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 ❤️

Were you born to shine in one special way?

What makes you really stand out?

Since I loved to sing ever since I was nine years old, I had always dreamed of singing professionally when I grew up. Performing solos in school and special concerts encouraged that dream right along. So, maybe belting out a tune or crooning through a ballad on stage was my way of shining. If we’re gifted with a talent, shouldn’t we share it with the world?

This musical topic was paramount in one of my past stories, “The Way It Was” so it may seem familiar to some of you who read that tale from the past. As much as singing was an integral part of my childhood and teen years, it was no longer my number-one interest in my adulthood.

A passion for writing gently slipped into that slot, becoming an essential part of my daily routine, whether I’m jotting down notes in a journal, penning a poem, typing away on my laptop for another short memoir, or creating a blog post for my long-standing blog. I always hope to inspire others who have read my writing. To give them something to take away – possibly to help ease the pain, or to be reminded that feeling gratitude calms the mind, or to inspire to take that challenge, loosening the grip of fear.

And lastly, now that I’ve recently exchanged pleasant greetings with “60”, a wife of 32 years, and mother of two incredible adult children, maybe, just maybe, my way of shining has always been to be the brightest version of myself for them.

I invite you to answer this question, too…

Lauren Scott © ❤️❤️❤️

A little bit of a few things…

Dear Friends,

I’ve lost blogging momentum because of some health issues in our family and procedures during the holiday. My mind has been a little preoccupied. But on the morning of Thanksgiving, my husband and I enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood. The sun was shining and the temperature was invigorating and brisk. After turning a corner, we stumbled upon a van that invited passersby to write their gratitude on the colorful hand turkeys provided. Sharpies and hand sanitizer were also conveniently supplied. We gladly participated and added our turkey to the eye-catching and humbling collection. God Bless the owner of this van, for even in dark times there is much to be grateful for.

Just like many others, we were ready for some Christmas joy, so we bought our tree on black Friday and we’ve never seen the line so long! Patience really was a virtue that day! We call our tree the “Family tree” because most of the ornaments are homemade from our son and daughter when they were little. The angel on top is our daughter’s creation and there is no reason to replace it. Our senses are heightened by the Noble Fir fragrance and the room is cozier than ever now.

Copper enjoys the warmth and coziness of the fire,
but he prefers not to be too close to the snap, crackle,
and pop.

Lastly, WordPress tells me that I have a 10-year anniversary to celebrate! Time sure flies when you’re having fun creating, along with meeting wonderful people all around the world. So, Thank You, for your support and friendship!

I hope those of you in the U.S. had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you all a blessed Christmas and holiday season.
Stay safe and well, too! Lauren
💗

BOOK REVIEW for John Howell: Eternal Road – The Final Stop


I was thrilled to be a part of John’s blog tour in helping him promote his new book which is now a new favorite in my home library. So, today I introduce John Howell again and I’m sharing my review of Eternal Road – The Final Stop.

My 5-star review on Amazon:

What a thrilling ride Eternal Road – The Final Stop turned out to be! We are introduced to James who is on a road trip in his classic 1956 Oldsmobile, but we are shocked when he ends up dying in a tragic car accident. And yet, we still find him driving his Oldsmobile when he decides to give a hitchhiker a ride, who surprisingly, happens to be his childhood sweetheart Sam. She is now an adult because seventeen years have flown by since they have seen each other. And when Sam breaks the surreal news to James that they have both passed on to eternal life, his head spins with questions that cannot be answered just yet. So, the two begin a compelling journey together in the afterlife. The challenges and twists and turns they encounter are spellbinding. John inserts time-travel which takes the reader to interesting historical time periods where Sam and James have critical decisions to make. Interlaced in the protagonists’ story is just about every genre and topic you can imagine: adventure, old west, suspense, romance, artificial intelligence, including visits from the devil, which I’ll admit, were a bit unsettling but had me on the edge of my seat.

Throughout their story, the more Sam and James learn about each other, the more the reader assumes a certain outcome. And yet, the events in their journey lead to a surprising ending. Their unfolding relationship tugs at the heart and settling family matters brought me to tears more than once. Eternal Road keeps the reader engaged to the very last sentence. This is a novel that simply cannot be put down! I was captivated from the very beginning to the point of wanting to skip work just so I could cozy up at home and read more about James and Sam! If you are up for a road trip in a 1956 classic Oldsmobile, I highly suggest you hop in and begin turning the pages!

