WHAT DOES HAPPY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? 🥰

“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”― Louisa May Alcott

Image by Dim Hou from Pixabay 

We hear a lot these days about your “happy place” and “living your best life.” 

Your best life may be nonstop traveling or vacationing in a tropical paradise. Many are content going through the years with their extended, continually growing family, enjoying all the milestones and get-togethers. For some, it’s tending to their garden or going on a cruise, maybe taking photographs of nature. It may simply be achieving your professional goals, especially a long, fulfilling career helping others.

Ten years ago, when both of my parents were ill at the same time, I had panic attacks—even in my chiropractor’s tranquil office while listening to her soothing music. She was a gentle soul with an ethereal beauty about her, and she told me, “Don’t think about it. Just go to your happy place. Visualize it. Focus on it.”

Image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay 

For a lot of people, that happy place is a sun-filled or moonlit beach. Some find immediate comfort thinking about God or Jesus or prayers while surrounded by nature. I pictured a magical place with flowers, trees, birds, and a glistening lake. Taking out a rowboat was a nice thought, too.

Of course, we can have many happy places. I picture people—ones who make me smile and laugh a lot. Then there’s reading books, watching dancers, hearing people sing or play music. I love all of that.

Now, what about that timeworn phrase “happily ever after?” Is it what fairytales have dictated, something we’ve held onto since we were children? There’s a bit of societal pressure, whether it’s your dream or not, but I think most people do genuinely want to find their ideal partner and live a comfortable life with a house, pets, and children.

Image by aliceabc0 from Pixabay 

As I see it, the problem is what others expect of us and what we expect of ourselves. I’ve encountered many people who automatically assume everyone wants what they have. Have you met anyone like that? At best, they feel sad for you. At worse, someone thinks you want to take what they have away from them. Sure, that happens in some instances, but, more often, we’re not reading each other or reading the room, as they say.

I learned, long ago, that I don’t want what most people want, plain and simple and don’t necessarily like what most people like. I never felt the need to run out and get the latest thing because everyone else had it. I got it when and if I needed it. I’ll say, too, another of my happiest places is writing. Any artist might understand that, but a great many others may think that’s just pathetic!

What’s evident to me is, people often envy a life they don’t even want. They may see themselves as failures. It often happens that they didn’t succeed in creating that life because they never really wanted it in the first place. If so, they might have tried harder to get it. They think they should have gotten it, and that maybe something’s wrong with them. Or course, they worry, too, about what others may think. 

Well, I agree with those who say, “You do you.” The truth is, it is 100% okay for people to want everyday, traditional things or to want something else entirely. That’s hard for a lot of people, I know. They want to fit in. Me? I only want to fit where I belong—where I’m welcome, accepted, and embraced as who I am.

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”― Audrey Hepburn

LETTING GO (WITH ❤️LOVE FOR YOU)

Did you know you could die?

Did you want to die, or simply not care?

All that bravado,

A hellion in rebellion,

But you knew things.

And, everything you said was true.

We smoked in the factory corridor,

Played ball in the streets.

Through summer school and Nok Hockey,

You were everything.

Just like those caramel nut sundaes at Klees

And the old rooster we cried for.

You taught me to be tough

And gave the best advice.

Looking after me

When it wasn’t your job.

You needed your space,

Your own place.

You didn’t need a pesty shadow

Like me.

I didn’t understand.

We all loved you.

At least, I thought I loved you—

But I couldn’t see you then.

 

Ghosts can be so many things.

Whatever haunts you.

And, sometimes, what brings you

A silent joy and blessed peace,

You can’t share it with anyone

But the one who shares it with you.

I see you now.

And, so, I released you

When you needed to go.

Like a balloon to the sky.

Or a butterfly,

Or one of those Wish-niks

You and I loved to cling to.

I do love you now,

And I’ll keep sending love to

Wherever you are.

The memories—

I’ll cherish them forever.

And, I hope you forgive me,

As I do you.

Be happy!

Keep shining!

You always did amaze me.

Letting Go from Awake with the Songbirds by Kyrian Lyndon

Photo of sisters in hammock by Janko Ferlič  at Unsplash

Photo of rebel woman by Tibi_Varzaru from Pixabay 

Photo of caramel nut sundae by chotda on Flicker

Photo of ghost girl by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay 

Photo of red balloon in window by Alfons Schüler from Pixabay

Photo of dandelions by InspiredImages from Pixabay 

Cover design by KH Koehler

BEST FOR ALL OF US TO DO THIS TOGETHER


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

As one of those people who believe kindness is a key to survival and, yes, empathy and love, I see that as more evident now than it ever was.

Once upon a time, I worked in a hospital where nurses, children, and hemophiliacs were testing positive for HIV along with heterosexuals who got it from an infected partner. People were saying that quarantining the infected was the solution. Of course, they believed it affected only drug addicts, gay people, sex workers, etc. Some decided it was God’s wrath.

I think most of us agree that law-abiding people with addictions, afflictions or different sexual preferences and ethnicities do not deserve punishment or anyone’s wrath. It’s just the opposite. They’re entitled to the same rights and to be treated with equal dignity and respect. We embrace them and love them for who they are because they’re as worthy of that as we are.

But when HIV was the biggest concern, I heard people say that quarantining the infected was the solution. They, including our leaders, saw no need to aggressively fight the spread of HIV because they didn’t think their own communities could be affected.

Now, here we are with COVID. Many people who might have thought it was an excellent idea to quarantine people back then are talking about their freedom not to wear a mask or get vaccinated. At a time when the disease seemed to affect minorities they’d deemed undesirable, they didn’t question the government or the existence of a pandemic. They somehow found methods of complying with safer sex.

Meanwhile, I guarantee those people infected with HIV would have loved to get vaccinated if it meant the disease going away or not being transmissible. I’m sure most of them willingly did what doctors asked them to do to prevent the spread of this disease.

Thanks to scientists and the gay community who fought tooth and nail for help, effective drugs came along, making HIV no longer a death sentence. Many of those infected live normal lives with the virus and achieve an undetectable status where they can’t infect others.

So, what is the thing about COVID that people suddenly want to be so defiant? I’m sure they’d be outraged if anyone tried to quarantine them or discriminate against them the way they did people with HIV or AIDS. And COVID is so much easier to transmit than HIV. Why would they not, at least, wear a mask?

With all I’ve seen throughout my life, I firmly believe this is not a thing to fool around with, and ego/pride is not anyone’s friend in this sort of crisis.

Please, please, everyone, be safe!

BOOK REVIEW – THE KEEP by F. PAUL WILSON


Image by ELG21 from Pixabay

BOOK DESCRIPTION

“Something is murdering my men.”

Thus reads the message received from a Nazi commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. Invisible and silent, the enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless and mutilated corpses behind to terrify its future victims.

When an elite SS extermination squad is dispatched to solve the problem, the men find something that’s both powerful and terrifying. Panicked, the Nazis bring in a local expert on folklore–who just happens to be Jewish–to shed some light on the mysterious happenings. And unbeknownst to anyone, there is another visitor on his way–a man who awoke from a nightmare and immediately set out to meet his destiny.

The battle has begun: On one side, the ultimate evil created by man, and on the other…the unthinkable, unstoppable, unknowing terror that man has inevitably awakened.

