26 December 2012

Review of Windrider by S.A. Bolich

Windrider (Masters of the Elements, #2)Windrider by S.A. Bolich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just as wonderful as Firedancer. I blew through it in a couple of days and I want more.

I love how, while the Firedancers use dance to control the Flame, the Windriders use song to control the Wind. I'm intrigued to see how the Seaborn work. (Gotta wait until spring. Boo.)

Like the previous book, the world and characters are wonderfully real. I especially enjoyed getting into Sheshan's head this time, and learning more about Clan Heshth, and by extension, what it means to be a Windrider, and how they are treated by those they try to protect. Some thought-provoking stuff here.

The writing is clean and mostly free from errors, which makes for an easier read. I highly recommend this book. Although, for continuity, I would read Firedancer first.

View all my reviews

21 December 2012

Review of Firedancer by S.A. Bolich

Firedancer (Masters of the Elements, #1)Firedancer by S.A. Bolich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I devoured the pages like the Ancient fire devours all in its path. When I finished reading, I immediately bought the sequel Windrider.

My only gripe, and it’s a small one, is that Jetta gets startled a lot and she “jumps” or “freezes” every time. I think those two words were overused a tad.

The world is rich and layered, and every character feels real. I laughed and cried over their joys and sorrows. Character names follow patterns depending on whether the person is a Firedancer(Jetta, Settak), a Windrider(Sheshan, Ayesh), or a Delver(Rununn, Anual), but no two names are so similar that I ever got confused.

In this world, fire is an enemy that needs to be tightly controlled or it will destroy everything in its path. Firedancers are trained to fight fire that has broken free, and they do this by dancing. I have always been fascinated by the idea of dancing to create magic, especially since I have seen so few stories that use this idea. It is done very well here. S.A. Bolich is a master at describing just enough that we get a picture of the dance without giving us every detail and boring us to tears.

If you like fantasy, and you’re up for something different, you’ve got to give this book a try.

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14 December 2012

Review of Hard Time by K.J. Blaine

Hard Time (Book 2 of the Phoenix Chronicles)Hard Time by K.J. Blaine

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The sequel to Telepaths and Traitors and even more confusing.

The plot made very little sense to me. It seems that the author must have read somewhere that she should throw as much crap at her characters as possible in order to keep the reader's interest. It's just too much. I was overwhelmed and then I became numb and disinterested. So many times, hope is held out that they'll get out of the situation they're in, then that hope is snatched away.

The ending of the first half is anticlimactic; it seemed too easy to me after all the lead up and false hope. It's almost a deus ex machina.

The second half of the book is a completely separate story that reads like it should have been a whole other book. However, the story here is much stronger. Finally, the characters have some control over their own destinies; they are acting instead of being acted upon.

The writing is much better throughout than it was in Telepaths and Traitors. While I rolled my eyes at the time travel and the over-the-top torture scenes, it was still much more realistic. And the spelling and grammar was cleaner.

However, I couldn't feel for the characters as well as I did in the first book. There's just so much going on, and it's so overdone that I lost empathy for them. This is sad, as I loved the characters while I was reading the first book.

When I got this book, it was a free download on amazon.com. If it's still free, it's worth picking up if you like sci-fi.

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07 December 2012

Memories of Mother

Today, I am driving up north to where my mom lived. Tomorrow is a Celebration of Life memorial for her at the church she attended. I have been trying to write something to say about her, and this haiku was born.

Trying to write my
Memories of my mother
Tears blur my vision

03 December 2012

And You Are?

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten?

None. Seriously, I've been lucky.

2. Can you pitch a tent?

Yep. I sure can. I've done it a few times.

3. What was your worst vacation ever?

I don't think I've had a bad vacation. Wouldn't that be a contradiction?

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100?

A Google Nexus 7 Tablet. So worth it.

5. We're handing you the keys to what?

This. Yes, please.

6. What was the last meal cooked that made even you sick?

Who cooked? I cooked? I'm a good cook. My meals make people happy.

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like _____?

A Mumakil.

8. What was your first car?

A 'Vette. (With 'chev' on the front, not 'cor' unfortunately)

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?

I don't laugh at all. I help her up and dust her off and check if I need to call 911.

10. What's the worst song ever?

John Lennon's "Imagine." Because it sounds all nice and pretty, but if I imagine all that stuff is true, I get really miserable and sad and angry.

