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


Author Updates

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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

Book Review: The Most Important Truth About Malcolm X

My rating – 5 stars *****

During the George Floyd protests, online activists listed book titles that would help increase black history awareness. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley was among those recommended to me.

With this writing, Malcolm X hoped to shed light on how growing up in the black ghettoes shaped his life and character. And he knew it would require a great deal of objectivity on the reader’s part.

Indeed, there are harsh truths—painful and soul-crushing truths that justify every bit of anger black people feel. There are also misogynistic generalizations along with expressed anger and vindictiveness particularly toward white women, but, as he stated later in the book, “Anger can blind human vision.” 

It works both ways. 

With the “Black Lives Matter” movement, I saw an inability to comprehend that people of color merely demanded the same due process, dignity, and justice given to white people. Those enraged by the protests could not put themselves in those people’s places or even imagine being in that position themselves. They were above it all, and facts didn’t matter. My impression was that they don’t understand because they generally don’t deal with black people personally, Generally speaking, their knowledge of black people is what they see on the news. Or they base their conclusions on the actions of a few, something they wouldn’t do with people of the same race and ethnicity.

There’s been an obsession with “sameness” that has baffled me since I was a child. 

Interesting analogywhen my child was born, I had to get an Rh immune globulin shot because I am Rh-negative and didn’t have the Rh factor marker to mix with Rh-positive blood. If I hadn’t done that, and my son was born Rh positive, my immune system would have made antibodies to reject what it detected as a foreign invasion by attacking his red blood cells. That foreign invasion response. The impulsive instinct to reject what isn’t the same, not close enough, and thereby threatening. It’s part of humanity’s defective design. I don’t recognize you, plain and simple. You don’t belong hereGet out. It’s like a bad science fiction movie where you can’t get through to the people affected and can’t save them.

Malcolm X said that, in writing this book, he hoped to help “save America from a grave, possibly even a fatal catastrophe.”

I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. 

I remember, years ago, while dating a biracial man, a black woman said to me, “He’s a black man, honey. You can’t possibly understand a black man the way he needs to be understood.” I didn’t know if she was right or wrong. Sure, I realized, from an early age, that discrimination and oppression were completely unacceptable. I was always willing to understand. I’m certainly a lot more aware now than I was then. Yet there is still more to learn.

Responding to speculation as to why he was the way he was, Malcolm X said, “To understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth, must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”

He talked a lot about how reading forever changed the course of his life. “People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book,” he said. (And although women were hardly a second thought in the time that he lived, this applies to them, too.) 😉

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley has that ability to change lives. Mr. Haley did an excellent job with it. The pacing was slow—at times, a little too slow, but I’m glad I was patient. It is an important book to read. It proves, as far as I’m concerned, that reading is a must. It has been one of my saving graces in life, and it is what pulled Malcolm X up from the dark, deep, underground tunnels that kept him in the oppressor’s grip, a cycle of self-sabotage and self-loathing that his oppressors created for him and so many others like him.  

Exploring works like Native Son by Richard Wright and The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley is a great start for people interested in learning why this great divide continues to exist. 

However, according to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, “As of 2017, Americans spent an average of almost 17 minutes per day reading for personal interest (as compared to almost three hours watching television and 28 minutes playing games and using computers for leisure). Younger Americans (ages 15 to 44) spent, on average, less than 10 minutes per day reading for personal interest.”

I firmly believe a lack of reading and exploring is one of the many problems we have in this country. 

The truth is, you don’t have to like a person to learn from them, but I ended up liking the person who told this story. The tragic end to his extraordinary life saddens me. Malcolm X was open-minded and remained teachable. He came to understand we are not all alike, all of us white people, and it’s the same thing everyone needs to realize about every other race and ethnicity.

His conclusion was, it isn’t necessarily “the American white man who is a racist, but the American political, economic, and social atmosphere that automatically nourishes a racist psychology in the white man.” And that “it takes all of the religious, political, economic, psychological, and racial ingredients, or characteristics, to make the human family and the human society complete.” He felt certain if this weren’t the case, we’d have a humane, empathetic society where all of us, rich and poor, could be treated with dignity and respect. He liked the idea of not seeing an inherently evil “enemy” but rather a society that “influences him to act evilly.”

Even Christianity—a religion black people clung to for comfort and hope—became part of that racist psychology. He noted that “The Christian church returned to Africa under the banner of the Cross—conquering, killing, exploiting, pillaging, raping, bullying, beating—and teaching white supremacy. This is how the white man thrust himself into the position of leadership of the world—through the use of naked physical power.”

I so admire the spiritual courage this man had in his search for the truth.

And the truth is, essentially, what makes sense to you after all your exploration and your quest for authenticity. I say it all the time, no group, no matter who, what, or where is perfect. We always have a mix of good and evil. Or, to be kinder, some have seen the light, and others have yet to see it. Let’s hope they keep looking.

*****

“The most striking thing about the story of Rip Van Winkle is not merely that Rip slept twenty years, but that he slept through a revolution. All too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.” -Martin Luther King, Jr..

