Be sure to pop in and chck out my interview on Patty’s World. They did a great job with it and I’m really excited about it. Won’t you stop in?
Hello to All!
Welcome back to the Featured Author of the Week interview series. It’s been far too long since I had an author interview to share with you.
Folks, people can’t know about you if you don’t tell them. But I digress.
Today, I’m pleased and privileged to introduce to you, author Kaye Lynne Booth, M.F.A.
If for some reason, the email address shown in this posting doesn’t work, make sure to use Kaye’s website information to get in touch with her. She’s got a couple of promotional opportunities of her own to share, so be sure to watch for them in the interview.
And now, here’s today’s Featured Author of the Week.
Kaye Lynne Booth MFA
First, in your own words, tell us a little about you.
I’m an author, editor and publisher, with a duel emphasis M.F.A. in Creative Writing. I have three books of…
View original post 2,217 more words
In exactly two weeks and two days it will be Christmas day. I enjoy this time of year as there is a lot of focus in my life on sharing, giving, and charity. My firm and my church undergo various outreach and charity programmes to help a large spectrum of underprivileged schools, churches, and families.
This year, the Community Service Initiative team at work organised gifts for 100 school children who were graduating from a nursery school. The gift packs included a selection of party foods and one of my Sir Chocolate Books. These were packed into a good quality school satchel so the children have one to use for school next year. A few volunteers from my office, suitable sanitised and masked, went to the school to help give out the gifts.
Christmas time is also traditionally a time when families gather. Every year, my mother and I host a large family lunch-time gathering at which we serve a traditional hot meal of roast lamb, roast potatoes and a large variety of vegetables. This year we are expecting 16 adults and 7 children for the day. My son, Michael, has undertaken to cook the meat and the vegetables this year as he has become a lot more confident with his cooking skills.
In addition to the Christmas meal, I always make the Christmas treats and puddings.
The preparation of a large meal and a few desserts are great learning opportunities for children. They can help you read the recipes and information on the the packets, boxes, and tins containing the various ingredients.
Aside from reading, there are a number of other benefits to baking with children, as follows:
- Baking enhances fine motor skills. Get your children to mix, knead, stir, roll-out, cut-out and decorate. These activities all help with the development of fine motor skills;
- Teaches children math’s. Measuring liquids and weighing or measuring dry ingredients teach children about mass and volume. Heating the oven imparts information about temperatures and sometimes a conversion is required for a recipe from Fahrenheit to Celsius. There can also be conversions from pounds, ounces and pints to grams and milliliters.
- Illustrates scientific principles. The combination of certain food items results in specific chemical reactions which are instructive and interesting.
- Increases focus and intention. Children need to concentrate throughout the baking exercise or the ingredients will not be added correctly and the baked items may not turn out well.
- Teaches life skills. Cooking and baking are life skills which facilitate the growth of independence in children.
How to make a home-made Christmas cracker
I recently read Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition: 101 Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season on a Budget by Charlie Lee Austin which includes a large number of fun activities to do with children during the Christmas season.
One of the ideas was to make home-made Christmas crackers.
You will need scissors, empty toilet roll inners, crinkle paper cut into rectangles that are large enough to gather and tie on both ends of the toilet roll inners, three chocolates per cracker, curling florists ribbon, and sticky tape.
Cut the crinkle paper into rectangles as show in the pictures. Use a piece of sticky tape to attached the edge of the crinkle paper to the toilet roll inner. Gather one of the ends and tie with curling florists ribbon. Run the ribbon over the edge of the blade of the scissors to make the ends curl. Insert your chocolates into the cracker. Gather the remaining end and tie with curling florist ribbon.
To add an additional reading and writing exercise to this activity, search on the internet for some fun Christmas jokes for Christmas crackers [there are lots on Pinterest]. Get your child to write out the joke and insert it into the Christmas cracker. On Christmas day the children can take turns reading the jokes to each other.
