WELCOME TO DAY 4 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @WENDYJAYNESCOTT @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

It is such a pleasure today to feature my partner in crime, and President of RWISA, Wendy Scott!

HAPPY DANCE

In March 2020, with only a few days warning, alongside the rest of New Zealand, I was plunged into total lockdown. Saying this was a surreal experience is an understatement. As none of us knew how long this altered state would last, what this meant for our jobs, or the financial or health repercussions. We’d become entangled into the twilight zone of Covid-19. UNPRECEDENTED, screamed from the headlines alongside worldwide body counts and estimated infection rates. No compass existed to guide us out of the pandemic fog shrouding our futures. We were confined to our specified people bubbles.

Teddy Bears sprouted up window ledges and letter boxes, a sign of hope and solidarity, signalling to passers-by that even though 2 meter distances and masks now ruled our physical world, we were together in our hearts. I remember gathering, with my son, at the end of our driveway, in the predawn, to pay homage to our fallen ANZAC soldiers. Dawn parades were cancelled for the first time in 104 years. The haunting bugle tone of ‘The Last Post’ filtered from an unseen neighbour’s gateway and shivers resonated along my spine.

During lockdown, I had a choice of how I would respond to my altered reality. Black voids of despair, conspiracy theories, and fake news plied for my sanity. Yet, sunlight glistened on the tall summer grasses in my yard, my son’s laughter trickled on the breeze, and my dogs’ tails wagged like helicopter rotors, ecstatic to have their human pals home 24/7. So, I chose to focus on becoming a healthier and happier version of me, and a positive role-model for my son.

Fast forward to February 2021, New Zealand is no longer in lockdown, but our borders are heavily restricted, and the new media buzz words are QUARANTINE and VACCINE. Uncertainty looms like a bloated storm cloud. Fears of further job losses and financial ruin taint our summer days. Staying positive is harder to maintain under this sustained assault of negative news.

Changes are happening. Although, I fight against the dismantling of my comfortable world, my will alone doesn’t curb the tidal jetsam from Covid-19, so I must adapt to this foreign landscape.

Since lockdown, I’ve embraced personal development, focusing inward, aware that I may not be in a position to influence external circumstances, but I can take responsibility for myself. Being positive is easy when life is rosy, yet it is how I react when life is battering away at my defences that define me as a person.

Here are my top tips for positivity:

  • Express your gratitude every day for what you do have
  • Show and tell your loved ones how much you care for them and hug them (if you can)
  • Use your creativity!!!! Keep feeding your creative addictions
  • Resonate with nature by strolling on the beach, sniff garden flowers, or listen to birdsong
  • Smile more, at everyone, this is the right kind of contagious! If a mask hides your mouth, then smile through your eyes!
  • Be kind, laugh, and dance – play music that lifts your spirit

So, smile, and join me in singing and dancing into the light.

RWISA AUTHOR PROFILE PAGE

What Wendy has to say about RWISA…

Check out Wendy’s Book!

FEEDERS PURCHASE LINK

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite to membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

Welcome to #RRBC’s February “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour for #RRBCAuthor @kirazian! #RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA @RRBC_RWISA #RRBCSA #RWISA

I am thrilled to host the February RRBC Spotlight Author today, Lisa Kirazian!

AN ODE TO RRBC

It’s an honor to write this guest post — and to be RRBC’s Spotlight Author for February!

My membership in RRBC began when I published Bravura six years ago, so I feel its journey and my own are forever connected. I am in no way a great member, like so many of you are. But I am proud to be a member and participate as much as I can. Along the way many of you have inspired me too.

The model of an international, online book club is pretty unusual — I do not know of any other like it. I know of casual book clubs online, sure. But none with the array of memberships benefits (and requirements), submission opportunities, conferences, workshops and radio shows like RRBC has! Whew!

Now with the COVID-inspired demand for Zoom meetings and online performances/readings from authors, theaters, and musicians alike, the RRBC model seems even more ahead of its time. We as members of RRBC have been fortunate to already have been doing all the online gatherings that people around the world had to get used to this past year, many for the first time.

For those not familiar with RRBC, there are many ways to get involved: reading others’ work, reviewing others work, supporting other writers on social media, being inspired by the accomplishments of others, participating in the workshops and conferences, listening to the radio shows. There are also many ways membership is extremely helpful too: getting your work read, reviewed, marketed; pursuing educational growth; being eligible for award and contest opportunities; getting published in anthologies; and drum roll, improving as a writer!

More than anything, I’ve realized that RRBC’s requirement to review others’ work is essential. We are often self-absorbed as writers — but getting out of ourselves long enough to immerse ourselves in the writing worlds of others only helps us as writers — and people. It helps us see how other writers deal with the same challenges we face, and how their approach differs from ours. It also reminds us we are not alone! Although I am sometimes late in posting my reviews because of my life’s craziness, the desire to engage with others through their work has grown since being with RRBC, and I am very grateful for that and have learned much from the experience.

