Writing Prompt Nine

 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

- Sugar Beets -


Giant concrete crowns
Preside over this small town
Until abandoned.

- To Be Bold -


He danced on dawn's frost
In defiance to the wind
Determined to live.

Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enter a world of Napoleonic rule, dark alleyways, and reclusive estates.
Enter a world of apprenticeship and fa(e)teful dealings.
Enter a world of practical magic; a world exclusive to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Allow me a moment of honesty - this book requires commitment to complete. Don't get me wrong. It is masterfully written in a beautiful, educated language filled with rich descriptions, enthralling subject matter, and perfectly timed dialogue. There is nothing I can say against this novel; it truly is a work of art. I admire Susanna Clarke for her talent, ability to organize such a large project, and knowledge of such a subject. But had I not been previously invested in the subject of faeries and old England prior to picking up the book I likely would have set it down one day, mid-read, and walked away forgetting it completely.

Perhaps the magic within the pages spilled out somehow and left me feeling an uneasiness about the life of it. Believe me when I tell you, the world changes a little with each page you turn.

The footnotes may have been my favorite part. They became something to look forward to - a further indulgence of folklore or historical occurrence that broadens the reality of the era in which this story is set without distracting from the narrative with facts and figures. (Some four pages long!) If you wanted to, you could pass the footnotes by without a second glance and not miss out on Jonathan or Mr. Norrell's doings, but you would be at a disadvantage to the mastery of this novel. It is obvious that Clarke was dedicated to this project and had a specific vision for it. I hope the TV show available through the BBC will do it justice. Clarke seems to have done all the research for producers anyway - it'll be hard for them to screw it up!

In all, the novel reads as a historical non-fiction, although it isn't, based on real and true people who lived, breathed, and spit fire. Before the story is through you will question reality and from the forgotten depths of your inner-child's heart you will believe in magic once more.

Susanna Clarke does such an amazing and thorough job in citing sources and connecting historical non-fiction with the lives of Jonathan and Mr. Norrell that the clouds of doubt begin to clear away and although it may seem impossible you begin to wonder why not. Stranger things have been proven to be true. In fact, the realm of the fae must exist; the folklore bred in a depth of truth. It's made me envious of the English for their rich history. And it's left me still wondering.

Writing Prompt Eight

 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

- Murphy's Dreams -


Rabbits hopping by,
Can't escape my clever nose
In dark, cold forests.

- Priorities -


No, it's ok, really.
My intentions to work: lost.
Princess Peach needs help.

Pollen


She was a girl in a flower shop. A girl named Marigold. And it was the first time I ever felt the twinges of pain which accompany love.

Her slender, golden fingers wrapped the flowers for my mother's bouquet.

Her slender, golden fingers punched the keys at the register.

Her slender, golden fingers handed me my slip.

Her slender, golden fingers donned a ring which couldn't be mistaken.

Her slender, golden fingers were my barrier.

It was only a smile, a smile to return my own. But in that smile, along those crooked white teeth a story rested on her lips. A story of happiness I could not give her.

And I knew.

Her slender, golden fingers trilled along the counters.

Her slender, golden fingers arranged daisies and spider mums.

Her slender, golden fingers forgot all about me.

Her slender, golden fingers were in good hands.

Her slender, golden fingers were well loved.


The pangs of love strike deep and hard, but rarely do we find, in perfect timing, our soul mates in a flower shop.



Writing Prompt Seven

 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Writing Prompt Six

 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

- Curiosity Made The Cat Wet -


Oh little kitty
With the golden eyes.
If your paw were to slip
You'd be in for a great surprise!

- Fat Cat Snuggles -


Machine gun purring
Rattles deep in your body:
A content kitty.

- Friday Night -


A good book and tea
Is the perfect remedy
When paired with hot baths.

The World is in the Palm of Your Hand


Recently, I started diving into the depths of Instagram to see who else was writing and exploring out there. What I came across was nothing surprising. Other writers and poets eager to share their words and willing to support others on the same mission. Adventurers the world over doing what they love. 

Up until my Instagram spelunking, I had only used it to keep up with friends and family of whom I knew personally. Once I started writing publicly I used it as a marketing tool and, I'll admit, in the beginning, I wasn't keen on following other people's accounts. I had this mindset that a mark of success was having many followers, but following few. I have since broken that habit and am ever grateful that I did!