MORE BOOKS RECOMMENDED TO ME

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn along with Malcolm X

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois by W.E.B. Du Bois

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Negro History by Carter G. Woodson’s by Carter G. Woodson

WELCOME TO THE CULTURE CAVE – A NEW WORLD ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

I’ve recently created a site at https://culture-cave.spruz.net/ that allows members to share work, blogs, photos, videos, memes, etc. We also have groups, discussions, and chat rooms.

This social network is for everyone involved in the arts (literature/art/music, etc.). It is also for people who appreciate these contributions (book lovers, music lovers, etc.) All are welcome to share, educate, and learn in a supportive space. Recovery from anything is another welcome topic. We strive to heal, evolve, and succeed!

Our “events” feature allows members to post about online or real-life events, including book launches, signings, and promos.

Our “links” feature will enable members to post their websites for interested readers/clients, etc.

The chat rooms can be utilized by members to host events, meetings, demonstrations—whatever helps them in self-promotion, and we will assist with the invites. They also exist to just chat. 🙂

We can continue to build this site together, so if you think you and anyone you know might enjoy this opportunity, please join us. 

https://culture-cave.spruz.net/

If you have trouble registering, you may contact me at kyrianlyndon@kyrianlyndon.com. I will assist you.

Once you join, I ask that you read the “IMPORTANT” note on the left side of our landing page and then “How To Use” this site on our “DISCUSSION” board so that you can achieve the maximum benefits of membership.

Hope to see you there!

Feature photo by Aaron Lee on Unsplash

DAMN THE LIES AND TRUTH BE TOLD

THE ELUSIVE TRUTH

Fantasy often bests reality. Sentimentality can provide us with an illusion of innocence in a safe and familiar world. That’s fine, and it’s not hard to understand why people, in their everyday lives, cling to illusions and delusions that comfort and protect.

That said, most of us would say we are honest. We believe that we are. The trouble is, we can’t be honest with others until we are honest with ourselves. And we can’t be honest with ourselves until we know what is true—until we confront it, accept it, and deal with it however we must.

So, why would we not know?

Many of us grow up indoctrinated with a built-in belief system. The beliefs we hold may lead to harsh judgments—to the point of shunning, oppressing, and hating others. There is often an unwillingness to understand people who are different. And these core ideologies can simultaneously result in self-loathing and a feeling of being unworthy or never quite good enough. It’s the inferiority complex turned inside out—a desperate need to feel superior.

Along the lines of needing to be perceived a certain way, I’ve seen debates on how honest to be with children and whether they have a right to hit us with their perception of the truth if it isn’t favorable to us. The ancient rule that you respect all adults no matter what.

I believe children have the right to call out parents on their behavior, and that parents should address their concerns about any relative, family friend, or person in authority. If we care about people (and sometimes even if we don’t) but especially when we care about people, we need to listen to them when they tell us how we’ve hurt them even in the smallest of ways. We can’t be accountable while in denial, can’t grow and evolve, can’t set the example for the children who look to us for guidance.

Pretending we are perfect doesn’t serve anyone. It’s painful to acknowledge when we caused pain where we wanted only to love and protect, but we must. There are many hard lessons in life, just as there are other ways the truth may elude us.

A fair amount of clarity is essential in sorting out what is biased and what is factual. Specific characteristics and predicaments diminish that clarity. Here are a few:

  • Addiction/obsession (clouds perception, impairs judgment) – For example, I have found that people in recovery continue to gain clarity as they remain sober and clean.
  • A self-centered existence (usually correlates with substance abuse including alcohol and certain personality disorders)
  • Stress
  • Lack of self-care (sleep, healthy lifestyle, etc.)
  • Our agenda (of which we may or may not be aware)
  • Our vulnerabilities
  • Misinformation (I think being an avid reader of books, especially those that introduce you to different cultures and perspectives helps tremendously.)
  • Taking ourselves too seriously (also may correlate with substance abuse and certain personality disorders)

CAN WE HANDLE THE TRUTH?

Some of us fearlessly plunge into that seemingly endless abyss where we face painful truths and endure the grueling process of healing. Others deliberately avoid it or scatter a little bit of dirt to the side and then dart off in another direction, taking cover until they feel grounded enough to dig a little deeper. They don’t want to uncover the truth because they have an inner sense that it won’t serve them well. Indeed, at the moment, it won’t, but it definitely will in the long run. 

Ten years ago, I’d assume people could handle whatever I could. It never seemed to sink in that they were as vulnerable and fragile as I was once. My idea of being characteristically direct may have been someone else’s idea of being attacked.

At times, we feel an urgent need to resolve things, and, if we’re not patient, we can end up doing more damage than we intended . The goal is not to “hurt” people, and like any conflict, resolution can happen only when both sides are mentally prepared and open to that— willing to go where it leads. There must be a mutual willingness to get to the truth. When you come from a place of caring and love, you see that they are human and vulnerable, and you approach them that way. Besides, even with the vast amounts of knowledge, wisdom, and insight we acquire, we are all still vulnerable to one degree or another. 

