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I tackle poetry ... and get slammed

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK My wife is taking a poetry class this year, so I, being a writer, decided to take a crack at writing poetry myself. Why didn’t someone stop me? Thank goodness I’m better at prose. Thank goodness Emily is better at poetry, or she’d be scoring a big fat goose egg, which rhymes with … I don’t know, something. My understanding has always been that poetry is writing that’s short and structured and rhymes, while prose just rambles on, the way I do. However, it turns out that poetry doesn’t always rhyme, and some poems have gone on to book lengths. There are, in fact, many dozens of types of poetry, from Haiku to Jintishi. I thought Jintishi was a condition related to too much...
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Short Story/Serial Monday – First Impressions – Part 4

Author Don Massenzio This week, I bring in a familiar character from both my Frank Rozzani and Brad Rafferty series. He is a genius hacker/attorney and sometime drummer that has a reputation that is well-deserved that makes him much sought after. Throwing him into the mix of this story creates a bridge in my book and short story universe that connects my works. It’s also fun to fall into writing for an old, familiar character. I hope you enjoy the developments in this installment of First Impressions The swells were unusually high off Jacksonville Beach. At five feet, the surfing was still sedate, but more challenging than usual. As the sun made its final escape from the ocean horizon to the...
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Music Monday: “End of the Road,” by Jerry Lee Lewis and Tom Jones

“End of the Road” was the b-side of Jerry Lee Lewis’ first Sun Records single (the a-side was “Crazy Arms”).  It’s one of my favorites. Please enjoy this live performance by Jerry Lee and Sir Tom Jones. Original link

Book Review ~ The House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown, by Nathen Amin

Available from  Amazon UK  and  Amazon US The Beaufort portcullis badge is everywhere, from the one penny coin to the Houses of Parliament, but few people know much about this amazing family, which has had such an impact on British history.  I think part of the reason is the story of the Beau forts is complex, so  Nathen Amin has to be con gratulated for unpicking myth from fact and producing a highly readable account. It's often said that history has much more drama than fiction, and the House of Beaufort is no exception. This is a story of loyalty and treachery, luck and disaster, which would make a wonderful epic feature film. My only issue with this meticulously researched book is that m...
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Miss Know It All Answers Your Questions on Dating, Love, and Romance

Miss Know It All Do you believe in love at first sight and why? AK As to whether I believe in love at first sight, I can’t really say that I do. I think it is more of an infatuation or attraction to that person. Sometimes it is called lust. You can be turned on by someone but whether it is love, at first sight, has a different meaning depending on the person and what you are really seeking. Have you ever had a horrific breakup and, if so, how did you handle it? SG I have never had a horrific breakup, but you may find this post helpful: In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake most people make after a ...
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ABOUT THE BOOK Newly minted lawyer Corrie Locke has taken a vow of abstinence. From PI work, that is. Until her best friend Michael finds his bully of a boss stabbed in the back after confronting him earlier that day. Michael panics, accidentally tampering with the crime scene…which could lead the cops to Michael instead of the real culprit. He turns to Corrie to track down the killer. She doesn’t need much coaxing. Her late great PI dad taught her the ropes…and left her his cache of illegal weaponry. They return to the scene of the crime, but the body’s missing. Racing against time, Corrie dredges a prestigious Los Angeles college in pursuit of clues. All she finds are false leads. Armed wi...
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Six-Word Story Challenge – “Letter”

#IndieAuthor #6WordStory #SciFi #Fantasy #Horror #Romance #SciFan #AnyGenre   Today’s challenge is: “Letter” “Her wrath coalesced articulately in ink.” I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Feel free to post your answers on my website, FB, or wherever you happen to find this post. Cheers, J. I. Rogers Original link

Book Clubs

I recently saw Book Club. It was a cute movie - funny and sweet. It got me to thinking about book clubs. I have only been in one myself. Years ago I was teaching at a two-year college, and a couple of teachers tried to start a book club with some of our students. It didn’t go over very well, and we only meet a few times. I believe it was just the wrong environment. In our world today, we don’t need to meet in person to be part of a book club. There are thousands, if not millions, of online or virtual book clubs. Goodreads has a list with close to 25,000 groups. There is a website, , that allows you to search for and join clubs as well as creating one of your own....
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Meet Guest Author Sally Cronin

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life : In August of 2014 I was still in the first few months of my blogging life. One of the early supporters of my efforts, as I am sure he was for most of you, was Chris, The Story Reading Ape. This was my first… Original link

Happy Father’s Day

dad ron me
My brother, my father, and me. Today is Father’s Day.  I’ll be ringing up my dad later to wish him a happy one.  I’ll be hoping he’s having a good day, as his health is failing.  He’ll be 81 this year, so perhaps that’s not surprising.  It’s hard, though; my dad was always a robust guy up until the last few years came calling. My father was the earliest civil rights advocate whom I saw up close and personal, although I didn’t realize it at the time.  He gave away the bride when a young African American guy who was one of his students married a white woman and her own parents refused to attend.  That happened the same year that this photograph was taken. My dad and I are very much alike; Type...
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Bonus Track and Sample in Honor of Monterey Pop Festival Anniversary

Hi, everyone.  On this day in 1967, the three-day Monterey Pop Festival kicked off in that county’s fairgrounds.  One of the short pieces in It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories, “Down on the Corner of Love,” has a crucial scene that takes place there.  Here is a snippet, along with a bonus track of Janis Joplin doing “Ball and Chain” at the event.  Enjoy! I had never seen so many beautiful people in one place. The Monterey Fair Grounds was full of young people, dressed in colorful clothes, sharing food, drink and yes, if one were so inclined, drugs … all waiting to hear the music over the next few days. I was glad that we had Jo’s VW bus to sleep in; others were sleeping on the ground. ...
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Love is the answer.

