lock and key by Sarah Dessen

 A story about sisters, family, and discovery.  There are keys that fit the locks to open the possiblities to reach your future. Dessen writes about Ruby’s journey to her destination and what it brings with it to help her fulfill her goals.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

I finished this one and that made me sad because I am still thinking about these characters and their relationships with each other.

This is a beautiful story about relationships in general and learning to trust after being hurt. The story behind the key follows with the reader as this unfolds and it plays a big part in the theme and the progression of these lives.

Dessen crafts a progression of her main character, Ruby with all the facets on display as this young girl develops into a wonderful person with an adult insight into relationships and what is important to a family unit.

“Our definitions were as different as we were ourselves.” (288) Quite a quote to remember and take away from this novel.

Ruby’s thesis on the term family is often a part of this story, too. She becomes a unique student with her goals driving her toward finding the right college or university to attend after she completes her education in a new location with new friends and a new family unit.

I read the paperback edition of this one. The key is a small part of the cover image but I know what it looks like from the description and the big part it plays in Ruby’s life and another woman’s career. Ruby’s key becomes a noted item that helps another character find her success and also helps her find love right around the corner from her where it has always been located. This older character’s progression leads her to love, trust, and letting go.

Ruby’s relationships inside this thick volume are intriguing and she begins to see more inside these people instead of what is only located on the outside of them.

This is one of my favorite novels and I will remember it for a long while. Just like Ruby remembers the boy next door in this story. Supporting characters are apparent and moving.

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Poetry penned on a Labor Day Morning

Life of a Girl in 2018~

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She said, “long live chocolate, vodka, and Heroin.”

As she pulled the blankets over her head.

She only sought the darkness and warmth

Within this enveloping cave

Of close rapture,

And then her mind went on…

“I hope you’re thinking about me.”

She touched her hair,

“Why do we close our eyes when we

Pray?”

I do this when I kiss you,

The most beautiful things in my life

Are felt inside my heart not seen.

I watched the white roses die

That you brought me

Littering my window sill with them

all those

Dried, brown petals.

We were naughty together

Two days ago,

Sleeping in your parents’ room

Sharing a cold bottle of Gin,

We found in their kitchen

Mixing it with jarred cherries

And ice-cold Sprite,

While we

Snapchatted us,

naked

Bodies to our close friends,

I see nothing better // I keep him forever,

Plays over and over,

It is printed inside my head,

The smell of sulfur

Penetrating my senses,

As the Disneyland Princesses

Dance to the musical notes,

so, I’m still at that confusing stage,

I can’t wait to go home. –J. E. Cook ©2018

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 Guiding Experiences

When the worship hour

Comes upon a being of Earth,

Where do they look for guidance and

Extreme measures in solution?

 

Maybe, they turn to the Buddhist

Practices in mantras and mandalas

Or a nun’s string of prayer beads,

Or a more natural experience

From the lands,

In Native American practices

where cultures identify with nature

And they hear the beat of the

Drums,

This repetition

Makes their spaces

Infinite

Opening their minds

To the systematic

Solutions buried inside them. –J. E. Cook (C) 2018

 

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Autumn Abundance

 
A morning where my head
Is filled with thoughts of the day’s
Beginning as I leave my pillow,
 
At the window,
My view is of a fall day,
A day that starts off cold
And a bit dark in the early
Hours,
Then it warms with the crackling of
My fire,
 
Into the afternoon,
A day will be filled with picking apples,
While wearing a cozy wool
Sweater over a long-sleeved
Undershirt, instead
Of adorning a winter coat.
My favorite pair of faded jeans
And some cowboy boots,
My sweater is big enough
To get lost in
As I walk in my worn armor
Along the leave-specked path
Towards the naked woods
Where I seek some peace
From this bustling world
Before I go on
With my day and the coffee
In my hand,
Warms my chilly core,
 
As I visit the flowing stream
Near my home,
Book in pack
Begging to come out,
I grab a seat on the nearest boulder
And break open the next chapter
While sipping the froth off
my
Brewed delight.
 
The crop has harvested across
The dried-weeded banks,
The cool air is filled with its
The sadness of loss,
 
As the barren branches
Scratch each other
In the winds of autumn,
This is the beginning of
Lost colors where winter
Takes over
Bringing with it,
The dreary monotones
Of sorrow, coldness, and death. –J. E. Cook ©2018
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Creative Outlets Explored~

Come visit our Art Studio at the Kerr Farm!

The studio is at 2770 Shrine Road, Springfield, Ohio 45502 where we hold Private events, scheduled workshops, and offer artistic services including mixed media artworks. 

