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Back to the Garden

In 2019 I opened an imprint called Dragonfly Publishing and posted about my 2nd edition of Back to the Garden (pen: Clara Hume). It's part 1 of a duology called Wild Mountain. More about the book:

Back to the Garden is in its 2nd edition, launching the new Wild Mountain series in October 2018. The newest book in the duology, The Stolen Child, is expected in 2022. The 1st edition was published by Moon Willow Press.

Clara Hume’s speculative ecofiction, Back to the Garden, is told from the perspective of a group of “tipping point” survivors–a generation of mountain folks who have experienced the collapse of late-stage capitalism, along with widespread ecosystem degradation due to climate change. It is within the framework of a unique time, when these characters live through two worlds, vastly different from one another, that they tell their tales, a way of documenting their journeys in life.

While the friends and family in this novel struggle to survive, and overcome personal losses and grief, they do so with the strength of character that allows people to gracefully succeed during times of societal failure. They understand that true riches of life come from the great outdoors and from their relationships with each other. They learn to survive and adapt in a climate-changed world. Part “road” novel, part survival tale, and part romance, this literary novel looks into the human psyche as people similar to how we imagine ourselves find hope in the face of disaster.10916227072?profile=original

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The Archer's Diary hits the markets!!

Logan Daggett has irrefutable proof the legendary Robin Hood is real. A 900 year-old heirloom holds the answers to all the questions ever asked about Robin Hood – even his origin and real name. But others want the heirloom for themselves and are willing to kill for it before Daggett can release his news to the world.


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New Release: Bringing Home Christmas


"Vicki Hinze writes with heart.  Hallmark Movie fans will love this holiday treat!"

--Debra Webb, USA Today Bestselling Author

About the Book:  On the eve of their wedding, Lauren Holt receives a text message from her fiancé David Decker saying their marriage would be a mistake.  He is out of the country and will not be returning to Holt Ridge, Tennessee.  Lauren is devastated and the pity and questions from friends in the community drive her to leave her home and move away.  Time passes, a couple of years, and now she’s summoned home due to her ill widowed mother.  Lauren returns and finds David, who had no ties to Holt Ridge, has moved his business there and has been there living what should have been her life!  Now they must work together to plan and execute the community’s Christmas celebrations.  In doing so, can she discover why David called off their wedding?  Can they find their way back to each other?

Read the first three chapters of Bringing Home Christmas.

Get a copy: Books2Read  Amazon

Why I wrote the book...

We've all encountered situations where we suffered a loss and we had no idea why.  We blame ourselves in all manner of ways, attribute motives to the other person that might or might not be accurate, and we wonder.  And wonder.  We can't close that chapter of our lives because we don't know what happened, and it haunts us.  We can't go back, and we fear going forward because loss could happen again and we have no idea how to stop it, what the warning signs are, or how to protect ourselves.

With infinite mercy for the fragility of us mere mortals, Fate sometimes grants us a reprieve from this position of being stuck by giving us a second chance.  One we fear taking...and not taking.  Usually, this second chance comes with a lot of trepidation--dare I say, fear--that because we don't know why what happened did happen the first time, it will again.

That's the position Lauren was in when I first "met" her.  It nagged at me that she was stuck and didn't have a clue why, and I could so easily see myself in her position and how much I would hate it.  That steals the joy in the past, monopolizes your present, and robs you of your future.  I had to write Bringing Home Christmas to see what happened and how it worked out.

Hope you enjoy the story--and if you're stuck--that it in some way helps you to break loose!



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Minding Writers’ Health

Working as a writer in today’s world has become more challenging and probably among the most dangerous jobs there is. We could easily produce a roster of prolific writers who battled with certain types of illnesses, including depression. 

Most writers would find themselves sitting in their nook and getting immersed with their work for as long as they could. Not to mention, the long hours of staring at blank screen monitors and waiting for the right words to come. Journalists, on the other hand, face different threats to health and security. We know for a fact that journalists do not just beat deadlines. They could also be assigned to areas in conflict. 

We could argue that writers suffer from unjust stereotype of being manic-depressive individuals or having a temperament of artists (another stereotype for artists). Some can even say that writers have all the time in the world looking out for a sign that will turn on the light bulb. But these are just myths about writers and their careers. 

Writing is a real job where the individual would devote his or her time and strength. In fact, here are some of the harsh realities that each of us face in the writing world in one way or another - deadlines, rejections, toxic workplace, skipping meals, incessant smoking, grueling period of waiting time, confusion, snacking uncontrollably, lack of sleep, losing drive and inspiration, miserable pay, and the list goes on. 

The triggers for each person might be different. Some writers would show symptoms of depression, some will not, while some will suffer other diseases that are related to the kind of lifestyle they have as a writer.

Writers Are In-Demand  

Moreover, while the world of writers become more challenging as ever, with the competition getting tougher as we keep all our eyes on churning out quality content as frequently as possible, the market demand for quality content writers continues to grow. There will be more need for ghostwriters and freelancers.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment, and Projections program, the employment of authors and writers is expected to grow by eight percent in 10 years time from 2016 to 2026. It might be a small number, but the agency said it is just about “as fast as the average” growth of employment for other occupations. 

When we said that the market is growing, we refer to online services and publications. Readers nowadays are voracious consumers of online contents. This prompts businesses to tap the market online and make sure that they get the right people to do the job of taking care of their contents. This is where talented writers like most of us come in the picture. 

We are also tapping the market the best way we can by pitching in our stories and working on as many projects as we can handle. And while most of us deal with the harsh and cruel world in online writing and self-publishing, we keep on moving forward and perform our duties. 

But we don’t have to sacrifice our health and sanity in order to write a masterpiece or to beat the deadline. Remember, the world would be colorless without writers and artists so we should also look at the long term effects of our unhealthy practices and weigh in the consequences. 

How Writers Can Take Care of Their Health  

Writing proficiently takes a lot of hard work and practice. So our aim is to take care of our health the best way we can for us to gain more experiences and keep writing. We have to be well to write well. Here are four ways on how we can take care of our health:

  1. Learn to tame the beast. We all know how unstoppable we are as writers once we let out the “beasts” in us. We can pounce on the keyboard endlessly chasing the ideas, the drive, or that provocation we need that are at times difficult to come by. But we should master taming the beast once it is out. 

Let yourself control the drive to write and not the other way around. A lot of studies have shown that sitting for a long time would increase a person’s risk of developing health conditions. Learn to take a pause. Get that period out to end a chapter and make time to rest.

  1. Know your vulnerability. Writers are vulnerable to a lot of risks and to avoid them is to know our vulnerability. Sun Tzu was not kidding when he wrote that when you know yourself and your enemy you don’t have to fear a hundred battles. 

Writing is a battle that we can win by knowing when we should push ourselves some more and when we should tap ourselves at the back and say: “Tomorrow is another day.” It’s a real race out there, but we need to recognize our strengths and weaknesses to work with them and be truly in control.

  1. Sit properly. It’s easy to visualize writers these days - a hunched silhouette behind a table making either light or heavy but fast tapping sound. But posture makes a difference when writing, especially for a long time. 

Poor posture can cause pain on our backs and necks. This could also lead to headaches, fatigue, and poor blood circulation. So when you feel you are ready to write, relax, and sit up straight. Keep your feet grounded and feel your weight in the center. 

  1. Be grateful and express it frequently. This is probably what most of us have forgotten - being grateful for the little things we have and the little victories we achieve. Whether we score a big or small project, or we get rejected, we have to be grateful for it. Being grateful for rejection is looking at it as a way to improve our style of writing. 

Writing letters or a journal piece to express our gratitude to people and things that have kept us afloat can go a long way. Having a grateful heart and mind keeps us ready to receive any challenges heading our way. 

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Ghost Writer, Inc. on Living and Dead Jews…PEOPLE. Maybe they’re where we want to be. No, I have a family to serve and protect. With my hard-earned money. Which I make by being a ghostwriter. Lately, only of sorts. I am now semi-retired and do certain select projects. Mostly editing and shorter works. Things that get my attention fast and really capture my unlimited fancies.


The rest, I send to other ghostwriters. In a way that is so all along. I’m careful about what I pick to do. Everything else, advisement capacities. I know exactly what I’m talking about…somewhat. I’m a human woman and make mistakes. Honestly, I can’t do absolutely everything. Or some things completely right. But we all certainly can try. It’s what makes us the Noblest Animal, I guess. Suffering while doing things wrong. Or trying hard to understand why people won’t let you do things. When they want to do them instead of you.


My currently SEO-friendly title tag. I’ve hired Indians to do my SEO work in the past. But nowadays, Filipinos instead. Indian is something I might partially be. The Cherokee Nation Trail of Tears kind. White looking, not enough. Seems “foreigners” are both trustworthy and otherwise. Same as everyone else. Same as Stan Lee. He’s been accused of sexual misconduct. Probably something real. Too much of that everywhere and gone.

He also invented Spiderman…and Mary Jane. I reinvented Batman, not Wonder Woman. But due to World War II and then Vietnam, I called myself a name: Wonder B—h. Due to wondering what was going down. It can all be viewed as only sexism. Anti-men and anti-women. War does that to the human mind. And bends mentality in either positive or otherwise negative directions. Well, at least I “invented” my daughter, I guess.


She’s so far away now, she’s a dream. Due to male violence, and female persistence. Sometimes I doubt I even had her. She’s in her mid-20s. I am praying someday she forgives her family, and opens the lines of communication again. I have one major book in The Library of Congress, and dozens of others too. Well over 500 now I’m responsible for and counting. I either contributed, worked on or arranged all those works.


That book I mentioned was about how the FBI found the killer in two months. By being thorough and checking records. I was the “editor” for an FBI agent's daughter. His team caught James Earl Ray. It took checking passports at Heathrow Airport in London back in 1968. Found Ray. Well, I didn’t. So although I tried to hunt down Jerry Ray (JER’s brother), I wasn’t able to. Wanted to interview the other possible killer.

If you ever see a man carrying a rifle, consider doing something. Unless he is hunting deer, bear or quail…in the bushes. Somehow, I'm not making fun of Dr. King. I respect and admire him, except for his attitudes about women. Not rare.



I wonder what Stan Lee really did? Not be squeaky clean, I guess. Racial impurity? Sex and strut your stuff. Too much. Date young girls, and think they exist for only that reason. Just like Jerry Lewis and me. He handed me a match stick cover at a party with his room number scrawled up top. Didn’t keep it; threw it away. Wanted to do more in life than lose my virginity funny. Figured he’d hand me money for it. Or be waiting for me in his room with someone else. Possibly, or be eating a banana while smiling gamely and watching television.

Lucille Ball was somehow inspiring to me. For all I know, she kept me away from that hotel room. I wouldn’t put it past her; she’s rather somebody. She is the person most behind the invention of Star Trek. Well, at least the promotion of it through her studio. No Lucille Ball, no Star Trek. She financed it, with or in spite of Desi Arnaz. Our Lucille had faith in the series for some reason. Desilu was the production company. Most people don’t know that, and mainly Ball is responsible for the entire Star Trek and Star Wars franchises.


Read the background book about Star Trek recently. Great jokes about balling, everyone having fantastic fun. Star Trek was infamous for everybody on it having sex with everybody else. Good for them; but what about me? Lucy was probably a Jewess. Braver than a lion and modest, too. I feel obligated to try, doubt I am either. She doubted herself frequently. I have to make money to support my entire family. While I’m disabled. NO, physically challenged. Something to call it. I am doing this; tell me if you see any typos.