In following the accounts of others I have been immersed in a world culture of expression. Photos accompanying stories from Bali, Turkey, Morocco, Ireland, Mexico, and so on fill my newsfeed introducing me to the universality of human nature. We share a need for love, a desire for good food, and an awe of the world around us. I am educated every day about the similarities of man and it grows my compassion as it reminds me that we are all in this together.

Here are a few photos from some very interesting people. Be sure to click the caption to head over to their Instagram profiles.

@cgrodzki
@foreigngeek
@nabsphotography
@charles_post
@natgeo
@radam_gnawrot


Get out there and explore - even if it is only from the palm of your hand. You would be amazed how much your understanding of the world alters when you aren't looking through the lens of the media, but rather that of someone living in it, breathing, and experiencing it.
Who are your favorite Instagrammers?

Writing Prompt Five

 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Review: Flowing Gold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rex Beach is a favorite of mine. Long since passed, his life was filled with adventure, prospecting failure, writing success, and Olympic silver! Flowing Gold was not the first book of his that I picked up, but it is the one I seem to pick up repeatedly.

Calvin Gray is a conman who commands the reader's immediate championship. He is smooth, classy, intelligent, and full of life. The best part about him, though, is that he is genuine, noble, and always on the right side of the law. He knows how to play the game is all. Calvin finds himself in Dallas during the oil boom (thus, Flowing Gold), and is without a penny to his name. Yet, he stays in the Governor's suite in the nicest hotel in town. He walks around in the nicest suit and eats meals at the nicest restaurants. Perhaps he's floated a few checks along the way, but soon makes up for the financial deficit by making acquaintances in all the right places.

His first friend being a jeweler in need of a runner to a client who has too much money and not enough brains living out in the middle of no where. Calvin gladly takes on the errand, disguising it out of good will and nature from one business man to another, and even saves the jeweler from robbery in the process. His clients turn out to be the Clampetts of the era who are in desperate need of refinement for their drought stricken farm has struck a heavy oil deposit and Ma, Pa, daughter, and son just aren't sure what to make of it all. Calvin gladly takes them under his wing - connecting the daughter with an etiquette coach, the son with a college, and Ma and Pa with a mountainside resort where Ma comes into her own as a daydreaming pirate queen.

Calvin isn't without the pangs of love which strike hard and swift, a history of wrongfully accused inglorious military records, and successful business dealings which turn this conman into a noted, and beloved, citizen of Dallas and surrounding areas. There's a crescendo of adventure in a burning, flooded oil field that will have the reader flipping through the pages at an alarming rate.

This is a story about success, flippant money spending, confidence building, unwavering support, and revenge. You won't want to miss it!

Writing Prompt Four

 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Winter Shadows


She moved like a gypsy, her tent untethered, her shoes pointing north. And in her wake she left a trail of friendships, lovers, and mistakes. At the foot of a staggering mountainside, below the tree line which cut into the pure white powder, a fire burned; flames lapping in the wind. Clouds of icy snow plummeted off the shark teeth granite peaks lost in the grey sky. 

Alone in this winter paradise she prepared boiling pots of morning stew, her cast iron dutch oven baking a loaf of bread atop glowing orange coals. The steam from her cup mingled with the steam of her breath as her fingerless gloves clutched the hot mug of tea. Her steely blue eyes glanced over the single filed footprints which led to her camp. Boot sizes much too large to be mistaken as her own. 

The loneliness of her solitude broken by the crisp stamps in the snow which came, but did not leave and yet, around the burning warmth of the fire, not another soul wandered. She sipped her tea. The hot aroma of hibiscus and peppermint surrounded her auburn hair and infiltrated her lungs. With the ladle she set a place for two and waited for her visitor to show.

Writing Prompt Three


 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Writing Prompt Two

 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Feature: My Favorite Holiday


I don't dress up for Halloween. I don't throw a barbecue on the fourth of July. I can be festive on Christmas and I love to exchange gifts, but it isn't my favorite holiday. No, that right falls on Thanksgiving for three very simple reasons:

1.) We gather for the sake of gathering - no obligation, no expectations. Just friends and family coming together to spend time with one another, be thankful, focus on our blessings, and laugh.

2.) The feel of the house when it is frosty outside and the inside is filled with love, warm food, and snoozing bellies.

3.) Pumpkin pie. Duh.

I am most certainly a foodie - I grew up in Portland, Oregon, how could I not be? Food, and good food at that, practically runs through our veins. So Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal to me. I'm not big into cooking, but for this day. And while I won't do this very often on this blog, there are some recipes I just can't possibly keep from the public. I'm selfless like that.

