October’s Featured Blogger: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

I am back from my break and the good news is I finished my project.

I’ll go into that project in another post.

October’s Featured Blogger is Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Teagan was my first Featured Blogger in 2017.

I asked Teagan to come back to give us an update because while I was on break, Teagan launched her third novel in the Pip series, ‘A Ghost in the Kitchen”.

 What have you been up to since your first feature?

Let’s back up this “time machine” to last October. 2018. That’s when I launched the second novel in the “Atonement” series,  Atonement in Bloom.

I am a big fan of Teagan Geneviene’s books as I find her stories to be highly entertaining and imaginative and, despite containing elements of the mystical and supernatural, to be believable and seem quite possible. I also find the author’s characters to be interesting and colourful and I enjoy the way she uses their actions, emotions and dialogues to weave her stories in a natural and heartfelt way. Roberta Cheadle, South Africa

I “bookized” my serial from spring 2019, Brother Love — a Crossroad.


Brother Love — a Crossroad,  a Twilight Zone-ish novella. I guess you could categorize it as speculative fiction.

Late this summer, at my blog, Teagan’s Books, I began rewriting a nearly finished steampunk novel — and making it into a weekly serial.  It’s called The Delta Pearl. A wide range of passengers and crew create a mystery, set on a fantastical riverboat.

I love Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s writing because she can transport the reader to the time and place of her story. Not that she is unique in this ability but she does it so well. John W. Howell, TX, USA

Then not long ago, I launched the third novel about Pip, a flapper and her friends.  It’s a whimsical, culinary mystery called A Ghost in the Kitchen.

I have been a follower of the author’s blog for several years.  Teagan Geneviene is a fascinating and versatile writer.  I have read her novels, and know that apart from an imagination that knows no bounds, and a love of period research and attention to detail, she has a way with words and can create magical characters that readers get to care for and make them live through situations that never fail to surprise us and keep us on tenterhooks.  Olga Núñez Miret, Spain

What is A Ghost in the Kitchen about?

The heroine in A Ghost in the Kitchen is Pip. She’s determined to be a “modern woman” — a flapper. The story is set in 1920s Savannah, Georgia, which is reputed to be one of the most (if not the most) haunted cities in the USA. So, it’s only to be expected that this time some ghosts get in on the act.  Pip sets out to unravel a spooky mystery.

On a personal note, I finally escaped from Washington DC, and parted company with my government job.  Since I’m very much an agoraphobic, it was the hardest thing I’ve done, but I managed to move 2000 miles and two time zones across the country.

I know several people who have relocated this year. I admire the progress they’ve made. I however, am still a long way from being settled in at my little home.  I haven’t even been able to finish painting the walls. Although those unfinished walls do have a couple of prints by my favorite artist — Rob Goldstein.

Wall mural in San Francisco by Sam Flores, Photography by Rob Goldstein
Mural by Sam Flores

Your three things approach to writing invites readers to collaborate
with you, but you also collaborate in a more direct way with other
bloggers. 
What have you learned from these collaborations?

It’s hard to answer “what do I learn” specifically.  The main thing I get from collaborating is strong sense of comradery — what I take away from the experience is different each time, but always hard to define and always priceless.  

Collaborating lets me learn new things and broaden the scope of my blog when I work with bloggers who have a different focus or topic than my own.  I’ve been privileged to work with artists, cooks, photographers, and meditation experts for short stories and serials. And yes, other authors as well.

What I learn is really what I feel and what I see in my mind when I brainstorm with someone. I see and feel those things differently with each collaborator.

It was wonderful to work with you on the Lulu 1920s fantasy stories, Rob. I think when you and I get together we take imagination to worlds no one else would explore. All the limits come off. Our “what ifs” are so vivid to me.

Blogger and photographer, Dan Antion has illustrated some of my stories. Dan’s remarkably encouraging.  He’s also really patient about letting me bounce ideas around, and stepping outside his comfort zone to reply with a counter-thought. Some of the thoughts he bounced back resulted in a character for “Brother Love — a Crossroad.”  That character was an evangelist that became half a person from my childhood, and half a different preacher from Dan’s youth. 

