The stories we share

A Quiet Growth

This year so far I’ve mostly focused on writing quantity over quality. At least, it looks that way by what I’ve published.

The benefits of this are many. I’ve bulldozed roadblocks of fear to creativity. Stifling thoughts, all things related to “not good enough”, all things that make me think my idea isn’t worth sharing or, even worse, not worth writing at all, have started to break down. It just feels good to create. It’s similar to my doodling: I may be years away from selling my drawings; maybe I never will. (Here’s where the similarities end because one day I will be a published author.) But I feel a little more like myself when I get out my colored pencils, and that’s good.

Of course, meanwhile all these other desires keep tugging on me. This writing contest, that deeply rooted project-they sometimes demand my attention right now, clamoring for energy and cultivation that I don’t have yet. The time isn’t right and I’m learning that slow isn’t bad. “Just wait,” I tell my clamoring dreams. “Your time will come. I’ll plant a bit here, weed a bit there- I may have a black thumb when it comes to plants, but I can’t kill these dreams or these projects. One day you’ll come to fruition.”

I’m learning to quell thoughts like, “You posted WHAT?!” because art is not perfect and if it helps you to show up, I think you should just do it. I trust that there is more at work than what I can offer right now. Eventually, it’ll be ready.

Whatever your project is, you don’t have to be discouraged by slow progress. What’s worth doing takes time. And when it’s ready, it will be all the more beautiful for your honoring of every little step.


Can you see the tiny green oranges?
The stories we read

The Green Ember

For this months’ final post, I’ve read a book with the theme in its title. Convenient, hey? Enjoy this very brief review, and I look forward to sharing new things with you in the month of June!

Rabbit siblings Heather and Picket lived a peaceful life with their loving family.  Their father has always told them stories of intrigue, adventure, and betrayal, stories with fierce enemies and rabbit heroes of long ago. Their life is dumped upside down when wolves destroy their home and they are forced to flee. They begin to see that the substance of these tales are closer than they knew.

The Green Ember is S.D. Smith’s debut novel. There were many strengths. The way he introduces Heather and Picket in the beginning of the story illustrated their relationship beautifully. Their individual fears and struggles were well-written, and their character arcs were a pleasure to witness. Many of the action scenes were well-paced and even beautifully written.

I did find some portions of the story to contain more ‘tell’ than ‘show’. This is a story for middle school readers, who would have benefitted from less ‘tell’ I believe.

Overall, young (and not-so-young) readers will enjoy this story, finding much to identify with in the main characters and the challenges they face.

The next book in the series, Ember Falls, is available now. The Black Star of Kingston covers the stories that Heather and Picket grew up hearing from their father. It will be interesting to watch not only the story develop further, but Smith’s writing as well.  One thing is for sure-he has a wealth of imagination and storytelling to offer readers.

And so May draws to a close. What did you enjoy about the month? Have you read The Green Ember?

My written stories

The Emerald Isle

May’s 5th “green” post. Enjoy!

They say our people once roamed the land, free as anybody. 

That was ages ago. 

Today I can only dream of visiting my homeland.

I stare at pictures in books, the ancient wonders inspiring awe within me, the green of the landscape reflected back in the glass.

Next door, the hermit crab laughs.

“Do you really think they’ll let a snake into Ireland?”

My written stories

Teal Confusion

May’s theme is “green”. Enjoy this 4th post. 


If you love me, love me true, buy me a ribbon, a ribbon of blue.

If you hate me, let it be seen, buy me a ribbon, a ribbon of green.*

That’s what the poem said for the village dance, and no doubt sweethearts all over either smiled with delight or sobbed into their pillows at this moment; but what was Rose to do with a teal ribbon? She knew George was shy; but this teal was no clearer a declaration than a mud puddle was a spring. Rose slowly pulled her hair up and trudged toward the laughter and fiddles’ music streaming from the school hall. The dancers made weaving tracks around each other like bees in a hive. There was George, absolute misery and apprehension on his face. Rose stood resolutely, waiting for the ax to fall as he made his way to her, hand outstretched, and said to her, “I’m sorry. I thought you knew. I’m colorblind.”
* poem by Wendy Watson

My written stories

What Alice Found

May’s theme is ‘green’. Enjoy this second post. 