THE PRICE OF DENIAL

In January of 2002, Psychology Today published an article by Bill Sullivan, Ph.D., about the devastating consequences lying has on our brain. “Dishonesty puts the brain in a state of heightened alert, and this stress increases with the magnitude of the lie,” he wrote. (It doesn’t apply to sociopaths lacking empathy, but most of us care about our trustworthiness and integrity.) “Symptoms of anxiety arise because lying activates the limbic system in the brain,” he explained. “When people are being honest, this area of the brain shows minimal activity. But when telling a lie, it lights up like a fireworks display. An honest brain is relaxed, while a dishonest brain is frantic.”

Denial has a price, as well, and it’s often quite steep. We see its cost while it continues to happen all around us. Don’t for a moment underestimate its power to destroy lives, institutions, countries, and ultimately civilizations. 

While in denial:

  • We don’t know why we want what we want or need what we need.
  • We don’t know what our vulnerabilities are.
  • We hurt people or put them in harm’s way.
  • We obsess over certain people and things, oblivious to why or the fact that it isn’t normal.
  • We’re unable to see our part in anything.
  • We don’t see ourselves or others with clarity, so we mischaracterize our behavior and theirs.
  • We take dangerous risks and put ourselves or keep ourselves in situations that have serious consequences.
  • We lie to ourselves and others.
  • With highly unrealistic expectations, we set ourselves up for disappointment and devastation.
  • We can’t take the right action because we make decisions without the correct information.
  • We lack empathy.
  • We have a constant need to do damage control.
  • We don’t learn from our mistakes, and so we miss life lessons that can empower us.

Being honest is not about unnecessary disclosure. It’s about separating fact from fiction, opinion, and popular beliefnotions that cause egos out of bounds, discrimination, exclusion, judgment, and condemnation. We pull the curtain on delusion and denial to let the light in. We choose clarity over confusion. It leads to more empathy, less vulnerability, and decisions based on expanded horizons and a more substantial knowledge base as we surpass our self-imposed limitations and embrace a wider world. 

YEAH, THE TRUTH DOES SET YOU FREE

We can wear masks for a lifetime, not knowing who we are or what is real. Or we can begin to peel off one layer of untruth at a time, just as if we were peeling an onion or discarding a myriad of veils.

In the process of uncovering and accepting the truth, the shame that drove us to compete and control begins to dissipate. We learn to love with our whole hearts—not just others but ourselves. We know we are vulnerable. We understand how vulnerable we are, so we walk away from people whose goal is to exploit our vulnerabilities. And we keep getting better at it. That’s good because before we understood, it was easy to lead us, fool us, and enslave us. 

Blessed with clearer vision, we can routinely examine our motives and expectations. We won’t always trust our egos, and that’s a good thing. People without clarity of conscience don’t question themselves. They won’t say, “I’m glad I caught that. I can refrain. I can resist. I can do the right thing.” They’ll keep doing what they’re doing, often not understanding what they’re doing or why.

Those of us searching for the truth are tired of being terrified of it. Denial has ceased to be our sole comfort and our only way to survive. The payoff in protecting our hearts, our image, and our secrets is no longer worth it. We came to fully accept that we are all struggling humans, equal in importance.

We continue striving to become more and more authentic. We continue to replace false with real. It’s not as easy as living in denial, but we know we have to get better. We know we have to do better, and it’s important to share what we learn. We are all teachers on this earth, just as we are all students. Sometimes people don’t mean to teach us anything, but they do. Learning doesn’t make you inferior any more than teaching makes you superior.

I love that we continually evolve, and we know better than we did in the past. We are worthy of the truth. We deserve that much.

Further Reading

30 Reasons Why People Lie

6 Reasons People Lie When They Don’t Need To

Feature photo (at the top) by Taras Chernus 

HOW TO WIN THE PRIZE IN A SMEAR CAMPAIGN

Smear campaigns. Some of you are familiar with them. It’s when someone is desperately trying to destroy another person’s reputation, beginning with his or her credibility. It’s not a situation where one caring person is confiding in another out of concern. It’s a hateful mission where the motives are insecurity and a need to do damage control.

I often speak out on this subject because I’ve seen it happen between friends (really frenemies), coworkers, lovers, and family members. The saddest thing is when it goes on in a recovery group where everyone is there to work on themselves and help each other. Why would you isolate and destroy vulnerable people who have likely suffered from narcissistic abuse and are working to correct learned behaviors?

It happens a lot. A friend of mine is a target of this right now. I’ve been a target myself in the past.

For some, including me, the obvious solution is to get out of this person’s circle abruptly, if necessary. If it’s impossible to avoid them entirely, I’d have as little contact as I can manage and refuse to participate. It’s easy to let them charm you when you’re hoping to resolve things, but confiding in them or pouring your heart out is usually a mistake. Just protect yourself. Let them say you abandoned them, rejected them, whatever they need to tell themselves. You don’t owe them a damn thing.

You may say, it isn’t right to have to sacrifice other relationships in a group by removing yourself. I think of it this way. Anyone successfully recruited in some war against you has never been in your corner. Your real friends will come to you. They will have your back and likely sever ties with the character-assassinating troublemaker. Sometimes people will go along with the narcissist to remain part of the crowd (like high school), but that’s not your problem. People believe what they want to believe.

