Enzo Stephens: The Healing Show with Doctor Joe

From Enzo Stephens: Eggsy is back—need I say more? This time he has gone national. It is Eggsy, so please beware but enjoy and visit Enzo on Facebook.

Writers Unite!

Welcome toWrite the Story!Each monthWriters Unite!will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone.WU!wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.Pleasecheck out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

Image by Mateusz Omelan from Pixabay

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image by Mateusz Omelan from Pixabay

The Healing Show with Doctor Joe

Enzo Stephens 

“Good evening America! This is Doctor Joe, and we have finally gone national! So I say again, Hello America, and welcome to the show.

“Some business to get out of the way before we dive in tonight.

“I am Doctor Joe, board certified in psychiatry. However, please understand that I will not dispense clinical diagnoses on our show. That’s not what…

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Listen to Me! No! Listen to Me!

Listen to Me! No! Listen to Me!

The Talking Heads of Writing

D. A. Ratliff

I am one of those nerdy types constantly looking for new information. When I decided to start writing fiction again after many years of writing business and marketing-related materials, I scoured the Internet for every morsel of writing advice I could find. The amount of material I found was overwhelming, but I dove in without taking a breath. I wanted to learn.

What I found fulfilled my needs, but I also found that, apparently, everyone who has ever written considers themselves an expert. The myriad of articles, blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos are mind-bogglingly confusing, with almost all of these ‘experts’ saying the identical thing. The difference is how they offer their “expertise.”

My background is in science, so I took a rudimentary approach. I had taken creative writing in high school and college, but I decided to start with general information. I researched topics such as writing fiction for beginnerscomponents of a good fiction novel, and how to write mysteries or science fiction. After looking at overviews of the craft, I pared my searches down to the basics.

Among my first questions were these:

  • How to write an opening sentence
  • How to write a hook
  • How to write an opening paragraph, a first chapter

Well, you get the idea—totally back to basics.

I wasn’t a novice, but years of writing nonfiction suck the soul out of writing fiction. I needed to relearn how to put the reader into the story for more than information. I needed them to feel the emotion of what they were reading. I searched for information on developing characters, plots, world-building, voice, structure, and grammar, among other topics.

Whether a beginning writer or one who believes in continuing education, the resources available to us are amazing. We can have information from the Internet in seconds that could take hours to find the conventional way open to us—libraries.

Libraries had librarians. Those individuals who spoke softly and always found the answers you sought. If you needed information on any subject, there would be stacks of books or periodicals in front of you, ready for exploration within a blink of an eye.

Today, while my love of libraries will never wane, my librarians are more often Internet search engines. The process is not as personal, but the information is instantaneous. It is also confusing.

There are basic steps to writing. While all of us like to be creative individuals, the art of storytelling is an ancient one and varies little from the beginning of the spoken and written word. Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. That pattern does not change. Our creativity is in how we construct our story.

With the Internet’s assistance, we can learn the basics and the nuances of storytelling by asking questions. For example, I typed in this search request. How to write an opening line for a novel.

The result? “About 373,000,000 results (0.67 seconds)” was the response from the search engine for all results.

For videos? The results were—“About 3,720,000 results (0.46 seconds).” That is a lot of videos for a very narrow topic.

For videos? The results were—“About 3,720,000 results (0.46 seconds).” That is a lot of videos for a very narrow topic.

I admit to a love-hate relationship with writers and videos. There is one author who I came across a few years ago whose advice I found to be excellent and delivered in a fun and irreverent manner. I followed this author and her advice for a long time, until recently. Her videos have become solely marketing tools for her books and merchandise. There is nothing wrong with promotion, and she has built her following and has every right to market her work to them or anyone.

However, when I am going to her for advice on a topic, having her book discussed before she addresses the subject is annoying, and she lost me as a follower. Not like there aren’t more writing advisors out there. Unfortunately, there are.

