Tan Renga Challenge Accepted!

I will be participating in the Tan Renga challenge at Carpe Deim Haiku in May.
The first thing you may be asking is "are you flea-diddly-flipping nuts, Neighbor? Why, just a few days ago, you were spouting about how over poetry and prompts you were!"
However, this is not just poetry.
It's Tanka!
Tanka is one of my favorite forms of poetry.
In a Tan Renga, one partner writes the first stanza (the first three lines) and the other partner writes the second stanza.
Come along if you dare, and join in if you want.
I may also be working on making last month's mess into my first published book of poetry.
Why the hell couldn't I have had interests that pay in this life?
Nobody freaking makes money writing poetry!


NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 30 + Poems in April 2019 Day 30: Thank You Jimi

Copyright Nico van der Stam

I want to thank you
For some much-needed wisdom
Across many years


I watched the Jimi Hendrix documentary, Voodoo Child, this evening. 
I didn't really become a Jimi Hendrix fan until I was in my teens. He died when I was only five years old. I saw a documentary about him when I was eighteen or nineteen, and it was good, but this documentary reveals more of his personal thoughts. He was brilliant and he left a lot of wisdom for the world. 
The wisdom he imparted to me today is to stop looking for adulation and approval from others. This is something that I've struggled with my entire life.
When asked how it felt to receive so many compliments about his work, Jimi said that he really didn't care about compliments, in fact, he found that they distracted him from what was important: creation.
I think that's what it really means to be secure in oneself. Not so much thinking that one is flawless, but to be able to see the worth of one's goals and actions regardless of the opinions of the masses. 
Lots of views and comments stroke the needy ego of the insecure and wounded child that remains within the crusty, curmudgeonly, and likely not at all tasty exterior shell which houses my soul. 
This becomes a distraction to the creator. I start wanting to please my visitors rather than express myself through my words.
Next time I get stuck in that unharmonious groove, I need to remember Jimi's wise thoughts on the matter.
I will always be a fan of Jimi Hendrix the musician. 
Perhaps most people won't understand this, but that doesn't matter.
I also appreciate Jimi Hendrix the philosopher, and I'm grateful for the wisdom and works that he left behind.
(Don't move: this has been a Haibun!)

Reunion and Expectation

A wary Hollis views the joyful scene
(Image is a Skyrim elf)

As Felice and Tinsel embraced and wept, Teacake, sensing his brother's surge of emotion, hurried down the stairs, followed by Ambrosia. The elf brothers embraced the Princess. Ambrosia hung back, not wishing to interrupt the reunion. 
Hollis walked up beside Ambrosia. She beheld his wary expression.
"What is the trouble, Hollis?" Ambrosia inquired. "Is all not well with Felice?"
"Felice is returned sound and in good condition," Hollis replied. "Ambrosia, tell me, how do you feel about being a mother?"
"I have been a mother to my nephews for most of their lives," Ambrosia replied. "Nothing has brought me greater joy. Were it not for my nephews, I would have committed suicide years ago. Why do you ask?"
"How do you feel about having your own offspring?"
"I cannot. Why would you ask such a thing?"
"Because you can, and you will be."
"Nonsense. I'm too old. You elves have very strange ways of expressing yourselves at times."
"Remember, my dear, in the Winter Realm, you do not age as you do in the Middle World. Have you not found that you have greater energy and stamina since coming here?"
"Yes, but this is a great adventure. Even an old sod like me will feel renewed for a time given the circumstance. Are you saying..."
"You catch on slowly," Hollis teased. "Yes, dearest new friend, I am saying that your amorous adventures with your elven prince have proven fruitful. You carry the child of Prince Arthur Teacake Flurry in your womb."
"I should like to know how you know this before I've had even an inkling," Ambrosia grumbled. "I suppose it's that elf empathy of yours."
"Yes, of course it is, but there is also the fact that I am quite concerned with your well-being, especially after your harrowing adventure on Zecor."
"Thank you, Hollis. You may express yourself strangely, but I appreciate your kindness. It's a shame that Felice lost her baby. Perhaps we could have supported each other."
"She did not lose her baby. The child lives."
"But how? Felice was killed! If it weren't for the magic which kept her in a suspended state between life and death..."
"The child remained in such a state as well. She walked the realms of death in spirit. Having been touched by death, she will have great power and knowledge."
"You look as if this might not be an entirely good thing."
"It need not be an entirely bad thing if she is guided well. I know that Yadira has established a positive rapport with Teacake and Tinsel, but I must see to it that she does not exert her influence upon Felice and Tinsel's daughter before I have had a chance to teach her to use her powers to the advantage of herself and others. Will you assist me, Ambrosia?"
"Any way I can, Hollis. You have my word. But you will have to explain further to me about this past life of mine and about Yadira and her connection to all of us so I can be at my most effective."

