Nature’s Soul~

Cindy Knoke brings us her exquisite photographs of Arches National Park ~ gorgeous red rock country to delight the eye and embellish the soul . . .

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Some humans relax in natural places,
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and are less content in human spaces.
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While other’s thrive in the social whirl,
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a nature’s soul will find depth of meaning,
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far from the thrum of a human being.
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Nature’s souls go to wild spaces,
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for it is here they find their sacred places.
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Cheers to you from a nature’s soul~

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Meet the Author! Andrew Joyce

Andrew Joyce is a guest on Books and Opinions, LLC, where he talks about the research involved when writing his four novels. Research can become convoluted at times and be pretty exasperating, especially when you thought little research would be involved at the outset! And yes, that’s exactly where my head was when I began writing my current novel. But we can count on any detail overlooked being pointed out by a reviewer. Andrew addresses this as well. Hop over to Angela‘s blog to read this superb post…

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Biography:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

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How he came to write this book:

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank Angela for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the…

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Nostalgia Post No.3: Such a Goofy Dream! – Guest Post…

Lorinda J Taylor is a guest on The Story Reading Ape, sharing a goofy dream about coconuts, Merv Griffin, and funfairs. This was the perfect post to end the evening with in light of the intense political climate here in the U.S. Thank you, Lorinda and Chris. I shall sleep well tonight 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Back in 2013 I had a really goofy dream – goofy enough for me to want to share it and possibly make you chuckle.

It seemed there was a new TV station starting up and they were building a news team.  (I presume this is from my having watched so much wildfire coverage lately.)  I had been hired as a news anchor.  Unfortunately, they signed me to do sports (a subject I know nothing about; the only sport I follow is ice hockey).  But I must have needed a job because I took the assignment. 

But the other strange thing was that all the anchors had to top off their reports by singing a song. (??)  When my turn came, I sang “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.”  Is anybody here old enough to remember that song?  Here is what the Wikipedia article says about it:

” ‘I’ve Got…

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Smorgasbord Short Story – A Soldier Waits – Sally Cronin

Sometimes we wish we were somewhere else or someone else, doing something other than plugging away to make a living, doing something we loved and regarded highly. Sometimes we wish our lives away, not giving a second thought to those who lost theirs too young or in service to others. In Sally Cronin‘s moving short story,     A Soldier Waits, we see life through the eyes of a young man who served his country and who now attends the annual memorial for the old soldiers and heroes of his village. The memorial is always conducted with great love and respect. While reading this story, I was reminded that where there is love, there is hope; and where there is hope, there is the promise of tomorrow. Take a few minutes to read this superb tribute to our fallen heroes…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

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A Soldier Waits – Sally Cronin

David stood beside his comrades as they waited in the village square for the parade to begin. Despite their advancing years, the men stood as tall as possible, often with the aid of a stick. Two of their number were in wheelchairs, and had been guided across the cobble stones by their fellow old soldiers.

It was a typical chilly November morning with dark skies and clouds laden with imminent rain. Whilst inappropriate perhaps for this solemn occasion, the men standing huddled against the cold wind; wished for a few rays of sunshine. Their overcoats were shiny with age but their shoes were burnished to a brilliance thanks to the loving attention the night before. A reminder of a time, when the action of rubbing in polish and then shining the boots for the sergeant’s approval, was used for reflection. A time to remember…

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EDITING 101: 11 – Using a Thesaurus…

Susan Uttendorfsky brings us Part 11 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape: Using a Thesaurus. Do you want your writing to sound colorful or pompous? Hop over to Chris Graham’s blog for the details…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using a Thesaurus

When you were in grammar school, you were taught the terms antonym and synonym. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word: love/hate, hot/cold, spring/fall, light/dark. Synonyms are words meaning the same thing (or nearly the same thing): light/bright, traitor/Benedict Arnold, flat/horizontal, soft/cushiony. A thesaurus is a book which lists synonyms for many words and can come in very handy for a writer. The first one you were exposed to was probably Roget’s Thesaurus. The one I like to use is the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. If you don’t want to use a book, there are online thesauri, such as http://www.thesaurus.com and http://freethesaurus.net/. Microsoft Word has a built-in thesaurus. You can…