My review of Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition by Charlie Lee Austin
This little book is packed with fun and economical ways of celebrating Christmas with children, friends and family. It has a strong Christian orientation and some of the activities relating to the Bible, but there are many other ideas that can be enjoyed by people of any religious orientation.
Reading the ideas presented in this book reminded me of two of my favourite childhood books. Little Women when the girls decide to play a variation of pilgrims progress and also when they celebrate Christmas without their father, who is fighting in the war, and all decide what gifts to buy their Marmee. I was also taken back to the glorious days when I read What Katy Did for the first time. My favourite scenes in this book are when Katy decides to make all sorts of Christmas gifts for her siblings and best friend. She creates a Christmas tree decorated with home-made decorations like popcorn strings and they children have a poetry reading evening where they all read a poem they have written.
The suggestions in this book are simple and yet so much fun to make. The ideas include making a pinata from clay pots and paper mache, making Christmas crackers from toilet roll innards, and making Christmas candles.
A great book of activity ideas to entertain young young children over the holiday period.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and lets hope for a great New Year with an end to the pandemic.
About Robbie Cheadle
Robbie Cheadle has published nine books for children and one poetry book. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.
Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate children’s picture books 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. Her books for older children also incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.
Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s supernatural stories combine fabulous paranormal elements with fascinating historical facts.
Children’s picture books – available as a square book and an A5 book (co-authored with Michael Cheadle):
Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook
Middle school books:
Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town (includes five fun party cake ideas)
While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with Elsie Hancy Eaton)
Open a new door (co-authored with Kim Blades)
Supernatural fantasy YA novel:
Through the Nethergate
Horror Anthologies (edited by Dan Alatorre):
Paranormal Anthologies (edited by Kaye Lynne Booth):
Spirits of the West
Whispers of the Past
Murder mystery Anthology (edited by Stephen Bentley)
Death Among Us
Find Robbie Cheadle
Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Growing Bookworms” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress.
This holiday season I hope you’ll all come party with the WordCrafter authors featured in the three WordCrafter Press books which are now available in print. Come and join in the fun and learn more about the great new books offered by WordCrafter Press at the 2020 WordCrafter Holiday Book Party. Meet some of the contributing authors of three WordCrafter anthologies, who will be doing author takeovers, and will be available to engage and answer questions, including: myself, Cynthia Vespia, Janet Garber, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Margareth Stewart, Jeff Bowles, Jordan Elizabeth and Art Rosch.
The party is on Monday, December 7, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. MST on Facebook. There’s exciting things happening at WordCrafter Press that you won’t want to miss, including upcoming releases and additional author services to be offered. I’m sending out invites, so watch for yours. If you want to attend, but didn’t get one, click on the link above or feel free to contact me directly via messenger, or at email@example.com.
I’m happy to announce that these three WordCrafter anthologies are now available in print editions:
Now you can get the author’s reference no writer should be without. Learn from the experts in Ask the Authors. Sixteen seasoned authors share writing tips and advice on topics that include craft, editing and revision, publishing and book marketing and promotion. Dan Alatorre, Amy Cecil, Cynthia Vespia, Tom Johnson, Ashley Fontainne, R.A. Winter, Tim Baker, Lilly Rayman, Chris Barili, Carol Riggs, Arthur Rosch, Mark & Kym Todd, Janet Garber, Jordan Elizabeth, Margareth Stewart, Chris Dibella and Kaye Lynne Booth. A great gift for that special author in your life.
Available now on Amazon.
Spirits of the west are often found in unexpected places. They can be found on a in a saloon in Colorado territory, on a wagon train in the plains of South Africa, or on a distant planet in another galaxy. They can be the bringers of revenge or the protectors of the weak. Indulge yourself in eight paranormal stories with western spirit in Spirits of the West. Contributors include Enid Holden, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Jeff Bowles, Arthur Rosch, Tom Johnson, and Kaye Lynne Booth.
Available now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08LW5R368/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
Everyone loves a good ghost story. Whispers of the Past includes seven thought provoking paranormal stories from six talented authors. The past is calling. Listen to hear it’s whispers. Contibutors include Jeff Bowles, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Stevie Turner, Julie Goodswen, Laurel McHargue, and Kaye Lynne Booth.
