PAD – April 2019

Poetry

I am participating in the Poetic Asides annual Poem a Day challenge. I’ve done it in the past, but for some reason, skipped last year. It’s great writing exercise and gives me food for thought about poetry in general, and my engagement in particular. I’ve published two chap books of poetry, some of which have shown up on this site, as well as several brand new poems as time and the tides of life inspire me. Below are the poems I’ve posted on the PAD site thus far. The poems are based on writing prompts from Robert Lee Brewer, senior content editor of the Writer’s Digest writing community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He is a poet and writer (yes, I know, a poet IS a writer, but for some reason the two disciplines seem to be taken as separate children of the pen), and is the catalyst for me to be as much a poet as I am a writer.

DAY 1: A morning poem

GOOD MORNING
Morning bursts over the horizon,
joy-filled with bright bunches of red
shot through with gold
tinged with orange sherbet,
infused with soft yellow cream.

Silhouettes of trees
outlined in stark relief
against this burst of color
a dance of nature in the raw
making a statement about God’s creation.

There is no power
like the power of daybreak,
streaking across the sky,
tendrils of light bringing anticipation,
charged with hope.


Day 2: Worst case / best case poem

FRAMED
My life is framed by you.
Is that a good thing, yes or no?
I have no life outside the boundaries
of who we are together,
no activities, associations, plans…
It’s all about us, we, together forever.
Am I comfortable in these confines?
Are you? Do you just want to hide sometimes?
I do, but there is nowhere to go beyond the frame.

FRAMED 2
I am framed by your love,
enclosed in the warmth of
who you are, who we are together.
You are my heart, my joy in life,
my today and my tomorrow.
I can think of no better place to be
than inside this frame, with you.


Day 3: An animal poem

PANDA
Panda black and white
eating bamboo bright and green
rain falls crystal light.


Day 4: An artist poem

JACKSON POLLACK
splatter and spatter, drizzle and drip
down a canvas awaiting the tip
of an artist’s endeavor to astound

the public perception
of artistic perfection
can be nowhere found

in Jackson Pollock’s
thousand-dollar frolics
in which mockery resound

did he question our sanity
as we peruse Pollack inanity
or was it simply ego unbound


Day 5 – A stolen poem

THE WRITER
Sometimes – not often,
but sometimes – I feel as
though writing fiction
is stealing from real life,
but I do it anyway
because as a writer
what I’m putting on the page
is – for that span of time –
more real than real life
will ever be. The woman
on the page is who I want to be,
vibrant and sassy, brave and constant,
controllable in the way the real me
can never, ever be,
until suddenly
the protagonist asserts her personality,
and my momentary control
is stolen, just – like – that!
Ah, the joy of writing fiction
and the conundrum of what is real
and what is the woven web
of the writer’s imagination!


Day 6 – An after poem

AFTER THE STORM
So it is written
in the loopy tendrils of
greening vines, life is.


My chap books of poetry are available online or at sharon@vandermeerbooks.com.
Type Poetry Book in the subject line. Read more here about the chap books of poetry.


 

Monday Musings

Easter Morning

 

BRIGHT IDEAS
My bright ideas
are in stacks of notebooks.
Articles, stories, essays…
 begun but never finished.
Now it’s doc after doc
in a folder called “works in progress,”
yet they never do,
progress, I mean.
Why do I hold onto these tarnished gems?
Beats me.
Perhaps they are like children,
waiting to grow up
and go out on their own.


 

PICKING UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF
What did you start,
but never finish?
What did you say
you wish you could say
in a different way?
Can you walk off –
give your hat a doff –
and come back
another day
to pick up,
where you left off?
Is going back
possible?
Doable?
Advisable?
What detritus was left
in your wake
what mistakes did you make?
Can you – I – pick up
where we left off?


Line, Poetry in Notion

Why the English language is hard to learn

Learning curveEditor’s Note: This came to me through Alan Guy, a frequent contributor when I had Happenstance, an online magazine. I Googled the content and found it in a couple of places, so as a disclaimer, neither Alan nor I wrote it, but it is worth looking at. These 21 reasons why English is hard to learn, also apply to writing. If you’re not on your toes you can easily misuse a word simply because your computer autocorrects what you’ve written, or you allowed spell check to make a decision for you. For instance – there, their and they’re are said in the same way, but have distinctive meanings. To, too and two? Same thing. There are lots of examples of words that sound alike but have different meanings. Read the list, and if you have time, in the comments section, send in your samples – in a sentence – of words that sound the same, but have different meanings, or sound the same, but are spelled differently, or can be used in different ways, or are spelled the same but sound different. Hmmm…. now I’m confused.

