Book Review The Heart’s Lullaby by Natalie Ducey #poetry #collection #love #lost #family

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

My review

A lovely collection of poetry principally about love, love lost and the heartbreak of being no longer loved. There is also a wonderful poem about time, plus poems about particular topics related to the puzzles that Natalie Ducey also creates. “Still Me,” is a touching poem about Alzheimer’s. And there are poems about those who serve in the military.

It is a personal, and touching poetry collection about the ups and downs and fragility of life and love that you can easily return to again, perhaps gaining more on each visit.

My rating: 5 stars

I enjoyed all the collection but my personal favourites are:

Into the Light (about those suffering from PTSD in the military, police, paramedics, firefighters and first responders.)

Still Me

A Father’s Love

A Mother’s Love

To My Sister

Mighty Heart

and The Heart’s Lullaby.

Natalie’s blog: https://natalieducey.com

Have you read The Heart’s Lullaby? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the collection.

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Carrot Ranch Literary Community #flash #fiction

November 5, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about lost time. You can write a realistic scenario or something speculative. How does lost time impact the character of your story? Bonus points if you include a 1982 brown rubber watch Go where the prompt leads!

Stan picked up an imaginary sand timer, turned it over and watched as the grains of sand ran. He didn’t say a word. His grandchildren were playing on the beach building sandcastles, oblivious to his moment of sadness. On his wrist, he wore a 1982 brown rubber watch. It was now 2020. The watch had long since given up ticking, but he’d never throw it out. It would be terrible to do so. The watch belonged to his beautiful wife and brought back happy memories.

 June died in 1983, was never fancy but always special.

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Carrot Ranch Literary Community #flash #fiction #challenge

I’ve always enjoyed Westerns!! The prompt this week is to write a story about what happens on the dusty trail and Respond by October 6, 2020.

Excitement is building at Carrot Ranch for TUFF – TUFF stands for The Ultimate Flash Fiction which is every Monday — October 5, 12, 19, and 26.

So here is my Oct 1st Flash Fiction take about how love must have been short and sweet in times of life and death.

The Darnedest Cowboy

The darnedest cowboy walked towards me. His cowboy boots churned up the dusty road. My heartbeat so loudly I swore it was going to giddy up, catch a ride on a wild horse and land on his Western shirt. His eyes twinkled as he dawdled a few feet away. He kicked a stone, spat some cheeky grits into the ground and walked right past, lassoing my heart with his.

I stayed still until I heard the deafening gunshot. Damn. Wild West gals sure don’t remember no dead cowboy long.

Love ain’t for dead buckaroos!

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 196, #THEMEPROMPT

This month’s theme is:

The Night Sky

I thought I’d write a nonet to celebrate my hubby and I ‘s anniversary. We had a lovely day together yesterday. So this is for us! We’ve stood the test of time and been married for 33 years! Imagine… He isn’t one for social media, so I rarely post photos of him, so instead here is a lovely pic I found on pexels.

Happy Anniversary – Night Stars!

The night sky

Illuminates love

You and I

Heart glowing

Remembering vows, years past

Star gazing with you.

© M J Mallon

I love writing poetry and all of my published stories (except some of my short stories,) include poetry, including my YA Fantasy The Curse of Time.

To find out more please visit: Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Read the reviews and find out more about my books at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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Book Review: Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs #FreeVerse #Poetry #Nature #Family #Relationships #Love

Goodreads Synopsis:

The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love …

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a free-verse poetry memoir.

During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.

Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow.

The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens. 

My review

What a joy it is to read this gem of a poetry book. Full of beautiful free-verse, a memoir about friends, family, relationships and the love of the nature. This is for you if you enjoy the natural world, (as I do,) if you appreciate poetry that delves into the heart and doesn’t hold back. In many ways it is an intimate and brave expression of the author – Camilla Down’s – thoughts and feelings.

I highly recommend.

5 stars.

I had the pleasure of an engaging author interview with Camilla on my blog:

https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/12/author-interview-camilla-downs-poet-writer-wordsofalchemy-nature-inspirational-family/

Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.”

– Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” –

 G. Brian Benson– Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”

– Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”

– Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

About Camilla: Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.

