One of these Fine Looking Books will be our selection for the IABS&R Volume IV…

I was going to post this on Saturday, seeing that August 8 was the last day for submissions to this volume of the Indie Author Book Selection & Review, but when I went to check my post office box – something I do only infrequently or when one of you kind folk email me to tell me that your book is happily on its way to me – and what to my wondering eyes did appear on the door to the office but a sign advising that the joint closes at 11:00 am on Saturdays. It was 12:30 pm. Unfulfilled me…

And so I went and checked again yesterday and found my box chock full of, not books, but junk mail.

My intention was to then come home to write this post; however, I got bullied over by all the nastiness in the news and ended up writing what I wrote… That gun thing.

So here we are. And below, I present to you four very fine looking books written by three assuredly fine writing authors. For the next couple weeks or so I will peruse them, mull over them, perhaps sacrifice a pencil or two to the Writing Gods, and then eventually come to a decision as to which book will be selected to receive the Full Monty review treatment as advertised and promised by me (read over various IABS&R pages to get an idea of just what a Full Monty review treatment may possibly entail).

So, in the interim, how about you also check out the four submissions by clicking through their respective book reveals, the guest posts by their respective authors, and maybe even purchasing one or all of them.

And if you do happen to purchase one or all of them, it would be pure awesomeness if you were to also write a smoking hot review of those that you read and post it on your site and on Amazon and on Goodreads and on any other place you can think of that will hark a clarion call to all readers of the world what you, yourself, have witnessed.

Can you dig?

Because that’s what this is all about…

Supporting and perhaps even celebrating Indie Authors.

Right on?

So here they are as advertised and promised by moi:


Hey Author, got a Short Story for me to read?

So, I may have mentioned before that I am putting together a short story collection.

Working Title: LEAVE & Other Stories Short & Shorter.

I have most of it in place but it needs one or two more stories to round it out.


I’m stuck.

In a rut.

Shootin’ blanks.

One beer short of a six-pack…

Huh? Wait.


I haven’t been making much progress lately so I got to thinking…

Yeah I know, I know.

Anyway, I got to thinking that maybe if I read something really good, really fresh, it could jigger my brain back into its creative mode and I could get these last couple stories knocked out.

So what do you say, Author?

Got a short story for me to read?

If so, please cut and paste your 5000 words or less story into the comment block on the Contact page and send it to me by midnight, Thursday, April 16, 2015.

I will read all that I receive and then post the one I like best here on the ol’ blogaroo at 8PMish, not this Friday but the next, April 17, 2015, and invite the author to share a guest post with us right here on the aforementioned blogaroo.

If you have the story posted somewhere on your blog, tell us about it in the comment section and leave us a link. But for it to be selected, you must email it to me as ‘xplained above.



You and your short story will really be doing me and my brain a big favor.


A Conclusion of our Two-Week Daily Writing Prompt Pilot…of sort

Well that sure was a fast two weeks.

Time flies when you’re having fun having to come up with new and different things to write about on a daily basis.

So, let’s get to the bottom line first, as we like to say in the military.

Bottom line: the Daily Writing Prompts are daily no more.

I think we all realize that, while we had many very talented and creative authors submitting work, we just don’t have a large enough interest to support this as a daily, long-term endeavor.

So, instead, we will have random writing prompts as the mood – and time availability – strikes me. Stay tuned for those…

But the past two weeks were a big nuclear blast of awesomeness and I would like to recognize and thank all those who submitted their creative efforts in an effort to support of this effort of a daily writing prompt thingie. To do so, I list their names by order of submission count. And we all know that the best way for all of us to recognize and thank all of them is for all of us to follow all of them and visit their sites regularly and comment often on their work.

Josh Wrenn (7) –

karen rawson (4) –

Mandy Moran (4) –

Priyanki (3) –

Dancing Echoes (2) –

J Hardy Carroll (2) –

Guidance Fitness Personal Training (2)

gabriel360live (2) –

kanzensakura –

randomwordbyruth –

intuitivemeditation –

mjlstories –

Ritu –

Myas –

Clintington –

Satin Sheet Diva –

Yoshiko –

NR Wishart Healing –

Jesani D –

Doug –

(I apologize if I miscounted or misspelled)

What a very wonderful list of authors. Truly. I am most thankful for all’s encouraging support of this most fun and entertaining of endeavors. And I especially would like to thank Josh Wrenn for his motivating support and for getting out there to “beat the bushes,” so to speak, in an effort to drum up more participation. Thanks, Josh!