To borrow from JFK: Ask not what RRBC can do for you — ask what you can do for RRBC. Why? Because when you give, you receive and grow and are encouraged so, so, so much more!

If you aren’t a member of RRBC, I encourage you to consider it today. For more on RRBC, click here: https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/

Thank you, RRBC, Nonnie and the entire team, for all the ways you have encouraged me — and especially for this honor to be the Spotlight Author this month!

Onward!

—-

Author Bio

Lisa Kirazian writes fiction, plays, screenplays, and also directs for stage and screen. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Performing Arts Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune and many other publications. She is in demand as a speaker and has been a guest on KPBS Public Radio and at various conferences. Lisa is a graduate of Stanford University.

Several of her screenplays have placed in major competitions and festivals. Twelve of her stage plays have been produced across the U.S. and have won numerous awards, including a few publications. She also directed and wrote the adapted screenplay of the short film, “Reflection Day.”

Her novels include BRAVURA, APPASSIONATO, and now CADENZA, the three books of “The Music We Made” series, following three generations in the Driscoll family of musicians and inspired by her experience as a violinist. The series is also being developed for television.

Lisa lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters and is involved in the Armenian community locally, nationally and abroad.

Book Summary:

In CADENZA, the final book of “The Music We Made” series, the young tenor Brian Martin finds himself on the cusp of superstardom and marriage, until he is compelled to leave behind his distinguished musical family, and his fiancé, in London, to visit the U.S. to see where his famous late grandmother, Maggie Crawford, the only other opera singer in the family, grew up. His journey takes him to Marshall, Minnesota, and Maggie’s hometown high school, where he meets the music teacher, Laura Jones, who helps him with his family history in more ways than he could have imagined.

Twitter: @kirazian and @TheMusicWeMade

Facebook: TheMusicWeMade

Website: https://www.lisakirazian.com

Blog: https://lisakirazian.wordpress.com/
Instagram: @lisakirazian

Cadenza on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QDLVSKL/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_0RSS8DZMN3R1SYCXG1TQ

Welcome to Day 3 of THE MEMOIRS Blog Tour! @fredsdiary1981 @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA

RRBC/RWISA Author, Robert Fear is on tour with his fabulous and diverse memoirs! It is my pleasure to host him here today. And there is a GIVEAWAY!!

(1) $10 Amazon gift card

Welcome to the third and final day of my 4WillsPub 3-day blog tour.

During this tour, I have been sharing with you some background to the three memoirs that I have self-published. As a special offer to readers of the tour, I have reduced the Kindle price on each book to 99c/99p (RRP $4.99/£3.99) on Amazon US and UK.

Here are the links to the memoirs that have been featured:

Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia – getbook.at/FredsDiary1981

Exclusive Pedigree: My life in and out of the Brethren – getbook.at/ExclusivePedigree

Summer of ’77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza – getbook.at/Summerof77

Summer of ’77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza

Background

For my next book, I was itching to write a memoir about the six months I spent on the Spanish island of Ibiza in 1977, when I was 21.

I started planning the book in 2017. It was fortunate that I still had the letters I received while working the season in Ibiza. Otherwise, I would have found it difficult remembering what happened over forty years ago. I transcribed the letters and created a timeline around them. This triggered memories of events from the time and I started writing.

After much prevarication and self-doubt, I completed the final chapter in May 2019. Then I began self-editing my words and making the story concise and readable.

Next steps included the choice of a title, commissioning a cover design and writing the blurb.

Then came a professional edit which reduced the word count by 10% and gave a real polish to the memoir.

The moment of truth came when I passed the draft copy to a group of beta readers at the start of September. The response was very positive, and I published Summer of ’77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza on October 27th, 2019, my 64th birthday.

Favourite Review

Book Description

A holiday can change everything…

…it did for Fred.

He went on a two-week break with three friends to the Spanish island of Ibiza in July 1976. It was so enjoyable they all vowed to come back for the following season.

In April 1977, Fred returned to Ibiza, alone, in pursuit of his dream.

Behind him, he left his family, his girlfriend, and a promising career in banking.

Challenges lay ahead.

This would be no holiday.

He needed a place to stay and to find work that would sustain him through the next six months.

This true to life memoir follows 21-year-old Fred’s adventures as he acclimatises to living abroad. In a time before instant communication, he keeps in touch with family and friends by letter. They are his lifeline to home.

If you enjoy reading about people’s life-changing experiences, then this book is for you.

Grab your copy now for only 99c/99p getbook.at/Summerof77

Author Bio

Robert Fear has lived in Eastbourne on the south coast of the UK for half his life. He moved there to be with Lynn, his future wife, and is still there with her over thirty years later. As cat-lovers, they have taken on several rescue cats over the years and are owned by three now.

