THE WRITER’S GRAPEVINE SUMMER CELEBRATIONS Edition

THE WRITER’S GRAPEVINE SUMMER CELEBRATIONS Edition

The cover is illustrated with thick black lines and vibrant colors. A yellow sunflower with layers of pointed petals in the foreground, over the usual image of blue sky, green grass, and clusters of purple grapes hanging from twisted vines. The sunflower has a thick green stem and a brown center which is speckled with various shades of brown and yellow. Over this image, the title “The Writer’s Grapevine” is written in a mix of white type and scripted fonts. At the top of the image, black text reads “June July Edition - Midsummer - 2023”.

THE WRITER’S GRAPEVINE SUMMER CELEBRATIONS Edition

BY PATTY L. FLETCHER

A PUBLICATION OF TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD MARKETING (AUTHOR, BLOGGER BUSINESS ASSIST)

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GREETINGS…

Hello everyone, and welcome to another incredible edition of the Writer’s Grapevine.

How do I know it’s incredible? Because it’s filled with “incredible” contributors. But the proof is, as they say, “in the pudding.” Or, in this case, on the page. So grab your favorite drink, snuggle down into your most comfortable reading nest, and ready yourself for some great discoveries.

This month we have new releases, great articles, and reports of things to come. So without further ado, here’s the Writer’s Grapevine just for you.

Of course, as always, you’re invited to share. Just make sure to send out the entire magazine. If you choose to share specific items, please copy each one in its completion, thus giving the author or business full credit.

Thanks to Two Pentacles Publishing for formatting, photo description and final edits.

Thanks also to editors:

Abbie Johnson Taylor,

And:

Marlene Mesot

As well as to our proofreader, poet Joan Myles.

 

SPONSORS…

Too busy to take on a full-time promotion package and all the work that entails? How about becoming a sponsor? Little work. Lots of results.

Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist) is now seeking sponsors to keep our prices reasonable, so those who cannot afford the high cost of advertising will have a place to turn for part of their marketing needs.

Here at Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, we marry social media marketing with more traditional approaches. We strive to assist clients with promoting their books, blogs, and small businesses.

What will you, as a sponsor of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, receive?

If you become a sponsor of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, you will receive:

An ad or ads up to 500 words in length on the sponsor page of my blog will remain until you either request them removed or ask to update in some way

A spot in my monthly online magazine, the Writer’s Grapevine, and:

A spot in the annual Writer’s Grapevine Holiday Extravaganza.

Your ads will also be used in Facebook events held on my Facebook page, @TellItToTheWorld,

The price for becoming a sponsor is $30.00 every 90 days or is free with a one-year full package.

We take payments via PayPal here.

Our sponsor page is a work in progress and is always being updated, so be sure to check back often.

COLONIAL HEIGHTS ANIMAL HOSPITAL
Website

AUTHOR JO ELIZABETH PINTO
New Release 2020
Apples of Gold

TIMELY ADVICE WHEN THE WORLD DOESN’T SEEM LOVELY
By Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Author Website

MEREDITH LEIGH BURTON: THE CHOCOLATE DOG

Author Website

EZ2SEEPRODUCTS
Learn all about the totally unique, 8.5” x 11” EZ2See®Weekly Planner/Calendar, Specialty Visually Challenged Friendly Sticky Notepads and Markers here.

EZ2SeeProducts Website

PLAISTED PUBLISHING HOUSE LTD


Author Consultant Website

 

CASEY MATHEWS OF WEBFRIENDLYHELP
Virtual Tech Advisor and Research Assistant


Website

AUTHORS TASHA AND STEPHEN HALPERT
Shop for Stephen and Tasha’s books, Abacadabra Moonshine & Other Stories by Stephen Halpert, Up to My Neck in Lemons, and other books by Tasha Halpert


Author Website

AUTHOR AND BLIND PHOTOGRAPHER PRAANAV LAL


Author Website

JOHN CRAWFORD’S SCHOOL OF MUSIC


Website

MARLENE MESOT
Author of The Purging Fire and Other Titles


Author Website

AUTHOR BUTTERFLY THOMAS
In My Feelings: A Book of Poetry


Author Website

TWO PENTACLES PUBLISHING SERVICES


Website

ANTHONY CANDELA
Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy and
Vision Dreams: A Parable


Author Website

Trish Hubschman author of the Tracy Gayle Mystery Series

Author Website

WHAT’S UP…

Editor’s Welcome to the What’s Up Column…

Hi everyone, and welcome to the What’s Up column!

Before we begin with all the fantastic contributions, I’d just like to say that the feedback I’m getting about this column is quite impressive. It turns out our readers seriously love knowing about what our writers, business owners, and nonprofit workers are up to. Please, contributors, keep those letters about all your goings-on coming.

It’s been some time since we were all together so let’s dive right in to see what everyone’s been up to.

This month we’ll begin with poet Joan Myles for it looks as if her summer is sizzling with great activities.

Summer – a Breath of Life

By Joan Myles

June 2023

Hello Darling Readers,

Here in the Willamette Valley, Summer is reclaiming the landscape. The daffodils in my yard have given way to roses and irises. And with the dawning of each new day I hear ever more the voice of robins and finches joining the chorus of crows.

Early morning is the most magical-mystical time of day, don’t you think? The air is so fresh and so refreshing–it’s like the air is breathing me! Breathing me into existence. Breathing me into creativity. Into possibility.

And just think, last year at this time I was readying to leave for The Seeing Eye to be paired with a new guide dog. This year we are continuing to strengthen our bond. My golden gal Aries and me. We are learning new routes. Delighting in games of fetch and tug. Growing in our ability to understand each other. To be fully engaged as teammates in all things.

And what’s more, I have been able to return to active participation in what I love most. Joining in learning with friends. Joining in worship with fellow congregants. Joining in walking to and from places I want to be. And in adventuring about the neighborhood and even beyond.

Yes, Spring and Summer provide many moments of Wonder and Possibility. Moments to recognize Divinity in the world. Moments to exercise one’s personal desires and aspirations. My wish for you, Darling Readers, is that you do just that in the coming month. And if you wish to share your adventures of Spirit and wonder please don’t hesitate to contact me. Because I wish you Sweetness and Love in all you do!

Joan and Aries

About the author…

Joan Myles has always been a child of Wonder as well as a spiritual seeker. When she lost her sight at the age of 12, these qualities and writing poetry saved her from despair.

Joan earned a B.A. in Education, a Master’s in Jewish Studies. She married, raised four lively children, worked as a Rehabilitation Teacher, and taught Hebrew and Judaics for over 15 years.

Her first book of poetry, One With Willows, vividly expresses Joan’s child-like joy. She considers her poems to be a kind of footpath for readers, an opening into Wonder and Awe as a means to reclaim their own sense of spiritual playfulness.

Joan’s words also reveal the invisible link between one human being and another, between humans and Nature, between the physical realm and the Spiritual. The idea of the Oneness of Creation flows through her work, the understanding of living in the world as a journey of discovery, of stepping into and between the various layers and levels of existence. The poems in One Glittering Wing represent this kind of journey, specifically through Joan’s yearlong passage from the deep pain of her mother’s death toward reconciliation with Life.

And of course, One Goes to the Sea is her way of asking, “What can we learn from imagination as we dream our days and nights away? And can these lessons help awaken us to Love?”

Joan currently lives in Oregon with her best friend, who also happens to be her husband.

Find her work and contact her here.

Phew! Joan has tired me out with all her goings on, but wait, there’s no time for a nap yet because author and poet Abbie Johnson Taylor and her robotic cat Joy are on the scene with their summer sizzling report.

Joy’s Jottings

by Joy, the Robotic Cat

As Dictated to Abbie Johnson Taylor

Joy the robotic cat is a fluffy gray and white cat with a pink nose and pink paw pads. The fur is long and mostly gray with white paws, a white chest, nose and down the middle of her head. Her ears are pointed up and she lays with her paws sprawled out in front of her in an open formation. Her head looks to the right of the screen. She is sitting on a brown wooden table. Behind her is a white wall and a basket with green fruit inside.

May 25, 2023

Hi, this is Joy, Abbie’s robotic cat. I’ve got double duty this month. First, Abbie wants me to write this #WhatsUp column for The Writer’s Grapevine. Then, she wants me to write her usual monthly News from My Corner newsletter she sends to those who subscribe. The good news is that some of the stuff in this column can go in her newsletter, but why write two things?

Abbie says not everyone who subscribes to The Writer’s Grapevine subscribes to her newsletter. It’s important to share information in as many places as possible. Whatever!

That’s what I get for complaining about not getting enough attention. Abbie thinks I’m bored, but that’s far from the truth. One can feel neglected without being bored, you know. Anyway, here goes.

In case you don’t subscribe to News from My Corner and don’t know much about me, here’s a little history. I’m actually Joy II, a replacement for the original Joy, who crossed the rainbow bridge a few months ago. I came from the senior center, where they give robotic pets like me to people with dementia or who are prone to isolation.

Abbie might have dementia because she forgets I’m in my usual easy chair in the living room until she opens the front door or window shade or turns a light on, triggering my motion sensor, and I meow. When that happens, she always pets me and tells me she’s sorry for ignoring me all day.

Now that the weather’s nice, Abbie goes out at least once a day. When she’s home, she attends a lot of phone conferences and meetings online. So, she’s definitely not prone to isolation, but what do I know?

Don’t get me wrong. I like living with Abbie. When she remembers I’m there, I get plenty of attention. At night, we snuggle together in the recliner while Abbie listens to books and other stuff. She brushes me every day. She loves it when I purr and try to scratch my face. When it’s time for bed, she puts me in her spare bedroom, which is dark, so I can have a good night’s sleep too, not that I need one, since I sleep most of the day while she’s working or doing other things.

Okay, enough about me. Abbie’s been pretty busy, as usual. Earlier this month, one of her singing groups, The Hubcaps, did a program they called Viva Las Vegas at the senior center. They’re called the Hubcaps because the senior center is called The Hub. The band that accompanies the singers is called The Lug Nuts. It’s too bad Abbie doesn’t drive. Anyway, in this show they did, they sang songs by Elvis and other singers who performed in Las Vegas during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. How cool is that?

Abbie has also been busy with her usual monthly engagements: an assisted living facility the second Friday of the month and a nursing home the last Tuesday of the month. She’s also been doing all the music at the First Congregational Church here in Sheridan on the second Sunday of the month. She’s also been doing karaoke and other ACB community activities on Zoom. She even does her own program called Abbie’s Alcove, where they share memories of different things.

Abbie has also been busy writing, as usual. Several of her poems and stories have been published in the past couple of months, and I’m sure more will be published soon. She’s finished a short story collection, Living Vicariously in Wyoming, which she hopes to publish sometime this year.

