Tag Archives: #WritingCommunity

April Children’s Book Reviews @BookTrib

I became a member of the BookTrib Children’s Book Network beginning this year. Each month the members receive a “Booster Box” with several children’s books to read and share on the social media network. I received my first package of books in March, and read then posted reviews on Amazon and Twitter.

Where, Oh Where, Is Barnaby Bear? by Wendy Rouillard

This board book has beautiful and colorful illustrations. The bright and definite contrasting colors are appealing to the toddlers. The sentences are from three to ten words, easy for the little ones to follow along.

Barnaby’s friends were searching for him while he is on an adventure. They wonder if he is in a balloon or has flown to the moon, is he down by the sea, or has gone out to tea. At the end, they found him in his cozy bed with his sleepy head.

The toddlers would love the rhymes and would read along with the adults.

Amazon Twitter

The Colorless Chameleon | A Picture Book For Young Readers 4-8 | Can Chameleon Find Her Voice and Stand Up for What She Wants? | Kids Relate to Her Desire to be Heard and Understood by [Hayley Irvin, Rachel Bostick, Cassidy Reynolds, Samantha   Jo Phan]

The Colorless Chameleon by Hayley Irvin

Chameleon was a colorful lizard. She greeted her jungle friends with her vibrant colors. One day, the animals were preparing a party, her friends liked her colors and wanted to have them. The elephant took her blue before she agreed to it; the lemur took her red, and the crocodile took her yellow. Before long, she h.ad no colors left and no way to express herself. When her thoughtful friend flamingo asked how she was doing, she had no voice because her colors were gone with the colors. Flamingo asked if she were going to the party, she finally could shout, “No.” After they talked, Chameleon went to her friends who took her colors and asked them to return the colors to her. They were not happy about it but agreed to do so. Chameleon was her happy self again.

This hardcover book has beautiful illustrations with eye pleasing colors. It’s a delightful book for young children to read and learn to stand up for themselves.

Amazon Twitter

The Tale of Ferdinand Frog by [Mark Hughes]

The Tale of Ferdinand Frog by Mark Hughes

This book has three parts, The Problem, The Quest, and The Answer. The length and the word count of the book appear to be a chapter book.

The story is about Ferdinand Frog who was in love with Felicity Fogmore-Frog. Ferdinand’s friend, Wrinkleskin Rat, came to tell him that the evil snake, Samuel, wanted to win Felicity’s heart even though Felicity’s parents disliked Samuel the snake. Wrinkleskin Rat suggested seeing the wisdom and help from Osmiroid Owl. Two of them traveled miles deep into the wood and got frightened. They were rescued by Endroglen Eagle. They finally met Osmiroid Owl, who advised Ferdinand that with love, he could overcome the evil of the snake.

The text and the gorgeous illustrations are on the alternate pages. The lovely rhyming words read like poetry and song lyrics.

Amazon Twitter

Banana Fun Bread by [LEAR RIOJAS Illustrations by Chrissie Vales, Chrissie Vales]

Banana Fun Bread by LEAR RIOJAS Illustrations by Chrissie Vales

Banana Fun Bread is about a little boy, Fred chasing his imaginary banana bread everywhere. The rhyming words would appeal to little ones from baby to toddler. Sentences are easy for these kids to understand, such as:

“One loaf, two loaf, come back three, why do you run away from me?

Who, who, who are you? Don’t you know it’s too late for you?”

The illustrations are in pastel colors with cute expressions.

Amazon Twitter

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If you’re interested in receiving free children’s book, please check out the website BookTrib Children’s Book Network for more information.

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My First Children’s Book and Cover Reveal

I’m excited to announce that my debut children’s book Tina Lost in a Crowd will be published on April 15 and is available for preorder. The paperback will also be available. I’ll share with you the making of the book during the book release.

On Amazon, the eBook is $1.99 from preorder to the end of April. The paperback will be $6.95 from April 15th to the end of April.

The Hardcover and eBook will be available on Barns & Noble later.

I’m grateful for Bette A. Stevens, Pete Springer, Robbie Cheadle, and Denise Finn who were tremendously helpful in the process. They generously gave me detailed feedback and suggestions beyond my expectations.

The Book Release Tour will be from Monday, April 19 to Sunday, April 25. I’m thankful for the friends who will help to host the tour. I will post their links and invite you to visit the tour.

If you are interested in helping me to host a tour, please email me at mhurdle7@gmail.com, or comment below with your preferred date.

