Tag Archives: The Indie Spot

A New Release by Harmony Kent! #Poetry

Greetings to one and all. Today we welcome author and poet Harmony Kent to the Indie Spot.

Hi, Beem.

Thanks so much for hosting me today.

It’s always wonderful to visit with you.

Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry, Sorrowful Soul.  Full of freestyle poems, which provide company and compassion through the devastating journey of grief and loss and onward, this heartfelt collection shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone.

Though I’ve organised this book of poetry into seven sections, which follow established stages of grief, I’d like to note bereavement is non-linear and messy. It’s common to move up and circle around, and progress to the so-called higher steps, only to come crashing down, especially on anniversaries or other meaningful dates. Not even meaningful, as it can be the most insignificant of everyday things that undoes us … a discarded shoe, an odd sock, or a simple visit to the shop.

Here’s an extract from the opening lines to a poem about a various triggers …

From Part 5: Depression, Loneliness, & Reflection

(Extract From Triggers)

a discarded shoe

an odd sock

or a simple visit

to the shop

who ever knew

the total

and utter shock

such simple things

could induce?

such tiny

inconsequential

bits n bobs of life

mere detritus

and mundanity

yet hold the power

to fell the hardiest oak

When my father-in-law passed away, a simple overnight stay in a hotel undid dear hubby. He had become so used to picking up the phone and calling his dad to share his experiences with him, and the realisation he could no longer do that hit him hard. I believe a couple of years had passed by this point, and most of the time, hubby got on well within his new reality. This small change, though, brought it all back.

Have you experienced fresh grief from unexpected reminders? If so, chat with me in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this poetic excerpt and would love to know what you think. Thanks for reading 😊

 

PRE-ORDER NOW: https://mybook.to/SorrowfulSoul

About the Book:

If we’re lucky, we meet twilight at the front door and old age creeps in on the night breeze.

Even if we make it to our twilight years, the more we age, the more loss we must endure as part of the cycle of life. Many of these poems lament death, but they also relate to broken relationships, severed friendships, and the loss of youth. This book of grief poetry is as much about saying goodbye and working through loss as it is about death and love split asunder.

This heartfelt collection provides company and compassion through the devastating journey of loss and shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone. Within these pages we share shock, numbness and denial, catapult into anger, bargaining, depression, loneliness, and guilt, and—eventually—make the seismic shift into testing the possibility of a new normal and finding acceptance.

 

Universal Sales Link: 

https://mybook.to/SorrowfulSoul

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Sorrowful Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 3)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree

 The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

 

Harmony’s Website

 

twitter: @harmony_kent

 

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

 

BookBub: Harmony Kent

 

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent

 

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

 

 

 

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A Collection From the Soul! #BookReview #PoetryCollection #Poetry @harmony_kent

The Blurb:

Life & Soul is the second book in the Soul Poetry Series by acclaimed author Harmony Kent.

This beautiful collection of over fifty poems will take the reader through the highs and lows of everyday life via contemporary poetry in a range of styles and themes. Within these pages, you will find reflections on the Lonely Soul, the Seeking SoulBrief SoulFriendly Soul, and the Loving Soul—states of mind and living and longing we each experience over the course of a life.

Life & Soul offers something for lovers of poetry from all walks of life.

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

Author and poet Harmony Kent has a special skill that brings out the envy in many of us. Her ability to translate emotions into written words that touch the soul is quite impressive. On the pages of Life & Soul, she lays bare her own soul, sharing personal tragedies and traumas mingled with love and triumph that come from a will to move forward.

Her poems of friendship and what it really means to be loved stand as wonderful examples of a writer at the peak of her talent.

Many of her poems are short in length—though long on truth. Among my favorites are:
“Fun Friends”
“True Friend”
“New Girl on the Block”
“I Need You”
“Love Yourself”

As far as poetry is concerned, this is a stellar collection. I am honored to have this in my library.

About the Author:

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015

 

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree

 

The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

Where to Buy:

Author D. L. Finn Returns With a New Release!

I am excited to help announce the latest release from my friend and fellow author D. L. Finn here on The Indie Spot!  

 

Thank you, Beem, for having me on your blog today to celebrate the release of A Voice in the Silence.

I live far enough away from neighbors that they may not see if I need help, but will hear cries or screams. During a big snowstorm with a power and phone outage, it is guaranteed no one will hear or know help is needed over the loud symphony of generators. Our only option would be to walk down our long driveway, cross the icy road, and trek across our neighbor’s property. Although, it’s doubtful they’d have better luck getting any help.

