When Nature Awakes

The newest year is still a child

when frost clear air is turning mild.

Snow, it melts and leaves below

last year’s dirt and rests  to show.

**

The sun gets warmer, gains in might,

sends its heat, its warmth and light.

soft blue sky and cotton clouds

make people smile; elicit the crowds.

**

Leaves on trees peak out and show

some new and happy greens to grow.

Nature turns colorful, yellow, red, blue

it’s a miracle of renewal but that we knew.

**

 

Birds twitter while feeding their brood

more and more people we find in good mood.

Young mammals are born, they make us all smile

It’s easy to stay and marvel for just a little while.

**

Nature is great, frozen, when asleep

it can wake, it can die, it can smile and weep.

But most of all while through seasons we roam

Nature is cleaning our Earth and Home.

*****

(Copyright Aurora Jean Alexander, March 2017)

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Our Jogger – Guest Post by Emily Gmitter (by kind permission from Zoe)…

A guest post by Emily Gmitter on The Story Reading Ape’s blog. It touched me in a very unique and special way. So I decided to re-blog it – in memoriam of Geoffrey.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

profile-pic_my-name-is-zoe

Zoe here, I’m on a break, so I’m going to let my human have my spot this month, but I WILL be BACK.

It seemed the end of an era. I knelt beside the still body that was lying on the sidewalk in front of my house. I touched the back of my hand to his familiar face; it was cool to the touch. Not that I needed to do that; the thin skin on his face was a shade of bluish gray that indicated only one thing. I called 911 and waited for the paramedics to arrive.

Leaning against the stone wall in front of our home, I continued to stare at the body. I knew him, but I didn’t know him. Who were you?

In death, he did not seem as old as he had appeared when he was jogging through our neighborhood, which he did every day…

View original post 499 more words

The Engine of Fiction—Meet the Antagonist – Post by Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb has posted an excellent article about the engine of fiction. I strongly recommend reading it. It’s an excellent guide for new writers.

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One of the major issues with first-time novels is that the young writer fails to understand what a novel really is. All great stories are about one thing and one thing only—PROBLEMS. More specifically? Every good story has one core problem in need of being resolved. Granted, there will be many other problems along the way, but they are the setbacks and are all related to solving the core problem.

The trouble is that many of us got our “author training” in school, which really is no training at all. That purple prose that scored us an A on our college short story won’t get us far in the world of commercial storytelling. Additionally,… – READ MORE

 

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2017/03/the-engine-of-fiction-meet-the-antagonist/#respond

How to Recycle Old Blog Content

Suzie speaks provides us with an excellent article about how to recycle old blog content. Thank you very much!

Suzie Speaks

Last week I decided to go through my old blog posts, which had quite a negative impact on my general confidence about my content and I had a little meltdown on the blog. After receiving lots of good advice from the blogging community I decided to ignore my initial knee-jerk intention to delete hundreds of posts that I considered to be inferior and instead spend a bit of time recycling some of my earliest articles.

There were a number of reasons for this:

1. My blog is nearly four years old, and I have a much bigger audience than when these posts were originally published. I wanted to reach my newer audience who would not have seen them.

2. My writing style has changed and my earlier offerings aren’t consistent with the quality (at least, in my opinion) that I produce now.

3. My lifestyle has changed for the…

View original post 550 more words

DRM or Not for Amazon

DRM or not for Amazon? Jo Robinson has the answer. Thank you for an excellent article, Jo!

Lit World Interviews

When you load your book up to Amazon you will get to choose whether or not to enable Digital Rights Management.


It is important to note here that this particular choice cannot be undone. Short of unpublishing and republishing this cannot be changed. Once you have some nice reviews and lots of sales on any particular book unpublishing it is not a great idea, so give some thought to this before setting it in stone. So, what is DRM?

Amazon says that Digital Rights Management “is intended to inhibit unauthorized access to or copying of digital content files”. While this sounds great in terms of combating piracy, in reality it’s about as effective in this regard as a straw hut would be at keeping you dry in a hurricane. My African Me & Satellite TV was published with DRM enabled and it is my most pirated book. Stripping DRM is…

View original post 677 more words

Author Spotlight – Bob Van Laerhoven

Welcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

I am a Belgian/Flemish professional author – and have been for 23 years – who has published more than 35 books in Holland and in Belgium, and who has been translated in English, French, Italian, and Russian. I specialize in the cross-over between literature and the suspense novel. With “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” (Pegasus Books) I won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best suspense novel of the year in the LowLands in 2007 and the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category mystery/suspense. My short story collection “Dangerous Obsessions” was voted “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

I published my first book in 1971, at the tender age of eighteen. In retrospect, I realize that it was way too early, but, bubbling with youthful bravado, I took the first chance I got. Because I was so young, reviewers were lenient with me, and the novel became a modest success in Belgium. I plunged head-on in writing and tried to accomplish an oeuvre with a consistent theme: the bottomless pit of aggression in humans, and the consequences of war. Also in real life, I did what I could to understand the shadows in the human soul. From 1990 to 2003, I visited, as a travel writer, conflict zones all over the world (Somalia, Bosnia, Liberia, Iraq, Iran, Burma(Myanmar),Burundi, Sudan, and so on). I was in the Bosnian town of Tuzla when the first survivors of the mass-murder in the Muslim-enclave of Srebrenica  arrived, and the sight of these wretched, exhausted, malnourished, and hopeless people made a lasting impact on me. I wrote a book about the massacre – more than 7000 Muslims killed – that the Serbian General Mladic’s troops inflicted upon the local population: “Srebrenica. A Testimony Of Mass Murder.”

