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.

The Hummingbird’s Quest

We hold our breath, sitting as still
as a freeway during morning commute.
Its wings flutter at a possible
eighty times per second, so we’ve read.

It closes the distance between us,
and we know it eyes the dangling
rosy petals. But below those blossoms
lies the sleeping dog. He wouldn’t be
the least bit interested in the winged
creature, but the winged creature
doesn’t know this to be true.

And so, we watch our tiny friend
flit to within a few feet of the blooms,
then disappointment lands in our thoughts
as it retreats to the maple,
camouflaged to the naked eye.

If only it could be brave.
If only it knew there was no threat below
from the sleeping beast. In fact, the beast
quietly snores, and we are confident
he is dreaming of squirrels. 

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

Bread and Butter

My exhausted mind tires of it seeping in like smoke blocked from a flue too stubborn to open, steadily flowing into a room’s warmth, causing a cloud of gray, unbreathable. A preconceived notion not so massive that the stars would struggle to find room for hanging in the sky. But one with a heart pumping faster than ordinary that could possibly trigger a hint of hullabaloo. Whatever placement of the language, its implication doesn’t waver.

Thus, as I ponder this conundrum, I imagine that perhaps this notion is cloaked in the familiar wardrobe of speculation, hovering in the space between the lines just as F-A-C-E rests on the treble clef. Not a notion I care to keep company with, even in a brightly painted parlor of pastel yellows, sipping tea and indulging in an assortment of delicious pastries. Most likely, the safest conclusion would be to let it lie, tamp it down, express who is in control…
assuming the situation will faithfully eventuate to be as simple as bread and butter.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.
Image: Pixabay

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.

A Little Bit More

She’d sit on the landing,
long hair cascading,
her little friends listening
to her read about Paddy,
Peter the Rabbit, and
The Three Little Bears.

My mind still can’t fathom
that this moment wasn’t
just yesterday
when she loved to create
her little delightful worlds.

Now, a beautiful woman
giving life her best
with an open heart
and a smile bright
as a field of sunflowers.

But geography intervenes…

And yet, our phone chats,
well, let me just say,
we make up for lost time!
Three hours later,
what could we have
possibly gabbed about?

Everything, and most
likely, a little bit more.

She knows the amount
of residence
she claims in my heart.
Then again, it is quite
difficult to quantify.
It would be like counting
the display of gleaming stars
in the vast evening sky.

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

The Giver

He pulls me
into myself so
I may see
qualities
he loved from the beginning


though his perception
runs deeper –
mine, a trace of clouds,
then he lifts
my heart and
soul to the starlit sky where
our dreams become us.

© Lauren Scott – baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.
The painting credit
: Yours truly.

Thank you always for stopping by.
~Lauren ❤️

The Sign

Just look at that painting in the sky!
Brush strokes of orange,
bright and cheerful
like California Poppies
parading in our yards.

Can you feel it? I can.

I see hope clearly suspended
in the pale hues
in the midst of that vibrancy,
waiting for the right time
to glide in and perform
its opening act.

That’s what we do, isn’t it?
We wait for the best time to do something,
to speak words that could produce honesty
or vulnerability within our hearts.
We delay in beginning the next goal.

It’s coming…time…

But what if while waiting, we miss the sign?

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

The corn maze…watch your step!

The sun hangs joyfully in the sky,
Clouds stay concealed alertly on stand-by.
Watch your step through the never-ending maze

Your safety may just be a delusional phase.

A dizzying task, to the left, to the right,
All you can ponder is fight or flight!
Moans around each turn trouble your heart.
Screams in the void cause a kickstart.

Beware of rustling as the wind grows harsher.
Something lurks in the stalks as you move farther.
Deeper and deeper you sink into ugly dread,
Fearing you’ll stumble upon unsightly bloodshed.

Your world has transformed into endless corn!
You have failed and fallen, feeling forlorn.
But lo and behold, a ladybug on a leaf
Bringing to your heart a flood of relief.

Her essence portrays hope that was buried.
Fright has dissolved, you no longer feel harried.
Those unsettling sounds don’t cause any chills
Compelling you to hightail it for the hills!

Should you muster up courage to return next year,
To this spooky season that brings about ghouls?
Or should you leave the shivers and fear
For the thrill-seekers and the reckless fools?

BOO!!!!! 👻🎃👻

P.S. Look closely at that second image above..do you see something lurking?