This was fun. Click on David to go to the list of all the other blogs participating today.

30 November 2012

Winter Was Fun - A Clerihew

The Playing with Words prompt this week is to write a Clerihew.

Winter Was Fun

When my siblings and I were young,
Winter was so much fun.
It seems that the older you grow
The less you love Christmas and snow.

28 November 2012

It Isn't Real

This morning I laughed at something my husband said. And I immediately felt guilty. Over the past two days, I've often forgotten that she's gone; but then I remember and it's fresh again.

So many things remind me: every time I see or hear the words 'mom' and 'mother'; listening to Christmas music; making dinner. I remember baking cookies with her, rolling out the dough and cutting it into weird and wonderful shapes. I remember doing the dishes: she would wash and I would dry while we listened to music and sang along--usually off key. She was always so proud of my accomplishments; she loved to read my poetry and stories. She was my first and greatest fan.

I used to be a cryer. I would burst into tears at the slightest provocation. I can't tell you how many buckets I wept when my cat died. But right now I'm numb, and I cannot cry. I feel the tears prick my eyes, but they stop short of spilling over. My stomach is in knots and my hands are shaking, but I do not cry.

People ask me how I'm doing and I really don't know. People say they understand how I'm feeling and I want to laugh. And then I feel guilty again.

It isn't real. It can't be. I just talked to her last week. I just saw her last month.

RIP Patricia Reid-Spurrill, Beloved Mother (June 12, 1953 - November 27, 2012)

23 November 2012

Don't Feed the Trolls

Ages ago, I used to post my writing on a writing website where other users could read your works, comment on them, and give them a rating out of 10. I quickly learned that many users on that site would get very angry if they received a rating lower than 10/10. I gave a piece 7/10 and the writer sent me a furious message, then rated all my works 1/10 in retaliation. I was stunned but I also found it laughably ridiculous. I was only nineteen or twenty, but I already knew that anything over 5/10 was a passing grade. I also saw the 10/10 as a rating that should be reserved for the best, most flawless pieces. My favourite pieces I rated 8/10 or 9/10.

I replied to the aforementioned angry writer explaining that I didn't give out perfect scores unless the piece was perfect. I pointed out his spelling and grammar errors and made suggestions to improve the flow of the piece. He wrote me back to thank me and asked me to read several of his other pieces. I felt that I had to agree, but I found his writing style to be awkward at best and his poems were too long. It was very difficult to read through them without zoning out.

When Facebook became a thing, this writer added me and then, when I joined Goodreads, I logged in with Facebook so I was automatically connected with him on there as well. Now, he has several ebooks that he self-published (probably without hiring an editor) and every time I log into Goodreads there's stuff on my homepage where someone gave one of his books a low rating and/or a bad review and he replies to their reviews, arguing with them. I had thought he had learned something way back when, but I guess not.

The worst part is that lately, there's another Goodreads user--I'll call him Troll--who replies to this oversensitive writer guy purposely trying to get a rise out of him. And it always works. He always defends himself. And I know that Troll is sitting at home laughing. Because that's what he wants. He grows stronger on every word.

Don't feed the Trolls you meet online or in real life. It only strengthens them while weakening you, and it makes you look foolish.

Do you agree? I'd love your thoughts or anecdotes.

21 November 2012

Review of Telepaths and Traitors by K.J. Blaine

Telepaths and Traitors (Phoenix Chronicles, #1)Telepaths and Traitors by K.J. Blaine

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not bad, but not great.

This book reminds me very strongly of Star Trek. I like Star Trek, so that's mostly a good thing. However, it does border on too similar at times. The empathic doctor was a little too much like Deanna Troi.

The characters are interesting and relatable. I cared what happened to them. Once I got past the slow beginning, I really got into their stories and it became difficult to put it down: I had to know what happened to Tim and Steve.

However, the writing is weak and jumbled, often leaving me saying, "Huh?" In one example, a character calls another character on the 'vidphone' and ponders whether she will tell him something. She decides not to tell him, then proceeds to tell him. I went back and reread this scene, wondering if I was mistaken, but no. That's what happens. It seems that another readthrough before publication would have been helpful.

View all my reviews

19 November 2012

Carols - A Cinquain

Today for Playing With Words, we are to write a Cinquain using the following prompt:

"Think about your past week and what noun pops up for you? What noun comes to mind as you are reading this post? What noun is a defining word for you? Make sure the word or words you choose for your poem/poems are two syllable and then have fun playing with your words!"