F. Paul Wilson, Author

My Review:

*****

The Keep by F. Paul Wilson is a supernatural thriller set at the beginning of WW II. The story is rich in history and has many elements I love—Gothic horror, immortal creatures, Romania, a creepy fortress, revenge on nazis, and a worthy nemesis in Rasalom. The book is brilliantly atmospheric.

Wilson’s descriptions are lovely. It’s a fast-paced tale with a great twist, never dull, and it has characters I loved, which is always a plus. In my opinion, it’s a fun but not a terribly scary read, but, then again, I don’t scare easily.

The best part is, I’ve found a new favorite writer in F. Paul Wison and feel as if I should have known about him long ago!

⭐
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WONDERFUL! LET’S DO IT! WRITE A MEMOIR!

Image by Perfecto_Capucine on Pixabay

THE GENRE

I enjoy a good memoir as a brief respite from psychological thrillers and horror books and have always gone for the human-interest element. What can I say? People and things fascinate me. The idea of writing a memoir, however, hadn’t occurred to me until recently. It seems somehow relevant now in these days of the pandemic, a time when people are still fighting for their rights and their lives.

I’ve oven heard people say, “Certain things need to be kept private.”

Hey, we’re on Facebook and Twitter. The Internet spies. They know what kind of shoes I like. You get messages like, “Don’t you want to give this another look? Come on; we know you don’t have any willpower. Go on. Get it.”

Everything I research for my writing shows up in ads. My character gets injured, and they show me compression wraps.

So, we are living in an age of transparency and accessibility. As an introvert, I never liked that, but I get over it when I’m writing. 

Image by Peter Olexa on Pixabay

WHY I WANT TO DO IT

Understanding is critical in the world we live in today. Oh, I know, some people think there’s way too much empathy in the world and that we need to go back to being vicious and cruel. Maybe even with a bit of medieval torture thrown in for good measure. As for me, I like the fact that time has taught us more about humanity. It’s part of evolving as a species. 

The aim of sharing is not to gain sympathy but maybe help shed some light on how certain things develop and how we overcome those challenges even when the odds are against us.

One thing I’ve heard and can relate to as a poet and a writer is, Don’t waste your pain. Life is beautiful and tragic, happy, sad, and everything in between, and, as a poet, I’m here for all of it. The pain is often long gone by the time we relay things in poetry and books, but through the pain we once felt, there’s a collective empathy we feel for people trying to navigate whatever we’ve already sorted out.

Speaking of that, I learn from everyone. If someone doesn’t want to talk about a subject or hear about it, that’s okay. Others may be looking for answers to the questions we once had, wanting to survive and thrive as we managed to do and then become better and stronger.

Image by John Hain on Pixabay

WHAT I DON’T WANT TO DO

Some of the memoirs I’ve read have shown me what I don’t want to do. Here’s my shortlist.

  1. A personal grudge memoir – If the book is full of swipes at others for revenge, no thanks! As someone who has been on the receiving end of character assassination attempts, I don’t want to do that to anyone. I think it would hurt my soul more than it would hurt them. Write from your heart.
  2. Get into other people’s stories – Other people’s stories are theirs to tell, not mine. For the most part, I want to make every effort to respect their privacy. I won’t reveal real names (except for mine, but there are still those who would be easily identifiable, so unless I’ve found it necessary to get their permission for one thing or another, their secrets are safe with me.
  3. Name dropping – I’ve lived in New York all my life. When you live in New York, you see famous people. You meet famous people. None of them had anything to do with anything relevant in my life.
  4. List sexual conquests in graphic detail– Just no. Recently, I read a memoir where the author constantly got into what physical characteristics he liked and didn’t like in a woman. What body parts were his favorite, all the intimate details of his sexual prowess. It made me wonder, why am I reading this? What is the focus? Yeah, no. 

I’ll ask my alpha and beta readers to check me on all of that.

And, don’t get me wrong, there are people who read memoirs for all of the above, and they love it, so I’m not knocking it. If that’s your thing, go for it, no judgment here.

WHAT I DO WANT TO DO

Memoirs have a focus, yes, and it’s not just to present your life story like you would in an autobiography. Mine is a story about addiction and recovery (from many things). I am one of the fortunate ones who lived to tell how it went for me—going from victim to survivor and beyond to what we call “surthriver.” That fits because we’re learning to do so much more than merely survive. It would focus on an all-consuming fight for sanity, peace, and recovery. I want to make readers feel like they are right there with me for all of it. But, fair warning, being right there with me is bound to get pretty scary.

And let me tell you, when people say they have no regrets, I’m sure I misunderstand what they mean by that or, perhaps, take it too literally. I can’t imagine not having regrets. Most of us do cause pain, even if we don’t want to, and the one thing I regret more than anything is the people I’ve hurt in my oblivion and ignorance.

Recovery, for me, has also been an ongoing journey toward authenticity, removing the veils layer by layer, discarding the masks. I was told, in recovery, we are only as sick as our secrets. Of course, we are allowed to have secrets. But if your hidden truth has you living a double life or creates a barrier between you and the world, and you tend to compartmentalize aspects of your life as part of the deception, it can make you sick. It can limit your healing. It can impede your goal of authenticity.

Image by alexas_fotos-on Pixabay

Oh, I’ve revealed my secrets to certain people and groups of people, but some of the struggles weren’t public ones, so, in this case, I will tell the whole story of my recovery. Unfiltered, I hope to include the humor and joy among the tragic madness.

My favorite memoirs have been well-written and inspiring with a powerful message. They are my inspiration. It makes me happy, too, when an author is aware of their patterns and vulnerabilities and seeks answers. That’s how we evolve as humans. The constant transition brings wisdom and strength. Raw honesty combined with accountability helps everyone, especially those of us who have gotten caught in a cycle of self-loathing and self-sabotage at some point in life. There is a need for truth and spiritual courage, as well as a need to remain teachable.

And what is the truth? For me, the truth is what makes sense to you after all your exploration and quest for authenticity. I say it all the time, no group, no matter who, what, or where is perfect. Some have seen the light, and others have yet to see it. Let’s hope they keep looking.

Joy Can’t Wait

Love this post from my friend, Amy. She has so much wisdom to share, and she’s not only brilliant, she’s funny, too.

amyhenrybooks

Last month, I mentioned that I walked my hood daily during COVID as a healthy alternative to going completely bonkers (for which there is no vaccine), and that I continue to do so even though my local gym has re-opened. Yes, the gym has a range of equipment that exercises all of me, large flatscreen TVs with a zillion channels, regulated comfy year-round temps, and fluffy towels, but after nine years, it’s… boring. Not so the varied streets of my town, where every day brings something new and interesting to my view:

A jumble of tiny painted clay gnomes set beneath a maple tree.

An interweave of hedge branches so intricately constructed, so heartstoppingly beautiful, I paused in mid-stride, certain British nature sculptor Laura Bacon had snuck in and arranged it all moments before.

An eye-popping purple gate leading to a hidden garden.

The May morning everyone’s tulips bloomed, cued…

View original post 1,126 more words

A LOVING LETTER TO A FRIEND

What are we going to do about the fact that I’m dying?”

She asked him.

“There’s a lot we haven’t resolved.

There’s so much we can’t say to each other,

Including goodbye.

I don’t think I’ve done enough for you,

Or that I ever deserved you.

“I keep trying to let things go,

Let it be,

Have faith,

Have trust,

And I think it works, most of the time.

