Tea and Poetry Tuesday

This is what Sarah Engler has to say about Tea Time:

As the centerpiece of a cherished ritual, it’s a talisman against the chill of winter, a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day.

The Health-Food Diner
by Maya Angelou

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I’m dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run

to

Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.

Summoned by Verity Moore

Summoned is the debut novel of Verity Moore. It is a YA Fantasy novel. The Prologue caught my attention and drew me in. However, as I read the first chapter, I felt the pace seemed slow and my interest waned. Not one to give up on a book too quickly, I continued to read and was thankful that chapter two was much more interesting, and from chapter two to the end I was hooked.

Summoned had lots of adventure, danger, and excitement to keep me turning pages. I really enjoyed the male main character, Kyam and his dog. For me, these were my reasons to keep reading.  As a dog owner and lover, I love the almost human qualities attributed to the dog, Castoff, in this story. I also admired Kyam’s loyalty, faithfulness, and determination, even in the face of disappointment and rejection.

Cierra, the main female character, seems to have to learn her lessons the hard way. She is stubborn and independent and often self-centered.  The contrast between her character and Kyam’s make for some humorous and interesting scenes.

I was disturbed with one scene where Verity Moore mentions a flock of birds, then tells how the birds fly, and she calls the birds “emu”. Emu are a real bird, native to Australia, and they do not fly.

When the book ended quite abruptly, I was disappointed. I don’t know why the book ended so quickly and abruptly. It is considerably short for a Fantasy novel, coming in at a mere 153 pages. Most Fantasy novels I have read are more than double that page count.

Another disappointment came in the back of Summoned where a page lists Pursued and Besieged as the two other books in this trilogy and says they are all available on Amazon. However, neither Pursued nor Besieged is yet available.

Although Summoned wasn’t what I expected, I did enjoy it and look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy, and I hope the wait isn’t too long.

Flash Fiction Friday

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

A Budding Romance at Walmart

by Kelly F. Barr

As I stood waiting for my dad to finish in the self-checkout line at Walmart, I saw a very attractive blonde approaching the area. I tried to watch her without making it obvious.

She walked to the register right behind us, and I watched as she began ringing up her items.

My heart sank as a guy wearing baggy black jeans covered in chains, a dog collar, and about ten earrings in one ear approached the girl of my dreams. I took a step toward them in an effort to overhear their conversation.

Mr. Chainman spoke first. “Hello, gorgeous. You got somewhere you need to be after you finish here?”

The girl’s eyes moved swiftly from his head to the floor, where his baggy jeans covered wherever his feet were hidden by about four extra inches of pant-legs. He was actually walking on them.

She forced a smile. “Actually, I do have to be somewhere.”

“Well, how ’bout you give me your cell phone number and I can call you later? I’d love to spend some time with you.” Mr. Chainman leaned toward her and wiggled his eyebrows.

The blonde took a step back. “Is that a dog collar you’re wearing around your neck?”

“Yeah.”

“So, if I were to go out with you, would I need to bring a leash?”

I turned back toward my dad to stifle a laugh. My dad raised his eyebrow at me, but I turned back toward the blonde and Mr. Chainman.

“Aw, I don’t think you’d have any need for that ’cause I’d be willing to follow you anywhere.”

I groaned, and my dad put a hand on my shoulder. I turned to look at him, and he spoke in a quiet voice, “Why don’t you go interrupt and talk to her?”

I widened my eyes. “Are you nuts! Mr. Chainman would probably wait for me in the parking lot! And what would I say anyway?”

My dad looked over at the girl of my dreams and Mr. Chainman, then looked back at me. “She doesn’t look interested in that guy. Actually, she looks uncomfortable. You could pretend to be an old schoolmate who hasn’t seen her for a while. I’ll bet she’d be happy to play along.”

I stood staring at my dad, contemplating.

He said, “Go,” and waved his fingers in a motion of dismissal.

I took a deep breath, wiped my sweaty palms on my pants, and moved toward the attractive blonde.

She noticed my approach, gave me the once-over with her eyes, then offered me a bright smile.

That gave me the courage I’d been lacking. “Hi, uh, Sarah. How’ve you been? It’s been a long time.”

“Yeah, it has. I’m doing well. How about you? You look great. I haven’t seen too many guys in Walmart in a suit coat.”

From the corner of my eye Mr. Chainman glared at me, and I turned to face him. “Oh, I’m sorry, man. Did I interrupt something? It’s just that I know Sarah from back in elementary school and wanted to say ‘hello’.”

Before he could say anything, the blonde touched my arm. “No, you didn’t interrupt anything. I’m glad you stopped to say ‘hello’. So, what have you been up to?”

Mr. Chainman huffed and walked away.

As soon as he was out the Walmart door, the girl of my dreams relaxed her shoulders. Her hand was still on my arm and her fingers were trembling. I put my other hand over hers. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Thank you so much for coming over. I really wasn’t interested in that guy, and I didn’t know how I was going to get away from him. I mean … he seemed nice, but a little too forward and pushy, you know?” She paused and studied my face. “By the way, my name really is Sarah, Sarah Johnson, but I don’t think I’ve ever met you before.”

“No, I don’t think you have. Sarah was just a lucky guess. My name’s Hunter, Hunter Mayfield. I just, uh, thought I’d help you out of an uncomfortable situation.”

She didn’t try to remove her hand from between my hand and my arm. “So, Hunter, are you from around here?”

“Yeah, are you?”

“Yes, I’m local. Listen, would you like to go out for pizza or something? I’d like to treat you for coming to my rescue.”

I looked over my shoulder and my Dad emphatically nodded his head. I grinned, then turned back to Sarah.

“That sounds great. Here, let me help you with your bags.”

She grabbed two bags in one hand, and I did the same, and as we walked toward the Walmart exit, she placed her free hand in mine.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Tea Tidbit:

Sherpa tea is frequently used to raise the internal body temperature and prevent hypothermia in mountain hikers. It’s common practice to make it in the same pot that the last meal was cooked in and before the pot is cleaned. This salvages food from the pot and adds flavor and nutrients to the tea.

 

But a tree has
a long suffering shapeIs
spread in half
by 2 limbed fate
Rises from gray rain
pavements
To traffic in the bleak
brown air
Of cities radar television
nameless dumb &numb mis connicumb
Throwing twigs the
color of ink To white souled
heaven, with
A reality of its own uses

 

A New Writing Position

i-write-for-a3

Have you noticed the new button on my sidebar? It looks just like the one pictured above, and I’m so excited to share with you that I have been accepted to become a new columnist for the “Almost and Author” blog. It’s a blog that is really more like a website and it offers so much to writers — those just starting out as well as those who’ve been writing for a while. There are posts for every genre, posts on the writing craft, posts on grammar, and so much more. I will be writing four posts a year for the Historical genre and four posts a year for the Romance genre. Since my WIP is a Historical Romance, I am qualified to write for both genres that my one genre encompasses. My first post will appear at the beginning of March in the Romance genre.

If you’re a writer or are interested in becoming a writer, and you haven’t explored the A3 website, I encourage you to do so.  And I hope if you have an interest in writing  in the Romance genre, you’ll check out my March post on the A3 website. The “Almost and Author” website is on the following lists:

Writer’s Digest Top 101 Best

Websites for Writers

The Write Life Top 100 Best

And, we were just added to the 50 Best Writing Blogs in 2018