Slivers: Chiseled Poetry & Dead of Winter-BOOK REVIEWS

Slivers: Chiseled Poetry by Balroop Singh is an enchanting collection of micro-poetry inspired by haiku, tanka, and senryu, also including acrostic poems. Nature, love, and life itself have inspired the growth of these poetic blossoms. Balroop reveals her graceful way of stringing words together, forming vivid images for the reader, inciting a myriad of emotions.

What I find noteworthy is her admission of thinking these forms would be too simple to write, therefore, her interest had waned. But when she met the challenge, she realized the task was anything but uncomplicated. And she met the challenge flawlessly. As I turned each page, more favorites appeared, too many to list, but here are a couple that resonated:

clasping trees beam/in the misty morning breeze/a glorious sight

These lines evoke backpacking memories of waking up in the morning in our wilderness home, greeting the majestic trees.

I heard melodies/of crescent moon that hung above/Darkness melted with the lilting sound/that merged in the symphony of sun/I chose life.

In this poem, I am reminded that our lives are not without strife but hope always prevails. Life is so much bigger and glorious than we realize.

Through Balroop’s magical word-weaving, she expresses the gift of surrounding beauty not to be taken for granted. She reiterates that we should persevere through the darkness because the light will shine again, and a heart that finds the deepest of love is a heart of gratitude. An exquisite poetry collection to be treasured and read over and over again. Highly recommended!

DEAD OF WINTER Journey 1-4 by Teagan Riordain Geneviene begins with Journey 1 in the first of a series that continues in monthly novellas. I have only recently begun reading the fantasy genre. But many wonderful authors have enticed me into their fantastical worlds of writing, and Teagan Riordain Geneviene is one of them. I was easily pulled into Emlyn’s world, the main character who is only twelve years old. A world with its restrictions appearing seemingly true to life for many.

Emlyn’s story starts in the Flowing Lands at Forlorn Peak, but her life is not all giggles of a twelve-year-old for she lives with a secret only her teacher, Osabide, is privy to. Emlyn can see spirits, but the controlling radical society called The Brethren view her as a disgrace. Because of this, her tale is one of mystery and suspense, of her trying to find her way, discerning who she can trust and who she must run from. Additionally, she keeps hearing the words, “Winter is Coming” which places the reader in a nail-biting position of mystery, wondering what those three words indicate.

Teagan’s writing is so compelling that the readers are invited into feeling emotions of love, acceptance, fear, and oppression, to name a few. This series is captivating with wonderful world-building, a well-developed setting, and characters that either charm or get under your skin. I have enjoyed the unfolding story through Journey 4, and I look forward to continuing the journeys to follow. If you appreciate great fantasy novels, or even if fantasy is not your go-to genre, I encourage you to give Teagan’s series a try. I highly recommend “Dead of Winter” for all readers!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll add these books to your libraries – simply click Buy on Amazon. For Teagan’s books, the link in this post is for Journey 1, but you’ll easily find the books to follow. Happy Reading!

Lauren ❤️

Is that most embarrassing moment still buried deep in your subconscious?

Mine is! Even after more than four decades!

The year was 1978. It was my best friend’s father’s birthday, and I was invited to go out to dinner with the family to celebrate. When we arrived at the popular restaurant, we had to wait for a table – it was crowded even for a weeknight. But the lobby was decorated in reds, oranges, golds, and greens – a warm atmosphere, inviting us to sit down while we waited. Most of the group found seats, including me. I sat on the edge of a comfy sofa. One you can sink right into and wonder how on earth you’ll get out of. On my right side was an end table with a slim glass vase holding one single red rose. Very dainty and pretty.

My friend’s father – the man of the hour chose to sit next to me. I scooted to my right a couple of inches to give him a little more room. What I didn’t realize was the comfy sofa had no arm and the end table was so close that this fact was camouflaged. Before I knew it, before I could shift the direction of my body, I slid off that sofa, landing on the hardwood floor! What seemed like slow motion, that beautiful end table skidded a foot across the smooth surface, prompting that dainty, pretty vase and rose to tumble off into a dramatic crash! Footsteps of restaurant patrons dodged scattered rose petals, shards of glass, and tiny puddles of water. And there I laid, stunned, wanting to melt into that hardwood and disappear for a few months. Long enough for everyone watching to forget about this mortifying moment.

Mel, my friend, offered me a hand. I must’ve stood up, accepting her help, but what actually happened honestly remains a blur. That event, though, from over forty years ago, stays vivid in my camera roll of memories. The difference between then and now is that I can laugh about it. To just laugh and let those silly giggles escape with delight is always a great solution!