Available now on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08288GNC9/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i6
Other exciting news: WordCrafter Press recently released two books by Kaye Lynne Booth. Last Call and Other Short Fiction is a collection of short stories of multiple genres, and Hidden Secrets is a paranormal mystery novella. Both are available in digital format now and will soon be available in print editions.
Last Call and Other Short Fiction: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08NXXQB6R/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5
Hidden Secrets: https://books2read.com/u/38RZ2O
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Today, I have the pleasure of featuring talented poet, Balroop Singh, as my Treasuring Poetry guest. Balroop has shared some lovely thoughts about poetry and her favourite poems. My review of her latest book, Magical Whispers, is included at the end of the post.
You can find out more about Balroop Singh and her poetry on her lovely blog here: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com/about/
What is your favourite poem?
How can you have one poem as a favorite? They have been changing with my growing years. From Rumi to Rudyard Kipling to Maya Angelou, poetry has always evoked images of romanticism, realism and Sufism and I got carried away with those images depending on the phase of my life.
As a youngster, I liked ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost. It acquainted me with the beautiful images and simple style of writing a poem, inspired me to read more poetry, nudged me to keep the promises that we make to ourselves. It also calls upon the reader to focus, to brush aside the distractions and temptations and move ahead.
As a student of English Literature, I fell in love with the nature poetry of William Wordsworth, as his poems told me to carry the beauty of nature in the “inward eye” and feel the “bliss of solitude” in “vacant or in pensive mood.” His Daffodils entrances me even today. I must’ve read it a thousand times!
‘The Little Black Boy’ by William Blake became my favorite when I taught it to my students. The emotional appeal to end racism that the poet makes in this poem is still relevant. His imagery is exceptional and his simple, convincing style moved me. Then I stumbled across ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling and it became my all time favorite. The values it imparts resonate with me.
Slowly the alleys I walked down widened into avenues of observation and experience and I discovered more poems of human interest. Poetry that focuses on what lies within a human heart, combined with imagination and imagery from nature appeals to me.
Recently I stumbled across this gem, an outstanding poem written in 1932. It demonstrates an incredible power to assuage loss and anguish. Though the poet had written it for her friend who could not visit her mother’s grave due to disturbing times, its popular appeal can be judged from the fact that it was read by the father of a young soldier, who had been killed by a bomb in Northern Ireland.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.” – Mary Elizabeth Frye
This poem conjures a thousand images of nature to lift the gloomy mood, which fades away in the wake of so much positivity. Read it twice and you would be transported into a different world. My heart misses a beat each time I read it.
Life seems have come a full circle, as once again, a poem written in a simple style has appealed so much to me.
If you could choose to write like any well-known poet, who would it be?
Robert Frost and William Wordsworth have been my early influences but now I would like to write like Adrienne Rich, an American poet, essayist and feminist who could criticize conservative attitudes of the society through her works. Just look at her powerful poetry:
Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich
“Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.
Aunt Jennifer’s finger fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand.
When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.”
What tugs at my heart is the message of subjugation that these lines convey in a very succinct manner. ‘Massive weight’ symbolizes aunt Jennifer’s ordeals in an unhappy marriage. At the same time, it also hints at the inability of the patriarchs to control the mind of women. Aunt Jennifer may be tied by societal norms, she could have been dominated by the “master,” (a symbol for her husband) but the art she creates with her ivory needle symbolizes freedom – “tigers prance,” “they do not fear the men.”
Only symbols speak in her poetry. The way hope and despair merge in this poem is outstanding. There are very few poets who focus on social and political themes with the fervor of Adrienne Rich.
I have tried a similar style: (An excerpt from Emerging From Shadows)
Thorny monsters monitor my trail
I know I can brush them aside
Each one reminds me of you.
Each spike strengthened me.
Unrequited love is not my shriek
I know this love let me grow
I know obscure alleys scream louder.
