WordCrafter News

Open Submissions Deadline Approaching

Submissions are open for the 2023 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest, but the deadline of April 30th is fast approaching. This year I’m looking for the scariest story. So, send me your monsters, your zombies, your ghosts and your ghouls. Make me sweat. Keep me awake at night. Make me tremble in fear. And most importantly, make me think about your story long after I’ve put it down. The winner gets a $25 Amazon gift card and a guaranteed spot in WordCrafter’s annual anthology. You can find the full submission guidelines here.

April Release: Poetry Treasures 3: Passions

Each year WordCrafter Press puts out a poetry anthology, featuring the works of the previous year’s “Treasuring Poetry” blog series with Robbie Cheadle, which features poet/author guests from all around the globe. We release the anthology in the Poetry Treasures series in April each year, as a nod to National Poetry Month here in the U.S. This year’s anthology features the poetry of Robbie Cheadle, Smitha Vishwanath, Abbie Taylor, Chris Hall, Yvette M. Calleiro, Willow Willars, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Patty Fletcher, Yvette Prior, Judy Mastrangelo, Penny Wilson, Colleen M. Chesebro and D. Wallace Peach. If you follow the blog series, I know you’ll agree that this line-up of poets comprises an all star cast of contributors.

Poetry Treasures 3: Passions will be released in April, in celebration of National Poetry Month, here in the U.S. Watch for updates on the release here,on Writing to be Read.

Delilah Tour Giveaway Winners

We had a great tour to celebrate the release of Delilah with most of your favorite distributors last week. You all gave it a great send off. I want to give a big round of applause for the hosts on this one; Robbie Cheadle, Miriam Hurdle and our brand new host, Kay Castenada, who did a fabulous debut tour stop. Also thanks so much to all those who participated and followed the tour. And now, the part of the tour where I get to give back a little. For this tour, we are giving away two digital copies and one signed print copy of Delilah.

So, without further ado…

The winners of the WordCrafter Delilah Book Blog Tour Giveaway are

The two digital copies go to Mae Clair and Jennie.

Jacqui Murray will recieve a signed print copy of Delilah.

All winners need to contact me at kayebooth@yahoo.com to claim their prize.

Congratulations to the winners!

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HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WRITER

Writing communities are wonderful for rallying support of our work, and they are wonderful things to be a part of. This post, over at “Story Empire” is filled with great ideas for supporting your fellow authors. I was pleased to see that many of them are natural parts of what I do with my own online presence. This is an article that I will probably refer back to time and again. Check it out.

Story Empire

Hi SEers! Denise here to talk about supporting our fellow writers.

Have you ever wished people would be more supportive of your writing? Or wonder how to help other writers? I know I have.

An author’s body of work can vary, including novels, short stories, nonfiction, poetry, articles, or blogs. One thing they all have in common is they are all looking for readers. Does that make it a competition? No. Each audience is unique. A writer offers personal insight and life experience on any given subject. The wonderful writing community is where we can all exist successfully. I am always cheering for every achievement of my fellow writers.

What are the best ways to offer our support?

  • Read! There are many genres out there, and it’s impossible to read all of them. So read the ones you enjoy.
  • If you enjoyed the book you’ve read—write a review. Didn’t like…

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The Final Stop on the WordCrafter “Delilah” Book Blog Tour

To wrap up the WordCrafter Delilah Book Blog Tour, I thought we’d explore the Indian characters featured in Delilah. Baby Doe Tabor isn’t the only historic character featured in the book, although Old Sugar isn’t well known. In fact, most people have probably never heard of her at all. The Ute characters were intended to be representative of the Indian population in Colorado, but somehow, they worked their way into my heart and became an integral part of the story.