It is too soon?
Many people think so
But this is my favourite time

16 November 2012

And You Are...? Bloghop Coming Dec 3

I just signed up for this little bloghop hosted by David Spade... not really. Click the picture to go sign up too! It looks like it'll be a lot of fun.

12 November 2012

Overwhelmed - A Ballad

A ballad for Morgan Dragonwillow's Playing With Words prompt.


The waves are crashing o’er my head;
I’ve gone out too deep.
I can barely stay afloat;
There’s nothing ‘neath my feet.

Why did I take on this task?
I should have known I’d fall.
Someone please throw me a rope!
Can you hear my call?

09 November 2012

It's a Canon One One Zero!

I work in a call centre for Staples delivery. People call in when they want to place an order, make a return on a received order, or if they have a question about a product. The following conversation took place a little while ago.

Customer: I need a Canon one one zero.

(I proceed to search the catalogue for 'Canon 110' - I find a camera and a scanner)

Me: I found a camera and a scanner.

Customer: I think it's a laptop..

Me: Uh, no. I'm sorry, but Canon doesn't make laptops.

Customer: I need a Canon one one zero. I've ordered it from you before.

Me: Well, is it a scanner?

Customer: No. It's ink. For a Canon one one zero.

Me: Oh, you need an ink cartridge. Which printer do you have?

Customer: I have no idea. But I know it's a Canon one one zero.

Me: I'm sorry, but there is no Canon 110 printer. I'm showing a Canon iP100 ink cartridge on your most recent order. Is that the printer you have?

Customer: I have no idea. It's a Canon one one zero.

Me: I'm sorry, but that product does not exist.

(Customer hangs up)

06 November 2012

Review of Grace Under Fire by Frog and Esther Jones

Grace Under Fire (The Gift of Grace, #1)Grace Under Fire by Frog Jones and Esther Jones.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One day I was surfing the 'Net and I decided to Google my own name for fun. I wanted to see what I would find. I found a blog written by a woman named Esther Jones and her husband Frog Jones. I was intrigued to discover that, like me, Frog and Esther are writers. Not only that, they write my favourite genre: fantasy. I had to read their debut novel, Grace Under Fire. I would have been very disappointed if it hadn't been good. I was not disappointed.

The story is written in first person POV with two narrators, which could be a confusing mess, but isn't. The two voices are distinct and clear. Grace is a wonderfully interesting, well-rounded character. We are given glimpses of her backstory: just enough to make me want to know more. Robert sounds like the teenager he is; the most important thing in his life is the girl he's crushing on. That is, until he meets Grace and ends up in the fight of his life.

There are some heavy themes here. On the personal level, Robert learns that angry, thoughtless revenge can have far-reaching, unintended consequences. On a more global level, summoners are illegal just because of who/what they are, and are arrested for existing.

I loved this book, and cannot wait for the next one in the series.

Find Frog and Esther at jonestales.

View all my reviews

02 November 2012

Does Size Matter?

I have always struggled to meet word count requirements. Not because I write too much; no, just the opposite. In university, I often found myself in the position of adding extraneous words to an essay in an attempt to reach that goal of 2000 or, even worse, 3000 words. Unfortunately, my essays often weighed in around 1000 words; sometimes even less. I usually got them back from my professors with comments in the margins telling me to expand more on the topic, to explore it further. I had no idea what this meant. I still don't.

Then I took a class with Prof. Nicholson. He handed out the first essay assignment, and almost immediately, hands went up all over the classroom. You see, there was no word count listed on the assignment sheet, and everyone wanted to know what the required length was. Prof. Nicholson smiled and shook his head and said, "Say what you need to say, and then stop." Most of the other students seemed baffled, but I was delighted. Finally!

I got better marks on essays for Nicholson than I did for any other professor, and my essays for Nicholson were always shorter than those for other professors. This proved to me that I did better work when I didn't try to "expand" and "explore further," but instead merely wrote the thing the best I could without worrying about word count.

The idea that longer equals better is unfortunately very prevalent. I recently entered a writing contest, and my piece made it through the prelims but was eliminated in the finals because it was too short. Everyone agreed that it was excellent but commented that it wasn't "fleshed out" enough. This sounded very familiar to me; isn't it just another way of saying "expand" or "explore further"? (If you're interested, you can read the piece in question here.)