Now, back to other things – like refocusing on our Newsletter Love Emerson, First Commitment. I invite everyone to subscribe to our little salon-like space of a newsletter full of love and join us there in another writing challenge of sort…

Right on?

Write on!

Speaking of Weird… Selection

So, if there were a “Literary Scale of Literary Weirdness,” how would today’s responses to today’s controversial prompt measure against it?

Well, to answer that question, I suppose we first need a “Literary Scale of Literary Weirdness” for which to measure them against.

Well, since I’m the one “with the ball,” so to speak in military jargon, I guess it’s up to me to set the bar, so to speak in Field & Track jargon.

Well, using American authors as the points on the scale, I would say that the highest level of weird, a perfect 10 in weirdness, would be Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. An average level of weird, a midland 5 in weirdness, would be Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. And the lowest level of weird, an absence of weird at 0, would be Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls.

Well Yes, I realize that my scale is packed full with extremely white and even more extremely male authors. Could have something to do with my socialization process as a child. Not sure. However, please feel free to set your Literary Weird Scale based upon your own childhood socialization process. I won’t mind. I promise.

Well, I better not promise… I offend easily.

Anyway, now that we have a “Literary Scale of Literary Weirdness” for which to assess the weirdness level of our two submissions in response to today’s controversial prompt, I make the bold assessment that they both fall somewhere around the level of a 1 on the scale, which just may be something along the line of a Of Mice and Men (yes, I know…another white author dude) or a 2, which just may be a Kingsblood Royal (ditto on the white author dudeness…but at least Lewis was attempting to bring to literary light our white dude racist ways. Which, in and of itself, is pretty weird considering when the novel was written.).

Well, bottom line, then… based upon my assessment, utilizing our brand new “Literary Scale of Literary Weirdness,” today’s responses to our controversial prompt are highly weird depleted.

However, if we were to turn our “Literary Scale of Literary Weirdness” into a “Literary Scale of Literary Awesomeness” then I assess our two responses to today’s controversial prompt would be near off the high end of the scale.

That’s right… While the two submissions are hardly weird, they both are highly awesome.

Well So, seeing that trying to pick one submission over the other based upon both their literary weirdness and awesomeness is a wash, I guess we’ll have to come up with some other way to delineate between the two.

We could go by word count…

But that would hardly be fair seeing they are two distinct literary forms. And while, being rather tall, I tend to fall into the “bigger is better” camp; when it comes to the arts I fall more into the “less is more” camp. So, word count is a non-starter…

We could go with a “correctness” approach. Meaning, whichever submission is more correct than the other…in terms of grammar and spelling that is…wins.

Hmm… Yeah, let’s do that.

Well lookie here… Seems author J Hardy Carroll has already confessed to a “couple of typos.” How ’bout that? Kinda makes things easy for me, seeing that without the confession I just may have overlooked the typos, regarding them not as errors but instead as just being part of the author’s intended poetically licensed weird.

And I’m finding neither a confession of errors nor any non-confessed errors in author karen rawson’s submission.

Well, I guess that’s that then.

While we have a tie in a lack of literary weirdness and an abundance of literary awesomeness, we do have separation between the two in literary correctness.

As a result of this separation, however slight, it is my pleasure to present to you today’s selection for our controversial Weird Wednesday prompt…

by karen rawson

A ghostly Capote came calling
Said you saw what they called Summer Crossing
Jerry’s letters went viral
Your Watchman will spiral
The trick is to burn your own writing.

Thank you very much to both J Hardy and karen. And while I may have made a bit of a mockery of my selection process, I am not joking one bit when I say that they are both extremely high on literary awesomeness scale. JHC’s story had me right there in the room with our three angelic authors. The dialogue is era-appropriate and the tone pitch perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it…several times…typos and all (plus I appreciate the insight of what I might expect if I am to review JHC’s very compelling-looking novel (see sidebar). All the while, karen’s poem has everything that could possibly be packed into such wonderful poetic artistry with such an economy of words, all the while hitting the proverbial nail on the head with its symbolism and allusion. And, as the great Kafka himself requested in vain that all his papers be burned upon his death, I am sure he would be nodding his head in enthusiastic agreement of the poems moral of a message. Extremely well done to both.