The Ute Indians

The Ute Indians once roamed on lands spread over the Great Basin and central and southern mountains of Colorado, but by the 1860s, they had been split up into three amalgamated bands, the Uncompahgre, the Weenuche, and the White River band. In 1881, they began relocation of the White River an Uncompahgre Utes, following the 1879 Meeker masacre at the White River Indian Agency. Delilah’s Ute friends, Eagle Feather, Old Sugar, and Dancing Falcon are from the White River band, which were all relocated to a reservation in eastern Utah by the 1890s. When Delilah meets the Ute family, it is 1882, and they are holdouts, who resisted the relocation and lived independently, near Leadville.

Old Sugar

Old Sugar was a true to life historical person, who inspired the character of the same name, but she never lived in Leadville. Old Sugar would sit outside the general store all day and she would lash out with her knife and cut any white man who got too close to her. It seems the store keeper tried to make her leave once and she came after him, so they had little choice but to let her sit there and give her a wide berth. I had to wonder why. Why was she sitting there? Why did she hate white men enough to lash out that way? Why didn’t she gety up and move to a less populated spot? I found her to be interesting, and I just had to make her a character and move her to Leadville to make the acquaintance of Delilah. She’s not really a supporting character, but her role turned out to be larger than I imagined when I created her character.

Eagle Feather

Eagle Feather, Old Sugar’s son and Dancing Falcon’s father, originally existed only in the background as a washed up brave who had turned to the bottle as he watched everything be taken from his people, but he ends up playing an important role, when Delilah finds she needs his help to save the mine payroll and rescue his son. When I wrote Eagle Feather and Old Sugar into the story, I didn’t realize what a big role either would play. They were both intended to be interesting characaters which represented the Ute presence in Colorado at the time.

Dancing Falcon

I just love the character of Dancing Falcon. I loved writing him and I enjoy going back and reading him, which is why he easily became a supporting character right from the start. Dancing Falcon is a wise old twelve year old, who knows a lot about the goings on in Leadville and about the Ute ways. His purpose in the story is to offer Delilah guidance and fill her in on what she needs to know, but he becomes an integral part of the story. It is because of Dancing Falcon that Delilah becomes Grizzly Woman and is adopted into the Ute tribe.

An Excerpt from Delilah

Final Thoughts

Well, that’s about all for the WordCrafter Delilah Book Blog Tour. Thank you all for joining in the fun. I hope you all have picked up an interesting piece of history or found my writing and researching for this series helpful in some way. I’ve certainly enjoyed writing the posts and discussing the books and the characters with you. Remember, you can enter the giveaway at each stop for more chances to win, and if you missed a stop, you can follow the links below to stop by and check it out. I’ll be closing out the contest tomorrow, 3/24, so there may still be time to get in on it. And I’ll be announcing the winner in my post for Monday 3/27.

Delilah Tour Schedule

Mon. 3/20 – Opening Day Post– Writing to be Read/ Guest post (Baby Doe Tabor/Delilah) – The Showers of Blessings

Tues. 3/21 – Interview with author Kaye Lynne Booth / Review – Robbie’s Inspiration

Wed. 3/22 – Guest post (Big Nose Kate/Sarah) – BookPlaces

Thurs. 3/23 – Guest post (“Aunt” Clara Brown/Marta) – Roberta Writes

Fri. 3/24 – Closing Post (Ute Indians of Colorado in 1880s/Delilah Excerpt) – Writing to be Read

References

Ute History and the Ute Mountain Tribe. Colorado Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/ute-history-and-ute-mountain-ute-tribe

Meeker Incident. Colorado Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/meeker-incident

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About the Author

For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is a passion. Kaye Lynne is an author with published short fiction and poetry, both online and in print, including her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction; and her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets. Kaye holds a dual M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing with emphasis in genre fiction and screenwriting, and an M.A. in publishing. Kaye Lynne is the founder of WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services and WordCrafter Press. She also maintains an authors’ blog and website, Writing to be Read, where she publishes content of interest in the literary world.

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Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Roberta Writes – WordCrafter Book Blog Tour: Delilah by Kaye Lynne Booth

Today we are over at “Roberta Writes” for Day 4 of the WordCrafter “Delilah” Book Blog Tour. Robbie Cheadle is hosting my guest post about the historical supporting character for “Marta”: Book 3 of the Women in the West adventure series, Clara Brown. If you haven’t heard of this courageouos frontier woman, stop by and check it out. Leave a comment to enter the tour giveaway, too. Join us!