Here is the book cover of Tina Lost in a Crowd.

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Why I Write Children’s Book

My experience of writing the children’s books was when, at age 26, I worked in Hong Kong as the Director of Children’s Department at Asian Outreach, which was a Christian literature publication company. They recruited me to design and write children’s magazines for the third grade and higher students. I modeled after a well-established local children’s magazine and wrote stories with Christian values.

This was the process we went through to publish the children’s magazines:

  • I set the themes of each issue and wrote the stories, games, word puzzles, and riddles.
  • My boss, David who was the Director of Asian Outreach edited the contents.
  • I worked with the supervisor, Martin and the illustrator, Isaac in the Art Department on the illustration design. It was exciting to see the pages from sketches to the completed products. They were creative and artistic. On one story about the farm animals, they took the stuffed animals to a village area, used the village as the background to film the sequence of the story. I had fun going to the darkroom watching the photos being developed.
  • I worked with the typesetter who did the typesetting in Chinese.
  • Back in the late 1970s, there was no digital design. When the artists finished with the drawings, the typesetter would type according to dimension of space for the text and printed out the words. Isaac cut and pasted them to flow with the artworks. Then he took photograph of each page and sent the negatives to the print shop to ordered the “blueprint” which was the same size with multiple pages as the blue print for buildings.
  • When the blueprint came back, I proofread the text, the artists proofread the artworks, and the manager ordered the printing of the magazines.

It was exciting to see my first magazine in print coming back to our office. I published four children’s magazines before leaving the office to come to the US.

The experience of working at Asian Outreach was a great asset to my current publication of the children’s books.

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My Multitalented Muse

Fantasy, Fee, Flower, Meadow, Leaves, Wing, Magic
Images by Willgard at Pixabay

“You have a post to write for Diana’s prompt,” my muse said.

“I remember. I’ll do it when I get home from the walk,” me said.

“You can do both, walking and writing on your phone.”

“I know, it’s not the first time. I haven’t decided what to write, though. I took several days off from writing.”

“You’re supposed to write about your conversation with me. So just write what we’ve said so far and continue.”

“Okay… now I must slow down my walk. Good thing it hardly has any traffic in the neighborhood. I still ought to be careful. One eye on the phone, one eye on the road… alright, I’ve done this much. Then what?”

“Let me paint you a picture.”

“What are you talking about? I’m the in-house artist. Besides, we’re walking. How can you paint?”

“I’ll show you, just wait.”

“I see. There are words.”

“Exactly. Does it look like anything you know?”

“Well, half of it resembles something I remember and half of it looks disaster.”

“Remember now?”

“Remember what?”

“Of what it looks like…”

“The only thing I could think of is what I did for NaNoWriMo in 2017.”

“What happened?”

“Well, I didn’t write for days over the holidays but still wanted to reach the word count. I kept writing without the coherent plot.”

“What happened after that?”

“I put it in a folder, one of my many writing folders.”

“Are you going to do something about it?”

“I’m too busy to pick it up right now.”

“I know. You’re halfway through another project but kept going back to the beginning. Why?”

“I’m editing from the beginning.”

“Aren’t you supposed to finish the entire book before editing?”

“Well, I just need some satisfaction of polishing a few chapters and call them semi-done.”

“Don’t wait for too long before writing a new chapter.”

“I’ve been busy with another project as well.”

“I know. I’ve been helping you.”

“You have? What did you do?”

“Come on, be sensible. Didn’t I help you with the description of the book cover?”

“The last thing was the description of the children’s book cover for the illustrator. I thought I had given him a description.”

“You gave him a sketch of the book cover suggestion. He needed a description. You can’t assume what you see is the same as what he sees in the sketch.”

“Sorry for being absentminded. You helped to make some bullet points for him. Did he get the idea now?”

“I don’t know. You must wait for him to send you the sketch to see if your bullet points made sense to him. I can’t read his mind over the internet. I can’t talk to him either. He is in Ukraine.”

“Now what?”

“He would do unlimited revision, wouldn’t he? He did for many pages so far.”

“It took a year to find someone to work with. Three gigs failed me. The last one waited a month to tell me his grandfather died. I wonder how many times his grandfather died. This gig is busy, but at least he spends some time on my project.”

“I hope this gig’s grandfather won’t die too soon.”

“He put a lot of work into it. I don’t think he wants me to cancel the order, or he cancels on me at this point.”

