My Enemies

Enemies 2

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Reviews, do yours get removed from Amazon?

heart swans

 

Being most of my book sales occur in person instead of online, I have found it next to impossible to have posted reviews accepted by Amazon. Instead, the reviews are posted by my readers and then within a day or two Amazon takes them down. This has happened on numerous occasions since publishing with Create Space.
All and all I have been happy with Amazon as a customer. They run a great retail outfit that delivers good products. Their shipping is first rate. It is as an author that I have had less than stellar results regarding this issue of denying reviews. This has become a point of friction that Amazon is unwilling to acknowledge any flexibility.
In order to sidestep this issue, the last Amazon Representative suggested I publish to Kindle and do book give aways which result in “verified purchasers” and thus the reviews will remain posted. I see nothing wrong with this avenue except: what motivation does the reader have to post a review?
Any suggestions as to navigating this conundrum would be appreciated. In the mean time I have sponsored a free book give away for Oct 21 and 22.   All of my books are at this link: http://amzn.to/2yEAVUu

Reviews?

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

 

 

Rhyme Your Way into a Child’s Heart

 

If being a successful children’s book author is one of your dreams, may I suggest rhyme be part and parcel to your writing arsenal. Children can be a rather finicky and discerning audience when it comes to words that grab their precious attention. As a writer I have always gravitated to alliterative sound and rhyme to help achieve this task. I believe rhyme can be used as a major gimmick for capturing and maintaining a child’s interest. Continue reading

A Pixel World

a-pixel-world

A Pixel World

I have drifted away
like a feather
down the AuSable
River. I have entered
the homes of neighbors
and new found friends,
the tactile lives
of horses and cows,
the bitter bite
of winter ice
and sub-zero wind.

I have ignored you
like the TV news and all of its
cast of characters.
Most are forgotten, a few
I miss– like Life
Cameos, Richard Ankers and Sofia
Kioroglou.

I am not alone.

I am busy
writing books, interviewing
and being interviewed.
I read
eyes and smiles
without the interface.
It is better that way,
to not feel like a dot
in a pixel world.

Richard Rensberry, author at QuickTurtle Books®
amazon.com/author/richardrensberry

Guest Poet, Dean Blehert

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God Be Less Us, Everyone

We bring God or the gods into everything.
Bad hair day? It’s in the hands of the Gods.
Car accident? It is written.
She loves me? Thank God!

The operative word is “into,” the human stratagem
for taming God or gods. We like our gods
corked up in bottles or bound to boulders
or nailed to crosses or so long confined
to skulls (after aeons of trying to get a head)
that they can no longer find or conceive of
an exit from what they are certain they are,

for certainty (when we have become solid)
is impact: We become the cages whose bars
we have cracked against in our efforts
to get out. Straightjacket stratagem.

We bring God or gods into anything
we think we can control. We think if we flatter
the gods, attributing to them our joys and sorrows,
we’ll seduce them into giving a damn about us.
Then, if we can make the travails of human bodies
the best show in town for them, they,
like us when we get sucked in by the soaps,
will fixate. How hip and naughty of us
hypnotists! O ye gods, wouldn’t you like to be
in a lovely, tragic head like mine and each have
your own reality show.

By Dean Blehert, Copyright 2014       Visit, http://www.blehert.com for more of Dean’s poetry as well as some of my work in his Guest Poets section.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®  http://www.quickturtlebooks.com

I Saw It Coming

.    image           I Saw It Coming, The Series.  Part 1

I hike everyday.  It is energizing and allows my spirit to open up to my surroundings.  I am able to observe with the spirit’s eye and see universes beyond the physical reality of things.  I am delighted to take photographs and collect artifacts like feathers and wood for use in recreating what I have seen in my imagination.

On my many wanderings I have come to find hidden and secluded places where almost no human ever ventures anymore.   I am not talking about the wilderness, I am talking about within the city limits of San Francisco.  Most of The City is a massive tangle of abutted structures, but not all.  There are forsaken copses of trees and open spaces in this bustling cityscape.  Some appear forgotten as the now condemned Berlinski’s Hardware that sits forlorn with its boarded-up windows next to a twenty-first century Home Depot.  I used to frequent that old Hardware Store and it was way more interesting than Home Depot could ever dream of being.

My name is The Surest Sugar Maple.  The Elders christened me with the namesake as a young child because of my propensity to take calculated risks that none of the other kids could wrap their wits around.  I was the one that climbed the railroad trestle and tied the rope so we could fly out over the cliff and fall into the river.  I hunted and snared the rattlesnakes that were fodder for our moccasins.

