“Flight Training,” #Flash #Fiction

The November 28, 2019, Carrot Ranch Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about winners. Who are they, what’s the mood, and what did they win? Express emotion or subdue it. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by December 3, 2019.

Tina balled up the award notice and threw it on the floor. She stomped out of the room.

A chorus of voices questioned, “Miss Henshaw, didn’t she win?”

“Yes,” she answered. “Remember, this challenge wasn’t about winning. It was about determination and whether you gave up or kept trying.”

“Yet, she still won,” whispered Mary.

“Ah, but you gave up, Mary,” Miss Henshaw quipped. “Look outside.”

A crowd gathered at the window. Outside, Tina attempted to mount her broom. Her magic fizzled, and she landed face first in the mud. Yet she kept trying. At long last, she flew.

©2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

Come fly with me! Write some flash fiction this week!

2019 Rodeo « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

I’m thrilled to have taken part in this year’s contest. I managed to win second-place for the Three Act Story category, with my piece called “The Game.”

I love flash fiction and have learned so much from the weekly challenges. Many thanks to the judges and to Charli Mills for her support of our writing community in sponsoring this challenge.

Click the LINK to read the winning pieces.

The results of the 2019 Flash Fiction Rodeo are in and we thank our judges: Paula Sahin, Donna Armistead, Tammy Toj Gajewski, Bonnie, T. Marie Bertineau, and Cynthia May Drake. Charli Mills, lead buckaroo at Carrot Ranch, selected ten top finalists in each category. Judges selected the top three places. The top prize winner in each category wins $25. All finalists receive a story critique. To leave comments or congratulations, visit the November 28: Flash Fiction Challenge.

Source: 2019 Rodeo « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

COLLEEN’S 2019 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “See A Dream Within: Found “Poe”try Based On The Collected Poetry Works Of Edgar Allan Poe” BY AUTHOR, David Ellis, @TooFullToWrite

Featuring Your Thanksgiving Read!

About this Book:

Decades after his poetry and short stories were published in the early to mid 1800’s, we still respect, revere and admire the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, celebrated master of the macabre, suspense and horror.

Within this collection of found poems, David Ellis has examined the collected poetry works of Edgar Allan Poe and crafted new poetry that will move you and inspire you as much as the original works themselves.

In this book, you will find many new ways to appreciate the words of Edgar and his distinguished poetic works, as he influences a passionate poet who is keen to breathe modern day life into his magnificent words.

Poems like The Raven, Annabel Lee, Lenore, A Dream Within A Dream, Alone and many other literary gems are used as foundations that pave the way for a whole different kind of intimate poetic experience that will surprise you time and again.

For Poe fans, this collection is an essential purchase. Edgar Allan Poe may be long gone, but within these pieces, his spirit continues to shine and live on.

David Ellis: Amazon Author Page

MY RECOMMENDATION:

“See A Dream Within,” is a collection of poetry created by the author using a form called “Found Poetry.” That means the existing poems, stories, plays, and other written works by Edgar Allan Poe are the source materials. The author then removed certain words or phrases to create new poetry.

This is a fascinating poetic form. I gained a rare insight into the author’s psyche by reading the new interpretations of Poe’s work.

For me, the best way to experience the differences between the two poems was to read the original works and then to read Ellis’ “found poetry.”

“A Dream,” by EDGAR ALLAN POE

In visions of the dark night 
I have dreamed of joy departed— 
But a waking dream of life and light 
Hath left me broken-hearted. 

Ah! what is not a dream by day 
To him whose eyes are cast 
On things around him with a ray 
Turned back upon the past? 

That holy dream—that holy dream, 
While all the world were chiding, 
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam 
A lonely spirit guiding. 

What though that light, thro’ storm and night, 
So trembled from afar— 
What could there be more purely bright 
In Truth’s day-star? 

Poetryfoundation.org

“Things with a Past” (A Found Poem Inspired by “A Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe)

The joy of life and light

Cast on things with a past

While all the world, cheered and trembled

What could be more purely bright?

Truth

Ellis, David. See A Dream Within: Found “Poe”try Based On The Collected Poetry Works Of Edgar Allan Poe (p. 2). Independently Published. Kindle Edition.