An Ode to a First True Love… Selection

The books I loved best as a child
I bet were loved also by many of you.
They told of tales sweet, silly, and wild,
As penned by the great Sendak, Suess, and Reys, two.

But as the years passed and I grew a bit older
I left such childish tales behind.
As I grew fonder of stories much bolder
That came in the comic book kind.

And then soon comics I also outgrew
As I zipped through my age of the teens.
Words read in leisure were then but few
For leisure was found in new and various means.

In my twenties my first Literary Love was found,
And it is to this Love I tribute this ode.
Its author to the Beats he is bound
And its story will forever be On The Road.

(What a day…apologies for the delay)

So, who could objectively choose between two such different yet poetically perfect submissions?

They both speak to my subjective heart equally.

So it is to the Coin of Arbitration I must go…

Heads be Dancing Echo as she has the first submission;

And Tails be Josh Wrenn as there be no other choices for him to be.

And the flip…

And the catch…

And, on behalf of the Coin of Arbitration, it is my pleasure to present to you today’s MEMOIR MONDAY selection…

by Josh Wrenn

I must confess
To everyone here
They weren’t the best
Or anywhere near

Jets and sex
And war and guns
One book to the next
A series of fun

But in my young mind
Great works of art
A hero I’d find
In a world torn apart

What got me hooked?
It ain’t no baloney
The Wingman books
By Mack Maloney

Once again, a very big thank you to two powerfully prolific and most perfect of poets…

An Ode to a First True Love


For many of us – most I would presume – we were rather promiscuous before finding that first true love.

Without regard, and very often with hardly little or no desire at all, we’d go from one to another without ever once finding a connection or even a slightest pang of affection.

But then, from nowhere and completely unexpected, you find the one and everything opens up before you. You enter worlds you never imagined existed. You are forever changed. You have met your first true love.

For today’s prompt…

In an Alternate Rhyming Scheme (ABAB CDCD EFEF GHGH), write an ode to your very first true love – first true literary love that is. Write an ode to the first book that truly opened up your heart to the love of literature and set you on a lifelong reading romance of passion and adventure…

This may explain things a bit.
Submissions close at 7pmish.
Selection announced sometime thereafter.
No comments other than submissions for the prompts please. All comments welcome for the selection when published, however.
Please “Like” those submissions you like.

It should be noted that, as stated on the Disclaimer page and the Relating to Humans guidelines, a “Like” by me does not necessarily mean I like or endorse a submitted work. My “Like” is foremost intended as a means of acknowledging a submission; though chances are pretty good I may like it, as well.


The Man Crossing Lombard Street… Selection

– randomwordbyruth wins the Make Kurt Scratch His In Complete Befuddlement As He Tries to Comprehend the Linkage Between the Story and the Prompt award.

– Josh Wrenn comes in with another powerful submission. Josh’s story is set up perfectly in both tone and pace. I loved all the unknowns, especially the unknown of why all of a sudden the San Franciscans turned on the lonely man. I only wish it would have ended right after the unknown lonely man purchased the rope. For after that, everything becomes known and a bit too trite for me with the play on the Beatles song. I say this not to be publicly critical, but to publicly express how great I think the story is and to strongly urge Josh to consider submitting his story, after taking my public feedback under consideration, to a literary journal. Congratulations, Josh, on yet another fine piece of work.

Which takes us lastly to our first submission…

It is my pleasure to present to you tonight’s Flash Fiction Friday selection, which is yet another well written, powerful submission and one that is selected despite it implicating yours truly in a Big Brother role of sort. In fact, it just may have been selected for that spot-on implication because its presence is really felt and it adds a heavy layer of paranoia and wonderful creepiness to the story that might not otherwise have been there. The dialogue is perfect and the story is completely relevant to our times. Bravo, karen.

by karen rawson

“People oughta mind their own business, I say.” Henry raised a curled fist to his mouth and coughed into it.

