Colour me Red… #Poetry

 

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Colour me Red

A friend asked me the other day

What colour do you see yourself as?

I think colour depends on my mood or need

I am light blue when I need understanding

Which is often.

Blue when I need wisdom

A little healing when my body is less than tip-top.

Dreamscape allows me to remember

Lying in the sea, surrounded by blue water

Blue skies above

I am the filling in the sandwich

It feels good to be comforted

Best of all, held by gentle blue hands

Now the day ahead will work.

So when I need to, I remember

And all is well

I rarely see myself as pink

Too fluffy for me

I should try it, as it helps with success

I love a good orange and not only to eat

I see myself when I need energy to boost my imagination

To fill my mind and body with life.

Sometimes I need brown when dealing with family issues

Brown is helpful for grace, something

I am not known for, but  I do try.

I think green when I need a bit of good luck

When buying that lottery ticket.

Everyone in the shop turns green

Not hit the big one yet

But do quite well with this.

Yellow for me if very helpful

When I need to be creative when writing

Craftwork, thinking, which I do a lot of the time

It is almost a hobby.

White, when I feel the need for protection

I see myself and my family walking under

The light of a full moon twenty-four seven.

Red, I mostly think of as my own colour,

A child of Mars, I love with a fire that never dies

Very helpful when courage is needed

You can fight your way through anything when you turn red

Purple feeds my ambition when I feel it fading

I turn purple to keep my ambition alive

Helping me never let my dreams die

Black whenever I feel threatened by seen or unseen elements

Black helps to keep unwanted guests, thoughts out of my life

I realise I have just painted myself a very strange rainbow…

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Monday Woes…

 

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Has anyone seen my enthusiasm?

I started the week full of good intentions. It was a new week – new mood – new energy.
There was none of that – ‘It’s a beautiful day, watch someone ruin it.’

But someone did.

BT did. I think someone had tried to mess with my e-mail account over the weekend and I had promptly been frozen out.  To make matters worse, I had temporarily forgotten the answer to my security question, so couldn’t change the blessed password either.

Thoroughly frustrated, I finally managed to speak to someone in an Indian call centre who said she would e-mail me a new password.  Words cannot sufficiently explain what happened to my temper after trying several times to get her to see why this would not work, and I was passed on to someone else. This young woman was so helpful and immediately understood my problem, that my temper had no choice but to high-tail it out of the back door!

So, not a good start, you might say. But this was only Monday, surely the week could only get better?

I should be thinking about what I want to do next. Anita has a book almost ready for proofing, and my latest crime mystery is nearly finished, but something doesn’t feel right. I ought to be re-editing some of our earlier work, as some of the covers need replacing and the descriptions are just not good enough. The trouble is, I’m a bit short of enthusiasm at the moment, my ‘get up and go’ has done a runner!

Christmas is literally just around the corner and the newsletter I wanted to write is still just a vague idea floating around somewhere. What I cannot understand is why some days are good and optimistic, and then you get that other kind. The ‘what the hell do you think you are doing’ days. Closely followed by (give it up, you know you are too old to bother with it) ones.

I am basing my understanding of this writing business on what I have observed with my sister Anita. She has six good books to her credit and just seems to get on with it (and enjoys the process!) She does have bad days of course, but they never seem to be writing related.
I know we are all different, and that is how it should be, it’s just not very helpful.

I think it is my age that seems to be the problem. I forget far more than I remember and find myself wondering where all the time has gone and know that I have wasted most of it. Why didn’t I want to do this when my brain was younger?
Don’t get me wrong, on a good day I quite like my brain and how it works. It’s just that my good days are getting pretty thin on the ground these days. Today, for example, I’m not even sure I have a brain!

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Second Tries, or how to make the right decisions?

 

 

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My brain must be like swiss cheese these days, soft, spongy and full of holes. I am getting really fed up with trying to think and decide what to do, or even knowing if the final decision is the right one. As they say, if I had half a brain, I would be dangerous!
I can’t decide (or remember) if I have always been like this, or if this state of affairs is yet another symptom of my advancing years.

Time is becoming problematic, far too much of it is spent second-guessing. Wouldn’t life be more efficient if all deliberation could be removed? Easier to pick a winkle out of its shell with a pin, I hear you say. But I am heartily sick of wondering which item to buy, which programme to watch, whether to cut my hair, the list is endless.

Added to my inability to choose anything, is the sure and certain knowledge that whichever one I pick, it will be the wrong one. Always is. I never get anything right on the first try.

Could life be more like plotting a book?
I know many writers don’t believe in plotting. They believe their characters will do most of the hard work for them, and I have experienced this first hand too. But other writers firmly believe in careful plotting, even a story board.