One of my earliest collaborators was Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape. We’ve done a number of stories together.  He brings in a real world foundation for the whimsy of his ideas.  I’m not sure whether it will already be posted when this feature comes out, but Chris and I are working on another short story that combines his character Artie with my Pip character.

One thing that has impressed me is the generosity of the people with whom I’ve collaborated. They always give more than I expect.

I guess you could say the main thing I’ve learned is don’t be afraid to ask someone to collaborate with you. Be up front and clear about defining each person’s role.  That avoids confusion and bumps in the road. But go ahead and ask. The worst they can say is “No.”

Will you share a section from A Ghost in the Kitchen?

My favorite part of this story is meeting Maestro Martino, a cursed ghost. Here he explains how his predicament came to be.

“Ah Signorina,” the ghost began.  “It is a poignant tale.  I was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican.  I always preferred the pun as a form of humor, and the Pope, he shared this with me.  However, one evening we served dinner to a plethora of patrons, speaking Punjabi, Parsi, and Philippine.  I presented a perfect prawn pasta…  Perhaps something went awry with the translations…  But — you see, the short of it is that I pissed off the Pope!  And this predicament is my fate,” the ghost said with a mournful expression.

Find Teagan’s Books on Amazon, click the link below:

You can always count on Teagan to create eccentric and charismatic characters and an intriguing plot. Teri Polen, Kentucky, USA

Connect with Teagan on WordPress and Twitter.

All promotional images for Teagan’s Books belong to Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

“Mural by Sam Flores” (c) Rob Goldstein 2016-2019

(c) Rob Goldstein 2019

 

July’s Featured Blogger: Annette Rochelle Aben

July’s Featured Blogger is Annette Rochelle Aben.

Annette has a wonderful sprawling range of interests and a sensibility that always lifts my spirit.


When did you start blogging?

Five or six years ago, I don’t remember exactly when. A dear friend secretly built a blog site for me because she felt I needed to promote the spiritual guidance counseling I was doing. I never felt comfortable with that, so I turned it around and used it to promote the Angel Messages. From that I began adding things I was writing and ta-da!

What is the thing you enjoy most about blogging?

One of the most enjoyable things about blogging is that I am connected to some wonderfully talented, caring beautiful souls I would not have met any other way.

When did you start writing?

When I was a child, I enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts through things such as book reports and creative writing assignments. This led to me writing for my own pleasure. Those early writings were poetic in nature, and that nature has continued to nurture me throughout my life.

What did you read as a child?

The Bobbsey Twins, Here Come the Tuckers, The Five Little Peppers and Dr. Suess books kept me entertained at home. In school, I loved biographies. Some I remember reading included, Juliette Low, founder of the Girl Scouts and Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross.

 

Bookcover for The Bobbsey Twins
The Bobbsey Twins Solve a Mystery

When did you start writing Haiku?

A few years ago, I happened upon a weekly haiku writing challenge from a fellow blogger. I was curious to see if I could learn to express myself using fewer words. BOOM!

What sparked your interest in numerology?

Even though I had always found numbers fascinating, it wasn’t until I read a book about Numerology, that I found out why. After implementing the science of numbers into my own life, I saw the power of that knowledge and began using Numerology to help others in their lives.

How did you fall in love with the Angels.

I believe it happened organically. Like finding out you’ve an invisible benefactor and out of appreciation, is formed, an eternal bond. In my darkest hours, the protection of their wings has supported me and helped me find the strength to take the next breath. Funny, I have Angels (in physical form) all around me and I have purchased none of them. People simply bring them to me saying that they were moved to do so.

What inspired the Angel Messages?

I could sense Angels talking to me and I appreciated the comforting feelings. One day, a friend was going through some stress and I felt inspired to share an Angel message with her. She said it helped. This continued sporadically until one day I was moved to share with even more people. Now, tens of thousands of people are being reached in places I don’t even know exist. How? Because the thousands I share with, share them as well.