Ellis shares his poetic inspiration, realized from the writings of the master storyteller and poet by infusing them with his own perceptions. I took my time with this book, enjoying the journey between the two interpretations. There is a profound gentleness in this author’s prose.

I’ve also enjoyed Ellis’ other books, too. Lovers of all poetry forms will enjoy this literary remix of Poe’s work. It’s priced right at only $.99.

MY RATING:

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author:

I am an award-winning poet and author of poetry, fiction, and music lyrics.  I have been writing poetry and music lyrics for years.

My debut poetry book “Life, Sex & Death – A Poetry Collection Vol 1” is an International Award-winning volume, having won an award in the Readers’ Favorite 2016 Book Award Contest for Inspirational Poetry Books.

I’ve collaborated with poets internationally and edited poetry for a variety of people who constantly praise me for helping them to improve the flow and rhythm of their pieces. My weapon of choice is humour, and I use it as often as possible, as it gets me out of trouble. Think of me like the thriller genre in that I am fast-paced, relentless, and impossible to put down!

My website contains creativity advice for budding novelists and writers. I live in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the UK.

How to Connect with the Author

Blog: Too Full to Write:  https://toofulltowrite.com

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

Twitter: David Ellis @TooFullToWrite 

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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join authors D.G. KayeSally Cronin, and Colleen Chesebro in our writer’s group on FacebookThe Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from all the independent authors you love.

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COLLEEN’S 2019 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Mystical Fairies” BY AUTHOR, Judy Mastrangelo, @JMastrangeloArt

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book:

Mystical Fairies describes the Fairy World, showing the fantastic Beings who inspire and uplift mankind. These beautiful creatures are depicted through lovely vivid, and detailed paintings.

Please click the links for buying information

MY RECOMMENDATION:

One look at this book cover and I knew I had to read “Mystical Fairies.” It didn’t take me long to realize that the images created by Judy Mastrangelo would enthrall every young girl (or not so young girl).

The book was total eye candy!

But wait! It gets better. Behind the cover, I found pure magic. Poetry, prose, artwork, and delightful fairies. The colors and details captivated me. I imagined buying the book and framing the images, so their beauty could inspire me every day.

I love children’s books. Every time I read one, I remember back to when my kids and grandkids were little. They hung on each word I read and studied the pictures until they fell asleep. I can’t think of a better gift than a book for a developing young mind.

Step into the world of magical fairies. You’ll never want to leave! I received a pdf copy of this book from the author. After I read the book, I had to share it!

MY RATING:

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*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author:

Judy Mastrangelo and “Mystical Fairies”

Most of my life I’ve been drawing and painting in all genres, from Realism, to Impressionism and Abstractionism. I paint a wide variety of subjects, but various forms of Fantasy have always been the closest to my heart. This includes my Fairy Tales, Myths, and New Age Art.

All of Nature is alive to me, and I try to show this in my paintings. I love the Greek and Roman Myths in which they personify Spirits of Nature, and so I enjoy painting Deities of Trees, Water, Earth, Air, Gods and Goddesses, etc.

I have always been inspired by great Artists throughout history, and regard them as my teachers. Some of my favorites are those of the Italian Renaissance, the Pre- Raphealites (I like John W. Waterhouse the most), and the Hudson River School of Landscape Painters. Maxfield Parrish is my favorite illustrator, and I feel that Sir Joseph Noel Paton is one of the greatest Fairy Artists. In my small way, I also enjoy continuing in the tradition of Beatrix Potter with her little animal people, and Cicely M. Barker with her lovely Flower Fairies.

I live happily with my Soul Mate and Husband Michael, a true Renaissance Man, who is a great inspiration to me. We live in a timeless Land of old-fashioned houses and gardens on the edge of a Mystic Woods, with trees that Arthur Rackham would have loved to paint.

I’ve taught Art, Modern Dance and Classical Ballet, and Drama to adults and children. I also created a Community Theater Group, presenting classical literature, including Fairy Tales and Shakespeare, on stage. At this time I have decided not to teach anymore and to devote myself solely to my Art Work. I always have been fascinated with the gracefulness of dancers, and often ask them to be models for my paintings.