Luckily, since we’ve lived in the woods, there has never been that scream for help, only cries from wild animals. Perhaps I write the bad away.

Fun Finn Facts

  1. I love to take nature photos and write poetry about what I see and feel.
  2. Nothing pulls me into a story more than a personal journey—whether it’s horror, science fiction, mystery, drama, fantasy, or romance.

Blurb

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.

Excerpt

The fading day’s dull orange glow filled the void in Drea’s attention usually occupied by the TV and computer. The landscape held no movement, not even the expected high winds that had caused her power to be shut off to prevent forest fires. A surge shot through her body in the same uncomfortable fashion that the flu had done last week. But it wasn’t a virus relapse—it was a warning that someone, or something, was watching her. 

Perhaps it was a wild animal. A deer, or even . . . “Rob, is that you?” She held her breath, waiting for a sign. Finally, she blew out the empty hope when she couldn’t keep it in anymore. Two years of this had worn her down.

The cold gun on her lap offered no protection against the dark thoughts that took her to a place that was getting harder to climb out of. She pulled her sweater tightly around her and scrutinized the tree-lined driveway that led to the curvy country road. She shifted her weight in the yellow-and-white lounge chair and studied the weapon in her hand.

“You understand, don’t you?”

The .45 pistol her husband had bought her for protection ten years ago had become her confidant when she tired of talking to ghosts. Today, though, it carried the heavy weight of her existence.

“It’s too much. Just too much loss. I’m so alone, and to top it off, Robbie’s so far away.” Her throat tightened. She sipped some water and took a deep breath. “I must disappoint you, even thinking about using this gun on myself, Rob. It would devastate Robbie if I—”

Drea’s shoulders slumped, and her head followed when her glance caught a prominent headline in the morning paper she had retrieved from the end of the driveway. An unidentified woman’s body had been found, and a killer was on the loose. She used the gun to cover the fearful headline, even though her chances of being murdered by a serial killer were slim to none.

She shook her head. What she needed to focus on was her relationship with her son. They used to be so close, before he met that woman. Now he barely called his mother to check on her after his father died or when her beloved pets passed. This morning had brought an unwelcome text from him.

Tammy isn’t feeling well. It wouldn’t be a good time to visit right now. Sorry, Mom. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you.

“I hope he wakes up someday, Rob. That woman is toxic. Of course, you saw through her the first time you met her. I should have listened to you. Do you hear that, Rob? It’s me admitting I’m wrong, which we both know hardly ever happens.”

Amazon Purchase Link US
Amazon Purchase Link UK

Author Bio

  1. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Author Amazon Page

 

 

Life & Soul: A Poetic Journey With Harmony Kent!

I am truly honored to host my dear friend Harmony Kent today on The Indie Spot. I am excited to help her with the launch of a new collection of poetry. Take it away, Harms!

Hi, Beem. Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s always wonderful to visit with you. Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry …

From Lonely Soul:

Hello?

 

Sitting at a crowded table

Good food, good friends, good wine

And still a silent tear escapes

The corner of my eye

Surreptitious wipe

Hoping nobody sees

Their sympathy will only

Bring me to my knees

And who could truly understand

This empty chair in which I sit

Or the ache masked by my laughter

Is there anyone there?

When I wrote this poem, I had recently moved down to Cornwall after leaving the Zen Buddhist Monastery, where I’d spent about 13 years in a thriving community. The juxtaposition from being surround by people, even if we spent much time in contemplative silence, to the utter emptiness of a house with only me in it, was massive. While I soon made friends, every night—and most days—saw me alone with my own company. Disabled and aged forty, I held little hope of meeting a soul with whom I could spend my life. Also, because I had suddenly entered such a different life than that of the monastery, I felt the odd one out. How many of us have felt alone in a crowd at some point in our existence?

Hello is all about that search for belonging. I hope you enjoyed this poem and would love to know what you think.

The Book!

Life & Soul is the second book in the Soul Poetry Series by acclaimed author Harmony Kent.

This beautiful collection of over fifty poems will take the reader through the highs and lows of everyday life via contemporary poetry in a range of styles and themes. Within these pages, you will find reflections on the Lonely Soul, the Seeking Soul, Brief Soul, Friendly Soul, and the Loving Soul—states of mind and living and longing we each experience over the course of a life.