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This spring we are working on some brand new projects. Here is a preview:

 

The third box is in progress right now, stay tuned for it!

We offer personal private art lessons along with a special this spring of either a Best Friends Art Session that is for our best buddies that want to hang out and enjoy their creativity together for 60.00 or a Mother’s Day paint session with your mom up until the holiday for the same low price.  This includes a 16 by 20 stretched canvas and up to two hours of studio time with tailored professional instruction and creative fun where we supply the paints, brushes, and everything needed to complete your canvas during this personal session. Schedule soon because this offer is limited. Pay half of your fees upfront to hold your spot in the studio. This deposit is required for scheduling this private instruction together.

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We are featuring this created image called Rainbow Bloom as a class for Spring. There will be more images added soon to pick from and there are also several examples posted on the Kerr Farm Facebook page to design a class around for your private lesson or any unique session including special events, our Kids Camps, and other fundraisers. Of course, rates will be different depending on the type of class and the number of people attending each session. We provide individual quotes for all events including private Birthday parties at our studio via private messaging located on the Kerr Farm’s Facebook page.

It’s a Jungle in Here by K. Wilde

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It’s a Jungle in Here by K. Wilde

I requested a children’s book to review from BookCrash because I know a good book can change my mood or in this case, the mood of my young audience as I read it to them.

The publisher provided me with a copy to review. The author is Kristie Wilde and she has an intensive background in creating artwork for print publications.

I must say the cover is intriguing and well-designed. The cuteness draws me to open it. The author not only writes this story, she illustrates the pages with depth, perception, and clarity. There is a spiritual feeling conveyed from presentation inside the soft-covered book for children. As one reads it to a small child, this feeling comes forth and provides an upbeat overall mood.

The small volume makes a unique treasure for preschool age tots.  I know my grandchildren will enjoy it with all of these colorful pages showing them what a jungle life is to our world. I gathered the background of this author through her detailed artwork on each page. She has a wonderful gift of colorful talent. This particular publication is one in a series titled, Joyful Creation Series: Made For a Purpose, So Great a Love. Not a long story in length; however, perfect for reading to a small child in the developing stages of comprehension. We all could agree, that most toddler-age children don’t sit still for very long, and this book is just long enough to engage them. The beauty of the images with rendered backgrounds will keep them interested as the story unfolds before their eyes. I believe all children notice images of animals with an increased attention just as they do when they see them in person. They are drawn to them and this author draws them into her story with these included images brought forth with her own creative talents and her keen eye for details.

Her theme is celebrating the differences and uniqueness of our world.  A jungle-type life is filled with all types of living creatures in various sizes, colors, and individual shapes. This world that we live in is also filled with diverse beings with individual behaviors and body images.

It has a glossary that adds to the value of this book with more colorful images of each species along with the individual characteristics.

This author is the owner of Wilde Art and Wilde Art Press. Watercolor seems to be her medium of choice as she crafts her images for these beautiful books. Her realistic images inside this volume are conveying the life of the animal in the habitat they occupy.

Take a Look at Kristie’s websites: Wilde-art.com, Wildeartpress.com, or Contact her at:
Kristie@wilde-art.com.  

Publisher: Wilde Art
ISBN-13: 978-09974828-2-9
ISBN-10: 0-9974828-2-9
Copyright 2018

Poet, Photographer, & Writer

J. E. Cook has published poetry with the Antioch Voice, Z Publishing, and at People-are-amazing.com. She participates in poetry readings at local coffee shops and often is a wordsmith when editing poetry along with being an art instructor & artist, a photographer with a driving passion for natural images with creativity incorporated, a web-based graphic creator, and a freelance editor. She’s an avid reader/writer that is prone to take off with her camera in hand on wild adventures in the woods and to follow her imagination to the sea.

She enjoys all forms of writing, specifically poetry, as she strives to finish one of her fiction creations in the form of a novella. Her creative influences include Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Margaret Keane, William Blake, Eudora Welty, Rachel Carson, Arthur Rimbaud, Mary Oliver, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Donna Tartt, and Robert Frost.

Her love for summer keeps her outdoors when possible during this season. She hopes to one day pursue her dream of writing full time. Her work is available online and in print. You can view her written work, author reviews, and her photography at this web location https://josiecook48.wordpress.com.