Respect, reverence, self-esteem
Are my basic requisites.
I refuse to be a competitor
Who struggles for personal rights.
The stumble, the search stirred me.
Questions that haunted my sleep
Clamor and clutter… all that robs my peace
Elevates me, helps me detach!
I am no longer tied to the cliffs.
Threats don’t hold any ground
I have decided to fly high
On the winds of cool complacence.
Who has the audacity to ask?
Who can misconstrue my intrepid intentions?
Who can doubt my positive power?
No one can sway my dauntless decision.
© Balroop Singh
Meet the poet
Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educator always had a passion for writing. She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.
When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.
A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life , Emerging From Shadows, Timeless Echoes and Moments We Love – all widely acclaimed poetry books. She has recently published Magical Whispers, another poetry book. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited and Allow Yourself to be a Better Person. Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.
My review of Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh
What Amazon says
I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.
‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.
In this book, my poems focus on the whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.
Each day reminds us
It’s the symphony of surroundings
That whispers life into us.
Magical Whispers is a beautiful collection of freestyle poems from a talented poet. Each of the 73 poems speaks to a special event or sight in nature or an experience in life’s journey with a ‘whispered’ undertone of emotion. The poems are divided into two sections, with the first mainly about the magic of our natural environment and the second about the magic of our human lives.
Two wonderful examples of this undercurrent of whispered emotion are as follows:
“Whispers that stood walled,
That could dispel his darkness
Now they seethe and speak
Louder than his voice.”
From Secret Whispers
“They made me who I am
A reclusive introvert.
They told me I don’t have rights,
I was born to be controlled.”
From A Loner
The poet makes use of the most delightful imagery. Her writing is so lovely it is difficult to select one illustrative example, but this is a paragraph that particularly struck me while reading this book:
“What how they gleam
And say adieu to the sun
But shimmer with delight
From Did You Hear the Whisper?
A lovely book of poetry and one I highly recommend.
Purchase Magical Whispers
WordCrafter hosts a Halloween book event every year, but this Halloween may be a little more weird than usual. Trick or treating and in person parties are just extra chances for exposure to Covid 19. If our kids do trick or treat, candy will not only need to be inspected, but also disinfected, before eating. In fact, Halloween may not be all fun and games this year. It has the potential to be downright scary for real, and that’s not fun at all.
That’s why I’m inviting all of my readers to join in on a virtual Halloween party, the 2020 WordCrafter Halloween Book Bash. It’s a short event this year, running 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. MDT on All Hallow’s Eve on Facebook. I hope you’ll all join myself and my co-hosts, Mark McQuillen, Ellie Raine, and Jordan Elizabeth for an evening of ghosts and ghouls, witches and warlocks, vampires and werewolves, and lots of books. There will be games and giveaways, so you can get your copy of the authors’ latest releases. Don’t miss out on all the fun. Spend your Halloween with us.
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Flashlights. Who would think of flashlights as the subject of a passionate obsession?
I had no idea what was coming as I scanned the pages of Amazon for ordinary household flashlights. Things have changed and I was about to discover another dimension, a new subculture of obsession. Flashlights!
It began when I bought a slender black flashlight from the local hardware store. It cost thirty bucks; a bit pricey but it was rechargeable via a USB cable, and it looked really cool. The battery was included. The word “TACTICAL” was splashed all over its package, like this was some kind of ninja self-defense weapon. Indeed, it was solid black. I liked its weight and heft, its balance and setup. As evening fell I took the gizmo into my office, turned off the lights and pressed the switch.
Holy Shit! A circle of brilliant radiance spilled across the room like the light from a movie projector. I was not expecting this. The flashlight had features like “zoom” and “strobe”, and, for all I knew, “kill” or “maim”.
I had, in effect, a Magic Wand. This was my introduction to the world of modern flashlights and those who love them. The tech has changed. Teeny LED bulbs can now emit awesome degrees of light, powered by modest Double A batteries. Some devices have multiple LEDs in specially designed arrays. A handheld flashlight can light up a stadium. This is power, which is hypnotically attractive. I needed another flashlight. Maybe two, maybe three flashlights. I went into the almighty catalogue, AMAZON, to peruse the flashlight market.