I’m not sure all the lines below are grammatically correct, but they are fun to read.

• The bandage was wound around the wound.
• The farm land was used to produce produce.
• The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
• We must polish the Polish furniture.
• He could lead if he would get the lead out.
• The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
• Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
• A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
• When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
• I did not object to the object.
• The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
• There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
• They were too close to the door to close it.
• The buck does funny things when the does are present.
• A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
• To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
• The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
• After a number of injections, my jaw got number.
• Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
• I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
• How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Now it’s your turn. Send in your sentences that contain homonyms, homophones, or homographs. And a bonus to the FIRST person who can tell me the difference between homonyms, homophones, and homographs :). The gift? Your choice of a subscription to Hunter’s Light, Pella’s Quest or a copy of my latest novel, Blind Curve.


Please Follow, Like, Comment and Share this post. Your feedback is important. Thanks for reading One Roof Publishing. Contact Sharon by e-mail at sharon@oneroofpublish.com.

Review: Seven Wings to Glory

Seven Wings to GloryIn Seven Wings to Glory, author Kathleen M. Rodgers tells a layered story of life as we know it. It’s rarely simple and often riddled with secrets and surprises. Rodgers’ latest book explores loss, racism, forgiveness, and hope.

Protagonist Johnnie Kitchen uses her dream job as a newspaper columnist to bring to light long buried racially charged secrets, including the lynching of an innocent black man. She tells hauntingly and beautifully about the spirit of forgiveness as seen through the lingering presence of victims who died tragically in a long-ago fire that an all-white fire department refused to respond to.

When prejudice again rears its ugly head in Johnnie’s small home town of Portion, Texas, she is appalled and infuriated. Despite worries about her soldier son in Afghanistan, she sets out to right the wrongs of a brutally insensitive teen with an attitude. What she finds is the troubling reality of his life as a neglected and emotionally troubled victim of family dysfunction. With compassion and determination, Johnnie teams up with others to help reshape the life of someone who grew up in a hateful and mean environment.

In Seven Wings to Glory Johnnie frets about her absent son and the dangers he faces; learns surprising news about her life, withheld by people trying to do what they considered at time to be “the right thing;” and endures pain upon the tragic death of a beloved four-legged family member.

Surrounded by people whose love is sure, if sometimes imperfect, Johnnie navigates life with determination and steadfast hope.

Praise for Seven Wings to Glory:

Seven Wings to Glory “masterfully weaves the story of the Kitchen family, capturing a vivid snapshot of the American South.” – Eastern New Mexico News

A nuanced portrayal of military connectedness… Rodgers writes convincingly of relationships, foibles and struggles. Johnnie’s worry over her son is particularly tangible, informed by Rodgers’ experiences as the mother of a deployed soldier. – Stars and Stripes

Rodgers’ first Johnnie Kitchen book, Johnnie Come Lately, received First Place in Women’s Fiction for 2016 Texas Association of Authors Best Book Award Contest, a gold medal in the Military Writers Society of America 2015 Book Awards, and a bronze medal in the Readers’ Favorite 2015 Book Awards–Women’s Fiction Category.

The author lives in a suburb in North Texas with her husband, a retired fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot. Her youngest son is a former Army officer who deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. Her first novel, The Final Salute, takes place on an air force base.

Seven Wings to Glory, $15.95, is a work of women’s contemporary fiction available online and in bookstores. For more information about the author go to www.kathleenmrodgers.com .

 

Book Review: Song of the Lion

Song of the LionIn author Anne Hillerman’s latest book, Song of the Lion, Bernadette Manuelito emerges as a savvy heroine who does her job with intelligence and wit while stoically ignoring the irritation of not being respected by a fellow officer. It is not luck or pride that motivates Manuelito, it’s doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason, including trusting her instincts in a life-threatening moment of peril.

Manuelito and her husband Jim Chee, work for the Navajo Tribal Police where facts and evidence add up to answers. That doesn’t discourage Manuelito from using her intuition and connection with old ways, or Chee from showing respect for honored traditions.

Put that cultural identity and awareness into play when the two unofficially work a case, and the result is a compelling story. A car bombing outside a school gymnasium that kills an unidentified young man sets the story in motion. Add in the complication of developers wanting to make dramatic changes on tribal lands and the groups for and against the proposal. Mix in a little sabotage designed to sideline the negotiations. Season with a surprising connection between the case and Manuelito’s friend and mentor, Joe Leaphorn. What you have are all the ingredients for a fast-paced story featuring familiar characters doing what they do best. Manuelito proves to be a dedicated law enforcement officer with an unbeatable spirit.