My Art has been licensed in many fields, such as for prints and posters, wall coverings, puzzles, calendars, greeting cards, and embroidery kits, etc. I’ve illustrated several children’s books, including “Antique Fairy Tales”, “The Sandman and Other Sleepy Time Rhymes”, “Tales of Shakespeare”, and “Pollyanna”. I both wrote and illustrated my book “What Do Bunnies Do All Day?”, published by Ideals. Currently, I am writing and illustrating several new books on Fairies, Elves, Angels, etc.

I daydream about my paintings for a while before putting them on canvas. This preliminary technique of “Mind Painting” helps me to develop an imaginative Work of Art.

How to Connect with the Author:

To learn more about Judy’s books, art, and products, you can visit:

Blog www.judymastrangelo.com

Twitter @JMastrangeloArt

Facebook Author Page at Judy Mastrangelo: https://www.facebook.com/judy.mastrangelo.9

Amazon Author Page USA: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KI3S1Y

Amazon Author Page UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B001KI3S1Y?

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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join authors D.G. KayeSally Cronin, and Colleen Chesebro in our writer’s group on FacebookThe Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from all the independent authors you love.

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 155 #SynonymsOnly or #Theme-Thanksgiving

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

This week you have a choice. You can write about the #Theme of Thanksgiving (thankful, grateful, family, etc. whatever that word means to you)

OR

here are your two words for this week:

“End & Hurry”

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! 

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

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

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 

SENRYU IN ENGLISH

HAIGA

TANKA IN ENGLISH 

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH 

CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia 

ETHEREE

NONET

SHADORMA

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab, then cut and paste your poetry into the box. Click the Count Syllables button on the button. This site does the hard work for you.

I don't get it

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Phoenix, AZ).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain the poetry from the Poet of the Month and any Honorable Mentions.

You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Phoenix, AZ, U. S. A.

Follow the schedule listed below:

Let’s try something different. It would be great to see everyone’s poetry on one post. I’m trying to find a plugin that will help us with this issue. Stay tuned.

In the meantime…

Instead of a link-back, copy and paste your poem in the comments. This will work except for Haiga poetry. In that case, copy the link of your poem in the comments and let us know that it’s a Haiga.

 

Don't forget

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY. I have also been sharing some of your poetry on Facebook.

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE on your blog (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Senryu, #Haiga, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Have fun and write some poetry! Don’t forget to copy and paste your poem in the comments!

 

Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention, No. 154, #PhotoPrompt

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the Poet of the Week and the honorable mention poetry that spoke to me. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

This is the perfect time to thank each of you for your participation in this challenge. Whoever thought we would have so much fun writing syllabic poetry? I’m grateful for your friendship and for sharing my love of poetry! Happy Thanksgiving.

Remember, I approve all comments and link backs to my blog. If you are a regular visitor, your link shows up, even if I haven’t approved it.

If you are new to my blog, your comment will have to wait to be approved. Depending on where you live, that could be an eight hour or more time difference from my location in Arizona. I schedule my posts around midnight so my followers from around the world have an opportunity to see them in a timely fashion. Don’t panic. I’ll get to all of you.

Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants! I loved all your hard work this week! The photo prompt speaks differently to each of us and I enjoy seeing what you come up with.

After you’ve posted your poem on your blog, please copy your poem in the comments section of the challenge post. This way, we can find all the poetry in one place.

Please visit the challenge post comments HERE, where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry. If you can, please visit the poet’s blogs.

I will publish the Poet of the Week and Honorable Mention Poets in the 2019 Poet of the Week Anthology, which everyone can grab as a FREE PDF in January 2020.

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week who has shared an exceptional message or shown impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception. You may not feel the same way about my choice. That’s okay. Perception is different for all of us.

The Poet of the Week

I had a hard time choosing only one or two poems. You’ve all gotten so darn good! So, here goes… This week, I’ve chosen Merril D. Smith, as the Poet of the Week.

You’re it, Merril Smith! You get to select the photo for the January 2020 photo prompt! Please email me with your selection at least a week before the middle of the month challenge. Thanks.

There’s nothing wrong with describing what you see in the image when you write your poetry… but, it’s often what is not seen that proves to be the most interesting. Think about how the image conveys a theme to you. Poetry’s focus on language and form should elicit critical thought, reflection, or emotion. 

Merril’s Shadorma trio sequence steps away from a totally literal interpretation. To her, the birds represent “the black-winged dreamers carrying all the befores and afters.” I like how open-ended that phrase is. There’s a magical quality to her words.