For example, one author is bright and cheery but distracted during her rushed delivery. Her camera fell during a taping and, instead of starting over, she frantically grabbed the camera, placed it where she had it, and kept talking. It was annoying and distracting, and she should have stopped and started over, but she did not. Another time, she yelled at her dog for barking. If you want me to respect you as an expert, conduct yourself like one. Her advice was nothing we haven’t heard before, so delivery and connection to the audience are imperative.

There is another famous video writing guru who has produced many YouTube videos. This is more of a personal quirk of mine, but please don’t talk down to the listener and don’t declare how proficient you are on a topic, prove it. In one video, she discussed outdated genres and tropes and noted that some genres are dead in traditional publishing but do well in self-publishing. As her focus and her professed expertise concern traditional publishing, her bias is there as well. If a genre is not selling one place but selling in another, it is not dead but subject to other markets and readers. As a writer, never forget, your success in traditional publishing is at the whim of agents, publishing house editors, and marketing staff. Your novel may be exceptional, but if it does not fit their cubbyholes, the odds of receiving a publishing contract are slim. When reaching out to find qualified advice, read the author’s bio and listen to their intent, as not all advice applies to your situation.

I am not saying that any of the abovementioned writers’ videos don’t have good advice. Advice is subjective and how we learn varies from one person to another. However, I want to offer a word of caution as many authors imparting their ‘knowledge’ do not provide sound advice.

To appear unique, people want to take the basics of writing and spin the ideas into a new way of thinking or processing the information. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when two plus two equals four, there is little room for stating that fact any other way. Overembellishing a process often leads to confusion, especially for a novice writer.

There are hundreds of processes offered as the way to write the best novel ever. The list is endless. There are numerous character development or world-building forms, specialty writing programs, name or plot generators, and different ways to plot—all ways to accomplish the same goal we all have, to write a novel.

When researching the writing process, you should read all the information you can but be wary of who you are listening to when you take lessons away from your reading. The first Internet search results will be the most popular ones, and often you will see the same writing websites or blogs listed. Popularity does not always mean quality, but if writers use the same sites for advice, there is a reason. You should read all the articles, watch all the videos, take a writing class, and read books with one thought in mind. Take the information that you gather and apply it to your writing process to fit your style. You should be unique, not the person providing writing tips.

The US Navy came up with an acronym, KISS, which stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. It applies to writers. Learn all that you can about your craft but remember the basics of writing. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end, and only you can write your story.

Listen to yourself.

Please visit D. A. Ratliff on her blog: https://thecoastalquill.wordpress.com

Please note: Images are free use and require no attribution. Images used by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

SUCCESS PHILOSOPHIES WITH DR. CHUBACK EPISODE #9

Episode #9 of “Success Philosophies with Dr. Chuback” is now available. Enjoy and check out previous episodes at the link.

Writers Unite!

Writers are human and humans require motivation. When we set a goal, the motivation to accomplish our desires is the force driving our actions. For many of us, finding the correct path to follow and maintaining that driving force can be difficult.

In our quest to assist writers in becoming the best you can be and remain motivated, we would like to introduce you toJohn Chuback, M.D.A cardiovascular surgeon,Dr. Chubackfound his goals waylaid by his lack of motivation. In a series of interviews withPaul W. Reeves, host onImpact Radio USA,Dr. Chubackdiscusses “The 50 most powerful secrets for success in and out of the classroom.”

Please click on the link below to hear Episode #9 in this series, and start enhancing your journey toward success today.

DR. JOHN CHUBACK, a cardiovascular surgeon from New Jersey, joins us in this series to…

View original post 317 more words

Lynn Miclea: Beyond Static

From Lynn Miclea: A grieving wife learns she is never alone. Enjoy and please visit Lynn on her sites.

Writers Unite!

Welcome toWrite the Story!Each monthWriters Unite!will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone.WU!wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.Pleasecheck out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

Image by Mateusz Omelan from Pixabay

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image by Mateusz Omelan from Pixabay

Beyond Static

Lynn Miclea

Startled, Olivia jerked her head up and looked toward the kitchen. What was that? Having been deeply asleep and suddenly jarred awake from a nap she desperately needed, she frowned in confusion and struggled to stand up from the recliner she had been dozing in.