Thank you for reading and remember to give those giggles some freedom!
Do you have an embarrassing moment to share? 🙂

Lauren Scott (c) 2021 ❤️❤️❤️
Vase photo: Google
“Just laugh” photo: dry erase board on my fridge. 🙂

Rocking with Love

Built with tender hands
and love for his daughter,
she happily rocked through

childhood. Then with tiny fingers
wrapped around books, they
rocked like her – smiles spreading
across their soft cheeks.
Adorable animals enhanced
the white finish – charm never
to be erased. As memories

of her father flooded her mind
like a scrapbook of Polaroids,
Grandma watched her grandchildren
with a full heart, for that special rocker
embraced new generations
with the gentlest rhythm of love.

Our son in 1997, enjoying Grandma’s rocking chair that her father built. This precious little rocker has been passed down through our family for each new grandchild to feel the love.
Bigger smiles.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021 ❤️

Ever So Gently

Sometimes we get lost in our thoughts…
losing focus of stars shimmering above us,
the sky turning heavenly blue for our pleasure,
raindrops falling for our essential cleansing.
We tumble too deeply into the frontal lobe
allowing negative thoughts to awaken,
permitting them to throw a tantrum.

So we must remember the wind will carry
worries and doubts across rivers and oceans,
majestic trees will sway with joy, sheltering
from shadows, and light will continue to shine,
even if only a slight glimmer peeks through.
Its glow will grow ever so gently into a bright
beacon of hope rising with the golden sun
bringing the most beautiful clarity to our vision.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Tequila

She faded into the atmosphere.
Sometimes unexpected events
blindside us, and other times,
choices wait nearby for the
reaching – consequences
need accommodating.

She faded into the atmosphere…
laughter once filled the room
with joy bouncing off walls.
Tequila and wine coolers
ebbed worries, deep dialogues
of divulged truths lingered into
the night.

Now colorless cobwebs suspend
of long-ago memories
with the realization
no new memories
will be in the making.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Like a Child

I’ve never seen him act this way
So listless rivalled to fun-filled days
Head hangs low with each new step
Where is his happy, bouncy pep?

Pacing round and round the room
Sunshine doesn’t fade the gloom
Seeking comfort with a whine
His distress infects my mind

He tucks his body in real tight
Leaning on my feet, he might
Those amber eyes touch my soul
Emotions begin to lose control

I’ll care for him until the day
He romps around, eager to play
His floppy ears will tell me so
My love for him will overflow

Our Copper Boy has been sick all week and
it’s been
heart-wrenching to see him not feeling well.
This is a first for him in his almost eleven years.
❤️

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Where the fun never sets!

Since the empty nester phase has arrived, my husband and I have been flipping through old photo albums. Remember those? Not a folder on a computer, but good old albums where memories come alive on each page. We ran across this article I wrote in the year 2000 that was published in our local newspaper. Talk about memories!

San Anselmo Memorial Park: Where the fun never sets!

It’s a beautiful summer day in the low 80s. My husband is at work and I’m the designated recreation director for our son and daughter. There aren’t any play dates scheduled today, so what would be a fun way to entertain them?

I’m a stay-at-home mom and have met many people since we moved to San Anselmo, mainly through school and extracurricular activities. One of the most popular pastimes for parents and their children is going to the park. I have never seen so many beautiful parks to choose from.

Memorial Park is the hot spot in this quaint little town. Although the equipment was old when we first visited, it was a great destination for our children to expel their energy. Then, about a year later, I heard talk of a possible renovation, making it more desirable for children to play.

Talk soon turned into a dream come true. With the help of community volunteers and hired architects, Memorial Park was remodeled in one week! I knew if I didn’t volunteer to help, I’d feel guilty for a long time. This park and our children had already established a close bond and would be seeing a lot more of each other.

So, I volunteered to get my hands dirty and to participate in the camaraderie. Hammering, painting, lifting, cleaning, whatever it took, the work got done. The newly improved Memorial Park is even more magical than before. I haven’t visited once when it wasn’t filled with happy, giggly children creating their own adventures, whether in the mystical castles, climbing on the long-neck dinosaur, or building sandcastles in the big sand box.

Now, instead of wondering how I will entertain our son and daughter, I choose the best time to leave for the park. Usually, our children meet up with friends they’ve already made, which adds more dimension to the fun. While they’re playing, I share in adult conversation with other parents, flip through a magazine, continue where I left off in a good book, or simply enjoy the relaxation on a splendid summer day. What better music to our ears than the giggles of our happy children!

I truly appreciate the many volunteers and their working hands who conceived the renovation, thought it doable, making it reality!

Lauren Scott (c) 2000

I don’t have photos of the park during that time because I probably didn’t carry my camera on me. My bag was most likely filled with lots of water and snacks. And those were the days before smart phones existed where a simple tap, tap, tap could create 1000 photos in 5 seconds.

So, the photos I’m sharing are from the current website, along with the picture of my children that was included with the article. Now they’re 29 and 26! How is this even possible?!

Are you about to embark on the same life chapter of becoming empty nesters…or, perhaps, do my memories evoke special memories of your own? If you’re inclined to share, I’d love to read.

And thank you for joining me on this day at the park!