Well, Stan Lee inspired me to come up with this business. Him and Philip Roth’s “The Ghost Writer”. I thought since I might not work anywhere else great, I’d set myself up online. Didn’t want to just be Roth’s “Monkey Girl” from Portnoy’s Complaint. If I use that word, I will be screened out by Google. Words that hurt and bullies and love. What do you have to write about today? There are jobs in the writing field abounding.

Due to the Internet. Like my Mom said, I was able to do so. The World Wide Web is something special; so was my mother, dead at 86. Mom and Dad are gone, so are 11 people. Jewish women and men. Now we have bodies in Pittsburgh, or even Philadelphia. It wasn't a wonderful day in Mr. Roger’s old neighborhood. Yes, it was the Squirrel district, and it certainly attracted one.

Or trying to mimic Lucille Ball. Is squirrel for the killer a tasteless joke? Sadness.

Why are you a Book Ghost?



Ghost Writer, Inc. started as an idea by a 14-year-old girl. In the basement of our family house, in 1974. I was reading Marvel Comics about Stan Lee’s Bullpen when it dawned on me – I didn’t like comic books, I liked real books! They were more adult and made much better intellectual sense.

On the spot, I dreamed up Rainbow Writing, Inc. I decided to send ghostwriting work out to a bullpen like Stan Lee’s. But mine would be a cattle pen of ghosts. Men and women, no children. Black and white, brown, different countries. Seattle, Chicago, New York City. Los Angeles, London, Bangladesh. Much later January 2003, RWI online and I began sending work out. Rebranded the company as Ghost Writer, Inc. in 2011. Getting more business than I could handle. I’m expecting the floodgates to open. They already have, but not yet.


Over the years, GWI expanded. To provide all types of ghostwriting services. We do books, film screenplays, TV scripts, plays, research, music, lyrics, Hollywood soundtracks, speeches, business documents…anything you name, we can staff it. Our motto is, “We do it All!” From short stories, poetry, work and academic statements, children’s through adult literature, all types and every genre.

We specialize in memoirs and science fiction, plus business nonfiction books. As to awards, we’ve won dozens of them for our writing and editing skills. Including the Literary Arts Association award for books, inclusion in The Library of Congress (not remunerated, voluntarily inclusion), several and awards. Academy awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, Tellies and several other awards for films made from our ghost’s screenplays.


My business is a one-woman effort by a differently abled freelance writer. I have health issues. Am overcoming them. Lots of fear, lots of pain and pleasure. Through the years, I ghost wrote 50+ books, some of which became NYT and Amazon best sellers. However, largely I have fulfilled my dream of sending work out to other writers. I have people on my team with dozens of bestselling books, under their names and those of their clients.

I have given many people their start as a professional writer. We have bestsellers nowadays who started out as students. I gave them a chance through GWI. And now a decent lot of them are golden!


Ghost Writer, Inc. will consider any project, if it’s ethical. But we will edit, rewrite and proofread works when it’s unethical to ghostwrite. We take payment upfront, except for celebrities and stories of timely events. We will consider a split and half a book advance, but generally we work solely for upfront pay. However, we always consider our clients’ budgets, and we will work only within them.

GWI advertises affordable ghostwriting services. We strive mightily to get first-time writers published. We don’t turn anyone away. Instead, we give out professional advice. We plan out payments over time for low-income clients. If budget is a problem, we suggest editing or book coaching instead of ghostwriting. We’ve helped many achieve success who couldn’t afford a ghostwriter. People with inspirational stories of abuse, and how they overcame it. And we plan to continue these business practices well into the future.

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As an award-winning global media digest, we come upon dozens upon dozens of writers whom although clearly possessing extraordinary talent, simply don’t have the “clout” to break into the ranks of “published” authors.

Research confirms that self-publishing is easy. Or, more to the point, self-publishing is too easy. Which is why a lot of people do it, of course. Writing and getting a book out there — whether through a publisher or via your own intrepid go-get-em spirit — is a tough row to hoe. And luck factors into it: you can certainly maximize that luck, but just the same, publishing requires that spark of serendipity.

The truth of the matter is, as a self-published author, if you want the book to sell, you’ve got to hustle. Everyday. Consistently. Relentlessly.

Publishers expect you to handle some of the marketing and advertising brunt. Doubly true if you are your own publisher. And yet, there you are, the author standing all by yourself, trying to peddle your intellectual wares with naught but a single clue as to how to do it. So you stand on all the social media corners, alongside tens of thousands of others, with the entire “breakthrough” burden on your shoulders. The truth of the matter is, as a self-published author if you want the book to sell, you’ve got to hustle. Everyday. Consistently. Relentlessly. If you are wanting to sell your project to a publisher then you have a few more hurdles to jump. You’ll need to convince a literary agent (or sometimes an editor) that your story is not only a great read, but that it is also what the market is looking for.

The reality is that when you finish your book, that’s just the beginning to becoming an accomplished writer. Frustration is imminent. You’ll want to give up. Don’t. Because there’s a credible alternative to becoming a published author – gaining the “clout” to open the many doors encountered as you follow your passion.

“Writing” A Wrong

Allow us to put this all in perspective by sharing the “real-world” experience of Rev. Patricia Cagganello, CEO and Founder of Sacred Stories Media, a conscious online media network – and in her own words⤵︎

“I know what it feels like to write your first book and have a message that you want to share with the world. The excitement you feel when the final edit is done and it is ready… but ready for who? Where do you start? Who can help you? Who will help you? 

Feeling overwhelmed with not knowing where to begin I jumped into the world of self-publishing. I trusted a known company and believed them when they told me I would be the next great author and make a huge impact… if I worked with them. I spent over $15,000 that I didn’t have to spend on my trust and belief in what they told me and my inner desire to make a difference in the world. $15,000 later of which $10,000 was for self-publishing costs and $5,000 was for one month of a publicist that didn’t secure me one interview, I was left feeling upset, foolish, and betrayed. I learned later that my experience was shared by many other authors who with little to no audience, platform, or understanding of the publishing industry were taken advantage of.

I knew then there was another way I could make a positive impact and Sacred Stories Publishing was born to offer authors a different experience, a better experience. We are passionate about helping others share their voice and treating them with the honesty and integrity they deserve whether they are looking for traditional publishing, hybrid publishing, or self-publishing.”

A Breakthough “Collaborative” Approach

That is why we are so excited about our collaborative approach to publishing. It’s a unique “book project”, purposefully designed to allow authors to share their stories and be part of a larger collective movement to inspire others and make a positive impact. It also allows new and veteran authors, or people who want to be an author, an opportunity to build their credentials and share their work through the interviews and media campaign we will be doing. A win-win-win all around. Quoting from Rev. Patricia:

“What I have learned as a publisher is that the industry is very competitive. There are over a million books published a year and it takes quite a bit of work, money, and publicity for a book to be noticed. That is why publishers when evaluating manuscripts, look to see what books the author has previously published and what size audience they have. We want to know that the author has the experience, credentials, and ability to generate sales. This book project is a wonderful opportunity for all authors to add to their credentials and build their audience which will help them get their next book noticed.”

Here’s Your “Risk Free” Opportunity

In Search Of Authors – Do You Have The Write Stuff?

Take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to share your story as a published author. But don’t delay, as participation is limited and our acceptance window closes April 30, 2019. 

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Thoughts on the Writing Life!

Thoughts on the writing life that are the experiences of one individual, that will also be similar to what other writers have tasted in the realm of writing and the like. That is our pen talking. The true muse lives in the ink.

How a Story forms:

A simple idea gets us off the mark and running toward our goal.  We may or may not know where we will end up.  It’s not really a race, but it’s good exercise.  For scammers it is a race for sure; a race for your money.  Be careful what you step in on your journey, loads of cow pies out there!

Story sample - a beginning:

by Don (Greywolf) Ford

The young Indian motioned to the settler to put on his moccasins.  He stood barefoot before the white man who struggled to understand this gesture.  Why was he wanting him to wear his shoes, when the white man already had boots to wear?

The Territory Indian agent stopped by to interpret the young brave’s action.  “He wants you to walk in his moccasins a while, and understand how he lives among his people that’s different than all of the whites and their ways.

“He wants you to “walk a mile in his shoes” is what he is trying to say.  I think even without words this speaks loud enough, wouldn’t you agree.”

“Of course, since you put it that way!” 


Mirror, mirror on the wall 

Show the greatest poem of all 

"Trees" of course without a doubt 

That's what poems are all about 

See Joyce Kilmer's "Trees" poem here 

It's shown below, have no fear 

And if you've never read this one 

So read it now, just for fun. 

Now you’ll see my commentary 

Certain myths we can bury 

Other thoughts I will unearth 

Showing us their depth and worth 

Poems are seen in candle light 

Things going bump in the night 

Poems could rise from mundane acts 

Pickles at night - as a snack 

Setting of a dinner space 

Every fork and spoon in place 

Some see poems in canvass art 

Or some in pie that's not too tart 

Know how a poem comes to me? 

List'ning to the rain - you see 

Ev'ry sound and emotion 

I see it like a magic potion 

Can a poem fall from the sky? 

This Chicken Little won't deny 

A poem forms from anything 

Listen for that special ring 

A meter, rhyme, and its measure 

Stir and mix it up for pleasure 

Cook it up and when it's done 

You must admit, poems are fun! 

Author Notes:

I know where I receive my inspiration, 

my muse waits on every corner.  There 

is no subject sacred to me. I will try 

most anything. How about you? 


by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) 

THINK that I shall never see 

A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 

And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in Summer wear 

A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 

Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 

But only God can make a tree. 

"Trees" was originally published in Trees and Other Poems. Joyce Kilmer. 

New York: George H. Doran Company, 1914. 

I try to be respectful of groups on LinkedIn that I'm a part of.  I want folks to pay a bit of attention to what I share.  I was on one group once where a member had said, "Oh go publish your work and quit showing the rest of us up.  You're making us all look bad." Then he said they were kidding.  I was sharing valuable information for Newbies who were hungry for any advice I had for them. 

That was a long time ago, and I was just a bit too excited about my work that was being picked up more frequently by magazine editors.  I was having a brag-fest in the process, but I also was offering clues as to how other writers could follow suit, since my ways opened doors for me.  Now I just offer advice in writing only and just enjoy my successes alone. 

So self-promotion has to be sprinkled on like seasoning on a good steak.  After all, the successes I was having, weren't the steak for others to enjoy.  I spent a good long time sending in short stories until I felt I had gotten enough of them published to justify going after a book deal.  I had somewhat of a good readership; now I needed followers! 

Over the last seven years I have written hundreds of poems and short stories, since they are my life.  We all have to find our niche, and Storytelling is who I am.  The book I'm working on now deals with the saving of animals the world over.  These are again my short stories, but they are all animal tales that were previously published in a Book Club at in Portugal. It is a commemorative book that I've dedicated to Mr. Michael St.John, the Publisher.  These stories are now at my fingertips, "Floyd the Dog Story Book Commemorative" is out now in full color.10916227276?profile=original

Where eagles fly,

Don (Greywolf) Ford

Native American Storyteller


I'm always thinking outside the box, and if any of you are creative writers, you must do the same. See sample pondering below from another time and place. Cheers, Don

An older commentary brought back.