Well, that’s all the news from Abbie for now. If you want to subscribe to her monthly newsletter, send a blank email to: newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io Once you do, you’ll get an email, asking you to confirm. Just reply to that message, and that’s all there is to it. Now, it’s time for my nap. Until next time…

About the Author

Abbie Johnson Taylor has published three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. With a BA in music, she worked as a registered music therapist with residents in nursing homes and other senior facilities for fifteen years before writing full-time. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, with her robotic cat Joy.

Visit her Website.

WOW That’s PURRFECTLY awesome. Thanks Abbie and Joy.

Before we start shopping in the Adverts and News nuggets section for all those great books, products and services, here’s an essay from me and Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue concerning what’s going on in our world.

Paws on the Street part thirty-four – Please Don’t Smoke in Our Face

By Patty L. Fletcher
Kingsport Tennessee USA
June 17, 2023
Moon Phase: New

“What happened to the 15 FT distance from a building when smoking law?” I grumbled as I gasped for a fresh breath of air. “Even Blue is sneezing from it.”

The cigarette smoke hung thick again in the breezeway, and I was glad to be heading away.

“At least they put a glass in the door, to create a sort of window for us. The guy who put it in did a piss poor job of it but what can you expect from places like this? It’s no wonder people living in such squalor don’t care. The ones managing it don’t. Well, that’s not 100 percent true. Some care but they’re like us peasants. What would we know?

They built new apartments for a lot of the low-income people in this town. Unfortunately, they put rotten meat back on the shelves. They should’ve given us old people a chance. Most would take care of a new place. If they’d smooth the ruts out of the yard and put a couple of nice tables with umbrellas out, people would sit there and we wouldn’t need to sit cramped up in the breezeway anyway.”

I kept the grumbling dialog going in my head until Blue pulled up in front of the spot, we stopped at for him to relieve. After I slipped Blue’s harness over his head, removing it from his body. He went ahead of me stretching his leash to the full 4 feet and began circling and sniffing with glee.

I stood underneath the tree, taking large deep breaths of air. I wanted to clear my lungs of all that bothersome smoke. I wanted the wind to wash over me with its coolness and smooth the scent of smoke from my skin.

I, like anyone, enjoy a good conversation, so I’d sat with one of my neighbors to chat a bit. We couldn’t have been there more than 15 minutes, 20 at the most, but Blue and I were covered with the smell.

When Blue had relieved and we’d walked the loop, I turned reluctantly toward home.

“I love our little hideaway hut but there are some buggaredly things I’d like to have gone. Well, let me qualify. The people are nice enough, it’s their habits that are driving me bats. You cannot sit outside in the breezeway to enjoy the evening without being smothered by someone’s smoke. Smoke if you must, but please don’t do it where all of us sit. If you do, sit so you’re positioned such that the smoke flows away from those you’re sitting with. Manners would help a lot.”

When Blue and I returned to the breezeway, refreshed from our jog, and bouncing time together, I was relieved to see the smokers had gone back inside. I had no doubt they’d keep smoking indoors as well. It’s well known that everyone does.

Once back inside, harness and leash put away, I set about cleaning Blue and myself as best I could to remove the smell and soon, he was snoozing on the loveseat, and I was readying for bed.

Today, I’m looking forward to an early morning walk before everyone wakes up. It’s my favorite time of day. It’s peaceful. There are few smokers sitting about, which is a relief because they’re all over the complex. Smoking their sticks of doom.

It also means there won’t be as many dogs out. Their owners give me fits. I cringe when I hear them talking to their dogs.

“I’ve told you. Be quiet. I’m gonna wear you out.”

Stupidity 100 percent magnified. Their dogs don’t know or care what any of that means. Then, when the poor dogs are quiet, the owners give them no praise. Even before I got a guide dog, I knew not to be remiss on the praise.

I’ve tried talking to them. They’re about as receptive as a stone so I give up and try to walk when they’re inside.

At the same time, these nuisances are noisome, we’ve also got some nice things to be grateful for. The walkways surrounding the perimeter of the parking lot that run in front of all the buildings are shaped so it can be used as a nice exercise path. It also allows me to cross the driveway when it’s busy, which gives Blue some traffic work. Though not hard, it keeps his intelligent disobedience sharp. I had to talk to those who drive and encourage them not to look at Blue. If he saw who they were I feared he might forget his work, due to his knowing and trusting them. Mostly, it’s working. When it doesn’t, Blue gets a correction, and many will go back, and we do it again.

“Not the most ideal situation but you use what you have.”

Blue is quite good at stopping for delivery and garbage trucks, as well as hybrid cars. The conversation as we pass is also nice. No matter the situation, it’s always better if there are others to share it with.

 

Question of the Week

What’s up on the writing front?

I hope to get some writing done. I’m working on a couple of projects. Not only am I working on book two of the Pathway to Freedom Broken and Healed trilogy, but I’m also working on the second in the Blended Lives Chronicles series. That one is more fun.

Here’s the synopsis for the upcoming book. I’m excited about it. I should have a report from Dawn and Colleen of Two Pentacles Publishing soon.

SYNOPSIS

Lady Laya MoonWalker is a well-respected author and magazine owner and a high priestess in the magickal community. After a drawn-out battle with the forces of dark magik, she has come into her own. She lives and works on Planet Korponious, where she is the owner and creator of an Interplanetary Magazine called “Blended Lives Chronicles.” Her mission is to blend the lines of race, creed, and disability that separate so many and to elevate the recognition of the training and ability of Service Animals of all kinds to a new level. She has just been accepted into the Blended Lives Federation and now hopes to continue her work in a way like nothing known to her before.

Laya has created a lot of wreckage along the way through her dark journey into the light, and now she wishes to set this to right. She has just received her best break ever. Frank Prince, the CEO of The Blended Lives Learning Center, has invited her to the Celtic New Year Convention and Witches Ball as a reporter to write a story on the progress of The Blended Lives Planetary Federation. She will be their guest speaker at the opening ceremonies.

When Laya arrives at the Celtic Convention, she finds herself face to face with an old and dear friend, Blended Lives Learning Center Instructor and member of the Order of the Night, Derrick Gibbous. As they begin to connect, causing old sparks to reignite, they are tossed into a nasty battle from which not everyone will escape. People are not as they seem, and not everyone supports the side for which they appear to work.

As their love for one another grows, so does the battle. Despite everything, Laya and Derrick are determined to see their work to unite beings of all kinds succeed.

Well, the cup is empty, I’m rambling on here without much to say. So, this is the end from me and Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue.

Thanks for reading.

May Harmony find You.

Blessid Be.

*Reader’s note*

Blue ended up having a serious allergic reaction to all the cigarette and Canada fire related smoke. He’s recovered but it made him quite ill and put him out of work for five days.

 

About Patty L. Fletcher

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.

Follow her on her website here.

ADVERTS AND NEWS NUGGETS…

ADVERTS AND NEWS NUGGETS…

AD: Wild with Life A Collection of Mother Earth Poetry
A lush green forest of bamboo trees features a clear pathway that veers off further into the forest. On the path is a man wearing a loose shirt and a hat, walking away into the trees. He is weary but goes on. The title of the book is in red italicized text at the top of this picture. The text at the bottom of the image reads "Poetry by Charles Portolano" in orange letters.

Wild with Life
A collection of Mother Earth poetry

by Charles Portolano
Editor of The Avocet, a Journal of Nature Poetry

Knowing I am wild with life
but once
on this gift we have been given,
this precious gift that we have
been given guardianship of…

“These poems are written by a seasoned poet who has reached the pinnacle of his art with a recognizable and moving voice. The sections of the book invited me instantly in to share their secrets: WHERE TREES RUN WILD, WILD WAYS OF WATER. THE WILD AMONG US, OUR WILDEST TERRAINS, LOVING THE WILD, and SAVING WHAT’S WILD. The underlying driving force is of course the notion of wildness and all that we have lost by destroying it.

Charles edits the highly-successful nature journal, THE AVOCET, a must for nature loving poets and writers.”- Christine Swanberg, Poet Laureate of Rockford, Il.

“In Wild with Life, Charles Portolano has deepened his engagement with the natural world he began so movingly in his earlier works. It is a noble, ambitious, and moving work.”- Joel Savishinsky – Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus in the Social Sciences, Ithaca College

Just $15.00, which includes postage, for 90 pages of pure love for our Mother Earth.

Please make out your check to The Avocet and send to:

The Avocet
P. O. Box 19186
Fountain Hills, AZ 85269

To contact us: cportolano@hotmail.com

 

AD: Songs for the Pilgrimage

The front cover of this book features a gorgeous photo of Venice, Italy, taken at sunset. Six blue and black gondolas are at rest on the water in the foreground, and a blue and white cathedral and several additional buildings are in the background, on the far shore. The top and bottom cover bands are a deep reddish brown, echoing the color of the buildings to the right of the cathedral. The lettering for the title and the author’s name is very pale gray, almost white. On the back cover are the synopsis, a short poem, and a photo of the author. A larger version of that same photo is in the book.

By Lynda McKinney Lambert
Website

NEW!

I am proud to share my newest book publication!

From the Prologue and Epilogue of Songs for the Pilgrimage:

The word pilgrimage refers to a religious journey. Individuals commit to traveling to reach a predetermined destination, such as a shrine or holy place. The excursion is a trek from one location to another. Pilgrimage has been an abiding theme in my writing for several decades.

My first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (Kota Press, 2002, now out of print), was inspired by my annual journeys to Salzburg, Austria, where I taught a month-long drawing and writing course. I worked during 2020 and 2021 to revise and expand that previous collection of stories, poems, historical notes, and journal entries for this new book. Songs for the Pilgrimage features writings, drawings, and photographs I created over four decades.

I conclude with an artist’s prayer:

My studio is yours, Lord. Be my welcome guest today. Your goodness and unfailing kindness have been with me all my life. I have tried to make your glory visible in the works of art I have created. Someday I will close the door of my studio for the final time, but I will not be alone. Together, we will go to your home, where we will continue to collaborate on glorious projects throughout eternity. Amen.

May I Serve You?
Here are the stacks of paintings
for you to look at tonight.
I carefully brought them out
of storage closets
arranged them here
in the kitchen—
where my children used to play
games around a square oak table.
Once, food to nourish the body
was prepared here, by my hands.
Tonight, there is an
abundance of food
for your soul.
Come into my kitchen and
taste the world,
prepared by my hands.

© 1997 © 2021 by Lynda McKinney Lambert

AD: New Release: The Chocolate Dog
By Meredith Leigh Burton
Website

The front cover of "The Chocolate Dog" depicts swirled watercolor painting of blues and purples. The silhouette of a girl and a dog wearing a working harness and handle is on the right side. The girl is wearing a skirt with a jagged, asymmetrical hemline, and has curly hair. She looks down at the dog with a hand raised to pet his face, which is looking up at her. 
The title is in playful black text above the author's name.

