A Rain Day

It pools in the garden
and trickles down the driveway
drowning up earthworms
dripping from window frames

A bike in a puddle
near a baseball in the mud
Yesterday’s playground
turns to today’s flood

The young one peers
through the curtains and the trees
longing for a sunny day
for riding bikes and skinning knees

An ocean is drier
than this soggy morning,
the young one ponders,
as water keeps pouring

Hey there, kiddo,
Mother soothes,
Want your galoshes,
and your raincoat, too?

The Gardener

The gardener does not love to talk,
He makes and keeps the gravel walk;
And when he puts his tools away,
He locks the door and takes the key.


Away behind the currant row
Where no one else but cook may go,
Far in the plots, I see him dig,
Old and serious, brown and big.


He digs the flowers, green, red, and blue,
Nor wishes to be spoken to.
He digs the flowers and cuts the hay,
And never seems to want to play.


Silly gardener! summer goes,
And winter comes with pinching toes,
When in the garden bare and brown
You must lay your barrow down.


Well now, and while the summer stays,
To profit by these garden days
O how much wiser you would be
To play at Indian wars with me!

— A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Rainbow

Triumphal arch, that fills the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art.
Still seem, as to my childhood’s sight,
A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight,
Betwixt the earth and heaven.


— Thomas Campbell

Trees

     I think that I shall never see
     A poem lovely as a tree.    

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
     Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

     A tree that looks at God all day,
     And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

     A tree that may in Summer wear
     A nest of robins in her hair;

     Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
     Who intimately lives with rain.

     Poems are made by fools like me,
     But only God can make a tree.

— Joyce Kilmer

The Days of the Month

A short poem from a book of poems called “POEMS: Every Child Should Know” by “The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library”.  This is a song and memory aid for children, which I remember from my youth and which I thought was still useful today.

Thirty days hath September,

April, June, and November;

February has twenty-eight alone.

All the rest have thirty-one,

Excepting leap-year—that’s the time

When February’s days are twenty-nine.


–By anonymous

Fantasy Subgenres

Fantasy Subgenres
Fantasy Subgenres

Science-Fiction and Fantasy are substantially different categories. Characteristics of fantasy and science fiction often overlap and the precise classification of a given work is subject to debate among some fans and writers. Both fantasy and science fiction of genres are usually shelved together in bookstores and libraries, because of their readerships’ and authors tend to overlap somewhat. Science-Fiction and Fantasy writer sometimes choose to wear two hats and writ some of both.

The term ‘fantasy,’ when regarded as part of a particular genre, generally brings to mind tales of dragons and castles and knights and the great quest. Truthfully, the fantasy genre is much broader and Fantasy sub-genres may include these and others:

• The Quest
• Arthurian Fantasy
• Comic Fantasy
• Dark Fantasy
• Fairy Tales
• Mythology
• Heroic Fantasy
• High Fantasy
• Magic Realism
• Modern Fantasy
• Mystery Fantasy
• Speculative Fantasy
• Romance Fantasy
• Sword and Sorcery
• Good Versus Evil

Related References

The Field Of Honor

The Field Of Honor

Today was a good day
because we’re still here.
None of us has become a statistic
in our hometown newspaper.
None of us has turned into a knock
at a loved one’s front door.
Simply because we made it out alive,
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I have no wounds.
Better yet, no bullets blew by,
no scope pointed on me,
no near miss,
no ready, aim, goodbye.
Today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I slept through the night,
and a good night’s sleep at that.
There was no watch to take,
no explosions breaking through my dreams,
bursting me awake.
In fact, I didn’t dream.
And because of that,
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I’ve had something to eat.
I’ve had three full meals (plus snacks)
of food that I chose, food that I wanted
because I knew it would taste good,
food that I could prepare or buy
to make me feel good. I ate it and
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because it’s ending in bed.
It’s ending at home,
where I can read a book or watch TV,
stay up too late or go to sleep early.
Tonight, I am home, and so
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I’m able to look back.
I’m able to be proud of those I’ve known,
what they’ve done, who they’ve become.
I can look back on that field of honor
and remember when days weren’t this good.
Because I can remember,
today was a good day.

Mr. & Mrs. In The Yard

Mr. & Mrs. In The Yard

My dogs and I returned from the park, all crammed into the car,
We had not been gone for long, it’s really not that far.
My dogs saw them first, and then so did I,
New neighbors had moved in, we should stop to say hi.