Gem Moondreamer
Lyric Starlight
The Real Cie

Ambrosia Luna and the elves appear in the three books shown below. Fair warning that these books contain explicit erotica (not featuring the above characters except for a brief interlude between Ambrosia and Teacake.) I am planning on separating the Fairytale chapters from the explicit Naughty Netherworld material, but it might not happen for a while. 
If you are okay with explicit smut and want to read more of the story, feel free to check out these books, only available on Kindle. If you would rather wait for the milder version to be published, I will alert all -666 of my fans when it is ready!

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 29+ Poems in April Day 29: Asking Questions With Eyes Rolled Back

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Annoying content warning:
Poem contains profanity
If you have a problem with that, don't read it

Were you born to ramble
Or do you just run when things get serious
Do you read Baudelaire
Or do you just claim to do whatever makes you seem educated
Are you the kind who has to go and shoot your rockets everywhere
Do you know how many of your kind I've known
Do you know that you bore me to death
Do you know that you aren't nearly as slick as you think you are
Do you know that I'm sick of driving around with my eyes closed
Do you know that I can smell your bullshit from a mile away
Do you know I already know that this feeling doesn't go both ways, no matter what you say
Do you know how utterly fucking transparent you are
Do you know that I got sick of guys like you a long time ago
Do you know that I no longer waste my time on time wasters
Do you know that I don't abide liars
Why don't you crawl back under the rock that you crawled out from in the first place
Do you know that you seem like a creep rather than a suave, smooth sheik
Do you know that I'm sick of guys like you who think they can crawl into a woman's heart and tear it apart without a second thought for what they've done
Did you know I'm done
Did you know I'm long past done
Did you know I'm already gone


NaPoWriMo asked for a poem which reflects in a calm way on a subject that is generally emotionally charged.
Poems in April asked for a poem made up of questions.
In my younger days, I constantly berated myself, wondering what I did wrong to draw only the worst kind of guys to me.
The fact of the matter is, these guys were predators and clowns. 
They were the kind of guys who deliberately seek out someone with low self-esteem because they think they will have an easier chance of getting laid with someone who is insecure.
A joker of this caliber isn't worth anybody's time. 
I can reflect on it calmly now because I despise the whole dating/mating dance and refuse to play that game anymore.
It hurt me a lot back then. But from my current vantage point, I can honestly say, it wasn't me, it was them.

Song References:

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 28 + Poems in April 2019 Day 28: Major Changes

Greetings from Grover, Colorado

Guess we're making an offer on a place that is
Really in the middle of nowhere
On the outskirts of the outskirts
Very far back in the backwater
Everything in the past leading us to this
Rural hotel in a very tiny town

Can't imagine that most folks would want to
Own a place that's such a 
Long way from everything
Out on the Northeastern plains
Rippling grasses and whispering winds
Accentuate the solitude
Dreary it may seem to most
Only the broken dream of such a view


A daunting move filled with possibilities.
This place appears in the dictionary next to the phrase "fixer-upper" and the word "boonies."
It is zoned as a multi-use property and has given new life to my dead dreams.
This may be the most important move I will ever make.

Mental Illness and Comments

I wanted to share this because I go through this a lot. The original post is here.

