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    Authors engage us with the spirit of their characters and it is always a pleasure when we get to enjoy those characters in the next novel. In the first novel, Next Year in Jerusalem: Romance, Mystery and Spiritual Awakenings Holstein introduces us to Maggie and Natalie as they embark on a vacation to Jerusalem. Holstein continues the drama in Part 2 in this Trilogy of Romance Books as Natalie and Maggie, best friends since college, find themselves steeped in the romance, mysticism and mystery of Jerusalem.

    The appearance of Jack, a diamond dealer and Natalie’s old boyfriend from college, creates incredible tension and arousal for Natalie. How can see keep her marriage intact? A new man mesmerizes Maggie also in her life: Raji from India.

    The mystery woman, Chaya Sarah, continues to share profound spiritual wisdom. Teaching Natalie the concept of ‘soul mate’ helps Natalie revive her marriage, at least for a night.

    However Chaya Sara’s secrecy about herself baffles them, and concern grows that Chaya Sarah may be involved in more than meets the eye.

    Too soon they must leave Jerusalem. A last minute surprising upset centered around Chaya Sarah frightens them and they realize they may be dealing with intrigue and terrorism.

    How will Natalie and Maggie handle the mystery and romance that floods both women as they attempt to get back to life in the United States? Can a return to Jerusalem be far behind in this trilogy of romantic fiction?

    Book Excerpt from Next Year in Jerusalem, Part 2, Around Every Corner, Mystery & Romance in the Holy Land
    Chapter Six,  
    As the driver pulled away, Natalie realized how poorly lit the street was. Now, well past dusk, the one street light way down the block did nothing to brighten the end where she stood. The building itself had one little light above the doorway. As she walked along the sidewalk to the front door, she shivered suddenly and wondered why in the world she'd sent away her protection?
    She rang the bell. Immediately a sweet young woman, probably no more than twenty-nine or thirty, head kerchief neatly in place, answered the door. Natalie felt better. Now to introduce herself and get started. Her heart pounded, but from excitement, not fear.
    "Can I help you?"
    "Chaya Sarah made an appointment for me to come here tonight after sundown."
    "Oh, sorry, phones no working," the girl said in broken English. "No messages this week."
    Natalie felt her heart begin to pound harder. Now she was upset. Another mix-up, another confusion where she would never know if Chaya Sarah had tried to call!
    "Oh, well, I'm here to go into the mikvah.* I understand I can go in as a bride, even though I've been married many years. It is my first time. I was told a matron would show me what to do and give me a prayer to say."
    "First time? No problem. Come in. I will show you where to go. Cost ninety shekels. Fill out form."
    Natalie handed over the money, and signed the visitor sheet (a blank piece of notepaper with the date at the top). She .was not at all sure the young woman understood most of what she said. Only later did she wonder why she so freely signed a blank piece of paper with her name and full home address.
    "Come this way." The young woman led Natalie past a small waiting room with pleasant pink walls and a soft gray marble floor. There were no pictures, no signs and no literature with the facility’s name. The place was stark, but certainly clean and feminine in its color scheme. It was eerily quiet. Natalie wished she had asked the taxi driver to wait.
    The young woman spoke. "Please, you go here," she said as she opened the door of a large, attractive bathroom with many mirrors. "Robe in there,” she explained as she pointed to a small closet. “After shower, go down hall to mikvah."
    "Will you be coming in to help me? Natalie practically begged. “Are there prayers to say?"
    "See, mikvah down there. You open and go in. No one bother you."
    Obviously, they hadn't communicated clearly. "Any prayers to say?" Natalie tried one more time.
    The young woman looked perplexed. "Mrs. Levy not here, I alone."  It hadn’t seemed to work, and eventually Natalie realized that not only was the woman's English poor, but apparently Mrs. Levy was the wisdom keeper of everything, including the prayers. Finally, she surmised that she’d have to make the most of her experience. So much for that; she’d just have to carry on by herself. There was no going back now.
    The woman walked back to the desk in the waiting room and sat down. Apparently, it was all now in Natalie's hands.
    She went into the bathroom and started to undress. Determined to make the most of this situation, she let the environment begin to take over. This was going to be fun. Yes, she would prepare for the mikvah as if she was a Queen. Maybe she’d been the Queen of Sheba in another life? She laughed to herself, and then the image of being a very special bride on her wedding night came to her. It was a lovely image.
    Somehow, the environment elicited from her vague yet powerful feelings. She felt so female, part of a special group, a sisterhood of women who had gone from babyhood to elder years ... one by one in an endless chain of family life, belonging to the same tribe. She saw her body today, naked in the mirrors, and once more felt moved to tears. She envisioned those before her--her grandmothers and her mother, and then saw her daughter after her, and imagined granddaughters in the future. She felt their energy, their hopes, dreams and prayers along with hers in the highly charged feminine bathroom.
    She felt good although she was crying at the same time. The golden chain of women in her mind's eye engaged in no gossip, put-downs, criticisms or comparisons. It was as if each woman had been branded with a primitive imprint that identified her as belonging to the same clan; no need for words. Just timeless knowledge, maybe first known by Eve in the Garden of Eden and passed down over hundreds of generations, a knowledge of mannerisms and hopes and dreams that transcended time. Now, she stood right here in the midst of it, finally able to enjoy the same rights as other Jewish women throughout history.
    Natalie showered again with a vengeance. She was determined to be as clean as she could be for the purifying waters. With no one to guide her, she washed her hair, took off her make-up, and trimmed her nails with the small scissor that lay on the vanity. She looked at the three red strings on her wrist. Should she leave them? It didn't seem right, since she knew she was to be completely unadorned. Without another thought, she cut them off with the scissor.
    She was ready now. She took a fluffy robe from the closet, and a pair of paper slippers, the kind they give you when you're in the hospital. She also grabbed a towel from the closet shelf and proceeded down the hall.
    The building was totally silent. When she looked back she didn't even see the young woman in the waiting room any more. She could see from the small window in the hallway that it was pitch dark outside. The only noise was that of a siren somewhere, and the sound of an occasional car passing by.
    She opened the door to the mikvah. The room was the size of a small bedroom with white tile walls,and most of it was taken up by what looked like a very small swimming pool. She’d feared the water would be cold, but as she stepped down a small staircase into the water, she was surprised as the pleasant warmth rushed up to her. At chest level the water seemed so much smoother and silkier than regular water. She sank down further, letting her hands float at her sides as the water welcomed her. A profound feeling of safety and calmness enveloped her. Were there guardian angels in here with her? It felt that way, but she wasn't scared. She felt protected and loved and, in turn,felt her heart opening up toward David.
    Making her own prayer she said aloud softly, "Dear G-d, may David and I be blessed with the harmony that comes from being soul mates. And may I have the strength not to be influenced by other forces not in my best interests."
    That covered it. She wasn't going to credit Jack by even saying his name aloud in these sacred waters.
    She dunked herself in the waters three times, really fast. She had promised herself, but that part was hard. She grasped her towel and wiped her eyes and ears. She had almost drowned on Cape Cod once as a child, but a big strong man had pulled her out. Since then, she could never stand to go underwater. But this time it was worth it. This was for their marriage and for herself.
    She returned to her changing room where she took another shower, this time a quick one, and got dressed. When she went back to the waiting room no one was there. In fact the young woman never reappeared even when Natalie called out....
    *mikvah: A specified pure body of water that is used for total immersion, often associated with bringing a heightened level of sacredness to the marriage bed.