We tried to go and meet them, but they never would stand still.
Running this way and that, they’re mouths they would fill.
You see, our new neighbors were a pair of light grey squirrels,
I called them Mr. & Mrs., for they seemed like a boy and girl.

They’d taken residence in our largest oak tree,
And seemed to be quite happy since the rent was free.
They seemed very friendly and wanted to play games,
Even though they were driving my dogs totally insane.

Mr. Squirrel would hit the ground, which got my dogs running,
He’d lead them on a wild chase, while Mrs. Squirrel was sunning.
Then he’d run across my roof, to tease my barking dogs,
And always made things worse, when Mr. squirrel took his jogs.

Down the tree and back up again, was Mr. Squirrel’s chosen path,
Putting the dogs in a frenzy, knocking over our bird bath.
I was not sure I liked my scampering new neighbors,
Things got interesting, at least that was in their favor.

Eventually, things would settle down, and Mr. & Mrs. would just watch,
They had settled into our oak tree’s strongest hollow notch.
I could watch them for hours running to and fro,
As they were settled in, I would not make them go.

I started liking them, which surprised even me,
So, Mr. & Mrs. new residence became our old oak tree.
When thinking about neighbors, they were not my first choice,
But I liked their gentle chirping, they really had so little voice.

I watched them run and jump, then scurry and scamper,
Climbing everything in sight, they were two happy campers.
The dogs got exercise, which they badly needed,
And I was entertained, my expectations far exceeded.

If you’re looking for new neighbors, you might give squirrels a try,
They’re really quite amazing and some species even fly.
The conversations might not challenge your intellect,
But Mr. & Mrs. Squirrel we never will forget.

Down The Lane

Down The Lane
Down The Lane

Gravel driveway–
Footsteps, footsteps;
Crisp, clean air flowed through our lungs.
Reminiscing,
Laughing, talking;
Languid noise rolled off our tongues.

Light broke through the limbs of trees;
Branches rustled in the breeze.
Conversation came with ease–
Bright autumn hues were all we’d see.

Golden apples–
Footsteps, footsteps
Slowly met to harvest more.
Years behind us,
Laughing, talking,
Childish noise that I adore.

We would know just what to say
And walk that gravel path each day.
We’d play and harvest as trees swayed,
Words spun and dipped like a ballet.

Sunbeams dancing,
Fading, soft light,
As we gathered together.
Buildings crumble,
Concrete erodes;
Memories last forever.

Roses

Forgotten Roses, bee on Rose

How many years
had he watched them,
and how many years
had it been?

He remembers
the sunbeams
streaming through the treetops

He remembers
the green growth
enveloping the scene

But he always returns
to the patch of old roses.

In full bloom,
they look like a sunrise,
hues of orange and apricot
and peach tinted petals.

The flowers return
year after year
waiting for visitors
to see their true glory.

The once bustling farm
had long stood still,
with no human or animal
eyes to see the roses.

Who else knew of this patch?
Possibly none still alive.
The boy gone fishing
year after year
is among the only
living souls
still in
on their secret.

Life Is an Opportunity

Life Is an Opportunity

Life is. Not life should be, or I wish life was,
Life happens, just because.
A wolf preys on a weakened elk, not because it prefers the taste,
But rather it is nature’s way to end the elk’s fate.

The elk provides nourishment for the wolf clan,
This is natural, it is life’s plan.
No vote is taken in the pack,
To determine the best plan of attack.

The wolves know in order to survive,
Acting on opportunity will help them thrive.
Indecisiveness would result in failure,
And failure leads to death.

If you are looking for fairness in nature, it will not be found.
If you are looking for kindness, stop looking around.
If you are waiting for opportunity to present itself to you,
It will pass you by, and then you’re through.

Look for opportunity and act without hesitation.
Seize opportunity it is the means to an end.
Life is opportunity, no room for rivals.
Embrace opportunity, for it is survival.

Winter Storm

Winter Storm

It starts with a flurry and a gentle westerly wind,
That’s just the beginning to a terrible end.
It’s been predicted for days, but never fully believed,
Not till the first warnings of the storm are received.

You’re still on the road, thinking there’s still plenty of time,
Then a gust of wind hits your car and you start to slide.
Pushing yourself back onto the roadway,
You know you better get home now, some way!

There’s already a drift in front of your door,
You say to yourself, “Really, how much more?”
Then you realize your shovels are still up in the attic,
You thought there would have been time not to panic.