All my life, I have been a ‘winger’, hurtling from one idea to the next. Sometimes getting it right, but more often not. Advancing age has changed all that. I no longer have the time for hit and miss. Decisions I make now, have to be right, although how this will happen, remains to be seen.

Now, I am still virtually new to this writing business, and with the idea of getting it right first time (could be a novelty in itself!) I tried plotting. With a lot of practice, I’m getting better. So much so, that my latest WIP has been thoroughly plotted, storyboard and everything. But this is not something you could really do with your life. Too many decisions, and so many ways of dealing with them.

In addition, other people tend to make your life awkward, sometimes it seems, just to be bloody minded.

Could it be as simple as throwing a dice?

 

Then I remembered something. (It does still happen sometimes!) I once read about a man who always made every decision with the turn of a dice, and apparently, his life was glorious. Maybe it was worth a try, as my way was getting me nowhere.

On second thoughts, that sounds worse than ‘winging it’.

But if I were younger…

They say there are ‘two sides to every story’ and ‘everything happens for a reason’, but what if neither of these things is true? What if it is as simple as right or wrong?
Could it be that when life gets too difficult, we are simply trying to force wrong into being right?

Should we blindly follow our instincts?

 

Recently, I have been thinking back through my life and all the different choices that I had to make. To that small, persistent voice that nags you, insisting you do this or that. How many times had I ignored it, thinking my own choice was better, usually for all manner of reasons? Would my life have been better if I had obeyed that still, small voice? If I had not always chosen the path of least resistance, the path that always looked inevitable. Maybe the choice that looked the hardest, the most impossible, would have turned out better than what actually happened?

Maybe then, I wouldn’t have so many things to be sorry for, so many people I should apologise to.
If there is such a thing as reincarnation and I get another chance to live a better life, I hope I remember some of the things I have done wrong, all of the people I have hurt, and do it better next time…

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge… #Nonet

Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 113, Happy December! Poets Choice of Words

 

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Broken Ground

I fight my way back through snow and rain

My home close, I see chimney smoke

Windows lit by lanterns glow

My path lay deep with snow

The lake forgotten

I hear the sound

Ice cracking

Beneath

Cold

Ground

Feet wet

Sinking fast

My heart freezing

Hope disappearing

I am lost to this world

My voice blown back by the wind

No help has come to pull me free

I pray the Lord, my soul he will free…

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For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the link to learn about each type:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change ingeneral.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first-person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first-person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.

Cinquain ALSO: Check out the Cinquainvariations listed here: Cinquain-Wikipedia These are acceptable methods to use also. Please add what forms you are using so we can learn from you.

Etheree The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format. Poets can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but the idea is to follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Reversed Etheree Syllable Count: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Double Etheree Syllable Count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have IRONY present. Click the link to learn the meaning of irony.

Nonet: The Nonet poem is similar to the Etheree, but with only nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc… until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be written about any subject and should not rhyme.

After writing a double Nonet, the visual image result is that of an hourglass shape. Because of this shape, these poems often discuss the passage of time.

Shadorma: The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza (or sestet). Each stanza has a syllable count of three syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third and fourth lines, seven syllables in the fifth line, and five syllables in the sixth line (3/5/3/3/7/5) for a total of 26 syllables.

When writing a Shadorma I would concentrate on a specific subject. The brevity of syllables is perfect for that kind of structure.

A poem may consist of one stanza or an unlimited number of stanzas (a series of shadormas).

 

#Jaye’s Journal: Another Visit?

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I have found myself thinking about my mysterious visitor at odd moments this week, despite having one of the worst depressions ever.

I did spend a lot of time trying to do as he suggested, going over my characters life in PayBack, my current WIP. Instead of inspiration and enthusiasm leading me on to greater depths, my mood became blacker by the minute.

After some time trying to pretend that everything was fine, I had to admit defeat, probably because other things were becoming unglued.

I was within an eyelash length of giving everything up, walking away (well, running away, to be precise) when I realised I wasn’t alone.

My visitor was back.

His familiar figure had made himself comfortable in my office chair and was swivelling backwards and forwards with a whimsical smile hovering on his lips.

To be honest, I wasn’t really in the mood for another literal lecture, my mind busy trying to remember where I had seen him before.

 

As he became aware of my presence, he turned the chair in my direction and smiled at me. Not that I could see his mouth properly, the snow white moustache all but his it from view, the only clue the upward ripple of his whiskers and the light in his eyes.

“There you are, Jaye. I have been watching your progress, or should say the lack of it and could not stay away any longer. I take it my advice did not help much?”

“I’ve had a bad week, can’t seem to do anything right these days…”

“But you do want to finish the book, I take it?”

For the briefest of moments, I couldn’t answer his question. Many times this past week I had wanted to burn it, but could the reason I didn’t, be because I did want to finish it and do it well?