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Poetry in 2018~

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February Grief

 

To be told that your lover is gone,

As gently as one can be told

That your lover, the man you wanted

To marry,

Planned to spend the rest of your life

With,

That man is no longer among the

Living,

He disappeared like

The white feathery pins of a dandelion

In the wind,

Drifting off to another place,

Gone back to the earth’s soil,

Taking root,

To become something else,

Strolling through the wild vines

With another widow,

Feeling like the hay chafe

Left behind by the grazing herd,

Moments pass,

She feels something lingering

Like his fingers touching her

Intimate places hid from the world,

Or him watching for her

Among the forest leaves and withering pines,

As the stars of our universe

Sparkle and shine,

The wind like his warm breath,

He could be alive somewhere waiting,

Or watching the slippery stones of moss

In the flowing crystal streams,

Her female soul wants to run

For the moors,

To be together wild and free,

Because the living has no answers

For her,

Will he watch her undress now?

She hopes her memory does not

Grow vague of him,

Like a dusty forgotten canvas,

The artist has gone

Leaving it behind,

Unfinished was their love,

Disappearing

Thrown away

Rubbish remains

She desires to dissolve gradually

Free to let go,

Without sound,

Becoming one of those

Vacant houses standing still

After the harvest,

With no heat or lights,

She remembers the blossoms

Of their secret garden,

Thriving all summer long,

Nourishing them daily,

Those river roses of pinks and reds,

Are fading,

Past their peak

And gone

No mark left behind

To shake the memories again. –J. E. Cook ©2018

 

 

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Rain cometh upon Our Journey

 

Raining in the night,

Leaves on the ground,

Flashes of light,

Winter somewhere,

Wrens to the South,

Maybe, the Gulf of Mexico,

Not Bangor,

Rain still falling,

Covering a valley in mists of it,

Fog filling in among the weaving

Trees,

The river filling,

Weight of raindrops pulling,

Autumn leaves losing color,

Large puddles forming

In wet fields of mud and swampy debris,

Pathways are murky and slick,

Still, the water comes down

As yellow headlights swallow up

The countryside,

With faith in the plan,

We continue this journey

Faith in the course of it,

Swimming on among the sea

Of raindrops,

Cascades of water cover the

Dirt roads and the saturated lands

Are minutes from flooding

The valley ahead,

But, we go on,

It’s too dark to

Turn back,

We need to be HOME. —J. E. Cook ©2018

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Autumn Dances

 

To look out the window

Filled with continued longing,

Eyes seeking the ground

Towards the flowing river

With the extending trees on fire

With the high colors

Of the crisp autumn season,

 

Who’s soul dances among

Those brittle leaves

Covering the moist ground?

 

To be a wisp of a girl again

Walking around the gathering, wet

Stones in the swift stream,

Dancing among the tall, magnificent

White birches in the back fields,

Staying along the river

To return home

After an afternoon spent in the warm beams

Of sunlight breaking through. –J. E. Cook ©2018

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My Poems about Our Water~

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A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Summer is gone and now reality returns…

Clubhouse Days

 

Gazing at the old wooden rackets

Among the endless sepia photos,

History of past crowds,

Tournaments long gone,

Locations changed or forgotten,

Blurry images of loving couples in fine outfits

Enjoying the elegant clubhouse dances,

Those pale, lacy dresses with close fitted

Bodices,

Parasols in the sun as they stroll in the sands,

Dashing gentlemen claim their hands,

As little girls and young boys race around corners,

People gather to share drinks at covered tables,

Their cheerful vital attachments forming during

The seaside summer seasons,

As the fluttering butterflies kiss the open roses

Gracing the porches of their rented beach houses,

Moving from sepia to black & white to colors

On the club walls as time marches on,

Nearly no one notices the changes here as the sea scents

The air and the cheerful blue sky fills their open spaces

Where attractive people lounge by the water with

Pretty drinks as their children build empires in the white

Grains surrounding them,

The focus is on fun and games while the warm season lasts

And freckles form to stretch across their sun-kissed

Cheeks calming their inner souls

And releasing positive senses to prevent old inner tensions,

Young couples watch the constellations light up while

They cuddle deep into each other around

Shared beach fires,

Burning hotly to fin off the night chill after

The sun disappears and the moonlight

Swaps it, a

Welcome replacement to neon-lit offices

And cluttered desks,

A sabbatical of free-time where young

Girls wear Jackie O sunglasses and tie

Their wet hair back in jolly ponytails,

Yachts and big liners fill the harbors

Waiting to be sailed,

Blue waters, elegant couples, members and

Invited guests circling the pristine decks,

Inlets of fascination and narrow boarding docks

Waiting for their evening return.–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Arriving at the Ocean

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Sharing the same thoughts…and views.

