“New Beginnings,” #flashfiction

June 10, 2021, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a new way to office. Has the office changed? Can we return to normal after big changes or time away? Go where the prompt leads! Respond by June 15, 2021.

“New Beginnings”

“Hello, Judith? Gather the others and meet me out back in half an hour.”

Macy hung up her phone. Productivity at fairy headquarters had slowed during the human pandemic. When the humans quit believing in magic, the fabric of fairy reality faded. The fey hid in the otherworld, waiting. Today, Macy aimed to fix the problem.

The fey folk assembled in the meadow, their new home office. They joined hands and danced. Macy said the magic words:

fairy dance rhythms drift
sacred smoke linger—cleansing
belief in magic
fiery memory's return
summer solstice fires burn

Slowly the veil lifted…

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Our belief in magic is restored with a little help from the Japanese tanka. How cool is that?

Magnetic #Tanka

I dipped into the oracle again today. I love the randomness of the words. The Summer Solstice approaches! Blessed BE!

from ghost dance rhythm
sacred perfume smoke lingers
magic remembers
champagne desire—wild women,
secret poetry and sky

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

My first poetry publication

Elizabeth, from Tea & Paper shares some of her work that was included in Word Craft: Prose & Poetry. Please stop by and offer your congratulations on a job well done to Elizabeth. ❤

Tea & Paper

I’m happy to share with you that two of my poems have been published! I’ve never thought that one day my poetry would be good enough to be in a book. And it is almost unbelievable that they were published in a book that teaches how to write syllabic poetry!

The form of published poems is Haiga, Japanese syllabic poetry that combines a written Haiku or Senryu with an image. Both written form and image should stand independently, and they should be able to transmit emotion to the reader.

If you are following me on my blog or Instagram you already know that photography is my passion, a way to express my feelings in the same way I use words to scribble details of a moment. So, Haiga is an opportunity to combine my photography and poetry together in one piece of art.

Word Craft Prose & Poetry by Colleen…

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“#Michigan #Gardening,” #haibun

I feel great satisfaction in the planting and growing of perennials. They become my offspring, a by-product of the energy I infuse into the plants to grow and become strong. Each season, I fuss over the fresh growth, thrilled that my plant babies survived another year.

day’s first blush
halcyon weather
eventide storms

Today, the humidity wrapped vaporous tendrils of fog around the trees in my neighborhood. As I labored in the garden digging holes, my sweat dripped into the soil.

dark clouds birth
crepuscular light
draws rainfall

By the time the rains came, my plants were tucked into the soil and my balance with nature was again restored.

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro


This haibun is an example of a prose envelope haibun (prose, haiku, prose). An explantation of the form is found on page 84-89 in the print book of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry.

This week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge was to pick synonyms for the words dawn and twilight selected by Gwen Plano. I used “first blush” for dawn and “eventide” for twilight. In the second haiku, I used “birth” for dawn, and “crepuscular light” for twilight.

Summer Love, #shadorma

Merril D. Smith writes an “Oracle” inspired poem every Saturday. This week, I thought I would jump into some magnetic poetry to see what I could come up with. Susan Joy Clark also joined in.

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

You can find the Magnetic Poetry Oracle HERE. You receive a random set of words used to construct your poem. This shadorma came together quickly. Syllabic poetry is all about the brevity of words. This is one way to experiment.

Have fun and write some Oracle inspired poetry!

Catching Up & a haiku

The last six months have been a whirlwind! We packed up and moved cross country from Arizona to Michigan in January—during a pandemic, no less. Once here, we tackled as many fixer-upper issues as we could in the new house. This will be a process. The dates we received from our contractor have us at Thanksgiving before the kitchen and flooring are done on the first floor. You know, with Covid and all the shortages of products and goods, you do what you can do.

I’ve no idea how I managed to finish Word Craft: Prose & Poetry during this stressful time. All I know was that it was important to write and publish the book. I felt like there was a need for all of us to learn how to write stimulating syllabic poetry. I want to personally thank every one of you for your poetry examples and your encouragement. If you’ve purchased the book, I thank you. I hope it opens the floodgates to other forms of poetry for everyone.

I also felt there was a need to publish a journal of syllabic verse. Many poets do not have the ways or means to publish their poetry. I thought this would present an opportunity for unpublished poets, you know, to establish some poetic credentials.