    About Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein 

    Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known positive psychologist, inspires thousands with her ENCHANTED SELF®. Around the world, people benefit from her techniques to enhance well-being, and to live up to their potential. Known for her ability to make complex psychological concepts easy to understand and to implement, she has now turned her talents to novel writing.  "A great fiction read is a great escape, and yet, it is more! It is the gateway to new ways of thinking and behaving."

    Dr. Holstein received her Doctorate in Education from Boston University and her BA degree from Barnard College. Dr. Holstein has been a school psychologist and taught first and second grades. She is in private practice with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein, in Long Branch, New Jersey. Find her at
    Her previous books include:
    ·       THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy
    ·       Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!
    ·       The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything)
    ·       Seven Gateways to Happiness: Freeing Your Enchanted Self.

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  • 04/08/13--09:49: Thy Kingdom Come Book Blast
  • After petitioning the Father for answers to basic theological questions about the universal church, she took an eight-year journey with the Holy Spirit to provide clarity for herself about His vision. Thy Kingdom Come provides readers with that clarity. For anyone wondering what has happened to the Church, for anyone whose faith in God has been diminished, for anyone whose life has been destroyed by the yolks of bondage, Ruise offers new answers. She encourages her readers to follow along in the Bible itself to see how each of her lessons is validated by the Word of God. “We perish because we don’t know how to survive,” writes Ruise. Thy Kingdom Come offers not only an apt diagnosis of the problem, but equips readers with the cure, as well. It is an excellent source book for Biblical history and spiritual revelation and it prompts valuable internalizing and soul-searching for veteran Christians as well as for new converts. Link to book on Amazon: Link to book at B&N:
    Lady Ruise is a native of Thomasville Georgia. She is the First Lady of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Macclenny Florida. She medically retired from the U S Navy in 2007. Since her retirement, she obtained a degree in respiratory therapy and works as a Registered Respiratory Care Practitioner. She has a strong Christian background. She dedicated her life to the Lord at the age of 9 and became a minister at the age of 14. She has been licensed through the Holiness Church and the Baptist church as a minister for the past 24 years. She has been mentored by countless Pastors and Elders in the COGIC, Holiness Church, and the Baptist Church. She currently labors in ministry with her husband Pastor Joe Nathan Ruise as a praise team leader. She is also the president and founder of the Baker County Circle of Sisters in Macclenny, Fl. Lakesha Ruise is a prayer-warrior and intercessor, who is holy-ghost filled with an assignment from Jesus Christ to build his church!Website Address: Twitter Address: Address:!/lakesha.ruise.5
    Pump Up Your Book and Lakesha Monique Ruise are teaming up to give you a chance to win some fabulous prizes!
    Here’s how it works: Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from March 8 – Apr 8. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on April 12, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone! a Rafflecopter giveawayIf the Rafflecopter form doesn't load, please visit the THY KINGDOM COME TOUR PAGE to enter the giveaway:

