Posted in Writer Musings

Books & Broads Book Club: My Monkeys, My Circus

Have you heard the phrase, “Not My Monkeys, Not my Circus” before?  Well, I want to tell you about the book club I am a member of.  The Books & Broads Book Club and the Members of it ARE my monkeys and they ARE my circus and I would not have it any other way! 🙂

We all long to find that one place, you know the one, Dear Bloggites, the place that you can just be you in all your quirky glory and be accepted and loved.  It is that place that becomes your haven in a rough world; your lighthouse to your lost boat; your circus to your monkey.

March 13, 2015, I found My Monkeys and My Circus.  I did not realize that taking that break from life to visit a book club would change my life forever, but it has, and I am so grateful for it!  There were roughly 7 ladies and 14 eyeballs that looked at me when I walked though that fateful door.  After a moment of being in the amazing presence of these ladies, I knew I found My Monkeys.  THIS was My Circus.

From all walks of life, we come being drawn by a love for books but it is our chemistry, our easy way with each other that makes the magic happen each month.   The shared love and care we all have for and with one another is hard to find in life.  I have many challenges in my life that pull at me and demand from me which drains my spirit but once I walk into that room, with those ladies, I am renewed and refreshed.  I feel all the strain seep out of my body until only happiness and joy are left.

Books & Broads Christmas Party 2016 1
Books & Broads Christmas Party 2016

The Books & Broads Book Club is my sanctuary in life.  I look forward to the day I can revisit Our Circus and be our Quirky Monkey selves!  I will never be able to express my Love, Appreciation, and Joy these Amazing Women bring into my life, I am just forever grateful that on that fateful day in March, I found My Monkeys and My Circus!

 

I Love You All, My Monkeys!  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in A Dog's Life

Ragonk – A Dog’s Tale of Survival

Ragonk Sitting Pretty
Ragonk – December 12, 2014

Ragonk (Rah-Gone-Kuh) teaches me many lessons in life. He has taught them to me from the moment he walked into my life one December night. I have been blessed by having this Boy-O come into my life and he gives me joy. The first lesson I learned from Ragonk is how to survive a bad situation until a better one arrives.

Back in December, 2014, Ragonk wandered into my garage with no tags and looking very scared and skittish. My roommate and I were having a Ragonk Party (radio blooper by one of the station employees when he was trying to say, “Rolando McClain” on the radio station we like to listen to called The Ticket).

The animal shelter was closed until Tuesday and I looked at the dog and said, “I need to come up with a name to call you over the weekend until the shelter opens.” One of my friends popped up and said, “Well, isn’t it obvious, his name should be Ragonk!” I called him that and he answered and has been Ragonk ever since.

I noticed as soon as Ragonk walked in the door that he showed signs of an abused dog. He was your typical abused dog that dropped his head and body bracing for a hit when someone walked up to him. He was scared to death of the sound of bacon cooking on the stove. He ran away anytime he saw a towel in someone’s hand and hid, shaking like a leaf once he was coaxed to come out of his hiding place. He walked tentatively around for fear of being yelled at or hit. His fear was more noticeable with men than women, but he was scared all the same of any person he saw.

Ragonk & Baden
Ragonk with Baden’s Ashes & Picture in the Background

It broke my heart. My dog, Baden, was old and grumpy but never knew what fear was and he welcomed Ragonk like he did all other animals, with a sniff and tail wag. Ragonk had a blast playing with Bodie, my roommate’s dog, and had a funny reverence for Baden. Whenever Baden would try and play with Ragonk, Ragonk would wag his tail until Baden did his first move then Ragonk ran away. If Baden was laying down, Ragonk would wag his tail and go sniff him but run as soon as Baden twitched.

As the weekend wore on, I noticed that Ragonk’s fear was starting to ebb and he was beginning to trust me and my roommate. He stayed by my side or would follow my roommate around wagging his tail. Yes, Ragonk was settling in.

Tuesday rolled around and I took him to the animal shelter where he immediately freaked out scratching my neck up and trying to get out of my arms. This alarmed me because I was not used to this behavior from him.

When I walked into the animal shelter they said they knew who he was because he was a “known escape artist” to them. They chipped him and so were able to tell me his name is “Steve” (STEVE!) and placed a call to the owner and inform him that the dog was found. The shelter offered to keep Ragonk, but based on his response, I declined and said I would keep him with me.

Happy Boy
Ragonk – March 20, 2017

A couple of days go by and I have not heard anything so I called to follow up. The animal shelter said the guy did not call them back, so I gave them permission to give him my phone number thinking when he got home the shelter was already closed and that was why they did not receive a call back.

The weekend rolls around and still no contact from the owner or the animal shelter. On the following Tuesday, I called back to the animal shelter and they were shocked that the guy had not called me back. I gave them permission to give him my address because I worked from home so he could stop by any time.