I know it seems unfair, having to surrender without a fight. This person gets to win, and you don’t get to set the record straight. Let me repeat, TOXIC, as in detrimental to your health and well-being. Not worth it. If you’re dealing with the kind of person I’m talking about, you can’t fix it. The more you try, the worse it will get. Think “troll.” Yes, it’s like dealing with some internet troll. You’ll never get them to see things your way or empathize because they don’t really care about you. They’re not able to put themselves in your place. They’ll even take pleasure in your pain.

Humility is your friend here. Let your ego take the hit and move on. You trusted the wrong person. Cut your losses. You’re going to get good at this, and you’ll soon know to avoid these people like the plague, so you’re never in that predicament again.

Experiences like this are traumatic, but they help you learn and grow. They force you to look at whatever part you played in the whole mess, even if it was merely taking the bait from time to time. When we do that, we can easily say and do things that are ordinarily beneath us and, in doing so, strengthen the narcissist’s case. That’s why I say, drop the ball and run. It’s a trap, where you’ll always be damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

You’re dealing with dangerously fragile egos here. Because of what they experienced in life, they consciously or subconsciously, came to believe there is not enough love to go around. They see attention and admiration as a limited commodity. They need to feel they are more worthy and deserving of those things than you are, and second to none. They have to tell themselves they are the favorite, numero uno, the chosen one in every scenario. There are many reasons you may pose a threat. It can be anything. The damage control they do is to convince themselves and others that you are not better or more worthy because if you were, they couldn’t handle that. Underneath it all is an inner child seething with rage.

I’ll share a little story that explains, on a much lighter note, about taking the bait. My mother-in-law used to criticize me on unimportant things. She’d say something like, “She has everything in that diaper bag except the kitchen sink.” That would upset me because, like all new mothers, I wanted to believe I was handling things well. Instead of getting upset, I could have said something like, “Oh, no, the sink’s there. Check the zipper pocket.”

Here’s the key. It’s no fun for them if they can’t bring out the worst in you.

I’ve found it helpful, too, to figure out how I might have handled things better and how I can come out a better person. That’s not to say you weren’t a nice person before, or that I wasn’t, just that we are always striving to get better. What I’m saying is, when people tell you, “don’t lose the lesson,” that’s the critical part. That’s how you win. Continue to do the next right thing, one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Live your best life and strive for greater understanding. What’s going to happen is, people will eventually know not to mess with you.

Feature photo by alan9187 from Pixabay

Book Review: Don’t Make a Sound by T.R. Ragan

Let me preface this review with something I’ll exclude for the actual Amazon and Goodreads version. 

How do you feel about revenge plots —an eye for an eye of stomach-turning torture?

Yeah, I’m not a fan, even though I read and write terrifying books without losing a wink of sleep. Of course, the cruelty is worse when it happens to the victims, but it’s painful to endure even when it happens to the culprits.

I’ve seen almost consistently in my life that people who deserve terrible things to happen to them will make those things happen on their own. They’ve lived it already, are living it now or will live it, and none of it has anything to do with me. Satisfaction can’t possibly come from the same kind of brutality—where we now have more deranged perpetrators than we did initially.

In a book or a film, it’s a fantasy. I get it. I have no harsh judgment for people who enjoy it. While I do have a good sense of humor, I can also be a buzzkill. I don’t even like catfights or cake fights, as hilarious as they may be to some. They’re spiteful and childish and, in the latter case, mess up a perfectly good cake. So I understand and accept that we’re all different in terms of what we like to see, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You think Fifty Shades of Grey is fantastic and exciting? I think it’s awful, but knock yourself out. I’m glad there’s something out there that you enjoy.

What do like to see in terms of victim vs. culprit is justice served. That means people forever protected from those who’ve harmed them and may harm others. Even in real life, it’s never about punishment for me. It’s about self-protection and self-preservation. 

So, on to the review.

T.R. Ragan (Theresa Ragan) is a New York Times bestselling mystery and thriller author. I chose to read her book because I love thrillers. Amazon recommended it based on my browsing, and the reviews encouraged me further.

Two different storylines are going on hereOne was about a crime reporter named Sawyer Brooks and her sisters. They grew up in the eerie town of River Rock, where the gruesome murders of three young girls remained unresolved. Sawyer struggles to control her rage and paranoia due to the horrific abuse she suffered since she was a child. When she returns to River Rock for her grandmother’s funeral, another young teen is found dead in the same gruesome manner as the first three. Sawyer’s investigation leads to danger in River Rock’s darkest corners and reunites her with her similarly traumatized sisters.

The other story told in this book focuses on several underdeveloped characters who, while justifiably angry, were doling out torture against men who had abused them. Because of their lack of development, these women never felt real to me. Whenever their chapters came up, I couldn’t wait to get back to Sawyer. Throughout most of both stories, I wasn’t sure what the connection was. The author does tie it together eventually, and she does so quite brilliantly. On that note, I’m glad I was patient.

Don’t Make a Sound is a good, suspenseful page-turner, nicely paced with some great twists. The Brooks sisters are worth rooting for—admirable and relatable in every regard. As far as who did what and when they did it, the author certainly delivered. The ending was satisfying even with that nauseating torture stuff.