I recommend Song of the Lion to anyone who likes a good tale woven throughout with interesting, well-drawn characters.

Praise for Song the Lion from Booklist: “Hillerman seamlessly blends tribal lore and custom into a well-directed plot, continuing in the spirit of her late father, Tony, by keeping his characters in the mix, but still establishing Manuelito as the main player in what has become a fine legacy series.”

Hillerman is an award-winning reporter, the author of several non-fiction books, and the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman. She lives in Santa Fe, N.M.

Title: Song of the Lion
Type: Novel
Author: Anne Hillerman
Publisher: Harper Hardcover
Publication date: April 11, 2017
Price: $27.99

Blog Recognition: Thanks a Bunch!

My sister blogger, Aiming Flamingo, has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so much Aiming Flamingo! Readers and followers are essential elements of the conversation that happens in the blogosphere. I very much appreciate your support.

blogger-recognition-award

I’ve been blogging for several years, had a website, and created a web zine. It was driving me crazy trying to keep up with four blogs, a website and the zine. I decided a little over a year ago to put everything under “one roof,” hence the title of my blog, One Roof Publishing.

I cover a lot of territory in the blog, writing Q&A posts about events and people, posting inspirational essays, writing about health and wellness, and anything else I can think of, including occasional short fiction. I welcome Followers and am always looking for new essay and article ideas. If you would like to guest post on my site, send your query to fsharon@msn.com.

I am a writer through and through. I have indie published several books and am close to publishing a new novel. I also do writing for hire through my business, Write Stuff Writing Services.

I’m not much for handing out advice, but that’s part of the process of passing the Blogger Recognition Award around. So here goes: My two pieces of advice for new bloggers – your best shot at getting readers is to know who you want your readers to be (target marketing), and posting regularly.

Below are the sites I’m recognizing. It is indeed an eclectic mix that shares one thing in common and only one: these are all folks who have a passion for something. I find that admirable and inspiring. Passion puts the pizzazz in life.

1eclecticwriter
Dr. K. L. Register, The Ninth Life
Edge of Humanity Magazine
Momentary Lapse of Sanity
Windy Lynn Harris
Success Inspirers World
Gabriella Clark
Kate  Barnwell Poetry
Haddon Musings
Kathleen Rodgers
saneteachers
Sarah Flores Blog
Be Inspired!
Charles French
Author Kristen Lamb

 

Now it’s your turn. The rules are simple.
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to his or her blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created

I hope you can make the time to join in the support and recognition of other bloggers.

Happy Halloween

Joy Riding

Hootie tunes and shrieking screams
scary thingies in your dreams.
On this haunted, hunted night
what next on tap will give you fright?
Creeping, leaping, jumping, sneaking
is that a ghost at whom you’re peeking?
Tiptoe back, slither down the hall
when spooky phantoms on you call.
Get into a warm and comfy bed,
pull the covers o’er your head.
Sweet visions conjure into being,
ignore the specter on the ceiling.
Come out and play, he moans,
Halloween lasts but a day, he groans.
Laugh, laugh away your silly fear,
the pumpkin grin will bring you cheer.
Gliding ghouls are hosts to you
waiting, waiting, and then – BOO!

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Except for the photo, this is a retread from last year. The picture was taken at a hotel in Albuquerque where the employees were having a contest for the best carved pumpkin. They were all good, but this was a stand out. It’s the one we voted for :). Have a safe Halloween.

 

Autumn’s Favor

Chili Ristra

Come autumn, Mom couldn’t pass up
a roadside farm stand.
She had to stop, shop, buy.
The bright array of produce
– juicy apples
– plump pumpkins
– piquant chile peppers
– green and yellow squash
and more,
much better than any store.

Vibrant color,
mixed aromas of melons,
dirt from the field,
sawn wood of newly built
display stands, wobbly
yet able to bear the weight
of succulent bounty.
It made Mom grin,
and drew her in.

Chilly shopping in the open air.
Backdrop of plowed fields,
trees turning golden,
dropping leaves like confetti,
ristras glistening in the sun,
peppery red and lush,
green chilies turning in barrels
drenching the air
with the bouquet of fall,
a seasonal signal of winter’s call.