For his day job, Robert works as a self-employed software consultant. In his spare time, he writes, edits, and self-publishes books.

Robert’s interest in travel goes back to his twenties when he spent most of his time abroad. His experiences included: a summer in Ibiza, hitch-hiking around Europe, and touring the USA and Canada. His most eventful trip was in 1981 when he travelled through Asia.

Born into a religious sect known as the Exclusive Brethren, his father, John, took the brave step of leaving it with his young family when Robert was nine years old. Robert never saw his grandparents again but is thankful for being able to grow up outside this restrictive group. His life has been full of adventures he would never have experienced otherwise.

Follow Robert on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the authors’ tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HEREThanks for supporting this author and his work!

Food and Drink in #Writing #WritingCommunity

The concept of “show don’t tell” is drilled into us from the first day we begin learning the craft of writing. And, as we grow and improve our storytelling abilities, it becomes an integral part of the process. But there are many ways to “show” character traits, beliefs, desires and ideals.

As strange as it may sound, one such way is through food and drinks.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Let’s say you have a character who thrives on cold pizza and soda. That alone tells me loads about this character, whether male or female. #1 – They don’t like to cook, or don’t know how. #2 – They are not a health nut. #3 – They are always in a hurry and needing to grab something on the go.

Just that one food scenario says a lot.

In stark contrast, if you have a character who enjoys gourmet meals either at home or out, it is going to let the reader know something specific about him/her. Most likely, they are refined and possibly came from money. There are thousands of examples but you get the idea.

In my newest book, “Ghostly Interference,” my male character’s mother, Charlotte, is vegetarian. One of the meals she cooked was squash stuffed with rice and drizzled with cashew sauce. That showed her earthiness, but also creativity. Have you ever made cashew sauce? It’s not an easy process for sure. I had one reader who messaged me and said they actually tried making this dish and it turned out quite delicious. 🙂

The protagonist in my current WIP, is a rancher who operates a horse sanctuary. Of course, he is a big beef eater. Nothing else would fit him. But in contrast, the love interest in the story is a vegetarian. An unlikely combination, it will create some humorous moments between them. The contrast also gives me the opportunity to reveal more about each. Why did she decide to become vegetarian?

And it works with every character. What they eat or drink can show the reader more character depth and detail without having to tell them a thing.

What about coffee drinkers? The type of coffee you order may reveal more about your personality than you think.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Research found that the black coffee drinkers were straight up, straightforward and no-nonsense individuals. The double decaf, soy, extra-foamy folks tend to be more obsessive, controlling, and detail-oriented. The latte drinkers tend to be neurotic and people-pleasers, while the instant coffee drinkers had a greater likelihood of being procrastinators. Finally, those individuals who order sweet drinks are the overgrown kids who retained the taste buds and sensibilities of children, while being young at heart. Interesting, huh?

Let’s talk about alcohol. Our character’s go-to drink can be just as much of a statement as the outfit he/she chooses to wear. Something about their alcohol preference (or strong aversion to) alludes to a deeper connection to their character, personality, and behavior.  The go-to drink for my protagonist in my current WIP is whiskey. He is a man’s man. She likes wine. So, what does that say about each of them?

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

The wine drinker is the one who asks the kinds of questions that cause you to choke on your drink a little. Expect this group to add spice to the conversation when needed—but be ready for anything with them. We rely on their social prowess for as long as we have the wine lovers, but we all know the compatibility between wine and sleepiness. Most wine drinkers tend to go to bed early. We could go into great detail between white and red wine drinkers, but I’ll leave that up to you in creating your character. Wine drinkers are considered more intellectual types as opposed to beer drinkers who are in it for the party.

We really have two categories for beer drinkers: the traditionalists and the craft beer drinkers. The line can be blurred at times between the two, but more often than not, we’re talking about entirely different people here.

Starting with the traditionalists. These are our stubborn ones. They simply do not care about your double-IPA, fruit-infused beer; give them their mass-produced, generic beer, and leave them the hell alone. This group isn’t swayed by conformity; instead, they’re driven by loyalty. They’ve been drinking the same old beer for 20-plus years now, and they’re not changing for anyone.

The diehard craft beer people have one plan and one plan only every weekend: go to a brewery. A flight of beer brings tears to their eyes. The real craft beer drinkers have a knack for detail. In 2020, they’re the new wine snobs. Out with tweed coats and in with scruffy beards and flannels. 

Then we have the whiskey, vodka, tequila, and gin drinkers. Whiskey drinkers tend to know their way around alcohol and have a respectable tolerance for it. With vodka, it’s less about what your favorite alcohol says about you and more about your preferred cocktail that makes the real statement. Tequila drinkers are plain and straightforward, in that they all love to party. The saying, “I’m here for a good time, not a long time” fits. Gin drinkers love the fact that you can’t get a read on them, and they’re honestly probably just drinking gin to confuse you even more. This group’s usual label is the “intellectual” tag.