Patricia loves going to the ice cream shop with her mother. Every Saturday, a chocolate dog is waiting at the shop, and Patricia wants to pet him. However, she is afraid. What if the owner does not like her? Why is a dog allowed inside an ice cream shop, anyway.

When Patricia’s mother is in the hospital, Patricia worries that she will not be able to go for ice cream. Aunt Agatha, though, might have a plan to solve everything.

The Chocolate Dog is a book about unexpected surprises and the meaning of friendship. Those who enjoy stories of family love and new friends will find something to cheer about in this fun picture book from author Meredith Leigh Burton.

About Meredith Leigh Burton:

Meredith Leigh Burton is a teacher, motivational speaker and author. Some of her titles include Blind Beauty and Other Tales of Redemption and Rebekah’s Refuge. She loves writing stories about brave heroines who go on dangerous journeys. The Chocolate Dog is her first picture book for children. Meredith lives in Lynchburg, Tennessee with her family and a menagerie of cats.

AD: Outside the Circle: A Collection of Songs and Poems
By Kevin Hubschman

The front cover of "Outside the Circle: A collection of songs and poems". The title text is centered at the top of the image in large, red letters. Below, a red, stenciled drawing of a snake forms a circle around the subtitle, its pointed tail disappearing into it's open, fanged mouth. In the bottom left corner sits the silhouetted figure of a rodent, with the author's name in the opposite corner.

C 2021 / 107 pages in print.

In e-book and print from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.

For cover image, free text sample, direct buying links, and author contact information, please visit the author’s website.

About the Book

Outside the Circle is a collection of songs and poems I’ve written and composed through the decades. It’s mostly dark, but for those willing to look beyond my personal demons, there can hopefully be found both flashes of resilience and rays of hope.

The book is dedicated first and foremost to my wife, Trish, who is a fantastic author in her own “write.” Secondly, it is dedicated to everyone who feels bullied, feels different, feels alone, feels friendless, feels hopeless, and feels “outside the circle.” The words “don’t judge a book by its cover” spring to mind as apropos.

“Outside the Circle”

Outside the circle I can’t see the sun

Outside the circle I don’t know anyone

Outside the circle time is on the run

Outside the circle is not much fun

Inside the circle is a white–noise crowd

Inside the circle is fashionably loud

Inside the circle there are people with guns

Inside the circle is a lot of fun

About Kevin Hubschman:

Kevin Hubschman lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Trish, and their dog, Henry.

He is retired and currently working on a novel loosely based on his life. He would love to connect with people who could help transform some of the pieces found in this publication into polished songs.

Website and contact information.

AD: In My Feelings: A Book of Poetry
By Butterfly Thomas

The cover of "In My Feelings: A book of poetry" pictures a photo of a solitary tree. The tree is surrounded entirely by water and is reflected in the rippled surface. In the distance is a low, sloping line of blue hills. The sky is a pinkish amber near the horizon, fading to a navy blue, and is reflected in the water. The title is written in white text at the top of the image, while the author's name is in white text near the bottom.

C 2020 / 117 pages in print.

In e-book and print from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.

Visit the author’s website for full details (cover, buying links, author bio, and more).

About the book:

Love and passion. Conflict and regret. Pride and defiance. Rage at equality denied. Deep compassion for friends and boundless love for one’s children. These are just a few of the subjects touched upon by these 49 brief, powerful poems.

Some will fill you with shared sorrow. Many of them express anger at racial injustice and the exploitation of the disabled. Still others delight the reader with their images of strength and beauty or their clever arrangement of words.

Never pretentious or deliberately opaque, all of them are sure to make you think.

About Butterfly Thomas:

Butterfly Thomas was born in Germany but was raised in Virginia, where she still lives.

She is the author of the novel Head Held High (2018), an urban thriller.

AD: Uneasy Tides
By Trish Hubschman

The photo shows a foreboding seascape, with a cloudy sky, rocky beach, and rushing tide. The colors are gray, blue-gray, black, white, and dark brown. The title letters, at the top, are in red. Below the main title, the subtitle letters are in white. The author’s name is at the bottom of the cover, also in white. To the lower left, superimposed on the seascape, is a red and black electric guitar. It symbolizes Danny Tide and his band, Tidalwave.

C 2021 / Number four in the Tracy Gayle mystery series

$3.99 in e-book / $8.50 in paperback / 149 pages in print

Cover image, synopsis, author bio, direct buying links, and information about Trish’s previous three books can be found here.

Synopsis:

Blair wants Danny to get her an interview with his first wife’s present husband, Robert Taylor. He’s the CEO of a major computer software company. Danny reluctantly says he’ll see what he can do. He and Tracy go to the Taylor residence for a Christmas party. Danny hasn’t seen his first wife, Deb, in over 30 years. She sucks up to him.

At the party, Deb is drunk and disappears with her husband’s business partner. Her son from her second marriage, Darren, isn’t present. Her daughter Lily is flirting with a young man. Becca, Deb’s daughter with her third husband, a musician, is sincerely excited about Danny’s presence.

Danny and Tracy feel out of sorts and by midnight are ready to leave, but they have to find Deb to say good night. It’s then that mayhem breaks out. Becca summons them down to the pool area. Her mother is passed out on the cement, bruises on her face and arms. Two men are pulling Robert Taylor’s body out of the pool.

Deb is the most likely suspect, but she insists she didn’t do it. Danny’s older brother, Derek, a prominent attorney, takes her case. If Deb didn’t kill her husband, who did? There were so many possible suspects at the party.

About Trish Hubschman:

Trish Hubschman lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Kevin, author of the poetry and song collection Outside the Circle, and their dog, Henry. She holds a B.A. degree in English with a writing emphasis. For a longer bio and details about her previous Tracy Gayle books, please visit the website linked to above.

AD: Finally, a Calendar You Can See!
The company founder, a thin man with white hair, is wearing a white collared shirt with grey pinstripes and is smiling. He is holding a large spiral-bound calendar. The dates on the calendar are printed with large, black, bold text.

Finally, a Weekly Planner You Can See!

Did you know that there is a weekly planner style calendar designed specifically for those dealing with declining eyesight? Well, there is! If that sounds interesting, read on.

Since 2015, thousands of the EZ2See® weekly planners have been sold nationwide. People buy it for themselves or give it as a thoughtful gift. Users are often those experiencing such things as:

• Vision decline

• Memory challenges

• Unsteady hands

• Cognitive impairment

• A need to manage schedules for children or parents, or

• The need to record daily events

Customers say they love it because all the features they need are included. That happened because a legally blind senior created it for himself and then was urged to share his unique design with others.

Those features, most not found in any other such product, include:

• Printed on heavy weight 8.5” x 11″ paper

• Uses only high contrast, black ink

• Numbers and letters are more than ten times larger than newsprint

• Each uncluttered, daily cell is nearly the size of two, 3 x 5 cards

• Page edges have a thick black border to prevent “writing off the paper”

• Runs from December 2021 into January 2023

• Spiral bound so it folds in half and lays flat

• Bold lined pages at the end for your own notes, and

• It’s only as thick as a wooden pencil

Limited quantities of 2022 remain. For complete information or to order, visit: EZ2SeeProducts.com or place phone orders at: 800-234-8291. You will also find it at these retail locations and on Amazon.com and on Amazon.Ca.

Visit Edward on his Facebook page.

AD: Join Freedom to Be Me

A photo of Patty's left profile as she sits comfortably in a chair. She's illuminated by a lamp on the table beside her. Patty has dark hair and is wearing a white t-shirt.

Freedom to Be Me is a group where wonderfully happy and loving people talk about Books, Books, and More.

What’s the More?

  • All things books.
  • Blogs
  • Reviews
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Newsletters and Online Magazines
  • All things Tech
  • Spiritual (No preaching or pushing All Faiths Welcome)
  • And general BS.

In other words, if you keep it polite and decently clean, all are welcome. Freedom to Be Me Is a discussion group, and though it’s not terribly active, participation is wanted.

If you’d like to join us, you may Subscribe at: FreedomToBeMe+subscribe@groups.io

AD: Heidi Lambert McClure Sassafras Hill Studio

Oblong red and black earrings on a white lace tablecloth.

Are you looking for that special birthday or holiday gift? Need a specific kind of greeting card? Love the feel of homemade soap?

If you love handmade jewelry, candles, greeting cards, and more, this ad is for you.

Handmade jewelry by Heidi McClure Available for purchase on Etsy.

AD: John Crawford School of Music
John Crawford , a dark-haired man in a navy blue collared shirt, sitting at a piano.

Offering private music instruction both in-person and via video chat. Video chat is through Facebook Messenger, FaceTime (Inside the United States), and Zoom worldwide.

I offer instruction in the guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, violin, viola, dulcimer, ukulele, banjo, drums, and piano. Due to COVID-19 concerns, voice instruction is not currently being offered.

Prices: $15/30 min.
$30/hour

Contact: please send all inquiries to Blindsensei@gmail.com
Website

AD: A Quest Called Motherhood – War Wounds and Diva Tantrums
T C Creare
Illustrated by Mara Reitsma

A busy drawing with portions of the title appearing painted on a sign in front of a window, open on a computer screen, and propped up on a keyboard beside a cup of coffee.

“We all know that children can go from, Oh, that is so sweet, too, are you freaking kidding me? In five seconds flat…” I don’t know about you guys, but as a parent of three, there are moments that make me proud of the little army that I have created and others that make me want to pull out my hair, shaking my head as I try not to cry. Parenting is tough, and despite what some think, you can’t control everything. S#!? Happens, and chances are you’re not going to be prepared for it. Well, guess what? You’re NOT alone, and the stories inside will prove it. This book is for all those coffee-nuking, dinner-making, cupcake-baking, laundry-folding, yard-guarding, lunch-packing, fight-halting, show-finding, toy-fixing parents out there who really need a cape; and perhaps a glass of wine, or two!

BUY LINK

AD: BOOKS BY PRAANAV R LAL

AUTHOR AND BLIND PHOTOGRAPHER PRANAV LAL (PRAANAV R. LAL)

NONFICTION (SELF-HELP)

Outsmart Blog Hijackers
Keep away those pesky hackers!

A person stands in the shadows, illuminated only by the faint glow of neon lights. "Outsmart Blog Hijackers" is written in glowing letters across a black background.

Dear author, blogger, and website owner, did you know that 4 out of 5 sites today are set up such that they are ripe for theft?

Think about it, your carefully crafted copy is replaced by ads selling everything from sunglasses to Viagra.