Life & Soul offers something for lovers of poetry from all walks of life.

Praise for Slices of Soul, Book 1 in the Soul Poetry Series:

 

“I found my answer in this wonderful treasure-trove and have already read it three times.” Robert Fear

“I found in Slices of Soul something approaching aesthetic bliss, a sense of being connected in some way to other states – like tenderness, kindness, ecstasy – where art is the norm.” Colm Herron

“A stunning collection of poems that I read in one sitting! Unable to simply put this down until I had read the last. I love the clarity of the short poems, such clear images created in so few words or phrases. Many of them touched my heart and I will be giving them a 2nd and 3rd read!” Audrina Lane

Universal Link: mybook.to/LifeAndSoul

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015

 

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree

 

The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

Harmony’s Website

twitter: @harmony_kent

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

BookBub: Harmony Kent

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent

C. S. Boyack Offers Good Liniment! #NewRelease @virgilante

C. S. Boyack is a talented writer with a phenomenal imagination. He is also somebody that I consider a friend. I have recently read the first novel in his Hat Series and instantly became a fan. There is a uniqueness in Craig’s stories that is both refreshing and entertaining. So, it is my good pleasure to introduce author C. S. Boyack’s assistant Lisa.

Wow, thanks for having me over, Beem. This is a new stop for me. I know Craig wants me to talk about his book, but I’m excited to get to my poster. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It’s me taking Noodles for a walk on a sunny day. He’s having fun, and I’m looking pretty svelte. Sean Harrington did a wonderful job on this one.

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The newest entry in The Hat Series is called Good Liniment, and Noodles shows up here. This book introduces magical creatures to the series, and circles back to the witchcraft alluded to in the very first book.

Noodles is something like a cross between a Rottweiler and a snapping turtle. He’s a water creature that a witch named Cyrus Yoder adopted years ago. He’s not a familiar, but more of a pet.

Don’t worry about regular people seeing him when we went out. Cyrus cast a spell on him that makes him look like a smoky-grey standard poodle. But, guess what? It doesn’t work on robot girls, so I get to see his cute chubby butt wiggling down the street.

Noodles is like manic crazy all the time. He loves his people and does zoomies around the yard while eating or playing with his favorite toy.

The main characters, Lizzie and the hat, get to spend a considerable amount of time at Cyrus’s house, so Noodles gets plenty of page time. He’s so cute, I just love him. I also have it on good authority that he could get some scenes in a subsequent story.

Back to this tale, so I don’t get fired. This whacko cult of some kind is killing off members of the local coven. They vote to hire Lizzie and the hat to deal with the problem any way they see fit. It seems they know more about her and the hat, than even she does, and believe she’s well equipped for the task.

This puts Lizzie in the unenviable position of hunting humans once more. Monsters are one thing, but it seems humans are the worst monsters of all.

If you like your paranormal fiction in an urban setting, with plenty of snark, The Hat Series might be for you. Good Liniment features plenty of pop culture references to pro wrestling, comic book conventions, urban legends, and rock & roll, we’d appreciate you checking it out.

It comes in a size Craig insists upon calling noveloids. These are short novels that you can read in a single afternoon. I hope I’ve whet your appetite enough to take a chance.

image1

Blurb

Someone is murdering members of the local witches coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.

A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.

This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.

Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.

Convincing her strong-willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?

Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.

The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky dark humor and can be easily read out of order.

PURCHASE GOOD LINIMENT

BUY THE HAT SERIES

Find C. S. Boyack on Social Media

Blog

C. S. Boyack Books

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

Pinterest

BookBub

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Celebrating Sally Cronin on this International Day of Awesomeness! @sgc58

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Greetings to one and all. Today, March 10th, is International Day of Awesomeness. I would like to introduce you to one of the most awesome individuals in the blogosphere. That person is author and blogger Sally Cronin. And just what makes Sally such an awesome person? It’s her selfless promotion of indie authors from across the world.

07YhR08E_400x400Sally publishes the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. Her incredible support has helped connect indie authors with readers from all four corners of the planet. Today is a grand day to celebrate this wonderful soul. And since Sally supports so many of us writers, it’s a great day to support her.

Visit Sally’s Amazon Author Page and find your next read. Stop by the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and leave a comment letting her know how much she’s appreciated. Find her on Twitter and give her a follow!

Join me and all my friends at Story Empire in celebrating this wonderful human being.