And if you’re so inclined, you can listen to me recite this fun poem below:

Last weekend we went to this fun corn maze, and then walked
around the pumpkin patch, picking up some pumpkins, and
admiring the beautiful horses, an adorable heifer,

cute little goats, and a friendly donkey.
Lots of fun things to do for the little ones, too.

Happy early Halloween and be safe out there…
you just never know what skulks around the bend.

😳👹👿

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

Touching, Funny, and Reflective…

I just found this latest, wonderful review for my book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose, and of course, I have to share! I’ve heard that book reviews are like hugs for indie authors, so hug away!! Trish’s review may be short, but it’s very sweet, packed with all good things to say!

MacTrish gives More than Coffee 5 stars:

Touching, funny, and reflective:

This volume is a delightful collection of observations about life and of the small, ordinary things viewed through fresh eyes. Some of the stories and poems made me chuckle, others were reflective and some were poignant and moving. This is one of those selections that is perfect for dipping into when the mood takes you. (If you’re an arachnophobe, you’ll enjoy Laughing Spiders!)

I am thrilled that another reader enjoyed my memories and the messages they conveyed. So, again, a Big Thanks to all of you who have bought a copy and indulged in a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage) while dipping into my memories, some funny, and others reflective and moving like Trish mentioned).
And if you haven’t written a review, there is always time (but please, no pressure from me.) 🥰

One of the poems from my book:

Red Lipstick

With childlike fascination,
I leaned against the door frame
watching her apply a little
powder to her nose,
a touch of red to her lips.
No more, no less. She was flawless.
Then our eyes locked –
an unspoken connection.
Questions never-ending,
I gently tucked her wisdom
in a safe space where I could
draw from it easily.
I’d love to share tales
of life she’s missing.
Perhaps, again someday.

Extract from Laughing Spiders:

Mornings began to fuel unfamiliar anxiety as spider social calls manifested soon after the crack of dawn. The sun brightened the sky and another high school day was on the horizon. I grabbed a towel to dry off after showering when I felt something unnatural. Looking down, I watched in horror as a brown spider scuttled across my chest. I jumped, avoiding a nasty fall in the tub, and brushed the spider off not caring where it landed. I just wanted it off my skin.

These creepy-crawlies seemingly watched for me so they could plan their next prank. During another shower with my head full of shampoo suds, I spotted a black spider near my feet. The dance I did wasn’t a happy one. With a swish here and there, my foot managed to nudge the scary intruder down the drain with ripples of water, as I imagined it whirling into the dark depth of the water system. I quickly rinsed the suds out. Just as I felt calm run through my body, I looked down and saw that damn spider climbing out of the drain. This could only happen to me.

Extract from Ascent:

When we reached the top and I looked down that sleek granite dome, I was amazed at what I had achieved. Never underestimate our abilities. On the other side of the dome, Shealor Lake was in full view. We gave our legs a short rest, drank some water, then headed downhill with the enticing pull of the lake’s beauty. As we neared the bottom, my emotions ran wild. I was relieved that we finally made it, but a sudden wave of grief washed over me. We removed our packs and sat on a log for a time-out. I was so overwhelmed that the tears found freedom. I didn’t fight them. I cried for the loss of Dad. I cried for having completed this hike that I didn’t think I was capable of. I would’ve backed out graciously had I known the details.

After a few minutes, I composed myself and looked to the lake. The water, a jeweled phenomenon. It sparkled, inviting us for a swim. While we set up our back-country camp, the orange-hot sun blazed down on us as if we had drastically turned up the thermostat, so the cool lake water soothed our sun-kissed skin. The fact that we were all alone in this canyon full of forest and smooth granite was beyond welcoming. The tranquility offered me the chance to reminisce about Dad and my parents together. The solitude afforded a perfect destination to grieve, think, remember, and cry. Mourning the loss of one parent was difficult enough but losing both felt surreal – a new stage of life had begun.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, just click on “Buy on Amazon” below, and by the way, the holidays just happen to be around the corner in case you know of someone who may just want or need a gentle read. 💜


Thanks for stopping by, and whenever you do,
I hope you find something significant to take away. ❤️

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

The World is Broken

The world is broken,

            we are aware,

                        but being alive on this crisp autumn morning,

what a blessing

                        to behold

and he says,

“The good news

for today is

I love you,

Your heart,

Your mind,

Your soul.”

The world may be broken,

                                    but I am not.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved
Photo: one of our sunrises

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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.