Hi, all who ponder original thought, here is one that came instantly to mind (Paper with an attitude).


What is the meaning of this? Someone went to a whole lot of trouble to choose just the right tree and transport it to the saw mill. Then a dozen or so workers did their job to turn me, that same tree, into the paper you see before you.

So Mister Writer, get off your butt and do what you do best. Your job is to be funny, sad, scary, or truthful, but pen something! You need to get out of the rut you're in, and start creating those lines. This is what I was born for. I am your thoughts revealed, or your guts poured out. I enjoy the feel of your pen as it glides across my surface. I am happiest when I am full of your lines, so get a move on.

You conveniently use writer's block as an excuse to ignore me. In confronting you, I realize I run the risk of turning you away each time that I point up your failures. I am not the professed writer here; you are. I am just the tool in your hands.

Don't be afraid to use me to express yourself. Something must be eating at you. Let's get together and help each other. Write down those thoughts and ideas and I will get the word out - my specialty. Open up your mind to new possibilities. Write something funny; make someone's day.

I am here as much for me as for you. When you do your job as a writer, then it looks like I've done mine as well. Maybe we should do some brainstorming together. I have ideas too, but how would you know that, if you keep avoiding me.

Today is a new day and the start of the rest of our lives, why not take on the day

together. Cheers, your friend on paper.

Author Notes:

Just before I penned this, I was thinking "what I wouldn't do for a piece of plain paper. I would make good use of it; both sides!" And so I did!

Cheers, Don


I warned everyone a while ago that I was working on about 20 books, and I don't think anyone believed me, or they had a wait and see attitude, and that's okay!  I've been crafting them for over 8 years, but I began writing at age 15.  I'm playing catch up as my books are all written.  I just need to finish the hard part of editing them.  Fortunately, I do Editing for others, and so it goes quickly for me. The last time I submitted my book I was told there were two errors, but they weren't life threatening.  I feel that's great progress.  Cheers, Don

P.S.  They're all gonna love my pixie and fairy book.  You know I love storytelling and kids especially, but this isn't a fun for all tale, but has a bit of edge to it.  Enjoy, "The Great Migration".  If anyone gets it, I'd love a review!!!  It fits anyone 8 and older. 

You said, "Have loads of ideas/plots in mind but not motivated enough to get started."
My son was about ten when he began "scribbling" to borrow Christopher's word. He drew a picture of himself scribbling away while his head was open like a hinged door. Little tiny people were escaping out of it on strings and lowered themselves to the table below. Hundreds of them were descending the top of his head where they seemed to be escaping his brain.

I fear in my life time I have lost many of these escaping ideas, since I failed to pen those stories or poems before they got away. When I get an idea, even if it is in the middle of the night, I have to capture it and set it to paper and ink. These were some of my better ideas I came up with. The imagination is a wonderful gift that we all have. My son mentioned to me when I asked about all of those little guys, that they were all of the thousands of ideas that were pouring out of him.

My problem was not "what should I think of to write about, but which of the many ideas that come to me at various times -so many- should I choose to write about? It seems to always begin like a germ of an idea that grows and grows as long as my pen and writing hand will hold out. Cheers, Don

Now let me introduce you to a famous scribbler >>>
Wait until you meet “The Amazing Cynicalman” by Matt Feazell.

My son worked with Matt in comics in the 90s. Now this famous stick figure drawing machine is nearly a household name. This guy was my son’s first inspiration as he bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t draw well. Then Matt told him, don’t worry how your art work looks, just get your story out there, and out he put it. The first to see my son’s work and comment favorably on his writing, were some folks at D.C. and Marvel Comics. His own art still wasn’t good in his opinion at that time, but his story captivated them.

My Son is Andrew Michael Ford see creations here >>> 

Andrew recently sold a story to D.C. Comics and another to Dark Horse Comics.

Andrew Ford goes by the name Drew, and his work is found at “It’s Alive Press”

AND here > 

A great artist from Boston contacted my son with his art to add to the story, and it was Mike Kelleher, author and artist of “Legend Killer”. 

So many books out there have little merit going forward.  I do!  I have real feelings and purpose, something worth sharing.  I’m decades old; at least some of my stories are.  Many years in the making, that’s me!  Sometimes what’s old is new again.  Who ever thought bell bottom pants would come around again.  They are here and given a new name; flare jeans. LOL

I remember my son asking me if I had any new ideas about doing a story with a subject that hasn’t been done to death.  I suggested doing a story about a WORM that lost his parents in an excavation.  He laughed, then said, “I like the worm idea, but I’m dumping the excavation.”

As a result, RIB was born.

Blurb info:

What began as an interest in Poetry at the age of 15 grew over the years into a good mix of poetry, storytelling, and art.  I do my our story cover pieces.  I can help others with their covers too.  My art is digital photography.

I love being around kids, and much of my writing is kid generated and kid oriented.  I'm an environmentalist and thus the many faces of nature in my poetry and my prose.  On Saturday July 23rd I will be reading stories to campers at Verona Beach State Park, in Verona, NY  

Humor is a hallmark in most of my writing, since I look forward to turning smiles right side up. Why so glum?  Now with so many short stories published across the U.S. I have recently gotten work in Portugal and Cyprus that spreads to 62 other countries.I am going after the book market as the new home for my work.

See my stories that have been published with  Many of them are archived there.  See more of my work below:   

Lone Dragonfly published by the GoodNews Paper 

Siamese Earth Angels  (Not for Sale)  went to Guidepost Magazine 

A Fish Story went to Adirondack Life Magazine 

No Fish For You went to the  American Intercultural Magazine

Q & A Column for Sew News Magazine 

This One’s For the Birds has 9 of my stories, pictures and poems  

Various story pieces have gone to “Little Words” out of Nevada.  

Floyd the Dog Book club of Portugal and now Creature Features Magazine on the island of Cyprus have taken my story pieces too.   See attached for book cover.  A few more stories and art pieces have been attached here also!!!

Much of my poetry has been published on various sites such as "Four and Twenty Poetry", Dead Mule Poetry, Shine Journal, and has sold to many individuals for special occasions. 

From: donna crocker To:

Sent: Fri, July 15, 2011 9:17:03 PM

Subject: RE: I got here as soon as I could ! :-} Don

Hi Don, thank you for the email. I'm excited to have a blog with you. If you would send me a blurb, book cover, and links to you, I will post everything. Anything else you would like - feel free to send. I agree we all can use help getting our name out there; good luck with your story telling it sound very exciting.

donna crocker author of romance books .


Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 16:49:14 -0700


Subject: I got here as soon as I could ! :-} Don

Hi Donna,  

I'd enjoy doing a blog posting with you.  We all can use the extra publicity for our works.  I have a few things running right now.  One is my short story at Solstice titled "Royal Ferdinand".  Also, I will be storytelling for the first time on July 23rd at a New York State Park. See attached.  Also I may be asked to share stories at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY  HOORAY!!

Where eagles fly,

Don Ford

D. M.

We live in an unedited You Tube generation I would be interested to hear what the younger generation has to say on this issue in a few years time when a whole new generation of publishing has taken hold. Will the status quo prevail? Who knows. what I look forward to is an uncontrolled wild creative crazy pool where anything goes, just like music and art. What rises to the top is anyones guess. i suspect as ever that like art we will buy what we are told to, but then again could anyone have guessed that garage, punk rock, rap etc would become mainstream. One persons terrible writing is another persons hip hop.

5 hours ago• Like1

Follow Ray

Ray S, I'm far from being in the younger generation, but I like your comments. Your perception is good and I agree with your prospection.

4 hours ago• Like2

Donald Ford • Declan,

You are right, it can only get worse from here. What they tried to cram down our throats in high school about Evolution, because mosts folks are always looking for answers, is headed down hill not up, and the garbage in - garbage out is working.

If Evolution is a true concept, then we are headed back to primordial times. I for one, am not looking forward to being made to look like a monkey or a jackass.

This is a declining generation, but as an Editor, I'll try to salvage a few other young writers, who show promise along the way. Your comment is very sad, but it is easy to draw that conclusion. Maybe I can open a few eyes and ears to what is a better way to go.

I have an obligation, with paid venues for my Storytelling, to keep it from becoming terrible writing. Cheers, Don

57 minutes ago

Follow Colleen

Colleen Moore • Whew! Thank you Don for being the voice of reason. I was worried there for a moment. Being neither old generation nor young, I have one foot in each camp. I'm all for progress, but I'm also big on certain rules. The English language is, of course, always evolving, but I'll be darned if I'm going to stand by and watch it degrade in the name of possible (and I mean possible) creativity. My children speak the language of texting, but I'm happy to report that they're also excellent writers. The next generation is welcome to experiment all it likes, but when it ceases to understand Shakespeare and Austen, then the lowest common denominator wins. We do not have to accept Orwellian Newspeak just because it simplifies our life. Simplification means the absence of richness. Encouraging the youth to abandon standards of craft would lead to a very sad literary world indeed.

37 minutes ago• Like

Donald Ford • Colleen

You are very welcome; it had to be said!

Where eagles fly,

Don (Greywolf)

Native American Storyteller and Story Editor

15 minutes ago

Donald Ford • Colleen,

You are very welcome; it had to be said! My son is an amazing writer, and my daughter 22 years later, has her pulse on the literary market as well. If they are any example of the new generation, there is much hope in the future. This is not because they are my kids. It is a fact, that they are potentially becoming better writers than I was at their age.

Where eagles fly,

Don (Greywolf)

Native American Storyteller and Story Editor

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Google, Bing, Ask and many other search engines are visited by millions of readers every day in search of reliable information, and in today's lesson, I am going to show you how to increase your keyword search results on these search engines with Pinging and Indexing

Pinging / Indexing is a method by which a website is distributed to a server, or loads of servers, to notify them that a website's content has been updated.

A Ping Server may notify multiple other services when pinged, including;

Pinging and Indexing are the best and fastest way of getting your published URLs and blogs listed online in the search engines. And in other for the Ping service to work, you would need a set of strong keywords to make the search engine results a manifesto.

If you are a published author, your best keywords would be your BOOK TITLES and AUTHOR'S FULL NAME.

Keywords are very important, especially to a non-fiction writer who may title their book something like 'The Re-enactment of the Civil Right Movement.' This book title on its own (not yet taken) is a powerful set of words, and would definitely get some hits online from curious readers online if the book's URL is properly distributed.

This is why naming your book title is the most important aspect of book publication, because it is the name and book title that your readers would have to remember forever, and share.

These examples below will show you how your book title and name could be used as your set of keyword websites. You will notice that all of these different URLs point to the same sales page on Amazon.

  1. are the keywords in the url, and B007J4T2G8 is the ISBN / ASIN publication number.
  2. Same as the website above, with no alphabetical keywords attached, but leads to the same site.
  3. format of the same website, with the keywords, author's name, and ASIN publication number attached.

There are few other formats, much longer ones, that I could paste here, but these three samples prove the point. If you ever wondered why 'Fifty-Shades-of-Grey' received so many views, apart from the great writing, it is because of this thing call SEO algorithm, used by amazon, BN, Apple, Google and every other aggregate websites..