Now we get to the reviews. There are astonishing numbers of reviews for every goddam product on Amazon, from diapers to defibrillators. It is possible to get a consensus about anything at all. Want to buy a dildo? Look up the many devices and their reviews. Did this particular dildo do the job? Was it flexible enough or too unyielding? Here is a real product with nearly 700 reviews. It’s called “Rechargable Personal Wand Massager with 20 Vibration settings, variable thrust, flexion, USB port, realistic texture, suction cup, money back guarantee.” The pictures leave no doubt. Personal wand massager my ass!
Why are these dildos so huge? Where are the normal sized penis replicants that won’t cripple you? I don’t know. What does this priapic gigantism say about our culture? Never mind. Let’s return to flashlights.
The reviews sometimes run to pages. Everyone wants a voice, wants to be heard. Maybe these reviews give people their voice.
Some of these new death-dealing tactical flashlights run to six hundred bucks. What do you get for six hundred dollars that’s different from the thirty dollars I paid for my Litezall field flashlight? Let me read the reviews. Yes, the light is extremely bright. Among its features there is an emphasis on self defense. “Blind an attacker with the sudden flash of the Thrunite AB9000.” Or, “The Fenix L20,000 will stun an assailant better than pepper spray.” Yes, they are brighter than shit. You can’t use them at home if you have children. Take one to an empty stadium. Another benefit of the six hundred dollar flashlight is its amazing battery life. You could turn it on and leave it on for a week. I don’t know when such a demand will arise: maybe some disaster will call out this flashlight’s virtues. Who needs a week of 9000 Lumens?
I have so much fun looking at flashlights online! I love it. Just writing this article threw me back into my obsessive mode, as I compare the specs of hundreds of black anodized titanium flashlights. I have six of these hand held monsters but my favorite is still the first one, the Litezall USB S2000. I’m also fond of my Gearlight ArcFlash, with its zoomable front lens, with its maximum light circle diameter of thirty feet. Awesome!
These flashlights are made in China. They’re well made, beautifully crafted. They’re impressive yet they’re affordable. Thirty bucks for a light that can stop an advancing hippo? Do it.
(For help withdrawing from flashlight addiction, contact “Nameless Flashlight Addicts, at the following website: http://www.myeyesmyeyes.com)
Today, talented poet, Frank Prem, has joined me to share about his favourite poem, why he likes it and what it means to him. His thoughts are very inspiring.
Frank shares a lot of his wonderful work on his blog here: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/.
Now, over to Frank.
What is your favourite poem
Usually when I’m invited to contemplate personal favourites among poets and their poetry I hark back to contemplate what the godfathers of Australian poetry (A.B. (The Banjo) Patterson and Henry Lawson represent for me. I feel great affection for both these writers as communicators and storytellers in their work.
While I admire their work very much and often refer to Patterson’s Clancy of the Overflow (http://www.wallisandmatilda.com.au/clancy-of-the-overflow.shtml), or Lawson’s short story The Drover’s Wife (http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/DrovWife.shtml) as examples of work that inspires me in my own storytelling efforts, today my contemplations have led me toward more contemporary writing and more personal inspiration.
Some years back, when I was in the first flush of joy at recognising myself as a poet – that experience of looking into a mirror and seeing a different self gazing back – I spent all my free moments pursuing the threads and trails of writing and learning what it meant to be a writer. I haunted the spoken word poetry scene of Melbourne at the time (around 1999, or thereabouts), to learn and to hone and develop.
The great and acknowledged master of Australian poetry at that time (and right through until his death in 2019) was Les Murray. He was a big man in every respect and it happened that he was visiting Melbourne to speak and to do some readings of his own work in a range of locations across one weekend.
I didn’t much about Murray at the time, but made it my business to haunt his footsteps from venue to venue, and to be in every one of his audiences. Maybe to ask a question.