I know there are tons more alcohols and foods we could explore, but the purpose of this post is to look at how we can use them to give our characters multi-dimensional layers.

It is really fascinating, and simply another tool to help us “show” the readers who our characters are and what makes them tick without telling them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and some of the ways you have used food and drink to show your characters’ personalities.

“Sleighed” – New Release from WJ Scott! @WendyJayneScott @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

There is nothing like a fresh new Christmas story from Santa’s workshop to keep the spirit of Christmas going into the new year! And that’s what W.J. Scott has done. I’ll let her tell you about it!

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/QGx59ifI3Aw

Blurb:

Tinsel is the newest apprentice in Santa’s Workshop, but this young elf lands himself in strife on his first day!

He’s sent to care for the reindeer and instead ends up on a magical adventure.

Will the Toy-Inspector allow him back into the Workshop?

A fun Christmas story for younger readers and those young at heart.

Amazon Universal Link http://mybook.to/Sleighed

In March 2019, my sister (who lives in Canada), visited me in New Zealand, and we embarked on a memory tour. We revisited places from our childhood, including Queenstown, where our grandmother used to live.

Our great-grandfather had been an engineer on the iconic century-old coal fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, back in the day when it transported stock and supplies across Lake Wakatipu. We enjoyed a delightful sunny cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm.

During our travels, we set a challenge, to each write a 1500 word story. I chose to write a Children’s Christmas story, based on a writing prompt from my Aspiring Author Series, and that’s how, ‘Sleighed’, came to be created. 

Aspiring Author Series Link Aspiring Author Series (6 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com)

Author Bio:

Wendy Scott has a New Zealand Certificate in Science (Chemistry), which allows her to dabble with fuming potions and strange substances, satisfying her inner witch.

Wendy writes short stories, fantasy, and children’s novels. Her books have won multiple awards.

One of the creeds she lives by is to always – Live a life less ordinary!

Full book list http://www.wendyjscott.com/

Amazon Universal Link http://mybook.to/Sleighed

Connect with Wendy:

Children’s Websites

http://www.authorchildrens.com

http://www.hieroglyph.ws

http://www.tails-wjscott.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ChildrenAuthorWJScott

Twitter:

@WendyJayneScott

Pinterest:

Rise of Gadreel – #NewRelease @VashtiQV @RRBC_Org

I am happy to share a new book release from fellow RRBC author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega!

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I’m grateful to be a guest on Jan’s fabulous blog.

Which type of heroes do you like best in stories?

I prefer heroes who have flaws. Someone who is genuinely good but who has made mistakes, who has faced challenges and doubts, and who is sometimes vulnerable . . . a person who perhaps starts off ordinary, and as the story unfolds, becomes more apparent. I enjoy reading about heroes who are intelligent, selfless, kind, and courageous. They feel the fear and do what needs to be done anyway. I find the classic hero, who is perfect in every way and completely fearless, kind of boring. Gadreel is the type of hero I enjoy reading about.

Excerpt:

Sabina dismounted her horse and treaded up to the gate. She placed a hand on the stone wall and lurched back. “A witch cast a binding spell on this town.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“A magical binding is a hex that restrains people, preventing them from doing something.” Sabina placed both palms against the gate and closed her eyes briefly. “An effective sorcerer did not want the people of this town to leave.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I’m not sure.”

I rode past the gate into Warwick, and the others followed me.

We climbed off our mounts. I kissed my horse on its neck and told him to lead the others to water. They galloped away, and we ambled on. Every surface, every blade of grass and twig, grew long ice crystals. In the distance a low clinging fog concealed the homes at the top of the road. 

We continued toward the east of town and ran across a monastery. Blackened and charred walls crumbled under the weight of ashes. The ruins were still smoking, even in this frigid weather. We maneuvered the creaking threshold and came across the charred remains of several monks. One of them lay curled knee-to-nose, while another gripped his pectoral cross with both hands. Glass littered the floor where the windows had broken, and oil lamps lay blackened and twisted on the ground amid the corpses.

“Almost nothing escaped the bloody fire,” Golem said.

Dracúl banged his fist against a wall, almost knocking it down, and stormed out of the monastery. I followed him, and the others trailed behind.

“There’s a castle on the hill,” I said. “Let’s go there. Perhaps there’s someone who can tell us what happened here.”

Dracúl stared ahead, blood tears pooling in his eyes, and we moved on. 

More rotting bodies lay strewn on the streets as we made our way to the castle. Most had missing parts. Many of the corpses’ middles had a strange bowl-shaped appearance. Upon closer inspection, we realized that their organs had been removed. Their chests and abdomens caved in because they were hollow. 