This Wild Rice Stuffing is incredible and vegetarian! Savory, soft, sweet, and crunchy. (It kills me that I had to break alliteration right there, ugh!) I highly recommend this side dish for your festivities this year. It is the number one request from friends and family - "You're making that stuffing thing, right?!" Yes. Yes I am.

Whereas the Pumpkin Cheesecake is simply borrowed from the Cheesecake Factory - so you know they know what they are doing. It's delicious and always a huge hit with family.

Enjoy!



Source



What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes?

Writing Prompt One


 Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

- Prairie Nights -


Sunset over plains,
Reaching into the mountains,
Bringing darkness home.

Review: Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rumo is a Wolperting, although he doesn't know it yet. His life begins lazily as a Hackonian farmer's pet pup; spoiled and loved. His only responsibilities to accept belly rubs, the cooing of admirers, and occasionally come to understand the world around him. All is disrupted, though, when he and his caretakers are kidnapped by a carnivorous band of Demoncles who traversed the world on a floating rock, only coming to shore when the rock landed and their stores were depleted. This is where Rumo meets Smyke, a shark grub, and his life begins to pursue his real potential as the intelligent, upright walking, battle ready Wolperting he is. And this is just the beginning.

Adventures (it's in the title, after all) ensue for Rumo which lead him to the mysteriously blockaded town of Wolperting - a town filled with his own species, all of varying breeds, and a dome no one knows anything about. He gains a roommate, goes to school, learns to fence and play chess, to read and write, and becomes a master carpenter. Oh, and he falls in love. But when he returns from a lover's mission outside the walls of town, he finds the bustling city vacant and an empty void where the dome once stood. Into the depths of Hell he wanders seeking his friends and teachers and the second half of Rumo's life begins. Will he arrive in time to save them? You'll have to read it to find out!

I bought Walter Moers' Rumo in 2007 for $3.00 at Half Priced Books (my absolute favorite store on this planet.) The cover intrigued me and when I flipped through the pages which included character attributed fonts and original artwork by the author I was sold. I had never read fantasy fiction before, but I couldn't resist. The presentation of the 689 page tomb was too creative to pass up. It's a refreshing publication as it didn't just tell a story from front cover to back, but rather it included the reader in the journey by playing with the traditions of published work. Art, font, black pages, text layout, and maps were constantly shifting so the eyes never grew tired or bored. The design of the book is just beautiful.


Eight years later and I can still remember the moments I spent reading it. If I close my eyes I can see myself there laying on my stomach in our guest bedroom the door shut and the light filtering in through the closed blinds; sprawled out in the Arizona summer heat, lost in the world of Zamonia. Looking at my dogs with a sideways glance wondering when they would challenge me to a game of chess. My entire world came to a halt when I first started reading Rumo. I became useless to those around me and cared little for anything else - who needs food, right? 


It took me three days and two sleepless nights to finish. And then I was on the hunt for more. I purchased every English translated book he had and devoured them like a starving Demoncles. Although he has many books published in his native tongue, German, the English translations slowly trickle our way. I've even considered learning the language so I can have greater access to his work. In the meantime, I'll continue to stalk Moers' website and Amazon page for new releases and pre-release purchases.

If I could give a six or seven or eight star review, I would. To see a strong sampling of Moers' artwork, click here.

Other great, English translated works by Moers include:

Warden


Frost bitten needles litter the hard ground surrounding white washed rock gardens. To the east, a dawning sun bathes the hills in purple, peering through the veil of smoke from nearby fires. All is silent, but for the shuffle of cold feet across weathered floorboards. The clink of manacles echoing off the barren walls of aged wallpaper. 

Her heart thawed in the morning's timid rays; stretching it's muscle against its rib cage prison. Three years of winter had wandered past her ancient glass windows and still the burden of his loss weighed down on her. Each day began with the sickening reminder he was gone and each ended with a glimpse into a future without him. 

With the waning sun a brightness of potential. Rather than abandon her he had set her free. And though she felt locked away in a tower, the house itself quiet and undisturbed, she soon realized that the keys to her bondage rest softly in her hand. 


Photo Credit: Kyle Woolhiser, elk hunt 2015

A Hashtag World

Photo Source/Editing by Beaux
Hashtag: #ConqueringMe

Meaning: It has been noted that typically our biggest obstacles are ourselves. In essence, we stand in our own way. Whether it is our mind telling us we can't achieve something, the goal is too high, the likelihood too low - we make assumptions and short change ourselves. We have fears that prevent us from trying something new or expanding our knowledge. We have fears that paralyze us. We settle. We forget what it is like to believe we are capable of anything - of everything.