Writing Marta – Strong female characters right out of history

One of the cool things about Delilah and the Women in the West adventure series is the fact that there is a true-life historical female character in a supporting role, along with the strong female protagonist in each book. In the first book, Delilah, the supporting character is Elizabeth “Baby” Doe McCourt Tabor. In Book 2, Sarah, the supporting character will be Big Nose Kate, and I’ve begun the pre-writing process of outlining for that one. In Marta, book 3 in the series, the supporting historical character is Clara Brown. An emancipated slave, Clara was one of the first women to go to the Colorado gold camps, providing domestic services for many of the miners, including the first laundry service in the Colorado territory.

I’m not that far with the third book. Marta is still a loose…

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Day 3 of the WordCrafter “Delilah” Book Blog Tour

Day 3 of the WordCrafter Delilah Book Blog Tour finds us over at Kay Castenada’s Book Places with a guest post from me about the historic supporting character which will be featured in Sarah: Book 2 of the Women in the West adventure series, “Big Nose” Kate Elder, companion of the infamous Doc Holliday. Join us for the fun, and be sure to leave a comment for a chance to enter the giveaway. See you there!


Dark Origins – The Chimes, A Goblin Story: a novella by Charles Dickens

I have been participating in a Dickens Readathon which is being hosted by by Marsha Ingrao from Always Write blog (this is her latest post for the challenge: https://alwayswrite.blog/2023/02/13/dickenschallenge-novella-4-the-battle-of-life/); Trent McDonald from Trent’s world (https://trentsworld.blog/2023/02/07/the-third-annual-dickens-challenge-a-triple-threat/) and Yvette Prior (https://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2023/02/09/five-novella-descriptions-2023-dickenschallenge-read-one-novella-by-june-9th-post-2/).

I have recently read The Chimes, a Dickens novella which was first published in 1844, one year after the well known A Christmas Carol. It’s social critisism perfectly suited my criteria for Dark Origins posts and I decided to share my thoughts and research on this novella for my March Dark Origins post.

The story involves the disillusionment of Toby “Trotty” Veck, a poor working-class man who works as a casual messenger or ‘ticket-porter’. Dickens goes to great lengths at the beginning of the story to detail Trotty’s poverty as per the following description:

Making, with his leaky shoes, a crooked line of slushy footprints in the mire; and blowing on his chilly hands and rubbing them against each other, poorly defended from the searching cold by threadbare mufflers of grey worsted, with a private apartment only for the thumb, and a common room or tap for the rest of the fingers; Toby, with his knees bent and his cane beneath his arm, still trotted.

Picture credit: Public domain picture: Trotty Veck 1889 Dickens The Chimes character by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke)

The story commences on the afternoon before New Year’s Day. Trotty is waiting for work outside the church. Work has been slow for a few weeks despite his willingness to work hard. He is depicted as being a cheerful man despite his lot in life, but on that cold winter’s afternoon he reads a newspaper which includes a number of scathing reports about the poor. He embarks on a train of thought that the working classes are unworthy and their poverty is a result of this unworthiness. Trotty wonders whether the poor are born corrupt and are incapable of redemption.

His lovely daughter, Meg, arrives, bringing him a meal of tripe she has cooked. Meg tells her father that she is going to marry her childhood sweetheart, Richard, despite the fact they are both poor. She makes it clear that she accepts their poverty and does not expect their situation to ever change. These are her words:

“‘He says then, father,’ Meg continued, lifting up her eyes at last, and speaking in a tremble, but quite plainly; ‘another year is nearly gone, and where is the use of waiting on from year to year, when it is so unlikely we shall ever be better off than we are now?  He says we are poor now, father, and we shall be poor then, but we are young now, and years will make us old before we know it.  He says that if we wait: people in our condition: until we see our way quite clearly, the way will be a narrow one indeed—the common way—the Grave, father.’”