Wisdom is crystallized pain,

And my greatest pain has been your sadness.

I worry so much about you.

“Everything shifted

When you entered my world.

You led me to the right path,

Revealed my inner shadows.

You made me a better human.

And, I love you.

And, I just want you to be okay.

More than anything, I want you to be happy.

But, you’re not, and I can’t leave you like that.

You deserve to find your joy.

“Walking away from hard-hearted people is easy

For me,

But you,

Despite your impenetrable shell,

Are the kindest person I have ever known.

I could never walk away.

I’d miss you more than

I’ve ever missed anything in my life.

“Oh, and what are we going to do about the fact that you’re dying?”

She asked him next.

“I think you’re afraid.

A lost soul who can’t find the path that leads home.

I see innocence,

Confusion,

And anger,

Your eyes don’t light up.

I see the beauty you don’t see,

In yourself,

Or in the world around you.

“Believe me; I get it.

The world makes you angry,

Robs you of the will to fight.

What you say concerns me, though.

I want to talk to you about it,

But when I do, you shut me down.

You can’t forgive those people,

And you’re right about them:

They don’t deserve any more of your energy.

It baffles me that they were so unkind,

To someone so precious.

And, because of them,

You haven’t been kind to yourself.

You don’t love who you are,

But I love you.

“Thank you for continuing to live when

You wanted to die.

Maybe I had no right to insist

Life’s worth fighting for.

It’s your existence,

Your pain.

I can’t suffer it for you.

And, I’d never say you were selfish,

No matter what you chose.

Unbearable is just that.

But, in every blessed way, you transformed me.

You showed me unconditional love.

“Of course, I know, too, how hard you fought to survive.

I’m honored that you chose to stay with me.

And, though you’d never admit it,

You’ve come such a long way.

It still hurts, I know,

But you’re never alone,

And never will be.

“Promise me this, though.

Begin, once again, to cherish

The whisper of the wind,

The beauty of a clear day,

And the divinity in all of nature.

Hold hands with someone,

Sigh at the faraway places,

Laugh at yourself,

Find humor wherever you can,

And let somebody hug you.

Embrace your vulnerability,

Savor your progress,

Celebrate your triumphs, and

Learn from your mistakes,

Always healing.

“Promise me, too,

You’ll take a chance on love

Again and again.

Reach out, my dear one.

Find it in your heart to forgive.

And, finally,

Know this.

You’ll be back.

I’ll be back.

We’ll cross paths again.

We are all dying, my friend, so, please

Begin to live.”

“My Friend” from Awake with the Songbirds by Kyrian Lyndon

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Thank you! Hope you enjoyed the poem!

THAT DEVOTED GIRL SHATTERED BY YOUR TRUTH IS FREE

diego-ph-226527-unsplash (1)

I had a dream about you last night and woke up crying. I couldn’t sleep after that.

In the dream, you were angry with me—full of anger, full of hate. You had shut the door on me and left me out in the cold. I kept calling to you with a child’s unbearable anguish. You didn’t hear.

At some point, I cried, “Help me, daddy,” and finally, you came. I thought you were going to hit me or hurt me with your scarred and violent soul, but you didn’t. You hugged me. Well, you didn’t just hug me. You gave me the kind of hug I’d wanted from you since childhood, the comfort I always needed, and I didn’t want to let go.

I miss your smile and your jokes, Dad, your handsome face, and all of your wisdom, but I have to ask. Does a father realize he is the first man a girl gives her heart to completely? The first man she trusts blindly and devotedly? Did you realize?

I used to think I was hard to love.

Whatever people said—men especially—I wanted to believe them. Deep down, I didn’t. Not a word. And every time a man took something from me that I didn’t want him to have, every time a man tried to silence me, belittle me, or make me doubt myself, I punished him, pummeling him with words and crushing him with goodbye. I could be angry with them but not you.

What if things had been different between us, though? Would I had been less vulnerable or had the confidence to be my authentic self, knowing I was worthy and lovable? Would I have chosen more wisely? Would I have stopped running and hiding, oblivious to my weaknesses and my desperate needs? Would I have respected myself more? Might I have found someone I could love, for real? Someone who could have loved me back? Because I didn’t let them … I made sure they couldn’t.

Well, no matter, that’s all changed now. I picked up the shattered pieces of my heart and began to love myself.

It’s hard not to feel that twinge of emotion when I hear father tributes of the heroes who boosted confidence and taught children to believe in themselves. I honestly wish everyone could beam with that pride, feeling safe, content, and protected in that eternal bond.

It’s easy to defeat someone when you have all the power, when you are on a pedestal from the start, and you make all the rules. You can create vulnerability and punish the very same, though you don’t mean it. You can erase one’s humanity because of your denial, your self-loathing, and your shame, though you’re not aware. You can damage a person almost beyond repair. And, after the wrecking ball, cleanup of that wreckage rests solely on those tiny shoulders. Yeah, those shoulders get bigger, but somehow it all gets harder and more complicated.

I cleaned up that mess, though. The void lasts forever, and many people can attest to that, but I got those things I needed. It just takes ongoing effort to hold on to them.

And by the time I had a child of my own, I knew all too well what a child needs. I was able to give him that, but I couldn’t give him YOU. Oh, he’s brilliant and kind and funny, and so very loyal. Like you, he’s hard and strong but with such a tender heart. He needed you, and he still needs you, though he’d never admit it now. He’d been shattered right along with me, but we rose to the challenge, and he loves with his whole heart like I do. I’m proud of him, and I’d like to think you’d be proud of him, too, but it doesn’t matter now.

Look, maybe you didn’t give me what I needed, but you gave what you had. I saw a brave and modest man, generous with assistance and advice—a hero to many, and I know why they love you. I know why I loved you. Sure, it’s easy to love someone when you think they are perfect; when you hold them up on a pedestal and pretend they are everything you need and always wanted. You fell off that pedestal when I was twelve, Dad, but I loved you so much, flaws and all, and I still do. That’s unconditional love, and though you couldn’t give that to me, you still get it. Because guess what? You deserved that, too, from the people who didn’t give it to you.

Yeah, I knew why you were the way you were, though you accepted no excuses from me when I fell short. You could never understand me, but I understood you. Though you couldn’t hear me, yours was the loudest voice I’d heard in my entire life—a voice that continued to bellow in my ear for a lifetime. It kept me from standing up. It kept me from fighting, and it kept me from winning until I did all those things because I couldn’t lose any more. I climbed in spite of you, because of you and for you, because you couldn’t do it yourself, and I understand that.

When you were angry, devastated, and tortured, I tried to tell you it would be okay, that I was sorry for you, and that I loved you, but it seemed too much for you to bear at the time. Then, in the end, I forgave you, and you forgave me. It took a lifetime, but we got there.

Sigh. There are many things we never got to do, Dad, and it’s too late now. You’re gone. But I do have some fond memories of you that I will cherish always.

And here’s what I wish.

I wish I could go back in time with you—to those boyhood days when you were punished severely for no good reason—when you were invalidated, shamed, ridiculed, and ignored, just to tell you how awesome you were, and all you could be and do with your life. I’d say I believe in you, and that you have everything you need to succeed. I would say over and over that I love you to the moon and back, so you would know how worthy you are of that love. And maybe you would have grown up to be what you wanted, and have felt no shame. Then when it was your turn, you could have done the same. You would have known I was not an extension of you and didn’t have to represent you or your ideals. Perhaps you would not have expected such a conformist “go with the flow” type of kid who didn’t make waves but sang to a song you couldn’t possibly hear. You would not have lost empathy. You wouldn’t have cared how others saw me or what they would think. You’d have simply treasured me for the person I am. Imagine that!