On my walk this morning. Photo copyright SvD. Original link


© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

The Wuthering Heights of July 1978

I have just sold a piece to a music magazine about an old record that’s part of my youth. I am quite happy, thank you. And now, I don’t often speak about music on Karavansara, but when I do, it’s about artists that tell stories with their songs. In the end, if I look at the records and artists that I consider part of my education (for better or for worse) I find that, while often very different for genre and approach, they all are, in one way or another, storytellers. Case in point, Kate Bush, and her record The Kick Inside, the 1978 debut album I have just retro-reviewed for a magazine. I will not get into an in-depth analysis or whatever. Re-listening to it I realized the amount of storyte...
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Dangling Participles.

Hamllet ghost
I don’t want to get too personal, but how do you feel about your dangling participles? Do you reel back in horror at the sight of them? Feel there’s a time and place for them if used wisely? Or wonder what on earth I am talking about? If you are in the last group, a dangling participle occurs when a clause in a sentence relates not to the noun or pronoun that follows it, but to one in a previous clause. As in: ‘Mary thought Mr Brown was a misogynist and she vowed she would never work for him; then again, being a woman, he probably wouldn’t employ her anyway.’ Sometimes a dangling participle will cause confusion, but few readers of the above sentence would assume that Mr Brown is female. Bein...
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No, this is not Syria

No, this is not Syria
Downtown Victoria, BC, next door to the Inner Harbor, the demolition crew provides grand entertainment for locals and tourists on a sunny Saturday. But why are they tearing down this old building?   Customs House, which takes up an entire city block framed by Government, Wharf and Courtney streets, was built on the harbour between 1894 and 1898. It has been variously known as the Federal Building, Post Office and Customs House, the latter for its role in processing goods leaving and entering the country. Its important historical features include the façade’s sandstone walls, quarried from nearby islands in Georgia Strait. It also has what might be considered an eminently forgettable element ...
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Can he tell, somehow, who I am?

The old man calls my name, and I advance in the darkness in the direction of his voice, bumping against a shelf here, a bench there. First, near the entrance, I touch the cold surface of an hourglass, nearly tipping it over. A leather scroll drops down accidentally and spreads across my path. Meanwhile the wind is flapping, slapping across the canvas, a bird comes squawking overhead, and with every step I can hear a sound that is even higher than all that: my heart, racing wildly.  At last I reach his bed, above which I can see two open tears in the canvas. Slanting down from there are two long rays, the rays of morning light, the glare of which beams down directly upon his eyes, his odd, bl...
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Hearts Collide to Release July 19th! Sneak Peek….

Hearts Collide
Bent is broken in body, mind, and spirit. Complications of an injury plague Angel Fire’s legendary bassist. He’ll never play again. Never take the stage with his bandmates. Never soak in the intoxication of the crowd. Music has abandoned him. At least that’s what he’s told his overly persistent physical therapist, Piper. The woman is petite and vivacious, a pixie with red hair and a spitfire attitude. She doesn’t know when to give up, or when to shove her perpetual positivity into the deepest, darkest hole. He’s fired her more times than he can count. She should leave him to his misery, but the woman won’t take no for an answer. She challenges him. Pushes him. She never lets up. The fiery pi...
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Vampyrie Wins @AUTHORSdb 2018 First Lines Contest

I’m thrilled to announce that my book, Vampyrie, won the gold in the AUTHORSdb 2018 First Lines Contest!     I was up against some pretty tough competition and was honored to be among so many talented writers. LIST OF FIANLISTS   The 2019 contest is now open. ENTER HERE   Winning this award has … Continue reading Vampyrie Wins @AUTHORSdb 2018 First Lines Contest → Original link

To Hades with her demented half brother!

Hi fellow  Snippeteers and readers.  Welcome to  my  Weekend Warriors  post. I'm continuing this week with another snippet from my fantasy novella, Dancing With Fate. Thank you to everyone who's been following my snippets so far. Don't forget to visit the other authors at the link above and also below this post, there's something for all tastes. Last time: Terpsichore, muse of dance, was given a new mission by Apollo, to restore joy and the love of dancing to the Celts of 5th Century Wales.  Now she has completed her task and looks forward to returning   to  Olympus, but then her annoying brother turns up, trying to get her to drink his wine. Eventually she persuades him to leave.  (As usual...
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Lizardmen vs the Mole People

I’ve just presented a very early first draft for a new project. There’s not much I can say about it right now, but let’s say there’s dinosaurs in it, and a lost world of sorts, and I’m trying not to do a rehash of The House of the Gods, and have fun. My outline includes Mole People. Because I loved that old movie, and Mole People are just cool, and I’d love to do a bit, as part of this project of mine, called Queen of the Mole People – featuring a character I cannot but envision as Sza Sza Gabor. But it was suggested I use Lizardmen instead. And of course, as long as weird, non-human antagonists go, Lizardmen are perfectly fine. Indeed, we have seen a few fine examples of Lizardmen in the pa...
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