“Fingers crossed.”

“Well, mate. We’re home.”

“Isn’t it a perfect timing? Now, just email the notes to yourself.”

“I can do that at the front porch. Until next time, my walking buddy.”

~

For Diana W. Peach – My Multitalented Muse

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Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #24 – The Odds

This is Weekly “Fiction in a Flash Challenge” Week #24. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting us to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #24 Image Prompt.

people-3120717_1920
Image by skalekar1992 from Pixabay

The Odds

“Christmas is around the corner. My parents are hosting the family gathering this year. My mom is sending out invitations to all our extended family. It will be 58 people if they all could come,” Margaret said.

“How often do your parents host the Christmas party?” Darin asked.

“Once every five years. My mom has four siblings married with children. My dad has one sister. They live all over the country. My grandparents live close by.”

“Most of you aunts and uncles are from the same family. It sounds cozy.”

“My mom wants you to come.”

“Of course, I’ll come. We have a small family. Just my parents, three sets of aunts and uncle, my grandparents, and me. I should spend Christmas morning with them. I’ll come in the early afternoon. Is it okay?”

“Sure, the party will be all day long.”

“I’ll be away for a few days after Christmas.”

“Where’re you going?”

“It’s a long story. Well, I have to tell you, eventually. My parents shared something with me a year ago. My dad said he couldn’t give children to my mom. He suggested having sperm donation at a fertility clinic. My mom agreed. In fact, he went with my mom for the insemination.  My dad waited for my mom’s procedure. I felt awkward that my dad is not my dad. I mean, I don’t have his genes. It doesn’t matter now. He’s my only dad. They said that having children through using donated eggs, sperm or embryos are common alternatives for couples who have infertility problem to have their biological children.”

“Oh, thank you for telling me. I got something to tell you. But tell me more.”

“My dad suggested I had a DNA test to locate the sperm donor because it was anonymous at the time of the process. Not that he wanted me to meet him, but just didn’t want to leave it as a mystery.”

“Did you do it? What did you find out?”

“I did the DNA test. Unfortunately, I found out something shocking and wished it wasn’t true.”

“What was it?”

“The DNA pointed to a doctor who used his own sperm to help around 600 women conceived. Someone started a website calling people to do DNA test to find out if this doctor was their sperm donor. The guy of the website says these 600 people were literally half-siblings. The purpose of the identification was that people who have this doctor as the sperm donor won’t end up getting married. The risk that two of the offspring may meet unknowingly and start a family of their own, which could cause serious genetic problems in their children.”

“Oh, no.”

“What’s the problem? What’s wrong?”

“My mom told me when I turned 18, that she had me from a sperm donor. She also asked me to take a DNA test to identify the donor.”

“Oh gosh, what were the odds we met?”

 “Why will you be away after Christmas?”

“Among the people responded, five of them, two men and three women, who live in the neighboring states would like to meet. After all, they are… we are half-siblings. We just want to meet and talk. Did you find out the name of the donor?”

“Yes, the last name is Vardags. He was an Oxford law student at that time, and he only made one donation. What’s the name of your donor?”

“It was Dr. Bertold Wiesner. Oh, gosh, I’m so relieved. I don’t want to call you my sister. I want you to be my wife.”

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Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #24 – The Odds

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FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE WEEK #22 – Secrets

This is Weekly “Fiction in a Flash Challenge” Week #22. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting us to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #22 Image Prompt.

marc-schaefer-J4bugcA2Vwg-unsplash
Photo by Marc Schaefer on Unsplash

Secrets

“Here, Liam, this is mother’s journal. Let’s collect all her personal items before the lady comes to clean the house,” Marcus said.

“I wonder what went on in mother’s mind.”

“Let’s read her last entry.”

September 17, 1969

You said you loved me. I moved in with you. I waited and waited for us to get married. You said it was love that mattered. I believed you.

We had two darling children, two cheerful and curious boys. You were proud of them. I thought you could settle down for a family and a committed life. You said it was love that mattered. I believed you.

Our boys grew into intelligent teenagers. They were outstanding students. The teacher complimented us for being responsible parents. I thought you were a proud father and family man. I mentioned about making the marriage legal. You said it was love that mattered.

I didn’t feel the love you claimed to have in our relationship. I wanted to be free from the agony, yet it’s too late. The boys needed a father for a few more years.