The four best Pinging / Indexing tools online

  • IMT Website Submitter submits your website/blog to 1,800+ different places. All these 1,800+ websites are mainly "who is", "about us", "website statistic", etc. type of services. This tool creates pages about your website/blog onto every one of these websites, resulting in about 1,800+ different pages in some cases with backlinks pointing back to your website. Yes some of those backlinks are no-follow and some of them are do-follow, but bottom line is that these are well-established websites regularly crawled by Google and other SE, so your pages and backlinks/URLs on those websites will be found and your website/blog will get backlinks/mentions and will be visited and indexed more frequently by Googlebot and many other search engine bots like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, etc., which is the main purpose of this tool, backlinks are just nice bonus.
  • Index Kings submits your URLs to various statistic sites. These sites give a value of your URLs and also provide a free link back to your site. This rapid indexer sends your URLs to over 15,000 sites that would promote the site link and get you instant backlinks and Rapidly gets your URLs indexed by Google! 
  • Google Webmaster Tool adds new sites to, and updates existing ones, every time the search engine crawls the web.
  • Bing Webmaster Tool submit the URL of your site to Bing, Yahoo, and few other search engines.

Now, these are the three methods that we would recommend you practice if you are interested in indexing your websites. 

  1. Copy your Indie Writers Support profile link (website URL) and submit it to the Indexing / Pinging websites above. The contents published on your profile would automatically become your keywords.
  2. Submit your very own Author's website, if you have one, to the same Indexing / Pinging websites above.
  3. Submit your Barnes&Noble's, Goodreads, and Amazon's keyword-attached URLs (like the three samples provided) to the same Indexing / Pinging websites above. 

ParaDon Books Publishing

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In the last decade, things have changed dramatically in the writing and publishing business, and will never be the same again. Anybody, perhaps almost everybody nowadays with any kind of computer seems to be having a go at it! Nowadays then, to some agents and acquisition editors, it must seem that there are far more writers around today than there are readers. Why do they do it? The irresistible lure of possibly doing another Harry Potter?

Perhaps things have become an amateur's dream of a preferable alternative to a normal occupation? Maybe they’re making it an exercise in self-fulfilment too, a way to express and analyze their feelings about the world. Where they fear it's going, and the urge to communicate about it to anyone who’ll listen.

Well, there are easier ways to relieve one's feelings of frustration when it comes to requiring therapy. You could try beating up your partner… but that can be very expensive, especially in America. In some countries I believe you can buy little clay idols, horribly hideous to behold. With just a little imagination a suitable one of them can be identified with the galling irritation of the moment. Rage and indignation does the rest. Trials and tribulations presumably scatter in the breeze with the dust of the thing as it crumbles in your fist, or shatters under your heel.

I've no doubt it works for some people, but if you lead a very frustrating life, it might soon get to be expensive. However, there are more economic ways to relieve one's feelings when the need for therapy arises. Years ago, to become your own psychiatrist, the minimum you needed was pencil and paper.

Nowadays, a personal laptop, or tablet... or even a smart phone is more convenient, and most of us have one nowadays…or something similar. Everywhere can become a couch and it's more socially acceptable than talking to yourself… or taking it out on your partner, which, as I already mentioned, can be very expensive.

So, put it all down then...scribble or tap away, unbutton your creative belt and let everything hang out. Develop your expressive urges and have your characters tell your conscience how you feel. Above all be honest with yourself, even if it hurts. It often does, and I should know…this is the voice of experience.

The nearer I got to the top of the heap, in my business profession the more I longed to release my over-pressurized feelings, throw away my collection of emotion-screening masks, insult all the customers, turn my order book in for an axe and hack away at the plastic feet of all the false idols I seemed to be worshiping. I felt disillusion and contempt for the commercial rat-race, and the way it submerged my appreciation of the simpler things in life. I resented the never-ending battle, that constantly seemed necessary, to just stay level, let alone to expand further, and I was filled with remorse at the neglect of my home-life and family. All the time you see my conscience was wearing me down. It refused to believe my contrived excuses and justification for what I was doing. I eventually knew I needed some kind of therapy, so I started writing again.

I should mention that back in the fifties I wrote and sold a few SciFi tales, as an avid Science Fiction fan and participated in several conventions. My rapidly expanding business life however, soon put a stop to those fascinating activities. Eventually in the late seventies I decided it was time to retire from my professional executive life, and went to work for myself as a software consultant. The problem with that was the way it soon took up all of my time again, so in my early eighties I gave it all up and finally retired.

Since then I have only indulged in writing, editing and promoting my speculative fiction output. Now of course, I am ruefully finding the latter, the essential marketing requirement, seems to take up more and more of my time than the writing does. But to continue…

The smaller magazines and genre websites began to take my work, and still do, and I've also won a few competitions, and received a couple of awards. Altogether I’ve published over ten collections of speculative stories from macabre tales to science fiction and even some humor. I've also had stories published in about nine anthologies in America. My first novel, Points of View, was published in 2012 by Eternal Press in California. In 2015 they were taken over by Caliburn Press in Madison. Wisconsin. The first sequel was planned to be published by them around December 2016. Unfortunately, things went wrong with them as described later.

In 2014, with my own self-publishing imprint, Etcetera Press, I self-published my largest book, 358 pages of THE BEST OF THE TENERIFE TALL TALES, selected from my earlier award winning trilogy, which has that most generous introduction by the late legendary, American SciFi author Harry Harrison. We met up in 2007 at a convention in Copenhagen, and he later visited me for a most illuminating week in Tenerife, Spain where my wife and I were on vacation. He liked my stories, and gave me a glowing introduction to use with one collection, but said I really had to write a novel if I seriously wanted to get anywhere.

So that I did, as described earlier, and now things are progressing well. My very latest effort has been to self-publish an analysis of the coming Artificial Intelligence revolution, in a book entitled, THE SINGULARITY IS COMING. It has become my best selling title. Most people I talk to have never heard of the phenomenon, and yet many scientists and other experts believe it will arrive in less than a decade and change all out lives completely. If you don't yet know about it you should... and you know how to find out about it, don't you? i.e. See my website:

Last October it was acquired by the IT Books Division of the Chinese Information Ministry Publisher, PTPress in Bejing. for publication in simplified Chinese eBook, hardback, and paperback versions, scheduled for release in June 2016... and it was! So how did that wonderful breakthrough come about? Their Publishing Manager simply found me while searching through the Internet and took it from there. In his own words, “I wanted a follow up to Ray Kurzweil’s book on the subject and your book is concise and easy to understand.”
Now for the Eternal Press sad story..

Cotinued in my eBook BEST SELLER PLAN see

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Ever had one of them days?

…where everything goes from roses and sunshine to something much more akin to the southernmost drafts of northbound horse?10916227259?profile=original

I never was all that great at geography, but something about all this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd much prefer talking about it. Always had a knack for the storytelling part of it, anyway. And the editors over at The Ocotillo Review and Kallisto Gaia Press seemed to think so, too, because they recently notified me that they planned to publish my fourth story from my Long Gone & Lost collection, which I’ll be turning in for my MFA here in the very near future.

I’m fairly certain that the two fellows from my story would know all about those ill tasting after effects I mentioned, however. They may be all fiction themselves, but they were indeed inspired by real life events in a real life newsrooms. Dave Kindred wrote about a few folks just like these two who, mere days after everybody was riding a high that only those who win six Pulitzers will ever truly know, them and most everyone they knew were handing walking papers from their jobs. That's right, they were fired!

Sure, they may be one of the best papers anywhere, as the Pulitzers might suggest, but they would soon be so with half as many people.

Trust me when I say this, but if that don’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, nothing will.

I read Kindred’s Morning Miracle two years ago now. He wrote about the world famous Washington Post, and how after one of their best years ever, editorially speaking, half the people employed there lost their jobs because subscribers had dropped off and Facebook could do for free what no newspaper ever could.

What’s that, you might ask, that Facebook so excels at? Namely, creating a platform whereby complete strangers could hound and annoy people with enough asinine questions about the glorified junk somebody is selling that folks will actually give shit away–cars, furniture, boats, livestock, you name it–just so they don’t have to answer, yet again, what color that the blue 1985 Ford Tempo that's for sale might be, or what year model it was again, or what make of that model it might be, or–did I happen to mention the color already? I forget…

(I've had some questions arise on that last paragraph from the original posting of this this blog entry on my author website, so I thought it might need some explaining. You see the Marketplace feature of Facebook, the very culprit responsible for obliterating the common classified ad in a newspaper which in turn all but sank your average newspaper in terms of operating revenue, actually rewards such idiotic lines of questioning a product, because its algorithms push to the top of people's displays those items which are most talked about, so a series of completely useless details about said car, or likewise, 110 people entering one word exclamations, like " Nice!" or "P.O.S!!!" the more likely modifier of an 85 Tempo, especially those that receive a response from the author, actually get shown before those that have none. As a result, people now obliterate said site  with needless words, getting friends to help even, just to have that piece of crap car show up every time you refresh your page, thereby increasing its likelihood of someone purchasing it. I have no idea, but it was a fact I picked up from a fellow who bulls and resells POS cars on a regular basis. And now you know, as Paul Harvey used to say on the radio, the rest of the story).

But there at the Post, they threw parties one day. Couldn’t be prouder of how hard everybody worked to be just like a blood kin family. A few days later, they had security guards following people out to make sure they didn’t take a stapler that wasn’t theirs. They even fired some of the folks who won Pulitzers, I hear. They had to. They couldn’t afford them anymore.

Sadly, that sort of thing is still very much a reality for some of the folks I know well. In fact, newspapers are nothing like the bastions of economic security they once were. And sure, you gotta feel bad for the guy who tops his profession, only to be rewarded for his efforts with a layoff. But what if those employees fired–the ones the reader gets to know best in the story–are complete and utter slacker morons? I mean they serve a function-- albeit, doing something I don’t want to do--but somebody has to, I guess. Or not. But how would that dynamic affect the story?

I wondered. So, I wrote.

Wound up calling it “Forget the Alamo” (which isn’t near as heretical as it sounds to all my Texas purist friends. At least, I hope not, anyway). I can’t say much more about it, for now. Not until it publishes. They want first publication rights and all.

For more information, and to see a full compendium of items published this year, log on to my author website at




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Dag and the other cats made their way down the silent street in an effort to find the second course of their dinner. Unconcerned, they strolled down Maxwell Street, the home of Flinz, a notorious cat who was feared by the entire feline population of the city. It was rumored that Flinz’s breath could kill a dove!
Maxwell Street lay in the belly of discomfort, and its ugliness was there for all eyes to see. The streetlights were dim; they had seen better days. The buildings, too, were swimming in the pool of old age and begging for renovation. Parts of the old street were overrun with rats and mice—meals that poor Dag and friends would normally have found promising but tonight lay beyond their reach and strength. 
The cats were tired from their long walk, so they rested a short distance from a shopping mall, which housed the finest buildings on the old street. But just as they settled down, Flinz emerged from behind a cracked old fence and stole past Dag and the others. He dashed into the mall, almost unnoticed, to commit what had earned him the nickname ‘the notorious cat’. After a few minutes inside the mall, Flinz found some groceries on a shelf and lost his balance trying to reach the food. Blaize was the first to be alerted. “What’s that?” he asked with a grimace.

