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Just Keep Reading!

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This book is available TODAY – 16th July 2019!

I recently read Light from Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker. It’s an interesting and unusual novel about a man coming to terms with his family, his past, and himself. It has drama, suspense, faith, and so much more! I rated it 4/5 stars on all the review sites, but since this is my blog and I can do as I please, I’m giving it a 4.7/5 stars here. (It was very nearly a 5 star book for me, but other sites don’t allow partial stars…)


For the sake of this blog, I nicked a book blurb. (Wot!? I’m super knackered tonight!):

“When Cohen Marah steps over his father’s body in the basement embalming room of the family’s funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory. As the last one to see his father, Cohen is the primary suspect. “


 

For all my other posted reviews, no nicking involved…:


I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher and this is my honest review:

When I began reading this book, I was drawn into the idea of the character, his predicament, and how he would handle it. At first, I struggled with the pace of the story. It wasn’t slow, but I wanted it to unfold faster, match the chaotic pace of my life at the time of reading, and give me more answers – NOW! Yet, before I knew it, the methodical and rhythmic marching ever forward (even in his reflections into the past) had unfolded far more than I realised. I grew to appreciate the pace; I settled into it, and truly enjoyed the journey.

I love the author’s use of imagery. His language isn’t flowery, but it definitely has a poetic edge. There’s a realness to the characters’ relationships showing the harshness, love, misunderstandings, and even grace that so often happen in real life.

Cohen Marah’s story will be one I return to for a reread down the road.


 

So, do yourself a favour and get a copy. (Preferably from your favourite bookseller, Support your locals and indies! – just not A_azon, okay? Or at least not from them today! We can honour the strike for another few hours! Besides, B&N has the same paperback price as they do!)

US: among MANY, MANY other sellers, here’s a link if you’d like to buy it from Barnes and Noble: Light From Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker

UK: I’m sure you can also buy it from tonnes of places on this side of the pond, but Eden Books having free UK shipping caught my eye: Light From Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker

By the way, I get no kickbacks or credits of any kind from these links. I’m affiliated with no one, just making it easier for some of you to access the book! Now go and read!

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Posted by on 16 July 2019 in Blog, Uncategorized

 

Practice

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By Rhiannon Corretto – 10 May 2019

 

It’s a practice,
This every day
Heart Beating
Journey.
It’s a practice to expel the air
From your lungs
In the hopes that,
In the daring that,
There will be air
Graced to you
To fill them up again

It’s a practice
To let a word in,
Let it reverberate within
The shadows of you,
To stir up something
That may be scarier than
When it stirs up nothing…
Because what if
The word has a will
And you follow it
Like a ravelled thread
To a Truth
That no one else can understand
And even you aren’t ready for?
It’s never guaranteed…

It’s a practice
To trust
To fling yourself into the Arms
Of Love and Life,
To dance and let the gravity of grief go
And maybe be caught…
And maybe not…

It is a practice to live
Because nothing is perfect
Except the chance…

 

This poem was written as part of Five Minute Friday. This week’s #fmfparty prompt was “Practice”.

 
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Posted by on 11 May 2019 in Blog, FiveMinuteFridays, Poetry

 

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Seeing Red…

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by Rhiannon C Hall

 

The streets run red
From brokenness and blindness,
From self-destructive hate of Other,

And yet,
Can you point out
Which pool and spill
Came from you?
Which came from me?
From “us”?
Or from “them”?

You can only revel
In the power of your anger
That painted our world red
Because it wasn’t only your blood that was shed…

But, if we are one creation,
Wasn’t it?

 
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Posted by on 15 August 2017 in Blog, Poetry

 

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Born Without a Whisper

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By Rhiannon C. Hall – August 2017

We have many births in life
As we cross thresholds of strange doors
We could never fathom opening
And we
Become

A piece of ourselves
We’ve always held…

I was born when I fell
Into the mud,
When I was pushed
Beyond my balance
And landed
Into a foreign space
Of laughter
And jeering,
Because I stood up…
Bloodied
And changed

I was born when I closed
My eyes into a dream of
Wings feathered with words
That stretched to the horizons
And let me shed the weight of reality
With each turning page

I was born
When I met you,
When your smile
Was my first breath
Filling my lungs
With a tomorrow
I didn’t know I wouldn’t see

And I was born
When I woke up to that day
Without you

And I was born
With tears and screaming
And seven pounds of
Why am I here?
And how many bitter pills
Until this ends?

And I was born
In the clinging to one more day
And one more chance
And one more prayer
To make this dance beautiful
Despite my graceless feet
And clumsy songs

And I was born
Without a whisper
As I knew that I was moving
Beyond who I was
And into who I could be
And that any given moment
Could be the next birth,
The next life,
The next incarnation of who I am
And who I’ve always held
Somewhere inside…

There’s a song I’ve loved for ages called “When I Reach the Place I’m Going”. It was recorded both by Wynonna (Judd) and by Patty Loveless. As the years progress, I find deeper and deeper meaning to each line. But, there is one line, “I was born without a whisper”, that seems to resonate anew with every new season in my life. I played the song the other night and that line brought up so many images from different times or rebirth and I had to sit down and write.