The aching in my heart is that I want that for everyone. I wish all men and women who didn’t get what they needed as children would give that and get it back in abundance however they can. And I’m infinitely grateful to every hardworking mom and dad who gets up every day ready and willing to get it all right, including you.

Rest easy, Dad, and know you will always be in my heart.

“Children are the most fearless souls on earth.”― Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!

Further Reading:

10 Ways Strong Women Move Past Their ‘Daddy Issues’

Why Dads Matter — Especially to Girls

*****

© Copyright May 31, 2016 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com

YAY! MY NEW BOOK IS HERE! 😊

Hi everyone!

I’m putting the word out that my new poetry book, Awake with the Songbirds, is available NOW on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle versions!

I also have free review copies in both formats, so please send me a message or comment if you’d like to review the book.

Lastly, if you would like a chance to win a free copy, follow this blog for upcoming details.

DO YOU SEE A LIGHT BEYOND THE DARKNESS?

“When the whole world is entrenched in the bunker of physical and often emotional isolation, only flexibility and ingenuity can revive us to remain grounded and imbibe the bolstering sunlight piercing through the canvas of chaos.― Erik Pevernagie

Whether it’s socially, mentally, or physically, being out of your comfort zone can be unbearablemore so for some than others.

During the pandemic, we’ve had hard decisions to make, all of us, knowing whatever decision we made for ourselves would impact the loved ones in our bubble who’ve been riding it out with us. They’re not only counting on surviving it themselves; they’re counting on you to survive. A year is fleeting compared to a future without the people you love.

I always remember what my younger sister would say when things were not so great. “It’s temporary.” And what I used to tell myself, “Life is an adventure, part of which is figuring out what to do with every challenge thrown at you and then rising through the challenge.” 

The restrictions, added to other stressful political and personal situations, have been tiring. They certainly brought out the ugly in some and the beauty in others. There are people in my life who’ve been sick with Covid or lost loved ones to the virus, and, at least for the time being, the spark I used to see in them is gone.

Finding ways to cope with even simpler things like wearing a mask and the constant handwashing and disinfecting is frustrating, yes, but we are warriors and survivors, and I love that about us. It comes down to preserving yourself for when you can get back the life you want. It’s definitely a time we need therapeutic measuresincluding ways to escape. 

Sure, it was easier for most of us writers. I worked on several books, wrote poem after poem, read one book after another. Those were all things I could never wait to do, so, believe it or not, it was exciting.

Taking walks has always been an excellent balance for working in isolation, but there’s a lot of construction going on around here, where I live. Long Island is the suburbs, but my neighborhood, right now, looks like a rundown part of the city.

My son, who never cooked much in the past, decided to watch all these cooking videos and learn to make all these incredible meals from scratch. He became a great chef and managed to lose weight in the process because he worked out daily while doing his job remotely. All of it was a great confidence builder and kept him motivated!

Working out whenever, wherever, makes you feel good (well, afterward, at least 😉).

As for me, along with whatever else I was doing, I’d think crocheting might be enjoyable or maybe guitar lessons, but then I’d have to buy a guitar. So, another pastime I had was deciding what place I wanted to move to and then, from time to time, check out what houses were for sale there. For a while, it was Norway, then Germany, then Amsterdam. Right now, it’s York, in England. Yes, I want to move to York. I do very much, want to move.

And who knew I’d rediscover Super Mario Brothers and become so good at the Dr. Mario game? (Listen to me, bragging!) Well, it helps your coordination and response time. That is good for me. 😆

Music was another Godsend.

We’re so lucky, too, to have the internet for connecting with everyone—being able to talk to people all over the world about how they’re coping with the very same thing. I can’t imagine how people managed crisis after crisis in the dark ages. But they did!

And what I love most is the fact that laughter gets you through everything. You can’t ever lose your sense of humor. I was joking with a cab driver the other day about neighbors who never knock on your door, and suddenly, during the height of a pandemic, they come a-knocking. And it’s to tell you something like there’s a piece of paper outside your door, an advertisement. Uh, thank you? 

No! Don’t bring me things when we are in lockdown! Do not knock on my door

He and I laughed so much about that, joking back and forth because you have to. Sometimes people mean well, I know. And sometimes they don’t. 

Another day, I got a letter in the mail saying that my neighbor (mentioned by name) is a disgusting boyfriend-stealing whore who will sleep with anyone, and her family deserves better than that. High school shit or something you’d expect to see on Desperate Housewives or maybe Jerry Springer. Its author used cut-out letters like a ransom note and pasted a biohazard symbol at the bottom. It’s not what healthy people do. It’s more so the work of a narcissist dragging everyone into their bullshit. They are experts at character assassination. 

How dare they, right? Whatever happened between these people is their business, and I don’t care. Imagine someone cutting out all these letters to make a note like that? And God knows how many of these the person sent out! I found it appalling. Not my circus, not my monkeys, as they say. Come to think of it, I don’t have any of that chaos in my life these days, and I like it like that.

Aside from the heartbreak I feel as so many are still struggling to cope, I also have this stubborn enthusiasm that we may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that has me talking up a storm lately with an energy I haven’t put forth in a while.

Hold on to your peace however you can, and you will be okay.

“I can be by myself because I’m never lonely; I’m simply alone, living in my heavily populated solitude, a harum-scarum of infinity and eternity, and Infinity and Eternity seem to take a liking to the likes of me.”― Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude

SAME OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

My new book, “Awake With The Songbirds,” which includes the above poem and many more, will be available by the end of next week. I’m so excited!

Please let me know if you are interested in obtaining an advanced review copy or if you’d like me to notify you about any upcoming giveaways. There will be a few chances to win a copy in the forthcoming months!

AWAKE WITH THE SONGBIRDS: POETRY BOOK WRITTEN DURING THE LONG COVID PANDEMIC

COMING IN EARLY JULY

This collection consists primarily of poems written during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of loneliness and rumination. 

Lyndon’s poetry stems from intense emotions that swing from one end of the pendulum to the other as she captures the agony of love and loss, along with innocent joy and lighthearted fun. 

Each poem is an earnest response to life, love, and everything in between.

Here is one poem in the collection.

SAME OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

The neighborhood hasn’t changed,

But the draperies on the windows have been swept aside.

We see you.

Telling someone to go back to where they came from,

To the place where they had no voice

And no choice.

That place where they were beaten,

Neglected and shamed,

Where they never felt safe,

Never had a chance.

Oh, they’d love to go home,

But, home isn’t home anymore.

The neighborhood hasn’t changed,

But, the fanfaronade has consequences.

We hear you.

It’s not just words.

It’s not simply freedom.

It’s a weapon to harm and destroy.

To punish those who aren’t the same.

People just like you commit horrific crimes,

But you don’t identify them

Only with crimes because they mirror you.

People just like you hurt you and fight you and hate you

But, you don’t see them all as threatening because they are you.

The neighborhood hasn’t changed,

But, many more of us want to live here only in peace.

You can make that happen.

So many beautiful people I’ve known in my life

Were those people you rejected,

And they were full of warmth and kindness and wisdom.

