our loved one becomes an empty chair at our kitchen table.

let’s lace our hands
as if eternity is opening
up the veil into the great
mystery right in front of us

let’s feel our fingers against
each other as if this is the
last time we will touch before
we become celestial kites

let’s part our lips and say
what we should have said
to each other years ago:

“I love you.
I love you so.
I forgive you.

I’m sorry.
I’m blessed to know you.
I’m so grateful to you.”

My 5 Star Review:

Upon Departure is one of the best books I’ve read on heartfelt poetry, and on loving, life, and losing. After reading, Untied – the poetry of how knots become strings, also by Roedel, and as a writer myself, and one who is also living through grief, I will say that Roedel’s poetry speaks to me louder than some of the other many books I’ve read on grief. And this is simply because the rawness and realness of his pain jumps off the pages, especially to those of us who have also walked the walk – and are still walking through the haze of grief.

In this new release of prose and poetry, the book begins with a short introduction to Roedel’s journey of losing his father, the whirlwind of emotions, the unacceptance and disbelief, till the final acceptance, the ‘what ifs’ of doing things differently he experienced, and how the lingering effects continue through his own journey through life. In this beautiful book, you won’t find a table of contents, nor will you find titles of each poem, rather a story in prose spoken through poetry of words that paint pictures of loss, loving, hope, and eternal love, in metaphors. For anyone who loves emotional poetry, looking for comfort in poetry, or seeks a path in understanding grief, this is a book for you.

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poem #1 begins:

“I don’t care what form

you return to me

I just want you back”

The poem continues on with stanzas about how Roedel doesn’t care in which form ‘you’ appear to me in various appearances:

“If you come back to me

as our favorite song on the radio

I’ll pull the car over immediately

and let the music retell our love story

on 80s power ballad at a time…”

“If you come back to me

as a row of goosebumps on my bare arm

I will trace my fingers across my skin

Carefully so I can read the love letter

you wrote to me in spirit braille…”

“If you come back to me

As a passage in a book

I will grab the fattest eraser I can find

And get rid of all the periods so you

Can become a run-on sentence…”

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One of my favorites, Poem #10, grief summed up in a post card:

“Your grief is the purest love letter that you can ever send to the one you have lost to death…every tear that rolls down the grooves on your face is the most tender postcard you will ever write…”

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Poem #12

“…everybody that you have lost along the way

returns to you on your last day

-it turns out that

love is a boomerang.”

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Roedel has another wonderful book titled, Hey God, and wrote another excerpt for this book:

#13 – Me: Hey God…

“Grief keeps sneaking up on me.

God: To grieve means that you have loved. Grieving is one of the truest human experiences that you will ever participate in. It often arrives without warning – like a late-day summer storm – obscuring the sun and drenching you in downpour. It’s a gift, isn’t it?”

“…Bereavement is the debt you must pay for having loved. There is no getting over the loss of a beloved who is now resting in the arms of endless love. Grief has no expiration date. Despite the pass of time, the phantom pain of mourning is always one memory away from returning.”

x

From poem #15

“Every tear of

Loss that we shed

Carries with it

The DNA-of the relationship

Of the love

Of the story

That two people

Once shared…”

x

Poem #16 might be my favorite:

Tells about the writer stating he’s just a tourist in the world, and writes of all earthly experiences and possessions he’ll leave behind:

“…except for my

thoughts of you

-they are coming with me…”

x

Poem #22 – Where the author uses metaphors likening grief to a field of “rosebushes and bees”

“…Grief is a stretching field full

of thick beautiful rose bushes

and bees that you must travel

through to get to the other side…”

“…On the other side of the field of

grief is another – even bigger field

of grief that has even more beautiful

rose bushes and even angrier bees

and even more pointy thorns that you

must get through…”

x

Poignant moments:

“Being mortal means that we are all caught in a loop of meeting each other at Baggage Claim…”

Roedel goes on to say “To grieve the death of a beloved isn’t something that we check off in a box. Once we experience grief it changes us forever. Grief transforms us. Grief doesn’t just stay for a weekend, Grief moves into the loft of our hearts…”

“Grief isn’t an obstacle we overcome – it’s a masterclass in what it means to be human.”

“It can take a lifetime to find peace when our loved one becomes an empty chair at our kitchen table.”

“Life is life

there can be no after

for something that never ends…”

“…because love is the act of holding hands with

another person and counting to infinity by twos…”

“There is this unspoken call for us to have our wounds become scars long before they are ready to.”

“To grieve means that we have taken the risk to love without fear.”

“These tears are proof.

Of what?

That I loved.”

“It’s okay, my love. Eternity is holding me. Death isn’t an end. Death is a threshold. I’m still here. I never left. Love doesn’t die. I remain. There is no afterlife. There is only life. I’m here wih you. Love doesn’t die.”

“…After somebody that you love dies, it feels as if you have lost a limb. Even years later there can be phantom pains that can send you to your knees…”

©DGKaye2022

New Book Promotion for Marjorie Mallon – The Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet – Poems and Flash Fiction

Today I’m happy to be sharing my friend, Fey sister, and author/poet, Marjorie Mallon’s new release – The Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet. This is a lovely book with a magical story, some flash fiction stories and some touching poetry. I’d also like to add that our other sister – Colleen Chesebro from Word Craft Poetry, has recently opened up shop with her Unicorn Cats Publishing, and she formatted Marje’s book and also created the beautiful cover. Check out Colleen’s publishing page if you’re looking for some help in your self-publishing.

