All Aboard

Cynical Wordsmith

Love is a train
That too many people miss.
Endless connections,
Infinite passengers,
Mountains of trash and baggage,
Wake up, get on,
Get off.
The dead are outside,
Thrown freely to the tracks.
And when the loop finishes
We can admire their decay.
Love is a train
Where you can sit with someone.
Holding hands,
Staring intently
As the neighboring compartment burns
And the cliff draws ever closer.
Love is a train
I’ve ridden too much,
But because I see her,
Looking off, out the window,
I think I’ll buy a ticket
To eternity.

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Book Review: Aches and Epiphanies by Aries

A collection of poetry, prose and thoughts from poet and songwriter, Aries.
From love lost to happiness found; from pain to joy and vice versa. The words of the unspoken and raw human emotions come to the fore.
For those who have stood face to face with love and it has been terrifying or have hidden secrets behind closed doors. For those who find comfort in the hands of another, you will learn, page by page.
As the universe takes its last breath, it looks at you with glittering eyes and smiles. You were worth the destruction.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have come to appreciate poetry more and more over the years. This group of poems from Aries are separated in two sections: aches and epiphanies. I liked the poems, although the ones in the first section do fit the name. An example:

I have too much love inside me
to waste my time with someone
who won’t even look me in the eye
before he kisses me.
I am not just a body; I am a soul, too.

Even though this poem is short, it rouses a lot of emotion.

Then there are the epiphanies. Some of them are great and really hit home. An example:

Dear Body,
This has been a long time coming but I have begun to fall
in love with you at last.
I know God made you for me for a reason.
I think about the things I said before and it brings me to
tears.
You have loved me unconditionally and now; it is finally
time for me to do the same.
All my love


Aches and Epiphanies is definitely a book I recommend if you like poetry that makes you feel.

About the Author

Aries is a poet from Kuwait who currently lives in the UK. She is passionate about writing down feelings and turning the pain into something beautiful.

She has enjoyed writing from a young age, as well as composing songs, and is currently releasing music on several platforms.

Aries draws on personal experience as well as the experience of others for her work, and aims to express real feelings on paper to reach out to anyone who is willing to listen.

Book Review & Giveaway: The Benefits of Breathing by Christopher Meeks

Publisher: White Whisker Books (May, 2020)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Relationships
ISBN: Coming Soon
Available in: Print & ebook, 238 Pages

The Benefits of Breathing

In The Benefits of Breathing, his third collection of short stories, Christopher Meeks dives again into the human condition, particularly within relationships.  As one reader wrote on Amazon, “Some authors need a lot of words to describe their worlds and their people. Christopher Meeks says a lot with a little.” The Los Angeles Times has called his stories “poignant and wise.”

In this volume, “A Dog Story” captures a crumbled marriage and the love of a dog named Scrappy. “Joni Paredes” shows the birth of a new relationship that starts at a daughter’s wedding. “Nestor by the Numbers” follows one man’s often hilarious online dating experiences after he finally accepts his wife is gone. “Jerry with a Twist” shows an actor on an audition while his pregnant girlfriend helps him through a crisis. These and seven other stories will bring you into the special world of Meeks.

As reviewer Grady Harp notes, if you’ve previously “discovered the idiosyncrasies of Meeks’ writing style and content, rest assured that this new collection not only will not disappoint, but also it will provide further proof that we have a superior writer of the genre in our presence.” Try this book. You’ll have a lot to think about.

Amazon 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read A Death in Las Vegas and gave it 5 stars, so I was looking forward to reading something else by Christopher Meeks.

The Benefits of Breathing is a collection of short stories about relationships, lost love, divorce, and finding new love. Some of the stories are longer than others, some of them I didn’t care much for (but I’m a romantic at heart), and some I enjoyed and connected to. I like Christopher Meeks’ writing style so, even if I didn’t like how a story ended, it still flowed with the rest of the stories.

We, as human beings, are pretty messed up. That shows clearly in these stories. I want happy endings, but we don’t always get those. I don’t want to go into specifics and ruin anything, but some of the stories have sad endings but some are happy. One even tickled me in a macabre sort of way.

If you’re a fan of short stories, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Benefits of Breathing. The people and situations in it are so realistic, that even those who aren’t big fans of short stories may find these interesting and thought-provoking.

Praise for Benefits of Breathing

“Chris Meeks is a descriptive writer whose style paints a clear picture of everyday real life traumas. This story is about ordinary people and common problems; including how effective communication is so difficult to cultivate, especially when working through an emotional situation like a divorce. The reader can easily sense the strain of the failing relationship.”-T.M.S., Amazon

“Thoroughly enjoyed this short but bittersweet divorce story. It’s impossible to read anything Chris writes and fail to see pieces of yourself in the lines. Hope you keep them coming, Chris!”- Ksinteriors, Amazon

“I’ve read much of Meeks’ work. His attention to detail and ability to show rather than tell is unique and engaging.”-Kevin Gerard, Amazon

“While James Joyce was a trailblazer in the genre of literary fiction, Meeks surpasses him with crisp plainspoken prose abundant with brilliant humor and wit. Chris Meeks is one of those rare prolific and masterful writers whose stories and novels leave his audiences with a sense of satisfaction and enriching views of the human condition and humanity.”- James V Jordan, Amazon

Awards and Recognition

Book of the Year Bronze Award from ForeWord Reviews (2017): ‘The Chords of War’

ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award (2011)- ‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2011-‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2009- ‘The Brightest Moon of the Century’

About the Author

Award winning author, Christopher Meeks has five novels and two collections of short fiction published. The Benefits of Breathing’ is his third collection of short stories.

He has had stories published in several literary journals, and they have been included in the collections “Months and Seasons” and “The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea.” Mr. Meeks has had three full-length plays mounted in Los Angeles, and one, “Who Lives?” had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize.

Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design. He lives in Pasadena, CA.

Website at: www.chrismeeks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Christopher-Meeks-212382392140974/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.meeks1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeeksChris

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends June 27, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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