As a writer, i adore comments, and i treasure all of them. I do my best to respond to them, as quickly as i can. But as a mentally ill prrson, sometimes it's overwhelming -- especially when the comment is really long, and i end up putting it off because im depressed or anxious. Is there a cut off to replying to a comment, in your opinion? If i wait too long, should i just not answer at all? I just feel embarrassed and rude after a while...


I have the same issues and I also feel guilty and anxious about replying, but speaking as someone who has replied over 6 months later on more than one occasion, if anyone minds I’ve never heard about it. 

I generally apologize for my lateness within my reply (even if I’m replying to the same person multiple times - I feel that bad), and if they do reply back they tell me not to worry about it. 

I’ve also put it out on my personal blog that I’m sorry I’m so late replying and people are generally speaking really understanding about it. 

Do your best. It’s all you can do. Don’t feel guilty for not doing more. ❤

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 27 + Poems in April 2019 Day 27: Ghost Town Salvation

The former Grover Hotel

This dusty old hotel in a run-down ghost town
Might be salvation for a broken spirit


The optional NaPoWriMo prompt was to reinterpret a Shakespearian sonnet, and the Poems in April prompt was to write a stark, two-line poem. At this stage of things, guess which prompt is going to win!
This is a photo of the building that my son and I may be buying. We will be going to see it tomorrow. 
I know this blog does not have many followers and that in general people don't like me very much, but some of you may be curious to see what happens next if we do make this place our home. And yes, it is in a place which is literally in the Ghost Towns of Colorado guide.

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 26 + Poems in April 2019 Day 26: Creatures of Colorado

 Copyright Karin Gustafson

Surely there will be
Birds in north Colorado
Maybe some red ones

Copyright Karin Gustafson

Maybe there will be
Bears in north Colorado
I hope not too close

Copyright Karin Gustafson

Maybe a ghost will
Haunt northern Colorado
That ghost will be me


Will wonders never cease, I think I actually fulfilled the criteria for both prompts.
The NaPoWriMo prompt asked for repetition.
The Poems in April asked for writing about rebirth.
If my son and I do move to the small town mentioned in the previous poem, it will be a rebirth.
You see, even stopped clock is right twice a day.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 25 + Poems in April 2019 Day 25: Coming Home Maybe

Image copyright Nick D'Amato @ railpictures.net

My son and I may
Be moving to a big house
In a very small
Town somewhere near the northern
Border of Colorado


This poem is 100% true. 
Yes, I am stuck in Tanka mode.
No, I don't care what anyone thinks.
I have terrible brain fog and my faulty internal thermostat has been boiling me today. I guess it boiled my brain. 

By the River

Copyright Sandra Crook

The little band of wayfarers decided to have lunch by the river. Ires looked up at the grimy, rusted girder of the bridge from the Before-Time and wondered about the motorized vehicles which had once crossed the bridge and polluted the air.
Tears sprang to Ires’ eyes. A moment later she felt her brother-in-law’s hand on her shoulder. His eyes were rimmed red.
“Courage, friend,” Xed proposed in a wavering voice. “Myzal is not forever gone, only delayed. With the help of the Ukmyd, he shall renew and return to us stronger than ever.”
“I believe with you,” Ires declared.

Gem Moondreamer
The Real Cie
Tempest Nightingale LeTrope

Prompts Used:

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 24 + Poems in April Day 24: The Yellowstone Supervolcano

The Yellowstone Supervolcano
Ain't no pie in the sky
It's a lake of lava in the ground
Bubbling all around

And if it decides to erupt
It's tough luck, Buttercup
Because we can all bend over
And kiss our ass goodbye

The Yellowstone Supervolcano
Will take out the U.S. and Canada too
If it decides to erupt
We'll all be in the stew

The Yellowstone Supervolcano
Makes a nuke look like a popper
There ain't a big enough stopper
To contain it if it blows

The Yellowstone Supervolcano
Will cook you where you stand
Whether on sea or land
And the ash will down every plane

I make jokes about things
That fill me with fear
The Yellowstone Supervolcano
Keeps me jesting year after year


Not really my best effort, but, whatever.
The Poems in April prompt was to write about a natural phenomenon that amazes you. I decided that by "amazes" they meant "terrifies," so I wrote about the Yellowstone Supervolcano. 