“Why?” Golem whispered. 

There should have been a foul stench in the air, but the cold, dry winds somehow inhibited the release of the disgusting stink coming off the dead bodies. 

We knocked on doors and searched inside the dwellings. We passed the charred remains of a house. Upon investigation, we learned that the only edifices burned down were those that stored food and sheltered livestock, but this particular house was a regular family home. Why was it burned? Only its skeleton stood under the vibrant wintry sun. Sabina rushed inside, and before long, a scream pierced the air. We hurried in to find Sabina motionless with her hands covering her mouth. I steeled myself, went to her, and gasped at the gruesome scene. 

I hope the excerpt intrigued you. Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks again for the visit.

Join in the celebration of #RRBCAuthor @sharrislaughter, #RRBC’s November “SPOTLIGHT” Author! #Author of #OurLadyOfVictory

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is all about supporting, uplifting and promoting authors. And Shirley Harris Slaughter is a great supporter of others. So, this month, it’s her time to shine!

Not only does she have a newly polished re-release of “Our Lady of Victory,” but she has a birthday on the 28th, which is also the day she co-hosts the RAVE WAVES show, RATERS NOT HATERS.

Shirley was chosen for the Spotlight Author for the month of November, so she is being celebrated in a big way!

If you missed my interview with her on the RAVE WAVES show, #RRBCBringOnTheSpotlight, you can catch the replay below. It was a ton of fun! Especially when her two sisters showed up! 🙂

But the highlight of Shirley’s writing career is the re-release of her first book, “Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African American Catholic Church!

Blurb:  This is a second edition with updates on the state of this historic church. In the original publication files were lost then resurfaced with content altered along with missing photos during transition from one publisher to another. Such is the fate of an Independent Author.
This book evolved out of years of frustration at the total disregard and lack of respect for the contributions of Black Catholics in the city of Detroit. The author says, “We are not mentioned in the pages of history along with the other Catholic churches that sprung up during the World War II era, and that needed to be corrected.” The author did fulfill one dream since publication … that this church can now be found on the web even though it has merged with another church. It is now called Presentation-Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church.

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing this book!

MY REVIEW:

4.0 out of 5 stars An Important Piece of History Preserved Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2020

I know nothing about the catholic church or religion and I learned a lot from reading the factual account of the establishment and demise of Our Lady of Victory, a black catholic church in Detroit, Michigan. While names and locations didn’t mean anything to me, the main focus of the book was the sense of community and the difficulties that came when there was forced blending. I admired the strength the author’s mother showed, struggling to provide for her children as a single mother and her determination to see that they received a good education and religious background. This is true preservation of a piece of history for future generations to learn from that might otherwise have been lost. It is relevant to today’s society as an example of how racial discrimination can destroy lives. My hat is off to this author for her detailed account of the birth and death of this church and the names, dates, and events she chronicled.

Pick up your copy today!

PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Lady-Victory-African-American-Community-ebook/dp/B08JJL8JFF/

Congratulations, Shirley, and happy early birthday!

Welcome to Day 11 of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! @nonniejules @RRBC_Org #RRBC #RWISA #RWISAWRW

This month we have 11 awesome writers on tour, showcasing their writing ability via short snippets of their never-before-seen written works of art.  Each day, one author will be profiled on multiple blogs until the next day, when it will be another author’s turn to shine in our spotlight.

We invite you to check out each piece, no matter which blog you find them on, and then let the author know what you thought of their work via the comments sections.  After enjoying the piece, we ask that you visit the author’s RWISA Profile Page here on the RWISA site, where you will find more of their work to enjoy.

Today we feature the founder of RRBC and RWISA, Nonnie Jules!

…IN THE WORLD OF WE

We often hear that music is the universal language.  It is the avenue to bridge all divides –

racial divides

gender divides

political divides.    

But, in the midst of all the division,

each party holding court in their respective corners of the ring,

ears lightly tickled by the sound of the simple “IMAGINE” by John Lennon,

wafting through the musky air of tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons –

a mist of standstill calms the noise

…and in mere moments, the eyes of “independent” onlookers are pleasantly greeted by the most beautiful and welcoming sight –

…bodies slowly rocking

…hands collectively raised

…waving side to side

…all in unison  

…chanting

 “Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try…”

The 2020 US election has ended. The people have spoken.

What’s left behind?  A world of anxiety and angst – wrapped in feelings of wondering when the bombs will drop, or when the other shoe will fall.  And although I’d like to point fingers here and maybe even call a few not-so-pretty names, my daughter sits beside me as I write this, an ear to measure the “nice” level in my words, the child guiding the parent.  Roles reversed, she gently reminds me that the original goal of this message is unification – therefore, I will stay the course of peace.

In this moment, acknowledging that my conscience of decency is bigger than any emotion that might be stirring the embers of fires that have burned deep inside me for the past few years – neutrality is my cohort, and we will not take sides. 