 Outside my seaside window,

I watch the sky melt like a hot

Crayon,

The bright colors becoming a

Canvas for the many sailboats

On the midnight blue surface,

Their lights streaming across

The shimmering waters,

I often dreamt of the sea

From my Ohio location,

Freedom on the moving

Liquid,

Yearning for an adventure

There,

A long voyage with a special

Someone near me,

A wonderful communicator

To share my thoughts,

No soothing egos or severe misunderstanding,

Just the peace of the wilderness

Surrounding our shared views,

Two hearts and souls

In unison,

Cradled in the hands of each other

With undouble bonds,

Sorting through the world together. –J. E. Cook ©2017

 

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Waterways of Our Land

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Water so important to us!

Our river is slow-moving

With twilight circling it

Without hesitation,

Mounds of dirt along it,

Marshes along the way,

Foaming gorges here and there,

Stone islands in the middle,

Providing

Gateways to other arteries,

Banks with forests lining them,

I think about other waterways

Like the Red Sea and the Atlantic Ocean,

The sands in them,

Do those tiny grains have

Some pink quartz inside…or any

Hard stones like diamonds.

 

Flowing water in dams

And over cliffs

Create a sound unique

Depending on the location,

Water is always needed in cultures

No matter royalty or poverty

It is a commodity,

Unlike ordinary everyday dust.

            –J. E. Cook © 2017

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Today’s Poetry~

A Different World

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

 

Nature and what it brings…

 

A Different World

 

The sky seems low to the ground,

A heavy mist or a light rain in the air,

My shoes squelch in the puddles,

The river runs fast,

The little footbridge is covered in wet leaves,

A large of group of trees surround it

And it is so quiet here,

The wind chafing the leaves together is all I hear,

It is a forest of sap and darkness,

Pathways through the woods,

A different world,

With water meadows and overgrown spots,

Abandoned shelters and eerie unnerving shadows,

The feel of isolation is keen,

My instinct to turn around and leave,

But the beauty of it draws me in,

A walk even if the weather isn’t perfect,

I gaze at the swift water and long for the summer

Days,

A small cat appears,

On the bank before me,

Cleaning its paws and then, it runs away.

To be an animal–they cope so differently

Than us humans.–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Daily readings in Poetry~

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Today, I read some reviews of my poetry and revised one, too. I came across one poem I would like to share here because it is so wonderful and full of insight into another character invented in someone else’s writing. 

This poem is by Doodley,

If every journey has an ending,
And every story has a start,
Would thy thoughts remain unbending,
That the Tin Man once had a heart?

That he lived a life of leisure,
In the forests of Oz forevermore,
Where the chipmunks frolicked in pleasure,
Upon evergreen seas of wood lawn floor.

Where the canopies teemed with birdsong,
And cicadas serenaded the night,
And the Lunar Queen on velvet throne,
Bathed the land in pearly light.

Tangerine beams of Sun’s contentment,
Polished his soul to silver sheen,
And the mist of disenchantment,
In his life, was nowhere to be seen.

And he reveled in joyous solitude,
In his home deep in the woods,
Where his apple orchard gave gratitude,
With unending ripened goods.

Then one glorious tranquil morn,
In the depths of florescent Spring,
Was his covert nurturing faith reborn,
When he heard the voice of an Angel sing.

For there beneath an apple tree,
Stood an emblem of Love divine,
Such a beauteous Nymph as there could be
Caressing the fruits upon its vine.

With cascading falls of golden locks,
And eyes a misterium of onyx hue,
She sang and whirled to emerging flocks,
That flew down to rest from the azure blue.

In the silent whoosh of Cupid’s rush,
There amidst the scores of Turtle Dove,
Their gaze did meet through crimson blush,
And they fell to depths of torrid Love.

And there amongst the swelling throng,
They twirled together entwined as one,
As Nature’s bards took up the song,
And the Lunar Queen embraced her Sun.

As daylight wilted to twilight gloam,
And starlight shyly twinkled through,
He guided her to his simple home,
Where Life and Love was born anew.

Through the fertility of the Springtime,
And all through the Summer’s swell,
Did their heart’s converse in Love’s rhyme,
In wondrous bliss did they both dwell.

But when Old Man Autumn in rustic fawn,
Encroached the serenity of this place,
Had the creeping tendrils of restless dawn,
Shone ill light upon their Love’s solace.

For the Wood Nymph had ambition,
She was no patient Eremite,
And she rebelled in true sedition,
Lured by the Emerald City’s bright.

One night under veiled star-fall,
While in dreaming did the Tin Man lay,
Did the Wood Nymph pack her belongings all,
And stole his radiant heart away.