Light and swirling dust motes filled the attic. Alice coughed, surveying the scene of her childhood, taking in her grandmother’s trunks and old desk. Ancient dolls sat like sentinels of the past across the furniture.

So many memories, now colored with grief.

Alice opened a wooden trinket box and caught her breath.

Holding her discovery to the light, Grandmother’s lost emerald ring flashed with green fire.

My written stories

A Theme for May and a Goofy Poem

Happy May, all! This month I’m choosing a theme for Storybound, and that theme is the color green. May is my parents’ and grandmother’s birth month.  Partly for that reason, I’ve always loved their birthstone, emerald, and all shades therein. Green is living, vibrant, soothing, and uplifting to me. Being around green plant life refreshes me like few other things. And since “April showers bring May flowers”*, I’d say it’s a fair month for sharing these light-hearted scribbles.

To start things off, here’s a poem I almost trashed a few weeks ago. High literature it is not. But hey, what better way to kick off a month dedicated to a certain color than by cramming as many synonyms as possible into one post?


Jade, emerald, pea green, lime,

Truly you are a color sublime.

Basil, pistachio, olive, mint,

Deliciousness in every hint.

Perhaps the worst poem ever seen,

But who can resist the color green?


Answer: I can’t. 😉

* Although, here in sunny FL, our crispy brown grass anticipates summer thunderstorms instead…Florida, you’re such a rebel.

My written stories

Fridays with Flora Felda 7

April 28th, 2017

Read the first 6 episodes here.

Well, dear reader, when last I left off, Lavender, James, and I had just reached The Abyss.  To continue, then…

The light beckoned to us like a finger of destiny. Swallowing our fears, we crawled under the door. Stretched before us were mountain ranges obscured in the dark. I could barely make out what was what-clothes, legos, other toys? We had to go through it.

Our first obstacle was soft and pillowy. Clothes, and not very clean clothes, by the smell of them.

“Whew! Doesn’t the Authoress ever do laundry?” James made a face. We clambered on, helping each other over slippery buttons and across rugged zippers. We started scaling a rather stained pair of khakis. Just as Lavender reached for me, my foot slipped out from under me, and I tumbled into a dark crevice.

“Flora!” Lavender screamed. “Flora!” Her voice was very far away and muffled. I shook my head and squinted up at the hole I’d fallen through, barely brighter than the black around me.

“I’m fine,” I called up. “This must be a pocket.”  Lavender sounded like she and James were arguing.

“Can you climb up?” James called. I looked around and felt the air. Ah, there was the pocket lining. I continued to my right when my hand struck something cold and hard. It was big, almost half my height, but beyond that I couldn’t say.

“I found something, maybe I can climb up on it,” I shouted up. A sudden beam of light made me wince.

“I forgot the flashlight,” said James sheepishly. My snipey comment died on my lips. The cold hard thing I was squinting at was a pink, jagged stone polished in the shape of a cube. There was only one thing it could be.

“The Charm of Charmaine,” I whispered.

“What?” Lavender shouted. “What is it?”

“I found the Charm of Charmaine!” I shrieked . “Look, you guys! James, shine that light down again!”

I head gasps as the light reflected off the stone’s smooth surface. I was too excited to notice that the light above was coming from more than just the flashlight, or that James and Lavender weren’t watching anymore, but instead looking over the pocket crevice and talking in worried voices. Before they could say a word of warning, a loud creaking noise broke overhead. Seconds later, we were all three disoriented and scared as we were lifted, clothes, charm, and all, and taken out of The Abyss.


My written stories

New Blog!

Hello friends, in case you haven’t checked out my new About page, I’ve started a new blog!

I’ll still be sharing fiction writing, book reviews, and all things writing life related here, on Storybound. There’s still a little clean up to do but I’m taking it slowly.

Stay Awake is about seeing hope in my life and sharing it with you. This sight will also probably alter a bit over the coming months, but it’s ready as is. I hope you’ll take a look. The latest post is about postpartum depression.

Happy Monday from the Hopeful Romantic. xo