Instead, all that will be allowed to roll off my tongue is FACT…

one reign is ending  

and another about to begin.

Some exultant…

others despondent

Yet, now is not the time for either.

Yesterday is gone,

today almost a memory,

but what awaits us in tomorrow

is what WE decide it will be. 

This is not the land of us and them –

this is the world of WE. 

WE decide what, who and how WE want to be.  

Do you resemble love, or, are you wearing the likeness of hate?  

What adorns your heart, a choice only you can make … for you. 

So, I have made my choice – and it is firm and true!

I choose love. 

To love,

to be loved,

to speak love,

to exude love,

to live love. 

Because I know that what I send out into the world, will be exactly what the world returns to my doorstep.

It is for that reason that I shall…

remain steadfast in my vigilance –

cognizant of any negativity that might try to seep in or out of my pores –

Skillfully suppressing the desire to gloat in the face of the so-called “losing” side. 

I’ve too much pride…to stoop so low.

The 2020 US election has ended.  The people have spoken.

There were no losers. 

WE are a world of winners.

Remember, WE decide

what

who

and how

WE will be

in this…

beautiful

colorful

everchanging

world of WE

“Imagine there’s no country
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace…

It’s all easy if WE try.”

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, please visit their Author Profile 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 RWISAcatalog.  Thanks, again, for your support and we hope that you will follow along each day of this amazing tour of talent by visiting the tour home page!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about today’s profiled author:

Nonnie Jules’ RWISA Author Profile

WELCOME TO DAY 10 OF THE WATCH “RWISA” WRITE SHOWCASE TOUR! #RRBC #RWISA #RWISAWRW @RRBC_ORG @JINLOBIFY

This month we have 11 awesome writers on tour, showcasing their writing ability via short snippets of their never-before-seen written works of art.  Each day, one author will be profiled on multiple blogs until the next day, when it will be another author’s turn to shine in our spotlight.

We invite you to check out each piece, no matter which blog you find them on, and then let the author know what you thought of their work via the comments sections.  After enjoying the piece, we ask that you visit the author’s RWISA Profile Page here on the RWISA site, where you will find more of their work to enjoy.

Today, we are featuring Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko!