Lastly, Don’t Make a Sound is timely in terms of the “Me Too” movement. Most of us understand how distressingly common the abuse is, having been objectified and victimized since childhood. Many of us can recall multiple incidents—perhaps, too many to count, so we get it. However, if you are one of those who find the whole “Me Too” thing uncomfortable because of guilt or denial, find another book to read. And if you have no desire to learn and understand, just go away—far, far away.

BOOK REVIEW: TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH by Mary L. Trump

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”— Plato

*WARNING* Possible spoilers

5 stars *****

When I first opened this book on my Kindle, I figured my rating would be four stars, tops. The book’s subject, Donald Trump, has been distressing and depressing most of us for years, and we know why.

However, it doesn’t suffice to say that Mary L. Trump has done a great job covering this subject.

Everything she wrote was entirely believable and relatable. I loved the family anecdotes, especially the one about the holiday gift exchange. Family dysfunction is typical. We can all laugh about it, but, beyond silly, meaningless gifts, the level of dysfunction in the Trump family was brutal and overwhelmingly tragic.

Considering how the Trumps treated Mary, her parents, her brother, Fritz, Fritz’s wife, and Fritz’s seriously ill child, it surprised me to note how fair she was to the perpetrators of what I’d call highly traumatic narcissistic abuse.

Now, there are stories written out of anger and a need for revenge. There are also stories told with raw honesty, and as much compassion as the author can muster. I felt that Too Much and Never Enough came straight from the heart. Resentment seeps through, yes. How can it not? But the way the author has attempted to understand the people around her speaks volumes.

I would go so far as to say that Too Much and Never Enough is the most compassionate perspective you will ever get about this president. His enablers will never have this level of empathy for him. They are merely using him to their advantage. The same way his father did. I’m not saying Mary Trump wrote this book to help her uncle, but I think she wanted to help America and the rest of the world fully understand what we’re dealing with here.

To that end, she provides an extraordinary explanation for everything we see, and if you’ve been paying close attention to what’s been going on, it all makes perfect sense. If you’re familiar with narcissistic abuse, it makes even more sense. And she’s not giving him a pass here. She makes it painfully clear how dangerous it is to keep Donald Trump in office. I’m not giving him a pass either. Yes, my heart broke for him a couple of times. The book has made me more sympathetic toward him, but I have more sympathy for the rest of the world, dealing with the fallout of his tragedy.

A broken, terrified child is running our country. As Mary Trump stated, he’s still seeking approval from his dad.

In my opinion, he’s likely punishing him with a madman’s fury by punishing usall of us. It doesn’t matter whether we support him or not. He will punish anyone and everyone in any way he can.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”— Edmund Burke

In conclusion, I do wish everyone would read this book. I hope those who support Donald Trump will read it and see it for what it is and not merely an attempt to slander or humiliate him. It’s only possible if they approach it with an open mind and heart.

Maybe it’s too late for Donald Trump to get the help he should have gotten so many years ago, but he can still do the right thing and step down. Either way, we need to get him out of there.

“A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.”Michel de Montaigne

SWEET LAND OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

General apathy is a problem in this world.

We’ve seen it with the COVID situation. Mocking, taunting, and terrorizing people who adhere to the restrictions is a thing now. The perpetrators don’t value your life. To them, it’s all a big joke. I’m not sure if it’s a matter of selected compassion reserved for people who are like them and agree with them, or an issue of not having empathy at all.

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Image by Szilárd Szabó from Pixabay

Of course, it stands to reason then, they would rather not hear that black lives matter or that we need racial justice and equality. It makes them angry or uncomfortable, and maybe they will despise me for talking about it. But this problem is so much bigger than them or me or even George Floyd specifically. It’s not something that just happened or something unusual. It’s not a situation where there are two sides.

Believe me, the people who were not outraged by what happened to George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and countless other black victims of police brutality were indeed outraged about the riots. When they mention George Floyd, they refer to his death as a tragedy and not a cold-blooded murder or lynching, which is what it was.

Some are quick to say, well, he had a violent past. Yes, that’s true. It’s also true that he served his time and was trying to turn his life around. But that’s beside the point. There was nothing—absolutely nothing— that justified excessive use of force in his arrest, let alone murder.

The truth hurts. But we have to deal with it. We have to talk about it because we must change the system.

Let’s talk about the riots.

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Photo by Amber Kipp on Unsplash

Most of us don’t want to see others get robbed or shot or suffer a devastating loss. Speaking for myself alone, I’m a humanist. I can’t stand to see anyone suffer or live in fear. We hurt people enough unintentionally because we are human. Still, when you harm others willfully and maliciously or wish it or condone it or ignore it, I don’t see your humanity at all.

And if you are willing to break the law during a COVID pandemic— defiantly putting others at risk so that you can buy a donut in person or get your stupid ass nails done, you don’t get to complain to me about any of this. You are willing to harm others because of your rage, yet you cannot grasp why some protesters may cross the line and seek to harm because of what anger they feel over something that actually matters.

In other words, it’s okay to be an angry white person, but it’s not okay to be an angry black person. We can deal with those angry white people armed to the teeth. But we can’t deal with a scared and unarmed black person who doesn’t want to get arrested. Violence isn’t the answer. Neither is breaking the law. It shouldn’t matter who you are.