It was quite an experience and one of the poems that he read had a huge impact on me, as a budding and aspiring writer. Watching and listening to Murray read it was a marvellous experience, and one that I still reflect back on from time to time, and wonder if the way that my writing has evolved owes more or less to that occasion.
The poem that so involved me is called An absolutely ordinary rainbow. My source for the poem (below) is http://www.lesmurray.org/index.htm
An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow
The word goes round Repins,
the murmur goes round Lorenzinis,
at Tattersalls, men look up from sheets of numbers,
the Stock Exchange scribblers forget the chalk in their hands
and men with bread in their pockets leave the Greek Club:
There’s a fellow crying in Martin Place. They can’t stop him.
The traffic in George Street is banked up for half a mile
and drained of motion. The crowds are edgy with talk
and more crowds come hurrying. Many run in the back streets
which minutes ago were busy main streets, pointing:
There’s a fellow weeping down there. No one can stop him.
The man we surround, the man no one approaches
simply weeps, and does not cover it, weeps
not like a child, not like the wind, like a man
and does not declaim it, nor beat his breast, nor even
sob very loudly—yet the dignity of his weeping
holds us back from his space, the hollow he makes about him
in the midday light, in his pentagram of sorrow,
and uniforms back in the crowd who tried to seize him
stare out at him, and feel, with amazement, their minds
longing for tears as children for a rainbow.
Some will say, in the years to come, a halo
or force stood around him. There is no such thing.
Some will say they were shocked and would have stopped him
but they will not have been there. The fiercest manhood,
the toughest reserve, the slickest wit amongst us
trembles with silence, and burns with unexpected
judgements of peace. Some in the concourse scream
who thought themselves happy. Only the smallest children
and such as look out of Paradise come near him
and sit at his feet, with dogs and dusty pigeons.
Ridiculous, says a man near me, and stops
his mouth with his hands, as if it uttered vomit—
and I see a woman, shining, stretch her hand
and shake as she receives the gift of weeping;
as many as follow her also receive it
and many weep for sheer acceptance, and more
refuse to weep for fear of all acceptance,
but the weeping man, like the earth, requires nothing,
the man who weeps ignores us, and cries out
of his writhen face and ordinary body
not words, but grief, not messages, but sorrow,
hard as the earth, sheer, present as the sea—
and when he stops, he simply walks between us
mopping his face with the dignity of one
man who has wept, and now has finished weeping.
Evading believers, he hurries off down Pitt Street.
Les Murray- The Weatherboard Cathedral, 1969
What is your interpretation of this poem?
This poem, in my interpretation, at least, is describing a kind spiritual awe and fascination bestowed on the most commonplace event. Someone (a man) weeping in a public place.
Every moment of every day someone – so many someone’s – is weeping. When might that be an event worthy of attention from a passing stranger, intent on personal business, and important matters?
When is the commonplace worthy of wonder?
The poem has me holding my breath, as I view the scene and watch the spectators thronging to worship, or condemn or simply to gawk before discussion at another time. Perhaps over dinner in the evening.
An ordinary event (rainbow) on the walkways of the main business centre in Sydney that no one can ignore.
What emotions does this poem invoke in you?
In reading, or listening to this poem being read, I feel the emotions swirling through the crowd – the curiosity and the wonder, the incredulity and intolerance. The wondering of what it could be about, how to stop it. Why did he stop weeping just when he did?
I am caught up in the narrative and inclined towards grief, but I don’t know quite why. Like the children, this poem caused me to sit at Murray’s feet.
If you could choose to write like any well-known poet, who would it be?
I go to some lengths, nowadays, to avoid reading any well known poet’s work too deeply. I feel so overfull of my own stories and writing imperatives that I fear, a little, being too influenced by any other powerful storyteller.
This work of Murray’s and some other of his material speaks to me, particularly when read aloud, as though it came from my own pen, in small ways and through small familiarities. Murray tells stories and peppers them with layers of meaning, or of question. He can be read at many levels, while retaining a lived contemporary feel within the work.