Story Empire group

Happy International Day of Awesomeness, Sally. You truly are one of a kind.

One of My Favorites From 2021: Legacy of Danger #BookReview

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Book Blurb:

Elena Dkany inherits her family’s castle in Romania, a land dipped in myths, folklore, and the legendary walking dead. The local proverb serves as warning: “Do not speak badly of the Devil, because you cannot know to whom you will belong.” When she’s attacked by an international assassin, only her deceased husband and her ex-boyfriend’s live presence can protect her on her journey to the mountainous region of Transylvania.

But that’s not the only problem troubling Elena. Who is that boy invading her dreams? And what really happened to a priceless gem-crusted silver cross buried by an earthquake in the fifteenth century? Who’s stalking Elena? Who wants her dead and why?

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

It begins with a subtle, familiar whisper from beyond the grave. Did somebody murder Elena Dkany’s grandmother? If so, who did it? And most importantly, why did they do it?

The voice of her dead grandmother launches Elena on a journey that will take her far away from the life she’s built for herself in Chicago to the ancient land of Romania, a place her people once called home. Here, in a remote village, she inherits her family’s ancestral castle.

But Elena isn’t taking this journey alone. Acting as her escort on this trip is FBI agent Alex Brancusi—who also happens to be Elena’s first love. A young boy haunts the dreams of both Elena and Alex. Who is this child?

Attempts are made on Elena’s life. But who would want her dead? Are they the ones who possibly murdered her grandmother? Why does the ghost who saved her life resemble Elena’s deceased husband?

In Legacy of Danger, author Patricia A. Guthrie has crafted a well-told tale of murder and intrigue. Her skillful style expertly weaves multiple genres into a single, tight narrative that is at once believable and compelling. Romance and murder mingle with the paranormal, and betrayal arrives at the deepest levels. If you enjoy stories that put you on the edge of your seat—and keep you there—this is a book for you.

One of the best books of 2021.

About the Author:

1kcgq8jmvcbght3kqfs5jrjmlc._SX450_Patricia A. Guthrie is the author of romantic suspense, paranormal, mystery novels and short stories. Her current published novels ‘IN THE ARMS OF THE ENEMY’ ‘WATERLILIES OVER MY GRAVE’ and ‘LEGACY OF DANGER’ and her short story ‘WILLED ACCIDENTS HAPPEN’ are available in online bookstores such as Amazon.com. She also has short stories published on Amazon, Skyline Magazine and Affaire Du Coeur and non-fiction articles in the Collie Cassette and the online ‘Nature Journal.’

Guthrie is an accomplished musician: opera singer, church soloist and music teacher. After leaving the opera, Guthrie became a music therapist in a school for children with special needs and then went on to teach music in the Chicago Public School system. She resides in the Chicago area with her cats, Archie and Kitzy Kitty, and her horse, Dixie, who help her write every chance they get. Pat’s an avid animal lover and advocate.

Where to Buy:

amazon-logo (1)

download (1)

Fun Read: My Review of Girl Wears Those Shoes.

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Book Blurb:

Aspiring young Chinese immigrant Gigi O survives by working as a stripper, but she strives for true success in the U.S. real-estate industry. Navigating this highly competitive business is tough, especially when her only support comes from the deeply flawed man she loves and her old cohorts from the strip club. Issues of betrayal and trust, loyalty and commitment complicate her goals even as one lesbian friend adds new dimensions to her understanding of love versus desire. Then the market crashes and financial turmoil threatens to rob Gigi O of all she has achieved. Can she find new ways to chase her dreams—and still manage to keep her clothes on? Or might she find a better reason to take them off? Girl Wears Those Shoes is a tale of love and power, the story of one woman who wants to make the world her own—if only she can figure out how.

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

Girl Wears Those Shoes tells the story of Gigi O, a young Chinese American woman at a crossroads in her life. She’s barely getting the bills paid while dancing in a strip club. Sure, Gigi may be a popular girl at the club, but she wants more out of life than her current circumstances can afford. Like most humans, she craves love and success and stability. When Gigi enters the world of real estate, her prospects begin to brighten.

Author Jenny Wang has crafted a story that reads like a memoir, even though it is fiction. Her characters offer a variety of personalities and subplots. Romance and lost love share the same spaces in this story set in Houston, Texas. This is Jenny Wang’s first story. It will be interesting to see where she takes these characters, should she choose to write a sequel. A fun read indeed.