On Friday, I called the shelter back and they said they still had not received a call and offered to give me the guy’s address so I can show up with the dog on his doorstep. This guy lived two blocks from my house!  I told the shelter no because if I showed up the guy would take Ragonk and he obviously did not want him back based on his lack of contact.

After I hung up from the shelter, I called my long-time vet and asked what the statute of limitations were for an abandoned dog. My vet informed me it was ten days to two weeks, so I scheduled an appointment for Ragonk on the following Monday since the two weeks would be past.

The best thing the owner of Ragonk did was not contact me back. As time passed, Ragonk put aside his fears and took a chance on trusting us strangers who took him in and gave him a home. He survived an abusive existence to find happiness in a new home with lots of love by running away into my arms.

P.S. The “known escape artist formally known as Steve” has never once tried to run away from his new forever home.

Life is Good.jpg
Life Is Good!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

Reading + Writing Vortex = My Addiction

Hello, Dear Bloggites!  How many of you ever find yourself so immersed in an activity that you are ‘sucked into’ the vortex?  Hands? Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Oh, HEY!  There is one…oh, wait, that’s mine…

Ever since I was a kid, I have had this ability to tone everything around me out and become one with an activity.  This is a very strong super power of mine when it comes to reading or writing.

I will pick up a book with the intent of reading just one chapter and then hours later shake the imagination monkeys from my brain and return back to the real world to find the one chapter turned into ten or twenty or an entire novel! 😀

Yep, it is a wonderful super power, indeed.

The reason behind my reading vortex is simply the enjoyment of finding a new world to bring into my life.  Whether it is a scary story, funny story, romance, or biography, I love meeting new and interesting characters and learning about their lives and the world they live in.  I walk away from a story with new friends and a satisfaction so grand that I cannot wait for the next great adventure!

Queue in my other addiction of choice: writing.  I am working on my first novel and have written many poems and short stories in my life but the writing vortex I fall into willingly while writing my novel…man, no words can describe it!  I usually start off with a refresher of where I left off last and as soon as I start reading, my vortex engine begins to rev and then it is off I go!

When I write, the characters and their story drive my fingers and words.  I may start out with a concept or intent for a story line but as the characters are developed their life takes over and they become the driving force behind my writing.  Many times I realize at the end of a chapter or scene that it did not resemble my initial intent when I sat down to start writing.  This feeling is so Amazing and Otherworldly to me that I feel like my world is the imaginary world while the novel’s world is reality.

It is hard to try and express what this feels like because it is just that: a feeling; a sensation of images and thoughts.  It is my addiction.  A very good addiction at that.  It does not hurt anyone or mess up my life other than to take me to a new when instead of my when.  Other writers can probably express it better than I can because all I can come up with is my writing vortex…LOL

Reading & writing are so important to me, and for me, that they become something I need on a daily basis to live.  My Neanderthal friends will never get how or why I am so into reading or writing, but my Bibliophile friends are reading these words and shaking their heads yes while adding their own feelings to this. 🙂

See you on the flip side!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Poem: Darkness and Me

Darkness envelops me like the gentle hug of a lover

Darkness is my friend who does not judge

As I sit with Darkness, I am happy

As I sit with Darkness, I am free

Reality is what I make it here with the Dark

Reality is made by me

I am one with the Dark

I am a shadow flying free

I am a shadow of who I used to be

I am a shadow made of Darkness and me

 

Burleson, TX

March 19, 2017

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: What She Inherits by Diane V. Mulligan

I have a question for you, Dear Bloggites: what would you do if everything you grew up knowing, and believe made you the way you were, turned out to be a lie?  Today’s book review is a wonderful read that answers this question in one way.

What She Inherits by Diane V. MulliganThis book review is on What She Inherits by Diane V. Mulligan.  I received a request, via email, from the author offering her book as a gift if I was willing to review her book.  As you all know, I never say no to reading and helping authors out by providing a review.  Thank you, Diane, for the honor of reading your book and reviewing it.

This story follows two people, in two totally different worlds being pulled and pushed by forces outside their control.  Angela Ellis is a young college student whose mother died unexpectedly and forced her to fly home to put the family house in order.  Casey Seaver is a thirtysomething lady who runs a café on a small island which provides the necessary landscape for her to hide from her past and make her own way.  As the story unfolds, Angela is faced with some rather unusual circumstances which makes her believe she is being haunted by her mother’s ghost.  Casey is faced with the potential need to sell her café and leave her island she loves so much.