Dickens intention with this depiction is to highlight the terrible plight of the poor who are trapped in a capitalist system where the wealthy always abuse the poorer. He is also demonstrating Meg’s and Richard’s passive acceptance of their situation. Dickens believed this passive acceptance of the status quo by the working classes to be wrong.

Trotty has misgivings about the marriage, but hides it and they are happy until they encounter the proud and wealthy Alderman Cute and two other gentlemen. The gentlemen succeed in making Trotty, his daughter, and her fiancé feel as if they have no right to exist, never mind to marry and have children who with perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Alderman Cute degrades and humiliates Trotty and the working classes in general.

‘You see, my friend,’ pursued the Alderman, ‘there’s a great deal of nonsense talked about Want—“hard up,” you know; that’s the phrase, isn’t it? ha! ha! ha!—and I intend to Put it Down.  There’s a certain amount of cant in vogue about Starvation, and I mean to Put it Down.  That’s all!  Lord bless you,’ said the Alderman, turning to his friends again, ‘you may Put Down anything among this sort of people, if you only know the way to set about it.’

Cute gives Trotty a note to carry to Sir Joseph Bowley MP, who gives charity to the poor but is another arrogant and hypocritical man. Trotty’s encounter with Bowley leave him feeling even more humiliated and disillusioned.

‘What man can do, I do,’ pursued Sir Joseph.  ‘I do my duty as the Poor Man’s Friend and Father; and I endeavour to educate his mind, by inculcating on all occasions the one great moral lesson which that class requires.  That is, entire Dependence on myself.  They have no business whatever with—with themselves.  If wicked and designing persons tell them otherwise, and they become impatient and discontented, and are guilty of insubordinate conduct and black-hearted ingratitude; which is undoubtedly the case; I am their Friend and Father still.  It is so Ordained.  It is in the nature of things.’

Later that evening, Toby reads some sad and depressing news in the evening paper. He believes he hears the church bells chiming his name and he sets out to climb the church tower and hear what they have to say to him. This is the beginning of the supernatural part of the story that leads to Trotty realising that the poor are not born bad but that many of them end up in bad situations due to their terrible circumstances.

Picture credit: The Goblins of the Bells by Charles Green (p. 84). 1912. 7.5 x 9.9 cm. Dickens’s The Chimes, Pears Centenary Edition

Passage illustration:

He saw the tower, whither his charmed footsteps had brought him, swarming with dwarf phantoms, spirits, elfin creatures of the Bells. He saw them leaping, flying, dropping, pouring from the Bells without a pause. He saw them, round him on the ground; above him, in the air; clambering from him, by the ropes below; looking down upon him, from the massive iron-girded beams; peeping in upon him, through the chinks and loopholes in the walls; spreading away and away from him in enlarging circles, as the water ripples give way to a huge stone that suddenly comes plashing in among them. He saw them, of all aspects and all shapes. He saw them ugly, handsome, crippled, exquisitely formed. He saw them young, he saw them old, he saw them kind, he saw them cruel, he saw them merry, he saw them grim; he saw them dance, and heard them sing; he saw them tear their hair, and heard them howl. He saw the air thick with them. He saw them come and go, incessantly. He saw them riding downward, soaring upward, sailing off afar, perching near at hand, all restless and all violently active. Stone, and brick, and slate, and tile, became transparent to him as to them. He saw them in the houses, busy at the sleepers’ beds. He saw them soothing people in their dreams; he saw them beating them with knotted whips; he saw them yelling in their ears; he saw them playing softest music on their pillows; he saw them cheering some with the songs of birds and the perfume of flowers; he saw them flashing awful faces on the troubled rest of others, from enchanted mirrors which they carried in their hands. [“Third Quarter,” pp. 83-85, 1912 edition]

Dickens uses the goblins in the bells as his instruments for social criticism and to make his points about the unjust treatment of the poor who are often wrongly accused an imprisoned for any reason due to the government’s attitude of ‘to jail with them’. The goblins also expose the social inequality innate in Victorian society and the hypocrisy of the politicians and aristocrats of the time.