Your users could be infected by malware when they visit your site and your hard-earned trust dissolved within hours.

The Care and Feeding of Digital Certificates build customer trust before they reach your homepage.

How to build trust with your customer even before your homepage loads!
How do you ensure your customer stays on your website and not run screaming from the homepage?
How do you establish instant legitimacy?
What happens if you lose the trust of your buyers?

FICTION…

The Telekinesis Trilogy
Two street children with special powers find a home and solve crimes

Telekinesis – book 1
Can two street children work together and find a home while saving a village?

Led Weight- book 2
Bright toys with a dose of Led

The Cult- book 3
George and Jane go up against a cult

Bakasura an audio comic
Has the demon of legend, Bakasura, come to life? George and Jane must find out and rescue the villagers from him.

In case of Emergency
A stranger in her apartment leads Preeti to love, though not with him

Julia
A robot of the future goes up against a common Indian soldier.

Venture Capital
A failed entrepreneur moves towards redemption

Scrambled eggs
Ordinary Joe wins back his super cook wife by “trying once” and some fancy food presentation.

About Pranav Lal in his own words:

My name is Pranav Lal, better known in my writing world as Praanav R Lal

I write non-fiction and short stories which are hard to classify but tend towards fantasy and science fiction.
I do not give my characters any breathers and enjoy keeping the action sharp and continuous.
I use a visual prosthesis, thanks to which I am a photographer.
I enjoy technology, particularly cybersecurity which is what pays the bills.
I love interacting, so feel free to comment or say hello.

WEBSITE

AD: NEW RELEASE
ETTA’S FISHING GROUND
by Eva Pasco
Website

A beautiful young woman with long, curly, blonde hair rests her head on her hand. In and around her hair are leaves, twigs, and berries, making her seem wild. Above her head the text is in a burnt orange/red color that reads "Eva Pasco." Underneath that is "A Compelling Contemporary" typed in a pale yellow font. Underneath the woman's head the burnt orange/red text reads "Etta's Fishing Ground."

Just as a whirlwind courtship derailed Momma’s beat-poet dream of hightailing it to North Beach in the Fifties, a badass drifter veers Etta away from seeking haven in the artists’ hub of Greenwich Village during the Seventies.

Etta makes the best of circumstances staying put in the rural enclave of Foster, Rhode Island, sketching the likes of its historic landmarks and scenic overlooks on her fishing ground.

However, deviant twists of fate with deaths resulting, arise from wild speculations and unwarranted suspicions when things aren’t what they seem:

*Chance encounters predispose a besotted admirer to figure things all wrong.

*False impressions taunt Etta’s husband, Keith, with uncertainty until his dying day.

*Acting on a hunch, Etta’s best friend shows up at her door to peddle Keith’s infidelity, unbeknownst to either, in sync with his drowning while fishing.

Blaze a trail to the point of no return where love and friendship shift ground to withstand the vagaries of life.

About Eva Pasco:

Multi-award winning author, Eva Pasco, a lifelong native Rhode Islander, integrates local settings in her lit with grit. Weaving historic events, geographic landmarks, and regional culture into the fabric of her storytelling, she blurs the lines of demarcation between fact and fiction.

Tapping into significant issues impacting the lives of women, Eva’s novels emphasize character-driven plots propelled by flawed and feisty females over forty.

All of the author’s published works are available in eBook and paperback at Amazon.

 

AD: NEW RELEASE
One Goes to the Sea
By Joan Myles
Website

One Goes to the Sea's cover is textured charcoal-colored canvas. The title and author's name appear in golden yellow, lowercase letters.

What is it about poetry that so readily connects readers with their Spiritual selves? And is it possible to focus these expanded faculties of perception beyond the page–intentionally, inward?

One Goes to the Sea is a collection of the poet’s waking and sleeping flights of fancy, her dream journal sketched poetically and visually illustrated by her daughter.

You can order your copy on Amazon and Smashwords today!

Independently published with assistance from Two Pentacles Publishing Services, LLC.

About Joan Myles:

Joan Myles has always been a child of Wonder as well as a spiritual seeker. When she lost her sight at the age of 12, these qualities and writing poetry saved her from despair.

Joan earned a B.A. in Education, a Master’s in Jewish Studies. She married, raised four lively children, worked as a Rehabilitation Teacher, and taught Hebrew and Judaics for over 15 years.

Her first book of poetry, One With Willows, vividly expresses Joan’s child-like joy. She considers her poems to be a kind of footpath for readers, an opening into that place of delight, an invitation to awaken childlike wonder for themselves.

Joan’s words also reveal the invisible link between one human being and another, between humans and Nature, between the physical realm and the Spiritual. The idea of the Oneness of Creation flows through her work, the understanding of living in the world as a journey of discovery, of stepping into and between the various layers and levels of existence. Joan’s second collection, One Glittering Wing, represents this kind of journey, specifically through her year-long passage from the deep pain of her mother’s death toward reconciliation with Life.

Joan currently lives in Oregon with her best friend, who also happens to be her husband.

AD: NEW RELEASE
Poems and Prayers
By Tasha Halpert
Website

The Poems and Prayers book cover features a tree's branches, full of leaves. The entire cover is tinted green, including the shapes of the hills in the background. The title and author's name are in white, rounded text.

Poems and Prayers by Tasha Halpert is a poignant tribute to her late son Robin Greenough Lorenz and his brief, yet meaningful, life. Written over the years since his passing, the book is evocative of his spirit and of the love they shared. Readers may feel echoes of their own experiences with the loss of life of a loved one, and may feel comforted by the shared feelings. Tasha Halpert’s poetry has been published in The Unicorn and other publications.

Poems and Prayers is available to purchase on Amazon today.

About Tasha Halpert:

Practical mystic, poet and writer Tasha Halpert lives in a small central Massachusetts town where she writes a weekly column for the local newspaper and a weekly inspirational Internet column. She is staff poet and storyteller for The Unicorn. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she and her husband Stephen, a writer and collage artist do what they can to make the world a happier, healthier place.

 

AD: Two Pentacles Publishing Services

The Two Pentacles Publishing logo: two encircled five pointed stars side-by-side, with their top most points angled towards each other playfully; the stars sit above the words "two pentacles" in lowercase type. The logo is white with a dark purple background.

Two Pentacles Publishing Services

At Two Pentacles, our goal is to create an experience that promotes inclusivity and creativity at a competitive rate.

We work with clients at all levels of experience and ability.

We also specialize in adaptive communication, descriptive visual services, and flexible content sharing. We happily accommodate screen readers, large text requirements, and Braille printing.

Contact us to let us know how we can best provide you with a customized experience!

By phone: 971-599-7495

By email: info@twopentacles.com

Visit our website for more information!

Listen to our interview with Patty L. Fletcher of Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, linked on our website.

AD: Victoria Zigler

A smiling woman with shoulder-length brown hair and bangs wears a white t-shirt with a cartoon, red dragon and green background on it.

A blind Welsh vegan, Victoria Zigler writes poetry and stories for children and the young at heart, many of them containing animal characters based on her own pets, as well as a series of books based on her own adjustments after sight loss, which are specifically designed to give people a glimpse into what life is like for a visually impaired person. She makes her books available in a wide variety of formats, including eBook, paperback, and audio, from several different online retailers worldwide. Grab your copies of her books from your favorite retailer today, and remember to check out her website.

AD: Books by Anthony R. Candela

Anthony's book cover for Vision Dreams: A Parable: A Black background with the iris of an eye. The iris has dark blue edges, lighter neon blue inside of that, a light green color inside that, then gradually darker green as you near the center of the eye. The pupil is black. Around the eye is a luminescent blue light. The title and byline of the book are centered at the top of the cover in silvery block letters shaded like an eclipse. "Vision Dream" is in the largest font with "A Parable" beneath it with lines on either side of the words to center it. Above the title is the name of the Author.

By Anthony R. Candela
Christian Faith Publishing, 2019
Facebook

Vision Dreams: A Parable

This is a sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.

This novella increases our understanding of what it means to live in a society that is supportive of its citizens’ daily happiness and humanity. Perhaps after reading it you will be more on guard against what can happen when nations decide to be hyper-vigilant. As the plot unwinds, you will see the lengths to which people will go to achieve their humanity. In the midst of the subtle kinds of strife that leads many to live lives of quiet desperation, there are heroes willing to take risks.

Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy

A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports.

The story related in these pages will occasionally give you cause to chuckle or even shed tears of sadness or joy. Above all else, it will enlighten you about why things happen the way they do. Ultimately, this memoir increases our understanding of what it means to be truly human. Perhaps after reading it we will be kinder and gentler to each other. Most importantly, perhaps we will be kinder and gentler to ourselves.

About the Author

Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar.

AD: Hope for the Tarnished by Ann Chiappetta

© 2022 By Ann Chiappetta

You don’t choose who you love, it just happens.
Follow young Abbie Raymond as she traverses concentric rings of tragedy, hope and healing.

Available on:

Amazon: Hardcover and paperback and Kindle eBook
Smashwords
Coming to Audible in 2023. Narrated by Lilian Yves and Graydon Lee Schlichter.

What Readers are Saying About My New Novel

-“I just read Hope for the Tarnished and thought it was written well. It kept my interest and I cared about the characters. I liked the mixture of problems and people who supported Abbie. It also had a good blend of drama and rest between troubles plus humor and the beloved dogs.  What more could a reader ask for?” – From Lisa B.

-“It’s excellent. I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s full of action and kept pulling me along. It’s a totally realistic story about a family’s struggle in the 1970s, a divorced mom with three daughters. Sometimes I had tears pouring down my face. Other times I was clapping my hands and laughing. Ann’s descriptiveness of things was incredible, from the design of Abbie’s swimsuits to the fishing boats on Long Island Sound.

I don’t remember the last time a book affected me as much as Hope for the Tarnished did. I’d give it more than a five-star rating if I could, but five stars is the top of the line, so is this book. Thank you for such an impactful story, Ann.” -From Trish Hubschman, author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series.

Add my book to your reading list: Good Reads and Smashwords

NEWS NUGGETS: Introducing Message Crafters – Online Toast Masters

What is Message Crafters? And how can it help you?

Think of Message Crafters as a communications gym where you can develop your personal strengths, stop your weaknesses kicking your butt, and build upon your unique personality so you develop a speaking style that is authentically you.

Message Crafters is an online Toastmasters club which is dedicated to helping people boost their confidence while comfortably socializing with others who understand the challenges of living in our complicated world.

We can stop you from being boring. That’s not to say you are boring. We know you aren’t. But we also know that people sometimes choose to communicate in a boring way because it’s ‘professional’ or because ‘it’s how others do it’ or even simply because they don’t know any better.