“What people, Mr. Schmoll?”

“Them. Those people.”

“I see. Can you take a deep breath for me?”

Henry wheezed and brought up a rattling breath. Dr. Redmond tipped her head, listening. Congestion, for sure. But there was something strange in there. “How long have you had that cough, Mr. Schmoll?”

“Aw. I dunno.” He heaved and cleared his throat. “Awhile. That ain’t why I’m here. It’s the internet people. They’re bugging me.”

Dr. Redmond pulled back and eyed him. “What internet people?”

“The people! All the people, watching me. Writing stuff down. All the way down Lombard. Watching me. Goddamn people. They oughta mind their own business.”

“I see. And how long has this been the case?”

“Aw jeez. Aw jeez.” Henry shook one leg, pounded a fist on it. “Goddamn. Someone just wrote me a war injury. I wasn’t even in the war.”

The doctor took another step back. “Someone wrote you a war injury?”

“They say I live alone! I don’t live alone. I got family.”

The doctor backed to the door and reached back for the knob. “Mr. Schmoll, I’m going to consult another physician on this. Can you just sit tight until I’m back?”

Henry blanched and curled an arm around his stomach. “Okay then. But hurry. Someone just wrote me a bad case of indigestion. If you don’t hurry up, those goddamn people gonna write me to my grave.”

Thank you, Authors, for sharing your fine skills with us. Have a fantastic weekend.


The Man Crossing Lombard Street…


Write a 750ish words or less story based upon the photograph and tanka of the man crossing Lombard Street.

The Man Crossing Lombard Street

Who is he, that man,
Crossing Lombard Street alone?
Who is he, that man,

Head down and looking forlorn?
Just who is that lonely man?

This may explain things a bit.
Submissions close at 7pmish.
Selection announced sometime thereafter.
No comments other than submissions for the prompts please. All comments welcome for the selection when published, however.
Please “Like” those you like.

It should be noted that, as stated on the Disclaimer page and the Relating to Humans guidelines, a “Like” by me does not necessarily mean I like or endorse a submitted work. My “Like” is foremost intended as a means of acknowledging a submission; though chances are pretty good I may like it, as well.


Saving the World, One Haiku at a Time

[Thoughtful Thursday Prompt]


If World's Queen Were I

If World’s Queen were I
Nature’s Reign would never die
On Her I’d rely

For today’s prompt…

Queens* of the World, tell us in a rhyming haiku what cause you are most passionate about.

The 5/7/5 syllable count must be adhered to.

Special consideration for those submissions accompanied by an original relevant photograph or artwork. Copyright responsibilities are assumed by the contributor.

And if I may have a quick word with my male friends…

Dudes, I hope your lack of participation in last Thursday’s prompt had nothing to do with the fact you must assume responsibilities as Queens of the World. I mean, come on… We forced our non-gender specific maleness down everyone’s throat, so to speak, in our literature since the beginning of the written word so it’s time for you to man* up and get over it already and let us know how you would make the world a better place if you lorded* over it as a Queen*.

Roger that?
Roger that.

*non-gender specific

This may explain things a bit.
Submissions close at 7pmish.
Selection announced sometime thereafter.
No comments other than submissions please.
Please “Like” those you like.

It should be noted that, as stated in the Disclaimer page and the Relating to Humans guidelines, a “Like” by me does not necessarily mean I like or endorse a submitted work. My “Like” is foremost intended as a means of acknowledging a submission; though chances are pretty good I may like it, as well.


It’s Only “Weird” If… [Weird Wednesday Selection]

I are you and we are not Combat boots are left to rot Thrash the holy from the wheat Stack the stock in piles neat Refrain thy meek from honeyed dreams Sow thy saviors ‘tween the seams Left is up and down is fright The morn is black the black the light The night is ’til the way goes wrong The prisoner sings her victory song The song of prison the victor brings The victor’s prison the song shall sing — Not are we and you are I Wars of rot forever die Not are we and you are I Wars of rot forever cry Not are we and you are I Wars of rot forever lie Not are we and you are I Wars of rot forever try…

Blessed are the weirdos for weirdos all are we…

Well, this was fun. Thank you all for sharing your wonderful weird words with us.

