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#PoetryChallenge – Destination & Guide

Untried paths

Thank you, Colleen, for these great prompt words. I used instructions for guide but I kept destination because it suited my verse. You can join in the challenge here: https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/01/09/colleens-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-66-destination-guide-synonymsonly/.

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Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

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I read a little more … Annika Perry, Natalie Ducey and Victoria Zigler

I managed to read 18 books over my 10 day Christmas break. Two were poetry books and three were short books for children but I still managed 13 adult novels which I thought was marvelous. I wish I could read this much all the time.

The Storyteller Speaks by Annika Perry

The Storyteller Speaks is a collection of short stories, and a couple of poems too, about life, love and death. This is the debut book of Annika Perry and she has certainly managed to write a lovely selection of very different stories.

Chillies in my handbag is a story of a woman’s gradual disillusionment with love, her married life and even her child. The Mother’s inability to protect her only son from entering the traditional boarding school attended by her husband and his father before him, sets him on the road to becoming everything she has come to dislike in her husband. The son’s gradual reshaping of himself, a round peg, to fit into the traditional square hole is interesting. Will the Mother finally rebel against the dictates of her husband and if she does where will it all end?

The man on the flying trapeze is a rather interesting poem about a trapeze artist who finds himself in an accident situation. The format of the poem was rather unique with each stanza reading almost like a limerick. I did enjoy this very much.

Smouldering Shame was another tale than fascinated me with its very likelihood in the set of circumstances. A tale of a woman whose life suddenly comes unraveled because of the secret activities of her husband. He is a man who cannot see the blessings in his life and, as many older men do, seeks more excitement in his retirement than is on offer in his home with rather disastrous consequences.

A couple of the stories could definitely have continuations. I think the author may have quite a bit more to tell us about these characters.  I really enjoyed this book. I think Annika Perry has a lot of potential as a writer.

Purchase The Storyteller Speaks

The Heart’s Lullaby by Natalie Ducey

The Heart’s Lullaby: a candid portrayal of love in all it’s splendor and pain, is a collection of beautiful poems written by Natalie Ducey.

The book comprises of predominantly two types of poems, with the sections entitled Confessions, Eternal love and The Agony of Holding On & The Angst of Letting Go focusing on the best things about love and relationships and the sections entitled Journey of Becoming and the poems that form part of the Peace by Piece Puzzles being about the tides of life.

I enjoyed the poems about love, but I found some of the poems about life to be quite remarkable in their insightfulness.

A verse that remained with me from a poem called The Reckoning was as follows:

“Waves crash the rugged shoreline

Unforgiving in their furry

Relentless in their cause

To break me?

Restrain me?

The injustice of it all.”

The poem Mighty Heart brings tears to your eyes with its words of courage and suffering. Once extraordinary verse is:

“Fear shall not cage nor define us

Here we stand on vast, shaky ground

So, let’s never doubt our courage

Dare this voyage …. both noble and proud.”

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt their heart racing at the sign of another being and enjoys tributes to the nobility and greatness of the human spirit.

Purchase The Heart’s Lullaby

Three books for children by Victoria Zigler

Home Squeak Home

When Matthew’s mother takes him to the pet store to choose a pet he ends up leaving with two gerbils. The pet store assistance had told his mother that gerbils are very sociable animals and need company, so they had bought two. How wonderful.

Sooty and Scamp are a little sad to be leaving their two brothers, but they are excited to have a new, permanent home. What a home it turns out to be, so different from their old and very plain cage in the pet store.

Home Squeak Home is a lovely story for young children with a lovely subtle message about coping with change and a new environment.

A very Degu Christmas

This book was quite short, only 15 pages. It is a sweet story for children about the Degu’s first experience of Christmas. They are very interested in the coming of Santa Paws, who will bring them nibbles but for whom they must leave nibbles in return. The Degu’s make a plan to wait up and see this mysterious Santa Paws.

The Great Degu Round-Up

This is a sweet tale of a new experience for the degus when their cage is cleaned. Their cage is a place of safety and enjoyment for the degus and is where they play, eat and are entertained by their human caretakers. When they are temporarily transferred into the bathtub it is a time of anxiety for the degus who are unable to climb the slippery sides. Things get even worse when Jacob manages to launch himself onto the rim of the bath and gets lost in the forest of bottles and soups that surround it. What will happen next and will the degus ever get back to their clean and comfortable cage?

Find Victoria Zigler here:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Victoria+Zigler&search-alias=books&field-author=Victoria+Zigler&sort=relevancerank

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Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

#Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge – Copper Country

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I thought Charli Mill’s flash fiction challenge this week was a bit tough. It took me a while to think up a 99-word story for Copper Country. Fortunately, the lights tripping last night gave me some inspiration.

“Complete darkness always woke her. With the crime problem escalating in her city, she felt very vulnerable and slept with the bathroom light on. The light had gone off and who knew why. She slipped out of bed and peeped out of the window at the neighboring house. That house was also in darkness. Somewhat mollified, she went back to bed and eventually fell asleep. The following morning, she discovered that the copper power cables had been stolen during the night causing the power outage. It seemed that her suburb was the new copper country.”