You don’t see them because they’re not the same.

The neighborhood hasn’t changed,

And neither has any divine love for all who live here.

Like you, we are sacred.

All is sacred every moment of every day.

WHAT READERS SAY

“She has the ability to convey to the reader some of the most complex thoughts into words that truly reach our hearts.”— Love Books

“Her lyrical voice speaks with careful observation and passion. In the narrative mode, she is masterful in reading life around her. Kyrian possesses the sensitivity, insight, and soul of the true poet. Her writing provides a primer on how to compose meaningful poetry.”—Lou Jones

***

Please let me know if you are interested in obtaining an advanced review copy or if you’d like me to notify you about any upcoming giveaways. There will be a few chances to win a copy in the forthcoming months!

Happy Reading!

BOOK REVIEWS ON A COUPLE OF THRILLERS

I love a good thriller. 

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin and As So It Begins by Rachel Abbott are two books that provided the page-turning suspense that kept me reading but still managed to leave me disappointed.

The main reason is I need characters I can like and root for throughout the book. Please give me one, at least.

It’s particularly distressing when I think there’s one, but it turns out in the end that they all suck. 

My reviews for these will be short.

Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders…and he’s tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain’s elite SAS. Now he’s an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn’t just one cop trying to catch a killer, he’s the man who’s got all the pieces to the puzzle…

Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today.

My review: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I know Ian Rankin is good. So many people recommend his work. I also know Knots and Crosses was not the best example of why he is popular.

The main character in Knots and Crosses , Detective John Rebus, does not seem to do much of anything but drink and get laid. He didn’t solve any crimes, let alone the main one. There was nothing to like about him and plenty to not like. Oh, there is sufficient reason to feel sorry for him. I felt sorry for the victims, too, and, of course, I rooted for the ones still alive, but it’s not as if you get to know them. I liked the book, sure. I just needed more.

Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife. Cleo, Mark’s sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn’t trust Evie…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As Evie stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

And So It Begins is a darkly compulsive psychological thriller with all the hallmarks of a Rachel Abbott bestseller – a provocative dilemma, richly-layered mystery, knife-edge tension, and brilliant characterization.

My review: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This book I liked a lot. Rachel Abbott is a wonderful storyteller, and As So It Begins is a well-written page-turner. I hated the twist and the ending for personal reasons, but I can’t get into that without spoilers.

What I can say is, the detective here, Stephanie King, is nowhere near as interesting as the people involved in the mystery that unfolds. (This is her series, and she is the star, but you’d never know it.) She turns up now and then and mostly worries about her love life. I feel like the whole story could have happened without her minimal involvement. A couple of minor characters impressed me, but, as I mentioned above, I want to root for at least one of the main characters.

As an aside, I’m reading another of Rachel Abbott’s books right now called The Invitation, and I love it, but now that I’m many chapters deep into the book, Detective Stephanie King emerges once again.

Hopefully, she makes a better impression here than in the last book.

CHANGING YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON CRITICISM HELPS!

Kyrian Lyndon

“What other people think of me is none of my business.”

Yes, I’ve heard that, too, but I agree only in part. We still have to be accountable for our behavior, and it doesn’t help to stubbornly insist we are fine—and that whatever we do is okay regardless of how many people say otherwise.

It doesn’t mean we have to believe every negative thing anyone says about us. It’s more about the willingness to consider what others have to say, whether we like what they’re saying or not. It’s about our responsibility to learn, grow, and evolve.

Everything comes back to balance for me, but when you’re able to set aside ego and keep an open mind, discernment about what to take personally and what to blow off becomes easier.

You can surely tell if something is malicious or plain stupid.

For example, and speaking as an author now, we…

View original post 1,170 more words

QUIET ETERNAL SONG – a short story by David Antrobus

Here is a short story written by a dear friend of mine, author/editor, David Antrobus. I just love the beauty of his writing and storytelling, and, so, I wanted to share it with you.

David Antrobus Posted On Saturday, December 5, 2020 At 10:53PM

She showed up every afternoon in the town square, her guitar and amp ready to display her bona fides, ready to dazzle. She used to hear god’s whisper but no longer. 

She was an auburn beauty, which was incidental, but her gathered ponytail and her classical vulpine face were assets, however the music came.

Yes, pretty hurts, but goddamn, it still had such currency.

“Pretty lady, I won’t rain on your parade, but this isn’t the place for you.”

The wolf had appeared from shadows beneath the chapel roof and the market awnings, and he smiled through tumultuous teeth and tried to dam his drool. Oh, he was hungry.

“The skies are clear and this isn’t my parade, Mr. Wolf,” she said. “This is a way station, and I come from elsewhere, but here I sing my truth.”

“Don’t push me, woman.” 

“I won’t. Instead I’ll make my music.”

And she did that. Splashes of half or quarter melodies, staccato squalls merging into dreamscape, arpeggios traipsing on ramparts of crenelated chords, spiralling into the darkest of wells and spinning into meadowlark updrafts. Distortion like the most shattered of mirrors, hot liquid globules and elastic spans of glass, a glittering haze of misted diamond. Her thumb like a hammer conjuring bass notes, rhythmic and sundry as coitus, her arachnid fingers a blur as lacquered nails plucked and glissandoed reflected layers of overlapping melody. And above it soared her voice, like the great mountain condor, effortless and buoyed by thermals.

The townsfolk gathered and grew in numbers, and they sometimes sang snippets that only augmented her song, and children danced, and then their mothers, and then, looking sheepish between themselves, their fathers. 

The wolf was humbled, reduced, his snout a wilted thing, his ears flat, the luxuriance of his tail now tucked. 

“Mr. Wolf, I won’t stay. I’ve done what I came for, and it’s always time to move on. What will you do?”

Cupping the town in its rough hands was a landscape of clear streams and falls, forests dappled by light and deer, skies that paraded like blue and white and grey ticker tape, crags and flats and the quiet eternal song of the land.

The wolf, who recognized the good as well, knew all this and loved it, but he felt thwarted. Her cello nape, her downy hollows, her female scent itself a taunt, and though he knew he was wrong, he let himself down.

“I will eat you; it’s how I’m made. It’s what I am. And you, my chestnut fawn, were made for this too.”

She sighed while she packed her instruments. Something in the faraway hills echoed and crackled like an exhaled nightmare. She wished she could love the wolf and receive his love in turn.

“You will do what you were made to do, Mr. Wolf. But you are not emblematic of your kind.”

The wolf was puzzled. He didn’t know what emblematic meant. And while he crunched her words like marrow from the bones of a lover, spurned and sickly as the plague-struck, the townsfolk moved in silence with their clubs and knives and systematically dismembered him, and hearing his last furious yowl she cried as she left town, her hardware hunched like a stigma on her back, the neck of her guitar a phallus, her keening cry a screech of corvid grief in the spent and airless afternoon. 

SO, WHAT’S NEW? HERE’S MY EXCITING UPDATE! 😊

I’ve been shut down and holed up here in my little world, feeling very disconnected. It’s like I activated my “off button” and can’t seem to switch it back on for long. I wonder how many of you need to do that now and then. I also had a sinus infection and then a pinky toe stress fracture, which I still have.