    Thy Kingdom Come Book Blast Schedule


    Friday March 8th
    Monday, March 11th
    Tuesday, March 12th
    Wednesday, March 13th
    Thursday, March 14th
    Friday, March 15th
    Monday, March 18th
    Tuesday, March 19th
    Wednesday, March 20th
    Thursday, March 21st
    Friday, March 22nd
    Monday, March 25th
    Tuesday, March 26th
    Wednesday, March 27th
    Thursday, March 28th
    Friday, March 29th – OPEN
    Monday, April 1st
    Tuesday, April 2nd – OPEN
    Wednesday, April 3rd
    Thursday, April 4th
    Friday, April 5th – OPEN
    Monday, April 8th

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  • 04/15/13--18:13: Article 0

  • Hello and welcome to our Monday Poetry Review. Todays review is of  Dana Levin. 

    Her unique use of line breaks, sentence choice and font changes all work together to fuel the imagination of the reader. Her poetry relies heavily on the imagery she creates. Above all I love the last hangs like a glittering piece of  crystal and is almost a poem of its own.

    So without further ado, the poem  

    My Sentence

    —spring wind with its
                 train of spoons,
    kidney-bean shaped
                 pools, Floridian
    humus, cicadas with their
                 electric appliance hum, cricket
    pulse of dusk under
                 the pixilate gold of the trees, fall’s
    finish, snow’s white
                 afterlife, death’s breath
    finishing the monologue Phenomena, The Most Beautiful Girl
      you  carved the word because you craved the world

    Levin’s collections of poetry include In the Surgical Theatre (1999), Wedding Day (2005), and Sky Burial (2011). Selecting Levin’s manuscript for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize, Louise Glück praised the work as “sensuous, compassionate, violent, extravagant.” In the Surgical Theatre also won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Osterweil Award.

    She lives in Santa Fe and teaches at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and Warren Wilson College.

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    Tell us about yourself

    I am a 50 year old retired midwife. I live on a 4th generation family farm and can often be found scribbling in a small notebook instead of driving my tractor in a straight line.
    Tell me about your blog(s), name(s), what does it mean to you?
    I guess a lot of writers suffer from the thought that maybe they are just not really "that good" or that others wont see the meaning in their words that the writer is trying to convey. The idea of blogging for all the world to read was a little scary so I decided to break it down and simplify it. Basically I was just one girl ( the girl part  being relative I suppose) with one pen and one voice, I shortened that to "One girl, One Pen" I liked the simplicity of it.

    When have you started blogging?

    I started a farm blog about  day to day life on a farm but it wasn't the right format to address deeper or darker things in amongst the chickens so I started a blog just for creative writing,

    What's the theme(s) of your blog(s)? What do you write most? poetry, book review or cooking recopies short stories?

    On the farm blog I write about the antics of the animals and a few recipes as the spirit moves me - which isn’t that often. On "One Girl, One Pen" I write more interpretive content

    What are the inspirations of your writing?

    From years of working with birthing moms and babies I observed a lot of the range that women go through in life: their strength, their integrity, their spirit. I filled my cup with those observations and now I enjoy writing about them.

    Does music impact your writing?

    No not really. My family is all very musically inclined but that gene skipped me. What does impact me greatly is reading the words of others. If I get to busy to read my writing tapers off. Reading feeds the writer in me.

    You are involved with bluebell book-The Book Review and Short Story Writing Challenge Blog, what is your role?

    I write poetry reviews for Bluebell Books, usually on Mondays.

    What's the benefits of it?

    I absolutely love it! I have meet so many wonderful writers through it. Most writers are very accommodating about talking to me about the reviews. I did have to break down and learn about Twitter since I quickly discovered that is the best way to get in touch with them.  I also have been exposed to many great writers who have forever changed my world. I am so appreciative for this opportunity.

    Do you have a favorite book or author?

    I love E. E. Cummings and Mary Oliver as writers. I love their take on the natural world as poetry in motion. A favorite book is Jane Eyre. As a girl I read that and dreamed of far away people and places
    Do you have a favorite quote?

    Yes it is an African Proverb; "Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused."

    Any tips for those who started blogging ..

    Don't be so scared that you put it off. The more you write the better you get. I promise.

    Any tips for those who wish to get published

    No, but I would like to receive tips on that very subject if anyone's interested. 

    What's your writing plans?

    I am working on three books and dream of seeing one make it into print. Recently I started doing greeting cards with a local artist. She paints them and I write the words. I am learning calligraphy, so fun!
    I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the Bluebell Books community. I am learning so much from all of you.