Here are the universal links:

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

If you’d like to contact John…

Blog Fiction Favoriteshttp://johnwhowell.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John has a quick wit, a knack for clever dialogue, and an amazing talent for writing compelling fiction. So, I hope you’ll pay him a visit and don’t forget the universal links above for a copy of his book.


Thanks for stopping by! Lauren
💓

After All This Time…

Dear Friends,

My blog sat alone for almost a year and a half, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Baydreamer and I had been forgotten. At the end of 2018, I posted about the success of a medical procedure, and then I fell off the blog for over a year? Since then my health has been back to normal, but soon after, I felt the need to disengage from technology. Now, I’m drawn to blogging again because with physical distancing, the connections that blogging offers are welcomed. As to writing, I drifted from poetry; instead, I have been writing personal essays and trying my hand at fiction, which has been challenging but rewarding. Occasionally, though, a poem begins to form.

How surreal I return in uncertain times, living in a pandemic world. I realize when the sun shines and the sky brightens to a beautiful cerulean blue, my attitude shifts to positive thoughts. When I stroll around our backyard, enjoying all the spring blooms, I wonder if the flowers have the slightest hunch of what Covid-19 is and its impact on human society. Probably not, which is why they bloom in spite of the bleakness all around the globe.

Don’t these flowers radiate joy? How can the same elation flood through our veins despite hearing the grim accounts of this virus? Answers vary, but two thoughts come to mind: Faith and Hope. Whatever you believe in and no matter how far you need to stretch to grasp even a fraction of Hope, without these, we can easily become defeated and remain in that gloomy headspace. It seems taking one day at a time is applicable once again.

Even while practicing physical distancing, there is some good that comes to light: I have seen more smiles on the street while walking our chocolate lab mix, Copper. Not to mention, the neighborhood has never been so joyfully packed with people of all ages out for a walk. This truly is a welcoming site. Stories of people helping each other are abundant – offering to grocery shop for a neighbor or reaching out to those who are lonely where isolation is more challenging. These simple gestures are a means to stay sane in the midst of this insane scenario. Acts of kindness make us feel good and they afford a sense of purpose. At 8 pm each night in our community, everyone howls in gratitude for the heroes working in essential jobs risking their lives for us. My family participates in this gesture of appreciation, and Copper sings his part in the chorus, too.

However, five weeks into sheltering-in-place does not advise complacency. It’s not over until it’s over. We still need to be responsible in taking precautions to help mitigate the spreading of the virus. We wash our hands a million times a day, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes stay within reach, and we wear masks and gloves, not just to protect ourselves but to protect each other. Those who have lost loved ones to the virus remain in our hearts. This health crisis is serious and if any doubts arise, simply turn on the news. There is no exemption card. The effects from Covid-19 are devastating, overwhelming, and heartbreaking.

But while staying at home, the time is at hand to find beauty in each day: an opportunity to complete unfinished projects, spend quality time with family, get exercise, pick up a good book, put thoughts to paper, or step outside where flora and fauna are abundant. I revel in the gorgeous spring blooms where hope blossoms. They provide a sense of normalcy in these most abnormal circumstances. My family and friends are doing well and we are beyond grateful. And after all this time, thank you so much for stopping by, but mostly, I hope you’ll stay safe and healthy. 

For those of you who are new to my site or who haven’t visited my other pages, I encourage you to visit my “About Me” page and sign my “Guestbook.” 

In Love and Friendship,

Lauren

 

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

 

 

 

Most People

Dear Friends,

There’s been a lot going on, which has taken me away from blogging. So, I apologize for missing your wonderful posts, but I hope to start reading again soon. In the meantime, I’m sharing a song that struck a chord with me. Luke Bryan is one of our favorite country music singers, and if you like country music, then you’ll know who he is. If you’re not a fan of this genre, then I invite you to listen to the words because they truly say it all. With all the hate and violence, Luke sings, “Most people are good.” This song encourages us to still believe in humanity and not focus 100% on what the media shows us.

With continued heartbreak in the world and with our daily doses of stress of various types, I thought this song would be a soothing addition to your day. It might also change your outlook if you’re struggling to find the good. I hope you enjoy it! Lauren ❤🎵🎶

Celebrating 8 years with WordPress!🎉

Image result for tea and blogging imagesWordPress tells me that it’s been 8 years since I embarked on this blogging journey. As most of you know, I created this blog around my 50th birthday after encouragement from my son (then 15 years old). Becoming a blogger never entered my mind, so it was similar to taking a step into a whole new world.