Our sons graduated from college. They supported themselves with scholarships and part-time jobs. We soon will have an empty nest. I asked for your commitment.

“I’m married,” you said. “It was an arranged marriage in China. The WWII separated us. I thought she was dead. I went to Hong Kong when the war was over. You and I met. It was love. Nothing confirmed her death, so I couldn’t make our relationship legal. Five years later, she went to Hong Kong and found me. It was my obligation to see her.”

You said I was your only love. I demanded your choice. You were still indecisive and said you had an obligation to her. I asked you to pack up and never come back again, and you just walked out.

I told our sons because they needed to know why their father didn’t come home.

“She told us, and it shocked me. Father seemed to be so nice to us for all those years.”

“There’s one more entry. Let’s read on.”

Words came from your wife as you passed away. So… you told her about me and your sons. I sent Liam and Marcus to the funeral service. They told me there were two children with your wife, one was seven years and the other was five years younger than Liam according to the eulogy.

Liar! Liar! Liar!

“Mother had a chest pain after this entry. We took her to the hospital and her heart shut down.”

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Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #22 – Secrets

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #21 – A Kind Soul

This is Weekly “Fiction in a Flash Challenge” Week #21. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting us to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #21 Image Prompt.

House, Mystical, Villa, Secret, Fantasy
Image by Peter H from Pixabay

A Kind Soul

“Cemetery is my favorite place for contemplation, reading, and writing,” Jeremy said, keeping his eyes on the road.

“It’s peaceful, for sure. You don’t have to talk to anyone unless you speak a ghostly language.” Betsy glanced at him.

“I like to walk around when I think about writing. But then I started reading the tombstones. There’re interesting stuff.”

“Yeah? I can’t think of any interesting things among the dead.”

“I read the descriptions of the deceased on the tombstones. It made me think of the lives of these people and the legacy they left behind.”

“Oh, I see. It reminds me of a meeting with the dead last week.”

“What? Did you know someone who died?”

“No, it’s just my friends. Me and six girlfriends take turns to play dead. We met at Charlotte’s basement. We lit candles around the room. The ‘dead person’ lied on a massage table in the center of the room. The rest of us were standing around, took turns to read the eulogy. After the eulogy, we went upstairs for the reception in the living room. The ‘dead person’ could reflect, comment, and ask questions.”

“Have you played dead yet?”

“No, I’m the last person. After our first meeting, it made me think of what life is all about, what my priorities are, and what I would like people to remember me.”

“It sounds like serious stuff. Oh, we’re here.”

“Exactly. Now tell me what we’re doing here?”

“Well, it’s a long story. I haven’t told you all about it because I wanted to get here as soon as I could. Anyway, I was walking around the cemetery reading the tombstones yesterday. On one of them, instead of a description, there was a web link. I copied it and did a search. Guess what I found out?”

“What? You haven’t told me yet.”

“The website has only one page and one message. It reads,

You were the first person who came to my graveside. You even stopped to read the engraving on the tombstone. I appreciated your interest and kindness. I would like you to visit my home. I have a message for you. Please find the front door key which is in the garden directly behind the fireplace in the living room. There’s a loose brick at the bottom on the right of the red brick wall. Remove the brick to retrieve the key. Enter the house and find the rug in front of the fireplace in the living room. Locate a envelop with my wishes in it. You’ll find out what to do next.

There was an address and a map. So I called you right away and asked you to come with me this afternoon.”

“Oh, wow! What an adventure. This house seems to be neglected for ages. So, we’re looking for the key.” Betsy was getting excited.

“First, we need to locate the living room to have a point of reference.”

“Let’s circle around the house and find a window with a view into the house.”

“All the windows are boarded up.” Jeremy surveyed the surrounding.

“Come here. The board on this window got a crack. See if you can make out anything.”

“Thanks, this looks like a living room. If we walk to the end of this wall and turn left, we should find the red brick wall behind the fireplace.”

“This is a big house… Okay here’s the red brick wall. Now let’s find the key.”

“There it is. Hurry to get in before dark and open some windows. There may not be light inside.”

“Look at all the oil paintings on the wall, and a grand piano in the living room. Yes, there’s a Persian rug.”

“Good, I found it. The envelop is under the rug right in front of the fireplace.”

“Open it and read the message.”