About the Author:

Rp2z7B8S_400x400After two decades in the real-estate industry, Jenny Wang has established her brand, “Jenny Wang Houston,” with JWang Properties, a boutique agency with a personal touch, and JWang Media, a custom-video production team for promotion and marketing. An active community booster, Jenny is the past president of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Houston Network. An Ambassador of the Houston Ballet, she holds a lifetime membership in the University of Houston Alumni Association. Author of her debut novel, Girl Wears Those Shoes, Jenny Wang is proud to live her principles even as she pursues her own unique vision.

Where to Buy:

amazon-logo

download

Last Words of the Famous

Everybody dies at the end. Even the stars—unless you believe in reincarnation, then there’s a potential chance for a sequel. It’s just the way life in this world is set up. In the famous words of Jim Morrison, “No one here gets out alive.” Famous words, sure enough. But those were not his last.

gettyimages-55653323-copyWhat exactly were Morrison’s last uttered words? Well, if his girlfriend Pamela Courson is to be believed, Jim’s final words were, allegedly, “Are you there, Pam? Pam, are you there?” She found him dead in the bathtub a short while later.

Final words, as heard by those who claim to have been there at the end, can be humorous or sad or startling or even eye-opening. They may give comfort to loved ones left behind or pause for thought to fans who never knew the deceased as anything other than a star.

Here is a selection of last words uttered by famous people as they slipped the surly bonds of earth.

gettyimages-515986080James Dean, actor, two-time Oscar nominee, as he drove a silver Porsche Spyder on his way to a race in Salinas, California: “That guy’s gotta stop . . . He’ll see us.” Unfortunately, the guy in question, a 23-year-old student named Donald Turnupseed, did not see the car in time and turned directly into its path. According to Dean’s passenger, mechanic Rolf Wutherich, Dean survived for about twenty minutes following the wreck, screaming in agony.

Legendary actress Joan Crawford left this world an angry and bitter soul. As Crawford’s life drew to its conclusion, her housekeeper began to pray aloud for the woman’s soul. Before breathing her last, Crawford is reported to have snapped, “Dammit . . . Don’t you dare ask God to help me.”

Actor, comedian, and musician Dudley Moore’s final words seem to suggest an experience of sorts. As companion Rena Fruchter held his hand, Moore allegedly said aloud, “I can hear the music all around me.”

Hollywood legend John Wayne spent his last days drifting in and out of consciousness. His daughter, Aissa Wayne, tending a bedside vigil, held his hand and asked if he knew who she was. The Duke responded, saying, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

In the humorous category, author Oscar Wilde, lying on his deathbed in a fleabag hotel in Paris, is reported to have uttered, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.”

Family members at the bedside of Apple founder Steve Jobs say his dying words were, “Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow.” Simple words, really, for such a momentous occasion.

Frank Sinatra passed away after saying, “I’m losing it.”

American rhythm and blues singer Johnny Ace, while playing with a pistol, utter these final words: “I’ll show you that it won’t shoot.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, passed away at the age of 71 while working in his garden. He turned to his wife and said, “You are wonderful,” then clutched his chest and died.

MV5BMzEyNjQzOTQ5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzY5MjI2._V1_UX178_CR0,0,178,264_AL_Michael Landon, the beloved star of such classic television shows like Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie, passed away in 1991 after a much-publicized battle with cancer. As the end drew near, Landon’s family gathered around the actor’s bed. His son said it was time to move on. Landon said, “You’re right. It’s time. I love you all.”

Percy Grainger, the Australian composer, with his dying breath, told his wife Ella, “You’re the only one I like.”

Ernest Hemingway, before committing suicide with his favorite shotgun, told his wife Mary, “Goodnight, my kitten.” Hemingway took his life in the front foyer of his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

Basketball great “Pistol” Pete Maravich collapsed and died during a pickup game. Moments before his death, Maravich proclaimed, “I feel great.”

Singer/guitarist Bo Diddley died while listening to the song “Walk Around Heaven.” His last word was a simple “Wow.”

Sir Winston Churchill announced, “I’m bored with it all,” before drawing his last breath.

Emily Dickinson, at her moment of death, told those in the room with her, “I must go in, for the fog is rising.”

Author Truman Capote, as he lay dying of liver disease, phlebitis, and multiple drug intoxication, repeated, “Mama— Mama— Mama.”

James Brown, the hardest working man in show business, as his life dwindled down to mere seconds, said, “I’m going away tonight.”