She focused and listened for any possible sound coming from the kitchen. What had she heard? What woke her up?…

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Aunt Estelle

This short story is based on the June 2021 image prompt for Writers Unite! Write the Story’s project. I hope you enjoy it!

Aunt Estelle

D. A. Ratliff

My earliest recollection of Aunt Estelle was in the summer of my sixth year. My parents took my younger and annoying brother and me to visit our grandparents in a small south Georgia town.

We lived in Los Angeles, and the trip was memorable as it was my first time on an airplane. My grandparents had visited us until then so that my parents didn’t have to lug two small children—did I mention my four-year-old brother was annoying—through airports. Or so I overheard them saying.

Cameron and I—I’m Samantha—were excited about being on the plane. Although Cam did get scared on takeoff and cried, I loved how the plane went faster and faster until it lifted from the ground. Seeing the trees and roads and tall buildings of LA get smaller until I could no longer see them was exciting.

The flight was long, and Cam became fussy, but the captain came to the passenger cabin and calmed him. Our father was an Air Force pilot, and he and the captain had served together. Cam and I finally fell asleep a couple of hours from the Atlanta airport, and it was dark when my parents woke us. As we walked through the nearly deserted airport, I wondered if we had arrived in another world. Funny how that thought would come back to haunt me.

My dad rented a car, and off we headed to my grandparents’ farm. Cam and I fell asleep again, and I vaguely remember arriving at the farm a few hours later and my grandfather carrying me into the house. He smelled of Aqua Velva aftershave, and I felt safe in his arms.

The following morning my grandma cooked the biggest breakfast I ever had, and afterward, we headed outside to play in the yard with Nutter, my granddad’s Labrador Retriever. That big black dog was only about a year old then and became our best playmate over the years. As I write this, Nutter’s great-great-grandson, Sirius, is lying on the deck beside me. And no—I named him after the star and not a wizard from a fiction story.

Later that morning, we were playing, under the watchful eye of our father, on a trampoline that grandpa had put up for us when our great-aunt Estelle arrived carrying a basketful of something that smelled quite tasty. We stopped jumping as she approached. Holding out the basket, she removed a cloth napkin, revealing a pile of cookies. She had our attention.

She hugged my father and then us. “Children, I am your great-aunt Estelle. Let’s go inside and have some milk and cookies.”

We needed no further prompt. Cam and I climbed down from the trampoline with our father’s help and followed her into the kitchen. It’s funny now, thinking back on those days. We knew so little then and now—well, now it’s only my story to tell.

We spent two weeks on the farm, wandering the peanut fields, pecan groves, and the acres of watermelon and cantaloupe. Cam and I feasted each day on a watermelon that our grandpa would pick for us. He always whispered to me in the morning after breakfast, want to pick something pink and green? That phrase became one he whispered to me until he died. Cam’s favorite treat was grandma’s soda biscuits with butter and honey from beehives on the farm. I liked watermelon better.

Aunt Estelle was my grandfather’s sister, and she lived in a cottage just a stone’s throw from our grandparents’ home. The path to her house led from my grandma’s flower garden to a wrought iron gate set in a hedge and into a flower garden in Aunt Estelle’s yard. At six and for many years later, I imagined I was walking through the world of the fairies when I visited her, and we would imagine fairies in the garden and tell each other stories.

We spent a lot of afternoons at Aunt Estelle’s house during that first visit and later ones. She loved to play games with us and taught us to make kites. We would take the balsa and silk kites to the peanut fields and run between rows to watch our colorful creations fly. She took us walking through nearby groves of trees and taught us about plants and birds, and over the years, Cam and I became quite the ornithologists and botanists. And did I mention, she made the best cookies ever.

There was, however, one item in her house that always intrigued me. On a cabinet in her living room sat an old-time radio. My mother called it an art deco piece which I didn’t understand then, and she marveled at how beautiful the radio was. It was shiny black with gold trim and in pristine condition as if she had never turned it on. She once asked Aunt Estelle if it was a reproduction and my aunt just smiled. “Oh no, my dear, it’s an original.”