How did you get into radio and television.?

I left the corporate world in 1983 and was looking for something fun to do. I took a class in television production at the local cable company. From there I attended broadcasting school and the rest is history.

Of your books, which one is your favorite?

Gee whiz… I’ll say, Perspective: It’s All About Replacing One Thought with Another. Filled with poetry, prose and photographs. It was the first book I self-published. That experience drove me nuts yet each time I look at the book, I am in awe of the fact that I did it!

What inspired you to start your podcast, “Tell Me a Story”?

About ten years ago, I was hosting my own Blog Talk Radio program. Then I was hired to work for a company that wanted me to manage their internet radio network. When I left them, I was offered the opportunity to host my own program for The Magic Happens Magazine, as they were setting up their own radio network and Tell Me a Story was born!

What advice do you have for new bloggers?

DO IT!  Seriously, if you have something to share, be it recipes, opinions, photographs, writings, etc. build a blog. You may become famous. You may simply find joy in sharing. You may find that you get so much more out of it than you ever expected. And should you ever grow tired if the experience, bow out gracefully. When you start your blog, connect with me and I’ll be thrilled to help support your efforts.

Tell us about your new book. 

This is a book of poetry, using the format of Japanese lyric poetry, known as Tanka. Think Tanka is a book for those who appreciate poetry, those who enjoy short reads, people who like to smile and those who know what it’s like to be lost in a world of imagination.

How did the book happen?

I was introduced to this style of writing poetry by fellow author/blogger, Colleen Chesebro. She hosts a weekly challenge to write poetry of varied and interesting formats, tanka being one them. As I had been writing Haiku (another form of Japanese poetry) I figured I would give Tanka a whirl. See. Tanka is what I like to call, Haiku, with hips. Haiku is 17 syllables and when you add 14 more, you create a Tanka. I needed some way to share all these poems I had been writing, hence, the book!

Buy Think Tanka
Think Tanka Cover

Will you share a couple of poems from the book with us?   

 

 Roll Tape

 

The power of glue
Coiled tight on a dispenser
To be portioned out
Your best friend when gift wrapping
If it’s not stuck on itself
 

Entertaining Ideas

 

I have no off switch
My mind is constantly “on”
Thoughts fly everywhere
Not that this is a bad thing

It gives me something to do

 

Purchase “Think Tanka” on Amazon

Find Annette Online

WordPress: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

 Rob Goldstein 20119

June’s Featured Blogger: Hugh W. Roberts

When WordPress fixed Art by Rob Goldstein and restored the ‘re-blog’ button, I lost a month’s worth of posts.

This is a re-post of June’s feature of blogger and author, Hugh Roberts.

When were you diagnosed with dyslexia, how was it affecting your life?

It was affecting my daily reading and writing and, at the time, was an embarrassment to me. I was (and still am) having terrible problems with reading. From menus to greeting cards, magazines and books, my brain stills jumble up individual letters and words which sometimes make it impossible for me to know what those words mean.

Although I do read, I don’t read as many books as I’d like to. I’ve come across too many books where I find myself totally lost as to what is going on. If there are words, I don’t know the meaning of, then I will soon give up.

It’s not all bad news, though. I occasionally come across a book that I find easy to follow and understand. It may be because of the writing style of the author. I always see it as a great achievement when I come to the page that says, ‘The End’, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the read.

As for writing, before the age of spell check and other software that helps correct grammar and punctuation, I often found myself getting letters or words mixed up. I couldn’t help but wonder about those who would shake their heads when reading what I had written or those who would have laughed at all the mistakes I’d made. However, I no longer concern myself about those people.  

What did you have in mind when you started Hugh’s Views and News?

I saw blogging as the perfect way to get my writing in front of an audience. For far too long, because of dyslexia, I’d hidden all the writing I had done. Nobody, apart from me, had read it. Although my passion for writing stayed with me, I seldom gave in to it. Then I discovered blogging.