Literature without the excess baggage.
That is the kind of writing that I aspire to. Storytelling that can be spoken as conversational tale, and read as meaningful verse.
What is special to you about this poet’s writing style?
The power of Murray’s free verse is inspirational. There is no question that he is giving us capita ‘P’ poetry, but it is in a free verse form. There is such art in achieving the sharp brevity of ‘show, don’t tell’, within the confines of a fully fledged short story, as the piece above is.
Murray’s death (29 April 2019) is a huge loss to contemporary literature, I think.
A Kiss for the Worthy – Poetry book
A Kiss for the Worthy is the second book in a trilogy of poetry books, each inspired by a poem by a well-known and loved poet. In this, Book 2, Frank selected Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and used each line to write a poem of his own creation and inspiration.
I enjoyed this book very much and found the poems to be of a lighter tone than those included in Book 1. These poems revolve very much around the I, of the poem, and his interaction with nature and the world around him. The poems about with energy and his joy in what he sees and hears and also in the strength and endurance of his own body.
An example of this physical joy in nature is illustrated in this extract from be this (with kisses):
“turn your face
to feel the sun
warm and light
and good upon it”
And also in this beautiful extract from inhale (my heart):
“and where I strode
with salt flecks
and in the bubbles”
I really recommend this book of uplifting poetry to lovers of this genre.
Purchase A Kiss for the Worthy by Frank Prem
About Robbie Cheadle
Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.
I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.
I have participated in a number of anthologies:
- Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
- Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley;
- Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre; and
- Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.
I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.
Find Robbie Cheadle
Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
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The Law of Attraction in Action
by Jeff Bowles
The phrase “summer movie season” has a totally different meaning this year, doesn’t it? Point of fact, there really isn’t one. For the most part, cinemas have shut down all over the world, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still watching movies at home. Maybe it’s old favorites with your Netflix subscription. Just chilling on the couch with your family, windows open to cool the house after a hot summer day … doing whatever it is people are doing to stay the heck away from Coronavirus.
Don’t worry. I’m not judging. I’ve literally forced myself to watch the entire Skywalker Saga on Disney+ four times. That’s a lot of lightsaber fights. A lot of them.
So here’s the deal. Writing to be Read is primarily a book blog. We talk about writing, literacy, try to keep you up to date on stuff you might want to read, and there’s room for some offhand conversations here and there as well. Normally, this time of year brings us a deluge of film releases, many of which are based on bestselling books (assuming you don’t get pelted by Marvel and DC before you make it to the popcorn stand). Now that the only real new releases are coming via the timely advent of at-home video streaming, pickings are slim, but I’ve come to you today to discuss a new movie based on a bestseller that is … well, let’s just say it’s more pop culture spiritual life coach than YA dystopia or gritty crime thriller.
The Secret, a book that teaches readers about the Law of Attraction, released in 2006 and summarily took the world by storm. It was later turned into an equally popular documentary, and eventually, a full-range self-help empire of near Tony-Robins-like proportions.
For those unfamiliar, the core teaching of The Secret is that we can have anything we want, as long as we keep a positive mental attitude, focus on desired outcomes rather than undesired ones, and basically have faith that the universe will provide exactly what we want, if perhaps not in the way we expect it. Plenty of people say it’s silly, ludicrous, wishful thinking, but there are many, especially in the New Age spiritual community, who hold The Secret as gospel.
Back in 2006, a bright and shining period in time compared to how 2020 has felt so far, the notion seemed plausible and exciting. After all, isn’t it determination and perhaps something outside ourselves, call it luck or grace or even the divine, that brings things into our lives right when we need them most? But then don’t bad things happen to us, too? And isn’t it cruel to blame people for their misfortunes by insinuating a negative mindset brought it to them?
