A ‘Borrowed’ Thought …

Anytime you feel bad about procrastinating, recall that Mozart composed the overture to Don Giovanni the morning of the day the opera premiered. It's the thought of the day from bluebirdofbitterness, (and the music is great, too!). I am in the middle of a busy period of procrastination. The story about the old lady and the mad … Continue reading A ‘Borrowed’ Thought …

Critical Thinking: The 5 Factors that Earn 5 Star Reviews!

What every writer needs to understand: “I don’t want to experience the story as a detached viewer looking down at what’s happening—I want to feel like I’m in the story.”

K. D. Dowdall

An excerpt from: Paul Goat Allen | March 12, 2018, Writer’s Digest. Paul Goat Allen has worked as a genre fiction book critic and written thousands of reviews for companies like BarnesandNoble.com, Publishers Weekly, the Chicago Tribune and Kirkus Reviews.

Novelists live and die by reviews yet uncovering what garners a gushing ovation or blistering takedown is often a mystery. A professional critic lays out what it takes to earn five-star book reviews. For two decades I’d been working as a freelance genre fiction book critic for outlets such as BarnesandNoble.com, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and the Chicago Tribune. After sharing my credentials with the group, some of the writers began telling stories about mediocre or bad reviews they’d received at different points in their careers from one or more of the companies I’d listed.

As a reviewer, not much has changed since then. I enjoy all genres and have…

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Not On the Cards, by Cage Dunn

I think I’m speechless – and that’s never happened before, trust me! thank you, acflory … I’m so happy you enjoyed the story.

Meeka's Mind

Cage Dunn is an Australian writer who answered my recent call for beta readers. Cage not only tested my latest how-to book, she introduced it to two groups of potential writers at her local library. Their combined feedback was so much more than I could ever have hoped for.

Curious, I decided to read one of Cage’s books. That book was ‘Not on the Cards’, and this is the review I just left for it on Amazon:

At its heart, Not on the Cards is a story of love and responsibility: Gate Keeper to Key Master, mother to child, Gate Keeper to multiverse, yet for much of the time, its set in a carpark near Camberwell Junction. On the weekends, that humble carpark becomes a Trash & Treasure market with a deliciously bohemian atmosphere. I know, because the market is in my home town of Melbourne [Australia], and I’ve been…

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Black Cat

  Apparently, it's Black Cat Appreciation day (or maybe it was yesterday!), so here is not just the black cat (Boofie, with a grandpa named Barberry Tom Thumper) but also a few of his friends - and the leopard was his dream-shape. See the poem, Black Cat, by Rainer Rilke.

Launch Lessons

Some lessons for aspiring launch parties – Cake! oh, and solid evidence of the work … This was great!

Petrina Binney

When it came to my book launch, it could only have taken place at the Legion.

The Legion has been my home away from home for the last nine years. The menfolk at the Legion, fresh from their golf games and Mason meetings, are quite accustomed to my sense of humour and my capacity for alcohol, and they forgive me almost as they see me. I don’t suggest that they cross themselves as they lock eyes with me. However, I have been called both blunt and sharp at the Legion. They sort of know what they’re letting themselves in for.

So, I had my launch there. I made canapés, because it fitted with the title. To be fair, it was the part of the title I was willing to offer, since both sex and death seemed to be going a bit far.

In case it helps anyone out there, about…

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Energetic – Word of the Day


The creek line along the outer wall of King’s Canyon.

Elegy For Mother

I stopped on the rise
where the trail opens to a valley,
and sat for a while admiring your view.
I took off my shoes and savoured your sand,
ran my hands down your powdery skin,
stretched my arms out in praise,
breathing you in,
taking you in memory,
sacred memory.
Purified in your creeks,
fuelled by your self-offering,
I reflect this on your paper,
in my electronica chic,
mineral products so smooth.
All that you are is
all that I am,
and all that I have.
Yet, though I valliantly try,
I have left you
like a football I once kicked,
burst and rent.
Kyoto a faded vow,
my lust has consumed you
your energy spent
feeding mine.
And more than admiration,
or the faithlessness of plattitudes,

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