Let me tell you that it’s been such a wonderful experience, and although it’s been 8 years since inception, I didn’t become truly active until the following year. But who’s counting, right? This virtual adventure has been a “cup runneth over” experience between meeting people from all over the world, making new lovely friends, exploring art in every form, learning new styles of poetry, having the ability to share my writing, and then, of course, to receive the abundance of support throughout the years.

So, will you celebrate with me? I’d love it if you would because the more, the merrier!

And below I’m including a poem I wrote a few years back about this amazing experience…

Connections

I pondered long and hard for the answer
wondering, wavering of emotions inside
How relative time has been in this journey
this crazy, happy, emotional ride

The voices unheard, yet heard of so clearly
in universal languages for all to hear
The faces unseen, yet seen in tiny glimpses
of those who opened their windows for air

How thoughtful the praise each time I read
How warm my hopeful heart became
How humble it felt from deep within
How grateful my soul will surely remain

Lauren Scott 2015

SO HERE’S A BIG THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, SUPPORT, AND ENCOURAGEMENT OVER THE YEARS!

Image result for thank you

And the journey continues…

Love, Lauren ❤❤❤
Image credit: Google

 

A Friday Hello!

Hi All! We’re back in civilization, and I’m in the process of organizing our photos. I’ll share a few once I’m done. The lake was beautiful beyond imagination, and the relaxation was a wonderful change. As much as technology is appealing, to be unplugged is a treasure!

For today, I thought of sharing some unusual flowers and bushes from our yard. #1 photo is of our first sunflower bloom, a red sunflower. Have you seen one of these before? #2 is our Abutilon bush with its orange/yellow blossoms, which is dearly loved by hummingbirds. We sit at our table on the patio and listen for their arrival, then watch them joyfully drink. #3 is our Butterfly bush showing off its gorgeous purple flowers, which yes, attracts butterflies. I have yet to catch a hummingbird or butterfly in a photo, though. Hopefully, someday soon. And lastly, here are some quotes from John Muir to take you into the weekend:

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” 

“The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

“The sun shines not on us but in us.” 

 

first sunflower bloomabutilon bushbutterfly bush

I hope you’ve all been well. Doing some camping clean-up is on the weekend agenda, along with reading some blogs. 🙂

Happy Friday! ❤🌼🌻

Just some fun randomness!

First of all, our little finch family has flown for good.  It wasn’t long after the babies had hatched that the whole family had soon left. In our minds, it happened so fast, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to say good-bye. Well, it was fun watching the process – first time for everything, and now that Mr. & Mrs. Finch know our house is a safe haven, they just might return if they decide to grow their family. 🙂

Secondly, my husband and I are leaving this weekend for a camping adventure. It’ll be fun to get away, to immerse in some relaxation, hiking, and swimming. We both love time spent in the mountains, among the freshwater lakes and majestic pines. There’s just something special about that mountain air! Needless to say, I won’t be blogging, but I’ll return later next week. And for fun, I’m sharing some photos that may bring a smile…

copper playing with his bone
Copper’s having fun, but who’s winning?
sky
What a beautiful, fluffy, summer sky!
IMG_3610
Finally, a sunflower bud, so we’re still eager for the blooms.
deer

On a walk with Copper, look who we saw prancing!
IMG_3617
And these flowers popped out, too. Just lovely and friendly,
don’t you think?

 I plan to do some blog-reading until we leave; otherwiseI’ll see you when I return to city life and technology. Until then, take care and stay safe. Lauren 🌼❤🌻

All Abloom

Dear Friends,

I thought I’d share more color from our yard, but the last one is of
Copper from Saturday for his annual doctor’s appointment. He’s 
always so good, and they love him, not to mention, the cute factor he
adds to this collection. 🙂 The first photo 
are flowers given to me from
a friend when we met for lunch on Friday, a beautiful 
surprise. Anyway,
I’ve included more wonderful quotes. Can 
you choose a favorite?

“Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
~ Hans Christian Anderson

“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things
towards you.”
~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love, and fearlessness. 
If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”
~ Stevie Wonder

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”
~ Gerard De Nerval

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.”
~ John Lennon

I hope you enjoyed this colorful post and the beautiful quotes, and I
wish you all a wonderful day and week ahead! 

~ Lauren ❤🌼🌻🌷🌹😊