“IROKO”
In the past, nobody would have taken notice of Iroko, the biggest and tallest tree in the forest. But then, cities started to grow and to eat into the forests. Trees were cut to make way for the growing cities. But the Iroko tree resisted being cut down. Any time an axe cut the tree, the axe either broke or the cut bled, real blood., and cries, ear piercing cries, like human cries were heard coming from the tree.
            The stories surrounding Iroko were such that settlers decided to let it stand and the town grew all around and away from it. Things went on peacefully for a while, but soon it became clear that Iroko did not like the exposure it was getting from the people surrounding it. After all, this tree was the king of the forest, where both trees and animals revered it. Now, standing in the midst of humans, with no one paying it any heed, all of this would change very rapidly.
            People, especially those living close to where Iroko stood, started reporting strange happenings around Iroko in the dead of night. Those who were bold enough to come out and watch these happenings, reported seeing dancing and merrymaking around Iroko by people they believed were spirit people. These spirit people went in and out of Iroko as if they were walking in and out of their homes. They sang and danced in merriment from twelve midnight until two in the morning, after which they packed up and walked back into the tree. Those who observed these goings-on, did so from afar and in hiding.
The story was told of a young boy who had the misfortune of being seen by these spirit people. He was taken and was never seen again. He had heard the stories of the happenings around Iroko, so that night he snuck out of his house and walked toward Iroko to take a closer look. Voices were heard warning him not to come closer, but he continued walking toward Iroko until he entered the sphere of the tree where everything turned grey. At that point, the boy lost control of himself and was pulled along until he disappeared in the mist and was seen no more.
The mother watched everything in hiding in paralyzed shock. The other people who watched in hiding were also mystified. They couldn’t believe their eyes, but they dared not allow themselves to be seen.
The next morning, the mother saw a huge striped cow tied to an orange tree in front of her house. The cow was chewing cud. The woman walked around the cow trying to understand how it came to be there. The town people also took notice and started gathering and questioning the presence of the cow. Out of nowhere, a young boy with only a loin cloth around his waist appeared and spoke to the onlookers.
“Mama, Iroko says you should take the cow in exchange for your son. Iroko says you should not kill the cow. You should sell it and use the money to take care of yourself.” With that, the boy turned and walked through the crowd and disappeared.
Everyone there was seized with shock and they quickly dispersed. The woman cut the cow loose and started shooing it off from the front of her house, but the cow would not budge.
The woman started to weep and pleaded with Iroko to return her son and take back the cow.
“Iroko give me back my son and take your cow!” she implored. “I don’t want your cow!”
The next day, the woman saw the cow at the back of her house, peacefully lying down near her hearth and chewing cud. She ran out toward Iroko.
“If you won’t give me back my son, Iroko, take me too!” she screamed at the top of her voice. Iroko’s leaves started to rustle. Suddenly, the old woman in the hut materialized and stood between the woman and Iroko.
“Go back, Mama!” the old woman said. “What you seek cannot be done. Your son is gone, dead and Iroko has paid you in exchange for him. Go back or you will meet the same fate!”
The woman refused to be stopped. She pushed the old woman down, walked over her and continued to approach Iroko. By this time, people had started to gather and were watching. The woman threw herself at Iroko and just like magic, the onlookers saw sparks of light, like fireworks, all around the woman. They heard her screaming and shouting like someone roasting on a stake. When everything died down and the sparks were no more, the people saw that the woman had metamorphosed. The woman had changed into an animal, something that looked like a dog, or a goat. No one could really tell. The people dispersed but this time they all had one thought in their minds – that Iroko must go.
            Iroko’s fame continued to grow even beyond the immediate town. The townspeople also became bolder. They consulted with diviner after diviner to find out how to get rid of Iroko. They tried everything, without any success … one attempt took the lives of twelve men. They tried to burn Iroko down, but the fire turned against them and burned them to death. One diviner suggested that the spirit of Iroko resided in the old woman who tended it, and that if the old woman was killed, Iroko would quietly and slowly die.
            The townspeople burned the old woman’s hut down with the old woman in it. The next day, Iroko started taking souls. People started disappearing from their homes, both in broad daylight and at night while they slept.
Finally, an Iroko priest from a distant land told the people how to destroy Iroko.
“Humans should not fight Iroko,” he said. “They should appease Iroko. Iroko trees do not live amongst humans. Before you people started building your town, you should have appeased and pleaded with Iroko to leave your town. As you can see, Iroko was simply minding its own business, when you people decided to invade its privacy. Now you have to sacrifice to Iroko to appease it.”
            The townspeople had to pay this priest to come to their town to perform all that was needed to appease Iroko. There is no need to list here all that Iroko demanded, which included the blood of virgins, before it was appeased. The morning after the ceremony by this priest was concluded, the people came out and watched as the inhabitants of Iroko exited one after the other and disappeared; the birds of various families, the giant ants, red and black, dark dangerous black snakes – all came out of Iroko hissing, grumbling, and then poof, like smoke disappeared. But the king of all the animals, a giant Eke python, refused to be dislodged. The people had to pump inflammatory liquid into Iroko and set the python on fire, to dislodge it. It came out rumbling, twisting, and floundering, until it, too, disappeared.
            Finally, Iroko was cut down. Mystery upon mystery, not one single hole existed in the cut tree. It was intact with rings showing how many hundreds of years it had stood there.
***
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, please visit their Author Profile 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  catalog.  Thanks again for your support and we hope that you will follow along each day of this amazing tour of talent by visiting the tour home page!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about today’s profiled author:
Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko’s RWISA Author Profile

WELCOME TO DAY 9 OF THE WATCH “RWISA” WRITE SHOWCASE TOUR! #RRBC #RWISA #RWISAWRW @RRBC_ORG @WENDYJAYNESCOTT

This month we have 11 awesome writers on tour, showcasing their writing ability via short snippets of their never-before-seen written works of art.  Each day, one author will be profiled on multiple blogs until the next day, when it will be another author’s turn to shine in our spotlight.

We invite you to check out each piece, no matter which blog you find them on, and then let the author know what you thought of their work via the comments sections.  After enjoying the piece, we ask that you visit the author’s RWISA Profile Page here on the RWISA site, where you will find more of their work to enjoy.

Today we are featuring Wendy Scott!

This piece is in remembrance of my Creative Writing student, Gill Pontin, who suddenly passed away in October 2020. Gill was an artistic dynamo whose enthusiasm, creativity and laughter will be dearly missed. She was a key participant when our group developed a new world, Creedland, and this story is set in Vape Town.

“Whoa, boy.” Blade Driscoll tugged on the reins and pulled his destrier to a halt. He surveyed the outskirts of Vape Town, unsurprised by the ramshackle buildings and pock-marked roads. The air reeked of burnt sugar and the back of Blade’s throat tingled. Between his thighs, Stormbolt shifted, wrinkling his equine nose and shaking his head from side to side. The horse’s plated armour clinked together destroying any attempt at stealth. Blade nudged his mount towards the main street, the sooner he finished his business in this cesspit the better for his sanity.

Pink-eyed townsfolk slunk away from the war horse’s hoof spikes. Pastel smoke billowed from a series of chimney stacks and led him to the front steps of the Crystal Tavern. Scantily clad fairies with tattered wings slouched against the verandah railings. Out of habit, Blade scanned their faces but didn’t recognise any familiar features. He didn’t waste his breath asking after his friend as their vacant stares and pink-tinted irises indicated their minds were lost in a kaleidoscopic haze.

