Coffee in December…

It’s that time again when most of us wonder where the past year went and how fast it zipped by. In just a few weeks, we’ll be drinking champagne and kissing at midnight, ringing in a new year, 2023. Decades ago, these numbers sounded straight out of The Jetson’s! But before the bubbly and the kiss comes Christmas, a Christian holiday for those of you who celebrate the birth of Jesus. But another jolly soul arrives, too, Santa, so you know what we need to do…shop!!

And if you’re looking for a gift, specifically, a lovely book that can be read in one sitting or savored by reading one poem or story at a time, look no further, my book, More than Coffee, may just be the perfect choice!

To give you a little peek inside the pages, here are some wonderful reviews:

By Sally Cronin Delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life

This is a delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life tinged with sadness but also a great deal of love and humour. The author celebrates moments from her early life and marriage of over thirty years with stories that will entertain and also bring the reader’s own experiences to mind.

Sometimes it is the simplest things that evoke the warmest memories, such as a silver cutlery set, a toy frog called Sam, a yellowed kitchen chopper and the first time baking a traditional family birthday cake.

We are invited to concerts as a teenager overcomes self-doubt to solo in front of an audience of 2000 and fulfil a dream inspired by her idol Barbra Streisand. There are moments with spiders that might have you looking around your immediate surroundings, but you will also find yourself in some wonderful wilderness areas offering moments of reflection and a dip in a mountain pool.

Love is a central theme beginning with her mother and father’s love story that endured for nearly 70 years having begun in WWII with all its uncertainty and lengthy periods apart, and the author’s own fateful meeting with her husband, involving a kitchen appliance!

The loss of parents, even after a long and wonderful life, leaves a hole in our hearts. Their stories and poetry dedicated to them in this collection are heart-warming and reinforce the extent of their loving influence on the generations that followed.

The final part of the collection reflects on the changes that come when children leave the nest, and whilst this is obviously a time of sadness, there is also pride and delight as new lives are forged with future adventures to look forward to.

I enjoyed all the stories and poems in the collection and I am hard pushed to pick just one favourite but this one touched my heart.

Simple Existence

I stare at this page, milk white as the
blanketed ground in winter’s staging
where are the syllables?

I fear they have flown to faraway places,
across desert dunes and boundless oceans
and might not return so that I may tell him
(again) how irreplaceable he is.

Instead, I’ll touch his lips with mine
and steady myself in the arms of a man
who is satisfied with my simple existence.

I can highly recommend this collection to read in one sitting or to dip into when you are in need of gentle and uplifting moments.

By Jane SturgeonMore Than Coffee: So Much More Than a Memoir of Verse and Prose

I loved every word in this book. Scott’s style and loving expression took me into the heart of life and to what truly matters. Her thoughts of Wil, her father-in-law, are compassionate and delightful in equal measure. Scott’s love for her family and the life she and Matt have built for their children shine through. Belonging and Riding With The Wind are two of my favourite poems.

More Than Coffee is a delight from start to finish and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a dip into the magic of life.

By Robbie CheadleA bright ray of sunshine

This lovely book is a mix of a memoir about the author/poet’s life with some beautiful freestyle poems included after each prose section to enhance the emotion and moments shared. The memoirs are relatable and cover delightful memories of family brought back through inherited items and stories shared by family members as well as the author’s own life experiences including achievements, romance, parental love, and overcoming fears. The author’s personality and humour comes through strongly in her writing and poetry, as well as her joy and pleasure in the simple things in life.

My favourite poem in this collection and the one that summarised for me the spirit and essence of this book is Fulfilled.

Fulfilled

Let me drink from the gaze in your eyes
Eyes that have me wildly mesmerized
Mesmerized under their vivid piercing spell
Spell which only you many cast over me
Me, with a heart madly in love
Love, a whirlwind of euphoric emotions so true
True in not only our hearts, but in our minds
Minds, fully aware of their endless thoughts
Thoughts so amorous of us entwined

Now, if after reading these beautiful reviews, you find your interest is piqued, simply click on the Amazon link above, and Magic! Your copy (or copies) will be on its way! 🙂

So, I will end by saying that through the poems and stories in my book, I hope to inspire you to see the beauty around, to feel gratitude, to face challenges with verve, and to trek through that fear knowing you will find the light. I invite you to pour a cup of your favorite roast, or your preferred beverage, sink into your favorite chair, and enjoy the the rich taste while turning the pages. My wish is that you’ll find even a little nugget that resonates.