    Please visit Indie here, she writes fantastic poetry, and her poetry book reviews at Bluebell Books are glittering and eye opening…

    Keep it up!

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  • 04/29/13--18:33: Article 1
  • Hello fellow poetry lovers!

    Welcome to another Monday poetry review here at Bluebell.

    Toady's poem is intense and gritty and "of the earth". A perfect compliment to the time of year when many of us are digging around in a garden or perhaps a pot or two of flowers.

    The title is:   Wildwood Flower by Kathryn Stripling Byer

      Byer was raised on a farm in Southwest Georgia, where the material for much of her first poetry originated. She graduated from Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia, with a degree in English literature,

    She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina and served for five years as North Carolina's first woman poet laureate.

    Ever wondered what exactly is a poet laureate?

    First, lets take a look at that curious word "laureate" 

    In ancient time Bay laurel was used to fashion the laurel wreath of ancient Greece, a symbol of highest status. A wreath of bay laurels was given as the prize at the Pythian Games because the games were in honor of Apollo and the laurel was one of his symbols.

    It is also the source of the words baccalaureate and poet laureate, as well as the expressions "assume the laurel" and "resting on one's laurels".

    So, a  poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government or conferring institution, who is often expected to compose poems for special events and occasions. 

    I learned something new, how about you?

    So without further ado,

    Wildwood Flower
    by Kathryn Stripling Byer 

    I hoe thawed ground
    with a vengeance. Winter has left
    my house empty of dried beans
    and meat. I am hungry

    and now that a few buds appear
    on the sycamore, I watch the road
    winding down this dark mountain
    not even the mule can climb
    without a struggle. Long daylight

    and nobody comes while my husband
    traps rabbits, chops firewood, or 
    walks away into the thicket. Abandoned
    to hoot owls and copperheads,

    I begin to fear sickness. I wait
    for pneumonia and lockjaw. Each month
    I brew squaw tea for pain.
    In the stream where I scrub my own blood
    from rags, I see all things flow
    down from me into the valley.

    Once I climbed the ridge
    to the place 
    where the sky
    comes. Beyond me the mountains continued
    like God. Is there no place to hide
    from His silence? A woman must work

    else she thinks too much. I hoe
    this earth until I think of nothing
    but the beans I will string,
    the sweet corn I will grind into meal.

    We must eat. I will learn
    to be grateful for whatever comes to me.

    If you enjoy this poets work you will want to check out her latest book of poetry.

    See you next time here at Bluebell.

    Till then, keep reading and writing beautiful poetry!


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    Each heart is thriving for peace
    That every soul seeks
    That each mind needs

    A war torn world with peace nowhere
    Crying and mourning everywhere
    Poverty spread all over
    Sadness in every corner
    No love, no peace to bond
    But warriors falling to the ground
    No time to see someone in peace
    No time to be in peace

    Let peace prevail everywhere
    With love, unity and care
    Let peace take war's place and
    Make blue days to happy days
    Peace and contentment will soar in our hearts
    No wars on creed, race or caste because,
    Love and peace will fill our hearts.

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    "Happy Mothers Day"

    "Happy Mother's Day" means more
    Than have a happy day.
    Within those words lie lots of things
    We never get to say.
    It means I love you first of all,
    Then thanks for all you do.
    It means you mean a lot to me,
    And that I honor you.

    But most of all, I guess it means
    That I am thinking of
    Your happiness on this, your day,
    With pleasure and with love


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  • 05/13/13--20:57: Article 0
  • Hello Bluebell readers,

    I hope you had a lovely spring weekend..

    For many of us in the western continent, there is a media generated celebration called "Mothers Day" most kids love their moms everyday (or not as the case may be) but you gotta love the ingenuity of Hallmark for pushing this day to the forefront and making billions from it.

    For the rest of us...

    we  struggle.

    I happened across this poem and loved the dream sequence feel of it.

    I thought some of you might like it also.

    by Ted Kooser

    Mother came to visit today.
    We hadn't seen each other in years.
    Why didn't you call? I asked.
    Your windows are filthy, she said.
    I know,
    I know.
    It's from the dust and rain.
    She stood outside.
    I stood in, and we cleaned each one that way, staring into each other's eyes,
    rubbing the white towel over our faces,
     rubbing away hours, years.
    This is what it was like
    when you were inside me, she said.
     What? I asked,
    though I understood.
     Afterwards, indoors, she smelled like snow
    Holding hands we stood by the picture window,
    gazing into the December sun,
     watching the pines in flame.

    My Review

    Seldom do you come across a poem that so craftily weaves incestuous fantasy and window cleaning in to an artful expression of ones love.

    No seriously, this poem at times had me a bit confused but overall it was enjoyable. 
     I liked  the honesty and awkwardness expressed by the mother and son. However, the scattered writing left me unsure which emotion to  connect to which person. They renewed their relationship not because any one did something wrong but because life gets in the way 
    and through the cleaning of windows (eyes) and the literal picture window, a mother and son reconnect in a way that they had once before when her son was still an unborn child.
    While I would not necessarily share this with my mother nor hope my son shared it with me, I could see how this poem of a mother and son "cleaning" their relationship could be just the thing to bring closeness on a special day. 