Similarly, freedom of speech should extend to all. However, when we start speaking up about racial injustice, people want to shut it down.

And, as we know, many of those incensed over the riots were not okay with any form of protest, peaceful or otherwise. They are the same people always clamoring about a civil war and threatening to start one. What the hell do they think happens during a civil war? It would be far worse than anything we’ve seen play out during these protests.

They fear tyranny so much that they won’t protect themselves and others in a pandemic. Still, they don’t mind police using excessive force on protesters, and they don’t see a problem with deploying the military against its citizens. Isn’t that the reason they are always harping about the second amendment? Isn’t that why they fear the government is coming for their guns? Or do they think they will never be brutalized or killed standing up for what’s right because they are white? Think again. Power and greed continue to corrupt our government. Oh, wait, you already know that. It’s why you won’t give up your guns.

By the way, do the people who keep blaming Antifa for everything even know what Antifa is? I admit I didn’t know myself until recently. What I now understand is, Antifa stands for antifascism and is not an entity. It’s a movement, a stance you take. Anyone can claim to be Antifa. Didn’t Twitter recently close down an account of white nationalists pretending to represent Antifa and calling for violence? Why, yes, they did! There are also links to information about white supremacist groups showing up at protests and wreaking havoc attributed to Antifa and the protestors. The FBI supposedly investigated “Antifa” and came up with nothing. My guess is, most of the protesters are legitimate. Others have another agenda. I don’t know anything for sure. Neither do you. But I will say, it does make sense to me that white supremacists would sabotage a protest for racial justice. They know how to get their base outraged, and it’s not by murdering a black man in cold blood.

Let’s talk about the police.

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image by Matteo Modica on Unsplash.

Police have a difficult job to do. I know that. We need them, and, to enforce the law, they have to be tough. I get it. You’re talking to a huge fan of detective shows here. In the book I’m currently writing, my main character is a detective, and though he’s flawed like every other human, he’s been one of my favorite characters to write.

I always say it takes all kinds. I’ve met very kind police officers, and I’ve met some nasty ones. Believe it or not, I want to understand them, too.

According to the National Center for Women and Policing, “Two studies have found that at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10 percent of families in the general population. A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24 percent, indicating that domestic violence is two to four times more common among police families than American families in general.”

Women in these situations are often terrified of taking action because their partners have the backing of their fellow officers.

Hazelden Betty Ford.org notes, “In 2010, a study of police officers working in urban areas found that 11% of male officers and 16% of female officers reported alcohol use levels deemed “at-risk” by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).” Also noted is a “high prevalence of psychological and pathological stress disorders such as PTSD when already stressed officers are exposed to traumatic events.”

Police Psychology.com has information on its website about the problems and difficulties that unexpressed anger can create. They cite “pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile.” 

My question is, are we doing enough to help police officers, or is the system failing them, too?

We have outreach programs and resources, but, as explained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Law enforcement officers are often reluctant to seek professional support for a variety of reasons. Officers, who have been trained to act independently and maintain constant emotional control, may view the need for support services as a sign of personal weakness. Even if they recognize that they would benefit from it.”

Police officers must get the help they need.

We all want to believe most cops are good, many of them as brokenhearted as we are when they see what is happening.  If that’s true that most are good, then they outnumber the bad guys whose actions harm them as well. I get why they may be afraid to stand up to the others, but enabling them can’t be the answer. It makes them part of a toxic environment that could not exist without their cooperation or their silence.

Conclusion

One thing I’ve learned is, with all the fake videos and misinformation floating around, we need to fact check. A lot of people don’t bother. They pretty much parrot what everyone else is drilling into their brain. If you don’t have a mind of your own, you can easily get lost in all the bullshit. That’s why we are where we are today.  

Lucky for me, I stubbornly decided, many, many years ago, to follow my heart. To determine what I believed based on my experience — not what others told me. I’ve wanted no part of the hateful, self-righteous, self-entitled anger that crushed my spirit almost every damn day, growing up. It was like a poison doled out to everyone in the neighborhood, and I wouldn’t drink it. 

I am forever grateful that I didn’t.

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Suggested Reading:

Do You Dare to Feel the Pain of the World? by Sofo Archon

Feature photo above (spiritually oil painting) by Katiuscia Papaleo Artist – MilanoItaly.

BOOK REVIEW: Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie Bly

I don’t know what was going on with my Kindle version of this book. The product details gave the print length as 159 pages. I noticed that at some point, it said I was on page 158, but I was about three-quarters of the way through it. Every page after that also said I was on page 158—up until the last. And the more I read, the more I wanted it to end, so, continually finding myself on the final page began to annoy me.

Of course, if you are human and empathetic, what you read in these pages will hurt. It’s not fiction. Well, it was the Victorian era, so it shouldn’t be all that surprising. Many of us, myself included, romanticize the period, love to hear about it, and live there in fantasy while watching a movie or reading a book, but we don’t always get the reality of how bad things were for women then. People saw them as subhuman.  If a man didn’t like his wife’s behavior, he could say she was insane and drop her off in a mad-house.  No one seemed to care what happened to most of these “patients” after that, many of whom were quite sane—at least when they arrived.