That’s where Message Crafters comes in: We can help you navigate the challenges of life.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

You can learn:

Presenting/Speaking

WE KNOW IT’S SCARY

Presenting / Public speaking is listed as people’s number one fear: More scary than death. Which is why it’s crucial to establish a warm and positive training environment for members to practice presenting. And that’s what you get: road-tested training, time to practice and positive feedback in a warm, relaxed environment that makes people actually want to get up in front of an audience.

Responding to life’s ‘Say what?’ Moments

Life isn’t predictable. Master the art of speaking off the cuff and learn to handle any questions, complaints or audience responses. No preparation? No problem.

Each meeting has an impromptu-speaking practice session where you’ll perfect the art of responding to the unexpected, so you can face the world with the belief that you can handle whatever comes your way.

All our meetings are online.

  • Online training and accessible materials are available
  • You’ll make lots of friends!
  • You can attend from the convenience of your home!

Cost…

Under $100/year

Drop by as our guest and check out the fun!

Join our meeting Virtually via Zoom.

When?

Fridays @ 5:30 – 6:45pm (New York Time)

Where?

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 270 409 149

Passcode: 292848

 

For more about Message Crafters and to learn how to become a member please visit their website.

News Nuggets: RELEASED IN 2022

“The Spirit of One” by Marlene Mesot. The title is written in thin, blue, italicized letters in the center of the image, above the author’s name and “Performed by Timothy G. Little” which is written in gold lettering. In the upper right corner is a gleaming golden cross. The background of the image is a dark sky, illuminated by a spiderwebbed bolt of amber lightening, which brightens the black sky around it to a deep purple.

The Spirit of One Audiobook

By Marlene Mesot

Performed by Timothy G. Little

This is a gathering of four short stories which were separately published in print only in different collections of various Christian authors published by Christian Book Marketing.

One Door…Knocking – Sheltering in a dark, creepy run-down house, seeking light…

One Man’s Destiny – Spiritual warfare…

One Man’s Quest: Seeking the Unpardonable Sin – A quest for answers with a mysterious Book…

One Weekend…in the Woods A struggle to survive…

The Author’s Edge

By Marlene Mesot

Forward by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Performed by Timothy G. Little

This collection of 80 poems is meant to bring encouragement and inspiration to anyone who has ever thought, or dreamed, of writing, whether personally or professionally. Writing takes many forms, whether it’s a letter, diary, blog, article, story, play, poem or novel. I will confess my writing leans in favor of fiction.

 

These poems are also meant for readers because we cannot have one without the other. The goal of any author is to have universal appeal. Thank you for considering the work of this author.

 

“Poetry is music in words.”

Marlene Mesot

Forward by award-winning artist/author Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Jacket Review

Readers will connect with her newest collection of forty poems from the opening Quatrain of her first poem. Craftsmanship in the arts is a recurring theme. It feels like she is conscientiously continuing to weave her way along the path she established from the inception of this book.

 

~ Lynda McKinney Lambert

Author of Songs for the Pilgrimage, Star Signs, First Snow, Walking by inner Vision.

OTHER BOOKS

4 Elements of Mystery Series

  1. The Purging Fire (2018)
  2. The Snowball Effect (2021)

The Cat Stalker’s Sonnets – Romantic Suspense Novel (2020)

Edgy Poetry (2021)

My MarlsMenagerie Website

News Nuggets: New from Abbie Johnson Taylor
Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me
By Abbie Johnson Taylor
Copyright 2021
Independently published with the help of DLD Books

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. Outside, it is bright, with plants on a terrace. There is also a plant behind the woman inside. The woman has white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" on the top and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" on the bottom.

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

Excerpt from Chapter 1

I hated walking with my mom and sister down that long, bright hallway in the nursing home where my grandma lived. The white tile floor and the ceiling covered with fluorescent lights reminded me of school. The only difference was that there were handrails on either side that old people could hold onto while they walked, so they wouldn’t fall.

The blare of television sets from just about every room we passed, laughter and chatter from the nurses’ station, and announcements over the PA system made me wonder why Dad called this place a rest home. The sharp aroma of disinfectant reminded me of the monthly trips I’d made to the dentist years before to have my braces adjusted. I nearly gagged as I remembered the goop they put in my mouth so they could take impressions of my teeth before the braces were put on.

***

To learn where you can get your copy, visit: https://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com Please feel free to email me at: abbietaylor945@gmail.com

Photo Description provided by Two Pentacles Publishing: http://www.twopentacles.com

News Nuggets: Dancing with the Seasons: A Year in Simple Verse

by Jo Elizabeth PintoThe front cover of Dancing with the Seasons by Jo Elizabeth Pinto. The cover features a photo of ash trees, viewed from base of the trunk, looking up at the boughs directly overhead. The leaves are almond shaped and hanging in odd numbered clusters. The leaves are all shades of yellow and obscure most of the clear blue sky.

The title and author name are in white text in the center of the image, with the title being twice as large and above the author name. The font emulates handwriting, and looks to be written in marker. The letters are almost entirely printed, though the writing flows so that each letter is connected to the next.

New! From author Jo Elizabeth Pinto, with publishing assistance by Two Pentacles Publishing Services, LLC.

The fifty-two short poems in “Dancing with the Seasons: A Year in Simple Verse” are easy to understand, yet rich with emotional and sensory details. Celebrate the vivid, ever-changing beauty of nature in rhythm and rhyme.

About Jo Elizabeth Pinto:

Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. These days, she freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader.

As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.

Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her teenage daughter, her guide dog Spreckles, and an aging family cat named Sam-I-Am.

Author website

Tips…

EDITOR’S WELCOME TO JO’S KITCHEN…

Now that we’ve enjoyed learning about all the goings on of our contributors and searching through the assortment of books, products, Services, announcements and events it’s time for some tasty tips.

This month, straight from Jo’s Kitchen comes a recipe you’ll be delighted to try.

Before I share, let me say, this recipe is one my mother taught me years ago too. So, don’t knock this till you try it.

 

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

by Jo Elizabeth Pinto

When my brother-in-law joined the family back in the 90s—yes, that really was nearly thirty years ago—my mom gave my sister a file with the recipes marked in it that she had most often used as her kids were growing up. My mom had picked up many of the recipes from her mother, who had received them from her mother before her, so they originally came from the depression era, when certain foods, like eggs and oil, might have been scarce.

“Ugh! Mayonnaise cake.” My new brother-in-law turned up his nose as he sat across the table from me at the wedding reception, flipping through the recipes. “I know that’s one we’ll never try.”

“Bet me!” I challenged him. “My mom made that cake every year for me on my birthday—well, you know, till I got too old for homemade birthday cakes. My brother got angel food cake in the fall, and I got mayo cake in the spring. It was a tradition.”

“Seriously? It sounds disgusting.”

“It’s super rich and decadent, especially smothered in whipped cream. The mayo just takes the place of the eggs and oil. You can’t taste it, like you do on a sandwich.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

I hope he did. If not, he’s been missing out. This is still one of my favorite ways to make a cake. I can bake, even if I don’t have fresh eggs or butter in the house, and unless I tell someone there’s mayo in the cake, nobody will ever guess in a million years.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)

1 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish or a Bundt pan.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, mayonnaise, and milk. Mix batter just to combine.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly.
  5. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely. The cake may be frosted with any chocolate or vanilla icing, but it’s so rich that my family simply serves it with whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!

About the author

Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a Braille proofreader.

Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her teenage daughter, her guide dog Spreckles, and an aging family cat named Sam-I-Am.

Visit her on Amazon here.

Health World…

EDITOR’S WELCOME TO HEALTH WORLD…

The COVID-19 pandemic took a mighty toll on me and others. Once I realized the impact it had, I knew I must try and help those reading The Writer’s Grapevine recover as much as I could, so I began to look for articles which would be useful to us all.

The Smorgasbord Café Blog Magazine has been a great resource of health columns for me over the past few years. I reached out to its author Sally Cronin to see if she might consider becoming a regular contributor to Health World.

She wrote back to say that while she was flattered that I would consider her for my magazine, she just didn’t have the time to do it.

At first, I was disappointed, then inspiration struck.

I wrote back to her and requested permission to use partial columns from her new series with “read more” links leading to the posts on her blog included and she wrote back with her blessing.

I strongly encourage you to make use of the “read more” link provided, visit her blog, and read the rest of each one.

My thanks to Sally for the use of her entertaining and informative work.

Smorgasbord Health Column 2023 – Cardiovascular and Circulatory systems and the components of Blood

by Sally Cronin

Posted on June 22, 2023

The Cardiovascular system and the components of Blood

Blood is an incredibly complex fluid that uses the network of blood vessels to take the essential supplies such as oxygen and nutrients around the body that we need every day.

Blood is one of the constituents of our bodies that we tend to take for granted. Unless we suffer a catastrophic accident, resulting in major injuries most of us just need a plaster from time to time to patch ourselves up. However, blood is alive with an amazing group of components, completing several vital roles every second of every day, to ensure that we survive.

If our blood is not healthy we can suffer from anaemia, inefficient immune systems, slow healing and frequent infections. Long term blood disorders lead to much more serious illnesses such as

Continue reading the article here.

Author’s Corner…

EDITOR’S WELCOME TO THE AUTHOR’S CORNER

This month, we’ve got some sizzling summer stories to share. So, grab your favorite iced brew and settle in for some great summer afternoon reading in the shade.

First up to bat, is author and public speaker Tony Candela who hits one out of the park with the following essay.

Editor’s Note

This article was originally published in the Consumer Vision June 2023 magazine. I’ve chosen to leave the article as published.

See reference links for more after the article.

Over the Fence

By Tony Candela

Greetings everyone. I am proud to join The Consumer Vision Magazine community having been on two “In Perspective” podcasts, hosted by your publisher Bob Branco. I have written a couple books (see below). My memoir focuses on life lessons learned through sports as a blind athlete. My sci-fi novella shows what happens when we attempt to run away from our blindness, even under the direst of circumstances.

An article by Don Wardlow in the April 2023 issue of this magazine inspired me to relate the following to you. Don talked about his visit to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

About 10 years ago, I wrote a song celebrating my love for the game and how it has been a life-giver since I was a lonely little visually impaired boy standing in an empty lot hitting small stones with a stick, or throwing a white (high-contrast) sponge ball against a cinder block wall, calling imaginary games all the while. I even fantasize singing my song one day at a Hall of Fame induction ceremony. So there you have it. From my earliest memories to now in my very late 60s, baseball has fueled my imagination.