“Yes, I do, but it’s not happening…there is such a lot of everything else to do each day, I just can’t keep up.”

 

He looked at me for the longest time, as if trying to read the state of my mind. I nearly laughed at that thought, there wasn’t much of interest going on in there and that’s a fact.

“That could be the problem right there, ma’am…”

I couldn’t help it. I groaned. The last thing I needed right now was another problem.

“I am duty bound to tell you, so you might as well listen.”

“Before we go any further, any chance you can tell me who you are? You seem so familiar, but my mind is not obliging…”

“My name is Samuel and I have come a long way to help with your predicament.”

My brain was doing the rumba, searching my damaged database for anyone called Samuel, but nothing was forthcoming. In the meantime, Samuel went back to swivelling my chair and enjoying every minute. He seemed like a good man, one with a sense of humour. He spoke with a soft American accent, southern, I think and his dark clothes were old fashioned. None of which helped to identify him. I’m usually good with faces, hopeless with names, but I had no idea who he was.

“Okay, I’m game. What pearls of wisdom have you for me today?”

“I have the feeling you are spreading yourself a little thin, trying to do and think of so many different things. The result is that you accomplish very little. Maybe you should narrow your focus, concentrate on just a few goals. You need to succeed in something and soon, or your confidence will shrink even more.”

 

His words sounded familiar. Someone had said the self same thing to me just that morning. I had to admit that the thought of actually managing to achieve something was very appealing, as I couldn’t remember the last time I had.

“But what about PayBack, should I try to finish it?”

Even as I asked the question, I knew what his answer would be. Of course, I should finish it, that’s the reason I get up every morning, isn’t it?

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#Blog Battle: Heart #Fiction

 

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Stone

Mama read me this story when I was no bigger than a bean sprout. About a dragon who believed his heart was turning to stone.

It all happened a long time ago before he learned how to control his flame throwing abilities.

He burnt a village to the ground sp one of the village elders put a curse on the dragon, saying that within a year his heart would turn to stone.

A village girl felt sorry for the young dragon, telling herself that one day she would bring the dragon, who she named Blue, a new heart.

She searched high and low across lands that she had never been to before with no luck. Telling herself it was a stupid idea, she made her way home.

Tired and hungry, she sat down beside a slow running brook. That is where Mary from a nearby village found her. Mary had brought her washing basket and lunch and could see that the child was clearly upset and possibly hungry.

Gently she spoke, ‘Come now, nothing can be that bad…’

Alice told her story.

‘Your blue dragon sounds very beautiful. Dry your tears, you are making your sandwich wet. There is something you can do for your young dragon. Find him a safe place to live, are there any caves where you come from? Dragons love caves.’

Alice nodded her head. ‘I can find one near the top of the ridge. There is fresh water there too.’

‘Good,’ said Mary. ‘Do you think you are brave enough to try talking to your dragon, seeing as how he is a young’un, he will need help finding food. If you can do this, it seems to me the only thing he needs is your friendly heart to break the spell…’

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#Wordle 380

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New Day

Air keeps me breathing

Keeps my body on the ground

Keeps me rolling through the days.

Hot summers that wrap me in treacle

Hard to put one foot in front of the other

My mind slipping and sliding

Losing parts of myself to the heat

Can I get the missing parts back?

Or do they reform someplace far away

Making a new entity?

I have no evidence of my sudden decline

I look in the mirror and see me looking back

Memories filter through my mind like dust

Reminding me of the potential that lingers from my dreams

The hope that I will taste victory some day

With bare determination, I break myself

Free from this despondency

I am still young, I can take back some

 Of my dreams and make them real

I will start with the small ones

Take each day one step at a time

Make a list. Number one: find someone to love

With hope to be loved in return

Write that story I promised my twelve-year-old self

As I break away from the mirror, I notice a shadow move

A rush of air against my skin

A whisper of wings, an angel on my shoulder

This was the thought I carried into the new day…

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Our 5* Review for Double Blind by Dan Alatorre#FastPacedMurderMystery @savvystories

Two detectives hunt a serial killer. The killer is hunting them.

 

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A lone trucker is ambushed, shot, and brutally stabbed. A tourist meets the same fate while out for a jog. Facing two crime scenes that could have come from a horror movie, Detectives Carly Sanderson and Sergio Martin search for the crazed serial killer.

Five more attacks happen in a week, launching the entire city into a panic and causing the mayor to throw all of the city’s resources into stopping the rampage. But while the detectives work around the clock, they don’t know the killer has upped the game—by making them his next targets.

 

Our Review

At first, the killings seem random, just the actions of a deranged mind.