Last Friday, I went to have blood work done—all ready to do the people thing. The nurse drawing the blood didn’t have a printout for the thyroid part of the order. She told me to go to the front desk and ask them to print out that order. When I did that, they printed the same one she already had, and the nurse told me to go back again and tell them it wasn’t the correct printout. So, the woman at the front desk got all flustered. She complained to someone on the phone that this was “really stressing her out.” I have to walk back and forth with one sneaker and one shoe cast s to get printouts that should be in the lab, and she’s stressed out. Then she keeps repeating into the phone, “I know. I know, right?”

At one time in my life, I would have had to say something to her, but I just wanted to achieve what I was there to accomplish and get out of there. I explained politely, remaining calm, and someone eventually took care of it. I mean, have your little hissy fit, just give me what I need, and I’m gone. These little things are not worth my peace anymore. 

Anyway, during the healing process, I have been writing a lot. My new poetry book is almost complete. A paranormal fantasy book is underway, along with the sequels to Shattering Truths

The idea I had for a non-fiction book has turned into something else entirely—a somewhat shocking recovery memoir. It’s not fiction like Shattering Truths, so, for me, it is a huge deal. I’ve written most of it already, and I hope I don’t change my mind about publishing it. I believe it can, at the very least, be helpful to someone. 

I’ll be looking for beta readers who’d like to read along and give input for any of these projects.

Of course, I’ve been reading a lot of books, too. Right now, I have a few lined up that are about Edinburgh detectives. It’s what I’m into right now, reading about Scotland and these mystery thrillers.

I watched a lot of the heartbreaking Derek Chauvin trial, and I’ve read about all these shootings across the country (including a recent one in my county on Long Island). For quite a while now, this whole world has needed a reset button. I always thought if there is a divine message for us, it would be, “Start over, people. You can do way better than that.”

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

On a lighter note, I’ve also been watching:

Netflix – Bridgerton, Lucifer, and the 100.

Prime -Dark Shadows, Mad Men, and Suits.

Network TV – I love Good Girls and Manifest. 

 I am such a fan of the 100. I love Suits, and Dark Shadows is one of my all-time favorites. Lucifer is hilarious, and I like Bridgerton, but I’m still waiting to see what all the fuss is about.

(It takes me a long time to get through a series because I may watch one show a night.)

What about you? What are you watching? Let me know in the comments, and, stay safe and well! ❤️

THE WORLD NEEDS TO BE FULL OF LOVE 🥰

 
“The rationale seems to be that we keep people as victims by validating them, empathizing with them, and fighting alongside them for equality and the dignity they deserve. I don’t think people are kept down by that. I believe what keeps people down is the constant dismissal of their pain, the degradation, the humiliation, the fear of injustice, and the continuous crushing of their will, their faith, and their hope. This type of oppression kills the self-esteem people need to empower themselves.” ― Kyrian Lyndon

“The world is getting too small for both an Us and a Them. Us and Them have become codependent, intertwined, fixed to one another. We have no separate fates, but are bound together in one. And our fear of one another is the only thing capable of our undoing.” ― Sam Killermann

First image by danielaceronmarin10 from Pixabay

Second image by Anderlane Andie from Pixabay

Third image by John Hain from Pixabay

REVIEW: IN THE GRIP by Myer Kutz

Description:

Everyone is in the grip of someone or something – besotted with or controlled by another person or captive of passions, ambitions, torments, or demons. . . . Mordecai Bornstein enjoys a successful scientific editing and writing career. He has a comfortable existence. He’s found passion with the woman he worships – Patricia Murphy, an alluring and ambitious museum director. But nothing good lasts forever, and Mordecai stumbles into a way to inject torment into his life. Years later, after that life has been turned upside-down, Mordecai is drawn into the orbit of divorce attorney and artist patron Sanford Glickauer, who loves talking about women and playing mind games, some of them designed to alter people’s lives. A bond develops between the two men, until Mordecai slowly comes to the realization that he and Patricia may have been the focus of Sanford’s ultimate game. In the Grip is a psychological mystery involving love, loss, sex, murder, and the worlds of scientific publishing and fine art. The action moves from Upstate New York to Manhattan to Frankfurt, Paris, Kiawah Island, SC, Washington, DC and its suburbs, and Providence, RI. 

My Review:


Well-drawn characters come to life with superb dialogue and compelling description, transporting the reader into the time and place of this narrative.

Myer Kutz has a writing style that is lively and entertaining. A slow-paced beginning sets the stage for skillful plot development with many clever twists and turns.

Mordecai Bornstein is the story’s endearing protagonist. He is someone to admire, root for and respect despite his weaknesses. He tells the tale of a charming love story, his profound devotion to the lovely Patricia who is not simply a stunner but a brilliant, successful woman making her own strides.

Be patient with the author’s masterful storytelling; the pace picks up and continues to accelerate until you can’t put it down. The end reward is delivered in spades. You will want to go back and read it again for anything you may have missed.

The epilogue was beautiful. I loved it. I think it would make a wonderful movie. 

by Myer Kutz  (Author)

Purchase on Amazon


SHE SAID NO, BUT YOU DIDN’T CARE

SHE SAID NO

Dying embers set alight—

What had those vile creatures unleashed in me?

What beast had they awakened? 

I think I vowed to kill the beast

With a single flame’s fury and resilience,

Bury it so deep in the abyss

That it would never again rear its ugly head.

Part of me did make this promise.

The other part embraced

An unfolding of life’s inextinguishable flames

And the mind’s unspoken bondage.

Because the crushing of one’s will

Didn’t cease with the conquest.

Poison oozed from the wound

Like some fairy tale curse

That corrupted your spirit,

Making it so vile,

You couldn’t know or understand your desires. 

Kyrian Lyndon – Deadly Veils Book One: Shattering Truths

Image by Eleatell from Pixabay 

WE HEAL FOR THE GREATER GOOD

Every day, something reminds me of how vital it is for us to heal and recover from all trauma and harm and the consequences of subsequent obsessions.

I read something yesterday that said we should treat everyone like they are sacred until they begin to believe they are. That would be the ideal way to live, wouldn’t it? It would certainly solve a lot of problems in our world, individually and collectively. I’d love to commit myself to that. I’m certainly going to try, and, of course, I’ll need to remind myself always. It’s so easy to be impatient with people, but we all could use a little patience from others. We’re trying. We’re doing our best. Breaking the cycle of continuous damage to ourselves is a divine process.

I’m sending love to everyone and wishing you the very best, an abundance of all good things! Stay safe and well. ❤️

DID YOU SAY GET MARRIED, LOVE?

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” – Khalil Gibran

***

I’m about a week late for Valentin’s Day, I know, but things got hectic.😄

Anyway, let’s talk about weddings and marriage.

Marriage affords you all kinds of rights, privileges, and benefits, right? My son says it’s a bribe that gets the government more taxpayers and soldiers— the assumption being that married couples will procreate. Of course, it’s what they hope. Only decades ago, young, fertile women had a tough time getting a tubal ligation procedure. Doctors willing to perform it would not do so without her husband’s permission. There are people who’d still deny you birth control if they could.


Naturally, too, divorce comes with consequences. Some women wore that “divorcee” label like a scarlet letter disgrace. Real-life Alan Harpers support luxurious lives for partners who kick them out while they can’t afford even a decent life for themselves. I’m sure there are situations where people deserve their downfall, but it’s often wholly unwarranted.


