What do you like to read on vacations? Some #Observations

I had a lot of time at the pool and beach daily for two months while on vacation this past winter in Mexico. The writer in me always likes to socialize and at the same time, observe. People-watching and information magnet, that’s me. I decided to look around and take notes on what genres and books people were reading while at the pool. I also noted that most readers were reading paperbacks, not on Ereaders. This is most likely a generational thing as the majority age group were fifty and over.

The Maid, by Nita Prose, seemed to be popular with a few women. And naturally. I was curious to see why so many were reading the same book, so I visited Amazon to have a look and was gobsmacked to see over 30K reviews! Most couples were reading thrillers and swapping books with other people after reading. I didn’t notice many books that weren’t written by popular trad published authors namely, Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Maeve Binchy and James Patterson. While there wasn’t too much nonfiction reading going on, I also noticed not nearly as many readers as in past years reading political books. Maybe everyone had had enough of doom and gloom and just preferred to stay with fantasy.

People: Scanning around the pool of average age 50 and up, but mainly 60s and 70s, these readers almost all, read paperbacks – thrillers. When I questioned a few if they prefer paper to ebook, most said they prefer holding physical books and paying for something tangible. Some with readers enjoyed reading on a step in the pool. And two people I discovered, read two of my books. I didn’t know them, but apparently, some other people previously had told them I was an author. I thought that was so cool because it wasn’t like I was pushing my books on anyone. In passing conversation, a few through the years asked if I worked. I told them I was a writer and author. They asked where they could look at my books, and, the rest was history!

What kind of books do you like to read while on vacation?

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – #NewRelease, #Poetry by Sally Cronin – Life is Like a Mosaic

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m thrilled to be reviewing Sally Cronin’s new release, fresh off the press – Life is Like a Mosaic – Random Fragments in Harmony.

 

Sally is known for her wonderful and heartfelt shortstories and has created this book full of syllabic poetry and beautiful images to highlight her words in story written through her perspective of life. Later in the book, Sally invites us into a peek at her own life – triumphs and challenges written in rhyming prose.

 

 

Blurb:

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.

An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.

In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams and loss.

The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?

At the end of the collection there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits and love of food!

 

My 5 Star Review:

This author is well-known for her heartfelt short stories and poetry alike. Haiku and Tanka syllabic poetry along with beautiful images are used to express stories about life and nature. Sally Cronin knows how to take the reader in, even in short prose, leaving profound messages to savor and to come back and revisit again and again. She touches on several aspects on life and the human condition with stories about aging, friendship, legacy, birthdays, world peace and more.

In the second part of the book, Cronin treats us with some of her own ‘slices of life’, where she shares tidbits in rhyming prose about some of her own challenges and victories in her life, and the lessons that come along with them with her observations. I enjoyed every single story, but I will point out a few that resonated with me along with my short summations:

Our Legacy – A reminder that being kind will add to our legacies

Silver Lining to Isolation – A good reminder that clocks shouldn’t decide how we use our time.

Advancing Years – The passing of time and  what we have to show for it in the end

The Day After – A peaceful day of reckoning when there is no more war

The Air – Giving air a breath

Friendship – Power and weakness

Birthdays – Marked by wrinkles and laughter lines, a life well-lived

Loose Lips – Those friends who can keep secrets is part of a life well-lived

Ageism – Those who are quick to forget where much of invention originated

Scepticism – Otherwise interpreted as ‘fake news’, scattered truths, misleading media, and as the author states, ”planned outcomes”. “Politics, where truth is scattered on the wind.”

Life’s Progression – The marking of time by learning and love

Thanksgiving – Not the holiday, but every day is good for thanks

Immortality-Writers – What we leave behind

Yearning – For the world that once was, pre-pandemic.

The author shares some of her ‘slices of life’ experiences in rhyming prose:

Childhood Memories – Growing up in Ceylon

Summer Holidays – At the beach

Rebellion in Frome – Age 16, the author defies her mother and gets away with it

The Leftovers – Love and acceptance

Farewell to Colourful Friends – Going back to her roots – pun intended.

As I mentioned earlier in this review, this author can tell big stories in minimal words, always encompassing compassion and goodness in her stories and messages. Recommended reading!

 

Visit all of Sally’s books

 

Sally Cronin's Books

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature’s Hideaway – Pond Party! – Observations – Fiction/Nonfiction or Somewhere In Between

I’ve been trying to make it a habit to get outside for an hour or so a few days a week for some reading time. Our complex has beautifully manicured parkland with various walking trails and park benches and gazebos. I found myself this lovely secluded spot, able to catch some rays, yet shaded by trees with a slight breeze on the bench, below in the photo. And one particular afternoon while reading in my spot, I found myself distracted by ongoing chatter as the birds seemed very busy on this particularly sizzling hot day. Ringleader was large and in charge. I put down my book and listened for awhile since it was difficult to concentrate with the swarm of birds flying back and forth and from the boisterous chatting and chirping banter.

 

Pond party

 

I envisioned this conversation as it continued on, and named the boss Ringleader who appeared be the party organizer and bouncer.