Conclusion

Of the four so called Christmas novellas written by Charles Dickens I have read so far (A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Battle of Life and The Cricket on the Hearth, a Fairy Tale of Home), this is the one that brought the snobbery, hypocrisy, and arrogance of the Victorian gentry home to me the hardest.

The impact of the social inequality on the psyche of the working classes represented by Trotty and his daughter, Meg, and the injustices of the legal system presented by the treatment of Will Fenn, are truly heartbreaking as is the misguided attitude of the philanthropist represented by Sir Bowley.

How easy it is to judge others from a position of wealth and privilege.

You can read The Chimes for free here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/653/653-h/653-h.htm

Have you read The Chimes? What did you think of its message?

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has two published novels and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories included in several anthologies. She is also a contributor to the Ask the Authors 2022 (WordCrafter Writing Reference series).

Roberta also has thirteen children’s books and two poetry books published under the name of Robbie Cheadle, and has poems and short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

Roberta’s blog features discussions about classic books, book reviews, poetry, and photography. https://roberta-writes.com/.

Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

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Robbie’s Inspiration – WordCrafter Book Blog Tours presents Delilah by Kaye Lynne Booth: Author interview and a review

It”s release day! Day 2 of the WordCrafter “Delilah” Book Blog Tour finds us over at “Robbie’s Inspiration” where Robbie Cheadle interviews the author, (that’s me), and offers a review of  “Delilah”. Join us there and be sure to leave a comment for a chance at a free copy of “Delilah”.

Robbie's inspiration

Today, I am delighted to host Kaye Lynne Booth with an author interview as part of her Delilah Book Blog Tour.

What inspired you to write a Western? Have you always been a fan of Westerns, or did it fit in with an idea for a historical novel with a strong female character?

Delilah began as a challenge to write outside of my comfort zone from one of my graduate professors, Russell Davis. Up until that point, I’d written short stories mostly in the fantasy realm. My step-dad used to read Zane Grey and Loius L’Amoure and he had many of them, so I had read a few westerns, and I watch a lot of the old cowboy shows, and I’m a huge fan of Clint Eastwood and the spaghetti western movies.

When the challenge was issued to write a western, I knew I wanted to have a female protagonist…

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Welcome to the WordCrafter “Delilah” Book Blog Tour

I’m excited to welcome you to the WordCrafter Delilah Book Blog Tour. We’ve got interesting behind the scenes posts from all three books in the Women in the West adventure series at each stop, which introduce you to some of the characters in the series, Robbie Cheadle shares an author interview, a couple of reviews, and I think there’san excerpt from Delilah in there somewhere. Maybe I should just post the schedule here. I’ll post it with links, but they won’t work until each post goes live.

Tour Schedule

Mon. 3/20 – Opening Day Post– Writing to be Read/ Guest post (Baby Doe Tabor/Delilah) – The Showers of Blessings

Tues. 3/21 – Interview/Review – Robbie’s Inspiration

Wed. 3/22 – Guest post (Big Nose Kate/Sarah)/Review – BookPlaces

Thurs. 3/23 – Guest post (“Aunt” Clara Brown/Marta)- Roberta Writes

Fri. 3/24 – Closing Post (Ute Indians of Colorado in 1880s/Delilah Excerpt) – Writing to be Read

Follow the tour and learn more about Delilah and the Women in the West adventure series, with an opportunity to enter the giveaway at every stop.

Delilah Give Away

I’m giving away two digital copies, 

and one signed print copy

of

Delilah

Leave a comment to enter. 

Multiple entries are allowed, 

so leave a comment at each stop for more chances.

The Trailer

Delilah and the Women in the West

On with the tour…

Our first stop on the tour is over at Miriam Hurdle’s The Many Showers of Blessings, with a guest post from me on the historical supporting character in Delilah, Baby Doe Tabor. So, follow the link for a behind the scenes post from Delilah.