It wasn’t until my tenth year that I felt something was amiss. We had come for another summer visit, and it was the first time Aunt Estelle did not meet us with a basket of cookies. We didn’t see her until the third day after we arrived. My grandma said Estelle was traveling, as I had learned she often did. When she came to see us, she was carrying two large boxes wrapped in shiny paper and ribbons and a basket full of chocolate chip cookies, our favorites.

“Children, I am so sorry I wasn’t here when you arrived. However, I have a surprise. I was in Germany, and I brought each of you a present.”

Excited, we opened our gifts. Now eight, Cameron was the proud owner of a tree fort with tiny platforms, branches, a staircase, ladder, a bridge, elf-like figurines, and a crow’s nest on top. After seeing his gift, I was anxious to see my own but carefully untied the ribbon and peeled away the paper. Inside the box was a miniature fairy village. There were five houses, patterned like an acorn, honeycomb, tulip, pinecone, and mushroom, along with five fairy girls and five fairy boys.

“Aunt Estelle, I love it. I have just the place in my room for this.” I hugged her, and she squeezed me tightly.

“My darling, I wanted something for you to treasure and remember me and our fairy walks by in years to come.” 

Her eyes glittered as she looked into mine. I would remember that look as even then I realized there was more to Aunt Estelle than I knew.

Wonderful memories filled the years to come. When I was fourteen, I begged my parents to spend my school vacation in Georgia. With Cam going to camp, my parents allowed me to spend my summer at the farm. Looking back, it was the best summer of my life.

My grandmother, Aunt Estelle, and I made jams and jellies, relishes, baked cakes and cookies, and tended the personal garden. Thank goodness I had taken up running, or I would have gained a hundred pounds. We wandered the countryside, visiting antique shops, and had lunch at quaint little cafes. I fell in love with the area and the two women sharing the experience with me.

One week, in late July, my grandparents traveled to Chicago for the wedding of a close friend’s grandchild, and they decided I would spend the days they were gone with Estelle. That was the week my journey to my present life began.

The first evening, Aunt Estelle, after dinner and yes, cookies, took me outside. There were no security lights in the area, and the sky was midnight blue and sprinkled with glittering stars. We settled into reclining lawn chairs, and while sipping peach tea, Estelle took me on a tour of the Milky Way spanning the sky above them.

She spoke of the constellations Sagittarius, Scorpius, Ophiuchus, and Scutum and the wandering comets glistened with ice in the reflected light of distant nebulas. She described them as if she had seen them with her own eyes, and her words filled me with wonder.

I had always had an affinity for space and excelled in science as Cam did. Now, listening to my aunt, I felt a growing need to learn more about space and the wonders it contained. It wasn’t until the second night that I discovered a secret about my aunt, and that secret sealed my fate.

We had remained outside until nearly one a.m., and then Aunt Estelle shooed me to bed. I was too excited to sleep, and thoughts of my future spun in my head. I sat, legs beneath me, on the window seat in my room, staring out at the night sky. When I heard a whining sound, I worried my aunt was in trouble. I rushed from my room and down the stairs stopping on the landing to see into the living room. Estelle stood before the radio with only dim light from a single lamp illuminated the room. She wore a pale green gossamer scarf over her head and held a small metal disk in her hands.

I knelt on the landing, peering through the banister, afraid to move. My body became rigid, and all I could do was watch.

Aunt Estelle touched a dial on the radio, and it began to glow. Within seconds, a voice spoke from the radio. Unlike any I had heard before, a voice spoke in a sing-song language as though it was part music and part speaking. Stunned, I watched as Estelle spoke into the metal disc using the same language. The conversation went on for several minutes before Estelle touched the dial again, and the amber light faded. It was then that Estelle turned toward me, and the room went black. I wouldn’t remember the radio incident from that night for a long time until she allowed me to remember.