My first published post was about lists and how they helped organise my life. Only a few family members read the post, and their encouragement gave me the confidence to write my next post.

The game-changer for me was the chance to participate in an online course that WordPress ran for new bloggers. Back then, the course was run one day a week over three months. You had to attend online to finish the whole class. I made a lot of new blogging friends through that course, some of whom are still blogging. Once I finished the course, blogging became the ‘skies the limit’ for me.

I also started participating in photo and writing challenges, and soon built up a following, all of whom encouraged and supported me and my writing. When I announced on a blog post that I was dyslexic, I was overwhelmed with kindness, offers of help, and a sense of being told to be proud of myself for what I was doing. I’ve always believed the blogging community to be one of the best parts of blogging.

How did you make the decision to publish?

It was my readers that persuaded me to publish my short stories. When I started to write and publish them on my blog, the stories began to receive a lot of attention and comments. It was probably the unexpected twists I gave most of the stories, but readers asked me to put all the stories into a book and publish it. Shortly after, one of my stories went viral, and I saw it as a sign to go ahead and publish. ‘Glimpses’ was released in December 2016 and it was not long before readers started asking me if there would be a follow-up.

What kind of fiction did you read as a boy? 

The only fiction I read was Enid Blyton’s ‘Secret Seven.’ The books were about a group of children who would solve mysteries and crimes. I found the books easy to read, and the plots were of no trouble to me. I tried reading other books by Enid Blyton but had difficulty in reading them. I also read comics like ‘The Beano’, but even found some of them difficult to read.



How long have you been with your partner John, and how did you meet?

This September, we will be celebrating our 26th anniversary. When we first met, I was working and living in London, and John lived in Brighton on the south coast of the UK.

I’d been going through a tough time in both my work and love life, so a friend suggested we go to Brighton for the weekend. I wasn’t really interested in going but was persuaded to go. On the afternoon of the second day, I went and had my fortune told on Brighton Pier.

Amongst other stuff, the fortune-teller said to me that I was on the cusp of a life-changing event connected to the past.

That evening, while having a few drinks, John walked into the bar. We got chatting and, by the end of the evening, we discovered that as children, we had lived in the same town. However, that was not the end of the connection. Several months later, when I introduced John to my mother, she informed us that she used to shop at the butcher’s shop John’s father owned and worked in. She told us that she used to take me in the pram to the shop and that the shop’s owner young son used to look into the pram at me. That was during the first three months of my life before my family moved away because of a new job my father had got.

What do you consider the UK’s ‘Stonewall Moment?’

There are several, but the one that stands out for me is when a piece of legislation called Section 28 was passed by our then Government in 1989. It effectively banned conversations about same-sex relationships in school, forcing LGBT teachers into the closet or out of a job and scarring a generation of young LGBT people.

Stonewall was created to fight this discrimination, and I remember going on many peaceful marches to try and get the already outdated law overturned. Section 28 made me think about the times I was terrified to tell anyone that I was gay because of the discrimination or threats of violence we were hearing gay people were facing every day. I didn’t want anyone going through what I had gone through because of who I was and the way I lived my life.

It took 14 years to get the law revoked, much of which because of the involvement of the Stonewall Movement in the UK.    

When I read your memoir of the 1980’s I get a sense of chaos and excitement, with the politics as a subtext. What are your thoughts on the challenges the gay community took on and survived after the onset of the AIDS epidemic?

As a gay man in the1980s, I saw London as the place to go to live and work. The city acted as some kind of a protective blanket for gay people. However, we weren’t always safe in the city with homophobia never far away. I remember bricks being thrown through the windows of gay bars, police taking the details of the number plates on cars parked outside gay bars and nightclubs, and the constant threat of being arrested for being who we were.

Back then, AIDS was known as the ‘gay disease’, and many people thought all gay men carried the virus. Some people wouldn’t even shake hands with me for fear of catching it. All aspects of life could be very challenging, but because I was living in a city with a large gay population, we helped and supported each other with the events that AIDS bought with it.