Well, maybe. But that doesn’t stop the machine from churning. Now, with our movie theaters shuttered and barren like ghost towns, the international self-help brand The Secret has produced a feature film: The Secret: Dare to Dream. It’s a real Hollywood flick. It’s got movie stars, a genuine movie script, pretty yet bland domesticized locations. What it lacks, however, is the basic knowledge that pop spirituality, proselytization, and popcorn entertainment kinda don’t mix.
In recent years, there’s been a resurgence, a kind of renaissance, in Christian filmmaking. God’s Not Dead, The Case For Christ, I Can Only Imagine, these are movies of moderate budget, moderate expectations, that hit their audience and generally seem to work for them. The Secret: Dare to Dream is interested in riding in on a similar horse, although with a little veiled new agey-ness to go along with it.
Regardless of what you believe, surely you must admit that when entertainment becomes preachy it’s just not as, well, entertaining. And Dare to Dream does become preachy. Pretty darn quickly. That’s the whole point, right?
Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes) is a single mom and local restaurant manager who could seriously use a new house and a more positive outlook on life. When she literally runs into a guy called Bray (Josh Lucas) and damages the front fender of her van, Bray turns into mister fix-it, and as far as the filmmakers are concerned, enters the action specifically to transform Miranda’s life using the Law of Attraction. There’s more plot happening here than that, of course. There’s a superstorm, a hell of a lot of home damage (which Bray also volunteers to fix), and something of a love triangle.
I’m assuming people who are interested in this movie already believe in the Law of Attraction. Here’s a little “secret” for you. I sort of do, too, though the miraculous and unbelievable circumstances that tie Dare to Dream’s plot together have certainly never happened in my conscious daily experience. Still, I do believe in miracles, and I certainly believe our focus determines our reality. But some readers of The Secret have complained over the years that the book is way too dreamy. And you know what? This stuff is supposed to be ancient esoteric wisdom anyway, so what the hell is it doing in my Josh Lucas romance?!
That’s right, I forgot to mention Dare to Dream has love on the brain, and it takes a halfway decent stab at it, too. Not a total fail as a romance. Only problem is that educational tone, that preachiness, it pervades the entire proceedings. It’s clear that the negative people in the movie are on the wrong end of things, and it’s also clear this Bray fella is the proverbial music man of their lives, barging in and singing his song, improving everything with the utmost maximum charm at his disposal. Which is a lot of charm, as you can imagine.
Simple, right? Which is exactly what The Secret says about changing your life. In some ways, this is barely a movie, and it really ought to be pondered if books of a pseudo-spiritual nature, self-help-oriented and considered pure pablum by many, has any serious business being turned into a film Amazon wants me to Roku for $20.
I say it does not. But that doesn’t mean faith, positivity, and focus and determination are bad for us or don’t belong at the center of our popular storytelling. It’s just that transparent allegory—and trust me, this is the most transparent allegory you’ll ever find—turns people off. At least The Secret: Dare to Dream makes no bones about what it is.
I’m just waiting for the Deepak Chopra/Eckhart Tolle mashup superhero movie coming next year. It’ll be explosive. Or completely at peace. Depends on your point of view.
Jeff’s Movie Reviews gives The Secret: Dare to Dream a 6/10
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Jeff Bowles leads us throught the final day in the “Whispers of the Past” book blog tour with a glimpse into the mind of an author of horror. Drop in and check it out. You might be suprised.
Thanks to 4WillsPub for the wonderful tour, and to all of our wonderful blog hosts. It’s been fun! 🙂
I’m excited to host “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” – An Anthology Blog Tour supported by 4WillsPublishers. I’m sure you’ll be amazed at what they have to offer today.
Whispers of the Past Day #10
The Inadvertent Horror Writer by Jeff Bowles
Whispers of the Past is not strictly speaking a horror anthology, and yet my winning story, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, is about as horrific and psychological a rock and roll tale as you can find. It’s about a washed-up, extraordinarily damaged rock star who has a, how can I best put this without spoiling it? A troubled relationship with stardom and his own adoring fans. Now I could have written this story a million different ways, but somehow in the telling, it took a terrifying bent, something that happens to me more often than I’d like.
The best sort of horror is the kind that…
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