And when he awoke to sunlight stream,
That shimmered his glossy face,
His world collapsed to nightmare dream,
She had disappeared without a trace.

He trawled through the woods in panic,
Let loose cries and desperate pleas,
That reverberated fleetingly manic,
On the gossiping Autumn breeze.

When his calls echoed in silence,
And stirred no sleeping ghost,
He lapsed into despairing violence,
For loss of things he loved the most.

He wailed in tormented grieving,
Like a baying Hound of Hell,
And struck his chest a-heaving,
His now heartless empty shell.

Then his trusty axe he took to hand,
And Cut! And Chopped! And Sliced!,
Decimating his orchard from the land,
In a whirlwind of rage and vice!

When his madness had abated,
He stood alone under gleaming sky,
As sorrow’s waves invaded,
On the breath of his longing sigh.

With his soul now torn asunder,
And with his hope ground into dust,
He hearkened to the distant thunder,
Then cried himself to rust.

All the forest joined to mourn him,
Shed their leaves in solemn prayer,
As the Solar King dialed down to dim,
In respect for the Life lost there.

And the passing days did wither,
Under first frost of Winter’s kiss,
Delayed by the Ice Queen’s dither,
In her fear of discourteous remiss.

And the Tin Man remained there frozen,
Through all time and Love’s decay,
‘Till a young girl and Scarecrow chosen,
Walked the Yellow Brick Road his way.

I admired his creative vision of this character inside his words…I also thought about his review about one of my poems, and how he seemed to want more information on my character in my poem because she was the POV inside it.

Therefore, I revisited it. I decided I must revise it and make it more complete in structure and thoughts.

Here it is after being revised:

Molly’s Musings

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Daydreaming and thinking about the time and space of the past… 

Gazing out at the faraway islands,

She imagines the handsome faces

The British killed,

Buried here, leaving behind young widows,

To assess the ocean alone.

 

Her eye on one point on the horizon

As she thinks about reckless pirates

going to the Indies

Or Charles Town.

 

Her mind on

The sandy shoals between Beaufort,

And the Atlantic waters,

She once visited a place on Bogue Island,

That had a decaying fort,

And an inlet where old ships came to visit

frequently,

They were rumored to be the protection

Against Indian bandits,

The army camping there never completed

The southern walls,

Musket balls could be

lingering in the dirt,

Along with buried wreckage,

Summer is ending,

And she often thinks about the dead

regiment in

The fall,

As her garden dies,

What haunts this land

are the lingering ghosts

Of those men and boys that left Beaufort,

Promising letters to their waiting ladies,

However,

All they became were moving targets

for the British invasion

As their muskets fired,

Local uniforms were covered in crimson stains,

Dark holes and charred souls linger

In old passageways,

Their ladies long dead,

After sleepless nights thinking

Deeply about their lost kisses.

 

She doesn’t like loving these trapped

ghosts

Anymore,

As she stands at her open door

Watching the glint of the rising moon

On her moving sea in front of her.

 

She would rather think of a tranquil location

In sunny Beaufort,

Where a meadow is filled with grazing cows

and full

Pecan trees. Green apples are brought to them,

As a bluebird

Moves from branch to branch

Above the herd,

And the pecans fall and fill the open air.

 

Now she sits on her porch swing,

Thinking of a studious painter, she loves

Living in New Bern,

Where he works on detailed miniatures and his

Art will be moved weekly

and arrive in distant places,

She longs to pose for him again soon.

 

Her knees draw up,

And she twists her hair slowly

Thinking about him and his socked feet

Smiling at her as he hands over

A little painting of her.

 

Her secret treasure, in an ivory frame

And the size of a thumbnail

Her having a picnic with him,

Born from a hastily drawn sketch in ink,

Now, vibrant in flowing oils,

She leaves 1782 behind with a fleeting

Thought about a lost letter

She discovered yesterday morning

While cleaning the crowded attic,

She Imagined the smell of it,

As her eyes read,

About somewhere inland,

And a Sunday camp filled with pain

Over lost cousins,

And a sweetheart missed with

Hopeful desires,

The miles of unknown

Pressing into her mind

A whistle of a Cherokee arrow

Breaking the silence

Of the frontier there inside

Her daydream,

Would the island slaves solve anything

With the Lord’s prayer?

The gilded-edge scene is buried

In her thoughts

As she watches their sun disappear

Leaving the colors of her fall behind to

Hide in the shadows of the casting

Boughs among the flowing hills

Beyond the seas and distant shores.–J.E. Cook ©2017

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