The song tells my story so well, I thought I would convey it by sharing the (patented) lyrics with you. “Over the Fence” is about my beloved Yankees in their pinstripe uniforms and what they have given to me since my father sat me down in front of the TV to watch games with him on Sunday afternoons in the mid-1950s when I was at the tender age of five. There were many heroes, including sluggers Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Roger Maris and the great southpaw, Edward (Whitey) Ford. Since our magazine publisher is based in New Bedford, MA, I would like first to convey apologies to Boston Red Sox fans. Also, Dodgers fans will recognize a jibe referring to the “boys of summer” who left Brooklyn, NY in the mid-1950s for Los Angeles, but it is only an historical reference. Please enjoy the sentiments reflected here.

When I was a kid and played alone

Because I couldn’t find any friends.

I found salvation in the old pastime

Me and the game and a dream.

There was Mickey and Roger and Yogi and me

And the wily lefty they called Whitey.

The boys of summer had nothing on them

They’d already fled to the West.

And when they ask why do you play alone,

I say, ‘Cause I can imagine this:’

He steps up; he cranks up; he takes a big swing.

It’s gonna go over the fence.

Alone at night, snuggled in my bed

I press the A.M. radio to my head.

Night after night, I freely sell my soul

Oh, God, please let the Yankees win.

The (Bronx) Bombers and me in an empty lot

I imagine this is how they got their start.

A boy and a bat and a ball and glove

He could never be more in love.

And when they ask why do you play alone,

I say, ‘Cause I can imagine this:’

He steps up; he cranks up; he takes a big swing.

It’s gonna go over the fence.

Now I’m a man, to the extent I am sane

I owe it to the pinstriped men in the game.

And whenever it feels like rain

I pray for them to win again.

It’s not the same as when I was a boy

But my imagination still gives me joy.

When I’m alone, I am never alone.

I’m rounding third and headed for home.

And when they ask why do you play alone,

I say, ‘Cause I can imagine this:’

He steps up; he cranks up; he takes a big swing.

It’s gonna go over the fence.

It’s gonna go over the fence.

Anthony R. Candela, Author

Saying aloud what should not remain silent.

Books by Tony

Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy

A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports

Vision Dreams: A Parable

A sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.

Buy his books here.

About the Author

Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar.

Follow him on Facebook for more here.

To see this article and more from the Consumer Vision click here.

 

Many people move during the summer. Marlene Mesot keeps us going with a story of a moving debacle.

A Writer’s Box Story

By Marlene Mesot

A box should be a safe place for storing manuscripts while moving, especially if it’s a particularly memorable case. I had saved two distinctive looking boxes that had originally stored paper reams and, although cardboard, had the appearance of dark brown wood grain outside.

Among other writings, the typewritten original of my first novel, The Purging Fire, was in one of these boxes. Unknown to me, one of the other two people in our household had re-boxed my papers in a different storage container, and I did not find the original until I had rewritten Chapter One and published the book.

Recalling this incident inspired me to write the short story “Search for the Missing” which is part of a work in progress titled 4 Elements of Mystery Stories for the series of which The Purging Fire is Book One. The short story also involves an Amber Alert for a little girl named Patty.

About the Author

Marlene Mesot writes contemporary Christian mystery, romantic suspense, fantasy, short stories, and poetry.

An only child, grandchild and niece from Manchester New Hampshire, she and deceased husband Albert have two sons, two grandchildren, and English Mastiff dogs. She shares her heroine’s disabilities of legal blindness and hearing aids use due to nerve damage at premature birth. She has loved writing since early childhood.

Marlene holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Keene State in Keene, New Hampshire, and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from UNC Greensboro, North Carolina.

Marls Menagerie Website

 

Summer is a time of various celebrations of which weddings are a huge part. This month, Abbie Johnson Taylor has a story of a wedding cake maker who learns a valuable lesson. Let’s have a look.

Baker’s Luck (Fiction)
by Abbie Johnson Taylor

“I’d like to order a wedding cake,” the woman said, after she came into my shop and approached the counter.

She didn’t look familiar. About five feet tall, with short dark hair and blue eyes, she wore white slacks and a blue and white blouse with floral designs. Because she was the only customer I’d had in a long time, I couldn’t help noticing all this.

Since I’d refused to make a cake for a homosexual wedding a month earlier, my business had gone way down. In fact, I was considering selling out. I was due to give birth in six months and didn’t know how I would manage after that. But now, here was this customer, ordering a wedding cake. Had she not heard?

“Congratulations!” I smiled. “You must be new here. I don’t think I’ve seen you around.”

“Oh, I guess I just haven’t come in here. How long have you been in business?”

“I opened back in January. I have a lot of regulars.” I wasn’t about to tell her about last month’s fiasco.

“Oh, well, Chris and I run Sheridan Computer and Design, across the street.” She pointed out the window. “I’m Terry.” She extended her hand.

“Hi, I’m Allyson.” We shook hands. “I wondered who bought that place. I’m glad you named it after our town.”

“Yeah, well, we just took it over last month. Chris and I both love computers. That’s one thing that attracted us to each other. Chris loves putting them together and fixing them, and I love using them. I do graphics and other printing jobs. Chris moved here after we met online, and we decided to get married.”

“That’s great!” I said, although I was skeptical of online dating. “So, when’s the wedding?”

Terry sighed. “Next month. It’ll be a June wedding. I should have come in sooner, I know but…”

“It’s perfectly fine. A month is plenty of notice.”

Normally, it wasn’t, but thanks to my dwindling business, I had a lot of time. “How would you like the cake to be decorated?”

“I don’t know, something simple, maybe flowers. Chris and I both love chocolate.”

Terry and I talked a while longer, and she finally decided on a design any ordinary couple would choose, much to my relief. She told me Chris would pick up the cake the day before the wedding, that the event would just be a simple affair at her grandmother’s house among family and close friends. I thought that was unusual but didn’t want to say anything to chase this customer away.

As she turned to leave, I said, “My husband is the pastor of Goose Creek Baptist Church. If you need a minister, I’m sure he’d be glad to do your service.”

She blushed. “Oh, we already have someone. Thank you so much for the offer, though.”

“Of course.” I smiled.

As the shop door closed behind Terry with its cheerful chime, Denice, my assistant came out of the back room, carrying a tray of freshly baked eclairs. “Oh, darn! I heard you had a customer. I meant to get out here faster with these, hoping she’d want to buy some, but they needed to cool first.”

I smiled. “That’s all right. She ordered a wedding cake.”

“Oh, really?” A broad grin broke out on her tired face.

We’d both been under a lot of stress in the past month. The week before, I’d told her I would probably have to let her go because I wasn’t sure I could afford to pay her anymore. To my surprise and delight, she’d said I didn’t have to pay her. She was retired and loved to bake and had nothing better to do.

Now, as she placed the eclairs in the display case, I told her about Terry and Chris and the type of design Terry had chosen for the cake. “That’s wonderful!” she said, straightening and closing the case. We both hugged.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” my husband said that night at supper after I told him.

“I know.” I took a bite of the meatloaf I’d left simmering in the crock pot all day.

“Finally, he’s showing you a sign that you did the right thing last month by refusing to bake that cake for Lydia Bryant’s sinful wedding.”

“You know, I liked her music, and so did everyone else in town, apparently. After she announced she was a lesbian and that she was marrying one of her back-up singers and they were putting out an album together, I underestimated the support she would receive from the community.”

“Well, what happened today is a sign from God that you’re going in the right direction.”

Over the next month, something remarkable happened. My business increased. It was gradual at first, but as the days passed, more and more people came in, including my regulars. Nobody ordered a cake, but everyone bought one or more of my cookies and brownies and Denice’s pastries. Terry bought some goodies to have on hand in her store.

The afternoon before the wedding, the shop was unusually busy for a Friday. Denice and I were hopping, as people came in, purchased a few goodies, then sat at tables, laughing and chatting as they ate. It hadn’t been like this since the Lydia Bryant debacle, and it felt good.

Finally, Denice said, “Allyson, Chris is here for the wedding cake. Want me to get it out of the back room?”

I glanced around but didn’t see any men. “Where is he?”

Looking amused, she pointed to a blonde-haired woman standing alone at the counter. “I’ll get the cake.”

Stunned, I stared at Chris. She was about the same height, but in contrast to Terry, she had green eyes and wore a yellow pants suit. The room fell silent, and all eyes were on me. Things had been so good in the past month, but now this.

Denice appeared at my side with the cake. I considered taking it from her and shoving it into Chris’s smiling face. But what would that do to my business?

Then, I realized that, despite the Bible’s teachings, God wanted me to share my talent with everyone regardless of sexual orientation. This was His way of showing unconditional love. After offering a silent prayer of thanks, I smiled, took the cake from Denice, walked to the counter, and handed it to Chris.

“Congratulations! God bless you.” It was what I said to all customers who bought my wedding cakes. To my amazement, everyone stood, clapped, and cheered.

At closing time, I told Denice to go home and I would lock up. In the office at the back of the store, I picked up the phone. Lydia Bryant’s wedding wasn’t until September. I hoped she hadn’t found another baker.

About the Author

Abbie Johnson Taylor has published three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. With a BA in music, she worked as a registered music therapist with residents in nursing homes and other senior facilities for fifteen years before writing full-time. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, with her robotic cat Joy.

Visit her Website.

Next up, Trish Hubschman spins us off to a wonderful day at the carousel.

Carousel Go Round

By Trish Hubschman

A bright, colorful carousel is pictured with wooden deer and horses on gold poles. Each animal is wearing a party hat shaped like a cone. Each animal is a different shade of brown and tan. The saddles on each animal feature arrays of green, brown, red, and yellow. Above the animals are lights attached and the frame of the carousel is blue with intricate, colorful sculpting in more greens, blues, reds, and yellows. The floor of the carousel is black wood with a red trim. The animals are facing right.

When I was a kid, my folks took us to a lot of amusement parks. My older sister and brother loved the rides. I wasn’t too fond of them, but I still joined in. My least favorite and most feared was the carousel ride. It had horses on it, which were so high and difficult to climb onto. There was nothing holding me on the horse. I was terrified, as the carousel went around and the horse went up and down, that I could possibly fall off.

Last week, I wrote a short piece about my childhood terror of carousel rides for the Behind Our Eyes writers’ group. I also told my husband Kevin. He was very understanding about it. Ironically, and this happened the next day, he was reading Facebook posts and saw an eye-opening one from my cousin, Valerie, who lives in the same town. The previous day, she had gone to a park we never heard of and went on a carousel ride.

“Let’s go find this place,” Kevin said. I was game.

With the help of the GPS, we found our destination. It was a regular park, open land, picnic areas, a softball field, miniature golf, etc.

“How does Valerie find out about these places?” Kevin asked.

The question was rhetorical. There were no signs indicating a carousel. There was no music, no people to ask and very few cars in the parking lot.

He pulled the wheelchair from the back seat, and I sat in it. Then, we headed off. We couldn’t find anything, but we kept going. Finally, Kevin spotted a building, and we went that way, up a slight incline.