About Marjorie:

MJ’s favourite genres to write are Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories, various forms of poetry and flash fiction. She celebrates the spiritual realm, love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious at her blog home:


https://mjmallon.com 


She is a reading, blogging and photography enthusiast!


M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained, and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.


MJ writes fantasy/magical realism because life should be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic! Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even it if appears that the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.

..

Blurb:

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is a collection of poetry and flash fiction celebrating the beautiful vulnerability of the forest kingdom. It begins with the poetic tale of the kind-hearted Hedge Witch, Fern, who discovers an injured stranger in desperate need of her woodland spells and magic.

The sweet pairing learn from each other and through Fern’s guidance, Devin embraces the power of magic to leave behind his trouble past to become The Musical Poet.

Poetry/flash fiction titles in section one of the collection include:

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet, Rain Forest Love, A Forest Baby Boy, A Forest Baby Girl, A Modern Witch, Rock of Mine, Chester Don & I, The Network of Trees, More Trees Not Less, Two Boys Watching War, Mum Climbing Trees, Let’s Play, The Scorched Tree, Owl’s Holiday Home, A Man’s Holiday Home, A Child’s Excitement, The Teddy In The Woods, Run! The Organutans, All Hallow’s Eve Candy Girl The Forest Bash, Dreaming At Halloween, A Face on Bark, Golden Willow Tree, Rainbow – Parasol of Light, Lollipop Sunshine Tree,

In Section two I pay tribute to the following poets: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, Ruby Archer, King Forest, Bliss Carman, Woodland Rain, Emily Dickinson, Who Robbed the Woods, Rupert Blake, Stopping by The Woods on A Winter Evening,Oscar Wilde, In the Forest.

With my poetry:

The Forest Weeps, The Forest King, Raindrops and Childhood Dreams, The Woodland Treasures, Winter Woodland Moon, Child Me.

..

My 5 Star Review:

This is a lovely book by MJ Mallon. She brings to life stories of her loving family, in poetry and flash fiction stories. The Hedge Witch and the Magical Poet is a short story about Fern, who rescues a man she names Devin, distraught and parched, found under a tree. When he recites a poem to her in such lyrical fashion, he sounded like an instrument. We also find some touching poetry in mixed styles, reminding us of some yesteryears of the past – some spoken by the trees. These poems recall some of the easier days of the past when children played in nature and climbed trees – and not on their digital devices, as the trees lament.

In other poems, like, ‘Let’s Play’, the author calls for reforestation to improve air quality and shade, as climate change is taking that away. The flash story of ‘The Network of Trees’ is another lament as the trees discuss among themselves what will become of them as they are cut down and are replaced with cement and buildings.

There are some wise words here from both Mallon and the trees about life in simpler times, stories about nature, childhood memories in snippets of flash fiction, as well as some whimsical Halloween tales. One of my favorites was ‘All Hallows Eve’ – Candy Girl, with rich magical descriptions.

Mallon’s love for trees and nature shine through all of her stories. If you love nature and enjoy lyrical prose and poetry, you will enjoy this book.

Visit Marje’s books

Marjorie has also contributed to several anthologies:


Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse
Moons of Autumn by Colleen Chesebro (Poetry,) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09DWDMXWK

Poetry Treasures 2 Relationships compiled by Kaye Lynn Booth & Robbie Cheadle: https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK


100 Ways To Write A Book Alex Pearl (proceeds to Pen International.)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09R2CQGWS


Stay Home A year of writing through lockdown – Chantelle Atkins (Chasing
Driftwood Writers Group.) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown-/dp/B09HVB6SZ6/


Contributions to Best Selling Horror Anthologies:


Nightmareland compiled by Dan Alatorre
“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)
Spellbound compiled by Dan Alatorre
“The Twisted Sisters“ (Short Story)
Wings of Fire compiled by Dan Alatorre
“The Great Pottoo” (Short Story)


Nightmareland: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZG3ZXP3/


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZG3ZXP3/


Spellbound: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08DM83XKR/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DM83XKR/


Wings & Fire: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08KJ5SQND/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KJ5SQND/


Contributions to Ghost Anthologies: 


Ghostly Rites 2019 compiled by Claire Plaisted “Dexter’s Creepy Caverns“ (Short
Story) https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZQV2Y4Q/


Ghostly Rites 2020 compiled by Claire Plaisted  “No. 1 Coven Lane” (Short
Story) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M9HYBLH

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Find Marjorie on her Social Links:

Linktree: (all my links in one place.) https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor


Author Blog: https://mjmallon.com


Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ 


Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/


Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mjmallonauthor,


Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/


Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon


Spiritual Sisters: https:/www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters/


Authors, Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

.©DGKaye2022

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Tanka #Poetry Challenge

Colleen runs a different themed poetry challenge every Tuesday at her blog, Word Craft. This week was a photoprompt challenge, known as Ekphrastic poetry. Something about this photo spoke to me, so I hopped on with my favorite style of syllabic poetry – a tanka prose.

WELCOME TO #TANKATUESDAY!

This challenge explores Ekphrastic poetry, inspired by visual art or photographs. Willow provided the photo for this month’s challenge. Now, we can see this is a statue, so get creative and think about what this statue could represent. Think about imagery and symbolism… then select a form and craft your poem!

Photo from Willow Willers

United We Stand

When the world was hurting and hearts required a constant reminder to love their fellow man.

Encapsulated,
Emotional History.
Worldly Reminder.
Commanding man's compassion,
Eternal love conquers all.

©DGKaye2022

Original Source:

https://wordcraftpoetry.com/2022/07/19/tankatuesday-poetry-challenge-no-281-7-19-22-ekphrastic-photoprompt/#comment-116555