My high-school years were a blur. I only saw my grandparents on the holidays as I spent my summers in science camp. My attention was solely on science and my desire to attend the Air Force Academy and become a pilot or an astronaut. The day I received my acceptance letter from the Academy, I called Aunt Estelle after I celebrated with my parents and my still annoying brother. She was as excited as I was.

“My darling Sam, I felt your connection to the stars from our nights gazing at the sky. I had a feeling you would want to visit the Milky Way.”

“You instilled that desire in me long ago when we sat in your front yard under the stars.”

“I did, didn’t I? And for a good reason, it is where you belong.”

I ended the call full of wonder and something else, an awareness of Aunt Estelle’s sing-song voice. I wondered why I had never noticed it until that day.

Five years later, I was an Air Force Academy graduate with a physics and aeronautical engineering degree, and I could fly aircraft. I had just come off a training mission when word came that Aunt Estelle had died. My heart shattered as my family and I left for Georgia.

We spent sad days there, as so much had changed. My grandfather had suffered a minor stroke only a few months before Estelle died. After the funeral, my parents talked him into selling the farm and my grandparents moving to California with my parents, including two handsome dogs that were the late Nutter’s offspring.

The day before I left to return to Nellis Air Force Base, my grandmother told me that something was waiting for me in Aunt Estelle’s cottage. I walked the path between the gardens, now lusher than when I was a child. Memories of fairies and twinkling stars fill me with nostalgia.

I walked into her home for likely the last time, and tears streamed down my face. I loved all of my family, but Aunt Estelle filled a piece of my heart that I knew would now remain empty. I found a package wrapped in shiny paper and ribbons. My heart pounding, I sat on the couch and opened the box.

I gasped at what was inside and, with trembling fingers, lifted the beautiful clock from the box, along with a strange metal disk and a letter. Day turned into night as I sat in Estelle’s home, processing what she had written.

Now, years later, I pulled the letter from a zippered pocket on my uniform and read it once again—my heart both breaking and full of love simultaneously.

My dear Samantha:

  First, I must tell you. I am not dead. The body I left behind was a non-animated clone. I knew this day was coming from the moment I met you, and I will admit I refused recall until you graduated from the Academy and your future set. You see, Sam, I am not truly your aunt. I am not from Earth. I am from a solar system that your planet has yet to discover. Our sun is much like yours, and my planet is very similar to Earth.

  We have visited Earth for many generations, but we are not little gray beings, as we look very similar to you, only requiring minor alterations. We observe your species by becoming part of your family for a while. Then we leave and erase the memories of our existence from those we interacted with but not with you. I petitioned for the right to remain in contact with you as I was certain that you would reach for the stars one day.

  You will not be able to discuss me with your family as they will no longer remember me. In a matter of days, they will not remember me at all—but you will. As you might have guessed, the radio is a communications device, and the metal disk is how to operate it. There will come a time when we talk again.

  The one thing I did leave with you was the fairy village, as the myths of fairies are common in your world. They are also common in mine. A love that we shared from our childhood.

  Samantha, whatever life brings you, remember I will be with you. And we will meet again when you are among the stars.

  Aunt Estelle.

I wiped the tears spilling from my eyes. As Estelle faded from my family’s memory, it was so difficult not to scream she was here, she was real, but it was futile. I gazed across the cramped captain’s office where the fairy village sat on a shelf, the radio on the shelf below. I had refused to leave Earth without either item or Sirius. Earth Space Command had given in, they wanted me, and I wanted Sirius and Estelle with me.

The comm crackled. “Captain, helm informs me that we are about to cross the boundary of our solar system.”

“Thank you, Commander.”

I scratched Sirius’s head and rose. Before I stepped onto the bridge, I touched the radio, still shiny and new. “Don’t worry, Estelle. I will be calling soon.”

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The Write the Story project is a monthly prompt provided by Writers Unite! It is intended to give authors writing experience and outreach to grow followers to their Facebook pages, blogs, and website. Visit Writers Unite on the Web at:
https://writersuniteweb.wordpress.com/
and on WU! Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/145324212487752/

SUCCESS PHILOSOPHIES WITH DR. CHUBACK EPISODE #8

Episode #8 of “Success Philosophies with Dr. Chuback” is now available. Enjoy and check out previous episodes at the link.