I did lose a few friends, both male and female, to the virus, and shed many tears to their departure from our world. However, life went on, and I continued to face the challenges of being a gay man bought with it.

Hugh writes: “I’m attaching a photo of me taken during the 1980s. At the time, I had a job as a part-time barman in a Gay bar that became very popular for many years. It was always fun working there. And the best thing about being a barman was that you became everyone’s best friend. The photo was taken during the age of the ‘clone’, where just about all gay men of the time, living in London, had a moustache.”

 

 

Were you aware of the 1984 Miner’s Strike and the support provided by  Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners? What are your memories of the strike?

I was certainly aware of the Miner’s Strike, but until I watched the movie ‘Pride’, I had no idea about the support the Gay community had given to the miners. It’s a beautiful movie that I’d recommend everyone watch. For me, the movie highlighted how communities’ poles apart can be bought together regardless of the misunderstandings of each other. It clearly demonstrates the kindness and love that humans have of each other, much of which we often fail to reveal.

 


What advice do you have for bloggers with dyslexia?

Don’t allow it to stand in your way of writing and publishing your work, and never be afraid to tell your readers that you are dyslexic.

Since I started blogging and revealed that I’m dyslexic, I’ve had some beautiful emails and comments from people who have told me that they have gone on to fulfill their writing dreams because of what I have done. It seems I was their inspiration. That not only makes me proud of what I have done, but proud of who I am.

 

Tell us about the pending bloggers bash: what events do you have planned? Are there any new awards categories?

 

The Bloggers Bash was the brainchild of author, writer and blogger, Sacha Black. Sacha formed a small committee of four bloggers (including me) who organised a get together in London for bloggers. We saw it as a place where you could meet people with the same interest in writing and blogging and meet them in person.

Over the five years, the event has been running, we have grown a lot. This year we have two guest speakers. First, Gemma Todd, a traditionally-published author of Defender and Hunted, represented by the Darley Anderson Literary Agency. Gemma will be talking about becoming an author and her journey to publication.

Our second speaker is the award-winning blogger Laura Creaven, who will be discussing her blogging journey and how she built up a huge following.

We also have a Photography Booth, where talented photographer Duncan Walker will be setting up a mobile studio where you can practice your best Blue Steel, strike a pose or simply have your photo taken which can be used on author bios, books, your social media accounts, and on your blog.

We will also be running a class to learn the art of the flatlay, where attendees will learn how to use items, they have at home to create beautiful flatlay images, perfect for creating interest on your blog and social media.

We changed some of the categories for this year’s ‘Annual Bloggers Bash Awards’ which now include categories such as best Personal Development blog, best Food blog, best Photography blog, best Travel blog, best Writing/Blogging blog, etc.

Unfortunately, voting has closed for this year’s awards. We’ll be announcing all the winners on June 15th, 2019.


Will you share an excerpt from ‘More Glimpses’?

I’d be delighted to.

This is an extract from the story ‘When The Tide Turns’, a story about three young men who discover a beautiful, deserted beach and who decide to explore it, regardless of the warnings not to venture onto the sand.

“Did you see that?”

“See what?” asked Alan, looking over his shoulder. “Something over there; moving in the sand.”

“Get out of here, dude, you’re just trying to scare us,” laughed Alan, as Ben joined them.

“Seriously, something is moving in the sand,” said Carl, pointing to the area just in front of where they had undressed and left their clothes.

Looking back over his shoulder, Alan couldn’t see anything. “You’re playing games, dude.”

“No, seriously, take a look,” said Carl, as Ben flicked water droplets at him.

“Look at what?” asked Ben.

“Over there. Something is moving in the sand,” replied Carl as he pointed towards the piles of clothes.