I truly don't believe that longer equals better in writing. The longer the piece, the more chance I'll get bored as a reader. (Probably why I've never read War and Peace.) If it leaves me wanting more, it was compelling, not too short; and there's always sequels.

What do you think? Is there such a thing as too short? How about too long?

01 November 2012

OctPoWriMo -- I Did It!

I just finished writing 31 poems in 31 days. What a feeling of accomplishment. Now, I know that they're not all amazing. In fact, some days I was downright lazy, and dashed something off without really trying to make it good. But some of them are good; dare I say great? I don't want to be arrogant, but I got some really positive feedback on a few.

If you missed them, and you're interested, click the tab at the top that's titled OctPoWriMo 2012, or click here.

I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. My brain can't handle writing a novel immediately following OctPoWriMo. It's just too much. To those of you who are participating, rock on!

31 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 31 - Quietly Give up the Light

For my final OctPoWriMo post this year, I had to try a Shadow Sonnet. I think it's appropriate today.

Quietly Give up the Light

Bite me, oh dark one; my love, I long for your bite.

Give me your blood, and my soul to you I will give.
Night falls around us, but you are one with the night.
Live you may not, but together forever we’ll live.

Hold me, oh dark one; I’m yours to have and to hold.
Fill me with fire until I have had my fill;
Cold is your skin, but soon I won’t feel the cold.
Still I will love you even when my heart is still.

To my friends I’ll be dead; to my family I’ll be dead too.
Will I miss them? You know, I believe that I will.
You’ll be my family; my only friend will be you.
So much that I have I will lose: I know it is so.

Might I forget the pain in my newfound might.
Light up my heart as I quietly give up the light.

30 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 30 - You Were Mine

For today's prompt, we were asked to write about loss. I created the following Kyrielle about a friend.

You Were Mine

For Oliver.

When I first saw you, I was caught
By your blue eyes and hair so fine.
I fell in love upon the spot,
And for a short time, you were mine.

Together we would laugh and play;
Each night, together we would dine.
You’d watch for me at end of day,
And for a short time, you were mine.

You never should have died so young:
The number of your lives was nine.
I wept as to your paw I clung,
And for a short time, you were mine.

29 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 29 - Parts of My Soul

Today's prompt asks "Who are you really?" If someone were to ask your friends and family, who would they say you are? Would they be right?

I decided to write a villanelle as it seemed to fit.

Parts of My Soul
Who am I really deep down inside?
If you asked my friends, what would they say?
Are there parts of my soul that I’ve tried to hide?

When strangers inquire, at times I have lied:
“I’m doing fine. I’m really okay.”
But who am I really deep down inside?

My surface is calm or rough, yet wide,
And beneath it can be bright or grey.
Are there parts of my soul that I’ve tried to hide?

Ask my family--ask my husband besides--
I may be quiet, but I know how to play.
Who am I really deep down inside?

When nervous, I’ve laughed; when happy, I’ve cried;
When something goes right, I shout: “Yay!”
Are there parts of my soul that I’ve tried to hide?

I am a gemstone with multiple sides;
I know how to sin and I know how to pray,
But who am I really deep down inside?
Are there parts of my soul that I’ve tried to hide?

OctPoWriMo 28 - Mom is Sick

So nice to see my brothers
So nice to see my nephews
So nice to see my sister
So nice to see my mom

But mom is sick
So sick
It’s hard to look at her
It’s hard to be with her
It’s hard to leave her

Why don’t we spend more time together?
Why did we wait ‘til now to see each other?

OctPoWriMo 27 - Thunderheads

Driving into thunderheads
Clouds look like a wall
God’s artwork is amazing

26 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 26 - I'm Sorry

Today's prompt is forgiveness. Who do we need to forgive and who do we need to apologize to? I'm not one to hold a grudge, so I wrote a poem about apologizing. I'm Canadian, so I'm used to saying "I'm sorry" but how often do I really mean it?

I'm Sorry

To the boy who passed a note to me in English class:
I’m sorry I rolled my eyes and tossed it in the trash.
To the friend I spent every lunch hour with:
I’m sorry we lost contact after graduation.

To the first guy I kissed:
I’m sorry it didn’t work out.
To my parents who broke up:
I’m sorry you weren’t happy.

To my husband:
I’m sorry I’m not always easy to live with.
To my brothers:
I’m sorry I don’t call or write often.
To my sister:
I’m sorry I don’t visit.