I found the descriptive powers of the author, combined with the smell of blood quite stomach churning as I searched for clues. I knew it would be a bit gruesome going in, but wasn’t quite prepared for the intensity of the murder scenes. The author has a very powerful imagination!

I loved the easy relationship between the two main characters, detectives Carly and Sergio. A most unusual pair, but real people, warts and all!

The casual dropping into the story half way through of a major clue as to the killer’s identity almost ruined the story for me, but it was cleverly done and hard to spot.

If I have one criticism about this book, it has to be about the killer. I can normally empathise or sometimes even admire most killers. I mean, they are usually damaged in some way, driving them to murder. Try as I might, I could find no redeeming feature in this man.

Here’s hoping the sequel finds Carly and Sergio with a far more interesting antagonist…

 

Excerpt

The wind gusted, sending the trash into the street in a tiny tornado. Lifting and dropping a McDonald’s hamburger wrapper, the little vortex danced and raged; then, as quickly as it had come, it was gone. The pieces of trash twitched and were still. The chill in the air remained, though. That wasn’t going anywhere tonight.

He glanced down the street. In the darkness, a shadow moved. Sergio held his breath. Opposite side of the street. The motion indicated walking. Tall. Probably a male.

This is our pedestrian.

Moving his gaze back to the sidewalk before anyone could tell him to, Sergio watched the stranger while keeping his face pointed at the ground. The man walked with his hands in the front pockets of his hoodie. The stride was long but not fast. The pedestrian seemed to intentionally sway his shoulders, as if he was walking up a steep hill.

When he’s closer, let him see you see him, then immediately look away. Head down, submissive.

The stranger kept coming. Sergio kept walking, his heart pounding.

What if this is our guy?

If it’s our guy, he will approach you. Keep walking. Casual.

The stranger got closer. He was larger than Sergio had originally estimated. Thicker, and taller.

Maybe six foot two, maybe a little more.

Eyes down. Don’t act like a cop.

He’d have to be big to do all that stabbing, to overcome a big guy like Leo.

But he used a gun to help.

Sergio glanced at the hands in the hoodie pockets. Could that conceal a .38? The man looked Sergio’s way.

Eyes down!

He didn’t think eye contact was made, but if the man had seen Sergio looking, maybe that was the time to walk faster.

Maybe we’ll speed up a little anyway.

On opposite sides of the street, the two men neared each other. Forty feet away, then thirty.

Sergio’s head was humming. This is how he did the jogger. Right on the street. A shot to the chest and then he started stabbing.

The bulletproof vest will protect you from both for a while. Long enough for the teams to get here…

Sergio forced himself to take a long, slow breath and walk slower without appearing to be trying. Sweat gathered on his forehead.

The man had heavy movements, a clumping kind of stride like someone might do when they were wearing new construction boots that don’t quite fit. The stranger stayed on one side of the street; Sergio stayed on the other. The sidewalk turned to gravel and then to mud. Sergio stepped around a big puddle and into the street.

“Hey, bro.”

The stranger’s voice cut the quiet night like a knife. Sergio didn’t look up. He kept his head down and kept walking.

“I got fives and tens, my man. If you lookin’ to party.”

Drug talk. Could be a street seller and nothing more. And if the killer was watching, what would he expect Sergio to do? Or if it’s the killer, what would work best?

Sergio halted.

The sergeant was loud in his ear. “Do not engage, Walking Boss. If it’s our guy he’s not trying to sell you drugs. Keep walking.”

Sergio did not move.

“Walking Boss, do you copy? Please respond.”

Sergio turned toward the stranger, keeping his head low and peering upward. He took a step toward the big man.

“Walking Boss, we are not receiving your signal. Please respond.”

His eyes. I want to see his eyes.

The man crossed into the street, dropping his hands to his sides. Sergio held his ground. Sweat dripped down the side of his head and into his ear. To wipe it free might draw attention to the earpiece. He let it go, taking a step toward the stranger. “What kind of stuff you got?”

“Walking Boss, do not engage. Do you read me?”

“Just the basics right here. Fives and tens.” The stranger pointed to the hoodie pocket. “But I can get something else if you want.”

The shadow of the hoodie kept the man’s face dark, but his features were coming visible. The man’s teeth were yellow and his eyes were red. Could be a drug addict or could be a killer.

“Walking Boss! Do you read me?”

The red eyes moved forward. “What you want, bro?”

The way he said it made the hairs on the back of Sergio’s neck stand up. The sneer, the thickness of the voice, like he dreamed it. He fought to not react, holding his breath. His racing pulse throbbed in his ears as a drop of ice cold sweat trickled down his back.

It’s not him. It’s not him. It’s not him.

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Biography

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.

From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heart-warming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.

And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.

“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”

Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.

His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever.

25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”

Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week, Writers Off Task With Friends.

Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.