    Till next time dear readers!


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  • 05/27/13--13:05: Article 0
  • Hello all dear Bluebell Readers.

    How about a poem to suit the day?


    A time for picnics, time off work -
    Vacations and the "Indy" -
    A holiday, too often times
    We forget what, it should be.
    A time to pay respect to those
    Who rallied to the battle cry -
    Who gave their lives for liberty -
    Those freedoms for you and I.
    Such a waste of brave young souls -
    Some still struggling through their youth
    Who faced and fell willingly
    Before wartimes' awful truth.
    So as we share this holiday
    With our friends or family -
    Take a moment to give thanks to
    Those who died so we'd stay free.
    Let us strive for world peace -
    For the end of greed and hate -
    For next time, after "the war"
    It just may be too damned late.
    by Del "Abe" Jones

    From his book of poetry, "THE WORLD, WAR, FREEDOM, AND MORE."

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  • 06/10/13--14:23: Article 0
  • Hello dear Bluebell Poetry writers and readers!

    Today we are going across the globe and back in history to look at the work of  Alan Paton

    Alan Paton wrote this poignant poem while in Anerley, a holiday resort on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal on the 8th October, 1948.

    The Discardment

    We gave her a discardment
    A trifle, a thing no longer to be worn,
    Its purpose served, its life done.
    She put it on with exclamations
    Her eyes shone, she called and cried,
    The great bulk of her pirouetted
    She danced and mimed, sang snatches of a song.
    She called out blessings in her native tongue
    Called to her fellow servants
    To strangers and to passers-by
    To all the continent of Africa
    To see this wonder; to participate
    In this intolerable joy.

    And so for nothing
    Is purchased loyalty and trust
    And the unquestioning obedience
    Of the earth's most rare simplicity
    So for nothing
    The destruction of a world.

    This poem is typical of Alan Paton's observations about the inequalities that existed between Whites and Blacks, and his writing evokes the soul of the African person....grateful, simple and humble.

    You can find more of his writings and purchase his books here: 

    Hope you are enjoying your summer and don't forget to read some good poetry!

    Till next time, 


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  • 06/25/13--07:15: Article 0
  • Hello Bluebell readers!

    Are you enjoying the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer?

    Well wake up!

    I have been taking it FAR to easy on you guys lately....

    today we are going to think?

    About what, you ask?

    "Sprung rhythm!"

    What is that?

    Well pick up your lemonade and read on....

    Much of Hopkins's historical importance has to do with the changes he brought to the form of poetry, which ran contrary to conventional ideas of metre. Prior to Hopkins, most Middle English and Modern English poetry was based on a rhythmic structure inherited from the Norman side of English literary heritage. This structure is based on repeating groups of two or three syllables, with the stressed syllable falling in the same place on each repetition. Hopkins called this structure "running rhythm", and though he wrote some of his early verse in running rhythm he became fascinated with the older rhythmic structure of the Anglo-Saxon tradition, of which Beowulf is the most famous example. Hopkins called his own rhythmic structure sprung rhythm. Sprung rhythm is structured around feet with a variable number of syllables, generally between one and four syllables per foot, with the stress always falling on the first syllable in a foot. It is similar to the "rolling stresses" of Robinson Jeffers, another poet who rejected conventional metre. Hopkins saw sprung rhythm as a way to escape the constraints of running rhythm, which he said inevitably pushed poetry written in it to become "same and tame." In this way, Hopkins sprung rhythm can be seen as anticipating much of free verse. His work has no great affinity with either of the contemporary Pre-Raphaelite and neo-romanticism schools, although he does share their descriptive love of nature and he is often seen as a precursor to modernist poetry or as a bridge between the two poetic eras.

       Hopkins was born in England (1844-1899)

    Much of the richness of his work comes from Hopkins’s extensive use of alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia and rhyme, both at the end of lines and internally as in the poem below:
    ‘As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme’

    AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
    Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
    Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:         
    Deals out that being indoors each one dwells
    Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
    Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.
    Í say móre: the just man justices;
    Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces;        
    Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
    Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
    Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
    To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

    Till next time dear readers....

    keep reading and writing...grace the world with your thoughts!

    source credit: source credit:

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    Tell us about yourself.

    I'm from Kolkata, an undergraduate engineering student, in love with literature. My poetry has been published in two anthologies, and featured online, and I hope to get more publications.

    Tell me about your blog(s), name(s), what does it mean to you?

    My blog's name is Insanebloom. Its just a set of whimsical writings, dainty insanity, pretty bloom!

    My blog link and the writing in it!

    When have you started blogging?

    Its just been a couple of months.

    What's the theme(s) of your blog(s)? What do you write most? poetry, fiction or novel, or  short stories?

    I write poetry.

    What are the inspirations of your writing?

    Nature, emotions, and most importantly Life.

    Does music impact your writing?

    Yes, it does. Music lends a beautiful sensitivity, beauty to the ink.