When to Use It:  Whenever you do something that rebels against the negative Inner You. When you override your fears, doubts, assumptions, prejudices, and so on. No matter how big or small it may seem, this is you conquering you. All endeavors are worthy.

Where to Use It: All social media avenues!

Who Can Use It: Everyone! Men, women, children, dogs... it doesn't matter. If the hashtag fits, write it!


Photo Source/Editing by Beaux
Hashtag:  #SeeGirlTravel

Meaning:  It's pretty simple, like See Spot Run. We are off on adventures; out to learn about ourselves and the world we live in. With opportunities to meet new people, make friends the globe over, and taste incredible food we are women on the loose! It's about encouraging women to travel as a single rider while building a sisterhood conjoined through the love of exploration. Release the confines of feeling like your friends or family have to accompany you - there is a whole world waiting to be traversed - don't miss it!

When to Use It: For your adventures, explorations, trips into unknown areas. This doesn't have to mean grand excursions into foreign countries. It could be the town over, a trip to the mountain or beach or desert, or just a walk down a road you've not travelled. Let us know where you have been and why you were drawn there. These are moments of recorded independence.

Where to Use It: All social media avenues!

Who Can Use It: Women who are traveling solo - whether you are a single woman traveling alone or a woman traveling independently while her family stays at home - you are welcome here! The key point, though, is to be going at it by yourself, away from the comforts of your network at home. Meet up with tours, make new friends, broaden you circle to include new members; or take a weekend away in the woods where only the birds can keep you company!


Funny how the two often will coincide with each other. They will for me.

Now show me your hashtag!

- Downtown -


From high up I watch
Those bundles shuffle below
In jocular arms.

- Legends -


Brick by brick we build,
Though glass breaks and paint may fade,
Our monuments stand.

- Pause -


Bookmarked adventures.
Dog eared pages before rest.
Words turned into dreams.

Review: To Kill A Mocking Bird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a writer I was determined to find out why this book was so highly praised to the point that within a year of printing it had landed the most coveted of writer's awards: the Pulitzer Prize.

Was it because it spoke boldly about the civil rights of all men?
Was it because Harper Lee emphatically decried the injustice of racism in our courts?
Was it because she demanded to be heard on a grand platform?

No. I don't believe so.

Rather, her writing is subtle. Beautifully subtle. We are told a story, quietly and innocent. The truths which come out are that which come from the mouths of babes; the wisdom of children.

I see it now, the simplicity of her work yet the enormity of its message no matter how gently it was delivered. As a writer I can see how she did not over complicate things, but instead allowed her readers to make intelligent connections and assumptions.

As a reader I was invested - oh boy was I invested in the man known as Atticus Finch! I instantly took a liking to him and may even place him as my newly crowned favorite leading male character of all who have paraded before me. He was noble in a time of duress, he was honest and steadfast, and, most importantly, he listened to his children.

If you haven't read it, I recommend it. If you were forced to read it as a teenager for school and didn't like it, I recommend you revisit it. In a world where messages are loudly thrust at us from every angle covering every agenda; in a world where literature has become watered down and blatantly in your face this piece of history is not only refreshing, but endearing.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved reading. One does not love breathing."
- Scout, To Kill a Mockingbird

"Of course he shouldn't, but he'll never change his ways. Are you going to take out your disapproval on his children?"
- Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

“… You’re not gonna change any of them by talkin’ right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves, and when they don’t want to learn there’s nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.”
– Calpurnia, To Kill a Mockingbird

View all my reviews

- Affair -


Lovers rendezvous
On a lustful, frigid night;
Her husband returns.

- Soar -


Above clouds and doubts,
Through the gate of wilds unknown,
She finds her freedom.

Brink


You will never see me cry. 

She whispered defiantly.

Tears will turn to crystals on my cheeks, the drop abandoned by salt rivers. No. You will not see me break this stoic facade. Not for something so worthless as you.

She turned toward the North, the wind brushing auburn curls away from her ivory skin. The green in her eyes struck fiercely against the white mountain. Doubt, which had begun to seep into her soul, backed away the coward of their confrontation. She would not embrace it to save the world. Instead, her boots tread on, deeper into the icy gulch of a powdered mountainside. Her eyes ever searching the horizon above her; the summit before her. 

I am not yours to take; you are mine to conquer.

- In Bed -


Romance, adventure;
Between the sheets of novels,
Fantasies come true.