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Dag raised his head and glanced about. “I don’t know.” His voice revealed his caution.
Fred cleared his throat and said, “It could be a thief!” He exchange glances with the others.
“You may be right,” said Blaize. “Let’s go see who the criminal is,” he suggested, and faced the mall with a good speed. The other cats followed, flinging glances in every direction to make sure that no one was on their trail. As soon as they got to the mall, Blaize signaled his friends to stop. Before they could blink, Blaize climbed up to one of the half-open windows and peered inside. There was Flinz, feasting on the groceries! A ray of anger flushed over Blaize’s face. Returning to his friends, he reported, “We have an enemy in there!”
“Who?” Dag probed, simpering.
“It’s Flinz!” Blaize replied. 
“Who is Flinz?” asked Pork.
“Flinz lives on the street that leads to the train station. It is said that he once ate an animal that had been sacrificed by humans, and is now immersed in a pool of misfortune. After losing his fine attributes, he withdrew from public life and became a terror to the people.”
“What a pity. Life is no bed of roses!” Dag said, and turned to go.
“No! We must fight him!” Blaize proclaimed. “The wicked soul killed my brother after they had a heated argument over a piece of meat in the market square. And I have vowed to avenge my brother’s death. There is no better time to do so than this beautiful night. Then my brother’s death will have had a purpose!”
Dag now recalled the sad story. “Yes, I remember. Wasn’t it the cat you told me about that lived in the train station?”
“Yes!” Blaize responded. “And that was four days ago.”
Then Pork offered a jewel of advice: “You’d best forget about Flinz and mind your business. I don’t think vengeance is the way to handle this issue.”
Blaize reacted, “Check my face and read my lips, and you will see that nothing can stop me tonight, Pork. My brother cannot have died for nothing!”
“Pork is right,” Dag interjected. “We came here to find a befitting meal for the night, not to battle. Don’t allow this issue into your head, my friend.” The elderly cat pulled Blaize to his side.
Blaize shoved him off. “You don’t know how it hurts to lose a brother. My brother was my best friend and was everything to me.” Tears gathered in his eyes as Blaize moved away. Before Dag and the other cats could make a move, Blaize had disappeared through the window and was received by the treachery inside the mall.
There was a momentary silence as Blaize advanced to the corner where Flinz was having a one-cat party. Red with rage, Blaize shouted, “You are a wicked soul, and your madness ends today!”
Raising his head, Flinz cleared his throat as a queer look paraded over his face, “Why call me such a name on a cold night, my poor friend?”
“I see that you have forgotten that you killed my brother!”
Flinz pushed his meal to one side, and tried to recall who the fellow was, but he could not remember. So he fixed his gaze on Blaize: “I have no memory for an ugly past. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. Who exactly is your brother?” 
“Don’t tell me that you have forgotten the fellow you slew at the market square some months ago!”
“Oh, yes… Now I remember. But it is one of those things. Brother killing brother and so forth,” Flinz replied unrepentantly and went back to his meal.
“I have vowed to avenge my brother’s death.”
After swallowing a lump, Flinz replied, “You don’t have to announce it. Let your actions speak for you. But I will advise you to refrain from vengeance, because it is not in our power to take life.”
“But you killed my brother!”
“Yes. But I never wanted to. He refused to let me have my way. And that was why I sent him to the silent world. Now, please go away. Sometimes I lose my temper and find myself going against my nature in circumstance such as this one.”
“No! I refuse to leave!” The arched back and bristling fur demonstrated Blaize’s aggression; his tail was confidently upright and his rear stood firm, while the front of his body retreated and his fur stood straight up to make him look bigger than he actually was. He was certainly ready to give Flinz a good fight.
Flinz chuckled. “So you want to fight me? Do not add your death to this tragedy, my friend. Leave here!” Flinz ordered. He crouched low, not ready to submit, with chin tucked in, ears turned to show their backs and whiskers forwarded and ready to face the threat. 
Blaize started the fight with a fierce blow that caught Flinz on the neck. But just as he pressed his advantage, and no eye was watching, he made a slash across the cat’s right cheek and some whiskers were lost. Blaize let out with an agonized cry as they shared blows from one end of the store to the other. However, it was only a matter of time before the advantage shifted to Flinz, and Blaize tasted frustration that night. Flinz had left Blaize devastated, then dashed out of the mall and raced towards the train station for all he was worth. Before Blaize could even blink, his enemy was gone. 
Not long after, Dag, Pork and Fred rushed to the scene where Blaize had received the beating of his life. Dag was the first to speak. “Where is Flinz?” 
Blaize pointed towards the train station and managed to croak, “There!” There was no strength left in him.
Pork and Fred tried to give chase, but before they could get out of the mall, Flinz had disappeared into thin air. With darkness hanging around the corner, and disappointment taking its toll, they shook their heads in disbelief and returned to the store. As a matter of fact, Blaize had yet to shrug off the injury he’d suffered at the hands of Flinz. “You were not prepared for the fight, Blaize.” Pork said.
That much was true. Later, they could discuss how to cut the bully down to size, but for now Dag helped the injured Blaize to his feet. “We must leave now,” said Dag. But just as they made for the window that was halfway open, they were alarmed by a strange sound from the street. “What’s that?” Pork took cover behind one of the shelves.
“Sssh! Keep your voice low,” Dag warned as, one after another, they scaled the window only to witness a bizarre occurrence that was taking place under the gloomy eyes of the silent night. On the street was a man being mobbed by a crowd of people. One after another they rained down their clubs upon the man until at last he lay gasping and choking. His head rolled to one side as life itself faded from his lips. After the assault was over, and after all the belongings of the dead man had been placed in the pockets of his assailants, the mob disappeared into the night.
“What have they done?” Pork inquired incredulously.
“Can’t you see that they just beat a man dead?” Blaize replied.
Dag shook his head in dismay. “What a wicked world! Humans do not value life as we do. No cat I know could be that brutal!”
But Blaize had something different to say: “What about Flinz? Is there any difference between that scoundrel and the mob?” 
“Flinz is a bad example, and his days are numbered,” Dag replied with a frown.
“I hope so,” Blaize mumbled.
Fred sighed. “I’m not so sure that the man is dead…”
“Nor am I,” Pork said. “We are too far away to assume that he has gone to meet his ancestors.”
“Let’s go and see if he is still alive,” Dag said, and led the cats to the street where the man lay in a pool of his own blood. Once they reached the scene, they were sad to see that the man had indeed walked into silence. Dag said, “This is not good. I know this man. He lives at the end of this street. I wonder why he’s come home so late today.”
“That is not the issue, Dag. No one has the right to take his life. Like every citizen of this land, each man has the right to freedom of movement,” Fred stated.
“Whatever kept him out late must have been important,” Blaize said.
“Only God knows. If humans would take security seriously, this man would have returned unharmed to his house,” Pork said. He sighed a long sigh.
A momentary silence hung in the air as the cats stared at the poor soul. Not long after, thunder crashed in the sky and it began to rain. “I’ve heard enough for today,” Dag announced and walked away. The elderly cat climbed the roof of one of the buildings and disappeared. The other cats knew that venturing further into the treacherous night was not the best idea, so they followed the path of their old friend.

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How to market to multiple book review websites at once

The K-Instant Dashboard is a powerful web-based software that every writer/publisher need to acquire for themselves. It is a do-it-yourself website application that can instantly promote your Amazon books to thousands of readers every time it is used. 

Although the K-Instant application is closed to new buyers, writers who are still interested in this program can take advantage of it through the Indie Writers Support initiative.

Here’s a recap of why this is the best Kindle tool you can get your hands on…

checkmarkManage all of your Kindle books from one dashboard – Just open up Kinstant Dashboard and see exactly what’s going on with your books. Track reviews, keyword rankings, and marketing progress — without having to go anywhere.

checkmarkMake as many sales as possible from your books – We’ve listed out everything that needs to be done to get as many book sales as possible. All you (or your outsourcer) has to do is click “Yes” each time they’re completed. Our Progress Bar will help make sure you make as much long term passive income as possible.

checkmarkRack up the downloads on your Kindle promotions – Our system will go through and submit books on your behalf when you have your Free Days. This helps you get thousands of downloads for free. If you were to pay for this service, you’d pay upwards of $100 PER BOOK — and you can do it unlimited times on our software.

checkmarkReach thousands of people who want to leave you a review - Another component of our system is that we will automatically, as soon as you request it, go to Facebook and submit your book to Facebook groups full of authors who want to support each other. Once your book is in front of them, you can request downloads and reviews.

checkmarkEnjoy higher rankings on Amazon’s search engine – We use a loophole on Amazon to make sure that every time your book gets submitted, you’re getting the juiciest SEO benefits possible. You don’t even have to do anything extra — just know that every time you submit a book, you’re silently going to get higher search engine rankings.

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Read more…

Let's Meet

Before the bananas ripe

let's meet at least once

lest the fog dampen passion

let's water our love

the sun is bright this morning 

and night's promising

let's meet and unfreeze winter

of years, drink some wine

restore warmth of faith and hope

and heal the breaches

without black goggles for seeing

let's  meet at least once


Read more…

How long should a scene be?

One of my clients asked me this question. This may seem like a dumb question, but it’s worth discussing so as to help writers who are new to the game. Short answer: The god of fiction has not prescribed the length of a scene. A scene should be as long as it needs to be in order to accomplish its goal. Each scene should be planned before the writing begins. The plan must begin with establishing its purpose. The scene should incorporate at least one of these purposes:

• Move the main plot line ahead.

• Present necessary information

• Introduce or develop characters

• Create atmosphere or develop setting

• Introduce or worsen a problem

• Solve a problem

• Set up a later scene.

In addition, you must answer the following questions before you begin writing a scene:

• Who will be the viewpoint character?

• What other characters will be in this scene?

• Where will this scene take place?

• When will it take place?

• What is the primary action that will occur in the scene?

• What will generate conflict?

When you have determined the purpose of the scene, answered the questions above, and fulfilled its purpose, the scene will find its natural length.

Read more…

A Twisted Shade Of Green series, book one "Portrayal Of Lust and Revenge", is now at,, Paperback: $13.99  e-book/kindle: $3.99. Visit website for more details:  


Two opposites illustrate how love can conquer hearts of lust, revenge, and deception. Kali Mathias possesses an appetite of lust, and Glen Monroe has a raging spirit for vengeance. And together, Glen and Kali both have deceit souls within. But, love turns one date among two total conflicting hearts into one which requires each other to be alive in the midst of any storm. Through a new-found love, God taught Kali to know that not everything has a price tag; at least, not real love! God taught Glen to realize even love can conquer the grips of a sought-after heart’s revenge!

Read more…

Man of Salt

7:10 a.m. Monday morning...

Black crows flew in Henry Applewhite’s dreams. Maybe it was a Poe thing?  Redemption? Atonement? He crossed his chest, raised the knife above his head. He couldn't make up his mind whether to cut on a forty five degree angle or slice it horizontally with and butter toast.  He bites. Ummm!Umm! Henry decided to slit it down the middle. He was alone but he wasn't a winner like Fleetwood Mac—most of his drug dealers were dead.  