Thank you for reading, and I offer my utmost appreciation to you who have enjoyed my memories, and to those of you who have written reviews.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS,
AND HAPPY READING! ❤️🎄❤️

Identity and Loss, Hope, and Feathered Friends…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted book reviews, so I thought it was about time to share three wonderful books I have recently enjoyed…

Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss is an excellent anthology of engaging short stories from eight accomplished authors that I finished in one evening. The stories are inspired from a personal event and touch on identity and loss in their own unique way and setting, and all are well written with characters who seem as real as you and me. It is easy to get lost in their struggles, ascertaining how they will cope and heal. Each character is found at a crossroads where a life-changing decision is vital. Following each piece is a biography of the author which provides a little insight into the inspiration for writing the story. I found this to be very interesting.

This entire collection is five-star worthy, but a few stories that stand out are “Where Secrets Go to Hide” by Keith Madsen. The style in which Keith writes about a young boy who begins to collect secrets just like his sister collects baseball cards is filled with clever nuances of humor and suspense. Collecting secrets, doesn’t that grab you already? “Two Boys” by Carol LaHines tells of a mother’s loss, an emotional and moving tale, and an incomprehensible event that made my heart ache, being a mother myself. “Diary Omissions: The House on Edgewood Road” by Elizabeth Gauffreau is tenderly written about a mother who is unhappy in her role in life, and how her behavior affects her husband and two children.  

I recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys a little drama, loves short stories that are character-driven and based on real-life events.


Hues of Hope by Balroop Singh is a beautiful collection of selected poetry and the perfect medicine for keeping hope in the forefront of our minds. Divided into sections spanning from love to life’s challenges, this compilation stirs up emotions in each poignant line. This book will be one for the reader to rely on if life’s struggles become too much to bear, if a ray of light is needed to brighten the outlook.
 
Every poem had an impact in some way, but a few that stand out are the soothing emotions of “The Call of Calmness” – the first verse alone drew me in:
 
Gentle breeze breathes a quiet message/I am here to bless you/To softly swing/Sway with your dreams.
 
Since I am a tree lover, particularly of Redwoods, Balroop’s poem entitled “Redwoods” resonated with me, evoking images of incredible majestic redwoods I have had the pleasure of visiting. I especially love this verse:
 
Mother Nature smiles sweetly/As I stand, intimidated and/Intoxicated by the fragrance of flora/
Flourishing amid ironic beauty/Of fire-damaged trunks/Standing tall to tell their seminal story.
 
Reading “Do You Remember?” made me feel nostalgic, flipping through the reels of memories, joyful and challenging, and then viewing the future with “colors of love.”
 
I highly recommend this poetry collection to all poetry lovers, but most importantly, to everyone who needs a lovely dose of hope now and then.

Avian Friends: Encouraging Poems Inspired by Backyard Birds by Yvette Prior was inspired by the author’s family planting several trees in their backyard for the purpose of creating shade and privacy. What they didn’t expect was the arrival of a whole host of feathered friends that would entertain. Yvette began observing the birds, their behavior, sounds, and daily activities, jotting down her thoughts along the way.

This collection is divided into five sections, and following each poem, the author includes her inspiration behind her poetic words…delivering personal reflections of relating her aviary findings to the lives of human emotions and well-being. Yvette inserts tidbits of wisdom for living a balanced life. These snippets into Yvette’s mind are as entertaining and evocative as her poetry.

Some of my favorite poems are “What Matters” which speaks about materialism and how some people use possessions as their barometer for success. “Summer Sun” is a cute poem that tells us it is quite okay to simply be. In these times of living busy lives, carving out some quiet time for relaxation is a healthy choice for finding that balance. “Fall Crunch” paints a beautiful image of a new autumnal season, as well as showing the simple beauty of a cardinal. I recommend this lovely book to not only bird lovers, but to those who would enjoy grasping the deeper meaning behind Yvette’s poems.

Thank you for stopping by, and Happy Reading! ❤️

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.

Chilling Embrace

I have been embraced
by the chilling presence
of loneliness.

I have wondered
where the niche
designed for me
exists in this world
in which my breaths
originate.

I have waited
for the glow
to emerge
from behind
the shadows.

But when I take
that wise step
into the splendor
of nature,

listen to the trees
whisper their sagacity,
feel the flowing rivers
move my pain,
creating vast distance
between it and me,

I have been revived
by the compassion
that nature offers
so unselfishly.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.
Photo: Yours truly.