“I don’t see anything, apart from sand and three piles of clothes,” laughed Ben. “Stop messing with us, dude. I didn’t see anything as I came out of the sea. Why’re you letting that weirdo of an old man get to you? Come on, I’ll race you both. Last one back to the clothes has to date and bed the Swanson twins.”

Before they knew it, Alan and Carl watched as Ben started to run towards the three piles of clothes, which were halfway up the beach.

“NO! COME BACK, THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE SAND,” screamed out Carl. However, Ben continued to run towards the piles of clothes, laughing, while calling the other two boys by rude names.

A sudden scream from Ben filled the air when he finally reached the clothes. Alan and Carl watched in horror as Ben was pulled into the sand.

“HELP ME, GUYS, SOMETHING’S GOT MY LEGS!’ screamed Ben, before quickly disappearing.

 

Contact Hugh W. Roberts

Blog: Hugh’s Views and News

Twitter: @HughRoberts05

Flipboard

Mix.com

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Universal Link for buying Glimpses

Universal Link for buying More Glimpses

 

(c) Rob Goldstein and Hugh W. Roberts 2019

May’s Featured Blogger: D.L. Finn

My Featured Blogger this Month is author D.L. Finn.

D.L. Finn is a native of the Bay Area who now lives in Nevada.

Her work includes children’s books, poetry, fantasy for young
adults and adult paranormal romance.

Her latest work is a book of poems, ‘Just Her Poetry, Seasons of a
Soul’.


What was it like to grow up in the Bay Area 70’s and 80’s?

It was an awesome time and place to grow up. I was born and raised in Castro Valley, which then still had some open land with horses and farms. I was within walking distance to town and the bus. So, I could go anywhere my feet, or the bus took me. It was great to live by The City, San Francisco, and visit Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Union Square, Golden Gate Park, etc.  I also was a big fan of the ocean, redwoods, and Berkeley. As a teenager, I appreciated the music and local bands that included attending many Day on the Greens. Sports were always a big part of my life, too. My grandparents took me to baseball or hockey games in Oakland; football was deemed too rowdy for me.  I was never bored. Now it’s a place I visit but it will always be close to my heart.

When did you start writing?

I always enjoyed writing in English classes, but when I took a writing class in high school, I was able to explore writing more. The teacher of this writing class accused me of copying a writing assignment out of a magazine that I had spent a great deal of time working on. It was a questionnaire for teens on dating. In a very strange way, it was a compliment, but I could never convince the teacher that I had written it. She had both of my parents as a teacher, so I suppose I was pre-judged. I was a very rebellious teenager and being told I couldn’t do something, only managed to encourage me. I didn’t write much out of high school, but in my mid-twenties got back into writing again. Then, I just kept building on it and learning.

How does a poem come to you?

I usually decide I’m going to write a poem. I grab a notebook and write what comes to me. I relax and pour out what I see or what I’m feeling. It’s different than writing a story where the ideas come to me first, and then I write. Here I write and the ideas come through. At first, it may be a few odd lines, but then it begins to flow as I go on. I love sitting out front and feeling the landscape through words.

 

 

 

You write that you use poetry to vent your frustrations. How do you decide to share a poem?

My poetry book was twice the size when I began. I took out the ones where I mainly got off my chest how someone made me feel angry. One poem might have been all swear words…lol. The ones I removed were what I decided had no point or value. I also had several on my feelings about the current divide in our country. I felt adding those would only add to the divide that currently is frustrating me. What I wanted to do was mostly nature, but found I had other things to say. There were some I went back and forth with and decided to share how I felt dealing with illness or weather-related issues with the fires and the shootings, or death. I guess I took my darker poems out and left the ones I felt offered some hope in the darkest of situations. I did talk about abuse, which was in my books, but I always want to leave it open for hope. I’m very conscious of the words I put out.

How did you come to write the motorcycle poems?

I got the idea to write poetry in as many different places as I could when I decided to do a poetry book. I’ve always felt free sitting there with no walls around me, and that made it the perfect place to do it. The first time I took a pen and a couple of sheets of paper and gave it a try–it worked. Later, I was given a wonderful gift of a small journal by an amazing fellow writer, and that made it much easier.