Speaking of weird…

Did any of you notice how often the word “weird” is used in Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicles? It’s rather weird.


Yes, weird has a scale and some of you are a tad bit weirder than others.

Thankfully so, for it allows me great pleasure to present to you the weird that struck me the weirdest, which, in this context is a wonderful thing…

Its only weird……
Mandy Moran

I hear you ask for weird….
When all around is calm and still
There is no ripple in the waters light
Just the moon and its luminous reflection

How can I interpret weird….
Is not for lack of imagination
When suddenly the water erupted its sleep
With a crash of a hat and limb

The water felt hot like treacle
Pulling through its gulp
Bittersweet with its welcome hold
Lumps, glue, sticky and yet free

Time is but an essence
Each day bringing the weird and wonderful too
Give the weird a chance
For all things need a balance….

Capture the opposite, encounter the within
The moon has a light but dark prevails
Water will flow until its sealed
As we feel the weird from deep held in…….


Mandy, if you’re interested in a digital edition of one of my selections at Amazon let me know.

Thanks for all the wonderful weird everyone!


It’s Only “Weird” If… [Weird Wednesday Prompt]

I like those beer commercials that were airing a couple years ago about how it was only weird if it didn’t work.

If that isn’t one of the most true and profound beer commercials in the history of beer commercials then I don’t know what is…

I mean, if we do something strange or have a less than normal personality, then we are automatically labeled as weird. But have someone rich and/or famous exhibit the same behavior then it immediately goes from not working and being weird to working and being, you guessed it, eccentric.

Eccentric… What every weirdo strives to become.

Imagine an average joe* walking down, not the red carpet, but the average city street in a dress made of meat… I doubt the eccentric defense will work well with the average city cop.

Yet another example of the long, hard, enduring struggle between the classes…

But if you think about it, weird ain’t easy to do. It’s hard to go against the grain, against convention. Normal is so easy, welcoming. We’ve been doing normal for most of our lives and it now is hard not to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, normal is cool. Whoever invented it was a genius – and I suspect female – for how else to get us stupid men from bashing in each other’s stupid heads with clubs and rocks and whatever else we could get our hands on than to create a system where such behavior is strange, odd – not normal.

So I’m all in for normal, while knowing very well that weird is where the action is.

So, for today’s Weird Wednesday prompt…

Put together something – a poem, an essay, flash fiction, a drawing, whatever – stream of consciousness perhaps, whatever – something less than normal, something against convention, but something that, at least in your mind, is normal and as conventional – and preferable, enlightening to all – as can be.

My guess is, it won’t be easy…

And I suspect Josh Wrenn, the author of yesterday’s Tanka Tuesday selection, just may be tapping into some of that brandy he waxed so poetically about for some weird inspiration.

*non-gender specific

This may explain things a bit.
Submissions close at 7PMish.
Selection posted some time after…


The Sailor Said Brandy… [Tanka Tuesday Selection]

sailors love but one
tho’ lonely a love it is
the sea’s seduction
port o’ calls are fleeting spells
hearts are broken with the bells

With but two submissions in response to today’s prompt, and with one, by my count, off by a syllable, seems my work has been completed already for me. And work well done it is…’tis, indeed.

It is my pleasure to present to you our tanka selection by Josh Wrenn…

Brandy good to drink
So smooth on my waiting tongue
Not good for liver
Never lonely with Brandy
Killing me but I can’t stop

Thank you very much to both authors for sharing their very fine poetry with us.


The Sailor Said Brandy… [Tanka Tuesday Prompt]

We know the Japanese poetical form tanka means short song, which is appropriate as it is a form of the broader genre waka, which, itself, is a form of song or verse. So for our first Tanka Tuesday I feel it fitting for the prompt to come from a song. And it is no ordinary song for it is a song of the sea, a song of love found, and a song of love lost.

Using the traditional Westernized syllable count version of the form – 5/7/5/7/7 – write a tanka inspired by one of the songs most loved by the sailor…well, at least this sailor – Looking Glass’s Brandy You’re A Fine Girl.