Author Links:

Website: http://camilladowns.com/

Family Website: http:/theteamtlc.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor/

twitter: https://twitter.com/camilladowns

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CamillaDowns/

pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/camilladowns/

Amazon Author Central:

amazon.com/author/camilladowns

Meeting the Authors:

http://meetingtheauthors.com/

Where to Buy:

Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): https://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/

Amazon – Words of Alchemy: mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy

Amazon Author Central:  amazon.com/author/camilladowns


All of our bookshttp://camilladowns.com/books/

Have you read Words of Alchemy? do comment below if you have I’d love to chat about Camilla’s poetry book…

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Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 164 #SynonymsOnly

Love & Harmony were the prompt words this week.

For love I went for lust and passion! For harmony I chose balance and peacefully.

What are Haiku, Senryu and Tanka?

Remember: Senryu poems make the human, not the world around them, the subject of their creative endeavor. Humor and sarcasm are two of the most favorable elements in a Senryu and should deal with the human condition. Think about sexual matters, family relations, religion, politics, and anything that touches on the pain we experience through sorrow, prejudice, oppression, anger, and frustration. Senryu do not deal in sentimentality.

 

I haven’t written any Senryu before so here goes… I’ve written three…

 

Lusty lips

Pouted

The Viagra

Swallowed

Peacefully

Downed in one

 

His lust overwhelmed

He was so fit

Did the splits

Balanced on one leg

 

Our mismatched passion

Made me quiet

Depleted

My balance

Broken

 

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 164 #SynonymsOnly

 

Well, that was a strange one! The Senryu encouraged me to play with words to come up with some unusual results!

 

 

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

 

Preorder link: Mr. Sagittarius (kindle)

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Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Poetry Challenge no. 71 Character and Affection

My Tanka is Valentine inspired today. I’ve used devotion for affection and for character I chose mould.

My hubby and I are both creative souls, he loves music so, so much! And of course, I love writing… We met many moons ago. Two many moons to tell you! We began our lives as tender, teenage sweethearts and are still going strong.  Perhaps it is this creativity and passion within us that is our rock. There is room for a huge amount of love in a relationship, for each other and of course for the things that rock our lives – music and writing! Perhaps, one day we will be able to write and play music full-time, now that would be wonderful.

bonnie & Carole

To join in with Colleen’s challenge follow the link:

https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/02/13/colleens-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-71-character-affection-snyonymsonly/

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #136 Eye&Fade

 

 

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I’m in the mood for poetry today! Started off writing two Tanka poems for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday and then realised I hadn’t done anything for Valentine’s.  To remedy this faux pas I decided to take a gander at Ronovan’s prompt words this week hoping they were a little valentine related and sure enough Eye and Fade were perfect, so I wrote this haiku…

 

xoxo

 

To join in with Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge follow the link: Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge

 

Happy Valentines!!!

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Much love,

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Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge: Magic And Stars

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It has been an age since I have written any haiku. Sigh!

Recently  Denis at haiku hound commented on one of my posts, but added – where are your haiku? Good point Denis – his comment prompted me to write this post! Thanks so much for the encouragement. 🙂

Denis is a keen haiku poet, photographer and also has some stunning afghan hounds – do check out his blog:  Haiku Hound – Afghan Hounds

I have really missed joining in with Ronovan’s weekly challenge. Unfortunately I have just been so busy job hunting, editing my manuscript, etc, etc.

Good news – I now have a new job… More about that soon. It’s a bit of a secret. Kyrosmagica likes secrets but all will be revealed soon. But one things for certain I doubt that you will guess what my new job is, as it is quite unusual.

This weeks prompt really caught my attention… Magic and stars. Kyrosmagica is all about the magical moments in life whether it’s simply reading a book, walking and observing the beauty all around us or engaging in creative endeavours. Kyrosmagica also tries to reflect on the deeper aspects of life – you can’t have light without a touch of darkness… But today, I’m feeling lighthearted so let’s celebrate love with Ronovan’s beautiful prompt words magic and stars!

My haiku is inspired by my recent visit to Tavira, in the Portugese Algarve. To find out more about Tavira do visit this excellent website: Tavira Uncovered. In this quaint town there is a bridge dedicated to love! All along the bridge padlocks are attached, with the names of partners, husbands, wives, and lovers!