Thank you Charli for making me work. You can join in the challenge here: https://carrotranch.com/2018/01/05/january-4-flash-fiction-challenge/?c=35391#comment-35391

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Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

#Guest post – Charles E Yallowitz author of the Legends of Windemere series

Michael and I are thrilled to have Charles E Yallowitz, author of the 15-volume Legends of Windemere series, visiting us here at Robbie’s Inspiration. Gregory is also excited about Charles’ visit as he loves fantasy books and I have ordered the first two books in this fantastic series for him – lucky boy!

Charles has just released the last book in the series and, I must say, we are really impressed by the cover and blurb.

Blurb

Whether in darkness or light, every path inevitably comes to an end.

As Gabriel, the Destiny God, determined centuries ago, his chosen will face Baron Kernaghan for the fate of Windemere. Through many victories and losses, the champions have stood together and prepared for this great battle. Now that the Baron’s influence stirs those with evil hearts, they have run out of time and must travel to Shayd. Yet, there are more secrets for them to uncover before entering a battle where the only way to survive is surpassing limits and putting everything they have on the line. Through it all, Gabriel’s statement that he made them destined to fight, but winning was not set in stone rings in their minds.

Will the champions usher in an Age of Heroes or become the sacrifices for an Age of Darkness?

Welcome Charles

Thank you to Robbie for letting me write a guest post to help promote my newest fantasy adventure, Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age.  It’s not only my latest release, but the end of a 15-volume series.  I’ve been toiling away with drafts, outlines, character bios, rewrites, edits, and pizza rewards since late 1998.  Now, here am I at the end of a road that I’ve spent over half of my life walking.  Maybe I can take a nap now.  Eh, I’d only get woken up by a telemarketer.

A lot of work went into the series and I planned a lot of what happened.  I also had outlines get destroyed by a character proving that they had a better idea.  One of the most common questions I get is if I have any tips about writing such a lengthy series.  So, I’m going to share 7 of them here.  Why 7?  I don’t know.  For some reason, I just like doing lists that have 7 items, which makes food shopping rather difficult.

  1. Take notes about characters, locations, plot points, animals, and whatever else might be carried over to a future volume. There are few things more frustrating than writing along and thinking you might have used the eye color for a supporting character.  If you don’t have notes then you have to go back to when you believe the information was mentioned, which involves searching through an entire book that you might not have looked at in months or even years.  At the very least, mark the book and chapter to make things easier.
  2. Try to have a general idea of where you’re going with the story. Working off instinct works in the short-term, but you never know what will happen down the road.  A new TV show or movie you’ve seen can redirect your story, which means all of the foreshadowing you did in previous volumes no longer applies.  You might even forget about the hints, which means you create dreaded plot holes and inconsistencies.
  3. Character development over a long series is tricky. They can plateau fairly quickly and then going higher gets a little ridiculous.  Kind of like having a hero become the greatest swordsman by volume 3 and then you run out of ideas, so you make him the greatest swordsman who can fly at the speed of sound by volume 6.  The best way to avoid the staleness and plateauing is to knock your heroes down from time to time.  It doesn’t have to be an utter failure of their quest, but maybe they lost something special for this victory or went through a trauma.  Life is full of rises and falls, which is true for reality and fiction.
  4. Never be afraid to introduce new characters with new subplots into a volume even if it’s only for that one story. As important as the main characters are, you need fresh interactions to avoid repeated scenes.  By having them come across somebody that gets to make a debut with their own problems and storyline, you get to add a facet to their development.  This can range from the hero being dragged into a local feud to helping a stranger travel through dangerous terrain.  As long as this new character and subplot leaves an impact on the hero or overall story, you’ve done your part to keep the series fresh.
  5. Pay attention to continuity. You would be surprised how much of a book readers will memorize if they love your work.  Some will end up knowing more than the author.  So, these blips will come back to haunt you.  Aside from the notes earlier, I do an editing run specifically for continuity.  This involves reading and stopping at any point that has a connection to another book or chapter where I feel like something is off.  Do I catch them all?  Probably not, but I try my best and make it a big focal point.
  6. To avoid burning out on the series, take a break between volumes. This can range from a week to a month depending on the author and time.  You can walk away from writing for a while and enjoy those outdoor activities people are always talking about like walking and bungee jumping.  Catch up on the all the TV shows that have bloated your DVR to the size of a Winnebago.  Another option is to work on a side project like a smaller series, short stories, poetry, or experiment with a new genre that you always wanted to try.  You can even combine the options and work outside where the sun makes it difficult to see your computer screen and the wind has it out for your notebooks.
  7. The biggest tip for writing and planning a long series is to make sure that you’re always having fun. A project like this is a big investment of time and energy, so you need to enjoy yourself.  That positive energy will shine through your words and make your book that much better.

Another thank you to Robbie for letting me be a guest here.  Hope it was both informative and entertaining.  Please check out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age and hope you enjoy the adventure.

About Charles E. Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Purchase Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age

Thank you, Charles for your visit, we have loved having you over.

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Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town