“Okay, it says,

Dear lady/gentleman,

I was an orphan and worked day and night all my life to get ahead. I had no fun, no family, or friends. You were the only kind soul who came to my graveside. My attorney is the executive of my will. He’ll distribute all of my assets except this house to a designated orphanage. This house and everything in it will be yours as my appreciation to you. My attorney is expecting you.

Respectfully,

Carlos Simpson

There’s a business card of the attorney.”

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Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #21 – A Kind Soul

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week # 19 – Vengeance

This is Weekly “Fiction in a Flash Challenge” Week #19. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #19 Image Prompt.

Vengeance

“Who are you?” Eric moaned.

“I’m your shadow.”

“Was I dead? Why am I talking to you?”

“Get up! You have a job to do and I’m here to help you.”

“What job?”

“What do you remember of your last sight?” The shadow swayed side to side.

“After my concert, my fiancée and I were going to a nightclub to celebrate.”

“Did you have fun at the nightclub?”

“No, our car was hit, and the driver got away. We were stranded on the street at 2:00 a.m. and there were hardly any cars coming by to help us.”

“Go on. What else do you remember?”

“Finally, a car stopped behind ours. Three guys dressed up in black baggy clothes came out and approached us.”

“Were they there to help you?”

“No, they were rough buys with bandanas on their heads and heavy chains on their necks.”

“What did you think they were?”

“I wasn’t sure. They crouched their shoulders and jerked the steps toward us. One of them grabbed Shelly, and two of them grabbed my shoulders, one on each side.”

“Go on, then what?”

“The thug forced on her. She screamed. The guy on my left nodded and the one on the right choked me on my neck. The first guy darted over, seized her hair, and cupped over her mouth. She jolted violently, but the thug lifted her legs and pressed them toward her face. I turned my face away from her and tried to yank free from the guy, but he put a knife under my chin.” Eric’s voice trembled.

“I wished someone drove by to rescue you.”

“The next thing was that the thug yelled from being bitten by Shelly and he fired a shot. The guy who choked me startled, and I shook free and ran toward her.”

“Was she okay?”

“The blood was gushing out of her chest and she was motionless. I snatched the thug and pounded his chest. He fired a shot at my face, and…”

“You were dead.” The shadow softened the voice.

“But why am I talking to you?”

“I’m the Crow, your dark angel. I’m here to take you to avenge the rape and murder of your fiancée, and your own death. He is in the nightclub where you were going for your celebration. Here’s the gun for you.”

*

“You might not have an unobstructed view of his face the night he committed the crime against you and Shelly. He is at the bar sitting next to the woman in red. Try to get him to move to the hallway behind the bar. We need not claim innocent lives.” The Crow added.

“Okay, stay with me and tell me what to do.”

“Point the gun at his side.”

“Move! Don’t look back.” Eric gunned against Funboy and pressed him toward the hallway away from the crowd.

“Hey, easy. Who are you?” Funboy cooperated and moved the feet with hesitation.

“I’m here to offer you a deal. One life to trade for two.”

“I’m not greedy. I always indulge one at a time, except… It’s impossible. I only had the luxury to take two when…”

“You’re correct. You murdered my fiancée and me. Too bad you only have one life to repay me.”

Funboy made a sudden turn and ran down the hallway. Eric fired a shot at his head and missed. Funboy drew the gun and shot back. Eric fell backward.

*

“Cut.” The director called timeout.

“Brandon and Michael, let me have a word with you,” Alex Proyas said to the actors.

“Alex, Brandon is bleeding. Call the ambulance.”

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In “The Crow,” the lead actor, Brandon Lee was accidentally wounded on set during filming by defective blank ammunition and later died in the hospital during surgery on March 31, 1993 at age 28. With only eight days left of production, unfinished scenes used a rewritten script, a stunt double, and digital special effects.

On July 20, 1973, Brandon’s father, Bruce Lee died in Hong Kong at age 32 from a brain edema possibly caused by a reaction to a prescription painkiller.

They were buried next to each other in Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington.

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Fiction in a Flash Challenge – Week #19 – Vengeance

Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #18 – The Great Symphony

This is Weekly “Fiction in a Flash Challenge” Week #18. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #18 Image Prompt.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

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The Great Symphony

Life is a continuum of a Great Symphony.

Adagio airs a soothing melody of sweet love,

laments the inner sorrow, and

the melancholic soul.

Maestoso pitches the triumph of a noble spirit,

pronounces the victory of a long and

hard-won battle.

Fortissimo frees the shout from the depth of the heart,

proclaims the greatest joy

has ever been told.