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Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Book Review: That Wasn’t in the Script

About the Book

Josie Bradford feels stuck.

After being moved against her will to New York City and losing her father in the span of a year, the aspiring screenwriter dreams of escaping back to small-town Ohio where she can attend college and go back to some version of normal-if only she could afford it.  

Enter Hollywood teen heartthrob Rowan Adler, an overnight celebrity thanks to the viral streaming sensation in which he stars. Ever-reckless Rowan is bored, sheltered, and desperate to escape the limelight. 

The lives of the two teenagers collide one fateful autumn night when Josie finds an escaped Rowan asleep in the middle of the greasy burger shack where she works, leading her to wonder: How much would this exclusive sell for? 

What follows is an absurd, heartfelt, romantic twenty-four-hour descent into chaos. The unlikely pair slowly learn what it means to embrace the plot twists life throws their way and how sometimes, getting lost is the only way to find out what you really want.  

Purchase link:

https://www.amazon.com/That-Wasnt-Script-Sarah-Ainslee-ebook/dp/B0BS1544CH

My Review

That Wasn’t in the Script, by Sarah Ainsley is a delightful coming of age romance with enough turns and twists to keep the pages turning at a rapid rate. This story is about being young, and growing up, and self-discovery, and having fun doing it.

Josie is stuck in a rut. She doesn’t realize that her life is about to go off the rails when she decides to help out a boy who she thinks is her classmate. But in a few short hours, her life will change drastically as she follows Rowan, a reckless teenaged heartthrob through New York City on a quest intended to give her the future she longs for. As they go through a night filled with wild new experiences, she finds she doesn’t want to benefit from Rowan’s celebrity, but perhaps she wants something else even more.

A teenaged romance with a big dose of reality and just the right amount of humor. I give That Wasn’t in the Script five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Treasuring Poetry – Meet multi-genre author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg, and a review #Poetry #writingcommunity #bookreview

Today, I am delighted to welcome author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg, as my March Treasuring Poetry guest.

Why do you write poetry?

To me, writing poetry is like being a flâneuse of the literary world.

The history and meaning of flâneuse (with its masculine form, flâneur) derive from the turn of the century, late 19th to early 20th. It defines those men and women who had the time, the inclination, the passion (and the finances, back then) to wonder along the streets of a big city and to observe and be a part of the daily city life. Those who enjoyed taking in the city.

It was after this past holiday, when my family and I covered about 200km on the streets of Romania, in Bucharest and Sibiu, that I learned this expression, flâneuse.

Writing poetry is my reaction to being a flâneuse in a city of words. Writing poetry is like strolling among literary creations, classical or modern (buildings made of words if you wish) and taking in their beauty and rhythm. A turn of the word here, a phrase there, they blend with the breeze, the song of bird, or the memories of my youth (like dappled shadows) – creating poetry.

Do you think poetry is still a relevant form of expressing ideas in our modern world? If yes, why?

Absolutely. Poetry permanently sheds a light on the world; it helps us see our everyday life through a different perspective. It adds colour to a world monotonous in its everyday violence. It also highlights, thus helping us remember, the forgotten beauty of life.

Poetry also creates bridges that unite us, past distances (and I mean social distances) or any other barriers. Poetry is that one constant in times of change. Because poetry helps us understand our emotions and communicate them. It helps us make sense of an uncertain future or of a tumultuous past. Poetry translates, by use of imagery that what – at first – is hard to comprehend and it appears scrambled.

Which poem by any other poet that you’ve read, do you relate to the most and why?

So many times I asked myself this question and the answer varied, but more often it was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” the poem I most relate with.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Life, the simple act of living and of leading a happy and fulfilled family life, are such a tremendous gift – but we tend to take it for granted. I think that contemplating the road that brought us here, as well as the ones followed by our ancestors, is a valuable exercise.