I also thought the proceeds from the journal sales would be a great way to fund a yearly poetry contest with cash prizes—that is, with a full disclosure of the journal sales figures. I considered asking a fee to enter the poetry contest, but that didn’t sit well with me.

I acknowledge there are many poetry journals and online magazines out there right now. Many ask for a fee upfront before you know whether or not your poem is even accepted. Others accept free entries and if your poetry is accepted, you pay $16 or more for a print version of the book featuring your poem.

Is this a form of vanity publishing? The Alliance of Independent authors discusses vanity publishing in the context of book authors:

“Dictionary.com defines the term as “a printing house that specializes in publishing books for which the authors pay all or most of the costs.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a publishing house that publishes books at the author’s expense.”

What is Vanity Publishing?

Vanity presses publish everything that is submitted by an author. The author bears the costs of producing the book.

In comparison, the Word Weaving poetry journal allows a poet three FREE entries. The entries are vetted. My co-editor, JulesPaige and I decide which poetry makes it into the journal. We will offer a low-cost ebook and print book for purchase. The funds from the sale of the journal will be used to fund a poetry contest with cash prizes (Amazon gift cards). There is no obligation to purchase the journal.

All rights revert to the respective author/artist upon publication. Word Weaving keeps the right to republish work either digitally or in print. No work featured in the journal may be used, copied, sold, or distributed elsewhere without the copyright holder’s permission. If your work is republished, we would appreciate a mention that Word Weaving was the first place of publication.

If you’re interested in submitting to Word Weaving click HERE. Submissions close after July 15, 2021.

Day lilies and Coreposis

Next, we get to my other passion… gardening. It’s warmed up here in Michigan. Today, I was able to work on the blank canvas of a garden the previous owner of this house left us with. I’ve got a lot more to do, but I confess that working in the soil made me feel reconnected to nature and to myself.

There are many out-of-control bushes in the front and on the sides of the house. I have a landscaper coming to get rid of those plants in the next week or so. That DirectTV dish will find its way in the trash pile as well. 😀

Now that I’ve brought you all up to date, here my poem for this week for Tanka Tuesday. It’s Poet’s Choice and a simple haiku gives me joy!

south wind gusts...
temperatures rise
meadowlark sings

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro
Eastern Meadowlark

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

Colleen’s Book Reviews

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

I’m still playing catch-up with book reviews. These are a few of the books I’ve been reading the last couple of months. I’m sure you will find something that will catch your fancy!

“Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries,” by Sally Cronin

Short story and poetry anthologies are all the rage now, and Sally Cronin’s “Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries” does not disappoint. This eclectic mix takes the reader through a gambit of feelings that revolve around the themes of love, loss, humor, revenge, and life’s second chances.

A few of these tales brought tears to my eyes, such as “Long Lost Love,” which tells the story of Tom and Elaine, a pregnancy, and a visit from beyond the grave. However, the poetry is as exceptional as the short stories. The butterfly cinquain, “Ritual of Mehndi,” shares a glimpse into the traditional wedding custom of painting symbols in henna on the bride’s hands.

This author is known for an empathetic approach to her writing. She writes what she senses, sharing the ups and downs of her characters with love and compassion. A true storyteller, Sally Cronin’s stories will leave you wanting more feel-good moments.

Amazon Author Page

“Voices (in the Trash),” by Frank Prem

Amazon.com

Frank Prem lends his photographic talent to this picture poetry book by featuring photographs from the trash and treasure markets from around Australia. The author asks us, “What if these items could talk?”

What follows is a unique poetic perspective as he listens to the plaintive voices in the trash. He pens his poetry accordingly. All objects are worthy of a voice, in his eyes.

This was a lovely and creative endeavor. If you’re looking for something different to read and inspire, this is the book for you.

Amazon Author Page

“Endangered Spells,” Book 5 of 7, Witches Academy, by S. R. Mallery

“Endangered Spells,” leads the reader into a world of contemporary witchcraft with an unexpected link back in history to the Salem Witch Trials. Gillian is a young witch who denies her powers because of something that happened in her past.

When her best friend, Rebecca suddenly disappears, Gillian knows something terrible has occurred. The police aren’t working fast enough, and Gillian realizes that she may well have to use witchcraft to solve this heinous crime.

The mystery spirals out of control when two more of Gillian’s journalist friends are murdered. The young witch takes matters into her own hands and uncovers some deep secrets related to her past.

Meanwhile, one of the detectives on the case realizes that he is in love with Gillian. Witches and humans don’t usually mix, but nothing is as it seems in this fast-paced mystery.