While your response to the song can be the result of wherever the song takes your heart and mind, the syllable count must be exact.

Submissions close at 7PMish and our selection will be published at 8PMish.

Please “Like” the ones you like, and then go visit the authors’s sites and maybe comment on some of their work there since no comments other than submission responses are allowed here.

This may explain things a bit about the Writing Challenge.

This may explain things a bit about the tanka.


The Cubby Hole [Memoir Monday Prompt]

My childhood homestead was filled with wonderment. We lived on a dead-end street that ended at field that had a path that led to dirt roads and other such adventures. Next to my house was an expansive, swaying field where an old magical barn lived. I spent much of my youth in that barn and there much of the foundation of who I have become was set. I celebrate the Barn and the Field, as well as the secret Pond that lay beyond the dirt road in my poetry collection Poems from the River.

And while there was so much nature with hidden folds and crooks for me to escape to and which I did, there was also one such place right inside my home, which I used as a back up of sort for when I couldn’t get outside to escape from whatever it was that was chasing me or to whatever it was I had wished to become me that day. This not-so-secret secret place was hidden underneath the stairs. There was my inside place to escape, to daydream, to scare myself a little, to bring myself to quiet, and it was what we called a cubby hole. It had a small door that matched the paneling of the wall and inside, where all our games and decorations and other things meant to be hidden were stored, the ceiling was low, even for a child, and it was lit by one bare light bulb with a pull chain.

Like the barn, it, too, was a place of magic…

So tell us, in the form or device of your choosing…

Where, as a child, did you go to escape, to become? Where was your Cubby Hole of magic and wonderment?

Submissions close at 7PMish, selection announced at 8PMish.
This explains things a bit.


Rub-a-dub-dub?! [Flash Fiction Friday Selection]

Ha ha…what more can I say about the two submissions in response to today’s prompt other than they both are frikkin’ awesome and just the bizarre fun and wonder I was hoping for. The only problem is having to choose one over the other.

I had pretty much resolved myself to the international standard selection process of the Flipping of the Coin to let Chance decide. However, right before the flip, as the coined balanced precariously on my thumb, I manned* up, so to speak, and decided that I would not choose my selection by such a cop-out of a way.

The selection had to be up to me not a coin. I had to find a way to differentiate between the two. So I got to thinking about what if it were me writing a response to the prompt. Which response would I be more likely to write – the humorous or the macabre? Yeah, you guessed it, I probably would have gone dark with this one.

Consequently, it is my pleasure to present to you…

by Josh Wrenn


Detectives are baffled by findings of human remains found floating in the Channel. All of the dead were cut into pieces, but meticulously scrubbed clean of blood, fingerprints, and other evidence.

Lead Detective Jeff Murdock would not confirm the rumors that there is a serial killer on the loose, but did confirm that there are multiple victims.

Anonymous sources within the department tell BBC News that they believe there are at least two victims who were dismembered, cleaned, and then dumped into the Channel.

BBC News has also learned that a task force dubbed “The Butcher” has been set up within the department but has been unable to determine whether it is related to this case. We have also learned that at least one witness may have been brought in for questioning by the task force.

In other news:
The families of Westham’s famous Candlestick Maker, and his friend and world-renowned Baker are asking the public for assistance in finding the two men, who never returned home after a fishing trip. Anyone who knows anything about their whereabouts is asked to call 111.


Thank you very much Doug and Josh for your awesome stories. If either of you would like a digital copy of one of my selections at Amazon, please contact me through the Contact page and let me know.

And thank you to all who joined in the fun and took the time to “Like” the selections for yourself. You all, too, are frikkin’ awesome.

Until tomorrow…

*non-gender specific


Rub-a-dub-dub?! [Flash Fiction Friday Prompt]

You know, some of our fairy tales and nursery rhymes can really make one wonder. Well, at least they make me wonder. For instance, I really wonder what the heck the impetus was for the creation of Three Men in a Tub.

Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they were?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all sailed out to sea,
‘Twas enough to make a man stare.


But weird is cool because with it there often comes such wonderful possibilities. Such as the all the possibilities for the development of interesting back stories that bring light to such an odd, interesting poem.

And that weird also brings with it the possibility for today’s Flash Fiction Friday prompt.