 
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Posted by on 7 August 2017 in Blog, London Summer, Poetry

 

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Trying…

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By Rhiannon C Hall – 4 August 2017

I take a deep breath,
Try to squint at the swirl of words
In my heart and
Pick out just one
That makes sense,
That resonates with the Truth
That I seek from You.

I’d anchored down the word I didn’t want to hear
Because I KNEW You wouldn’t say it;
And as long as it was an option,
It would fog my vision.
As I stared into the turbulence
That ebbed and flowed around
The questions
That seem unanswerable,
You resurrected
From the deep
The One,
Having loosed it’s chain
From the weight of all the pain
From all the hope deferred…

And it took my breath away…

But still I try
To accept the word
That I didn’t want to hear
As Your answer,
And still I try
To see its resonance
With the evidence
And trust that Your ways
Are higher than mine…

 

 

This poem was written as part of Five Minute Friday. This week’s #fmfparty prompt was “Try”. It’s interesting to me to see what happens with the half a thought that I can almost grasp when I set the timer for five minutes and try to write. When the timer beeps, I’m usually a little surprised. I know this piece is not what I intended it to be, but it may be exactly what it needed to be…

 
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Posted by on 4 August 2017 in Blog, FiveMinuteFridays, Poetry

 

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Collect

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By Rhiannon C Hall – 21 July 2017

 

I look at my empty hands

Freshly freed from their beloved burdens

And I wish this season were more about collecting

Than letting go…

And I wish I could even hold my wishes,

But they slip through my grasp

Like the smoke accompanying the genie

From the lamp…

And in the emptiness I hold,

I see it,

I see what I have gained

Through all this loss:

The scars,

The tough and tender reminders

Of thorns

And wrestling

With what could have been

A meant to be

Or maybe always was

A never was…

And I close my hand

And feel the skin

Flex and stretch,

Ready to hold its destiny,

Ready to be seen

In its perfect reality,

Stripped bare and empty…

 

 

(This poem was written in 5 minutes as part of Five Minute Friday. The prompt was “Collect”.)

 

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Brave

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by Rhiannon C Hall 13- July 2017

Sometimes we have to be brave. Sometimes we have to put ourselves so far outside of our comfort zone that it doesn’t even make sense. Sometimes we have to risk getting knocked on our ass, punched in the face, or even getting our heart broken by the very dreams that fueled its beating for so long. We may call it horrible or amazing. We may even call it both.

And it will hurt. And we will cry. And we will grow. Why? Because if we don’t, nothing will ever happen for us.

I’ve spent over 2 full weeks in London now and I don’t think I’ve felt brave very much of this trip. I’ve felt stupid, scared, lost, tired, sick, poor, and pitiful quite a bit of the time. I’ve also been blown away by the beauty and the history. I’ve been flattered by attention and overwhelmed by crowds and comforted by friendships. I’ve felt a lot of things that come with new territory in life, but it wasn’t until a few minutes ago when a friend said she was trying to be brave like me that it hit me… I’ve felt stupid, scared, lost, and all those other things because I was brave enough to try something new. I was brave enough to get on a plane with too much luggage and not enough money and an unplanned plan and hope that something beautiful would come from this trip, that I would find the pieces of my soul that have been trying to surface for a long time.

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Parts of London have been amazing, but parts of it have broken my heart. It can seem so ruined and reconstructed and ignored. I found myself wishing it were a little less scarred by change and the lives that have hurt it over the centuries. Some have even hurt it by the very nature of surviving here. And yet, in our ruins, we are proved alive. In our scars, we prove the staying power to hold our ground and keep breathing, to shake our weary fist in the face of whatever tries to destroy us and say, “Sure, you took a pound of flesh and brick, but I live on.”

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I walked past a sandstone engine block at the Royal Arsenal Riverside with a danger sign posted. I looked at this pieces of the past, this beautiful ruin, and I wondered if, perhaps, that is part of the point of living… To be ruined. Only when we are ruined can we be restored. And somewhere in that restoration lies so much beauty and value and love. Can there be redemption if there isn’t loss first? Can there be healing if we aren’t a bit broken? Can we have true beauty if we haven’t been burned to ash? Maybe some will see us and post their own mental “Danger” sign, but others will see the beauty of our lives well lived, or at least, lived.

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So tonight, as I walked by the River Thames, so fully aware of the trash by the park bench and the grime on the barges and the aching changes of all the inevitable construction in every direction… I saw myself reflected back. I saw my scars and my fears and my less than sparkling aspects and I saw all of the “under construction” of my own life, not static and rotting, but fighting to grow and thrive. Bravely breathing and putting ourselves out there a little further, trying to be the best beauty that we can be, the truths of ourselves that dance forth from our depths as we remain inhabited by all of the variety of dreams and hopes and tears that we each hold, this city and I.

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The tears may flow like a muddy river, yet the sun shines on us both and our textured ripples shimmer in its rays. Sometimes it spotlights our scars, sometimes it casts shadows over them. Our lives blossom forth, sometimes wild, sometimes cultivated. We have been knocked on our asses. We have been punched in our faces. We have had our hearts broken by some of the very dreams that fueled their beating. But, neither London nor I can say that nothing ever happened for us. Because we are brave enough to put ourselves out there and live and we have the ruins and the restoration to show for it…

 

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