To my Farmville friends:
I’m sorry I stopped playing.
To my Facebook friends:
I’m sorry if I sometimes spam your walls.

To anyone I ever hurt:
I’m sorry.

25 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 25 - Love is Us

Laughing together
Over nothing sometimes
Very happy together
Each day is better

I complete you and you complete me
Somehow two became one


Love is us

24 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 24 - Family

Today's prompt asked us to "Fetch a book off your shelf, any book, and turn to a random page. Pluck out three words from the page, any page. Make those three words the subject or the inspiration or, perhaps, a character in your poem." I asked my husband Mark to grab a book for me, and he brought me a novel called "Lacey's Way" which made me laugh as it is a book I would never read. However, I wanted a challenge, so I opened it up and found the following words: "laugh," "cry," and "blood." I crafted the following cinquain from this inspiration.

Laughing, crying
Blood, thicker than water

23 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 23 - "When it Happens to You" read aloud

Today's prompt challenged us "to take your favorite, absolute favorite poem that you have written, and record yourself reading it... And then take that recording and post it on your page." It took a bit of work to find stock photos that (kinda) worked with mine, so I'm late posting this, but here it is:

22 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 22 - Still Sick

I hate being sick
I really wish I could stop coughing
I want to write a poem, but my brain isn’t working very well
It feels like my head is floating
And my nose is stuffed with cotton
It feels like I’m watching life instead of being involved
Outside, looking in

21 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 21 - Smug and Little

Smart mouthed
Smart and smug
Smug guy
Smug that he is wise
Wise guy
Wise in his own eyes
Eyes that close
Eyes that don’t see
See reality
See the truth
Truth is not opinion
Truth is more than mere science
Science cannot prove anything
Science cannot explain everything
Everything is not yet dreamt of
Everything is more than your philosophy
Philosophy cannot dream
Philosophy cannot love
Love is immeasurable
Love is all you need
Need begets desperation
Need tells us we cannot do it alone
Alone and lonely
Alone forever
Forever and ever
Forever is real
Real and true
Real like facts
Facts and figures
Facts can mislead
Mislead us to destruction
Mislead our hearts
Hearts are delicate
Hearts can be broken
Broken sometimes helps us
Broken before rebuilding
Rebuilding our lives
Rebuilding our hope
Hope springs eternal
Hope, love, and faith
Faith lets us see
Faith gives us answers
Answers to our questions
Answers let us know
Know that we are meant for more
Know that we know little
Little thoughts
Little feelings

20 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 20 - Normal can Change

Today, I discovered a poetry form called The Blitz Poem, and I decided to write one.

Weird is good
Weird is normal
Normal is a lie
Normal is boring
Boring like no colour
Boring like vanilla
Vanilla gets a bad rap
Vanilla needs better press
Press a button
Press your clothes
Clothes make the man
Clothes make the woman
Woman will fight
Woman will roar
Roar for her rights
Roar for her children
Children grow up
Children leave home
Home is where the heart lives
Home is where I loosen up
Up to the rooftops
Up to the mountains
Mountains where the Yeti walks
Mountains where the snow falls
Falls on the fir trees
Falls on the cities
Cities full of noise
Cities full of life
Life is a mystery
Life is weird
Weird is what I am
Weird is different
Different is good
Different is power
Power to reach out
Power to change
Change isn’t easy
Change needs you
You can be a lighthouse
You can be a star
Star twinkle twinkle
Star light star shine
Shine in the darkness
Shine before men
Men can be different
Men can change
Change is good
Change is hard

19 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 19 - Nothing Ever Lasts

I want to seize the day,
But it slips through my grasp.
The minutes rush away;
Nothing ever lasts.

18 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 18 - I Lie

When a stranger asks me, “How are you?”
I smile and lie.
“I’m good.”
“I’m fine.”
“I’m doing well. And you?”

My mother told me, “Never lie.”
And yet I lie.
Don’t you?

17 October 2012

16 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 16 - What Choice?

Today's prompt challenged us to pick a side on an issue. I decided to write on something that is very controversial but is personally very painful for me. Any attacks in the comments will be instantly deleted.
For more on my personal struggle, see OctPoWriMo 11 - Sometimes.

What Choice?