If I wasn’t sure about a dare or a challenge, I wouldn’t take it on until I had it figured out to where the odds were in my favor.  I couldn’t be swayed but I could be bought.  It served me well in Hollywood where I spent many years working with the likes of John Wayne, Fess Parker, and Jimmy Stewart.  I was one of the Indians falling off horses, cliffs and bar stools.  I have an abundance of physical wounds to show for it, but I am alive and a very rich man because of it.

I am also old, but I am not as decrepit as the cocky little teenagers think.  They have begun to follow me at times and are over-confident, foolish and blind.  Their bodies are full of fast food and drugs.  They lack the power of observation.  They only see an old man, they do not see beneath the surface where I am fleet as a gazelle when and if I need and want to be.

The Skinny One and The Vulture had been waiting to ambush me when I came out of the Wells Fargo on Biscayne Street.  The Skinny One sidled up to me on my left while The Vulture nervously poked something implying a gun into my ribs.

“Gotcha old man,” The Skinny One hissed.  He was their teenage lips, their fear and their bravado all mixed up into one.  Of all the little gangsters that I had noticed he seemed like the one that was dangerous.  “Just do as I say,” he said, “And maybe you’ll live to tell your chess playing Bros about shitting your pants down at the Wells Fargo.”

What he didn’t have was the gun.  It was The Vulture that had the weapon in my ribs and I had  since surmised that he had no business as a hoodlum.  He was too sensitive, weak minded and a coward.  Besides that, I had purposely bumped him with my elbow and there had been no weight behind the supposed weapon.  It was either his finger or maybe a plastic water pistol.

They ushered me down Biscayne.  An old man and a couple of teenagers out for a stroll.   As they did so, I quickly concluded that I was probably in no real danger.  That’s the luxury of having made  a calculated risk,  the odds are in your favor.  When I added it up, one way or another they were destined to lose.  They were high on adrenalin and probably cocaine.  They were having visions of how they had already won.

To be continued.

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®

When War Comes, A Short Story

IMG_0921         When War Comes

He was my older brother by spirit, not by blood.  He could look through the eyes of the crow or the hawk and see you even when he wasn’t present.  He had what the elders called far vision.  He had the ears of a deer and the wings of a duck.  He could disappear at will.

I adored him.

He told me, “Stop being a puppy, young Night Bird.”

He often came decorated with paint in the colors of a warrior.  He pointed with a finger and spoke with his hands.  He would grab my tongue and give a shake of his head if I spoke too loud near the water where we fished.  He gave me feathers for lessons and beads rubbed raw by the swirling currents of the river.  He gifted me the paw of a weasel when I showed him a nest of pheasant eggs.

I looked up to receive his praise.

He told me, “Don’t put your eggs in another man’s basket.”

He helped me find an ash to carve a bow.  He taught me the way of sticks and how they bend just right when they plead to be an arrow.  He showed me rituals on how to ask the feather where it goes and how to honor flint when it is broken.  I was coached on how to say the words to make an arrow fly true to its kill.

I found truth in what he said.

He told me, “Truth is worthless to the dead.”

He tested me like the leather I used to string my bow.  He tested my patience and my will.  He approved or disapproved.  It all depended on the direction of the wind.  I could tell by the the lift of his chin when he knew that I knew.

I smiled at his knowledge.

He told me, “A lesson learned is a lesson you forgot.”

We practiced until I bled and my blood became a vessel that poured my spirit into the bow, until my hands were indistinguishable from the rose of the wood.  I shot arrow after arrow, day upon day two years in a row.  I could stand on my head or I could sit, I could run or I could crawl, leap or flip.  It didn’t matter to my arrows, they had learned to arrive where I had meant them to go.  They were I and I was them and in an instant I could snatch an arrow out of flight and whisk it back from where it came.

I was cocky with my aim.

He told me, “The pheasant that crows too soon and too loud gets eaten.”

He took me to the mountains and taught me how to hunt like the big cats and climb like the goats.  I was shown the camouflage of painted faces and the different spirits they conjure for their host.  He spoke the words behind the smoke and the rhythms of the tom-toms.  We danced the dances, chanted our chants and in the Spring I came to be a man in the arms of Silver Birch.

I went to her in the night.

He told me, “Love is a warrior’s strength and his weakness combined.”

We sat in silence amidst the bustle of the many young boys as they searched to retrieve our arrows.  They plucked them from the grass where we practiced and brought them back to our quivers by name.  We traded for their efforts with feathers and beads or candy for the ones that shook their heads.  One That Grows Fat In the Middle is my little brother by blood.  My Little Brother by spirit is Cloud In The Eye.  He too likes candy above feathers and often cries to my dismay.  I do not recall myself in his childish manners.  He seems to lack the will in search of his honor.

Older Brother clicks his teeth.  He points and gestures with his chin, “Some boys are men, some boys are squaws.  It’s good to know which,” he said, “when war comes.”

Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books™