Perhaps the most thought-provoking final word comes from the surgeon Joseph Henry Green. Upon checking his own pulse as he lay upon his death bed, simply said, “Stopped.”

Whether we’re famous or anonymous, we can’t know what our last words in this world might be. That moment may come along while we’re busy preparing for tomorrow. The Bible tells us to never let the sun go down on your anger. Wise words, those. As for my own last words? Whatever they may be, I just hope they convey a message of love, of gratitude, of forgiveness.

Kindness Versus the Truth: Which One Wins?

Just a little observation.

Angry woman screaming on the phone

Kindness versus the truth: Which one wins? It’s a simple enough question—though it may take a heated debate to smooth away all the various rough edges. Some will say you cannot have one without the other. I disagree.

The truth is often brutal in its honesty. If an individual on the receiving end isn’t prepared to hear the unvarnished facts, they will, no doubt, view the messenger as unkind—maybe even evil. This is a prevailing symptom of an all-too-common disease plaguing the world today. And just what is this new plague? It’s the idea that we can no longer offer opinions without some individual on social media becoming offended, hurt, or angered, as if by merely stating an opinion, you have personally attacked another by virtue of their having stumbled upon your tweet or blog or Facebook post.

Okay. Let me explain. On a recent Friday night, I came across a Tweet from an author asking a credible question:

Do you ever feel like the characters are writing the story for you?

Simple enough. And it’s a legitimate inquiry. Many authors tweeted their response. Most of them said, yes, they often feel their characters are writing their stories.

I weighed in with my own opinion. I tweeted:

I am the author, the creator. My characters do not exist without me. They do not have the ability to act independent of me. If they write for me, I am not the author. Those who claim the characters write for them are either short-changing themselves or they aren’t real writers.

Two angry men with crumpled paper

Again, this is simply my opinion in answering the question posed. Well, my opinion earned scorn and derision from a pair of writers who took my words as an attack on them personally. Offended, they were. How dare I “crap” all over another writer’s “process!” Well, no. Claiming your characters are the ones writing your story isn’t a “process.” I do understand the mindset. I get where these people are coming from. You get lost in the creative elements and it feels as if the story is unfolding on its own.

But it isn’t. You, as the writer, are constructing every character, every line of dialogue, building every scene. You did all the leg work in plotting and planning. We all do—regardless of whether we outline our story or write it by the seat of our pants. Even those so-called pantsers usually have some idea where the story will go before they set pen to paper—or tap those keys. When I hear somebody claim the characters are doing the writing, I get the feeling this person might be making it all up as they go along—not a clue as to where it’s going or how they’ll get there.

This brings me back to the title question: Kindness versus truth: Which one wins? You can express kindness in telling an athlete they lack the skills to play organized football, but it’s still going to hurt. You’ve just crushed a dream.

American-Idol-Simon-Cowell-Mary-Roach

Over the last two decades, I have watched many seasons of the television show American Idol. The program has been a springboard for some incredibly gifted singers and musicians. We’ve become familiar with their songs, their voices, their names. However, for every Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, there are dozens of individuals who did not make it beyond the audition stage. I recall many alleged singers who were just plain awful. You can find some of those bad auditions on YouTube, should you need a reference point.

Anyway, when the judges dismissed these performers, telling them that they didn’t have what it takes to move on to the next round, many of the rejected contestants responded by hurling angry insults at those who have built successful careers in the music business.

“How dare you say I can’t sing! My mother says I’m as good as Lady Gaga.”

As writers, most of us have cultivated thick skins. We need it in this line of creativity. Our work is ultimately sent out into the world to be read, judged, criticized, and dissected. For all the positive reviews our work may garner, there will be those who view it in a negative light.

They didn’t connect with your protagonist.

They couldn’t follow the plot.

They just didn’t believe the dialogue rang true.

It happens to the best of us.

Now, to my point in this observation. If you’re a writer, don’t take the little things so personally. If a bad review comes your way, read it, search for those criticisms you might use, then move on. Don’t linger. Don’t replay the negative remarks over and over inside your head. The same goes for opinions—especially those shared in a tweet. They really shouldn’t matter to the writer. Opinions are often little more than the observations of others. If you believe your characters are writing your story, then so be it. Who am I to say otherwise? Just write, create, have fun, and the opinions of others be damned.

And work on that thick skin.

If you offer your work to the world, you’re going to need it.