He liked to smoke crack and reefer together. Many people died for his thirst. He shook salt over his right shoulder every morning to keep the darkness away. He was like a lame duck his seas was always red, black or green and filled with the crows of death. They were always around him; like the raven as the black bird that remained in his dreams, as the fair scavenger crow of death mystified and held out the door of sleep to his casket He used up most of his money to buy dope; he was on crack now, the secret that slipped in his brain by some big tit girlfriend: Tyra, thanks for the memories because weekend after weekend he was dropping off the moon. Sweet coffee awoke him as Honduran nectars awoke him to smells of jealous women. He bites the toast and chews down time as he steps on a filthy cockroach; just like him. Henry checked his watch. On time, cool.  Marijuana smoke floated with musk cologne. He worked on his tie knot. He liked reading that Poe shit because death of loved ones was always in his life.  He threw a hand of salt over his right shoulder.  He was crazy-obsessed with death like him and being a part of this F’d  racist country.  He died in the streets a broke-crazy Writer.  O’ so the  Raven. He was weighed down with  rejection. Stone cold rejection. Henry flew with the black crow. He checked his silk tie. It was seven-forty-five time to make money and  Henry was going down like that.


Henry looked for his keys and briefcase. He had to fly the black crow underground. He hung like a vampire on subway straps,  reading his Washington Post and not looking at you. He was lynched again going to some goddamn job. What you want a rock song? Maybe that girl you had last night in the Jungle Bar?   Edie smelled like a hot and sweet Mexican taco. In his eyes she was a game of chance.  He could still taste her  in his throat like a bottle of tequila as he remembered she was honey on a stick. 

Henry was clean and fresh.  He scanned busted dog ass faces of people going to some goddamn job. All colors in his eyes. He trembled between the Asian girl and old fart of a guy with bald head and sunglasses. All stood on the bookshelves of misery. You welcome mama. Grin and photograph a sleepy black man hanging on a modern day lynch rope to his cotton fields taken over by city buildings with little blue, white patches of sky.

Something was happening, life is hard and the newspaper tells you half-truths about crime, politics and  the destruction of the soul. All rise, and got off  in front of KFC.  No sense being worried with the rest of the Clueless in America. He shrugged and went to his office with women taking control. He was still glad being a man today. New rules of romantic combat in the work place. Henry stared up for a  thunderstorm. Women held hands with their lovers sent him over the edge. He was lonely and he needed twenty bucks to get another hit of that coke-straight He wanted to stay home and nurse a comic book but he had to get to his research gig. Military dog that he was, love letters he wanted in this real life as he went in the Cody Building and died till five.

Henry was trying to work things out as he wrote a line of poetry under Colonel Bethesda.  He was getting in trouble in front of the pigeons. He wanted to forgive everybody for having to go to some fucked up J.O.B. God help the world of  Pocahontas fine women from various Gargoyle warped office buildings. He was through for the day as the dying yellow sun became a dropped ball behind helium green oak trees up and over Pennsylvania Avenue. Vacuum people strolled* reeled, churned towards buses and cabs marched towards comers like new release cuts: Open your nose smell three feet away perfume of loaded women descended with briefcases down stairs of justice, bureaus of evidence, trace evidence of no man, or a husband on pain killers and a search for law suit husbands from redheads, blondes, brunettes, afros go to mulish drinking holes with no charge like search warrants beating your ass in a cage. One more chance as he closed his notebook, not yet finished his poem, his great, great unpublished poem dangled out his ass.

What's the big deal? He waited at the corner of seventeenth and K, warm kiss blue skies and happy with his work. He couldn't wait to get home to smoke an el primo.

In a little circle crowded circle on the corner. He huddled with other shoulders across from a frigid red light like he was at a work meeting. He saw some co-workers: Joan Avery, Steve Byrd, Kitty Brown, Big Dave and Shirley McDonald.

Henry noticed to his right an old woman with shopping cart; holding the world up like Atlas. No one greeted her; they just held their noses. Beat. She was a lost angel. He heard a strong engine. He saw a truck pile into her shopping cart. “HONNNNK! HONNNNK!  truck screamed.

The bag woman feet  flew back as she looked up into hazel-brown eyes of a guy with a nervous grin gently held her. She dropped in his arms. Beat. She felt weak as if she wasn't able to breathe. Sirens. Henry just wanted to go home and smoke another el primo. He didn't want to be part of this American pie. He shoved out through the crowd as they saw him run. 

Voices chased him.

"Hey! Mister!"

"Hey! Mannnn!"

"Heyyyy! Heyyyyy!"

Henry melted into a street crowd.  He didn't want to be seen. He felt good, disturbed but good.  She would be okay now. He missed the applause of people searching for him. He didn’t care. He was hungry in front of  Indian restaurants. He passed a pizza place on 14th and K Street; Ponzi’s.  Jazz music popped from swinging doors. He walked red brick cobbled sidewalks as he got closer to home. Henry just wanted a job, a woman and peace between him and his father.  Maybe one day?

Metallic screeching Pennsylvanian trains shot like silver arrows over cereal box roof tops, the same kind that killed his mother one drunken night inside this fist raised world-uptown D.C. People, buses, landed by like a Charlie Parker theme song with strings. It was cool, as he went by Howard University, passed the rhapsody of students on bikes or walking or talking about classes with books under their arms. Henry was finished with all that. Henry was finished. He just wanted to smoke his el primo and chill out in his fish bowl of an apartment Man! This was great to be alive, not in jail. He stopped in the bar-b-que joint on the corner of sixth and Lessing Street Sharp butt knocking women walked, talked by the window as his corner buddies sold good dope from South America and all he had to do was wave goodbye. Bobby's joint smelled saucy, aromatic salt, peppers, hot, spicy southern tones of men and women eating there dinner of corn cob, collards, ribs* sandwiches, chicken, grits^ black eye peas, chitterlings on the side. And don-'t forget the pork chops. He walked in, people knew him and nodded, he walked up to the counter and smelled it all in.    " Henry," Martha said, "barbeque sandwich...two?*

" Thanks." He watched the basketball game over the counter. It was May with cherry blossoms.  He watched the uproar by a beautiful brave heart reporter about a life being saved today. He didn't pay any attention, watched a peach-pie woman come in. She was shaped like an open bottle of coca cola, long legged and radiant. She was a Washington, D.C. cherry blossom.

She came up beside him by the counter.

"I'll have a rib dinner, to go."

“Make that two.”

"Hi!” Henry said,  he let her get closer to the counter.

She looked at him; he was a few inches taller. His demeanor was studious, teacher or professor? He was cute, with gold-button blue sport coat, white shirt, unloosened neck-tie, grey slacks and tasseled loafers," Hi, just getting off work?"

"Yeah, that's all of us," he said," my names Henry.”

“Winnie, ” she smiled, “I’m hungry.”

"Hi! Winnie! me too."

"Henry, I’m going to sit down," she  motioned to a table.

"Okay," he followed her. She sat at the large front window behind the  logo 'BOBBY'S RIB HOUSE’. It faced the corner where blue and green street busses let people off.

The joint smelled like sweet peppers from her mother’s garden in Louisiana. Brown sparrows sounded like Ray Charles songs. Henry liked her style. She was nice in a blue suit, white blouse, black pumps, leather briefcase,  short bang hair. Lawyer? All business in the middle of  rush hour. He watched her people shopped at stores, kids ran, police sirens whisked by.

 She pointed up at the television." I wonder who is this hero they talking about?."

"What hero?"

Winnie smiled at him, smiling at her. A man she just discovered checked her out over plates of good smells," The guy who saved an old lady?"

" I need you to save me."

" Silly,” she rolled her eyes.

" You have pretty eyes," he touched her hand.

" Henry, is that line going to get me in your bed?**

" No, but it might get you to come and have dinner with me at my place," he pulled his ear," I live round the comer."

Winnie stared into his soft brown eyes. He didn't threaten her with that nice mustache. Past problems with men she was under control. She smiled; it could only lead to something good with this guy who needed her to live, to fly with those Ray Charles birds singing some kind of Georgia on my mine song. He was nice; he didn't pay attention to the t v., only her. He lived around the corner, and around the coiner she left with him and their food.

She liked his one bedroom: It had green plants in the window, large fichus in the right corner under ceiling rack lights. Zebra covered seven foot sofa. A small dining room bamboo table towards the left by the kitchen, African statues on the coffee table with a giant picture of a farmhouse, fields of people He was broader than an average bachelor. Winnie licked her fingers around bookcases, stereo as she sat and ate her food with him. He turned on some music from his stereo as it was getting late and the golden sun from the blinds helped its way in the rooms of blue painted walls. She settled in, kicked her heels off and listened to him talk about his family or his job as a government cookie cutter technocrat

She talked about her career and he talked about his job. Really. His general polices as he licked his fingers about black poverty, black hunger and improving the prosperity of a complex slave world that he couldn't fix. She recognized his comments were funny. He was funny, and he poured her more wine. She wasn't going to give him none as she sucked her. thumb and talked about her high class secretary's job at the Department of Navy.

" You are someone I would like to take out sometimes,'' he said.

" We’ll see, but take me home."

“ Let me get my car keys," he asked her, " kiss?"

"Okay, be gentle," she unfolded her arms.  He kissed her slow, waxed his lips slightly touched.  She revealed tenderness, as he slightly touched her arms.

She liked him, she bought him closer.

 "Thank you," he smiled.

"Thank you."

Henry got his car keys out a coffee can in the kitchen, “Ready.” She took his hand and walked her out his apartment Henry wanted to show her a strong brother. He wasn't physically big, but a man who wasn't a drug dealer, a cat who has never been to jail. He drove fast, but tailed off when he got too close to other drivers. If he did get close, he would back off carefully. He looked in the rearview of crawling darkness as night seeped ovenhim and his black Volkswagen.

Winnie touched his hand as he handled the clutch. She was tired. She smiled and stared at him at the  red light She didn't him to know yet,  he was just right Not dangerous like she thought, but still a mystery, still a man who had secrets. A quiet man.   It would take a while before he opened up to her, but until than she would keep her legs closed and only tell him the good parts about her.  She smiled; he bit his fingernail. He wasn’t slick. He was classy.  A square who wanted to be John Wayne like a lot of men. “ You nervous?”

“Always on a first date.”

“This is not a first date , this is a get to know you meeting over a chicken platter.”

“I ‘m falling in love with you,” he smiled.

She quietly watched  through the car windows  of night stars falling from earth. She met a nice guy, less nervous now. He carried himself like a man. Maybe he was an ex-soldier?  He dressed nice. She made the right decision to go with him.

Car radio news...


“I wonder who he is?" Winnie asked.

" Sure not Henry Applewhite," he laughed.

She directed him to the third apartment building on Lloyd Street.

“You going to call me?"

" I'll call you, " he kissed her cheek on her cheek,  he got her door.

“Thank you!"


Henry watched her go inside apartment lobby. He scratched his head as he drove around street corners; excited, but worried as he passed well lighted ma and pop stores showed trails of moon dust towards urban nativity street scenes with little junkie shepherd boys. He went down Upshur Avenue and took a right on 13th. His mother dead, father still alive with a young girl and new family, some aunts and some cousins left around. One uncle still around .like a fruit loop. He shrugged at the white quarter moon over top the Beacon Hill Apartments. He had bills, should he collect his award... will his quiet world be shattered if he showed his face? He liked living under the covers as a patriotic act of human feces.