She Listens

He cares for his father whose body tires
of everyday functions, pain raging at cyclone
force from ninety-nine years of living a lifetime.
Our emotions undulate –
who wishes to watch a loved one suffer?

Another week of work comes to an end.
With glass of wine in hand, we exhale
on the patio. Then the sun says,
“Good night, my dear friends,” as he
gently descends, making room for the moon.

And when the moon appears, Oh, My!
She takes our breath away!
Bright and bold as if she senses
we could use light in our souls.

We open the gate and walk into the street
for an unobstructed view. Under the
illumination, a woman pauses with
her dog, a husky mix, with fur
white as an arctic fox, another rescue,
she tells us, and our hearts leap with joy.

The moon pays attention to us as the
patio welcomes again.
Most importantly, she listens.
And though the stars act a bit bashful,
they eavesdrop and we are fine that they do.

The moon and stars hear us,
just an ordinary couple enjoying
a Friday evening but with heavy hearts.
Their absolute attention, imagine this,
out of all eyes gazing at the brilliant sky –
we know the moon’s lustrous presence is
for us alone, and we are aware that the
panoply of stars will shimmer into view soon.

Then we rise from our seats and head into
the house, feeling relaxed from the wine’s
fluidity, and appreciative that our troubles
have been received.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.

**********************************************************

For inspiration to notice surrounding beauty, to feel gratitude, to face challenges and fears while sipping your favorite coffee roast or a beverage of your choice, check out my latest book: More than Coffee.

His name was Ed

Ed
blackened heart
domineering thumb
nowhere to breathe, trying times
~ etched ~

Green
a monster
too old to believe?
his existence, living proof
~ ire ~

Me
raised to love
but heart feels deeply
ill-fitted antipathy
~ blunt ~

Health
declines, death,
emotions bland as
salt-free diet, tears restrained
~ guilt ~

Lauren Scott ©
Oddquain poetry form

This post is darker than most of mine, but life isn’t always rosy, so writing about those difficult times when we question our feelings can be therapeutic. Have you found yourself in a similar situation?

****************************************************************
For inspiration to notice surrounding beauty, to feel gratitude, to face challenges and fears while sipping your favorite coffee roast or another beverage of your choice, check out my latest book: More than Coffee.

“Life is not measured…”

We’re going on another wilderness adventure, so technology will stay at home, except for my cell phone for taking a million photos. 🙂 I’m leaving you with one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes, and this photo was taken at Crater Lake in Oregon.

Wishing you all a fabulous week and I’ll see you when I return. I’ll also add a Big Thank You for all your visits and support!

Stay safe and Be happy,
Lauren Scott
© ❤️

A Plea

I remember our conversation, effort to
calm emotions, phone glued to ear like

a natural extension. Her voice, exhausted…
“When will this be over?” She asked Dad

days later, more like a plea. He could be
gentle or travel the path of honesty. I don’t
know the words he pulled from his language

of a sixty-seven-year love…how he tiptoed
through the reply, though tenderly, I imagine,
since his heart was shattering into millions
of minute fragments. Her time was close.
Our awareness vigilant. Each day, another
breath held until the hands of time would
pause. Then as quickly as the sun fades
behind rolling hills, raindrops splash upon us.
She had ascended. Moments of memories
to follow. But not one day passes without
celebrating her life. Not one day slips by
without her knowing how much she is
loved and missed.

Lauren Scott (c)
Mom would be 101 today,
and since she loved her roses,
we dedicate this beauty for her.
❤️

Castanets, Canines, Audio, & Poetry Readings!

I’ve never participated in a poetry reading before. Even though I’ve sung in front of audiences in my youth, the thought of sharing my original poetry in person immediately starts the internal flapping of butterfly wings. Sharing behind a screen isn’t so scary.

Well, a friend of mine heard of a local poetry night taking place last week, so she encouraged me to sign up. Her exact words, “You should do it!” So I did, but not without jumpy nerves.

There were 27 poets, different ages, even some young voices which was fabulous. I prayed that I wouldn’t be the last reader because we all know the effects of anticipation. Instead, I was second to read, which was a little nerve-racking in itself, but at least it was over fast. According to my friend, I did great. And even in my mind, I thought I had done well, maybe not stellar, but well enough for the first time. I didn’t trip over any words. I didn’t sneeze or fall into a coughing fit. I stayed focused, and afterwards, I received some “Beautifuls”, which I believe is music to any artist’s ears.