~Lauren ❤️💙💜
All park photos: Memorial Park website

#BOOK REVIEWS: Poetry, Memoir, Fantasy

Recently, I’ve ordered new paperbacks as if they’ll be obsolete tomorrow! And I’m truly enjoying the various genres: poetry, memoir, and fantasy. From the books I share today, I have been prompted to sigh over love-infused prose and verse. Visions from my past have come to life through some flash memoirs, and my attention has been captivated after venturing into an exciting new world of fantasy. I am thrilled to share three wonderful books that I gave Five-Star reviews in hope that you will be inspired to read them as well.

Memoirs of a Star” by Diana Menezes is a collection of extraordinary word weaving in poetic form. Life and love provide inspiration in all their glory and despair. Both can be joyful and messy. There are times when hope feels lost for eternity. But Diana reminds us that the stars continue to shine as though covering us in a blanket of magic. Even if the dark shadows grow, light will glow again.

Diana’s writing is lovely and enchanting, prompting the reader to feel heartbreak, elation, inspiration, or to sigh for a love felt deeply. I have dog-eared many favorites in my paperback, but these are a few that resonated: “The Wrong Road Home” tugged at my heart as I thought of the elderly who find themselves alone in their last chapter of life. After reading, I felt grateful that my dad still had his three daughters to care for him after my mom passed away. “Tangled Moonlight” speaks to a heart that will never let go – the epitome of unquestionable true love. “I Will Stand” inspires us to let go of past mistakes so that we can find our way out of the darkness. “To Have is To Hope” reiterates that we are visitors on this planet, that we have always been together though on different paths, and to remember the promise of a new day and a new hope. Highly recommended for poetry lovers who enjoy entrancing verse about the joys and challenges life and love offer us.

“Flashes of Life” by Pamela S. Wight is a delightful collection of memories spanning from childhood to motherhood to becoming a grandmother. I read this beautiful book in two days, sitting on my patio, the warm breeze embracing me like a friendly hug. Pam writes with authenticity, easily drawing the reader into her marvelous world. In every story I felt love. From her humor, I laughed for my neighbors to hear. In the touching stories, tears found freedom. Several of her narratives take place in Marin County, California where I reside, providing lovely and familiar visuals.

I felt a connection with many of her tales. “Good Morning, Moonshine” describes my stage in life perfectly, making me laugh, especially from these lines, “…we women have gotten a bum rap. Finally, when we’re over that certain age – too old to have babies screaming for a bottle or teenagers breaking a midnight curfew – so we can finally sleep undisturbed, our bodies won’t let us.” “Nap Time” evokes precious memories of when my children were little (now in their late twenties). The chapter, “For the Dogs” touched me as I have received the love of many canines over the years. I’ve also felt the tremendous loss and void in my life when they passed on. “Buttercups, Bollywood, and World Peace” had me dancing in the living room too. If anyone asked which story was my favorite, I couldn’t choose just one. I loved them all!

“Flashes of Life” parallels to the sweet and spicy of a slice of gingerbread – a perfect read for anyone needing a laugh and not afraid to shed a tear or two. Highly recommended!


The Ferryman and the Sea Witch” by D. Wallace Peach is a fast-moving, gripping nautical fantasy where the merrow rule the sea. Panmar, the Sea Witch, swims into the spotlight, luring the readers onto a choppy ride to the dark side with her hungry appetite for human sacrifices. Callum, the second main character, becomes the ferryman, finding himself trapped in a disturbing bargain with the Sea Witch. In addition to Panmar and Callum, Diana adds realistic nuances to the other characters as well, where I felt genuine empathy for some and loathed others without question.

With each turn of the page, the reader becomes curious to learn what transpires between two warring nations: Brid Clarion luxuriating in wealth, and Haf Killick, a floating city of dilapidated ships. Diana’s descriptive writing and world-building is so vivid and real that I felt as though I stood on the Windwraith, balancing to the sea’s rhythm, with Callum an arm’s length away. I was swept into this dark fantasy with turbulent twists and turns but was surprised with the touch of romance. Another fantasy tale of beauty and excellent writing that I could not put down. Readers who revel in Diana’s creative storytelling, fantasy genre devotees, and those seeking something different than their usual choices will love this fantastic nautical adventure. Highly recommended!

If your interest was piqued, simply click on the “Buy on Amazon” below each book image to purchase your copy.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!

~Lauren ❤️❤️❤️

Middle of Day

Chimes ring contrasting to
hammer against nail – whack!
Homes get makeovers
why not shine the dull?
Owl keeps watch with golden eyes
its presence reticent to surroundings
Birds glide in now and then for a snack
residual seed drifts to concrete
Leaves flutter from gentle nudge
of summer’s breeze
Footsteps on hardwood walk several feet
was their energy worth it?
Clinking of glass on glass adds rhythm
but not for cutting the rug
Voices remain soundless
where have all the people gone?

Lauren Scott (c) 2021