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Now Is the Time for Love

lucie-morning-glory-bee-by-lucie-stastkovaImage is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova LuSt4ART

Last night, I was in shock. Today, I’m ready to join the protestors who have taken to the streets. I’ll be damned if I’ll let anyone take away my freedoms. This is not a time to hide. This is a time to stand up and face down the beast. As an older woman surviving on Social Security and Medicare, I could lose my independence – and quite possibly my life – should Social Security be abolished and Medicare privatized. But I will not be intimidated and I will not go down without a fight.

Now that my head has cleared, I’m sensing something is very wrong here. Battleground states like PA/WI/MI that historically have been blue (Democratic) states and that polls predicted  – up to and including Election Day – were Clinton’s, went the way of Trump. Something isn’t right. I suspect the power elite bought the election. They certainly have the financial wherewithal to do so.

With a right-wing Republican President, a right-wing Republican-dominated Congress, and a right-wing justice sure to be appointed to the Supreme Court, all 3 branches of government will be controlled by the extreme right. Make no mistake: This was planned and executed by the power elite.

Trump has been a self-proclaimed outsider since the beginning and was the perfect patsy, feeding the people what they wanted and needed to hear. He is so self-serving/egoistic/narcissistic that the PE easily could have persuaded him to run, with the promise of certain victory and on the condition that he do their bidding once in office. The plan: Put into office a puppet POTUS to ensure no congressional legislation be vetoed and no PE-backed laws be overturned by the Supreme Court. The goal: Advancement of The New World Order that Bushites and the lot have been working toward for decades.

But massive organic protests are occurring in multiple cities throughout the U.S., including Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Washington Square Park, Seattle, Philadelphia. This is only the beginning. The people are not happy. The Trump presidency will meet with colossal resistance.

It will be interesting – albeit frightening – to see how this plays out. But regardless of the dynamics, I refuse to allow the power elite to close my heart. I will continue to act from a place of love instead of reacting from a place of fear. I will not fall prey to hate, prejudice, propaganda, violence.

lucie-morning-glories-by-lucie-stastkovaImage is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova LuSt4ART

We are living in the time prophesied by many over the past several thousand years. The Earth’s axis is shifting, causing a multitude of natural disasters and moving us astronomically from Pisces into Aquarius. This is fact, not fiction.* Simultaneously, we are moving from a 3rd dimensional reality into a 4th (some say 5th) dimensional reality.** What this means is we are moving from a lower/denser (material) frequency into a higher/lighter (ethereal or spiritual) frequency. If our planet and solar system vibrate at a higher frequency, so must we. As above, so below. If we fail to lighten up, we will not survive. If the physical body remains dense, it will become ill and die.

Thus, the patriarchy – a dense material construct – is dying. As it is losing its life force, it is rearing its head for one last stand. This is what we are in the midst of right now. But if our species is to continue – if we are to survive – we must not give in to compression tactics. We must not constrict. On the contrary, we must expand. And the only way to do that is through love.

Now is the time to follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. Now is the time to recognize compassion can be ruthless, in that it will permeate and disintegrate pain and fear. Now is the time to realize we can put someone out of our homes but keep them in our hearts. Now is the time to show the world this is not the end, but rather the beginning of a brighter world wrought from meeting a colossal challenge head on, with an open heart, with interminable love – and prevail…

Until the next time, my friends . . .  Namaste

*http://www.share-international.org/archives/Science-tech/sci_rrPisces2Aquarius.htm

**http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_dimensionshyperdimensions02.htm

Why I Ditched My Blog Sidebar – Guest Post…

Yecheilyah Ysrayl discusses foregoing the sidebar on our blogs because they are not mobile friendly. Since mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, many visitors might leave instead of browse — or worse yet, might not follow. Hop over to The Story Reading Ape for details, including possibly switching to a WP theme with a slide-side bar…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Why I Ditched My Blog Sidebar

I took a two-week break from posting on my own blog a few months ago. In that time, I was refueled with post ideas but I also had the opportunity to read most of yours. In that process, I realized something I hadn’t paid much attention to before. I didn’t pay much attention to it because that’s just how ingrained these things are in our lives today. The Cell Phone. During my observation, I realized that I read most of your blog posts (90%) from my phone. In fact, I observed that the only time I read blog posts from my laptop / desktop, is when I am logged in to draft a post that I can’t draft on my phone.