This particularly bright pink padlock caught my eye. I do hope that Stefan and Claudia are still together!

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Magical Fireworks Explode

Stars twinkle brightly,

Magical fireworks explode,

When I’m near to you.

 

Stars padlocked our love,

In magical Tavira,

Love you forever.

 

The key’s ours alone,

No one else can break the bond,

Magic star of love.

 

This bridge links our love,

A magical star glistens,

On this pink full heart.

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Tavira is such a lovely quaint place to visit, with an oldie world charm, so with that in mind here are some of my photos to tempt you:

Two views from either side of the lovers!!! bridge ….

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 My daughter looking tiny amongst the quaint old buildings!
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There are some lovely churches in Tavira:

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Of course when love hits the mark it’s truly magical, and so is Tavira. If you’d like to see my other Portugal post do visit here: Portugal Missing You

I hope you liked my haiku. Do join in with Ronovan’s challenge.

Here’s the link to find out more: Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge – Magic and Stars

Oh and see if you can guess what my new job is…

Bye for now, much love. Happy Sunday!

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Writespiration#99: Burnt Edges – Suicide Burns

 

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I’m glad I came across this prompt via Sacha Black for her  Flash Writespiration – Burnt Edges, I was looking for a writing stimulus for a competition I’m thinking of entering and burnt edges was it. I read a very sad blog post on Cybele’s blog – In Memory of Her Beloved Brother  a very personal and moving tribute which got me reflecting on the preciousness of life, and this developed into a theme for my piece of flash fiction: Suicide. I have heard some shocking stories via family members and in the wider community that really got me thinking.. about the terrible suffering of family and friends of suicide victims.

Sometimes there’s a happy outcome when suicides are prevented but sadly this is not always the case. Sometimes dreadful injuries are sustained by the person attempting suicide which have a long term effect on the person’s future quality of life and/or underlying depression can still remain unchecked waiting to rear its head once again.

If only we could prevent more suicides from happening. Young people are so vulnerable. If only that were possible.

While I’m on this terribly sad topic I thought I’d mention that I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes fairly recently.

Here’s the synopsis:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Here’s the link to my review: Review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lines can become blurred.  Assisted suicide is such an emotive topic – people tend to have very differing, and deeply felt viewpoints both for and against.  So my piece of creative writing flash fiction is exploring some of these thoughts in a very concise way – only 200 words, to consider what a person would or wouldn’t do to ease a loved one’s daily pain and suffering, when they are suffering from an incurable disease that has stripped them of all dignity, or perhaps have had a life changing horrendous accident, that has left them with constant pain and no quality of life. What cost would that be to the individual who assists their loved one to die? Guilt would always play a part in that decision.. and guilt can be a bit like a jailer..

Here’s my piece of flash, which I have entitled Suicide Burns. The far reaching effects of suicide are like a fire engulfing all in sadness who come near.

Suicide Burns

We all have burnt edges in our lives but mine exist as a form of evidence, a folded piece of paper scarred by a torched flame of memories. The suicide note had intentional burnt edges around the colourless paper creating a waving motion, a final goodbye. She’d wanted me to remember those precious smoke filled memories spent together, before her debilitating cruel illness burnt joy to dust. The note cast a warming glow each time I opened it. I smelt the aroma of logs, her sweet perfume rekindling long lost memories of our passionate love making, the embers of the open fire caressing our naked, youthful bodies.

After her suicide, I placed the folded note next to my heart. For days it remained untouched until I unfolded it’s sad, weary edges. How I longed to hear her thoughts, to say one last farewell, but her silent note told of the pills that I’d stockpiled. The note was no longer in my breast pocket. It was evidence of my confession: loving her too much. Her ghost danced alone, a pain free sparkle of brilliant illuminating light. The prison door claimed my guilt, a small price to pay, my sweet dearest love.

I’d recommend the following site if you are experiencing mental health issues or are feeling alone, lost or suicidal: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-a-therapist-near-me/

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Please pop over to Sacha’s blog for details how to take part in her Writespiration: Sacha Black’s Writespiration 90: Burnt Edges

Until the next time.. please do feel free to comment…

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.

Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her  spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. 
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a  barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her  bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain  murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. 
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. 

She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love,  stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and  inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...

 

My Links: 

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