Sitting on a park bench, taking in the beauty of peace and quiet, basking in the beautiful sunshine while reading a book, it appeared the birds, a mere ten feet away, were having a grand old time and taking in the calmness of the blue skies.

No doubts the birds adored their sanctuary – away from the humans, chirping in the trees and enjoying the man-made birdbath some kind gardner had created for them. Ringleader seemed unaffected by the blazing sun and scorching heat as he tirelessly led several groups of birds to indulge in the birdie pond. He’d fly away for a few minutes and return with a new flock who wasted no time splashing down in their private pool. As though their time had expired, Ringleader began squawking, to announce their time was up. Once again he’d lead the flock away, and within minutes, he’d return with a new group of winged friends, landing directly in the grassy bath patch to enjoy their secret garden.

It appeared that some, kind human must have spent time manicuring the vast parkland that surrounds my home, and purposely left the approximate 50 square foot patch of concaved weedy patch as a cooling spot for the numerous birds who frequent the area.

In a moment’s notice, Ringleader is up and out again, and streaming behind him were the various feathered friends who’ve enjoyed their visit and were venturing back off to their homing hangouts, only to be followed with a new crowd upon Ringleader’s return.

While I sat there with sweat beading up on my forehead, I have to admit, I was getting envious of the party of birds having a splash.

 

Masked me

 

 

©DGKaye2020

 

 

The #Corona Diaries- Observations on my Recent Outing

 

I hadn’t been out for 2 weeks – the last time I bought groceries. I try to make my grocery runs last 10 days to 2 weeks before I have to go out again. And when I do, I plan a route to cover groceries, pharmacy and health food store. But our prescriptions are up in the burbs where we used to live, and I wasn’t feeling inspired enough to drive all the way up there, and knowing I have to go up there in the next few days anyway, I decided just to pop into my local independent pharmacy to pick up a a few things that couldn’t wait and I happened to luck into his freshly stocked boxes of masks and disposable gloves. He even had a small amount of N95 masks for sale. I felt like it was Christmas!

 

And there’s a good tip for everyone who may not be able to find items in big box and brand retail stores because everyone is looking for the same things. It’s a good idea to try your smaller local independent stores, both pharmacies and food stores, places you may not suspect would have masks or rice or pasta sauces. You never know what you’ll come across.

 

 

 

While in the pharmacy, a woman turned to me and asked how do I keep my hair so vibrant without grey roots in this time, I laughed and told her I dye my own hair for 35 years, comes in handy LOL. Hey, just because I’m in seclusion doesn’t mean I have to let everything go. I may live in pajamas and/or sweat pants, and my hair may be in desperate need of a cut (even more so desperate since I attempted to crop my own top), but the crowning glory is always vibrant and my skincare beauty routine remains in full-force. These are considered essential non-negotiables for me. Exercise comes next – okay, I may slack sometimes but never on skincare.

 

 

Next, I headed for the supermarket. I’d last gone to 2 weeks prior and noticed quite a few changes since the last visit there. As I pulled my car in to park, I noticed ‘the line’. Oye, was this the line I’d heard others complain about but had been lucky enough to not yet have encountered?

I did a mental count of how many would be ahead, now lined up 6ft apart standing outside as only so many people allowed in the store at a time for distancing. At first I thought I should just get back in the car and come another day. Then I thought, as I put the car in reverse to pull out, who knows how many will be next time, better get her done.

There were 25 people ahead of me standing on our designated tape marks on the sidewalk, and it was a tad chilly for me in a spring coat, thinking it was 60 degrees out like my prior shopping day, but more like 40, oye! Only half hour wait went by til I entered. I read on my phone and was happy to find I could type on my phone with a latex gloved finger. It was nice and spacious inside and I even found toilet paper (which I bought as a top up), The shelves were all full, although I noticed I still couldn’t find raw chicken wings – anywhere, and a few items such as pasta sauces, some other canned goods, had limits.

I have to say I was impressed with the whole set up to protect both workers and shoppers. Plexi- glass now separated the cashiers from the customers. Some wore masks, all wore gloves. No using our own bags, back to the plastic they’d already taken away and now no charge for those plastic bags – go figure. Checking out was one line with taped marks for 6ft apart, but only 2 people ahead with only 2 cashiers opened and only so many shoppers at a time, it went fairly smoothly.

Omg

 

Four hundred dollars later I checked out.

I was exhausted from that venture of pushing and schlepping my over-stuffed buggy and 6 more bags tucked on my arm as I plowed through the underground to the elevator, down the longggg hallway to home, then unpacking it all. Oh ya, I definitely wasn’t making two trips. That would have entailed waiting for an elevator, maybe a few times, as signs are posted only one person (or family) on at a time for safe distance. Those waits can be long. I’m pretty sure what I pushed and carried today is right up there with some of my airport wheelchair stories with my husband and 4 carry-on bags, lol. I’m just about ready to move park benches I tell ya!

 

Have a Corona observation you’d like to share?

stay home

 

©DGKaye2020