Tag Archives: Poetry

#RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour featuring Natalie Ducey! @NatalieDucey

thumbnail_Author Picture Natalie Ducey

Congratulations to RRBC‘s Spotlight Author for September, none other than Natalie Ducey! Join me today as we welcome Natalie and celebrate the release of her newest book:

thumbnail_The Heart's Lullaby Book Cover

Natalie: Thank you for joining me today on this third day of the “Spotlight” tour! Today, I’d love to introduce my second and recently published poetry collection, The Heart’s Lullaby.

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. ♥

Book Blurb

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.

***

Echo of Love

I hold on to yesterday

Without it I can’t breathe

They say it gets easier

But they know not your memory.

The power of a thousand suns

Delicate as morning dew

The dawn course of enchantment

This is my memory of you.

But yesterday holds you

Relentless in its grasp

Or is my obsession

That tethers you to the past?

For the winds carry you now

An echo that knows no end

Translucent and enduring

You penetrate everything.

You are the sun that warms my skin

The velvet touch of morning dew

The songbird’s sweet melody

These are the blessings of you.

I’ll always have yesterday

But I don’t need it to breathe

For you’re everywhere and everything

The gentle rain and summer breeze.

© Natalie Ducey

*** In celebration of my “Spotlight” tour, I’m delighted to say The Heart’s Lullaby is currently available for .99 cents!

About Natalie:

With a BA in Psychology, Natalie has worked in the Counselling field for 15 years. Through her work and personal journey, she has witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. Now, as an author and poet, she is passionate about stories that touch the heart and awaken the soul. Through words, she aspires to offer solace and hope, love and understanding. Natalie is the Co-owner and Writer of Peace by Piece Puzzles. She is the Owner/Writer/Designer of Whispers of the Heart (printable art/poetry/verse). She was born and raised in beautiful Newfoundland, Canada, with her two brothers and twin sister. She now resides in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a Soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, and their little dog, Bella. She loves kayaking and the freedom and serenity of being one with water. She is an avid reader, passionate writer, and seeker of tranquility along life’s mystifying journey.

You can connect with Natalie on:

Website/Blog – www.natalieducey.com 

Facebook – Whispers of the Heart 

Twitter – @NatalieDucey 

Pinterest – Natalie Ducey 

Author Page – Natalie Ducey

Google + – Natalie Ducey 

Goodreads Author Page – Natalie Ducey 

LinkedIn – Natalie Ducey 

 

 

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#RRBC WATCH “​RWISA​” WRITE SHOWCASE​ TOUR Day 15 @_MarlenaSmith_

RWISA TOUR (1)

Welcome to Day 15 of the RWISA Showcase Blog Tour! Today I welcome RRBC author Marlena Smith!

thumbnail_Marlena

Will it ever be enough?

Will I ever be complete?

These questions haunt me;

They scream out defeat.

A mind vacant of answers;

A soul lost in time;

A heart full of sadness;

And eyes that just won’t shine.

A whisper full of sorrow;

A smile full of regret;

A life less than ordinary;

One I wish to forget.

* * *

Life is too precious to not make the most of every day.

Cherish memories.

Strive to make more.

Make every moment count.

Tell others you love them.

Forgive quickly.

Laugh often.

Pray every day.

Have a thankful heart.

* * *

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan. WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Marlena’s RWISA Author Page

 

 

Misdemeanor Outlaw: #BHBW Author Jim McGarrah releases new #memoir #vietnam @jmcgarra

This article and book excerpt appeared in the Princeton Daily Clarion on May 28, 2017.

JimMisdemOutl

Misdemeanor Outlaw: Princeton native’s 10th book published in June

(PDClarion) Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Princeton native Jim McGarrah’s newest book, Misdemeanor Outlaw, a nonfiction account of growing up in Princeton and his life in the counterculture after the Vietnam War. The book (was) released by Blue Heron Book Works in early June (2017). McGarrah is the author of ten books and has received various honors for his nonfiction writing as well as poetry. In 2005, McGarrah returned to Vietnam to receive recognition for his writing and his work toward peace from The Ministry of Arts and Literature. In 2010, he was presented with a national Eric Hoffer Award for his memoir of the war entitled A Temporary Sort of Peace.