Write a 750 word or less fully developed story that includes who the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker are, what their relationship with each other is, and the events and plot lines that lead up to and conclude right before the famous and oft-recited nursery rhyme begins.


A couple of logistical notes before we begin. I ask that henceforth all submissions for daily prompts be in by 7PMish each evening. That way I’ll have time to read through them and publish the selection by 8PMish.

And I also ask that there be no comments or other responses to the prompts other than prompt submissions. While I always love to hear from you, as witty and interesting and smart as you are, responses other than ones to the prompt kinda muddles things up a bit and will be deleted. Sorry ’bout that.


This is germane.


If I Were Queen* of the World… [Thoughtful Thursday Prompt]

Welcome to our first Daily Writing Prompt thingie. Since today is Thursday our announcement post tells us this day is all about making this pretty yet petulant planet of ours a better place to live. The literary form (poem, essay, flash fiction, etc.) you use to instruct us in is up to you, but it must contain the words “children refugees of war.” If submitting a visual piece (artwork, photograph, video, etc.), then it must somehow speak, sing, or visually convey the same.

With so many innocent and helpless children refugees of war, please tell us Queen* of the World how you can make our planet a better place to live?

The selected submission will be posted at 8PMish tonight.

*non-gender specific

This is germane.


Haiku You, Haiku Me – A Newsletter Love Contest of Sort Selection and Guest Author Presentation

Icy white mountain
Snowflakes gust to azure sky-
singing flock of doves.

As announced in Newsletter Love 004-15, this visually beautiful and flowing haiku is our selection for what came to be known as the inaugural (which suggests there may be more) Newsletter Love Haiku Challenge, formally entitled Haiku You, Haiku Me ~ A Contest of Sort.

Our contest of sort had seven participants, each submitting their work in an effort to fulfill the spirit of the contest, which was to “write a haiku that focuses on the temporal nature of all things material.” This challenge was met effortlessly by all the participants, their haiku transcendent and unique each in their own special way.

While all participants easily met the spirit of the challenge, Shmatala, Esq. with her visually beautiful and flowing haiku was able to conjure within me “that same sense of connection to the Elements, to the Earth, to the Universe, as I [feel] when I walk my country roads during the cold, when the snow swirls across the fields like tornadoes in miniature and with the sky so blue in its surreality. And I hear those same singing doves come spring. It is in both the morning and the evening that their song of mourning calls.” Consequently, it is her haiku I was compelled to select.

There is so much I would like to say about each haiku entry, but, as I am eager to introduce Shmatala, Esq. and her moving essay, I will simply say to all participants, thank you from the bottom of my heart. What joy and inspiration you all have brought to our little salon-like space of a newsletter full of love, and to me.

Shmatala, Esq. is a self-described quintessential Canadian, who over the past decade has went from Halifax to Vancouver and, now, back to her hometown of Montreal. She is a lawyer by profession but had to give it up for the time being to care for her father – and his business, which is in the “rag” trade or “shmata” in Yiddish. As is evidenced by her website’s powerful and socially aware haiku and other poetic reflections, we take her completely at her word when she tells us that “I am doing my darndest to bring some light into this world any way I can.”

It is my pleasure to present to you more of the flowing power and grace with which Shmatala, Esq. is lighting up our world.

Shmatala, Esq.

All things are temporary. Eventually we will loose everything: all the immovable and movable property that we collect, everyone we know, and ourselves. The only certainty is change but many, on a fool’s errand, try to resist or avoid change in pursuit of certainty. We try to convince ourselves that we have some form of permanence by collecting as much as possible, imagining that our existence will extend if only we collect enough money, notoriety or Facebook friends. We hold on to everything tightly, convinced that we can control everything and some how guide change (or maybe stop it altogether) through our stuff. Ironically, ceasing to change is, literally, to cease to exist.

We can see this struggle in our political landscape. We so fear the flow of change that we have managed to keep the same people in power, the wealth in the same pockets, and the poor, mentally ill and destitute in their place and generally out of sight. We do not trust that tomorrow will still come, that there will be more (at this point, we have enough resources on the planet so that everyone can eat and become educated), but we are afraid to pull the trigger, afraid of loosing, afraid of what’s next and that we might be left behind.