He steered right on Meredith Street with tortured thoughts, parked his car in back of his building and sleep tonight as a government blue blood. He said his prayers…

Now, I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep…

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take…


Thursday afternoon after work Henry stood in his kitchen drinking a beer. He thought about his heroism and coming from his closet, desk and typewriter.  He listened to some John Coltrane. He played like it was going to be a blood bath and no boxing gloves, phone rang. His cousin, Mike was in the same building. Two floors down. He came up with a sweet potato gal. She had on a long brown jacket, black mini skirt, raised big tits that burned through a white cashmere v neck sweater. With5 brown cat eyes like she was sleepy, but she was hot like an Arizona wind. They hugged. Mike his favorite cousin, he was taller; and Henry really liked him. He was wise and like a tattoo on his life. They grew up together around D.C, They went out drinking and dancing around the Jeffersonian town. But it was Tuesday night and Henry couldn't go out to forget about winning an award and moving around and chilling and having people with a lot of guts asking him for attention, money or his blood.

“Henry let me introduce Kelly."                            .

"Hey, Kelly," Henry nodded, "having a beer, getting ready to smoke an el primo."

Mike pulled out a joint from his shirt pocket.

"Okay..." Henry got the matches, Kelly was on the couch, watched his tiny color t.v. and faced north like a Kansas jay hawk.

" Hey! man, who was that girl I saw you with?” Mike crossed his arms, leaned on the refrigerator. He glared at him like he had caught something nice to prepare himself for. '

"Winnie," smoke was getting him to slow down his thinking-mellowed jazz in the apartment as trumpet came in peace. He passed him the joint" Nice."

“Minnie?" he handed him marijuana cigarette.

Henry shook his head, "Winnie.”

"How you like it?'”

“Good.” he handed it to him. He watched him puff as if he was going to suck up the whole goddamn planet in his lungs.

"It's  smooth."

"Yeah! like us!"

He slapped him five.

Henry held the power of the weed down his throat.  The room spun, and he wanted to cry and sing about all the shit in his life.

"You okay Henry?" Mike took the joint.

"Just tired," he moved to the living room where the girl was, "I see you tomorrow."

"Okay, see you tomorrow, " Mike handed him the joint.

"Mike, thanks^" he opened the door.

"Come on baby, my cousin got to get up in the morning."

"We all do," Henry scratched his head.

"Okay! bye! Henry!" Mike asked his girl. "hungry baby?"


"What you want?"

"I got a taste for some chicken,” she snuggled against him, “I think Mister Wings is still open."

“Night cuz! Okay! baby!” Mike winked, closed the door. 

Wednesday morning a diamond sun opened his eyes. Henry stretched from his six o’ clock dreams, his yawn mixed with thoughts of cream and sugar in his coffee. He liked his peace, his silence with his thoughts. His thoughts. Not being bothered, uncomplicated and less than his medical deductible. He made his bed, went to the bathroom and took a teaspoon of olive oil.  Sneezed, wrapped his red and gold tie through his button-downed collar Mirror. He reminded himself of his father of course he didn't want to be like him. Not on speaking terms, never a day he didn't think about him thought . Henry and him were close when he was a little boy. Memories. Big Bill used to take  them to McDonald's every Saturday evening,  his sister  and his mother.

His mama Sweet Betty Applewhite died of bad  judgment and a taste for bad men. She died of pneumonia and Henry died in that grave with  her,  probably his father did too. But Big Bill had to go  to  jail for seven years. It killed his mother. Big Bill killed her old boyfriend.  It was a Bob Dale. Nigger already had two wives. What he want with his mama? After that he kind of lost him, especially after Henry and his sister went off to college. He turned the television on and watched WDDC.

Time for tanned,  muscle face, Nordic newscaster in a grey two-button suit gives his news update...

"There was a shooting at Mister Wings Restaurant last night. Police apprehended the suspect, but sadly three people died in the shoot-out before it was all over…”

“Damn!” Henry got his cup, "welcome to the real world."  He shook his head, reached and flipped through his Time magazine. He read an article on the mysteries of the Supreme Court He smiled at the fart face old men scratching themselves under their robes. "These old guys are mil of shit," than his phone rang. He snatched  it off the kitchen wall.


“Henry this is your Aunt Beth," she asked, “did you see the news?" She was sitting in her cushy rocking chair, her round upright body shook as she scrunched tissue in her fist.

"Uh! Noooo!."

“Mike was killed at that restaurant."

“Killed!" his chest became heavy as the phone got hot in his hands. He fell against the wall, to his knees. He dropped the phone in his hand. " Nooo! Noooo! Nooooo!"

She cried,“Yes, baby, Henry, he was killed in that chicken restaurant robbery." Her right leg shook, "Henry come over to grandma's house for the wake.”  

" Okay aunt Beth, okay,"  he swiped his eyes," bye!"  He hung up. The sorrow in him was terrible. He wanted to die too. He wanted to die with all the sorrows of the world; He didn't want to be on this earth anymore as he slapped his tears. He called his job," Good morning, Mrs. Bent.. .this is Mister Applewhite," tell Mrs. Carlton I won't be in work  today.  I got death in my... in my family." Henry ached like an enemy tore him apart.  He felt like he was robbed, he was lost-screwed as his cousin was gone.

He tried to concentrate on her voice," I am sorry Henry, I’ll  tell her." He hung up, wiped his eyes, looked around and fell on his bed before he could see his family. He was weak, tired and didn't understand why?  He recalled; rushed to the cookie jar on the table as he slapped his eyes. He examined the moon smiling porcelain face of the jar. It was a nice piece of craftsmanship he used to hide money, or memories of his life. He opened the jar top, sat down at the table and pulled papers, money, drug paraphernalia and photos of him, Mike, Eddie, Roy, Jerry, Duck, and Boo Peters. One photo had them sitting under a giant honeysuckle tree. Year end, they would go to a summer picnic in Rock Creek Park or one picture of them hugging up on midnight. women at a New Year’s Eve party. He wasn't satisfied "Why Mike?" He smiled, filtered his fingers over the photos of Mike and him tussling in the snow, leaning on a hilly lawn at a barbeque, sold the lives, footloose. It was about time they owned the sun, the whole fuckm* world. Two cousins grew up together like a Kenny Logan's song.

They were black crows pecking the flesh of the earth with respect and a low legacy of old pictures and smart afros; them sitting with their grandma

Two bookends in the business of growing up together, eating up the world. Not knowing, not knowing before they moved on to their own worlds like music not fitting in. Just working, going into the world and playing with it like a ball of yawn. Play right, play hard. They were heavy into everything from 1966 to 1968. Jazz man, jazz. He thought about * it and remembered Mike falling drunk asleep in a hot club, how he had to get him out before some pretty woman picked his pocket Mike saved him one time when he was stuck in the snow in Detroit with some voodoo woman, got him the money to get him out of the icy fingers of her love. "Why Mike?" Damn, he wished jie was there to save him one more time. more time. Henry started to write a poem on a piece of paper to Mike, he wanted him to know

that he understood him, he walked with him as they were like tight roots from the God's


















Henry folded the poem, stuck it in the cookie jar. He was hurt and mad, ripped off his

tie like it was all the possessions he had and he didn't give a shit anymore.

Ivy vines branched around his grandmother's house as he parked his car on a street of dwarf chestnut oak trees. It was a quiet street of proud black folks, a street he grew up on, now he had to come back for a funeral.

Henry kissed his little cousins playing. Catch me and tag the kid in the chest when you run out of time. Down you go. He smiled, and went inside the house that tackled his heart Go deep as he looked to his left in the living room

white French doors. He  reached down and squeezed his aunt Beth like a ball of love.

" Hi, baby," she said," you okay?"

" I'm fine aunt Beth," he hugged her," he's still with us, he's with us," tears fell. He didn’t want them too. He went and hugged his sister tight, his cousin Sheila, his cousin Debbie, his cousin Mark, Tim, Russ and cousin Kirk, his friends Sharon, Jackie, Teddy, Riley the green sisters, Jackie Harris, Ronnie and Uncle Drew and more. They were all their with his Uncle who was gray like the clouds in the house a tragedy like this made everybody older, physically hurt Mike was a handsome, nice guy with always a twinkle in his eye as if he had a smile for you or anyone. He was a couple of years older like a ship floating. This was too much; his cousin His sister gave him a glass of wine.

"Henry how you holding up?"

"I'm okay sis," he sat down on the silk red and gold sofa under a giant fleur de leis gold. frame mirror. The room of apples and nice perfume from well-dressed folks bringing in food amongst the house plants and big picture window looking out on the cobbled streets where they all grew up and lost and found each other. Henry sighed, hugged his sister. He rocked her like they were kids all over again. Tears nodded around as other friends of the family, neighbors bought flowers and condolences over. No music. Cake, chicken, salads spread across the table in the dining room of pictures, friends talked quietly with steadied approaches to Aunt Betty as she kept her feet up on a stool. Old friends came over to the house. Sun drowned them in the living room on such a terrible day. Henry saw his old girlfriend. Wait. He watched his true love come in the house. Barbara Rainey graced the room she came over to him with a hug. Friends we could never love enough. And sadly they could never be together. She was afraid of him, afraid of his power over her.

"Barbara, how you been?"

u Okay," she hugged him," you?" It was difficult for her to see him. Henry was so handsome. No regrets from the young man she left when they were sixteen. She didn't want him. She didn’t want his baby. She would have to give him everything. Barbara missed him. She wanted Henry to hold her. She was too afraid, because his love would drown her and she couldn’t swim.

“Let's go outside."

“Okay!” she hugged a few more friends of the family.

They went out front by the fence, as his little cousins were still playing on the streets playing hopscotch. Sparrows plucked crumbs, the garden was filled with sunflowers that made her look even more beautiful with her dark eyes, her African-Indian hair, her yellow skin in her blue dress that was tight in the top, and flowery loose down the bottom. She was still a wonder to behold and he could never look at her in the. eyes, because he would simply become lost

" We always meet at a funerals."

She swung on the fence." Remember this fence?"

" I remember us swinging on it at night…we had fun.”

He moved the fence with his knee, " Yeah fun…you married yet?"

"Do you see my husband idiot?”

 “Dumb luck."

"When are we going to get serious?"

Henry got closer, held her." You not ready yet"

"I'm not?" she laughed and swung herself off the fence, “more like you, not ready yet.”

 She gave him her phone number," When you get serious."

He kissed her. She hugged him like good medicine for her as tears came up from heir stomach and eyes.

"I'm glad you came," he said.

"Me too," she stepped back, sniffed over this mess with Mike and meeting him over their, life that they could never decide like an old item that would take care of itself

" You okay?" he thumb tears from her big brown eyes.

" I'm okay," she slapped her cheeks.

"Take a walk around the block with me," he took her hand, lifted it over little girl cousins skipping rope and counting all the way to ten." I want to see what new families have come in the neighborhood."

"Curious, huh?"

"I missed the place."

Barbara wiped her eyes, “I do too.” She hugged him, laughed as they took a little walk to clear the air, and their own imperfect lives as she knew that after this day they wouldn't see each other again for a while. It was how it was, and how it was meant to be as they listened to cars, busses and birds sound off in a blue and pink morning.

Sunshine followed them from corner street lamp posts under electrical wires. Brick colored houses slapped tight with short step stoops and small gardens in a small-big city that exploded worlds; you could see the dome of the D.C capitol from backyards to help you live a better life. They went across the street, made a right on M Street towards grocery stores that . use to have the names of Abe's, Nathan's, Hymies, or Goldberg's grocer. What's the gag, it happened one evening when King died. Punch line, get the joke—Henry thought we were all black Jews now, as they laughed back to Ramparts Street

Sunshine bloomed into a red onion as angel shaped clouds drifted over children playing in front of their houses. A car blew his horn at her. Yes! she was all that. Henry held Barbara's hand as if they were children but filled up with the sadness and a good place in their heart for a friend. Handcuffed to the past when they all chased each other around the big old oak tree. They played cowboys and Indians   on small comer streets that swallowed them and spit them out to become strong tree trunks except for some like his cousin and we keep dying too young. When Henry entered the house with Barbara  he saw his father by the chimney mantle beside his aunt Rose. With a short scotch in his hand; he had on denim overalls and the smell of dust, smudged red mud across his chest, and canvas work boots on—a dusty hard working man with arms the size of cedars. He was still at work with the gloss of 1-95 highway construction site in his concrete face. Henry hugged him up.