This book wasn’t what I expected, but I had to ask myself, what did I expect?  It sounded as if there would be a lot of drama and chilling suspense, but as a reader, I had to be glad nothing worse happened to Nellie during her undercover investigation of Blackwell Island’s mental illness facility. Not to say it wasn’t bad enough.

Ten Days is not a page-turner riddled with suspense. It’s not an easy read. For the most part, you’re being told, in a somber, wearying way, about the egregious reality of that time.

I found it a little jarring, too, at the end where she began on another mission to assess the predicaments women faced in seeking employment. And, of course, I thought it was over and really wanted it to be over by this point.

It doesn’t seem fair to say these things. The book was well written, and Nellie Bly’s writing style was certainly pleasant enough. She came across as an empathetic narrator, very kind and brave. In writing Ten Days, she did an outstanding service to us all. It was a courageous effort that needed a fearless warrior. She was it.

Further, it was a story that needed telling. Some people today take for granted all that our predecessors fought for and won. We think we don’t need women to stay on top of that, but we do.

I’m glad Nellie Bly wrote this book, and I’m happy I read it. So, kudos to Nellie Bly and a posthumous thank you for a job well done.

NEED AN ESCAPE? I HAVE FREE BOOKS AVAILABLE! 🥰

Some people have been searching for new books to read during the pandemic. I, myself, have taken the opportunity to download many books offered for free or discounted. (I LOVE to read and often purchase books at full price as well.) Now, I am getting in on the giveaways.

Effective May 18, 2020, and up until May 22, 2020, the Kindle versions of all three of my books will be available to download on Amazon for free. You can go right to those links (I posted them all) or read the descriptions and excerpts before you do.

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Some truths can be deadly. Danielle isn’t mopey or filled with teenage angst. Danielle and her cousin were abducted, drugged,and raped. But her cousin doesn’t remember, and her best friend won’t believe her. Now, her predators have returned, stalking her, harassing her at every turn. Nightmares plague her sleep, pushing her to the brink of exhaustion.Isolated, terrified, and grief-stricken, Danielle is paralyzed, unable to face the unmerciful world around her. Can she awaken her spirit and blossom into a woman of defiance and courage before the darkness eclipses her sanity?

Shattering Truths, the first volume in the Deadly Veils series, is a haunting and heartbreaking coming of age story. In the tradition of Judy Blume, and following in the footsteps of Thirteen Reasons Why, author Kyrian Lyndon doesn’t shy away from exploring the darker side of life that every teenage girl fears. Filled with suspense, a heart wrenching emotional journey, and twists that will leave you breathless, Shattering Truths will take hold of you on page one and never let go.

** Trigger warning for Shattering Truths: It’s not for the faint of heart.**

Download for Free on Amazon.com

Read an excerpt here.

Read another excerpt here.

Remnants of Severed Chains is a collection of over forty new poems by Kyrian Lyndon, author of A Dark Rose Blooms. This book continues with the same intensity as A Dark Rose, running the gamut of complex emotions that resonate with many. The author explains in the book’s preface that Remnants is about the process of healing and recovery, the willingness to learn and evolve. Thus, she embraces life’s astounding and most personal revelations—afflictions, addictions and relationships, the good and the bad, capturing life’s most devastating moments along with its celebratory moments of beauty and joy.

Sample poem

She stood alone on the edge,
In darkness,
A faint silhouette
Gazing at the night sky.
Rain fell,
A sprinkler to the trees
Thrashing in the wind.
She would flee,
Abandoning places,
Suddenly unrecognizable faces.
The glowing sun of Helios
Was a beacon
For eternal bliss,
Yet deceiving.
The caves beckoned.
Every corner,
Every crevice,
Held its own mystery,
Its truth.
 
Still the perilous journey
Was madness—
Pretty colors and then
Darkness.
It seemed to have no end.
She heard a child crying,
A child from long ago,
A prisoner of her soul.
Stone walls around her,
Hissing sounds,
Deep, treacherous waters—
Her mind was a fractured maze.
No one could see.
No one could hear.
No safe place to run,
She had to find the way
Out…
Home…
Every stone that healed
Brought her closer to
The truth,
The light.
The climb was steep,
But she held on,
Clawing her way
In blindness,
Accepting,
Facing,
Grieving.
 
Raindrops glistened on the rocks.
Flower petals littered
The wet grass.
She saw vibrant orchids
In the fading light of the moon,
And, alas,
Tranquil waters glistened
Aqua blue.
Like the ancient alchemical goddess,
She was crowned—
A newborn only beginning
To awaken,
Beginning to see,
Her soul bursting
With bliss.
The beauty within
Became the beauty
Eyes could see,
Not perfection—
Courage, perhaps…
Determination,
Defiance,
And love.
She was free.
No jewel would sparkle with
More radiance,
And the years would not tarnish its shine.

Download for Free on Amazon.com

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This collection of thirty poems by novelist Kyrian Lyndon spans decades throughout the author’s personal journey. From the soothingly peaceful to the bizarre, Kyrian runs the gamut of complex emotions that will resonate for many. The poems are poignant—honest, open, and straight from the heart, heartbreaking and with humor, embracing light and dark, hope and despair, triumph over adversity.