It’s late at night, not much you can do now,
You’ll get them in the morning and start shoveling somehow.
You still have your snowblower in the garage, thank goodness,
But what about fuel; Oh no! What a mess!!

You try to sleep as the wind starts howling louder,
The temperature drops, there’s two feet of fresh powder.
The lights flicker for a moment then all goes black,
This is not a storm it’s a winter blitz attack.

The generator you wanted was still on back order,
One good thing, you’ve always been a toilet paper hoarder.
You find an old flashlight with dead batteries inside,
And the fifty used candles from your last birthday surprise.

You’ll have a little warmth as you light them one by one,
But, not near enough light to get any work done.
So, off to sleep you go with 10 blankets on top,
Hoping and hoping the snow will just stop.

You awaken in the morning and the alarm clock’s flashing.
Your jaws are tired from all the teeth gnashing.
You relight the furnace and reset the clocks,
Looking out the window nothing’s moving for blocks.

Schools are closed and most businesses too,
There’s no place to go, and you can’t get through.
Neighbors you have never met,
Start popping from the snow, shoveling and wet.

You meet some new friends and old ones as well,
Going house to house with blankets and lots of shovels.
When everyone is safe, and you are stuck waiting on plows,
You start sharing ways how you’ll all get through it somehow.

Life slows down for a few hours or days,
The first plows come by, to a huge “Hip, Hip, Hooray!”
Storms always come at the worst possible time,
But, bring people together who need to share life.

Autumn’s Song

Autumn’s Song

Autumn’s flocking, trumpeting, migrating geese,
Signaling the finale’ of the season’s powerful masterpiece.
Shadows stretch out in the late afternoon,
Announcing winter is coming soon.

Days grow shorter while colors explode,
Every tree, each bush, hitting the perfect note.
Grasses cease to grow, taking a dramatic pause,
Allowing rest for landscapers to enjoy the applause.

Farmers rejoice to see bounty from their labor,
A successful harvest for all to savor.
Reaping what was sown so many days before,
Fruits and vegetables, beans and corn.

The harmony of sun and rain,
Has brought us to this joyous refrain.
So much to be thankful for,
Enough for all and even more.

Soft golden sunsets emblazon the skies,
Gentle warm days and crisp cool nights.
This is Autumn’s song of praise,
A standing ovation that lasts for days

What Is the Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy?

SciFi Alien World
SciFi Alien World

When discussing various writing genres, it is common for people – both writers and readers – to lump science fiction and fantasy together under the catchall term “speculative fiction.” On a general level, this comparison between these two genres is accurate. However, these two very close kins are inherently different on many levels. Let us look at the difference between science fiction and fantasy creations.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy: Identifying Major Literary Differences

Possibilities
Possibilities

1. Possibility Vs. Impossibility

Science fiction, also commonly known as Sci-fi, is a fiction literature genre whose storyline and elements are imaginary but are based on science and scientific facts. Sci-fi novels and novellas follow a logical and plausible theme and prose that has scientific backing.

Follow a logical and plausible theme means that the occurrences and events presented in sci-fi literature are possible to occur. Science fiction needs to be set in the future where technologies used may not be available but are still not beyond the realm of scientific theory. It is essential that sci-fi creations make sense within the natural laws of the universe so that the readers can connect the now and the future.

On the other hand, fantasy as a genre deals with mythical, magical, or supernatural occurrences that have no scientific backing or explanation and cannot possibly occur in our real world. Fantasy stories told in an imagined world, often entirely different from our own, which involves a mystical base.

For example, a sci-fi creation may present a space ship that travels faster than light. The writer would hope that in tomorrow’s world, such technologies can be possible owing to advancement in science and technology. On the contrary, fantasy creations might present human characters with abilities to fly or are bulletproof, something that does not and is likely not to exist in our reality.

Mythical Unicorn

Mythical Unicorn

2. Concept

Science fiction deals with scientific concepts while fantasy creations are merely written on the foundation of imaginative ideas.

Heroine Using magic

Heroine Using magic

3. Heroes And Heroines

Fantasy and sci-fi creations have different types of heroes and heroines. With fantasy creations, the heroes are usually mythical creatures or humans with supernatural powers.

The use of mythical creatures or supernatural humans is however different with Sci-fi creations which present real human heroes with unique talents and skill sets that make them formidable risk takers, valuable leaders or effective problem solvers which help them succeed in the end.