“Is this it?” I asked.

“Looks like it,” he replied. “There’s a beautiful old carousel in this building, and there are people on it.”

There were also three steps to get into the building. How was I going to maneuver that? My heart was sinking. Kevin went and bought us tickets. They were only a dollar each (100 cents to mark the carousel’s centennial).

“The handicapped ramp is in back,” he said, pushing the wheelchair up a ramp. He handed a kid the tickets and we moved to the carousel.

“Are there horses?” I asked. I was very nervous.

“No horses,” he replied, but said nothing more.

He helped me out of the chair. I didn’t realize that carousels had a slight step to go up to get onto them. I fell and landed on my knees. That was okay. Next, I had to climb into, let’s call it, a box. It connected two benches. I lifted one knee and slid between the seats, then the other. I was kind of trapped. It was like kneeling in church. I was staring at the beautiful bench on the old carousel. I ran my hand over the seat. It was leather. The seat looked like a Victorian settee. I carefully pulled myself onto it. “Kevin, sit down. This is so beautiful,” I said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

He joined me, and the carousel started to go around slowly. It was lovely. When it came to a stop, and it was time for us to step off, I wanted to go for another ride. But the idea of us having to climb off, get more tickets, and attempt to climb back on, was too much of a hassle. I had the memory of this beautiful carousel ride.

“I have to find a bathroom,” Kevin said and we rolled around the building and found the restrooms. When he returned, he sat on the wood bench beside my chair and pulled out his cell phone.

“You did it!” he announced. “You just conquered your fear of carousels.”

He was proud of me, and so was I. I thrust my fist in the air.

“Now let’s see here,” he said. “What’s the story on the beautiful carousel? We just helped her celebrate her one hundredth birthday.”

Note: The carousel in Weona Park, Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, is one of the oldest in the country. It was built in 1900. The 44r animals on it were hand-carved between 1890 and 1917. The carousel opened in 1923 in the spot where it now stands.

About the Author

Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series: Tidalwave, Stiff Competition, Ratings Game, Uneasy Tides, and Gayle’s tales.

Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a Bachelor’s degree in English-writing. She is deaf-blind and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband Kevin and their dog Henry.

Visit her website.

PS. I ‘ve it on good authority, that Trish will have a historical piece concerning this carousel soon.

Watch for it on Patty’s Worlds.

Before we head over to the Poetry Place, I’d like to share a story of a very powerful and special place.

A Laser of Love

By Patty L. Fletcher

In the year 2020, a plague such as had never been known had struck the planet and before anyone really knew what was afoot, the disease had begun to spread as a mighty wildfire takes the forest. Many deaths had occurred, and those in power were floundering to keep up and find ways to protect the people.

There were trials and triumphs, arguments, hostilities, and as the plague did spread so did much deceit.

Soon, a decree went out and the people were told they would need to shelter in place. Some had families to keep company with, some did not, but all were seriously affected by the need to remain locked away from the world.

Events were canceled, vacations long planned for were no longer happening and soon a great gloom fell over the world.

Then, just when it seemed the people could stand not one more moment, a bright laser of love appeared. It cut through the darkness and hope broke through the gloom as a mighty sun.

Soon announcements began to circulate. There were communities forming online. But not just any community mind you. No indeed, these communities were made special for those who were blind or visually impaired, and it was said that even if you had no computer or smart device still you could join in.

Before the people knew what was happening, special classes were being held to teach all who would learn how to attend, and by the end of that dank and dreary year of sadness, sickness, and death, over 2000 community call events had taken place.

Who was this power which had overcome such incredible obstacles? It was a group called The American Council of the Blind. This group of men and women from all levels of society had built an alliance which no other could rival.

Now, as they continue, they’re growing larger and stronger with each passing day. There are community calls for chatting and playing games. Community calls for sharing recipes, health tips, exercising learning technology and sharing books. There are calls which allow people to share their talents with others. Calls for presenting blindness related books, products and services which may enhance the lives of all who but would come and hear. But most importantly, these community calls serve the purpose of keeping a community of thousands connected on a meaningfully personal level like nothing has ever been done before.

Though we’re all slowly returning to our lives in some way as we once did before this hideous plague struck, we know the ACB Community Call Events will live on. For they have shown us all a new and wondrous way to be with one another which is free and inclusive for all.

For me, these calls came into my life at a time when I felt quite at sea. My Seeing Eye Guide Dog Campbell had just passed away, I was totally isolated from family and friends and though I went along each day performing my routines for work and personal care, I’d fallen into a pit of despair that I felt I might never rise from again.

Not only did the community calls give me something to do during the long hours alone, I soon found I could contribute as well. First, I learned to host, and then I began facilitating events too and before long I was too busy connecting and being connected to be sad.

If you’re out there somewhere needing a friend, we want you to join us. Whether you’re a member of the American Council of the Blind or not, there’s a place waiting to be filled by you.

To learn more visit here.

To receive a list of daily events of which there are many email: community@acb.org

If you know someone without email, have them phone: 1-800-424-8666.

All will be treated well for this community is Safe, Respectful and Welcoming.

Patty Fletcher sits comfortably in a black cushy office chair at a spacious black desk facing a window. Patty's hair is halfway pulled up, while the bottom half of her hair flows down her back and shoulders. She is wearing jeans, socks, and a black sweatshirt. On the desk, her hands rest on a laptop keyboard with a beverage in a can sits to her left. Outside the window is a green lawn, a tan building, and a red door.

About Patty L. Fletcher

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.

Follow her at Patty’s Worlds here.

Poetry Place…

EDITOR’S WELCOME TO POETRY PLACE…

We’ve had what’s up letters, recipes, healthy tips and stories galore.

Ah, but wait!

There’s more.

Our poets are gathering,

Can you hear the buzz?

Their poetic muses are chattering,

Let’s go see what’s all the fuss.

We begin our poetry reading with the poetic dawning of a new day, brought to us by the perceptions of Joan Myles.

Dawning

by Joan Myles

one blade of grass is all she sees

slim and green between her fingers

secure in its place

green and growing

upward

sparkling with dew in dawn’s first rays

one finger of grass

and the song of morning opens

the day full and rich and varied

spreads before her like Eden

as long as she holds it

sacred

one blade of grass

About the Author

Joan Myles has always been a child of Wonder as well as a spiritual seeker. When she lost her sight at the age of 12, these qualities and writing poetry saved her from despair.

Joan earned a B.A. in Education, a Master’s in Jewish Studies. She married, raised four lively children, worked as a Rehabilitation Teacher, and taught Hebrew and Judaics for over 15 years.

Her first book of poetry, One With Willows, vividly expresses Joan’s child-like joy. She considers her poems to be a kind of footpath for readers, an opening into Wonder and Awe as a means to reclaim their own sense of spiritual playfulness.

Joan’s words also reveal the invisible link between one human being and another, between humans and Nature, between the physical realm and the Spiritual. The idea of the Oneness of Creation flows through her work, the understanding of living in the world as a journey of discovery, of stepping into and between the various layers and levels of existence. The poems in One Glittering Wing represents this kind of journey, specifically through Joan’s yearlong passage from the deep pain of her mother’s death toward reconciliation with Life.

And of course, One Goes to the Sea is her way of asking, “What can we learn from imagination as we dream our days and nights away? And can these lessons help awaken us to Love?”

Joan currently lives in Oregon with her best friend, who also happens to be her husband.

Find her work and contact her here.

Now that the sun has risen on a new day, Abbie Johnson Taylor is back with a sweet treat for you.

Chocolate Malt

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

On a hot Arizona summer afternoon,

the electric mixer whines—my mouth waters.

As Mother combines chocolate ice cream, milk, and malt powder,

I sit at the kitchen table, a child of ten.

Younger brother Andy, three, perches on the counter next to the action.

The mixer stops.

“I need to get more milk from the fridge. Don’t touch it,”

Mother tells Andy,

who loves to play with the mixer after we enjoy our treats.

Moments later, we each have a tall glass with a straw.

I sip the rich, sweet concoction,

thankful to be in our cool house,

not in a hot car,

having acquired a similar treat

from a Dairy Queen drive-through window.

About the Author

Abbie Johnson Taylor has published three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. With a BA in music, she worked as a registered music therapist with residents in nursing homes and other senior facilities for fifteen years before writing full-time. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, with her robotic cat Joy.

Visit her Website.

The sun has risen, the day is warm. We’ve had a sweet treat, but yet there’s more.

Tori Zigler comes next to share a verse or too, to remind us of how it all becomes new.

Season Of Rebirth

By Tori Zigler

Warm sun; cool breeze;

New green leaves upon the trees;

New life growing in the Earth.

‘Tis the season of rebirth.

© 2017

Victoria Zigler is a blind Welsh Pagan vegan poet and children’s author, prefers being called Tori, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books. She has a vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; whether created by her or other authors. When Tori remembers to remain in the real world, it’s to spend time with her husband and petkids, join ACB Community calls, or dabble in one of the various interests that randomly capture her attention.

Learn more about Tori and her books via her website here.

Before we head over to the Poetry Place, here’s a poetic reminder from Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue concerning the dos and don’ts when encountering a Guide Dog.

Paws on the Street Part Thirty-Four – I’m Always on the Case. One day, It’s Me You’re Gonna Face.

By Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue – Written by Patty L. Fletcher

May 11, 2023

Moon Phase Waning Third quarter

I am Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue. I am always on the case.

This morning, my mommy gathered up all the garbage. She put it into a bag. Then, she put me into my harness. This made my tail wag.

I knew we had a mission. I knew I had a job to do. I knew when we bounced out the door, when she locked it behind us, and she said, “OK. To the dumpster, Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue.”

The sun was shining, smiling down from the sky. The birds were all singing. Saying “Hi!” as we bounced by.

We headed carefully down the ramp, turned right, and started up the hill. There were car and truck monster bumpers to go around, cracks to avoid, lots to do for me, this job gives me such joy.

We bounced along, nice as could be. “Left, Left, to the dumpster.” Quickly I obeyed, “WOW! Wee!”

“Steady, show mommy the curb.”

I stopped and turned sideways, making sure she did not take one step more.

“Forward. Good boy.” Mommy ordered so I took her slowly down.

“Right, right.” She commanded as soon as our feet touched down.

“YAY! We made it. To the dumpster. Good Dog. Blessid Be.” With a clunk! She threw the bag of trash in.

Turning back around she said, “Good boy. Let’s go to park time.” And like that we were gone again.

I took mommy up onto the sidewalk. We turned left back up the hill. I had both things to do. I emptied, and mommy was thrilled.

“Let’s walk some more.” Rattling the bag, my mommy said to me. So, we went left when I was done, Up the hill around the other side, down. Easy. Right. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

We got to the top corner, just before time to turn left to go to the other side. Suddenly, there’s a dog. Growling barking. “What?” I replied.