When you say embrace your inner child, what do you mean?

When I think of that inner child, I think of that innocence we all come into the world before we learn what hate and judgments are. It’s that pure way of looking at the world through your soul. It’s a hard place to hang on to in this world with instant information and so much discord, but worth it when we can.

What sparked your interest in the paranormal?

I’ve always loved a good ghost story. I would watch “Creature Features” with my grandmother when I visited her. Night Gallery caught my interest as a young girl, too. I do believe there are things we don’t understand around us. I’ve seen things I can’t explain over the years. Some of that gets channeled into my writing and poetry.

While going through your books I was drawn to No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry. I love the title, what inspired the book?

 

My main intent in writing that book was to talk about my experience at 14-years-old when I was in a coma. I had tried to kill myself, bad home life, and ended up floating over my body and being told “You’re not done yet. You have to go back.” I’ve always felt pushed to get that message out. I struggled writing that book and decided to present myself as a princess.  Later, I went to my voice and finally added in poetry to finish showing who I was.

How much if your personal history goes into your writing?

There’s a lot of me in “The Button.” I’ve used what I’ve seen or experienced with others in my writing. “This Second Chance” was based on a good friend and what I watched her go through. I’m always looking for a happy ending, so my books do the same thing. My love of sports came through in my children’s books, along with looking for that magic that I experienced in the coma. I throw little things in each story for my family and friends to
find.

 

What advice do you have for new writers and bloggers?

If this is your calling, then learn the craft, believe in yourself and above all never give up.

 

You released a new book of poems in late April, will you tell us a little about it?

After writing “No Fairy Tale” that’s a half memoir and half poetry book, I got some good feedback on my poems. So, I began thinking about doing just a poetry book. That’s where I came up with the title.  I have always been drawn to nature, and that came out in my poetry. I was going to do a book of that, but other things came up in the two years when I was writing it. These poems became a part of the book and why I added in part two.

 

Will you share a poem?

THE JOURNEY is a favorite of mine. I was on my elliptical watching a storm rage when I spotted a small bird. The bird’s struggle got me to thinking about my journey.

 

THE JOURNEY

The tiny brown and white bird clung to the cedar’s bark

The corn snow fell heavy and hard around it.

Then, the bird slowly began its journey by climbing upward.

A few feet up the tree, it was knocked back down to the ground

It paused for only a few seconds and tried again.

Deliberately, it made its way back to where it fell

The tiny bird carefully passed that point without stopping

It moved higher, toward the promised shelter from the pounding chaos.

Wings open, it faltered a few times, but hung on…

It kept rising until it reached the first bare branch.

Tucked underneath, the little bird found limited shelter

But it wisely did not linger there as it continued the climb…

Finally, the brave bird is immersed into the green branches

Now it is safely nestled in the cedar, as the storm rages around it.

Gone from my sight now I contemplate its journey.

When the bird was knocked down it got up and tried again

It passed the point where it had been impeded

There was no hesitation as it kept advancing.

Not looking back, it climbed higher and higher.

It didn’t accept the first offer of partial protection,

Instead it kept climbing until it reached its goal…

Until it found sanctuary from the pelting ice and winds.

And, having watched this journey—I was just a bit wiser for it

Because I knew whatever life threw at me, I needed to pick myself up

And keep climbing, no matter what the odds, until I reached the top

Exactly like the wise and brave bird did on its journey in the storm.

 

This is one of the first poems I ever wrote:

THE BEARDED OLD MAN (No Fairy Tale)

The bearded old man

Walks across the quiet desert,

His hooded white robe

Protecting and sheltering him

From the burning sky.

His feet are silent against the sand.

He walks day and night,

Going to a place that he knows exists.

He beckons strangers to join him

As he keeps walking toward…

That place he calls home.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Denise.


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Rob Goldstein 2019

All images, videos and poetry in this post are the property of D.L. Finn.