Even a young widowed female is often judged harshly as a single parent as if she had any choice in the matter. I can attest to that. Other mothers are wary of you, often not even knowing how you ended up a single parent. All they know is you don’t seem to have a husband, and though you don’t deserve to be penalized for that, no matter the reason, they prefer the company of other married women. Your child gets ostracized in the process.

Oh, don’t worry, I fixed all that when my son was in the first grade by baking chocolate chip cheesecakes for the school’s annual food festival. The moms and teachers couldn’t resist that cake. 😉 And my son remedied it, as well, by being funny and smart. Eventually, we made many friends, but society is far more comfortable with the traditional norms.

Admittedly, I love the idea of marriage and being someone’s wife but not necessarily its reality.

Similarly, you can include me among those who love the “idea” of a wedding. As for being the center of attention on an anxiety-filled day of continuous pressure, no, thank you, but you go ahead; I’ll watch.

FANTASY vs. REALITY

When I was a little girl, I told my mother I’d never get married—that I was going to be so busy, I wouldn’t have time to be anyone’s wife. At the same time, I was enchanted by the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and madly in love with Prince Charming. He sang:

Do I love you because you’re beautiful,

Or are you beautiful because I love you?

It was a fascinating dilemma for my underdeveloped brain. That song and others from that musical are still on my iPod.

So, I am at least somewhat sentimental, don’t you agree? To be honest, I posted the live performance of “Marry You” above not only because I like the song but because Bruno Mars reminds me of my first “real” boyfriend.

But do me a favor now. Picture your fantasy of an ideal wedding. Got that picture in mind? All right, well, in my family, one wedding reception ended with both male and female cousins entangled in a brawl with people at the wedding next door. One male cousin pulled out a gun. The other (male) went crashing into the ladies’ room mirror in search of someone to fight. At another reception, two of my middle-aged cousins rolled around on the floor, fighting for the bride’s tossed bouquet. And then there was the time the priest stopped the ceremony to wait for my father to finish loudly explaining to his grandson (my son) how to use his new camera. 😮

But there are the moments that move you, for sure. I got all teary-eyed once as someone I’d known my entire life proceeded to the altar with the man she wouldn’t give up on no matter how tough the road got. They are divorced now, and I can’t say I blame her, but you get the idea.

OH, BUT THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL!

What I do love is the planning of a wedding. Of course, I love to plan. I am a novelist. No, I wouldn’t want a job planning weddings, but I’d get psyched creating a dream wedding to marry off my characters— unique destinations, gorgeous flowers, creating an ambiance, picking out cake. I love cake! (Maybe you remember that from above.) And then the music for the special dances and the party! The poet in me comes alive with music, and my emotions are all over the place. Laugh, cry, dance, sing—it’s all good. I’m a fan of all kinds of music, including classical wedding music, which I also have on my iPod.

And you know what else is beautiful?

The devoted couples who happily grow old together. Yep, it’s all so beautifully romantic. I have the utmost respect for the men and women who’ve decided on the person they want to spend forever with rather than continue to look elsewhere for ego gratification. Since childhood, I’d witnessed so much willingness, even eagerness, to be unfaithful. What makes life magical is the bond between people and everything they create together.

(This playlist includes some of my favorite classical music for weddings.)


So, what did I do when I finally got married, you ask?

My fiancé and I went to a judge’s house on Long Island. It was just the two of us, the judge and the judge’s wife, and we couldn’t help laughing like school kids that we were getting married, but it was perfect. I cherished every moment.

He was a kindred spirit that I treasured with all my heart, and the desire or willingness to replace him has yet to come. I liked being married to him, well, most of the time. I also wanted to be spoken for in that there was less explaining to do when I had to say no to an advance. What I liked even more than that was the ultimate realization that you don’t need to explain. 😉

For lyrics to this song (because I love the lyrics), go here.

Gladiatrix fight photo by Hans Splinter

REVIEW – The House on Blackstone Moor (The Blackstone Vampires Book 1)


This book was initially reviewed in May, 2012, but I am recommending it again to horror fans.

Before The House on Blackstone Moor, we experienced the wicked, self-involved albeit charming vampire and his polar opposite the long-suffering, brooding wimp with a conscience. Carole Gill’s Louis Darton is neither. Instead, he is the perfect balance between the twoa Byronic hero with substance. He endures, as the author writes, no matter what. He does so with great courage, inner strength, and compassion. Now that’s seductive!

As a fan of 19th century British literature and all things gothic, I found, in The House of The Blackstone Moor, all the elements I enjoy in a novel and all the features of a classic. The moods of great works such as Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, even Dickens (a la Oliver Twist and David Copperfield) surface throughout. Carole Gill presents excellent narration, well-drawn characters, and has a sharp ear for dialogue.

While hopelessly invested in Rose Baines and her beloved Louis Darton’s fate, I read this entire book in two days. No sooner had I put it down when an irresistible lure seemed to beckon my return. 😉 I’d have finished it in one sitting if I didn’t need to be elsewhere.

Between Darton and Satan’s cohort “Eco,” there is the additional element of the proverbial dark side with a twist. It brings to mind Anne Rice’s poetic Memnoch The Devil inspired by the Book of Enoch and Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost. This genre has been met and embraced in the past with great interest and sheer fascination. Carole Gill continues in that vein. She pulls it off quite skillfully with wonderfully bold and descriptive passages.

Carole Gill

About Carole Gill

Carole Gill is published by Creativia. She writes dark Gothic romance as well as contemporary horror.

Preditors & Editors’ Readers’ POLL
#2 BEST HORROR NOVEL 2016
I, BATHORY, QUEEN OF BLOOD

BEST INDIE BOOK FINALIST
2016
CIRCUS OF HORRORS

Her acclaimed 4-novel series, The Blackstone Vampires:
2014 – Amazon Bestseller in Dark Fantasy – THE BLACKSTONE VAMPIRES OMNIBUS
2015 – Amazon Bestseller in Vampire Horror – THE BLACKSTONE VAMPIRES OMNIBUS
2015 – Amazon Bestseller in Horror Anthologies – HOUSE OF HORRORS

AWARDS:
eBook Festival of Words 2014
Best Horror: The House on Blackstone Moor and
Best Villain: Eco

Top 10 Books – 2013 – The House on Blackstone Moor
Aoife Marie Sheridan – ALL THINGS FANTASY
Publisher, Ultimate Fantasy Books

92 Horror authors you need to read right now,
Carole Gill – The Blackstone Vampires Series. ~Charlotte Books Examiner,

Justine: Into The Blood Book One – Blood and Passion Series is on sale at Amazon.
Book 2, Anat: Blood Princess, follows.

I, Bathory, Queen of Blood, a novel about the Blood Countess Erzsebat Bathory is her latest book.
For dark horror fans there is, Carole Gill’s House of Horrors and the novel, Circus of Horrors.

In 2000 she was selected by Northwest Playwrights of England for further development. Short stories and novels were what she preferred to write.
Her story, The Devil’s Work is being broadcast web and television in the Fragments of Fear Program in 2016.