Existence in a cycle of sequential endings and beginnings: Constant change. One thing must end to give rise to the next. Winter turns to Spring, the solid mountains of snow and ice will melt into the earth, nourishing new seeds. Shorter days will become longer, new life will come. One period must end for the next to begin. At the end, when we cast off our physical forms, we will all fly away, singing our freedom, cascading over a cold morning sky, redeemed: a flock of singing doves.

Please visit with and follow Shmatala, Esq. at


So I’ve been thinkin’…

Which is always a bit risky, I know.

But still, I’ve been thinking that since I am really digging all the artistic inspiration and beauty that has been outpouring from that little salon-like space of a newsletter full of love of ours lately (speaking of which, this evening around 8PMish I will present our Haiku Challenge selection along with a guest post from the author…I know, right. Awesomeness.) that perhaps we can bring some of that muse-like magic here to the blog, if you know what I mean.

So I’ve been thinking, which I may have already pointed out to you, that maybe we should start doing something similar – but different, of course – right here in this agora-like space of a blog full of love.

I was thinkin’ that maybe we could do one of those Daily Prompt Challenge thingies that we oh so often see happening all over the webarena…

Off the top o’ me noggin’ I was thinkin’ I’ll post a daily prompt each morning around 8AMish sometime in the morning, and then you all respond to the prompt by posting your prompted piece into the comment section of the prompt which was published prior (I’m getting dizzy), and then, after submissions close at 7PMish, I will select the piece that I feel best aligns with the spirit of the prompt and publish it around 8PMish that same evening. Kapish thus far?

Please no responses to prompts except prompt responses…huh? In other words, only prompt response submissions will be allowed in the comment section. All other comments will be deleted. I found with the Relating to Humans feature that comments and replies other than submissions muddle up the flow of things. So, apologies in advance if you write a kind comment that is not a submission response to a prompt and I end up deleting it.

In addition to having your piece published on the blog, if selected, I will also present to you a digital copy of one of my works published on Amazon. Author’s choice of book and digital format (mobi, epub, pdf).

We can start off with a two-week pilot program of sorts, beginning this Thursday, tomorrow. At the end of the pilot we’ll determine if it’s viable enough to continue. I’m hoping it is seeing how awesome and creative you all are on such a regular basis. But if it isn’t viable, then we’ll shut it down – no harm no foul, like.

So, off the top of me noggin’, here are the daily themes that I will prompt to and you will write to (subject to change based upon my whim and your feedback):

Memoir Monday – You will submit a reflection from your past in the form of your choice (poem, short essay, flash fiction, art, photography, etc.), as inspired by the prompt

Tanka Tuesday – You will submit a, you guessed it, tanka, as inspired by the prompt. Don’t know what a tanka is? Google does and s/he would be happy to explain.

Weird Wednesday – You will submit something abstract, avant garde, stream of consciousness perhaps, or whatever weird you can come up with in whatever form you wish to present your weirdness in, as inspired by the prompt.

Thoughtful Thursday – You will be writing as if you were Queen* of the World and submit a piece in a form of your choosing that reflects how you would make the world a better place, as inspired by the prompt.

Flash Fiction Friday – Blah blah blah, as inspired by the prompt.

Sonnet Saturday – Let’s get medieval! You will submit a, you guessed it, sonnet, as inspired by the prompt. And, as with the tanka, see Google for all knowable unknowns. Seeing how there were no submissions for Saturday’s prompt, this day, too, will be silent, thereby making both Saturday and Sunday a Wordless Weekend.

Silent Sunday – Remember that game our parents used to make us play as children? “Who can be the quietest?” Yeah, let’s take the day off on Sunday for some quiet time of prayer and meditation and internal rejuvenation…

It should be noted that, as stated in the Disclaimer page and the Relating to Humans guidelines, a “Like” by me does not necessarily mean I like or endorse a submitted work. My “Like” is foremost intended as a means of acknowledging a submission; though chances are pretty good I may like it, as well.

So, what do you think of my thinkin’? You diggin’ it? Yes, no, maybe so?

Let me know…


*non-gender specific