Weekend Writing Warriors 28 April 2019 (ER, LGBT, PA, SF)

“Paraji, please, let the boy go,” Mistress Kali begged. “He hasn’t done anything to harm you. It’s me you want. Leave my friends alone and let’s talk.”
“Intruder, halt!” Titania demanded as a tall, trim woman with skin so fair as to be nearly white, hair the color of dark blood mixed with flame, sharp features, and cold, green eyes strode down the hallway, the heels of her sensible boots clicking on the floor. She gave a hateful chuckle as she approached the group. It was at that moment that the others saw that her guards, a pair of powerful Djinn, had captured Agents Cumming and Dicking.
“You won’t get away with this, Captain Botterill,“ Agent Cumming spouted indignantly. “When Agents Spitz and Swallows find out we’ve gone missing, they’ll track us down, and then…”

Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press

This is a snippet from the twelfth installment in the Carnal Invasion series, tentatively entitled "The Hunt for Paraji's Prisoners." 
Paraji is a powerful, ancient vampire sorceress who has an axe to grind with Mistress Kali. 
Captain Abigail Botterill is just what Agent Cumming says she is.

Our most recent installment, available only from the Kindle store.

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 23 + Poems in April Day 23: Be Careful What You Wish For: A Terrifying Tanka

Copyright simon-wijers-37848-unsplash

There was a time when
The only thing I wanted
Was to taste your kiss
Now I can't seem to get rid
Of the taste of your decay


Inspire Me Monday #224 + Spread the Kindness #119: Real Cie Reviews: Eighth Grade

This post is a duplicate of my review of this product for Amazon.

4 out of 5 stars

Elsie Fisher does a marvelous job as the insecure, likable Kayla and Josh Hamilton plays his role as the sweet but sometimes irritatingly out-of-touch and overprotective dad perfectly. Kayla's high school mentor Olivia is adorable if a bit clueless. There is the eye-roll-inducing stereotypical pretty mean girl Kennedy, and Kayla's crush Aiden has all the personality of wallpaper paste.
The movie does a nice job of addressing sensitive subject matter such as Kayla's panic attacks. I was a teenager in the late seventies and early eighties, and was unable to discuss my psychological issues with anyone for fear of being placed on a psych ward or dismissed as "seeking attention" or being "overly dramatic." When I read about bipolar disorder (then called manic depression) in my junior year psychology class, I recognized myself in a lot of the symptoms. I approached the subject with the teacher and she told me I couldn't be manic depressive because manic depression was a psychosis and I wasn't psychotic. I would not be properly diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder until I was nearly 40 years old.  If nothing else, movies such as this one approach issues such as panic attacks without pathologizing the person suffering from them.
The movie also does a good job of addressing the pressure on teens, particularly teenage girls, to be sexy and sexually active. Olivia's creepy friend Riley attempts to pressure Kayla into removing her shirt during a game of Truth or Dare when they are alone in his car together, and Kayla's crush Aiden is rumored to have broken up with a previous girlfriend because she wouldn't send him nude photos.
The movie is appropriate for teenagers. Kayla is a relatable character, an ordinary and likable if socially awkward young woman. I found myself thinking that it was a shame for her to waste any time or energy on a shallow, self-absorbed twit like Kennedy or a limp dishrag like Aiden. 
Teens struggling with feeling like they don't fit in and those of us who used to be (and sometimes still are) the odd one out will feel a kinship with Kayla and be proud of her as she learns to stand up for herself.