Pianissimo whispers to your ears, the faintest sob,

breathes the darkest secret

only to you.

Now and then, it comes the rest, and the rest.

Silence!

What tranquility it is, in the Great Symphony of Life.

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #17 – Message

This is Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #17. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #17 Image Prompt.

message-in-a-bottle-3437294_1920
Image by Antonios Ntoumas from Pixabay

Message

A letter curled in the bottle of brown

Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

After floating miles away carrying English tea

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Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

After floating miles away carrying English tea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

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Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

The mysterious message begged to be free

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A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

The mysterious message begged to be free

from a letter curled in the bottle of brown

(Pantoum Poem)

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Pantoum poem comprises a series of quatrains (stanzas) rhyming ABAB in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the next quatrain. Each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD. This pattern continues for many stanzas except the final stanza. The first line of the poem recurs as the last line of the closing stanza, and the third line of the poem is the second of the final stanza, rhyming ZAZA.

1 2 3 4

2 5 4 6

5 7 6 8

7 3 8 1

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #16 – Full moon

This is Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #16. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to writeFlash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #16 Image Prompt.

wolf-1992716_1920
Image by steve felberg from Pixabay

Full Moon


“Did you sleep okay last night, Son?”

“I did, Dad. Why?”

“You tossed and turned a little. The temperature dropped. I put my jacket on your sleeping bag and you stayed still. I went to sleep after that. I thought if you woke up, it would wake me up, so I didn’t worry about that. If your mom came, she would be up all night to watch you.”

“I know, Dad. Mom worries about me. She wouldn’t let me climb rocks by myself. I know she loves me. You let me do things.”

“Well, I know what you can do, but I also want you to try new things. I always watch out in case you need help.”

“I like this new pop-up tent. It’s easier to set up.”

“Yes, but I still needed your help. I couldn’t do it all by myself.”

“I like to help, Dad.”

“You always do, since you were two years old. We have a good time doing things together.”

“I had never seen a huge full moon like the one last night. I felt like I could touch it.”

“Yes, the clear sky gave us a better view of the moon.”

“Did you hear the wolves howling?”

“I did. The howling seemed to come from many directions. Do you think they howled at the full moon?”

“No, silly Dad. Why would they do that?”

“Isn’t it what we see in some wolf pictures?”

“Yeah… But my teacher said that’s the way they talk to each other. Sometimes they tell other wolves of where they are.”

“Good job, Son. You understand howling of the wolves. What else did the teacher say?”

“He said the wolves stay together as a family, like mom and dad and kids and aunts and uncles.”

“Is there a name for the wolf family?”

“It’s called a Pack, Dad. I thought you knew.”

“I just wanted to hear what the teacher told you. Okay, we’ll do a little hiking this morning.”

“Oh good, I was hoping to do that. Where are we going?”

“Do you remember where the howling came from last night?”

“I wasn’t sure.”

“That was from where we found Wolfy. When mama wolf got shot by the hunters, she escaped, but Wolfy was hiding in the brush. The hunters didn’t see him and went away. We waited for several hours, but mama wolf didn’t return. I think she got hurt terribly. We took Wolfy home to feed him. It has been a month. I think mama wolf should be healed by now. We’ll let Wolfy go back to his mom.”

“Wolfy and Zody got along so well. I wish we could keep Wolfy.”

“Cubs look like puppies, but they aren’t dogs. Alright, let’s uncover the cage and wait here. Wolfy may call his mom.”

“Okay, Dad. Will the wolves hurt us?”

“No, they won’t attack us unless we threaten them.”

“Wolfy is weaning. He is calling his mama.”

“Okay, I hear the barking, can you?”

“Yes, it’s across the field behind the trees.”

“They are moving out to the open. One wolf moved to the front but was standing there barking.”

“Oh, Wolfy is howling louder.”

“I think he recognizes mama’s voice. Okay, bring him out of the cage and put him on the floor carefully facing the trees.”

“Wolfy, goodbye. I’ll miss you.”

“I see the wolves are looking this way. Okay, let Wolfy go.”

“Okay, Dad… Now Wolfy, go to your mommy.”

“Oh good, he is running toward them. We’ll wait until they’re gone before we hike back to the campsite.”

“Thanks, Dad, for letting me come along to say goodbye to Wolfy.”

“You’re welcome, Son. I’m glad you are here to help.”

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FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE WEEK #16 – FULL MOON

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