 

 

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Up till now, my motivation was the desire to understand who we are, and why we are such strange creatures, capable to create so much beauty, but also to commit such horrendous acts.  I would have liked to write about the light in our soul, but Fate chose me to pursue the nature of darkness. I consoled myself with the fact that there is no light without darkness. Still, after more than 35 books, traditionally published, I feel that I have reached a cross-road. I’m currently working on “The Feuerhand Files,” a novel set in Berlin in 1921, and I feel in the marrow of my bones that it will be my last cross-over novel between literature and the suspense genre. It will be my final attempt to dissect the nature of our innate violence.

 

 

  1. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write in the cross-over genre between literature and the suspense novels. In other words: I write literature with a certain degree of suspense. I didn’t choose that particular genre. It chose me. My first ten novels in Flanders and Holland were literary, but even then reviewers noticed a tendency to incorporate “thriller-effects” in them. When I was 42, I felt that my literary pen had become blunt, and, in order to satisfy my ongoing need to write, I decided to write a hard-boiled thriller series. The series, with the South-African/Flemish half-breed commissioner Peter Declerq and the Brussels inspector Samantha “Sammy” Duchène, started as a pure thriller series, but, along the way, the old elements of style and elegance that I tried to portray in my literary work, sneaked also in this “new direction.” Gradually, the Declerq-Duchène series evolved again in the direction of literature, but it still retained a healthy dose of suspense via a thrilling plot and a polished style. Afterwards came the even more literary mystery-novels like “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” and “Return to Hiroshima, “Black Water,” “The Woman Who Loved Dante,” “Alejandro’s Lie,” “The Shadow Of The Mole,”etc…

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Coming from a working class family, I dreamed of becoming a famous writer. I’m glad that, rather soon in my, eh, “career,” I understood that a famous writer isn’t necessarily a good writer. So, I changed my goal and wanted to become the best writer that I can be. Instead of trying to be better than other authors, I tried to be the best “me.” I’m still trying, and I still find it a goal very much worth fighting for. I should like to end my writing years with my memoires, having lived a rather unusual life for a novelist.  I don’t know if I have the skills to do that, but I do know that the string of cross-over novels, wherein the individual is set against societies in uproar and unrest, has now dried up in me. When “The Firehand Files” is finished, I’ll start making notes for my memoires. It may take years, it may take forever, Fate will have its will.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

No, I never experienced a complete writer’s block, but some books were harder to write than others, and sometimes I stopped after hundred, or more, pages, feeling that the soul of the novel just wasn’t there. But even then, I “recycled” some of the chapters of these unfinished novels to short stories that did well over here, and even international. For instance, I published the short story “Checkmate in Chimbote” in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and that was originally a part of an unfinished novel…

 

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Write write write…Edit edit edit….Edit again Edit again Edit again. Don’t sell your soul for profit; try to find it in your themes, your style, and your passion.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

I haven’t fulfilled my dreams (yet), and, like every artist, I suppose, I had hoped for more and better. But I covered a long distance from the working class boy of eighteen without a formal education to the author I have become, who still tries to hone his craft, and who had some nice successes along the way. Nearing 64, I look back more often than I used to, and when I count my successes and my failures, I realize that I have been a lucky man. Now comes the time to end all these years of writing in beauty, in acceptance, and with grace….

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

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Contact Bob:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NMz1poUVmUw 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baudelaires-revenge-bob-van-laerhoven/1116879856?ean=9781605987002 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baudelaires-revenge-bob-van-laerhoven/1116879856?ean=9781605985893 (Nook)

https://niume.com/profile/45450#!/posts (Niume)

https://www.facebook.com/bob.vanlaerhoven (FB)

http://www.thebingbing.com/bobvanlaerhoven  (BingBing) 

https://twitter.com/bobvanlaerhoven  (Twitter)

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Some Bob’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Baudelaires-Revenge-Bob-Van-Laerhoven/dp/160598700X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1389641492&sr=1-1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Baudelaires-Revenge-%D0%9C%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8C-%D0%91%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0-Russian/dp/1681143089/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1489524243&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=Bob+Van+Laerhoven

https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Obsessions-Bob-Van-Laerhoven-ebook/dp/B00VU96036  (Kindle edition)

 

https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Obsessions-Bob-Van-Laerhoven/dp/168114087X/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1489524243&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=Bob+Van+Laerhoven (paperback)