I was lucky. I came to believe the Vietnam War had been a criminal act by my government almost immediately on my return. That belief allowed me to return to the role I felt most comfortable in as a misdemeanor outlaw. Rebelling against the Establishment gave me the opportunity to perform a sort of penance and relieve some of my guilt. Oh, I had problems for many years but not nearly as severe as friends my age who tried their best to justify the war and integrate back into society as our fathers had done in World War II. It took decades for some of them to understand the true cost of these foreign policy adventures urged on by corrupt politicians and controlled by corporate interest. Many Americans ignore this cost still because we have an all-volunteer army to pay it for them.

The true cost of war is measured by intimate knowledge of blood and fire, lifting seared flesh and unattached limbs from the broken rubble of homes and schools, digging graves for mothers and babies still warm in the womb. However, the true crime of war is quantified not by death or money only but through the misery of its living participants after the fact—the emotional turmoil, the survivor’s guilt, the grief, the nightmares, the pathological dysfunction of homeless Veterans, the missing arms and legs, and the vacant souls. The families of veterans often end up broken as well, expecting their returned hero to be the same man or woman who left them for war.

JimPrinceton

I’m a story teller by trade and by spirit. Let me tell you a story. I have a very close friend, a good man, a family man, an intelligent man who paid a dear cost for his service to his country. As a matter of fact, he is paying still. You don’t know my friend and I will not embarrass him by disclosing his name, even though if I did you probably still wouldn’t know him. My friend was a great athlete and might have gone on to some serious university team if he had been blessed with no conscience. But, we were all from Southern Indiana, a place where God was good in 1968 and commies were the spawn of Satan. They hid under every rock. They lurked in every shadow. Like many of us, my friend watched a lot of John Wayne movies and from them developed a celluloid sense of duty. By that, I mean he built an emotional construct based on Hollywood rather than reality. Good guys never died, they just rode off into the sunset with a beautiful submissive woman draped across the saddle.

Believing what he had been taught from infancy forward, my friend fulfilled his responsibility and enlisted in the service. He became an outstanding helicopter pilot in Vietnam, a treetop flyer, skimming over the jungle and bravely out maneuvering the .50 caliber machine guns of the Viet Cong. He had one job, carrying young boys into battle and ferrying their torn, lifeless bodies from the battlefield back to some rear area morgue. Oh sorry, two jobs. Then, he had to flush the blood out of his helicopter with a water hose. Week after week, month after month, his life evolved into days of loading and unloading dead boys and nights of drinking whiskey to forget the days. He never killed anybody that I know of. He simply stacked up men who were already dead like he threw hay bales into the barn loft on those Indiana summer days between semesters of high school.

Coming home, he did what many others did and carried on the illusion of normalcy. He went back to college, got a job, got married, and started a beautiful family. Most of that went on during the day. His nights were given over to the dead and to the one thing that buried the dead for him in Vietnam, alcohol. Years went by; bottle after bottle was drained dry and still the dead refused to stay buried. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder didn’t exist anywhere in the 1970s except in the minds of Vietnam veterans. The government refused to acknowledge it and the VA doctors blamed the nightmares, the rage, the substance abuse and fear of intimacy, the inability to focus, the clinical depression and flashbacks on other non-military causes. It was cheaper that way. My friend didn’t have a problem with his memories of war, not really. He simply couldn’t handle the stresses of his job and his marriage. Stuff happens, right?

Eventually, he drank enough vodka and scotch that leaving for work in the morning was no guarantee for his family that he would return home in the evening. Sometimes, he stopped for a quick cocktail and woke up in a different town three or four days later with no knowledge of where he was or how he got there. Then his liver began to fail. This probably saved his life. By the time he ended up in a VA hospital, various government bureaucrats and medical people had begun to admit that maybe, just maybe, war might create residual problems for those who lived through it. Maybe the mind wasn’t meant to look at what extreme and random violence forced it to see.