The sequence of threes is a favorite of mine because it allows the poet a beginning, a middle, and an ending for their poem.

With a Bang Comes Possibility

with a bang
comes the birth of worlds
and star songs
drift, falling
to papaya glow, rising
over barren rocks

then soaring
above burnished crags
the black-winged
dreamers fly,
carrying all the befores
and all the afters

landing here
where light and shadows
together
dance, holding
possibility aloft
for millennia.

©2019 Merril D. Smith

Honorable Mention(s)

Sue Vincent gets an honorable mention this week for her double Etheree. There is such great wordplay, here: “Of Light – Into Light,” “Being becoming,” and “A multiverse in human form…” Her words read like a prayer celebrating life. Also, notice which words she capitalizes. That technique adds another layer of meaning.

An Etheree is unrhymed but should display rhythm, meaning, imagery, and sometimes an underlying second meaning.

Return

Born
Of Light
Into light
Endless cycle
Being becoming
Opened to greet the dawn
Each heart a virgin landscape
Enduring and embracing life
Knowing the freedom of pure spirit
Assimilating the gifts of constraint
Each soul a mirror reflecting its Self
Garnering the fruits of existence
A multiverse in human form
Chiselled by experience
Sharing a pilgrimage
Enriches the Source
From light to Light
Returning
Reborn
Home

©2019 Sue Vincent

See you tomorrow for the new challenge post. I promise it will be something special!

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 154 #PhotoPrompt

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry? I’ve updated my landing page to provide the challenge rules and links to all the poetry forms to make it easier for you to find. Check it out HERE!

It’s the middle of the month challenge ~ time for a photo prompt!

This month we will use a photo chosen by last month’s “Photo-Prompt” Poet of the Week ~ Linda Lee Lyberg.

Use the above photo as the inspiration for your poem. Ask yourself questions. Be creative! What emotions does this photo stir in you?

You can use Pixabay or any other creative commons photos – just give attribution to the photographer. If you would like to use your own photos, just let me know that bit of information. Please email the photo NLT 3 days before the next month’s photo challenge.

After you’ve posted your poem on your blog, please copy your poem in the comments section of the challenge post. This way, we can find all the poetry in one place.

This challenge is for Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤

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

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 

SENRYU IN ENGLISH

HAIGA

TANKA IN ENGLISH 

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH 

CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia 

ETHEREE

NONET

SHADORMA

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab, then cut and paste your poetry into the box. Click the Count Syllables button on the button. This site does the hard work for you.

I don't get it

THE RULES

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Phoenix, AZ Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. I publish the RECAP on Monday. It will contain the Poet of the Week and any Honorable Mention poetry.

You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Mountain Standard time – Phoenix, AZ, U. S. A.

The rules are simple…

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY. I have also been sharing some of your poetry on my Facebook page.

Click HERE to find Colleen M. Chesebro’s Facebook page. Please share the challenge poetry on your social media. Thanks.

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE on your blog (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Senryu, #Haiga, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma #PhotoPromptPoetry

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Have fun and write some poetry!


Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention, No. 153, “Grace & Style,” #SynonymsOnly

Gobble, Gobble… It’s time to read some fabulous poetry!

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the Poet of the Week and the honorable mention poetry that deserved another read. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

Hi everyone. I’m really thrilled about how easy it was for us to see everyone’s poetry in the comments. It’s an extra step again, but it allows everyone to see each other’s poetry in one place – attached to the challenge post. Thanks to Sally Cronin for such a great idea!!

Let’s continue to add our poetry to the comments. Remember… as of January 2020 I won’t be doing a weekly recap. I’ve got lots of fun heading our way, so keep taking part in the challenges. ❤

I approve all comments and linkbacks to my blog. If you are a regular visitor to my blog, your link shows up, even if I haven’t approved it.

If you are new to my blog, your comment will have to wait to be approved. Depending on where you live, that could be an eight hour or more time difference from my location in Arizona. I schedule my posts around midnight so my followers from around the world have an opportunity to see them in a timely fashion. Don’t panic.

Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants! I gave you all some tough

Please visit the challenge post comments HERE, where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry. Stop by and say hello! ❤

I will publish the Poet of the Week and Honorable Mention Poets in the 2019 Poet of the Week Anthology, which everyone can grab as a FREE PDF in January 2020.

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week who has shared an exceptional message or shown impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception. You may not feel the same way about my choice. That’s okay. Perception is different for all of us.

The Poet of the Week

This week, I’ve chosen H. R. R. Gorman for his double Etheree, “Mama Grace,” to be the Poet of the Week.

The Etheree is a wonderful choice for when you want to tell a tell a story using a syllabic form. Combine two together (Etheree & reversed Etheree) for more impact.

H.R.R. tells us the story of Mama Grace, using synonyms for the challenge words. I feel the fragility of humanity through his choice of words (deaf, dumb, poor, barren, etc.). He grabs the raw and gritty realities of life and splashes them on the page like secrets released in whispers.

There’s a cultural element to his words that show us more than tell us that Mama Grace lives in the south. This adds an old world charm to the theme of the poem.

Mama Grace

She
Lived
With aplomb
Despite trouble
With her sister’s son.
Her sister was deaf, dumb,
And didn’t want pregnancy.
But poor thing didn’t have a choice,
So barren sister Grace took in the boy.
She raised him with joy, with love, with honor.
But he lived in the vein of his father,
Took the mantle of rapist himself,
Then was carted off to prison.
“You spoilt him,” cried folks at church.
“It’s your fault,” they accused.
She couldn’t fight back.
She made some pink
Lemonade,
Sipped,
Cried.

©2019 H.R.R. Gorman

Honorable Mention(s)

Kerfe gets the honorable mention this week for her triple Shadorma, called “Blessings.”

There is something powerful about combining more than one form at a time. I like three verses or poems because it gives you a beginning, a middle, and an end. However many stanzas you decide to choose, make them count!

Kerfe says this poem is about birth and her words reflect that theme. I especially like how each stanza flows into the next until answering the eternal question, “what creates these seas of hope?”

Blessings

consider
the reckless places
hidden in
hearts, shining
like newborn constellations
exploding the dark–

pulled apart
by merciless force,
undefined
gravities–
adrift in the orbits
of recurrent night—

what creates
these seas of hope?–light
ships sailing
on longing–
circumnavigations of
storms searching for ports

©2019 Kerfe Roig

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

COLLEEN’S 2019 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Tallis Steelyard, A Guide for Writers & Other Stories” BY AUTHOR, Jim Webster, @JimWebster

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Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book:

We continue to explore the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. In this invaluable publication Tallis Steelyard discusses the ways in which a writer can bring their work to the attention of the masses and more importantly, sell the book to them. As well as this, we have the importance of getting home under your own steam, music and decorum, brass knuckles for a lady, and of course, a few simple spices. 

Surely this is the one essential book that every aspiring novelist should both purchase and study.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION:

This book contains a delightful collection of short stories that transported me into the world of the poet, Tallis Steelyard.

I would call Webster’s style of writing speculative historical fiction. It’s as if he stepped back into another time period just so he could channel these stories for our reading enjoyment.

I found there to be many British colloquialisms which added a sense of realism to his prose. Another thing I enjoyed was that the writing style was very British, leaving no doubt as to where these stories originated.

Written in the voice of Tallis Steelyard, he begins by sharing several anecdotal experiences with the publishing business and his knowledge of book promotions. For a reader, writer, and reviewer such as myself, the stories were humorous. I laughed when I learned that characters from the author’s own online writing community were portrayed in one section of the book.

The real beauty of these stories is the author’s acerbic wit. He has a gift for satire, which led to several startling revelations about the flaws in the publishing industry. And then get ready for Tallis’ bawdy stories of drunken debauchery featuring a few select ladies of his acquaintance. I guarantee you will chuckle over his predicament.

Webster is a prolific writer. He’s published over twenty novellas and I’m still counting. His theory is simple. He believes a good book should be like a holiday. When you finally close it, you feel you’ve been somewhere else for a while.

MY RATING:

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author:

“Jim Webster is probably still fifty something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this he has a wife and three daughters.

He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing fantasy and Sci-Fi novels.”

Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: Jim Webster: https://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com

Twitter: @JimWebster6

MeWe: @JimWebster

Facebook: Jim Webster

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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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Conversations with Colleen: Meet Author, Darlene Foster, @supermegawoman

Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my favorite award-winning children’s authors, Darlene Foster. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. This is Darlene’s second visit to my blog. We had so much fun last time, she couldn’t wait to stop around again!

Darlene Foster writes the kind of children’s books that I would have loved to read as a child. Pull up a seat and stay awhile. Let’s talk writing!

Darlene Foster and “Amanda in Holland”

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme.”

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble.

Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

Amazon Author Page

What kind of research do you do for a children’s book, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I do a lot of research for each book. I start my research during my visit to the country the story will eventually take place in. While there, I take many pictures and make copious notes, as well as collect brochures and articles of interest. I also talk to local people, taste local food and attend cultural events if possible to get the feel of the country.

Once home, I start writing the story and research as I go along. I use the information I gathered as well as check facts on the internet using several sources to be sure I get it right.

For instance, while working on Amanda in Holland, I found some YouTube videos on making wooden shoes which were very helpful when describing the process. If the writing is going well and I don’t want to stop to do research, I highlight the area and go back to it later. I do more fact-checking and research during the revision process.

I enjoy doing research and learn a lot in the process. I have to be careful that I don’t get carried away with my research as young readers don’t want too much detail.

Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis?

You don’t have to be a grammar Nazi to be a successful author, but you need to know some. I have grammar Nazis on my team and they find many things I miss.

You need more than one, as different people find different things. Some are good at finding missing or misplaced punctuation while others find spelling mistakes, sentence structure issues or tense changes etc. It is also worth hiring a professional editor, even if your grammar is quite good. A writer gets too close to the story to find mistakes. Those mistakes can be distracting and take the reader out of the story.

What do you think about the idea that people think being a published author is glamorous? How has that worked out for you?

I don’t believe being a published author is glamorous but it certainly is rewarding. One of my favourite things to do as an author is to visit schools where I read from my books and talk about writing.

I recently visited some schools in Canada. When I walked into one grade four class, a young man shouted, “She’s here! She’s here! I can’t believe she’s here!” For a moment I felt like I a rock star.

Most established writers I meet are very down-to-earth people. I recently chatted with Diana Gabaldon, author of the widely popular Outlander series, at a writer’s conference. I found her to be very pleasant and unpretentious. I just don’t think glamorous describes an author.

What does the word ‘retirement’ mean to you? Do writers ever retire?

Five years ago I retired from my day job so I could write more. I wrote the first four books in the Amanda Travels series while I was working full time and it was difficult. Having said that, I don’t feel I have much more time to write than when I worked!

The difference is I am in charge of my own time. I have managed to write and publish three more books since I “retired” and have the first draft of anther completed.

I don’t think writers ever retire. We are always on the lookout for ideas whether at home, walking the dog, socializing with friends or on holidays. I recently went on a book tour in Canada, promoting my latest release, Amanda in Holland – Missing in Action. I visited many schools, libraries, book stores and cafes. It was fun but exhausting. So much for being retired!

I follow your travels on Facebook, Darlene. You’re amazing. Please share your current projects.

Amanda continues to travel. Amanda in Holland – Missing in Action has just been released. In this book, intrepid traveller Amanda Ross is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah. They travel the canals of Amsterdam, visit Anne Frank House, check out windmills, tour a wooden shoe factory, and take pictures of the amazing flowers of Keukenhof Gardens.  But, things are missing in Holland – rare tulip bulbs, a gardener, a home for an abandoned puppy and Amanda’s great-uncle who didn’t return from the war. Is Amanda capable of finding these missing things without putting herself in danger?

The first draft of book number eight, Amanda in Malta – The Sleeping Lady is completed and I’m about to start the first revision. Amanda’s best friend, Leah, is in trouble, in Malta. Amanda rushes to her aid, not knowing what she will encounter in this ancient and mysterious island country.

Ideas for other Amanda Travels adventures are bouncing around in my head. One reader asked me during a recent school visit, “How long do you plan on writing these books?” I answered without hesitating, “Until I die.” Or at least until I run out of steam.

Thanks so much for once again featuring me and Amanda on your wonderful blog.

How to Connect with Darlene Foster

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darlene6490/

Website: http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Thank you for stopping by to meet Darlene Foster!