Crystal Pink was manufactured from bog flowers and utterly irresistible to fairies. Its euphoric buzz leached away their magic, attacked the delicate blood vessels in their wings, rendering them flightless, before their bodies swelled to human size. The only way to gain their fix was to enslave themselves to Gurezil Flintsunder, owner of the Crystal Tavern, the unofficial mayor of Vape Town, and the largest whore-master this side of the Despicables. Lowlifes flocked from every dark corner of Creedland to sample the unique fairy delights.

Blade dismounted and left Stormbolt’s reins dangling, ready for a speedy exit. Anyone foolhardy enough to try to steal the stallion would learn how hard the war horse could bite.

Blade checked his weapon inventory. If blood flowed today, he didn’t intend any of it to be his.

Before the saloon doors swung shut behind him Blade tugged a bandanna over his mouth and nose. Steam laced with cotton candy sweetness curled through the dimness. Chunks of crystals simmered in heated ceramic bowls, producing bubbles and sickly fumes. Each table featured glass paraphernalia plugged with multiple hoses. Tendrils of pink smoke escaped from the pipe tips.

Pain pulsed in Blade’s forehead and his eyes watered. He sipped shallow breaths as he scanned the front parlour, counting four patrons slumped in the booths. Their hands grasped the tubes as if they were lifelines. Fools; it was death they courted.

A month ago, he’d rescued Maie Quickthistle from Gurezil’s clutches, sneaking her away while the tavern slumbered. When she’d surfaced from the drug’s grip she’d attacked him like a demented harpy, begging for her next fix. He responded by locking her inside a rented room, but she’d broken out the window and hightailed it back to the Crystal Tavern. After that failure, he decided to change his tactics.

A bartender slumped across the bar and ignored Blade as he slid into an empty booth and shuffled into the shadows. From here he had an unobstructed view of Gurezil’s office door and a ringside seat to the drama he knew was about to unfold. The next bog flower shipment was due within the hour, and he wanted to witness Gurezil Flintsunder’s reaction when he learned his entire crop had been destroyed. The poison had cost Blade his life’s savings but the wizard assured him that this would taint the bog for generations. With one application he’d wiped out the only source of Crystal Pink.

Half an hour later, boots thundered along the passageway and a man hammered his fists on the office door. “Boss, there’s a problem with the latest shipment.”

Gurezil flung the door open and stomped into the hallway. “If those imbeciles have stolen as much as one flower I’ll strip the flesh from their hides and feed it to the fairies.”

“There are no flowers.” The man held out a limp vine. “Something’s wrong with the whole patch.”

Gurezil snatched the vegetation out of the man’s hand, lifted it above his nose, and sniffed it. The blood vessels on his cheeks blazed beetroot. “Stinks of spoiled magic. There’s no time to waste, saddle up the horses and the wagons, we need to salvage what’s left.”

Blade stayed in the shadows until they disappeared outside. Whistling, he ascended the stairs two at a time before gently opening every door along the top corridor. A rush of stale air tainted with the drug’s signature sweetness filtered into the passage. Fairies dozed on bunks, oblivious to his presence as their minds languished in a hypnotic blur. He didn’t desire to be anywhere near Vape Town when their mass withdrawal kicked in. Dealing with one psychotic fairy was enough to test a man’s mettle.

He counted his blessing when he found Maie Quickthistle out cold, making it easier to transfer her onto Stormbolt’s saddle. As a precaution, he bound her hands together and checked her pockets for hidden daggers. Earlier, he’d prepared a campsite in the surrounding woods as he understood the next two days were going to be tough on the both of them.

If he’d known how sharp fairy teeth were he might have reconsidered this rescue plan. Bloody bite marks and grazes marred his forearm and face, and he was sure he was missing a piece of his ear. His ears throbbed from Maie’s constant shrieking, and he hoped she’d have no memory of all the things she’d offered him in exchange for a fix.

After a sleepless 48 hours, his eyes were redder than an addict’s and his thoughts foggy. Maie’s limbs contorted into a fetal knot and whimpers escaped her throat. She was quieter than earlier, but he kept his distance as she’d lured him into striking range before. He yawned and struggled to keep awake. Perhaps he’d snatch a moment’s rest.

Something fluttered against his cheek and Blade wrenched his eyes open. Tiny fairy wings whirred close to his face. He held still as Maie planted a kiss on the tip of his nose. “You saved me.”

Lightness flooded Blade’s soul. “Of course, that’s what friends do.”

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, please visit their Author Profile 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  catalog.  Thanks again for your support and we hope that you will follow along each day of this amazing tour of talent by visiting the tour home page!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about today’s profiled author:

Wendy Scott’s RWISA Author Profile