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Drifting into Autumn: Micro Poems by Neetu

September 26, 2023 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , ,

Drifting into Autumn
(6 Micro Poems including Haiku)

a nip in the air
swirling to my feet
one blushing leaf


Autumn tiptoes
nudging Summer
out the door


flowers and dreams
the earth churns and mulches
I, a falling leaf


ablaze in autumn
the yellow leaves know
how to burn


blast of wind
the last leaves blow away
leave me barren


tell me when
leaves fall and
your heart grieves

I will crush them
under my feet and
turn them into mulch

© Neetu Malik

Some of Neetu’s Books

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September 13, 2023 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , , ,

Okay, I know it isn’t officially Autumn until September 22, but the kids are back in school, pumpkin spice everything is available again, and I have even seen a few trees with leaves that are starting to turn. Close enough for me.

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I don’t much enjoy the heat of summer, so the cooler days and sometimes almost-nippy nights fill me with anticipation.

From now until the end of the year, there is one happy event after another: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, and several family birthdays. These holidays and their traditions mark the passage of our annual orbit of the sun. Before I know it, that “holiday feeling” inspires me to start singing It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. (Why did that allergy medicine have to use that as their advertising jingle?) No matter. For me it is the most wonderful time of the year.

Along with the change of seasons comes a spate of vendor fairs where I, along with some of my writing colleagues from the Bethlehem Writers Group, go to market our themed Sweet, Funny, and Strange® anthologies (including our award-winning first anthology: A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales, and our award winning second anthology: Once Around the Sun: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for All Seasons.) Meeting and talking with shoppers as they go from table to table picking up gifts for loved ones (while tasting traditional baked goods and beverages) adds to the fun of the season.

We even have some exciting news to share about our most recent title, An Element of Mystery: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of Intrigue. It was named a finalist for two international book awards: the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. We’re honored by the recognition and pleased to put these medals on our book cover.

I also have a new novelette to peddle this fall. It’s entitled Apple, Table, Penny . . . Murder and tells of recently widowed Suzy Kemp who decides to downsize to an independent-living apartment in a retirement community. But when she goes in for her final health screening, she becomes confused and is abruptly confined to a memory care unit . . . with no way out. What’s worse, she suspects the late-night departure of another resident has a sinister cause. No one takes her suspicions seriously, so she’s determined to investigate on her own, to uncover what happened to her neighbor and to prove she hasn’t lost her mind. (And it’s set around Thanksgiving!) It’s available at online retailers, for order through brick-and-mortar stores, and, of course, at our vendor fairs.

Another of our members, Emily P. W. Murphy, has also recently published a delightful children’s book about being true to yourself. It’s entitled The Princess of Booray and is available anywhere you can find Apple, Table, Penny . . . Murder.

One more thing I look forward to this fall is that in November, for the first time, my BWG colleague Marianne H. Donley and I will be teaching a class on “Writing a Holiday Story” through the Aged to Perfection Chapter of Romance Writers of America. We look forward to sharing the fun of writing stories about a variety of holidays in different genres.

Meanwhile, we’re preparing to start Bethlehem Writers Group’s annual Short Story Award competition at the beginning of 2024. And this year’s theme? Serendipitously, it’s Holiday Stories! We’re looking for stories of 2000 words or fewer that incorporate any holiday from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, inclusive. The holiday must be an important element of the story. The winner will receive $250 plus the publication in either our upcoming anthology, Season’s Readings: More Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales, or in our literary journal, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Second and third place winners receive $100 or $50 respectively and an offer of publication in Roundtable. The competition opens on January 1 and runs through March 31. Check the Roundtable website for more information. We’re really looking forward to reading all those holiday-inspired stories.

Also, I’m writing my own holiday story for the anthology and wondering how long it will be before we see those first few snowflakes flutter to the ground. Anticipation? It’s the best thing about this season.

I hope you, too, anticipate a very pleasant Fall and holiday season.

Other Books from BWG

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Seasonal Fruit

November 26, 2022 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , ,

Seasonal Fruit

in a brief burst
of fiery red and gold
we burned….

our flame
in Autumn’s blasting
wind song
as it whooshed
past our ears with barely
a tickle

ripe as apples
sweetened by the sun
we bit into the luscious fruit
of seasonal love

but fires
do not last and winter must come

yet, for that fleeting moment
we were gloriously

©Neetu Malik

Some of Neetu’s Books

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Laughter Rx by Jenny Jensen

October 19, 2021 by in category On writing . . . by Jenny Jensen tagged as , , , , ,

It’s fall. And it’s a beautiful fall. Cottonwoods are going gold, sunflowers are bursting out along the ditch banks and best of all, the Sandhill Cranes are returning. They do this amazing ballet in the sky, circling and calling out their own special symphony – music to rake leaves by.

I love the Fall and though it is marked by so much beauty; it is also tinged with melancholy. I’m not sure if that sadness is from mourning the end of summer and all that season gives us or if it’s just the knowing that dark, cold days are coming. Whatever the cause, fall can make me feel blue. What I need is a good laugh—hopefully a full on belly laugh.

There are plenty of comedy films and shows that are wonderful for a LOL, even a good ROTFL. I get a lot of joy from comedy films. I enjoy visual and physical comedy.

And I have to admit loving the thousands of classic film quips – words in the end after all – but it’s the humorous, witty, often ridiculous written word that uplifts my spirits for the long run. Books are the best place I’ve found for humor that sticks with you like a good diner meal.

Words stay with you – the perfect combination of words that describe a place, or show a feeling or capture the essence of this (often ridiculous) human condition we all share ‑ become a memory. (I guess that’s why Bartlett felt compelled to gather his faves into a big fat book. There are just so many good quotes. So many perfect words.) And unlike a visual motion media, the written word is taken in at your own pace – you have time to absorb the funny and appreciate it.

So I am making a new fall book list designed for the laughter that lightens the spirit. I’ve included some old favorites I haven’t looked at in years. Auntie Mame (Patrick Dennis) came to mind first. I thought I’d follow that with a couple of Flavia de Luce (Alan Bradley) adventures I haven’t read yet (nothing says cutting wit like an eleven-year-old British girl genius). What is needed next is some full on silly and for me nothing can do that better than a funny witch. I love Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem series and add one or three of those.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten. I’m stumped and so I’m reaching out to other readers for suggestions. Who better to ask than the authors, devotees and avid readers of Slice of Orange? If you’ve chanced to read this post, I’d love to hear your humorous book suggestions. I’d especially like to read a romance that will make me laugh as well as sigh with satisfaction. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long, dark winter. We need to keep the laugh meter spiking. Enjoy the fall and thanks in advance.

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In Repose by Neetu

October 26, 2018 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , ,

In Repose | Neetu | A Slice of Orange

                   In Repose

I thought I could catch leaves
as they flurried down trees
where the summer sun
had painted them green just yesterday

when they were laden with
liquid imagination, suspended
from moist branches drenched
in dew

but seasons change
frost must replace droplets of dew
and I must let the leaves go
as they will

to follow their course
to be turned in the winter soil
of soft sorrow as they mourn
the passing of color and wait
in quietude for
a new beginning.

© Neetu Malik 
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