This was a fun read. Gillian’s family pet, a cockatoo, steals the show! There’s something here for everyone: love, romance, humor, and murder. The perfect combination for a cozy mystery!

Amazon Author Page

“Delilah Astral Investigator Infinity Series: Episode 2, The Boy Who Would Be King,” by Deborah A. Bowman

Delilah Sanchez, her amazing cat, Mollie, and the 1774 American Colonial Lord Bartholomew Darnesworth Wharton, III, (Bartie) are back for another time travel adventure. This time, the threesome travel back to the year, 1502, the day before Prince Arthur Tudor’s death.

No one understands how or why they were chosen to intervene in the events unfolding before them. All they know is that this one change can ripple through time changing the present. After a series of Astral projections, Bartie and Delilah fear that the war they are witnessing would evolve into World War III in their reality. They believe they are the guardians, entrusted with saving their world. How do you save the past and the future at the same time?

Bartie is forced to make some hard choices. But now, he carries the guilt from those decisions. He’s fallen hard for Delilah. How does he tell her the truth of what really happened?

The author combines YA fantasy, history, and a bit of romance to create an exciting time travel novel. This is the second book in the series, and to maintain the character background I would start with the first novel, “Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah, Astral Investigator Infinity Series.”

This fast-paced adventure will keep you up long into the night!

Amazon Author Page

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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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I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

South Wind, Frank’s Challenge #191

It’s been a while since Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge was available. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m glad to see him back! Here is my haiku for #191 south wind.

south wind strokes
green leafy branches
cicadas sing

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

It’s important to note that haiku are untitled. Also, we shouldn’t capitalize the first letter of each line in syllabic poetry. I know Word, and even WordPress naturally capitalizes each line, but it’s incorrect in Japanese poetry and most syllabic forms. Write your poetry like a pro… don’t capitalize!

This is a good tip to know if you are submitting your poetry to poetry journals like Word Weaving. 😀

Have you heard about the Brood X cicadas? I think we miss the worst of these creatures in my part of Michigan. Fingers Crossed. Read more HERE.

WordCrafter Poetry Treasures blog tour – Day 2 featuring Victoria Zigler

Day Two of the Poetry Treasures Blog Tour introduces us to Tori Zigler and her poetry. Thanks for reading and sharing. ❤

Robbie's inspiration

Poetry Treasures is an anthology of poems by a number of talented poets. Today I am thrilled to introduce poet and children’s author, Victoria Zigler, whose work features in this anthology.

I don’t do routines by Victoria Zigler

I’ve made that fact clear in several interviews where I’ve been asked what my writing routine looks like.

It’s not that I don’t want to, because I’d love to have a proper routine. The simple fact is, I can never make it stick, and it’s not even poor willpower, but issues with insomnia battling chronic fatigue, which means sometimes I go days where I’m lucky if I need all the fingers on one hand to count the hours of sleep I managed to get in those few days – regardless of how physically tired I might feel – while other times it’s the reverse, and it’s hours of wakefulness that are few…

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Colleen’s Book Reviews: “Sugar and Snails,” by Anne Goodwin, @Annecdotist

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails describes Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

Diana, a shy and reserved middle-aged professor, enters into a relationship with the recently divorced Simon. This relationship causes her to rethink her past and her future in ways she never imagined. She realizes things can’t go on the way they are. If she wants a normal life with Simon, she must resolve the guilt she carries from her childhood.

This midlife crisis propels the woman on a journey of self-discovery. At fifteen, Diana and her parents made a decision that changed her life forever. Now, she has to deal with the reality of that mysterious trip to Cairo all those long years ago.

Diana’s past remained a secret, and not even her closest friends knew the truth. To make matters worse, this guilt eventually cripples her as an individual. She is reclusive and painfully shy.

By the time her secret is revealed, I found myself speechless, as I’d never fully guessed the true nature of her mystery. But this story isn’t about the mystery so much as it is about Diana and how she deals with the past so that can move on with her future. In the end, Simon didn’t matter. But Diana’s relationship with Simon was the mechanism that forced her to come to grips with the past.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Anne Goodwin, but it won’t be the last. I stayed up late into the night enthralled by the writing, and with Diana’s character. This is an unusual coming of age tale, even though the protagonist is middle-aged. Some themes in this book deal with sexuality, self-harm, and identity. This is a must-read for anyone who ever felt different as a child or misunderstood!

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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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I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.