“No! Pfui! No Blue.” Mommy says to me. I stand still like a statue, but deep from within me, “GRRR. You get back. Where’s your leash? You naughty dog.”

Finally, our friend Freddie puts the dog inside for me.

“Buy Freddie.” My mommy calls as we go by.

“Thank you.” He answers.

“You’re very welcome.” Was my mommy’s terse reply.

We went flying up the hill and around to the other side. “OK. Steady” Mommy sighed.

“We’ll have a Seeing Eye® trainer soon.” Mommy says to me. “He can help me educate. I don’t know, we’ll see. Freddie sent out a notice. A notice stating dogs had to stay on a leash. He sent out a notice. A notice saying, they had to pick up their dog’s poo. None of these things does he make them do. There’s no point.”

Mommy is sad. Mommy is mad. This upsets our walk and makes me Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue feel bad.

We stopped to talk for a minute or two. Then, with a smile in her voice, mommy said, “OK Forward. Let’s go throw your poo bag away. Then we’ll go home where I’ve a treat for you. You went around, all those people, their cars parked this way and that. Their wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters sat here and there. You’ve earned it. A good dog you are. Shame we cannot go walking without fear of falling or other serious harm. Chased by dogs. While the manager stands by. Dealing with all the people talking to you. Talking “Hey Blue.” As you walk by. “I’m trying to guide my mommy. Please won’t you just shush. Stop talking to me. Oh! One of these days, I’m gonna bark, then they’ll all shut up!

For now, my tale/tail is done!

I’m Chief Seeing eye® Dog Blue. I am always on the case. I make sure to take my mommy safely from place to place. Because some aren’t thoughtful, it is sometimes quite hard. But I’m Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue and I’ll keep my mommy from harm. Watch out where you put your car and truck monsters. Take care of your loose barky dogs. One day, Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue is gonna bring down the law.

I am Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue. Don’t forget. I’m Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue. I’m always on the case. One day, it’s me you’re gonna face.”

Patty and her guide dog Blue. Patty has her hair tied back in a low ponytail and rests her right hand on Blue's head. She wears a white shirt with a pink and purple butterfly on the front and light blue shorts. Blue is a handsome black lab. He wears a brown leather harness with a handle attached to the back and is smiling at the camera as he sits in front of Patty. In the background is a brick building with white, windowed doors and a flowerpot overflowing with pink and yellow blooms.

About Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue Fletcher…

Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue was born in Chester, New Jersey, October 4, 2018.

After only 8 short weeks, he was taken from his dog mother and given to a puppy raiser family, where he would live and train for the next year.

When the year was over and he’d passed all his tests with flying colors, he went to live at The Seeing Eye® Guide Dog School and there he began to learn the rest of what he must know to become a Seeing Eye® Guide.

After a few months of arduous training, he was matched with his human mother as her second guide.

Now, he lives in the mountainous land of Kingsport Tennessee where whether working in harness guiding his mother safely from place to place or playing with his beloved squeaky toy he is always on the case.

Visit Blue’s homeland here.

 

Reading With the Authors…

EDITOR’S WELCOME TO OUR READING WITH THE AUTHORS…

It’s not often these days that our library is open, but today, author and poet Abbie Johnson Taylor has a grand book review to share. Let’s see what Abbie’s been reading.

Poetry Through the Years: My Review of The Poets Laureate Anthology

Edited by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

A fellow author in my Behind Our Eyes writers’ group recommended this book, and I’m glad I picked it up. Produced by the Library of Congress, it includes work by poets laureate who served in this position from 1937 to 2010 when it was published. Each author has a section in the book containing a biography and a description of the poet’s work followed by several poems. The foreword and introduction by former poet laureate Billy Collins and editor Elizabeth Hun Schmidt offer a glimpse of what it’s like to be a poet laureate.

Although I skipped over many of the poets featured here because their subject matter was too deep, or their abstract style left my mind wandering, I enjoyed reading and rereading poems by favorites including Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, and Robert Frost and found a few new poets I hadn’t heard of before.

Having a sweet tooth, one of my favorites was “Maple Syrup” by Donald Hall, in which he talks about how his grandfather made that concoction I use to top pancakes and oatmeal. I also enjoyed “Introduction to a Poem” by Billy Collins, in which he makes a good point about how we tend to overthink the meaning of a poem.

One thing all these poets laureate have in common is that in their own styles, they share slices of life. You can read this book from cover to cover, as I did, or pick poets and poems at random. No matter how this collection is read, I hope it will be enjoyed through the years.

Note: This book can be purchased from Amazon in hard cover here. Those who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled can download it in audio format from this link. My review was recently posted on my blog.

About the Author

Abbie Johnson Taylor has published three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. With a B.A. in music, she worked as a registered music therapist with residents in nursing homes and other senior facilities for fifteen years before writing full-time. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, with her robotic cat Joy.

Visit her Website.

Favorite Links…

Editor’s Welcome and intro to Favorite Links

In each edition, I like to share links from posts or websites I’ve enjoyed or found helpful.

It is my hope, you, the reader, will assist me by sending in such links which you find enjoyable or helpful as well.

If you’d like to participate in the Favorite Links column, just send your websites to: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com with Favorite Link in the subject and in the body of the email please include your name, email address, a little bit about why you like the link and of course, the link itself.

As you know, I am an avid follower of Sally Cronin. We’ve all enjoyed her health columns here. Now, I bring to you one of Sally’s guest contributors Carol Taylor with recipes from her ‘Green Kitchen’ check it out.

Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen Rewind – Bread, Homemade Peanut Butter and Home Grown Vegetables and Herbs.

Another incredible lady I follow from the blogosphere is Robbie Cheadle. Not only do I enjoy her blogs but also her books. But it is a blog post I’ve a link for you today.

Here’s Robbie with more.

The Titanic has been in the press again recently and has claimed five more lives. If you are out of the loop about this disaster, you can read about it here:

This disaster prompted me to write about a book I recently read, The Second Mrs Astor, and its dark origins.

Follow the link below for the story.

Dark Origins – The Second Mrs Astor, New York high society and the sinking of the Titanic

If I were hard pressed to give only one reason why I love blogs, it would be because I learn so much about the authors who write them.

The next link I’ve for you takes this to heart as Abbie Johnson Taylor shares yet another glance into her personal life. Have a look.

Adagio Memory #WednesdayWords #WritingPrompts #Inspiration

Another amazing lady I follow in the blogosphere, where I seem to spend most of my time, is Annette Rochelle Aben. I was once interviewed by her and afterward I simply couldn’t get enough of her stuff. 😊

One of the daily doses of awesomeness from her part of the blogging world are her angel messages. In this world of negativity there’s simply nothing better than a note from an angel in your inbox every day. Visit the following link to get your angel message.

Angel Messages June 28 2023

OK. That’s it for now. Don’t forget, we want your favorite links. So, please send them straight away.

Notes from Patty, Readers and Her Editors…

Greetings from Patty and Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue…

Hello, everyone.

This is Patty and Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue, back with a few words on the magazine and what it means to us. Yes, it matters to the chief too. After all, if I’m working, he’s not playing or walking, but if the magazine is good, I’m happy, which means he can bounce.

First, I must say a big thank you to all you readers out there. For, without you we wouldn’t have any need for the magazine. I hope you’ll send your thoughts concerning this and any other editions of the magazine you’ve read thus far. We really do want to know what you think.

Not only would we like to know what you think about the content we provide, but we’d also like to know how we can improve the reader experience.

Please, feel free to send your reviews of the magazine to me over the next few weeks. If you do, please let me know if I can put them onto the blog page devoted to the magazine and in the magazine itself.

Next, to our contributors. Guys, I don’t know how we do it but somehow without ever discussing it, our theme comes seamlessly together. Thanks for all your hard work which makes The Writer’s Grapevine unique, beautiful, fun, and informative. Keep up the splendid work.

If you’re out there reading and you’d like to contribute, we’d love to have you. Please reach out for a list of our guidelines.

Last but absolutely not least, thank you to Dawn and Colleen of Two Pentacles Publishing for their stellar work on the formatting, photo description and the final edit. Without you, we could not do it.

Ok. Enough from me, let’s see what our editors have to say.

Remember, readers, we want to hear from you too.

 

About Patty L. Fletcher

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.

Follow her on her website here.

 

Greetings from editor Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed contributing to and reading this magazine. Now, I’m privileged to help with the editing. It’s fun to have a sneak preview of what will go into this great publication.

About the author…

Abbie Johnson Taylor has published three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. With a BA in music, she worked as a registered music therapist with residents in nursing homes and other senior facilities for fifteen years before writing full-time. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, with her robotic cat Joy.

Visit her Website.

Greetings from editor and contributor Marlene Mesot

Hi, Readers. Marlene here with my thoughts on this edition of The Writer’s Grapevine.

Variety for your literary taste and sweet treats await you in each issue of The Writers’ Grapevine online magazine. Short ads keep you informed about authors and business happenings from different locales. There is something for the discerning palate of every literary taste, including valuable tips from the What’s Up column, unique recipes such as written by Jo Elizabeth Pinto and others, informative reviews such as Poetry Through the Years written by Abbie Johnson Taylor, new and unique product information, where to find services like John Crawford’s School of Music and Casey Matthews Web Friendly Help. Reminisce with Abbie Johnson Taylor over a “Chocolate Malt” in the Poetry Place section. One of my favorite parts of this unique experience is the wonderful comments from editor/creator Patty Fletcher that accompany each treasured entry.

Thanks for allowing me to work on this magazine with you.

About Author Marlene Mesot

Marlene Mesot writes contemporary Christian mystery, romantic suspense, fantasy, short stories and poetry.

An only child, grandchild and niece from Manchester New Hampshire, she and deceased husband Albert, have two sons, two grandchildren and English Mastiff dogs. She shares her heroine’’s disabilities of legal blindness and hearing aids use due to nerve damage at premature birth. She has loved writing since early childhood.

Marlene holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Keene State in Keene, New Hampshire and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from UNC Greensboro, North Carolina.

Marls Menagerie Website

Closing…

This concludes this edition of The Writer’s Grapevine Summer Specials Edition. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together.

As always, your comments on the magazine are wanted and welcome.

Please be sure to get in touch.

Send all comments and queries to: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

Thanks again for reading, happy holidays, may harmony find you and blessid be.

From:

Patty L. Fletcher and Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue.

2 Comments

  1. […] Read The Writer’s Grapevine Summer Celebrations Edition Here. […]

    1. Thanks to Editor and Contributor Abbie Johnson Taylor for sharing the magazine.
      We hope you enjoy and let us know what you think.

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