"Hey, Pop!"

Big Bill hugged him, “How you doing son?”

" Okay," Henry nodded," I see you on the job." He could smell the drunk coming up in his father's skin.

Aunt Beth fanned herself in Uncle Joe's arms, he rocked her steady to Mahalia songs in the angels flapping wings.

" I came through after I heard the news, " he winked at Miss Rolle who still lived across the street.

" Where's Miss T?" Henry asked this out of respect.

" My wife had to go to work tonight at the hospital,  Henry she wanted me to tell you, hello." Bill went around and  shook old friends" Son, you need some money?

 "Pop I’m okay, give Pat some money.  I’m working for the Energy Department."

Pat kissed her father and her brother. “Hi! Dad.”

“Hi! Honey, how is law school?”

“Fine dad, make sure you make it to my graduation.”

“I will baby,” he hugged her.

“I’ll tell Miss T,” she winked over at Henry, “and what my brother been doing?” She noticed him entranced with his old girlfriend, “same thing.”

Henry watched Barbara standing with her sister Diane  in the vestibule. They whispered. Time would never be right for them. Memories of swinging on the fence together would die as a memory. Life made him a fool and he would figure it out one day. With her or without her.  Time would never go back for him.  He watched his aunts and cousins crying, hugging each other as the church nurse got smelling sauce out.

Henry felt alone.  He reflected on the death of his mother when he was a little boy. Nobody could help him, he had to pull himself through it alone.

Henry watched his father Big Bill kissed and hugged  all the sad beautiful women. Henry mother was a woman who was too sweet and loved too much. Love can kill. A woman who had a touch for the drink, his son barely touched the stuff. He looked like him with a wide spread buffalo nose and deep dish brown eyes that said; give me the world, give me the world now. Henry was strong and would never give up, never quit through all the shit coming his way. " Have a drink with me."

" Okay Pop," he got a beer and stood with him.

“How you been dad?”

“Great, got to have my prostate checked.”

“Get it checked.”

“Yes, Mr. Applewhite,” he laughed.

“Thanks dad.”

“You held up well, since…”

“Okay! dad! cut! I know what you mean.”

Henry watched over the mourners like angels on high. He smiled through tears, hugged friends, laughed at Mike's yesterday's jokes, kissed old friends to be here or send flowers for a sad song.

Reverend Peters was a worldly man with a voice like a boom box and wind. He came to give prayer, solace to the family and calmed things down as they each must go towards the light alone. He wiped his face with a handkerchief, waved his hand like a poster child for God.

uOle' lord help this family to get through this trial of losing a good man, a good son because these times will always be rough, will always be rocky...we just have to stand together with you lord! And see it through! Ride it! Swim it! through better times with you ole' Lord here on this earth, Amen!''

Aunt Ester waved a church fan over Aunt Betty's face. The Reverend dabbed   his brow  and' sipped a cold glass of lemonade after his prayer. His father left after this. He slipped Henry some money. Big Bill left in his black Ford pick-up and drove off as if he won the battle of love between the both of them. In the midst of baked macaroni, potato salad, pork chops, salad, apple pie, fried chicken, smoked neck bones and collards filled up his belly. Tearful friends of the family continued to visit in the house of the black crow. Henry saw from the comer of his eye inside the living room a familiar face and long wild white hair of a woman approached his Aunt Betty. They hugged and cried.  

It didn't make any sense?  He stood alone and sipped his punch, caught a glimpse of this woman generate a hug of kindness from his aunt sitting with her feet propped up. She wore a long pleated blue dress of white lace collars, pearls, silver white hair and watery blue eyes. She was in her eighties. She glanced up and stared at him through the crowd, “You!”

Henry couldn't believe it. He almost couldn't believe it wasn't some crazy dream; his aunt was a maid in many white folks home. Miss Fairchild was one of them.  Henry cringed. "I'm the one.”  He listened as the room of family and friends stared at the old woman’s gold tip cane at his chest.

'Miss Fairchild this is my nephew Henry," Aunt Beth said.

"Henry, come here." Miss Fairchild smiled.

“Yes mam.” She hugged him. Henry thought she smelled like summer flowers. He hugged her around her body frozen in time.

“Thank you Henry Applewhite.”

Henry cried in the middle of a roaring black and white sea.


The End

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If we are going to understand what contemporary poetry is, we need to clearly define our terms and understand what we mean by them. In searching this out, I found one reference that put it quite well:

By definition of its namesake, contemporary poetry is considered poetry written within our lifetime, and includes poems written approximately from the mid-20th century to the present day. The various types of contemporary poetry do not differ so much from each other as they do from poetry of past eras, such as traditional poetry. Contemporary poems often share similar themes and writing styles.

                           ~~ Alicia Sparks, ©2016 Conjecture Corporation,

So contemporary poetry is not a “school of poetry” or a “poetic movement” per se, like Modernism and Imagism would be, but it is more in reference to a time period and the consistent characteristics found in significant portions of the larger body of poetic work from that time period or era.

Thus, when we use the term “contemporary poetry” we are referring to poetry written in our lifetime. For most of us, that would be poetry written from the 1950s to the present. It does not necessarily mean the poet is still alive, just that they wrote some poetry in that time frame.

Taken together then, when we use the term contemporary poetry we are referring to common qualities and characteristics exhibited by a significant portion of the larger body of poetic work written in our lifetime.

Some of the confusion over the use of this term may have originated in the Modernist movement when T.S. Eliot wrote about the contemporary poetry of his day, which came to be known as Modern poetry, and so to this day, many universities offer courses in “Modern and Contemporary Poetry” which only serves to further blur the more precise understanding of what these terms mean.

The contemporary poetry of T.S. Eliot differs from the contemporary poetry of our day, though there is some overlap. However, the contemporary poetry of Shakespeare’s day vastly differs from that of our day.

Contemporary poetry is difficult to define because it is constantly modified by what is currently being written. So then, what are the qualities and characteristics of a significant portion of the contemporary works in the larger body of poetry being written today?

There are some definite fundamental characteristics of recent contemporary poetry that we can identify that distinguishes it from other poetry.

Contemporary poetry... most often written in unrhymed or sparsely rhymed free verse.

...features lines that follow the natural rhythms of language rather than strict metric / accent patterns. written in language that is accessible to the common reader.

...suggests ideas rather than blatantly stating them. usually brief in form and style, especially in comparison to traditional poetry. grounded in vivid imagery.

...invites the reader to see and experience the content the poem for themselves as opposed to telling them exactly what it is saying.

So now, when someone talks about contemporary poetry, you’ll have a better idea what they mean. ■

This article appears in the book, Dropping Ants into Poems. For a free sample of the book, click on the title.

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10916226281?profile=originalSince starting Thayer Literary Services, a book editing business, in 1997 and after reading what seems like a gazillion first novels, I have seen the same mistakes over and over again. After a while I started calling them “the usual suspects.” I have considered collecting them into a book, but I thought that seeing so many of them all in one place would drive me to drink.

So I decided to create this blog as a way to discuss grammar and punctuation problems one at a time, along with many other writing issues, all of which I think will be helpful to budding writers. Follow this blog, and I’m sure you will find some information that will help you become a better writer.

Welcome aboard!

Paul Thayer
Thayer Literary Services


Paul Thayer is a full-time professional book editor with more than 35 years of experience. During that time he worked in the trenches of the real world of writers, editors, and publishers. He uses his extensive knowledge to help writers who still have a lot to learn, offering them critiques and line editing of their work.

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My Journey as a Writer

First off, thank you Indie Writer’s Support for giving me this opportunity to air my dirty laundry, well not all of it. I’ll save something for next time.

           Every writer’s journey is fraught with humorous anecdotes, stumbles, pitfalls, and miracles. Yes, it is a journey that perfectly mirrors this adventure we call life, and just like life, you better hold on tight, because as the country western lyric says it’s going to be “one Hell of a ride”.

           I have always been a writer, or at least dabbled in it, whether it be speeches, short stories, poetry, screen treatments, but it was my sideline, not my profession. However, my serious journey began in 2010, when I published In the Face of Evil a historical novel based on my mother’s survival of the Holocaust. I should say self-published, as no one showed any interest in doing it for me. Much of that was due to the lack of editing, and not knowing the publishing business. It took me three years to write, and a stack of rejection notices wasn’t going to stop me from publishing it. Call it beginners luck, but that book became a Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards. Not bad. Imagine if I would have had it professionally edited? To this day it is one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads, not easy to maintain with those angry trolls that cruise the virtual world and live and breathe to write abusive one and two-star reviews. Anyway, after toiling, suffering, through one of the darkest times in human history I needed to write something lighter, less taxing on my psyche.

            Just around that time I read this little book entitled Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, it doesn’t get lighter than that. Not a particularly well-written book, but it held my interest. I began to study the romance genre, reading voraciously, everything from paranormal to BDSM. Oh, my goodness those sweaty nights of reading, who wouldn’t be hooked. I was literally infected with the romance germ and the only cure was for me to pass it on through my writing. In February 2014 I self-published (at this point I was fairly turned off by the publishing industry) my first book in the Romance/Sexy/Suspense genre The One, which became the first in my The Only One series. In June, I published The One & More, bringing me to my release with Soul Mate Publishing One More Time is Not Enough. These three-feature explicit sex with very suspenseful stories.

            Then came a publishing contract with Hartwood Publishing and my next two books Escape and Vengeance about an uber Mossad agent and his art curator muse Layla. In this serie,s I toned the sex down and focused more on the suspense and thriller aspects.

            In between I wrote and self-published on June 1, 2018, a romance/thriller/paranormal entitled The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci, which is the first in my Out of Time series. Really excited about this book as its doing phenomenally well.

            Presently I'm finishing my third in my Tip of the Spear series, which will be titled Ransom, before starting the next book in the Out of Time series.

            What I’ve learned along the way could fill a book, however, I have no interest in writing that one. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent a lot of money on poor editing, PR, advertising, the list goes on-and-on. Yes, I’ve sold books in a vacuum, despite myself. What I wanted was a home, a place to hang my hat. Fellow authors to communicate with, share ideas, brainstorm, all of which had been lacking in my creative world.

            My goodness, what an inspiration it is to finally develop a writing family. I have a notebook filled with review site possibilities, book tour companies, raffle copter events, marketing tips, and a whole slew of new Facebook and Twitter friends and my very own, growing with leaps and bounds, newsletter. I’m learning what works and what doesn’t work from writers who’ve walked barefoot over the burning coals and are kind enough to share, preventing me from burning my Tootsies.

            I now have a fabulous critique group and most importantly I have a personal assistant who has changed my life. She’s my editor and marketer and I bless the day I found her.

            My thank-you to all who have come before and who continue to be an inspiration. It just keeps getting better, and the future looks ever so bright.

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