Good food
from the good earth,
to make into enchiladas,
tacos, rellanos,
beans with chicos,
cornbread sprinkled with green chile
and kernels of fresh corn.
The kitchen a place of comfort
where love settled in every nook
and came in waves from the cook.

Autumn’s favor comes
in memories
of home, warmed by
the heat of an oven
baking a surprise
fresh from the field.
Memories interwoven with time,
a yearning to go back
and see my mother’s smile,
if only for a little while.

 

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Image: clipart.com

Yea! New Book Published

Book CoverI just indie published a new book. 25 Days of Christmas, An Advent Journey rejoices in the birth of Christ through poetry. Words and phrases that evoke Advent, a time of expectant waiting for the Child of Wonder, inspired each poem. The accompanying scripture reflects on the promises of old, when prophets spoke of a Son, a King, a birthplace, a promise.

25 Days of Christmas, An Advent Journey contains poems in the acrostic style with the first letter of each sentence based on the title. The poems were shared on my publishing blog, www.oneroofpublish.com in December 2015. A friend asked if the poems would be available in printed format. The seed was planted and has grown to be this small offering of celebration.

Now is the time to buy this short book of poetry, which also provides a space for you to add your thoughts about the season and what it means to you. It’s a fabulous gift idea for pre-Christmas giving or as a gift for 2016. It is evergreen in that as an Advent calendar, it can be used in any year.

I am also available to talk to groups about indie publishing and, of course, about my latest book. My schedule currently is to be at Noon PagesKiwanis on June 1, and Rotary on June 28. Contact me at fsvandermeer@gmail.com if you are interested in a foray into indie publishing.

Order info:
Title: 25 Days of Christmas, An Advent Journey
Price: $7.50
Available: Online at amazon.com.
Available: Sharon Vander Meer (A discount will apply to books purchased directly from me when the purchase is for multiple copies.) When *ordering directly from me, type New Book in the subject line.

__________________________

­*Shipping costs will apply on orders outside Las Vegas, NM.

I am old, but that’s okay

Amaryllis in Bloom

Every once in a while I catch my reflection in a store window and am puzzled by the stranger looking back at me. Yes, I do look at my reflection every day when I’m putting on makeup, but that’s different, that’s a feature by feature application that doesn’t require looking at the whole picture, the big picture you might say.

It’s those unexpected sightings of myself when I stop and think, “Who is that old woman?” And then the rude awakening, “Oh, right, that’s me, the girl who used to weigh 97 pounds soaking wet (yeah, that’s been a while ago), and the one with – at varying times – dish-water blonde hair, black hair, blonde hair, red hair, and now nearly entirely white hair.

Being old doesn’t bother me, maySharon Vander Meerbe because I’m blessed with good health and don’t have to deal with the issues of a failing body and wandering mind, at least not right now. I’m happy to get up in the morning and look out into the patio to find an amaryllis in full bloom that’s been around for at least 50 years, its blossoms as brilliant and showy as if sprung new from the ground for the first time. It blooms twice a year without fail, with two to three spikes bearing three or four brilliant blossoms. Oh, that as I age I continue to blossom in my own way. I hope by the end of every day I have done something that made someone smile or laugh or think.

And then there are my friends. I don’t have many, by the way, only a few. Yes, I know many people, and I treasure those relationships, but a friend is someone who will listen to you blather on and pretend what you say matters. A friend is someone who will ask you the right questions without trying to give you her version of the right answers. A friend is someone who has known you for a long time and still likes you. A friend is someone who doesn’t judge you or the choices you make. A friend is someone who knows you want an honest answer to the question, “Do these pants make me look fat?” So, yeah, the only way you have old friends is if you are getting old too.

Life in general is as happy as we each want it to be. Make a conscious choice every day to be happy. If life has taught me anything it is to be forgiving, not only of others, but of oneself as well. Carrying around the baggage of discontent can plumb wear a person out. Taking on the stress dealt out by life is a time and energy waster. Guilting over past mistakes is to allow other people or circumstances to control your life, and why would you want to do that? Try to right the wrongs you can, and trust in the Lord for the rest. I learned the hard way that I can’t make other people happy no matter how hard I try, but I can make me happy, and by doing so hopefully have a positive impact. Life Lesson 101 – Count your blessings, they far outnumber your disappointments.

So, yes, I’m old, but that’s okay. I do count my blessings, and being able to write these words and share them is one of them. Aging is more than a physical process. It is to a degree mental. I agree with columnist Doug Larson who wrote, “The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.” I can’t wait for the next snowfall. I’m ready to make my pitch.