    You are involved with Bluebell Books Short Story Slam writing challenge?

    Yes, its a wonderful place to share writings, lots to learn.

    Do you have a favorite blogging friend(s) to share? Tell us about his/her.

    Oh yes! There are so many beautiful blogs, so many lovely friends.

    Do you have a favorite book or author?

    Quite many. I love Austen, Plath, Wilde, and many more.

    What's your writing plans in the near future?

    To publish my own book of poetry.

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    As advanced animals who differ from monkeys, roosters, sheep, or rats,  we enjoy our talents and efforts by being able to speak, write, dream, and make technology and science our TOOLS in reaching a more comfortable level of living, every child is born equal, and every boy and girl is supposed to be happy and fulfill one's dreams.

     We all seek comfort and happiness from our parents, family or relatives, including friends or is very sad that, at times, we are hit by sudden sadness which is unexpected, getting a serious disease is sad, this happens to a college student whose dreams are not much different from you and me...

    Josie Nordman  is a youthful girl who is attending northwestern university...she has a surgery today at university of Chicago medical center, and needs donations...

     $2, $5, $7, or $10, any ammount will help the accumulation toward the total goal...please email or call The Daily Northwestern paper for further information on how you can help this good and promising girl for her recovery, strength, and hope for a brighter future...Thank YOU in advance.

    Ps: Also see the below report from the university newspaper...cheers!

    Updated: Josie Nordman to undergo lung transplant surgery
    Patrick Svitek, Summer Editor
    July 27, 2013

    Rising Communication junior Josie Nordman is scheduled to undergo lung transplant surgery tonight, possibly capping months of fundraising by the Northwestern community for the life-saving operation.

    "I cannot believe this day is finally here," Nordman said at about 8:30 p.m. in a Facebook post. "I will go into surgery in a few hours to have a lung transplant, and begin the next chapter of my life."

    Nordman, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 4 months old, was placed on the lung transplant list in December. Her lungs are only 16 percent functional due to the disease.
    Since the beginning of the year, dozens of student organizations have raised thousands of dollars for Nordman's lung transplant fund. Her family has said they will have to pay up to $75,000 for the procedure.

    Nordman's surgery is slated for about 11 p.m. at the University of Chicago Medical Center, according to her mom, Nicolle Nordman.
    Ally Mutnick contributed reporting.
    Patrick Svitek


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    gty barack obama malia sasha kramerbooks jt 111126 wblog A Busy Day for the Obama Family
    (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

    Between hitting  the hardwood himself  and taking in a college basketball game with his family today, President Obama managed to wedge in something a bit more cerebral — a bookstore shopping spree with daughters Sasha and Malia.

    The president, browsing the shelves at Kramer Books, a popular Washington, D.C., bookstore, with his daughters, said told fellow customers he was supporting Small Business Saturday, a day in which shoppers are encouraged to visit local small businesses after the frenzy over deals offered on Black Friday by department stores and large chain stores.

    Obama, Malia and Sasha came away with a stack of books, including: “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever,” “Tails,” “The Tiger’s Wife,” “The Phantom Tollbooth,” “Zen Shorts,” and ” The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”

    Obama also purchased “Descent into Chaos: the United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.”

    The president was asked how he felt about personal aide Reggie Love’s departure at the end of the year.

    “We’re sad to see Reggie go,” Obama said, “but he’s doing the right thing. He’s going to finish his education and as you can see, we’re still getting a little basketball in.”

    Love was among those who played basketball with the president earlier in the day.
    The president began his day with a trip to Fort McNair for a quick game of basketball. When a reporter asked what he thought of tentative NBA deal to end the ongoing strike between players and management, Obama gave — dressed in sweatpants, a black windbreaker and a White Sox hat — a thumbs up and said “Good deal.”

    In the afternoon, the Obama family, along with mother-in-law Marian Robinson, attended the Towson University-Oregon State University men’s basketball game in Towson, Md. Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, coaches the OSU Beavers. The OSU Thanksgiving weekend game has become a bit of a tradition for the Obamas — in 2009, they watched the Beavers defeat the George Washington University Colonials 64-57 and, in 2010, the Howard University Bison 84-74.
    Clad in lots of orange and black the first family sat together in the stands. It was a casual day out for the first lady, who wore who black leather Chuck Taylor sneakers and an OSU T-shirt. The president had a hot dog at half-time.

    Also attending the game were Education Secretary and Arne Duncan and comedian Bill Murray, who spent time chatting with the president.

    Happily for the Obama family, Oregon State romped over Towson 66-46.

    The president has had a busy Thanksgiving weekend thus far, hosting roughly 50 family members and friends for dinner on Thursday and playing a round of golf Friday.

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    According to wikibooks, 

    MATLAB is a programming language developed by MathWorks. It started out as a matrix programming language where linear algebra programming was simple. It can be run both under interactive sessions and as a batch job.

    Most MATLAB scripts and functions can be run in the open source programme octave. This is freely available for most computing platforms.