Also sharing to the Spread the Kindness blog hop on Tuesday April 23, 2019.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 22 + Poems in April Day 22: My Vicious Villanelle: 1000% Done

At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules
I'm tired of word counts and prompts of the day
I've decided that rules are for fools

I could write about my family jewels
But they're all plastic anyway
At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules

I could create something with power tools
With drills and chain saws I could play
I've decided that rules are for fools

I could see about going back to school
But I'd probably just cut class anyway
At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules

I don't want to be so mean and cruel
But I must say, for the end of prompts I pray
I've decided that rules are for fools

The calendar says that the end is in sight
So though I wish I could quit I guess I'll stay
At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules
I've decided that rules are for fools


I've always said that I write two kinds of poems: dark and silly.
I'm a despicable liar.
I actually write three kinds of poems.
Dark, silly, and snarky.
Guess which kind this is.

Waterfruit Season

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

Over the weekend, Carlene and Uncle Lester traveled with Belle, Israel, and Parson Dae-Jung to the village of West Bellforth to procure supplies from Martin Watson, proprietor of the Esoteric Emporium. They received permission from the village elders to bring Willy along to receive the Blessing of the Western Sun, stating their hope that the wholesome energies of the Western Valley would prompt Willy's soul to be released to the Higher Realms sooner.
Martin Watson was a genial young fellow, just thirty years of age. Carlene enjoyed her excursions to West Bellforth, for visiting with the amiable mystic felt like visiting with a beloved older brother or cousin. She knew innately that she could trust him.
"I hope Uncle Marty has Waterfruit to eat," Belle and Israel's thirteen-year-old daughter Hara mused to Willy's twelve-year-old daughter Olivia. "He grows the very best Waterfruit. Ian likes the rinds best, and I like the middle. What of you, Livvie?"
"I like the pulp," Olivia said. "The stuff that's left behind when they squeeze the juice from the Waterfruit. That's my very favorite."
"Oh, I see," Hara contemplated. "I never really bothered with the pulp once the squeezings were pressed out. I like the fruit with the juice inside it still, and I like the squeezings."
"Yes, of course," Olivia agreed. "But the lovely thing about the pulp is the flavor is so very concentrated once the moisture has been rung out of the fruit. It's almost like Waterfruit candy, only there is no need for sweetener."
"I never thought of it that way," Hara realized. 
"Did you know that it is possible to make sweetener from the dried pulp of the Waterfruit?" Olivia inquired. "I tried to make my own, but one must have a warm, dry place to allow for it to cure properly."
"Hell, Girl, come by and use my kiln shed!" Uncle Lester suggested. "Let's save us up a bit of that Waterfruit pulp in jars, and I'll show you how it's done. I'll even show you how to add flavors and colors, and we can make candy for Harvest Night."
Olivia strode up to Uncle Lester and linked her arm in his.
"I'm longing for Waterfruit now," Olivia said wistfully. "Aren't you, Uncle Lester?"
"Aye, girl, that I am," Uncle Lester agreed. "Got my own mouth a-watering, thinking about that candy we're gonna make with our own Waterfruit Crystals. But I do believe this whole mess is your fault, Hara."
"Mine? How?" Hara demanded with mock indignation, hurrying to grab Uncle Lester's other arm. 
"You're the one who mentioned Waterfruit in the first place, Silly!" seven-year-old Ian laughed. 
Carlene smiled wistfully as she looked towards the horizon. She wished every day could be filled with such peace and joy, but it would be folly to deny that there was danger lurking.

Gem Moondreamer
The Real Cie
Wanda Psycho

Prompts Used:

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 21 + Poems in April Day 21: Verdant Friendship

Baucis and Philemon by Arthur Racham

I think it would be
A very fine thing if when
Best friends died they were
Buried side by side and then
From the graves would grow two trees


I'm not sure if I did either prompt "right." IDGAF at this point, let's be real. I do hope someone might like the poem, though. 