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about the choices and the opportunities we encounter in life. But unlike Frost’s poem, I believe that it isn’t the regret over the roads not taken that should overshadow our future, but the excitement for further choices, born out of our past decisions. Life is a continuous maze, and a beautiful and exciting one.

Which of your own poems is your favourite and why?

I enjoyed following the antics of the puppies depicted in my poetry book “as Good as Gold”. There were times when I would write and laugh. When I grew up in Romania we would live in an apartment so we shared some pretty close living quarters with our dog. Whoever looked after a puppy will remember that, at the beginning, they hardly sleep through the night.

While writing “As Good as Gold” I enjoyed mentally watching a puppy conversing with the moon, or meeting an owl (during night-time, of course) for the very first time. Writing from experience… Today I look fondly on those memories. Thus, my favourite poem is “Why, Rain?”  where we follow a puppy on his first encounter with a surprise storm during what starts like a perfect summer day, just right for some nature exploration.

Is writing poetry easy for you compared to prose or do you do a lot of editing and revision of your poems?

I enjoy writing poetry for its free form and lack of constraints. Poetry allows my thoughts to roam unrestrained. For me, writing poetry is like finding shapes in the clouds – they can be anything and I won’t be wrong in writing them as such. The reader, in turn, can interpret them the way she sees them and none will be wrong for taking that what her / his heart chose to see.

Writing prose asks for much more structure, although I enjoy it just as much. Writing prose is like building a house.

Poetry is like writing a song. Sometimes you hum it for a long time before you get the melody out on paper just the way you heard it in your mind. Prose is more like writing a symphony. Just as rewarding, perhaps more demanding. Prose will confer a whole set of ideas, where poetry will distil the thought to a perfect, silky thread.

What mode (blog, books, YouTube, podcasts) do you find the most effective for sharing your poems with poetry lovers and readers?

As an independent author with self-published poetry books as well as poems published in various poetry anthologies I find that, today, readers show a fear of commitment towards poetry. I discovered that publishing my poems on my blog or into an online literary magazine I can reach a wider audience than publishing a poetry book.

My review of As Good as Gold, A dog’s life in poems by Patricia Furstenberg

As Good as Gold: A Dog’s Life in Poems is a delightful and uplifting collection of poems about domestic dogs and puppies. Each poem is accompanied by a lovely photograph of the dog through whose eyes the poems is written. I liked that the poems were told from the perspective of the dogs and I thought the freestyle form of poetry suited this book well as each poem is a mini story or adventure.

The writing style is conversational and relaxed. The following few extracts give a feel for the style of the poetry:

“Puppy tiptoes,
Takes a peek.
Sniffs carefully …
What IS that squeak?”

“It’s oval, it bounces, it floats away,
It’s pink like his tongue, it wants to play!
“I’m coming!” barks pup and off he goes.
Down the hill the pink shape flows
And puppy follows suit. It’s just within his reach,”

For cat lovers, there are also a few poems told from the perspective of our feline friends and I loved those especially, as I am a cat owner.

I think this book is a lovely way of teaching children about animals as pets and the writing is appropriate for both children and adults, all of whom will adore the antics and curiosity displayed by the dogs, especially the puppies.

Purchase links

Amazon US

Patricia Furstenberg’s Amazon Author page

About Patricia Furstenberg

Writer and poet Patricia Furstenberg authored 18 books to date. Patricia grew up in Bucharest and was brought up listening to the legends and folktales of Romania’s past. She came to writing through reading, her passion for books being something she inherited from her parents. Her writing career followed a sinuous road that passed through a Medical Degree, practicing medicine, extensive traveling, and it also produced a happy marriage and two children. The recurrent motives in her writing are unconditional love and war, while Patricia’s keen interest for history and dogs brought her writing, through a perfect loop, to her native Romania. Today Patricia writes fiction and poetry. Her poems were published in anthologies by Green Ink Poetry, The Poem Magazine, and Lothlórien Poetry Journal as well as in over thirty online literary journals

Find Patricia Furstenberg

Author Website 

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

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About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/