You say you're pro-choice?
Good for you.
I don't get that choice.
I'm like a starving person
Watching someone toss their leftovers.
I'd take them.
I'd take them all,
I'd love them all.
My choice means nothing though.
I still have no child.

15 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 15 - You've Always Been My Biggest Fan

You’ve always been my biggest fan,
Though sometimes we didn’t get along.
You've always been there for me;
You tried to teach me right from wrong.

I hate that you are now so weak;
You always seemed so strong to me.
And I cannot be there for you;
I'm terrified of what might be.

The cancer stole your energy,
And now your heart is failing too.
How can a heart so big just fail?
It cannot fail--I can't lose you!

OctPoWriMo 14 - I'm Sick Today

I forgot to do a poem yesterday, and this is why.

There is thick clouded glass before my eyes
My ears are full of cotton
A vise slowly tightens on my skull
My nose is a faucet

13 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 13 - Looking for You

Today, I wrote a ballad about my husband Mark. Warning: Mushy lovey dovey stuff follows.

All the time, my whole life through,
I was always looking for you.
And, though I didn’t know it then,
You were searching for me too.
I had given up on men,
Happy to be single when,
You showed up and changed my life;
You caused my barréd heart to open.
You taught me how to sing and laugh;
You gave me joy in place of strife;
I love you, and you love me;
You asked me to become your wife.
And now today I clearly see,
Now “you” and “I” are only “we,”
That you were always the one who
Was meant to be with me.

12 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 12 - When I Read a Poem

When I read a poem, I want to be stirred.
When I read a poem, I want to feel.
When I read a poem, I don’t want to be bored.

11 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 11 - Sometimes

Today's prompt asked me to write about something I don't usually share with others, to dig deep and lay bare my heart. "Your written words give you power. Who knows, they may help give someone else power, too." Those family and friends I am closest to already know this, but I haven't written poetry about it before.

Sometimes babies make me cry

I’ve always dreamed I’d be a mom
I once said I wanted twelve
A house filled with love

I dreamed of love, romance, and marriage
I dreamed of babies

Now I have love, romance, and marriage
Yet no babies

Doctor visits, tests, and drugs
Invasive, uncomfortable, frustrating
Every month, I hope and pray that this is it
This is the month
Every month, it isn’t

I hate myself when I am jealous of mothers
I hate myself when I am miserable to others

Some days are better than other days
Some days I smile and feel the hope
Some days I just know that it will happen

But sometimes I get so angry
Sometimes I am depressed
And sometimes babies make me cry

10 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 10 - Mornings

Just five more minutes, Mom. I will awake
In time to eat and brush my teeth, I swear.
Aw, come on. Why can’t I get a break?
I want to sleep some more. It isn’t fair!

Hit snooze and snooze again just one more time;
My bed so soft and warm I hate to rise.
I hate nothing like I hate that chime
That calls me to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.

I sometimes like to rise before the sun,
To sit in quiet while all others sleep,
And not to think of what needs to be done,
To pray the peace I find then I can keep.

But most days, coffee is my closest friend.
I wish my sleep would never have to end.

09 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 9 - Music

First, the flute finds its voice
Clearly, sweetly, soaring sound
Drums begin, a beat so bold
Teasing and tempting your twitching toes
Trumpets up and take the lead

Pure and true the piano plays
While the guitar gently weeps
And all at once it’s all a wall
Of sound and song and harmony

08 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 8 - Thanksgiving

I seriously considered skipping today. It's Thanksgiving and I think I deserve to goof off. But then this haiku popped into my head.

I don't work today
Turkey, pie, and family
I love long weekends

07 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 7 - Bestest Friends

For as long as I remember
She was there
Doing everything together
Bestest friends
Sure, we had our fights and blowups
Who doesn’t?
But she is always there for me
And I for her
Though now we live so far apart
I miss her
You’ll always be my closest friend
My sister

06 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 6 - When I Was a Child

When I was a child, I wanted to be a nurse
My mother had been a nurse and I wanted to be like her
She was my hero

When I was a child, I wanted to be a mom
I was the oldest of eight, but I wanted sixteen
I love a full house

When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer
My sister and I were always making up stories
We still do

05 October 2012

04 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 4 - Life as a Play

Sometimes my life is like a fairy tale
Some days I win, while other days I fail
There are days it is a comedy
At other times, it seems a tragedy

03 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 3 - Questions and Answers

I was surfing the net (is that phrase still in vogue? maybe I'm dating myself) when I discovered a poetry form I hadn't heard of before: the Haibun. I was fascinated by this form, and had to try my hand at it.