Futuristic City Skyline

Futuristic City Skyline

4. The Setting

Often, science fiction works are almost always in the future. A sci-fi story would extrapolate our world across time and explore what would happen in the advent of new futuristic technologies. Pundits maintain that today’s disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual realities were envisioned and inspired by yesterday’s sci-fi works.

On the other hand, fantasy literature setting is almost always in a world so different from ours, and often in the past. This past could be ancient or medieval, and often involving magic. Fantasy works present an alternate world with mythical occurrences that would only be possible through imagination.

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy


Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy

Conclusion

Understanding these science fiction vs. fantasy differences will help you create or choose a clarified genre that satisfies your readers. Often, readers look for specific literary identifying marks in a fantasy or sci-fi novel.

Being aware of the difference between science fiction and fantasy can help you blend and shade these two genres to create literary works that can move readers seamlessly between the possibilities and the impossibilities.

Related References

The Importance Of A Table Of Contents In A Nonfiction Book

Book Table of Contents
Book Table of Contents

There’s nothing more frustrating than scrolling through 100 pages of a book looking for something specific when there is no table of contents (TOC). While most authors treat it as an afterthought, it’s an important part of the package. A table of content displays the big ideas in a non-fictional book and where to find them. If you’re writing a book about `The Devil in the City’, you want the reader to have a quick reference guide of the contents. Obviously, this is a strong selling point so failing to include a table of contents (TOC) will make your book less marketable. Let me walk you through the importance of a table of contents (TOC).

Makes navigation a breeze

Readers need a reference point to locate all the important information. A TOC contains numbers which come in handy when viewing the soft copy of the word document. If your idea has no direction, your message may take a meandering path. It’s worth mentioning that a book without a clearly defined table of contents (TOC) can make the readers get lost along the way.

A detailed TOC is the perfect way of taking the reader where he or she wants to travel. He can focus on the most essential information and skip the most irrelevant. If you have a challenge with the structure, that problem needs to be solved before you work on your table of contents (TOC). Read on and learn more.

The Table of Contents Informs the reader And Tells what the book is about

Without a strong table of contents (TOC), the reader will have a rough time following your story. It’s imperative that you ensure the table of contents (TOC) supports the idea fully and benefits the readers. Not only that, the chapters should be worded in a way that makes the reader feel as if they are in the book itself. A non-fictional book needs a sound structure, so you want a table of contents (TOC) that supports the manuscript. Even better, the straight lines on the table direct the reader’s eyes. He can quickly grasp the idea rather than hunting through the text.

Gives the reader the scope and completeness of the book

A table of contents (TOC) is found on the page before the start of the book. It gives a brief description of the chapters and the page number. If it’s misaligned or misplaced, the entire content won’t function optimally. Note: the list chapters are the backbone of the book’s outline.

Without a clear table of contents (TOC), the reader will put down the non-fictional book – if they pick it up at all. Needless to say, they will give a bad review. It’s important that you create a structure that fleshes out and is unique in its category. If your book is in eBook format, the reader will prefer to have a table of contents (TOC) tied to a chapter.

Allows the reader to repeat the major parts of the book

If you’re downloading eBook on your mobile device, it becomes quite easy to look for what you want – you can read summaries and jump through chapters. More interestingly, you’re redirected to the table of contents (TOC) by tapping the same icon. While all the information on the book may be useful, some parts may be more eye-catching. At some point, a book to be finished because everything cannot be included in the book. When writing the table of content, be sure to nail down the real essence of the book.

Indicates the author’s style

If the table of content is smart and witty, the reader will know the manuscript features creative writing. To ensure you bring a wow factor to your audience, you should add a little originality. More clearly, a nonfictional book requires the writer to think about the reader.

The TOC will allow the reader to skim and understand the message the writer wants to put across. If it resembles a certain style, chances are that the rest of the book features the same writing. Therefore, before you sit down and write imagine it exists on Amazon or in a nearby bookstore.

Final thoughts

Let’s be honest: there is more to a non-fictional book than a catchy cover. The table of contents shows the reader what lies within the book. The table of contents can make the difference between an average and a great book. Without preparation, you’ll not get the results you want. Unlike a glossary or an index, writing a table of content is a piece of cake. It’s all about compiling a list of the parts – sections, chapters, and sub-chapters. Remember, young readers, are always drawn to books that give information about something they’ve always wondered about.

Related References