    GNU Octave and LabVIEW MathScript are systems for numerical computations with an m-file script language that is mostly compatible with MATLAB. Both alternatives can replace MATLAB in many circumstances. While a good deal of the content of this book will also apply to both Octave and LabVIEW MathScript, it is not guaranteed to work in exactly the same manner. Differences and comparison between MATLAB and Octave are presented in Comparing Octave and MATLAB.

    amazon book link:

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    Scott Berkun, a former colleague of mine, has published a very interesting book about his time at Automattic / - and how we work in our flat and distributed way.
    The book is called The Year Without Pants(an inside joke related to being able to work from anywhere in the world, including from home ), and is focused on Scott's time at Automattic, and what it's like to work at a company, that among other things, has no central office and doesn't use email internally.
    As Eric Ries mentions:
    “Most talk of the future of work is just speculation, but Berkun has actually worked there. The Year Without Pants is a brilliant, honest, and funny insider's story of life at a great company.” —Eric Ries, author, New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup
    Scott has a few bits about yours truly, and my sleep deprived startup life:

    The first striking thing about Raanan was that he never seemed to sleep. I didn't understand if there were two or more of him who worked in shifts or if his genetics allowed him to work at twice normal speed, but he seemed to know what was going on everywhere, all the time ... Raanan loved what he was doing. He'd joined in part because of the mission to democratize publishing.
    A bit surreal to read about your own work, and I've found over the years that all my colleagues have a great work ethic.
    What I like is that Scott hits on a point that I find very true -- which is that companies that have big audacious goals such as ours, and give employees freedom to define the methods of achieving them - tend to attract people who are passionate and love what they do. And that combo tends to result in amazing outcomes and companies that have a culture that attracts fantastic talent.
    So definitely a fun read, and if you want to check it out, it's available on Amazon in both print and Kindle edition:

    Book link:

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  • 09/28/13--16:03: Happy 15th Birthday, Google!
  • Happy 15th Birthday, Google!

    Google Doodle honors the search engine's birthday with a piñata game and hidden easter egg
    Google 15
    Fifteen years ago this month, two Stanford grad students founded a company called Google, named after the mathematical term googol, which represents the number one followed by a hundred zeros. Today’s Google Doodle, a keyboard piñata game, commemorates the big day.
    The company that Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded was actually established on September 7, 1998, but the official “birthday” was later switched to September 27, as noted by SearchEngineLand’s Danny Sullivan. Before the search tool had even launched at, Page told Sullivan, “I’d like to build a service where the priority is on giving users great results.”

    Fifteen years later — after expanding to everything from email to mobile operating systems to a quest to conquer death— Google has changed the technology landscape forever.  And it still boasts a whopping 66.9% marketshare among search engines in the U.S., according to ComScore’s latest rankings.
    Let’s celebrate!
    p.s. For some extra fun, try typing “google in 1998″ in the google search box to see how far the company has come.

    time magazine:

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    Book signing today at Oklahoma state university student union university store (2nd floor), starting 12pm and ends 1pm..


    New York Times Best-Selling Author Joins Boone Pickens  For Book Signing at Oklahoma State University

    Jeff Benedict, Co Author of “The System” will visit the Student Union on Saturday

    STILLWATER -- Oklahoma State University will host a book signing with Jeff Benedict, co-author of “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football,” and Boone Pickens, Saturday, October 5, 12 p.m-1 p.m. in the Student Union.

    “The System,” which opened this week on the New York Times Bestseller list at #12, takes an in-depth look into the realities of NCAA College Football. Benedict was granted unprecedented access during the 2012 season to programs at the highest levels across the country at a time of convulsive change in college football. His book has ignited a national conversation on the fate and future of college football.  

    The book includes riveting stories on the business of college football and insightfully details Boone Pickens transformative gift and the steady rise of Oklahoma State University football over the past six years. Benedict spent significant time with Pickens for the book and dedicates an entire chapter to his impact at Oklahoma State University. 

    Benedict is one of the country’s top investigative reporters. He is a special features contributor for Sports Illustrated and the author of ten critically acclaimed books, including “Pros and Cons” and “Out of Bounds.” His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

    What they are saying:

    "The best book on the sport written in years (and that's coming from someone who has written a couple)."
    Dan Wetzel, Yahoo!Sports

    "[A] harrowing and occasionally uplifting journey -- or literary trip -- through recent history and across the country's most football-obsessed campuses."
    --Harvey Araton, The New York Times

    "I just read and can't stop extolling The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. I expected scandal, I expected feel-good stories; what I didn't expect was a book so riveting that I missed my bus stop...Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian have given us a thrilling read."
    --Marilyn Dahl, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers

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    Glassner is a professor of sociology and president of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Schapiro is a professor of economics and president of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. They wrote this essay for the Los Angeles Times.