Irregardless, I’m glad I finally did this, another box checked off the list. Listening to the others read their original poems or poems written by another author was also wonderful. This event turned out to be an enlightening experience.

Now, for the sake of trying something fun and different, I’m sharing an audio of the poem I read that I recently recorded. I’ve posted “Castanets” before, but I’ve made small revisions since then.

I also can’t help wonder if most people think their voices sound strange when they hear them recorded. I know I do. Nonetheless, here goes…

Castanets

Stepping outside, I stroll down the
quiet road with my lab on my left,
his gait as graceful as a galloping horse
in slow motion.
Squirrels raise their sleepy heads
because of the early hour.
The sky appears to be coal black,
but when I turn the corner, watermelon pinks,

corals, and lemon yellows take center stage.
My camera doesn’t do justice.
Then I recall my son saying, “Enjoy the moment.”
I slip that device back in my pocket.
To my right, salmon-colored roses
flaunt their fragrance and I am intoxicated.

Passing orange poppies,
their stems flutter with excitement,
eager for the sun’s ascent, and in the distance,
silence sings its serene ballad.

As the tempo of our pace speeds up,
a breeze joins us,
and the leaves on the trees lining the lane
sway in rhythm as though dancing a waltz.
Jowls flap, he smiles with brown nose

set in overdrive. The sun’s gentle touch
adds a glimmer to his copper coat.
I pause, bending down to his level,
fingers stroke shiny, silky fur,
his eyes close, contented from contact.
When we move again, his nails on the asphalt

mimic the clicking of two sets of castanets,
and in seconds, I realize these observations
are what life is all about…
seeing…feeling…smelling…listening…
being.

Copper, my walking partner!

I hope you enjoyed

Lauren Scott (c) ❤️

The World Travelers

In those early years
when possibilities
lined up on their doorstep,
they saw themselves
roaming streets of Italy,
savoring pasta,
sipping Frappato.
They saw themselves
walking streets of France
in a cloud of romance.
They saw themselves
driving roads of Ireland
flanked by lush green
countryside.
But over time, they learned
plans can be navigated
only so far
before life takes the wheel.
They haven’t sipped Frappato
or walked warmly
in that cloud,
and they haven’t
witnessed
that countryside…yet.
But over mountains,
through down pours
and gusty winds,
and days when
sherbet-colored skies
lifted their spirits,
their fingers remained
intertwined.

Not only has love
in their hearts prevailed,
but cravings still carbonated
for each other’s company.
It seems they have traveled
the trip of a lifetime.

Lauren Scott (c) 2022

Behind Closed Doors – Book Review

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Robbie Cheadle, a wonderful poet and author of children’s books, paranormal historical, and supernatural fantasy. She is also a prolific baker of delicious cakes that she includes in her books and blog posts. I thoroughly enjoyed her poetry book, Behind Closed Doors.

Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle is a collection of various style poems such as freeform, tanka, haiku, and limerick. Robbie touches on many aspects of life evoking a myriad of emotions. She writes beautifully with strong convictions about marriage, motherhood, dreams, her struggles of working in the corporate world, living in lockdown during the pandemic, and about social issues she finds distressing. Whether her words speak of joy or anguish, they are fiercely passionate.

I personally connected to “Contrasting Colors” because of my strong marriage and relationship with my husband. Robbie creates a lovely metaphorical comparison between her and her husband, showing just how much they complement each other. I really liked the format of this poem. In “He Walks Away” her words paint the picture of her son who is no longer the little boy whose mom’s kisses cured all pain, but a young man who she will need to let go for him to find his way in the world. As an empty nester, my heart felt her bittersweet emotions.

Environmentally, I was drawn to “I saw a fish a-swimming” and “If the polar icecaps doth melt.” Robbie emphasizes the tragic effects of global warming not only on the planet, but on living creatures. She writes with concern and compassion, and some poems are written as twisted limericks bearing nothing but the truth. My stomach felt just as twisted after reading these powerful reminders. But even in trying times, Robbie includes, “Can you see the butterflies?” This poem offers delightful imagery, imploring the reader to dash outside in that very moment to embrace nature’s beauty.

I highly recommend Behind Closed Doors for fans who revel in finding themselves relating to the messages or scenarios, therefore sinking into the deeper meanings.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Robbie’s book. Simply click on “Buy on Amazon” below the image. You can also visit Robbie at her blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

~Lauren Scott ❤️