Questions and Answers

We often wonder “Why are we here?” and “What is the meaning of life?” The answer, I have heard--to life, the universe, and everything--is 42.

What is the question?
Now, that is a good question.
Only God knows that.

02 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 2 - Dreams

The Sonnet is probably my favourite poetry form. I love the musicality of it. Yesterday’s poem was an English (or Shakespearean) sonnet. Today, I’m going to try an Italian (or Petrarchan). The Italian sonnet is much more difficult, as every line rhymes with at least one other line.


I’ve always dreamed I’d one day be a mom.
Yes, I’d like to be successful too:
To see my name in print would be so cool,
To reach the world with words, and to become
Alive and free, no longer cold and numb.
I love to dream up worlds: make something new,
To ask the questions “Where?” and “Why?” and “Who?”
Yet, times I’d rather change a baby’s bum.

I believe I’ll realise my dreams,
Although they seem so far away right now.
“Nothing is impossible!” I scream;
My barbaric yawp drowns out the “How?”
And all I see is distant joyful gleams.

01 October 2012

OctPoWriMo 1 - New Moon

What is it that makes a new moon “new”?
Is it like the first page of a book,
Before the story starts, before “Page 1,”
That blank white sheet it seems words have forsook?

Or maybe it’s the writer’s blank notebook
Ready for adventures to begin,
Waiting for the pen to start the tale
Of love and loss and epic fights to win.

And at the end when all is said and done
The full moon fills the nighttime sky with light,
The story fills the heart and soul with joy,
And for a fleeting moment, all is right.

But then the cycle must needs start anew:
The moon will wane; the joy will fade too.

29 September 2012

Hitting the Mark

My husband Mark just started a blog. He's a musician and a poet. Check him out here: Hitting the Mark

But don't really hit him. It's a joke. :)

28 September 2012

Always be a Poet

Charles Baudelaire said, "Always be a poet, even in prose." Although I had not heard this advice until recently, I have followed this all my life. My earliest creative works were songs and poems, and I have always found poetry comes easier to me than does prose. I do love creating a plot and characters and telling their story, but there's something visceral about poetry that touches me deeply.

I also love reading good poetry; one of my favourites is John Donne. I once read one of his poems and didn't notice it was several pages long until after I finished. I usually prefer shorter poetry though, as I find that it is usually stronger. In my own poetry, I tend to write as few words as possible.

I have not written a lot of poetry lately and this saddens me. I have been focusing on short stories and flash fiction--which I do love--but I am going to return to my first love: I am joining October Poetry Writing Month (OctPoWriMo). I will try to write an poem a day for the entire month of October, and I will post them here on my blog.

If anyone is interested in the Blog Challenge, click here to sign up. I'm looking forward to it.

21 September 2012

Public Bathrooms are Gross

I may be a bit of a germaphobe. When I use a public washroom, I don't like to touch anything. I always use the paper towel to turn off the taps unless there is no paper towel available, in which case I shudder as I touch the taps with my clean hands. I know those taps aren't clean because I just turned them on with my unwashed hands!

I hate air dryers in public washrooms. Who knows who might have touched the power button? With what on their hands? I use my elbow to turn it on. Same thing for paper towel dispensers that have that stupid little lever you're supposed to push with your fingers: I push it with my elbow.

And don't expect me to touch the door to get out either. I use the paper towel here again. I refuse to touch the door with my freshly washed clean hands. I know that not everyone washes their hands after they use the toilet, and that's fine for them, but then they touched that door! So I'm not going to touch it. Yuck.

Where I work, we have "automatic" paper towel dispensers. They're not those cool electric ones, though. See picture? As long as the towel is hanging out, you don't have to touch anything. But often it isn't hanging out, and then you have to turn the thingy on the side to make it come out. I used to think these things were just glitchy, but then I saw someone actually lift up and tear on the towel, so they purposely left it not hanging out! Then I saw several other people do the same thing. Why would you do that?! Now I have to turn the thingy on the side, then wash my hands again before I can dry them!

I always always make sure to leave the towel hanging out for the next person. Courtesy, Golden Rule, good karma, you know?

On the bright side, I haven't gotten a flu shot in years, but haven't caught the flu. I must be doing something right. :)

What do you think? Am I a germaphobe?