    Two million recent high school graduates are just now starting college. Sadly, many of them selected schools for the wrong reasons.
    How did they pick them? Many played the ratings game. “By all means stick to the rankings,” they believed. “Never go to a school that is even one slot below the top one that admitted you.”
    Others chose a college because they liked the tour guide or thought they would make the most friends and be most comfortable.
    Those are two common ways students and parents choose a college. Neither holds up to scrutiny.
    Stick to the rankings? Which rankings: Those that measure the quality of teaching? The quality of research? The best program in your intended major? The most accessible professors? The medley of cost and performance criteria President Barack Obama has proposed — tuition, graduation rates, earnings of alumni and the like?
    And what does it mean to be comfortable? To have the most people who look and think like you? If so, you might as well stay in high school.

    As professors and presidents who have taught and advised thousands of undergraduates, we suggest a very different approach to high school seniors frantically trying to decide which colleges are best for them. Consider where you will thrive, both in the near term and after you graduate.
    If you want a career in theater, pick a school in a community with a vibrant local theater scene. Find out whether alumni help newcomers break into the field. The best school for an aspiring actor may have fewer students who look and think like he or she does, and it may be ranked lower than other choices.
    If you want to become a global titan of industry, don't go to a school where you will spend four years in classrooms primarily studying accounting and management. Pick a place that forces you to gain global literacy, whether through overseas programs, an international student body or courses on other cultures. That school may be ranked lower than others and almost certainly will enroll plenty of students who are not like you.
    If you're a nerd who has already invented great new apps and wants to be a tech entrepreneur, why spend four years in a school that will teach you skills you either already know or that will be offshored or antiquated by the time you're 30? Better to go where you can take great courses in design, the history of science or anything else that will make you more intellectually nimble.
    If you want a career in medicine, you clearly want your school to have a strong pre-med program. But if the faculty members don't welcome undergraduate students to work alongside them in their labs, why go there? You're more likely to get into medical school and become a better doctor if you've experienced firsthand what science is about.

    Better still, select a school that pushes you into courses in medical ethics and cross-cultural communications or has a program that allows you to shadow a working physician or assist medical staff in shelters and clinics.
    By the way, we walk this talk. We love the schools we lead, but we don't blindly advise that children of friends come to our respective institutions. It depends on the kid. Sometimes we recommend schools that are ranked higher, sometimes it's schools that are ranked lower.
    The specific schools we recommend depend on the student's needs and passions. Some need the comfort of a close-knit, hands-on environment. Some want to re-create themselves far from the prying eyes of their parents and others who know them. Some will thrive best in an urban environment; others amid mountains they can climb when they need to burn off steam.
    For kids who learn as much from coaches as they do from teachers, we propose schools with strong sports programs. For independent learners, we suggest places with a wide choice of electives. We always send those we love to places where they will be forced to grapple with difference.
    In seeking these matches, we are not looking for the most comfortable place for the student but, rather, where he or she can thrive intellectually and psychologically. The most important learning might well be uncomfortable learning, where students take courses that terrify them and where they live and work alongside classmates from backgrounds much different from their own. The school that best achieves that for a particular young person may well not rise to the top of a list predicated solely on prestige or comfort.

    We recognize it is harder to apply the criteria we have laid out than to adhere to a published list or choose the school where your best friend is going. But in the end, the payoff will be greater.
    After all, the goal is to develop the skills and the inclination to educate yourself for life.

    check out the original article here:

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    Mister Spunky and his Friends
    If you love children’s books then you’ll want to enter the giveaway for Mister Spunky. Click on the giveaway button and enter the giveaway for a chance to win this children’s book and matching mouse pad over at Lori’s Reading Corner.


    Book Synopsis:

    Mister Spunky and His Friends is the creation of award winning author, Kelly Preston. She has taken the story line from her book, Real Dogs Don't Whisper, placing it in a picture book format for children to enjoy. Mister Spunky and His Friends is about the importance of love, friendship; and, helping those with special needs. Follow Mister Spunky along his journey to the beach, where he meets three new friends; teaching him important life lessons along the way. Parents, if you enjoyed Real Dogs Don't Whisper, your children will enjoy this book for them. There are several pages at the end of the story for coloring activities. Ages: 5+

    About Kelly Preston

    Author Kelly Preston   
    Kelly Preston is, first and foremost, an animal lover. Raised on a ten-acre property in a small town in Pennsylvania, she grew up with horses, rabbits, and – of course – dogs. When she left home after college, she acquired Gizmo, an irresistible Lhasa Apso that started her on a journey full of joys and sorrows, hopes and tribulations, frustrations, endless lessons in patience, and above all else, love. All of this has come at the hands (more precisely the paws) of Gizmo, Betty Boop, Buffy, Carla Mae, and the inimitable Mr. MaGoo.
    Mr. MaGoois a nine-year-old Lhasa Apso and the book’s co-creator and co-writer. He is, in his own words, “the alpha and omega of all dogs – in the cutest and sparkiest, most fun-loving package ever.” Ignoring Kelly’s persistent eye-rolling, Mr. MaGoo has forged ahead with this project in an attempt to, as he puts it, “present the facts from a dog’s perspective. In other words, the correct, most accurate, most interesting, only-one-that-matters perspective,” to which he adds, simply, “Woof!”

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