The number of mobile-only users has recently surpassed the number of desktop-only users. According to an article in Marketing Land, “Mobile now represents 65 percent of digital media time…

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Remembrance Day Tribute by D.G. Kaye

Remembrance Day in Canada, as well as Veterans Day in the U.S., are set aside to honor all those who fought for our freedom. In her inspiring post, D.G. Kaye reminds us that during this time of upheaval and uncertainty, it is in our best interest to remember that we can choose how we behave toward our sisters and brothers across the globe. Will we divide across fear-based lines of prejudice and hatred, or will we unite under love-inspired hoops of kindness and compassion?

remember-by-debby-giesAt a time when the world seems divided with so many fears of uncertainty, it’s a time to remind that we all still have a choice to unite, not only to make America great again, but help to make the world great again. Strength is in numbers, not held solely in the hands of an elected official. It’s the numbers that put these officials in power. The damage is done, as has been in all wars. It’s now up to all of us to work hard at being kind and compassionate to our fellow man.

Today I went out on my balcony for a breath of fresh air, and something which stares me blatantly in the face every time I do so, became so much more polarizing. An apartment in a building across from mine flies the Canadian flag proudly every day. I watched as it danced in the wind in all its glory and served as a reminder that no matter how much I’m unhappy about the state of our economics in my province, and particularly my city, that I am grateful for the many other things we have in this country.

poppy-by-debby-giesTomorrow is Remembrance Day, a day to reflect and remember all those Vets who fought for many of our countries for freedom. November 11th – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is when we take a pause for a single moment of silence to pay our respect and remembrance for those who fought and died in battle for us, to end hostility.

Despite the loss of life, the world didn’t seem to learn after that war, as the second World War emerged only two decades later. In the decades that followed, more wars around the world ensued and still, there’s a nagging question mark lurking in the minds of many, wondering if it’s only a matter of time until the third World War might . . .

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Grouchy Bear Wearers Who Drink Beer – Guest Post…

Craig Boyack is a guest on The Story Reading Ape where he discusses what authors should not be writing; how writing to the market is a risky business; and what he does to make his characters unique…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

November marks the third installment of the three post package the Story Reading Ape offered. So far we’ve talked about short form fiction, and paranormal. I also write science fiction and fantasy.

Since these shouldn’t be just promotional, let’s discuss something few authors discuss. What shouldn’t we be writing?

All authors have strengths and weaknesses. Many times we don’t learn what they are until we write something out. It’s a tough lesson to learn with 120,000 words of fantasy. This is where short forms are so helpful to an author. If it doesn’t work out, you’ve lost a weekend. With a novel, you may have lost a year.

Writing to the market is a risky business. In many cases the market changes before the author can reach it. I know there are any number of sparkly vampire novels and schools for witches novels that missed the mark. I think the…

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Zoe Meets Burt…

Zoe the Fabulous Feline and Burt the Tom disagree on how they met, but they do agree that they are good friends. However, Burt tends to exaggerate and Zoe tells it like it is. Hop over to The Story Reading Ape for the fur-flying details. 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Zoe Meets Burt

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Hello dear fans and friends. Zoe here. As you may or may not know, last month I went on a little trip. Since I didn’t have time to write a story before I left, I asked my friend, Burt, to entertain you in my place, but, as promised, I am back!

First, for those who don’t know me, my name is Zoe. I’m a cat writer. Don’t misunderstand. I am not a human named Zoe who writes about cats. I am a cat named Zoe who writes about humans. Sometimes. Other times I write about my adventures or whatever else is on my mind.

Since I had Burt take my place last month—and because his story My Name is Burt was so <ahem> popular—I may as well tell you how we met. Get it out of the way, if you know what I mean. As it happens…

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