Sample poem

Oh, for the beauty of the melody,
The harmony sprinkled about.
He is but a glowing midge
Longing to play an Aeolian harp,
While holding you still and entranced
With the celestial beauty of a god.
Ah, but for the pain!
The seraphic master sets about casting shadows
So that I cannot see the sun,
Leaving but a vista of tomorrow’s joys and treasures.
The current focus becomes a precursor
Along the predestined path,
A traverse on the bridge.
That’s my all-too-rigid honeybee,
Leaving me with a concave and sunken universe,
A hollow path in my heart and my soul.

Download for Free on Amazon.com

If you download any of the books (or all of them), please consider letting me know what you think! I’ve developed some pretty thick skin. But then, again, I have not heard anything too harsh thus far. 🙂

HOW ARE YOU FEELING THESE DAYS?

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The sun rises with
Foreboding crow caws,
While the day brings
Sirens of uncertainty.

Allergies persist.
Well, for the lilac pansies,
The snapdragons,
And the daffodils…
Oh, and the tulips in all colors,
Beautiful and bold.

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We see the sun
From behind the glass.
We hear the rain.
Upstairs, there is music.
He’s singing—
Playing guitar.
 
Below we talk like survivors
Of dystopian madness
Taking shelter in a cave.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Are you?”
“Yes.”

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The days are longer.
Open windows let in the breeze.
Outside, the trees are tall and proud.
With all their flowers,
Cherries,
And leaves.
Yet we—
We are powerless,
Our illusion of safety
Violated once more.
 
Oh, but the birds chirp in a frenzy!
Come play.
The earth is alive!
We need to laugh and
To cry.
Everything is tragic
 And beautiful.
 
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But some have no one to talk to,
Little, if anything, to eat,
No way to get well,
And nowhere to hide.
Others rise to an occasion
They never could have fathomed,
Working toward their lifelong dream
With infinite empathy.
Does it wreak desolation?

We don’t even know the extent
Of how harsh life can be.
People die for greed.
 
Dreaded knock on the door now.
No one should come here—
Maybe not for a while.
Uneasy eyes
Behind masked faces.
Down the stairwells then,
One flight at a time,
I go beyond the door,
Where the world is.
Experience it once more,
For a short time.
The sun is bright
Across a vivid blue sky.
There’s the scent of fresh-cut grass
And the sweet caress of the wind.
It’s like a summer day
With pillowy clouds
And butterflies.
The world’s magnificent beauty.

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 Then it’s back to the safe place.
Do you have one of those?
A safe place to be?
I hope you do.
 
Because the stars are still there at night,
Like the glorious moon.
I watch them as I hope
Things get better.
Like they always did before,
At least, for a little while.


“How Are You Feeling These Days” poem by Kyrian Lyndon

Photo credits (from top to bottom):

Crow – Alexas Pansies – Shirley Snapdragons – Metsikgarden Tulips – Annca Cave – Stocksnap Cherry blossom trees – Dewdrop157 Dogwood Trees – Brinnington Bird in Tree – bardia Hashemirad on Unsplash Landscape – Larisa-k Clouds – Johnsongoh Fantasy Stargazing – Larissa-k

My Review of “In Pieces” by Sally Field

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Sally Field is one of those people who notices her patterns and vulnerabilities and, as a result, digs deep for answers. Because of that, she continually evolved as an actress, as a woman, and as a human trying to survive all the madness. That type of constant transitioning brings wisdom and strength, but it also leads to unlimited capacity for empathy.

Sybil was the first movie of hers that I watched after having read the book. While reading In Pieces, I had to go back and watch Sybil again. The woman is brilliant, and I can tell you, after reading her memoir, she’s badass as well.

I never realized how many movies she’d been in—at least 38! It was fun to read about the filming of many of those because she shined in every single one that I saw—Norma RaeSteel MagnoliasMrs. DoubtfireForrest Gump. She even played Aunt Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield—a made-for-TV movie adapted from one of my favorite novels.

If you are a fan of Sally’s movies, you will fall in love with Sally while reading In Pieces—the same way you fell in love with Sybil and Norma Rae when Sally became those characters on the screen.

Ms. Field wrote In Pieces herself and did a beautiful job of it.

At times, there were some unflattering things about others that I didn’t think were necessary. I wasn’t sure I’d be patient if that continued throughout the book. It didn’t. The more you read her words, the more you realize how fair she tries to be to everyone involved. Her kindness, her understanding, outweighs the need to point fingers and punish the people who inadvertently harmed her. It’s her raw honesty and accountability combined that leaves me in awe. She never tries to make herself look good or perfect or as if she is forever the victim but never the culprit. The rest is her truth, which she has every right to divulge. The “Me Too” revelations are merely a part of her incredible story because she triumphed over all of it.

In short, I liked this book from the beginning, and, by the end, I loved it.

Nobody would see the pain behind that beautiful Gidget smile of hers, but Sally Field has been so incredibly brave from childhood to this very day, and she has continued to grow more beautiful with time.