I was lucky, as I mentioned earlier. I went back to school but joined anti-war organizations. I became a social activist and then a drug-addled dropout. Something in my brain finally clicked and I took flight in my mind. After years of struggle, I received a bachelor of arts degree and in two more years I completed two graduate programs and began writing books and teaching. My friend, not so much. He was, he is, smarter than me and in many ways a better person than me. But, his PTSD will sometimes not allow him to finish he starts. I don’t know why. No one can answer that, no doctors or preachers or even my friend. He went back to college in mid-life, as I did. He sat in a classroom and made A’s till the last couple of weeks of the semester and then withdrew from classes. It wasn’t a matter of work interfering. He kept too busy thinking about questions that have no answers. How did he live through war when so many men didn’t? Why did he deserve happiness and success? What made him any better than all those bodies he still carries in his mind? This is called survivor’s guilt and it’s part of the cost combat veterans who continue to live must continue to pay. It’s the modern-day result of criminal behavior by cowardly politicians.

I haven’t seen my buddy in several years, but the last time I saw him I was in some Midwest town signing copies of a new book. I met him at a bar. Yes, he was drinking again after ten years of sobriety, but he assured me only an occasional cocktail before dinner and maybe just one or two after. Everything was under control. The kids had survived adolescence and gone to various colleges to form lives of their own. Now that he could rattle around an empty house, putter in the garden, and read books without interruption, he felt well enough in his mind to handle drinking again. This is what he said, but both of us knew the truth. In the absence of the daily chaos involved with raising children and simply living, the dead were beginning to seep back into his consciousness, resurrected by loneliness.

Don’t get me wrong. This seems like a very sad story, but it has good elements along the way. My friend is making it and he’s a pretty happy guy all things considered. This is just a simple analogy on behalf of a new generation of young Americans who have been fighting in wars longer than any military in our history.

Sent into battle by a new generation of politicians, most of whom evaded the Vietnam War draft with phony ailments or by the political influence of their fathers, these young men and women serve multiple deployments in fierce, mind-altering, situations. If they live to return home, they face demons that only other combat veterans can truly understand — the highest suicide rate in military history, an unemployment rate double the national average, overcrowded psychiatric services and unsure treatment methods for PTSD, families that now see them as dangerous strangers, a public almost completely indifferent to their struggles, and a political system unafraid to use them for personal and corporateagendas. This is what real crime looks like, and it is not a misdemeanor. So, by all means, enjoy your Holiday, but please don’t forget that the flame and smoke from your Memorial Day barbeque grill or the pop and crackle of your fireworks signifies something far more important than parades and hot dogs for some.

Jim’s Website: http://jim-mcgarrah.squarespace.com

Jim on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JimMcGarrah.author

Jim on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmcgarra

#RRBC The Benefits of Attending a Virtual Writers’ #Conference & Book Expo

RRBC-Expo-2017

(Reblogged from #RRBC’s WC&BE, ’17)

You’re a writer. You realize that there is a lot for you to learn to become a great writer…heck, even a good writer. You’ve heard about writers’ conferences but you’ve no time to attend, you’ve no money to spare, and most of them are just too darned far. You’ve heard that they are wonderful, though, and you’d really like to see what they’re all about, so, what do you do?

Well, there is such a thing as a virtual writing conference, and below I’m going to share with you some of the benefits of attending an RRBC writers’ conference & book expo.

*A virtual conference allows you to attend from the comfort of your own (living room, bedroom, bathroom, your car trunk, Starbuck’s, etc…). Writers’ conferences and book expos come a dime a dozen. I mean…just like churches and liquor stores, there’s one around every corner. But, with the busy lives that we lead, we often find it difficult to get away to one, so the next best thing is to find one online. No need to worry about the cost of travel fare (car, bus or plane), no need to worry about hotel accommodations (you get to sleep at home), or, the cost of eating away from home…you get all that you need, when you need it, right where you are. #BENEFIT

*Resources you will use forever. When you attend a virtual writers’ conference, you have the ability to archive much of the information that is shared because it is all online. The sessions and workshops presented at an RRBC writers’ conference, are all created with the purpose of educating attendees. Our sessions and workshops are on carefully selected topics, that we know authors need to grow in their writing careers. The handouts that you receive (virtually), are invaluable along your journey as a writer. No matter the format utilized to present these sessions, attendees leave our workshops enlightened with a renewed sense of having learned something that will make them a better writer and stronger marketer for their books. #BENEFIT

*A reality check. With the introduction of our “Right On The Spot” Critiquing Sessions this year, you will get an honest assessment of your writing BEFORE you publish…no sugarcoatin’ here. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the sessions are FREE to RRBC members. These critique sessions will be offered by TOP WRITING PROFESSIONALS in the literary field. You can be assured that the feedback given is going to be information that you can add to your literary tool box, to use in all your future writing. #BENEFIT