Writers Unite!

Writers are human and humans require motivation. When we set a goal, the motivation to accomplish our desires is the force driving our actions. For many of us, finding the correct path to follow and maintaining that driving force can be difficult.

In our quest to assist writers in becoming the best you can be and remain motivated, we would like to introduce you toJohn Chuback, M.D.A cardiovascular surgeon,Dr. Chubackfound his goals waylaid by his lack of motivation. In a series of interviews withPaul W. Reeves, host onImpact Radio USA,Dr. Chubackdiscusses “The 50 most powerful secrets for success in and out of the classroom.”

Please click on the link below to hear Episode #8 in this series, and start enhancing your journey toward success today!

DR. JOHN CHUBACK, a cardiovascular surgeon from New Jersey, joins us in this series to…

View original post 318 more words

SUCCESS PHILOSOPHIES WITH DR. CHUBACK EPISODE #7

Episode #7 of “Success Philosophies with Dr. Chuback” is now available. Enjoy and check out previous episodes at the link.

Writers Unite!

Writers are human and humans require motivation. When we set a goal, the motivation to accomplish our desires is the force driving our actions. For many of us, finding the correct path to follow and maintaining that driving force can be difficult.

In our quest to assist writers in becoming the best you can be and remain motivated, we would like to introduce you toJohn Chuback, M.D.A cardiovascular surgeon,Dr. Chubackfound his goals waylaid by his lack of motivation. In a series of interviews withPaul W. Reeves, host onImpact Radio USA,Dr. Chubackdiscusses “The 50 most powerful secrets for success in and out of the classroom.”

Please click on the link below to hear Episode #7 in this series, and start enhancing your journey toward success today!

DR. JOHN CHUBACK, a cardiovascular surgeon from New Jersey, joins us in this series to…

View original post 315 more words

Calliope Njo: Big Plans

Calliope Njo’s share a story of the perfect summer vacation plans, and a sister. Enjoy and please visit Calliope on her blog.

Writers Unite!

Welcome toWrite the Story!Each monthWriters Unite!will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone.WU!wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.Pleasecheck out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution.Image by Steve Bidmead of Pixabay.

Big Plans

Calliope Njo

Summer was here at last. No more masks and no more school. I wished I could get rid of Christine. No luck there though. Father would never bail me out of jail if I killed her, so yeah, I got stuck with her.

Dear Mother always told me that the bond between sisters must remain forever sacred. I would’ve been perfect with only me…

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Lynn Miclea: Shimmer

From Lynn Miclea: A trip to the beach is what two young friends expected. Enjoy and please visit Lynn on her websites.

Writers Unite!

Welcome toWrite the Story!Each monthWriters Unite!will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone.WU!wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.Pleasecheck out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution.Image by Steve Bidmead of Pixabay.

Shimmer

Lynn Miclea

Ryan laughed and punched Scott affectionately on the arm as they trudged along the beach, their feet sinking into the soft sand. Getting away for the day and going to the beach was the best idea. And going with his best friend was even better. Now fifteen years old, they had been best friends since grade school, and they loved walking along the beach and…

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Lisa Criss Griffin: A Moment On The Beach

From Lisa Criss Griffin: A poem that captures that wonderful moment on a beautiful beach. Enjoy and please visit Lisa on Facebook.

Writers Unite!

Welcome toWrite the Story!Each monthWriters Unite!will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone.WU!wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.Pleasecheck out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution.Image by Steve Bidmead of Pixabay.

A Moment On The Beach

Lisa Criss Griffin

The warmth of sunshine slides across my face, A salty wind whips the ends of my hair. The roar of the waves rumbles and tumbles Just beyond the reach of my blue striped chair. Seabirds step lively as the water rushes in, A plump jellyfish rolls up, lying near. The tinkling of shells glide in on a swell, While light…

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the coastal quill … musings of a southern author

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