Blog:
http://carolegillauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

facebook author page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carole-Gill-Author/120405794703293?ref=ts

She is widely published in horror and sci-fi anthologies:

Fragments of Fear tv and You Tube, ‘The Devil’s Work
Killing it Softly, Digital Fiction Publishing Corp.
Sideshow, published by PsychoPomp
After Armeagedon short story collection by Brian L. Porter (guest story by Carole Gill)
Rogues Gallery, The Illustrated Police News, Firbolg
Enter at Your Own Risk: Dark Muses Spoken Silences Firbolg
Vampires: Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Tales
A S Publications: Enter at Your Own Risk: Old Masters New Voices, An Anthology of Gothic Literature,
Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror
Triskaideka Books’ Masters of Horror Anthology One,
Triskaideka Books’ Masters of Horror Damned If You Don’t,
Sonar 4 Publishing’s Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2010,
SNM’s Bonded By Blood3 Languish In Lament,
Sonar 4 Publishing’s Whitechapel 13, Anthology,
Rymfire’s Undead Tales,
Rymfire’s Zombie Winter,
Rymfire’s Zombie Writing
Angelic Knight Press’ Satan’s Toy Box: Demonic Dolls and
Whitechapel 13, An Anthology of the Victorian Era
Sci Fi Almanac 2009 and 2010 and
Science Fiction Freedom Magazine, issues 1-4,
Sci Fi Talk’s Tales of Time and Space.Read less


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ONE LOVE, YES, IT’S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE

ONE LOVE

Speak to me of what you dream

While the world, in a hush,

Lays itself to rest in the darkness.

There is change,

There is gray,

There is truth

In the haven of a colorful world

Free of elitism and unbending visions,

Far from the inflexible architects of doom.

We have room!

No separation,

Degradation—

We are one.

No superiority,

Inferiority—

Two sides of the same coin.

No labels,

No fables—

Compassion for all

Or we fall.

From ‘A Dark Rose Blooms’ by Kyrian Lyndon

Feature image at the top by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Be Kinder Than Is Necessary

Beautiful blog by my friend, Amy Henry

amyhenrybooks

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. ” (Winston Churchill)

[Note: After all the “hilarity” of life, detailed in last month’s post, my car was repaired, I got my “pass” sticker, and the yellow jackets gave it up for 2020. But two days after that dust settled, Ed had emergency surgery. He’s home and fine now, but there was a rather harrowing 48 hours in which all this happened, a sleepless two days that coincided with our driveway being paved. Do I know how to live or what? BUT Joe Biden did win, by millions of votes, and if we ever get him inaugurated, democracy has a fighting chance. Maybe by this time next year, we’ll be gathering with family for the holidays, vaccinated, and on the road to the deep physical/emotional recovery this nation so desperately needs…

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THE MADNESS OF POETRY

This is an old one. Enjoy!

Kyrian Lyndon

Rose-for-your-words-poetry-33064141-400-291
I had sent my newly published poetry book to my friend, John, someone I have known for many years. Weeks later, I asked if he had received it, and what he thought of the book.

He responded with, “I have been rather absorbed in my own world which has been a struggle. I have been sick with walking pneumonia and yet am still working daily. I am on a bunch of medication, which doesn’t leave me with the clearest head. When not working, I am sleeping. Am slowly getting better but about four days bed rest would be ideal. I can’t afford to miss work so, you know the drill. I’m tired, sick, frustrated, but still fighting.”

He went on to explain, “Poetry has never been my strong suit. You are certainly elegant with words. I can appreciate the flowery wording but feel like I am missing something, and that…

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If—by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
   Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling is best known for his novels The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book, and Kim, and his most famous poem, “If—“.

This poem is in the public domain.

First photo by Cosmic Timetraveler on Unsplash

Second photo by Mark Teachey on Unsplash

TIME FOR HOPE AND PEACE OF MIND

The following article by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes resonated with me. I found it very uplifting and beautiful. With all the unsettling events as of late, I wanted to share it. (For me, it doesn’t mean we won’t call attention to the problems we face or fight the good fight but that we don’t have to feel hopeless or powerless. Of course, too, we may have different perceptions of a higher power or the highest power, but the message is the same.❤️)

We Were Made for These Times by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

“My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall.

When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.”~Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Feature photo by jplenio from Pixabay

Roger Daltrey: My Story – Thanks a lot Mr. Kibblewhite

I had Roger Daltrey’s poster on my wall as a kid. My father tore it down nonchalantly when he decided to panel the walls. He didn’t think my sister, who shared the room with me, or I would mind. But, we did. He left the beautiful poster crumpled up in a ball on the floor!🤣

I cried and did a little foot-stomping. The Who was one of our favorite bands. We loved the movie Tommy and the collection of songs from the rock opera that preceded it. I always thought it was the work of a genius, and that genius was Pete Townshend, the band’s legendary guitarist. His other works were phenomenal as well, and seeing Roger bring Tommy to life on screen was incredible. I’ll confess; I had a mad crush on him.

As you can imagine, by the time my sister and I got to see the band in concert, it was so powerful and emotional, I was in tears. My heart was just exploding with joy. 

Now, I happen to love a good juicy memoir. When I say juicy, I don’t mean in terms of sex but information. Curiosity, I guess, but I do enjoy learning about people and things.

I didn’t know much about the band members beyond Keith’s self-destructive path, resulting in his death and Pete’s arrest for downloading child porn. (Pete was found innocent and cleared of the charges.) Roger tells that story in his book. He is a fantastic storyteller, and his collaborator did an excellent job helping him put it all together. Reading about his experience, I learned a lot more about music and what bands go through. Being a lover of music who could only dream about singing on stage, I found it fascinating. Reading about the sixties and seventies has always been exciting to me, too. If I could transport back in time to get there, I’d take the chance in a heartbeat.

So, in my assessment, Thanks a lot Mr. Kibblewhite is a fast-paced read and thoroughly enjoyable. Fans of The Who will love it. I got so into it that I had to watch a bunch of their live shows on YouTube. I wanted to observe each of them individually and collectively. (Yeah, when I’m watching or reading something good, I am obsessed.) They blow me away now more than they ever had! All of them were beautiful and brilliant— topnotch musicians and showmen.

I will say I can’t entirely agree with everything Roger says in his book. For instance, he thinks fidelity should not end a marriage. That might have been debatable at the peak of his fame, but to say that after the 80s? He’s had children with women he played with on the road, so he wasn’t too concerned about protection. In terms of awareness advocacy, I’d be remiss not to say I’m glad he and his wife never had to suffer the consequences. 

Other than that, I admire Roger Daltrey and respect him. At 5’6, the man’s presence was (and likely still is) enormous. It seemed to me he was not only grounded and a tough guy, especially with his anti-drug stance but also vulnerable and emotional. What happened to Keith and John—and even the troubles Pete had— broke Roger’s heart. He seemed to have tremendous empathy for them, even though their antics had a detrimental effect on the band, in general, and individually.

 One thing struck me while reading about his depression after the series of tragedies. He wrote: 

 “We hadn’t been able to grieve after John’s death. We had just pushed on through that intense tour and then, only weeks after we’d got home, before we could process it all, Pete was arrested and all our lives got turned upside down. In the face of a sustained crisis your brain stops coping. It shuts down to protect your heart.”

 That was sort of an a-ha moment for me because this happened to several people I love and me, too. As simple as it may seem, it is deeply profound. In fact, after reading that, it helped me help someone else. 😉

Roger Daltrey shows, throughout this writing, that he’s capable of admitting his mistakes and learning from them. In my book, people like that are a treasure. Thank you, Roger, for sharing your fascinating story and thought-provoking words of wisdom. If I was a fan before, I’m more of a fan after finishing your book. ❤️

Roger Daltrey: Thanks a lot Mr Kibblewhite