*Payment Plans. Have you priced writers’ conferences and book expos lately? Well, I have and who can afford them without skipping a mortgage payment? Geez! There again lies the beauty of a virtual conference (at least an RRBC conference). Not only are the prices lower than any others we’ve found, but, we also have payment plans to make it easier to afford an author booth to promote your books, a vendor booth to introduce and sell your wares, and all the sessions and workshops your amazing brain can handle! #BENEFIT

*Community. The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB popped onto the scene almost 4 years ago and has offered to writers something never heard of before: a community of like-minded individuals who truly care about your success, just as much as they care about their own…no competition here. This community (or family as we like to call it), is there through the good times and the bad, there to lift you up when you’re feeling low and need the encouragement to write another page, there with advice on how to handle certain situations involving your writing, tips on how you should write, what literary services you should utilize, and so much more. We purchase, read and review each other’s books, we give our honest opinions on those books, we promote one another via our blogs and social media forums, and during the conference, we all get to commune to further our careers and friendships even more. #BENEFIT

*Friendships. Many RRBC members are surprised at the bonds of friendship they form once they immerse themselves within the club. The World Wide Web is known to be a cesspool of ‘crazies’, stalkers and any other negative label that you an attach to someone who you should be wary of on the net. But, not so here in RRBC. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some that I’m sure you should be careful of, but, I can assure you they are not within the realm of our core members…the professionals who work hard to protect and maintain their reputations as authors. We are a global organization with members around the world, which means, when you find those to call ‘friend’, you’re never without a place to rest your head along your travels. #BENEFIT

*Find great new books. Since the inception of RRBC, we hear on a daily basis how readers were introduced to amazing books they might never have found had it not been for RRBC. The traditionally published have their work plastered all over the place and sometimes, our Indie awesomeness is a little hidden…you have to dig deep to find it. That’s not the case within RRBC. We have amazing talent in our midst and their books speak for them. If you’re looking for great reads, look no further than our catalog. The conference & expo is THE place for our members to introduce their latest work and you don’t want to miss out on any of it! #BENEFIT

***

So, there you have it… the most important benefits of attending a virtual writers’ conference & book expo hosted by RRBC. What you will walk away with will far outweigh the pennies you spent to take part in it. And because 2017 is our Year of Better here at RRBC, we hope that all our members care enough about their writing and their reputations as writers, to take part in this awesome event to further their growth.

Last year’s event was amazing and it was our first year putting it on. With that year under our belt, can you imagine the things that we’re going to do this year? I don’t think you can!

Everything about this event is geared towards your success. If you haven’t registered yet, we invite you to do so today. Don’t be the lone wolf standing on the sidelines of this wonderful event, wishing after the fact that you had been apart of it. Jump right on in our boat to better. We certainly have enough room for ya!

A War Poem #history #germany

Picture courtesy of Ferienwohnung Hauswald

She Told me a Story
by Laura Libricz

She told me a story. From the Sudetenland.
She remembered this one incident:
It was Easter 1944,
The Bohemian Forest.
The pastor came into her village.
He gave her an egg.
The egg she would never forget, she said,
The symbol of fertility,
Of new life, of nourishment.
That was the last time she saw the pastor alive; his caravan was destroyed by enemy fire.
She told me another story.
How he was taken from her:
Her prize gelding, three years old.
She witnessed his birth, raised him from a foal,
Slept with him in the straw.
The military took him away and didn’t pay a penny.
She shed a tear.
She told me another story.
The day the Czech soldiers came to expel them:
They took her grandfather’s watch, his only real possession.
He died that night, his heart broken.
She shed a tear.
After the expulsion.
Her feet ached from walking.
She watched the other women
Lost on the road, having left everything behind, pulling hand carts with trinkets,
The children silent, their eyes extinguished.
And no men.
But how her true love was taken away, she wouldn’t say.
She only told me that he snuck through her window
The night before he was to leave for the front.
He kissed her long and warm.
He made love to her that night, her first time.
He told her he loved her and would always hear her calling.
That night he gave her the greatest gift a man can give a woman.
He sowed a seed, gave her an egg, the symbol of fertility.
She bore him a son and still waits for him to return.
She shed a tear.