Throughout the novel, the reader follows these ladies on their strange journey of trying to find themselves while their worlds are falling down around them.  The characters are well developed and any reader will be able to relate to one or more of them in this book.  You have the popular girl that is a lot deeper than surface level, the self-sufficient woman who does not want anyone to dictate her life, the nerdy guy who finally gets the chance with the girl, the friends who always think they know what is best for your life and do not hesitate to tell you how to live it, as well as, the parental figures who were the rock for the various people, and young love gone wrong.

I truly enjoyed this novel.  This is technically my first Paranormal Fiction I have read that features ghosts and I loved it.  The story offered a wide variety throughout: love, friendship, lost-love, family, new-love, and the list goes on and on, PLUS ghosts, but not the spooky, freaky kind (which are not bad) but enough that they figure to strongly in the storyline.  The novel had a few typos and missed words here and there and it was easy to figure out the end result as the story builds out, but that is not always a bad thing.

I give What She Inherits by Diane V. Mulligan 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  I recommend this book if you want a fun story that will keep your focus.  You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Killer In The Coop by Jamie C. Pritchard

Hello, Dear Bloggites!  Happy March, Ya’ll! 😀  I am once again honored to have been asked to review a book by an author.  Jamie C. Pritchard emailed me with the offer of gifting his book, Killer in the Coop, if I was willing to write a book review for him.  As you all know, Peggy NEVER SAYS NO to providing book reviews or reading new authors she had not heard of. 🙂

killer-in-the-coop-by-jamie-c-pritchardI was intrigued by the story plot in this book.  The plot was about a man, Eli, who writes a 51,000 word essay of his planned shooting and why and sends it to the news media.  The fascination is how the author wrote the story.  Jamie C. Pritchard wrote the story telling the ending first then working backward to the beginning.  I am an ID TV junkie and one of my favorite series works from the end back to the beginning so this format immediately piqued my interest.

The story was written in the 3rd person which I love (as you know) and each character had multiple dimensions to them.  The only complex character was the lead character and that worked in this story line.  I was immediately pulled in by the first few lines of a woman who was calling 911 to report a shooting in her building until the killer, Eli, found her under her desk.

The only thing I did not like about the story was it ended too soon.  I was expecting a long novel and was surprised that it was more of a novella and as I was totally engrossed in the “making” of the man named Eli, I was stopped short with the shocked knowledge that I was at the end.  That being said, I really enjoyed this story and I hope the author continues with other stories about Eli’s life before his final decision to murder a bunch of random people with a strange sense of purpose.  Thank you, Jamie, for sharing your book with me and I look forward to reading more of your written work.

I give Killer In The Coop by Jamie C. Pritchard 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Go grab a copy and enjoy a quick read, you won’t be disappointed.

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: It’ll Be Fine, A True Story by Rebecca Rose

Hello, Dear Bloggites. 🙂  Two reviews in one day…I am on a roll.  This book review was at the request of the Author, Rebecca Rose, via an email from Amazon.com.  As you all know, I love to read and I love to support new, up-and-coming authors.  I gladly accepted this request and it took me a bit longer than planned before I could read this book.  Life, that ol’ bugger, demanded my focus and I am power reading all the books I have on my list now.

itll-be-fine-a-true-story-by-rebecca-roseThis review is on the non-fiction book, It’ll Be Fine, A True Story.  This book is similar to an autobiography/memoir, but is so much more.  This book was about an AMAZING Love Story of two hearts, recognizing their counter-point, yearning to unite as one.  Not only is this a wonderful love story, it is a wonderful story of a woman working on reaching the next level of her.

The story is about a girl, trudging through life, living the materialistic world of “being the best” and “making the most” at her job yet failing at finding the balance of life and work.  Throughout the book, the reader is taken on the journey that the author herself lived.  Unlike most autobiographies/memoirs, this book read like a fictional love story that has all the elements of a wonderful book: love, challenges, disappointments, loss, and hope.

It is a factual story about finding inner peace and the struggle that happens to some before inner peace is found.  The people in the novel are relatable for any reader and the story itself gives the reader hope and encouragement for their life and the situations they are facing.  The format of the story was a timeline format so you do not have the bouncing back and forth of times like so many books are written today.  The author did not sugar-coat anything about herself or the other people involved in the story.  She literally has held her arms out, hands open, saying, “This is me, all my ugly and beauty, here for you to witness.  Be gentle.”

Every writer puts something of themselves in every story they share with the world; this makes them very vulnerable.  Writing about a real life event in her life, Rebecca Rose, willingly exposed more of herself than that of a fiction writer.  The author is a very brave person to write about something so raw and life changing and I applaud her for it.  Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your life with me and the rest of the world. 🙂

If you want to read a true, life inspiring story, visit Rebecca at her website and learn more about the author and order your copy of It’ll Be Fine today. 🙂

I give It’ll Be Fine, A True Story by Rebecca Rose 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Get ready to have your life changed for the better, Dear Bloggites, once you start reading.

~4-Ever, P