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 20 + Poems in April Day 20: Green and Beautiful Tanka

Copyright Magaly Guerrero

Green and beautiful
I found it in the garden
It seemed to see me
Contemplating eyelessly
Whether I would be tasty


This poem is rated H for Humor. If you haven't got a sense of humor, like as not, you will not like it.
I couldn't quite wrap my head around the NaPoWriMo prompt today.
I disobeyed reinterpreted the Real Toads prompt. Guess I won't be officially participating in that one either!
I'm kind of burnt like toast on the whole poem a day thing for quite some time to come.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 19 + Poems in April Day 1 & 19: Aprils Ago

Per Ohlin
17 January 1969 - 8 April 1991
Death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Aprils ago a
Broken spirit
Found me
His passing
Just thinking
Kind thoughts and holding
Love in my heart
No difference
Protecting a soul
Quite so
Raw and
Sad was
Vain regretting
While wishing that
Xolotl would guide
You to the spirit world by a gentle


Seldom have I encountered a more troubled soul than Per Ohlin. As my lovely friend, the late Walt Cessna would have said, he was fukt 2 start wit. 
(This was the title of Walt's autobiography. He said that I inspired him to actually sit down and write it. I have always treasured this knowledge. Walt died from complications of AIDS.)
I sometimes become overwhelmed and try to bury my empathic nature. It doesn't stay buried for long. Maybe a minute, maybe an hour, rarely more than a day, and then, as Per once wrote, up from the tomb it comes. I can't ignore the soul calls for long.
I wish I had known about the phenomenon of soul calls when I was younger. It could have saved me a lot of grief, but it's too late now. Anyone who is of a metaphysical mind is welcome to read about this issue here. For anyone who is not of a metaphysical mind, do us both a favor and don't bother. This isn't the high school debate team, I'm tired, and I have no desire to bend anyone to my own particular set of beliefs. 
I am utilizing the Poems in April prompts again, but I am not joining up with the Linky in order to prevent another barney from brewing. Instead, I will comment on a few poems from people who have been kind and supportive along the way. Bit of a shame as I was getting a kick out of having so many visitors, but I find confrontation stressful, so best to keep that gate shut, I think.

Carnal Invasion XI Is Unleashed and Free for 5 Days!

The latest sizzling installment in the Carnal Invasion series has just been served up hot, and you can get your copy free between April 20 and April 24, 2019!
This spicy number comes out swinging from the first chapter. Loving but jaded couple Maria and Robert Cody are the winners of this year's Carnal Carnival Newcummers contest. Their reward is appearing in a live and explicit performance with Ulrich von Brandt, the King of Climax Castle, Samantha Zuniga, the Queen of Climax Castle, and their court of hot-to-trot vampire sidekicks.
Robert is expecting a lusty time, but he is in for an even bigger surprise when he discovers that Maria and a freewheeling, cross-dressing Leprechaun named Kizz Myass have discovered the whereabouts of Miroslav Korošec, the sweet Slovenian exchange student whom Robert fell in love with back in high school. As Sonny Walton points out: "You do love Maria, but Miro will always have a piece of your heart. You think you will never find him again, but tonight is Carnival night, and miracles have been known to happen."
In the meantime, Climax Castle's bawdy mad scientist and sorceress, Mistress Kali, has ideas of her own for enlisting Maria's cooperation in a wild romp resulting in Maria becoming the mother to a new and powerful cosmic guardian.
Everything seems to be all sweetness and light and lots of new and renewed romances with plenty of consensual bondage and no-holes-barred joining of the hearts and parts. However, a sinister figure with ill intent has made her way into Mistress Kali's lair while the bodies are rocking upstairs. 
Will this humorless do-bad kill the sizzling vibe at Carnal Carnival, or maybe do something even worse? You can only find out by picking up your FREE copy of Carnal Invasion XI between April 20 and April 24. Don't miss out on this non-stop sexxx-stravaganza!

Your Friendly Team of Fiends at Naughty Netherworld Press 

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 18: A Soul Dull and Filled with Pain

I Blinked and the World Was Gone Version 5
Copyright The Real Cie

A life lost and lonely from first cry
A soul not soothed by any lullaby
Days are hopeless, dull, and filled with pain
Till the moment when the unwanted ones are left alone to die


The poem style is Rubai. This is a brief poetry form requiring the story to be told in four lines. I believe I have accomplished this.

Closing Comments on This Blog

At this point, this blog is only a place for sharing links, and the only comments I've been getting are comments like the following fro...